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Trouble, Destiny, and Other Complications - AU: Caught

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
Trouble, Destiny, and Other Complications - AU: Caught

frauzet's Avatar

10.27.2017 , 05:34 PM | #101
Not sure anyone is still waiting for an update, but I am certain nobody is expecting any schedule by now.

A big thank you to Luna and Misha for commenting and boosting my morale <3

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Booming echoes ripple through the raining dust. Astonishment and incredulity war on Vemrin’s face. His weapon clatters to the floor, dropped from a hand too limp to clutch at the hole in his chest. Death wins with an unspectacular last shudder. I have seen this old acquaintance at work far too many times to leave any room for uncertainty. The Sith is already dead when his body hits the floor.

“No!” no more than a whisper. “No!” more vehement. Ciner spins towards me. The fiery flecks in his eyes combine to a red glow embarrassing many a billboard for certain establishments on Nar Shaddaa.

I take a step back. My grip on the blaster tightens. I fight the urge to aim and shoot. It’s too late for that when he makes a familiar gripping gesture. This time the target aren’t my ankles though. I release the blaster and with it every coherent thought. The only intent left is to get rid of the stuff constricting my throat. Claw and scrabble as I may, there is nothing to get hold of except my own skin.

A hiss manages to penetrate the fog of my struggles. “He was mine!” Ciner’s nose almost touches mine. “I told you to stay out of the fight.”

“No!” I croak as best I can without much air left and try to shake my head. “No, we’re a team!” The pounding of my blood drowns out my own words.

Somehow the Sith gets my meaning. “You were only supposed to open the damned door.” With a shove he releases me.

I stumble a few steps and collapse on the stair. The gulps of air taste wonderful, the staleness merely a faint aftertaste. I search for the water bottle, take a few sips. There is fresh blood beneath my fingernails. The scratches on my throat burn like hell. If only I knew less about infections.

Ciner has gone back and closed Vemrin’s eyes. “He was a worthy opponent!” he says. “Still, you should not have interfered.”

And risk the other @sshole winning? Don’t think so. We already agreed on Ciner being my best chance out of this mess. He might not like my lacking trust in his abilities, though. “Had to speed things up. Wasn’t able to concentrate on my task with all the ruckus you both made.”

“Have you ever tried to accept responsibility for your actions?”

“How much responsibility do you concede someone wearing a slave collar?” I don’t wait for a response. “You asked me for this dance. Don’t complain about me stepping on your toes. Because as long as you’re lead, it’s your own kriffing fault.”

“Says the one unable to follow. This dance would go a lot smoother if you did not try to hijack the lead every other step.”

I glare at him. A fine dancing couple we are. “Look, I wanted to help you. Everything happened so fast. The guy jumped, you weren’t in my line of fire, I shot. I didn’t think about it.”

“Lucky for you, you did not think. Otherwise you would not have been able to surprise him. Not at this distance. He could have killed you. You took an unnecessary risk.”

“That’s what I do.”

“Taking unnecessary risks?”

“No — I protect people who hire me. And though the circumstances are unusual,” I point at the shock collar, “I still kind of work for you. The payment is certainly generous if not invaluable.” My situation does look better when I put it this way. The collar adds a whole new flavor, but the rest is still familiar. Most of my life I’ve been doing what I have been told. At least people expected me to.

“A pragmatic approach. I will try to remember you are guarding me and not the other way around.” He sounds serious, only the sparkle in his eyes ruins the impression.
Author of "Trouble, Destiny and Other Complications" and the AU "Caught"
Participant of the "Short Fic Weekly Challlenge Thread!"
All my stories from TDaOC and SFWC in chronological order

Kitar's Avatar

10.27.2017 , 06:15 PM | #102
*waves* I'm here waiting for an update. It is always nice to see a new post to the thread
They are always worth the wait.

Lunafox's Avatar

10.27.2017 , 09:55 PM | #103
A lovely addition to your story Frauzet! You have a wonderful way with words, that I appreciate. You say so much, beautifully, and with an economy of words. I liked how Ciner went back and shut Vemrin's eyes and considered him worthy as an opponent, that speaks volumes to me about the sort of man he is. Thorns is always a delight and I can't blame him one bit for helping despite Ciner's insistence not to. Keep it up! <3
Lunafox's Stories🌙🦊Lunafox's Decorating
Koona t'chuta, Solo?
Quote: Originally Posted by Rion_Starkiller View Post
omg Darth Lunafox in the house

MishaCantu's Avatar

10.28.2017 , 02:53 PM | #104
It seems that Thorns simply took out the unwelcome third party trying to cut in on the dance. A bit of self preservation on Thorn's part, I must say. If, Vemrin had won, he'd have died. Hedging his bets would have been unwise in this case.

A nice touch with Ciner paying respect to his adversary, such as Vemrin was.

Great way to end. Who's protecting who? Ciner can concede if for no other reason than for his own amusement.

Looking forward to more.

JennyFlynn's Avatar

10.31.2017 , 08:09 PM | #105
So I've kept my promise--I have finally caught up to all of this.

Frauzet I love your writing style and the way you've chosen to tell this story. Thorns is such an immensely enjoyable character and the look you provide into his way of thinking, his perspective, how he sees everything around him is fantastic. I really enjoy Ciner as well and there's such a unique and very appealing chemistry between the two.

I've read so much of this in one sitting it's a bit tricky to touch on each detail so I will limit it to the most recent chapter; To echo others, I liked the way Ciner went and closed Vemrin's eyes. It strikes me as unusual for a Sith and makes me appreciate him that much more. Thorns made the right call I'd say, no doubt he'd have drawn the short end had Vemrin succeeded.

I'm glad I finally read this, long overdue but your work is marvelous. Keep it up.
--------{---({@ Defiant Devotion | Defying Destiny | SWTOR Prompt Oneshots @}}>---}-------

frauzet's Avatar

02.10.2018 , 02:59 PM | #106
*sighs* I am still here. Thank you for the kind words, the encouragement, and bearing with me.

I started this post, then discarded it, then started again.
I wrote a few words. It isn't much, and I am not happy with it, but it is something.
I decided, I won't let this damned writer's block get the better of me.
This story started with small chapters, there is nothing wrong with continuing it that way

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A lot of things can kill you. Not many are as frustrating as a karking blue block twice as big as the remaining nook. Splat goes my third life. I take a swing, pad in hand, but don’t let go of the device. Tempting as it is, smashing it doesn’t serve any purpose. Stupid game! “Why do you do this to me, Ce’na?” I whisper.

The Sith is beside me when I get up to stretch my legs. “Do not tell me, you have to start over!”

I tilt my head to look at him. He is the one under deadline pressure. He is the one who should be frustrated.


“Well what?”

“Did you lose?” A hint of exasperation tints his voice.

“You told me not to tell you!” I deadpan.

Ciner shakes his head. “It is a miracle nobody killed you yet.”

“Not for lack of trying.”

“Force!” He pinches the bridge of his nose. “I would question why I had to end up with you, yet I assume your friend would have been just as annoying.”

“Don’t talk of her like that!” I spit. “Even better, don’t talk of her at all!”

“Well, if she was not annoying, her intellectual ability was not as excellent as I was led to believe.”

“I don’t care what you believe,” I growl through gritted teeth while I consider slamming the pad in his face. The sparkle in the Sith’s eyes tells me he is waiting for my move. So much for frustrating him. Kriffing bastard. I stalk away from him.

“Does hiding the information behind almost an hour of a stupid game sound like a good plan to you then?” he calls after me.

“Seems pretty safe to me.”

“Only if you have the time to access it, or you don’t need it at all.”

That gives me pause. Ce’na used the plan and whatever hints she hid on the pad. I saw her do it. I look over my shoulder at the Sith. He’s right. It doesn’t make sense.

“What’s the fastest way to lose?” he asks.
Author of "Trouble, Destiny and Other Complications" and the AU "Caught"
Participant of the "Short Fic Weekly Challlenge Thread!"
All my stories from TDaOC and SFWC in chronological order

Lunafox's Avatar

02.10.2018 , 03:12 PM | #107
I'm glad you're back to it! Don't let the block get you down. The only way through it, is to fight through it as you have.

Lunafox's Stories🌙🦊Lunafox's Decorating
Koona t'chuta, Solo?
Quote: Originally Posted by Rion_Starkiller View Post
omg Darth Lunafox in the house

Kitar's Avatar

02.10.2018 , 05:20 PM | #108
I was quite happy to get my internet back and see that you posted an update.
It is nice to see the boys again.

MishaCantu's Avatar

02.10.2018 , 05:45 PM | #109
I was/am so very happy to see this update today. Glad to see you have broken through the block, one word at a time is often what it takes.

I have missed the back and forth conversations between Thorns and Ciner. Each sizing up the other, pushing a bit, antagonizing with caution and often arriving at the same conclusion or even consensus. It is a wonderful study of the psychology of different cultures and conflicting ideas and even upbringing. I do applaud your concise and often witty discourse.

Looking forward to more. Here's hoping the block has moved aside for your creative endeavors. I do enjoy them so.

frauzet's Avatar

03.12.2018 , 02:00 PM | #110
Once again, thank you for the feedback and encouragement. I'm not sure I'd still be writing without you. <3

I am still fighting with the remnants of a cold. Good thing is, I wasn't feeling well enough to do some household chores. Instead I wrote my notes down and did some editing. Baby steps!
I hope you'll enjoy the result.

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Of course it isn’t that easy. Nothing ever is. It takes about half an hour of trial and error, before Ciner claims the first brick in the third level is of a slightly different shade of green than the rest of the green ones. It doesn’t look different to me, especially not in this lighting, but why argue. If I take his word for it we might be able to solve the puzzle before we strangle one another. And Twi’lek eyes perceive color different from human ones. To one of them the colors might differ as much as light and dark green do for me. Ciner leans in over my shoulder and taps the brick. Nothing happens. Several more taps neither yield any visible effects.

“What now?” I urge.

Ciner grabs for the controls in response which results in a short scuffle. I surrender the pad too late to move the brick any further. “Great!” the Sith exclaims. “Another try lost.”

“Maybe we should take a look at the map. Are there any hints on it?”

“There are not!” Ciner still insists he has it memorized. He gives the brick another tap. “Where are you supposed to go, you little bugger?” he asks softly. The brick remains silent.

Not like it has an agenda of its own, it’s just a brick, of course it doesn’t respond. Yet, in the back of my mind Ce’na starts to hum a familiar tune. “Wait!” I get up and concentrate to remember what my friend had told me about the old nursery rhyme. The words had been Twi’leki and her lekku had moved to the rhythm of the melody. Something about a dewback in a garden, capering between the flowers. I recall Ce’na jumping across some low fence on our way home one night after the club. “I am the little green dewback!” she had called in a singsong voice. And then she had started to turn, first one way, then the other, until I had to catch her from toppling over. Just for a moment I close my eyes in an attempt to preserve the memory. “Try to turn the thing first left, then right. Or the other way around if that doesn’t work.” Ciner gives me a quizzical stare. I dismiss further explanations and shrug. “Just try it.” What would a Sith know about nursery rhymes.

It actually takes several more tries to get the turns right and realize you have to tap the little green dewback on its head afterward. The instructions for unlocking the door prove to be rather simple. Like a touch-to-open cupboard you have to press the corners of the stone, then draw two Sith glyphs. Probably the dead guy’s initials or some such. I wonder how Ce’na got them, then shrug off the thought. She had her sources.

I am not sure what I expected. The squeak of rusty hinges, the smell of decay? The stone slab barring entry to the tomb sorely disappoints, moving aside with barely a sound after Ciner draws the appropriate signs in the dust on its surface. There isn’t even any blood involved in the process. No rush of moldy air makes our torches flicker. Okay, we don’t carry torches, but that’s beside the point. Truth be told, the whole process pales in comparison to ‘Raiders of the Rakatan Tomb’ despite me humming the theme under my breath. At this point the angry ghosts should start shrieking and moaning in the dark depths of the burial chamber. They don’t.

“Opening a Sith tomb shouldn’t be this underwhelming!” I complain, feeling somewhat betrayed after all the effort we have been through.

Ciner listens to the chamber’s silence. He seems intent on penetrating the darkness before us with his gaze, his eyes flickering from one side to the other. “I have had my fair share of K’lor’slugs and friends,” he finally states. “I will take underwhelming.” With that he takes a step across the threshold.
Author of "Trouble, Destiny and Other Complications" and the AU "Caught"
Participant of the "Short Fic Weekly Challlenge Thread!"
All my stories from TDaOC and SFWC in chronological order