Atonement

I wasn’t quite sure what Mathias wanted me to do until I got to the brig and heard for myself the hate and anger that came from one of the cells. Inside was a man who truly felt he had done nothing wrong. In his mind, he had saved the lives of his fellow rebels as well as the mission and we had repaid him by locking him up. It didn’t take me long to understand both from the explanation of the incident as well as the way the man looked from the force to see that he had fallen to the darkside. He had done something terrible and truly was able to rationalize it.

I hesitated for a moment, as I remembered how badly I had managed to explain the darkside to a young Twi'lek named Kendil, that Lyta had entrusted to me. I’m not sure what Taylor or even Dee would have said if they had herd that I asked where Taylor was and if she had been asked. Mathias had already tried her and could not get a hold of her. I took a deep breath, determined not to betray Mathias’s trust, and though for a moment.

Up till now I had found my self killing or avoiding people who gave off the amount of anger and darkness that this man was giving off. I had to try. I had them place binders on my hands and escort me to the cell and send me in. I figured I had a better chance of reaching the irate rebel if I was an equal and not some “expert” being sent in to shrink his head and tell him what is right.

He didn’t want to talk to anyone, I guess it was a good thing I was a fellow prisoner. Clearly he would have had none of my words if was an officer of the rebellion here to talk him. He didn’t want to talk, but I did.

“I’m in here because I shot a Jawa.” I stated. This got his attention. I then started recalling the time we were in an Opera house and just discovered the storm troopers we were fighting were really rebels. Then when our second squad came by and saw just as we had figured out they were on our side, I paniced and shot the jawa out of fear that they were going to attack our friends. My weapon was on stun, no big deal but nevertheless I’m being court marshalled. I think. Anyway I didn’t belong here and I was in the right.

He listened while I then started to brainstorm why it was a bad idea to shot the Jawa and that I had other options, a lot of options. The rebel was now calm and listening to me. I guess it was because he wasn’t alone and not the only one being picked on. I was kinda hoping he was thinking about his own actions. “So why are you in here?” I asked him. I didn’t want to be rude and be the only one talking. I’m told bad things happen when I don’t’ stop talking. He told me his story. He was filled with emotion as he spoke.

It was all up to him. He was alone and was lucky the tech was able to talk him threw what he had to do to pull up the information form the computers. The only problem was there were two guards in the control room. He had barely managed to make it that far and was alone and doubtful of his ability to continue. He was armed with only a knife and there were two of them and only one of him. With fear as his only option and ally, he charged in and killed both of them. There was no guild, no remorse, no reason why it was a bad idea. After all, he did save the mission and possibly the lives of those with him on the mission.

“I’ve been there too,” I told him. This was the truth. I then recalled the first time I had let my fear take control. He got quiet when I told him how in the end it was all pointless because the other rebels I was with managed to take out the enemy and all I did was bet parried. “I had other options, I just didn’t think.” I said.

I broke the awkward silence by asking him why he joined the rebellion. He described himself as bounty hunter for the empire. He had collected on a bounty in witch the man was innocent. He trusted in the imperial justice system to find him innocent. However the guild and betrayal he felt when the man was executed was something that still haunts him and drives him to help the rebellion.

Suddenly I knew how to connect to him. Rather then rely on my own interpretations of the dark side I would be able to use his own. “Those two men you killed with your knife? They too were innocent.” I muttered as I look to him. He seemed perplexed. I elaborated.

“We can’t forget that we are,” I made quotes with my fingers, “One big happy empire. We are innocent citizens of the empire.” I paused, “Till something blows up or we start shooting.” I finished with a smile. I could tell he was starting to think. “You could have snuck up on the two guards right? Knocked one of them out, thus you would be one on one.” I said quietly.

“Yes I guess I could have done that.” The rebel said.

“You could have used the, “I’m a bounty nunter here to take in a serious offender. Quick I need to use your computer before your authorities let him go.” I said. I could see the guild return to his face. It would seem he still remembered the gild he felt when I first joined the rebellion. In fact, it really pained me to see the guild on him. Regardless of how bad he was now feeling, this was necessary for healing. I knew that face all too well. All the mistakes I made over my past.

“What can we do?” the silence was broken by his question.

He said we. I didn’t expect this. However this was what I was trying to do all along. This did make answering is question easier. “We atone.” I said quietly.”

“We become mindful of our actions and be more aware of the other options we have so as to not let our quick emotions drive us towards actions we may then regret, but no so long of a hesitation as to not acting.” I paused then continued. “Feelings of guilt are normal as a good thing. They keep us from rationalizing and making excuses for our actions so as to turn us into a monster.”

As awkward as the silence was for me, it had to have been murder for him. My continued presence was all I could offer him in his time of inner doubt and atonement.

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