One of Thousands
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kirkwall/The Free Marches
Current Game: Dragon Age II
[Fic]Radi Dvyx ("For The Sake of Two")
(Author's Note: This is the second installment in the "Vremya" series. Enjoy!)
Why did I go to war? To the Mandalorian Wars, where I shed rivers of blood and took the lives of hundreds of thousands? I don't believe I was lying to myself when I said it was for those in peril on the Outer Rim. Not exactly. The truth is that my motives were not as pure or self-sacrificial as I may have led you to believe. The Jedi say that only Sith deal in absolutes, and so I will not deal in them here. A confession is a confession; the less I avoid lies and embrace the whole truth, the better.
"Dwoooo. Bee-reep?" I saw a curious utility droid pivot its head toward me.
"Yes, T3. We're still on a course for Eriadu. The sooner I get a job as a laborer or security technician in a factory, the sooner I can get you and this ship restored. The Ebon Hawk needs a lot of work. As for you--I'm sorry, my friend, but my repair skills have always been less than stellar." T3-M4, my most faithful, long-suffering companion, tweedled. It sounded like laughter to me, a chuckle of half-joking forgiveness. I'd tried two or three times to fix the various scrapes he'd suffered, but I'd ended up inserting his vocabulator in reverse so he talked backwards instead! Luckily, Atton Rand and Kreia had known how to set things right. Now I left T3's repairs to skilled technicians, no matter how much they charged for their labor or parts. Some things are best left to true experts, not to Jedi. The Force can't fix everything, no matter how much I wish it would.
"We should land within the hour. Could you pilot, please? I know you can, but I don't want you to think I'm exploiting you and not letting you rest. I need to." Here I was, talking to droids as if they were organic beings with feelings! The thing was, I was beginning to think that was less crazy day by day. T3 beeped an assent, and I headed for my bunk in the port dormitory.
When I first awoke, I thought we were going to land on the wrong planet. Was this Mustafar? We were certainly in the Outer Rim, and there was certainly enough smoke and heat in the air to support that conclusion. However, as I reached out through the Force and brushed its surface with my senses, I realized that the world was covered with industrial pollution, not volcanoes. This was indeed Eriadu, and for some odd reason, my heart sank.
"Come on, T3. We've got factories to locate and a job to find." We hunched up our shoulders--his metal, mine flesh--and prepared to venture outside.
Eriadu was definitely not what you'd call paradise. Even the supposed scum of the galaxy--gamblers, thugs and thieves, and bounty hunters--preferred Nar Shaddaa. This planet was for those who'd come to work, and work I would. It wasn't long before we scouted out a shipyard--not one owned by a well-known company like Czerka, but some no-name outfit called Shiptech, Inc. I kid you not. Shiptech! You'd think their geniuses in marketing would have come up with a more inventive name, but I guess business is business. No one wins any points these days for imagination, just profit.
"Come for a job?" To my surprise, the foreman was a woman, her rippling muscles and torso completely concealing her gender. I nodded, trying not to look too stupid or naive, but from the look on the woman's face, it was almost too late. "I guess you're good with a sledgehammer." She picked one up, one-handed, and gave it to me. I gripped it in both arms, gasping.
You have GOT to be kidding me. This must have been a Gamorrean sledgehammer, or at least one fit for sentients stronger than I. When I fought, I used finesse and agility, not raw power. Ordinarily, this gave me a tremendous advantage in battle, but here at this shipyard, it meant nothing.
"The longer you stand there with that dumb look on your face, the sooner I send you to scrub the latrines scattered around the salvage yard. Get to work!" Not even functional and sanitary refreshers? This was an outrage! Nevertheless, I started jogging (as well as I could) toward the pile of junk at which the forewoman pointed. "Salvage" was too nice a word to describe the hunks of scrap metal, broken droids, and other parts I was sent to break.
Hard, hard work. Heat and pain. Searing muscles, aching joints. The sun was not out, and that was the only advantage in this situation. T3 tried to help, but seeing as he only had an ion cannon with him, his efforts weren't much.
"Need help?" This came from a worker nearby, dripping with sweat and smelling as if he hadn't washed in at least a week. Knowing this place, or coming to know it, maybe he hadn't been able to. "Don't try so hard. Let your swing come from your arms, not your back. You'll be dead if you don't." He smirked. "The name's Rodion Beviin. I've set myself to this for two years."
Two years?! I wasn't sure I could last two days at this drudgery. "I'm Tysyacha Dvyx," I told him between ragged breaths, "and thanks for the tip." I struggled to shake his hand, and Rodion gripped mine tightly when I almost fell. He was laughing, but I quickly forgave him. His eyes held no insult for me. He reminded me of Mandalore--strong, no-nonsense, keeping his mind on business. However, he also sang as he worked, which Mandalore never did. We smashed and destroyed together, pounding metal boulders into flat, smooth squares. At the end of the day, our combined pay was--400 credits?!
"Two hundred each," said Rodion. "Shiptech doesn't pay like Czerka."
Obviously. I considered abandoning this enterprise for a better one, but something I sensed through the Force told me to stay for at least a week. If I didn't die in seven days, I'd offer Rodion a position aboard the Hawk. Maybe he knew mechanics, or at least how to swing a big stick. Hammer. Feh! Of course, at this rate I wouldn't be able to afford repairs to either the ship or T3 for at least five years. What to do? My brain and limbs were numb.
"Hey, Tysyacha. You're zoning out. Stay with me." A small smile. How did he know how to pronounce my name perfectly? Maybe he knew other languages, too. Serve me better than a protocol droid, he would, if that were the case. Come now. You're thinking like a Sith, not a Jedi. Revan used you for your skills, and you know it. No one this side of the galaxy was a better tactician at the time. Was that Kreia's voice? No--Vrook's--pricking my conscience.
You went to war for the sake of two. Revan and yourself. That's the truth.
My eyes suddenly watered. Vrook was right. Why else would I be on the verge of crying amid the mountains of scraps stocked by Shiptech? Rodion looked at me, and with a gaze of half-pity, half-confusion, he turned to go.