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Darth Heretic

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     A deep ocean of darkness lay beneath and around them. The warmth and convenience of slipping into something familiar were there. But she’d been away too long. The warmth threatened to burn, and the convenience was coated with piercing barbs.


     She was different now. It wasn’t a posture that she could just shift out of. Every step deeper into the darkness was nothing but surrender. It was releasing every choice she had and justifying weakness. But now, the darkness could only take her to the edge. It could only teeter her on the razor. She knew what lay on the other side. She knew the saccharine temptation. And she knew exactly what waited for her if she fell...


She knew the mantra well:

  Peace is a lie; there is only passionfalse

Denying peace in favor of passion blinds you to balance and serenity.


  Through passion, I gain strengtha lie

While passion can create strength in the short term, it is only through understanding compassion and controlling your chaos that you can achieve anything resembling true strength.


  Through strength, I gain powerthe biggest lie

Just because you have strength, it doesn’t mean you have power. And power is overrated. Power begets needless bloodshed and struggle. It is a temporary satiation for a glutinous soul.


  Through power, I gain victory - no

Victory over what? You’re a pawn for the dark side. You are a pebble in the river. You are constantly chasing the goal while life continues to move the goalpost. It’s never ending.


  Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall set me freeironic

Through altering the fabric of the force, you’ve tied a noose around your neck. Breaking from the peace to gain some scrap of passion and power will only have you chasing that high like a death stick addict.


     Keenava felt the comfortable cling of her new clothes and smiled a little to herself. She kept her saber and other goodies stowed away where she could get to them later. It would not behoove her to bring a lightsaber hilt—let alone two of them—to a planet of the Sith while they were trying to stay incognito.


     "Oh! That reminds me." Keenava shuffled through her pockets and pulled out a note. "It came with something else, but considering we’re trying to be inconspicuous, I figured it would be too loud to bring with us. I found these with the boots, and I think they were meant for you."


     Keenava chuckled a little at Leena’s response. “Don’t look too serious, or they’ll think you’re hiding something. In fact, the more inconspicuous you try to look, the more obvious you’ll be. Don't go judging people with your eyes. But, if you can, just act normal. The more you look like someone who belongs here, the less people will question it.” 


     Keenava adjusted her jumpsuit a little, saddled a newly acquired slugthrower into a hip holster, and followed behind Leena. “Just a tip from an old Assassin master of mine.” Keenava said, taking care to keep her voice at an inside volume without leaning or hiding her face.

Edited by Keenava Dira
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Keenava looked curiously at the group as they all put on serious faces, but surrendered the concern as they pushed on. It wasn’t her mission. It wasn’t her call.


They stuck out, though, as she knew they would.


This world was a den of hedonism, with or without intention. Pleasure was the language, pleasure was the currency, and pheromones were almost more common than air. Look too serious, and people will think you’re up to something. Look too innocent, and people will see you as an easy mark; she had an uncomfortable amount of experience in that arena. So Keenava adopted an aloof expression, carefully scanning their surroundings with her eyes, taking note of easy access points, escape routes, and choke points all without moving her head. She was reluctant to use the Force to do so and instead leaned on her mundane senses. The dark whispers were thick. And even if she could resist, it was unwise to probe where unwanted ears could be listening.


When they reached the main thoroughfare, Keenava was struck with a sensory explosion. It was thick here. The smell of sin was languid and ever-present. Every moment they pushed further was a moment of time threatening to consume them. The rain didn’t help. The smell of sweat and pheromones wasn’t easily washed from the masses as they continued onward. But to them, it was normal. Keenava felt a mild physical reaction as heat rushed to her cheeks, but muffled the bulk of her reaction with a small cough.


And, if that wasn’t enough, it was heavier in the cantina. The bar was an isolated space, so the pheromones had nowhere to go. They were swept into the ventilation system and recycled, creating a continuous air of want and need. Keenava did everything she could to isolatebut she’s right thereh-her feelings and stop them fromyou and her shared a moment. I wonder how far you could gooverwhelming her other senses.


Keenava’s gaze hovered over Sandy briefly after she took a deep, sobering breath. She bit the inside of her mouth and let the pain distract her. It was important not to let yourbut you two are very similar. You’re very close. Imagine her scarred handsbaser desires control you. The phantom sensation of calluses skimming the top of her skin gave her gooseflesh and sent chutes of electricity from the base of her lekku down to the tips.


Keenava reached up and pinched her right brain tail slightly. The pain was severe, but it was enough to reboot her senses. She shook her head, let the others get a small lead, paused briefly by the dancers, one of which was a beautiful blue Twi’lek, and made some motion with her lekku before falling in-step behind the others. The dancer’s eyes glinted in the dim light of the building, but she continued dancing with her fake smile plastered across her face.


The atmosphere was suffocating and familiar. The unwashed faces, the dancers with their illusory masks, and the patrons doing their best to wash away fading contention, placating what little hope they had with promises of quick relief and amber denial.


Darkness preyed on desperation and these people were very desperate...


Keenava stuck to the back of the group, successfully steeling her thoughts and maintaining her mildly aloof body language despite the murky environment threatening to consume them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Keenava found a reliable groove to follow that effectively smothered the whispers conspiring to drag her into very uncomfortable territory. That is, until Sandy's scarred hand clasped her wrist.


At the fragile contact, Keenava's defenses vaporized like tissues in a typhoon. Catalyzed by the surprise, chutes of electricity shot up the sinew of her arm, exploded like fireworks at the crux of her skull, and fell down the length of her brain tails. There the sensations lingered, smoldering at the tips of her lekku, taunting her.


Keenava's imagination hadn't sufficiently emulated the touch of a callused master's hands as they slid across the thin flesh of her forearm, eliciting a soft yet vibrant blush in the apples of her cheeks. Images of ecstasy danced in her brain at the razor's edge of decorum. And, without the ability to rely on the force for fear of doubling down on her fantasies, Keenava was trying to tread water as the surface rose quickly above her head. 


But then, almost as quickly as it came, the candle was snuffed out. The sensation of peace washed over her, replacing and renewing her confidence. Sandy's power was a gentle rock to lean on, standing against the tide, and it helped Keenava regain her footing.


Perhaps she would investigate and unpack her curiosity at another time, but loosely indulging her ego or id was not something she deemed appropriate anymore. Especially when it was very possible her feelings would not be returned.


"Hey, miss," Keenava hailed the waitress as she walked by, "can I get a Hyperdrive?" Keenava asked, flashing a warm smile. "If you don't have that, please get me a nice juice or some water. I don't need alcohol this early. Thank you."


The former Sith Lord leaned against a wall near the table they were gathering at and handed the waitress a modest credit chip as compensation. The ident on the account had no details about her in particular if anyone chose to investigate. The creds ran to an account on Corellia owned by a woman named Ullanna Gwynn. And, at least in this case, it wasn't because Keenava was incredibly prepared. It was due to the fact that that was the only account Keenava had ever opened, and she still remembered the access codes.

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     The air tightened. The number of bodies began to test the edge of subtlety. It became increasingly obvious that something was going on, even to untrained eyes.


     Troopers of no indicated allegiance, mysterious hooded individuals, and a scant few nameless patrons that could easily contribute to the mess combined into a stew of suspicious origin. Her eyes gilded the cantina, leaving no inch untended. Conflict was inevitable, and her instincts fought to keep her aware of each ebb of the growing dissonance. The soothing touch of Sandy’s guidance was a boon, and she managed to successfully divert her intrusive thoughts, but it was a silver thread amidst a rough-hewn thatch.


     When she finished with the bulk of the building, her eyes fell on each patron in turn. And though his paltry beard was enough to give pause, the price tag clinging to its tawdry fibers diverted her gaze to a very familiar Hutt, gazing at her from behind the bar. The misshapen contacts did little to hide his crimson eyes, and his crooked nose looked like it was almost falling off his slimy face.




     Despite herself, Keenava laughed. It was a bright sound, full of joy; there was no hint of the chaos she once possessed.


     The smell of blood and sod lingered in her mind. She could almost feel the scabs ghost over her arms, and she could remember the feeling of slime upon her lips. Alters warring against themselves, antiseptic burning the fibers of her skin, and uncertainty clashing with anxiety merged to form a lovely bouquet. The planet of Trulalis wasn’t the best memory she had. But it was where she first met Sheog, so it wasn’t all bad. And though she hadn’t always treated him as well as he deserved, he, Rose, and Raia were the only real friends she had until a few days ago. It was not the reunion she expected. But she was glad it was him.


     "I’ll be right back," Keenava said quietly to Sandy before making her way to the only open barstool. Like the others next to her, she sat with a mask of patronly indifference. However, her beautiful eyes—a brilliant amethyst replacing their former crimson hue—told a different story.


     "I’ll have a Hyperdrive or a cup of something fizzy if you don’t have it." Keenava said, settling her elbows on the bar. After a beat, the Twi’lek found a lapse and penned something discreetly on a small piece of paper. Then, through practiced sleight-of-hand, she pinned it to the back of a credit chip that she handed directly to the bartender. "Plus a little tip for your trouble," Keenava added with a genuine smile of gleaming ivory.


     When her drink came, she grabbed it happily and hopped off the stool, finding her familiar place on the wall a foot or two from Sandy and the others.

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Berry fizz tickled,

              an expression of wonder;

then nothing remained.



     Keenava savored the dregs of her beverage. Bright notes of red fruit clung to the inside of her palate as the fizz settled at the back of her throat. It was a lovely bouquet, one that Keenava had hoped to repeat. But, as she bent from her post to discard her glass on a nearby tray, three newcomers joined the throng. The first figure was small and covered in ornamentation. The others who loomed behind were almost certainly hired muscle to cover the first.


     Bodies were displaced, pressing closer together, and the heat of the room rose a few degrees. She could feel the distinct weight of influence as everyone’s tempers shifted. It was as if the entire cantina tensed in unison, save for the troopers. They seemed content to continue their crude jokes and gestures.


     Keenava sidled up to Sandy and bent ever-so-slightly toward her master, letting one of her lekku—the one facing the front of the bar—fall in front of her before whispering, "I'm following Leena. If you need me, I’ll be at the ship."


     This close to her, it was almost impossible to ignore her intrusive thoughts, but Sandy’s guidance still sang beneath the chaos of her mind, keeping her away from inappropriate diversions.


     That said, getting out was easier said than done. She could simply walk out the door, but who's to say their new guests would let her leave?


     The repugnant behavior from the trooper’s table reached a fever pitch to the point that a group of toughs nearby were preparing to leave. Keenava, though also disgusted, saw her opening. She fell in step behind the rough-looking individuals as they left, shuffling her silhouette with theirs to mislead those that chose to follow. Once her tail hit the door, they veered into the crowd. Keenava broke and carefully followed her steps toward the shuttle, intentionally brushing Leena’s shoulder as she continued.


Edited by Keenava Dira
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  • 2 weeks later...

   A sliver of ice tickled the base of her neck. Her feet brushed steel through thick boots, pounding hard with desperate speed. Panic, fear, and terror spread from her shoulder; it was a familiar touch, gripping hard. But she saw no assailant, nor any looming darkness. Yet the dread she felt was exigent.


     Hello darkness, my old friend…


     A young Falleen collapsed at their feet. But Keenava could not see her. She felt the floor drift, and her gaze shifted.


The gashes began to blister on her back, and fresh whip lacerations stung as air rushed by. Her heart pounded the melody of suffering. Hot salt bit at the skin of her face, and her mind warred…


     Keenava stood, her body limp and forgotten—a prisoner of the cologne of misery that the victim effused. The twi’lek’s eyelids drooped, and her gaze focused on nothing.


Her body felt numb from the waist down. But, in a way, so did her mind. She tore at her own lekku, trying to feel something—anything—but nothing happened. She was nothing…just meat… Only meat…



     "Focus on the light. Find it within yourself and drive the darkness back from her mind."


     Leena’s voice washed across her; cold water brushed over her sordid trance, shaking her from her reverie. She slowly flexed her hands and felt as her mind rose from the murk bit by bit.


     "This girl needs you."


     Keenava felt Leena’s gaze on hers, and a rush of ice cracked against her mind. Awareness was restored like a flash of lightning, which almost brought Keenava to her knees. Warm streaks tickled her cheeks, and now she could see the injured girl at their feet.


     "Right… yeah, we need to move her." The Twi’lek looked around quickly, spotting a pile of crates that seemed just large enough to obscure them from view. "Alright, help me get her over there." She made a sign with her lekku.



  On the way, Keenava tried to do as Leena asked, but… how? 


  She'd just given up on twisting the force to her advantage. How did she…find the light? Did she just ask nicely? Would the force respond to that?


  Fake it til you make it, I guess?




  She imagined herself going outside and seeing stars, a moon, a sun, or any other brilliant astral body; she pictured herself lighting torches, candles, light emitters, flashlights, etc. But she couldn’t ‘find the light’ as Leena said.


What a beautiful little one!


  Confused, Keenava probed her mind, but nothing was there.


She looks lost and afraid. You remember that, don’t you?


  A song of regret and pain gripped her for a second, to be replaced by a ballad that stung with a visceral sadness.


  A voice called from somewhere. It was soft, gentle, and familiar.




Kiki. It’s nice to hear my strong girl’s voice.


But I’m not strong. I ran away for so long. I killed so many people. I caused so much anguish.I’m not worth forgiveness. Why am I here? Why did I come back? Why didn’t I just stay floating in that void?


Free from the confidence she’d built to protect herself, Keenava’s heart was bare, and streaks of tears flowed freely now. Whether her tears were real or imagined, she didn’t know, nor did she care.


You’re right. You did run. You ran from a world that threatened to consume you. All the cards were stacked against you. And yet, you never gave up. You kept fighting. Do you remember this?



A cloudy scene enveloped Keenava. She was pre-pubescent again, and the darkness of her cell was a dim black, lit only by a sparse arrangement of blinking light emitters. It had been a few years since she volunteered to take her mother and sister’s place. She sat staring at the space between the bars, hoping for things to melt away and go back to how they were. Scratches throbbed up and down her lekku. They made her a little lightheaded, but she barely noticed.


"You gave us a lot of trouble, you druk. And, as punishment, you get to watch us do this!"


The cruel face she had known for so long swept across her vision. And, in his hands… 


"NO! MOM?!" 


"Oh, so this lady right here means something to you. It’d be a shame if something happened to her."




Flames erupted from Keenava’s arms and lit her mother’s captor ablaze. Her mother’s eyes widened with concern, but her mouth was gagged. 



Why are you showing me this? I lost control.


Yes. But why did you lose control?


To protect you from them, but it didn’t mean anything. I know what comes next. I couldn’t save you.


And you can’t save everyone. But maybe that’s okay.


How could you say that? You’re gone, and I didn’t even get to say goodbye!


Her mother appeared to her in a spectral form of lavender light that bent down and put a hand on her shoulder.


People die. I never got the chance to talk to you about it, but it happens. If I hadn’t died there, I would’ve died somewhere. The important thing is that my strong girl held on. She kept on living. And if she hadn’t, none of us would be around anymore. Your sister would’ve been alone, and you would likely have passed away sometime later than me when they deemed you too much trouble. You may be lost now. You may have a hard time forgiving yourself, but I’ve never blamed you. Never once did I look at you and see anything but my strong little Kiki. You even have my eyes now, which makes my heart soar every time I look at you.


Keenava sniffled. The beauty of her mother's aura transfixed her.


I don’t deserve you.


Of course you do. They do too.


Keenava’s mother stretched her arm out, revealing Kana, Kara, Kava, Malive, and all of her daughter’s alters.


Many people made a strong impression on you, giving you a voice to speak for yourself. But, in all of that, you lost your voice. Now they’re all here to remind you that there’s only one Keenava. There has always been one, and she’s right here.


The figment of her mother touched a hand to Keenava’s chest.


All the alters joined hands. And the closer Keenava looked, they all looked a lot more like her than they used to. They all cried together. The murdering, the sadistic, and the chaotic were all weeping in tandem. And then all of them faded into Keenava’s mother’s hand.


They are only fragments of you. And now that you can think again, the whole galaxy—no, the universe—gets to hear your voice: my fierce, protective Kiki. Now you get to be the beautiful soul you were always meant to be. And maybe, just maybe, you can help others do the same.


Thank you for everything, Mom.


The Twi’lek looked up to see her mother once more, but she wasn’t there. All that remained was a vivid light glowing in the palm of her hand.




Keenava smiled. It was a small gesture, but it echoed in her physical form as she bent over the Falleen that lay mired in darkness. She stretched her hand out and connected to the light she still felt in the palm of her hand, letting the force flow through her. She gently ran her fingers along the young woman’s brow as a mother would her child, tucking stray strands of hair behind her ear and wiping the blood from her cheek. Under her breath, Keenava hummed a lullaby that her mother used to sing. Soft tears continued to flow across her cheeks as she tried to share her light with the young woman.


Edited by Keenava Dira
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  • 3 weeks later...

Keenava's tearful reverie was shortened by an abrupt intrusion. The ground swelled with a familiar ick. Emerald and ebony fog billowed around them like the aftermath of a garish pyrotechnic display.

They finally show themselves...

The Twi'lek accepted Leena's proffered hand and left the solace of her vision to unite their efforts. Their trinity surged with a hypnotic brilliance before the encroaching swarm.

And with that catalyzing gesture, Keenava found herself on a razor's edge, balanced between the void she knew, and the light she'd been fighting to preserve. Though the beast of temptation was resting near, she wasn't concerned anymore. The shear vastness threatened to overwhelm her as it had in the past, but she was smarter now--stronger.

Focusing on the light of her mother, a warmth deep in her core, she could shift the flow and shape her channel. She willed herself to be a tributary, not a dam. And, while she fought to maintain focus, elements of her power and resolve spilled out.

Growing ornate patterns of frost started clinging to the edge of her gaze as her eyes glowed a little brighter.

Gentle drops began to fall from the sky. A puffy steel-gray mist broke against the emerald procession. And an invigorating chill broke the thick humid air. Dew drops glistened on Keenava's lashes, reflecting the lavender light from her eyes.

"No. This child was lost. She is in our care."

The mist that rose from the trio's ankles was soft. It was imbued with the fresh bracing vigor of a bright winter's morning.

"In fact, you all seem lost."

"The Dark Side is not strength."

"The Dark Side is a lack of resistance. It is giving in to your basest instincts and desires, listening to the rashest part of your brain. It is giving up the fight. It is defeat. It is surrendering ectropy in favor of entropy which is chaotic and unknowable."

"And yet, it is where the lost go. I have been where you are now. There is no future for you of any meaning or substance. Abandon consumption, and choose redemption."

Keenava stared at the black parade with empathic eyes and a neutral face, waiting for Leena to continue.

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  • 2 weeks later...



One step, and this flash in the pan became open warfare.




The ray of light that Keenava held in her hand moments before erupted into a tidal wave of blinding energy.




Webs of darkness flowed beneath them and around them, redoubling their efforts to drive the Jedi from their land.


It was a little disorienting. They went from one act of protective defiance to standing at the eye of a chaotic storm.


"You’re a Jedi now. That does not mean you forget who you are or where you came from. You are a child of light. Let it flow through you. Use what you know; combine it with who you are now."




Familiar words. 


Keenava didn’t know what made these words different, but something about them took her away from the enormity of everything. Instead, she focused on one thread at a time.


A thread of the past—the overwhelming void of darkness in front of them—a thread of the present—an oddly familiar feeling that came from somewhere outside the city—and a thread of the future—the reassuring salmon hue of her friend Leena—all wove together to create the tapestry of her life in this moment.


When she looked out at the ‘Consumed,’ she saw herself. Like many times before, she’d seen different versions of herself. But this one was a distinct reflection. This one was Lallu. All of her scars, tattoos, abuse, and Sith motivations merged into one angry, red-eyed maniac.


You’re scared.


No, I’m not.


Yes, you are. You’re still that little girl who never got to grow up. You’re still lashing out at everyone who took advantage of you.


And you’re pathetic. You’ve given up everything that made us powerful. I could take out these chumps like it was nothing.


I didn’t give up anything. You’re still here, aren’t you?


Lallu was silent.


The difference is that I was given a gift. I was given a second chance to be the woman we wanted to be—to be the woman our mother wanted us to be.


At the word "mother," a tear fell down Lallu’s face. Keenava came to her side and gently wiped the tear away.


So I’m here to give you the same gift. Fight with me. I’m not ashamed of you. You happened, and you made me more of who I am today than anyone else. Let’s fight together.


Keenava reached for Lallu’s hand and felt as the deeply callused tissue touched hers.


You’re right.


Let’s do this.


The Twi’lek felt a surge of assurance and just a tinge of... mania?




Keenava latched Leena’s saber to her belt. Then, with hands outstretched, she began muttering under her breath.


Leena’s purification and the Consumed’s depravity were clashing like roaring beasts. But the Dark Side prided itself on obfuscation. Confusion and illusion were common among the Sith in their clashes with the Jedi. But Keenava wasn’t only a Jedi.


She lifted her fingers to the web of darkness that unfurled before her. Then she began to carefully touch the velvety black strands. Lances of painful memory cracked against her braintails as she went, but she continued to stand. She began to thread the silky strands together, navigating every shameful act and dark scene imaginable. It was nothing. Pain was nothing but a reminder. I’m alive, and I’m here. And I won’t let you have this ground.


Every step felt like trying to wrench open the mouth of an active volcano. But it was something she could do. It was something only she could do. It set her apart from every other Jedi. She knew the dark; she’d seen titans fall and rise like it was just another day. She’d suffered depravity and seen it committed in equal measure. She’d seen horrors that would make the Consumed wish for death. And now she had the mental discipline and control to hold it at bay. She would be a servant of the light by helping them navigate the dark.


With one big pull, Keenava created a channel large enough to let Leena’s influence through. Her eyes slowly fluctuated between glowing amethyst and a bright magenta as she "held the door," but she was at peace. Conflict was her norm, chaos was her life, and after all this time and all these self-discoveries and head trips toward self-acceptance, she wouldn’t hide anymore.


As Keenava watched the flow of Leena’s brilliant purification thread through the sluice gate that she created in the Consumed’s dam, the Twi’lek reached one hand to the saber at her belt and readied herself for whatever followed.



Edited by Keenava Dira
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  • 2 weeks later...

     Keenava saw the flow of energy rush to contain the chaotic rush of bodies as they scurried away from salvation like nunas with their heads cut off. Because, regrettably, salvation meant death to creatures so far gone that they had no light left. The sounds of tissue sizzling and bones popping formed a macabre chorus around them. And though she was familiar with the sound, it still turned her stomach.


     "Stop them." Leena waved at the fleeing queen of the damned. "The city must be protected, lest our brethren Knights be overrun."


     Keenava’s head turned. She instinctively detached the cool metal cylinder from her hip with a flourish and activated its bright green blade. It was alien. It didn’t feel like her, but it would do. The snap-hiss was familiar enough.


     …Use what you know and combine it with who you are now…


      …Keenava disappeared, leaving a corona of shadowy darkness behind her. She felt her heartbeat fall into sync with the beat of the planet like a bead of rainfall rejoining a mighty river. She swirled her head and caught the dimming red energy of the usurper jogging through a small clearing nearby. The trees around him bent in his procession, breathing in his essence. She could hear their whispers… 


     Keenava felt the dry, hollow air of Umbara clawing at the crevices of her hands. Her mouth dried up, and her throat rasped. The shadowy beings that hunted her were replaced by the 'Consumed' around her. And the Jedi usurper’s bright red silhouette was replaced by their leader as she fled. Feelings of malnourishment and exhaustion clung to her muscles. Hunger and rage thrashed against each other and threatened to engulf her, but they found no purchase. She wasn’t desperate. She wasn’t drowning. She was in control. She grabbed the thread of her memory and followed the sensation to something she once knew. But, instead of relying on her id to twist the world to her whim, Keenava let her mind and body drift into the bright flowing energy around her. Like a leaf as it blew through the breeze, she fell into the force and let the healing mist embrace her, willing herself forward.


     The mist answered by blanketing her and mottling her shape. It was as if she were almost a cloud herself. Then, with force-enhanced speed and nimble movements, Keenava’s feet shot from the ground. Her departure cracked the air with the force of a slugthrower’s ignition, and she took off like a rocket. The Consumed attempted to cling to her as she made her way through the street, but she used their grasps to further her momentum. She flipped through the air and stepped on her assailants' heads, jumping from place to place. They were light movements, but her momentum would propel them to the ground as she moved if they didn’t brace themselves. She was a blur, the green beam of Leena’s lightsaber streaming behind her all the way.


     When she caught up to her quarry—the shepherd of the Consumed—she let her momentum carry her into a series of aerial flips and allowed the remaining kinetic energy to flow into the durasteel, cushioning her joints as she hit the ground a few feet ahead. The healing mist flowed around her body at irregular intervals, covering pieces of her form without pattern. With glowing purple eyes, and a glint of the red they once were sparking at the edge, Keenava held the burning green blade as a barrier.


     "I’m afraid I can’t let you do that. If you won’t stop, we must stop you." Keenava said, her voice measured and neutral.


     Keenava could feel the force of darkness that her target had been fleeing toward. If Leena hadn’t snared them, the potential chaos they would have achieved was a dangerous unknown.


     “Quick and clean. I’m no stranger to death. I would grant you life if I could, but all roads are closed. It is time to face your fanged god.” With a single elegant strike, Keenava leaped at the leader with the intent to decapitate her.

Edited by Keenava Dira
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  • 2 weeks later...


Only after the beam of plasma finished its arc, did Keenava see.


     The roadway sat motionless in her mind. The feather-light touch of the force tickled at her nose and spread throughout her body, mingling with fragments of her torrid past, manifesting in a technique that she didn’t understand. She let out a breath she didn’t know she’d been holding, and one of her knees fell to the cold road. Soil and gravel bit up at her through her jumpsuit. The planet felt cold. Death was no stranger here.


     The leader fell, and her head fell beside her. But the glimpse held in her blue eyes as the moment drew on was almost relief. The frail form of the woman as she crumpled to the ground was not the demon she was a scant second or two ago. In death, though corrupted, it was as if she’d had one breath of clean air—a breath of clean air in a coal mine. Before the final act carried her to her grave.


     A somber silence masked the next few moments as Keenava held that pose. The beam of verdant green still fizzled and spat as the healing mist continued to shroud her.


     Dust was all that remained. Dust is all that persisted as the thralls of darkness continued to fall around her. Even the cult leader had been banished to this macabre ashfall. In her somber state, Keenava saw the particles hanging in the air, falling gently as the light cleansed them: mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. Their deaths were justified, but now that Keenava could think, now that her conscious soul had been purified from its inky black, she could feel the weight of them. 


     If she had the choice, she would do it again to protect the future, the balance, and her friends. But it felt different. Something about Keenava was happier that she could feel this sad. If the choice to end a life was effortless, what meaning was there in life to begin with? If you don’t value life enough to stay your blade, what kind of life do you lead?


"May the force be with you." Keenava breathed as she bowed her head and extinguished her blade.


The Twi’lek felt rumbles and concussions as powerful figures clashed on the paths ahead. She could feel the chaos of the world around her as the somber moment passed. And as she let the shroud of mist fall from her shoulders, she could feel her master in the distance, effort pooling in the force as she struggled.


Keenava did what she could to send good thoughts to her master and bolster Sandy in her fight, but now was not the time for hesitation. Stretching her quads for good measure, she ran back to Leena and Kadi to regroup.


Edited by Keenava Dira
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