The Collar

Posted: March 4, 2012 by writingsprint in Science fiction, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

This is a short slice of fan fiction based on recent events in the game Star Wars: The Old Republic that I’ve been playing. Spoilers ahead: my character has been given the mission to put a shock collar on a rebellious noble, a torture device that will electrocute the wearer if the user pushes a button. I’m role-playing my character to be good, just not nice, so he’s not happy about this assignment.

I made a subtle shout-out Babylon 5 with the reference to Narn.

Cartog set up his room in the Thul palace, swept for bugs, swept again using his own procedure and found nothing. The room was clean. He tossed the control collar down and flopped into the nearest chair.

“I’ve never seen you like this, agent,” Kaliyo said. “You look like that collar’s burning a hole in your stomach.”

“It is.” He held it up, and waved it at her. “The moment you put one of these on someone else… is the day they put it on you.” He dropped it on the table again.
She picked it up. Just a stupid control collar, like the ones they used on Narn. She’d never had to wear one, but she’s seen people use them. She’s even killed someone who’d used one one too many times on Hutta. He’d liked using it too much and was killing the slaves. “What’s that supposed to mean? These are used all over the galaxy.”

“Not by me.”

“Oh, you’re kidding—”

“That’s not what I mean!” he snapped. “I’ll get tough with somebody. I’ll put a gun in their face, blow up their shit, threaten their families, blackmail the hell out of them.” Kaliyo ticked each one off in her head. She had to admit, she’d seen him do each one. “I won’t treat someone like an animal. If they’ve got it coming I’ll just put them down and get it over with.

“And if they know you’ll do it to someone else… mark my words. They know you’re an animal just like the man you put it on. They’ve got you on the leash.”
Now she understood. Kaliyo had been on the leash back on Hutta, before she’d killed and kissed and fought her way to the top of Junro’s gang. She wouldn’t let someone treat her that way again. She gestured at the collar with her chin.

“So what are you going to do with it?”

“Nothing. It stays in my pocket. I’m going to meet with Hyllus and work on breaking up the terror cell on Alderaan. I walk through the space port two minutes sooner, I’m in the field and the Moff and I haven’t had our pleasant little conversation about his politics. This is his problem. Not ours.”

Ours, not his. Cartog was checking who his friends were. “I won’t burn for you on this one, chief,” she said plainly. He deserved that much. “I’m behind you, though. A word of advice: I met a guy like the Moff when I was working for Junro. He was a Mandalorian smuggler, name of Lothar. He was cold.” She shivered remembering it. “Really cold. Like he could be your friend and ice your children in front of you in a five minute switch, and he wouldn’t feel any different about either one.” Cartog kept looking at her, waiting for the shoe to drop. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this one. You’re messing with a bad man. Even by our standards. He gets wise that you’re defying him, and he’s going to make you suffer for it.”

Cartog sighed, hard. “I know.” He stood up. One hand rested his blaster; the other rested on his knife. Kaliyo smirked. He’d never done that before. His two best friends, she thought wryly. “Let’s go see the bug man,” he said.


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