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North Forest, Ord Mantell
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Kastor Antilles
Cray


Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 417

 Post Posted: Tue, June 08th 2010 01:49am    Post subject: North Forest, Ord Mantell
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He never thought he would be doing this. Kastor took another handful of the data chips, carefully packing the brittle sticks into the sack. After all the years of reliance and love he had had for the Resistance, he didn't imagine he would be stealing from them, betraying them, and leaving them without a word.

The cold sweat beaded on his forehead as he rushed to recover the last of the information. He had attempted to gain entry to the storehouse earlier in the week, but the fact that nobody fully trusted him was an open secret throughout the entire camp. The funny thing was that they were right; he was deceiving and weakening them. But he wasn't betraying his people. Somewhere along the line, the well-being of Ord Mantell and the health of the Resistance had diverged.

Even though they had investigated with discrimination, Kastor and Greth had been unable to precisely pinpoint the cause of the "corruption." Kastor knew that the group had become little more than band of sectarian raiders years ago, but there was some other motive at work. If the Elders had been acting to benefit themselves over the rest of the planet, things would look different. No, they had risked more than ought to be risked, and for all the wrong reasons.

Kastor didn't know what it was, and time had run out. Each passing day had brought more suspicion upon him. Every night as he lay down to sleep, he could not shake the feeling that he was the subject of whispered talks and prying eyes. This week, the hushed gossip had become unveiled and omnipresent. He didn't fear being found out; he felt as if his death had already been decided. His reputation, his previous loyalty, and his now-few friends were the only things saving him from a vibroblade in the night. Kastor felt that bulwark was almost breached. He worried what the Elders would do to those who had spoke up for him.

He stared for a moment at the collection of breath before his face. The objective part of him understood how everything had come together, but the real part - the portion driving him right now - could not find the reasoning in it. He had become someone he himself would have hated, a few months ago. But now, everything he had thought had been wrong. The Resistance was composed of murderers and bastards. He couldn't be one of them. He realized that now.

He spared a sorrowful smirk. Thanks, Greth.

Kastor now closed the bag, having taken all of the datachips he could store. He didn't know the answers, but maybe Greth's men could analyze them and draw something from it. He hoped that he Elders hadn't anticipated his defection, replacing the chips with worthless dummies. He used to think they wouldn't have been capable of such a grievous flaw; but he now had witnessed they had thoroughly proven themselves to be idiots, so he figured there was a pretty good chance he'd recover something of worth. The feeling that this recovery was overly-easy did not abate, however.

The young man moved to the edge of the building, past the soldier who lay drugged unconscious on the floor. The storehouse was one of the few actual buildings in the camp, the rest tents and other makeshift dwellings. The rationale was a solid structure would be more easily defensible; it always seemed to Kastor that it would just be difficult to relocate. Entire camps usually moved every few months - they had not moved in over two years. It had caused many close calls and many lost lives. It was another example of a strategy that did not make sense given the circumstances. He wished he had more time to find out what secrets the storehouse held.

It was late at night and quite dark under the canopy of the forest. Kastor made sure nonetheless to exercise caution as he closed the door behind him. The evening patrol would be returning soon. He planned to move to New Coronet and be off of the planet by sunrise. That plan wouldn't work so well if he was dead.

Kastor moved quietly through the dormant camp, going at a brisk pace until he was several yards away from the storehouse. The camp was not entirely asleep, and he could see fires burning and hear low voices talking some length away, but they would never see him in the shadows of the trees --

"Kas?"

Kastor felt his core heave with a sudden influx of adrenaline, hearing the disembodied voice from behind. He managed to keep his surprise down to a small jolt, instead of the blast-and-run reflex his body demanded. He turned around, making sure not to appear too calm, unsure what further action he would have to take. "Krida, Jordin, do you want to get shot?" He managed to say with a smirk, now recognizing the speaker.

The younger man across from Kastor returned the grin. He was one of the few who had not abandoned Kastor since his involvement in Greth's escape. Kastor wished he could take the man with him, but he wasn't ready yet; he would stop at nothing to reconcile the differences between Kastor and the Elders instead of realizing the fundamental wrongness with the entire movement. He wasn't ready. And Kastor wasn't some great persuader - he was unable to convince him, yet. "I could say the same. I just got back from patrol. You?"

"Can't sleep," he lied. He had tried to think of better excuses to make, if he had been caught, but he knew the least elaborate thing was best. "I was just gonna head out to the cliffs. Pace around," he explained.

"I'll go with you," Jordin started.

Kastor frowned a bit and shook his head, not being too quick about it. He wanted to confide in Jordin his plan, but he couldn't. The least that was known, the better. He didn't want Jordin to suffer for him. "I don't think you want them to link you with me."

Jordin scoffed. He was in denial about the whole matter. He had convinced himself Kastor's ostracism would blow over - in fact, he didn't even believe it existed as anything more than in a few peoples' minds. "How many times do I have to tell you?" He sighed, then shook his head. "Alright, whatever. Don't blame me when your dumb ass falls over the cliffs."

"Well, you're still gonna have to find the person that pushed me," Kastor joked, beginning to move off. He wanted to slip him some kind of indication, some hint, that he wasn't coming back. He couldn't risk it. "See you later," he said with a short wave of his hand, voice entirely normal.

Jordin returned a phrase and then they parted. Kastor moved past the sleeping tents, taking a long route around the camp. He didn't want to run into anybody else.

He ventured into the branches and bramble. He turned around to look one last time, and his eyes locked with a pair of jadefire irises somewhere in the camp. And in that moment, he knew his expression betrayed everything. The other's face had also communicated plainly its intent. It wasn't about him. He quickly moved away, keeping a semblance of tact until he was out of the line of sight, then he ran. He had to get back to Greth.
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