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May 27, 2007 at 10:43 pm #138470StreenParticipantQuote:Vergere: “What I have done? Oh, no no no, this is about what you have done.”
Jacen: “I haven’t done anything!”
Vergere: “Exactly. Is that not the infant’s tactic? To wail, and wail, and wail, to wriggle its fingers and kick its heals…hoping an adult will notice and care for it?”
Jacen: “Is that why you keep coming here? To gloat? To humiliate a defeated enemy?”
Vergere: “Am I gloating? Are we enemies? Are you defeated?”
Jacen: “I don’t understand.”
Vergere: “That, at least, is very clear. I give you a gift, Jacen Solo. I free you from hope of rescue. Can you not see how I am trying to help you?”
Jacen: “Help? When we talk about the kind of things you’ve done to me, help isn’t the word we use.”
Vergere: No? Then perhaps you are correct: our difficulties may be linguistic. When I was very young, I came upon a shadowmoth at the end of its metamorphosis, still within its cocoon. I had already some touch with the Force; I could feel the shadowmoth’s pain, its panic, its claustrophobia, its hopelessly desperate struggle to free itself. It was as though this particular shadowmoth knew I was beside it, and screamed out to me for help. How could I refuse? So I gave it what you mean by help: I used a small utility cutter to slice the cocoon, to help the shadowmoth get out.”
Jacen: “You can’t help a shadowmoth by cutting its cocoon. It needs the effort; the struggle to break the cocoon forces ichor into its wing veins. If you cut the cocoon—
Vergere: “The shadowmoth will be crippled. I robbed that shadowmoth. I stole its destiny—because I helped it.”
Jacen: “That wasn’t helping. That’s not what help means either.”
Vergere: “No? I saw a creature in agony, crying out in terror, and I undertook to ease its pain, and assuage its fear. But tell me this, Jacen Solo: what should I have done that you would call help?”
Jacen: “I suppose the best help you could offer would be to keep the cocoon safe—and leave it alone to fight its own battle.”
Vergere: “And, perhaps, also to protect it from other well-intentioned folk—who might wish, in their ignorance, to ‘help’ it with their own utility cutters. And also perhaps, you might stop by from time to time, to let the struggling, desperate, suffering, creature know that it is not alone. That someone cares. That its pain is in service of it’s destiny.”
She has freed him from his own trap: the trap of childhood. The trap of waiting for someone else. Waiting for…others whom he could always count on to fly to his rescue.
He is not helpless. He is only alone.
It’s not the same thing.
–Excerpts from Traitor
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