Odessen is far out of Arcann’s sight, and the only planet in the galaxy where the Force is completely in balance. The dark side doesn’t take over like it does Korriban, nor does the light blind anyone senses like it might on Tython. It is far from home, wherever ‘home’ is, and now it has to turn into a military base.
The physical structure is getting there: I look out to the hills hile standing on the fresh cememnt and metal of the look out. It leads to one of the spheres that track incoming and outgoing ships. The other sphere next to it keeps track of what the Republic and Empire are up to. I glance at the corner of my eye to see people enter the main war room. Soon I will have to hold a meeting there: See what people we have, see what people we need, and start working on any leads towards Arcann’s weaknesses. Even forces as powerful as the throne, and Zakuul Knights, has a weakness. It shall be found.
It has been a few long month carving a hole in a mountain, and turning it into a functioning system. It has been a long three months to keep Imperial and Republic forces from killing each other: It’s amazing the ripples of the Revanite threat have caused. A decade ago, Zakuul would have the galaxy under lock and key. Not completely because Arcann would have destroyed them, but because the factions wouldn’t set aside their differences to a common goal. The fact some have chosen to do so I a miracle thanks to the Revanite threat. Or in Lana’s opinion, thanks to me.
I see the anti-air turret is ready to make short work of the wrong visitors, and I feel the railings are as strong as Alderaan’s rocks. Perhaps stronger. I hear the rumble of ships taking off and landing, not really turning to look. There is nothing to see, really. Nothing for me to see. I hope there is nothing for me to see, anyway. I’ve missed five years and seen too much in almost four months or so. Makes one tired, and makes them cold to certain things.
A sith pureblood? Cold? I chuckle to myself as I listen to the birds singing. Sith are supposed to be passionate creatures, not cold with indifference. I guess five year slumbers change one’s inner workings? Would a Jedi go mad after 5 years? Hard to say.
I glance down at my commlink and examine it. It’s a new one, different from Imperial or Republic. I like its sound quality. I’ll start tinkering with it soon. I always tinker with commlinks: get the right channel where none are eavesdropping on me is always my first priority. Well it used to be. I haven’t done it yet… No point with no time to really sit to myself.
The few times I have, such as now, have been consumed with wonder: Where is he? Why have I not found him? Why wasn’t he with us at the Gravestone? Why did he not find us on Zakuul? Why was he not at Asylum? I looked in between gathering missions, and rescuing some of Koth’s crew, on Asylum for Theron Shan. I could not find him!
People saw him on Asylum. I remember bringing him up to Koth: “Tell me, did Lana ever bring a man named Theron Shan on some of your missions? Or are you the only handsome man she’s met?”
“Theron Shan? I’ve heard of him. Tall, tanned skin, implants, used to work for the SIS?” I nod at Koth’s description, and my hopes rise.
“Yes, that is the man. Is he on Asylum now, and I’ve simply missed him?”
Koth shook his head, and jumped when sparks flew. I walked up to the panel and opened it. I used one of the portable flashlights I was able to find on Zakuul’s surface to look at the compartment. “I think some of the fuses are burnt out. Do you have any…”
I glance to Koth and take one of his spanners and rubber gloves. I get to work on it, commenting, “This ship certainly is confirming to be trouble to maintain. I hope it will prove to be worth the fuss.”
“You and the Gravestone have something in common,” Koth points out, “As your rescue proved.”
I chuckle and get the minor emergency under control. “Yes,” I began the conversation again, “Theron Shan?”
“Right, right. Yeah, I’ve seen him here on a few missions. He even came here once or twice… But that was months ago. He likes to keep to himself.”
My heart sank a little at that but not too much. The joys of spy work: It is a solo job. I wondered if I could track him down? I know I am important to defeating Arcann, but that doesn’t mean I can’t at least try to get real companions back in my life! He might be easier to track down then my family on Korriban…
My family on Korriban. I sigh as Odessen’s breeze watches over me. In theory, I have an adopted mother and father. I have an adopted older brother. Biologically they’re my aunt and uncle, and cousin on my father’s side. They adopted me after I left home. They’ve been my immediate family since I was fifteen. And they’re dead for all I know! Lana gave me the basic overview of the galaxy… Yet, when I ask for specifics I am usually met with a tired look, or people don’t know.
I rub the spot on my gut where the kolto patches used to be: Count your blessings, Cipher Eight, since you could’ve been killed! Arcann stabbed me with his saber, and I felt my life spilling out with each passing second. It is a miracle I am alive. I could’ve used Valkorian’s power to get out of such a predicament, but I refused. I don’t care if it’s my dormant force powers, or his, I am not. Using. The. Force. Valkorian needs to do better then promise fancy magic tricks for me give up part of who I am just so I can…
“Love what you’ve done with the place.”
My thoughts freeze. I hear footsteps approach me, and I feel eyes on me. I know that voice. I’ve known it since I was in danger of becoming fish food on Manaan. Is this another dream? I scratch myself with a claw fingertips (I have five fingers like humans but they sharpen into claws, not fingernails, like my Sith ancestors), and I feel the pain. It’s real, and that voice truly spoke. Yet I doubt my ears, so I slowly turn around. The same jacket, light pants, same brown spiked hair, and same implants. My breath stops as I look him over.
Theron shrugs and states, “Hadn’t seen you a while. Wasn’t sure you remembered me.”
I clear my throat and start again, “It’s… It’s great to see you again Theron.” That was good- Not too formal, nor too mushy but with a good bit of friendly chatter.
“Good,” he says with a smile and walks closer to me, “Wasn’t sure based on what Lana said you went through. What you’re going through.”
He walks past me to the railing, and I follow. My eyes cannot help taking his form in. His physique (I may have a weakness for well formed buttocks), his scent, and his voice make me stumble. I catch myself, thank the Force, as I shouldn’t betray too much of emotions right? It’s not like we’re meeting at a gay bar where I’m allowed to be more flamboyant. No, this is a military base and we haven’t spoken a word in over five years. Need to be a bit more patient. Theron Shan turns to me and smiles, but I notice his eyes just look at me. No following my form, no moving closer, and no indication that he desires to throw himself at me as much as I want to throw myself at him. Easy, Crim…
“Been a long five years,” he cuts into my thoughts again, “feels like everything’s changed.”
I smile genuinely for the first time in five years, and say quietly, “You got better looking.”
Theron holds up a hand and says quickly, “I don’t know about that but hey, Crim, I’ll take it.”
I use every last once of my strength not to look down and run a way from the conversation: That is not how I expected him to respond to the flirt! I know it was a small flirt, and wasn’t meant to sweep him off his feet, but I didn’t expect a non-response! Has… has he moved on? Why wouldn’t he move on- I’ve been gone for five years, and he’s had a galaxy to find someone else. He has someone else, and the person already tells him he got better looking.
I look at him, and resist saying many things, and resist saying how I feel about this: Arcann has taken so much from me, and now he’s taken Theron Shan. Petty reason to get revenge on the galaxy’s ruler, but combine it with destroying everything I’ve built, robbing five years of my life from me, and now stealing the first man to actually understand me? Hmph!
Right, time to continue the conversation. Regardless of his feelings, I will strive to work with him and have decent conversations with him. I clear my throat and try small talk: “I see you’re with our organization- Or are you simply keeping tabs on us and sending it to the SIS?”
“No,” he answers, “No SIS agent here, unless you’ve defected since waking up. No, I left the SIS years ago; Lana’s brought me in to manage operations. But before we get into all the more-or-less official stuff, I’ve got something for you.”
“You’ve found… my family? Anything?”
“No luck so far but…”
I hear a woman’s voice shout over the comms, “It needs work- a lot of work!” as my X-70B Phantom lands a few feet in front of us.
I grin as I see it descend. Finally, a small piece of what was. Perhaps I can still salvage what is between Theron and I? I’ll even settle for a good friend! Perhaps if I invite him on my ship for whatever alcohol is on there…
“When you’re up for it, it’s time for the official stuff. I’ll be inside,” Theron says and walks away.
I turn around and simply wave, “Bye,” and then sigh when he’s out of ear shot. “Need to move faster, Crim…” I mutter to myself as I head towards my ship: Meetings can wait; I want to go home.