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When I Wake

EverSteam's Avatar

09.27.2012 , 11:22 PM | #11
Ok, give me a while, she'll go back to killing people in a post or two.

EverSteam's Avatar

09.28.2012 , 09:41 PM | #12
A few hours later....

He turns to me with steel resolve in his eyes. Pleases me to not see a weak child. 'Thanks for this. I will not forget it.'

'Hold you to that.' I wink at him. It's a little bit of an awkward thing when you only have one eye. I smile to make up for the deficiency. 'We will meet again.' Never knew how true that statement was until later. Inside, something twists alive and painful. I had forgotten this would end.

Jicoln is dead.

He gestures to a purple splash on the mud. 'Shame.' I bend down swiftly and pick up the broken, dirty remnants of the flower I found. It fell out when Cadera pushed me down. Move made Jicoln's shot a miss. Saved my life, I guess. But it makes me more than a little sad. It was a rare thing. I throw it back down onto the ground.

'It's worthless now.'

He turns away from me and looks down the hill. 'It's been an honour'.

'You two are good... real good. Even Artus never gave me this much of a run.'

Jicoln saunters down the hill from his sniper position and faces us. Finally showing some manly honour.

'His name is Mandalore now!' Cadera is angry. So much pride and so much to prove.

'I know what he calls himself now, boy. I was there.'

'Dad getting under your skin, Cadera?' Torian shoots me a glare. It's vicious. I like his anger. I meet it levelly. I leer at him and then Jicoln as understanding spreads across his face.

'Father? Torian? No... you can't be. Artus said he would kill you. Promised to kill you. Swore it.'

Cadera looks to his right, eyes in the distance. 'Sometimes, I wish he had.' His voice is thick with betrayal and years of suffering. Wouldn't have been easy. But it only showed for a moment. He goes back to stern resolve. Almost stoic. I only have respect for those that suffer in silence. Wish Mako would take a lesson or two from Cadera.

'So it's really you. Artus knows how to put the crowning irony on a vendetta.'

'Bit too late for remorse, Jicoln. I'm doing it for Mandalore. Kid's doing it for himself.'

'But does he know why?' Like I care. Jicoln's going to die. Whether it's by Cadera's gun or mine. Don't give a **** why the kid's doing it really. Though any fool could figure it out.

Cadera pulls his gun and holds it to his father's head. 'You stripped our clan of its honour. Today, I'm taking it back!' I like his self righteousness. And the harsh edge to his solemn voice.

I draw out my gun as well. 'There you go. Can we hurry up and kill you now?'

I respect his strength to kill his Father. It would be a pathetic weakness to allow him to live. He was decisive. And, I admit, I was a little surprised. I never got the whole 'parents' thing. Over rated. Not that an orphan would know. Didn't have them. Didn't need them. Don't want them. Don't remember them.

I thought he would take the chance for father and son bonding. To settle unsolved Daddy issues. He proved me wrong. He wasn't a child screaming for Daddy to look at him. I step on the flower, my boot pressing it into the mud's hungry mouth.

I sympathise with Cadera. No Mandalorian believed he would restore his honour. No one believes I would kill in cold blood. That I can kill. It's a sad thing to have in common, constant underestimation, but it is something. And even if he doesn't realise, I will always feel a connection to him for it. We are alike. More than I have ever been to anyone. And this rare blissful thing fills me with bitter sweet melancholy thoughts.

'Aah... just do it.'

Cadera holds a gun to his kneeling father's head. He stands tall and proud above him. 'Liser gar su jorhaa'ir haar joha, dar'manda?' He spits in his father's face. 'Ib'tuur gar dar'buir balyc.' Today you have no son.

Jicoln turns his head to me. Cadera's spit trickles around the edge of his right eye. He doesn't wipe it away. 'I have a last request hunter. Let me speak with my son.'

I hold up my empty hands and leer at him. 'I'm not the one holding the gun in your face.' I cross my arms and glance at Cadera. I'm still ready for anything. Jicoln isn't dead yet. 'You're call, kid.'

'My clan will not be remembered as traitors.' He is resolute.

He leans forward and pull's his father's body up until their eyes are meeting, noses almost touching. Cadera lifts up his arm and puts the gun to Jicoln's parietal lobe, above his ear.

'Goodbye, aruetii.' He pulls the trigger and watches as the life quickly leaves his father's eyes. He throws the body to the ground like it was a festering contagious thing and spits on it's feet.

I can't see him anymore. Lost in rubble and plants; the life that comes after destruction and loneliness. Wild and heartless. We will meet again. I deny that part of me wants to. I will forever deny it. Maybe then, this worm that has grown inside my guts and wrapped itself around my chest will die. What can live without food?

As he walks away, I feel I am losing something important. A part of me has fallen away. Something I didn't know I had. I try to find words to describe it, but letters seem to dissipate and jumble. It is something beyond description. It is on the edge of my memory. It is something old and forgotten. Something I learnt that I fail to remember. A shadow in my vision. No matter how I reach, it is out of my grasp.

'Let's clear out.' I say it to no one. I forget I am alone with a dead man.

I have lost something important. And I don't know what it is.

But I want it back. More than I have ever wanted anything.


A note from the author:


So keep reading!

EverSteam's Avatar

09.29.2012 , 01:57 AM | #13
A few hours later on the ship...

It was easy to forget him. Almost.

Bragging to the other hunters filled me with pride. My arrogance grates on their nerves. I know I am good. I am the best at what I do. Professional. They underestimated me.

'The Mandalorians will meet you at the space port to pick him up.'

I cut the transmission. Gault and Mako smile at each other. They are proud too. I return to my quarters on the top level. Preparing... things. I don't really know what. I need to be alone a moment. I feel excited and hopeful and... What is this, really? The company of others is odd to me. I am not used to it. I have been alone for a long time. Except for dead men. When I think about it, there have always been dead men in my life.

I call Gault and Mako down when I reach the exit.

Gault comes first. His skin is darker. And his broken horn has grown in the time we spent together. He looks younger. Closer to his real age. He grins at me. 'In a hurry to leave?' The light creates dark shadows around his face.

'You know I like places that don't threaten to turn me into a ravenous mutant or poison me with toxic water as we scramble from ruin to ruin. A shame you missed the fun we had on Nar Shaddaa.' I can hear Mako's light foot work tapping on the steel floor above.

She skips down the stairs. 'Fun for some.' She stands on my right, a smile on her face. Despite talk of Nar Shaddaa. Somehow, her smiles always look slightly sad. 'Ready to leave.' She reports it seriously. It doesn't suit her.

I nod the signal and we begin the long process of leaving the ship.

The Mandalorians are already waiting.

EverSteam's Avatar

09.29.2012 , 07:38 PM | #14
An hour or so later...

He is with them.

Behind and in close proximity to them, yet everything seems to scream separation. I had denied myself the hope that he would be amongst them. That I would ever see him again. 'We'll meet again', huh? I mentally shake my head. Stupid feelings to have for someone I have only just met. So I shake my head again. I don't have feelings.

I smirk at their impertinent leader. 'He's in the cargo hold.' The others go aboard to collect the body. Cadera remains behind. Whatever is in my chest moves and wriggles. It is struggling, like a bird trying to escape from a cage. The flutter is a quick, liquid rushing fast behind my ears. I thought that bird had been long dead. I thought someone else had killed it eight years ago. Ripped it out and left something cold and twisted in its place. And I am too scared to look.

He calls my attention. 'Champion.' My face is passive but heat is spreading through my body. I want this final goodbye over with. Then, I can forget. Over this year, my soul and mind have become proficient in forgetting. Because it's easier.

He is young. Younger than usually attracts my attention. But, I suppose, not really much older than me, as he said. Not much of anything else about him is what usually attracts my attention either. Blonde hair, and such large blue eyes. I feel disarmed under their gaze. He is unguarded. Truthful. They don't hold secrets. It puts me on my watch. Barriers entering the depths of my eyes. Secrets he will never see.

My 'flirting' is direct. I don't play games. Not in my job, and not with people. I don't even know if it is flirting. I have never listened to most people long enough before shooting them to know how the rest plays out after 'hey sexy'. I just don't want him to know what I'm thinking. I don't want to know what I'm thinking.

He shrugs his shoulders at my approaches. He explains why he wants in. I don't care why. And I don't really listen. I had seen him fight. I had seen him hunt. I was impressed. And that was enough. I have no belief in honour.

Gault and Mako pressure me into allowing him on board. Unnecessary but reassuring. I had not felt so many things at once, or just so many things, for years. Nine long years. I am scared. I want to say yes and no all at once. God, I'm thinking like a pubescent school girl again. Maybe I should shoot myself now... I will never let him into my soul. Unless I already have.

'Who could resist a face like that?' is Mako's only contribution. Not very relevant. And it grinds on my nerves. I am tempted to leave her behind on Taris. Or shoot her.

'I'm up for it. Ships pretty boring when your off doing your thing.' Gault's input hardly sways me either way. He's hardly on board during the days or nights when Mako and I are out. Either in a cantina cheating at Sabacc or creating scams to sell to the vendors and potentially gullible clients. Fighting with Gault is less then thrilling.

But being with Gault isn't so bad. We are cruel to each other. But that's how it is. It's fun. And easy. Different from being with Mako. She constantly expects better. Something warmer. Sympathetic. She is a good person. Kind of. I have never met many kind of good people, and if they are as annoying as her, I don't want to meet anymore. I don't believe there are any good people in the galaxy.

I can be me with Gault. Like I can with my employers. Heartless, greedy, cold, remorseless. A killer. Because I don't care for his good opinion. But it didn't matter. Gault was surprised by me still. They always are. 'You like him.' They always underestimate me.

The Padawn runs to their fallen Master. Weak. Stupid to let down your guard.

She says something. I shoot. Pow.

'You really did it. I didn't think you would. I mean, I would. But.' Gault screams disbelief. I think for the first time he saw me. Naked and bare. I snort in derision. Something dark and angry flows through me . It lashes out.

'It's a job. I completed it.' No matter what you do, people always underestimate you. It annoys me. It infuriates me. Sometimes, I think I'm living a life to prove others wrong. To prove him wrong. Nine years is a long time to make a point.

'This is what I do. It's what I've always done. What I was made for. Now hurry and blow this ship to hell.'

He seems to ignore them both, eyes fixed on mine. I look to somewhere between his eyes. 'The honour is mine, kid. I'm flattered. Welcome aboard.' My words were chosen carefully. Distant. We are not familiar. Yet.

His acceptance is simple. 'Thank you.' He uses few words. It appeals to me.

Mako and Gault remove themselves to prepare the ship. Type new coordinateness. Find new destinations. Watch the Mandoloarians. Cadera and I stand. Watching each other. I tried to avoid it. I didn't want it.

It is interrupted by the Mandolorians. Our gaze broken. I am released. I breathe out regret.

'We're done. Coming, Torian?' I make a note of the name change. Feel a little happy for the kid. Jogo seems something close to friendly.

He shrugs his shoulders and turns to face Jogo, standing closer to my side. 'Nope.'

Jogo scoffs. 'You can finally show your face and now you're running off? Try to make something of yourself, arue'tal.' Jogo does everything but spit on Cadera. Cadera only stands straighter at my side. They leave with no more words.

Not sure joining us was the wisest move for Cadera. But this should be still interesting. I seem to be collecting people that don't belong anywhere else. Doesn't mean they belong on my ship.

'Ready when you are.'

I wonder when that is.

EverSteam's Avatar

09.30.2012 , 12:35 AM | #15
Back on board....

I figured he should meet the crew properly.

Mako is friendly. She makes a joking pass at our ship. I admit it's on the bad side. But I like it. I go along with the joke.

'Hey! I've done a lot to this ship! Remember what it was like when we first stole it?' We all smile. It hasn't changed.

'Come on, I'll give you the tour.' I feel a rush of anger after Mako and Cadera leave the room. I punch the nearest wall. I growl at the dint my fist leaves. My gloves are off. The metal implants that protect my knuckles leave four tiny pyramid indents. A light starts flashing somewhere else now. Another thing to fix.

'Don't like to see them get along? I mean, 'who could resist a face like that'?' Gault raises his voice into a mock impersonation of Mako's.

I glare at him. Then relax. I smile. 'Be nice or I'll give you an earful'. I mimic Mako's earlier warning as well. Then I shrug and turn to the beaten wall. I flex my fingers. There's slight cracking and clinking. 'Bout time Mako got some experience. I don't care if it's with the golden child.' I don't move for awhile but he takes a step or two closer.

'And what about you? Do you need some more experience?' He presses up behind me.

I snicker at him. 'I think it's you that needs the experience.' I pull my gun out and have him on the ground, pinned and defenseless, before he can even flinch.

I press the gun to his red forehead. 'Pow.' I lean in closer to whisper. My lips brush his ear. I can taste his lust. But I know that even that is a shallow, mocking thing.

'You're dead.'


If you like the idea of Bounty Hunter x Gault, he's a link to a one-shot I wrote about them

EverSteam's Avatar

09.30.2012 , 04:24 AM | #16
Taris: Cantina part 1

We stay on Taris for the night.

The cantina isn't great, but better than nothing. Debatably. And Mako did debate it. All the way to the cantina. We grab a booth in the middle of the line. It has the right vantage point. Across from the bar, can see all directions, not cornered and offers escape by both exits if needed. Gault taught me the necessity of noticing all exits when we first met. He was quick to use them.

After a few rounds, we make a sloppy toast to our new companion. The ale is harsh and burning as it rolls down my throat. 'Another!' I yell. Mako and Gault cheer. I wink lazily at Cadera across from me as I leave the booth, climbing over Mako.

I walk steadily and calmly through the dancers. I am not as intoxicated as I appear. Pretending is easier than feeling. I've been pretending for nine years.

I shake my head. I can't think like this. I look for a bartender but draw a blank. I climb easily onto the stool. I have missed the flexibility of normal clothes. My pants are tight elastic. Black. They hide what's underneath. My top is high and loose. My jacket large. They don't show what bulgers bellow. Jacket's old. It still shines dully in the light. Not everything can weather so many years.

I look back at the table. Gault isn't there. Cadera smiles slightly at something he said. Mako laughs. She throws her head back, short black hair falling away from her face. She spills her drink as her arms wave in hysterics. My lips tighten. It shifts my implants painfully. It turns to a scowl.

I turn to see a bartender appear. An Irodonian. Strange.

'Four shots of Nar Shaddaa's murkiest ale, and two shots of whatever for myself.' I am relieved to see dancers in my view of our booth.

Someone eases into the stool next to me. I take my first shot. It hurts. A wild fire in my stomach is lit and I smile. Sometimes, I don't mind pain.

'You like him.' I look over at the newcomer. Gault is smiling in my face.

'Forget my previous warning already?' I punch him. His smile stays a while. His hand massages the wrinkles around his jaw.

'Harder than usual.' He speaks with exaggerated consideration and ignores my previous comment. 'So that means... yep, you do.'

Another drink appears in front of me. I add it to the raging hell inside me. I imagine I have a stomach. That the acid lining of my stomach is burning and boiling. What's left unguarded starts to blister and bleed. Peeling away. It hurts. And I smile some more.

This part is long so I've separated it into a few parts... hope you're all enjoying.
Don't forget to comment

EverSteam's Avatar

09.30.2012 , 04:37 AM | #17

Taris: Cantina part 2/3

'I don't like thi- yup, definitely don't like this'. I quickly glare at Gault. I don't turn straight away. I listen to the sound of the man's breathing and footsteps. I memorize them, measure the distance, decide his strength.

'Thought you would be harder to get the drop on'. I know the voice. I had never forgotten. Somewhere, it was filed away in my memory. And it came to near things best left in the dark. Covered in clothes and armour.

'Hi Cutie.' I slowly turn around. I make no move for my gun. I won't need it. 'I was just eager to see you again after Dromund Kaas'. I don't smile. I don't remember how sometimes.

He lowers his arm wearily. I knew he would. Predictable.

'You what-' I disarm him easily. And then I do smile. I know how to do this. I know how to take joy in this. It creeps from my chest through my body. The savage darkness. I almost reach for his neck. But his blue eyes look into mine. They pierce through the shadows. They see beyond. I am shocked. And scared.

'Men...' He will not see me again. 'Time to tell me what you're doing here'

'Ow - I deserved that.' He sounds casual. Not a man that just pointed a gun at my head. I like that. I pull him to his feet. He massages the back of his head and neck.

Gault's voice breaks through my trance. I had forgotten him. Not easily done. 'You like him. If I tried that, I'd be wearing my face on the back wall.'

My lips twitch uncertainly at the memory. Gault's eyes and voice were amused then. He doesn't look at me now.

'I don't like anyone.' Not for a long time. I want another drink. 'Not you. Not Mako. And not that punk Mandolorian.' I gave up hoping for good in people a long time ago. I don't know why I bother drinking anymore. Force of habit. I haven't been able to get drunk in almost a decade. Almost a decade...

I grunt and take one of the four that's for the table. In my mind, I can hear Mako's laughter, I can see Cadera's smile. I look at Gault. He is laughing. The notes lost in music, voices, and bangs. I don't like anyone.

Strange thoughts I'm having tonight. Too many memories. Over the chaotic noise, a man shouts. He calls to some woman. The sounds wash over me. 'I don't like anyone.' Gault continues to laugh. My foot hooks the stool and I pull it from under him. His fall doesn't create a ripple. I laugh at him and pull out my blaster. My memento. I point it at his head.

He looks me in the eye. His mouth twitches. Doesn't look as good on him. Am I joking? His eyes are sightless. They aren't his. I throw my blaster on the counter and lean over. My gloved fingers grab the first bottle they feel. It's a little warm, but looks good. I move to take it back to the booth. I pick up the tray with glasses. They tinkle. Gault reclaimed his thrown. No one ever sees.

The man is calling to the woman louder. My eyes glaze around the dim room. I see him. Large. Dark and ruffled hair. Unshaven and reeking of human. He is drunk. And a soldier. He is looking at me. Calling to me. I ignore him. I look to Gault. 'Say that again and the Hutt's will hear you're alive.'

When I turn back around, the man is standing in the middle of the dance floor. 'Come here sugar and share those drinks with me.' He is shouting. The music slows and voices whisper. I feel Gault slip away. Typical. I see Mako across the room reach under her skirt for a hidden vibro knife and medpacs. Cadera has moved to the end of the booth. He watches.

I avoid his eyes, motioning for them to stay cool. The glasses clatter in a tune as I place the tray and bottle back on the counter. The bartenders gone. Typical.

I grab my gun and point it at him. I take swift aim on the small red medal on his uniform. It's for honour. A dark rage runs through me. 'Put that toy down hon', and I'll give you a bigger gun to play with.' I put the blaster pistol back in the holster. It is hard against my thigh. I slowly remove my leather gloves and tuck them into my belt. My hands are soft. The metal knuckles catch the lights. Small rainbows set on silver. Nails long. Sharp.

I stalk them slowly. My last targets.

I walk to him quietly. The music starts. Sound begins again. Cautious and uncertain.

They are reeling drunk down a street and looking for some women to ****. I slip down a side street and come out in front of them.

I stroll up close to him, whisper something in his ear. My hands play from his neck and move down. Long nails from lack of maintenance tickling his pale skin. They slip into his pants. They stop at his groin, gently massaging. He says something about 'coming around'. My grip slowly tightens, more and more. Harder, and harder. My nails dig into his skin until I feel it burst. He gurgles in pain. Tries to form sentences but is too shocked and intoxicated to do more than stand.

I remember their faces. I remember their cruel touch. They leer at me. They remember too. They call things and come closer. 'Baby doll.' Moving to form a circle around me. My hands twitch above my blasters. They are perfect and soft. I'm not defenceless. And I will never run again.

I dig in and twist once more. Then I let go. I step back at little. I sneer. I stare into his scared and outraged eyes. I feel angry. And powerful. He sinks further down. One leg straight, the other kneeling. He finds in his ****ed up mind some sordid words.

They close in. I pull out my gun. A small toy. They back off at first. Wary. But then they laugh. And taunt. I shoot one in the lower torso. He keels over bleeding. It will kill him. Eventually. He shouts for his friends to attack. He's angry. He wants to make me suffer for it. I want him to suffer for me.

'You *********** heartless whore! You fat *********** weak ****.'

They all take out knives. Some also have blasters. They shout vile things. Things they will do. Like they haven't already done their worst. I smirk. I disarm them one by one. Ducking and weaving easily. They are clumsy. I am quick. And young. I have not wasted my time with him. He only taught me basics. It amused him. But I have been training for two years. Working through my list in secret. Just a few names left.

My fists clench. I walk up to him and punch his jaw. Skin breaks as a nail carves across it. As the metal spikes on my knuckles crush bone. 'I am not weak.' I hit him again. My thumb nail is full of blood and skin. 'I am not a whore.'

They are quickly all on the ground. I aim for the areas he taught me. To stop them running. Then my work begins. I make them suffer. And I make them beg like I did. And only then do I kill them. Just like them, I will show no mercy.

My fists become tighter. My finger nails dig into my palm. It hurts. And I smile.

The last cried. And whimpered. He was the first to ever touch me. And now the last to die. 'Pow.' I aim for his head. His sweaty, red, round head.

I hit him again. 'And I am only body type two.'

'You're dead'. I pull the trigger. I pick up the man's gun. A memento.

I swing my right leg around in harsh kick that comes down on the back of his head. I spit on him. The sound is loud and echoing in the silence that comes before his screams. His cheek is a jagged gash. I smile down at him. I pull my memento out and aim for the medal on his chest. I shoot. And I leave him to bleed to death. Should take three minutes.

I wave goodbye to his dying body bloody fingers as I walk from the cantina.

I am surround by dead men. And someone is clapping.

Earthmama's Avatar

09.30.2012 , 08:25 AM | #18
Just want you to know, still reading, still loving it! Also you're BH Gault short is a personal favorite of mine. Keep writing!

Adwynyth's Avatar

09.30.2012 , 01:06 PM | #19
So dark, so compelling...AMAZING!
Horrendously bad fan fiction: Sith in a Pretty Dress

EverSteam's Avatar

09.30.2012 , 06:22 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by Adwynyth View Post
So dark, so compelling...AMAZING!
Thanks XD I'm loving your Sith in a Pretty Dress btw, makes me laugh so hard

Quote: Originally Posted by Earthmama View Post
Also you're BH Gault short is a personal favorite of mine.
Thanks XD
For a while there I was tempted to have a Gault thing going in this story too, and then Torian appears leading to awkwardness... but I couldn't do that to Torian XD that and then Mako might of tried to move in even more