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This Place Is Bananas

the bedbound bard
Writer
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Atrisia ~ Mid-Day​
Crazed... That was the only word Jyn could level at the past few days. The planet was beautiful, a rare gem in the Galaxy, but it's people, or those she had met, were something all together different. Of course, she had kept such thoughts well guarded, she had held her tongue, to do otherwise would have been foolish. One false move and they'd likely snap, something she wasn't sure she wanted until she knew what @[member='Tirdarius'] had planned for them. After all, he was her anchor amidst the chaos, the man she owed her sanity and life to. If not for him she would still be a pawn of the Sith Empire, a state worse than death.

Seeking refuge away from the Citadel, Jyn ventured forth into the outlying land with nothing save her beloved monkey and a pocket full of nuts for Fuz. At present the creature was sat upon her shoulder, and while she longed to share her feelings, her inner-most thoughts and secrets with him, she knew that was not wise. This territory was not her own, she did not belong to this Empire yet, and for all she knew even now she was being monitored. Instead she simply walked, her gaze lingering on every new intrigue that sprang from the trees, while she hummed softly to herself, if anything to try and keep calm. Even Fuz was oddly quiet for once.

When she stepped through a particularly overgrown section of the forest she had ended up in, Jyn paused with wonder. Before her lay ruins of something once great... She did not know what it was, but the impression she got when her eyes slid across the stonework was one of marvel, as though it demanded to be explored, to be viewed. It only led to further questions in her mind, ones she could neither voice nor answer. Instead she allowed her curiosity to take control, moving across the tiled courtyard which had cracked with age, leaving moss to grow inbetween. There was a wild presence surrounding the ruins, which called to Jyn.

Freedom rang within her soul, calling to her, praying that she would listen, that she would humour it, the likes of which she had once longed to feel when trapped on Korriban, the likes of which she would sit and dream of when the stars flickered overhead, when the rebellious rush of adrenalin raced through her with the knowledge that maybe today would bring an end to her place in the Sith, even if it had meant the end... And one such night it had come true, in the form of her Master. He had brought her the freedom she had desired, and she intended to make the most of it while it reigned true... After all, this Empire seemed lacking in that department.

Slowly she began to explore, wandering up the half-hidden staircase, covered in ivy, which ended on a rooftop of sorts. From there she held the view of the entire 'land' she had discovered. Perhaps it was an old Temple or Monastery, a singular building so far from civilisation was an odd sight, in fact the only other one she had seen on Atrisia thus far was the Citadel itself... And that said enough for Jyn. No matter what it had once been used for, the fact remained that the building and its surrounding courtyards lay empty. Perhaps Jyn had found herself a sanctuary, similar to the one she'd acquired on Korriban... For as long as they remained on Atrisia.

... Which may be a lifetime, depending on Tirdarius.
 

Teynara Jeralyr

Resident Sig Lord
Writer
"Only you can make that choice, Jyn," a voice said, calling out in a manner that was both loud and yet softly spoken, as though it hadn't really sounded outloud at all, but was simply intended to be heard by that sole recipient. "I didn't take you from the Empire to make you a slave to my choices. I would be no different than those you sought refuge from, if I had," the voice continued.

The wild nature of the forest had carried as much appeal to Jyn's teacher as it did to her, though perhaps for different reasons. She sought escape, sometimes even from herself, to relinquish the chains she felt closing around her, simply to experience a world where she did not have to concern herself with the demands of others or the constraints placed upon her. She was a true wild child - he had recognised that in her stubborn refusal to submit to the darker designs of their former brethren. That pet of hers was a sufficient indication, if he'd needed another.

His explorations were more out of a desire for solitude than hers was, though. In truth, he often wondered if Jyn was lonely: aside from the others, and her little pet, she ultimately had few with whom she could properly interact. Those lacking her touch of the Force might recognise that she was special, and here, that was dangerous by itself. As for those others who possessed the same gift...they had a level of self-hatred that was almost hypocritical. Sadly, he could not help her to satisfy the need for company, beyond his own presence, and that wasn't the same.

This was her fate, though: to stand apart from those with whom she might share kinship. Lonely, but all we have our walls that we place around us. Hers are simply of a less voluntary nature.

"You've chosen a good spot for your contemplations," he noted, coalescing nearby, not quite appearing as though out of nowhere, but stepping away from the shadow of part of the ruins as if he had been there the whole time. "Do you feel the energy here? The residue of lives lived and long gone? It's strangely provocative, don't you think?"

The former Sith Lord fell silent, walking to close the gap between the two of them, though stepping at a leisurely, unhurried pace, soft his black robes fluttering softly around him with each movement. His gaze was unusually distant, perhaps a little absent, not looking towards Jyn, but glancing around the fallen stone ruins interspersed with the greenery that had grown up around it, concealing it and obscuring it from sight but for in a few places.

"Is it truly so bad here, Apprentice?", he asked her, his grey eyes turning towards her now, lacking their usual sternness, softened in a manner that felt much more akin to the Jedi boy he had been so many years ago. There are moments when I almost feel as though I can let me guard drop at long last. It made the cares of the years slip away for just a little while. "Not where you imagined you would end up when you once thought of your future, is it? It is your tragedy that the life you should have led was always denied you. I can honestly say I know the feeling," Tirdarius concluded, a soft sigh escaping his lips as he ceased speaking.

@[member="Jyn Sol"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
While she stood there, atop the roof, a sickening realisation hit her. If she was wary about confiding in Fuz now, then what about in the future when everything she did would be monitored and scrutinized? Biting her lip she glanced across to her left shoulder, and settled her hand down against the back of the monkey's head, fussing behind his ears and along his crown. In many ways he was the only friend she had, the one she could truly be herself around, and the fact that he was little more than a monkey made that all the more difficult to admit to. Closing her eyes the young girl sighed, and for once Fuz did not try to alarm her with his series of 'oos', instead he lifted himself up and nudged his head against her forehead.

"I'll miss you" she breathed, while still believing they were alone, her words little more than a whisper half caught within her throat. He had been with her through everything, and knowing that she might lose the connection frightened her. I can't lose him, not Fuz... But nor could she leave. It wasn't that anything or anyone was forcing her to stay, no one save herself, save her willingness to follow the direction set by Tirdarius. Somewhere deep inside she knew that he wouldn't make a decision for them which would ultimately damage who they were. "I'll find a way, I will", all the while she fussed him and his fur, much to his delight. She stood that way for a short while, before turning to leave the rooftop.

It was then that she heard it, and felt it; the voice and presence of her Master. How long had he been here, watching, listening, waiting? And so it was that he spoke of a lack of autonomy, which Jyn had never believed she had lost. It was her freedoms which she worried for, one of the few things she had in the world, something she once, as a child, had deemed irrefutable and which she now had learnt to cherish for as long as they were present. She knew that the Galaxy had a way of giving you something, a taste of it, a temptation, before snapping the door shut and sealing it from the inside. Temptations could be met, desires sated, but it required a lot from the individual hoping to grasp it, yet it was a challenge Jyn would not waver from.

And so, with a very small sigh, she glanced upon Tirdarius and gently began her response, her voice a careful whisper which was carried on the wind to only his hearing, all the while her hand remained within the fur of her beloved friend. "I do not see myself as a slave to your whims, Master, I remain here out of respect and trust that you know best. I would follow you to the farthest reaches of the Galaxy until you gave me reason to doubt, which you have not." But as quickly as the subject was brought up, after a moment of silence passing between the pair, of contemplation and introspection, the subject changed, and Jyn once again listened before she spoke, hearing everything that Tirdarius had to say before making a claim at her own opinion, if one could call it such.

He spoke of the ruins she had stumbled upon, and for the first time in what felt like years, although truthfully it would have been days or weeks, Jyn managed a small smile, one usually reserved for time spent away from human interaction, for the monkey still perched upon her shoulder. She couldn't doubt the power and enchantment surrounding this place, nor the eerie sense of past presences, when it had been inhabited and alive with the Force in a form so different from its present state that only sentience could cause it. Whether this was good or otherwise Jyn could not quite tell, the Force was still a concept she hadn't fully grasped, perhaps more due to her earlier reluctance than anything else. It had called out to her, tried to engage and connect her, but it would take a while longer for Jyn to feel ready to connect.

"I have to agree, Master; in many ways it is overwhelming, it makes me feel so insignificant to contemplate the many lives who passed through, with no mark made on the history of the Galaxy save for these ruins... Or any history they had has been lost to this world and those upon it. Do you think they even know it is here?" In many ways Jyn had begun opening up to Tirdarius, at least in private, and a lot of her old naivity, even her awkwardness at conversation, seemed to shed away with each passing word, somewhere deep within her a confidence blossomed, words suddenly seemed almost poetic to her, a lure she had never before felt. Despite her inbuilt paranoia, which had increased tenfold while on Atrisia, she suddenly felt far more calm, more relaxed, with the words flowing.

"It is not that it is bad, Master..." She began, trailing off into a small, tenderly concealed sigh, "It's merely different; the individuals here, they..." Biting her lip, and casting her gaze around cautiously, for she often felt as though they were always watching her on this planet, especially in the Citadel, Jyn finally continued. "They are very zealous, Master, in many ways they set me on edge, the constant underhanded threats and warnings, the way they feel it necessary to constantly assert their power. Forgive my saying so, but it reminds me of children who have been handed a responsibility; they feel they must fulfil it to the very letter, and there is no sway involved, no consideration for change or subjectivity... It's even more objective than the Sith."

When she finished, however, it was as though a realisation hit her, that she had actually spoken these words aloud, and she knew that she could not take them back, for what was said could not be erased. Again her paranoia kicked in and she became wary of the man before her. What if they had already gotten to him? Made him as they were? What would the consequences of such words be? Without thinking she took a hesitant step backwards, before her rationality kicked back in. No, this was Tirdarius, she knew of him, his power, they would not hold such an influence over him so easily... Yet all the same, Jyn was finding it difficult to focus, or even to breathe.

@[member="Tirdarius"]
 

Teynara Jeralyr

Resident Sig Lord
Writer
Though mildly taken aback by the girl's statement of loyalty, the dark-robed Master maintained his classical composure, his expression barely fluctuating in response to such a statement. It wasn't entirely surprising, true: he had brought her here from the ravages of the Sith Empire, that which had but recently self-destructed in traditional fashion. Still, it hadn't been entirely expected, given how little gratitude any of his kind ever received for the small mercies they indulged in. Then again, I was always merciful among Sith Lords, he reflected. The wasteful indulgences of my former brethren rarely allowed for it. Small wonder they found their Empire collapsing around them.

The news of that ancient brotherhood's fall had been received with both amusement and dismay among the Inquisition: the notion that the Sith had ceased to exist would no doubt result in a fair number of angry and displaced Force Users, some of whom might no doubt seek opportunity to further their own causes within the borders of the Empire, to incite trouble, initiate a cycle of revenge against those factions that remained, or perhaps even to carve out a little power base of their own. Tirdarius hadn't needed to warn the others of the possibilities: the paranoia that came so naturally to the Atrisian Inquisitors hadn't failed them.

Naturally Tirdarius had been hesitant to inform Jyn of those events, given the potential dangers that posed to her state of mind, but the girl had become much more open-minded of late, blossoming somewhat now that she was firmly out from under the bootheel of those oppressive thugs that had once called themselves her teachers. She would find no guidance from them but how to serve and how to die at their whims anyway. That had been obvious even from the start.

"You surely recognise the reason for their paranoia, Jyn," he said softly, taking another step towards her, moving carefully, as if perhaps worried that she were some skittish creature likely to bolt were he to take a sudden movement at the wrong moment. "You know the damage that Force Users can cause when they have their own agendas and ideologies guiding their hands. Sith, Jedi, all have a way of viewing the Universe that requires them to act." Tirdarius tilted his head slightly, a faint smile tracing it's way across his lips as he recalled the fact that he could easily have been counted among both groups at one time or another. "Force Users given true freedom to do as they wish have caused more deaths than any dozen wars combined."

It was true what his apprentice had asserted, though: many of the Atrisians felt their need to flex their muscles in a way that set even his mind on edge. It was posturing not unlike that which they had witnessed among the Sith, but directed in a slightly more productive way. The secrecy that veiled their Order ultimately required a level of circumspection, but within the walls of their Citadel, it was far less concealed. Jyn was as much a target of it as anyone: her age and lack of formal training made her an easy target, as well as susceptible to suspicions that she might not wholly adhere to the strictures the Inquisition might place upon her. Fortunately, she does not walk alone, and not one of them would dare to cross me. That much was at least reassurance for him. For Jyn...perhaps less so.

"The Atrisians have recognised that those gifted with the Force are dangerous in the way that a Blaster might be dangerous: without placing some form of safety on your weapons to prevent a misfire, you could kill many without ever intending to," he remarked, inwardly amused by his spontaneous analogy. He did have to wonder what the other Sith might have said to that, back when he had been among them. "They have also learned that I will not submit to their usual methods, and not allow them to lay a hand upon you to that end, either. Thus, those who do not yet know us feel the need to resort to simple threat and unspoken menace to keep us in line." The former Sith Lord chuckled softly at that. "Alas, they have to focus all their energies on you in that regard. They've no chance of intimidating me."

Provided Jyn recognised what they were doing, she'd be mostly immune to it, or so Tirdarius felt: certainly none could harm her without risking his wrath, and there weren't many likely to survive that. He wasn't a violent man by any means, but if provoked to it, he did have a tendency to be...thorough. It made for fewer complications when one was clear as to the consequences. Mirien had figured that out fast enough, and her acceptance had led to the majority of the Inquisitors to follow her lead. Not all of them had, though.

"With that in mind, it's time for us to focus on your training, Apprentice," the tall Human added, stepping over to a large fallen stone monolith, seating himself comfortably upon it as though it were a chair made of the most comfortable cushioning available. "The Sith worked to manipulate you, and those members of the Inquisition seeking to intimidate you will do the same. With that in mind, you must understand their arts, and work to protect yourself from them. Where would you imagine they direct their efforts?"

@[member="Jyn Sol"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
Jyn could not argue against the logic which was provided by her Master. She knew more than most the profound effect the Force had on Force Sensitives and non-Force Sensitives alike throughout the Galaxy; her upbringing within the house of a zealous officer of the Imperial Military had given her an insight into how many men all but worshipped the power that a Sith could exercise, and the honour felt at having a child who showed the potential to do the same had an intoxicating effect on some within the Empire – especially her Father. And the Sith, too, knew how to use it, to contain the awe and fear they inspired. It boosted their egotistical natures, formed megalomaniacs who used men to their own end, almost as if they were armed cattle used to buffer them in their war efforts.

Cannon fodder. The Sith would send thousands to their death if it meant even the slightest increase in power. Most of recorded history is fraught with wars caused by uncontrolled Force Users: the ‘Great’ Hyperspace War, an attempt at claiming dominance within the Empire, forcing societies to fight one another… So much chaos, so many fatalities and tragedies at the hands of two men on a warpath. It sickened her.

She had witnessed it first hand during their brief session within the Imperium. On the surface beneath the observational deck she had been situated upon Jyn had felt the pain and anguish, the snuffing of lives from a planet who sought only to rule itself. She had not spoken out, to do so would have been to act against Tirdarius, but she had felt it as plainly as one could feel a hand upon their shoulder. “I would rather they acted on behalf of others and not themselves – that’s not to say in the pseudo-manner the Jedi do, preaching peace while they force another world to bow beneath the Republic, nor for a dictator to use them to pursue his or her own end, as each are as deadly as one another… Individuals are regarded too highly for their… Mutations

She used the last word carefully, with a small frown upon her lips. Truth be told she hated what she was, her connection with the Force was weak while her potential was vast; she had done all she could to suppress her sensitivity, not least because of her earliest experiences with it. “The majority of Galactic Wars and Conflicts in our History have come about due to the need for spiritual supremacy – whether the Jedi or the Sith have it right, if one ought to focus on the Ashla or the Bogan or neither…

Lifting a hand the child ran it through her hair, breathing in softly to keep herself relaxed… But that was such a difficult feat here, upon this planet whose people set her on edge. “The Atrisians do not even know there is a Sect of Force Users here… They are used as a means to meet their Emperor’s end, who’s to say that they will not be used to bring about just as much destruction as a rogue Force User seeking power? All it takes is for a certain type of man to emerge who leads them, and then the issue is increased tenfold – so many dangerous people under the orders of one individual…

She shivered, the sensation of being watched becoming unbearable. But she was playing into their hands: there was no Inquisitor hiding amidst the shadows, listening and waiting for a reason to call her out on her words, to drag her back to the Citadel for her blasphemous words. The influence of another’s thought was a dangerous thing indeed, and Jyn was all but hooked at this point, the bait mere inches from her. Trying to uphold a false sense of security within their walls, to keep her mind quieten to avoid stray thoughts, to keep Fuz from the view of any and all, was taking its toll on her.

I feel exhausted, Master” she finally confessed, with a heavy sigh. It had taken a lot to confess as much, and the moment she said it her gaze slipped away from him to settle upon Fuz instead. With a hesitant step backward she put yet more space between the two of them. “I can barely sleep, I feel as if they are there… Constantly there and watching…” But she trailed off at the mention of intimidation; was it all a game, an act, to keep her in line? If so then they had no right to do so, she was not their student, after all, and they had invited Tirdarius here. That meant they needed him, and not the other way around.

She visibly relaxed at this realisation – if you require an ally stronger than yourself you did not jeopardise any chances you had at negotiation by angering them, by harming that which belonged to them. Almost immediately her mind eased up and she exhaled a sigh of relief. “They won’t do anything, will they?” And for once it was spoken with a confident tone, she wasn’t asking out of fear but certainty. “Why else would they call you here? You are stronger than they

She watched as Tirdarius moved to take a seat, and with a gesture of her hand she sent Fuz off into the forest to explore. Jyn had a natural affinity to detecting where he was, what he was doing, even if he was not remotely close to her. Nothing would happen to him, that she was certain of, and besides he needed the freedom she had been unwantingly depriving him of. He was not her lesser, but she realised that to keep him safe she had to put some measures into place… And Fuz did not mind her over-protective nature toward him.

Intimidation and manipulation are all products of the mind, Master – they are interrupted thought processes… But then again, everything is a mere product of the mind, even what we take to be empirical and before us, that is how we can be deceived; our senses are fallible, however our minds can be strengthened against further fallibility” And that was certainly something Jyn needed to learn how to do, if she had any hope of surviving the Inquisition.

@[member="Tirdarius"]
 

Teynara Jeralyr

Resident Sig Lord
Writer
There it was again, that unerring feeling he had every time he talked to his apprentice: that sense that she was just born for darkness. Not the way the Sith desire, no: she is not an agent of chaos or destruction, not the one to shake the foundations of a Galaxy. He'd recognised that much early on. Even if Jyn developed into a truly powerful Force User, he did not get the sense that she would seek to be the fulcrum about which the Galaxy might pivot, the way so many desired to be in their foolish ambitions. No, she is one who recognises the dark and embraces it, not as a sibling, but as part of herself, the contrast to the light she seeks to kindle.

It was small surprise that the Sith had shown interest in her: that solemnity that she carried so well hinted superbly at the emotions beneath it, suggesting a wellspring that might well prove endless, if she were given a nudge in the right direction. And so they did what they always do: seek to crush her spirit in the vain hope that she might push back and unlock what she tries so desperately to conceal. He'd seen it done more than a few times: challenge reticence via conflict, force the Acolyte to face themselves in order to survive that deadly opposition, and thus tap into the deeper power that the Force might offer them if they opened themselves to it. Alas, they always underestimate the response, Tirdarius reflected calmly. Bracing yourself against a wave does not protect you against a Tsunami.

He had removed her from that environment, knowing that she would require something different to that traditional breaking, much as his own training had been: unique, shaped not by a single ideology, but rather by opening the mind to possibilities. For all her harsh taciturnity and harsher techniques, Silencia had made it clear that to follow a single path was an act of foolishness if the consequences ran contrary to the larger picture. And the Sith could never see it, too blinded by their grasp of truth. The Jedi hold that same failure: the inability to recognise that they cause the very damage they seek to guard against.

Bringing her to Atrisia was not entirely an escape from that, though, but it was here that Jyn would find ways to express her own creativity in training. The harm rendered upon her by the Sith would pale in comparison to the effects of paranoia and suspicion directed at her, but the effects would be far more subtle: one either flinched away from harm or learned to love it. When there was no direct violence, but rather an unspoken threat of it, well, the mind learned to assess it, anticipate it, craft strategies to cope with it all, and ultimately seek to ensure that it would never be realised. What more could he teach her, but to recognise the dangers of leaving a hidden threat masked?

"Intimidation is a lie as much as anything else, Jyn: the mind recognises it as manipulation, but the visceral feeling of fear is very real indeed. It is simply a case of convincing one half of you that the danger is real. Then you'll go to lengths to avoid it. A subtle intimidation forces the person to act as you want, without them ever realising that you have achieved your goal." The former Sith Lord shrugged slightly, as he so often did, indicating his feelings on the matter. Manipulation was one of those things he was well-trained to engage in, illusions and misdirection his forte, but he had more disdain for it than most, if only because it felt demeaning somehow. "The Inquisition seek only to make you accept a simple fact: you're theirs, inescapably."

He was the wildcard, and they both knew it: the Inquisitors could not control him, intimidate him or do anything other than kill him, if he decided to oppose their nature. Jyn was under his protection, and that gave her immunity of a sorts, but they also understood that he could not always watch her, and an 'accident' could be explained away without incurring his wrath, if they were clever enough or sufficiently determined to engineer one. All the more reason to provide her with weapons of her own, to see her through.

"Sadly for them, you are your own, and only that. The Sith freed you from your normal life, only to place chains of their making upon your wrists, to turn you to their purposes. These Inquisitors would do the same, but they forget the simple truth: to bend the knee is a choice, but if we do not make it, their only recourse is to break you. And they wouldn't dare," he added, no heat or angry passion in his tone, simply an observation, delivered as calmly as he might offer her the news of the day, or ask her to pass the salt at the dinner table.

"The first trick used is to erode the force of your will via your emotions," he remarked calmly, that same cold, polite tone that he always used characterising his thoughts on the matter. "It is a Sith methodology: plant a seed of doubt, play upon an insecurity, provoke anger and rage, sorrow or perhaps eat away at one's confidence. You've seen it used before, no doubt: the taunting during your combat training, or the disdain shown to you by those who sought to teach you. With this, they seek to force you to emotion, and from there, you are both strong and yet vulnerable."

Tirdarius had been taught that trick early on: as a Padawan, disarmed and captured by the Sith Witch Verlei, he had been exposed to taunts, aspersions cast upon his beliefs, a torrent of emotional fire assailing him from countless directions, designed to drop him into that vulnerable state where he had only wanted to curl up and die, merely to stop it. Later still had he learned the same at the feet of a Master, to turn nagging doubt into inescapable fear, to expose an insecurity and transform it into a crippling vacillation, to crush the person's very emotional landscape and leave them at your mercy. It's the destruction of the self, leaving the victim either to collapse beneath it or be rebuilt at the discretion of the one wielding such a weapon.

"There's no true defense: we are all vulnerable to such a thing," Tirdarius remarked once again, gesturing towards her from his seat on the fallen monolith. "Even one as experienced as I can be provoked, if you find the right trigger. Only self-awareness serves as our shield: awareness that the words used, or the feelings engendered are really just weapons placed against us. Paranoia's a wonderfully effective one: it cannot be seen, and no evidence need be presented." He shrugged once more, amused by it. "I have learned over the decades to conceal myself completely, and while I am the watcher, none will observe me if I wish it otherwise. You, however, must do this in plain sight: keep yourself concealed while being seen, and ensure that none observe your weaknesses, whatever they may be. Offer them only those you wish them to use against you, and they will be yours to do with as you wish."

@[member="Jyn Sol"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
Jyn frowned ever so slightly, turning her gaze away from her Master and off into the forest instead. She was uncertain how to take the realisation imposed upon her by his words. The threat she felt was all in her mind - truth be told that was something she had known all along, but the realisation did nothing to quench her fears of being watched. Paranoia or no the Inquisition were no joking matter, and the likelihood was - even with a rational mind - that they were watching her and keeping tabs on her movements.

"I'm not theirs" she interjected before he had finished his initial sentiment, her eyes suddenly hardened. I'm yours she thought, but she knew that he would not go down well with Tirdarius, he brought her from the Sith to keep her from the binding and chained influence they had over here, the suppression they forced upon her. And even she herself craved the freedom he brought - and the freedom she had yet to achieve. Either way the Inquisition would never hold sway over her actions, only the wishes of Tirdarius: he was, after all, her guiding hand.

"The Sith tried to break me" she murmured, and given the means the Sith would use, the lengths they would go to in order to bring someone under their sway and hold dominance over them, it was amazing that the child had held up at all. Of course, having a secret friend through Fuz and places in the ruins to hide assisted her a lot. She had held her own against some of the worst the Galaxy could throw at her, the Inquisition would not stand a chance... So long as she kept her mental fears in check.

But paranoia was an intangible weapon, it was difficult to fight against, even harder to notice the existence of within oneself. "I would not permit the Inquisition to do so, nor is it likely they would attempt it - not if they know enough about you to be as wary as they were during the meeting..." But her brash words were down-beaten almost immediately when she turned her gaze almost apologetically to the ground. It was not in Jyn to be so forward with her words, and recently she had been making a habit of it. And to be so self-sure? That was entirely new to her.

Colour rose within her cheeks, her hands fidgeting at her side. Part of her wished she had not sent Fuz off into the forest, the touch of his fur was usually all it took to calm her - even if only a little. What he began to explain next was certainly nothing new to her. The initial was the paranoia she felt, which was planted by the Inquisitors during the meeting. The latter, taunting during training, had been used against her countless times.

"Dun Möch" she whispered, the bane of her younger years. As a younger student in the Academy she had been the subject of much scrutiny, leering and taunting, from both fellow students and tutors alike. "That's not something I appreciate" she confessed, with a small shrug of her shoulders. "I'm all for talking things through, but attempting to use it during combat to knock someone off focus... It's dubious. It's cowardly."

Not that many in the Sith cared for such. Whatever methods worked were those most commonly used, she supposed. However, Jyn had been the subject of many cruel mental games; she could appreciate how well they worked, but as with the Force in general, or any of her teachings for that matter - except perhaps her philosophical discussions - she had a natural abhorrence toward it. She had never wanted Force Sensitivity, especially not given everything which had happened as a product of such.

His teachings in this regard finally began to shine through, and she found herself lifting her gaze to look upon him where he was sat. "It is confusing for me, Master: I can tell when I'm..." With a heavy sigh she realised what it was she was about to tell him, although truth be told he probably already knew of it, "When I'm simply being paranoid, but it feels so real at the same time, and I don't know how to... Rationalise it; or even when I do the uncertainty remains."

Chewing on her lower lip she sank to her knees in the dirt, gaze back to the ground again. "It's taking all I have to keep it together here, I feel as if they are watching me, constantly. I'm trying to stay strong, I've faced worse... But it's difficult." Lifting her hands she rubbed at her temples, sighing heavily. "Please... Is there a way to combat it? I understand the need to be watchful and aware, but what do I do when I'm aware yet it remains deep set?"

At this point the child was almost pleading with him, without expressly begging. Never before had she been this way, not even at the hands of the Sith who had attempted to break her. Even if it meant learning something through the Force, the thing she despised and could not come to terms with - unless it was to seek out Fuz, of course, their connection was strong enough to warrant it - Jyn needed this.

To be so close to breaking point was proving to be a horrific experience, she had been suppressing everything for so long. Yet at the same time, even now, she was apologetic. She felt certain that Tirdarius had not come here to see her weakness shining through. "I'm sorry, Master" she whispered, not yet finding it in herself to meet his gaze.

@[member='Tirdarius']
 

Teynara Jeralyr

Resident Sig Lord
Writer
There is no Ignorance; There is Knowledge, Tirdarius thoughtly reflectively, his mind casting back to those early days of Jedi training he had received as a boy, the words spoken calmly but with suitable import. To know and to understand is to be able to hold defense against the darkness. So the Jedi believed and so they had taught him. In truth, though, knowledge exposes us to the darkness and forces us to face it, knowing fully well the dangers it presents and being aware that it will absorb us in our entirety, powerless to stop it.

Jyn's awareness of the Inquisition's paranoia was only exacerbating her own, he recognised. Hardly surprising: the whole notion of paranoia was the notion that someone was out to get you. It wasn't simply going to disappear with the knowledge that they actually were. In truth, Jyn's sole protection was the presence of her teacher, and they both knew it. That, however, was likely to be a suffocating reality when it was in truth her freedom: the Inquisitors could want to see their purposes realised, but they were frustrated in this for all intents and purposes. His apprentice was free to do as she saw fit, with no fear to their hosts.

"I'm sorry to say that you were born as one who will always be watched, wherever you go," he intoned softly, a little sadly perhaps, but that mostly because he and she were the same in that respect: no aware Force Sensitive would ever walk unnoticed unless they used their powers to see to it, or did not use them at all. Ultimately, there is just something wrong with us, in the eyes of those who lack the perception to recognise our true nature. It was true even of a latent Force Sensitive: they would never quite be normal. "It's a question of being self-conscious: does being noticed by others change your behaviour?"

Silencia had taught him early on that it was their gift to have a measure of control over perceptions: it was within their power to influence perception and craft illusion without wielding the energies of the Force. It was all a question of presentation. The Inquisition had accepted his capabilities without ever witnessing them directly, and that level of potential threat was one he continued to use as a shield for both himself as his apprentice: and no true threat had been presented towards them. It wasn't a lie as such, but it was a matter of how he had negotiated their relationship from the beginning. He had forced them to accept an image, and their behaviours merely reinforced it.

"You have some fortune in that you're perceived to be inherently vulnerable, Jyn," the dark-robed Human observed in that calm way that came so naturally to him now. "Even as you're watched, you are naturally underestimated by the others. They see someone they could control and manipulate, bend to their will. Only my presence prevents the attempt: they will not harm you without risking me." That ultimately all meant that she was more dangerous to them than he was: chances were, she'd surprise them one day.

This wasn't sufficient, though, he knew that. Jyn's understanding of the complexities of their situation was good, but her knowledge of the Force remained lacking, and she wouldn't survive the Atrisian's attention if it remained that way. He had been remiss in not correcting this thus far, but that needed to change, and even Jyn herself was careful to point that much out now, albeit in a more subtle fashion than he had expected.

"First you must learn to conceal yourself. The disadvantage that all have against us is that we have the ability to detect them through the Force, but with effort, we can remove that same trace within ourselves such that we cannot be sensed. Observe," he remarked calmly, resting his hands before him.

A silent moment passed as the former Sith Lord gathered a little of the energy at his command and reordered his thoughts into appropriate mindset. The weakness of the Sith was in their need to be the centre of all, he thought inwardly. Passivity was anathema, but in sinking into the background, we can disappear, concealed like a raindrop in the presence of a waterfall. Within the Force, the presence he presented outwardly pettered out, fading slowly and vanishing, as though darkness had cast itself over his shadow and made it indistinguishable. He sat there, perfectly visible, but through the Force, there was nothing but the normal flow of energy.

"Close your eyes, Jyn," he instructed softly, watching her intently. "Notice: physical form remains, but the energy which distinguishes us from the background vanishes. The Fallanassi called it 'Immersion', sinking deeply into the Force and rendering yourself indistinct from it," Tirdarius noted, recalling when he had learned the technique himself. The raindrop against the waterfall.

"You must reach out and touch the Force with your thoughts, attune yourself to it," he continued, his voice still pitched softly. "Relax into it, the way you might sink into your bed when you sleep. Let it catch you, and carry it along it's currents. Our presence is formed from the disturbances we make in the energies around us: our thoughts, emotions and actions all leave an impression. To conceal yourself, you must still your mind and simply let it flow with the Force. Become passive within the Force, and you will cease to be the obstacle that diverts the flow, rather becoming part of it."

@[member="Jyn Sol"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
And yet there came no reprimand, no harsh words or belittlement from her Master - which only sought to remind her of her position with him, it was not at all akin to the Sith and their structure. The Empire she had loathed, at least here, with the paranoid Atrisians, Jyn had one thing worth remaining for, that which she had previously been lacking. And with that knowledge she managed to recompose herself. She was stronger than this, she had faced worse, no matter what her mind and the tricks it played upon her said.

With a shakey hesitation she began to rise back up from the ground, breathing in slowly to keep herself calm and coordinated. And there it was, her gaze lifted and met his - the first truly bold thing she had done on Korriban aside from her attempts to thwart the Empire's plans from her had been this very same act... Only now it meant more, at least to Jyn herself. "It shouldn't change my behaviour, and it does not change who I am, Master, only..." Chewing on her lower lip for a moment she tried to think of the right way to articulate her words.

"Sometimes it happens unintentionally, subtle things; or maybe nothing is happening, and that in itself is the trick that's being played upon me." It was a conundrum, yet one she was willing to ponder upon if given chance for reflection. This was definitely the right place for it, after all. So lost was she in this initial thought that his words took her mildly by surprise; her 'vulnerability' was to her advantage? She supposed that it would lead to underestimation, even the possibility of being overlooked, just an extension of her Master.

This in itself piqued her intrigue. "I would not bend so easily to their ways" she remarked, Master or no she had found her niches with this regard - it was perhaps the only thing she was truly good at, shaking off those who would oppress her. Of course, even Jyn was aware that she was limited in her abilities, they would have methods that even the Sith had not used against her. It was not an overinflated sense of self worth or capabilities which had made her say it, nor a confidence she oughtn't be carrying, but rather an innate trust in that which she could reflect upon, her own history and experiences.

But no one, especially not Jyn Sol, was untouchable. In fact, they had done a good job at getting to her already - whether they intended to or not.

And suddenly it was a discussion no longer, but a lesson. Her previous lesson in the Force, which had centred around the destructive nature of Telekinesis versus the more useful applications, had gone well enough - although she was more than aware that she had a long way to go before she was deemed 'ready', if anyone ever truly was such a thing. When informed of the necessity to observe she ensured that her gaze was upon him - not fixated but focused enough all the same. The thought of hiding the trace which lay within her of this curse she held was too idealistic to pass up, but was it too good to be true?

Slowly yet surely she began to pick up on the lessening of his presence in the Force, which had been strongly associated with security and even comfort for the girl. Fighting back the rising panick she realised how silly she was being - he was right there, she could still see him. "You're not going to disappear if I do, right?" she asked, although her lips twitched to suggest subtle humour - how odd it was for Jyn to be even attempting to make a joke. All the same her eyes began to drift to a close, naturally as opposed to forced. Breathing in slowly she focused upon the flow of the Force and the words of her Master and Mentor.

It was difficult at first to truly touch the Force; to observe it was one thing, but for Jyn to interact with it was something all together different. Outside of her communicative skills with Fuz she had isolated herself away from its use, but she realised the folly of this. Even if she only learned how to defend herself with the Force, it would be something worthwhile. And thus she focused and reached out, timidly at first until she adjusted. And then it was upon her, around her, encompassing her. It reminded her of a warm embrace, despite the fact she hadn't experienced such in a long time. It was welcoming, and she actually sighed in relief.

Suddenly her fears melted away, the anxiety she had been feeling... Even, in many regards, the Paranoia. Embracing the Force she began to feel somewhat whole again. Not fully, though, that wasn't likely to happen. "I... I feel it" she breathed, amazement in her voice. Right now it was difficult to be passive, however, as much as she tried to focus in on it... Which was to be expected, for a few reasons. After all, she was new to this; not only the application he was showing her but also being willing and open to embracing the Force without it being a natural response to Fuz. So for a moment she allowed herself to become immersed, to be one with the Force- or as close to such as a child her age could be.

@[member="Tirdarius"]
 

Teynara Jeralyr

Resident Sig Lord
Writer
Watching carefully, his expression guarded and rather neutral, Tirdarius observed as he sensed his apprentice reaching out to touch the Force, her mind connecting with it actively even though it flooded her physical form purely by virtue of her nature: to be sensitive to the Force was to be touched by it wherever you went, and thus they could never truly be free of that contact. To alter that relationship, to manipulate the energies that flowed in and around you, it was necessary to make it less passive and more guided by will: a melding of mental energies with those of the Force, giving form and shape and intent to that passive flow.

The change was evident to those with the senses to observe it: a sudden clarity in the nature of the energy around the apprentice, a sense of guided control that was directing that energy, rather than simply allowing it to flow. This was the source of Sith power: the will that made the Force do their bidding, shaped by their command to aid them, or rain destruction where they saw fit. Jyn was no Sith, and Tirdarius not entirely so, but the essence of their technique remained the same: shape the mind to the appropriate state, and the Force would follow as they bid.

It was only natural that he might detect such a change, though: aside from being used to it, Jyn was still a novice when it came to making effective contact without creating waves. Like a person dipping their finger into water, ripples would always be evident unless the very greatest of care was taken. And such ability requires practice, knowledge of technique and experience. Jyn was far from that, but her hesitant touch offered her a different insight than was true for most who had known the influence of the Sith: they sought to dominate and control, and thus would treat the Force without reverence, as one might deal with a servant or minion, casual and with contempt, as something to be used. Jyn instead respected that awesome power, and thus acted with tentative control.

"You need to relax yourself, apprentice," the former Sith Lord murmured, continuing to watch her with calm, calculating grey eyes, his expression little warmer than an icicle, but clearly engaged in his observation. "You cannot force the Force, however much you may wish you. For this, the background must swallow you: you must become the background. Immerse yourself in it."

It was difficult to explain to her, truly: in reality, it was a sensation that was both hard to describe and utterly terrifying, in the same heartbeat. You had to trust the Force, and that was the very antithesis of what the Sith believed and taught to those who learned their disciplines. To the Sith, control is the ultimate expression of power: the Force serves us, a tool, a weapon, a servant, to do our bidding. The notion of letting go and allowing the Force to flow as it will is contrary to our nature. Even so, he had learned at the hands of a Sith with a very unique perspective, and he hoped Jyn, too, would be one such. So few of us left now. She has to carry the torch, if she can.

"Emotion is antipathy to the Force in the passive regard," he continued, his voice controlled but lilting slightly with melodic tone as each word was carefully enunciated for her benefit, pitched softly so as not to disturb her meditations too drastically, in a way that might otherwise break her concentration. "Excitement, anger, fear, even the slightest touch of hesitancy: these things create ripples, have an effect that changes the energy you engage with, and thus creates a disturbance that might be detected by those of us sensitive to it. You must be at stillness within yourself," Tirdarius remarked, his eyes reflecting that same inner calm that he sought to teach her now. "If you lie back and rest when in a still stream, your presence does not alter the flow, and no ripples stir forth. Move, use your own energy to change your environment, and the stillness of the water becomes a wave, easily visible, disturbing that tranquility and making you clearly visible."

@[member="Jyn Sol"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
It all seemed, and felt, so foreign to her; she was, by no means, the greatest 'fan' of the Force, she did not dote upon it or feel blessed, grateful, superior. If anything it had always been seen as a curse - it had torn apart her family, placed her in the most uncomfortable of situations, forced her into the hands of the Sith and toyed with her mind and emotions at every chance it had. Perhaps the only thing of worth it had done was lead two companions to her, yet one was merely a monkey and the other her Master. It was almost as though it had purposely attempted to isolate her within this vast, unyielding Galaxy. But Jyn would remain as she was: Unbowed, unbent, unbroken. This was just another test, another hurdle to overcome. Whether she trusted in the Force, whether she truly connected with it or not, she would not permit it to make her stumble again. She had come too far.

At first, however, she could not do as he asked. She could not free her mind of the emotions and paranoia which preyed upon it. Her lower lip trembled as she fought first to control herself: she did not care whether she held the reigns where the Force was controlled, in fact to do so, to wish to do so, was entirely the antithesis of her objectives. Jyn wanted nothing to do with the Force, but that of course was an impossibility. You could not take that which was innate and remove it. The Force is like an organ, not one with a pair which could sustain you if torn from your body but instead a solitary figure, pulsating through our bodies. An unseen entity binding us to the Galaxy and connecting us with everything upon it. To sever it... While she did not like living with the Force, she had no doubt that to live without its presence would be something torturous. Even the thoughts made her shiver. Yet she felt a little more at ease within herself, perhaps having made herself understand it a little better. And she realised she could do as she had been asked.

All I have to do is set my mind to the task, it is not as difficult as I believe it to be.

With her immediate awe, confusion and array of emotions softly dwindling and suppressed she focused. Only it wasn't on anything or anyone in particular, it was not on her immediate surroundings or the Force itself. Instead she felt herself slip into a state akin to meditation, her breathing became calm and measured. For a moment it felt as though she were empty, floating, and her presence in the Force began to dwindle as she settled back and allowed the Force to wash over her. An odd sensation of peace came over her, as though she had finally given in to a life-long struggle, yet the reaction she gave was without an emotional or earthly manifestation. Her expression all but disappeared, her body loosened up from its typically rigid state and her breathing became less mechanised and more instinctive and natural. In that moment she was gone, as was her Force presence, and for Jyn the few seconds she was immersed felt like a century.

But her insecurities hit her with full impact, a heavy gasp escaped her as she stepped back. Her form was trembling, head shaking as a fear seized her. How had she managed to let go like that? Her breathing was, for a moment, struggled and tense until she caught herself. It had been both the most terrifying and awe-inspiring few moments of her life, and the fact she had let go and trusted in the Force in such a way genuinely scared her. She took another step back, stumbling back to her knees again, a strain upon her face. "I... I can't." she finally breathed, and truly she hated how easily she had fallen. It was not so much giving in as having plunged herself into the deep end and struggled to keep afloat. Yet if it was supposed to be easy, she wouldn't be requiring someone else's assistance to learn it.

By now the young girl was torn for what to do. When she attempted to stand up it felt as though her legs had turned to jelly, and she clutched onto one of the ruinous walls for support. Internally she begged for the return of her companion, wherever Fuz was, and her gaze was locked upon the ground between her current position and Tirdarius himself. This would be a struggle, but she could not tell yet if it was one that would be worthwhile in the end. All she knew was that Tirdarius thought it best that she defended herself in such a way, and thus she decided that she ought to at least try again. Slowly her breathing became stable again, and the shakes left her body. Her gaze lifted up to his, and for once she did not apologise. Instead a look of resolve was in her gaze.

And then she closed her eyes, allowing the Force to flow around her, trusting in herself to be immersed and to come out safely...

@[member="Tirdarius"]
 

Teynara Jeralyr

Resident Sig Lord
Writer
There was a moment, just a short moment, the space of a heartbeat or two, when Jyn's presence wavered, lacked the clarity that it tended to broadcast through the Force, becoming blurry in some respects, if such could be said for an intuited feeling. Like a flickering light in the darkness, struggling to stay on but truly wanting to simply stop giving off light. It was a hesitant thing, vanishing with all the subtlety of a lightning strike, then flickering back into conscious awareness, and continuing to alter in intensity.

Emotion was radiating from the apprentice in waves, perhaps serving to reinforce failure rather than to counteract it. She truly would have made an excellent Sith, with such a broad emotional landscape available to her. Uncertainty, hesitancy, a sense of inadequacy burdened by the growing awareness of developing potential. It can be a truly terrifying thing, to go from bring small to recognising your place in the grander scheme. Even moreso when you come to understand that you have a unique role to play there. In touching the Force as they could, the two of them were ultimately required to face up to that oppressive expectation.

Sometimes he wasn't certain that Jyn could handle it: she thought of the Force as a burden, a curse, a gift granted only to torture her. It is oft said that when the Universe wishes to punish someone, it grants them knowledge and insight. Such allows one to truly plunge into desperation as they recognise that they cannot escape what lies ahead. Jyn felt that the Force was the source of her ills: had it not touched her as it did, the Sith would have never shown interest in her, and she would not have been forced to age as she had, with responsibilities and expectations to live up to. A family might have been hers, a peaceful life open to her. But among our kind, peace is always a temporary reprieve, preparation for those next turbulent moments of unadulterated chaos.

"You fear, and fear is the innermost language of the Dark Side," Tirdarius said slowly, his voice pitched low, each word pronounced slowly and carefully, as though he wanted her to remember it all. "It is not simply rage and anger, or sorrow that speaks to us when we look inward. Fear is the strongest of all: self-doubt, that sense that you're not good enough, or lack something essential," he noted, brushing one hand gently against his cheek. "Each negative thought feeds the fear, and it feeds upon you, nourishing the dark energies that envelop you, making them stronger."

"Sith draw upon this, use it to empower themselves: turning their own emotions into a weapon that can be harnessed against their enemies, turned to their own ends," he continued, offering an indifferent shrug as though to express an opinion in the least verbal way possible. He knew Jyn's thoughts on the Sith, understood her prejudice, though he was entirely certain that she didn't understand them. Not as well as she thinks she does, at any rate. "This, however, crafts a disturbance of it's own: energy charged with emotion becomes tainted by it, destructive and forceful, finding release in the deadly arts of Sith magic or manipulation. It is counterproductive to our purpose here."

He wasn't going to completely criticise Sith technique, though: it served it's purposes at certain times, offering empowerment and augmented force at moments of stress and tension, when something with less finesse or subtlety would serve. But they are by no means perfect in all situations, and suffer from an inherent lack of flexibility in that regard. Jyn needed to learn to see the Force outside that simple two-dimensional platform: not Light and Dark, but something beyond our petty definitions that encompasses a complex Universe we cannot understand. All we can do is choose, and act.

"You don't trust the Force," he exclaimed flatly, his assertion making it clear that he recognised where there was an issue. "It's hard to do, considering that it seeks to change and manipulate you, even as you do the same to it. We don't understand it, don't recognise it's intentions or plan, even assuming it has one." Tirdarius shrugged again, as if to say that was irrelevant. "What you must be certain of is that it will not abandon you, and that it is responsible for your very life. You truly have no choice but to trust it: to resist is only to harm yourself, to cut yourself off from what it can offer you."

@[member="Jyn Sol"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
As he spoke she understood what he said to be true; she was extremely fearful in so many regards, and the way the Sith had used her empathy against her had only emphasised this. What she had was not a thing of note or worth to the little girl, she wanted it from her person - she wanted it gone. How am I to live with that which has caused so much harm, so much ill in the Galaxy. I cannot run the risk of becoming that which I despise - an oppressive, self-serving megalomaniac. I do not want the Force, as I do not want it to change who I am... Sighing heavily she made a small observation within herself, aided by Tirdarius' words. But it has made me who I am, it is a part of me and I cannot alter that, I cannot force it away or cut it out, I must accept it as part of who I am and assert enough self-control, enough willpower, that I will not turn into my fears; to do that I must let go of them, lest they consume me and I inadvertently cause them to materialise.

It would not happen overnight, but she was willing to at least give it a try. Perhaps opening herself up to it now, allowing it to wash over her person and immerse her in its potentially comforting flow would be the first step. It may have been difficult, even for the mere seconds I was wrapped up in its embrace, but if it were easy there would be no challenge - if it were easy I would not require the help of an Elder to assist me. If it had been easy, it ultimately would not be worth the yield.

Her glowering gaze settled upon him as she opened her formerly closed eyes, the sickly purple iris' meeting his grey. "I understand," she began, deciding it would be best to get things from her mind before attempting this technique again - it would be counter productive to remain with it, to continually cycle it through her mind as opposed to allowing it to quieten. "It is just that I have seen the horrors the Force can cause, or more the men who wield it. I do not wish to run the risk of becoming that, Master - I feel the torment of others. At Belkadan, when the conflict was taking place upon the ground, it was as though each and every individual, our own men included, were crying out at once. How can we justify doing such? I do not wish to oppress anyone, Master, or to cause harm to those I do not even know or understand. I know that this is a part of who I am, that I must accept it if I am to ever accept myself or progress, but how can I be certain that I will not turn into the corrupted or the corruptor?"

She bowed her head very gently, chewing on her lower lip. It felt good to have it off her chest, but all the same she longed for an answer she could work with. "If I am to trust it then I need first to understand it, and myself. I know only of the harm it can bring, but what of the good, Master? The Jedi claim to aid, through their pseudo-light, but all I see from them is the same as I see from the Sith, an oppressive nature, their will and faith above all others; are there people out there who truly seek to help? Is the Force capable of aiding?" It was clear to Jyn that she did not know even a partial imprint of what the Force was capable of.

If I could see some well-meaning practical aspects of the Force, to heal or help or truly save, then perhaps it would be easier. Thusfar all I know is that it is capable of tormenting through emotions, of harming through force and of forcing respect, fear and obedience in its followers and those they 'serve'. Even the very first lesson she had been receptive to, the lesson taught to her by Tirdarius as they left Sith Space, had shown the destructive and chaotic nature of the Force - it could break something into a million pieces and render it obsolete. But the lesson there was that it should be used only as a last resort: did we not use the Force to move the tumbler, also? Imagine the practical use of that if reaching to physically grasp something of urgent need wasn't possible? Perhaps it is not as simple as destructive and creative, darkness and light. The Galaxy is not so black and white, nor the people within it, so why should the Force itself be so? Oughtn't it be reflective of the Galaxy it binds?

A brief flash of understanding entered her gaze, which once again lifted to match Tirdarius'. She did not say anything, but true understanding wavered there for a moment. "I wish to try again, Master," was all she spoke after this moment of recollection. And then she closed her eyes.

The Force washed over her, and for a moment she opposed it. The 'current' felt too strong, as if it sought to drag her under and keep her there under its oppressive grip. But soon she became more open and willing, she allowed herself to relax and let go. The corruption will not come from the Force as an entity, but from myself and my own actions and choices. It was not the Force she lacked the trust in, it was herself. And that was something she could work upon, as opposed to a metaphysical entity that she could not touch nor verbally direct. Her mind began to quieten, as if she had begun to meditate or stare absentmindedly off into the distance. For the first time in so long there was nothing: no chaos or fear or paranoia, no jumbled up thoughts or confusion, no projection of her mind.

And it lasted more than a moment, while her breathing settled naturally; steady as opposed to erratic, she managed to bring herself into a state of serenity and peace within herself. No turbulence. Yet it was so genuine that it did not even show upon her expression, and had she been a little more assertive in this moment it might have even brought her to tears. The Force was not trying to drag her down, it held her up, it kept her within its current, safer than she had felt in a very long time despite their location. It was liberating, it was freedom... Which meant that it was down to her to decide what to do with it.

[member="Tirdarius"]
 
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