Knights of the New Republic

Session 15 - Q'Aleane Interlude

(Q’ayla’s plea—always so willing to sacrifice herself—still rings in Q’aleane’s mind. But now, Q’ayla’s attention is focused intently on Irsin, her emotional state turbulent. Returning her focus to the small creature before her, Q’aleane modulates her voice lower, trying to also attend to whether Q’ayla shifts her attention again.)

Q’Aleane:
This isn’t just Dathomir is it?

Imp Creature:
“Just Dathomir”? At the moment, you aren’t on Dathomir at all. Isn’t that obvious?

Q’Aleane:
Not what I meant but you don’t even have to answer, I would prefer if for right now my sister and Irsin were focused on the troubles on Dathomir. You are however aware when you said earlier about being willing to help our ultimate objective that our ultimate objective has nothing to do with Dathomir?

Imp Creature:
Yes, I am aware that you have…loftier goals than your most immediate concerns.

Q’Aleane:
Good, then for now my needs are simple and that need is knowledge… Other powers and matters can wait, so for now verbal games aside, I am willing to allow a small amount of influence for knowledge on nightsisters lore, dathomir witch lore and sith lore. As we progress in our mission and as I grow to understand the expanded point of view you provide we may come up with other agreements. To deny this side of the force would run counter to my “loftier goals”.

Imp Creature:
I can give you at least some of what you ask. The Witches’ lore is not mine to give, however. They do not…share my point of view so well as those others. But are you certain that is all you wish of me? You face formidable opposition, after all. More than you know. Knowledge is power, to be sure, but it is only useful if you can LIVE long enough to bring it to bear…

Q’Aleane:
Ah but knowledge is a prerequisite to knowing what power I need to bring it to bear.

Imp Creature:
So? Do you imagine that I will wave my hands at you, and you shall suddenly be gifted with the ability to summon lightning storms? My arts can be more subtle than that, and the power I can grant you more flexible. If you wish to take it up, all I need do is unlock the potential in you, and you will be able to bring your new power to bear when it is needed, in whatever form you require at that time.

Q’Aleane:
Perhaps, but first … why? This exchange makes me curious about something. If you are effectively a part of an aspect of this (she waves her hand encompassing everything here) why do you and your fellows seek influence on us?

Imp Creature:
An interesting metaphysical inquiry. Perhaps it would be best to say that your realm and this one mirror each other. Events in each alter the other. Sometimes these shifts are minor. Others, they are not.

Q’Aleane:
Ah I suspected as such. it is like a hall of mirrors of sorts. So this unlocking of potential you speak of no doubt that too can take many and subtle forms. Help me to understand more the exchange you propose in specific.

Imp Creature:
It is difficult to describe in mortal language. You spoke of shamans previously. It is somewhat like that, but far more limited. You are unwilling to make the commitment necessary for that degree of…relationship. You are also not capable of accepting it, at present—you are not sufficiently…present…for that.

Q’Aleane:
Well since I am already willing to exchange some influence for knowledge as previously stated, lets start with what a Shaman is then, since you reference it, so I know what it is a more limited form of.

Imp Creature:
Hmm…again, your words are poor tools. What the Nightsisters call a shaman can be thought of as a…conduit. A channel and a focus for what you might call an aspect of this realm.

Q’Aleane:
A channel and focus to a single specific aspect I suspect?

Imp Creature:
Yes. That sort of connection cannot be divided amongst us here.

Q’Aleane:
(Q’Aeleane gets a slight impish smile.) Never figured you for the the monogamous sort. I am not sure I am the appropriate conduit you seek for that kind of connection.

Imp Creature:
The relationship has little to do with such…corporeal intimacies, but a better analogy might be polygamy. It would need to be an exclusive relationship for YOU, but I am not bound by such strictures.

Q’Aleane:
And in this case, I am unwilling to be bound to a single aspect. It would not be … beneficial … to my “loftier goals”.

Imp Creature:
So you imagine, at any rate. In any case, as I said, such a thing is not available to you for other reasons than your willingness.

Q’Aleane:
Right, so the “relationship” you propose, does it also require exclusivity on my part?

Imp Creature:
No. As I said, it is only loosely similar. I would be giving you access to a limited reservoir of additional power. In truth, merely a shortcut to abilities you could learn, given enough time, on your own.

Q’Aleane:
Ok I suffer, as you have pointed out before, from a somewhat limited understanding. Help me understand the level of commitment we are talking about in terms of influence. Are we talking in terms of influence, similar to what we would call the “light side” on me currently, or more like one of my companions? Put it into some comparative quantification so I might understand more.

Imp Creature:
These sorts of things defy the quantification you hunger for. However, one might say I am offering a relationship on a level similar to the one your sister already experiences. Though, as I said, I doubt it would seem much like that to you.

Q’Aleane:
Hmm perhaps in time, but you and I have had a shaky past, and if I am shifting my center of equilibrium to include your influence, I think I would be better served starting slower than that. That feels stronger than I am ready to deal with at this time. Whether Irsin or my sister wish to make such a commitment is up to them. (She looks over to her sister) I take it you are somehow responsible for the fact that we have been talking alone for quite some time? May I also assume you are doing the same with her?

Imp Creature:
(He shows his teeth in an approximation of a smile) Such discussions are best held in private.

Q’Aleane:
Indeed. No doubt she has asked you not to deal with me… and no doubt Irsin has asked you not to deal with her… it is strange how protective we can all be at times.

Imp Creature:
The only protection I offer is the power to do so yourself. I make no such agreements.

Q’Aleane:
I wasn’t asking it of you. If we do choose to deal again in the future, is it an intrinsic nature of my link with my sister that when I come into this realm she will come with me?

Imp Creature:
It is unlikely you will find returning here an easy matter, if you begin elsewhere. But you need not enter this realm to deal with me again. You need only act in accordance with my nature.

Q’Aleane:
I assumed as much. But should I choose to make the trip, would my sister necessarily come as well or was that a subconscious reaction to the transition?

Imp Creature:
Hard to say…You are so closely bound, one to the other, that you are nearly a single being. It might be possible to make the journey alone, but it would likely require specific preparations. A matter best done from your own realm, rather than here.

Q’Aleane:
Indeed.
So this has happened before? Is it always this… dramatic?

Imp Creature:
What do you mean by “this”? Visitors from your realm coming here? Certainly, it has occurred periodically.

Q’Aleane:
I was more referring to the current balance of power, or perhaps more appropriately lack thereof.

Imp Creature:
The dynamics of the forces here are always shifting. At times they alter more significantly than others. It HAS been some little time, as you reckon the concept, since things have held a shape quite like this one.

Q’Aleane:
I suppose it would be interesting, and perhaps futile, given the reflective nature of the two realms, to attempt to determine whether the avalanche started by an action on one side or the other. (She seems distracted for but a moment.)

Imp Creature:
A difficult question indeed.

Q’Aleane:
So going back to the matter at hand, if as I proposed we exchange a certain amount of knowledge for influence and leave the other expressions of power for another time, is there anything in particular we have to… “do”… in this realm or is it something that is accomplished by the very act of deciding to do it itself… or something else entirely?

Imp Creature:
No, there are no rituals or exciting pyrotechnics. Your agreement is enough, and when the time comes, you will have access to what you asked for.

(Q’Aleane sits for a while and attempts to shift her perceptions, trying to align her perception of this world to her own. The strange being waits patiently while she makes the attempt, looking on impassively as pain lances through Q’aleane’s mind with the effort. Her own reality feels VERY far away right now, and this place too…big. She cannot focus her attention on only a piece of it, and it is too vast to encompass. She attempts then to focus only on her own reflection, both here and there. It dawns on Q’aleane after a moment how out of place she feels here, in relation to everything else. As if this place were a smooth piece of fabric, and she is a loop of thread pulled loose. She can’t see past this place to where she belongs, though she can feel, vaguely, the connection to it. As she focuses on that path, though, she starts to feel a pulling sensation in her mind, like an echo of what she felt in the moments before awakening in this world. She stops concentrating on it and attempts to return things to this frame of reference.)

Q’Aleane:
I guess five fundamental world view perception changes in one day was too much to ask… at least I know it will be easy to get back out.

Imp Creature:
This place is not meant for the minds of your kind. You can only perceive an echoed shadow of it, even while nearly all of your self is present within it. You lack the senses to comprehend it even as poorly as you do your own part of reality.

Q’Aleane:
True but that has never stopped from trying to before. (she smiles slightly) You mentioned that the Shaman embody in this realm slightly more, I am guessing that is because they truly die and I was only safely able to well… simulate… some of the properties?

Imp Creature:
Yes, essentially. Becoming a shaman is fundamentally transformative. To bring the change about, all of you must be present. At the moment, there is a thread of your self binding you to your physical shell.

Q’Aleane:
If I had more time to experiment here…. (she pauses) No, not wise until this place equalizes and becomes just a tad more hospitable… Plus I think I have caused my sister more than enough accidental trauma today.

Imp Creature:
As you say. Remaining in this place overlong is unlikely to be healthy for you.

Q’Aleane:
How are your negotiations going with the others?

Imp Creature:
(again, that approximation of a smile) To discuss such things would be…unethical. Any conversations I might be having with your companions are between them and myself.

Q’Aleane:
I was more concerned with the progress rather than the result… as in within my abstraction that correlates to time despite its apparent different applicability in this realm… are they nearing some sort of conclusion or consensus point?

Imp Creature:
If you are asking whether you may begin discussing departure with them, and reasonably expect them to respond, then yes, whenever you wish. Assuming, of course, that you and I have an agreement, and you have no further business with me?

Q’Aleane:
Although I find our conversation entertaining and enlightening and would not mind having another some time, frankly this place is miserable at this time of reality (she smiles impishly)… so yes I believe we do have an agreement and unless there is something specific you wish to discuss I think I have more than enough to process at this point.

Imp Creature:
Indeed.

(Q’aleane realizes now, for the first time, that throughout this conversation her perception of Q’ayla and Irsin had been made subtly dim, causing them to recede, all but literally, into the background. Now, they come back into focus.)

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