I apologize because this one might be confusing. I was trying to portray what it was like for Atton to be seeing things from the Exile's point of view, like Kreia was able to when she and the Exile were bonded. (In the last story, the Exile "transferred" her bond to Atton.) I italicized what Atton was seeing from the Exile's point of view, and left everything Atton saw in normal print. So, though the italics print is in first person, it's only because I assumed Atton would see things from the Exile's eyes. I hope it makes enough sense so you can at least understand it.
I shook my head. How had I agreed to this? Visas, Mandalore, and the Exile had left to go for the Ravanger. Without me!
We had been heading for the turbolift, when Visas announced that she wanted to fight her old Master alongside the Exile, who had allowed her to accompany them. Then Mandalore arrived, and since he was the one who was supplying the proton charges that they would use to blow the Ravanger, I got booted out of the party.
It's not that Visas isn't fully force trained as well, but since I'm the one bonded to her, doesn't it seem more appropriate that I be the one there with her? I mean, my life is in her hands, so it only seems fair that I get a fair shot before I suddenly just drop to the ground, dead. Her reasoning was that I had not experienced a force bond before, so I should stay on the ship and "accustom myself to what it feels like." Or maybe she just doesn't want me along. Either way, I have no real choice.
I seated myself in the cockpit, and tried to focus on seeing her. At first, nothing happened. Then an image began to form in my mind. No, that's not really accurate. I began to see as though I was actually there, in first person point of view. The thing was, I couldn't move. I wasn't controlling my feet, and my head wouldn't turn the way I wanted it to. It was like I was trapped in someone else's body.
The room was in flames. I moved forward, into another room, one that was not in flames. Suddenly Sith began surging forward, brandishing blaster rifles. I drew my blue lightsaber, and started swinging. Wait. Blue lightsaber? My lightsaber was green. So this person must have a blue lightsaber… the Exile! I was seeing things from her eyes. Well, that would make sense, wouldn't it? I chided myself. Only three of your companions are on that ship, and you aren't bonded to Visas or Mandalore.
Now I was in another part of the ship. The side had been ripped off. I moved forward to place a charge. A voice sounded in my ear.
"There's the first proton charge, Mandalore. Three more to go."
"Great. How are things where you are?" I heard myself say.
"A little rough, but we're holding up alright."
"All right. Stay in touch," I replied.
I shut off the comlink, and continued my explorations of the ship.
After a few hours, and a few Sith troopers later, we came to a chamber. Visas paused, and requested that we stop so she could "center herself." What? Absolutely not, I thought. "Of course," I said instead.
Visas disappeared inside the room for about 20 minutes before reemerging. I could sense waves of calm and confidence in her aura. "Thank you," she said. "I needed to do that. I am at peace now."
At one point, we stopped at a locked door. I sliced the door open, and inside was a very familiar face.
"Commander Tobin!" I gasped.
He looked evil now, tainted by the dark side. He made that clear, as he began to speak of how it changed him, and how this universal being on the ship was unstoppable. Frankly, I had my doubts as well. Yet I heard myself speak in a tone of determination and persuasion that could convince even the most suspicious being, convincing Commander Tobin to aid us.
We continued on, fighting our ways through more enemies. Just as we reached the last location, our Mandalorian aid radioed us, and they were taken out. We needed to find another charge. Luckily I remembered where we had last seen one. This time, my body seemed to be in tune with my mind as we headed towards the weapons control room. I retrieved the extra proton charge, and brought it to the final location.
When we got close to the bridge, Visas decided I was ready to face her former Master. She told me to prepare myself for the trial that lay ahead. I took a moment to calm myself, and be in touch with the force. Then, we advanced to the bridge.
He was like nothing I had seen before. No wonder Visas feared and obeyed him so. He donned a black cloak, and wore some sort of mask. The Sith Lord spoke in some sort of tongue I could not understand. It sent shivers down my spine. It was dark and whispery, and seemed to consume me.
We drew our lightsabers, and began to fight. Despite the darkness, I had never felt so calm, so at peace. Strengthened by the Exile and Visas' light power, I felt whole. I was complete.
The battle was obviously getting to me physically, however. At one point, however, we realized Visas had an advantage, and we were able to finish the Dark Lord off. Visas knelt next to her old Master's body, and did something imperceptible. The Dark Lord disappeared, leaving only a cold spot where is corpse had been.
The crew on the bridge was still there. There faces were ghastly white, and they seemed to be in some sort of trance. I attempted to bring them out of their spell, but they did not respond to me. I mentally pleaded with the Exile to leave; the ship would destruct soon. Luckily Mandalore nudged her forward, and the trio hurried to get off the ship.
I didn't allow myself to slip out of my trance until I was able to see that she was safely back on Telos. Unfortunately, some pompous Republic General wanted an audience with the Exile.
Mical entered the cockpit. I tried to make it look like I was busy, fiddling with various instruments. He didn't get the message, obviously, and came over and sat down in the co-pilot's chair.
I nodded. "Yeah. She'll be alright."
He paused. "Atton… you and I have never really gotten along."
I continued fiddling with the controls. If all he was going to do was make obvious statements such as that, I could find better things to do.
"You know, I don't hold ill will towards you."
No, that wasn't surprising. He didn't hold "ill will" towards almost anyone, even those who had bad feelings for him. Including me.
"Do you love her?"
Huh? Where did that come from?
"I assume we're talking about the Exile." I said.
He nodded. "Well, maybe not LOVE, but you know- care for." He clarified.
Well, that was a no-brainer. Of course I did. "Do you?" I questioned.
He sighed. "I do, Atton. I admire her deeply."
Not really the same thing, I thought. You could admire almost anyone. Your mother, father, a brother or sister. Your grandmother, your teacher… I winced as I thought of Kreia.
"So where does that leave us?" He asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I don't want it to interfere with our friendship, but I don't intend to back down."
I almost laughed. I had never heard the Disciple speak so forcefully. "Neither do I. And as for our friendship…" I had to stife back a chuckle. "Don't worry about it."
"So no hard feelings, either way?"
If I get her, then no. If you get her, than maybe. "Let's just leave it at that."
He let out a sigh of relief. "Thank you, Atton. I could never sleep at night with something like that tugging on my conscience."
Try living in my mind. "You're welcome." Just not here, you're not. "And Mical…"
"If I have anything to say about it, you wouldn't have had anything on your conscience to begin with."
He seemed confused. "Uh… alright, Atton. Sleep well."
As Mical left, the Exile walked in. She looked surprised. "Were you… did you and Mical…" she looked dazed. "What was that about?"
I shrugged modestly. "Eh, I just wanted to clear the air."
She smiled. "Aw… that was so gentlemanly of you, Atton."
I grinned. "You bet."
She leaned into me, and from the moment her lips met mine, I knew that I would have no hard feelings to worry about towards Mical. She put her hands on my cheeks, and I tentatively pushed her mouth open with my tongue. She responded with soft little gasps, and ran her hands down my back. I pulled her into me, desperately wanting to take her clothes off-
She broke away, looking sheepish. "Ahem… We'd- I'd, uh, better go to bed. I just wanted to say, Atton, that you really helped me today. Feeling your presence in my mind strengthened me, and I kinda liked the feeling." She looked at the floor. "As selfish as that might be."
I shook my head vehemently. "No! It's not selfish. I wanted to be there. With you, I mean."
She nodded. "I want to take you with me… but I can't."
I narrowed my eyes. "Why not?"
"Because I don't want to have to watch you die."
I tightened my jaw. "What, you don't think I'm strong enough to face a Dark Jedi?"
"It's not the Sith we'll be facing next time… it's Kreia. And the one who fears her… Sion."
I clutched her possessively. "I will go with you. I want to be there with you. If I can help you mentally, I'll be able to help you even more physically."
She seemed to be staring at something over my shoulder. "We'll see, Atton."
I kissed her again. She broke off. "I was serious before, Atton. I'm really tired. She hugged me, than walked off towards the starboard dormitory.
I suddenly was struck with a crazy idea. Waiting until she was in her room, I focused on seeing from her eyes.
I was in the starboard dorm, where Kreia had once slept. I slipped my robe from my shoulders, slipped off my tunic, and hugged myself to keep warm. As I bent over to pick up my robe from the floor, I could almost see my bare chest-
Smiling, I leaned back into the pilot's chair.