“Never fear them” (Nil’awr, Malavai)

Characters:

Attira — Marauder, the Alliance Commander, married Malavai Quinn
Nayel — Sorcerer, her right hand, Malavai’s cousin, romances Theron
Nil’awr — Attira and Malavai’s son, six-year-old at the time of the story

Note #1: The story is written with the assumption that my Sith Warrior (Attira) is the Outlander, while my Inquisitor work for her in the Alliance.

Note #2: The story takes place after Malavai Quinn’s return and rejoining his wife on Odessen.

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The war room buzzed with its usual murmur of sounds, both sentient-made and computer humming. T7’s wheels cluttered quietly rolling on the ground. Malavai found comfort in the familiarity of the sounds; it helped him concentrate.

He looked up at Attira. She was leaning on the main situational table, studying the holo that was displayed over it. Her frown of concentration was just about to bring a smile to his face but he was not going to let that happen. His heart was smiling but there was no way he’d be caught with the ‘I adore my wife’ look on his face by his co-workers… again. He was on duty, and had to remain fully professional.

The usual sounds were disturbed. Some kind of havoc was coming from the east corridor. It took Malavai a fraction of a second to recognise what it was…

“Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy!” the thin voice kept screaming.

With a corner of his eye he noticed Attira looking at him with panic on her face.

The thin screaming suddenly silenced with a loud thump. Then resumed. Malavai was on his way to it, and grabbed his son as the boy reached the threshold of the war room. His palms were bloodied after the fall he’d taken a moment before. He stretched them toward his father, and Malavai scooped him in his arms.

“What happened?” he asked softly, carrying the child toward his mother, who had worry painted all over her face. He was certain his own face reflected the same feeling.

Nil’awr was sobbing loudly, and even though he tried to explain what had happened, Malavai could not make any of it over loud gasps for air, and howling. He just pressed the boy’s head to his chest and leaned his cheek on his white hair that looked so much like his mother’s. He stroked the soft locks, murmuring, “Shhhh…. shhhhh…”

Finally he managed to recognise a few words. ‘Jedi’, ‘kill’, ‘mummy’. He didn’t like what it implied.

Attira approached them. Nil’awr stretched his hands toward her, so she picked him up. His crying got louder. He hid his face in her chest, while she was trying to calm him down.

Two Jedi ran into the room. They stopped. The older one — Malavai could not recall her name, so she had to be one of the newer additions — motioned toward the middle of the room, looking at the boy.

He didn’t even know when he had pulled his blaster. All he knew was that a second later he was pushing into the soft spot under her chin.
“What have you done to my son!” he barked.

“I’m sorry, this is a misunderstanding…” she started explaining. “I was talking to my padawan, teaching her, and said—”

Nil’awrs howling became louder. Malavai guessed the boy recognised her voice, and was scared anew all over again.

“I don’t think he needs to hear it again!” the Imperial cut her off.

His finger tingled. He wanted to pull the trigger so much. He hated those patronising liars with the complex of superiority. If it depended on him they would not be allowed here but it was not his decision, and he respected his commander too much to ruin her operation. He knew his place.
“Out — before I kill you,” he growled.

“But I’d like to explain… to tell him—”

“Out!” He pushed the blaster deeper into her neck.

“Master, we should leave,” the Padawan whispered.

“I’m sorry,” the Jedi said quietly, but she turned away and left, headed back to the Force Enclave.

Malavai put his blaster back on his hip, and turned to his wife and son.

Nil’awr’s chin was on her shoulder, as she was holding him. He was looking at Nayel, who stood right there behind her, talking to him. The boy was calmer, listening to whatever his uncle was telling him. Malavai approached them.

“… arrogant, and always sure they are right. They are dangerous, don’t forget that, but you should not be afraid of them. Ever. Don’t underestimate them, don’t assume they are weak or could be easily defeated. But never fear them. Be prepared to take them down. Be prepared to be challenged. Be prepared to be told you can be changed to become better if you only follow them, and become one of them. Be prepared for everything. Be prepared to be attacked first. But never ever fear them.

“They may say they should kill all Sith. They may think they are able to kill your mummy. Or me. But they can’t. They won’t. They are not weak but we are stronger. And we don’t fear them. Do we?” he asked, looking at Attira.

She shook her head. “No.” She looked up at Malavai; he stood next to her, gently stroking Nil’awr’s back to comfort him. “Daddy is not even Sith, and he is not afraid of them either.”

Nil’awr turned his head to his father, and the Imperial shook his head to confirm her words. The boys face was still all red, and wet from crying, but apart rapid gasps of air he was a lot calmer.

“Never fear them,” Nayel said softly in his raspy voice one more time.

Malavai put the puzzles together, and had a good guess what had happened. The Jedi apparently had been teaching her Padawan what an abomination the Sith were, and telling her they should be eradicated. In her Jedi arrogance she probably claimed rather by being ‘redeemed’ than ‘murdered’, but he had no doubt what hid under that lie.

In Nil’awr’s mind that vague ‘Sith must disappear’ translated as ‘kill mummy, kill uncle, kill me’. No surprise the boy was scared. The Jedi had told her Padawan that his family should be murdered. What child wouldn’t be scared of that?

Malavai felt another urge to just blow the woman’s head off. Just go there, and kill her. Instead he stood where he was, by his son, making sure the boy felt safe.

“My lord”, he said to him, knowing it would bring a smile to the child’s face. It always did. “I think I saw ice-cream with your name on it. And a glass of juice.”

Still with puffy signs of crying, the little face brightened with a toothy smile. He wrapped his arms around his father’s neck, so Malavai took him from Attira, and carried out of the war room.

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