I am sinking.

Caer sat on a beach, watching the waves roll towards her bared feet and legs and then back out into the vastness of the ocean that spread before her. She was wrapped in only the simplest of summer dresses. The sun seemed to be just the right temperature, the wind blew just right.  She wanted to say that she was on Glee Anselm but it wasn’t right… something was off. 

Her brows furrowed as she folded one ankle over the other. She had to get back to something though. Something important. The kind of important that one didn’t so easily forget. But what was it?

Give me release
witness me
I am outside
give me peace

“Maybe it’s not so important.” A male voice spoke up next to her and Caer couldn’t help but jump. A man with tanned skin, black hair and a beard smiled and motioned for her to remain seated. “Excuse the intrusion.”

Caer nodded warily and scooted over a little to put a bit of distance between them. The man looked amused and chuckled. “Are you always so untrusting?”

“I’ve got cause to be… people don’t usually show up randomly on other peoples beaches and start talking to them like they know each other. Who are you anyway?” Caer tried to place the mans face, the aura and couldn’t. 

“Well, you can call me Nago. I heard your question and felt I should come and speak with you.” Nago gave a small dip of his head. “Do you really think that what you wish to do is terribly important?”

Caer gave him an odd look. “you have no idea what I think is important or not. You don’t even know me or what I do.” 

“Alright then, tell me what you do.” He gave a genial smile and gestured to Caer to go on. He got comfortable and seemed to not mind that Caer was still wary of him. 

“I help others. Least I thought I did, or I was; but too many people got hurt under my watch. Now I’m here.” Caer gestured vaguely to the area around them. “I was helping some people I cared about and now… now I think I’m in purgatory for letting them down.”

“Maybe you are. What was so important about a bunch of women who sold their bodies for sex that you would die for them?” Nago turned his gaze from the ocean to her. “Importantly why would you willingly work for a man who for all intents and purposes makes money from these women? A Sith no less?”

Caer pursed her lips and looked to the man. “Look, I don’t know who or what you think you are, but those women have every right to be protected and to live as much as you or I. These women do the things they do because they want to, not because they have to. And do you honestly think anyone else is going to help them? If they went to some Hutt they’d be laughed out of their strongholds.”

“You could be doing more important work. Helping save the galaxy or helping protect Senate members.” Nago gestured to her. “You’re strong, have a lot of experience and you’re respected among the Luka Sene.”

“You know who call themselves heroes? Egomaniac white-knight wannabes. That’s who. People who delude themselves into thinking that they are so well known, so well liked and so well regarded that they basically storm in and all but use ‘i’m here to free the shit out of you’ as their battle cry.” Caer snorted and picked up a pebble, tossing it into the water. “They’re the type of people who are so concerned about justifying their own causes that they can’t accept the idea that some people don’t want help or saved.”. 

Heaven holds a sense of wonder
and I wanted to believe
that I’d get caught up
when the rage in me subsides

“Rather vehement statement from someone who is so devoted to balance.” Nago chuckled as he too picked up small rocks and flung them into the water. 

“It’s not a matter of balance. The light can be just as damning and damaging as the dark. Any good student of Ashla and Bogan understand this. Anybody who understands balance knows this. The light side can be just as oppressing as the dark side. Rules, regulations, requirements, laws on top of laws all for the safety and integrity of society. These things can crush the will and hope of those who live in the land of the ‘free’ as much as anyone who lives under the law of tyranny and hate. How can anyone want to live in either world?” Caer rubbed the bridge of her nose and scooped up a handful of sand, watching it slide between her fingers. 

“Many do not understand the difference. Do you think people are happy to live under tyranny and hate?” Nago watched her approvingly. “You have to keep in mind that these people may have known something different before tyranny and hate came into their lives.”

“Who knows? We’d have to ask them. Some people thrive on fear. Some break under it. Just like some thrive on laws and rules and regulations while others chafe and buck at the system put in place to protect them. There’s always extremes as well.” Caer kept her face directed towards the ocean. She found the constant rolling of the waves soothing. 

In this white wave
I am sinking
in this silence
in this white wave
in this silence
I believe

“And that is why you choose to live on a lawless planet with a man who sells women for sex and drugs? Because that is balance?” Nago continued to watch the young woman sitting next to him. 

“No. I don’t care about the sex or the drugs or that people are making money off of either. That doesn’t interest me.” Caer spoke resolutely. 

“Then what is it? Why is it so important to you?” 

Caer took a deep breath and then faced the man fully, shifting to rest on her knees and fold her hands in her lap. “Because I have to. There is nothing out there in that galaxy that I need or want to do other than protect those who can’t help themselves. Who’s voices are too small, who’s bodies are too hidden in shadows for anyone to take notice of them. Because I know damn well any so called hero I know? Wouldn’t blink twice and just continue to walk on by if any random whore on the street begged them to stop the killings. Those girls? They don’t deserve that. Five of them are dead because of me. Five. They died in terror and pain. Nobody would hear them cry.” 

Caer fell silent after a moment. Taking a shaky breath. “But I do. Every night I go to sleep. Every night since the first, I hear them crying and pleading for their lives.”

Passion chokes the flower
’til she cries no more
possessing all the beauty
hungry still for more

Nago turned his face away from her and watched the sun slowly sink into the ocean, the sky blowing up into brilliant, pinks, purples and greys. “A noble cause.” 

“No. It’s not a noble cause. It’s called being a decent sentient being. Something the Jedi order forgets. Something that many heroes forget. Something the Senate and other people all the galaxy over forget. Too busy preening their egos, fluffing each others egos… impressing the people with the money and the prestige.” Caer looked down at her hands and seemed to just be suddenly tired with her rant to the strange man.

“You have a low opinion of your fellow men and women. It seems to be you’ve let bitterness into your heart and into your mind, letting it poison your thoughts and outlook on life. I feel sorry for you. But I do not pity you. Just that I am sorry you cannot see the more positive things in people and what they strive to do.” Nago got to his feet and brushed sand off of his legs. Staring down at Caer he gave her a sad smile.

Caer got to her feet as well and regarded him with a somewhat aloof expression. “Maybe it’s because I guess it’s hard to see the good when you have to wade through so much crap. Even the most perseverance of people will eventually give up looking for the lost wedding ring they treasure when they’re neck deep in the village outhouse.”

Nago regarded her with a look then threw back his head and laughed. “Interesting analogy, Caer. I’ll have to use that some time. Perhaps we will meet again.”

Caer said nothing as Nago turned and walked away. His form becoming enshrouded in fog until he disappeared entirely. Only then did she sit back down and rest her chin on her knees, wrapping her arms around her legs.

This was such a strange place to her. Now if only she could remember why she was there.

In this white wave
I am sinking
in this silence
in this white wave
in this silence
I believe

I have seen you
in this white wave
you are silent
you are breathing
in this white wave
I am free. 

 

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