Title: Satisfy My Soul
Description: Attn; Seras!
Izu-Dar-Mauli - January 13, 2012 02:37 PM (GMT)
Life was darkness. It was without guidance, save for random smatterings of memory coming to her mind in dreams, scenes from some kind of fantasy; The sweltering eye of the sun beating down on an endless stretch of white desert. A beached vessel, its dusty, bloated black form degrading beneath the elements. Feet sinking into the burning sand, grains swelling up over her claws, the wind hissing, carrying the tiny pebbles to impact against her scales...
The Tiss’shar didn’t know where the images came from. Everything the creature’s newborn eyes had ever looked upon was metal, neon, and filth, on the planet where she was born, and this planet too. No sand brushed over her scales here, no sun penetrated the deep depths of Coruscant. No, down here the chill fingers of cold dug themselves beneath her scales and the darkness left her blind.
Though... She didn’t mind the darkness as much. With nothing to distract her senses, she could think. ‘Think’. Or meditate. Or whatever it was. She did not know how to describe it, but when she nestled in the gloom she could feel... The other one.
It was something else, something alien pulling on her consciousness. It was this distant, sad call that brought her from the nothing into flesh, and this same call that she followed. But the Tiss’shar was frustrated. How could she know where to follow the call if she didn’t even know her own name? How did she know she had to follow it?
So many pieces, so much missing.
Steam jetted from a nearby heating vent, blowing condensation over the creature’s ebony scales. She drew closer to it, poking her nose against the grate, dry scales rustling in the shadows. The last time she truly feasted was on her birth planet, clearing the laboratory of sentient life, her mind remembering martial skills that her new muscles couldn’t quite carry out. Still it had all been enough to get her off the rock, on a ship bound for anywhere, the pilot’s mind devastated by the creature’s will. In her wake was a massacre that was sure to make the holonews.
But she was hungry again. The beings that lived down in Coruscant’s underbelly were scrawny, ill-kept foodstock. The creature’s long tail tapped a bored tattoo on the dirty durasteel under foot, rattling the yellowing bones that were scattered around her lair. She would wait until the night hours; less witnesses that way, less chance of someone happening upon her...
Fingertips brushed across the back of her neck, scratching at the base of her skull. Spines shivering, the reptilian head snapped up, whipping around, golden eyes flashing in the barest light. She’d slept, returning to her desert dreams, but now it was time to hunt.
It was the flash of platinum blonde hair that caught the hunter’s eye. A slender creature same as everything else in the lower levels, but, she was alone and helpless... She would do. Lines of yellow light broke through the high alleyway windows and flowed over the shadow-clad shape of the Tiss’shar as she prowled forward, sinuous length winding between the trash bins and discarded crates. Her lips were pulled back from her teeth, anticipation surging just before the attack– The girl stopped, suddenly aware.
This might not have stopped the Tiss’shar, but she could feel the girl looking around, peering into the shadows, the gaze brushing over, not her physical body, but her aura. It was familiar, it stilled the hunter’s instinct. Moments passed in silence before the creature slipped from her hiding space, golden eyes fixed on her prey’s face, nostrils flaring as she drew in her scent. What the creature knew as a name drawn from her memory, was hissed between the wicked ivory teeth, and to any in the galaxy it sounded as a consolation. Hush, little child, don’t be afraid.
Far from consoling, coming from the black-scaled beast, but she didn’t want the girl to run. She didn’t want to kill her either. The girl reminded the creature of something, and that was precious.
Seras Amadis - January 15, 2012 06:27 PM (GMT)
Life was darkness. It was all the Miraluka thought about these days. Working at Deltares was an unwanted distraction from her true work. But she knew that each plate she scraped and each dish she cleaned worked towards a greater purpose; it kept a roof over her head and her belly full. The humble life of a dishwasher was one of monotonous boredom and the repetition was mind-numbing. She could feel herself slipping into complacency and it took a great deal of effort to keep motivated. Her true work was what she focused upon as she scrubbed and cleaned, it was her light on the horizon, her gem in the rough. It was her everything.
It was dark out, then it always was in the depths of Coruscant, when Seras Amadis shouldered through the back door to Deltares with a steel bin hiked up to her hip. She wore a dirty apron and the sleeves of her shirt were rolled up to her elbows. The muscles in her forearms were tense with the load and she walked with stiffness, heaving the bin in waddling steps, her expression cast into concentration with her lower lip bit between her teeth. The alley stank, but it was a smell that she was unwillingly becoming accustomed to. The underbelly of Coruscant had a smell to it that couldn't be denied. It was rot and decay, waste and trash. It was pervasive and touched everything. Seras could smell it on her when she collapsed exhausted on the small lumpy bed of the apartment she rented from Dua and it seemed that not even showering could remove the stench.
The heavy door slammed shut behind her, but she could still hear the sounds from the kitchen filtering through the air vents situated overhead. The smells of the kitchen wafted through and mixed with the pervasive rot of the street to make a unique bouquet that was both repulsive and alluring at the same time. The bang the steel bin made as it knocked into the dumpster echoed loudly off the tightly enclosed space and Seras let her burden crash to the floor. She sighed deeply, feeling exhaustion pressing at the edges of her mind and flexed her aching fingers. Crouching down, she inhaled sharply and heaved the bin from the floor, struggling to reach head height and tip the refuse into the dumpster.
It struck her that she could have accomplished this with a simple thought. The Force was her ally in many things, but Seras made a conscious effort to use the mundane way whenever possible. It was a difficult decision to make and one that went against the grain of her thinking, but she understood the necessity of keeping who she was a secret. The fewer who knew she was used to be a Jedi, the safer she would be. The consequences of that decision made chores like this physically difficult and exhausting. But there was a part of her who enjoyed the labor.
There were some gifts possessed to her that weren't as easy to disregard. Her senses were one of those permanent aspects of her existence that she could not simply do without or struggle to overcome. As she was banging the contents of the steel bin into the trash, a presence became known to her and Seras knew that she was not alone. The empty bin crashed to the floor on its base and the former Jedi rested her palms on the rim. She was a little out of breath and allowed herself a moment to recover and also get a better reading on whatever lurked in the alley.
Her mind caressed a hideous presence. Just brushing against it in the most benign of ways caused a shudder of apprehension ripple through her mind. The sensation was familiar and Seras felt fear bubbling inside her. She was fixed on the presence now, unable to tear her mind away and unable to look away. It was only after a repressed memory was dragged kicking and screaming to the forefront of her consciousness that Seras realized where she had felt such a thing before on Corbos. It was different, even in her mounting terror, she could recognize that fact, but the core held the same taint. Stumbling back, away from the serpentine predator that edged towards her with malice, Seras gulped hard.
It took the former Padawan a moment to realize that it had spoken to her, or at least she heard words in that wicked hiss. Hush. Now she was thinking about screaming for help, but the logical part of her mind cowed in fear managed to tell her that it wouldn't do any good. She would be dead before a cry could be raised. Little child, don't be afraid. Seras knew that she had been away from the Jedi for too long now, because she believed the fearsome creature and knew its intent.
The Force gave one skilled in its manipulation powerful insight into the feelings and intentions of sentient beings. She had been trained to block out these thoughts, to ignore them as background static and not intrude upon the privacy of others. However, privacy was the least of her concerns. Every ethereal sensing technique and mental dowsing method available to her was called upon and every iota of her focus was paid to the corrupted beast that crept towards her.
Her hands raised ever so slowly, careful not to make any rash movements that would call upon a swift and painful death. Seras took another step back. Her throat was dry and she swallowed hard.
"What do you want?" She asked hoarsely and there was a tremor of fear that made her voice crackle.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - January 17, 2012 03:35 PM (GMT)
A long forked tongue slipped out between the scaly lips, flittering in the girl’s face. Scenting her prey brought the creature thousands of motes of information, her predatory mind sifting out the important shreds. Fear caused the flutter of a pulse at the girl’s delicate throat to speed. A scream expanded in her chest but was swallowed. The creature’s heartbeat started to accelerate, the trepidation she tasted on the girl making her wish for the chase, to take back her promise of peace and send the girl running so she could sink her razor teeth into that pale flesh...
The sensation of the girl’s familiar gaze sweeping across her brought her back from succumbing to her hunger, and the creature withdrew her tongue with a low growl, closed her lips over the teeth she’d unwittingly bared. The predator was not of the mind to shield herself from scrutiny, and all that was contained within her mind was plain for the girl to see.
Though her ravenous hunger was clear, but only a glaze over the lizard’s true purpose. The sense of longing, of feeling lost, lurked just below that as did the hatred of her vulnerability. Her bloodlust, her love of the darkness and of violence was also apparent. Entwined with everything was intense interest in the girl herself, in what lay below the cloth which obscured the upper half of her face, and why she felt so familiar.
Her aura was stunted as well, cut off far too soon before the girl could delve into memories. There were no memories, except the ones of the desert, which were readily presented. However, these sensations were not all that freely given however. When the creature felt the other’s mind touching hers, she grasped for it, looking to follow the searching tendril back to the origin.
"What do you want?"
The spoken words echoed in the alleyway breaking what felt like years of silence. The hunter blinked, eyelids flicking, and then settled on her haunches before the small girl, lowering her head so that they were eye-to-eye.
Yes, yes, that was a good question. What did she want? The desert, the sun, the turquoise flesh, the metal claw, the eyeless one. She wanted that back whatever it was, and this need was made known to the girl with more intensity than before. That was what she wanted. Could the familiar one give that?
Then a deep rumbling sounded in the creature’s midsection. Nostrils widening, she sucked in that unique musk of the alley way, filtering out the trash and focusing on the aromas of food frying, the sounds of the kitchen reaching them through the high set windows. Breaking away from the girl’s face, the creature turned to look at the slightly glowing windows, a low trilling sound making her throat vibrate.
Some of that, then, she wanted that too. Bring her the desert planet and a hamburger.
Seras Amadis - January 19, 2012 06:29 PM (GMT)
As the forked tongue slid past the mouth of knives and scaly lips, Seras took an involuntary step back and rose onto the balls of her feet. She was preparing to run if the situation turned sour, but she saw the power in the hind legs and the curve of claws starkly against the tainted creature's aura. It didn't take much of an imagination to see her sprinting for dear life as this black creature lopped after her and pounced, claws rending flesh and gripping, forcing her to the ground to be devoured. Seras saw her death in her mind's eye and swallowed. Her muscles tensed as she fought the urge to flee and make her imagination manifest.
Something changed within the beast. The primal hunger that almost had the girl fleeing had been restrained and with the same hesitance that she saw in corrupted lizard, Seras lowered herself onto her heels. The probes she put out, both passive and active, listened and sought answers to questions that had yet to fully form in her mind. She was frowning beneath the bandage wrapped around her head and felt little resistance as their minds touched briefly.
It was like diving into a hurricane. Emotional symbiosis linked them and Seras felt an intense hunger. Her frown deepened as she explored this feeling, letting the emotion that wasn't hers wash over her. It wasn't a hunger that she knew, it wasn't the need to eat, though that was part of it. It went deeper than that. It was a compulsion to consume, an instinctual habit that was writing into the genes and couldn't be easily circumvented with logic or thought. The primal nature of the sensation froze Seras to the spot.
Then she felt something groping her mind and in that instant she knew that she had been drawn too far into the new sensation. She had lost herself and her focus in the roiling turmoil that was so alien to her delicate nature. The contact between them was broken, but not before the damage had been done. Seras was unsure how much the beast had ripped from her, but she could feel the dark touch marring her mind. She felt soiled and made an ugly face.
The thing seemed to sit down and Seras' skin crawled with the intensity of its stare. She waited for an answer. As she waited, the absurdity of her situation settled over her mind like a gentle fog. She grinned despite herself, wondering who else in this big wide galaxy could have her bad luck. Then the humor of the situation faded like waking from a dream. She struggled to keep hold of it but the details slipped her mind and Seras was left with abstract feelings and glimpses into things she couldn't fully comprehend.
Then a trilling from the beast drew Seras back to the present against her will.
"What?" she asked, wrinkling her nose, apparently dense to the creatures mewing. Then she caught on, sniffing the air and smelling the aromas from the kitchen amongst the detritus of the alley. "Hungry?" She had learnt that nothing in this world away from the Order was free, everything cost something. "You can go 'round front and order something if you have the creds." Seras said, but something sick inside her said that the tainted black-scaled beast wasn't looking for a salad with fat-free vinaigrette.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - January 19, 2012 07:30 PM (GMT)
Touching on the girl’s mind was ripping through a gossamer curtain. The creature’s own entrance was not gentle, but not overly cruel. Just clumsy, the reptile’s mind unable to interpret the sensations and feelings she received in return. Images were dark, illustrated in abstract ways, in colors that didn’t exist, and the feelings were... Unfamiliar. Almost? She didn’t know affection, or warmth, or safety. The new feelings were not unwelcome, however. They were sweet, like morning dew on a flower petal, the quiet burble of a stream...
The creature knew when the girl became aware of her intrusion, and then the bond was severed. She fought, just for a moment, but the girl was strong in pushing her out and eventually, she relented. The desire for more was palpable though, an indelible mark having been left on the creature’s mind. If only she could taste more of that delicate contentment, those images of that tall blond boy, the stone walls, meditation... It felt nice, a drop of light in the gloom.
Something was shared between them as well, something which had already been planted firmly in both minds. Loss, confusion. Darkness. The creature considered the frown that marred the girl’s face. Seras’ face. The melding of their minds had presented the girl’s identity as if it was already in her memory, and it left the creature wondering why she had forgotten.
The lizard didn’t like the frown. She wanted it to go away.
"What?" The moment of contemplation was broken by Seras’ answer. Well, hadn’t she been clear? "Hungry?" Another trill in response, the creature’s thick tail sliding across the dirty duracrete. Yes, wasn’t that obvious? She was very hungry.
"You can go 'round front and order something if you have the creds."
The lizard blinked both golden eyes, tilting her head. She could... Go around front? Confusion bubbled up to the surface. She knew the pattern. Her appearance combined with the silent demand usually yielded quick results. But the girl was... Telling her to go about it the traditional way? For a moment, the creature’s mind slipped back, wondering if she did have credits, and then ripped back into focus.
A growl rumbled in her chest, her lips sliding back from her teeth. Nobody just said ‘no’ to her. She hated that. Hated it. She got what she wanted and that was the end of it. The creature’s spines clattered as she flexed, the ripple running down her body. Retaliation was difficult, however. One did not simply link minds with another to just kill them seconds later. The lizard wanted to, wanted to take the price of Seras’ answer from her soft flesh... But she didn’t.
Her head swung from the impudent girl and to the door she’d emerged from. Well, fine. If she wouldn’t bring it to her, then she would take it herself. Sliding past the Miraluka, the creature sidled up to the door, eying the handle. After a long moment, she slipped her claws into the metal loop and tested it, pulling the door open by a few inches. With a rude snort, she threw the door wide, stressing its hinges and started to duck through the portal.
Seras Amadis - January 21, 2012 10:18 PM (GMT)
She could feel the anger rolling off the black thing in the alley and for a split second, the intensity confused Seras. She faltered, taking a step back and raising her hands to put some distance between them. The intent and the danger were real. A cry caught in her throat and she felt herself prepare to run. Deep down she knew that it would make no difference, and if anything, running would only ensure matters. She stood before a predator now, and giving it the thrill of the chase was the last thing that she wanted.
But what were her other alternatives? Negotiate? That seemed unlikely. Fight? That was simply out of the question. Then the moment was upon her and the lizard was moving towards her. Seras stood tall and accepted her fate like a martyr. The dark-sided thing continued past, deciding not to eat her. This was both unexpected and left her with a joyous sensation that lasted for a paltry second before she realized what was happening.
"No!" she shouted, spinning on the balls of her feet and facing the lizard-thing.
With a flick of her wrist, the door the clawed creature had opened slammed shut with a resounding clang. Her mind worked the lock, bolting the door. Though she doubted it would have done much to stop the reptile. Seras knew what would have happened if she allowed this thing inside the kitchen. There would be screaming, fear, the drawing of knives, blood. Her friends' blood would slick the tiles and this thing would feast. That would not be allowed to come to pass. She would not allow it. Now she slipped between the door and the razor-lined maw of the black beast, her arms out stretched to either side. Her face below the blindfold was grim and resolute.
"No." the meat-shield said again and the word was augmented with command, the denial laced with Force-bound influence.
Seras wasn't stupid. She understood the risk she was taking. She understood that this could have been her last precious seconds of life. Before the jaws and claws of this Dark power that had discovered her in an alleyway, she would not survive the first blow. It would be over for her in an instant. The realization brought anguish, but the resolve did not falter. This was how she conducted her form of extreme pacifism and it was far more dangerous than the way of the fist. Her way also demanded more determination. Seras knew it didn't take strength to kill your enemy.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - January 22, 2012 10:51 PM (GMT)
The first denial went unheard until the surge and swell of power called on the creature’s attention back to the girl. Only for a bare few seconds, however. The door, which was already ricocheting off the duracrete wall, was now speeding back into place, and the lizard barely jerked her head back on her long neck in time, avoiding getting a crack in the head from the swinging sheet of metal.
It slammed back into place with a noise that echoed off the walls of the alleyway, and drew the attention of those within. The creature, however, had eyes only for the the slight girl who was sliding between her and her goal. Standing nearly nose to nose with Seras, both golden eyes were wide in surprise. The girl hadn’t even moved, how did she...?
Ebony body flinching back, the word came down on her mind like a great hammer, knocking her intentions away. No. Great head shaking back and forth, the lizard fell back on her haunches. No, she didn’t really want to go inside but... There was something wrong. The sensation of knowing something but unable to recall it made the creature’s gut clench in frustration, and she exhaled violently, hot air ripping through Seras’ hair.
The taint of anger overwhelmed the persuasion, and like a dam breaking, the withheld rage rushed forth, full force. Yes! was the creature’s answer, her own will laced into the word. The lizard rushed forward, propelled from her crouched position by powerful back legs. The long tail whipped at the air as both claws hands dented the door on either side of Seras’ head, and with a great inhale, the great maw opened, unleashing a thunderous roar not inches from the girl’s face.
Yes! She would go inside, she would have her feast, because she was hungry. That bodily need was impressed on the girl, only to splash against a wall of determination and though it was strung tight with fear, it was high enough that even the creature was daunted. Snapping her jaws shut, razor teeth sliding against one another millimeters from the girl’s face, the great head was turned to focus one golden eye on her face. Why? Why couldn’t she go in?
Images and impressions flashed across the lizard’s mind, directed at the girl. The ebony teeth sliding into pale skin, Seras lying on the dirty duracrete, and the lizard disappearing into the doorway anyway to a chorus of screams. Why even bother? The query was pressed on the girl, even as the lizard’s claws flexed, digging furrows into the metal. The urge to kill was only getting higher, but it didn’t have to be the small girl before her. The lizard was fond of her; she was familiar in ways the creature didn't understand but that made her a connection to the memory dreams. That was precious, and she didn’t want to kill the girl. Why did she test her so? Why did she try to stop her?
Seras Amadis - January 23, 2012 06:30 PM (GMT)
Frick. On the list of things that Seras regretted most, this trumped them all. The leviathan was nothing compared to this cold blooded killer that she had just thrown herself in front of. There had been a moment when she thought herself capable of dissuading the beast. The weight of the negative upon the corrupted creature's mind brought the sliver of hope that things would turn out okay. The air blown from the flared nostrils was uncomfortably hot and the condensation cooled against her face, chilling her seconds later, but the thing was relenting to her command.
Her mouth was a thin line of determination, uncharacteristically grim, and the bottom lip trembled ever so slightly. It was taking all her courage and training to stand before so defiantly when all she wanted to do was run. A thread of panic began to unspool inside her as she caught the streak of rebellion rising within the Tiss'shar. Then she saw her world crumble. She should have known better than to have hope.
As the thing that would surely kill her lunged forward, Seras jerked back on reflex, the back of her head striking the door hard. The pain disrupted her focus and she gasped at the intensity of it. What had been a trembling in the lip moments before had spread to her body. Her body shivered like she had been doused with water and left exposed in a polar region. The hands that had been boldly outstretched to bar entry now wrapped around her slender frame in an instinctive maneuver to protect her body from harm.
The rage was too much. Her will crumbled about her and she didn't even have the presence of mind to pick up the pieces. The breath on her face was hot and flecked with spittle. She could feel the waves of convection lapping her face. Her legs gave way and Seras collapsed as if she had been dealt a mortal blow. She lay on the floor, one arm around her drawn up knees, the other cradling her head, with her back to the door. Her ears rang with the deafening roar and her mind was awash with the undiluted anger of denying a primal need.
Some semblance of a wall remained around her mind. How it still stood, Seras couldn't begin to imagine, but she felt the sensation of hunger crash against her mind and pour through the cracks. She had been hungry before, recently even, but this was not the hunger that she had experienced. A thin line of saliva drooled from the corner of her mouth. She was salivating. She too wanted to eat. She wanted to tear into warm flesh with her nails and teeth, ripping chunks away and chewing too quickly, swallowing, and burying her head back into the wound for another helping. She wanted to gorge herself to the point of sickness on the flesh of the living thing she had brought down. She needed to kill and feed and repeat. For a second it was all she knew and all she needed for survival.
Through the dull ache of her mind, Seras heard a banging against metal and someone calling out her name. Her mind blinked, remembering that she had a name. The hunter-killer had not required a name. Then reality crashed back onto her and she recognized the sound of someone banging on the inside of the scarred door. Another mental blink later and she recognized the shouter on the other side, fumbling with the locked door and trying to open it.
Accompanying the crashing of reality came the Jedi principle of protecting the innocent that Seras had twisted into her own special form of pacifism. The banging on the door was a reminder of what was really important, and it wasn't her. Then she saw herself dead on the duracrete, her belly slashed to ribbons, one arm bleeding and broken, the other missing at the shoulder. Blood was everywhere. The images flashed through her mind and she knew them to be a product of the beast. Her brows furrowed and an odd smile broke on her lips. How wrong this murderous thing was if it believed to scare her with apparitions of her own death.
She sat slowly and with great effort, her arms still trembling. She wiped the saliva that dripped from her mouth with the back of her hand. The hands were folded on her knees and she came to sit on her heels. There was an odd serenity about her, an acceptance of fate that took away all the power that the threat of death held. Noting the creature's tense wait for some kind of response, Seras waited in turn, drawing out their waiting in a prolonged silence. Each second that ticked by felt like an eternity and with each one Seras felt the end drawing nearer. She was pushing her luck.
Her mind was orderly again, aligned towards a goal. Her breathing was easy and moderated, and her heart rate was brought under control. She was a bastion of tranquility in the face of a raging typhoon.
"My name is Seras Amadis, the former padawan said in a quiet forcefulness, "and I will not fight you, but..." She paused and took a deep breath, focusing her mind on the exposed essence that the creature displayed like a still target.
"I will not let you pass." The words were soft, almost a whisper on the evening, but the psychic weight behind each was a lance aimed at the heart of the thing. She put all the effort she could muster into the push, knowing that if it failed she would have to hold the beast back with her mind. Seras wished she was more skilled in the arts of persuasion. Healing had always been her focus and she had never truly considered that this could be a tool that could save. Accompanying the words, Seras projected calmness upon the open mind, and in a moment of inspiration, a sense of fullness. It struck her as she made contact that this beast needed to eat, it needed to feel full. If that's what it desired so badly, she would fulfill that desire… but not with her flesh.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - January 24, 2012 08:41 PM (GMT)
The girl’s terror radiated off of her as if she were a small sun going supernova. The creature felt it, heard it, tasted it, permeating the air around her, and it only drove her into a higher frenzy. She loved the sensation, fed off of it, and tilting her head back, added to the chaos with another roar. As the sound echoed off the alleyway walls, petering off into nothing but a ringing in the ears, the banging on the other side of the door came to the creature’s attention. There were others, now, wanting to get through. Let them come! She would feast!
But then, an island of light in the sea of darkness appeared on the horizon, a pinprick, growing larger with every passing second. The creature saw the order, the strict lines of control building a fortress around the girl’s mind, and then Seras was there again, no fear showing beyond her mind’s walls, determination written on every aspect of her appearance.
"My name is Seras Amadis, and I will not fight you, but..."
The creature’s mind flinched back as it felt itself come under scrutiny, as did the creature herself, dry scales shivering against each other. The golden eyes which had been drawn away from Seras by the sound of other beings trying to get through the door, were focused back on the girl. She was ready this time, her wave of rage swelling beneath the waters of her chaotic mind.
"I will not let you pass."
The hammer again brought on by whispers, a great force coming down to clap on the surface of her mind, breaking the wave, shattering her resolve. The lizard’s mind was so open, so very exposed, there was nowhere she could hide, nowhere she could go for respite, to recall her anger. No, Seras was building a fortress within her aggressor’s own mind, expanding the peace. The slit pupils dilated and then contracted feverishly. She tried to fight, she fought until a great ache started at the base of her skull and worked its way down her spine to nestle between her thick shoulder blades.
But it was too great a force, too invasive, and her mind was unprepared for the onslaught. Peace; a droplet of water in to the ocean of chaos, the ripples expanding out to smooth the waters to mirrors, bringing tranquility. And then, the sensation of a tight, empty stomach disappeared, and the great ebony body shuddered along its serpentine length. With a creak of metal, the lizard withdrew her claws from either side of Seras’ head, a dazed, confused look shining in her eyes. There was control, for as long as the Miraluka could keep it up.
Settling back on her haunches, the lizard sucked in a breath, and then exhaled, slowly, giving off a brittle heat. This was strange... She could... think. Past the hunger, past the pain, and frustration and... A low rumble vibrated in the lizard’s chest, and then she slid forward, snout brushing against Seras’ face. She was sorry, truly sorry for having frightened her.
Long tongue slipping out, the creature could still taste the terror in the air, and she crooned. No, she didn’t like that, she didn’t mean for it to happen. Scooting forward, the creature lifted herself from her forelegs, and straightened her back and shoulders. Though the lizard remained crouched, the position was distinctly more humanoid, more civilized. Finally, she held out a clawed hand to the girl, offering to help her to her feet.
Seras Amadis - January 30, 2012 04:28 PM (GMT)
She tried to forget her coworkers banging on the door, trying to open it, trying to figure out how it had locked without a key, trying to get through. She could hear them, and more distractingly, she could feel their fears and panic cresting against her mind. Seras had enough fear already without others laying theirs at her feet also. Somehow, Seras managed to make them take a backseat to her lizard problem and actually found the banging and cries comforting in an odd way. It gave substance to what she was trying to protect.
There was a twinkle of surprise in her mind as Seras managed to get the beast to shudder away. It was tempting to let herself get washed away in her minor victory. However, she kept focus on what was important and turned her mind away from the warming feelings of accomplishment. She could not allow herself to wander, not here, not now, not when this twisted misalignment of the Force threatened to consume her and her coworkers.
It was only as she felt the rage subside and a measure of calm instill within the creature's mind that Seras allowed herself a moment to breathe. She had not liked inflicting her will upon another's mind, even with good reason. It felt invasive and wrong and reminded the former Padawan of lessons in the Jedi Temple of Ossus when she was first learning to peer into the minds of others. The Masters had warned of the temptation to invade the privacy of other sentients and how this was a path to the Dark Side.
The defences, what little there were, had been bulldozed by Seras' onslaught and many things were laid bare before her mind's eye. She felt the hot sands of some unknown world beneath her feet, rubbing between clawed toes. She saw a Twi'lek with a steel hand and anger in her eyes, a man with a blindfold, a large spider. She felt the sensation of the kill, of butchery, and of massacre. She felt her razor-like incisors rip into flesh and crunch bone. Seras' throat tightened as the sense-imprinted sensation of hot blood dribbled down her chin. She felt the familiar darkness of a Leviathan lurking in the shadows, the telltale sign of corruption scarring the creature's soul.
Before Seras knew what was happening or that she had achieved the impossible, the beast was sitting and patiently watching her. Seras swallowed hard and an exhaled breath shuddered from her chest. She uncurled her hands and felt them ache, realizing she had taken pleats of the apron she wore in her clenched fists. This was so surreal.
Her mind's eye couldn't have diverted from the beast if Seras had wanted it to. She regarded it warily even though she knew with certainty of the beast's pacification. It brought a timid and secretive smile to her lips. She was proud of this, prouder than she should have been, proud that she had overcome this natural born killer with peace and tranquility. How Master Stone would have hated to see her succeed so. She had been thinking of him again as the beast jerked forward. Seras made a small, frightened, sound in the back of her throat before the snout brushed against her face with the utmost tenderness. It shocked her that something so dark and filled with rage could be so affectionate. Against her better judgment, Seras ran a hand across the scaled brow and along a muscular jawline.
She had half expected to lose the hand.
Seras regarded the creature with mild amusement as it crooned in apology. Now she felt silly and shook her head, clicking her tongue in disappointment. She still saw the galaxy through the lens of a Jedi. She saw this creature as nothing more than a tainted abomination to be feared and destroyed. She felt ashamed and knew she still had a long way to go before she could cast off the Jedi bigotry she had been indoctrinated with. The galaxy was not black and white. There were not absolutes. Everything was a spectrum… even this creature.
As the clawed hand was extended towards her, she took it confidently to prove to herself that she was not afraid and show that the beast could be more than a killer. Even so, her water-pruned hands caught on the ridges of the claws and she could feel the sharpness to them. Involuntarily, her mind went slack with the rending of imagined flesh.
"Thank you," Seras whispered after climbing to her feet. The sounds at the door had ceased and Seras saw a caravan of concerned kitchen staff moving through the restaurant to round the alley from the other direction. In an odd shift in priorities, she now feared more for the beast than the Deltare's staff. They could not understand what she had felt, what she knew, and she could not explain it to them. Fear was a powerful thing and this creature was skilled at imparting it upon others.
"You must leave… quickly." Seras said, and felt the creature's hesitance to leave her side. "Go… they will not hurt me. They are my friends." She tried to explain, but didn't know if she was getting through or not. "Go," she said again, placing the same influence behind her words that she had used to pacify the beast. Now she just had to convince the others that everything was okay. She smiled ruefully, wondering if this would be the true battle of wills.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - February 2, 2012 08:58 PM (GMT)
There was still a part of the creature that fought. Somewhere beneath the calm surface of her mind, darkness lurked, pacified for the moment, but unwilling to let itself be forgotten. Seras’ attitude towards her did not feel like one who considered her an equal; rather it was victory over an unthinking, animal danger. The creature had never been so aware of her bestial nature as she was now.
A memory bloomed in her mind’s eye, more solid than anything before. Black durasteel bulkheads, forming a throne room... Slinking up stone steps to sit at the foot of the throne. Resting the jaw the Miraluka’s slender fingers now caressed on turquoise thighs. There was surprise in the air, and mistrust. The creature had said something, said it with her lips, tongue, and voice and... She hadn’t been expecting it. She thought of her hunter the same way as Seras did now.
The lizard hadn’t thought of it then, in the memory, or dream, or whatever it was, but she did now. She didn’t like being thought of as a mere beast to be controlled and pacified. The darkness surged, pushed at the surface, but the creature held it back. The revelation didn’t– wouldn’t anger her, nor did Seras’ continued treatment. The ebony creature found the lucidity in her mind allowed her a moment of thought; instead of rushing through the tangle of emotions, giving up and jumping towards an enraged attack, she followed a linear glowing path, ignoring the darkness that writhed beneath the mirror waters. She would have to show this girl what she was truly dealing with.
The thick scaled digits closed around the girl’s pale hand, engulfing it, and with a tug of her arm pulled Seras upright. Her head still close to the girl’s face, she caught the whispered thanks just before it was overwhelmed by the sounds of other voices, yelling, calling Seras’ name. Both golden eyes were turned away, towards the shadows on the side walk, cast by beings marching around the corner.
"You must leave… quickly."
She blinked, head swinging back around but didn’t move, her spines flexing as her body did. She didn’t know who these people were– fear and alarm tainted their auras. Seras’ safety was not quite foremost in her mind, but the creature was loathe to lose the first being she was able to connect with in a long time.
"Go… they will not hurt me. They are my friends... Go."
The hurried explanation did little to persuade, but when the girl put her will behind her words and the creature felt the pressure on her mind, she relented. Her body, formerly statue still, broke away into liquid darkness, sliding away among the trash bins and debris of the alley and into the city depths. Just before the creature disappeared, she threw one last glance in Seras’ direction. She wasn’t leaving, not forever. She would find her again, soon.
That promise was almost broken. The further the lizard drew from the girl’s calming aura, the stronger the blackness beneath the surface of her calm became. She wanted it, cherished it, but at the same time, fought it. She could think right now, she could remember and that was what she wanted... But she was so hungry.
Finally, the control snapped, and the lizard’s mind became awash in blood, fury, and hunger. An unfortunate victim was found, claws tore into flesh, and she sated herself, sucking on the bones until not even the marrow was left. It was only after the hunt, after her belly was thick and full of food, and the daylight had seeped away from Coruscant’s lower levels that she remembered something of the eyeless girl. The lizard wanted to see her again, to see what else she could pull from her mind.
Finding her way back was not difficult. She took unconventional routes, scaling the sides of buildings, crawling beneath walkways and moving in the shadows of the alleyways. Finding the girl again was, however. Golden eyes peered through the darkened restaurant front, seeing the dim glow of a security light in the kitchen, but nothing else. She was not here.
Slipping around the alley way, she discovered the girl’s scent, nearly overpowered by the trash and grime, but enough there. Head low to the ground, bracing herself on all fours, the lizard’s tongue slipped out, tracing the scent and following it away from the restaurant. Walking on her hind legs, not many gave her a second glance, though the constant pausing and scenting at the air was cause for sidewalk traffic jams that earned her a few curses. These went ignored.
Eventually, her nose led her to an apartment complex, and, standing at the front entrance, she craned her head up, eying each of the levels. She wasn’t likely to be let in, no, not from the wary look the security guard was giving her, but maybe... It was an unfamiliar sensation, but at the same time, she felt as though she ought to have always known how to do it. Seeking tendrils were extended, and then petered out. The edges of her mouth turned down into a frown, and she snorted. Again, she tried to seek Seras’ familiar presence out and brushed against it at the very edge of her range, just before her power failed. It was enough however, and the creature slipped away from the front and into an alleyway, only to leap at the wall, digging her claws into any handhold she could find and scaling the side.
Seras Amadis - February 3, 2012 05:18 PM (GMT)
The rest of her shift had been spent in a buzz of fear and excitement. The foreign emotions from her colleagues washed off her and contaminated the calmness she was struggling to maintain. She found herself swept up in their fervor. What passed as a police force to the under-city had been called and a report lodged, but everyone knew, even if they did not wish to admit it, that no patrol would show up.
Her work colleagues had quizzed her mercilessly about what had happened and what she had seen, although seen had been used informally. Seras had answered truthfully when she told the others that she didn't know what it was. Their reaction to this seemed equal parts disappointment and intrigue. Their disappointment stemmed from the desire to know what exactly was prowling the under-city of Coruscant and their intrigue stemmed from their imagining escaped zoo animals, mutant monstrosities from the deeper under-city, and any number of outlandish ideas, each more ludicrous than the next. Seras had smiled at a few of the suggestions, but was more lost in thought than anything. She was secretly pleased that none of the suggestions came close to what she had shared the alley with.
She had conversed with the beast and touched its mind, the former padawan told them none of this, of course, but she held unique insight into where the tainted thing had come from. The sands of some far away world brushed through her mind and for a split second she felt the warmth of a bright sun upon her cheeks and the grains of hot sand between her toes. The assimilated memories were dismissed with a shudder and she scrubbed a pot, unable to not listen to the conversations around her. For once the kitchen was not a place focused on productivity and Seras speculated that was because Dua was elsewhere.
Things calmed eventually, but Seras could still feel the hint of apprehension in the air and her mind snagged on the errant thoughts from those around her that strayed towards the steel door that led into the alley. It had taken a while for the corrupted beast to slip from her mental gaze and become a memory Seras wished that she could forget. That would have been folly, she realized, as she knew that the thing would be waiting for her.
So it was with a great deal of apprehension that Seras accepted Olivar's offer to walk her home. She had refused ever of politely when he broached the subject, not wanting to put any other lives in danger when the beast came upon her. He had then insisted and Seras got the impression that this was an offer that she could not refuse. She considered denying him, but she didn't know how to go about it without significant explanation or hurting his feelings. In the end she let him take her home.
It seemed that Olivar could sense her unease as they walked even though he was blunted to the Force. Neither of them said much and the majority of the distance was covered in silence. Olivar took to glancing around, as if on guard, and Seras fretted what would happen if the beast came back for her. She got the feeling that influencing the beast a second time would be more difficult, especially with fresh meat walking around. For all her fretting and Olivar's watchful attentiveness, they reached Seras' front door without incident. They said their goodbyes and Seras thought she felt a pang of disappointment from Olivar as he walked away. She frowned and dismissed the moment, choosing to check her traps; empty.
The hours passed and Seras tried to get a little sleep. She tossed and turned on the thing that passed for a mattress and couldn't stop replaying what had happened through her mind. She was still alert, monitoring the edges of her consciousness for the presence of the beast. With each passing minute, the idea that maybe it wouldn’t return began to solidify in her head. Just as she was about to discount the encounter in the alley as a one off and will herself to relax, that familiar taint came into view and her stomach churned. She wouldn't have been so lucky.
Still fully awake, Seras hopped from bed and dressed quickly. A part of her considered fleeing, but that would have only given the beast reason to pursue her. That was not what she wanted. Hiding was equally discounted. Seras knew that she would have to face both it and her fears. She unlocked the front door and cracked it open. Seras remembered how easily its claws had crumpled the steel kitchen door. The wooden thing that stood across the portal to her humble abode would not deter the beast. It seemed best to allow the inevitable to happen.
Seras knelt in the middle of the single room apartment and faced the door. Her face was composed into a serene mask of calm and worked to bring her body under control. Slowly her heartbeat came within normal resting levels and her breathing became slow and easy. The beast was getting closer now and her brain tingled with familiarity. Seras suppressed a shudder at the sensation and awaited the beast, knowing very well that these could be her last moments alive.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - February 6, 2012 07:20 PM (GMT)
The outer faces of most Coruscanti buildings appeared smooth from a distance, a curving durasteel shell filled with life and misery. But upon closer inspection, one saw the rivets and flaws that marked the surface. It was even more apparent in the lower levels, and it was these blemishes that the creature used to scale the building’s side. A psychic gaze was kept on her goal, several stories up, while her serpentine length slid up between windows and tiny balconies, claws digging into notches and gaps in the metal.
It wasn’t long before the creature drew level with the presence it sought, and she was presented with a tiny window. Pushing her snout close to the portal, golden eyes peered in on a dimmed apartment, and she spied Seras, sitting rigidly before the flimsy door. One claw was lifted to tap on the glass barrier, but the creature thought better off it and went to seek out another entrance. A large air vent, its grating nearly falling off was her ticket in, and sliding in out of the wind, the creature’s spines scraped against the sides of the vent as she wriggled through.
Her bulk was nearly too much to spill into the hallway when she discovered an access point in the ceiling, but by flattening her spines against her body, the creature managed it, her landing nearly silent save the bits plaster that also dropped around her, leaving white streaks on her ebony scales. At this time of night, she could sense surrounding minds deep in sleep, their dreams drifting into the hallway, mingling. Aside from the security guard at the lift, only one on this level was conscious and the creature followed that. Seras was expectant, and again, the beast could taste the girl’s fear, like the metallic tang of blood.
Slowly, the wooden door was edged open, letting the outside light spill across the girl kneeling on the floor, and upon seeing her, a wide smile stretched over the creature’s face. Pulling her self inside, ducking her head to avoid the ceiling, she pushed the door closed with a nudge of her tail and then crouched before Seras, knuckles bracing against the floor, golden eyes fixed on her shrouded face.
Drawing closer to her did not have the effect of calming the beast, but her mindset was different, regardless. There was no physical hunger there, no demand, just simple dark curiosity. What had the girl done, and could she do it again? It took effort, thinking how they’d touched minds before, but the memory returned quickly, as if she’d done it thousands of times before, instead of just once mere hours previous. Another note of confusion in the beast’s mind. How did she know these things?
A searching tendril extended from the creature’s mind to Seras, seeking connection, and probing again for that fortress of calm that laid clear pathways of thought and memory before her mind’s eye. At first touch, the scent of fear was there, but beneath that the coveted calm; the smell of a calm pool of water, the sound of quiet waterfall – A meditation garden.
This time, the creature was inviting, willingly open to this girl and wanting to share. To the creature, they had a connection, however tentative, and somewhere in her predatory mind, she thought that another brain to sort through her broken memories would be useful.
Seras Amadis - February 8, 2012 01:55 PM (GMT)
She was trembling as the beast came into view through her mind's eye. It took every ounce of self-control she had to sit here when every cell in her body begged and screamed to flee. Even with the calming techniques and mind over body mastery of the Jedi, she failed to control her fear – and her excitement. Yes, she was conscious enough to recognize the tingle of excitement rushing through her veins, comingling with the fear to make a potent cocktail of adrenaline and evolutionary based flight responses that slid like ice along her spine and down her arms and legs. This shouldn't have been thrilling, Seras knew that. She understood that this was dangerous, that she may die, and she did not want to die. But there was a part of her that thrived at being in the presence of such a beast.
Seras did not understand it and she did not wish to. A surge of guilt washed over her and nervous sweat sheened off her pale flesh and made her hands clammy. Seras wiped her hands on her light trousers and clenched the small hands into fists bunched in the fabric. Her fingertips began to hurt with the pressure, but that was the last thing on her mind as the beast nudged into her domain. There was that curiosity that Seras had seen in the beast during their first meeting and she imagined herself as some plaything, little more than a distracting bauble that would soon be discarded.
The closing of the door was unexpectedly loud and Seras flinched despite herself. She felt her self-control falter and a few blocks of her mental defenses toppled from the parapets of her mind. Inhaling sharply, the former Padawan locked down the rebellious portion of her psyche that threatened to undo everything. Her lips were moving quickly in hushed breaths, Jedi idioms and mental cleansing techniques that she had not recited since being a youngling crashed into the forefront of her mind. She found reassurance in the memories they conjured and a calm that belied the present and true danger of her situation was instilled within her.
Why was she doing this, the former Padawan wondered. Why had she invited this beast into her home? Why was she not fleeing or using every asset available to her to keep the beast from reaching her? The answer to those questions was simple and utterly defeatist. To the chagrin of everyone in the Jedi Order, and a few beyond, she was known as an extreme pacifist. Seras refused to raise her hand against another, and as such that removed many options available to her. With physical conflict ruled out as barbaric, that only left fleeing and that would have been next to useless in the presence of such an alpha predator.
The tendril of consciousness that reached out to her met blank refusal and Seras' mouth pressed into a thin line. She would not permit her mind to be penetrated as it had been during her lapse in concentration earlier. She would not give up more of herself to this beast. She almost dismissed the brushing of minds and clamped down further, but some aspect of her peaked over the ramparts of her mind and saw the truth behind the invitation. The openness confused her.
Probing threads of thought expanded from Seras and they hesitantly sought the beast's invitation. It was turned over in her mind and she had the forethought to imagine some trap to take her unawares. That caused a rueful snort. If the beast craved a fight, he would not find it in her. She would die pathetically at the beast's claws and teeth. The more she probed, the more that the offer seemed genuine, but she was still hesitant of making another connection. After a somewhat awkward pause in which she began to read agitation within the beast, Seras relented and tried to put aside her worry.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - February 9, 2012 06:56 PM (GMT)
The creature’s searching mind was curbed by the wall, the feelers of thought hesitating at the Seras’ refusal. Then, nostrils flaring, she started moving again, probing the wall for weakness, in a sense, surrounding the girl’s form with her mind. Denial wasn’t nice, she didn’t like it and anger ignited a tiny spark to roil around in her belly. Yet, the creature knew that the girl could’ve pushed her away, and she didn’t. That said that there was reluctance on the Seras’ part to simply drive her away, and that was what kept the anger away from manifesting.
Withdrawing, her open mind began to instead beckon, leaving the invitation on her doorstep rather than rattling at the door handle. That was when the girl began to open up, slowly, ever so slowly... A long pause passed between the strange mismatched pair sitting in the dark apartment on Coruscant, the ebony beast with darkness in her heart, and the white-clad girl with pure intentions. And then there was a connection, and a shiver coursed its way down the beast’s scaled body, black pupils becoming wide and round, reflecting the bare light streaming through the tiny window.
This time, it was easier for the dark waters to calm themselves, but simply because the lizard wanted it, and she knew what else she wanted. Her grip was not strong, her connection with the Force having only just been renewed, but she still pulled on Seras, urged her to follow as she dove into the ocean’s depths.
There were memories in the inky blackness that soon surrounded them, massive and oppressive, but only black shapes swimming the gloom. They were unfinished, sensations and images pattering against their consciousness as they swam past. The taste of blood on the tongue, bones cracking in the jaws; that was recent, towards the surface. Then, another mile down, and there was the sensation of pain at the throat, teeth sinking into flesh. The creature flinched away from that one, her physical claw going to touch her neck.
Down where an ocean’s pressure would’ve crushed them into bits of bone and flesh, yet another one brushed against them, a more pleasant one. Sunshine on scales, sand between toes... Fingers digging into the itchy place just behind her head, stroking the fan of bright feathers. The creature was not shy about enjoying that one, and a low purr resounded in her chest. But she was not stopping there, and pushing away from the memory, she ensured that Seras still followed.
There was a light then, a light below them... Yet, they were swimming upwards now. Suddenly, their lungs were burning, they needed to reach the surface, quick! Struggling upwards, they exploded out in looked like a pond, felt steam brushing against their faces, smoking from the mirror-like surface. The water around them was warm, almost hot, heated by the blazing eye of a sun high over head. All around them was desert, white sands blinding in the daylight.
Yet, a cool breeze drifted over their heads, shifting grains of sand into the water to dribble down into the abyss. Or up? Even the creature was confused. Pulling herself from the pool, she shed the water as if her scales were a raincoat, and then turned to offer a hand to Seras. In every way, the memory seemed complete, but at the same time, it was a product of surreal imagination.
The sky arcing overhead was a mass of blues, from a dark, almost black straight above, to a cerulean blue at the horizon. The colors were saturated, thick with vibrant life, lovely, but utterly unnatural. Hanging low, next to the massive moon that peeked over the horizon was a planet, too close to not have some kind of gravitational pull on wherever they were, yet... It seemed to be Coruscant. And there was another, a planet a little further off, and while the creature had no way of seeing from this distance, she knew it was an ice ball, with dead frozen forests and mutants lurking beneath the surface. Seras knew too, inherently sharing the half-formed memory.
Trilling low in her throat, the creature turned away from these spectacles to gaze behind her, at the rolling dunes that stretched across the desert to a rise of red mountains. From here, she could see clouds, dark clouds, and lightning.
All of this seemed to only be in the distance, though. What surrounded them was merely an empty expanse of desert sand, them standing next to their portal, whose water was flat again and crystal clear, as if they’d never disturbed it. Another look at the rolling dunes, however, told the creature that they weren’t alone, and she crouched next to Seras, tail protectively swinging around so that she arced around the young girl. Mental or not, she’d never been here before, she was uncertain and wary.
Figures were moving towards them, their shadows long and mingling with the mounds of sand. Somehow, the sun had started to set, turning the sands red with the fiery light, and the newly-night sky overhead showed a constellation of stars. Two people were coming towards them, swathed in thick desert gear, though the ragged brown cloth did not disguise the metallic arm that glinted in the blood-light.
Seras Amadis - February 20, 2012 07:02 PM (GMT)
Seras had shared minds with another before and each time was different and special in some way. The shared sensorium had overpowered her on occasion and the former Padawan became lost in the mind of the other, feeling everything as if it had happened to her. This was not one of those times. Seras' hesitance had left her reserved and wary of what she might discover in the beast's head. She appreciated the time the beast gave her to prepare and block the worst of the sensations from pressing upon her. However, thoughts and impressions wormed through her defences and she began to feel.
The moment that she had to balk and break the connection passed and Seras accepted this new information with the ease of one who had been instructed in such things from a young age and thought little of the psychic mechanics, which came intuitively. She was going down, descending through the outer level of conscious thought and into memory. It was hard going and the feeling of free-fall was disorientating. Chained to the beast's will, Seras irked at the lack of control she was presented. She was just along for the ride and worried about what she would discover.
It seemed that the second she had had that thought, she tasted blood. Seras felt bone crunch between her teeth. She put up resistance there, refusing to go further into the beast's abattoir-mind. But inertia had her speeding along and applying the brakes did nothing to slow their descent further into the inky blackness that swamped her perception. The sickly slurping noises and the crunching of bone faded to a half-remembered dream as Seras was dragged forward. The taste of blood evaporated from her tongue, but she could still taste the tangy metallic flavor.
The beast drew Seras further into its memories and Seras concluded that the beast had something specific it wished to show her. Their course seemed predetermined and she was considering what lay at the end of this memory walk when her throat was ripped out. The mind-form of Seras thrashed with hands clenching her ruined neck. Precious seconds were spent on a dusty crag, bleeding into the brown dirt and staining the ground red. Something monstrous loomed over her dying form. Knowing this was just a memory, a pearlescent dream-scape formed from the dying embers of life, Seras waited for it to end. Death took her and she was catapulting through the black mind-space of unfamiliar memories.
Death had been troubling in its violence; a violent death for a violent life. It was the death that she saw for herself as well. One day, it wouldn't be the memory of another she was experiencing. Such morbidity did not do her well and so lost in her musings, Seras did not realize the discomfort she was under until it was too late. She couldn't breathe. Her flailing in the deep did not help to maintain a calm and collected mind. She knew this wasn't real, it was only an impression of drowning, an approximation of the physical effects. This was a mind-space and she was a master of the mind. That thought helped little and Seras was pulled further and further into the drowning mindset.
Light came from below, or above, or some other direction. She was turned around in her panic. She struggled towards the light, but it moved away from her quickly and before long it was a pinprick in the inky blackness of the beast's mind. It winked mischievously before extinguishing. Desperation and acceptance killed her drive and Seras hung limp in the waters. Imagined water filled her lungs. It took time to realize that she was still moving. Perhaps it was the oxygen starvation, but Seras had the distinct impression that she was not the one moving, but that this world of darkness was rearranging around her.
Her next thoughts were blurry and ill-formed as it all happened so fast. A shimmering disc grew rapidly from the apex of her mind's eye. Seras recognized it as a sun-lit pool. Suddenly the waters were bright as any pleasure resort. The next thing Seras realized, she had broken the surface. She gasped and sputtered, reduced to a coughing fit as she brought up water.
The scene laid before them was as surreal and beyond her imagination. Though, even the most mundane sights would have seemed fanciful and alien to Seras. Through their mind-link, her world was rendered in physicality, color, and light from a visual spectrum. It was terrifying and fascinating all at once. She took the proffered claw and was heaved from the pool, though Seras was still in awe of her surroundings. Even the sand at her feet intrigued her. Eyes turned upward and Seras saw a magnificence that she could barely begin to describe. Heavenly bodies danced on elliptical paths through a sky a million shades of something called blue. Seras liked blue. Through their shared consciousness, Seras knew that the first of the heavenly bodies was Coruscant. Though, it appeared far different than the blazing aura of a trillion lives burning as one. The cousin Coruscant shared the alien sky with was viewed with apprehension. That was a dark place, cold and dead. It was a place of nightmares manifest. She shuffled closer to the beast.
Dunes next caught her gaze. Rolling hills of sand that rode to a horizon dominated by the jagged edges of red mountains, stabbing toward Coruscant. Dark clouds shrouded the peaks and flashed with lightning. Seconds later a distant rumble crossed the dunes like a peal of a war drum. Once the sights lost some of their awe, Seras was able to focus on the reasons the beast had brought her here. Why would it have brought her to a desolate waste? Was there something here that she was supposed to understand?
Seras learnt that they were not alone at the same time the beast did. A pair, shimmering like a mirage on the dunes, walked towards them. At one moment they were far away, a spec on the horizon. The next they were cresting a dune near them and sliding down on the shifting sands. Seras caught the glimmer of reflected light off a hand and she realized it was a prosthetic. They were dressed as people accustomed to the desert would dress. No skin showed through the ragged cloth on either of them. Wide mirrored lenses set in the face mask one of the desert dwellers wore pinned her with a gaze that made Seras shiver. She tried to look away, but it was useless.
"There you are, my Izu." Even though the voice was cut with static of rolling sand and travelled oddly across the dune, Seras imagined noted that it was a female voice. She looked between the beast and the desert dwellers.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - February 21, 2012 12:42 AM (GMT)
Beneath the soaring desert sky, time had no meaning; moments stretched until the horizon and hours were as a single grain in the hour glass. Seras’ awe at the world rendered in color and shape was an enthralling experience to the creature and her head twisted around to regard the girl with one large gold eye. She gleaned undeniable delight from girl’s fascination, and reveled in it, a rumble of a purr in her throat. It was a far cry from the terror or confusion usually leveled at her.
However, the lizard’s amusement didn’t last when the other beings made themselves known. At once, the figures were far away, and then they were blinking over the nearest dune, sand dribbling over the crest and down its face, and then they were standing close, the sunset reflecting fire in the eyes of the leader. The other had nothing but wrappings where the eyes should’ve been. The beast looked on, head low, and lips pulled back.
The breeze was a whispering roar, tugging at their clothes, plucking at the desert dwellers’ dark wrappings, at Seras’ white robes, and winding between the spines that trailed down the lizard’s back. This had never happened before. Before, when she came to this desert within her mind she had always been alone, and now, she didn’t know what to expect. Seras’ confusion echoed across their bond and took root in the creature’s mind, but the fear was not present.
What she couldn’t have understood was that the greater concentration it took to bring two minds into this memory-dive was already opening ethereal passageways, expanding her mind beyond what it had ever been before. These were links that should’ve been forever lost but were simply too strong. The creature knew, beyond a doubt, that these two figures were not... Well, they were dangerous, she could scent the blood on them like a pungent perfume, but not to her. To Seras though... Sliding forward, the lizard put her bulk between the dark figures and the girl, thick black claws digging furrows in the loose grains.
"There you are, my Izu."
The voice. That wasn’t a memory. No, that was a call. That was the other, the one who beckoned to her, bid her return, and the lizard’s body stilled, barrel chest taut with a held breath. Izu. The name clicked into place, the cogs of a gear snapping against another, a puzzle piece where she didn’t know one was missing. It wasn’t familiar. No, it just was. She was Izu, that was her name.
The newly christened creature sucked in a shuttering breath, and tensed. Jaws opening, she sought words, words to put to the questions that were literally circling around her brain in the shape of loudly cawing carrion birds which had swooped in from some great height. But words were never easy things for Izu. They formed, half way, but never emerged, the struggle evident in the feathery fingers of the thunderstorm reaching across the distance.
Her rising frustration only provided interference, and the figures, as physical and full as if they were actually there started to flicker like a bad holocall. Then the metallic arm reached out, beckoning. Izu perked up, but hesitation swirled in her aura when she thought of Seras standing behind her. The metal claws rasped against each other, sparkling in the lights, gesturing again, and that was what banished her uncertainty.
Golden eyes going to Seras’ face, Izu impressed her desire on the girl to stay where she was. She would return. Creeping forward the lizard started to close the gap between herself and the two figures, and immediately felt a change in the atmosphere. Within Seras, she felt calm tranquility, with these two, there was only blackness, and she felt herself drawn towards it, the world around them subsequently darkening as the sun slipped below the horizon, the expanding shadows only filled with evil things.
Seras Amadis - February 23, 2012 02:07 AM (GMT)
It was a pleasant thing to have the beast move closer to defend her against the new arrivals of the mind-scape. However, Seras was of the impression that she did not need or want protection. It wasn't that she believed herself impervious within this realm. Harm could come easily, perhaps even easier than within the material world, and there were lasting implications. Violence was one of the many roots of evil and it was that she simply wouldn't allow another to engage in violence upon her behalf. If these conjured apparitions, dragged from some dark corner of the beast's mind, wished her harm, then she would face that with grim resolution.
They gave her the chills though, and Seras knew that no good would come of them. Seras considered the relationship between these individuals. Through her link to the beast, she felt emotions stirring within onyx creature. It felt to Seras like a long forgotten memory that was pried out of the mind, hazy at first, and then remembered in startling detail. She could smell the blood on them and wrinkled her nose disgustedly. She didn't like it here. She wanted to leave. Seras was about to say something, then one of the desert-dwellers spoke and captured her curiosity.
"There you are, my Izu."
The woman had spoken a name, or at least it had sounded like a name to Seras. It could have been a title or some term of affection, but Seras doubted it. The beast had a name and it was Izu. The fact that the beast had a name was oddly shocking to Seras who had until this point assumed that it was some feral predator prowling the under-city of Coruscant. A new picture was resolving before her eyes. She could infer certain things from the tone in which the unknown woman spoke. Seras noted warmth, as if the desert-dweller was meeting an old acquaintance. She glanced nervously between the pair, becoming concerned that she was intruding upon something deeply private.
But it seemed that the bond went one way, at least that was what she gleamed through her connection with the beast – with Izu. It was strange to have a name where previously none existed. Just like how Izu had not known her name before this mind-walk, the identity of the persons standing before them on the dune, and their relationships, remained a mystery to the both of them. The pair of desert-dwellers were rendered poorly, if that was the term, and Seras noticed a flickering about them, like static on the visual spectrum. The change in appearance had happened suddenly and in conjunction with a spike of frustration from Izu.
Seras found her hand quite unexpectedly upon Izu's flank. It was supposed to be a reassuring gesture, but then the woman who had spoken earlier extended her own hand and beckoned Izu toward her. The rasping sound of metal upon metal unnerved Seras more than she wished to admit and her newly found visual prowess watched as light danced off the razors. Her apprehension grew as Seras imagined what the woman could do with those fingers.
"What? No… don't go." Seras whispered as Izu made her desire to leave known. A cautious glance was sent to the desert-dwellers, the woman still beckoning as if her movements ran on a repeated loop. It didn't reassure Seras that Izu would return. In her mind, she got the distinct impression, that this woman was not someone you just got away from. Izu moved forward, padding the short distance across the dune towards the beckoning woman.
"No, don't leave me." Seras didn't know where this fear was coming from, but it was real and terrifying. If Izu left her in this place, she would be lost and she didn't think she knew the way out. The blackness was closing in, drawing around Izu and the desert-dwellers and obscuring them. They were just indiscriminate blots of ink upon a matte black screen. Soon, even the ability to define their shapes was lost and the trio dissolved into the night.
Seras stood there, wrapping her arms around herself to fend off the bitter cold that had swept in across the dunes. She felt things fraying at the edges of her mind, things she didn't like the feel of. She twisted to look at them, fearful of what she would see, but saw nothing. Part of her was glad of this, but a larger part when out of its way to conjure faces and forms upon the unseen terrors. Seras closed her eyes for the first time in her life.
Upon opening her eyes, she found the darkness had retreated. In fact, the whole desert had disappeared. Seras stood in what she knew to be an interior room of a grounded freighter. The room was longer than it was wide and ambient light was kept low. She looked upon a dais holding three chairs, two of which were crumbled remains. She was alone as far as she could tell and Seras turned on the spot, peering into the gloom and wondering where she was. This place held an aching familiarity to her, but Seras was confident that she had never been here before. She could only assume that this room had been dredged up from Izu's memory also.
Seras approached the door and tried to open it. The door's controls were nonresponsive and after a moment or two at trying to pry it open, she gave up. She snorted dismally and turned around to discover that she was no longer alone. Seras muffled a cry of surprise as her eyes fastened on a Rutian Twi'lek lounging in the central chair. This was the Twi'lek's domain, Seras understood that now. The black form of Izu was wrapped possessively around the chair and the Twi'lek. The metal claw hung over the edge of the chair's arm and the dim light reflected menacingly off the chassis and blades. The other hand was buried in Izu's ruff and Seras could feel pressure massaging her neck and shoulders. It felt nice. It felt like something she remembered, and then she heard the low purr, like a small combustion engine, from Izu. Pieces of the puzzle snapped into place.
The Twi'lek was staring at Seras and hadn't taken her eyes off her since she had turned around. Seras was unable to meet the woman's blood red gaze. Her hand groped for the door controls at her back and she tried them again. They were still unresponsive. Then, as if waking from a stupor in which she forgot this place was just a dream-scape, she looked to the real door… to Izu.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - March 7, 2012 02:19 PM (GMT)
Even as the girl’s pleas met her ears, it was all lost in the gloom. This was where she belonged, what Izu knew. The darkness enfolded her, embraced her as a mother would a child, and for the first time in her short life, she knew contentment. What happened once she reached the woman with the metal claw was a blur, but Izu felt like she was tumbling – Down through images, sensations, and emotions, some recognizable, others abstract and incomprehensible.
And then she rested on sanded ebony steel. Fingers dug into the scales of her neck and a thick vibration hummed in her throat, echoing against the bulkheads. While the sharp angles of the throne pressing into her flanks, the great lizard still curled about it, possessive and loathe to let what was familiar go. Not when she nearly had it, when she was so close to remembering what was hers. Lifting her head, golden eyes flicked open to take in the length and breadth of the throne room, from the ancient bulkheads, to the massive doors at the end.
Though sconces lined the wall, shedding light across the wide floor, the only point of illumination was a single figure, standing before the doors. Izu peered at the girl, looking on as she tried to escape, but for the moment felt nothing. Why try to escape now? It did not occur to the Tiss’shar that others would not feel so untroubled as she did, that Seras was still a stranger to this dreamscape.
It was when her gaze focused back on her that Izu began to feel uneasy. Spines ruffling, she drew herself up onto her hindlegs, tail tapping at the floor. It was as Seras started to focus on the lizard, the sconce lights began to dim, as if in a power surge, a high pitched buzz of electricity sounding in their wiring. A growl emerged from her throat, low and dangerous. No. They weren’t leaving. This was right, this was where Izu wished to be.
But the girl persisted, and the lights dimmed further. The steel beneath her felt less real, the texture falling away, and when she glanced up at the enthroned woman, her face was obscured in shadows. She was losing it, she was losing the connection. Another growl, a short bark of warning, and then Izu slid out from behind the throne, prowling down the stairs on all fours.
No. She started the message rapid firing at the former Padawan, No, no, no, NO! The ebony lizard shot across the length of the throne room, claws barely touching the now-ethereal deckplates, and Izu reared before the girl, bristling. Again, the two matched will for will, and it was such a tentative hold the Tiss’shar had on her own memories, that she already knew her standing was shaky. Chest convulsing as she sought to draw breath, she again met the implacable wall, and then she roared in frustration, jaws wider than Seras’ head. Then the lizard twisted, tail swinging to swipe the girl’s feet from under her.
But before contact was made, the very sound of her roar seemed to shake the building’s foundations, and as it did, it began to fall away, again, into darkness. Cast into the unfamiliar, Izu followed instinct and continued to cling to what was familiar. This time, it was the girl, and the Tiss’shar tried to grip at her with all power, to follow her from the darkness.
Seras Amadis - March 24, 2012 02:06 AM (GMT)
She had not wished to unravel the fabric of the mind-space, but once it had begun the process was impossible to stop. Izu was unnerving her, frightening her, and she wanted to leave. The insistent pounding of no into her frontal lobe began to ache. Seras was getting a headache and it wasn't helping her focus. As the beast now known as Izu raged and demanded to stay within this remembered space, Seras tried her best to make this happen. She strained to grasp the shapes that melted into the shadows, feeling a great wrongness in their composition as her mind grazed steel and stone and flesh.
But there was nothing that she could do to stop the decomposition of the scene. The fault lay with Izu, Seras noted with a note of irony. This world was cast from the beast's mind and the tumultuous behavior of its quasi-physical properties degraded in unison with Izu's waning focus. The beast was upon Seras in the blink of an eye and for the first time in her life she understood the meaning of that expression. She squeaked, stumbling backwards and drawing her hands before her face. Seras hit the door behind her and it buckled like cloth. She glanced up to see pond-like ripples in the steel.
Her feet began to sink and it felt like she was in quicksand. Her every move felt sluggish and her struggle seemed only to entangle her further. Unable to move and reeling from the mental anguish of the negative driven into her mind again and again, Seras looked up with terrified eyes into the jaws of death. She saw for the first time the dagger-like teeth glinting in the darkening room and the ropes of viscous saliva suspended from the tips and quivering in a feral roar. Seras had to remind herself that this wasn't real and that she had power here.
She was a Jedi – or had been for all it mattered. Fear was just another emotion to be held at a respectable distance, observed impassively until understanding was reached, and then drawn in to be accepted and nullified. Remembering that, and remembering her training brought some measure of clarity to her mind. The no pounding into her head ceased with a thought, but it echoed maddeningly against the bastion of her solitude. The beast did not want to leave this place even as it crumbled around them. Soon there would be nothing left to hold onto. Seras was leaving.
What remained of the floor opened and swallowed her greedily. Everything was black and Seras knew that the eyes that she had borrowed were gone. She lamented the loss of the visual spectrum – of color – for the briefest of moments before her own mind-sight reclaimed dominance and the all-encompassing panoramic of immaterial impressions brought the world as she knew recognized it to bear.
The interloper clinging to her spectral contrail was noticed immediately, but there was little that she could do about it now. She felt the claws of the savage consciousness gripping her. Izu held on with such intensity it brought Seras a spasm of pain, and there was doubt she could have removed Izu without causing significant damage to herself. Seras tried to stop her rapid retreat into her own flesh, but it was too late to stop now.
The sun warmed her face and Seras smiled despite herself, before understanding was reached. She heard voices, achingly familiar but distant. She wasn't alone in the valley. Others milled around her, indistinct forms cast from memory. A great unease fell upon her and Seras wrapped her arms around herself to fend off a chill that wasn't in the air. She found Izu standing beside her and accepted the beast's presence without complaint. Seras' mind still ached from how tightly Izu had held on, but she had other things to fret about.
Understanding came with the subtly of a nuclear detonation.
"No no no no no no no no no—" she mumbled, shaking her head with the conviction of the damned and clamping her hands to either side of her head. She backed away, stepping and stumbling over Izu's tail. Her fear permeated the conjured landscape, turning it black and wilting. Death was upon her. She moaned and groaned like she had been stabbed in the gut, her footfalls had her on the verge of falling with every step. Seras finally lost her footing and crashed to a knee. She tried to climb back to her feet but toppled over instead, falling hard on her side. She curled up there, whining and mumbling incoherently. Why her mind had seen fit to betray her, Seras didn't know, but she did not want to be here.
It was coming. She could feel it. It was coming for her.
"Leviathan," she whispered, giving name to the fear and solidifying it in her head and upon their shared mind-scape. The replied bellow shook the earth.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - April 19, 2012 06:33 PM (GMT)
Against all evidence, and to Izu’s understanding, the mindscape had been real. It was her salvation, sanctuary. She could’ve unlocked the veil which covered her memories, she could’ve learned so much! And Seras... She’d ruined it. The lizard was angry, her wrath pulsing off of her aura like the heat from a stove. It burned, leaving behind its own afterimage, even as she clung to Seras’ consciousness in the darkness. She was of one mind, now. Her claws itched to tear into flesh, and rip the girl’s limbs from her body.
Yet, this was all internal. While chaos reigned inside, and they flew through the darkness between their minds, on the outside, the lizard was still, crouching before Seras. She was passive, eyes closed, muscles only giving minute twitches in response to the mental stimuli.
Suddenly, the darkness was gone, ripped away as though a cloth had draped over the dome of the sky. Izu’s pupils contracted against the light, and she found herself standing, back claws digging small furrows in the earth. The rage she’d felt still burned within her chest, and her head snapped towards Seras, a deep growl echoing in the chamber of her chest, but she was still immediately aware of her mistake.
The throne room, the Twi’lek, the desert... None of it had been real, only snippets of her imagination. Now, they’d found their way into a new memory, one Izu knew, without fault, was not hers. Golden eyes trailing away from the girl, she absorbed the surroundings and realized that even if the darkness had not been torn away so suddenly, she still would’ve been able to see. She knew this sight. The landscape that spread all around them wasn’t so much seen as felt, life pulsating from the ground, plants and trees, the people. The auras of everything swarmed, forming shapes and lines, forming what Seras saw behind her eyecloth.
As she looked on, the anger ebbed, to be replaced with sick remorse. Izu liked Seras, she did, even if she’d destroyed what the lizard had so carefully built inside her mind. Not fair, completely against the peace she sought inside Seras’ mind. The lizard’s long black tail lifted to thump against the ground in frustration, but, before it could make contact, a set of boot heels thudded into the length of scaly black, and Izu spun around to watch Seras fall to the ground.
In looking at her, Izu could see her distress, coming off her in waves of feeling and with an inhale of shock, the lizard darted forward, great head hovering over her face. Her claws were half extended when she tasted the dread. The incredible sick dread, pure and potent, distilled from years of meditation and guilt. This was not simply a landscape within which they walked. This was a memory.
On cue with Seras’ hoarse whisper, Izu felt the rumbles of the earth, the ground groaning beneath an incredible burden. The figures around them, the indistinct lifeforms started to rush about, alarmed and Izu could feel their terror washing over her. She had to fight to keep the emotions out, build a wall around her mind so that their feelings washed against her like waves against a levee.
The lizard felt a strange emotion rising in her chest then. Where the memory people felt terror, Izu felt disgust. This was weakness. Even as the great footfalls of the oncoming beast shook the ground, quiet defiance had Izu standing and turning tail lashing at the air above Seras’ prone form. She was not afraid. No, in this scenario, she was familiar. When something terrified you, you destroyed it. You fought whatever it was lay dead at your feet and you realized that your fear was misplaced.
The ground thumped a final time, and the trees at the far end of the stretch of land were brushed aside like sticks. The great monster shouldered them aside and then slithered out onto the open ground, its eyes flicking about and then focusing, past Izu, and onto Seras. The lizard’s eyes narrowed. Well, even if Izu fought, it wouldn’t be much of a victory if the thing got to what it wanted. Pacing back, she stepped over Seras’s form, only to stoop next to her.
Large but gentle claws slid beneath the whining Padawan and then Izu scooped Seras up in her arms. Jaws opening slightly, she hissed into the girl’s face. Silence. Then, with a deft twist, the lizard hefted the girl onto her back, spines flattening down to provide a relatively comfortable seat. Reaching back again, Izu grasped Seras’ hands and put them over her shoulders. She had to hold on tight if Izu was going to fight this thing and protect her.
Seras Amadis - May 11, 2012 02:27 PM (GMT)
It was this again. It was what her nightmares were made of. She wasn't supposed to be afraid. She was a Jedi and beyond the thrall of emotion, but who was she trying to kid? She was terrified of this moment – of this thing that plagued her dreams and thoughts and dragged her kicking and screaming into a black abyss of terror that she may never escape. Not everyone got a defining moment in their life and the majority was spent in unexceptional tedium. Corobos had defined her; it had broken her.
Reliving these memories warped by fear and the passage of time was almost too much for the former Padawan to take. The Leviathan screamed and the sound wave ripped through her, rending her soul and exposing everything she was to the world. Seras was undone in that moment. She began to sob fitfully and pathetically, closing herself off, body and mind from the terrors of that day. Seras desperately wanted to be gone of this place.
Izu loomed over her and she registered the Tiss'shar's confusion intermingled with her own dread. While she hadn't thought of how Izu would have reacted to the emergence of the Leviathan, and wasn't in the state of mind to do so, her reaction was shocking. Izu wasn't giving in to her emotions, curling up, and waiting for the inevitable. Izu was going to fight. It took Seras a second to realize that. The sensation she received from the Tiss'shar was similar to what she had felt amongst the Jedi, but noticeably different.
She could see the Leviathan from her fetal ball in the grass, through the arms that cradled her head. Unlike a sighted person, Seras could not simply close her eyes and block the blighted abomination from her view. It stained her mind with its blackness and it reached a point where she was having trouble breathing. In her terror she was forced to watch the Leviathan approach. Even at the distance it was, the thing was massive. Twisted memories had crafted something far viler than the forbidden arts of Sith Alchemy could have ever achieved.
Seras didn't want to relive this hell again. She didn't want to feel the deaths of those around her, but she couldn't bring herself to do anything, and in the end she didn't have to. Izu scooped her from the ground and Seras responded unhelpfully and with all the grace of a corpse. She felt the hot breath on her face and the light misting of spittle that accompanied it, but she didn't react. A part of her invited Izu to rip out her throat and end her misery. She hadn't known what Izu was going to do with her and Seras experienced a modicum of surprise as the Tiss'shar placed her on its back. She barely held on as Izu charged ahead.
This was wrong. They shouldn't have been charging towards the Leviathan. If it was even possible, her dread grew as the distance between her and the Leviathan closed. She wanted to be gone. Then space fluttered like a resonance wave held in a plucked string. The reality of the dreamscape twisted and snapped. The properties of the physical universe had held true up until this point within the constructed vista, but then the ground began to buckle and sag. They were still running towards the horror, but now Izu bounded across melting visage reminiscent of an impressionist's painting. Seras was still a useless dead weight flopping on Izu's back, mewing softly… pitifully. The Leviathan was upon them.
She ran her fingers through the cool grains of sand. Troughs formed in the wake of her fingers as she idly traced patterns. She began to make a spiral, slowly moving her index finger in tighter and tighter rings until the space had been consumed. Seras paused and swallowed anxiously. Something felt wrong and she took a moment to observe her surroundings. She sat on a beach with a gently lapping body of water beside her. She felt the trees at her back and the energy of photosynthesis in the leaves. She felt the strength in the trunks and her mind caressed the concentric rings that spoke of their age. She felt the depths of their roots and the reserves of water far below that they tapped. Where had she been a moment ago? The feeling that something was wrong returned poignantly.
“Alright, I wasn’t sure what you like, so we got two option. […] It might be kinda hot.”
The voice startled her and shook Seras from her revere. A nervous squeak caught in her throat and she covered her mouth. How had she not noticed him sitting across from her? Seras smiled despite herself and fought the apprehension inside her.
"The first one, plea-se," Seras said without conscious thought and stumbled over the 'please'. A sandwich was deposited in her outstretched hand, a hand she couldn't remember outstretching. A frown creased her brow and she fought the odd sensation of déjà vu.
“As the lady wishes.”
Her hands were trembling and she busied herself with the sandwich's wax paper wrapping. This wasn't right… this wasn't supposed to be. A deep and persuasive calm began to creep into her soul as she watched the young man sitting opposite her. Something terrible was pressing at the periphery of her mind, but she didn't care. Smiling, Seras reminded herself that this moment was all that mattered.
“We also have a buncha boyy’lo berries, starfruit, and wk’ou melon. A veritable banquet.”
He spoke again and his words were accompanied by prescience. More conscious to the feeling of déjà vu now, Seras vaguely remembered being somewhere else before this, being with someone else before this. Where had she been? Whatever… it wasn't important.
"Some starfruit sounds good," Seras said automatically and with a bright smile that faded too quickly for her liking. He didn't seem to notice, which worried her more than she was willing to admit as he had been so adept at knowing when something was bothering her.
This was a good place, a happy place. Seras could have stayed here forever. A contentment that she hadn't felt in so long reached out and touched her. The feeling was so pure that it pained her for some reason. It felt like her heart was breaking and she hadn't a clue why. She was in a paradise with the man that she loved. What more could she have asked for? She felt so happy, but that only reminded her of the ancient idiom, the calm before the storm.
A roar vibrated through the jungle growth and Seras turned towards the sound with a start. The sandwich dropped from her hands and landed in the sand. She saw nothing – felt nothing – but her palms were clammy and she was sweating. Her heart was beating maddeningly inside her chest and each breath she took was a struggle. Nothing came through the jungle, however, and not even a bird was disturbed from the treetops. A worried sound escaped her throat between the labored breaths and Seras noticed that his aura remained unchanged.
Seras turned to him in confusion and watched as he cut up the starfruit, seemingly unfazed by the guttural howl that troubled her so. Had he not heard it? She made a face as she considered that and quickly discarded the idea. The roar had been loud and deep enough to make her insides churn. Well then, had she imagined it?
Something snagged in her mind, a thought of something else that existed beyond this pristine place. There had been another and the… her mind refused to finish the thought. But where was Izu? The Tiss'shar had vanished from her perception. She shuffled in the sand, turning her head from side to side and listening, but all she could hear was the gentle wash for the waves, the rustle of tropical flora, and the chirp of insects.
It took her a long time after that to recognize that the natural sounds she had been listening to a moment ago had stopped. The beach was deathly silent. The pervasive fear returned full force. Seras swallowed hard, unwilling to accept what was happening or acknowledge the thing that she had escaped, but it had found her.
In a heartbeat the vista shifted again. The waxy foliage of the jungle was replaced with the deciduous arboreal specimens of Corbos. The water and sand were gone, exchanged for a sea of grass. Worst of all, he was gone too. Seras felt a part of herself slip away with him and she longed to have him at her side again. Regret fueled the collapse of her world. Sound exploded in a deafening roar that shook her from whatever reverie she had immersed herself within and she bounced ungainly upon Izu's back. Seras screamed and whimpered as she tried to hold on.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - September 1, 2012 08:27 PM (GMT)
Death was not something Izu ever had cause to fear, especially now. In some deep distant part of her mind, she knew that hers had already come and gone. And yet, the hulking lizard stooped before Seras, her lungs drawing breath, every exhale laden with living heat. Thus, death had lost all terror for the Tiss’shar.
Even as she raced across the melting landscape with the ground undulating like the surface of a pool, the trees melting as though they were candle wax, towards a terror which blacked out the sky, Izu felt nothing. Nothing but blood lust. Heart racing, she all but forgot about the whimpering girl on her back, and simply reveled in the pleasure of racing towards a fight.
The departure of Seras’ mind did not go unnoticed, however. It would’ve been impossible not to see. Instead of her back claws digging into solid earth, she stumbled forward into soft sand, the granules flying into the air to hiss against her blackened scales. The scenery was solid again, the trees standing tall, and the sky a true blue. The battle fury still racing through her bloodstream, Izu screamed in both fury and confusion.
Getting up, the creature knew Seras no longer clung to her back, even though the girl’s weight had been so slight. Head swinging around with her body following, the lizard turned in a circle, trying to process this new setting. Water to one side, foliage to the other, sand beneath her feet.
She had no word for this terrain, but she wasn’t interested in naming it. Down the way her sharp eyes spotted two humanoid figures, and without further thought she started off in that direction. As it was with dreams, the distance grew no shorter, even as her speed increased. Soon enough, the lizard was running full tilt towards the figures, but as soon as she met her maximum velocity, that world was torn away, and Izu again sped through the grasses of the other world, Seras on her back.
A confused shriek again erupted from her throat, but there was little time to dwell on it when that dark side abomination now loomed over them. This close, however, Izu realized that claws and teeth would do nothing. As Seras screamed behind her, the Tiss’shar skidded to a stop, her neck craning back to take in its full scale. This was a creature amplified by years of nightmarish memories.
The shadow fell over the both of them, and then a massive foot was descending towards them, tongues forming around the curves as the limb broke through the atmosphere just to reach them. Izu darted away from the attack, and as it hit the earth, a quake shook the world around them.
Finding her way among the trees, the seemingly tireless creature wove between the trunks, now driving further from the behemoth. In this surreal landscape, she covered leagues, leaving the monster far behind, but it knew where they’d strayed if the increasing rumble of the earth was any indication.
Finding a small outcropping of rock, Izu jumped the jutting formation and scrabbled into the shelter beneath. Dropping Seras from her back, she whirled on the girl, gripping her limp arms and shaking her. It was a frustrated gesture, Izu growling, spewing hot fumes in her face. What was wrong with the girl? She needed to fight as she had in that alleyway, she needed to stop being so useless. Snarling, hot anger broiling over in her chest, the lizard let go of her and stalked a little ways off, golden eyes sweeping the forest floor.
What should’ve been covered in a blanket of leaves and sticks, was simply a flat plane of brown and green swirled together, the memory falling apart at the seams. Prowling back, the dark creature, sat on her haunches before Seras, golden eyes almost thoughtful.
A dream, that’s all this was. A construct of their minds. She possessed full control, she did not need to find a weapon. Holding her claws a little ways apart before her, the Tiss’shar scrutinized the space between. Her mind summoned up the feeling of a sharpened edge, slicing into flesh, a smooth hilt clasped in her claws. Lips pulling back into a snarl, she focused her will, and suddenly, the light twisted in the air, reflecting off the flat of a blade, forming around a curved hilt guard.
She felt herself grasping at something, something with tangible power.
But then, another rumble ripped through the air, and the ephemeral blade popped out of existence, and Izu’s claw closed around nothing. Head whipping around she saw the trunks of the trees shaking, the pebbles raining down on them from the rocks overhead.
Seras Amadis - September 8, 2012 03:42 PM (GMT)
The reemergence of the sithspawn did little for Seras' state of mind. She had been catatonic since Izu had dropped her onto the dirt. Even the shaking and the growling had done little to wake the former Padawan from her state. The ground trembled again and the sense memory woke something in Seras. She began to mew again, curling up tighter in a fetal ball and cradling herself. The mewing became a sob and her body trembled. Words fell from her lips between sobs, incoherent babble and nonsensical mutterings polluted the mindspace.
This was the end. She knew that with grim finality. A part of her had died on Corobos and now the sithspawn was going to claim the rest. She didn't accept that fate lightly, but knew its inevitability. A parallel was drawn to another memory she had, one forged not too long ago, one where she faced certain death with dignity. If only she could have mustered that resolve again. Her frantic mind's eye leapt the scene, jumping from detail and detail until it focused on Izu.
Even with her strong pacifism, Seras had to admire the creature that had tried against her every wish to keep her safe. Such strength and drive were intimidating to someone like Seras and she paled in comparison. If only she could have had a sliver of the strength Izu possessed, she could have endured this dream without cowering in a sniveling wreck in the dirt. Seras had always felt herself better than that, but reality – however insubstantial – proved different. The Leviathan would always hold power over her.
Something changed in the sithspawn's approach. Then a small and insignificant thing was thrown off the nightmare-infused sithspawn. The spec arced high into the air, flailing, and fell gracelessly to the ground. A scream echoed throughout the dreamscape, echoing off everything and nothing, rippling the fabric of their constructed reality. It reverberated in Seras' bones and only then did she realize the sound was coming from her.
A switch had been thrown within the previously unresponsive Padawan and now she was racing towards the destiny that she had so fervently embraced. Fear, while ever present, was smothered. Seras knew what she needed to do. The sithspawn ignored, she ran towards where the thing had impacted with the speed that only came in dreams. Her knees slammed into the dirt at the Jedi's side. His body was broken, his light gone. He was just a boy, no older than she had been at the time.
Seras cried out, symbiotic pain aching through her core as the memory was given life within this space. Her hands laid upon him, she felt nothing but an empty shell. Something told her this had happened before, but she knew it would be different this time. She wouldn't fail her friends again.
Frantic, she turned him over. Trembling hands moved quickly over his body, centimeters from the bloodied clothes and flesh beneath. Déjà vu hit almost as hard as her failure felt. She registered the broken bones, the internal bleeding and hemorrhaging, the cuts and lacerations, the shattered skull that caved in his face in a bloody mess of cartilage, bone, and flayed flesh.
Although drained and exhausted, Seras would not let that deter her. She could fix this. She could make everything okay again. She only had to focus and began the process of knitting flesh and bone together. A voice within the void of her mind, in a place where her sanity used to reside, spoke to her the futility of her actions. What was dead could never live again. Seras continued to work, delving deeper into herself, into the recesses rarely explored.
Her body trembled with exertion as she poured more and more of the Force into the corpse. It emptied her and when there was no more left, she continued, reaching out to anything she could. Her hopes and dreams, her despairs and fears, her compassion, her love, and even her hatred were twisted into a fulcrum to leverage more of herself into the corpse. Seras felt the touch of the abyss again and gasped. Her body contorted and mind turned to jelly as her anguish pushed aside the veil and tapped into something abysmal in the deepest and darkest recesses of the Force.
The corpse of Sine Boral twitched.
Like a holo-recording that she had no control over, Seras watched with desperation as it slipped away from her. The memory ended and left her hollow. In such an emptiness, sorrow and despair poured in. Anger followed, anger at her own failings, her inability to act. Sitting there numb with the corpse still prone before her, Seras's hands curled into fists. The first punch ever thrown in anger was a pathetic display that bounced off the broken ribcage with little more than an echoing thud. Seras cried out in frustration and fury as blows rained upon the corpse. Each blow altered the target subtly until the form was no long distinguishable as Sine Boral. It was Seras who now lay in the dirt and blood, each frenzied fist that lashed out brought the Padawan's prone form a little more into focus until it was as if looking in a mirror.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - September 8, 2012 06:02 PM (GMT)
There was no time now, they had to wake up... But Izu didn’t think Seras could get them out of there. Convinced at the girl’s incompetence, the Tiss’shar started towards her, claws out to grasp at her body, jaws slavering. But then, all was movement. She couldn’t control the way her eyes went to the sky, focusing on the speck of color and energy which arced across the dome, like a small comet coming to earth. As it made its descent, she felt nothing but contempt until Seras’ emotional memories swept over them, and Izu also cried out in horror. This wasn’t supposed to happen!
Monster and girl ran as one to where the body’s impact cratered the earth and looked over its broken form. The anguish Seras felt made Izu tremble, her spines rattling and her body heaving for breath. This pain was like nothing Izu had ever felt before, not in her short life. Or perhaps even before that. Looking away, she turned her face to the sky and unleashed a howl that reverberated the dreamscape, leaving ripples that warped and scarred the trees, the rocks, and the earth.
Then, she felt as though a hole had been ripped in her. A gaping wound in her mind, in her body, in her very essence, and Seras was collecting the nectar that gushed out. A shriek ripping through her, she watched as the energy she took, stole, was poured into the body, and it became a small star in her vision, blinding the lizard to everything else. There was nothing she could do, she wanted this as much as Seras did, and even as Seras stole, she gave freely, imbuing the girl with her own dark energies.
In that moment, their minds separated, blowing apart with the force of an explosion, and Izu stumbled away from the corpse, head cradled in her claws. The energy drain left a yawning hole in her and that was screaming agony. And she realized what Seras was doing... Whatever it was, it was wrong, it was terribly, horribly, completely wrong. The boy was dead, a twisted, deformed lump of flesh. No soul, no aura, nothing. Dead. She would only kill herself and drag Izu into the abyss with her.
The corpse of Sine Boral twitched.
But there was no more. As Seras collapsed into further anguish, the Tiss’shar went crazy, her body splintering trees and shattering rocks. She was angry, that emotion a white hot glow in the forges of her being. The lizard was sick of this; sick of weakness, sick of terror, sick of Seras’ memory dream.
A black shadow, the Tiss’shar loomed over the small foolish creature. She felt every blow she delivered to the body, as if she was being hit herself, but Izu paid this no mind. Snarling, she grabbed Seras by the shoulders and twisted so that she fell upon her back, lying over the broken corpse of herself. Head shooting forward, the lizard’s jaws closed around the girl’s soft throat, spurting blood over her chin, neck, and chest. Teeth scraping against neck bone, the lizard yanked her head back... And collapsed against the dirty floor of the girl’s apartment.
Breathing heavily, the air around them was sweltering, and where her scales touched the ground, it sizzled and smoked. Head snapping up, the lizard spied Seras lying before her, her knuckles red and blistered from contact with Izu’s stomach and chest, and she slithered to her feet. Seeing her face again, the Tiss’shar raged over the stolen energy, the girl’s sheer idiocy, but before she could reach out and repeat what she did in the dream, something shifted in the darkness.
It was something small, kept in a box in the corner. Golden eyes snapping to the offending object, the creature’s body stilled, but not for long. She prowled forward, sensing something... different. Not wrong, certainly not right, just different. Grasping the small cube with thick claws, she lifted it from its place, feeling tiny footsteps reverberating against its thin surface.
Putting it down again, she peered at it for a moment and watched it shift across the floor by a few inches. A swipe of her claw, and the top was removed. A gizka hopped from its dark recesses and wobbled across the floor, startling the large lizard. The thing pulsated with new energy. Their energy. Izu’s eyes were wide, disbelief clear in every mote of her being.
What was dead lived again.
Seras Amadis - September 9, 2012 08:40 PM (GMT)
The claws dug into her shoulders and made her wince. Then she was thrown across the corpse that had come to represent her. The broken ribs dug uncomfortably into her back and she heard the bone crunch beneath her weight. Izu glowed defiantly in her mind's eye, a maelstrom of rage and anger that made her gasp in her final moments, for she knew without a shadow of a doubt what would happen next. Seras made a stupid face as the beast's head shot forward, all mouth and teeth, and clamped down on her throat.
Her scream turned into a choked gargle as the jaws sank into her throat, piecing flesh and crushing cartilage. She thrashed for a moment as blood sprayed from the wound. The beast pulled back sharply and Seras felt her flesh tear. It was like fire. Her vision spiked to white, everything overexposed and painful to perceive, then all was black.
She woke seconds later from their shared existence thrashing. She rolled on the floor, her hands at her throat as she tried to keep herself together. She was dying. This was it. The pain… oh, the pain. Seras tried to scream and it choked out a gargled mess. Her hands were held tightly around her throat, trying to prevent from bleeding out. Pressure, she had to apply pressure. She could barely breathe. Each struggled breath stung her throat. Her hands hurt. In her final moments she thought of the man she left behind to pursue this foolish endeavor. He had as good as said that this would happen. She should have stayed with the Order… with him. It was all for nothing.
Fingers twitched and she released the hold on her throat and let herself bleed out. The ragged intake of air startled her so much that it stuck in her throat. She doubled over in a coughing fit, curling into a fetal position as the coughs wracked her body. Everything she touched was pain and it took the confused Padawan a moment to realize her hands were a wreck. She gasped, viewing the damage in a way that only a few could. Seras couldn't comprehend what had happened.
Working her way from the ground, she leant on her elbow to keep her hands elevated, and came to a knee. She still trembled, the fear, adrenaline, and pain had her in constant motion. Seras swallowed hard, her throat raw and she coughed again. The Tiss'shar was still in the room and as her last memories had the beast ripping out her throat, it was not pleasant company. She shuffled back from the thing, sure it was about to finish the job it started in the dream.
Fortunately, something else had claimed the beast's attention. Seras remained quiet and still lest the beast's attention return to her. Growing curious, she turned her focus onto whatever Izu was so consumed with. Seras frowned at the pile of boxes; her necrotic collection, and felt something stirring within. It was almost too much for her and Seras told herself a scavenger else had found her collection and nothing more.
The longer the idea floated unbidden in her mind, the more absurd it became. It was alive. Her jaw fell slack and all she could manage was an unintelligible sound. Feeling it hop inside the box was almost too much for her. Seras began to laugh and a quirky smile broke in fits and starts across her face. Next she was crawling forward on elbows and knees, hands held up and still. Izu and the massive threat the beast presented was forgotten in the wake of her creation.
The gizka stank and she could feel the corruption within. The flesh was not healthy and decay and had set in, but it was moving. She could see the atrophy of the muscles in the way it moved. The energy, her energy, had reanimated it. What was dead lived again. Seras watched in amazement. Nothing else mattered and her body was flooded with the ultimate sense of gratification. She was right. This wasn't all for nothing. Ignoring the pain her hands, she extended a cracked and raw digit with the utmost of care towards the wobbling gizka.
"Do you see, Izu? I was right." The padawan breathed, forgetting everything, including that Izu knew nothing of this or what she had spent so long in doing. "No more death. No one needs to die again. I can bring them back. I can bring them all back. I can do it… I have done it." She said in the same hushed breath.
Izu-Dar-Mauli - September 9, 2012 11:40 PM (GMT)
"Do you see, Izu? I was right."
Izu didn’t know what she saw. She knew what she smelled, though. The gizka moved with a decayed musculature, electrical signals being sent to putrid lines of communication, and every shift sent the necrotic stench wafting up into the Tiss’shar’s nostrils. Exhaling a puff of hot air onto the undead thing, she sidled back and then rested on her haunches, golden eyes fixated the girl crawling across the floor on her elbows and knees.
"No more death. No one needs to die again. I can bring them back. I can bring them all back. I can do it… I have done it."
The beast was silent. But then, she was always silent. This was different though. Izu was tired, fatigue entrenched in every muscle, every bone. The energy she’d given was not the kind that could be replaced with flesh. She felt a thousand years older, even though minutes before, she came into the apartment fresh from the hunt. Her exhaustion seemed to mute every other sensation out, leaving her alone with her thoughts.
There was an almost human look of askance on the beast’s face, eyebrow ridges raised high, head tilted to the side. This seemed... wrong. Even as Seras’ elation washed over her, a bastion, a pill of unease was settling in Izu’s stomach. If things didn’t die... What would she eat? And why was this important?
The memory of the corpse of Sine Boral twitching beneath Seras’ ministrations replayed in her mind’s eye. She remembered Seras’– no, their anguish, their raw, chaotic emotion over the death of this boy which caused her to give her energy over.
The beast lowered her head, laying almost flush with the floor to be level with Seras and the reanimated creature as it tried another hop, its wet flesh slapping against the floor and exploding into fumes. This was not just Seras’ doing, Izu knew that. She’d given more than something physical to this... effort.
She held in her mind the sight of Sine Boral’s mutilated body and expressed it to the girl, punctuating it with a question mark. Following that was the sight of Seras through Izu’s eyes, lying on the ground, whimpering – weakness incarnate. Izu was not shy in expressing her contempt – And then, she was generous with the memory of pain. The agony as her energy was torn away and given into this creature, this... thing that Seras was crooning over.
It was a joint effort, she wanted to say. They’d done it together, but the lizard’s doubt was clear. Why would they ever want to, looking at the result now?
Seras Amadis - September 13, 2012 01:51 PM (GMT)
The ligaments in the dead gizka's left leg gave way and it collapsed on the floor with a wet squish. Seras gasped and reached out to the thing that should not have been. Her cracked and raw fingers pressed against the putrid flesh. Biting back a cry of pain, she withdrew her hand and left a series of indentations in the abomination's hide. Seras was still breathless with excitement, her wildest dream had just come true.
"Come on, little guy. Stand up. It's okay. You can do it. Come on." Seras cooed words of encouragement at the gizka as it floundered upon the floor. It squirmed and flopped, the movements lethargic with rigor mortis and decay.
A frown worked its way slowly across Seras' lips as she watched the pathetic thing she had brought back. Frustration began to mar her high.
"Come on." She said a little sharper, urging the reanimated husk to action. The decay was evident to Seras and her sight allowed her to peek beyond the rotting flesh and into the core of the being. She wrinkled her nose as the gizka released a wheezing breath that croaked towards the end.
So enamored with her creation, the sudden image pressed upon her mind took Seras by shock. She inhaled sharply and jerked up, falling back onto her haunches. Her hands were still held like burnt stumps before her. She caught the question and frowned. That memory had not meant to be shared. It was private and painful and she had not meant Corobos to resurface in her mind. Seras had spent so long trying to forget what had happened on that world but at the same time unable to do so. Corobos had consumed her.
Seras shook her head as Izu continued the mental imagery. She was still not used to seeing through eyes and it took longer than expected for Seras to recognize herself, or perhaps she did not want to recognize herself. It was pathetic… she was pathetic. The contempt hit hard, but not as hard as Seras would have imagined. There was already a good deal of self-loathing and pity that Izu's contempt merely added to the weight. She sighed a little and bobbed her head in understanding.
"It's no wonder they didn't want me a Jedi anymore." Seras whispered and laughed harshly at herself.
The pain that came next was unexpected and Seras shuddered from the shared memory. She shook her head in frantic jerks, unwilling to accept that she had caused pain to another. The evidence was entirely convincing, however, and stripped all joy from the moment. Seras was left as empty inside as the gizka that had managed to turn in a circle, smearing itself across the floor all while gagging on putrid fluids from within.
"I'm sorry… I didn't mean—" Apologizing for what she had taken of Izu felt pathetic and her voice strained with emotion. It felt wrong. Shame crawled beneath her skin until her body itched. The message was received though. She hadn't acted alone to bring life to the abomination writhing on the floor. Izu had played a part also.
"But look…" Seras began, scooting a little closer to the beast with a quivering smile. She extended a stiff and in the direction of the gizka. "Look what we were able to do. Think of what we can do next! Don't you see what this means, Izu? Don't you understand?" Seras shook her head sharply, irritation flashing through her aura.
"No, stupid me. Stupid. You can't know. But you've seen… and I've been looking for this. I've been searching for a long time. It's cost me so much… but look. See it? See? Isn't it beautiful? You were the key to everything."
Izu-Dar-Mauli - September 20, 2012 03:35 PM (GMT)
"It's no wonder they didn't want me a Jedi anymore."
Seras's morose tones had Izu checking back in to reality from their shared memories but it was the word 'Jedi' that resonated in her mind. It was familiar, but far away. It was a word that made her body tense and her slit eyes narrow. But why? She didn't know, and the memory was too distant to comprehend. Too tired to pursue, Izu let it go, relaxing back to the floor.
"I'm sorry… I didn't mean— But look…"
Izu was not so eager to get near the dead thing come alive as Seras was. She regarded the exchange between the miraluka and the gizka askance, predatory mind noting every flaw of the creature. The pest was putrid, rotten, and unsuitable for anything but death. Again.
But Seras seemed so entranced, so very enamored with the thing. The lizard sensed an odd sort of happiness radiating from the small girl.
"Look what we were able to do. Think of what we can do next! [...] Isn't it beautiful? You were the key to everything."
If the little rotten thing was so wrong, would the girl be so happy?
Izu wasn't much of a thinker so the answer came easily. No, she supposed it wasn't so bad. And Seras' proclamation maybe had a tinge of pride swelling in the lizard's chest. She liked being important, she liked that the girl was pleased. Spiny head cocked, the black beast shuffled closer, scales rasping against the floor. Unwilling to get closer to the stench than necessary, she reached out a claw and brushed a knuckle against its flank.
The roughness of her scales tore away at the delicate flesh, and she snatched the limb away. The gizka croaked, its brain barely registering pain through weak electrical currents, and then twisted towards the source if its torment. The Tiss'shar just stared back into its milky eyes, too fatigued to do much more.
Her next projection was something of a warning, but there was no malice behind it. Fine. But whatever they accomplished next had better be better than this sad thing.
Seras Amadis - September 24, 2012 12:53 AM (GMT)
Seras watched the interaction between the beast and the gizka like an owner introducing two pets for the first time. Her mind was full of worry and dark possibilities, with the slender hope that everything would be okay. She gasped as the bloated flesh sloughed away from wasted muscle and hung from the gizka's flank. It croaked but barely seemed to register what had happened. Seras frowened in concern and made a disapproving noise in the back of her throat. It's too wasted, she thought to herself, seeing the neurons misfiring and receptors failing to detect the signals.
"It's okay, Izu… just have to be careful." Seras said trying to comfort.
The euphoria of their creation began to die down and her hands began to throb. Seras sucked air sharply though her teeth and only now did she try to understand what had happened to her hands. The gizka collapsed onto its side and wheezed while its legs went through the motions of walking. Seras slowly bent her digits and felt the flesh grow tight. Spasms of pain knifed up her arms and caused her to gasp. There was nothing hot in the room and if anything, it was a few degrees too cold. While it still worried her, the damage was of no significant consequence.
"How did I do this?" Seras asked of the room, not thinking that Izu would hold the answer.
Izu's projection drew her from matters of the flesh and the warning was received. Seras smiled excitedly, showing teeth, and nodded enthusiastically.
"Yes, next time will be better. So much better. I can do it again. We'll find something better. Someone better. Someone fresh." The dopamine flowed thick in her brain. She was already envisioning their next success and bringing life to a sentient. It gave her a chill to imagine the satisfaction involved in returning someone to life. It was the ultimate second chance. She thought to imaginary families; wives, husbands, sons, daughters… everyone who would mourn a loss and how she – they – how they could fix death.
Seras shared those thoughts with Izu, showing her how magnificent it would be.
"We're going to conquer death, Izu!" She wriggled in excitement, her voice quivering. The words resonated in her mind and caused a somber mood to settle over the former padawan. She wore a quirky grin beneath the eyewrap and she chuckled to herself.
"Conquering death… hmm…" if only they could see me now…