Hinar'isti'nalay- Good For the Soul

Ristin leaned back from the durasteel beam he had been cutting. Soot covered his face and arms. He lifted his goggles from his eyes, the skin underneath perfectly clean amidst the grime and grease on the rest of his face. He looked up from his site to the almost completed facility he had helped design with Taryn, and a simple, satisfied smile tugged at his mouth at the site of it.

It had been almost a month since he had landed on Viscara, and what a month it had been. There had been ups and downs, bruises and bloodshed, but the darkest moment had definitely been his involvement with the Republic Convoy attack. Ristin was no stranger to war, his people were a master of it, he had been in combat, seen death before…but this had been different. Through the smoke and haze, the bodies of all those men and women, still twitching from the blaster fire, had seared into his mind. He had not dealt the killing blow, but his hands were no less stained. Fingers could be pointed, excuses could be made, but nothing changed the fact that the convoy was attacked and Ristin had helped. It had been dishonourable, ungentlemanly. And perhaps worst of all, it had been sloppy.

Ristin held no illusions that he could erase or ‘make up’ for that deadly mistake, but nonetheless, it felt good to work with Taryn on this project. Taryn too, Ristin thought, needed this shelter to succeed. He had watched the self taught doctor run around and work with the hired crew to adjust and tweak the placement of every bed, check every linen for cleanliness and made sure every scalpel, scanner and surgical tube was in pristine condition. Nothing was wasted, no corners were cut. Taryn made use of every single scrap he had access to, Ristin admired him for that sense of efficiency.

More and more, it seemed Viscara was becoming their home. The two of them, and Aedross, had designs on finding steady work with one of the corporations, or perhaps going on some grand expedition for lost treasure on a mysterious planet. Instead, they had landed on this mudball and found friends, rivals, enemies and even lovers. And now they had the chance to forge a brighter destiny, and this hospital was a good first step.


Ristin returned to his lab, flicking on the lights with a wave of his hand. He felt sore and tired, rubbing the back of his neck as he moved to his workstations. He sighed heavily as he neatly changed out of his traveling armor and into his worksuit. He pulled on each glove and affixed his goggles over his eyes, then sat at his bench. Lady Althea had ordered some things for her new temple, simple honest work was relaxing.

He pressed some buttons on a comm unit and some of his worker droids brought in heavy slabs of stone and loaded them onto the bench. He took a measuring tool and started to mark the design on the slab, shaping it to Althea’s given specifications. The stone was of good quality and uniform color, all that was needed was to remove the unneeded bits. The true potential would be be revealed once the excess that held it back was cut away. Ristin had more then enough skill to do, he just needed to be careful where he started his first cut. He needed to be patient and precise, take his time…then everything would fall neatly into place.

Ristin got to work.


Ristin looked at the circuit board in his hand. He had lovingly crafted it himself, every bit of silicon, every fiberoptic connection, every microprocessing chip hand cut to Chissian perfection. Now, it was diseased trash. He threw it over his shoulder to the growing pile of ripped out ship components.


Ristin pulled his welding mask back over his eyes and again raised his burning blue-hot torch and started cutting into the next panel of his corrupted child. The Houndstooth had been his great masterpiece. So much of it was unearthed from Viscara by hand, animals parts, scrap metal and whatever other materials he could scrounge and cobble together and make into working hulls, blasters and navigational arrays. And he had succeeded. Houndstooth had promised freedom, a way off Viscara and onto greater things. But then, the ship became something else. It had become a home, a symbol, and a ticket to even greater adventures and pleasures then he could have dreamed of. He, Taryn and Aedross had conquered dangers together, laughed and drank themselves silly as the credits rolled in. This ship had dulled the hurt he felt every day, and mere hours ago, it had tried to murder him and Taryn.

Ristin cut out more cables and insulating plate, adding them to the pile, then moved to go to the engine room, jumping over pock marked holes in the floor, ducking under dangling light fixtures. He went into the engines and started the process to dump all the fuel, and completely dismantle the hyperdrive.

The Red Eagles had poisoned his child, turned it against him and Taryn. Ristin was no slicer, and there was no way he could be sure what dangers the thrice cursed bastard John Smith had lain in the operating systems. Every system could have some waiting code to strike out again, and one false jump or operational miscalculation could mean everyone aboard would die. Ristin could not take that chance. He would rebuild the Houndstooth, bit by bit, board by board, system by system. His child would die, but live again. And when he was finished, she would be stronger then ever. He would not lose anyone again.


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