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The Golden Saber - Madeline

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
_____________________________​
@[member="Madeline Kahoshi"]​

Med Bay #7K34Z, 10 miles below the surface of Atrisia - Unlisted in Atrisian Records
I rested my head on the table occupying the center of the room, waiting patiently for Dr. Kahoshi to arrive.

I had told myself, when I had finally been freed, that I would never return to med bay #7K34Z. I'd spent half a year locked behind its drab walls; half a year of tests and examinations, of shots and surgery and sheer, mind-boggling boredom. It had been both home and hell - a thirty meter by thirty meter prison that might as well have been a whole world, for all I had been allowed to see.

It was beyond state of the art, grander even than the cloning facilities of Kamino. The tech was cutting edge to say the least, from the bacta tanks to the body scanners to the geological compressor dominating the center wall.

The Kaminoans had not been able to create a clone capable of using the force. Though it had taken 42,289 attempts, Dr. Madeline Kahoshi had.

It was for her that I returned to this force-forsaken place. I had a 'check-up' scheduled every six months, possibly for the rest of my natural life. I could understand the need for strict and steady monitoring, given the circumstances - I was certain I was the only force-able clone in the entire galaxy - nay, in the entire history of the galaxy.

I was, simply put, an impossibility.

I had other motives for visiting the med bay, however. The geological compressor could do more than replicate foreign weather systems; it could also be used to create lightsaber crystals with the right materials, by mimicking the natural process of crystal formation. All one needed was a mineral of suitably high carbon content and the Force. I had been given a lightsaber upon my activation as an Inquisitor, but... to wield another's lightsaber was akin to wearing someone else's skin.

It was unnatural, and it diminished my efficiency.

The average force user would sit outside the compressor while it served as a furnace, guiding the process of crystal construction from a safe vantage point. Such a crystal, however, while adequate, was not efficient. A far superior crystal could be crafted if the practitioner sat amongst the flames, guiding the process from withing the furnace. I aspired to create such a crystal.

I would have to wait, however. Forging a focusing crystal was a long process, taking anywhere from hours to days, and besides that, Dr. Kahoshi might suffer a fit if she walked in and saw me bathed in flames. As amusing as that might have been, I had no desire to cause her undue stress. She was, after all, my creator.

So I sat and waited.
 
Madeline's greatest success laid within Cronos. A clone whom with she had a unique bond, almost a motherly bond with. He'd been her only success with the project. Success where millions if not billions had failed. It had been some time since she'd last seen him. He'd been assigned to work somewhere else. It was beyond classified and she'd not been given the clearance to know. She knew he had to come in for checkups, but her assistant had given him the date. She'd little idea he was waiting for her in the lab.


Her mind was elsewhere, she was distracted. Very much so. A long bandage ran the length of her calf, her skirt only coming to her knee hiding the rest of the injury. Far from the clumsy sort, something this bad, buried beneath such a thick bandage was something to note. It still stung, much to her irritation.

At least her own research company kept projects like this in her hands. Kept her from being pushed to make the most terrible projects for the government. The fact that such a project still sat in her hands irritated her beyond all belief. It was a project she wished she could wipe from the face of the galaxy and she had tried. It was doing such that had given her the injury. That had her drug half way across the galaxy back to Atrisia. It just wasn't a good day for her, or month for that matter.

The datapad in her hand, the source of her annoyance as she came down into the lab. Seeing a figure in the lab. No one else was around yet. She jumped, startled, dropped her datapad to the floor along with half a dozen other documents on flimsi and three datasticks. It took a moment for her to regain any sense of composure. Both hands went to her forehead, pushing back strands of ebony hair, trying to breath again. "Cronos, you frightened me half to death. I..." Breathe .. in and out ... "I wasn't expecting you here today."

@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Madeline Kahoshi"]​
_________________​
I sensed her before I saw her. It was possible for those with weaker connections to the Force to shield their minds from intrusion - all it took was concentration and mental acuity, and Madeline Kahoshi had both in spades. She wasn't her usual calm, controlled self though. Her mind was amiss, rife with irritation and discomfort. - her anxieties seemed to my senses like trumpet calls blaring through the Force. Her thoughts distracted her, left her mind open to interpretation, and it was all I could do not to delve deeper. She wasn't often so affected, and my bond with her only made it easier to read her.

What could be bothering her, I wondered? It had to be work related. Nothing else could engender such stress in such a driven woman. Dr. Kahoshi was one of the most hardworking beings I had ever met. Her discipline to her craft was inspiring.

She swept into the med lab, mind aflutter, and didn't even notice me sitting on the table in the middle of the room. Just when I was about to announce myself, she looked up, and a spike of fear lanced through the Force. Startled, she dropped her belongings.

I reacted instinctively, thrusting out a hand. The datapad, files, and datasticks halted their descent in mid-air.

"Cronos, you frightened me half to death. I..."
She took a deep breath.
"I wasn't expecting you here today."
"Sorry," I replied, ushering the materials up and back into her hands, arranged just as she'd had them. "It wasn't my intent to frighten you." I studied her, this time with my eyes instead of the Force. Her appearance was still impeccable, not a hair out of place, despite her chaotic mind. There was one peculiarity in the form of a bandage running the length of her calf, the rest of the binding hidden beneath the folds of her skirt. I almost reached out to take away her anxieties, to soothe her stresses with the Force, but wizened up before the thought gained traction. That wasn't something you did to someone without warning.

She could very well 'freak out'.

"Are you alright, Dr. Kahoshi?" I had to ask. My concern would allow nothing less.
 
Madeline, seemed a little shocked as he brought her work back into her hands. Even after all this time along side a force user and she still was not used to overt displays of it. Curiosity took over her eyes following from where her things had nearly hit the floor to where they had returned into her hands. The mechanism that allowed force users that mystical connection to the force, had been near impossible to locate. She still didn't understand how that small little marker in one's DNA allowed for access to the mystical field of the force.

"I know, I know it wasn't." She sighed heavily just starting to somewhat calm down.

She shook her head slowly in response to his question. "I could say no, but we both know I'd be lying." He had a way of knowing her mind sometimes better than she did. "Just feel backed in a corner with a project." An image washed through her mind, a being melting into nothing more than sludge. "It's not something I wish to do anymore, but I'm required whether I like it or not." More things raced through her mind, brief thoughts of torture, a hot knife against her leg drawn down to her ankle. Quick to push the thought away she finally came back to focus on Cronos. "But alas, it's not your burden to bear. It's mine."

Finally she shuffled over, and set her belongings down on a nearby workstation and came to stand before Cronos. "So what brings you here today? Usually checkup? Though, there is just something in your eyes that says something more brought you to me."

@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Madeline Kahoshi"]​
_____________________​
"I could say no, but we both know I'd be lying. Just feel backed in a corner with a project."
I sat forward, intently studying her face. Despite the levity of her words, her thoughts were alarming. What had happened to her? My eyes kept falling to the bandages wrapped around her leg. How had a doctor come to be injured so badly? The wrapping seemed to cover almost the entire limb.
"It's not something I wish to do anymore, but I'm required whether I like it or not."
Other images flashed across her mind, each more harrowing than the first, gone just as quickly as they'd appeared. It took a supreme effort not to delve deeper, to seek out the source of her anxieties, the strain showing in the tightness of my lips. I wanted to know. I imagined that she was like me, forced to do things that went against who she was, for the sake of the Atrisian Empire. I always doubted my supposed purpose, doubted that the path I walked was the right one, but I had the Force to ease my heart when my duty became to much to handle.

She did not.

"But alas," she continued, "it's not your burden to bear. It's mine."
I disagree. I hadn't meant to speak into her mind, but the thought was out, and there was nothing I could do to get it back. This woman had created me, grown me from a fetus to a man, been my only contact with a living being for almost half of life, short though it was. I was hypersensitive to her feelings in the Force, seemingly more familiar with the workings of her mind than I was with my own. Her ails were my ails, her concerns my concerns, and if I she allowed, I would ease them to the best of my ability. Through the Force, all things were possible.

She placed her things on a workstation and walked to stand before me.
"So what brings you here today? Usual checkup? Though, there is just something in your eyes that says something more brought you to me."
In the wake of her tumultuous thoughts I had forgotten about my desire to create a synthetic lightsaber crystal. The matter seemed trivial, now. "I want to make use of the geological compressor," I explained, "but that can wait." I shifted against the table, easing my posture, voice as relaxed as it always was. "Some burdens can grow too heavy when carried alone. Sharing them, sometimes, can ease the load."
 
Maddie sighed heavily, he knew her too well. Her expression shifted into a frown as he spoke into her mind. It was something she'd never gotten used to and was unlikely to anytime soon. She gave a small nod to him, "It won't be an issue. You know you are free to use the lap equipment anytime you wish. Never a problem."

Slowly she moved alongside him, and took a seat on the table beside him. Her eyes firmly glued to the ground. "I want to tell you. I do. But I fear that you'll think less of me for if I told you everything. I know you hold a clearance level well above mine, so telling you isn't an issue." Idly she ran a hand through her hair, trying to sooth her own nerves a little. "It's a terrible thing I created. I had orders to do it, but I could have stalled, delayed .. I didn't have to make exactly what I did. Now the person who ordered it, is dead and I've been asked to maintain it despite that."

Madeline was still dancing around what it was exactly. But the substance tailor made to break down force sensitives on a molecular level. Now with Cronos before her, she felt horrible for having any part in the project. She was given no option at the time. None. Backed into a corner just as she was now. "I tried to destroy it. Take all my research, alter it so none could ever stumble upon the rare catalyst that set the whole reaction in motion. It was foolish and in vain." She gave a shrug, trying hard to push it away. "An error in judgement." One the galaxy may pay for before it's over. She thought to herself, though more guarded than she had been with her thoughts. She knew it was so easy to read her most days and she wasn't anywhere near her best form for keeping him out.

She sighed, dropping what little guard she had, some things were better never spoken. Knowing him, and her mind he was likely to catch every last unspoken word. I ran. I took everything I had, my research, the substance itself, all of it and ran. I paid a heavy price for my foolishness. Brought shame to my name, my family, the Emperor. It was being his cousin in the end that protected me. Saved my own life .. that and I'm far from replaceable. Also helps only he and one other know of that at all. Again she sighed, hating herself very much for the things she had done. "I don't want you to know the full depth of my sins, Cronos." She spoke softly, tiredly. "I fear you'll never be able to look upon me the same way."

"I'll be fine, in time. I promise. The wounds will heal, external and internal. I know better than to make something like that, that devastating again."

@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Madeline Kahoshi"]​
_______________________​
She moved to sit beside me on the table. The closer she came, the harder it was to ignore her unease.
"I want to tell you," she began, eyes on the ground. "I do. But I fear that you'll think less of me for if I told you everything. I know you hold a clearance level well above mine, so telling you isn't an issue. It's a terrible thing I created. I had orders to do it, but I could have stalled, delayed .. I didn't have to make exactly what I did. Now the person who ordered it, is dead and I've been asked to maintain it despite that."
She was being very vague - exceedingly so, but if she thought that whatever she did would affect my feelings for her, it must have been terrible indeed. I couldn't imagine what though. What could she have created that was worse than me?

"I tried to destroy it. Take all my research, alter it so none could ever stumble upon the rare catalyst that set the whole reaction in motion. It was foolish and in vain." She shrugged. "An error in judgement."
She made a conscious effort to keep me out of her thoughts, and I didn't pry. Whatever this was had caused her considerable pain. But then, as if she'd suddenly reached some decision, she let me in, easing the tight hold on her thoughts.

I ran. I took everything I had, my research, the substance itself, all of it and ran. I paid a heavy price for my foolishness. Brought shame to my name, my family, the Emperor. It was being his cousin in the end that protected me. Saved my own life .. that and I'm far from replaceable. It also helps only he and one other know of that at all. "I don't want you to know the full depth of my sins, Cronos," she spoke aloud, her voice soft and laced with fatigue. "I fear you'll never be able to look upon me the same way. I'll be fine, in time. I promise. The wounds will heal, external and internal. I know better than to make something like that, that devastating again."
I only nodded in return, confident that she would, in time, be 'fine'. I trusted Madeline Kahoshi - trusted her strength, her resolve... I trusted her with my life. I would die for her, and I would kill for her, if she asked it. I was curious as to the nature of the 'substance' she spoke of, but even if it was as bad as she thought, she'd risked her life to destroy it, and that, in my eyes, absolved her of her supposed sins. My sins, however, had yet to be expressed.

"May I ask you a personal question, doctor? Why does the Emperor view Force-adepts as such a threat to his rule?" Why must I murder my own kind?
 
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]

Maddie sighed heavily, tears starting to well up in her eyes, frustrated, tired and angry. This was something that still cut her so deeply, something she wanted desperately to disappear from her life.

What could she have made that was worse than him? The very thing that could destroy him and every other force user in the galaxy.

To his question she paused for a moment and gave it a fair bit of thought to it. "I do not know the full story, and it did not start with this Emperor. Not at all." She sighed, shook her head, going back in galactic history. "I'm sure you are aware of the history of this Empire, it started with the rise of the Galactic Empire, after the Republic fell during the clone wars. Palatine took over, and he felt very threatened by the remaining Jedi in the galaxy and sought to have them destroyed or brought under his control." She'd never heard of the Inquisition on Atrisia, so had little clue.

"We are a microgasm of that same Empire, cut off during the plague and maintained our government and independence. Just as wary of force users as ever. Its not just the Emperor, it's the people. We've all been raised to fear those with the force, to protect ourselves." Idly she scratched at her wrists, fresh but pale scars lay in the skin there. It had looked to be a rope burn but how exactly she'd gotten them a bit more of a mystery. "Even I still get nervous around Sith and Jedi.


"Before Emperor Kahoshi, there was Moff Shu. And he was rather fanatic about it, more so than anyone else I've ever known. He feared them so much that he never left his home. Always guarded by the people he trusted most. To the point he would only deal with the force users in proxy. I never know what happen to them, most disappear never to be seen from again. And ... I don't ask about it. It's not my place." She said with a sigh, but her thoughts drifted to Cronos, for him she'd move mountains to find if that was what was needed. She cared greatly for him, much like a mother would a child.

"Moff Shu was horrible, a horrid man." This part of the story hurt her badly, "Always pressured me into more dangerous projects. Each more frightening and terrifying than the last but I had no choice. I did not own my company as I do now, I was recruited as a military scientist .. and .." She closed her eyes tightly trying to fight back the tears she knew were coming. She loathed to cry in public, far from appropriate. "Everything went down hill fast after he seemed to learn just how skilled I was .. he could ask for it and I could make it given time."

This time her eyes dropped back to the floor and remained there. She could scarcely breathe, so afraid of what he'd think of her after this, so afraid she'd lose him forever. "I created a horrible chemical weapon. I did not know what exactly it was for at the time, I was mostly kept in the dark told only that it was for execution of force users. Single target use only."

The flood gates finally opened as she choked back a sob. "I ... I was a damned fool. An idiot, stupid!" She growled, so angry at herself. But she had to tell him, he deserved the truth from her. "I created a chemical specifically keyed to force users...." She chocked back a sob, her shoulders shaking with each ragged breath. "To break them down at the molecular level. It was made to kill people like you. Had I known what I do now, had you then .. I'd never have done it. I've been so stupid."

She shook her head furiously. "And while I made that, someone developed a way to mass distribute it. I'm so sorry. It's my damn fault. You weren't even here when I made it, hadn't even started your project. I'm sorry, Cronos. I'm so sorry." Sorry didn't cut it, and she knew it. I'm a monster. Rising to her feet, she moved quickly not wanting to be present in the room anymore. She walked briskly down the hall to her office, needing the space
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Madeline Kahoshi"]​
__________________​

I should have expected the strength of her reaction. Her blue eyes brimming with tears, she gave a shuddering sigh, venting her anger and frustration. Her ability to feel was astounding -- it was both her greatest strength and her greatest weakness.

"I do not know the full story," she began after a pause, "and it did not start with this Emperor. Not at all." She sighed again. "I'm sure you are aware of the history of this Empire, it started with the rise of the Galactic Empire, after the Republic fell during the clone wars. Palpatine took over, and he felt very threatened by the remaining Jedi in the galaxy and sought to have them destroyed or brought under his control."
She was right. I did know all this -- I had learned it as a part of my 'conditioning', those many months ago. Dr. Kahoshi hadn't been present for those sessions.

The Emperor, perhaps the most powerful Sith to ever have lived, used his considerable might to destroy the ancient Jedi Order and seize control of every Force-Adept born in the galaxy. Some he killed... most, he killed, but those few he judged worthy were made into his Inquisitors. They were traitors to their kind -- murderers, or converters, of their fellow Force-Adepts.

That's what I was. A traitor. I should've felt some sort of guilt at that realization, but the emotion was absent. Instead, I felt relief. Better I be the sword against my own kind than a true zealot. I granted the Force-adepts I faced with a clean death, if I even deigned to kill them at all. Others, I knew, would not be so merciful.

"We are a microcosm of that same Empire, cut off during the plague and maintained our government and independence. Just as wary of force users as ever. Its not just the Emperor, it's the people. We've all been raised to fear those with the force, to protect ourselves. Even I still get nervous around Sith and Jedi."
I almost laughed. What did she think I was?

"Before Emperor Kahoshi, there was Moff Shu, and he was rather fanatic about it, more so than anyone else I've ever known. He feared them so much that he never left his home, always guarded by the people he trusted most. To the point he would only deal with the force users by proxy. I never know what happen to them, most disappear never to be seen from again."
To serve the Inquisition, I thought silently.
"And ... I don't ask about it. It's not my place. Moff Shu was horrible, a horrid man -- always pressured me into more dangerous projects. Each more frightening and terrifying than the last... but I had no choice. I didn't own my company as I do now, I was recruited as a military scientist ... and ..." Her eyes clenched shut. "Everything went down hill fast," she began again, her voice tremulous, "after he seemed to learn just how skilled I was... he could ask for it and I could make it given time."
Was 'it' the substance she had mentioned previously? Her eyes fell to the floor, and fear swam to the forefront of her mind, fear of such magnitude I was breathless. Why was she so afraid? I latched onto the feeling, studied it, the dull, gray echoes wavering in the nether. In that moment, the truth of her fear became apparent.

She was afraid of me. My eyes widened at the thought. How could she possibly be afraid of me? She had given me life, and in the eyes of the child, the mother was god.

"I created a horrible chemical weapon. I did not know what exactly it was for at the time, I was mostly kept in the dark told only that it was for execution of force users. Single target use only."
Force help me. If anyone had gotten their hands on such a weapon...

The tears glistening in her eyes finally fell, and again her emotions spiked, growing into a bewildering swirl of anger and sadness and self-hatred. I could think of no words to ease her pain. Not with the weight of her revelation heavy on my mind. Mouth set in a grim line, I reached out a hand to pat her shoulder, offering what comfort of could.

"I ... I was a damned fool. An idiot, stupid! I created a chemical specifically keyed to force users..." Her shoulders shook as she held back a sob, breath coming in ragged bursts. "To break them down at the molecular level. It was made to kill people like you. Had I known what I do now, had you then .. I'd never have done it. I've been so stupid... and while I made that, someone developed a way to mass distribute it. I'm so sorry. It's my damn fault. You weren't even here when I made it, hadn't even started your project. I'm sorry, Cronos. I'm so sorry."
I'm a monster.
She rose to her feet and all but ran from the room, her thoughts and emotions a maelstrom a chaos I hadn't the time to decipher. I only knew she wanted to be alone -- her actions spoke loudly, in that regard. I could understand the need to be alone, and I wanted to respect her space, but in my time spent in this very room, I had come to despise it. I would not leave her alone with the weight of her demons weighing against her soul.

What sort of son would I be if I did that?

You aren't a monster, I began, reaching out a hand. Gently, I pulled her back into the room, careful not to add to her fear. "You destroyed the substance, didn't you? You followed the orders of your superior, and when you realized what you were doing, what you were making, you destroyed it. Those aren't the actions of a monster. The fact that you made it at all is eating you up inside. You feel pain, remorse... guilt. I have seen monsters -- faced them, killed them. They do not feel remorse -- they know nothing of guilt." I paused, drawing in a long, slow breath.


"I forgive you, doctor, even if you can't quite forgive yourself."
 
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]

Maddie, let him stop her and with care wiped away at her tears. Though in vain, they still poured down her cheeks. Part of her needed someone to understand, to comfort her and if anyone had a chance of that, he did. Finally facing him, she looked up with the most sad eyes and shook her head slowly. The answer was no. No, she hadn't been able to destroy it. Tried, but failed completely. "I failed." Those words pained her more than anything else. She was not one to fail, not like this. Coming so far, and doing so much, she was used to success with her brilliant mind. And she had nearly gotten away from Atrisia, scot-free, only one small detail led to her capture. Looking away now to the floor, she did not want to see the look in his eyes when it sunk in. "I never got the chance to be rid of it. They caught up with me first."

"I handed it over, with little option." Another sigh, with much agony racing through her mind. Reasons the burn is there on my leg. I couldn't take the pain, so my work was returned to Atrisia along with me. Three vials exist and where they are now, I do not know. She had hoped Akio had hidden them away or destroyed them himself, to finish what she could not.

"But the work here, the research has been altered as I said. No one will find that catalyst. I was about to archive the entire project, but it was brought to my attention of a possible need for it. Asked to retrieve the data and look it over. People don't know what I've done or did to this project, to the research. The changes to prevent anyone else from making it. The formula, the original is only in my mind. Something I wish very much I could change. Damned photographic memory, I cannot forget." It was a sad fact, a woman as intelligent as she, doomed to remember every last detail of her life and the mistakes she made along the way. Forgetting a blessing she'd never have.


"The guilt eats at me, because of you. You've changed everything. I don't see you as another force user, a Jedi or a Sith. You are so much more than all of that. I just can't lose you." So much love, and pain wrapped in the words she spoke. She'd gotten attached to Cronos, he was supposed to be an experiment, a project and she.. Well, she was supposed to remain detached. Somehow, somewhere along the lines she started to love him as a child, care for him in ways she didn't imagine possible. And losing him was the worst thing she could imagine. "And its because of you I regret this so much. I am horrified to have created a weapon that could easily take your life from you in a matter of seconds. No cure, no reversal once the process has began. I am sorry. I will spend the rest of my days making up for it. Somehow some way."

The whole time she had not looked up, could not bear it. Even with him granting her his forgiveness, it didn't change how she felt on herself or how upset she was over the situation. "I never dreamed of having a child, Cronos. Never had the time for things of that nature, but I love you as I would a son. The idea of losing you, is too much for me to bear. And if I never have children of my own, at least I can be content that I had you. So, there is so much that I fear with you. Your abilities, I don't wholly understand, and they do scare me. But beyond that, it's love I hold, and fear that someday I will lose you. I just pray it's not for my own foolishness, my own hands that cause such."
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Madeline Kahoshi"]​
____________________​
"I failed. I never got the chance to be rid of it. They caught up with me first."
They? She had mentioned the Emperor and one other... but who? I felt something like anger roiling in my gut, black and ugly and hot. Force-adepts made up the predominate fighting force of many of the major galactic entities... the Sith Empire, the Republic, even the Confederacy. The Emperor could employ the substance to quell all his foes... but what would become of the Inquisition?

What would become of me? I must find this subtance, I thought to myself, face set in a grim mask, and I must destroy it.
"I handed it over, with little option." She sighed. "But the work here, the research has been altered as I said. No one will find that catalyst. I was about to archive the entire project, but it was brought to my attention of a possible need for it. Asked to retrieve the data and look it over. People don't know what I've done or did to this project, to the research. The changes to prevent anyone else from making it. The formula, the original is only in my mind. Something I wish very much I could change. Damned photographic memory, I cannot forget. The guilt eats at me, because of you. You've changed everything. I don't see you as another force user, a Jedi or a Sith. You are so much more than all of that. I just can't lose you."

And at that, my anger evaporated, lost beneath the maelstrom of her feelings. I weathered the storm of her emotions the best I could, trying not to lose myself in the enormity of them -- it was at once the most amazing and most terrifying thing I had ever witnessed. I hadn't realized it was possible for people to feel so much, so powerfully, all at once. I knew love, and sorrow, and pain... but I had never felt them all at the same time.

"And its because of you I regret this so much," she continued. "I am horrified to have created a weapon that could easily take your life from you in a matter of seconds. No cure, no reversal once the process has began. I am sorry. I will spend the rest of my days making up for it. Somehow some way."

I realized then that she would never forgive herself. As long as the possibility remained that the substance still existed, that it hadn't been destroyed, she'd feel guilty. Her remorse was so strong, in fact, that it brought tears to my eyes.

I didn't shed them.

"I never dreamed of having a child, Cronos. Never had the time for things of that nature, but I love you as I would a son. The idea of losing you, is too much for me to bear. And if I never have children of my own, at least I can be content that I had you. So, there is so much that I fear with you. Your abilities, I don't wholly understand, and they do scare me. But beyond that, it's love I hold, and fear that someday I will lose you. I just pray it's not for my own foolishness, my own hands that cause such."

For several minutes after she finished speaking I maintained my silence, slowly and carefully working through my thoughts. What could I possibly say to a confession like that?

Only the truth.

"I will always love you, Dr. Kahoshi... Madeline. You're more than just my mother... you made me. If I should die because of the substance you made," I trailed off, capturing her eyes with my own, "that's alright, because without you, I never would have lived at all." I suddenly remembered why I had even come to the lab in the first place and couldn't help the laugh that burst from my throat. "Some check-up this turned out to be."

I looked to the Force, but it offered me no guidance. Nothing but its soothing waters and calm skies. In this, I was on my own. "You said there's no cure... are you sure? Perhaps you simply haven't made it yet." I had to remain positive -- not just for myself, but for her sake as well.
 
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]

After all of that, his words finally got her to visibly relax. "Thank Cronos. And please, Doctor is not something you need to call me. Just Madeline, or Maddie." What point was there in formality when they both viewed each other as mother and child. She gave a small nod. It may have been alright in his books but not in hers. A sigh, "Some checkup, indeed." But that made her realize the purpose to him being here.

Pulling away, she dried the last of her tears and straightened her clothing out. "Yes, that is correct." A frown came to her, wheels turning in her mind. "As quickly as the substance reacts, and goes to work... There just isn't time to deploy a cure before the being dies." Her words firm, almost icy and detached as she spoke them. Somehow trying to distance herself from what she'd done. "I suppose, I could try. Maybe a vaccine in a way or something .. I can find something, given time." As gifted as she was, anything she wanted could be made, created if she had the time.

"But let's put this sad business away and focus onto why you are here." For now she needed that, needed not to focus on the pains and her deepest regrets. Lightly she patted him on the shoulder, "Come on now, let's get you what you need." She said with a smile, trying to go on.
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Madeline Kahoshi"]​
________________​
My words had the desired affect. Her emotions calmed, and her body relaxed. I couldn't help but smile, my mouth spread so wide my eyes scrunched shut.

"Thanks Cronos. And please, Doctor is not something you need to call me. Just Madeline, or Maddie."
Maddie? I smiled wider. I didn't often have cause to use the word 'adorable', but 'Maddie' was undoubtedly an adorable nickname. Maddie it is then.
I wondered what -- or who -- had been used to test the substance. The Force could be used to purge toxins from the body, but a murderous virus? I wasn't so sure of that. I assumed it targeted large masses of midi-chlorians, and felt again the burning urge to discover the whereabouts of the substance, to sate my curiosity if nothing else.

One day my curiosity would be the death of me -- of that I was certain.

"Come on now," she began, patting my shoulder, "let's get you what you need."
"Of course," I returned, shedding my shirt. My check-ups were usually intensely thorough -- they always took blood and tissue samples, tested my reflexes, sight, hearing, and flexibility, as well as a number of other tests I didn't know the purpose of. It was a time consuming process, but it wasn't uncomfortable... just tedious. After months of the same routine, it had turned into a sort of meditation session. "Whenever you're ready, doc -- *ahem* -- Maddie," I corrected.
 
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
She managed a more genuine smile as he stumbled over Doc, and finally settled upon Maddie. Madeline gave an approving nod to him, loving that he chose that to call her. Anything but the formalities that they'd clung to for months. As he removed his shirt, Madeline stepped away to grab for all her needed supplies for the usual battery of testing. Returning back to him, with great care she tied the tourniquet around his arm and started to search for an adequate vein. Finally satisfied, "Big stick." She reminded before she plunged the needle in, quickly gathering five vials of blood from his arm one by one.

Pulling away, she closed the needle off with a click, holding a piece of gauze upon his arm, keeping pressure on it while she peeled away a piece of tape with her teeth and free hand. Oh so used to this routine. "So, what have you been up to lately?" She asked kindly, making conversation while she worked, going through all the various other samples she needed from him. Hair, tissue, the usual.

After setting the blood aside, and cleaning her mess, she returned to check his heart, lungs, eyes and ears. One by one working through the process as she always did. But it couldn't help but be noticed, she as still a little flustered, a little off in her usual approach. Things took longer, and the woman seemed a little more clumsy for it all.

At least the work gave her a distraction, one she very much needed to keep her thoughts on track. To keep her away from what bothered her so much about her life. "You know, you always have away of making me feel better, even on my worst days. Even on a day like today when I was certain nothing could lift my spirits, you have." She smiled a little brighter, trying to be happy, trying to relax in the knowledge that for everything she did have him. Even with her worst sin on the table, her worst failure, he did not run away from her. He did not abandon her as she so greatly feared he would.
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Madeline Kahoshi"]​
_______________​
"So, what have you been up to lately?"
I took a long time formulating a response, wondering if I should tell her the truth. She certainly deserved to know, especially after her confession, but telling her, I rationalized, might endanger her. What if someone found out she knew? The existence of the Inquisition was a jealously guarded secret -- aside from the Emperor, I didn't know of anyone outside of the Inquisition who was aware of its existence. If the wrong people discovered her knowledge... I didn't want to think of what might happen.

But she's already been trusted with top-secret information, I realized as I watched her work. And she already knew that I was an agent against Force-adepts that threatened the Atrisian Empire -- I had let that slip myself, just a scant few minutes ago. Between creating the substance and creating me, she was an intelligence officer's worst nightmare.

I realized something else as I watched her -- something was off. Perhaps her emotional turmoil wasn't as settled as I had hoped? She was methodical in her ministrations, very much the thorough doctor she had always been, but her movements lacked a certain elegance I had come to associate with her, from the days long past before I had been unleashed to the world. Even flustered, however, she was worth ten such doctors. Maybe I was biased, but I'd rather have her on her worst day than any other physician in the galaxy on their best.

Before I could even begin to answer her first question, however, she spoke again.

"You know, you always have away of making me feel better, even on my worst days. Even on a day like today when I was certain nothing could lift my spirits, you have."
She finished with a bright smile, and I remembered that for the longest time, she and she alone had tethered me to this reality. Insanity was a slippery slope, and in those months, without her, I'd have slid into a deep psychosis. "I'm just glad I could help," I said with a brief grin. "You have a big heart and a pure soul -- you don't deserve to feel bad." Unbidden, a heavy sigh escaped my lips. Her smiled had sealed it -- I would tell her the truth, and damn anyone who would seek to harm her for that knowledge. She deserved to know. "As far as what I've been doing..." I looked away, eyes riveted to the far wall.

"I recently fought against a Sith on Gromas 16," I began, my tone so calm as to be lifeless. I had given my sorrows to the Force and been left empty. "Our fight was meaningless -- I was only there to collect phrikite, and he just so happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was no threat, and yet... and yet I maimed him, cut off his leg, and left him to die. There've been others too, others who live now only because of my mercy." I took a deep breath. "I've killed as many as I've spared," I said, looking into her eyes. I am a killer, Maddie... and I serve the Inquisition.

She had feared that I would think less of her for her sins -- she wasn't alone in that fear.
 
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]

Maddie nodded still, listening to his every word. "Thank you Cronos. You care so much about me, in a way I never dreamed possible with any being ." She sighed as she took out a small reflex hammer, and reached out moving his legs into the proper position. "It's something that warms my heart. Unexpected, in every way but I would not have it any other way."

Her smile soon began to fade as he spoke. Madeline paused her exam to watch her son on the table as the life faded from his eyes, his tone dead ... It all was a bit of a shock to her as he went about explaining what he had done. Closing her eyes she sighed. Seems I'm not the only killer ... At those internal words that he no doubt heard, Maddie felt like crying but didn't. She would not now. Reaching out, she drew him into a tight warm embrace before she released him to explain ... Though there was something she would have to ask before she could get into everything. Inquisition? What is that? I'm afraid I've never heard of it.

"Cronos .. my dear son." She said, softly. "The experiment I told you of ... there is a reason I felt so terrible about it. Why I do feel so awful over it." Another sigh came, her shoulders slumped as she found another place to look other than at her child. "I was such a fool back then." She scolded herself bitterly. "I've tested it on living beings. On ... prisoners doomed to execution. Force users." The woman was quick to force away the most painful thoughts of watching the nine men and three women melt away before her eyes. "After what you've forgiven me for, after those I've killed.. I'd be a hypocrite to turn you away for the same. We aren't so different you and I, my boy. We really are not. Both trapped doing things we don't want to .. Both killing for our nation, and both so afraid that the other will never look at each of us the same." Her deepest regrets lay in those beings that she was forced to take their lives from them. Even doomed to execution and knowing that it still hurt her deeply. They haunted her dreams every single night.

One final sigh as she scooted onto the table and wrapped her arms tightly around him again. This time she gently rubbed at his back the way a mother would soothe a child in pain. Doing the best that she knew how to comfort him, she went on. "There is nothing you could do that I would not be able to forgive you for, Cronos. Nothing that will turn me away from you. If there is anything in this galaxy that you can trust in, believe in, it's me. I'm always going to be here for you, no matter what." Those words, every single one of them she meant with every fiber of her being.

Today had only confirmed one thing in her eyes, "You are my son. You won't ever lose me, Cronos. Never." Finally with those words spoke, she withdrew from him. Her thoughts wandered briefly to adoption. True adoption, so that he would be the heir to her legacy should anything happen to her. Perhaps, they could speak of it another time soon. But she had little doubt that he had felt and heard the thoughts and where her mind was wandering right then. After all, at this point Madeline was in no way trying to keep him out.

She was satisfied with the tests, this time letting a few of the lesser things slide. Some things just not quite important. The blood and tissue required, the reflexes, the rest ... it could be skipped once in a while. "I have what I need. So, let me know what you need with the compressor and we will get it setup for you."
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Madeline Kahoshi"]​
__________________________​
I wasn't surprised that she hugged me, I simply hadn't expect it. I sat limply for several moments before I returned her embrace, taking solace in her warmth. I felt something shift in the currents of the Force, something that I hadn't even noticed was there. It was a Shatterpoint, I realized -- my own weakness had been lain bare like a gaping wound, and Maddie, with just a hug, sealed the break, and the shatterpoint ceased to be.

Love heals all wounds. I had read that somewhere. Love can seal shatterpoints, I amended.
Inquisition? What is that? I'm afraid I've never heard of it.
I wouldn't have expected you too; as far as I am aware, only the Emperor knows of the Inquisition. By the order of the First Edict of the Imperial Inquisition, I have the 'authority' and the obligation to execute any Force-adept I encounter if they do not surrender to the Empire. They serve... or they die. The Inquisition carries out this order, and whenever there is a problem that 'normal' people can't solve, he calls on us.

I enjoy having a purpose, but I do not think I was created to be a glorified murderer. But I do what I must...

"Cronos .. my dear son." Her voice was very soft. The sheer sincerity in her tone gave me pause. "The experiment I told you of ... there is a reason I felt so terrible about it. Why I do feel so awful over it.
"...I've tested it on living beings. On ... prisoners doomed to execution. Force users."
I had figured as much. I couldn't fault her for it -- she'd said it herself, the people of Atrisia were raised to fear Force-adepts. Fear very often leads to hate, and beneath the sway of both, people could unspeakable things. I was a victim of fear myself -- I feared for my life, and so I killed to keep it. You serve or you die.

"After what you've forgiven me for, after those I've killed.. I'd be a hypocrite to turn you away for the same. We aren't so different you and I, my boy. We really are not. Both trapped doing things we don't want to .. Both killing for our nation, and both so afraid that the other will never look at each of us the same."
She hugged me again and I basked in her warmth for a second time, content in the knowledge that someone cared. I couldn't help but smile, even as my mind turned to darker thoughts. She didn't deserve her sorrow -- she deserved to be free of the Empire, free of her obligation to a corrupt regime. She does what she musts, just as I do.

"There is nothing you could do that I would not be able to forgive you for, Cronos. Nothing that will turn me away from you. If there is anything in this galaxy that you can trust in, believe in, it's me. I'm always going to be here for you, no matter what. "You are my son. You won't ever lose me, Cronos. Never."
She stepped away then, and I tried to hide the sheer width of my smile. It was unbecoming to be so happy, but I found I couldn't help myself. Her thoughts seemed louder than they ever had before, and where before our connection had been a high-velocity hose, now it was a roaring river. I was so happy I could taste it, and I couldn't recall ever feeling the emotion so strongly before in my life. Even the Force seemed happy, its many currents as calm as the gentlest brook, glowing with rapturous energy.

She put the rest of the testing materials away, and I inclined my head in thanks. I was anxious to craft my own lightsaber crystal.

"I have what I need. So, let me know what you need with the compressor and we will get it setup for you."
Was she reading my mind now? "Set the compressor to run for 96 hours with a pressure of 850,000 pounds and a temperature of 815 degrees celcius." I summoned the 40 pound block of carbon I'd tucked away in the recesses of the room, levitating it to hover behind me. "I'm going to turn this into a lightsaber crystal," I said by way of explanation. "Synthetic crystals are somewhat stronger than naturally occurring crystals, and by making it myself, I increase the connection between myself and the resulting blade. My current weapon is inadequate."
 
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]

Maddie's brow furrowed together as she thought about what she was hearing in her mind. A sigh followed, I must speak with Akio. Clearly he has some explaining to do. She thought to herself, calling the Emperor by his first name, the pair of them fairly close. As close as society would allow them to get. This Inquisition that put Cronos in such a position, drew a fair amount of anger from the usually calm, cool and collected woman.

"You were never created with that purpose in mind. Never." Again her head bowed, the reasons she made him were incredibly selfish. "I made you..." She bit at her lip, hating to admit how egotistical and foolish she could be. "Because ... I'd done everything else, pushed the bounds of science in every way I knew how, but this. I did not know if a force user clone could be made. I did not realize what would come with creating you, and I'm sorry. I've put this on you. I brought you into a world that hates you. I should have known." Still she felt terrible for her mistakes, but at least she was fast to learn from them, correct them if she could. "I've put you in grave danger by bringing you into this galaxy and for that I am sorry. I never knew the dangers. I only want to protect you."

As she spoke, she moved over to the compressor, setting the exact specifications that he had asked for and finally had it all in order. The compressor slowly building to the needed pressure and temperature.

"Just be careful with this, I don't much like this settings where they are. I understand the reasoning, the needs but something about it worries me and for what exactly it is, I do not know." There were always the tiny gut feelings that Madeline had. A creature of habit and one of pure instinct when it came to the art of science. But there was something more about her feelings, she just was hardly aware. Hardly aware just how different and special she truly was. But the question remained, would Cronos stumble upon her secret. Would Madeline? For she hadn't a clue, only sensitive to it in the most mild of regards.

It one went back hundreds of years, those blue eyes she had ... They were not a genetic abnormality. No, they were born of sith magic. The same that still ran in her veins, the Emperor's veins. Madeline a unique creature by far. And there were things in her own DNA that she never could figure out, never could pin down. But never had she imagined the force played a role in it.
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Madeline Kahoshi"]​
______________________​
"You were never created with that purpose in mind. Never. I made you... because ... I'd done everything else, pushed the bounds of science in every way I knew how, but this. I did not know if a force user clone could be made."
I hoped that her words were true. I didn't doubt that she had created me to to expand the limits of science -- she was an ambitious woman -- but someone had collected my original's genetic material for duplication, and I didn't think it had been her. It was a question that demanded it answer. Where, and why, had Cronos Aegir's cells been harvested? There were no records of the event, not even at my clearance level -- I'd looked.

"I did not realize what would come with creating you, and I'm sorry," Maddie continued. "I've put this on you. I brought you into a world that hates you. I should have known. "I've put you in grave danger by bringing you into this galaxy and for that I am sorry. I never knew the dangers. I only want to protect you."​
Her feelings made her mind even easier to read, and it was all I could do not to delve deeper into her thoughts. "As long as the populace remains ignorant of the ways of the Force," I began, "my existence here will always be in danger. I live with this danger because some of the things I am called to do truly saves lives. There are many real threats to the Atrisian Empire that require termination, both domestic and foreign -- I merely wished our policies on Force-adepts were... more lax. More understanding. Why are we so rigid in our persecution of Force-adepts? The Inquisition operates almost autonomously -- no other governmental entity is aware of its existence -- so we can afford to create our own rules and bylaws." At that point, I was merely voicing my own thoughts, my own doubts and worries. I didn't truly expect an answer -- not from Madeline, at any rate. I would have to ask the second woman to whom I owed my allegiance; only she could answer my questions.
The sound of the running compressor rose to a gentle hum, indicating it was nearing the set levels of pressure and temperature.

"Just be careful with this," Maddie said, indicating the compressor. "I don't much like this settings where they are. I understand the reasoning, the needs but something about it worries me and for what exactly it is, I do not know."

I smiled. She sounded like a Jedi. "When my instincts warn me against something, I look to the Force for guidance -- what do you look to, Maddie?" I noticed the shift in the Force as I completed my question, a realm of possibility laid bare, borne of our interaction. What did it mean?

Only time would tell.
 
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