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31 December 2007 @ 05:23 pm
In the Shadows of Victory/KotOR/MicalExile/PG  
Title: In the Shadows of Victory
Fandom: KotOR
Characters: Mical/Exile
Table: 5
Prompt: Empty
Word Count: 1283
Rating: PG (it is a little dark, though)
Summary: The worst kind of victories are the ones with the highest costs.
Author's Notes: Spoilers for the ending of KotOR II. Again, written late at night because that's usually when inspiration hits. *eyeroll* Written for prompt_palooza.

The battle was over. The Galaxy had been saved. The Sith Lords had been cast down once more, their terrible atrocities would fade away into history, into the past, into nothing. Millions would sleep tonight, safe and sound in their own ignorance. There would be no more pain, no more bloodshed, no more loss of innocence.

She had won.

But if that was the case...then why did she feel so empty?

As victories went, this one felt very hollow. Yes, she had won...but at what cost? Kreia, mentor, teacher, and friend...was dead. The Jedi Masters were dead, their bodies no more than lifeless husks, devoid of the Force altogether. Her companions were missing, either wounded or dying. And she was still a gaping wound in the Force, just as she had been all those years ago.

Yes, she had won. Yes, time had passed. But here, at the end of all things, it meant absolutely nothing...as nothing had changed.

What made things worse was that she knew this was only the beginning. Kreia's dying words still echoed within her skull, imprinted as a constant reminder of everything that was still to come. A reminder that, though she may have won this battle, there was still a war to be fought. She could not help but wonder if there would always be a war to fight, a battle to win, someone to die.

It was sort of funny, she reflected, how it had taken Kreia all these months of traveling with her to build up her confidence, her skills, and her belief in the ways of the Force...to crush it all with just a few parting words.

And those words were these:

I do know that you must leave him behind--the same choice that Revan made. Where you are destined, you must not take anyone you love.

Again, she was being condemned to isolation. Again, she would suffer the solitude that had eroded her will, her body, and her heart. It had not been her choice before and it would not be her choice this time. But sometimes the paths one walked were not always the paths that they chose, she supposed.

Carina stood there, as the Trayus Academy began to crumble around her, and she felt nothing. Her world was falling apart before her eyes, but it meant nothing. She was faintly aware of a cacophonous roar as the core began to give way, but the sound seemed muffled to her. It was as if she were being deafened and blinded at the same time as her senses grew silent...It was Malachor V all over again.

She was drowning. There was screaming. Was she screaming? She wasn't sure. Her world was fading to black. Perhaps it would finally end, finally be over.

But wait. Someone was grabbing her. In moments, Malachor V was gone from her view, replaced by the metallic ceiling of the Ebon Hawk. Then she experienced the brief sensation of flying. They were leaving this dreadful planet behind them...at long last. Perhaps that aching inside of her would finally go away.

Her hearing, dulled as it was, picked up the vestiges of a conversation. Someone was talking to her...or about her. She recognized his voice...but it seemed so far away.

"What's wrong with her?"

"I'm not sure. She doesn't have any physical signs of trauma except for a few scrapes and bruises and she appears to be conscious."

"Why isn't she moving?"

"I do not know--"

"Can't you do something?"

"I am trying, Atton, but your yelling at me is not helping matters. I am just as concerned, if not more so, about her so will you please step back?"

There were some mutters about something that Carina didn't catch and then the sound of footsteps fading into the distance.

"Carina, can you hear me?"

She tried to acknowledge him but her entire body felt so sluggish, as if she were awaking from a deep slumber.

She felt his warm hand touch her own cold one, and the contact seemed to warm her entire body. He was there with her; she was aware of his presence now. For a moment, hope filled her entire being. He was still alive and safe...That had to account for something in this peculiar cosmic Galaxy. But the moment was fleeting as that familiar empty feeling filled her.

She would have to leave him behind. And she knew it would be sooner rather than later...if only to make the separation easier on them both.

"Mical," she finally managed to get out. Her voice was weak and there was a brief second when she wondered if it had really been her to speak.

"Thank the Force," he said. "Don't move too quickly. I believe you're suffering from shock."

Paying no heed to his advice, Carina pulled herself up into a sitting position. Her movements were slow, and she felt dizzy from the simple exertion. Her muscles felt tense, but she was exhausted from the final confrontation with Kreia. After all, it wasn't every day that she had to strike down an ally.

Her eyes swept over Mical's handsome face, unkempt as it was at the moment due to a nasty bruise on one side of his forehead and a rather deep cut on the other side. She wanted to reach out, to touch him and heal him...but she knew that she couldn't, not in her weakened state. It would be a miracle if she managed to get herself into a bed to sleep.

But that didn't mean she wouldn't try anyway.

She reached out, but Mical mistook the action as an attempt to get up.

"Here," he said. "Let me help you."

"Where is everyone else?" she asked as he helped her towards the Medical Bay. "Are they okay?"

"For the most part, the crew is intact but we did suffer one...casualty."

His face was grave. Carina didn't like it.


"Bao-Dur," he said. "He didn't make it through the crash."

Carina felt her legs go out and, if it hadn't been for Mical, she would have fallen on her face. The agony of the loss of her companion raged within her, threatening to manifest itself physically into a scream...but she contained it. She wanted to scream, to forsake the Force, but she knew that it would do no good. Now was not the time to mourn her good friend...There would be a time for that later.

"I'm so sorry, Carina," Mical told her, his voice quiet and reverent, understanding.

She couldn't reply. What could she possibly say? His apology, while appreciated, was worthless. It wouldn't bring Bao-Dur back to life and it wouldn't help heal the aching within her. His apology was just words...and words that would fade to nothingness in the end, along with everything else.

He helped her lay down on the bed in the Medical Bay and she didn't say a word. Concern was etched on his weary face but he did not voice his worries aloud; she knew it was for her sake.

"Are you going to be alright?" he asked, looking into her eyes which had lost their sparkle.

Where you are destined, you must not take anyone you love.

"No," was all she said and meant it.

He paused in the doorway for another second more before silently making his departure.

A single tear slid down her cheek.

But that was it. She would cry no more and she would not bemoan her fate. By the time morning rolled around, she would step into her roll as leader and would have to face her reality, her demons.

But right now...right now, all she was going to do was sleep.

Current Mood: coldcold
Impsy the Almightyimpsy2930 on January 1st, 2008 06:59 am (UTC)
So sad! But also so good! I love how you show her exhaustion but her simultaneous determination to do what she has to. I absolutely adored the last few lines - just perfect.

These fics make me want to play KotOR2 again, but then I remember how the ending gives me no closure and it gets me whining about the lack of KotOR3. ;)
lady_boromir: Mical is a Knightlady_boromir on January 1st, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I've always believed that the Exile has had extreme determination...because, otherwise, I can't see her surviving for as long as she had. :)

And I'm totally with you on the KotOR 2 cruddy ending; it always makes me whine for KotOR 3 as well. The good news is that I recently heard from a reliable source that Bioware has gotten together with Lucasarts to make a game...no one knows what game but we're all hoping it's KotOR 3!
Daughter of A Jedi: Assad (Terrorist or Diplomat?)ladyofavalon77 on January 4th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
I'm glad you expanded on the characters from Knights of the Old Republic :D Great game!
lady_boromir: angels & demonslady_boromir on January 4th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)
Re: Interesting...
Thank you! KotOR 1 & 2 are definitely two of my favourite games. ^_^
Adronja: mandaloretheleopard on February 5th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)


But very well written!

But still. NOOOOOOO.
lady_boromir: good thing he's bulletprooflady_boromir on February 5th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)

*comforts* I know, I know, but he died valiantly!