Category Archives: Stories

Yours, Kaidan

I… I can’t.  This is too much right now.  I don’t want to do this without you.


I can’t sleep without dreaming about you.  We’re in some sort of forest only it was too green and you are so far away from me.  I try to run, but I can never reach you.  You just keep walking away from me.  You don’t even look back.

I wake up in a cold sweat every night.  You’re still not here.  I need you to come back again.


It’s been a few weeks now.  They found Anderson’s body.  They still haven’t found…

Everything is so different.

I miss you so much.

Please don’t be gone.


I’m supposed to be recording my thoughts.  They said it would make it… easier…  I’m not sure how it’s supposed to make you… being gone easier.  It’s been a month now.  We’re getting used to this new existence.  Joker and EDI seem so happy.

I envy them.

I love you.

I miss you.


Shepard,

We put your plaque up today on the wall in the mess, right above Anderson’s.  You’re really gone this time.

The first time you died… well… I wasn’t ready for that.  I’m not sure we can ever be ready for someone we love to die suddenly, but that was too sudden.  I didn’t want to accept it.  It took so long for me to move on.

And then you came back.  I thought it was our chance to start over, to finally get the ending we deserve after all those battles and all this war and all this suffering.  I can still hear your last words to me “No matter what happens, know that I love you.  Always.”

I will always love you, Shepard.

I don’t know what to do now.

I miss you.

Kaidan.


Shepard,

Liara said it is good that I’m talking to you like this.  Cortez isn’t so sure.  We had a good talk, Cortez and I.  He told me about his husband and how you helped him let go.  I’m not ready yet, to let you go.  It’s only been a little over a month since…

The Reapers are helping us rebuild Earth.  Whatever you did, you did an amazing job.  I knew you would.

It’s still too new, but I get it now.  The first time you died, it was so sudden that I couldn’t really understand.

This time, I think I’m starting to understand.  Doesn’t make the bed any less cold at night.  I miss you so much.

Love,

Kaiden


Hey Shepard,

I had another dream about you last night.  We were in that forest, only it was different this time.  It wasn’t as green this time and I could just make out the faint shape of others in between the trees.  You were standing in front of me, looking at me.  I could see your mouth moving, but I couldn’t hear anything.  I reached out, but you disappeared.  Then you were suddenly farther away.  I tried to run for you, but I couldn’t move fast enough.

You’re gone.  Out of my reach.  I miss you every waking moment.  The least you can do is let me have some peace at night.


I’m sorry.

I just miss you.  And I love you.  And it’s not fair that you’ll never get to miss me.

I love you,

Kaidan


Shepard,

I didn’t notice it until Dr. Chakwa asked me, but the head aches are completely gone.  I haven’t had a single problem since… Since we all changed.  Whatever you did, whatever happened up there, it changed the L2 implants somehow.  Doc ran some tests but they all came back the same.  The green circuits were able to stabilize the implants somehow.  She doesn’t understand it, but apparently others are seeing the same thing.

So, that’s something good, I guess.

Doesn’t make me miss you any less.

I love you,

Kaidan


Hey Shepard,

The Geth and the Quarians are rebuilding together.  I get updates from Tali.  She can take her suit off.  She says she owes it all to you.

Wrex says they are rebuilding, too.  The first Krogan baby was born not too long ago.  They are learning how to control their breeding so that they won’t over populate their planet.  He wishes he could thank you in person.

I wish you could see this.  We are rebuilding London.  You would have loved seeing the Reapers added flair.  It’s so amazing that you were able to give us this.

Maybe it’s selfish of me, but sometimes, okay more than sometimes, I wish I could give this all up just to hear your voice again.

I love you,

Kaidan


Diana has a recording of you.  I’m not sure you knew she was recording because you are smiling and laughing.

I’d give anything to see that smile again, to hear that laughter again, to feel you against me again.

I can’t do this right now.  I’m sorry.

I hate this.


Shepard,

I’ve watched that clip a dozen or so times now.  Joker and Vega are getting a little worried about me.  I think Joker actually asked EDI to limit my access.  She came to me, though.  I never realized how much she missed you too.  You’re the reason that she’s alive, that she can feel sad about you being… gone.

I’m sad all the time.  Sometimes, when we are in the middle of a mission or working on rebuilding and fixing all the damage I can ignore it.  But I miss you so much.  I knew it would be goodbye, back on Earth right before the final push.  But you sounded so sure that we would see each other again.  You were going to be waiting for me and I better show up.

I showed up, Shepard.  I’m still here.  Where are you?  You said you’d be waiting for me!  Instead you had to go and die!  Again!  I don’t want to do this without you…


I’m sorry, Shepard.  For last time.  You’re gone and I’m still here and… I can’t always deal with it.

I got through to Garrus.  They are building on Palaven with the help of the Reapers.  He’s just as stunned as the rest of the galaxy.  We caught up on the Citadel and traded Shepard stories.  He told me about your work with Cerberus, when… after you came back.  It’s still one of my big regrets that I didn’t go with you then.  But it was good to talk to Garrus.  It was good to remember what you stood for, even when I thought you were going against all of what we fought for.

He told me how he offered to, how did he phrase it?, relieve some tension with you.  And you turned him down.  Apparently, you turned down quite a few similar offers.  I guess I never realized that you felt that much for me.  I’m sorry if I ever accused you otherwise.

It’s been two months and the Normandy is officially fully operational again.  I’m not sure what we will do or where we will go.  There is barely any conflict in the galaxy.  The Geth and the Quarians continue to work side-by-side with each other.  The Krogan are rebuilding and working on fixing their planet.  The other races are doing the same.  Earth is… almost boring.  We understand each other.  We help each other.  Organics have the technology we need and synthetics have the understanding they need.  I asked EDI about it once and she said that she didn’t need to ask you any more hard questions because she understood now.

I wish you were here to see it.

Love you,

Kaidan


Hey Shepard,

I finally was able to get through to my mom today.  She’s alive and well and has been helping with the rebuild in Canada.  Dad… He didn’t make it.  We’re having a funeral for him.  I wish they could have met you.  I’m not really the religious sort, but I kind of hope that you and my dad will be waiting for me.

I love you.

Kaidan


Hey Shepard,

I was officially made commander of the Normandy today.  They were going to remove your name from the Captain’s cabin, but I asked that they leave it.  They just added my name above yours.

Commander Alenko.

Commander Shepard.

It shouldn’t matter.  I’ve been sleeping in that room with you for months.  I’ve been sleeping in that room alone for months, too.  I just feels weird now that it’s officially…mine.  It’s not yours.  It’s not ours.

I think about you every day.  I miss you every day.  I love you always.

Kaidan


Hey Shepard,

Almost a whole new crew.  Cortez is still here.  And so are Donnelley and Daniels.  Traynor and Westmoreland and Campbell all decided to stay as well.  But the rest are gone now.  Adams was promoted and has been working on Earth, redesigning some new engine system.  Liara left for the Citadel, although I still get an occasional update from the Shadow Broker on the last splintered remains of Cerberus.  Garrus and Tali left to rebuild their worlds.

Joker, of course, is still our pilot.  I don’t think they will ever be able to replace him now.  EDI would stop that.

I see them, when they think no one is looking, holding hands or just casually touching when they talk.  I miss those moments with you the most.

Love you,

Kaidan


Hey Shepard,

Sometimes I wish I had just pulled you up on the Normandy when Garrus and I were evacuated.  I wish I had just held on tight and said screw the rest of the galaxy and never let you go.

You would have hated that.  And I know it would have changed everything for the worst.  But I would have had that much more time with you before all life in the galaxy was wiped out again.  Some days, on the really bad days, I think I would have preferred that.

Love you,

Kaidan


Shepard,

The Council, or what’s left of it, actually sent us out on a mission.  Some crazy Krogan rogue group is targeting the Salarians!  Can you believe it?  After everything we went through with the Reapers and trying to rebuild society in the aftermath, these lunatics decide they still have a grudge to settle.  Man, do they have a quad.

Wrex actually contacted the Council and let them know what was happening.  I think it’s a good step toward some positive relationships in the future.  Hopefully.  Anyway, the Council called me in because I’m still a Spector and I have combat experience against Krogan.

It was a lot like it used to be, racing off in the Normandy to solve the problems of the galaxy.  Some things never change, I guess.  Vega’s a good guy, too.  This was his last mission with us.  He’s shipping off to N7 after this.  Says you inspired him.

Some things change a lot, though.  You weren’t there, leading the charge.  I’ve lead my number of charges, but I got so used to following you into battle.  It was weird to lead again, especially without you there.

I still miss you every day.  The bed seemed extra cold after the heat of the fight.

I love you so much.

Kaidan


I had a dream about you again last night.  We were in that forest and there were dark shadows all around us.  But you were standing in front of me.  You were so beautiful.  I tried to reach out and touch you, but I couldn’t reach you.  I couldn’t move fast enough.  You tried to tell me something, but I wouldn’t hear you.  I could just see your lips moving.  I couldn’t reach you.

I’m sorry I couldn’t be with you, in the end.  There is nothing I would have wanted more.  I should be mad at you because you robbed me of that by putting me on the Normandy, but I can’t be.  I would have done the same.  I would have done anything to make sure you came out of there alive, even if I couldn’t join you.

I can’t be mad at you for doing the same.

I love you.

Kaidan


Hey Shepard,

I never realized all the little things you had to do while being in command.  Shift changes and personnel schedules and combat duty rosters.  Traynor’s been a big help.  She said she used to work with you doing that stuff all the time.  Kept you up to date on messages and missions and the crew too.  I didn’t realize you guys were so close.

I’m not sure, but I don’t think she likes my organizational style.  Things keep shifting piles.  She doesn’t say anything though.

Love you

Kaidan


Shepard,

New orders came in today.  We’re the fastest ship in the galaxy which means they have us running errands are VIPs from one side of the system to the other.  Garrus helped us escort some Turrians to the Citidel for more supplies.  A Geth ambassador needed a lift to Krogan space.  And of course the Krogans are moving around like crazy trying to get their planet rebuilt.  Meanwhile, the Reapers are moving supplies from one place to the next just to make sure everyone has what they need.

I think you would have handled it all better.  I’m starting to get bored with all this running around.  I don’t mean to complain because peace is nice for once, but I’m a solider.  I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be doing anymore.

I miss you every day.

Love you

Kaidan


Hey Shepard,

Finally got around to playing chess with Traynor.  She’s really good.  Guess I need more practice.

She mentioned that she has dreams about you.  They sounded a lot like the dreams I’ve been having.  We’re in the forest and I can see your lips moving but I can’t hear anything.  You’re so close I can almost touch you, but every time I reach out, you’re gone.

Her dreams sounded so similar it was weird.  What are you trying to tell us?

Love you

Kaidan


Shepard,

I talked to Dr. Chakwa today about the dreams and she is having them too.  In fact, everyone on the ship is having similar dreams about you.  And not just on the ship.  I got in touch with all the old crew and they all said the same.  I’m not sure how to feel about that.  Dr. Chakwa is looking into it.

Is it just because we were all so connected to you that we still feel the pain of your death?  I kind of think it’s something more…  I wonder if, in some way, you’re still with us.  Traynor likes the idea.

Love you

Kaidan


Hey,

Today is the one-year university of your… They are calling it Synthesis Day in the Citadel.  We call it Shepard Day on Earth.  The Alliance is raising a statue of you and Anderson in London to celebrate.  We were all invited as heroes of the London advance.  I didn’t want to go, but Joker and EDI convinced me to.  They were right, of course.

The statue of you is pretty good.  You have this fierce look on your face, the determination to never quit.  I’ve seen that look a hundred times.  You never wanted to give up, even when things were at the worst and we couldn’t convince the Council that first time with Sovereign, you didn’t want to give up.  It’s a great look to capture.

They had us all on stage: me and Garrus and Tali and Vega and Cortez.  Joker and EDI held each other while they put your statue up.  I thought I was going to lose it.  I almost walked away.  But this weird thing happened.  Traynor grabbed my hand and squeezed.

I’m not sure how I feel about it.  My heart was in the pit of my stomach as I watched them immortalize you in stone.  I was back at ground zero, the place where I last saw you alive.  I could almost see you again as you told me you loved you and then walked away.  The pain was still there and the longing and anguish because I knew I was never going to see you again.  And all that was back and fresh.  I could almost hear the gunfire and smell the blood.

And then she was there and her hand felt warm.  It was real and grounding and I felt… I don’t know.

I still miss you all the time.

I still love you.

I’m not sure what to do about this other thing.

Kaidan


Hey Shepard,

Joker and EDI convinced me to go on a double date with Samantha – Traynor.  It… It was nice.  She was nice.  Maybe… I’m not sure…

I saw you again in my dream last night.  They are becoming less and less frequent.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m slowly letting you go or because you are slowly fading away.  We learned that just about everyone has the dreams.  Dr. Chakwa can’t explain it fully, but I think it was you that changed everything last year. I don’t know what you did, but I’m convinced you somehow became a part of us all.  And maybe that part is now fading.  You didn’t try to talk this time.  Instead you just smiled at me.  I didn’t try to reach out either.

Maybe it’s a sign.

I still miss you, but the pain is lessening.  It always does with time.

Yours,

Kaidan

 

Advertisements

That First Job

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything original.  I needed to jot something down to maybe get some creative juices flowing once more.  So I sat down and started writing a character I’ve haven’t visited in a while.  Hopefully it’s okay.

This is part of what is becoming more of a series than I though it would be.  There is no real order because each story is contained, but this is the third story I’ve shared with this character.  Enjoy.


That First Job

My grandfather always warned me to be prepared.  He would place his tanned and scared hand on my shoulder, locked his eyes, one bright and brown the other hazy and milky and blind, with mine and say in his booming voice, “Be ready.”  I was small, awed by what he had seen and what he had to say and what he had to show me still.  So I said, “for what?”  And he would look over my head, his one good eye seeing things I couldn’t dream of.  “For anything.”

I’m pretty sure this is not what my grandfather had in mind when he said to be prepared for anything.  I’m pretty sure he was thinking of long-gone battles and mostly forgotten thoughts of rebellion and war with the Imps.  I’m pretty sure he wanted me to be prepared for the day when humanity threw off our alien overloads/protectors.  He, sadly, is still waiting for that.

I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean that I should be prepared to hang by my fingertips off the side of building I was trying to rob while the security team looked for me.  Or maybe he did.  Sometimes it was hard to know with Grandfather.

My fingertips ached.  I deeply regretted opting for the cheaper climber gloves.  The upgrade had gecko pads which would have allowed me to cling to the side of the building in a, slightly, more comfortable position.  Lesson learned: don’t be miser when you are trying to steal from a high-rise.  Next time.

If there was a next time.

They, the nebulous they, always tell you to never look down when in a high place.  Of course, once that thought entered your head, there was no getting rid of it.  They were always right.  Never look down.

The street was really far away.  The people looked like the tiny robotic bees the Imps released after most of the real bees died off some twenty years ago.  They buzzed to and fro in their sleek motopods.  It was one of the first things the Imps gifted us with, as an apology for utterly destroying Guangzhou, the heart of world trade and finance, to teach us a lesson about trying to fight back.  The motopods were pretty neat though, sleek metal teardrop shaped pods that could communicate with each other seamlessly.  Apparently it eliminated something called traffic.  My teacher in school once said that people died by the tens of thousands in the automobiles they used before the Imps arrived.  Most people thought it was a fair trade.

My earpiece crackled and I almost lost my grip.  “Not on this floor,” the metallic voice came through.  The secretary team sent up the androids.  That was a blessing in disguise.  It meant they were less likely to double back to the floor they already checked; the floor I was currently dangling from.

“Circle back down.  He can’t have gone far,” the human controller replied.  Sweat was pouring down my face, but I couldn’t help the smirk.  Did no body read the classics anymore?

Now the hard part.  I trained for this.  I trained hours every day for a year for this.  I canvased the building, got in with the deliver companies that ran to this floor, knew where ever sensor and camera and floor monitor was.  It would do me no good if I couldn’t get in through the fucking window.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I shifted my weight on my feet and to a single hand.  My shoes, more high quality than the gloves apparently, held me fast against the slick-looking glass on the side of the building.  What most people didn’t know is that it wasn’t glass, but a porous material that helped trap carbon dioxide from the air and siphoned it through capillaries in the building to an underground plant that converted it into sugars.  All the old buildings from just after the Imps took over was built from it.  Their second gift was the material.  The best thing about it, though, was the fact that climber shoes found all the tiny pores and could cling to them.

My fingers on my left hand were sore.  I flexed them a few times before extending my arm up to grasp the lip of the window sill.  It held firm.  A few moments later, I had my other hand on the lip of the sill.  Slowly, I moved one foot than the other.  It would do no good to rush now.  I’d waited too long for this.  Rushing would only mean mistakes and mistakes meant getting caught.  Deep breath.

The nice thing about high-rise condos is that nobody locks their windows.  Because why?  The window pivoted on a hinge, leaving just enough space for me to crawl through.  It was also the only window in the place without a camera on it.  Because, again, why?

I pulled myself up and eased through the space, careful where I placed my hands and feet as I crawled through.  There wasn’t a camera on the window, but there was a floor monitor about a foot away in front of the sliding balcony door.  Most people thought it was would be easier to scale the building and enter through the balcony, I guess.  Standing, I flexed my body, popping the creaks out and rolling the muscles.  All that training paid off.  I was sore, but I could still move to do what needed to be done next.

I carried a small hip pack.  I dug through it now, finding the remote device and pushing a button.  Hacking into the security system wasn’t easy, but I’d managed it.  The cameras, at least, would show the empty house.  The sensors and floor monitors were a different story.

I learned young that I was really good with patterns.  My grandfather and I would play this game for hours where I had to figure out the patterns in his code.  It was only after I saw my first Imp that I realized I could put my special skill to a different use.  Imps walk weird, but there is a pattern to their movements, and they like to put sensors on the floor that match those patterns.  If you can’t follow their walking styles, you trip the monitors.  The Imp who lived in the condo was no exception.  And I knew his pattern.

So I moved through the living room, through the kitchen, into the collection room.

There were several items that, by themselves, were worth a fortune.  I walked right past them.  There was only one thing that was priceless in that room.

The security system was a Z12-T34 LASER system.  It was one that studied and understood on a personal level.  I crouched at the base of the display and slide aside the panel.  The Z13-T34 LASER system.

Well, fuck.

Of course.

Deep breath.

Fuck.

The Z13-T34 was just different enough that I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at.  But time was running out and I’d come too far to back out now.  I blinked twice rapidly and my digital display opened in front of my eyes.  Rapid eye moments back and forth quickly typed in a search for the new specs.  Of course nothing that I needed popped up.

Except maybe…

One site compared the old system with the new system.  It was enough.

For once, time was on my side.  The owner of the condo was away at the main Imp archive in Paris and the bots had already scanned this level of the building.  They were unlikely to research the area.  I pulled out my tools from my hip bag and set to work, referencing the website models as needed.

I thought I would be nervous, with sweat dripping from my temples like in the old Hollywood spy movies Grandfather watched with me when I was a kid.  Instead, I felt cold and calm as my fingers and tools made quickish work of the wires and security protocols in place that protected my query.  The new system was not that different from the old, luckily, and the few major changes were easy to understand with the help of the website I’d found.  It took only a handful of minutes longer than I practiced for, but the system lights flickered and died with the last press of a button.

I stood and just stared for a moment at the model in front of me.  It wasn’t very big, maybe the size of my hand.  For some reason, it was bigger in my mind.  Carefully, I lifted it from the display and cradled it.  It was lighter than I thought too.  I flipped it over.  There, on one of the landing feet were my Grandfather’s initials, just like he said.  Now that it was in my hands, I felt the nerves start to flare up.

Deep breath.  I still had to get out of here.  I pulled a small piece of cloth from my hip bag and wrapped the model as carefully as I could.  The Millennium Falcon was coming home.


Read the other adventures from our lovable burglar


Unexpected Part III: I Won’t Say It

Parts I and II can be found here and here.  Takes place during The Shadow of Revan storyline in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  PC is the Imperial Agent.  Minor spoilers.

Part III

I don’t know what to do any more.  I’ve been disavowed for the murder of Colonel Darok.  The chancellor wanted me arrested and imprisoned.  Satele wants nothing to do with me.  She won’t even talk to me through the holonet.  Thanks, Mom.  Good to know that you don’t trust your own son in this matter.  They won’t listen.  They don’t understand that Revan is back and a real threat.

So now I’m on the run.  With Lana.

If you asked me two months ago if I would ever trust a Sith with my life, I’d have laughed in your face.  But she’s the only one I can trust right now.

Except maybe you.

“You made it,” Lana sighs.  I lean against the table behind me, crossing my arms over my chest.  Ever the picture of nonchalant.

“The way Revan was laying waste to that place, I wasn’t sure you’d come out of it in one piece.”  It comes out smooth and casual, but I can feel my heart quicken.  I really am glad that you made it out alive.  The thought gives me pause for a moment.  I haven’t had time to really examine my thoughts and feelings from earlier, when you were on the rooftop and I couldn’t get to you.  Too much was going on then.  Too much is going on now.  But the thoughts drift to the surface none-the-less.  I really am glad that you are alive.

“What are you talking about? I’m hardly in one piece…” Ceetoo Deefour complains.  Jakarro growls at him to stuff it.  I think he also threatened to dismantle the droid further, although I’m not sure how.  Ceetoo is just a head at this point.

“Anyway, my point is: glad you got out of there.  Any ally right now is a welcome ally.”  The picture of casual.  No feelings what-so-ever.

“So coy,” you reply, practically cooing.  “I think someone in the SIS has a crush on me…”

I can feel the heat rising off my face.  There it is.  Out in the open.  Just like that.  I can handle this.

“What, me? Into you?  That’s so… You know, don’t be ridiculous.” I practically stutter.  Smooth, Theron.  Real smooth.  That’ll show her what I think of that.  Me, have a crush on the Imperial agent?  Yeah, right.  Right?

“If I may say, Agent Shan, you appear to be rather flush all of a sudden.” Ceetoo comments.  Damn that droid.

“We’re gonna—Jakarro and I and the droid, we’re leaving now so you can have your… official Imperial debrief or whatever.”  I turn and stalk out of the room, being very careful to not appear as if I’m running.  I don’t even wait to see if Jakarro is following me.

“Lana, when you’re done, we can start picking out backwaters to go lie low in.”  I don’t look back, but I can practically feel you watch me as I leave.  I can picture your piercing blue eyes following me as I turn a corner.  I can almost see the small smirk on your full lips, the hint of a thin eyebrow raised in amusement because you must see that your joke has clearly gotten under my skin.

I stop a few paces from the hanger where Jakarro’s ship is waiting.  It seems rude to just barge into a ship that isn’t mine.  I lean with my back against the wall, arms across my chest, head back, and close my eyes.  I take a deep breath and let the thoughts roll over me.  You can do this, Theron.  You’ve been calm and collective in many circumstances that should have killed you, many times over.  You’ve thought your way through each and every one and come out on top.  This is no different.  Just be calm and relaxed and think it through.

“Ah, Agent Shan,” Ceetoo Deefour’s voice cuts through my concentration.  “We were worried that in your haste to get away from the commander that you forgot where the ship was docked.”

“I wasn’t in a hurry to get away from anyone,” I counter.  “They just seemed like they didn’t want me there.”

Jakarro growls in Wookie.  “I agree,” Ceetoo replies.  “It does appear that Agent Shan left quite abruptly after the commander’s comment about his crush.  Perhaps the commander’s observations where more astute than-“

“Stow it, Ceetoo.  That’s ridiculous.  I do not have a crush on the commander,” I put as much bravo and mocking into my tone as possible.  I’m not in to that Imperial spy.  “She’s not even my type.”  I add as I follow Jakarro into his ship.  He growls and grumbles a reply, something akin to “sure sure, whatever you say.”

“She’s not!” I insist, but Jakarro is no longer listening to me.  He has a galactic map pulled up and is discussing places to hide with Ceetoo.  How can they possibility think that I like you?  You’re good in a fight, to be sure, and I’m glad you’re alive.  I’m not sure why, exactly, but I’m really happy that I got to see you again.

“Nar Shaddaa is out of the question,” Ceetoo points out with a sigh, or as close to a sigh that a droid can get.  “We’re wanted there as well.”

“How about Rakata?” Lana pipes in from behind.  I didn’t even hear her board the ship.  I tweak with my sensors a little, but they are working just fine.  Need to upgrade if a Sith can get past them.  Maybe a quick side trip to Nar Shaddaa wouldn’t be a bad thing.

“She thinks you’re cute,” Lana says casually as she leans in for a better look at the map.

“Wha-?” That catches me completely off guard.

“The great Jakarro says it would also give him some satisfaction to take out the remaining Revanite bases.”  Jakarro growls something, but I miss it.  I’m still stuck on Lana’s off-the-cuff remark.  I realize that my mouth is open and close it.

“Yes, but we want to hide from the Revanites, not announce our presence, at least not until we know more about what they are planning.  Hmmm.”  Lana moves the map around, trying to find an out-of-the way planet.  “I meant the commander of course.  She told me that she’s glad I reached out to you because she thinks you’re cute.  Or maybe handsome?  Or was it good-looking?  I can’t really remember the exact words.  You get the point, though yes?”

“I don’t… I mean… I’m not… Stop looking at me like that.”  I turn back to the map, but I can barely focus on the images in front of me.  I’m sure my face is on fire because it feels warm.  Come on, Theron, get it together.  You are an adult who doesn’t get distracted because some girl – woman – thinks you’re good-looking.

“We have some intel from the Revanites on Rakata.  No, Jakarro, we don’t want to destroy them just yet, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep track of their movements.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I agree with Lana.  We need more information.”  You think I’m good-looking…

Jakarro growled about something about Nal Hutta.  “The wonderful Jakarro says that he has contacts on Nal Hutta that might be able to help us.

“We’ve nowhere else to go,” Lana replies, pushing back from the map display and smiling.  “Theron?”

“I’ve, uh,” Snap out of this.  “Yeah.  If Jakarro has some contacts that won’t immediately turn him in, I think it’s a good place to start.  Plus, I bet I can find some supplies and parts I need to help me decode what we got from the Revanite databases on Rakata.  With any luck, we can figure out what they have planned next.”

“Then it’s settled.  Jakarro, plot a course.  We’ll see if we can find any more allies on Nal Hutta.”

“We have allies?” I ask, but regret it as soon as it leaves my lips.

“The commander, of course,” Lana replies.  She seems to relish that fact that just the thought of you scrambles my brain.  I can’t think straight and this is not the time to lose my head.  Blast it.

“Look, she’s not even my type.  Plus, she was clearly joking.  I don’t have a crush on her.”

“Of course not,” Lana replied, but in a smug way that made me kind of want to punch her in the face.  I refrained.  It’s not nice to punch literally the only person in the galaxy who has my back in the face.  Well, maybe not the only person.  I guess Jakarro is in this with us.  And you.  At least I hope you’re in this with me-us!

“I’m going to see if I can decode more of the Revanite intel we gathered on Rakata.” I say to the room, but Jakarro is already off to plot our course and Lana just waves me off.

“Let me know if you find anything.”

I do not stalk back to my quarters.  I have every intention of doing what I told Lana and Jarakko I was going to do: work on decoding the intel.  But your eyes dance in front of my face and I can’t focus on the delicate task at hand.  Instead, I sit back on my bunk and try to figure this out.

I wasn’t lying when I said you weren’t my type.  You’re not really.  You’re smart, yes, but enhancements do that.  It’s difficult to hide your implants when the slim tendrils attach above your eyebrows and at your temples.  I assume the ones that caress your checks and sit above your mouth are also microphones.  I suppose you do that because you’re not interested in hiding your implants.  Why would you be?  Mine aren’t exactly hidden either, what with the flashing yellow lights at my temple.  So, yes, you’re smart.  And quick, which isn’t always the same thing.

There is a pose to you that I’ve not seen in many other woman, a grace that defines your every move.  Oh sure, I guess some would say the Jedi have the same grace when they move, but yours is different.  You move with economy, no step wasted, every movement has a purpose, but there is a fluidity to it as well.  It’s the confidence that you have, the way you hold yourself.  Some have told me I move like that.  I’ve rarely seen it in others, even other SIS agents.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find it attractive.

You’re not beautiful though.  Or really even pretty.  I’d use the word handsome, but that somehow seems insulting.  You are striking, though, with your sharp check bones and sharp nose and amazing eyes.  And your full lips.  I’ve always gone for the pretty ones, with the delicate features and the need to be rescued.  You have proven more than once that no one needs to rescue you.  You are the exact opposite of delicate.  I know you can handle yourself, I can see that you are perfectly attune to your own needs and have no fear in pursuing them.  Perhaps that why your flirting has taken me so off guard.  I’m not used to someone being so direct with me, especially when that person is another spy.  Perhaps that’s why I’m more attracted to you than I’m willing to admit.

Huh?  Maybe you were joking or maybe you’re just better at reading people than I am.  That wouldn’t be too hard, actually.  For all my skill as a slicer, I’m not great with understanding people.  Blast it!

It’s fine, Theron.  So I’m attracted to an Imperial Agent.  It’s not like I’m going to see you again in the near future, especially since I’m running for my life from the very people you happen to work for.  Not like it would work out anyway, what with you being an Imperial spy and me being a Republic spy.

Still I certainly don’t have to tell Lana and Jakarro that you were right!


Unexpected Part II: Why do I care?

Takes place during The Shadow of Revan storyline in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  PC is the Imperial Agent.  Minor spoilers.

You walk up the beach towards us and I can feel the confidence in your steps.  Or maybe that’s due to the blaster riffle strapped to your back and the vibroblade sheathed on your hip.  You nod to Lana and me before greeting the Wookie and his droid.

“Jakarro.  Deefour.”

I let them bicker about the proper way to treat you before I chime in with my own greeting.  “Hey.  We’re set to move on the Temple of the Ancient when you are.”

I’m not sure the type of response I am expecting, but you are all business.  It’s nice to work with a professional who knows how to get the job done.  We brief you on the situation with the traitors’ base of operations.  Lana and I won’t be on the ground ourselves, that’s your job and I don’t like stepping on toes, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t already scouted the area.

“Should warn you, it’s a rough road to the temple.  The area’s lousy with tribal Rakatans more than happy to fight.  Found that out the hard way…”  You nod at me as Lana finishes her last words of wisdom to you.  Some ridiculous Force mumbo-jumbo about staying focused.  I watch you before you turn away to head up the trail and into battle.  There is a fire in your eyes that I know all too well – you are going to enjoy this.

Lana and I head to Jakarro’s ship to monitor you from above.

Watching you work is a learning experience.  You slip in and out of the tribal Rakatan camps, your stealth generator quite impression (I am most definitely not jealous).  You kill some of them, but only when you can’t get around them or are attacked.  It’s not exactly what I expected from an Imperial agent.  I guess I’ve dealt too much with the overtly evil and destructive side of the Empire.  And while I’ve had a few run ins with other Imperial agents, I’ve never really seen their work up close and personal before.  You are minimalistic and precise.  I can appreciate both.

I track your progress on my monitors.  The route you’re on is going to take you straight into a mountain, but the only other route goes right through the largest of the Rakata settlements.  Nothing can be done about it.  I am genuinely sorry though.

You acknowledge with a muffled, “On it,” and switch courses without another question.  I’m not sure if it’s because you trust me or because you know Lana is standing right next to me watching everything I do.  Or maybe you’re just a professional who knows how to get the job done.

“Did you just send her toward that rancor?” Lana chirps from my side.  Opps.

“No way around that rancor.  I do not envy you,” I comment into the comms, partly because you need to be warned but also because I’m curious what you’ll do.  I can hear the small sigh, but you activate your stealth generator (okay, fine, I want one of those) and slip behind the rancor, slicing it down the back before it even knows you’re there.  You make quick work of it and its handler.  My respect for you is growing by the minute.

My implants pick up a signal from the Revanites camped near your position.  They came across a cache of Rakata-tech weapons.  I have seen what those types of weapons do to people.  We do not want them keeping those.

“Might want to do something about that,” I inform you as you work your way deeper into the Revanite camp.  I watch on the monitor as you use your stealth generator to sneak around Revanites, killing only when you have to.  Even then, you make it quick.  I suddenly wonder if all Imperial agents are like you.  Somehow I doubt it.  Lana keeps saying that you are special.  I’m starting to believe her.  And believing a Sith can be a dangerous game.

Finally, you arrive at the Revanite main base.  “Look for a control console and open a channel there,” I instruct you like this is your first time or something.  “I’ll be able to slice into their systems remotely.”  You’ve already given me access before I can complete the sentence.  Lana is tapping at the keypad next to me.  She might make a decent slicer one day.

“That’s it.  We’re in.  Theron?”

“Okay,” I start my work.  While you are great at the ground work, I excel at slicing.  “According to the structural plans, the only way to get at the head Revanites is through that conscription center.”  I pull up the plans and silently curse.  There are tanks of cyborgs in there.  “The cyborgs are dormant for now, but they’re set to go on high alert once they detect you.  A console overload will fry them from the inside.”  I type at the keypad, trying to find a way to remotely trigger the overload.  Unfortunately, the cyborg console isn’t connected to the main computer system.  Can’t slice something if it isn’t connected.

“Nope.  Can’t work the power safeties from here.  You’ll have to do the honors.”

“A sound plan,” Lana adds.  She turns to me, “Theron, why can’t I get this sensor to work?”

Boy do I know a dismissal when I’ve heard one.  She wants to talk to her agent alone, huh?  Fine.  We’ll play the game, Lana.  “Because Jakarro isn’t a big fan of upkeep?” I shrug.  “Probably a dead relay.  I’ll check it out.”

I rise out of the chair and make my way to the back of the ship, but not before syncing my implants to the ships onboard communications relay.  Come on guys, I’ve been in this business for a long time now.  I’m willing to work with you and Lana, but that doesn’t mean that I trust Lana.  I’m not quite sure how I feel about you, yet.  You’re quick, efficient, and very smart.  You’re also an Imperial and very lethal.  I don’t exactly distrust you, but I’m not ready to put my guard down around you.  Probably never will be.

My implants crackle with static before they pick up the relay.

“…might want its own Infinite Army someday.  You would have to fight those cyborgs, but…”  That’s Lana for you.  I should have known that she would want to take the cyborgs for the Empire.  Too bad I couldn’t have fried them from up here.  I pretend to tinker with the sensors relay system in front of me.

“There goes any concern of you getting too cozy with the Republic spy,” you reply.  Do I detect just a little bit of…relief in your voice?  As if you ever had to worry about Lana and me.  I think I’m going to be sick just thinking about it.  No thank you.  I want none of that.

“Make no mistake, I serve the Empire.”

You sigh.  It’s faint, but I can hear it.  I don’t envy you fighting those cyborgs.  I do admire your loyalty to the Empire, if only a little bit.  And honestly, I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same if our situations were reversed.  Loyal to a fault.  “As do I.  We’ll do this your way.”

Ah, that’s my cue.  I stroll back into the cockpit.  “Hey, what happened?  Why’s the console still running?”  I’m not a bad actor when I have to be.  Ball’s in your court, Lana Beniko.

“We couldn’t make it work.  The room will have to be traversed the hard way.”  Not bad.

“Are you sure?  What did you try?” I probe.  Lana glares at me.  I risk a glance at you.  There’s that smirk on your lips again, just like I saw on Manaan.  You make no attempt to hide it.  You also make no attempt to assist Lana.  I’m still watching you when Lana replies.

“Everything.”  Not very creative, Lana, but I’ll let it drop.  By the flash in your dark blue eyes and the smirk on your full lips, I’m sure you are amused at the situation.  Not everyone can think of good excuses quickly.  It’s a skill that takes years of practice.  I know you understand.

“If you say so,” I reply without pushing.  But that doesn’t mean I’m done.  “Hey, those sensor relays were fine, by the way.  Not sure what the problem is.”

“Was,” Lana says quickly, “The senor appears to be working again…”

“The Revanite leaders are inside, yes,” you finally say.  “Do we have a fix on them?”

Ok, fine, I get your point.  I sit back in my chair and begin typing again, scanning the temple for any signs of the Arkous and Darok while you activate your stealth generator and sneak inside the temple.  I stop typing for a moment to watch as you dispatch the cyborgs waiting on the inside.  I shouldn’t be surprised at the speed that you finish them.  I also notice the swell of your vitals and the small red flash that indicates you’ve been wounded.  I know you have combat triage training, but I glance accusingly at Lana anyway.

“There was no way around it,” she maintains, not looking away from her station.

“Yeah,” I grunt in reply.  No time to argue about it.  The scanners are picking up movement on the temple-roof.

“Might be Darok and Arkous trying to make an escape,” I say to you after conveying the information from the scanners.  You turn a corner, expertly sneaking past Revanites that litter the temple.  I’m sure most agents would have killed them all.  I’m not sure why you let them live, but I do admire it.  After we capture their leaders, maybe we can convert the followers away from life as a cult member.  I don’t know if that’s what you’re thinking too, but I want to hope that it is.

That gives me pause.  I stop typing for a moment to contemplate.  Why do I care what you’re thinking?  Why does it matter to me that you aren’t killing the cultists?  Why do I care that you were injured fighting the cyborgs?  You are an Imperial agent.  We are enemies.  The second this alliance is over, we will be back fighting each other.  But right now, none of that matters.  Right now, we are allies and I can admire an ally, right?  That’s all it is, admiration for an ally.

“Theron,” Lana says, glancing at me as she monitors her station.  I don’t glance back as I resume typing.  I don’t answer her.  Instead, I comm you.

“Look like they’ve got a shuttle-we can shoot it down if we have to, but I’d rather take them in for questioning if you can.  Hurry!”

You hurry toward the temple-roof, where Jakarro joins you.  I know Darok won’t back down.  I’ve knew him for a bit now, I’ve looked into his record.  He doesn’t give up.  I just hope Arkous isn’t as foolish.  But there is no luck.  Neither Revanite will stand down.  I can only watch as you and Jakarro fight them off.  Lana visibly swoons when Darth Arkous falls.  I look away when Colonel Darok falls besides him.

Your voice comes over the comm as your image is projected on the holo.  You stand calmly, yet I can hear the remorse in your voice.  “Arkous and Darkos were never going to be taken alive.  They were never going to talk.”

Lana shakes her head. “I felt Darth Arkous’s passing.  This is an unfortunate turn.”

Jakarro replies, his Wookie loud as he yells his victory and revenge.  His droid agrees, but I can’t.

“Blast it!” I shout.  I’m not really mad at you.  I’m mad that Darok was stupid enough to fight to the death.  “Those two were running the show.  They were our best hope of exposing the Revanites.”

You nod, perhaps understanding my anger, perhaps agreeing with me.  Lana, on the other hand, shakes her head again.

“No.  They weren’t in change.  The disturbance in the Force,” she trails off for a moment, “I still feel it.  It’s…arrived.”

The second she says it, the scanner go crazy.  They beep and lights flash as several ships jump out of hyperspace almost on top of the planet.

“We’ve got company!” I yell over the noise.  “Ships. Capital-sized, whole bunch of them.  Can’t tell if they’re yours or ours, but one of them’s dropping in to visit.”

The image that comes over the holo isn’t possible.  I know that man.  I would know that man anywhere.  He is a part of me, a part of my history.  I have known about him since I was old enough to understand Jedi and Sith.  But he’s dead.  He’s been dead for a century.  It isn’t possible.  It must be an imposter.

“As important as Arkous and Darok were to the cause, their deaths won’t stop us.  They won’t even slow us down.”

“That voice.  I’ve heard it before.”  I don’t even realize I said the words out loud until they sound in my eyes.  I’d know that voice anywhere.  I heard recordings of his voice for most of my life.

“It’s Revan,” Lana remarks, almost as shocked as I am.

“I almost had the Infinite Army I wanted so badly.  But even without them, I have enough.”

I can’t speak.  I can’t barely breathe.  “If you think you can take on the Empire, you’re in for a rude awakening.”  Of course you can speak up to Revan.  It’s right there that I realize that my admiration for you might be a little more than pure admiration.  I push that though to the way back of my brain.  I can analyze that later.

But you’ve managed to wake me from my shock.  Instead, I start preparing the ship to come get you.  I realize as I listen to you talk, to you goat Revan, that you are stalling for time.  Lana must realize it too.

“We have to hurry,” she urges.  She doesn’t need to tell me twice.  We work together, trying to get to you.

“I’ve finally let the Revanites into my world-a world you have to be erased from.”

Oh no.  “Turbolasers are locking on…!  Get out of there!”

Both Lana and I realize it at the same time.  “We can’t reach you in Jakarro’s ship!  Take the shuttle!”

The turbolasers lock on to the temple-roof.  All’s I see is a flash of red and the destruction on the scanners.  Lana goes pale.

“I’m sure she made it,” I say as I maneuver the ship away from the capital-sized ships.  “But we have to leave, now!”

“We can’t just leave her behind.”

I look at the scanner.  They’ve locked on to us.  “We don’t have a choice.  We’ll be shot to pieces if we try to land now.  We have to go, Lana.”

One of the pursuing ships fires at us, almost hitting us.  It’s enough to rock the small smuggler ship to the side, almost throwing Lana to the ground.

“Ok, let’s go.”  Neither of us says it, but I hope you are alive.  I hope I meet you again.


Unexpected Part I: Oddly Flattered

Takes place during The Shadow of Revan storyline in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  PC is the Imperial Agent.  Minor spoilers.

I frantically type at the keypad in front of me, trying to get the pod down to save you. And you just…stare at me through the holo.

“You’re…with the Republic, aren’t you?”

“That’s right. I’m also saving your lives. You got a problem with that?” I’m ready for this fight. I know who you are, Cipher Nine. I’ve read all your files, and trust me, they were huge. You have fought the Republic at every turn. I know you are going to have a problem with this. Except…

“Just get us out of here.” That’s it. No fight or argument.

“Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to do.” A few more keystrokes and the pod is there. I watch on the holo as the building shakes and you catch your balance. “Okay, all set. Climb in and enjoy the ride.” You scramble away, no time for thanks. I didn’t really expect it anyway.

I never really expected to be here, either. To my left is a Sith Lord, meditating on the whereabouts of her traitor. I was just following the trail of Colonel Darok, my traitor. In whatever bizarre twist of the Force, it led to this Sith and her Imperial flunky. Just great.

Lana comes out of her meditation and stands. I always thought Sith would be taller, more imposing, but Lana is a head shorter than me. It’s a little hard, and scary, to imagine how this petite blonde got through the Sith Academy, especially if only half of the rumors coming out of SIS are true.

“Find anything?” I ask, trying to make small talk.

“I’m not sure,” she replies hesitantly, her Imperial accent light and almost soothing. If a Sith can be soothing, which I highly doubt. There isn’t more time for small talk when you round the corner and stop in front of Lana. You’re…taller than I thought. Holos can be deceptive like that.

“Welcome back,” Lana practically coos, “Once again, you’ve displayed a skill and determination that few possess.”

I wouldn’t go that far. “I’ve seen worst,” I comment nonchalantly. And it’s true. I’m probably one of the few people who isn’t a Jedi to walk away from a fight with a member of the Dark Council.

“Perhaps I should make proper introductions…”Lana states, sounding slightly uncomfortable. Although who can ever really know with the Sith. It’s so hard to figure out their tone with that accent.

“No need to tell me who I’m addressing.” I step forward. I can feel the smirk creeping across my face and do nothing to hide it. “I’m Theron Shan-Republic SIS, and your new ally.” And I wait for the cringe or the disgust to wash over your face. You have to know who I am. I imagine that the ledger you have on me is just as large as the one I have on you. Instead, you smile and your eyes light up. They’re deep blue.

“You could always join the Empire. I think you’d make a welcome asset.”

Not the first time I’ve been asked to defect to the Empire, but I know what you are capable of and the offer coming from you… “I’m oddly flattered. Not even going to consider it, of course, but flattered.”

While we catch you up on what we’ve learned and why I’m teamed up with you in the first place, I watch you. You are the picture of calm. Even as we tell you about the Colonel and the Darth and the Order of Revan, you remain poised. I’m a little surprised that you’ve dealt with the Order of Revan before, more surprised that it was on Dromund Kaas. The Imperials had the Order of Revan right in their backyard and we barely even knew about it. But Lana is right about one thing: they have grown very bold.

“That means I can’t trust my people,” I add, “and Lana can’t trust hers-present company excluded.” Did I just see you smirk? It must have been my imagination because there is definitely not a smirk on your lips as you introduce your new Wookie friend.

“This is Jakarro,” you say, still calm. Yeah, I must have imagined the smirk. The droid is saying something, but I’m a little distracted by the fact that you are looking at me. Not really the looking by itself, but more the fact that I can’t read that look. I get Lana: she’s a Sith and will probably stab me in the back the second this whole thing is over. But you… I thought I had a handle on you from the records we have. I also thought that you would be more resistant to the idea of working with SIS. But it doesn’t seem to really bother you at all. Actually, if that tiny flash in your eyes is anything to go by, I’d say you are enjoying it a little.

“Hey, Jakarro,” I say, turning from you to address the Wookie. I can’t keep staring at you. I’m just going to over analyze what I see. “How would you feel about helping me track those two down?”

I knew I would like Jakarro. Smugglers make the best allies; they always have the greatest contacts who are willing to talk for the right amount of credits. I’m not so sure I want to let him drive, though.

“We’ll talk about it. Lana, will you be joining us?”

The blonde shakes her head in the negative. “We don’t know how deep the Revantes’ influence runs. I must learn what I can from within the Empire.”

I nod at her and look at you. You incline you head once before turning your back on me, making the conversation between you and Lana more private. It’s also an interesting show of…trust? Too early to tell. As I walk towards the hanger, I feel like I can be sure of one thing: this is going to be very interesting.


Bitter Sweet

Takes place at the end chapter IX of SWTOR: Knights of the Fallen Empire. This is from the smuggler’s POV.

She turned a full circle, taking in the sight, the smell, the feel of being back in her ship.  Her ship.  She owned the clothes on her back, the blasters at her side, and her ship.  It was all she ever needed: a good blaster and a fast ride.

She still couldn’t believe that five years had passed.  It all felt so much more recent than that.  She could still smell the ozone from the blaster bolt to the emperor’s chest that started all this mess.  In hindsight, maybe she should have just knelt before him and accepted the inevitable.  She could almost hear Akaavi’s snort of disapproval.  Could almost hear Risha telling her how stupid an idea that was.  Could almost see the disappointment on Corso’s face.

She choked up at just the thought.  For some reason, the fact that Corso was gone hadn’t really hit her yet.  But here she was, on her ship, and her husband was not the one piloting it.

She suddenly felt very alone in her ship.  They were all gone.  She sank to her knees, her hands covering her face.  Risha was like her sister and she would never see her again.  She didn’t always get along with Akaavi, but she still admired the other woman.  Even Guss was part of the family: maybe the really annoying younger brother but part of the family none the less.  Bowdaar was her loyal bodyguard and would never let her down.  Turned out she let him down by never returning.

And Corso.  He’d sent her a holo when she disappeared five years ago saying he was still looking her her.  Five years ago.  Was he still looking for her?  Could he still have a hope that she was still alive?  It had been so long.

But Theron found her ship.  Where was Corso?  Would he really abandon everything they had?

She felt the tears tickle at the palms of her hands as the ghosts of her former life flooded over her.  She gulped in for air once before taking a few steadying breathes.  She would find him again.  She would find all of them again.  She took another breathe and stood, her fingers trailing a line up the haul of her ship.

She had her ship again.  She was alive.  For the moment the Eternal Empire couldn’t find her.  Theron and Lana would keep looking for Corso and the others.  While they were going through their channels, she would go through hers.

She slowly walked the halls to the cockpit, letting the joy mingle with the sadness until it was all bitter sweet.


Love Stories

1:

He thought they would be together forever.  She never wanted to leave his side.  But some things were more important than love.  Some things couldn’t be ignored while they were safe in each other arms.  Neither of them would allow the world to crumble around them when there was something they could do to stop it.  So, on the night before she left, they held each other.  They made love like it might be the last time they ever saw each other, because they both know that was more than a possibility.  He stroked her hair, wondering how he could be so lucky to have spent time with her.  She breathed him in, glad that he was a part of her life.  And in the morning, there were lingering glances and long touches as they dressed.  There were whispered declarations and unspoken promises.  He stood at the gate with her, last words of a life they both wished they could have but both knowing it wasn’t for them.  His lips pressed firmly to hers.  And then she was leaving, one last look goodbye, her eyes sparkling with tears and the promise that she could return to him one day.  Even if it took a lifetime, he would find her again one day.

2:

He knew he would break her heart one day.  She knew it too, but she would fight it for as long as she could.  She saw what happened to him when the spirit took over.  She saw what happened to him when the calling came.  Yet she stayed by his side, continued to fight for him, continued to fight with him.  Even after all he’d done, she stayed.  Nothing was more important than their love.  She didn’t care if the world fell apart around them, and it was, because he was by her side.  And he realized he didn’t care that he was crumbling with the world, as long as she was by his side.  Together, they would get through the worst of it.  As long as they were together.  He never suspected that she would break his heart.  She never thought it would be her sacrifice that saved them.

3:

She never thought she could love anyone, let alone a Templar.  She was never given that luxury in the Circle, too afraid and too aware of the consequences.  He once hated mages for what they could do, what they could become, what was done to him.  And yet here they were, him a former Templar, her a former Circle Mage.  A good old fashioned pair of star-crossed lovers.  They knew they would never be permitted to be together in their former lives.  But this was a new era, a new start, a new beginning.  He was no longer a Templar, no longer forced to watch mages, hateful and fearful.  Although he still watched one mage.  She was no longer a Circle Mage, no longer forced to be scrutinized and feared by the Templars.  Although she still enjoyed the attentions of one Templar; former Templar to be exact.  There were other problems they would face, but in that moment, none of it mattered.  For the first time in a long time, she felt like she could love.  Not for the first time since he met her, he felt like he could love her.


NeuroLogica Blog

DaynaJD's Blog

Paleocave Blog

Trust us, we're scientists

Brachiolope Media

The best podcasts in all of SCIENCE!

Sara Dobie Bauer

Author of BITE SOMEBODY and other ridiculous things