Pleasure & Pain: Chapter 14 Rating: PG-13
Kidan

We are rushing through the halls, when I see the doors which Lumiya told me to never enter.

Deciding I had nothing else to lose, I take us that way.

I can feel Nethi's fears as we near the doors. "Lumiya told me to never go in there."

Without glancing back to her, I answer. "All the more reason to go in."

We rush down the hallway, one made of carved stone, as much cave as anything fashioned by sentient hands.

And come to another ornate doorway. Not seeing an obvious opening mechanism, I push with the Force knocking the doors down.

Then we enter what can only be described as a cathedral.

I look up and see high vaulted ceilings, on the ceilings, in bas relief sculptures are impressions of fire, and people writhing in torment.

I look around and see an audience area, an arena and a stage. On the stage there is an alter, one large enough for a grown Thakwaashi to lie upon comfortably. The sides of the alter are decorated with the same bas relief sculptures as the ceiling.

Behind the alter I can see a throne.

Sitting upon the throne is what I can only describe as a nexus of the Dark Side. Someone whose Force presence is so shrouded in the Dark Side that it reminds me of when I was touched by Palpatine when I was in my mom's womb.

Nethi and I slowly walk into the room, looking everywhere. Afraid to go in further, unable to not do so.

As we approach the throne, the person on it speaks. "Ah, so Lumiya's pets have freed themselves. How predictable this all is."

I can feel his humor as he continues. "Let me guess, she sent you to kill the blonde one, and you didn't, and then Lumiya had a hissy fit, and tried to take scarred girl here from you. Am I right Anakin?"

I look at him, unable to understand how he knows. "How? Who? What are you?"

He chuckles. "I am sorry; I forget my manners so easily in my old age. I am Kadann, the Supreme Prophet of the Dark Side, leader of the Prophets of the Dark Side. Lumiya came to us for the sole purpose of raising someone of the Skywalker line from the dead. She wants her own personal Vader. As for how I knew what was happening, well we do call ourselves prophets here."

"Are you going to stop us?"

Again his amusement rolls in the Force. "Stop you? I gave up my aspirations for galactic dominance many years ago. Besides, I consider what Lumiya is attempting as folly of the highest order. Our skills, our abilities at raising the dead work best with Dark Siders. Lumiya's goal was to get either you or your namesake, and then corrupt you."

I shiver at his smile.

I look around the room once more, and finally find another exit, and grabbing Nethi's hand rush that way.

We enter another long hallway and run down it, which gives us another doorway into another chamber.

This one is different than the cathedral though. It's newer, more scientific. The only word I can think of to describe it is laboratory.

On the opposite side of the room is another door, and along the walls are about two dozen cylinders. They remind me of sleep capsules, of cryogenic chambers. The ceiling is set high up, and along one wall there is an observation window.

I turn right and walk close to one of the capsules, absently noting that Nethi had turned left towards the capsules that started on that wall. I can see a small label on the top of the capsule and read it. It says "Aurek Senth 0005"

I rub the frost off the glass window and gasp as I see my face behind the transparisteel enclosure.

From the other side of the room, I feel Nethi's fear and confusion. "No, it's not possible."

I rush to her side, and see what has her so scared, so confused. Within the capsule is Nethi, except with blonde hair. In the next chamber is Nethi with black hair. In the chamber after that, there is a Nethi with brown hair. I look up at the label on that capsule and it is labeled "Trill Vev 0007."

My heart sinks.

We look in capsule after capsule, and they are all of us. Some so young, they are nothing more than what we consider memories of childhood. None of them are older than we are now.

I finally figure out the last piece of what had been confusing me. Why it was so easy for me to let my thoughts dwell on Nethi, why her pain angered me so, and Lumiya's offer of her was so appealing to me.

Why it was so easy for me to fall in love with her.

Even though I had seen that Tahiri's was just an older version of Nethi's face, I had not wanted to realize the answer.

The Tahiri on Dagobah might have been the original, but Nethi was MY Tahiri.



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