Even in the silence of the Jedi Temple meditation chamber, Ivan’s troubled thoughts roared like waves crashing to the shore. They had their steady rhythm, their ebbing tides. At times, his thoughts were mere buzzes in his ears; other times, the ranting of the voices in his head was so loud he was surprised the other Jedi around him couldn’t hear them. It was these voices that had plagued him throughout his entire life as a Jedi: all the training he had to suppress them from his fellows seemed to do nothing but increase their volume when he was alone.
Even here, in the supposedly calm environment of a meditation chamber, he couldn’t escape them. It wasn’t that they were dark voices, and it wasn’t that they made him do things. Most of the time, he couldn’t understand them. Just mutterings, too quiet to focus on, too soft to understand. But when they shouted, he could make out individual words that they repeated, in some arcane language. He had spent much time trying to spell the words out phonetically, searching different language databases for them, but at the same time he realized the futility of it. These words; these thoughts that were not his; they were in his brain, and must have been thought up by him. He would not find them in a Jedi Archive, nor a Republic one. Not when he understood them like he did.
Oh, he understood them. Not the words themselves, but the meaning behind them. And that was why he knew the Jedi would not know them, or at least, would not let mere Knights know them. The words carried weight behind them, they had promises behind them. Power, knowledge. They offered him control. The words, if he could just understand them, would stop. He knew it.
The words pushed him. They didn’t tell him to burn things, or to kill things: these were his own choices to make. The words merely directed him in how best to perform in a situation. They gave him the openings he needed, and told him when to look out. The words came from the Force, he knew that. What he did not know was why they had picked him.
Sometimes, when the words got quiet like this, he could make them out clearer. While deep in meditation, he could almost tap into them. They reacted to his thoughts, his needs, his questions.
Now was one of those times. His calmest, most quiet times, when he could converse with the words. And now, there was one thought that came to the surface of his thoughts, and that was of the Mandalorians. The war-mongering race of Sith slaves that had come back to haunt the Outer Rim. They had mercilessly slaughtered numbers Ivan could only guess at, causing despair that Ivan could feel acutely. So much suffering, and since it had started, the voices had gotten louder. More intense. More frequent. And violent.
For the first time, the voices had actually told him to kill things. Well, that wasn’t quite right. They told him to fight. They told him to go to the Mandalorians, and to defend the galaxy. But Ivan knew the meaning behind that. ‘Go to Mandalorians’ meant ‘Kill them’ and ‘Defend the galaxy’ meant to kill the invaders. But after much meditation, he had come to the conclusion that this was not the Dark Side calling. It was the Force’s beckoning, telling him how to defend the galaxy. The Force had called him, specially, and who was he to decline the offer? Who was he to say no to the power it was offering him? The power to stop the Mandalorians, to save the galaxy. The Force called him for this specially, and there to ignore the request was sheer –
Reference Shot of Ivan Ralland
Reference Shot of Sarah Chapman