Title: Ut sana, et liberate
Chapter One: To Break
She was dreaming, it had to be the only explanation for what she was seeing . It had to be a dream, a nightmare; anything else was unacceptable. Yolpuur refused to believe this was a vision, or events currently forming.
And yet the way The Force screamed in anguish, writhed and shrieked, the way her very being burned told her otherwise.
She was drowning in The Dark, it was consuming her, mind, body, soul. But no, no it wasn’t her, it was him . Rage burned, clouding thought and control, and Yolpuur could only watch in morbid horror, unseen and unheard, as the constant presence and comfort in her life raged against his father.
Neglectful, Cruel and Evil. Vitiate held his stance even as Arcann, her Arcann, soared towards him, eyes clouded red. Thexan was reaching out in panic, and for a single moment Yolpuur had hope everything would be okay.
But instead Arcann was pulled back, and to lost in his rage his attack carried forward against Thexan, who could only desperately parry. ‘Please,’ Yolpuur begged, ‘Not him, don’t take him Bogan, Please!’ His motion carried, and a shriek of terror caught in her throat as the blade slid against Thexan, dealing that fatal blow (Agony seared through her, echoing through her shoulders) . And Vitiate held still through it all.
If there was one gift she wished was ripped from her, Yolpuur wished it was her ability to see while witnessing visions.
She scrambled, desperate, horrified, terrified for her beloved. But hands ghosted through his body and Thexan fell still, energies gently lapping into the Force as life left him. Peace would greet him she knew, and yet there was no peace for her, or for Arcann; there was only agony in her soul, and tickling the back of her mind, glee from another unwanted bond.
She was ripped away from the vision, her last look showing Vitiate (CowardCruelNeglectfulWorldDevourerPossesserDefiler) standing over Arcann, arm extended, smile fixed, eyes red.
Yolpuur screamed and reached but Arcann was to far under to even see .
And then she was gone.
She awoke with a scream tearing her throat and her bond being brutally twisted. Rage and Grief and Shame flooded her, and she sobbed, a broken sound that was more akin to an animal rather than a person. Her body shook with grief and she reached, desperate for comfort but nothing reached back.
Her bonded was drowning and so was she. “Force, please, no, nonono nononono-”
Arms grabbed at her, words washed over her, but she couldn’t hear. Even with her vision back to normal she could only see the burning red of Arcann’s eye (Eye? Had he been injured? Why did he not say? Why was his arm gone, what happened on the border planets?) The voices grew clearer, and the crisp, cool tone that was tinged with worry was familiar. Figures were in front of her, made from shades of blues and reds and grays.
“Battl…hear…wrong?...ge…now!” The voices were speaking, commands flowing and questions flying.
Yolpuur could only tremble where she sat, the burning reds suddenly brighter and more menacing than before. She knew, intellectually, that the people in front of her were not evil, that the actions made to color them were made for their people. And yet she still jerked away from the deep red form in front of her, gasping out harsh, jagged breaths because all she could see was Vitiate .
Then suddenly, the red departed, and a calm blue form was crouched in front of her, soft baritone rumbling out words that didn’t process in her mind. But this presence was familiar, calming, and gentle, calloused hands pressed against her head. At once the hazed lifted and her sight cleared.
The crisp force lines that made up her vision had returned, and the red gaze of Vitiate was gone. The ringing in her ears faded; calmed by the return of her senses, Yolpuur twisted her head around, breath coming out in softer pants. Regosanguis was crouched in front of her, the blue of his actions mingling pleasantly with the red of his nature. Colors swirled and deepened where shadows hit his skin and armor, forming features otherwise unseen. And his bonds, shining with care, affection and trust, were bright on his form, waves reaching and connecting.
“Battlemaster?” He cautiously asked. “What happened? Did you have a vision?”
How could she even explain ? How could she explain that their enemy was someone she cared so deeply for, that the reason Bladeshadows existed is off put by her feelings, by her soulbond. Was this why attachments were discouraged, even if one was soulbound? The pure, unbridled agony that now sat in her heart? “I-” She cut herself off, unable to form words. “Ye-yes. I did.” It was a vision, of the present time. “The attackers, I believe I know where they are, or at least a general idea.”
She swallowed as Regosanguis frowned, the blue shifting to follow the motion. “Then, if I may ask, why were you screaming?”
Yolpuur’s breath hitched. “Vitiate, he’s corrupted one of the attackers from the border. The two seemed balanced, but something went wrong. One-one died.” Everyone politely ignored how her voice seemed to crack. “The other, the other is too far under the hold of the Dark to see how Vitiate acts.”
“You felt the emotion?” A softer, worried voice asked.
Yolpuur twisted her head, examining the reds of the figure in front of her. They flowed more naturally, and the Force pooled more around two spots up near their head, and soft waves of the Force gently connected and twirled around Regosanguis, and flowed off into the distance. “Yes, I did.” She replied to Bladeshadows.
“How bad was it?” He asked.
“Bladeshadows.” The reprimand came from a red figure next to the other Miraluka. Tall, Composed, Worried. Drakoblast was stiff, the Force tightly coiled around his form as though it would break any moment.
“It’s alright, Drako.” Tired, Yolpuur held out a hand to Regosanguis, who quickly grasped her appendage and hauled her to her feet. The faint, ridged lines in his hands indented the taut fabric of his gloves. “He has a right to be worried. I’ve never reacted so strongly before.”
When she was straightened, she let go of Regosanguis’ hands and took a step forward. As soon as her muscles moved, she felt all strength leave her body. She stumbled in shock, stopped from falling only by the hands of her friends. Her strength, it was almost gone .
“Battlemaster! What is wrong?!”
“I-I don’t know.” She stammered. Her strength came from the Force, shared by Arcann and-
Oh Ashla, no. Her bond was pulled so tight that even her strength had taken a toll. She would be able to regain it, with training, but even the idea that Arcann was so in pain he had tried cutting back on their bond hurt. She swallowed painfully, and slowly stood. “I-I need to sit down.”
Drakoblast cautiously moved forward. When Yolpuur did not flinch or scramble away he held her arms and gently steered her to a couch. As they sat down, Yolpuur caught sight of a different toned red. Fear bubbled in her chest, and she tilted her head down to look at her soulmark.
Red. Her once golden toned mark was now a deep red, black swallowed up and only faintly glowing; the warm golden light was almost completely gone. Her breath hitched painfully in her throat, the red mocking her now. It wasn’t like the red Drakoblast glowed with. His was dark, but soothing, balanced by blacks. Whimpering softly, Yolpuur held a hand over her mark, and brought her knees to her chest and wrapped her other arm around them, trying not to cry out in pain.
“Yolpuur, what happened? Really?” Drakoblast kneeled in front of her, worry wafting off him in waves. When she tilted her head to look at him, she realized he had taken his helmet off. She must have zoned out, because the forms of the others were gone.
“Arcann.” She choked out, clutching her chest tighter. The fabric of her shirt was bunched in her fingers, taught against her shoulders. “He-he-”
“Tell me what happened. If you can.”
“H-he. Vitiate, h-he did something to him.” Her shoulders began to tremble as the cold eyes of Vitiate danced in her vision. “My-my bond-”
“Alright,” Drakoblast murmured. “Do you want me to contact Thalik? We can smuggle him into Republic Territory or head to Nar Shaddaa and meet up with him.”
Yolpuur thought only for a moment before nodding slowly. Soothing waves of comfort echoed around her, pulsing softly from her right hand. Drakoblast’s hand rested on top, strengthening their own bond. Thalik’s worry raced up her left arm, but Yolpuur was distracted by the pure cold and empty feeling that skating her shoulders. Positioned on her back, lined perfectly with Arcann’s bond that lay over her heart, nothingness echoed. The more she focused on the feeling, the more an echoing pain resounded through her. Her stomach tingled. Thexan was dead .
“Yolpuur, hey, focus on me.” Came a soft voice.
She tilted her head and looked over at him. “Why? Why them ?” Her voice cracked and she let out a sob.
“Thalik will find his way here, alright? The others will find a way to get him in.” Drakoblast soothed.
“I-I feel so, so-” Yolpuur trembled and clutched her chest tighter. “I feel empty, Drako. Thexan’s gone . Arcann. He’s in so much pain. He’s blocked himself but I still feel it and my strength is gone and I cannot-”
“Breath. You gotta breath, Yolpuur. Focus on Thalik and I and try not to focus on your other bonds, alright?” Drakoblast’s worry was sharp on Yolpuur’s tongue, and only seemed to be made worse by Thalik’s.
Yolpuur was only slightly ashamed of the whimper that left her throat, and without thinking she tilted forward to set her forehead on Drakoblast’s shoulder. Normally, she knew, she wouldn’t be so open. Oh sure, they would tease and taunt each other, but this kind of behaviour was reserved for their Strongholds, not the Joined Stronghold they shared with their allies. Nevertheless she held her position, only shifted by Drakoblast himself.
The Mirilarian sighed. “CLIP, retract armor.” Drakoblast murmured.
Yolpuur didn’t move, even as Drakoblast’s armor receded from around him, slipping seamlessly into small containers attached to his under-armor. The fabric was soft, she realized, and likely expensive. “What am I going to do?” She asked him, voice hoarse.
“You’re going to come with me, and we are going to Manaan. Have your crew take a break or something, we’ll take one of our ships.” He replied, easily picking her up.
Yolpuur let her body relax, exhaustion beginning to creep into her limbs. She new that whatever happened now, her life would be altered forever. Whatever was coming, she knew it wasn’t just going to affect her, but the entire galaxy..
“Okay.” She whispered, reaching out to Kira through their Training Bond. It was so different to a Soulbond. Like a door, whereas the Soulbond was a doorway, with a simple curtain. Her training bond was for simple messages, training. Soulbonds were intimate. Soulbonds were painful . Kira echoed back with concern and acceptance, before retreating until the presence in her head was almost non-existent. She reached for Arcann, desperate for a connection, and she felt, for a fleeting moment, deep shame, pain, love and grief, before Arcann retreated again. But this time, he didn't block himself. Instead, he became a dull throb in her chest. They shared their agony and grief.
Hopeful they could get through this, Yolpuur allowed herself to sink into unconsciousness.