I’m new to the DJB, but my character isn’t quite new… I’ve been writing fiction with Calindra in mind for close to 1 year and a half to two years now. Her beginnings are noble. She strives for a higher path, but she is being constantly being disappointed by friends, lovers and mentors. The descent into darkness will be a slow painful journey. A journey, that I am not yet certain she will come back from.
Enjoy the read,
Calindra stood on the bridge of Xyre’s Royal Proclamation, a YV-666 that was currently stationed on the outskirts of the Hegemony’s territory. The baroness’ blond locks were loosely pinned by a hair clip as she paced the bridge pensively, her boots resounding off of the Proclamation’s deck as she fidgeted with a lengthy necklace around her neck. Eventually she stopped to take a final good look out the viewport; at everything and everyone she was leaving behind. She knew she couldn’t exactly pinpoint them from this distance, but she could see their faces as vividly as if they were there with her. Like it or not, they had shared her life for the past year… she had worked hard side-by-side with them through laughter and tears, and now all that was left were the quiet ardent embers of anger that she had been trying to cool off.
Sadness too. Sadness threatened to dampen her quietly smouldering rage and disappointment, each threatening her resolve. She knew that if she engaged those engines, she wouldn’t be coming back. The nav computer was already programmed with the coordinates for the Gendius system, somewhere across the universe behind her. The holds had all her belongings, ships, vehicles, and yes, shoes.
All she had to do was to give the order to jump to hyperspace. She knew she would make the jump, but things felt unresolved somehow. Somewhere at the back of her mind was someone she cared for like a sister; for whom she cared for more than all the promotions and personal ambition. The very same person that had lent her the very ship whose deck she was now pacing again.
She walked back towards the comm system, hoping for the missive she was expecting from the Lord Hegemon. She wasn’t sure if his reply to her own message would change anything, but she doubted that anything would at this point. All they could do now was smooth over the damage that was done.
She was about to turn away when a small beep from the comm got her attention. She quickly scanned the screen and it was the awaited response from the Lord Hegemon. She read and scanned the lines, but she saw no hint of any disciplinary actions she would have liked to see. However, her private discussions with Lord Typhon and Hyperion Dax had given her a good sense that both men agreed with her assessment, if only partially. She knew they couldn’t put it on paper and make it official, but they did share her misgivings on some level. What she’d officially received now was the distilled verdict of the events that had lead her here in the first place. It wasn’t enough. However she held on to the Lord Hegemon’s final words: “If you feel it is your time to leave the Hegemony, I wish you nothing but the best. But should you decide to stay, you will not be punished for raising these concerns, and we will not treat you any differently from any other citizen,” which meant no favorites, law will be applied, and hard work / tenure would be rewarded. “Thank you for your candor in this,” it continued, “and for bringing these concerns to the High Command directly rather than making the matters public which would likely only serve to cause division and unrest among the citizenry.”
She hated burning bridges. It had always seemed such a waste, and those words meant that the bridge was still there if she chose to use it again. ‘Why is it so important to build these bridges?’ she pondered. She couldn’t put the finger on if it was her fears of letting go, or if there was some grander design to everything that happened in people’s lives. Who could have imagined such fine beginnings would have led to her turning her back on everything, even if it was on good terms.
There was one final piece of business left, and so she opened a direct channel to the person who first revealed the Force to her. Her very own mentor, Stephanie.
“Calindra.” Stephanie’s tone was flat and angry.
“Stephanie. I’m about to jump out of Hegemonic space, but I wanted to have a final word with you before I go. I think my anger towards you right now is directly related to how frustrated and disappointed I am. I have put myself in your shoes time and time again, and I know how hard you work for everyone. I also know you’re human and are doing your best. This stuff between my sister and yourself was a blunder. You erred, and to err is human, and that’s fine. I also understand how that might have been the straw that broke the gundark’s back… and now all this has simply tarnished it and I leave that blame squarely at your feet.”
“Harsh words, Calindra, but you are entitled to your opinion, as indeed I am entitled to mine. You worked hard and I truly tried to reward you and assist you on your journey and work. I just have so much to do always. I regret that my whole reputation has been tarnished in your eyes, I truly do. But remember, it was wholly wrong to know of a whispering and treacherous campaign behind my back, and not come to me about it sooner. If you had done so, none of this may have happened. No one cared about ‘your guiding light’ and how the whole thing had affected me. To attack my loyalty, is to attack my very soul and the whole reason I am a part of the Hegemony. I will never forgive those who drove me to this place.”
Calindra sighed, it was good to confront Stephanie like this. Things that needed saying were finally being said. “Stephy,” she said softly, “your reputation isn’t as tarnished as you think… I think we’re both at odds right now because we both respected each other a great deal. I still do, if I’m honest… I just don’t know how to deal with it all right now. I have always looked up to you, and I still hope that I will be able to commit myself to a cause as you have, and I did fail in what you called: ‘that whispering campaign behind your back,’ and for that I am truly sorry. Stephy, you will always be a huge stone that has forever diverted the current of my life. For that, I will be forever grateful.”
A look of surprise at her last words crossed Stephanie’s face, tears threatened to overtake her, so Calindra pressed on. “Right now, I cannot forgive it. Perhaps I will be able to in time, but right now… I just can’t. I am sorry. However, I hope that one day I can forgive, and if I can finally forgive, hopefully I can come back and proudly serve again. For now, I leave Tion in your hands. Just do better. You were and have always been my guiding star, and I think the day that children realize that their parents aren’t gods is the saddest day of all.”
Calindra had to avert her gaze, the sting of her own tears blurring Stephanie’s features.
“I will miss you and your kind ways, Calindra. Believe it or not, I wish you well and good fortune. Hopefully
our paths will cross again,” she said weeping. “I’ll miss you hun, she said as she extended a hand towards the vidscreen. Calindra reached for the screen in a final gesture, crying: “God, me too… the Force guide and protect you, Stephy. ”
Their hands lingered on the screen for a few more heartbeats more before Calindra ended the communication and gave the order to jump into hyperspace.
To be continued