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Nov 27, 2022 3:57 AM
message in a botnet - Deskyl and DZ are rescued by Diana
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"...well.  That's kriffed up."

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"Yes ma'am."

"She's taking most of her situational cues from me, right now, and I believe that if I allow her to attack you without interference she'll assume she's in some other situation than that. But I have specific orders from her not to allow her to attack people if her doing so will be a risk to her life or her escape."

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"Well, it won't.  Worst comes to worst, I have to stun her, which...I don't know if you know how that would work out, but there's not much it can make worse at this point.  So let her.  I could use a sparring partner anyway."

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"Yes ma'am. I expect she wouldn't have any unusual trouble recovering from a stunner bolt, physically or cognitively; I haven't specifically seen her take one but she's recovered from minor lightning attacks with no complications."

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"Then that solves that, I think.  Thank you."

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"Thank you, ma'am. And please let me know if you think of another approach that I can try. Shall I wake her for dinner when you're done?"

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"...I'll try, DZ.  I'll try.  ...I don't know, should you?  You've been watching her vitals."

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"She won't be harmed by skipping another meal, ma'am, she'll just want extra in the morning."

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"Then extra she shall have."

Diana then pads off to rest.

"Goodnight, DZ, R4, Deskyl."

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"Goodnight, ma'am."

They settle into a routine, after that: DZ allows Deskyl to attack Diana in the morning, but talking her down afterward sets the tone for the rest of the day, leaving her confused but not distressed and relatively easy to manage; the stunner turns out to be unnecessary.

 

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And on the fifth morning of this, she stops short in the galley, fear blending with confusion as she recognizes Diana.

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Diana gives a polite wave, emoting pride-in-the-accomplishments-of-another, and then there's food.

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It takes a moment for her to decide to stand down, but she does, and takes the plate, seeking out DZ to sign 'why' to as she sits.

    Ally.

...Jedi?

    Ally Jedi. Safe. Helped. Enemy of master.

Ohhhh. Yes, good. ...Jedi questions?

    "She'd like to know if you have any questions for her, ma'am."

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"...Would Force healing help her recover?"

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She takes a bit to consider the question; if Diana's paying attention, she may notice an incongruous thread of worry in the Force as she does.

    "She says she's not sure but she'd like to try it, ma'am."

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Diana is indeed paying attention.  "Alright, let's see..."

Diana pulls off one of her gloves, and nudges the Force volume throttle (after erecting soundproofing).  "Deskyl, may I touch your hand?  It helps."

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She startles slightly at the unexpected sound, but offers her hand.

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Diana's touch is gentle, and the resulting gentle inquiry of the Force within her is...warm, welcoming, soothing.  "It's okay.  You're doing good.  Just breathe, gentle, slow, calm.  You're safe."

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Deskyl tenses a bit at the words, but doesn't pull away.

    "That kind of thing is hostile, to Sith, ma'am."

(She has a scattering of electrical and 'saber burns in the process of healing, and a number of scars, that the Force reveals to Diana; none are particularly severe, though the remaining brain damage is certainly significant. There are also a few places, if she's paying close attention, where a surface scar isn't matched by underlying damage like it should be; it would be possible, perhaps, to heal someone that selectively with the Force, but extremely difficult, and Sith supposedly can't use Force healing at all...)

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"I see.  Sorry."  ...Empty void, she's going to -- no, she isn't.  Calm, Diana, you are healing a patient.

She breathes, in and out, half into a healing trance, but only half because she is directing that healing to Deskyl's wounds...

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Deskyl sits quietly, letting her work, watching closely but not distracting her.

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Diana can actually do quite a lot for Deskyl's wounds!  The physical ones, at the very least!

...As for the mental ones...She breathes in.  She breathes out.  She lets her senses touch Deskyl's mind.

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There's a sense, here, of it having been scoured, like a coastal town after a tsunami, or a forest after a brutal fire. There's plenty of new growth, though, and the framework coming in for more, and it won't be hard at all to encourage that along.

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And so Diana Ophelia Pallas does, providing a subtle stability to the churn, promoting connection, promoting regrowth, promoting future resilience against that which would ever make someone in her care feel like this ever again --

Deskyl is not hers.  She is not anyone's.  Diana knows this.  So she takes a deep breath, holds her emotions aside, and asks herself - what does Deskyl need, right now?

 

Her mind is roiling, churning, like a boiling pot of water.  It is not supposed to do that.  Minds are much, much more stable even in the unhealthy modes she's seen.  (Sometimes too much so, but that is another story.)  What Deskyl needs are anchors.  Things her thoughts can accrete around again.  And she knows just who to ask, as she pieces together a metaphor that might even work - 

"DZ, if you can remind your mistress of - who she is, not the big things, the little ones, as we go - I, think this will help, we're kind of making this up live, really, because I don't think anyone's seen this sort of damage before from my side, but...she's already got some of the idea, she just needs to find the right things to apply it to -" and Diana is good at finding just the right things, a transferable skill from precision machine work, and nudging Deskyl's attention through the Force as she gives prompts to DZ, still in that half trance, so Deskyl can weave herself back together, re-establish the current of self, forge her mind like kyber crystal -- (a thought-memory of Diana's own slips out; her blue crystals were found in the traditional Jedi way, but she synthesized the core of her green saber herself, because green is the crystal the Jedi take to mean focus-on-knowledge, and what, then, is a better expression of knowledge than using it to make something wonderful, and you have, Deskyl, you really have, because what you made saved you when you couldn't save yourself,)  (Diana's really proud of DZ.  DZ is a good droid.  She's glad Deskyl feels the same way.)

She doesn't really expect this to fix the underlying - Force-burn, she thinks - all in one go, but she does hope it'll help speed up the process.

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    "Yes ma'am." DZ settles in to recite some poetry to Deskyl; signed, because that's what she's always preferred, even when she could hear.

Deskyl is only partly paying attention to DZ, though, and instead mostly watching Diana - this isn't just healing, it's something else, and she trusts DZ's assessment that Diana is an ally but she doesn't trust Diana not to make a mistake.

The effect Diana is wielding seems gentle, in the way carefully-applied Force effects can be: she expects that if she ignores it, it will do whatever Diana is intending, but with even a bit of attention she can stop it from doing anything she doesn't like. Mostly she doesn't object; a few times she nudges her away, with annoyance or frustration or fear.

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