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Nov 27, 2022 4:08 AM
message in a botnet - Deskyl and DZ are rescued by Diana
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Diana is glad that Deskyl is capable of asserting boundaries, honestly; that means she's not going to inadvertently trample over them.  Deskyl gets the impression of - Diana is not going to pry, but she wants to understand, so she can help better, when those reactions occur - and yes, this technique is gentle, yielding.  It's also kind of oddly Sith-y for a Jedi, really; it feels a lot more will-shaped than openness-shaped, even though it's still based in a philipsophy of openness.  Deskyl might even be able to do something like it all on her own; it's a sort of recursive asking of questions of yourself, interrogating your instincts to reconstruct the patterns they came from.

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Yeah, maybe.

She's tired, by the time Diana is done.

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Diana is so proud of her; she did so well.  "You're going to feel tired when you do this; that happens when you think really hard.  Be careful, okay?"  She catches her own yawn before it goes anywhere - she's being very careful of sounds herself, for Deskyl's sake - but Deskyl and DZ can still see her doing it, because at some point in this process her helmet came off.  (It's resting on her back, now.)

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Sign sign sign-

    "She's injured, not an invalid, ma'am."

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"I'm very glad that she's well enough now to tell me off about it!"  ...Diana grins, somewhere between "trying to stifle a laugh" and "beaming".

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This just makes her more angry; her hand twitches toward her lightsaber, though it doesn't quite connect, and instead she sweeps off toward her room, gesturing for DZ to follow.

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Ah.  Yeah.  She should have expected that.  It still sucks to feel, though.

Well, there's distracting fiddly maintenance to do.  That keeps her out of the space she's trying to give Deskyl.  That's helping, right?  She really wants to help...

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It's not hard to give Deskyl space; the Sith doesn't come out of her room again. Even DZ isn't turning up in the galley - she must be coming out sometime, Deskyl's food is disappearing at the expected rate, but Diana doesn't see her, no matter how much time she spends hanging around there.

(The signs in the Force suggest that Deskyl is fine; she seems relatively calm, most of the time, though sometimes frustrated or bored. Her meditation - at least it seems to be meditation - is another story; of course a Force-sensitive powered by fear and rage is going to incorporate them into their daily practice.)

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Diana herself also hiding is probably also not helping, but Diana cannot actually solve this.

So it's up to R4, after days pass in silence, to try, because it's affecting his ship.  ...My human kriffed something up really badly, huh?

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It's not just her, Sith are difficult. We're lucky I have a calm one.

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Do you mind explaining what happened?  For both our sakes.

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Yours laughed at mine; that's a threat, to Sith. Anything that suggests you aren't taking them seriously is.

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I see.  I'll pass that on.  Is there some good indicator of taking this seriously that my human could use?

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Not straightforwardly. It's more a matter of not doing the wrong things than doing the right things - you can't tell a Sith you think you could beat them in a fight without them thinking that's going to matter somehow.

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I see.

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Later that afternoon, Diana knocks on Deskyl's door; two firm raps that belie the weltering turmoil of emotions she's feeling about all this.

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Deskyl opens it after a moment; she's in one of the black outfits DZ had packed, embroidered in gold and red across the shoulders, exuding a quiet confidence.

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"...hey.  ...wow, you look really good in that - excuse me.  I.  Mm.  Would you be interested in hearing what I was - trying to convey, the last time we spoke, or would you just prefer to know that - mm.  I've taken the feedback I've received on-board, and will be doing my best to ensure that I treat you with the respect you are, in fact, due, going forwards?"

"And...how are you?  I realize I hardly have a right to that information, but...Despite myself, I seem to have become invested."  She laughs wryly, self-directedly.  "Not very Jedi of me, that."

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...huh.

She steps aside to let her in.

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Diana blinks, but...sure, she can come in if Deskyl would prefer this?

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Deskyl stays by the door, leaning against the dresser there; DZ is at the table, but stands to let Diana have it.

    "She says she'd like to know what you were trying to say, ma'am," DZ relays.

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"It's..."

Diana hmms.  (She doesn't take the table.)

She's stared off into the middle distance for a good thirty seconds before she starts speaking again.

"For the past week you had barely been a person.  I - I was relieved.  That you were coming back to yourself.  That I'd...helped, even a little bit.  So that was...coloring my reaction to having made that first misstep?  I think.  I can't be as sure as I'd like to; I'm...not good at directly confronting my own regrets.  ...still.  I was...I was glad.  You were, are, for that matter, getting stronger, recovering well.  And that's a good thing.  I don't - well, okay, I do care if I end up dead, but - the strength of my allies is my strength?  And I...hope we can be not-enemies.  And...Force, I don't know.  It was cute?  Like - those holos of big cats being grumpy that some university keeps uploading.

"So I tried to...draw back, smooth over, find a way to, make good from bad, and promptly ran smack into Sith culture being fractally horrible about power, I think?

"I don't know, you're the resident Sith, I'm a kriffing Jedi," she says almost like it's a curse, "I'm not sure where the...must-be-a-threat, thing, springs from.  But...I was trying to imply you had power, because you were lucid enough to tell me to kriff off, not diminish or demean the power you had."

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Deskyl thinks about this; a few seconds into it, there's a gentle nudge from her in the Force, offering a calming effect, mild and easy to ignore by default but there's a sense of how Diana could lean into it to request that Deskyl strengthen the effect.

    "She says that most of the problem is that if you try to hurt her, her options are to take it or to kill you, ma'am, and she doesn't like either of those, so any sign of that is alarming - she doesn't know that you won't."

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"...oh..."

That one single syllable is paired with an outpouring of grief.

She doesn't make another sound, but tears run down her face, because...that's even more horrible than she thought it could become, and...she's not even made a dent, so many are still adrift in, in, that, in a 'state' where the only guaranteed relief from durance vile is death...

...so, yes, she'd...like that calming effect, please.

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Yeah.

Here's the calming effect; the strength of it wobbles around for a moment before settling into something comforting but not overwhelming, and then stays steady.

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