There was another Thuella. Her life was cruelly taken from her just moments after she awoke from the cloning tube and said her first words. She looked to me for help. She trusted me. I strangled her to death.
I blot this image out while we spar. Your wear her face, you share her name and her DNA. But you're not her. Tempest, the template of both of you, was Siobhan Kerrigan's apprentice. The symmetry has its appeal.
I try not to make the beatdown too embarrassing. That would defeat the purpose of this lesson. Our laser swords sear and cry as they clash. You're eager, passionate and driven. You also lack control.
Your strikes become more wild as they fail to drive me back. I'm allowing you to vent before going on the offensive myself. "You telegraphe your moves. And spend too much time thinking instead of acting." There's no anger or mockery in my tone. I'm merely matter of fact.
You feign an attack, sidestep and slash at me. I intercept your blade, push it aside and come at you, lunging forward. You move aside in the nick of time to avoid a thrust that, in a real fight, would have left a hole in your stomach.
I keep coming at you. You cartwheel away to get some breathing space, but I give you little reprieve. Your strikes become increasingly frantic, whereas mine are harsh. You duck under a broad sweep of my blade and manage to land a blow. Smoke coils off my body where your blade lands.
"Better." Sharp, lightning thrusts towards your legs compel you to perform a flipping overhead leap. You're fast, I'll give you that. My blade also burns through your spine from kidneys to shoulder blade. Luckily, the sabre's setting is nonlethal.
"I just killed you again," I say. Then I begin to hammer you. Your wrist experiences a sharp zap and your lightsabre falls out of your grasp. It hits the ground and switches itself off. As you fall to the ground yourself, I hold the tip of my blade against your neck.
You look frustrated. Understatement. Your white hair is matted with sweat. It drips down your cheeks. "No, I'm not beaten yet," you grunt and suddenly there is a surge of the Force. It explodes from you.
I am caught off-guard, though I probably should not have. You're shocked yourself when suddenly forking arcs of electricity shriek from your fingertips and strike me. Almost as soon as the storm begins, it is over.
Lightning has stripped away a portion of my face, exposing the metal beneath the faux skin. Some of my circuits are damaged and my left eye is experiencing some disruption. "I'm sorry...I didn't want to hurt you. I didn't know what I was doing. I just...," you stammer.
I cut your words off. "You did not want to lose. You thought outside the box. That is good. But you have no control. So you gave in to desperation. That is bad. You must work on that. In battle, there will be no second chances. Fight with any tools at your disposal. But do not use your powers as a crutch. Now, you are still weak. I will teach you to be strong." I bend down and stretch out my hand. After a moment of hesitation, you take it.