Author: Treymane PM
Reven and the Exile have left the galaxy to seek the rim while the remnants of the Sith Fleet are preparing for another onslaught. The fate of the Republic lies with a crippled fleet and a handful of companions who can hardly stand eachother.Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 7 - Words: 15,658 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 09-24-06 - Published: 08-23-05 - id: 2548573
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Broken Worlds is a post Kotor II story focusing on events that take place after the Exile (LSM) and Revan (DSF) have departed for the outer rim.
The subdued pulse of the nearby engines accompanied by the listless hum of dull lights, lights that seemed to soak up light rather than give it, were the only sounds in the Ebon Hawk's starboard dormitories. Visas suspected that the others were already asleep, leaving the Ebon Hawk in unusual silence.
Visas was glad for her retreat. It seemed that the more isolated one could be on the Ebon Hawk, the better. It was certainly preferable to listening to fools clash over inconsequential matters, or enduring the handmaiden's baleful gaze. Then there was the HK droid who was constantly hoping someone would finally get angry enough at somebody else to start a fight and give him reason to 'initiate assassination protocols'. In spite of its homicidal inclinations, that droid was perhaps the most consistent member of the crew.
But, as he was in most things, Evrain was an exception. He reclined on a bunk not far from where Visas sat on the floor. His gray eyes were fixed on the far wall, but he seemed to be looking through that wall rather than at it. Evrain had been unusually remote ever since the last trip to Telos, and after Nihilus' defeat, he had only worsened. Since Malachor, he had barely spoken a word. But Visas could hardly blame him for that, she had barely spoken either.
Visas remembered vividly his weary aspect when he entered the Ebon Hawk as Malachor began to fall apart–a death the planet was long overdue. His only words had been 'get us out of here'. Then he entered a meditative trance that lasted for several hours. When he was through, he seemed no more at peace than when he began. Evrain would say nothing of what happened at Malachor, other than that Kreia was dead by his hand.
But, by the intense melancholy aura that permeated Evrain, Visas knew he had killed many more people than just Kreia. He always wore that aura of stoicism and melancholy after he killed. The first time he had killed in front of Mira, the girl had called Evrain a cold hearted bastard, before she saw the depths in his eyes and could feel the almost palpable weight that bore down on him.
Evrain wore that stoic countenance now, every feature unreadable save for his gray eyes and a few other expressions that only the Mirakula was sensate to.
"I wish I had more time," Evrain said regretfully, breaking a silence that had lasted nearly fifteen minutes.
Visas faced Evrain, "What do you mean? Malachor is dealt with. The threat from Sion, Nihilus and Kreia is ended, is it not?" Tension and weariness rolled off of Evrain in waves.
"The threat is never over," Evrain responded, "You should know that just as well as I." Visas was silent. "The Sith is far more than just ships and the men who controlled them. Those may have been the least dangerous aspects of the Sith. Wars and empires come and go but belief is a much harder thing to destroy. The real battle lies at the edge of the galaxy. And . . . she is out there."
"She, you mean Revan?"
Evrain nodded, "I don't know what to expect if I find her. None of the rumors I've heard agree with each other as to what she did after her return."
"Did you love her?" Visas asked.
Evrain was silent for a moment, "I respected her and admired her. I think that all of us did. But I abandoned her. I couldn't have changed her course though. The dark side would have corrupted me as surely as it has countless others." A chill ran through Visas as she felt the scars left by Nihilus.
"Instead I left Revan to her own fate. I saw the threshold and could not pass. I'm doubtless the others thought me weak," Evrain laughed bitterly, "Ironic that it was fear that led me away from the dark side."
"So you're going to the edge of the galaxy. To confront your former leader and the true nature of the Sith. That is what this is about, no?"
Evrain chuckled slightly, the mood failed to reach his eyes, "So I am. I doubt I'll set foot in Republic-controlled space for quite some time, if ever."
"When do we–"
Evrain cut Visas off, "You're not coming with me. Neither are any of the others."
"Why?" Visas protested, "If this conflict as important as you say it is then you will need all the help you can get."
"No," Evrain said simply, "you aren't ready. Not yet anyhow. When the time comes, you will know what to do. I just . . . wish I had more time."
"Time for what?"
"Time to teach. As things are I've managed to set you on the right path and begun to train Briana but there is potential in the others as well. But they are afraid to see it in themselves, and that has hampered my ability to train them. Atton's trust in me has been slipping ever since we first met. Bao-Dur is afraid to learn of the Force when so much destruction has been caused through its misuse. Mira believes I just want to use her," Evrain sighed, "If I had gotten to Mira sooner, I might have been able to teach her. I don't know about the others though. There's never enough time."
Evrain stood slowly, his shoulders slumped, and began to pace, "Atton said he was going to bring us to Agamar."
"That's where we part ways?" Visas asked, a barely discernable hint of tremulousness in her voice.
"It will be," Evrain said, nodding slowly, "Agamar is an outer rim world, it is as good a starting point for my journey as anywhere."
"Are you going to tell the others?"
"No. I'm only telling you because we have an understanding. The others would not be dissuaded from following."
"Such as the handmaiden?"
"Her name is Briana," Evrain said, "and yes, her especially. I can trust you though, can't I?" Visas nodded impassively. "What will you do when I leave?"
"I will go to Katarr," Visas replied cooly, "I have my own journey to complete. The paths of the others, however, seem much less clear."
"You know that we've gained a small fortune during our travels. I'm going to give the bulk of my share to you. I want you to divide it equally between yourself and the others."
"I have little need for credits," Visas replied.
"I'm sure the others will be happy to hear that," Evrain replied with a chuckle, "but take the credits anyway. You may need them."
There was another silence that lasted for a long moment.
"What about the droids?" Visas asked at length.
"The droids, I nearly forgot about them," Evrain paced for a few moments before speaking again, "HK-47 and GO-TO can find their own ways. T3 on the other hand, I think it makes the most sense to send him with Bao-Dur. I certainly don't want to leave him with Atton or Mandalore."
"That is sensible," Visas said, "but I'm not so certain about letting the HK droid go free. He will certainly cause death and mayhem if provided the slightest opportunity."
"The same could be said of Mandalore."
Visas had no response for that.
"HK-47 might actually be safer if he does not have a master. His masters tend to meet unfortunate ends."
"Then let us hope that no one attempts to detain the HK droid."
"For their sake and the sake of all those around them," Evrain added.
Evrain knelt down in front of Visas, "Before I leave, Visas, I want you to know that I'm more proud of your redemption than I am anything else I've accomplished. Your progress has been remarkable. That you've been corrupted by the dark side and brought back to the light means there is hope for all consumed by the Dark Side."
"But I can still feel its taint," Visas protested, her lips twisting with disgust.
"I feel the call of the Dark Side as well. Briana herself confessed to me that she herself felt the pull of the Dark Side when I sent her to the Sith Temple on Dxun. She felt the pull on Korriban as well."
"The handmaiden? I did not realize . . ."
"She is as susceptible as anyone, despite her sanctimonious facade. But she is learning to abandon even that mask."
Evrain leaned forward and embraced Visas, who seemed surprised by the gesture. "The Force willing we'll meet again. In this galaxy, on the rim, or elsewhere. But be ready for Briana's reaction, she won't understand."
Mira was the first to return, in the early afternoon. Atton arrived later in the evening. As Visas expected, Evrain did not return. As the night drew on, Visas heard loud voices coming from the direction of the common room and knew it was time to let the others know what had transpired.
"I doubt he's run into anything he can't handle. The people on this planet are more docile than cattle," the harsh, grating voice belonged unmistakably to Mandalore.
"And what would you say happened on Nar Shaddaa?" the protest came from the handmaiden.
"This dump probably doesn't even have a Czerka or Exchange outpost, let alone any crime syndicates of its own," Atton said.
"I don't think we're dealing with a crime at all," said Mira, as she watched Visas' entrance, "you know something." All eyes (or ocular sensors) immediately turned to the Mirakula.
"Evrain left," Visas said, stepping forward.
"Figures," Mira said at the same moment Atton was muttering curses, "that what he was talking about with you so late last night?"
"It was," said Visas.
"This had better not be some sick game of your design, Visas," the handmaiden said, her voice iron.
"Calm down Briana," Bao-Dur said, "let's hear her out before jumping to any conclusions." Briana reined in her temper but continued to glare at Visas. "Please, continue Visas."
"Evrain talked to me last night and told me that there was another threat to the balance of the force, a threat lying at the edge of the galaxy. He believed we were not ready to face this threat, so he went alone."
"Ridiculous," Atton said.
"Regretful Statement: How I wish I could have joined my master in annihilating a new enemy," HK-47 mournfully declared.
"So Evrain's battles aren't over yet? Fitting, a warrior like him deserves more challenges," Mandalore said.
"Somehow," Mira began, "I doubt Evrain sees it the same way."
"I know," Mandalore continued, "isn't that unfortunate?" Mira pursed her lips.
The handmaiden was silent, preferring instead to glower at Visas. T3 made a series of worried sounding noises but GO-TO made no noise as it hovered in the corner.
Bao-Dur was the only one to nod as if he were expecting such a turn, "Did he leave any parting words?"
"He left no words but I could tell that he regretted leaving. He felt that he could have taught all of you to use the Force if he had had the time."
"Touching," Mandalore said sarcastically. Briana turned about and retreated back to the cargo hold.
"I think this will be harder on the handmaiden than it'll be for any of us," Mira commented.
"Who cares about that schutta?" Atton said.
"Atton, you're a lot easier to deal with when you don't talk."
"Rhetorical Question: Why do meatbags feel the need to persist in unending dialogues that only serve to exacerbate conflict when the obvious solution is violence?"
"And I cannot deal with that droid much longer!" Mira exclaimed as she walked away.
"I think it is time I left the company of this crew as well, there is obviously nothing further to be gained here," said GO-TO, the first time he had said anything since Malachor.
"Relieved Valediction: Farewell fat one," said HK-47 as GO-TO floated down the landing ramp.
Atton looked around at those who remained before speaking, "I'm going to guess no one is too interested in staying on this planet? No objections? Okay, I'll take us to Kothlis then, it's a mid-rim world where we can get to pretty much anywhere."
"That should give our nerves some time to cool," Bao-Dur said. Though he sounded as impassive as always, Visas could see that the Iridonian was troubled.
"Before you leave," Visas started, "Evrain asked that I distribute his share of the credits we have gathered." Visas produced a number of credit chits from the folds of her robes and distributed them equally, "I will give the others their credits as well," Visas said when she was finished.
"You might want to wait a little while before you give the Handmaiden her share," Mandalore warned, "As she is now, she's more likely to dash them apart than accept them."
Verner looked at Thayer with a grim expression, "Planet Kamal has sustained heavy bombardment. There are no enemy vessels registering on the sensors but we are detecting debris from several vessels. Six of the vessels are Republic ships and two appear to be Sith battlecruisers. There's too much scattered debris to determine how many civilian craft were destroyed."
"How did this happen? If the Sith can strike at a core world they can strike anywhere," Captain Thayer looked stricken as stared out the viewport to see the broken hulls of Republic vessels and the burning world of Kamal, "Bring us into orbit around Kamal and dispatch relief teams. Send out search teams to look for survivors among the debris. And get three squadrons of fighters out there to patrol the sector. I need to contact the admiral."
Captain Thayer spun about to leave while a flurry of activity began on the bridge as his orders were set into action.