“I know what you’re thinking,” said Visas.
They were standing at the bottom of the Ebon Hawk’s loading ramp on Dxun. Jonas was on his way to Mandalore when Visas confronted him about what he was doing.
Jonas shook his head. “No,” he replied. “I don’t think you do.”
Visas sighed. “You think that if you go through with this, then all the work you have put into this moment will be for nothing. You fear that all your hopes for finally getting to the heart of the matter will be lost if this turns out to be the wrong path for you. You … you are afraid of losing something very dear to you.”
“OK,” nodded Jonas. “Perhaps you do know what I’m thinking.”
“I have learnt much from you, Exile, over the past few months,” said Visas. “And the most important thing I have found is your compassion for others. Your loyalty to the light however is a much more difficult thing to discern.”
Jonas raised an eyebrow at this last comment. “You don’t think I’m loyal to the light?”
“No more than you are loyal to yourself,” answered Visas.
“That wasn’t really an answer,” said Jonas.
“Of course it was,” replied Visas. “How loyal are you to yourself, Jonas?”
“Um. Well … I usually hold my friends higher than myself.”
“Exactly my point.”
“What do you mean?”
“You hold yourself higher than any side of the Force just as you hold higher the life of your friends than to your own.”
This time, Jonas raised both eyebrows. “How’d you plot that course?” he asked.
“Simple,” said Visas. “You are an Exile of the Jedi. You are what others like yourself strive to be and you take pride in that, whilst knowing you shouldn’t. You do things that a normal Jedi wouldn’t do, and that is only because you feel the need to. Some situations are beyond your control, but you do not realize that until it is too late and all other paths to tread have been blown away by the subtleties of your past decisions. You may not understand this, but you will in time and I will be there to guide you because I myself have travelled these paths before. Back before I was a Sith, and during my servitude to my old master.
“You are not truly a servant of the light because you set your own rules," continued Visas. "You do not follow strictly to the Jedi Code. You have passion; Jonas, this you know, and you have power. But you must learn to harness that power before it is unleashed for the wrong reasons. It is a dangerous path, and a slippery one at best; I barely made it out alive. You are stronger than me, of course, but I feel that this is one battle that you cannot truly foresee until it is right in front of you. If you need – or want - it, I will lend my help to you.”
“You don’t speak of just today do you?” asked Jonas.
“I do not,” replied Visas.
“Well, then … when the time comes, Visas Marr, I will gladly take your help.”
“Good,” said Visas. “Because I think that that day, will be in the very near future.”
“Ah, I love the foul stench of sweet gore mixed with Juma in the morning,” Atton half sighed as he, Handmaiden, and Visas walked through the dense jungle of Dxun.
“You’re a twisted man, Atton Rand,” replied Handmaiden.
‘Stop, you’ll make me blush,” retorted Atton.
“Quiet,” warned Visas. “I sense some one is near.”
Handmaiden and Atton both stopped their usual daily bickering match and eyed their surroundings curiously. Visas was considerably a lot more attuned to the Force than either of them but since Jonas had agreed to start training them in the ways of the Force, both of them had realized just how aware they could be of themselves, and others around them.
thought Atton, ‘and I can now pretty much know for a fact if I have a winning chance when I’m against someone in Pazaak,’
He smiled inwardly at his own ingeniousness.
Visas moved swiftly and almost in complete silence towards a tree in front of her. Before Atton could ask however, there was a shimmer and a figure clad in the all too familiar Sith Assassin uniform revealed itself. The Sith wasn’t able to do much except gurgle unintelligible words however, not with Visas’s hand around his throat. After a few moments, Visas made a quick flick of her wrist and Atton was able to hear the distinct sound in the silent jungle of the Sith’s neck breaking in not one, or two, but somehow three places.
He raised an eyebrow and said, “remind me never to get on your bad side!”
A shadow of a smile caressed her lips as she turned to face him. “who say’s you are not already?”
Atton put on a shocked face and raised his hands. “Now, now sister,” he said. “We’re all friends here. Right?”
This time, Visas did smile. “Of course,” she said, and turned back to face the road ahead of them.
Jonas stepped over the bodies that littered the central market place of the city, Iziz.
“You are being too wary,” stated Kreia. Jonas stopped and turned to face her. “There is no doubt that Kavar already knows of your presence and intent,” she said. “He will already be waiting for you.”
“He thinks I have fallen to the dark side,” said Jonas.
“And is he wrong to believe such things?” queried Kreia.
Jonas was silent for a moment before finally saying, “I guess not.”
Kreia clicked her tongue impatiently. “You have not fallen, Exile. You have chosen your path, but it is not of darkness, nor of light. No, you walk a different path. One that I walked so long ago.”
“And where will this path lead me?” asked Jonas.
Kreia expression and voice softened as she said, “All paths lead to different destinations, Jonas. There are forks in the road along the way: distractions, walls, call them what you wish, but in the end there are decisions that need to be made, missions: completed. Have you completed your mission yet, Exile?” She said, “I thought not,” as Jonas shook his head slightly. “ No, you haven’t, and you are far from it I believe. There are too many options for you to take from here on out. You will have to walk this path alone for I cannot tread where your road is deemed to take you. To Kavar, to Malachor, these are the paths only you can take. If anybody else accompanies you than you shall fall. But when the time comes, and you have only but one choice ahead of you… then, Exile … then we shall see if you are truly a servant of the light, or a slave to evil.”
* * *