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The Life that's Left

MilaniGrey's Avatar

02.22.2013 , 12:08 PM | #71
Mercenary pride!

Really though, that shoulder mounted gun was made for Leer.

And as always, loving the story.
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

Mathemagica's Avatar

02.23.2013 , 02:15 AM | #72
Oh yeah, the shoulder cannon is on its way (though I hope we don't have to implant it in our bodies like Leer).

I'm very curious where it is going. The number of functioning organics and droids in her life has increased since the beginning of "The life that's left". And this time they don't work together. Very interesting...

EverSteam's Avatar

02.24.2013 , 05:42 AM | #73

Once landed...

'HK, follow set orders one, two and four. Use tactic 1A revised, 5A and 9C.'

'Understood, master.' HK stands straighter if that's possible and stalks onto the ship, the cargo ramp closing behind him. I let out a breath I seem to always hold around the droid but it isn't because I'm scared of him. I don't want to think about why, I just know I feel more human when I'm not around him.

I don't look at Gault as I walk off but he follows at my side. I've always liked hanger bays: the high walls, the empty space and the general silence of a private hanger. My ship either seems to full and small or too large and empty. I don't think of it as 'home' anymore. There are too many things on there that stop it from having the comfort of a home and the memories aren't at the top of the list.

'So what's 'tactic 1A revised'?' So much for the silence.

I leer at Gault for a moment before looking ahead. 'Oh, just that HK should shoot anything that moves excluding me. At least, that was 1A. The revised part was made to include you.'

I wait for a sarcastic response that never comes and laugh airily in that way I hate. 'Don't worry, it's the tactic I use 90% of the time.'

'And the other 10%?'

I smirk and wink at Gault as we stop in front of the elevator. He only forces a shiver and frowns. My smirk vanishes and I know Gault is thinking about what my other orders were. I hope for his sake his mind hasn't also wandered to the engine room.

The elevator arrives and Gault and I lean against the far wall, watching the elevator door. I jump up onto a slight out crop of metal and let my feet dangle. We must both have had too many experiences in an elevator because our hands hover over our blasters. I doubt they were the same experiences though. I learnt the hard way to never enter an elevator without a blaster.

'You know, I did try to make it exclude hanger workers originally but HK had some confusion over that so now I just pretend I don't see the sniped bodies behind cargo crates in the hanger when I get back.'

'My dear, sometimes I really can't tell the difference between you and that psychopathic droid.'

We each push off our walls and stand at the door as it nears floor level. I consider telling Gault in explicit detail the differences between us. But I don't feel like teasing Gault.

'Yeah, same here.'

We walk out and don't meet any trouble. It's a nice city. But my eyes stray away from the light parts of the buildings and it's crowded streets with bustling and mostly smiling people. They turn to the dark streets between the tall buildings and they see the dirt in those alleys and more than a few paupers.

I glance at Gault and see his eyes are on any armed men. I smirk at that and weave through the crowd towards my contact. I look up to the sky and see the four moons. I stop when I see Dxun right above us, green and glowing. Gault is lost ahead but I don't notice. The other three are at quarters and halves, paler than Dxun and Dagri is nothing but a silver crescent on the edge of the horizon.

Why didn't I believe it would be so beautiful, Torian? From orbit is was as impressive as other moons. After seeing more than your fair share of them, the edge of their magnificence is dulled. But I don't know why but Dxun... is different. I feel something tug in me and know I need to be there.


I shake my head and step back, knocking a small kid over. I hear his cries and think someone is shouting at me for it. My blades extend and my turrets try to come out through my jacket.

There's nothing waiting for you there, I remind myself. I know that. I know it. But my breath catches anyway and for a moment I feel like I'm on the edge of crying. Gault pushes his way to me through the crowd and pulls me into somewhere. His hand is at my cheek and the other is gripping my shoulder. He's standing close like always and his mouth is moving but I don't hear a sound. He's bending down to try and catch my eye but my visions blurred. His hand moves from my shoulder to my neck.

I didn't know it would be so hard to be near there. Why can't this get easier? The exit wound only seems to get larger and larger, no matter how many bandages I tie around it. It isn't enough. It just isn't enough anymore.

I take a deep and shaky breath. But it doesn't work. I dig my nails into my palms and don't stop until I'm gasping in pain and my hands are orange with blood.

'Gault, I'm fine.' I shake free of his hands and turn my back to him. I find myself staring at a creamy white wall. 'It's just a little hot, that's all.'

'You don't have a fever, sweat or pulse, babe, and it's actually quite cool.' There's too much stern concern in his voice and not enough satire. Why can't he just say 'you're always hot, babe, when I need him to most?

'Well, that would be part of the problem then, wouldn't it?' I ask testily.

'No, I don't think it is.' Gault steps closer and I feel his hands on my shoulders. I curse him in my mind. I hate it when he's like this. Why can't he just not care?

My fists clench again, my nails slipping into their holes. I feel my blades extending. I shake free of his hands again.

'Come one, we've got to get to our contact.'

I walk out into the main street again. I don't look up. I keep my eyes directly ahead and I wonder what will happen when Gault isn't there to follow me. What will happen when the bandage clasp breaks like the lock on a door and Gault slips away?

I clear my throat uncomfortably and link my arm through Gault's. He leans down to me and whispers estimations of the wealth and perversions of different women in the street as if my hands weren't bleeding, as if I wasn't lying to him or keeping secrets, and like I wasn't breaking a apart a little bit further with every step. Isn't that what you want? Who would ever think that Gault would save someone's life for no credits?

'I thought you had never been to Iziz?' I ask teasingly.

'I haven't my dear. I've only been around the sectors a few times.'


'Don't you know women are the same everywhere, my dear?'

I chuckle and take his arm that's linked with mine with my other hand and twist it behind his back, still walking. A few civilians stop for a few moments and watch us but no one approaches us.

'Excluding you, babe.' Gault gasps out. 'There's no one else like you.'

I look at Gault sharply. That f***ing sincerity and concern are back in his eyes and his tight frown. I don't know why I hate it, only that I don't trust it or like it. I shove him away and stalk ahead. He follows, rubbing his arm and I can feel his satisfied smirk.

F*** you, Gault. I shouldn't of revised 1A.



MilaniGrey's Avatar

02.24.2013 , 02:06 PM | #74
Leer and Gault interactions suit me just fine. I'm kind of starting to ship them, if only in the platonic sense. She needs a warm body to keep her company, not HK.
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

EverSteam's Avatar

02.26.2013 , 08:31 AM | #75
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
Leer and Gault interactions suit me just fine. I'm kind of starting to ship them, if only in the platonic sense. She needs a warm body to keep her company, not HK.
That's good because here's some more


After their meeting...

'So how much is this job paying, my dear?'

I look at my holo map of the city. I turn a corner and Gault follows. His footsteps echo through the streets when mine are quite thuds despite the sharp heels I wear. Gault's eyes always seem to glow red at night. If I didn't know Gault so well it might unnerve me. There's something in superstition that never quite leaves you no matter how sceptical or rational you are.

'90,000 credits. Interested in knowing how much you can steal from me?' I cynically inquire. I'm aware of the moons that are still above us and it seems to press on my shoulders that refuse to slump. I can't stop being aware of it. It's innocent but knowing glow seems to slowly wear down something in me.

'I would never-' Gault typically begins.

'Steal anything from me,' I finish with a frown. 'Shove the crap, Gault. So are you sticking around to help or what?' I ask impatiently as I turn another lit corner. People move without fear here but that's because they walk in the light. I notice the glances they give us and the subtle wide berth. I'm not in my armour but they still seem to feel unnerved by us.

'How much of the bounty do I see if I do?' It's been a long time since we had real business to discuss. I guess it's been a month or so since we did any real bounties together.


'40%.' He counters immediately.

'20% or none. I really don't need your help in assassinating a politician no matter how guarded he is.'

'So you admit you're a high price assassin now?'The words are an accusation I don't appreciate. Gault has no right to comment. None that I acknowledge at least.

'Don't really give a **** what you call it as long as it keeps me moving and paid.'

'Running away from something I don't about, babe?' Gault fails at sounding casual when it matters. Or maybe I just know him too well. I notice the slight sharpening of his gaze, the eyes that scrutinise mine and the slight frown that other's might miss.

'No more than usual.'

Gault laughs and I allow myself a small smirk despite the disgusted fear that grips my chest. You really have no f***ing idea, Gault.

We turn more streets in silence. My target is on the other side of town but I prefer to walk. Still, it's only a few more minutes and I'm not in a hurry. The longer I take the drunker my target will be getting. But I would also rather hurry away from the moons gaze.

'I'm dying to know, what's with the clothes?' Gault bursts out. I give him a quick smirk before we're separated by a speeder. We join again and keep to the side of the path. I take Gault's arm again and he gives me a small smile.

'Well, I thought you wouldn't want to join me on this so guns blazing wouldn't be necessary. I figure it's easier to attract the son of a rich politician when I'm not in armour and holding a gun or two.'

Gault chuckles and agrees. 'So the plan is seduce the son who will take you back to daddy's well guarded estate where you will slit the sons throat first and then the fathers? Didn't he mention a bonus for the son's death as well?'

'30000 credits,' I unnecessarily confirm. I know Gault listened to every word said. Anything to do with money doesn't miss Gault. I'm not sure I like it actually phrased and spoken aloud.

'Well, if you really want to snare him, I think you're top should be lowered just about this much.' Gault raises his free hand pulls the front of my top down. I allow the movements but shoot him a warning, moving my free hand to his arm where it begins to grip tightly. He only laughs again and moves the hand from his arm. I twist it once before letting go. I don't want him thinking I'm getting soft.

'Also, you're skirt is far too long. You fit in with every other prude in this city.' Gault's derision and disapproval is palpable.

I choke my laugh down and settle for a scowl. 'That's kind of the idea, Gault. I'm a rich woman, not a whore.'

'You c-'

'Finish that sentence and you will lose your arm,' I warn. I don't need to draw a weapon to pull through on the threat.

'Alright, my dear. I just wanted to help.' Gault leans down to whisper in my ear, his glowing red eyes bearing into my robotic, red light. 'If I were him, I'd try to take you whether you were in full armour or not, my dear.'

'Gault, you do that every two hours as you are,' I point out impatiently. He smirks, snickers and straightens. The day Gault actually tries something is the same day I will I decide to never kill anyone again. Both are highly unlikely events.

I lead him through the streets, checking my map every now and again. Eventually, after minutes of silence, we reach my destination. I stop in front of the most expensive looking cantina in the city and think this must be the place.

'So is this your stop as well, Gault, or aren't you coming with me?' I take my arm out from his and look the two guards out the front over. They do the same but not for the same reason. I take a deep breath and keep it all in.

'No, I've got some more lower class places to visit.'

'Ah, extending your Empire one unsuspecting planet at a time?'

'Obviously, my dear.'

'How long will you take?'

'Three weeks minimum, babe, if all goes well. I doubt I'll need your help for this one.'

'Call if you do need muscle. I'll be a few hours on this but I'm thinking I might be able to find a few other jobs for the next three weeks.'

'I wasn't aware Onderon had many farmers,' Gault replies with a sly grin. I flip him a sign with my fingers and he chuckles. I walk into the cantina unchallenged and scan the crowd for my target. I take a deep breath. Long time since I did this. Guess I'll find out soon if I still can.

Even under the roof of the three story cantina and hotel, I can still feel the moon watching me and I feel my control slowly breaking.


After her job is completed five hours later...

I stagger onto the ship. HK is there to greet me and I'm thankful Gault is still out. I think he is. I can't concentrate my hearing or vision well enough to tell if he is on board. I'm not sure if he'll be back at all in the next few weeks. But I left HK with orders in case of the contrary.

'HK, in addition to previous commands you are to also follow order 3A.'

I don't look back as it gives me an affirmative. I climb the stairs to my room, my feet and shoes feeling as heavy as they are. My hands strangely shake as I undo the lock on the cabinet. I take the first vile I see and fill the needle. I don't feel the small ***** on my arm as it goes in but I can feel the serum go through my... veins.

I put the needle on my desk before the first sob comes. It is sudden and violent. It's followed by another. And then another. And another.

They escape my mouth like the questions in my mind escape the box I locked them away in. For each question I sob a little louder and a little harder. By the end, they are convulsions that shock through my whole body and leave me trying to gasp for air before the next one comes.

My hand finds the tooth around my neck like it always has when I think of him. The tooth slips into the crescent dent in my left hand sits there, cutting its way further under my skin as if it never wants to leave. It's never felt so heavy in my hand and I have never hated and loved it as much as I do now.

What can you do with the tokens of someone's life? What do you do with what they leave behind? When you are left with too much and to carry them with you is such a heavy burden but you can't throw away anything: what do you do then? How can you remove everything that they touched when the thing they touched most was your heart? Is it foolish to want to keep the dead with us by keeping things as they left it? What part of us harbours the stupidity that keeps the hope that they might return?

What can you do when you feel there might have been something unsaid and that it will stay that way forever? How can you live with the undone because that's what eats at your soul? How do you stop the memories and the thoughts of what could be?

How do you fill the hours and moments that they would have? What do you do when they are not there to greet you? To smile at you or be there when you fall? How can you continue to walk into rooms knowing they will never follow and they won't be there? How do you go home knowing that it's your home alone?

How can you smile knowing you're doing it without them? How can you stop the sadness and the memory of their dead body under your hands and in your arms? How do you keep the memories of their life over the memories of their death? How can you remember the touch of their warm skin over the touch of their cold skin?

How do you stop the voice that whispers to you of what they would do at every moment? The hallucinations of the sound of their footsteps or the gentle murmur of their voice to wake you from your sleep? What can you do to dull the pain of waking to know you won't see them that day or any after?

What can you do when the anger and sadness won't leave no matter what you do? What do you do when all purpose disappears? How can you go on when you know each day will be that little bit harder because they will never be in it? What can you do with the time you have left?

What can you do with the life that's left behind?



MilaniGrey's Avatar

02.26.2013 , 11:53 AM | #76
Hng, my feels... so delicious.
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

iamthehoyden's Avatar

03.01.2013 , 04:29 PM | #77
More than Gault or HK or anything else, grief is her constant companion. Seems like it walks up and hits her in the face sometimes and other times it slinks back and hides in shadows, but it's always there.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

EverSteam's Avatar

03.04.2013 , 11:38 PM | #78
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
More than Gault or HK or anything else, grief is her constant companion. Seems like it walks up and hits her in the face sometimes and other times it slinks back and hides in shadows, but it's always there.
Very true and at times it shows more than others.
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
Hng, my feels... so delicious.


8 hours later...

I notice three things simultaneously when I wake. The first thing I notice is that my face aches. My eye is sore and my jaw throbs. I force it to unclench where as soon as I stop thinking about it, it clenches again. My back teeth cut into freshly cut gums and I can taste my blood.

The second thing I notice is I'm not where I fell asleep. I'm still on the floor but I have a pillow under my head and a blanket over me. I sit up and look at my open cupboard. Everything else is as I left it. I unclench my jaw again and firmly rub my cheeks with my fingertips. It doesn't help with the ache. It only causes quickly bleeding cuts to form on my cheeks as I forget about my nails.

The third thing I noticed all the while is that my head feels clearer and only a dull sadness and anger that comes close to numbness throbs in my chest. I don't want to think of the next time my emotions will boil over. For now, I only feel annoyed and ashamed of myself.

I pick myself up with a brisk irritation at finding myself in such an inconvenient and useless position. I walk to the desk, pick up the discarded syringe and fill it up again. I don't feel relief, a sigh or a groan threaten to escape my calm hold as I inject the bright liquid. But calm isn't the right word. It's more a blankness where thoughts can't pervade or grow and feelings are dull impulses that are easily laughed at from a distance and behind a cover of fog.

I take a deep breath and walk to the door. I look to the refresher room straight ahead and then I look down to HK who has emerged from Gault's room. The blood drips down onto my shoulder and I withhold a sigh at what's only going to be a delay.

I walk down stairs. HK is stalking through the ship to the exit.

'Stop, HK. Did you disobey order 3A last night?'

'Negative, master.' HK starts to continue his stalking watch but I call him to a stop again.

'Did Gault come aboard last night?'

'Affirmative, master. Should I liquidate him the next time he tries to, master?'

'Negative, HK. Inactivate tactic 9C and follow tactic 9A until orders change and follow order 3B instead of 3A. That is all. Continue all other orders the same.'

I walk to the cockpit with assured and impatient steps. Once I settle this, it has never happened. I feel disgust and shame at my lapse in control. I need to be stronger. I should be stronger. Now the grief has recede like water left to cool after it boils, there's a little bit less water and a little bit more heated air. I promise myself that it will never happen again. How many more times will I make and break that vow?

The chair that used to be Mako's squeaks quietly under me as I swiftly swing myself into it and my goal. I pull up the security camera holovids from last night. I watch Gault arrive on the ship from one camera, a grin on his face. Watch him enter the cargo bay in another and ask HK if I'm back. I fast forward through their banter. HK continues his march and Gault leaves the camera. Another watches him walk up the stairs into my room. I growl in frustration with myself at dismantling the one in my room. But it is beyond doubt. My state wasn't something I ever wanted Gault to see. Why?

'Missing me that much already?'

'In your dreams, Gault,' I heatedly reply. I clench my fists and close the playback.

'Well, you know what they say, my dear, dreams do come true.'

I turn around and see Gault leaning against the bridge doorway as always. I glare at his mocking smirk and raised eyebrow.

'Not in this universe they don't.'

Gault shrugs and pushes off the doorframe. 'I don't know, babe, I've had my share come true,' he replies with a sly smile.

'Like what?'

'Well, if I tell you, they might just stop coming true.'

'Right, Gault. And was one of those dreams that came true sneaking into my room in the early hours of the morning?' I raise my eyebrow and lean back in my chair. I cross my arms and my fingers trace the edge of the plating over my lungs, the silk singlet slipping easily along the metal.

'Let's both keep our secrets, my dear.' I narrow my eyes at Gault into something too soft and suspicious to be a glare. 'By the way, you know you've got some stuff all around...' He moves a finger in the air in the shape of a circle around his mouth. 'Right?'

I scowl and curse at him as I touch my cheeks. The blood has mostly dried. I'm sure my face is an orange mess.
Gault chuckles and turns away. 'Glad to see you're feeling better, my dear.'

And then Gault leaves the ship. I don't think a worse good bye could have been said.

I shake my head and put thoughts of Gault out of my head as I walk to the refresher. I'm surprised to see that my reflection is smiling a little under the blood. I get out the small first aid kit kept in there and begin to treat my small cuts. All the while, that small little smile of slightly parted lips and white teeth doesn't fade.

Is this what feeling better is?


MilaniGrey's Avatar

03.05.2013 , 12:33 PM | #79
*wants to hug Leer, but also wants to live*
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

iamthehoyden's Avatar

03.05.2013 , 06:11 PM | #80
Looking forward to seeing where this winding road leads
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box