Holes

“It tears holes in people in different ways.  Holes you can’t fill.  That’s not what you’re trying to do.  You’re not trying to fill it.  You’re trying to help them live with it.”

 

“Star, you need to grieve.”

“I have.”

Solaris shook her head, the earrings on her ears tinkling as the symbols on them making the soft noise, “You haven’t, Star, you really haven’t.”

Star says nothing; the black of her suit doesn’t sparkle the way it used to, the way it’s supposed to as a representation of the night sky.

“Star-“

The young-seeming woman turns and for the first time since Solaris has been crowned the Solar Monarch walks away without so much as a gesture to the woman she’s sworn to protect and obey until the day the Solar Monarch is laid to rest in the ground.

Solaris watches with sorrow-filled eyes as her oldest friend walks away from her.

“Oh, my dear friend, just because she is lost doesn’t mean that your sister won’t ever be found.”

Star doesn’t hear her, she’s too far away, lost in the grief that she won’t let herself feel.

What is Light Without Dark?

“The closer one gets to the light, the greater the shadow he casts.”

 

With Comet gone, things were…different. The two had been so good at working together partially because one would work in the light while the other worked in the shadows. As their names often pointed out, Star was better at working in the light, her abilities far flashier along with her name. Comet was quiet and subtle, only noticed when the consequences of her actions were inevitable.

Comet was a force that could not be swayed once her course was set in.

Star was an immovable object that would burn up whatever tried to make her move in the first place.

One was the light, bright and burning and always there; the other was the shadow, cold and dark and just passing through.

Now the shadow was gone, but the need for it was still there.

Star closed her eyes and felt the bond between her and her sister knotted and choked off. It was forever bleeding between them, though the leakage would only flow over on her side. (She hoped that was true, hoped and wished so very hard.)

She felt when the blood seeped over her half of their shared soul crystal enough to stain it red.

The Crimson Warrior opened her eyes once more.

There is work to be done.

Just Stop

I didn’t want to exist anymore, so I stopped existing.

 

Sometimes she just wanted everything to stop. To not be there at the back of her head so that she could finally not be that person anymore.

The person whose parents didn’t even know she existed until they were trying to kill her.

The person who had to all but rip her sister’s mind apart in order to fix it. Twice.

The person who would be trapped forever watching over a family that, while the main line would live long would eventually grow old and die.

Leaving her alone.

She just wanted it all to stop so that she didn’t have to look at the long and lonely years that stretched before her without end.

She wanted to stop existing.

But she couldn’t.

To do so would require all of the stars in the universe to stop shining, ending life as anyone knew it.

She couldn’t be selfish like that.

So she kept going.

No matter how much she was dead inside.


Why am I writing this depressing thing? Because it wanted to be written that way.

Not Soft Enough

Time has its way of softening things, but sometimes, even forever isn’t long enough. –from an unknown fanfic

 

Pain is something that she was intimately familiar with, she was born in pain, the sundering of two that had once been one and never been anything else had been almost enough to destroy the two halves that remained in the wake of the loss of the one. The fact that she had to go through with that same feeling once more, this time because she actually chose to do so, left her feeling things that were impossible to describe even to someone who had felt the same thing.

No one could have felt the same thing, though because they had never found another set that was even close to being like them.

Except they were no longer a set anymore. Just two people who were as adrift from one another as they were to others.

“Time will heal these wounds.” She was assured by many.

“Did it heal the death of your soulmate?” she asked one.

“That was different…”

“Only in that you were not strong enough to continue on in that life,” she held up a hand to forestall an offended outburst that was sure to come, “I do not mean that as a slight against you. You were much younger than I; you are still much younger than I as this is your second life, started only a thousand years before while this is still my first which started well over three thousand years before your second life even was a blip. Time will not heal this wound, it may try to scar over with roughened tissue, but that tissue will continually be ripped open once more. There is nothing to be done about it, I just have to live or at least survive.”

The Lunar Monarch smiled sadly, not offended in the least. She knew that she hadn’t been strong enough in her past life; it had been something that had worried her about this life. She had constantly been trying to check herself to make sure she had what it took to fulfill her duties to her people. She hadn’t been concerned with her people in her past life because she’d been stupid, young yes, but very stupid and self-centered as well without meaning to be. She just didn’t want the woman in front of her to break either, not like she had.

“That is still a type of healing, my friend, though it will never heal completely so long as you live and we both know that you will continue to live because you are far stronger than most of us. We have all broken and shattered and been scattered to the winds. It is why we are concerned for you. We don’t want to watch another so dear to us shatter…”

Star finally softened and leaned her head against the other blonde, “I know…it just hurts…so much.”

A tear slid down her cheek, but it was alone in its journey. That didn’t stop the Lunar Monarch from gathering the fragile woman against her chest and rocking her gently.

For Now

“You won’t forget her just because you let yourself heal.” –from a fanfiction

 

Star didn’t want to heal.

Everyone knew that and no one said anything about it. Most didn’t want to bother, still didn’t trust her or were too afraid to bring something like that up to one of the few chaos-souled that had never lost control of themselves in a way that was dangerous to those she had sworn to protect. Not even her sister had been able to keep that oath (though precious few would ever admit that to even themselves). Star had never lost control of her abilities or herself even when she’d felt the complete destruction of her sister-soul’s control and stability of mind.

That didn’t mean that Star wasn’t hurt, though, or that she was stable. She just wasn’t dangerous, a loose cannon, whatever people wanted to call it.

She hurt and she existed and she continued to protect and fight and do just about everything but go crazy and die or actually live.

Star was fine with that.

Others, not so much.

“I just think that spending time with Jack might help.”

“I am not going in for counseling with Jack.”

“I didn’t say that! Just, I don’t know, hang out?”

“No.”

“It’s not like he’s going to do anything.”

“Good, because there’s nothing to do.”

“Star…”

“Lane.”

Solaris huffed a small laugh, knowing without having to say anything that the only reason Star had used her Private Name was to tell her that Star was just fine with the way things were and to politely back off.

The Solar Monarch allowed it.

For now.

Nothing More

I am my purpose, nothing more, nothing less. –unknown

 

There wasn’t anything left for Comet, it seemed. She was cast out, banished, never to return again to the place of her creation, the land where her sister even now likely stood in a daze.

Star trembled as she pictured her beloved sister, lost and so very far away and likely trembling with uncertainty.

“It was needed.” Her purpose spoke softly and gently, though the cruelty in the truth of her words was unintentional, it could not be avoided.

Star didn’t move, not even to blink.

The truth was cruel only if you could not accept it.

“She will have a chance now.”

Star still said nothing.

What was done was done.

And now all she had, all she’d ever had it seemed, was her duty.

Solaris said nothing more. Words were meaningless to one who had said them in her initial arguments anyway. Star had spoken for her sister and known what would be the price to pay in order for this to happen, but knowing and experiencing are two very different things. Of this fact Solaris was certain; Star would likely never be able to fully live ever again, so long as she was separate from her sister Comet.

It’s just that…

Solaris did not glance at her old friend, but she did lean towards her and rest a shoulder against the smaller woman’s shoulder.

Star often had trouble dealing with the aftermath of her decisions when they ended up affecting those she cared about in ways that weren’t easily shifted. It was likely that none of them would ever see Comet ever again and that was about as permanent as you could get for their kind. Even death wasn’t as permanent for their kind as being alive and completely out of reach.

“I will adjust, Your Majesty.”

Solaris sighed in resignation, “There is no need for formality, my friend.”

Star said nothing for a long moment before a light shiver ran down her spine. Solaris only noticed it because of how she was still leaning up against the smaller woman.

“Solaris,” the blonde whispered, “Right now, it is all I have.”

‘But you don’t, you still have the rest of us.’ Solaris didn’t speak those words, didn’t even broadcast them mentally. It was still too soon.

She wondered how long it would continue to be too soon.

Surgery

I don’t want to survive, I want to live! –Captain of the Axiom, Wall-E

 

The process was painful.

Of course it was painful; they were all but severing a powerful bond that had existed for millions of years.

A divide where there had never been one before, not even when a similar injury had happened in the past. It was wrenching and it wasn’t clean cut nor was it jagged. It was all of these things and more besides. Painful beyond the human comprehension and an agony that would last for the rest of their lives.

But it was necessary in order for healing to happen.

Sometimes, in order for something to heal, you must first cut out that which is damaged and twisted before it can start to rot and take the whole with it.

The fact that at least one of them had to be conscious during the entirety of the procedure just made it all the more horrific for those directing the procedure. Though it was a blessing that it did not require both of them to be awake and so they placed Comet as far into her subconscious as they dared.

“I can do this for her. I can do this a thousand times.”

That was what Star had said when her Queen had expressed concern.

And she would.

Wouldn’t you do everything you could for your family? So that they could do more than just survive, but so that they could, in truth, live?

“If our positions were reversed, she would do this for me.” She had insisted when others had expressed doubt.

The Queen had silenced any further doubts once she realized that they doubted someone who was Chaos-souled the ability to care about anyone, let alone about family.

Star didn’t hold it against anyone. For one thing, she just didn’t have the energy nor the care to give what other people thought at the moment. For another, they had just finished a war that had the Enemy, most of whom were Chaos-souled, being as vicious and ruthless as possible. Including against their own kind.

(Especially against their own kind.)

But Star had been around a lot longer than those who would cast asperations on her for whatever reasoning or excuse they wanted at that time. (Things had really changed since the truth about their joined soul had been released.) She would likely continue on long after they were gone.

And really?

Nothing was more important that her sister and surviving through the pain of the soul-sundering ritual that they were trying in order to cut out the twisted and corrupted parts of Comet and Star’s metaphysical minds. If Star faltered, then it was likely that the operation would fail and Comet would be no better off than she had been before.

And Star couldn’t just sit back and do nothing, not when there was a chance that her sister would get better.

Because she would, if this ritual worked, then she would get better.

So Star gathered up all the love she had for her sister in her heart, in her soul, and set herself to outlast the pain and agony of the metaphysical surgery that would all but sever the connection between their minds and souls.

Be My Escape

I’m giving up, I’m giving up slowly

I’m blending in so you won’t even know me

Apart from this whole world that shares my fate.

The assassins struck with an intensity that wasn’t in the least bit surprising. They were only in the middle of a War that spread across the Galaxy and not even just the known portions. No, this was a galaxy-wide war that was devastating on all fronts even as the Enemy was being taken down. They took just as many of the other side’s people (soldiers and civilians) with them. They wouldn’t fall without some insurance that the other side regretted each and every death. They were malicious in their dying laughter, taking joy in knowing that each victory came at too high a price.

Their message was received loud and clear.

You may defeat us, but you will hate every moment of your victory just as you would your defeat.

So when the assassins came for the Royal Children, it wasn’t a surprise. Comet didn’t even blink as she went from playing with the children to keeping them behind a Barrier while she battled five assassins.

She dived and a sword of ice so hot it burned arched up from her palm, impaling the first assassin, the closest to her. It (for she did not take the time to decide upon whether it was male or female for any of those who were about to be neither and only dead) screeched as it fell, clawing at the weapon embedded within its abdomen and burning its hands in the process.

The second and fourth both attacked her from the sides, weapons dripping with poison stinging through her Battle Cloth Armor and drawing blood in strange little spurts. They regretted their actions as her blood burned them wherever it hit while they continued to hack away at her sides, distracting her from the third assassin who had tried sneaking up behind her while she was occupied with the others. The fifth was already hacking away with anything in its own repertoire at the Barrier that Comet placed around the children. It was mostly opaque so that the children would not see what was happening, though they know the basics of the fight either way.

She would not leave them blind to the danger, but would try to soften the blow of it by withholding the goriest of the details.

The fifth would still be standing even as Comet tried to bring down the second and the third. The fourth was down, but it wasn’t dead. She’d iced it over just enough so that it would live, but not be a problem.

This one last bullet you mention

Is my one last shot at redemption

Because I know to live you must give your life away.

She’d already signaled for aid and it would be there soon.

Soon enough for the children to be rescued without more than a horrible fright, but not soon enough for Comet.

She’d known that this would likely happen one day. It was a fact of life, one that she’d felt long before the children had even existed and only solidified when the War had continued to progress and she’d been separated from her sister.

“You are the best at defense, Comet,” her Queen, her Commander, had said. “I don’t doubt that you can be just as devastating with your attacks as your sister, but you have always been the best at an offensive defense while she excels at destruction.”

At that point in the conversation, the Queen had shot an amused look at Star, who’d managed to keep a straight face throughout the briefing on just why the greatest fighting duo was being split up as the War escalated when they’d always worked best when by each other’s side. (That kind of ability was born of having lived in one another’s mind throughout the majority of the world’s ages.) Star did not comment though lines appeared lightly around her eyes as she kept her face blank.

The Queen quickly returned her attention to her second oldest and dearest friend, “We’re sending out more of the Guard along with the Guardians than before and I want to ensure that the children are all kept safe, not just my own. I need someone who I don’t just trust, but know will be capable to take up the duties their leaving behind and guard the children being kept in the palace. You’re one of two that comes straight to my mind and I have the Illusion Master guarding the other group of children being left here.”

Comet had saluted at the same time as Star. They’d accepted that they would be separated during the War, but not like this. Surely they would have been separated, but still both out there fighting, not one of them left behind to defend those that could not do so themselves.

On a later thought, they’d both agreed that they should have seen this coming. Even without one another both sisters were a force to be reckoned with.

And a reckoning had come.

The assassins didn’t know what hit them when they decided to attack those under her care. She did know what hit her when she felt a familiar grip upon her mind.

They had brought a Mind Jewel.

I am a hostage

To my own humanity

Self-detained and forced to live in this mess of me.

It was the third assassin that had brought the Mind Jewel, an artifact that could ensnare the mind of a person no matter the species. It was possible to throw it off without damage should you either have a mind strong enough to do so or an emotional attachment to something, anything, just as strong as the Jewel. Will wasn’t always centered in the mind it was just as often centered in the heart.

But that was what it did to people.

Comet both was and was not a person, just as Star was both a person and yet not a person. It came with being created the way they had been and still sharing a Soul Crystal. To them a Mind Jewel was far more dangerous.

Their wills, both separate and combined, were stronger than a Mind Jewel whether they were using the part of their will that came from the mind or from the heart, but the Jewel would still cling and tear as it was dislodged from them.

Comet had experienced such a thing before and though it had taken near everything Star and Comet together combined with other Guardians and even their Queen, there were still scars in her mind.

Scars that the Jewel snagged and ripped right open. It wasn’t even that the scars themselves would never heal properly; it was the way it was done. They twisted in a completely different manner than the existing scars so that the old scar tissue in the mind would twist and turn around the new scar tissue in just such a way that made it all but impossible to safely remove.

And all I’m asking is for you to do

What you can with me

But I can’t ask you to give what you already gave.

The last time this had happened, Star had carefully removed a part of her own will, her own part of their joined Soul, and used it to patch up and encourage the regrowth of Comet’s will, her part of their joined Soul. They wouldn’t be able to do that this time. The last time it had been chancy and risked driving Star just as mad as Comet had been. Something that would have only continued to build upon the both of them as the problem compounded with interest. It was a once in a lifetime (their lifetime, not the regular person’s) fix that could never be used again.

It had taken them almost a century to find the last fix-it for Comet.

I’ve been locked inside that house

And while you hold the key

I’ve been dying to get out and it might be the death of me.

Comet screamed and scratched, lashing out at everything around her. It wouldn’t have been so bad except for the nine inch long claws of ice so solid it might as well have been made of bedrock attached to each of her fingers. The room was shredded, even the walls and it was only because of the material underneath the walls that kept the petite figure still in that room.

Solaris watched from another room, a screen set up to monitor Comet at all times running with little bits of information around the edges giving out the medical stats as well as the video in the middle. The audio had been muted already, no one able to handle the inhuman sounds coming from the red-head’s throat.

This week was a bad one. It wasn’t good days and bad days as it had been the first time Comet’s mind had been broken. The connection between Comet and Star back then had been younger, stronger, less patchwork and Star had been able to mostly balance out the insanity clawing away at her sister by simply being alive and in the same solar system. (Not that Star had left the solar system during those decades when her sister was broken. She hadn’t been needed beyond yet and so had been grateful to not leave her sister behind.) This time was different.

Star wasn’t even in the same spiral arm of the galaxy as Comet.

The parts where the two sisters still brushed up against each other in their joined Soul Crystal were scarred over and twisted, numbing the connection just enough to stop Comet from bleeding over, but also keeping Star from acting as a calm influence even when she was physically standing right next to her other half.

They were lucky if Comet had a good hour when her mind wasn’t trying to break through to the other side of her Soul. Her mind knew, somewhere, that what it needed was just on the other side of the scar tissue, but it couldn’t get to it. It couldn’t reach Star and even during the first time Comet’s mind had been broken that had never happened.

And even though there’s no way of knowing

Where to go, promise I’m going

Because I’ve gotta get out of here.

There was nothing that Star could do.

Others around her whispered that it would be a mercy to-

My sister isn’t some rabid beast that needs to be put down! She would rage in the quiet confines of her heart or to her Queen who, out of all of them, understood.

You couldn’t just kill a Guardian, even those who were the weakest of the Corp were much more resistant to damage and death than others. You couldn’t cleanse or destroy Comet or Star the same way you could other chaos-souled. It was the way they were created.

Stolen genetic material from some of the strongest and most powerful bloodlines on Earth mixed with the very essence of newly born stars and comets at their most basic level with that little bit of Chaos mixed in just right. (This was a horribly simplified way to explain how they were created, but it was what most people had to work with.)

Their Queen, once she had worked out one of the things that made Star and Comet, well, them had commented that, “You should both survive in some capacity so long as a star burns or comet soars through the cosmos.”

So allowing Comet to just, well, die, wasn’t possible. No matter how much of a danger she was to others.

What had once been one of the biggest strengths to the Guardians was now heavier than any milestone on any planet.

And I’m begging you

I’m begging you

I’m begging you to be my escape.


The song lyrics are from Be My Escape by RelientK.

Yes, I am a horrible, horrible person for doing this to someone, and not only once, but twice, apparently.

The Roar of the Wind

Sometimes she misses what the world was like before the Industrial Revolution. The wide open places that weren’t quite settled yet, the roar of the wind across the empty plains. The sounds of the animals as they wandered about their own habitats soothing in a way that the bustle of human beings could quite bring.

The fact that she hadn’t even known the word ‘habitat’ before the world began to fill with humanity is a good indicator of just how much time she spent around intellectuals.

Comet had spent quite a bit of time around intellectuals; she’d always had a thirst to know more about the humans that they superficially resembled than Star. Star had enjoyed looking at everything that had changed and grown without the aid of human hands.

She didn’t do it often, the best way to truly appreciate the passage of time was to let it happen without being watched she’d found. But when she did take decades out of their lives to travel just to look at the natural world around them, she loved the roar of the wind as it blew through and around everything that was laid before her the most.

Do All Things With Love

“This is insanity!”

“How can you support this?”

“I knew that we should never have trusted her!”

“What did we expect from a chaos-souled?”

The murmurs and tensions in the room continued to rise with each sentence, many repeating the sentiments that had already been stated again and again.

The Queen sat in silence, listening to her Court and her Advisors as the sound of their voices slowly gained momentum when they were not hushed immediately.

The figure in front of the dais stood straight though stiffly. One could almost see the ice forming along the figure’s outline, though much of it seemed to melt in the heat of the room. The figure hadn’t expected anyone to really understand; to them what she was requesting was cruelty in one of its worse forms.

Her eyes did not waver.

Her lips did not tremble.

The ice on her clothing and the stiffness of her shoulders did not in any lower the determination that thrummed throughout her entire being.

It was this that convinced the Queen that her old friend was doing this for the right reasons. That the figure in front of the dais had not fallen as many others who were chaos-souled had.

She was doing this not only for love but because the only other choice was no choice at all.