"Don't shoot that fool!" Quinn shouted out as he pulled back his own blaster just before loosing a bolt at the dark-haired man who had managed to penetrate the interior of the compound. The fellow actually shot Quinn a grin – a toothy grin, in fact! Quinn actually snorted disgustingly at him, in return.
Vette called out to the soldiers, rather, "Heck, they can shoot him in the leg. Or the ass! Come on, Quinn! He deserves it!"
The alarms were blaring angrily through the space, along with red lights that glared in a flashing cacophony of sensation. Khyriel pouted at the twi'lek. "Ah, Vette. You're breaking my heart. I thought you'd be so happy to see me."
She glared at him. "Is that before or after you terrified me into jumping dripping wet out of the bathing stall when the alarms started blaring?"
Luckily for the agent, the soldiers responded to Quinn's direction, rather than Vette's. They each backed up, raising up the muzzle of their blasters to avoid firing a bolt at the man. He waved at them, even as Quinn manipulated the controls in order to deactivate the alarms. That's when everyone could finally hear the soft laughter coming from the woman standing slightly behind Khyriel.
"Raina, please. You're embarrassing me." Khyriel glanced back at his wife with an eyebrow raised.
She laughed harder. "You wouldn't know the meaning of the word, actually. I'm just waiting for someone to shoot you in the ass."
"I thought you liked my ass."
Raina smiled at Vette. "Apparently she doesn't like it too much, though. And here I thought you'd impressed her, Khy. Perhaps you should work on your technique."
Just then, Pierce rushed into the room, his chest plate loose one buckle at the top, with his rifle upraised. Vette pointed at the agent, "Shoot him in the ass, Pierce!" But Quinn hissed at her.
"Stop it, Vette! You're going to get someone killed. Perhaps you'd like to explain to Lord Lusiel that we've managed to kill her brother. But not me!" Then he turned to glare at Pierce. "You were obviously not prepared, lieutenant. The damn twi'lek was here before you! I swear, if anything ever happens to my lord while you're busy getting your damn cock rubbed, I'll rip you apart, Pierce! Literally!"
The soldier blanched. "Noted, captain. You're right." He mumbled then, "I hate it when he's right."
"I'm normally right, lieutenant. Get used to it!" Quinn suddenly looked at the ceiling, exasperated. "Broonmark! I may not be able to see you but I know you're trying to sneak up on the agent! Stop it, before he seriously hurts you! I will not use pain meds if I have to repair your injuries."
Khyriel chuckled as a Talz suddenly appeared just behind him. Broonmark warbled an impressed tone when the Sith's brother raised up the dagger he was hiding from the Talz as he'd snuck forward. "Sith surprised me, too. Now I know you're her blood."
Khyriel glanced at Quinn, then. "They're good, Quinn. But it's important to test them, too. Otherwise they get complacent. And we can't have that, can we?"
Quinn scowled. "You got to the last chamber before Lord Lusiel's private space, dammit. It's unacceptable."
"If it helps, I can only think of perhaps two others who might have managed such a feat. Your security measures are extraordinary, Quinn." Khyriel shook his head. "I had to stop and treat Raina for a burn along the way, in fact."
"Two others is too many." Quinn remained angry as he faced his brother-in-law. He directed the crowd to disperse, blatantly ignoring Khyriel's whispered invitation to Vette for "playtime later". Then he gestured for Khyriel and Temple to follow him into the inner chambers where he'd frantically secured his wife before rushing to respond to the alarms.
Khyriel stopped suddenly when he finally caught sight of Lusiel. She was standing next to a table where she'd been eating her mid-day meal under Quinn's watchful gaze when the alarms started blaring. Now her hands were placed onto her hips so that she could properly glare at her brother as he ambled into the room. He was gaping at her, though.
"She's pregnant!" Raina burst out laughing again when Khyriel blurted the words. His dark eyes expressed amazement as he took in his sister's new, rounded shape.
At five months, Lusiel's pregnancy had progressed enough she no longer appeared in public. Quinn had ensured that rumors of her busy efforts at undermining the ever-popular revolts on the planet of Correlia, this one led by a fellow named Torvix, were liberally bandied about to explain why she was so long out of sight. He was gratified, seeing Khyriel's surprise, that her true vulnerability had remained secret so well.
Quinn nodded. "You were right, by the way. Pregnant women do crave ice cream quite regularly. We now have a standing order for denta bean ice cream. Which we have to smuggle in from Coruscant, unfortunately."
"…How?" Khyriel stumbled.
Raina guffawed at this point. "Are you serious? My dear, let me explain …"
But Lusiel held up a hand. "Please. Don't. I can't laugh right now. I'm required to be properly angry at my brother for his untimely arrival and the subsequent disruption of my daily routine as a result."
"You can't be mad at me! I always sneak up on you!"
"And I'm mad every time, Khy!"
"Yea, well. Now you're pregnant! So you're not allowed to be upset!"
"I think, actually, that means you're not allowed to make me upset."
Khyriel turned to glare at Quinn. "You made my sister pregnant."
Quinn leaned back on the heels of his feet, his hands clasped behind his back. Lusiel wasn't surprised he managed to maintain his serious expression and even tone as he replied. Gods, she loved his overly proper Imperial demeanor, she thought. "I enjoyed that part."
Lusiel smiled an evil and dangerous smirk towards Quinn. "Are you saying you're not enjoying this part?"
Khyriel laughed. "Even I know you'd better lie, Quinn!"
Lusiel and Quinn stared at each other for a long moment, as Khyriel stood there watching them. He wasn't certain but it seemed they were sharing some sort of message, even though neither one of them said a word. But, finally, Lusiel turned back to her brother and reached out to hug him. "Introduce me to your wife, Khy. It's been long enough."
Khyriel nodded, reaching out to grasp Raina's hand and pull her close to him. "Lou, this is my wife, Raina. Love, this is the Sith Lord, Lusiel, my sister. You can trust her."
Lusiel thought the introduction was strange enough, until she reached out her senses to consider the slim young woman standing in front her. Raina Temple was a dark-skinned human with short black hair. The markings on her leathered armor were indicative of the Chiss military, however. She glanced at Khyriel. "Was it her force sensitivity that made her hide among the Chiss?"
Raina exhaled nervously but Khyriel was relaxed as he responded. "Yes. Her father was a member of Imperial Intelligence. She's quite loyal to the Empire. Trust me."
"Of course. She can help me finish my lunch, then. Quinn keeps trying to force more food down me. It's becoming tiresome."
Quinn frowned. "You don't eat enough even when you're not pregnant."
Lusiel only smiled at him, though, as they all sat down around the table. She nodded at Temple to begin eating, even as she picked up her own eating utensils once again. Toovee had prepared her favorite meal, fish cakes served with Tatooine podpoppers and bristlemelon. The sweet fruit eased her craving for sugary food, although Quinn settled primarily on the fish.
Lusiel glanced at her brother, then. "I thought you might have come in order to check on the progress of my pregnancy. Except you didn't know about it until after you arrived. So tell me. What's the matter, Khy?"
"You do realize it took me weeks to even figure out where you were, Lou. You might have told me the truth during your last message." Khyriel pouted at her. But she shook her head at him.
"I will not allow any risk to my child, Khy. Quinn insisted and I agreed." Lusiel shrugged, then. "Which doesn't answer my question. You wouldn't have come all the way here only to berate me for not telling you where here was."
Khyriel leaned back in his chair. He looked at Lusiel with an overly serious expression, especially for him. The last time he'd looked at her like that … well, she couldn't remember the last time he'd looked at her like that. If he ever had. Her brother tended to maintain an air of complete nonchalance and utter hilarity on such a routine basis that few people knew he was even half so intelligent, articulate, and downright dangerous as he really was.
"I've discovered why mother killed father."
The statement struck Lusiel like a blow. She sat back, stunned. Quinn frowned at Khyriel, upset that the agent had upset his wife. But he remained silent as Lusiel processed the information. "I told you ages ago that it didn't matter to me. She was mad. I'm glad she's dead. I might have killed her myself if she hadn't flung herself out the window when she saw me."
"I would have helped you. Especially after what I've learned," Khyriel's eyes went so dark they almost looked black. Lusiel frowned, so he began explaining. "I discovered a record of a financial transaction that father had made earlier that night, before he arrived back at the apartments, where he confronted mother. It was a curious transaction, involving the transfer of a large sum into an account that, at first glance, seemed to be little more than charity. But the timing was strange, to me."
He nodded, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "It was that particular night, anyway. And the child the account was provided for had been injured only that day, too. Then I looked into the medical records. They all indicated the injuries were severe enough the child wasn't expected to survive. Further, the child disappeared from the hospital only hours before the transaction was made."
Lusiel still looked confused. But Quinn was starting to shake his head. He asked Khyriel, "You found the child, didn't you?"
Khyriel shrugged. "It was only slightly harder to find you, here."
Quinn sighed. "Thanks for that."
Khyriel didn't even smile. He only looked at Lusiel, grimly. "Her name is Kastiel. Apparently, father absconded with her from the hospital, transferred her to a clinic on the other side of Kaas City, in the lower reaches, the slums. An old teammate of his had established the clinic, there, and that man was the one who treated and cared for Kastiel after father took her to him."
"She remained, there. Grew up in the Lower Reaches, out of sight of any of us, and kept carefully so over the years. She started taking on odd jobs when she was old enough. Picked up a reputation as a pretty good guard and sometime hunter. Then, a few years ago, she entered some Great Hunt the Mandalorians host traditionally. And she won. She's their Champion, now, and fully adopted into their clans. Even married one of their warriors."
Khyriel nearly laughed, then. "I met him. He's more protective than Quinn, here, if you can believe it. Told me he'd 'crush my skull' if I did anything to hurt her."
Lusiel shook her head. "What does any of this have to do with mother and father?"
Khyriel sighed, his eyes becoming sad. To him, family was everything and blood was more valuable than anything. It was a lesson his father had imparted to him, once, and one he'd held true no matter how old he grew or how far removed from his father's guidance. "Because it was mother that paid for the men who injured that child. She paid for her to die, her and her siblings, too, Lusiel. Father came home that night to confront her for it. I suspect he was going to run with us, take us away from her. So she killed him, too."
"Because, Lusiel." Khyriel looked her straight in the eye. "That girl, Kastiel Blade? She's our sister. She's Lucian Phyre's daughter. Only three months younger than you, in fact."
Closing thoughts and a request for help:
I really do credit Bioware's writers for creating a truly exceptional story where the Sith Warrior is concerned. To me, the story tells of a character utterly focused, determined. Even in my very first playthrough, I knew my warrior would have to fight and beat Baras in order to ultimately succeed in their very first and initial meeting, anyway. It was Malavai Quinn, though, with his betrayal during Chapter 3, that really garnered my attention.
That event makes the warrior story interesting, above and beyond the endless routine of "kill enemies, kill more enemies, kill still more enemies". I was pretty shocked by it, during my 1st playthrough, and tossed it around in my head for sometime. Ultimately, I came to believe that Quinn was made, somehow, to do what he did. Then, I wanted to tell the story that began to swirl around in my head. This fanfic is the result.
Believe it or not, though, the Warrior story isn't my favorite of the SWTOR classes. My first character, in fact, was a Smuggler and I still adore utterly that story. But it was the Bounty Hunter story that really took the cake, for me. I love it, every dang bit of it, from start to finish. My husband is sitting here laughing at me as I write, because I've started slathering Mandalorian stickers on my computer, I'm so hooked on the story of my hunter and her Mando lover.
That was the fanfic I really wanted to write and that I've tossed around the idea for just forever. But Quinn was determined his side get told first, and I respected that, hehe. Here's where I need some help, though. I've decide to write my Legacy story. That means a total of five Fics. For those wondering, I haven't been able to really incorporate the trooper (because she's Cathar), the inquisitor (because she's Pureblood), or the consular (because I just can't get into the story, sorry!) into my Legacy, so I figure they'll end up as allies or enemies of my Legacy characters eventually. We'll see.
Anyway, my third Fic will involve the smuggler. Who will also be introduced during my second Fic, mind you. I know some of you are wondering why I'd allude so strongly to the Knight and then hold off on that story so long. But I honestly wanted to be fair, with the story so dynamically opposed to the warrior story. And I wanted to get away from lightsabers for a while, shrug. Khy's story will be last. He's my Loki, my trickster. He's the character who will show up in all my Fics and basically bring everyone together by the end.
When it comes to the smuggler, though. I need to know if you think I should make that playthrough a male or female character. Seriously. I've done two successful playthroughs with the smuggler class. Because it's that fun, for one. And also because I'd deleted my one level 50 smuggler to make an agent and then, later, my Pub guild needed a healer. Long story short, I've played smuggler both as a female and a male. The story is good either way but it IS different depending on the gender, I think.
So please PM me with what you think. Should my next smuggler be a guy or a girl? If it's a girl, she'll romance Corso. My guy smuggler goes for Akavi Spaar, though. If you're confused, read above about the Mando fascination I've sunk into, lol. That, and he shudders every time he thinks about being a king of anything. The Corso romance, however, is absolutely adorable. Funny and engaging, too. But let me know what you think. Most votes either way will get it.
I'll introduce my smuggler during my hunter's run through Nar Shaddaa. So if you plan on sticking around, you can see him or her, there.
Thanks so very much for all your reading, your reviews, your PM's ... all of it's been awesome fun! I promise to keep it going. Take care!