Bastila stood before Aminta, her hands clasped behind her back primly, her robes spotless and her hair shining and tucked neatly into its twin tails. She was the picture of serenity; the epitome of the light side. She would make Master Vrook proud. Sometimes, Aminta hated her for it; the way the woman saw things in black and white, her calm persona, her ability to distance herself from her emotions.
Aminta glanced down at herself subconsciously. Her robes were strewn about the cockpit from her latest "almost" encounter with Carth, the blasted man who constantly pulled away just before saying, "I don't think right now is a very good time." Yeah, like I'm going to even let it get to that point again. I am so over that puppy! But he does have such nice eyes… Even Aminta's thoughts revealed the emotions that boiled beneath the surface! But with Bastila, there was nothing; no struggle. The woman was the Jedi Poster child for the gods' sake.
Bastila looked around the cockpit for a few minutes, pointedly ignoring the fact that Pad wan Jae's robes were all over the floor and that the woman's curly mass of black hair was in disarray. She was clothed, at least… mostly… the fact that the buttons were done wrong didn't really matter all that much. After all, even Master Vrook had his… escapades… when he was younger. Much, much younger. Bastila suppressed a shiver at that thought. There was a mental image she was getting that she really didn't want to see.
In a way, she was jealous of the woman sitting before her now. Aminta was so free… so confident in herself… so unlike all of the Jedi that Bastila had known before her. She broke all the rules, stretched all the boundaries, gave in to all her passions, and yet she did so in a way so that she still blazed in the light. It was unsettling at best. Especially since that same woman had been a Sith Lord less than a year before.
The silence between the two women lengthened into an uncomfortable pause as the two women simply stared at each other, the bond between them carefully shut off. Aminta was the first to break the silence by clearing her throat, and rather loudly at that. Bastila was startled from her trance like inspection of the former Darth Revan, although her surprise didn't show on her face. It never did. Suddenly remembering exactly why she had come to the cockpit, Bastila gave Aminta a slight smile. "Would you mind if I asked you some questions?" She stood still, her posture perfect, as it always was, until Aminta grinned at her.
"Step in to my office… Carth's office actually, but since he's in the refresher its mine for now." Bastila frowned lightly, and moved to sit in the co-pilot's seat, smoothing her robes once she was in the chair. In comparison, Aminta wiggled farther down into her seat…Carth's seat really… propped her feet on the console, and gave Bastila another crooked grin. "So, what was important enough to talk to me about that you left your meditation?"
Bastila sighed and went to stand back up again. "If you are going to be childish about this, I think maybe I should…"
"Hey, ease off. I was just kidding you know," Aminta exclaimed, straightening slightly. Her sudden changed in posture only lasted until Bastila primly re-seated herself, at which point Aminta sank farther down into her chair.
"I…I just wanted to ask you…" Bastila began haltingly, suddenly at a loss for words as how to ask her question. She cleared her throat, and re-folded her hands. "How… how you do it?" she finished, realizing the moment the words were out of her mouth how incredibly vague her question was.
Aminta stifled a laugh, pouring herself a bit of Juma juice. She grinned a little when she saw Bastila's eyebrows shoot up when she took a sip from the tumbler. The fact that everyone assumed that Juma was alcoholic when it wasn't was one of the reasons that the drink was one of her favorites. She offered a glass to Bastila, which the other woman swiftly declined. Aminta turned her attention back to Bastila's question. "What, how do I handle Carth? Do they not give you guys 'the talk' back at the Enclave?" she smirked.
Bastila's face went deathly white, and then turned as red as a sunburned Gizka. "No…I mean…yes, they did… but… no…oh my… Carth? ….oh dear no… I…" she stammered, her green eyes wide.
Aminta laughed out loud then. "I get it, I get it. That's not what you meant. It was just so easy, I couldn't resist."
Bastila coughed as she attempted to salvage her last shred of dignity. "What I meant was, how is it that you can give in to your wants and desires daily and stay on the light side, while I try my hardest and…" she trailed off, and looked down at her clasped hands. An uncomfortable silence hung for several moments in the room, and Bastila struggled to keep calm.
Aminta looked at Bastila in shock, the image that she had constructed of the woman beside her swiftly deteriorating. The calm, serene, prim and proper perfect Jedi was asking her, the smuggler, for advice on the light side? Maybe, the proud bearing and arrogant speech of the Jedi was simply a covering for passions that equaled those of Aminta's. Maybe, she used her pride like Aminta used her sarcasm. Maybe they weren't as different as Aminta had once thought. Aminta swallowed, then blinked, then gave Bastila a slight smile. "I don't give in to all of my wants and desires," she said softly, looking down at her hands. "If I did, I'd be dead," she finished with a bitter laugh.
Bastila frowned and looked back up at Aminta, almost surprised that the woman had answered her. "You might not give into them all, but you give into temptation more than I do, and you're more firmly established on the light side than I am," she admitted softly, her gaze lost in her hands again.
Aminta shook her head. "I'm not; not all. In all actuality, I'm surprised that I'm farther to the light. I would have thought that I'dve fallen more in the gray area."
Intrigued, Bastila looked up at Aminta again. "Why is that?"
"Because I agree with points on both sides." It was a simple statement, but one with enough implications to rock any Jedi's world. From the look in Bastila's eyes though, Aminta guessed it was more interest than shock that the woman took her words with.
True to Aminta's guess, Bastila frowned slightly. "Why?"
Aminta smiled, and leaned closer to Bastila to better make her point. "There's always two sides to story. Look at the villains in a holofilm. What makes them a bad guy? And what makes the hero a good guy? And then look at politics. Each party is different, yes, but what makes one so much better than another?"
Bastila met Aminta's questions with silence, furrowing her brow in an attempt to decipher Aminta's meaning.
Aminta licked her lips, and then continued, "And then look at the Jedi and the sith. They both draw their energy from the same source, so who's to say which one is the wrong one? Jedi believe that Sith are bastards and vice versa, so you can't get an unbiased opinion from either group. Then, look at the galaxy as a whole. All that they see are two religious fractions, if you will, fighting on their planets, killing their people for a cause they don't believe in. In their eyes, both sides are murderers. So, if we're equally bad in the eyes of the galaxy…"
"Who's to say who's right and who's wrong," Bastila echoed quietly, so quietly that she was sure that Aminta hadn't heard her. But, of course, she had. She always did, really.
"Exactly," Aminta finished with a small smile. "Goes back to a lesson that a teacher once tried to shove down my throat. Everything's relative. Of course, he went to the extreme and actually aced me on my exam when I told him that the Historian's interpretation of truth an mine were different, thus every answer I gave was correct. I wouldn't quite go that far, but on a whole, it's pretty true."
"But what about morals? Shouldn't they fit in somewhere?"
"Yeah, they definitely do. But what are morals? Don't kill, don't steal, don't cheat, don't lie… You do all of those things in war. They become a necessary aspect of life, you know?"
Bastila hung her head, trying to absorb all of the information that Aminta had just crammed into her skull. She had, in fact, done everything that she had believed was wrong in the name of what was right. What did that make her? Right or wrong?
Aminta smiled smiled with compassion at Bastila's torment. "I learned long ago to stop analyzing the world. It gets way too confusing. I honestly didn't mean for this to turn into philosophical mumbo jumbo, but…" she shrugged slightly as she stood up.
"I just don't understand. I feel so… I don't know what I'm feeling," Bastila shook her head and gave a brittle laugh.
Aminta stood up and gently rested her hand on Bastila's shoulder on the way out. "You've entered the gray area of life," she said with a slight smile before leaving the cockpit.
Bastila sat in her chair for a long time mulling things over. Could it be that everything that she had been taught was wrong? What if the sith did have a point…
—————- 3 months later—————-
Aminta stood opposite Bastila on the Star Forge, breathing heavily. "Stop this Bastila! Come back to the light side! They accepted me back, surely they will accept you to!" she exclaimed, vainly trying to convince her friend to help her destroy the sith fleet.
Bastila dropped her guard for a moment. "I can't come back, it's too late for me," she said softly before swinging her saber again, the rage glowing from her eyes. "And I don't want to come back! I never will!" she screeched as she went after Aminta again, twirling her double bladed lightsaber so that the red glow illuminated Aminta's face.
"You are my friend! I can't let you do this to yourself!" Aminta cried out as she went on the offensive. Bastila left herself open enough times so that Aminta could have killed her already, but the woman couldn't bring herself to do it. Bastila had been her one of the closest friends she'd ever had, more like a sister really. "Please, stop this!" she screamed, tears clouding her vision.
Miraculously, Bastila's blade dropped back down to her side. "Stop what, Revan?" she asked, laughing bitterly. "The darkness can't be stopped. It ate away what I once was. I am different; more hollow."
"There is good in you yet," Aminta said softly, after a brief survey of the effects that the dark side had on her friend's once beautiful face. Alabaster skin was now marred by dark, pulsing veins; green eyes were yellow; supple hair brittle. But still, there was a spark… something that was Bastila left over. On a whim, Aminta dropped her lightsaber to the ground. "Strike me; I will not raise my hand against you."
"This is a dangerous game you play, Revan," Bastila warned, her eyes narrowing slightly.
Aminta took a deep breath, and then exhaled quickly. "What have I got to lose? If I perish, I perish," She looked up at Bastila and could see her friend struggling. "Come back with me. Leave this forsaken space station; some of the Jedi survived. The dark side hasn't destroyed you completely."
Bastila was silent for a full, agonizing minute before she flicked her lightsaber back on. "But you are wrong, Revan. The dark side has ravaged everything that I once was!" With that, she ran forward, and struck Aminta down.
Aminta staggered to the floor, her vision going cloudy. Bastila, why? She communicated through their bond; her body was too taxed for her to speak physically.
Bastila knelt down beside the woman's body. "Truth is relative. Yours was just different than mine."
Aminta's eyes widened. The conversation that she had started with Bastila had been what turned the woman down this road. Tears rushed to her eyes. Because of her, Bastila was gone, and with her Carth's republic. So…sorry…. she managed, her apology for Bastila, everyone she had traveled with, and those in the galaxy that she hadn't met, and then… she was gone.
I'm not really sure whether or not I like how this one turned out… Oh well. I guess every author needs to have at least one flop. Please comment on this one. I really, really want to hear your opinions!