Art • Gaming • Writing
Coming By It Honestly
A Star Wars Fan Fiction
November 04, 2022

Some other bits and pieces from Lathril's adventures in SW:TOR. Kira is based on an NPC of the same name from the Jedi Knight class story. The way Lathril meets her, and her personality, is a little different from how it is in the game.

Author's Note

“That is reckless," Lathril said sternly. He said it quietly, for the Imperials were patrolling just outside the blast door. The two Jedi were crouched in a Balmora bunker, their breathing loud in their ears, the green of the indicator lights above the door bathing their faces in a pallid hue. Still, he could make out Kira's scowl.

"It's not a sound idea, Padawan," he continued. "The Jedi code teaches us to --”

“Hang the Jedi code!" Kira hissed. "If we did this your way, we won't make it to the engine room in time. Isn't it important the SIS get that tech ASAP?”

The pair glared at each other.

“As I am the higher rank, I'm making the decision,” said Lathril finally.

Kira scoffed. “Oh, rank…”

“Your own master gave me leadership. Do you not trust her judgement?”

Kira backed down. “Fine. We’ll do this your way: the slow, coward’s way.”

“At least a coward can become brave another day,” Lathril returned. “A reckless hero is simply dead.”

“My master said you were in charge, not that you could give me lectures. So where to now, O Knight?”

“...this way, as I said.”

There was only one way through.

As soon as they had passed into the hallway, they were seen. The Imperials reacted quickly, lining up behind a row of barricades that popped themselves from the floor. Lathril hesitated, then grimaced, then charged the gunners, moving his lightsaber in a blur like a bo staff, hoping that would catch the majority of the blasts. He heard Kira call out from behind him, but he could spare no thoughts for her. He had to hope she'd either take cover... or similarly strike fast and hard.

He reached the first gunner and, adding an extra burst of Force, swung the saber through him without breaking his deflection pattern. He then ducked the other way, catching the second gunner in the same pattern. Shots whizzed past his exposed back, and Lathril dropped tino a roll, switching off the lightsaber just long enough to catch himself on his palms and push off into a somersault. His momentum slapped his feet on the ground milliseconds later, and he sprung high in the air, igniting the lightsaber again and bringing it down on the third and fourth gunners in one big sweep.

Then he had to drop as another squadron sprinted around the corner, letting out a volley of blaster fire to lead the way. He heard the lasers ping-ponging over his head as Kira reflected them back with her own lightsaber. He waited for the screams and the clatter of a blaster hitting the floor, then up he swung again, pushing deeper into the compound with the same curtain of lightsaber light around him.

He wondered if his charge might become too predictable, allowing the Imperials an easy counter, but it only took one more push through a barricaded corridor before they were into the engine room. The scientists and slicers sprung back against the walls or desperately tried to fit themselves between computers without pressing buttons, terrified. Lathril cleared the space around him with another arc, but when no more blaster fire came, he paused to get his bearings.

“I didn't think you had it in you!” said Kira, coming up beside him, panting with exertion and excitement. Her eyes shone. “Nice flying, ‘Walker!”

“Focus,” said Lathril. “The tech we need is in here somewhere.”

Kira scowled. “Yeah, fine, back to work. Maybe one of these people know something...”

“They're Imperials. I doubt they will help us.”

“Huh. Got something against Imperials, I guess!” said Kira, and swung over to one of the slicers trying to hide behind a glassless display that had just shut itself off.

Lathril decided not to state the obvious about “having something against Imperials”.

“If you tell us where the tech is, we'll let you go safe," Kira wheedled, but the slicer hedged and shifted and looked anything but helpful.

“We don't have time for this!” Lathril admonished, and he began wading through the bushels of wires in the back of the room, looking for anywhere a small gadget might be hidden.

“Oh, don't listen to him. He just gets grumpy when he's been shot at.”

“I'm not being grumpy, I'm being practical!”

“So am I!" Kira returned. "Trust me, this always works.”

“It works to articulate your plans up front of the enemy?” Lathril shot back, gesturing at the incredulous gazes of the Imperials.

“They are not the enemy! Or rather, they don't have to be.” She turned to the slicer again, who flinched back against the wall. “So, what do you say?”

“Nevermind, I think I found it,” Lathril grumbled. A likely looking hunk of metal sat behind a clear glass drawer. Lathril ignited his lightsaber; there was no time to find the drawer's passkey.

“Wait--” said Kira.

Weewoo! said a sudden alarm, just as Lathril plunged the lightsaber through the glass. He winced, thinking he should have expected the case to be trapped, but as he turned around, he caught sight of a white-haired scientist taking his hand off an alarm button, glaring at them.

“You won't be stealing anything today,” he said in a quavering voice

“You were supposed to be watching!” Lathril rounded on Kira. “Now what do you think of Imperials?”

“I don't have six dozen eyes!” Kira retorted.

Weewoo! blared the alarm.

Self destruction in five minutes, said a voice over the intercom. Half the slicers screamed, and even the scientist who had pressed the button turned a little pale.

“Who would've predicted that?” said Kira.

“Someone who isn't trying to make friends of mass murderers,” growled Lathril. “Come on!”

The Imperials fled around them, not without some bumps and jostles, but when Lathril pulled his lightsaber free of the drawer and swept it around, no one dared approach him. He steeled himself and punched through the last of the glass, cutting his knuckles. The white-haired scientist glared at him, but as the intercom continued to count down, he fled with the rest.

Lathril picked up their prize and looked at Kira. “Time to go.”

“I'm with you on this one,” said Kira.

They fled back the way they had come, but Kira’s master hadn't returned from her detour. Kira hesitated at the junction, but Lathril plowed into her back with his shoulder, as his hands were full with lightsaber and the tech. “No time!”


Lathril began shoving her with the one shoulder. Was the intercom getting louder, or was it merely his Force sense, focusing his thoughts on the danger?

Or is it fear…

“No time!” Lathril repeated. “Look, the whole point of the raid was to get this tech. If we don't get out of here, the entire mission will have been in vain!”

Kira pinned her mouth shut, eyes glistening, and accepted his shove. She ran ahead of him, igniting her lightsaber to clear the way of foes. Though a couple of droids gave them trouble, everyone else was trying to leave the compound as fast as they were.

They reached the bunker door. “Master only has a few seconds,” Kira said, abruptly stopping.

Lathril plowed into her. “GO, Kira!”

She went.

Their feet had just passed the threshold when the base went. It must've been a detonation deep in the compound: Lathril heard it before he felt or saw it: a thundering roar, before a wall of fire advanced around the corner and made for them. Kira was running flat out now, and so was he. He yelled in anticipation as the flames reached him, and he tucked the tech under one arm in a dire attempt to protect it.

Light and heat and pain closed over him.

They came through the fire together. Kira was staggering and screaming, and he wasn't much better. He grabbed her about the shoulders and hauled her bodily away when she fell.

Kira pushed him off as they got far enough away that he could feel something other than heat, and she began tottering back the other way. Lathril dropped the tech -- it was either hardy enough to take it or was already ruined by the fire -- and grabbed her about the waist.

“Let go! My Master is in there!”

“Padawan, stop!”

“My Master!”

“She's dead! And you will be dead, if you go back in there!”

There was another explosion, probably a computer’s power supply going up, and Lathril closed his good eye against it. Even so his eyelid blazed red and yellow, and when he opened his eye, for a split second he feared he was blind. Sparks stung his already too-hot face, awakening memories of the speeder crash... A bit of flaming debris alighted near them like a bird clothed in orange feathers. Kira abruptly stopped struggling.

“Come on!” Lathril pulled her away.

When they reported to the Council, their faces were grim, even as Lathril recounted their ultimate success with the mission. They said little, however, other than to make Kira his apprentice. To her credit and grace, she said nothing until they were leaving the Council Hall.

“My Master’s death is still your fault,” she told him.

Lathril stopped short. It was true; he couldn't refute that.

Kira didn't look at him, just kept walking.

“Padawan,” Lathril said, and Kira had just enough training to pause. “Don't hate me. That won't help anybody.”

“Of course you'd say that...remove the blame from yourself, why don't you?”

“I'm not removing the blame, only... hatred leads to the Dark Side.”

“I know more about the Dark Side then you'll ever understand,” she snapped back. “If only because you're half-blind!”

And she left. Lathril passed a hand subconsciously over the metal plate covering his right eye socket. He felt terrible: for him, for her, for the likely future. As her master now, he was responsible for seeing her safely through her training. Was he capable?

She was so rebellious. Lathril bowed his head. He couldn't let himself get drawn in to her emotions, for that would cloud his judgement. He'd need to be tough on her.

He just hoped it wouldn't secure her hatred for him before she could understand his actions.

“So what did give you the scar? A starfighter crash? A battle with a Sith?”

“Oh, nothing so exciting.”

“Tell me!”

Lathril grimaced. “I fell off my speeder when I was a kid.”

Kira gawped for a minute. “Really? That's it?”

“ ‘Fraid so.”

“Just how fast were you going?”

Lathril shrugged. “A hundred kilos.”

“A hundred??” Her disappointment turned to awe again.

“I liked going fast.”

“I'll say,” said Kira. She looked away. “I guess that makes sense.”

“What does?”

“Why you're so careful now.”

“Well, it's true I'd rather hang onto my last eye.”

Kira coughed awkwardly, then she pointed at the eye patch. “Can you see at all out of that?”

“Not exactly. The, uh, eye is gone, but they wired the plate back into my head. I can't see, but I can sense, um, heat signatures and things.”

“Sounds disorienting.”

“It was, yes, but you get used to it.”

Kira looked at him inquisitively. “So no one can sneak up on you from that side.”

“No one with a heat signature,” Lathril confirmed.

“So maybe a Trandoshan.”

Lathril shrugged. “Never fought one.”

“Hope you never do,” Kira advised. She looked away again. “They're slavers, or at least where I come from. Hateful things.”

“Where you come from -- where is that?”

Kira looked down. “It's a long story. I apologize, after you explained your eye and all, but I'd rather not talk about it now.”

“Very well," said Lathril evenly.

Kira kept flickering her eyes to him though, both directly and out of the corner of her eye. Lathril was about to ask her what was the matter, but she beat him to it: “So when did it happen?”

“This? I told you, when I was a kid. I must've been eleven or twelve.”

“This was when you were with the Jedi?”

“No, before.”

“You must've been old for a recruit," said Kira.

“I was, but it wasn't entirely unexpected when they came to recruit me. The Force runs in my family.”

Kira shifted, looking at her hands. "So you know your family…”

“Yes. I was an old recruit. My parents were Jedi themselves... They left the order when they realized they, well, wanted to have me.”

Kira snorted. “And before that? You said it runs in your family. So are all of your ancestors defected Jedi?”

“Not all,” Lathril said awkwardly. “It skipped my grandparents, as far as I know, and go back too far and they weren't calling them Jedi, or not on my homeworld. The planet's had a tradition of Force-users going back for millennia…”

Kira seemed taken aback. “Force-users who are not Jedi or Sith…”

“Yes," said Lathril impatiently. "They exist. Just usually not in the core worlds, because of the jurisdictions involved.”

Kira was thoughtful. “One day, I'd love to meet one.”

“It's rare," Lathril warned. "Balance is hard to keep outside of an established order, and the Sith don't want any order beyond their own to flourish. There are many ways to the Dark Side, Padawan.”

“The same could be said of the Jedi," Kira retorted.

Lathril grimaced. Thinking he had better steer the conversation back to safer territory, he said, “With great power comes great responsibility. It's better someone is setting standards, and that that someone is the Jedi.”

Kira sighed at him. “And to think you sounded so human for a minute.”

“Undisciplined, you mean," muttered Lathril.

“Well... yes. It was nice.” She poked her tongue at him.

Lathril shook his head. This wasn't at all going how he wanted. “The Force is greater than all of us, Padawan. To use it is a gift, one we cannot take lightly. And speaking of, you should return to your meditation.”

Kira groaned. “Yes, that's more the Master Sunwalker I know.” Shaking her head, she got up to leave, leaving Lathril feeling vaguely perturbed.

She had seemed so close to understanding it, only to revert back to advocating for irresponsibility and rash actions again. Lathril watched her as she settled to the work he had given her. There was still so much work to do.

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