Recovery, or insanity? Oct 18, 2019 20:20:26 GMT
Post by Logan Shivers on Oct 18, 2019 20:20:26 GMT
The Nebulon class Medical Frigate “Scorekeepers Grace” drifted calmly through the dark void of deep space. Next to it, keeping pace the looming form of the Lictor class Detention ship “Asylum”. From time to time a medical shuttle might move between the two ships but otherwise there was no apparent activity in the area.
This was very much intentional. The nearest known hyper lane was over a days travel even for the fastest ships and just outside of sensor range and most definitely out of sight, was a cordon of Faceless Hunter Alliance ships, their task to keep the area clear.
Aboard the Asylum, Tersen led a skeleton crew, all of whom were previously Bone Collectors. All of whom were fiercely loyal to Logan who himself occupied one deck of the ship all by himself. He had been there for nearly a month now and although his tenure had began strapped to a bed with specialist equipment all around him that stopped him from being able to uses the force, circumstances had somewhat improved now. He was no longer bound and although still confined within this specially designed deck of the ship, he now spent most of his time in deep meditation.
Argon and Dr Hadji Falconer had been his only previous visitors, the Doctor monitoring Logans health while Argon stood guard, ready to pounce on the patient should any sign of darkness cross his eyes.
Today, things were about to change. One of the picket ships noted the arrival of a C-3 luxury liner slid out of hyperspace. The ship was expected so raised no alarm, however the ever vigilant FHA fleet commander still requested formal identification and verification. Once complete, the ship was allowed to glide past the line of the picket ships and into the “no go” area. The C-3 was crewed by droids, with the only two sentients onboard being Baron Helvetius and Baronet Omic, two Celestial Knights of high order. The ship was the “Binary Sun”, designed with force meditation in mind and devoid of any distractions that might lure the dark side. This was for force users who wished to dedicate their lives to the light side of the force, and it was a striking ship.
Fast as it was, it still took over 30 hours to reach the floating hulks of the Asylum and the Scorekeepers Grace. The droid pilot expertly brought the liner to a halt, matching the drift of the other two ships perfectly. Moments later a shuttle emerged and made its way straight into the hangar bay of the Asylum. The hangar bay was empty so the small shuttle landed close to a lone figure who was standing right next to the lift door. The shuttle door hissed slightly as it opened and two robed figures climbed out without ceremony. Approaching the lone figure, one of the robed figures lowered its hood to reveal the sombre face of Baron Helvetius.
“Greetings Baron Helvetius, Baronet Omic, thank you for coming.”
“Greetings Hadji, and there is no need to stand on ceremony, we are amongst friends here so Max will do just fine. How is our patient fairing?”
“Much improved physically, his wounds were mostly superficial and the deeper ones… well, his own healing ability helped. Trandoshans are a hard bunch to kill.”
“Well, this one is anyway, which is just as well. I do not know if you have met Pat before? His talents surpass both mine and Logans so his assistance here will be invaluable.”
“I have not had the pleasure, but I have heard about you sir, pleased to finally put a face to a name.”
Pat Rulla removed his own hood and shook the doctors hand, the three exchanging a few more pleasantries before Hadji led them to the lift, and down to the deck Logan was inhabiting. The lift stopped its descent and the door opened, revealing a stark corridor and the immense bulk of Argon standing aside the only other door. Max smiled at the big Gamorrean,
“Ah Argon, looking after that troublesome boss of yours again? It is good to see you are still keeping well.”
Argons thick lips curled into what might have been a smile,
“Good see you too boss Max, good see Mr Rulla.”
Although the big Gamorrean was and exceptionally intelligent specimen of its race, as well as large, Argon still struggled with the galactic common tongue, mostly because his heavily tusked mouth and thick tongue and lips were not truly designed to make the required sounds, making each word a battle of coordination for all Gamorreans.
“Is he awake?”
“Not know, sit with eyes closed most time.”
“Yes, Logan sits and tends to drift between meditation and sleep these days, which I may say is a vast improvement on his initial state after that little incident on Pous.”
As he spoke, the Doctor released the lock on the door and all four entered. Argon simply stood by the door, just on the inside now, and Hadji motioned them further into the large room. The brightness of the lights inside the room took Max and Pat by shock, their eyes at a squint until they had time to adjust.
“Aaah, sorry gents, I should have warned you. Nothing but maximum illumination by Logans direct order. He believes it keeps the dark away?”
Given a few short moments for their eyes to adjust, the pair could now study the room, not that there was an awful lot to see. Logan sat cross legged on the floor in the centre of the brilliantly lit room. His eyes had a far away, glazed sort of look to them. It was just about possible to tell that he was breathing, but the motion was so subtle it could easily be missed.
Argon remained by the door whilst the Doctor followed the two Celestial Knights as they approached Logan. A shiver ran down Pats spine and he ventured a glance at Max,
“Not sure how I like the feeling of this room… unsettling.”
Before Max could reply, Logans eyes snapped into focus and a small smile showed on his closed lips.
“Ah, I have been expecting a visit, thank you both for coming to see me.”
Logan had not been looking at either of them, but now his focus shifted and he pinned his gaze onto Pat,
“Strange isn’t it? Not being able to have the force at your fingertips? But close your eyes, concentrate and FEEEL. If you get it just right, you will find the power is there, hidden, restrained, but very much still there. You just have to HUNT for it.”
The two force users exchanged a look but both found themselves taking time to do just as suggested, not being overly comfortable with the apparent “lack” of access to the force. Logan studied them both and smiled wider as Pats expression changed from one of concentration, to one that was much more at peace. It did not take Max much longer.
“Ah, I see that you are both comfortable again, good. Welcome to my humble retreat!”
“Logan…. You seem….. odd? How are you feeling, and more to the point, what is going on in that head of yours? We thought the balance was under control? What…..”
Logan put his hand up to interrupt Max,
“My friend, let me save you a lot of questions and a bit of trouble. I have a lot to tell you and it seems to me that you would be better seated. I can have Argon bring chairs if you do not wish to join me on the floor?”
Max and Pat both shook their heads and lowered themselves down and got comfortable. The Doctor left them to it, deciding that this was no business of his. Once his two visitors were settled, Logan took a deep breath and began.
“We know that my recent… episodes, are down to loss of control over the dark side, a battle I have been fighting, and slowly losing since the great battle at Carlac. Intensive training with a variety of Celestial Knights, attempts to block out the force for prolonged periods of time, medical intervention and even..” and Logan visibly shivered at this next one, “ enforced sobriety. Nothing much seemed to have any lasting effect and it was not for the lack of trying on everyone’s behalf. I have been thinking on all this, and I have found where we were all going wrong. The force is not something you can hide from. More importantly, it is not in my nature to hide, so it was doubly unlikely to be the right course of action. So, after my latest… episode, I found myself looking for a different solution.”
Max was beginning to look a little uncomfortable, this was not sounding much like the reptilian he knew. Cohesive, sober and clear… calm and collected… Logan could be any one of those things at times, but all at once?...
“HA! I see that furry brow of yours wrinkling up Max, but don’t worry, I have not found my peace by embracing the dark. I am HUNTING it. I am not prey, I am a hunter and so to run and try and hide from something was just against the grain. Instead, I have spent this time in meditation, hunting the dark. Whilst in this sanctuary I have managed to corner it and confine it, and finally ‘capture’ it. The dark within me is safely locked away and under my complete control, ready for me to let out on a leash if needed, but never again to take over my actions. It was somewhat easier to think clearly this time around, not having any guilt over dead friends at my hands to deal with. My self is balanced, I am confident that you can undertake any tests you wish and I will prove this to your satisfaction. But if I do not…. Then there is no alternative for me. I will not embrace the dark fully, I enjoy its tittilation, I like the spice of it, but not the entire, sour thing. So as friends and fellow knights, I ask one thing of you. Should I fail, should I lose control yet again, END ME.”
The last was said with a forceful conviction that did not led itself to arguing. Despite this, Max opened his mouth to argue but Logan got in first.
“No arguments Max, I have seen just how bad this could end, I have far, far greater strength in the dark than I care for. Despite it now being under control, the power WILL grow… after all, any pet needs feeding, looking after… otherwise they go bad. I am convinced that continuing to cultivate both sides is the only way forward for me, and engaging the light to continually stalk the dark and ensure its submission to me. A true, lifelong hunting journey for my soul.”
Logan allowed some silent time in order to let his two visitors digest this, but as soon as he felt that one was about to break the silence, he quickly interjected.
“This all brigs me to my most recent realisation and decision. I wish to step down from my position as General within the ranks of the AMC.”
He raised both hands and his voice slightly to stop the inevitable interjection.
“I do not want to leave the AMC. But I do want… no, need, to take on a different direction. A realisation has come over me, and that is that everyone, or at least, everyone of note, is searching for something in their life. What is a search if it is not a hunt? From personal beterment to searching the void for lost systems, from game hunting to bounty hunting, from freedom to peace, to war to silence, from the perfect specimen of a plant, to the rarest beast in the galaxy, the perfect high, the ideal low, the fastest engine, the most powerful weapon,”
Logan became more and more animated as his list grew and grew and Max began to calm as he saw the hints of… well, madness, that he knew so well. There was an odd comfort to seeing the return to this somewhat more normal state of being for his old friend. Logans seemingly endless list finally came to a close and he continued, a little bit more subdued, but with an intensity in his voice.
“You see Max, life is actually about the Hunt. Whatever you hunger for in life, you follow the same path, the path of the hunt. In that, we are all one, and in that simple, plain truth, salvation lies. I have seen the truth now, I have been guided, and I have ASCENDED to a different plain of existence. I am enlightened and free and know what direction I have to take for this next segment of my life.”
Well, there it was, getting stronger and stronger…. Logans battle with the force may be won, but Max was beginning to wonder if it was at the cost of his sanity… or at least, at the cost of his remaining sanity. But still, this was far closer to the Logan of old, the crazy drunk but brilliant strategist, the drug fuelled berserker and the intensely loyal and protective friend. The enigma that was Logan had perhaps just got a bit more complex… but Max could not help but feel that it was in a good way….. somehow.
“Max, I want to take the FHA and enlighten those who will join me. We will grow together and become the Faceless Hunter Ascendancy. We will honour the path of the hunt, and we will build legacies for those who follow that path, ensure that their time in this galaxy is not lost to the vastness of time once they die, but is kept forever sacred for future generations of hunters to learn from, we will be the keepers of the path, the cultivators of legacy.”
And with that, Logan suddenly seemed to run out of steam. His eyes remained blazing however, the intensity in them so vibrant it could easily be mistaken for a look of utter insanity. He remained silent, staring at his two guests who had been somewhat stunned into silence. This was all a bit much… even for Logan… but… well, Max sort of knew him well enough to recognise that this was not something that was being put forward for discussion, this was something that in Logans zany mind was already a reality.
“Logan, my friend, you have given us quite a lot to think about. I hope you don’t mind if we take some time to ourselves and consider your words? Oh, and Logan….. can I just check…. Are you sober?”
Logan smiled even more broadly,
“Yes and yes, I may no longer feel the need to remain sober in order to be in control, but I am sober none the less. And of course my friend, take all the time you need. I will await your answer.”
With that said, Logan settled back down, his eyes glazed over and he returned to his meditative trance without uttering another word to either visitor. Max and Pat exchanged looks, got up and walked out of the room still a little too stunned to talk yet.