One of Thousands
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kirkwall/The Free Marches
Current Game: Dragon Age II
Vtoraya Popytka (Second Chance)
Author's Note: This one-entry piece of fan fiction is a preview for "KOTOR III: To Become Heroes", or "Stat' Geroyami", a Dantooine Theater Company roleplay coming in 2008. Now, without further ado, "Vtoraya Popytka"...
"Rest now, Kreia. Your time in this place is over."
With breaking heart, I watched my Master and teacher collapse. Kreia had betrayed me, or so she wanted me to believe, but I did not. I couldn't. She had rescued me, taught me to use the Force again. Betrayal, in its truest sense, would have been if Kreia had abandoned me to the Jedi Masters and their ultimate punishment. After all I had done to try and stabilize the worlds ravaged by war and the ambitions of Darth Malak, I deserved to be severed from the lifeblood of the galaxy once more? Impossible! How could Vrook, Kavar, and Zez Kai-Ell wish that upon me? I deserved a second chance...
...and so did Kreia. Darth Traya was no more, clinging to life by the barest of threads. With the help of the Force, I lifted the old woman into my arms and carried her at a full sprint towards the Ebon Hawk. Malachor V would soon be torn asunder, and I did not wish her to die with the planet that had almost consumed her. I'd do all I could to restore the fluttering beats of her heart.
Atton Rand launched the ship, every single one of its systems running hot and overclocked, into hyperspace. Only after he'd had a chance to set them at their normal ranges and initiate autopilot did he stop to glare at me.
"Why are you carrying that old witch? Didn't you want to leave her there?"
I shook my head. "She's still alive, if only barely. I'm taking her to medbay."
Atton stared at me dully for a moment, his face blank. "What?! She betrayed you, Tysyacha. She tried to kill you just now, and you want to spare her life? She's a Sith Lord. If you do what I think you're more than capable of doing, she'll destroy us all, and you besides. I was right from the start. You're crazy. Even for a Jedi. Throw her out the airlock, or I'm not speaking to you again."
I laid my hand on Atton's arm gently. "We're both Jedi now, you and I. We try to preserve life, not to end it, even if that life does belong to a Sith Lord." I hurried to the medbay and lay Kreia on the cot there, laying my hands on her and focusing all of the power in my physical being into healing her wounds.
I heard Atton sigh, and his voice came to me from the entryway, hard and final. "Drop me off on Dantooine. I don't want to see your face right now. Someone has to fly the ship, I know, but after this, it won't be me. Someone has to restart the Jedi Order, and the Jedi Order seeks to combat evil. To get rid of it. I don't believe this--or you. I'm going to tell the others."
Tears were streaming down my face. Kreia seemed to be responding, but slowly, to my healing efforts. Why was Atton so cold, rejecting both of us when we needed him the most? When I felt her condition begin to stabilize ever so slightly, I went to the main hold. There they were--all but my dear husband, Mandalore Canderous Ordo, hands on hips, staring in judgment.
"This is stupid," came the voice of Jedi Sentinel Mira, low and husky. "Why are you helping her? You're dumber than the most brick-headed Gamorrean I've ever seen. She'll kill us, Tysy. You know that, right? I'm with Atton."
"As am I", said the Disciple. "Granted, we've had our differences in the past--over you, mostly--but I stand united with Sentinel Rand on this front. Sith are Sith, no matter whether they've disguised themselves as Jedi or not. I suggest you go to the medbay and reverse the damage you've been doing. Let Traya die. Without her, the galaxy will be safe again, and at peace."
I shook my head. "I won't, Mical. Why won't you help me? Please!"
The Disciple stepped to Atton's side and clasped his hand in a gesture of solidarity. "No. I may be the best medic on this ship next to you, but I will not be complicit in a crime of this nature. If the galaxy falls for a second time, I will know who to blame. Not Traya, mind you, but someone far more cunning. Someone who cares only for her selfish bonds to her Master."
T3-M4 whistled and beeped at me angrily, wheeling to Atton's side as well. His furious sounds spoke of betrayal, manipulation, hurt and sadness, no matter if he was a droid or not. He still had a core, and it was wounded.
G0-T0 and Bao-Dur, having sacrificed themselves upon Malachor V to the Mass Shadow Generator, were not here to witness this scene. I was glad. It wrenched me to my very soul to know that by healing Traya, I was perhaps rendering their sacrifice meaningless--two lives given in order to kill one.
"Is this the end?" I asked. "Not of the Jedi Order, but your travels with me?"
"Forever," grumbled Atton, "as soon as you leave us at the Enclave. Don't worry. Your precious Jedi Order will be reborn, but we shall not speak of you. Only as Traya's apprentice will we ever mention you, to Younglings, Knights, and Masters alike. You shall be known as an exile until the end of time. I don't know why you've chosen to betray us, but you have. Go to Traya and heal her. I don't care anymore. None of us do. We're right, and we'll win."
I knelt down, sobbing, feeling like my limbs were made of kinrath mucus.
"Please," I begged. "All Kreia and I ever wanted was a second chance!"
"You'll get none from us," said Mira, "at least not as long as she lives."
Atton set a course for the rebuilt Jedi Enclave upon Dantooine, and we landed within the hour. My companions exited the ship with the cold resolve of soldiers preparing to go to war. They marched single-file, not looking at me or at the unsteadily-breathing Kreia, preferring to remain silent and aloof.
With no one left aboard the ship save Canderous, I lay my head upon Kreia's rising chest. Warmth enveloped me, slowly penetrating our wounded flesh.
"Why'd I stay? I'm your husband, and your man. I go wherever you go, Light Side, Dark Side, Traya or no Traya. The rest of those Jedi are fools." A sigh.
I felt Kreia stir, and to my eyes, she was smiling a little. "Betrayal..."
"Yes." My whisper was soft, barely audible over the humming of the medbay equipment. "The others would not help me heal you. They hated you, and now they hate me. They're Jedi, and they would not accept your living."
"Ahh...Then if they rebuild the Order from the start, it shall crumble from the start. They will remain blind to their own arrogance while condemning you for yours. Why have you spared me, exile, and not let me die upon Malachor V?"
"Tvoya vtoraya popytka," I mumbled, still trying to stem the flood of wet salt pouring down my cheeks. "Your second chance. I wanted to give you one."
"You are weak, but in your weakness lies your strength. This is a punishment for you, I know, seeing all your followers turn on you like the Masters did. I am also being punished, being denied the death that has long wanted to embrace me, but I can live a while more. All for you, and for the truth you've brought." She lacked the strength to stand, but she sat up upon the cot.
"That life can breathe without the Force?"
"That, and another truth which you have yet to discover. I accept this second chance, but on one condition: You're mine, until your dying day."
I embraced Kreia. "I know. You've broken me, as you wished to do, and now there is nothing left for me save you--as there had been from the start."
Kreia smiled truly this time, and I shuddered and rejoiced in what lay ahead...
Discussion Question: What do you think the 'other truth' is the Exile brings?