Part I: Atton
You're walking through the cathedral-like room, looking around in concern, your stance agitated. Oh, how sweet. You're looking for her. You really do care.
My cracked lips twist into a smile as I watch you from behind a pillar. I knew you'd come because I know you better than you think. I knew you'd be worried sick over her, and you wouldn't obey her order to stay on the ship. Instead you'd come looking for her like the lovesick puppy you are.
And I knew you'd end up here, not at all suspecting I'm here with you, watching you from the shadows.
I chuckle quietly. Yeah, some Jedi you are. Aren't you supposed to sense me or something? Surely I'm not that
good at hiding. Or is the darkness of this place too much for your tiny Jedi senses to handle?
You pause as if you heard me. For a breathless moment I can't tell if you have or not. Then you start walking in my direction. Sithspit.
I freeze every muscle in my body, becoming as still as the statues in this room. I'm
gonna choose when you find me, not you. Didn't you read the contract?
Where the kriff did that come from,
says a little voice in the back of my brain.
You approach the pillar I'm hiding behind. And you linger. I barely breathe, even though I burn with the longing to step out in front of you, thrust my saber into your gut and watch you writhe till you die. But see, that's not the plan. Every revenge story needs a nice, dramatic ending. First you'll learn why you must die, and then you will, but only after you've had time to angst about it.
So I hold myself back until you pass by. Then I slip away from my hiding place and glide after you. My footsteps are nonexistent, my breathing quieter than a corpse's as I slip from shadow to shadow. I'm amazed by how naturally my assassin training's returned to me. Maybe I never changed.
Suddenly, you stop dead in your tracks, alerted to my presence. I'm so frustrated I want to spit, but I decide to snag this opportunity. Before you can turn around, I move to stand behind your shoulder.
You turn around with a start. Only vaguely entertaining. What really gives me a kick is your horrified reaction when you see me straight on. Yeah, I know what I look like: pale eyes, cracked skin. The darkness on this planet's done a real number on me, but that's the price of power, baby.
"Atton?" Your expression shifts from horror to distrust. "The Exile. Where is she?"
Of course you would ask about her
. "She's safe. You don't need to worry about her. You never did, really."
Not like I did. You never cared about protecting her. You stole her from me.
The thought's run through my head dozens of times. This time, though, there's no hollowness, no burning regret. This time there's a hunger that only blood can satisfy. I smile at the familiar feeling. Welcome back, Jaq.
I circle casually around you, enjoying the feeling of having you right where I want you. Though I keep my voice equally casual, every word is thick with the hunger I feel.
"You know how long it's been since I killed a Jedi? You get a taste for it, you know. I killed a bunch here on Malachor, while the planet was dying. Killing a half-Jedi like you should hold me over until the next one comes along. They always do, you know."
"Atton, Kreia is using you!"
A memory pierces my thoughts, one of a witch clawing into my mind, breaking, stealing, destroying. Then a memory of her smiling coldly at me in her quarters while I'm shaking with rage, choking back tears—because of you.
I throw up an extra mental wall. Ain't no way you're gonna leech that
"Really? I had no idea." I laugh. "Everyone uses each other, kid. And if she's using me to kill you, as I see it, I really don't lose anything."
Except one thing.
Like an echo, the thought threatens to make me feel hollow again. I channel it into my hunger instead, and my voice turns dark.
"I already lost what mattered to me. I wanted to protect her, to help her, and then you
show up, playing hero." I finger my saber. "Fine."
"Atton, the feelings between the Exile and I—"
"Doesn't matter. Not anymore. I'd forgotten how much I hate Jedi. And the less of you that are in the galaxy, the better."
I flick my saber on, hardly noticing that the blade's still blue.
"Ready to die, kid?"
Your muscles stiffen. Your eyes flame.
"I won't fight you, Atton!"
My answer is flat. "I don't care, I just want you to die."
Then I unleash a Force scream and leap the distance between us.
I just want you to die.
all of you to die.