From the private Journals of Irsin Rashos
23:01:123 ABY; Late Night at campsite on Dathomir
Irsin’s face flickers into view. He is stony faced, and there is a tightness around his eyes that speaks of the stress of contained emotion
Of all the feelings I ever expected to have for these two sisters…pity is not one I would have listed. Q’ayla just took her first life in cold blood. She thinks she knows what death is about, and the way of dealing it…but if she thinks the weight of those taken in the heat of battle or in anger are heavy…she is not ready for this.
Nobody is ever ready for this.
Irsin closes his eyes
I can see them – images, faces….rictuses might be a better word. The people I’ve killed. The lives I’ve taken. But the heaviest ones are always the ones I took when I knew what I was doing. When I thought, considered, and decided that death was the best choice for ME. Never for them. Always me. That’s how you survive on Kesh.
His eyes open again and there appears to be a glisten in his eyes
I want so badly to spare her this. Is this what it feels like to be a parent? Or perhaps a sibling or a spouse? Someone who cares enough about protecting someone else they are so willing to harm themselves to save the other?
Coming to Dathomir…I should have known we’d run into a situation like this. It was naive of me to think otherwise. This planet had a long history of collusion with the Dark Side. I do not believe it is an accident that the Nightsisters always return, no matter how often they are put down. The Witches of Dathomir may not be Jedi, but they are just as dangerous to their people.
They train just enough to give people a taste of power. And then they draw a line in the sand and tell people they shall not cross it. There will always be people who will cross such a line. Some who will do so simply because the line exists. Others to find out what’s on the other side out of curiosity. Still others who do so in full knowledge of their transgression, and their goal: Power. Power is ever present. In all cultures, in all places and all times. It drives us. It feeds us. It nurtures us.
It destroys us.
The men here are even more despicable than I had expected when we first came here. They debase themselves simply because they have been taught to serve. And they accept it willingly. This one we spoke with…Shado. The one Q’ayla has ended. He was ready to all but tell the Ren sisters whatever they asked until his fool brain finally turned on and he realized he was speaking with enemies who had just killed his people. Unfortunately the Dathomiri also appeared to train their slaves well, he was not even susceptible to a Mind Trick thanks to his Force Training.
Their ambush might have even been a success if not for our own respective tricks. We very nearly lost that fight. Not that it helped that I had one of my ‘episodes’ in the middle of the fight. There I am, fighting for my life against overwhelming odds…and my mind decides now is the time to witness the repeated apparent murder of my mother….That one has happened far too often in recent months. Even knowing she is still alive now I can’t seem to get the image of Grale strangling her out of my head. Which of course always brings me back to my experience in the doorway when I exacted my vengeance for that act…
Q’aleane showed surprising control of emotions in the aftermath of the fight. As I crumpled with no one left to kill, she imposed on myself and Q’ayla a voidness of emotion…not just supressing the motions, but actively removing them. There was nothing. It’s never been so quiet in my head in my entire life. I asked Q’aleane why you would ever do anything….she didn’t seem to understand. It seems to be another world she lives in. Why would you do anything when you don’t care? What moves you when you don’t feel? Can logic truly be enough for her?
Irsin shakes his head to himself, hanging his head in exhaustion.
I think the worst part about it all is that I’m already a lost cause. Why would Q’ayla insist on killing him? Why? I have no hope of salvation or emergence at this point. I’m far too sullied to escape. But her? Q’ayla? I don’t think I’ve ever met a better person…..maybe once. But he’s dead now. And that’s my fault too.
What’s happened to me? Months ago when this began, I was so full of purpose. I left Kesh full of proper rage and anger and hate. Brimming with the power I was taught, seeking vengeance. Now here I sit by a campfire. Reminiscing about old crimes committed. Weak people I have culled from the herd. I have strengthened all those around me by separating the sickly and the pitiful and purging them. And yet for the first time in years I’m sitting here feeling guilty. Feeling sorry. I have always done what had to be done. Not just for me, but for all. I have survived. I have persevered. And in so doing I have made all around me stronger as they attempt to brace themselves against my onslaught. Those who could not stand have rightly been eliminated. That is the way.
And yet…and yet I can’t help but see Q’ayla’s face now. In my head. In my dreams. Begging me to be a better person. And remarkably…I want to listen. I want to be better. Not for me. Never for me. But for her. I want to be strong enough to not just survive. But to protect. Once…long ago I promised I would learn and become strong enough to make sure no one lived the life I had. And now I find myself thinking like that again. Perhaps if I’m strong enough, fast enough, smart enough, I can protect people from that which they cannot protect themselves. Perhaps it still makes the world stronger and better, when evil things are not done, but are instead put down. Perhaps….
Sounds of crunching brush and snapping branches cause Irsin’s face to look up
I wonder if Q’ayla is coming back to camp…