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#1
Carach

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M A E N A

 

Irajah Ven

 

It was done.

 

For now.

 

It all started as an investigation into something curious, before it turned into a reunion... and then finally settled into a desperate fight for survival. A curious experience for one who hadn't had a challenge in many years, if ever. Reverance and him had finally separated, but with the promise of more to come.... if later. With the old man sedated, cut off from the Force and locked into one of the lower levels of Matsu's tower there was time for healing. To rest. To bring the experience truly onto a scale that Carach could understand. At least, until he had collapsed on the way to his own residence on Maena.

 

A sharp pain in his heart.

 

Ripping away the robes there did not seem to be anything wrong, until Carach noticed the obsidian flow slowly seeping itself into the veins coming away from his chest. The pain came and went in overwhelming waves - nothing, just patient silence, until the tide of pain razed its way through his system, over and over again... before silence once again - there was no interval, no clear path of determination.

 

Just chaotic exertion of agony. 

 

He stumbled out of the shuttle, stumbled through the ramparts (almost fell down, twice, almost saw the sharp, jagged rocks up close), entered the fortress.... collapsed against the wall.

 

His vision faded, once, twice, Carach wasn't sure if hours passed or minutes, before consciousness settled in again. The Sith pushed himself up, barely, before grunting in exertion as he tried to remain on his feet. Difficult with the lack of steady inertia, everything was shaking... everything was dancing before his eyes. "Feth. me." Trying to channel the Force to reinforce himself seemed to work... until it only became worse.

 

Doubling over Carach only barely managed to keep himself from retching.

 

Just before the Sith lost his senses again, he rode one of the pulses that had become second nature to him. It touched - sharp claws almost digging into her - Raj's... somewhere in the fortress and left a message. 

 

Up the tower... beyond the ramparts... pain.

 

Then Carach was lost again.


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#2
Irajah Ven

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"And this one. Here."

 

Though Samson was in the room with her, she was mostly murmuring to herself. Slender fingers tapped the listings scrolling past on the data pad, highlighting three of the locations. She sent a ping to a solicitor on Coruscant, starting the gears moving on a project she had brought to Carach just a few days ago. These three locations correlated to a different set of properties she had already sent a different local solicitor to evaluate and report back on. Hopefully, at least one set would match what they needed, but if not, she would continue looking-

 

Nails, sharp, grasping, but without any hint of desire, or in truth, strength, grip weak but insistent-

 

The words themselves were only a guide. It was the feeling of that pulse that brought her surging up from the lounge she'd been sprawled upon. She abandoned the data pad without a second thought.

 

The barest flick of her fingers and Samson followed her. 

 

Knowing where he was, it didn't take long to reach him. Unconscious, the pain radiating off of him in almost palpable waves. She knelt next to him, hazel gaze scanning for anything obvious while fingers felt for his pulse-

 

"What the hell?"

 

Slow, harder than it had any right to be. Not proper beats at all. 

 

"Get him to my room," she murmured, already making decisions without needing to think about them. Standing again, she stepped back to let Samson in. She didn't need to admonish him to be careful, knowing that in a medical emergency, that was simply how he'd been imprinted. 

 

Her apartments were closer than Carach's, than any other reasonable location in the fortress he had built. She was planning a proper medical bay for him (greeted with some amusement but without argument), but there hadn't been time yet to start that addition. She kept her fingers on his wrist, limp in a way it never even was in sleep, counting silently as they hurried through the halls. 

 

Twenty. There was no reason he should even be alive. Instinctively she knew that wasn't what was causing the problems. Not the rate of his heart alone anyway. But something there was deeply wrong. This was no organic pulse- the push and draw of blood through his body, yes, but not the pulse that echoed a heart beat. She had no idea what it was, or what was wrong. She sucked in a sharp breath, then shook her head once before letting go of him.

 

The double doors opened without a physical touch or even conscious effort as they entered the apartments again. 

 

"The bed."

 

They stripped him, getting him as comfortable as possible before she sent Samson away to get certain supplies. She was accustomed to keeping such things close at hand, and it vexed her that they were not. 

 

But what was even more concerning were the black lines radiating out from his chest. Subtle, but impossible to miss. 

 

Carach


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#3
Carach

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Carach never dreamed.

 

It was ink night stretching out as far as possible, before slipping back into the waking dream. Until today. Sapphire dominated his mind now, frozen wastes and the endless cold of the tide slipping in to choke everything out. Cold fire scattered around, lighting up the scene, while something flew up in the air.

 

The Sith did not know what it was, because he couldn't see it.... just feel its presence scratching against the back of his shoulder. He ran, until his legs gave out and then the pain started once more.

 

In his dream Carach roared and it shook him out of his dream, where he found himself yelling as well, ripping at- fabric, you are in a bed, calm down, calm. downIt was her touch on his shoulder, trying to keep him from ripping himself to shreds that allowed for a blink. Then the shouting stopped, but the pain continued on...  and on... and on.

 

"Pain." Carach told her, large hand holding hers. "Pain."

 

It was everywhere... and every pulse rushing through him brought more of those waves. They stayed, clinging to his synapses until the next pulse came around to renew it.

 

"It won't stop..."


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#4
Irajah Ven

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She had never seen him like this. 

 

"Shhh, it's alright," she soothed, her voice calm and quiet. "I know it's hard, but I'm going to need you to relax as much as you can, breath with me, Samson's going to get something to help with the pain, and help me figure out what's wrong."

 

Irajah was a doctor, not a force healer, though there had been a time where she could have done something in that regard. No longer. Those abilities were denied to her now, and for the first time she felt true frustration about giving those up. 

 

Once he'd calmed down enough between pulses of pain, where she could see the ease in his breathing, she extracted her hands from his slowly. 

 

"I need to examine you, if you need to, grab my shoulder, but I need my hands free."

 

She didn't apologize, didn't ask his permission. This was not a moment where those small niceties could be offered. But she did offer him a small smile before she started working. Irajah was no stranger to the sometimes grim necessities of field medicine- sometimes you didn't have the luxury of a scanner or proper diagnostic equipment. Reliant on touch, sight, even smell and taste on occasion, she focused on what she could see and feel. Her hands coasted lightly down his body, watching for indications of increased pain, the flinching or wincing, feeling for something off, swelling or heat that would indicate internal damage.

 

At least two cracked ribs, possible internal bleeding, but if so not bad enough to manifest yet- how long ago did this happen?- she knew only too well the pain of both of those things, she knew that it would not drop a man like Carach . Slow him certainly. But this was something entirely different. Her eyes drifted back to the dark veins forming a spider web out from his chest. Had it grown or was it her worry fueling imaginary expansion? 

 

"Can you tell me what happened? And how much time it's been since?"


Edited by Irajah Ven, 10 August 2017 - 12:22 PM.

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#5
Carach

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The first thing Carach had tried was crucitorn.

 

Disable his ability to feel pain whatsoever.... it only made the pain worse. The Sith didn't argue with her, forcing his arms to the side of his body to give her better access to him - muscles incapable of relaxing as the jolt of pain burned through every fiber of his body at once. Over and over and over again, like there was no end to it.

 

Her touch didn't influence the pain.

 

Didn't make it worse or better, even when she touched the fractured ribs there was no increased reaction.... because it was a little drip, compared to the tide threatening to overwhelm him.

 

"Two hours." Carach grunted out, gritting his teeth. "Was investigating a cult... old friend of mine... karking Reverance."

 

Wouldn't have slipped the name if it weren't for the pain, they had made up... but that hadn't loosened the anger. That would take time and time that was currently ticking away while he was- feth it. "Complicated, Reverance... we worked together." Worked together, yeah, that was a good way of putting it.


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#6
Irajah Ven

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Two hours. If he has serious internal bleeding he would be showing signs of it by now. While there could be a small bleed or two, it would likely handle itself or make itself known in the next couple of hours. So that was one worry taken off of the list at least.

 

"I know Rev," she said absently, moving her hand back up to his chest finally, coming to rest on the old scar there. The other shifted to his throat, two fingers laid against that pulse, so much closer to the heart. Stronger, easier to not miss a beat here or there, especially with the particular cording of the muscles of his arms. The throat was always a softer point, no matter how strong someone was, their throat was vulnerable. And it was because of that pulsing, yes, just there-

 

She frowned, finding the same thing she had found at his wrist. 

 

"Your sternum was opened once, a long time ago," she said softly, focused more on the situation at hand and missing the expression on his face. It was a scar she had been aware of, the barest trace of ridge even beneath it to indicate how the bones beneath had been moved to accommodate... something. Surgery on his heart or lungs, but she didn't need a PhD to guess which. 

 

"What did they do to your heart?"

 

Carach


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#7
Carach

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She. Rev. What now?

 

"You what?" The pain was all-pervasive but for a moment that was forgotten. "How do you know him?"

 

She brought it as casual as if it was nothing. Knowing gorram Reverance, Wrath of the Dark Lord, who had broken worlds and conquered civilizations alongside each other. It wasn't an acquaintance you just- this was Irajah, she made friends with monsters on a daily basis. She befriended you, did she not?

 

The Sith groaned, before slipping his hand in hers. "Nevermind, later, yes- we cut out my heart... replaced it with something.... very different."

 

A squeeze followed.

 

But that squeeze brought sensation, experience, a flash of the procedure as his beating heart was taken out and replaced with a crystal. 

 

"That was years ago... can't be it."

 

Oh, yes, so incredibly normal to just rip your own gorram heart out and replace it with a crystal. An artifact of Sith Alchemy even, one that was filled to the brink with thousands of dead Sith, under his dominion, but always ready to claw their way out. If he just let his attention slip for one moment... they could be gone. "...don't look at me like that, I told you I was... bolder in those days."

 

Carach scowled.

 

The pain was seeping back in, the shock and lack of attention dissipating as his focus returned to it.


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#8
Irajah Ven

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"He's a friend. Matsu introduced us. Sort of. It's complicated. I like him."

 

She shrugged.

 

It was absent mindedly and casually spoke. Which might seem like a strange thing when someone was talking about the Wrath of the Dark Lord. But for Raj, it was just another taunsday. Panatha, Maena, the Zambranos (at first), Carach, Matsu, the Ren- none of them had been particularly noteworthy for her. The darkness wasn't frightening and other. Irajah was accustomed to monsters. 

 

The explanation of the thing with his heart however? THAT got her full attention. 

 

"You said bold, not maw cursed idiotic!"

 

She reeled it back after that outburst, squeezing his hand softly and breathing in deep before trying again. 

 

"W-was there something wrong with your heart?" She asked, incredulity straining her voice as she looked up from his chest to his face. 

 

"And what," she continued slowly, picking her words carefully. "Exactly, did you replace it with?"

 

Carach


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#9
Carach

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"Like him, huh?" Pained smirk curled upwards. One did not simply like the Wrath of the Dark Lord, which basically gave him a few clues what was playing between the two of them- it amused him how... tightly-knit this little assortment of people were starting to become. But then she got... well, maybe not mad, but definitely indignant. It was presumably an amusing sight- this large giant in pain, being yelled at by smol but fierce Irajah Ven with no hesitation.

 

She had grown since they had first met.

 

Carach felt pride at that. Still some ways off to go, but they all grew... all learned, there was room for improvement for everyone, it was the hunger inside of him that demanded that. You couldn't become complacent and simply sit down, be happy with what you had.

 

There was always another horizon to chase.

 

"YesIt wasn't enough." The Sith Lord responded simply, before scowling once more. The pain was not getting any better.... but he was starting to anticipate the waves. Bracing against them so he moved with the pain, instead of against them. "That... might be difficult to explain, I can- ooph - show you."

 

The squeeze of her hand become stronger and then, through the pain and nausea his mind touched hers, showing exactly what it was that Carach stuck in his chest.


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#10
Irajah Ven

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She couldn't even be amused by his amusement in regards to @Reverance. 

 

"Is he alright? Or is he sitting somewhere enjoying his own set of cracked ribs instead of getting them taken care of?"

 

Serious question. Oh, she certainly knew him. 

 

Irajah frowned when he answered her question. It wasn't enough

 

Nothing for Carach was ever enough. She had known that from the moment they had met. To say that he was hungry did not truly cover it. The inability to settle, to find comfort, was one of the things that separated them and she knew it. It was not something she had to come to terms with or make peace with- it was simply part of him and accepting him meant accepting that. The first night they had met, she had gazed into those amber eyes and known that she would never be enough for him. It was not a painful realization, not one that caused her sadness. It simply was. She could let him consume her and move on, or simply offer him what she could without risking drowning in those waters. 

 

And then he showed her what he had done, and her own heart skipped a beat. 

 

"Sweet merciful maw," she whispered, the image and knowledge of the crystal shifting into her mental perspective. 

 

"Did something happen? With the cultists, that would have changed something? That would have effected that."

 

Her voice was tense in a way he'd never heard before. 

 


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#11
Carach

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Carach snorted.

She did know him after all. It did sound exactly like a Reverance thing to do, but luckily that wasn't the case as far as he knew. "Oh, I left him mostly in the same shape I found him." The Sith managed a smirk that spoke volumes, before the pain turned it into a contained grimace. Parts of her train of thought shimmered through to him.

He wasn't listening, he didnt -need- to. Not with how close she sat, their skin touching, not with her concern overriding security.

Not that Carach ever had to listen.

The brushing of minds against him had always been natural, just a thing that came easy. Difficult when there were many voices... easier when there was just one. But before he could wonder about her worries, she already shifted back into the moment. The question made him blink, "No, they barely even touch-" The memory of the Lady-in-Silver flashed before him.

"Wait. She touched me. Twice. Palm firmly against my chest."

Had she karked with his heart? Changed something about it? "She... may have done something, yes." He acknowledged softly.

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#12
Irajah Ven

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She bubbled up like crystalline waters out of the dark, cool and crisp within the sucking mire. 

 

In front of the old one the second figure locked the duality in. She was dressed in white, beautiful mold purity, arms bare and back naked aside from the deep carvings etched into the skin. Black, equally clean as brushed obsidian. It was her voice that gave Carach paused within his stride.

 

The Voice listened to hers and found an equal. No. Surpassed through high crescendo and demanding force, this one could shake the very foundation of existence.... and walk away in apathy. It was the void that she called or was called through her. A presence so much more expansive and large that either of them had ever experienced. Whereas both of them had felt the touch of the Dark Lord, his essence channeled through them at the very apex of his might.

 

"You stand in the presence of greatness, postulants." The old broke through the ancient and left it silent. In that moment all Carach would have done everything to hear her sing again. "Your time has not yet come."

 

Eyes half lidded, she watched the rest unfold through Carach's perspective. It was there, when he explained what little he did, but it was simply because words were much less exact in this moment than the alternatives. The promises, the Voice, the names- Dragon. Leviathan. Spider. The sensation that all would be well if only. they. would. submit.

 

Even if now was not the time.

 

Like a holodrama unfolding, she watched- and frowned. She could see it all through his eyes, so every time their eyes met those sapphire ones, of course she was looking at Carach. But once, for a heartbeat, even in the memory it felt as though she saw through the time and distance- through to herself. As if his eyes were for a single beat a pair of windows and the reflection fell in the shifting of a twilight- revealing the figure watching it all from the distance. 

 

Impossible, of course. Simply a trick of perspective. She hadn't been there. And if she had been, it wouldn't have been watching through Carach's eyes. This had happened hours before. 

 

So while did it feel like the Lady-in-Silver had somehow known there would be not simply an audience- but a specific audience?

 

A word, starting with a hiss of sibilance. A promise, a beckoning but no more than the shifting turn of a single sound. It hung in her mind, the susurrus of a calling that had not happened because she had not been there. And when those sapphire eyes filled Carach's memory, they filled her sight as well, leaving just that hint of sound as a secret covenant, offering the rest of the word, only if certain eventualities were fulfilled. What? No, she'd have to find them for herself....

 

Shhhhhh

 

It lasted a moment only before she purred Dragon once again.

 

She blinked, pulling back slightly and out of the black waters of memory. 

 

"I'm sure she did," she murmured. In reality, no time had passed since he had answered her question. All of that had passed in the blink of an eye, layered and stacked for ease of consumption. 

 

"Alright," she breathed in deeply, shaking off the first syllable of a word she knew, but didn't know why she knew it. 

 

"I'm going to need you to hold the idea of what that..... heart.... is supposed to be like- What it is supposed to feel like- present, right at the top? I'm going to take a look, and I'll need that to compare. She did something, you're right. If I were looking at a real heart, I wouldn't need you to hold it, I could do that. But this is something I have no experience in so I'm going in blind."

 

The tone in her voice was firm, the voice of Doctor Irajah Ven, not his Raj. There was going to be no arguing here. With or without what she was asking him, she knew what needed to happen next. 

 

Carach


Edited by Irajah Ven, 14 August 2017 - 09:02 AM.

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#13
Carach

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A part of Carach wished to make a joke: you can use that voice more often with me, you know.

 

But the larger part that knew business simply nodded before closing his eyes. 

 

From the depths of his psyche he pulled out the presence of the Heart of Graush. As it should be, carefully piecing together every single fragment until the picture was made whole. Crystal - anyone's guess what strange indestructible material it was - shaped into the abstract idea of what a heart should truly look like. Tubes and cylinders shaped with alchemy, burning through the crystal and allowing entry for blood to seep back and forth according to the needs of anatomy. 

 

How the artifact allowed for the tide of blood to move was beyond them, maybe the Alchemist would have been able to find out... if he allowed it out of his chest.  But it was the strength hidden within that was the true boon, the focus of his attention as he slowly build the image between them, the soft whispers of legion hidden deep within.

 

Constantly trying to break out of their prison.

 

Constantly pushing their boundaries, before being broken over and over again, to be taken control of by the Sith whenever the situation deemed it necessary. 

 

Those spirits were still there, but they were silent. Peaceful almost. Cowed into submission by a gargantuan force of nature that the very instinct of self-preservation within them caused them to halt every form of rebellion. Because they realized stepping one inch out of line would mean their irrevocable doom.

 

It was a realization that Carach had not yet made, instead still believing that they could stem the... tide.


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#14
Irajah Ven

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"Still can't believe you put this karking thing in your chest," she muttered, half to herself, half to him. Small hands moved to rest lightly on his chest. "Well, I can, but...."

 

And then she trailed off, because she couldn't concentrate both places at once. 

 

Freedom from Gideon had opened up a dark sea of power within Irajah. It had always been there, beneath the surface, but like a stone cap finally removed, she could dip her hands into it without repercussions. Almost two years of the constant escalation of hostilities between her and the virus had ultimately strengthened her in the Force, even if it had broken down her old body. But now, unrestrained, unfettered? She didn't know just how deep these waters went yet, how far she could dive. The exploration of that was an ever widening joy, seeking the sea bottom that could barely even be dreamed about from the surface. Each time she went deeper, discovered new coves and reefs within herself. Slow at first, but bolder each time as she found that the only monster lurking in these waters was herself.

 

As if holding open a book on the side, single finger pressing the spine open, she kept a touch on Carach's image of the Heart. This was just an extension of years of training that had nothing to do with the Force. The intricacies of a human body were well known to her hands, and therefore mind, and it was not difficult to extend the mentalism somewhere beyond thoughts and memories. She didn't have a word for what she was doing- instinctive, it made sense to her on an intrinsic level to dip into his body and see ​what was happening.

 

She timed it between the waves of pain. A baseline was necessary- seeing only what was causing the pain without the benefit of what it looked like without meant it would be easier to miss something. The crystalline lattice settled in his chest was quiet, blood still running from the force of the last beat- with his understanding at her finger tips, she could piece together the practical parts, it not the why then at least the how. Sith sorcery and alchemy at its finest, she mused to herself. The force of it, rather than a physical pumping mechanism, kept the blood moving between beats, too long between for the actual physical press of muscle but perfectly sufficient for the Force. 

 

Not that long ago, she would have dismissed such a thing as impossible. I deal in science, not magic, the real and tangible, she'd said once, dismissive of the ancient child's painting of a sith poison when compared to the elegance of a manufactured virus. She still thought poorly of it, but now she knew better than to dismiss it. Drawing around it at all angles, the Heart at rest matched what Carach's image of it offered. 

 

Then it pulsed.

 

And Irajah was almost swept away in a tide of panicked terror. 

 

When someone drowns, they will grasp onto anything. Anyone. Without regard for anything beyond the need to reach the surface. A drowning creature is reliable in its unreliability, in it's hunger for air as lungs fight and brain starves. As black stars explode from all sides. Even a person, decent to their very core, is taken over by blind panic and will grab anything that may feed dying lungs. A friend, a lover, a child, it doesn't matter, they will grasp and hold and plunge them beneath the waves in an attempt to reach the air at the surface. When someone drowns, survival over comes every other design, no matter how good the person. It is not personal, it is animalistic and raw. 

 

It was desperate.

 

Clawed hands that didn't exist pulled, raking and frantic in their attempt to use her presence there as a ladder of their own salvation. Screaming, whimpering, wide eyed and dangerous in their desperation, they all cried out the same thing. 

 

Let us out. Get us away from her.

 

Irajah, however, had already had quite enough of hungry spirits. 

 

It wasn't to say that she could simply shed them. Or that it wasn't difficult and painful. But there was nothing that could drown her here. They were strong in their terror, but she was firm in her resolve and grasped at the thread, that finger laid on page, between herself and Carach and rode the wave of the pain. 

 

It was the pain that gave her the solution. The terror of the spirits that occupied his heart, that she could do nothing about. But the pain, the clawing, that she knew all too well. 

 

Swimming back up as the wave ebbed, her eyes opened and she breathed in sharply, only realizing then that she had been physically holding her breath during that internal wave. She'd have to be conscious of that- work on the connection if she could. But for now, hazel gaze tracked up to Carach's face. 

 

"And that is why putting a thousand sith spirits in a crystal and making them do the job of your heart is a bad idea. Eventually some bigger and badder motherkarker is going to come along and scare them chitless."

 

The expression on her face softened slightly, but the frown didn't dissipate. 

 

"I have an idea for a stop-gap, until I can study this thing more..... maybe talk to Cerbera. I can show you how to do it.... It's not for things like this, but I think it could work."

 


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#15
Carach

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"So you do care." Carach teased gently, before she closed her eyes and focused on his chest. 

 

Within a second she was... gone

 

Breathing growing shallow before going still completely.

 

For a moment the Sith thought something had gone wrong, until her presence brushed against him, penetrated him and surrounded the essence of the Heart within him. It felt strange to have her within him so close and intimate, her attention spreading out as she studied every single figment of the crystal while comparing it to the mental image he had formed only a moment ago.

 

The next pulse broke his concentration once more. Pain growing into agony, lips curled into a painful agony, before it once more slipped away from him, simply leaving him more exhausted.

 

"It felt like a good decision at the time...." a shrug followed with a smile that was far too charming for the pain the Sith Lord was going through in the moment. "I am about ready to accept any solution, Raj, so lay it on-" He grunted as another wave of pain washed over him and threatened to pull him under the tide.

 

His hand released hers, instead firmly gripping the ledge of the bed.

 

It shattered beneath the force. "K-kriff." The Sith coughed, blood seeping from the corner of his mouth. "Hope it's a good plan you got."


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#16
Irajah Ven

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She watched him ride the next wave of the pain, the sound of splintering wood beneath his hand. 

 

"Of course I care you halfwit," she whispered, not expecting him to hear her through the pain. 

 

Instead she waited through the next wave, but her brow furrowed as blood seeped. The sassy 'we just bought this bed' died on her lips. There wasn't time or room for banter right then, for joking. The worry in her eyes spoke her last whisper, even if she didn't repeat it. 

 

"We have to work between the waves," she said quickly. "Like building a wall. I'm going to show you what I did to hold Gideon in- I think something similar can be done here. It will take your attention- your energy- I cannot stress enough that you cannot afford to let your guard down. They are afraid, and fear does ridiculous things, whether you're an eons dead spirit or not. It means a constant drain on you that should get easier with time but never gets easy, Carach."

 

She spoke from deep experience, and the intensity she hammered the facts out with was born of that. 

 

"It should be easier for you than it was for me. I didn't have any other training to pull from. But if I could manage it against Gideon, this should be a cake walk for you," she added in with a wane smile. 

 

Tugging on that thread between, she pulled up what she had done, time and time again, day after day to keep the virus from ripping through her. He only needed the cage itself, rather than the rest of the process, but it lurked there beneath. To move Gideon in its prison from organ to organ, timing it just so in order to allow them to heal before inevitably returning. Delicate balance of letting it consume because it must, but not letting it take too much each time. The flash of failure when she had left it too long just once, and almost lost her life for it- had lost her freedom for a time, held by Jedi for the greater good

 

The cage within the Force, she could guide him while he built it, but she could not build it for him. Showing his in theory, latticed unlike her own, to allow the Heart to still do it's job. It would not stop the pain entirely, but it would ease it significantly, holding the spirits deeper at bay. But without the net-like delicacy, the cage would do its job too well. 

 

Balance, just as before. On a knife's edge between what was needed to live and what must be tolerated in order to survive.

 

Carach


Edited by Irajah Ven, 14 August 2017 - 12:25 PM.

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#17
Carach

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Irajah Ven

 

His eyes closed, but darkness faded and gave way towards the outline of herher and himself. 

 

It was like... the ocean's tide swarming across a continent, it swallowed it whole, completely, utterly, except for the shards of mountains sweeping up above it and maintaining their ground. 

For now.

 

But every sweep of the tide's embrace eroded the mountain more, until even the largest peak crumbled under its weight. It was a fight that had a foregone conclusion, yet, the mountain persisted because it was in its nature to do so. What else would it do? Attempt to walk away from its chosen place?

 

No.

 

It stood vigil and resisted as long as it could.

 

As did Carach, while each pulse swarmed across his body and the thousands of spirits tried to claw their way out. "...and you were doing this the entire time... day and night." His fingers curled against the post of the bed, focusing intently on the concept of a prison. Lattice wrapping itself together around a metaphyiscal representation. "You are amazing, you know that?"

 

The mumble came as he pressed back against the tide of the screaming spirits.


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#18
Irajah Ven

Irajah Ven

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"The alternative seemed less than desirable," she muttered.

 

"Less talk more weave," chiding and drawing his attention back to the work at hand. But there was a hint of smile in her voice when she said it, and it didn't take the mental connection between them to tell that she was pleased. 

 

It took over an hour to weave that first prison. Samson returned in that time, with the basic supplies she'd asked for that, ultimately, would be worthless here and now. She had nodded and thanked him, sending him for a basin and water, and something cool for both of them to drink when this was over and then setting him free for the evening. She knew, even with that, he would remain close enough to hear her if she called. She didn't mind that anymore. 

 

By the time they finished, they were both exhausted. The pain would not be gone, but at least significantly muted and no longer allowing the spirits to attempt running a marathon through his veins with each beat of the Heart. They did not lie quietly inside of it, but their comfort was not a particular concern of hers at this time. 

 

Perched on the edge of the bed, Irajah reached over, pouring him a glass of water and holding it up for him. 

 

"It'll be easier since you don't need to remake it every other day," she said softly, watching him drink. "We can put up a better one in a few days, after I've talked to Cerbera about it, if that's alright. First one won't last for long. Maybe a week. But it gets easier to do with time, and hopefully we'll find an answer to this soon."

 

Carach


Edited by Irajah Ven, 14 August 2017 - 04:42 PM.

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#19
Carach

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Irajah Ven

 

The Alchemist.

 

It was a risk... a large one. 

 

In the past that one had stayed in line by the way of his strength.

 

Would she take liberties now that a weakness was discovered? But was there a different choice? Raj was superb at the medical side of things, but there were only a few who could match (much less rise above) Cerbera in terms of the alchemical arts. What Carach would not give now for Rave to return, but she was dead, buried, rotting in the ground whilst the rest of them carried on. Sometimes the Sith wondered if she hadn't gotten the better end of the bargain after all. They had both explored the ways of the midi-chlorians... in a different life, when they had found the Orb of Passage and discovered the secrets of the Chiloon Rift... together. It hadn't been him, strictly speaking.

 

But the memories were there and that was as good as it would get.

 

"We need her expertise." Carach agreed after putting the glass on the counter, before his hand curled in hers. Large... the small disappeared in it completely. "Thank you."

 

If she allowed he'd pull her in her arms, closer than they had ever been before. Their relationship had never been about this - it had been raw, sometimes violent, always affectionate but without the tenderness that some developed after years.

 

"I am unsure if I can repay this debt," It was mostly a tease, his mouth whispering against her ear.


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#20
Irajah Ven

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She only allowed it half way, keeping her weight off of him and perhaps spoiling the level of gentle intimacy he was aiming at. It wasn't done *to* spoil it, but because she wasn't done yet, and wouldn't, couldn't, relax into his teasing until she was. She turned her face slightly to lay a kiss just along the line of his jaw before pulling back, gently but firmly. 

 

"I'll just have to take it out in trade when you're feeling better," she said, but some of the teasing fell flat with the worry she still felt. 

 

There was also the not insignificant Bantha in the room now that he'd said that, even meant in play. 

 

"In all sincerity, if there is any imbalance in debt between us, Carach, it skews very strongly in the opposite direction."

 

Hazel eyes were serious, pale face solemn when she said that. She looked away then, her free hand taking certain supplies off of the top of the dresser where Samson had left them. Other hand was not slid out of his, however, until she needed to help him roll onto his side, to start wrapping crack ribs. The heart had been the immediate danger, and now that it was stabilized, she could move her focus elsewhere. Step by step. She spoke quietly as she worked, eyes focused on the task at hand and away from his face. 

 

"You have given me far more than I have been able to offer in return. No, don't argue. You did so freely and because you wished to, and I know that. So either this is just part of me working to balance those scales.... or there aren't debts between us."

 

Her voice got very quiet at the last, almost troubled beneath the veneer of focus on the work. 

 

He had been acting differently toward her, toward them, in slow and tiny slices since she'd died. They hadn't talked about it, simply fallen into what was a surprisingly easy new routine. Living in the same place, lives intersecting again and again every day..... but not living together. Roommates who occasionally (okay, frequently) karked. But she kept getting the impression that wasn't exactly what he wanted, and she didn't know how she felt about that yet. Mostly because she didn't know what it was he did want.

 

"You're staying here tonight," she said firmly, as she finished. "I'll have food brought here, but I want to be nearby in case something goes wrong with the lattice."

 

Carach


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