Ok... uhm... yeah. Enjoying as always. It's funny how knowing the answer to her problem doesn't solve the problem yet. I'm looking forward to every rampage-trip she'll have until the end.
There will be more Blizz to come (maybe
I'm glad because there will be a lot more.
After all, she wouldn't be who she was if she wasn't as unstable as *insert witty and preferably Star Wars related simile.*
I believe you mean she's gone bonkers again
Unknown number of days later...
I pull myself up onto the highest branch that can hold my weight. It isn't the tallest in the jungle and doesn't break through the canopy but the sky can be seen through the leaves. I rest my back against the tree trunk and feel something slimy on my shoulder. I learnt a few days ago that wiping things only makes them spread. My legs and hands are still stained a bright blue that I am hoping will wash off.
I look down below and see HK standing guard at the bottom of the trunk. What else was I going to tell him to do? Everything worth shooting for the next mile is dead and being eaten by scavengers and I spent a day searching for HK after he left to hunt while I slept briefly with no orders to do the contrary.
I can't think of the last time I climbed a tree. Maybe I've never climbed one. I think I like it though. I look around me and all I can see are shades of green amongst twisting brown. There is something liberating about being this high. It's different from being at the top of a tower. There is nothing to stop me falling.
How many days have I been in the jungle? I'm not sure. I know Iziz is now a few hours march away since I turned around yesterday. No matter how long I've been here, it's been over three weeks since Nar Shaddaa though it feels like a lot longer. I don't know why, but Nar Shaddaa seemed to be where things changed. Maybe it is in my head, but I feel things slowly escalating.
As my thoughts wander to Blizz, they become interrupted by a sound I don't understand. I wasn't sure if it was there at first. But then It kept coming, and coming, and coming. I look around the jungle. Three beeps, a pause and then three beeps again. I swing onto lower branches but it doesn't seem to take me closer to the sound. I turn in circles trying to find the location of the noise.
Once I am only ten metres above the jungle floor, I realise what the sound is and stop. I shift my weight and look myself over. I find the pouch that has the noise and pull out my holo. So that's where I left it...
I answer. I'm surprised by the lean man that flickers to grainy blue and grey life in my palm. It had been over two weeks. I didn't expect the call. Though I never let myself think it, I wanted it. It was a dull feeling in my chest, a tugging that never abated.
'You are quite under clad for Iziz.' Damin's eyes narrow and he leans forward slightly. 'Too dirty as well.' His back straightens again and his eyes widen to normal.
Two things occur to me to point out to him. The first is the missed greeting and pleasantry. I think I looked forward to this call most to hear my name. But I feared this call. Everything started to fall apart once Damin entered my life again and said my name. Do you really believe
that's where you started to lose it?
I ignore the first point and only express the second. 'In the jungle actually.'
'With no armour.' Was that a small smile? Not sure. Connection is bad out here. Surprised he even got through.
'I don't need it.' The boast of my life.
'There are six puncture wounds on your arm.' The observation isn't even delivered with concern or a movement of the eyes. Instead, the package of his words come wrapped in a smugness and otherwise neutral features.
I look down at the arm holding the holo. 'Bloods not mine.' Retort comes with my own smugness.
Damin doesn't shake his head or take his small holo eyes from mine. He doesn't smile or frown. He's only a flickering, arrogant statue.
'I referred to your right arm.'
I look at my other arm and see he's right. The six punctures making the shape of a crescent are deep and I can see smooth metal where they finish. I peer closer at it and am satisfied to see no damage to my wiring or veins. Lucky.
'Didn't notice. Must have happened yesterday. It will be fine.'
'From here, it looks like they have gone to the bone. If you don't want it to get infected, I suggest you return to Iziz and get it treated.'
I could almost laugh at the idea of being treated by a medic. What could they do to help? 'A medical expert, are we?'
'Well, then, aren't you perfect?' I roll my eye and move to lean against the tree trunk. My cross bow presses uncomfortably into my back but I refuse to wriggle until it is more comfortable.
'I like to think so.' That doesn't surprise me. He pauses and tilts his head to the side a little. 'You are not going to go to a medic.'
'Not in a hundred years,' I affirm with a self satisfied smirk.
'You may then lose the arm,' he warns. Was that a concerned frown?
'No, it's metal, it will keep.' I look up at the sky. I can't see much of it but what I do is dark with rain. I can hear thunder in the distance. 'Though it might rust if it rains.'
Damin silently evaluates me. I can tell he is thinking 'truth or not?' No nod or shake gives away his conclusion and the mask of indifference remains. I know he has placed the information into a file in his mind and will take it into his predictions in the future. I think he would hate having to start them with 'if'.
'I have some information you will be interested in but the connection is getting worse,' he asserts. He isn't wrong. He is flickering more and his voice is now starting to become distorted. But a Cipher never has a single reason for anything. Like this call, it isn't to keep an idle acquaintance or to fulfill a promise. This light banter was bound to end and something like business was destined to be discussed. I don't fool myself into thinking Damin has something near affection for me. Then why did he look, touch and speak to you how he did?
I only wish I could fool myself into thinking I have no affection for him.
'Are you asking me to return to my ship? The ship I would have to pass a dozen medics to reach?'
'That would be appreciated, yes.' He enters parade rest and nods his head. I smirk at him quickly before looking to the sky again. You're still your father's little boy.
Rain is getting closer. Rusting was a joke but I don't fancy being here when the forest floor is mud that we will sink ankle or even knee deep into. And I was on my way back anyway.
'Fine. Call you when I get there.'
'Thank you, Leeriah.' Was that a charming smile he gave me before disappearing? I groan and shake my head and refuse to let Damin enter it again until I reach the ship. He is a complication my life cannot afford to have.
I look to the sky again and think of Blizz. Did you get them?
I ask the sky as if this one will somehow know what another sky across the galaxy is seeing. Did I disappoint you, Blizz?
I sigh, swing down a few branches and jump the rest of the distance. My feet sink into the leaf litter.
'Come on, HK, it's time to go home.'