Chapter Twenty One: Days
Lorrik Velash’s Journal: Day Seven, Entry Five.
Looks like we’ve finally reach a week of training. Though, with Korriban days being twenty eight hours, things become a little skewed when comparing with the standardized calendar. It’s something of a joke told around here that the Sith Lords squeezed an extra four hours out of the day as a way of punishing the acolytes. Because if there’s one thing that is pretty unanimously agreed on, it’s a Sith Lord’s adoration for giving out punishments.
I was rather lucky today, relatively speaking. The inquisitors had it easy compared to yesterday’s trial. It seemed that our roles were reversed today, with the warriors forced to face bodily hardship. They were forced to literally bear the burden of the inquisitors upon their backs. The warriors faced off against one another in a series of duels, all the while the inquisitors grasped on to them like a backpack. Legs hooked around the waist, arms over the shoulders and hooking across the chest.
We literally fought as one. Me and my ilk would throw out the occasional Force push, stabilize our partners, or talk the warriors through the duel. A peculiar trial. Metaphorical none the less. A little too on the nose. Speaking of which, flatfaced Vurt managed to make a comeback today with Nesk. I knew they’d be fierce combative competitors. Nesk seemed barely fazed by the additional weight on his torso, and Vurt seemed the accomplished dueling supplement. Ryloh and Kar’ai seemed comfortable with the prolonged embrace, and Arlia and Isorr managed to put their stubbornness aside for the task. All in all, none of the pairs are showing any signs of falling behind.
I suppose that’s good for me and Jresh. Can’t get any better ourselves if we’re only dealing with stagnant opponents. Makes me wonder what training will be like if we’re the master’s only apprentices. Thinking back to the beginning our of lives under Lord Syrosk, he did state that we could only be his apprentices after we’ve proven ourselves. But for the life of me, I can’t recall him ever stating the apprenticeship would only belong to one pair. Then again, I can’t remember him stating if apprenticeship would belong a pair at all. He could still order us to strike down our partners at any moment in our future. Maybe only one of will be his apprentice. Maybe all eight of us will be. Lord Syrosk is developing quite the habit of raising more questions than answers.
I am sure of one thing, I could never bring myself to kill Jresh. I know that may sound like weakness, aberrant Sith methodology, or what have you. But I think the two of us together could accomplish more than either of us could alone, even if presenting with the full on training of a Sith Lord. I know it sounds weird, finding more worth in two acolytes than a master and his apprentice. I also know that when we talked about this subject, I told him I didn’t know if I would kill him if ordered to, and that was the adequate answer. Always keeping options open, never relinquishing control of ourselves at the behest of someone else. By saying I could never kill Jresh, I’ve effectively shackled myself to an ideal. I'm not quite sure what to make of that.
With the intensity of the training over the past days, Jresh and I have had little time to converse. Utterly focused on the events of the day to follow and driven to exhaustion by the day’s end. I miss the talks of codes, and philosophies, and ideals, and motives. Oh well, training is training. There will be time to talk when we’re at the top.
Lorrik Velash’s Journal: Day Eight, Entry Six.
Lord Syrosk has afforded us a day off today. I should be ecstatic, and yet all I can think about is how this is some weird test he has orchestrated for us. For some reason, I’m all but sure he’s monitoring us. Watching, listening, or something. He’s a Sith Lord, maybe he’s got some sort of power of cognitive awareness. Or maybe he gave us these rooms because they’re bugged with monitoring equipment. Which would mean.. he could hear me right now, couldn’t he? Hell, even if he couldn’t he could probably just read my mind. Sith Lords can do that, can’t they?
I’m recording today at midday. A boon of special requisitions from the quartermaster arrived today, ahead of the standard ten day resupply schedule. Now we’ve got some genuine meats for me to cook with. The slugs and hounds of Korriban aren’t prime sources for tasty parcels. Now we’ve got a fully stocked freezer. Which is good, because I don’t think Jresh would have put up with any more sweet stuffs. He seems the carnivorous sort.
We just finished lunch, overall Jresh seemed impressed with my work. With no official trials to prepare for, we were able to engage in one another in conversation, something I was happy to partake in. Jresh seems to be less reserved, though he tends to be a little blunt at times. He has no qualms of addressing any perceived faults in my performances in the master’s trials. Even with a mouth full of cooked meat he can remind you how your stance can be improved.
But it’s one of the things I enjoy most about his companionship. My time in the Academy has mostly presented me with people who would utterly ignore my presence, either through disdain or plain disinterest. It’s good to see he’s genuinely interested in my well-being and progression as an acolyte.
Unable to keep his body or mind still for a moment, Jresh has suggested we organize things around the suite. He has a particular meticulousness about him that is hard to notice. It makes sense. Always measuring, calculating, making sure that not one minute measure of energy or motion is wasted. He’s made standing still into a science, something that promotes mental acuity. But for today, we’re doing a bit of light cleanup. After that, not sure what we’ll do. I may record another entry.
Lorrik Velash’s Journal: Day Fifteen, Entry Seven.
Emperor be praised, I finally found this blasted thing! What has it been, a week since I last recorded in this journal? Must have misplaced it when Jresh and I were attempting to organize the suite. I don’t exactly see how you can consider it organizing if I can’t find anything afterward! Picking up everything and tucking it away, under other items in a bedside drawer that I never use, is not doing anyone any favors. I don’t even know how it got there. I don’t think I put it there then forgot it. Makes me wonder, wonder if Jresh put it there.
There’s a chance it was Jresh. But that raises yet another concern, whether or not he partook in a listen before putting it away. Maybe he hid it from me because he didn’t like what he saw. Because he thought it was working against me. No. No. Can’t start getting paranoid about my own partner. Have plenty to worry about with the other acolytes. Thought Vurt was honestly going to kill someone the other day. Right in front of Syrosk. Bunch of crazies in this group.
Well, haven’t the time to record more. It’s still the morning and Jresh is rushing me out the door. Just wanted to quickly record something now that I’ve found this. Any more will have to wait.
Lorrik Velash’s Journal: Day Sixteen, Entry Eight.
I guess I never got around to recording again the other day. Understandable, considering how exhausted I was after the day’s training. Today’s not dissimilar. I’m struggling to formulate the words. I can understand my arms and legs giving up on me, but feeling my mind slip is something an inquisitor never takes lightly. When Syrosk declared we’d be tested on every facet of our being, he was not kidding. Not that I once thought him the kidding type. Horned grump.
I have to admit, despite his raspy, overly articulative speech patterns, he’s not exactly what I expected of a Sith Lord. I expected far more death threats, declarations of “Insolent whelp!”, and such grandiose displays. He almost possesses a sense of humor, in a weirdly sordid, debased manner. Don’t think I’ve seen him crack a smile, but he’s let out a few chortles at our misfortune every now and again. Who knows, maybe as an apprentice, with some more time spent in his company, he could prove the enjoyable, conversational fellow. I’d hate to become his apprentice just to find out he’s an absolute terror to be around. Hate for the whole “Sith Succession” thing to be forced out of annoyance rather than a greedy power grab or mischievous backstabbing.
So this is what the Academy has done to me. Made me into someone who just thinks casually of his friend’s and master’s deaths. As matter of inconvenience rather than heart wrenching quarrels to be overcome physically and emotionally. Then again, I’d say we’re not too different from the Jedi in that fashion. They are taught to understand that death is a way of life, a natural occurrence that should not be negatively dwelt upon. We Sith just like to take the whole ‘natural occurrence’ to a new level.
Feels weird saying that. “We Sith”. I mean, we’re obviously Sith, me and Jresh, but we are obviously not as well. As ambitious as our goals are, we’d be fooling ourselves if we could move forward in this society and the galaxy at large without accruing something of a body count. I just can’t seem to find that inner drive to permanently remove someone’s presence from this realm. Then again, with Force-users there’s rarely anything permanent. But I can’t see myself marching into battle, slaying enemies of the Empire left and right. And I know Jresh isn’t one for needless slaughter. He has his, 'leave enemies alive so that they may challenge you again later', philosophy. I simply think of every foe as a potential ally.
At the end of the day, it’s accomplishing the same thing. One less enemy to deal with, with the added boon of a new force on your side. Then again, I guess our side isn’t much for long-term alliances. There is power in conflict. Yet I desire peace. Does cooperation truly breed laziness? Complacency? The Republic’s version does, for sure. Everyone united under a single ‘banner’ and yet rampant plagues of crime and disorderly conduct take place, if not thrive because of which. Survival of the fittest leave only the strong, but despite their strength, they will remain the few and eventually fade into nothing. Total unionization anchors the populace to the lowest of the low, or raises them to a point in which they begin to crack the foundational structures that support them.
Oh well, I can worry about the galaxy at large when I’m a Lord. For now, I need to rest.
Lorrik Velash’s Journal: Day Seventeen, Entry Nine.
So today was a weird day. Woke up thirty second before my alarm went off. Everything for breakfast tasted… weird. Like, slightly off. Like maybe there was a little too much salt on everything. Everything. Even things I know I didn’t put salt on. Weird. What else... what else? Oh yeah, I had to duel Jresh today…