There was darkness. Before, there had been fire, and pain, but now there was only darkness.
As Les Wyler sat alone in his room, wrapped in a protective coccoon of power and thinking himself safe to explore the dark emotions inside him, Jedi Master Ion Qel-Droma lay in a coma in Shay Memorial’s hospital. His daughter Crystal sat by his bed, as she had done almost since touching down in the old freighter with her partner, Xander Drake.
And as Les Wyler indulged himself in fear, hatred, and the myriad other emotions he had been taught to shun like all proper Jedi, something happened.
In the darkness, there was something. Something…darker. He knew he should fear it, but he did not. He had been the scion of Freedon Nadd, the apprentice of Exar Kun. This darker-than-darkness was nothing to him. And yet, it drew him to it. He reached for it, and touched it, and drew its power into himself…and it awoke something inside of him.
For an instant, the darker-than-darkness grew, and he could sense it almost smile in its malevolent glee, if it were capable of such an act. And then as must always happen, the darkness begat the light, for one cannot exist without the other. Within him, he felt the light begin and grow, and he felt it push back the darker-than-darkness.
But that too felt wrong to him. He was Light and he was Dark. He must be both, or he would be neither. With his left hand he reached for the Dark, curling his fingers into a fist and drawing it into him, letting it suffuse him with its strength. With his right hand, he cradled the glowing ember of the Light, inviting it into him to temper the awesome strength of the Dark as it tried to own him.
The power of being both filled him, strengthened him, and nourished him.
The monitors beeped once, twice, and a third time as Ion Qel-Droma opened his eyes. And once again, the old Jedi Master’s presence was felt by those closest and dearest to him.