Well, Enjoy;p This was a while back I wasn't sure weather to post it or not ...but here goes! I don't have a Beta so if their are any mistakes I do apologize;p
Ardun Kothe, a man in his middle forties, failed Jedi now head of one of the republics SIS intelligence branches entered the Cantina. His subject of interest this night was a personal one. Namely Cipher nine now going by surname Legat.
Perhaps it was the physical report which when compared to the agents psychological charts was what had him ticking. He couldn't place a finger on it but he knew Legat was a master of deception and he'd be damned if he let another man on his squad die because of his own negligence.
The Cantina was rather loud this night. Twi'leks dancing the star theme solo blaring at full volume. He spotted the agent sitting next to Chance; a rather shy tech support agent who had instantly took a liking to the agent and after Legat saved his life had begun to practically idolize the man.
Cipher was sitting stiffly his shoulders ever so slightly slumped which was the most relaxed pose Ardun had ever seen him in. He had seen the agent in such states occasional but never when he was present. It seemed every time he would enter the room the agent would instantly straighten and he could always feel a small almost as if extremely guarded fear from the agent.
Ardun had done some reconnaissance before his mission and had found out from Chance that the agent and he went drinking in this same cantina occasionally usually after the Cipher returned from a particularly taxing assignment.
What was strange about the agents request was for every day spent doing a mission undercover as an imperial he would take twice as much time on neutral grounds to keep his cover. Ardun had realized that this was a very strategic choice however to his own humor he suspected that the Agent knew without these rules the SIS would be less selective about his missions giving him grueling, pointless or unnecessary ones.
What bothered him the most however was the state Legat returned in after some missions. He could be downright inverbose covered from head to toe with blood his eyes completely disoriented his mind clearly not there. Then a few days later after high fevers and near death encounters he would simply spring out of the med bay. Whiz through his therapist and be on his merry way. So he had given Chance his first rated top secret on the field mission which simply consisted of Chance before his round with Legat in the Cantina to slip some creds to the bartender who would place Ferias into the agent's drink.
Ferias had a bland and easily coverable taste it was odorless and colorless. It was also a specific drug Chiss physiology was weak too; a small spoonful of powder had the same effect as five scorchers. It was extremely expensive but Ardun had a few connections and he was sure this would be worth it.
He could see Chance was on edge as the agent peered into his drink swirled it expertly around and then downing it in one go. The drink didn't take effect immediately but minutes later he could feel the force tensing in a rigid line like the tempest before a storm. He edged closer until suddenly the agent fast as a racing pod whipped out a knife bringing it to Chance's neck locking his arm around threatening to cut off his air supply. Chance began babbling incoherently. Ardun was close and when he walked toward Legat The Ciphers attention suddenly shifted assessing the failed Jedi as the primary threat he tensed like a cornered animal. Ardun raised his hands to show peace but Cipher simply took it as an attempt at attack. He knocked out Chance with the back of his blade and tackled Ardun. The fight that ensued was brief; he was armed but had left his most dangerous weapons behind. Ardun had him pinned down and knocked him out for good measure telling everyone to go back to their drinks, Jedi business.
The flat he lived in wasn't big but spacious enough to fit about four people comfortably though I knew he lived alone. I dragged him to his bed and untied his wrists slightly to let the blood circulate through his wrists.
He woke slowly. The force suddenly clenched in danger and then dissipated. His eyes stared at me listlessly. "Water" He moaned. Slightly confused at the request I hurried to his kitchen to rummage for a cup. Suddenly the force yelled. I ran to the room using the force instinctively to stop the rest of the blade from entering his stomach. Yanking it out and stared at him aghast. Sithspit! I should have disposed of the weapons! Suddenly I feared what he might do to himself in this state!
He stared back at me as I attempted to slow the bleeding. He began laughing hysterically and his hands grabbed absently searching for weapons on his person, searching pockets that he had forgotten he had emptied earlier today. Realizing he was unarmed he just laughed even harder and attacked me with his bare hands. I tackled him down tightening the ropes at his wrists. Force I did not want this! "Calm down! Legat! Chance! Agent! I won't hurt you! Your safe." I yelled. Nothing seemed to be getting through as he struggled against my hold.
Suddenly he stopped. "Safe?" He laughed harder. It had always been hard to read the agent, I suspected he was slightly force sensitive and learned how to shield but now intoxicated I could hear him somewhat. "An agent is never safe." He suddenly stopped. "Kill me!" He practically demanded.
"No, calm down Legat everything will be fine." I assured myself more than him. "There is no Legat here." Well then "Ciphe-" he cut me off and laughed sickly "No Cipher no one!" His life force becam muddled like a flickering flame ready to go out any moment. By drunk I had meant out enough to still be somewhat sober! The drug must have been stronger then I had heard it never was used for such purposes after all. I could hear something hideous shrieking in his mind half formed thoughts flowing into each other.
"Let me kill myself let me die!" He suddenly begged. His voice was harsh and broken. Suddenly he began trembling and then screaming. I tried to use the force to calm him but I was no healer. My attempts seemed to have an even worst effect on him. The room suddenly began to tilt the depth and rawness of his psyche was breaking down my shields! I reinforced the walls. Only to see the agent who only hours ago had jabbed at me with his dark humor now trembling like a wet ack pup. The image came as fast as they left, whips, fire, needles, metal poles. The pain was excruciating. And then the image of a woman with a scarred mouth moving closer and closer breathing down the agents No! Now my neck! "My apologies Cipher" she breathed. "The mission was sadly not done to my explicit specifications a true shame." Then a blinding shock of lightning. I yelled as cipher yelled trying to move but his-my hands were restrained to a table. Suddenly I was pushed out into my own body yelling in pain as the Cipher howled again curling into a protective ball! I slammed my shields with precision shuddering. "Make it stop!" He yelled. "Make it stop please!" He looked at me with unseeing eyes. He wasn't here he was there in that hell of his.
I placed my hand on his forehead in desperation to try and subdue his pain too no avail! "Stay with me!" I pleaded! Force he was burning up! I skimmed through a list of medicine in my head to see which one would be most effective only to be met with a warning of danger with each one. That couldn't be unless… Oh force he must have been poisoned on his previous mission. The drug I foolishly added to his system must have completely wreaked havoc on his already weakened system! I had wanted to drug him enough for him to be frank with me! Maybe tell a share a life story or two. But I never imagined this! Oh force he would never forgive me for this! I would never forgive myself for this! Karkin blazes no wonder I never made it as a Jedi! Sithspit would he even survive?
I got a washcloth and bowl of cool water placing the compress to his forehead as he shuddered sweat pouring down his brow. He began yelling anew. I had thought he was unaware of my presence but suddenly in-between gasps he grabbed my arm and looking at me with those ghostly red eyes he begged me in a whimper, "please, please make it stop!" Cipher kept shuddering and moaning. How old was he? With his eyes closed he looked no older then my own padawan had been when he had died. And suddenly the force clenched in pain and sadness the heaviness in my chest weighing me down tears threatening to fall! He had reminded me of my own Twi'llek padawan who had died during his trials almost a knight. It's why I had left the order, attachment was my weakness. He had also yelled to make it stop! But I had been too late! I couldn't save him! I wasn't strong enough!
The night wore on hideously. And with every scream and shudder I relieved the cave I found my broken padawan in. He was sent to negotiate with the Albion, he was captured by the Sith. When I had found him, what I had found was not my padawan anymore but a shadow. But perhaps it was more merciful that he died. He had been beaten and burnt tortured and broken. Oh Force! I'm sorry I failed you! It should have been me! You weren't ready! I sat with my padawan as he passed. Oh please don't die on me I had silently begged the force as I tried in futile to bring the agent into a force induced sleep.
Toward first watch the agent entered a state of delirium. He half whispered half moaned half created words Twi'llek mixed with basic some huttese and other languages that were so warped by the harshness of the agent's voice that I could not determine their origin. The yelling began again then ended then began. What cause a man to willingly go through this? He could have retired! Went into hiding! Why didn't he? Why join the republic! A guilt a burning shame for what the boy had lived through! What anyone in this star forsaken galaxy had to live through? He would force the agent into retirement and a career change! Force help him the screams were unendurable ripped from the throat like a wounded animal dying.
Somewhere toward third watch the fever broke. The agent shuddered as I finally managed to force him into a dreamless sleep. My relief was unbound. I was so exhausted by that point that I must have nodded off. Legat must have truly been in confusion when he found a Jedi master sleeping in a chair by his bedside. I woke up suddenly the force screaming in warning. The Cipher had awoken. Seeing me startled him. He reached into the side of his bed pulled out a needled and grabbed me from behind faster than a man reliving hell should be able to and plunged it in my neck. A force inhibitor drug! Where had he pulled it from? Did he fear force users so much to have an on hand supply? When I next awoke I was securely tied to a chair in his living room and he was sitting across on a single seater his lack of armor and loose clothes disheveled hair the only indication he had not been well the night before. The force inhibitor was slightly disorienting. It felt empty with no ability to sense others.
"Why?" he had asked accusingly and with an undertone of sadness. "Why?"
What could I say to justify what I had done? "You lied to your psycho analyzer." Was the only reply I could muster. The image of him begging for mercy still fresh in my mind.
He began to pace suddenly back and forth he seemed to nervous. "I didn't mean-"
"What!" He yelled. "You want to know what I am?" He tore open his shirt and placed his knife over the left side of his chest. I suddenly feared he would kill himself. "You want to see if I have a heart?" He dug the blade across slightly cutting his flesh making blood bead on the knife. "It's right here I'll cut it out if you want you star forsaken Jedi! Your just like the blasted Sith." He was on the brink unarmed and unable to feel the force made me unsure of how to act. He was on edge like a cornered beast ready for a kill. I braced myself for the mortal blow.
Suddenly he cut my ropes. "Get OUT!" He rasped out of breath. Suddenly he turned and threw the blade at me. Too slow it nicked my cheek and stuck to the window which looked onto the Coruscant skyline. He seemed suddenly winded his hands on his knees and suddenly young again trying to steady himself in the never ending storm of his life. I could see him clearly for the first time! Not a high profile assassin who might double cross me one day as his humor suggested but someone who had been so utterly debased and broken who had barely received kindness compassion understanding safety a life that was a dark void of emptiness. An emptiness all those who have seen war and terror share.
Against all logic or perhaps because I once had my own padawan that I lost I felt like I couldn't lose Cipher. I couldn't lose this boy! Force! I was responsible for him! He put his life on the line for me countless times and I'd be kriffed if I didn't save him! Even if it was from his inner demons. And Kriff it all if I was sentimental. I was no Jedi? So who would stop me from caring?
I sat him back down. To my shock he didn't attack. He looked pained defeated, like I had caught him red handed. "You will not tell anyone what you have heard." He demanded. Looking up at me with those hellish red eyes. "You won't" He hissed.
"I won't." I nodded in agreement. Cipher may not be my padawan, but blazes he was still part of my squad!
"But, no more missions."
He eyed me his eyes narrowing into slits. "You would dare tell me what to do! You have no right you son of a vetch! You pile of Kriffin bantha poodu! You scum your no better than the sith now get the Kark out! I let you live because you once gave me a chance to join your side. We're even now get the Kark out!" He yelled rising to meet me eye level.
I pushed him down. We struggled and I punched him where he had stabbed himself last night. He gasped falling into the single seater and pulling his hand away from the moist red spot he shuddered and like a lost child gazed at me. "What happened I don't remember…" His eyes widened. Karking hells! "I…You kriffin drugged me!" He spat. I looked away.
"Why you-" but I cut him off. "You tried to kill yourself. You begged me to do it for you!" His eyes widened. He closed them rubbing his temples as if trying to remember the bits and pieces that he hadn't recalled form last night. "Get Out!…. Now!"
"Not until you hear me out!" I demanded. "You need a career change and you need it now! I am permanently reassigning you from active duty."
He chuckled darkly. "You'll be condemning hundreds of good citizens to death. The information I supply is invaluable."
"And you have been supplying it long enough to be suspected by now!" I snapped. "Or be found out soon regardless." He studied me confused. "You're a karking fool." He muttered. So maybe I was sentimental. Maybe I was a karking fool but if the republic would get information newer SIS agents could do it.
He sighed swaying but gave me a warning glance when I instinctively tried to steady him. He gripped the chair with both hands closing his eyes. He sighed as if utterly exhausted from the ordeal. "I will consider it." He whispered. His ghostly eyes suddenly flickered toward me. "Now get out." He hissed. "Unlike some I have work to do."
I left that day feeling a guilt that ate me from the inside. No wonder I never made it as a Jedi. The next I saw him he was Admiral. He stood at the helm in his Kriffin spotless uniform and smiled down at me as I was placed under his command to assist the battle on Balmora. He briefed me curtly nothing in his eyes betraying that he was once a double agent or that I had seen his inner demons and him in his darkest hours. Hells he seemed to completely ignore the fact that it was I that made him relieve those horrors through my own stupidity. As we stood at the helm of his Dreadnaught he smiled as he briefed the commandos assuring them of a quick and decisive victory. I could hear the lifting of spirits in the force. But as I looked on his smile faltered I could sense the doubt he had in his own words and the fear he felt of failure. The force was ironic was it not? Once he was under my command. It was my words of encouragement and my strategies he relied on. Now it was I who would have to place my trust under him. I may never be a Jedi and he may not be my padawan but I'd be kriffed if I didn't bore him with my lectures and force forsake me if I let my friend die.
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