Her body lay in a bed aboard the Nocte Aranea. The girl who had lived in the body - she had been lively at the time, barely sleeping, always jumping from place to place, running aroundand more than once even caught singing in it as she grew and learned to control herself and her body, as well as some of her abilities.
There was no resemblance to the girl who had lived these five months. The one who lay in the bed now was pale, her breathing so slow it sometimes seemed her was not breathing at all, her eyes unmoving beneath their lids. Despite her size, never had she seemed so tiny, so fragile. The ichor worked in her body, but the ichor needed time.
And what did the girl have, other than time, as she had been tossed into the Darkness once more?
The last time she'd been there in the full sense of the word, it had taken five hundred years before she could get out. In between her fits of silent tears, she couldn't help but wonder how long this would take. What would be out there for her in another five hundred years? What is this time it would take longer? A thousand years or more?
There would be nothing, that's what. There would be no making silly faces with Katrine as she tried to add swear words to spells with a complete lack of elegance. There would not be a fresh list of first times to excite her. There would probably be no auntie Asteria, or Morgaine, or her cousins. And there would probably no more be a Gerwald, who's smell was the only thing that had enabled her to get normal sleep every now and then.
She raised her head, looking at the infinite Darkess again. She had experienced silent places, first hand. None of them had been a deadly as this. There were no sun rises or sun sets. No buildings to jump from. No Hutts whose body she could wear and dance around. No hunting, no cutting of the the prey. No more ship-made sausages and broken elevator shafts. No more Verberri in Coruscant, chewing her head off about her duties and responsibilities in the ancestral home.
No more nothing.
And still, she could feel herself. The first time in the Darkness, she had been nothing but a baby, barely aware of her own body. Now she'd had five months to get accustomed to the body of a woman on the cusp of womanhood. She could feel her limbs, her skin, her eyes, her... Her heart. It sounded almost broken.
Scherezade stood up in the Darkness and screamed.
She would not survive another imprisonment. If it would take that long, or longer, to get out this time, there would be little of her remaining. What would remain would not be herself. She had to get out of there. She forced her legs to move. Run. They obeyed her. But it did not bring her anywhere. There were no walls within the Darkness, no skies, no rifts. But she kept moving. She had to keep running. Escape this place, and all it brought with itself.
"Child, why are you running?"
Scherezade stopped running and turned around. Behind her stood a woman. She was short, and pale, and her barely clad body was covered in tattoos. Her long red hair reached down to the middle of her back. She knew who this woman was. Aeval. Her grandmother had hated her.
"I have to get out of here," Scherezade replied, the shaking in her voice all too evident.
"You can't," Aeval replied, "this Darkness is forever."
"I have to," the girl cried, "I can't stay here again. Not like this. I have a life to get back to. I have people I want in it."
Aeval looked at her, and only now Scherezade noticed that there was something different about her than the version that was in the memories her grandmother imprinted on her. But Aeval said nothing, only stared. Scherezade started to walk again, but no matter how fast or how far she moved her legs, she was still in the same place. There was no distances that could be crossed in the Darkness.
"You are your mother's child," Aeval said at last.
"I loved your mother," Aeval resumed as though she hadn't heard, "I dedicated that year in complete servitude to her. I brought her home and made her the Queen. And she betrayed me."
"Uhhh... Sucks for you?"
"I died before you were born. I wonder... You look so much like your mother. But are your insides the same as hers?"
"That is a seriously messed up question. And I also don't know my mother."
"I want to see your insides."
Before Scherezade could respond to that, Aeval produced a sword. Somewhere in the back of her mind, Scherezade knew the sword, but it didn't matter. Aeval used it to decapitate her in the Darkness, and her head fell to the floor, blood spurting everywhere.
Aeval walked to her body, still standing, and began to poke her fingers inside the mutilated neck.
"There is no future for you, child," Aeval commented as she began to pull chunks of meet and blood out and toss it on the ground, "you'll be in the Darkness forever."
Scherezade opened her eyes. She was in the Darkness. Again? Still? There was no sigh of Aeval. Her head sat right on her shoulders. Not even a scar. This was, afterall, the Darkness. This was all there would be for eternity to come.
An elegant cough caused her to turn her head. Next to her, was her grandmother. Scherezade tried to scramble back and reach for a knife, but she had none.
"Be calm," Shery said, the glow of her eyes illuminating the Darkness with a layer of emerald green.
"Get me the krak out of here!" the girl demanded.
"No," came the simple answer.
"Why are you doing this to me?!"
"Because you are weak. You were meant to lead the path for the family and return our name to glory. Instead, you have poodoo'd all over it, quite literally. What child of deWinter and Darkness advances so little in five months? What child of deWinter and Darkness chooses to live as a peasant, when she was given the galaxy on a platter? What child of deWinter and Darkness cries over the loss of her parents instead of celebrates the suffering she brings?"
Scherezade looked at her grandmother, her jaw dropping.
"You are nothing more than a monkey swinging off the branches of the universe."
Between the two, the Great Web appeared. Scherezade blinked, realizing that not once she had looked at it in her five months of existence. But now she could see it so clearly, all the strands. Move on strand, affect some or most or even all of the others.
Shery produced a little knife. It was an elegant, with a hilt covered in emerald green jewels and a tribal pattern that she recognized as the deWinter pattern, in silvers and purples.
Scherezade wanted to scream but there was no time. Shery cut the strand that was Scherezade. It tore apart.
And now Shery was gone, and Scherezade was dust, her body no longer existing even within the Darkness.
It was as it had been for five hundred years. Only consciousness.
Katrine Van-Derveld Gerwald Lechner Aston Jacobs
Edited by Scherezade deWinter, 23 May 2018 - 12:48 PM.