Water Water Everywhere
By Courtney Kraft
Allyn held the bag of ice on her hand as she walked down the hall and back to her office. Her hand still throbbed, but the pain was fading. The frustration was worse. She was finally getting somewhere, but Vader made her stop. Perhaps the Emperor would be pleased. Perhaps she would get to go another round with the Jedi.
Maybe it was a mistake to take off their blindfolds. They didnt know her name, but they might remember her face. No it was important for them to see especially the others pain.
She stopped abruptly as a paranoid feeling crept up around her. She glanced over her shoulder. No one was following her. Still
She dropped the bag of ice in a nearby trash can and returned to her office.
The clicks of her keyboard were the only sounds in Allyns office as she typed up her report. Her gloves and earpiece sat side by side next to the computer. This report was only her account for now. She would have to review the tapes and analyze the vitals reports.
A call from her door signal disturbed her rhythm. Allyn looked up from her computer. Who would be calling upon her now? Lord Vader again? She crossed to the door and opened it.
A woman in a black, hooded cloak stood before her. She seemed familiar. Sith? Then her face registered in Allyns memory.
"Psylocke I havent seen you in what a year?" Allyn greeted casually.
"You interrogated those Jedi," Psylocke stated.
"What of it?"
"I want information."
"I out rank you."
Allyn shook her head. "That doesnt matter."
Psylocke glared at her, trying to think of what to say. "So, can I come in or what?"
Allyn looked Psylocke over suspiciously, as aware as anyone else about Psylockes standing in the Empire. "Fine." She stepped back to admit her, then closed the door.
"What do you want with the Jedi?" Allyn casually asked.
"Octavia and Kaliandra were part of the group that tried to turn me."
"Did turn you," Allyn corrected.
Psylocke glanced over at Allyns computer. Allyn stepped in front of it. "What part of classified dont you understand?"
Psylocke grabbed the lapel of Allyns suit and pulled her face close. "You couldnt possibly understand what those Jedi did to me. Theyve ruined me. I want vengeance, and youre going to help me."
"Take your hands off me," Allyn hissed.
Psylocke didnt. "I want to know about them. I want to get into their heads. You know things."
Allyn pushed her back, but Psylocke held on. "After you nearly betrayed the Empire? Like hell Id help you. To me, youre on the same level as your friend Treece."
Psylocke swung Allyn around and shoved her half way across the office. "Dont you dare compare me to him."
"Why not?" Allyn retorted. "Anyone who defects to the Alliance is lower than the dirt and scum under my shoes."
"I was not defecting to the Alliance!" Psylocke yelled, startling even herself. She lowered her voice and added, "I was going to be a civilian again. Start over maybe open my own martial arts school."
"You cant just leave. You swore to serve the Empire and those within it. A bunch of Jedi shouldnt be able to persuade you otherwise."
Psylocke could hardly hold back the rage that fired up in her chest. "You dont know what they did to me," she said coldly. "They violated my mind. They forced their way in and lied to me. They made me feel"
"Damn it, Psylocke! You act like youre the only victim in the galaxy! You think no one understands what youve been through?" Allyn spat. "Well I understand you. I know what its like. They know youre vulnerable because you want to be accepted. They catch you while your weak. When youre drunk on bourbon or love, it doesnt matter. They take you someplace private. Their sanctuary, sometimes your own. They caress you. They insist its what you want; but you cant fight them off because youre so caught up in the drug, in the dream. Then they smile at you."
Allyn started to shake as memories flooded her mind. Psylocke stared at her in shock. She could hardly believe what she was hearing.
"And before you know it, theyve stolen a part of you. A part you cant take back." Allyn clenched her fists in rage and turned away from Psylocke. "And for the longest time, you cant trust anyone. You cant feel. You cant tell whos on your side. You dont even know who you are!"
Allyn turned back to Psylocke and stepped into her, her aged eyes burning into the youthful ones before her. "You think youre strong. You think youre a fighter. But after you know that part of you is dead."
"What did you do?" Psylocke dared to ask.
Allyn backed off and crossed to a counter at the other end of the room. "I started over. I became a new person. Someone stronger. Someone unburdened by gender. Someone who didnt give in to anyone." She opened a bottle of Scotch and poured a small amount into two glasses. "Someone who would make her own decisions and smash through the glass ceiling."
She returned to Psylocke and shoved a glass into her hand. "So get over it. Its done. In your past. Now its your time to rebuild. Cheers." Allyn clinked her glass with Psylockes and swallowed its contents. Psylocke just stared at the Scotch in her glass.
"What is it?" Allyn asked.
Psylocke grimaced. "I dont drink anymore. I want to keep my mind clear."
Allyn grinned at her. "Good. Youre starting already."
Allyn sat on the small couch, holding Psylockes untouched tumbler of Scotch. Silence had passed too long for Psylocke to be comfortable. She also noticed that Allyn had stopped looking at her several minutes ago. She shifted her weight and leaned on Allyns desk, unsure if she should have already left.
"Have you ever told anyone?" Psylocke asked, breaking the silence.
"No no one knows."
"I wont tell anyone."
"Good, cause its not your place to do so," Allyn scoffed.
"I hear its easier if you talk to someone," Psylocke suggested, inching towards the couch.
"Dont," Allyn said briskly. Psylocke stopped. "Just dont come near me."
"Pushing me away isnt going to help."
"Its not about helping me. It happened years ago. I dealt with it," Allyn told her softly. "And I can talk to you from where you stand."
"I dont understand."
Allyn chuckled softly. "Few people do, Psylocke. People like me arent usually found in the Imperial Services. People fear me because they dont understand me. Thats why Im vague."
Psylocke shook her head, thoroughly lost to what Allyns topic was. "And I thought I spoke in riddles."
"If I allow you to get to know me, youll eventually understand."
"A few. Some are more keen on sensing these things than others."
"Is this about you being Force-null?"
Allyn burst out in laughter. "Oh goodness, no! Anybody whos Force sensitive can tell that." She stood and led a confused Psylocke to the door. "Its getting late."
She opened the door and gently pushed Psylocke through. Psylocke turned to her. "Hey wait. Thats it? We chat about our dark times and its over?"
"Yeah pretty much. Good night, Psylocke."
Allyn closed and locked the door in Psylockes face and sighed heavily. She looked at the drink in her hand and downed it. Anything to extinguish the emotional embers glowing within her. Anything to blur the vision of the lovely, violet-haired girl who had so rudely invaded her office.
"Shes an insolent, unruly child," Allyn chastised. She meandered back to the counter, the alcohol in her system starting to warm and numb her limbs. "She betrayed the Empire," she added, as if the reinforcement would help lessen the sudden thoughts that had crept into her mind when they sat in silence. She replaced the tumbler and set her eyeglasses down next to it.
She flopped down heavily on her couch and loosened her tie. "Never do that again," Allyn muttered. "You dont know whos on your side, Allyn. And shes probably too ignorant to ever understand what you are."
Allyn closed her eyes and prayed that the alcohol would grant her dreamless sleep.
Anything to keep the nightmares of her past away.
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