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Ninety Seven Percent

irishfino's Avatar

08.01.2012 , 10:53 PM | #1
This is a story following the aftermath of the Quinncident (the Quinn Thing in the SW storyline) from Quinn's point of view. Tidbits here and here give a little taste of the future. There will be exploration of PTSD and depression. Lots of drama and angst, a bit of blood, and (believe it or not) some humor.

Malavai Quinn and Light side Jaesa Wilsaam romance.


In which Quinn is abandoned on Balmorra...

She had sent him to the place they had first met: Balmorra. Nothing changed on this planet. It smelled the same, like death and spent munitions. A heavy fog from shells and dirt hung in the air; the same. He was given the same office, in the same building, with the same desk, and the same shade of grey paint (though a bit fresher, much to his dismay). The only thing that had changed in this familiar scene was him.

He remembered when he first met the apprentice he would turn spy on. She was beautiful, skilled, strong and more than proficient with the Force. She shirked authority when it pleased her, openly testing Baras with taunting words. She let enemies live when it tickled her fancy and reveled in their confusion and hesitant “thank yous”. She was unpredictable on the field, but her connection to the Force increased at an easily calculable rate. Baras had given him the kill order during their stint on Belsavis, but he had long since perfected the algorithm needed to defeat her. When she tore through those droids in a matter of minutes, he realized his mistake: she never fought at full power unless she wanted to make a point to an enemy. And she made her point. All over his body. Several times.

When she was done brutalizing him, she laid in a course for Balmorra. He was fortunate enough to black out several times during the trip and even more so fortunate that she had been kind enough to dump him in the medical bay to suffer in silence alone.

When they arrived, she kicked his badly injured body down the ramp of her Fury. He felt his ribs shift and stab at his insides, but he was too far gone to feel pain anymore. He heard her impassioned speech echo throughout the hanger. His was the fate of any who dared cross the Emperor’s Wrath. The medics had to wait for her to finish (she did just make a speech about killing those who crossed her) and the ship to leave the hanger before they could get to him. When they reached him, they considered him a lost cause. His chest was cut open in three deep slashes, his barely beating heart visible to the world. His right arm was severed at the shoulder, hanging on by a bit of muscle. His windpipe was crushed, his pupils dilated, his skin scorched and bruised. But his hearing was intact. He had heard every word, every murmur of agreement, every gasp of fear. Slowly, his chest stopped rising and the darkness finally settled over his pained features. Sweet silence.

He came to three months later (by his calculation) floating in a Kolto tank. He was mostly whole again. His ribs no longer shifted, cortosis grafting most likely. He tried to roll his right shoulder, but it was stiff and did not yield to his controls. Severe nerve and tissue damage, nothing physical therapy couldn’t help with. After six months, he was mostly whole again, but still stranded on Balmorra.

It was déjà vu when the Wrath, closely followed by Vette, walked into his office. He tugged a bit at his collar, but remained civil. He bowed and greeted them graciously, but they remained strangely silent. Suddenly, the Wrath ignited her lightsaber and charged at him while Vette laid down suppressive fire. He rolled to a nearby desk to avoid the flying blaster bolts, but the Wrath’s lightsaber cut through the durasteel easily. He scrambled away from her. She raised her saber, ready to swing it down on him.

“This is what I should have done to you when I first met you here, Malavai,” she hissed angrily.

She brought the saber down in a cruel arc. He screamed.

“Commander?” a voice crackled from the intercom in his room. “Everything alright in there?”

He bolted upright in his bunk covered in sweat and panting. Those around him had become so used to those around them waking up screaming, that there was little shock at his condition. Shell shock, they said. Post-traumatic stress, the doctors said. Just dreams, he convinced himself.

“Commander?” the voice asked again.

“I’m fine, Ensign Trent,” he answered stiffly.

“Yes, sir.”

He hated this. He hated waking up soaked in sweat. He hated the concerned looks his staff gave him when they thought he wasn’t looking. He hated Balmorra. He hated his own cowardice. If he ever got his hands on Baras he would ring his fat neck, shortly before being cut to pieces, but he would die gloriously.

Major Ovech discovered him a short time later, bringing him back under his command. He settled quickly into a routine aboard Harrower class Dreadnaught. He was able to lose himself in the day to day hustle and bustle of wartime. He even began to look forward to his physical therapy. Soon, he would be back to one-hundred percent. There was one small problem. Well, not small. It was, in fact, rather large. He had panic attacks around Force users, specifically angry Sith armed with lightsabers. Ovech was rather kind about it, keeping him clear of Force users, Sith lords and Jedi prisoners alike. The next six months passed by with little incident. Then, as they were wont to do, things turned toxic.
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

kabeone's Avatar

08.01.2012 , 10:59 PM | #2
Very nice, I also enjoyed the other posts. A Quinn with PTSD is an interesting idea. I look forward to more.

Kalterien's Avatar

08.01.2012 , 11:07 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by kabeone View Post
Very nice, I also enjoyed the other posts. A Quinn with PTSD is an interesting idea. I look forward to more.
I second this! But.. I'm a huge Quinn fan ... HUGE....
"Bow before me, or fall before me." - Daigotsu Kanpeki
Live. Grow Stronger. Fight another day.

irishfino's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 10:52 AM | #4
I heard rallying cries of "more" (from all two of you, heehee).


In which Quinn has a panic attack...

He straightened his collar in the mirror and patted furiously at his hair. His stubborn cowlick popped up mockingly. He would deal with it later. With fire. No, not fire. That would be stupid. He always hated preparing for a visiting Sith lord. It made him ridiculously nervous and jumpy. He puffed his chest proudly, taking one last look at himself in the mirror, and was off.

The door to Ovech’s meet and greet room hissed open at the press of a button.

“Thank you for your hospitality while I continue my search for a Captain,” came a female voice.

Quinn halted his quick steps. That voice. Panic gripped his heart.

“Ah, Commander, I was just briefing Lord Syla, the Emperor’s Wrath,” Ovech said from his desk.

She turned then, her golden eyes staring straight into his soul. He took an uneasy step back, then another. He could hear her lightsaber humming to life, feel it slicing through him again and again. She crossed her arms and stared at him uneasily. His blue eyes were darting around the room, trying to focus on anything, but her.

“Commander Quinn, please show Madam Wrath some respect,” Ovech intoned.

Quinn made a strangled noise in the back of his throat. No words were forming in his mind. Thoughts rushed about trying to find coherence, but none came. He opened his mouth and gulped down as much air as his lungs could hold.

“I see you are alive and well, Commander,” Syla said calmly.

He took another step back. He couldn’t breathe, his heart was pounding. The room began spinning.

“Quinn?” Ovech asked a bit harshly.

His face turned red, his eyebrows knitted in pain. He grasped at the space just above his heart and began to fall.

“Malavai!” Ovech shouted. “S**t!” He slammed his fist down on the intercom button on his desk. “Get a med unit in here! NOW!”

Ovech rushed to Quinn’s side and flipped him to his back. He was trying to breathe, trying to speak, trying to think, but his body refused to respond to his commands. He felt Ovech pumping on his chest, heard his own wheezing. A rib cracked under the pressure. As his vision faded to black and his hearing turned to static he had one thought: she had killed him after all.

Ovech continued pumping Quinn’s chest desperately. His panic attacks had never been this bad; usually a stutter or an involuntary shudder, perhaps a lack of eye contact. Sith didn’t mind his reaction to them, it was quite common amongst the normal Imperials. If anything, it made the Sith giddy with excitement at finding an officer still shaking in fear at their mere presence.

The medics finally arrived, rushing into the room deploying probes and hasty injections into the man on the ground. Syla watched in silence as the resuscitation probe shocked him. His body arched and fell. It shocked him again and all she could do was stare.

“My Lord, please leave the room,” Ovech said in a rush. “I cannot revive him with you in the area!”

She resisted the urge to Force slap him across the room and instead left to find Vette. The Twi’lek had happily skipped off with a cute Ensign who regaled her with tales of the onboard Cantina and the finest liquors this side of the Fleet. In truth, she was conflicted. She had liked Quinn. He tended to grow on a person and once you deciphered his odd speech patterns, he was easy to understand and get along with. She flirted with him on occasion, but made it clear to him that she was only having a bit of fun. He didn’t believe her, but he did not argue. She finally turned her attentions elsewhere (much to his relief) when she accepted Lieutenant Pierce aboard. He was a man’s man. A manly man. Not a priss in a well-tailored uniform who cited regulation.

They met with Ovech a few hours later in one of the many conference rooms. Vette sank into a chair happily. These were much more comfortable than the ones on the Fury. Maybe their new Captain could requisition seats just like these. It would put him (or her) in Vette’s good graces.

“I apologize for Commander Quinn’s condition. He suffers from post-traumatic stress,” Ovech explained. “Too much time on Balmorra, I’d gather. Now, I understand you are here to find a new Captain. I have a list of candidates.”

He pulled out his holopad and pressed the screen a few times. The holotransmitter on the conference table hummed to life. A list of names with corresponding faces appeared. Quinn’s name, rank, and face popped up before Ovech made a swiping motion, deleting his entry.

“Now, what was your old Captain like?” Ovech asked as he uploaded a few more changes to his list.

“Quinn was my old Captain,” Syla stated.

Ovech looked up from his holopad. “I beg pardon?” he asked.

“Quinn is my former Captain, Major Ovech.”

“Why was I not informed of this sooner?” he asked, an edge of anger in his voice. His knowledge of what happened to Quinn had been shaky at best, but he hadn’t needed to know the specifics. Too many rumors were floating around as it was. “You left him in sorry shape when you dumped him on Balmorra,” he said accusingly.

She bristled. “He’s lucky to be alive,” she spat angrily.

“Alive? That man is dead inside.” Ovech barked a harsh laugh. “Regardless, I will help you find a replacement if only to get you off my ship faster.”

“I don’t like your tone, Major,” she hissed.

“I don’t much care what you like, Sith,” he hissed back.

She glared at him from across the table. He matched her glare unwaveringly. Quinn was a good lot. Whatever he had done, whatever he had said, he must’ve had his reasons. To his surprise, the Sith backed off first. Perhaps she sensed his protective nature or perhaps she felt a little guilty.

The meeting continued for several hours with little headway. It didn’t help that she would play a game or two on her holopad while Ovech was describing candidates to her. She was extraordinarily picky (when she was listening) and Ovech had few men who were like Quinn under his command that he was willing to part with.

“The only person aboard this ship that meets your requirements to a T is Malavai Quinn and he is not an option,” Ovech said.

Syla leaned back in her seat and sighed. She had grown used to a certain type of Captain in Quinn and no other could fill the rather large void he left when she kicked his *** down the Fury’s ramp.

“I believe that’s my cue,” Quinn said from the doorway.

He stepped into the room with that overdramatic flair she loved so much and resented (but only a little). She could feel his pain and fear echoing through the Force, but he seemed restrained enough (compared to last time, at least) in her presence.

“This isn’t up for discussion, Quinn,” Ovech said angrily. “Get back to the med bay.”

“No,” Quinn said plainly.

“That’s an order, Commander!”

“I am no longer under your command, Major Ovech. I just received my transfer papers,” Quinn explained patiently. “Madam Wrath had me reassigned while you were talking.”

If looks could kill (well they could, if one was Sith) Ovech would’ve have splattered Syla’s brains all over the conference room then danced in them. She turned to him and grinned a toothy grin. Underhanded Sith! Always taking what they wanted with little regard to whose lives they affected or ended. He growled in frustration. He was impotent to stop the Emperor’s Wrath and he was surely sending Quinn to the slaughter.

The Wrath, fully vibed on the despair in the room, patted Ovech’s bald head before leaving with Vette in tow. She ordered Quinn to pack his things and head for the Fury as soon as possible. They had a Sith Lord to kill. Quinn nodded his understanding and bowed shakily. When they were finally alone, Quinn’s barely intact mask shattered. Pale and shaking, he took a seat at the table, burying his face in his hands.

“You’re going to die, you know that right?” Ovech asked sternly.

“It has crossed my mind, yes,” Quinn answered dully.

Ovech studied the hunched man before him. Quinn was a dutiful Imperial to a fault. When ordered to jump, he jumped. When ordered to kill, he killed. When ordered back under the command of an unpredictable Sith Lord, he followed like a nerf to slaughter.

“How’s your heart?” Ovech asked gently.

“Just palpitations, Major, nothing more,” Quinn replied.

“How much medication are you on right now?”

“I’m higher than a spicehead.”

Ovech needed to get to the meat of the issue and quickly so he could defuse the situation and keep Quinn here, safe, aboard the Dreadnaught. “Why are you going along with this? I can block the transfer on the grounds of you dying a horrible death.”

Quinn let out a long exhale. He placed his hands on the table and looked at the Major with calm eyes. “If I cannot overcome this… fear of Sith, I will be useless to the Empire. It is my duty-“

“Duty?!” Ovech roared. “You will die under her command!”

Quinn stood suddenly, knocking his chair to the floor. “Then so be it! I’d rather die in service than die in hiding!” he yelled emphatically.

Ovech was quickly on his feet as well. He slammed his hands down on the table and leaned in. “You have nothing to prove!”

“I have everything to prove!” Quinn shouted. “I will not die the sniveling coward who betrayed the Emperor’s Wrath for Darth Baras of all people! I will redeem myself!”

Ah, there it was. He sought to redeem himself, even if it meant his death. Ovech straightened his back with a sigh. He regarded the broken man before him. A small glint of determination shined in otherwise dead eyes. Very well.

“Go,” Ovech said impatiently. He waved Quinn away.

“Goodbye, Major,” Quinn said rather sadly.

He stood at attention then departed, leaving a morose Ovech alone in the conference room. Malavai had only one next of kin to notify in the case of his death and that man would know before word reached him of his progeny’s demise. Damn the Sith. Damn the Emperor. Damn the Wrath. Damn Quinn. Damn them all.
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

Magdalane's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 11:13 AM | #5
Very nice!! Also, very realistic description of the heart and PTSD issue, as a nurse practitioner and veteran's advocate, I applaud your detail. I already don't like your SW much, but then i'm not supposed to.
Love is the strongest magic of them all.

Earthmama's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 11:23 AM | #6
I had to stop reading for a moment, it was very realistic, and hit very close to home. Wonderfully written, I look forward to more!

bright_ephemera's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 06:08 PM | #7
This is a fantastic direction to take things in. I love it!

Also you defused a situation instead of diffusing it, which basically means that as an English stickler driven to despair by too many years on the Internet I am yours forever.
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Alora_Danan's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 07:02 PM | #8
First thread I have officially subscribed to!
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Kalterien's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 08:25 PM | #9
Can I haz more?
"Bow before me, or fall before me." - Daigotsu Kanpeki
Live. Grow Stronger. Fight another day.

irishfino's Avatar

08.02.2012 , 10:30 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Magdalane View Post
Very nice!! Also, very realistic description of the heart and PTSD issue, as a nurse practitioner and veteran's advocate, I applaud your detail. I already don't like your SW much, but then i'm not supposed to.
Thank you. I pride myself on getting the little things correct (no matter how heartbreaking). Be cautious, though, Syla might grow on you. She's evil like that.

Quote: Originally Posted by Earthmama View Post
I had to stop reading for a moment, it was very realistic, and hit very close to home. Wonderfully written, I look forward to more!
Aw, sorry you had to pause. I had to pause a bit while writing it. Writing what I know, as it were.

Quote: Originally Posted by bright_ephemera View Post
This is a fantastic direction to take things in. I love it!

Also you defused a situation instead of diffusing it, which basically means that as an English stickler driven to despair by too many years on the Internet I am yours forever.
When I first read this, I thought I had confused the two, then I realized I hadn't confused the two and you were so happy that I hadn't. LOL.

Quote: Originally Posted by Alora_Danan View Post
First thread I have officially subscribed to!
You're embarrassing me. Teehee.

Quote: Originally Posted by Kalterien View Post
Can I haz more?

I'm so glad you're all enjoying this so much! It warms the cockles of my heart.

In which Quinn settles in and has an odd conversation...

“How are you settling in, Captain?” Ovech’s blue image asked.

“Oddly well, Major,” Quinn said calmly. “I’ve set about speaking with each crew member on an individual basis. The ones I was sure would cause the most issues seem to be the most amicable. They still hate me, and with good reason, but they are…”


“I wouldn’t go that far,” Quinn scoffed.

“I’m glad you’re settling in with few issues,” Ovech said sincerely. “If you ever need to leave, there will always be a spot on my detail for you.”

“I appreciate the sentiment, Major. I will contact you next week as scheduled,” Quinn said stiffly.

“Until then. Ovech out.”

Quinn flipped off his personal comm unit and placed it back on his desk. He had settled in rather quickly and met little resistance, much to his chagrin. Broonmark blorped threats, Pierce avoided him outright, Vette helped Pierce ignore the Captain, Jaesa quietly followed Vette (while taking notes on how to ignore stuck-up prissy pants Captains), Twovee announced he would like to be outfitted with a blaster if only to shoot Quinn in the face (but his fear of a voided warranty kept him dodging Pierce’s efforts to outfit him as such), and Syla was too busy fighting off an ever reviving Lord Draagh to bother with Quinn. He was, in a word, alone. And he hated it. He would rather they spit on him, hit him, curse his name, something. But they remained quiet and avoided him at all costs. They had to be planning something.

He set about trying to speak with each member of the crew one on one, which was naturally difficult with them (in Vette’s case literally) jumping over him just to get away. It was torture of the highest variety. A small ship, a handful of people, a giant murdering fur ball (that had yet to murder him), and a seriously angry servant droid, and he was always the only person in a room. He had checked the ship several times for cameras or microphones or any other form of spying device and he found none. How they managed to avoid him, he didn’t know, but he would find out. He just had to corner one of them when they least expected it. Predictable and ungodly nice, Jaesa was the easiest to target.

He cornered her in the medical bay one morning while she was meditating. He could feel the light side of the Force swirl around him and it felt… good. For the first time in weeks, he felt calm, at peace, like all was right with the Galaxy.

“Hello Captain,” Jaesa said softly as she broke her trance.

The sudden jolt from the light leaving ripped a shuddering gasp from him. Jaesa eyed him wearily from her seated position. Quinn straightened his collar and picked an imaginary bit of fluff from his uniform until he gained his composure.

“I wanted to speak with each member of the crew personally about my actions aboard the transponder station and those concerning Darth Baras,” Quinn said with practiced ease.

“I already know what you did, Captain,” Jaesa said calmly. She rose to her feet and dusted at her robes.

He cleared his throat. “Quite. Regardless, I feel the need to explain my actions.”

“I don’t care,” she said coldly.

The sheer ice in her tone gave him pause. He opened his mouth to speak, but she managed to pull together a piercing glare. He made a strange noise in the back of his throat and took a step back. That look was dangerous in the right hands. Jaesa may have been light side, but she was still under the care of the Emperor’s Wrath. He eyed the double-bladed saber hanging loosely from her hip. It would take her less than three seconds to reach and activate that saber if she so desired. He could only hope she didn’t desire to. Jaesa sighed impatiently, unaware of the Captain’s thoughts. She shoved him aside and made her way to the galley, where the rest of the crew was slowly gathering. He released a breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding.

He could hear them laughing. Hear glasses clinking together. Hear hushed, happy chattered. As soon as he turned the corner from the med bay, they went silent. He continued the lonely trek to his quarters, tapping busily on his datapad. He smiled to himself when he heard the crew groan in displeasure as their datapads beeped to life with mission dossiers. At least he could get them to respond to him still, if only when they thought he wasn’t listening.
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!