PRIVATE Blood Work

Discussion in 'Private Roleplaying' started by Aella Fel, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Aella Fel

    Aella Fel Rotten
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    Aella winced as the medical droid rolled backwards, continuing to hum to itself as it finished filling the bacta pump partially implanted into her skin beneath her right collarbone. After carefully adjusting the sling holding her right arm immobile, the droid left her side and returned to its dock in the cornet of the room. She watched as it shut down, sighing and leaning back, enjoying the feeling of the sun on her face where she rested. Her raised bed and pillows propped her up so that she sat comfortably. It hurt to move just about anything, as she'd learned recently the full might of the Imperial Palace defenses. The broken collarbone was the worst of her injuries, but that didn't make the rest of them any more pleasant.

    This was the longest she'd stayed on Bastion in a long time, and it gave her an unpleasant sense of nostalgia that refused to wither away. It was made only worse by the funeral that had taken place only days earlier, memories of her father being laid to rest behind stone still fresh in her mind. That alone was more painful than any physical wound she suffered, and unlike those there was no easy remedy to numb this one. But there were a few things that came close, and she clung to them as her sole form of escapism on a world that had never wanted her here, at least as far as she was concerned.

    With one hand she fumbled awkwardly for a cigarra and then for her lighter, exhaling smoke with a sigh as she leaned her head back. Marcan was a mild drug, all things considered, but it took the edge off just like anything else. With the window open the smoke didn't linger in the air, but the smell of something burning faintly remained. She hadn't bothered to get permission to smoke in her room, but figured after her recent escapades it was a more acceptable form of delinquency.

    Her mind wandered briefly to the Jedi that had flown her to the Palace during her father's wake, and she wondered if he'd managed to escape successfully. At this point she figured he had to have, else the attention would have been focused more squarely on her and her involvement with him that had led to all this. Not that it wouldn't be eventually as it was, she just supposed her brother was more preoccupied with the foreign agent as opposed to his own sister. Much to his eventual disappointment, she didn't know the man, nor did she so much as catch his name. His company wasn't the kind she chose to keep, but she had to admit he was interesting.

    The cigarra had burned almost halfway down, and she inhaled, holding the smoke in her lungs for a few moments before breathing it out. Something pricked in the back of her mind a second before her door slid open, revealing the familiar form of her older brother as he stepped inside. It was almost strange to see him alone, but she was grateful that his guards didn't accompany him. Privacy was rare on Bastion.

    She didn't speak as he situated himself, waiting for him to break the silence. Something told her he wasn't here just to check on her condition.

    Maxim Fel
     
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  2. Maxim Fel

    Maxim Fel Imperator
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    The harsh, dirty smell of the cigarra hit Maxim as soon as the door slide aside, and his sigh was barely audible over the quick churn of the gears hidden inside the wall. The Crown Prince didn't make mention of it as he marched into the room alone, his eyes set on the setting sun out the window. The fortress city of Bastion was beautiful in its own simple, militaristic way. It was not as enormous as Coruscant or as vibrant as Zeltros, but it was vast and high walled with skyscrapers all its own. It had blocky, utilitarian edges and rooftops bristling with barrels like dangerous, durasteel trees, and it had something that no other capital or metropolis had.

    It had his family.

    After the debacle that was his father's funeral, Maxim had been forced to sit alone and contemplate what that really meant. The Imperium's strength came from the glue that was The Fel Dynasty, it was the duty, honor and compassion among family that kept The Empire strong in desperate times. It was something that Palpatine, Krayt, Thrawn and The Republic all lacked - The Fel didn't fight for votes or fear or eternal power. They fought for family.

    They fought for legacy.

    Maxim had been silent for some time, his hands rested against the window as he took in what fresh air could be had with his sister's bad habit right beside him. What legacy was she going to leave behind for the family? Why did she insist on making it so hard to love her as a sister? Why could she not just act as the family needed her too?

    With a sudden snap of his wrist, Maxim crushed the remaining cigara in Aella's hand - and with another, sent the crumpled mess of paper and tabacc soaring out from between her fingers and out the window.

    "Your bad habits are hurting more than just yourself, sister" Maxim growled as he found a seat beside her bed and took it, his bloodshot eyes coming to rest on Aella as he legs came up into a cross. The deep, purple bags beneath each eye made him look much older than he was and if his sister did not know better, maybe she may have even thought him a spice addict on a sleepless day-long bender.

    "What you did at the funeral was reckless, and you managed to break every Imperial flight code doing it - and you did it with a Jedi no less...even so I wanted to come in here and tell you that I'd thought it over. That Nikitis had made me see what you did was foolish but brave and done out of concern and love for our family...

    He was silent for a moment as he stemmed his anger, forced it down with a sense of superiority and discipline that he felt over his emotions. Dispelling the sudden rage against his Knight training, Maxim took a deep breath before continuing,

    "Then your medical analysis came back... So say it. Say you know nothing of it. Lie to me like I know you want to."
     
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  3. Aella Fel

    Aella Fel Rotten
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    The muscles of her jaw worked slowly as Aella found herself falling back onto the same training - tempering the strong swell of emotion into something manageable, and pushing it down to be dealt with later. Her replication wasn't as perfect as his, and she felt the residual bleed to the surface, drawing it out and letting it sit in the back of her mind. He would be able to sense the latent anger there, but she didn't care. The provocation was clear in his voice, and like her brother she rose to it. Family was good for one thing, it seemed.

    "For what? So you can sit there and think you know me?" Her gaze met his and it was razor sharp and hard as stone, but he'd be able to see the cracks if he knew where to look. "No, I'm not giving you the satisfaction." It took energy to hold onto her anger, more than it should have, and she knew it was the fatigue from the aptly described ordeal at the funeral. It had been a long time since she'd drawn on the Force so excessively, and her mind and body hadn't been slow in reminding her just how out of practice she was.

    Shifting in her bed, a quiet grunt of pain escaped her as she put undue pressure on her injured shoulder, something that only fueled her more in her current state. "Yeah, I get high. So what? You never had time to give a shit before, and the only reason you care now is because if word gets out it comes back to hurt you. Don't act like this is about anything more than your reputation." Deep down she wanted to be proven wrong, but her hopes weren't high because he'd never given her a reason.

    "I did what I did at the funeral because I care, even though you don't want to believe I can. Because this is the only family I have. Because you're my brother, whether you like it or not. So go ahead and lecture me about how none of that can be true because of the drugs, I've heard it all before."

    Finally she looked away, swallowing down an amalgamation of anger and grief as she looked out at the Bastion skyline. "I'll make it easy for you. I plan on leaving once I'm better anyway. Then you don't have to worry."
     
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  4. Maxim Fel

    Maxim Fel Imperator
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    A shout of frustration was followed by Maxim jumping up from his seat, hand sweeping through the air with the full weight of The Force - which sent the chair clattering across the room before exploding into a brief cloud of splintered steel against the wall.

    "You will stay here by my command, and you will get the help you need!" Maxim's voice had grown dark and deep, his eyes shrinking into narrow wells of fury as the door to the room flew open and two Imperial Knights stepped inside. Maxim sent them away with a dismissive wave of his hand, not waiting for them to exit and the door to shut before starting again,

    "How dare you question my devotion to our family, you insolent child. You left me and Barron. You left your mother and our father. Not only that, but you can never understand what it takes to care for this family because you don't think about the family. Tell yourself you cared. Tell yourself whatever it is that helps you drown the truth that when it got hard here, you thought only of yourself.

    He felt his fury building upon itself, the deep resentment and hurt that'd built up...and that weight...that endless, tired weight he'd felt since his father died. No matter how he tried to cage the beast, its claws thrashed too hard, and he heard himself say the words before they even passed through his conscious mind,

    "your failings as a sister, daughter, and a Fel have no bearing on my reputation. Shout it from the rooftops, tell the entire galaxy that you are a spice fiend. Do you want me to make a formal address, Aella? Would that please you?!" Maxim's voice lowed now, his presence in the force focused as he stepped closer to the bed - eyes leering and shadow looming.

    "You will never appreciate the weight the crown bares on me or our family. You ran away from your problems while Baron and I learned to face a crumbling Empire and family alone. You are selfish, naive, and stupid. The help I'm giving you now is because I remember the sister I had as a child, not this spiteful witch that sits before me now.


    You will seek treatment. You will get better. Even if I have to drag you to it in chains. But I will not drag you into our family - you will either walk into it proud or crawl away from us the same selfish woman you are right now.

    But I will not give you the satisfaction of being able to blame it on me."
     
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  5. Aella Fel

    Aella Fel Rotten
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    "Shut up!" The wave of the Force would impact him with the same might as a firm shove, looking him directly in the eyes even as she felt the stinging tears of anger threaten to spill over. "You don't know anything about what happened to me. Do you think I wanted this? I didn't leave on some whim, Maxim. I left because it felt like no one wanted me to stay." Her voice broke then, tears falling down her face, but she swallowed the lump in her throat - too proud even now to have him see her broken.

    Her hands shook with anger as she reached up to wipe the tears away, her glare not once wavering. "You never bothered to question what happened to me when I left, because as far as you're concerned me being like this is reason enough to hate me, right? It doesn't matter that I met some asshole who got me hooked on spice so I couldn't leave him and knew I couldn't leave no matter how much he slept around on me. That the only reason I found a way out was luck." It hurt even still to recall her past like that, and the pain in her chest caused another wave of tears to come, and these she didn't bother to wipe away.

    "I was a kid. As far as I could tell no one wanted me around, so I found someone who did. I know I was stupid." Her voice cracked again, and she covered her mouth to stifle a sob, the front she put on slowly cracking.

    "I wish things had been different. I do." The fire began to leave her then as she fell back into the mattress, that outburst seeming to have drained all energy from her. All she did for a moment was sit and cry, until eventually even that became a struggle, tears refusing to come. Aella found then her whole body hurt, but more than that there was a pain in her chest that wouldn't go away, the wound far deeper than physical. It had been half-healed for a long time, but the bandage had been torn off recklessly.

    "So fuck you for acting like this was all a choice. I know what I did, and I don't need shit from someone who barely understands." Her words cut, but there was no true venom behind them, only exhaustion. "If you're done, get out. I want to be alone." Except she didn't, not really, and if he listened there was a quiet plea there beneath it all: 'Please stay.'
     
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  6. Maxim Fel

    Maxim Fel Imperator
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    There was a cold stare that bore holes into Aella as her tantrum ran its course, and it did not thaw as she fell upon the mattress. She spoke about a man and spice, obviously she fell into crowds that used her in ways that would never have happened had she simply stayed on Bastion. His chest tightened, and a string snapped somewhere in his heart, his anger momentarily turned on this mysterious stranger who had done this to his sister...but then the flush of anger overcame him. A raging beast that pounced on every thought, tainting every breath with a cold fury that could not be shaken.

    He wanted to feel so much worse for her than he did. He wanted to feel pity and remorse and guilt, but he didn't. All he felt was anger, and it churned inside him. She needed him, but that beast seized his mind and its serpentine tongue curled over his thoughts...

    But why doesn't she admit it? Why will she not admit the wrong she has done to you? To Baron. She doesn't care, and she never did. She is using you and your family.

    Under the shredding claws of the beast, the plea beneath her words was lost, leaving only the venomous words behind.

    "You never cared to ask if Baron and I needed you. You didn't want to understand what we were being put through by father. You just wanted your excuse to leave - and it's never been more obvious to me than right now" the anger turned Maxim's face to stone, glazed over but unflinching as he stared down at his sister

    "If you had stayed, I would have protected you. Instead, you left and this man who hurt you is far somewhere far from the reach of my anger...so stay here and wallow in your delusion that Baron and I caused your suffering. Meanwhile, I have a people to lead that do need me, and I won't leave them to face the galaxy without me."


    With that, Maxim turned and marched for the door - not stopping unless prompted.
     
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  7. Aella Fel

    Aella Fel Rotten
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    Silence met his last words, but just as he was about to cross the threshold Aella spoke, "Maxim." If he turned to face her at his name, she would continue, "I never blamed either of you. I blamed myself. For not being good enough. For--" She took an unsteady breath then, forcing down the emotion that threatened to rise and overwhelm her a second time.

    It wasn't his fault, she knew. Much like her, he was and always would be a product of the environment that raised him, in this case a dynasty that had groomed him to be one thing, and only that thing: a ruler. The way they had been raised separated them by space and time not so easily crossed, something no more painfully obvious than right in that moment. So she couldn't hate him in any way that mattered, though it would have been easier to.

    "I couldn't understand something I was never allowed to. Because I was never heir, or next in line to the throne." Or even a daughter, as the speech at the funeral had proven, with her exclusion from Ronin's surviving children. That had driven home a point she'd known somewhere deep inside but had never wanted to admit aloud, even to herself.

    She wanted to stand and face him with what she next said, but couldn't muster the strength to find her to way to her feet. So instead she sat up, propping herself up against pillows as she took in fully for the first time the man her brother had become. He stood somewhere now halfway between brother and emperor, in a place she almost didn't recognize. "I'm sorry."
     
    #7 Aella Fel, Dec 24, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2021
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  8. Maxim Fel

    Maxim Fel Imperator
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    Maxim paused at the threshold of the door as it slid open, his chin collapsing to his chest in a long sigh. Why could no one ever hold their tongue and let his anger justify itself? Just once, he would like to feel as if he had a grasp on his emotions instead of living in this constant flux and fleeting. Yet there he stood, eyes to the ground and the rage slowly melting from his bones and revealing the sadness underneath. With the pads of his fingers, Maxim pressed deep into his temple and tried to rub away the sudden pain splitting his skull before turning and pacing back into the room.

    The door closed again and Maxim spoke with the strain of pain in his voice, "you did not need to be heir to understand our family or be a part of its legacy. Look at Nikitis! He is not even our blood, and you can see what he has done."


    Maxim eased himself onto the foot of Aella's bed and rested his head in his hands, fingers still digging into his temples. "None of this needed to happen. If you had just stayed, then you would not have been hurt and our family would be whole - even with father gone."


    Maxim peeled his hands away from his head and looked at Aella from behind teary eyes, "I will not lose more family. Not now...I want us to be a family, but I will not welcome you back only to see you leave again. I will not see Baron put through this and I will not go through it again myself. So you need to decide right now.


    "Are you our sister, or are you a stranger?"
     
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