Alrighty! I've got some great news and a really long author's note below, so I hope you enjoy this last chapter!
Lady Brie belongs to Brievel, she's just letting me use her (and a thousand thanks for that)
After a daylong trip, the planet Orpheus filled the viewports of the assault ship. It was a dull world, barren and rocky and out in the middle of nowhere… the ideal planet for harboring prisoners and enemies of the Dominion.
Lady Brie stood by the viewport as the ship descended into the atmosphere. She was already angry at the time it took them to get here, and all she wanted to do was drop off the prisoners and get back to her office.
The Ship landed and the prisoners were marched to the ramp, surrounded by troopers. Ace was in the lead, and the most heavily guarded, which was odd because he looked like a broken man.
He was eating and keeping healthy, but his eyes… his eyes were like two coals, burning into everything they looked at. He didn't look at her or respond to her attempts for conversion, and didn't resist when Thansor's men grabbed him and dragged him to the ramp.
The ramp lowered slowly and the dusty air swirled around the ship, with a heavy wind biting into clothing and skin.
The troopers walked forward, towards the only section of civilization on the planet.
A massive walled in area, adorned with turrets, laser wire fences, and electrified gates. It was a prison of the highest order, and Lady Brie's breath hitched in her throat as the gates powered down and she walked inside, almost feeling like she was an inmate herself.
She jumped when the gates clanged shut behind them, and out of the corner of her eye she saw Ace stiffen.
A massive security gate loomed before them, and behind it stood the entrance to the prison. One by one the prisoners were passed through and scanned, before another trooper plunged an injector into the arm of each new inmate.
Thansor nodded his approval "Injections… efficient."
Brie walked around the scanner, but was unable to stop another man from jabbing an injector into her arm. She yelped in pain and her hand darted to her powersword, fulling intending to remove the man's head… did she look like a prisoner?!
Thansor stepped in front of her before the incident could escalate, and guided her towards the door "Lady Brievel." He snapped "Please…"
She averted her eyes and kept walking, this place already had her on edge.
Thansor led her away from the group as they entered, taking her up two flights of stairs and up to an observatory where they could watch the rest of the prisoners.
Ace and his men were thrown into the prison and Brie's stomach flopped as she recognized the other prisoners. Overcore soldiers, pirate lords, spice smugglers, and other criminals… everyone she had ever put away. If those prisoners found out Ace had helped her, he'd be dead.
And if one constant remained on Orpheus, it's was that no one ever escaped… or died a natural death.
Thansor smiled "Well Lady Brievel, we've certainly rid ourselves of that pest haven't we?"
Brie's grip tightened on her powersword hilt, and she gritted her teeth. Ace wasn't a pest, and he didn't deserve to be dragged into it… now he hated her, and she'd never get a chance to make it right.
She knew that if she snapped back the conversation would end badly, so she simply stayed silent.
Besides, she'd be leaving soon anyway.
Thansor then walked into another room, and Brie followed.
The room was a massive factory, with men and women mixing chemicals into giant vats and the stench of chemicals floating in the air. Thansor smiled "Lady Brievel, allow me to welcome you to our little… project."
Brie stared at the room around her, she recognized the chemicals… but from where?
Thansor closed the door behind her and walked up to the vats of mixed chemicals "These chemicals create a lethal toxin. A toxin that once unleashed will ravage this prison and everyone inside of it."
Brie's head shot up, and for a second she doubted what she'd heard, before she quickly remembered where she had seen those chemicals before.
It was on an Overcore mission, she'd launched a raid and found traces of the chemicals… the smell was now suddenly familiar.
She suddenly screamed as a sharp object jabbed into her back, and electricity coursed through her body. She hit the ground with a thud and looked up at Thansor as he ripped the Dominion insignia from his chest, underneath it was the insignia of Overcore.
Her muscles felt like jelly as she struggled to rise, but Thansor held her down. "Poor, poor lady Brie. You've worked so hard to stop Overcore… but you never got us all. It was easy to impersonate an officer, especially since your job was open for the taking. You and that smuggler ruined our operations… now we're going to ruin you."
Lady Brie groaned and fumbled for her powerswords, but the object struck again and sent another jolt through her body, this time knocking her back down… and out.
She groggily awoke, and jerked upright, letting adrenaline pump through her body. She made to rise, but found herself handcuffed to a chair. She struggled and the cuffs sent a lighter, though no less painful jolt through her body.
"Those are stun cuffs"
She looked up and took stock of her surroundings, she was inside an interrogation room and the speaker was sitting across a table from her. It was Ace, rumpled and bedraggled, but alive.
"Those cuffs will shock at almost any movement Brie." He grunted the statement, as if the act of talking to her left a bad taste in his mouth.
"Quite right Ace" Thansor smiled as he entered the room, with his Overcore insignia fully on display. "I figured since the pair of you started this whole mess, you'd best be here for the cleanup. You see Overcore never wanted to rule the galaxy or even a world… we simply want to have our fingers in every pie. Lady Brie's interference over this past year has been… an annoyance, and it's time for her to be removed."
He walked over to the end of the table and grinned down at her, like a cat who just cornered a mouse. "There is going to be an accident in this facility, a chemical spill really. Of course my men and I are inoculated from the effects, but you and the other prisoners are not. By now my men have broken out of the prison and have overwhelmed the Dominion guards, we will release this virus and then leave this planet. With you gone, I'll have to move up to your spot…"
Lady Brievel let out a growl, with Overcore in control of that much money, not to mention the Dominion fleet… things wouldn't go well. In fact the government could grind to a complete halt.
Thansor walked back towards the door and smirked "I always did like your office Brie, but I'm only doing what you were trained to do, take down the criminals… I'll do it here, then on any other corrupt world. When the dust settles Overcore will have made up its losses ten times over! So I must say goodbye to the both of you. But don't worry… I've made sure you'll feel pain before you die."
With that the door closed and Brie went beserk. She strained against the cuffs, screaming as they stunned her, deadened her muscles, tried to bring her down… but she fought.
Her head thrashed like a beast caged, and her throat burned as she alternated between screaming and sucking in air.
"Brie, Brie…. BRIE!"
Ace's yells cleared her fogged head and she finally allowed herself to stop, lowering her head and breathing in heavily as she recovered.
"Brie, we're stuck in here! We lost, and it's over." He yelled, his eyes now burning into her, communicating all the anger he felt.
Lady Brie raised her head slowly "I-it can't be over… my family…"
Her family was sheltered on Beruna, a Dominion held world where despite her best efforts, corruption still was present in the local government. If Thansor was hell bent on destroying all criminals… then Beruna was a prime target. She couldn't, and wouldn't let her family become targets.
Ace nodded, somehow understanding, and his eyes cooled a bit. "We can work out our differences later, but we need to get out of here." He wiggled in his own chair and managed to stand up without triggering the cuffs. He half-hopped and half-shuffled over to her and smiled a bit. "Alright try to stand up and lean forward."
She did so with a bit of difficultly, as the cuffs bit into her hands, but she managed to prop herself up.
Ace grinned, "Alright now hold still…"
He roared and swung his body towards her, smashing his chair into hers and shattering them both. The impact knocked her over, but she felt like she deserved that.
She stood up and presented her still bound hands "What's your plan for getting us out of these?"
Ace cocked a sly grin back at her "Not my first time in a jail… these cuffs have a weakness, the electricity makes them a bit flexible… if you can take the shock."
He began to fiddle with them and grunted loudly as they shocked him, but with a loud pop, they were off. He smirked "Easy."
His hands grabbed her cuffs "Alright when I say go, pull your hands out."
She nodded grimly, and prepared herself.
The shock and pain hit her a bit, but with a yell of triumph her hands came free. Ace threw her cuffs across the room and grabbed his bending down near the lock.
"State of the art prisons carry electronic locks don't they?" He asked as he began to wriggle them back and forth. The sparks entered the door and with a click it slid open.
Brie smiled for a second, and helped him up. "You ready to fight together one more time?" She asked.
The pair walked down the hallway, heading towards the main prison, ready to free the rest of Ace's men.
However a pair of Overcore guardsmen were walking in the same direction, and the two parties collided.
Before the surprised guardsmen could whip out their batons, Ace hurled a punch at one, shattering his mouth. He tackled the man to the floor and they began to fight for possession of the weapon.
Lady Brie grabbed the other guardsman's arm and flipped him over her shoulder, smiling as he hit the ground with a reassuring thud. She'd hit him hard enough to knock him out, so she simply watched Ace struggle with his opponent.
The Smuggler fought dirty, kicking and punching at every opportunity, but his blows barely seemed to faze the larger guardsmen, who stood up and began to throw punches of his own. Ace was thrown backwards into the wall by a strong left hook and the following right jab pinned him upright. The Guardsman reared his fist back for a strike….
His face took on a dumbfounded expression as he dropped to the floor like a bag of rocks, and Brie stood behind him, twirling the guardsman's baton in her hand idly.
She extended her hand to Ace and smirked "I thought you were taking too long, so I stepped in."
The Smuggler took her hand, but responded to her smirk with a bigger one. "Funny how you watched me get beat up for a bit before you 'stepped in'"
Brie handed him the other baton and they went on their way, and for a moment she was reminded of the way things used to be. The banter they shared while fighting Overcore thugs was one of the best parts of working together, but once this escape was over… could they go back to the way things used to be?
The pair rushed down to the cells, where Ace's men cheered at seeing their captain alive and well.
Only one Guardsman was on duty, and he drew a pistol at seeing the escapees.
Another clunk filled the air as Ace's thrown baton connected with his head, knocking him down and out.
"Keys, keys, keys" He muttered as he rushed over to the man and began to rifle through his pockets, eventually finding what he sought. He tossed them to Brie, who began to unlock the cells holding Ace's men.
"Unlock them all." He told her after she had finished.
Her ears took a moment to process what he had said as she stared into the other cells, stared into the faces of pirate lords and their cronies, spice smugglers, gamblers and other smugglers, even a few gang bosses and their lackeys. All evil and bad, and they were all likely to gut her with the nearest sharp rock once the lock clicked.
"Ace are you insane?" She asked, point blank and completely serious. He must be, if he was serious.
"Unlock them all." He repeated. "Trust me"
Those last two words gave her pause, because despite the fact that he was a lowlife, sly, charming and sweet-talking smuggler… she trusted him.
So she unlocked the rest of the cells, and the prisoners filled out towards Ace. "Listen up, Thansor and his men are threating to virus bomb this prison, and we're going to help Lady Brie here stop him."
A prisoner laughed "Lady Brie was the person who put us all in here, why would we help her?"
"Because Thansor won't stop with this prison, he'll continue on… on towards any planet that has a hint of corruption staining its surface. He'll unleash this virus on everyone and everything that dares to stand in his way." Brie spoke, pushing herself in front of Ace, so that nothing stood between her and those she was asking for aid.
Another prisoner spoke up "Well as much as we'd love to show that Overcore scumbag what we think of him, theirs a matter of the fact. If we leave the prison then its tick tick boom! We've all been injected with mini bombs that will explode if we leave the grounds."
"I'll handle that" Ace added "I've got an escape plan of my own… and there it is!"
A loud whoosh echoed off the walls of the prison, a whoosh Brie recognized as a ship coming in from hyperspace.
"Come on!" He ordered and led the way towards the exit.
Brie walked with him and shook her head "How did you get all these men to follow you in the two or so hours you've been among the population?"
He shrugged "I'm charismatic Brie, people listen when I talk. Here's our first stop boys and girl, armor up!"
The door to the armory stood wide open as the prisoners filed in and seized their respected weapons and equipment. Ace grabbed his belt, jacket, and rifle, also tossing Brie her powerswords.
Brie caught her weapons and squeezed their hilts fondly, placing them by her belt.
Once the armory was stripped bare, the prisoners rushed out the front gate.
For the forty or so Overcore guards stationed outside the prison, the pirate cruiser that zipped out of Hyperspace was a sign that something was amiss.
When the door to the prison opened and the mob of convicts came spilling out… that was when something went wrong.
The two forces clashed, letting crisscrossing blaster bolts open the combat before they collided in melee. Swords, axes, and other weapons clanged and smashed against one another as the prisoners vented their rage on their perceived tormentors. Overcore, Dominion… they didn't care who it was as long as they got to hit and fight and kill.
Ace fired his rifle at an Overcore soldier, knocking the man off his feet, before turning to Lady Brie. "We got this, find Thansor!"
She wordlessly nodded and turned towards the likeliest place where he would be. The only place where an escape ship could be parked.
Thansor smiled as he walked up the ramp of his personal shuttle, he'd be safe and secure. The trigger in his hand would activate a bomb that would carry the virus all over the planet, all he had to do was press it. He was inoculated against the virus's effects, but why take chances?
He turned to see Lady Brie, powersword in hand, staring him down.
Brie stared at Thansor, and raised her powersword slightly. "Give up Thansor, we've won."
A mocking laugh greeted her as he stepped down from the ramp of his shuttle. "Oh but Lady Brie, you've won nothing. The virus will still spread in the prison and if you attempt to leave the prison walls well… It'll get a little messy."
He pressed the trigger and smiled as it clicked, confirming the bomb was active, "You have failed… in two minutes this prison will truly become a pit from the gates of hell. Luckily I plan on killing you myself, but not to worry… I'll make sure you feel just as much pain."
He drew a metal staff from his cloak and the ends sparked with electricity.
Brie shifted into a battle stance, while speaking into the open comm she and Ace had established. "Ace, Thansor's activated the virus bomb… you've got two minutes to stop it from blowing."
Ace punched the last guardsman across the face and then spoke, "Copy that, the battle's gone quiet down here, and help is on its way."
The pirate cruiser drifted down and disgorged a starfighter from its hanger, and Ace grinned as he recognized the ship which landed right outside the walls. "All going according to the plan!" He muttered as he ran towards his ship, whose crew of three droids had exited.
() walked forward "Ah master how good it is to see you alive again! We received your message and followed you here just as instructed."
Ace grinned and clapped the droid on the shoulder "Good work you three, () I need you to scan me and work on a counter measure for the injections inside of us."
The droid's eyes glowed as it performed its task, "Analysis indicates micro-explosives in the bloodstream… generating electromagnetic pulse to render them inactive."
The droid raised a finger and a blue pulse shot out, going into Ace before jumping to the next prisoner, and the next, until the pulse had bounced to all the surviving convicts.
"Pulse successful, the explosives are now harmless" He reported.
Ace grinned "Good, everyone onto the ship you three call up to the ship to get some more of our freighters down here, I want everyone off this rock."
He then turned pointing to two of his men and a shorter alien. "You three are coming with me, you're a hacker right? Ever work with bombs?" He asked, directing his gaze towards the alien.
The alien nodded "Yes sir, and yes sir"
Ace began to run back into the prison "Good, then we've got one to disable."
The powersword and the electrostaff clashed, the sound a mixture of a sizzling crack and a whine. Both combatants withdrew and attacked again, and again and again, the air crackled and fizzed with electricity as small sparks flickered around the end of the staff.
Lady Brie fought mostly on the defensive, struggling to adapt a strategy to the unfamiliar weapon and fighting style. Her blade was a blur, parrying and striking as often as she could, but somehow the staff was always longer and faster, and her clothing already bore scorch marks from where she had experienced close calls. Thansor was relentless, spinning his weapon around his body and staying up in her face, giving her no time to retreat or even breathe. His weapon pressed against hers, and she grimaced as sparks leapt off the end and onto her skin.
She groaned and swept her leg under his, knocking him over before flipping over his body and putting some space between them.
Her mind raced as she tried to remember all the training she had done against staffs and staff based weapons. None of the training weapons had electricity sparking off of them, so that was the only variable she needed to add.
Thansor stood up and charged towards her like a mad bull, swinging his staff high above his head. She ducked the first swing, but was unprepared for a jab that caught her in the stomach.
The end of the staff leapt at contact with her, and she grunted and sunk to her knees as the shock painfully ripped through her body.
"You see Lady Brievel!" Thansor yelled "You can't win against me, against it. Corruption is inevitable, as where there is power… there is greed and a desire for more! You will never beat greed."
Brievel rolled away from the next strike and pushed herself up "Maybe I can't stop an idea, but you can bet I'll stop you!"
She drew her second powersword and stood ready, remembering the feel of having both weapons in her hands. It had been a long time since she fought with two blades, but hopefully her training would come back to serve her.
Ace led his men into the prison, most of the guards had been incapacitated, were killed, or had fled once they were faced with the wrath of the prisoners, so the group encountered very little in the forms of resistance.
"Bomb, bomb, bomb… where would I be if I were a virus bomb?" He muttered as he tried to answer his own question.
He turned to see one of his men pointing "Air vents boss… airborne virus that is designed to sweep the prison… these vents go everywhere."
Ace grinned in triumph "Thankfully all Dominion prisons are designed the same, so the air ventilation system should be down there!" He rushed towards the area, checking his watch on the way… they had about a minute.
Once the quartet rushed into the room, they began to frantically look for the bomb, easily finding it.
Ace clapped the alien on the shoulder "Get to work on disabling it."
The alien nodded and removed the outer casing, beginning to fiddle around with the wires.
Ace walked a distance away, opening the comm "Brie, we're at the bomb and working on disabling it." He neglected to mention that they had about 45 seconds left, but figured she didn't need to know that.
Brie heard Ace, but didn't understand his words as the staff came down again. She crossed her blades and parried the blow, shoving the weapon away from her. She kept one blade up and in front of her, deflecting the attacks while her other sword waited in the wings prepared to strike at the first opportunity.
Thansor switched between fast quick jabs to strong swings in almost an eyeblink, and she was hard pressed just defending herself. He had a weakness,everyone did, the problem was her living long enough to figure it out.
She deflected another jab and the answer hit her like a brick.
He had tells.
There was a subtle change of posture, a slight twitch of his eyes, a shift of his stance. They were hard to detect, but they were there… broadcasting his moves before the made them.
He jabbed again and she parried, he then brought his arm up for a strong strike and her second sword moved like a viper.
Thansor yelled as her sword sliced his side. He growled, and attacked again… each time he was changing his attack, broadcasting hs moves, exposing himself.
Her blades wove under his attacks and left cuts on his sides and arms, as she became the aggressor, this time never giving him rest.
She knocked the staff from his hands and then kicked upwards, landing a fierce blow to his jaw.
He fell backwards onto the sandy ground and chuckled. "Oh dear lady, you've won nothing here today… the bomb will still go off. You will still die."
Brie chuckled "I sincerely doubt that."
She turned away to mutter into her comlink "Ace, please give me a reason to doubt that!"
Ace groaned, they had about 20 seconds left before that bomb went off!
"By everything that's holy in the galaxy, shut the bomb off now!" He shouted. He'd given a lot of thought to how he would die, but this fantasy wasn't on the list.
"Yes sir!" The hacker, seemingly about as frustrated as Ace was, ripped out the wiring in a mad frenzy.
A loud whirring sound began to pierce the air as the bomb sputtered and then died. The hacker smiled, holding up a blue wire. "It's always blue, just like in the holovids!"
Ace let out a breathy laugh and smiled "Brie, your reason is here… we shut it down."
"We shut it down."
Brie grinned, a big comical, almost scary grin. "Now it's over."
Thansor's face turned white, then red with fury, and he seized his electrostaff "It's not over you Dominion witch! It's never over!" He screamed and charged forward, rage and murder in his eyes.
Then a hiss pierced the air as Lady Brievel parried the staff and stabbed forward, piercing the man's midriff.
He gurgled, then fell forward and slid off the sword… dead.
Brie turned away, sheathing her weapons and not even giving the body a second glance. She hated killing, but she knew that Thansor wouldn't have stopped… their duel was fated to have only one victor, the other would have to be dead. He died, she lived… that's all there was to it.
At least it was finally over.
After she got zapped by Ace's droid to get the explosives out of her system, she called in the Dominion fleet to come pick her up and take over cleaning up the mess.
The Pirate cruiser had disappeared, along with all of the convicts, but Ace remained behind fiddling with his Starfighter. She almost wished that he had gone with them, but quickly shook that thought out of her head. They needed to clear the air between them.
She waited until he looked like he was done, and walked over quickly before she could change her mind. "Hey Ace… do you have a minute?"
He nodded slightly and she continued letting words come out of her mouth a mile a minute "I wasn't setting you up, Thansor was on the warpath for you and I couldn't contact you so I tried to sneak into your ship and I messed up and…"
Ace smiled at her, until her words dribbled away and she stood silently. She wouldn't blame him if he hated her forever, and she stood ready to take it.
"Brie, it's alright… we all got hoodwinked, plus I had a plan of my own anyways. I figured the Dominion wouldn't leave me alone forever, so when I contacted my men to tell them to surrender I slipped a drive into the ship's computer detailing instructions to my remaining men if I was captured. Those men were hiding in smuggler compartments, along with my droids they followed the instructions."
Brie smiled a thin smile as he kept talking "Listen Brie, I got angry I admit that, but you're my friend… I shouldn't have doubted you. So I'm sorry."
Brie nodded "I'm sorry too, but I'm glad we're good."
Ace grinned and advanced towards her, only to find a hand against his chest. "Ace, no hugging…"
"But there was a moment." Ace protested, looking like a lost puppy.
Brie shook her head "There wasn't a moment, there never was one, and there never will be. No hugging." She rested a hand on her powersword to punctate her sentence, and he noticed.
"Yes ma'am no hugging."
Before either of them could say more, a series of whooshes announced the arrival of the Dominion reinforcements and Ace jumped "Well Brie, it's been fun but this is my cue to leave." The ramp of his ship opened and he jogged up it, turning back to look at her.
"May the bureaucrats be ever in your favor Brie." He joked.
"And may your hyperspace lanes be free from the law, Ace." She responded.
The pair of unlikely friends shared one last smile, and then the ramp closed.
After a day long trip home filling out reports and post battle papers, Lady Brievel walked into her apartment and collapsed on the nearest soft object.
Her bunny hopped over to her and nuzzled against its master, and she smiled.
As she let a well-deserved sleep claim her, her thoughts drifted again to Ace, and whether she would ever see him again.
Well if she ever did, she'd help him out… that she knew, just like he would help her.
After all they were just two friends in need.
Warning: A long note lies below, venture onward if you dare.
On April 11th 2015, I joined Fictionpress for the first time. As of this past Monday it has been one year. I've written so many stories, and I still marvel at how many reviews and friends I have made on this site. I can't believe people like my work and have supported me in my writing ventures, seriously without you guys... I wouldn't be here today.
So to all those who have followed, favorited, and most importantly reviewed my stories... I express my deepest thanks to you. To those who have contacted me through roleplays and PM's I thank you. And finally to those who have kept me going, critiqued my writing, and given me encouragement to keep writing down my crazy ideas. Thank you.
So I've decided to do something for my anniversary, so I have created a poll on my profile page. I will be expanding one, and only one, of my one-shots with a sequel. So please go and vote for your favorite one-shot and I'll create a sequel for it! :)
After that I'll have another chapter of Inner Wolf, Inner Warrior up, more battles of a total war, and several other one-shots and short stories! So please keep an eye out for that!
Thank you once again and have a wonderful day! :)