How do you stand in front of the person that you love and tell them that you are the reason that they aren’t with the one they love?” I ask. “You don’t” is your simple reply. You pause, not daring to look at me and the air is thick with unsaid feelings, what-could-have-been’s and a million of the infinities that we never got to see. “If you really love them then you’ll let them be happy; even if that happiness lies in the arms of someone else.
Excerpt from the book I’ll never write #10 (Delilah D’Amore)
after months of non stop touring, alex had finally been given a well deserved break. while normally he wouldn’t have been looking forward to going to an event hosted by shine, this time was different. it was away from any paparazzi and gave him a chance to feel comfortable on his own. as he opened the car door, he felt the impact of it hitting someone. “shit, sorry! are you alright?”
“The distress signal is coming from that ship ahead” Hera steered the Ghost forward, slowing on their approach to the derelict transport ship. “I’m looking at reports and it says here that the Scholar Ling was supposed to arrive on Alderaan two weeks ago.
“Well, that’s usually a good sign!” Ezra exclaimed with false cheer. Hera smirked.
“I’m glad you think so, ‘cause you’re the one investigating.” Ezra’s face dropped. He opened his mouth to protest, but a single look from Hera silenced him. Kanan took pity on him.
“The door is sealed, the only way in is through the vents, and the only one of us small enough to traverse vents is you.” Ezra supposed it made sense. Kanan slapped him on the back, masking his own apprehension about sending Ezra to roam the wayward ship alone.
“Our scanners show no life forms aboard, and we’ll be within comm range the entire time. You’ll be fine.” Hera said reasuringly.
Kanan had a bad feeling about this.
Ten minutes later, Ezra was aboard the Scholar Ling.
“Do you see anything?” Kanan asked through the comm.
“Everything’s quiet, I don’t sense anyone around.” Ezra’s voice returned. There was the sound of a door opening, and then:
“Ezra? What’s wrong?”
“B-Blood, lots of blood. And bodies. It’s-there’s-Force there’s so much!” Ezra’s voice was muffled, he was probably covering his nose. “Kanan, there are innards stuck to the wall, like-like someone threw them! I think I’m gonna be-oh Force one touched me!” Kanan clenched his fists, the situation had just gotten worse.
“Ezra, maybe you should come back.” Sabine said uncertainly. “Whatever did that could still be there.”
“No, these bodies are old and decaying.” Ezra breathed, recovering from the shock. “They’ve been here for weeks. And besides, I’m curious now.” That kid really worried him sometimes.
For a while, there was quiet. The crew anxiously listening for any sign of change. Then, Ezra’s voice crackled over the comm, he sounded distressed.
“Kanan, something is wrong here. Something is very wrong.”
“What is it?”
“I just heard my dad’s voice.” Kanan’s blood ran cold. Ezra’s voice was shaking and Kanan didn’t blame him one bit.
“What do you mean your dad?” Zeb demanded “Your dad is-”
“Dead, I know. But I swear to you I just heard him. He whispered something to me, I couldn’t hear what he said but it was definitely his voice. Something isn’t right.” Kanan agreed, he was beginning to feel a sort of buzzing in the back of his mind. He knew it was coming from Ezra and it worried him, he’d never felt anything like it.
The comm sprang to life again.
“What? Kanan? Hello, Kanan? What does that even mean? Hello?” Kanan scrambled to answer.
“Ezra? What happened?”
“What did you mean just now? You just appeared on the cockpits view screens for a second, how’d you do that?” Kanan felt unease rise up in him. “You said ‘Better safe than sorry’. What does that mean?” Kanan’s unease was increasing with every moment.
“Ezra I didn’t say anything.”
“But I heard you! You were on the view screens!”
“Ezra I swear to you I didn’t say anything.” Kanan insisted. Ezra sounded lost.
“I-I heard you…” He trailed off. Kanan was about ready to order Ezra to come back, something clearly wasn’t right about this. The buzzing in the Force bond was getting louder, Kanan found himself gritting his teeth. Five more minutes passed, and suddenly Ezra’s voice burst over the comm again, he was yelling.
“Kanan, are you hearing this? Kanan? Kanan!” Kanan tried to answer, but Ezra was shouting too loud to hear. “What the-? Stop it! Stop it!” Ezra screamed, and then there was quiet.
“Ezra! Blast it, what’s happening!?”
“It’s…there was…the walls…nothing.” Ezra replied shakily, “It was nothing. Don’t worry about it.” Kanan was worrying about it. So was everyone else if their expressions were anything to go by.
Ten minutes passed, Ezra started humming. It was a slow, unfamiliar melody that none of them had ever heard before.
“Ezra?” Sabine asked tentatively.
“What song is that?”
“…I don’t know. It just sorta came to me.” Sabine looked disturbed. Kanan’s eyebrow twitched, the desire to storm that ship and retrieve his Padawan himself nearly overtaking him.
“I found something!” Ezra exclaimed, interrupting his thoughts. There was a moment of silence as Ezra examined what he had found. After a beat, Ezra’s voice came again, sounding incredibly disturbed.
“I think I’m starting to understand what’s happening here.” he said, his tone implying he wished he didn’t. Everyone perked up, listening intently.
“I just found a holovid from one of the passengers. Here, I’ll transmit it to you.” The holo appeared on their table. An exhausted-looking woman in overalls who seemed to avoid looking into the recorder. She spoke, her voice hoarse and defeated.
“My name is Delilah Herem. I was…am a mechanic on the Scholar Ling. I may be the only one left. The ship isn’t safe, if you come across it you must destroy it immediately! The crew has lost their minds, most of them are already dead. We picked up an artifact on Anaxes a few days ago. We figured we’d take it back to Alderaan, for study.” The woman paused, taking a deep breath. “But we had no idea of it’s nature. The artifact emits some kind of signal, it causes a form of madness. Within hours, the people on board started seeing things, hearing things. Then they started getting violent, they weren’t in their right minds. They would whisper and scream and attack each other or themselves. Good people I had been joking with only days before.” Delilah looked sick.
“I saw Aaron…ripping his own stomach open, pulling out his…” Delilah’s voice had begun to shake. “He was screaming…crying…but he kept screaming 'Better safe than sorry’, they all said that.” Delilah looked up, bloodshot eyes seemed to stare directly at Kanan “Please, I’m not going to survive. I can feel it in my head. it wants my blood, my bone, and my flesh. I can hear mother singing to me, just like she did when she was alive! It won’t stop, won’t stop!” She gripped her head, seeming to blink away a fog. “Destroy the Scholar Ling. Destroy the artifact.” Delilah picked up a previously unseen blaster, shaking hands placing it under her chin. “Maria, if you’re hearing this, I’m so sorry, my darling. I love you so much!” Hera turned away as Delilah pulled the trigger, Kanan did not. The holovid ended, and silence permeated the room/ Ezra was the one to break it, his voice subdued.
“Am I losing my mind? Like the ship’s passengers did? Is that why I’ve been seeing things?” Kanan was quick to assure him that no, he wouldn’t lose his mind. Kanan wouldn’t allow it. He turned to Hera, worry making his voice sharper than he intended,
“I want him off that ship and back here with us!” Hera recovered herself, looking to Kanan with worries eyes.
“We can’t, Kanan.” She said regretfully, “The vents were the only way in. I sent Chopper to start cutting through the door a while ago but it’s going to take time.” Kanan gritted his teeth.
“How much time? Ezra’s already seeing things! We can’t afford to wait!”
“You think I don’t want him safe as well?” Hera snapped, “We all do, Kanan. But panic and irrationality won’t help matters. We have to-” Ezra’s voice interrupted.
“Kanan, where are you?” Kanan and Hera exchanged confused glances, he replied.
“I’m on the Ghost with everyone else, why?”
“I just saw you at the end of the hallway” Ezra said, causing everyone to snap to attention. “You smiled at me, you waved. I got scared, Kanan. I turned and went the other way and when I looked behind me you were gone. It was so real, the only reason I doubted it was you is because I know you’re on the Gho-” A sharp intake of breath, and then:
“Get away from me! Leave me alone!” There was scuffling, the sounds of an activated lightsaber, a loud crackling noise, and then it was quiet on Ezra’s end. Kanan, worried beyond belief, shouted into the comm.
“Ezra! Ezra, can you hear me? Ezra!”
“Kanan, come in. Kanan? Kanan? Hera? Sabine? Anyone, hello?”
“Ezra! We’re here!”
“Karabast! Comm’s dead. Guess I’m on my own. Again.” Kanan yelled and tried to raise Ezra even though he knew it was pointless. They could hear Ezra, but he couldn’t hear them. He slammed his fist on the table, fighting back frustration as his Padawan continued to explore the cursed ship, believing himself to be alone.