Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer
×

Afterimages


Vesaniae's Avatar


Vesaniae
08.10.2012 , 04:37 PM | #1
Edit - This fic is complete. Enjoy.

Opening Remarks: After much deliberation, editing, and frustration, I'm finally posting this. It's primarily a Sith Warrior story, so expect spoilers for that storyline throughout. Chapters in which other class stories are mentioned will be spoiler tagged, although I'm trying to avoid major spoilers for other classes as much as possible. EDIT: Uh, there are agent spoilers in here. Lots of them. Proceed at your own risk.

"Afterimages" officially begins six months after the conclusion of Chapter Three. Dates are noted at the beginning of each chapter, as we will be doing some flashing back.

Okay, enough notes. Here's the story. Please be warned that the prologue contains some rather messed up behavior by a Sith. Edit: To be clearer--trigger warning for child abuse in the first section of the prologue.


Prologue
Dhakar Estate, Dromund Kaas
8 BTC


Nine-year-old K’hera Dhakar held the training saber carefully in her left hand. Her golden eyes narrowed as she held the blade still for a moment, studying its length, as though imagining that it were a real lightsaber. Then she launched into a complex series of movements, her small face a mask of concentration.

As she finished the pattern, she looked up to see her mother standing in the doorway of the practice room. Safiel Dhakar regarded her with a critical eye.

“Passable,” the older Pureblood said dismissively. “I hope you’ve practiced with your right hand, as well.”

“Of course,” K’hera said indignantly.

“Show me.”

Obediently, K’hera switched the training saber to her other hand and performed another pattern. Despite her best efforts, the movements were noticeably less elegant.

“Not good enough,” her mother snapped. She walked towards her daughter, glowering. “Give me your hand,” she demanded.

K’hera warily held out her left hand.

Safiel took hold of her wrist and gave a sharp twist. There was an audible cracking sound as the bones snapped.

K’hera gasped in pain, dropping the training saber. It took all of her concentration to keep tears from welling up in her eyes—she would not give her mother the satisfaction of seeing her cry.

“There,” Safiel said with a small, cruel smile. She nodded towards the training saber. “Pick that up, and keep practicing until you’re just as good with your off hand.” She exited the room, robes swirling around her.

K’hera watched her go, pain and hatred surging within her.

Rage gives me power, she thought.

Her face settled into an expression of determination, and the training saber lifted off the floor and flew into her hand.

19 years later
Aboard the Fury-class starship Alecto
11 ATC


A’tro looked at her left hand, cautiously flexing her wrist. Thankfully, it wasn’t broken this time, just sprained. She did not have time to wait for a break to heal, and she fought far more effectively with two lightsabers than with one. A few kolto injections had set her well on the way to recovery, although her wrist was still a bit stiff.

She had left K’hera Dhakar behind two years ago—only two years, but it felt like a lifetime. There was no escaping the past entirely, however, as her injury could testify. She clearly remembered the first time she had broken that particular bone. Had her mother truly believed that she was doing her a favor, or was she simply being cruel to her least favorite daughter?

After that first break, and the injuries that followed, the end result was a left hand that was weaker than the right. It was almost funny.

A’tro remembered telling the story almost a year ago, back when Jaesa had first joined the crew. She remembered her audience’s reactions: Vette was horrified; Jaesa was uncertain, as always, tentative to offer an opinion; Quinn was elsewhere, silent. But he was watching, always watching.

A’tro scowled at her wrist. After two days of kolto it was mostly healed, but it still hurt. She was starting to regret her decision to forgo any pain medication.

Maybe it’s all in my mind, she thought grumpily. Either way, I deserve it. That’s what I get for being a fool.

“Master?”

A’tro looked up to see Jaesa hovering anxiously at the door to the medbay. The young woman could probably sense A’tro’s bad mood. Normally, the Sith was good at keeping her temper in check, but today she thought she just might snap if anyone dared push her.

“Yes, Jaesa?” A’tro said quietly.

“Quinn says we’ll be on Corellia in six hours, master. I thought you might want to know.”

“Thank you.” A’tro headed for the door. “I’ll be in my quarters until then. Don’t disturb me.”

“Yes, Master,” Jaesa said. She frowned. “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but…are you all right? You don’t seem like yourself. Did something happen—“

“Everything’s fine,” A’tro snapped, cutting her off. She brushed past her apprentice and headed for her room. Once there, she locked the door behind her and sat down heavily on the bed, resting her head in her good hand.

“I’m a fool,” she whispered. “A damned sentimental fool.”

This is all my fault, she thought. I tried, but in the end I was too weak. Why couldn’t I just finish it?

With a flick of the Force, she turned off the lights, and sat staring bleakly into the darkness.

Rage gives me power. But I wasn’t strong enough to do what needed to be done.




Closing Remarks: Hope you enjoyed. Future chapters are longer. Updates will be sporadic, but I'll try to keep it going. Also, I may change the title once I come up with one that makes more sense. We'll see. I'm bad with titles.
Force Lightning: The solution to every problem. Every. Problem.
Afterimages * Walking Penumbral * Like Moths to the Flame
Forever Shenanigans!

Vesaniae's Avatar


Vesaniae
08.10.2012 , 04:54 PM | #2
I don't want to burn through my backlog too quickly, but here's the first part. It sort of introduces a plot. The Sith Inquisitor is mentioned, but the only thing that could count as a spoiler is the mention of the Inquisitor's title at the end of chapter three, which I think is fairly common knowledge.


One – A Return, Changes
Dromund Kaas
12 ATC


Darth A’tro, the Emperor’s Wrath, strode through the halls of the Citadel in Kaas City.

She surveyed her surroundings carefully as she walked, partially out of habitual paranoia, and partially to reacquaint herself with the place. She had been too long away from Dromund Kaas.

At last, she reached her chambers, a set of rooms that had been given to her following her ascension as the Wrath. Stepping inside, she found Jaesa waiting for her.

The antechamber was dominated by a large picture window that gave a spectacular view of the jungle. Jaesa was looking out, and turned as A’tro entered.

“Hello,” she said. She nodded towards the window. “Quite the view you have here. I didn’t get a chance to look properly when we were here before.”

“You’ll certainly have the chance now,” A’tro said. “We are going to be here for a while. I’ve been away from the seat of the Empire for too long. I have a great many things to attend to.”

Jaesa looked at her inquisitively. “Including my further instruction, I hope?”

A’tro frowned. “Don’t get impertinent, apprentice. I am not in the mood.”

“I apologize, Master.”

“I’ve arranged for you to have an apartment on one of the lower floors. It’s small, but this way you won’t have to live with me.”

“I appreciate that, Master,” Jaesa said. She smiled wryly. “After a year and a half living with five other people on a ship the size of the Alecto, it’ll be nice to have some personal space, even if it is small.”

A’tro nodded. “I’m glad you approve. I have the key codes for your new apartment on my datapad. I assume you’ll want to settle in right away.”

Jaesa nodded. “Is that everything, Master?”

“For the time being.” A’tro looked the younger woman in the eye and said seriously, “You’re a Sith apprentice on Dromund Kaas, Jaesa. Feel free to enjoy the privileges that entails.”

Jaesa smiled eagerly. “I’m looking forward to it.”

A’tro nodded. “I have no more need of you this evening; go explore the city. I want you to come see me tomorrow afternoon, however.”

“I can come earlier, if you’d like.”

A’tro sighed and shook her head. “I’m meeting with Darth Nox in the morning.”

“She’s the new Dark Council member, right?”

A’tro nodded. “She ascended right after I did—only a few hours after, in fact.” She shook her head. “The way she fought… I don’t want someone like that for an enemy. Thus, our meeting.”

“I understand,” Jaesa said. “Can I go?”

“Yes, yes. Go on.”

Jaesa left, and A’tro collapsed into a nearby chair with a sigh. The prospect of everything that she needed to do loomed over her. Dealing with internal affairs was going to be more difficult than fighting a military campaign.

Vette would appreciate the opportunity for a vacation of sorts, even if Dromund Kaas was far from her choice of locales. A’tro would have to find something to keep Broonmark occupied; the Talz was never happy unless he was killing something. She supposed that applied to Pierce as well.

And then there was Quinn, whom she had been trying her best not to think about.

I’ll let him stew for a while, she thought smugly. Having nothing to do is probably worse than torture for him. Emperor knows, he deserves it.

She sighed and covered her face with her hands, massaging her temples. She could feel a headache coming on.

Nothing is ever easy, she thought wearily. I’m twenty-nine years old and I’m one of the most powerful Sith in the galaxy. I always swore I’d be a Darth before I was thirty, and here I am.

She raised her head and looked out the window. A storm was brewing in the distance; she could see lightning flickering within the dark clouds on the horizon.

She would sleep for a few hours, she decided. After that, it was time to get to work.


So I promised that after the prologue, chapters would be longer, and then I went and posted something shorter. It was long at first, I promise! But then I decided to cut a large chunk of it, and it shrank. But future stuff, some of which is already written, will be longer, I swear.
Force Lightning: The solution to every problem. Every. Problem.
Afterimages * Walking Penumbral * Like Moths to the Flame
Forever Shenanigans!

SveinEternity's Avatar


SveinEternity
08.10.2012 , 05:21 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Vesaniae View Post
Opening Remarks: After much deliberation, editing, and frustration, I'm finally posting this. It's primarily a Sith Warrior story, so expect spoilers for that storyline throughout. Chapters in which other class stories are mentioned will be spoiler tagged, although I'm trying to avoid major spoilers for other classes as much as possible.

"Afterimages" officially begins six months after the conclusion of Chapter Three. Dates are noted at the beginning of each chapter, as we will be doing some flashing back.

Okay, enough notes. Here's the story. Please be warned that the prologue contains some rather messed up behavior by a Sith.


Prologue
Dhakar Estate, Dromund Kaas
8 BTC


Nine-year-old K’hera Dhakar held the training saber carefully in her left hand. Her golden eyes narrowed as she held the blade still for a moment, studying its length, as though imagining that it were a real lightsaber. Then she launched into a complex series of movements, her small face a mask of concentration.

As she finished the pattern, she looked up to see her mother standing in the doorway of the practice room. Safiel Dhakar regarded her with a critical eye.

“Passable,” the older Pureblood said dismissively. “I hope you’ve practiced with your right hand, as well.”

“Of course,” K’hera said indignantly.

“Show me.”

Obediently, K’hera switched the training saber to her other hand and performed another pattern. Despite her best efforts, the movements were noticeably less elegant.

“Not good enough,” her mother snapped. She walked towards her daughter, glowering. “Give me your hand,” she demanded.

K’hera warily held out her left hand.

Safiel took hold of her wrist and gave a sharp twist. There was an audible cracking sound as the bones snapped.

K’hera gasped in pain, dropping the training saber. It took all of her concentration to keep tears from welling up in her eyes—she would not give her mother the satisfaction of seeing her cry.

“There,” Safiel said with a small, cruel smile. She nodded towards the training saber. “Pick that up, and keep practicing until you’re just as good with your off hand.” She exited the room, robes swirling around her.

K’hera watched her go, pain and hatred surging within her.

Rage gives me power, she thought.

Her face settled into an expression of determination, and the training saber lifted off the floor and flew into her hand.

19 years later
Aboard the Fury-class starship Alecto
11 ATC


A’tro looked at her left hand, cautiously flexing her wrist. Thankfully, it wasn’t broken this time, just sprained. She did not have time to wait for a break to heal, and she fought far more effectively with two lightsabers than with one. A few kolto injections had set her well on the way to recovery, although her wrist was still a bit stiff.

She had left K’hera Dhakar behind two years ago—only two years, but it felt like a lifetime. There was no escaping the past entirely, however, as her injury could testify. She clearly remembered the first time she had broken that particular bone. Had her mother truly believed that she was doing her a favor, or was she simply being cruel to her least favorite daughter?

After that first break, and the injuries that followed, the end result was a left hand that was weaker than the right. It was almost funny.

A’tro remembered telling the story almost a year ago, back when Jaesa had first joined the crew. She remembered her audience’s reactions: Vette was horrified; Jaesa was uncertain, as always, tentative to offer an opinion; Quinn was elsewhere, silent. But he was watching, always watching.

A’tro scowled at her wrist. After two days of kolto it was mostly healed, but it still hurt. She was starting to regret her decision to forgo any pain medication.

Maybe it’s all in my mind, she thought grumpily. Either way, I deserve it. That’s what I get for being a fool.

“Master?”

A’tro looked up to see Jaesa hovering anxiously at the door to the medbay. The young woman could probably sense A’tro’s bad mood. Normally, the Sith was good at keeping her temper in check, but today she thought she just might snap if anyone dared push her.

“Yes, Jaesa?” A’tro said quietly.

“Quinn says we’ll be on Corellia in six hours, master. I thought you might want to know.”

“Thank you.” A’tro headed for the door. “I’ll be in my quarters until then. Don’t disturb me.”

“Yes, Master,” Jaesa said. She frowned. “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but…are you all right? You don’t seem like yourself. Did something happen—“

“Everything’s fine,” A’tro snapped, cutting her off. She brushed past her apprentice and headed for her room. Once there, she locked the door behind her and sat down heavily on the bed, resting her head in her good hand.

“I’m a fool,” she whispered. “A damned sentimental fool.”

This is all my fault, she thought. I tried, but in the end I was too weak. Why couldn’t I just finish it?

With a flick of the Force, she turned off the lights, and sat staring bleakly into the darkness.

Rage gives me power. But I wasn’t strong enough to do what needed to be done.




Closing Remarks: Hope you enjoyed. Future chapters are longer. Updates will be sporadic, but I'll try to keep it going. Also, I may change the title once I come up with one that makes more sense. We'll see. I'm bad with titles.
Made me tear up. What a way to treat a nine year old. Anyway good stuff! Can't wait to see more!
The Eternity Legacy

kabeone's Avatar


kabeone
08.10.2012 , 05:24 PM | #4
I love A'tro so far from this story and the stuff you posted from the Short Fic thread. I can't wait to see what happens with her.

p.s. don't feel pressured to post, we'll read it when you're ready

Vesaniae's Avatar


Vesaniae
08.11.2012 , 08:41 AM | #5
Here, have another chapter. I've been writing this out of order, so this one's been sitting on my hard drive for months. References are made to the Sith Inquisitor's Corellia storyline, as well as the Inquisitor's chapter three antagonist. It doesn't get too specific so I'm not going to spoilertag this.

Oh, and this chapter also contains a few instances of VMTU (Vesaniae Makes Things Up) for flavor purposes.


Two - A Conversation Over Tea
Kaas City, Dromund Kaas
12 ATC


The Overlook Café was named for its location just above one of Kaas City’s spectacular waterfalls. Owned by one of the Empire’s wealthy business families, it was a scenic destination for those Sith prestigious enough to be admitted, the even smaller number of non-Sith who could claim the same honor, and their guests. Due to the volatile nature of the usual clientele, a number of heavy war droids were strategically placed throughout the establishment to enforce the Sith’s good behavior.

Darth A’tro sat back carefully in her chair, one eye on the cliff’s edge less than a meter away. While she had to admit that railings would have detracted from the overall aesthetic, the lack of them meant that she had to keep an eye on two potential sources of death: the plunging drop, and the woman seated across from her.

Darth Nox smiled. The newest Dark Council member was usually smiling, and the expression could have meant anything. She was human, with ivory-pale skin and carven, angular features; high cheekbones and an elegant nose. She had jet black hair that she kept tied back, and gray eyes like cold mirrors of mist. She always dressed in white robes, a rather blatant defiance of the Sith stereotype. The only color on her person was her bright red lips.

A’tro subtly made sure that both of her lightsabers were within easy reach. She doubted that Nox would try anything in public, but it never hurt to be cautious.

“This is a lovely place,” Nox observed. “Have you been here before?”

A’tro shook her head. “I’ve been busy.”

“I noticed. You seem to be trying to win the war for us single-handedly.”

“I’m the Emperor’s Wrath. Destroying the Empire’s enemies is my job.”

“A job at which you’ve proven to be quite proficient.”

A’tro frowned. “Your point being?”

Nox waved a hand. “No point. An observation only.”

A server approached the table, deposited a tea tray, then bowed deeply and fled.

Nox poured herself a cup and eyed the contents. “Do you think this could be poisoned?”

“The staff know that we’d have their heads if they tried anything, no matter how much one of our rivals might be offering for our demise.”

“It would be difficult for us to take their heads if we were dead.”

A’tro raised a brow-ridge. “Aren’t you practically immortal?”

“In theory,” Nox sighed. “Oh, what the hell.” She reached for the sugar and dumped a prodigious amount into her cup, then stirred thoroughly. She examined the result, shrugged, and took a sip. “Hmm. Not bad.”

A’tro cringed. “How can you drink that after—“ She gesticulated wordlessly at the sugar bowl.

“You Purebloods have no appreciation for sweet things,” Nox grumbled.

A’tro shook her head and poured herself a cup.

“So,” Nox said after a moment, “You were just on Corellia, right? How are things there?”

“It’s a mess,” A’tro said grimly. “I think we could have taken the planet even with Baras trying to sabotage Vowrawn, but then someone had to fight a damn Kaggath and send the whole place straight to hell—“

“You can’t blame me for that,” Nox said indignantly. “The whole blasted thing was Thanaton’s idea. I tried not to screw up the war too badly, but he didn’t leave me much choice.”

“That idiot,” A’tro muttered. “If you hadn’t killed him, I probably would have eventually.”

“I’m sure you would have,” Nox said cheerily. “Unlike him, you seem to have your head on straight.”

“I’m all for Sith traditions, but not at the expense of the Empire as a whole,” A’tro agreed. “As Darth Sathra wrote, “The dark side is an ever-changing paradigm…””

“”Honor the past, but beware: stagnation is the enemy of passion,”” Nox finished.

A’tro blinked in surprise. “I didn’t know you were familiar with Sathra.”

“”The Sith are as tools forged in the fires of the dark,”” Nox quoted. “”It is through strife that we evolve, through blood that we are tempered.””

“I always liked that one,” A’tro said.

“I prefer Darth Xiarre’s Treatise on Darkness—have you read it?”

“Some of it. It takes more patience that I have to search for something valuable in the midst of Xiarre’s deranged raving.”

“Oh, I think that deranged raving is the best kind of philosophy,” Nox said with a smirk. “It allows a freer range of interpretation.”

“But if the reader’s interpretation is different from the author’s intended meaning, is it still a valid conclusion?” A’tro asked.

“Validity is entirely subjective,” Nox said dismissively. “Besides, I doubt that Xiarre even had an intended meaning half the time. She was insane, after all.”

“I never would have taken you for the philosophical type, Nox,” A’tro said thoughtfully.

The Sith Lord laughed. “You’re one to talk! When I first heard that the Emperor’s Wrath would be present for my little showdown with Thanaton, I pictured some hulking brute. Instead, I get you.

“Thanks ever so much,” A’tro said dryly.

“Oh, you can be intimidating when you want to be. I saw a recording of your fight with Baras—that was damn impressive.”

“I didn’t know there were cameras in the Dark Council chamber.”

“Apparently there are, and good ones, too.” Nox raised an eyebrow. “You might not look like much, but I would not have wanted to be Baras that day.”

A’tro looked down into her cup. “I was…rather angry.” Angrier than she had ever been in her entire life, in fact. All of the frustration that had been building up inside her since Corellia had come to a boiling point, resolving into pure dark power.

“I could tell.”

A’tro glanced up at Nox. “Baras miscalculated, you see,” she said. “All that time I served him, all those times he tried to have me killed, and he’d never actually seen me fight. He underestimated me.”

Nox grinned. “If you stab your most promising apprentice in the back, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when they come back to bite you.”

A’tro nodded. “And if you keep stabbing, it only makes them angrier.” She was startled by the vehemence in her own voice.

“Precisely,” Nox concluded. She looked appraisingly at A’tro. “I’m surprised you’re not more paranoid, considering how your own master set you up to die—and more than once, if I understand correctly.”

“You don’t know the half of it,” A’tro muttered. Don’t think about Quinn, damn it. “As for paranoia, well…I just don’t show it. I admit, I’m surprised that there haven’t been any attempts on my life yet.”

Nox looked startled. “There haven’t? I’ve had four so far.”

A’tro shook her head. “None. I can’t imagine why.”

“The whole ‘chosen of the Emperor’ thing probably deters assassins,” Nox drawled. “Not to mention that the other Dark Council members actually like you.”

“Vowrawn supports me because I saved his life on Corellia, and he knows that he owes me. The others either respect my position, or they’re glad I killed Baras. I wouldn’t say they like me.”

Nox rolled her eyes. “Sometimes I think that Ravage can’t decide if it’s worth being rid of Thanaton if he has to put up with me instead. At least two of the assassination attempts came from him, I’m certain of it.”

“I think several of our fellow Sith are somewhat put off by your…origins,” A’tro said carefully. She honestly couldn’t care less if Nox had been a slave; she had proven her worth, and that was what mattered.

Nox sighed and rolled her eyes again. “Then they’re fools,” she said simply. “If they’re going to underestimate me just because I spent a few years wearing a slave collar… Well, it’s their funeral.”

Only ‘a few years'? That was interesting. A’tro supposed that it made sense, all things considered. After all, how many slaves were familiar with Sith philosophy?

She changed the subject.
Force Lightning: The solution to every problem. Every. Problem.
Afterimages * Walking Penumbral * Like Moths to the Flame
Forever Shenanigans!

Vesaniae's Avatar


Vesaniae
08.11.2012 , 08:30 PM | #6
Interlude - Flashback: Reinvention, Part I

Sith Academy, Korriban
9 ATC


Overseer Ravinia Dhakar was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of her holoterminal beeping to indicate an incoming call.

She considering disabling the device with a Force push and going back to sleep, but curiosity overwhelmed her irritation. She climbed out of bed, grabbed her robe and wrapped it around her, then activated the holoterminal.

Blue light coalesced into the image of a young Sith Pureblood woman. She appeared to have been in a fight; her clothing was disheveled, her hair was in disarray, and there was a fresh wound angling across the right side of her face from forehead to cheek. She was lucky that the blow hadn’t taken her eye out.

Ravinia blinked at her. “K’hera?” Of all the people that she would have expected to call her in the middle of the local night, her niece was definitely not one.

K’hera nodded. “Ravinia, I need your help.” She sounded shaken. What had happened to her?

Ravinia raised one of her brow ridges quizzically. “My help? Whatever for?”

K’hera looked around nervously. “I’ve uncovered a traitor to the Empire. Problem is, she knows I’m onto her. If I transmit the evidence I’ve found to you, can you make sure it goes to the right people?”

Ravinia crossed her arms. “I’m going to need a reason.”

“You can pretend you found the evidence yourself, if you want. I’m sure you’ll be rewarded.”

“I’ll consider it,” Ravinia said dubiously. “Who exactly is this traitor?”

K’hera swallowed hard. “Darth Evendre.”

Ravinia’s eyes widened. “Your master?”

“I know, it sounds incredible, but it’s true. I have recordings showing her in communication with the Jedi.”

“You said she knows you’re aware of her treason,” Ravinia said sharply.

K’hera gestured towards the slash across her right eye. “We fought. I lost.”

“You fought a Darth and survived? That’s quite impressive.” Ravinia thought for a moment, ideas forming in her mind. “Very well. Send me your evidence; I will submit it to the proper authorities.”

“And what are you expecting in return?” K’hera asked warily.

“Is it too hard to believe that I would do this as a favor for my favorite niece?”

“Frankly, yes.”

“Well,” Ravinia said slowly. “You’re clearly in a tight spot. You might not even make it out alive. But if you do…you owe me a favor. A large one.”

K’hera nodded. “All right. It’s not as if I have a choice.” She grimaced. “I can get off Dromund Kaas, I think—but it’ll be tricky. If I crash my starfighter out in the jungle, everyone will believe that I’m dead. Then I can catch a shuttle to…somewhere far away.”

“I’ve heard worse plans,” Ravinia said, shrugging. “If you make it work, contact me. I’m interested to learn how this progresses.”

K’hera nodded. “If I survive. Transmitting the evidence of Evendre’s treason now.”
Force Lightning: The solution to every problem. Every. Problem.
Afterimages * Walking Penumbral * Like Moths to the Flame
Forever Shenanigans!

kabeone's Avatar


kabeone
08.12.2012 , 02:51 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Vesaniae View Post
Two - A Conversation Over Tea
Kaas City, Dromund Kaas
12 ATC
The conversation from this piece was beautifully done.

Vesaniae's Avatar


Vesaniae
08.12.2012 , 03:59 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by kabeone View Post
The conversation from this piece was beautifully done.
Thanks! As I mentioned, I wrote that particular piece quite a while ago, so after a couple of months of continuous minute edits I think it turned out pretty good.

Next chapter should be up later tonight. I write incredibly slowly--a 1000 word vignette often takes me at least three hours to produce, and I think I've spent about five minutes on this post by now. Anyway, there will be more. The plot should start to pick up in a few chapters. I see I've had just over 100 views, so thanks to everyone who's read this, even if you didn't comment.
Force Lightning: The solution to every problem. Every. Problem.
Afterimages * Walking Penumbral * Like Moths to the Flame
Forever Shenanigans!

Vesaniae's Avatar


Vesaniae
08.12.2012 , 05:00 PM | #9
Three – Cleaning House
Kaas City, Dromund Kaas
12 ATC


Killing Darth Baras had been one of the most satisfying moments of A’tro’s life. After everything that she had endured leading up to that point, dealing the deathblow was nothing if not cathartic.

Unfortunately, although Baras was dead, she was far from rid of him. As per Sith tradition, she had ‘inherited’ all of his possessions. Now that she was back on Dromund Kaas, she would have to go through it all. She had delegated the more irksome tasks to Vette and Jaesa, but some things she wanted to handle herself.

Exploration of Baras’ chambers had revealed several hidden rooms. It was in one of these that A’tro stood, examining the computer terminal in front of her. The monitor presently displayed an archive of all of Baras’ communications from 11 ATC, the year of his death. A feeling of unease was building in the back of her mind as she looked.

She scrolled down through the list, ignoring every instinct telling her not to do it. There it was—a call made to the Alecto’s holofrequency. And the date…

Don’t do this to yourself, she thought. You’ll only regret it. You don’t need to know the details.

A’tro looked around. The room was empty; Vette and Jaesa were elsewhere. She took a deep breath and played the record of the call.

The computer’s holoterminal flared to life, displaying the familiar images of Darth Baras and Malavai Quinn.

Quinn spoke first. “Lord Baras,” he said, bowing deeply. “To what do I owe the honor?”

“Your report of Lord A’tro’s activities on Voss has disturbed me, Captain,” Baras responded. “Are you aware of what her next move will be?”

“She has not yet reported to the Emperor’s Hand, my lord, but she has mentioned Corellia. I believe that will be our next destination.”

A’tro swallowed hard.

“She seeks to protect Vowrawn from my wrath, no doubt. She cannot hope to move against me openly without his support.”

“I believe that is her plan, my lord,” Quinn agreed.

“They cannot be permitted to join forces,” Baras said grimly. “I have plans in motion to eliminate Vowrawn, but my former apprentice cannot be allowed to interfere. I have a task for you, Quinn.”

A’tro’s hands clenched into fists.

Quinn stood slightly straighter. “I am yours to command, Lord Baras.”

“If A’tro reaches Corellia, it will mean the downfall of my plans there. She must not live to set foot on that planet’s surface. You—“ Baras pointed at Quinn, “—will see to it.”

“I understand, my lord,” Quinn said softly.

Baras leaned forward. “I trust dealing with this matter will not cause you any difficulty, Captain?”

Quinn hesitated for the slightest fraction of an instant. Then his expression turned stony. “No, Lord Baras,” he said in a voice as cold as space. “No difficulty whatsoever.”

Baras’ reply was cut off as A’tro reached forward and stopped the playback. She stepped away from the terminal, feeling dazed.

“I should have killed him,” she said in a low voice. “But I didn’t. Why?

“I’m not even going to pretend I know the answer to that.”

A’tro whirled around. Vette was standing in the doorway, arms folded across her chest.

“I take it you saw,” A’tro said after a moment of silence.

“Yeah, I saw.” Vette stepped inside the room. “I guess that explains why you were in such a bad mood on Corellia.”

A’tro said nothing.

Vette looked over at the holoterminal where the images of Quinn and Baras stood frozen. “So, he was secretly working for Baras the entire time?”

A’tro nodded.

Vette shook her head. “Wow. I think my opinion of Quinn just hit an all-time low, and that’s saying something.”

“You cannot mention this to anyone,” A’tro told her, trying to keep her voice steady.

“I guess I can do that,” Vette said slowly. “But what about him?” She gestured towards the holo display. “Because there are a few things that I’d like to say to that worthless piece of—“

“No,” A’tro snapped. “Stay out of this, Vette. I mean it.”

Vette held up her hands in a placating gesture. “Okay, okay. No need to get angry at me.

“If you had enough self-control to not eavesdrop, I would have no reason to be angry.”

“You left the door open,” Vette pointed out innocently.

A’tro sighed. “Just—just leave, please. I have things to do.”

“Far be it from me to disturb your agonizing,” Vette muttered. She gave A’tro an earnest look. “But seriously, you’d probably feel better if you talked about it—“

“I’m fine,” A’tro insisted.

No, you’re not, the small voice of truth at the back of her mind whispered. As always, she ignored it.

Vette shrugged. “Whatever you say.”
Force Lightning: The solution to every problem. Every. Problem.
Afterimages * Walking Penumbral * Like Moths to the Flame
Forever Shenanigans!

bright_ephemera's Avatar


bright_ephemera
08.12.2012 , 09:09 PM | #10
Loving it so far. Your Voss/Guilty Pleasures prompt response over on the Short Fic thread grabbed me but good, so, I'm looking forward to reading more!
the Short Fic Weekly Challenge - 70+ authors to date. 2000+ stories. New prompts weekly!
Bright's Fanfic Threads
Forever Shenanigans!
Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.