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02.14.2013 , 01:32 PM | #75
Lokin stood in the doorway of the private medical suite in the Dromund Kaas Military Hospital, watching the vital signs monitor over the kolto tank containing the badly injured Cipher Twelve. He'd insisted on overseeing the surgical and medical treatment, and it had been done well and successfully, but it would still be a long time before Twelve would be signed off as fit for active service again. Sometimes medical knowledge was not such a good thing.

He said nothing of that to the silent Cirean who was sitting on the edge of the bed, her gaze fixed on Twelve's floating form. He wondered whether he should have reported the growing attachment between her and Twelve. But they were his friends, the three of them were a close-fitting, perfectly matched, and highly effective team which none of them wanted to break up, and in any case it was entirely too late now.

He remembered Twelve's dispassionate assessment, several years ago. "We are all expendable, Agent, only the mission matters."

For once, Twelve had failed to accept that. Their mission had been completed; Ban was long dead now and would not be handing over any information. Their escape was not a requirement, but Twelve had ensured that it occurred when he could easily have got himself out and left them. They had then ignored the precept even further by going to get him out themselves. So much for avoiding personal entanglements.

That had not formed part of his report, of course. Loyalty was important, to his friends first, Intelligence second, and the Empire a distant third.

Unfortunately, it was impossible that the post-debriefing psychological analyses had not picked up the character flaws - for they would certainly be classified as such for Imperial Intelligence agents - of loyalty to his friends above Intelligence in himself, and Cirean's burgeoning relationship with Twelve. There was no room for emotion or personal loyalties in Intelligence.

Lokin understood Twelve's coldness a lot better now, even though the man had let it go in the end. He would need to be careful to cultivate it for himself in future. No more close friendships, remain isolated and remote. Lokin versus the universe. Possibly the Jedi have a point about suppressing emotions and avoiding attachments, he thought. It does lead to pain. And disciplinary action, unfortunately. It was unavoidable, since he and Cirean had had no authority to carry out the rescue, and it could easily have been disastrous.

Seeing the state Twelve was in now, and thinking about what they would all likely have to go through in the near future, he almost wished it had been.

His holocom buzzed silently in his pocket. Lokin stepped out of the room and a few steps down the hallway and pressed the receive button. Keeper's stern face looked up at him. "Agent. Report to my office now." The call ended without ceremony.

And so it begins, he thought wearily.

He went to tell Cirean that he was going to HQ. She nodded, still without saying anything. He closed the door quietly and left her to sit in watchful hope.
Control, passion, diligence: these three principles shape your world.

Lord Scourge: To repeat a mistake and expect a beneficial outcome is a sign of insanity.