Lodestone: A Wynston/Ruth Alternate Universe
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01.09.2013 , 06:28 AM |
Epilogue, scene 1: On the Fury
Wynston was unconscious in the tank, but Ruth stood before him to record her report anyway.
"I took the
from the Emperor's remaining forces. Pierce has been itching to get at them ever since they effectively stole his command over my personal guard when Quinn moved in. The ship's in good shape; Vector and Temple have the inventories going but so far it looks like they were far more interested in capturing than in destroying the tech on board. Vector is…you know I've always liked him, but I am amazed to see him in action working the hours he's been working under the pressures he's had. Your people are in good hands." She shifted. "Anyway, I love you and I hope I can line up me being out of combat with you being awake sometime soon. Until then, Wynston." She ended the recording and left the message ready to play for him.
Then she looked at the tank. Wynston floated, thin, hurt, slowly mending. Ruth kept vigil.
A casual drawl sounded behind her. "If I had a mechanically inclined colleague aboard I'd have him tweak the seats there. Wouldn't take much to put in a bench seat, let you lean up on the tank all you want, up to and including falling asleep there."
"I can't stay that long," she said, and turned to Doc. Over the last couple of days he had started styling his facial hair into what was shaping up to be a truly ridiculous moustache-plus-tuft. She kept a straight face anyway. "The operation needs me."
"That's what I hear. You know, for all that your Wrath-ing doesn't look too Wrath-ful, it does seem to involve a lot of stress."
"Someone's got to do it. Now, I've secured a location where Wynston here will be able to recuperate safely. Now that I have that you're free to go; just name the port of call and I'll drop you and Larr Gith off." Or rather, Colrand would; he had been quiet the last couple of days, but he liked to be on the bridge and had proved eager to apply the few weeks' piloting lessons he had gotten while Ruth was working out of the
"Still not supposed to issue a press release on how we killed the Emperor for real this time?" said Doc.
"Still not supposed to do that, I'm afraid. PR is being handled by a different department." Let Wynston's people sort out the matter of that knowledge and its repercussions. "Either way it doesn't mean your Jedi are going to win," she added. "But I assure you, the sane Imperials won a great victory. And that's better for everyone."
"I have a strict policy of not discussing politics with Sith Lords," Doc said. His voice only squeaked a little.
"Ah, of course." She didn't quite laugh at herself. The man was a civilian, she'd better drop work for now. "Well, in any case, I'll let you and Larr off and you'll be well compensated for your troubles."
"See, last time we were at this it was Lord Scourge calling the shots and compensation did not figure into it. Working with you has been a real trade up so far. I appreciate that."
"I appreciate your working with us. Very much." She turned back to Wynston. His every breath was cause for gratitude.
Doc sauntered up to her side. "He's a lucky guy, having someone like you. The kind who really would sleep on a bench all week just to stick by the kolto tank. You know, if there weren't worlds to conquer, which is completely understandable. You still made time to come by. That's dedication." He paused briefly. "I hear that women like that tend to be very good kissers."
Ruth kept a straight face, barely. "I wouldn't know, I've never kissed a woman like that."
"Oh, well, if you're curious I could check and tell you."
He looked so cheerful. And so ridiculously hopeful. "You remind me of him a little," she said, grinning. "Very brave."
"Admirably brave? Heroically, even? I'm just saying, the way talks've been going I might not be a free man much longer, and, well…"
"Then I wish you every happiness. Larr's a lucky woman."
Doc shrugged philosophically and, still cheerful, looked back at the tank. "And this one's a lucky guy. Not everybody gets to say his lady friend faced down the Emperor."
"And he'll be alive to say it." It was a good thought. It was a wonderful thought. It had come too close to failing. On an impulse she threw her arms around the dark-haired man beside her and kissed his cheek. "Thank you for saving his life."
He accepted the tribute with a steadying arm and a blindingly bright smile. "Hey. That's what I do, honey." He gave a courtly little bow. "Now then, I should go figure out where I'm getting dropped off." He headed for the door, musing out loud as he went. "Nar Shaddaa, maybe, see some of the old gang there for one modest welcome-home party before I take my time off from stress. Larr should like that…oh, and I can't skip Balmorra, just a low-key little tour there for old times' sake…"
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