Displacement in the Old Republic 2
Chapter 1: Prologue
"Everything you can imagine is real."
Author's Note: … And this is Displacement in the Old Republic 2. If you're a reader who has read the first story and have found yourself here, thanks for your continued support. As you know from the author notes in the end of Displacement in the Old Republic, this here is the sequel. KotOR 2 this time, but it's going to be very interesting, I think. And there will be cut content. Not all of it, but some.
If you've found this without reading Displacement in the Old Republic, I implore you to read that first. It gets better after the first chapter, don't worry!
I've never really been much of a morning person. Always been much more of a night owl, and that hasn't changed despite the strange list of things that have happened to me over the years. At least this job is flexible, lets me work at reasonable times instead of four in the bloody morning. At least the later mornings help with the headaches I get from the previous nights.
I've got to admit, it's also nice to have a job where you're not sitting down, doing the same thing over and over again for eight hours.
First things first, I've got an appointment with the Duros in the other wing of the apartments here. Opo Chano. I could have gotten my blaster fixed in numerous different shops on the station, but he's smart enough to not ask a whole lot of questions, and he does owe a rather sizeable amount of money... Not a particularly good choice, especially if his profits remain at such a low level. It's still a better option than betting your girlfriend in a Pazaak game, though. What an idiot.
Not a terribly big upset, though. Those two were always arguing, and I don't think there was anyone in this section of Citadel Station that wasn't familiar with their antics.
I close the the apartment door behind me, making sure that the locking mechanism engages. Security went around just a few days ago, interviewing about a bit of local theft. I'd wish them luck breaking into my residence, but it would be pretty easy if I was thick enough to leave everything unlocked. Okay, all good. I walk out into the main module, and into another series of apartments.
I only woke up an hour or two ago, so the artificial lighting is doing wonders whilst it burns my retinas out. I've always preferred natural sunlight to this, but I guess that's the price you pay for when you live on a space station. With all the talk of a fuel crisis recently, you've got to wonder why they haven't started turning everything off at 'night'. 'Night' being a relative term here. Everyone follows the same cycle as the landmass below the station, but it's just not quite the same as living down there.
Not that anyone would do that, though. Telos is not habitable.
I knock four times in quick succession on the apartment door, which slides open just a second later. Prompt, good. The Duros, Opo, seems to be working on a droid's head on a workbench, but I do see my blaster resting on the same workstation, looking almost exactly the same as when I left it.
"Mr. ******?" Opo greets me, the alien suddenly stopping his own work. "I've taken care of the targeting problems. Nothing too complicated, just a rather simple fix."
I paid him yesterday when I dropped it off, thankfully. I grab the weapon, examining it in my hands while Opo seems to hang on desperately for my approval. "Thanks," is all I have to say as soon as I realise that I'm content with his work. The weapon feels right again. As long as I've had that pistol, I can just tell when something is wrong, even before I pulled the trigger a few days ago and nothing happened.
Alright, holstering that… I notice that the Duros is still waiting for something. Of course. "I don't know when they'll be around again, mate. Sorry. But I do suggest you do something about the money you owe."
I can see the frustration in his alien features, made even more obvious by the way he rather viciously restarts his work. I very briefly consider trying to make him feel better about all this, but it just isn't my place. That used to be me – but it isn't anymore. Besides, I've got my own things to do, and I don't really believe that Opo would be uplifted by anything I've got to say.
Brief, but good enough. I head back out of the apartment complex, already walking towards my next location. Not into the office, I don't know if I've had enough drinks to deal with the two troublemakers in there. I was warned yesterday by Opo that any repairs to blasters have to be reported to the TSF. The paperwork has already been sent off to them, they just want to see the blaster. After all, modifications aside from repair are illegal on the station. Though, from what I've seen – they're not doing a great job of enforcing that policy.
There's a small shuttle just a few dozen meters away, and by the looks of it, there's nobody else in it. And since it isn't rush hour, it ought to leave at my whim for the Entertainment Module. I've wondered this since the day I got here, but why on Earth do the TSF keep their offices in a module with shops and cantinas? It's only useful to haul in drunks.
The Telos Security Force. TSF. They remind me a lot of the TSA – they're just as useless, and have enough red tape that nothing is actually being done. It's even worse when they can tell people are breaking the law, and they're not doing anything about it. Not that I'm in a great position to talk, but it's still worth noting.
This whole 'we need to restore Telos' effort sounds good on paper, but this massive space station in orbit is a waste of time and space when you start to look at the numbers. The Ithorians are doing a great job, but it doesn't change the fact that Telos was pulverised back during the war against the Sith.
There's only a tiny little viewport in this shuttle, and the view outside is just as normal as it is every other day. I see few ships in the distance, one of which looks pretty sizeable. Probably the regular shipment of Peragus. Every once in a while I wonder about that place, and if the events leading up to its destruction will happen. Things have changed – I've said it a thousand times, and there's no guarantee that what I know will come true.
A few moments later, and I'm here at my destination. I leave a few credits to the pilot up front, and head out the open hatch on the right side of the shuttlecraft. The difference between the Entertainment and Residential Modules is drastic, even at this time of day. As great as it might be, I pass the cantina. I could just grab one before I wait for three hours in security's dungeons…
No, not right now.
I head up around the ramp in front of me, and I'm greeted with the lovely TSF sign. Honestly, why, in an Entertainment Module? Is it so they arrest people as soon as they start an intoxicated bar fight? They haven't really been doing that, either. There's no officers in the main lobby, just a useless, battered and rusty droid.
"I've got an appointment," I walk up to the machine, leaning against the counter. "Weapon repair certification."
"One moment," the obnoxious thing pauses, one hundred per cent immobilised. "One moment… Very well, Lieutenant Dol Grenn will see you now."
I walk past the rather old machine and into the TSF office. The first time I had to come in here, I was nervous as all hell – uncertain of where I was going and paranoid that the TSF was going to lock me up and throw me in jail. Thankfully, I've survived this long, haven't I? Not to mention, if what I've done is enough for the TSF to come get me, they have quite a few people in my office that are going first.
As if the idiotic security force could do anything about it. Firstly, they don't exactly have any evidence, and secondly, it's almost a joke about how incompetent they are about this sort of thing. A drunk picking a fight, or a robbery, that's something the TSF can handle, and they do a fair enough job at it.
"Of course, you're back," Grenn's drawling voice greets me, and I can very much hear the notes of mockery in there. "Didn't I tell you last time you were here to replace that or simply get rid of it?"
"I think I told you it's a damn fine gun," I counter, and get ready to make a strike of my own – in our never-ending fencing match. Some days have been amusing, and some times that security officer pisses me off to no end. "It's a fine piece of equipment, age aside, and that's something I wouldn't exactly expect any TSF officer to realise."
I hand the pistol over, checking the safety out of habit. Of course it's still on, but it's a habit I've had for as long as I can remember owning this weapon. Grenn takes it in his hands, looking it over. "Same as before, top of the line weapon, five years old, right?"
Five years since I got that pistol – five years since I joined Revan, Carth and all the rest in a quest to save the galaxy from the evils of Darth Malak. It seems like so long ago, but at the same time, I can remember it so well. The good times, the times where I got my ass kicked… Some of the best moments I can remember of my life.
Five years since I met Mission, and all of that was thrown on my lap.
Five years… since the incident. That's what I've been calling it all this time. Even though I heard the technical details from Selena, I'm not calling it a quantum tunnelling singularity, or whatever it was. Just… the incident. People have asked about my past, and I've gotten quite a bit better at lying over the years, that's for sure. Ever since I started saying 'a series of incidents led me to Taris,' that's what I've been calling it ever since. It changed my life, for better or for worse. The first of a few rather important events. Not to mention, after the incident-.
"This appears to check out, I'm almost surprised you haven't tried to get anything illegal past me. The people under you sure think we're stupid here."
"That's not entirely unwarranted," I parry. Conversations with Grenn almost always turn out like this – verbal sparring. "It's sort of amusing whenever one of my co-workers gets picked up, they seem to be right back out."
"You have friends in high places," Grenn points out. "Otherwise I'm sure a lot of you would be looking at prison time."
"If that's all, I'll be taking this back," I snatch my blaster pistol, placing it in the usual holster.
"Good, I actually have things to do. You might not, but I do more with my people than watch them and occasionally yell at them."
I roll my eyes, and head out of the TSF office, ignoring a comment from the protocol droid as I leave. I do kind of like how the TSF have a lovely window to look out of, that way if you work there, you can look outside while you contemplate how miserable your life is. Though, in all fairness, it isn't like there's a whole lot to see out of the window when you're on Citadel Station. A few ships, but otherwise, it looks like a bunch of orange and silver squares!
I guess it's the middle of the day, so there isn't too much of a reason to head for the cantina. I'm surprised that Green didn't have anything to say about that. I've gotten into a scuffle with his people in there before. And because of my position, I rather nicely got out of it.
Still, I really don't want to go into the office. It's in an interconnecting module, so there's not really any major reason for me to not be in there. Those idiots do need supervision, but they haven't gotten to the level where I need to be watching them all the bloody time. But I don't have anything else that I could be doing…
Sighing, I head across the entertainment module, and patiently wait for the door to open into the next module. There's a little bit more activity in here than in the entertainment module. The Ithorian complex is pretty close to where I work, so there are a couple of those guys walking around. I make an effort to keep my distance; they're not big fans of me or anyone else at the office.
Speaking of which, I guess it's time to go see what everyone else is up to…
My finger hovers over the door controls, and right then – my datapad rings with a single note. Oh, good. A message, that could at least me stop me for just a moment. No matter what it is – it gives me a minute to delay going to the dread place of death.
It might not be that bad, but it really does wear on me.
I pull out my datapad, a device that I quickly got used to after the Star Forge quest, and find the new message that I'm using as an excuse to not get any work done. Could just be anyone, hell, it could be a chain message for all I know. However, my heart stops when I read who sent the message to me.
The contents aren't any better.
There is data that you need to process. Contact immediately.
Great, this is absolutely fantastic. Things are just getting better all the time. I changed my mind, I'd actually rather go our offices than talk to this … thing. However, I get to go all the way back to my apartment, since I had to put a communications device in there when I first got out to Citadel Station. That was before we actually got anything set up here on Telos…
I'm not going to look like an idiot by breaking out into a spring, but I move quite quickly through a few modules before I find myself back where I started this day. Residential Module 081. It doesn't take very long for me to find my home, open the door and then quickly close it. The lights are automatic, so that's something I don't have to do.
The room isn't very large, and it's in a stupid octagon shape. But now that I'm thinking about my life, I just sort of realised how sterile and lifeless it is. A bed, desk and a computer. The communications panel, and a locker for armour and weapons. There aren't any pictures, no personal items. Except for the one that is face down on my desk. I ignore the urgency that I should be paying attention to, and turn it back up…
It's a picture of Mission and me.
I haven't seen her in almost two years. Thanks to all of this…
I flip the picture back to its original position, and move to answer my communications system. My boss wants to speak with me – and a touch of a button later, the line is opened. As a result, a blue hologram appears in front of me, that of a middle aged man.
"Hello Goto," I groan.
Goto. He does quite a good job of hiding his actual identity, doesn't he? Thanks to KotOR 2, I used to have a bit of a leg-up over him in regards to his background. He's actually a droid, G0-T0, and he runs the Exchange. He's my boss. He uses this stupid hologram to hide the fact that he's an artificial construct.
"Your response time is improving," the hologram sneers, but his voice is level. "A matter of some urgency has come to my attention. A Jedi is on her way to Telos."
"And you want me to tell Slusk and Luxa about this, remind them that you have a bounty on live Jedi?" I ask, not hiding my lack of enthusiasm.
"I have already notified them," Goto answers. "Your job is no different than it has been since I rescued you from that prison. You are to supervise my activities on Citadel Station, and ensure that your other agents are following my directives."
I do really hate that Goto can hold something over me like that. But he's right, he did sort of break me out of jail two years ago. Hell, that's when my life went straight to the dumps. Before that, I was doing fine! I was living with Mission, things were going well. Said goodbye to Revan, and then the Jedi used me as a scapegoat for his disappearance.
And then you find yourself working for the Exchange.
"However, I am sending you additional information about the Jedi, which I have yet to release to Slusk or Luxa." Goto continues. "This Jedi is particularly infamous for the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars."
"Malachor V?" I frown. I've heard plenty about that battle since the day I arrived in this universe.
"Indeed. You are to ensure that the Jedi is captured, and kept out of the hands of the Republic."
"Thanks for the information," I sarcastically say, crossing my arms.
Goto isn't amused by that, and go figure. He lacks any sense of humour. "I would suggest that you watch your tone. The fact that we are having a conversation at all is a special circumstance."
I keep my mouth shut, and Goto just keeps going. "The Jedi will be arriving at Citadel Station in less than a day. The TSF will likely investigate and impound their ship, as it is coming from Peragus – which has ceased all operations sixteen hours ago."
"I'll take a look at the files," I mutter, noticing that Goto is sending me quite a few documents. I move to turn off the communications, but apparently my boss does so first. Well, that was rude. Doesn't matter, I've got much, much more important things to worry about.
Peragus is gone. That hasn't changed, but more importantly – that's the beginning of KotOR 2. The Sith try to stop the Exile, last of the Jedi at Peragus, and the whole planet blows up as a result.
And they have no choice but to come here. And while they're looking for a way to get off Citadel Station, I do believe the Exile and … her party kill everyone. At least, I think Goto said that the Exile is a she.
I don't like this. I need to find some way out of here.
Well, one thing is for sure. My life is fucked up. Well, more so than it already is.