|Saving the Republic is Such a Chore
Author: Nurmy PM
This is a KotOR novelization, with a red-to-grey Revan! Defined as red-to-grey because, ultimately, this condescending, sarcastic Revan does end up saving the Republic! Some changes to the plot are made and a lot of details are added! Enjoy! or don't!Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Revan - Chapters: 2 - Words: 15,126 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 04-28-12 - Published: 07-22-11 - id: 7207621
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Even though I wish I did, I do not own the rights to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, nor do I have any affiliation with any other similar titles. I wrote this because I helped edit another of the KotOR novelizations on this site (randomtastic7's, you should check it out, it's so awesome! It's called When Saving the Universe is your Only Option), and it was a lot of fun!
A/N: Hey everybody! I am new to FanFiction, and, indeed, to the concept of novelizations. I was introduced to this place of awesomeness by my friend, Katie, whose novelization of KotOR I helped edit (that's the one I said you should check out, hint hint!). I really enjoyed the story, and her take on it all, and so I decided to give it a shot of my own! I aim to novelize The Sith Lords, and also to perhaps shed a little light on what happens after TSL ends. I can't wait to get started on the rest! Anyway, I'll stop boring you, let's get started!
P.S. Thanks, Katie, for editing
The Wolfwind; Space; Four Years Ago
The Wolfwind was arguably one of the most beautiful ships in existence. It was a small ship, its stretched body working with the black and gold paint to give it the appearance of a hornet. When landing on a planet, it always turned heads, almost as if its characteristic gleam was forcing people to turn to their neighbor and say, "Damn, that is one scarily gorgeous ship."
However, it was ultimately for the man to whom it belonged that people screamed. The owner of the Wolfwind was 50 years old, his immaculately styled black hair shot through with dignifying patches of dark grey. He was a smoothly handsome man; tan skin, high cheekbones, and tall build giving him a distinctly noble appearance. The owner of AlphaTech Inc. always walked with his back perfectly straight, always wore a suit and tie, and always looked you straight in the eye.
In short, Juyo Shien was a very powerful man. And very powerful men like very powerful security, because very powerful security tends to stop your head being blown off by a very powerful gun. Which is why the Wolfwind was staffed with eight of the finest bodyguards in the universe – a protective force ranging from Wookiees who had been known to rip apart assassins at close range with their bare hands, to Rodian ex-intelligence officers with the capability of identifying, and subsequently eliminating targets from distances up to 3 miles away.
It was because of this world-class security that Juyo Shien was very relaxed. He took in the plush interior of the space ship from his recliner, his eyes passing over his own dark wroshyr-wood desk, set in the middle of the room, flitting to the massive HoloScreen set up on the grey wall to the right, glancing over the green and black spotted carpet, and finally stopping at the security station, situated to the left.
"Anything?" he asked the Twi'lek managing the ship's radar, a green-skinned ex-soldier called Naveen Pataudi.
"No, sir," Naveen purred, always wanting to impress the boss. "Skies are clear."
"Excellent. I'll be going to the bedroom, and I do not wish to be disturbed."
"Very good, sir," obediently replied the Geonosian leader of the team, a wizened bug called Haddis Poggle. Poggle had been working for Shien a long time. The pay was great, and, with the millions of credits their paranoid charge spent on security systems and equipment, the job was comically easy. His translucent wings fluttered as he bowed to the retreating figure, the gesture being the Geonosian way of showing respect. That didn't stop him however, from joining in the crew's collective exasperated sigh as soon as the door to the bedchamber slid shut. They had been in space for only a few minutes, and already their boss was retiring. His age was starting to show. Shaking his head, the Geonosian settled back into his chair, brown exoskeleton jarring a little as he overestimated the distance. Returning to his previous task, Haddis immersed himself in the cleansing of the crew's ranged weaponry. This was a chore he liked performing himself – Haddis was known to be meticulous in these kinds of things, and he didn't want to find his sonic blaster exploding in his hands because some idiot forgot to clean the barrel. And so Haddis cleaned everybody's weapons – a win-win situation.
However, he was interrupted ten minutes later by a mysterious noise. Thunk. The sound of a muted impact reverberated through the ship.
"What was that?" asked the Twi'lek, stupidly staring at the ceiling as if the answer might suddenly appear there.
"I don't know," sarcastically replied Haddis, accompanying his response with a mock welcoming gesture towards the radar, "Maybe you should check?"
"All clear," Naveen snapped, irritated at the gall of the oversized bug.
"Well, then there's nothing to worry about, is th-," Poggle's scathing reply tailed off when a circular section of the ceiling dropped in, followed by a small, round, black object.
"Grenade!" he shouted, taking cover behind his chair.
However, this was not a normal grenade. It was a concussion grenade, creating a mini-supernova in the middle of the ship, if the light and noise were any indication. A light brighter than Tatooine's three suns, and a sound louder than a thousand cave shyracks pervaded the ship. Incapacitated, and essentially immobilized, the crew were left to flounder in their temporary blindness as the flashbang removed their sense of balance.
Fortunately for them, the effects were short-lived. Their hearing and vision shortly returned, revealing a man clad in a black, tight-fitting body suit with a matching black cape standing beneath a circular hole in the ceiling. At the other end of the hole, the interior of another ship was visible, apparently having attached itself via ship-to-ship boarding system. The intruder, having already quickly assessed the situation, was striding calmly towards the bedroom. His vibrosword gleamed evilly as it slid out of its sheath with an audible ssk.
"Get him!" growled a Wookiee member of the party, a 9-foot tall female called Chancharrr, charging the would-be assassin with her vibroblade.
The man turned around. No subtlety, the Geonosian groaned, inwardly facepalming at the Wookiee's lack of strategy. No matter, she should be able to handle it. Leaning back, Haddis prepared himself for the inevitable spray of blood as the Wookiee delivered a vertical slash strong enough to cleave a Gamorrean in half. However, the intruder was faster than he seemed. In the blink of an eye, he had sidestepped the fatal blow, and with all the elegance due to the action, cleanly decapitated the Wookiee. Not even waiting for the body to fall, the man immediately switched focus, moving towards the three bodyguards lying under the HoloScreen.
Stunned as they were by the black-clad figure's survival, the elite bodyguards were cut down before their weapons had left their sheaths. The remaining four, still alive simply because they were on the other side of their boss's massive desk, finally got up and drew their weapons. Unsure of what to do, they glanced to Haddis for instruction. "4A." the wizened bug declared, the simple statement being a code word for a maneuver they practice often – they would split up, two around each side of the desk, and attack the assassin simultaneously, aiming to catch him between their blades.
They found no such luck. The intruder calmly leapt over two of his would-be killers, stabbing one in the back, and slicing the arms off the other in a series of graceful movements. Quickly switching targets, he watched, smirking, as the two remaining bodyguards stepped back from their diced comrades.
The bodyguard leader quickly glanced to his side to see who had survived the lightning-quick assault, and was surprised to see Naveen standing beside him, feather-staff pointing outwards. The Twi'lek was a new addition to the group, his arrogant demeanor constantly making him a target for jibes. However, in the face of death, all differences were settled, and so the two shared a final look of comradeship, the reflected blood from the floor making their eyes seem demonic in the bright interior lighting, before turning back to the assassin. The moment over, they both charged the black-clad figure, shouting in their own native languages, aiming to run him through with their weapons.
Unfazed by this show of courage, the assassin, once again displaying an astounding feat of agility, neatly sidestepped the pointy stampede, using his sword to decapitate the Twi'lek as he blindly rushed past. Haddis stopped running, looking behind him to see Naveen's head bouncing on the floor before stopping with a sickening, slippery scree. Switching his gaze from the murdered to the murderer, Haddis was appalled to see a smirk spreading on his face!
Anger at this stranger's lack of respect flooding through his system, Haddis flew at the man, sticking his sword out directly in front of him, hoping to impale him. Caught off guard by the insect-like dart, the intruder barely moved out of the way, the sword managing to take off his hood. However, even in that state of panic, his reflexes had managed to deliver a fatal blow to the Geonosian, using his own momentum to impale him on the vibrosword.
Staring back at this seemingly invincible angel of death, Haddis saw a young man, his pale white skin a marked contrast to his jet-black hair. However, most startling were the eyes. He saw in their inky depths not passion, not anger, not fear, but sadistic amusement. The wizened bug began to wonder who in the world could have taken on eight of the universe's best bodyguards singlehandedly, and laughed it off. Of course, he never finished the thought, the last thing he saw being the assassin's characteristic smirk, and then, blackness.
Looking around at his handiwork, the young man unceremoniously slid his vibrosword out of the Geonosian's body. Grimacing slightly at the bloody mess it was covered in, he briefly debated whether to wipe it off on the bug's clothes before deciding against it. He had one more target on this ship. Entering the plush bedroom, he found Mr. Shien cowering beneath a blanket, as if hoping that if the prey couldn't see the hunter, the hunter couldn't see the prey.
He took a moment to appreciate the beautiful décor. Fitted with soft interior lighting, the blue walls somehow perfectly matched the viridian king-sized bed in the middle. Shaking his head at the waste of credits, he decided to get down to business. Imitating the Geonosian accent, he called out in Geonosian, "It's all clear, boss".
Visibly relieved, Mr. Shien lifted the blanket, only to be confronted by a black-clad figure with a malevolent gleam in his eye, and a sword in his hand. His eyes widened as he realized that the sword was covered in blood – evidently all that remained of his "elite" bodyguards. "How did you get in here?" he asked, panic making his voice crack.
The assassin's eyes shown with pride as he boasted, "My ship has a custom ship-to-ship boarding mechanism. I outfitted it with a plasma torch to silently cut through the target's hull."
"But how come our radar didn't pick you up?" exclaimed the incredulous human. "It's state-of-the-art machinery!"
"Oh, please," dismissed the figure, shaking his head as he did so, "My ship is equipped with an invisibility cloak. It's composed of many tiny reflective metal surfaces, such that any light coming my way will be deflected backwards. If you were a physicist, you would probably understand this as something similar to an Einstein ring. But you're not," he continued, sneering as he started approaching the terrified businessman, "and you're not going to have the time to become one."
"Please," begged the corporate giant, now on his knees, "I'll give you anything! Money! Power! Wome-." He did not have time to finish the plea, the last thing going through his head being a vibrosword sharpened to perfection.
Satisfied that the mission was complete, the assassin left the ship, pausing only twice on the way out: once to toss a timed permacrete charge into the fuel bay, and a second time to disgustedly use the carpet to wipe his vibrosword of the multi-coloured blood that covered its surface.
Spaceport Docking Bay 3B; Coruscant; Present
The morning of the Endar Spire's scheduled departure was a perfect one, the bright sun's rays bouncing playfully off the white and orange hull of the spaceship, and the temperature in the hangar set to comfortable warmth. The ship was ahead of schedule and ready to go – its crew of 1,200 soldiers, 400 battle droids, and its crates of supplies all having been brought on board. However, none of this went through Captain Carth Onasi's mind as he shook his head frustratedly at the obstinate figure standing at the top of the boarding ramp.
"Padawan Shan, I must respectfully disagree. There is no point in passing Taris on the way to join the fleet. It's a Sith planet! We could incur multiple losses in what is guaranteed to be a pointless battle. There's no shame in avoiding conflict!"
The figure in the tan, tight-fitting bodysuit seemed unaffected by the captain's advice. "Captain, I understand you're worried, but let's review the situation for a second." Her well-meaning words were belied by her sarcastic tone. "The Jedi Council placed me in charge of this mission, did they not? I thought they did. So how about instead of standing here and arguing with me about my orders, why don't you carry them out instead?"
Why me? despaired Carth inwardly, angrily brushing the few misplaced brown strands of his immaculately styled hair out of his eyes. Once more, the Captain was reminded of why he hated working with Jedi. The one standing in front of him was a perfect example of their typical arrogance – standing tall, and exuding an air of confidence with every move, the irritation on her face turned it all into a textbook expression of superiority.
"Listen, Padawan Shan, I understand you're the key to the Republic war effort. Your Battle Meditation skills have turned the tide of many battles and saved many lives," acquiesced Carth carefully, as he knew that one wrong word could cause her to completely shut him out, "but you need to start listening to people who have more experience. This is your first mission, it isn't mine. Use me, for God's sake!" Looking for a way to lessen the tension, he finished his calm tirade with a joke. "It will make you more favorable with the troops, if nothing else."
He miscalculated, however. "Are you saying that the troops dislike my method of commanding, Captain?" The threat implied by the extra emphasis on his wrong seemed almost physical, as if the title made him the person at fault. The decorated war hero took in a breath to deliver a snappy reply, but someone beat him to it.
"No, Bastila, he's saying that they dislike you."
Both figures whirled around, searching for the source of the unexpected noise. They finally alighted on a young man dressed in casual black clothes, though with the unusual addition of a black cape hanging over his shoulder. The casual look, however, was ruined by the deadly vibrosword hanging on his belt. His black eyes bespoke amusement, though the hint of a sneer on his face showed it to be anything but good-natured.
Captain Onasi, years of soldiering making him react on reflex, subconsciously registered the combination of the sword and the strange clothing, all senses yelling to him "Threat!" He immediately took out his blaster and shot, aiming for the unexpected arrival's head. However, before he could complete the gesture, he suddenly found the stranger five meters closer, pushing his blaster-hand upwards, redirecting the blaster bolt so that it flew away harmlessly.
"Captain Onasi, stand down! He's with me!" Bastila yelled before Carth could attempt to cause more damage to her visitor.
Not quite satisfied, Carth nevertheless put away his blaster, but not before giving the young man a look-over first. Pale skin, black hair, he seemed nothing out of the ordinary. Dismissing the incident, Onasi simply assumed that the man had been closer than he'd originally thought. "So who are you, anyway?"
"This is my-" Bastila began.
"My name is Will Sabriel, and I am going to be one of Padawan Shan's," he said, giving the title mock grandeur, "civilian advisors. I would appreciate you not attempting to turn my face into molten flesh; it tends to make hellos a lot more pleasant." He said, finishing that last sentence with a wink. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be going to my chambers."
Carth turned a questioning look toward his superior, as if to ask, "Who was that guy?" Bastila only deigned to shrug before answering, "He's my advisor. Now, we should depart. We will continue this conversation tomorrow, Captain Onasi. Make sure you remember which one of us is commanding this mission when we do. Dismissed."
Bridge; Endar Spire
"I'm not arguing with you about your orders, Padawan," snapped Carth, his calm composure finally starting to show some signs of strain at the ineptitude of the Jedi commander, "but I have been brought aboard this mission as a tactical advisor. And as such, I believe it is my duty to advise you not to send our men to their deaths!"
They had just spent the past 3 hours seated around a holographic display of the galaxy, debating whether to stop to repair the ship's destroyed weaponry. Some Sith battleships just off the surface of Mygeeto had ambushed the Spire, and, even though the battleships were eventually destroyed, they had managed to cause some serious damage. Three of the four double light turbolaser batteries, the two medium turbolaser batteries, and one of the point-defense laser cannon batteries, Carth inwardly grimaced. Translation: we're sitting ducks!
"We've gone over this, Captain Onasi," Bastila frustratedly replied, massaging her temples. "Waiting for the weaponry to get fixed might take days! We certainly do not have that time to spare. The Republic fleet may be attacked at any time, in which case my Battle Meditation may be of assistance."
The Chief Technical Officer, an Ithorian man who served on the Spire for many years, discreetly rolled his eyes. "Padawan Shan, the Republic Space Fleet has enough firepower to last it a few more days without us. In the meantime, your Battle Meditation won't be of any use to anyone if you die on the way there!" He took in a breath to add more, but was interrupted by the Chief Navigation Officer, a short green-skinned Rodian known for his logic. "At least allow us to leave Taris, ma'am. The planet has countless nasty things, all of which can blow up our ship without the additional weaponry!"
Bastila was about to respond with something along the lines of "No" when someone yelled, "We've been pulled out of hyperspace by a tractor beam!" A tense few seconds passed; the ship seemed to be holding its breath. The clacks of the keyboard's keys were the only noise as the man checked who it was that assaulted them. "It looks like-li-like the Leviathan!"
You could have heard a credit drop. The Leviathan was the Sith flagship, Darth Malak's personal ship. And it was here! Carth Onasi closed his eyes for a moment. I haven't forgotten, Saul. I'm going to make you pay for what you did. The CNO was the first to overcome the initial shock, yelling in his authoritative military voice, "EVERYONE TO BATTLE STATIONS!"
The call seemed to shake everyone out of their reveries. The officers departed the table, grim expressions on their faces as they determined to overcome the impossible task before them - survive. That is, everyone but Bastila. The inexperienced Jedi sat at the table, staring a thousand miles away into nothing. I've doomed us all, she was mentally repeating to herself. I've doomed us all, I've doomed us all, I've do- What the? She looked up to see Carth violently shaking her, his brown eyes burning with anger.
"You say you're the commander of this mission?" the transformed figure yelled. "Well, get out of your damn seat and command."
She responded immediately to the berating, forgetting in the heat of the moment that Carth had actually touched her. She took out her comlink, quickly dialing an extension in before shouting, "Tell Ensign Ulgo to get Will, NOW!"
Quarters 13A; Endar Spire
As the first blast's shockwave rolled through the ship, Will Sabriel immediately rolled out of bed, years of experience kicking in as he took advantage of the scant cover behind the low, blue frame. In a heartbeat he brought up and pointed the miniature blaster pistol he kept under his pillow at the door. Taking a few seconds to examine the still unfamiliar interior of the room, he stood up. Confident that he wasn't about to face the awkward scenario of being shot in his underwear, he assessed the situation. So I'm on a Republic ship… which sounds like it's exploding. Not something I look forward to. What could be caus- Oh. I remember. When I came onto the bridge last night to collect my assignment, a slight grimace as he remembered the mounds of paperwork she had assigned, they were debating whether to avoid Taris to fix the guns. I guess that idiot of a Jedi said no.
However, his train of thought was interrupted as he heard footsteps outside the door. Acting quickly, he rushed to the side, aiming to surprise his attacker as he came in. Adrenaline flooding through his system, he waited until the tall, white-headed, well-muscled man was inside the room before aiming a kick at his legs. Time seemed to slow down as Will brought up his gun and aimed it at the falling stranger's head. Starting to pull the trigger, he noticed the man's red and gold armor, the realization that he was a Republic soldier coming almost too late. Unable to stop the gun from firing, he jerked his aim to the side, and watched, relieved, as it hit the ground next to the man's head instead.
"Who are you?" he barked, still keeping his blaster aimed at the soldier's head.
"T-T-Trask Ulgo," stammered the terrified soldier, "I'm your b-bunkmate."
"Then how come I've never seen you before?" Will threw back, suspicion clear in his eyes.
"We work opposite shifts!" Trask, over his initial shock at his near-death, was able to reply a little more eloquently than before. "Now, a Sith Battle Fleet has pulled us out of hyperspace! The Leviathan herself is attacking us! We need to report to the bridge immediately, and to defend the Endar Spire from these Sith scum!" He stood up, clearly reassured that his roommate wasn't about to turn his face into a miniature volcano.
"And, why, pray tell, would we do that?" innocently asked Will, intending to mess a little with the ensign. "Why shouldn't we just hop in an escape pod and go to the planet below?" His efforts were rewarded as the ensign's jaw became best friends with the floor.
"Are you serious?" Trask, apparently having forgotten how close his face was to becoming central heating, was outraged. "We need to protect Bastila, she's the commander of this ship, and your superior!"
"That stuck-up, arrogant Padawan? Why should we risk our lives for her?" Will tried to hide the grin on his face, instead trying to make himself seem angry. "She's one of the worst commanders I've ever had the 'privilege' of serving under, she doesn't listen to her advisors, and, worst of all, she made me analyze 200 different conversations last night, despite the fact that a robot could have handled the job in half the time."
"We all swore an oath when we joined this ship," he stepped close to Will, their faces barely centimeters apart, "to protect, serve, and defend the Republic at all costs. Now, I know you're a civilian, but you swore that same oath," he spat. "So are you coming, or do I have to drag you there?"
Will couldn't hold it in anymore. He burst out laughing, tears streaming down his eyes as his deep laugh reverberated through their shared quarters. "You should have seen the look on your face," he said in between gasping breaths, "Don't worry, Trask, I'm a professional. I was just messing with you." Trask was simply standing there, mouth hanging open in a silent "O" of astonishment.
Shaking his head, as if to clear the cobweb of confusion in his mind, Trask turned slightly red, realizing that he had been the butt of a joke. "Well, if your game is over," he harrumphed, trying to save some dignity, "then let's get go! They need us at the bridge as soon as possible." Trask started toward the door when Will cleared his throat.
"Ahem. Forgetting something?" he asked sarcastically, indicating his own half-naked body.
"No, wh- Oh." His face now completed its transformation to a tomato, the sudden realization that he had been about to force his bunkmate to fight in his underwear stealing his eloquence once more. "Well, uh… Why, uh… don't you get dressed? There are, uhm… some clothes in that.. er, footlocker over there." He pointed awkwardly towards the grey box in between their bunks.
"Thanks," Will's tone was still acidic, but now carried an undertone of amusement. "Fighting in your underwear does tend to be a tad difficult." Trask, wisely, chose not to respond, opting simply to remain silent, looking like a sullen statue as the colour of his face dropped to match that of his armor.
Opening the indicated footlocker, Will gazed at its contents, dumbstruck. "What the hell is this?"
"What?" replied the soldier, careful to keep his gaze pointed away from his semi-naked bunkmate.
"They call this clothes? Whatever happened to armor?" Will wished he had his black robes, but, sadly, he had been ordered to toss them away. Apparently they set people off. Indicating the tumor-shaped backpack, he asked incredulously, "And what the hell is that thing on the back? Do they think I'm some kind of astronaut?" Steeling himself for what was sure to be an embarrassing experience, he gulped before outfitting himself with the given attire.
Finally dressed, Will slipped his blaster into a holster at his hip, preferring his trusty vibrosword in the close-quarters of the ship's corridors. "Let's go," he said quietly. He went to open the door, but for some reason it refused to budge open. Irritated, he turned to his bunkmate, angrily asking, "Ahem, Trask? Why is this door not opening?"
"Oh, uhm, the ship goes into automatic lock-down mode when boarded to limit the invader's space. It's really quite an effective system, as it forces the enemy to-" He stopped blabbering at Will's glare. "Don't worry, I've got the codes!" Will's glare took on death-ray intensity as Trask just stood there. "Trask?" Will asked innocently.
"Unless you want a repeat of what happened when you came in here, I suggest you open the damn door."
Trask, graphically remembering how it felt to see the business end of a blaster pistol, practically ran to the keypad stationed midway in the door. Three seconds later, the door hissed open, revealing the empty corridor beyond. Well, empty of humans anyway.
Will's trained eyes quickly took in the droid to the left before shifting to the rest of the corridor, which appeared to be empty. Beckoning to Trask, the duo slipped ahead, Trask's loud footsteps a marked contrast to Will's barely audible footfalls. The pair reached the door at the end of the corridor, once more to find it locked. "This door has been electromagnetically sealed..." Trask Ulgo began.
"Hey, Captain Obvious?" the irritated Will Sabriel interrupted, "I'm not Sidekick Self-Evident. Spare me. Can you open it or not?"
"… However, thankfully, I've got the security skills to open electromagnetically sealed doors." Trask finished. He once more made his way to the door as Will started ranting. "No wonder the Endar Spire is being overrun, the defense systems here are useless. They lock the soldiers in their own rooms... Why didn't I get the code, by the way?" Trask was about to answer, but Will pressed on, apparently not actually caring. "Then they seal the doors that would help those soldiers save the ship. Doesn't quite make sense, but, whatever."
He trailed off as the door opened, revealing a lone Republic soldier standing in the middle of a carbon-scored hallway, facing off against two Sith soldiers. Both parties were spraying blaster bolts, which hit seemingly everywhere except their intended target. Why are you standing in the open? Will wondered incredulously, find some cover, you idiot. However, apparently his wish hadn't been heard as one of the Sith's shots finally found its mark, killing the soldier instantly.
Planning to stage an ambush, Will took a position by the side of the door closer to the soldiers, expecting to kill them as they came through the doorway. Trask, however, had his own ideas. "For the Republic!" he yelled, as he ran through the doorway, somehow arriving at the conclusion that by repeating the other soldier's actions, he would have more success. Wondering if the Republic's training standards were high enough, Will rushed to save his bunkmate. Trask, incredibly, managed to shoot one of the soldiers before getting shot in his left shoulder, the only thing saving him from a fatal head wound being his bunkmate kicking the offending soldier in the stomach, causing the poor victim to bend over before decapitating him.
Trask made to move on, but a silent gesture from Will stopped him. "What are you doing?" he asked his comrade as Sabriel took some grenades from a soldier's pocket. "Asset denial," Will said simply, taking a medpack and some credit from the other soldier's belt, "They don't need it, we might."
"But… they're dead, that's disrespectful!" Trask was once again outraged, his apparently defective memory making him forget that he was shouting at the man who just saved his life.
"And unless you want to be too, you'll let me use this medpack to patch up your shoulder." To Will's ears, Trask's complaints had about the same value as verbal vomit. "Or do you want to bleed to death?"
Suitably chastened, Trask silently submitted to Will's ministrations, who finished his work by jovially declaring, "Oh, and, by the way, if you shout at me again, it might occur that I will be too late to save your life. Again. Understood?" His roommate gulped, paling a little as he resolved as to be more mindful of whom he was shouting at.
The duo moved on, passing through a doorway to watch a scene unfold before them. A Sith squadron of 6 soldiers was mowing down Republic troops as they stupidly ran from their protected position at the silver-armored individuals. The universally inept ensigns seemed rather intent on breaking the Guinness Universe Record for biggest mound of bodies (Malachor V held the current record). Trask, predictably, ran to join the fight, but, this time, Will was prepared, catching his arm and pulling him backwards before he became interior decorating. "Are you crazy?" Will hissed.
"What else am I going to do? They're killing our soldiers, it's our duty to stop them!" Trask's incessant patriotic spiel was starting to get on Will's nerves. He took out one of the fragmentation grenades that he had pilfered from the dead soldiers. "Ever heard of one of these?" he asked sarcastically. "They tend to come in handy when trying to take out lots of people without getting your head blown off. Here, knock yourself out."
He gave it to Trask, who pulled the pin with a vengeful grin on his face. Holding the grenade in his hands for a second so that it would detonate immediately upon landing, Trask lobbed the little ball towards the clump of soldiers, ducking as soon as he did so. They immediately started shooting at the spot his head had just vacated, but, unfortunately for them, that didn't quite save their lives. The frag grenade detonated, sending shrapnel in every direction, going through armor, flesh, and bone. In short, the soldiers were mincemeat.
"Better," instructed Will, "but, next time, remember you have a blaster. That means you take cover and shoot. Leave the fancy close-up stuff to me, ok?" Trask nodded enthusiastically; apparently they didn't teach common sense at the military academy. As his partner made to loot the bodies, Trask opened his mouth to complain, but then, remembering that the grenade that had saved his life was "recovered", instead went to help with the task, his face turning a sickly shade of green as he saw the corpses' shredded bodies up close.
When they finished their task, the two Republic soldiers made their way to the bridge. Noticing the apparent absence of frantic commands, or even blaster fire, Will realized that the bridge had been taken over by the Sith troops. "Trask, I want you to go behind that crate over there, and cover me with your blaster," he commanded. "When I open that door, I want you to shoot at any Sith soldiers you see, ok?"
Trask, having realized that his partner was a lot more experienced than he was, obeyed, quietly shuffling along behind the indicated crate. Good boy, Will thought. Ok, one… two… three! He opened the door, immediately throwing himself behind a console to avoid any incoming blaster fire. A heartbeat later, red blaster bolts followed as Trask let loose with his blaster pistol.
The soldiers reacted quickly, spreading out among the consoles to make themselves smaller targets. Five soldiers, Will counted, surprised. Only a single squadron to take out the bridge of a Republic ship? Signaling to Trask to take the two on the right, Will took a moment to plan his assault. Ok, so there are three soldiers ahead of me. One's on the other side of this console, and two others are about two meters to his left.
Taking a quick breath to calm his racing heart, he exploded into action. Turning the corner, he kicked the nearby Sith trooper, the unexpected force of the attack making him fly into his two comrades. Taking advantage of the soldiers' confusion, Will jumped at them, slashing a soldier's neck and stabbing another in the chest faster than an eye could blink.
The last soldier, having seen how quickly his friends were cut down, put down his blaster and placed his hands behind his head. "Please, sir!" he begged, "I have a family, a wife, kids! What will they do without me? Let me live, please!" Unmoved, Will didn't even deign to stab him, walking behind him as if letting him go, he smirked as the soldier's shoulders drooped in relief… and then turned around and broke his neck.
Looking ahead, Will saw that Trask had managed to kill both Sith soldiers. Not bad, he mentally amended, perhaps Republic standards aren't too low. Turning to congratulate his comrade on two clean kills, he saw one more Sith soldier behind Trask, the back of his head reflected in the trooper's silver armor as he aimed a gun at it. Evidently, this one had been smart enough to circle around at the first sign of trouble. Stupid, he berated himself, Sith squadrons have six soldiers, not five. Not having time to warn his partner, Will drew his mini-blaster with his left hand, aimed, and shot. His aim, of course, was true: the soldier had only the time to do one thing before dying – a keen observer would have heard a soft exclamation of "schutta" escape his lips, before they were reduced to ash.
Trask, having the reflexes of a dead cat, only just now rolled out of the way, the thud of the body hitting the ground coming slightly before the impact of him hitting one of the work consoles. Even from across the room, the ensign's gasping breaths were audible. Smirking to himself, Will started making his way to his partner, intending to assist with his private heart attack.
However, when he got there, he saw that not all was good. "Oh, crap." Will let out a soft whistle at Trask's injury. The soldier had a foot-long hole along his side, the affected area completely blackened, and the surrounding skin already turning an angry shade of red. Shocked, Will simply stood there, remembering a similar scenario, long ago, until one of Trask's pained groans shook him out of his reverie. "It's going to be ok," he whispered to his dying comrade, "we'll get out of here yet." I won't mess this up again.
Seeing the profound pain in his partner's eyes, Trask realized that a little humor would not go unappreciated. And so, he winked. "Let's show these Sith bastards, eh?"
Will smiled and lifted the ensign, wrapping one arm around his shoulders to support him as he walked. "Now, seeing as the bridge is clear, that must mean that Bastila and whatever remained of the crew have already abandoned ship. So I believe that it is time to head for the escape pods, before we get blown to smithereens." The medpack will have to wait until we're on the way to Taris, Will decided, there's no time to waste.
"Yeah," joked Trask, "I've got a dentist appointment next week that I cannot miss!"
The duo ran out of the bridge, heading towards the starboard side of the ship, where the escape pods were located. However, considering Trask's injured state, perhaps a three-legged hobble would be a more appropriate description. The soldier's condition was getting worse with each meter travelled. By the time they reached the corridor linking the port and starboard sides of the ship, he was sweating profusely, and his breathing was coming very raggedly. Things really couldn't get much worse.
Or, perhaps they could. The door in front of them opened, revealing a dark Jedi in the room beyond, shiny bald head a contrast to his dark grey robe. However, most of their attention was taken by the double-bladed lightsaber at his waist. A malicious grin spread on the corrupted Jedi's face as he regarded his prey, taking a moment to savour their fear before moving to sate his bloodlust. Trask, however, was a little bit faster. Jumping to the keypad controlling the door, he frantically entered a code. The dark Jedi, realizing what he was doing, only had time to send a bolt of lightning at the ensign before the door shut, electromagnetically sealed.
However, that was all it took. Trask fell to the ground, his breathing short and rapid as his convulsing chest tried unsuccessfully to take in oxygen. Will, acutely remembering his earlier threat, rushed to his friend's side, the cold, professional side of him noting the severity of the soldier's injuries. Opening a medpack, he started taking out a dose of morphine when a hand closed the box. "Save it," Trask choked out, "you'll… need it..." a hacking cough shook through his body, "much more than me."
Speechless, Will could do nothing but watch as his comrade took one last breath, shuddered, and was still. Not again, Will lamented, remembering why he stopped being an assassin. Ever the pragmatist, he moved to take some materials from the body – a few grenades, a blaster, some medpacks. However, when he looked up he saw Trask's eyes open, their empty, glassed-over gaze following him, accusatory, as if Trask disapproved even from beyond the grave. Taking a moment to close his eyes, Will placed the newly acquired materials in his pack and walked away.
Moving on, Will found a lone soldier around the next corner. Grim lips set in a line, his mood was bettered by the prospect of exacting a little revenge. And so it was that a soldier and his head were left in his wake, the blood spurting from the body covering the floor in a slick, slippery surface. He was entering the following room when he received a message.
"This is Carth Onasi on your personal communicator. I have been tracking your progress using the Endar Spire's life support system. You are the last surviving crewmember on board. Bastila already abandoned ship, jettisoning her escape pod to the planet below. There's only one pod left, but I can't wait long! Now that Bastila's escaped, there's nothing stopping the Sith from making us just another cloud of space dust. Watch out, though, there's a whole platoon of Sith troopers in the next room. Good luck, Onasi out."
Great. A platoon. Let's have some fun. Will looked around him, eyes finally alighting on a broken battle droid. Replacing some broken parts, he watched as the droid, now in patrol mode, strode courageously into the Sith-filled room, first taking down one, then two, then three Sith soldiers… before exploding, the sheer volume of blaster fire directed at it causing a literal melt-down. Inwardly groaning at the prospect of facing 5 alert soldiers in a tiny room, Will came up with an idea. Moving, once again, to the side of the door, he imitated the voice of the trooper he killed on the bridge. "Please, sir! I've got a family, a wife, kids! Let me live!"
Preparing himself as he heard one of the soldiers inside cry out, "That was Anakin!", Will smirked as three of the troopers rushed to save their "comrade", only to find themselves staring at the business end of a vibrosword. Two of them were cut down in a heartbeat, the final one only having time to let out a brief scream before his air was cut off – along with the rest of his head. Giving the two remaining men inside no time to react, Will rolled in, and smartly so, as the stream of plasma from the soldiers' weapons went sailing high above his head. Using his vibrosword, he cut through the soldiers' knees, eventually dispatching the two of them unceremoniously with blaster bolts to the head.
He passed through the room into the escape pod bay, where he found Carth Onasi waiting. "There you are, finally. Come on, we've got to get out of here!" the captain pushed as he made his way towards the escape pod. They jumped in, Will only just managing to secure his seatbelt before they blasted off. Good timing too. Will sent off a quick nod of gratitude towards Trask Ulgo's corpse as it was incinerated in the Endar Spire's explosion.
However, he had no more time to think as the pod hurtled through the planet's atmosphere, becoming red as the friction from the outside heated the escape pod. Looking outside the viewport he watched as the ground came closer and closer, realizing only just before impact that he should have assumed crash position. He would regret the mistake when he woke up, a monster headache created by the large amounts of trauma caused by both sides of his brain hitting his skull. Or, in simpler terms, his head hitting the pod wall.
The pod hit the ground, smashing into the Tarisian street before bouncing up again and stopping inside a massive statue just outside the Sith military base. Carth, realizing that his fellow passenger was knocked out with a concussion, removed his charge's seat-belt and carried him out from the pod, racing away towards a nearby apartment block before the Sith could capture them.