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Adiira’s journal – Balmorra

Vette assures me that this datapad will melt to slag should anyone but I attempt to access it.  “Best security your credits could buy,” she told me when she gave it to me.  It certainly cost enough.  I must have something more secure than before -- some way to record my true thoughts -- I feel as though my life has become nothing but concealment and layers and wrappings of secrets.  Things were so much more straightforward before the Academy. 

So I will write as though to my oldest friend – you are gone now, dear Rhemi, but I still remember our discussions.  Anything and everything, long into the night.  No topics forbidden, nothing held back.  It all seemed very simple then; we’d travel together to Korriban and win our lightsabers in a blaze of glory!  Our honor and the grace of our blades would awe all who beheld us, and we would do some magnificent deed and receive the commendation from the Emperor himself!

And the dream fades, and the reality is far, far more complicated.  I serve Darth Baras now, his first command to me to kill my mentor at the Academy.  My mentor took his death unflinching.  I hope to do as well one day.  And now I am a mere enforcer, sent to destroy my master’s spy, to kill a boy to cover his machinations.  A far cry from derring-do!

The boy.  I don’t know what possessed his father to reveal his true allegiance to his son.  I can’t imagine sharing such a dangerous secret with anyone.  His death was as swift and painless as I could make it, and as necessary as my master said it was.  He was on the verge of confessing everything to his jailer as I arrived, merely from kindness.  He cringed and wept when I killed the man.

The father.  Why is it my fate to slay those I would be honored to know in other circumstances?  He knew why I had come and did not seek to run from me.  We conspired together to keep the truth from his men; it was the least I could do, to let them fall knowing they’d served the Republic with honor.  I lied to the father, too, telling him his son met death bravely.  Lies for comfort; the truth too painful and too pointless.  What would telling the truth serve?  To break brave men at the last?

Adiira’s Journal – Imperial Fleet

Dear Rhemi, there’s this guy...  I remember saying just that to you, once or twice, and you to me. 

I met someone on backwater Balmorra, Rhemi.  A Lieutenant Quinn.  He’s... well, do you remember when we were talking about the men we’d one day marry and I told you that intelligence and honor were the first criteria?  That hasn’t changed.  My master sent me to Balmorra to eliminate a threat to his power base, and set me to working with Lieutenant Quinn.  We worked so well together, a true meeting of the minds.  He anticipated every support I would need brilliantly.  And at the end, when we confronted the Jedi spy together, it was all I could do not to laugh out loud with delight when he said: “I hate to burst your bubble, Jedi.  No, that’s a lie, I am reveling in it.”

It doesn’t hurt that he’s handsome as well.  Dark hair and pale skin, blue eyes, gorgeous deep voice, strong…  Ahem.  I took your long-ago advice to heart and tried a bit of tentative flirting (and he smiled!) Though not in front of Darth Baras, of course.  I’ve learned concealment, Rhemi, and caution in that at least.  I hate and fear my master, and hide my true nature from him.  I let that fear come to the forefront when I meet with him, and I treat him with the deepest respect.  It is no more than he expects, and I hope it is enough to obscure everything else in my heart. 

Darth Baras gave Lieutenant Quinn his captaincy as a reward when he commed us both after the Jedi was imprisoned.  He told me later that the lieutenant had been in some sort of disgrace, from which my master had rescued him with the Balmorran posting.  A posting far beneath his worth, I think; I thought Darth Baras would use his people better.  The new captain was told he could take any posting he wanted, and we all went our separate ways.  I thought I’d never see him again; merely hear of his exploits for the Empire.

Rhemi, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw him waiting for us in the docking bay when Vette and I finally returned to the ship after clearing the last of our Balmorran obligations.  He wants to be my captain, to serve me!  I accepted, of course.  That beautiful, clever man on my ship…

Adiira’s Journal – Tatooine

Dear Rhemi, I hardly know how to put into words what has happened and what I must do.

We have been set on the trail of a Padawan, Jedi Nomen Karr’s apprentice.  She is said to be able to sense anyone’s true nature.  Darth Baras fears her power with good reason; she could bring his network of spies to ruin.  And she is wielded by Nomen Karr as a weapon against my master.  There is something tangled there, between the two men.  The Jedi lured me into a trap to take my measure; he was not as dispassionate as I would have thought, from all the tales of Jedi.

Quinn feels that I am being capricious, and disapproves heartily, I can tell.  I can’t explain.  I just know I must do this, in this way, no matter how arbitrary it seems. 

I have followed the padawan’s steps across the great desert, and met the same Ordeal she met.   A sacred mystery, like the mystery at the center of the cult of Revan.   An ancient Jedi’s ordeal, to come face to face with their dark side made manifest.  She was me, beautiful and fell as an army with banners, a dark aura flaring about her.  What I could be without pity, merciless, powerful, yet not whole.  And I bested her, and embraced her.  She kissed me, and with the kiss she faded in my arms, her power and darkness filling me, merging with my soul.  I think no Jedi has done this thing in many ages; do they slay their dark sides when they confront them?  Deny them?  I will have to ask the padawan when I meet her.

Though I hinted to my master that the padawan might be turned to our service, I know he intends that I break her to the Dark side.  I must win her to be my apprentice, and I must do it in a way that does not change her nature.  This is a new thing for me; my strength in the Force has grown since the ordeal.  Other Sith have told me of prophetic dreams and visions.  I have merely a… knowing.  Heart-certainty.  And no visions.  It would be nice to see why I must do what I do.

Lies and truth… it would be amusing if the stakes were any less high.  I have been nothing but direct and clear in my dealings on Tatooine, and have been taken for other than I am at every turn.  I lie to my master and am taken at my word.  I tell the truth to these Jedi and they see nothing but lies.  They are as wilfully blinkered as the Sith, Rhemi!


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