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The Life that's Left


EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
02.10.2013 , 08:41 PM | #61
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
Complicated little pair, aren't they? lol
Only a little bit



A few hours later...



I run up the cargo ramp, jumping onto the hard declining steel before it touches the ground and for the first time in a long time, my swift running is hard and loud. Gault is ready in the cargo bay, blaster in hand. HK stands opposite the door, blaster rifle at the ready and waiting to lock on to anything that might be following.

I run to Gault and stop in front of him, pressing my gun under his chin. He doesn't flinch and only looks me in the eye. Seems me holding a blaster to his head has become a new form of greeting used only by us and low life thugs.

'How many are following?' Gault asks with a nervous edge.

'None. Stand down.'

I don't move my gun from under his jaw and he looks at me with piercing curiosity. He puts his blaster back in its holster and HK disappears at the news that no organics are following. I make a note of talking to HK later. We haven't spent some quality time together in two weeks.

'If I told you, Gault, that you had to get smashed with me tonight or I will shoot you right now, what would you do and say?'

'"Put down the gun so I can go get seventeen bottles of whiskey and wine",' he replies smoothly.

I nod, give him a tiny smile and lower my gun, waving my hand as if he is now dismissed from my company and unwanted. 'Correct answer.'

'It went that well then, my dear?'

'Let's just say I don't want to see the colour blue for at least a week.'

'Ah, well, let me help you out of that armour then,' Gault replies with a sly grin. I grin back and I take off my breast plate and wrist guards without assistance, walking to under the stairs to carefully lay them down there. I roll up the sleeves of my under shirt and sigh.

Gault slips into his room and comes out with a rather large crate full of clinking bottles.

We move up to the holoterminal room and I take note of the fact there's a new message. Gault springs onto the couch and reclines there. I decide to take up my usual seat on the floor next to it and lean against the front, my head resting back onto Gault's thigh. The crate sits next to me and I rest my arm on it, the other already holding a half finished bottle.

Gault fills me in on his own trials of the night. A rival Hutt who is trying to make a name for themselves when none exists, tried a take over of his territory and he spent most of the night handing out credits and blaster fire. As soon as the hired guns on the Hutt's side realised Gault had more credits they were very willing to hand over the Hutt for a price. The Hutt's defeat provided him with a tiny profit of credits in the end and an expansion of territory. Gault only returned from celebrating in his cantina an hour before I got back.

'You know what I don't understand, Gault,' I begin after another two bottles and Gault's tale of the night ended several minutes ago. 'Why he never let them know where the base was,' I end after quite a long and unnecessary pause.

'I have no idea what you're talking about, my dear, but I'll assume it's about your blue-boy.'

'How penetrating of you, Gault,' I sarcastically reply.

'Not particularly. If that impresses you it's no wonder you married the Mandalorian.'

I scowl but Gault can't see it. The whiskey turns to mud in my mouth and resist the urge to spit it out across the room. I swallow hard and shake my head. 'He will find out.'

The small flashing light that signals an unwatched message catches my eye. I check the caller. Corridan. I shake my head and close the screen, leaning back down against the sofa, my heart feeling that little bit heavier. I wipe thoughts of the Mandalorian from my mind and continue my previous thoughts.

'I've thought it through and through and I know the how: the only way they could never have found out is if he cleared the galaxy map, flight history and lied to them. But I don't understand why. Why the f*ck wouldn't he tell them and let them level the f***ing place?'

'This might be a crazy thought but why don't you ask him?'

'Ask a Cipher why they betrayed the Empire? I'm sure that would go down well,' I mock.

'Or maybe you could just get a clue and realise he did it to protect you,' Gault harshly replies.

'Don't be an idiot, Gault,' I rebuke. 'Forget I mentioned it.'

'With pleasure.'

I crane my head back and on an angle so I can see Gault's face. But I can't. All I can see is his neck and jaw as he leans his head back and over the end of the sofa. His bitter rage hidden under biting sarcasm confuses me. I think about it for a moment and remember how I kneed him goodbye the last time I saw him twelve hours ago. I doubt that's where it comes from. We move on from everything: every incident, every underhanded deal, every bruise and every threat are all easily taken in our relationships stride. We don't dwell on anything for long.

'I thought you weren't seeing blue-boy tonight anyway,' Gault says eventually. He doesn't raise his head and I return to staring at the join of the ceiling and wall opposite me.

'Yeah, well, plans change,' I evasively answer. I finish the bottle and grab a new one before the last drop leaves the last one. I don't want to think of Damin anymore. I don't want to think of Torian anymore. I don't want to think about anything anymore.

'Gault, what would it take for you to leave me?'

I feel him raise his head look at me evenly and I turn my face away from him and take a drink from my new bottle.

'You running out of credits, my dear, but even then I might make you a dancer for my cantina. You already have the outfit,' Gault jokes with a strange void of humour. The formality of a leering remark is empty of any real feeling but I don't know what I expected other than that. I guess I wanted to hear something else.

I force a laugh like he forced a joke. 'I'll just have to make myself real poor real quick then,' I return.

He doesn't snicker or make a retort. Gault sits up slowly and I lift my head off his leg. He slips down to sit between me and the crate and eases and arm around my shoulder.

'You really suck at being a human, you know. But you're getting better.' Gault's arm tightens around me and I let out a bitterly content laugh.

'You suck at being human as well.' Gault smiles and looks to the opposite wall. I rest my head on his shoulder and close my eye. 'What would a normal woman say now?'

'I can't say I speak to many unless dancers count.' He smirks and I chuckle and roll my eye under its closed lid. 'But I think she might decide to call it a morning and go to bed.'

I don't move. Something inside me feels a little more sore than it did a few moments ago.

'I don't want to be alone,' I reply in a quiet voice too firm to be a whisper. I'm missing the filter that normally exists between my mouth and brain tonight and I can only hope that when I wake up, it will be back there like it had never left me for twelve hours.

'We're all always alone, babe, and it isn't ever gonna change.' I don't make a reply. 'And since when were you alone? Last time I checked you were happily married to that Mando punk.'

'Are you ever going to use his name?' I ask evasively. Another opportunity to tell him passes me by and I know it won't be the last. But each time it gets easier and easier to not say, and it will only make him finding out that much harder and harder.

We were happily married once. For a handful of glorious weeks, we were married and happy. As the days pass, the pain of waking alone and with the knowledge the day and night will pass again without him, only becomes more and more. It doesn't get easier. Time isn't helping anything. And time is something I'm running out of.

'Apologies, Mrs. Cadera, but no, I'm not.' Hearing the title sounds strange coming from Gault. When I think about it, he's never used my name of any sort.

'A little jealous, are we?' I tease. I know he isn't and the thought of it is so ridiculous I can't help but laugh loudly.

Gault only grunts a reply and smirks, throwing his head onto the sofa base. I watch him for a moment and then look away. I catch a glint of HK wondering around the ship and frown. What's your ship like, Damin? Is it happier than this? I curse myself out loud and shake my head. Of course it isn't happier. He told me himself.

Gault raises his head a moment and gives me a curious look before reclining again, his horns digging deep into the soft cushioning and stopping his bald head touching the cushion.

'So are you going to me about blue-boy or not?' Gault asks with an air of boredom.

'Not much to say. He interrupted my date,' I slightly nudge Gault and snicker. Gault makes an 'umph' noise but smoothly moves closer, his arm becoming tighter. 'And then we just talked.'

'Talked?' Gault clarifies with disbelief and scorn.

'No, we were f***ing for the past eight hours,' I mock with a roll of my eye. Gault stiffens and moves away. I laugh and elbow him. 'Idiot. We only talked.' Gault keeps his head back and doesn't move closer again. I laugh some more. It's a strange noise in my ears, too high and feminine. I've never liked my laugh.

'Sure, babe, sure. I won't tell the Mando,' Gault assures me with a sneer.

'Wow, you must be more drunk than I thought, Gault. Talking means talking,' I end with a sigh. I don't know why I'm defending myself and forcing Gault to believe that's all that happened. It's the truth. Isn't it?

'Talking like we are now, my dear?'

'Similar. You know,' I dryly laugh at myself before continuing, 'Damin thought we were f***ing.'

'We can be if you want, my dear,' Gault replies with a smirk, his arm pulling me closer.

'Don't make me vomit, Gault.'

'Ouch, you almost hurt my feelings with that one.'

I roll my eyes but don't reply. I think about twisting Gault's arm and asking if that does hurt. But I don't.

'Stay with me tonight,' I request without thinking.

'It's morning, babe,' Gault evasively corrects with a sly grin, still looking straight ahead to the wall.

'Then stay with me until afternoon,' I retort.

Gault doesn't reply but pulls me up onto the couch and I lie down. He takes his seat on the floor again and my hand. I roll onto my side and bring my knees into my chest.

'You owe me for this,' are the last grumbled words I hear before giving into a dreamed filled sleep. But no matter what happens in it, no matter what the memories thrown at me are or how much pain is in Damin's eyes, I can still feel Gault's hand and he's still there when I wake.

'You're a f*** wit,' I whisper to him before going back to sleep.

'I know,' he replies with a self mocking laugh. 'F***, do I know it, my dear,' he repeats again with a sigh and I hear him take a long drink from a bottle.


-----


Spoiler

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
02.12.2013 , 03:36 PM | #62
I think it's interesting the way she craves contact. I'd have to go back and reread the beginning of When I Wake, but didn't she used to avoid anything but violent contact?
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
02.12.2013 , 09:46 PM | #63
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
I think it's interesting the way she craves contact. I'd have to go back and reread the beginning of When I Wake, but didn't she used to avoid anything but violent contact?
Long explanation:
Spoiler

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
02.13.2013 , 01:35 PM | #64
Quote: Originally Posted by EverSteam View Post
Long explanation:
Spoiler
That makes sense...and of course the way she interacts with people, what she needs would change.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
02.15.2013 , 03:07 AM | #65
Hours later...


'Gault, what time is it?' I mumble with my eyes still closed. I've been awake for a while. But like always, I feel a little shaky, a little uneasy and a little scared after waking. I don't know if it's better to sleep or be awake anymore. Everything I had certainty over is now unsure.

'By Nar Shaddaa time it's around dusk, my dear.'

I curse and sit up, taking my hand from his and running it through my long hair.

'I must say, watching you sleep for eleven hours gets pretty f***ing boring.'

I move the hand to my eye and wish I could press them and massage them. I consol myself with rubbing my temples.

'Two things, Gault: first, I'm not here for you f***ing amusement; second, feel free to leave any time. I'm still hoping you will.'

Gault stands up and brushes off his pants. What used to be a spotless ship has become dusty and dirty.

'Well, you know I'm not going to anytime soon. And I've always wanted to go to Iziz.'

I stand up and grunt a reply. I stretch and make my way to the cockpit, careful to step around the bottles. I bring up the galaxy map. I find Onderon. My finger hovers over one of its four moons for a moment. I shake my head and set course for Onderon.

I turn around to face Gault and raise an eyebrow at him as he watches me from the doorway.

'By the way, it wasn't always boring. You did speak quite a bit.' Gault gives me a devious smile, his face dark with shadows from the low lights. And I feel a little bit of fear.

'Oh? Say anything interesting?' I ask casually. I raise my hand and look at my nails. I've always hated my habit of talking in my sleep. I have a few theories about it but there isn't anything I can do. I only know it's getting worse.

'Not really. Said blondies name far too many times, Blizz's name, my name... a few phrases here and there - some in Mando.'

'That hardly sounds very entertaining.' I push off the consol and make to walk out. I feel a little relieved. But I still want to leave before he tells me what I don't want to hear, before I hear that I said too much.

Gault blocks my way with a relaxed arm. I look at it curiously and poke it with one of my very long nails to make sure it's real. Everyone who has tried to block my way ends up dead or with one less arm. But strangely, Gault remains the exception.

'No, that was the boring part. Though I did like the part where you moaned my name.' I raise a hand to his arm and begin to twist it. 'Ow, ow, ow, ow. Ok, you just said it, there was no moaning involved,' he admits with a sigh and a scowl.

I nod once and let go of his arm, expecting him to move it now he's had his fun. He does drop it, but then he does something curious and that is that he follows me. I stop on the platform of the stairs where the way divides into three: where we came from, the cargo bay and my room. I face the cargo bay and see the ghosts of memories.

'See the really interesting part was the 'no, don't go', 'please not that' and 'secondary' that was repeated again and again. And at one stage, I thought I heard a 'don't die'.' Gault steps closer to me and puts a firm hand on my arm to turn me around to face him.

'Is there something you want to talk about, my dear?' Gault stares at me with serious concern, holding my eye. I only stare back into it. There isn't any emotion there for him to see.

I grab his hand and begin to crush it. 'Don't touch me again.'

I let go and walk to my room. Gault doesn't follow.

'He will find out.'

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
02.15.2013 , 10:59 AM | #66
Quote: Originally Posted by EverSteam View Post
'He will find out.'
Dun dun dun.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
02.19.2013 , 12:38 AM | #67
Around twenty four hours later...

'HK, I need to talk to you.'

I drop my hand from the intercom and where it restlessly finds a bare foot. My fingers stroke the cold metal, running up and down it as if trying to strum a sound from it.

A few moments later, I hear the droid walking up the steps to my quarters, metal clanging on metal.

'Greetings, master. I hope you slept well,' HK greets with thick mockery. I miss the days when there were at least two people on this ship that didn't mock or criticise me.

'Can the pleasantry crap. And yes, that's an order. I need to talk with you about something. Close the door.'

HK closes the door and turns from the panel back to facing me. I look up at it from my seat on the edge of the bed. In the low lighting I constantly have set, HK is dark and his yellow eyes glow with something far too close to sinister for a droid.

'Assertion: I need to talk to you as well, master. I was waiting for a moment to speak to you without the... Devaronian's presence.' It says the species with thick disgust and it makes me smile. Know when you've hit the bottom of the pits in loneliness when you start to enjoy the company of an assassin droid. And it brings back memories.

'Do you love her, Devaronian?'

'Make it quick.' I fold my bare legs and feet under me and rest my elbows on my knees, my chin on my entwined fingers.

'List: Braga, Tol... Jedi Knight. Status unknown. Resmond, Cyra... Jedi Knight. Status unknown. Tavus, Harron... Lieutenant Special Forces. Status unknown.'

I shift my hands so the fingers and thumbs make a triangle. I tap the corner my fingers make against my chin as I begin to think. It said the name distinctly. There is no mistake. An excitement passes through me that I find hard to contain. A slow grin spreads across my face as the droid says the last two names on it's list. I begin to laugh in a low chuckle. But I can't get ahead of myself.

HK continues as if it hasn't noticed the ecstatic and eager malice that has crept into the room and is blissfully suffocating me.

'Confession: I have detected an anomaly in my subroutines.'

'Oh? An anomaly? I didn't think the galaxies greatest and perfect killing machine got 'anomalies',' I smirk up at it, still tapping my power triangle against my chin as only part of my mind is in the present and talking to the droid.
I think if HK's lights were capable of lowering his eyes into a glare they would be.

'Correction: it is only one anomaly, master.' I chuckle and make an exaggerated apology. 'Apology accepted, or- master. Continuation: the target list I was programmed with years ago remains active in my memory core.'

'Interesting. Who put the list there?' My hands merge again and begin one large, tight fist. For a moment, I see myself using it to knock HK's head to the ground, clean off his skinny, metal neck. I shake my head. I squeeze my hands tighter.

'I can remedy that.'

'The Master, of course, master.' Interesting. But it doesn't matter in the end who gave the names.

'I see. Now, why don't we skip the boring crap and get to the part where you tell me that you need to kill them to be operating at "one hundred percent efficiency"?' One hand tries to break free from the other to wave away any more useless babble so I can get to asking him what I want to but the other won't let it go and so they both make a jerky movement together that is ignored in silence by the droid.

'Conformation: my operating efficiency has dropped by twenty one point four nine percent, master. Perplexity: but how did you know, master?'

'I saw your fighting on Nar Shaddaa. It was around ninety percent on Nar Shaddaa, you're now talking to me about this, even said there was an anomaly... did it ever occur to you that I am actually intelligent?'

'You're always amazing.'


'Confirmation: the thought has occasionally crossed our circuits, master. Continuation: my failure to liquidate the programmed undesirables has caused a cascade of system failure of vital systems.' Almost like a real boy. 'They cannot be removed manually as the programmer is deceased. Conclusion: the destructive subroutine will end immediately when I fulfil my programming.'

'So this is where you tell me you have all the targets locations?'

'Let's hunt.'


'Incorrect, master. However, I will set about finding them as soon as possible. Request: while I find the locations I would appreciate it if you did not mention this to your organic. It is important they continue to fear me.'

I'm not sure 'fear' is that right word to describe Gault's disgust? hate? irritation? amusement? that Gault feels towards the droid. But whatever makes it happy.

'Sure, HK. My lips are sealed.'

I feel like it gives me a confused look before turning to leave, as if thinking of questioning the metaphor or elaborating on this error.

'Halt, droid. I haven't given you permission to leave. I still have questions and new orders for you.'

'Apologies, master,' HK replies in a grating screech that almost sounds annoyed. It turns from the door and takes a step closer.

'Now, the people on your list... all have done something to greatly aid the Republic except for Jedi Knight Cyra. She's twenty eight. There was no way she was more than a padawan or any threat when that list was programmed into you. Why is she on it?' I demand crisply. Closest I've been to finding her in months.

'Confusion: I do not know, master. Conclusion: I can only conclude the Master knew something and knew she would need liquidating. The Master is all knowing.'

Always seems to come back to this Master. I remake my triangle and begin to tap it a little harder than before against my chin. It doesn't help me think but it helps find a vent for the restlessness I feel. I need to get moving. Hyperspace just isn't fast enough. I can't let myself think. I need to keep moving. I need more serum. My eyes flicker to the cabinet.

'Now, back to my new orders. I want-' I'm cut off half way through my sentence by my alarm on my belt going off. I scowl despite the fear. I switch it off. I breathe deep and leap from my bed, lightly running down the stairs. I take another deep breath that only steadies me because the human in me thinks it will.

I walk to the engine room calmly, my fingers clenching and unclenching. I don't let myself look around the cargo bay: ghosts flitter on the edge of my vision. Need more serum.

'Gault, what are you doing?' I calmly lean against the engine room door and look at him evenly.

Gault drops his hands from the door's panel and steps back. His red eyes narrow ever so slightly as he looks at me and I know he can feel that I am tense and ready to pounce.

'Nothing, babe. Just heard a strange noise from the engine room and thought something might need fixing.' He crosses his arms and I breathe deep. I know Gault well enough to know when he is lying. He is lying.

'I can't hear anything.'

'Well, maybe I just imagined it,' he muses with a shrug.

'Most likely. How many drinks have you had already?' I say with a smirk, attempting to hide how scared and angry I am. Being near this room makes me feel so much... rage and fear that after I leave it, I am only a shell and it takes hours until I can think straight again.

'None.'

'Sure, Gault, sure.' I roll my eye and then give him a friendly smile of sorts. 'Come on, let's go change that.'

I step up next to him and link my arm through his, escorting him away from the engine room door. HK stands in the doorway to my room and watches us approach the bottom of the stairs. I don't let myself hesitate. I walk up them and turn right towards the comm room.

'HK, I'll talk to you later,' I quietly tell him as we walk past.

Gault and I settle down into our seats and I pour us both drinks that neither of us will touch.

'How long until we land?'

'Five more hours,' I absently reply. The light is still flashing: Corridan's message remains unwatched.

'What time will it be there when we land?'

'Late afternoon.'

'Straight to work?'

'Straight to work,' I affirm. My eyes continue to watch the flashing light, my blank mind becoming hypnotised by it. My thoughts are moving so fast they don't stay long enough for me to define them: they remain more fleeting impressions and feelings.

'I don't remember the engine room having a lock or alarm the last time we were in there.'

'Probably because it didn't.'

'But it does now?'

'Obviously.' I slowly turn my head to him, my eyes reluctantly leaving the light, and I smile. 'I didn't want a repeat of last time.'

It was only luck and Gault's mind being on... other things, that Gault didn't notice It. I won't be so lucky next time. I had to take precautions. If he doesn't leave when he finds out about Torian, he will if and when he opens that door. For some reason I don't dwell on, I can't let that happen.

But if I was even more honest with myself, it's because I sleep easier with the door locked. Alarms can work two ways and so can locks. Every time the engine light flashes, every time something needs fixing and I have to go down into there... I withhold a shiver. I want to forget about that room. But I can't get rid of It.

For a moment, I think I see Gault's eyes narrow on me. But it's only a moment then he has his devious grin back.

'Mando punks orders?'

'Something like that.' I slowly turn my head to the light again. Yeah, it's something like that.

'Well, my dear, I think I'll turn in and get a few more hours sleep. See you when we land.'

Gault stands up, dusts his pants off like always, and then walks to the exit. It isn't until his foot makes a louder clatter on the first stair that I leave my daze. But I don't look at him, only the light.

'Sleep well, Gault.'

What else can I say? If you open that door I will kill you? Then he will. I know if I warned him away any more he would try to open that door and I would kill him.

What other choice would I have?

iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
02.19.2013 , 04:53 PM | #68
"Open them all; go into each and every one of them, except that little closet, which I forbid you, and forbid it in such a manner that, if you happen to open it, you may expect my just anger and resentment." - Bluebeard, Perrault
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
---------------
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

EverSteam's Avatar


EverSteam
02.22.2013 , 04:49 AM | #69
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
"Open them all; go into each and every one of them, except that little closet, which I forbid you, and forbid it in such a manner that, if you happen to open it, you may expect my just anger and resentment." - Bluebeard, Perrault
Exactly

-----


A few hours later...



I open my eyes. I look with focus to the light. The cloud that the engine room leaves over my mind is gone and the sharp purpose has returned. I press play.

'Cadera,' Corridan begins. I immediately can tell from his large, blue holo figure that he looks worse. Older and tired, all residue of a youthful handsome Mandalorian has been from his face.

'I know you're travelling to Onderon. Don't think you can come so close to home and not pay your family a visit, do you?'

It's exactly what I think. And exactly what I intend. He knows it all too well and I knew that that was what this call was: an invitation and a threat. I guess that's why I didn't want to press play. I don't want to be called to the place I never had a chance to call home to be scolded for my long absence and silence.

I take a shaky breath and press pause. I need to steady myself. But I don't want to lean on anything: I stand with a straight back, feet apart and eyes closed.

It's not enough. I lean on the holo terminal with both hands and take deep breaths. All Corridan does is bring him bring back to mind. The months Gault had done to ease my pain and grief are quickly becoming undone. I know if anyone can run forever, it isn't me. Maybe Gault could. But I can't. I need to stand and fight. I take a large breath and this time it works.

I stand again and stare into Corridan's frozen, grainy eyes. My mind is a mile away. It's on the beach with the General. He's trying to tell me how to move forward - that the only way to get past the waves out to the calm is to dive through them, duck under and let them pass. But I shake my head. My hair used to be a lighter shade of red then, more like the shining orange of a setting Tatooine sun than the colour of dried blood. I wonder if they had something to do with it.

When I shook my head, my wet hair was so long it could swing all the way around my head and hit the side of my head where it grew from. My cheek can feel the sting of it and I can feel the raging Corellian sea around my waist as it tries to suck me one way and then push me another. But I won't let it take me. I try to take a step forward but my foot is caught in a strong undercurrent and I'm forced back three steps. But then I force myself forward again.

I remember staring at the horizon. Whenever the horizon was blocked by a wave too big to jump, I would stand my ground. The General would float over or dive under. But I always only took a breath, dug my feet in and braced myself, leaning forward like I was about to begin a race and fists raised like I was ready for a fight.

The waves would occasionally force me back a step or two, but sometimes they would go by and I would be able to advance. It took longer than the General's way but when I only saw open sea to the horizon with no more waves or buckles, I knew the fight to get to this point and to get to him was worth the setbacks and struggle: I took on the ocean - nature - to get to that point and I wouldn't of preferred to do it any other way.

Suddenly, I feel like this is what this is. Torian is waiting in the open ocean and I need to stand here, strong and unmoving, and wait for the waves to pass me so I can reach him with one slow step at a time. I've been ducking under waves. This invitation is one wave I will not dive under. I will stand my ground again.

I press play.

'I'm off world at the moment. Be back on Dxun with my squad in three and a half weeks. Look forward to seeing you. We have much to discuss.'

The messages ends, his form flickering and then disappearing. I put my hands on the top of the control panel and hang my head. I take a few deep breaths and close my eyes. I open them and wipe the message dated four days ago.

I turn around and I think I see a flash of red, the tips of a horn. But it was too quick to know if it was Gault or not and I can't hear anything. I doubt it was. It doesn't matter either way. For the moment, that wave is in the distance, growing larger and gaining force. When it comes, I will stand my ground and do what I need to.

I head to the cockpit and watch our slow progress to Onderon.



----



Two hours late...


'Did you know that Dxun, one of Onderon's four moons, comes so close to Onderon that every summer Drexls and other creatures can fly between the two planets?'

I take my eyes from the moons and look at Gault and HK. HK stands in the shadows of the right and Gault has his usual post against the wall on my left side.

'Negative, master.' I loll my head to the right and stare into HK's yellow lights, a small smirk on my lips. I'm really not surprised. 'We do not concern ourselves with information that doesn't assist the liquidation of organics.'

'Of course not, HK. I don't know what insanity over took me to think you knew something other than how to shoot a man's head off from two hundred paces without looking.' Gault makes a snicker and I turn my head to him.

'And let me guess, Gault, you don't concern yourself with anything that doesn't assist your eternal and insatiable quest for credits?' I raise an eyebrow in amusement. For a moment, the memory of one of my childhood teachers comes to my mind and I frown a little at the uncalled for memory. Organic memory seems to hold a lot of pointless crap while letting important things slip. I see organics from HK's perspective and feel what HK could never feel: fear.

'How well you know me, my dear.' Gault pushes off the wall and comes to stand behind my chair. He rests a crooked arm on top of the chair while the other snakes down my arm. 'But if you have any more fascinating facts about swamp moons and orbits I'd be happy to learn them on your knee.'

'Nice, Gault,' I dryly congratulate as I free my arm smoothly. 'I'm really amazed sometimes how you manage to turn anything into a suggestion of sex.'

Gault leans in closer and whispers into my ear. 'That wasn't but if your offering now...' Gault takes my hand and gives it a little tug, giving me that suggestive, slimy smile he seems to reserve for me. I shake my head and laugh. My hair catches in my eye and I take a band off my wrist to tie it back, taking my hand out of Gault's in the process.

A control officer comes on the comm and tells us we're clear to land.

'Roger that,' I reply. I begin the tedious process of landing the ship alone. I refuse to think of Blizz or Torian. So I turn my mind away from that but not quite entirely.

'By the way, Gault, Dxun is all thick jungle, not marsh, and has a Type I atmosphere. Dxun is also known as the Demon Moon because...' I smile to myself and bite back a laugh as I hear Gault groan and shove off my chair.

I continue listing as many facts I know about Dxun as possible and by the time we land, I've covered it's climate, animal inhabitants and history. There isn't the same animation in my voice as there was in my teacher.

I sigh. Gault springs on the opportunity to make another suggestion and I feel like we're going to be ok. After all, if Gault and I can survive me almost killing him, I think we can survive a few secrets. We need to for his sake.


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Spoiler

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iamthehoyden
02.22.2013 , 10:15 AM | #70
It's good. Has me wondering where this is all leading

(On a related note - your bh is a pyrotech correct? I thought of her when I saw the shoulder cannon ability vans and pyros are getting in 2.0. Shoulder mounted turret, for real - it's like they read your story and said "cool idea!" lol)
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
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Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box