SW: TOR: TRIALS OF A SITH THRALL: BREAKING POINT
KORRIBAN, ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE DRESHDAE SPACE PORT
Part Three of an Old Republic Tale by MsFicwriter
Which fate is worse: to be immediately devoured by tuk'ata
beasts after being hurled off of a cliff, or to be chained to that same cliff in order to gauge how long you can last? In my case, I found the latter to be more terrifying. I was a Jedi Padawan, after all, and would probably dangle here for far longer than ordinary slaves of the Sith. At least the tuk'ata
would make your demise quick, if painful. Here, shackled to a nearly-vertical rock face, it might be several days before I succumbed to death and became one with the Force. To try and save myself, I closed my eyes and plunged into a rudimentary Jedi trance. There was no way I was going to give up without a fight. If the Sith wanted to test my worthiness to live, then I'd endure this test for as long as I possibly could.
A Jedi trance can protect one from heat, cold, radiation, disease, and poison. It reduces one's life signs to the bare minimum needed to sustain a pulse. Jedi Masters, it is said, can be submerged in this state for weeks at a time. I knew that since I didn't have their skill or intense power of concentration yet, I was unable to do this. Still, if I could keep myself alive for at least three days, I had a chance. Broiling under the Korriban sun, without food or water, I faced my fate in utter silence. If I were to die, I wouldn't scream and blubber. That would give the Sith the satisfaction of knowing that I was
One thing that a deeply meditative state cannot guard against is visions:
The Trandoshan who had saved my life, and hissed me into silence when our new masters had drawn their weapons, was being trained. Bound by a Force-suffused shock collar around his neck, Qyzen Fess was being sent into dark and cramped tunnels full of carnivorous slugs. His goal? Basic survival, just as mine was as I hung from the vertiginous cliffside. It was a no-win scenario for both of us: if we emerged alive, we'd simply be forced into more lethal situations, and if we perished, that would only prove to the Sith that we hadn't been strong enough to become one of them. Despite this, Qyzen was proving himself continually resilient. Fight on, my friend!
Instead of seeing him as a victim, my heat-and-dehydration-induced Force visions displayed him as a victor. In battle after battle, duel after duel against Sith hopefuls, Vadym won. His strength was absolutely unparalleled, but more than that, his passion conquered the day. In him was an all-consuming desire to win. Nothing and no one could stop him, as long as he was completely focused on the fight. However, once each fight was over, the haunting figure of Pfon Urazhai appeared on cue and thrust Vadym into the air using the Force. Pfon's merciless exhortations echoed in my mind:
"Make them suffer! You're a Sith. You kill, but must relish it, wretch..."
In the darkness of my consciousness, I hissed to Vadym: Kill Urazhai!
This startled me enough to bring me out of my Jedi trance for a moment. It was long enough to feel my bleeding blisters, my cracked lips, and the stream of hot liquid flowing out from between my legs. As embarrassing as this was, wetting myself like the youngest of Younglings, that wasn't what scared me.
'Kill Urazhai'? Am I becoming a Sith already, turning to the Dark Side?
How long had I been suspended from these searing chains? I submerged myself into blissfully cool semi-consciousness before I happened to pass out--
--or perhaps I suddenly had...