“What does that button do?”
“That’s the throttle.”
“And that one?”
“The landing gear.”
“And THAT one?”
The old Mandalorian sighed and rolled his eyes. “That’s the ejector switch, for the seat you’re sitting in right now.”
The little boy’s blue eyes went wide. “Whoa…”
Continue reading “The Dream”
Some of this echoes “Battle Over Odessen” for how Keel’ath handles the news his sons have gone MIA. It takes place sometime after “The Middleman”, but Vette is chilly towards Brant once again, due to a fight that took place offscreen that I have yet to write.
I made the decision to use the crew’s last names here, a difficult choice in any kind of fiction where both names are given. Kellaro is the one exception because he doesn’t have a last name, as Mako doesn’t have one, and Keel’ath left his behind long before the twins were born.Author’s Note
“Wait, where’s Kellaro?”
Jorgan just eyed Brant and said nothing as he carried Dorne past, one arm of hers slung around his broad Cathar shoulders. Brant stood by — was forced to, as M1-4X rumbled past, also carrying a trooper in its arms. Once the droid was out of the way, Brant tailed the Cathar, snapping:
“Answer me, cat! Where is the major?”
“He fell,” the Cathar finally said, but only after he had gently laid Dorne onto one of the beds in the medical bay. Continue reading “The Mettle of the Mandalorian”
Finally, an explanation as to how Keelath did manage to father those kids. It worked surprisingly well given Mako’s canon backstory from SWTOR.Author’s Note
They carefully avoided each others’ eyes as they boarded the transport down to the planet’s surface. Kellaro sat next to Vette (or, perhaps it would be better said, that Vette sat next to Kellaro), with the rest of his crew ranged out to the other side of him. Brant felt his brother’s piercing eyes land on him for all of one moment, then Kellaro was turning to casually chat with a Cathar beside him. Vette simply didn’t look at him at all.
And he didn’t look at them. He sat on the end, closest to the door, pulling in his feet anytime another passenger passed. Lana came in, took in the tense atmosphere, touched his knee, then settled a seat away.
The restraints came down, the lights went dim, and the pilots of the transport chattered to each other over the open radio comms. Kellaro shifted, nervous as any leader responsible for so many men but without actual control in the situation, then there was a lurch, and they were leaving the docking bay into space. Continue reading “Joining the Alliance”
This one I didn’t give a whole lot of thought to before finalizing as a post (I’m not sure what set Brant off in the beginning, for instance), and after a few days, I realized I wrote myself into a corner. Brant still has more to explore with his family relationships before his big reveal with the Emperor, and the betrayal he pulls here puts him too far down the path of no return than I wanted. I’ll still post this story up though, as I do like the timing and the interplay of the different scenes and moods. I can probably adapt a lot of it after spending more time with Brant’s homecoming in other shorts. We’ll see.
SPOILER information: this part of the story revolves around a pivotal moment in the Chapters plot of SWTOR, however, I gave it my own twist and very little is like how it is in the original. Author’s Note
The flash of the lightsaber came too quickly for Keel’ath to react. It sliced out at him, sliced through him, and he felt oddly lighter as something thudded to the ground.
He looked down and saw his severed arm at his feet. It spat sparks instead of blood, and the fingers were twitching slightly as the electrical equipment went haywire from too much energy coursing along its circuits. His stump wasn’t hurting at least, Keel’ath thought with odd detachment. He supposed the wires had been cut so swiftly they hadn’t been able to send any pain signals to his core.
He then looked up at Brant. Where the man’s face had first been purple with rage, now it was near white, pale under his natural melanin. The lightsaber retracted with a zip, and then the Sith was fleeing, using a burst of Force speed to get around the angry generals clustering in his path, knocking one small woman to the floor.
Keel’ath said nothing as the Alliance compound alerted to the attack. He said nothing to the officers turning his way, asking if he was okay; he even ignored one leaning to get a better speculative eye on his mechanical arm. Somebody quickly got up on the screen a map of the compound, with a little lighted blip tracking Brant’s progress as he fled. Keel’ath noted he seemed to be avoiding any more fights, and only then did he break his silence and stillness to press the intercom button. Continue reading “Battle Over Odessen”
I wrote up and published the first part of “The Prisoner” before I realized the scene had more to do here in Part Two. Here’s the link to the first part: https://www.foxfirefiction.com/2022/11/19/the-prisoner/
This also contains references to Brant’s training as a Sith, found here.
Other notes… More cameos of canon characters from SWTOR here, with two that become part of my plot in a big way. It was especially fun to inject Tanno Vik of Havoc Squad here. As if Kellaro needed any more headaches…
Though the spoilers are fairly general ones, this does contain spoilers for the Chapters storyline and the Ziost storyline for SWTOR, regarding the Emperor’s role and identity.Author’s Note
Vette was as good as her word, keeping pace beside Brant as he stumbled through the tight corridors of the Republic ship and down its gangplank to the docking bay’s floor. The air devolved into cacophony, and as he knew no one but Vette and Kellaro, he couldn’t make heads or tails of the mass of humanity blooming in his Force-heightened senses. With a firm hand on his waist, her arm cleverly tucked in his like he was escorting her, Vette guided him into one spot and had him stand there.
He wasn’t entirely blind at least, he found as he stood there waiting for only the Emperor knew what. The glaring lights of the hangar was like seeing a sun from deep underwater: nothing was illuminated and the light wavered constantly, but at least he could orient to what was up, down, dark, and light.
The other voices in the bay suddenly quieted, and he could pick out a set of footsteps slowing advancing towards him from the left, stopping what sounded like every few feet to have a conversation. Kellaro had said something about an inspection muster. Was Brant to be inspected as well? And where was Kellaro? Brant felt an unreasonable anger rising at being so abandoned.
Soon the footsteps stopped right before him, and a voice he didn’t recognize said, “What’s this then? New recruit? What’s with the quasi-Jedi getup?”
“I will show you quasi-Jedi,” Brant started to growl, when a new voice, one he surely did recognize, interrupted him. Continue reading “The Prisoner, Part Two”
This short is about the level of PG-13 for descriptions of violence and gore. It describes Brant’s Sith training, and if you know anything about the Sith, well, now you understand why it has a content warning!
The identity of the Presence and the man in the ice-world is a bit unclear. Though this works since it’s also unclear from Brant’s point of view, I wanted to clarify it for the record: the Presence is not the Force (though the Sith Masters surely would want Brant to think that), but instead the Emperor’s soul. The man, though I originally considered making him Kellaro, Brant’s twin brother (hence “the Other”), is in fact Keel’ath, locked in battle with the Emperor as described by the Chapters storyline in SWTOR. In this version, Brant and Keel’ath meeting is what helps Keel’ath throw off the Emperor’s influence, but also what gives Brant the willpower to survive his Sith training mostly (somewhat) uncorrupted.Author’s Note
Also, the scent of carbonite is totally my own invention. If anyone knows how it really should smell in canon, let me know.
“Hatred… is… power. Power is… freedom… to do as you so desire.”
It was coercive, how they forced him to focus on that voice. The room was kept completely dark, and Brant could smell the musk of other frightened apprentices crammed into the space with him, even though he could not see them. The voice was like a balm to that terrified huddle, the one clear sensation in the room even though it, too, was imbued with the same power as the darkness: the crawling sense of some ancient evil. The only thing Brant could see was the face that vomited it, that voice, and it was a handsome face, even under the ritualistic scarring and red paint like the blood of a tortured slave. You could look into that face and believe it could free you, that only it had the key, and that it would give it to you, if only you acquiesced to its commands. It filled Brant with fear, loathing, but also longing, to look upon it. Continue reading “The Crucible of Korriban”
This was difficult to edit into an entertaining short, as some of the important context is missing. Lathril is a Jedi Knight character who follows that class’s story arc before coming to the Eternal Alliance, and Darth Merce is, well, a Darth, and son of Keel’ath. This might’ve been a poor choice of posting order, but I had this polished up while Lathril and Darth Merce’s earlier adventures are still in exposition form only.
Also of note: though in the (ultra) fan fiction version, Keelath is from Azeroth (World of Warcraft), I decided not to take so many liberties with other settings and used Talmenor instead here. His past life remains basically the same.Author’s Note
Lathril kept his hands folded in his sleeves and his head bowed as the lift brought them away from the Enclave. When the lift docked and the door slid open, Keel’ath didn’t immediately exit. He stood staring silently out across the Odessen compound.
Lathril felt he had better say something. “I’m… sorry for the disruption, sir. It won’t happen again.” Continue reading “A Jedi’s Failing”
“O Scourge of the Sea! Though long you have stalked me, no more shall you withhold your truth from me…
“…O Scourge of the Sea! I see the curtain has parted, your true form at last revealed to me.”
Thorn of the Rose
By A. Broadhead
The moonlight lit the paths leading away from the village square, silvering the hair and hoods of the wuyon’mari streaming into it. Its light was overpowered by the lanterns in the square itself however, shining blue and violet, green and gold, from the branches of the white-barked trees. Keelath took a sniff of the air, scented with herbs and exotic perfumes and all kinds of food.
The Long Dark holiday was in full swing. Continue reading “Thorn of the Rose”
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Then there was a soft spitting noise, like a match flaring to light. Evelos glanced between his fingers, and there was Keelath, the wuyon’mar’s angular face twisted in rage, holding his sword in one hand and a ball of furious Light magic in the other.
“Take your claws off my son,” his father growled.
The Will of the Whip
By A. Broadhead
“…this life, witho-o-out you.”
Mirium drew the final note to a careful quaver, then bowed as her small audience erupted into clapping. Face glowing, the wuyon’mar stepped down from the Halfmoon Tavern’s stage and sat down between her two adult children, Medi and Evelos.
“What did you think?” she whispered.
“It was beautiful,” said Evelos. “I think you’re getting your talent back.”
“Oh, you think you could do better?” Medi quipped, nudging Evelos in the ribs.
“Well, I do have a story I could tell,” said Evelos thoughtfully, as the crowd settled again and Lana took to stage to call out for the next participant. “It’s from when I was a child.”
“You were a child once??” Medi goggled.
“Erm, yes,” said Evelos. “It’s about when we first moved to Thalas’talah, away from the Dawnmist manor. It was years before you were born, though.”
Medi leaned back in disappointment. “Really? That sounds bore-ring!”
“I think you’ll find it’s not.” Continue reading “The Will of the Whip”