From the private Journals of Irsin Rashos
13:01:123 ABY; Mid-morning in Irsin’s room on <ship>
< Irsin sits down and looks out, eyes looking sunken and strained, as if he has not slept in days>
Well…it’s been two days since Q’ayla came to me asking if we could duel, and the aftermath that followed. She’s still in the bacta tank recovering from the experience. The doctor says she’ll probably be recovered tomorrow. And Q’aleane. Q’aleane is still locked in her room coping…or perhaps not coping…with her emotional outburst.
Physically at least I’m now recovered though I feel as though I could sleep for two standard days and not wake up once.
The duel itself was as you might imagine very different from our previous sparring sessions. Q’ayla asked me to truly duel her, hold nothing back, push her to her limits so she could find an outlet for the emotional groundswell that has overcome her following the Council’s judgement on Alema. I understood what she needed, and I agreed without any hesitation. I think it was for that reason she came to me instead of her sister. Her sister wouldn’t really understand the need to release such emotion. She wouldn’t really understand wanting emotion to be part of the equation.
Although after today, any illusions I might have had that Q’aleane didn’t have emotions have been rather forcefully dispelled.
I pressed Q’ayla hard during the duel, using every trick I could think of without doing any real harm. She is much better than I at pure saber combat, but some of my other tricks leveled the playing field. I knew I needed to frustrate her. If she was allowed to simply overcome me with her normal approaches, it wouldn’t force her outside her walls, and that wouldn’t help her release anything, nor learn to cope with it.
It wasn’t until nearly the end, when (using bondar crystals) we both could barely still stand that her self-control finally cracked and she lost herself, coming at me with a very aggressive Juyo style. A few moments later however our duel came to an abrupt end as Q’aleane, leveraging the very gravity power that the ship uses to travel through space and hold enemy ships, suspended us in the air to inquire what had happened. It’s a wonder I am still alive to record this given that she had this power at her disposal. She could have just as easily ground me into dust against the kriffing bulkhead.
Apparently their newly enhanced “bond” revealed Q’ayla’s emotional state to her sister. She became concerned and decided to intervene. Q’aleane didn’t seem to have patience for much of anything so I tried to remain as calm as possible, explaining quickly exactly what happened. After that Q’aleane seemed to almost forget I existed. The sisters exchanged some curt words before we were released, and Q’aleane locked herself in her room.
Both Q’ayla and I were in a bad way, drained near to the point of complete mental and physical exhaustion by the duel and the blows from the Bondar sabers. So I adjourned to my room, figuring we’d sort out the drama after we’d all had some rest.
By the time I woke up I found that I’d been asleep for nearly an entire standard day. I was rather unsteady on my feet, so I called up to Q’ayla and Q’aleane. Neither responded to their coms. Nor was there any answer on the bridge. I was just about to give up and go back to sleep when Q’ayla showed up at my door in a hover chair and explained that we were docked with a medical frigate, that Q’aleane had called for a medical emergency, and Q’aleane herself was now locked behind her door and unwilling or unable to talk to anyone.
Q’ayla soon made her way back to the frigate to get more medical attention, saying something about needing to be put into a bacta tank to speed her recovery. I in turn set about trying to find enough focus to begin a regenerative meditation. In this way I was able to recover more quickly than Q’ayla.
I used the time in between recovery to piece together the following details. After the incident in the sparring space with Q’aleane, she became overwhelmed with the fear, worry and who knows what else she experienced when she found her sister filled with rage. She proceeded to have some kind of breakdown at the emotional explosion that had led her to the brink of sanity. She is apparently still alive as she managed to email me the same message she apparently sent the council to explain our delay in reaching Dathomir. It was vague, but enough for me to parse where the frigate came from.
Apparently in her state she knew she couldn’t care for her sister’s condition, so she logged a distress signal seeking medical attention. I wasn’t found when the frigate docked, because of my standing orders to the ship to keep my door locked.
Long story short I don’t know if Q’aleane is well, or ever will be well again. Her foundation was shaken…perhaps her very world view. It is experiences like this that show me that no matter how much I may now doubt the Sith teachings I had come to trust after all this time as the only true rule of the galaxy, the Jedi are not a viable alternative. They have no preparation or acceptance of the truth of the sentient existence. Emotion is life. To deny otherwise is to stick your kriffing head in the sand and hope the nightcrawlers don’t find you. Only through understanding it, accepting it, and working it to the shape you desire can you master it. Denying it only leads to outbursts like what happened to Q’aleane. It’s no wonder so many Jedi fall to the dark side, and yet so few are ever redeemed. Once you understand that the lifeblood of the Force is emotion, I find it impossible to imagine accepting such bonds again.
Well. I’d better go check on Q’aleane again – maybe she’ll answer her door this time. Then I need to get back to my meditations before I fall asleep again.
From the private Journals of Irsin Rashos
15:01:123 ABY; Late afternoon in Irsin’s room on <ship>, following interlude conversation with Q’ayla
By the Immortal Gods I don’t know what to make of that. < Irsin’s hands appear to be shaking as he scrubs them over his face>.
< He takes a shuddering breathe before continuing> Q’ayla just left. Force! if I’d not been there myself I wouldn’t have believed it had happened. She came to talk…just to talk mind! And before I know what’s going on I’m half spilling my life to her, telling her about my desires, my hopes, my dreams, and she said some things….I can’t let her get too close. Not yet…I thought I was safe once before…and yet she was telling the truth, I know it to be true.
It all went sideways when I asked her why she was still helping me. She doesn’t need me to do her work for the Jedi anymore. Force knows they don’t need me to hunt Vergere’s holocrons either. I needed to know…she keeps pulling at me, making me want to do more, be more, open up more. I couldn’t allow that to continue as long as I didn’t know what was motivating her.
And yet her answer completely flabbergasts me, as does most of the rest of what happened. I don’t know whether to dance in circles or run for the deepest hole on Hoth I can find. But…I want to stay. More than ever I want to stay. Not just for my own ends anymore either. Maybe never again…