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Alone in the Dark

By Quin Cooper

Scifi

Blurb

Ezra has been captured on a mission and is waiting for the crew of the Ghost to come back for him. But waiting for too long can cause doubts to rise to the surface

Alone in the Dark

They’ll come back for me.

How long has it been? If it’s taken them this long, they’re not coming back.

Ezra sat up in the darkness, feeling strangely happy to have the company of the whispers. Even if it was the Inquisitor messing with his head, he was willing to talk to anyone at this point. He hadn’t had contact with a single being since he had been thrown unceremoniously into his cell. The whispers were negative, mocking, and sometimes sinister, but he would take what he could get. It wasn’t like he had anything else to do.

I know they’ll come back. They’re my friends.

A snort echoed through his head. Right. Because you have such a great track record with friends.

Putting himself into a meditative position, Ezra shook his head in exasperation. Maybe he wasn’t so happy to have the whispers back after all. Shut up. What do you know about my friends?

I know enough to see that people don’t truly care about you and haven’t for a long time. Weren’t you convinced that your “friends” weren’t going to come back for you the first time you were captured for them?

That was different. He tried to brush off the sting of the words as the struck his hidden fears, but it was difficult to ignore. I didn’t know them then like I do now. They’ll come back for me.

There was a smugness in the voice as it realized it had hit a sore spot. You’re so sure of yourself. What if I told you your friends were on the other side of the galaxy on another mission, not even attempting to look for you?

Had they really finally left him behind for good? Maybe they had realized he wasn’t worth it, like so many other had before them. It wouldn’t be the first time... He shook his head in an attempt to clear away all the negative thoughts. Then I wouldn’t believe you. They wouldn’t just abandon me here. They’ll be here soon.

You’ve been saying that every day that you’ve been here. And how long has that been?

I... It doesn’t matter. Sooner or later, they’ll have to come back for me.

“Have to”? The bitter laughter echoed loudly in the silence. Why would they have to come back to get you? What exactly do you have to offer that makes their crew any better?

Lots of things! Nothing, if he was being truthful, but he wasn’t about to let the whisper win. Besides, Kanan’s training me to be a Jedi. He would never leave me behind.

But he did.

Well, he won’t leave me here forever! I’m his apprentice!

The Jedi aren’t exactly like what they used to be. What if he finds another force-sensitive brat on another planet and decides to train them instead? Then he really won’t need you anymore.

There really was no reason for them to come back. He was one kid, and he didn’t deserve any special treatment compared to anyone else. Kanan would never do that!

He might. If he really cares so much about you, then where is he?

He’s... He’s going to come back...

He’s not. Face it, he’s moved on. They never cared about you enough to come back for you in the first place.

...

It was probably a relief for them when you got captured. They wouldn’t have to deal with you getting in their way anymore. Finally free of an annoying pest.

... Maybe... But-

And I wasn’t lying when I said they were on the other side of the galaxy. They really are gone. They’re not coming back for you.

... They left me...

Of course they had left him. Why had he expected this to turn out any better than the rest of his life? Was he really that stupid? Anger began building up within him, blending with his fears and self-loathing. The seething mass of emotions twisted and grew, each individual part feeding off the others as he realized he truly was alone.

They’re gone.

Shut up.

They left you.

Shut up.

They never cared about you.

Shut up!

Did you think they loved you? That you had finally replaced the family you-

SHUT UP!

The anger turned to rage as he lashed out with the force. There was nothing to take the brunt of the blast in his tiny cell, so the cell itself took a beating from the shock wave. The walls cracked, the light above him exploded in a shower of sparks, and the door buckled and bent under the pressure of his pain. Several alarms began blaring to warn the Imperials of the damage, but he couldn’t hear them through his own mental anguish. Physically weakened from the blast, he lay curled on a ball on the floor, silently dealing with his emotional turmoil.

Stop it, please. Just leave me alone.

The voice laughed at his pitiful pleas, enjoying the suffering it had caused. Sorry, can’t do that.

You win. Please get out of my head.

Who do you think you’re talking to?

What? Did the Inquisitor really think he was that dumb? What are you talking about?

What makes you think there’s someone else in here with you? Did you not know you were talking to yourself?

No. He couldn’t be talking to himself. That would mean he actually believed all that from the start. You’re lying.

Why would I? What would I gain from lying to myself? But I guess you’re used to that since you’ve been doing it from the beginning.

I... You can’t be...

It still doesn’t change anything. Kanan left you. They all left you, and they’re never coming back. So we might as well take advantage of our current situation.

What do you mean?

You’re “master” ditched you, but there’s more than one way to learn about the force. And a way to get back at Kanan at the same time.

...How?

Well, the Inquisitor’s offer is still open. It would be a shame to let it go to waste.

Yes. It would be.

Ezra pushed himself back into a meditative position and listened to the sounds of chaos outside of his cell with a detached sense of satisfaction. He had caused this, and he knew he was capable of so much more. All he needed was patience.

You may have forgotten about me, Kanan, but I won’t forget about you. We will meet again.

And it won’t be a happy reunion.

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