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Descent toward Destiny {Closed}

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Descent toward Destiny {Closed}

Post  Kasia Thorn on 17th February 2014, 01:32

Have you ever died?

Maybe that seems like a stupid question. Maybe you're saying that you'd hardly be able to talk to me if you were dead. That's fair enough, and I'd be thinking the same but for just one thing; I have died.

I can't say it lived up to the stories. There was no white light, no unity with the force and the universe. There wasn't even darkness. There was just... nothing. All we've ever been told about life after death, and the promises the various religions of the galaxy make, it's all wrong, all lies.

I think seeing that changed me.

But that's not what you wanted to hear about it, is it? No, so let me tell you how it was that I came back from the void...

I was shrouded in darkness when life returned to me. Groggy, confused, my first reaction was to panic, to try and sit up and claw at the darkness that engulfed me. It was hardly the smartest thing I could have done, and accomplished little but to entangle me in the sheet that covered my body, but having so recently escaped from death itself I was hardly in the most rational frame of mind. Swearing, I tore the sheet from my face and cast it down, an action I regretted almost immediately as the cold, sterile glare of an overheard light seared into my retinas, forcing me to blink back tears.

"Fracking thing," I swore, raising a hand to shield my eyes as they adjusted to the light.

"That's hardly fair," a voice answered from across the room, eliciting a startled curse from my lips, "You'll be anxious for it if it weren't there." It was a female voice, but gravelly and hard, betraying more than a few hard years.

"Who's there?" I snapped back, glancing about for a something I could defend myself with and coming up empty, "Show yourself!"

A scrape of metal on metal answered my words as a chair in the corner of the room was pushed back from the terminal set before it, allowing its occupant to rise to her feet. "I was hardly hiding," she noted, stretching awkwardly before moving toward me. She was tall, I could tell that even with my eyes still straining and watering in the harsh light of the lamp, and gaunt as a skeleton besides. As she drew closer, I could make out the heavy black bags beneath her eyes, and the unhealthy pallor to her skin. In short, she looked like it should have been her laid out on the slab, not me.

Obviously, something of the surprise I was feeling must have shown on my features, for she paused, a bitter smile twitching at her pale, thin lips. "Not what you were expecting?" she asked, her words too carrying more than their share of bitterness, "Yeah, most topsiders take it that way first time they come down here."

Down here... topsiders...

Her words betrayed my location - the Undercity. Obviously someone had ensured that when the security forces found my body in the cell, it was shipped down her for storage or analysis or whatever it was that these rimworlders did with their dead.

Well, that was fine. Unhealthy as the Undercity apparently was, it was surely safer for me than that cell had been, and it wasn't like I was planning to stick around here long anyway.
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Kasia Thorn

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Re: Descent toward Destiny {Closed}

Post  Kasia Thorn on 26th February 2014, 06:20

"If you're looking to leave, you'll need your stuff."

I'd never been much of a Sabbac player, never felt the need to cultivate much of a mask, but still I was surprised by how easily those gaunt, cadaverous woman could read my intentions. Maybe it was a talent you had to cultivate down here if they wanted to survive amongst the dregs of society.

Or maybe it was just that ever topsider who came down here started thinking of escaping from this fracking place sooner rather than later.

Whichever, it didn't matter to me.

What did matter was the sudden realisation that I was, in fact, utterly naked beneath the sheet. The discovery sent a chill through me, and my hands clenched on the once-white material, clutching it tight to my body as I glared across at the mortician, "Where're my clothes?"

"Relax," she answered, not concerned in the slightest by my anger, "You've got nothing I ain't seen a hundred times before..." Trailing off, she looked thoughtful for a moment, before adding, "Of course, yours were a touch more alive looking than most I see." It was a joke, I think, but I wasn't in the mood, and perhaps these emotions were just as clear to the woman, for she shook her head with a rueful smile, remarking, "Not in the mood for jokes? No? I would say I am surprised, but... well, that would be a lie, wouldn't it? Your clothes are over there." A nod served to educate me as to where 'over there' was, and I rose to my feet, clutching the sheet awkwardly to my body as I shuffled across the cold stone floor to retrieve my belongings. As I moved, I studied my belongings, checking if it was all there, fully expecting to find one or two of the more expensive items missing.

Imagine my surprise, then, when not only did it all appear to be there, but a datapad I'd never seen before had been added.

Setting aside the 'pad, I began to hastily pull on my clothes, carefully keeping my eyes fixed on the blank wall as I did. "Hey," I called, tugging up the bottom of my bodyglove, "Umm... listen, whoever you are, I appreciate you..." What? 'Thank you for letting me be deadish here?' Was that what I was trying to say? Even in my mind, it sounded insane. "Thanks, I mean," I finished lamely, "For everything."

"I don't need thanks," came the response, "Your advocate friend paid well enough." So, the advocate had been responsible for getting me here, too. Well, that made sense, although I couldn't help but wonder exactly how often he'd pulled this exact same trick. Given how smoothly it'd run, I'd have wagered it was frequent enough for Sector Security to be starting to ask some serious questions about their 'Deaths in Custody' rates. "By the way," the woman continued, "He said you'll want to read that datapad sooner rather than later." Snapped out of my reflections by her words, I found my gaze dragged down to the innocuous little device, and a sudden sense of foreboding began to gnaw at my stomach as I slowly, reluctantly, reached down to scoop up the device.

'Just a datapad,' I told myself, 'Probably just instructions on getting offworld.' I wasn't fooling anyway, and after another moment's hesitation I thumbed the activator, my eyes locked on the display as it flickered into life, revealing two short paragraphs of text;

You wished to make your own way in the galaxy. To make your own name. I gift you now with the opportunity; as far as Imperial records go, my daughter no longer exists. You are dead, a ghost. Your accounts and assets frozen.

Consider this rebirth the start of your new story. I look forward to seeing what you make of it.


I don't know how long I stood there, frozen in horror and disbelief. Certainly, it was long enough for the screen to dim, for it was this flicker that drew me from my stupor, and I thumbed the controls again, causing the screen to blink back to life as I dragged my gaze down from the nightmareish sentences to the neat, elegant monogram that sat beneath it.

"This," I whispered, the datapad dropping to the floor with a clatter as it slid from my numb fingers, "Can't be happening."
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Kasia Thorn

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