Post-Copero: “Unknown” and “Gravity” (Mili, Nayel)

Note: Both short stories are a part of “50 Prompts” project, hence the numbers with one-word titles.

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#48 – Unknown

Mili was silent all the way back from Copero. He discretely watched Nayel, who seemed to be uneasy after seeing Theron again for that brief moment. It seemed to open the Sith’s still unhealed wound.

But Nayel’s feelings weren’t the reason Mili was so concerned. He’d suspected Theron was undercover, doing what was unpleasant but necessary, but now he had doubts. The events on Copero unfolded in a worrying way, and what Zenta had told them brought more question marks than answers or confirmations.

Mili had decided not to share his suspicions about Theron’s true motives with Nayel. If he was wrong, it’d break Nayel’s heart again. As difficult as it was to keep such a secret – that his lover didn’t really turn against him, and didn’t really try to murder him – it seemed now that it was the right decision. All signs indicated Mili had been wrong, and Theron really worked with someone else against the Alliance. Nayel didn’t need that kind of disappointment to break his heart anew, though. It was bleeding again after Copero. Mili thought it would be best for all if the Sith didn’t join them again in the hunt for the traitor, but he also knew nothing and no one would be able to stop him. Nayel had to deal with his own feelings in his own way.

He looked out of the window. The shuttle was speeding back to Odessen, and they were empty-handed. One step behind, again. Mili dispiced that feeling. In his line of work, he often was in such a situation, and he hated it each time. He preferred to be the one that was one step ahead.

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#46 – Gravity

He had no idea it would hurt this much. He thought they’d have a chance to talk, that he’d have a chance to talk Theron out of this nonsense, but that hope faded. Nayel felt betrayed again. He’d never realised how strong his faith in fixing this mess was until now, when the mess was so clearly unfixable. He felt like something heavy had fallen on him, splashing him flat on the ground. His own weight was too much for him to carry.

There was nothing left. No hope. No future. Nothing. All that Nayel could do now was to give up on Theron, and find him only to stop him from doing damage to the Alliance.

In spite of everything, Nayel knew he wouldn’t be able to kill Theron. The most certain way to prevent any additional damage, escape, or whatever else could happen with Theron left alive, but he felt he wouldn’t be able to raise his hand on his former love. He was also sure he wouldn’t allow anyone else do it. Attira would make a good executioner, but the thought of hurting Theron hurt Nayel, too.

His blood boiled again at the memory of the hateful letter Beniko had dared to send him. With all those threats against Theron, Nayel wondered if she’d sent it to the wrong person, or hoped that promising Nayel to torture Theron would somehow put her on a better footing with the Sith. The effect was quite the opposite, and Nayel was tempted to rip off her other arm.

He installed a new crystal in his lightsaber – with a black core, as black as his heart was right now – and went to the forest to find release of his pain.

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