Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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The Lesson, Volume II

A Continuation of The Lesson​

By the end, Mysa had pressed the distress signal more times than she could count.

When the twisted children had leapt, Mysa had fought to stave them off. Battling with the path she had to take, the knowledge that while their lives had already been taken by another, they would ultimately need fall at her hand.

They were just children. Younglings who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Who had been forced to tear their own Master limb from limb. Mysa had looked into the eyes of a monster this day, and he had fled her grasp. Leaving her, leaving them...

How long she had spent fending off the children she could not say. Eventually though, something had snapped within her and the compassion left her entirely. Gone was the careful, considerate young girl. In her place a beast running on instinct, necessity.

Now she sat within the halls of the old Temple, on some world she couldn't even remember the name of, where the previously white marble floor was stained red. Her blood. Their blood. That of the demons. Whoever's had been in the cauldron which had fallen over during the battle.

Rocking back and forth, bleeding from several gaping wounds, blood matting her usually stark white hair, Mysa pressed and pressed and pressed the distress signal. Over and over and over again. In the end there were six bodies that were not her own inside the room with her.

Master Fer'u was in several pieces, severed at the hands of the children. Bak'tu and Jirun, the younglings who had first attacked, were in two. The other three... That was a blur. From the looks of them they had been savaged by some wild beast, yet they each had one distinct burnmark through their chest.

Mysa did not look at them. Mysa did not look anywhere but at her feet, clutching her knees with one hand where she sat.

She could not escape the stench of death, though. The metallic sting of blood which drifted on the air. The sulfuric residue left behind by the igniting of a saber.

Nobody had come, yet still she sought them out. Her finger was stiff and sore from how many times she had pressed, sent out her SOS, yet she did not cease. Could not. She just sat and trembled and rocked and pressed and waited.

Waited for the return of the demon she knew had been watching.
The distress call was picked up by the Silver Jedi Order who then relayed it to the Grandmaster's office. Thurion had been busy packing his personal affects, as these were his last days in the role of head of the Order and thus his old office was in the process of being handed over as well. He'd built up quite the collection of books over the years - most of which were just sitting around collecting dust, nowadays - in spite of him not being a very good reader. He only learned how to read without aid at around age 10 with Master Asha as his teacher, and even now 30 years later did he find big blocks of text daunting. Picture books seemed far more appealing.

The distress call came in, the flash of the red button demanding his attention. "Never a dull moment..." he sighed. Yet even now did his sense of duty remain, and there was something about this distress call that had him intrigued. Perhaps one last adventure called him to action?

"This is Thurion Heavenshield, Grandmaster of the Silver Jedi Order. Who is this?"

[member="Mysa Snowstrider"]​

There was no understanding for the girl who sat amidst blood and corruption. She did not hear the voice blare through her comms, she just continued to press the button and wait. Over and over. On the other end whoever had picked up the signal would still hear the perpetual beep associated with it, and would have but a location that was being transmitted through the stars.

And if they were to listen closely, truly listen, they might hear the laboured breathing and suppressed whimpers of whoever was on the other end. Clinging to sanity, while on the edge of delirium.

Something in her had snapped. And it wasn't just a spur of the moment reaction either, it hadn't righted itself even now. Even after hours had passed and the light outside the Temple disappeared. She just stayed in her state of shock, her mind abuzz with all that she had witnessed.

All that she had done.

And while the voice had made itself known, she had blocked it out. She wondered why nobody had arrived. Had the distress signal not been sent? Over and over, hundreds of times, cast into the void of space in dim hope that it would be picked up.

A message sent to anyone and everyone who cared to listen. SOS. SOS. SOS. Beep. Beep. Beep.

But no words to accompany it.

No explanation.

[member="Thurion Heavenshield"]
"Hello?" No answer, though he swore he could hear someone on the other end. Not a voice, but... panting? Laboured breath? "Listen: whoever this is, we've got your coordinates locked down. Help is on the way, you hear? We're coming for you." No time to waste. He would have to finish clearing his office another time, it would seem.


The planet the distress call had come from was not one he was familiar with, yet it sat just outside of Silver space and close enough that he felt it justified that he would go there in person. Nothing like a good rescue mission to cap off his time with the Order, as he would soon find himself settled down on Midvinter with his wife and their unborn child. Felt just like the olden days, when but a young Jedi Knight out looking for adventure.

Finding the old temple structure from which the call hailed proved easy enough with the ship's tracking device, though he doubted he would've found it just by passing by. The hour was late and it was all but pitch-black save for the Oathkeeper's spotlights lighting up the entrance. "Stay with the ship, Teetoo." A phrase he'd found himself repeating to his old friend more times than he could count, and at this point the astromech droid more or less expected it.

The entrance appeared to be sealed, although the distress call was definitely coming from within the building. Was someone trapped inside? The thick steel doors looked to be immovable, yet that would not stop him when someone's life was potentially in danger on the other side. His trusty lightsaber carved through the metal easily enough, cutting apart the two doors down the middle and allowing him to slide the them open using his great physical strength.

Inside it was even darker, somehow. The only lightsource was his lightsaber, casting its azure hue upon the narrow hallways as he strode, occasionally checking his tracker that he was going the right way. "At the next intersection, take a left," he muttered to himself while following the trail. As the signal grew stronger the closer he got, he stopped dead in his tracks to see if he could hear anything. Dead silence. Thank the Force he was not born with claustrophobia.

Turning the corner, he came across another locked door at the far end of the hall. Immediately he was assaulted by the most revolting stench; that of death. Upon further examining the walls of this particular hallway were covered in what he at first suspected to be some sort of grime or filth. He then realised that it was in fact blood and viscera and had to physically keep his stomach from churning. Then suddenly, there were strange noises coming from behind him, from somewhere within the veritable maze he'd just trecked through.

Not one to waste time, Thurion made for the sealed doors at the end of the hall and listened for sounds on the other side. He thought he could hear the faintest of weeping and promptly brandished his lightsaber once more to carve a hole through the door. Sticking his head through the opening, he laid eyes upon the person frantically sending the distress call as if possessed. His eyes went wide and his breath caught in his throat.


[member="Mysa Snowstrider"]​

The halls of this Temple long since abandoned by any Order, and only having refound use by the Jedi Master who now called it his tomb, were eerie to say the least. No light had penetrated it since the sun fell beyond the horizon, and even before then sconces had lined the walls. Now they were all snuffed out, as though they had somehow burned with the life force of the Jedi and his students.

In the distance, beyond all of her inner turmoil, beneath the shock which had long since set in to her limbs and her mind, a single sound broke through. It was like a grating, something which tweaked the young girl's nerves and set within her a shudder, and with it came another sensation, a scent, of pure heat. Burning.

He was back, wasn't he? The torturous demon. Breaking into the spot she had chosen to live out the rest of her days, which she had so blindly tried to barricade in her rush to avoid his wrath. His creations had been destroyed, after all. They lay here now, in this self same room as she, the aforementioned tomb. Their final resting place, if none came to find them. Hers too no doubt.

Was she ready to face the fiend? Could she bring herself to enact more violence... For what? Survival? What did that matter when all she had sought to protect, the duties she had placed upon herself, had been ruined. Torn by her own hand.

Mysa had not been spotted by any Silver Jedi in months. She had not been seen gracing Midvinter, Gideon knew nothing about her location, nor Théo, nor her parents. It was as if she had vanished entirely from the face of the Galaxy.

Would that be how it remained? Would she simply be the child that disappeared into the aether?

Footsteps neared in hasty approach, and she buried her face into her knees and held her hands over her ears. The distress beacon had been dropped in her haste to make herself small, in her hope to not be seen by the beast who had prowled these halls in search of his little puppets.

There it was, her last bastion of hope, fallen to the wayside. No more signals sent out to the Galaxy. Nobody would come for her.

But when a voice broke through the darkness, like a shining ray of light, confusion worked its way over the girl. It was a voice so familiar that memories were immediately brought up within her mind. Of a young girl on a snowy world, stood in the presence of a King and his son. Of a tropical world full of trees, and a family who treated her as one of her own.

Of a man who had again and again fought to protect her, and all she had.

Her tears of anguish were replaced in an instance by heavy sobs that could not be controlled. Was it really him, or was this another trick from the demon? Had he returned to destroy more of her mind? To eat at her soul?

She could not bear to lift her head, to find out the truth of the matter lest her worst fears be true. Rocking still in place, she managed one small word between sobs.


[member="Thurion Heavenshield"]
It was Mysa. Of all people, it had to be her. The little girl he'd taken off his father's hands to raise as his own, alongside Nina and Théo whom he knows she considers her siblings. Mysa was as much Heavenshield as she was Hearthfire and Snowstrider.

"Mysa," he called out to her, stepping fully through the opening he'd carved and rising to full height. Before approaching the Umbaran girl his senses were assaulted by the state of the room she was in. Butchered bodies lay scattered across the blood-soaked floor. The stench was even more wretched, yet all these were cast aside to care for his daughter and niece.

He rushed to her side, picking her off the floor and into his arms, pressing her to his chest and caressing her white hair. "Little Snowflake," he comforted her, sensing her state of shock. He would've asked her what she was doing here, of all places, but he came to the hasty conclusion that it was not important. She was there, and now he was going to take her away from there. To home.

"You're freezing," he noticed and quickly removed his leather jacket to wrap her up inside. Fittingly enough, the jacket had been a present from Mysa's mother. He took her pale hands in his for a gentle squeeze, finally tearing her away from the SOS button with his eyes fixed on hers. "Come along, sweetie. We're going home," he told Mysa while helping her up on her feet only to scoop her off the floor and into his arms before making for the exit.

[member="Mysa Snowstrider"]
She felt her body lifted with firm but comforting hands, and knew all at once that this was no illusion. No trick of the mind. She clung to him as tightly as she could, and when he pried the device from her fingers she did not fight to keep hold. Thurion had found her, he had listened and come, she wasn't alone within this tomb with all the demons.

She tried to speak, though the words were too broken up to be intelligible. He didn't ask anything of her, didn't try to make sense of the horrific situation he had stumbled into, he simply wrapped her in his warm leather jacket and allowed her to nestle close.

When the time came to move her, though, Mysa's body turned rigid and a panic set over her. She couldn't leave them here like this. She couldn't let the children lie alone in purgatory.

"I... No..." she sobbed, trying to fight her way out of his tender embrace, "Don't.. Leave them... Can't... Alone..." Her actions were a panicked attempt at moving toward the bodies, those of younglings who were no older than 10, who had been mutilated long before she arrived here. She couldn't let them lie here, not after all she had done.

[member="Thurion Heavenshield"]
"Alright, alright," he soothed her as she struggled out of his gentle grasp. Clearly the poor girl was utterly distraught by whatever had taken place here, and so he knew to allow her all the time she needed. "It's okay, Mysa. We won't leave them."

Following her to where the bodies lay dismembered, Thurion looked upon the sight with a grim look on his face. Had his hair been shorter it would've been easy to mistake him for his brother. He knelt down beside Mysa, placing a hand upon her shoulder.

"Mysa... what happened here? Who are these younglings? What did this to them?" He hoped his questions would not overwhelm his sweet girl, but given how intent she was at tending to their bodies he figured she'd been present when it happened, and he was completely in the dark.

[member="Mysa Snowstrider"]
She sank to her knees at the edge of the closest body, expression crumpling. Where once there had always been a radiance of hope around the young Snowflake, today hers was a presence of confusion. Darkness tainted these halls, and with it the child who had sat among it for hours.

"I... I couldn't... I couldn't save them" she wept, reaching toward the body of a young Zabrak though her fingers did not touch. She could not bring herself to sully their bodies anymore than she had. "A monster... I saw a monster..." Flashbacks to the crazed Sith had her shuddering, but no more than the recollection of what she herself had done. "I am one..."

Her head hung. Gone were the sobs, replaced by a numbness which spread throughout her core. She felt little more than the cold.

"They... They killed him" she whispered, as though only just realizing what she had walked into here. "Tore him apart..."

[member="Thurion Heavenshield"]
"A monster?" Mysa's recollection was patchy at best, obviously affected by the state of the poor girl. But Thurion was not about to leave her to wallow in her numbness, instead taking her by both arms, lifting her up on her feet and pinning her to the wall, thereby forcing her to face him as he fixed his gaze upon hers. "Mysa, focus. You're safe now, I'm here. I'm real. I'm not going anywhere," he told her, intent on keeping her mind from coming apart at the seams from what had happened.

"Now you listen to me, young lady: Whatever it was that did this to those poor younglings is most likely still around, so we don't have a moment to lose. I am operating in the dark here so I need your help, Mysa." His words were to the point, yet non-threatening all the same. Gods know he did not wish to spook the girl further. He cupped her cheeks with both hands and pressed his forehead to hers. "Keep your focus on me, little one. Breathe deeply. Stay with me, here in the now." His voice softened, and a father's kiss was placed upon her pale forehead. While doing so he attempted to calm her mind using the Force, sending waves of calm and comfort from his mind into hers. Mental images that would help her focus.

"Can you do that for me, Snowflake?" Thurion then pulled her in for another tight embrace, keeping her away from the gruesome sight.

[member="Mysa Snowstrider"]​

She wanted nothing more than to remain lost within herself for the rest of eternity, within the strange plane of numbness she had found herself within... Instead she was lifted from the ground, backed against the wall, and forced to face the situation head on.

Mysa blinked up, her eyes focused... And she seemed to truly realize that he was there. Thurion Heavenshield... He had found her. She felt the sting of tears once again prickle at the edge of her eyes, yet he did not allow her to remain in her odd state. He made her listen, focus, he brought her back from the edge of the abyss... Just.

"He's gone... It's gone" she said, with a certainty. She had seen him disappear after all, he had left on a vessel before she had even arrived. But that didn't stop the need for him to know. He held her cheeks, keeping her eyes on his, and leaned in to settle a soft kiss to her forehead. He kept his head close, giving her little more than his soft but determined eyes to focus upon.

The Force washed over her in a warm embrace, and she sighed. Her head lolled forward ever so slightly, before a tiny nod left her. She could do it... She had to do it.

"I... I don't know who it was... S-Some darksider... He was... D-Dragging the Jedi Masters... B-Body... Well... M-Most of it..."

She shivered, but kept her focus on Thurion.

"And the children... T-They were like animals... F-Feral... Mutilated... I-I think they were d-dead... But they were moving... Like... Like the Vinterbound... Only..." Her eyes closed tight. Disgusting. Terrifying. Horrifying. "Gorey... C-Covered in blood..."

The numbness was cast aside by an overwhelming urge to weep, and though she kept herself from audibly doing so the tears fell regardless.

"He said... He said they killed the Master... A-And then he... He disappeared, leaving me with them... And... And they attacked..."

She tried to squirm free from the grasp of her Father, her Uncle, her Guardian. She could not face him right now, not after what had happened.

"I tried to s-save them... I tried, and I tried, and I tried, but they clawed at me, they bit me..." Her arms, covered in blood, were full of open wounds. Her legs... "I snapped... And I p-put them down..." Killed them. She had killed them... Could you kill what was already dead? Two of the Younglings had been killed in far worse circumstances than the others, cut in two. The other three simply had a lightsaber wound through the heart.

"T-The others... The other Younglings... They didn't attack, Papa... But they w-were in pain... I... I don't know if they had a-already been killed... Before I got here... Like the others... B-But I couldn't bear it... I couldn't..."

What had she done? What if the others had been salvageable? What if a medic could have brought them back?

But there was no medic... For hours I have been sat here, hours... Long torturous hours... And nobody came... They would have died, screaming... Suffering...

Did that make it right?

[member="Thurion Heavenshield"]
"Mysa, listen to me carefully," he said, not letting her go just yet. "You are not a monster. You acted out of fear and desperation, you were alone and frightened. None of this is your fault; the blame lies with whoever this 'Darksider' was." Quickly going through his list of Sith he has had firsthand experience with, he couldn't imagine any of them going to these extremes just to get to him or the Order. No, this had to be a new player, with Mysa just having just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Thurion caressed his girl's white hair, now egregiously stained with blood and grime. "If the children were feral and threatened your life, you did the right thing, Mysa. And if the others were in pain and you ended their suffering, then your actions were borne of mercy. They may not have been easy decisions, but they were the right ones." He wiped the steady stream of tears from her cheeks and offered the poor girl a soft smile.

He quickly summoned a chair to his side with the aid of the Force and gently sat her down in it. Kneeling before her, he looked her in the eye. "Just sit tight for now, Snowflake. I need to examine the bodies for any anomalies and send a message to the nearest Ranger patrol. They'll come and clean this place up." He placed his jacket over her as he would a blanket. "Try and get some rest, Mysa. I'm not going anywhere."

[member="Mysa Snowstrider"]
His grasp remained firm but gentle, there was no room for wriggling free - not even now could she live up to the nickname set by her beloved [member='Théodred Heavenshield']... No she was once again forced to face what was happening. Not a time to flee, to curl up in a corner as she so badly wished to do.

Her breathing slowed, and her whole demeanor seemed to shrink in on itself. She was exhausted, she was in pain, the numerous open wounds on her body were stinging in unison,and her legs were shaking. Still she tried so very hard to remember what she could about the deranged figure who had brought this upon the inhabitants of this Temple.

"Red" she whispered, her lips making a silent move to repeat the word though nothing came out, over and over again, before she spoke again. "He wore red, red everything. Red cloak, red robes, red eyes..." Red red red. The colour of blood. The colour which stained her hands, her hair, her clothes, the floors around them. Red Red Red.

Shivering, she leaned her head down against his chest and wept. Now that she was more with it, now that she could process things a little more clearly, it felt as though her world had come crashing down.

"Alchemist" she finally said, choking on the word, "th-the cauldron, it... It was full of blood, and... He had a..." What had he called it? "A phantom... Like a doppelganger. I'm so sorry Papa..." She couldn't remember anything else about him. She hadn't been focusing on what he looked like, simply the process of arresting him and keeping her stomach from turning in the process.

He tried to brush off her actions with the children, and Mysa knew it would take a whole lot more than words to ease the burden of what she had done. A chair was produced, and she was made to sit there, though her hand shot out to Thurion's at the first sign of him moving away. "D-Don't leave me here" she whimpered, "I don't, I can't..."

The jacket was placed over her, banishing the cold from her skin and covering her in warmth. Her eyes lolled to a close, mid sentence, and her hand loosened at his wrist. She did not sleep, she just gave in to the waves of the Force and felt the comforting brush of his presence through it. He would be just a few feet away... Yet at times that could feel like an entire canyon apart.

[member="Thurion Heavenshield"]
Thurion cupped her cheek and looked her in the eye. "It's not your fault, sweet child. None of this is. Rest now." He found her hand to press against his lips for a tender kiss, then took only a couple short steps away to leave her to her rest. Examining the control panel where he'd found Mysa, a quick glance told him the whole place was running on emergency power. Hence why all the lights were off.

Finding the correct panel, Thurion ripped it open with his bare hands to expose the wires needed to restore power to the complex, bypassing the emergency lockdown. A few moments of tinkering resulted in the lights flickering to life, and a long hum echoed throughout the old temple. He opted to keep the control room they were in dimly lit, however; the last thing Mysa need now was to get a better look at what she'd been put through.

"There we are, comms are up and running." He wasted no time in opening up a channel to the closest Ranger outpost, having learned every frequency by heart. "This is Thurion Heavenshield of the Silver Jedi Order, security code: 5B37-21AD. How copy?" While listening to the interference for any sounds of acknowledging his hails, Thurion looked over at Mysa resting in her chair and sent her a comforting nod and a smile. "Grandmaster Heavenshield, this is Colonel Vale of Antarian Ranger Outpost 109. We read you loud and clear."

"Colonel, I am sending you coordinates to my current whereabouts. In need of reinforcements and clean-up crew for a level two structure. I would provide more details, but they are sort of lost to me at the moment," he said, having never fully grasped the appropriate military lingo, but he sure tried his damndest. "Roger that, Grandmaster. We'll have two shuttles depart for the received coordinates and four squads of Rangers prepared to clear out the structure." There, simple enough. "Mighty nice of you, Ma'am. Thurion out."

Returning to Mysa's side, he took her hand for a gentle caress. "Come on you," he spoke softly. "Let's get you home, Snowflake." As if she weighed nothing he scooped her out of the chair and into his arms, ready to be rid of this place and its dark secrets.

[member="Mysa Snowstrider"]
It all felt as though it was happening miles away.

She heard the crackling of wires, the whir of power, words spoken through comms, and felt attached to none of it. As though she was floating miles and miles overhead and simply spectating. Her eyes remained closed, she had no desire to look upon this room again... Ever. It was hell incarnate, a sort of stranded purgatory for the damned. A place of pure evil. And she wanted no further part in it.

Nestling further against the jacket, she brought her feet up onto the edge of the chair and huddled against her knees. Thurion's presence there managed to stave off most of the shakes, keeping the internal cold she felt at bay, and the jacket provided comfort enough to keep her from the state of shock which threatened to return. Instead she sat numb. Wanting to do more to help, but fearing what might happen if she did.

He took her hand and though she flinched ever so slightly she did not pull it back. In a heartbeat she found herself set within his arms, and she knew then and there that the nightmare was over. At least, this stage of it. There would be questions to come, she knew, when she was in a better state. Questions which would bring it all tumbling back around her.

It wasn't until this moment that she realized that [member='Joon'] hadn't known she was missing. The woman had stolen her away from Midvinter several months ago, she hadn't been back there since. Would the darksider be mad? Would she come back to Midvinter guns blazing if she realized that Mysa wasn't coming back? A shiver spread through her, and she shook her head desperately.

"Not Midvinter" she whispered, practically pleading. She wouldn't have Joon risk the lives of her people again.

[member="Thurion Heavenshield"]

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