mur'phon, awww, thanks! That's high praise
I hope you didn't get in too much trouble.
Mr_BFA, well, it's always nice to have someone enthusiastic
Chevron 7 locke, you have learned well, young one *nods wisely and strokes inexistent beard*
Sabretooth, between this and your nagging I polished! And update nao yay!
Part 1: Freefall
The turbolift was descending rapidly and she swallowed as the pressure in her ears built up. Nevertheless, she leaned against the cool metal, tapping her foot impatiently. The two teenaged lovers (probably playing truant) giggled and whispered, while a young woman wearing too much make-up checked her reflection.
There was a beep and the lights went out.
They plummeted in free fall.
She plunged both silvery blades into the wall. The lift’s walls screamed as she fought to slow their descent, praying that the walls could withstand the stress of both gravity and the Force pulling in opposite directions. As the metal melted away slowly, choking fumes filled the lift. She felt the wall give and the blades plunged through, grazing the wall of the shaft. She hung on grimly as the lift tilted. The metallic smoke was not sucked out into the vacuum of the shaft—it had been breached.
Another gentle push
sideways was enough to ensure that the lift was scraping along both sides of the shaft, the screech of metal deafening her. Deactivating her lightsabers, she braced herself and pulled
. The lift screeched to an unsteady stop, balanced precariously at an angle.
Revan was with her, in her; love mingling with fear for her, beating against her mind.
Sparks from a control panel fizzed as doors opened above her.
She pushed the civilians into the lowest part of the lift, ignoring how it was rocking dangerously. The walls were too slick and the angle was too steep for good footing—the shaft wasn’t much wider than the lift itself.
There was a small sob, and she turned to see the young girl looking at her. Despite her lover standing protectively over her, the girl’s eyes were brimming with despair.
“Get down. Stay out of the way.”
They were frozen with fear.
The Sith landed right on cue—one more second and the lift would have resumed falling. He and his friends balanced the civilians’ weight nicely. They forced the trapdoor on the lift’s ceiling open and she pushed.
Metal doors buckled and burst open. Revan stepped off the ledge…
The first Sith dived in, but the other was caught off guard and fell backwards against the wall of the shaft. A sabrestaff hummed to life, bathing the lift in bloody light as the man slid down the wall.
Revan landed and there was a flash of violet light…
The exile drew the Force around the Sith assassin, snapping it tight as he fought to escape her grip. She threw her shoto but the sabrestaff whirled, knocking the shoto away and nearly decapitating the second Sith who made it in. The lift was slipping, the sharp sound of metal tearing at her ears, and she held on held on held on
because he was outside and because she…
because she still loved him.
White streaks of agony roared through her. Five tons of metal
. Blindly, she knocked the lift sideways, hoping to jam it again. Her body worked on instinct, parrying the flurry of blows that rained down on her. She had to keep herself between the Sith assassins and the civilians. Her vision was getting hazy. She felt him enter the lift, felt him make her let go. Gravity pulled it free, and they were falling again.
She could feel her heartbeat throbbing in her temples, black and empty. The assassin chose that moment to press his advantage. The sabrestaff thrust downwards, towards the couple sprawled behind her.
And that was how you killed Jedi.
So she threw all the strength she had into the parry, her weapons cold in her hands as they caught the sabrestaff. Sideways, she thought numbly in the brief instant before thought abandoned her again. The assassin had anticipated this and he was stronger than her. A grey haze was beginning to grip her mind. The sabrestaff still caught the boy in his side, filling the air with the sickly stench of burnt flesh. Her guard was down—she was out of position, blades rising as the sabrestaff’s hum reverberated through her.
There was the radiating heat of the sabrestaff, like a fire. There was a dark coolness, and she slipped into it.
* * *
Part 2: The Dark of a Flame
Kavar lit the candle and set it in front of her. She wrinkled her nose at the smell of burning wax.
Settling himself opposite her, he leaned forward and gazed at her levelly. “I want you to concentrate.”
“On the flame?” The flame leapt and danced as she gently manipulated minute air currents around it.
“Lotus position, Lei. Stop fidgeting. Now, let’s have a lesson in basic science. Look at the candle carefully. See how the flame is outlined by blue? That’s the hottest zone. Next is the yellow zone of combustion which produces soot and is the main reason why the Temple disapproves of candles.”
She grinned at him. “Sounds like you disagree.”
“Well, you have to admit that they do a lot for the ambience.” The soft candle light played over his strong features, throwing them into golden relief. “But no, too much pollution.”
She raised an eyebrow, daring him to continue.
“Mind yourself, Padawan.” He sounded utterly serious, but there was a wry twist to his lips. “I believe that you in particular would benefit from this lesson. Focus on the dark zone. Empty your thoughts of everything else.”
They sank into silence as she slid into meditation, breathing deep and slow as her muscles relaxed. She shut her eyes, the faint light of the candle playing across her eyelids. Abruptly, she opened an eye and stared at Kavar. “Let me guess, Vrook gave you a long and boring lecture about how this would lead them to the Dark Side?”
“He doesn’t like the word. Cut him some slack! You still receive secret training and so everyone’s happy. You can still fall and blame me, Vrook can have a field day crowing ‘I told you so!’, while I get to mope around about the loss of my favourite Padawan. Concentrate!”
When she was completely still, he spoke quietly. “In every flame, there is darkness. In it, you are untouched by the fire. Do you understand?”
“Then show me.”
And she fell into the velvety dark.
There is no emotion, there is peace.
* * *
Part 3: Impact
It was like a whiplash—the assassin snapped backwards, a fine line of blood welling from his midsection, visible through the neat tear in his dark clothing. She straightened up, and his sabrestaff arced through the air again as he screamed. She extended her hand, fingers splayed. The Force slammed into him, burning an image into his mind.
Behind the assassin, Revan deftly side-stepped, reversed his grip on his lightsaber and flicked it on. The assassin slid onto it with surprising ease. The lightsaber deactivated, and he slumped to the floor.
The other assassin perished within the space of a heartbeat, impaled upon a violet beam. In concert, they bent the Force to their wills, the lift’s walls heating up between the play of violently opposing forces. They were going too fast and there wasn’t enough time to…
She pulled up the swooning young woman roughly. Revan did the same with the couple, and they forced the civilians to stand with them. He threw his arms around her because he never wanted to lose her again and because he never wanted to have to let go and…
Their strength crystallized in a single instant, between the sharp shriek of crumpling metal and dull boom of impact.
He was checking her for injury, probing her mind and examining her limbs simultaneously. She shut him out, feeling a curious mix of anger and guilt. He stiffened when she closed into herself again, but did not move, still wrapping his arms around her shoulders, still resting his cheek against her own. She pulled away, turning her attention to the civilians.
“The bond…” he began.
“Yes.” She didn’t bother looking at him.
“I felt it…strongly.” To be precise, the bond’s rebirth felt like his heart had burst; scar tissue cleaving apart as old wounds reopened.
“I will explain. They need me now.”
He heard the gentle soft notes of healing, and further away, he sensed a discordant presence.
“Someone’s coming. I will go. Protect them.”