One of Thousands
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kirkwall/The Free Marches
Current Game: Dragon Age II
[Fic] Odin Podarok, Pyat' Sudyeb ("One Gift, Five Destinies")
Author's Note: This is the 4th installment in the "Vremya" series. Enjoy!
It's strange how unforeseeable events can turn two relative strangers into comrades-in-arms and fledgling lovers. Bound together by mutual guilt as much as mutual passion, Rodion Beviin and I sought to repair what damage we could aboard the Ebon Hawk and leave Eriadu as soon as possible. Between us, we'd earned several hundred credits. These went toward fixing T3 and the ship's long-suffering hyperdrive. How many space battles had it weathered; how many asteroid belts had it managed to navigate without a scratch? Only time would tell, or perhaps a more experienced mechanic...
"It'll only be a matter of time before the Exchange catches on to what went down in that alley," Rodion said, and I nodded. "Even if they can't point us out exactly, they have their spies and stoolies watching everywhere. Sometimes the bosses don't bother going after who killed their latest pawns, but in this case something tells me they will. Why? I don't know." He was right--I sensed a disturbance in the Force when I thought of our escapades. However, I dared not tell him this. Not yet. He was a Mandalorian, after all, and none except he and Canderous had a high opinion of the Jedi--or me.
"You two sure have a hardy ship, eh?" smirked the Toydarian technician, Quatto, who had been surveying the Ebon Hawk's interior. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say it's been chased around the galaxy one too many times. You sure you wouldn't like to see my boss's, eh, newer models?" I shook my head "no", smiling slightly, and Rodion rolled his eyes. Toydarians were famous for trying to bilk anyone they thought was a sucker out of more credits than they themselves cared to admit. Whatever clunky, patched-together vessels Quatto's boss had in his inventory wouldn't hold a candle to the Hawk, no matter her age. The ship was home and family to me.
"All right. Don't say I didn't offer, eh?" Quatto smiled and turned to leave, flapping batlike wings which somehow kept his stout, pot-bellied frame afloat. It takes all kinds, I thought as I climbed up the boarding ramp with Rodion. Even Sith and Toydarians, which keep us Jedi in business. The Ebon Hawk rested in a mechanic's garage, full of fuel and ready for takeoff. She didn't look like new, but the major damage was fixed. Ah, well--detailing and paint jobs were for show, not survival.
"Where to now?" asked Rodion. "I assume nowhere that the Exchange has a foothold."
I smiled. "That would be correct, Mandalorian," I replied, "so Nar Shaddaa is definitely out. Where would Revan go if he wasn't already wandering in the Unknown Regions? For all we know, he could still be on Eriadu, though I highly doubt that. I sensed none of him through the Force"--a raised eyebrow and rather cynical stare from Rodion--"during the time we spent there. I'm sorry if I'm offending you by talking about the Force, but it helps me quite a lot."
"No need to apologize," he replied, choosing his words carefully. "Honestly, I'm not offended. It's just that I don't understand the Force or the opposing sects, Jedi and Sith, that are said to wield it. Is there really any difference between the two? Jedi are supposed to be good and the Sith evil, or so the rumors have it. The thing is, I don't understand where the line is drawn. What turns you from a Jedi into a Sith, or from a Sith to a Jedi? That's just the tip of the iceberg. If you ask me, or my compatriots more specifically, all you Force-users are trouble. There are no Sith or Jedi, just holier-than-thou magicians with a few more tricks up their sleeve than we." He winced. "Zhal'."
"No need to be sorry," I said, repeating his words with a sly wink. "If you do want to understand, I'll try to help you, though my teachings will not be those of the Jedi Council. I parted ways with them long ago as an exile." I took a step backward and shook my head rapidly to clear it. "My word! We're still sitting here! I'm easily distracted. Now, as you were saying, where to?"
Exile. Again, a whisper on the edge of hearing. A distant hiss, a sigh.
I closed my eyes. "One second. There's something one of my former Masters gave me, a gift, before she passed away. It's a Jedi artifact, and I hope this doesn't discomfit you, but it--talks to me. I'll show it to you if you'd like."
"Maybe later," Rodion smiled. "Unless it can tell us where we're going next."
I snickered. "Slim chance of that. This holocron, as it's called, imparts and teaches ancient wisdom from the Jedi that have gone before us. I sincerely doubt it has tourist guides for the planets where Revan might have gone."
I snuck to my bed in the starboard dormitory, lifting up my pillow to hear...
I hear you, Exile. Your heart, your breathing, your soft words as you speak to the conflicted Mandalorian. My love for you spans even death, and this is what has allowed me to conquer the nether-world of the Force and return to you. This holocron is not me; it contains what primitive sentients would have called my spirit. If the holocron is broken, my spirit will be released, but this is not what I want. Not until the Sith, the true Sith, have been defeated. If they are not, then all that we have striven for will have been for nothing.
Listen. The one who stands with you will do so for life. Keep him at your side. You know not what battle-scarred secrets he may reveal to you. However, if the time does come for sacrifice, let him do so if that's what he wishes. You know what sway you hold over those you love. That is your great strength and your weakness. Of those you'll find and need:
You have met love. Take it with you.
You have met wisdom in me and this holocron. Take it with you.
You will meet self-interest and self-preservation. Do take them with you!
Most of all, you will meet fear, hatred, anger and power blended into one. If you do not take them with you, my Exile, then everything will be lost. There is no truth in the dogma that such things are useless. They may be the path to the Dark Side, but you must learn to understand their roots so that you may understand how to destroy them--to betray them.
I dropped Kreia's holocron suddenly, shivering with cold unease. Five sides--it was a pentagon. "One gift...five destinies," I said, not daring to hold it again.