Knights of the New Republic

Session 16 - Q'ayla & Q'aleane Interlude

(There is a soft ‘tap-tap-tap’ knocking at Q’aleane’s door; from behind it comes the soft voice of her sister)

Q’ayla:
Q’aleane…?
Are you up?

(After a moment’s pause, the door opens and Q’ayla hears her sister respond)

Q’aleane:
Sure… I can be, come on in.

(Q’ayla takes a few steps into the room. She’s dressed in her nightclothes, and the condition of her hair suggests that she’s been sleeping, as it hangs down into her face. She also appears to be trembling a bit, but that’s all that Q’aleane can decipher from a physical inspection)

Q’ayla:
Sorry to bug you at this hour… can’t really sleep anymore. And I told Irsin he could have the night off from my craziness…

(A wry smile plays over Q’aleane’s face briefly at hearing the ‘craziness’ comment)

Q’aleane:
It’s not a worry, I was just meditating and I got plenty of sleep yesterday.

(A hint of concern comes over her voice)

Is there something wrong? Are you okay?

(Q’ayla takes a couple more steps and then abruptly collapses to the floor. She runs her hands through her hair over and over, drawing her knees to her chest as she does)

Q’ayla:
No… I’m not okay. Another nightmare. The worst one yet. And I didn’t think they could get any worse.

(Q’aleane glides down behind her sister, summons a brush from her nightstand using the Force, and proceeds to brush Q’ayla’s hair as she continues)

Q’aleane:
Tell me about it.

(With some hesitation, Q’ayla brings her hands away from her hair to allow her sister access; she instead hugs the front of her legs with her forehead buried in her knees)

Q’ayla:
I’m not sure I can remember all of the details now but…

I ‘woke up’ in darkness, and the first thing I felt was pain. Not like on Ansion— no, it was a lingering, aching pain. Everywhere. I tried to move, but I couldn’t. After a while, I began to hear a noise; something like a gurgling, labored breath, over and over again. I held my own breath in order to hear it better, but the noise stopped… and that’s when I realized that it was coming from me. I tried to call out, but what came out wasn’t my voice. It was something different… more… synthetic than how I usually sound. Almost as an answer, wherever I was started… shifting. It was so disorienting. After a few moments the movement stopped, and lights came on in the room one after another. Surrounding me were windows of some kind… or were they mirrors? I could see myself in them and… and…

(She starts shaking)

I couldn’t even recognize myself! Instead of my face, there was this horrific mask, but I knew it was me because I could still see some remnants of purple hair sticking out in all different directions behind the mask. My skin was so pale and covered in red markings… or were they tattoos?… or scars?… eh… I can’t remember… I couldn’t see my hands, because in their place were horrendous gauntlets of some sort, with long sharp talons reaching to where fingers should have been. Most of my body was covered in some kind of suit, but I could see instrument panels on my chest and waist… The sight of it was enough to make me scream, but the sound that came out of me made me silent almost immediately… it was something so unnatural: a wailing, gurgling groan. I’m not sure how long I was there, strapped to a gurney of some kind, terrified at the sight of me, but after a while, the door to the room opened, and figures started to enter. There were many of them— all hooded and robed in dark colors. After they arrayed themselves around the small room, one came forward and removed his hood.

(She grips herself tightly)

It was Master Ixlis! I started to talk to him, to beg him to explain what was going on, when with a wave of his hand, I felt searing pain in my chest and hips— it moved out to everywhere, burning me. I screamed out, but no one did anything but stand there, staring. When Master Ixlis finally spoke, he began telling me about what had happened… how I had fallen to the Dark Side… and kil—

(She sobs, but as with her voice, it’s haggard and weak sounding)

…how I had killed many Jedi in the Academy.

How I had killed you.

And Irsin.

How finally, they were able to put me down. But instead of killing me, they simply crippled me… crippled me and put me in the suit I now wore, to keep me alive, so that I might live to suffer the shame of everything I had done in the name of the Dark Side… in the name of Bogan. And then… each of the figures pulled back their hoods in turn— Master Tahl, Master Ang, Master Onasi… and others… and they each told me how much I had disappointed them, how horrible were the things I had done, how I had betrayed everything I had ever believed in, how I had turned on all of them. I kept trying to speak, kept trying to tell them how it was all a mistake, that I would never do anything like what they were accusing me of… but each time they simply waved their hands and I felt the pain again until I fell silent. Finally, after they had all finished, they simply pulled their hoods back up and left the room, single-file, without another word nor notice of me at all. The lights in the room blinked out one after another… all except the one right in front of me, shining on the mirror directly ahead, forcing me to keep staring at what I had become. As I started to scream again, calling out for you and Irsin—

I finally woke up.

(While listening to Q’ayla tell her story, Q’aleane continues to brush her sister’s hair almost absently. She briefly stops and tenses at the part of the nightmare where the masters were expressing their disappointment. After a breath, she goes back to listening and brushing. When the story finishes, she pauses for a moment or two to collect her thoughts and then replies)

Q’aleane:
I wish there was some way for me to keep these from happening. I can’t say I entirely understand why they do. I can explain where each of the elements of your nightmare come from… from the history lessons and Darth Vader, to the horror stories they tell us about the Dark Side and falling to it, to the number the masters teaching young Padawans, making them repress who and what they are, and finally to your conversation with Yevra and back again. But that really doesn’t explain the nightmare away, nor does it help you come to terms with it. I wish you and I had a month and a quiet place to just rest and really just be and talk and learn and have fun.

I am sorry I took you to that place unprepared. You shouldn’t have to shoulder this burden unprepared.

(She trails off a bit. Q’ayla shakes her head into her knees)

Q’ayla:
Don’t apologize, Q’aleane. I already told you that I forgive you. These nightmares are just… they feel so real every time they happen. It’s so draining. I guess everything that was said today is still weighing on me heavily. The conversation I had with Yevra certainly…

…but also talking with you and Irsin.

(She sinks her head down further without withdrawing it completely from Q’aleane’s reach)

I felt really hurt today, sis. When the three of us were talking on the bridge after I left Yevra’s room. What you said about yourself… and the Jedi. I feel like such a fool…

(Q’aleane pauses a few breaths in her brushing and then puts the brush down and comes around the front of her sister and sits down facing her)

Q’aleane:
You are not a fool. You will have to help me though, I was dealing with some… imbalances of my own at the time. What was it I said about myself and the Jedi that bothered you so?

(Noticing that Q’aleane is sitting in front of her, Q’ayla peeks up over her knees at her sister. As she talks, Q’aleane can see that there’s something a little off about her sister’s eyes; like the usual swirling clouds in her blinded eyes seems different somehow)

Q’ayla:
Well, of course you know that after Bespin, I started putting on my Jedi ‘persona’ whenever I was around one of the masters, or while I was helping out Masters Ang and Onasi. What you may not know – though I can’t imagine how you wouldn’t – was that I based that persona on you. To me, you were always the exemplar. You were always what I looked up to as the ideal Jedi— compassionate, yet emotionally detached from any given situation. Able to use words instead of weapons when dealing with others. Academic, logical, incredibly intelligent.

…Not anything like me.

So I’ve always tried to live up to your example, and be the Jedi that I know I can be. And now… now I hear that you’ve never cared. Never cared about the Jedi. About our dreams. All that we would accomplish together with the Order. A guardian and a consular… maybe the best ever. And we would do so much good in the galaxy under a banner that has represented peace and order for millennia.

But you never really cared about it. And now I feel like the biggest fool in the galaxy. Because I believed in the Jedi you were— are, Q’aleane. And I’ve defended our dream to any who would question it. Even to Irsin. I’ve been trying to convince him that what the Sith teach about the Jedi is wrong, and that you and I can be evidence of that. But it all seems like smoke and mirrors now…

(Q’aleane sighs and sinks into the floor a bit)

Q’aleane:
I do care.

I care most of all about you, our dreams, and what we can accomplish. I care about our master, and even the order. But, earlier I was feeling hurt. And I also care a great deal about what they did to you and how they treated me.

Something about the dark influence causes me to have some emotions that I normally don’t deal with and it slipped out. I never really talked about this stuff when we were growing up, did I?

(Q’ayla gives a slight smile and shakes her head)

Q’ayla:
Not really, no. I mean, we were always so busy with training. And it just seemed like we were on a set path. Mother and Father knew we would make great Jedi, and I believed them. Yeah, I was pretty nervous when we first showed up… it wasn’t really what I was expecting, but in hindsight I’m not sure what I thought it would be in the first place. And my big sister was looking out for me anyways, changing our hair with no shame whatsoever. But one thing this time together as knights has shown me is that you and I never really did talk about what was really going on inside. You kept your emotions to yourself, and I was always controlling mine.

I mean… “controlling” mine. But you get what I’m saying.

Is it hard, sis? What Bogan did to— what he gave you?

(Q’aleane smiles a little)

Q’aleane:
No, not nearly as hard as what you have to deal with… and I will help with that where I can. But that wasn’t… well, let me put it to you another way. While we were growing up, I looked up to you. You say I was an exemplar of what it meant to be a Jedi. To me, you were the exemplar of what it meant to be a person. I saw how they hurt you and chided you but the truth is, you were what they expected. All the other young ones and Padawans were going through the same struggle with their emotions as you were. All the masters went through it when they were young. Yours were… stronger… better… than most, and it caused them to react, but they understood you. They never understood me.

I got one of two reactions. The first was masters who would treat me like something I wasn’t and confide in me things I should never have known or dealt with at my age. Those were the ones I realize now that were the worst. But at the time the ones that hurt the most were the ones that would look on any disagreement, any anything as a sign I was hiding something from them. They couldn’t conceive that someone like me could exist. It… threatened their self-image. They figured I must be hiding my emotions or deceiving them. Any time I disagreed – and you know me, I have never had a problem talking truth to power – it was a sign that something was wrong. And when they couldn’t find anything… that just made them even more suspicious.

The first master I ever met who I felt comfortable talking with was Master Vantai… he was the first to understand. I cared for our master, and I think in his way he cared for me… but Master Vantai was the first one who understood me. So occasionally, at my darkest, I do have issues with the Order… but mostly I just want to see it fixed or replaced with something that doesn’t do what it did to either of us.

(Q’ayla reaches out a hand and touches her sister)

Q’ayla:
Q’aleane… you’re a person. No different from me. Even if we express emotions differently, that doesn’t change that fact. I always knew that my sister behaved differently from me, but don’t you think for an instant I thought there was anything wrong with you. It’s just who you are. You take after our father more, you know? You’re both much quieter, much more introspective, more analytical. Maybe I’ve forgotten, but I don’t remember a lot of clashes between you and the masters… maybe it was away from my prying eyes. And what do you mean, “masters who would treat me like something I wasn’t?” “Things I should never have known or dealt with?” Did something happen?

Q’aleane:
No… yes… not really anything big but when you are a child, and a master tells you without realizing it about how he is dealing with an emotional event or expressing frustration at another of the students… it all serves to separate and isolate a person. You were really my only friend growing up. You got along with the other young ones… but I wasn’t one of them as far as they were concerned. That and learning things before I was ready for them. There is a reason I meditate as much as I do… I had to adapt to… learn to find a center within myself when unbalanced by knowledge or experience I wasn’t ready for.

Take that meditative technique I used earlier yesterday… the one most Jedi never learn. I learned that when I was twelve. And yes, most of my “clashes” were quiet and away from eyes, quiet lectures in hallways, pointed questions that no one knew the context of but me. The worst was Master D’Vorn. But there were others. It’s not important anymore but it still comes up sometimes in my mind… when I am tired.

(A pained look passes over Q’ayla’s face)

Q’ayla:
Why didn’t you tell me about any of this?

I mean, it’s not like I could have done anything per se… but at least I could have talked with you about it, away from their eyes and ears, in our room. You didn’t need to shoulder all of that by yourself, Q’aleane…

I could tell that you didn’t get along with many of the other Padawans. In fact, I always tried to act as a bridge between you and them… I know it didn’t really work. But I had no idea – even with our bond – that these things were going on. And don’t say it’s not important— it’s important to me! All this talk about Vergere’s quest, and what we should do, can do, will do— seriously considering leaving the Order and going off on our own…

…I thought it was the Vong that did that to you, sis…

…I didn’t know. Had I known that you suffered so…

(She begins to slowly shake her head, silent tears falling from her eyes)

I’ve been so selfish, Q’aleane. I’m… I’m sorry. All I’ve been thinking about is what this means to me. It seemed so easy for you to let go of this, and I was upset because it’s so hard for me— feeling like I’m failing them for the last time, resigning myself to betraying their trust. But it’s not easy for you, is it?

Q’aleane:
No, it’s not suffering like that… no, at the time I am not sure I could have even put it into words. Only looking back on it and realizing that aside from you the only person I ever really had an extended conversation with was over three times my age and didn’t trust me not to be the second coming of the Sith embodied that it kinda hit me. It is something that just built up over time. No it was not the Yuuzhan Vong… I learned from them pain, yes… but they were good to me, their peculiarity with pain notwithstanding. The Master Shaper and Master Vantai were really the first friends I ever had that weren’t you. But enough of this, let’s talk about what we can do to help you.

(She pauses to collect her thoughts; Q’ayla lets out a sigh, one not only tired, but also weary)

Q’ayla:
Help me? Heh…

How do you suppose we do that? There’s potential locked away inside me that can save us from the Nightsisters, and all I have to do to unlock it is… … well, I don’t know what yet. My skin turns deathly pale whenever I get overly emotional— meaning it’s probably like that right now. I’ve ruined any hope of reaching Yevra now, as she’s most certainly convinced that I’m a lost cause… and dangerous, no less. She thinks I’ll end up just like in my dream… just like Anakin Skywalker. And if I can’t convince a young Padawan already affected by Dathomir’s influence, what hope do I have of leaving the Jedi Order on my own terms in front of the Council? And what will you do? And what will Irsin do? I was already worried about what he might do if he felt that Yevra was a threat to me… now after earlier tonight…

(She trails off, suddenly very sad)

Q’aleane:
Right now, even if I thought it was otherwise a good idea, it would be a very bad idea to put you anywhere near the Council. But that is really the least of our worries right now. You are… for lack of a better term… divided right now in a dangerous way. A part of you has been given the keys to a great deal of power and the manifest imperitive to use it. Another part of you still sees yourself as that young Padawan trying to please the masters. You are not comfortable in yourself. Neither of the two parts are actually you. But their fighting is so loud it is drowning you out. In the past, people in this position have tried to silence one or the other, usually with predictibly bad results. Try to quiet the young Padawan and you become that which that Padawan fears… quiet the powerful and you become passive, unable to act, afraid…

What we need to do is find a way for you to become re-centered in your new self… a self that includes the ideals of the Jedi Order for peace and compassion, but that is not afraid to be powerful responsibly. Someone who isn’t ashamed of her emotions, but doesn’t let them control her.

In short, the you I know you can be.

(She smiles encouragingly)

A true guardian.

(Q’ayla smiles back at her sister, but as she begins to speak her smile fades)

Q’ayla:
I wish it was that easy, sis. I wish I could just be the person that you – and Irsin, for that matter – seems to see in me. But I don’t think I’m going to get off this planet without paying a heavier price. My skin… I think that’s just the mark to show others that I belong to him now. But I still don’t know what it is that I’m supposed to do to keep everyone safe from the Nightsisters. It’s got to be something— something more than swinging a pair of lightsabers around. But I don’t know what it is… he didn’t tell me, only that I would know what to do when the time comes. And if weirdly pale skin is what I came out with just from dealing with him, I can’t imagine what will happen when I use the power he offered to unleash from within me.

It’s why I wish you both had listened to me back there. Sometimes I feel like you and Irsin handle me with kid gloves… am I really that scary, or weak, or whatever? I was so afraid of what might happen if I dealt with Bogan— who wouldn’t be?! But I knew… I knew… that if I was the only one to deal with him, that I’d be okay in the end. Because if things got really bad, I’d have you and Irsin to take care of me and help me through the worst of it. But now…

…I don’t know what price you’ll have to pay for what he’s given you, but Irsin…

I really felt like he was coming out of the darkness that has consumed him his whole life. That meeting us… meeting me… and everything that’s happened between us…

…if I was falling down, and he was rising up, that he could catch me and keep me from losing myself completely, if it ever came to that. But Irsin agreed to something with Bogan. And he did it for me. And now I’m afraid, Q’aleane. I’m afraid that his rage will consume him again…

(then, more to herself)

…if he ever really let it go.

Neither of you listened to me, and we all dealt with darkness. Somewhere inside, beyond all the confusion and frustration of today, I feel a real confidence in my ability to save us from this mess. But I’m still scared, sis. I really am.

(Q’aleane smiles)

Q’aleane:
I will still be here to catch you. I actually bartered very little. I wasn’t looking for much, just some answers. I have dealt with… larger… personality shifts and perspective changes before. But remember, price is probably not the most accurate way to look at it. What we bartered with was influence and perspective. For you it seems to have increased the flow of your strong emotions… they are still your emotions, though. The problem is the speed with which it occurred. If you had a decade to slowly come into the power and learn to be comfortable with the emotions, it wouldn’t be an issue. But they have been thrust on you… sort of what this planet tried to do with me earlier. The techniques I use to deal with these kinds of things wouldn’t work well for you, but the spirit of them might. But basically, the goal is to put you back in the driver’s seat.

Q’ayla:
But that’s the thing, right? Apart from being maybe a little ill-tempered today, I don’t feel that much different. I don’t have any new special powers or anything. Just the experience itself, and my skin, and the promise of more power to come. I mean, Dathomir has definitely had an impact on me from the very beginning, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t think things are going to get better until we get off this rock…

…and without knowing how I’m going to help, the prospects for leaving are quite low right now, I should say. We’re going to run a summit for a group of unappreciative witches, while the Nightsisters use their undead army to ravage the planet.

(Q’ayla sighs deeply, putting her face against her knees again)

What am I going to do? Why can’t I just know?!

(Q’aleane chuckles a little)

Q’aleane:
If it was just ill-tempered then I wouldn’t be worried… you deserve a little ill-temper after what I put you through. No, that’s the problem, you don’t realize how much you have been disturbed by this… your moods have been extreme and erratic and the most scary part is they have determined some of what you did without you even realizing they did. It’s like if you had a teenager and suddenly made him a hundred times stronger… if you did it right he wouldn’t realize much was different right up until he ended up pulling a door off the wall trying to open it.

Do you remember meditation class when we were young… remember how they used to tell us that we shouldn’t worry about not thinking, that it would come in time… but if we focused too much on not thinking we would defeat ourselves by thinking about not thinking?

(Q’ayla nods into her knees)

Q’ayla:
Yeah…

…I’m doing that, aren’t I? I never was good at meditation. I’m better at pulling doors off of walls…

Q’aleane:
Luckily the goal here is different and we aren’t trying to get you to not think. Do you remember how they used to tell us that at first, all we were to do is sit there and clear our mind and acknowledge any thoughts that came by… think them but not put any stock in them: You think of a nexu, you say to yourself, “I just thought of a nexu, and that’s not important,” and let it pass? Well we need to get you to do something like that with your emotions… you need to feel them, they are a part of you just like the thought of a nexu was perfectly natural… but you need to find a way to say to yourself, “Huh… I am angry… I wonder why that is…” and then be able to let it pass and decide yourself how to act instead of letting the anger force you to act.

Am I making any sense?

Q’ayla:
I… I think so. I’m definitely willing to try it. It can’t go any worse than what Irsin had me try. Gods that was… uncomfortable.

Q’aleane:
What did… no, we will come back to that… let’s stick with this for a moment. Luckily you are a lot better in meditation than you think… you don’t become a Jedi Knight without being able to meditate for long periods of time. You might not be able to slow your metabolism or do anything fancy, but I have seen and felt you meditate before. You learned. You can learn this. The easiest way to start is the same way as the training wheels meditation technique… just as they taught us to become aware of our thoughts and acknowledge them, the first step here is to become aware of your emotions. Watch your emotions internally. Don’t beat yourself up over feeling a certain way or you will trick yourself into feeling that way, just know how you are feeling… no guilt, don’t worry about the reason right now, just start to become aware of your emotions more on a conscious level.

Q’ayla:
Sort of like how I’ve done with my Jedi ‘persona’? I was always checking myself then, and I did okay for the most part. I could keep doing that… even though I don’t really like doing it. But it kept me out of trouble before, maybe it can now as well.

Q’aleane:
No, no… that is taking it a step in the wrong direction. Before you used to check yourself and then clamp down. You would feel an emotion and see it and try and hide it. In this case, strip the last part off… don’t don a persona, just be aware, don’t try and change anything. If you try to hide it or change it you fall into the trap about thinking about not thinking about something.

Q’ayla:
So what do I do with it? Just leave it there and analyze it? I mean, sure, in a meditation session that’s easy enough. On the battlefield? Not so much…

Q’aleane:
Don’t even analyze it, just acknowledge it. Think to yourself, “I am angry…” and leave it at that. “I am feeling self-coscious” … “I am sad…” “This feels weird…” Nothing more, just acknowledge the feeling consciously. Once that becomes second nature, then the rest follows naturally.

Q’ayla:
Hmm… okay, I can definitely try that. And if I need help, it’s not like I can’t just check in with you… right? Despite my earlier comments about our new bond… this may be an instance where it can help a lot. It certainly seems more manageable than Irsin’s technique.

Q’aleane:
Of course you can check in any time. Think of it as a kata— these days, you know instinctually to turn your hand just a certain way to deflect a blow coming in from the side. But at one point you learned that and for a while you had to think to yourself even briefly, "Oh look, a blow from the side, I have to… " before you did it… the thought eventually becomes unnecessary. It just takes practice. You might want to spend some time each day just sitting and feeling and acknowledging your emotions, sort of like a kata or meditation… nothing fancy, just sit down on your bed and acknowledge your emotions and how you feel about them with the premise that no matter how you feel or what you feel, that for this period of time it is all right. Want to burn this planet to the ground during that session, it’s nothing but interesting… no guilt… just how you happen to be feeling at the time… nothing wrong with feeling that way provided you don’t actually burn the planet to the ground.

Q’ayla:
Right now… I’m not going to lie… that sounds really appealing.

(Q’ayla tilts her head up, smirking at her sister)

Purely academically speaking, of course.

In all seriousness, I think I can do that. It might be nice to separate the reaction from the emotions themselves. I’ve spent a lot of years getting accustomed to having certain reactions to certain emotions.

A lot of wasted years… unlearning what I’ve learned will not be easy, but it’s not impossible either.

Get this, though: so I’m down with Irsin in the cargo bay. We spar, and I win— no surprises yet, right? But then he tells me about a meditation technique that the Sith taught him. He has me take the emotions that are whirling around inside my mind, and focus them. Fine tune them, like the edge of a lightsaber. So I do as he says: I take everything that’s been bothering me – Yevra, Bogan, you, him, everything – and I focus it in my mind, building it up to a fever pitch. Now I’m expecting him to tell me how to purge those emotions, just outright remove them from the equation for now.

(She shakes her head)

No, that’s it. “Just leave them there,” he says. Focus the emotions on a goal or obstacle, and when the obstacle arises, use those pressure-cooked emotions to remove it.

I don’t think you understand what this felt like, Q’aleane.

(Q’aleane smirks at that, and then her features return to normal)

I felt like I was going to explode from the inside. It was scary, and uncomfortable, and… well, anyways, I tell him this, and he acknowledges that it might not be the best method for me to use. But now what am I going to do with these emotions? So I decide I’m just going to let them go. Just let them go cold. The next thing I know— I’ve flung Irsin across the cargo bay, and he busted his head open on the wall. Apparently, releasing the emotions like that also released some kind of Force-repulse.

(She sighs)

Needless to say, that was not the method for me. What you’re suggesting seems much more reasonable…

But the scary part is… how surprised he was by my reaction. Apparently, this is how he always is. All the time. Like… even when we’re together.

(She lowers her head again)

It just reminds me of how little I know about Irsin… how much he still keeps from me.

(She shakes her head again, trailing off into silence)

Q’aleane:
I am pretty certain I can agree that I have no idea how that feels… given my history with emotions. However, luckily there are a lot of writings on the subject in the Jedi library where I grew up…

(She smiles a bit)

The problem is Irsin was trained and operates from a different premise. To him, emotions are something to seek out… if he didn’t show emotions he would have been reprimanded. Whereas you grew up being reprimanded if you ever showed emotions. Someday some variation of the technique he uses might be useful, but only after we get to the point where you can build up that emotion for a short period and if you don’t want to use it you can acknowledge the emotions and let them go cold and not send someone flying across the room. Incidentally… that was your door moment, in case you were wondering. You have now seen a small piece of evidence that… Bogan… has actually made good on part of his end of it. Have you ever been able to do that kind of repulse before – with that strength – without feeling tired afterwards?

(Q’ayla’s head rises up to meet her sister’s gaze)

Q’ayla:
Gods…

…you’re right! No, I’ve never been able to do that before! How did I not realize that?

(She seems to be getting a little excited)

Maybe that’s part of what I need to be able to do! Although… I’m not sure how Force repulse will help defeat the Nightsisters… But still, it’s something, you’re right! It means that there is power inside of me that I can use to protect us…

Q’aleane:
Well to answer your rhetorical question, you didn’t realize it because you were being… distracted by the sudden increase of your emotions. This alone should be evidence enough to convince you that you were more than ill-tempered. I don’t think it is necessarily Force repulse so much as it is raw potential… When the time comes it will be what you need it to be… But before you can use it safely without cracking people’s heads on the wall, we need to get you to a place where you can control it instead of it controlling you. But enough of that for one night.

(Q’aleane gives her sister a big hug and sits back down)

For now, just focus on acknowledging your emotions… and hopefully that will help decrease the nightmares… personally, I think the nightmare might have been your subconscious’ way of dealing with the emotions you couldn’t acknowledge. But that is a guess.

(Q’ayla seems to come down from her momentary high at the mention of her nightmare)

Q’ayla:
You could be right… this is the third one now, though. But talking about it, and talking about all of these things… it’s been nice. It makes me feel better. Even if it doesn’t last, right now, it’s made things better. I might actually be able to sleep now. No promises, though.

(She smirks)

Q’aleane:
I am glad… I am always here if you want to talk. One thing to think about though is if you have another one of these, right when you wake up would be a perfect time to do one of those emotional katas… or you can come talk to me, or both… but that is a time when your emotions are chaotic and high and you aren’t in the middle of combat… so it might be a good time to practice. Not that I would wish you more nightmares… just if they do happen again, think of it as an opportunity. And then come by and I can try cheering you up.

(Q’ayla smiles warmly at her sister)

Q’ayla:
I will try, Q’aleane. And thanks for being there for me. I hope that if or when you need me, I’m there for you too, big sister.

(Q’ayla gets up, stretching a bit, before heading towards the door. When she reaches it, she turns back to Q’aleane)

Oh, and sis: when we get off this planet – and before we do anything about the Jedi Order – I really want to talk with you. About anything and everything. We should have been doing it all along, and soon enough, we’ll have all the time we need. Deal?

Q’aleane:
Deal.

Now get some sleep, we have a big day ahead of us.

Good night, sis.

Q’ayla:
Good night, Q’aleane. See you in a few hours…

(The door opens, and Q’ayla slowly walks out)

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