An Accounting

Awaken,” the voices whispered together.

Rix started, shaking his head as his office came back into focus. The Feeorin shook his head again, trying to clear the cobwebs away.

Accounting was dull, by most standards, but it seldom put him to sleep.

“What a strange dream,” he murmured aloud. “I need caf if I’m going to finish these projections.”

He rose, a bit unsteadily, and walked out of his cramped, tiny office and headed toward the break room on the thirty-eighth floor of the Corellian Engineering Corps’s Tower Two skyscraper. The walk was only twenty-two meters, took him past his boss’s office, and offered a spectacular view of Coronet at night.

Lights blazed across the city, shining in the dark of night. Rix blinked as he slowly walked down the hall, the normally enjoyable view somehow putting him on edge. “What was that dream?” he asked aloud.

“You had it, too, didn’t you?” another voice rasped in the darkness. Rix stopped abruptly, squinting into the darkness as the voice resolved itself into form: his boss, Nrohk, eighty-four kilograms of scaly Trandoshan.

“Boss?”

“You had the dream. The voices. Calling.”

Rix frowned. Something was wrong in Nrohk’s voice. “What dream?”

“Don’t lie to me, Rix. I can feel it. You had the dream.” The Trandoshan lumbered forward, his very movements predatory. “You’re a rival.”

“I don’t…” was all Rix could get out before the Trandoshan leaped.

Reflexes slowed by sleep, the Feeorin couldn’t slip out of the way before his boss hit him, sending him flying backward into thin cubicle walls. The duraplast crunched and shattered, slowing Rix and sending him sprawling to the office floor.

“I will brook no competition, Rix,” Nrohk growled. “Whatever this power is, it’ll be mine.”

“You’re welcome to it,” Rix muttered as he fumbled for just a moment before he swept the small holdout blaster up. “I’ve got no interest in it. Why the hell do you think I became an accountant?” He squeezed the trigger.

The blaster flared, illuminating the walls bloodred. Nrohk stumbled backward, his scales smoking.

For a moment, Rix thought it was over.

Nrohk began to laugh, somewhere between a wheeze, a hiss, and a chuckle, with all the warmth of deep space. “I can feel the power now. You think your little toy will do you any good?” The Trandoshan rushed forward.

Rix fired again, but Nrohk didn’t even slow. Another shot, and the grip of the blaster pulsed in his hand to warn him the charge was depleted. The accountant hurled his spent weapon at the Trandoshan, aiming at his eyes.

The solid impact of hot metal hitting scaly flesh sizzled. The Trandoshan barely flinched, but it blinded him for a critical second. Rix dropped to the floor and swept his leg, tangling the Trandoshan and sending him sprawling.

“Guess not,” Rix panted, rage rising in his chest as the Trandoshan rolled over and began to charge at him on all fours. The Feeorin braced and met him in a tangle of flesh and scales, punching, biting, scratching, gouging.

Nrohk was getting stronger.

Rix brought a knee up into the Dosh’s jaw. Nrohk stumbled backward for a moment, shaking his head. The accountant backed up, could feel the transparisteel at his back.

“Nowhere to go, rival,” the Dosh snarled.

“Agreed.” Rix braced.

Nrohk charged.

Rix met his onslaught, grabbing the Dosh by his suit, and swung him into the window with his attacker’s own momentum.

Transparisteel fractured, cracking.

The Feeorin stepped back and kicked with all his might.

His boss plunged thirty-eight floors to the streets below.

“Dammit,” Rix muttered. “So much for accounting.”

A Curiosity to Sate

My children.
Awaken.

The voices – if they could even be called voices – were a duality in themselves, sounding both like a raucous cacophony and tender whisper in perplexing harmony with one another. A battle raged around him and yet he heard the voices clearly above all else, a persistent tug at the corner of his mind.

Awaken. You are needed.
One has awakened who will upset the balance.

He was not one for being taken by surprise and yet the voices had done just that, and caused a distraction just long enough for his opponent to take advantage and aim a vicious slash aimed at severing his head from his body. The tip of the vibroblade ghosted along his jaw and left a thin trail of blood as he reared back just in time, his eyes flaring with annoyance as he only barely managed to deflect the rest of the strike. He countered quickly, sliding his pike down his opponent’s extended blade and pushing the back-end of it forward to knock into the man’s side.

To keep the balance…
…you must awaken.

The other man staggered and he quickly pivoted to bring the pike’s blade down onto his opponent’s exposed collar and cut deeply into flesh. He withdrew the bladed end, watching the man gurgle in surprise before kicking him away to finish choking on his own blood just as the voices sounded in his mind again.

You have heard the rumors…
…and you must find the source.

Shifting the pike into his left hand, he absently brought his right to the familiar long hilt at his waist as he turned his head as if searching for the source of the grating, yet soothing, call.

Go, seek, and gather help.
Go, conquer, and gain power.

Brow lifted with curiosity, he reached out to sweep his awareness over the ship, hoping to sense what was amiss. He could feel the low hum of the vessel’s engines and his flagship beyond, feel the vibrant energies of his crew as they moved through their prize, feel the thick cloud of death that hung like a low fog around those that they had cut down. Nothing out of the ordinary.

There are many places…
…places of strength

Places of center…
…places of pain

Seek the planet where in ancient times the sides sought wisdom…
…and now a new conflict has arisen where they seek dominance.

“Cap’n?”

His quartermaster’s voice, far more tangible than whatever was calling out to him, had broken him from yet another disjointed trance and he returned his focus to the Falleen that had managed to come up behind him

“Bridge secure,” he gruffly stated, turning cold eyes towards her. “Have the vanguard sweep the rest of the ship. Secure what we were after from the hold, and rig the engines. After that, recall the men back to the Interitus and prepare to get her underway. I want to be back in port in seven standard hours.”

“Understood,” she nodded, peering around him at the bodies laid strewn about on the bridge. “We takin’ prisoners for ransom?”

There others will gather to share knowledge…
…or subvert to your will.

“No. Kill any you come across,” he answered immediately, rolling his neck from side to side and slowly dropping his hand from his belt. “Before we jump out, turn the batteries on the prize’s engines and finish her. Should take care of anyone we miss.”

He heard her give a sound of assent before he stalked past her, no longer interested in the prize or the stash of valuables that was supposed to be in her hold. Instead, he headed straight for the hull breach so he could return to his flagship and make his own, separate preparations –

Awaken.
Awaken.

– for Kaius had a new objective, and a curiosity to satiate.

Summoned

A sigh escaped her lips as she settled into her meditative posture. As the heat from the sand began to radiate through her body, the morning’s tensions slid away. She inhaled deeply and used her slow exhale to blow the hair from her face.

The slowly revolving wind soon slipped her hair back into her mouth. She resisted the urge to spit it out, forcing herself to focus. Inhale, slow exhale. Inhale, slow exhale. The process repeated itself until she was no longer aware of the hair.

She submerged herself in the Force feeling it ebb and flow about her. The familiar warmth buoyed her spirits. Teaching was hard and, often, thankless. Her meditation times were a moment of clarity amidst the chaos of students and academia.

As she shifted deeper, her sense of self hung suspended. In that quiet contemplation, voices whispered to her. She had trouble at first distinguishing *the* voices, but they emerged gaining strength until she could identify that there were two speakers.

To keep the balance
You must awaken.

You have heard the rumors
And you must find the source

Go, seek, and gather help.
Go, conquer, and gain power.

The voices began to recede. Her confusion was interfering with her connection to the Force. She gradually inhaled and exhaled. The disciplined movement cleared her mind and she heard:

Awaken.
Awaken.

The voices disappeared.

Sash opened her eyes. She chewed on her lip as she disentangled her hair from her horns. She had a sabbatical coming up. Perhaps now was the time to begin that.

The Call

“My children awaken.”

The petite brunette raised her head from the table looking around to see who’d dared to call her a child. Her bloodshot eyes couldn’t focus or seem to settle on anyone, so she chalked it up to a bad dream. Her head dropped back down to the table.

Awaken. You are needed.
One has awakened who will upset the balance
To keep the balance, you must awaken.”

She snapped her head up, looking for the voice… or was it two voices.. who were clearly talking to her. “Listen. I. Don’t. Care! Leave me alone!” she said aloud. The few other patrons in the tavern turned curious eyes towards her, but she glared at them, starting to lift a hand in their direction and they quickly turned back to their drinks.

More words spoke to her and she realized they were in her head. She began to comprehend what was happening. Sitting up straighter, she closed her eyes and concentrated on the words. Her lips drew into a tight, thin line as the voices impressed upon her the need to leave and seek out others. This went against her survival instincts for the last couple of years. She’d been in hiding, avoiding others and avoiding using her abilities. She felt an anger welling up inside her at the compulsion.

Yes, there was that one time where she’d encountered… Her eyes flew open, jaw dropping. “Oh… oh no…” she breathed out the words, barely able to draw in her next breath. “It’s them again.

She jumped up from her seat, nearly overturning the table and dashed out of the tavern. She ran to her ship, giving orders to the droids to prepare to leave. When queried about the location, she simply said, “Yavin IV.

The Beckon

Ashla: My children
Bogan: Awaken.

Ashla: Awaken. You are needed.
Bogan: One has awakened who will upset the balance.

Ashla: To keep the balance
Bogan: you must awaken.

Ashla: You have heard the rumors /You do not yet understand
Bogan: and/but you must find the source
.
Ashla: Go, seek, and gather help.
Bogan: Go, conquer, and gain power.

Ashla: There are many places
Bogan: Places of strength

Ashla: Places of center
Bogan: Places of pain

Ashla: Seek the planet where in ancient times the sides sought wisdom
Bogan: and now a new conflict has arisen where they seek dominance.

Ashla: There others will gather to share knowledge
Bogan: or subvert to your will.

Ashla: Awaken.
Bogan: Awaken.