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The Living Force


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Post Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:07 pm

Re: The Living Force

*Picas decided to search his surroundings, or lack of them as the case may be. The Sith Lord that accompanied him tagged along behind, snorting and remarking at things that Picas could not see. They were walking on nothingness; like a black cloud that could not be seen. Picas' thoughts turned to why he was where he was; after all, he had been a Jedi for nearly all of his life. Jedi Historians were meant to stay within an academy or temple and definitely not do what Picas was forced to do in life. That thing was reserved for the Council and the most powerful Masters of the Order. That was why Picas fell; he was sure.

But it wasn't why he fell. Each and every being with an emotional base similar to humans had a dark side in them. Jedi learn not to suppress that, but through the application of the Jedi Code they let that dark side go. It is there, but it does not influence their actions. They do not act upon it. Picas knew all that. As a Historian, he had studied all the major Jedi who had fallen to their base emotions in heavy detail. He knew the signs. He knew that was not what happened to him, deep down. Something far more complicated had been at work. Something ageless and sinister. And it was walking right behind him. And yet, Picas blamed the Council for his fall. He had fought so hard to protect the citizens of Cloud City from the various Sith cultists on the station. He was one Jedi against many, and he had never been a fighter. He never had the power to vanquish or defeat even the lesser Lords of the Dark. Fight them to a standstill; now, that he learnt to do. The hard way. But beat them? He was a Historian, not a warrior.

But after all that had happened; after Picas gave way and worked with his arch nemesis to help the survivors of a viral and brutal infection that turned denizens bloodthirsty and insane, and using his knowledge to nearly turn one of the more powerful Lords to the Light, his own undoing was the very Order he was serving.*


"No help was sent, was it?" *He said, in a understanding-come-condescending tone.* "They abandoned you, didn't they?"

*Picas didn't answer. He knew that He could listen to his very thoughts; they were one. The Sith had never left him since his 'sacrifice' on Cloud City. The Jedi had not come to his aid when he needed it most. No, not just he; when the innocent needed it most. The Sith Lords had somehow got a hold of ancient and powerful weapons that changed the game completely. Picas could not stop them outright in the first place, but now they were much, much more powerful and deadly. Picas had no chance. And the Jedi didn't come.*

"Talking about me?" *Said He, His yellow-red eyes burning in the nothingness.

Picas ignored him and continued his silent walk. So, Picas had took it upon himself to stop his enemies and save Cloud City. How? He acquired a weapon of his own; he had sacrificed himself but at the same time, deep down, he had give in to his lust for power and shielded that disgusting and un-Jedi way with saving innocents. The weapon was an ancient Sith staff. Not a Lightsaber, but an intricate, wooden staff possessed by... well, possessed by He that followed. Picas could not control the new presence at the edge of his thoughts, and fell into darkness.

That was why Picas was here. His sacrifice was fake. Would he ever get out of here?*


"Can you hear them calling?" *His enemy said, His voice far off and trance-like.

Picas could not.*
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Post Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:40 am

Re: The Living Force

*Picas was confused. He wasn't frightened, for he was never truly alone now. Confused was the right word. He couldn't figure out what was actually going on, and why. He used to think the Force had a plan for everyone, but now? He didn't think this fit into any scheme. Why would the Force allow such an atrocity to being to gain power once again? Picas knew from being a Historian that nothing ever truly dies. A memory, a feeling is all that it can take. And with someone such as Him should never be let loose on the galaxy again. Surely, the Force could not want that?*

"And if it did?" *He said from behind.*

"If it did," *Picas replied, continuing his walk in no particular direction, but instead knowing that no direction was exactly the right direction in which he needed to go.* "Then the Force is beyond all our understanding."

"Not mine." *He said.* "Not ours."

*Picas finally turned to look at him. Something inside snapped, some phantom emotion in his phantom form that made him finally confront Him. His opposite. His everything. But He was already looking into Picas' eyes before Picas even turned. Picas' dull grey 'doors to the soul' against the raging red-yellow firestorm in His. Once upon a time, Picas' eyes were blue as the brightest sapphire. Now, after everything he had done, such goodness had abandoned him. He was left with the middle ground. The grey. The nothing.*

"Then explain." *Said Picas.*

"The Force is out of balance. Only the warring of the Jedi Order and their opposites kept it in equilibrium. Light against Dark always creates the Grey. Now the Jedi are not warring against the Sith, and the Sith are multiplying. Not only that, but the rest of the galaxy is taking up arms against those sects. There is turmoil in the galaxy, and such a galaxy needs balance. The Force knows that whoever comes out on top will not maintain this balance. It needs us."

*He was becoming more and more passionate while spinning off his monologue. Should Picas believe a single word? Probably. Picas had felt it himself. There was trouble. But that did not explain their sudden changes in the afterlife. Picas had one question he was afraid to ask, but he had to ask it. For while He shared Picas' mind, Picas did not share His. Merely the presence.*

"Why us?" *Picas asked.*

"To know that, you must recognise our unique situation." *He said, stepping forward. Stepping... close.* "We are bonded together, Light and Dark, through eternity. Even death itself could not separate us. We are one. And yet, we prove something completely unthinkable. We are evidence to the unconceivable."

*Picas allowed the question to form in his eyes, which were deeply staring into His. He answered;*

"Light and Dark can not only live alongside one another, but can love each other."

*He moved closer, achingly closer. They were a chestnut's width apart, and then their chests touched. Strangely, for being in the same mind, He was taller than Picas.* "We are the balance the Force is looking for." *He whispered.

They embraced.*
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Post Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:09 am

Re: The Living Force

*The kiss was short, but felt like eternity. It was deeply wrong and yet it was all that was right in the world. Their lips parted. Picas felt tainted somehow, like he always did when he and He shared some of their love. Even in the spirit world, where his emotions and body were technically nothing but an abstract thought, he still had conflicting feelings. And a Jedi shouldn't. A Jedi should know his feelings, and should best them. Picas should be able to get over what happened, and stop his emotions from dictating his actions. He knew this, as a Jedi Historian. He knew all the tell-tale signs of a fall into darkness. And yet, Picas didn't feel dark. He didn't want power, or lust for control. He didn't want to have complete authority over life and death. Picas, deep down, wanted peace.

When Picas imagined peace, he imagined it as a stillness within him that came not from artificially stilling his emotions. He knew that inner peace came from acceptance. When Picas accepted himself, and then voiced his feelings, would those feelings become real. Then he would not be trying to change himself. Then, he would not trying to be a Jedi, for if he were a Jedi deep down, he would simply be a Jedi. That was what was important. That was inner peace.

And when Picas kissed Him, he knew that inner peace. This very fact panicked Picas, who knew nothing but the Jedi Code and the Jedi Way. He was told from a very early age that attachment led to the dark side, the anathema to all that he was. To all that was good in the galaxy. But his inner feelings told a different story.

Simply these thoughts about inner peace made Picas seem more... real. More grounded.

Picas began hearing voices.*
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Post Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:07 am

Re: The Living Force

*They were whispers at first. Forbidden thoughts never voiced that Picas could pick out in the soundless racket. But then Picas realised, with a deep sensation of vertigo and confusion, that he wasn't hearing these voices. But he was. Not here, in life-after-death. Not in the Netherworld, but in the real world. The land of the living. That was where the voices were coming from. Picas knew this by the feelings that came with them. It was as if they were all carried on the same wave of sound and emotion. Worldly possessions and the lives of loved ones seemed to be at the forefront of this telepathic onslaught.*

"Do you hear them?"*Picas asked Him, who had up to now shown no sign of what Picas was going through.*

"I hear everything you do," *He said.* "Like I said; we're growing stronger. Right now you can hear the living on Bespin and their daily lives. It's quite... stomach-churning. All that weakness!"

*Picas' non-mind in the spirit world flashed memories before him at a cruel pace. All the events on Cloud City, remembered in high definition, zoomed by in agonising emotional pain.* "I don't have to be reminded." *Picas whispered.*

"But... why? Why Cloud City? And no-where else?"

*The Sith Lord that Picas knew only as He or Him looked Picas directly in the eye.*"Because there is something waiting for you there." *and His voice was deadly serious, almost mournful.*

"Take me." *Picas said.*
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Post Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:07 am

Re: The Living Force

*Picas was back in the Netherworld. In fact, he had never left. It was the link between the Sith Lord that stalked him and the all-too familiar weapon on Cloud City, in the land of the living. Now he was cut off again from life, and he felt hollow. But he felt at peace, too. No inner turmoil that one usually got when one was alive.

Picas continued to wander, and He followed him.*
"You heard them." *He said to Picas. Picas just nodded.* "That is... good news. The universe is reaching out to us, and it wants us back."

*Picas had heard life, and realised that death was not a better place. Not at all. Picas turned to Him, eyes a deep sorrow. He was giving into his primal urges; his lust for life. A Jedi should know better.

But was Picas a Jedi anymore? Love was forbidden, and yet he loved Him. That was undeniable, unforgettable. It was as strong as the fabric of the universe, and as fickle as a spiderweb. Picas knew what he wanted now, and he wasn't going to stop until he was alive once more.*
"How?"

*The other that was Him smiled and moved closer.* "Do not worry, you need not embrace the dark side. You've already done that once before. There's no need, anyway; I am here. All you need to do is find your inner Jedi again."

*Picas shook his head as his task dawned upon him.* "An impossible trial. You know I am no Jedi; I cannot be! I've broken every rule in the Code!"

"A Jedi who breaks the Code is no less a Jedi than a captain who chooses not to plunge his warship into battle is a captain. The Code is what Jedi use to harness the Light Side of the Force. You are a Jedi. You just need to do some soul-searching."

"But... what then?"

*But He was gone, gone for the first time in decades, and Picas knew not where to start.*
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Post Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:18 pm

Re: The Living Force

There's a term for the emotions you feel when you lose something you care enough about. It's called the grieving cycle. It doesn't have to be the loss of a life. Some don't understand that. It could be the loss of a relationship. An ability. A possession. A position. The emotions do not discriminate; only how strong the feeling is attached to what you loose matters.

The cycle has five stages to it. The first is denial, followed by anger, bargaining, depression and, lastly, acceptance. Some believe that you go through each stage in order. You don't. You can be angry, then in denial. You can be depressed, then angry, then bargain. Maybe one day you accept the loss, then the next you deny it and bargain. It's not clear cut.

I'm familiar with this cycle. Out of everything that happened in my life, the cycle was something that could be relied upon. Most of my young life I grieved for the loss of my family; namely my mother, Vasti Idulia. When I was a teenager, I grieved the loss of my first love, Jarrod. I grieved the loss of Haln, of my unborn and living children, of Mashal Yuen, of Isis, of Danson, of Eversio, even of alliances I had made, planets I ruled, and opportunities that never came to fruition. My greatest loss was Dominus Lucius. I never truly recovered from that loss. I never accepted it, not even with my last breath.

When 'they' talk about the grieving cycle, it's always in terms of the living. No one mentions the dead can grieve too. And they do. I was.

The promise of the relief of grieving had been one of the two main motivators of my suicide. I'd tried for years to compensate for Dominus' death. In the process I lost my living children to secrecy, as well as the illusion of Eversio that had comforted me in the years after Dominus. I had grieved both, but I wasn't bitter. I had accepted those losses. It Dominus' death was what made me bitter. I yearned to be released of it and, when I decided and came to peace with my course of action, I took comfort in two things: one, that I would be reunited with Dominus in death and, two, that I would be taking Lord Iniquitous to the grave with me.

But I was alone. So alone.

There are many theories on the afterlife, they are as numerous as there are sentient lives and beliefs. I had my own theories, but it wasn't something I thought about very much. I spent most my life in the past, grieving over my losses, and in the present, focusing on my goals. I did not think much of the future unless it was to help achieve my present desires or plan for where I wanted to be. Needless to say, 'dead' was never where I wanted to be.

Even when I came to be at peace with my suicide, my one thought besides, "I'm finally going to kill that nemoidian Iniquitous.", had been, "I will be with Dominus again." Everything in my being believed in this. We had been soulmates. We shared the same beliefs. We were both human. There had never been a doubt in my mind that the commonalities we shared would be enough to join us together in the afterlife.

But he wasn't here. No one was here. The invisible wind still blew my clothing and hair. The landscape never changed. It was as if I were walking in eternal circles. If Dominus were here, it would be worth it. But he wasn't.

And so, even in death, there was the grieving cycle. Even dead, you can still grieve.
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Post Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:19 am

Re: The Living Force

*Picas remembered everything he had done in his past life. All his evil choices, but then, as he was wandering the infinite nothingness of death, he remembered the rest of his life - the most important. How much good he had actually done. How many lives he had saved as a Jedi Historian. How much he sacrificed when he 'fell' to the dark side. His thoughts cast back to his knowledge of Jedi history; that of Revan. Some say he was brainwashed by the Emperor, but Picas had a different theory; a theory which didn't sit well with the current Jedi. Picas thought that Revan returned a Sith Lord to prepare the Republic for the invasion that was to come three centuries later. He turned to the Dark Side by necessity; to save lives, not to destroy them.

That was what Picas had done, in a sense.

And what had the Jedi done to Revan? They redeemed him.

Picas could be redeemed.

A well of emotion welled up inside of him; relief that seemed to carry weight off into the abyss. Picas' gloomy thoughts seemed... lighter.*


"This is the beginning." *He said.*
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Post Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:27 pm

Re: The Living Force

They say your life flashes before you when you die. As I lifted my finger to push the button that would activate the bomb, instantly killing Iniquitous and I, nothing flashed before my eyes. I'm sure hope was in my eyes, though. Not hope of the alliance of an arranged marriage between Iniquitous and I, but hope of seeing Dominus. Hope of ending the Arkanian that I had hated for over a decade.

I had no hope left now.

How long had I grieved in this still, dark prison? There was no escape. Was I such a horrible person that I would spend an eternity in this madness? For my grief was ever present with me, following me in death as surely as it had in life. I could not accept it. If I were able to kill myself, I would. But I couldn't. I was already dead.

At least, that is what I thought.

Then my life began to flash before my eyes.
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Post Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:07 pm

Re: The Living Force

Have you ever had a moment of perfect clarity? The type where you know what is going to happen before it does and you're powerless to stop it. It's the kind that goes beyond "I have a bad feeling about this." It's the sick, gut-wrenching feeling you get when you suddenly realize what truth is, but it's too little, too late. I'd like to think that's the last emotion Iniquitous felt before he died, before we were blown up into tiny, little bloody bits. Knowing would have made killing him so much more satisfying.

It's one of the best things about playing the game. The moment when your enemy realizes there is no escape, no getting the upper hand. They lost. You won. There is nothing they can do about it. I only played the game with people I had reason to dislike. Each time I played, it was a personal vendetta. It was personal for my opponents as well. Anything less was a waste of my time, and it made the rush of victory so much sweeter.

I was not immune to these moments of clarity, despite having exercised them upon those I loathed. I had been caught unawares many times. My personal coping strategy for such losses had been "Fight another day." And I always did. Sooner or later, the people I loved to hate would make a mistake, let their guard down, sometimes forget. I never forgot. When they would, inevitably, make these errors, I would be there. Waiting, watching, seizing opportunities. I prided myself on my endurance.

But my coping strategy wouldn't work here. There was no "Fight another day." These moments of awful clarity had happened in my past. Their fate was sealed and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I later appreciated it as quite poetic, in a twisted, sadistic, 'pointy hat off to your opponent' (that kriffing wizardy hat) sort of way...shredding me to the point of absolute hopelessness, then magnifying my grief, despair, and madness with my own past.

But at the time, my horror was oh so real, enlarging my grief in ways I hadn't thought possible. And the only thing I could do was relive these moments of my life...over, and over, and over, and over, and....






Time: 30+ Years Ago, Real Time.
Location: Deyer


I wanted to scream, but my body wouldn't let me. Terror ran cold through my veins as I watched the Jedi fighting my parents. It wasn't a fair fight, the Jedi outnumbered them, and my step-father was not a Force-user. My mother would not be enough to hold them at bay.

I was hiding where my mother put me and my younger brother, Aiden. We weren't to come out for any reason or make a sound. I'm not sure my cries would be heard anyway over the blaster fire and saber clashing. I watched with tears leaking down my cheeks. I was no longer watching as a child. I was being forced to relive this as an adult.

I wanted to run out and fight at my parents' side, but I couldn't move. I wanted to do something, anything, but I was immobilized. I knew what was going to happen. I knew, and there was nothing I could do about it other than watch in horror. I was in the situation and had no choice but to endure it as it had originally played out. I could not change my past. I was just stuck in it.

My brother ran out, stupid, foolish boy. He was cut down by one of the Jedi. One of them - some kind of humaniod species - snarled at my brother's executioner and killed him. Aiden's death was enough for my mother and step-father to lose focus. My mother, in a rage, took several out before she was cut down also. The only man I knew as my father followed.

You would think after all these years, decades and decades, I would finally accept losing my family. At the very least, be numbed. But I wasn't. I was screaming with fury on the inside, unable to do anything but what I originally did: ball my fists in anger in my hiding place as tears washed unbidden down my face.

The same Jedi who killed my brother's murderer was breathing hard and, despite his obvious victory, he didn't look happy. His back straightened, his eyes sliding in my direction. He said something to one of the other Jedi, motioning to my hiding place. When the Jedi grabbed me, my anger was boiling, I wasn't even afraid anymore. My scream was raw and feral, lightening unexpectedly shooting out of my fingers and into the Jedi. I killed her.

Her buddies all reactivated their lightsabers and pointed them at me. One of them was about to bring his blade down on me when the humanoid stopped him. He looked wary, but suddenly pleased. This was odd. I just killed one of his. He steepled his fingers together under that amused, almost joyful, face as he stared at me.

Then I was back in the afterlife.
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Post Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:31 pm

Re: The Living Force

I watched my family be murdered so many times I lost count.

Every time was as alive and real to me as when the event originally took place. These were not mere flashes of my life. I wasn't watching them. I was traveling back in time, I was there. As soon as it played out, I had only moments before I relived it again. I tired, but I didn't numb. The mental and emotional fatigue - with a perfect awareness and without any respite - was an acute, sharp ache in my mind that left my soul raw. After the hundredth time, or maybe the millionth, I had relived the tragedy enough to finally be able to piece a few coherent revelations together.

First, my family's killers were not Jedi. Couldn't be. Most of my childhood, as a Jedi, I held my family's assassination against them. My mother was a Sith, she was the bad guy. I may have tried to play it nice, try to let go of my anger, try to fit in, but my mother was my mother. It wouldn't matter if she was a mass murderer. I would hate the Jedi forever. Now I saw that my feelings against them were based on lies. The Jedi hadn't killed my family. Of that I was certain.

Second, the humanoid. He was...familiar to me, but I couldn't place him. It was almost as if I had seen him in a dream. Maybe I had. I had nightmares into my adulthood of my family being slaughtered. But I had never remembered the humanoid until this very moment. I had never noticed how he killed my brother's attacker. I had never noticed how he looked at me, as if I was some sort of prize. I tried to remember what happened afterward, but my mind was blank and I was always brought back from the past before I could relive anything else.

How did I not notice this before? I spent a large portion of my life consumed with grief, anger, and shock over my family's untimely death. Had the trauma blocked out some of my memories? Another, more troubling, reason rose to the surface. As soon as I thought of it, I knew it was true. I had not noticed who my attackers really were, I had not remembered the humanoid, because those memories had been taken from me.

And as I began to question why, I relived this piece of my personal hell once more.
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