The saber burned red, flaring and overcharged – she remembered specifically choosing exactly the right crystal to get the visual effect of the rippling blade, and distorting the plasma emitters to cause the regular pulsing – "like a heartbeat", Kei'dece had said, with that smile that meant she loved the idea.  It was a lightsaber designed to be as menacing and intimidating as possible, as much image as reality –  a carefully calculated and manufactured distraction, with the finest machine-work in the hilt and every single aspect of the thing's construction built either as a concession to Kei'dece's needs as a warrior or the intimidation factor the weapon brought with it.

It was, Nima admitted, the finest blade she had ever made, even better than her own vibroblade or her nearly-forgotten saber.  It was, perhaps, a little less of a source of pride at this point, seeing as it was being used to try to kill her.

 

The party was in an absolute shambles – Imperial notables screamed as they were herded into a protective circle on one side of the room, while battle-droids blocked both ballroom exits.  Outside the ballroom's viewports, Supremacy- class fighters savaged the landing pads, shredding transports and crews alike.  The remnants of dinner littered the floor, along with shattered plates and broken tables.

The ambush had been perfect.   Four Sith – one Darth – all dead within moments, every detail meticulously arranged to ensure that the betrayal was absolutely complete.  Nima had revelled in it, enjoying the triumph of arranging the party and its "entertainments".  

"Thank you."   The saber came for her head – "You must understand that I regret only this – that there is no other way."   

Nima dodged behind a table – reaching out with the force to flick it into the oncoming path of the Sith Lord; it bought her a moment, and little more, the saber she built making short work of the obstruction.  She ran hard for the doors, already despairing.

"We have been quite good together – but the council calls me weak for keeping you as my pet.  Your chains hold me back, dear one, and today, all of my chains are broken.  Your devotion has been the highlight of my existence, and your sacrifice today will mean my future is assured." Lady Sathar spoke this.. reasonably.  Calmly, the pureblood stalking forward at a measured pace, saber flaring, and eyes cold.  "You understand.  It has to be this way.  The others will see me as ruthless enough to be their peer – they will reason, should I do this to you, what will I do to them?  And they would be right – your death will be quick.  Merciful.  After all that we have done together, it is my gift to you.  Don't you see?"

Nima drew up short as the battle droids leveled rifles at her, and she turned turned; the twi'lek a creature at bay as the Lord casually, with a flicker of will, shoved another table out of the way, drawing ever closer. "… I have -always- been loyal, Kei.   Please – it doesn't have to be this way.  It never had to be this way.  I never wanted your title – you -know-.  It's always been for you;  everything.  I just wanted.."

"- yes.  I know.  And your weakness infests me.  It consumes me.  It weakens everything I am and can be – all, for what?"  Kei'dece Sathar sneered. "Love?  Hollow and empty.  Worthless.  There is power, Nima – and mine comes when I destroy -you-.  When you no longer matter."  

Nima sighed, the green twi'lek drawing the cathar cortosis blade and thumbing it into humming life. "… I'm so sorry, Kei.   Override Besh-Aurum-seven.  Target and destroy."

…. and, behind her, the droids stepped forward, opening fire.   Rapid pulses of crimson blaster bolts filled the air between the Sith Lord and her twi'lek paramour – the former snarling as she was forced defensive, deflecting bolts away, as the twi'lek… ran, ran hard and fast, as though every demon concieved on Korriban was behind her.

 

——————————–

It wouldn't be that bad –  the thought went, muddied by alcohol and the faint taste of spice from the rylwine –  maybe she's good enough.  She's a Darth, right?    The lights of Nar Shaddaa reflected crazily off of the airspeeders flicking by below, where NIma – now Ker'ase – stared down at traffic, willing herself to feel less pathetic.  Your mother was right.  Just another street-favor.  It all goes back to the beginning.  Take off your clothes and trade what you've got and save your own green ass.

In a sudden rage, she grabbed the balcony railing – and winced when metal bent under her fury-fueled grip.  It drained out of her as soon as it came, and she just felt… tired.  Old.  Worn out and hollow.  You're not better than that.  Who are you trying to fool?  If sleeping with a Sith saves your life, and theirs, what's it hurt?  Could have her wrapped around your fingers in no time, and it wouldn't even be that bad.  She's cute.  She's interested.  And she already offered to kill people for you.  What's not to like?

She glanced in the direction of the party still going on – despite the three doors between her and the festivities. … Besides yourself in the morning.  Tris said she'd been in touch.. that means her holocom's probably got something you can use.  You just need those codes.. and she's not going to give them to you.  So.  Do what you do best -besides- sleeping with people to save your ass.  

… and there was still time.  There was a party going on, after all.  

Author Aunne
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