The Deep End

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I have to find the Jedi. I have to. He can't live.

It was about the only thing that kept him moving at the moment. Creed wanted to collapse, and he could feel that his body was about to. Everything was foggy, but he kept moving towards the cockpit through sheer willpower and somehow, he made it.

He grabbed at the console, the blinking lights causing his head to spin as he sank down in the pilot's chair and tried to figure out which blinking lights were the ones he needed to press to get the ship started. He saw a blue light pulsing to his left and tried to remember where Specter had said the ignition was.

Left..I think...no, it was the right. No, that's hyperdrive ignition.

He shook his head in confusion and just jammed his finger over the blue light. He felt something akin to the sound of the ship's engines in the background and assumed that had done the trick. Now he had to find the control yoke.

He ran his hands lightly over the console until he felt the handles of the control yoke and settled his hands shakily on either side of it.

How am I going to guide myself out if I can't see hardly anything? he asked himself, squinting in an effort to clear his vision and see out of the viewport.

He could make out a few dark shapes that he assumed were buildings and figured he'd just try to avoid those. Once he got into space he could let autopilot take over.

Remembering the way Specter had taught him to fly, he managed to ease the ship off the ground, then lift the nose skyward and pressed the yoke forward, pressing the ship through the atmosphere and into space.

It only took a couple of minutes and as soon as he was clear of the planet he fumbled to punch in the coordinates for Nar Shadda before turning on the autopilot and slumping back. He was exhausted and had to fight to keep his eyes open. He knew if he closed them he'd pass out, and Nar Shadda was only an hour away. If he could just keep going a little longer, he could make it.

Just one more hour...he reminded himself. He lifted one arm lethargically and shoved himself onto his feet, using the arm of the chair like a crutch until he was steady on his feet. The room was still spinning, though, and it took him a moment to orient himself.

Vod'ika...you have to eat. Specter's voice rang through his head. Creed gritted his teeth against the memory accompanying the reminder, but the image of his brother's bloodied body in that dark alley still came to mind and Creed shoved away from the chair, screaming.

"Get out of my head!"

He staggered a bit, his knees threatening to give out, but he kept on his feet. "I don't need anything, except a dead Jedi," he hissed into the empty ship.

A wave of nausea hit him, though, and he fought not to retch as he grabbed the wall. He sank down with his back to the wall, pressing his hands to his head. He leaned his head back against the wall, rubbing his face, panting.

It took him several minutes to recover, but eventually, he felt well enough to stagger back to his feet. He made it to the back of the ship and fumbled for the duffel bag he'd taken from his barracks on Kamino. He sat down on the edge of the bed and slipped out of his fatigues, stripping down to his body suit before feeling around the edges of the bag for the zipper. He found that and unzipped the duffel, beginning to remove his armor.

He could see better now, his head a little clearer, but he still couldn't think straight. All he could see was his brothers, dead in the alleyway. Slaughtered by Jedi.

He snarled at the memory and rubbed his temples in an effort to clear the throbbing from his head. It didn't work, though, so he just dropped his head forward some and focused on slowly putting on his armor.

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