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Oct 21, 2021 11:14 PM
Apprentice SithDusk meets experimental torture subject z shortly before she kills her master
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...can i hear one?

(not hear. you know what i mean.)

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Yeah.

She pauses, considering; vague impressions of various poems come through the badly-filtered communication channel before she settles on one that she's been focusing on recently.

For every parcel I stoop down to seize
I lose some other off my arms and knees,
And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns --
Extremes too hard to comprehend at once,
Yet nothing I should care to leave behind.
With all I have to hold with hand and mind
And heart, if need be, I will do my best
To keep their building balanced at my breast.
I crouch down to prevent them as they fall;
Then sit down in the middle of them all.
I had to drop the armful in the road
And try to stack them in a better load.

[source]

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He likes it, though it reminds him of the dread he's trying so hard to forget. He tries hard to keep hold of it.

(to prevent them as they fall)

good words.

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Yeah. Very - that's my task, for now. Carry as much of myself through as I can.

I'm doing okay. Been - a year, little less? Don't have an equilibrium but I'm getting by.

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long time to be losing pieces.

hopefully it's done soon.

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I think so.

What I need is an opening; they've been getting less careful of me as I lose bits, and I'm doing that slower than they think. Might be able to let them think I've forgotten how my saber works, soon, that might do it.

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...losing stuff like that, too?

He's concerned.

sounds like that'd have them let their guard down, though. (who are 'they'?)

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I don't think I'll actually lose that. But I can't talk anymore, except sometimes poetry. Can't do names. Get lost, sometimes, in strange places. That kinda thing. Anything that's not something she's directly perceiving in the moment, she can't depend on being able to remember when she needs it. But so far her muscle memory seems to be intact, and reaching for her saber when she needs it is more that than anything else; she's not having trouble walking, either.

Master's the problem, but the other apprentices matter too, they all talk to each other.

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...must be hard to lose that kind of stuff.

don't think i'll probably be helpful, but if i can be, let me know.

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Droid reminds me stuff, that helps. Getting harder to figure things out, though, even on a good day. Like this one; this is a very good day.

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All he can send is hope.

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She echoes it back. Having another friend helps. Through passion I gain strength.

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through strength i gain power.

through power i gain victory.

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yeah.

hang in there, I need you.

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i promise.

He means it.

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Good. She sends the hope swirling around him in lieu of a hug.

Soon.

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soon.

He savors the feeling of affection while he has it. 

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Yeah.

I should sleep; sometimes I get two good days in a row if I sleep a little extra. If you'll be okay.

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...yeah. i’ll be okay.

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good.

One last swirl, and she's gone.

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The next morning, her master makes her leave her saber behind when he picks her up from her room. She lets him, more or less - a perfunctory growl makes it clear that she knows she's being pushed - and tries to warn her friend that something is clearly going to happen today, but she's not familiar enough with him yet to manage it without meditating.

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It’s a couple of hours before it starts.

no no no no no no no no

There’s a feeling of sickness and violation and panic that starts out creeping and dull and becomes sharp and overwhelming.

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It doesn't take much to overwhelm her, these days. A droid shows up where he's being worked on to ask his torturer to hurry up, as he's disturbing His Lordship's pet.

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It’s done quickly after that.

Once he’s back in his cell he remembers the blind spot she showed and curls up there as tightly as he can, tucking his head into his knees and covering it with his hands.

He stays like that a while.

(The feeling is still there, but it becomes muted over time.)

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She rolls in like a stormcloud, dark and dense and utterly wordless, still sparking with rage and pain.

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