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Empty Room

Neri Rashal

6CO2+6H2O->C6H12O6+6O2
Writer
The upper floors of the Sou Emergency Medical Center were closed off to access from the clinic. They had always been, and would always be. After all, they only rented the first two floors, and someone else owned the building. For the most part, the people who worked there barely thought about the upper floors. Usually it was quiet. Rarely they heard movement in the earliest hours of the morning, between midnight and dawn.

Of course, the sound dampening insulation that Irajah Ven had installed before the center had moved into the bottom floors was very good at what it did.

Known to the people at the clinic downstairs as Doctor Calais, Irajah leaned over the figure on the table, head tilting from side to side as she withdrew her presence in the Force from his mind. Months of work, but she wouldn't know just the effects until it was all over. She had just finished erasing a particularly unpleasant moment from his memory. She couldn't do all of them, that would cause the entire psyche to collapse in on itself. But she could keep the worst under the cover of the subconscious.

"Shhhh," she murmured softly, "You're alright. Can you hear me Icarn?"

[member="Icarn Amonta"]
 

Icarn Amonta

I m i t a t i o n
Character
A blank slate. Icarn had always been one, in a sense. He could take on virtually any form, had no particular allegiances towards any particular party, even his memory left him with little bias one way or the other. It made him effective, deadly in all the right ways. But even then, there was always room for improvements, whether he be willing or otherwise.

He'd undoubtedly struggled during the initial process. Always a fan with playing with people's minds, at least until it was his mind in question. Yet once the process was truly underway, he'd grown docile, long limbs no longer struggling against any restraints. What had he been struggling against? It'd seemed to slip his mind, giving him quite the puzzle. So much so he had drawn into himself, thoughts interrupted only by the voice of the woman leaning over him.

Icarn stared up at the woman, eyes wild, as if trying to place her and her role in all this. He had half the mind to lunge at her - not enough to break any restraints but with the intent to scare her. In his confusion, her words were almost soothing. "What did you do to me?" He wandered, voice more a purr than an actual question, gaze finally focusing on her rather than bouncing between objects.
[member="Irajah Ven"]
 

Neri Rashal

6CO2+6H2O->C6H12O6+6O2
Writer
This was already an improvement. The last time she had woken him up, he'd attacked her. She'd almost scrapped the project entirely then and there. [member="Kalak the Raykkan"] would have happily taken Shi'ido meat off of her hands.

She knew.

She'd checked.

Instead she'd gone back to the drawing board. Utilizing techniques that had worked well on Desmond and [member="Elian Keyes"], she had tweaked his chemisty. A surge of endorphins when she spoke. Small but distinct. Bio-hacking, Jairus had called it with a laugh. In a way he was right. She'd merely subverted the subconscious conditioning linked to emotional responses. In it's own way she would have called it crude. But that didn't make it any less effective.

"What did I do to you?" She asked with a soft laugh. "I've given you the ability to take your dreams from the Galaxy, Icarn."

Of course, that wasn't all.

Irajah stepped back, then pushed a button. The restraints snapped open.

She had been careful with him. Altering his genetics subtly. The process had been involved... and not without its dangers.

Not without pain.

As surely as she had altered his physical make up, she had carefully curated his memories as well. She could not banish the pain, it was too inexorably linked to the entire process. But she could mitigate the memories of it. Remove the ones where she had been the one causing the pain directly. The ones where he had attacked her. She had left haze in place of those and highlighted the moments of care. Of kindness. The things that helped to breed loyalty.

"Are you ready to try to stand? No shame if you are not, but perhaps we can sit up."

[member="Icarn Amonta"]
 

Icarn Amonta

I m i t a t i o n
Character
There was something about her voice - he couldn't quite place it, but he wanted to hear more. He could listen to that voice read him pages upon pages of material, even if it was gibberish, it made no difference to him. If anything, that voice alone kept him docile, curious more so than confrontational. He could feel his eyes fluttering shut for but a moment before focusing once more. Whatever she'd done, whatever horrors he'd experienced that were now replaced by a haze, they'd taken their toll on him.

So he listened, only his head snapping to stare at where restraints had once been. The promise of freedom and the temptation to test said freedom was there, but weariness had him content to continue lounging, eyes flicking back to the woman as she spoke once more.

At her suggestion, he found himself compelled to obey, slowly pulling himself to sit up. He was lethargic in his movements, as if he wasn't quite there as his legs moved to almost make contact with the ground, the skinshifter stopping just short of standing. He wasted another moment, contemplating. "I could stand, probably," His hand was suddenly very interesting to him, a couple of the fingers shaking ever so slightly. In an instant, said hand shot out to grasp the woman's throat, not quite applying pressure if it actually made contact. "I don't know if I want to, though." His voice was just above a whisper, noncommittal, as if he was still under some sort of haze.

[member="Irajah Ven"]
 

Neri Rashal

6CO2+6H2O->C6H12O6+6O2
Writer
Irajah didn't move. His hand closed around her throat, but didn't squeeze. Despite that, they were still significantly better than the last time.

Oh how much he reminded her of someone. A particular someone. Not for the first time, she wondered idly if those similarities were why she'd chosen him to begin with. The mannerisms, the build, certain aspects of the appearance. She didn't hate him- the person Icarn reminded her of. Oh, she would kill him, given a chance. But it would be done without particular malice. More as one would put down a rabid dog that had once been a beloved pet. Due to need and with a certain wistfulness perhaps.

No regret. Knowing it was indeed the best that could be done for them.

It only flickered briefly across her mind before being put aside again. Now was hardly the time.

But yes, being honest (and Irajah preferred uncomfortable truths to pretty lies) there was a very strong likelihood that she had chosen him not for what he was.

But for who he reminded her of.

She had learned already that merely putting in a pain response if he tried to hurt her would be useless here. It created the wrong sort of feedback loop that Irajah had no intention of indulging in.

Irajah reached out with the Force, clamping down on his body, running power along every muscle fiber, tendon and nerve ending.

"I did say that there was no shame if you could not. But I suspect this has nothing to do with ability..... does it Icarn? Let us see then.... just..... what..... can.... be....... done."

She tugged at the tendons in his hand, his fingers releasing her. More like a puppeteer would tug on the strings of a marionette. It did not hurt. But it was like being trapped in his own body as she tipped her head to the side, manipulating the very flesh he occupied. Slowly, inexorably, she forced him to sit up all the way, and then to stand. She controlled the very biology of his form, leaving his mind to work as it would as she stepped back, her mind twitching and bringing one of his feet forward.

[member="Icarn Amonta"]
 

Icarn Amonta

I m i t a t i o n
Character
Icarn expected pain. He knew how to deal with that, to twist it, warp it into some form of pleasure. Pain was his ally, his teacher, his greatest indication that he was indeed doing something. In its absence, he hadn't much to work with.

The beginnings of a scowl tugged at his features as an unfamiliar sensation came over him. His limbs felt heavy, as if a fog had come over them. Surely it was nothing, right? He'd just moved too fast, that was it. He just needed a moment to gather himself - he should've known better to expect he'd be in prime condition coming straight out of...out of...he didn't know what but that was beside the point.

The pain never came.

The skinshifter didn't answer her questions, at least not vocally. He couldn't - whatever she'd done made him a passenger rather than an active participator. His hand slipped from her throat, his person being made to stand despite its own protests of fatigue. He stood with a bit of a thud, his form of choice never quite demonstrating an accurate show of mass such a creature possessed. The whole sensation was nothing short of uncomfortable, something one could expect to be accompanied by all sorts of aches and pains.

Yet there was nothing beyond discomfort, the lack of anything else leaving Icarn at a loss for words moreso than if she had taken a knife to his ribs. His mind was racing as best as one could given the haze that held him hostage. Rage he couldn't quite muster. Curiosity, however, and a general annoyance, was clear as he was confined to less conventional methods of speech.

This isn't your body to move. His words were a hiss, meant to linger in the back of one's mind, resonating as neither male nor female. There was venom to them, albeit subdued. Release me. He'd been prepared to let her go relatively unharmed, demonstrate an inkling of mercy for the one shown him some form of kindness while others of this facility would know his wrath. Shame. Now he'd have to kill her.

[member="Irajah Ven"]
 

Neri Rashal

6CO2+6H2O->C6H12O6+6O2
Writer
Pain had been the wrong teacher for him from the start. It had taken her some time to realize that unlike most people, Icarn ran toward it rather than shied away. It was, she suspected, a large part of why she had failed in the early stages with him, and had adjusted her approach accordingly. And yet, she still found the results to be less than desirable.

Pain as the carrot was not the natural place her mind went. Not in situations such as this. Yes there were times in the past when she had offered pain to a lover because that was what they wanted, but Icarn was as far from that dynamic as one could get. Irajah did not utilize her experiments in such a fashion. It was a line she had no interest in crossing. The Sith Lord wasn't a sadist herself, or even a true masochist. There were different routes she went, and pain as a positive motivator was not high on her methodology list.

I can hear you just fine in your own head, Icarn, came the response. No need to attempt to settle into mine. You are, however, correct. I have no right.

And with that she released him, though it was slow, allowing him to sink back down rather than simply fall.

Irajah was not cruel for the sake of cruelty. Oh, her methods most certain could be, but she took no joy in that aspect of her work. She was a scientist at her core. If sometimes those studies needed to unfold in a manner that could be deemed cruel, she would, without hesitation or remorse. But it was not done for enjoyment or power.

Discovery required experimentation, and sometimes it was cruel by the standards of those looking in from the outside.

"Remember that, the next time you believe you have a right to threaten with a squeeze of your hand around a throat," she remarked calmly.

[member="Icarn Amonta"]
 

Icarn Amonta

I m i t a t i o n
Character
Oh, but what's the fun in that? There wasn't quite a laugh in that voice, though it teetered on the edge of doing so. Even lacking in the physical component of a voice, that mental voice was both song and hiss - a concoction of madness that offered promises of vengeance if it were ever to be given the chance.

Once again Icarn found himself almost thrown for a loop as he was set free rather than having something else inflicted upon him. A shame, really, he would've loved to pick that brain some more. Once again, there was no pain, no sort of reaction Icarn expected - almost desired at this point. The skinshifter only felt her influence slowly vacate itself from his limbs, returning control back to him yet also depriving said limbs of the support of so that had been Irajah's control.

He managed to remain standing, for the most part, leaning against that which he rested upon only minutes ago to ease whatever strain remained. "Shame. Somewhere else, then." He noted, the corners of his mouth twitching into a lazy smirk.

Icarn was still trying to piece together what had just transpired - what had been done to him and for what purpose. Would he be able to make use of what had been done right away or was it more for the long term? "So, I stood - now what?"

[member="Irajah Ven"]
 
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