Chapter I - The Mandalorian Wars
The Jedi held no truth for me. Even as I knew little of the force, I could tell that I wanted power, not companionship, friendship, or anything the Jedi could offer me. I wanted power, authority, and obedience. My first act was to join the Republic Navy. After only five years, I had the captain's position aboard the Radiance, the flagship for one of the largest fleets of the Republic. The only other person aboard the ship with a rank higher than my own, was the fleet Admiral, who in truth, I had a wish to take all he had, his position, his title, and most of all, his fleet. But I knew that if I acted in such a way, the only thing I would gain for myself was my removal from the Republic ranks, and likely life imprisonment. However, most would argue that I had a prestigious rank already. While Admiral did command the fleet, and by extension, me, I was left command of it for either the mundane tasks, or when the Admiral had other things to attended to. In truth, my rank was a "Commodore". The designation medals on my uniform was enough to prove that. But the name of the rank itself disgusted me the very second I heard it said at my promotion.
In some ways, I was somewhat unique. I don't want to say that I am better than any of the soldiers that I've trained with, but I was faster. Sure, they were fast, but should one of them come at me with a knife, I could take it from them, knock them to the ground, and have it's blade against their throat before they even scratched me with it. In many of the training exercises I could dodge countless rounds from a blaster, even to the point of taking out there wielders, without very many hits on my armor or skin. Even my training in ship-to-ship combat was far better than many others, though I wasn't to fond of it myself. I found it too impersonal. Some thought I should seek the possibility of joining the Jedi, but again, that wasn't a route that I wanted to take. The Admiral even scoffed when I mentioned it to him.
The Admiral wasn't exactly the most uptight man in the Republic Navy that I'd met, but he did have his moments. He knew that I had valuable ideas and experience, but many times he avoided taking my advice. Many times we lost soldiers, ships, or in the least time with his choices. When one of my ideas became the objective, we lost nothing.
However, I soon noticed that the fleet wasn't doing normal patrol routes, as they usually would. They were nearing the outer rim worlds, for no reason I could see. I was just following the Admiral's orders. He would explain to me that the Republic thought something was happening in the outer rim, and we were to investigate. While for the first few days we found nothing but what was hoped for. But three days later we found a Mandalorian strike force near a desolate planet. They opened fire on us without provocation. My first instinct was to attack back, but the Admiral ordered me to get as many ships as possible back to the capital. I did as ordered, and for that, we lost five ships.
"Thanks to you, Admiral Crowe, we lost five ships. IF we had-" I began saying, before he cut me off, as expected.
"IF we had fought back, it would have caused us to lose more ships than five. Possibly the whole fleet. My orders we not to fight Mandalorian convoys, but to investigate the outer rim. It was more important that we got the information back to the Chancellor, rather than destroy ourselves." Admiral Crowe said, as we left the Radiance.
"Yes, but you do realize that the Mandalorians likely have taken our measure by our actions. You know how they live. Because of what you have done, they likely have a view of us that is not-" Again, I was cut off by his pacifistic logic.
"You would do well to realize that you do not command this fleet, I do. While you command this ship, I give you the orders on how you will do so. The choice doesn't matter. The matter now falls on the Chancellor's hands, not mine. Whatever he tells us to do next, is not my concern. Lest not untill he would see fit to give me the order to fight back against them. Otherwise, I have no need to do so." At that he strode away, feeling that the conversation was over. As usual, I had the wish to again take out my side-arm and shoot him in the back. But I chose not to. If someone was going to kill him, however, I would make sure it was me.
When the news of the Mandalorian's attack on us reached the Chancellor, he engaged all Republic fleets, and sent notices for all shipyards controlled by the Republic to be put on standby. He also asked the fleet commanders for any ideas. One of my suggestions was to ask the Jedi for aid. When I said that, he told me that was something he was thinking of as well. "In a way", he said, "It is possible that they may decline. I don't know if they will, but I will ask in the least".
As expected, I heard news that the Jedi Council had, not declined the request, but wished for time to examine the threat. I wished that the Jedi would join however, as they likely would be a big help for the Republic. If they really would, I could not tell. My untrained affinity with the force did nothing to help.
A few weeks later, I was asked by the Chancellor to attend a meeting. I didn't know why he asked me, but I still went. When I entered, I saw the Chancellor casually talking with a Jedi, wearing armored, black hooded robes, the hood down. She had black hair, fine skin, and bright blue eyes. Once they saw me, the Chancellor asked me to take a seat.
"Ah, Captain Siyn, please, have a seat." He turned back to the Jedi. "Do you think you could convince the Jedi to help?"
"Not the entire Council, but possibly there are some Jedi will likely have the wish to help. A friend of mine, Alek, has also expressed his interest in joining the effort, as well." The Jedi spoke in a definitive matter, her voice not wavering.
"What do you have in mind for the attack plans?" The Chancellor asked the Jedi.
"Nothing yet, but I would like to meet with the fleet Admiral's and such." The Jedi turned to me. "Are you the captain of the Radiance?"
I was slightly flustered when the Jedi focused on me. "Y...Yes, I am." I extended my hand. "Mercedes Siyn"
She took mine, and shook it."Revan." She let go after a few seconds. "You and Admiral Crowe shall be part of my attack plans. You don't mind assisting, do you?"
"No, I would be honored to work with you." While I hadn't heard much about 'Revan', it was something in her voice, that told me it was the right thing.
"Its settled then. How soon can you meet with the Jedi Council?" The Chancellor asked.
"I've already asked them for their audience. I will meet with the High Council in two days, and then the council on Dantooine in five days. While it is likely they will tell me what they told you, I'm sure there are Jedi that want to join the cause" Revan stood as she finished.
"Very well. You may leave if you wish, Revan." The Chancellor said. He gestured to me, implying that I could go too. I left the office, going back to the transport stop. I didn't know what was ahead, but I did know that I would savor every moment, and regret nothing.
Chapter II - Learning to use the Force
While I didn't think my affinity for the force was anything that would need to be used, Revan did. While the Master/Apprentice relationship that bloomed between us because of it, wasn't the kind that any in the Jedi Temple saw, it was thrilling for me. Revan was a great teacher, being very pleased at my quick progress. She herself told me that not many Jedi learn to use the force as quick as I was, that most take their early years at the Temple to learn control over it. That part I learned within a few months. The power I felt was nothing like I had ever felt before.
Sometime Later, just before Revan was set to begin her campaign against the Mandalorian's, she told me that it was time I build, and learn the use of a lightsaber. While this was something I was looking forward to, this part worried me the most. I had read much about lightsabers, whatever was in the coreward's public databases about them. The could, for the most part, cut through nearly anything, save for the blade of another lightsaber. But putting that aside, I found myself very compitant with the saber I built. By the time we were set to attack the Mandalorians, I was still practicing, But I had bested five of Revan's Jedi friends, who had been using a lightsaber for years. This helped Revan see me as an asset, someone that had some serious value. My Jedi abilities, combined with my prowess of War, kept me in the loop of all plans that Revan laid down.
The Admiral, however, had words to exchange with Revan. He felt that Revan training me in the use of the Force was not something that should be done in the middle of the war. Revan said nothing as he spoke, but I could tell that she had no intention on taking his advice. "You must realize, Admiral, that in a war, you must think about more than just the battle plans. You know that soon enough, the Mandalorians will force both the Republic soldiers and Jedi into planet-side combat. And when that happens, I would rather have as many Jedi on my side as possible."
"That does make sense, but isn't it true that Jedi take longer than a few years to prefect their use of the force? Isn't she, in a way, a threat to more than just herself? I doubt she had much control over the force as you do." The Admiral's tone was condescending, as expected. Again his belittlement of me was something I wanted to stop. At this point, I told myself that I didn't want to wait much longer to act on that emotion.
"No, I think she has the same level of control that I do." Revan turned, looking out the main viewport. "In a way, I can feel it. The things that will happen, what will change. Soon enough we will all see the effect this War will have on us."
The Admiral crossed his arms. I knew that while he was grateful that the Jedi had lent aid to the fleet, he wasn't fond of the fact that it was, in truth, the Jedi who were commanding the forces, not him. "You Jedi are all the same. Once you have control, you fail to realize that you don't understand the situation as well as those who don't rely on the 'force'. Why-"
Revan turned. She raised her hand, and the Admiral grabbed his throat. He was then lifted off his feet. Revan was laughing at Admiral as he squirmed. "Admiral, Admiral, Admiral. Someone like you would do well to understand that If the Jedi were not aboard this ship or part of this fleet, the Mandalorians would win. Then the beloved Republic would be forced into speaking Mandalorian. While in a battle I would love to hear your council, I do not wish to hear it on my methods." She released her grip, and the Admiral dropped to the floor.
"Speak like that again, and you might not be breathing the next time I let you go." Revan said, a fire in her eyes that I respected. The Admiral stood, and left the bridge.
"Captain Siyn, Its time we meet these Mandalorians face to face. Send orders to all ships to prepare for a hyperspace jump." Revan said. I said nothing, but gestured to my first officer to do as Revan said.
The time was nearly here. The time where the might of the Republic, combined with the Jedi, would fight the Mandalorians. In a way, I was eager to test my lightsaber on something living, rather than the training droids I had wasted, what seemed like a million times over. It didn't matter to me how bloody this War would get, nothing would make me change my mind about whether it was right or wrong. After all, I was aboard the Radiance, all to willing to do as Revan wished.
When the ships made the jump, I felt this rush. Something wasn't wrong, but I felt something. I was in my quarters when I felt it, then saw it. A tall, dark figure with a red lightsaber approached me. I drew my own, and fought with it. Before I nearly bested it, it severed my right arm, almost completely. I fell to the floor in pain. Then I saw myself with a two hands again, but one of them was black and shiny, sticking out of black robes.
I awoke to my officer shaking me. "Captain! Captain! Are you alright?" I realized I was on the floor. I stood, holding my forehead. "Do you wish for me to fetch the ships med-tech?" I shook my head. I knew I felt fine. The vision shook me. I knew Revan told me I might see something like this. My right hand and arm hurt, almost like they had been removed. I had no way of knowing if that was the future, or a random dream. "I'll see the med-tech", I said. He tried to escort me, but I stopped him. "No, I'll make it on my own". A check-up and a few hours in a kolto tank would likely be all I'd need. Possibly just rest. But even as I told myself this, my arm throbbed.
Chapter III – Choosing a Path
During the battle of Duxn, Revan's prediction of a “change” became evident to all involved with the battle. Either those who fought off the Mandalorian scout ships in space, or all the soldiers and Jedi who fought them on the ground. Either place, we felt the rushes of anger, the great pain and loss of those who fell beside us. Feeling death on such a scale, drove home stakes of both pain and anger into our hearts. Made some of us keep going, made others foolishly rush into death willingly. I lost friends, just as many others did. For every one that fell, I vowed to kill ten Mandalorians for it. I killed nearly two-hundred of them, not regretting one. It was not without physical pain however, as I spent a two weeks in a Kolto tank afterward.
“That was commendable Mercedes, but you do realize that some of these scars aren't going to heal?” The Med-tech told me, just after I emerged from the tank. “The scars on your face I can't be sure of, but the scars on your body, I can't repair.”
I didn't care. I was becoming more and more used to pain, either physical or mental. “It doesn't matter. Whatever you can repair, do it. If you can't, spare me the reasons.”
Once I recovered from my injuries, I found that Revan seemed to like me even more. So much so, that after Ithor, she elected to make a move that some would never accept. A move that would silently define her true motives to those who she planned to include within, but not those who would undermine them, such as the Republic Senate.
“Admiral Crowe” Revan said as the Radiance orbited Eres III.
The space battle above Eres III was going well, though as always, the Admiral hated when Revan chose to converse with him when he was directing the fleet. And just like every battle, Revan always stayed on the bridge, in a constant state of meditation. While she had told me of what this was, the Admiral wanted to know, but she refused to tell him.
“While I would love to converse with you Revan, you must realize that I am needed to direct the fleet, else we lose this battle?” The Admiral spoke with the same sort of tone he'd always used: The kind that simply said “Say whatever you wish, I don't care”.
“Calm yourself Admiral. Once again you put to much value into those fighters, and their pilots.” Revan didn't move from her chosen position, aside from looking at the Admiral for a few seconds.
Just like myself on Duxn, there was a lesson to be learned here. When soldiers see their fellows die before them, it seems to give them a large burst of emotion, which for some is the drive of their force connection.
“Revan. I don't care how you use those powers of yours, I don't care how they work, nor why they work. But I would prefer that you use them when you are leading a battle, not when I am.” The Admiral turned back to the holo-board, checking the status of his fighters.
“Admiral, you still think that this war will be won by your soldiers, don't you?” Revan stood. “Maybe if that is what you believe, you are correct. But you yourself, sadly, are not going to come close to winning this war. Though you have been a help, I can clearly see that you are against my methods.” Revan nodded to me. I smiled, for reasons that then, I couldn't know. But she raised her hand, and the Admiral was lifted off his feet. She pulled her arm back, and the almost nauseating sound of bone breaking was heard. The Admiral slumped to the deck, every soldier looking at him, then at Revan in a silenced awe. The Admiral struggled to face Revan. He said nothing, nor did she.
“Captain Siyn. I believe that you can deal with him?” Revan said, as she again began meditating.
“Gladly.” I said, as I pulled my lightsaber from my belt. “So sorry, Admiral Crowe. You must know that I've been fed up with you since the start of this war. I would say that I hate to do this, but I can't say that with any measure of truth.” I ignited the purple blade, and it cast its glow on my skin. Stabbing the blade through his chest, I got a final look in his eyes. They looked just as you would expect, since he was always unsure of what I would do, but even then, a small glint said that even he couldn't believe that I was doing this. Did it matter to me? Not in the slightest.
I removed the blade from his chest, and swung it, and all on the bridge watched his head sever, quite cleanly, from his body. Revan didn't look at me, but she simply said “Well done, Admiral Siyn”
Chapter IV – Malachor V
Before Malachor, we knew that the war was coming to a close. We knew that the Mandalorians were breaking at every seam they could. We had taken back nearly all the words that they conquered, destroyed nearly all of their fleet, and our moral couldn't have been higher. All the Jedi, all the soldiers felt just the same way: that we were going to win. Though Revan had other thoughts. Ones that she never conveyed to many, only those who where closest to her. Before the war would truly end, she knew that there was one person, among many more, who had to die. The one person, was Mandalore, the de-facto leader of all the Mandalorians. His death would ring the bell that would end this bloody war. Though, afterward a death knell would ring for another group. One that would harken a darkness into the galaxy that it might never recover from. A darkness that I was falling into.
Many, aside from myself, know exactly how the Battle of Malachor V played out. Trouble was, while all of our forces were committed to the fight, we didn't realize that it was an ambush. Mandalore had rallied all his remaining forces as Malachor. It was only Revan, that knew he would do it, against his better wishes. The battle's onset, was a small group of ships, that we easily broke through, though not without a small amount of losses on our part. But after, came the rest of his forces. Granted, it wasn't a large fleet, but it was sizable enough that it worried me, and every other commander that saw it.
All this aside, we still had a last resort method. One that many didn't like, but one that Revan said was necessary. There was a good reason that a select few commanders kept their ships a distance from the planet. These were the ones that had given their sincere loyalty to Revan and her cause, the ones she valued. The rest, were the doubters, the ones who disagreed with her methods. Their fate would echo across the galaxy, farther then any would expect.
When the order was given, it was only a matter of time. None of us knew exactly what that mechanization would do, but we knew that it would be lethal. What we saw, was the implosion of Malachor, dragging all ships into its gravity well, crushing the ships, and the people aboard them. For those aboard our ships that were force-sensitive, we all felt it. The pain of the dead, the dying. Some of us were able to endure it, some by not listening, others by focusing on something else. To me, it was a pain unlike any other. The kind of pain that kolto won't heal, the kind of pain that even time can't phase. I didn't know it then, but after, I would be one of the 'lucky' ones, the few that didn't lose their power over the force, because of what happened during the battle.
It also sent a shock-wave into space, making the remaining ships shudder. I was thrown against a wall, nearly giving in to the pain. My last view was a pool of red on the floor beside me. I drifted into a black abyss, feeling it all just slipping away. It could've all just ended there. But again, I had heard what Revan said before she left to command her own fleet - the one that would go after Mandalore himself.
“What do you mean, Malachor is the end?”
Revan sighed. “That is the world that we will lure them to. That is were we will make them fall. Though they will ambush us there, it won't help them win. It will give them an edge, possibly the edge of the sword I don't want them to have. But it won't let them win.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
She turned to me, with a look that was firm, yet still soft, not unlike her usual. “Like many others, you are too important to die easily. You have a strong will that won't allow it.”
“You mean that I won't die at Malachor? That no matter what happens, no matter the choices I make, I will survive them?”
“In time you will understand. Know that the understanding will come with great pain, but in the end, you will always be what you made yourself. You will never be ruled by your power, only your wish to live.”
As I lay there, my mind in darkness, I hoped that what she told me then, was true. I indeed had a wish to live. I didn't want to face death, nor conquer it. I wanted to fight it, and arise victorious at every turn, no matter how much pain I might have to endure. Time would prove Revan right, but it would be another who truly would understand what I would become.
Chapter V – First Payment
I awoke with a scream. All I felt was pain, and nothing else. I didn't know where I was, nor did I care. All I wanted to know it what happened. The med-tech entered with a start, noticing I was awake. She hurried to tend to me, as I nearly yelled “What happened?”
“I'm terribly sorry Admiral Siyn, but you were....damaged during the battle.”
“I know that. The extent?” I asked the question without hesitation, though in many ways I dreaded the answer, since I had many estimates on what I'd lost, all of them worse than the last.
She seemed apprehensive. “Well, I know this might be hard to adjust to, but....you've lost your left arm, almost entirely. Along with that, your left eye is completely blinded.”
It was only now that I felt what she'd said. I couldn't move my left arm at all, and I noticed that I could only partially see. But when my vision lingered on my body, I noticed nearly a dozen cables and tubes in various places, most of them connected to the stump of my left arm especially. I sighed, then screamed. I wasn't broken yet, but I could already feel the cracks.
“Please, Admiral, clam down! You do have options, though they may take time to get used to.”
I relaxed myself. “What are they?”
“In your case, the best option would be a prosthetic. It is a very simple procedure, though you will need time to get used to it. Another option is-”
I stopped her. “A prosthetic would be fine.” She helped me sit up, and removed some of the few cables that were attached to my lower body, which was still intact.
“Alright, I'll begin preparations for the surgery.” She left the room, and I saw my lieutenant enter. Her name is Victoria Cole. She'd been in the Republic Navy just as long as I have, even the academy. When I was to be transferred to the Radiance, she pleaded with me to request her transfer. At first I was unsure of how well she would preform, but she proved herself time and time again. While she wasn't fond of what I did to Admiral Crowe, she still didn't voice her opinions. I'd asked her about it, just before Malachor. She said only that, 'I don't like it, but I don't think less of you because of it. I don't think it makes you a bad person, even if that wasn't the best choice. But still, I can't think of anything that would make me abandon you.'
“Mercedes! They said you were worse off, but it doesn't look like it.” She never was one to make things worse.
“Well, if you think losing your arm and being blinded in one eye 'Not that bad', I guess that would be correct. But otherwise, I probably got off light, compared to the others.”
She seemed quiet, before her mood seemed to change. “I...have something else to tell you. Revan is planing on taking a small fleet of ships to scour the Outer Regions for any remaining Mandalorians. It is her wish that you would accompany her. Revan doesn't mind if you decline, as it seems.” She bent down and lowered her voice. “Some of the others think Revan is lying about what the plans are. None of them know for sure, but they think it has nothing to do with Mandalorians.”
In truth, I didn't care what Revan planed on doing. Given the choice, I'd almost rather go for taking shore leave back on Coruscant, enjoying the high priced apartment that my ridiculous salary my new position as an Admiral gave me, at least once I received the needed prosthetics. But something about Revan's journey into the outer regions seemed much more enticing than vacation time.
“Even if it doesn't, I'm sure that you'll have many who follow her into that abyss. I might be one of them, depending on how long the surgery takes.” I looked her in the face. Her expression seemed to say that she was worried about something. “Victoria. If you have a problem, I'd rather you say something about it.”
She was hesitant, as I expected. “Well, I think that you are taking this a little to lightly. I mean, you haven't even started recovery yet, much less began the surgery, and you've already decided to follow Revan. Are you sure this is what you want to do? How much more are you willing to sacrifice for her?”
It was like she was pleading with me, trying to make me decide not to go. I wouldn't make that decision, but she did make me question how much more I wanted to lose because I opted to follow Revan's cause. But even as I asked myself this, I knew that what I would do for Revan was clear. While I wasn't totally bound to her will, I knew that following her would allow me to share whatever she had. Though I knew that it would lead me to a different fate than her, as I wasn't like her, or her other generals. Unlike Kauvo, I didn't think my fate was to follow Revan's orders until then end. I was going to follow my own path, no matter how much of it interceded with Revan's.
“Don't worry. I'm not acting like Reane. I'm not so reckless as to lay everything down for Revan. I'm only following her because she made the offer nothing more.”
Victoria seemed to change her tune, but even then I could tell she wasn't as confident about the whole thing as I was. “I suppose you would wish me to accompany you, Admiral Siyn.”
Laughing, I couldn't help but realize that she wasn't different, as much as she seemed it. Just like I had, she grew to respect authority, even if it was me that had such over her. Though I might've appointed someone else for the position, she was the only one I trusted. “Of course. Just like last time, it is only you that I believe to be most qualified to serve aboard my ship.”
She nodded, then turned to leave. I laid back down, just as the Med-Tech entered the room again, only it was a different one. Obviously a Twi'lek female, though this was nothing to me, even if I did think that she was highly attractive, I said nothing to her about it.
“Admiral Siyn.” I found it slightly odd that she chose to address me as such, but then many Tech's did that, so it wasn't exactly unusual. “The preparations are completed, so If you are ready, I can prep you.” She simply walked over to me, and placed what looked like a Military issue breath mask over my face. I didn't have the time to question exactly what it was, before I passed out.
Once again I found myself dreaming. Only, it didn't seem like one. I stood before the entrance to what looked like an old Sith Academy. Choosing to enter, I found myself in a large hall, before a number of kneeling students, all of them with the obvious sign of the dark side within them. At the end of the room, before an obsidian monument, stood two Sith Lords. One draped in black fabric, his 'face' hidden behind a mask, having the white-pallor of bone. The other had various cracks in dark grey skin, with various places showing signs of recent bleeding., along with a bloodshot eye. They turned to look as I approached them.
Kneeling, I spoke to them. “My lord, the Jedi Exile has moved. She plans to board the Republic cruiser “Harbinger”. The ship has been reassigned from its patrol duty, and tasked with delivering the Exile to Telos IV.”
The one in black robes spoke, though I had no idea what he said. Regardless, I responded. “Her connection to the force was severed at Malachor. However, with the right stimulus, it will be restored.
Once that happens, no matter the path she may choose afterward, she will become a threat to you.”
This time, the one with the cracked skin spoke this time, in a ferocious voice, once that shook the spines of the students behind me. “What of Kreia? Have you learned anything of her plans?”
“Yes. She plans to intercept the Harbinger at some point, to retrieve the Exile for her own purposes. These are unknown to me, but she has taken the Ebon Hawk. The ship that Revan left behind.”
“I want you to go to Telos IV. Should the Exile arrive there, I want you to inform me of it right away.” The one called “Sion” said, before he and the one in black robes left the room.
As I left the Academy, I felt myself in pain. The kind that kills you, the kind that isn't forgiving. Once again, I felt the way I had on the bridge. Damn what Revan said, I felt like it was over for me.
Chapter VI – The Unknown
“What exactly are you saying? You've...made some changes to the prosthetic?” I heard a muffled voice say. I couldn't really see, for reasons unknown. Aside from the things I was taught in the Academy, and afterward, I didn't feel like I did, during the war. Then, I had the constant wish to know exactly where I was, and what was going on around me. But right now, I didn't care very much. I don't know if it was the procedure that had dulled my wishes, but I did know that I was still alive. A start.
“Yes. Ones that she will find useful. The technology for it, along with the partial optical replacement you've given her, is woefully lacking in both form and function. Not to say I am better at this then you, but I was able to better the form, and the function.” This voice sounded familiar, though it had a bittersweet sound to it, which was oddly welcoming to me.
Opening my eyes truly, I found that my vision wasn't partial, but nowhere near complete, being slightly blurry. As I sat up, I felt numb in almost every part of my body. Immediately, I saw the Med-Tech come running up to me. It wasn't the Twi'lek, but rather the same female that greeted me last time. “Careful Mercedes. Due to the length of your relaxed state, atrophy has affected several areas of your body, though not critically.” The fact that she didn't use my rank wasn't any concern, mostly because I was numb enough to where that was my concern.
“Tell me about it. How did it go?” She helped me sit up on the bed.
“Perfectly. Though, at Revan's insistence, a number of changes were made to your prosthesis that, make it function much better than it would've without them.” She pointed at my arm.
Though I hadn't thought to look at it just yet, I now knew why. It was startling. It was scaled to my existing arm, but what would've been skin, looked like black durasteel. Several sections of my wrist and upper arm had sections with deep purple lights. As I examined it, I found it odd that it moved exactly in unison with my real arm. It was sufficient, though I didn't know if it would hinder me. Either way, I wouldn't let it.
“Revan also said she was having a new uniform made for you, something a little more unique than your previous one. Should I go fetch it for you?”
I rubbed my face with the cold metal of my new hand. “Of course. I'd rather not wear these medical robes too much longer.” She quickly left the room, and I was free to wait for her, something that brought me displeasure only after she'd left. Standing, I felt what she'd meant. My legs were slightly cramped, making me almost fall. Very quickly, I felt the stinging sensation in my legs, making my ability to walk smoother. I looked at myself in the mirror over the refresher, and was slightly surprised. Like the lit sections of my arm, my new eye was of the same color, matching my hair. Along with that, the two scars that marked my face, one of them a crescent shaped scar over my left eye, and the other a slightly deeper X shape that was under my right eye.
While I was getting used to the way the prosthetic moved, it still took me some time to fully clothe myself once the Med-Tech came back with my new uniform. Which, while it was pretty much like the uniform that I'd worn before, it had a number of things that weren't on my first Admiral uniform. From the new rank insignias, to the slightly darker pallet of colors it used, and the drexl-leather gloves that came with it. Rather than wearing both, I slid the left one on, covering my prosthetic, and tucked the other into a pocket just before I left the room.
After the short shuttle ride from the Medical center, I found myself entering the large building that was the Republic Navy base on Coruscant. It was only for a short time, since I was soon told that I was requested to meet with Revan aboard the orbital dock which was far above Coruscant, to discuss what she planned to do. Most of this was standard procedure, nothing that seemed unusual, though the fact that Revan was able to almost command officers that I'd seen be unwilling to follow orders of anyone but the chancellor, was nothing short of brilliant.
Upon entering the meeting room aboard the dock, Revan nodded at me when I entered. Quickly, I noticed that I wasn't the only high ranked person there. I'd almost expected her to be there, but she was nowhere in sight. Aside from that, I could tell that the presupposed notion that Revan had planed to take the remainder of the Republic fleet and scour the Outer Rim for Mandalorians, wasn't exactly the truth. Helping this assumption along was the fact that many in the room were involved with the Mandalorian war in some way, the ones that survived Malachor V.
“As you all understand it, I have the wish to take any remaining Republic vessels into the outer rim, to look for any remaining Mandalorians. In some respects this is correct, though it isn't Mandalorians I'm looking for.” She punched in what I took for coordinates into the holo-display, and it showed a number of worlds. The first was Dantooine, which was the same Academy that Revan attended for awhile. Then came Kashyyyk, Tattooine, Manaan, and finally, Korriban. Lastly, it showed a system with a few planets, all orbiting around a massive star. “This is what I am truly after. And for those who are unsure, our system doesn't have data on this area of the galaxy. However, I can assure you, what I aim to find here is worth the looking for. At this point, I only have one question to ask of you. Any of you that wish to accompany me, simply remain here. Those that don't, you may leave, though I will not think less of you for doing so. Along with this, any of you that command a fleet, and are willing to lend it to the cause, it will be greatly appreciated.”
Most of the Generals and Admirals in the room stayed, though a small number did leave. Either way the room wasn't much less populated when they left. But once it was clear that no one else was going to leave, the attention turned back to Revan. “Very well. Any of you that need to prepare your fleets, you have three days to do so. Dismissed.”
At this point, the remaining occupants of the room left, aside from myself, and three or four others. I walked up to Revan. “Um, I don't want to kill the surprise or anything, but what exactly are we going to find there?” I pointed at the still active holo-display.
“I suspected that you would ask that. A few years ago, before the wars, I found something on Dantooine. An old ruin, containing relics from a civilization that conquered that galaxy five thousand years ago. Of the relics within the ruin, was a map had the location of four planets on it, the ones I have on the holo-display. After finding similar maps on those planets, the coordinates to what the 'Infinite Empire' called the 'Star Forge'. I admit, I am unsure of exactly what this Star Forge is, but something about it makes me want to find it. That, and its name does suggest that it might be some sort of space station, but it might just be more than that.”
As Revan planned, three days later I stood on the bridge of the Radiance II, along with Revan herself. The stylings of the Interdictor class cruiser was cold, yet inviting to me. Though this was not as unsettling as the fact that I was directing my ship into a system that I'd never been to before, along with the fact that something about this was just as dark as the look on my new face. As we headed out into the unknown, once again I saw that broken figure in my mind, an echo of what I was becoming.
Chapter VII – To Walk On The Surface Of Desolation...
While Revan went after the Star Forge, I was tasked with something more akin to my abilities. While I had a renewed interest in technology, and would've loved to examine the inner workings of the Star Forge, I kept to my station. I knew that upsetting Revan was next to impossible for me, but I did not want to test that theory personally. Either way, she tasked me to conquer something that few could. To walk on the surface of a world that faced constant storms, rabid beasts all to willing to attack anything that moves, and oppression from the dark side, which was ten-fold compared to Korriban, which I'd endured with the same force of will that many had, though some lost themselves in the mist, I found what I could only describe as a mirror, one that forced me to give in to what I was, and not hold myself back merely because it seemed wrong to continue. Where Korriban would be a mirror, Malachor would be nothing short of a puzzle, that I would build as I went along.
As I had during the Mandalorian Wars, I looked out of the Bridge view-port with a look that in may ways, exemplified the feelings of the bridge crew. The reason for this was because unlike the first view I'd had, this time it wasn't like Korriban, which held the near-perfect spherical shape of all planets, rather what looked like a broken marble, held together only because the pieces are large enough to still sustain gravity. I did not know the intended result of the Mass Shadow Generator, though I knew that it was to thin the herd, or kill any on our side that had doubts about Revan, along with causing disarray in the Mandalorian ranks, so we could crush them. Little to no concern was for the planet itself, even if it wasn't completely destroyed after activation of the Generator. All I knew now was that I should walk upon the surface, which was fulled with jagged mountains of rock, poisonous gas pockets, and very large craters, or so the scanners suggested.
“Do you really think its a good idea to explore down there? I mean, I completely understand what Revan said, but it seems like one would need to be completely insane to have the wish, much less take the order.”
I sighed. Here was her compassion for me again. I admit, I wasn't completely against her, but then, aside from orders, I wanted to see what was down there too. “I know. I must be insane then, just as Revan might be. But remember, it is her insanity that devastated the Mandalorians, along with various other accomplishments. Either way, I should be able to survive.” I took my gloves off, and laid them down on the bed, along with removing my jacket as well. In truth, I elected to get a special armor made, one that would not only offer protection against various things, but also show that I had some style as well.
“You think that will protect you?” She looked at it a bit better as I pulled the various pieces of it from the case. “Hey, that looks almost like the Sith Armor I saw in the holo-books of yours. What gives?”
I laughed, and looked at her straight in the eye. “You don't realize it yet, do you? I hate to tell you, but you've committed treason against the Republic, just as all the rest aboard this ship has.” I coughed, realizing my slight mistake. “Well, maybe not exactly us, but then, we aren't exactly above Malachor on official orders. And all those that rallied to Revan's task of hunting down the Mandalorians, they pledge themselves to her, and not an ailing Republic.” I went behind the holo-screen, and removed the rest of my uniform, and started putting on the armor, starting with the drexl-leather bodysuit, which while not only form fitting, it was also made to keep my skin from constant sweat.
Somehow, I don't think she fully understood the fact that at some point, she would essentially be a wanted criminal, but nonetheless, like I said, she wasn't one to make things worse. “Either way, I don't want to leave your side. I feel too accomplished with you, than anyone else. Besides, you wouldn't want me to leave, would you?”
I pulled on the boots, and tightened the straps, doing the same with the gloves. The armor portion of it was light, yet able to deflect, up to a certain point, the blade of a lightsaber. The gloves, boots, and thigh pieces were made to do the same, along with allowing for ease of movement. “Of course not. But if you wanted to, I wouldn't stop you, even though I wouldn't want to watch you walk away. But from how it sounds, we both have tickets, and the ride is in sight, with no reason to back down.” I clipped the belt and the half-skirt to my waist, and stepped out from behind the holo-screen.
“Damn. Whoever you commissioned to make that knew what they were doing.” She adjusted herself. “Would it be possible for me to accompany you Mercedes?”
I looked up at her from taking the customized breath mask from the case. “I wouldn't advise it, but then, I might as well have you come along. I don't know exactly what I'll find, as Revan wasn't specific about such things, but still, I could use help.” The mask was almost a Military issue, but I had it customized so it acted not only to protect me from noxious fumes, but it can also allow me to breathe in vacuum for a limited time. I clipped it to my belt, as I wouldn't need it, yet.
It was only an hour later when we both entered the docking bridge, where a shuttle awaited us. Unlike some in my position, I wasn't asking any of the Fighter pilots to fill the chair. I was quite adept at flying, and I knew how to deal with almost any ship. Not that I boasted this fact, it was just something I was good at. Though my position usually had me commanding ships, not piloting them. Either way, the journey to the surface of the planet was...jarring. The planet's gravity well was unstable, even though it maintained itself enough to kept the planet relatively together.
The target landing zone was a area that would easily fit the shuttle, and was integral to our purpose. It seemed that there was an old Sith Academy here, undamaged by the Mass Shadow Generator. What lie inside, was something that I intended to find out.
“My god, look at this place.” Victoria said, upon walking down the exit ramp. I followed her, though I wasn't exactly standing in awe, as she was. But indeed, it was a striking appearance. The rock was black, and jagged. The green, poisonous smoke wafted around under the bridge that lead to the Academy, but the most astonishing was the fact that the floor we stood on, wasn't like the rock that was everywhere. It almost looked like polished dura-steel, but it was quite obvious that it wasn't.
Walking across the bridge, we stopped, mere feet from the door. I pulled my saber from my belt, and ignited the blade. The second the blade was lit, a number of darkly dressed men appeared from nowhere, their faces and heads covered by helmets. They did nothing, other than kneeling in straight lines on either side of the door. We both assumed that they were no danger to us, and we simply walked between them, and into the Academy. I put away my saber as we entered, if only to show those inside I didn't exactly have violent intentions.
The hall inside looked almost like the Jedi Archives, which I'd only seen briefly. Though it had a soft, pale blue coloring, with a single, glowing red circle in the middle of the room. I stood on this as we waited. I didn't know for what, that seriously bothered me. I knew that Revan wished me to discover what lie down here, and possibly learn more of the force, the uncertainty of this, lead me to be worried. However, I still had the sensibility of a Soldier, so I simply kept my hand ready to grab my lightsaber, and waited.
Chapter VIII – Visions
My expectations were very simplistic. There were a million different possibilities that could have greeted me here, and nearly every single one of them that I could envision, ended up in a fight. One that I knew I could win, but whether I would, was all up to chance. However, what really happened was far less violent, as well as completely devoid of it. A single female, with very pale skin walked up to me, unarmed, aside from the lightsaber that was on her belt. She made no move that implied that she planed on using it, whatsoever.
“Your arrival has been...expected. Those who you will learn from have not arrived yet, however, you are welcomed to delve into the knowledge this academy possess.” Her tone wasn't droning, but it was a dulled tone, something that I knew wasn't exactly unheard of for a Sith, or so some say.
The archives the Academy contained were not just about famous Sith, or about force techniques. In truth, it was a system that did far more than tell you things. It made you do things, made you understand how you did it, to the point that you learn it far quicker than taking years of your life to train for a single thing. However, it did effect you in ways that for me, mattered little. Even more so then before, it was quite obvious what side I was on. No mistake could be made when it came to that, and I doubted that any one would make the mistake. Though they would make the mistake of fighting me.
While my prosthetic didn't make my training difficult, it was something that I liked. The sound of the metal fingers hitting either something else, or the sound of the fingers, wrist, or elbow made when it moved. It was less apparent when I had the glove on, but being where I was, there wasn't much call for formalities. And thus not much call to impress anyone.
“I know why you have it, but it just sounds creepy. Almost wish they could've added skin to it, at least so it wouldn't, well, 'clink' so much.”
I laughed. “So you don't think it adds to my personally? Sure, I might not be anything like Malak, who might just be somewhat annoying if he made a noise all the damned time, but I like it. I wonder what that Wookie of a man would lose, and what he would need replacing. Either way, I don't think it would change how imposing he obviously is.”
While I'd become quite adept at fixing my appendage, it proved difficult, depending on exactly what needed to be fixed. That was the main reason that a gift from, somewhat surprisingly, Renae. While it looked much like the HK series droids that both she and Revan had built, it was a little more stream-lined, even if it was the same size, and had all the combat and medical programs I needed.
Meditation was, difficult for me. It had always been, though the exact reason has been something of a mystery to me. Revan told me that it had to do with the fact that I had a strong connection to the force, and sometimes it allowed me to predict things that, of course, hadn't happened yet. I was tempted to say 'its all Ithorian to me', but I didn't. But she did have a point, as what I had glimpses of, were things I couldn't exactly understand, but involved me. Though what I did make out, was horrifying.
Most of it was, about me. Though what bothered me, was that I felt it. Even worse than before. Sure, I'd almost predicted that I'd lose an arm, but this time, I was far worse. Trouble was, I really didn't want to know just how worse it could get. That was the sort of knowledge, that I knew would kill me.
“Are you busy, or just thinking?”
I turned my head, to see Victoria sitting on my bed. “Didn't I tell you it was Meditation, and not just mindless thought?”
“Of course you did, but its something that I'm having a little trouble getting my head around. I mean, being able to predict, pretty accurately, the future? No wonder the Republic won the Mandalorian War. “ She laid down on the bed itself, still staring at me.
“You did sum it up nicely, but it isn't always what you want to know. I somewhat wish it was, but then again, I don't. I like a little surprise.”
Concentrating once again, I tried to delve deeper into my thoughts, hoping to find out more of the future. Some believed that this was something that any who used the dark-side was somewhat barred from doing, though I knew better. Maybe some who use the darker side of the force find themselves unable to do so, I wasn't one of them. However, what I saw, wasn't anything like I expected. Visions of turbo-lasers falling onto planets, carving up their surface. An armada going up against the Republic, and decimating it. The ranks of the Jedi falling into the hundreds, their relationship with the Republic faltering, and the line between what makes a Jedi, and a Sith becoming obscure, and nearly impossible for the common person to understand. At the head of all this, was a single person, even though many behind her made it happen. This person would be...Revan.
“My god...she's going to...”
Victoria sat up. “Who's going to, what?”
I stood, leaning against my desk. “Its...Revan. She's going to start another war. But this time...”
“Honestly, that doesn't sound like something she wouldn't do. Though it can't be the Mandalorians again. Do you know who it will be against this time?”
I turned to face her. “She wants to face...the Republic...and more importantly...the Jedi...”
Chapter XI – Enigmatic Sacrifice
After all the training, all the time I'd spent making myself nigh undefeated, I thought just as anyone did. To put it simply, that I was at a point where no one would want to deal with me, unless they had a death certificate they wanted me to sign. However, it seems that I set myself up for a fall. I didn't know it, and I doubted that it crossed Revan's mind either. While the Mandalorians weren't exactly what you could call bitter at their defeat, it was quite obvious that not all of them would share the sentiment. Though them coming after me specifically, couldn't have been more unexpected.
It was sometime after I'd left Malachor that some traffic on the Holo-net spoke of a single Mandalorian fleet that still existed. I didn't know how many Revan would've went through during her trip to the Outer Rim, but knowing that one still existed was not very pleasant news. While it might not be the worst, no one thought that it was a good thing. Word of them attacking, anything, was absent, which I knew was a bad thing. The reports said that they traded goods on worlds that the Republic didn't have much jurisdiction, along with receiving repairs.
Four months after I'd left Malachor, they found us. My fleet was slightly smaller than theirs, by three ships. The main source of the trouble was the simple fact that they took out my support ships within an hour, and were pounding the Radiance with every damned gun their ship had. Every single weapon that involved projectiles, of any sort, hit the outer hull of my ship. Most of them were deflected by the shields, but they only bought time. Not that I wanted to lose this ship, or anyone aboard it. I can't say I'm that heartless. Even those who are described as 'Black Hearted', still have one.
“What the hell is with these morons? Shield strength is 50%, and the hull is still intact. Though you know it won't be much longer before this ship is going to need some serious repairs. Orders, Admiral Siyn?” It was the ship's captain, Moria Vance, that asked me this question.
“I want to know their motive, but if they had one that was worth it, they would've broadcasted a message before their first volley. Though the reason isn't unclear, as I doubt it is difficult to find out on the Holo-Net who were some of the more famous Higher-ups in the War. Though what this armored casket fool's problem with me is, I can't say.” I turned to Moria. “Launch the fighters. Tell them to take down as many of their ships as possible. And get every damned gun this ship has to blast his flag-ship, and the rest of them, straight to hell!”
This was the first time I had to watch my support ships burning, their stabilization units destroyed. The shields on my own were gone, and the hull was almost blown open to the point that most of the ship was sealed, at least until those were damaged as well. I wanted that schutta's head on a plate, and getting it was next to impossible. Though the obvious course of action was as simple as saying it, but I really didn't want to.
“Do it. Everyone to the escape pods. Now.”
No one had to hear it twice. Victoria kept order, and got them to the pods. It was worse than Malachor. It wasn't even a war, and here I was, standing on the bridge of a crippled ship, with death behind my back. It was something I had fought since I joined the Republic Academy, and here it was, creeping up. All it inspired was rage, and little else. Any who wouldn't feel this, are fools. After all, what was I supposed to think of some Mandalorian with a grudge? If I had the chance, I'd dismember him, and throw him out the airlock to be lost to the ages.
“Mercedes, Come on!” Victoria said to me. I don't know why I was hesitating. Maybe I was stunned, realizing something that no one would ever believe could come to pass, just slapped me in the face.
It was then, that an explosion rocked the bridge, pulling her out of it, and into the hallway. The hole that was blown into the bridge was enormous, and it drew the air out in seconds. If it wasn't for that damned breather, I would’ve been dead sooner. Of course, my options were few. I didn't want to obfuscate the issue. Unlike before, where I didn't know beforehand, this time I knew. I didn't want to, as who wants to know that they are going to die? Only those who think life isn't worth it. Thing is, I didn't want mine to end. Then again, I didn't want to live forever, either.
I was going to die, and I had no way to stop it, or no way to suggest that I would survive it this time. If I did, then I can't say I would complain. If I don't, then I don't think the ages will allow me to fade, but being a record in the Archives of the Jedi Order, the Republic, and various other private data-bases, along with being in the memories of those who survive, didn't bring me peace. Though, possibly, death isn't as bad as they say. I've always thought that dead was better than dying, as dying is the one that hurts. Now, I would find out.
[Memory preserved – Writing To Neocortex...Saved. Memory installation is Complete]
“Damn it. It always knows more than I do.” A tech said, sitting before a terminal. Looking over her last thoughts, he sighed. “And I think I have it bad.”
A single figure entered the semi-dark room. He had silvery hair, and white eyes, though everything else was hidden in shadow. “Tell me, how is the project going?”
“Whatever happened to her after the ship's bridge was blown open was a mystery. We can fix it, and we will. As per your instructions, she will be almost the same, but faster, and stronger.”
The white-haired main smiled. “Very good. She is a phoenix indeed. Many times has she risen from the ashes. Once again she will do so, but for now, she sleeps somewhere that few see. Keep up the work. I don't care if this takes ten years, I want her like she was before. She...means a lot to me.” the man left the room, leaving the tech to look at his screen, along with a covered table that held a broken body, with various areas were much of the skin had been torn out, large chucks of bone missing, and exploded muscles, making no movement whatsoever. Nothing below the neck could suggest the gender of the person The only features that remained, was the characteristic purple hair, the black prosthetic, and most of all, her face. It was sickening, and would’ve been a lost cause, but some believed it was worth the technology, the credits, and the time. As the tech walked over to the body, a slight charge made the single prosthetic move its fingers. The 'clink' of the metal fingers was somewhat creepy.
“The spark of life, which still remains. Any sane man would think it better to just let her die. But I know what my orders are, and she is far more useful alive.”
Chapter XII – Ashes To...Ashes?
Five Years. Nothing had been the same. Then again, I liked the fact that it wasn't. However, it was difficult to go on, since what I now did wasn't serving aboard a ship, or even working for the Republic. I can't exactly say they just let me go, as I'd technically abandoned them the moment that I'd sided with Admiral Siyn. I wasn't getting credits from the Sith either, so it was a moot point. What I did do, however, to have some money coming in, was obvious. Bounty Hunting. Nearly every populated world like Coruscant was looking for people to eliminate their enemies. These were usually gang leaders, club owners, or even mob bosses, who were simply looking for any pathetic creature that would gladly take up a weapon to destroy their competition, or as some put it, their problem. The special ops training I'd received had given me an edge in most of my jobs, but it was a profession that marked you in such a way that only corpses, and a warm barrel would assure you a long life. There could be more working for me than just that, but I really didn't want to buy into the Force. Not to mention that after the war, seeing a Jedi became just as rare as seeing someone just hand you credits.
I worked, mostly, for a almost uncorrupted Hut, who found the idea of a human bounty hunter interesting, but also expendable. He valued his other hunters, who were all either Twi'leks, Duros, Rodians, or even Mandalorians. So this put him in an unusual position. He'd rather not risk them dying, so he sent me on all the high-risk bounties. At some point, he came to regret that. Not because he lost me, but because he intended to keep the credits he usually ended up paying me.
“Come on you schutta!” I yelled at the Twi'lek female, who I'd just captured. Found her in one of the high-class clubs, trying to woo any male species into buying her drinks. The main reason there was a bounty on her in the first place, was that she was, 'sick', or so it was put. I didn't ask how she infected you, but I was told that you'd end up insane first, and then you'd die after you've lost your sense of self – meaning that you would have no idea that you were insane, and you might even humiliate yourself before you kicked it. She was bold enough to try the same stunt with me, but I knocked her to the floor and slapped the stun-cuffs on her. Most of the males found this display agreeable, so much so that even the bartender didn't even think of stopping it.
“Quit being so rough!” She said to me, her voice far lighter then my own. I'd stripped her of weapons before I got her into my speeder, and that took a while. Mostly, because she had a few where most wouldn't think to look – only because they had a decency code. I had no such thing, and she even scoffed when I found the knives, or that could've been a moan. I don't know.
I walked her into the Hutt's chambers, and he smiled. “Once again, you come through on a deal. I should really stop thinking of you as a human.”
“What, you think I'm so inexperienced that I would die at the hands of her? No chance.” I let the Twi'lek go, and one of the Hutt's guards took her away.
Truthfully, I hatted both the Hutt species and the language they spoke. Which was compounded by the fact that I'd known Huttese since I learned it from a friend in the Academy. Having it was a blessing, but having to majorly deal with people who only knew and spoke that language, was just the opposite. Svenga was even so arrogant that a requirement for speaking with him was knowing, and being fluent in Huttese. Just the sort of pretentious crap I can't stand. But obviously I knew it, so I was let in that day.
“Anything other post you'd like me to 'waste' myself on?” I asked him.
“Sadly, no. But I have something else for you, which might just be what gets your hands out of my pocketbook.” He nodded at a guard, who brought me a data-pad. “I don't exactly know who he is, but he did mention Enigma Corp when I spoke with him. He requested you specifically, but he isn't asking for a corpse, or a live one.”
I looked over the information, which just confirmed what Svenga said. “Mercenary work? Its not a stretch, but you wouldn't question it.”
I knew of the Enigma Corporation. They ran just like Czerka, though they didn't exactly go for the 'Profits Above All' creed. Also, they majorly involved themselves with pharmaceuticals, weapons, ships, and various other prospects. Supposedly run by a mysterious man, who was almost never named on the holo-net. Why they would want me to work for them was a mystery. Though I wanted to unravel it, as would be expected.
A few days later, I found myself walking into 'Resurrection', which was one of the most decadent nightclubs on Coruscant. Every manner of bandit, bounty hunter, thug, gang member, or whatever else you can think of, passed through here. I wasn't getting stares, though like always, I seemed like the weak willed female walking in a den of Kath Hounds. How I loved to prove that wrong.
I walked up to the bartender, who simply nodded. “I'm looking for someone called the 'Prophet'. You know if he's here?”
The guy raised an eyebrow, but them pointed into a dark corner. The figure wasn't discernible in the darkness, though that obviously wasn't true when I got closer. Rather than being male, it was a female with blue skin, white hair and red eyes, along with a white synth-leather outfit. She looked up at me, smiling with rows of needle-like teeth.
“You would be Victoria Cole. Formerly a Lieutenant in the Republic Navy, serving...Mercedes Siyn – who has since been killed in action five years ago, as far as you are aware. After you left the ranks of the Sith Navy upon her death, you turned to bounty hunting, using skills gained in the Republic Academy to hunt down and turn in bounties for money, which is why you are still dressed in fashions like those.” She smiled. “Forgive me, I tend to know much about those around me. It is both because of my species, and my training in the force.” She stood. “I am Mina Nelvoss.”
I sat down opposite her. “So what does Enigma want with me?”
Smiling again, she drank again from the luminous red liquid in her glass. “I don't know the exactly details, as my work for them has not yet begun. Aside from seeking you out, I was told go directly to a space station that is currently orbiting...M4-78, I believe they said. Beyond that, I am just as in the dark about this as you are.”
I laughed at her joke, since we both sat in darkness, aside from the dim white light that barely allowed me to see my own hands. She was obviously someone I could trust, but for whatever reason, I was somewhat wary of Enigma. I had no idea what I would be doing for them, much less whether or not they would pay me to do it. There were a million possibilities, but the right one is, as always, unknown to me. Even if her information could be trusted, there was still one small problem.
“How exactly are we going to get there? I mean, I don't have a ship, much less the credits to get one.”
There was that smile again. “That is one detail that you don't need to worry about. However, I was told it would be best if we arrive there as soon as possible. They didn't cite a reason, other than something is about to happen, that we should be there to watch. Lets go.”
I later found myself sitting in the cockpit of her ship, at it drifted through space. I honestly had no idea what was going to happen next. It was unsettling to have this happen, as my nervousness would not stop. At least on Coruscant, I could usually guess what people would do, or what would happen around me. But now, I had this really bad feeling. Like something bad was either going to happen to me, or to someone else. It wasn't like this before, when I was aboard a ship. Even more, I felt this ghostly pain, which if it was real, just might've killed me.
Mina handed me a drink before she took her place in the captain's chair. “Something wrong?”
I shook my head. “Not really. I just feel odd about this. I guess its fear of the unknown. Don't you feel the same way?”
She seemed to relax herself. “In a way. But from what I can tell, this isn't going to be something usual. I doubt Enigma would want to hire those like us for anything trivial. It must be something major, else they would be just as secretive as they always are. If I can guess, they might just want to help do something that requires individuals that aren't just your ordinary mercenary, or soldier. “
I drank what she'd given me, noticing that I felt a little better. “Whats your story? You know much about me, but I don't know nearly as much about you.”
“Its only natural that you want to know. Its something that allows sentient species to coexist, and to trust one-another. But my story is not nearly as glorious as you might expect. Coruscant is a wonderful place, but sometimes, any place is better when you are full human. As a kid, I wasn't nearly as intelligent or skilled as I am now. My parents were killed very early, so that left me to fend for myself. Even then, I didn't want pity. What I wanted was to be strong. I wasn't angry, or withholding hate for those who kill my parents, I just wanted the ability to defend myself if something like that ever happened to me.”
“Let me guess. You went to the Jedi, right?”
Nodding, she continued. “Yes, but it wasn't that simple. A Jedi Master found me, which I'm fairly sure happens to most. But as a Jedi, I had just what I wanted. Though as you might imagine, I wasn't one to hang on every word that came out of the Council's mouth. When word of the Mandalorian Wars came to the Jedi Temple, I sided with Revan when she wished to help the Republic. Just like you inadvertently did, when you served Mercedes.”
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