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When I Wake

MilaniGrey's Avatar

12.10.2012 , 11:04 PM | #241
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
Ok, Torian defending her there - hot. Definitely.
Ooooooh, yes.
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

EverSteam's Avatar

12.11.2012 , 06:56 AM | #242
Three hours later...

We dock.

I inject a triple dose of serum. I make for the door. It rushes through my body with rage. Torian is ready and waiting for me at the hanger door.

'Ib'tuur jatne tuur ash'ad kyr'amur.' Today is a good day for someone else to die.

I hold up my wrist and smile fiercely. Torian crosses his wrist with mine as he repeats the message.

We exit the ship. We kill the first enemies we see quickly. Hack in the codes. We board the star freighter. And arrive on the Chancellor's ship.

We quickly deactivate the alarm and clear the hanger. Plant the bombs. And the real work begins. The explosion is fun, though.

It's easy to kill what remains of the guards. We override the lockdown. Sabotage the escape pods. And only then do we head for the Supreme Chancellor. It's all a long standard procedure. Almost tedious.

We reach the Supreme Chancellor's chambers and stop when we see our only remaining obstacles bar a easily hacked door: The Supreme Guard.

The Supreme Guard isn't what I expected. They are Jedi. But we trained for this.

So let the fight begin.


There is always confusion when you wake from a deep sleep.

There is uncertainty. And as your eyes and mind adjust to the harsh reality of the world you have awakened to, the dream slips away. It was happy. And as it slowly disappears, you feel you are losing something important. All that's left is a hard, cold sadness; an overwhelming, weeping pain in its place that spreads through your body like a virus.

And an implacable, relentless fury. A merciless craving for revenge.

This is my reality.


I slice open the Jedi in front of me and turn around expecting to be in instant battle with another.

Only what I see is Torian's back. Torian falls to the ground and I only allow myself to have enough thoughts to know that he just saved me. I don't need to think more about it to know Torian's grunt a few seconds earlier had been from a force push: to know the Jedi had then run to attack me from behind: to know Torian ran as fast as he could to stop it.

The Jedi stands with their lightsaber by their side and the silver glow casts shadows on her black robes. My eyes don't flicker to Torian's body as I casually step over it. It would be a fatal error to drop my guard. I can hear him breathing. And that is enough. Because it has to be.

The Jedi motions to bring it on. And I do.

Move left, shoot right, dodge, jump, step forward, right.

I don't let my anger leave openings in my guard from clouded judgement.

Twirl, jab, duck, right, roll, shoot, jump left, weave right, slash, duck again.

And I don't feel like this is real.

Jump back, shoot, step right, duck, slash, twirl, jump over, shoot, stab, roll left, shoot, side step.

I at the end of a surreal state that I've only now realised I've been in since I first met Torian.

Ah, an opening. Shoot, run and duck, stab.

I pick up the Jedi's lightsaber and put in the case for them at my belt. I quickly tie the Jedi's hands and take the lightsaber from the other. Though it kills a part of me to waste this time, I know I need to do this. Would be stupid to leave a lightsaber lying around.

I think I run to Torian but I'm not sure. I only know that I am suddenly kneeling next to him. The armour is crushed and bent. Large cut going down the disfigured shape. So much for beskar.

I take it off and look at the wound. The wound is bad. The cut runs straight up his torso though it would be deeper if the armour was worse. But everything is damaged. He will die. And he knows it.

I don't do him the shame of lying to him. He doesn't have long at all. I take some painkillers from my belt and inject them into his arm while I continue to look at his closed eyes. They won't even make the pain lesson very much. He doesn't have enough time for them to do anything.

I suppose this is how long our forever lasts.

'Why did you do it, Torian?' I want to punch him, I want to kick him, but more than anything I want him to open his eyes one last time. His heart is feeble and bleeding in my ringing ears. 'You know I'm going to die in two years anyway. Should have let me die. I want to die over this,' I whisper at the end as the outrage leaves me and I begin to walk into the shallows of grief.

'Promised I'd watch your six no matter what.' His speech is broken and breathless. I know he only has minutes left and many of those will be spent in too much agony to talk.

'My stubborn manda. Maybe if you hadn't been so busy watching my rear you wouldn't be like this.'

Torian tries a chuckle that turns into a cough and groan. 'Worth it,' he lets out between groans.

'I'd kill you for such thoughts if someone hadn't already done the job for me.' I try and smile. It doesn't matter that it twists and fails because his eyes are still closed. I hold his clammy and cooling hand tighter and force my eyes to stay on his face. No point trying to heal his wound. Can't come back from this.

'Still love you, though. Stubbornness, stupidity and pride included. Know that, right?' I try not to let a note of desperation enter my voice. I watch his grimacing face for a reply past the small nod he gives; for him to open his eyes just a little so I can look at them one last time. I hate the memories of all the times I didn't look. I should have looked. While I still had the chance.

My vigilance is rewarded when he opens his eyes and forces out some clear, firm words: 'I'm glad you came to Taris.'

He dies shortly after and I sit with dry eyes, looking into his wound as if the bloody mess will explain something I can't yet understand. Should have been me. I wanted it to be me.

I stroke his cheek softly like I have so many times and my fingers trail to his neck. They touch something strange and I search for what it is.

I tug at it. It is rather long and I gather it is a leather cord. I reach around his neck and feel something sharp. It cuts my finger. I pull it round and stare at it. It's the tooth I gave him on Nar Shaddaa. The one from the Sire of the Brood on Dromund Kaas. Day we first spoke.

It is polished and a small hole is through the thick base so the cord could go through it. Corridan's voice is in my mind. 'Showed me the tooth you gave him.' Never knew he wore it. I don't know how I never noticed. Wonder what else I never noticed.

'I'll keep it close.'

Whatever calm I had breaks but I don't cry. Only my anger breaks through. I have woken after a long sleep and I choke my new reality with cold hands and a curse. Torian made me forget something I knew so well: reality is cruel and malicious. The only way to survive it is to be the same. And I have no desire to be anything else now.

Targeting systems go online. The same well-known dark strength courses through me.

I turn on the dying Jedi. I poorly patch up their wounds. And then I have hours of fun and revenge. But it doesn't make this pain go away. And it doesn't change anything. I'm a monster. Torian is dead. And I'm still going to die.

When has doing this ever changed anything?

But it's all I can do. And it will always be worth trying. I've been trying for my entire life so far. I might as well for the next two years now. Because even if their screams will never bring Torian back, it makes me feel a **** load better.

And though I go through the motions mechanically and though I enjoy every second and every drop of toxic blood they bleed, a part of me cries. And that part keeps whispering what I don't want to hear. No matter how loud I make them scream, the voice in my head is only clearer and louder and continues to sob.

'Torian is dead.'

iamthehoyden's Avatar

12.11.2012 , 09:03 AM | #243
Wow. I did not expect that. It was always a longshot on the happy ending, but I'd still held out some hope. Poor hunter. Poor galaxy. At least he went out as he wanted to. I need to go find some tissues.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

MilaniGrey's Avatar

12.11.2012 , 12:58 PM | #244
Right in the feels, EverSteam. Right in the feels. ._.
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

EverSteam's Avatar

12.12.2012 , 03:03 AM | #245
Hours later...

'So many people willing to lay down their lives for me. It should have never come to this. I want to tell you something, before you do what you came to do.'

The Chancellor's face is old and haggard. There is sadness set deep in his brow. But I don't care. He should have thought of the cost before he signed up. It doesn't change anything.

'It's not only the willing that have died because of you.' My voice is low and harsh with accusation. His wizened face cringes in pain and he only sadly nods his head.

'I know, dear. I heard.' His eyes sunken eyes are full of soft sympathy. I don't care for it. And I don't need it. He continues to speak, telling me he has cleaned my record and made an announcement of Jun's fallacies. I'm free to move around the galaxy now. Entering Republic space is going to be a hell of a lot easier. Doesn't change anything else.

'Thanks for cleaning my record. Saved me a minute or two there. But it doesn't change anything.' Doesn't bring him back.

I shoot the Chancellor. I just want it clean and over with. And now it is.

I call Darth Tormen. Nothing I want to do less. But got no choice. I keep it short. He wants to see me on the Tyrant. I want to see him on the Tyrant. Just not yet.

I put Torian's armour back on him. I pick him up in my arms and carry him through the ship.

I make another trip for the Chancellor. I just drag his corpse behind me. Once aboard my ship, I set course for Corellia. Got something to do first.


Once on Corellia surface...

The watchmen step aside for me.

Mandalorians stop their busy packing as they see what I carry. His body is wrapped in black silk. It's fallen away from his face. His blonde hair is golden against his now pale skin and black silk. I don't cry. I don't show anything. There will be time for that when I am alone. I don't want anyone to see my grief. Still don't like showing weakness.

There are no tents anymore. The place that was a war camp and then a place of celebration, has become dismantled to show the reality of what it always was: something built that was beautiful and amazing once and has now become nothing more than ruin and devastation. What is most beautiful and precious is always that which is destroyed and taken from us. Good things can't live in this galaxy. In the end, it is the ugly twisted things that rule, fight and kill each other. And whenever we can, we destroy that which is everything we are not and can never be. Because we hate the reminder of that we lack. Purple flowers have no place in this galaxy.

The Mandalorians were going to leave in an hour or two by the looks. Guess they'll have to delay that. I don't want to go back to Duxn. Too far away from the Tyrant. Too much of a delay. Not sure what Torian would have wanted. Apart from living. But I know that whatever it was would of been as Mandalorian as it could be.

I walk into the crumbled building where the feast had been. And the fighting. Blizz has come but stands wearily back. He does not belong. I lie Torian in the middle of the room and kneel next to him. Mandos come and surround me. I don't look at them. I'm not here for them. I'm here because of him. I'd do anything for him. And though I know funerals are for the living as the dead have already departed, I will respect whatever Mandalorian code dictates. He was a Mandalorian. Jatnese be te jatnese. I smile thinly and my hand feels a ghost gripping it as I am taken by a memory.

Corridan comes and kneels next to me.

He whispers to me - 'I have delayed the departure for another two nights. Tonight, we drink to him. A night of aay'han.'

I nod. 'I trust you to make the proper preparations.'

I stand and leave without waiting for a reply. I can't be around people for another moment. I can't look at him for another moment.

I climb to a high point. A past roof I think. And I sit for many hours until dusk. No one comes near me. And I am thankful. Because I want nothing more than to kill someone. Maybe if I keep killing, I will eventually kill the pain that is burning and blistering my chest.

When the suns bottom reaches the horizon I climb down and enter the feasting area. Corridan has created a bed of sticks. He is in his new armour, the dinted chest plate now clean. Now Mandalorians usually keep the armour of the departed or at least their helemet. I have that in a bag I dropped somewhere and will give it to Corridan. Burning everything else is what I wanted. After tonight, I will never want to see it again.

Mandalorians are already standing around. Waiting. They are a circle of metal trees. Corridan stands in the centre A torch in his hand. There are only a few other fires. He watches my approach. I don't want this to be long. Corridan says a few words. For a Mandalorian, the one minute speech is like aruitii's hour.

'To many, he was an arue'tal. The message of gar taldin ni jaonyc; gar sa buir, ori'wadaas'la forgotten and dead as he was grew to you all as an outsider, not worthy to be spoken to. But Torian Cadera proved himself time and time again. When it was not enough that he fought superior to most others, he set out to kill his father and remove the stigma and shame of his name.

'And for some,' his eyes linger on Jogo as he turns to face those around us, 'this was not good enough. But Torian left to find new honours with Mandalore's daughter. And has earned more honours than many twice his age. More than most of you will ever earn.'

His voice is loud, a booming horn that echoes from the stars above. Anger resonates in his voice. But it cannot entirely mask the pain that is under them. This man loved Torian like he did the son he lost. And now, he has lost Torian as well.

'And in his absence from us, he became the second best fighter we will ever see in this generation. In this war.' His voice falters at the end. But he quickly finds momentum again.

'With his wife, he has taken down countless Jedi in the past week alone, has killed the Jedi Master Jun Seros, and defeated the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic!' Cheers go up from unseen dark faces.

'When we speak of the glory and honour of Torian Cadera, let it be with respect. Let it be with love. Remember him as he was. Remember him with pride as you fought with him in the Halls of Corellia. Remember him as a brother you loved. Remember his glory. Remember his death. And remember his victory!'

The Mandalorian's cries are long and deafening. I suppose Torian finally got everything he ever wanted. But that doesn't make a difference. I think it only makes it worse.

I don't need to say anything. Everything that needed to be said, I said to him time and time again. I only wish my last words to him were better. I only wish I had told him how much I needed him. How he made me. Guess it's the only regret I have. And he didn't need to hear it. He already knew. I had been saying goodbye for weeks, and I didn't even know it.

I speak the traditional funeral vows. 'Ni su'cuyi, gar kyr'adyc, ni partayli, gar darasuum, Torian Cadera.' I'm still alive, but you are dead. I remember you, Torian Cadera, so you are eternal.

The others repeat the words. The zealous cries of the moment before are lost and their echoes dead in the air. It makes this silence so much heavier and thicker. I will not be the only one mourning this night. But I will be the one mourning the hardest. I am still alive. And Torian is dead. I don't think that will ever be ok. I don't think I will ever be ok. Torian is dead.

I take the offered torch from Corridan. I reach my other hand out and stroke Torian's hair. Shifting it forward to the way he liked.

'Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum,' I whisper. It is not something for others to hear. Can you hear me in the place you are in now? As you wait, do you watch?

Against my better judgement, I lean down to him one last time and kiss his lips. They are cold and stiff, all the scorching heat has disappeared. And that breaks anything left of my heart. But I would forever regret doing anything less. I take the tooth from around Torian's neck. It's the only memento I need.

And then I light his pyre. Torian is dead.

I walk from the room. Torian is dead.

I cannot watch. Torian is dead.

When outside, I collapse. Torian is dead.

My mind is only large enough to repeat the three words and as I move to unconsciousness, a question interrupts it's repetition. How did this happen?


When I come to, I am in a mass of blankets.

Stars are still above me. It is a new night. I have slept for twenty four hours. Too long.

I struggle into a sitting position. My body is aching. I have missed a dose of serum. I remember the week's events all too keenly. Even in sleep, I remembered. I look at my hands but they empty. I feel around my neck and sigh relief when the sharp tooth cuts my fingers a new.

I look around me. I am alone. The walls are crumbling but still solid and whole. I can't hear anyone outside.

So I cry. The sobs hurt. They rake through my body. I vomit.

Corridan appears at the door way. 'Heard you wake up.' Nice way of putting it.

I look up at him and wipe some vomit from the corner of my mouth. I try to seem cold but as I see a fraction of the pain and grief I feel in Corridan's dark eyes, I collapse into my new state of never ending grief again. And I start to cry all of over again. He is by my side before I can speak. I feel like a weeping girl in her daddy's arms. Only makes this hurt all the more.

But they are still strong and comforting. But not Torian's. I will allow myself this weakness. Just for this moment. Eventually, when I am tired and empty, I pull away from his strong chest and sit on my own. I glance at his face and see drying tears down his face. They glisten like a snails trail. I wish I could cry like that. I think it would feel good.

Corridan doesn't look at me or wipe his face. We sit in silence for a long time. Eventually, he makes a move towards a bundle in the corner, dragging it over to sit before me.

'Got something for you.'

'I don't want a pity gift,' I snap. I didn't think about saying it. It just came out. Back to your old self already, huh? You're pathetic.

He shakes his head. 'Not that. Open it.'

I unwrap the bundle slowly. My arms have a hard time obeying me and my fingers even more. Inside is a beskar breast plate. It's a deep blue. Almost black, but the blue shines through in the light. It's well made. Almost as good as the one I gave... him. It's shoulder pads are lined with silver. In the centre, there is a silver crest. It is complex and intricate. But if you look long enough, you can see a heart. It is the centre and from it extends twisting vines that go to the edge of the armour in some places. It is beautiful. No other word could do it justice. I can tell Torian made it.

'Got a datapad with a message for you to. He said to give it to you in case. Seemed he knew this was coming.'

I almost want to smile at that. Didn't think he felt the storm coming. Guess he did. Should have known. Always had too good an intuition for his own good.

'Thank you, Corridan.'

He nods. Doesn't dishonour me by waving my thanks away. He stands shakily and leaves.

'Just remember, you're always welcome with us. You are one of us.' I'm not a Mandalorian. It was foolish to ever think I was. After today, I will never see Corridan again.

He walks to the door but hesitates. Only ever known Torian to walk through a door and not look back: only known Torian to let things lie as they fell and fix them on return.

'I understand what it's like. It does get easier but you will never move on.'

I gaze into his eyes intently. 'I don't intend to. I'm going to kill them all.'

Corridan chuckles and shakes his head. 'Ah, to be young. I said the same. Killed every Republic soldier in a small base in the name of revenge. Never did the same again. Took away the need for anything. And I almost got shot more than once. Was more than a little beat up when I came back.'

I don't shake my head. I only hold his gaze. 'No. Not just one base and not just the Republic. I'm going to kill them all.' They don't deserve life, I silently ad. So I will take it from them

Corridan only stares back and then walks through the door way.

I sit for a long time looking at the heart and holding the datapad. Eventually, I see something that makes me smile. Inside the heart at the very centre, amongst the twisting vines, is a word. I look for more but there aren't any.

I only find two letters carved at the pointed bottom of the heart. T.C.

I weep again. It is a painful thing. My eye becomes red and swollen. Blinking is painful and so is the afternoon light, so I close my eye. My upper lip is wet from water dripping from my nose, but inside my mouth, it is a dry wasteland. The sobs hurt my body. I need serum a lot. It was foolish of me to take so many overdoses in the past week. But I suppose it doesn't matter anymore. It doesn't change anything.

Eventually, when a vague equilibrium is restored, I read the datapad.

'Heard a Miliaran saying: "Love's the armour of the heart."

Mando's are a little more proactive than that. Never been good at large armour. Better at smaller stuff. Had Corridan's help in working the beskar. Didn't need any for the rest.

It will protect you when I can't, Cyare.'

I drop the pad like it was burning my hand. How else should you react when hearing the voice of a dead man? Only wish it was burning. That pain would hurt so much less than the words on it.

I stare into the armour's heart.



When I come to again and walk from the small room, no Mandalorians are in sight. But I can hear the mourning celebrations continuing in a far away building. Wise of Corridan to move me so far away. If I saw Jogo, I know I would kill him.

I am angry. Crying has worn away the grief for now and left a righteous wrath in its place. I walk the streets for miles around and I kill everyone I see. Imperials, thugs, Republic soldiers, refugees. I don't care. I kill them all.

But it doesn't kill the anger in me. Or the sadness. I don't think anything can remove that. But I'm more than willing to keep trying. Even if it means killing everyone in the entire galaxy.

But I know it won't bring him back.

So I kill even more.

iamthehoyden's Avatar

12.12.2012 , 09:11 AM | #246
What is most beautiful and precious is always that which is destroyed and taken from us. Good things can't live in this galaxy. In the end, it is the ugly twisted things that rule, fight and kill each other. And whenever we can, we destroy that which is everything we are not and can never be. Because we hate the reminder of that we lack. Purple flowers have no place in this galaxy.
Made me cry all over again. Beautiful writing, even if it is sad. And oh jeez, that armor he made her - I don't cry pretty you know. Will need extra make-up today.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

MilaniGrey's Avatar

12.12.2012 , 12:39 PM | #247
All my feels are just in tiny little pieces. So beautiful and sad.
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

EverSteam's Avatar

12.13.2012 , 01:14 AM | #248
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
Wow. I did not expect that. It was always a longshot on the happy ending, but I'd still held out some hope. Poor hunter. Poor galaxy. At least he went out as he wanted to. I need to go find some tissues.
I'm glad it was unexpected. There have been hints, especially in Yours to Hold, that things will happen like that. I did originally had more ominous statements but... I thought removing them would be more evocative and forceful.
I've written three different versions for it and will probably post them later. I chose that one as the best though it wasn't the one I wrote first. Hope it wasn't cliche that he died to save her.
Poor galaxy indeed.
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
Made me cry all over again. Beautiful writing, even if it is sad. And oh jeez, that armor he made her - I don't cry pretty you know. Will need extra make-up today.
I'm glad you liked it (in a sad way).
I'm not going to lie to you... there's most likely more crying moments ahead.
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
All my feels are just in tiny little pieces. So beautiful and sad.

It broke my heart too...

Thanks for your feedback/reactions/opinions.

Would be great to hear readers thoughts/opinions/reactions of what's happening/happened.

After days of slaughter on Corellia's surface...

I return to the ship.

We lift off straight away and enter orbit. Mako walks down from the cockpit and stands in the cargo bay at the opposite end of Skadge. Nice to see they're getting along. Eyes quickly scan for Gault but then I remember he'll still be on Belsavis if they haven't already gone to Nar Shaddaa.

Blizz comes inside the ship after me. No one else does. Mako takes us in and keeps watching the door, expecting him to walk in with eyes that have too much puppy love and excitement. No one except Blizz was on the ship to pick us up from the Chancellor's vessel. So they don't know. Didn't want to call. Not that it ever even occurred to me. She asks eventually though she still doesn't look at me. Hasn't looked at me for a long time. Even avoided my eyes when she could when confronting her sister. Been moping since then.

'Where's Torian?' Sometimes, I wonder the same thing.


She takes a reflexive step back, as if I had hit her and the excitement and anticipation slows drains from her face. She shakes her head and mumbles 'no.' I just stare at her. I have cried enough. And I don't want to in front of them. All that's left is anger. Blizz goes and comforts her. He makes strange whizzing noises that I assume is what happens when a Jawa weeps.

Skadge is a portrait of ugly indifference. He shrugs. I look at him. How can he shrug it off like it is nothing? Like Torian was nothing.

'Worthless runt got what was coming to him.'

I have my hands around Skadges thick, grotesque throat before he finishes flinching. But I let go quickly. His race have venomous sacs around there necks. So I turn and take a few steps away.

He chuckles deeply and it comes out as a harsh, revolting croak. 'No point mourning over him. He was a useless weak thing.'

I spin around and point my gun at him. I am for his right eye. 'Torian. Was. Not. Worthless.'

I shoot him. Mako and Blizz are crouching statues. They reek of fear. I drag Skadge's corpse to the air lock and let it out. Doesn't deserve any better. Wouldn't even bother with that, but I don't want to keep smelling his ugly body. Especially when it starts rotting.

I leave them there and return to our room. My room.

Beds big and empty without him. I stand and stare it for a long time, a large distance between me and it; an enemy that I can't quite figure out how to fight. It's covers are still pressed and tidy from two weeks since. Torian was always big on order. Never cared for it myself. What was the point of making the bed if it was just going to get messy again later?

I almost smile at the memories of the early mornings when Torian had to make the bed again and again. We kept messing it up. He was irresistible when he had that serious, concentrating face as he tried to make the covers precisely smooth and even. But the thought of it just hurts.

And makes me conscious of the pain in my body. It's time for more serum. I look at my desk. There is a present waiting for me. I think it is a present. It's a silver crate. Medium size. There's a datapad on top and a bottle of champagne next to it with two glasses. I open the crate.

There's some military gear. New wrist guards. And another datapad.


Guess he prepared for everything. I read the message.

'Got an admission.

Never been the nervous type. Never been scared about facing anything.

Day I asked about our future, had the shakes so bad I left a clean target on the range. You would have been disappointed. And make me stay till I got five dead centre. Would have been a long time.

Think I'd still be there.

Guess I better not cross you, Cyare.

Only ever want to see you smile.'

I can hear his voice. I read it again. And again. But it falls empty in me. I don't know how to feel. Felt too much in one day.

I lean against the desk and slowly read again. But I don't see the words. See his blonde hair and scars: I see his firm lips and angular jaw. And I see his dark blue eyes staring into me. I was captured by that stare because I was so unprepared. And now I'm shattered. Don't think I could ever pick up the pieces. I don't want to be put back together again. Time seems to build us up and then laugh when we fall.

'However long forever turns out to be, I'm yours.'

I take off my armour.

'Time for a drink?'

I return to the bed.

'I could get used to this.'

I don't take any serum.

'I'll watch your rear.'

I lie down and coil into a ball.

'Who's counting?'

I leave the datapad on the pillow next to my head.

'I'll keep it close.'

My hand reaches for the tooth around my neck, squeezing it tight.

'Torian Cadera. Not a kid.'

Blood seeps through my fingers, my shirt and into the sheet.

'Love is the armour of the heart.'

It will leave a stain.

'I can remedy that.'

I lie for many hours without moving.

'It's been an honour.'

Memories won't leave me be.

'Hope it's not worthless.'

His voice keeps echoing in my mind, climbing over each other like snakes in a pit, wriggling and biting.

'Only ever had eyes for you.' 'You think I'm cute?' 'I'm in love with you.' 'You really are beautiful.' 'I don't like competition.' 'Why did you enter the Great Hunt?' 'Next Hunt called, I'm going to enter.' 'I like you calling me Torian.' 'You're much prettier then the Commander.' 'Got a good crew.' 'Nu kyr'adyc, shi taab'echaaj'la.' 'Thanks, mesh'la.' 'Was going stir crazy.' 'I know you forever, cyare.'' 'Was thinking next time I hear from Corridan, we go on a hunt.' That's my girl.' 'Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum.'

It leaves me paralysed and stunned as each climb the walls of my attention.

'Sweetheart.' 'I'll be with you then, Champion.' 'Thought you needed me, cyare.' 'When we meet our ends, hope we're more fortunate.' 'Will you marry me?' 'I'll get you some when we get back to the galley.' 'Thought I was "a stupid Mando punk".' 'Stay safe and careful, Champion.' 'Seems I've been neglecting you.' 'You'll have to torture it out of me.' 'You're an amazing shot.' 'Surprised I'm alive.' 'This armour isn't up for a decent fight.' 'Do anything for her.'

'Think I'd still be there.'

Then, everything comes back to me. Fresh and raw. Torian is dead.

'Then this is the worst thing you've ever done for me.'

And I cry. Long and hard. A tearless, shuddering thing.

'Say 'yes' and we'll always be one.'

Grief rakes my body. It convulses and hurts.

'I'm glad you came to Taris.'

When dawn comes, I have cried my soul out. For now.

'I'll see you again. Soon.'

I walk to my cupboard and take serum.

'Just have to make the most of it then.'

Three doses.

'Only ever want to see you smile.'

I put clean underwear on and my armour.

'Wish you were only ever mine.'

I take off my old wrist guards and put on the new ones.

'Now or never.'

They are silver. Intricate designs carved into them with a slit for my knives to come through.

'I ought to remedy that.'

I stare at them long and hard.

'Could never not love you.'

Eventually, the words I expected to see appear. One on each.

'What's our next move?' 'Battle stations?'

I head to the bridge.

'Ready when you are.' 'I've got your six no matter what.'

And I set course for the Tyrant.

'Think of it as a challenge, Cyare.'

Ravager. Haran.


I call to Blizz over the intercom to come up to me on the bridge.

He is a little hesitant to approach. He is worried for me. I turn my head around and smile at him, beckoning him closer. I pick him up when he is close enough and put him on the top of the control panel in front of me.

'Got some good news for you, Blizz. I've found your old crew. They're on Dantooine.'

He brightens up. Says he'll go to them after we finish with the Sith Lord. I shake my head.

'It's got to be now, Blizz. They're going to change planet soon.'

'Then Boss find them again,' he says simply.

'No, Blizz. You can't come with me, ok? Don't you want to see your crew?' I ask persuasively.

Blizz nods his head. 'But I want Boss to meet them. Visit them after job is done. Blizz stay with Boss.'

I thump my hand on the panel next to him. He flinches in fear. I force myself to smile and unclench my fist.

'You can't stay with me, Blizz. This is going to be dangerous. I'll visit you after I'm done, ok? Promise. I'll even bring you some presents.'

He shakes his head again. 'No deal, Boss. Blizz stick with Boss now Torian gone. Blizz promised Torian.' I keep my body and expression calm. There will be time to think about that later. 'And this is Blizz home.'

I smile at his warmth and thoughtfulness. Blizz is sweet. But it makes me want to cry. So I smile some more.

'It is, Blizz. And always will be. But I don't want to lose you, too. I couldn't bare it and I don't think Torian knew what was going to happen when he made you promise that.' Liar. 'So please go, for me.'

Blizz reluctantly nods. 'Ok, Boss. Stay safe.'

He jumps down and I listen to him packing his bags. Blizz only reminds me of Torian. I care for the little guy more than I should. If he stays around, he'll get me killed somehow or more likely he'll get himself killed. I don't want to fall from the pedestal he's put me on. So I put him somewhere where he can't see it, where my fall is only a quiet, missed thing. I don't want to taint him on my way down.

Blizz walks up again and stands in the door way.

'Bye, Boss. See you soon.'

'Stay safe, Blizz,' I reply with a smile. And then he is gone, and the ship is a little more empty and a little less bright.

Two down, one to go.


Please comment.
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MilaniGrey's Avatar

12.13.2012 , 01:26 AM | #249
The sads hurt so good. D; You keep bringing me to tears and I'll be blowing my nose for weeks. *sniffle*
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iamthehoyden's Avatar

12.13.2012 , 02:44 PM | #250
The fact that I'm still reading this, even knowing it's going to make me cry, is a huge testament to how you've written the story. I tend to avoid stuff that's going to make me cry like the plague.

Damn straight Skadge dies. Damn straight. Because Torian was not worthless. He was a good good man and going over his words just made it clear how good.

That she still cares about Blizz good. It's so good. She hasn't lost all her better self (at least for now). And Blizz refusing to go because Torian asked him to stay...more tears.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
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