Updates might be a little erratic for a while because of exams (although I'm going to try to be regular). Sorry to anyone who's reading this!
The ship was like no other that Atton had been on before. The darkness that shrouded his eyes prevented him from seeing his surroundings, but the place felt like a tomb. The air was unmoving and stale; he felt as if it was pressing down on him, trying to crush him. There was a too sweet smell of something like fruit or flowers rotting which caught in the back of his throat and almost made him choke.
He was being led somewhere, following the sound of heavy footsteps clanging against the metal floor. A hand against his chest forced him to halt and he heard the swish of a door sliding open. The hand on his chest moved to his shoulder and pushed him gently through the doorway. It guided him through the room until something solid bumped into his waist. He was helped up onto what he presumed to be a table and pressure on his shoulders forced him to lie down. He followed all directions wordlessly, not questioning or even thinking about why he was doing it.
After a moment's pause, fingertips brushed over his temples. It was the first time those who he had come to call his saviors had touched his bare flesh. It was like someone was pushing ground glass into his head, the skin on the fingers was so rough and cracked. If he reached up to touch the place where the fingers rested he wouldn't be surprised to feel blood. The agonising caress continued as the fingers began to rub in small circles. Atton remained silent. Despite feeling as if his skin was being ripped open, he felt immensely weary. As the intensity and pressure of the stranger's touch increased, his breathing became deeper and more even. Eventually he lost his tentative grip on consciousness and fell willingly into a deep sleep.
Atton stood alone in a pitch black room. He didn't try to investigate his surroundings or find a way out; a voice in his head told him to wait and he obeyed, as he had obeyed every order since being plucked from the cave on Korriban.
He wasn't kept waiting for long.
"I knew that this was your only potential." A voice echoed through the cavernous room.
Kreia. Atton's hands balled into fists at his sides. His fingers itched to close around her wrinkled throat, but he had no idea where she was to attack her. Her voice sounded like it was coming from all around him. "I thought you were dead." He growled.
"Ever the fool." There was amusement in her voice, laced within the sneering contempt. "Do you truly believe that I am the woman you knew as Kreia? No. She is no more than dust. I am but a mask for an invading energy, a familiar form to make this process easier for you."
"You never made anything easier, you vicious old witch."
"As always, you listen but do not hear." She sighed. "But no matter. Your ignorance will not prevent me from completing this necessary task."
Before Atton could say anything else, a force slammed into his mind. This wasn't like the sly probing of so many of the Jedi; this was as subtle as a fist in the face. It stormed through his mind, seemingly hunting for something. Sharp pain threatened to split his head in two. He had to fight to stay on his feet and his fingernails bit into the palms of his hands as he clenched his fists, drawing blood. The force dived through the layers of his mind, disturbing the murky waters of memories and feelings he had tried so hard to forget.
Eventually it screamed to a halt. It had found what it was looking for. The animal that Atton had been, the thing that took its pleasure only from pain and slaughter. It stalked restlessly in the cage that Atton had built for it, throwing itself against invisible walls, trying to break free. If there was any part of the Atton that had devoted himself to Kezia left, it now bellowed in terror and rage. If any such part existed, it wasn't strong enough to prevent what Atton knew was about to happen. The barriers that caged the monster, the bars that Atton had so carefully constructed, dissolved in a second. The monster howled in triumph and stampeded up through Atton's mind, back to where it could take control.
The penetrating force left as quickly as it had come, leaving only Atton and his demon. Even Kreia was silent now. The demon flowed through Atton's arms and legs, checking the shape he was in and flexing his muscles appreciatively. It settled itself in, taking control of body and mind. Any good parts of Atton fled to the darkest regions of his mind. Now Atton was the monster he had been years before.
A soft whimper came from somewhere in front of him. A grin curved his lips.
"Atton?" A voice called hesitantly. "Wh-Where are you?"
There was no mistaking the owner of this voice, even in the complete darkness. Kezia. Not the sadistic vision of her from Korriban, nor the strong warrior who had taken the weight of the dying Republic and Jedi Order onto her shoulders. This was Kezia as Atton had never known her. Terrified. He could feel the fear rolling off her in waves. It was almost a tangible thing; he was almost convinced that he could taste and smell it.
"Atton?" Her voice rose with panic. "Please don't leave me like this! I need you."
Atton stepped forwards. "I'm here, babe. Don't worry." He followed the sound of her ragged breath until he found her. When his hand brushed against her shoulder, he pulled her hard against him and wrapped his arms around her, preventing escape.
Kezia seemed oblivious to the change in her lover and student. She buried her head in his chest and let out a long sigh of relief. "For a moment I thought you were going to leave me on my own."
"I'd never leave you." He muttered against the top of her head. As he held her, he tried to recall the feelings his former self had had for her. He knew that he had loved her, but it was just a memory. He had no recollection of what it felt like. All he felt now was overwhelming lust and a burning desire to mutilate her delicate frame, to make her pay for every twisted mind trick that she and her worthless kind had ever played on him.
"Just think of what you need," Kreia whispered in his head. "And it will be yours."
Immediately an image jumped into his mind. The knife that Revan had presented to him shortly after he had been recruited. The handle had been made of intricately carved black stone, and the blade was long and jagged. No sooner had he thought about this beloved weapon than he felt a weight against his hip.
It's like I never left, He thought as he began to draw the blade.
The Sith that held Atton firmly by the head smiled.
"Is it working?" His companion asked, leaning over and peering into Atton's face.
"Yes. He will make an excellent weapon, when the time comes."