Author: DhtrofIsis PM
After Malachor the Exile disappears to find Revan in the Unknown Regions. Carth, Atton and Mical follow their trail with various complications along the way. LSF Revan and LSF Exile based. Please R & R. Fan Girl Revenge ahead!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Chapters: 16 - Words: 49,866 - Reviews: 70 - Favs: 31 - Follows: 35 - Updated: 02-24-07 - Published: 07-21-06 - id: 3058795
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I originally wrote this because I wanted to explore what a crew made up of Carth, Atton, and Di would be like. How would they interact? What would their relationships be like? It has now turned into a full-blown story. Orginially published on KOTOR Fan Media, although I put in a few corrections.
"Carth, maybe….maybe it's time you looked to moving on," Admiral Dodonna looked up at the tall middle aged man standing before her, pity shining out of the large blue eyes that gave her an aura of sweetness belying the steely warrior underneath. "Four years Carth," she paused to take a steadying breath and then continued, hoping their friendship was enough to cross this line, "how long did you hold on to Morgana?" The man's shoulders tensed and he tried very hard not to glare at his superior officer. Instead he glared at the fleet admiral's desk which was littered with datapads and even hand scribbled notes, Dodonna had always been a bit eccentric in that.
Standing in Dodonna's office decorated in calming blues and peaches Carth tried to keep his face and tone courteous and noncommittal as his hands clasped behind his back clenched each other. By the look being reflected back up at him from the tall graying woman sitting before him, he wasn't doing so hot. Giving up he let his exasperation show. "Admiral, you know you have my utmost respect and admiration, but frankly you can't keep me. My commission's up, and I'm taking my out." That wasn't exactly true, there were provisions she could enact to keep Carth in the fleet but he prayed she wouldn't. He glanced over at Dodonna's form sitting behind her desk waiting for her to say something, but she just kept gazing up at him silently. It was making Carth uncomfortable and he worked not to squirm.
Finally Dodonna broke the silence. "How do you even know she's still alive Carth?" she knew it was a cruel question but a necessary one.
Carth sighed and ran a hand absently through his hair to brush back the two stray dark auburn locks, which promptly fell back into their accustomed place. "Permission to speak freely sir?"
Dodonna's mouth twisted into a mildly annoyed grimace. "You know you don't have to ask Carth, even if you are here in an official capacity."
Carth smiled a little sadly at her words. Yeah, he didn't have to ask. He could recall at least a few times when he had outright yelled and cursed at his friend and superior officer and she had never given him any professional reprimands. A few personal ones, but he had never been disciplined for speaking his mind to her. "I think, I think if she were dead I would know." Okay that sounded stupid, even to him.
Dodonna raised a fawn brown eyebrow at him. "Your not running off to join the Jedi are you?" she looked like she wanted to chuckle.
Carth did chuckle at her remark, "No sir, I'm a soldier, not a monk." Carth's face turned once again serious. He couldn't tell Dodonna the real reason, then she would think he was cracked. Damn Jolee, he thought. He could have warned me. Of course the truth was Jolee couldn't have warned him, he died before he had any chance to.
Admiral Dodonna stared at him for what seemed a full minute. Finally she spoke, "Resigning as an Admiral is career suicide Carth, do you really want to do this?" she looked at him earnestly.
Carth sighed again. "I love what I do Forn, as much as I hated being away from my family at the end of the day I am a soldier. It's all I've ever really been. But being a solder I lost a lot, maybe too much. I…I won't lose anymore. This is just something I have to do," Carth nodded emphatically at this statement. "I don't expect you to understand, or approve. I need to find her, and I can't do that and run a fleet of ships for the Republic at the same time." Carth took a deep breath and continued his argument. "Since the last battle with the Sith over Telos things have been quieter. The Jedi, the Republic, we're rebuilding. Except for the occasional raiders and pirates there's not really much for me to do. The Republic doesn't really need me right now, not like it did before, and I can't think of a better time to leave." His hands had left his back and were spread palms up in front of him in an almost pleading manner. Carth never could keep his hands still while he talked.
"The Republic will always need its heroes Carth." Carth inadvertently rolled his eyes at Dodonna's statement and she chuckled. "I'm sorry Carth, you're a hero, and you're just going to have to deal with that." Dodonna came to a decision, "I'm refusing to accept your resignation." Carth opened his mouth to protest and Dodonna held up a hand to stop him. "Hear me out Carth. I'm refusing your resignation and giving you an open ended leave of absence." Carth's eyes widened at this unexpected development. "You're right in that things are fairly quite right now, thank the Force. I think your being overly optimistic and a bit insane, but far be it from me to stand in the path of love." Her eyes twinkled mischievously at this statement. "I can see your mind is already made up Carth, but the Republic can't afford to lose you. So you go do whatever it is you intend on doing and we'll be waiting for you when you get back. Just try not to take too long, hmmm?" she raised an eyebrow at him and cocked her head to the side.
Carth didn't know what to say. He had expected a fight, he had expected to have to convince Dodonna to let him go, what he had not expected was such a generous offer. He was floored. "Forn, you could catch a lot of flack for this…"
Admiral Dodonna genuinely smiled, "You let me worry about that Carth. You go find your Jedi." She handed him a datapad with all the official paperwork for his leave and nodded at him. "Dismissed Admiral, and good luck." Carth took the datapad from her hand and gave her a sharp salute, unable to keep the grin off of his face.
Carth navigated the corridors of Dodonna's flagship making his way to the airlock. He passed a couple of female recruits as they whispered to each other while watching him and giggled nervously. He actually might be flattered if they were looking at him and not Carth Onasi: Republic War Hero. Still fit at forty three, he knew he was still attractive even if a few more gray hairs had crept into the hair at his temples and a few more lines graced his face. The gray had started cropping up after defeating Malak. His mind wandered as he walked.
He looked down at her and raised a russet eyebrow. "Well Beautiful," he grinned, "traveling with you for any length of time will do that to a man." She had threw back her head and laughed up at him at the remark.
"I suppose it might at that." She beamed up at him. The smile slowly faded. "Any regrets?" she had asked almost timidly as she looked down and twirled a stray piece of curly brown hair that had escaped from her braid, or at least as timid as she ever good be, force of nature that she was.
Carth snorted and placed his index finger gently under her chin, angling her face back up at him. In anything else she was confidence personified, but when it came to him she seemed unsure, maybe even a little guilty. "Never," he said, "never Beautiful." Her smile had seemed a little sad at his affirmation.
Two nights earlier:
The cantina was not a nice one. Bounty hunters, pazaak junkies and drunks littered the room. The walls were faded and stained with watermarks and possibly other fluids that were better left not contemplated. The furniture was old and worn with bits of stuffing poking through tears and holes of the unoccupied chairs and booths. The stink of desperation and abandoned hopes permeated along with cigarra smoke. Carth sat across from Bastila and watched as she shuffled the deck. Her graceful pale hands weaved the cards in and out of each other as she worked. Finishing her shuffling she laid the deck in the middle of the table and gestured for him to take a card. She was wearing her peach colored clothes this time, which Carth preferred to the Dark Jedi robes, too may bad memories associated with those.
Carth drew a +5 card and Bastila took her turn. "I didn't figure you for a pazaak player," he commented as he looked at his side deck.
Bastila shrugged one shoulder casually as she drew her card. "Mission did try to teach me once when I was in the Hawk on Korriban, but no, it's not a game I particularly enjoy."
Bastila had a +3 card and Carth reached over to pull another from the deck. "Me neither," he said as he pulled a nine. "So why are we playing?"
"It seemed appropriate given the atmosphere," she said in her clear accented tones.
"Yeah about that, why are we here?" he asked. This wasn't exactly Bastila's scene. Usually when he saw her it was on the Hawk or the Dantooine plains.
She looked up from her cards at him and tapped the table absently with her nails. "There's something here your need to see."
Carth scowled over the table at her, "Mind telling me where we are?"
"Nar Shaddaa, the Refugee Sector," she responded while waving her right hand about absently. "Only cantina in this area so you should be able to find it." At this comment she gave him one of her slightly superior smiles. Carth looked down and realized his hand had busted. He shoved his cards across the table at her and she began shuffling again.
"Are you stacking the deck?" he asked suspiciously.
"Yes," she said unperturbed, "Otherwise you are doomed to fail."
Carth ran a hand through his hair. "So what are you now Bastila, Jedi or Sith?" Carth couldn't count how many times he had asked her this question in their previous meetings.
She smirked up at him. "Whatever is necessary. She taught me that you know." Bastila accented the word "she" as she set the cards down on the table. "It's time," she stated.
"Are you sure?" he asked hopefully.
"Yes," Bastila's face was sad. "That's why I brought you here. This is where the journey starts. It will not be easy Carth," her gray eyes were filled with an emotion he couldn't identify.
He gave her a condescending look and replied, "I never thought it would be. That's never stopped me before, and it sure as hell isn't going to now."
Bastila responded to this with a genuine smile. "I know," she said softly. "But you will need help, and this is where it is."
"Nar Shaddaa?" he asked with eyebrows raised in disbelief, "In a cantina?"
She raised one of her own dark eyebrows and smirked, both of them had abandoned the card game. "You know better than anyone that allies are found in the most unlikely places. She taught us that as well," again accenting the word "she." Bastila stopped talking to look over at the entrance to the cantina and Carth followed her gaze. A man had sauntered in who screamed pazaak hustler. He was wearing a dark brown jacket with a couple of armor upgrades that covered a thin white shirt. His hair matched the jacket, unkempt locks going this way and that. Carth imagined had he walked into anywhere reputable he would have had the attention and suspicion of the entire room but here he was fairly anonymous. A droid followed after him and Carth almost fell out of his chair. "HK…" he whispered.