Lodestone: A Wynston/Ruth Alternate Universe
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12.20.2012 , 10:18 PM |
L + 6 years
Ruth's smile when she answered Wynston's holocall was a little subdued. "Hi," she said.
"Ruth. I'm a ways out from Dromund Kaas yet, but I've got a little time on my hands. Would you happen to be around?"
"I'm working, actually."
"Ah." That happened sometimes. "Anything I can help with?"
"If you like," she said distantly. "The target's vessel is due to pass through a certain space station in about eight hours. Meet me there." She cut him off.
All right. Ruth preoccupied, bad. Ruth not minding his coming anyway, good. Wynston got moving.
He met her on a barely-inhabited space station out in the middle of nowhere. She was already in the control room, accompanied by Lieutenant Pierce and several of her personal guard in their service-of-the-Wrath variant on red and black armor. The people she brought when she anticipated trouble.
"Hello," said Wynston as he stepped in.
"I anticipate his arrival any minute now," said Ruth in his direction. "This is a direct Emperor's mark, there won't be mistakes. Pierce, I'm going to hangar three. Stay here, monitor matters, and if anything unusual comes up that isn't in hangar three, deal with it."
"Yes, milord." Pierce nodded smartly. Ruth stalked out to the hallway, nearly knocking Wynston over when he came too close.
He jogged to follow her. He was no Force sensitive but he felt the cold about her just then. She had a work ethic, but this was something else.
Or maybe not. She was allowed to have her own work style, and when the Emperor called the mission was probably urgent enough that she didn't want to play around. He had never been around to observe the immediate effects of one of these missions before; maybe this was just how she dealt with the Emperor's intrusions before she had calmed enough to call him or otherwise unwind. Maybe.
The target landed and disembarked. Ruth strode out and wasted absolutely no time laying into her. Wynston hung back to shoot at the stranger's guardsmen. He kept an eye on Ruth; she had eyes for nothing but the mark she had named.
In the moment she landed the killing blow, her face was utterly blank.
She finally turned to the remaining guardsmen and helped Wynston clear the rest of them. Wynston shivered as he holstered his pistol and headed over to meet her. "All set?"
"Yes." She shook her head briskly, then smiled at him. "Easy."
"And you're…feeling all right?" She looked all right, all of a sudden. He wasn't sure what signs to check for of any lingering wrongness.
"Yes, I'm fine." She shot him a curious look, as if he were the one behaving strangely, and then stepped over the dead woman and reached out to take Wynston's hand. "Come on, tell me you've got a little more time to spare."
"For you? Always." She would want warming up, once she had returned to normal. He only wished he knew exactly what she was returning from.
Because all Ruth stories are mind control stories? That kinda happens when you're stuck between the Emperor and the Agent plotline. Sorry! As has been discussed elsewhere, this Emperor's only real schtick is mind control. It's what he does. I'm sort of massively downgrading him by only allowing him specific-order compulsions when he gives his Wrath the high-priority orders.
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