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.