Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
White light screamed electric murder through the exile’s brain. She arched and twisted away from it, but could not escape the cruel tendrils that tunnelled under her skin and ruptured her veins. She could no longer separate her own body and mind from the pain.
She had no name.
She was only blood and bone and laceration.
Thought and memory and mutilation.
Suffering was eternity, beyond the confines of time.
She heard a low, pitiable whimper and understood that the sound came from her own throat, even as a fresh barrage of screams came tearing through it.
She had been screaming forever.
Through the miasma of her fear, a new touch penetrated. A hand, fingertips cool and dry, softly stroked her forehead. She turned her face toward the caress, blue eyes long since gone, searching. “Atton?”
No sound escaped her lips, through the blood and bile, dust and grit. But she was heard.
“Ah, Cora. You are a marvel. After so much injury, still you hope.” The voice, like the hand, was soft and cool – low feminine tones, so familiar. “I had high expectations of you when you arrived, old friend. You never disappoint me.”
Four, six, three, six, stand. Five, nine, four, four, flip the +/- 4 for 18. Stand. Lose to 19.
Dry lips pressed a kiss to her cheek, smearing blood and tears. “I knew you would return to me, my general. You always followed me.”
Revan’s voice. Revan’s call. Revan’s confidence and clarity of purpose. Yes, she had followed. She had dreamed of the salvation of the galaxy. She had followed her to the darkest of places. Again.
Seven, one, one, four, three, five for 21.
“I’m so glad you’re here, Cora. All this power, can you feel it? The Star Forge pales in comparison … ah, but, you never felt the Forge, did you? You left us. You ran.”
Soft fingers stroked her hair, healing her, chasing away the white-hot pain. Those lips whispered into her ear. “But I forgive you, Cora. I do. It’s not your fault. They used you as a tool, as they used me. As Kreia used us both.”
The hands disappeared. But the voice remained like a healing balm – soothing, coaxing. Revan’s voice. And they had all followed.
“Ah, Cora – ‘the exile’ – they have left you to your fate, haven’t they? Let you wander the galaxy until you meet your doom. But I found you first. I have saved you.”
Her mouth – cracked and brittle – worked through the pain to deny, to beg. She didn’t know. She didn’t care.
Two, six, three, four, eight for 23, 2/4 switch card for 11, eight for 19. Stand.
“Shhh…come, little exile. I know how to make the pain stop. You have always trusted me, Cora. Were we not the best of friends?”
Her mind filled with images of the dark-haired girl who had danced in the grass fields of Dantooine – the lithe figure who had embraced passion and embraced them all. Laughing brown eyes, mischievous freckles – Revan had called on them to save innocent lives. She reached for the memory, reached for the girl. Mika?
The image rotted away.
Mika? I wanted to save you. I wanted to …
“Let me take your pain away. Please, Cora. I’m so alone here. The power here, it can make you whole again.”
Revan’s voice could not be denied.
Eight and eight for 16. Plus four could give me the 20. Draw for three. Stand at 19.
She reached, and reached again, the grasping fingers of her soul scrabbling for purchase in the girl she had loved. Mika! Where are you?
“I am here, little exile. I’m waiting for you to come to me.”
Six and nine is 15. Plus four, stand at 19. Nine and two, plus six, flip the +/- 3 for 20.
“You must hurry, Cora. Your friends – they can feel you. They’re coming for you. We don’t want to kill them, do we? We want to save them. We want them to come with us.”
Yes, Mika. Save them. Save me! She reached again, down through the darkness, the foul, the putrid. She reached for the taint and embraced it … Save yourself!
… and was thrown back, through the worlds, through the stink, back into pain.
“Damn you for a fool, Cora Saris!” That voice, it shook. “You cannot even fathom what you’re up against, what you’re giving up!”
Her muscles stretched and snapped against the solid force of the dark power that surrounded them. Her limbs twitched and jerked. Her bones shattered. She screamed again … and forever…
It’s not fair to lose is it?? You play well, you play smart, and still you can lose.
“We were both fools, Cora, but I learned. This power, this malice, it turns the universe! You are too weak to see it. A pity. Your friends will see it, however. When they see what I’ve done to you, they will feel this current of fury, of hatred and know how to use it. They will not turn away. It has already begun.”
Tiny tendrils, too fragile to survive in this lightless place – Mical, Bao-Dur, Mira, the only ones left – straining for her. They would die. They would fall. Her missing eyes could not weep.
But you can’t be angry at the cards, you know. We’re all dealt from the same deck. If you start being angry at the cards – or the other players – you’ll lose for sure.
She had come here for love. She would die here for love.
I have a message for you, Mika.
There was something. A glimmer in the shadow. Shade in the unrelenting white.
Carth Onasi is waiting for you
A shudder, too small to feel, shook the galaxy.
Something small and pure flared and struggled.
Remember to look at your side deck. The cards you bring to the table and the choices you make, that’s where you’re different. That’s where you can make a difference.
She reached out through the Force, blind in the murk. She touched them all, as she always had. She said farewell and left them, ties snapping through the cosmos like whiplash.
The flash of silver, a star plummeting, she dove through the bond that had linked her with Revan for decades. She brought her pain, she brought her love. She wrapped herself around that tiny spark and gave her everything to it.
So defiant. So small in this darkness. She heard Mika weeping and knew they would drown together in this place. Their fear would feed this place.
Revan’s laughter blistered her skin.
Her hand was actually pretty helpful – three +/- cards of various denominations, a -2 and a 2/4 switch – an interesting arsenal. “All right, flyboy. You asked for it.”
She tore herself in two.
Still holding on to the glimmer that was Mika Revan, the exile ripped through the universe, shredding the fabric of reality. The Force – all of it – trembled before the wound that was Cora Saris.
And she drank it in.
The hole in her being, the nothing that had lurked within her since Malachor V turned itself inside out – and took her with it. Even the darkness of that place was no match. From a very long way away, she heard Revan’s outraged howls as all the anger, all the despair and hatred – all the power – leeched into the exile’s self … and was met with the strength of five billion screams.
She said farewell to the light and she inhaled it all.
She swore she could feel his breath ruffle through her hair ...
That’s it, sweetheart. Pure pazaak.
"... I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room." - Ray Bradbury