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Hindsight


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irishfino
05.23.2013 , 03:49 PM | #1
The first few posts of this story will be cross-posts from the Short Fic Thread. The last two I post will be all new content. Om nom nom.

This follows Ucles, the Bounty Hunter, and Geltie, the pit fighting slave turned Darth.

Enjoy.


Love


There is nothing in this Galaxy that I love more than my son. Not his mother. Not myself. Not even the Empire. Yes, it is blasphemy to speak such words, but, in my head, such thoughts are safe so long as I never betray them. And I won’t for I love my son and value his safety. I value his future. I have the means to make his future bright and it is impossibly so.

He’s Force sensitive and guaranteed a place on Korriban because of who I know. I don’t have to pull strings, or draw rank. I have an in with someone I daresay I never thought I could call friend again. But she is my friend nonetheless and my son’s future is assured.

There is something, something small gnawing at the back of my head. I must prepare. Whatever this feeling this, it grows everyday magnifying my dread.

The end is near and I can feel it. I must ensure my son is safe. He is the future of the Empire and he is all that matters.



Joke's On You


This has to be some f*cked up joke. Twice. Twice in one lifetime I’m set upon by Trandoshans. They’re looking for something. I can’t decipher their guttural, bone chilling language. I focus on one thing, the most important thing: getting my son out of this place. He doesn’t need to see his father die as well. I get him down the escape hatch and into the tunnels before the damn lizard catches up to me. My arm is up in self-defense then it’s gone. There’s pain. Pain and blood. Damn lizard is grunting something again. I spit in its face. I’m about to die anyway.

Hearing goes first then numbness sets in. Never felt it like this before. It’s final. The end is really here. Before everything goes black, I see the lizard’s head explode into a mist of blood and viscera. Can’t even feel it splash against my skin.

About time, HK.

***


Wasn’t expecting to wake up. Don’t know where I am or how long it’s been. Can’t really think.

“Assessment: You are regaining consciousness, Master. Query: How do you feel?”

Numb. I feel numb. I can’t feel my right arm. It must be gone. I’ll need a replacement. My son. Where is my son?

I open my eyes and look toward HK’s voice. “Where is my son?” Sweet stars, is that my voice? I sound old. Tired. Dead.

“Statement: I do not know, Master. After liquidating the undesirables, the estate was set ablaze. Prideful statement: I ceased deleting undesirables to save your life, Master. Solemn assessment: The young master did not make it out alive.”

No.

No.

NO!

Not him. Not my son. I should have died protecting him like his mother did. My son. I can feel my throat constricting. My eyelids burn.

This has to be some sick f*cking joke.

And it’s not funny anymore.
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!!

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irishfino
05.23.2013 , 03:53 PM | #2
Loss


I’ve lost everything. Everything I’ve worked for, everything I treasured. Everything taken from me. Items I can replace, some can be replicated from memory. I can replace my arm. It was cybernetic up a bit past the elbow. I can’t replace my son.

HK is little comfort. He’s not supposed to be. He’s a bloody droid. He keeps going on about searching the HoloNet for information and I can’t see why he’s bothering. Can droids feel guilt? Maybe. Maybe he’s just defective.

***

Lanniter Droge is a funny little man. He’s upset the arm was destroyed. He could have fixed it, he says, could’ve extended it. I don’t much care. I just need an arm.

He makes the arm in less than a week. Looks just like my old one. Minus the glove. Beggars can’t be choosers. Well, that’s not true, they can, but it’s rude. I am not a rude man. Then again, I’m no longer a man. I’ve been erased. My family has been erased. All because of a vengeful Darth’s bloodlust.

He’ll get his.

And I’ll be there when he does.

***

HK gets a lead on where my past belongings are. It’s weird to think of him as a belonging. My son. A child. A boy. He’s barely eight years old. He should be on Korriban instead he’s here on the selling block. And I can’t afford him. It’s pathetic. I’m pathetic. The only thing to do now is manipulate the sale. And I can do that.

No one pays any mind to the scruffy looking, dirty bastard looking at slave trades. Probably think I’m here for unsavory purposes like the rest. If I can get the boy purchased by a no or low kill slave fighting pit… I’m taking a gamble. On my son. On the chance his training will kick in, no matter how insignificant it seems. I can barely keep the bile down where it belongs as I do this. As I take a chance.

I find a name, Lister Scro, and get him priority bidding. I know the name. Seen it on a few listings for pit fights and job opportunities. It’s my only in. If he wins the bid.

I’m taking a gamble with both our lives. And my son is completely unaware.

Forgive me.
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!!

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irishfino
05.23.2013 , 03:57 PM | #3
Identity

I’ve changed how I look as much as I can without surgery. A simple visual interface covers my eyes, hiding their color. Sophisticated little thing. Gives me a rundown of the local area, optional speech paths to take, projects an image of a scarred visage and manipulates an implant in my neck dropping my voice an octave or two.

I let my hair grow out. It’s all grey now. Nothing for it. I chalk it up to stress and experience. Long at the top and slicked back, but trimmed around the edges. Professional sleazebag. Let my face get scruffy, let my eyebrows get bushy. No finely trimmed Bounty Hunter would be taken seriously.

That’s the last change there. The title. I’ve already picked a name.

Ucles is my name. Targets are my game.

People who get that joke always laugh.


Hatred

Lister Scro is a slimy son of a b*tch if I ever met one. I knew he would be going in, but talking to him face to face, listening to his keening voice as he mewls over his slave girls. I want to bash his f*cking skull in.

I’m a bodyguard for the pit fighters. Some of ‘em are Force sensitives. I ask him first chance I get how he’s able to keep these sensitives under the Empire’s nose.

“Hutta is neutral,” he says.

“Don’t explain how you keep ‘em here without getting raided,” I say. He must think I’m worried about my life. He gets this weirdly calm look on his face and tries to comfort me with his voice. It’s not going to work.

“I release the ones who survive at sixteen. From there, they go to Korriban.”

I hate his f*cking voice. “How many survive?”

“Enough to keep it profitable.”

F*ck you. F*ck you with a rusty lightsaber hilt, you scum pile. “Nice.” I hate my voice.

“I’m glad you agree.” He leans to one side and reaches for one of his girls. She barely flinches. When I get the chance, this man is dead.

I’ll make the f*cking chance.
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!!

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irishfino
05.23.2013 , 04:00 PM | #4
Recognition


When I look into the mirror anymore, I don’t see me. Not the me I’m used to. My eyes aren’t as sharp, my hair’s not as dark. I look tired. I look old. I do this once a week, at least. Stare at myself. Look into my own eyes. I do it to remember who I am. Who I was. Who I am beneath this mask. Who I was before the mask. Who I still am.

I still see the echoes of the man I was. I still have the mark on my cheek. I’ve considered removing it recently, but, well, it’s part of me. I’ve grown used to it these last few decades. I’m almost fond of it. Almost.

Before the mask I was someone else entirely. I never dreamed of becoming this. I had killed before, but it was always a mission to further the Empire. Now I kill to further my wealth. I kill to buy my son’s freedom. His freedom, his return to the Empire will further it. He is the future.

He will return to the Empire and receive the recognition he deserves. Even if he never recognizes my efforts in the shadows.

I don’t need it, I decide. I can barely recognize my own face, let alone any accomplishments this… Ucles has made. That is my name, my alias, my mask.

I bring the mask over my eyes again and feel the silver locks engage over my temples. When I look up, the face isn’t mine anymore. There are scars that never were, eyes that never see the light of day in its purest form, and me, still with the contours of my old face, but forever changed by this tiny mask.

When I step out for the day, I am recognized as Ucles the Bounty Hunter. No one knows my past. And if they look, I am a man who came from the mists. To shoot them in the face.

Such is life.
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!!

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irishfino
05.23.2013 , 04:17 PM | #5
Turn to the Left


He never considered himself a vain person. No, growing up in the slave pits as a pit fighter tended to make one rather fashion unconscious. If he wasn’t covered in dirt, sweat, tears, blood, vomit, or any other variety of bodily fluid, he was in rags. When he made it to Korriban on some sort of scholarship, the damn clothes had been included. Nice clothes. Soft clothes. Blood free clothes! Well, until he started training, anyway. And it wasn’t always his blood. The drycleaners were rather good at removing blood and staying silent. He liked them.

He looked at himself in the mirror and smirked. He looked a lot like his father dressed like this. He straightened the collar on his uniform tunic. Yes, he was dressed as an Imperial Officer despite his Darth rank, but he wondered if things had been different if he would have been an officer just like his father. Perhaps better than his father. Despite his numerous short comings, all of which he admitted to him as a boy, his father was loyal until the day he was murdered. He remembered that day with frightening clarity despite the many years it had been.

He brushed his hands down his sides and tugged at the bottom of the tunic. He turned to his side and checked his bum in the mirror. If being a Sith in uniform didn’t get him a bit of tail, his tail would get him a bit of tail.

The door to his room slid open.

“You look good, my Lord,” Rylee said as she entered the room.

“I always look good,” he replied, grinning at his reflection.

She chuckled softly. “That is rather true.”

He turned to her and tilted his head to the side. “Do you need something?”

“I just wanted to see you off.”

He grinned wider, cupped his chin in his hand, and cocked his hip to one side. “That’s all?”

“Yes,” she said quietly. Her cheeks blossomed into a cherry red blush.

“If you want a quick one, just ask,” he said as he flashed his teeth.

“I – I – y-yes. If you have time I…”

“On the bed, then.”

“Yes, my Lord.”

He rolled his eyes. “It’s not an order, dammit.”

“I know.”
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!!

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irishfino
05.23.2013 , 04:19 PM | #6
Valid Question


“Stars, Rylee,” Gelt said quietly.

“It’s a perfectly valid question,” she replied.

“No, I have never been in love. There was someone when I was a kid, but that can’t be defined as love. I was a child, I had no idea what love was.”

“What was she like?”

“Does it really matter?”

She shrugged. “I suppose not.”

He rolled over top of her and grinned as he balanced on his palms. “Round two?”

“Do you even like me?” Rylee spluttered.

He rolled his eyes and rolled back to his side of the bed. “Stars, Rylee.”

“It’s a perfectly valid question.”

“I’ll put it this way: you’re the only woman I purposely seek out.”

“I’m flattered.”

“You should be.”

She laughed then rolled over him as he had her, bracing her palms on his shoulders. “So… round two?”

His grin was all teeth. “I thought you’d never ask.”
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!!

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irishfino
05.23.2013 , 04:19 PM | #7
Firsts


“When was your first time?” Rylee asked quietly. She was rather bold, asking such a question, but Gelt never minded her or her curiosity. He rather liked it, actually. It’s why he kept coming back to her. She was refreshing and sweet, ambitious and smart, but not – well, she was decidedly not Sith. He liked that most of all.

“I was fourteen,” Gelt replied. “Both slaves, obviously, but we managed to sneak away for a bit.”

“What was she like?”

“She was a sweet girl all things considered. She had the most beautiful mind I had ever encountered. I was quite taken with her.”

“You would have to be to lose a game of HoloChess,” she said with a smile. She looked down at the board, made her move and looked back up at him. “Checkmate.”

“There’s a first time for everything.”

“I was taught by the best.”

“You were,” he said with a grin. “What’s your prize then?”

“Shirt.”
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!!

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irishfino
05.23.2013 , 04:20 PM | #8
Drunknanigans


“Gelt, you really shouldn’t,” Rylee giggled.

“I can knock over that Nerf and run back here,” Gelt said, swaying on his feet a little.

Rylee broke into a fit of giggles and flopped onto the couch. They were at his estate on Dromund Kaas, an estate he had rebuilt after the fire, and they were both delightfully plastered on a very blue alcohol. He couldn’t quite recall the name, but it was an import from Csilla and very, very strong.

“That’s not – that’s not a Nerf,” Rylee giggled breathlessly. “That’s the bed!”

“I should toss you on it and we could have a rodeo,” he said seriously, looking at her over his shoulder. She laughed again and clutched her sides.

“Stars, Gelt, I can’t breathe!”

“I better use mouth-to-mouth.”

Rylee’s laughter echoed throughout the estate well into the morning.
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!!

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irishfino
05.23.2013 , 04:21 PM | #9
No Need For Change


“If I told you I was pregnant, what would you do?” Rylee asked one morning over breakfast.

The question gave Gelt considerable pause.

“I’m – I’m not, I’m just asking because we aren’t always careful and we – we,” she stammered to a stop.

“Have an impressive amount of intercourse. Yes,” he said with a firm nod. “First, I would have you tested. If you were lying, I would kill you.”

“Just like that?”

He snapped his fingers, a spark of lightning igniting between his thumb and middle finger pads. “Just like that. However,” he said as he dropped his hand, “if you were pregnant, I would welcome you into my home on a more permanent basis.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that.”

She smiled. “You’re not like any man I’ve ever known, Sith or not.”

“I am a wholly unique creature.”

“You are and I really – I really like that about you.”

“Good, I’m not changing who I am,” he said with a nod.

“Good,” she replied, “I like who you are as you are now.”
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!!

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irishfino
05.23.2013 , 04:22 PM | #10
Sacrifice


“The man’s a bloody hero!” said a man.

“No Sith Lord’s ever done that before,” said another.

“’E saved lots of lives, ‘e did,” agreed another.

Rylee wasn’t at all surprised at the chatter from the men; she was surprised that there were so many clamoring to watch over their downed Lord while he recovered from the blast. A landmine, she was told, one that should have been caught in the sweep, but slipped through. By all accounts, most of which she had overheard, there was a shockwave before the blast that shoved every man away from the mine. Every man, but Gelt. Consensus was he used the Force to get the men to relative safety before purposely setting off the mine. He had his own defenses, of course, least of which being his shield generator, but no Sith was immune from concussive force.

When she was allowed access to his room, he was still unconscious and hooked up to a few monitors. She didn’t know what the monitors were monitoring exactly, they weren’t labeled, but one displayed a pulsing heart and that was enough for her. She settled into the chair next to the bed and alternated between watching his face and watching his heartbeat on the monitor.

“I’m here, Gelt,” she said quietly. His heart rate increased slightly. With a smile, she grabbed his hand and cupped it between her own. A small leap registered on the monitor. “I overheard from the men what you did. You’re amazing. They’re calling you a hero!” She paused and laughed quietly. “You’ve always been a hero to me. Saving Destris and I from Paladius, saving the cultists from Destris, saving me from Destris. I never did thank you for that. So, I’m not surprised you did something to save the lives of others. I think I’m surprised that others are so surprised, but, then I remember this is the Empire. I – I’m sorry, I’m babbling. I don’t know if you can even hear me.”

A small spark of lightning spiraled over her fingers and up her arm. It settled around her right ear. She laughed softly.

“I’m glad you can hear me. I should get going and let you rest.”

“No,” Gelt said or would have said if his mouth had moved.

“What –” Rylee started, surprised and frightened.

“Sound is a set of vibrations perceived by the ear. The lightning around your ear is my conduit,” he explained.

“But you’re unconscious.”

“I can still sense you and it doesn’t take much to control so little energy.”

“You should rest,” she said quietly.

“I am, but it’s boring.”

She laughed softly. “I’ll stay, but only to keep you company.”

“Tell me a story.”

She laughed again. “What sort of story?”

“One of those happily ever after ones, you know, the ones that don’t exist.”

“They do exist, Gelt.”

“Sure,” he said. She could feel him rolling his eyes. “Now shut up and tell me a story.”

She laughed again. “Very well. There once was a handsome Sith Lord…”
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!!