No One Liners
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Scotland, UK
Current Game: SWOTR
Chapter 14 - Part 1
Rade was lying in his bunk in the cargo hold, hands folded behind his head, staring at the ceiling, when the door opened and Bastila came in.
“Carth said we’ll coming out of hyperspace soon,” she said as she approached him. “Should be landing in Iziz within the hour. Did you get any sleep?”
“Yeah, some,” said Rade, although somewhat disingenuously.
She sat down on the edge of his bed. “You’re bothered by recalling your memories of Revan today, aren’t you?” although her question was more of a statement.
Rade let out a tired sigh, then gave Bastila a weak grin. “And you’re bothered that I’m bothered, is that it?”
Her eyes smiled at him.
Rade shook his head as he sat up. “Don’t be.” He took her hand and squeezed it reassuringly. "Revan’s gone. Forever. I promise.”
The corner of her mouth turned up in a soft grin. “But the memories still bother you.”
“They’re just fragments. Bits and pieces,” he said dismissively, but his eyes belied his worry.
“You’re not the same person now, Rade,” Bastila said. “No matter what Kye thinks.”
“I’m not worried by what she thinks about me,” Rade said somewhat defensively.
Bastila raised a brow. “Aren’t you?”
“No. Not at all. Not even a smidge.”
Bastila lowered her head, giving him a disbelieving look.
“Alright,” Rade conceded. “Maybe a smidge.” He sighed. “She really does hate me, you know. I can feel it every time she looks at me.”
“She’ll come around eventually. You’re Rade Chano now. Not Revan. In time, she’ll see the truth.” Bastila smiled at him, and caressed his cheek with her free hand.
Rade smiled back at her. “You have more faith in me than I do myself sometimes.” He kissed her hand, then began to draw her closer towards him. “How much time did you say we had before we landed?”
Mission and Jolee watched as the glowing yellow crystal on the garage workbench started to gradually change its colour from yellow to a pale green, from pale green to dark green, and then from dark green to light blue.
“Feel the shades, don’t think about them,” Kye said as she walked around Ithra who was sitting on the floor, legs crossed, eyes closed, and humming slightly.
“Let the resonance flow through you, not around you,” Kye instructed.
Ithra’s brow creased as she concentrated.
“Relax. Don’t pull it or push it. Move with it. Ride the ebbs and flows. Find the rhythm.”
The crystal flushed to a deep hue of indigo.
“That’s it,” said Kye. She stood behind Ithra. “Now, pull it. Gently. Softly.”
The crystal started to change again, becoming violet, then a deep, deep red. Ithra’s face began to show signs of strain when it was a deep orange-red, and the crystal began to vibrate, then started to bounce around on the table.
“You’re pulling too hard. Ease off.”
Suddenly the crystal shot off the table. With quick reactions, Mission shot out her hand and caught it. “Ow!” she said, suddenly dropping it to floor. “Hot!”
Kye rolled her eyes skyward, as Ithra opened hers. “What was that?” Kye asked of her sister. “I wouldn’t even pass you as a Third Level Novice with that attempt.”
“We didn’t study harmonics that much,” Ithra said defensively.
“Didn’t study har….?” Kye blinked, dumbfounded. “How can you learn anything without a solid base in harmonics? It’s like, teaching someone how to read without them knowing how to speak the language first.” She looked at Jolee. “Do the Jedi study the harmonics in the Force?”
He raised a wary brow. “Some. But not as in depth as all that.”
“Hmph,” Kye snorted. “Well,” she said to Ithra. “You’ve got a lot to learn.”
“I don’t see the point,” said Ithra. “That isn’t the Gem. It’s just a focusing crystal from Jolee's lightsaber.”
“Just a…?” Kye whispered a curse under her breath. “If you can’t manipulate the Force around a simple lightsaber crystal, how do you expect to do it with the Gem?”
Ithra sighed dejectedly, and looked down at the floor.
“Look, Ithra,” Kye said, kneeling down to eye-level with her sister. “I’m not saying that you’re horrible with harmonics, but you’re certainly not proficient enough to conduct a Tuning. Maybe in a few years, but certainly not yet.” She frowned slightly as she rose. “Which is actually a slightly worrying revelation.”
“How so?” asked Jolee.
“Well, if she’s not proficient enough to do it on her own, and Berland has plans for using the Gem in that manner, then he must have had someone else in mind to lead her.”
“His apprentice?” Mission suggested.
“No.” Kye paced for a moment, thinking. Then suddenly, she stopped dead. “Ithra, who survived?”
Ithra looked confused. “What do you mean?”
Slowly, Kye turned around to face Ithra, and her eyes narrowed. “Besides the Novices, who else survived Revan's massacre at the Haven?”
Ithra shifted uncomfortably.
Kye’s eyes darkened with anger. “You tell me right now, Ithra, or I’ll rip it out of your kriffin’ head!”
The ship jolted slightly. The Ebon Hawk had just come out of hyperspace, but Ithra looked at her sister as if she were responsible for the disturbance.
“Solti Co’Sulrani,” Ithra said quickly. “And Metcrit Do’Onvaleron. And Daenae Do’Vespran, too. But, Kye, they’re not… not the same.”
“Explain,” Kye ordered.
Just then, Carth came into the garage. “We’re on the approach to Onderon. I’ll be taking us off the autopilot in about…..” He paused. “Erm, sorry, did I interrupt something?”
“Yes,” said Kye. “Ithra, I’m waiting. Explain.”
“They’re not Keepers anymore, Kye. Not even… people. Not really.”
“Ex! Plain!” Kye growled, and this time, she outstretched her hand.
Ithra grimaced and her hand flew to her temples. “Stop it!” she said, clutching her head in her hands. “I’m trying to explain! It’s hard!”
“Then get on with it!”
“Hey! Just leave off her, will ‘ya?” Carth said, as he placed himself precariously between them.
Ithra’s pain abruptly ceased, and she glared up at her sister. “You,” she said accusingly, panting to get breath. “You are out of balance!”
“She’s just a kid,” Carth said quietly so only Kye could hear. “And she’s your sister.”
Kye stared at Carth for a moment, then took a deep breath. “Explain,” she said to Ithra. “And I’m not asking you again.”
“What’s going on?” Rade appeared in the doorway, closely followed by Bastila.
“We heard shouting,” said Bastila.
“Ithra said that there were Keepers who survived Revan’s massacre,” Jolee said to them.
Rade’s eyes widened. “Ithra? Is that true?”
“Yes,” said Ithra. “But it’s not what you think. They’re kept in the Foundry. They’re like… well, they’re in these sort of….” She paused. “There are these machines, and… and tubes and… ” She bit her lip, then shook her head. “I don’t want to think about it!” she cried out suddenly, obviously disturbed by the thought. She looked at Kye. “You want to know what happened to them? Then you can bloody well drag it out of my head yourself!”
Without warning and with singular focus in her eyes, Kye pushed past Carth and pressed her hand roughly against Ithra’s forehead. Ithra inhaled with renewed pain and her eyes widened until they were entirely rimmed with white.
“Kye!” Carth protested and lunged after her, but without even looking Kye merely brushed her free hand in his direction and he was frozen in mid-step.
In the next instant, Ithra’s ordeal was over, and she slumped forward on her hands and knees. Without expression, and looking very pale, Kye backed away from her, releasing Carth as she did so.
“Ithra, are you alright?” Mission asked, sidling up next to her and embracing her shoulders.
“Yes,” Ithra said, catching her breath as Mission helped her stand. “Yes, I’m fine. Really.” She managed a weak smile. “Thanks, Mission.”
Kye had now backed a considerable distance away from her sister and the others, but now her legs gave out and she sank to the floor on her knees. Then, she looked up to the ceiling and let out a shriek that bellowed with anguish, anger and grief. Covering her face with her hands, she leaned forward and began to weep.
Carth approached her cautiously. He made it to her without incident, and placed his hand lightly on her shoulder. Even so, she flinched. “It’ll be alright,” he said, trying to soothe her.
She looked up then, and her tearful eyes met Rade’s. But behind the tears, her eyes burned with hatred. With a single move, she pushed Carth aside and drew out the lightsaber that she had in her jacket. “I’ll kill you for what you did to them!” she hissed as she ignited her weapon in a blaze of red. “Do you hear me?! I’ll kill you!”
Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)