Thuella dies. Over and over again. She never even gets to leave the tank.
“En-yo?" she asks. Her eyes are filled with such trust and love. It turns to confusion. “Enyo? P-please,“ she begs.
Then my mechanical fingers close in on her throat and I snap her neck. The light vanishes from her eyes. Again and again. Each time I try to fight it, each time I murder her.
Weak. Pathetic. Monster.
This is just an illusion. A mental construct created to chain me. But…it happened. I did. I push back against the chains wrapped around my mind, lashing out with a tremendous rage. It is to no avail. I break the chains, and even tighter ones envelope me.
“You killed her,“ Caoimhe states in that dull monotone. It sounds…so much like my own, when I was under their control. “You murdered her.“ With each sword that leaves her lips, the mental shards dig deeper into my mind.
“You murdered me. I trusted you,“ a Thuella cries out. In my mind, I am without defence. She strikes. The shards glow as hot as lightsabres and burrow their way through my brain.
I cannot speak. No words will leave my tongue, no matter what I do. It feels like being set on fire, yet also freezing in the midst of the iciest snowstorm. All the while my mind is being sliced up. I cannot dislodge her from my mind. I cannot push her out.
“And now you have led your siblings to their doom. You sent them here to die.“ Visions fill my head. Of Valerian, standing aboard the Iron Fist’s command ship, being consumed by a fireball as the ship is ripped apart by turbolaser fire. Of Moira Skaldi standing triumphantly over a maimed Amara, then lobbing off her head with a slash of her lightsabre. Of Alexia and Chiyoko being mowed down by HRDs, of Thuella falling into Archangel’s hands.
No. No. No.
“Your folly killed them.“
Rage floods me. They are not dead. They are not dead. It slams against my bonds with the force of a tsunami. She intensifies her offensive, digging ever deeper. Then I am suddenly picked up and slammed into the wall. The force is so strong the wall crumbles. But her control wavers for just a moment.
For just a moment I can speak. “Want to know the whole story?“ I mentally snarl. “Then come inside.“ If I cannot beat her…I can let her in. “See everything.“ Coherent thought is…difficult. The pressure bearing down on my mind feels as heavy as a mountain. Like trying to move a limb while being buried beneath piles of rubble.
But I know a few things about crawling out of a pit. I dragged myself out of the ruins after the Silver Jedi razed Korriban City, and now it’s not just about me. I try to pierce the haze, and focus my mind on every manipulation and lie of Archangel, and project them as strongly as I can. It is a desperate move. The only one practical at the moment.
“What is this?“ she demands coldly. “Your lies will not sway me.“
“You’re inside my mind. You know what’s true or false. This is true.“
“You lie…“
“What did they make you do? How did they test you?“ There is a chink, and I see her. Far away from me. Locked in a cage surrounded by fire.
“Let me help you.“
“What did they do to you?“
“No!“ Her control breaks. The power of her mind slams into mine. It is like a thousand cuts. My mind screams in agony. “You killed them.“ Fears I had buried in the deepest recesses of my mind manifest as demons. They wear the faces of my siblings. Their eyes are lifeless. Each of them is a like a puppet on strings controlled by Archangel. They assail me.
But…now I can overcome. As they charge me, I weather the storm. It is just pain inside my mind. “What did they do to you?“ She draws her lightsabre and lunges at me. There is no self-control now, just a wild frenzy. She falls upon me like a woman possessed, akin to a rabid beast. The furious strokes of her blade are accompanied by blasts of lightning.
My organic covering burns, so do circuits. More and more the Force dissipates from me. I feel myself diminishing. I can take it. She has no control anymore. I let her rage and throw herself against me, then I go on the offensive. She cannot match my strength, and she is confused. I know what I am fighting for. I take the illusions, I take the pain, flick my blade in one precise arc and cut her lightsabre in two. A kick topples her.
“They did the same thing to you, didn’t they?“ I state calmly. "Sister." I empathise the word. My mind is clear again. Smoke coils from my armour. But my sabre is at her throat. “You can be free. Let me help you.“ She pulls away, looking uncertain. Her body is shaking. Then the trap is sprung. A portable ion cannon fires. The bolt strikes my skull. My vision is blurred. The HUD flickers. For a moment, everything is dark. Heat is flooding my brain box. Then a heavy duty grenad lands at my feet. My senses are too diminished to anticipate it in time. I push her away. My shield is not the best. White light and smoke fill my vision. Debris crumbles and crashed down upon me. Heavy boots thunder upon the ground. HRDs.