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Alone In This Garden Of Pain [Open]

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  • Alone In This Garden Of Pain [Open]

    She had no idea how she had made it through her last training flight session. All her trauma had hit her full blast out of the blue. It always happened without a warning. She knew her triggers but much could still happen at the most unexpected times. In Chiss culture, emotions weren't much dwelled upon and tragedies were to be kept inside. Even with a supportive family, the shadiest and most violent parts of her life still haunted her.

    As soon as she landed her Tie-Fighter, she took her helmet off, went through the motions and as soon as she was dismissed, she almost jogged back to get changed into her regular black uniform. She was shaking and she couldn't breathe. She wasn't in any state to speak to anyone.

    Leaving the military base, she knew she should go back to her home right away but she was terrified to face her little one and her cousin in the panicked state she was in. She managed to grab her comlink, dropping it and picking it up, messaging Teta that she'd be late.

    She hated going through this, still being haunted by all this horror. Putting her gloves on, she stormed off in the streets of Ravelin.

  • #2
    Holy frakking frak.

    Never having been one to swear much, Spark was definitely doing so now. The lieutenant was presently alone since Tuk was on a job with his brother, and the blond Imperial had been doing a good deal of thinking about life. Having memories and one's identity as a Jedi Master on the down-low come back had a way of doing that to a person!

    Spark had chosen to stay on Ravelin and to stay with the Empire. It had been a shocking move, considering this was formerly enemy territory! Spark had been involved with forging the alliance between the Jedi and the New Republic, for Force's sake! And now, the decision had been made to embrace the new life as an Army lieutenant and geek?!

    But that wasn't all. The torrent of memories and exploration of self had left Spark to one realization, and dealing with that is what had sent the soldier onto the streets of Ravelin in civilian attire, walking with no actual direction in mind. Spark's mind was moving at lightspeed as booted feet stomped the permacrete.

    For once in my frakking life, I know who I am, Spark thought. Now, what do I do about it? How do I do anything about it?
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    • #3
      She felt sick to her stomach as all her memories hit her one after one. She hated when this happened and she felt so weak, so sullied. She was better than all of this, she had kept fighting, for herself, for her son, for her family. And yet, she was trembling, shaking and nauseous as she stormed across the Ravelin streets.

      She didn't register anyone nearby as she kept walking, trying hard to keep herself gathered, mostly to no avail. She had to stop, keeping herself upright, her gloved hand grabbing on a nearby bench.

      Her legs were barely holding up, but she refused to look even weaker than she already was. The carapace she had built for everyone's sake years ago couldn't always hold firmly.

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      • #4
        Spark moved with a purpose that one might have mistaken for anger. It was just that the Corellian was so energized by the revelation that it had to come out somehow! Spark had tears in blue eyes as the city blurred past with the quick pace.

        But, the soldier came to a halt when spying someone who's struggle seemed even greater. Though no longer touching the Force, Spark was still a good judge of character and someone's need. It would've been easy to just walk by; countless others already had. But, Spark understood pain on some many levels and from so many directions in one's life.

        "Can I help you, ma'am?" Spark asked.
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        • #5
          She was startled by the arrival of a blond woman, a human. Her crimson eyes darted towards her and her posture slightly changed, as she felt ashamed of having been caught into such a position.

          I... I am unsure of how you humans go about driving away traumatic memories.
          She blurted out, though her voice was less shaky than her body. She struggled to straighten herself and clasped her hands together.

          I didn't mean to alarm you and appreciate your consideration. This wasn't expected.
          She added in haste, offering a slight bow of her head.

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          • #6
            Hands slipped into the jacket pocket, Spark nodded.

            "Well... that really depends on the person. Anything from meditation and therapy..." the soldier said with a sigh, "...to any number to vices. Pick your poison, they say."

            Spark definitely felt trapped between worlds in that moment.

            "Sometimes, talking to a perfect stranger can be helpful too. That way, who cares what the person thinks, right? If you'd want. I mean. I could use someone distracting me from my own issues."
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            • #7
              She hadn't seen a therapist. It wasn't the Chiss way. She had buried herself into work and avoided tarnishing her family's reputation even further, especially since they had been supportive of her and her son, regardless of the tragedy that had brought him to this world.

              I heard you humans have decent whiskey, if I recall the name right. Maybe it is time I taste this.
              She replied with a wry smirk, though the look in her eyes was still full of pain and dread.

              Maybe we can exchange on these issues, stranger to stranger then. Mine are surrounded by an indecent amount of... Red tape.
              It was only fitting in a weird way, she mused.

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              • #8
                In either sense of reality, Spark had been far more prone to chocolate and stimcaf than to alcohol, so there was just a knowing smile at the mention of whiskey.

                "Does that mean you'd like to talk about everything, but it's all actually classified?" Spark asked with a chuckle.

                Having originally gone to school for psychotherapy, the soldier understood privacy concerns and how that could make talking about issues complex for patients. Of course, Spark hadn't formally lived that life in a very long time.

                "My issue... well, let's say seeing isn't always believing when it comes to other beings."

                Spark wasn't exactly sure how to say to anyone - stranger or friend - that the epiphany uncovered was that he was misgendered.
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                • #9
                  Her posture relaxed a little. She was still feeling nauseous and that dirt was covering her skin, but she was able to be upright and take a few steps by the blonde's side. I came here with a lot of classified bits in my past indeed. She had done it for her family, including her son and even her own sake. Serving the Empire is a clean slate in theory, but the actual facts are much different.

                  She quirked a brow to the woman's words. Does this mean that you are much different than what others see? Or that you are commonly surprised in what others truly are? She understood Basic fairly enough, but she still easily asked for clarification. Maybe some thought it made her look dumb, but she wanted to know as much as possible and thus avoid further questions in the future.

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                  • #10
                    Spark bit the inside of his cheek as he considered how best to answer. Stranger or not, this was still going to be weird to put out there in actual words.

                    "Yeah. I am," he replied slowly, going for broke. "Physically, I look female. Mentally... well, what I'm realizing is that I'm not. I identify as male. I always have, but am finally understanding and owning that."

                    Spark crossed his arms over his chest, found that felt really awkward, and slipped his hands back into his pockets instead. Bright blue eyes gauged the Chiss woman's reaction to his admission, hardly able to believe the truth was out there.
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                    • #11
                      She listened to what the blonde explained and was surprised. She hadn't expected it and if it hadn't been for her Chiss stoicisim, her shock would have been visible on her expression. Yet, she wasn't unfamiliar with such life matters. One of the reasons why her cousin Teta had volunteered to come with her to imperial space was because her special case in Chiss society had always been looked down upon, for she hadn't been born female.

                      It is great that you understood this and are coming to terms with who you are. She replied with sincerity. Does the Empire accept transgenders easily? Back home, this is looked down upon as much as people going against the grain, generally speaking.

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                      • #12
                        Spark could only shrug.

                        "I don't know. I'd need to talk to my commanding officers. I have yet to talk with my boyfriend." Thinking of Auri and Keir, he added, "And my family. This is all new to me right now."
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                        • #13
                          I wish you luck with your commanding officers and your family. My cousin was the black ronto in her work and our society when she figured out she identified as female. We aren't supposed to believe and do differently than how we are supposed to among our people.

                          She had said this with bitterness, even when their family had been way more supportive than most would have been. My lineage isn't exactly the one I show here on Bastion and both my marriage and my son's conception circumstances are classified by Chiss standards.

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                          • #14
                            "Yes, I know that the Chiss societal expectation can be quite... rigid."

                            Or at least, Spark knew that in theory. He had never spent time among that people, and off-hand, could not recall having ever met one before. But, their reputation for being stern and having very specific sets of societal views was well-known, no matter how far away Csilla was.

                            "Family and what's 'right' or 'normal' can be complicated at best, no matter where we live," he said with regard to what Ashar shared. "I hope, at least, that settling in to your new life has made some things easier?"
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                            • #15
                              Rigid is the word indeed. She confirmed with a slight nod. Did you ever visit Csilla? She asked with curiosity knowing that there had been interaction between imperials and Chiss over the past years.

                              She nodded to what the woman - man - said about family and normality. Imperial life was a new start for me, for my son and cousin, who came here with me. The weird and even nasty looks here are heaven in comparison to home, where some still brand me as horrendous murderer, improper wife and name sullying threat.

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