Knights of the Old Republic II: Embers of Destruction
This is a fic that covers my representation of the Exile's journey throughout most of KotOR II. There are noticable differences to the game, as you'll soon find out, but I've modified it to present it to the audience - you guys - in a way I think that a book version of KotOR2 should.
Well . . . Enjoy! :)
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: Embers of Destruction
Rahnaetian Thoralex Drendellian III stared out the huge window, gazing out at the wounded Citatel Station. He could see hundreds of repair teams scattered around, rebuilding the vast amount of damages.
He could see his reflection in the glass. He stared at it, studied it, observed it. It seemed silly, but he was starting to doubt that anything about him was the same. He saw the slightly long dark brown hair falling into his intense grey eyes. He could see the face that was aged and ravaged by emotional scars, yet still strikingly handsome. He observed the messy stubble that had grown all over his face.
Closing his eyes, he took in a deep breath, calming his mind as he immersed himself in the subtle currents of the force throughout the room. Physically, he was the same.
His trance was broken by the sound of a man walking through the door. Rahn turned around and noticed a Republic soldier. "Sir," started the soldier, "Admiral Onasi would like to see you in private."
Rahn blinked. "Did you just say Onasi?" After the soldier nodded, Rahn quickly replied, "Yes, I'd like to see him."
"Follow me, then."
They walked through the halls of Citadel Station, noticing the medics scrambling around to tend to the dying soldiers and civilians as fire teams raided the rooms, extinguishing any remaining flames. Signs of the battle were painfully evident.
Finally, they stopped at a heavily guarded room. Rahn walked inside, hearing the door close behind him. In front of him stood a man in his mid forties staring out the window. Not knowing what to do, Rahn simply said nothing.
The man broke the stillness in the air. "I never thought we'd meet," he said simply. "Eight years is a long time. It's good to see you again." His eyes - eyes that were wise intelligent, yet at the same time tired - met Rahn's.
Rahn nodded, walking towards him. "It's good to see you again too, Carth. You're right, it has been a while," he replied.
Carth sighed as he glanced out the window again. "It's good to be home. It's not the same, but with your efforts, I have hope it will be in the near future." He stared into the eyes of the Exile, his gaze stern with a fire in his eyes as he continued, "thank you for saving my home."
Rahn nodded. "I had been to Telos many times before the war. It deserved a much better fate." He gave a short laugh. "If things keep going like this, not even my homeworld is safe."
Carth gave a slight smile in return. "I doubt that Coruscant will be in danger in the near future, whatever trouble the galaxy's in."
There was an awkward silence as they both didn't know what to say next. Again, it was Carth who broke the silence. "I didn't think you'd come back to this part of the Galaxy."
Rahn scoffed, shaking his head. "We all went our ways after Malachor. You stayed to serve the Republic, and fought valiantly, only to have your homeworld destroyed. I returned to Coruscant a galactic hero, only to be exiled by the Order." He chuckled. "We both had a great time."
Carth shook his head. "There's more to it than that. I helped Revan kill Malak."
Rahn blinked. "What?"
Nodding, Carth continued, "Yes. It all started on a ship called the Endar Spire . . ." and throughout the next hour, Carth narrated the events of Revan's mission against Malak, including his Jedi training, finding the Star Maps, and the Star Forge.
Rahn nodded, thinking for a second as he took all the information in. He looked at Carth. Once again, there was an awkward silence. Rahn continued, "But I heard after that, he left known space. I mean, you were one of his closest friends. What do you know about that?"
Carth looked solemn. "He came to me the day he left. He told me that he was leaving. I was in shock of course, but after a while I took it all in, and we had our farewells. But, before he left, he gave me an order," said Carth softly, barely above a whisper. "He told me, 'Keep the Republic strong, Carth. The galaxy needs you now more than ever.' And then he left."
Rahn nodded. Anticipating what Carth was going to say next, he stopped him with a sad smile. "I know what you're going to ask me. That answer is no, I never met Revan in my exile. I never even knew what was going on, I was so dethatched."
Carth nodded, slightly disappointed. But he continued, "Did you know him well?" he asked Rahn.
The Exile was silent for a moment. There was a deep melancholy in his ravaged eyes as he said, "Yes. Yes I did. We were both taken into the Order as babies at about the same time, and we were close friends throughout our training on Coruscant. When the Order refused to join in the Mandalorian wars, I was the first person to join him and Malak." He took a deep breath. "And then of course was the war. You would understand. You were there.
You were there with me on Dxun, where countless of our brethren fell in battle, you were there with me on Serreco, where the glories cities were burned to the ground, on Endethron IV, where billions of innocents were butchered and cities burned to the ground. And then was Malachor. After what happened there, Revan and I . . . discussed things. He told me that he trusted me more than anyone to stick with him then, when it was most important. But I was done with fighting. I didn't even consider what he said. I just wanted peace. And so I ran. I've been running for eight years. But I'm not running anymore."
The Exile stared into the space. There was a silence, but this time it wasn't awkward. It felt right. Rahn looked at his reflection again. When he joined the war, he was 21 years old. Young, ambitious, wanting to be heroic. Now he was 31 years old. He physically still looked young and he had not lost his looks, but his eyes - his eyes were filled with horror, with a deep sadness. It reflected the deaths of trillions. The deaths he witnessed throughout the Mandalorian war.
He had aged more in the first two months of the war than in eight years of Exile.
"I guess it's time to tell you my story," started Rahn. "As you know, I blew up Peragus, came here, escaped. But I think you have a right to know how I got here." Carth nodded his head.
Rahn sighed. "Get comfortable. This might take a while. Anyways, it all started when we got to this planet's polar ice cap . . .
Okay, so there's the prologue. The first chapter should be up in a bit.
I am intrigued. I always like the stories of the games, to see other peoples versions of it. It spices everything up :)
No mistakes as I could see (forgive me if there are. I'm not one for going over and over work for editing :xp: )
Looking forward to more!
cool fic, nice to see your version of KotOR 2, I like your character's name. One word: Sick! (in the good way)
Thanks for all the comments and help. The first chapter should be up in no time.
Ok, so this is the first chapter. It's nice to see people reading my fics for once. :p
Well, enjoy! :)
"It all started when we got to this planet's polar ice cap . . . "
It was so soft. The bed of snow wrapped Rahn around like a blanket, and when he regained consciousness, he didn't want to get up. Finally, after so long he had comfort. Taking calm breaths, he rolled around in the soft ice.
It was only after a few seconds that the cold came to him. He jumped up as a shiver shot up his spine. Looking around on his knees, he found out that he was shivering. Rahn looked behind him and found that the shuttle that they had used to come here had crashed. Still in a daze, he crawled over to it and noticed that parts of it were still burning.
He quickly went to the fire, using it to restore warmth to his body. It wasn't enough, he was still freezing, and the fire would die out soon. He closed his eyes and felt the currents of the force. It was blurry, nowhere near as clear as it used to be, but it had been gradually coming back. He was able to feel a bump in the current, a small flicker of light. Focusing on it, he manipulated the area around him, transferring what little heat energy was in the snow into the fire.
Opening his eyes, Rahn noticed that the heat was now much more intense. He relaxed and sat there for a few minutes as his body regained energy. However, the heat began to dull his senses, and right before he dozed off again, he snapped out of it and got to his feet, surveying the area.
We're on some polar mesa, he observed. It was quite large, but he could notice huge black pillars that surrounded the area. From what Rahn could make out from where he was standing, they were unlike any he had seen. He could notice a small bump at the other side of the mesa. "It must be some sort of entrance into an underground facility," he thought aloud under his breath.
There was a groan, and Rahn swiftly turned around to see that Atton and Kreia were both getting up. Atton rubbed his head as he looked around. "Wha - where are we?" he groaned. Rahn noticed that his three companions were lying right next to the flames.
Rahn shook his head. "No idea. Apparently, this is where the Ebon Hawk is. I saw some sort of door on the other side of the area. We should check it out." He started pacing the area, his boots crunching against the crisp snow, the sound piercing the calm silence.
"I sense something here. We must go now. There is underground base here," whispered Kreia. Rahn inwardly cringed at her somewhat creepy voice. He had never liked that old hag, but she had saved their lives, so he kept her along. Besides, they didn't have much choice but to stick together.
Rahn walked towards the shuttle and found Bao-Dur lying in the snow. "He's been hit pretty hard. We have to get him some medical help." He quickly injected some medpacs into his bloodstream. "That should hold him off while we get help," said Rahn as he led the way.
They walked towards the entrance and descended into the underground facility through a staircase. Rahn and Atton dragged Bao-Dur together until they stopped at a door at the end of the staircase.
"Holy ****, this guy weighs a ton," grunted Atton as he and Rahn rested him against the wall. They were both sweating. After they took a breather, Rahn nodded towards Atton and they opened the door.
The first thing Rahn noticed was that they were in a circular room. There was a slightly mysterious bluish tinge to the area, and it was made entirely of steel with a stone formation in the centre. Rahn began to step forward. However, as he did so, about six women lunged out from behind the furniture and landed right in front of them. One of them pointed a vibrosword and Rahn's neck.
He was taken back and shocked. He looked out of the corner of his eye and saw that Atton had dropped into a fighting stance, but Kreia remained still.
"Drop your weapons," started one of the women, "and you will not be harmed."
"Who the hell are you?" demanded Rahn. The vibroblade pressed up against his skin. Getting the picture, he tossed his blaster to the floor, along with his vibroblade.
"Our mistress would like to see you," said the woman again.
"Look," started Rahn impatiently, "you've stolen my ship. I just came here to get it back. That's all I came here for."
The woman shook her head. "You are coming with us. Alone."
What's going on? They must know me, otherwise they wouldn't have stolen my ship, or they would have killed me the moment I came in here. Something's not right. Rahn reluctantly obliged.
Rahn was led into another almost identical circular room. The women leaved the room immediately.
"Wait!" he yelled after them, "where are you going?"
He grunted as they walked out, completely ignoring him. He heard footsteps behind him. And then a painfully familiar voice.
"So you have returned."
Rahn stood in shock, rooted to his spot. No. It couldn't be. He turned around and stared into the face of a woman who looked in her early thirties standing in front of him. She wore long white robes and had an air of arrogance around her.
Rahn's eyes suddenly became menacing. "Atris." It was a statement, not a question. It held no emotion, no anger or hate, no love. It was just a word, dead of expression.
"So you have returned from exile," started Atris bitterly, "and you have surely started with a bang. You've just killed twenty planets. I see you haven't changed."
What the hell? "I haven't done anything," said Rahn angrily.
Atris shook her head. "You have destroyed Peragus."
Rahn blinked, then shook his head. "You do you know that?" he whispered menacingly.
Atris gave a bitter laugh. "You have not changed. You still act before you think, put yourself before the galaxy. I know you have destroyed Peragus. And because of that, Citadel Station will fail. Because of that, Telos will fail. Because of that, twenty other worlds along the outer rim will be left dead."
Rahn nodded his head. "Yes, I know. But I didn't destroy Peragus."
"More lies!" spat Atris. "That is all you have ever done. Lie and betray. You betrayed the Jedi, betrayed the Order, betrayed me."
This time it was Rahn who gave the bitter laugh as he stared into Atris' eyes. "Yes. Yes, I betrayed the Jedi Order. But they betrayed the Republic."
There was a short silence. Finally, Rahn continued, "Whatever. What's done is done. I want you to tell me where my friends and my ship are."
Atris looked up from the ground. She had calmed down as well. "Your concern is noted. Your friends are unharmed.
Rahn nodded. "You know Atris, I didn't betray you," he said softly, yet with a hint of anger and contempt, "You're the one who betrayed me. Don't judge me. Don't you dare judge me. I have seen more than you can ever imagine. I have lived death, have lived hell, and have returned with as much sanity as one who has seen all I have can. You think that it was painful for you, on Coruscant, not knowing whether me, or any of your friends would ever come back?
Well I wasn't on Coruscant. I was on Duxn, on Serreco, on Endethron IV, on dozens of planets throughout the outer and mid rim - some of which are now desolate. And you know what? I stopped it from reaching the inner rim or the Core Systems. We all did. We fought like heroes. We were heroes. I was a hero. A hero that was treated like a villain."
Atris was slightly taken back by what he had said. "Do not use your bloodlust to defend your actions," she replied angrily. "You followed Revan because you wanted war. You wanted to test your skills. You are no better than the Mandalorians."
Suddenly, an anger rushed through Rahn's veins. In that last sentence, she had gone too far. "What," he growled, "did you just say?" There was such a hate in his eyes that even Atris was slightly afraid.
"You were no better than the Mandalorians," she said sternly, hiding her discomfort.
Rahn did the best he could to control his anger. "You say that offhandedly, don't you? You say that as if it carries no meaning? I have seen the Mandalorians in battle!" He started to yell. "I don't care what I've done, or how evil I am in your eyes, never, NEVER say that I am no better than the Mandalorians. I've seen Mandalorians slaughter innocent civilians! You don't know that horrors that I've seen. I've seen acts of such evil from the Mandalorians that I have been scarred for life. Don't you ever compare to those wild butchers without humanity!" he rasped. Atris was in shock at his reaction.
He continued, this time in a quieter tone, "You used to be different, you know? You used to be compassionate, wise, and kind. I don't know if you know, but I loved you." He gave a sarcastic laugh. "It seems so silly, to be talking about it ten years later. But do you remember the day we were sitting in the Jedi temple, and Revan approached us? When he told us his plans, I remember the utter shock on your face. And I remember that renewed sense of hope stirring within me. It was the day I had made my decision. And I don't regret a thing."
Atris stood there, rooted to the spot. She watched as the Exile stormed out of the room, leaving her there, alone.
Ok, so there it is. I hope you guys enjoyed it. The next one will be up in a bit.
I the slightly differant tone you have compared to the game. not bad at all.
Another great chapter, keep it up Lord Spitfire! btw why do you say that "It all started when we got to this planet's polar ice cap . . . " in the starting, why don't you just call it Telos?
Well, here's the next chapter. Well . . . enjoy! :)
"Well, now that we're off that dejarik board of a planet, I say we burn sky until we see lines," said Atton once they had all settled. They had just left the polar academy, and were sitting in the Ebon Hawk's main room, contemplating their next move.
Rahn sighed. "Burn sky? You've got to be kidding me," he said exasperatedly. He threw a sideways glance at the Kreia. "Well, we've still got to deal with this Sith problem."
Suddenly, T3 started beeping. Rahn groaned. "Somebody shut that damn thing down," he said irritably. T3 started beeping again. This time, however, it caught Rahn's attention.
"What is it?" asked Kreia.
Rahn remained silent. After a pause, he replied, "He - he said that he has a holo-record of the day the Council exiled me." His voice was soft, and trailed away as if he was deep in thought. It was so long ago . . . did he want to see it. After ten years . . . I had never thought of facing my past like that throughout my Exile. I don't think I want to relive it.
Before he could reply however, T3 had already activated it, and the entire crew were not staring at the main screen as they watched the record . . .
A man walked down the hallway. He wore the robes of a Jedi Knight, and carried a lightsaber, but if anyone else was in that hallway they could tell that he was no Jedi. As he walked, he bore the weight of death, destruction, and genocide. He walked as a veteran of the Mandalorian wars.
But there was no fear in his eyes as he walked to his judgement. No, there was little room left in his heart for fear. There was little room left for anything, for that matter. Physically, the man looked in his early twenties, but his eyes reflected more than that. His eyes reflected a hundred years - a hundred of the worst years in history.
The bustle and noise of Coruscant hummed in the distance as the man walked through the doors, into the Jedi Council room. It was a circular room with a ceremonial stone in the centre. Different Masters of different races were seated in a ring.
One of the masters - young, compared to the others - started. "So, you have arrived. Do you know why we have called you here today?" he said with authority.
The man nodded simply. "Yes, Kavar. You called me here to punish me for helping save the Republic," he said bitterly. The Masters glanced at one another.
Another master, this time a woman, spoke. "Through your rashness, you have defied the Jedi Code," she said calmly.
The man turned his eyes to her. "Vash - you're a master now?" he said with a chuckle. He looked her in the eyes. "Well I have one thing to say to you; F*ck the code," he said with a sudden bitterness. The woman was slightly taken back. The man continued, "Where was the code when the Republic was failing? Where was the code on Dxun, on Eres III? Where was the code on Malachor? And where was the code when we defeated the Mandalorians and saved the galaxy," he demanded. "That's right," he said, "It was here and on Dantooine, evaluating the situation ."
There was a silence in the room. Another master spoke. It was another woman, but she spoke with contempt and bitterness as she said, "You have truly fallen far to the dark side. You have betrayed the Jedi Order, and must pay the price!"
The man once again turned his gaze. This time, he gave a small, slightly sarcastic, smile. "Ah, Atris. Honestly, I was surprised when I heard you became a master. You, Kavar, and Vash. Heh, most Jedi are about to be knighted at your age," he said simply.
Another Master spoke. This time, it was an older man who looked in his mid forties. "You refuse to hear us. You have shut us out; and so you have shut yourself out from the galaxy."
The man turned and gaze at the Master. "Master Zez Kai-El," he said simply. "You know, you and Kavar are probably the only people in this damned room I respect," he said with a cuckle. "You know why? Because deep down, you knew that the Jedi were wrong, and Revan was right. You knew that the Jedi were sabotaging the Republic. But you, unlike me, were afraid," he said softly.
"Enough!" demanded another master. The man turned.
"Vrook," he said simply. "It's always good to see you," he said bitterly.
Vrook ignored him. "Because of your actions in the Mandalorian wars and your defiance of the council, we hereby Exile you from the Jedi Order," he said with authority and conviction.
The man stared out the window, gazing out at the metropolises of Galactic City. For the first time, a genuine smile appeared on his face, contrasting with a deep sadness in his eyes as he said, "It's good be home. Here, on Coruscant. Here, on this planet surrounded by a colossal fleet. Here, where the Republic will always stand strong, if not anywhere else."
His gaze shifted to the Masters. He sighed. "I was expecting as much. Oh well, I don't need the Jedi. I'm a war hero; A general," he said softly.
He swiftly strode out the room. A voice called out to him. "There is one more thing; your lightsaber; surrender it to us," said one of the masters.
The man turned around slowly, an intense fire in his eyes as he said bitterly, “Very well, master.” He strode to the stone, and drew his silver lightsaber, stabbing it into the stone with an intense fury.
He walked out of the room.
There was a silence in the room as the man walked out. The only sound was the low hum of the silver lightsaber stuck in the stone. Finally, Kavar spoke.
“There is much defiance in that one,” he said wearily.
“You are right, Kavar,” said Zez Kai-El. “When he was here, I felt it; it was as if he was not there.”
“He was dead,” said Atris with contempt. “I could feel it. He died at Malachor V; he is nothing but a corpse, and his body should have died with him. He is a threat. We should not have let him go!”
“Be mindful of your feelings, Atris,” said Vash. “Remember, this is not Revan who stood before us. No. This one walks a different path; and I feel that even now, he has much future ahead of him. “
Once more, there was a silence. This time, it was broken by another, Twi-lek master. “Should we have told him what had happened to him?”
Zez Kai-El shook his head. “Some things are best remained unsaid.”
The holorecord ended.
There was a shocked silence inside the Ebon Hawk. Everybody was staring at the main screen. Rahn especially had a distant look about him.
“Those Jedi sure like their secrets don’t they,” said Atton softly. It didn’t help the awkwardness in the room. Rahn was still deep in thought. They weren’t telling the truth. It was a lie. Just another goddamned Jedi lie. I need to know why I was exiled . . . I have to know.
T3 started beeping again. “You have a list of Jedi Masters who survived?” asked Rahn incredulously. He shot a sideways glance as his crew. “Bring it up,” he gave the order. The order that would shape the galaxy.
Five Images popped onto the screen. They read: Master Atris – Telos; Master Kavar – Onderon; Master Vash – Korriban; Master Vrook – Dantooine; Master Zez Kai-El – Nar Shaddah.
“All of those masters were there the day that I was sentenced,” observed Rahn.
“A curious coincidence,” said Bao-Dur.
“It is no coincidence,” said Kreia. “All things happen for a reason.”
Rahn nodded his head. “Well, I don’t know about that, but I know that I have to find them.” He paused, then said with emphasis, “They know what happened to me. If I have to travel across the Galaxy to find the answer, then I will. Plus, they could help me with the Sith.”
He sighed as he looked around the room. At Atton, Kreia, then and Bao-Dur. He hesitated before continuing. “This is my fight,” he said simply. “None of you have to join me. You can go back to your lives if you want.”
Bao-Dur was the first to respond. “No, General. I followed you at Malachor, and I will follow you now,” he said with a stern voice.
Rahn nodded, and then turned to Atton, who shrugged. “I’ve got nothing better to do,” he said nonchalantly. “And besides, if I’m going to do anything, it might as well be ‘saving the galaxy’ or some crap like that.”
“And you, Kreia?” asked Rahn, turning to the only person that he didn’t want with him.
The old woman chuckled. “You need me here,” she said simply. “There is no question of my presence here.”
Before anyone could say anything, a woman’s voice came from the hallway. “Those are Atris’ files you have stolen!” she said indignantly as she walked into the room. Rahn noticed that it was one of the Handmaidens.
“What the hell are you doing on our ship?” demanded Atton.
“I have come to join you,” she said.
Rahn shook his head. “No way. There’s no way I’m letting one of Atris’ spies on my ship.”
“I have come on my own accord,” persisted the Handmaiden. “I have chosen to join you, despite Atris’ wishes. I want to help you in your quest.”
“General?” said Bao-Dur as he looked at the Handmaiden with a sense of disapproval.
Rahn thought for a while, then replied, “Alright, then. You may help us if you want.”
“Thank you,” said the Handmaiden softly.
Atton turned to Rahn. “You sure about this?” he said with a sideways glance at the Handmaiden.
“Atton, we’re gonna be going all over the galaxy searching for four people who are probably masters of hiding themselves. Plus, we’ve got an invisible army of trained Sith Assassins chasing after us, whose only goal in life is to kill me.” He let his verdict hang in the air for a second before continuing, “We need all the help we can get.”
Atton reluctantly nodded his head. “Ok, but she gets the Cargo hold.”
Rahn sighed as he looked at the Handmaiden. “Look,” he said, “take one the room near the garage. Don’t blame them; we’ve all been through a lot here, and everybody’s a little on edge.”
“It is no matter,” said the Handmaiden, “I am used to worse conditions. The Cargo hold will be fine.”
And so, everybody scattered across the ship. Kreia went to the Right crew quarters, Bao-Dur to the garage, the Handmaiden to the Cargo hold, and T3 wandering across the ship. Rahn followed Atton to the cockpit.
He gazed out the window, staring into empty space.
“So, where to?” said Atton. He had brought up the coordinate charts.
Rahn thought for a while.
“Set course for Onderon.”
Great chapter. However I did notice a slight mistake. You repeated Rahn's dialog to Vash. other then that I loved it.
Thanks for the comments. :)
Btw thanks for pointing it out, I fixed it.
dude, pretty good. I like the way you change the story and Darth SINner is right, so fix it and some grammatical errors here and there but otherwise pretty cool
"Lies from the tablecloth...La La La La La La La La La La...Ooooh!"
BYOB - System Of A Down
oh sorry u already fixed it
~merged posts, and am wondering what System Of A Down has to do with this fanfiction.
Ok . . . so here’s the next chapter. Well . . . enjoy!
Slowly walking into the garage, Rahn was greeted by the sight of Bao-Dur working on patching the ship up, as always. He didn’t notice the Exile. Rahn softly sat on top of the workbench, gazing at the -Zabrak. He sighed as he got off the workbench, finally causing Bao-Dur to turn around and acknowledge his presence.
“General,” said the Iridonian simply.
“You don’t have to call be that, you know,” said Rahn as he sat in the stationary swoop bike which lay in the garage.
Bao-Dur shrugged. “Old habits die hard. To me, you’ll always be the general; I can’t change that.”
Rahn nodded as an awkward silence greeted them. Bao-Dur went back to working on the ship. “We just made the hyperspace jump to Onderon. We should be at the blockade in a few hours,” said Rahn.
Bao-Dur didn’t acknowledge the statement, but they both knew that he had heard it. “What happened to your lightsaber?” he asked out of the blue.
Rahn blinked as he put his feet up onto the wheel of the swoop bike. “The council took it away from me when they exiled me.”
Bao-Dur walked over to the workbench. “You know, I could help you build one,” he said softly.
Rahn suddenly got up. He hadn’t really thought of a lightsaber this whole time. He closed his eyes, giving a small smile. That would be nice. He opened his eyes, suddenly showing an ambitious hunger within them.
Bao-Dur must have sensed, as he replied, “I guess you do want a lightsaber, then?”
Rahn laughed as he walked to the Zabrak’s side. “I remember the last time I used a lightsaber; it was on Malachor V – I used it to behead Mandalore’s second-in-command,” he started as he rested against the wall, staring idly into the hallway. “It was the toughest duel in my life – I remember I was on the brink of death after I killed him. I had to be carried off into the ship, and it took me off the planet and got me patched up.” He scoffed. “After I killed him, the Mandalorians started to break rank. For a while, at least. Long enough for the Republic to turn the tide.”
Bao-Dur nodded. “It must have been something.”
Rahn shrugged. “The school history books will rave on about the famous duel where Revan killed Mandalore, throwing the enemy ranks into chaos and disarray. No one’s going to remember General Drendellian killing his second-in-command. But I’ll tell you one thing; it was still pretty damn epic.” He laughed again. “I would say ‘those were the days,’ or ‘good times,’ except for the fact that those were the worst times in my life.”
“General, the lightsaber?”
Rahn snapped out of his flashback, looking at the Technician. “Huh? Oh, yeah. Right, the lightsaber. Well, to start off, there are going to be some parts I’ll need . . .”
Bao-Dur nodded. “I’ve gone through your supplies, and you have everything except for a crystal. With that, I can construct it.”
“Well,” said Rahn hesitantly, “that might take a while. You see, it’s a Jedi tradition for the wielder to create the crystal . . .”
Bao-Dur couldn’t help but chuckle. “General, I just heard you say, ‘F*ck the code,’ in front of the Jedi Council.”
Rahn shook his head. “I’m not a Jedi, but this is one of the things that the Jedi actually do right. I don’t expect you to understand, but the lightsaber is like an extension of the wielder. It reflects the personality and . . . presence of the wielder.”
Bao-Dur shrugged. “Whatever you want, General. I’m just saying; if it were me, I wouldn’t give a damn about whatever you just talked about. If I could have something that could cut my enemies in half with a stroke, I’d take it.”
Rahn lay down in his bed, staring at the ceiling, sighing. There were still about three hours left until they arrived. He tried to get rest, but couldn’t.
Everyone had sort of marked their territories on the ship. Atton was practically married to his pilot seat, Kreia stayed in the Crew quarters, the Handmaiden in the cargo hold, and Bao-Dur in the garage (Bao-Dur and the Handmaiden slept in the crew quarters that Kreia wasn’t in). Meanwhile, Rahn had decided to set up at the Med Bay. It was not as big as Kreia’s “chambers,” but it suit the “commander of the ship” well. It was like his own room. It had a bed, a table with a computer, and was conveniently near the bathroom.
Might as well get some sleep. Rahn sighed as he closed his eyes as he lay on the bed, slowly letting the fatigue of the past twenty four hours since they had left Citadel Station to consume him. He quickly drifted into sleep . . .
Thick, suffocating air. Stale winds, soaking up the death and despair, savouring the suffering. He looked up and saw a city. It was a beautiful city, but something was wrong. It was burning. Yes, the city was in flames. He saw legions of warriors charging through the city gates, into the fray.
Ruptured skies. Skies that were once beautiful, but ravaged by the echoes of conflict. It brought tears to his eyes, as he stared from that tower in the centre of the city-turned-battlefield, observing the death of the metropolis.
No, he couldn’t cry. He had to be strong, strong for his men, give them hope. He took a step forward, then realised that he had stepped on something. He looked down, and saw the mutilated body of a child. Around it were two adults and one older boy, probably his parents and brother, trying in vain to save the boy.
He looked up and saw that the bodies of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were littered across the city, now just terrain for the invaders. No! He must not cry. But how could he not, after seeing this? Would he have to turn his heart to stone? Yes, that was it.
If he had to sacrifice his soul to make sure that more civilians need not be killed, so be it.
His vision blurs . . .
Suddenly, he finds himself in one of the city streets, but the battle is over. He looks up and sees the Republic flag mounted on top of the main building. The battle had been won.
But is this victory? he thinks as he scans the city . . . no, not city, he thinks. Graveyard. He sees the survivors trudging through the ashes as the Republic Soldiers give them food and water. Medic teams scamper around and tend to the injured. But even with their efforts, thousands of the dying civilians are left unattended. They moan in agony as the birds come down. They wait for them to die, waiting to eat their bodies.
Already, there are crows that are feasting on the dead. It is too much for him. Too much death. Too much destruction. He wants to kill himself. No! He is needed, he cannot. But it is so much pain to bear. He wishes he can help the dying, but there is nothing he can do. Then, he sees an old man crying as he holds his child’s lifeless body in his arms. Now it is too much. He suddenly breaks out in tears and starts to sob beside the old man. He does not care that his brethren are watching. He needs to let it out.
After a while, he calms down. He looks around and sees that many other Republic soldiers are in a similar state as they stare at the carnage.
It is too much. He must escape! He cannot stand this! There must be a way out! An end to the pain!
Rahn’s head jolted up from the bed. It took about a second to realize he was still screaming. He abruptly stopped, looking around the room. He felt cold water on him.
After a few seconds, he could make out that the Handmaiden was in the room. She was holding a glass of water and had a worried look on her face. She looked down at Rahn’s bare chest and noticed that it was filled with sweat.
Still panting, Rahn took some more water and drank it. “Thank you,” he said softly, “for waking me up.”
“Are you alright? I heard screaming as I was walking outside,” she said as she took a seat next to the bed.
Rahn laughed as he reached over to the bedside and slipped on a soft white undershirt. “This is why I hate sleeping,” he said as he rubbed his head. “Every night, the dreams come back. This one was just worse than normal.” He swept the dark brown hair out of his eyes and scratched his stubble.
The Handmaiden still looked worried. “Why do you get these nightmares?”
Rahn shrugged nonchalantly. “It’s just a side-effect of war. Ask any veteran soldier, they’ll have it too.” He paused for a second as he stared at the wall. Then, he continued in a soft voice, “And some wars are worse than others. And the Mandalorian Wars were bad . . . really bad.” He subconsciously shivered. Sitting up, he rested his head against the wall, resting his eyes.
The Handmaiden paused for a moment before asking, “I’m . . . I’m sorry if this is a touchy subject, but . . . what did you dream about?”
Rahn remained silent. Suddenly, he started, “It was about Endethron IV. It was a few months after I had joined the war. I had already fought several battles, but this was the first time I fought on a civilian location.” As he took calm breaths, his chest rose slowly up and down. He swallowed before continuing. “I had gotten used to my friends and fellow soldiers getting killed by my side. Well, as much as a decent human being possibly can. But I could never – never, get used to seeing civilians die. The horrors that the Mandalorians wrought there . . .” He shivered again as he opened his eyes, his gaze reflecting a tortured expression.
“After that battle, I wondered how anyone could be so heartless. To kill so easily was a special kind of evil, and it was there that I really understood the Mandalorians for what they were; bloodthirsty butchers without humanity. And there was one more thing about that battle,” he said as he looked the Handmaiden straight in the eye, causing her to shift slightly.
“After that day, I lost the ability to sleep peacefully,” he whispered. The words came out of his mouth, but he spoke to her with his eyes. The ravaged, tired, ruptured, melancholy in his eyes was what truly talked to the Handmaiden.
There was a pause. After a while, Rahn looked away, slightly embarrassed. “I’m . . . I’m sorry I asked you to relive that,” she said softly.
Rahn shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. I can’t run from it, so I might as well face it. That’s what I’ve learned in the recent past. I’ve learned that instead of running from my demons, like I have been since Malachor, maybe I should face them. That way, I could look back at the war and learn from it.” He sighed. “And the next time I’m facing a Mandalorian army, I can make sure that not a single innocent person is hurt by those motherf*cking c*nts,” he said with an intense anger and hate as a fire burned in his eyes. The Handmaiden was slightly taken back by his profane language.
Rahn sighed. “I’m sorry. I’ve probably made you uncomfortable.”
The Handmaiden shook her head. “No. In fact, I want to thank you. I have always wondered the person who you really are, and the reasons behind your decisions,” she said softly. “I’ve come to realize that you are definitely not the monster that Atris made you out to be; you are human. Only you are more strong-willed than most.”
Rahn gave a small smile. “And it proves that I didn’t follow Revan after Malachor not because I had fallen so far, but because I didn’t want to see any more violence.”
They were interrupted when Atton walked into the room. “It’s done,” he said. “We’ve reached the blockade.”
that was quick, btw i thought the guy was an Iridonian not a Zabrak anyway its good.
This is a more intense and personal take I've seen on the Exile so far, nice work!
So . . . here is the next chapter. Well . . . enjoy! :)
Rahn gazed out of the Ebon Hawk’s cockpit window. The blockade reminded him slightly of the Republic Fleet surrounding Coruscant, except the one on Coruscant had about twenty times as many ships, all of which were Capitol Ships and Royal Dreadnoughts.
The crew were all gathered there as they endured the painstakingly long wait that was, in Rahn’s opinion, more tough than his entire stay on Peragus.
Atton, who had dosed off, suddenly jolted up as the communicator started beeping.
Rahn reached over and let the message come through. Suddenly, an armed Onderonian appeared onto the screen. “We have been awaiting your arrival, Exile.”
Suddenly, everybody in the room was on alert. The hologram continued, “Your journey ends now.” The connection closed as the hologram disappeared.
Atton took a deep breath. “I have a bad feeling about this.”
“No sh*t, genius,” whispered Rahn as he looked out the window with a worried look. “There!” he suddenly pointed to about ten Onderon fighters manoeuvring through the blockade. “I’ll man the turret,” he demanded. He hesitated for a second as he replayed his voice in his head. It had been a long time since he used that tone of voice; a military commander’s voice. Forget about that, you blithering idiot! We’ve got friggin fighters coming after us! “Atton, I need you to get through this mess and make a shot for Onderon,” he said tersely as he quickly ran off.
Sprinting to the ladder, he climbed up it and found himself in a very crowded control ‘pod’ (if that was the right term), staring out into space with its dome window. Taking a breath, he grabbed the turret controls, turning the pod around towards the incoming attackers. Pushing all thoughts out of his mind, he immersed himself in the force as he targeted the fighters through the currents of life. He quickly lent all of his focus to those few fighters as he opened his eyes.
He jerked as the Ebon Hawk lunged forward. Before he knew it, he was twisting about in different ways as Atton displayed his piloting skills. Rahn swiftly targeted his foes through blockade and sent a single turret laser into space. In a split second, he had calculating the speed, acceleration, and direction of one of the fighters, resulting in it colliding with the laser and exploding on contact. Rahn set his eyes on his next target, sending another laser; a laser that once again hit its target.
Just as he was about to pick off a third, the Ebon Hawk swivelled around, causing Rahn to lose track. He swore under his breath as he relocated his enemies. He noticed that they were now trying to circle him. Perfect. He switched the turret type to a lighter laser with much more rapid burst of fire. About four of the fighters were now circling. Calculating the variables, he quickly sent a rain of heavy fire onto one of the fighters; it was enough to kill the pilot but not destroy the fighter completely. As per plan, because of its momentum, it ran into one of the others. Both fighters were decimated in one glorious catch.
Four down. Six to go.
But Rahn had made a crucial error. A fighter had snuk up from behind and fired on the Ebon Hawk’s hull, throwing the freighter out of balance. Rahn swore as he tried to focus his turret. The unsteady movement was too much, and he automatically knew what was going on. The ship had been hit hard. Obviously, the Onderonian fighters had advanced turrets.
He swore as he exited the pod and ran down the ladder, sprinting to the cockpit.
“We’ve been hit hard! The best I can do is land on Dxun – its nearest moon. I can still get us down there!” yelled Atton desperately as he heard the Exile enter the room.
Rahn’s mind suddenly went numb. “Is there any other nearby moons of Onderon we can land on?” he asked desperately. But it was too late. Atton had already started taking the Ebon Hawk down into Dxun. Rahn was thrown to the ground as they broke the atmosphere. They were coming in fast; way too fast.
Rahn grabbed onto the seat as everything else in the Ebon Hawk was flying around. He was sure Atton was going to lead them to another crash landing. However, with great difficulty he kicked in the ship’s reserve energy to slow themselves down gradually. By the time they were on the ground, he was softly landing the Ebon Hawk down in a clearing.
The crew was in a silence as they all stood in the cockpit. Rahn felt strange emotions building up, most of all frustration and anger. They filled him up till the point where he banged his fist on the galaxy map.
“Damn it!” he grunted. “I swore that if I ever came here again, it would be too soon.” He turned to Atton. “How long is it going to take to get this ship up and running?”
Atton shook his head, looking slightly serious. “About a week. We’ve had some heavy losses.”
“Great,” started Rahn sarcastically. “Did you find any outposts or camps in the vicinity?”
“Well, I’m picking up readings from an old camp just up ahead. The readings are old, but they’re up and running, meaning someone is living there,” replied Atton as he scanned the radar.
Rahn bit his lip. An old outpost on Dxun? That could only mean one thing. “How old, exactly?”
“I can’t tell exactly, but its gotta be about ten years or something like that.”
Rahn sighed. “Well, we don’t have much choice, do we?” he said as he turned to his crew. “Ok, so here’s the plan; Three of us are going to go up ahead and make our way to the outspost. Atton, I need you to stay here and man the communicator. If anything goes wrong, we’ll need some backup. We’ll be leaving in a few minutes.” He suddenly noticed that the general’s voice had come back.
At first, he was scared and taken aback at it. No, I have to savour it. My charisma is crucial to this mission. He cleared his throat as he continued, “Alright, so I want the Handmaiden and Bao-Dur to come with me to scout the perimeter. Let’s move out.” And so the crew of the Ebon Hawk dispersed as they got armed. Rahn walked back to his room, and opened his footlocker and closet, trying to find the right set of weapons and armour.
He decided to don the robes he had picked off one of the Sith Assassins on Peragus. It was perfect for him. It was built for stealth and finesse; it was incredibly flexible, yet at the same time provided adequate defence. As for the weapon, Rahn picked out his personal blaster pistol, along with another Echani blaster he had picked up, strapping them onto his belt as he slung a vibrosword over his back. Within minutes he was ready.
Once the three of them were all ready, they left the Ebon Hawk and onto Duxn’s surface.
Rahn was greeted with the sight of a quiet, tranquil jungle clearing. It was cold, but in a pleasant way. Frost was starting to develop on the grass, and the light from two moons illuminated the frost, giving the underbrush a pure, crystalline look. The same deceptive beauty; this place hasn’t changed. The second he took a step on the ground, however, he could feel the mushy, muddy terrain that was underneath the frost. The terrain that was soaked in blood.
Taking a deep breath, he led on into the forest. They had little trouble making their way through the passageways, as they never really faced any resistance. Easily dispatching Malraas and Cannocks was not difficult, especially since each animal in the jungle had the intelligence of teaspoon.
However, Rahn soon realized that the threat of this place lay not in the beasts of the forests, but in the demons of the mind. It was when they stumbled on to a certain clearing when they realized this.
The Handmaiden gave a questioning look as she scanned the area. “There was once a battle here,” she said softly as she gazed at corpses scattered around the area. She turned to Rahn, and was surprised to see that he was shell-shocked. “What’s wrong?” she inquired as she walked towards the Exile.
Rahn didn’t answer. There was a look of pure horror on his face as he kneeled down, picking up a medallion from the ground. It was rusted and scratched from the decay of the forest, but it was still intact.
“What is that medallion, General?” asked Bao-Dur. He was about to scan the area for any useful remains when he noticed Rahn’s face.
Rahn swallowed hard as he said hesitantly, “He . . . he told me to take it home to his family. After the battle, I . . . well, it must have slipped my mind. It was one of my first battles, I was still in grief.” His voice was extremely distant, as if he was muttering to himself like a madman. But he was not insane. He simply remembered things best left forgotten . . .
”Commander, we can’t hold out long against their firepower, we have to pull back!” yelled Lt. Doran over the raging battle.
Rahn plunged his lightsaber in an enemy warrior’s heart, quickly spun around, and lunged to another attacker who was trying to penetrate the left flank. Not being able to control the dive, Rahn simply tackled him to the ground. Luckily, they had landed on a mine, subjecting the Mandalorian to a gruesome death.
Rahn quickly got up and dived behind cover. Doran was right; they were being pushed back meter by meter, cover by cover. There was no hope; but they had to keep on fighting. There was no other way.
Turning to his left, he noticed the man next to him was the Lieutenant. Rahn shook his head. “No way! If we die here, so be it, but I’m going to take those monsters with me!” Rahn was beside himself. He felt different; there was this anger and hate rising up within him. He fed on it, embracing it like a tool; a tool to help him fight.
Doran groaned, catching Rahn’s attention. He noticed a deep gash in the Lieutenant’s chest. “Travis, you’re injured!” yelled Rahn in shock. Doran nodded as he winced. He grabbed Rahn by the shirt and brought him closer.
“I just got hit . . . a powerful blaster bolt,” Travis Doran gasped as he started coughing spastically.
“Hold on!” yelled Rahn, his voice drenched in emotion. “You’ll make it! Please, hold on!”
Doran shook his head. “No, I can’t. I have a few moments left.” He stuck his hand into his shirt and retrieved a bloodstained medallion. “Please . . . take this . . . take this to my family on Corellia. Let them know I died with honour.”
“NO!” yelled Rahn in rage. Tears began to well in his eyes. “Hold on, my friend! Don’t give up, don’t stop fighting, don’t stop fighting!” he yelled again. But it was too late. The Lieutenant’s body went cold and limp. Rahn brought his eyes up to the Mandalorians. He felt rage pour through him. Hate and anger; perfect!
He revelled in this power as he charged the Mandalorian lines, cutting them down in an uncharacteristic bloodlust. He laughed a savage laugh as he hacked the Mandalorians into pieces. Even after he had killed a foe, he laughed maniacally as he continued to mutilate their bodies, laughing as tears rolled down his face from his intense, fiery eyes; he made them pay for killing his friend. He made them pay.
A lonely, crystalline tear fell onto the rusted medallion. Rahn quickly blinked, closing the gate for anymore. The Handmaiden tentatively put a hand on his shoulder. “Is there something wrong?” she asked softly.
Rahn brushed her hand off as he stared at the medallion. After a pause, he gave a tired sigh. “There’s a fine line between fighting for revenge and fighting to protect others,” he said softly as he ran his fingers softly through the metal. “I – I alternated between both sides. Half the time I wanted to protect, and the other half I wanted to kill.” He shook his head before continuing, “Those times were I fought for revenge; I’m not proud of it. I’m ashamed of it. There were times were I felt I was no better than the enemy.”
Bao-Dur sighed. “I know what you mean, General,” he said softly.
Rahn sighed and shook it off. “Let’s move on,” he said simply. He took one more look at the corpses. “Don’t take anything from these soldiers. I knew all of these men and women; give them at least some of the respect they deserve.” And so they went.
After a while, they went deeper and deeper into the jungle. Beasts were more common, and it wasn’t long before they arrived at another piece of Rahn’s past best left forgotten. However, this time it was not completely past.
“Stop,” he said as they approached a clearing. Rahn frowned. Something was wrong. Bao-Dur noticed it too. Handmaiden was about to say something, but Rahn cut her off. He kneeled down, scanning the ground.
“The tracks, the formations,” he whispered, “they are heavy into the soil. They follow a scattered formation, and whoever was here, their boots have some strange shape.” They were familiar; all too familiar. Suddenly, Rahn realized what was going on.
“Draw your weapons! There are Mandalorians in the area!” He quickly took out his vibroblade while his party took out their weapons. As if on cue, five Mandalorians suddenly appeared out of stealth. They were surrounding them.
Their leader, a man with dark red armour, was the first to talk. “Nice eye there. Dare I say this isn’t the first time a Mandalorian has pointed a gun at you?” he said with a chuckle.
Rahn stared at him with a fiery hate in his eyes. He looked around at the heavily armed Mandalorians. They were at a disadvantage. Reluctantly, he spoke. “What do you want? I heard Mandalorians had turned to raiding worlds, but Dxun? Here to brood over your defeat?” he spat at their leader.
The Mandalorian ignored him. “We have orders to take you to our leader,” he said simply.
Rahn gave a bitter laugh as he spat at the man’s feet. “Over my dead body, Mandalorian!” he hissed.
“That can be arranged,” said the Mandalorian coldly.
“General,” said Bao-Dur wearily.
Rahn sighed. “Whatever. Just take me to him.”
Good story, I wonder what happens when he meets up with the Mandalorians, there will definitely be some sparks flying out!
SynysterGates, please do not double post. There is an edit button at the lower right corner of your post, so please use that instead :)
The fic is really good, here's one hoping you will release next chapter soon.
@Carsew: yeah, I know now, thanks, I don't know much about Star Wars so you'll have to ignore some of my mistakes.
@Bee Hoon: I know, I double posted for fun and as a joke cause' I was in a good mood, and if you don't have anything to say about the story then don't post. Oh and the reason I used BYOB - System of a Down is because it was a reference to Lord Spitfire's location: The Tablecloth (a funny yet meaningful lyric in the song). He was referring to BYOB so I did the same thing, showing that I understood what he meant by incorporating it into his bio. Got that?
Thank you, Carsew. Nice to know there are at least two people following my story. ;)
Next chapter should be up in a bit.
And BTW, Synyster Gates, relax, he was just trying to enforce the rules. :p
Rahn, Bao-Dur, and the Handmaiden were surrounded by a squad of Mandalorians as they entered the camp.
As soon as his boots sank into the muddy ground of the base, he knew; he had been here before. Suddenly, as they walked through the ruins of the once impenetrable bastion, horrible memories came flooding through his mind. He remembered leading an epic siege onto the base, he remembered laughing as he used the force to choke the opposing general to death, and he remembered ordering the main building destroyed even though his own troops were in there. It was not a matter of their lives; it was a matter of seeing as many Mandalorians dying as humanly possible.
And now, as he strolled into the base with a Mandalorian guard, with Mandalorian Troopers giving him glares and dirty looks, watching as the Mandalorian recruits trained and sparred with each other (the only time he had seen a Mandalorian recruit was after they had capture the base and dealt with those who surrendered), a dangerous pit formed in his stomach. It was not only a pit of hate and anger, but a pit of confusion. Why aren’t I fighting these bastards? Why am I letting them take me to their leader? But I have no choice. Or do I? Thoughts rushed through his head as reason left him.
However, Rahn was snapped out of his thoughts when they entered the command centre. Looking around, he noticed that it was rather small for a command room, but it was heavily guarded and made from steel alloy. Finally, his eyes fell on a certain Mandalorian. This Mandalorian wore special armour, and a different helmet. Rahn felt a mix of emotions boil within him. No, it was no ordinary helmet. He had stared into that helmet before; staring as the man wearing fled into his ship as the Republic routed the Mandalorians in the battle.
Rahn had to fight every fibre of his instinct and urges not to take out his sword and stab the man in the heart. Looking to his right, he saw his companions, their presence calming slightly. His head snapped back to Mandalore, breathing heavily. “You,” he whispered menacingly. Shock was apparent in his voice as he continued, “you are dead. You’re a f*ucking dead man! Why are you here!” The last two sentences were yelled out loud.
Mandalore chuckled as he turned his helmet slightly to make it seem like he was looking Rahn in the eye. “I remember you; you’re the damned Jedi that burned this place to the ground! You defeated be in a duel, but something caught your attention before you killed me. Ha, I remember it as if it were yesterday. But don’t worry; you’re actually a man with honour in my books,” said Mandalore in a cold, metallic voice.
Rahn slapped his forehead as he groaned subconsciously, leaning against a wall as his mind spun. It was all so . . . confusing.
Mandalore laughed again. “General . . . Drendellian, is it? Yes? Well, I am going to tell you that I am not Mandalore the Ultimate. I am the new Mandalore, Mandalore the Preserver! I have gathered Mandalore clans from across the galaxy to rebuild the army,” he said sternly.
Rahn took a moment to soak it all in. After a while he looked into Mandalore’s . . . ‘eyes.’ Rahn suddenly gave a bitter laugh. “Well, that’s it, isn’t it? You’re fighting a lost battle! Revan, me, and a few other Generals spent a lot of time sabotaging the Mandalorians after Mandalore died,” he said simply. He leant in closer to Mandalore, then continued in a menacing voice, little more than a whisper, “we exterminated you like bugs; like the animals that you are.”
There was silence in the room. Rahn knew that Mandalore was glaring at him through the helmet. Finally, in a cold voice, Mandalore continued as if nothing had been said. “That was a pretty slippery escape in the space battle overhead. I take it you were trying to get to Izis?”
Rahn paused, weighing his options. After he realized that they had no choice but treat these Mandalorians with diplomacy, he grudgingly answered, “Yes, as a matter of fact I was. My ship’s damaged from the battle overhead, so we’re trying to get it fixed. I was scouting ahead, and I found this place.”
Mandalore nodded. “I can help you with getting to Izis. I have a small shuttle that can be used for transportation from here to Onderon, and it looks like you need some help,” he offered.
Thoughts of doubt suddenly flooded Rahn’s mind. “Why do you want to help me?” he said apprehensively.
Mandalore sighed, shaking his head. “Well, for first, it wouldn’t hurt me or push us back in any way. However, it’s mostly the matter of giving an honourable warrior some help,” he stated simply.
“I do not think we should trust him. He wants to accomplish his own ends,” interjected the Handmaiden.
Rahn suddenly turned around to face his companions, realizing that they both looked weary. Mandalore chuckled.
“Don’t worry; I won’t give you a ride for free. You’re going to have to do something for me first,” he continued, finally stating the catch.
Rahn sighed. Of course. “Yeah, what?”
“Straight to the point,” observed Mandalore. “I like that. Well, there are two things that I want you to do. The first thing is something that will help us. You see, we sent one of our recruits, Kumus, into the jungle to set off a detonator to attract the animals of the forest and take them out. However, he has not returned after three days. We want you to go to the site, set off the detonator, and kill the beasts yourself.”
Rahn nodded. “Alright, I’ll help you if it means I can get to Izis. What’s the second thing?”
“Well,” started Mandalore, “we also have to determine if you are worthy of our aid. You see, we have a battle circle; a sort of duelling ring where our warriors spar and test themselves against one another, simulating battle in a way, while at the same time vying to gain honour. Your job is to become the champion of the battle circle.”
What? “You’re kidding me?” said Rahn exasperatedly.
“No,” said Mandalore sternly. “You must prove your worth.”
Rahn took a seat on a plasteel cylinder as he gazed onto the ruins of the fortress. He had just contacted the Ebon Hawk about their predicament, and had sent Bao-Dur and the Handmaiden back to the ship with the Mandalorian guide, as he had decided to get the battle circle over with.
He caught many dirty looks and glares as he made his way across the base. It looked very run down, and only parts of the demolished walls covered the base, leaving it open to attack as several Mandalorians were rebuilding it. He was aware of dozens of these different teams scattered around the base, reinforcing it and trying to get it back to its full power.
Rahn found his way to a muddy pit where two Mandalorians were sparring, with several others watching. Gazing through the spectators, he noticed one of them wearing the acclaimed red armour; this man was clearly the highest ranking officer in the area. Walking up to him, Rahn started, “I’ve been sent by Mandalore to fight in the duelling ring.”
The Sergeant, caught by surprise, turned to Rahn, eyeing him wearily through his mask. Rahn simply withstood the power of his scrutinizing glare. Finally, the Sergeant grudgingly replied, “Very well. I will call upon a fight. You will start with Davrel, one of our new recruits. He is young, but has potential. He should be good for you to start on.”
Rahn nodded as the Sergeant called one of the recruits. A young Mandalorian in blue armour sprinted to the spot. “Sir!” he said sternly.
The Sergeant gestured to Rahn. “You will be facing the Jedi in the battle circle. What are your terms, Davrel?”
Rahn tried to quickly catch information from the conversation, not wanting to seem ignorant. It seemed to be that the one who was challenged chose the terms. He decided to go along with it; it was not as if this recruit could defeat him.
Davrel’s eyes shot up to Rahn, who could sense the excitement emanating through the force from the Mandalorian. “No terms,” asserted Davrel. “I fight the Jedi with fist and foot, like a true warrior.”
A flicker of doubt slivered through Rahn. The beginnings of anxiousness started to rise within him, causing worry. However, he quickly swallowed those fears. What was there to fear?
Davrel removed his helmet, revealing a young face, no older than twenty, framed by locks of dark hair. Unlike most Mandalorians, his face bore no battle scars or serious injuries.
Rahn threw down his weapons and walked into the ring with the recruit.
“Let the fight begin!” yelled the Sergeant. More had come to witness the battle with excitement. What could this Jedi do?
Rahn took a deep breath as he dropped into an Echani stance. He had always adopted their fighting styles. It suited him perfectly; it relied on speed, finesse, dexterity, and using technique and quick tactics to outmanoeuvre the enemy. However, he had modified it slightly, adding a little more of a strength and imperfection to the technique. However, he only changed it slightly, so it still retained the essence of its power.
The first thing Rahn noticed was the sluggish stance that Davrel took. Observing his stance, he quickly found out that the Mandalorian was going to rely on strength and muscle to pound Rahn to a pulp, while at the same time having the technical grace of a Coruscant street slug. Perfect.
Davrel took the first move, charging down Rahn, who simply lunged out of the way as the Mandalorian cleaved the air. Before Davrel could react, Rahn swiftly kicked him in the side, sending him staggering to the centre of the ring. The Mandalorian quickly regained his composure as Rahn rained a rapid succession of blows upon him as Davrel waited for the Jedi’s technique to falter. However, Rahn pulled back out of the attack, leaving Davrel in a quick shock. Now was the opportunity.
Coming from nowhere, Rahn momentarily crossed the boundaries of his Echani technique, sending a powerful right hook to Davrel’s head. The Jedi smiled as the Mandalorian fell to the ground, his head bleeding and the air knocked out of his lungs. It feels good to throw fight dirty now and then. Rahn lunged onto Davrel’s body before the Mandalorian could react, and immediately started continuously punching his face, again and again. Davrel managed to grab onto Rahn’s velvet robe, but the Exile continued to pound the recruit’s face. Finally, Davrel’s arm fell limp to the mud as he lost consciousness.
Rahn gave a small smile as he rose from the ground, using the force to send the mud flying off his Assassin’s robes. He had sustained no injuries in the fight; he was absolutely untouched. Meanwhile, Davrel moaned in pain as he slowly raised his bloody face towards the grey skies.
“The fight is over! The Jedi Drendellian is the clear and honourable victor!” announced the Sergeant. On cue, two Mandalorians came in and carried off Davrel to the med bay as the Mandalorians started talking amongst themselves, casting sideways glances at Rahn, who walked up to the Sergeant.
“What happened?” started Rahn coldly. “The Mandalorians I remember not only had brute strength, but also good tactics and quick wits.”
“Davrel is a recruit,” said the Sergeant simply.
Rahn nodded and looked out at the empty battle circle. Suddenly, a Mandalorian in blue armour came up to him. “I wish to challenge you in the duelling ring, Jedi,” he said confidently.
Rahn looked him up and down. This challenger had the same aggressive look of a Mandalorian, but was he a worthy fighter?
“Yeah, okay. Go talk to the Sergeant; I’ll be waiting,” answered Rahn as he quickly reequipped his vibroblade.
A few moments later, the Sergeant once again announced, “The Quartermaster Kex has challenged that Jedi to a duel in the battle circle. Jedi, what are your terms?”
Rahn suddenly felt all eyes fall upon him. I’m not a damn Jedi, for god’s sake! “No terms; I’m allowed to use force powers and any weapon I want, and so can he,” asserted Rahn. After they had both modified the cortosis weaves on their swords so that they didn’t kill each other, they both made it to the Battle Circle.
A mental battle was going on in Rahn’s mind. He could easily use the force to knock this Kex out, but he was afraid if it would be the ‘honourable’ thing to do. While Rahn was still deciding, the Sergeant called out, “Let the battle begin!”
Rahn had made up his mind. Just as Kex started charging towards him with a vibroblade, Rahn quickly dipped into the currents of the force, swiftly penetrating his challenger’s mind so he had it in his grasp. Once he held the delicate willpower of the Mandalorian, Rahn raised his hand, manipulating the force around his opponent to stop him in his tracks and hold him in the air.
There was a mumbling among the spectators as Kex was held in mid-air, at Rahn’s mercy. He could sense the anger, the frustration, and humiliation emanating from the Mandalorian as he stood there in mid-air. Conflicting thoughts were running through Rahn’s mind. I could render him unconscious right now, but the whole point of this was to gain honour for myself. Finally Rahn, yelled out loud, “This is for all of you who think you can defeat me in a true fight!” He then lowered Kex to the ground, letting him get ready again as Rahn raised his sword.
Kex’s face was contorted in anger as he charged Rahn. However, he made the same mistake as Davrel as Rahn sidestepped the blow and sent his blade slashing across his challenger’s back, sending his hurling to the ground. Just as Kex got up, Rahn sent a heavy succession of quick attacks upon him, forcing him to leave a gap in his technique, which Rahn swiftly exploited as he stabbed him.
Kex grunted as Rahn started slashing the blade across his body. It did not take long for the Mandalorian’s wounded form to be sprawled across the dirt.
“Enough! The Jedi is the clear and honourable victor,” yelled the Sergeant. Once again, medics took away Kex’s body.
This is easier than I had expected, thought Rahn as he walked over to the Sergeant, ignoring the anxious looks he got as he made his way. However, a Mandalorian whom he had not noticed at first walked over to him. Rahn wearily eyed the man’s armour and helmet. This was obviously a well respected General.
“I saw your exploits in the battle circle, Jedi,” he said, a little politely for a Mandalorian. He bowed his head slightly. “While many of our younger, inexperienced recruits who have never fought in a war would take your initial strategy as an act of cowardice, I understand your methods as the quickest way to victory, which is what matters most in war.”
Rahn sighed wearily. “Quickest way to victory? Yeah, I guess that’s what it was. After I fought your people in the war, I’ve had the whole, ‘victory at all costs,’ ingrained into my mind. Honestly, I can’t say I’m that happy about it,” he said dryly.
The general nodded. “Yes, I have heard of the mental and emotional strain that war takes on cultures other than our own. Many of us would take it as a sign of weakness, but it is important to know and respect the cultures of others, both to find a way to better defeat and also to not dishonour them unjustly,” he explained.
Rahn raised an eyebrow. “You’re more . . . perceptive than any other Mandalorian I’ve talked to,” he admitted.
The General chuckled. “How many Mandalorians have you really talked to rather than killed? Not much, I presume. Come, Exile, I would like to talk to you.”
Would it be wrong to deny an honour – or was it? – to talk to a respected general? “Well, I’m sort of on a mission here,” said Rahn.
The general nodded. “Well, if you come and talk to me, I can make your predicament a little bit easier.”
Very good! I can see the Exile's darkness finally coming out and his feelings for the Mandalorians being confused and distorted, but there are some more grammatical errors (you really need to type slower) but still a great fic that is developing into a epic adventure tale.
I had a quick flick through and it is a great story!!
keep it up
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