When I was a kid, I asked for and got an electric typewriter as a present. I haven't stopped banging away at keys since. This is supposed to illustrate how passionately I've always loved writing but, really, all it does is prove that I predate technology.
Tales of a Former Dark Lord, Chapter 5: The Scouring of the Sith Base
Big Fat Disclaimer: I
do not own Knights of the Old
Republic or Star
Wars.That honor belongs to BioWare and
George Lucas.The only part of this
story that’s mine is the character of Brinna Warrim.All other characters are the creations of the
genius developers of BioWare, as is some of the dialogue in this story, which I
lifted word from word from the game.I
lay the blame for my obsession squarely at their feet.:)
awoke the next morning to a truly evil sound.It struck fear into the core of her very heart in a way that no rakghoul
or Sith soldier could ever hope to achieve.
a voice said, brusquely.“We have little
time to waste in lying about, despite what you seem to think.”
Brinna asked, opening her eyes and peering blearily at the form that was
standing at the side of her bed.Arms
crossed, lips pursed, and foot tapping impatiently, Bastila was glaring down at
Evil.She’s pure evil.She’s pure,
unadulterated evil! Brinna thought, as she continued to stare at Bastila,
unable to quite comprehend that the Jedi was waking her up in a scolding manner
that would have been better suited to a two-year-old.
hackles rising, Brinna did her best to blink the sleep out of her eyes.She gazed across the apartment and saw Carth
sitting by the door, apparently doing his best to pretend he was not aware of
what was happening no more than twenty feet away from him.
I have been up for hours waiting on you,” Bastila said, in her best schoolmarm
eyes were still on Carth and she could see quite clearly from the expression on
his face that he wished Bastila had left him out of it.
tell your girlfriend to shut up,” Mission
murmured in her sleep.
mouth fell open and her outrage was plain on her face.Carth snickered but did his best to hide it
behind his hand, which made Brinna snicker in turn.He turned his head and noticed Brinna’s gaze
and gave her a covert wink.
Zaalbar responded, not sounding too thrilled about Bastila’s wakeup call
either.Brinna hoped that Bastila didn’t
understand the Wookie; otherwise, the Jedi would be less than thrilled with
what Zaalbar had just called her.
I’m up,” Brinna said, grouchily.She
coaxed herself into a sitting position, stretching her arms over her head
before rubbing her hands over her face, doing her best to dislodge the grit in
the corners of her eyes.
“Hurry.We have wasted a great deal too much time
already,” Bastila said.
“And I was
having such a pleasant dream about rescuing you yesterday,” Brinna said, her
tone belying her annoyance.
Mission gave what could
only be defined as a loud snort of laughter, which she immediately tried to
cover up by pretending she was in the midst of a coughing fit.
going on?” the Twi’lek asked, blinking her eyes as though her coughing had
glared at both of them and flounced back over to where Carth was sitting,
resolutely ignoring Brinna and Mission
as she began drinking out of a mug and talking quietly to Carth.
thought the Tarisian nobles were bad,” Mission
whispered to Brinna as the Twi’lek made a big show of yawning.
awake the whole time, weren’t you?” Brinna asked her, amused.
“I have no
idea what you’re talking about,” Mission
said, her eyes sparkling with mischief.
have left me at the mercy of the Gamorrean slavers,” Zaalbar groused as he too
rose from his bed.
burst into loud laughter and both Carth’s and Bastila’s heads swiveled in her
direction.The expression on Bastila’s
face caused Brinna to choke and she turned and hurried over to the apartment’s
sink, splashing cold water on her face while imploring herself to be calm.It couldn’t have been pleasant for Bastila to
have been at the mercy of Brejik, which must surely be the explanation for her
Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Brinna
thought as she dried her face and then combed her hair and pulled it back.She had just enough time to bolt down some
breakfast before Bastila practically hauled her out of the door, calling
instructions to Mission
and Zaalbar over her shoulder.Carth
looked at Bastila with a raised eyebrow and it seemed that the Jedi had
actually heard something of what he had said yesterday because she looked
somewhat abashed and closed her mouth with an almost audible snap.
As soon as
they stepped out of the door, Brinna was accosted by an alien who announced he
came bearing a message from Canderous Ordo.Brinna exchanged a surprised look with Carth, much to Bastila’s
confusion.The alien was sent off with
the assurance that Brinna would seek Canderous out at the upper city cantina as
Mandalorian mercenary working for Davik,” Carth explained to Bastila as they
he want with you?” Bastila asked Brinna.By the tone of her voice, she might as well have asked Brinna what
anyone could want with bog slime such as her.
Patience, Brinna told herself.“I have no idea,” Brinna responded, making
her voice so sweet that she gave herself a toothache.“I would suggest that we go find out.Hold on just a minute, though.I have one thing I need to do before we go
down to the cantina.”
entered the apartment next to hers and found an anxious-looking Dia
within.The smile that spread over her
face at the news that Holdan had called off the bounty was a gratifying sight
to Brinna.Dia was so pleased that she
offered a family heirloom to Brinna, an offer that Brinna graciously
rejected.Bastila made a pompous comment
about the aide they’d offered to Dia and Brinna looked over at Carth with an
incredulous expression.He looked rather
flabbergasted by Bastila’s taking credit for work she had not done but he
shrugged helplessly at Brinna and said nothing.
So help me, when I report back to the
Republic at the end of all this, I’m demanding hazard pay for working with this
long until they found out exactly what Canderous wanted.Brinna was a bit surprised by his bluntness
but she knew instantly that he was not being deceptive and that, however
unlikely it seemed, he had every intention of carrying through on his promise
to help her get off Taris.She knew that
Bastila sensed it too and she could practically have spoken the words along with
she cast a look back at the Jedi.An
unreadable expression passed over the Jedi’s face and Brinna would have studied
her more intently had Canderous not reclaimed her attention.For the moment, the strange occurrence would
have to be overlooked but Brinna carefully stowed it in the back of her mind
for future analysis.She told Canderous
that she would break into the Sith base to steal the launch codes and Canderous
told her she could purchase an astromech droid capable of breaking into the base
from Janice Nall.
like the idea of trusting that merc,” Carth groused as they left the cantina.
Carth, I’m not thrilled with the idea of being in league with a Mandalorian
merc either but what other choice do we have?” Brinna asked him.
sighed.“None.But I’ll be keeping my eye on him.”
hardly expect any less from you,” Brinna told him, sarcastically.
looked from one to the other of them.Carth graced Brinna with a mild glare to which she responded with a
sunny smile, before he turned and distracted Bastila by asking her how the
Vulkars had managed to overcome her.
Ahhh, that’s beautiful, Brinna thought
with a smug smile as Bastila admitted that she’d misplaced her lightsaber.Brinna suggested that maybe losing
lightsabers was a side effect of Bastila’s Battle Meditation and was rewarded
with a very un-Jedi like look of outrage from Bastila.Carth wisely decided to back off without
saying anything more other than a suggestion that Bastila might want to keep
the loss of her lightsaber out of the history texts.Brinna had to give Bastila some credit for
humility as Bastila protested at Carth’s comments and then added that there
were some things her Jedi Masters need not know about the mission.
get the droid we need to drop the serum off with Zelka,” Brinna said, in a low
voice.The streets were crowded with
Sith and she didn’t want anyone to overhead her.“We’ll explain when we get there,” she added,
cutting Bastila off as the other woman opened her mouth to question them.
relief, Bastila complied with nothing more than a curt nod and they made it to Zelka’s
facility without incident.Once inside,
Brinna introduced Bastila to Zelka and then gave him the serum.There were tears in the older man’s eyes as
he thanked Brinna for her help and gave them the good news that there was
enough serum for him to be able to synthesize it and begin distributing it to
the poor.Brinna once again refused a
reward and was surprised to sense Bastila’s approval of her actions.Maybe the Jedi wasn’t quite as cold as she
appeared to be, though Brinna was once more annoyed by Bastila’s acceptance of
Zelka’s praise as if she’d been the one to recover the serum.
don’t remember her fighting any rakghouls to get to it,” Brinna muttered to
Carth as they left the facility.
Carth admonished but he looked rather amused by Brinna’s ire.
her mouth to say something smart back to him but they were stopped by Gurney
who berated Brinna for giving the serum to Zelka rather than Davik.
have time for you,” Brinna said, coldly, glaring malevolently at Gurney as she
said, his voice filled with something like awe.“I’m surprised he didn’t turn into a block of ice on the spot.”
disgusting,” Brinna practically spat.
and caught Bastila studying her with an appraising look.The Jedi gave her a curt nod, apparently
signifying her approval of Brinna’s actions, before she was once more
distracted by Carth, who asked if she’d ever considered joining Malak and Revan
in the war against the Mandalorians.
listened to Bastila spouting her Jedi rhetoric, she was surprised by the
vehemence behind Bastila’s words.Though
she’d never personally known a Jedi before, Brinna had always been under the
impression that they were the most serene and composed creatures in the
galaxy.Clearly Bastila did not fit into
this category.Brinna supposed she could
understand Bastila’s indignation against two Jedi who had chosen to disobey
orders in favor of throwing themselves into the fray but she couldn’t
understand exactly why Bastila seemed as angry about the affair as she
did.Curious, Brinna asked Bastila what
the Masters had seen that had prevented them from coming to the aide of the
Republic before they had.Bastila’s
voice was intense as she told Brinna that the Masters had sensed something out
there that was devouring the Jedi.
words were rather unsettling to Brinna but she doubted Carth had even heard
them.He obviously felt that the Jedi
abandoned the Republic and Brinna knew that a great deal of his anger was
personal.Bastila, however, did not and
she continued to argue the point with Carth until he angrily broke the
conversation off.Brinna studied Carth
out of the corner of her eye and the tormented look in his eyes caused a twinge
in her heart.There was more to his
story, a great deal more, she was sure of it.She only hoped he would open himself up to her and unburden himself of
some of the anger and guilt he wore like a badge.
arrived at Janice Nall’s shop.Brinna
felt badly for the prejudice the Twi’lek shop owner had faced but she took one
look at their dwindling supply of credits and knew that they could ill afford
to pay the asking price Janice quoted for T3-M4.Feeling rather guilty, Brinna used her most
persuasive tone of voice and convinced Janice to drop the price a bit.
Carth, and Bastila all agreed that it was best that they find the codes and
report back to Canderous that day, so they set off for the Sith base
immediately.Once again, Brinna had the
uncanny sensation that she was in tune with Bastila’s thoughts and it seemed
that the Jedi was every bit as apprehensive as Brinna was.Ever since finding Bastila, Brinna had not
been able to shake the feeling that something ominous was looming on the
horizon and that they’d best get off Taris as soon as they could.It seemed Bastila had the same sentiments and
Brinna could sense the whirl of Bastila’s thoughts.She wondered if Bastila knew that Brinna
could sense her thoughts.More
unsettling, Brinna wondered if Bastila could also sense what was running through
her own head.
seemed, was blessedly unaware of anything strange between the two women.He had a looked of focused determination on
his face but didn’t seem troubled by anything that might be happening between
Bastila and Brinna.In fact, he was so
focused that he’d forgotten to shoot Brinna one of his usual suspicious looks,
much to her relief.She could understand
Carth’s paranoia, she truly could.She
simply did not like to be on the receiving end of it.
into the Sith base was ridiculously easy with T3’s help and Brinna sent him off
to their apartment base with a fond little pat of his metal head.He beeped appreciatively before rolling
off.Brinna was positive that Mission would adopt the
little droid the moment he slid through the apartment door and the thought made
Carth asked, as they stepped into the elevator that would take them into the
bowels of the base.
happy when I’m going off on a suicide mission,” she told him, brightly.“I like nothing more than the thought of
infiltrating a base full of merciless Sith.”
me,” he said, frankly.
and shook her head.“Lighten up,
flyboy.What, do you think I’m some kind
of psychopath?No, I was really smiling
because I was thinking of how sure I am that Mission’s going to take a shine to T3.”
gotcha,” Carth said.She was annoyed to
see that he relaxed, as if he’d really thought she had been serious about what
she had said about breaking into the Sith base.“Yeah, I think you’re right.She
will love him.”
frowned at him, leaving him looking at her with a puzzled expression.There was no further opportunity for
conversation, however, as the doors slid open and they stepped into a reception
area.There was a Twi’lek female behind
the desk who questioned their presence.Brinna knew immediately that she was not a Sith and she offered the
Twi’lek fifty credits to let them into the base without raising the alert.The Twi’lek was positively delighted as she
took the fifty credits and left the base with the request that they wait until
she was gone to start destroying the place.
security,” Bastila said, as she watched the Twi’lek get on the elevator they
had just vacated.
for us,” Brinna said distractedly as she sliced into the Sith computer systems
and took a look at the base’s security camera feeds.With a few keystrokes, she made a few
favorable adjustments to the situation in the base.
she said, grabbing her vibroblades and leading them through the first door.
the droid shields Brinna had lowered and the Sith soldiers she’d fried by
causing power conduits to malfunction, they still had many challenges to face
as they made their way through the base.The initial base security had not been much to look at but the rest of
the base was chock full of Sith who were more than willing to do their best to
put down Republic infiltrators.
astonishment, they ran into the Duros who had hid the bodies of the Sith patrol
that she and Carth had killed during the first day of their search for
Bastila.He told Brinna how to disable
the force field that held him captive in his cell and though she felt confident
that she knew what she was doing, Brinna could not help but hold her breath
until she successfully lowered the shield and set the alien free.
fought against Sith after Sith, Brinna could not help but grudgingly admit that
Bastila knew how to wield her double-bladed lightsaber.Bastila’s ability to deflect blaster bolts
with her saber was also a huge boon to them and Brinna was glad to suffer fewer
blaster burns than she had during her search for Bastila.The Jedi’s Force abilities also came in
handy, especially when they faced the Sith governor at the end.Even though he was outnumbered three to one,
he still managed to give them a run for their credits until Bastila Force
Stunned him, allowing them to finish him off in peace.
handy papers Gadon had provided, Brinna, Carth, and Bastila went down into the
lower city.Bastila and Carth were busy
formulating whatever plans they could for their escape from Taris but Brinna
was too distracted to really listen to what they said.Maybe it had escaped their notice, but Brinna
was well aware of the fact that the Sith governor had referred to her as a
“Force Adept.”Perhaps Bastila and Carth
thought that he had been referring to Bastila but Brinna knew that the man had
directed his comment at her.His eyes
had looked into hers with a gaze that was more knowing than Brinna liked.It was almost as if he had sensed something
within her of which she herself was unaware.It was a disconcerting sensation, to say the least.
supposed that it wasn’t a complete surprise; after all, Bastila herself had
told Brinna that she suspected Brinna might be possessed of some untapped Force
abilities.Still, somehow this assertion
was less troubling coming from Bastila, as arrogant and unpleasant as the Jedi
could be.At least Brinna knew she could
trust Bastila.After all, Carth Onasi,
the galaxy’s least trusting person, placed a great deal of store in Bastila’s
abilities and importance to the Jedi Order and the Republic.If Bastila said she had Force abilities, she
was speaking it as a truth and not out of any evil intent.Brinna could handle the news coming from
Bastila.She could not, however, handle
it from someone who represented everything she despised in the galaxy.She did not like the idea of her enemy having
the ability to read into her in that way.
Brinna saw that they had nearly reached Javyar’s Cantina, where they were to
rendezvous with Canderous.She turned to
look at Bastila blankly and saw that both the Jedi and Carth were studying her
with surprised expressions.
“No, why do
you ask?” Brinna responded.
we’ve been asking you questions for the last five minutes and you apparently
haven’t heard a word we’ve said,” Carth told her.
startled now, Brinna looked at the two of them.“You have?”
Bastila said and Brinna had the sudden sensation of something tickling at her
mind, as if Bastila was attempting to probe her thoughts.
Nonsense, Brinna told herself.She can
no more read your thoughts than you can read hers.What happened with Canderous in the upper
city cantina was just a coincidence.
nothing, sorry.I was just thinking
about something that happened at the Sith base but it’s not important.I didn’t mean to drift away there,” Brinna
and Bastila studied her with skeptical expressions and Brinna was relieved to
find that they had arrived at the cantina.Before either of them had a chance to say anything else to her, she
stepped past the bouncer and into the cantina.
was waiting for them and, as promised, he unveiled the rest of his plan.Brinna listened in astonishment as he said
he’d get her into Davik’s estate by claiming that he had recruited her to work
for the crime lord.More surprising than
that, however, was his announcement that they could use the launch codes to
steal Davik’s ship, the Ebon Hawk, and flee from Taris.Bastila immediately balked at the suggestion
but when Canderous asked if she had a better idea, she grudgingly admitted that
she did not.
deal,” Brinna said, before Carth or Bastila could say anything further.She believed Canderous was sincere and she
was more convinced than ever that they needed to get off the planet and get off
it fast, though she had no idea exactly why she was convinced of this.
“Excellent.I knew you were clever enough to understand
that this is a sound plan,” Canderous said, looking at Brinna with
approval.“Are you ready to go to
Davik’s estate now?” “Yes.The sooner the better,” Brinna said.
go immediately.You’d better only bring
one of your friends with you, though.If
I show up with a whole troop, Davik will get suspicious,” Canderous told her.
could even begin to think about who she should take, Carth said, “I’m
coming.”His was a tone that would brook
Bastila began to protest.
you should listen to your friend, princess,” Canderous suggested, his tone
rather derisive as he looked Bastila up and down.“Somehow I don’t think showing up at Davik’s
estate with a Jedi in tow is good for anyone concerned.”
clearly incensed, both by Carth’s immediately stating that he would go and by
Canderous’s words.She sputtered for a
moment and Brinna took pity on her.
Canderous is right.It would look
strange if you came with us.Why would
Davik believe a Jedi would want to work for him?Carth and I are less conspicuous than you
and, anyway, someone needs to look after Mission,
although I’ll deny it if you tell her I said that.The Sith could descend on that apartment at
any minute and I don’t want her or Zaalbar to be alone.If the Sith come knocking, Mission and Zaalbar are definitely going to
need your help,” Brinna told her.
looked slightly mollified thanks to Brinna’s words and her persuasive tone but
she was still clearly unhappy with the arrangements.“Very well,” she said, grudgingly.
have much time once we steal that ship.We’ll get a signal to you and you should meet us here,” Canderous said,
marking a spot on the map on Bastila’s datapad.
Force be with you,” Bastila said before turning and leaving the cantina.
Canderous said, without any further fanfare.
led the way, Carth hot on his heels.Brinna
followed behind the two men, studying the tense set of Carth’s shoulders.She was only too certain that he probably
enjoyed teaming up with a Mandalorian as much as he would have enjoyed teaming
up with Saul Karath once again.Brinna
was quite sure that Canderous was aware of Carth’s unspoken hostility but it
was clear that Canderous was not the least bit troubled by it.
reached Davik’s estate, Canderous played the situation off exactly as he had
told Brinna he would.She was surprised
by how smooth the seemingly blunt warrior could be when he tried.Davik accepted Canderous’s explanation
without any signs of doubt, although his lapdog Calo Nord appeared to be much
more suspicious, telling Canderous it was unlike him to work with others.Nord and Canderous were like two animals in a
pit, circling around each other, each one waiting for the other to be the first
to strike.Davik seemed both pleased and
displeased by this situation.He clearly
did not want his two best men fighting with one another but Brinna couldn’t
help but feel that Davik was pleased by the animosity seething between the two
men.She found it very difficult to play
along and pretend like she couldn’t wait to work for Davik, she found the man
so morally repugnant.
them on a little tour of his estate and showed them his ship with a
not-so-veiled warning about the consequences they would face if they attempted
to steal it.Brinna was unimpressed by
Davik’s warning but she was impressed by the Ebon Hawk.It was a larger ship than her own and had a
sleek beauty that her own tidy little vessel couldn’t quite claim.As a pilot, Brinna couldn’t help but covet
the ship and she could hardly wait to get on it and put it through its
paces.If they had to lie, cheat, and
steal in order to escape Taris, they might as well do it in style.
Davik left them in a guest room with the warning that they were not to stray
from the guest quarters while he ran a check on them.In spite of herself, Brinna felt a cold finger
of dread trail down her spine at Davik’s words.He may have called them “guests” but it was quite clear to her that they
were more prisoners than anything else.
have much time,” Canderous said, as soon as Davik and Calo left the room.“Nord is already suspicious.Still, it’ll take a few days before Davik
realizes that anything is wrong.”
waiting a few days,” Brinna said, firmly.“But we still need to be smart about this.I’m assuming this place is under guard around
course,” Canderous responded.“Under the
watchful eye of the best and most unscrupulous guards and bounty hunters Davik
makes things easy,” Brinna said, facetiously.“Still, it’s too early right now.I think we’d be better off resting for a few hours and then trying to
make a break for it first thing in the morning when there hopefully won’t be as
many guards around.”
like the idea of staying here tonight but I think you’re right,” Carth said,
it’s unanimous,” Brinna said, brightly.Now that they were closed in a smaller space, Carth’s animosity toward
Canderous was even more apparent and the Mandalorian had started to look at
Carth with something like an amused challenge in his eyes.
Great, just what I need: a testosterone
fest, Brinna thought.
“You two go
ahead and rest.I’ll keep watch first,”
is,” Carth said, toying oh-so-subtly with his vibroblades, which made Canderous
smile rather predatorily.
“I have an
even better idea.How about you both
sleep with your fingers on the trigger while I keep watch?Just don’t blast one another behind my back,”
Brinna suggested sarcastically.
your friend.She’s got style,” Canderous
told Carth, his smile changing to one of genuine amusement.
not look too pleased at Canderous’s comment, which made Brinna want to grab him
by the shoulders and shake him silly.It
was fine for him to be as suspicious as he wanted when it came to her but if
another man dared to say anything about her he felt he had to rush to defend
well, stick with me and you’ll learn a thing or two.Both of you,” she said, trying to draw the
attention back to herself so that they two would stop looking at one another
like kath hounds getting ready to challenge one another for the position of alpha
male.“Now shut up and go to sleep.”
laughed and Carth shot her a sour look but neither of them said another word as
they each lay down.Carth stared
directly at Brinna as if to prove to her that he had no intention of sleeping
and she made a face at him before turning her back on him and facing the
door.It was going to be a long night.