One Life

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"You must let go of your obsession. Release yourself from your past and perhaps we will consider allowing you back. You are a worthy man. You could sit among the Myth once more, but not until you have freed yourself of that which distracts you. Prove to us you deserve our forgiveness. You had your life here stolen from you. Get it back."

"How?"

"Simple. A life for a life."

Words calmly spoken, a threat wrapped in encouragement and flattery.

Kore saw right through it and while he hated the implications, he knew it was the only way. He had been outcast, commissioned to right his wrong or never be forgiven.

This was his final chance, and he knew what to do. He simply didn't want to do it.

He had no choice, though. The Myth were his family, his friends, and the worst enemies he could ever make. He needed them, and if he walked away, he knew he wouldn't live to regret it. They were offering him life, and he knew better than to turn down their offer.

Swinging off the speeder, he straightened up and leaned the bike against the shed wall, checking his weapons. He wouldn't need anything fancy for this, just his pistols.

It was best it looked like an accident anyway.

Ensuring his weapons had charge and ammo, he took a deep breath and reminded himself of the plan, and the stakes. Then he strode around the other side of the shed and started down the short pathway.

The path led up towards a small tan house situated slightly up on a hill. Oddly enough, it wasn't a farm house as most rural Mandalorian homes were. It still reeked of the rural country life, though. Peaceful, serene, surrounded by open space.

Kore walked up to the door and paused, taking in a deep breath. I have to do this. This is the only way, he reminded himself, then settles one hand on his pistol before raising the other to knock.

Three short raps, then a long pause before he heard the door click and saw it crack open. Kore shifted back ever so slightly, stiffening as he saw his adversaries face appear in the doorway.

Kore almost jumped forward, fearing the man would throw the door shut, but both men just stood there and stared at each other for a long moment before either spoke.

"What are you doing here," Marr'ad snapped, one hand going to the door control but Kore saw him hesitated as he waited to read the response.

Kore set his jaw, fingers curling around the grip of his pistol. He locked eyes with Marr'ad, forcing himself to harden his gaze. He could still see the potential shining in the young man's eyes. He always could've been the Legend. He was the perfect candidate, had he not been so kriffing righteous. Kore half regretted not finishing what he started. He could've made Marr'ad the greatest warrior in the universe.

He never would've consented. He's too good for that, Kore reminded himself with a slight snarl.

He's the reason you're here anyway. He ruined everything for you. He chose not to be the Legend, and he chose to bring it all down. He brought this on himself.

Kore steeled his expression, his eyes cold as he finally answered.

"I'm here to claim what's mine. To get back the life you stole from me. You took everything from me, my whole life—," he tightened his grip on the pistol, shifting forward with a snarl, "—now it's my turn."

He didn't allow himself a moment to think, simply grabbed the pistol up as soon as the sentence was given. He snapped his arm up and fired one shot before Marr'ad could react.

There was a seemingly immeasurable pause between the recoil of the pistol and Marr'ad finally staggering back, slipping back.

Kore lowered the pistol as he heard the other man's body hit the floor and he look down, letting out a breath.

I did it. It's over. I can get my life back.

He stood there, taking deep breaths and repeating that for several seconds before he finally holstered the pistol and looked up. His work wasn't done entirely yet.

He stepped silently into the house and keyed the door shut before kneeling beside Marr'ad's body, glancing at the clean shot between the man's glassy eyes. Kore reaches over and thumbed his eyes closed, then touched Marr'ad's neck for a pulse.

He let out a relieved breath when he felt none and turned to pick up the body, carefully moving it to the couch. He made sure to give the appearance of sleep before moving back to clean up the blood. He ensured that not a trace was left.

Glancing at his watch, he came back to the couch after about ten minutes had transpired, and once more he checked Marr'ad's pulse just as a precaution. The man's skin was cold, though, and already the color had gone from his face, assuring Kore that Marr'ad was dead.

With that assurance, Kore touched Marr'ad's head and healed the wound through, leaving no trace of a shot ever having been fired. He stepped back when he was done to survey his work.

His wife and children will never know. He always had heart troubles. Any medic will make the logical assumption that his heart finally gave in.

Letting out a heavy sight of both relief and regret, Kore turned away. He walked to the front door and stepped outside, then engaged the lock and let the door close on its own. He walked back down the pathway and returned to his speeder, pulling it upright.

Swinging onto it he keyed the ignition and pulled it around in the direction of the city before pulling down his goggles. He dared not look back, but as he leaned forward to hit the throttle, he paused and closed his eyes.

You could've been great kid, but you got in my way. I was too weak to see it before. But now, I can see perfectly clearly. You could've been great, but you were your own downfall.

Kore shook his head some then looked up and pushed off, hitting the throttle as he sped off into the city. His mission was complete. His failures had been forgiven. He could have it all back now. Everything.

A life for a life.

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