Heh. Great minds think alike, don't they? That's why both Slave 1 and me are both doing a twin exile fic. Either that, or it's a really, really good idea.
My male Exile is Landon Mirth, the older by three and a half minutes. He's a dark/gray side consular. There is a love triangle between him, Brianna, and surprisingly Atris. And to further disregard canon, he and Atris had a very intimate, sexual relationship before the Mandy wars, and I will make some, er:references: to that. I won't post anything too detailed, but if the implications are too much for you, you have been forewarned. Also, I refer to the Handmaiden as Brianna. I refuse to write a love story and call the character 'Handmaiden'.
Landon's sister, however, is a strict, Bastila-like lightsider. Lydia Mirth had a crush Malak when she was younger, but never acted on because, of course, it's against the code. Exile's just about the worst possible thing to ever happen to her in her entire life, and she regrets her decision to go to war every day. (Sounds like someone is in need of a good scoundrel...Preferably of the Atton Rand variety)
They are both thirty-six years old. This may not be the 'correct' age for the Exile, but it fits in my timeline and that's what I'm going with.
Artistic licensing applied when using the conversation with Atton. This is how I felt it should have gone. Be warned because I take my license to the extreme in some parts, but that's how you know it's fanfiction. I'm also a Carthoholic, so if there are any similarities between that conversation and the conversation Revan and Carth have at the beginning of K1, it's pure coincidence. Maybe. Slight coincidence, at least. Or not at all. You know how it is. :)
Also, no proper fic title. I can't think of a good one. I'm open for suggestions. So until I figure one out, I'm just labeling chapter titles.
Chapter One: Skewed Perceptions
They were born Landon and Lydia Mirth, born approximately three and a half minutes apart to the late Levix and Cordra Mirth, on the planet of Corellia. They were not even three before they were taken away to be trained as Jedi.
The Guardian never remembered her parents, nor did she ever try to. Attachments were forbidden for a reason. Even in exile she had never allowed herself to become attached to anyone, save her brother, and not even her rugged training could break the bond, especially if it did not want to be broken.
Landon was more lax than she was. About almost everything, it seemed. Maybe it was because he was a Consular, therefore more in-tune to the force than she was, but he had a air of composure about him always. Unlike her, he tried to remember their parents—what they looked like, who they were, how they died. She had a feeling he used the force to do this, but he never fully explained it to her, therefore she did not know for sure. But when he did, he always got this strange, scary calm look on his face when it happened. It was perhaps the only calmness that ever truly radiated from her brother, and it was frightening in it's own death-like way.
He had that same calm look on his face as he floated in the kolto tank, and it scared her. Never before had she wished she could still use the force, if only to sense her brother's life force. Instead, she had to rely on the reading off of the tank, and she did not trust machines with such important matters like life and death.
"Landon," She whispered, if only to calm herself. "I'm going to go find some clothes—see if there is anyone else in this place who's still alive. Someone who could help you. I'll be back, I promise."
No response. She didn't expect much of one. It had been worth a shot, though.
Hoisting the blaster she had found on the broken droid, she treaded carefully through the mining facility. She had purposely avoided the morgue—there seemed to be no point in going there. She did not need to see all bodies...it was bad enough trying to get her mental image of her brother, nearly dead in a kolto tank, she did not need to see her brother's face in the morgue.
She turned sharply at the noise. The blaster offered her some protection, but she would have felt much better had she has a vibroblade. She was a Jedi, after all. They trained in swordsmanship, not a shooting gallery. The droids had gone mad, she figured. Something had corrupted their internal programing and was causing them to shoot at her.
As if the mad droids were not enough, there was also that soft hum wavering in the back of her mind. It felt like the sedatives had began to warn off, only more subtly. It almost felt like...but no, she had lost that ability years ago, no need to pretend she still could feel the force.
She opened the door that lead to main area silently, putting a piece of her blonde braid back out of her face. She jumped nervously at the laser coming her way. Of course, she chided herself. Droids are stalking every other part of this place...why wouldn't they be in the main section?
She was outnumbered greatly, and with only a blaster, in her underwear, she didn't stand a chance fighting against them. Her Guardian spirit argued with her greatly at her cowardly running, but her logic won out in the end.
Dodging blaster bolts and other foul things that came out of the droids, Lydia ran as fast as she could. She made it near the front of the room, where stood the administrative computer. Finally, something she could work with! She had worked with computers most of her time as a General, she could do this...
Hoping for the best, she pressed what looked like the on/off button on the middle terminal. To her esteemed pleasure, the droids instantly stopped shooting at her, returning to their original programs.
Score one for the Exile. She thought to herself grimly. Good to know that war was good for something. Without it, she would have never gained her skill with computers.
Panting, she leaned against the administrative computer tiredly. She had realized exactly how out of shape she was, if running away from a few bizarre droids had tired her out this much. She blamed most of her tired reflexes on the sedatives, which she could still feel faintly.
But there was something else, too. It was a calm, subtleness in the back of her mind that was haunting her. She knew what it was, but she would not admit it—not aloud, not to herself. It was scary, the idea that she could feel the Force again. It would mean that these past ten years, these terrible ten years...well, it would be like they hadn't existed. It was strange enough being back in the Republic again, she didn't know so much about the Force returning to her.
And then there were the rumors she heard—the ones concerning Revan. She didn't know Revan as well as her brother did, but she did know Malak...quite well, in fact. The fact that he was dead stung her deeply in her heart, a few feelings evoked that she hadn't fully realized was there. She knew he had become the Dark Lord of the Sith, but...
...it didn't make it hurt any less, she realized. She shook such feelings away harshly. To feel something like that would go against everything she had been raised, as a Jedi, to believe, and she wasn't ready to abandon her code, not even in exile.
Still holding her blaster, she gathered what little strength she had and carried on. So now there were no droids shooting at her, and while that was all well and good, it was still not helping her any to Find Clothes or Get Off The Planet or Figure Out What's Going On or Save the Idiot Brother quests, and she considered those of admirable importance.
Cautiously, she opened a door she realized had been locked earlier. Her blaster was still raised, though there was a funny feeling in her mind that told her she didn't need it beyond these walls. She refused to listen to instinct–not when her life could be in danger...
To her surprise, no droids awaited her, but instead a man did. He was in his mid-thirties, with dark brown hair and similar colored eyes. He was sitting cross-legged inside a force cage with a old and trusted Pazaak deck as his only company. He let out a low whistle as soon as he saw her.
"Nice outfit. You miner's change uniform regulations while I've been in here? Can't say I mind the change all that much..." He said with a knowing smirk.
Lydia glared. "Who are you?"
He frowned bitterly. "Atton, Atton Rand. Excuse me if I don't shake hands, field only causes mild electrical burns."
"Cute...You could almost pass as a hutt-spawn if you got any cuter." She spat tiredly. She did not need the Force to know where his gaze was heading. "Keep your eyes up, pal."
He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly. "Need I remind you that you're the one who's interrogating me in your underwear?"
Her face turned a slight pink color, but she bit her lip determinedly. She was not going to let this scoundrel get to her like this. "Least I'm not in a force change." She taunted.
"Hey! I did nothing wrong! Security claimed I tripped up some sort of regulation...stupid really, considering they stopped feeding me shortly after they threw me in here."
Lydia laughed. "If you were expecting sympathy from me while your undressing me with your eyes, you are terribly mistaken." She frowned lightly. "Besides, this place is practically abandoned...I wonder why."
"Probably because those Jedi showed." He said, oddly amused. "See, these two Jedi showed up, and a couple of those stupid miners thought they'd be smart and try to sell off the Jedi to the Exchange...Well, that plan backfired in their faces. See, that why I'm in here, I was trying to–"
"Wait." Lydia stopped him. "There's a bounty on Jedi? Why?"
He gave her an inquisitive look. She lowered her head almost shamefully. "I've been out of the Republic for a while now, alright?"
"That's not it. That's part of it, but there's also..." His eyes widened suddenly. "You're one of the Jedi, aren't you? I thought there were two of you."
"There is," She answered. "The other is my brother, Landon."
Atton let out a breath of fake air he had been holding in. "At least you didn't say 'husband' or 'fiancé' or 'boyfriend'. I might've cried."
"Don't be ridiculous, such things are against the Jedi Code." She said off-handedly, as if she was reminding her brother instead of this stranger.
"And that's a shame, really." He said with a smirk. His eyes moved slightly lower...
"Stop it. Now." She growled.
"Hey, I've been in prison for a long time now—haven't seen a body as good as yours since I was at the cantina on—"
"That's enough, really." She stopped him. "Tell me more about this bounty. Why is there one?"
Atton laughed. "You shouldn't be insulted, you know. It's a compliment, really."
"Atton, don't make me shoot you." She said, waving the blaster she still held in her hand as a reminder.
"Can I at least know your name before you start giving out death threats?" He asked with an eyebrow raised.
Her face turned a pale pink. "Lydia. Lydia Mirth."
"Nice meeting you, Lydia." He smiled lightly. "Now, I believe you wanted to know about this bounty on Jedi...Truth is, I don't know much about it. Maybe it's because there are so few Jedi left the Exchange figured they'd make a profit off of them." He paused suddenly. "But don't worry, Angel, I'll look after you." He added with a wink.
"Flirt." She growled.
"Caught me in the act, Angel." He laughed playfully.
Rolling her eyes dangerously, she turned her attention back to Atton. "Why are there not many Jedi left? I heard about a war, but..."
"You weren't lying when you said you hadn't been in the Republic for a while, were you?" He asked.
"I make a point not to lie unless absolutely necessary."
He smiled warmly. "That's a good trait to have. Anyway, they aren't many Jedi left because of the Jedi Civil War."
"Jedi Civil...I had heard about the war between Revan and Malak, but a war between Jedi...?" Lydia asked, shocked.
"Well, most people don't see much of a difference between the Sith and the Jedi." Atton answered.
"They should." Lydia snapped.
"Don't blame the messenger for the message, Angel." said Atton lightly.
"Why are you calling me that?" She grumbled under her breath. Atton heard her.
"Because when you first came in, I had the perfect pick-up line: Are you an Angel? But then I realized it sucked so I didn't use it." He smirked.
"Good thing you didn't. Some poor kid might've started using it." She smiled.
"Yeah, good thing, huh?" He laughed. "But I guess I'll keep calling you Angel regardless. It seems...fitting."
"I hope it is," She said. "Now tell me about this Civil War."
"It's simple. Revan and Malak betrayed the Republic during the Mandalorian wars, become Sith. The Jedi kidnap and brainwash Revan, Revan becomes a good little Jedi girl again, kills Malak, and then vanishes. No one's seen hide or hair of her since then." A mischievous grin appeared on Atton's face that reached all the way to his eyes. "I hear Admiral Onasi is rather, ah, determined to find out, though."
Lydia frowned. "That doesn't sound much like the Revan I left ten years ago, but then again, it has been ten years. I suppose everyone is capable of redemption, aren't they?"
Atton grinned. "Even me, Angel. Even me. So will you get me out of this Force cage so we can get off this rust bucket of a planet?"
"Awaken, Landon Mirth."
The voice was cool, collected, with a sense of abandoned urgency in it. The smell of kolto filled his nostrils, causing him to choke on his breath. He gapped for air as the kolto left the tank, allowing him the sweet scent of air once more.
Picking himself off of the floor, Landon shook his head wildly, causing his violent blonde locks to drip with kolto. He looked around sullenly, hoping for a familiar setting, or at least one he could work with.
If he was any judge of things, he appeared to be in a morgue, surrounded by several dead...miners? Yes, they were miners. This must be Peragus, he thought quietly. He released one of the dead from their kolto tank, undressing the corpse quickly and putting the wet mining uniform on his own body. It wasn't like the dead man was going to need it much, anyway.
The uniform was loose on him, the sleeves too long and the pants much too big for the small Jedi. He wasn't about to complain; after all, it could have been a lot worse. It could have been too small. Or the miners' corpses could have been naked, leaving him with just his underwear. Or they could have all been girl's uniforms instead all male uniforms. He imagined his sister would not have had a good time with the uniforms, but she would have also been too noble to undress a corpse.
Speaking of his sister…where was she? He wasn't all too worried, Lydia was a big girl who could take care of herself, but still…had she been in a kolto tank as well? Why were they here? What had happened that led to this?
Running a hand through his messy blonde hair, he walked out of the room with the kolto tanks with ease. There was a sullen pain in the back of his mind that felt weird to him, but he ignored it for the time being. He saw that the door leading out of the place had been bashed opened, and he allowed himself a small smile. This meant that Lydia was all right---only she would have tried to break down a door. For all of her famed Jedi virtues, patience was not one of them.
He chuckled lightly as he walked to the room to his left, accessing the computer. He check a few of the logs on the computer, but they only provided him with a limited amount of information: Apparently, there was a bounty on Jedi, and a few of the miners thought they could get rich quick and sell them off on Nar Shadda. Heh, sounded like his sort of people…he would have done the same if he had been in their shoes. He unlocked the door across the hall with ease before raiding the small closet behind him.
Call him a scavenger if you will, but the dead weren't exactly going to use this stuff, and if the miners were too stupid to leave their stuff in a closet that could easily be overridden then they really didn't deserve to keep it, did they? He grabbed a backpack that had been left in the closet and began stuffing it with medpacks and virtually anything else he could find.
With the backpack only partially full, he headed over to the morgue with the intention of filling the bag. He ignored the old lady lying on the side and headed for what looked like the dead doctor. Nice shoes. He thought, and roughly my size. We can work with this, I think. He said, pulling the nice boots off of the doctor. He also rummaged through the man's coat, taking exactly twenty-seven credits and a nice watch. He was going to leave the plasma torch behind when logic came over him. Here he was, unarmed, in what seemed like an abandoned mining facility. There was no telling what else was crawling around this place. He gripped the plasma torch readily, recalling his Jedi training and knowing how to use one.
"Find what you are looking for amongst the dead?" An eerie voice appeared behind him.
"I have, actually. I got some nice boots, a good watch, and a handful of credits. Why do you ask---" He stopped, dropping the plasma torch in his hand. "Y-you, your dead! I thought you were, at least. Don't scare me like that!"
The creepy old lady smiled. "I'll try to refrain from frightening you next time, Jedi."
Landon snorted loudly. "Lady, you've got the wrong guy. I'm about the farthest from a Jedi you can get."
"Your stance, your walk, says otherwise." She noted, unseen eyes peering at him with an unhealthy gaze.
"Well, I was trained as Jedi, yes." He said politely. "But I'm an exile…the order tends to like to pretend I don't exist."
A smile appeared on the old wench's face. "Then, in that, we are the same, exile."
"Landon," He said, shaking the old woman's hand. "Who are you?"
"I am Kreia. I am your rescuer, as you are mine." Kreia said quietly. "I tried to contact your sister telepathically---she isn't as strong in the Force as you are, is she?"
Landon shook his head. "No, I've always been the more Force-sensitive. Not that I can tell much, anymore. I've been cut off from the Force."
"Are you so sure of that?" Kreia asked condescendingly.
Landon scowled. "Of course I'm sure of that. I lost my ability to use the Force at Malachor V. No need to bring it up again."
"I think you're wrong," Kreia said. "You can feel it. There is energy around…you can sense it."
Landon took a deep breath, allowing himself to fall through the Force as he once did. Instead of emptiness, he felt something---like a whisper or a baby's breath. "I feel…weird. Like the sedatives have worn off or something."
Kreia smiled. "That is the Force, my young friend. It's coming back to you. Slowly. Cautiously."
"I-I thought I lost it." He said, breathing in deeply, the mere scent of the Force surrounding and engulfing him. "How?"
"Do not ask how, young Jedi." Kreia said. "Just accept it."
"All right." Landon said. "How did we get here, then?"
"We were on the Republic ship, the Harbinger. It was attacked, and the three of us were the only survivors. I have a feeling we may have to run off again, as this place seems to be abandoned, and our attackers may be on their way."
Landon frowned. "Not completely abandoned, no. I can sense…another life form."
"Two actually," Kreia said. "Though you may not have been able to sense your sister because she is so familiar to you. It seems your sister has befriended the scoundrel, so we have nothing to fear from him. Keep your guard up, to be safe." She breathed heavily. "We should leave."
"What's with this 'we' crap?" Landon growled. "I work alone, or with my sister. You can sit here and rot for all I care."
"Believe it or not, young Jedi, but whether you get out of here or not depends a lot on me." Kreia answered. "So it would be in both of our best interest to work together."
"Fine." Landon said. "But stay here. I don't want you getting in my way." He ignited the plasma torch.
"That can work both ways, Jedi."
Please read and review! Thanks! Also, I'm in need of a beta reader, so if anyone wants to volunteer, I'd greatly appreciate it!