IC: Darth Hesper The Temple at Moraband The fabric of the meld ripped. Hesper almost swore she could hear a deafening rrrrrrrrrrrrip throughout the Temple as suddenly there appeared to be an explosion, followed by a crashing wave of accomplishment and the strange sense that Emperor Insipid's essence had departed its corporeal form. The Wrath of Vader had been destroyed, Hesper knew. It was done. And so she collapsed, retracting her Force thread from what was left of the meld, toppling forward to the cool floor of the hangar with a hoarse whimper of exhaustion. Her cheek touched the floor as she curled in on herself and felt the burn of sudden disconnection course throughout her small frame as she once again became alone in her mind. They had... won. This she could call a victory. Abeloth and the Mnggal-mnggal had been done away with, and the Temple reclaimed. Coruscant had been bested, and the Senate destroyed. The scales had tipped in their favor in the very last moments. The gravity of it all struck Hesper with the weight of an anvil and knocked her breath out of her chest. Victory. Such sweet victory! The first tear of many escaped the corner of Hesper's eye and rolled to the duracrete floor. She heaved a deep, shuddering breath. For Hesper, at times it seemed like victory was just the avoidance of loss, but this was a true and powerful victory, achieved with the combined strength of many. And she had been one of the many. Another tear rolled. Oh Naren, you would never have understood this, she thought to herself as her tears escalated into sobs against the floor. Great waves of relief and pride sloughed off her body in the form of wracking, violent sobs. Triumph! Ascendancy! Though her journey had barely begun, already Hesper had tasted such a dominion. She would want more. She would need more. As the thought of how different her life would have been had she had this degree power when her child was killed, her sobs modulated into wild, delirious laughter. What a thought that was! Would it have really changed anything? Hesper crumbled into hysterics. Whether from extreme exhaustion, delirium, or sheer manic giddiness was unclear. Two days ago, only the blood of a few had been on her hands; now the blood of thousands was on her hands. The blood of the entire Senate and all the Moffs. What a sweet, sweet revenge she had on them all. They were now just a bitter aftertaste, a passing thought to her—all the pain they had caused her had been redressed. Ha! Hesper turned on the floor, pressing her hands to the duracrete and tucking her knees under herself. She pushed herself up from the floor and knelt for a moment, hands on her knees as she continued to shake with unhinged, neurotic laughter. Not even Hesper knew what was going through her own mind at that moment; she was just so utterly spent. Insipid had made efforts to infuse her with new energy, only for her to turn around and throw it all back at him. Albeit it was for the victory, the exhaustion was beginning to break her just slightly. The laughter subsided and gave way to tears again; what was she doing here? No, not what, but why was she here? “Power,” Hesper muttered quietly, almost voicelessly, swiping away a tear. “I am here so I can have the power to never lose, ever again.” She pushed herself to her feet, and brushed off the knees of her pants. Straightening, Hesper heaved a small sigh. She knew she was already well on her way to higher power. The Sith had been victorious today; the next challenge would be maintaining control. Can we? Hesper wondered as she wound her way out of the disarray of the hangar and into the Temple proper, feeling the eyes of many, many technicians and mechanics spooked by her deranged outburst. - - - Hesper had spoken to no one after she had disembarked the escape pod, only going directly to her chambers and locking the door. Her chambers probably looked unlike any of the others’— it was a smallish room, and Hesper had decorated it as chicly as she would have were it a spacious flat in upper Coruscant. A plush, blood red circular carpet lay on the floor, and a large statement painting of red and blacks hung on the wall facing the door, hanging above Hesper’s bed like a highly placed headboard. Twin statuettes flanked either side of the bed, against the wall, and on both sides of the room were shelves—they were still empty, and all of Hesper’s library was in crates on the floor beside the door. The room was very nearly symmetrical, and the orderliness instilled Hesper with a sense of easy quietness. The ruckus at the Temple had knocked a few of her things over, but there wasn’t any significant damage, thankfully. Heaving a great, tired sigh, Hesper unloaded all her weaponry onto her bed and stripped out of her long coat. She righted one of the short bronzium statuettes beside her bed that had fallen—one of her few recent works—before heading straight for her ‘fresher, pulling off the rest of her clothes as she went. She was deserving of a nice, hot shower. Hesper scrubbed at her skin with vigor, feeling refreshed as she watched the crusty blood, dirt and grime wash away down the drain. Emerging clean and once again neatly groomed, Hesper crawled into her bed and almost instantly dropped into a deep, deep sleep. The day following the victories at Coruscant and Moraband Hesper spent still barricaded in her chambers, sleeping on and off throughout the day. She only left her room late in the evening that day to steal away unseen to the kitchens for a generous hunk of bread and a few bites of cheese and a piece of fruit. As she slipped back to her chambers with her fruit in hand, its juice dribbling down her forearm as she dodged lingering debris and ruin from the invasion, Hesper wondered about the other Sith who had been in the battle; surely many of them had been injured. She knew for certain that Titus had been, and she had heard a lot of noise from medics rushing around in the hallways in the brief periods of wakefulness Hesper had throughout the day. Closing her door behind herself and pressing the lock button, Hesper finished her fruit and quickly washed her hands before crawling back into bed again. - - - The battles at Coruscant and Moraband seemed like distant long-ago happenings, and Mnggal-mnggal and Abeloth like ancient mythological stories, on the next morning when Hesper arose in the early hours feeling hyper alert and incredibly rested. She washed her face and sat on her bed, taking her lightsaber into her hands. Mnggal-mnggal had drained it; she pressed the activation switch, and the blade flickered weakly to life before flickering out. Hesper briefly rubbed her forehead. Drawing a deep breath and straightening her back, Hesper focused her energy on the saber in her hands, reaching out to it with the Force with intentions to repair it. She soon slipped into a deep meditation, lightsaber hovering before her, pulling itself apart and putting itself back together as Hesper went about repairs, imbuing her crystal with the power that had been taken from it. This took her the entirety of the morning, and lasted partially into the afternoon; it was early afternoon when she finished, at last releasing the lightsaber and sighing with light fatigue. She looked at the stylish chrono on the wall. The banquet would be held soon. Standing from her bed and padding over to her wardrobe, Hesper threw open its doors and stood before it with her fists planted on her hips. She had only saved a small portion of the wardrobe she’d had on Coruscant, keeping only the pieces she felt she would need; nearly everything that was practical she’d kept, but there were a few evening gowns and formal attire that she’d held onto. Mostly garments she had made herself. Hesper heaved a sigh. It was almost as if she’d joined the Sith in order to avoid ever having to go to irksome parties, yet here she was again, having to pick out something to wear to a party. She had just grabbed out several options from the closet when there was a knock on her door—already irritated with having to engage with other sentients, Hesper straightened out the silk lounging robe she was wearing, smoothed down her hair, and unlocked and opened the door. Hesper could hardly hide her displeasure as she came face to face with her visitor. It was Aryan Graul. TAG: HanSolo29 (hit me up for a combo?), not sure if anyone else?