All Souls' Day
Time: 18 BBY
Summary: Roan Shryne had been the most average Jedi in the Temple. But when the base number drops enough to be called 'minuscule,' the average may rise.
Warnings: General gruesomeness.
Author's Note: This is finally getting Roan out of the pickle I put him in in 2007. Completion of the stories "Lord Vader Needs Feet" and "Jedi Zombie."
Why isn't Shryne moving along with the trooper? He's pivoting, kicking out one durasteel leg that I invented in a kata I've never seen, shredding the trooper's gut through his cuirass? His eyes, his eyes are full of life and oh the Living Force is in this room it is coming for me. Makashi salute to him and I lunge and we would fight again properly if he would pick up his lightsaber, but he does not. He has launched himself with the legs that I gave him, scrabbling with their gripping metal toes like a doiseybird hunting for groundbugs. And now I am alone with him as the trooper's guts splash to the deck. I don't need to push the alarm, not me. This is the most average Jedi I've ever come across. But .. he is a Jedi and I must be on guard.
Kriff! He evaded that, he springs over my head and I am so clumsy. Palpatine could have upgraded my reflexes, the murglak. Now I haven't gotten Shryne's agility and I simply cannot run as fast as he can. I must Forceleap instead but he's escaping. I'll stop, push for security after all. I ... cannot. The Force is holding me. It should be simple for me to ... I cannot. What? It's the Jedi. He's in my head.
I was waiting. Losing my legs did not hurt nearly as much as knowing that there were so few of us left after Order 66, Vader. Or is it Anakin Skywalker? Our Chosen One? Yes, it is you. Well. you're---
Get out get out ... can't move ... he's approaching, toes like talons clicking on the deck. I'll be joining the Force soon if I cannot move away ... and I'm not ready to see Padme or the other Jedi or the eviscerated younglings ... Obi-Wan, I saved you all those times ... I need you now ... nono I hate you ... He's toying with me.
Vader or Skywalker, I'm getting out of here and you are helping me, you bastard.
Yes, I am one, but how does he know ... oh, he's cursing at me.
Kriff you, secure me a transport when you drop out of hyperspace. Do it! His mind is changed, the lobotomy improved his Force connection. His memories don't niggle at him anymore and he is a better Jedi than ever in his life. And me, I'm moving like an automaton, like one of those gonk droids on Tatooine. And damn me for a fool, there is no security vidcamera here in my private chambers. The misbegotten trooper over there is gurgling his last ... no don't take off the helmet, I'll die, not ready yet .. ahhhhhhhhh too late ... choking ... Padme ... my child .. will I meet you or be forced to yearn for you from far away? A fitting purgatory for me, I suppose.
I think a long time ago doing this would have bothered me, Skywalker. It doesn't now, not at all.
He's putting my helmet back on? I can breathe? He was only threatening me?
"Talking ... again ... so strange, my voice ... Skywalker."
"Do what I tell you."
"T-Tell me what it's like first."
He's cocking his head like the doiseybird whose feet he has. "What what's like?"
"Not to feel." I'm inching my way to the room's comm station, my feet dragging like I'm drugged. If only ...
"It was so easy to fool you and the surgeons. The moment my head cleared after the procedure, I could see my way through to freedom. It only took getting you alone."
I turn after ordering all corridors on the way to the hangar to be cleared. The ship shudders as it drops out of hyperspace. "Is it true freedom, not feeling?"
"I don't know. I don't care."
He's never going to be a threat to our Empire. He has no conscience and so he'll never find a cause to be on fire for. He's going rogue. It's safe to release him to the galaxy.
"I'll escort you to your ship."
We walk through the deserted pathways in silence. I shall stay in purgatory a while longer. Palpatine would know if I requested elective surgery.