Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Commander-DWH, Aug 15, 2005.
It ended. Can't wait to find out Aiden's plan of treachery.
Wow. It gets more interesting. I can't believe you didn't tell us what Aidan's plan is. Evil authoress!
To tell the truth, I totally forgot that the Sith were Sith...if that makes any sense? They were so normal. I'm glad Carth's son is open to being proved wrong. It would have been so awful if he just turned irreversibly evil!
wow, I guess even the Sith start out with some misguided innocence.
Great update DWH.
Ah yes, The Treacherous and Sithly Plan. A necessity for every masquerading dark sider. As long as it doesn't get you killed, of course.
Yes, Aiden, I'm looking at you.
Great post, CDWH!
Wow, this is really cool!!!
I just found this today and stayed up til 4AM reading it! You would think that we would get tired of all of the KOTOR walk-thru fic's out there, but I have to say, this one is entirely different... your OC's and different approach to the storytelling is totally awesome. I am loving how you are not limiting yourself to only 3 people per outing...
And while I'm gushing, let me say that you need a 'no drinking while reading' warning for some of those one-liners you've got sprinkled about this story...I'm glad no one else is here, I don't think I could explain to my star wars illiterate associates why some of this stuff is so fraking hilarious, and let me tell you, I am not one to laugh out loud at funny, I usually just grin like a big goof-ball, but you had me LOL for the first time in a very long time...
And I am very glad that the horror of Carth dying was an April's fool joke; me reading it in January, it wasn't so funny, I almost clicked the back button when I read that chapter, but I remembered that you were going to stay semi-cannon, and I am very glad I stuck it out. I have read several of you other ficlets, and I am a huge fan of the epic-ly long stories, just a preference of mine, harking back to the novel reading days of my youth.
I am not usually one to comment on an incomplete fic, but I must say, you have truly hooked me on your unique brand of action and humor.
I am looking forward to many more installments, and the eventual completion of this wonderful story, even though, as I have played both KOTOR games more than a few times, we all know how it ends...you have me invested in wanting to know what happens to you OC, and THAT, I must say is a first.
Keep up the good work, and don't let Darth Real Life get you down.
Add me to the PM list, if you would ;p I absolutely love this!
*blows dust off thread* Oh my goodness everyone, I am so sorry I've fallen this behind. It's been a combination of factors, including the fact that the document containing Blue Side in its entirety somehow got corrupted, so I had to do some computer wizardry to get the data back. Also, I had to pack up for a big move, and once I finished training they put me straight on to overtime... it's been nuts. But the most awesome kind of nuts imaginable!
Anywhoo. I do not have the new chapter done yet, but I'm working on it. Still, I thought I'd at least let you guys know I'm still alive and kicking.
SoA: it's one of my goals to make the Sith less of a caricature, so hooray!
Striker: Hey, Sith are people, too. Misguided and often evil, but people.
princess_of_naboo: There will be finding out! Very soon, I promise.
Rogue_Pilot: Me? Evil? Hey, what can I say? The inimitable oqster was my Master of Evilness. Good to know she taught me something.
Ale: Thanks! Hope to give you more Sithly awesomeness some time soon.
angry_bendu: Heh, Aiden is indeed a troublemaker. Glad you enjoyed!
GraceSolo: Haha, your comments made me go back and put some even more clear markings on the April Fools Day chapter. I'm glad you kept reading anyway, and that you enjoyed it so much. This has really been an interesting exercise in adaptation for me, so it always makes me happy to hear that fans of the game have thoroughly enjoyed the story. And I do still have some surprises up my sleeve. *shifty eyes* DRL can't keep me down for long, either- it can keep me busy, but I'm still plugging away!
East_Coast_Ryder: Consider yourself added! I'll make sure you're updated. Thanks for hopping on board!
All that said... it is time for me to do some writing.
My apologies for this taking so long! But it's here now, and I hope you enjoy it.
“You did what?” Carth gaped at Aiden.
“I told Master Uthar what Yuthura was planning. I’m looking for prestige, remember? He’s the one I have to impress, not Yuthura.”
“Did it occur you he might try to kill you just for being in on this?”
“Yes, in fact.” Aiden shrugged. “I figured it was worth the risk, and it’s as likely to get me killed as anything else around here. He seemed to respond well, at least for now.” He fished into his pocket and pulled out a small device. “This contains a contact poison. You attach it to a person’s mattress, and it kills them in their sleep. Apparently it leaves no trace.”
Leiraya looked aghast. “That’s horrifying.”
“That’s the Sith,” Carth shook his head. “Let me guess, he wants you to use it on Yuthura?”
“Of course. But I’ve got other plans for it,” Aiden grinned. “A simple double cross is substandard, after all.”
“Substandard.” Carth sighed. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
“As crazy as I know it sounds, I have to ask you to just trust me on this one,” Aiden replied. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to find non-evil ways to fight to the top here?”
“That said,” Carth continued, “it would be comforting to know that you have other plans in mind, too.”
“Oh, absolutely.” Aiden nodded vigorously. “There are artifacts inside the tombs of the ancient Sith, and no one has really been able to find them yet.”
Leiraya eyed him suspiciously. “Why?”
“They... might be death traps.”
Leiraya buried her face in the palm of her hand briefly before looking back up at him. “Might be death traps?”
“Hey now,” Aiden threw up his hands defensively. “I could go down the list of my competitors and just kill them all. It would be safer and accomplish the same thing.”
Deflated, Leiraya plopped down on the bed. “Okay, I get it. Death traps it is.”
“Look,” Aiden grew serious. “I know I’m asking a lot, and I could go and grab Canderous or someone if you’d rather.”
Leiraya snorted. “Canderous would silently kill the competition while you weren’t paying attention.”
Aiden grinned. “I’d believe that. But I just want you both to know that I have complete confidence in you.”
“Thanks, I think.” Leiraya stood. “So, which first? Death by betrayal or ancient Sith Lord?”
“Actually,” Aiden pulled out his datapad, “I had another, slightly less deadly thing we can do first. Master Uthar posted a notice about a group of missing students, and is offering his gratitude to anyone who can either return them or eliminate them.”
Carth raised an eyebrow. “Students going missing isn’t exactly what passes as news around here- if the Master of the Academy saw fit to make note of it, it must be serious.”
“Probably a bunch of kids who saw what the Sith really were and got cold feet,” Aiden agreed. “There’s one place in particular I have a hunch about- a cave system just before you enter the Valley of the Dark Lords.”
“You don’t think people haven’t already looked there?” Carth asked skeptically.
“Well, they’re vermin-infested. Large vermin. But certainly no larger or any more dangerous than the kinrath we dealt with on Kashyyyk.”
Carth looked at him dubiously, then shrugged. “Well, we’ve got nothing to lose.”
“Good,” Aiden stuffed the datapad back in his pocket. “Let’s get moving.”
* * *
“This,” Leiraya commented, “is disgusting.”
Aiden kicked at the remains of the shyrack he skewered upon entering the caves. It was a large winged rodent with a nasty set of teeth, and not enough sense to die immediately when hit with a lightsaber. “No arguments here.”
“Are you still sure you don’t want a weapon?” Carth asked.
“I’ve got the Force,” Leiraya replied stiffly. “Don’t worry about me.”
“I still don’t think-” his eyes widened as he saw another shyrack swoop down towards her. “Duck!”
She barely dropped and rolled in time to avoid the shyrack. The creature fell after only a few well-placed blaster bolts, square on top of her. She threw it off and jumped back up, clearly shaken.
Aiden took hold of her arm. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she responded quickly. “I’m just going to need a long and hot shower at the end of the day.”
He still looked concerned, but he let go. “All right. Ready to go further?”
“No, but I don’t see that my other options are any better.”
“That’s the spirit.” Aiden smiled. “Come on, you Force-hold them and I’ll slice them. You won’t have any more landing on you, I promise.”
Sure enough, the system proved effective during their journey through the caves. The shyracks tended to fly in packs that could have been dangerous, but they were terminally stupid. They were certainly no match for two Jedi and a veteran soldier.
After having been in the caves for about an hour, Aiden suddenly stopped and put a finger to his lips. The trio halted and listened carefully- the faint sounds of muted conversation were coming from further down the rocky corridor. Motioning for them to follow, Aiden turned off his lightsaber and stepped quietly towards the sounds.
As they came closer, they could see a campfire and a small knot of young adults sitting around a makeshift campfire. Their approach remained unnoticed at first, but that didn’t last long. A young woman in a Sith uniform spotted them and immediately had her blaster pointed at Aiden’s head.
“No closer!” She commanded. “I know who sent you, and we’re not going back.”
Aiden raised his hands slowly. “Actually, I don’t think you have any idea why I’m here.”
“Save it,” she spat. “You have a lightsaber, which means you’re either a Sith or a Jedi, and there isn’t a Jedi in the galaxy crazy enough to come here.”
“If I could offer a point a moment,” Leiraya spoke up, “there are actually two Jedi in the galaxy crazy enough to come here.”
“You’re not serious,” the young woman replied incredulously.
Furrowing his brow dubiously, the young man next to her scratched his head. “Actually, Thalia... I think they are.”
Thalia’s blaster didn’t move. “I don’t buy it. What kind of business would bring not one, but two Jedi into the heart of the Sith Academy?”
“It’s a long story.”
Thalia shrugged. “We don’t have any pressing engagements. It’s either starve to death here, or rush into the jaws of the monster across the bridge.”
“Wait.” Aiden shifted slightly, and pointed in the direction of what he presumed was the back of the cave. “There’s a monster in here?”
“Bloody giant critter,” one of the others offered. “If it weren’t for that thing, we’d be long gone.”
Carth looked at them suspiciously. “If it’s such a terrible monster, why hasn’t it come over here to eat you?”
“Narrow bridge,” Thalia replied. “Just wide enough for two average sized people. There’s no way that thing could make it across.”
“So...” Aiden continued cautiously, “if we got rid of the monster, you could go, right?”
Thalia furrowed her brow. “Why would you do that?”
“Like I said, we’re the only two Jedi in the galaxy crazy enough to be here. We’re definitely crazy enough to take on the monster on the other side of the bridge.”
“Well,” Thalia lowered her blaster and returned it to its holster. “If you’re that intent on getting us out of here, I can’t argue.”
Aiden lowered his hands and smiled. “You’ll be out of here before you know it.”
* * *
Several minutes later, peering around the corner, Carth frowned. “That looks just like the ceremonial beast on Kashyyyk.”
“It’s the same beast,” Aiden replied, almost absently. “Well, same species anyway. They’re a species native to this planet, and they prefer to feed on the blood of Force users. They were nearly pushed into extinction by the Jedi, but obviously they missed a few.”
Carth blinked. “You learn that in Sith class?”
“Yeah,” Aiden replied quickly, even though he most decidedly hadn’t. In fact, he couldn’t figure out for the life of him why he knew that, but at the same time, he was sure of the statement’s correctness. “So. Same drill as last time?”
Leiraya checked her supplies. “I’ve got a fair supply of frag mines. But you’ll have to be more careful this time. There’s not much space, and you don’t want to blow up the foot bridge. Your jumping skills aren’t that good.”
Aiden looked critically at the narrow foot bridge that spanned the chasm between them and the monster. “Actually... I think we can use that to our advantage.”
“How do you suggest we do that?” Leiraya asked.
“You had a pretty solid Force grip on those shyracks earlier,” he replied. “A group of them were easily bigger than me.”
Leiraya’s eyes momentarily grew wide. “You’re not seriously asking me to Force lift you across the rift.”
“And if I drop you?”
“You won’t.” Aiden met her gaze evenly. “You’re a lot of things, Leiraya, incapable isn’t one of them.”
She still looked as though she wanted to protest, but a slight sagging of her shoulders signaled her assent. “All right, how is this going to work?”
“Simple plan.” Aiden grinned. “I go to the other side of the foot bridge, lure the creature out with my succulent Force-using blood, and when I signal you, I want you to lift me up. I’ll drop a thermal detonator on the bridge, and it will be your job to pull me free of the blast.”
“Oh.” Leiraya pulled nervously at her borrowed robes. “Simple.”
Carth clasped her shoulder as he handed Aiden a thermal detonator. “You can do this.”
Leiraya reached up and put her hand over his. “Thanks.”
Aiden gave her one last affirming nod before slipping around the corner, lightsaber at ready. He swiftly crossed the narrow stone bridge, igniting his saber the moment he arrived on the other side. “Hey!” He Force-flung a few stray rocks at the beast, which glanced off its thick hide. Lazily, it turned to face him.
“Yeah, that’s right,” Aiden goaded it, pretty sure it didn’t understand him, but unsure of what else to do. “Follow the tasty Jedi...”
It seemed to understand that, as it lunged at him in a frenzy of spindly appendages and sharp talons. He backpedaled, thankful that he was able to maintain his balance as he spun around and ran. On to the foot bridge, he glanced behind him to make sure the beast was still in pursuit. Reaching out with the Force, he threw some dust up into its eyes just to make sure it was angry enough to follow him on to a bridge it surely knew was too small for it.
Still, it somehow managed to keep its balance as it lumbered, one bound at a time, steadily towards him. Aiden mentally counted down from ten, and then bellowed, “NOW!”
Immediately, he found himself hovering a few feet above the bridge, the monster managing to look almost perplexed. Not waiting for it to get any bright ideas about turning around, he hurled the thermal detonator at the bridge. He didn’t have time to see exactly what happened as he was pulled away, face scorched from the heat. Next thing he knew he was slammed rather ungracefully into a decidedly non-stony mass that he assumed was Leiraya. They both hit the ground moments later, and it was several long seconds before either of them moved.
“Aiden, your face.” Carth was by his side immediately, pulling a kolto patch out of his utility belt.
Reaching up, Aiden quickly realized that touching his right cheek was a very bad idea. “Ow.”
“No kidding,” Leiraya grunted, slowly sliding out from under him. “You weigh as much as a ronto.”
“Sorry,” Aiden apologized, pressing one of Carth’s kolto patches against his face. “I didn’t mean to, ah.... squash you.”
“No hard feelings,” she replied, trying to stand and failing. “Uh.”
“Your knee?” Carth gave her a worried look.
“No, just my ankle. I think I might have sprained it when we went down.”
“Oh,” Carth looked relieved. “That’s not so bad.”
“Not as bad as the knee, no,” she agreed, gingerly removing her boot, revealing an already swollen ankle. “But I’m not walking on this.”
Aiden grinned, even though it hurt like hell to do so. “We’re a great team. Nearly getting killed together.”
Carth chuckled. “And we haven’t even hit the death traps yet.”
“Well,” Aiden rose, “I, for one, look forward to them. We’ll just have to be a little more subtle in our approach next time.”
“I think that’s a plan we can agree on,” Leiraya smiled.
“Well, I’d better let our wayward students know they can leave. Granted,” he looked over at his handiwork, “it’ll be a bit harder to get to the other side.”
“You only destroyed the most convenient path,” Carth replied. “With a bit of patience and good balance, they can climb along the ledges on the far side of the cavern.”
“Which they would have needed anyway to get across the bridge,” Aiden agreed. “Hopefully they don’t take it as a personal insult. I’ll go talk to them... you two head back to the Academy. Pretend she beat the snot out of some other initiate to earn that limp.”
Leiraya raised an eyebrow as he turned and left. “It’s a good thing no one knows me here. No one would ever believe that story otherwise.”
Carth scooped her up gently, smiling as he kissed her forehead. “And that’s what makes you special.”
I am ashamed I had forgotten about this fic. Sorry, DWH. Nice teamwork there against the beastie. Although ouch! And looks like some of the students have common sense! Go, students!
Yay, Blue Side update! Aiden's getting memories...
Funny story: I was writing on my own fanfic and had the thought "gee, I should go look on tf.n for inspiration..." and as I opened my browser, thought "I could reread blue side..." then I looked and there's a new chapter! Haha, force precognition!
Loved the chapter; just got done with Korriban on KOTOR2, so I remember the stupid shyrack caves in great detail. This did a really good job of dealing with the difficulty of going through Korriban light sided... Can't wait to see what you do with the poison!
Excellent version of the cave scene. I loved it.
I'm glad you're back, I was starting to get worried this fic wouldn't get finished.
I should talk... My own fic has been hanging for ages. i'm currently trying to get it back on the boards... Well, if you did it, I guess I have nothing else to do but follow suit.
Anyway, a very nice update, thanks for the PM.
Great update! Is this going to leave us with a scarred Aiden?
Oooo! Really great to have this back! But no aprectiation from the Sith flunkies? Indeed!
Striker: I have no one but myself to blame for being such an updating slacker. Thanks for jumping back on board.
princess_of_naboo: He is indeed! And that's all you're getting out of me for now. Thanks for reading.
East_Coast_Ryder: Hehe, glad your Force precognition served you well! Glad you're enjoying the conflict- my characters are getting a little worn down by it, but they're troopers.
Entropist: Don't worry, this fic will be finished if it takes me another four years to do it. Which it really shouldn't, seeing as I'm well over halfway through. DRL can only keep me down for so long, though! We shall prevail, or something like that.
SoA: What's a hero without a few well-placed scars?
Ale: Those Sith flunkies wouldn't know a rescue if it were handed to them. Like it kind of was. The nerve!
Well, DRL is still trying its best to keep me down. But there's a light at the end of this tunnel- only one more month at the maximum of the ridiculous schedule I've been keeping, and then... I have no idea. But it will most likely involve a lot more time for writing!
Leiraya had insisted on walking from the entrance of the cave back to Aiden’s quarters in the Academy. Which, Carth had to admit, made perfect sense- to play the part of a Sith, she had to stand on her own two feet. However, her relief was evident when she could finally sit down on the bed and prop her foot up.
Carth watched as she removed her boot. The ankle was now turning a deep purple in addition to being twice its normal size. “That doesn’t look good.”
“It’ll be all right, if I stay off it.” She motioned towards the footlocker. “I think there’s a cold compress somewhere in there.”
He rummaged through it, quickly finding the compress in a small but serviceable first aid kit. “You have quite a way with injuries.”
“Hey, fixing injuries was the biggest part of my job, back...” she faltered, shaking her head as she gently placed the compress on her ankle. “You know.”
“When you worked with Kylan,” Carth finished for her. “Is that what’s bothering you?”
She let out a short laugh. “Bothering me? Why would it be bothering me that I get to see the people my best friend was working with while I was worried sick about him? These are the people he deemed worthy of defending?” She paused to take a deep breath. “I don’t know. Sometimes, we run into a student who’s not half bad. That kid we talked to about Dustil. I find myself thinking that the Sith aren’t just a bunch of monsters. But then we find a group of students hiding in a cave, waiting to die, because a slow death from starvation is better than what they’d face coming back here. Why did Kylan join these people? I don’t know, and that kriffing scares me.”
Carth gently took her hand. “Your lightsaber?”
“I couldn’t.” She looked down, her voice tightening. “I just couldn’t bring a weapon in here, knowing I’d have to face these people.”
He pulled her close, wishing that he hadn’t set such a vengeful example for so long. “Trust me, it’s not as satisfying as you might think.”
“I know,” she sniffled. “I’ve been on the ship with you for how long? I noticed the whole vengeance thing made you an unpleasant person.”
He grinned wryly. “I see you’re benefiting from my terrible example.”
She looked up at him pointedly. “Someone had to.”
“Heh. Well, I’m glad you did. Still, you don’t have to go weaponless in here. You are the last person I can imagine going on a murderous rampage.”
“I didn’t imagine Kylan could go dark.”
“And I didn’t imagine Saul would turn on the Republic,” he countered. “But it’s not the same. When Saul betrayed me, my home... the entire Republic, he took everything I cared about with him. Kylan didn’t destroy anything but himself.”
Leiraya was quiet for several long moments. “I miss him.”
“Can you go back to the Hawk and get a few things for me?”
“Sure. What do you need?”
“First of all, my reusable ice pack. Second, my cane. Third...” she paused briefly, “I want you to bring my lightsaber.”
Carth smiled and hugged her tight for a moment. “That’s my girl.”
“Yeah, yeah.” She sniffled, pulling back. “Grab it before I change my mind.”
“Don't worry, I'll be back before you know it.” With one last kiss on her forehead, he turned and left the room. Leiraya used the momentary privacy to peel off the now filthy Sith robes and set them neatly in a corner. She quickly slipped back into her dancer's skirt, taking as much care as she could to keep weight off her bad ankle, and opted to wear her own indigo top in place of the much more ridiculous one that went with the outfit. That accomplished, she gratefully fell backwards on to the bed that was only slightly more comfortable than the floor.
Her rest, unfortunately, was not for long. She lifted her head as Aiden came into the room, looking weary as she’d ever seen him. The entire left side of his face was varying shades of red, and he held a kolto patch against his cheek. “You okay?”
“If I said yes would that do me any good?” He tried to laugh, but it came out more as a rasp.
"No," she admitted. "Come here, and hand me that medkit while you're up."
Aiden obliged, and she pulled out a cooling gel as he sat down next to her. Gently removing the kolto patch he'd so carefully held in place, she held her hand centimeters from his skin. "You're still burning. And there's a lot of debris in there." She rummaged through the medkit for a gauze pad and soaked it in disinfectant. "This is going to hurt."
He winced as the disinfectent hit his raw skin. "Wouldn't it be easier to, I don't know, Force-numb me or something?"
"My fine control isn't that good. I'm more likely to numb your entire face that way," she replied, a tinge of amusement in her voice. "Besides, as my Masters always taught me, the quick way out of pain isn't always the best way."
"I guess some things don't change," Aiden chuckled. "I expect Bastila would say the same thing."
"Well, we can't always disagree. We are on the same side, after all."
"Yeah." He tried valiantly to think of something besides the searing pain, but it wasn't interested in being disregarded. "I should have done more to get her off that ship."
Leiraya put the gauze pad down and looked at him pointedly. "Like what, get yourself killed?"
"Maybe," he shot back. "I don't like that she lied to me- to all of us- for so long. But she sure as hell doesn't deserve to be Malak's prisoner. And let's face it. She's not the one who was a Sith Lord."
"You're being ridiculous," she replied firmly. "Look at where we are. Do you really think we could be here, doing this without you? Bastila would never be able to step foot on this planet, she's such a recognizable Jedi. And I could keep going down the list," she continued, seeing his look of protest. "This isn't about what you did, Aiden. It's about who you are now."
He was silent for a few long moments. "I wish I could believe that."
"Okay, let's assume for a moment that it is about what you did." She resumed dabbing the grime out of his burns. "What do you think is a more productive use of your time- moping about the fact you were a Sith Lord, or doing something to reverse the damage done? You've got a unique opportunity, here."
Aiden raised an eyebrow. "Is this the sound of you justifying the Council's actions?"
Leiraya scowled. "Don't even suggest it. What the Council did was flat out wrong, but that's not your fault, nor does it mean you can't do anything good with it."
"I guess." Aiden breathed a small sigh of relief as she placed a fresh kolto patch on his cheek. "I wonder what would have happened if they'd just left my mind alone."
"There's no way to know." Leiraya leaned back against the cool stone wall. "And for the record- again- I don't think you're evil."
He gave her a faint smile. "Thanks for the reinforcement. I'm guessing if I do anything questionable you'll call me on it."
"You guess correctly."
"Thanks." He leaned forward and rested his chin in his hands. "At least Master Uthar seems impressed so far."
"You talked to him?"
"Yeah. Told him I caught the students making a final run for the exit, only to be eaten whole by the taranterek. One of them unfortunately saw me and tried to blow me up. Fortunately, thanks to my quick thinking, I managed to push the grenade back in his direction before it exploded, taking the final student, the taranterek, and the bridge with it."
Leiraya nodded approvingly. "Sneaky. I like it."
"Anyway, he's not sold on my skills just yet. But I think I'm on his good side." Aiden sighed heavily. "Remember when getting a Star Map just meant swinging on some vines and chasing Czerka out of their camp?"
"Yeah. Those were good days."
"Inciting a revolution was surprisingly fun."
Leiraya chuckled. "Just stand clear of the angry Wookiees."
"That," Aiden replied, "is a lesson everyone should take to heart.”
Very nice update! It was a good break from all the suspense and action. ^_^ We all need some angst and introspection now and then. That said, I can't wait to see Aiden pretend to Sith around some more.
Yes, very nice update. Like Leiraya there with Carth and Aiden. Lol, good cover story there. Hmm, their bond silent? *Kicks Malak in the kneecap* Stay away from her!
Good luck with your schedule. We'll be waiting for you.
I'm baaaaacccckkkk! Miss me? If I'm not still on the PM list put me back on...Just finished reading the whole thing over from start to finish!! Am a bit disgruntled at the lack of romance between Aiden and Leiraya...I like love triangles....I also like Mission/Dustil but that might be requesting a bit too much...anyways it's early morning here so update soon!
Edit: I am not usually that hyper...
?I?m disappointed,? he said casually. ?I expected a Jedi of your stature to last much longer.?
?I hardly regard myself as highly as you seem to,? she replied, voice cracking but determined. ?But you always were one to rush to conclusions.?
Bastila & Malak, I was hoping you would spend more time on them.
So... I'm kinda late in replying to the last two chapters. Like really, really late.
But I like the little slice of life moment you had between Aiden and Leiraya, and the fact she confirms that he's not evil.
Poor Aiden, dealing when his identity, but even more poor Bastila for the torture.
SoA: Aiden does seem to be taking a perverse pleasure in masquerading as a Sith. Glad you're enjoying!
Striker: Thanks! I'm glad you're continuing to enjoy the story, and that you're patient.
Handmaiden_Azul: Welcome back! You're definitely still on the PM list, so no worries. As for the love triangle, I admit, I'm mean and did lay the groundwork for one. But it just didn't end up feeling right, so I dropped it. Sorry to disappoint, but the characters weren't cooperating, and you can't fight the characters.
Ale: Add it to the list of things the game totally glosses over. I'm definitely planning on coming back to them more than once.
emerald54: If you're late to reading, then I'm super late to writing. Still, your continued reading is very much appreciated.
Canderous was the only person still awake when Carth got back to the Hawk. Carth found him lying underneath the swoop bike that spent most of their journey gathering dust in a corner of the ship. “Didn’t think you cared for swoops,” Carth said as he walked into the room.
“Didn’t think you cared to know what I care for,” Canderous replied gruffly, pulling himself out from under the swoop and sitting up. “I got bored.”
Carth nodded. “I can understand that.”
“So. What brings you back here?”
“Supply run. Unsurprisingly, the Sith Academy doesn’t have a fully stocked first aid cabinet.”
Canderous chuckled. “Getting into trouble?”
“Trying our hardest not to. And I’ll be damned if I have any idea what Aiden’s up to.”
“He’s a man of strange plans.” Canderous shrugged. “But he’s also a man of plans that work. He’s unorthodox, but it’s that kind of thinking that your Republic valued so much during the Mandalorian Wars.”
Carth frowned. “The Jedi Council wiped Revan away.”
“Doesn’t make his thought patterns any different. At least, not from what I can tell, now that I know to look for it.”
“That’s what I don’t like,” Carth shook his head. “Even if Aiden really is a new person, he might make the same choice again. And I don’t think I could stop him.”
“Here’s an idea,” Canderous replied, pointing a hydrospanner at him. “Why don’t you trust him to make good choices, instead of annoying the hell out of him until he decides being a Sith would give him license to take his lightsaber to your gut?”
“Bluntly put,” Carth sighed, “but not wrong. I really need to stop taking responsibility for his fate, don’t I?”
“Damn right,” Canderous agreed.
“In any case, I should get what I need and head back. If tomorrow is anything like today, we’re going to need as much rest as we can get.”
Wordlessly, Canderous nodded and returned his attention to the swoop bike. Carth made quick work of collecting the items he came for. The sooner he got back to the Academy, the sooner he could get some rest- something they could all use a lot more of.
* * *
Yuthura looked the blade over. “Do you have any idea how many have died trying to get this?”
Aiden shrugged. “I’m guessing they were all either terrible swordsmen or bad at riddles.”
His teacher gave him a mildly reproving look. “You are either too modest or too arrogant, and I’m having trouble deciding which.”
“I didn’t mean any disrespect,” Aiden folded his hands in front of him.
“No matter,” she shook her head. “Yes, you must get this to Master Uthar right away. He’ll be most impressed.”
Aiden took the sword back from her. “I have a question.”
Yuthura arched an eyebrow. “I may have an answer.”
“I’m just curious, but... did you know Revan?”
At this, she chuckled. “No, not particularly, though I must say at least half the acolytes coming through here ask that same question. We all knew of him, of course, but he kept to himself for the most part. The only person I think he ever trusted was Malak, and we all know how that ended.”
“Yeah.” Aiden suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. “So, you didn’t know what he looked like under that mask?”
“Hardly anyone does.” Yuthura merely shrugged. “He donned it during the Mandalorian Wars, well before he started gathering any kind of Sith following, and then never took it off.”
“I see,” he nodded. “So if Revan were, say, standing right in front of you, you wouldn’t even be able to tell.”
Yuthura sighed. “You are a strange student, Initiate Star. No, I would not, but he is quite dead so I don’t see how that would even happen.”
“The Force has strange ways,” Aiden replied, unable to keep mirth completely from his voice. “I apologize, it’s been a long day.”
“But a productive one,” Yuthura replied. “I wouldn’t go around asking strange questions to Master Uthar, but I would give him that sword.”
* * *
"So you gave him the sword?" Leiraya asked, eyebrow raised.
Aiden shrugged. "Can you think of a reason to hold on to an artifact of the dark side?"
Carth crossed his arms. "How about keeping it out of the hands of the Sith?"
"Reasonable, but I need Uthar's good opinion of me if I want to get near that Star Map. If it means handing over a sword, then so be it. Besides," Aiden drew a small vial out of his pocket, "I have this."
"You're poisoning the Master of the Academy?" Carth asked skeptically.
Aiden nodded. "On the sly. Yuthura gave me the codes to his private quarters, and a device that I can hook to his mattress. It will dissolve once the poison is dispersed, leaving no trace. Plus, you might be able to dig up some dirt on the Sith in his room that you can't access anywhere else in the Academy."
Carth frowned. "I don't like it, but then again, I don't like anything here."
Leiraya tapped him excitedly on the shoulder. “Hey, it’s not all bad. You need to find some sort of proof the Sith are evil, right?”
Aiden frowned. “Just what do you need that for?”
“My boy,” Carth replied, mulling it over. “I found him, and he said he’d consider leaving if I could prove to him the Sith are as evil as I say.”
Aiden blinked. “Well if that’s all, I am pretty certain we can find something concrete in the Academy master’s quarters.”
“Then let’s do it,” Carth heaved a sigh. “I can’t wait until we get back to more straightforward fights, though.”
“You and me both.”
* * *
Aiden waited until he knew Master Uthar was going to be gone for at least an hour teaching lightsaber combat to make his move.
Master Uthar’s quarters were set well back from the rest of the academy lodging, and surprisingly poorly guarded. Aiden had expected to at least find one guard there, but not a soul was found when he cautiously rounded the corner.
“Carth, how much do you know about video surveilance?”
Carth squinted his eyes and scanned the area. “If they have anything at all, it’s well hidden. We’d have to get T3 in here and hooked into the central computer to know for sure.”
Aiden shook his head. “Not worth it. All right, let’s move.”
The three made their way quietly into the quarters, and Carth and Leiraya immediately set about carefully looking inside drawers and footlockers for anything incriminating. Aiden, meanwhile, wasted no time pulling the poison vial out of his pouch. With a few quick motions he attached it to the underside of Uthar’s bed, then took a few steps back to admire his handiwork. It was completely invisible from his vantage point, and even when he bent down to take a look it was barely noticable. It’d have to do.
“Find anything?” Aiden inquired.
“The man has more socks than I would deem necessary,” Leiraya replied sourly, opening another drawer.
“Hold on,” Carth’s voice came. He was holding a datapad and frantically pushing buttons. “I think I might have something. Remember that girl we were told Dustil was good friends with?”
Leiraya closed yet another drawer full of socks and frowned. “Celeste, maybe Selene? Something like that.”
“It’s Selene,” Carth confirmed and tucked the datapad inside his robe. “I have what we need.”
“Then let’s get out of here before someone notices,” Aiden nodded. Without wasting another word, the three silently left Uthar’s quarters and made their way back to the Academy.
One more day of skulking accomplished, and one day closer to leaving this Sith-hole, Aiden thought darkly. The day they could leave couldn’t come soon enough.
A plan, yes. Worrying about Bastila, there. Great writing as always. Joleee? There have been worse mentors out there. Can't wait for more.
And THAT folks is the qoute of the night...
?Hey look, I found you.? Carth held a small statuette of Revan up for Aiden to see. ?Looks like the Sith really did admire Revan.?
Aiden looked at the statuette. ?That?s just bizarre.?
For some reason, I can see Revan standing there, holding a small statue of himself, with a complete WTF face on. It makes me giggle insanely, which isn't good in the middle of class. Bastila's pulled a disappearing act? Poor Aiden, he's got it worse then anyone else. The line about pureed brains also made me look at my breakfast suspiciously. Oatmeal will never have the same luster again.
I do have a question though. Where, exactly, is Leiraya going to hide a lightsaber in a dancing girls outfit?
That Canderous and Carth moment was beautiful. You make me love Canderous more and more with every time he shows up in this story.
I'm starting to worry that Aiden is going to slip up without more rest.