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Before - Legends Always Thought I'd See You Again

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by SabyneAmberle, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. SabyneAmberle

    SabyneAmberle Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Title: Always Thought I'd See You Again
    Author: SabyneAmberle
    Era: The Old Republic
    Characters: Kybrina (Female Bounty Hunter), Torian Cadera, Gault, Mako, Blizz
    Genre: Drama
    Summary: She had been avoiding this for a very long time, burying her feelings on matters surrounding her brother. Now, Ky decides she doesn't want to run away anymore...but can she stick to that choice?

    Note: I learned earlier this evening that an old friend of mine passed away. I wanted to write to work through some of my own feelings about it.

    ****

    Ky could feel the eyes of her entire crew as the Mantis exited hyperspace. She could almost predict the barrage of questions she was about to receive, was already preparing careful answers to them. She sat back in her chair, taking several deep breaths as the distant orb of a planet grew larger with each passing minute.

    “Ky?” Mako's voice was hesitant. “Where are we?”

    “Doesn't look like Belsavis to me,” Gault joked, approaching the navigation terminal. “In fact, it doesn't even appear on the Galaxy map. Finally decide to make a break for it? Go into hiding?”

    She shook her head, eyes still studying the planet in front of them.

    “Garos IV,” Torian's voice interjected before she could speak. “Mid-Rim world, only opened to settlement about three centuries ago. Pretty quiet world. Not too heavily populated, no real Underworld connections.”

    Ky swiveled her chair around to face him. “You're correct, on all counts,” she said. “How did you know all that?”

    “Passed it a few times while traveling this part of the galaxy,” he replied. “Not a lot of action, so never stayed long. Day or two, tops.”

    “That's nice and all, but it still doesn't answer why we're here,” Mako said. She frowned as Ky turned her chair back to its original position, her fingers fiddling with the controls. “Are you even listening, Ky?” she asked pointedly. “Or are you just going to ignore me?”

    “A little of both,” Ky retorted shortly, setting a course that would take the ship away from the major cities, just in case. “I'd rather not get into details right at this moment. It's just...it's something I need to do. Something I've needed to do for a long time.”

    “Fine.” Exasperated, Mako leaned back against the nearby wall, a scowl creasing her face.

    “Now, don't be like that, Mako,” Gault said. “Ky's our leader. There's no way she would intentionally lead us into any sort of obvious danger. Isn't that right, Ky?”

    “Yeah, something like that,” Ky replied absently.

    “Hm.” Ky could feel the Devaronian stare at her back for several long moments before he spoke again. “Mako, I need to ask you something. Let's head down to the crew quarters, give Ky some time to herself.”

    Mako opened her mouth to protest, but quickly closed it when she saw the look Gault gave her. “Uh, sure,” she replied. Without another word, the two of them exited the cockpit, not speaking until they were back in the crew quarters.

    “Okay, can you fill me in on what is going on?” Mako asked, still seething. “Because Ky certainly isn't in a big hurry to share anything.”

    “I wish I could, Mako. But I'm stumped, too,” Gault sat on his bunk, arms folded. “It seems like something that's really bothering her, but I can't say anything else for sure.”

    “Ooh! Blizz know! Blizz know!” The Jawa scurried into the room, holding something in his hands. “Boss was looking at this. Looked really sad.” He handed the item to Mako, who saw it was a beat-up holo of some sort. She pressed the button on the side of it, which sent a small shower of sparks flying from it. The holo mustered a faint, blurry image of a person before it sputtered and went dark again.

    The mystery holo only puzzled Mako that much more. “Who was that?” she asked. “An old friend of Ky's, maybe? Or an old flame?”

    Gault shrugged. “Who knows?”

    **

    Having landed the Mantis safely, Ky rested her forehead on the cool instrument panel in front of her. This was hard, harder than she'd ever thought it would be. She had been avoiding this for years for this very reason.

    “Kybri?” Torian's voice, followed by his hands on her shoulders, brought her back to reality. She lifted her head, taking a few deep breaths to ease the knot in her chest.

    “I'm fine. Let's go.” She stood abruptly, turning to leave. Not realizing how close Torian had been standing to her, she collided with him, her head smacking hard into his chin. As she reeled back, he gently grabbed her arms, holding her steady until she could recollect herself.

    “Sorry,” he said. “Didn't move fast enough.”

    Gingerly, she rubbed her forehead. “N-no, it's all right,” she said. “I should have given more warning before standing up.”

    He gave her arms a squeeze before releasing her. “Sure you're okay?” he asked, stepping aside so she could walk past him.

    She nodded. “I have to be.”

    Leaving the cockpit, she walked up to her quarters. She frowned when she saw the holo was missing from its place on the table. She could have sworn she left it there the previous day. She scoured the room, her frown growing when her search didn't turn it up.

    She had an idea who might, however.

    Leaving her quarters, she headed down the stairs, only to find Mako standing near the holoterminal, a familiar object in her hand. “Looking for this, Ky?” she asked.

    Ky didn't answer, simply held her hand out for it. “Where did you find it?” she asked. Immediately, she knew the question was unnecessary, as she saw the Jawa cowering behind Mako. “Blizz? Were you in my quarters again?” She asked, her tone flat.

    “Sorry boss,” Blizz replied, his chatter faster than normal in his nervousness. “Was curious about your room, didn't mean to hurt anything!”

    She smiled a bit. “That's all right this time,” she said. “Just don't do it again.”

    “So, care to tell us what's happening?” Mako asked.


    “I'm not quite ready to share that yet,” Ky replied. “But you'll find out soon enough.”
     
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [:D] [:D] SabyneAmberle ... Wonderful intensity and understandable need for privacy for Kybri, although naturally her partners are puzzled, and as her friends, they're concerned. I did notice :) that she was a bit less brusque with Tor. [face_love]
     
  3. SabyneAmberle

    SabyneAmberle Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Since I'll be busy this week and don't know when I'll be able to write more in that span of time, here's another short update.

    **************

    From the moment they set foot off the Mantis, the rest of the crew could tell something was strange about their surroundings. The landing pad itself was small, a simple rectangle of durasteel surrounded by a low scaffolding. It had barely enough room for a ship the size of the Mantis to land comfortably. Beyond the scaffolding lay a jungle of sorts; twisted brambles grew chest-high, creating a thorny barrier around the landing pad. It seemed like the forest was struggling to reclaim this small scrap of durasteel, cracks littered its surface where new growth was attempting to push through. It was clear that someone made sure the landing pad was kept clear, though it might seem a losing proposition.

    Ky stopped a few feet from the ship. She spun in a slow circle, getting her bearings, then pointed to a path so faint even Torian had had trouble spotting it initially. “This way,” she said.

    “Are you sure?” Mako asked. “I'd hate to get lost on a strange planet simply due to a wrong hunch of yours.”

    “Mako, I spent a decent chunk of my life walking back and forth from this little patch of durasteel,” Ky replied, beginning to push her way through the brush. “I like to think I know where I'm going.”

    Mako shook her head, sharing a look with the rest of the crew. “This just keeps getting weirder and weirder,” she whispered. “She drags us here, won't tell us what's going on, and now we're expected to follow her along some trail only she knows.”

    “I can hear you, Mako,” Ky called back. “It'll be fine. I could walk these paths with my eyes closed. Just trust me on this one.”

    The small group exchanged a nod and proceeded to follow their leader. It wasn't too difficult to walk, but the knee-high weeds were good at snagging clothing and impeding footsteps. Blizz was having an especially hard time maneuvering through the weeds; after his fifth time getting tangled in them and falling, Gault scooped him up and rested him on his shoulder.

    In spite of the long path, Mako thought the scenery was quite beautiful. It wound through a small forest, over a quiet river, then finally up a series of small hills before it leveling off in the middle of a meadow. Mako marveled at how green everything was, not a trace of brown could be seen anywhere in their vicinity.

    “We're here.” Ky said simply. “Home sweet second home. I've missed it.”

    The group paused at the gate of the old house. While it clearly could use a fresh coat of paint and some extra work weeding the gardens, overall it was in good shape. No holes in the rooftop, no broken windows, nothing that told them the house was neglected.

    “Nice house,” Gault remarked as he set Blizz down. “Not a palace, but far from a hole in the ground with a door.”

    Ky shrugged. “It was always comfortable enough for us kids,” she replied.

    “Doesn't look like anyone lives here,” Torian remarked, leaning against a nearby tree.

    Ky shook her head. “Besides the droids, no one has lived here full-time for the past three years,” she said. “Some of us use this as something of a vacation home, staying for a few weeks or so at a time. Otherwise, it's just the droids.”

    The front door opening caught her attention, and she smiled as she saw the droid that emerged from the house. “Hello, Ell-nine,” she said as she approached.

    “Oh! Mistress Kybrina, it's so good to see you again!” the droid replied, giving a small bow. “And you brought friends, I see.”

    “Yes. This is my crew,” Ky said. She had always been fond of this droid, who often kept her company during her stays. “Has anyone else visited the house lately?”

    “Since your last visit seventeen standard months ago, only Master Thracen has come,” the droid replied. “That was eight standard months ago. He checked droid protocols, conducted minor maintenance, and was on his way within a couple of days.”

    “Sounds like Thracen,” Ky said, sighing softly. “I always hope I'll see him here, but he always seems to evade me.”

    “Will you be staying long, Mistress Kybrina?” the droid asked, sounding a bit anxious. “Shall I have rooms prepared for you and your crew?”

    “Much appreciated, Ell-nine,” she answered. “Make sure there are sufficient supplies for us as well.”


    “Of course.”
     
    Revanfan1 and Nyota's Heart like this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Hmmm. Interesting details about Ky's 'home.' I am sure she will find lots of memories there. Hope she can share her feelings to a certain degree and receive consolation. [face_thinking] LOL at Mako's continued bewilderment.
     
  5. serendipityaey

    serendipityaey Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 24, 2004
    I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Writing can be a great thing. Very interesting start and good emotions :)
     
  6. serendipityaey

    serendipityaey Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 24, 2004
    I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Writing can be a great thing. Very interesting start and good emotions :)
     
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Enjoying these first few chapters, SabyneAmberle! Love the suspense about what Ky could be after in her visit to her "home sweet second home." And for some reason I love how "pouty" Mako's reaction to the whole business is—perhaps because one can see in it how much she really looks up to Ky. Very much looking forward to more!
     
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  8. SabyneAmberle

    SabyneAmberle Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2004
    So I left this one fallow to work on getting a few of my other fics up to speed. Since Nyota's Heart mentioned wanting to see more of Ky's family background, I am now revisiting. Here's the next part. :)

    ******

    As they crossed the threshold and entered the home, Ky could hear the exclamations of awe coming from her crew. She had always loved this home; although it was nowhere as impressive or large as her home on Deralia, its inventory of rich furnishings more than made up for its deficiencies. And unlike many homes with such fancy furnishings, she and her brothers had been given free reign over the house when they visited. No one worried about a chair being broken, or a table being scratched, not when replacements were so easy to acquire.

    Gault whistled as he looked around the entryway. “This is most definitely not a hole in the ground with a door attached,” he said. “This is...rather nice, actually.” He entered the main sitting room, settling into a large chair and leaning back. “Exquisitely comfortable, crafted with the finest materials...Ky, whoever owns this house has exquisite taste.”

    Ky only smiled in response. Her attention was abruptly diverted when Mako entered the room and spotted the chair Gault was sitting in. She walked closer to the chair, studying it closely for several seconds.

    “Wow, a set of Nemoidian Flareback chairs!” she said. Quickly, she pulled out her datapad and began typing on it. “According to Holonet sources, these are rare...and close to impossible to find anywhere outside Cato Nemoidia.” Lost in her Holonet searches, she absently sat in the chair across from Gault. “I've found a couple sets of these chairs for sale on the general market. Their price is....” she trailed off, her eyes growing larger in shock. “More than I'll make in an entire year!”

    Torian, leaning against the sitting room's back wall, spotted a wooden end table. He approached it to get a closer look. “Hey, Kybri,” he said. “Did you know the wood used on this table is from Dxun?”

    Ky nodded. “I did,” she replied. “It's made from a tree that's common to Dxun. Common, and well known for its sturdy wood and beautiful markings. Grandfather was extremely fond of it.”

    “Grandfather?” Mako's head snapped up. “Is that whose house this is?”

    “Was,” Ky corrected. “It's been our house -mine and my brothers- for the past three years.”

    “What happened?” Immediately, Mako regretted asking, as she saw sadness tinge her friend's face. “Sorry. If you don't want to talk about it...”

    “No, it's not that I don't,” Ky interrupted. “It's just...”

    At that moment, the droid entered the room, bearing a small silver tray. “Please pardon my intrusion, Mistress,” it said. “All of your rooms are ready, and dinner will be served in an hour.” The droid approached each of them, handing them one of the keycards it bore on the tray. “This is the key to your room. Please try not to lose it, it is incredibly difficult to reprogram a replacement. Also, remember that the rooms your are using belong to Mistress Kybrina and the Masters, so please be respectful of their contents.”

    Ky rolled her eyes. “Yes. They are aware, Ell-nine,” she said. She had forgotten how much of a stuffed shirt this droid could be. “I'll handle things from here. Return to your duties.” The droid bowed slightly and left the room, leaving the group alone yet again. Ky then turned her attention to her crew mates. “All right. All of our quarters are located at the top of the stairs in the next room.,” she said. “Make sure you clean up, rest up, and make it down for dinner. I promise I'll explain more then.”

    She left the room, with the others following closely behind her. A few feet before the base of the stairs, she stopped and gestured to a nearby doorway. “Through there is the dining room,” she explained. “That's where we'll meet for meals. I wouldn't normally agree to it, but the droids like to keep up a certain level of decorum around here. Don't want to disappoint.”

    “Of course not,” Gault remarked. “So the entire staff here are droids, I take it?”

    Ky nodded. “As I said, I'll better explain things a bit later.” She started up the stairs, with the others following close behind. “I just...I just feel really drained right now. So I would like to lay down and relax for a while before I eat.”

    “Doesn't sound like a bad idea,” Mako remarked. “So meet downstairs in an hour?”

    “That's right,” Ky replied. “Also, if any of you need anything while we're here, let the droids know. They'll do their best to get what you need. If they can't help you, or if you get bored enough, my room is the one at the end of the hall.”

    With that, Ky turned and made her way to a set of double doors at the end of the short hall. A moment passed, then the others dispersed to their respective rooms as well. It had been a long journey for them all, so a rest would be very welcome.
     
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks for continuing this! It's neat to see these little details opening up gradually and piquing the curiosity—and what a tease when the "stuffed-shirt" droid starts in! Ell-nine kind of reminds me of Mrs. Bale from As Time Goes By. I'm curious to hear the rest of the story behind the house and Ky's family. Keep up the great work! :)
     
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Sabyne, first off thanks for continuing. [:D] :* Snazzy colors for winning Edited. :D L-9 definitely has a personality style LOL I'm looking forward to Ky's story. My imagining of her house is that it is absolutely gorgeous and more of a shock to her colleagues/friends because they see her as completely down to earth. :)
     
  11. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    nice to see more of Ky and her friends an congrats for winning the edited challenge
     
  12. SabyneAmberle

    SabyneAmberle Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2004
    So I've been slowly writing on this one, what with doing a zillion other things. Here's the next part, which should provide a few more hints.

    **********

    For Torian, the hour passed entirely too quickly. By the time he had showered and changed into more casual clothing there were only a few minutes left until dinner. It was a shame, he would have liked to have relaxed for a few more minutes, cleared his head further. Mako appeared to be worried about Kybri, and he couldn't say he blamed her. He was concerned as well; her changed demeanor bothered him enough to take up a small yet significant part of his thoughts.

    He left the room, making sure the door closed securely behind him. As he started down the hall toward the stairs, he took note of the holoportraits that lined the hallway. He had noticed them earlier, but had been too distracted by Kybri's behavior to investigate them further. His eyes skimmed each one, quickly realized they were a series of family portraits.

    He slowly approached the first one, a portrait of a man and woman with their young children. Carefully, his eyes scanned the holo's details, and soon he saw several details casual observers might otherwise miss. He saw the hints of strain that lay beneath the smiles the husband and wife wore, noted the forced cheerfulness vaguely present in their eyes and lips. A lay observer might speculate the strain was due to the pressures of raising such a large family, but Kybri's various hints about her life growing up cast doubt on that theory. He took note of the children; the youngest was merely a baby in the woman's arms, the other four children sat in a line just in front of their parents. His eyes stopped on the little girl in the middle of the line, and a smile touched his lips.

    “So, this is what you looked like as a child, Kybri,” he whispered. “Never thought you'd look so delicate.”

    He walked past the subsequent portraits, noting the changes in each one. The strain between the husband and wife appeared to increase in each respective portrait, shadows and lines of strain slowly being etched into place. Meanwhile, the portraits also showed the children growing up and determining their pecking order within the family. It was clear the two eldest boys were the de facto leaders, and judging by how Kybri was often posed, they appeared to be highly protective of her.

    He stopped again in front of one of the last portraits, and his eyes widened slightly as he took in its details. Those details were rather telling, more plainly showing the cracks and fractures the prior portraits had only hinted at. The woman had always worn an artificial smile, one that was only for the sake of appearance. In this portrait, that smile seemed even more false and pasted on; it couldn't hide the anger that simmered in her light blue eyes. The boys all seemed uncomfortable as well, Torian thought their stiff poses and awkward smiles indicated their desire to run away. The most marked change was in Kybri's appearance, however. Torian theorized this portrait was done shortly after she acquired the scars on her face, as her hair and the left side of her face were hidden by an ornately embroidered hood. The right side of her face was left exposed, and he could see the grim defiance it showed. Her right eye was narrowed coldly, her lips pressed together in a thin line, that manner one does when forcibly restraining themselves from speaking. There was no trace of the delicate little girl from the earlier portraits. Whatever circumstances surrounded the taking of this one, she was not only unhappy about them, she was outright opposed to them.

    Hearing the sound of a door opening, he unconsciously took a few abrupt steps back.

    **

    Upon waking up, Ky didn't know how long she had been sleeping. It could have only been a few minutes, or it could have been hours. She gave a cursory glance to the chrono sitting next to the bed; its colorful digits cheerfully told her she had slept for about thirty minutes. She figured it was as good a time as any to rise and prepare for dinner.

    Getting up from the bed, she quickly crossed the room to the vanity that sat at its opposite end. There, she poured water from a small pitcher into a stone basin; using a hand towel, she washed all traces of sleep from her face, careful to avoid getting too much water in the hardware in her jaw. A few years earlier, she had been careless with that jaw hardware, and the resultant rust in the unit had made opening her mouth uncomfortable for a month before she was able to get it replaced. That was an error she really didn't want to repeat.

    After drying her face on a second towel, she returned to the bed, where her pack still lay on its foot. Opening pack, she drew out some casual garments and changed into them, admiring the way the soft materials felt against her skin. These were garments she had picked up during her last visit to Kaas City, and the quality showed in both the craftsmanship and the fine materials. When she was growing up on Deralia, she often had clothes as fine as these. It was a luxury she had all but given up when she left home to become a bounty hunter. So these small luxuries were both a blessing and a reminder.

    She gave the chrono another glance, it was time she headed downstairs. As soon as she opened the door to her room, her attention was caught by Torian. He had apparently been on his way downstairs as well, but had been distracted; her guess was the holoportraits that lined this part of the hallway had caught his eye. She knew he was sharp, those portraits would have given him a great deal to study. He further confirmed her suspicions by taking a few steps back, toward the wall behind him. She guessed she had startled him, and he was trying to cover his actions. Not that he really needed to.

    Trying to keep her demeanor casual, she approached the portrait he had last been studying. “They're nice, aren't they?” she asked. “Grandfather always insisted we have one done each year. He liked seeing how our family grew and changed when he couldn't make it back to visit Deralia.”

    “Really,” Torian replied, folding his arms and leaning against the wall behind him. “Didn't think you were such a delicate child, Kybri.”

    She shrugged. “Looking back, I didn't feel all that delicate,” she replied. “I wasn't fragile, or sickly. I was just a bit on the small side. It was really noticeable when I sat with my brothers, they dwarfed me all the time when we were kids.”

    “Think that's why your mother didn't like you hunting?” Torian asked, raising a curious eyebrow.

    “Could be. I apparently looked a lot like her when she was a child. Whether she identified with that and wanted to keep me out of trouble, or she was just spiteful and tried to live through me is anyone's guess.” She sighed, turning to look at the portrait that sat near her. “I have no doubt she and my father have loved us kids. But I always suspected they were less than happily married. These portraits only seem to confirm that feeling.”

    He was about to ask another question when Mako emerged from her room. She cast a questioning look at the pair, then briskly walked over to them.

    “What are you two doing?” she asked. “I thought you would already be downstairs for dinner. Did something happen?”

    Ky shook her head. “Nothing serious,” she replied. “We just got distracted and were talking about things. You know, pass the time a bit while we wait for dinner.”

    Mako nodded. She wasn't sure she believed Ky, but she had no reason to suspect otherwise. “Well speaking of dinner, I think it's time we head down for it,” she said, turning back toward the stairs. “Otherwise we're stuck with cold food and cranky droids. And no one needs either of those.”
     
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Brilliant update =D= =D= I love Tor's reflections and musings and how insightful they are. @};- My tummy ached at the depiction of the fractures and cracks growing wider and wider. :eek: :( You can really tell Kybri was affected internally by how she appeared in the final portrait and you have to know that impacts her choices and how close she allows herself to get to others and the level of trust. [face_thinking]

    The psychological aspects -- I really like and enjoy those in anything and everything I read so thanks for showcasing them. [:D]
     
  14. EGKenobi

    EGKenobi Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Great story, you have me intrigued. Please let me know when you update it :)

    Many thanks

    EG