“In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’ve got to forgive ourselves that. Because there is a lot of grey to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.”
As I walked towards the mercenaries covered in mud and scratches, like some hopeless lost academic (which wasn’t that far from the truth I’ll admit), I felt some trepidation.
Our opponents seemed both well equipped and well trained, it was time to see if that held up.
With minor misdirections and manipulations with the force I made them believe I was lost and alone, they led me to their makeshift base at the entrance to the ruined palace.
I took the time while washing myself to observe their setup and gear as I mentally readied myself for the violence that would soon come.
I was not wrong, a commotion from the outside distracted the guards in my room and with a push of the force I sent them flying into the jungle. Looking out into the plaza I barely dodged a blaster shot as both Onda and Krankawarrok were lit up with blaster fire from both the mercenaries on the ground, and the snipers on the building that we missed.
Unsure of what to do, because unlike my friends I’m not a warrior by heart or background, I decided to deal with the snipers that were shooting at all of us, but especially Onda.
As I reached out with the force I tried to float the speeder in front of the snipers to give Onda some cover.
But in my rush to help – and being surrounded by blaster fire, I ended up channeling more power than I intended and hurled the entire thing into the building.
I stood there and watched as the ancient ruin was caved in and engulfed in flames, I could hear the sounds of the mercenaries screaming out in pain as they were burned, crushed and buried, and I felt horror.
This I realized, was the dark side, how simple and easier it was to destroy than to save, how a little slip in concentration could end with death and destruction.
And then I was shot down from the back as the soldiers I had thrown into the jungle had advanced back and opened fire.
If there is a lesson there, I refuse to learn it.
When I came to the battle was over and the clearing smelled like fire and blood.
I saw to my wounds and looked over my armor: it’s pitted and scratched surface telling it’s own story of this journey so far:
The fabric is now torn, the right shoulder pauldron has been ripped off, there is a crack on the inlayed armor plate in the back, my left vambrace took a hit meant for my head and is now in tatters …
This is the state of the protection I made with my mentor, and in some ways this is the state of the group I’m in – we are damaged, we are torn, we are scratched up.
But we are still holding together, and still protecting each other.
And no matter what I do, everywhere we go, we wreak havoc.