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The Life that's Left


MilaniGrey's Avatar


MilaniGrey
12.23.2012 , 11:18 AM | #11
Mmm, HK. I think she'll come to like him, eventually. He's a killing machine.
The Islingr LegacyShatter the Darkness
Astaron, Narithia, Xalkory, ┴illeacht
The Ebon Hawk Server
Forever Shenanigans!

Mathemagica's Avatar


Mathemagica
12.24.2012 , 01:18 AM | #12
Comment: I find your choice of companion perfectly deadly and rampage-appropriate

On another note: Already when 'When I wake' ended I had this image in my head of Blizz walking around in any spaceport speaking randomly to people asking them: "Hey, have you seen Boss? Boss big and strong... and a little scary sometimes. But Boss nice. Blizz needs to go back to Boss." Listening to his holomessages saddened me even more. *goes looking for a plush Jawa*

EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
12.25.2012 , 07:07 PM | #13
To all on HK: I think she might too. But it's a little complicated with her at the moment. I'm sure it will be a love hate relationship on her part.

Quote: Originally Posted by Mathemagica View Post
On another note: Already when 'When I wake' ended I had this image in my head of Blizz walking around in any spaceport speaking randomly to people asking them: "Hey, have you seen Boss? Boss big and strong... and a little scary sometimes. But Boss nice. Blizz needs to go back to Boss." Listening to his holomessages saddened me even more. *goes looking for a plush Jawa*
.... You just gave me a great idea for far in the future many thanks
And yeah, Blizz is sweet. And loyal. I can say no more on the Blizz front.

----


On Ilum...


Duck. Slash. Shoot. Dodge. Duck. Shoot. Shoot. Left. Right. Jump. Flame thrower. Slash. Shoot.

Blizz should call tonight.

Stop. Rest. Assess droids damage. Tighten armour straps. Wipe blood off my face. Begin again.

Wonder if he's still on Tatooine.He mentioned moving on to...

Run. Jump. Slash. Roll. Shoot. Jab. Grenade. Jump. Left. Shoot. Move on.

Wonder if he's ok and he got the price he wanted for the...

Shoot. Duck. Dodge. Flame thrower. Roll. Pull. Stab. Shoot. Duck. Throw. Shoot. Right. Left. All clear.

Does he really miss me? Or are his feelings from an obligation to Torian?

Run. Grenade. Rocket. Jump. Stab. Shoot. Pull. Stab. Flame thrower. Roll. Slash. Kick. Shoot.

Does it really matter? You're not going to call.


Stop. Rest. Survey.

Why am I alive, Torian?

Anger rushes through me and I move on. Time to kill some more.



----


Spoiler

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
12.26.2012 , 09:28 AM | #14
Bear with me a sec, I have a dog who has been my constant companion for years. She keeps me sane, grounded, and on days when I can't find a reason to get out of bed, purpose. In a lot of ways, Blizz fills that role for her; without him, her descent is swifter and more sure.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

Mathemagica's Avatar


Mathemagica
01.01.2013 , 01:28 AM | #15
Yay, I could provide inspiration for... something.

This last piece somehow reminds me of how the combat against the weaker enemies in the open world of this game works, for me at least. Constant moving, constant acting, while my thoughts are rather with the companion alongside me or with other characters.

EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
01.05.2013 , 12:55 AM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by Mathemagica View Post
Yay, I could provide inspiration for... something.
You will see, yes, you will see.
Only it won't be for a while... darn chronological order
Quote: Originally Posted by Mathemagica View Post
This last piece somehow reminds me of how the combat against the weaker enemies in the open world of this game works, for me at least. Constant moving, constant acting, while my thoughts are rather with the companion alongside me or with other characters.
As was my intention. I'm glad you liked it.


-----

An aside:
Spoiler


-----


Three days later...


'Cadera, this is Corridan.'

'Good to see you Corridan,' I stiffly reply as I gaze up at the Mandoalorian large holo image. It's far from good to see him. 'Good' could never be attributed to the agony this is causing me already.

'You as well. How have you been? I heard about Manaan.' I clench my fists. 'Surprised you made it out of there alive.' A pleasant way to put it. But I'm not going to bite the hook no matter what hangs off or how kind it looks.

'I've been fine. Is that all you called for?'

'As conversational and friendly as ever, I see.' Corridan pauses for a moment and then continues as if giving a brief re-evaluation of strategy before the carefully planned assault. 'Yes and no. Been worried about you. Torian was almost family and that makes you family too. Seeing the reports makes me wonder how your bearing up.'

Corridan pauses and as he does I end my scrutiny of him. His face has become more haggard since I last saw him. More lines have been added to harsh waves already there and his hair is greyer. It almost pains me to see it. I don't want to know the change Torian's death has caused on me. But I don't think the wounds are external.

'I'm doing fine, Ordo. Your concern is unnecessary,' I formerly reply. I pause as he solemnly nods, looking far from convinced. 'Did you only call to try and keep your rogue Mandalorian in line?'

'If you went traitor, it wouldn't be a call you would be getting,' he retorts sternly. 'Think Mandalore himself would come after your head.'

'You mean I'd finally get a father daughter reunion?' I ask patronisingly.

'Watch it, Cadera,' Corridan sternly replies.

'Don't call me that, Ordo.'

'Don't like the reminder?' he baits me on.

'Yes. Would you like the reminder of losing the person you loved entirely? Oh, I forgot, Mandalorians aren't like everyone else. Love isn't part of your creed. You don't even have a word for it.'

'Isn't the end when you lose them,' he passively replies, not flinching once at my attack. Guess we have to tell ourselves something nice to help us sleep at night. But words can't fill the empty space of the bed next to you or your gaping heart.

'It was for me!' I angrily spit.

Corridan stares at me with barely contained anger now. I over stepped a line. But all I'm doing is speaking my mind. Rare event I should engage in more often.

'Not going to hang up?' I ask after a pause of us staring each other down.

'Not yet.'

'Good.' Closest to an apology I can do and he knows it was meant as one. 'What about you, Corridan? How are you really? I heard your squadron had a close win the other week.'

'They did. Those we lost died in the greatest honour,' he replies with evasive solemnity.

'That's not telling me how you are though.'

'I'm how you would expect. Few better than Torian.'

'I know,' I quietly whisper.

'We could use you in this war you know. Could help save many lives.'

'Instead of taking them from both sides?' He doesn't nod or disagree, only stares at me with stern eyes. 'I'm a little busy these days, Corridan Ordo, as you seem to have noticed.'

'I did notice. Is this all because you lost Torian?'

'I told you I would kill them all,' I answer coldly.

'And I didn't believe you. You've proved you meant it. Now end it. Do you really think Torian would want this?'

'I never knew what Torian wanted,' I irately answer. He's prodding wound with an electrostaff and all it does is make this rancor bite back.

'He wanted you.'

'And he had me. Now he's gone and that's the end of it.'

'Forgotten marriage vows already?'

'I haven't forgotten anything!' I shout in reply, slashing my bladed hand through the air.

'Then come fight with us. Torian wouldn't want Clan Cadera to lose the honour he fought hard with you to gain. Really want to be the one that does that?'

'No. But I will not fight for the Empire,' I reply resolutely.

'I see you can't be persuaded. I'm glad you're doing well. Just don't do something you might regret. We'll be waiting for you.'

'Don't hold your breath,' I childishly retort.

'I will.' Fool. 'Corridan out.'

The image disappears and my eyes are left to only stare ahead at the wall that is now revealed. I see movement in my peripheral and glare at the droid.

'Let's go killing, droid.'



-----



A week later...



When I dream, he is there.

The dream is always different and changing. But in the start, we are sitting and laughing. Always it starts like this. He is grinning at whatever it is I am saying. I am laughing and thump my hand on the crate in front of me. His eyes are bright. So blue.

My smile always softens and I think about kissing him. Because I am so very happy he is mine. I want to touch him to know he really is mine. And is really there. So I lean in to kiss him and shift his hair back into place.
But then the dream always changes. Shifts and twists. Some are better than others. But all end the same. More or less.

Sometimes, we are suddenly hunting in a changing landscape. The environment around us flickers and blends from one planet to another: Hoth's snow in the city of Corellia; Voss infected with rahkgouhls; Tatooine cracked with lava and purple flowers blooming under my feet and spreading outwards, further and further. He is there. And I am happy. But I still feel that fear. It grows so strong I cry out to him but he can't hear me.

And then it shifts.

I am on the table in my cell. They are cutting into my skin and the pain is so very, very unbearable. But I look around and see Torian safe and smiling. So the pain lessons. It is ok. Because he is ok.

And then the end comes. Sometimes, I am the one that shoots him. Other times, it is the General. Or the Chancellor. Or Tormen. Or the Supreme Guard. Nothing hurts more than the first. And no matter what I do, he always dies. And I am left not even being able to cry over his lifeless body as it turns to ashes in my arms and the smell of rotting flesh and smoke fills my nose.

When I wake, I am dry and alert with the olfactory hallucination lingering like something real.

I begin to work out or practice. I like to think it's because it clears my mind and I no longer think of the dream or what I've done. But that's not true. No matter what I do, the gaping void he's left is still there and the pain of being sucked into it doesn't go.

I hear a noise in the ship.

It shakes me out of my reverie. I wonder why I hadn't heard them before. The heartbeat. I know it.

Gault is back.

I'm not quite sure if I should smile or groan. Don't know how he found me this time. Maybe he has a tracker on the ship. Wouldn't be surprised. What does surprise me is how he got past HK. I shake my head impatiently as I remember the droid constant clatter irritated me so I shut it down tonight. Lucky you, Gault.

I go downstairs in my sleeping shirt and find him rummaging through an empty cupboard, looking for food. It's been empty for a while. Food is becoming more of a self imposed luxury than a necessity.

Gault turns in surprise to me. He is smiling broadly.

'Looking for anything in particular? Or did you travel all the way across the galaxy for just a sandwich?' I ask as I lean against the doorframe.

He comes to me and takes my arm and pulls me over to the dusty crates. I'm too tired to fight it. And I don't entirely flinch at the touch either. I've missed him. And that is a very, very strange thing.

'You wouldn't believe what happened! Hylo said she's willing to take me back if I prove to her she means more to me than me.' He sounds proud and excited in a childish way. It gives me a strange urge to pat him on the head like he was a small boy and give the distant response of an apathetic parent: 'that's nice, dear.'

I roll my eye. 'Guess she's not going to be taking you back then,' I comment mordantly.

Gault laughs and shakes his head. 'Very true. I sent her a reasonable slice of my fortune though.'

I raise an eyebrow and look at him expectantly. I don't see how this has caused him to end up on my ship and trying to eat my food. He seems pleased with the last bit of information and I wonder if he's drunk or on spice.

'So where is everyone anyway?' Gault asks instead of supplying answers. He looks around as if to double check it is as he said. 'Notice all the rooms are empty and the food is greener than usual.'

'Skadge is dead. I killed him just over two months ago. Same goes for Mako,' I reply with immediate ease. 'Blizz is on Tatooine last I heard. I destroyed the droid a week ago. And now you're here and I also think being alone is better than that.' I shrug my shoulders and tell myself I didn't leave anyone off the list. I don't mean my new droid.

'Alone except for your pet Mandalorian?' Gault doesn't miss a beat.

'No.'

'Ah, I'm guessing he's off fighting for honour and glory and all that crap somewhere in the galaxy on a glorious battlefield. Guess your beds a little lonely. I can keep you company in it if you want. I never asked you how good he was. Always wondered what a Mandalorian is like in bed.'

Gault just did a whole lot more talking and a lot faster than usual. Seems there's something he doesn't want to say. Pretty sure it has something to do with why he's here. If I was in the habit of disassembling people's feelings and rationales I might be able to supply myself with an answer. But any inclination I had to do so before has long ago dried up and rusted in my seclusion.

'Never going to know either. Say it's a lot better than being in bed with a Devaronian.'

'I've never heard any complaints,' he arrogantly replies.

I wave away the comment. 'Besides, Gault, weren't you just telling me the love of your life is taking you back?'

'You can't have only one love of your life when you have so much love to give like me.' I roll my eye and Gault ignores the gesture. His face falls a little from the mocking charade and he leans back in his chair, hands behind his head. 'No, Hylo is great and all but... Lokai loved her, not Gault. I only just realised the difference.'

'So are you telling me you sent credits to a woman you have no intention of sleeping with?' He scowls and nods.

'Never going to hear the end of this, am I?'

I shrug and turn back to serious. My good humour left before the end of my sentence. But a degrading smile still tugs the corners of my unyielding lips. 'All have a reputation to protect, huh?'

'Something like that,' he evasively says. He sighs heavily and I lean forward onto my elbows.

'Come on, Gault. Tell me of the woman who seems to have swept you of your scumbag feet so quickly.'

'You flatter me far too much,' he sardonically replies.

A croaking sound almost like a laugh escapes from me and I press for more details. 'Come on, Uncle Gault, spill or I'll literally make you spill your guts,' I urge as I extend my right knife and hold it point it to his stomach, making twisting motions.

'Well when you put it like that...' he looks into my eager eyes and something there makes him come to a decision. He sighs heavily and something changes in Gault's manner and look. 'The woman Gault loves has far too much baggage and crazy,' he explains with a wave of his hand. 'I have no idea how I came to even look at someone that insane three times. God, that body though,' he ads in ecstatic pain.

I raise an eye brow at Gault and he laughs cruelly. 'I'm guessing she's pretty then,' I comment dryly.

'More than that. Cantina dancers are pretty. She's...' he presses his palms into his eyes and a wry smile twists my lips. 'Just so far above them,' he ends despairingly.

I like Gault like this. There's something almost sweet in his crude words and torture and he seems so much younger suddenly. I guess he isn't old for a Devaroian.

'So what's the problem? She has standards?' I ask teasingly. I enjoy taking my mind off my problems by talking to Gault about his. I guess mine isn't a problem. More just the extreme lack of one.

He scoffs. 'Not if you saw the guy she's with.' He turns sober and sour again and moves his hands down the thighs of his pants. 'Nah, she's with somebody else. I think she'll always be with someone else somehow. I don't think it will ever be me or she will ever even notice me for that matter - even now.' Gault looks into my eye, shakes his head and looks up at the ceiling. I feel I'm not the only one to change in the past months.

'Oh well, I'll still be around and keep her company,' he continues. 'Always been told I'm great company. Never been that fond of my own company though.' He looks down into his drink and a sullied version of himself stares back. For the first time, I think I'm not the only one that hates the person they see in their reflection.

I gently nudge him and tell him no one could ever not notice him - he never allows it. 'Must be some woman to make the mighty Gault Renrow swoon like a sickly woman on Tatooine.'

Gault doesn't reply. He opens the crate between us and pulls out a bottle of wine, opening it and beginning to drink. Always wondered what was in that crate.

I continue with more than a little irritation. I definitely preferred being alone than being with the Devanorian. Liar.
'Why are you here instead of with either of them, then? Sure they're both better company than me. And have more food and liquor too,' I ad as he eagerly begins to drink.

Gault looks at my intently out of the corner of his eye and shakes his head, sculling his bottle in one. I only raise my eyebrow as I watch and wonder what he was drinking to.

'So where's your intrepid and heroic Mandalorian now?' he asks after wiping his mouth, completely avoiding answering. 'Attacking the Republic's capital itself, no doubt.'

I shake my head and don't let Gault see my face. I liked forgetting for just an hour all about it. 'Nothing like that. He's marching a lot further away than that.'

Gault raises an eyebrow at me and it's my turn to look into my drink. I don't like the person that stares back. But I have no reason to change it anymore. And I wouldn't even know how to start.

I stand up and begin to leave. He protests.

'Good night, Gault. I suggest you leave the ship tonight unless you want to follow everyone else's path. My new droid doesn't appreciate newcomers the way I do.'

I laugh and enter my room, the door closing behind me and as it slides shut, it stops any of the happiness I just felt seeping in, and I am left to cry alone in my constant, self imposed desolation.

I'll follow you soon, ner Torian. Keep waiting.




----


Inconsequential comment on Gault that you probably shouldn't read:
Spoiler

MilaniGrey's Avatar


MilaniGrey
01.05.2013 , 01:51 AM | #17
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee more! I'm also still mourning the loss of Torian. He's just so.. so.. om nom.
The Islingr LegacyShatter the Darkness
Astaron, Narithia, Xalkory, ┴illeacht
The Ebon Hawk Server
Forever Shenanigans!

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
01.05.2013 , 10:37 AM | #18
Quote:
'So are you telling me you sent credits to a woman you have no intention of sleeping with?' He scowls and nods.

'Never going to hear the end of this, am I?'
Heehee! Gault you sly devil you.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
01.11.2013 , 09:15 PM | #19
Well, here is the latest at last. It's rather long. I've been agonizing over it for a week now and I don't want to anymore since I'll just zone out at parties and meals and basically all the time thinking about it and whether that word was right or if they would say this or that and argh!
Anyway, please enjoy.



That night...



'Torian.'

I call his name and he turns around to face me. He takes a step closer through purple flowers. My eyes reluctantly glance to my surroundings. Belsavis. He's waiting for me.

I take a slow step to him, then another. Then I begin to run across the distance between us. But blurred figures appear between us with indistinct faces. The four children, now grown adults as I am, stare at me with their profile photos and bodies to match. One is all grey and black and I feel fear at the frozen smile he wears.

My steps slow. But Torian reaches out a hand to me and I begin to run through the deep snow faster. My thoughts become bent on taking his hand. Letting his strong protective arms wrap around me again and to tell me it was just a dream, exactly like he used to when it was.

I try to jump over them. Their reaching hands grab my ankles and pull me down. They take my arms at the unseen General's order and drag me away from Torian whose hand still reaches for me. He doesn't move and stands like that, with all the patience in eternity.

The ground between us breaks but his green side remains untouched. He only keeps his deep blue eyes on mine and smiles a little, as if to tell me waiting is ok. That it's all going to be ok.

But their tightening hands pull me further away and I scream Torian's name again and again. They don't stop. And all he does is stand, reach and wait.

'Torian!' I scream one last time.

I open my eyes.

I'm standing in my bedroom, the blankets at my feet. My arms are up and painful as if they were being held. It takes a while for me to move. It's only when I hear crashes and clanging that I move to get dressed and walk from this suffocating haran.

'Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow,' Gault repeats. If previous experiences are any judge, I would be tempted to say HK is holding Gault's arm behind his back on a less than pleasant angle.

I walk into the holoroom and lean against the door frame, watching HK spout insults at Gault as he holds him face first on the ground, arms in the air and a foot to his red neck. I went to HK in the night and ordered him to restrain the Devaronian like 'a dedicated lawman would a common low life' at whatever time pleased him but to not exterminate him. He isn't quite an undesirable yet.

'A little help would be appreciated, my dear!' Gault explains when he sees my sadistic form in the doorway. 'Tell this psychotic droid to stop treating me as a common low life,' he complains indignantly.

'No. I warned you to leave my ship. HK here is following my orders perfectly. Why would I tell him to stop?'

'Because we're friends.'

'Wrong.'

'Business partners.'

'Completely wrong.'

'I can give you credits.'

'I have credits.' I smoothly move to the one of the new chairs I've installed and put my feet up on the holo terminal. 'You're lucky I only gave HK orders to restrain you. I believe he knows 1,346 torture techniques.'

'Correction: 1,364, master.'

'Apologies, HK.' I stand up and walk to Gault, crouching in front of him. 'You see I like my new droid, Gault. We came to an understanding, didn't we, HK?'

'Agreement: yes, master,' he obediently replies in a shrill voice.

'Explain to our intruder,' I order.

'Explanation: I was disappointed to see the Republic still stands. My master explained to me the inadequacies of the Empire in this age as shown through the treaty despite the sacking of Coruscant and the constant fighting amongst Sith which breeds irremovable inefficiency. Master explained to me that I was the only one unfrozen because it is the Maker's intention for me to eliminate both Republic and Empire to start a new, glorious age of efficiency.'

I smile tenderly at HK as he speaks but then turn a cold eye to Gault. 'See, Gault? We belong together.' I grab one of Gault's lengthening horns and force his neck back so he can stare completely into my eyes. 'I like being with him. I like my life. You have no place in it. So give me one reason I shouldn't kill you?' I hold my blade to his neck and stare into his eyes.

He sighs when he sees my resolve. I gave Gault a chance to leave though I knew he wouldn't take it. I won't make such a stupid mistake again.

'I can give you whatever you want, my dear. Name it.' Torian.

'I doubt it, Gault,' I scoff. What I want is long gone. He isn't coming back.

'Don't you want revenge?'

'Always,' I say with quiet vehemence.

'I can give it to you,' Gault coaxes. I should know better than to ask questions. I should shoot like I didn't then. You didn't kill him then and you know you won't kill him now. Shut up.

'How?' I sharply ask. I'm sceptical of anything Gault has to offer. But when it comes to saving his life, I know he would do anything. And would never hold anything back.

'I can find the Republic Captain you want,' he says with reluctance. 'The one you asked Mako to find information on.'

I press the blade closer to his neck and draw blood. 'More, Gault.'

'I have a man who knows a man who knows a man - I know where that Captain is. Kill me and you will never know.' His voice is the same as then. It carries self assurance and logic and I want to tear it to pieces.

'Don't tell me and I'll kill you anyway.'

'True but anytime is good time, my dear. I'll travel with you to the planet then you can never see me again if you want. But that's not what I want.' Blunt bargaining. I'm wondering what the catch is. I'm wondering how I'm going to regret this because I know I will. I know the price my droid will come with. HK isn't here because I like him. He isn't here because we belong together. He's here to kill me.

I snort and stand up. I begin to walk out. Gault struggles more under HK as he senses a sentence has still been passed and it will not be to his benefit. He might still be proven right. You might die on this ship yet, Gault.

'HK, the Devaronian is not to be harmed and is free to move about the ship excluding my quarters. But watch him.' I walk out but then remember something. I turn around and poke my head into the room again where Gault is standing up and rubbing his neck, HK watching him diligently.

'HK, escort him to the cockpit. He's our new pilot.'


-----



Three tense days later...


'You've been busy while I was gone, I see.'

First time he's approached me since we set course for our destination. Ord Mantell was a week away from where we were. Still have four days till we land. Then it's up to Gault to give me the exact location.

'I've also been richer while you were gone but I saw when I looked into my bank account that I am back to being comparatively poor,' I retort. My mood has changed and with it, my feelings towards the Devaronian. Gault has made himself a valuable asset once again.

'Well, what could one woman do with all those credits? I thought I'd alleviate some of the burden.'

I scoff and shake my head. Be more trouble than it's worth to call him up on the sexism. I'm trying to check Gault's information. So far, it does check out. We arrive on Ord Mantell in two days. Since Gault has come aboard I haven't visited the engine room and I keep it locked at all times. Spend my time in the holo room doing everything but checking Blizz's messages. I don't want Gault to catch me. I avoid the cargo bay like it's rakghoul plague.

'It must mean the work you're doing is paying rather well.'

I grunt an agreement.

'Don't you find it hard to walk the line between them? You're balancing act might not be able to last forever, my dear.'

'Then that's my concern, Gault, not yours,' I coldly reply.

'Wrong. You spared my priceless life twice so I have to now look out for yours.' I spared himself from myself. That means little. I am not altruistic.

'What a touching sentiment, Gault. I'll remember it the next time you clear me out of all my credits.'

He shrugs. 'You should.' He pauses and I don't speak. All my thoughts are bent on this Captain now - where they should have been for a very long time. I forgot my place. Now I'm back.

'I heard in my travels that there's a new crime lord,' I comment casually on a whim.

'Oh? What do they say about this charming and roguish crime lord? That he's devilishly handsome?'

'Some seemed under the impression he was a devils child actually. It seems the ruler of a new criminal empire is a Devaronian with skin as red as blood and the ability to disappear at will.' I don't take my eyes from the Captain's photo. He looks more like his mother than his father.

'Is that all they say?' Gault asks with amused disappointment.

'Apart from the fact that he is now one of the richest men in the galaxy, I think they mentioned this rise taking around two years but only really happened in the last three months,' I pause in psuedo contemplation. 'Strange, I knew a Devaronian rather like that for a while.'

'Oh? What did you think of this handsome fellow?'

'Irritating with a strong inclination to self preservation, the attainment of credits, heavy wine and rich women,' I instantly answer.

'Sounds like my kind of guy,' Gault replies with sarcastic glee.

'Mmm you two would have got a long swimmingly.' We drift into a pause but before it deepens I ad without thought, 'I'm glad you got everything you wanted.'

'I haven't yet, my dear. That's why I'm here.' The silence goes on for a long while and I don't mind. I don't spend it wondering what can be attained by staying in this hell with me and my 'psychotic droid'.

'I don't care why you're here, Gault,' only that you are. 'Say I wasn't going to kill you or kick you off my ship once we land on Ord Mantell, how long will you stay then?'

'Oh, I don't know. There's a few people to see here and there, some other usual crime lord business, but... how long do you want me to stay?' he asks seriously. 'I don't think you're intrepid and fearless Mandalorian would like me being here at all while he's away let alone when he returns.'

I laugh loudly but though it comes from my heart, it lacks any happiness. 'I suppose not. I am interested though, why did you always like to irk him so much?'

Gault looks at me the way he does sometimes, as if I am rain on Tatooine and all he can do is stand in it, disbelieving and wanting it to never end. I hate the way I feel the blank stare belittles my understanding.

'You are a rare creature, my dear. Please never change.'

'And you are an aggravating *****, dick head. Feel free to change'

'Ah, the charming things you say to me warm my heart,' Gault replies with exaggerated pleasantness.

I laugh dryly in reply and when that dies we remain in silence again. Seems Gault and I never say many genuine things about or to the other. If all our sarcasm and mockery was removed from everything we've ever said, there would only be a handful of comments left and most of them relating to needing more food or wine. I don't think I'd want it any other way. But in my desolation and seclusion, in the abandonment that was meant to be something else I can't see, I have a craving for the honest and genuine from people when I only lie to myself.

'So what does the heroic Mandalorian think of what you've being doing recently?'

'I assume you mean my -Torian.' I couldn't force out the word "husband". It is a rock that is lodged in my throat. It will take a lot of time for that stone to become small and weathered. A lot longer than I will have to live.

'Do you have more than one?'

'I'm working, Gault,' I say as the datapad in front of me suddenly absorbs all my cool attention again.

'So I'm guessing he doesn't know about your recent rampages across most known and civilised planets?'

'How do you know about them?'

'I do watch the holonet, darling,' Gault explains patronisingly. 'Though sometimes I did have to dig a little deep.'

'Keeping an eye on me? A little worried, were you? How very touching,' I return scathingly.

'Someone has to or messes like the ones you've been causing seem to happen. I don't see why Torian isn't stopping you. He is supposed to be your brave and strong protector after all. Isn't he fretting that you're going to break a nail?'

I with frame from wincing and only turn my head from Gault, my hair falling from behind my ear to screen my face from his mocking scrutiny.

'And I heard about what happened on Manaan.'

I spin around quickly, pressing Gault against the wall more with my entire body than an arm. 'It was an accident,' I violently hiss into his face.

'Then it was a very large accident, my dear.'

'I know,' I say quietly, moving back to my chair once again hiding from Gault.

'And what about all the others?'

'They deserved it!' I vehemently shout. They were soldiers. Nothing more. The world is better without them. I only wish I could kill all the Jedi in the world as well as the soldiers.

'All of them?'

'Yes.'

'What happened?' Gault suddenly implores, moving to my side. I keep my face hidden from him as best I can.

'This isn't the woman I left.'

'I am the same woman you left a month ago,' I sternly reply. You didn't notice a change then so why must you notice one now?


'But not the one I last saw four months ago.'

'She's dead.'

'I don't believe you.'

'Then go. The door is always open and waiting for you to walk through it.'

'Did you make the same offer to Torian?' he asks sharply, not moving away. I want him to move away. Liar.

'No, but I should have.'

'So he left you to murder everyone in the galaxy while he plays soldier?' I don't speak. So Gault continues. 'He left you to go wage a war and lead children into senseless battles to win for commanders that care nothing for them and an honour that doesn't come through being able to shoot the other guys better.'

Gault spins around and stands up in frustration as I only remain silent. It's only when he kicks a panel like I have done so many time before that I speak.

'What would you know of honour?' I quietly and coldly ask.

'I know what doesn't get you honour. Not my life, not his and not yours, my dear.'

'You're wrong, Gault. Torian had more honour than anyone else. '

'Then why isn't he with you?'

I stand up and walk out past Gault. I can't answer that. Because part of me asks the same question all the time. It wants to know where the other half has gone and how to stop what remains from also disappearing into some black abyss that it titters on the precipice of.

'Just remember, someone might cut your wire at any moment, my dear, and when they do, you should pray someone is left to still catch you,' Gault calls after me.

I've already begun falling, like I did so many years ago. The wire was cut when Torian was. There was a Torian to catch me before I could break on the cold hard floor the first time. And the floor is looming ever closer as I willingly plummet to it now. Torian isn't there to catch me.

I made sure there was no one there to catch me. Because I want to break. I want someone else to kill me because I can't.

Are you here to try anyway, Gault? Or only to watch the show I will cause on my way down?


-----



Five days later on Ord Mantell...



I walk into the Republic base, straight past security. First time I haven't had to kill at least one person to enter. Should visit small, simple worlds more often.

I walk up to a red haired, freckled boy dressed as a grown soldier and wait for him to notice. He doesn't. I clear my throat loudly, gaining looks from another two soldiers across the room. Their attention turns from irritation to something that will get them killed.

The young boy jumps and looks at me with nervous curiosity, clearly not expecting me but a threat he's scared of. I guess he got some of it right. Only he should be scared of me.

'C-can I help you? You aren't Republic,' he notes as he looks to my blue armour with only a silver crest that is neither Republic, Empire or any other sect. 'Do you need Republic assistance with anything?'

I smile what I imagine could be sweetly. I need to make a note to practice expressions before a mirror to get them right.

'My names Leerinda,' I greet as I smile. I'm not original or caring enough to create a name far from my own for instances such as this. My face wasn't recognised. My name may not have the same luck. If they all attack before I get my answers and the Captain dies with them, I would feel less than satisfied with such an impersonal dispatch.

'I'm looking for a Captain Resmond. Is he in?'

'No, ma'am, I don't think so. If you don't mind me asking, is he expecting you?' The boy is cute and nervous. I would regret having to kill him if it somehow comes to that.

'No, but I'm a childhood friend of his and was very close to his father,' I reply gently. 'Where would I be able to meet him?'

'Well, ma'am, he's due to arrive in an hour so you could wait in his office. I would be happy to escort you,' he offers. What a cute boy. A little short as he is only equal height with me. 'But I would have to ask you to leave any weapons you have on you with me,' he says with apologetic nervousness. I feel sorry for the kid as I hand him my blaster. It will be him who is punished for the Captain's death.

'Please lead the way,' I say in the same pseudo gentle voice.

He nods and tries to walk down the short corridors with assurance but all it does is show his inadequacies more.
He leads me to one of the only side rooms in the small base and tells me to wait in the chair, asking if I need anything. I decline the offer and say he can leave.

So I wait.

An hour passes and he doesn't come. But I continue to wait and listen.

Another hour passes and the Captain walks into the room with a disturbed but proud air. The orange haired soldier is behind him with a nervously respectful air. The Captain kindly dismisses him and shakes his head as he watches the soldier retreat.

I lean back in the chair I sit in at the only desk in the room, leaving him to take the other chairs. He doesn't. I searched the desk and room while he was gone as I disabled any alarms, listening devices and security cameras as well as the hidden ones. I found nothing to lead me to his siblings. *********** Jedi.

'Hello, Captain,' I say with mocking pleasantness. 'Nice quarters.' I gesture with a lazy, calm hand to the tidy and spotless room with no personal belongings.

He grunts an acknowledgment. 'I've been waiting for you to come.'

'No, I'm pretty sure I was waiting for you. An entire 2.6 hours to be precise.'

'Very funny,' he congratulates dryly. A frown seems to be the permanent decoration on his lips. So like his mother. Nothing about him is his father. I don't know where the large frame could have come from. Possibly luck or stimulants.

'So where do we go from here, Leer? Or is it Ravager Haran now?'

I smile and shrug, looking at my nails. 'Whatever you prefer, Captain Resmond.'

'Haran is Mando'ad, if memory serves me well.' I nod and continue to clean my already clean nails with each knife. 'I don't think 'cosmic annihilation' is much of a hyperbole at your current rate, especially with what happened on Manaan.'

'Thank you, Captain, I am awefully proud of Manaan,' I taunt warmly in turn.

'You're welcome,' he dryly replies with a tighter frown. 'Now are you here to attempt to assassinate me or did you just want to say hello?' he says in a distinctly business like fashion.

'I'm not sure if I want this conversation to progress further past these vague pleasantries. Your company isn't nearly as pleasing as your father's though I suppose our interactions involved less clothes.' I look him over with shrewd scrutiny. 'Though I can't say I'm regretting that.'

The Captain scowls and remains at attention in a corner of the room. His hair is a light brown cut too close to his scalp and accentuating his broad face and body. His eyes are a pale blue and they have the same idealistic tint around the dry cynicism as his mother. He seems forward.

'So you are only here to talk to me about old times with my father?'

'No, but I can put that on the agenda before killing you if it takes your fancy. Otherwise, I wouldn't mind skipping to killing you.' I stand up as I speak and walk around the desk, leaning on its edge, my arms loose and ready at my sides.

'Its mutual, then.'

He draws his gun. I dodge his attacks and deflect some with my knives. I run to him and jump behind him where he turns surprisingly fast to attempt to kick my feet out from under me as I land. I'm faster and lightly step back.

I move in for close combat. He blocks my attacks with my blades with his wrist guards but after the first four, his wrist guards are useless and destroyed. I move around his large form. More agile than I imagined but still not as swift as a smaller man.

My knife is at his throat.

He tries to make my body move by uselessly attempting to grab it. I move a foot to his lower back and force him to his knees, then push him onto his stomach, my knife never leaving his throat. I place my legs onto his arms so he can't throw my off without his throat being slit and he can't attempt to remove my arms.

'Ah, my father must have taught to that. He always used to use the exact same combination on me. I never managed to beat him,' he comments with a scorned child's bitterness.

'Then you were a poor student,' I harshly reply. Torian would have hated such a large and useable weakness. He would have done whatever it took, worked as hard and long as it took, to remove it. Why are you thinking about this? *********** dreams.

'Maybe, maybe not. We might see yet,' he replies evasively. I press the blade closer to his neck to silence his taunting words.

'Any last words, Captain?'

'Just a few. Is this because of what my father did to you or because I'm Republic?'

'That's more than a few.' I imagine his tighter frown. 'Your father first, the Republic second. Any more pointless questions?'

'No.'

'Good. Good bye then,' I calmly call as I tense my arm to move it across his throat. My blade starts to cut.

'Not for that reason, Cyare.'

'Torian?' I whisper, my movements stopping. Only silence meets my call.

I feel a sharp pain in my crotch. I look down and see a blade sticking out of my inner thigh. I stare blankly at it, not recognising that it came from inside the Captains armour. I switch pain receptors off.

And then I'm sent across the room. I let my guard down. I let my position slacken. I let a dead man's voice weaken me.

The Captain stands and holds a hand to his neck, the small amount of blood from a cut minor artery seeping through the cracks of his fingers.

'Round two?' he asks.

I only reply by raising my turret and shooting his knee caps and ankles. He falls to the ground and turns onto his back. I stand over him.

'I'll be back one day. Until then, send word to your sister I'm coming for her and her precious Havoc Squad next.' I don't mention the Jedi. And I don't mention his brother.

'You... monster.'

'At least I'm walking,' I reply.

I close the door behind me. I walk from his room with the smile of an old friend whose had a very satisfactory meeting. On my way out, I tell the young soldier the Captain wants to see him as I take my blaster back. He salutes me and says a very nervous but pleased good bye.

My visit was far from satisfactory.


----


Spoiler

EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
01.11.2013 , 09:42 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee more! I'm also still mourning the loss of Torian. He's just so.. so.. om nom.
He really is. Which is why I'm starting that AU series in the AU weekly challenge thread called 'Haran' where Torian is alive! and it's two years later.
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
Heehee! Gault you sly devil you.