You’ll never see this message because I’m never going to send it. I find that writing out my thoughts helps organize them somewhat and jogs my mind into seeing events with new perspectives. But since I’ve always found diaries to be a bit self-indulgent, I’m going to pretend like we’re renewing our correspondence after an unfortunate lapse.
I don’t even know if you’re still alive, but I have confidence in you.
The less said about the last year of incarceration the better, but it may help to put down a few broad strokes. The prison facility was clearly a private project of Moff Zara Sartain, off the official imperial map, as it were. After a year there, I’m pretty sure it was a secret facility for the “training” (i.e. brainwashing) of force-sensitives. The Moff, doubtless, wants her own cadre of force-warriors to support her play for power and prominence in the splintering Empire.
It’s not really relevant, I suppose. We never saw her, just the warden. There’s a piece of work… he never spoke to us except in our dreams. Yeah, I know. He had these dream-machines he would hook us up to with some frequency. I can never remember any of the specifics, other than that he was in them, and he would talk to me there.
So, when I first arrived, I was thrown down on level 1. There was… something… an energy of apathy welling up from the depths of the facility. The more compliant we were the faster we would get moved to higher levels, and further from this… whatever it was. Needless to say, I faked compliance right quickly, and started moving on up. Ultimately, though, they saw through the ruse and I stalled out on level 5. Level 5 had the dream machines, and also the other rejects who weren’t entirely with the brainwashing program.
Imagine my surprise to share a prison level with Rend Hux. You remember Rend, right? Thuggish fellow, human. He was my mistake that came back to bite me. When the Emperor died, he went kinda off the rails, slaughtered stormtroopers like they were going out of style, and was taken alive. Under interrogation he told them all about my illicit smuggling operations, and I was taken down with him. I can’t really say I hold a grudge. I was sloppy, and good muscle like Rend is hard to find.
Supisy’lyn is an unassuming Twi’lek. She plays at a sort of naivete. I’m never sure how much is real and how much is a learned survival trait. People in her circumstances learn to overcompensate for helplessness in one of two ways: over-the-top aggression or unobtrusive meekness. She’s a mechanic and computer expert, though, and I plan on sticking close to her. Skills like those are vital in surviving our current circumstances.
Tessik Kir is an odd kid. He’s apparently been in Imperial prisons for pretty much his entire life, and if you talk to him for more than 30 seconds you see why. He’s a hard-core, true-believer in the Force by way of Jedi philosophy. I’m not entirely sure where he learned it all in the first place… probably a fellow prisoner. I envy his calm, but I can’t say I share his complete trust in the will of the Force. I find that the Force may nudge, but you have to grab the reigns.
Finally we have Vesa Oralu. I don’t know a lot about her. She’s a Mirialan, and there’s something a bit off about her tattoos, but I don’t know enough about her people’s customs to “read” them. She seems to keep her distance from me and Rend. I infer from this that she has something of a grudge against Imperials.
So, the five of us lived on level 5, doing the prison routine: eat, pass the time, sleep in weird dream-machines, until one night one of the ubiquitous mouse-droids started acting oddly. To make a long-story short, certain mysterious outside parties had subverted the droid to pass along the message that we were going to be sprung.
It all pretty much worked out as planned. Rend got to slaughter a few Stormtroopers, Supisy’lyn managed to slice into Warden Draas’s dream-machine records and grabbed a bunch of data on what he was trying to do there, and we made our way up and out of the prison thanks to the distraction of an AT-ST going berserk. Our getaway shuttle was piloted by a naive young human, but who am I to judge my rescuer.
The prison exploded behind us. Apparently what was going on there was sensitive enough that a destruct-sequence was built in. I can only hope the blast caught most of our fellow prisoners who had long-since started converting into prison guards.
Our shuttle docked with a ship that hit hyperspace, and only then did we relax a bit. That’s when our mysterious benefactor revealed herself. “Senator Damocles” made her introduction. Yeah, I know, the Senate was disbanded years ago, but a lot of those old Senators went on to join the Rebel Alliance, and they’re the ones who sank the resources into springing us.
I was suspicious, of course. Why go to all that time and effort? The Senator claimed that their spies assumed “something valuable” on level five of the prison, and five force-sensitive prisoners seemed to fit the bill. Rather than pull us into some Alliance facility, though, for interrogation or debriefing, she claimed we were going to be given a ship and pointed at a contact and left more or less to our own devices. I have a few theories on what’s really going on here, but none worth elaborating on quite yet.
Personally, I couldn’t wait to get out of my prison clothes and into something cut to fit me. Sadly, all I had on me was the Imperial uniform I was wearing when they arrested me. This gave our pilot a fit. Apparently it didn’t occur to him that Imperials imprison their own from time to time. Rend and I placated him, and I figured the time had come to try to create some bonds of trust.
What little foundations we had for mutual trust, namely our shared prison experience, was not going to be enough. I opted to open up, telling them about my force-training at the Cobalt Academy, as well as the fact that I was a double-agent for the Ascendancy working inside the Empire. I’ve spent years keeping that secret, but I trusted my hunch that this might put Vesa and our pilot a bit more at ease, knowing my true loyalties lie with my people, not the Imperials. It seemed to work, and the others opened up a bit about their own force-sensitive natures. The only exception was Supisy’lyn who insisted (and still insists) that she knows nothing about the force. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have been in that prison, but maybe her strong sense of denial is what kept her on level 5.
So. I spent much of the rest of that evening drinking in the ship’s bar and getting used to the idea of being free once more. Once I wrapped my brain around that, I figured I should retire to my bunk and compose this in hopes that it will help me internalize events so they’ll feel more real.
Well, enough for one evening. I’ll talk to you later.