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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:06 pm 
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Dren waited as Aeris shimmied down the hole. He studied the hall, each statue a different Sith. He wondered if any of them represented the monster they had unleashed. He wondered where the Sith was at this very moment, and what he could be doing. His heart began to quicken the more he thought of it, looking into the shadows at the end of the hall. He almost didn't notice Aeris falling towards him--but he could feel her. He turned at the last minute and caught her in his arms. Yet again, her body against his--it was testing his resolve. His heart began to quicken for another reason. As she apologized and left him, he felt a little bit colder, like he was missing something. He had never felt that way in a long time--not since she left the order.

He breathed out, trying his best to ignore all of it. He needed to focus now. He needed to rescue his friends. Aeris felt them close, and Dren felt it too. Yet something was off about their presence. The force, it was twisted and frigid. Maybe he was just reading it wrong because of what happened in the tunnel. Regardless, he couldn't help shake that something was off. "We need to be cautious," Dren told her. "It might be nothing, but-" Dren trailed off. He didn't know how to explain it. Instead he walked forward.

He turned the corner at the end of the hall, but it was dark. So he ignited his lightsaber--both for light and for protection. It bathed a green hue over everything, but it struggled to reach the far corners of the rooms. He didn't know who he would face, friend or foe--and if it was one of Aeris' companions he wasn't sure if they would attack him. Just as he had that thought, he saw a figure out of the corner of his eye deep in the shadows. It was someone he recognized, someone with white hair.

"Asha?" Dren asked. She was silent, standing there and not speaking. Something was wrong. "Asha? You're alright--I thought you were hurt--" Dren paused for a second. She had been hurt and was unconscious, and he saw the room collapse around her. Yet here she was, alive and well. Yet she didn't say a word. That twisted force he felt, it was there, stronger than ever, and coming from Asha.

He took a step closer, the glow of the green bathing her face. Her blue eyes were gone. Her eye sockets were empty, replaced by black mist dancing out like flames. She opened her mouth and the same black mist poured out towards the ground like a waterfall. She didn't say anything, but a sound emanated from her, and it was frightening. It was like a scream of a ghost. With that she turned the corner and out of sight. Dren turned the corner to catch her--but she was gone.

Dren turned to Aeris and asked, "please tell me you saw that."

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:07 pm 
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As Aeris pulled away, she felt cold somehow. His warmth left her and she was greeted by the cool, damp air in the room around them. It felt oddly lonely. Or perhaps she felt lonely in general. He was so close, yet he still felt out of reach. She did feel like they had gotten a little closer again, or at the very least he didn't seem quite as intent on pushing her away, or as distrustful of her as he had been. It was at least a step in the right direction. Regardless, though, there were more pressing matters right now, she supposed.

She nodded when he said they should be cautious. "I feel something, too." she assured him. "The Force feels... different." she added, a troubled expression coloring her face. She wasn't sure what it was, but like before when she had felt the cold, dark presence in the tunnels, the Force felt different. It wasn't the same, yet it shared some similaries. It was colder and darker than before, but that wasn't all. It felt tainted, twisted. She wasn't really sure how to explain it. It just felt... off. As did the presences she felt in the distance. Rather than sit around and wonder, however, she followed him as he walked. Her muscles were still sore and she still felt weak so walking was difficult, but she pushed forward nonetheless. She had to.

She stayed behind him as they turned the corner and he ignited his lightsaber to provide some light, as well as protection, she assumed. The light didn't quite reach the corners of the room, so shadows lingered, but she felt a presence close by. Before too long, that presence was revealed. It was the female Jedi from before. The one she had healed. She seemed different, though. Her presence felt different and Aeris couldn't feel any emotions from her, but it wasn't like when someone tried to hide their emotions, it was more like she had none at all. Upon closer inspection, her physical appearance had also been altered. Her eyes were gone, replaced with some sort of black mist. The Jedi opened her mouth, as if to speak, but no words came out, only that same black mist and some high-pitched screeching sound, almost like the screams of a ghost. It was rather unsettling, to be perfectly honest.

Aeris closed her eyes and reached out into the Force, deciding that this was a good opportunity to gather some information. Even if she was weak, she could still use the ability. The girl's presence no longer resembled what Aeris had once felt from her. In fact, she couldn't feel that presence at all, nor could she feel any real life force. All that remained was that same cold, dark, twisted presence that very much resembled that of the Sith. It was almost as if she'd died and the Sith had taken over, at least in a manner of speaking. She wondered, was this the fate they had all suffered? All of their companions?

"Yeah, I did." She replied, frowning, and placed a hand on Dren's shoulder, to brace herself more than anything. She didn't explain what she was doing, so she hoped he wasn't too surprised by her actions, but she didn't have time to explain right now. She couldn't keep this up for much longer, so she needed to use her time and her strength while she could. She then reached out further into the Force, searching for the others. She was already using the Force, she might as well look for them, too. She couldn't look extensively, but in the short time she was able to search, she found nothing but emptiness, darkness, and that same cold, twisted Force. It was as if all of the life inside the temple had been stolen. At least that was what she thought at first. Somewhere, hidden beneath that ever-present darkness, she felt at least two distinct presences. That meant that at least two others were still alive, at least for now. She wasn't exactly sure who they were, but it was a pretty safe bet that they were either her companions or his.

After a few moments she pulled her mind back to reality. She didn't realize how much it had taken out of her until then. She felt somewhat dizzy and her breathing was a bit heavier. She was also leaning more heavily on Dren than she had intended. Yet, she couldn't bring herself to move. She wasn't sure if that was because she felt too weak to support herself in that moment, or for another reason, but it was at least due in large part to the former, so that's what she chose to believe. "I'll be okay. I just need a moment." she assured him, whether or not it was completely true. She needed to rest and soon. Sooner now, after what she had just done. Still, she didn't want to be the one to slow them down. Although, she thought that whoever was still alive was a farther distance away from them than she was capable of walking at present, but she would try to go for as long as she could.

"I felt two of the others, so at least two are alive, although I'm not sure who. There could be others, but I couldn't feel them if they are there. Granted, I wasn't able to look extensively in this state, so there is still hope. They may still be alive." she told him what she had found, trying to give him some form of hope. Still, a hint of sadness colored her features. "But Asha..." she paused, "I couldn't feel her. I think she's..." her voice trailed off and she averted her gaze, not having the heart to actually say those words, or see his face when he heard them.

She realized that she hadn't moved from where she had been, leaning against him. "I'm sorry, I keep..." she let her words trail off again. "I'll move in a minute, if you want to keep moving. I just need a moment to recover." she explained, figuring he was probably tired of having to hold her up. He'd done that a lot in the past few hours. It couldn't be helped that she needed to rest for a moment. She supposed that the wall would work just as well but if she was being honest, she preferred this, and it gave her some calm and comfort that a wall could not.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:02 pm 
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She leaned on him, and he felt that same feeling from before. That feeling of completion, that feeling of something deeper. He turned to her slightly, and put his arm around her back, letting her carefully rest upon him. She explained what she was sensing. He thought about it for a moment, "this monster--this Sith, he's twisting them somehow. Maybe he's making them into servants? Or creatures that do his bidding? We can't let him leave this planet--or else who knows what he'll do to the galaxy."

She couldn't move on, not for the moment. He could feel it. Everything told him he should let her down to rest upon the wall, but he didn't want that. He suspected she didn't either, but he wasn't sure. Though the connection they had always shared, something strong through the force, it was stronger every moment they were near each other. He felt like she wanted to be here, with him--but maybe that was just his mind playing tricks on him.

He could feel they were safe for now. He turned and put his other arm around her, holding her gently, letting her leave his embrace if she wanted to. He figured it was a more practical way to hold onto her--which is what he told himself. "You can rest for a moment," Dren told her. "I won't leave you."

As they remained, he though of the moment she left him, back at the Jedi temple--the turmoil it caused him. He spent so many years meditating to finally suppress those feelings, and it was as if this one meeting undid all of that. He could see that moment when they fought, and when he tried to see her the next morning. Her room was bare and empty. She didn't say goodbye. She did leave behind a necklace--and he remembered how he kept it safe in his room, in a box underneath his bed. Perhaps it didn't help his recovery of her leaving, to hold onto a part of her, but it was something he needed to do. It was a necklace he had given her after all, made of leather and a stone he had fastened. Perhaps she had left it behind by mistake, or on purpose, he didn't know. He had almost forgotten about it, but it was all coming back to him.

Without moving--still holding on, he asked the question that had been burning in him, "why did you leave Aeris?" He couldn't bear to hold back his emotions. He needed to meditate--because every word poured out of him with purpose and sorrow that he was trying to hold back and hide. "I went to find you the next day--but you were gone." He bit back anything more, because he shouldn't be like this. He was a Jedi after all.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:56 pm 
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Aeris gave a nod to his statement that they were being twisted or turned into some creatures to do this Sith's bidding. She thought that he was right about that, just as he was right when he said that they couldn't let him leave the planet. "You're right. We can't let him leave. We don't know what he might do to the galaxy, but it won't be good. We have to stop him. We have to fix this mistake, at least." she added the last part in a rather enigmatic manner, as if alluding to some other mistake that had yet to be fixed.

He was right again, on all counts. She should rest. She didn't really have it in her to continue on right now. But she also didn't want to stay here alone. She wanted to be with him, whether that meant staying here or moving on. She didn't want to leave his side or let him out of her sight. She couldn't. It was all she could do to let him go down here alone before she followed. It was silly, probably, but she didn't care. After everything that had happened, and everything happening with the Sith, she couldn't bear the thought of being separated, of having to wonder whether or not he was safe, or being apart if something were to happen, unable to help. She thought that, perhaps, he didn't want to leave her and go on, either. She was doing her best not to use the Force for now, even for something as simple as reading him, but the bond they'd once shared had been growing stronger again, and she thought that, through this, she sort of understood how he felt.

She was a bit surprised when he moved, putting his other arms around her in a gentle embrace, giving her the option to escape, should she so choose. She didn't, of course. Even if she had the strength to, she had no desire to. In fact, she was quite content there. He was warm and his arms gave her a strange sense of peace and comfort, even if the embrace simultaneously stirred up a whole slew of emotions and memories. When he told her that she could rest, that he wouldn't leave her, she relaxed into his arms, leaning into the embrace, obviously more at peace than she had been since they had been reunited.


She closed her eyes, relaxing her body, despite the turmoil in her mind. She thought back to that night, after they'd fought. She'd waited up half the night, hoping he'd come back. Hoping for the chance to see him again. But he didn't come. When someone finally did visit her chambers, it had been her master, telling her it was time to leave. She'd asked for a chance to see Dren, or at least the time to write him a note, but her request had been denied. They were leaving now, while the others slept. They couldn't risk the delay. She could come with them now, or remain with the Jedi. It was the hardest choice she'd ever had to make. In the end, she'd left behind a necklace he'd given her. It was sort of a way of saying good bye, and giving him a piece of her that she hoped he would hold on to. Of course, it meant letting go of something precious to her, but she thought that, perhaps, he needed it more.

She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to fight back the emotions when he asked her why she had left, saying that he had gone to find her the next day, but she was gone. She could hear the sorrow in his voice, which added to the sorrow she felt in her heart. She didn't have a good answer for him. She didn't have any magic words to explain it away and ease his pain. She wished she did. The truth wasn't so simple, though. It was messy and painful. The truth of the matter was that no matter how badly she'd wanted to be with him, she'd made the selfish choice. She chose to leave, to try to find a place where she belonged, rather than choosing him.

She was quiet as she fought back many of the emotions that swirled around inside, but not managing to suppress the few tears that slid down her cheeks as she remembered everything that had happened and reminded herself of her choice. She buried her face in his chest for a moment, hiding her face and, she hoped, the tears, until she had managed to regain control of them.

"I don't know. I knew then, I suppose. I had made of my mind. I had decided that I wanted to walk the path of a grey Jedi, rather than remain with the Jedi." she began to explain, her voice soft and filled with sadness. "I waited up all night for you to come. But they came first. When they told me that I had to leave then or not at all, I had to make a choice, and I did. A selfish choice, perhaps, but a choice." she continued in the same soft voice, not daring to look up at him and see the pain in his eyes. Pain she had caused. "I hoped, probably foolishly, that you would come after me." she sort-of-laughed, although it was through suppressed tears. "But I was young and foolish, so of course I hoped for foolish things." she shook her head. "For what it's worth, it was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. I wanted to talk to you one more time. To try to convince you one last time, or at least say good-bye, but my master said we didn't have time. If I wanted to go, I had to go."

"Not a day went by that I didn't think of you, you know. I know it sounds cliche, but it's true. I wondered what you were doing, what kind of man you'd become, if you hated me or if you'd forgotten me. I wondered if I'd made the right choice, or what might have happened if I'd chosen differently." she smiled sadly. "But I suppose wondering and regret are pointless. Still... I am sorry, Dren." she spoke the latter in a soft voice, barely above a whisper, but clearly audible in the silence of their surroundings. She finally managed to look up at him, somewhat timidly, her eyes showing her sincerity, and a whole myriad of other emotions. "I never wanted to leave you, or to hurt you." she knew that, too, sounded somewhat cliche, but it was the truth. She didn't have it in her to ask him to forgive her. She didn't know that she even believed that she deserved it. Still, she wanted him to know the truth, and if nothing else, she hoped that he believed her, even if that belief never led to forgiveness.

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Last edited by Amara on Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:31 pm 
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He listened closely, finally getting the answer to the question he had in his mind all of these years. Why? She told him, in painful detail, bringing back memories of that night, and that morning. The fight they had, he ran through his mind. Every painful word, every gut-wrenching moment. She said she was selfish, but she wanted him to fight for her. Perhaps that was his undoing.

"I asked you to stay. When you left, I thought I got my answer," he told her simply. "I looked for you the next morning, to try and convince you--" he cut himself off. He wanted to tell her how he thought of her every day, how he had to meditate just to help forget her, how he wanted her to come back, and even thought of leaving at one point to look for her. His bags were packed, he was almost out of the temple, when his master convinced him to stay.

He lifted his head and looked at her, deep into her eyes. It was a familiar look, one steeped in heartache. They had shared said look many times in the past when training to be Jedi together. They would be as close as this, sometimes even closer, but never touching. He always wanted to lean in, and touch his lips on hers--but they were Jedi, and that was forbidden. They came painfully close one time, when they were trapped on Hoth--when his feelings really began to come out.

Now he looked at her, deep past her eyes. He swallowed hard trying to fight the urge to embrace her. He was a Jedi, he reminded himself. There is no passion, there is serenity he whispered in his mind. Still, he couldn't fight it. It was as if that moment in the tunnel had switched something on in him. He wanted this, and didn't want to fight it anymore.

He heard a lightsaber ignite, and Dren turned to look. A Zabrak emerged from the darkness, running full force. "Sith! What have you done to the others?!" Shiek ran at Dren and Aeris, as he lifted his blade.

"Sheik, wait!" Dren screamed, but the Zabrak, brash as always, lunged at her. Dren took out his lightsaber, stepped back, and blocked the blade.

With their lightsabers clashed, sizzling, Sheik turned to Dren with his mouth agape. "She has you under her spell too? Then it is too late for you," Sheik responded. So he swung at Dren--

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:11 pm 
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Aeris listened as he spoke, explaining that he had thought he'd gotten his answer, but he still searched for her the next morning. She could tell that he left much unsaid, but what he said was enough. She felt as though the pain was physically squeezing at her heart. When he looked up at her she found the same familiar heartache reflected in his eyes. It brought back a lot of memories that she hadn't visited in some time. 

Back then, she'd felt so conflicted about her feelings. She thought she knew what they meant, but they were Jedi. Such attachments were forbidden. They'd never be allowed to be together, even if he did feel the same way she did, which she thought he did. Her abilities weren't as strong then, but between that, the bond they shared, and the look she'd seen in his eyes many times, she thought that he did. Especially after the time on Hoth when they had been trapped for a time. 

Her green eyes searched his, as if searching for answers to how he felt. Had he forgiven her? Did he still feel the same way now that he had then? Did he love her? Did he want to be with her? Was there any hope for them? Or was she putting her heart on the line only to have it broken again? 

For a moment she thought she saw something in his eyes. Something that gave her hope. But the moment was interrupted by the sound of a lightsaber, which was in the hands of one of his Jedi comrades. The Zabrak blamed her for the condition of his comrades. Of course he did. She clicked her tongue, trying to decide what to do, but Dren reacted first, screaming at him, although it was for naught. 

Dren blocked the blade, but the Zabrak tried again after deciding that he was under her spell. Aeris reacted this time, using the Force to push the Zabrak back, holding him against the wall. "I'm not the one doing this. It's another Sith, Darth Devorer. " she informed him, though she didn't expect him to believe her. "Believe me or don't. It matters not. But is it really wise to so recklessly attack your comrade without reason or proof? Look at his eyes. That alone should tell you all you need to know." She spoke in a calm, level-headed manner, although her voice also sounded somewhat tired. 

She couldn't hold him against the wall for long in her current state. That she could at all was probably owed to adrenaline and her desire to protect Dren. Moments after she had said her piece, she dropped him to the ground. She then took a half-step back to try to steady herself, feeling once again like she would fall over at any moment. 

As she leaned back, she felt a hand on her shoulder, steadying her. "Careful." The familiar voice warned her from behind. She glanced back to find Jax standing next to her, his left hand on her shoulder until he thought she could stand on her own. "I thought Jedi were supposed to be calm. There is no emotion, there is peace, right?" Jax asked with a wry smile. 

Aeris elbowed him lightly. "Honestly. Don't go picking a fight, now." She warned him, though it was less serious than joking. He wasn't wrong, of course. In general, Jedi tended to be more calm and less rash, opposite the Jedi before them. But when your friends and comrades were in danger or worse, it tended to make that rather difficult. Especially for one already prone to such things, like the Zabrak. 

"Whatever our differences, we need to work together. This thing, this Sith, he's dangerous. Who knows what he'll do to the galaxy if we don't stop him now." She said, a statement meant for all of them, but aimed more at Sheik than the other two. Dren obviously acknowledged that fact, and she thought that Jax would go along with her without an issue. The question was: could this Jedi put aside his preconceptions and hatred of the Sith in order to work with them to protect the galaxy?

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Last edited by Amara on Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:27 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:39 pm 
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Sheik went for a swing, but Aeris used her force powers to pin him against the wall, and explained everything to him. "It's true," Dren added. "We unleashed something deep below the temple. He was feeding off of our energy. When we use the force, he get's stronger. So the more we fight, the more power he gets."

As Aeris dropped Sheik, he landed on his knees. He looked up at Dren, studying him. He sighed. His anger dissipating. It seemed he understood--like he had seen something. "There was a mist," he explained. I didn't know what it was. I escaped, but no one else did. First it hit Lotheal. She fought it, but it tore her apart. Then it hit Renth--he was also disintegrated. But Teli and Asha, perhaps because they aren't as trained--they succumbed to the mist. Their eyes--it's like looking into shadows. They attacked me. It's hard to know who to trust."

As the Sith spoke, Dren turned to find Aeris fallen, and in Jax's arms. Dren clenched his lightsaber tightly. He breathed out a few times, trying to calm himself. Though he got instantly weary. Dren knew she was a Grey Jedi, but he was a Sith. It was also highly suspect that he showed up out of nowhere. Was he on the side of Darth Devorer? Was he going to kill Dren or Sheik at any moment he had the chance?

"I apologize for attacking you Jedi Dren," Sheik told him, "But those two right now are Sith, and we need to dispose of them."

"It's Aeris, she used to be one of us," Dren pleaded.

"She used to be, now she's on the wrong side." Sheik walked over with his lightsaber still ignited. "The Sith want power, and that makes them dangerous."

Dren wanted to explain she was a Grey Jedi, but wasn't sure it would sit well with her comrads. He didn't trust Jax anyways, with the way he saved her suddenly. No, something was wrong about the whole situation. Sith craved power, and strength. They weren't about to do the galaxy any favors. Dren gritted his teeth, and pointed his lightsaber at Jax, and chose his words carefully, "Who's side are you on, Sith? Are you with Darth Devorer? Or are you with us?"

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:18 pm 
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Aeris felt relieved when Sheik stopped attacking, seeming to see reason. She doubted he trusted her, but at least he wasn't attacking Dren. She couldn't help but wonder, as he had explained the fate of his comrades, what fate had befallen her own comrades. Had they fallen? Were they dead? Had they resisted? Or were they on Darth Devorer's side?

She wondered about Jax, but she risked using the Force to gauge his loyalty and his intent, finding that he had no ill-intent. At least none related to their current situation. That was a relief. Of all of the Sith she had with her, he was the most likely to side with them. If he'd been corrupted, then there was no hope for the others. Or at least very little.

Aeris didn't allow her emotions to show o n her face as Sheik suggested, to no one's surprise, that they needed to dispose of the two Sith. Her face held a calm, neutral expression as the two exchanged words. She was grateful to Dren for standing up for her, even if it didn't work.

She was silent for a moment before speaking in a calm, matter-of-fact manner, " It will be your prejudice, Jedi, not the Sith's desire for power, that will doom the galaxy to death and destruction." Her face was relatively neutral, but her eyes showed her sincerity, and her desire to protect the galaxy and the people in it.

She fell silent once more as Dren pointed his saber at Jax, who stood next to her. "Just to be clear, I was also once one of you. Before I became a grey Jedi." Jax spoke, for clarity's sake. "That aside, I'm on your side. Not that you'll believe me." he shrugged, "I have no desire to see the galaxy fall to ruin, and it will, if Darth Devorer is on the loose." He spoke calmly, narrowing his eyes slightly. "If Aeris thinks we can beat him, then I'll follow her. To my death, if necessary." He added, making it clear where his loyalties lie.

Aeris gave him a small nod, letting him know that she believed him, before looking to the other two, waiting to see what they would do.

"You might be interested to know that I saw Titus in the tunnels not too long ago. I didn't speak to him, but he seemed different. His aura seemed even more menacing than usual. I suspect he surrendered himself to Darth Devorer. The fates of the others, I don't know. I didn't reach them before that mist appeared." he explained. "I ran when I saw it. Figured that there wasn't much I could do if it had gotten to them. I escaped and I've been wandering around ever since." He finished his explanation and shrugged. "I'm not looking to be anyone's puppet. And if history is anything to go by, Darth Devorer wasn't exactly partial to his followers. Sooner or later they all got, well, devoured. I don't fancy serving that kind of master. No power is worth that." he explained before smiling lightly. "I'd much rather serve a master like Aeris." he said with a somewhat sly grin.

Aeris groaned and rolled her eyes. "Yeah, you could've left out that last part." she said, giving him a weary look. He smiled and shrugged. "Can't blame a guy for trying." he replied before glancing at Dren. "Guess I shouldn't make jokes like that in front of your boyfriend here." he added with a wry smile, to which Aeris simply let out a heavy sigh, not bothering to dignify that with a response, other than mumbling "honestly," under her breath.

Jax quickly returned to the topic at hand. "So, what's it going to be, Jedi? Shall we team up and defeat the bad guys? Save the galaxy and all that?"

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:32 am 
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Aeris bit at the Jedi in general, but he felt it was a stab at him in particular. He didn't know what to feel about her, and especially about her comrade. Dren looked over Jax, carefully studying the features of the cyborg. He imagined the man without the implants, and much younger. A memory entered his mind. Dren remembered Drax from the temple, around the same time as when Aeris was there. He was older, and a student like them. He didn't have many memories, just that he had walked the halls.

Dren tilted his head as the Sith spoke, claiming to be a grey Jedi as well. Dren slit his eyes. He looked over the man, and he didn't like him one bit. Cocky, ill-mannered, and he seemed to want to provoke Dren. Though, he didn't seem a threat, not at the moment. So Dren turned off his lightsaber and clipped it to his belt. "I'm not her boyfriend--and if you so much as breath wrong, I will not hesitate to cut you down." He wasn't sure why he needed to emphasize the first part. Perhaps because he was trying to convince himself he wasn't drawn to Aeris, or perhaps because Sheik was there. Either way, he was a Jedi, he reminded himself.

"Darth Devorer, he's powerful," Dren explained. "We faced him in the tunnels below. We nearly lost our lives if not for Aeris' quick thinking. We're nothing more than insects to him. We need more than just strength and the force to defeat him. If anyone has any ideas, now's the time."

Sheik turned to Jax, "We will fight together. Do not try to pull anything--Sith--or Grey as you claim to be. I will not call you a Grey Jedi as Jedi is reserved only for those of the light." Sheik also clipped his lightsaber, and stood next to Dren.

Dren gave Jax a look, crossing his arms, clearly agreeing with Sheik. "Aeris has proven herself trustworthy to me. You have to prove it as well. Following Aeris is not enough. But right now, she needs-" His words were cut off by a scream.

Dren didn't recognize it, but it came from the pitch-black hallways. Someone was in trouble, or so it seemed. Dren and Sheik looked at each other, then to Jax. Then there was another scream, and a yell "help me!" echoed through the hallways. Still, Dren didn't recognize the voice, but the Jedi knew they needed to help. They ignited their lightsabers for light and defence, and ran into the pitch-black.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:19 am 
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Aeris had aimed her comment at Sheik, though it was true that most Jedi held the same prejudice. It frustrated her that they would even consider ignoring the fate of the galaxy simply to avoid working with Sith, for no other reason than that they held that title. She hated how many Jedi, and Sith as well, couldn't see past such trivial things. They couldn't look at the bigger picture. She supposed that it wasn't surprising, really, but frustrating nonetheless. Otherwise she wouldn't have mentioned it. Still, she never was one to hold back the truth simply because it would hurt someone's feelings. She did, however, regret that Dren seemed to take it as a stab at him. It hadn't been meant that way. In fact, compared to how she imagined most Jedi would react, he was handling it surprisingly well. He was still wary, but that wasn't terribly surprising. Frustrating, perhaps, but not surprising.

When he emphasized that he was not, in fact, her boyfriend, she had to swallow back any sort of reaction. She knew that. Still, it hurt to hear him say it so emphatically, even if he was doing it for the sake of the other Jedi. A flicker of disappointment could be seen in her eyes for a brief moment, but it was gone as quickly as it had come and she averted her eyes, her mind drifting momentarily, mulling it over. No. This was no time to be worrying about this. They had more pressing matters. She needed to focus.

Unlike Aeris, who felt a little disappointed by Dren's insistence that he was not her boyfriend, Jax found it rather amusing. He ignored the threat that followed, focusing, instead, on this. "Really? Here I thought I'd finally found whatever long lost love she was still clinging to. Guess I was wrong." he shrugged almost dramatically, smirking just a little. "Fine by me, though. Means I still have a chance to win her heart." he winked, smirking as Aeris groaned beside him, rolling her eyes. "Honestly. You don't know when to keep your mouth shut." She replied, shaking her head. Regardless, Jax knew he was right. He could see it in her eyes that she cared for this guy. Why? He had absolutely no idea. Still, she did, and he thought that the Jedi cared for her, too, whether or not he'd admit it. He knew he had no shot with Aeris. He'd tried plenty of times over the past several years and he'd gotten the same answer every time. This would be no different. That wasn't what this was about. In his own way, he was trying to help them. Or at least her.

When Dren spoke about Darth Devorer and said that if anyone had any suggestions, now was the time, Aeris spoke up. "I have an idea. It's not much, but it's something to go on." she responded, although she fell silent without going into any details when the other Jedi began speaking to Jax, agreeing to fight with them, but warning him against trying anything. Jax gave a shrug, glancing to Dren when he explained that he would also have to prove himself trustworthy. Fair enough, he guessed. Before he could respond, or Dren could even finish his sentence, a scream cut through.

Aeris and Jax both widened their eyes as the voice yelled for help. "Saila." Jax identified the voice, spinning on his heels and taking off without a second thought, igniting his saber as he ran through the hallways toward the voice. He could finish the conversation with the Jedi later. For now, his friend needed his help.

Aeris glanced at Dren and Shiek before taking her lightsabers in her hands and igniting them before running off after Jax. She was still not really in any shape for this, but it mattered not. As long as her body would respond, she would keep going. She had to. Saila needed her help, and she wasn't about to leave her to her fate. It didn't matter if she had to push herself past her limits. She would do it.

Aeris and Jax ran off in the direction of Saila, using the Force to guide them. They came to a skidding stop when they rushed into a room and were met by the same black mist. On the other side of the room they could see Saila trying her best to escape it. "What do we do?" Jax asked, looking to Aeris. She frowned and her eyes darted around, assessing the situation and the environment, trying to find something they could use to their advantage.

After a moment she reached out with the Force and pushed at the fog. It was blown back, away from them, but not as much as she had hoped. Still, it was something they could use. She glanced back at the Jedi who were right behind them, then to Jax. "We need to get up there and use it to cross the room. From there we can drop down next to her and blow the mist away, hopefully enough to escape. It will take all of us to do it, though." she explained her plan, glancing between them all before deactivating her lightsabers and crouching slightly, preparing to leap upward to the ledge.

"Aeris, no!" Jax grabbed her arm, stopping her. "You're in no shape to be doing things like that! You might kill yourself if you push your body too much further!" he warned, worry evident in his voice, despite his usual demeanor. Aeris grit her teeth and shook her head. "That doesn't matter right now! I'll be fine. If we don't go now, Saila WILL die! We don't have time for this!" she argued and he grit his teeth, glancing between her and Saila, who was frantically pushing at the fog with the Force, trying to keep it at bay as she backed away. "Fine. Let's go. But you're not making that jump." he insisted and then, before she had a chance to protest, he deactivated his saber, clipping it to his belt, scooped her up in his arms and leaped up to the ledge, immediately taking off running towards the other side.



As soon as they landed on the ledge and Jax began to run, Aeris snapped. "What the hell? Put me down, Jax!" she insisted, although, even she didn't know the reason behind why she felt so insistent on this. Was it because she didn't want help, or rather didn't want to accept help? Was it because she didn't want to be in his arms after what he'd said before, or perhaps just in general? Or was it because of Dren? Was She afraid of what he'd think? Afraid she'd hurt him again? Was she upset that it was Jax, rather than him, who had scooped her up and held her? She didn't know, but she wasn't exactly thinking it through right at that moment.

Jax shook his head, "I'll put you down when we reach Saila." He replied in a more calm manner than before. Aeris shook her head, "No! Put me down now!" she insisted, this time trying twisting her body to free herself from his grasp. He wasn't expecting her to do anything crazy like that, certainly not on a ledge when they were in a hurry, so he didn't react as quickly as he should have. She managed to twist free, falling from his arms. Normally she would have easily landed gracefully on the ledge, but she was in no where near top condition, so rather than landing gracefully on her feet, she landed unceremoniously on the ledge and tumbled over before Jax could grab her or she could grab the ledge.

She cursed herself for acting on her impulse rather than thinking it through and remaining calm. It was very much unlike her, but she was all out of sorts right now. As she fell towards the ground, she knew that Jax would want to try and jump down and save her, which would be a waste of precious time, "Go! Save Saila!" she called to him as she twisted her body slightly so that she could push down with the Force to cushion her landing, at least a little, and to blow the mist below her out of the way, meanwhile bracing herself for the impact.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Dren turned and saw Aeris and her companion sprint into the hallway. Dren didn’t have a moment to think--when Sheik grabbed his arm.

“Think about what you’re doing--you’re helping a Sith,” Sheik exclaimed, looking deep into Dren.

“I’m helping a friend. They’re our only hope right now.” With that Dren broke out of his grasp and sprinted down the hallway, trying to catch up. Dren looked behind, and noted that Sheik was following too, though perhaps not as fast as he could.

They reached the room when Dren noticed the last mass of mist coming at them, chasing down one of the other Sith. Aeris hatched a plan, and Jax grabbed her, jumping up to the ledge. Dren grit his teeth as he watched him hold her. He breathed out for a moment, and realized if he didn’t help, Aeris might succumb to the mist. How are they supposed to stop something so devastating? Was there really any chance, or was this all a waste? They should run, Dren realized, but Aeris was heading into danger. Dren could do nothing but jump.

Dren ran up onto the opposing ledge on the other side of the room. Sheik rolled his eyes, and followed suit. Dren saw Aeris fall out of Jax’s grasp, and he wanted to help, but there was no helping right now. There was someone down below, about to die. Dren’s heart began to pulse. He had a bad feeling about this.

“Help me!” screamed a low voice, more masculine than they had expected. Just then, Jedi Renth, who Sheik had claimed to be dead, burst out of the mist. His body was a mix of flesh and shadow. He tried force pushing against the mist but it had little effect.

“My friend!” Sheik screamed. Sheik, brash as always, jumped off the ledge before they reached the mist, to land in front of Renth.

“Sheik!” Dren yelled. “We need everyone for this!”

Sheik didn’t listen. He force pulled at Renth, sending the Jedi flying towards him. He grabbed onto Renth by his hand, helping him land gracefully. Renth grinned, and ignited his lightsaber--a red lightsaber--into Sheik’s stomach. Sheik then turned dark and his body began to disintegrate.

“No!” Dren screamed, unsure if he should keep running. He was too far to do anything, so on the cue, he jumped down with Jax, and landed in front of the mist, trying to save their friend. He force pushed with Jax, and the mist exploded around them as if hitting a massive obstacle.

It wasn’t enough though. The mist enveloped Dren and the whole room, and it turned and twisted into a mischievous figures--forming three bodies. That of Jedi Teli, Jedi Asha, and one of the Sith, with their shadow eyes. Renth dropped Sheik, now dead, onto the ground. With the hit, Sheik exploded into Mist as though he had become part of it. The mist surrounded Renth in a tornado, and as it sucked into his body, he turned into into Darth Devorer. He grinned and turned to Dren.

Darth Devorer screamed a guttural moan, and pushed out with his hands. The room exploded in a force push--like in the tunnel--but stronger this time. Clearly their use of the force push had only strengthened him. Dren couldn’t see what happened to the others, but he flew and slammed into the wall. His body felt like it was being crushed by a waterfall, much like before.

Asha turned to Dren, her eyes forming into the beautiful eyes they once were. She tilted her head, studying Dren carefully as she glided over to him. “Such a beautiful face, such a beautiful spirit--always caring for me. Those extra moments we would spend together--if only we hadn’t Jedi. But you no longer have to be.” She then leaned in and kissed Dren on the lips--he didn’t have anything to fight her with, no strength to push against it all. He could feel the cold pouring into his mouth. It clenched at his throat and stopped him from breathing. His eyes widened. He could feel everything draining away from him, being replaced by hate--the terror splintering his mind into a million pieces. He could feel everything--he could feel Darth Devorer.

She released the kiss, but her mouth remained open, and the mist poured out of it, directly into Dren’s mouth. Dren screamed, trying to fight it, but his body turned frigid and tense, and his veins began turning a sickly black--

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:15 pm 
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Aeris used the force to push downward, simultaneously softening her landing and pushing away the mist below, giving him a clear spot to land. She landed on the hard ground, which knocked the air out of her lungs, but otherwise was much less painful than one might have expected. She pushed through the soreness in her muscles, forcing herself to stand. As she stood she glanced around the room, seeing that the mist was already closing in on her. Jax and Dren were almost to the other side of the room.

Dren's Jedi companion, however, was in a difficult situation. She caught the tail end of his encounter with one of the other Jedi, who he had previously reported had been taken by the mist. She saw him pull the Jedi to him, only to be met with a saber in the gut. She tore her eyes away and looked to Dren and Jax, who soon dropped to the ground in front of Saila, force pushing the mist away. The mist exploded around them, but just as she began to focus on her own situation, she realized that it hadn't been enough. Rather, the mist had enveloped all three of them, rather than just Saila.

She saw figured form from the mist, two Jedi and a Sith... Cain. So, this was the fate he had suffered. She clicked her tongue and looked from him, to the figure of the Jedi who had killed Sheik. His appearance changed from that of the Jedi to that of Darth Devorer, who turned to Dren, then screamed. Moments later the room erupted with a Force push, just like before, throwing them all back against the walls.

Cain approached Jax, who was pinned against the wall, but Aeris couldn't hear what was being said. She could only see a grimace on his face as black mist poured from Cain, surrounding him and creeping up towards his mouth. Saila appeared to be suffering a similar fate at the hands of the second Jedi. She looked away, her eyes seeking out Dren, caring more about his safety than whatever fate would befall her, not realizing that the mist itself wasn't encroaching on her as it did the others.

Her eyes widened as she watched the figure that appeared to be Asha, the Jedi from before, approached Dren. She couldn't hear whatever the Jedi said to him, but the kiss was unmistakable, as was the black mist. "NO!" She screamed, fighting against the force that held her against the wall. She felt an overwhelming desire to rip the "Jedi" away from him, to protect him. She couldn't let him be killed, nor could she allow him to be taken over by this mist and turned into one of Darth Devorer's slaves.

As the various emotions flooded over her, from anger to fear, even perhaps a hint of jealousy, she managed to break herself free of the force that held her against the wall. She hadn't consciously thought about what she was doing, how she would save him, but rather acted on instinct. She reached out with her hand, drawing on strength she didn't know she had left in her. The next thing she knew the mist promptly evacuated Dren, pouring out of him and fleeing from him. Along with the mist, the Jedi was also pulled away from him, jerked backwards. It flew towards her and, with a wave of her hand, it dispersed.

Darth Devorer watched the scene, evidently intrigued by the scene he watched unfold. How was this girl controlling the mist? His mist? She shouldn't be able to. No one should. Was she, perhaps, a descendant of his? Whatever the reason, his interest was piqued. She could be useful if he played his cards right.

Aeris rushed to Dren's side, now that the Jedi was gone. "Dren! Are you okay?!" She asked almost frantically, a state not often seen from the usually composed young woman. The very brief victory, however, was short lived, as the voice of Darth Devorer soon interrupted, tightening the hold he had on Dren and the others, trying to ensure that they didn't escape. Surprisingly, though, he stopped the assault on them, keeping the mist from further invading them.

"You can save your friends." He spoke to her, his intense gaze focused on her as he waved his hand, gesturing to Dren and her two Sith companions. "All you have to do is join me." His voice still sounded somewhat broken, as though it were not complete, despite the significant improvement it had undergone since their last encounter. "Join me and I will let your friends go free." He reiterated, a menacing smile-like expression twisting his already vile face.

Her eyes widened as she listened to the words. Her mind mulled over everything that had happened thus far, trying to consider any other options, any way that they could manage to get out of this mess and escape alive. Everything she came up with, however, was risky and more than likely ended up with one or all of them dead. She didn't see a whole lot of other options.

She did consider the fact that if she left, Dren may not see things the same way she did. He might think she truly was a Sith, that she was evil. He may hate her, and he might never forgive her. These possibilities tore at her heart, willing her not to go. That, however, was her own selfishness, her own desire to stay by his side, to not let him go, to not hurt him and lose him again. In her heart, though, she knew she had only one choice. Even if he didn't understand. Even if it meant hurting him and being separated from him again, she couldn't let him die. She would rather he live hating her than die loving her.

Beyond that, if she said no, they'd all likely die. It had become painfully obvious that they didn't have the strength to defeat him alone. Certainly not now. If they all died, who would stop the destruction that was to come? Who would defeat him and save the galaxy from certain devastation? No. He needed to live, to escape and warn the galaxy of what was to come. To find some way to defeat him.

This left her with one choice. Join him. She would never truly be loyal to him. She would do her best to find a way to escape his grasp, to flee and find Dren again whenever she had the chance. Until that time came, however, she would do what she must to protect him, to ensure that he lived, and that she survived long enough to get away, if such a thing was possible.

After a few moments spent considering her options, she finally replied. "Fine." She replied, resigning herself to her fate. "I will join you, so long as you let them go." She added. There was no hesitance in her voice, not even any fear, just conviction and determination. She gathered that he likely wanted her to serve him voluntarily, perhaps because of whatever had just happened with the mist. That meant that he was less likely to kill her, and likely to release the others as he had promised, to ensure that she would leave with him.

A few moments later he released his hold on the other three, letting them fall to the ground, the mist evacuating their bodies. "Very well. You are free to leave." he spoke to the other three. "Go, before I change my mind." His voice almost hissed as he spoke. Aeris glanced back at Dren, making sure he was okay. Her eyes begged him to understand, showing how much she didn't want to leave, how much she hated this. But how she felt didn't matter. She had to keep himself, no matter the cost. From the corner of her eye she also saw Jax and Saila on their knees, coughing, gasping for breath. Jax looked her way and she thought he was trying to say something, perhaps telling her not to go, but whatever words he wanted to say wouldn't come out.

"Come." Darth Devorer gestured to her. She gave Dren one last fleeting look, her eyes showing everything she felt, begging him to forgive her before she turned and began to walk away from him, again. Each step she forced herself to take, each step that carried her away from him broke her heart, but she forced herself to keep going, following the Sith she hated away from the Jedi she loved. Resisting her desire to turn around and run to him, to kiss him as she'd wanted to so many times, to finally tell him what she had wanted to tell him for so long--that she loved him. She promised him in her heart that she would find her way back to him one day, as soon as she got the chance. She could only hope that, if and when she did find her way back, he wouldn't hate her.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:51 pm 
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Those eyes. Those shadows of eyes. They looked deep into Dren, and everything turned dark. The room around them lit with a sickly red, and every person disappeared. Dren was left alone, and the temple looked as if it had been built yesterday. Lightning cracked through the sky.

Dren walked into the middle of the room, adjoining it was a throne room. He felt a pull towards it, the cold of the darkside--it was entrancing, drawing him in. He walked into the room, and saw the older woman from the tunnel. She looked so much like Aeris, but not exactly. Something was off about her--perhaps a relative? She was sitting on the throne.

“She will be your undoing,” she said with a million voices. “She will tear you down--but if you join the darkside, if you let it in, you can be with her.”

Suddenly he heard a Rancor roar echo through the temple. The rancor tore through the temple, tearing down pillars through it’s rampage. Dren opened his lightsaber, but the Rancor came at him, and hit him with a swing of its arms. Dren flew against a pillar smashing it to a million pieces. He looked up, and the rancor felt familiar. It wasn’t fully corporeal. It was a spirit of a rancor, and within the body he saw the silhouette of a human figure, one he recognized. It was as if the rancor was the embodiment of his mother, as strange as it sounded. It felt like her. Why was she attacking him?

Then another Rancor tore through the temple. This time it was his father, smashing Dren against a wall. Then another, a brother he didn’t know he had? Another, his former master. Another his friend from the temple. Another a child he would have. Another Aeris.

They threw him about, breaking every bone in his body, and when he cried for help, they wouldn’t stop. The people he cared about, the people he will care about, began to tear him into a million pieces--a nightmare of grandiose proportions. That’s when he started to get angry. The anger welled up inside of him, and he screamed outwards as a force push blasted around him--

Then the world began to crumble. Had he done that? No, something else outside was breaking it down--

Dren’s eyes opened. The black was seeping out of his eyes. The black veins began to diminish. The black mist was pouring out of his mouth and back into Asha. It evacuated out from him so quickly Asha couldn’t take it back in. She seemed worried as she was suddenly jerked back and flew towards Aeris.

Dren no longer felt the push against the wall and fell to the ground in a clump of heaving mess. He was shivering, having touched the cold of the Darkside so strongly. Yet he was sweating--his entire body of muscles exhausted beyond their use. His throat was sore, and he coughed trying to expel more of the mist. Some of his veins still bore the black mist, unable to fully be evacuated from his body. He felt the anger, the fear--the power. He closed his eyes, he wouldn’t let the dark side take over. No, the mist was gone, he had to focus.

“I’m so cold--” Dren told Aeris in a shiver when she asked how he was.

He hardly had a moment to breathe, when Darth Devorer pushed Dren back against the wall. Dren was pinned again. Yet something was different this time. He could feel the dark side, somewhere back in the shadows of his mind--but he could also feel Darth Devorer. It was like the unexplainable connection that Aeris and Dren shared--but this was fresh.

Dren tried to understand everything, but he was still out of it and confused. He looked around for the Rancor spirits but didn’t see them. Instead, he saw Darth Devorer, speaking to Aeris. He could just make out a proposal. Then, she accepted. What had she accepted? It was hard to tell.

He was let go, and he fell yet again to the ground. His head to the hard floor, he looked at Aeris. She at him. He knew what she was doing. She was joining him. Why was she joining him? He was right to question her motives before--she was a Sith. She was turning on them all. She was turning on Dren. His heart sank, he gritted his teeth. She was a Sith. A Sith. It began to sink in.

Still, there was something in her eyes--he wasn’t sure what to take from it. He wasn’t so sure anymore. Those moments they shared, he couldn’t believe she was a Sith. Still, Stih deceive and manipulate, so perhaps that’s all she had been doing this whole time--all so he wouldn’t strike her down. Maybe she was trying to turn him to the Darkside as well. Dren couldn’t be sure.

He watched as she walked away, giving him one last look. That last look stuck with him. Something wasn’t right. She seemed to want to say something. He felt their connection--and it was worry? Concern? He couldn’t make out the fleeting emotions, but none of it was consistent with her wanting to join him for power, or desire. No, something was different.

Dren could only watch as the woman he thought about every day since she had left the temple--and even a bit before that--was walking away with a monster. He couldn’t go after her, not in the state he was in. How long until he would see her again? Would he ever see her again? He wasn’t sure but he knew this moment would be one of the hardest in his life, just like the night when she left.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:07 am 
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Aeris knew Dren was confused. She was certain that the others likely were, too, although she hoped they would all put the pieces together. If she were simply joining him for power then she, or Darth Devorer, would have likely ended them then and there, rather than let them go free. Please... Please understand... She thought to herself, unconsciously trying to project those feelings to the others, but mostly to Dren. Her heart broke more and more with every step she took, but no matter how much she wanted to turn back, no matter how much she wanted to run to him, to hold him, to tell him how she truly felt, she couldn't. Her resolve to save him, to save all of them, was all that kept her going, all that gave her the strength to take each heavy step away from them.

She glanced back at Dren and the others one more time before tearing her eyes away, focusing on the path in front of her as she followed the Sith, Darth Devorer, deeper into the tunnels. She wasn't sure how long they walked, it felt like an eternity as her mind raged in torment over how much she was hurting him, trying desperately to think of a way to escape, once she knew that they were safe. But it was no use. For now, she was too emotional to think straight, to come up with a reasonable plan. She needed to calm down, to let rationality win over emotions. That was the only way she would manage to ensure their safety, as well as her own.

She took a deep, quiet breath to calm herself as they entered a large chamber, where she assumed Darth Devorer had set up his temporary base, if you will. She took it all in before glancing to the corner of the room where Titus stood, eyeing her. Jax had been right, then. He was not only alive, but he was serving Darth Devorer of his own free will. Not like the others who had been turned into mindless slaves. It didn't really surprise her so her eyes didn't linger of him for more than a moment.

"We will leave this place soon. As soon as a suitable vessel arrives." Darth Devorer spoke, his voice still sounding somewhat gravelly, as though it was still not used to speaking. Aeris thought back to the days before this happened, remembering that their reinforcements should have been on the way. They should be arriving at any time now, in fact. As she thought this, she instinctively reached out into the Force, finding the ship making its approach to the planet. Had he felt them, too? Was that what he was waiting for? Or had Titus said something? She couldn't be sure, but she didn't bother asking that question.

Now that she thought about it, why was she able to use her abilities more easily again? Why did she suddenly not feel quite so weak? Before she had attributed it all to adrenaline, but that had long worn off. No, she now felt a new strength, as though some of her power had miraculously recovered, but it was different. It was darker. Had he given her strength? Had he given her a small taste of his power, hoping she would want more? Hoping that it would corrupt her and bring her fully over to his side? Perhaps. Nothing else truly made sense. Why, then, had he not said anything? Bragged on the power, tempted her with his words as well as the power? Again, she had no answers.

"That power you displayed before. Where did you learn to do that?" Darth Devorer questioned her. "A descendant of mine, perhaps?" He questioned and Aeris shrugged almost flippantly. "Don't know. That was the first time I've done anything like that," she replied with an empty voice, devoid of emotion. "I don't know whether or not I am your descendant. It's been a very long time since you last walked this world," she added, leaning back against a wall and closing her eyes.

"What do you plan to do? Where will you go when our 'suitable vessel' arrives?" she asked, curious to know his plan. She was answered with a rather unnerving smile. "This planet will fuel my rise to power, and we will begin our conquest," his voice held a frightening joy at the thought of the destruction he would bring about. Aeris thought that his answers were a bit cryptic, which she guessed was because he, perhaps, didn't trust that she was fully on his side. Still, he had given her enough information to piece together his plan.

"What of my friends?" She asked, feeling as though he had no intention of giving them an escape. "I agreed not to kill them. If they leave the planet, I won't stop them. But I won't aid them, either." He had the same somewhat menacing grin on his face. It was as though he thought he had won, manipulated her into joining him by allowing her friends to live for a time, only to allow them to die along with all other life in this planet. Still, he wouldn't interfere if they left the planet, which meant that there was still hope.

"I see," she sighed and leaned her head back against the wall, looking as though she were simply resigned to this fate, knowing that even now she hadn't the strength to fight him and save them on her own. Or perhaps she was simply relaxing before the tedious tasks ahead soon began. In reality, however, she was reaching out to Dren through the Force. Telepathy wasn't her natural gift, but she was capable of getting him a message. She chose him for many reasons, one of which was their connection, which would make it easier for her to convey her message. "Dren." her voice would whisper in his mind.

She didn't have it in her to convey her message with words, as she didn't wish to draw on the power she thought Darth Devorer had given her, as she didn't want to risk the chance that it was connected to him somehow. Instead, it would be images and feelings that would be conveyed. The first was an image of the Sith ship that approached the planet. The second was a image of the planet dying, along with a strong sense of worry and urgency. "Run." Her voice whispered in his mind once more, urging him to leave this place before its inevitable destruction. The last image was one of the Sith temple. She didn't know it for sure, but she had a sneaking suspicion that they would be heading there next, if he was waiting for the ship carrying Sith to arrive. She thought that it was likely that he would want to meet with the Sith and try to turn them to his side. Of course, he would be sorely disappointed by the strength of the Sith, given how far they had fallen since his day, but that was beside the point. He didn't know that now, and she had no intention of telling him.


-------


Jax watched Aeris leave, eyes wide as he tried to get his mind back together, to figure out what was going on, why she was leaving, and what had happened before that. He coughed, still on his hands and knees where he had landed once Darth Devorer released him, trying to rid himself of the remaining mist. After a minute or so, once he had reoriented himself, he forced himself up to his feet, staggering forward. Saila was slumped against the wall, but he could see the steady rise and fall of her chest, telling him that she was still alive.

Aeris had joined Darth Devorer. There was no way she did it for power or even for survival. She would rather die than live a life contrary to her principles, a life spent aiding in the destruction of the galaxy. There had to be another reason. He'd seen the look in her eyes, as if she was worried about them, as if she were telling them she was sorry. So why? Why had she gone? Then it dawned on him. She had done this for them. That had to be it. After she agreed to join him, they had been released. Had he offered her a deal? Join him in exchange for their lives? that had to be it. He thought it was Dren's life she was most concerned about. Had it been him and Saila, he wasn't sure she would have so easily given in. But he was her weakness.

Jax staggered forward over to Dren, who looked to be even worse shape than he was, and that was only made worse by the fact that Aeris was now gone. He imagined that Dren must feel like she'd abandoned him again. He reached down and held out a hand to Dren, to help him up. "We need to get out of here," he spoke with a voice that sounded somewhat hoarse from the mist, and the coughing. "Aeris must have had a reason. I don't think she was abandoning us. I think she was trying to save us. If she gave herself to him in order to save us--to save you--then I'll be damned if I let that go to waste. She wanted you to survive, and I intend to make sure that happens," he added, his eyes showing his sincerity. He may not like this guy all that much, and he may be a Jedi, but Aeris cared for him, obviously more than she cared for herself, so he would protect him, even if he didn't like it. Besides, if they were to have any chance of getting out of this alive, they needed to work together.

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"The line between what brings us pain and what sustains us is far thinner than one imagines." - Klaus Mikaelson.


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