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My Name is Solomon Crae

iamthehoyden's Avatar

01.06.2013 , 08:41 AM | #61
23 - Cages

Skari groaned and opened her eyes. Her head was fuzzy, like she'd gotten into Gault's stash. She peered around and saw force field and beyond that, the familiar walls of the ship. The cage. She was in the f**king cage.

She sat up slowly, pushing her hair out of her face. Where was her crew? She stilled her movements, listening for any sounds of them in the ship, but could hear nothing beyond the whir of the engine and the normal creak of metal struts.

She'd been changing, in her room, and then...she rubbed her face, trying to focus. The hiss of the airlock opening pulled her attention. The lean, blood-spattered, brown figure that walked through the door was all too familiar after all this time, but the look in his eyes was feral. A look she hadn't seen in a long time. He dropped a bag he'd been carrying on the floor.

"What is this, Crae?" she demanded in a rough voice. She struggled to get to her feet but fell, banging her head against the floor.

Crae rushed to the cage and lowered the force field, pulling her into his arms, checking her head. She struggled to push him away, her limbs reluctantly following her commands, her head aching. "Shhh," he said, "It's okay. You're safe."

"Get the f**k away from me," she snapped, pushing him away clumsily.

His jaw clenched. "I didn't want to restrain you, but it was the only way to keep you safe."

"Where the f**k is my crew?" she snarled at him, holding still, feeling weak and hating it.

"They're safe."

"Where. The F**k. Are They."

He frowned. "Safe."



Skari looked at Crae's stern face, all humor gone from it, nothing but grim determination, and swallowed. The dream was clearly over. "You planning to kill me?"

"No!" The denial burst out of him as though it were unthinkable. He reached out to touch her hair, his gaze softening. "I could never hurt you. I love you. I want you with me always. My mate."

"You're crazy," she whispered in horror, her volume growing louder as she spoke, "you thought I'd stay with you after this? You locked me up! Put me in a F**KING CAGE!"


"Get out," she said, getting to her feet.


"Out." Her glare blazed.

He took a breath, his gaze hardening. "I didn't want to do this, but you've left me no choice." He shook his head, a sad look on his face. "I can't let you go."

"Like hell." She exploded. Her body wasn't one hundred percent, but it was fast recovering, and she'd always been good at fighting when her freedom depended on it.

Skari slammed a fist into his liver. It was an incapacitating shot normally, the type that left a man gasping for air. Her body wasn't cooperating however, and the power needed to take him down just wasn't there. He tried to grab her arms, lock her in tight. Didn't want to hurt her apparently. She bared her teeth. Too bad for him, she wasn't in the same merciful state.

"Skari, w-" His words were cut short by a brutal kick to his leg and then a better punch, a more powerful one, to his ribs.

He spun, moving out of her range, but she moved with him, her reflexes kicking in. She leapt onto his back, locking her limbs around him. Arched back and unbalanced him enough to bring him to the floor, his weight crushing her lungs for a moment. She locked a forearm across his neck, squeezing the very air out of him.

"Stop. Crew," he choked out. Skari paused her choke hold, letting off the pressure slightly. "Would kill the crew."

She rolled them, coming up on top of Crae, straddling his body, ready to elbow him across the face if he tried anything. "What the f**k are you talking about?"

He was breathing heavily, but his eyes were steady, as determined as she'd ever seen them. "I won't let you go," he said.

"You can't keep me," she snarled, "What did you mean when you said 'kill the crew'? What did you do to my people?"

"Monitor, on the datapad," he nodded towards the bag he'd dropped when he walked through the door.

She watched him sharply as she reached out and snagged the bag, pulling it over to her. The datapad was on top. She flipped it on and lost her ability to breathe.

He'd caged them all.

Four screens. Four cages in what looked like an old Imperial installation to judge by the Imperial crests on everything. Mako was crying on a makeshift bunk, her head in her hands. Torian was pacing, running a hand through his hair, punching the wall every so often in frustration. Gault was standing still, his arms crossed, head down. And Blizz, Blizz was lying on the ground, examining the forcefield generators in the floor.

"What is this?" she asked in disbelief.

"They'll be safe," he said, "they'll be safe as long as you stay with me."

A huge weight crushed her chest. A nightmare come to life, that's what he was. "What?"

He reached towards her face. She snapped her head back. "I can't lose you," he whispered. "I have to put in a code," he said, "every day. To keep food coming and their air vented. Otherwise..."

"They'll die," she said, the full extent of his plan sinking in. She looked at the monitors. He held their lives in his hands. She looked back at him, at the feral determination in his eyes. He'd do it. He'd kill them.

Despair crushed her chest, making it hard to breathe. She'd let this monster into their lives. Let him into her heart. Every part of this was her fault. It had been nothing but a dream. Fooling herself the whole time, thinking she could keep them safe. She couldn't keep anyone safe. Anyone close to her got hurt, and she should have known that by now.

So stupid.

Had let him in. Should have known. Attraction should have been enough of a warning, but no, she had to hope. Stupid hope.

Always the stupid with that man.

And the people who depended on her would pay. She'd let them down. So badly. Her shoulders slumped, and she let herself fall back, away from him, her eyes fixed dazedly on the ground.

"You win," she said woodenly.


Triumph flooded my system at her words. I would keep her safe with me. Always. I loved her so much. I stood, slowly, my ribs ached where she had tried to put her fist through my chest cavity, my eyes never leaving her. Beautiful dark hair, glowing blue skin. That fire that burned so bright. She might hate me, but she'd be safe, she'd be whole.

I stopped. She was still. Not the relaxed stillness of sleep or the alert stillness of a hunter - she was still the way corpses are still. With no life left in them. My heart began to pound.

"Skari?" I said, willing her to look at me, for those flames to be back in her eyes. She didn't move, her shoulders slumped, her back bowed.

"What do you want, Crae?" she asked, her voice colorless.

"Look at me," I said, crouching down in front of her. She paused for a moment and then lifted her head. The air in my lungs left me.

She was...broken.

Her eyes were dull, her face expressionless, as though inside she had shut down, nothing but a shell left. I stood, picked up the datapad, looked at the monitors. My triumph. All the planning, preparing, the perfect execution. I looked back at my beautiful, fiery cat, as limp as a ragdoll, her spark gone out. I had done this. Hurt her worse than a blaster bolt or vibroknife blade. My chest clenched. What was this? Pain? Sorrow? ........ Regret?


Skari stared off into space, her thoughts repetitive and fuzzy.

Crae punched in a series of numbers into the datapad and spoke: "Code 452. Loose snare." He set the datapad down next to her and walked away, staring at the stairs to the upper floor.

Movement on the monitors broke her out of her stupor. Doors were opening. Cautious, the crew stepped out.

"What are you doing?" she asked the man who stood in silence.

"Releasing you," he said quietly.

"I don't understand," Skari said cautiously, standing up.

Crae turned around and walked to her, lifting her chin with his hand, a sad smile on his face. "I should have known better," he whispered, his eyes molten gold, "than to try to chain a wild animal." He kissed her hard and fast, and then dropped his hand and walked to the door.

He was gone.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

irishfino's Avatar

01.06.2013 , 10:20 AM | #62
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oo!
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

MilaniGrey's Avatar

01.06.2013 , 11:41 AM | #63
In the feels. Right in the feels. What is it with BH fics and punches to the feels?! ALLI WILL BE HAPPY, I HAVE DECIDED.

just kidding.

..anyway.. I do wish Skari and Crae could have stayed together, but he made a mistake. A very bad mistake.
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

iamthehoyden's Avatar

01.06.2013 , 12:02 PM | #64
Quote: Originally Posted by irishfino View Post
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oo!
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
In the feels. Right in the feels. What is it with BH fics and punches to the feels?! ALLI WILL BE HAPPY, I HAVE DECIDED.

just kidding.

..anyway.. I do wish Skari and Crae could have stayed together, but he made a mistake. A very bad mistake.
BH does have a tendency towards tragic stuff...not quite as bad as SW, but close sometimes. More incoming!
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

iamthehoyden's Avatar

01.06.2013 , 12:03 PM | #65
24 – Natural Habitat

We're all just animals. Just an animal. A creature of hungers and fears and instincts. I focused on my prey, blocking out everything else. My prey was stalking its prey - a grubby Nikto child digging through the garbage behind a restaurant. The kill was easy. Satisfaction. One more kill for my...

I am just an animal. I breathe, eat, walk, kill. Sleep a little. Kill some more. An animal. Simple. Keep it simple. But I have two too few legs and not enough fur.

I am not made for life among the two-legged. I know them, know their ways, but I cannot live among them. Dangerous as a blinded lion, hurting those who would offer it food. Food. Was my cat hungry? Worry clawed at me all the time, unnatural thing. Was she warm? Safe? Safer without me.

There is little difference between night and day on Nar Shaddaa. The smog and the brightly lit buildings clog the skies, bringing dusk to midday. In the slums it is always night. The scents are rank: rotting food, unwashed bodies, chemicals, and death. The sounds are harsh - the desperate need to live against the inevitability of death. I needed more prey. Something to hunt in the darkness. Purpose. I feel the lack.

Slipping through the shadows was easy. The old patterns of stalk and strike were soothing. I watched from the shadows as the street children, the lost and discarded, crept out of their hidey holes, looking for food. I'd come to know them, their patterns. Vulnerable things. As near to four-legged creatures as I'd seen - their lives were survival. Food, shelter, safety. And yet, there was kindness among them on occasion. My cat had once been these children.

I leaned back against one of the walls covered with graffiti. Looked down at my hands. They could handle a knife, cradle a rifle, kill, hurt, but they were unsuited for care, protection, for love. A snake attempting art or a bull writing poetry would have more skill.

I looked back at the children, slipping around corners, darting across open spaces. Small scurrying animals avoiding the hunters stalking them. This I knew. This I was suited for. The sweaty human with the too-bright smile giving out food. I would kill him next.

Just an animal.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

iamthehoyden's Avatar

01.06.2013 , 12:06 PM | #66
25 – Cutting Ties

"Blizz said you wanted to talk to me." Gault didn't go any farther than the bridge entry. Skari sat, her back to him, as she flipped through screens, making entries every now and again.

"I have a job I'd like you to do on Corellia. Not what we normally do, but it's a good opportunity. Right up your alley."

"No." He crossed his arms and waited.

Her shoulders stiffened, but she didn't turn around.

"Okay," she said slowly, tension creeping into her voice, "well, there's this other one on Quesh..."


"You sure?" she said, turning enough to smile stiffly at him, "it's the opportunity of a lifetime."

He scowled at her. "Maybe your little tricks work on the others. You've got Torian off playing with Mandalorians on Hoth. Blizz was chattering about some wreckage on Belsavis you wanted him to check out. Mako must be more out of it than I thought cause she actually bought your bullsh*t about meeting with some super expert slicer to share techniques. Don't think you can get rid of me so easily." He glared.

Skari looked back at her terminal, flipping through screens without really seeing them. "Don't know what you're talking about."

"Please," he scoffed, "I was jumping ship before you were born. Think I don't know a jump when I see one?"

Skari turned and met his eyes. Grim. Grim and sober. Those were the words he would have used to describe her in the past days since Crae had disappeared. "So?" she challenged, her chin tilting, "Maybe I'm tired of hauling this ragtag bunch of rejects around the galaxy."

"I'll believe you" he dared, "if you tell that to Blizz."

Skari winced.

"I'll call him up here," he said, reaching for the comm.

She smacked his hand away. "I can't do this!" she hissed, "Can't be responsible for you all!" She braced her hands on the console, "Almost got you all killed."

"First of all, don't insult me," Gault snapped. Skari raised an eyebrow. "I've been taking care of myself for a long time, don't need you to take over the job. Okay? We straight on that?"

A reluctant smile stretched her lips. "Okay," she said in a small voice.

"Second, let me clue you in, sister. Leaving people doesn't work like that. I've bailed on people. I've bailed on lots of people. But bailing on people who care about you – that’ll stick with you forever."

She shook her head. "It's better this way."

Gault sat down in the seat next to hers and propped his feet up on the console. "Think I told you this before, but you're not getting rid of me so easily. I'm not leaving, and if you hadn't tricked them with lures of wampa hunts, and prototype wreckage, and alien slicers, the others would be telling you the same thing. Can't believe Mako fell for that." The disgust in his voice was palpable.

Skair looked over at him and grinned a little. "I can't believe it either. I had three more jobs set up, but nope she took the first one."

Gault snorted, and the two of them chuckled.

Skari sobered and tilted her head back, looking at the ceiling. "Know what's really stupid?"

"Torian's obsession with food that destroys your mouth?"

Skari's lip quirked, but she didn't look over at him. She was quiet for a moment. "I miss him."

Gault sighed. "I am so not the girlfriend type."

She snorted.

"You were in love with him," he said with a shrug, "that doesn't just get shut off cause the man's a lunatic."

"I wasn't in love with him," she scoffed.


"Whatever, a**hole."

He grinned and threw a crumpled up flimsy at her. "Yeah, whatever." He stood and stretched. "We good?"

She looked up at him, her eyes a bit more watery than normal. "We're good."

He nodded and walked to the door when her voice stopped him.


He pointed at her. "You owe me a drink for this mess."

She smiled. "Yes, I do."

Skari was smiling to herself as she uncrumpled the flimsy that had landed in her lap. Her smile died at the sight of Crae's golden eyes, his sharp features, the slight grin on his face. She owed them all a great deal more than a drink.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

irishfino's Avatar

01.06.2013 , 12:08 PM | #67
dun dun duuuuuunnnnnnnnn!!!
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

iamthehoyden's Avatar

01.06.2013 , 01:58 PM | #68
Quote: Originally Posted by irishfino View Post
dun dun duuuuuunnnnnnnnn!!!
Suspense! Tension! Coming soon to a theater near...oh wait...
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

iamthehoyden's Avatar

01.06.2013 , 02:02 PM | #69
26 - Lost Creatures

I was going to have to move to new territory. My prey was becoming scarce. Worse than that, the street people were starting to recognize me, the children especially. The twi'lek with the rosy skin and tiger-striped lekku watched for me now with intelligent green eyes narrowed in suspicion. She was getting too skilled at looking into the shadows. I watched her sort through a pile of old needles and used bandages outside a street surgeon's shop, looking for unused kolto. She was fierce, for such a small thing. I'd first seen her facing down a feral akka dog, all bravado and determination. She reminded me of my cat.

Skari refuses to leave me. She's in the eyes of these children, in the flash of blue skin, in the scent of Rodian street food, in a thousand moments each day. It was killing me, not knowing if she was alive, healthy, happy. I could find her, watch, from a distance. And then what? Leave her? Let her risk herself over and over? I could not protect her from herself. Could not watch her destroy herself. Had to see her. The need ate at me.

A commotion across the street pulled my attention back. It seems the street surgeon was not picky about where he got his organs from. The vulture was lean, slightly disheveled, probably high on spice, and he had one hand firmly clamped on the girl's lekku. She was screaming and punching, but the man was pulling her into his shop quickly. A few eyes glanced, but quickly slid away. Survival meant keeping to yourself down here. Pack animals were rare. Each fed on the others, rats cannibalizing each other in a barrel.

I moved across the street quickly, slid through the open door. The girl was still screaming, but her cries had shifted to pain and fear more than rage. Knives are versatile. They can kill outright, torture, or disable. Slicing the tendons in the upper arms makes it difficult to escape...or maintain a grip on lekku. The girl slumped to the ground, breathing heavily, when the vulture let go with a scream. Lekku were sensitive. Vulnerable. The girl rolled over, stumbling to her feet, snatching one of the scalpels from the surgeon's grisly table, her teeth bared in a feral snarl, backed into a corner. I smiled at her. So like my cat. The vulture kicked me in the leg from where he lay on the ground bleeding and screaming. I frowned at him and crouched down, flipping my bloody knife end over end.

"I'm curious," I said as I watched him try to use his legs to push away from me, "why you think screaming will help you? This place often has screams coming from it, why would yours be different?"

The man quieted, his panicked gasps the only sound in the small space. The smell of his blood mingling with the other wretched smells.

"You are no different from those you carve in this place," I said with a small smile, "we're all just animals."


I felt eyes on me as I emerged from the shop cleaning my knife.


My head jerked up. The doe - Mako, my mind corrected - stood in across the street, hesitant, wary. Her eyes were red-rimmed, tired and bloodshot, her posture tense, lips pulled tight.

"Skari okay?" I asked before I could stop myself. I'd shoved the question out of my mind so many times and yet it came back. Was she safe? Had she finally walked into a firefight and not come back out?

She scrubbed at her eyes. "I don't know."

"What happened?" My chest was clenched tight.

"She's gone, Crae. Disappeared right off the grid."

"What happened?"

Mako glared at me. "Well, you see, this guy she liked went insane and tried to threaten her into staying with him."

Old news. Still hurt. I glared at her.

"And then she started not sleeping. And crying. She'd been crying, late at night."

My jaw clenched. Twist the knife again, little girl, twist it again.

"Because apparently she managed to fall in LOVE with this monster who then proceeded to betray her tru..."

I stepped into her, crowding her, scaring those eyes wide. "Enough," I snarled, "I know what I did. What. Happened."

Her eyes narrowed. "Gault said he caught her trying to dump us all, thought he'd had her sorted out, but she just waited and then poof." She took a breath, her voice shaky. "They don't know I'm here, but I can't find her. She knows enough to be able to cover her tracks. I want her back, Crae. I want my friend back." Her voice broke on a sob. "It's your fault, and you're going to find her for me."

I took a step back, catching sight of the small rose-colored girl slipping out the back room of the surgeon's shop, her arms loaded with supplies. Running back to her hidey hole. I looked back at Mako. Even as tears streaked her cheeks, her face had settled into a stubborn frown. "How did you find me?"

"Blizz had a tracking doesn't matter. We need your help."

"Why would I help you?" I asked, flipping my knife end over end, "I could kill you now, no one would know."

Mako met my eyes directly. No, no longer prey, this one. "I saw the recording."

I looked down the street, covered in garbage, my hunting grounds. "The cameras."

"You love her."

I grimaced.

"You broke her. Bring her back."

I took a deep breath, my nostrils flaring wide, catching more than a few of the wretched scents of the street. "I don't want to cause her more pain."

"You cause her pain every day," she said starkly, a cruelly pleased light in her eye at my wince.

I thought of my cat. Alone. Without her pack. Vulnerable.

"There is one thing I need to do before I leave here."
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

kabeone's Avatar

01.06.2013 , 02:10 PM | #70
Skari ...



Argh! All the feels!!!!!! Man.. I thought where you left off in the other thread was kind of an ending... THIS... SO GOOD.