For Lossalfalme's awesome 'corner' challenge. I'm a little tipsy from the Borinque dance party across the street. Hic...hic...
Short and unbeta'd. I'm assuming that the reader knows the background of KOTOR. Eight-Ball in the corner pocket...plunk
I just have to turn the corner, thought Dustil Onasi, who hid in the shadows of the halls of the Sith Academy. His back was tightly pressed into the cold, stone wall and he could feel cold perspiration trickle down his back, soaking his black robes. I just have to turn the corner and go in. All my questions will be answered. Isn't that what I want? Isn't that the reason I came to Korriban…to discover the truth?
The young Sith adept's face was taut with inner turmoil – everything that he had come to believe in was being destroyed. In one short month, his fortress of loathing had come under siege and then came crashing down…because of them. Reluctantly, he peered around the corner of the hallway leading down to Master Uthar Wynn's quarters. In the frigid corridor, his breathing quickened as if the master himself stood around the bend and would fry him for his insolence and betrayal. He shook off the thought, but the prickly gooseflesh remained on his skin.
His eyes focused in on the open door and then beyond on the Cathar, Juhani. She's digging through Master Uthar's things! What am I doing here? We'll be found out and tortured! Panic surged through his veins. How could they not be discovered? Then, the man he had hated for so many years stepped into his view, holding up the master's Sith robes as if they were mere rags to clean his blasters - his father…Captain Carth Onasi.
I should have killed him when I had the chance. I could have turned them in and I would be made a Sith for sure. Why? Why didn't I do it? Master Yuthura was just around the corner when they came in. Now, it's too late. I'd be implicated for sure.
The young man thought for a moment at how his father's female companion glared at him when he threatened to go to the Sith masters. There was a dark fire in her eyes and he knew she meant business - he nearly wet himself then. Dustil snorted and thought deeper into his predicament. My father told me he could prove the Sith were evil…that he didn't abandon mother and I. How can I believe that? He is the evil one…and that she witch of his. If only I could get myself around this corner…I could prove them wrong and be rid of that odious man once and for all.
Dustil took a hesitant step into the hallway, but his knees grew weak and sweat beaded on his brows. His stomach tightened like it was in the grip of a rancor and his breath left him. Heart pounding in his chest, he slunk back behind the corner. Damn…damn me. Why can't I do it? What am I afraid of? I know father left her to die on Telos. I know he left me for the carrion feeders. The Sith are my new family now. Why should I trust him?
The young man let out a long, strained breath as he pressed his back into the wall. He shook his head at his own fear and thought back to how and why he had entered the Sith Academy. His cherubic cheeks flushed red with surges of anger for his father. He drove me here. His betrayal. I knew I could find the truth here. They took me in…gave me a home. They gave me purpose.
He closed his eyes and for a moment, he saw in his mind a young woman, who had entered the Academy with him. Her face was full of passion and hunger for learning and her green eyes gleamed at him. His breathing relaxed and the heat of resentment flowed away for a time. Lorna…what happened to you? Master Uthar told me that you left…that you didn't fit in. You wanted to tell me something…something urgent. Then, you were gone. What was it, Lorna? What was it? I miss you. You were always honest with me. You always told me that the truth was the most important thing. Why am I stuck behind this corner, Lorna? You wanted me to open my eyes. You were the only good thing in my whole, miserable life.
A feeling came over him then, like a soft hand caressing his cheek. Dustil opened his eyes and he gasped in surprise. An ethereal figure stood before him with gossamer strands of white hair flowing around his head. "Lorna?" he whispered.
Her expression was pained, her features taut and fixed. He looked into her solemn, dead eyes and he reached out to her, but she slipped around the corner.
"No, Lorna…wait!" Dustil called and dashed around the bend – but there was only the chill breeze, whistling down the corridor.
He blinked hard and choked down a sickly sweet taste in his mouth. The hallway was empty and the door to Master Uthar's room was still open. He looked back to see that he had come around the corner…to confirm it for himself. With a sigh, he looked forward and the woman, known to him as Mistress Selwyn, stood at the opening and beckoned to him. Although her face was stern and set with determination, there was a hint of warmth in her eyes.
"Come, Dustil. Your father wishes to show you something," she said in a curt, aristocratic voice.
Dustil looked back again down the corridor, hesitant, but his feet took control and he marched into Master Uthar's chamber, where Carth held out a datapad to him. He wanted to turn back, to run away from his destiny and the truth, but the vision of the lost girl drove him forward. The harsh lighting in the room blinded him for a moment, but when his vision cleared, his father stood there before him. Dustil could see that his face was worn and tired as if he had been on a long journey. The young man could see in his father's eyes that they had found what they were looking for, but there was no triumph, only sadness.
Dustil took the datapad as Carth asked, "Dustil, do you know a woman named Lorna?"
"Then you need to read this."
The young man's jaw fell open. A corner had been turned and there was no turning back.