literature

Broken love, Ch. 6

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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 !




“The call of Korriban is strong… but it is the call of the dead.”

Kreia’s words kept whispering in Canderous’ ear. When she first spoke them, he’d ignored her. He’d been to this cursed world before, and its bleak desolation hadn’t affected him in the least. He expected this visit would be no different, but he was wrong.

He wasn’t afraid…. Just uneasy. It was the statues, he decided. They were withered, weather-beaten carvings of the long-dead Sith Lords buried in this valley, but their eyes seemed to follow him, wondering, perhaps, why this pitiful creature was trespassing upon their hallowed grounds?

Every so often, he thought he saw movement in the periphery of his vision, but when he turned to confront it, he saw only shadows. When he felt a cold breath fall on the back of his neck, he whirled, heart racing and found--

Nothing.

A chill ghosted across his flesh, leaving goosebumps in its wake, but he turned back, doggedly determined to get to the Sith Academy. He shoved aside any rising misgivings and focused on his dream. It had been vague, to be certain, but he felt it was about Revan, being trapped somewhere… somewhere dark and sinister, surrounded by death. Korriban certainly fit the bill.

“…. The call of Korriban is strong, but it—“

Kreia’s troubling words hissed themselves in his ear, but he refused to heed them. He strode on, all the more determined.

“Hold a moment. I don’t remember where to turn,” murmured Mical. From the look of his wide blue eyes, this was the last place in which he wanted to get lost. His darting glances roved between the datapad in his hands and their grim surroundings. The wind howling through the empty chasm kept spitting sand into his face, making it difficult to get his bearings.

“Up ahead. Past the cave,” growled Canderous with a pointed nod.

“You’ve been here before,” Mical prompted Canderous. The younger man kept pace with him like a well-trained hound on a short leash. The boy had a nervous energy, differing wildly from the serenity he’d shown in the dangerous sublevels of the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. To be fair, only bugs stalked the enclaves. Korriban had so many horrors waiting around every turn.

“Once,” Canderous agreed, and took a moment to decide whether he felt like indulging the boy’s curiosity. In the end he did, only because his conversation was mildly preferable to the chilling silence and mournful wailing wind. “It was a few years ago, back when the Academy was still thriving… I’ve got no love of Sith, but at least, when there were people here, it didn’t seem so…”

“Haunted?” Mical suggested.

…but it is the call of the dead.

Canderous suppressed another shudder and allowed himself only the tiniest of nods.

The Academy was just around the bend but seeing it did not raise their spirits. The doors were left wide open, which seemed to them more ominous than welcoming, and there were bodies strewn all through the threshold.

“It looks like there was some sort of massacre… I doubt whether there is anyone left ins- ow!“  Mical began, but Canderous shouldered past him and marched into the void.

‘Haunted’ was a fair enough description. The Academy was full of long, dark corridors with stone floors and high ceilings. Canderous could hardly see two feet in front of him, but each little sound echoed all throughout the building: the crackle and hiss of a dying light source, the dull thump of a faulty protocol droid bumping against the walls, the hungry sniff of a Tuk’ata searching for a meal. The beasts that once served the Sith had long since picked clean the bones of their former masters.

The idea that Revan could be trapped here had Canderous tempted to sprint impetuously through the halls. A cold feeling in the pit of his stomach made him decide otherwise. Dessida and Mical must have mustered their courage; they were following close on his heels. Together, they crept through the Academy, searching one chamber after the next.

They found shattered holocrons in the library, tattered clothes in the acolyte dormitory and broken weaponry in the sparring room, but apart from the starving Tuk’ata that prowled the shadows, they found nothing alive. The Overseer’s quarters were sealed shut; not even a lightsaber could open them. The last corridor was caved in, leaving only one room left unexplored: the detention center.

It was the obvious place to look for Revan. If his dream was to be believed, and she had been captured, where else would she be? Canderous was just hoping to find her anywhere else. He’d seen firsthand how prisoners were treated in that room. As they neared the detention center, it felt as though the temperature were plunging. His insides were twisting themselves in knots. The palms of his hands began to sweat inside his gauntlets.

Worse yet, so much worse, when the doors were opened at last, he found her, face down in a crimson pool.

A thousand horrible sensations assaulted him all at once, the first almost like a physical blow to the gut knocking the breath from his lungs. His knees jellied. His heart stopped and sank like a stone into some frigid, black abyss. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move.

“No…”

Dessida stood beside him, seemingly unaware that beneath his armor, the man was breaking. She let out a small, resigned sigh and rested her hands on her hips. “Poor Master Vash,” she murmured sadly.

The Mandalorian’s attention snapped to Dessida for a fraction of a second before whirling back to the dead woman on the floor. It wasn’t Revan.

He sucked in a deep breath. His heart began to beat again, flooding his body with warmth and relief. He’d only seen a dark-haired woman in Jedi robes; he hadn’t even noticed she was too tall, too pale to be his wife. For a moment, nothing else in the galaxy mattered. It wasn’t Revan. She was still out there. This wasn’t the end.  

Before he had fully recovered from the worst shock of his life, Darth Sion attacked them from the shadows. They barely escaped with their lives.




"You're up late."

Dessida walked on cat’s feet. Canderous never heard her approach, but he knew she was there. He didn’t even need to hear her voice to know it was her, either. She wore a perfume that had a way of snaring a man’s attention. A hint of a grin lingered on his lips when he shot her a glance over his shoulder.

“So are you,” he observed.

In the hours that had passed since leaving Korriban, Canderous had come to accept something about Dessida. She wasn’t the mewling little girl he’d met on Dxun a few weeks ago. She was a woman now, fearless and confident, and one hell of a warrior. Her fight with Sion had been glorious to behold.

Canderous, for his part, had been useless. Sion swatted away his blasterfire with flicks of his lightsaber. Mical, poor di’kut, had rushed the Sith just to be thrown into the wall with a burst of energy. He spent the rest of the fight unconscious. Canderous had to carry the boy out. Dessida had visited him in the medbay, checked on him, but the Mandalorian was guessing whatever attraction had sparked between her and the boy had died out. Maybe she was too much woman for him.

He had been working on his armor until Dessida arrived. Between Sion and the Laigrek’s acid, his beskar had taken a beating. Dessida must have decided he needed a break because she hopped up onto the workbench and took a seat between him and his tools. They were separated by a handful of centimeters, and with the bench to boost her, she was finally at his eye level. He arched an amused brow.

“I think today proved that if I’m going to keep up with you, I’ll need my armor intact,” he mentioned in an off-handed purr. Dessida grinned, but she didn’t move.

“Did you know her?” she asked abruptly.

The question utterly through him. He blinked a few times while he tried, and failed, to unravel her meaning. “Who?”  

“Lonna Vash,” she clarified. “I saw how you reacted when we found her.”

Those molten silver eyes of his turned to cold steel in an instant. He’d spent the better part of the day and night trying to put that entire incident out of mind. He had been so certain he’d be reunited with Revan on Korriban. Finding Vash instead was like a hard slap to the face, reminding him that sometimes dreams didn’t mean anything, and Revan was well out of his reach.

His expression waivered briefly, but he decided to side-step her question, and attempt to forget again. “And how did you see me react?” he retorted. At the time, he’d been wearing his mask. He wasn’t now, so the smirk, the cocky arch of his brow, the challenge in his silver eyes was plainly on display. Dessida rolled her eyes, but her gaze was glittering, and a smile was tugging at her lips.

“Alright, I sensed your reaction,” she amended.

He cocked his head and narrowed his eyes, wishing he could read her like she read him. “Mandalorian armor is Force resistant. If you can sense anything about me while I’m wearing it, either I should have been working on mine a while ago or you’re getting mighty powerful.”

“Flattery won’t get you out of this,” she shot back. “Did you know her or not?”

He let out a resigned sigh and leaned in closer, if only to rest his hands on the workbench, on either side of her hips. If his proximity made her feel anything, she hid her feelings a lot better than he did. “No,” he answered at length. “I mistook her for someone else.”

Her mind worked quickly. “Your wife,” she realized and bowed her chin, breaking the intensity of their eye contact.

“Ex-wife,” he corrected mildly. He crooked one calloused finger beneath her chin to redirect her gaze back to his. Because she didn’t swat him away, he let his thumb graze along her jaw before he dropped his hand. “Mandalorians don’t have weddings or divorce proceedings. We trade some vows and we’re married. One of us wants out, all you do is declare it.”

Shuk'la riduurok… Broken love. That moment was crystalized in his head, frozen in time. Putting itin those terms, he thought wistfully, Ilum was the perfect place for it.

“Why?” Dessida pressed, sounding baffled, as though she couldn’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want him. That made him smile.

“You really want the gory details about my star-crossed love affair with another woman?” he asked bluntly. That gave her pause, but in the end, she decided she did. So, he sighed again and surrendered. Dessida was going to get it out of him one way or another. He might as well tell her before she used her Jedi magic to poke around in his head. “For starters, you two might’ve known each other. You did follow her to war, against my people.”

Finally, he managed to say something she wasn’t expecting or figured out on her own. Her jaw dropped, eyes popped wide open. “You were married to Revan?” Her look and tone of shock would have been comical under any other circumstances.

“For all of a standard month,” he shrugged. From there, he had no idea where to begin. He knew Dessida had been exiled shortly after the battle of Malachor, so she might not have known about his ex-wife’s reign as Lord of the Sith, or her conquest of the Star Forge or anything that came after. Because this conversation was reminiscent of ripping off a bandage, he decided to skip the history lesson. “She told me she could sense something coming. Whatever it was, she thought it was going to attack the Republic. She had to stop it, and I had to stay behind in case she failed. I would have gone with her, or waited for her until Mustafar froze over, but she didn’t want that. She took her droids, her ship, cut all ties and vanished. Five years later, you showed up, with all three.”

She reacted like a droid trying to download too much information all at once. Her lips fumbled a few times, but no sound came out. Her eyes flickered to and fro but focused on nothing. In the end, she wrapped her arms around Canderous’ neck and hugged him fiercely.

When she finally withdrew, there was such sadness on her face, he could hardly look at her. “I never met her,” she told him.

“I figured,” he agreed. “That’s why I never asked how you got her things.”

If she had been a droid, she would have let out a sharp whistle as she extrapolated the last bit of data. Instead, she gasped. “Canderous, the Republic is under attack. I told you, there’s three Sith Lords: there’s Sion and Nihilus, but where’s the last one? What if Revan is holding him off?”

His insides wriggled. He tried to swallow, but his mouth had gone dry. “You think she’s still alive?”

Dessida nodded her head with exaggerated emphasis. “And she needs our help.”
Canderous and the Exile search Korriban for a Jedi Master, but instead, they are hunted by a Sith Lord.

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
To Keep reading:

'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
Comments5
anonymous's avatar
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xHybridus's avatar
Ah, I love it! :heart:
For a split second I thought you were going to kill off revan. I just about flipped my tablet.
DarkEchani's avatar
Haha! I couldn't do that to Canderous, I've already put him through a lot xD
Hopefully, the next part won't take more than a couple days.
Something occurred to me, tho. Are you familiar with Arcann from The Old Republic? I'm thinking about doing a short fic for him
xHybridus's avatar
I haven't played through it myself, but I know the story. It would still be fun to read a story about him though.
DarkEchani's avatar
I might add one soon. All my Canderous stuff is wrapping up, just 2 more chapters to go.
xHybridus's avatar
Really its that close to finishing? I can't wait!