Split Personalities: A Meeting of the Minds

by Dora Furlong and Rachel Schmutter

         It has been several weeks since the incredible events which
 shattered  Darana's essence in two and combined her Dark side with
 the life force of  Rachel Summers. More and more, the woman in
 Darana's body has been growing  stronger in the ways of the Light,
 exploring the mysteries of the Force. She  remembers little to
 nothing of her life as Darana, Lady of the Sith.  Meanwhile, the
 two entities in the body of Rachel Summers have merged to  become
 one, neither Darana nor Rachel, but a new, hybrid being bearing
 certain knowledges and powers from both. As the portion of Darana
 which  infused Rachel's body was the darkest of her Dark side,
 there was more  identification with her true name, Gina, than
 Darana. So the "hybrid" young  woman took the name Regina,
 combining the name of her vessel and fuller self  with the name of
 her stronger and Darker self. The two sides of Darana have  been in
 vague, intermittent contact with one another during this time,
 occasional ghostly mental touches which melt away in a heartbeat.

         It is near nightfall. Regina is lying down in her chambers,
 preparing  for sleep, when she feels that everlasting Presence
 drift into her awareness  once more. This time, the connection is a
 more solid one. Latching onto it,  Regina closes her eyes, safe in
 the knowledge that none can bypass her loyal  slave-guardians, and
 releases her awareness into the astral plane.

         Darana is standing amid the hazy, swirling whitish-grey
 mists,  looking as if she was meant to be there. She is dressed in
 flowing white,  looking very happy, and radiating a sense of peace.
 Regina appears in the  form of Rachel Summers, but with the
 self-assured stance of a lord of the  Sith. She is haloed by an
 aura with the deep, dark glow of crimson embers. It  contrasts
 sharply with Darana's aura, which is so purely white that it has
 light blue highlights.
         The two of them circle each other warily, sizing one
 another up.  Darana's expression is calm but curious; she seems
 uncertain as to what to  do. Regina stalks her with the measured
 pace of a top-rank assassin, her aura  occasionally mantling about
 her like a fierce bird of prey.
         "You look well," Regina comments, her tone ironic. "The
 color suits  you."
         Darana smiles, not recognizing the sarcasm. "You look
 different...I  think," she says. "It suits you." She can't quite
 remember what Rachel looked  like; but then, the person she sees
 before her is partly herself, or used to  be. All she knows is that
 whatever it is that stands before her seems  natural, content, and
 at home.
        "Yes, it does," Regina replies, almost purring, like a great
 cat. "It  feels very, very natural." Stopping her pacing, she
 arches her back in an  easy, sultry manner.
        "Yes, it does," echoes Darana. "On that we agree." She
 pauses, facing  Regina, then cocks her head to one side, raising an
 eyebrow, remembering the  reason for her connection to this woman.
 "I've been told that you have  something of mine."
         Regina throws back her head and laughs heartily. "So some
 might say,"  she says, tossing her head. "_I_ do not agree. She who
 used to be Darana is  quite a
 different creature than you are now."
         "And she who used to be Rachel was quite a different
 creature than  you are
 now," Darana says, uncertainty ringning in her voice. "From what I
 can  remember,
 that is."
        Regina smiles. "Oh yes, dear little Rachel. Such a sweet
 child."
        Darana looks at her steadily. "That part of her, that light
 that was  hers, is still there."
        Ever so gently, the healer reaches her thoughts outward,
 trying to  call to Rachel to awaken the Light within. Regina
 studies her a minute, then  one corner of her mouth quirks up. A
 distinct essence seems to pour out from  Regina in scintillating
 shards of psychic energy. The shards resolve into an  image, until
 Darana sees someone else looking back at her. Standing beside
 Regina is that same pure Light side of Rachel that Darana can
 almost remember  from their first mind-merge over three years ago,
 the eager young girl who  always wanted to be a Jedi. Darana is
 amazed to see her astral form manifest  as two separate people--the
 adult, Regina, and the child, Rachel.
        "This darkess does not have to be," Darana says softly. She
 does not  push, but simply calls to the Light, encouraging it to
 rise up and join  within the darkly brooding young woman standing
 before her. The child-image  of Rachel, her eyes shining with hope,
 reaches out and tries to grasp  Regina's hand.
        "Ah," Regina whispers, "but this darkness LIKES to be."
        Regina draws her hand out of the child^s reach, then slaps
 her with  it. The Rachel-child staggers back and falls; and a cage
 of fire shoots up  around her. Regina gestures, and the bars close
 in around the child, becoming  solid walls of darkness. As the bars
 widen, the child^s aura fades, and the  Light is lost the mist.
 Darana looks at Regina with confusion.
        "What you had once is mine now," Regina says harshly, her
 eyes  flashing.
        "I do not want what I once had back," Darana says. "Or what
 I am told  that I once had."
        "Well, then," Regina hisses, "on that, too, we are agreed."

        The pair are silent for a while, just watching each other.
 At last,  Darana breaks the silence. "You realize that they will
 never let us be until  we both are who we once were."
        "Growth happens," Regina says simply. "Evolution occurs. If
 they will  not accept it, we will have to show them. Both of us are
 much happier as we  are now. If they care for us, they will support
 our decision. If they  don^t..." she pauses, and her eyes narrow.
 "...*we* will support our  decision." She meets Darana^s eyes
 calmly. "It is not for them to decide."
        "That does make sense," Darana says thoughtfully. "But are
 you---well,  I suppose we would both say that we are in our fullest
 abilities and senses;  but others disagree. Still, I have no desire
 to remember the things that they  tell me about."
        "Pity, that," Regina says lightly, smiling. "They^re quite a
  fascinating study..."
        Darana stares at Regina as if seeing her for the first time.
 It is  only now that she truly realizes that the person before her
 is darker than  she herself had ever been, even from all she has
 heard about her former self.  "You are an evil creature."
        "You, my dear, are most perceptive," Regina says sweetly.
 "Incidentally," she
 adds, her tone strengthening and twisting sadistically, "I am not
 only in my  _fullest_ abilities, but *more* than my fullest
 abilities." She smiles  cruelly.
        Darana steps back instinctively. She is so innocent and pure
 that she  is quite incapable of defending herself: The thought
 simply would not enter  her mind. But a newborn chick does not need
 to understand much to withdraw  from a king cobra.
        "Why can't you accept the light inside of you?" Darana asks,
 yet  unwilling to give up. "Why is it so difficult for you?"
        Regina looks at her as she might an irritating but
 inconsequential  insect. "Difficult has nothing to do with it," she
 replies. "I was there  once. Unlike you," she smiles again, "*I*
 remember it. And I do not choose to  go back. It is that simple."
        "The point remains that what you and I can agree upon,
 others cannot."
        It is an interesting conundrum. They are their own worst
 enemies, and  best
 friends; because they need to work together to stay apart.
        Darana is at odds with herself. On the one hand, she doesn^t
 dare  threaten Regina, as the old Darana would have done: This
 Darana can't even  imagine it. On the other hand, she isn't exactly
 happy with the idea of  letting a creature of such monumental evil
 run around loose! For half a  moment, she toys with the idea of
 trying a suicidal attack on the woman,  thinking that it would
 snuff them both out at once; but she just doesnt have  it in her to
 attack anyone like that. Even if it would succeed.
        "It's quite true," Regina says condescendingly, effortlesly
 perceiving  the Light-sider's train of thought. "You can't attack
 me."
        "And you can do nothing to me," Darana says.
        Regina looks amused. "Why would I even bother?"
        "Why were we drawn to one another, to meet?" Darana responds
  immediately. "Why do we still sense one anothers presence even
 though we are  a galaxy apart?" There is a new intensity in these
 words, as if she is only  just discovering this question.
        "Because we have a common goal," Regina says promptly.
        "And that would be?"
        "To remain as we are," Regina replies. Darana nods.
 "Whatever they do  to us, they must not be allowed to change us
 back to the way we were before."
        "And the more we remain apart, the more we become
 ourselves," Darana  agrees. "The more we grow..."
        Regina nods. "And do we not deserve to be ourselves? As we
 wish to  be?"
        "True," Darana says quietly. "But you...you will destroy.
 You will  destroy things in the Empire and the Alliance." She looks
 troubled.
        Regina shrugs. "Yes," she says matter-of-factly. "I will
 destroy and  you will save. It is the way of the Force."  The mist
 at their feet dances  and swirls around them as if to emphasize
 Regina's words. "We are both of us  sisters in fate, one light and
 one dark, each the mirror to ourselves."
        Darana nods slowly, her eyes wide with understanding and
 acceptance.  "As I
 become the light and you the dark, we each flow to the extreme and
 back  again, and the circle is complete."
        Both say together: "It matters not who stands in which
 place."
        For just an instant, their deepest thoughts merge and become
 one.
        She is standing where I once was, thinks Regina, and I am
 where she  used to be; but it doesn't matter, for nothing has truly
 changed. It is all  one.
        I am not actually releasing any vast new darkness into the
 universe,  Darana reflects, feeling relieved. Energy is never
 destroyed; it merely  changes form. Something light has filled the
 void.
        At once, the realization wells up both minds:
        And the balance goes on.

                                       ~finis~


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