Not Broken.

All I waited for
Was a chance to make you understand;
And tell you these forgotten truths you never thought were real,
And if the world should turn its back, you know that I’m still here

Caer pushed her way through the exercises, the still healing muscles groaning in protest, her mind whirled along with her body, each kick, punch and jab sending jolts through her as they connected with the practice dummy.  The sound of her fists or feet hitting the target reverberated through her body and sent a loud cracking sound through the air. Her body slick with sweat, soaking her training top and the shorts she liked to wear.

She had been working out for goddess knew how long. She didn’t stop to watch the chrono as it ticked by. Each punch, each kick was a fraction of a second, but to her time had no meaning. She’d stopped feeling her hands and feet some time ago and in a way it helped numb a few things deep down inside her as well.

So many things had been forced into the light the past week. Since her abduction Caer had come to realize just how bad her brothers addiction had become. Her jaw clenched as she slammed her fist repeatedly into the training dummy forcing it back inches at a time. She didn’t feel the blows connect, she ‘saw’ them connect, sending out ripples along the force.  Her breath came in harsh gasps, each exhalation punctuated by a crack of the fist against the targets surface.

Time won’t ever steal my soul.
We’re not broken, so please come home.

Morning comes, and life moves on,
And when it changed, you didn’t know you belong.
And I’ll still catch you when you fall through a past that steals your sleep,
And scrawl these words upon your wall remind you to believe.

Each blow eased the ache in her heart as she thought about them all. Raiydens addiction to the life stealing spice was probably the worst of it. Her brother, her souls mirror to everything she was. The quiet studious and ever so particular brother of hers who shared not only the womb with her, not only just blood, but their very identities. His life slowly being siphoned away from the mind altering drug.

It had hit her hard  as to how close she’d come to losing her souls mirror. Shattering into a million little pieces to not only save her, but to make himself feel better. He honestly believed he needed the drug to boost his abilities when he matched her nearly ounce for ounce in the force. Just in a different direction. Caer had been talking to Tomuraan, Neirov and Raiyden, sparring with her brother.  It had been in the moment of pure enjoyment it had hit her just how easily she could not be there right then. How easily it could have been that he would be laying cold in a grave, all because of her; because of that damn drug she had turned  a blind eye to.

Caer had known he’d used casually. But it wasn’t until then, until she was there with all of them that it had hit her. How damn close she’d come to losing that moment with him. She’d excused herself to collect emotions and spend time alone, shaken and feeling shocked.  She had spent the better part of an hour alone, collecting her thoughts before returning to find Raiyden had already left for the evening and Neirov and Tomuraan waiting for her on the ship.

I won’t let them break you down
And I won’t hear the empty sounds
I’m hopelessly pretending that I know the answer
Angel’s light and neon fires that burn so cold through your desires
And all you are is all I need to know

There Caer had listened as Neirov pointedly told her and Tom that he was turning himself in for war crimes. For falling into the darkness.  Their conversation ran through her head as she moved back, letting the little combat droid reset itself so she could begin the repetitions again. She jogged in place, her lungs burning which each breath, her chin dripping sweat. The muscles on her stomach were tight as she took on a different stance.

Caer had listened with Tom as he sat next to her, the Mirialan telling Neirov he’d do what he could to help him but he’d need to take accountability for his actions- which Neirov had asked for. He wanted to help fix the messes he’d made. Make reparations. Neirov had left the two alone to speak for a bit before Tom too, went to sleep- but not before Caer and him had spoken about a few things.

Caer knew now. Where she stood with him and while she was not disappointed, she did not hold out much in the way of hope for things between them.

With that in mind and Tom asleep,she’d gotten up, changed into her clothes and had gone to speak with Neirov. The conversation still rang in her head as she began a new set of exercises, this time more on the defensive than offensive, blocking and pushing away the droids attacks.

Time won’t ever steal my soul
We’re not broken, so please come home
And if the world has worn you down
I’ll be waiting, so please come home

“Why Neirov?” Caer had asked.

“The intensity of my study soon became reflecting in my style. I emulated you then I added even more. Driving more aggression into it. To the point where I sacrificed my well being to destroy my opponents. I believe that obsession is where the first domino fell.” His voice was soft, Neirov had been watching her intently with those eyes of his. Those eyes that didn’t’ seem to miss a damn thing. It was something Caer had come to appreciate in him, that hawkish look, always searching for a weakness, observant of everything.

“Why though? Why fall to that temptation?” Caer’s face had a pinched expression, trying to understand.

“I wanted to catch up.” Was the Mirialans simple answer.

“Catch…up?” She frowned.

“It was when I was still a young, masterless padawan. You took me on a simple mission with your brother. The sewer rats. I saw how you worked with your brother. It was unlike anything I had seen. I couldn’t keep up.”

Caer gave a faint smile, she had forgotten all about that mission. It had been a very simple anybody could do mission. “Raiyden and I… we always had eachother.”

“I know. I didn’t though. I saw that connection and I wanted to be a part of it. It was going to be impossible though. You were going for your Knighthood in a few years and I still needed more time. That’s what they tried to tell me at least.”

Caer had argued with him about that.

Then he had spoken the words when discussing the dark side that had struck a chord deep within her. One that had rang through her very being like someone who rang a large bell next to her.

“It’s an addiction, Caer…The dark side doesn’t have to be a direct source acting on you. It can come from within you too.”

“Why didn’t you ask for help?” Caer had gotten to her feet, paced and stared at him through the force, a feeling of emotions swelling through her before she’d gained control over them. Staring at the Mirialan who knelt there, miserably as Caer’s words hit him.

“Shame, embarrassment, self-assurance that nothing was wrong. Please see what it was, Caer. Everything came from that side of me. All emotions let wild by trying to grasp at something I never felt I could have…”

It was then Caer had realized. It was then Caer had realized her own failure. Not only to herself, not only to the Republic, the Jedi Order, or even the Miraluka.

She had failed the two people she had cared about the most. She had left Neirov at the wayside to fall into his own addiction to darkness, to wallow in it and feed off of it like a drug. Worst of all, Caer had allowed her brother to wallow in another addiction of another sort.

When the world is insane
You get used to the pain
And you don’t even know what you feel
And I am like you, all alone and confused
But you know it’s not forever

Her answer that had come from between parted lips had been simple. “We fix this.”

It was then she had found her resolve. Her passion and her drive, she had pointed at him and had drawn herself up to her height in the physical world as well as through the force. She stared down at Neirov and had offered her hand to him. Just as she would when she saw her brother next, offer the other to him.

It was not with hubris she saw herself as their rock. It was simple and generally accepted that she was the cornerstone in which they both drew upon.  She was the warrior, the shield, Neirov was the sword and Raiyden was the gentle touch and reminder that every weapon needed.

The sword had buckled, the shield had cracked and the gentle touch had been twisted away, wounded and broken.

She had lost sight of her truths and what was important for her drive to do what was right for the Republic and for the Order. She had allowed herself to be drawn away with sweet words and promises by people who’d had no intention of keeping them; and she had been tempted by the darkness that had surrounded those people.

She had turned her back on what had mattered most.

Caer hit the droid, her body reaching and exceeding the limits. With a cry she force pushed the combat droid, hitting it hard enough to embed it into the shelf behind it. The droid gave a little whine of protest and was forever silent.  Panting heavily she flexed her fingers and felt the heat emanating off of her in waves, sweat dripping off her chin and nose, the eye covering just as drenched as if she’d been in the shower.

The Miraluka took a few deep breaths and kneeled slowly to the floor. She attuned to herself to the Force; she failed once. She would not do so again.

And I’ll still catch you when you fall through a past that steals your sleep,
And scrawl these words upon your wall remind you to believe.

Time won’t ever steal my soul
We’re not broken, so please come home
And if the world has worn you down
I’ll be waiting, so please come home

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2 comments on “Not Broken.

  1. This. This is what I’m talking about. This is amazing right here. 😀 Very well written! It’s amazing to see how very different this Caer is. She’s not wallowing in self pity…she’s fighting back. ^_^

  2. I have to parrot Raiyden here, you’ve taken what has been an intense several weeks of rp and you’ve connected and driven it into something that promises even more intensity. Your writing is reflecting that, it’s fantastic, this story.

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