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Gravity and Suffering

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Summary: No good deed goes untortured. After stopping a group of demons, Xander finds himself in a personal hell.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Wars > Xander-CenteredDrakeTepesFR181213,62612525,66412 Dec 0410 Jul 05No

11

Realizing the true depth of trouble he was in, Xander decided he had nothing to lose from trying to meditate. So when he returned to his room, he struck up a relaxing position and tried to calm down. It was difficult to really meditate. It was nearly impossible, Xander found, to reach any kind of meditative state while his body was wracked with pain and he was panicking on the inside.

With deep breaths Xander managed to calm himself down and review what he knew about his hosts. What was in the books he’d read. They weren’t demons but aliens. Aliens that were alien even by the extremes of his science fiction. They would have given the Shadows the heebies. They’d destroyed the habitable worlds in their home galaxy, were cast out of the Force, destroyed three-hundred trillion sentients in the Star Wars galaxy, nearly took over the galaxy. They were finally, more or less, defeated and the remaining Yuuzhan Vong fled or settled on Zonama Sekot.

Xander gave up the meditative pose and began to pace, trying not to dwell on just how much worse things could get. Like how the ooglith masquer made his forehead slope, or the scars that now marked his place with the Yuuzhan Vong. “Okay, I know who they are and I know where I am dimension-wise… What planet am I on?”

Reviewing what he could remember, he thought that all the Yuuzhan Vong bioweaponry and such had reverted to their wild forms when they got on Sekot, which probably ruled it out. “So you two,” Xander said looking at the snakes, no, the amphistaffs on his arms, “wouldn’t be hanging on me or turning into blades.” They’d be out in the wild. So that meant he was with the ones who didn’t go to Zonama Sekot. “And that means all bets are off… So why haven’t they killed me?”

He considered this while pacing. “Because I killed the demons and impressed Shooey… er… Shoon-mi. That doesn’t tell me where I am… Wait… The trees. Shit, the trees and the lightning.” Xander remembered the trees and the lightning from the books, something about it starting the seeds or something. “That’s Zonama Sekot, I remember that. I think.” So why was it letting him go through all of this?

He stopped suddenly. Maybe because he was outside of the Force? He mulled this thought over and resumed pacing. “So in my home dimension we don’t have the Force or midichlorians or any of that, so I’m just as invisible as the Yuuzhan Vong were, maybe more so. There goes any chance of me having some kick-ass Jedi powers. ‘These are not the droids you’re looking for.’ ‘You will get me a soda.’ ‘I’m Rick James, bitch!’ Okay, stop! Fantasize later and review now… Wait…

"You bit me," Xander said to the amphistaffs. “You both have bit me, like, repeatedly. But I’m alive.” Xander remembered from the books just how poisonous the amphistaffs were. He decided they must have given him some of the anti-venom for the bites, but he couldn’t remember that it lasted. Perhaps he had immunity do it. “Am I immune guys?” Xander asked the amphistaffs “Fine, don’t answer. But you two do respond to me, don’t you? More than the physical commands.” Xander knew the amphistaffs guarded his wallet in the last fight with Shoon-mi. There was nothing that he could remember about the amphistaffs bonding that well in the books. “Shit, wish I could remember more about the books.”

Xander stood still and focused a moment, imagining the amphistaffs uncoiling from his arms and going over to his bed. Still, he was surprised when they followed his commands. He tested repeatedly, calling them to him and sending them away. This small level of control helped to calm him, to know he wasn’t completely powerless. “Maybe it’s like Jacen, when the Yuuzhan Vong put that slave seed in him… He could feel the Yuuzhan Vong through it, maybe all the crap they’ve put in me let’s me do the same. Okay, I’m not panicking now, I’m still talking to myself but that’s okay I think. Yeah, it’s fine. Maybe not that I’m starting to answer myself, but I don’t think I should worry about that. Yeah, I agree.” Xander decided to try to meditate again and see if he could feel the Yuuzhan Vong around him. “And maybe I can stop talking to myself.”

Xander settled himself on the floor of his room and steadied his breathing. With his eyes closed he focused on trying to feel where the amphistaffs were in the room, without moving them to where he thought they’d be. It didn’t take long before he could feel where they were with little difficulty. He realized that would come in handy if Shoon-mi ever moved on to live weapons training.

The success with the amphistaffs, creatures he knew he already had a connection with, led Xander to try and feel other Yuuzhan Vong live around him. He focused first on the ooglith masquer he wore, feeling its presence. Its cool constant presence different than what he had expected. It had a soft thrum to it that felt like an extension of himself. He idly wondered if it became a part of him when it latched onto him through his pores. Then came the tizowyrm. It felt less like something separate but rather like a part of him. It was a little disturbing to think of and Xander moved on quickly.

The robe Xander would wear was next that he felt. There was no real feeling to it except a slight… for want of a better word, hunger. A need for sustenance. Xander made a mental note to wear the robe more. If he remembered it right from the books it would be a great exfoliant since it basically fed off dead skin, sweat and things Xander didn’t want to dwell on right then.

During Xander’s conversation with himself, he had forgotten the existence of the next thing he touched with his Vongsense, a word he stole directly from the books. The sunstone, no, the lambent crystal that hung around Xander’s neck flared with a thought from him. Xander tried to figure out why his first thoughts were that his amphistaffs were the bridge to the Vongsense when the lambent crystal made more sense. It’s what Anakin had used, after all. However, he kept coming back to the thought that it was the amphistaffs. Putting those thoughts away for the moment, Xander kept extending his senses.

He felt the walls of his room and could feel the Yuuzhan Vong moving outside. Xander began to wonder how he could use these feelings the next time he was sparring with Shoon-mi. Maybe he’d manage to win the next one. Smiling at the thought, Xander continued to try and stretch out his senses as more and more things came into focus. Things he hadn’t even thought of as being of the Yuuzhan Vong.

Xander had been stretching out with his feelings for several long, arduous hours when he felt something large and different. He didn’t know what it was, but it felt massive and powerful. It was a tentative probe, a mental image of basically a finger with an eye on it, to poke the presence. The thing didn’t seem to notice Xander, but he could feel the power of it and quickly brought back all of his senses. Focusing on himself, he tried his best to make his own presence small. Focusing wasn’t easy with the fear he was feeling, but in the end he managed to lock his feelings up. He couldn’t feel anything except Yuuzhan Vong creatures that had become bonded to him.

Xander wiped a load of sweat from his brow with an audible sigh, and decided he wouldn't attempt something like that again anytime soon. He didn't know what it was, and hoped that it wouldn't notice him. "Especially if I'm still talking to myself," he muttered. With a shake of his head Xander moved from the meditative position and threw himself on the bed, tired and shaky for a long nights sleep.

As Xander slept, Zonama Sekot searched for the presence it briefly felt. The planet knew it was important somehow and would now be on the look out for it.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Gravity and Suffering" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 10 Jul 05.

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