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Before - Legends Betrayal's Fire - Movie Quote Challenge Response [TOR]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by SabyneAmberle, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. SabyneAmberle

    SabyneAmberle Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Title: Betrayal's Fire
    Author: SabyneAmberle
    Genre: Angst, Drama, possible small hints of romance
    Main characters: Malavai Quinn, Lord Lycuneae [Gammon], Jaesa Willsaam
    Summary: After everything they had endured together, Quinn appears to show his true colors...and will pay dearly for it.

    Notes: First, this is my (multi-part) response to the Movie Quote Challenge. I chose #13, and was given this quote: 'Let that be a lesson to you, sweetie. Never love anything. – The Simpsons'. The quote fits well enough that I can likely incorporate it into the story proper.

    About this story: Although I did not play it back then, early on in the Beta for TOR, you had the option of killing certain companions (or leaving them for dead, or whatever). It was removed after players got upset that killing these companions was irreversible. Malavai Quinn was one of the affected companions, and the excision of the killing element is a pretty sore point of contention with TOR fans. So I decided to come up with my take on his betrayal scene. I did my standard 'take in-game cutscene dialogue, give it some good mixings, add it to my story, and voila'. Because I take a heavy DS tone with this one, I want to take this slowly. Not only because I want to write this as best as I can, but also to make sure I don't have any issues with violence later on in the story.

    Also, if you're curious, the music that inspired me while writing this was 'aLIEz', from the soundtrack to the anime 'Aldnoah: Zero'. Sadly, I don't have a YouTube link to the entire song, but here's a link to the translated lyrics: http://www.lyrical-nonsense.com/lyrics/sawanohiroyukinzk/aliez/#page=English-tv

    Without further ado, here is Part 1.

    ******

    “Something troubling you, my lord?” Quinn asked as they walked through the transponder ship. He watched her warily from the corner of his eye. Did she suspect? He wondered, dreading that she would guess the true purpose behind this trip.

    Lycuneae shook her head. “I...I'm not sure,” she replied. “I just have this feeling something isn't right.”

    “In what way, my lord?” he asked, feeling his spine stiffen slightly.

    “Think about it, Quinn,” she continued. “This is an Imperial starship. Baras no doubt tipped off that trio of guards that we would be arriving. So where are the swarms of armed soldiers come to greet us? All we've run into is one easily-dispatched security detail.” She paused, thinking she heard the distant sound of approaching footsteps. When no additional soldiers appeared, she continued. “For that matter, where is the crew of this ship? Normally when I arrive on an Imperial vessel, it is buzzing with crew and workers. All I've seen are a few Imperial droids.”

    His mind spun. He knew he had to ensure she wouldn't figure out what was going on. “My lord, remember that Corellia is currently a very unstable planet,” he said. “It's entirely possible that any troops stationed here were called to the planet in order to assist the ground forces there.”

    She nodded. “A solid point,” she conceded. As she approached the elevator the security team had come out of, Quinn felt himself relax. Crisis averted...for the moment.

    She carefully examined the elevator. “I need to disable this elevator, to ensure that no reinforcements can reach us here,” she said. “Go on ahead and secure the transponder room, Quinn. I'll be there momentarily to help you collect it.”

    He gave a small bow. “Yes, my lord. I will do so immediately,” he answered.

    As his steps quickly took him down the long hall, Quinn could feel his heart racing. He entered the room at the hall's end, closing the door behind him. It was an otherwise unassuming circular room, with a second large door at the opposite side of the room from where he entered. The perfect place for his plan.

    He felt himself hesitate as he reached for the datapad on his belt. Why now? He raged silently against himself, against his perceived weakness. Fool. Why do you hesitate now, when you have gone over this very scenario countless times in your mind?

    His thoughts flashed back to his last conversation with his master. Darth Baras had contacted him while Lycuneae was occupied with some last details on Voss. Quinn flinched as he remembered his feeble arguments, protestations that she had been his master since Baras' betrayal of her on Quesh. Baras had easily overcome those objections, pitting Quinn's loyalty to the Empire against his loyalty towards the woman he loved. In so doing, he was able to secure Quinn's reluctant assistance in this task.

    Suddenly, Baras' image seemed to appear before him; though it was a hallucination, Quinn flinched involuntarily. “You are hesitating. Do not tell me you're having second thoughts, Captain,” the image intoned menacingly. Unconsciously, Quinn tugged at his collar; was it his imagination, or was it feeling a bit tighter than it had been just seconds earlier? “Remember, you owe everything you have become to me. What can she give you that I, the Emperor's Voice, cannot match? Remember also the faces of those whom I had my former apprentice eliminate for me, and how easily you could join their ranks if you defy me...”

    He closed his eyes and gave his head a brisk shake, dispelling the thoughts that gnawed at his conscience. When he opened his eyes again, the image was gone. Unclasping the datapad from his belt, Quinn began entering a coded sequence, feeling as though he were being kicked in the chest with every button he pressed. He resisted the urge to abort the sequence he was inputting, told himself it was for the good of both himself and the Empire to continue down this path, tried to convince himself this was the best choice he could have made under the circumstances. But telling himself such things and believing them were two entirely different things. He knew he only had one shot at this; failure would mean he would join those whom Baras had ordered her to kill, whether by her hand or Baras'. On the off-chance that she spared him, he might be throwing away the best thing that had ever happened to him. She might never trust him again. But it was a chance he had to take, for the good of the Empire. Sometimes sacrifices had to be made.

    So why did the thought not comfort him?

    As he heard her faint footsteps hurrying down the hall to the room he stood in, he pinched the bridge of his nose with her fingers. Why did things have to go so wrong? He asked himself. Why was this impossible choice foisted upon me so? He raised an eyebrow as he heard the footsteps slow, then stop, his fear rekindling itself tenfold.

    She suspects. His thoughts taunted him cruelly as he heard her voice, though the thick door obscured her words. She is coming with assistance. That thought was confirmed when he heard a second set of footsteps rapidly approaching.

    He smirked grimly. “Good thing I made sure all avenues were covered,” he muttered. Quickly, he activated his stealth unit. He had not had a reason to use it since leaving Balmorra, but it was now coming in quite handy.

    As he heard the voices on the other side of the door, he felt a single tear slip from one eye, rolling silently down his face. He forced himself not to react to it. Forced himself to do nothing except stand there. Waiting.

    **

    As soon as she had set foot on this starship, Lycuneae had sensed something wasn't adding up. According to the information Malavai had given her, the ship should have been teeming with heavily-armed soldiers who were prepared for their arrival and willing to stop them. Yet all they had run into was one small guard detail, and those three soldiers had seemed surprised at the intrusion. Though she waited with bated breath and straining ears, she heard no footsteps besides her own. Indeed, there were no signs of any sort of crew on this ship, utility droids excluded.

    She frowned. Something was very wrong here. She knew it. And when she felt something as wrong as this, she knew calling for backup was her best bet. Quickly, she pulled out her holocommunicator. “Jaesa? Are you there?” she asked.

    One thing Lycuneae liked was how easy it was to reach her young apprentice. Almost immediately after she activated her holo, Jaesa's image flickered into view. “I am here, Master,” she began. “Is there something wrong?

    “I don't know,” Lycuneae began. “Something feels very...off here. I am requesting assistance.”

    Of course, Master. I will be there right away.

    Jaesa's efficiency continued to surprise her master; it seemed only seconds after the transmission ended that Lycuneae could hear Jaesa's hasty footsteps approaching.

    “Master?” Jaesa's voice was concerned. “What can I assist with?”

    “Tell me,” Lycuneae began. “What do you sense here?”

    “I sense...” Jaesa closed her eyes and fell silent for several moments. “I sense a great jumble of things. Confusion, confidence, deceit...it's all blurred together to where it is difficult to identify the individual components.”

    Lycuneae's frown deepened. “I see,” she said, though she really didn't. Still, it shed some light on her own feelings. “As long as this feeling persists, I would like you to accompany me until our task here is finished.”

    “Of course, Master. I shall do as you request.”

    The odd feeling did not go away as the pair stepped into the next room; if anything, it only intensified. Quinn had told her this room held the ship's transponder. Her eyes scanned about the circular room, but found no trace of any sort of machinery that even vaguely resembled a transponder; only a large door on the opposite wall.

    “Wait. Where is Quinn? He was supposed to meet me here.” Lycuneae was confused. This was where he said he would be once she disabled the elevator, but the room was completely empty. Suddenly, her ears picked up the sound of a stealth unit deactivating, and Quinn appeared in the center of the room, his back to them.

    “Quinn? What's going on?” she asked, her voice betraying her surprise.
     
    Sith-I-5 and Revanfan1 like this.
  2. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Great start! This was always one of the most intense points of the game for me; glad to see you tackling it. =D=
     
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh my! So much suspense, so very "I have a bad feeling about this"! :eek: Great job building the suspense (and especially leaving teh details of MQ's plan so fuzzy—which makes perfect sense at this juncture), but also showing us Malavai Quinn's conflicted feelings. I love how he "forced himself to react" to his tears. From what I have seen of Lycuneae so far, I must say I kind of feel sorry for the poor fellow now. Or will she be ruled by her love for him on this one? Time will tell... Very much looking forward to more. :cool:
     
  4. SabyneAmberle

    SabyneAmberle Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2004
    All right, let's get this story out of fallow territory and continue onward.

    **********

    He didn't need to be a Sith to tell how shocked she was when he abruptly deactivated his stealth unit. Still, he stood with his back turned to her and Jaesa, hoping it would allow him to keep some measure of control. “My Lord,” he began. “I regret that our paths must diverge here. But I could not leave you to this fate without showing the respect of being here to witness it.”

    “What fate? What are you talking about?” He could hear a tinge of shock edging her voice. “Have you found someone else? If you say 'it's not me it's you', I won't be held responsible for my actions.”

    He took a deep breath, exhaling it in a quiet sigh. “I have enjoyed your company and companionship, my lord. That's why this is so hard.” He glanced over his shoulder at her, noted the way her blue eyes remained wide with her shock. “It's not me or you,” he continued. It's Darth Baras. I owe him more than you could imagine.”

    He could still hear the shock in her voice, mingled now with confusion. “Baras? What does that arrogant fool have to do with this?” she asked coldly.

    He slowly turned to face the two of them, keeping his gaze from meeting either of theirs. “It pains me, but this entire scenario is a ruse. There's no martial law and no special signal emitter. Baras is my true master. He had me lure you here to have you killed.”

    He watched the differing emotions flicker briefly across her face. Her look of shock was quickly replaced by a pained look, which quickly began to turn to anger. Her eyes narrowed in that fashion that always made him feel fearful; it was a look that promised great suffering to the unfortunate soul who had crossed her. This time, that look was turned on him, which only amplified his feeling of fear.

    This...this is the worst betrayal possible,” she almost whispered the words, the sound resembling a low hiss. Her words from there found both strength and volume, maintaining their venom. “After all we've been through together. I even helped you take out Moff Broysc!”

    You have helped me immensely,” Quinn replied, shocked at how even he was able to keep his voice. Behind his back, he kept his hands clenched into fists, lest they shake uncontrollably with his fear. “It is why I act today with a heavy heart. But without Baras, I would have no career.”

    He watched her turn her face aside, but not before he noted the angry tears that had filled her eyes. A part of him wanted more than anything to bridge this gap between them, to pull her close to him and wipe those tears away while apologizing for his stupidity. But things were far too gone for that to be a viable option.

    Ceska...My love, forgive me. He whispered mentally. Every word I say in this instance pains me greatly.

    I...I thought you loved me, Malavai,” she protested, her tone breaking slightly. “I thought that our relationship was real, that we truly cared for one another. Are you telling me it was all a lie? That it too was a ruse cooked up by you and Baras to keep you close to me?”

    Hearing those words, Quinn felt the color drain from his face. He bit his lip to stop himself from protesting, to keep from telling her how he loved her, that it wasn't a lie. He felt a wave of anger at Baras for putting him in this position, for so effortlessly turning him and his wife against one another. Arrogant, manipulative wretch that Baras was, Quinn also knew he had no one to blame but himself for this predicament. He fell for that manipulation, and now the damage was done. He was in too deep, now he had to continue forward.

    “I didn't want to have to choose between the two of you. But Baras has forced my hand, and I must side with him. I hope you understand my reasons, My Lord.” Silently, he pleaded with her to be merciful, to see the position he was in. “Once you're gone, your crew will either join Baras with me, or be killed as well.”

    He watched her wipe her hand furiously across her face, drying the tears that had streaked her cheeks. When she looked at him again, her eyes were soulless, filled with the cold fury he had seen before many of her fights.

    “You know who I'm working for now, Captain,” she said in a low tone, nearly spitting the title. “If you stand with Baras, you stand against the Emperor himself. Think long and hard about that before you continue with this farce.”

    “I have thought on this, My Lord. More than you seem to realize,” Quinn replied. “The Emperor is nothing more than an absentee landlord. Baras is only doing what any real patriot would do, given the circumstances.”

    She laughed. It was the cold, bitter laugh she let out when an enemy tried and failed to intimidate her. “Is that what you believe? That Baras is a 'patriot'?” she asked mockingly. “I'm disappointed, Quinn. I really thought you were smarter than this. You know as well as anyone that your master will run the Empire right into the ground.”

    He bristled angrily at her insult. “I'll show you how smart I am,” he snapped back. “My master has always been one step ahead of every enemy, as you know. He will lead us to victory.”

    Jaesa, who had been silent the entire time, finally spoke up. “Quinn, this is a terrible mistake,” she protested. “Only together will we make the Empire better.”

    Lycuneae smirked at her apprentice's words. “Jaesa, something tells me Quinn's idea of 'better' might not coincide with ours,” she said. “Especially if he persists in following his fool of a master.” She refocused her attention on Quinn. “You really should listen to her, Quinn,” she said. “This is a bad career move.”

    Quinn smirked himself. This was exactly the sort of contingency he was prepared for, interference by one of their crew mates. “Jaesa, you have no idea how long I've held my breath hoping you wouldn't use your power on me,” he said. “You could have stopped me long before my preparations were complete. Now I have the upper hand.”

    Jaesa let out a short laugh, shaking her head slowly. “Forgive me Quinn, but you are delusional,” she said bluntly. “Master, his confidence is quite high. I sense little to no doubt in him.”

    “Then we shall have to instill doubt in him, won't we?” Lycuneae replied flatly.

    “Not so fast, My Lord,” Quinn pulled a small device from his pocket. “Your powers will be a great benefit when Baras has turned you to him, Jaesa,” he said to the young former Jedi. “For now, I can't have you disrupting my calculations.” He pressed the button on the device, which immediately emitted waves of ultrasonic pulses. Though Jaesa struggled to resist, eventually she was overwhelmed and sank slowly to the floor. Instantly, Lycuneae was at her side, trying in vain to awaken her.

    “Baras and I have been planning this for some time,” Quinn stated. “You'll have to face this fight alone, My Lord.” Averting his gaze to avoid her enraged expression, he hastily continued. “After all this time observing you in battle, I have exhaustively noted your strengths and weaknesses.” He pressed a button on his datapad, and the large doors behind him opened. He stepped to one side as a pair of war droids slowly entered the room, their blasters pointed at Lycuneae where she knelt. “These war droids have been programmed specifically to combat you. I calculate a near zero percent chance of their failure.”

    Slowly she stood up, the gleam in her eyes showing the vast reserves of power within herself that she was tapping into. “Your confidence in the odds is your biggest weakness,” she replied darkly.

    He shrugged, leaning against the console behind him. “If anything, I'm underestimating my droids' chances,” he replied. “You'll find they are virtually immune to you.”

    She frowned, her gaze never leaving the droids. “Sounds grim,” she said. “I know how thorough you are, Quinn. I'm sure this will be my greatest test.”

    He folded his arms, hoping the bravado hid the pain in his heart. “And if I'm right, your last,” he replied.

    She gritted her teeth, clearly angered at his flippant remark. She drew her lightsabers and ignited them, their blades casting eerie red and yellow light throughout the dim room. “You always did talk too much, Quinn,” she hissed. “I will take great pleasure in shutting you up.”

    “I'm sorry it's come to this,” Quinn replied. Pressing another button on the datapad, he watched as the droids advanced, heard the whine of their shields and weapons firing up. All the while, he ignored the searing pain he felt, pushed away the grief and remorse. This was all for the good of the Empire, he had to keep reminding himself of that.

    “Goodbye, My Lord,” he murmured.