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The Life that's Left


iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
01.12.2013 , 12:13 PM | #21
Gault and HK are pretty hilarious together, and I have to say your Gault is growing on me. Well, character growth in general is a fun thing

I was wondering if her memory of Torian would influence how she went after the General's children...interesting, very interesting. Looking forward to this confrontation with the Havoc Squad CO (cause I have an inkling...just a baby one, but an inkling nonetheless)
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
01.13.2013 , 06:10 PM | #22
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
Gault and HK are pretty hilarious together, and I have to say your Gault is growing on me. Well, character growth in general is a fun thing
I'm glad you liked it.
I was so very unsure. And I hope he does grow on you because well, otherwise the next ?? posts will be like torture and you might stop reading...
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
I was wondering if her memory of Torian would influence how she went after the General's children...interesting, very interesting. Looking forward to this confrontation with the Havoc Squad CO (cause I have an inkling...just a baby one, but an inkling nonetheless)
Well, I have no comment on that because otherwise it would be a spoiler.




Three hours later...



I walk down the ships ramp with a tred that echoes through the hanger bay. I walk to the ships exit and jump down the ledge, landing lightly on the muddy ground. I look around and see no better place. I sit down.

I pull out my serum and stare at it. I move it up and down, watching the thick liquid move with a vague but bored fascination. So you're my life, huh?

I shake my head and look up at the sky. I don't see the stars. I see my knife at his neck and my hand tangled in his hair. And then I see myself falter.

What the f*** happened?

I should have killed him. I almost killed him. I was so close. I bring my fist back hard onto the wall next to me and then slowly peel it out when I feel a little less irate. I know I should go back and kill him. But I won't. Because of memory, insanity, or something else, I won't kill him tonight. And tomorrow I will leave. *********** idiot.

Torian's death shouldn't change anything. I was going to go down this path when he lived no matter what the inevitable cost. Liar. So why can't I now? How did I get so *********** weak? What happened to me?

'Want something, Gault?'

'No more than usual, babe,' he easily replies, stopping to stand above me, looking out to what little can be seen of this 'city' as he stretches. 'Though I wouldn't mind two thousand credits.'

'Then go work for it yourself,' I harshly reply.

'Like the farmers do?' he asks mockingly.

'Yes.' No point in denying it. 'What were you doing in my accounts?'

'No more than usual, my dear,' Gault repeats again.

I shake my head and look back down to the vile in my hand. What else do you do to me?

'A shuttle leaves for Nar Shaddaa in a week where it will be complete with limited beverages and unlimited flea infested refugees,' Gault explains with displeasure and an outward flick of his hands.

'Sounds like your kind of flight,' I reply back. It's Gault's choice to stay or not. As long as he doesn't interfere, I won't kill him. One dead man interfering is more than enough. I don't want two of them. And I wouldn't mind having an organic to talk to; an all robot ship does get tedious and I can only stare at a frozen man for so long.

'Well, I was hoping to get a better one.'

'What could be better than that?' I sarcastically ask. I look to the sky and wonder what it would be like to be a refugee: no home, no credits, no plan except survival with only a history being left behind and a cheap shuttle to the scum of the galaxy. I remember when I left Tython. It wasn't on a shuttle. I stole the General's ship. I wasn't poor, desperate or with only survival in my plan. I didn't have a home to leave. I guess you can only leave your past behind when it's a nice home free of blood stained walls. The rest of us have to carry our blood with us. Some more literal than others, I think with a wry smile.

'Oh, I don't know. Maybe travelling with an old associate and some sort of psychotic droid on a nicely furnished and flea free ship.'

'Maybe. As long as you're prepared to die there.' I don't bother lying to him. It's not a threat, only a warning. I don't know what I'm doing half the time. I seem to walk between extremes. Belsavis, huh? Thoughts seem to have abandoned me these days. Feelings seem to be soon following them.

Gault doesn't reply to that. 'So what is that you're always shooting up on?'

I roll up my sleeve. 'Some unique types of blood, some kolto and a great deal of other things you really don't want to know,' I reply as I inject it into my arm. I hold in my groan of relief.

'I'll take your word for it.' Gault keeps standing above me and I'm wondering if he's waiting for us to leave this planet. I'll disappoint him for a little longer.

'Blood, though?' His distaste is palpable.

'Yes. Do you want to know whose? Or how I get it?' I tease.

I hear the motions and noises that are the Devaronian shivering and stepping back a little as if I was going to show him that like I do so many other things. I smile a little. I wish I was lying.

'Neither, my dear. That's two secrets I'd rather live without knowing.' I laugh and we drift into a pause that is eventually broken by Gault's impatience. 'Well, I'm ready for the hyper lanes when you are, my dear.'

I don't move. My eyes stay on the stars.

'Do you think people can change, Gault? Or are we all planets that only ever see some of the stars and as time passes, we see more and different stars? That we don't change, only what other's see of us do.'

'A little deep for me, don't you think?' Gault asks awkwardly.

'You mean crime lords don't all sit together at the end of the day and ethereally speak after shaking the pockets of peasants and stepping on up starting thugs?' I sardonically tease.

'This might crush one of your adorable fantasies but... no, my dear, we really don't. At the end of a lucrative day, we all sit in our separate empire's and plot all the other's down falls before sending for more dancers and falling asleep in the naked bodies of at least three women.'

'I don't know about crushing any dreams but you certainly gave me a few nightmares,' I sarcastically retort. Gault chuckles and I can feel his eyes on me. 'Do you think they can?' I ask again.

Gault hesitates in his answer and I imagine a list appearing of different answers and he can't decide which to go with. To me, it would be divided into the truth and things I want to hear. To Gault, I think it's a choice between the genuine and the fake.

'Sometimes. Under the right circumstances or for the right reason.' So he chose what I wanted to hear. I'd rather evasive sarcasm.

'The right circumstances?' I push. Shut up.

'You already know what circumstances have the power to change people, my dear. I don't need to repeat them.' No, he doesn't. I guess I do know. If something happens at the wrong or right time depending on your view, at the wrong or right age, in the wrong or right place, then you can adapt to survive. But I'm tired of surviving.

'And the reasons?'

'My favourite would be credits. You'll find I'll do almost anything for the right price.'

'And that's what makes you just so gosh darn* trustworthy, Gault.'

I won't press the question. I was stupid to think Gault would tell me everything I want to hear. I know my reasons. I just lost them and can't seem to find them again.

I gaze fixedly on one star and try to discern what it is. But I can't do it alone. Only when I access my data core can I do it. And then the beauty and challenge of it disappears and I feel so much more... alone.

'Do you ever look at the stars, Gault, and get a pain right here?' I place my palm over my missing heart. I give in to the dull ache for a moment that seems to spread into my hand and my eyes begin to sting. 'Because they're so beautiful? And there's so many...' I pause and shake my head at my own stupidity. Maybe I am going insane.

But in my melancholy insanity I continue. 'And you think: "I want to get closer to them, touch them, and I hope that some of that rubs off on me: the happiness, beauty and companionship..."' I clench my fists and crush the vile, glass cutting into my hand. These thoughts aren't alien to me.

Only the endings changing again to what it always was and should have always been: 'But when you get there, everything is rot. Everything is uglier than you and when you leave, you're that little bit worse as well and that little bit more alone. And it's unbearable. To see yourself decay in the mirror every day that little bit more; for each person to look at you a little bit more horrified than the last.'

'I'm sure it has nothing to do with you slaughtering all the people that came before them,' Gault breaks in with derisive reassurance.

I laugh at myself and wonder why these comments have never gotten Gault killed. Gault has more than a small point. But I can't change it. I can't let people know what I do. We all have reputations to protect. They wouldn't believe it anyway. Their love isn't why I do it. Selfish b*tch until the end.

'Does it make you fear me or hate me?' I ask curiously. Never known what Gault thinks of me killing everyone. Generally thought as long as he came out of everything alive and a little richer he didn't care.

'Neither of those, my dear,' he assures me as much as Gault can ever assure anyone of anything.

I grunt. I shake my head. 'I think I need to go vomit or kill something now.' I stand up and jump up onto the ledge. 'And if you ever let me talk like that again, Gault, I'll kill you. That was disgusting.' I spit over the ledge to where I'd been sitting and turn to the ship. I begin to walk over to it and motion for Gault to follow.

'I need a *********** drink to wash all that sh** out of my throat,' I mumble to Gault.

'I couldn't agree more, babe.'



----


* wow... it changes g** dam* into 'gosh darn'... I really can't imagine Leer (I thought it time I used her name even though in game it's 'Primacy') ever saying that. Pretty darn funny.
Spoiler

MilaniGrey's Avatar


MilaniGrey
01.14.2013 , 12:03 PM | #23
om nom Leer!
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
01.14.2013 , 05:29 PM | #24
Quote:
'This might crush one of your adorable fantasies but... no, my dear, we really don't.
This set off giggles, not gonna lie.

For what it's worth, I haven't thought that Gault has changed quickly. Course, I tend to believe that people do change, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but only if you stagnate in one spot do you stay the same. So characters changing, as long as there is sufficient reason for them to do so, makes sense to me.
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
01.14.2013 , 09:05 PM | #25
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
This set off giggles, not gonna lie.
I laughed while writing it
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
For what it's worth, I haven't thought that Gault has changed quickly. Course, I tend to believe that people do change, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but only if you stagnate in one spot do you stay the same. So characters changing, as long as there is sufficient reason for them to do so, makes sense to me.
That's very reassuring.

Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
om nom Leer!




-----



Five hours of heavy drinking later...



I look back at Gault's comatose body. I smile slightly. Something more nasty about him when he's passed out than when he's awake.

I turn and walk to the holoterminal, checking my messages. Two from Blizz. Takes all my self control to slip out again, check on Gault and then walk to HK.

'Greetings, master. Are there undesirables you need exterminated? Or did you only come for more ale?' HK ends with obvious distaste. Who thought to give a killing machine a personality anyway? Not the first time I've wished they hadn't.

'Close, HK. I want you to watch the Devaronian. Alert me immediately if he wakes up.'

'Eager query: am I to exterminate the organic afterwards? Disdainful remark: the organic does irk me so,' he screeches mournfully.

I quietly laugh. 'Not tonight, HK. Just alert me.'

'Understood, master.' If HK's proud, metal shoulders could slouch in disappointment than they would be.

My primary entertainment aside from fantasies of the General's children's deaths was to watch and listen to Gault and HK's bickering. It seems Gault wants his own ruthless killing machine to help secure and expand his Empire: HK's loyalty could not be bought. It also seems Gault constantly feels a need to belittle, criticise and generally be cynical of others beliefs systems. Guess it wasn't personal to Torian after all. After their discussions one of them would slink to me and complain of the other. Reminds me of how things used to be. It hurts more than it helps.

'Hey, go set course for any planet you want after you complete my new orders and we can kill all the organics you want to on it,' I offer with an indulgent smile.

The droids eyes somehow shine a brighter yellow and he gives me continuing thanks. I wave them away and have to order HK to leave me alone to watch the Devaronian.

I walk to the cockpit and stare at the blanket I cast aside when Gault arrived. I think about picking it up and wrapping myself in it. But I don't. I press play and stand stoic. It lasts only moments. My throat closes with the strain of withholding tears and then from laughter.

I don't watch them twice. I'm aware of the time and I go down and give HK permission to go to the cockpit. I know Blizz is safe now, that's enough. My next message should arrive tomorrow.

I go to my room and hesitate over the chest in my wardrobe. Same as it always was only what's inside it has changed. I touch the lid, my fingers trailing to the clasp. I shake my head and stand up, my hand instead moving to the tooth at my neck.

I don't let it go, even as I walk to the cockpit. Seems HK wants us to board a Republic vessel with a few senators on it. I tell him it's not a planet and he begins his protest, listing all the undesirables there are on board and the greater efficiency in that strike than inefficient, large scale massacres on a non-strategic planet.

'Fine, fine. Any General's on board?' I ask with a malicious grin.

'Confirmation: two, master.'

'Then what are you waiting for?'

MilaniGrey's Avatar


MilaniGrey
01.14.2013 , 11:39 PM | #26
Oh, HK. You delightful little psychopath, you.
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
01.17.2013 , 12:42 AM | #27
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
Oh, HK. You delightful little psychopath, you.




Two days later...



'Gault, what's wrong?'

'How do you know something's wrong?'

'Because your heart rate slows but your breathing becomes heavy under the concentration of the former which is always a sign your trying to stay calm. Also, I overheard your mutterings of 'this bad, this is really, really bad' down below.'

I keep flicking through the datapad as I answer him over my shoulder. I've already memorised my next targets information. Only my plan is a little weak. It relies on him wanting information from me as much as I want it from him.

'Do you often take to listening to what I do, my dear?' he asks with perverted curiosity. I'm guessing by the direction of his voice, movements and other sounds, he's leaning against a console behind me and to my right.

'Yes.' My short answer disturbs him.

'Unnerving but alright.' Gault sighs, looks me over and then falls back into a waiting chair only to lean forward on the edge of the seat a moment later. 'I've heard some news from Nar Shaddaa.'

'I don't see how that's unusual so I'm going to guess it's what you heard not that you did hear something.' I toss the datapad over my shoulder where it loudly clatters on the ground. Gault doesn't look at it fall and neither do I. I turn my attention to entirely to Gault.

'As sharp as ever, my dear,' Gault replies with thick sarcasm. 'It might concern you more than as a taxi driver.' He pauses. I scowl. I hate pauses. 'There's a new drug going around Nar Shaddaa.'

'When isn't there?' I reply, leaning back in my chair and raising my feet onto the consol. Feel a slight twang that no rebuke comes from it. Anyone that would have is dead.

'Every second week,' he replies with firm honesty. I raise eye brow at this bit of information. 'But it's not the recreational sort. It's called Cyclone. It makes you faster with quicker reflex's. Just like a killing machine,' he pointedly finishes as if I had missed his meaning.

'Let me guess, Gault, you think it's a poor imitation of my serum?' I ask dismissive and derisively.

'Honestly, my dear, I don't know what it is. I only know that people in my sector are being used as lab rats.' Interesting that Gault cares for his people. If I was an idiot, I would think it was more than a power means.

'If it's improving them, then what's the problem? Shouldn't it please you to have better pawns?'

'The problem is it's lethal.'

The image of the failed experiments flashes before me. Words of the datapads. My serums official name was Serum III. If there was an unofficial one, I wouldn't know. They didn't inform me of anything that helped me. And in the datapads, they just stopped counting at XXV. Gault might be right or might be wrong. I'm leaning towards wrong. But either way, we are going to Nar Shaddaa.

'Interesting you should mention a holiday to Nar Shaddaa. I wanted to visit a furniture shop there: "Balkar's Interior Refurbishments" it's called. Heard of it?'

'Yes. My network tells me it might be a front for the SIS as well as selling some high quality furniture.' Gault's eyes narrow on me when I smile with satisfaction. 'But you already know that.'

'I do,' I proudly affirm. There was no mention of Resmond's sister on the datapad as to her whereabouts or contact information, but there were a few transmissions between him and an SIS agent in relation to Havoc Squad. I've been tracking down different parts of the information and it's led me to there. This lead is the best I have at the moment.

'Well, whatever you're planning, keep it off my streets,' Gault warns, finally leaning back into his chair.

'When have I ever bloodied anything of yours?' I ask with sweet, indignant innocence.

'Two days ago you cleaned your helmet with my shirt!' Gault exclaims resentfully.

I laugh and set course for Nar Shaddaa. I press the intercom and inform HK that we will be landing on Nar Shaddaa by morning. I also mention that there will be many undesirables. Interesting how a droid works better when their insatiable need for killing is kept a little sedated primarily through the promise of more killing to come.

Gault stays with me and we talk of the days to come with the datapad behind me, Gault next to me, a mental droid at my back and the hyperlanes in front of me. For the first time in months, I feel strangely alive.

I absently finger the tooth at my neck, causing new, small cuts on my fingertips. The strange feeling doesn't leave me when we land. I'm walking down a prepared path. This time, I feel like death isn't at the end. It feels like something good is coming our way. And I don't trust it.



----


Spoiler

MilaniGrey's Avatar


MilaniGrey
01.17.2013 , 11:43 AM | #28
Oooh Trooper and Agent stuff thrown in there. Om nom nom.
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
01.17.2013 , 02:35 PM | #29
Oh dear, I worry for Balkar
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
01.19.2013 , 12:02 AM | #30
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
Oh dear, I worry for Balkar
Would I really ever kill someone as loveable and hot as Jonas Balkar?
(Don't take that either way. That's the one part of this Nar Shaddaa business I haven't written yet thus the delays.)
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
Oooh Trooper and Agent stuff thrown in there. Om nom nom.
Yeah, Agent was unplanned. I was just looking at them the other day and remembered some things and thought it would be interesting. I hope it's alright
I'll put spoiler warnings later on for those parts.



Two days later...


'So what's the plan?' Gault asks at the end of his briefing.

'The usual,' I flippantly reply as I glance over my far too limited range of weapons. I touch the cross bow. Yes. You might be some fun. 'Done once for each target so... five times if no other dealers are found.'

'Do I want to know what 'the usual' is, my dear?' Gault asks wearily as I strap the crossbow onto my back and throwing knives on my thighs and belt.

'HK, tell him 'the usual',' I order with a sadistic smile, continuing my selection.

'Explanation: 'the usual' refers to master's tactics in 98% of missions: this is the hunt, the killing and then the destruction.' His voice hits strange notes in his manic excitement at the end. I never thought I'd meet something so much more willing to kill and destroy than I am.

'And that's basically it,' I conclude. 'We're about to end the hunting phase for the first target and enter the killing phase and then the destruction phase will involve either levelling the apartment or smashing and then burning the Cyclone.'

'And you say Manaan was an accident,' Gault cynically sneers.

'A tip for living longer, Gault,' I pull the crossbow out, ready to fire and the bolt an inch from his forehead, 'don't test me.'

HK watches the interaction silently. A mild surprise. I turn away from Gault and place the cross bow back. I look over HK for the last time and then nod in satisfaction.

'Well, as completely full proof and thought through as that plan is,' Gault comments with sarcastic deference, 'I think we should do it my way.'

'Protest: master, to do anything the organic's way is to lower efficiency and the number of undesirables exterminated.'

I smile slyly at them both. 'I see no problem there, HK, so silence.' I turn to Gault.' What's the plan, organic?' I ask mockingly of Gault.

Gault looks at me suspiciously and I can sense some form of irritation from the droid. This is almost better than Gault's and Torian's antipathy to each other. Only this comes at no personal cost when I manipulate it for my amusement.

'We go in as customers, get them to show us where it is and buy it all from them,' Gault briefly explains.

'Hmm, I like the direction at the start but let's change the end: go in as customers, get them to show us where it is and then kill them and destroy the Cyclone.' I feel like I'm entering negotiations or a barter with a shop keeper. I find my plan is a compromise. The end makes the initial part pointless but buying isn't really my style.

'If destroying the Cyclone means destroying a building then no, my dear, we won't do it like that.' Gault makes it sound like what he wants has a chance of happening; like if he wanted me to do something, then I would do it and I was powerless to stop it. Or that he was strong enough to assure it happens if I rebel. It twists my supple lips into a callous and derisive smile. I will humour him for now.

I would never destroy the building. I would have a slim chance of escape. And I will not let Manaan happen again.

'What do you think, HK? Is that really acceptable?'

'Negative, master.'

'Your way it is then, Gault!' I smile brightly and bound to the exit with a strange joy, excitement and anticipation. Like this is going to be a good week. And I don't understand. But I know I will. No matter what I do, it will happen. So for now, I will run at the fate head on.

There's nothing more you can do to me, Fate. There isn't a trump card you can play. I will keep running. I will keep running until I reach him. So hit me with your best. I dare you.