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descriptionSurviving... EmptySurviving...

Originally posted on Knights of Kesh...dated January 17, 2021

2 years ago...

Delaya Spaceport_

I fought savagely against the horde of what appeared to be undead, making as loud a commotion as I could. Using the Force to throw crates and fuel tanks into crowds of the beings, hearing the roars of hunger and hate as their bones snapped and crunched loudly, the skin making a wet tearing schlurp as it was scraped free from impact. When things began to get to much for me to handle, I would throw a doppelganger out to split their attention as I withdrew to higher ground. It was everything I could do to draw their attention away from Pearl, the stranger and the 12 wards now in her care. Eventually however I was able to draw a majority of them out of the space port and away, long enough for a shuttle to appear and lift away.

As it left I took a moment to watch them go, and in that moment while I still held on to the rage that I had buried for years, I felt a peace settle over me. That peace told me I was to die, and that all that mattered now was if I would accept that fate on my knees, or if I would die on my feet with my lightsaber in my hand. This moment of distraction was all they needed to grab my leg and rip me from my perch atop the burned-out wreckage of a starfighter. My screams began to mingle with theirs, my hate and desperation bleeding out as I struggled and felt their teeth and nails scrape and clack against my armor, till suddenly it stopped. It appears the horde moved as one, and a pathway was made. The path was not for me however but for something far worse than this gathering of mindless destroyers. And then they did something that I couldn't comprehend, something I had thought would be impossible. They spoke.

Surviving... X4bmCv3

One year passed since that day, and while I learned that they would always leave me alone, they were never truly gone. Always in the distance or just around the corner, but once they identified me, would always turn away or simply stumble past. When I ran out of food the first time, I tried to clear rubble from a building with the intention to scavenge what I could. I quickly learned that when I tried to clear the area, the sound of grinding stones would attract hordes of them. They wouldn't attack, but they would crowd around in search of prey to the point that it was impossible to clear away the rest of the rubble to create a way in. I learned that I had to throw the large slabs of stone a distance away to draw them away from the location I wanted access to. This worked well for several months before I ran out of places I could clear with the aid of the Force.

Surviving... VOqIBHU

One time I tried to leave the city and accidentally stumbled upon a teeming mass of the creatures. At the center of the horde was a massive obelisk that seemed to radiate a foul energy, at the foot of the structure stood the three that had spoken. When they spotted me, they let out a bloodcurdling sound that drove a spike of fear through my mind. I fled, and I hid, fearing the masses of hungry hate filled creatures would come to tear me limb from limb. So I did the only thing that I could, I stayed in the city, scavenging as best I could while going to the spaceport I had nearly died in every day. Hoping against hope that someone would come down and find me, hoping that tomorrow wouldn't be the day that these things decided I wouldn't be able to fulfill the task they've given me. However even in my observed isolation, I wasn't truly alone. I had myself, I had my other half, the half that existed on rage, hatred, fear and shame.

Surviving... QN3W2ly

‘They left you here, no one will come for you. Xavier, Fenoran and the rest sent you here to die, and you can't even do that right. You attacked your Padawan, you tried to kill her, all because you cracked just a little. You cracked and all the anger, the fear, the doubt and the shame came rushing back. I came rushing back. You need me. You won't survive without me. You won't keep me away forever, when will you learn?’

It went on and on for days, weeks, months before I finally acknowledged Him. Forced to listen to this every day, I couldn't help but give in little by little, feeding off the anger. Xavier and Fenoran could have come or could have prepared us better for this assignment. They could have provided some troops to support the search, they could have done anything but chose to do nothing. And that choice cost me. It cost me my Padawan, my station and now my sanity. Revenge was a thought that often crossed my mind as the food ran out, but I admitted no one could have anticipated what would happen. Yet when the water became scarce, I became less and less concerned with what could and could not be anticipated. We were Jedi. Anticipating was part of what we did and yet we failed miserably in this endeavor. The Masters failed. Xavier, Fenoran, Thesist, all of them failed. And I was the one to suffer for it, it seemed.

‘It wasn't just them who failed, it was you as well. You the Jedi, failed to anticipate the oversights of the Masters. You who failed to properly conduct yourself, you who failed yourself.’

As my body and mind began to grow weaker from starvation and dehydration, I started to believe He was correct. That belief became a fuel of anger at both my former teachers and at myself for letting them blind me to the dangers of the unknown. Letting myself believe that if I only trusted in them and the Force that everything would work out somehow. This prison shattered that belief in others, and with that a rage blossomed from the conception’s corpse. However, that rage was a poor substitute for food and clean water. With the deterioration of my diet came the deterioration of my body, even with the respirator, breathing became difficult once again. Limbs began to lose feeling even as needles of pain ran from tip to tip. Every movement that was once coordinated and confident became clumsy and hesitant. However just as I thought my prison would finally kill me, I heard it. A transmission coming through my datapad. A message from someone other than Him. A message that I would be released from my prison.

For the first time in months, I pushed myself, I moved faster than my normal stumbling shamble. I had to. I had to get to the spaceport before the horde. As the shuttle broke atmosphere, the boom was almost deafening compared to the silence of this dead world. Just as I knew it would, the sound drew the attention of others. The roar of the engines as the craft got closer and closer only grew, and with it the sounds of the angry dead as they approached. Would this be it? Would this be how I died? In the same place I had helped others escape from only one year before, only this time instead of fighting for others to escape, would I die fighting to escape myself? No. No I refuse to let that happen. I refuse to be paralyzed by fear and indecision any longer!

I did everything I could to block off the spaceport entrances, knowing it would only by precious seconds. Seconds that did not go wasted as I hurried aboard the shuttle and turned around long enough to watch several of the creatures’ cling to the boarding ramp, pulling themselves up. In my rage at nearly being denied this freedom I reached out with my mind, my rage bursting out like a wall of force as I shot my hand out in a claw. I watched as the bodies flew back out of the ships boarding hatch, smiling behind my mask as I listened to the sound of defiant screams of protest fading as they dropped, and I rose. Then I remember nothing as the exertion causes me to black out and I collapse to the floor.

Captain Remara's Ship_

I woke up several hours later in the medical suite of the shuttle. Sealed in with nothing but a medical droid to administer aid. Waking up to this was as much a shock to me as it was to realize I was free. Free from the snarling dead, free from the silent streets of what seemed an apocalyptic world. I asked the droid where we were going and was surprised to hear the Tyrtaeus, a ship named after Master Fenoran. While I wasn't overly surprised a ship might be named after him, I wasn't expecting to be immediately brought to the Jedi. If they knew what I did, what would happen? If they knew how far I had fallen in only two years on that planet, would they execute me? They were Jedi. They warred against the Dark, warred against the very nature that was part of me. Surely, they would kill me, wouldn't they? As my thoughts began to distress me, the medical droid gave me a sedative to calm me, calm me and put me to sleep.

I didn't wake up again till we were on the final approach to the ship. As got closer to the Tyrtaeus I reached out with my senses, fishing with my mind to brush against the only cluster of life forms I had felt in two years within more than a few thousand miles. I felt familiar and not so familiar presences, Master Kiflin, who was on the council that allowed me to rejoin the Jedi Order as well as Master Fenoran. I had gone on one of my first missions with Fenoran, but the last mission I had met him on was the two years ago. The day I ended up on that planet.

I moved my mind to the next few minds, and while they were briefly familiar, I couldn't quite distinguish the identities. Until I reached the last of the brightest presences in the cluster of life forms. Pearl Fenni, my former Padawan, the one I betrayed that day two years ago. I recoiled a bit from the presence and after a moment I began to withdraw myself inward. I pulled myself together, diving deeper into the center of myself till I was as small as I could manage without passing out. I couldn't use the full extent of my knowledge due to the deterioration of my body.

As the shuttle approaches and begins its docking procedures I make my way, assisted by a droid to the cargo bay doors of the shuttle. Keeping myself withdrawn enough to hide most of my signature without straining myself, my face was screwed up in concentration. Not that it could be seen behind the mask I wore. I insisted on wearing my armor and gear throughout the whole decontamination process as well as the small amount of treatment they provided me. I was dehydrated and malnourished, in the process of starving. I had lost feeling in the tips of one hand as well as the toes of another leg.

I hadn't fully healed before going on the mission that led me here two years ago. That mistake now showed in the constant pain that seemed to radiate from him. My lungs burned and ached constantly, and my arms and legs felt as if they were being electrocuted. The skin had begun smell and turn black in some areas of my limbs. I leaned against the wall as the cargo bay door opened. My eyes went to the 6 people, 5 in medical scrubs, and saw Pearl. I didn't say anything but instead just let the 5 others come to help me to the Medical Bay.

Pearl trails behind the medical team with her confirmation of who the person is. She wanted to see over how he was after being alone for a year. Having questions, but knowing right now, and not for a while will there be time to ask till he was better. She did feel guilt for not saving him somehow on the planet. But knowing full well there was no time to save him.

In part I kept up the technique to hide my signature because I wanted to wait before meeting my former student again. However now the only reason I kept it up was to keep the remaining Jedi from panicking and throwing me in a cell. Though honestly a cell would be child's play compared to the last two years I spent on that planet.

As the team assisted me to the medical bay, I looked over to Pearl. With the mask blocking some of my vision it was hard to see her, but I saw enough to know she had questions. My voice comes out rough and strained, distorted by the vocabulator in the mask, "Either spit it out or wait." My words were hot with pain and sounded almost accusatory, though we both knew I couldn't blame you for any of this.

"I thought you were dead were surrounded by those creatures. How did you survive that entire time down there alone?" She asked him, Pearl didn't flinch from the sound of his voice. She couldn't blame him for it.

"Sorry to say Jedi Knight. But he will need to be assessed and needs rest. The two of you can speak later." The lead medical lady Myrka said to her.

"In a sense I wasn’t, and I was..." I say more to myself than to Pearl, the memory of that day when I should have died burned into my memory. The voice, the cold hollow feeling it emanated still made me shiver. Even the memory of it made a spark of fear rise.
"She's right, we will talk later. I need time to recover and to find someone to report to." I said as I remembered the task I had, the message I was to deliver.

She telepathic speaks to me, 'Master Kiflin is in the brig if you wish to speak to him. I'm trying to argue on his behalf to get out.' Not knowing what more to say I simply nod to her and continue to the medical bay of the Tyrtaeus where they proceeded to run scans and various tests before finally allowing him to enter a bacta tank. The sensation of relief as my body was submerged in the healing liquid was such that I couldn't help but finally pass out again.

(This post was made in collaboration with Pearl Fenni and Kiflin Viskhawk)

descriptionSurviving... EmptySurviving...

Having slept most of the first and second day in the bacta tank it wasn't until the third that I finally awoke with a start, immediately gathering the Force to me as if to defend myself. After a moment and reaching out with my senses, using the Force to feel my environment as well as to augment my vision I could see the guards that stood nearby facing me as their hands hovered over their lightsabers.
I realize now that I am not on Delaya, I'm not burning in a fire, and I am not that child on Korriban any longer. I am on the Tyrtaeus, in the medbay, floating in a bacta tank, I am alive if not entirely safe. Focusing my breathing and forcing myself to relax, I reached out with my mind toward both Jedi Knights, "Apologies, I thought I was somewhere else." I did not release the Force I had built up however, instead I began to turn its direction inward.

For the first time in two years since my injuries, it finally felt as though the pain was nothing more than a tickle. However, I knew that the moment I left the tank filled with disinfectant, pain numbing chemicals, nutrients and healing fluids that the pain would flare up again. Instead of focusing on the impending pain to come, I used my time to focus on diving deep into myself. Using the knowledge of the Force I had acquired to examine each atom of damaged tissue and carefully using the Force to stimulate it, carefully helping my damaged tissue regrow molecule by molecule. I figured it would be better to focus on the areas where the damage was worst and let the bacta tank take care of everything else. So, while the bacta tank worked on my skin and even my eyes while I focused on my internal organs starting with my throat and lungs to make my breathing easier and less painful.

There is only so much this ability can do however without pushing the body beyond its limits of what healing it can do, so as it became harder and harder to encourage healthy tissue to grow and replace the damaged tissue, I began to move on to other internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, spleen and finally the nervous system. When all of this had been exhausted, I needed to give my body time to catch up to the accelerated healing otherwise I would only injure myself further.

Had I tried this only a few years ago, there was a likely chance of accidentally killing myself by doing this. Possibly fusing organs together or accidentally changing its essential functions all together, but now, while it is risky, it almost didn't matter to me, if I died then it is the will of the Force.

My skin felt tight and itchy even through the numbing effects of whatever chemicals were in this tank, though not necessarily because of damaged tissue or even infection, but because of the relief from the pain. Something I hadn't had in a little over two years. On day one they had informed me that I was lucky not to require any sort of amputation though I wouldn't have been surprised if I needed to lose a leg or an arm.

With my accelerated healing exhausted through one technique I began to look around, augmenting my vision once again in part due to the injuries to my eyes as well as due to the glass of the tank distorting any perspective I have on the room around me, looking as if everything is blurred and stretched flat.

As medical staff and droids came closer, they gained clarity, though not completely, so in order to see more I began reaching out with my mind, brushing it over the staff, the droids even the guards that seem to have been assigned to me. He stopped when his mind touched someone familiar, and even though he couldn't see her clearly, he knew she was there. "You've come back, though not for me I expect."

She looks over to me and pauses briefly, "I'm needed here. I'm one of the extreme few force healers on board. I've been told the rest died on Tython when the planet was destroyed." She puts the data pad in her hands down to sit and rest for a minute.

The words shock me, the underlying meaning clear, the Jedi are losing. The Jedi are dying. The Dark side is enveloping everything now. 'Good, they deserve it, the Jedi were always weak.' I shoved the voice down and ignored it, not wanting to give it any credence. 'Ignore me all you want; I am still here. I'm you after all.' After a few moments of silence, I slowly, as if not trusting myself, I reach out again to her, "Destroyed? The home world of the Jedi? How?"

"I am guessing no one informed you. The Sith did it. That's not all if you are wondering." She says popping her back using the chair she is sitting in. Standing for hours was taxing to her lower back. She could imagine how he would take the rest of the news. Same as herself and Master Kiflin.

"The GOL station is also gone. Master Xavier's doing unfortunately. Taking out just about everyone on board. He also killed Grand Master Thesis from what I am told. Errend tried to stop Xavier by stabbing him, no one has seen the Grey Jedi since. Master Fen is in control of the ship we are on now. Master Kiflin is in the brig. No one has seen anything of Master Infrit. There's been nothing but death lately. I've been training lately with Master Valkus, we succeeded on rescuing him, and training with Akira and Master Kiflin. Both Akira and I got granted Jedi Knight."

I couldn't help but feel a little mirth at the stabbing of Xavier, but the death of Thesist and the other members of the Council left me unsettled. Though I didn't know why since I am no longer a Jedi in my own eyes; I didn't deserve to be. Errend's disappearance also seemed strange though honestly, I didn't know much about the Jedi. Kiflin being in prison was almost expected with what he had heard last.
"You deserve it, the promotion." I had suspected that Valkus had been on the planet but had never had it confirmed till now. It made me feel a little better after hearing of the success, though it felt hollow to me. The news of Infrit missing was worrying, though again I couldn't help but wonder why it would since I wasn't a Jedi.

"Did...did I ever do something wrong being your Padawan? We never did any training together. The only times I ever seen you was when we went on missions together. I don't know the extent of your abilities and what you can do other than crash a ship. I do come back in here for you too. To see how you are, how you're healing, but never really say anything." She asked of him, having always wanted some kind of answer, but never really dared to ask before.

I shook my head, my eyes unfocused as I was mostly seeing through the Force. "I was the one at fault. I was too eager to take you on as a student. I was not prepared for the responsibility. I did not know how to take on the role of mentor. Though you have grown well, you have struggled and fought and won your place among the Jedi. A thing I have lost and will probably never regain." This was the first time I had ever admitted to anyone that I was not prepared for a Padawan. This was also the first time I had said out loud, figuratively at least, that I was no longer a Jedi in my own eyes.

"You never know. People can change and come back to being good. Being down there on that planet surviving wasn't your fault. We weren't prepared nowhere near as close as we should have been. To me? We're lucky. I would have perished if it wasn't for you again. You did throw me from the ship before the crash, and again from the hoard. How did you survive on the planet? Does it have anything to do with how your aura first read before coming to the ship?"

At the mention of change I almost recoil a bit mentally as I pull my mind away to dive into myself for a moment. 'If only she knew, you were always a broken thing. You snapped with your father, and you snapped with her. And don't you tell me it was because of how strong the Dark side was. That's just an excuse and you know it. Why don't you just admit that you enjoy the violence, you enjoy destroying things? Admit that you're even glad that there is a war going on so you can have the excuse.’

The words slither in my mind like a serpent moving through undergrowth. As much as I try to ignore them, I am just as much forced to hear it as I reach back out to Pearl almost sheepishly. "Change is hard to come by. Something I had worked towards all my life. Something I have failed in time and time again. I'm not alive by my own skill. I was kept alive. I am to deliver a message." I focus my gaze upon you through the Force, letting you feel the quiet rage and cold hatred roiling inside me. The emotions ran deep for me, almost to the bedrock of who I was and who I still am. It was clear that I carried this anger and rage for many years for it to run so deep. "As for my aura... I'm still trying to find my own peace."

"I hope that through the force that you will find peace. I'm guessing the message you have is for Master Kiflin? I can try and have you two meet. Or since I overheard Master Fen wants to put you in the brig. The only way I can think of to heal you faster is if you use Art of Small if you know it while I heal you a decent amount. Keep going with healing trance while in the bacta tank. Do you know either of those force techniques? It would take you from roughly six months of healing to a much lesser time frame. I would ask one of the doctors here for their opinion on it to see how much faster that would be. So?"

"The message is for whoever in authority will listen. As for the techniques, I do know of them. I had intended on utilizing what I know. As for meeting Kif, if he's in a cell I may see him soon regardless." I shrug in the harness of the bacta tank, almost seeming not to care who gets its if they are in some official capacity.

"Good luck with that. Especially since you're under guard, ordered by Master Fen, at the moment for anyone to listen to you. He's the one who oversees this ship. He didn't want to believe me about what Master Kif said about the Emperor and having to train like crazy, since our paths will lead there. So, if you want, you can pass the message and I can tell someone who will take the message seriously. Now, if you want out of this sooner rather than later, we will need to work now. Or we cannot dance on my nerves."

"If you wish, the message is simple. Delaya belongs to the dead now. Stay away. I will tell Fen if he wishes to speak with me but do with this as you will." I say before seeming to pull away and recede into myself through the Force, gathering the Force to me as I begin a Trance to help aid my healing in a more generalized form rather than the hyper-focused efforts of Art of the Small so as to not strain my body further.

(This post was made in collaboration with Pearl Fenni)

descriptionSurviving... EmptySurviving...

Several Hours Later

As I focused on my breathing and letting the Force swirl around me, feeling it soak into my flesh, muscles and bones. It gave me a pleasant sensation of warmth, as if I were standing on a beach with the sun's heat enveloping my body. I was so focused on maintaining this trance that the outside world seemed to fade out of my perception. Yet I was still aware of the external warmth and feelings of relief being directed to specific parts of my body.

I knew it was Pearl, last I had seen of her before beginning this trance was her hand upon the glass of the tank I float in. I had used the Force to enhance my hearing at one point during the past three days and could hear someone discussing my recovery. Three months was a long time but considering the extent of the damage and that I had ignored treating myself of these injuries sooner, it really was a miracle I had lived so long on that planet.

Suddenly, as if from a far off distance there is a small thudding sound and a half second later it happens again. I knew this sound now and recognized it as the door to the medbay sliding open and closed. Curious I broke the Trance, letting the vortex of Force energy dissipate slowly as I reach out to sense the new comer. It was Master Fenoran, and I couldn't help but feel a surge a rage and hatred as my other half tried to scream out but only going so far as to echo in my own mind. 'He left us to die! He could have come for us; he could have sent someone! He fled! He's a coward!'

'How could he have known? And besides that, Xavier is the one who sent us down there. After his betrayal, the Sith attacked. There was nothing he could have done.' I try to rationalize as I attempt to bury that rage that seemed to explode at the presence of this man. I couldn't hear what Fenoran was saying or what Pearl's reply was, I thought about trying to listen in, but was worried that any distraction would cause that rage to reach further and give Him control again.

Once I was confident that I would remain in control I finally shifted my focus on drawing the Force through my hears, making the ear drum more sensitive to sounds which would help clarify the distorted voices as they pass through the glass and the liquid I'm suspended in. "...but if he attacked you he does have to answer for that. He will have to stay in the brig until we have a better understanding of what's going on with him. That's for our safety as well as his."

I couldn't help but nod in agreement to those words, knowing that right now I was as unstable as I had been the day I killed my father.
'He would have locked us away. Dear old Dad would never let us leave the Jedi and their constraints. I did you a favor by ending him.' I forced myself to ignore Him.

Instead choosing to speak to Pearl and Fenoran as I reach out with my mind, projecting to them my thoughts. "He's right, it's safer for everyone until I can leave, if the council, or what remains of it, allows me to."

"Master Fen, that's up to you and what whoever else like Accendo just said. I had a half of mind of leaving the order myself after getting back. A year of being down there and no contact from anyone on the station? We already lost so many due to the destruction. I'm glad me, Valkus, and Accendo came back at all."

"I'm glad you all managed to come back. Like you said, we've lost so much now. We must come together or all will be truly be lost." Master Fen had said to her.

"Then why not pardon Kiflin of his crime and let him out? Can't battle enemies and hold friends in the brig at the same time." She had shot back at him.

As I listened to this exchange, I opened my eyes to look at Fenoran's distorted image through the glass, "While Kiflin's issue is separate from my own, I do not know if I am capable of remaining a Jedi. I haven't considered myself one for just under a year now."

Fenoran addressed the floating form "Yes, your circumstances are different. Kiflin and I are still in talks. He may be released, but I can't make any promises. I can't blame you for doing what you had to while on a planet like that... but it matters what you plan to do now and in the future.

There was a long pause as I considered his words, even He was silent, wanting to know what I planned. It struck me that my other half didn't have plans, or at least never shared them with me if he did. Finally, after several long moments I reached again, feeling a bit more confident as I did so.

"I do not know if I am to be a Jedi. But I do know that I could hurt many people. I know that is why you will hold me. I do not mind. I know that unless I can find my own peace, a prisoner is what I will become in the end. I do not wish to harm anyone aboard this ship, even those I might have grievance with." I heard a small scoff from the back of my mind as He spoke his annoyance, 'You really are no fun. Fine we won't kill him, but you will promise me the other one.'

"Well you're not going anywhere till you are 100% ready to go." My former padawan stated.

'I'm glad we didn't kill that one, she's actually useful.' He spoke with a chuckle to His tone.

'We?! You attacked her! You are the one who tried to kill her!' I argued as if mentally facing Him.

'I am you and you are me and if you and I are two, then the two are we.'

"Thank you. For understanding. For now you will be held in the brig when not receiving treatment. Take the time you need to make that peace Accendo." Fenoran's words brought be back to the conversation at hand, deciding to ignore whatever else He had to say.

"And if I need to leave to find it?" I asked, though he suspected he knew the answer.

Fenoran took a moment to himself before he spoke. "If you truly want to leave, you will have to be cut off from the force. You've shown hostility before, when you attacked Pearl. I can't let you go in good conscious considering your knowledge and experience with the force."

A small cloud of bubbles escapes the mask before being followed by more as you see my body shutter in the tank. At first it seems like I'm having a seizure, but my vitals only show an increased heart rate. After a moment it’s clear that I was laughing. "Of course, I showed hostility, we are at war. What matters is who it is directed towards, yes, but surely hostility is expected every now and again. Yet she lives. I even helped her to escape from that hell. If I wanted her dead, do you not think I would have kept trying? Was there a chance for both of us to escape, yes. Yet I didn't take it. Instead, I chose to leave myself behind for what I did. I chose an exile in hell. I only left that exile because I was given a task," I turn as much as I can to look at Pearl, "And now I have completed it."

"I also forgave him for the attack. That was a between me and him ordeal honestly. On top of already saying I wasn't afraid of him at all, if anyone bothered to check on us, they would have known a lot sooner of what was going on. If he is given a way off the ship after being healed and possibly cut off from the force," Heavily sighing tired of the conversation, "Then okay. That would be the will of the force. But we're all taking things too slow and not focusing on what is more important, banding together, forgiving each other, training for the darkness ahead, and deal with the aftermath there. After that, I might take a vacation from everyone."

"Then we're done for now. I need to check on some other things... Accendo, take what time you need here." Fenoran turned and left the room. The two knights that stood guard outside the doors, returned to stand inside the medbay.

-Later That Day-

The bacta tank drains as I am lifted out of the tank. It takes a few moments to get used to the sensation of having to support my own weight again. One of the medical staff helps to affix a new breathing mask as the other one was nearly beyond repair from the amount of dust, it possessed. Having it on that planet with no way to fix it, I had to get creative on how to get it to work and for the most part it worked though I'm sure the efficiency is shot on that mask. I was given some robes and a tunic to wear.

I held my arms out to let my guards place binders on my wrists while I probed them through the Force to get a sense of what they were feeling and any surface thoughts they may have, and with a few stumbling steps we began my journey from the medical bay to the brig. I could finally see now the sullen faces of the crew members as well as some of the looks of awe a few gave me.

I could only guess they had heard about my survival on that dead world. I still reached out to touch the minds of those I passed, getting a sense of their emotional states as well as their frame of mind. I was careful to avoid doing this to any Jedi I passed by so as to not antagonize them as I was no longer trying to hide my tainted aura as we made our way through the ship to the brig.

(This post has been made in collaboration with Pearl and Infrit and Kiflin.)

descriptionSurviving... EmptySurviving...

As we made our way to the brig, I couldn't help but notice something odd about my escorts as I probed them through the Force. I couldn't sense either of them breathing, and when I attuned the Force to enhance what I could hear I couldn't hear their hearts beating or even the sound of their blood pumping. It took me a few moments to be sure as I wasn't a master of the technique, however with them being so close I should have heard something.

There were only two reasons I could think of for there to be not sound of any bodily function like that. One, their physiology doesn't allow for it, which is unlikely due to their individual races. Two and I really hoped it wouldn't be this, was that they had no need for such functions as they were already dead. I didn't want to assume anything however as this was a Jedi vessel, so for all I knew this was part of some new training regimen.

There was really only one person I thought would tell me if this was the case, so I began to spread my mind out. Searching the vessel for the familiar light of one mind out of possibly hundreds if not thousands. I ignored the dim buzzing lights that indicated droids through the Force, knowing that the Force flowed through all things as it was in its own way an energy.

Soon I found the mind I was searching for and worked quickly to establish a connection, though it was difficult at this distance, yet again I was hindered due to only having an adequate understanding of the technique. Once I felt her accept the connection and reach out to me in return, I tried to focus on maintaining the connection, though it was difficult due to the distracting smell that one of my escorts gave off. "Pearl, can you hear me? I need to ask you something."

"If it’s about why Valkus is being evil right now, I'll answer. Akira and I are in the brig visiting Kiflin, we're surrounded by six guardians and a stinking Valkus." She replied quickly to him.

"So, then there isn't a new training regimen to suppress the sound of beating hearts or the flow of blood while also stopping ones own breathing? I think I'm heading toward your position if I'm being taken to the brig." I can't help but feel a little apprehension and unease at the prospect of the nightmare that might be happening on this ship.

'Could I have brought what was happening on Delaya here?' The thought came unbidden, as if reaching out to my other half to verify that whatever was happening wasn't my fault.

'Unless whatever happened on Delaya can keep itself dormant for three days in a bacta tank, no. This isn't because of us. But we'll have some fun regardless, and for once, why don't you just enjoy the carnage. That's why you trained so extensively in certain abilities after all.' I could feel the excitement that radiated from within. From the part so deep inside me where He lived.

I could also hear the truth in his words, and since I wasn't a Jedi anymore maybe he was right. Why not enjoy myself this one time?

"Keep your mind clear, heart calm. Master Kiflin said something about a Mngg-mngg right before they came in. A sentient being? Tell me you didn't drink water today. Valkus is missing an ear, it was found in the refresher this morning. I would try taking their saber if you can." Pearl's words rang in my mind, silencing the other voice, reminding me in a way not to give in to Him.

I couldn't enjoy this, not what I was going to have to do to these people that were once allies of mine, even if in name only. "I've been in a fish tank for 3 days; I've been drinking whatever they give me. If I'm infected, I haven't felt any symptoms since coming out but that could be because of the Bact fighting it off. I'll do what I can to help you, Akira and Kiflin. Good luck. And Pearl... You were the first, last and best student I've ever had."

And with that I broke the connection off, though still maintaining my hold on the Force as I quickly began drawing as much of it to me as I could. I scoured the ship once more, focusing more on where I thought the bridge my be, searching for the only other mind I truly made a connection with since coming here.

"Master Fenoran, I am about to become very violent. For that I apologize." With that I let go of the technique, no longer needing to speak with anyone.
Instead, I focused on where I was, who I was with and the actions I was about to take. I made no changes to my outward appearance, keeping the same sullen luck in my eyes, head lowered as if shamed by what must be common knowledge now aboard the ship. My gait the same slow measured pace, as if I'm a man taking in the last bits of scenery there was before potentially spending the rest of his life in a 6x8 durasteel box. All the while I drew more and more of the Force to me, in me, through me, with every breath, letting it culminate into a maelstrom of violent energy. Keeping it bottled within me as I kept walking with this escort, planning my next actions. If these were truly Jedi, the Force would be screaming at them, warning them of the danger standing right beside them.
Finally we come to a door, but instead of either of them reaching to open the door they turn to me. I watch as they look to me and open their mouths as if to speak at first, but instead their mouths keep opening. As if to yell, but still, they grow larger, as if to form a scream, but nothing.
No sound, instead I see their throats begin expanding; it starts close to their chest but quickly begins pushing its way upward, making their throats distend almost to their breaking point as they both reach their arms up to grab me.

'Now!' In an instant and without raising either of my hands I unleash a torrent of Force energy into the both of them, trying to shove them as close to the door as possible five feet away. Once gaining any distance I can I direct the flow of the Force through their necks, trying to cause it to burst from the sudden excitation of cells. With them being so close together and in such a confined place I knew that I would be in the vicinity of the explosion, but I intended to use that to my advantage.

I used the shockwave to leap backward as I brought my hands up to cover my face, shielding it from debris and gore. Once I landed back on my feet, I continued to bring my hands up over my head, taking a split moment to peek out and see the carnage but not giving myself enough time to register the damage as I stepped forward. I swung my arms down as hard as I could, pulling my arms apart from each other with as much force as possible as I slammed the binders down on my thigh trying to use it as a leveraging point to break the binders apart.

(This post was made in collaboration with Pearl Fenni and Kiflin Viskhawk)

(Surviving leads into Episode 6: Into the Void)

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