Light, Dark and Colors in Between. (Shadow Grey)
John Medkeff and Rebecca Miller
Mikala kept her head down as she got out of there. She wandered for a while through the maze of gardens. Her confusion was growing. Sith and Jedi living side by side. Her Father a Sith Lord. Her Grandmother had always told her never trust a Sith. They were as bad as the Jedi. The Jedi would just abandon you when you needed them most, but the Sith would kill you at the slightest excuse. She finally sat down on a bench. Had her Grandmother been lying to her?
Mikala wrapped her arms tightly around herself. Sith, what was she doing here? The confusion and loneliness that had filled her since she had left Shardakour loomed up threatening to overwhelm her.
"Are you all right? I felt your tension from the house." Her Father said as he emerged from another path.
Mikala jumped to her feet whirling to face him. "What do you want?" she demanded before she caught herself. "I'm fine," she said quickly.
"You are broadcasting rather loudly. I though you might be in distress. I can also feel Keiren and Tana trying to get Goldie to cooperate. You just came from them didn't you?
She nodded. "You heard my thoughts?"
"Not your thoughts, just your emotions."
"Oh," she said softly. "I'm sorry. I'm not use to having to--" she sighed. "I'm not use to anything about them period."
"I thought not. I doubt you've ever been in a place with this many Force users before."
She shook her head. "It gets a bit overwhelming at times. The only Force user I've spent much time with since I was a kid was Xan--Lord DuCruet." Mikala felt something that almost felt like a stab of pain when she said his name.
"The rest of use are used to it, the need to avoid shouting."
She nodded. Not exactly understanding what he was talking about.
"What upset you?"
"Nothing," she said, avoiding looking at him. She had heard that a Sith Lord could read your thought if he looked into your eyes.
"Sit down and relax." He waved his hand at a bench and sat down.
Mikala edged over and sat on the other end of the bench. She stared at her lap. She closed her eyes a moment. Relax you fool or you'll blow everything, she snapped at herself.
He watched her until she got herself under control.
"Are you getting to know your siblings yet?"
"Slowly," she said. "It's a bit well, overwhelming."
"Yes, I imagine it is. It was when Tal and I first came here, before you were born. And it was much less crowded then."
She nodded. "It is very pleasant here though."
"Yes, we try to keep it pleasant and peaceful. Mostly we succeed if you don't count the squabbles of children."
Mikala caught herself smiling a little at that. She quickly hid her smile.
"I'm sure you have many questions for me." He smiled. "In your shoes I would."
Mikala finally looked over at him. "Why are you doing this?" she asked. "You didn't have to bring me here. I know you said it's because I'm family, but I found out a long time ago family doesn't mean much. What do you want from me? I don't have much to offer someone as powerful as you."
"Family does mean a lot to me and to Sandy. I don't count everything in terms of power. That way lies madness. Blood and friendship count for more."
"I didn't abandon Tal when I ran form my father's house. And at that time, given I didn't know I'd be here by the end of the week, she was at five more of a burden to a lone teenager than you will be to the Sith Lord."
Mikala flushed and looked away. "I'm sorry."
"Do you really understand the Darkside and what it means? Most people don't."
She nodded. "I know what it is. Anger, fear, hate, aggression, and so forth."
"To a first approximation that accurate. I would leave out fear. I've known few Sith who were afraid of much of anything. Would you consider love to belong on your list?"
She shook her head.
"Well I first met the Darkside in the from of love. Incarnate as Sandy. We Sith are creatures of passion."
She looked at him and nodded a little. "I've seen and felt the passion of the Darkside." She looked away as memory brought the prick of tears to her eyes. She turned her back to him. She wasn't going to let him see her cry, but it was getting harder and harder to fight it. Her heart ached as she thought of the fire that she had felt when she had been with Xana--DuCruet.
"It is a common misconception that Light is Good and Dark is Evil. That is a gross over simplification."
Mikala wrapped her arms tightly around herself and nodded.
"It is possible to be light and evil or dark and good," He continued. "I will grant that the opposites are easier and more common.
She nodded again.
"And there is also Honor vs. Dishonor and Law vs. Chaos."
Mikala sighed softly and turned back to him a little as she got things under a little better control.
"And all of those spectra have their middle ground."
"And you stay in the middle ground?" she asked.
"I try to. It's hard to think clearly at any of the extremes."
Mikala nodded. "I know."
"And great power does not excuse one from responsibility. Quite the opposite."
"Do you understand now why I don't turn you away?"
She shook her head.
"I guess it can't be explained. You'll just have to experience it."
Mikala sighed. "What's going to be expected of me?" she asked. "I have to do something to earn my keep around here."
"That will develop over time." He began. "But basically we support each other. This will tend to make you Imperial, but we often go our own way."
"I've never really given allegiance to one side or the other."
"Ultimately we must all chose sides. One way or another the universe will force you too. Unless you just go hide somewhere. And you've become too much of a factor with your company and your other business."
Mikala nodded. "I'm starting to see that."
"Yes, a mere peasant or factory worker can hide. You and I cannot."
Mikala sighed. "I've always tried to."
"Have you ever truly succeeded for more than a brief rest since you left your mother?
She shook her head. "I had to keep moving most of the time. At first, I was afraid she would find me again and then later I needed to keep one step ahead of the competition."
"Nor have I been able to do so."
Mikala gave him a confused look. "You have this place, with your family around you. Why can't you rest?"
"I can rest, but I cannot hide from the Universe."
She sighed and shifted to pull her knees up to her chest. She wrapped her arms around them. "So what now?"
"If your schedule will allow it we spend some time getting to know each other."
She nodded. "Will you--" she looked away. "But what about who I am? Is that going to be some kind of little dirty secret that is never to be known about? Your bastard daughter."
"No. I will acknowledge you. Just as I acknowledge you sister, Caitlin."
She sighed. "I'll be here for a while longer. Did Sandy tell you what she's going to do?"
"Yes. Your mother has much to answer for there."
She shrugged. "That happened a long time ago."
"That is true. And from what you've said it is likely you killed her. So lets not worry about her."
"Do you feel better now?"
She gave him a small smile. "You're not what I thought you would be."
"I find that most people expect me to be someone different. Do you mean as your Father or as a Sith Lord?"
"Both," she said softly. She looked around. "I use to dream of a place like this when I was little. I never would have believed it really existed."
"What did you expect?"
"Not that you'd accept me." She watched him. "Or that you would want me."
"I've lost too much family to throw any of it away."
She nodded. "I'm trying to get my mind wrapped around the concept of a family."
"Don't try to understand it. Just experience it."
She sighed. "Alright."
"Understanding will come in time."
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