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17 -October -2017 - 22:31
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Tales of the Old Republic is the place to post stories you have written about your character or others, either based upon roleplay that has occurred, or an entire side-story to events in-game which shed light on other parts of your character's life.

TOPIC: Atonement

Atonement 1 week 6 days ago #17261

  • Eskkaar
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((Hello! since I've been absent due to technical issue for some time I thought I'd do some writing. These are a bit ambiguous time wise, but I think they work. Enjoy Esk's demons!))

Seven.

Corellia.


He’d been sat opposite the apartment complex for three hours. A small, simple box sat next to him, unadorned except for the full name, rank and serial number of a friend. He’d drawn looks from passers by, not many but enough for him to notice. It was to be expected really, after over four decades of constant war it was not unusual to see a serviceman in uniform not even in the dress white’s he’s currently donned. But it was a little out of the ordinary for them to sit on a bench staring into space for hours on end.

He runs his hand over the inside pocket of his uniform for a final time, feeling the familiar outline of a small, almost flat case. Steadying his nerves with a calming and deep breath he takes up his beret and returns it to his head, fussing over it for a moment until he knows the garment is just so before standing. After a brief repeat with his uniform, pulling the jacket straight and aligning his cuffs with his gloves he carefully, almost reverently picks up the case and holds it tight to his body.

It takes him less than five minutes to enter the building and ride the turbolift to the hundred and thirty second floor. Another five to roam the halls looking for the correct apartment and then another half an hour staring at the door before he summons the courage to press the small button beside it setting off a synthesised ringing through the apartment. Making his final preparations he takes a half step back from the door, his body falling into a perfect parade ground posture as he awaits the dwelling’s inhabitant.

A petite woman somewhere in her mid fifties answers. Her skin is pale and her posture bent as if bearing a great weight. She pushes her glasses further up her nose with a slightly trembling hand as she takes in the familiar uniform worn by an almost familiar face she thinks. With a slightly wavering voice she addresses the Marine, pushing back the memory of a similar visit by two servicemen wearing an identical uniform barring the beret. Her tone is terse, already defensive.

“Yes, Marine?”

Said Marine forces himself to calm his nerves as he looks upon what he’s sure would have been his friend’s future countenance. He manages to meet the gaze of a familiar shade of blue as he replies, his voice controlled and measured.

“Ma’am, my name is Eskkaar Ragnarson. I served in Aurek Squad for a little over three years, eleven months as the commanding officer. Including our deployment to Corstris. I was hoping I could have a moment of your time.”

Recognition. Of course she knows who this man is, she’s read his name countless times in the official reports of her daughter’s death and also in the photo resting on her kitchen side, sent by her daughter in happier times. Her grief flares again, it is a constant presence but having him here causes her anger to rise which she barely contains.

“Fine. You best come in.”

The apartment is homely, filled with pictures and nicknacks that accumulate over years of shared cohabitation. His friend’s face stares back at him from the majority of the pictures, varying from preschool to her graduation from a Corellian University. He takes half a moment to look carefully over each on his way to the arm chair pointed at by his host, setting down the box on the coffee table separating them. Removing his beret as he settles on the edge of the seat.

“Ma’am, I’d like to extend my deepest condolences on your loss. Your daughter….” A pause, his hands wringing the edge of the beret in his hands. “Rasha was a close friend of mine, not just a marine under my command.” Another pause, fighting against the burning pain building in his throat making it difficult to talk. “She was brilliant, funny and a true spirit.” Using extreme care he removes the small case from his inside pocket, opens it and holds it out for Rasha’s mother who takes it in trembling hands. Inside rests Rasha’s dogtags, cleaned, polished and restored to a service issue chain.

“I failed Rasha and the others, I should have seen….” He stops again, memories of blaster fire and the smell of phantom smoke pervading his nose. “The least I can do is offer you some closure by returning these and her other belongings. I know the Navy isn’t the best at seeing everything returned.” He gestures to the box resting on the table, lost for what else he could possibly say.

They sit in near silence. It stretches unbroken as Maleena goes through her daughter's belongings. Running small fingers over the small embossed letters and numbers on Rasha’s dogtags. Opening the box and pulling out book after book on differing engineering practises, each annotated and highlighted to the extreme, often with entire sections dedicated to pointing out the flaws in each chapter.

Finally after what seems like an eternity she looks up from the items now resting in her lap, meeting the gaze of the Marine sitting across from her. “I never liked that she enlisted, hated it in fact, but she was dead set on it.”

“Rasha was still in school when the Imperials invaded, we lived through the occupation and the Republic’s retaliation by hiding out in basements and below ground speeder garages.”

“After the liberation I knew she was going to join up the minute she finished her schooling. She had this look in her eyes every time she saw someone in uniform or watched one of your ships come in for refueling or repairs at the dockyards.”

“She loved that life, it was clear with every message she sent home and I hated it, as I think any parent does even if they don’t say it out loud.”

They talk. Hours pass. Shadows elongate and move across the room as the sun continues on its path, then they’re stood in the same spot as when they first met. Though now Maleena holds her daughter’s dog tags tight in one hand while she raises her gaze to look at the Marine. Both now showing the strain of the conversation on their faces.

“I know you blame yourself for what happened, and I know nothing I say will stop that. Nor am I sure that what happened isn’t your fault in some way. But, I know Rasha wouldn’t want you too, and I know that you kept her alive countless times before. Thank you.”

He heaves a silent sigh, part relief, part guilt.

“Thank you, Ma’am. Rasha was my frie…” A final pause as he refuses to lie. “She was...is family, all of them are.”

Maleena nods solemnly for a moment before she utters a final sentence as she shuts the door.

“Take care of yourself, Marine.”
Last Edit: 1 week 6 days ago by Eskkaar.
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Atonement 1 week 3 days ago #17268

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Six

Champala


A strange sense of deja-vu had crept up on Eskkaar as he’d stepped off the civilian transport in one of the few plateau cities on Champala, designated for off worlders and safe from the tides that cover the cities of the amphibious Chagian.

Again he was in his dress uniform, again he held another box filled with the personal trinkets of a friend and again his inside pocket was heavy with the restored dogtags of said friend. Specialist Otto Skobra.

His journey is easier this time, his location well known and easily signposted in basic for off worlders like himself. Subconsciously his back straightens and his posture stiffens as he approaches the Chagrian Embassy, his familiar military mannerisms settling easily onto his shoulders once more.

Security checks follow his announcement of his appointment at the reception, going through the motions with a rigid acceptance he has to hold himself back when they insist on looking through the personal affects of his friend. Grudgingly he has to give them their due and accept that they are just doing their job and that he cannot fault them, he would do the same in their position after all, in fact he had.

A short time later and he’s brought to a small, unidentified room in some random wing of the embassy. Just as he walks into the room he almost falls, his legs turning to jelly as he sets eyes upon the face of his friend. Or at least he thinks so, for a split second before images start flashing before his eyes and laying over the top of his reality. The feel of dirt under his fingernails pervades as he looks upon the same face that he had buried beneath the cold hard ground of Corstris.

Twins, of course. Otto had mentioned his brother, but only in passing, never once had he mentioned he had a twin, nor an identical one at that.

The conversation is short, the Chagrin that escorted Eskkaar to the small chamber acts an interpreter for Maotr - Otto’s brother - who speaks only broken basic. Even when handed Otto’s belongings and dogtags his face remains stoic, almost unfeeling if not for the slight waver of the eyes. Eskkaar could tell, he’d seen that look in the mirror over that past few months.

Thank yous are exchanged and Eskkaar is off world and bound for Kuat in under an hour, unsure if the weight pressing against his soul feels lighter or heavier.  
Last Edit: 1 week 3 days ago by Eskkaar.
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