Slayers of the Old Republic
Book VII: Leviathan
By Michael Weyer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer owned by Mutant Enemy Productions.
Star Wars created and owned by George Lucas.
Knights of the Old Republic created by BioWare Entertainment.
Buffy stretched her arms overhead as she padded into the galley of the ship. She was dressed in a looser pair of pants and shirt, a far cry from her more professional outfits. She brushed her hair back and paused as she saw Faith sitting at a table. The Slayer was clad in just pants and leather top, her hair an unruly mess. She was chewing on her meal as Buffy entered.
The two looked each other up at the same time and then broke into nice smiles. “Bout time,” they said in unison.
Buffy chuckled as she moved to get some food for herself. “It figures. It takes being transported to another galaxy for us to get lucky.”
Faith swallowed a piece of her breakfast. “So what happened to all those Jedi rules you’re supposed to be following?”
Buffy gave her a look. “Like I’m the poster child for rule following?”
“Point,” Faith admitted. “So how’s Super Jedi Gal handling it?”
“Haven’t talked to her yet,” Buffy answered with a shrug. “I’m sure she’ll be howling and wailing and taking a haughty attitude that would do Giles proud.”
“And you ain’t gonna change one bit because of it,” Faith predicted.
“You know me so well,” Buffy laughed as she took her tray and sat down. She poked at her food before speaking. “It’s…different.”
Faith nodded. “Cause he’s actually a decent guy?”
“I had one decent guy,” Buffy stated. “Riley. But he wasn’t…”
“Yeah, he wasn’t.” Faith’s smile ended at Buffy’s glare. “Aw, come on, B, it was five years ago! You can’t still be mad about me and Farmboy!”
Buffy glared but then shook her head. “No…no, I let that go a while ago.” She chewed on her food. “I just don’t…I still get the feeling there’s something he’s holding back from me. Even when we’re…you know…I get flashes…”
“Flashes?” Faith frowned.
Buffy smiled. “Apparantly, Jedi love-making isn’t just physical. The Force merging like that allows you to really know what the other is feeling, what they want, what they need…”
“Now that’s handy,” Faith said with her light leer.
Buffy rolled her eyes. “But those flashes…I get stuff like battles…massive conflict…and…him.”
Buffy shook her head. “No. Revan.”
Faith frowned. “Why the hell would Vance be thinking of Revan?”
Buffy held up her hands. “I’ve been trying to figure that out. Maybe he ran into him during the war, on some battlefield but he’s never mentioned that. I know it’s Revan. I recognize the mask, the robes and all that but…” She bit her lip. “I can’t explain it but when I saw it…I got this flash that he was…so close…”
“Better not mention it to Carth,” Faith said. “He’s still got a mad on for the Sith, especially this Saul guy.”
“At the risk of sounding like Bastila, he’d better keep his mind on the mission and not some vendetta.”
Faith brushed her hair back. “Gotta say, I understand where he’s coming from. Karath took his wife, his son, everything. It’s only natural he wants some payback.”
“And you think that’ll solve his problems?”
Faith shook her head. “Nope. I’ve been where he is, B. I know how it is to feel cold all the time. He doesn’t deserve that.”
“Maybe you should try telling him that,” Buffy said.
Faith sighed. “Come on, B…you know I’m not one to talk frank on feelings. We just started up, I don’t want to throw a big monkey wrench into things now.”
Buffy sipped her drink and tapped her fingers on the table. “Faith, I know we were never close but take it from someone who’s done more than a few crash and burns in the romance airfield. You want to do your best to make it work, try to be a bit more open with him from the start.”
“Being open has never been my strong suit, B,” Faith noted.
“New galaxy, new way to start life,” Buffy replied.
Faith nodded as she rose up. “You’re right. You are.” She smiled. “Thanks, B. Wow, never imagined how nice girl talk can be.”
“Don’t go getting soft,” Buffy said with a smile. “The wild edge is what we like about you.”
“Soften? Me?” Faith chuckled as she headed out, Buffy’s gaze following amused. She chewed on her food as a series of metallic clunks intruded and she looked up to see HK-47 coming by. “What are you up to, HK?”
“Explanation: The Mandalorian meatbag made adjustments to my leg servos, Master. I am testing them out and so far they meet my satisfaction.”
“Analysis: There is no significant shift in the interior temperature of the ship, Master.”
“Old expression,” Buffy stated. She chewed on her food as she looked at the table. HK cocked his head as he studied her. “Observation: You seem troubled, Master. Query: Are you having difficulties of some sort?”
Buffy tapped her fork as she looked up. “What do you think of love, HK?”
“Definition: Love is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Why did I even ask?”
“Statement: I assume that was a rhetorical question. Let me see if I can create another metaphor…” His eyes flashed a bit before he spoke. “Definition: Love is knowing your target, putting them in your targeting reticule, and together, achieving a singular purpose against statistically long odds."
Buffy stared at him in amazement. “HK…that’s quite possibly the most astute statement about love I’ve ever heard anyone make.”
“Statement: Why thank you, Master! I am happy to have answered your question with satisfaction. If you shall excuse me, I must test my new servos in target practice.” He stalked off as Buffy rose to clean off her plate.
One didn’t need Jedi senses to feel the rage Bastila barely held back as she stalked down the hallways of the ship and to the training room. The sight of Vance shirtless as he went through a series of practice swings with his lightsaber just seemed to focus her feelings. “What in all the hells are you thinking?!” she snapped.
“And good morning to you too,” Vance calmly said as he kept his moves going.
“Forgetting it’s a violation of the Code, which I cannot forget,” Bastila went on. “Do you realize how dangerous this is? In the midst of a mission to get involved with Buffy is…is…”
“Is what?” Vance asked as he turned to her. “I can understand you’re upset, Bastila but you act like this is a total disaster.”
“It can be,” she stressed. “You and her…” She shook her head. “I know you are not a typical Jedi, Vance. We both know the reasons why. But Buffy is…well, she’s unique as well and the combination of the two of you can be devastating. Not just to this mission but to yourselves.”
Vance switched his saber off as he shook his head. “Bastila…I respect you, as a teacher and a Jedi but quite frankly…this is none of your business.”
“Yes. It is.” Bastila glared at him and for the first time, Vance felt a flicker of fear at the fire she was showing. “I will not allow this.”
“It’s not your decision,” Vance said. “And why are you so afraid about us? What makes this so dangerous?”
Bastila seemed to want to say something but couldn’t. Shaking his head, Vance reached to grab his shirt and stalked away. She watched him go and closed her eyes, knowing that this was going to become a complete and utter disaster despite all her attempts to stop it.
Faith stepped into the bridge to see Carth at the controls, checking the readouts. “How far off are we?” she asked.
“Not too much,” he answered, his voice calm. “I’ll be taking us out of hyperspace in a minute so we can reposition and then replot our course.”
“”Cool,” Faith said as she lounged into the next chair. She fixed him with a sultry smile. “So…up for taking a break?”
Carth managed a smile even as he checked his readouts. “I think we need to space them out. I didn’t realize how out of shape I was before I met you.”
“Sorry,” Faith said with no real apology in her voice. “Forget myself sometimes…specially when lust is in my heart and head.”
Carth sniffed. “I could tell.” He felt Faith’s hand caress his chest and sighed. “Hmm….careful…”
“Come on…” Faith said as she blew into his ear. “I’m eager to join the Million Mile High Club.”
Carth was about to ask what she meant when the ship suddenly shook. Faith gasped and fell back, alert. “What the hell?!”
Carth was quick to check the readouts and his face went ashen. “Oh, hell,” he muttered. Faith looked out and felt a chill go up her spine as she saw a massive black craft floating before them. “Don’t tell me…”
“Sith Inderector,” Carth intoned. “They must have been waiting for us.” He hit a button and a loud klaxon began to erupt throughout the ship. He hit the console fast, trying to program in a new course but the entire ship shuddered.
“Get us out of here!” Faith yelled.
“I can’t!” Carth fired back. “They’ve got us in a tractor beam! The power of it is too strong, we can’t get free!” He looked up as the large shape grew closer and shivered. “I know that ship. The Leviathan. That’s Saul’s flagship.”
“Which means Malak’s there too,” Faith said as she shot to her feet and hurried to the main meeting area. Carth was right behind her. Everyone else had gathered, all tense and ready. Faith noted how Buffy and Vance were right next to each other, each seeming to draw strength as Carth told them what was happening.
“Saul Karath was my teacher. He taught me everything I know about being a soldier. He’s cool and methodical and always prepared. He’s not going to take any chances with any of us.”
“Which means we can expect a heavy guard once we are set down,” Bastila intoned. “And they will most likely try to separate us.”
“Statement: Any meatbag who attempts to board this ship shall meet a messy end!” HK declared, thrusting a fist in the air.
“Oh, that’s smart,” Mission intoned sarcastically. “HK, they’ve gonna have almost every soldier on the ship aiming guns at us!”
“Query: And your point is?”
“We’re not doing that,” Buffy quickly said. “Listen, we’ve got ten minutes tops before we’re in and they’re breaking the hatch down. Any ideas?”
“I could try to pickpocket a key off one of the guards,” Mission offered.
“Way too dangerous,” Vance said. “And they’ll make sure Zaalbar is in their strongest cell so he won’t be able to do anything.”
“Suggestion: I could fake shutting down, Master. Then I can escape from whatever lab they put me in and get to you.” At HK’s side, T3 let out a series of whistles. “Statement: Silence, bucket-brain! I stand a better chance of success than you!”
Vance looked to the others. “What about you guys?”
“I can’t use my powers on every soldier in the ship,” Jolee intoned. “But I could get one or two to look the other way…”
“Too dangerous with so many numbers,” Canderous growled. “Hmm…I could fake a severe injury, maybe a console exploding in my face and get taken to medical.”
Carth’s eyes bugged out. “And that’s not dangerous?!”
Canderous waved a hand. “The stims and my own regenerative abilities can fix that. I’ll be in a perfect spot to strike.”
“Assuming the Sith do not simply put you out of your misery,” Juhani argued.
There was a rumble as the ship settled into the main hold of the Leviathan. “Time’s up,” Carth intoned. He looked to Buffy and to Bastila. “So…what’s the plan?”
Karath calmly walked into the main hanger of the Sith ship. The Ebon Hawk sat in the middle of the bay, surrounded on all sides by a full platoon of armored soldiers, all with weapons aimed. Lining the catwalks above the bay were more troops, also aiming rifles and pulse cannons at the ship. As the hatch ramp slowly lowered, every troop tensed and readied their aim.
Karath stood calm, hands behind his back as the entire party exited from the ship. They held hands up, weapons in them but pointing away from the troops. Slowly, they lowered them to the ground. The only one hesitating was HK but a glare from Buffy caused him to reluctantly place his weapons down. There were several clanking sounds and everyone turned to see Canderous dropping a dagger onto the rather sizeable pile of hidden weapons at his feet.
Carth’s eyes were fixed right on Karath’s as the admiral strode up. “Carth,” he said in a friendly tone. “It’s been quite a while.”
“Not long enough,” Carth hissed, the hate he felt for his former mentor evident to all.
Karath looked to the others and then to a lieutenant. “Strip and search them thoroughly. Bring Onasi, Bastila and her apprentices to the interrogation chambers. Have the others separated and under heavy guard. The droids are to be placed in the mechanical bay for now.” He turned and marched off as the captives were quickly led away.
With all the attention on the captives, no one noticed the slight blur that occurred in the air around the ramp. It was fast, almost more than the eye could follow. It seemed to pause every few seconds as if searching for a space. It finally settled in a dark corner, the blur shimmering into a shape.
As the stealth field generator switched off, Faith took a deep breath and leaned against the wall. “Eat your heart out, Solid Snake,” she muttered as she made her way through the enemy ship.