Broken Love, Ch. 4

Deviation Actions

DarkEchani's avatar
By DarkEchani
3 Favourites

Literature Text

Note:Characters belong to Bioware. All Italicized Mandalorian words and phrases belong to Karen Traviss. Incredible artwork by Xhybridus !

“Is that the best you got? Nar dralshy'a!” Try harder.

In the few short days since Mandalore had joined their crew, Atton Rand had learned to accept the fact that there would almost always be a ruckus coming from the cargo hold. Shouts and jeers, grunts of pain, dull thuds of landing blows: they were now just a part of the background noise, like the ticking of the hyperspace drive.

Of course, it had been pretty annoying at first, but hey, if Mandalore's combat lessons were helping Dessida, then it was good for everybody, right?

It didn't hurt, either, that after every session, she came prancing out of there in her nothing but her skivvies, flushed with pride and a fresh sheen of sweat. Not that he hadn't seen her in the nearly-nude before; in fact, that had been her exact state of dress when Atton had met her, but she hadn't been this... bouncy back on Peragus.

Bao and Kreia weren't too thrilled about their new traveling companion. The Zabrak still held a grudge about Mandalorians invading his homeworld in the last war, and the wrinkled old witch was miffed that Dessida seemed to prefer Mandalore's teaching methods to her own, but the Big Guy was A-OK in Atton's book.

Atton did, however, wince in sympathy when he heard the thwump-oof-crash of a particularly sound kick that knocked Dessida into a wall.

“OW!” cried Dessida.

”K'atini,” grumbled Mandalore. Suck it up.

Atton snickered under his breath. He didn't speak Mando'a any better than Dessida did, but there was a computer terminal in the cockpit with a linguistics program that translated for him. With a glance at his other instruments, he confirmed that they would be landing in Khoonda within the hour. He figured that was newsworthy enough to interrupt the sparring session.

“Don't beat her up too bad, Mandalore, we—”

Atton stopped in mid-sentence as he rounded the corner just in time to see Dessida performing some sort of acrobatic flying spin-kick that caught Mandalore in the jaw. The way she landed just as gracefully and composed as an Alderaanian prima ballerina was impressive. That Mandalore took the hit without so much as a complaint was shocking, but what was most surprising of all was that dainty little Dessida could actually reach the Big Guy's face with her foot...

”Kandosi, Jett'ika,” said Mandalore with approval. Good one, little Jedi. Atton didn't really need the translator to get the gist of that phrase; the look of marvel in the Mando's silvery eyes pretty much gave it away.

“Well, if you need a break, Big Guy, you're in luck. We'll be landing any minute now,” Atton intoned with his patented half-smirk in place. Though he was talking to Mandalore, his gaze was... elsewhere. Who could blame him? Dessida attracted his attention like a Killik to sugar.

Even without his mask, Mandalore's expressions didn't give much away. He didn't smile, though he was taking great pride in Dessida's rapid improvements and he didn't laugh when the pilot amused him, but his silver eyes had a new shimmering quality that had never been there before. He favored Atton with a glance before returning his gaze to the girl. On that point, he did agree with Atton: attention just naturally focuses itself on her.

“I'm admitting nothing, but I might have to start wearing my armor when we spar,” said the Mandalorian, unintentionally dropping his voice to a purr.

“That would be a shame,” answered Dessida in kind. It was true, Mandalore didn't show much emotion, but there was no hiding the shock over that remark. Dessida hid a smirk, eyes glittering, as she made a timely retreat from the cargo hold. “I'll just hit the 'freshers before we head out.”

A moment of stunned silence passed between the two men before Atton fixed an accusatory glare on Mandalore. “Was she just flirting with you?”

To be honest, Mandalore wasn't sure either. “Sounded like it,” he muttered with a shrug of his broad shoulders.

“All you do is hit her and insult her in Mandalorian!” Atton ranted. “If that's all it takes to get her attention, I can throw a punch!”

Feeling cocky now, Mandalore let his gaze pointedly scan over the pilot's arms, smirk tugging at one corner of his lips. Minuscule things, at least compared to his own. “No,” he drawled. “You really couldn't.”

Dantooine was not the world it once was. Four years ago, Darth Malak's attack did not just destroy the Jedi enclave; it razed the surrounding farmlands, slaughtered livestock and devastated the population. The natives that remained were still struggling to rebuild, and now they had to contend with scavengers and mercenaries picking over their planet like vultures on a fresh carcass.

Grim as it was, Dessida had a new determination. Come what may on this world, she intended to find Master Vrook, arrange some kind of alliance, and together, they were going to find some way to stop the Sith. The obvious place to begin their search was the ruins of the Jedi enclave, so she headed out immediately.  

She paused in the courtyard as her senses were overtaken. For a moment, she could smell the smoke and scorched earth. She could hear the screams of the dying, and the crumbling of the stones as the upper levels gave way, and she could feel the anguish. Though all these things had long since come to pass, they left such a strong impression in the Force that Dessida suspected their memory would live on for many years to come.

Fearing that these sensations would only be worse in the sublevels, she hesitated where she stood. She caught a glimpse of Mandalore from the corner of her eye. He stood resolute at her side. She wished fleetingly that he would remove his helmet. The look of his molten silver eyes was always so encouraging, but she told herself she didn't need to see his eyes to know he had faith in her. That was enough to get her moving again.

Unpleasant memories, she reminded herself, would be the least of her worries down there. The few scavengers that had been willing to speak to her had warned her about the Laigreks. These overgrown bugs killed men by the dozen.

The first few she, Atton and Mandalore encountered, they managed to take by surprise. A few blaster bolts put the beasts down easily enough. One charged Dessida, but she ignited her lightsaber, swung once and severed the creature in two. No problem.

The trouble began when they descended into the dark, labyrinthine corridors of the sublevel that the Laigreks had claimed as their own.

“The sewers of Nar Shadaa don't smell as bad as this,” declared Atton, with the sort of authority that only came from first-hand experience. Though he was complaining, his voice was cheerful and buoyant. Dessida was about to ask just how Atton could possibly know this, but Mandalore had other ideas.

“Keep it down,” he warned at a growl. “And watch your step. The scavengers left landmines around the the rooms they haven't gotten into yet.”

The words 'I don't see any--' were immediately followed with a deafening cacophony of booms and crashes. Atton had tripped a frag mine. The blast threw him into the opposite wall. He was winded, but the only injury he sustained was a massive blow to the ego. Mandalore took the brunt of the damage when the mined door was blown off its hinges and collapsed on top of him.

The rapid-fire string of Mandalorian obscenities was drowned out by the frenzied shrieking of a dozen Laigreks bearing down on them.

Mandalore was trapped beneath the heavy metal door. The blaster rifle he'd been holding at the ready had been thrown out of his hands and now lay just out of reach. Still, he was encased in beskar'gam, Mandalorian iron. As suffocating, as squeamish as it felt to have giant bugs creeping all over him, gnashing their pincers in his face, what harm could they possibly do to him?

The answer came as something of a nasty shock: they could spit acid.

His helmet, his breastplate, gauntlets and greaves were all reinforced, but the joints of his armor weren't. The small gaps between the individual metal plates left several spots completely unprotected. As soon as he felt the sticky dampness of the acid seeping through these gaps, he felt his skin begin to blister and burn.

He kicked, thrashed and hollered at the beasts, but he couldn't free himself, couldn't dislodge the bugs. Each one weighed nearly thirty kilos, and at least four were dancing all over his body while the others spat at him from a distance. His flesh was on fire wherever the acid could reach him: the inside of his elbows, the backs of his knees, the nape of his neck. The acid was starting to eat through the hoses that connected his mask to the ventilation system. As soon as the seal was compromised, it would be his face burning, too. He squeezed his eyes shut tight, as though that would protect him at all.

The first blister to burst unleashed such a white-hot rush of pain, he roared like a Boma beast being skewered on a Vibrosword. He could smell the acid now. It must have eaten its way through the hoses. The Laigreks were screaming so loudly now, he couldn't even hear his own cries.

Mandalorians don't panic... but this was about as close as they came.

All of a sudden, he felt the weight of the bugs lift off of his armor. He thought at first that they had jumped away, perhaps abandoning him for another target, but he could hear their feet scratching frantically against the iron. He forced his eyes to open, and saw them all dangling in the air, centimeters above him.

Through their twitching limbs, he saw Dessida: one hand in the air, palm out, fingers rigid. He saw fierce concentration in her eyes and a snarl on her lips. The other hand swept up from her side, and Mandalore felt the door being lifted off his legs. Dessida shoved with both hands, and the Laigreks flew into the wall, metal door chasing after them. And with a sickening, splattering noise, it was all over.

Mandalore jerked and kicked to a sitting position and wrenched of his helmet before the acid in the vent hoses could leak onto his face. Dessida was beside him in the blink of an eye.

“Mandalore! Are you alright?” she breathed. Force Powers like she had just used were exhausting. She was panting. Mandalore, however, was breathing like a winded bantha, which had her more than a little concerned. She searched his face for signs of further danger, reached out with the Force and scanned his aura, too.

He took in a deep breath to steady his nerves and let it out in a heavy sigh before he focused those intense silver eyes on diamond blue ones. He didn't see the look of concern very often anymore, but he recognized it hanging heavily in her gaze. He couldn't even remember the last time gentle hands took hold of his own to help him out of his armor, but he could feel hers doing just that.

Gradually, his racing heart calmed to a regular beat. The ravages of tension and fear began to abate. Even the pain was ebbing. He wasn't sure if she was using her powers to heal him, or if it was just her being so close that soothed all that had gone awry. Either way, he managed a half-smile that was somewhere in the neighborhood of warmth and affection.

“I think it's time you started calling me 'Canderous',” he murmured, and he watched those diamonds sparkle at him.

The moment didn't last.

The first dozen Laigreks were flat as sheets of flimsi, but the sublevels had many, many more. Already, the screeches were getting close. Dessida was almost on her feet again when something spherical was lobbed clean over her head.

Whatever it was impacted with the next wave of insects and exploded violently.

Dessida whirled and found herself face-to-face with her rescuer. Not Atton, not even Master Vrook, but a handsome young man, maybe twenty-one years old with sky blue eyes and the face of a fairy tale prince.

“Quickly, everyone in the library! I'll hold them off.”
Mandalore and the Exile brave the sublevels of the ruined Jedi Enclave on Dantooine.

To start from the beginning:
Ch. 1: Broken Love Ch: 1
Ch. 2: Broken Love, Ch. 2
Ch. 3: Broken Love, Ch. 3

To keep reading:
Ch. 5:Broken Love, Ch. 5

'Broken Love' is a continuation of an earlier mini-series in which light side,  F!Revan romances and marries Canderous Ordo. If you're interested in starting from the VERY beginning, you can find it here: Escaping Taris
© 2017 - 2021 DarkEchani
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
ProudtobeNerd's avatar
I did not think I would like Canderous and the Exile getting all flirty, but this has been the best BL chapter so far. PLEASE keep writing. I need to know what happens next.

And OMG the artwork. Xhybridus-- that pic so, so great. I'll read whatever Darkechani posts bc we're buddies but now I HAVE to read this series just bc of the look on Canderous' face!!
xHybridus's avatar
Ah, thanks! =^^= What can I say? it was the story that inspired it. ^^
DarkEchani's avatar
Artworks is AMAZING right?!? I cannot get over it.

I will keep at it, I promise!! I think you'll like how it ends :)
xHybridus's avatar
Yay for the exile learning to fight like a Mandalorian! Though poor Canderous with the acid. . . 
DarkEchani's avatar
I went a bit rough on him today, didn't I? Also, I gave Mical a bit of a hero role there at the end mostly because he looks a lot like Prince Charming from Shrek.
xHybridus's avatar
You know, now that you mention it, he does, doesn't he?
DarkEchani's avatar
That MIGHT be why I like him. Shrek 2's my comfort movie.
xHybridus's avatar
It's a great movie. Its probably one of the few times that I can say that I liked the second movie better than the first.
DarkEchani's avatar
I'm with you there! First one was good, but the second had the edge.

It's bothering me that Mical doesn't have a last name. Hopefully, the next chapter will be posted tmrw afternoon.
xHybridus's avatar
Sweet, I'll look forward to it. ^^

Thinking about it though, there could be cultures that don't have last names.
DarkEchani's avatar
Here, I was thinking Obsidian just phoned in his entire character and you're all thinking deep and stuff.

I like that, tho, and it saves me the trouble having to invent one for him. Tho Mical Myers woulda been funny.
View all replies
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In