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Aidan Darkfire

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Aidan Darkfire last won the day on May 7

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  1. Aidan gave her a weird look, but quickly brushed it off. "What do I want? I want my Empress reclaimed. I want people to just get along. I want to not have to harm. But the galaxy doesn't work like that. To some people, violence is the only thing they understand. So they send people like us to take care of problems so everything doesn't go straight to hell in a handbasket. And even still, with the state of the galaxy being as it has been, it looks like we're headed there anyways." Aidan sighed, turning back to the viewport. He wasn't really irritated, but the way that some were so close to these continual events that they trivialized them as normal was aggravating. He didn't blame Sandy, really, it was just a reminder of where he was, what he was doing. If anything, he valued the perspective and reminder. He didn't want to become someone who trivialized these battles as normal, like his parents had. "They didn't even call me up on orders. I'm thinking some of the top brass either doesn't trust the Imperial Knights, or maybe they want to keep us on reserve for something else. All I know is I swore fealty to this Empress. I think I maybe saw her once in passing, but it's what I swore to do. Nobody can keep me off the front lines for this one. I don't particularly look forward to it, but I'm a man of my word. She's done so much to try and help the galaxy become a better place, and I truly believe she's worth fighting for. So...I guess I will." There was a silence that hung between them for a long moment, before Aidan realized how all that probably came off. Sliding closer to her, he looked her up and down, worry still in his eyes, but subdued behind a confidence that was simply in his blood. "I appreciate your support though. It...it means a lot."
  2. Aidan stiffened slightly at the mention of his father. "Yeah...he was a good man, I suppose. Just not galaxy's greatest dad, you know? He tried, though. In his own way." There was a beat of silence before he decided to latch onto what she'd said about her wound. "You fought Mandalore? As in, the Mandalore? The leader of the Mandalorians? How was that?" It was half a hail Mary to get off the topic of Aryian, and half genuine interest at her story. Mandalore, whoever held the current title, was never someone to relish fighting. Jedi skills aside, Mandalorians were known for not messing around in combat. Everyone knew that. Half a second later, he caught his obvious faux pas. "Aside from the wound, obviously."
  3. Rescuing the Empress? Why hadn't they already assigned him to this mission? Was he being protected because of who he was? Aidan sighed, staring out the viewport at the starlines racing past. It was rather hypnotic, and right now it helped him calm his own mind. "No...no, I guess we don't. It's always out of the skillet and into the frying pan lately. I don't suppose it has anything to do with aggressive Sith expansionism, hm?" He chuckled briefly at his own joke. The truth was his thoughts were gnawing at him. It was weird meeting Sandy when Aidan was first introduced to her on Kashyyyk, but honestly she was the only person who had shown him true compassion over the last several years. Sure, there were people who cared for him like Kyrie, but there was always a warm undertone of affection with Sandy, and in the moment, it was rather...nice. He leaned on that feeling, chasing the doubt from his mind. "I finally made a lightsaber. It's weird, you know. After all this time I swore I wouldn't walk in the footsteps of my parents, and here I am. I don't think people like us really get a choice." He unclipped the long hilt from his belt, hefting the handle. It felt good in his hand, balanced, ready. He knew this engagement was likely to be hairy, but his lightsaber was likely the one thing that would help him get out of it alive. "So, the medical frigate, huh? Are you with the healers, now?"
  4. Aidan managed to find the bridge just as Sandy was meeting someone he'd never met before, but Aidan could tell the other was also a trained Force practitioner. Mostly, this was apparent just from the hilts that hung at her waist, but she also had a presence to her that Aidan had learned to recognize, the kind only a powerful person in the Force exuded. The same kind Sandy had exhibited for some time. He smiled and nodded as he was introduced, hearing that she was also a Jedi. By the look of her, she'd been through some bad times, having a lot of droid prosthetics attached to her right side, but Aidan had seen worse and knew better than to stare. If the time came later, he might ask, but only if it was appropriate to do so. As Aleria moved away, Aidan moved forward, looking over the bridge crew. Truth be told, he didn't know what half the stations did, but he trusted the men and women to do their job, just like he had a job to do. Still, he proudly wore his new staff saber at his hip, and made no effort to hide it. Pride might come before the fall, but by his estimates the fall was still a ways off. Eventually he turned, having remembered Sandy saying something about the front lines. Were they headed to yet another battle? "Hey Sandy...where, uhh...where exactly are we headed?"
  5. ((Backposting as authorized)) Aidan felt Sandy's response, clear as day. Of course, she was probably still on the main ship the Jedi had in orbit. It wasn't long until Aidan was at the nearest hangar, confirming this, then securing passage in one of the last supply shuttles servicing the Ara-Lai before it departed the system. ((Rest of the post in space))
  6. It took a couple hours of negotiating with supply officers and a trip to the local markets, but Aidan finally had all the supplies he needed. He was single-minded in succeeding in his task, which was why he didn't feel it when Sandy decided to mentally poke him back. Now he was back in his room, door locked, various parts and cybernetics arrayed before him. For a while, he fiddled with the parts, disassembling things into what he needed, slightly afraid to delve into the Force to create a tool that required absolute precision. The entire time he felt a soft pressure in the back of his head, though, and finally he relented, knowing what was required. Aidan closed his eyes, allowing his mind to relax and his fears to fall away. After all, the Force was not a tool to be controlled, as the Sith saw it, but an ally to be worked with. He felt his senses expand as the Force came to him, softly guiding him and making destiny manifest. Slowly, Aidan reached out, picking out each part through intuition rather than based on hard memorized knowledge. The Force was his ally, it would not lead him astray. He was a focus, a channel that the Force flowed through, both an instrument guided by and himself guiding the energies that connected every particle in the galaxy. From the smallest atom to the largest celestial objects, Aidan was at one with the universe. Eyes still closed, the parts began to levitate around him, slowly combining to form something greater than the sum of its parts. This was an extension of him, not simply another weapon. The handle was from an old relay assembly, the circuitry borrowed from an outdated computing station. The focusing lenses were spare parts from probe droid long range cameras. The power cells and the focusing crystals he'd had to buy, the cells meant for long-term heavy-duty use, and the crystals he'd sourced from a smuggler who had an illegal supply of kyber crystals. It took several mind tricks to find them, but the results would be well worth it. The crystals resonated at Aidan's touch through the Force, softly glowing silver as they slowly rose to nestle themselves in the assembly. After some time, Aidan heard a soft click as the final parts sealed themselves together, and he knew he was done. The result was simple but effective, little more than a two foot long metal cylinder with activation studs and emitters on both ends. He reached out, taking the weapon, and after a moment of hesitation activated one side, then the other. Goose bumps shot up his spine as brilliant silver blades illuminated his room, highlighting his success. The crystals sang through the Force, intertwined with his presence. This was not just another lightsaber, it was his lightsaber. Finally, he reached back out to Sandy, excited at his success. He still wasn't skilled enough with the Force to send coherent messages, but it was clear that he wanted to see her again. Little did he know she would probably have another assignment for him when the time came. Leaving his room, he walked the building, trying to find her.
  7. As Aidan's shuttle cruised down through Nar Shaddaa's atmosphere, he marveled at the idea that mere months ago, this moon was infested with all kinds of criminal elements thanks to the influence of Nal Hutta and the Hutt Cartels. The Empire had changed so many things for the better here, and had suffered blow after blow. Now, he was one of the last few bastions of hope, holding the front lines against all manner of enemies that would seek to see them extinguished. They were still without their Empress, but that was only a matter of time. Aidan wanted to help with that operation, but he knew his talents were needed elsewhere. After a few more minutes, the shuttle touched down lightly on the landing pad, and Aidan briefly felt Sandy's presence nearby. It was a small comfort, knowing she'd managed to survive her encounter with the Mandalorians. Later they would have time to catch up, but for now Aidan had a singular mission on his mind. One purpose that he needed to fulfill, something that would define his future in the Imperial Knights, and perhaps even in the Jedi. It didn't take long for him to get back to his room, having procured a small handheld scanner on the way from one of the supply points. First, he scanned the Sith lightsabers, displaying an expanded holoprojection look inside the devices. Then...he activated his father's holocron. Aryian's ghostly image materialized in front of him, greeting Aidan with a warm smile as the holocron recognized a prior user. "Hey, kiddo. What would you like to learn today?" "Hey, dad. I need to see any stored schematics you might have on lightsabers." As requested, Aryian raised his arms, flooding the room with projections of schematics for various types of designs, as well as textual articles detailing how to build one. As Aidan began studying, Aryian's image spoke to him once more. "You sure you're ready for this?" "Positive." Aidan barely noticed when Aryian's image faded with a slight grin and a nod, leaving Aidan to peruse the information in peace. It was all the image was programmed for, but Aryian had the foresight to understand that his son would eventually be ready for the larger lessons a Force practitioner needed to learn. Meanwhile, Aidan began to take lengthy notes on a datapad, understanding he'd need several materials to even begin the process. This would not be an easy task. Aidan didn't expect it to be.
  8. The trip through hyperspace was relatively short, but it also offered Aidan significant time to reflect on what had happened. He'd found his inner peace, though he knew this was really just the beginning. He could now feel the darkness emanating from the lightsaber hilts he'd taken from the Sith at Kuat clear as day, and one thing in his mind that he knew he needed to do was to make his own lightsaber. When he got back to Nar Shaddaa, it was the first thing he planned to do.
  9. Twenty more minutes later, the last few people had boarded the escape shuttles which now began lifting off, headed for the safety of the Jedi ship formation, and then to hyperspace. Aidan was back on his own shuttle, having received orders to escort the shuttles. In the back of his ship, he began meditating, reaching out as best he could, subtly tying the minds of the shuttle pilots together so they could more easily function as a unit. It wasn't easy, but by now Aidan was used to struggling over his Force abilities. Minutes later, the shuttles flashed into hyperspace, winking out of the system. Aidan's group was safe.
  10. There was a long moment of hesitation. Aidan felt what Kyrie had done, he knew what she wanted him to do, and still... there was doubt. Aidan's inner calm was little more than a joke at this point. His whole life had been consumed in strife, conflict, and abandonment. How could he tap into something so broken inside him to help these people? How could he fix them when he was such a tattered mess? He exhaled slowly and allowed his eyes to fall closed, reaching deep into the Force, connecting his minds with their own ever so subtly. Dashed hopes, fears, anxiety, and panic all plagued them whether they showed it or not. And for a moment, Aidan saw himself in them, a shattered mirror of what he was, what he wanted to be. And for a moment, he faltered. Briefly, there was more chaos. A dresser falling over, adults yelling at the children not moving fast enough. By instinct, he flexed his influence, shoving himself into their minds, forcefully quelling the anxieties, shoving them down and out of the way. The pain remained, but it was subdued, any attempt to focus on those negative thoughts would be met with mental needles of reprimand. He controlled them, forcing them to move faster, the hidden puppet master behind the metaphysical curtain. All dancing to the beat of his marching tune... Except one. She stood out from the others, a young girl of barely five or so. Her connection was stronger than the others as well, though it was something Aidan only briefly considered as he opened his eyes, gazing at her intently as she stared back at him, innocently holding her stuffed animal. She wasn't worried about evacuating, in fact she really was only focused on him. In confusion, he released the tension he didn't realize he was holding onto. His knuckles had already gone white as they tightly held the hilts of the Sith lightsabers, the weapons somehow finding themselves in his hands. What was she doing? What was- "It's going to be okay." What? "It's going to be okay." Aidan didn't know and couldn't know that her faith came from Kyrie's appearance, but it honestly didn't matter. The child's words hit him like a cargo hauler. They washed over him like Kyrie's own words never could, simply because Aidan would always think there was something behind them. This was different, the innocent faith of a child, blindingly pure. She held within her a strength he would never know again, a strength he'd once also had. It was from this faith that Aidan finally found the foundations to begin rebuilding his own. He was broken, and he knew it, but it didn't have to hold him back. He didn't have to accept fate. He'd felt the burden of every conflict he'd been party to in full force, the responsibility of being the savior, the knight in shining armor that could never deliver. Aidan was so torn over all his failures, and it had dragged him so far away from his potential well before he had ever had the chance to truly deepen his connection with the Force. Cancerous questions attacked his thoughts, doubts chewed at his confidence, but none of it mattered. It was going to be okay. He would make it okay. Live, die, or injury, he would accept his place within the Force, and would do what he needed to be the positive influence for these people. He felt the hope welling up inside him, ripping the stitches from his scars and cauterizing them with the eternal cleansing fire of the Exorcist. He smiled back at her, clipping the sabers to his waistband. His eyes glowed a soft silver as he finally replied to the young girl. "Yeah. It's going to be okay." She smiled back, returning to packing her things like she was told to; but silently she knew that the only thing she really needed was her stuffed animal. The Force finally began to flow through him with incredible strength as the mental dams of his own doubts and fears burst. He was the conduit, the catalyst, guiding the energies of purifying light to calm and reassure the people as they worked. His hope and faith that everything was going to be as it should was the bedrock lens that magnified the sense of calm he now felt, and it was as peaceful for them as it was cathartic for him. Organized movement and teamwork quickly became the theme that they all felt; where one stumbled another was there to catch them. Inside the span of twenty or so minutes, they would all be finished.
  11. Aidan stiffened at her embrace, not returning it, though after a moment his tension eased. Every sense in his body except his eyes was telling him this was Kyrie. He was still confused, but he had no other choice but to accept what was. After the hug, he offered her the long-hilted lightsaber. "I don't understand. I saw you die. I felt you die. They didn't clone you, and you look...well...different." As soon as she would take her lightsaber back, it would become far more apparent to both of them the dark taint surrounding the other hilts Aidan wore at his waist. They were taken from the body of the Sith she had fought, and Aidan hadn't thought anything of them since their corruption had been more or less balanced out by Kyrie's saber. Even after death she had protected him, though in a way neither could have predicted.
  12. Aidan's head cocked as he heard the reply. The voice sounded familiar, but he couldn't quite place it... Still, he acknowledged, and his pilot began a controlled descent. What he was met with was mostly chaos. Ships were departing without air clearance, there were telltale signs of smoke from several locations in the city already. Panic had set in, and with it rioters and looters. The hyenas who capitalized on discord to benefit themselves. Dishonorable scum. If Aidan had any say here, he would easily have left some to the coming wolves, but he knew the Jedi would try to save them all. Besides, he wasn't nearly experienced enough to play at judge, jury, and executioner. In what used to be the Empire, he would have been the law, but he dreaded the thought of making a misstep and condemning the innocent. And then Aidan felt his master. Impossible yet unmistakable. He'd watched her die; witnessed her become one with the Force. How was this possible? Her presence shone like a beacon from the very orphanage they were headed to, so Aidan knew he would soon have his answers. Moments later, the pilot had the shuttle in hover near the roof, allowing Aidan to drop off before lifting off to maintain a low orbit out of the way of most of the space traffic. Should they need him he would be close enough to hastily exfiltrate, but for now he'd only be in the way as the shuttle wasn't large enough to ferry a significant number of people to the larger capital ships. Several personnel were already inside coordinating the evacuation, giving Aidan the time he needed to track down Kyrie. As he neared, he unslung her lightsaber from his makeshift bandolier, gripping it tightly. It seemed to be drawn to her as well, confirming his suspicions. Finally, he rounded a door, catching sight of a young woman who resembled Kyrie slightly, but was definitely younger, looking to be still in her teens. He tensed, unsure what to do with this knowledge, his thumb hovering over the activation stud. If this were some trick of the dark side, an impostor, she would be short lived. "...Master?"
  13. Aidan's shuttle rocketed out of the starry expanse back into realspace, and immediately began the descent to Chandrila to reconnect with the Imperial and Jedi Forces. Their route kept them on a straight line towards the rendezvous, cutting through the atmosphere like a spear. Aidan steeled himself for the eventuality that the Mandalorians would invade well before they had time to get the civilians out, an eventuality he hoped would never come to pass. Then again, that was war. Still, his pilot was no slouch, and Aidan himself had a trick or two up his sleeve. He accessed the comms system on the shuttle, encrypting a message and broadcast a short message to his allies: "Imperial Knight Aidan Darkfire reporting in to the forces commander. Sorry I'm late to the party, let me know where I can best serve."
  14. For what felt like the longest time, Aidan studied. His progress under the tutelage of the holocron was spotty at best, but when he finally managed to get the shaky hang of controlling how he tapped into the Force, he finally felt he was ready to go back out into the world. He'd even grown a bit of a beard, ragamuffin as it looked. He took a couple hours to clean himself up and shave, donning a fresh uniform and tying Kyrie's lightsaber to his back while clipping the Sith lightsabers to either side of his belt. He left his room, making his way to the command center...only to find that everyone had left him behind. Which, given his obsession over the holocron, made sense. Aidan commandeered a shuttle to include a pilot, and set out for his last standing orders. Chandrila awaited.
  15. "...Dad?" Aryian's ghostly image chuckled. "I knew that would be the first question. No, what you see is just the holocron's gatekeeper. That's me. I have some of the memories of the real Aryian, I have his personality, but...I'm not him. You can call me whatever you'd like, though, the programming I incorporated into this holocron is fairly sophisticated." An eternity of a pause. Eventually Aidan inhaled, realizing he'd stopped breathing. His knuckles were white, his fists clenched tightly, wetness welled in the corner of his eyes. "Why...why did you leave us? Why did you leave me?" Aryian sighed. "And I figured that would be the second question. I don't have a good answer, kiddo. I could tell you it's where the Force willed me, but that's not really fair to you, is it? The short answer is what I did to you and your mom, leaving like I did, was inexcusable. I tried to be a good dad from afar, I tried to use my influence to protect you, but too late I saw the truth: you never needed it. I wish I could have seen what kind of a man you grew up to be. I figured you'd eventually make use of your birthright talents, so I made this holocron. It was my hope to pass on my knowledge, to help you understand yourself on a deeper level." "I didn't ask to hear excuses." "I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. Could you rephrase that for me?" Another breath, fists unclenching slightly. It was just a program. One his father had written, but a program nonetheless. Getting angry here would be useless, though deep down the interaction had reopened the old wound. Still, the answer he was given made sense, despite it not removing the sour taste from his abandonment issues. What was done was done, and that truth was as painful as any other he'd known. The past was written, unchangeable. Another breath. "Tell me about the Force." Aryian paused briefly before answering. It was clear the program had expected a further line of questioning, an oversight of his father's. He'd always expected Aidan to be something he wasn't, he expected him to walk in his footsteps. As Aidan listened to the old man start lecturing on the nature of the Force and its philosophies, he resolved to never fulfill that expectation. He would be his own man. He was not his father.
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