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Fire and Glory Part II
« on: November 25, 2011, 03:08:15 PM »
Fire and Glory: Part Two

Chapter 1

A sickening wet ‘crack’ filled the room. Pain raced up Aaray Tracyn’s leg; she bit down on her lip. Blood trickled into her mouth and coloured her teeth, but she wouldn’t scream.
“You’re stronger than I originally thought. It’s amusing. I wonder from where you draw your strength.”
She raised her head from the floor and with all the determination and rebellion she could muster spat at  Imperial Captain Caton Brower. A look of contempt crossed his face and he kicked her in the stomach. She contorted in pain. “For three weeks you’ve been here. If that has to become three years or even three decades I will hear you beg for your life, or to die. You will learn your place as an alien in the Empire. You will yield. You will forget what it feels like to be safe.”
“You are one sick akk dog. You should really get a hobby.” Her voice scratched her dry throat, it came out distorted and tired. But she needed to say something, even if it was just to know she still could.
He kicked her again, this time harder, “This is my hobby.”
Her heart bent a little and threatened to cave, but as long as one little bit could fight she would carry on. She wondered just how much her body could endure though.
* * * * * * *

Kom’rk Parjai’Kote woke up. The first thought was of the lingering pain shooting through his side at that moment; the second of Aaray; the third of Shushai. He threw the covers aside and limped into the living room of the homestead on Mandalore.
The cheerful face of his sister greeted him at the table.
“So look who dragged himself out of bed...”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“We did the right thing, Kom’ika. She’s alright.”
“She’s probably dead, Shu’ika!”, he was nearly shouting.

He glanced over at the comlink laying on the table, and noticed the blinking light.
“You never noticed that?”
“Nope. What is it?”
“A new message.”
He grabbed the comlink and walked into the other room. He clicked a button, and a message began to play.
The all too familiar voice of a particular Imperial emerged, “One final message, traitor, we have the girl. Do not attempt to repeat your previous incursion, or she will die in more pain than you could ever imagine. Also, do not bother to contact me again, you will not be answered.”
Kom’rk shut off the comlink and threw it at the wall.
“Kom’ika, what was that?” The voice echoed through the house.
“Aaray’s alive. But they’re holding her captive.”
“Should we go after her?”
“I don’t know. They’d probably kill her. They’re torturing her now.”
“How can you know for sure?”
“I can feel it. I just can.”
“Just how close did you two get?”
“We...we kissed.”
Shushai walked into the room, hands on her hips.
“You said yourself you wouldn’t let a woman get that close to you.”
“I have nothing to say, Shushai. You know that.”
“This girl you’ve never met before, you get a gut feeling, and you start falling in love? What is the deal?”
“I’m going back to bed.”
He trudged into the bedroom and laid on the bed. He needed to think.

Six hours later, after an unintentional sleep, he felt he had worked something out. His comlink on the floor in the hallway beeped again.
“Frak you, another message?”
He clicked the button and the message played.
“Ar, honey...we’re sorry we didn’t catch you last time. We were...occupied. We just want you to know that we want you back we can work things out. We really want to see you again. Call us back when you can. We’re sorry.” The voice carried an exotic accent, a specific region of Mandalore tinged with the speech patterns of another world entirely.
He tossed the comlink on the floor as he walked into the living room again. Shushai was gone.

* * * * * * *

Aaray’s head spun, ‘On the bright side, when you’re so tired you don’t know up from down you’re to tired to hurt.’ A fresh wave of pain up from her hands told her differently. She worked at not being nauseous. She didn’t know how they figured out, didn’t really care to, that a Kiffar who’s weak can’t control their psychometery. It was one thing to feel your own pain, but to be forced to feel someone else’s fear and suffering was different. Worse still was when you watched it happen through your own eyes first.
The door hissed open. She didn’t bother looking up, just listened to the boots. ‘Armor? Not stormtrooper either.’ “Fett.” She hoped he could hear the disdain in her voice.
“You’re coming with me,” his gruff voice boomed through the eponymous scarred helmet. “Our friend Brower is being transferred, so rather than set you free, he’s dumping you off with me.”
She narrowed her eyes. “And here I was thinking he’d do the logical thing and kill me.” She shrugged.
“You’d rather not think too much on the fact of whether I will be better or worse than your current situation.”
A borderline cruel smile formed on her cracked lips, “Picture perfect Mandalorian, aren’t you? If only your dad could see you now.”
He bit back the instinctive retort--no one touched the subject of his father.
“I don’t prescribe to all of the tenants of the Resol’nare. And don’t ever mention my father. Again. Unless you don’t want that head of yours attached to your body.”
The smile stayed but her eyes defocused, “They’re not exactly pick and choose. And for that last part, I have days when I wonder.”
“Let’s go”  He pulled her up by her arm and dragged her out of the cell.
* * * * * * *

Kom’rk pulled his WESTAR--he didn’t know where she was, and with the Empire knowing their identity, he wasn’t sure she was safe; although she may have run away...
No, he heard crying.
No response, just more crying. He rounded another corner.
He found her, curled up on the floor
She snapped her head to the side to glare at him; he recoiled.
“What’s wrong?”
She sobbed, and ignored him.
Kom’rk broke down; the walls he had set up to protect his fragile emotions collapsed. He realized that his sister was ostracizing him for his decisions: it was his fault. She didn’t care about Aaray, she was emotionally traumatized by her experiences, and their argument didn’t help.
He collapsed on the floor and curled into a fetal position, and wept himself to bitter sleep.
* * * * * * *

A million voices screamed inside her head, she could taste salt and metal. An entire universe of suffering unfolded inside her mind. Every detail burned itself into place too sharp to take in. Aaray woke up in a cold sweat, breathing hard. She drew her legs to her chest and tried to rid herself of the memory.
“You know, sleep is good for tortured minds. All of my bounties sleep well before either dying a miserable death or rotting in a Hutt’s cell.” The other hunter stood on the other side of the bars, towering over the girl.
“You have something personal against me, don’t you?” She left her face buried in her knees.
“Not really. Just happen to think you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or where you? How were you involved with that conniving fool?”
“He needed my help. One of my fellow Mandalorians was in danger. I hate the Empire. What other reason do you want?”
“Just wondering. He blithely took on a Star Destroyer, just for one individual. What could possibly have been his motivation?”
“It was his sister. The rest of his family is dead. Sounds like reason enough to me.” She lifted her head to stare straight ahead, her hair falling over her face.
“You say that like there is more to your camaraderie than you allow me to think.”.
She turned slowly to face him, eyes narrowed, “You can think whatever you want. But you’re reading a lot into it from what you’ve seen.”
“Maybe, maybe.” He leaned on the bars, clearly enjoying himself. “But I’m honestly intrigued. His tenacity in a perilous situation astounds me to no end.”
She looked straight ahead again, not bothering to answer, mulling over something she didn’t care to verbalize.
He stared at her, perplexed. Something about her, he didn’t know what, was tugging at a suppressed part of his mind. His comm buzzed, signifying a new message, and he left the cargo hold.
She leaned her head against the wall and sighed. ‘For this, they had better have gotten away.’
* * * * * * *

Kom’rk woke, and grabbed his comlink. He tapped in Fett’s number, and readied his thoughts.
[color=A9A9A9]“Fett, I’m not sure whether you have the girl or not, but please, do what you can to get her. If you have to take me instead of her, do it, but let her go. Just, Mandalorian to Mandalorian, consider my offer. Parjai’Kote out.”[/color]

He dropped the comlink and focused on the solitary memory of their embraces. He solidified the image in his mind, and sent a burst of Force-aided mental energy in her direction.
* * * * * * *
Aaray gasped and sat up, a feeling akin to that of having cold water poured over passed through her. A set of thoughts lingered in her mind, ‘Kom’rk?’
* * * * * * *
He ‘pinged’ her mind again, this time stronger. He felt the reverberation of her reaction--she was alive.
* * * * * * *
Her skin crawled as the same impression came again. This time thought, she had an idea of what was going on. Despite the fact her mind rebelled against the other presence, she didn’t fight it.
* * * * * * *
He sent an image vaguely resembling escape, hoping to convey, in a sort of osmotic way, that they had escaped and that he would figure a way out for her. He knew she was reacting; hoping she would respond.
* * * * * * *
‘A ship?’ The images that sprung to mind were disconnected, she hoped he understood that she wasn’t getting the message. She wondered how much of her mind he could see. Using the focus she had learned from reading objects she tried to picture the Slave I and its master.

* * * * * * *
‘Fett? Oh...oh.’ He realized everything now. Aaray was alive--tortured--and now stranded on Slave I with Fett. Shab. He sent back a thought of tranquility and of their embrace, hoping to ease her conscience.
* * * * * * *
Her mind fought again for a moment, then was still with a clear message, Peace. She closed her eyes. She remembered what it felt like to have his arms around her.
Fett leaned again on the bars.
“Having fun, my little ransom note?” The sarcasm and general smug attitude draped around him like a heavy curtain.
“You know,” She didn’t open her eyes, “Everything I’ve ever heard about you said you were totally emotionless. I see now that it’s quite the opposite.”
“People tend to be misleading in order to mold you for their agenda. I prefer to pull people along with one idea, and let them be as blithely ignorant as they want to be. You can shoot them anytime that way.”
“You’re here for a reason, what?”
“To let you know your ‘friend’ commed me. He wants to trade himself in for you. Now if that’s not stupid, I don’t know what is.”
“He can’t do that, the shabuir!” Her stony expression was lost in a heartbeat.
“He thinks he can. Tell me, are Kiffar really this hot-tempered?”
“I don’t think I’m a representative of my whole species, but a lot of us are I suppose. Are all humans as single minded?” She wheeled on him, fixing him in a malevolent stare.
“Normal humans take that as an insult. I’m not a normal human.”
“What do you want?”
“What do you think? Are you wanting to get away from here, or do you want me to crush your little crush’s heart?”
“And you know, thing is, it was my plan. The false entry, the two-pronged attack, all of it. And now this. My mistake for not thinking ahead. My choice to be here.” She leaned back against the wall, “I have no idea what you want, and I don’t know if ‘crush’ is the right word there.”
“You know it is, and you know he’s just wanting credit for everything. He’s no good. And worst of all, you know it.”
She chuckled darkly, “It’s funny that you-” Her voice gave way to a coughing fit; her dry throat no longer able to support her words. Blood rose each time the air scraped up, pooling in her hand.

Boba knelt down and reached through the bars. He pulled a spare flask of water from his belt, and handed it to her.
She narrowed her eyes, but took it.
“If I wanted to kill you, I would have done it when I had the chance.”
She took a long drink, then cleared her throat, “You still do.”
“How do you know that? How do you know I haven’t poisoned you already?”
She didn’t answer, she just went back to staring at the wall across from her.
He glanced downward at his feet, then walked out, without a word.
‘Kom’rk you stupid, stupid idiot, after all this, you better not try anything.’

A/N: We're back in business guys!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 03:13:22 PM by Shereshoy »
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
-David Nicholas

You are two parts personality and one part confusion.- Eparavu

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2011, 03:25:14 PM »

There's a new chapter up, you shabuire, so get reading.
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 03:30:24 PM »
I am sorry I never commented on Fire and Glory I, but I really like it. I like what you have posted for this so far, too.

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2011, 03:32:02 PM »
Thank you very much for your input, Laney. I appreciate it.
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.


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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 03:32:38 PM »
What's that supposed to mean?

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2011, 03:33:50 PM »
I honestly appreciate your input.
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.


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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 03:35:37 PM »
I see a troll face to the left side of your post.

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 03:36:46 PM »
Really? I thought it was a birthmark.
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.


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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2011, 03:37:26 PM »
We have a GOT for this, not this topic. Stay on subject or scram.
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 07:37:22 PM »
He collapsed on the floor and curled into a fetal position, and wept himself to bitter sleep.

Okay, now who made this up? I love it! It's both sad and hilarious.
When you gotta, you gotta go. - Ian Malcolm - Jurassic Park

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2011, 07:38:51 PM »
Well, gee, I dunno...

Hmm...who wrote that...

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2011, 08:01:41 PM »
Just read this and it's awesome!!!

Now to add to ky's answer:

Nice add on, but you need a pinch of more troll in...  ;)
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2011, 09:38:58 PM »
Here's a hint- He writes most of Kom'rk's stuff
I write Aaray's stuff.
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
-David Nicholas

You are two parts personality and one part confusion.- Eparavu

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2011, 09:41:18 PM »
I hate you.

But good one.

So, anyway, I had an idea and I'm running it by Sher currently. Will talk later when I'm not at risk of being slaughtered mercilessly via the Internet.
Lists of games I play:
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2011, 04:23:59 PM »
Chapter 2

Kom’rk knelt beside his sister, who was still huddled in the corner, still sobbing.
“Shushai, I...”
“Just don’t. I can’t talk right now.”
“Shushai, you’ve been in this same position for almost a day now. I’m genuinely worried about you.”
She ignored him again, and continued her wailing.
What was wrong? Had something happened to her on the Star Destroyer?
He needed to find out--he couldn’t carry on without Shushai. Or Aaray, for that matter. He wondered whether he could carry on. If Fett didn’t consider his offer, and Shushai didn’t forgive him, he would probably kill himself. Or worse--go insane. He strained to grasp a memory of Aaray.
* * * * * * *
“Not to mention you’re talking to yourself right now.” Aaray knew she was starting to lose it. But anything was better than falling asleep again. Better than watching all her nightmares come alive with terrifying detail.
Her mind strayed for a moment to her parents. She wondered if they got her call. If so, what did they say? ‘Maybe they commed back. But it’s not like you’ll get it now.’ She rested her head on her knees, ‘If they did I wonder if Kom’rk told them what happened. Would they even care?’  She banished all those thoughts from her mind. She wondered, if she died here, would anyone ever even know?
* * * * * * *

Kom’rk was almost tortured. His mind was torn between Aaray’s predicament and what he could do about it, and Shushai and her problems. He had decided it stemmed from her captivity on the Star Destroyer.
He grabbed the comlink, wondering when Fett would call back; if he did. As if the universe had decided to grant him a wish, the comlink beeped; he answered the call.
“Parjai’Kote speaking. My, you have a knack for answering when I actually care.”
“Very funny. I received your message. I’m willing to bargain.”
“I’m listening.”
“I’m willing to help you with Brower. I know where he is. It would cost you some credits, though.”
“How much?”
“Fifty thousand.”
“You know I don’t have that much.”
“Then there’s something you could do for me. Shortly before I got here, I took on some bounties to cover my recent escapades. You do them for me, I’ll give you the Kiffar and help you find Brower.”
“It’s a deal.”
“Alright, meet me on Nal Hutta.”
He shut off the comlink and sighed in relief: there was a chance.
* * * * * * *

Fett walked back into the hold, smugly glancing at the Kiffar.
“You want to take a guess about what your friend is doing now?”
“I assure you I haven’t the slightest idea. But I doubt he’s enjoying it as much as you appear to be.” Her eyes, cold and empty, followed his every move.
“Good. Because he incessantly commed me. We worked out a deal. You can brood on the implications later. Just know you will be able to rest fairly soon.” He let out a sickening laugh and leaned on the bars yet again.
“You’re a twisted person, far too fond of gloating. Pride can lead to a downfall you know.”
“I’ll take my chances. I’ve been through the worst of experiences. I’m sure you’ve heard the story.”
“Maybe so. Tell me, if I stop talking to you, how likely are you to leave me alone?”
“Not very. I don’t mind silent company. So there’s no escape from me,” with another sardonic laugh.
“If I wanted to escape, I’d die. That was merely idle curiosity.” Her words were dry.
“What makes you think I’d allow you to die?”
“You don’t have to be physically capable of death to die.”
He walked off to brood in the cockpit.
* * * * * * *

Shushai Parjai’Kote rocked back and forth in the corner. It had been 1½ days since she had last cognitively done anything.
The one blotch, a gray, clashed with the other, a burgundy. The ostracized yellow and red blotch dejectedly sat staring. It was left alone.
Her mind could barely process any of these thoughts. It was so flayed from her experiences on board the Undaunted. The tortures she had silently endured were finally coming to light; she could hardly speak and could hardly think.
* * * * * * *
Aaray’s hard blue eyes stared unfocused into the distance. Her mind was blissfully empty. The pain, the hunger, the cold, the need for sleep had faded into the background. ‘A deal. I doubt he’s trading himself for me, Fett wouldn’t have been able to keep that to himself. So what is he doing?’
   The ship buckled a little, a tell-tale sign that they were jumping to hyperspace. She narrowed her eyes, ‘Where are we headed?’ She didn’t even know where they were to start with.
Fett opened the door. “I know I really shouldn’t tell you where we’re going, but I figured you won’t care either way. We’re headed to Nal Hutta.”
Her expression never changed, “Lovely.”
“You may think that I’m dumping you with the Hutts, but...”
“Goody.” Still no change. “I doubt it though. You said you made a deal.”
“...We’re going to work out our deal once there. When I can see him visor-to-visor.”
“And until then you have nothing better to do?” Her voice had the chill and edge of ice.
“So you’re not a conversationalist. Noted. Sintas...” His speech faltered. “No.”
“Supposedly Vos wasn’t much of a talker either. Maybe it’s a species trait. Like self-absorption in Humans.”
“Oh, see, that was an insult. You talk to me like you probably talk to your friend Kom’rk. The difference is that I can understand it.”
“What makes you think I talk to him like this? What makes you think he doesn’t understand? What’s your validation for anything that just came out of your mouth?”
“You’re right. You probably have to talk to him a lot simpler than that.”
“Again, why do you say that? You sound to me like you’re talking through your-” She cut herself off. She needed to stop her sudden habit, “Excuse me, that’s not very lady-like of me to say.”
“Oh really? And what would be lady-like?,” he said, experimenting.
“In my case? That depends. What answer are you looking for?”
“Oh I don’t know. Something that’s preferably not an insult.”
“Then I probably shouldn’t tell you your ship looks like crap.”
“No you shouldn’t. Otherwise I’d start complimenting you.”
“I’m shaking with fear.” She still didn’t change her tone, didn’t turn to face him.
“Fine then. I think your hair is an interesting shade of black. Really suits your eyes. Whatever glimpse I can get of them.”
“Glad you think so. Because, you know, there’s an overwhelming number of shades of black.”
“Really? Never had to deal with rejection before. New feeling. And before you ask, I am intentionally being overly sociable. If only to annoy you.”
“I wasn’t planning on asking and I stopped caring enough to be annoyed.”
“Okay, good. So may I continue complimenting your various features?,” he said, nearly jesting.
“I really don’t care. I rather you didn’t.”
“Okay then. Just to let you know so you can eat your heart out with anticipation, we’ve got about an hour.”
No reply came. Fett turned again and walked to the cockpit, bemused.
“So much for not leaving if I didn’t answer,” she mumbled under her breath. ‘Sweet Manda please let this all work out.’ She emptied her mind again, and listened for whatever she could hear, real or imagined.
* * * * * * *

Kom’rk tried to reach out to her again. He sent a larger thought burst this time, hoping she could respond in some way.
His answer came; relief and a sense of questioning.
He sent a vague image of hyperspace, then of Nal Hutta.
Aaray wasn’t quit sure how to tell him, but she tried to let him know she already knew.
He understood; she could tell what he was saying.

He was about two hours from Nal Hutta already, so he sat back and hoped Shushai didn’t get into any trouble.

Aaray tried to tell him to be careful, she wasn’t sure what Fett might do. She hoped her fear made it clear.

Fett. He didn’t like him. This was necessary. He told her that he was certain he was doing the right thing.

She wasn’t sure. She asked if he had a plan.

He answered with a positive image. He also answered with an attempt at “I miss you”, but he wasn’t sure how she would respond.

The sentiment wasn’t lost to her. Her heart jumped and her emotion tangled themselves. The pain inside her came rushing through her careful barriers like flood water. She didn’t know what to think.

He noticed the positive effect on her mind--at least he thought it was positive. He wasn’t sure with Aaray. He glanced at the chronometer: one hour and fifty minutes. He realized he didn’t have a plan, then went to sleep thinking about one.
* * * * * * *

Captain Caton Brower, formerly of the ISD Undaunted, currently of the ISD Resistant, which was currently in orbit over Yavin, sighed. They were preparing for an excursion down planet-side; Brower had the privilege of leading a regiment down to secure a landing zone for the occupation troops.
He tried to forget the experience aboard Undaunted--he had a mixed feeling of embarrassment and pride; embarrassment at his failure to recognize a two-pronged attack, and pride at his put-down of the intruders. True, the prisoner had escaped, but they had gained a more valuable one; an alien. Had it not been for Fett, he would have subjected her to certain...experiments, but the bounty hunter had let his morality get in the way and had threatened Brower into releasing her into his care.
The sergeant approached him. “Sir, we are ready for departure.”
“Fine. Where is the regiment?”
“Boarding the shuttle as we speak,” the sergeant said as he fidgeted nervously.
Brower nodded, and followed the sergeant down the labyrinth of corridors to the hangar bay.
* * * * * * *

An incessant beeping woke Kom’rk from his sleep. He glanced at the chronometer; it flashed all zeros. He was there. Now the question of Fett’s arrival remained.
He still didn’t know what he was going to do. No plan, so he assumed he would just do whatever Fett asked, to a degree, and get Aaray back. He didn’t care.
* * * * * * *

The ship shook again, they were back in real space. Aaray’s nerves stood on end, this was it. ‘Unless, of course, Fett was playing you. In which case you could be anywhere for any number of reasons.’ She rubbed the bridge of her nose, and flinched when she hit the spot where the cartilage had recently reset. ‘I have a bad feeling about this.’

* * * * * * *

Slave I. He never thought he’d see it, let alone step foot inside it. Yet here he was, waiting to dock with it.
He didn’t know what Aaray would look like; probably emaciated from the torture.
He commed Fett.
“Whenever you’re ready, Fett. I’m ready to dock.”
The helmet-filtered voice was filtered again by the comlink, resulting in almost incomprehensible speech. But Kom’rk could make out a grunt and something affirmative, so he began the docking procedure.
The two ships lined up perpendicular to each other, the nose of Slave I meeting with the underside of Victory’s Revenge II. It wasn’t the best of fits, so a boarding tube extended from the larger ship to fill the space. Kom’rk held on to his WESTAR in his pocket and descended into the mess that awaited him.
He reflected on the fact that he had never been good at negotiation...
* * * * * * *

As he entered the famed bounty hunter’s ship, he couldn’t help but notice that it was eerily empty. He walked toward the cockpit, on edge. He got the feeling he had been duped into a trap, but peered into the cockpit anyway.
The feeling of a trap dissolved when he saw the bounty hunter, feet on the console, relaxing.
“Hello there, Fett. Seems even the great need a break.”
“I knew you were here when your attitude came out of hyperspace.”
“Funny. And I thought I had an ego.”
“Do you want your girl or not? I’m tired of fools mouthing off on board my ship.”
“Whatever you say, utreekov.”
Fett stood, glared hard through the emotionless visor, and waved his hand toward the corridor outside.
“After you.”
Kom’rk nodded, and made his way into the corridor, watching Fett as best he could from the corner of his eye. He assumed he was headed to the cargo hold to talk to Aaray.

The walk was a short one. Fett edged ahead and opened the door. Kom’rk reeled when he saw the Kiffar propped against the bulkhead. She looks like haran. A large purple bruise covered her cheek, the bodysuit she once wore under her armor was little more than shreds around her arms and even from where he stood he could see the network of scars covering them. Her left ankle set askew.
He could see more than just a physical change; the way she once carried herself, like she knew what she was doing, and if she didn’t she would figure out, was gone, replaced by one of uncaring and stoic silence. A more animal, aggressive edge shone through.
But the worst were her eyes. When she turned to look at him they carried a weight that wasn’t there before. They were icy, cold, and hard.
“You know, it’s a shame you have to leave, Aaray. I’m going to miss you. I enjoyed our conversations,” he said, Kom’rk almost seeing the sardonic grin on his face.
“I should kill you right now, you shabuir,” he said, offended.
“But you won’t, because you can’t. Just take her and get my bounties done. I’ll tell you where Brower is after you’ve done them all.”
“Maybe then I’ll kill you myself.” Her voice had the same edge as her eyes, sharp and cold as a glacier.
“The Kiffar with the broken ankle is going to kill me? I’d bet my chances on Kom’rk being smart before you’d be able to kill me.”
“Physical wounds heal, Fett,” she hissed through her teeth.
“Yes, and dying is a physical wound, so by your logic, I’m invincible.” He turned his back.
“Death is not a wound. Watch yourself, you make too many enemies to be safe for long.”
“I can watch myself. Now you, I’m not sure about that. And death is inflicted by a wound. Now get off my ship.”
She pulled her self into a shaky standing position, careful to keep her weight off her left leg.
Kom’rk ducked into the cell and positioned himself to take her weight. He scowled at Fett, wishing he was able to see through the visor at that current moment.
Aaray paused a moment when he touched her, her muscles tense, but after a moment she yielded and let him help her.
Memories flashed back to before this debacle, when appearances indicated just a bounty, nothing more. Their embrace brought reassurance to the forefront; Kom’rk slowly guided her out of the cell and out of the cargo hold, not looking back.
Aaray couldn’t bite back the primal fear inside her, she had learned twice that the only thing that came with letting people get close was pain, even if her mind knew better.
* * * * * * *
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 04:29:22 PM by Shereshoy »
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2011, 04:32:42 PM »
So, speaking of that idea, we have decided to host a "livestream" of sorts. We'll give you a link, and you'll pop in and chat with us and give us ideas while we write. PM me for details.

Also, TL;DR:

Dialogue! YAYAYAYAYAY! And I hate coding!
Lists of games I play:
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-- Terraria
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-- Magicka
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2011, 06:28:05 PM »
What!  :shock: I get to speak to the infamous Ky and Sher! Huzzah! Huzzah!

Now to comment: I like how Boba still has that no care attitude! Nice Job!
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2011, 03:14:51 PM »
Now to comment: I like how Boba still has that no care attitude! Nice Job!
I thought he sounded drastically OOC.
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
-David Nicholas

You are two parts personality and one part confusion.- Eparavu

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2011, 04:12:28 PM »

Don't TELL them that!
Lists of games I play:
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-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2011, 11:54:40 AM »
Okay Guys- Here's the deal, we have an open document set up and today at one o'clock we'll be writing a short story. It's to let people see what we act like when we work and to give them a say in what we're doing. If you want the link, PM me.
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
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You are two parts personality and one part confusion.- Eparavu


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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2011, 11:57:03 AM »
Okay Guys- Here's the deal, we have an open document set up and today at one o'clock we'll be writing a short story. It's to let people see what we act like when we work and to give them a say in what we're doing. If you want the link, PM me.

I couldn't do a live stream. Seriously, when I write anything from fanfics to poems the amount of rubbish I put in before a finished piece of work is immense. I will type a bit, mess the built-in dictionary around and then type something random (Such as "Legen... wait for it... dary!") before I continue.


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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2011, 02:43:24 PM »
UPDATE: So, because one of the authors decided to not put in an appearance, the event has been postponed.
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2011, 03:23:55 PM »
Or not. So drop by. Because we're cool like that.
Lists of games I play:
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2011, 03:55:19 PM »

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2011, 04:13:09 PM »
Okay, so getting back on some semblance of a topic, next update should be sometime in the future.
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2011, 04:50:32 PM »

Kom’rk eased Aaray into the co-pilot’s chair, watching her ankle.
“You sure you’re okay, cyar’ika? Do you want me to fix that?”
“No, I would love to let it remain broken for the rest of my life.”
“Fine then.” He turned, then looked back to her. “Let me see what I can do.”
She nodded slowly, her face holding a hint of nervousness.
He knelt and grabbed some bandages from his first aid kit under the console
“On second thought, I realized I have a medical droid. Dos?” She rolled her eyes.
The mechanized sigh of pistons propelling the spindly droid along announced his presence.
--“What do you want, Master?”-- He noticed the Kiffar. --“Oh. It’s you again. And you told me she was dead, Master?”--
“You sound almost disappointed there.”
--“If you want, I can make it quick...”--
“Go ahead.” She nodded again. Her face was solid, but her stare quivered.
Dos set to work, his metal appendages deftly setting the bone in place and wrapping a bandage around a splint. He glanced at her face.
--”This doesn’t hurt, does it?”--
She shook her head, “Not like what I’ve felt recently.”
He wrapped the leg in more bandages and finished.
--”Anything else?”--
“I’ll handle the rest myself thank you.”
“One of these days he will kill you, you know?” Kom’rk said, a smug look on his face. His helmet rested on the console. The weariness on his face was plainly evident, and the misery of caring for a stress-plagued sibling took its toll on his body. He had lost weight, even over three weeks, simply due to either crying, or denying his needs to placate Shushai’s. He wondered briefly if he was being exploited, but then, after seeing his sister’s agony and the sudden mood of anathema toward everyone, he realized that he was only being a figure of authority; and thus. an object of her wrath.
“Thank you, Dos.”
The wiry droid turned its head to glare at Aaray, then pantomimed a nod and toodled out.
“He has it out for you, Aaray. I’m worried about him. If you hear a noise like that of a bone saw in the middle of the night, run.”
“I can take care of a droid. So you thought I was dead?” She turned to face him.
“Maybe. I mean, when you think about it, you did face a shebs-load of stormtroopers.”
“So how’s Shushai? Did both of you make it?”
“...Yes. Yes, we’re both perfectly sane. I’m not dealing with a psychopathic sibling.”
“Of course not.” She stared at him. “Work on your denials.”
“She’s withdrawn from the world. I’m not sure what is going on inside that head of hers, so I can’t pin down a cause, or a cure. I broke down, because I felt I couldn’t deal with the pressure. I genuinely needed someone to help me cope.”
“I’ll help, but I don’t know how much I can do.” She held his gaze.
“I just don’t know what to do. She won’t talk to me, won’t let me get near her, won’t let anyone talk to her. Even if you try, it’s an improvement from what it is now.”
She nodded her head and took a cloth and some bacta from the first aid kit. She wet the cloth with the healing chemical and pressed against her hand. She gasped in pain; the wounds were reacting with the bacta.
“Anything else?”
She gritted her teeth, “It’s not working.”
“There’s not much else you can do, though...can Dos help, much? It’s been a long time since he’s done an amputation.”
“It has to be some chemical the wounds are laced with. I’ll handle it.” The pain showed on her face.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes! I’m sure! This is nothing! I will be fine!” She was almost yelling, the strain in her voice was apparent.
“Alright then.” He walked to the door. “You want to move to a bedroom? I doubt you want to sleep in the cockpit.”
She didn’t answer, her face showed how much pain she was in, almost to the point of being sick.
“Fine then. I’ve put us into hyperspace. It’ll be several hours.”
“Fine.” Her voice came through clenched teeth. Her breaths were short and shallow.
* * * * * * *

Several hours later, Victory’s Revenge II landed at the Parjai’Kote residence. Kom’rk helped Aaray down the ramp, and waved to Dos to shut the ship down.
When the door opened, the eerie feeling of quiet descended. The sense of a tortured soul hung in the air.
“Hmm. Shushai must be here. Shall we see if you can talk to her?”
“Sure.” The days without sleep were taking their toll on her.
He guided her toward the bedroom where Shushai had taken up residence. They rounded the corner.
“She’s...she’s gone. You do see that, right? She’s...gone. Umm.”
“Yes, I can see.”
“Okay. I’m not crazy. Err...where could she have gone? Hm. This is a problem.”
He set Aaray down on the bed, and began nervously pacing back and forth.
“Ideas? She’s got problems, so it’ll be hard to find her.”
She ran her hand across the pillows, “She didn’t sleep here last night. Hmm, what did you do to her to make her think that?” She raised one eyebrow as she got an old memory.
“I did nothing. I mean, she asked me how close we got, and I told her...she took it in stride, but then she got on my case. I went to sleep, and when I woke up, she was missing. I found her curled up right here,” he said, pointing to the corner.
Aaray limped over. The look on her face changed as she ‘heard’ the thoughts imprinted on the wood , “She’s leaving, she’s leaving now. She doesn’t care where to, she doesn’t have a goal, she just needs out. But she’s scared. It’s all happening again. This is what happened last time. It’s all a circle.”
“I don’t know anything anymore. I feel like I’m just trying to catch up and hold on to the good things,” he said, leaning on the wall.
“Well that sounds like a problem.” She remained seated on the floor.
“I’m just...drained.” He stood up straight again and walked to the bed, crashing and spreading onto it, enjoying relaxation after so much anxiety. The feeling of happiness meagerly afforded to him by being able to simply stay in one place for a fleeting moment. An idea hatched in his mind again. He knew what to do this time.
He got up and ambled toward her. He extended his hand down to her.

She hesitated, for a moment it seemed like she wasn’t going to move at all. But then with one sudden movement she reached and grabbed his hand.

He pulled her up and wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close to him. He gazed into her eyes, reveling in the ocean of her eyes. He asked a question with a glance: “May I?”

At first she revealed nothing, hiding within herself, but eventually another look crept up, the essence of it was simply waiting.

He grabbed onto that look, and leaned forward, their lips meeting again. This time was different though. No anxiety, just a longing for togetherness. He savored every time they kissed. It was bittersweet this time: Shushai had just left, out of spite; but the feelings radiating through his body right now outweighed them all. He knew this was what he wanted.

In an instance all the feelings she had hidden, the longing and pain, the fear and horror, all came rushing back to her. She pushed into him harder, trying to find some way to let him know. She let her heart take over for a moment, desperate to get rid of these unwanted feelings, to drown them in what she felt now.

He noticed she pushed into him; he pushed back slightly and closed his eyes, embracing both her and this new wave of feelings. He knew. He could tell what she was thinking. He didn’t know if it was the proximity, or the fact that they were thinking on the same basic level.

She dug her hands into his shoulders and pressed up against him even harder, heart racing and mind blurred. She was going to hold onto this moment for as long as she could.

He felt the nails dig in behind his shoulder plate; he felt her body against his. One of his hands moved to the small of her back, the other to her neck and he pulled her in ever closer--he wondered if he would have room to breath if they kept up this game. But he enjoyed it.

She waited, reveling each second until this ended. She could almost feel what he felt. In this moment nothing else in the galaxy mattered, the hurt was lost to the past.

No words could describe his feelings at this point. The fact they could feel each other’s feelings and think each other’s thoughts made it sweeter. He didn’t remember when they had backed into the wall--things happened when you were in ecstasy. He gasped as a tortured soul reached out to him and pulled his thoughts away; he broke the kiss.
“S-Shushai? W-what?”
“What happened?” She fought to get her breath back under control.
“She grabbed my thoughts. She reached out to me.” He regretted having to end their embrace.
“Why?” As her thinking process returned she shied back.
“I don’t know. Maybe she realized...frak. I just...I’m sorry.”
She touched her hand to her temple, “What was all that anyway?”
“Oh, that. Probably my connection to the Force going haywire. The fact that I’ve been on edge the past few days probably affected it as well.”
“Why is it affecting me then?”
“I think the Kiffar physiology is in tune with certain aspects of the Force more than other races, so I found one aspect. I suppose. I can’t be certain.”
“That makes sense.”
“I try. So do you want to try and find Shushai, or could you be less concerned?”
“I have a serious feeling of deja vu right now.”
“I’ve had a feeling of deja vu since I woke up this morning.”
“I haven’t woken up in what is it? Two days? I don’t know anymore...”
“There’s a bed right there. I’ll sleep in this chair.”
“There’s no way I’m sleeping.”
“You sure? You can, I’m not stopping you. In fact, I’m staying awake until you go to sleep. Your ankle is broken, you’re bruised and scarred from head to toe, you’re exhausted--you need to go to sleep.”
“I am not going to sleep.” Her tone was shaky but forceful.
“You need sleep, Aar’ika.”
“I’ll be fine, just give it up already.”
“I’m staying awake then. I will,” his voice smooth yet cracked, in a mind-bending paradoxical manner.
She shrugged, “Your choice.”
“So back to the matter of Shushai. Do you think she’ll come back?”
“Maybe, in time. She needs to sort things out. She’s lost.”
“True. So you’re saying I should abandon her. I don’t know...”
“No, that she’s grown and wants to find out for herself what she can do. I’ve been in her thoughts, she can take care of herself. ”
“Maybe you’re right. I need to let her experience life for herself. But what about me? It’s in my nature now to dote on people.”
“Have you ever heard the saying, ‘If you love something, set it free’?”
“I’m sure that doesn’t apply to siblings. I’m pretty sure.”
“She thinks you’re suffocating her. You’re forcing ideals you don’t follow yourself on her. She hates it and is quickly hating you.”
“So what do you think I should do?”
“I don’t know!” She turned to face him, frustrated. “I don’t know okay!”
“Okay, just wondering if you had an epiphany and were all of a sudden a deep well of wisdom...”
“No, I’m not! I can’t think of everything, okay!”
“Shame. I can’t either. I blame the fact that we’re not omnipotent.”
 She almost yelled, “Then stop acting like it!” But by the time she had said her piece she had moved to almost crying.
“Was I? Hmm. Sorry about that. I’m not trying to keep my cool when my sister is currently shell-shocked and is sliding away from me. I’m sorry.”
“And I’m trying to help! But I can only do so much! And maybe if you didn’t force everyone away there wouldn’t be a problem!”
He sighed, figuring this was what he deserved. “I told you my situation, right? I told you my parents died, and I’ve raised myself and Shushai; as a consequence, I’ve learned that anyone who won’t help me needs to be pushed away. I want to be different. I want to change. But I’m not sure I can.”
“You’ve told me. But do you even bother figuring out which people help?”
“I try. But most people don’t help me.”
“Me either.”
He didn’t respond; he thought about her, what he was trying to accomplish. He knew there was a connection between them, but how far was he willing to take this? Was he comfortable with a full-fledged relationship after so many years of rejecting so many advances?

She murmured under her breath in the Kiffar tongue. “This argument is pointless. I can leave now if you want me to.” She knew if he said to leave she was fully prepared to find the shabuir who started all this on her own, kill him, and never look or come back.

He could understand basic thoughts--his grandmother had taught him that much. He understood the antagonism she was radiating from her thoughts. He decided to pre-emptively answer
“I don’t want you to leave, Aaray. I would never want that. Not now.”
She narrowed her eyes, “Then what do you want?”
“I just want you,” he gazed at her, unsure of what to say next. He knew his life was in some sort of peril if he answered in the way she didn’t want.
“I don’t know if I believe you.” she turned her back to him. She didn’t know where he was going, she didn’t even know how far she could go herself.
“Why don’t you? I don’t want to hurt you. I’m too emotional to want to hurt you. And I have no reason for it, anyway. You’ve given me hope, Aaray: hope I haven’t had since my mother and father were alive. You’ve helped me through some pretty difficult times.” He was done joking around with her, he resolved in his mind. Whatever he was doing wrong, he was going to fix. It would take time and patience. But he would be a better person because of Aaray.
“You weren’t there for those three weeks I went through haran. If you were you’d understand why I can’t trust people now.”
“I know. I wish it had been me in your position and not you.”
“Do not ever say that. Ever. Make it worth something. Don’t ever wish that on yourself.”
“You didn’t deserve that kind of animosity. I’m sorry I put you in that position.”
“Don’t apologize either. I picked that fate myself. No one else. My fault.”
“So what am I supposed to do then? Dump all of the blame on you? I would never do that. I’ve come too far to do that.”
“Shut up about it. Move on. Forgot it happened. Just do that.”
He changed the subject. “Are you sure you don’t want some sleep? After your predicament...”
“I can’t sleep anymore.” Her voice faltered, “I just can’t.” She let herself slide down the wall and into a sitting position. She buried her face in her hands.
He sat down next to her, glanced at her, and then wrapped an arm around her.
“It’s alright. I understand.”
She laid her head on his shoulder, “I’m going to kill him. I really am.”
“It’s fine. I’ll help you. He doesn’t deserve to live after what he did to you.”
She didn’t say anything, just shivered in his arms. She kept shaking even after she finally fell asleep. This time no monstrosity awaited at the edge of her consciousness.
He smiled as he felt her shiver. He knew what was coming. Then it happened. She fell asleep. He held her until he fell asleep as well, with a smile on his face and a woman he admired in his arms.

A/N: The near future.
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
-David Nicholas

You are two parts personality and one part confusion.- Eparavu

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2011, 09:58:52 PM »

Dialogue. And more dialogue. And Things Get Freaky: the Revengining Part III
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2011, 10:30:49 PM »
You are totally and utterly insufferable. There's just no other way to describe you.
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2011, 03:48:35 PM »
Chapter IV

He woke up first. The wave of thoughts rushing through his head like banthas through a newly-opened gate overwhelmed him.

She was still leaning on his shoulder; his arm was still around her. It was morning; Shushai was still gone. He sighed and relaxed, waiting for her to wake up.

Aaray opened her eyes tentatively, cautiously taking in her surroundings. He was still next to her. At first she tensed, but when he didn’t move she relaxed.

He felt the tensing of a cautious individual, then the relaxing of one who had just realized where she was.
“Good morning, sleepy head.”
“Gloating already?” She smiled at him.
“Why not?” He glanced down and smiled back.
“Because it’s early.” She closed her eyes again.
“But that’s alright, because you’re here, now, in my arms. So I’m happy. Thank you.” #
“It does matter. I’m going to go back to sleep.”
“As much as I’d like to point out the contradiction, I’ll let it slide and be happy.”
“I’m not going to get to go back to sleep, am I?”
“You can now.” He sighed contentedly and adjusted his arm to enclose her more--it made him feel happy and he wondered if it made her feel protected. He didn’t know for sure.

Her mind rebelled a little at being so close, but she tried to keep it suppressed. “Hey, did you ever hear from my parents?” She wondered what kind of answer she really wanted.
He gazed toward the far wall, and remembered, the flashback to his immense grief and dilemma he had been thrown into several days previously.
“Yes. Yes I did. They said they wanted to work things out. That they wanted you back. I was only going to respond if I didn’t find you.”
She sat up, “They said that?” Her hopefulness leaked into her voice.
“Well, unless voice imitators suddenly became interested in your parents and manipulating you...but yes. They said that.”
“That’s better than what I expected.”
”Well, if only they knew you had run off with a strikingly handsome, dashingly suave Mandalorian...” His voice dripped sarcasm as he squeezed her to emphasize his point. “...And almost died.” #
“I get the feeling they’d be more upset about the first.” She pulled away.
“Sorry. Bit of ego there...I understand my shortcomings, and actually care about them. I was just joking.”
“Tell them that, not me. But yeah, the latter might be a bit a problem too.”
“I don’t know what you’re going to do about them. I’m not standing in your way, however. Do what you want to do.”
“I have a cousin, well, I call him a cousin, I can call who’ll know where they are.”
“May I ask who this ‘cousin’ is?”
“His name’s Kebiin. He’s a human who was adopted by some Zabraks.”
“Oh, okay. Because if his name was Beviin I was going to cry.”
“I don’t know anyone named that.”
“Oh, okay. It’s an...interesting I’ll have to tell you later.” He smiled as he remembered the stories his grandfather had told him of the experiences with “the old barve”.
“So can I get up or not?”
“You can, if you want.” He unwrapped his arm and stood, stretching as his muscles ached from the inactivity.
“Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” He deadpanned and helped her out the door.
* * * * * * *

Caton Brower scrunched his face into a corpulent mass of disgust and contempt, and scraped the blood from the massive beetle off of his boot. He hated this planet, and he had only just now been able to take a patrol. After roughly a week since arriving at this pile of refuse, he was just now taking the reins and securing the perimeter. As if anything were to try to get into the outpost they had established. Maybe more beetles.
He shivered and began his trek through the jungle, regretting his eagerness to put the past behind him. He wondered what Fett had done with the Kiffar. He could only hope he found some way to put the alien in her place.
* * * * * * *
“So this is where you’ve been hiding. Cozy.” The voice, dark and mysterious, though shielded by the metal helmet, was distinctive.
“Fett. How nice to see you again.” He turned to find the hunter not ten steps away.
“Yavin 4. A most miserable place. But fitting for someone of your caliber.” His voice dripped sarcasm as he glared at the corpulent officer.
“Perhaps. Tell me, why do you show yourself now?”
“Because I choose to. Maybe a better question would be this: why are you not concerned about revenge?”
“Revenge for what?” His very nature told him to be suspicious of anything this man said, but to take it seriously.
“Oh, I don’t know, for maybe your merciless torture of that Kiffar? I let her go. She’s recovering, but she’ll be after you. If I learned anything during the time she was being held in Slave 1, I know she’s tenacious, even after she’s been driven to her breaking point. She will find you. And she will kill you.” Fett turned his back on the captain.
“You let her go?” He felt his anger rising, what was going on here? No one dared do this to him.
“Yes. You really expected me to hand her off to the Hutts? You’d be sadly mistaken.”
“So you just let her leave. I’m beginning to wonder how you earned your reputation.”
“I’m beginning to wonder how you even made it into the Stormtrooper Corps, Captain.”
“You must have really taken to this girl, hunter.”
“I respect alien species instead of wanting to experiment on them, if that’s what you mean. And I prefer to keep my relationships to myself. Just know your time is short, if you’re fortunate.”
“I doubt it.”
“If I wasn’t restricted to my word, I would kill you here and now.”
“You are attached to that girl, aren’t you?” He knew he was playing with fire, but it seemed to be worth it.
“I wouldn’t tell you if I was. I’d talk to a Hutt first.”
He smiled thinly, “I will remember this Fett. I will remember this for a long time.”
“Even when the Kiffar is sending a blaster bolt through your cranium because you were too filled by your own ego to heed what I say?”
“And when she does, will you be at her side?”
“Keep talking like that and find out.”
And with that, the bounty hunter disappeared into the foliage.
* * * * * * *

Shushai Parjai’Kote ducked behind another tree, paranoid of every sound and shadow. The first rays of morning sun trickled through the branches of the canopy of the forest. Her mind twisted every tiny woodland animal into a creature of horror. She couldn’t turn back though, that much was clear, even in her swirling mind. He abandoned me. He doesn’t care anymore.
She had lost the last member of her family. She was alone now. So totally, utterly alone. She didn’t know where to go, or if she could get there if she did. She was tired and hungry, cold and frightened.
Why? Why does this always happen? The questions haunted her, peeling her mind from rational thought.

The soft reverberation of boots on dead foliage echoed incessantly in her tortured mind; to her, they seemed like a death sentence.
“Who...who are you?” The soft voice of another female soothed her frayed nerves somewhat.
“S-s-Shushai...Shushai P-Parjai’Kote...”
“What are you doing out here?”
“M-my brother...he abandoned me...”
“Well how about you come with me? I’m sure I’m better than your brother.” Her savior bent down and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Trust me.”
A brief moment of hesitation as she remembered her childhood with Kom’rk, but anger and resentment prevailed: she relaxed and nodded.
Where she was headed now was beyond her control.
* * * * * * *
“Hey Kebiin?”
“Who is this? And what are you calling me at this hour for? Do you know what time it is!? And if this is about that fire, well then-” Aaray rolled her eyes at her cousin’s rant, he sounded older now, a lot older. Sadly, that didn’t mean more mature.
“Kebiin, it’s Aaray. I need to ask you something.”
“Aaray! Wow this is great!”
“Well you never grew up, did you?”
“Nope, never. It’s overrated anyway. So what do you need? Are you back? How have you been?”
“Yeah I’m back, do you know where my mom and dad are now?”
“Yeah, same place as ever. If you need directions I’m going to have to be sad. You don’t want me sad, do you?”
“No, I remember. Goodbye Kebiin. Nice to hear you again.”
“You too. Come talk to me some time.”
Aaray hung up. ‘So they haven’t moved. Okay.’ She wondered for a moment if what she was planning was really a good idea. “I know where they are now.” She turned to Kom’rk.
“If I go see them, do you want to come?’
“Why not? I’ve always wanted to mess with potential in-laws.”
“Fine then, you can take me.”
“Right now?”
“No, that probably would not be good.”
“Ah. Okay. So now what? I guess we can stay here until your ankle heals...”
She sighed. “Frak. This is going to be boring.”
“Maybe, maybe. I suppose I could knock out several of those bounties.”
“What makes you think if you do he’ll tell us what we want to know?” It was clear she wasn’t fond of bringing the topic of Fett back up.
“Even if he is egotistical, he has a sense of morality.”
“And if he’s more loyal to Brower?”
“He wouldn’t be loyal to him. He only accepted it for the money. I think.”
“I still think he’d kill you if you gave him the slightest reason.”
“Yes, but I plan not to give him one. Which is why I’m going to do the bounties.”
“You’re not leaving without me.”
“You have a broken ankle.”
“Yes. I’m not just going to sit here.”
He sighed. Arguing with her was like arguing with a brick wall: you weren’t going to get anything accomplished.“Fine. You can come with me.”
She lapsed into silence, not bothering to tell what she was thinking, if anything.

A/N: Problem with Kebiin's text color?
Apparently she's on of those people who don't make sense when they wake up.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 10:52:44 PM by Shereshoy »
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2011, 05:52:24 AM »
And apparently I failed at coding...

But I'm too emotionally broken right now to do a TL;DR, so you have to read it. Deal with it.
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2011, 11:32:24 AM »
I didn't notice the code fail until you bought it up. I'm either blind or what you say changes the world.


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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2011, 01:57:03 PM »
Um, I'm the one who coded this chapter...
And the code is fine. It's exactly like it's supposed to be. Maybe it was too much for one post though, so it spazzed. You guys will have to live with it. Sorry.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 05:29:31 PM by Shereshoy »
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2011, 05:14:48 PM »
I will not heave with it. I'll heave by myself.

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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2011, 08:42:52 PM »
Good to know someone actually read this chapter.
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2011, 08:48:05 PM »
Yeah, no one ever says anything.
EDIT: I lied. I suspected I knew where I missed an error... I found it. It's all good now!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 10:53:27 PM by Shereshoy »
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2011, 05:07:28 AM »
I always comment on a good story. Or review, as would say. Don't think you are wasting your time.


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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2011, 11:24:05 AM »
Thank you.
“God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine”
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2012, 08:32:08 PM »

Aaray tossed the comm in the air and caught it, just as she’d been doing for the past ten minutes. She flinched a little as it hit her hands. A thought struck her- she may not know what was stopping bacta from healing her, but she knew someone who might. It just depended on whether she could work up the guts to call him.
She stared at the comm in her hands. She would move to press the buttons and her hand would freeze. Could she plunge herself back into that nightmare? She steeled herself, of course she could.
* * * * * * *

Boba Fett relaxed in the cockpit of his ship. No calls from Kom’rk asking where the first bounty was, yet.
The comm beeped, he blinked to answer the call; he didn’t need to use a comlink: he had his helmet.
“Fett, I need some information. What’s it going to cost me?” The voice was female, cautious, and held an alien accent.
“That depends. What is the information?,” he cautiously answered. Who was this voice?
“I want to know if Brower did anything to make my wounds not heal with bacta. And I want to know if there’s a way I can fix it.”
Oh. It was Tracyn. “Do I look like a med droid?” He tried to keep his tone nuertral.
“So you don’t know. Fine. I’ll go.”
“I do actually females don’t understand sarcasm, much, do you?”
“No, it’s far beyond our comprehension,” she spat venom.
“So it is past your simple mind?” He crossed his arms. “There’s a bacterial compound in the bacta, kavam, that is known to be naturally neutralized in certain genomes. These genomes are held by certain members of the Kiffar species. So there. The only thing I can see working is kolto, which is incredibly rare nowadays.”
“It worked before, you frakking idiot, or I wouldn’t have called.”
“Okay, so you’re not kavam-resistant. Hmm. Well, there’s the possibility Brower’s nailed down segments of your genome, and injected you with a serum that counteracted kavam’s effects. If you’ll give me some time, I can nail down what exactly he did.”
“What do you want for the information?”
“Just time. But just know I’m sympathetic, and I want to kill Brower as much as you do. I don’t do very much for free.”
“Why are you doing all this, Fett? First you let me go, now this.” Her voice softened. Not much, but a little.
“I told you. I’m sympathetic. I align myself with the Empire, but I protest wanton brutality, especially to an almost kindred spirit. It violates one of the few tenants of the Resol’nare I uphold. I’d make a terrible Mand’alor.” He smiled smugly. He wondered why he was helping her as well. He needed to stop making excuses.
“That’s not an answer, it’s an avoidance. We both know it.”
“You’re right. If there’s one thing women can do, it’s see right through excuses. The truth is: I don’t know myself. I don’t know why.”
“Maybe you do.” She ended the call.
He sighed. He had work to do.
* * * * * * *

Kom’rk walked into the kitchen. One advantage of Aaray’s injury was that he could easily find her.
“Why was I hearing talking?” He wasn’t really concerned, more intrigued, but it couldn’t hurt to ask.
“I was on the comm.” Aaray looked up from where she was sitting at the table.
“Is it a breach of privacy to ask with whom?”
“I’d rather not answer that.”
“It was Fett, wasn’t it?” He had a gut feeling it was him.
“I have a sister. I have some sort of an idea of how females work. I do know that you’d comm him.”
“How could you have known anything like that?”
“Remember how I said I could read your thoughts? In certain scenarios?”
“So you’re in my head!?”
“Basically. And I see what you did there. You just thought of something to get me distracted. I’m smarter than that. But the real problem here is why you were talking to him. What purpose would you have to talk to that sha’buir?”
“I asked if he knew what was causing my scars to reject bacta. Nothing to give you the right to meddle in my thoughts! You shouldn’t do that!”
“I can’t help that you’re in my thoughts, and I can then read yours.”
“I can’t read your thoughts. And even if I could do you think I’d just casually dig through your mind?!”
“Well, let’s see. Probably.”
“Why bother asking if you already knew who and why I called then?”
“To mess with your mind. So you wouldn’t flip out.”
“To mess with my mind?! Really?!”
“Yes. I figured you could use a good joke. Unfortunately, I found you talking to Boba Fett.”
“I want to get this over with! He can help! Or do you like wasting time and helping that,” She described Brower for a moment in Kiffar,” Hurt even more people!?”
“I don’t mind you talking to Fett, it’s the fact that I didn’t know about it. I’m sorry if you can take that as a sign I’m possibly a control freak, but I’m someone who won’t talk to people who just held me in a cell on their ship and didn’t tend to my injuries.”
“I am willing to do anything, anything, to get Brower. If you don’t want to do the same, frak off.”
“Who said this was about Brower?! You wanted him to tell you why you weren’t frakking healing!”
“I can’t get out until I’m physically fit again. And I’m personally sick and tired of hurting all the time!”
“I understand, but why Fett? Why not the frakking medical droid?”
“Because I thought he’d know, and if he didn’t, he’d find out. Plus, yours would probably try to kill me in the process!”
“I don’t want to argue anymore, just go back to whatever you were doing and stay out of my head.” Her voice got softer.
“Fine. I’ll go back to sleeping. Something I’ve done a lot of recently.”
“Fine.” Her voice wavered and she crossed her arms over the table and rested her head in them.
“I’m sorry,” he said as he stood and walked into his bedroom.
“Maybe this just wasn’t meant to be,” she whispered to herself.
His voice echoed back. “It was! You just can’t tell!”
The girl felt her anger boil over, she kept her voice at a whisper,”I told you to stay out of my mind.”
“Not in your mind! I can hear you whispering!”
“Liar!” She was yelling again, her rage had at this point driven her to tears. ‘The first time in a long time I’ve cried, and it happens like this.’
His head popped around the corner.
“Do I need to do somethi--oh, shab. You’re crying. That’s never a good thing.” His sarcasm disappeared, he had to think fast.
“Just go to sleep. Leave me alone.”
Or not. “Do I need to lock the doors?”
“Why? Why bother. It’s not like I can go anywhere any way. Oh wait- I forgot, that doesn’t matter to you, does it?”
He was stuck, he realized. ‘Women...’ “It matters, because I want you to get better. At this point, I don’t care how, I just want you back.”
“The person I was, she’s never coming back. She was lost a long time ago. This is me now.”
“As long as I can love the new you, I don’t care if the old you is never coming back.” He reached out to touch her, but she jerked away.
“I thought I said I didn’t want to talk anymore.”
“I remember you saying that, but then I could hear you whispering, and it just got out of hand...but I’m not leaving. Not until we can be happy.”
“Good luck with that.”
“I’m serious, I’m not leaving. I will stay here as long as I need to stay here.”
“Don’t bother. Just go.”
“Not leaving, cyar’ika...”
“I don’t care.” Her voice shook.
“Are you okay? You’re not looking too well, actually.”
“I wonder why!”
“No, seriously. Worse than you were five minutes ago. You need a doctor, and not Dos.”
“Gee, now what could have happened in five minutes to make me look sick?!”
“Besides this.”
“I told you, I think Brower did something to me to make me unable to heal. I think the bacta affected it.” Her tone dropped back to normal.
“You need a doctor, then.”
“I will take you there whether you want to or not.”
“Try,” she growled.
“Remember, you’ve got the broken ankle.”
“I repeat my previous statement, try.”
He yielded. If she was worse later, he would take her to a doctor. “I’m serious, if you’re not better later, I will take you. Now, do you want to move, or are you fine there?”
She just stared at him for a moment, thinking of a thousand things she could say, but not one of them fit. ‘He took everything from me. Even you.’
“I’ll help you kill the sha’buir.”
“Get. Out. Of. My. Head.”
“Fine, I will. Only if you let me take you to the doctor.”
“No! I don’t want to sit there and go through it in my head all over again!”
“I’m not leaving, Aaray.”
Her voice dropped down again, almost silent, “Don’t.”
He sat down across from her. “Fine.”
“I just want this over. I can’t stand it anymore.” Tears still rimmed her eyes.
He leaned across and squeezed her hand. “We can do it. Together. I’m sorry for arguing with you.”
“Sometimes I think it would have ended better if I had just died.”
“But then the galaxy would lose a really sweet woman.”
“Don’t patronize me.”
“Fine. But then I would lose you.”
“And that would kill me. You’ve become everything to me, Aaray. I can’t lose you. I suffered more when you were captured than when my parents died.”
“Would it? Would it really?”
“Yes, it would. And I don’t want to test it.”
“I don’t have anything else to say. You can leave.”
“I’m still not leaving. I will sit here...awkwardly...for as long as I need to sit here.”
“And then what? Now what?”
“And then I will figure something out. But until then,” # he put his head on his crossed arms, “I will sit here.”
“Have fun with that.”
He rolled his eyes, and slumped. “I will.”
She stared at him. “Oh, and if we’re going to keep being able to hear each other’s thoughts, you might want to learn to watch yours.”
“True, true, but you said you couldn’t read my thoughts.”
“I could when we kissed.”
“We’re not kissing now, are we?”
“No, and I can’t hear a thing.”
“Good. Nice and secure. I’m not delving into your thoughts, by the way.”
“That’s nice to know.”
He had lied. He sat up and grasped her hand again. “What’s even better to know is that you’re here. You’re safe.”
“Maybe. Sometimes I wonder.” She shivered.
“And the shivering...seriously, I wonder if there’s more to this then you think. I’m worried about you.”
“It’s memories, nothing physical. I’m fine.”
“If you say so. I’m still worried about you. No abnormal stress levels or anything?”
“What do you think?”
“Stupid question, I know. I’m diagnosing symptoms. I need to exercise my knowledge of field medicine somehow.”
“Then go talk to Dos. I don’t need to be analyzed.”
“It’s not analysis. It’s concern for a fellow being through the malformed eyes of medical science.”
“I really don’t care what it is. Stop.”
“Fine then. But all this arguing is making me tired.”
“Then leave and go to sleep.”
“I’m not leaving.” His eyes drooped, he really was tired.
“You sound like a broken holo message.”
“I tend to...repeat the truth.”
“Just go to sleep.”
She ran her hand gently through his hair, “Yes.”
“No...” He closed his eyes and relaxed. Before he could stop it, he was asleep.
She smiled faintly and returned to her new habit of staring into the distance. Who knew what she saw there.
* * * * * * *

A/N: Yes, yes, I know. We're late. Deal with it. I had to go to Vegas. Deal with it.

TL;DR: More sappiness.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 08:38:13 PM by Ky'ram Parjai'Kote »
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2012, 12:35:58 AM »
Very good update and Ky have a good time in Vegas. I won't ask how was it, why? Cause of the saying, "What happens..." you know the rest. :D 
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2012, 06:27:45 PM »
Thanks Orange...

Someone read it...finally. :P
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2012, 08:14:09 PM »
WHAT!? No more? Has the duo of the century been caught in peril of writers block?
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Re: Fire and Glory Part II
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2012, 03:32:12 PM »
In spoilers, by chapter. This is ALL of Fire and Glory II...all of it we finished, anyway. We're through with it, for now, anyway.
Chapter Six: [spoiler]Caton Brower never heard the steps behind him, never expected to be lifted from his chair and thrown to the floor.
“What did you do to her?”
“I’m assuming you refer to the Kiffar. You’ll have to be more specific.”
“She’s not healing. And you did something. What did you do?”
“My, not only are you helping her, but you’re helping her at an employer’s expense.”
Brower was lifted from the floor and face-to-face with the helmeted intruder.
“Tell. Me. Now.”
“Fine. I found a chemical that reacts with her blood to stop healing and it reacts violently to bacta. A marvelous find, no? What are you charging for this venture?”
“Only the cost of the clip I fire into your sorry skull.”
“You said you promised not to kill me. You don’t even realize what that alien means to you, do you?”
“I don’t keep my promises. How would I fix this problem, and feel free to put up a fight.”
“Then why make them? I never bothered finding a cure. I never needed it.” Even like this the man radiated smugness and pride.
“I ought to shoot that smile off your face.”
“But you aren’t, which makes me doubt your ability to do so. Besides, think about it, just how willing will the Empire be to hire you as soon as my reports get to Imperial Center?”
“Those reports won’t get there.” Fett dropped the corpulent captain and squeezed off a shot into his foot.
The man gasped in pain as the plasma pierced his foot. He narrowed his eyes, “Oh, they will.”
“Vader won’t listen. My reputation precedes me. He knows that if I shot someone for a display of stupidity, that person deserved it.”
“Maybe, but does he know you grow remarkably attached to a prisoner you’re sent to deal with?”
“I wasn’t sent to deal with her. I happened to be on the ship at the time. And if you recall, you let me have her. And if you’ll recall, you won’t tell anyone anyway. Unless you want more of your limbs singed.”
“I never would have guessed you’d enjoy her company that much.”
“Not as much as you would have have.”
“Now that I doubt.”
“Oh, I bet. Do you want your other foot shot off?”
“Not really. Are we done here?”
“That depends.” He turned his back on the captain.
“On? I really don’t have a cure.”
“On whether I want to waste more rounds on you.”
“I could always raise the alarm, you know.”
“You wouldn’t get close enough to the alarm.”
“Is she really worth all this?”
“Are you worth my time? No.” The bounty hunter walked away.
* * * * * * *

Shushai had just noticed the misformed eagle emblem on the other woman’s shoulder plate. But at that time she had been coaxed into a freighter and whisked away to somewhere unknown.
“W-where are we going?”
“Safety, my Why so nervous?”
“W-we were on Mandalore...where are we going?”
“That, my dear, is on a need to know basis.”
“And who are you?”
“You’re lying.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Your name.” 
“Does your name describe you?” Her tone was humorous.
“Absolutely not.”
“I rest my case then. Trust me now?”
“Absolutely not.”
“Good. I think you’ll do fine.”
“I don’t.”
She glanced nervously around the ship. Besides Jahaatir, nothing else was transpiring. All the animosity had disappeared. She nearly wished that Kom’rk was there, but had stopped herself.
She didn’t know where she was, with a person she didn’t trust.
* * * * * * *

Kom’rk opened his eyes, and raised his head.
“Where am I?”
“The kitchen table. The same place we’ve been.” She looked down at him. “Welcome back to the land of the living.” She almost smiled.
“Frak you. So you just sat there while I slept? How long was I out?”
“In response to your three statements: No, thank you. Yes, I don’t have much of a choice. And about three hours.”
“Interesting. So, you’re just going to sit there until your ankle heals, or what?”
“Well I wasn’t going to leave you here. You’d probably get into some trouble.”
“I’d get into trouble?” He smirked.
“Yes. Frankly, I blame this whole ordeal on you when I’m in anything near a good mood.”
“What do you do if you’re in a bad mood?”
“I deal with the fact I brought all this on myself.” She was blunt and unfeeling with her words.
“You did not. But let’s not argue again. I’ve had enough disagreements for one day.”
“Fine. But I think I’m going to go crazy doing nothing.
“I could always get you some crutches.”
“I still couldn’t do anything. My definition of nothing must be different than yours.”
“Obviously. What time is it, anyway? About lunch time?”
“Yeah, around eleven hundred.”
“Do you want some food? Shushai said I was a good cook. Well, she always insisted on cooking most of the food, though.”
“I already ate actually. I’m not totally immobile you know.”
“When did you eat?”
“An hour ago.”
What did you eat?”
“Some bread and a few vegetables. I’m still trying to get used to eating again.”
“Sometimes I wonder...”
“Wonder what?”
“How you do the things you do...”
“Like what?”
“Like acquiring food without getting up. How would you do that?”
“Easy, I got up.”
“But how?”
“Well, my brain formed an impulse, and then it traveled down my nervous system... Get the idea?”
“You limped over and got yourself some food, when you could have had me do it. Okay. That’s fine.”
“I’m not helpless, nor will I ever be.”
“I’d point to the ankle, but we’d be arguing again. So I’ll just do this.” He grabbed her hand and squeezed it.
“Would you stop that? It hurts.” She pulled her hand back.
“Oh, right. Sorry.”
“Thank you. So, now what?”
“I don’t know. I’ll keep sitting here.” He smiled at her.
“Then what?” She ran her hand through his hair again.
“And then I don’t know. I either start those bounties, or we go after Shushai.”
She considered for a moment. “Where’s your heart at in all this?”
“I don’t know. Part of me wants Shushai back, but the rest of me just wants you and I, here and now.”
“Then you have a choice to make, don’t you.”
“Depends on how easy the choice is. If it’s as easy as staying here, I can make that choice.” # He paused, and gazed deeply into her eyes. “I think I made that choice already. I made it a long time ago.”
“So what are you going to do?”
He placed his hand lightly on hers, and, with his other hand, stroked her hair.
“I think I’ll just sit here for awhile.”
“That’s not getting much done.” She closed her eyes.
“But that’s okay. I’m feeling lazy anyway. Fett can wait.”
“I’m worried about what Brower will do when he finds out I’m free.”
“Lug his fat shebs over here and get killed, probably.”
“It would be nice. But he’s too much a coward to try that.”
“I’ll shoot him in the knees, you can blow out his cerebrum. But agreed, he’s probably scared of Fett. Of course, so am I...”
“I think he may be scared of himself sometimes.”
“You can’t tell. He’s a master of anonymity underneath that helmet.” He paused, hesitating to breach the subject. “How did he treat you on Slave I, if I may ask?”
“Not even you could be as annoying as that man. He may look silent, but he isn’t.”
“So he didn’t mistreat you?”
“Aside from dumping me in a cell and subjecting me to his boring conversations, not really.”
“Ah. So he was bluffing.” Suddenly his mind was overwhelmed by an intense wave of thought. He gasped and curled instinctively into a fetal position. But as quickly as it had started, it had ended.
“Kom’rk? Are you okay?” Aaray had no idea what she would have done if he wasn’t, but she asked anyway.
“...Y-y-yeah. I-I’m fine. Wow. Ow. That hurt. It felt like my entire head just expanded. And was filled with so many different thoughts that my brain couldn’t process them. And then it chilled, then disappeared. Wow.”He panted heavily. All of his body processes had stopped in that moment: his heart, his breathing, his nerve impulses besides those flooding his brain.
She moved over towards him, putting one hand on his shoulder and using the other to lift his face so she could see him. “What happened?” Her voice was calm but her face showed her worry.
“I think it was Shushai. I remember an impression of care. Like she suddenly cared about me again. But I don’t remember too much. I think she sent a burst of Force energy into my brain. At least, that’s my theory.”
“I didn’t think the two of you were that strong.”
“She’s tenacious, I give her that. But she’s not as skilled as I am with the Force manipulation, so I think she just said “Frak it” and sent everything she had.” # He placed his opposite hand on hers which rested on her shoulder. “But I’m fine. I just hope she doesn’t do it again.”
“Would that even be physically possible for her?”
“I guess so, theoretically.”
“In theory every theory should be correct in practice. In practice not every theory is correct.” The back of her head started to buzz as she got close to him, like someone whispering in another language barely within earshot.
He suddenly felt...peculiar. The Force only amplified the sensation, like the interference when two unshielded comlinks got within close range of each other.
“You’ve confused me.”
“And how did I do that?” The feelings became a bit clearer as she touched her forehead to his, but the other thoughts still felt alien.
He decided to test this theory by sending a clear thought: safety in his arms.
“Yes, I can feel that.”
“Try sending me something. Just humor me.”
“I’d rather not end up a vegetable because you wanted to mess with my mind, thanks. I’m not human, my brain is different.”
“I like vegetables, though...”
“I wouldn’t like being one.”
“Well, I know you wouldn’t want to,, you’re right. So, now what? Wait, that’s your line.”
“You tell me.”
He leaned back. “I have no idea. Maybe we should get to work on Brower’s location. You said you’d come with me, so I guess I can call Fett and we can work out the first bounty.”
“Is that a positive?”
“Maybe.” Playfulness crept into her eyes and voice.
“Sometimes...” He slapped his palm to his forehead slowly. “Shall we?”
She rolled her eyes, “You don’t take a hint well.” She pulled him towards her and kissed him quickly before letting him go.
His eyes widened when she kissed him; he blinked madly, trying to process the situation. Then, it was over, and he stared at her.
“...W-what was...that?”
“I can still surprise you then.”
“You can. Wow.”
“Good.” She ran her hand over his jaw.
“I think we’re getting distracted again...but I really don’t mind.” He smiled, a rare thing lately. He was glad it was for a good reason.
She put her forehead to his again, “I’m glad.”
He brought a hand up and ran a finger through her hair. He was thankful that he had someone, finally. After all the years of intentionally waiting and stalling, he had found her.
“You said you wanted ‘you and I, here and now’, how’s this?”
“I think it’s exactly what I wanted.”
“Then let’s make it last.” She kissed him again. It was meant to be short, but as she pulled away something stopped her. He put his hands on her waist and pulled her against him again. She didn’t fight.
He was going to be, for once in his life, selfish. He was going to think only of himself. He kept her against him.
She was content to be nothing to anyone but him right now. She ignored her past and didn’t dwell on the future, she let herself live without worrying for just these few fleeting moments.
The bliss of another, this time unreserved, embrace filled him. Shushai was momentarily forgotten--he figured that if she was safe, she wouldn’t care enough to do anything about it.
Their feelings seeped through each other's minds like poison. Nothing outside mattered. Their emotions led them.
* * * * * * *[/spoiler]
Chapter Seven: [spoiler]
“Dos, fire up the ship. I’ve got a comm call to make.” He set Aaray down in the copilot’s chair. He walked out of the cockpit and into the living area of the ship.
After a long time of calling and waiting, he finally heard the bounty hunter clear his throat.
“So, Parjai’Kote, you finally remembered me.”
“Hard to forget someone with such an ego.”
“Why are you calling me?”
“What’s that first bounty? I’m ready to go.”
“Hmm...let me see...ah, here we go. I need you to go to Imperial Center. A Moff there is troubling one of my ‘benefactors’. I need you to kill him. Then I’ll give you the first coordinate.”
“You’ll tell me more once I’m on Imperial Center?”
“I will. Fett, out.”
Kom’rk walked back into the cockpit. He noticed R5-K5 toodle in and settle down next to Aaray.
“He likes you.”
She rubbed the little droid’s dome, “I like you too, buddy.”
The droid toddled on his bipedal appendages and whistled contentedly.
“So we’re going to Imperial Center, R5, if you can get us there...”
“Who are we looking for?”
“Apparently a Moff. He’ll tell me more when we get there.”
“Ever get a feeling like you’re walking into a trap?”
“I always do.” He leaned on the pilot’s chair.
“I have that feeling right now. He might be trying to kill you.”
“Fett wouldn’t have been so cordial.”
“I don’t know. It scares me a little.”
“Don’t worry. It’s an assassination mission. And Fett signed up for it, so he was able to do it.”
“You’re not him. Furthermore, you don’t even know he signed up for it, he may have just sent you.”
“Sure, sure. It’ll be fine.”
“Another ‘situational meditation’?”
“Yes. That’s what it is.”
“I don’t trust the Force. It seems fickle. And dangerous.”
“I don’t either. But it’s somewhat reliable.”
“It’ll tell me things sometimes that help me. But I think that’s related to my family.”
“What did it tell you about me?”
“It gave me several...suggestions...about how to play my cards during our first meeting.”
“What did it say about yesterday?”
“Strangely, it didn’t say anything.”
“Well that’s almost disappointing.”
“Indeed. Dos, if you would put us into hyperspace and then help R5 monitor the engines. I trust you two.”
--”Thank the Maker. You organic lifeforms are so dreadfully boring.”--
Kom’rk turned to Aaray. “If you can’t tell, he picked up the sarcasm from me.”
“Never would have guessed.”
“Good. So we’ve got some time to relax...”
“That’s all we’ve been doing.”
“Well, there’s more time...”
Aaray groaned, “Yay.”
“You sound like you don’t enjoy it...”
“I dislike doing nothing.”
“Whatever. We’ve got about four hours...”
“So what are we going to do?”
“I have no idea. I guess talk.”
“Let’s do something less boring.”
“Like what? Jettisoning trash manually from the airlock? I’ve always needed to do that...”
“Yeah, you can do it. It’s easy, just make sure you hold on tight...”
“Yeah, you can do that. I think I’ll stay here.”
“You sure? I could just do it automatically. But things get stuck in there. I’ll do that.”He stood up straight and walked out. Several minutes later, he ambled back inside.
“So, uh, about yesterday...”
“What about it?”He took his place, leaning on the pilot’s chair.
“I- I...” She struggled to find the words she was looking for.
“I remember there being you...and me...and...yeah. That was it. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong, it’s just... I guess I’m having trouble believing I did something like that.”
“Oh. Oh. too...”
The ship lapsed into an awkward silence.
We should do it again sometime...”He chuckled.
“We do have some time.”
* * * * * * *

Caton Brower lay in the medcenter bed, his foot bandaged still from the wound Fett had given him. He had had a hard time, but he had explained away the injury as a weapon discharge.
He would kill Fett for this whole predicament. He knew he would.
This stay on Yavin IV was the worst assignment he had undertaken, overshadowing the debacle on Undaunted. He wasn’t concerned about the two young Mandalorians, they surely wouldn’t come after him. They didn’t know where he was...but that scumbag Fett knew. He needed to be shipped off of Yavin IV.
He would dwell on that thought.
* * * * * * *

The medical droid’s processors could scarcely keep up with the tirade of whistles and beeps radiating from the astromech, entirely unlike a drunken Weequay.
--”Yes, yes, R5, yes. Now please, listen to me. I know you appreciate Master Kom’rk’s new...acquisition, but if you will bear with me for about sixty seconds...yes, yes, I know you’re counting. Now just please. Listen.”--
Dos swiveled around to look at the astromech.
--”I am not fond of this ‘Aaray’. I am of the opinion that she should be liquidated immediately. But Master Kom’rk has taken her, and I will not harm her. Yet. Although recent behavior from the two of them indicate a more tight-knit synchronization.”--
Another furious wave of high-pitched sounds bombarded his audial circuits yet again.
--”I know what you mean. Why, yes, I saw that, R5. It was quite interesting. Shall we continue about the job Master Kom’rk sent us down here to accomplish?”--
* * * * * * *
The trip hasn’t been very long...
Jahaatir walked out of the cockpit.
“Welcome to our stop, Shushai. Concordia.”
“Concordia...wait. You-you’re Death Watch?”
“You say that like you’ve been brainwashed to believe we’re evil. Well, the galaxy is, so don’t feel too bad.”
“Why would you bring me here?”
“To show you the truth, why else? We don’t actually eat people, in case you had heard that.”
“Why would I want to know the truth? How do you know I don’t know the truth already? And we don’t hate you all, in case you heard that.” She remained seated, even as the boarding ramp lowered. She remained seated, even as Jahaartir shook her head.
“You coming, girl?”
Shushai shook her head and crossed her arms.
“And why not?”
“I know it sounds childish, but I don’t feel like descending into that cesspit.”
“Listen, if you want a new start at a life where your past doesn’t matter, we can give it to you. Or you could go back to your brother.” Her voice lost its emotion and tone on her final sentence.
“If you’re willing to take me there or provide transport, I will. I’m not sure my dislike for my brother constitutes me blending in with a society I don’t condone. I’m sorry, were those words too big for you, Kyr'tsad di’kut?”
“You’re feisty, aren’t you. What about us don’t you approve of? The fact we don’t always act with an out-dated, overly-flexible ‘code of honor’ you have brain-washed into you?”
“No. I just don’t approve of an overly militaristic, often terrorist organization as an effective modus operandi,” she confidently replied, firing on all cylinders. If there was one thing Kom’rk taught her, it was excessive use of jargon in a practical application.
“Well I’m not taking you back, so either you learn to get along with all these ‘uneducated terrorists’, or go crawling back to someone you hate who might not even be there.”
“I think he’ll be there. If I have to kill you to get off of this rock, I will.”
The older woman laughed, “You think you could kill me? On my homeworld? On my ship? That’s great!”
“Never said I thought I could. It’s a possibility. Tell me how to get off this place and I’ll leave you all alone.”
“You aren’t even going to give us a chance, are you?” Jahaartir sighed, “Well, I guess you can’t win ‘em all. Pity though, I had high hopes for you.”
“I had high hopes for all Mandalorians, and then I met you. Your mother was right when she named you.”
“Oh, ouch. Mom’s been dead years. I don’t claim to represent the Mandos.”
“Are you going to tell me how to get off this place or am I seriously going to have to beat that smirk off your ugly little face?”
“Aww, aren’t you cute. Your dad must be so proud. If you want to get off, get someone else to take you.” She gestured to the surrounding area.
Shushai stood, replaced her helmet, and walked down the ramp, not turning back to look at her ‘savior’.
“If you change your mind, ask anyone for me. They’ll know how to get in touch.”
“I won’t.”
She smiled at the girl, “You never know.”
* * * * * * *

The chronometer in the cockpit beeped furiously; Kom’rk sat up on the bed and listened to it. He snaked his arm out from behind the shoulders of the Kiffar curled up beside him.
“Frak, we’re here. Hmm...alright. Er...let me get my gear...” He got up and walked into the cockpit to silence the chrono.
“I still have a bad feeling about all this.” Aaray kept her voice down. ‘Not like it matters, he can still hear me think.’
“Yeah, that’s right! I can hear you think!”His voice, singsong, echoed from the cockpit.
“Since I’m not going anywhere, I’m going to sleep.” She let a mocking tone seep into her words.
“Actually...I was neeeeeding you for something,” he chirped ethereally as he walked back into his bedroom.
“You’re overly cheery.”
“I need you to just be my eyes and ears for this. Call it an advisor position, if you will. I still need to comm Fett and ask him what the bantha-loving poodoo I’m doing.”
“I think I’ll use those exact words sometime.”
“Good. You do that. I’ll comm him.”
“Just help me with this. Thirty minutes, in-out, bang.”
“Save any horrible mishaps.”
“Those don’t happen. Only a lack of situational meditation.”[color]
“I’ve seen them happen. I stick to what I can verify. Without dying preferably.”
“True, true. But can you verify the Force?”
“No, which is my point.”
“Comming Fett now!”He made a hushing noise, moved into the corridor, and entered Fett’s number.
“Alright, Fett. I’m at Imperial Center. I’m in atmosphere, and I need you to tell me where the shab I’m going. Because I sure as fierfek am not going to hunt down one little Moff in a sea of millions of beings. If you don’t have an idea of where you’re going, you can go frak yourself.”
“Actually, I know exactly where he is. If I can keep track of one measly Imperial Captain, I can keep track of a Moff. He is currently visiting one of his major consituents at their suite in 500 Republica. This constituent is very influential to the Imperial effort, so, if you wish, assassinate him as well. There may be extra pay in it later. Unfortunately, they are guarded by quite a lot of 500 Republica security guards, with more ready to deploy. Those are the risks. His apartment number is 18346. Good luck with the passcode.”
“Thanks, Fett. Parjai’Kote, out.”
* * * * * * *
Aaray limped into the cockpit, still not one-hundred percent sure of what she was doing here.
The firing of pistons sounded the arrival of the medical droid, the affectionate whistles following after.
“So what are you guys doing?”
--”We figured you two were finished, so we came up to help you. In whatever it is a slimy Kiffar does.”--
A furious tirade of tweedles and beeps bombarded the cynical medical droid.
--”Yes, yes, I know you like her...but I don’t.”--
“Slimy. Hmmm. And what is that supposed to mean?”
--“Well...”-- The droid seemed unwilling to answer. --”Er...a medicinally biological acumen.”--
“Nice choice of words there. Obviously well based in facts too.So what’s wrong with me?”
--”Nothing, besides your...affection for Master Kom’rk.”--
“Why is it you hate my guts, but he has no problem with me?”
--”I am not misguided by emotions. For I am a droid. Master Kom’rk is fallible; apparently very fallible.”--
“I suppose there’s no way to convince you I’m a good person, is there?”
--”No there is not. Unfortunately, R5 has taken a liking to you.”--
“I take it you don’t like that either.”
--”No I don’t. How would you be able to figure that out?”--
“It’s a wild guess. If you were humanoid you’d be fuming right now.”
--”But I’m not, so I cannot comprehend your personality, which would be dreadful if I were to inherit it.”--
She shrugged. “Probably. But for the time being you’re stuck with me, aren’t you?”
--”I am, apparently. Tell me, is it really that dreadful to be humanoid?”--
“It has its ups and downs. Some people have more ups, so it’s worth it to them. Me, I wonder sometimes.”
--”So it is dreadful. Noted. What led you to...fall...for Master Kom’rk? What about him?”--
She thought for a moment, “Circumstance. I guess it’s just one of those cases where you don’t know why something is happening, it just is.”
--”So you don’t care why, you’re just following along?”--
“Not exactly. Love can be hard to explain.”
--”It’s an intangible emotion, so I refuse to learn it.”--
“I don’t think anyone ever learns it, we just live with it.”
--”You voluntarily live with another person, giving away part of yourself to that person?”--
“I suppose so, and that person gives part of its own to you. It’s an interesting situation.”
Kom’rk leaned in the doorway.
“Discussing love with a medical droid? Interesting conversation.”
“It is. He hates me, but won’t tell me exactly why.”
“He hates everyone. You learn to bypass it and not anger him when he has his bone saw.”
“Who made him hate everyone? It’s not something most medical droids do.”
“I have no idea. I inherited him from my father, and then from my grandfather. They were all relatively kind to him, but I have no idea how my grandfather got a hold of him.”
“You never asked?”
“Why would I ask, when I was five years old?”
She held up a finger and turned back to the droid, “Dos, why don’t you like people?”
The glare from the medical droid answered her question.
--”I do not like people because I do not wish to demean myself to such levels as of my former master.”--
“And what did he do to demean himself as such?”
--”Why should I tell you?”--
“I’m a curious person, just humor me.”
--”I’m a droid, it is impossible for me to humor you.”--
“Just answer the question.”
--”He underestimated my services.”--
“So you hate all of the biological life forms in the galaxy, because one man ‘underestimated your services’. Well that’s logical.”
--”Do I look like I espouse logical thought?”--
“As you said yourself, you are a droid.”
--”That does not imply logical thought. And Master Kom’rk, do you not have a mission to accomplish?”--
“Oh, you’re right. Let me get on that. Dos, don’t kill her. I know you would.”
“Your concern is touching.” Sarcasm dripped from her words.
“At least I don’t ditch you after the first kiss.”
“Again, your concern for my well being is most moving.”
He rolled his eyes from underneath the helmet. “Yeah, yeah, whatever. I’m going to go kill people now. Apartment 18346 in 500 Republica.”
“Just come back,” she looked up at him.
“I’ll try.”
She reached up and put her hand on his helmet where his cheek would be, ”Do more than try.”
He ran his hands up her arms and squeezed her shoulders, ”I will.”
* * * * * * *
Chapter Eight: [spoiler]
 Aaray watched with a growing sense of dread as the man she loved left the ship. The feeling that some dark shadow was hanging just out of sight was unshakable.
In addition to her concern Dos’s question hung in her mind, why did she feel for this human, what did she feel for him? Her mind wandered over all the moments they had shared- there wasn’t any one thing she could put her finger on, but she knew she didn’t want to leave. She wondered if he could hear her musing.
His voice crackled over the ship-board comm.
--”I’m still able to hear your thoughts. So yes.”--
“Blast you. I said stop.”
He chuckled. --”Fine, I’ll stop. Maybe.”--
 “Thank you,” she said dryly.
--”I’m on my way in now. Infiltrating from the roof. If I ever lose comm contact, I’m dead, and you’ll need to get out of there.”--
“And with that cheery thought...”
--”Which I can read, by the way...”--
“But you won’t, because I’d get mad and leave your sorry shebs here...”
--”Dos would kill you. But anyway, I’m on the roof now. Give me several minutes to get in there.”--
* * * * * * *

His boots made contact with the slippery durasteel, which tapered off into the signature precipice of 500 Republica. This was a retreat for the elite of the galaxy, the entire building set up to be a relaxing play ground for over-payed, small-minded beings with too much time on their hands.
The pinnacle of culture and refinement, and here he was, an insignificant, “barbaric” Mandalorian, here to assassinate one of the highest of their troupe.
He shambled toward the maintenance hatch at the summit of the durasteel mountain.
Aware that the whole building was probably equipped with “state-of-the-art” security systems, he trod carefully. He was about ten feet from the hatch now, but the building seemed to shear off extraordinarily as if to deny him entry--but he was determined to get inside.
He was at the hatch. He unclipped the fusion cutter he had brought along just for this occasion, and set to work.
“Care to break the monotony? I’m rather bored, clutching to durasteel to prevent my death...”
--”Then I suppose focus is a bit more important than your wandering mind.”--
“Ah, see, that helped, I’m through one-half of the hatch now.”
--”Good for you. So, how are you going to do this?”--
He gasped as the hatch released and, due to a sudden burst of wind, nearly decapitated him.
“Sorry about that. Honestly, I have no idea.”
He lowered himself into the hole, the disorientation momentarily overtaking him.
--”You okay?”--
“If only you knew...”
--”What do you mean?”--
“It’s surprisingly windy up here, but then it’s also completely silent where I am now. Now, do you happen to have the blueprints? I thought I gave them to you...”
--”No, you didn’t. But R5 is up here, and between the two of us we should be able to find them somewhere.”--
“Alright, that’s fine. Okay...I’ll just worm my way into this ventilation shaft and hope to the Manda there isn’t a fan blade waiting for me somewhere.”
--”Well this is a read out for potential costumers outlining the security features; about one in five random shafts does, and another one has flames cycle through at computer generated intervals...”--
“Frak. Erm...maybe the hallways are a better approach. There are no security features there, are there?”
--”Including guards? Personal and hotel-employed.”--
“Mmkay...I like my odds against living beings, than against cynical flamethrowers.”
--”I’m inclined to agree with you there.”--
“See? We can agree!”
--”Oh, that one was funny.”--
“I can be funn--hold up. I hear movement. Be right back...”
--”We hope so anyway.”--
A wet thwack and a gurgle faintly could be heard, as the solitary guard was quickly incapacitated.
“Right. Sorted.”
--”Find a way out yet? Where are you?”--
“I’ 18500. So if I know anything about numerology...”
--”Go down a turbo lift. Then look by the doors for the numbers.”-- The comm interrupted the monologue.
“I expected that it would work that way. Alright.”
--”Keep going, they’re bound to know something’s up now.”--
“Will do.”
--”Can you sense where the guards are?”-- She was curious.
“Roughly. Let me find the nearest turbolift...ah. There’s one here. Noted. Taking it now.”
--”If there are so many limits to what a Jedi can do, why did they last so long?”--
“Good question. My grandfather helped in Order 66, even though my grandmother was a Jedi.”
--“How did that work? I’ve only ever heard rumors. Other than what my mom told me.”--
“The Emperor staged a Jedi revolt, and ordered Vader to march on the Jedi Temple. My grandfather and his squad helped in a facet of that. After that, they deserted, and recovered my grandmother. Meanwhile, all the other clones around the galaxy, except for an exclusive few, killed their Jedi commanders. So it was chaos.”
--”Not all of them died. My mom had friends from Clan Vos, she stays in touch with her family, and last I heard they hadn’t found Quinlan Vos’s body.”--
“Vos was one of the few Jedi that escaped. My grandmother, Kenobi, and some others I can’t think of all survived.”
--”How do you know for sure?”--
“Well, I’m here, so my grandmother survived. Kenobi died on board the Death Star.”
--”It seems to me, if Jedi were all they were supposed to be, the Empire never would have formed.”--
“They weren’t. I’d rather be a Mandalorian then give up my affections and desires. Oh, and I’m here. Do you know the layout of the suites?”
--”Yeah, and I’m glad I wasn’t born on Kiffu either. But yes, I do know the layout.”--
“How is Suite 46 situated in relation to the corridor?”
--”Go to your right.”--
“Hmm. Okay. I’ll need about 25 seconds to get in, and kill this guy.”
--”Give yourself a window of a minute then.”--
“Will do. Alright...let’s focus. Moving.”
The man beside the door was an under-worked CSF reject who liked to believe he was defending the security of the galaxy the moment he woke up. He was an easy kill, one quick slice across the neck.
The lock on the door was more of a challenge then him- a complex lock with a twisted and personally set password.
“Any idea what this combination is?”
--”Of course, I personally know these people and the way their minds work. Why wouldn’t I know the combination?”--
“Whatever. Is there anything you can do?”
She sighed, --”Fine, see if you can send me the memories on the lock, I’ll dig through them. You’ll have to take your glove off though. And this might not work.”--
“If it doesn’t, I’ll blow the door down. Glove’s off, and my hand is on the lock. Now what?”
--”I’ve never done this before, so I’m guessing. I need to feel like it’s me touching the lock. If I can get to that point, through your mind I might be able to get the code. That’s... disturbing. On second thought, just blow it.”--
“That works better, I suppose.”
--”Yeah, that sounds a lot less likely to fry our brains.”--
“Maybe, maybe. Setting the charge now, in case you can hear a sudden explosion.”
He placed the explosive-adhesive on the vital points of the door and shuffled out of the blast radius. It was a small explosion, he noticed. But the door was...somewhat opened, if blancing on one hinge could be considered such, so he entered, blaster drawn.
The panoramic window was what drew his attention, the expanse of Imperial Center opening up to him. Then, the Moff ducked beneath the couch.
“You can’t run from me, you Imperial dog.”
“W-who are you? What are you doing here! Guards!” The man changed from fear to anger as he gathered his thoughts.
Kom’rk raised the blaster, aimed center mass. “Don’t even think about it.” He fired.
--”I’d give you about five minutes to get out.”--
He holstered the blaster and stepped back through the door.
“Get down here, Aaray...I’m on my way.”
--”Where are you headed?”--
“Back the way I came.”
--”I’ll be there.”--
“Alright. Sounds relatively peaceful outside. Give me three minutes.” He ducked around the corner, and reoriented himself. He was almost to the turbolift.
* * * * * * *
Some emotion between boredom and itching for a fight played through her mind. Aaray was sure if this kept up she’d lose her mind. She just wasn’t wired to do nothing. The minutes chose to crawl by as she waited. She glanced at the computer screen on the console, no alarms yet. Now the only thing she could do was wait. ‘Frak.’
--”I’m almost to the hatch. You there yet?”--
“I’ve been here.”
--”Alright, I’m out. Get me out of this cesspit of culture.”--
“You can’t tell you’ve never dreamed of seeing this planet. The capital.”
--“Of all that I despise, yes.”--
The ramp lowered and the solitary Mandalorian jumped on board. He stumbled into the cockpit.
“Well hello there. Frak, it’s windy out there.”
“Welcome back. How did it go?”
“Well, the Moff is dead and I wasted one blaster round. All in all, it’s a success.”
“That is a huge relief to me. So, what’s the city look like in person?”
“I think I prefer the vastness of wilderness to the vastness of civilization. So I hate it. I can’t stand places like this.” He sat down in the copilot’s chair. “So, shall we get off of this rock?”
“There are too many people here, so I’d like to, yeah.”
* * * * * * *
Boba Fett sat up as the alert turned his console red. After a succession of quick taps, he had scanned the update. Captain Caton Brower had been rotated off of Yavin IV for medical reasons. He cursed under his breath. Now it would take time to find him again, he’d have to call the other Mandalorians off too. On top of the fact he still couldn’t help the Kiffar, he’d rather not be the bearer of bad news. It wasn’t that he was scared, but even small enemies could grow and gain power. He tried to keep his enemies at a limit. Most of them he killed.
He dialed in the number of the male Mandalorian, the one who followed the Kiffar.
--”This is he.”--
“I’m terminating our contract. You can keep the girl, the rest is off.”
--”Dare I ask why?”--
“You can. I won’t answer most likely.”
--”Where’s Brower?”--
“There’s no deal. Were you stupid enough to miss that?”
--”You’ve lost him, haven’t you? I’m not that stupid. That’s the only reason you’d cut and run.”--
“Or he’s paid me off.” He wasn’t going to admit someone had slipped through his grasp.
--”Point taken. So what do you want me to do now?”--
“Leave me alone. Don’t comm me again, just take the girl and don’t bother me.”
--”That’s fine. Parjai’Kote out.”--
Fett turned the comm off. His mind flicked for a moment to the Kiffar, he just assured that he’d never see her again, which was one less problem he’d have to worry about. But then, why the hesitation?
* * * * * * *

Shushai Parjai’Kote opened the door.
She stepped inside.
“Kom’rk? Where are you?” The emptiness of the house resounded back to her; no one was here. ‘Maybe she was right...’ Doubt began to stream into the girl’s mind. ‘Maybe I should take her up on her offer.’
The door opened again. Acting on instinct, she crouched behind a piece of furniture.
“You know he was bluffing, he lost him.” It was a woman’s voice. It wasn’t human either, judging by the accent on her words.
“Most likely. Okay. So we need to find Brower.”
“How are we supposed to do that? I would love to know.” Shushai now recognized those voices, her brother and his... she snarled, who knew what they were now.
“I have no idea. Fett won’t help us.”
“I could ask him. I could see if he did know.” She didn’t sound fond of the idea, but a burning dedication behind her words, the dedication of one locked in a blood feud with another, overruled that.
Kom’rk stopped suddenly.
“Shushai? Where are you?”
The girl flinched at her name. How was she stupid enough to forget he could feel her presence! She cursed herself and stood.
“Where’d you go? I was worried about you...”
“Apparently not worried enough to care about me! You ran off with this...this alien! Why?”
“Enough already! Really, you know from my point of view you’re aliens, right? And where in the universe do you get off with calling my species ‘near human’?! How do you know you aren’t near Zeltron or something! Honestly, your whole race is stuck up.”
“Stay out of this--”
“Shushai! Stop it!” He placed a hand on her shoulder; she shrugged it off.
“I came back to be with you, Kom’rk, not with her!”
“I know. I know. Let’s just sit down, and talk this through.”
“I refuse. As long as she’s here, you won’t be able to talk to me. Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t go back to the Death Watch.”
“The...the Death Watch? You went to the Kyrt’sad? Why? What did I do?”
“You fell in love with this girl.”
Aaray put her hand on the other girl’s arm, “Listen, I don’t know why you’re scared, but you shouldn’t be. I’m not here to hurt anyone, and I don’t mean to. I of all people understand how hard it is to go back to a normal life after something like... that happens. But we can try, right?”
Shushai’s anger vanished. She broke down, the feeble walls she had set up against the two crumbled. She sank down and sat on the couch, bursting into tears.
“It’s going to be okay.” She sat down with her.
She looked up, “Yeah?”
“Let me take care of this. Thanks for your help.”
“Listen, no offense, but you don’t understand this. You couldn’t help. Not like I can.”
“Fine then. I’ll be starting my hunt for Brower...”
“You do that.” She turned back to the girl, “Tell me what happened to you.”
“Where can I start?” Her hair draped in front of her eyes, obscuring the tears.
“Anywhere you want.”
“Well, Kom’rk went off for his bounty, but he told me to stay here. I stayed in the house, but then I decided to make a trip to Keldabe for some supplies. When I was there...” She choked on a tear.
“And then what?”
“Stopped at a vendor, but when I was inside, apparently, people followed me. I come outside to go to the speeder, and they...they jump me. Next thing I know, I’m in a ship, from what I can tell. After that, I blacked out again, and then woke up inside the cell. Then, I met Brower. Frak...the hut’uun...”
“What happened to you on the ship?”
“I don’t...I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You need to. You need to say it at least once, just let the memories go.”
“H-he...he...his official term for it was ‘experimenting’...”
“What did that creep do to you?”
She broke down. “I-I...h-he...he know...” Sobbing, she gazed into the Kiffar’s eyes. “I’m sorry, I just...can’t. He needs to die. The chakaar needs to die.”
“He does. He does.” She hugged the sobbing girl.
“Thank you, Aaray...just...thank you. And I’m sorry...for everything.”
“I understand. It’s going to be okay now.”
“So Kom’rk and you...are..”
Kom’rk walked back into the living room.
“Yeah, yeah. Intervention over, Aar’ika?”
“Don’t call me that. Ever. But yes, I suppose so.”
“You see what I have to deal with, Shu’ika?” His sister’s glare bored holes into him. “Okay then. So I have several leads.”
“Shushai, can I ask you something?”
“Yes, Aaray?”
“You told me what he did, but did the rest of them leave you alone?”
“The troopers, yes. The officers were warded off by Brower, and Fett? He’s too self-righteous to want anything to do with me.”
“Wait...what happened?”
Aaray nodded toward the hall and got up.
“Shushai, you’ve got to be tired. Go to sleep.”
“What if I don’t want to, hmm?”
“Fine. I will.”
Kom’rk walked back into the hallway.
“What happened?”
“Apparently his methods for dealing with her weren’t just physical.”
He stood, in shock.
She nodded, “Indeed he is.”
“So shall we brief her on what we’re going to do to find Brower?”
”Not yet. Let’s take that slowly.”
“Wait. Sorry, I may be slow, but did he...did the same to you?”
She shook her head, “I’m not human, so he wanted nothing to do with me.”
“As far as I’m concerned, you’re human to me...”
“What? Do you have any idea how insulting that is to me?”
“So being human is bad. Noted. Sorry, we are actually a self-centered race.”
“It’s not that you’re bad, it’s that your species seems, by nature, immature and violent without reason. You believe you have rights that no one else has.”
“This is why people like me despise people like Brower and Palpatine. I believe that it’s alright to be alien, and I believe that they have rights equal to mine. But other people believe that aliens are different, and feel superior to them because of it.”
“You know there’s a good chance she won’t bounce back from this, right?”
“I figured. What will we do with her?”
“I don’t know! But I think it’s a good idea not to tell her about us.”
“Probably so. I wonder if she’s actually asleep.”
“I doubt it.”
A creaking put Kom’rk on alert.
“What was that?”
“Shushai?” She guessed.
“Sorry, I’m paranoid.”
“It’s fine, I’m going to check.”
“I’ve got your back.”
“It’s okay! It’s just me!” The shout echoed back.
“What were you doing?”
“I knew you were going to talk about me.”
“So you were spying on us?”
“I wanted to know. I don’t want to be babied! I’m a grown woman! I can take care of myself!” Her voice quivered.
“Shushai, I didn’t mean...”
“Of course not! You never do! You always do exactly what you want, and then try to worm your way out of it!”
“Shushai, it’s okay, calm down.”
“I will not!”
“What!? What do you want from me?” She pleaded.
“Just calm down and let me explain!”
“No! I won’t calm down. And I’m tired of hearing all of your excuses!”
“What excuses?”
“Every time someone holds you accountable for something you give reason after reason why it’s not your fault! So what about this! What’s your excuse for talking about me behind my back?! For that matter, why did you leave me in the first place?!” She had begun crying again.
“Shushai...I...I’m sorry...I just...I’m sorry.”
“You always say that! How many times have you heard him say that?” She turned to Aaray.
“He does say that, but at the same time...” She tried to balance between making the girl feel better and ending the fight.
“What are you talking about?”
“Aren’t you listening!”
“I stopped listening. I’m sorry.”
Shushai’s look went from mad to broken hearted, “I hate you.” She whispered the condemnation without tone or volume, one last, fateful sentence. She turned and ran, crying.
“Frak! Shushai!”
He tore past Aaray and grabbed his helmet, intending to follow her. He was not losing her this time.
* * * * * * *

For the record, Fire and Glory comprised 33,326 14 chapters, in two parts.

Good run, I'd say.
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.