As soon as there was a free stall, I let myself in and locked the door. I leaned against the wall and exhaled slowly. It wasn't quite a sigh of relief. Relief implied you felt better. I wouldn't feel better until I got home. No, I just felt less uneasy.
It took maybe five minutes before the noise of others in the washroom stopped. A peek below the partitions showed that there was nobody else in the other stalls. I sat on the lid of the toilet and got my brown bag lunch to begin eating.
Peanut butter and jelly wasn't the high point of my day, it was the peaceful sound of nothing that I enjoyed more than anything. The lack of having to keep my guard up or suffer the indignity of having to put up with things I lacked the ability to change.
The peace was a lie; I knew this.
All it takes is a quick moment in time to disturb this proverbial eye of the storm.
"I'm curious," the voice in my head said.
All chewing motion stopped before I sighed. She was back again.
"The power within you roils, yearning to be unleashed, yet you do nothing to bring it forth."
After swallowing I answered. "It's not that simple."
The empty air between the toilet and the door of the stall shimmered a brief moment until a middle-aged woman appeared. I should say the shade of a woman. Everything was tinged in red and black: the billowing robe she wore, with the hood drawn where I could barely see the frown that adorned her face, the heavy knee boots that appeared well used, and even the long metal item that hung from her waist.
"Simple has very rarely been used as an adjective to describe those that possess the ability to make their enemies grovel at their feet."
"I don't want people to grovel," I explained. "I just want them to stop bothering me."
She tilted her head back a little so that I could see her eyes and their disappointment in me. "Yet here you sit… eating your midday meal in a fresher of all places. This is beneath you, Taylor."
I dropped the uneaten portion of my sandwich in the bag and grit my teeth. Even here I couldn't escape my tormentors – even if this one person was right. So I sat there in silence and let her get out whatever speech she had planned.
"You bemoan the fact that you don't have the powers of the so-called heroes you admire, when you have access to something an order of magnitude better. Still you do nothing."
With a shake of my head I set the bag aside in my backpack. "I'm not letting myself be possessed. What can't you understand about this? As shitty as it is, it's my life. I won't be possessed by something and lose what little control over it that I have."
Looking back up at her I watched as she tilted her head to the side. "Perhaps I did not explain myself well last evening, child. In this form you see, I am virtually powerless, unable to interact with the mortal world beyond this specific ability you witness."
I frowned as she continued.
"As my master died he gave his memories to me along with the essence of his power. Now is the time for me to do the same. I will not control your actions, but I will still be here, in your mind, to offer council, to teach you the ways of my people, until the time comes for you to pass on your knowledge and power to the next generation."
That wasn't exactly clear at all. "What does that mean? There are two of you?"
She returned something of an ill-defined nod. "In a way; his knowledge, experience, and power are mine to do with what I will."
"And you're in control. He doesn't… take you over?"
It was the first time I'd actually saw her smile. She was really quite beautiful.
"Not in the slightest."
A few moments passed as I rolled that over in my head.
"If you prefer," she said, "We could forgo the transfer. I could begin your training as I was taught. Step by excruciating step you would learn. Years would pass, decades would pass, and one day you would know all that I could bestow upon you. You would be the master… if you survived in the interim, that is."
"Decades," I whispered with distaste.
"Yes, it would take that long. Or, we could enact the essence transfer and you could possess all the abilities of a master in an instant."
That did sound nice; no learning curve needed. No stumbling over my own feet trying to figure out my powers, just run right out of the starting gate with everything.
"What," I asked, "what kind of powers are we talking about… exactly?"
She appeared pleased with the question. "Your imagination is but a starting point, Taylor. With the Force virtually all things are possible. You need only the knowledge to access its power and the rest is up to you. In my master's lifetime he defeated all his enemies, most of which possessed the same abilities as he did. You can control the world around you and beyond if you wish."
"I-I don't want to control people like that."
The woman shrugged. "It is a figure of speech, child. In terms you can understand, telekinesis is the base ability, affecting the items around you with the power of your mind. You could regulate your bodily functions so it would be impossible for you to be poisoned. You could heal wounds far faster than any average person. Lightning can fly from your fingertips. Some Force users have possessed the ability to fly, to leap great distances, move faster than can be seen, disappear from the senses of others, and move about unseen. It all comes down to what you want to do and if you have the will to make it happen."
I felt my eyes grow wider and wider as she listed off the abilities. That was way beyond most single heroes. If what she said was true then I could be the next Eidolon.
"And you'll be there to help me?"
She returned a single nod. "If you wish. I often sought out my master's opinion, but I also chose to forge my own way as well. He accepted this to further his legacy, the Rule of Two, just as I will accept being your guide."
That was something new. "What's the Rule of Two?"
"There will always be a master and an apprentice. During your lifetime, you must seek out someone to teach our ways, and when the time comes, give yourself to them as my master did for me and I do for you. This way our legacy always survives; each generation grows stronger and wiser, learning from the mistakes of the previous master."
I nodded along. That was actually pretty smart. I wasn't in the least bit egotistical thinking I had all the answers to all of life's questions. Having what amounted to two entire lifetimes worth of experience was tempting in itself, but the powers that went along with it was something that I couldn't really ignore.
"What do I have to do?"
The woman smiled contently. "Just relax and do not fight me as I perform the ritual. Oh, and Taylor, this will hurt."
In Dynasty of Evil Darth Bane performed the Essence Transfer ritual on Darth Zannah, and there was a little plothole left hanging about whether or not he was flung into the Void or just subsumed within her consciousness. I chose the latter for this snippet. In this, Zannah never tried the ritual with Darth Cognus, so when she was killed she escaped the Void and wound up on Earth Bet trying to find someone with the proper amount of power to possess. Yes, kiddies, Zannah was lying her ass off.
The very beginning was taken from Gestation 1.1 for context reasons.