Author Topic: Together, yet Worlds Apart  (Read 7209 times)

Offline Shado

Together, yet Worlds Apart
« on: July 11, 2017, 03:28:56 PM »
The snow was falling in the mountains of Mandalore. A small cabin stood out on this snow dusted forests, a tranquil lake nearby, and at the window peered an ever curious face. Sha'do, or Aelyn, she couldn't remember who she was now, was amazed at the sight of snow; as far as she could recall, she had never seen snow before, so she was lucky to catch the last snow of the season.

The tranquility of the moment was disrupted when she heard a door open and then close, then heavy footfalls moving through the cabin. She didn't even wait for the heavy boots to reach the stairs, Sha'do had already run for the bed, scrambling to hide underneath it, her heart racing as she waited for the heavy boots to either approach or pass her by. In her mind, she was little more than a scared child who had been hiding in the sewers of Taris, but she knew there was a nice man, and she would wait until she saw his face to know if it was safe to come back out.

Malcom Renolds
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 04:26:25 PM by Shado »

Offline Malcom Renolds

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 04:42:48 PM »
The days had been exceedingly hard for Malcom since he was freed from imprisonment and almost certain death at the hands of the Imperials.  While that might seem like reason for joy, the escape had come at great cost.  His favorite student and adopted cousin had been killed while escaping.  What may seem worse, his wife survived but has severe amnesia thanks to a crack on the head received after an explosive went off near them.  So now he was living with a person whom he loved, but was completely unable to recall what they had together.

The door closed softly behind him as Malcom entered their cabin.  He paused by the guest bedroom he could sense Sha'do was hiding in, but moved on to their bedroom without saying hi.  Pulling his helmet off after entering, he collapsed on the bed and let the helmet fall gently to the floor.  A hand came up to rub his face before moving his fingers through his hair.  The Mandalorian rolled over to look at the empty space next him and closed his eyes. 

An important meeting with their allies was coming up soon.  Even though he was technically still recovering from his time in captivity, Malcom had insisted on still keeping the appointment.  Last thing the Alliance needed to see was a Mandalorian calling off a meeting for sick leave.  Gods, what a message that would send.  Still the invitation had been for both he and his wife to go to Alderaan...  So now he was trying to decide whether or not it would be prudent or wise to do so.

A few minutes went by of silence, but eventually the woman hiding under the covers would hear a voice in her head.  "It's just me, darlin'.  You can come out.  I'll be out to join you in a bit."  There was a kindness in the tone, but also a bit of sadness.  While normally more social with family in general and especially his wife, the man had become more closed off and reclusive since the big "rescue".  Still in full armor minus his helmet, Malcom thought to try and relax for just a few minutes before trying again to break his wife free of this cursed amnesia.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 04:50:08 PM by Malcom Renolds »

Offline Shado

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 05:07:11 PM »
Hearing his voice in her head was quite a surprise, but she was getting used to it. Slowly, Sha'do crawled out from her safe hidey hole and inched her way to the door, and then closer to the other room where the nice soldier man was laying on the bed. She dared to peek in to look at him. He was sad... He was always sad, always when he looked at her. Why did she make him so sad?

"You were gone for a long time," she said timidly. It could have been five minutes or five days and she would have said the same thing; she was still healing, meaning she still had bouts of short term memory issues, especially when she confused memories with what was currently happening.

Offline Malcom Renolds

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 05:21:19 PM »
Keeping his eyes closed, the man drew in a deep breath.  "I'm sorry.  There is always much to do in a galaxy like ours."  It was so strange to sense her presence now.  She was still her, obviously.  But not, at the same point.  She felt like a clean slate.  Like she was when he first met her, but without emotional trauma of being a slave.  Malcom suddenly supposed that that was at the very least a small mercy....for her.

Suddenly rising to his feet.  Malcom put on as realistic a smile as he could.  "Come.  You have spent far too much time cooped up in this house.  It's about time you go outside."  Remembering the first time she had stepped foot on the planet, he wondered if the experience might trigger something deep inside her fractured mind.  Walking her to the door, the man opened it slowly to allow her catlike curiosity to get the better of her rather than her fear and caution.

"It's all right.  Go check it out.  I'll be right here."  Malcom said reassuringly with a genuine smile.

Offline Shado

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 05:46:37 PM »
Sha'do's ears stood tall with great interest, ruffling her now short trimmed hair. "You mean I can go out?" she asked with excitement, waiting for his nod before stepping outside the door. Just like the first time she had encountered snow, she stepped slowly, carefully, marveling how how the snow and frozen ground underneath would crunch beneath her feet. Once out in the yard, she crouched down to examine and experiment with this white fluffy stuff, the newest of which was still soft and powdery. The snow still falling was sticking to her fur and eyelashes, and she giggled as she reached out to try to catch a new of these softly dancing flakes. It was amazing, where did it come from, how was it made! These were questions she already knew the answer to, somewhere deep in that damaged mind of hers, but for the moment it was all new to her again.

Then, wonder of wonders, little people made of snow! They were just little round balls of snow stacked atop of each other, but there were sticks for arms and little pebbles for eyes... "Bare, look! Isn't it wonderful!" she called out to Malcom, not realizing she'd used a Mando'a term of endearment, or that she had made these snowmen herself just last week.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 02:18:54 AM by Shado »

Offline Malcom Renolds

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 07:30:54 PM »
Malcom had been about to bean her in the back with a snowball when he realized what she had called him.  He stood in stunned silence for a moment before flashing what was probably the first genuine grin (she could remember) and nodding.  " It is indeed." Though snowmen were not at all what he was referring to.

Before anything else could be said or done, he let fly the snowball that was in his hand at her.  Could it be...? Was she actually beginning to recall something!? He tried to maintain his composure and not get his hopes up. But it was encouraging to actually see progress, no matter how small, to getting the woman he loved back from dark place her mind was currently at.

Offline Shado

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2017, 07:49:41 PM »
Sha'do felt the impact of the snowball and her back went straight and her ears stood at full attention. She looked back at him with a fanged grin, grabbing a handful of snow and packing it tightly to return fire, but before she could pull back her arm to throw, a thought came to mind. Wait, not a thought, something else...

She could see him, his back was to her, unaware, and then suddenly she was shoving snow down the back of his armor... And then his voice... "Gah!  You little terd!"

Suddenly Sha'do's positively mischievous grin widened and she grabbed as much snow as she could carry and started running towards him, intent on exacting her revenge. He was much taller than her, had a longer stride, yet somehow he knew he could not run as fast with all that heavy armor weighing him down (not counting what he was capable of with his space magic, which she had no comprehension of at this time).

Offline Malcom Renolds

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 08:24:52 AM »
While Malcom been learning to read minds, he never had done so with Sha'do. Not only did he just simply never feel the need to, but considering how she was medically....he wasn't about to start poking about possibly causing more damage.

So her recollection of an old memory was still a mystery to Malcom.  Her mischievous grin, stance and actions now however, we're easily recognizable as the woman he had fallen in love with. Perhaps there really was cause for hope after all?

He took a few steps back onto the covered porch, seemingly falling back from her "attack". When she drew near, his hand extended toward her and she gently rose off the ground high enough so she could only sit there in front of him, floating.

Allowing a moment for her to realize her predicament, he winked playfully before gesturing with his other hand slightly.  Suddenly, a small mountain of snow slid off the roof over the porch and onto the Cathar below, lightly burying her in the fluffy material.

Unable to hold in an outburst of laughter, he quickly retreated from the porch and into the woods. If her old self was indeed still in there. He knew there would be hell to pay for that one!

Offline Shado

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2017, 12:59:28 PM »
What?! What was this craziness?! Sha'do dropped her snow in surprise at the fact that she was now floating hopelessly in the air. And then just as suddenly, she was buried under a mountain of snow from the roof; how did he do that?! Her head popped out of the snow and she shook her head to get the chilly snow out of her ears.

"Hey, how'd you do that?" Sha'do asked the nice soldier man, only to realize he was gone. She pulled herself from the pile of snow and bound along on all fours like a cub, sniffing at the area of the porch he had once occupied to be double sure that he was really gone. Yup, he wasn't there anymore, although there was something odd about his scent... it was like he had two scents... Curious. Still on all fours, she gave herself a good shake to rid her insulated armor weave of all the snow still covering her, then she stood upright to continue the search.

"Hey, where'd you go? You gotta show me how you did that!" she called out, following the footprints in the snow, leading her to the forest where the tree coverage did not allow as much snow through to the ground, meaning she had a less of a clear trail to follow. Where was he? Why was he hiding? He was probably afraid of what she was going to do to him for dumping all that snow on her, but realistically, what could she do to him with all that armor of his, not to mention that space magic? Still, she pursued him; she didn't really know what she was doing, but as she made her way through the forest, she kept recalling things that shouldn't be possible; she could remember learning to hunt. But in her mind, she was just a cub, and her parents hadn't taught her to hunt yet! And yet, there the memories were, sometimes dazing her as she made her way through the trees, looking for signs that Malcom had been through. Though sometimes she had trouble remember what she was hunting, Malcom or a large beast with antlers...

Broken tall grass, disturbed rocks and branches, stay downwind, stay quiet, where was her rifle, no rifle, just a leaf-knife with a glowing red stone... Oh, it was glowing, this was new! No no, find the soldier man, ask about the dagger later! She was close to him, she just knew it! She could taste him in the air, he had to be nearby! But as she looked around, she realized that she was more than a little turned around, she had lost track of where the cabin should be. And what was she doing again? She was doing something, she knew it, but it kept escaping from her.

"No, no, come back," Sha'do said with frustration, bringing a hand to her forehead as though it could help her hold on to whatever it was she could no longer remember. The beautiful red stone in her dagger was glowing quite brightly now, like it knew she was trying to recall something, anything! Her steps became staggered until finally she came to a stop, hear head swimming with half-remembered memories, and as she looked around she realized she was well and truly lost.

"Hello?" she called out timidly. There was supposed to be a man in armor who was taking care of her, where was he? "Malcom?" she called out through the trees, sounding just a wee bit frightened as she looked around again. No, there was another name- not a name, something else... "Bare?" She kept hearing it in her own voice, rolling around in her head, what did it mean? "Bare, I don't know where I am, help me..." she said timidly, suddenly feeling quite small.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 02:17:06 PM by Shado »

Offline Malcom Renolds

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 06:41:54 PM »
Malcom had been watching from a distance, cloaked.  This was the most progress he had seen in weeks, and he didn't want to cut it short.  A bit of pity came to the fore as he saw her begin to regress back to her childlike state.  His voice sounded off softly in her mind once more.  "Remember, I am always here for you.  And you are never truly alone as long as Mandalorians live and breathe.  But you don't need my help, cyar'ika.  You already know all you need to know.  I want you to calm your mind. Then reach out with your senses.  Trust your feelings.  You can do this.  Now, begin.  Where am I?"

It was like training had begun all over again.  But still it was very different.  It was more like trying to rehabilitate a wounded soldier, except it wasn't her body, per se, that was the problem.  It was a role he was less than ideally suited for.  Malcom simply didn't have the temperament for this.  However, it was amazing what people could do when the situation involved loved ones.  The commander would not abandon her.  Her husband would not let her deal with this on her own.  Her love would see her restored to her former self if it was at all possible...or die trying.

Malcom would remain cloaked via his cloaking device, but not from the force.  After all, the exercise was to get her to use her mind, not her eyes.  There was a soft, crisp breeze blowing through the trees.  Occasionally a bit of snow would fall from the branches above to the floor below.  While most the wildlife was hibernating or had moved south for the winter, the sound of a random bird here and there added to mild chorus of the forest she had called home for the past few years.

With only the gentlest form of assistance to get her started, Malcom used his force sense to help her see the world in a way she had forgotten.  He hoped that once she began her mind would at least subconsciously begin to take over.  To remember what had been drilled into it for the past couple years.

Offline Shado

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 07:13:51 PM »
"I hear you," Sha'do said, looking around but still so lost. Calm her mind? And what senses? She didn't understand what he was saying! "I was looking for you," she said as she continued to stumble about. Her head was starting to hurt and she blinked at the brightness of the light filtering through the trees. "I needed to find you, bring you home... but I can't remember, Bare, what happened?" Remembering hurt, why couldn't she remember?

But somewhere deep inside, she knew what to do. She staggered along to a tree and leaned against it as she closed her eyes. Be calm, be still... Sha'do slowed her breath, an even in and out, in and out, and this brought calm and focus. And then, she could feel him! Like a tether to her heart, she could feel him, and with her eyes closed she pushed off from the tree. With one uncertain step after another, Sha'do drew closer and closer to him, occasionally stopping when she heard an animal more or a twig snap, her ears swiveling to follow the sounds, but always that little tug to her heart pulled her in the right direction.

"I know you," she said, her eyes still closed, afraid that if she opened her eyes that she would lose this feeling, but she was so close to him now, she just knew it! "Why can't I remember? Please, why does 'Bare' mean more to me than your name? Please tell me, it hurts to remember and I am so tired." She could smell him now, and so she reached out for him.

Offline Malcom Renolds

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2017, 08:18:52 PM »
Malcom turned his cloak off as she closed in on him.  But still, he said nothing.  She needed to keep working.  It seemed she was so close to breaking through the block.  As she reached out for him, the man quietly pushed off from the tree and allowed her to walk into him.  Allowed her hands to feel his armor as his hands rested on her sides.  He smiled happily to her as her eyes opened.  That same smile meant just for her.

"Bare is a term of endearment in my language...our language.  It is generally only used toward someone who is close."  Malcom stopped there as he smoothly slid the blade he had given her as an engagement gift.  Pulling back just a step to look it over, a slight frown appeared on his brow though his smile mostly remained.  "We have been close for a couple years now."

Handing the blade back to her while still looking at it, he honestly wasn't sure if he should continue, but did so anyway.  "I gave you this blade when...when we got engaged."  At this point his eyes returned to hers.  "You are my wife.  You were injured in a blast while rescuing me from a prison ship as I was being transported to our enemies home planet.  At least that is where I believe I was being transported to...anyway.  That doesn't matter."  He said with a shake of his head.  "You are now suffering from amnesia after hitting your head..."

Offline Shado

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2017, 08:37:38 PM »
"I don't remember any of it," Sha'do replied as she took the blade back and secured it in its sheath at her waist. "I am trying, but it feels like it's always just out of my reach, or I'll remember something but I can't hold onto it for long. I don't even know who I am! I hear a name, several in fact, but I don't know which one is me," she said with frustration as she rested her forehead against his chest plate. She was trying so hard, but it all kept slipping away. Even now, she was having trouble holding onto what little clarity she had found. "My head hurts," she said with a sniffle; she was fading fast, but she wasn't ready to leave him yet! "Help me stay, Bare, I don't want to go!"

Offline Malcom Renolds

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2017, 10:28:53 AM »
Mal wrapped her in a hug as she spoke.  He didn't like the idea of her in pain and suffering so, but could think of little that would actually help.  But he did what he could.  In the end, he took it as any other military exercise. Like field stripping a weapon, it was all about repetition.  "Your parents called you Aelyn.  Most of us however, know you as Sha'do.  Both are you."

Her last comments were leaving him a bit misty eyed, and he looked upward to clear the tears slowly filling his eyes. He was really starting to feel like such a baby. Taking a deep breath to control himself, the man tried healing her mind with the force.  It was something he really didn't want to do for fear of causing more harm than good.  She had always been the better healer.  But if he could relieve the pain at least, then he could call that a success.  Still, what a cruel trick of fate that the best healer was the one needing help.

"I don't want you to go either, cyar'ika. But know that even if you do.  I won't abandon you.  I love you." He said softly while placing a light kiss on the top of her head.

Offline Shado

Re: Together, yet Worlds Apart
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2017, 11:48:04 AM »
Stay, I want to stay...

In his arms, Sha'do felt a contentment and safety like she had never known before, and as his efforts to take away her pain away chipped at the pounding in her head, she realized that it all felt familiar. She did know this man! Knew him like she had once known herself; it was why no matter what state of mind she was in, she would always trust him to keep her safe. And this feeling in her head, the Force, it brought something out in her, not really a memory, but she just knew what she needed to do, and soon she was enveloped in her healing glow, the dagger at her hip resonating with the power of this energy flowing through her and helping to tether her awareness into place; even if she slipped and regressed, she knew now that without a doubt she would be able to find her way back to herself, back to Mal...

The glow did not last long; without all her knowledge and experience to guide her in using her powers effectively, she tired rapidly, sagging in his arms as the healing glow and the resonance from the stone in her dagger dissipated. "Tired..." she said simply; cold too she realized, but she didn't want to sound like she was complaining, though she couldn't stop herself from shivering in Mal's arms.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 11:52:42 AM by Shado »


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