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The Time Between


MishaCantu's Avatar


MishaCantu
01.22.2017 , 05:45 PM | #1
A/N:
Spoiler


The Time Between

Chapter One

Vector watched the rear view of the ship on the monitor and witnessed everything he held most dear explode in blinding white light. Her song crescendoed into a deafening shriek before going silent and the weight of despair and disbelief drove him to his knees. His arms hung limply at his sides and his chin sank to his chest as he felt the Phantom jump to hyperspace.

She had been cruelly ripped from his life for the second time but this was different. Before, when Serevin had taken her, hope had clung to him like a protective cloak. But now, he was a lost child, groping in the dark, seeking the light of her aura and being answered by a void that gripped his heart. Not even the nest could reach him through the desolation.

His blood thundered in his ears, he couldn’t breathe and there was no spit in his mouth, he could not swallow. He was so very cold, his muscles contracted as he shivered and then he heard a voice, from far away, “Come on, Vector.” His face stung from the slap.

Reality tilted and suddenly snapped back into clarity, like something elastic stretched to the limit and then lot go. He saw the hand come at his face again and caught it in mid swing, giving the arm a painful twist as he looked up into the face of Kaliyo.

“Never strike us again.”

Frowning and rubbing her arm, Kaliyo responded. “Like I care, snap the hell out of it, Vector, we need you right now, we can mourn later.”

Mourn, death, finality, alone, the words assaulted his mind like a cudgel, blow after blow and he could not silence them, he could find no peace. “Leave us be, you will find no aid here.”

Vector struggled to his feet, teetering on legs that shook. Dr. Lokin reached out to steady him as he took the few steps to the co-pilot seat and sank into the cushions. He leaned back against the headrest and closed his eyes, seeing nothing but her face and the white light that engulfed it.

“Pull yourself together, man,” entreated Lokin.

“We are empty, doctor, there are no pieces to reassemble.”

Kaliyo snorted, “That’s bulls.hit and you know it, Vector. She wanted us to go back to Imperial space and tell them what was coming. I personally don’t give a crap, but she would expect it of you. Don’t you dare let her down.”

“Give him some space, Kaliyo,” said Lokin. “He will eventually do the right thing, he always does.”

‘He always does, he always does’ the words rotated round and round his brain, ‘the right thing, the right thing’, he could no longer grasp the meaning, he inhaled deeply and smelled her scent on his clothes as his mind wandered back to the last time he saw her.

Darth Marr had summoned all of his allies, both Republic and Imperial, to hunt down a new force that was decimating remote colonies and outposts along the border of wild space. The attack on Korriban was the last goading factor that forced Darth Marr into action.

The emperor had already fled after consuming every living thing on Ziost and now there was this new threat to both factions and Marr sensed the involvement of the emperor at the center of it all.

Rey’elle was a ghost as far as sith intelligence was concerned, a blip, answering solely to her own sense of priorities. However, after Yavin 4, her presence carried more weight and her loyalty to the empire dictated that she assist Darth Marr with his hunt.

They had docked with Marr’s Terminus class destroyer, the Agrona, just inside wild space and Vector had accompanied her through the airlock before she sent him back to the ship to assist Kaliyo with refueling and resupply.

They had stopped just outside the entrance and he had pulled her close, “please, love, let us stay at our rightful place by your side. There is something here that bothers us.”

She had hooked her arms around his neck, “nonsense, Vector, what safer place than Marr’s flagship. I will be fine and I won’t be long, I need you to assist Kaliyo and make sure the ship is ready when I return.”

He had kissed her, holding his lips to hers as long as he could until the door slid open and he was forced to let her go. He stood watching her retreating back until the door closed and he headed back to the Phantom as she had instructed.

The Eternal Fleet had come out of hyperspace soon after that with so many ships, they filled the cockpit window. The airlock had been damaged in the initial attack and he could not get to her without breaking the safety seals on the Phantom’s hatch which would have killed everyone on board. The docking clamps had been damaged as well and Kaliyo could not release them from the Phantom’s controls.

He recalled their last conversation as Rey’elle had released the docking clamps from inside Marr’s ship. “If you see an opening, take it. Someone has to make it back to the empire.”

Kaliyo had replied, “are you joking? You want us to ditch you?”

“I won’t be far behind.”

Vector’s last words to her were, “We will hold you to that, my love.” and then the comms went dead.

He replayed it all again, in his mind, slowing everything down to a crawl. There had been escape pods, perhaps she had managed to escape after all, but he had not detected her aura.

He had watched Marr’s flagship split in two, bodies had been flushed out into space, he had seen the miniscule forms floating in the vacuum. Then the reactors had exploded, the flash was blinding, the colors changing from red to yellow to purest white. A corona of energy pulsed from the ship like ripples in a pond and then Kaliyo had made the jump. He rewound the scene again and again, replaying it over and over and coming to the same conclusion, she was gone, his truest and only love was gone.

He opened himself at last to the nest and they gave him strength and courage but he found no solace. They understood the loss but not the profound pain and suffering he endured over one individual life. They could not heal the gaping wound at the center of his existence.

Vector struggled out of the chair and prepared to leave the cockpit. “Let us know when we are within communications range to send a message to Minister Beniko. We will be in our quarters.”

The ship was so cold now without her warmth and light. Vector hardly remembered walking to their cabin until he shut the door. Her scent permeated the room and he half expected to see her lying in their bed waiting for him, but it was as empty as he felt.

He sat down on the edge of the bed to take his boots off and noticed her datapad lying at the foot on her side. He picked it up, took it out of sleep mode and it opened to page 164 of one of those cheap romance novels she had become addicted to after Illum.

He glanced at the top and saw the title: ‘Secrets of the Rose’. He rolled his eyes as a rueful smile played along his lips. The books seemed to offer her an escape from her everyday life and even initiated some very unexpected and enjoyable romantic interludes.

He recalled one time when she wanted him to try some impossible position that threw his back into such terrible muscle spasms he thought he would never walk again. Her laughter was infectious as she massaged the pain away, he remembered the sound and the softness of her hands.

He could feel the anger of her loss rise like molten lava and laid the datapad back down before he threw the damnable thing against the wall, he simply could not stand losing one more thing that was a link to her.

His love for Rey’elle had restored more and more of his humanity, he had become less joiner and more man which returned emotions he had thought long lost. He felt anger, jealousy, heartbreak, fear and he had learned, on Voss, that he was no longer beyond tears. He finished removing his armor, crawled into bed, pulled her pillow to his chest and quietly wept while the nest sang him to sleep with sad, sweet songs.

He did not know how long he slept since the nest kept away any nightmares or dreams that may have interrupted the welcome oblivion that engulfed him. Only the hateful sound of someone pounding on his door pulled him from that well of forgetfulness he never wanted to leave.

He was stiff as he moved her pillow aside and struggled to sit up. His mouth was dry and his bladder full, he ran his hand over his face, stubble scraped his fingertips.

The pounding continued. “Yes?” he growled.

“We just dropped out of hyperspace near Bakura, Vector. We will require refueling and you can contact the Minister now.”

“Give us a few minutes, Dr. Lokin.”

“Of course, my boy, but don’t take too long.”

The refresher offered no respite from the memories. He could almost see her naked form through the shower glass, or standing in front of the mirror putting finishing touches on her makeup. The whole ship was like a vault of her ghost peeking out from every nook and cranny.

His reflection peered back at him, gaunt, strained, broken and accusatory. She would want him to go on but left him ill equipped to do so. On Hoth he had learned how to die for her, every day he learned how to live for her, but nothing had taught him how to live without her.

He raised his fist and slammed it against the mirror, creating tiny fissures that spread from the point of impact. Blood dripped from his knuckles into the sink and the remote, burning pain in his hand dropped him back into this hell that he must now face alone.

He washed the blood away, cleaned his teeth, ran a comb through his hair and went back into the bedroom to get dressed. He would endure but he would never be the same.

“About damned time,” Kaliyo chided as Vector walked into the common room.

Vector didn’t even grace her with a look as he went to the holo terminal and activated the code for Sith Intelligence. He buried his emotions, became Dawn Herald because he knew he would break just mentioning her and he could not afford the luxury of grief right now.

It took a few minutes for the connection to go through and the image of a young man in imperial uniform to appear.

Vector did not wait for a greeting. “This is Vector Hyluss calling for Minister Lana Beniko. We have vital information that she will want to hear regarding Darth Marr and the former agent known as Cipher 9. Do not keep us waiting.”

“Minister Beniko is currently in a meeting, perhaps I can…..”

“No, you cannot. Interrupt her meeting or she will have your head. We doubt she will have much patience once she hears what we have to say.”

“Y-yes sir. She will be with you shortly.”

Vector began to pace, he was impatient to get back to their previous position to search for Rey’elle. That objective alone was paramount in his mind and nothing else mattered.

Raina Temple’s voice came from the cockpit. “Vector, I am going to take us in to Salis D’aar spaceport for refueling. There was no time at Darth Marr’s destroyer.”

“We refuel, then we leave. How are supplies?”

“Sufficient for a while, perhaps six weeks or so.”

“You know what to do, Temple.”

At last, the image of a woman with shoulder length blond hair wearing a uniform of sorts but with a cape appeared. Vector stopped pacing and stood in front of the image, with his hands locked behind his back. His face was unreadable.

“Ambassador Hyluss, I understand you have some data for me? Important enough to pull me out of a meeting, no less. Well, let’s have it.”

“Just Vector will do, Minister. We have come to tell you of the destruction of Darth Marr’s flagship and we presume all are dead except those that could get away in escape pods. We also assume the worst, that Darth Marr and the previous agent known as Cipher 9 are among the dead.”

“And when did this happen, exactly?”

“A little over two days ago. We can send the coordinates if you like.”

Beniko turned her head to give an order, presumably to an underling, before addressing Vector again.

“I felt nothing to substantiate this, Vector. The death of such a powerful sith as Darth Marr would surely have made an announcement through the force, and no one on the council has reported any such ripple either. Are you quite sure of your facts?”

He narrowed his eyes as he responded. “Minister Beniko, we do not entertain falsehoods nor fabrications. We, as well as the remainder of this crew, witnessed this first hand. A fleet of hundreds, perhaps thousands of ships came out of hyperspace almost on top of us.

“They opened fire immediately, not even giving the courtesy of a hail. The configuration of the ships matches those reported bombarding the empire’s remote outposts and then Korriban. Whoever they are, Minister, they are coming, and hell is coming with them.”

The minister turned her head again, then back to Vector. “We are unable to raise the Agrona so this may bear looking into. Darth Marr was traveling with a small group of ships to the rendezvous point in wild space, do you think any of them made it?”

“When we arrived, we saw perhaps eight ships, including Darth Marr’s. There were a couple of Republic Thrantas, a couple of Imperial Gages and maybe three assault transports. We doubt any survived, and since you have not received word from anyone but us, that would prove our analysis correct.”

“You and the remainder of your crew will return to Dromund Kaas, of course, for debrief and reassignment. You have a varied crew of useful skills and we may have need of your ambassadorial talents if what you say is true.”

“We have not worn the mantle of ambassador for a very long time and we doubt that we still have the finesse required, therefore, we will return to the sight of the explosion and continue our search."

Benikos voice hardened as she spoke. "Your first priority is the empire."

Vector’s voice left nothing to misinterpretation. "With all due respect, minister, our first priority is Rey'elle.”

“You will comply with the empire’s wishes and best interests, Vector.”

"Again we decline, but do feel free to try and hunt us down, if you have the time and the resources. We highly doubt you will have either to squander. And, if we were you, we would put any nearby transports on alert to monitor for homing beacons from those escape pod death traps. We will send the coordinates. Vector out."

(To be Continued)

Lunafox's Avatar


Lunafox
01.22.2017 , 07:50 PM | #2
Yay! *claps hands*

Spoiler


Edit: PS, I also really loved your choice for Marr's ship name--the Agrona. Welsh goddess of war and bloodshed yah?
Lunafox's Stories🌙🦊Lunafox's Decorating
Koona t'chuta, Solo?
Quote: Originally Posted by Rion_Starkiller View Post
omg Darth Lunafox in the house

JennyFlynn's Avatar


JennyFlynn
01.23.2017 , 02:06 AM | #3
I am thrilled that you're posting this and already find myself wanting more. Very nice start.

I feel for Vector. If you consider everything he and Rey'elle have gone through already in the past, only to lose her again now in this manner... you did a stellar job conveying his grief, I felt it. I liked the detail you put in as he finds her datapad, smells her everywhere and sees her everywhere and how you described the way in which their love had changed him into more of a man and less of a joiner. Your Vector is fantastic.

Lana... grrr. Glad he stood up to her and I'm sure she'll realize soon enough that he was right.

I love the name you picked too, very suitable.
--------{---({@ Defiant Devotion | Defying Destiny | SWTOR Prompt Oneshots @}}>---}-------

frauzet's Avatar


frauzet
01.23.2017 , 05:02 AM | #4
I want to join Jenny and Luna. What a great start.
You managed to portray Vector's feelings perfectly. While reading, I almost forgot how happy I was to see you started a new story
I love strong and unyielding Vector at the end.
Looking forward to the next part.
Author of "Trouble, Destiny and Other Complications" and the AU "Caught"
Participant of the "Short Fic Weekly Challlenge Thread!"
All my stories from TDaOC and SFWC in chronological order

Foxfirerose's Avatar


Foxfirerose
01.27.2017 , 12:41 AM | #5
O.M.G. I am SO excited to see this!!!! You are amazing! That chapter was just perfection in every way.....my heart still hurts from feeling everything Vector is feeling. I can't even find the words, I'm just stunned. As often happens one line really stood out and brought tears to my eyes..

On Hoth he had learned how to die for her, every day he learned how to live for her, but nothing had taught him how to live without her.

I really liked the way he handled Lana Beniko too.....she really had some NERVE! I absolutely cannot wait for the next chapter!

Spoiler

Lunafox's Avatar


Lunafox
01.27.2017 , 01:34 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Foxfirerose View Post
O.M.G. I am SO excited to see this!!!! You are amazing! That chapter was just perfection in every way.....my heart still hurts from feeling everything Vector is feeling. I can't even find the words, I'm just stunned. As often happens one line really stood out and brought tears to my eyes..

On Hoth he had learned how to die for her, every day he learned how to live for her, but nothing had taught him how to live without her.

I really liked the way he handled Lana Beniko too.....she really had some NERVE! I absolutely cannot wait for the next chapter!

Spoiler
I agree that was a truly amazing line and one of my favorites as well. Simply beautiful. <3
Lunafox's Stories🌙🦊Lunafox's Decorating
Koona t'chuta, Solo?
Quote: Originally Posted by Rion_Starkiller View Post
omg Darth Lunafox in the house

MishaCantu's Avatar


MishaCantu
01.27.2017 , 02:19 AM | #7
Now that I will only be posting once a week, I need to remember to answer everyone's comments in a more timely fashion. It was more difficult to do when I was posting every 3 or 4 days, but now that there is more time between I need to acknowledge those that are kind enough to comment. I will probably take Sunday as my posting day, so chapter 2 coming this Sunday.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lunafox View Post
Yay! *claps hands*

Spoiler


Edit: PS, I also really loved your choice for Marr's ship name--the Agrona. Welsh goddess of war and bloodshed yah?
Yeah, it feels good to be posting again, and I have missed Vector. And yes, you are correct, Agrona is the Welsh goddess you named. It was a toss up between that and some Viking thing, and I just liked Agrona best. It seemed to fit.

Quote:
Quote: Originally Posted by JennyFlynn View Post
I am thrilled that you're posting this and already find myself wanting more. Very nice start.

I feel for Vector. If you consider everything he and Rey'elle have gone through already in the past, only to lose her again now in this manner... you did a stellar job conveying his grief, I felt it. I liked the detail you put in as he finds her datapad, smells her everywhere and sees her everywhere and how you described the way in which their love had changed him into more of a man and less of a joiner. Your Vector is fantastic.

Lana... grrr. Glad he stood up to her and I'm sure she'll realize soon enough that he was right.

I love the name you picked too, very suitable.
Vector has been through a lot already and still has miles to go. I'm glad you enjoyed the detail of his memories of Rey'elle, I do like to add those little extras which brings my characters to life, at least I try to anyway. And I have missed my version of Vector and yeah, well, Lana, she sort of pissed him off with her demands. He is not one to stand for that sort of thing, at least not any more. I had always thought that his exposure to Rey'elle was the beginning of his return to humanity which allowed him to fall in love with her anyway, the rest just seemed like a natural progression.

Quote:
Quote: Originally Posted by frauzet View Post
I want to join Jenny and Luna. What a great start.
You managed to portray Vector's feelings perfectly. While reading, I almost forgot how happy I was to see you started a new story
I love strong and unyielding Vector at the end.
Looking forward to the next part.
Thanks Frauzet, glad you enjoyed the beginning of yet another tale, and yes, I like strong Vector also. He's come a long way from being the diplomat he started out being. I, personally, like him better this way, although his diplomatic side does come through with his stoicism. I think I have hit a nice balance.

Quote:
Quote: Originally Posted by Foxfirerose View Post
O.M.G. I am SO excited to see this!!!! You are amazing! That chapter was just perfection in every way.....my heart still hurts from feeling everything Vector is feeling. I can't even find the words, I'm just stunned. As often happens one line really stood out and brought tears to my eyes..

On Hoth he had learned how to die for her, every day he learned how to live for her, but nothing had taught him how to live without her.

I really liked the way he handled Lana Beniko too.....she really had some NERVE! I absolutely cannot wait for the next chapter!

Spoiler
Glad to have you reading again, Foxfirerose, welcome back to my little storyville. I had warned at the beginning that the first few chapters would be rather angsty due to Vector having lost so much, again. He has a lot on his plate right now, dealing with Rey'elle's disappearance, being defacto leader again, a role he hates, contacting and possibly answering to the empire, and there is still more to come. Poor guy can't catch a break. That is one of my favorite lines also, it sort of describes what he is going through in a nutshell.
Spoiler

MishaCantu's Avatar


MishaCantu
01.28.2017 , 11:38 PM | #8
Chapter Two

Vector placed his palms on the holo terminal and leaned forward on his arms, his head down and eyes closed. A great sigh left his lungs before he heaved himself upright to face the crew, even Scorpio was present.

“She said that no one had detected Darth Marr’s death, which means that if he is still alive, then Rey’elle could be also. We must make haste to return and search for her.”

Scorpio spoke for the first time. “There is a high probability that if they did survive, they are either living on borrowed time or have been captured. Your assessment may be hopeful but not prudent, the numbers are not in her favor.”

Vector turned to Scorpio’s dispassionate face. “Prudent or not, search, we will. We suggest you use that great intellect of yours to monitor transmissions, look for patterns, or do a calculation that, for once, doesn’t annoy the s.hit out of everyone.”

“Wishful thinking and childish emotion will not change the outcome, but I will comply.”

Vector turned to Raina next. “How long until the refuel is complete?”

“Another two hours at least. We are fortunate that Bakura is, currently, not under Republic control. They are an independent democratic society not aligned with any faction at the moment. There is a cantina not far from here. Might I suggest that a few of us go and check with some of the locals to see if we can glean any information about this new fleet?”

“Good idea, Raina. You go and take Dr. Lokin with you.”

“Why Lokin?” pouted Kaliyo.

“Because we can trust him to stay out of trouble, a talent you have yet to develop. We need information, not entanglements with local law enforcement.”

Fine,” she spat as she left the room.

********************

“I am so relieved that Vector did not saddle me with Kaliyo,” said Raina as she and Lokin walked out of the hangar.

“So am I, my dear. I know, first hand, how unpredictable she can be. She is pure survival instinct and adrenalin mixed with a cunning mind, a dangerous combination. Plus I believe she was born without a conscience, if such a thing can be. I think our agent is the closest thing she ever had to a friend and I dread what she will become without her guidance.”

Raina glanced sidelong at Lokin’s face. “Oh, I am sorry, doctor, I forgot about your relationship with her.”

“Not to worry,” he laughed. “I never expected any permanence from our little tryst. Kaliyo is not built for anything long lasting, and perhaps neither am I. We tested each other’s limits and parted before any damage could be done. I look back on it now as an experiment, a very satisfying experiment.”

The cantina was small, likely designed for spacer traffic and an after work hangout for spaceport employees. Raina and Lokin walked up to the bar and were greeted by the bartender.

“So, what can I get you folks? We don’t get much from the core worlds but we have a nice local ale and wine.”

Lokin turned to Raina for a moment, then replied, “I’ll have the ale, and the lady will have a glass of wine.”

Lokin took a sip of the ale the barkeep set in front of him, it was a little bland for his taste, but he still complimented the drink. He turned slightly on the stool and scanned the room, not many people were present, likely due to the hour.

“So, you guys just passing through?” asked the barkeep, trying to be congenial.

“Stopped for a refuel, but we are looking to expand trade into wild space. Spacecraft technology to be more specific.”

“Won’t find much of that here on Bakura. Closest thing we have to tech is the repulsorlift coil factory, we import most of what we need, tech wise.”

“I see,” said Lokin. “We have heard rumors of a large fleet that prowls these sectors and were hoping that we might gain access to new technology, if the rumors are true, of course.”

The bartender laughed. “You mean the ‘ghost fleet’? We hear about it from spacers and freighter pilots from time to time, but we ain’t never seen such a thing on Bakura. It’s mostly just bulls.hit tales from someone who’s had too much to drink or trying to get female company for the night. I wouldn’t put much stock in it, if I were you.”

“That’s what we were afraid of, sorry to say,” said Lokin as he and Raina got up to leave. He slid enough credits to pay for the drinks, plus a little extra and they walked toward the exit.

They were barely out of the cantina when they heard someone hailing them. “Hey, hey you! I seen that fleet once.”

Lokin and Raina turned around to face a small thin man in spacer garb. His sandy hair was greasy and he had a scar that ran across his nose and onto his cheek. His pale blue eyes seemed twitchy, which put them both on alert, but they wanted to hear what he had to say nonetheless.

“Do tell,” said Lokin. “And just how much will you want for this tale of yours?”

“Umm, just enough for a drink or two, I don’t want no trouble.”

“Please, regale us with your story. You will get your credits if the tale is worthwhile.”

“Uh, ok. It was a few months ago. I had dropped out of hyperspace a few thousand parsecs from Bakura to fix a burned out wiring harness that would have caused some serious problems with my sublights. Anyway, there in the distance I saw them. So many ships they blocked out the stars behind them, then they were just gone, disappeared like ghosts.

“Big things they were, weird configuration, all in perfect formation like nothing human was at the controls. Gave me the creeps, I tell ya. Ain’t nothin’ I ever want to see again.”

“Any idea where they came from or went back to?” asked Raina.

“No, ma’am,” he said as he shuffled from foot to foot. “Who would have the resources to even build something like that?”

“Who indeed?” pondered Lokin as he pressed a twenty credit chip into the spacer’s hand.

“We’d better get back to the ship or Vector will be furious,” said Raina.

“I expect we will be seeing a lot of that from him.”

“I worry about him more than any of the rest of us.”

“As do I, Raina, as do I.”

********************

Vector was pacing again when Raina and Lokin entered the ship. He stopped when they approached.

“Well, did you learn anything?”

“Nothing beyond the fact that the fleet exists. On Bakura, at least, it has been relegated to a ghost tale, however, we did speak with a spacer who had seen it, but only briefly. He has no idea where it hails from nor its destination.”

Vector rubbed his forehead. “We are no worse off than where we began but no better either. The refueling is completed and the bill paid. Raina, if you would, please take us away from here and back to our previous position, we have little time to waste.”

Raina nodded and proceeded to the cockpit. They felt the repulsorlifts engage and the slight drag of gravity as the Phantom eased out of the spaceport and began its ascent into the sky.

Vector was about to leave when Lokin grabbed his arm. “How are you doing? Have you eaten anything yet?”

“Membrosia will sustain us, doctor, we have little appetite for anything else.”

“Only part of an answer, Vector. How are you doing?”

Vector looked at him with those bottomless black orbs. “We dare not speak of other things. We will do what must be done and face the future as it presents itself. We have nothing but tenuous hope and memories now.”

He disengaged Lokin’s hand and headed toward the cargo hold where he would spend most of the next two days practicing with his staff to the point of exhaustion, only to rest a while and start all over again.

They exited hyperspace amid giant chunks of debris left by the destruction of Marr’s destroyer and the other vessels. Raina cut immediately to booster rockets to navigate through the huge pieces of torn metal that floated all around, each rotating slowly but dead nonetheless.

Tiny pieces of debris pinged off the hull and twice a body somersaulted toward them, limbs frozen akimbo, mouths locked in a silent scream, and slid over the cockpit window. A terrible reminder that space is a lonely place to die and kills with equal aplomb.

They scanned for lifesigns and any signs of the escape pods, monitoring wideband frequencies for any indication of life. They found two damaged escape pods and docked carefully with each, sending 2VR8 inside to scout, and although there were bodies on board, none were Rey’elle.

They had been searching for nearly two days, going in a grid pattern with agonizing slowness until they were nearly outside the area of debris. Kaliyo had taken over the controls and Raina was exiting the cockpit, when suddenly she grabbed the door frame to keep herself from falling. She had paled beneath her dark complexion and Vector moved to steady her.

“What is it Raina?”

“Just a dizzy spell, probably over tired, I’ll be fine.”

“Come with us,” said Vector as he took her arm and helped her to the crew quarters, shutting the door as they entered.

“Raina, we know about you and the force. Please tell us what actually happened.”

“She told you? I cannot believe she would break such a confidence with me.”

“It was so we could help protect you if needed, Raina. We would never divulge your secret and we believe you know us well enough by now to understand this. Please, it could be important.”

Raina sighed and sat on the edge of her bunk, still visibly shaken. “My force abilities are meager at best, but even I felt this. Someone of immense power has passed beyond the veil and the ripple was unmistakable.”

“Do you know who it could have been?” asked Vector.

“I am not strong enough in the force to determine who. I am sorry.”

“We must contact Minister Beniko with all due haste. She will know.”

Vector left Raina and punched in the code to connect to Sith Intelligence. He would let it chime on their end until someone picked up, even if it took all day.

At last the same young man picked up on the other end. “Ah, Mr. Hyluss. Minister Beniko is unavailable at the moment, I’m afraid. I am not in a position to divulge any further information. Perhaps if you tried again later?”

Vector struggled to keep his voice level. “Later will not do. We have had an occurrence here that requires we contact her. I assure you, we will not take much of her time.”

“Very well, let me see what I can do.”

Several minutes passed before the image of Lana Beniko appeared. “Be quick, Vector. I have no time, too much is happening.”

“We felt a change, Minister Beniko. Something very strong, we assume you have felt something also?”

“I did not realize joiners were force sensitive.”

“We are not, but we do listen to the universe and the song has changed, something monumental has occurred,” Vector lied.

“We felt the passing of Darth Marr. The ripple was very strong and there is no doubt that he is dead. Too many things are happening for me to spend any more time on this. They have already begun to engage our forces and we are not doing well.

“I must go, but I do request, again, that you and your crew return to Dromund Kaas. There will be no repercussions for your previous insubordinate action. We will have need of every able bodied person if we hope to stem the tide. Beniko out.”

The confirmation of Marr’s passing did nothing to ease Vector’s already tortured mind. He stood by the terminal, unable to speak, while the inevitability of Rey’elle’s death crashed against him again, drowning him anew in despair.

“Vector?” Kaliyo called from the cockpit. “What do you want me to do now? We are well outside the debris field.”

Vector was replaying the scene of Marr’s exploding ship again in his head, trying to see it from any angle that would reignite just the tiniest flicker of hope, and it always ended the same way with the white light and the end of her song.

Dr. Lokin placed his hand on Vector’s arm, interrupting his thoughts. “Vector, what do we do? We cannot stay here forever and search in the same area indefinitely.”

Vector delayed his analysis long enough to respond. “Doctor, it was approximately six days from the time Marr’s ship exploded until his death was sensed. That means that he was taken prisoner, for a time, and a ship can travel tens of thousands of parsecs in five or six days.

“The problem is that we do not have a direction to follow, it could take months or years to find out where, since wild space is basically unexplored and unmapped. It would take another expeditionary foray into this region and we all saw how that ended.

“If Rey’elle is still alive, she is here, somewhere, and we may never find her. We must wait for more information. Kaliyo, we will sweep the debris one more time, then go back to Dromund Kaas. It will be a long journey from this end of the galaxy back to sith space.”

“Are you sure, my boy? How do we know we won’t be arrested on sight?” asked Lokin.

“Because Beniko didn’t ask us to trust her, she simply stated fact. We see no other avenue open to us, and though it tests our soul, it seems we must abandon our search for Rey’elle, for now, but we will never give up until we either hold her again or lay her bones to rest.”

(To be Continued)

Foxfirerose's Avatar


Foxfirerose
01.29.2017 , 06:31 AM | #9
So happy to be reading about your Vector and this crew again! You portray them all so well I can see and hear them in my mind's eye all the way through, and the story just becomes alive. My heart just aches for Vector....and I know there will be no relief for him any time soon

I will be anxiously awaiting the next chapter!

JennyFlynn's Avatar


JennyFlynn
01.29.2017 , 11:53 AM | #10
You do your SCORPIO well, I'd like to punch her.

Had to chuckle at Raina and Lokin's exchange about Kaliyo and just as I sat here thinking "Didn't he and Kaliyo...", Raina mentioned the same. I like how you made the Eternal Fleet something of a 'ghost story' in those parts of the galaxy and something people either don't believe in or seriously fear.

Searching through the wreckage and dead bodies was sad but well written and I tend to almost forget Raina's got Force sensitive abilities but you made brilliant use of them here, absolutely loved that how even she felt Marr's passing. Going back to Dromund Kaas seems like the best option for now, having no clue otherwise but my heart breaks for Vector.

Wonderful chapter Misha!
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