*

Author Topic: [SWTOR] The Wrath  (Read 2752 times)

Offline Merila

  • GW2 Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
  • May the Force be EVER in your favor, Harry.
    • Enchanter's Nightshade
[SWTOR] The Wrath
« on: September 29, 2014, 10:59:27 AM »
Part 1: Confidence

Nomen Karr's padawan, Jaesa Wilsaam, has contacted Jenasha offering to meet alone in the hopes of finding a solution to the conflict between their two masters. Jenasha agreed to the meeting, despite the concerns of her Captain, Malavai Quinn, that it might be a setup, but when the two arrive, they are instead confronted with two Jedi Knights. When the fight puts Quinn's life in danger, Jenasha is brought face to face with her growing feelings for the Captain.

--

Jenasha took long, heavy strides down the ramp that led to the ship’s airlock, the black tattooed flesh of her lips set in a hard line. The sound of her armored boots on metal echoed in the hallway.

“Forgive my presumption, my lord, but I still do not think this a good idea,” Malavai Quinn asserted, quickening his pace to keep up with her, his fingers still carefully sliding blaster rounds into his pistol as he walked.

“I am aware of that, Captain. I do appreciate your concerns, but in my experience, Jedi can generally be expected to keep their word. Besides,” she replied, throwing a quick glance back at him, “I happen to agree with the padawan - this quarrel is between our masters.”

“My lord?” he looked back in surprise.

They came to a stop at the airlock, and as she turned to face him, she allowed a brief flash of the frustration she felt to be visible on her face. Though most who met her might be unnerved just at the sight of her - a half-Zabrak Sith who sported the traditional black tattoos and vestigial horns of her father’s race - Captain Quinn had never shown any discomfort at her appearance, or her unusual genetics, even before joining her on her ship, Fury. It was strange to her how easily the man had slipped into her life, and his intelligence and sense of duty was rapidly turning him into as much a confidante as a subordinate.

He had seemed as much surprised to find her his intellectual equal as she was - though he was nearly twice her age, her mother’s ambassadorial work on Csilla had brought her into contact with just as many diplomats, politicians, and military officers as his career, and her education prior to entering the Sith Academy had been just as demanding as his. She couldn’t count the number of times Vette had had to shoo the two of them off to bed, having lost track of time while discussing politics or playing holochess, and though their leisure time had been somewhat curtailed of late, he still found time to forward her articles he thought she would find intriguing.

The Captain had become invaluable to her, and though she wasn’t sure she was ready to admit it, she felt she could trust him. She paused for a moment, considering her words carefully. Her voice was barely a whisper when she finally leaned in, her eyes full of fire, “As shocking as it may be to you, I do not enjoy being sent back and forth from one end of the galaxy to the other on what amounts to a personal vendetta. I’m sure you would agree that the Empire has larger concerns than one upstart Jedi and his teenage padawan.”

He hesitated a moment before lowering his voice to match hers, “I’ll admit, it rarely seems the Sith have much concern for the well-being of the Empire. Darth Baras included.”

“Then you understand why I would rather resolve this now, if I have the chance?”

He nodded, sliding his gun into the holster at his hip, “Of course, my lord. Though I hope you know, I would accompany you even if I didn’t.”

She studied him for a moment before nodding, tapping her fingers on the nearby control panel and turning back as the airlock doors slid open with a hiss of air. She reached a hand down to her belt to check the twin lightsabers hanging on either hip as she commented, “I appreciate that, Captain.”

They crossed the threshold onto the docked ship and strode down the long hall towards the two figures standing at the other end. Both clearly Jedi, Jenasha eyed them carefully as she approached - the one on the left was shorter and younger, pale with a crop of messy red hair, while the one on the right was nearly a foot taller, barrel-chested, with dark skin. She slowed her pace until she came to a stop a few feet in front of them, placing a hand on her hip and affecting a calm, uninterested expression. Quinn positioned himself to her left and slightly behind, shifting reflexively into parade rest at her side.

“Well, well,” the shorter of the two Jedi smirked. “We’re going to have to thank Nomen Karr after all. The Sith showed.”

The other held a hand out towards Jenasha, gesturing for her to stay where she was as he addressed her, “Stand down, Sith. The padawan you seek is not here. Master Karr discovered her plan and talked her out of it.”

“It’s just not your day,” the first sneered at her again. “You were expecting one lowly little padawan to crush - and instead, you get us.”

Jenasha felt a well of anger begin to open up inside Quinn, though he did not show it. The arrogance of the two Jedi seemed to both enrage and disgust him. Good, she thought to herself. Let his hate strengthen him.

“You’ll do just fine,” she narrowed her eyes at the two Jedi, letting a hint of her impatience seep into her voice. “I enjoy killing your kind.”

“Then we have something in common,” the shorter taunted her, his disdain palpable. She could feel the ripples of hatred and arrogance begin to roll off the young Jedi in front of her, and her lip curled in the beginnings of a smirk. Oh, a dark voice in her head rose, all hunger and malevolence. Oh, I can use him.

The taller eyed his companion before turning back to face her, “I am Ulldin. This is Zylixx. We are fully trained Jedi knights and more than your match. You should submit.”

“Of course, we have yet to encounter a Sith who had the sense to surrender,” Zylixx continued, clearly trying to provoke her. “You all seem bent on having us destroy you.”

She raised an eyebrow at him, her voice low and teasing, “Admit it. You’d be disappointed if I gave up.”

“Not at all,” Ulldin replied before his companion could speak. “We don’t go around picking fights.”

Zylixx turned to look at Ulldin, his impatience visible on his narrow face, “I wouldn’t trust it if the Sith surrendered. I prefer the sureness of death.”

Jenasha gave a harsh laugh, unable to hide her amusement at the young Jedi. She smirked at him, “Keep thinking like that and you’ll fall to the Dark Side before you know it.”

“Shut your mouth,” Zylixx retorted, angry emphasis on each word.

“Zylixx, remain calm,” Ulldin admonished him. “The Sith is just trying to unbalance you. Don’t let her words get under your skin.”

“Really?” she asked, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “Because I don’t think I have to try. I think Zylixx here already knows the truth. Secretly, he wants to fall.”

“Liar!” he cried out, the anger coming off him in waves now. “I’m not weak like you. We simply meet force with force.”

The Jedi’s statement drew a small laugh of disbelief from Quinn, whom she had nearly forgotten was there. Deciding to turn Zylixx’s words around on him, she replied, “By that logic, if I don’t attack, you can’t attack me.”

“No,” he shook his head, his frustration growing. “No, you’re putting words in my mouth!”

“Zylixx,” Ulldin breathed sharply, “get ahold of yourself-”

“No, no more talk!” Zylixx shouted, reaching for his lightsaber. “You die, Sith!”

Her hands were at her belt, her lightsabers out and unsheathed before either Jedi had taken more than a step toward her. She crossed the distance between them, raising one blade to counter Ulldin’s downward swing and parrying Zylixx’s swipe with the other. She pushed against their determination with her fury, her blades buzzing and sizzling every time they made contact with the Jedi’s.

She spun, pressing her attack against Ulldin more fervently, unwilling to waste more energy than necessary on the exuberant, unfocused strikes of Zylixx. She forced the older Jedi back, her blows raining down on him until she had backed him up against the closed door behind them that led to the interior of the padawan’s ship. When Ulldin finally bumped against it, he turned his head in surprise, and she seized her moment. Still holding her lightsaber, she thrust her hand out, pressing the Jedi against the wall with a blast of the Force. She focused her energy on his neck, allowing the Force itself to choke him. His face began to redden, his lightsaber falling from his grip as he clawed at the invisible hand at his throat.

A scream of anguish caught her attention, and out of the periphery of her vision she saw Zylixx raise his blade, his eyes frenzied. But before he could bring it down on her, a blaster round flashed across from where Quinn was standing, pistol raised, and pierced the shoulder of the Jedi’s saber arm. A low growl escaped Zylixx as he turned to face his new opponent, deflecting two more blasts with a quick flick of his blade, a cruel smile pulling at his lips.

The sight of such unrestrained rage on the Jedi’s face filled her with triumph, but the exultation evaporated in the split second it took her to realize Zylixx was readying himself to leap at Quinn. Panic shot up her spine like lightning. Without hesitation, she twisted the hand she had been holding Ulldin with until she heard the thick crack of his neck breaking, then turned and pressed hard against the floor with the power of the Force. She crossed to Quinn in one quick motion, turning back and bringing her right blade up to block Zylixx’s fierce downward slash before it could make contact with the surprised Captain.

But she wasn’t quite quick enough to block the whole of the Jedi’s attack, and the tip of his lightsaber slid down and sliced easily into her shoulder and along the left side of her torso. The agonized scream she heard escape her own lips seemed strangely far away compared to the white hot streak of pain that shot through her. She felt herself tumbling backward into Quinn, the momentum of the Jedi’s swing forcing her off her feet. She felt Quinn’s arm sweep around her waist, his left shoulder pressing up to catch her, but waves of agony ripped through her when her body collided with his. She held another scream back, pulling her focus in and funneling the pain into the sea of Force energy inside her before flinging a hand forward and pushing Zylixx out of reach.

Undeterred, the Jedi shot back to his feet, swinging his saber around and preparing for the death blow, his teeth bared and his eyes wild. Jenasha raised her right blade, clenching her jaw and drawing a quick breath in through her teeth as she tried to rise to her feet again. But she tensed as a shot rang out from behind her. Her eyes followed the red flash that streaked over her right shoulder as a blaster bolt found its mark in the Jedi’s forehead. His lightsaber clattered to the floor as he toppled over, dead before he hit the ground.

“My lord,” Quinn’s usually placid tone was filled with alarm as she collapsed into him. She was dimly aware of the warmth of his breath on her ear, the sound of his pistol dropping to the ground as he shifted her into both arms, and the pressure of his grip on her as he lifted her with one under her legs and the other wrapped around her waist. It felt as though entire body were on fire, and a ring of darkness was pressing in around her field of vision.

“‘A deadly shot,’ indeed,” she mumbled into the folds of his uniform jacket, her sight beginning to cloud.

“Please don’t speak, my lord. Just try to remain conscious,” he whispered, his voice strained.

She could feel his heart pounding hard beneath his chest, and though she tried to anchor herself to the beat and the sound of it, the agony that pulsed in her at every jarring step seemed to fill her up until all she was was pain. Though she tried to hang on to his neck, she lost her grip as her arms began to go numb.

“My lord! Jenasha!”

She felt herself murmur something unintelligible to him, felt the vibration of him calling to her through his chest, but everything else slid into darkness as she passed out.
GW2 - Merila Dorne
SWTOR - Amaiko, Jenasha

I write poetry and fiction. You can read some here.

Offline Merila

  • GW2 Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
  • May the Force be EVER in your favor, Harry.
    • Enchanter's Nightshade
Re: [SWTOR] The Wrath
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2014, 12:14:32 PM »
The bright lights of the ship’s medbay seemed to dance above her as she slipped back into consciousness.

The first sensation she felt was the pain, searing like a hot brand through her torso. Then slowly, she became aware of the chill of the metal table beneath her, the smell of antiseptic, and the urgent voices whispering just above her.

“Both layers of armor seem to have been seared to her skin along the wound,” came Quinn’s smooth voice, business-like, but with an unusual hint of distress. “We need to remove it before putting her into the kolto tank, but we need to be exceedingly careful, or we risk her going into shock again.”

For a moment, she didn’t process the words, but when the meaning finally sunk it, panic gripped her. She jerked away from the hands on her, ignoring the sharp spike of pain that resulted from the motion. She let out a low growl as both Quinn and Vette tried to hold her in place, her voice coming out little more than a croak, “No! Release me! You will not put me in that infernal tank!”

“Jen! Jen, stop!” Vette pleaded with her, her hands clamped down tightly on Jenasha’s legs, “You’re hurt, we’re just trying to help.”

The various instruments and supplies in the room began to rattle, a few even rising in the air as Jenasha reached out to the Force, her fear and anger fueling the swirling cloud of energy inside of her. Her vision faded in a fog of red, and her power reverberated in her voice as she cried out, “No! Get out!”

Both of her companions let go in surprise, but as Vette hurried from the room in terror, Quinn leaned forward and placed his hands on either side of the Sith’s face. “My lord, please,” he implored, his face inches from hers. “Your injury is severe. I cannot leave it untreated.”

She looked up at him, her vision clearing. She reached up and gripped both of his hands in hers, unable to keep the fear out of her voice as she pleaded, “Please, do not put me in there.”

Quinn looked into her eyes for a moment, his jaw clenched as he considered her words. Finally, he released his grip on her, his eyes softening, “Very well. It should be sufficient to apply kolto gel to the wound, though it will take longer to heal that way,” he paused, waiting for her to object. When she didn’t, he continued, his tone still gentle, “I need to remove your chest armor. Will you allow me to do so?”

She nodded, still eyeing him warily.

With practiced hands, he slid a pair of shears along her right side, cutting easily through first the synthetic fabric that lined the seams of the hard plastoid pieces that covered her chest, then the tight weave of her underarmor, peeling away the black fabric until most of the bright red skin of her chest was exposed. She took a deep breath as the chill of the medbay air hit her skin, raising goosebumps in the tattooed flesh, but the expansion of her ribs sent another shock of pain radiating out from the gash in her side. Quinn pressed a warm hand to her uninjured side when she gasped, holding her steady against the wave of agony that rocked her until it passed.

When he had finished cutting along the jagged line of melted flesh and cloth to separate her clothes from what bits of fabric had fused to her, and he stared down at the wound, deep in thought. Finally, he looked back up at her, his brows narrowed in concern, “The easiest way to do this is to simply pull the material off, but there’s no way to avoid pulling skin off with it. This will likely be extremely painful…” he trailed off for a moment, pursing his lips as he considered his words carefully. “You might pass out again, but it’s important that you try to remain conscious.”

Jenasha only nodded, biting her lip and taking in short, shallow breaths to brace for the pain.

He set his mouth in a hard line as he leaned back down, stretching the fingers on one hand out carefully along the wound to smooth the skin, and gripping the fabric along the top of the wound with the other. He peeled a six-inch section in one quick motion, prompting a high scream that was quickly muffled into a pained groan as she clamped her mouth shut. She reached up with one hand, gripping his shoulder and digging her fingers into the fabric of his jacket when he tore another strip of bonded fabric and flesh from her body. Despite the pressure of her nails, he didn’t flinch, even when he arrived at where the wound had carved into sensitive skin along her breast and the howl of agony she released made his skin tingle with Force energy.

After what had seemed like hours of torture to her, the tissue surrounding the cauterized gash was raw and red, but fabric-free. Quinn wiped a small bead of sweat from his brow with the back of his hand, and she could feel the tension in him ease at the sight of his patient still conscious on the table. He turned, running a finger down a shelf of various gels and ointments before finding the one he was looking for, pulling the box out and withdrawing a long red tube from inside. He turned back and leaned over her, squeezing out the tube’s contents down the length of her wound before gently spreading it two fingers. The cool gel sent waves of relief washing down her spine, the medication’s pain relieving properties immediately taking effect. He then took a roll of gauze bandages from the shelf and began winding the cloth around her torso, taking care to cover as much of her exposed skin as possible.

Her thoughts, which had been drifting back to the predicament of Nomen Karr and his padawan, were abruptly brought back to the present as Quinn spoke, his voice faltering, his eyes still down as he tucked in the ends of the bandages, “My lord… I do not wish to pry, but… your reaction to being placed in the kolto tank was a bit… extreme…”

Jenasha would have laughed at his boldness if it would not have sent her into spasms of pain. Instead she only smiled ruefully at his worry, her gaze shifting to the shelves of medical supplies behind him, looking without seeing as memories floated through her. She refocused her eyes on him, giving herself a quick shake before finally answering, “My mother. When she became displeased with my progress with the Force, she began a training regiment that… was designed specifically to endanger my life and force me to access my abilities to save myself. One of her favorites…” she paused, her eyes hardening, “was to lock me in an old kolto tank she filled with plain water and wait for me to either pass out or free myself.”

Quinn’s eyes flew up to meet hers. She hadn’t expected the horror she saw there, the astonishment and dismay he could not hide. His brows narrowed and his eyes softened, “How old were you?”

She looked away again, the feelings she could sense rippling out from him testing her ability to control her own. She had expected surprise, maybe, even pity, but not… Why does he care? she wondered. She took a slow, shallow breath in before admitting, “Eight.”

Her confession only seemed to inflame his emotions, and she could feel the subtle, almost metallic traces of his anger seeping in. She gave herself an internal shake, pushing away her memories and reigning herself back in, “Enough. My childhood is of no consequence.”

He quickly nodded, his expression sliding back into the calm, impassive look he usually wore as he moved on, “As you say, my lord. I would like to give you a sedative - rest will help the healing process, and the less you move, the better,” he explained when she gave him a skeptical look.

When she inclined her head in assent, he readied the injection, and though she barely felt the pinch of the needle entering her skin, it wasn’t long before the drug’s effects began to dull her senses. She vaguely heard the sound of Quinn’s boots clicking along the floor as he made his way toward the door, and she held a drooping arm out from the table as she called to him, hearing the sound of her voice as if she was someone else, “Quinn- wait, please.”

“My lord?” his voice drifted to her from the doorway.

The words stuck in her throat and all she could do was hold out her hand to him, but he seemed to understand. She heard the dull scrape of a stool sliding across the floor, and suddenly Quinn’s face floated above her again. His hands were warm when they took ahold of hers.

“I wish you would be more careful, my lord,” he scolded, as much to occupy her as she drifted off as anything else. “I was able to get you into the medbay within minutes, but we may not be so lucky next time.”

A soft chuckle escaped her lips, and she raised her eyes to his, giving him a weak smile, “Sorry to worry you, Captain.”

Her smile seemed to unnerve him, and his brows narrowed again as he looked back at her. He frowned, his words coming out barely above a whisper as he voiced the uncertainty she had felt at the edges of his mind since she had regained consciousness, “You should not have intervened. You are Sith, and my superior. My life is of little consequence compared to yours.”

The sedative was lowering her defenses, and in the cold, bright confines of the medbay, she whispered back something she had been struggling to turn into words, something she had realized in the split-second decision she made on the Jedi ship. “Not to me,” she told him, giving his hand one last squeeze before sleep overtook her.
GW2 - Merila Dorne
SWTOR - Amaiko, Jenasha

I write poetry and fiction. You can read some here.

Offline Merila

  • GW2 Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
  • May the Force be EVER in your favor, Harry.
    • Enchanter's Nightshade
Re: [SWTOR] The Wrath
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2014, 09:23:55 AM »
Part 2: Appeal

“Come,” Jenasha called when the distinctive jingle of someone requesting entry broke the silence that had settled in her quarters. She was meditating, drawing on her connection to the Force to fortify herself after prolonged exposure to the poisonous landscape on Quesh, and though she was annoyed at the interruption, she had a feeling she knew who had come to her door and why.
Sure enough, the doors opened with a hiss of air to reveal Lieutenant Pierce, his large frame nearly filling up the doorway.

“M’lord, could I speak with you?” he asked, ducking his head a little to step through the opening and into her quarters.

She nodded, gesturing to him, “By all means, Lieutenant.”

Pierce gave a short nod of his head in acknowledgment before getting directly to the point, “Know I’ve said this before, but I kept my mouth shut a while now. Time to speak up.” When she raised an eyebrow to indicate he had her attention, he continued, gesturing as he spoke, “Quinn’s dead weight. Can’t do anything without his approval. He’s slowing us both down.”

Though she was surprised at his boldness, she didn’t show it. She merely crossed her arms in front of her chest, her expression unreadable as she replied, “And what exactly do you suggest I do with him?”

Pierce shrugged, “Demote him, cut him loose, kill him. Don’t matter much to me so long as he ain’t in charge. A unit’s only as capable as the man leading that unit.”

“And I suppose you think you’re the man to pick up the slack?”

“I always give one hundred and ten percent, m’lord,” he gave another nod. Then he winked at her, a sly grin spreading on his wide mouth, “In everything I do.”

No wonder he and Quinn are at each other’s throats already, she sighed. She had grown tired of the two of them, perpetually at odds. It was driving the crew apart. Or rather, the Lieutenant’s insubordination was emboldening Vette and Jaesa, and the three of them had been ganging up on Quinn for weeks. I must end this, she decided. Rather than give away her feelings and lose the opportunity his candor presented, she played along, allowing a trace of amusement to slip into her voice, “Oh, I’m sure you do. But ability alone does not merit promotion.”

“Just give me a chance to prove myself. ‘sall I ask,” he lowered his head, his hands sweeping wide as he bowed.

Jenasha pursed her lips, more than a little annoyed that Pierce had chosen now of all times to try to move up the chain of command. She sighed, waved a hand to let him know he was dismissed, telling him, “I will take it under consideration for now.”

“Thank you, m’lord,” he nodded as he slipped back out of her quarters and made his way back to the cargo bay.

She was about to close the doors to her quarters and resume her brooding when she caught sight of Quinn as he stepped hesitantly out from around the corner. He caught her eye and bridged the distance between them in a few quick strides, giving a short bow before addressing her, “My lord, I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time.”

Jenasha closed her eyes for a moment, repressing the violent urge that rose up within her. She pressed her fingers to her forehead and gave herself a shake before opening her eyes again, waving her hand out and gesturing for him to follow her into her quarters, “Sure. Why not.”
When they had entered and the doors had hissed closed again, she turned back to look at him. He had shifted into his usual stance, his hands loosely clasped behind his back, but the waves of uneasiness rolling off of him belied his calm expression. He avoided her eye as he spoke, “My lord, thank you for your attention. When that we have concluded our business on Hoth, I must officially request to be reassigned.”

His words hit her like a blow to the chest. Though she held in her shock as best she could, she felt her jaw drop a fraction of an inch in disbelief. She gave him a hard look, “Why in the galaxy would I want that?”

Her continued avoiding her eyes, but the pained look in his eyes didn’t escape her notice as he explained, “For the sake of you and the crew.” Pausing, he allowed his gaze to meet hers, and she felt a mix of desire and guilt ripple out from him. “I am… compromised. Thoughts of you have begun to distract me. My feelings affect my ability to concentrate; I cannot in good conscience continue to serve.”

“But don’t you see,” she reached out to him, gripping his shoulder, “your passion can make you stronger, if you let it. If you give in to your feelings, you can wield them like weapons against those who would threaten you.”

Quinn narrowed his brows, the conflict in him palpable. He pursed his lips, “If we were involved… we might not be able to act if the other’s life would be forfeit.” In a surprising show of emotion, he reached a hand out and trailed his fingers down her shoulder toward her collarbone, indicating the long scar, hidden under her armor, that ran the length of her torso. The sadness in his eyes threatened her composure as he whispered, “This is my doing. This is what our feelings have brought to bear.”

For a moment, she nearly gave in and allowed the lonely ache in her soul to overpower her senses. Two powerful urges began to war within her: the first to cross over to Quinn and collapse into his arms; the other to sink to the floor in despair and weep for the first time in years. Each fought for dominance, thrusting her mind back and forth. But the thought of yet another man standing before her, so sure of what was right, what was best, stirred a storm of rage within her that had been building under the surface for days. I will not be abandoned so easily, came a deep growl within her mind.

“Very well,” she finally addressed him again, her voice cold and hard. “If it is truly your desire to leave my service, so be it. But you will have to earn it.” She thrust a hand forward, gripping him tightly by the collar of his uniform jacket and pulling him along behind her as she strode swiftly out of her quarters and down the main hall.

Vette and Jaesa both peeked out from the doorway that led to the ship’s lounge as Janesha stormed past. She could hear a hint of curiosity in Jaesa’s voice as her apprentice whispered, “What’s going on?”

Vette, on the other hand, could hardly contain her glee at the sight of the Sith lord striding past with Quinn in tow, practically trilling when she explained to Jaesa, “Ooooh, looks like Captain Stick-in-the-Mud is in troooouble.”

The two trailed behind as Janesha led Quinn to the cargo hold, where she finally released her grip on him and pushed him toward the center of the room. Pierce, who had been busying himself cleaning and reassembling a large blaster rifle, the remaining pieces of which were laid out on a crate in front of him, turned and stood when the four entered. He crossed his arms in front of his chest, an intrigued smile pulling up the corners of his mouth at the sight of Janesha’s barely contained rage.

“My lord?” Quinn asked, his gaze shifting between the three women in the doorway and the Lieutenant to his right.

“Gentlemen,” she addressed the two men, her arms spread wide in a gesture of mock-hospitality. “You are about to receive a lesson in the Sith method of professional advancement.” When neither dared to speak, she continued, “In the Sith Academy, there are no rules. There are no built-in hierarchies. Those who want power take it from those who cannot stop them.”

Out of the corner of her eye, she was amused to see Vette and Jaesa both settling themselves onto a stack of weapon crates near the door, angling for the best view. A smile crept up her lips as she continued, addressing her entire crew, “I have received two requests today.” She gestured to each man as she spoke, “Lieutenant Pierce has requested that he be promoted and put in charge of my operations. Captain Quinn has requested he be allowed to leave my service and be reassigned to another unit.”

Janesha paused a moment as Vette expressed her displeasure with Quinn with a few choice Twi’lek phrases she was sure he could translate. When the cargo bay fell silent again, she addressed the two men before her, “Any other commanding officer would likely see this as a perfect match - one man wants to leave, the other wants his place. Why not grant both requests and kill two shyracks with one stone?”

She turned and paced, absent-mindedly pulling tendrils of energy from the roiling storm that was the living Force inside her, “But I am not in the habit of over- or underestimating my enemies or my allies. I prefer to see their abilities for myself.”

Then she stopped and turned back to face them again, “You will engage in hand-to-hand combat. No weapons. No killing blows.” She nodded to Pierce, “If you are victorious, Lieutenant, then you shall have your promotion, and all the privileges that come with it. However, if you are bested, you will commit yourself to becoming the strictest embodiment of military regulation this side of the Imperial Fleet, from this day forward and until I see fit to allow you to do otherwise; and if you fail to do so, I will deposit you on the first backwater moon we land on with nary a look back. Are we clear?”

“Crystal, m’lord,” he nodded in acknowledgment, rubbing the knuckles of his fist, the smirk on his face widening.

She turned her gaze back to Quinn, her eyes hard, “Captain, if you are able to prevail against the Lieutenant, I will grant you your reassignment. In fact, I will write a personal request to the commander of your choice and recommend you for promotion when the time comes.” She gave him a moment, reaching out with the Force to gauge his feelings before continuing. “And I am not ungrateful for your service. I am willing to grant you your reassignment even if the Lieutenant defeats you. However,” she paused, allowing the fury to seep into her voice. “You will leave this ship having been demoted back to Ensign and assigned to the most remote, insignificant world I can find.”

Jenasha savored the wave of despair that radiated out from where Quinn stood. She ignored the pang of guilt she felt deep in her heart, focusing instead on the rage still boiling just beneath her skin. She raised a hand high in the air as she turned to cross over to where Vette and Jaesa were sitting, “Begin.”

As she settled herself on a crate, tucking one leg underneath her and leaning back against the wall of the hold, she watched the two men eyeing each other warily. Quinn slid his pistol from the holster at his hip and set it carefully down on a nearby shelf before shrugging out of his uniform jacket and crossing back to the center of the hold. Pierce undid the buckles of the heavy plastoid breastplate he wore and allowed it to slide to the floor with a clatter as he made his way toward Quinn.

“Oh, Captain,” Jenasha called out, her tone teasing but her eyes hard. “I forgot to mention: you only get your reassignment if you best the Lieutenant without giving in to your emotions. Best of luck.”

The two men circled, staring across at each other. Pierce’s mouth was pulled up in a wide smile, though his eyes were narrowed and hard as he looked at Quinn. The Captain’s expression was nearly blank, his clenched jaw the only outward sign of the anger Jenasha knew was boiling just below the surface.

Quinn ducked the Lieutenant’s first swing and used the opening to land his own punch on the side of Pierce’s head, the blow connecting with a loud crack. But as Pierce shrugged it off, Quinn shifted his footing and returned to circling the Lieutenant. Jenasha could practically see the wheels turning in the Captain’s head as he calculated, planning a strategy even as he fended off the Lieutenant’s heavy attacks.

“Think I’ll like having my own quarters,” Pierce chuckled as he spun around, landing a blow on Quinn’s side below his ribs. “Be nice to have some privacy.” He was quick for a man his size; though not as quick as the Captain, who ignored the comment, dodging another jab and using the momentum of his spin to swing his leg high. His boot collided with the Lieutenant’s jaw in a powerful kick that sent Pierce reeling backward.

Pierce took a split second to roll his neck and test his jaw before striding back across the floor to Quinn. The Lieutenant gave the Captain a wicked grin, his eyes glinting in the low light as he taunted, “Bet with you out of the way, she’ll be joining me for some privacy in no time.” He landed a heavy kick of his boot on Quinn’s chest, knocking him onto his back on the floor, “I mean, she’s gotta be hard up after all these months of you playin’ the bashful schoolboy.”

Quinn placed a hand on the floor and swung both legs around, knocking Pierce off his feet and rising to his own in one fluid motion. The Lieutenant gave a grunt as contact with the hard floor knocked the air from his lungs, but he staggered back to his feet without a moment’s pause. The Captain swung his leg around, aiming a kick at Pierce’s stomach. But the Lieutenant caught Quinn’s leg in both hands, a harsh, rasping laugh escaping his lips as he spun Quinn’s boot, forcing the Captain face-first back into the ground.

“I mean, honestly. How do you turn that down?” Pierce scoffed, landing another fist on Quinn’s ribs as the Captain struggled to his feet. “But don’t worry,” he continued, his sentence punctuated by blows as he drove Quinn back toward the wall of the hold, “All it’ll take is one night of me bending ‘er over the Captain’s chair and she’ll forget all about you.”

Jenasha felt the pulse of fury ripple out from Quinn as he crouched down, lowering his shoulder and plowing into the Lieutenant with a frenzied yell. He thrust forward, his fists driving hard blows into Pierce’s stomach, each punch drawing a grunt of pain from the Lieutenant. Pierce swung his arm out to grab at Quinn, but the Captain anticipated the move and, taking ahold of the Lieutenant’s forearm, used the man’s momentum to swing him around and launch him head over feet. Pierce landed on his back again, the air rushing from his chest in a low groan. He staggered back up, ducking another blow from Quinn and swinging his arm around to grab the Captain by the throat.

The Lieutenant pulled Quinn to him, angling the Captain’s head into the crook of his elbow, tightening the grip on his throat as he held him in a chokehold. Quinn struggled for a moment against the larger man’s grip, his face beginning to turn red from lack of air. He shrunk to the ground, pulling Pierce with him until the Lieutenant was practically doubled over. With one last groan of effort, Quinn latched onto Pierce’s arm with both hands and pulled hard, launching the Lieutenant over his head and onto the hard floor of the hold with a heavy thud that rattled the nearby crates. When Pierce didn’t rise from the floor again, Quinn sank to one knee, panting. He raised his eyes to Jenasha’s and gave her a quick nod before looking back down at the Lieutenant.

Jenasha rose, gesturing with her left hand toward Pierce, “Vette, Jaesa, please see the Lieutenant to the medbay and attend to his injuries.”

The two women rushed forward, each taking ahold of one of Pierce’s arms and supporting him as he rose shakily to his feet. When the three of them had exited the hold, Jenasha crossed over to where Quinn was still half-kneeling, half-sitting on the floor. Sweat had darkened his shirt in a round splotch over his chest, and his thick black hair was damp and tousled. She held out a hand, helping him to a standing position. When his breathing had slowed to a more normal pace, he broke the silence that had settled in the hold, “I don’t know what you were hoping to accomplish, my lord.”

She gave a soft snort of laughter, “Of course you do, Captain. I was hoping to show you what you could be if you let your passion strengthen you rather than holding it in so relentlessly.” She twirled a hand in the general direction of the doorway, “And if my methods happen to teach Pierce and the others to show you a bit more respect, then all the better.”

“I see,” was all he said, though she could feel a mix of surprise and admiration stir in him. But his eyes were tired when he looked at her, finally asking, “So what will you do with me now? I have passed your test, and in doing so, failed it.” The weariness in his tone began to fade and he hardened, his gaze shifting away from her in an attempt to contain his anger, “Am I to be demoted and banished at your whim, my lord?”

Her own fury subsided, and her expression softened. Her brows were narrowed in concern as she explained, “I was bluffing, Captain. I would not condemn you to another decade of uselessness on a planet like Balmorra. Do you think me as heartless as that?” When he wouldn’t meet her eye, she sighed, the last of the fire in her dying out, “If you truly wish to leave my service, I will not stop you.”

“I…” he started, his mouth opening and closing again. He looked back up and caught her gaze, his eyes softening again as he whispered half to himself, “No. I’m an idiot.”

He closed the distance between them, sliding an arm around her waist and pulling her into his embrace. She felt herself burst into flames at the heat of him, the press of his lips on hers as the wall of her passion collided with his. In disbelief, she reached out to touch him, her fingers tracing the hard lines of his chest through the damp fabric of his shirt. Her touch seemed to embolden him, and he pulled her roughly against him, his lips parting as the kiss deepened, but when she slid her hands down his chest, he gasped, jerking backward, a hand moving reflexively to shield his bruised ribs.

“Forgive me, my lord,” he gasped, still out of breath from the heat of their contact. The pain seemed to have momentarily smothered his desire, and she watched him shift back into parade rest as he reined himself in. “That was… inappropriate. It will not happen again.”

Her heart sank and an emptiness seemed to open up deep inside her. She half wished she could drown in it. She fought back the urge to lash out at him despite the small voice that whispered in her head. You’re soft. You’re letting your feelings for this man, this ordinary, Force-less human, make you weak. She sighed, resigning herself. Then I am weak.

She looked up at Quinn, unable to keep the sadness from her eyes when she caught his gaze. She dipped her head, “If that is what you want, Captain.” She paused, watching his jaw clench as he held himself back. She stiffened, her tone clipped and authoritative, “Your reassignment is approved effective immediately, if you still desire it. If not, tend to your wounds and set us on a course for Hoth. I expect you to be on the planet’s surface with me at 0800.”

Jenasha didn’t give him the chance to answer, instead turning and striding toward the door. She stormed back down the hall to her quarters, locking the doors behind her before throwing herself onto her bed, burying her face in her pillows as she allowed the sea of misery rising inside to finally swallow her whole.
GW2 - Merila Dorne
SWTOR - Amaiko, Jenasha

I write poetry and fiction. You can read some here.

Offline Merila

  • GW2 Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
  • May the Force be EVER in your favor, Harry.
    • Enchanter's Nightshade
Re: [SWTOR] The Wrath
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 08:16:56 PM »
Part 3: Assurance

“That was easier than I thought it would be,” Quinn noted as he holstered his pistol, slipping his medscanner from its pouch on his belt and running a quick scan of Jenasha’s vitals.

She held still while he scanned her, but once her vitals came back as normal, she paced forward and kicked away the detonator the now deceased Republic captain had been clutching in his lifeless hands, her eyes sweeping the room to check that none of the other commandos had survived. Quinn was right, the fight had been easy. Once he had ascended to the Dark Council, Baras had ordered her back to Quesh to quell a fresh effort by the Republic, one which, to hear him tell it, was threatening to undo all the advances she had made in her earlier time on the planet. And indeed, a squadron had been laying explosives in a series of tunnels beneath the Empire’s forward command post, hoping to collapse the entire cavern and the Imperial forces with it. But the number of Republic troopers planting the bombs had been minimal, and the troops themselves cowardly. They had tried to abandon their mission rather than fight her, but she had not allowed them to benefit from their spinelessness. When she was satisfied that none remained, she nodded to Quinn, “Too easy. Something isn’t right here.”

“If you say so, my lord. I defer to your heightened senses, as always,” he gave her a small smile, half teasing and half real admiration.

They began making their way carefully back out of the cavern, but they had only made it halfway back to the mouth of the winding tunnel that led back to the surface when the distinctive jingle of her holocommunicator began echoing in the expansive room. She pulled the thin, round device from her belt and held it out in the palm of her hand. A miniature image of Lord Draahg, Baras’ other apprentice, appeared in the center of the communicator, his form blue and flickering.

“Well, well, well,” he drawled, his voice a thinly disguised sneer. “Well done. Mission accomplished, eh?”

The sight of him, the tone of his voice put her on edge. Something is definitely wrong, she knew immediately, though she did her best to hide her rising fear. “Why are you bothering me?” she demanded.

“I have a mission of my own, friend,” he taunted her. The way he spat the word ‘friend’ told her he saw her as anything but. “Captain Trey-yan was sent here by one of Baras’ Republic moles. The explosives he set up were not wired to the Captain’s detonator.”

Jenasha felt the color drain from her face. She knew what was coming, and Draahg did not disappoint. He held a thin, metal device up for her to see, a cruel smiling pulling up his mouth as he told her, “I have the real detonator. It was all an elaborate trap for you.”

She could feel Quinn tensing at her side, his own fear rippling out and colliding with hers. Her free hand curled into a fist at her side, and she let a low growl. “So. Baras is stabbing me in the back.”

“Our master prides himself on being one step ahead of everyone,” Draahg continued. She could feel him reveling in his words even through holo. “That includes you. He knew someday you would rise against him. You were his fiercest. I consider it a privilege that he’s allowed me to pull the trigger.”

Jenasha could barely hold the disgust from her voice as she replied, “This will be your fate too someday, Draahg.”

Draahg only snorted, “Let me worry about that.” He held the detonator up again, all arrogance and triumph as he crowed, “Baras sends his regards. Goodbye.”

The communicator slipped from her hand before the image of Draahg had even flickered out of sight as Quinn’s strong arms wrapped around her, pulling her down with a shout. He held her tightly to him, shielding her with his body, and they both hit the rocky ground of the cavern just as the first of the explosive charges detonated. The sound nearly deafened her and she found herself choking on the dust that began filling the air as another charge blew, and then another, until a final blast knocked her unconscious.

--

Voices brought her back to herself - two voices, male, calm, coming from somewhere just above her.

“Interest justified,” came the first. “Shall I revive?”

“Offer no help,” the other replied. “We must be sure. Her worth will be established by surviving the trek to safety. We will wait at the command center exactly one day for our proof.”

Janesha blinked and slowly opened her eyes, gazing up at the two Sith standing over her just as they turned to go. She tried to speak, tried to rise to stop them, but she only managed a low croak before darkness took her again.

--

Her head pounded when she regained consciousness. The dust of the explosions had settled somewhat, but she could tell by the low rumblings and creaking that echoed around her that the cavern itself had become dangerously unstable.

Disoriented, she looked around a moment as she staggered to her feet, using the pain in her head to ground herself in reality. But then she remembered. Draahg. The thought of the explosion, of Baras’ betrayal, hit her hard in the gut, nearly sending her back to the ground. It is no matter. I will end them both, she swore to herself, her fury quickly bringing her back to herself.

Quinn! Panic rose in her chest again when she remembered she hadn’t been alone when the explosives had been detonated. She spun around, her eyes quickly searching the nearby rubble until she spotted the Captain’s grey uniform amid the brown rocks.

“Quinn!” she called to him, scrambling over the debris and to his side. He had been blown a few feet away from her by the blast, and he was still unconscious, his body still curled around as if to shield her, his uniform jacket torn in places and covered in dust. She pushed him over onto his back and her heart sank when she saw a trickle of bright red blood running from his ear. She pressed a hand to his neck, feeling for a pulse, letting out a quick breath of relief when she found one, albeit a faint one. Her fingers shaking, she fumbled in his medic bag, pulling out the round vial of kolto and a syringe. She drew a dose, trying to steady her hands as she injected it into his arm.

Another rumble of shifting rock and earth shook the cavern around her. Still shaking, she tapped her hand against his face, calling to him again, “Quinn, wake up. We need to move, now.” When he still didn’t respond, she thumped her hands on his chest, “Quinn, please!” She glanced around as the ground shook beneath her, a few pieces of debris falling to the ground a few feet away. Pulling at his jacket, her voice full of panic, she cried, “Quinn! Malavai!

His eyes fluttered for a moment, but when he still did not wake, she let out a scream of frustration. She stood, gripped his left arm in both of her hands and gave a hard pull. His body only moved a few inches. She pulled again and again, desperate to move him, fury at her own weakness overwhelming her senses, until finally a realization struck her. What are you doing? Are you Sith or aren’t you?! she rebuked herself. Stretching out a hand, she reached out with the Force, enveloping Quinn in its energy and slowly lifting him off the ground. When she had him high enough, she took a few careful steps, pushing him ahead of her as she picked her way over the rubble surrounding them. She picked up her pace, holding carefully onto Quinn with her mind as she ran.

Rocks and structural debris continued to rain down from the ceiling of the cavern as she made her way across the now hazardous floor and into the tunnel. The ground shook as chunks of the ceiling began collapsing behind her, and as she reached the entrance, she threw herself and Quinn across the threshold, tumbling to the ground outside as the tunnel itself caved in.

--

Her armor dusty and her body bruised, Janesha approached the door to the medbay of the forward command post. Once she had escaped the collapse of the tunnel with Quinn, she had contacted Jaesa on the ship with Quinn’s holocommunicator. She’d ordered her apprentice to escort the Captain back to the ship for medical treatment while she tracked down the two Sith who had appeared in the collapsing cavern. It hadn’t taken long to find out where they were holed up - two mysteriously cloaked pureblood Sith were not the kind of travelers that go unnoticed, even in Empire territory.

When she entered, the two Sith were standing at the center console, hands clasped behind their backs, watching her.

The first spoke, “We are impressed. You are worthy to be the Emperor's Wrath.”

She grit her teeth, her hands curling into fists at her sides, “Baras and Draahg played me. How impressive is that?”

He nodded, “The trap was masterful. But the consequences were averted. Look on me. I am Servant One.” He indicated the Sith standing besides him, “This is Servant Two. We are the Emperor’s Hand. The Dark Council runs blind. We alone oversee the Emperor’s will in the galaxy.”

Jenasha’s mouth dropped open. The Emperor’s Hand… the only Sith to see the Emperor in person, to do his will, and they’re here. She gave a low bow, more than a little awed at the knowledge that the Emperor himself had taken an interest in her. “You honor me with your presence,” she replied.

“We sampled the Wrath some time ago,” Servant Two noted, though she was not sure what he meant. Before she had a chance to ask, Servant One continued.

“The Emperor tasks the Hand with a great undertaking, and you are to become his Wrath. Darth Baras is seizing power against the Emperor’s wishes. He must be stopped.”

“What exactly is Baras up to?” she asked, curious what they might know of her master’s endgame.

“The betrayer plays emperor,” Servant Two answered.

Servant One nodded, “Since the Treaty of Coruscant, the Emperor has withdrawn from the known galaxy, preparing for a great calling. Baras learned of this and now claims the Emperor speaks through him. If the Dark Council declares him the Voice of the Emperor, he will have supreme power over the Empire.”

The thought of Baras having unmatched power brought a wave of rage washing through her.

“The Emperor chooses one being to physically embody,” Servant One continued. “This being is the Voice. It is obeyed as the Emperor himself.”

“But the true Voice has been silenced,” Servant Two explained.

Servant One gave a nod, “And in its absence, there is nothing to deny Baras’ claim. Some on the Council truly believe, others see an advantage in supporting him, and Baras plots against those who oppose him.”

“The threat dies when Baras dies,” she pointed out.

Servant One shook his head, “He is too powerful to confront now.”

“The Wrath must build before reaching pitch,” Servant Two suggested, inclining his head.

“Your crew awaits you at your ship,” Servant One gestured toward the door and the nearby spaceport. “They have been informed of these developments. Baras means to force the Council to bow. But he believes you to be dead. That is our advantage.” He and Servant Two both bowed, “Return to your ship, and we will advise you what can be done to thwart him.”

Janesha returned the bow, her mind spinning as she made her way out of the medbay and back toward the shuttle.
GW2 - Merila Dorne
SWTOR - Amaiko, Jenasha

I write poetry and fiction. You can read some here.

Offline Merila

  • GW2 Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
  • May the Force be EVER in your favor, Harry.
    • Enchanter's Nightshade
Re: [SWTOR] The Wrath
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2014, 08:17:14 PM »
“My lord,” Quinn rose a bit unsteadily to his feet when she entered the ship. It was clear he had been waiting near the door for her return, and from the dust and dried blood on his uniform, she could tell he hadn’t taken the time to attend to his injuries yet. He fell into step beside her as she strode down the hall toward the main room of the ship, “We were contacted by two Sith in your absence. They say they are-”

“The Emperor’s Hand, yes,” she nodded, her expression grim. “Are they waiting for me?”

“They are, my lord. And the rest of the crew has gathered,” he gestured to the others as the two of them approached the holoterminal in the center of the room. He pressed a few buttons on the console, and the flickering blue image of Servant One appeared above them.

“Wrath,” he nodded at the sight of her. “Your first opportunity to tear down what Baras creates is on Belsavis, a planet that was hidden from the Empire until recently. We are sending you coordinates and will advise you when you arrive.”

The call ended and the image flickered out. She turned to face her crew, her eyes drifting from face to face, gauging their reactions. Quinn was the first to break the silence.

“I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first,” he met her eye, pursing his lips. “So it’s true, then? You’ve been chosen as the Emperor’s Wrath?”

She nodded, though the words felt unreal even as she spoke them. “I have.”

Jaesa looked up at her, her expression a mix of astonishment and fury, “To take on Darth Baras, right? I can’t believe he tried to have you killed. His betrayal must be answered.”

Broonmark growled low in his throat and Pierce gave a grunt of displeasure, shaking his head as he commented, “Never liked old man Baras anyhow.”

Janesha paced a few steps, her jaw clenched. She shook her head, “I knew this day would come. Baras is predictable as ever.”

“Master?” Jaesa asked, hesitating.

“Baras is power hungry and manipulative. He uses people to avoid dirtying his hands, and when he has finished with them, he has them killed. If you are in his service and you are not dead, it is only because he believes you still may be of use to him somewhere down the line,” Jenasha sneered. She had hated being Baras’ pawn, hated being ordered to kill at his whim, wasting resources, opportunities, and precious Sith blood only to further his ambition.

“I don’t know, Jen,” Vette finally spoke up. “Those Hand weirdos kind of creep me out. I mean, how do we know they’re any different? You sure you want to sign up for this?”

Janesha sighed. Vette was right, of course, but her options were limited. She shook her head, “No, I’m not sure. But Jaesa is correct; I must repay Baras’ betrayal, lest the Council and the Empire think me weak. And to do that, I will need what support the Emperor’s Hand can offer. I will do as I am bid until I have reason to do otherwise, but I will keep both eyes open. In the meantime, return to your duties. Lieutenant,” she nodded to Pierce. “Please set a course for Belsavis.”

“Yes, m’lord,” he gave a short bow and ambled off to the bridge as the others slipped off in different directions. Only Quinn remained behind.

“If we cannot trust that the Emperor knows what’s best for the Empire and its subjects, we cannot trust anything,” he gave her a reassuring look before bowing stiffly and making his way to the medbay.

Jenasha stood, curling her fists at her sides. She knew what an honor it was, being chosen as the instrument with which the Emperor meted out his vengeance. Mother would be beside herself, she laughed bitterly. But she couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d only been handed a length of rope with which to hang herself. If I fail… She shook her head, banishing her doubts and striding after Quinn.

He was dabbing carefully at a cut along his neck, likely from a stray piece of shrapnel propelled by the blast, and she could smell the sharp scent of antiseptic as she entered. He looked up at the sound of her, unable to hide his surprise when she crossed over to him and took the small, alcohol-soaked piece of cloth from his hand. She turned his head gently with one hand, wiping the trail of dried blood that had run from his right ear down to his jaw before turning his head the other way and cleaning the nicks and cuts on the other side of his neck.

“He will come for you,” she finally said as she tossed away the now soiled gauze and helped the Captain shrug himself out of his uniform jacket. She pulled at his undershirt, indicating for him to remove that as well so she could tend to the long gash on his back that had rent the fabric of his jacket.

“Who-” he started to ask, but his question died on his lips as he flinched, gritting his teeth against the stab of pain that raising his arms had brought on. “Ahh… my shoulder, it’s-” he put his right hand to his left shoulder, testing the joint and wincing.

“Dislocated,” she realized, a small wave of guilt washing over her. He gave her a curious look and she frowned, ignoring the flush that colored her cheeks as she explained, “I… when I regained consciousness, you were still knocked out from the blast. I tried to move you on my own. I... wasn’t thinking clearly.”

He gave her a small smile, the sight of which warmed her. “I’ve had worse, my lord.”

She chuckled softly, but the smile on her own lips faded as her eyes took in the bruised and bloodied man before her. She gave herself a shake, her expression serious again as she lifted his uninjured arm and placed his hand on her own shoulder. “Hold on to me,” she told him as she braced her right hand on his side. He did as instructed, taking her upper arm in an easy grip and nodding for her to go ahead. She positioned herself opposite him, widening her stance for balance before forcing his shoulder joint back into its socket with a quick thrust.

Quinn let out a low grunt as his shoulder slid back into place. When she released her grip on him, he pressed a hand to his upper arm and rotated the joint. When the motion gave him no pain, he looked back up at her, giving her a nod, “Thank you, my lord.”

A dam of control within her suddenly gave way and a flood of emotions began washing over her. All the fear and uncertainty she held back from the rest of her crew welled back up, and in a moment of weakness, she found herself collapsing against Quinn, her arms sweeping around his neck as she buried her face in the soft fabric of his shirt. He startled at the sudden press of her against him, but she felt him soften, his own arms wrapping around her and pulling her in tighter.

Jenasha thought she might have cried if she could remember how, but instead, she simply whispered, her voice shaking, “I thought I’d lost you.”

His breath was warm against her neck. She could feel the tension in him ease, the surprise and relief audible in his voice when he replied, “It would take more than that to part me from you, my lord.”

She curled her hand into a fist and thumped it against his chest, hard enough to get his attention but not enough to hurt, “What were you thinking?”

He lifted her head gently in his hands so that he could see her face, his brows narrowed, his eyes searching hers as he replied, “Only of your safety, as always, my lord.”

She let out a breath, surprised and confused by his answer, by the earnestness in his voice and the look in his eyes. But she was too tired and too relieved to argue, so instead, she simply dropped her head back to his chest, grateful at least in that moment that if she must face Baras and those on the Council who supported him, she would be able to do it with Quinn still at her side.

They stood there in the silence of the medbay, each taking quiet comfort in the warmth and presence of the other after the shock of near-death. But the events of the day hung like a dark cloud over the ship, and as Quinn pulled back, his serious expression brought Jenasha back to the reality of her situation. Though his hands still hovered at her waist and she could feel the heat of the arousal that had built inside him at her touch, there was worry in the eyes that held hers as he asked, “Who will come for me?”

She sighed, closing her eyes and reining herself back in. “Baras,” she told him, her tone dark. “As far as he’s concerned, you were only ever serving me on his orders. I cannot hide in the shadows forever, and once Baras realizes I am alive, he will come to you in the hopes of using you against me, expecting your loyalty to have never wavered.”

“You’re certain?” his brows furrowed as he considered the implications of her words.

She nodded, “He will see my… affection for you as a weakness; my trust in you an opportunity to bring about my destruction.”

He frowned, a spike of anger rippling out from him. He cocked his head slightly, considering her as he probed further, “He will order me to betray you?”

She hardened, fury boiling up from within her. She clenched her jaw, her hands curling into fists at her sides as she replied, “No, Quinn. He will order you to kill me.”
GW2 - Merila Dorne
SWTOR - Amaiko, Jenasha

I write poetry and fiction. You can read some here.

Offline Merila

  • GW2 Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
  • May the Force be EVER in your favor, Harry.
    • Enchanter's Nightshade
Re: [SWTOR] The Wrath
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2014, 10:06:57 PM »
Part 4: Fault

Jenasha sheathed her lightsabers and straightened as the last of the patrolling Imperial guard collapsed to the ground before her, the storm of her rage still swirling inside her. What had begun as a simple matter of silencing her informants had quickly devolved into a full-scale slaughter in an attempt to keep her activities on Belsavis from Darth Baras, and it disgusted her. Colonel Trill at the Imperial outpost in the minimum security sector had at least outright threatened to report her to Baras himself when she came demanding information on Lord Melicoste’s mission - Darth Baras had recruited Melicoste from his seemingly endless list of apprentices to rescue Darth Ekkage, Baras’ sister, from within the Republic prison the planet housed - but the men lying dead around her now were merely pawns caught up in the lethal chess game played by their masters. Having to kill so many Imperial troops to get what she needed only fueled her fury - despite being released from his service, she was still wasting lives and resources on Baras’ games, and it was all she could do to hold back the flood of guilt and despair that threatened to overtake her.

The endless waves of anger and repugnance rippling out from Captain Quinn did little to help her mood. Though he had been silent thus far despite the mounting casualties of their quest, she knew in her heart that he was beginning to doubt their orders, doubt the Emperor, doubt her. It tore at her, but she had little choice; she was in no position to challenge the Emperor or his Hand, and though her belief that Baras needed to be stopped had not been shaken, she was beginning to wonder if it would be worth the cost when they got there.

“Lord Melicoste’s lieutenant should be just in the next room,” Quinn gestured toward the doorway as he holstered his pistol. “He should be able to give us more specific information on Lord Melicoste’s position.”

She nodded and strode forward, studying him out of the corner of her eye as he fell into step behind her.

Sure enough, the lieutenant was at the main console, talking into his earpiece in a frustrated voice as they approached, “Bravo five-five-three, do you copy? This is Command Center, report. Bravo five-five-three, do you copy?”

“Your units are gone, Lieutenant,” Jenasha called to him, prompting the man to turn with a start.

“What? Why? What’s the meaning of this?” he demanded, more than a little on edge by the sudden appearance of a Sith in his outpost. “My men and I are here in support of Lord Melicoste. If you’re responsible for this, you will answer to him.”

Losing her patience, a tinge of anger colored her voice when she replied, “Tell me where Melicoste is, and I’ll gladly present myself to him.”

“Damn these Sith games,” the Lieutenant replied, pressing a hand to his forehead and shaking his head. “Lord Melicoste proceeded into the high security sector of Belsavis. He is after the records room of the blown Republic prison there. He seeks the location of a former Dark Council member.” He paused, eyeing Jenasha warily, “But something tells me if you were here to help him, you wouldn’t be slaughtering my men.”

She growled, “I cannot help that my mission has put me at odds with certain Imperial units.”

“And that justifies killing them outright, apparently,” Quinn mumbled bitterly, but she silenced him with a quick glare before turning her attention back to the Lieutenant.

“So what now? You have your information. Will you kill me too?” the Lieutenant asked, Quinn’s statement and his own anger emboldening him.

Her eyes flashed and she reached a hand to hip, running a thumb along the hilt of one of her lightsabers. She could feel Quinn stiffen at her side as she stared down the Lieutenant, “Do I need to kill you to keep you from warning Lord Melicoste that I am coming?”

“Absolutely not, Sith-I mean, my lord,” he staggered forward in a fearful bow. “I shall report to Lord Melicoste as scheduled, and not before, you have my word.”

Jenasha nodded as the Lieutenant turned and strode back toward the main computers. She flicked her hand out to signal to Quinn to follow as she stormed from the room. When they had made it back through the doorway to the control room and down the hall a few yards, she rounded on Quinn, pressing him up against the passage wall with one hand while the other rested on the hilt of one of her sabers. She leaned in until her face was mere inches from his, her voice a deadly whisper as she upbraided him, “Powers beyond our control have brought us to the edge of oblivion. One false step will bring the whole of our mission tumbling down, and all of us along with it. I do not begrudge you your doubts, Captain, nor would I deny you the right to speak your mind in the privacy of my ship, but I will confine you to your quarters before I allow you to risk my position with such insubordination.”

She could feel the anger in him still roiling just below the surface, but he nodded, “Forgive me, my lord. I spoke out of frustration.”

“Now would be a good time to reinvest in your trademark restraint, Captain,” she eyed him, her tone dark. “You do not know the danger inherent in the game we play.”

He couldn’t keep the sneer from his voice when he asked, “This is a game, my lord? This deception, this… treason?”

She relaxed her hand, releasing him, “What would you have me do? Disobey the Emperor? Allow Baras to wreak havoc on the Empire? Abandon everything and everyone to their fates?”

Quinn balked, “No, but-”

“And what of me, Quinn?” she interrupted, giving him a pointed look. “My life was forfeit the day Baras chose me as his apprentice. I could bow before him, offer myself in service and beg his forgiveness on my knees, and he would use the opportunity my exposed neck presented to separate my head from my body.” When he winced at the image, she only narrowed her eyes and shook her head, “No, the only way I live through this is to defeat him, and right now, the path to defeating him is blocked by those Imperial troops still loyal to him. If you cannot do this, say so now and I will find someone who can, because my only other option is to lay down here and die.”

His eyes softened, his anger receding, “I would not wish that fate for you, my lord.”

She nodded to him before continuing down the hall, “Then we move forward. Weakness is a luxury I cannot afford any longer.”
GW2 - Merila Dorne
SWTOR - Amaiko, Jenasha

I write poetry and fiction. You can read some here.

Offline Merila

  • GW2 Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
  • May the Force be EVER in your favor, Harry.
    • Enchanter's Nightshade
Re: [SWTOR] The Wrath
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2014, 10:13:42 PM »
The antechamber that led to the main records room of the prison was oddly silent as Jenasha and Quinn strode through. There had been a handful of Lord Melicoste’s men in the halls leading up to the main control room, but they had hardly presented an obstacle. The escaped prisoners in the outer prison yard had put up more resistance, though they too had fallen when faced with the fury of her lightsabers. But once the two of them had passed into the center of the prison’s administrative complex, there had been nothing to greet them but empty halls and eerie silence.

Jenasha paced, her eyes sweeping the room. Twin computer terminals were tucked into the two back corners of the antechamber, but these were simple security monitors. A reinforced metal door caught her eye, and she gestured towards it, “There. That’ll be the records room.”

She crossed over to the door and paused in front of it, Quinn hovering just beside her. As she studied the door, her eyes scanning reflexively for access panels or weaknesses, she tensed at the sudden spike of Force energy she felt from behind the door.

“Hello out there,” came a deep, calm voice. “A word, please. I’m Jedi Master Somminick Timmns.”

Jenasha let out a snort, “This is not your day, Jedi. I am Sith. And I need to get inside that room.”

“I can sense your presence and nature,” Timmns replied, unphased. “I even know who you are.”

She curled a fist unconsciously at her side as she reined in her fury, her impatience mounting. “Is that so?” she asked, careful to control her tone.

“Many years past, I was the padawan of Master Nomen Karr. He and I forged a bond through the Force. I know about your confrontation with Master Karr, and what you did to him,” he explained, anger coloring his voice as he spoke. When she did not dispute his claim, he continued, “Ever since you defeated Karr and took Jaesa Wilsaam, the Jedi Council has been keeping track of you. We know you are no longer aligned with Darth Baras, and are, in fact, here to stop Lord Melicoste from freeing Darth Ekkage.”

“What of it?” she asked, narrowing her eyes at the figure she could sense beyond the door.

“It’s a dead end, Sith,” Timmns replied. “To follow Lord Melicoste, you need information from the computers in this room. But the door has been fused. I came for the same reason - I got the information, but Lord Melicoste’s commandos trapped me in here.”

“Outmatched by mere commandos? Not your proudest day,” she retorted. She could feel Quinn smirking despite himself at her side. Though she was relieved to see at least his sense of humor had not left him, she was beginning to realize she would require the assistance of this Jedi, something Quinn would undoubtedly find as distasteful as attacking Imperial troops.

She could hear the amusement in Timmns voice as he replied, “Oh, I don’t know, there were quite a lot of them, and I held my own.”

“I’m sensing you have a solution to this predicament?” Jenasha noted, resting a hand on her hip.

“Our combined strength striking the door from both sides could break the physical seal,” Timmns explained.

She hesitated, sensing Quinn’s disapproval. Avoiding his gaze, she called through the door, “If I do this, if I free you, you will give me access to the information I need?”

“You have my word,” Timmns replied.

Jenasha sighed, “Very well.”

“On the count of three…” the Jedi ordered. “One… two… three!”

She gathered the strength of the Force inside her and pulled at the door with her mind, eliciting a creaking groan as the metal began to give way. There were several loud popping sounds as, bar by bar, the door peeled back, the crackle and smoke from frying electronics filling the air.

When the smoke had cleared, the Jedi stepped forward. A Mirialan, she realized, eyeing the man’s green skin. His head was shaved, and he had tattoos on his cheeks and forehead. He gave her a small bow, “Well done, Sith.” He gestured back into the room, “Now, before you think to fight me, I suggest you look at the computers in here.”

Her eyes swept past him to the towering memory banks that lined either side of the records room. Smoke was spiraling up from several long, deep burns that stretched haphazardly from one terminal to the next. Lightsaber burns, she realized, her jaw clenching in anger.

“I’d say they’ve seen better days,” Timmns continued nonchalantly. “Hmm… still smoking. I wonder who could’ve destroyed them.”

“Do not toy with me, Jedi,” she growled. “You destroyed them.”

He raised an eyebrow at her, “As you say, Sith. But I did it to make sure no one else sent by Darth Baras could succeed. That is, after you and I stop Lord Melicoste.”

Her eyes widened and both brows rose, “You and I?”

“I’m the only one who knows where to go,” he gestured mildly to the computers again before clasping his hands behind his back. “Our goals are one, even if our motivates vary. I suggest a partnership.”

She eyed the Jedi, her fists curling and uncurling at her sides. Damn him, she thought. If I ignore him, he will find Darth Ekkage himself long before I can, and I will fail. If I kill him, I might still fail, and then Baras will succeed.

“My lord, you can’t seriously be considering this,” Quinn hissed from behind her after she had remained silent a few moments.

She rounded on him, her eyes flashing, her voice low, “Do you have an alternative suggestion, Captain?”

Quinn opened his mouth and closed it again, visibly struggling. Finally, he replied, “Surely anything is better than allying ourselves with a Jedi?”

“Too much is at risk. If I fail to reach Darth Ekkage in time, Baras will have only grown stronger.”

He swallowed, his gaze drifting back to the Jedi as he warned her, “My lord, if you are seen with him, your position could be compromised. Baras would not hesitate to use it to completely discredit you. People might think-”

“People?” she cut him off, her anger rising again. “I am the Emperor’s Wrath. My strength does not depend on the fickle opinions of others.”

Quinn clenched his jaw, steeling himself, “My lord, I cannot in good conscience allow you to do this.”

“Then you are of no use to me,” her voice rose, her frustration boiling over. He does not see, there is no other way. “Return to the ship, Captain. I will complete my mission here alone.”

His mouth bobbed open in alarm, but he was quick to recover. Ever the stoic Imperial officer, she reminded herself, the thought sending a pang of guilt through her chest. He swallowed again before giving her a shallow bow, “As you command, my Lord.”

As he turned to go, her eyes followed him, her gaze hard. The ripples of exasperation and disbelief radiating out from him fueled her fury, and when the urge to lash out came, she did not fight it. “Captain,” she called just before he reached the threshold that led back out into the command center, disgust leaking into her voice. “I trust you haven’t lost your discretion along with your nerve.”

He startled at her directness, but the surprise in his gaze quickly faded into a quiet rage as he turned back. He gave her a curt nod, and for a moment, she caught something dark and furtive in his eyes; but he had turned back and strode from the room before she could process what she had seen.

With Quinn gone, her fire died out quickly. His anger is only feeding mine, she realized, a swirl of despair rising from the storm of emotions within her. I should not have said something so pointlessly cruel. With a sigh, she turned back toward the Jedi who was now studying her with a curious expression on his face.

“His heart is turning against you, Sith. Does that make you rethink your actions? Your goals? Surely you value his loyalty?” he asked, clearly provoking her to gauge her response.

He’s right, of course, she realized. But not for the reasons he thinks. Quinn thinks I’m betraying the Empire, the Sith, everything I stood for. He fears I’ve lost sight of who I am. She gave a small, silent, mirthless laugh. He wouldn’t be entirely wrong there. She closed her eyes, willing away the ache in her chest.

“You care for him,” Timmns declared suddenly, his words half-question and half-statement, his tone cautious. His eyes widened, “You love him.”

She stiffened, panic creeping in at the realization of how low her guard had fallen. A hand flew to her hip, her eyes dark, “You would do well to keep your thoughts to yourself, Jedi, if you wish to keep your tongue.”

Timmns gave a slight shrug, but his eyes were still intent, his expression puzzled, “Forgive the intrusion, but you need not hide it so. Love is not weakness, Sith.”

Love is not weakness, Jena, her sister’s voice suddenly echoed in her head. She staggered back a step, eyeing the Jedi warily. Swallowing, she stammered, “How did you…” She gave her head a shake. Control yourself, Jenasha, she scolded herself. There is no time for this. Reining herself in, she straightened, giving the Jedi a hard look, “Where are we headed?”

Timmns studied her a few more seconds before nodding, a resigned look on his face as he told her, “Into the Deep Prison.”

--

Jenasha held her main lightsaber out toward the kneeling figure of Darth Ekkage, the glowing red of the blade illuminating the older woman. Ekkage was panting, one hand clutching a saber wound on her shoulder, the hood of her cloak fallen back to reveal a pale, wrinkled face pulled up in a grimace. The younger Sith was breathing hard, but unscathed - with Master Timmns at her side, their combined strength had been enough to overpower Darth Ekkage without either suffering injury. Lord Melicoste lay dead off to the side - Ekkage had killed him for his insolence before Jenasha had even arrived, making the final confrontation that much easier. Now Jenasha had the Darth on her knees.

“Have my powers waned as I languished here?” Ekkage rasped, her voice dark with bitterness.

Jenasha eyed Ekkage, her scorn for the woman audible as she retorted, “You were outmatched.”

“If you’ve aligned yourself with this Jedi, you’re a fool and a traitor,” Ekkage spat, disgust plain on her aged face.

Jenasha narrowed her eyes, her fists curling tightly around the hilts of her sabers, “Call me what you will. It doesn’t change anything.”

Stepping closer to the two Sith, Master Timmns turned to face Jenasha, a hand out to gesture for her to restrain herself, “Before you get any creative ideas, my friend, help me reseal Darth Ekkage in her cell.”

Ekkage let out a cold, mirthless laugh, “A Sith who finds herself working towards the same goal as a Jedi should realize something is wrong.”

Jenasha tensed, Quinn’s words coming back to her. Your position could be compromised. Baras would discredit you. Her anger boiled up, leaking into her voice as she snarled, “No, she must die.”

Timmns took another step toward her, catching her eye and holding her gaze. “It doesn’t have to be that way, Sith,” he lowered his voice as he moved closer to her. “I’ve sensed good in you - I know you don’t want to kill her. Trust me - it’s not the only way.”

“Do not speak as if you know me,” she growled, the hand holding her drawn lightsaber rising.

“Then tell me you don’t long for freedom. For peace,” he whispered, a hand reaching out and gently guiding her blade down. “Spare Ekkage, and I will speak on your behalf before the Jedi Council. You could leave this life, leave all this mindless killing behind. You could be free.”

Her eyes widened, and she felt her mouth drop open. Leave this life? The thought had never occurred to her before, but now that it was in her head, she realized how much she wanted to. I lost everything the day I became Sith, lost what little love I had; yet my pain gave me strength. I was a being forged in hatred and fury, born of the sureness of power derived from victory, and now this fool’s errand has taken from me everything I’d gained, even my convictions. And this Jedi would offer me freedom from this agony?

Sensing he was getting through to her, Timmns pressed further, “You don’t have to be the Emperor’s pawn, Jenasha. You can find peace.”

Her gaze drifted to the ground and for a moment, she stood stock still, grappling with the reality of his offer. Then as his words sunk in, her anger reared its head again. No. I will not be the Emperor’s pawn. If I fail, if I run, he will name a new Wrath, whose first task will be to hunt me down. There is no freedom unless I break my own chains. The realization broke her daze, rekindling the fire of fury in her soul. The power of her connection to the Force surged up within her and darkened her expression as she raised her eyes to meet his, her voice echoing in the chamber, “Peace is a lie; there is only passion. My strength in the Force is what will free me, not you.”

Timmns took a step back, a brief look of surprise flashing across his features before he composed himself, “Very well, Sith. What of Ekkage, then?”

Jenasha narrowed her gaze at Ekkage, her rage boiling over. She wanted this, wanted to take this chance to punish Baras for taking so much from her. She reached out with the Force, wrapping invisible fingers around the woman’s neck and squeezing until she heard a hard crack. As she dropped her hand, Ekkage collapsed to the floor. Turning back to Timmns, she crossed her arms over her chest, her voice a low growl, “Now there is no chance of her escape.”

Timmns sighed, rubbing his forehead with his hand, “I suppose that’s true, but it still feels wrong.” He straightened, holding her gaze, “I hope you’ll come to see that to defy your former master, you have to walk a different path. Now, what’s to be between us? Do we part as friends or as enemies?”

She considered the Jedi standing before her, swallowing back her anger. I should kill him, she told herself. I can have no witnesses to my weakness. But as she looked into the man’s green eyes, she knew she did not have the heart to kill him in cold blood, not after he had offered her so much. She clenched her jaw, holding her saber out and gesturing toward the door, “Go, now. If I ever see you again, I will kill you.”

He nodded, give her a small bow, “That’s pretty clear. Good luck to you, Sith.”

Jenasha sighed, her anger slowly receding as the Jedi left the room. When she was alone, she pulled her communicator from her belt, pressing the button to contact her ship. A tiny flickering image of Quinn appeared before her.

“My lord?” he asked, his hands clasped behind his back.

“Prep the ship for departure, Captain. And contact the Emperor’s Hand,” she instructed. “I’ll be returning shortly. I’ve completed my mission - Darth Ekkage is dead.”

Quinn nodded, hesitating a moment before finally daring to ask, “And the Jedi, my lord?”

She pursed her lips, a muscle in her jaw twitching, “Gone.”

She could sense even over holo the darkness that seemed to erupt from within him at her statement, though his expression was impassive and his tone cold as he ventured further, “Was that… wise, my lord? Allowing him to live.”

“He earned my tolerance by being useful,” she lied, struggling to keep her voice even in the face of her frustration. “We shall see if I come to regret it later.”

“As you say, my lord,” was all Quinn said before the holo ended and the image of him disappeared, leaving Jenasha wondering if she would end up regretting her choice sooner rather than later.
GW2 - Merila Dorne
SWTOR - Amaiko, Jenasha

I write poetry and fiction. You can read some here.

 

Saga Leadership