Log:Jedi Order: The Bludgeonings of Chance
Called together in the common area on the Falcon, the Jedi are assembled to hear the reason for their visit to Tython. Ben leans against one of the many consoles, arms crossed over his chest. "The holoprojector was short on real clues. The transmission it received was scrambled, but the location tags were still intact. We were able to pull out two places it had been used. One was the Pit, and the other was here. Tython."
"Tython is one of the places that the Jedi Order might have began. Skywalker believed Ahch-to was the true place, but there's no real proof one way or the other. Just a feeling." He glances around at the Jedi, studying them for a moment. "This desert is where the projector was used before, but as you may have noticed if you've been outside, there's something strange here. No sound at all. Not just quiet. Not just still. Nothing at all. And there's something else. I can feel it. This is not a place to rest easy, and you won't be able to communicate with words. But we need to get in touch with this place. Even if there is nothing visible to find, we may be able to feel it."
An eyebrow lifts at Ben's explanation, '...won't be able to communicate with words.' seems like Rune's early days as a member of the Jedi was preparing him exactly for this. He hadn't been outside in the oppressive desert so he truly had no idea what was in store. "Why will we not be able to communicate? Is there something wrong with the air?" He asks. Though, again, he liked his odds of communication without speech, he was curious the reason why. The young Ysannan glances hesitantly toward the closed gankplank, gathering his robes about him, and aims his curiosity toward the unknown world beyond.
"If we need to get in touch with this place, maybe we should all meditate together before we step outside. Since we can't communicate out there." Chani stands near the entrance the winding corridor that leads around towards the boarding ramp of the old Corellian freighter, long hair left undone and hanging about her shoulders and face. The robe itself is barely open in the front, and its wide sleeves cover her hands to the point that only the upper half of her fingers are visible. Near her, a blue and white BB astromech sits on its rotund movement platform, conical head angled back as it observes the scene and the rest of the gathered Jedi. When Rune speaks, Chani glances over to him out of instinct, but her gaze rests back on Ben for an answer.
Ban Iskender hears out Ben's description with a small nod. Arms crossed, he regards Rune and Chani in turn, saying nothing but adding a second brief nod to the suggestion.
The serenity in Qutha's expression remains - facing towards where the sun will be and refilling a water jug at his belt in preparation. "Can't you hear the lack of anything, Rune?" the plant man having prepared himself some for this expedition - the very idea of this traipsing out into the blazing brightness possibly the best thing he could have thought to have happen to himself.
"Not being able to speak... total silence." corners of his mouth drawing higher. He looks to Chani next when she makes her suggestion, curiosity piqued and his head bobs to one side to consider the application for meditation, keeping his teeth together this time. One less chance to look foolish and naive.
Zandra listens to the conversation, and she nod to Chani, thoughtfully. "Probably not a bad idea, at least I do like the idea of meditating together first," she says. She looks to Rune and smiles, then over to Ben as he's the one filling them in. "What about radio communications of some sort? If not, it seems to me to be important we stay together and don't get separated."
Jax watches Ben quietly as he speaks of the Tython's history. Then Rune and Chani. "It sounds like we will get to practice our various telepathy skills. If not that then we shall have to practice either our writing or typing skills." Jax though considers, "If we can not speak, then how could the professor speak to us?"
Kasia is settled in one of the seats in the lounge area, bag resting in her lap with both hands placed atop it. She's dressed in her robes, those layered things that aren't dissimilar from her usual outfits, trousers and boots. "I've been here once before," she remarks, nose crinkling slightly at the memory. "It's unsettling. You can't hear anything, it doesn't matter how hard you try, or how loud you attempt to be." She glances at Chani at her suggestion, studying her a beat before her gaze goes back to Ben.
"If we are to meditate, best be about it," Aryn comments before finding a place to kneel down and prepare to do just that. It was the best suggestion she'd heard. Kasia mentions having been here before and her experiences, which leaves Aryn feeling nervous and uncertain of how they might proceed.
"We need to get out there. The connection will be stronger if you are on the ground. Feeling it." Ben pushes off of the console, straightening up and dropping his arms in the process, heading for the exit ramp. "You can center yourselves here if you like. The desert is... disorienting." Not to mention coarse, gritty, and everywhere.
Striding down the exit ramp, there is a gradual shift, the slow wade into deeper water until the silence closes overhead and all sound disappears. Not even ringing in the ears remains.
The sands spread out far towards a series of mesas in the distance, dropping off in places into deep canyons, but a long trek is not required to reach any items of interest. Gathered nearby, as if in a council circle, stand a ring of great statues, towering pillars the same color as the sand, faces covered by plain, slightly curved masks. Ben approaches them cautiously, his footsteps stirring the sand, and stares silently up at the central figure. There are nine, in total.
Rune shakes his head from side to side at Qutha. "No, we are on a ship. From my limited exposure, sounds do not penetrate that well from the exterior. Regardless, quiet outside the ship does not mean a complete absence of anything, it just means quiet." He lifts his shoulders in a shrug and follows Ben as he exits the Falcon, eyes narrowing as the veil of silence is slowly settled over his ears. It is certainly unnerving... but fortunately Rune is used to coping with unusual environments and simply forges ahead. He does keep his gaze on the move however, realizing that he used to rely on the sound of approaching predators to warn him. Here they don't have that luxury. Rune strides to the pillars, stepping in beside Ben to look up at the towering figures that sprout from the desert. Another eyebrow lifts and he looks to Ben with a shrug.
"But we can't talk about--," Chani's voice trails off as Ben Solo strides by, finding it fruitless to continue to speak to him when he's already turning through the hallway towards the boarding ramp. Her gaze flicks from one face to the next, catching the glances spared towards her. Aryn is the only one that vocally agrees to her suggestion despite some general nodding motions from others. She can't discern if they're in support or simply nodding to something voiced by someone else. Lips parting, Chani exhales through them and lets her eyes drift shut. Trying to center herself after being so casually brushed off by their erstwhile tour guide is an exercise in futility, and Chani surmises it's the prickling of annoyance that does it.
Eyes opening after the half-hearted attempt, Chani glances towards Sky. "Well, let's go." Out, then, robe hem sweeping around the soles of her boots with every step. The thunk against the metallic deckplating eventually turns into nothing at all when she descends to the desert itself. It's like a vacuum of noise, and all she feels is the pressure of her boots. The sensation is alien.
"That's what I meant. Normally... nevermind." the Zelosian shrugs and quiets himself, eyes slipping shut as he begins breathing - though his fingers move in a regular rhythm, as if he were poking holes for seeds and gently covering them. Repetitious actions used for centering.
The descent into the sun makes Qutha shift and stand taller as if his entire form was reaching for the sun, nastic responses, cellulose that makes up the majority of his muscle tissue expanding and even leaving him walking a little stiffly while his mouth opens into perhaps a sigh for the warmth and brightness.
The sand is no bother. The heat. By the Sun of Zelos II - it was so... BRIGHT! he does a small turn, arms out and looking skyward and his throat bobs as if he might have just guffawed. But there is no sound of course. It draws him up short, mouth opening again and his delight only grows despite the oddness.
Ban Iskender remains aboard the old freighter long enough to attempt his own meditation once Ben has moved on, but his efforts at a shared and centering calm are also.. imperfect. Several long, measured breaths drawn steadily in and out fail to quiet his thoughts, and the soldier steps out into the silent unknown with green eyes narrowing against the light.
Zandra blinks as Ben heads off, without waiting for them. It brings a quirk to her lips, and she stays behind with the others for that moment to center herself. Or to try. She manages - not a tall, still rather concerned about not being able to hear anything. Or how they're going to communica- Right. She gets to her feet, following the others, with a shrug and a gentle smile to whoever looks her way. She steps out, and looks around. And almost goes back into the ship. She continues down, her hands going to her ears several times as she steps down. The sand? Whatever. Though she does look down thoughtfully, a half step taken and then she carefully walks out there, her expression mostly serene as she tries to not show the disquiet she's feeling.
Jax moves quietly, how else could he move, with the others. THe sand whipping up on a silent wind blowing into his face. He reaches up to pull up his hood. His face showing concern as the experience is disconcerning. He makes his way to the group of sand worn statues with the other jedi. He reaches out to touch the central statue. His mind reaching out to touch the force. Then he grimaces and pulls back his hood shaking his head.
"If you have something to say, say it now," Kasia suggests with a faint smile suggesting a hint of humor that she uses to try and hide the uneasiness she feels about being back in this place. The bag that sits in her lap is shifted, the strap held up so she can duck her head through the loop and wear it so it sits across her body. Weapons are checked, blaster, saber, check, check, and then she rises. She glances around at the others and then turns to follow Ben off of the ship, pausing at the top of the ramp. A deep breath is drawn in and exhaled, and then she descends down to the sand, and the overwhelming silence.
Aryn is frustrated as well, but she does not stay to meditate. Some effort is required to rise back up, then after, she trails out from the Falcon and into the desert of quiet. For Aryn, it's the first time in a long time that her tinnitus has subsided. A pure, utter silence is so jarring and unexpected, that she comes to a slow halt just to enjoy it. Ben's movement draws her from this moment she's having, and she follows him to these nine grand statues that share the color of the sand.
It takes a moment for it all to come to focus, what with the bright sun light. She raises a hand to shield her eyes, and takes a moment to count the statues.. making it a point to use her hand to point at each one. When she turns in place, the wind pushes Aryn's cape to her frame, and the absence of its sound felt foreign and unnerving.
Aryn counted nine statues; there were nine Jedi. Their teachings often said there were no coincidences and Aryn wonders if each Jedi should find a statue to meditate at, or.. if she was somehow off track. Aryn reaches out to tap Ben's arm and holds up nine fingers and points to the statues. Then she re-emphasizes nine fingers again, then motions to the Jedi.
It was a little too uncanny! Right?
If the silence and the mysterious statues weren't already strange enough, each of the statues has a furrow leading through the sand from the distance, ending where the pillars stand, as if they have dragged themselves there, and left a path in their wake. Each of these paths is a straight line, though none appear to have come from the same direction. And yet, here they are, arrayed in a perfect semi-circle, the stone mask faces featureless other than round eyeholes that stare into the silent air, warm under the sun.
Ben watches while Jax touches the central statue, brow furrowing as the Jedi steps away, looking dejected. He glances down at Aryn's touch, eyes tracking her fingers and then over to the Jedi before returning to the statues and nodding affirmatively.
With Jax in the center, he steps to the right, focusing on the next figure in the line, and lowers himself to the sand. There is no thud as he settles down, no swish of sliding silica. Nothing. He gestures towards the row, pointing down, mouth moving as he speaks without thinking, though he's facing away and there are no audible noises made. Then he closes his eyes.
Rune glances from Aryn to Ben, her fingers gesturing from the nine of them to the nine statues making sense. With Jax at one, Ben having claimed another, he moves to the next in line and kneels down before it. Then young Ysanna reaches out to touch the statue, his eyes sliding shut as he concentrates on the figure, their surroundings, everything... drawing the Force to help him discover the secrets of this place. Instead of any insight, there is simply unease, being made all too aware of the lack of sound in this strange and alien environment. Still he kneels, looking at the base of the statue, around it at the 'walking trail', in the sand nearby, trying to determine exactly what they're placed here for.
The lack of sound makes everything else seem amplified. From the strands of her hair moving in the breeze to the heat of the sun cast down against her exposed skin, all other senses are heightened. Except sight. Squinting against the sun, Chani watches the other Jedi leave various tracks in the sand. Carved out divots provide traces of their paths from the ship, and Chani's no different. Sky's is nothing but a single tract of flattened, displaced particles. Lifting her right hand up and wiggling her wrist to get it out of the sleeve of her robe, Chani pushes her dark hair back and out of her face from the top center. The wind catches it and pins it against one side, allowing her vision to remain unobstructed by the tresses.
Aryn's fingers, Ben's sitting, and Jax's interaction all come together to paint a certain picture. Picking the farthest left statue in the semi-circle, Chani approaches it with shifting steps. The sand gives in different ways with each one, making her gait less smooth and more jagged. Her arms sweep out wider to compensate for balance. For a long few moments, Chani simply stares at the holes bored into the sand where eyes should be. Finally, she comes into her own sitting position, feet crossing and body lowering until she's seated on the heated ground. The layers of robe and other garments protect her skin from it being too hot, though it is uncomfortable. She allows her eyes to draw shut again, and with hands settling on her jutted out knees, Chani tries meditating once more.
His elation for so much sun had, Qutha's attention returns to the present and he again begins to focus on the present. Approaching the statues and staring up at them. Looking to the eye holes in the faceless masks. Putting his back to one and moving with a careful drag-toe to begin drawing a line between the outermosr of the semi-circle. Moving steadily from one to the other and repeating for each, making the line until he reaches the central point that one line meets the first.
Like a sunburst from which the ancient Jedi figures might spring from, with the intent of creating a small circle where they all meet. Staring at the statues and then in the direction away from the central most. Perhaps trying to find insight from the exercise?
Ban Iskender gradually observes the steps in the sand left by those who had excited the ship before him, and as his eyes adjust, follows them to the nine graven images. Peering curiously into the distance as he tracks the furrows in the desert to the limit of his sight. Choosing one of the left-most statues, he draws a mute breath and tries to open his mind to the presence of any others.
Really? Zan rubs her arms as she stands there, staring. As she spies what they three more senior folks are doing, she takes a breath. She waits, watching as the others start to drift to the statues that call to them. She gives Ben a glare that he can't see, since she's behind him, and then she closes her eyes, spins in a circle as she opens to the Force as much as she can, pointing, and when she comes to a stop, she's perhaps luckily pointing to a statue where there isn't another Jedi. That said, she moves to take her position. As she does so, her hands cover her ears again. Twice. She settles down into that classic meditation seat, cross legged, and stares at the statue.
Jax looks at Aryn and Ben as they try to communicate. He notices each one getting the idea and pairing off. He reaches out to the statue touching it again. Then feeling the force through out him. He steps back bowing to the statue. Then stepping back he produces a datapad. Then typing a small note. 'They moved themselves here to meet us.' Then hands it to Ben with a gesture to past on to the next person.
A handful of seconds are spend adjusting to the silence, head tipping back to feel the warmth on her face. When she asked for sand and sun, this isn't exactly what she had in mind, but it's better than some of the other places they've been. So far. Her head rights and she claps her hands together simply because she can't hear it, and then trudges ahead after the others. As she approaches she notes the gesture from Aryn, and the nod from Ben. Her gaze tracks after the latter of the two, eyes narrowing on him slightly before she turns to move to her own statue. There's a bit of fussing with the draped layers of her robes as she lowers to the ground, but eventually the fussing stops and she closes her eyes.
Finding a statue that is not occupied, Aryn kneels down in the sand and clasps her hands over her lap. A deep breath is taken inward then released slowly afterward. When her eyes close, Aryn is transported away from this exact place and moment and brought to a plane of where her perception regarding her surroundings were brilliantly clearer. Everything around her was incorporated in this bubble of perception, where items could be felt. From this perspective, Aryn centered herself and removed the aspects that clouded her mind. She was focused now, and had achieved a peaceful calm and harmony.
There's another tap on Ben's arm as Jax settles in next to him, and the datapad he's handed is received, glanced at, nodded at, and set aside, a look to Jax that looks vaguely grateful returned and a quick "_____ ___" offered. The idea to pass it on appears to have been lost in translation.
He closes his eyes again, focusing inward, gathering his thoughts and letting them dissolve into emotion. Fleeting expressions dart across his face as the feelings bubble up to the surface, and he moves his hands from his lap to the sand, pressing his fingertips silently down into its semi-solidity, rooting himself to this place. Connecting himself to it, and turning his feelings outward.
With all of the Jedi attuning themselves to the statues and whatever their purpose here might be, the atmosphere subtly changes. The sun loses some of its heat, and tiny grains of sand begin to levitate around Ben's hands.
Gradually, a deep blue aura spreads through the cracks and fissures in each of the stone pillars, creeping up the statues until finally pooling in the eyes of the masks, a faint blue glow. A word, a feeling, takes shape in each of the Jedi's minds, so clear in the absolute silence, so alien in its inner voice: "Beyond."
Chani's world revolves around a few things. Silence. Heat. The brushing of the wind as it caresses over her skin and the scratchiness of the fabric of her clothing. Her mind refuses to calm itself. It attempts to interject something into the lack of noise. It strains to hear.. anything. In this moment, she knows what it's truly like to be deaf. It's.. lonely. Chani pushes all this from her mind. She draws in a deep breath through her nose and then exhales hard through her parted lips. She knows there's supposed to be a noise because of it, but all she feels is the pressure of her breath leaving and the effort that puts in the malleable mucous membranes that make up the roof of the back of her mouth. She does so again, shoulders easing, spine straightening.
Chani let's go of the material world and instead surrenders to the awe of the Force. Her bubble of perception extends, and she becomes more than just her own limited senses. She is everything at once. The Jedi around her become vivid presences. Something else does, too. Something.. else. Like a long distant memory that she knows is there, but can't quite recall. Unbidden into her mind, the word 'Beyond' projects itself. Were she not meditating, she might have jumped in surprise. As it stands, Chani merely lets it wash over her. She mains reflective. She remains an observer. And she waits for this statue and this voice to either show or explain to her what it is she should be hearing.
Ban Iskender had remained standing in front of his chosen statue with a palm planted on the alien stone, rather than sitting to meditate as the others have. Should he eventually open his eyes and look around, perhaps he will feel terribly embarassed. When that singular word coalesces in his mind, the young Iskender's solemnity is marred by a terse (and silent) exhale, brows knitting in a small frown.
Something is capturing his attention, keeping his mind wheeling in varied directions and when the sun goes cold, sand rises around Ben and voices speak in his mind following crawling lights, Qutha's only expression now is alarm. Looking from stone face to stone face. No insights come, only the threat of fear as he turns about. Waving his arms to try and catch Aryn's attention while he moves to stand before one of the statues.
She had emphasized the count of nine and the number of Jedi here. He looks to see if she catches his meaning in motion and if she might try to take up the action with him. Get the others moving with them.
Goose bumps. That's the first thing that come clear for Zandra. She settles in, and at first there's just sand trying to get wherever it's not supposed to. And no sound. No sound. She listens but can't hear anything, and it's quite distressing. Still, Zan reaches out for the Force, as she has been trained to do, second nature to her by now, and she slowly lets go the disturbance about the sand, the sound, and reaches that sense of peace that they all continue to strive for. Her breathing eases and she relaxes almost instantaneously as she reaches it, connecting with the place. Her eyes widen a bit, and finds some clarity here, as that alien inner voice can be heard mentally, with that one word "Beyond."
Jax moves to sit cross legged on the sand. He turns his head up to look at the statue and using the force stares into the faceless form where it's face should be. His mind reaching to 'hear' what the statue has to say. It was here for a reason. His eyes go wide. He goes to open his mouth and ask a question but no words come. He's leary for the moment.
Regular meditation is something that's comparatively new to Kasia's life, before joining with the Jedi her meditation was far more sporadic than it is now, but at least she's had some practice. Deep breath in, and exhale. Her eyes flutter closed and remain that way, though the hands that begin in her lap eventually shift to the ground beside her. At first the rest atop the sand, then press in slightly, the coarse granules shifting beneath the pressure. Deep breath in and out, the exhale catching for a beat as she hears that voice in her head. The only sound she can hear. It's overwhelming, but she isn't shaken from her meditative state.
As the group remain in their meditative postures, attempting to commune with the statues and learn whatever they can about the Beyond, what it is, who is trying to reach it, what might happen if they do, the atmosphere shifts again. The warmth of the sun is almost entirely absent now as a chill sets in, the sun almost seeming to be shaded, and the dim energy emanating from the cracks in the stone changes color, dropping along the spectrum into red.
Words do not follow, but thoughts and feelings are pushed forward nonetheless, the silence undisturbed and pervasive.
As he settles down to look at the statue, both eyebrows now raised in alarm and in question at what they are truly dealing with, the lights change and thoughts more sinister are forced into Rune's mind. He recoils from the figure, nearly falling back into the sand at what is shown to him, his eyes immediately lifting to stare at the glowing orbs of the imposing structure before him. He shakes his head from side to side, denying the vision that bore its way into his skull, the invasive thoughts and calamitous future that is given. Rune opens his mouth in a yell, standing to throw his arms out to either side, almost challenging the statue in the thought that was foretold. The young Ysannan's eyes are hard and his face is set in a grim and hopeless look while he faces down the reality of what was shown.
The heat beneath her remains, but the heat from above begins to dissipate. Chani is caught between the two differences, but the competing sensations are muted. The formlessness that is the abyss of her cleared mind begins to take shape. The beautiful architecture of Naboo comes into focus. It's Theed, Chani realizes. The palace in the distance and the wide parade street approaching its steps are distinctive. But this is not a peaceful Naboo. Citizens are gathered out in the streets. They're being herded. Families are ripped apart. Smoke rising over the tops of some of the buildings billows with the wind. A shadowed, hooded figure presides over the whole display, and Chani's thoughts turn to her childhood. She's seen Naboo like this.
And it was all that the hands of Kylo Ren. Can she not recognize the figure because she was too young to remember? Because her mind had blocked out what trauma it could? Or is this something new? Some new conquerer come to subjugate her people, as they have been twice in the past. 'Is this the past or the future?' She remembers the mention of visions in the texts from the Jedi library. Is this something prescient? She can't help the quickening pulse as her heart beats quicker, or the slight increase in the pace of her breathing. Horrors she'd supressed during her childhood feel suddenly very real again. She reminds herself it's a vision, but seeing her people hurt.. seeing anyone hurt is enough to unsettle her.
Ban Iskender's terse breath and mild frown of a moment before catches and deepens as the air cools, and the images sent to his mind darken. His mouth stirs with unheard words as green eyes open in a hard stare at the luminous stone mask. His hand is drawn back from the statue and set to the ornate hilt of the sword at his side. Drawn and lit in one motion, he cuts across the statue twice, backhand and forehand in a wide X before thrusting the green sword squarely into the center.
The Zelosian's eyes snap wide and his complexion pales to a point that he could be lost on a Hoth snowfield if he only closed his eyes. Despite chill in the air he is glistening with flop sweat. Mouth opening and he sinks down until he is resting on the balls of his feet, arms wrapping around bent legs while he stares out over the sands now bathed in crimson.
His lips are moving, steadily - no repetitions, no mantra or mnemonics. But he's speaking steadily and forcing himself to look upwards for the red sun until Ban's violent explosion. Rocking back and watching the swordsman carve his mark and thrust home with a clear expression of confusion threatening further fear welling up.
Lips move again, soundless.
Zan is in that Jedi Zen, as the statues communicate, however they are doing it, blue eyes of light and power staring into their souls. She feels the cooling air, the cold incoming, and the dread rising. It's around her, in her companions and in herself, as she too watches a vision. Past? Future? That's not clear but there is a vision of - that's her mother. She knows her mother, Muriel, though her father is someone she's never ever met. But Zan sees clearly, her mother kissing a man, a purple haired man, and the two working together. Her eyes raise as whips crack and slave scream, her mother - her - father? - her parents. HER PARENTS. The cause of the pain, suffering torture and murder. She sags down, her countenance dropping, and her eyes closing. A tear drop squeezes out one eye, and her breath catches. It's a sob made all the worse in that there is no sound heard. Her hands clench into fists, full of sand that drips through and out, but she keeps control, barely. her hands open, and her eyes open, as she stares at the statues, ignoring the moisture in her eyes, a determination showing on her face.
Without the angry hum of igniting of Ban's Saber ro the resulting crash of stone, Jax remains in an open state. The jedi lost in the sea of thoughts his own and those of another. The jedi knight remains like a statue himself, his expression unreadable.
In his mind he watches the fall of the Republic and the execution of his mother. The knight doesn't mouth or give credance to this message. It is lies or a futre they will stop.
Kasia's expression had relaxed, taken on a serene quality for a time. Unusual hearing issue aside, this was going pretty well. Until it wasn't. The color drains from her face, and she physically recoils back from it, as though that might help her to evade whatever dark fate is being used to torment her. Her mouth move to form words -- probably a curse by the sneering quality to her lips -- and then it presses into a line. Serenity is gone, but not so gone that she's attacking the statue yet.
The vision that invades Aryn's mind has prompted her to her feet in an instant. Her eyes are distant as she turns, an image of New Alderaan just before her then.. a moment later it is struck by some beam of light and its destruction takes her very breath away. She falls to her knees and sinks back with a haunted look. Tears have not formed for shock still persists, an uncertainty and disbelief that what she has witnessed has knocked her off center. Despite her willing herself to set aside this arcane vision, she succumbs to the despair and uncertainty and rakes her hands back through her bright blonde hair before adopting a slight rock back and forth.
In the silence, those who do not open their eyes may not even be aware of the turmoil their compatriots are enduring, but none of them are spared. Ben opens his eyes, but stares straight ahead at the statue in front of him, not looking to the right or the left. For all their meditating and their connection to the Force and each other, in the pervasive quiet, it is almost as though each of them is there alone.
When Ban destroys one of the statues, its light goes out as the chunks tumble into the sand, the masked face half-buried where it falls. The red glow persists in the others and grows brighter by a shade, a universal vision rising again; this time, again, there are no words, just a silent feeling, an impression of a dark, towering monolith on a grey cliff, looming over a river of flowing lava. The light shifts one final time, to a neutral white, and then slowly fades from the stone, leeching back into the sand as the energy that animated the stones dissipates. Sound does not return with it, though the warmth of the sun drives the chill in the air away.
Rune is left confused and unsatisfied as the last vision fades and the energy disperses into the sand. His hands unclench, the challenge given to the stone in a bid to wipe away the vision of the future left unchecked. The final thought of the towering structure leaving a chill on his skin. He doesn't know the place, nor does he understand the significance of the castle, but he does have a sinking feeling that what they were shown is where they must travel next.
He gathers himself, dusting the sand that gathered in the folds of his robes back into the wind, allowing the particles to rejoin the others. Slowly he turns to look at the others, shocked further more at the lightsaber clutched in Ban's hand and the destroyed statue that lay before him. An eyebrow raised and he fixes his attention on Ben, a nod back toward the Falcon before he turns to move that way.
The vision she sees of Naboo vanishes. Next she's on some desolate planet. The sky is an abyss almost in and of itself. Lava winds over the cracked, broken ground, with jagged, horrible spikes jutting up as massive spires towards the open air. They pale in comparison to the tower that stands on a cliff. It's an ominous thing. It's unnatural even among the alien landscape plaguing her mind. Then, nothing. It all vanishes. Chani loses any sense she's being spoken to anymore, and only then does she realize the the heat is bearing down on her again from above. Chani's eyes yank open and all the breath exhales out of her chest. They're still in the Silent Desert. She still can't hear anything. It's been that way the whole time, but it feels new again.
Sand shifts and her boots dig deep into it when all her weight is pressured on them to help her rise from her meditative position. She turns, glancing to the other Jedi. They're all in various states of meditating or standing. Some look distraught. She glances down to her side. Sky has been there the entire time. Just to make sure nothing has changed, Chani glances down to her fingers where her thumb meets the tip of her middle finger and she tries to create the percussive snap that comes from a combination of resistance and then the heel of her palm. Nothing. Not attempting to speak, Chani turns and begins moving back towards the Falcon, steps slightly wading in the sand. It tumbles from the back of her robe, which it coats copiously from her time spent sitting.
Ban Iskender lets out a long, slow breath as the sundered pieces of stone fall. With a fresh breath drawn in, as his eye is turned around to the others, he deactivated his sword, returning it to his side. Rune is regarded in return for a moment before the Alderaanian's eye passes over the others, starting with Chani and ending with Aryn. Retracing steps back toward the waiting Falcon, and the much anticipated departure from this desert of silence.
When the statue falls and the monolith rises before the fiery Qutha's mouth drops open for the idea of such Darkness. Whatever he had seen, whatever was fading and replaced by this new horror now for him to endure. There is a shake in him and for a moment his head falls to his knees. Shoulders bucking and the grip of his arms tightening around his leg as if to ball himself up against nightmares painted in his mind where he cannot look away even if he wanted to.
When the zelosian's head rises he stands with the movement, dashing his forearm across his eyes and giving a shaky step away from the statue. Something that had given a sense of wonder. On a planet with nothing but warm sunlight that still feels as if it were no warmer than ice over a spark-light. Shaky steps that pick up speed and he goes towards most familiar, daring rest a hand on Chani's shoulder.
Not to give or take comfort, or at least not entirely. But because her steps seem firmer, and needs something to anchor too, even with the Light returning.
Zandra stares as the blue turns to red, as it sinks into her brain. The vision etched in her brain but it fades into the middle of the lone tower that then shows up. Black and red, the colour scheme of the dark side? It certainly seems to be. Black on lava. She stares, the goose bumps returning so that she finally rubs her arms as the heat returns. There is a long near glare as the red fades to white and then the presence is gone. It brings a deep breath to Zan as she suddenly remembers there is no sound and gets to her feet. How did that even happen? Her gaze goes to all the others, lingering on that crumbled statue on the ground for just a moment. She counts, all the jedi, making sure they're all there, one by one. And that they all head back to the Falcon. Zan waits to make sure that they all go, and then she follows along, stopping again at the ramp to the Falcon to give a long glare back at the statues. Then she turns and goes up the ramp.
Jax remains quiet as he rises. The learning of the destruction of Ban's statue. If he says something he does say. He pulls his hood back up and moves slowly to the ramp of the Falcon. He stops turning to look back. Then stepping inside, he lets out a whistle not loud or sharp but loud enough to recognize that the sound has returned. He lets out a sigh, "I was afraid that would be come perminate." He continues when the others gather inside.
By the time the vision fades, Kasia has leaned forward so that she's hunched down, elbows on her thighs with her face resting in her hands. There aren't any signs of crying, but she seems far from happy or content. The warmth of the sun returns, and eventually the hands drop and she opens her eyes, looking up and around. The mess surprises her, she has no idea how that happened, but questions can't be asked now. Not easily anyway, so like the others she rises, pausing to brush sand from her clothing. Sand still clings, it always clings, but she does the best she can at sweeping away the mess, then turns to head back for the ship with the others.
Aryn becomes aware that the others return to the vessel by their shadows passing her by. She rises back up reluctantly, shaken to the core and uncertain. She closes the distance to Ban, and stays by his side even when they have returned to the safety of the ship's interior, and the familiar ringing in her ears returns. Aryn is solemn, haunted, and quiet, not wanting to utter a single word of what she witnessed and how it made her feel. The Jedi teachings implied she needed time to reflect, to meditate, and to find her focus. A trip back to New Alderaan to find her vigil at the foot of the icy mountains was in order.
Stepping back on board the Falcon is like coming up for air from the deep. Normal speaking seems booming and a whisper is easy to hear. Ben steps in after the others, letting out a deep breath as if he'd been holding it in the entire time they were on the surface. "I know that place. Was this a test? A warning? A trap? Past or future?" He frowns, his brow furrowing, settling into well-worn lines. "I need to talk things over with Rey. Be mindful of your thoughts. Not every voice speaks the truth."
As the Jedi's ships ascend, leaving the desert behind, any curious eyes will note that the statues are gone, leaving only a trail behind, and the broken pieces as well have vanished from sight.