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Adenna Alluyen

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  1. The days grew worse with each passing step forward. Nights were no better as then you didn't have to focus on where to put each step or watch for threats ahead and could dwell on what was happening. The worst part was that, throughout it all, Adenna simply didn't have any sense that they were going towards something or any conclusion. It seemed that their team was simply on a never ending quest through hell. She tried to subtly encourage and boost the team's morale with the Force, but even that was difficult to do when she herself was so down. They were scouting out a place to spend yet another night when they heard the blaster shot ahead. That occurrence was not in and of itself a rarity on this planet, but Skyshatter leaped into action and charged towards the sound. Adenna bit back a small curse under her breath as she and the rest of the team followed. She hoped that there was a good reason, perhaps a nudge in the Force, that caused the Imperial Knight to charge recklessly into danger potentially exposing the presence of their team. When they arrived, they saw a teen aged woman clearly being accosted by a mixed group of thugs but fighting back. Skyshatter quickly dispatched the remaining thugs. Motioning for the team to secure the perimeter, Adenna turned her focus onto the girl Skyshatter had helped. There was definitely a strong sense of the Force from her, but it wasn't the raw natural power of someone so young. It was far more refined and honed, something she sensed from a fully trained wielder of the Force, and it was almost familiar at that. She remained silent, letting Skyshatter continue taking the point that he had already began.
  2. The devastation of Coruscant pierced Adenna to the core of her being, but she refused to allow herself to show or dwell upon those emotions. This was neither the time nor place to truly contemplate those things, and a Jedi needed to be centered and in control at all times. Perhaps it would make the men and women with her feel she was too cold, but they needed to keep focused on this mission until a more appropriate time to process everything presented itself. She could feel the constant misery and despair rising from the planet and wished that she could help in a more substantial way, but with the massive Sith fleet in orbit and Rebel resources stretched thin taking care of the mass of refugees from Coruscant and other planets affected by the Sith and Mandalorian invasions, they simply didn't have the ability. As cold as it was, the smaller number here had to suffer so that the greater number in the rest of the Galaxy might one day see freedom. If the Rebels and Jedi attempted to throw all of their resources here, it would irrevocably destroy their hope to face the Sith and one day liberate the thousands upon thousands of worlds under their brutal grasp. She hated that truth, but it was the direct result of the complacency of the Jedi Order and corruption of the Galactic Alliance. That had to change so that it wouldn't happen again. Knight Skyshatter's words reached her and she considered them. She did not sense anything yet, but that was because she was shielding her Force presence to an area no more than a couple dozen meters around her. If any Sith sensed her on this planet, it would certainly doom them all. There could be any number of stranded Jedi or even Imperial Knights left on this planet. If one was alive, it would be helpful to recover them for multiple reasons. The largest would be the fact that any Jedi who had been here through the invasion would hold far more intel than this one mission could provide, though there was no denying the benefit of rescuing another trained ally and the inherent boost to morale that may also provide. "You could be correct," she responded. "Do not open yourself up further at this point, but I see no reason why we couldn't begin our scouting in an eastward direction. If we come across one of our comrades, then the Force is truly with us. If we do not, then we will still be carrying out our mission." With the scouting team loading up their various and assorted surveillance gear and weapons, they began to carefully pick their way through the abandoned and damaged buildings towards the east. Nothing irreplaceable was left on the shuttle: all of the data it had collected had been transferred to small storage devices and distributed to all of the team so that if even one survived, it would not be lost. Every night, they would share whatever data had been collected that day among themselves. To help them survive, each of them carried two weeks of extremely compact dehydrated nutrient pouches that didn't taste very good, but if mixed with water would fill the stomach and keep the body in shape. The hope was to eventually return to their shuttle, but if they weren't able to make it and had to find another route out, their mission could still be completed. Only their pilot and two security/sentry droids remained in the shuttle, waiting for a mundane but very specific signal to attempt a recovery. Each of the scouting team had a beacon that could be used to summon the shuttle if the correct password and biometrics were input. Still, despite that, the pilot was given orders that if he didn't hear from the rest of the team in three weeks, he was to leave and attempt to escape. As the first few days passed with fairly slow progress, they began to fall into a rhythm. They tried to hide from any survivors which wasn't as hard as Adenna had feared it might be. These people were traumatized, constantly plagued by terror and threats. The sound of anyone coming was enough to make most hide. Even then it wasn't always possible to avoid everyone. Sometimes, people couldn't hide or, worse, didn't care if they were discovered and killed. Those were the worst because, as much as they wanted to help, the team simply couldn't. They couldn't take them along nor could they spare rations. Seeing the terrible condition of the planet, Adenna couldn't even bring herself to issue hollow, empty promises of salvation. For most, the only thing she could do was carefully use the Force to nudge their attention away and numb their anxiety. By the fourth day, even the hardest of the shock troopers and recon rangers in the team were clearly shaken. There was very little chatter among the team even when it was deemed reasonably safe to speak. Adenna spent many hours silence attempting to process and store what they were seeing and feeling while struggling not to let it split her heart asunder. In some ways, this was the hardest mission she had ever been on, yet she was glad she came firsthand instead of sending someone else. If she were to lead the Jedi Order and help the free people of the Galaxy remain free, she needed to see what would happen should they fail. There hadn't been too many rampant reports of Sith atrocities yet but there were plenty of stories of individual brutality, slavery, extremely harsh punishments for any violations of "order," and an overall sense of authoritarian control over more and more of everyone's lives. It may be true that this iteration of the Sith Empire wasn't as overtly cruel as those of the past, but it was far from optimal. Even Palpatine's Empire had planets and societal circles that thrived and enjoyed his rule, but beneath that crust of order, wealth, and structure was a foundation of massacres, torture, brutality, and suffering. This planet wasn't directly the result of the Sith Empire, but it well could be what happened to planets that resisted in the future. For now, it seemed to her that the Emperor Exodus was content to portray himself as an almost benevolent authoritarian only wanting to bring order to chaos. Such tactics were ingenious as many planets that might have resisted were mollified and elected to join. She wasn't so sure how long this phase would last if the Sith were in complete power and Exodus no longer needed to restrain himself. How many planets would be stripped of life to fuel some Sithling's lust for power? How many slaves would be needed to build his war machine or vain monuments to the Sith's glory? On the other side of the proverbial coin was a harsh lesson in what happened to even the "good guys" who grew complacent and allowed themselves to let their guard down. This was a failure of the Galactic Alliance an an isolated, insular Jedi Order that refused to fight evil directly. However this Rebel Alliance played out, Adenna was determined to do everything she could to ensure that it learned from the lessons of the past and kept its guard up while staying true to the concepts of freedom and liberty as well as the Light Side. Failure to do so would only lead to another Old Republic collapsing into the Galactic Empire or the Galactic Alliance giving way to the Sith Empire or Mandalorian Crusader brigands. No, with each passing hour on this ruined planet, she steeled her resolve to fight as long as needed while constantly guarding herself and the Order entrusted to her for corruption, complacency, and compromising morals.
  3. With a small flash, a small shuttle formerly in the service of Black Sun reverted from hyperspace over the former Galactic capital. The ship had been refitted extensively to better suit the needs of the strike force while maintaining a profile and signature matching what had been observed from other Black Sun shuttles that had been turned over or absorbed into the Sith Empire. Most of the modifications composed of an immense array of both active and passive sensors and recording devices: the team didn't want to miss any sort of intelligence data they could glean while here. They were using a freshly made and intercepted identity sent from loyalist agents within Kuat's shipyards where thousands of ships were being made. Even so, it was always nerve wracking in the first minutes of infiltration missions while the fourteen individuals inside waited to see if the enemy would pick up on their presence. Adenna deliberately kept her Force presence as minimized as possible to avoid detection by any Sith in the system. They were mostly relying on the vast numbers of ships coming and going from a rather impressive amount of Sith activity. Adenna and other Rebel strategists had been wondering what was occupying the Sith over the last few months after Dark Sun Station and as she gazed out the viewport, she suspected she had at least a partial answer. As the minutes passed by and they continued to approach the planet Adenna began to relax slightly. Though they had no idea what faced them on the surface, it would be particularly ignoble to be destroyed in orbit before they even touched land. Adenna's heart broke to see what happened to the once glistening city planet. She had spent a lot of time here and to see the utter destruction visited it and the cloud of enemy ships controlling its space and surface left her struggling to contain her righteous anger. These were actions done by evil beings, both the Sith Faust and the Mandalorian Crusaders. She wished that there had been something the Jedi Order could have done, but that was not possible. It was folly to look to the past, she could only look to the future and fight the enemy to do what was needed to prevent this from happening all over the Galaxy. They were eventually directed through various automated signals to a region that seemed to be on the edge of heavily devastated cityscape and slightly more stable ones. As they grew closer, they could see plenty of signs of recent combat or destruction, though they had no way to knowing how or when it occurred. They managed to find a fairly abandoned looking rooftop that seemed stable enough to land on. As they touched the surface, their pilot kept the repulsorlifts active and very slowly lowered their effectiveness until they were sure the roof wouldn't collapse on them. Once that was done, it was time to depart. "Remember," she said as the ramp lowered, "we are here primarily to observe and record. Unless needed, we will not expose ourselves even if there are innocents under attack by the Sith. As much as we may want to interfere to safe a few dozen from death, doing so would likely bring a vastly increased Sith focus on the area which would probably result in even more deaths. We must be wise, use restraint, and gather the information that will help us when we eventually return to liberate the planet once and for all."
  4. When her alarm went off, Adenna reluctantly waved her hand over its sensor to silence it. Though it was only 0500 local time, it was time to get ready for her mission to Coruscant. She waited a few minutes, mentally preparing herself for what lay ahead. She missed Tobias: it simply wasn't the same waking up to an empty bed. Though she still stood by her decision to send him into semi-exile for the sake of the Order, it still hurt her personally. She arrived at the hangar at 0552 ready to launch. She saw Knight Skyshatter there waiting, as well as a dozen hardened veteran Shocktroopers specializing in infiltration and small unit tactics. They boarded the captured shuttle and, once everyone was secure, left Nar Shaddaa's surface, then atmosphere. They passed by the growing fleet of Rebel and Jedi ships until they approached the Republic class Star Destroyer Justice's Mandate and docked with it. Even before they exited the shuttle, the capital ship began orienting itself for the jump to hyperspace.
  5. Adenna was pleased to hear this. "Yes, I do intend on taking the fight to the Sith. I refuse to bow to their evil nor allow it to go unanswered. I don't expect your undying loyalty, only that we fight together against our enemy." She stood and said, "We will be departing tomorrow at 0600 from hangar C24. We will take the Justice's Mandate most of the way there, then the captured and reprogrammed shuttle to Coruscant itself. I look forward to working with you on this mission and pray the Force is with us all."
  6. Adenna was glad that the Imperial Knight had arrived so promptly. She definitely appreciated the military precision sense of urgency that the Imperials and the Imperial Knights exhibited from her time fighting with Thalassia's anti-slavery military units. The contrast between his crimson armor and her own blue robes was also striking to her, but it wasn't the outward appearance that mattered, it was the inside and motivations of the individual swathed in that attire. "Just Master Alluyen," she said, though she despised the title itself. To her, "master" was a hearkening back to the days of her childhood surrounded by the presence and threat of slavery. Still, the rest of the Galaxy and especially the Jedi Order didn't have those same connotations to the title. As much as she hated it, she realized that it was necessary to bear the title if not out of a desire for respect to herself, but for respect of the position and Jedi Order itself. Titles and ranks were important to keeping order and the chain of command, so she bore it. She gestured for the Knight to sit. "I am glad you have come and realize you may not be exactly thrilled about being called from your comrades and working with a Jedi. I take no offense to it as I myself still have lingering reservations at times when I work with Imperials. Full transparency: I fought the Empire and still bear a scar from being shot by Stormtroopers. Despite that, I realize that there is a far bigger threat and compared to our duty to oppose the Sith, whatever comparatively insignificant differences I may have with Imperials or the Galactic Alliance or even fellow Jedi need to be put aside." She pushed a few buttons on her desk's holoprojector causing a display of a broken and shattered planet surrounded by red icons representing ships. "This is Coruscant, once the capital of the Empire, then the New Republic, then the Empire again, and finally the Galactic Alliance. Right now, it is in utter ruins and is being occupied by a substantial Sith fleet. It doesn't take a genius to figure out they are wanting to claim it to gain further legitimacy as the 'proper' rulers of the Galaxy. We need to know what they are doing and, just as importantly, see the plight of the countless billions of innocents still trapped on the planet. "I intend on modifying and making use of some of the captured Black Sun shuttles we took over Dark Sun Station to land myself and a dozen troopers serving the Jedi Order on the planet so we can see firsthand what is going on there. I have talked and worked with some of your ranking officers in the Imperial Knights and with Rebel Command and you have been assigned to come with me as a sign of solidarity. "I do not suspect this will be an easy mission, but it is critical and it is important that I do this and with an Imperial Knight. I am tired of this pointless rift between our Orders and want to do everything possible to bring us back together. As the leader of the Jedi Order, I also need to be proactive in this war lest I become just another armchair general. I won't force you to come along this mission. If you wish, I will rescind my request and ask for another Imperial Knight to join me. However, if you do agree to come on this mission, I will be your commanding officer and expect my orders to be followed just as you would any other member of the Imperial Knights. Dissent among the ranks won't help anyone down in enemy territory."
  7. Adenna had been so busy working with the Rebel Alliance over the past few weeks that she began to feel guilty as though she was neglecting the Jedi Order. She had never been one to believe in tightly controlling others, but rather giving them a bit of freedom to go as the Force needed. Events in the Galaxy had come to a slight lull with both the Rebels and Sith focusing on consolidating their territory, but she had the sense that there was going to be a need to fight soon. For now, she was content on allowing the Jedi to focus on training and bonding with each other, but soon, all who were able would be called to war. With the Empress off negotiating with the Sith, Adenna was hesitant to launch a major offensive, but that did leave some other options. One thing she wanted to do was to pair off some of the newer, recently promoted Jedi Knights with more experienced fighters, and that included herself. There were several Jedi here on Nar Shaddaa who were waiting assignment and a sense of purpose and she needed to find them that. Plenty felt the call to serve and fight for the Light and it would be wrong to deny them that opportunity. One of the things she really wanted to focus on was working with the Imperial Knights. Despite passing their exorcism test, there was still a good deal of distrust between the Imperial Knights and the Jedi Order. She needed to find a way to bridge that gap through example and could think of no better opportunity than to work directly with one of their number. After a small bit of bouncing around between various members of both the old Imperial Remnant and the Imperial Knights themselves, she finally found someone with both the authority and the willingness to work with her. They eventually consented to send a Knight Skyshatter to work with her, though they were not exactly thrilled with the idea. Adenna realized there would need to be some diplomacy here, but felt she could handle it. It was far more important to fight the Sith than for her to take offense at any sleight from their allies. She sent an invitation for Knight Skyshatter to come up to her office so they could get a sense of each other.
  8. Adenna accepted the offered hand and rose to her feet. The Force levels in the room began to dispel and return to normal. Despite the relative shortness of the experience, she was drained. Even so, she was inwardly pleased at the results. Though she had been confident that she would pass the trials, there was a very small amount of her that was concerned that there was a lingering taint from Jidai Geki that might still need purging. She was relieved that it seemed her inner demons had been removed and all that she faced were the normal temptations experienced by everyone. She was also pleased at the openness of at least these men to working with the Jedi Order once more. Their cynicism was quite evident in her recent interactions with various members of the Imperial Knights in how they viewed the Jedi Order with disdain and skepticism. When they first left the Order, she had thought that it was only a bad thing as it divided able warriors who could oppose the Sith, but she understood it when faced with Jedi leadership that refused to fight against evil. That was not the case now and it would never be for as long as she was the Grandmaster. It was time to heal that rift and bring back all those who served the Light under one unified banner to oppose the Dark that the Sith championed. She nodded in acceptance of the Inquisitor's words. "It is my desire to bring the Imperial Knights back within the Jedi Order so that we may fight our common enemy as one unified force. Divided, we are both weaker and the Darkness is made stronger. This is something that I wish to remedy so that we, like the Galactic Alliance and Imperial Remnant, might become one once more. I understand and respect the unique nature of the oaths you take, so I would happily make accommodations to preserve the Knight's teachings and traditions. Speak to your leaders and relay what you have learned here, then tell them that I wish to meet with them to see if we can come to an agreement that would add the strength and discipline of the Imperial Knights to the history and resources of the Jedi Order." The Grandmaster bowed briefly to the Imperial Knights, collected her lightsaber, and exited the room with purpose in her steps. She couldn't control how the Imperial Knights took her message, but she had made the first move to bridge the gap and end the schism that exists between them. It had cost her dearly in the form of Tobias, but her personal sacrifices were necessary for the betterment of the Jedi Order and, on a wider scope, the Galaxy in general. She had lost her right hand, but her hopes were that it would gain her an army of battle hardened warriors ready to stand against the Darkness and do what was necessary. Perhaps, in time, even Tobias could be redeemed and rehabilitated to return to the fight once more, though she suspected he had his own plans to wage the war against the Sith.
  9. Adenna wasn't familiar with the methods in which the Imperial Knights were connecting to and amplifying the Force, but she had read that they could be done. It was a fascinating method, but one she would explore at a later point. For now, she needed to put her attention toward the proceedings at hand, not the mechanics behind them. “My Lady, are you a slave to your passions?” It was not a simple question, nor was it one that she would answer simply. "I am a slave to nobody and nothing," she said a tad bit coldly, even if it was rooted in reflex. She had been around enough slavery and fought enough of it to take a casual offense at the suggestion, even if she knew it was not intended as such. She did not miss the inference, though. She paused a moment and considered the actual question, "I do experience emotions like any living creature does, including passion." She sighed and relaxed her shoulders. "I have struggled against hatred, fear, and despair many times in my life, but in my time as a Jedi, I have learned to contain and control those and other emotions and prevent them from ruling me. The trite answer is to say that I surrender my emotions and passions to the will of the Force, but that is what young aspirants would say." As the pressure of the Force amplification began to increase, Adenna could feel it beginning to pulse in her inner ears. She spread her robes and sat down cross legged in the middle of the slightly glowing lines. Knowing the point of this exercise wasn't simply to interrogate with words, but to discover through the Force and self inflection, she sighed and delved into her own sense of the Force. She opened her mind, intentionally and deliberately not excluding any of the Inquisitor's encroachments into it, but also not inviting him in if he choose to remain separate. She had nothing to hide from him and knew that if she did, he would likely latch onto it and uncover it anyway. "I view the Force as a living thing, something that is natural and eternal. It predates sentience and will exist long after the last sentient creature perishes. As such, the Force itself does not have a light or a darkness any more than an untapped forest does. We, as complex and often self motivated creatures, do most definitely have a connection with the Light and Dark. When we reach into the Force for guidance or to mold it to our will and use it, we do so with an intent that is either pure and light, or selfish and dark. "It is us sentient creatures of flesh and blood that created the Darkness, and our own nature that constantly draws us to selfish and evil uses of the Force. Similarly, those who resist that call have embraced the Light by denying our selfish and corrupted wants and desires to instead serve others and embrace life and peace. I constantly face the temptation to give into my own passionate hatred for the evils of this Galaxy by unleashing all of the truly terrible powers that I was born able to connect to. It is always a desire to lash out at all of the evil we face in the Galaxy and it will forever be present in any who have a mind to think." She paused a moment, realizing the heat in her voice had risen slightly and retaining her calm center in the Force. The amplification was beginning to create an almost throbbing sensation in the back of her head, a sign that the Force was swirling more around her. "Even then, I cannot allow myself to fall into that trap and become what I fight. "You question my ties to Master Vos, and you are right to do so. I do love him and that love does guide me throughout my life, but I do not let that love or any other emotion control me. I do not shut myself off from emotions and feelings to cause them to fester, build, and explode in an unpredictable and uncontrollable eruption. Instead, I recognize them for the natural part of life that they are and allow them to work in conjunction with my mind and my sense of the will of the Force to direct my decisions. Some Jedi elect a path of pure serenity and abandonment of emotions as much as they can. That path is not for me because I recognize its inherent unnaturalness. For those whom it works for, I wish them the peace they seek, but it is not something all may achieve." There was more, much more. She had not always been able to control her emotions and passions. "I have teased the path of Darkness before," she admitted. "When I was younger, more foolish, and less experienced, I did use the Force and my righteous wrath to bring down unrelenting terror upon the slavers and other scum that had infected my home for decades." Images of bodies hewn and charred from lightsaber and blasters scattered on ships and in remote bases filled her head. She had led task forces that showed very little mercy upon the slavers they relentlessly hunted. It was a time when, filled with her own self righteousness, Adenna had believed that the intent justified all actions no matter how dark they actually were. She had always had a very strong will, one clad of the hardest steel and now honed to a razor edge that she turned against injustice. She had flirted with the line far more than once and willingly courted the Dark all the while cloaking herself in the appearance of the Light. She had emerged damaged and tainted, deluded that her actions had not touched her. She had continued this all the while battling the infecting taint that came from her psychic battle with Jidai Geki all those years ago. During her time on Thalassia and shortly after, the tendrils of the Darkness had rooted deep within her, claiming parts of her soul that would forever remain damaged. Blood, liters and liters of it, flowed behind her as she had carved her way across the Galaxy in pursuit of justice against the Darkness she herself was all but embracing. She never fully embraced the Darkness, but she toyed with it in the hope and delusion that she could use it against those who were even darker than she without being sucked in. "I was a terror and I loved it." Her voice was distant while violent and destructive images danced before her mind. Her physical eyes were shut to the world even as her inner soul opened to the horrors of her past. As the images grew more and more vivid, attaching scents and sounds to the sights, her voice grew more powerful and full of venom, more heated and wrapped up in the events themselves. "I crushed evil the same way they crushed the innocent. I turned their tactics of terror and aggression against them. I used their weapons, their ships, and their money to root them out and slaughter all who didn't immediately surrender themselves. We were even better than them because I could use the Force and they couldn't stop me. Sometimes, we didn't even give them a chance to surrender, but simply went in with weapons hot destroying everything that stood in our way. I knew that my Jedi teachers would be appalled at what I had become, but I was doing it for a good cause and didn't care. It was madness and I loved every moment, I became the very nightmare to those slavers that they had been to me as a child. I existed to bring justice and that justice knew no mercy or compassion, only vengeance. When it was done and I could find no more slavers to kill, I left and went to the rest of the Galaxy where I found a new foe, one even more worthy of being destroyed." As everything within her soul screamed for her to continue down this path, to accept that violent and death filled path of vengeance in the name of justice, she opened her blue eyes and the bloody scenes fizzled away into nothingness. She had faced those times and cast them aside before, deep within the caves of Ilum when she had recognized the Darkness within her and abandoned it along with the taint from Jidai Geki. "I was on the way to becoming something worse than even the Sith: a woman driven by a self deluded sense of righteousness to do extremely terrible things. At least the Sith are honest with themselves in that they embrace the Darkness, I wouldn't even have been able to be that honest. Instead, I realized what I had become and choose a different way to bring justice to the Galaxy." Scars of those times would never fully disappear and Adenna accepted that. She knew that she would never be fully able to set aside the lightsaber, that her purpose in this Galaxy was to be the sword against evil. Any who took on that mantle would forever be touched by that role, never to go back or rest idle while injustice existed and harmed others. There was no lessening of the steel clad will that drove her, but it was honed and directed to a different path. Her voice was steady at this point, unwavering and full of deliberate intent. "Righteousness is a virtue, but it can also be blinding, a tool of the Dark to fool those who would not otherwise trod its path. I recognize the need for passion in all people because it is what drives them to improve and simply live life. Without passion of some sort, life has no meaning or purpose and people give up. As users of the Force, we must constantly recognize those passions exist, but keep them guided and under control." She was definitely far from perfect, but she had cast off her own delusions and viewed both her self and actions in the brightness and honesty of the Light. She would fight the Darkness, but she would refuse to become the Darkness. War was a necessity, but the sacrifice of herself and her own peace for the sake of the innocents in the Galaxy was something she accepted. The Force, once pounding within her head, had become a single solid tone by which she could once again anchor and center herself. She returned to the room and reigned in her openness to the Force. When she spoke once more, her voice was cool: dispassionate to any who heard only with ears and weren't able to sense the vibrantly intense purpose within her soul. "I will lead the Jedi Order and all who wish to follow me in the fight against the evil of the Darkness. Some of those who follow me might fall to the deceptions that I myself was nearly lost to. When they do, I will give them the opportunity to return to the Light and re-purpose themselves, or I will do what must be done and prevent them from becoming what they set out to oppose by any means necessary. I will never know external peace myself because I am a warrior destined to constantly oppose evil. When the war is finished and some semblance of peace and justice is returned to the Galaxy, I will hand over the reigns of power to a new leader, one who can function in peace. I will then lead all of those Jedi who fought but were scarred by the struggle to a place where we can attempt to find our own serenity and there we shall stay until the Force calls us back to fight the Darkness once more." Having said her part, she bowed her head and remained there waiting to see if her Inquisitor had further questions for her.
  10. Despite weeks of various, often headache-inducing negotiations and work building up and organizing a rebellion against the Sith Empire, Adenna kept pushing on. It wasn't easy dealing with the plethora of needs that spawned from trying to merge scores of different groups of individuals each with diverging and sometimes conflicting needs and ambitions. It was exasperating to no end, but necessary. Had she known it would be so much paperwork and negotiation, she might have simply kept the Jedi out of everything. As appealing as it was to her during these weeks to dream about an aloof and cloistered Jedi Order above and outside of the common day to day politics and negotiations of building a coalition government, she knew that it was impossible to do that. The Jedi couldn't have a hand in making sure the Rebellion was formed with the right foundations if they didn't roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty with the day to day work. One of the lowest points she had was now staring her on her own desk. On top of an increasingly large pile of datacards containing thousands of reports sat a nondescript datacard containing the Imperial Knights' evaluation of the man she loved. She had dearly hoped that it wouldn't read what she feared it would, but deep down she knew it would not bring her comfort. As she read it, she knew that deep down, it was true. Tobias was a complicated man, but then, she had always accepted that. She knew he was no paragon of traditional Jedi values and ways, but the Jedi had needed someone like that. The Galaxy was a dark place, one that needed warriors and beings who would do what was necessary to defeat evil. She had always known that those who stood up and did just that would invariably be tainted and thus unable to ever return to normalcy. What she had hoped was that Tobias would be able to contain everything for a bit longer. He had always been on the edge but there had been signs that he would be able to stay on the right side of the line for some time longer. Even then, part of her felt that she needed a man who could stand behind her and do things that might not be exactly chivalrous but who would not question her or seek to condemn her. It struck her as almost startling at how quickly she had become the pragmatic one so soon after the mantle of leadership fell upon her shoulders. She had never seen eye to eye with those who placed more value in taking the "high road" at the expense of the innocent. There was something noble about taking a moral stand and dying upon that hill, but that wasn't going to help the Galaxy. Even as her instincts screamed to ignore the report and curse the Imperial Knights, she knew that she had to resist that urge or risk worse. One of the reasons why she had wanted to bring the Imperial Knights into things was because of her respect of their willingness to fight the Darkness while rejecting its touch. They might take things a quite a bit farther than she would personally want, but as long as those joining the Knights did so understanding what would be required of them, she would not oppose their methods. If they saw problems and issues within Tobias, then she needed to heed them. The Jedi had to be preserved, even if it meant sacrifice. The Jedi Order wasn't alone in this fight against evil: the fact that there were tens and hundreds of thousands flocking to the Jedi banner even when joining the Rebellion was still an option bespoke of this. She had heeded the objections of some of the Jedi and most of the Jedi's armed forces leadership and hadn't completely given up the armies that flocked to the Jedi's banner. Still, what she had insisted upon was adopting most of the standard discipline and practices of the old Republic and Galactic Alliance. There was a great deal of integration and oversight shared between the two command structures, even if the Jedi's armed forces operated separately and answered ultimately to the Jedi Order. How was she to lead them if she couldn't keep her own house clean? She could compromise in some areas, but there had to be core elements that she did not abandon or surrender. As much as it pained her, she knew that the report was right and that Tobias was in danger of being burned out and crossing back to the Darkness. Her decision to remove him from command had been correct, even if it pained her to her core. Tobias would still be of use, though: he would be among the first of the endangered Jedi that attempted to recover from the taint surrounding them. If they could be rehabilitated, perhaps there was hope for many of this generation of Jedi who would be facing the evil of war. It took a tiny bit of doing and searching, but she eventually found the author of the report and went to him in person without any of her attendants or aides. She waited until it appeared that the man was not overly pressed with duties and approached him. With a quick bow of her head, she addressed him, "Inquisitor Alekseyev, I appreciate the candor and honesty of your report on Master Vos. He has already been removed from command and relieved of his duties for several weeks, but I will not be reinstating him for the foreseeable future. Rather, I will be sending him and a small number of other Jedi who have fallen to similar struggles as result of this war to a retreat where they will be ministered to and monitored by respected Jedi. They will all attempt to heal and bring peace to the troubled while returning them to the Light. They may never recover, but at least they will not be putting others at risk. Through their trials, perhaps a good method of redemption will be discovered that will help the many more who will falter." She gently pushed aside her robe and detached her lacquered wood handled lightsaber from it. After contemplating it briefly, she carried it with the Force until it was hovering in front of the Inquisitor, waiting for him to take it. "It would be wrong to expect those who serve under me to adhere to standards and a measurement that I myself cannot adhere to. The Jedi Order must remain true to the Light and keep hold of its core values and principles just as it must be led by example. I wish to submit myself to the same trials that Master Vos underwent. If I, too, am tainted, then it is best that I know so that I can better guide the Jedi Order or turn it over to one who can. Will you accept this duty, or should I find another?"
  11. Additional Images: http://fractalsponge.net/?p=2170 All image credits to Fractal Sponge. Type: Capital Ship Class: Star Cruiser Length: 1560m Crew: 7900 Armament: 54 turbolaser batteries (16 port, 16 starboard, 8 aft, 14 fore) 12 long range turbolaser batteries (2 port, 2 starboard, 8 fore) 42 ion cannon batteries (10 port, 10 starboard, 6 aft, 16 fore) 10 light quad laser batteries for anti-starfighter/point defense (2 port, 2 starboard, 2 aft, 2 fore, 2 ventral protecting the hangar) 8 heavy proton torpedo tubes (2 port, 2 starboard, 4 fore) 6 concussion missile batteries (2 port, 2 starboard, 2 fore) 8 tractor beams (2 port, 2 starboard, 2 fore, 2 ventral) Heavy redundant shields capable of diverting energy from weapons to absorb extreme fire for short periods of time Standard Hangar Compliment: 4 squadrons of XJ7-wings 2 squadrons of A-wings 2 squadrons of K-wings 16 troop transports each capable of ferrying 100 marines 4 assault shuttles with 16 person capacity The MC95B represents the next level of Mon Calamari warships. It was designed to counter the heavy Star Destroyers of the rising Sith Empire with the intent on being able to successfully engage and destroy one Kyber Star Destroyer or being able to survive an assault by two of them for a time. While it didn't quite have the destructive capacity of the Star Destroyers, it has very heavy armor and expansive, redundant shielding that allowed it to take a severe beating while remaining operational. The ship had the ability to operate as a normal warship engaging enemy capital ships or to shunt power from weapons to shields and serve as a sponge for high amounts of enemy fire so allied ships can either destroy the enemy or escape an ambush. The ship sacrifices some of its conventional firepower in favor of twelve long range tubolaser batteries that can be used to soften up larger enemy ships before entering conventional firing range or even destroying corvettes and shuttles before they can launch an attack. Following the common Mon Calamiri proclivity for ion cannons, there are forty-two of them on the ship to help wreck havoc and disable enemy ships either to board and rescue hostages or simply to add the enemy vessel to the Rebellion's fleet.
  12. Construction begins on a new flagship for the Jedi forces: a newly designed and updated MC95B that had been ordered. Surviving crew from the Adi-Wan would be joined by new recruits, both veterans of local planetary naval forces and those who were fresh out of various academies around the Galaxy. ((Completion time: November 14, 2019))
  13. Adenna could sense conflicting emotions in Tobias as he was put under the spotlight, and it pained her to do what she was about to do. She had hoped to handle this among the Jedi, but it seemed now that their dirty laundry had to be put out into the open among their allies. Perhaps it was better this way, a way to garner more trust and faith for the Jedi Order. "War always causes terrible things to bubble up out of each of us," she said sadly. "None who fight remain untainted or emerge unscathed. My predecessors and many of the current Jedi recoil from that taint and struggle to remain true and pure to the Jedi way. I admire them for their intents are true, but in this Galaxy, those aspirations are not for everyone. There are some who, like me, deliberately take a stand knowing what it will cost. When this war is over, I will either be dead or, if we win, I will gather all of those Jedi who joined me in fighting and we shall go into exile so that the taint upon our soul will not spread to those Jedi who remained pure. It is a sacrifice I willingly accept, and I will be the first to put any who fall along the way out of their misery lest they become what they have vowed to oppose. "I bear no illusions as to the path we take and how harsh and full of blood it will be. There will be horrific things that come from this war: both accidentally and deliberately done by our side. Any who think the innocent can be entirely spared is dangerously deluded for the innocent always suffer. Our only respite is the hope that, though the suffering that breaks out today, many more tomorrow will be spared." She sighed heavily, "That does not mean we should ignore the travesties brought upon the innocent, nor should we leave the guilty unpunished. We must take responsibility for our actions and the actions of those within our authority. When those under our authority do reprehensible things, we must look within to see what role we played ourselves in creating the environment that caused our subordinates to take such actions." She looked directly at Tobias. "To that end, I am relieving Master Tobias Vos of his current duties and authority over the Jedi's intel and business networks. Those shall be turned over immediately to Master Hazgel who will assume all of the duties that Master Vos once held. There will be a place for Master Vos in time, but until then, he is to spend his time meditating on the harmony of the light side and serving the war effort in an advisory capacity only. Though I will not force him, I do believe he may be well suited to present himself before his fellow Masters for evaluation. Should he do so, I welcome a representative of the Imperial Knights to attend and observe. "As for me, I must take responsibility for the entirety of the Jedi Order, including all the actions of those forces serving under its banner. If the Jedi are to fight a war, we must do it with the utmost moral authority. The armed forces serving under the Jedi do so of their own volition: they do not follow nor are they bound by the rules of the Jedi Order. Still, this is no excuse. Since they are a volunteer force and took no oaths of allegiance, I cannot force them to disband. However, I do offer command to the Rebellion, be they Admiral Slaughter or the Empress, should you feel that is best. Some may reject that and leave, but I feel most will follow whatever is decided here."
  14. While she was glad to see Knight Sarna join the meeting, it took a great deal of Jedi training in self composure not to wince at the very poor timing of her interjection. She had hoped to address that issue internally, but it seemed she would have to deal with it now. It wasn't something she was looking forward to, because there was always the political necessity to consider. The Jedi Order didn't technically own or control the large military forces that fought with them. Those were a conglomeration of independent groups and individuals who volunteered to fight along the Jedi Order against evil. For now, they were organized into a fairly cohesive command structure out of necessity. That command structure heavily considered and acquiesced to the will of the Jedi Order, namely her, but that didn't mean they absolutely had to obey. One of Adenna's biggest concerns was that a major rift would develop between the Jedi Order and the military causing most or all of the officers and soldiers to return home or worse, become an independent rogue operation bent on carnage and vengeance. Adenna knew that she had to walk a very careful line between subtly guiding them to be an effective tool against the Sith yet not stifling them so much that they rebel and become a malevolent force. She silently cursed the clumsiness of Tobias for how he presented the situation so callously and in the open before their allies. He was a fighter and quite the practical manipulator of business and infrastructure, but he had no skill at politics or social etiquette. She knew he thought very pragmatically, but there were going to be times when he needed to learn how to balance that pragmatism with politics. She would be having a very unpleasant discussion with him in private as soon as she was able. "I do not disagree, Knight Sarna," Adenna replied. "The Darkness must be kept at bay lest we will become what we fight. What was done is done and will be addressed, though it was not a Jedi who conducted such actions and without any orders to do so. Yes, it was done under the command of the Jedi, and for that, we will need to deal justice. Such a thing is not to be tolerated by any who march under the Jedi banner, but until a Force using member of the Jedi Order crosses the line, I will leave the matter in the hands of the military that fights alongside us. Newly ascended Admiral Neldis will deal with the engineers as is fit according to Galactic Law. Should he fail to properly respond, I shall find another to lead those who have freely chosen to fight along side us." She looked over at Armenia and added, "I suspect Master Draygo would enjoy working with Admiral Neldis to ensure that all of those who are found guilty of any sorts of war crimes will be punished, so I will direct her to such a task." Adenna wasn't naive enough to believe that governments and loyalists to both the Galactic Alliance and the Imperial Remnant would be able to merge everything into one without both sides jostling for power and influence, but at least it would be an attempt. For the moment, both sides needed to work together far more than they needed to oppose each other and fight for the scraps. As much as she didn't want to get involved in it, she suspected the burden of helping maintain the balance would likely fall upon the Jedi Order. Still, there was an opportunity here to take action on something else she had wanted to do for some time. "I believe it would serve the Galaxy good to work together to fight the Sith Empire now. We can always deal with splitting things up when the threat is gone. To that end, as the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order, I would like to formally invite the Imperial Knights back into the Jedi Order. I understand the reasons why they departed from the Order and am willing to work to rectify them. I am also willing to offer the Imperial Knights fair representation among the leadership of the Jedi Order in proportion to their membership, as well as affording them a degree of autonomy that will allow them to preserve some of their traditions and practices. I believe both the Jedi Order and Imperial Knights will benefit from such an arrangement and I am willing to further discuss details with Empress Zinthos."
  15. Adenna would have to deal with the fallout of Dark Sun Station at a later time, not when there were more important things to discuss. Her personal opinion was that she didn't much care of the fate of whatever scum sheltered under the corrupt wings of Black Sun's playplace. Anyone who was wealthy enough to afford to such a place had more than enough ability to know what sort of place they were going and thus, she had no sympathy for them when their poor choice of friends came back to bite them. She had encountered plenty of wealthy and privileged people on Thalassia who had benefited from the slave trade there who cried when her task forces raided the slaver's properties. No sympathy at all for them. At least Tobias had managed to nab some of the credits, those would be quite useful in funding the Jedi Order's efforts. With so many friendly planets falling to the Sith, donations to the Jedi Order were dropping. Without money, food, supplies, weapons, and ships would not continue to come in. If the Jedi were to even be able to continue to operate their Temples, they had to have funding. That said nothing of the ability to wage war against this evil. When it was her turn to speak, she said, "The Jedi Order is, first and foremost, a religious order that strives to bring peace and safety to the Galaxy. We are not a government that seeks to rule or has political power in the traditional sense. We survive based on the generous donations of money, supplies, and manpower from those governments, corporations, organizations, and individuals who share our spiritual beliefs and goals. We also serve to restrain the awesome powers bestowed upon us by the Force in both ourselves and in others. The fact that the Sith Order has managed to thrive and build upon their powers a new Empire is proof enough of the desperate need for an opposing Force sensitive counterforce. "The Jedi Order has stood by for far too long while the evil that is the Sith are allowed to build up their Empire and that is upon us. I will not speak ill of my predecessors who did what they felt was right and acted as they were guided by the Force, but I am not them. For as long as the Jedi Order and the Force see it fit to place me in this role as Grandmaster, the Jedi Order will step up and fight evil head on just as they did in the days of the Old Republic. We may prefer peaceful meditation, but I fully believe that when confronted by an evil the likes of the Sith, most of the Jedi will no longer be able to stand idly and do nothing when they have the power to intervene and provide a counter to the awesome powers the Sith wield. "We will work with the Galactic Alliance and the Imperial Remnant with whatever resources and inspiration we can garner, but we have no interest in conquest and rule of planets. We are here to fight evil, and as long as whatever government that is formed here proves itself compatible with the Jedi Order's philosophies, we will support them. Make no mistake: I realize we are at war and in war, unpleasant and sometimes extreme things must be done. However, the Jedi Order will not replace one evil with another. Should this rebel alliance prove to be no better than the Sith, we will oppose it with the same fervor."
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