Spy vs. Spy: Eternal, Ch. 1

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By DarkEchani
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Literature Text

Spy vs. Spy: Eternal
Ch. 1: Part to Play

Note: Characters & locations belong to Bioware. Art belongs to Xhybridus

Spoiler Alert! Plot inspired by end game chapters of The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire, Knights of the Eternal Throne, War for Iokath, Crisis on Umbara. If you have not played through these chapters yet, read with caution!(Not so much in this one, but the story in general, will!)

Vega Lunos had been wandering through the haze of a nightmare for as long as she could remember. She saw flashes of her old life now and again, always distorted and violent. Old friends would attack her; she had to kill them in self-defense. Former lovers would writhe in pain, die in agony right in front of her and there was nothing she could do. Again and again, she watched the Empire burn.

She was almost ready to give up. Close her eyes and accept whatever fate had in store.

Then something odd began to happen. The ground beneath her feet started to tremble and give way. The world beneath her collapsed upon itself, leaving her suspended in the vast, black emptiness of space. Instead of dark and cold, she began to feel warmth on her skin, seeping into her bones, and a bright white line beaming all around her, blinding her. She took a breath, expecting it to be her last, but the vacuum of space didn't suck the air from her body. Quite the opposite, it felt like the first deep lungful after much too long underwater.

And then, quite suddenly, she was floating no more. She collapsed in a heap on an unseen floor.

'....hear me?... alright now, I promise...'

Someone was trying to speak to her, but the voice sounded like a whisper coming from a great distance. She recognized only that it belonged to a woman who meant to reassure her. Vega needed no reassurance; she wasn't in any way upset, just wildly confused.

Invisible arms hoisted her back to her feet. Vega swayed unsteadily but found just enough strength to keep herself upright. “What's happening?” she groaned, gaze probing all around her, but all she could see was white light. “Where...?”

'… Agent? We need to leave. We're not safe here...'

The voice was clearer now. It was Lana Beniko, an ally of sorts, and she was urging Vega to move. She stumbled the first few steps due to blindness and stiff muscles, but she was beginning to recover some dexterity. “Lana, I can't see,” Vega stated, her tone flat and factual as if she were just giving a report.

“It's hibernation sickness. Your sight will return, hopefully before they begin shooting at us. Even with the Force, I'm not sure I can hold you up and fight off Skytroopers,” answered Lana, just as steadily. “For now, just let me guide you.”

“Hibernation sickness... I was in carbonite?” Vega's thoughts had been scattered and vague, but she could feel them becoming sharper and more collected with each passing moment. Being frozen would certainly explain the nightmares.

“Yes. Do you remember being summoned to Darth Marr's flagship? Shortly after you arrived, it was attacked by the Emperor. Marr was killed, but you managed to defeat the Emperor on your own. You couldn't escape his son, Arcann, who had you frozen- imprisoned for the assassination of his father.”

Slowly, bit by bit, it was coming back to Vega. She could still hear Marr's anguished cry as a lightsaber was plunged through his chest. In her mind's eye, she could picture the triumph in the Emperor's eyes to watch the man fall. In a foolish fit of rage, Vega had trained her rifle on the Emperor himself and pulled the trigger. She never expected to be able to harm someone as powerful as him, let alone kill him. After that, there was a blur. She thought she could recall a face obscured by a half-mask and terrible scars, then a sinking feeling, and an all-consuming cold, like falling through thin ice.

“How long was I frozen?”

They kept moving in silence, an awkward, rapid shuffle down a winding corridor. “A long time,” was all that Lana would tell her.

Escaping Zakuul was a singularly frustrating experience. The pilot of their escape shuttle, Koth Vortena, was unable to land at the designated evac point, so they were forced to limp and sprint in search of somewhere safer. All the while, Skytroopers rained down on them, two and three at a time. Lana wanted to blow a generator, cast the city into darkness, but Vega wouldn't have it. The resulting explosion would have endangered the natives. When at last they did make their way aboard Koth's ship and zip past the Eternal Fleet, Lana was on the verge of passing out in a mixture of relief and exhaustion.

Vega did pass out. She made it as far as the couch in the main hold before collapsing in an undignified heap. Lana couldn't begrudge her that. Force knows she needed the rest.

“So... that's the great Outlander we've been pinning all our hopes on?” prodded Koth. So far, he was less than impressed by the 'legendary Cipher Agent' that had supposedly defeated Revan and Valkorian. “Don't get me wrong; I'm glad she didn't let you fry those civilians on Zakuul, but I don't see how she could possibly take on Arcann.”

“Don't underestimate her,” cautioned Lana. “The carbonite left her weak, but when she's back at full strength, you'll see why she is the only one who can defeat the Eternal Emperor... She doesn't even have her sight back, but on Zakuul, she took out as many Skytroopers as I did. Apparently, she was trained to shoot blindfolded, in case she would ever have to fight in the dark.”

“Huh,” Koth cocked his head and eyed the agent in a night light. He wasn't convinced, but he shrugged off his doubts. “At least she's cute.”

“Don't get your hopes up,” an amused smile quirked one corner of the Sith's lips. “She is hopelessly in love with Theron Shan.”

Koth found himself unreasonably disappointed to hear that. He had only just met the girl, and here he was complaining about her, and yet it irked him that she belonged to someone else. “But if she's been frozen for five years, why didn't he come with us to spring her?”

Lana gingerly shook her head to dismiss the implication that Theron didn't care enough to be a part of the mission. “If we're going to defeat Arcann, we all have to play our part,” she insisted. “We had to be the ones to free Vega, Theron has to be the one to find allies and resources... and now Vega has to be the one to command the Alliance. If you'll excuse me, I should get a message to Theron. I'm sure he's anxious to know Vega is alive and well.”

Half-way across the galaxy, Theron Shan sat in a cantina, nursing a semi-forgotten, room-temperature Juma juice while he shifted through endless reports on his datapad on everything from estimated ammunition requirements to the psychic visions of the Voss mystics who may or may not be willing to aid their cause. He'd been at it so long, his eyes were beginning to cross. When one more subtle 'ping' of an incoming message stung his ears, he let out a groaning sigh.

“What now?” he muttered aloud. He was expecting another report from one of his contacts about something absurd that might, possibly border on being slightly helpful, like the cost of training Tuk'ata battle hounds or the kill-count of prominent Trandoshan hunters who might consider Arcann a worthy Jagganath target. He was wrong. When he saw Lana's name marked as the sender, and he lost all sensation in his hands. The datapad nearly slipped out of his lax grip. He felt his heart still for just a moment and fluttering in his belly like a swarm of mynock had mistaken his stomach for a starship.

Theron hesitated to open the message, fearing what it might contain. He had long since learned to expect the worst. Lana could have been writing to him just to say 'sorry, she wasn't in carbonite. Arcann killed her after all'. As many times as they had found each other again, pieces of his heart were still chipped away every time he lost Vega.

With a nervous swallow and trembling fingers, he decided at last that he needed to know, one way or the other.


From: Lana Beniko

Subject: My Part

Theron, I thought you would want to know immediately: my mission was successful. As soon as I locate a safe haven, I will send coordinates for long overdue reunion.

Theron let out a shuddering breath he didn't even know he'd been holding. His eyes shut, chin dipped in  gratitude to whatever force or higher power made it possible for the love of his life to return to him. This time, he told himself, he was not letting her go ever again.
Theron Shan and the Imperial Agent love story continues! Though Revan has been defeated, greater threats have taken his place.

To keep reading:
Ch: 2 Spy vs. Spy: Eternal, Ch. 2
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