In the Yavin Jungle…

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Originally posted on The Raven's Mind Maze:
Amidst the suffocating wilderness hides a secret and forgotten temple slowly awakening from a haunted slumber… Some- Okay, okay! Lots of furtive shots from my Yavin 4 Stronghold in Star Wars: the Old Republic.…

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[Fanfic: SWTOR] The Masks We Wear

Khessya made her way into the temple ruins, letting her fingers brush the mossy stones eaten by age and her thoughts roam freely.

She had found her way to Yavin 4 once more. Another trip down memory lane and introspection, merely weeks after the events of Umbara.

She sighed as she reached the spot she knew her feet would lead her to, the spot where they were always leading her to. The long forgotten ruin that had sheltered a stolen peaceful moment she had shared with Theron all those years ago.

Theron…

Theron whom she had finally found only to lose him again in a moment. Theron who had become a stranger, who hadn’t even blinked at the sight of her on Copero, who hadn’t even said a word to her. His indifference had lit an insatiable fire in her heart, a voracious pain running through her veins.

She let her forehead rest on the cold stone in an attempt to soothe her sorrow, clenching her fists to stop her hands from shaking. Tears ran on her cheeks as she remembered the moment she had woken up here, her head on his shoulder, his arms wrapped around her, offering a safety and comfort she had never known she craved.

She let herself slid down to the ground as a new wave of pain engulfed her, giving in to her grief for as long as she would need to. In the solitude of the jungle moon she could afford to drop the mask, to appear as wounded and broken as she felt. She was nothing here; not the Alliance Commander, not a Jedi, barely even Khessya, just a woman with a broken heart and too many tears to hold.

***

Theron put his shuttle on auto-pilot and finally allowed himself to relive the events that had happened on Copero.

It had hurt to see her again, much more than he had prepared himself for. She hadn’t changed at all; the same quiet determination, the same unassailable will, the same angry yet adorable frown on her face. But he knew better. He could see it in her eyes as they briefly met his. An ocean of pain, anger and confusion behind the serene mask. And it was all because of him.

He clenched his teeth, funneling his guilt into a stubborn anger. The Order of Zildrog had given him no choice but to hurt her and they were going to regret it. And one day maybe, she would be able to forgive him.

***

Only when the last of her tears had dried did she managed to put a semblance of order in her thoughts and focus on that one little stray of hope she was holding on to without even realizing it.

No, you’ll never win! His voice had broken then, tainting his words with both hope and despair. And she couldn’t help but wonder…

What if he hadn’t been wearing a mask for all those years but was wearing one now? What if all this was nothing but the ruse of a spy pretending to betray her to better protect her? I’d do anything to protect you. It was a long shot, and more than probably wishful thinking but she couldn’t help but hope.

A beep from her holo-communicator signaling an incoming written transmission from Hylo Visz interrupted her train of thoughts. She got up and headed back to her shuttle. Hylo knew better than to disturb her for anything less than an emergency right now, it had to be important.

She took a deep breath and opened the message.

Don’t know how they pulled it off but my contacts managed to intercept a fragment of a transmission sent to Theron’s shuttle. Thought you’d want to see the transcript.
BEGIN TRANSCRIPT:
>> I held up my end of the bargain. Now it’s your turn. Will this really work?
>> You have no need to worry. The Eternal Alliance and its Commander will be destroyed.
>> The Order of Zildrog will prevail.
END TRANSCRIPT.
That’s all they could grab before the transmission cut out. But at least we have a name. Just wish we knew what it meant.

Khessya allowed herself to hope, to believe. Too many things felt off for this to be a coincidence. So she would fight through the pain and trust her feelings one last time. For better or worse.

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Khessya

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You were born a light in the darkness
A beacon of hope for the lost and aching souls
They all flutter to you like moths to a flame
So take great care of this gift
For it might blind you
And set the whole world on fire.

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Unknown

Khessya headed to the solitude of her quarters. The ship course was set to the fastest route to Yavin 4 and her crew had been ordered to get some rest. The last few days had been everything but easy and tomorrow would come with even more challenges and mysteries to face.

She tried to focus and quiet her mind to get some much needed rest but it was easier said than done. So much had happened in the past few days and yet everything kept going back to Rishi and that last moment, that last conversation.

She had followed Zenith’s advice, followed her own heart, going against everything she knew, everything she’d ever been taught. Jedi were not supposed to form attachments, to give in to passion and feelings, it was a dangerous path to walk but she had chosen to anyway.

It should have felt wrong. It had felt perfectly right.

* * *

Theron left the bridge and made his way to the medbay. He had updated everyone on the events that had occurred on Rishi as best he could but there was only so much pain he could endure even with the help of his implants. That would have to do.

It didn’t help much that an adorable frown and intense purple eyes were haunting his every thoughts, adding to his lack of concentration and making him even more eager to escape his mother’s gaze.

He allowed himself a small smile. Of all the people in the galaxy he had to start falling for a Jedi. But she was so much more than that, than her titles and the stories about her. She was strong, determinate, passionate but also surprisingly sweet.

He shook his head and put those thoughts aside as he opened the door to the medbay. He didn’t know where this was going, he didn’t even know if he’d still be alive tomorrow but for once he didn’t mind, for once he felt happy. Life was definitely full of surprises!

* * *

Khessya lied down on her bed, giving up on trying to reconcile feelings and reason. The path ahead of her had always been a perilous one and it had never stopped her before. She wasn’t about to let the fact she didn’t know where her next step would take her change that.

 

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Ring

Theron sat on his bunk and finally allowed his thoughts a prudent freedom. His new “friends” hardly ever left him alone and he was under constant scrutiny. He had expected as much, he was a risk to them, the enemy turned ally, the cog in the machine that could either make it unstoppable or destroy it completely. He knew which one he was but they did not and he was determined to keep it that way.

He let out a sigh. He had known this wouldn’t be easy but he was prepared for it. Living among the enemy, pretending to be one of them, it took work, efforts and constant vigilance but he had both his training and experience to guide him through.

A glimpse of light brought his attention to a small object dancing in his hand. He shook his head. He hadn’t even realized he had grabbed it.

He frowned and sighed again. No, what made the mission so difficult to complete this time was the very reason it had all begun. Her. He whispered her name under his breath, Khessya. The balm turned blade to his soul at the memory of the pain in her eyes as he spoke the words that broke both their hearts and the sorrow in her voice when she had asked him why.

He wrapped his hand around the small object. He had bought it for her on an impulse, shortly after she had found her way in his life again, erasing five long years of loneliness. He hadn’t meant anything by it. It had made him think of her and he had thought a small gift might brighten her days a little. And yet he had never given it to her. And now he might never will.

He let out another sigh. She had asked, almost begged, him to come home. She had told him, and the whole galaxy, that she still loved him.

He opened his hand and stared at the small silver ring resting in his palm. Maybe all hope wasn’t lost yet.

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Fire

There’s a fire in her heart
That will burn until the end.
And a searing light in her mind
That may one day consume her.
The passion of a burning star,
Intense and blinding,
And the patience of a spark,
Waiting to ignite,
Strong and unwavering.
There’s a light in her eyes.
Small glimpse of the everlasting flame
That guides her through everything she does;
To her best mistakes
And her worst successes.
Just a soft glow in her eyes
Tiniest inkling that she may one day
Set the whole world on fire.

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Silence

The thief hid behind an old oak stump, careful not to disturb the quiet and draw attention to himself. For some reasons the guards had not followed him into the forest but for all he  knew, it could be a trap.

He gave himself some time to catch his breath and get used to his surroundings. The forest was old, much older than any he’d ever seen, and seemingly undisturbed despite spreading tight to the west side of a sizeable town. Maybe the townfolks weren’t fond of mushrooms.

Once he made sure the guards had not sneaked him behind him to surprise him, he carefully started making his way deeper inside the woods, taking care of avoiding dead twigs and thorny bushes.

This heist had been an utter waste of time from the start. He knew the Eye of Aldaena would be well-guarded but he hadn’t expected a small army and a whole arsenal of traps that would made breaking into the Emperor’s Palace a child’s play.

And it wasn’t just the guards. From the moment he had stepped into town, people had eyed him with a suspicion he wasn’t used to.

The thief shook his head. He would have plenty of time to figure it all out, and find an excuse for his buyer, once he’d be back to more familiar surroundings. For now, he had to focus on getting out of these woods as fast and quietly as he could.

His step took him to a narrow opening between the old, twisted trees. There lied some ancient carved stones, remnants of an ancient altar maybe, that felt quite out of place.

The thief stood still as he took in the view. This forest had a strange atmosphere to it and he couldn’t quite put his finger on why.

His sharp eyes scanned the area, searching for a way out as well as the source of his discomfort. His concentration turned into panic the moment it hit him. This forest should be thriving with life and yet there was not a sound to be heard.

He swiftly turned around and ran for his life…

* * *

The guard captain forced himself to stare at the forest as a short piercing scream of terror momentarily echoed from the trees. Only when its last note rang did he sigh and turn around to head back to the barracks.

The Chagrin Woods had turned silent again. And it was as deafening as ever…

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