Hate is like a ghost.

I’ve lost a war
I’ve lost a fight
I’ve killed a man
Wasted a life

 

Caer sat, listening to the hum of machinery around her and the even duller hum of humanoid voices speaking hundreds of different languages at once, beeping counterpointing a sigh or a soft groan of pain.  The shuffle of soldiers feet or the clacking of armor seemed like distant noise; the kind of sounds that one was so accustomed to that it didn’t register beyond the fact they were not threatening sounds.

She was withdrawn from it all, as if she was a passenger watching people at a star port. They weren’t important to her, their names meant nothing to her; at least not at the moment. Maybe later they would- and maybe later she still wouldn’t let herself feel anything beyond the necessary to function.  Her fingers curled loosely around the borrowed light saber, Xaishens, she recalled dimly as she felt the odd weight of it. But it felt comfortable there for the time being. She felt in  control of at least that since everything else had felt so wildly out of her control for the past couple days.

Alderaan was where this whole mess had begun and right now she hated this planet more than she probably hated Voss and Taris combined.  Resting her head on the back of the fold out chair she played those last few moments in her head over and over, on an eternal loop.

Her fight with the Sith known as Celash, the supposed person responsible for trying to destroy Kheniaths family- the man who had been her best friend, still was her best friend despite the fact he’d ignored a direct order. She would have defied orders to save her family too. Goddess knew that she had watched her family crumble around her tonight.

The woman Scilla had initiated the count down, or so Caer recalled. She had been too busy fighting the other Sith to really pay attention to anything other than Raiyden being attacked with Force lightning and Dyme trying to slice into the panel to keep everyone from dying. She dimly recalled Lyrae’a helping her with the male, both of them attacking him as a single unit, fighting in almost perfect tandem.

The goddamn Sith, the thrice damned Syndicate. She didn’t understand it all and that stirred the rage that felt trapped beneath her breast. She seethed with rage as she recalled watching the Sith die. The pleasure she took in seeing his body sever at her strike and at Shayla- Artens cat, rend the man to ribbons.  Hearing Dymes voice telling them that they had to leave before the complex exploded and watching on the holofeed as Alistere, the Miraluka she didn’t trust but she knew Lyrae’a loved bowed his head and accepted his fate to die with the facility.

She couldn’t get the look of Lyrae’as face out of her memory. It was ingrained into her mind as if it’d been branded there.  Caer could nearly see through the Force as Lyrae’a s world shattered around her, the twin sabers dropping from the womans hands as the man she loved accepted his death so readily. Caer could still hear the sound of those weapons hitting the floor with the finality of hells gates slamming such on her sisters life. It sounded far louder than the klaxon of wailing alarms and warnings that the place they were standing in was about to explode with them inside of it, far louder than Dymes warning to move.  Knocking her sister out, she had carried the unconscious woman as Dyme carried Raiyden out and into a ship that carried them to safety.

They all had escaped with only minor cuts and bruises, Alistere sacrificing himself to save not only the troops who helped them, but Kheniaths family and Caers crew.

Take my world and fold me in
Free the soul behind the sin
The endless dark will be the death of my senses

Take my heart and hold it in
Kill the beast under my skin
The endless dark will be the death of my senses

Caer rubbed her face and let her hand slip to her brothers arm gripping it gently, feeling the need to center herself and drawing on his strength and sense of calmness and inner peace. While his heart ached, he still kept to his inner balance and she felt strengthened by that. She looked to her unconscious sister and felt a pang of hurt for her.

Clenching her jaw, she quickly sealed away those emotions just as he had earlier with Arten and the others. Being the leader that she knew they needed. It had been hard hearing Arten say she was like a mother to him and for the briefest of moments she had wanted to break down there and tell him she wasn’t worthy of that.  She felt she wasn’t, a good mother didn’t put their family in situations like that and expect them to be okay. It had nearly broken her as he asked if she’d wanted a hug, and the embrace of his arms around her nearly melting her resolve.

The only thing she wanted was to shut off. To not feel anything. To be the shield that she always felt she was and protect the others from the pain and the hurt and anger. She wanted to pull all of that from Lyrae’a, Arten, Dyme, and Raiyden and pull it into herself and lock it away.

Instead she bowed her head and whispered, “Ashla, I need your light.”

She would mourn in the arms of her faith. Tomorrow she would be there for her crew as their leader and as a sister to her family.

 

Hate is like a ghost
That lives inside of me, I plead
For you to be my guide
To be the feeder of my need

Open my eyes, let me see you
And blow this blinding darkness away
Open my eyes
Give me a sign

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Don’t let the Dark into me.

Darkened hallways stretched out before her, the guttering light in the archaic sconces flickered giving the halls a chaotic and strobe light effect. Her feet stepped lightly over the dust covered floor yet when she looked behind her, no trace of a foot fall could be found. The walls hung thick with moss and lichen and in the distance the echoing drip, drip drip of water could be heard. Her body shivered at the cold that wasn’t entirely natural curled around her body like the fog that seemed to wend its way through the halls.

One foot before the other and she passed doorway after door way, each one closed to her, hiding whatever lay behind them. Some part of her recoiled as if knowing what each room held. Some part of her mind telling her not to open those doors. Never, ever open those doors. They would let out secrets that were best left locked away.

The lights flickered, the woman paused. The only sound she could hear was her breathing and the steadily rising pounding of her heart beat counter pointed by the continual dripping of water in the distance.  Her fingers stretched out before her, as if reaching towards that sound as if her very hand would guide her to where she needed to go.  Her lips dry, she spoke with a watery voice names that were unfamiliar to her. “Arshal? Rollun? Tooru?”

The lights went out, plunging the world into total darkness yet this did not seem to deter the woman as she stood in the central area where the hall split off into four different directions.  Each direction holding more doors, more mysteries and more secrets. Swallowing back fear, she pressed onward and down a hall where the dripping sound seemed to be emanating from. Hopeful that somebody, anybody would be down there she followed the sounds and the hope that spurred her on.

There! A spark of life, this was the furthest she’d been since she began this journey. No wait… was it a journey? She couldn’t remember… all she recalled was that everything seemed like it’d always been this way. Somehow she’d never been able to find the door, she’d never been able to see any light, certainly not any natural light.

How long had she fumbled in this darkness?

Her feet faltered and she stood there, staring at them dully;  suddenly painfully aware just how tired and hungry she was. Suddenly it crashed down on her that she was so very very tired and sore and heart sick.  Her head bowed and she touched her chest with her chin, a thin trail of a sigh escaping her lips as she stood there, taking stock of all she understood. It wasn’t much.

The door suddenly seemed there, before her, looming and welcoming at the same time. The carvings around the frame of the door seemed to scream both a welcome and a warning at the same time.  In her mind it was as if one hand was beckoning her forward while yet another seemed to warn her away, telling her to stop come no further.

Whispers promised her sleep, all encompassing sleep. “Come child, rest. It’s what you seek is it not?”

Yes… she was so very very tired.

“Then step inside.”

The girl did and she screamed.

I’ve been waiting here
Waiting for faith
And the word to fall.
Now the darkness comes
And Ill pray for
The end of us all.

Caer jerked away, fighting with the covers of the plush bed comforter that felt like was threatening to drown her. She gave a keening scream as she fought back the urge to fling herself to the floor and roll into a battle stance. The only reason she hadn’t was the damn comforter had tangled her up. Gasping for air, she used the sight of the Force to take stock of her surroundings.

“Alderaan. I’m on Alderaan. I’m in the Trinset house that belongs to Kheniaths family. I’m okay. I’m okay…” She panted and shakily slid down off the bed and onto the cold floor wrapping her arms around her chest and resting her head on her knees as she wedged herself into a corner. Taking a shuddering breath, she tried to push the nightmare away not wanting to think about it for the time being. It was still too dark for her to think about that dream; still too late in the night when everything from nightmares still felt like they could manifest into reality.

Inhaling deeply she lifted her head and forced herself to calm down and draw upon the faith that kept her strong. Falling into meditations she allowed herself to be comforted at the thought that the sun would rise soon.

 

It’s Time.

<Personal Data entry of Caer Estherian>

It’s not often I think of myself. When it comes to my own comforts or needs or wants. My crew has always come first and until such a time I’m relieved of command or something prevents me from commanding my crew I will always think of them first. What they need or want always comes before my personal needs and wants, I suppose that’s one of the few things the Jedi order taught me. Self sacrifice is something we’re taught from the time we are placed under the care of the Order; I have never minded it and it’s something I think I would have done even if I had never been taught the importance of protecting others and how important it is.

Right now my brother sorely needs balance and peace restored to his soul. Our uncle Xaven (not to be confused with Xaishen) is with him now trying to create a balance that he lost. It pains me to no end to see him so confused and hurt not having an idea of where to turn or what might be happening next. His entire life has always been about balance and internal peace. The frustrating thing about this whole thing is the keen and painful thought that I am completely helpless to ease the hurts not only physical but mentally the arena of healing is so beyond my scope of comprehension I may as well be a child among warriors. It’s difficult for me at best to see my brother struggle through even daily exercises or to be around other people is a chore for him.

I confess, words regularly fail me but in this regard, words fail me all together when it comes to how to talk to my brother. I have no idea what to say or how to react and part of me worries if I have excaberated it somehow. If perhaps something I could have said or done would have helped him so that he wasn’t as he is now.  I keep replaying the disappearance of him and Xaishen in my mind and some part of me saw the warning signs but I ignored them. For that the fault lies within myself and that was my own failing as a leader to ignore every single one.

I can’t make an excuse for that. I’ll put this right one way or another.

The trip to Onderon was a good one, it was good for my students and Toms to be out and about and get some training. I enjoyed the time we had there and it was nice to be out among the wilderness with just a group again, running training exercises. Lucien did an amazing job with Toms padawans an I was surprised that Celeste and Aimee did as well as they did because both of them have never been good with people let alone children. I admit, I was saddened to hear that both are opting out of the Seeker program and moving onto other things; both finding out that during their time on Onderon that they sought a path that wasn’t suited for them.

I wish them well and I wrote them both recommendations for their chosen desires.  Lucien remains and I am content to let him remain. He’s a great student and I find us having a bit in common. He comes from a large family and I know that he has taught me how to have a better understanding of how larger families work; I never realized just how much work is involved in understanding them and raising them. He raised several of his siblings and the stories he told me while on guard further served only to stab my maternal instincts in the face. Lucien though is a good man, he’s got a solid head on his shoulders and I think if the rest of the crew knew what he was truly capable of, they might not trust him.

But I do trust him and I trust him to remain loyal to the crew.  He’s taken an interest in Ayliah and after hearing about her attempt to create a saber with Artens help, I went ahead and told him it was alright if everything was cleared through Raiyden. I know that he can teach Ayliah to do things that will be safe but also allow her to survive should she ever need to protect herself.

We’re on our way to Tython now, I should be getting ready to land, but once we do I know that we’ll have to deal with the decision of whether Tomuraan stays with the Order or he parts ways and comes with us. I just hope that the decision he makes, whatever it is, will be for the good for his mind and spirit. I will stand by his decision no matter what, even if it means waiting for him to live his dream as a Jedi; or I will follow him as he walks out of the Council chambers one last time.

The force will guide him. I know this.

 

So this is what you meant
When you said that you were spent
And now it’s time to build from the bottom of the pit
Right to the top
Don’t hold back
Packing my bags and giving the academy a rain check

I don’t ever wanna let you down
I don’t ever wanna leave this town
‘Cause after all
This city never sleeps at night

It’s time to begin, isn’t it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I’ll admit
I’m just the same as I was
Now don’t you understand
That I’m never changing who I am

-It’s Time (Imagine Dragons)