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Old 10-10-2010, 06:56 PM   #40
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Pauel's Ship, en route to Cocyta

Arai picked at her food, so lost in thought that an explosion might be challenged to stir her. Though she was glad she and Dom had worked things out and she was trying to consider where they were going from here, losing her Force sensitivity had effectively shattered her concentration. As a result, it was the Force and her recent behavior with it that dominated her mind.

However, during one wild distraction from that train of thought, she wondered aloud, "What are we gonna do about Khristoff?"

Dominic had been in a world of his own, thoughtless and quiet, mechanically lifting his fork to his mouth and chewing on the noodles as his eyes stared down at an indiscriminate spot on the table. When she spoke, the only sign that announced his functioning was a single blink of his eyes.

"What do you mean, 'about' him?" he asked in return, making another deposit of noodles.

Arai looked up from her plate, puzzled. "Is that what I said?" She sighed and shook her head. "Sorry, this whole situation is terribly distracting." She tried desperately to focus her mind and chase down the thought fragment that had popped out.

"I think..." she sighed. "Well, I think it helps us, my current condition. It sort of saves us from extra scrutiny if he has tech to scan for Force sensitivity..."

Shaking her head, she tried to backtrack. "I mean... well, I guess you never really explained why you wanted to go to him. I know my reasons... though I'm seriously questioning them as of late..."

He looked up at her as she spoke, finished with his bite but not continuing to eat. When her voice drifted off, he bent his head down again, and lifted his fork. "I'm Found. He's my master. I'm going to him for instructions."

"Instructions," Arai murmured softly. She frowned, worried. "Do you think he'll have you..." She hesitated, unwilling to finish the thought.

He went on eating. "Have me what?"

"Kill," Arai answered reluctantly. "From all I've heard about the Found, they've been portrayed as murdering without discrimination. Jedi, Sith, neutral, it's all the same, it's all bad." Hurriedly, she added, "Not saying I believe it. I'd be very hard to convince that you would join up with something like that."

Dominic gave a little, wry smirk. "You make it sound as if killing is such a foreign thing."

Arai grimaced, recalling the incident that ultimately led to her exile. "It's not that... I guess I just don't think that every Force sensitive is worthy of death, whether they reject the Found or not."

"There isn't any other way to ensure the destruction of the Force's teachings."

Arai grimaced. "That's the excuse of someone who doesn't want to consider other options. There's always another way."

"Perhaps you can explain it to me, then." He said. He sounded annoyed now.

Her eyes widened. "Yeah, that was a bit blunt of me. Sorry..." Drawing in a deep breath and releasing it slowly, she tried again. "I don't believe that the complete destruction of the Force's teachings is possible, let alone wise. And even if the Found succeed in that goal, they need to understand that the Force users learned their skills from somewhere, without the aid of training by a knowledgeable master. If we learned to harness its power once, we can and will do it again."

"Then we'll start all over again. "

"And you'd be in a cycle no less endless than the conflict between Jedi and Sith," Arai pointed out. "At some point you have to examine your motives and ask what's the point? And is it worth it?"

He was quiet as he looked at her. "I think you're overestimating the powers of Force sensitives. It's a very rare occasion when an untrained person manages to learn how to consciously and directly wield the Force on their own."

"True," Arai agreed. "But even one ordinary person is capable of great things."

"He's also a much smaller sacrifice."

Arai frowned thoughtfully. "Alright. So let's consider this from a more personal aspect, Dom. I've given it a lot of hard thought, mainly because it's hard to think about anything else right now. Being cut off from the Force, I've lost a big and important part of myself. Granted, I was misusing my power, but the more time I spend away from it, the more I realize that was always a choice, and I never chose right. I never chose right because I feared choosing wrong. Didn't the Jedi always say, "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." In that at least, they were right. I'm not saying they always are. I'm just saying maybe there's a better alternative to wiping us out entirely. But I'll get to that later. Knowing I'll never be "Found", if Khristoff tells you I'm next on that hit list... how will you deal?"

Dominic looked surprised by that question... and then that surprise slowly began to fade into am empty expression; blank face, empty eyes. Now that he thought about it... he didn't know what he would do. His two greatest loyalties... Slowly, he shook his head and pushed away from the table. "Khristoff won't find out."

Arai couldn't let it go at that. She caught his hand. "But what if he does?"

He yanked his hand out of her grip. "He wont!"

Arai tucked her hands into her lap and lowered her gaze to the table. "I know he won't," she said softly. "I'll still be Forceless when we land, and for another couple hours afterward. I'm sorry. The thought just wouldn't shut up." She paused briefly, and then added, "I trust you."

He looked at her for a while, and then began moving again. "I'm glad." He picked up his plate, having lost his appetite. Because I don't know if I do.

Mom tells me I need brain food... but if writing ain't that, I don't know what is!

My work in progress:
Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

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