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Before - Legends Before the Saga Schnik. Snikt. Swish. (OC - Tara Tarindae | One shot)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kit', Jul 21, 2021.

  1. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Title: Schnik. Snikt. Swish.
    Author: Kit'
    Timeframe: Before the Saga
    Characters: Tara Tarindae, Davin Dae
    Summary: Jedi Padawan Tara Tarindae can't sleep. Her dreams are haunted by what happened to her while she was locked in *that place*. Healing trances only terrify her. When a healer offers her a chance to sleep, she jumps at it figuring that she'll finally get a night of peace and quiet.

    She is very, very wrong.

    Author's note: This takes place after Tara returns from a mission gone terribly, terribly wrong. You can read about it here (incomplete story - one day I'll get back to it.)

    Thank you to @Findswoman for the pre-board check and @Blue_Daddys_Girl for the beta read

    Edit: I realise I said it was a One-Shot but it's actually 2 short chapters...
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
    Findswoman likes this.
  2. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Chapter 1/2

    It was hard to sleep when you were broken.

    Tara sat on the bed in the healer’s ward, the sheets pulled up around her. The darkness that always enclosed her seemed to have drawn itself deeper into her soul, sucking away any warmth. The door hissed open and she brushed furiously at the tears that had trickled unbidden and unheeded down her cheeks.

    How did she tell them that she was terrified of sleeping?

    How did she tell them that when she slept the monsters that she managed to keep at bay during the day came back with full force. They were the ones that whispered in her ears whenever she failed at something that she’d never be good enough. They whispered that she was damaged beyond repair. That no-one would want her. That they would never find her Master and she would be forced out of the Temple because no-one else would want to take her on.

    Because she was useless.

    Because she was broken.

    She was so lost in her fear that Leona’s kindly voice startled her. “Are you ready for a sleep Tara?”

    There was the clatter of pills in a container and then the bed shifted as Leona sat down on its edge.

    “I thought we would try something different tonight.” Leona said quietly, “Master Che said that we’d go back to healing trances tomorrow, but tonight maybe a more chemical solution could be found. Does that sound good to you?”

    Tara nodded. The healers had seen her sleep, or rather her lack thereof. Healing trances didn’t work, they just exhausted her more as she struggled to process what had happened with her fears and worries for the future.

    Perhaps if she was compliant they would not think that she was broken.

    Maybe that would save her.

    Tara held her hand out and felt the tap-tap of the pills as they fell on her palm. She swallowed them quickly, washed down with water.

    She tried not to taste their bitterness on her tongue.

    “Will you stay with me?” she asked, hating how weak her voice sounded. This was not what Jedi did. Jedi persevered. Jedi were stronger than this. Jedi kept going no matter what. Jedi were never fearful.

    Jedi were never terrified of the dark.

    “I’ll stay with you.” The healer’s hand closed over hers and Tara tried for a smile.

    Maybe if she smiled they would not see that she was broken.

    “Sleep,” Leona’s voice was all calm and comfort. Tara listened to the whisper of the Force spread out and around her, pushing her this way and that until she settled back onto the bed.

    Tara closed her eyes, concentrating on the feel of the Healer’s hand on hers. Leona’s soft fingers pressed against Tara’s bruised ones. Maybe tonight it would be alright. Maybe tonight the monsters would not come and the pills would keep them at bay.

    Maybe if she closed her eyes and slept she would wake tomorrow.

    Whole.

    Unbroken.

    She sighed, feeling warmth creep through her body. Feeling Leona’s fingers rub softly against her skin. Feeling her breathing slow and her body relax. Feeling the noise of the Force surround her, comfort her, save her.

    The monsters whispered.

    She fell, screaming, into the darkness.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  3. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Poor padawan and her demons. Leona is nice and comforting
     
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  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    THIS! It was hard to sleep when you were broken. The poignancy starts there and continues. @};- =D= Leona is WONDERFUL! Tara needs a large hug and to believe she is not broken. The fact that her mind and emotions are traumatized is only a reflection of the horrific experience.
     
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  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    So glad you went ahead and posted this intensely poignant tale here! Although I am no expert on PTSD and the like, as I said on AO3, I can totally see where dream and reality would blur for someone who has experienced the kind of torture Tara has (let's call it what it is). Healing her brokenness will be a multipart process, of course, but Leona's gentleness will certainly go along way in helping her. (Perhaps Tara will find she's less broken than she thinks!) Thanks so much again for sharing this here. =D=
     
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  6. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Thank you :) Leona is definitely one special woman :) Glad you are enjoying it so far :)

    Yeah, I'm glad that this brought through how horrific the entire experience was for Tara. I'm also really pleased the first line worked for a whole bunch of reasons.

    Being scared of sleep as being a realm that you can't control is very real for lots of PTSD and mental illnesses. Eventually she'll heal but it's going to be a very, very long process! Thank you for reading it twice (once on AO3 and once here :) )
     
  7. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Chapter 2/2


    Schnik. Snikt.


    The light twisted around her, gently waking her from her sleep. The sheets were twisted around her legs, holding her fast. She untangled herself and stretched, feeling her skin warm slightly in the morning light which streamed through the high, vaulted windows. Leona was gone.

    Tara made a face. She shouldn’t have expected the Healer to stay the entire night, but it seemed odd that no-one was around to greet her. Normally the wing was a bustle of people at this time of day, but now it was eerily quiet.

    Tara slipped from the bed and padded softly across the floor to where a robe hung behind a door. She got dressed quickly, finding slippers tucked safely in one of the cupboards.

    The ward was still silent. Tara frowned and reached out for the door switch. Her fingers made shadows on the wall and she smiled at the way the light caught and elongated them into an almost monstrous parody of themselves.


    Schnik.

    The sound of metal being drawn from cloth.


    The sound made her pause. It was oddly familiar in a way that made her stomach twist. For a second she almost thought she saw light glint of a metal blade. She shook her head and pushed the unease away. The sun was shining, she felt good and she had slept and that was all that was important.

    The door slid back easily and Tara poked her head out, waiting for the voice to scold her and tell her to go back to bed. There wasn’t anyone in the corridor though. Instead it stretched away, white walled and endless in a way that was vaguely unsettling. The white and black tiles on the floor also seemed familiar and Tara shook her head, trying to remember when the Healing Hall had been remodelled to be so clinical.

    Behind her, the door of her room hissed shut.

    Tara made her way out into the hall, marvelling at how easily she moved. It was as if the sleep had made her a completely new person. Her body felt light and energised, rather than the agonising ball of pain she’d become used to. She glanced at her hands, even the scars and bruises seemed to have faded to nothing.

    She walked.

    The corridor stretched away from her, closed doors on every side. No-one came running. No-one called her name. Just endless white walls and silence.


    Snikt.

    She had been wrong before. Now it was the sound of metal upon metal.



    That noise again. The same twist of fear. The glint of light bouncing off a curved blade. Tara frowned, trying to work out why it was so familiar She glanced behind her but she could no longer see the open door to her own room, it had been swallowed by the corridor. She contemplated going back, but she hadn’t taken notice of her room number. The doors here were all the same. Without the number she would never find her way back.

    Ahead, just to the left, was a partly opened door. Tara paused. Maybe there would be someone in there. Maybe they could explain the noise and help her to get back to her room.

    She pushed the door open. Inside was a bed, just like hers. On the bed a girl sat with her back to her. Lank, dark hair twisted in knots down her emaciated back.

    “Can you help-” she began.

    The girl turned. Black hollows gaped where her eyes should have been. Behind the girl, row upon endless rows of knives and blades. The girl tilted her head on one side as if regarding Tara, then she opened her mouth and screamed.

    Tara stumbled backwards, out of the doorway and into the corridor which twisted around her.


    Snick.
    Not metal on metal. A knife being drawn.



    Her chest hurt as she struggled to draw breath. Tara remembered that face. She remembered the broken girl from her time in that place when she had lost her Master and herself.

    “No,” Tara sobbed. She turned and ran.

    The girl came after her, long emaciated arms dangled by her sides, crimson drops of blood dripping from each finger.

    Another open door.

    Another sightless, eyeless, broken child.

    Another door.

    A woman sobbing over the body of her baby who looked at Tara with sightless eyes.

    Tara stumbled backwards as the woman proffered her child.

    “Look what you did, Jedi,” she hissed.

    “Sorry, sorry,” Tara whispered between sobs as she ran headlong down the corridor. The broken people followed her as she hammered at closed doors.

    If this was that place then that would mean that the Doctor was here. Tara felt her breath hitch in her throat.

    Another door.

    This time a man, arms outstretched lumbered towards her, moaning for help. She threw up her hands to push him back, but he opened his mouth. She felt the Force draining from her, a river of blue and green flickering lights that streamed from her fingers and towards his gaping, cavernous mouth.

    She stared at her arms as they cracked; thin slivers of light criss-crossing her skin like so many silver scars.

    “No. Not again. Not again.”

    She turned and ran.


    Schnik. Snikt.
    Now a knife sliding across a wet stone.



    Another glint of light on metal. A knife twisting in the sunlight held by nobody. She shuddered and ran harder. Maybe if she ran for long enough she could escape him and what he had done to her.

    A corner. The first in the endless corridor. Tara took it at speed, crashing through the double doors and into the empty room beyond. She lay sprawled on the floor trying to get her breath back.

    “Padawan mine, what are you doing all the way down there?”

    The familiar voice elicited a sob from her raw throat. Her Master was here. Davin would make it alright. He would save her. She clambered slowly to her knees, her body protesting the flight, the silver twists where the Force had leaked through still visible on her arms. They would be okay though. Master Dor would save her.

    She looked up at where her Master’s voice was coming from.


    Schnik. Snikt.
    A knife no longer. Now it was the sound of a scalpel being drawn.


    Davin Dor hung motionless from a set of beams that had been driven into the floor. Blood dripped from the many cuts on his body, a delicate lattice of crimson against his skin. A bloody scalpel lay on the floor at his feet. Tara swallowed hard as Master Dor smiled at her, seemingly unconcerned by the blood or the pain.

    She screamed.

    “Why are you crying padawan?” he asked softly. Tara raised her hands to wipe away the tears. Her fingers came away red and sticky. She stared at them and then looked back at her Master where he hung, still smiling.

    “Master, please,” she said as her vision blurred and blackened around the edges. “We have to get away.”

    Davin shook his head. “I have to see the doctor. He knows best.”

    She shook her head, desperate to make him believe her. She could feel the blood now, streaming down her face. The colours were fading; the light draining from the room.

    “We need to get away. We need to leave before the Doctor comes. Please Master. Please.”

    Davin just smiled at her. He struggled briefly, his arms twisting in unnatural ways. Then he was free and walking towards her. His smile did not change.

    “Wait for the doctor, padawan mine. He can help you.”

    She shook her head, backing away until she was against the wall. Her vision was dimming, but in the centre Davin stood, one hand outstretched, fingers dripping blood.

    “We have to get away now. Please Master. Before he comes. Before he hurts us.”

    Master Dor’s hand settled on her shoulder, rooting her in place. She realised that the scalpel that had been on the floor was now resting gently in his other hand. There was the soft click of a door latch.

    “Too late padawan. Here he is now.”


    Schnik. Snikt. Swish.
    A scalpel drawn through flesh.



    She turned slowly. Her feet had sunk into the floor. Behind her the doctor stood in his perfect white coat, the array of instruments she knew so well on the silver tray he carried. He held a long surgical knife in his free hand. She opened her mouth to scream but couldn’t. Blood choked her. She sank to her knees, feeling the cold floor of the operating theatre beneath her fingers.

    There was the noise of a tray being put down, the glint of a scalpel through her rapidly darkening vision then the Doctor’s voice, so clear and upbeat. The point of the scalpel pressed against her skin, a point of pain and light in the darkness.

    “Good morning Tara. Hold still. This won’t hurt a bit.”


    Schnik. Snikt. Swish.
    A scalpel piercing her skin.



    She fell, screaming, into darkness.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
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  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    :eek: =D= A very well-written scene as we get a dream sequence that feels like she's awake. That's the worst kind of nightmare, where it feels natural and normal, until it turns... Walking down endless corridors, seeing someone who should be a warm, familiar presence turn into something ominous... A frequent scenario in dreams you're very thankful to wake up from.
     
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  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Goosebumps! :eek: This is the scene where the familiar really becomes unfamiliar and dream and reality really do become an indecipherable jumble, where the maze never ends and the doctor who’s supposed to be helping you morphs into The Doctor who tortured you. How does one emerge from it? I hope we will also get the story (stories) of Tara’s healing, too! Wonderful work once again, and many thanks for sharing this story here, too. =D=
     
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  10. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    poor Tara falling into a dream with all those horrible sightings. I hope she will heal
     
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