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Aidan Darkfire

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Aidan Darkfire last won the day on August 8

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  1. Aidan was silent for a long noticeable moment after Hassan stopped talking. The Master could feel the tension in the Imperial Knight as Aidan wrestled with emotions he had once thought himself the master of. He was weary, truth be told. He was a soldier, and would obey his orders, this was the oath he had taken and the oath he would uphold, for what worth was a man who couldn't be trusted at his word? But here, now...the limits of his oath were seriously being tested. Aidan found his calm, or at the least silenced his thoughts, and took a sip of the tea Hassan had brought. "Of course. My blade is ready...should the Order call upon it." A lie, but one told in muted desperation. Aidan wanted to believe it true, that he was ready to walk out of his room right now and back to the front lines so others didn't have to. Others like the ones who had died on Serenno. And somehow, when those marching orders would eventually come, he would force himself to be ready. But his look and mental state screamed otherwise, even the mess of his own quarters and office looked rather obviously unbecoming of someone in his position. But what choice did he have? He had made an oath. And Aidan would hold to it.
  2. Danger. DANGER! Instinct screamed in the back of his head as he felt more than saw the vibroknife hurtling towards him. Reaction, though, wasn't quite muscle memory yet, and as Aidan attempted to twist away it still grazed his left shoulder armor enough to carve a neat gash through it, ruining the straps beneath. He didn't even have time to realize this before being caught off guard by a strong telekinetic shockwave erupting in front of him, his little maneuver leaving him unable to avoid catching it fully in the chest. He was knocked off his feet, the blast wave carrying him several meters backwards and onto one of the nearby production lines. Aidan wrenched his body to the side, avoiding an automated welding arm as he tumbled off the other side, falling to a lower area between the assembly lines. At this point, his Imperial Knight's plasteel armor had taken a serious beating, not meant for combat like this. Aidan quickly undid the buckles holding the shoulder and bicep armor in place, tossing them aside into a nearby bin of spare maintenance parts. He wasn't willing to allow it to slow him down if it flopped about and interfered with his movement. Unfortunately, he'd lost sight of the Sith again, which didn't bode well. Still, two could play that game, and Aidan summoned the Force to himself before leaping with superhuman strength into the upper catwalks, trying to be quiet as he did so. He also suppressed his presence as best he could, which admittedly he'd only really done once before in practice with Kyrie, and began roving slowly around the catwalks of the large factory, hunting from above. This time it would be the Sith who was caught off guard... ((2))
  3. The hairs on the back of Aidan's neck prickled as he felt the legs coming for him before they happened. He spun to face them, managing to duck the first, but the second caught him in his side and the third decked him to the floorplates. GET UP His instincts screamed at him, in the back of his mind he knew if he didn't rise and ready himself he was a sitting duck for whatever his unseen foe had next for him. Aidan calmed himself, dipping into the Force as he redirected its flow to help him shove the droid leg off of himself while kick flipping to his feet. He had been looking for a friendly informant, not someone skilled in the Force. Not what was likely a Sith. Now he felt the pain, the delight in the hunt of the other who stalked him, but Aidan had fangs of his own. He surged forward to where he felt the greatest concentration of emotions, igniting and slashing out through one of the production lines with one silver blade of his lightsaber in a two handed grip, simultaneously summoning a small telekinetic blast behind where he guessed his opponent was in the hopes of driving him forward. For now, Aidan left the other blade of the staff saber extinguished, opting instead for a more traditionally defensive style. It wasn't his strong suit, but until he knew exactly where his attacker was, it would likely serve him better. ((1))
  4. ((Setup post. 5 posts total, location is Mechis III (ultra dense urban jungle populated by automation and droids with hardly any biologicals), both PCs are Padawan/Apprentice level, and Aidan DOES have his staff saber on his sheet.)) Something was wrong. Aidan had gotten these coordinates directly from his contact, but instead of a warehouse, he was in the middle of a droid assembly line. Or rather, the vaguely shaped torso chassis of what might have been a protocol droid line. It was hard to tell at this stage of assembly. He quickly checked his map on his holocomm, but even that confirmed he was in the right spot, though the nearest warehouse was 2 blocs over. The informant had either relayed bad information or something else entirely was up. The Imperial Knight in training unclipped his saber hilt from his belt, keeping it firmly in his hand as he walked between the assembly rows, looking for any trace of the person he was supposed to meet here. His senses were focused on his immediate surroundings, trying to find something that might not even be there. Mechis III was known to have tinges of dark side nexuses here and there, but in the back of his mind he wondered if something else was clouding his senses...
  5. As the door to Aidan's room snaked open, Hassan was met by a ragged looking Aidan who had clearly not shaved or showered since he'd been back. Aidan still held a datapad in his hand, and bags under Aidan's eyes told Hassan that the young Imperial Knight hadn't slept either. There was no ceremony, no snap to attention and salute, but rather weary resignation and a meager comprehension of immediate events. "Oh. Master...Hassan, right? Come on in. What can I do for you?" Aidan beckoned the man into his living space, taking a seat once more at the table, either ignoring or oblivious to the mess of dishes and various notes and datapads he hadn't bothered to keep clean since he'd been back. His attention returned to his datapad, as if he barely registered the master's presence, though it was clear that it wasn't out of disrespect but more that he'd burnt out in the aftermath of everything. On his bed across the room was a half-packed go bag, as if he expected another mission to kick off at a moment's notice. That was the mandate Grandmaster Alluyen had given them before Serenno, the plan to begin to retake territory and hit the Sith where they hurt. This was the time for all hands on deck, and it was do-or-die. And Aidan wasn't willing to give up, even now.
  6. One of their assault shuttles had needed to drop to realspace to make emergency repairs to their life support systems, leaving two assault shuttles and a ragged fleet to turn up on the doorstep of Nar Shaddaa after several course-corrections to hide their true destination, not that it really mattered. Even though it was protocol, the Sith likely knew the Rebels had occupied Nar Shaddaa for some time now. The shuttle carrying Aidan, Kashi, and Adenna made an emergency landing to a nearby hospital, securing emergency services for the comatose grandmaster. Aidan had tried to help as he could from what little he'd learned of Force healing from Sandy, but it didn't seem to be enough. Still, Adenna possibly could have died had Aidan not done anything, so it was still important in its own way. Several hours later, Aidan found himself back at the main Rebel compound, debriefing to another Jedi Knight and an Imperial Knight. It wasn't long before the message of what happened at Serenno was sent out, disseminating through the various networks the Rebels and Jedi had. Normally, Serenno would simply be just another op that was marked need to know. But the Grandmaster's situation...predicated a much more involved response. This was now over his head. For a long time, Aidan sat in his room, ruminating on what had happened, what had gone wrong, the people they had lost, the collateral damage of it all. After a while he fetched a datapad, and began typing.
  7. As Adenna fell, Aidan's gut wrenched. Instead of the harmony within the logic of the battlefield, for a moment it fell apart to a cacophony of senseless randomness. They needed to leave, right then and now. Aidan hurried through the urban warfare combat zone as it filled with smoke, lit ominously by blaster fire from all angles. This was now a place of death and despair, stained by their own hubris and foolhardiness. Those sensitive enough would feel a slight nexus within the Force of exorcist energies tangled in an endless waltz with the darkness. Briefly he thought he saw something, dark commando helmets in the shadows, watching him. He didn't have the time to focus on them with his senses, and he couldn't be sure, but something deep in his mind told him this wasn't the last chance he'd get to uncover their identity. As the last man made it to the shuttle, Aidan signalled for immediate takeoff, as well as broadcasting on a secure channel to all local Jedi and Rebel forces to retreat from Serenno. Sith ships swarmed after them like an enormous beast composed of a hive mind of smaller entities, their jaws rushing closed to trap the Jedi. One of the assault shuttles took heavy fire, knocking out its shields and life support, but at the last moment when the Star Destroyer came into range their navicomputer solutions resolved, feeding the calculations to the shuttles' slaved hyperdrives, throwing them into the safety of hyperspace as deadly turbolaser fire lanced through where they were mere seconds before. For now at least, it was time for the Jedi and the Rebels to turn their attention elsewhere. The blow had been struck, the damage dealt. No doubt Sith PR teams would try to spin their actions here wildly against the reality of what happened, but the message to their leadership was loud and clear: We won't go quietly. ((Continued at Nar Shaddaa))
  8. With the focus on Aidan and Kashi, Aidan hastily ordered his men to advance to the assault shuttle at all costs, as it was their best hope of escape. With the Force, he levitated two bags of the credits, sending them hurtling towards the shuttle entrance. If he was to be at his best in this hornet's nest, he couldn't afford to be slowed down by them. A split second later the hairs on the back of his neck prickled, his senses giving him warning of the imminent attack by the Castellan, but he was in no position to do anything about it. The telekinetic energy sent him reeling, sliding across the street to slide to a nasty halt against a duracrete bench. He'd managed to twist himself to absorb most of the impact, but it still hurt. This was the work of the dark side, and it was high time Aidan took this threat seriously. For a brief moment there was a lull in the fighting as everyone in the area felt the young Darkfire delve into the Force, like a tone so deep it was felt rather than heard. The energies of the light swarmed to him, concentrating in his hand as he held it before him. Ghostly silver-white flames softly began flickering about him, manifesting from the intense density of Force energy. His voice cracked like thunder across the street as he walked forwards a few steps, taking an appropriate position. "Sith! I name you! Oppressor of the weak! Thief of virtue, scourge of the righteous! You have lost your way, and I will help you find it!" Aidan's hand shot forward to point at the Castellan, and from it poured an intense white-hot light, a supernatural jet of flame and water yet neither, the very essence of the energy of the light side, the Exorcist's flame. Aidan was not the judge of how it would affect the man, all reacted differently to the assault. The man would serve as his own judge. His own sins would damn him as he was confronted with them, but goodness and compassion in his heart would proportionately save him from the burning righteous wrath. Aidan's own hand began to burn, but he ignored the pain, it was the double edged sword of exorcism, the toll he paid for the right to exact such a punishing manipulation of light. This was all or nothing, and if he expected the rest of his men to survive it was a necessary maneuver, a price gladly paid. At the least, this would buy them the time they needed.
  9. Aidan's stomach sank as the situation unfolded. Kashi moved to engage the Sith, and Aidan wouldn't squander the chance given to the rest of them. He summoned a vicious blast of Force energy, clearing the way of any hostile personnel, debris, or otherwise, and made a beeline for the exit, ensuring the rest of the men now under his care exited first. Twin silver blades shot out of his staff saber, deflecting blaster bolts as they could while he covered their retreat. They were encumbered by the currency, but they still moved with drive unmatched. As they exited the building they were met with the grim sight of more Sith forces assembled to repel them. For a moment, Aidan faltered, hesitating. Hostile gunfire lanced out, and tore apart the two men who had led the charge out of the bank, dropping one and injuring another. A half-moment later he regained his senses, allowing himself to fall into the depths of the Force, guiding it but also being guided by it. He lashed out in the Force, releasing a much larger telekinetic wave of energy that would stagger those in defensive positions and potentially knock back opponents on their feet. He handed off his duffel full of currency to another one of the men and took up a defensive posture at the front of their small formation, the Force guiding him to intercept further hostile actions. He trusted his men, he trusted Kashi, but most of all he trusted in the Force.
  10. Aidan's gut wrenched. Something was seriously wrong. He subtly checked out the front windows again, no movement. No guards on the interior, either. They'd already managed to bypass internal security systems at this point, but there was no alarm, nothing. There was no way either the bank or Sith response teams had this large of a lapse in security protocols. Which meant... "Sir, detpacks in place to blow the vault." Aidan spun, slightly startled by the man. "Good. Blow them. Let's go down and help load out the hard currency." There likely wasn't going to be a significant amount of currency in the vault, but it spent far easier and was also easier to access than anything they would manage to strip digitally. He hoped Kashi and Dengo didn't have too much of a problem bypassing what would likely be sizable digital protections, but if they managed to take the right databases intact it would mean all the difference in upcoming conflicts. A loud explosion rocked the building slightly, and as the dust cleared Aidan surveyed the inside of the vaults. Like he'd expected, not an enormous amount of currency, but enough to fill several reinforced duffel bags to the point they'd be very heavy to carry. As he finished up in the vault, the other two crewmen rejoined him, notifying him all the other explosives were in place to blow the building when they were finished. Hauling his bag up and out, he made his way to the server rooms to check on Kashi and Dengo's progress.
  11. Aidan's face paled as Kashi showed him the access card. A trace. They'd left a trace, and well before the mission was even complete. "That...was not part of the plan. While I appreciate the improvisation, it potentially compromises us. We need to accelerate things." Aidan checked his chronometer briefly before continuing, addressing the rest of their motley crew. "Kashi provided us an alternate means of ingress, though now it's a matter of time before security tightens. Someone is going to notice this missing. We need to hit them tonight, probably...an hour after they close. We can go in through the front and shut down the minimal security. From there, if we can secure the server room, maybe we'll have enough time for Dengo to crack the firewalls so we can transfer the bulk of their accounts to our blockchain ones. It would have been faster if we had the bank manager's administrator codes, but we need to work with what we've got. Dengo, can you do it?" The man scratched his chin, muttering something under his breath before giving a slow nod. "Good. All else fails, we hit them with a virus that scrambles their accounts and blow the whole building. If we can't get the funds, we at least don't want the Sith having access to them either. This bank is one of the largest financiers of the Sith Empire, and this particular one is where they back up their cloud accounts. We hit them here, and it's going to hurt. Everyone lock and load, check your mags, and load up in the trucks. We have a little under two hours to get this done. Dengo, send a message to our support fleet about the change in plans. Mask it with the carrier frequencies of the local holonet channels, I don't want anyone to have any idea it was even there in the first place until it's too late." The grizzled hacker grumbled, getting to work on his datapad while Aidan walked off to one of the trucks, trying to clear his mind for the upcoming strike. This was it, it was do or die. He had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach, but the Force would see them through. They still had far too many aces up their sleeve for this to be a suicide mission. When the time came, they moved out, parking near the bank but not conspicuously close. As one, they moved up, weapons concealed beneath worker jumpsuits. The keycard opened the main doors, but inside it was quieter than Aidan was expecting. Not even a single security guard patrolled the main lobby, something Aidan was prepared to handle quickly and quietly. "Okay. Get to it, be quick. Kashi, take Dengo and three of the men to breach the server room. You two begin setting up the demolition charges. The other eight are with me in the lobby. Don't get comfortable, I have a bad feeling about this."
  12. Aidan hesitated at the question. "That could get tricky. Almost everyone we come across won't be in the Sith military, many are just complicit contractors and the like. And most Sith aren't straight mind readers as well. If we don't give them reason to be suspicious, then they probably won't be. If confronted, act like a Sith. Get confrontational, but not violent. The Sith Empire is used to brutal efficiency, and they know if something doesn't happen that needs to, then someone's head is going to wind up on the chopping block. If they are made to think that they are interfering with something important, even if they have difficulty understanding the importance, my guess is they're likely to back off. Bluff aggressively, and as a last resort if you need to take someone out, do it quietly and don't compromise the mission." He took a long look around the shuttle's cabin, at the faces of the people he was about to lead head first into danger, and it put a pit in his stomach. He didn't relish this responsibility, but if not him, then it would simply fall to the next person. The Sith were insidious in their fear mongering and oppression, and these thoughts weren't likely the first to pop into the head of someone leading a mission like this, and they likely wouldn't be the last. "Look, I don't have any easy answers here. There's a lot of things that could go wrong. We're taking a large risk here, but if we don't take risks like these then the Sith will never be stopped. Whatever we need to do to get things done, that's what needs to happen." He called into the cockpit, raising his voice from the low tone he'd taken to speak with Kashi. "ETA to orbital traffic control?" "Two minutes, sir." Aidan turned back to Kashi, clapping him on the shoulder. "Don't worry. We're going to be fine. Better strap in for landing." Thirty minutes later, they were on the ground and unloading their cargo when the customs agent approached them. "Registration, manifest, and inventory. Now, please, I don't have all day, captain...?" Aidan put on his best sly shit eating grin, turning to meet the man. "Carson. Captain Elias Carson of the Lightspeed Delivery 2. My pilot has all that paperwork, and didn't we transmit it prior to landing?" The customs agent got a smug look on their face, never breaking the gaze with Aidan. "Yes, well, I like to personally inspect newcomers to our spaceport. Give them a bit of an...understanding over what to expect from our planet, how we do...business here." Aidan's mind raced. This was unexpected, but then again of course a Sith customs official would look to flex their power a bit. Aidan reached out through the Force in the tiniest amounts, trying to get a read on the man. He was obviously not pressed for time, but there were certainly stresses in the back of his mind, but with the Sith that was likely always the case. Their entire hierarchy was based on power manipulation and fear. But there was something else, something... "Of course. Hey, Hendricks, pop the crates for the good inspector here, eh? My bosses did fill me in a bit on how I could expect this delivery to go. You know, I've heard a bit about Serenno, but you know I never imagined it would be so lovely. You should see Coruscant, completely razed to the ground. Good thing the Sith are rebuilding it though, right? Can't really count on anyone else to do much these days." The customs agent's smile twisted into a bit of a sneer as he turned to walk with Aidan, who now worried he was making too much small talk. "Well, of course I've seen Coruscant, who hasn't. It's all most of the holonews channels really play anymore, footage of the great tragedy of the jewel of the galaxy. Needed to happen, if you ask me, many people there who deserved to get knocked off their high horses." "Of course. One of the many reasons my company even exists today, taking advantage of the upset in the previously monopolized market. You know, if you're looking for an investment in a fast-growing company, I know a guy, but uh...here we are." Aidan had deliberately led him to a specific crate, finally nailing down the man's weakness: alcohol. "My, oh my, captain Carson, thirty year Chateau Boulange?" "Yeah, supposed to be for a dignitary here or something. But...you know...I think we may have um...forgotten a few bottles back on Coruscant. You know how that happens sometimes." The customs agent's eyebrow shot up as his sneer turned into one of spite. "Captain Carson, are you attempting to...bribe me?" "I'm just looking for a smooth delivery with minimal time in port." Aidan kept his cool, locking eyes with the man once more. "A simple yes would have sufficed." After a moment, he cracked a slight grin, reaching down and taking two of the bottles. "And it's working. I think I'm going to need these for additional testing. Wouldn't want potential off-world contaminants to leak into our lovely ecosystem." Aidan winked. "Of course." "Well then. Everything seems to be in order. Enjoy your time on Serenno." Aidan stifled a large sigh of relief as best he could, slowly exhaling in a controlled fashion. But a few steps away, the customs agent turned, addressing him a final time. "If you do find your way back to Serenno, please recommend to that dignitary that some bottles of aged Hapan brandy go well with dinner. If you understand my meaning." Aidan gave the man a nod and a knowing grin, stomaching his distaste. He nodded to two of the crewmen, who went to procure hovertruck rentals. They were in. Their fake credentials and showmanship had gotten them this far, but it was likely going to be a very different story when it came to the bank.
  13. Aidan opened his eyes, ending the meditation. Checking the chronometer, he saw it was just about time to get things started. He texted a quick goodbye and thanks to Sandy before shutting off the comlink as well, making his way to the main cabin of the civilian shuttle and sounding all hands on deck. When everyone was assembled, he began his briefing. "The plan here is to pose as a delivery agency. We're a newer company, having just set up shop on Coruscant. Our IDs should get us past customs, and if Crewman Hanzer did his job right, then our disassembled weapons should pass right through undetected. They'll be disguised as parts of the specialized shipping containers, and we can reassemble them for the hit. As for scouting out the bank, I want Kashi and Rush to pose as an electrical work team, there to survey for a security upgrade. Interact with the staff as minimally as possible, if confronted, take a comm call and claim your boss is calling you and exfil as fast as possible. The goal is just to get the lay of the land, we have enough firepower among us including myself and Kashi to improvise on the fly if needed. Meanwhile Nadil and I will procure ourselves a maintenance hovertruck. "We should hit the bank immediately after it opens the next day. Security should be minimal, as will potential civilian casualties. Simultaneously, Grandmaster Adenna's fleet should pop into near orbit and start harassing the local security forces, pulling some heat off our backs as we exfil. Getting out could be tricky, but if all the attention is directed at the Grandmaster's warships we should be able to slip to hyperspace and meet her ships at the rendezvous point. If Lieutenant Foran is as good a pilot as she claims, we should all be home safe and sound in seventy two hours, toasting to our success. Remember, calm and smooth. Nobody is expecting us, don't give them reason to. Let's get this done." Aidan nodded to Foran, who returned the nod and went back to the helm, plotting their course to Serenno. Now all they had to do was not screw things up.
  14. But does not the darkside always bring with it death and suffering? It was a thought that made Aidan question what he saw, but all he got back in return from the Force was a confusing sequence of imagery that he couldn't make heads or tails of. The end result didn't change his preconceptions of things, instead came another small realization that he didn't know how the Force worked concretely; perhaps nobody could truly know the full depths of the Force. It comforted him, but at the same time saddened him, as while perfection could never be achieved, neither did he need to stress over ascertaining knowledge that wasn't meant for him to comprehend. Now you must let go of your attachments to embrace the force He was anchored in his attachments, though. They helped to keep him stable, to correct him when he strayed too far from his path. He'd just had a grand realization that he was seriously attached to Sandy, and now he was expected to give that up? It was a harsh truth for him, one that for a while he was uncomfortable facing. Sandy seemed to grasp the concept behind this final step far easier than he was willing to, and he took from her understanding the seeds to grow his own. Attachments were not good or bad, but without the willingness to accept their loss if or when it came the loss itself could become devastating. While a pliable reed bends in the current, a brittle reed breaks and dies. He didn't want to accept this, despite being confronted by the truth of it. It felt like throwing away something valuable he'd just gained, but in the same breath rejecting it. He only hoped that Sandy could understand as well, and wouldn't hold it against him. Perhaps this was why his father was so seemingly aloof all the time, he understood that worldly attachment to even family wasn't always healthy. But Aidan also knew that Aryian had missed the mark too far in the other direction, not allowing himself time to cherish and comfort his family when they'd needed him most. It was not a mistake Aidan intended to repeat. Slowly, he conjured up images of Sandy, some of divine beauty, others images of her lying dead on some forgotten battlefield. His emotions swelled one final time before he let them sink beneath the waves. The waters calmed as he did so, turning into a mirror-slick that stretched to eternity. This was the truth the Force offered: not any universal answer that made sense, but a truth found within one's self. A greater sense of one's place in the galaxy, and a better understanding of those who lived in it. This was not the end, it was merely another step in his journey that would last his entire life. The destination was never the point, it was the journey itself that meaning was found in. He reached out, brushing Sandy's thoughts, thanking her. This was something he'd needed for a long time. For what felt like hours, he stayed, wanting to be near her, but time was something nobody could escape. Eventually, much more calmly, he relaxed his hold on the Force, ending the meditation.
  15. Illusion prevents us from true insight. A humble reflection will always find the illusion. Humility and Illusion. Aidan was certainly not the most humble of people, but how could it illusion him to the truth? He spent several moments examining, reflecting, bringing peace to the image he had of himself. Eventually, the Force began to coalesce in front of him, showing him two reflections of himself. The first was the Aidan he sought to become, a decorated master of the Imperial Knights, armor shining white for all to see. But this Aidan burned with a dark fire from within, and eventually was consumed by it. The second Aidan was clad in the robes of a Jedi Master, though he got the distinct feeling that this version of himself would never see the leadership within the Jedi Council. This version of himself was more at peace, but had long ago given up his lofty aspirations. And then, the two images floated together, combining, along with many others that manifested and merged within the blink of an eye, some versions where he was a Sith, others where he took a naturalistic path, all potentialities and walks. What resulted was something he didn't recognize, despite it looking exactly like he was now. The image shifted one final time into a haze of smoky blackness and misty light, taking the form of two koi that swam slow circles around him. The first was a white koi with black markings, the second a black koi with white, mirror images of each other. The realization hit him like a ton of bricks. There were no sides to the Force. Those who could sense it and interact with it and make use of its gifts chose their own destinies, their own fates. They made manifest the darkness and the light, not the other way around. While there was always hope for redemption for even the blackest of souls, the purest were likewise not without their sin. There was still peace to be found in both, as a darksider did not necessarily have to choose to harm others to attain their selfish goals, just like a lightsider could potentially justify collateral damage in times of war for the supposed greater good. True peace came from within, but it did not preclude the connection the Force granted between all things, living and nonliving. The universe lived and breathed, and they were all just a small part of it. As the illusion faded from what he thought he knew, he was bolstered, reinforced by the Force itself, lifted by the currents. In this moment, his calm came from the fact that it was the only sane way to feel, anything else was merely self-inflicted pain. He was ready for the final step. Or so he thought.
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