Endgame - Chapter 1

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Endgame

by tara-willow

Libraries: Sci-Fi, Star Wars

Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 0 Review(s)

Updated on

Enter Birkita, stage left...exit Seren, stage right. We all live, we all die, and there's always someone waiting to plunge the dagger into our backs the moment we slip and fall... This is a story about the fall of a seasoned Sith lady to the last mercenary someone might ever expect. Both are personal characters, and so unless prior knowledge is had of them, this might be a bit confusing.

Monstrous billows of black smoke ballooned and wafted out of the twisted, charred hulk of the single fighter that had crashed just a few short moments ago. Puffs of steam mingled with the dust that was nowhere near settling around the rough, torn furrow that the crafts impact had ploughed up, a die-straight line trailing back behind the ruin by nearly a kilometer. There had been only two things that had kept the ship from tumbling even further across the terrain, tearing itself to nothing but metallic molecules; the fact that a Z-95 headhunter was so small, and thus bore nowhere near the weight that something like a freighter might, as well as the conveniently placed tumble of boulders. The same tumble of boulders, in fact, that had crushed in most of the cockpit, and would have mortally wounded, if not outright killed, the pilot. Would have killed her, that is, had she still been in the cockpit at the time of the final stopping impact.

Only a Jedi or a Sith would have the reflexes that would allow the nimble escape, popping the hatch and leaping clear just before the nose crumpled.

She landed in a rough crouch with a cry of discomfort, her face wrinkled up in fury and pain, the shock from the jarring contact with the rocky, uneven ground lancing up from her heels to her knees. Her teeth gritted as she straightened, turning to stare with a filthy expression at the modified firespray that was busy setting down not fifty meters away from her own crash site. Roughened, dirtied fingers closed around the battered, leather-wrapped hilt of the long cylinder dangled from her belt, her lips curling back at the same moment to utter a horrid snarl. Idly, her thumb rubbed against the ignition pad of her saber, her weapon.

With a hiss of decompression the airlock cycled and the landing ramp of the ship began to drop. The shadows rolled back up into the dark interior of the ship, light sliding smoothly up the dull gunmetal grey, and finally meeting an irregularity in the perfectly polished black of combat-styled boots. Even before the ramp reached the ground the occupant of the ship had begun to stride down, allowing the light to sequentially reveal hardy, worn, grey flightsuit pants, a heavy leather belt and holsters with several nasty looking firearms, and more traditional wickedly curved, hooked blades. Past that was a loose blouse of a creamy colour, tucked in, and displaying a v-neck that dipped only barely between a pair of small, delicate-seeming breasts. Russet, not-quite-shiny skin peeked out from under the sleeves of the blouse, and up past the neckline and collar of the blouse, leading to the hard expression she wore on her face. Dusky indigo stripes flowed down the white of her headtails, and silver-gold glinted along the hard edges of the fangs framing her face - akul teeth. The thin white lines of her jagged facial markings stood in stark contrast to the redness of her skin. The pale, washed out blue-grey of her hardened eyes betrayed no emotion - there was, after all, none there to betray. Even her stance as she strode down the ramp with a cat-like, cocky grace, was neutral and reserved. Her job, it seemed, carried no attachment; it was a simple fact of her life that must be followed.

No, what surprised Seren Fey the most was the overall petiteness of the little togruta's figure. The shortness of her headtails, coupled with the largeness of her eyes made her look no better than a teenager. Slowly, the corner of the Sith's lips curled up into a sneer of arrogant proportions - the hunter was merely a child.

"I know what you're thinking, Sith."

The voice surprised her. It was rough, harsh, and cold, carrying an overall jaded and disinterested note. This situation seemed nothing new to her. The muscle-memory in her fingers drew her hand to nimbly pluck and detach her weapon from her belt. It felt comforting and familiar in her hands, and her fingers curled into the worn spots of the leather wrappings as they had a million times over.

"You know nothing, little brat," the Sith hissed lightly, shifting her stance into a neutral one; she was neither relaxed, nor tense "Go home to your mother on Shili and hide behind her skirts."

The young pilot didn't immediately react as she continued her descent to the ground, but when she finally set foot onto the dusty terrain, and it became rather apparent that she couldn't be more than a paltry five feet tall, her arms crossed defensively. She said nothing as her opponent, the taller, easily more curvaceous, red-headed killer began to subtly pad toward her. Obstinately she held her ground.

“Why don't you go home and hide behind yours, Sith?” the togruta's lips curled into a sneer of malice  “Oh, wait, that's right...your mother's dead, isn't she?  And since you're the bastard mongrel half-breed of two worlds, I'll bet you haven't got a clue in hell who your daddy is, do you?  If you have one.”

Seren's fingers tightened on the lightsaber grip to the point where her knuckled whitened with stress and strain.  Her teeth gritted, she advanced with a more purposeful walk now, clearly agitated.  If the force-wielding woman was one thing now, it was rather clearly angry.  With an almost twitchy restraint, she rubbed her thumb over the ignition switch, so tempted to depress it, light the flaming orange of her blade, and sever that impudent brat's head from her body.  That would most certainly calm her nerves now.  She quirked a sadistic smile at her irritant, and stared down her nose at the girl, pausing at a distance of thirty yards.  “Come closer, brat, and say that in striking range.”

“What ever would possess me to do such a foolish thing?”  A soft chuckle fell from her still-smirking lips, and she began to pace to the right in a flanking curve.  Not planning to allow anyone at all near her  on terms other than her own, Seren mirrored the movement, keeping the two at a constant maximum distance from each other.  The togruta smirked.  “Afraid, witch?”

The Sith's brow furrowed again in dislike.  This girl was trying her patience beyond bounds...she wasn't in the mood for this folly, and had far better things to be doing than crossing swords with a barely-developed tentacle-headed child.  “Annoyed, actually.  I thought you'd be taller...and y'know, maybe have hips.”

“Oh, you wound me, my good lady.” She laughed at the tactic.  “Please, if you're going to try and make me angry, put in some effort.  I've heard it all before.”  She tipped her head to the side, laced her fingers together and put them against her cheek, taking on a simpering, mocking tone.  “Oh, Soren, you should be chasing whoever stole your breasts.  Oh, you're just an underdeveloped kid.  Oh, Soren, are you even old enough to be out of your cradle.  Oh, go home to your mommy.  Oh, you're just short enough to give me a good blow job, you don't even have to kneel!”  She gave up the simper, and glared nonchalantly at her opponent, one white marked eyebrow still raised slightly as she paused in her pacing.  Again, her movement was mirrored.

“So your name is Soren, is it, then?” Was the Sith’s next thoughtful query.  “That’ll be good for future reference.”

“Don’t change the subject.”

“Well why not?  We need something interesting to talk about.”

“Really, this constant chatter is so superficial.”

“Aw, sweetie-pie.  Don’t like the small talk?”

“It distracts me from my job.”

“Actually, since I appear to be the job, wouldn’t I be focusing you?”

“Hey, just shut up.”

Her grin widened, showing the sleek point of a pearly fang peeking from under her lips.  “You’re getting angry.”

“I most certainly am not!”

She flipped the lightsaber hilt in her hands a few times, and pointed the end of it at the young togruta with a quirked eyebrow and a tiny nod.  “Now you’re just proving my point even furth--”  A moment later she was doubled over on her knees on the ground, arms wrapped around her mid-section.  She was silent for a moment, and then a blood-curdling, shrieking roar rose out of a soft whimper, and red began to drip and stream from between her fingers, coming from whatever wound had been inflicted.

Soren drew her weapon back and blew the smoke from the barrel with a closed-lipped smile.  Six empty brass casings rolled in the dust at her feet, slightly blackened at one end each from the carbon.  She holstered the thing, and bent to pick up the casings one by one, keeping a wary eye on the downed Sith.  Finished, she pocketed the brass, and rose again to continue her walk toward her adversary.  She stopped about twenty feet away, and folded her arms.

“You really need to learn when to shut your mouth and use your weapon.”  She commented offhandedly, that same sick, uncaring grin still stuck to her lips.

Seren managed to lean back up slightly, arching her back, and gritting her teeth in agony as she sought to overcome her current predicament.  “Th-that was dirty, b-brat...”

“What?”

“...projectile w-weapons...”

“Oh, that.”  She took another few steps up and fiddled with something hidden under her vest.  “Those tend to be nasty...no one every expects a good old piece of lead when it could be a laser, huh?  Personally, I find them far more effective since they pack much more of a punch then, y’know, concentrated light.”

“...Argh, you b-bitch...” she snarled, managing to straighten properly, but still on the ground.  “I’m...going...to...hurt...you...”

With the last word she rose, and the saber ignited as she leapt in the direction of her current assailant, snarling teeth bared to reveal a pair of fangs, and fingers splayed out like claws on her free hand.  There was a deafening, echoing retort that resounded across the terrain, and one Sith flew black again to land on her back ten feet from where she’d started.  Soren cracked open the weapon, and extracted an empty casing from either of the smoking barrels, tossing them atop the writhing, prone form on the ground.  “Really, do you ever learn?  Be thankful that was just minerals and crystal shards and fragments.  If it had been lead, you’d have a red misty gap in your chest cavity.”  She crouched down next to Seren’s form, and pushed her onto her back, throwing her lightsaber off into the dust. 

With difficulty, the Sith swallowed the mouthful of blood that had built up behind her teeth, and gasped roughly, her chest rising and falling shallowly.  Every so often she would cough or twitch, but the one thing she did consistently was glare bloody murder at the russet coloured attacker kneeling above her.

Soren was busy pulling a few things from her belt pouch, readying a syringe of some acid green liquid.  The Sith turned her head to watch him shakily, and made to push away.  Her hands were slapped away carelessly, and then there was a hiss as a hypospray injector was pressed first to one side of her neck and shot, and a second hiss as it was reloaded and shot into the other side.  The world went black in seconds.

***

“Kriffing...Sith!” Soren swore roughly as she dragged her bounty toward the loading ramp of the ship by her ankles.  “Could stand to lose a few pounds, couldn’t you?!” 

Overall, it was probably an hour or more before she had the captive safely stowed in one of the holding cells.  She was bound standing to the bars at the door, her wrists through them to the corridor side so that she could be controlled easily.  The togruta left a hypospray and several vials of the tranquilizer nearby so that she could keep the damn women sedated throughout the trip.  The crates containing small portions of trees and fully grown, live ysalamiri were stationed all throughout the ship as a precaution, and with that task completed, she stepped outside again to survey the burning wreck of the Z-95 crumpled into the boulder tumble.  Once she was airborne, she blast the thing to oblivion with missiles, leaving no trace and no evidence.

Just one more thing to be done...

It took a few moments of searching, but eventually her keen, blue-grey eyes lit to the metallic glint of the emitter of the woman’s lightsaber.  She examined it closely, inspecting the charred remains of the leather wrapping, probably burned in the crash, and then hooked the thing to her belt.  A prize.  It was general acceptance to keep the weapon of your downed enemy as proof of your victory.  It would make a fine addition to her collection.

Turning away, and shielding her eyes from the bright glare of the sun that refracted from the crystalline terrain of the Agrilat, she made her way calmly up the ramp of the Lærad, hitting the switch as she went in, and drawing the thing up behind her.  The engines ignited shortly as she settled herself in the cockpit, and the tarnished, scarred hull of the firespray lifted off the ground.  About four hundred meters up she targeted the burning hulk of the headhunter, and launched her full spread of weapons at the thing, with the exception of the charge. 

The smoke cleared after a few moments, revealing little beyond metal fragments littering the blackened crater. 

She didn’t stay to check on it, knowing without looking that there was nothing left.

Nothing to tell anything.

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