LESSONS IN EXILE
LESSON ONE: DEATH
A STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC II Saga by MsFicwriter
LOCATION: PERAGUS MINING FACILITY
“Did you find what you were looking for, amongst those who are no longer with us?”
I can’t believe it. A corpse
is talking to me, having raised herself from a cold metal slab in the morgue!
“I thought you were dead…” My throat is like sandpaper, and as dry as the sand dunes of Tatooine. It’s all I can do to croak these few words, and then “Ftacna. My name is Vera Ftacna.” This strange moniker, with the last part pronounced FTÄCH-na,
makes the newly-alive old woman raise her head in confusion.
“For a while, I was much closer to the edge of oblivion than I’d like to be. I did not mean to alarm you.”
Nevertheless, you did, and I’m afraid I’ve wet myself a little!
“Had you been sedated while in the morgue?”
“No. Ordinary sedatives, as effective as they can be, did not cause my earlier state. It takes a special sort of mindset, and a tremendous effort of the will, to achieve what I have. Meditate with me for a moment.”
Curious, I sit down on the floor with the old woman - for she is, appearing to be about seventy-five - and fold my legs into a lotus position. “I am Kreia,” she says, “and I would like to explain this process to you. We may need it if we are to survive and escape this place.” How odd! I don’t even know where we are yet.
“Relax, and let your breathing slow. Listen to the space around you, and then let it gradually fade away.”
These cryptic directions make no sense, yet I attempt to follow them. I exhale bit by bit, not expelling the air from my lungs so much as releasing it. My chest contracts, and this feeling is gentle. As I continue breathing, the sensation becomes more and more subtle, until it is as if I have no lungs at all. My body seems to vanish, but my mind floats in midair. It’s distracted, wondering what’s going on and if we’re in any immediate danger. Please be still.
I tell myself this several times, but it takes much longer for me to relinquish my mental hold. I try to think of what the Jedi Masters told me long ago: There is no emotion; there is peace.
However, these words are meaningless. The darkness and silence are what helps me.
I feel the slightest trace of my head bumping against something, and then all sensation ceases.
There is no pain or pleasure in my body, or reflections in my mind. I’m a shell, a quiet and empty vessel.
::Very good. To the galaxy around you, and every living being, you are dead.::
Kreia speaks. I hear these words within my mind as a faraway echo instead of a speaking voice. It isn’t long before the thought, however brief, disappears as surely as my body has. I am at rest, and all is well. After everything I’ve been through, and the silent grief I’ve borne, this nothingness should be my fate.
Good…dead. Good…dead. Peace.
It is the barest flicker of my consciousness, which is no longer in pain.
I want to stay here forever, because I‘m finally beyond all mortal cares. Every trace of suffering is gone.
::I’m sorry, but once again, awaken.::
Truth suddenly rushes back to me, as does cruel sensation. I feel the intensely frigid air of this cursed morgue, and hot blood pounding in my ears.
“Kreia!” I almost bawl. “Why‘d you do that? I wanted to be - “
“It’s not your time. Grave danger lies ahead, and neither of us can afford to visit our own graves now.”
She stands up, and I stammer, “Wait! If I was dead to the world, then how did you bring me back?”
Kreia gives me a small smile. “The talent for resurrection is much more difficult
than the one for death, no matter how hard that may be. You have nearly mastered it, but it takes a Master to call one from the void.” After a long pause, she tells me: “I am literally your rescuer, as you are mine. We must continue to do so.”