literature

Broken Love, Ch. 7

Deviation Actions

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By DarkEchani
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Literature Text

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


Three Sith Lords… Hunger, Pain and Betrayal…

His conversation with Dessida had made sleep impossible for Canderous. He was lying still in his cot, eyes closed, but his mind was whirling with possibilities. Why hadn’t he considered that he was now fighting the same threat Revan originally feared?

The truth of it was pitiful.

However noble and self-sacrificing it had been of her to leave him, he had resented her for it. Whatever it was, it certainly couldn’t have mattered more than their marriage.

Now that he had seen Darth Sion face to face, he realized how selfish he’d been.

She’s had years to fight these Sith. Perhaps, the reason the third had yet to show its face was that Revan had already killed him. That idea stirred fresh hope. That would mean they were now hunting the same targets. Maybe when he found her, it would be on the battle field. He imagined her locked in combat, her lightsaber blazing in a deadly arc all around her, a sheen of sweat on her lovely face. In his mind’s eye, she was starting to tire just as he arrived. Her cavalry. Together, they’d triumph…

Hunger. Pain. Betrayal.

Sion staved off death by feeding on his own pain. His bones had been shattered. His skin was charred and cracked. One eye had been gouged out of his head, one arm hacked off his body; it all served to make him stronger.

Hunger was Nihilus’ power. He fed on all things that were strong in the Force. From what Visas had told them, he had consumed her entire world and everything on it… except for her.

Another possibility occurred to Canderous… This one left him uneasy.

Betrayal?

What if Revan was the third Sith?





“Everybody up! I need everyone in the Main Hold, now!”

Dessida hollered through the Ebon Hawk. Her startled companions made their way out to her in various stages of waking and dressing. Atton was bleary-eyed, missing a shirt, a shoe and had the most incredible bedhead. Mical, as always, was perfectly groomed and at the ready. The others fell somewhere in between the two extremes.

“I got a transmission from Master Kavar. He’s willing to hear us out about the Sith, but only if we help save Onderon,” she launched into her speech at once, sounding at last, like the General she had once been. “Vaklu is attempting to overthrow Queen Thalia, with the support of most of the royal army. He also has Sith help. They’re on Dxun, attempting some sort of ritual in the tomb of Freedon Nadd. I don’t have the details, but we must stop it. We need to divide into two teams: one for Iziz and one for the tomb.”

As soon as the word ‘Sith’ escaped her mouth, Canderous’ mind was ablaze with possibilities. There had been no mention of one of the three Lords driving the attack, but if it were, there was a chance that Revan would be there. “I’ll go to Dxun,” he stated firmly. Dessida eyed him oddly, no doubt figuring that he would be more useful against soldiers than Force-Users, but he came up with a decent excuse on the fly. “I can have Clan Ordo ready to mobilize in an hour. We’ll stop the Sith scum.”

Dessida hesitated minutely but nodded in the end. “Atton and Bao-Dur, I want you to back him up.”

“As you command, General,” the Iradorian obediently replied, but he was outshined by Kreia’s haughty sniff.

“You should leave the fool in the cockpit where he belongs.”

Atton snapped out of his sleepy haze in the blink of an eye. “Why don’t you stay on the ship, you old hag? Oh, that’s right! You can’t be the pilot, because you’re blind!”

“You should watch your tongue!” hissed Kreia with venom dripping from her every syllable. Using the word ‘watch’ was about to backfire on her but Dessida was not about to allow more precious time to be wasted squabbling.

“Enough!” she barked loudly. The sudden hush that followed was heavy with unspoken taunts and silenced snarls, but now that Dessida had taken control, neither was about to speak out of turn again. “Mical and T3, you’re with me. Visas and Hk, follow Canderous. Now, everyone, gear up and get ready.”






The skies of Dxun were churning with dark clouds. The rain was nothing more than a drizzle, but vengeful forks of lightning struck all too close and often for Canderous’ comfort. Even with the full support of Clan Ordo and half of Dessida’s companions, just getting to the tomb had been an uphill battle. The Sith defended what was theirs with mind-controlled beasts, heavy troopers and hundreds of acolytes eager to prove themselves.

Bao proved his worth a dozen times over. He took out the security sensors and perimeter control from a distance, so the Sith didn’t have time to call for additional support. When the fighting broke out, he unleashed a fury even the Mandalorians had to admire. Visas wasn’t much with a lightsaber, but she had Force powers of her own, and Atton just had a knack for killing Force-Users.

There was no sign of Revan. Had she beaten them here, Canderous thought ruefully, there would have been no defenses left for him and his men to encounter.

That doesn’t mean she’s not among the Sith, he reminded himself while his insides twisted into knots.

The jungles were wild and sultry. Stepping into the tomb, where the air was stale and dank, was dizzying. Canderous had the benefit of full-body armor, but the tendrils of cold vapor winding around his ankles left him uneasy all the same. He couldn’t help but remember his dream. Revan, trapped and tortured. Mist and lightning.

“You. Miraluka,” he demanded, addressing Visas Marr without the courtesy of using her name. Truth of it was, he didn’t like her, or trust her. That she had betrayed her master to join Dessida’s cause only told him that her loyalties were flexible. Still, he had a question gnawing at him and she was the only one who might know. “Do Sith rituals involve human sacrifice?”

Visas was probably confused by his sudden curiosity, but it was difficult to tell. Her species didn’t see in the traditional sense, so the top half of their faces were obscured by hoods or veils. Her dark lips twisted in a thoughtful frown before she answered. “Many do,” she admitted. “Why do you ask?”

His insides twisted uncomfortably, but he was not about to tell her any more than he had to. “Cui ogir’olar. It doesn’t matter,” he muttered darkly. Inevitably tempted to pick up the pace, he noticed at last that Atton was lingering off to one side of the antechamber, enveloped in an unusually dense wisp of fog.

“Hey, di’kut,” Canderous barked. The pilot turned to face him with slow, robotic movements and empty eyes. His skin was waxy. There were shadows to his features now. Canderous attributed it to the gloom, but he was mistaken. The darkness was tugging at him, and Atton was giving in. “Let’s get moving.”

“Sure thing,” said Atton. His voice was flat, and the smile he flashed was just a curl of his lips. Canderous didn’t notice that, either. The Sith were descending on them, making one last effort to remove the interlopers and complete their ritual.

Red lightsabers blazed in the shadows. Voices cried out and echoed horribly off the stone walls. There were beasts tramping through the dust and blasterfire ricocheting in every direction. In that chaos, Canderous searched the faces of the Sith. He saw Zabraks with red and black markings and Twi’leks with flowing headtails. Pale human males grizzled with scars; tall, spindly women with violent tattoos. Canderous cut them down without a second thought. He pressed forward, unaware of his own followers. If they fell behind, if they were killed, he didn’t know it. He was only looking for one person.

They fought their way to the foot of Freedon Nadd’s sarcophagus. When at last, the humming of the lightsabers and the whining of the blasters fell quiet, the silence pressed like cotton against Canderous’ ears. His gaze swept the room again, finding the floor littered with the bodies of the Sith, but there was no trace of Revan.

For once, he let that be a relief.

“You. Beskar’ad,” Canderous barked. Hk-47’s yellow photoreceptors flickered with irritation at being called ‘droid’ instead of his designation, but he didn’t comment. Obviously, Canderous wasn’t in the mood to refer to anyone properly. “Contact the Exile. Tell her we’re done here.”






Dessida had arranged for her companions to gather again in the Mandalorian camp. Canderous’ party arrived first. Their casualties were minimal. Bao had suffered a glancing wound. One Mandalorian trainee had been killed. His veterans had a few new dents and dings to their armor. The rest were just tired and more than a little sweaty.

Night was falling on Dxun when Kreia led the second group to the rendezvous point. The old woman wasn’t limping as stiffly as usual. Her head and shoulders were held rigidly high. The rest fanned out behind her, T3 bringing up the rear. He didn’t travel well through the jungle mud. Canderous glanced among them. He didn’t immediately see Dessida, but when he did, he jolted to his feet.

She was limp in Mical’s arms.

“She’s alive,” Kreia announced imperiously. Her tone somehow implied that Dessida’s survival was her own accomplishment, but Canderous was too preoccupied to resent her for it.

“Bring her to my quarters,” he ordered the healer as he grabbed his own kit and searched for a few good medsharps. Early in their travels together, he’d made a point to craft new ones every night, but of late, he’d let the habit slip. Among dozens of adrenal stims, he only found one syringe of kolto. All the same, he grabbed it and chased after Mical.

As Canderous entered the room, the boy was gingerly depositing her into the bed. For once, Canderous wished his people didn’t lead such a Spartan existence. It would have been nice to have an extra pillow to offer her.

“How bad?” asked a very gruff Canderous.

Mical gave him a quick glance as though he couldn’t spare too much attention away from Dessida. “Her injuries are non-fatal,” the boy said softly, with more hope than certainty. “The coward, Vaklu. He attacked her when her back was turned. She was advising Queen Thalia to spare his life. I must confess, I hope the queen did not take her suggestion.”

As he spoke, he smoothed back Dessida’s dark hair with one tender hand.

It occurred to Canderous that the boy cared for her. Truly. He wasn’t just pining over her pretty face or shapely little body.

The Mandalorian decided to set the medsharp on the bedside table. He was guessing Mical had the situation in hand, but it was there if she needed it. “Why don’t you stay with her tonight?” he suggested. “I can bunk in the barracks.”

“You wouldn’t be more comfortable here?” Mical’s innocent blue eyes made him smirk.  

“’I would be. You ever hear a dozen Mandalorians snoring all at once? Like a broken trash compactor,” he chuckled. “But she might need you.”

Mical nodded and spared him a grateful smile. Canderous rested his hand on the lad’s shoulder for a moment before he headed out. The barracks did sound like awful, but it probably wasn’t a great idea to trek through the jungle, alone, at night, to sleep aboard the Hawk, either. He too engrossed in the pros and cons of sleeping under the stars to notice movement in the shadows.

Again, he failed to notice Atton. The pilot had been lurking just outside the door, but he was almost unrecognizable now. His brown eyes had developed a yellow tint. There were purple veins pulsating just under his thin, sallow flesh. He was clutching a vibroblade so tightly in his fist that his knuckles had turned white.
The Exile divides her forces to save Onderon from the usuper, General Vaklu, and his Sith allies.

To start from the beginning:
Ch. 1: Broken Love Ch: 1
Ch. 2: Broken Love, Ch. 2
Ch. 3: Broken Love, Ch. 3
Ch. 4: Broken Love, Ch. 4
'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
Published:
© 2018 - 2021 DarkEchani
Comments4
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xHybridus's avatar
Oh snap!!! Talk about a cliff hanger!!!
DarkEchani's avatar
xD From here on out, I'm taking a lot of liberties with the plot. AND the next chapter is going to be the last one. I'm working on it now :D
xHybridus's avatar
Yay I can't wait!
ProudtobeNerd's avatar
jawdrop revamp
NO WAY. PLEASE write the next one FAST! I need to know what happens!