The aftermath of battles was not something often spoken of. By contrast, it was epic clashes of armies and the grand duels that drew attention. But it was not seemly to focus on the scars - both mental and physical - such battles could not leave. Especially if you wound up being thrown into the conflagration again. You steeled yourself, womaned up and dealt with it. Or gave a good impression of doing so at any rate. So that was what Elpsis did.
The safehouse was an unobtrusive, nondescript building, not really standing out from any of the other buildings on the street. It was drab, dull and the furnishings were pretty simple, with only the most basic functions in mind. Worker drones on the industrialised hive world of Ession did not need anything else, after all. It had food, clothes - and, hidden in a secret compartment - enough guns to cause some havoc.
Elpsis had picked a spot on the carpet in one of the few rooms to meditate. Meditation was a basic skill any Jedi apprentice learned, but she'd long struggled with it. It required peace of mind, the ability to let go and turn your gaze away from the great and small concerns that plagued you. She'd always had trouble staying in one place. Inevitably her mind wandered to the recent events that had taken place during her first sojourn to Ession. She'd come here with high hopes. Help the local rebels, deliver a blow against Sith sympathising, imperialist friendly scum, impress mother. When her contact had told her of a Sith Lord and asked that she take care of the problem, she'd pounced at the chance. Silly dreams.
What had happened? The Sith Lord she'd faced had been none other than Matsu Xiangu. The dreaded Witch-Necromancer. Elpsis would be lying if she claimed she hadn't been afraid. The fight had been vicious, driving both to their limits. She'd held her own, suffering ghastly injuries, but dishing out as well. But good people had died.
The rebels had chosen to help her with the assignment, but nonetheless the deaths weighed heavily on her. Like a mountain. She wondered how Tempest dealt with it. Or Siobhan. Her adoptive mother's name caused the bile to rise inside her stomach. Siobhan had scorned her as weak, but she'd stood up to a monster who was her mother's equal. Revulsion filled her even as she tried to focus.
So here she was again. Determined to put the intel the rebels had given her to good use. Her maimed right hand, lacking pinkie and ring finger, was a permanent reminder of the duel. As were the burns on her stomach and the dark marks etched into her face. Being blind, she could not look at herself in the mirror, but she could feel the imprint of darkness. Attempting to find serenity in meditation did not go well, for peace eluded her.
She tried to reach that safe spot inside her mind, the sanctuary of the forests and wild beasts. But just as she was about to cross the threshold, she was pushed out of her meditation when she felt two presences approaching. They were coming this way, en route to the safehouse. With a sigh, she turned her ethereal gaze outward, homing in on their presences. Their auras were not hostile though.
There was a knocked on the door to the room. "Company. Motion sensors spotted two people approaching. No jackboots," the female Devaronian dressed in spacer clothes was one of the local rebels who'd found alongside her. One of those who'd extracted the young empath when things went to hell.
"It's our friends," she said with certainty. "Tell Horns." 'Horns' was actually Lin Brakka, an Irridonian Zabrak and a Sergeant in Firemane's black ops division. She wasn't fond of the nickname. The rebel nodded - and checked a blaster pistol concealed in her jacket. The two newcomers would have to identify themselves with a password before being let in.