Catch me my wings have broken.

Caer shivered as if cold, yet the sunburned skin feeling like it was on fire. The salve that someone had placed on her body helped, but even still, it was agonizing to lay in one position for so long. The skin felt tight, and touching it was enough to make her gasp.  She couldn’t see her own body, but she knew that blisters had formed on her face and arms, the areas where the skin had been exposed dotted with white water blisters. She could feel where a few had broken, trickling along the heat kissed skin.

Someone had come in and cleaned her up, she had recalled that much. It might have been Nia, the only woman on the ship other than herself. They had taken her out of the outfit she’d been found in and replaced it with a light wrap over the modest bits of hers. Whoever had done it had been careful and mindful of her injuries and her modesty. That was something she appreciated.

Thinking back on it, Caer realized it had to have been Nia, she vaguely remembered a soft voice with that accent telling her to try and lift her arms, felt the cool cloth on her skin, the Zabrak woman exhibiting a gentleness Caer would likely not have suspected her of.  The woman had taken care of the mess that had been left behind, the days of grime and nastiness that came naturally. It had embarrassed Caer on some level to know someone had to see her like that. She felt unclean and sickened by it, but even still the sedation drugs coursing through her veins had prevented that emotion from surfacing.

Caer was grateful to Niatara and she had tried to verbalize it, but the woman had silenced her, told her to hush that she could talk later before she’d lain the woman back down in clean clothes and pulled a very light sheet over the Miralukas slender form. Caer had fallen back into the oblivion of her mind to sleep a healing sleep.

Caer couldn’t see, she had tried to touch on the force that had been born with her. It felt raw and wounded, retreating from her like an wounded animal that blamed her for its injuries.  She grasped for it, but the more she grasped the more it felt like it withdrew from her. The frustration she felt at that mounted and she eventually gave up on it, opting to come back later and try to figure out what was wrong.

She felt her brother still asleep next to her; his breathing a bit ragged but at least he was breathing. That was more than she’d hoped for when she’d woken up. It terrified her to realize that she could have woken to her brother dead from the spice and trauma of withdrawal.  Not to mention the stress and exhaustion of the lengths he went through to find his sister- to find her.  Caers heart ached at the thought of the torment she had put her family and friends through, that if  she had possessed the ability to cry, she would have wept at the thought of hurting them like she had.

Even Tomuraan who didn’t have to be there, had and still was. Some part of him anyways. He had delved deep into her mind and he had stayed with her inside that little place she had not allowed anyone but her brother to go. She saw him as he was and he saw her as she viewed herself and he’d been there for her. He spoke to her, soothed her anxiety and held her as she tried to grapple with what had happened.  He spoke with her for hours, endless hours inside her mind, his arms wrapped around her form and he’d comforted her. Assured her and gave her whatever she needed to cope. He distracted her from the physical and mental pain and when she had her momentary set backs of fear and doubt- she still had trouble convincing herself that they were real at times- he patiently waited for her to come back to herself and pardoned her when she apologized.  He was so patient it almost unnerved her, but at the same time she reveled in it; the steadfastness of the Mirialan was exactly what she needed to help her with her focus.

All these things combined helped her in deep healing ways. Even now, she felt Toms presence in her mind, even while he was off the ship doing other things. It reassured her and the link between them made her feel okay in some way, as if she had the opportunity to feel like an outside world did exist.

She heard a rustle of cloth and realized that it was Neirov. Caer felt another sort of reassurance in knowing that Neirov was there watching over her, being her eyes so to speak while she was blinded in every sense of the word. She could seek comfort and relief in knowing that he was there as well, the ever watchful Mirialan and friend to her for many years. She worried he blamed himself for what happened to her.

Caer would speak with him later, assure him this was not his fault. She knew he would want to go and seek the one who did this to her. To seek out this Darth Tormentia.

A darker side of Caer stirred, the one that she kept away, the part of her she refused to acknowledge. It stirred sluggishly and seemed to taste the emotions that threatened to rear it’s own head. The thought of that woman getting away with what she’d done to Caer- no. What hell she’d put her friends through angered Caer.

Revenge is not the Jedi way.

(You’re not a Jedi anymore.)

But I still follow so many of those beliefs.

(No, you follow the fear of what will happen if you stop following those beliefs. Man up.)

It’s not right.

(Neither was what was done to you- done to them.)

Caer turned away from those dark thoughts. She would do this her way. Darth Tormentia would pay for what she did, but it’d be done the right way.

(Keep telling yourself that…)

Caer fell into a restless sleep.

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Where is the edge- Where is the light- Part 3.

Where is the edge
Of your darkest emotions?
Why does it all survive?
Where is the light
Of your deepest devotions?
I pray that it’s still alive.

You can’t stop yourself
Don’t want to feel
Don’t want to see what you’ve become.

You can’t walk away
From who you are
Never give in.

Where is the edge
Of your darkest emotions?
Why does it all survive?
Where is the light
Of your deepest devotions?
I pray that it’s still alive.

The desert suns baked her skin, making it feel dried and like a husk that was about to blow away in the non-existant wind. She couldn’t remember how she got there or who had placed her in the sand to fend for herself. She had been given only minimal water, no saber to protect herself and she was blind.

Literally blind. The repeated abuse had disrupted the force sight she relied so heavily upon.  She prayed that it would return to her eventually- if she survived this ordeal. The heat was unbearable, and she wore only the minimal of clothing, a simple leg wrap and some type of top that she’d been dressed in. All her armor, her saber, everything she’d had on her at the time of her abduction- all gone.

Days, she had been gone days a week nearly and she could barely recall any of it. No, that was a lie. (Peace is a lie) – no.  That was what she had been told to believe.  The Darth had messed with her mind in numerous ways, Caer couldn’t even recall all the things she’d been told or led to believe. The woman had done her job of breaking down Caer’s defenses, confusing her, convincing her of things that would or would not happen. Hallucinations, ideas, emotions that weren’t hers. They tormented her more than the shock collar ever could.

The Darth had dredged up memories within the Miraluka that she had tried hard to forget. Things she’d done in her past that she was not proud of.  Things she’d done to get a job done or on orders of the Council.  This had gone on for days. Intermittent depending on the womans mood or her boredom level.

Then one day it’d stopped. Caer’s belly was the only sound in that room, the demand for food and water making her dry mouth water.  Nothing came or went into the room for hours, the Miraluka falling in and out of consciousness. She hadn’t heard the door open or the sound of her cuffs being released.  Caer had been utterly unaware of someone releasing her, leaving her to be found.

No, she had woken up, blind and laying in the sand. The heat of the suns beating down on her like angry fists. Her skin had quickly turned a livid red color, the canteen of water that had been left behind for her had been quickly drained.

She slept. It was dangerous to sleep in the Tatooine desert, but her body and mind demanded it.

It was how the group of rescuers had found her. Face down in the sand under the ribs of a giant beasts bones near the Sarlaac pit did the group find her.  Neirov and Raiyden had been the first ones to her, with Tomuraan a close second behind and Amaare.  Caer had been unaware of the fact that a Sith Lord being held by the leash of someone she wasn’t sure she trusted had come in last with another Imperial.

Caer had not known Kyic and Nia had shown up. It had been a good thing perhaps if she’d not known that until she’d been taken to a safer and more controlled location.  Caer knew she would not have approved of Kyic being there, would not have approved of Nia being there either.

But they were there, Raiyden had nearly over dosed himself on spice trying to boost his abilities to finding her. Neirov had been there at both their sides. Supporting them, watching over them as they were both taken to the local medical center where Hudgaar had done his best to keep them both alive, giving them the things they needed to survive. Amaare had been emotional support.

But even then Tomuraan had proven to be far more supportive in the emotional aspect than Caer had even now thought she’d been prepared for. He had gone into her mind, had sought permission to enter into that sanctuary that was up until then, been only for her brother to enter and he had helped her understand the fact from the fiction. He had done his best to help her understand that the things she heard and the sensations she experienced- the kindness, the help and the positive thoughts that were sent her way were genuine.

These people cared about her. He cared about her.

Never in her life had she experienced such a thing by sharing her thoughts, her inner most thoughts…her soul self with anyone but Raiyden. To be steeped in the force with another living being? It was something she would likely spend the next few days trying to understand as she and her brother recuperated.

Which even now as she lay in her bed, Caer tried to figure out though, what Kyics and Niatara’s angle had been in the rescue. What was it they wanted? Caer badly wanted to believe that Nia had gone on some sort of good faith act and not some ulterior motive. But if what she’d heard been true, why would Kyic have been there? And the other Imperial?  What stake did they have ensuring her survival? Kyic would never have agreed to go on such a thing unless he was compensated in some fashion. No. That wasn’t even true. He wouldn’t have gone at all unless it was to be rid of her himself.  It didn’t make sense.

Nia she quietly puzzled over. The woman was on her ship, she heard that much from Neirov.  But why? What was it she gained? Again a piece that made no sense. Caer recalled their last meeting; it had been cruel on Caer’s part and even now she couldn’t figure out what had possessed her to be so vicious to the woman.    Caer recalling the last moments she saw Nia before her abduction filled her with mixed feelings. Some part of her wanted to believe her gut instinct that Nia wasn’t involved, some part of her wanted to believe that she was trying to be a friend. But that tiny voice in her head, the years of training told her no. That the aura that she saw that night was a glimpse of the truth. A deep dark truth that Caer should leave alone. The kind of truth that should be left alone, sever the ties and walk away while she had a chance.

It didn’t matter. She was grateful to them all for their own risk. Their own personal sacrifices and it would reflect upon them in her opinion for some time to come. She owed the people on her ship her life.

She heard Neirov shifting on his mat on the floor and felt uncertain. She cared for him, she had cared for him since they were young. It was with mixed feelings she thought on him, the emotions so complicated that she felt her frustrations and anxiety rise as she did.

No, Caer would not think on Neirov. Not right now. It was too much to think about and one of the weapons the devilish woman had used against her. Caer’s own downfall had been uttering Neirovs name in the womans presence. He cheeks flushed with shame at that and she would die before she would ever speak of what she had spoken of.  Pain and manipulation could make even the most sealed lips part with the right  amount of time and patience.

Raiydens arm tightened around her and she gave a little stifled grunt of pain as he clung to his sister.

Raiyden. Her sole reason for existing. It was because of him that she was alive at great personal sacrifice to himself. He had thrown it all away to save her and for that she felt a mixture of both immense shame and pride. Shame for herself, pride for her brother.  The spice he had consumed could have killed him; the quality of it had been only of the best, but he had done it to find her.  She would forgive him for it. Of course she would… she also knew that he would have a deeper addiction- but that was something to dwell on at a later time. When wounds had healed, scars had settled and life progressed.  Her good hand reached out for his and they clasped together, her smaller hand fitting perfectly in his.

Tomuraan rested on the other side of her, the man in deep meditation on the bed next to her. He had promised he wouldn’t leave her. He had kept his promise and Caer kept the faith that he would keep the promise. The Mirialan had been honest with her since they’d first met.

Caer felt the exhaustion grip her again and she yawned, her head drooping against the pillow. The steady breathing of all her guardians around her made her feel secure, safe and at peace.

She would have to wait and see what the future brought her. It would either bring her renewed friendships, new relationships and a stronger bond with her brother; or it would bring about a new enemy. She thought about that and decided to deal with it later. Much like she would deal with the news Sethias had delivered, of another being who sought her death.  When Caer had asked her companions why people wanted to kill her, wanted to hurt her, they said she stood for things that most people hated.  Neirov had said hope, Nia had said change and Tomuraan had brought up the end with compassion.

The three things Caer had always thought was normal, and even as her mind fell into that deep and hopefully dreamless slumber, Caer wondered if she had any fight left in her.

Where is the edge? -Torment – Part2

Caer gasped, bloody spittle flying form her lips as she felt consciousness return to her. The woman jerked her head upwards and tried to open her senses to the area around her. She couldn’t. Momentary panic gripped her as she fought to figure out just what had happened. The fluttering in her stomach that threatened to turn into claws to climb up her throat hovered there and it took sheer will not to scream.

Don’t panic, she told herself; stay calm and figure this out. Try to remember the last thing that happened and proceed from there.  

                The Diner, Caer could recall eating at the diner after a night of paperwork she had cake and wine, she could remember that much. She spoke with a man… yes, Caer remembered now. She had spoken with a man about a trip off Voss. Caer could remember that he had smelled sweet like some sort of fruit or… or candy. Yes, that’s right; she recalled he smelled like candy. Shaking her head she gave a grunt as her ears rang and bile rose up in her throat, threatening to make her vomit. It was a concussion and Caer knew that she was possibly in a very bad position.

Thinking of, she noticed that her hands were shackled to either side of her, her fingers and hands numb from being forced into one position for long. Her upper arms shuddered under the strain of being held in one place. Caer felt the bindings around her ankles, noting that someone had taken her armor and left her only clad in the mesh suit that was standard for the type of armor she wore Sweat dripped off her face as she struggled to remain conscious and sort things out.

Okay, I’m unable to see where I’m at, Caer thought to herself, trying to go through this logically. I am captured, but by who? It doesn’t matter. Let’s figure out what to do. I’m on a table, feels like possibly a ship or something similar. I’m stuck on a table, likely an interrogation table.

                The sound of footsteps drew her attention and she waited in the darkened room to find out who entered. Was it someone she knew or was this some new entity?  She would find out in a moment. Caer didn’t even hear the door open, but suddenly there was a voice coming from the darkness.

“Are you not enjoying your accommodations, Master Jedi, or may I call you Caer?” The voice  spoke from the darkness, it wasn’t from an intercom or any sort of device. It was there in the darkness.

Caer lifted her head and scowled, or at least she hoped it was a scowl, wincing a bit at the pain in her face. She didn’t recognize the voice and swallowed a bit, saying, “I’ve had better.”

The jolt of the shock collar around her neck surprised her, causing her to gasp loudly and twitch, writing on the interrogation table uncontrollably, grateful when the woman ceased pressing on the mechanism that controlled the shock. Caer slumped against the table and breathed heavily as she fought the urge to shudder.

The voice purred from the darkness, the  voice conjured up the image of a clawed hand in a velvet glove. Whoever the woman was, Caer realized she was dangerous. “How are they now?”

Caer grimaced and tried to ‘look’ at the woman. He aura seemed familiar, but she couldn’t place it. Lifting her head again she asked, “Who are you?” The shock that she receive for her questioning was blazing hot through her veins was enough to make her gasp again, but this time she kept from yelping like the first time.

“That wasn’t the question, Caer.” The woman’s voice murmured softly as she left up on the button that controlled the voltage of the collar.  Caer could hear her walking around the room, her boots or whatever she wore

“F… fine, g… great, just peachy.” Caer spoke through clenched teeth, she’d realized she’d bitten her tongue and it hurt. Least she hadn’t bit through it. She’d heard of interrogations where the one being interrogated bitten their tongue clear through when faced with force lightning or something similar.

“Oh I’m so very glad to be accommodating.” The woman fairly gloated at Caer’s response.  She walked around the room, the only thing Caer could see of her was her aura, a swirling darkness. Labeling her as Sith and a powerful one. Again that aura seemed vaguely familiar.

“What is it you want?” Caer rested her head against the table, finding that no matter how she lay it was uncomfortable.

“That’s no way to treat a host, now is it?” The female rested her hip against the table, Caer feeling the table shift ever so slightly.

“Lady, I have no idea who you are, but whatever it is you want, you’re not getting it from me.” Caer spoke with a slightly cautious tone.

“It’s funny every Jedi says that.  Especially the one that lead me to you, my dear.  Why is it that you Jedi always act so tough on the outside but on the inside you nothing but twisted bags of emotions crying to come out?” The woman stepped forward a bit, tapping her nails on the side of the table, a staccato pattern that grated on her prisoners nerves.

Caer said nothing, trying not to curl her lip into a sneer.  The woman spent the next few moments baiting her, alternating between shocking her and taunting her. The torment  both physical and mental wore away at Caers defenses and it was only by sheer will and determination that she kept her wits about her. The woman questioned Caer for hours about her associations on Voss, how she ended up there, what she was doing there and who she knew; punctuated by laughter or the sound of boot heels clicking against the floor as she circled the table. Most if any questions Caer did not answer, each resistance was met with more shocks, more slaps, more comments.

What seemed like days later Caer slumped against the table, the tingle of the electricity still fresh in her mind and body, her muscles cramping and spazzing involuntarily that the sat atop of her and slapped her.  “Now. Do you have that answer now my dear?”

Caer felt blood dribble from between her lips, somewhere along the questioning she’d bitten her tongue. The woman, to Caer surprise and revulsion bent and licked the blood from her lower lip. Caer shuddered and tried to squirm away from the woman, much to the Darths amusement and pleasure.

“Mmm, tasty, tasty.” The woman looked down at her with an expression akin to a cat toying with a mouse. It made Caer want to throw up. After a moment the Darth slid off Caer and the table, landing on the floor lightly.  She began circling the table again.

“I’m not tellng you anything.” Caer said softly after a long and heavy silence.

“No?  You have told me alot.”  The Darth ran a finger along the side of the prisoner as she walked around.  “I think you tell more then you want to tell. I wonder what will happen if they find you dead.”

Caer swallowed thickly at the idea. It wasn’t one she particularly relished. However she clenched her jaw and tried to pull free of her bindings again. “how about you let me out of here and we make this a fair fight.”

“Not right now.  I’m feeling chatty.” The button to the collar was pressed again and the Darths voice was nearly drowned out by Caers scream of pain.  “Besides you don’t make demands to me, woman.”

“You… who are you?” Caer groaned and tried to curl up. All she wanted to do was curl up into a ball, the muscles in her arms and legs feeling like they were made of liquid fire.

“That is a good question.  But since I know your name Master Caer, it is only fair I share mine.  I am Tormentia, Darth Tormentia”

“Original.” Caer responded dryly. Caer was rewarded for her comment with another brief shock of the collar.

“You know I made sure your republc lackeies find evidence that the Sith Ambassador is responsble for this.”  The Darth leaned against the table again, smiling widely at her prisoner.

“What…why? Why Kruven?” Caer spoke in a winded and bewildered tone.

“I hate the republic, I hate the empire, most importantly dear, I hate him.”

Caer shook her head, trying to keep from passing out, her mind swirling, her heart hammering from all the abuse of the shock collar. She gave a low moan. “You’re Sith…  you rule the Empire, they’re just our lapdogs.”

“For now I wish Kruvens death.” The woman simply stated.

“I’m not killing him if that’s what you want.” Caer retorted through clenched teeth. Again, she was rewarded for her commentary with another round of electricity, this one seeming to go on for long moments. When it finally let up, her chest heaved and her body was drenched in sweat.

“Not that you care, he’s just one less Sith to deal with right?” Darth Tormentia seemed to speak off to the right. Caer couldn’t see her aura, her ‘vision’ disrupted.

“Better sith than you.” She spat at the woman. It was clear she was caught between angry and struggling to keep those emotions in check. Even Caer realized that she was having trouble keeping her emotions in check- a fatal mistake.

A long pause as if the woman regarded her in the same way a person regarded a caged animal. Or a creature to be dissected. “Why do you think that?  He is your sworn enemy.”

Caer spoke softly, her voice hoarse from the screaming and clenching with each electrocution session.  “Because… smart enemies know when the proper time for battle comes. He’s a smart enemy.”

“Funny words coming from a Jedi.  To tell you the truth he set this up.”

“What?” She swallowed, not quite daring to believe it, but really no matter how one painted Kruven, he was still a sith. “Who are you to him?”

A soft giggle issued from another side of the room. “Can’t you see the resemblance? Of course not, I’m his sister dear. So now it is time to kill you, that’s his orders.”

She fell silent, not sure what to say to that, it was plain that she was pretty well convinced that she was either good as dead or was never seeing her brother again. She had no time to respond to anything, before the waves of electricity went through her neck down her spine and up through her skull, sending her body thrashing violently against the table, the only thing stopping her from falling off were the clasps around her ankles and wrists.  The last thing she heard was from her captors mouth, “Just remember….the name.  Tormentia..”

The darkness encased her, some part of her praying she’d not wake up again.

 

 

Let go of yesterday.

Caer rested her cheek on the door frame of her room, she had watched him sleep for some time, her palm resting gently over the soft curve of her hip, the other hanging loosely at her side. She wore only the simplest of outfits just a sleeveless shirt that she tended to favor as well as a pair of pants that were slightly baggy on her smaller frame; the armor having been long discarded.  No, there was no need for it today, she had taken a day to herself, a day to just mull over the things that had happened the past few days.

She had spent a lot of her time with Neirov, the enigma that was the Mirialan who she had grown up with, fought along side, had bled for and had even done her best to protect from the Council. Her and Raiyden both had done their best to keep him safe from the Councils wrath.  They had done everything they can to keep Neirovs actions under the radar for years, while striving to bring him back from the brink of the dark side. The struggle was like the ebb and flow of tide, he would respond and then slowly slip away again.

Neirov had slipped from their lives and Caer had been left wondering in silence if he was alive. She never spoke of these concerns to her brother; no, Raiyden didn’t like to talk about Neirov. It was as if Raiy felt like Neirov was a personal project he had failed at. Caer understood that her brother disliked the idea of failing at anything.

Caer watched Neirov’s aura through the force as he rested. There were times he seemed troubled, as if struggling with something greater than himself. But that was the force, wasn’t it? Greater than them all? But to see Neirov, it seemed like he was a mighty river. It appeared calm and cool on the surface, but beneath it, it was a torrent of undercurrents and danger. He had a way about him that drew her to him. She had always liked Neirov, she had always enjoyed their times they’d had gotten to spend together. Even the arguments they had, she had found memorable.

She pulled away from the door frame, padding quietly barefoot to the side of the bed. Yes, she had offered her bed to him and he seemed happy to take it. Caer didn’t mind either, the feel of someone next to her comforted her.  She would have been unwilling to confess that she had sometimes wondered what it’d be like to have someone wake up next to her, that she sometimes wished that she could feel strong arms around her as she slept.

Their sharing of the bed was innocent in all its forms. Their feelings tightly bottled up, shored up like a wall holding back potentially dangerous waters.  They both had been taught that any feelings, any hints of love, caring,  or even the more baser instincts were forbidden.

But why even after being released from the Order did they still keep these emotions away?

She sat down on the bed gently, trying hard not to wake him but even as the realization hit her she felt the bed shift slightly under her weight. She cared for him.

More than cared for him. And she was afraid.

These emotions were wrong. Everything she’d been taught- no they had been taught had been drilled into them. Passion was a way to the dark side, loving was an attachment, everything to do with the emotions of caring, loving, sexuality, it was all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Balling her hands into fists she pressed her palms to her face and fought the tidal wave of emotions. Hadn’t she said the same thing to Amaare when they’d spoken? That she had no idea what she was doing? He had accepted it, he had said that he understood and he had left.

So why did she feel this way now? She still had no idea what she was doing or even thinking. It was within the thought process that loving, caring for someone was almost instinctual in it’s rightness, but the training in her screamed for her to stop, for her to step back and analyze these emotions like they were some piece of tossed off archaeological artifact, categorize it and file it away under ‘do not use’.

The internal struggle was the worst, little voices whispering it was okay. Things were okay, it was alright to wrap her arms around him, lay down next to him and move in close, give in and let their bodies touch, her head tucked near his shoulder… to let the emotions close in on them and blanket them and open the door of opportunity they had long since been denied.

What was so wrong with that?

Everything, nothing, a little voice whispered inside her head.   She drew her hands away from her face and sighed softly, the tug of war of voices going on in her head making her feel like she had nowhere to turn to. Her brother would not understand, likely would not approve.

Caer got to her feet and turned, watching the sleeping form of the Mirialan in her bed. His skin looking pale for his kind, the eye lids closed in slumber, the tattoos his kind held in high regard standing out against the pale green skin. His expression was nearly troubled as if dreams plagued him- unpleasant ones. His hand was stretched out across her side as if seeking something. The other arm pinned under his head.

What was so wrong…

Nothing, everything…

Then why did her body and mind tell her to crawl into that bed, crawl under the blanket with him and sleep? To let whatever happen, happen?  The words fluttered in her mind like trapped birds.  Nothing, everything, go, let nature take its course, trust yourself, trust him. 

She bit her lower lip and tugged the cover back.  The little voice settled, as if waiting to see if it needed to speak up again.

Climbing into bed, she felt the Mirialan shift and waken only briefly; her back to him she didn’t ‘see’ this, she felt it through the ripples in the force. Growing still as she rested on the bed, she nearly jumped as she felt a strong arm slip over her side and pull her close.

No words were exchanged, Neirov soon settled, his breathing evening out to the rhythmic sounds of one who’d fallen back asleep; Caer closed herself off from the force, essentially closing her ‘eyes’ as she felt herself relax there.

Her thoughts as he relaxed and fell into true sleep were, Trust yourself, trust him… let go of yesterday.

Tomorrow would come and this would start all over again.

She felt the arm tighten around her and she smiled faintly.

Or, perhaps not.

 

 

The feel of water in the darkness.

The water ran over her in rivulets, hitting her face and pouring over her hair and down her body. She stood in total darkness, blunting herself to her own special vision, in short- the Miraluka version of having her eyes closed. It felt good and safe in here, inside the darkened shower. Somehow the water pouring over her helped her feel better, made her feel like she was watching the unclean that coursed through her body.

Unclean. That’s how she felt. She felt like she was swaddled in a filth she couldn’t be rid of.  Caer had never minded being dirty, not physically; after all she’d seen her fair share of blood, guts and glory- or whatever it was heroes and such talked about.  She’d rolled in garbage, she’d fallen down mud pits, slogged through disease infested swamps. She had survived ship crashes,  back in corner scenarios, and assassination attempts.

Adria had bought them an indeterminable amount of time, and as she reached for the bottle of shampoo, she wondered how much. Days? Weeks? Months? Years?  There was just no way of knowing and while Caer knew that her life- no matter which one she chose to live- either as a Jedi, a Luka Sene, or even a regular civilian could be cut short by the powers that be. Ashla knew that she didn’t exactly live a cautious life.  Nothing about the galaxy she lived in said it was safe or she had a chance to live to a ripe old age.

But. She never wanted to consider going out like this. Not like a monster, her body slowly becoming not her own. Turning into something that would not stop killing until it was killed itself.  Her hands moved through her hair, washing out the dirt, sand and grime that seemed to accumulate daily while being on Tatooine.

Her hands moved over her body, feeling the contours of her sides, breasts and hips. She tried not to think of what it might be like to lose it all.  Lose everything she had worked so hard for. A future with the Luka Sene,  friendships she could forge with so many others, her position on Voss,  maybe even finding someone to love.

She could do that now, fall in love. No longer constrained by the Orders doctrines. It wasn’t why she quit, though some might see it that way. But she could’t help that.  Caer wasn’t even sure she could do that now. Who would want to fall in love with someone who could potentially kill them? Or worse yet, transfer the disease to them?

Caer couldn’t worry about that right now. The important thing right now as her brother Raiyden. She sighed and rinsed off, the soap foaming up at her feet and swirling down the drain where it’d be recycled and filtered to be reused later on the ship.  Clean now, she continued to stand there, turning the heat up with a touch of her fingers, she let the hot water wash over her.

She let her fingers wander to her lips and furrowed her brows, her fingers brushing against her bottom lip. Her conversation with Neirov. Her mind wanted to tell her that the brushing of lips was imagined, she had thought of it as a dream or perhaps some sort of fever imaginations. It was hard to tell. Their conversation sounded almost like a goodbye.  He had boarded her ship, brought medical supplies and had spoken to her.

Caer could barely recall the conversation. She’d felt feverish and terrible last night and half of it seemed like a dream until she had been approached by the ship droid, sounding confused about Imperial medical supplies.  Then it had snapped back into sharp relief, Neirov saying he didn’t belong, that he felt she and her brother despised him.

All of it untrue on some level. Some part of her loved Neirov, though the thought of ever saying anything like that to anyone seemed a little premature and embarrassing. She cared a lot for Neirov and no matter what he thought they thought about him, she only ever wanted to put a smile on his face, see the life in his aura and make him feel like he belonged somehow.

But even he admitted that he didn’t belong. No matter how hard they tried. Lowering her hand, she let it fall loosely at her side, feeling at a loss as to how to fix the damage that was done between her brother, herself and Neirov. She half wondered  if there was any chance to fix anything at all.

Or if there was enough time.

Shutting off the shower, Caer once again attuned herself to the force- basically ‘opening her eyes’, she wrapped a towel around herself, drying of and getting dressed. Today was another day and she had work to do.

I can’t do it alone. I’m reaching out, rescue me.

This waking nightmare lingers

When will the mirror stop telling lies?

I don’t know where I’ve been

or where I’m going

But I can’t do it alone.

I’m reaching out.

Rescue me show me who I am.Cause I can’t believe

This is how the story ends.

Fight for me, if it’s not too late.

Help me breathe again.

No, this can’t be how the story ends.

The thrum of the ship was silent. For once the ship sat on solid ground, unmoving and likely not to move any time soon. The shadows that felt across the still forms of the powered down ship seemed to cast the pair in sharp relief. The light from the hallway cutting through the shadows of the room as sharp as any blade.

The two forms inside of the room were close, the woman kneeling on the bed, head bowed, all armor off, wearing nothing more than a simple body suit that at a casual glance would have appeared to be a bare form. The white hair practically glowing in the light that came through the open door. The woman’s head- Caer’s head- bowed in contemplation, meditation, the faintest hint of stress on her features were the only thing to betray the turmoil she felt.  Her face still held the cloth she favored to cover her eyes, having thought of no reason to take it off, even in her private sanctuary of her bedroom.  No time for it, no thought to it.

Her fingers brushed the hair from Raiydens face, his head in her lap as he rested on her bed, his body covered by a thin sheet. She’d removed his armor but had left most of the robes on. Her hands on either side of his head, she steadied her breathing, matching his inhalations and exhalations with her own- in perfect sync with her twin brother. She’d done her best to make him as comfortable as possible. It was her duty as his sister, as his twin to ensure his safety. That was her job, always had been. She had been trained from childhood on up to protect her brother, to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves. Now she’d essentially doomed her brother to a lifetime of potential suffering.

It broke her heart, made her feel sick deep down inside; and no amount of meditation would make her feel okay, no amount of peace would bring back a sense of balance. She had chosen to come to Tatooine during this chaotic time. She had chosen to stay on the planet during the initial outbreak and volunteer to help those who couldn’t protect themselves. She had gone alone, but Raiyden had followed.

Just as she knew he had.  She mentally damned herself for condemning her brother.

I’m locked up and waiting for you.

I’ve lost so much more than I’ll ever know.

Love has the truth forgotten.

Find me now, before I lose it all.

I’m crying out.

Rescue me show me who I am.

Cause I can’t believe

This is how the story ends.

Fight for me, if it’s not too late.

Help me breathe again.

No, this can’t be how the story ends.

He’d always been the weaker one. Not mentally no and of course he had strengths where she only dreamed of having. But physically. He had always been more susceptible to little ailments.

It had been a scratch. Both of them. Nothing important right? Nothing serious. Neither had realized it. They had faced the pack of creatures and had decided at the last second it was too many to handle. Caer had thrown herself against Raiyden, sending them both tumbling down a precipice that could have ended worse if it hadn’t been for the sand dunes below it.  The thought of getting away safely had been their priority. There had been nothing to do other than escape and as they had run through the desert sands with a pack of blood thirsty beasts behind them, they had counted their lucky stars.

Caer’s jaw clenched as she brushed her hand over her brothers cheek, startled momentarily as a hand reached up suddenly and gripped it firmly. She relaxed as she rested her hand on his cheek, his own hand covering hers.

Raiyden didn’t speak, they didn’t need to speak aloud. There was no need for it with their bond as twins; even the most basic of siblings without the force would have a connection of some sort.  She smiled ever so faintly at his touch, feeling his love for her conveyed in that simple touch. The implicit trust to see this through and the confidence that she would be there for him.  She wished so much she could heal him. Find the magical components through the force, through her own hands to purge the sickness from his body. To pull the disease from him and take it into her.

She had begged Adria, had pleaded with her and had even tried to bribe her to make Raiy well.  No thought to herself, not caring what happened to her with this damnable disease; all she cared about was Raiyden. He had been through so much already, he didn’t deserve to go through anymore.

Caer felt his hand slip from hers and fall onto the bed. She bit her lip, a momentary panic rising up in her as she thought something was horribly wrong, but no, Raiy had fallen asleep again. She bit back a soft cry of relief, the urge to sob welling up in her as she bowed her head in total silence.

Shifting her position carefully so as not to reawaken Raiyden, she continued her vigil over her brother. Only rousing to get him food or water when he asked, anxiously waiting for Adria’s call.

Fight for me.

If it’s not too late.

Help me breathe again.

No this can’t be how the story ends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BueLEB7-kkE

Robbed Blind. Even that’s bad for a Miralukan.

Caer was annoyed and rightfully so. She’d been robbed blind- no pun intended- by the girl and it chafed her something fierce that she had fallen for the innocent girl act. Maybe she had been wrong in telling Raiyden that she didn’t need looked after. Ashla knew that tonight was living proof that she couldn’t even keep the meager stipend that the Council allowed all Jedi on her persons.

Sighing heavily, she tapped her finger on the table and propped her jaw in the cup of her hand.How was she going to explain this to Raiyden or Neirov? Or even Dalken if he were to find out? She’d be so laughed at. Her cheeks burned with embarrassment as she grumbled to herself and recounted the nights events.

It was her own damn fault for letting the girl get so close, she thought and then shook her head. No, it was simply a girl who was needy. Caer fit that need. She had credits. The girl did not. The girl even admitted that she was stuck up on the station and if Caer had thought things through, she’d have realized the girl had probably already marked her as a target.

Well, live and learn, she supposed.

Thinking back on the evening, it could have been worse. The girl could have tried to do more than pick pocket her. Which might have ended badly for either of them. Caer would not have wanted to hurt the girl and she really felt no ill will towards her; she was more embarrassed and angry at herself for falling for such a simple ruse. She just hoped that the girl would spend those credits wisely and used them to either find a way off the station or use it for food and supplies she’d need. Caer hoped it wouldn’t go towards spice or other illicit items.

Sighing she got to her feet and headed towards her ship. At lest she had a place to sleep, food on her ship as well as her stuff. Heading off she used the force to ‘see’ her way towards the pad where it was being kept.Thankfully nobody was around and she made it to her ship quietly and without harassment. Heading to her room she knelt on her meditation pillow and slipped into the flow of the force around her to relax before bed.

Wherever this girl now was, Caer wished her the best of luck and hoped that someday she’d meet her again.