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Aidan Darkfire

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Aidan Darkfire last won the day on December 12

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  1. Aidan briefly thought about learning Sandy's stance in depth right then and there, but decided against it after checking the message containing their orders. "We'd better just get to our assignments. This is the first time I've really been given orders from the Empress herself, and I'm a little eager to get the job done." He moved in, giving his mother a quick embrace, lingering for longer than a brief moment. "It was good to see you again. When we get time, we should catch a meal together. Grandma too, assuming she's still out there." Aidan looked back to Sandy. It wasn't going to be an exciting assignment, but at the least they now had something to do. "Might as well get going, I can arrange to have all of this delivered back to the armorer. Squire Peltz owes me a favor. I assume you have command of this one?" ((Sandy, ready to go whenever, just drag Aidan where she goes in her next post. Armiena I know the invitation was extended to you OOC to go on this plot, but Aidan wouldn't have known that, feel free to correct him if you're coming with, lol.))
  2. "Well, even if some of you is newer than other parts, it's still good to see you." Aidan was momentarily lost in hazy, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia, wishing he and his mother were closer. Maybe they could be in the future...that would be nice. But after a bit, Aidan came out of his reverie, realizing he was still there for a purpose. His hand drifted down to his staff saber hilt as he began remembering the details. "I was actually showing Sandy all this because she promised to train me a little bit in some proper lightsaber forms. Vom targ, was it?"
  3. Aidan was silent the whole time, cherishing the moment. Even when she missed, he wrote it off, knowing it was common among weapons you first pick up. Aidan had zeroed the weapon to himself before Sandy had even arrived, so the fact that Armiena could still hit the target using manual windage on a non-zeroed weapon after so few shots was a testament to her raw experience. Even when she field stripped the weapon, she did it faster and far more efficiently than Aidan ever had, especially with some of the latches holding the barrel's heat shield in place. Those were notoriously tricky, using a ring lock that was known to stick, almost as if the engineer who designed the weapon had three hands. But as she fired the final shot, Aidan realized she'd called attention to her hand, or rather the prosthetic that now replaced her hand. Staring at it, he motioned for Armiena to stop firing while calling attention to the metal hand. "When...did that happen?" His voice conveyed slight concern, but at the same time, it was one of those things that was done and over with. It was more knee jerk protective emotions than anything else.
  4. "Yeah...maybe he did." It was a tender topic, one Aidan still wasn't comfortable having a full conversation on. At least, not here and now. He took a deep breath, turning back to Sandy and the makeshift firing range. "Sooo...you're actually probably far better at this than even I am. Got any pointers from a pro? Unless, of course," Aidan glanced over at Genesis, suddenly realizing his mother was still an important asset to many other people here, "you know, unless you're a little busy. In which case, we should, um...plan to spend some time together soon. I mean, I'd like that." This visit was evidence to why Aidan hadn't held anything against her even after all this time when he usually got to spend about five to ten minutes with her per meetup. She actually gave a damn enough to come and check in on him when she could. But in the very back of his mind, Aidan hoped she would stay for a bit, and maybe show all three of them some things she'd learned from her travels, and maybe a story or two to add character to everything. It might be asking too much, but there was always the hope. And whether Aidan realized it or not, that hope was something that allowed him to break through his own darkness several times.
  5. "Mom..." It was difficult for him to know how to start. A lot of feelings Aidan thought he'd gotten past suddenly balled up tight and knotted in his stomach. "We were never not alright. I know you were both busy, but you actually tried to at least spend time with me. You had Grandma watch over me. Whenever Dad was there he treated me like another acolyte, he always foisted his expectations on me, wanted me to live up to my name. He really cast a large shadow that it's been overwhelming to try and fill. He just-" Aidan cut himself off, realizing he was beginning to ramble. It would be easier to show her. Quickly, he moved in to hug his mother, allowing the Force to carry his thoughts and emotions freely to her. Flashes of his early childhood, time spent with Kirlocca and Misal, Armiena being the bright spots in the memories. Aryian was there, smiling, fleeting, wanting to connect but not connect. Later in life, early training lessons, pride in his first successes. Running away, trying to escape himself, still ending up facing himself. Rage, the light, the dark, the exorcists, Sandy. Aidan let go, looking back into Armiena's eyes. "I never stopped loving you, mom. You might not have always been there, but it wasn't the absence that made me resent dad. And yeah, he made a lot of mistakes, but those are in the past." He looked back at Sandy, and remembered the lessons Kyrie had taught him. "I've begun trying to move past them. I'm not the best at it yet, but...I don't think I blame him as much anymore. I might not completely understand it, but he only wanted the best for me too."
  6. Aidan felt Sandy withdraw a bit, and he let go of the last bit of tension in his shoulders he didn't realize he still had. "Yeah. Egos like dad's. Sounds familiar." Maybe he shouldn't have said that. Some of the bitterness returned, but just as quickly he let it go. He'd forgiven Aryian, dwelling on his past mistakes solved nothing. "I, uh...I got lucky. Luckier than most, apparently. Every time I tried to get to the front lines, I got re tasked to escort wounded back to the rear. Not where I wanted to be, but probably a blessing it turned out that way. I'm glad you made it through as well, I didn't realize you were there." There was a brief pause as Aidan realized something else highly relevant. "Grandma is okay too, right?"
  7. "I mean you can, but the Imperials have found that it doesn't really establish the muscle memory in the same kind of way, and in the even of those Force lizard things..." Aidan trailed off as he saw her turn, her focus razor sharp on something else. "Welcome, master." His gaze shifted, and finally he saw her watching. If anything, it was Sandy's arm on his shoulder and her reaction that made it a bit awkward for him, uncertain how to respond. "Uh...hey, mom." The words hung in the air a moment too long, and he knew that everyone could feel the awkwardness. It was strange, he could feel her in the Force, but her presence wasn't ever one he particularly noticed, it was like how one noticed a warm sweater on a chilly day, or an umbrella when it rained. Comforting. It was probably something to do with having spent far more time with her than any other Force practitioner. Well, her and Misal. "I was just showing Sandy here proper shooting fundamentals. How goes the, uh...Rebellion? Is that what we are now?" Aidan chuckled nervously, trying to cut the tension, but honestly he didn't really know. He wasn't yet privvy to the meetings the higher ups held, and while he was aware of a loose alliance and their current enemies, the larger machinations were beyond him.
  8. Aidan chuckled briefly before rattling off the blaster rifle's specifications, information the Empire required its military to have memorized. "The E-11 blaster rifle is a lightweight, particle beam firing, air-cooled, electronic based, Tibanna gas canister fed assault rifle with computerized targeting assist and three firing modes. It has a maximum range of three hundred meters with an optimal firing range of one hundred meters. It is a weapon, but more importantly, it is a tool, and one to be respected." Aidan turned, signalling the target drone through the remote control, before bringing the rifle's stock to his shoulder and snapping off four shots, all hitting the drone. Finishing the brief demonstration, he turned back, handing her the rifle. "This particular rifle has been tuned down for training purposes. It won't kill, but it'll still hurt, so I'd appreciate if I didn't catch any stray bolts while we practice." He moved behind her, lining her up in the lane he'd set up, moving her arms and head to a comfortable and proper squared-off stance. "That's it. Always keep your shoulders straight. Ideally you'll have some cover to assist you steadying the rifle, but it's best to practice freehand. This is the first fundamental of good marksmanship: steady position. The other three are proper sight picture, breathing, and proper trigger squeeze. Now, look through the scope. You'll see a lot of information, and the recticle will help you aim, however the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep both eyes open. You might want to squint your non aiming eye, but keeping it open helps maintain your depth perception, even if you really only need to see from the eye that's aiming. When going for the shot, exhale and hold your breath out. Breathing can throw off your posture just enough that a small adjustment here means meters off target down range. Proper trigger squeeze is also vitally important. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to kill, and then apply steady pressure until the rifle fires. It should almost surprise you every time in happens. If you jerk your finger, you will jerk your stance, and your shot will go high." Aidan punched a few commands on the remote, bringing the targeting drone slightly closer. Every time she hit it, it would float a meter backwards until it was the maximum distance down the lane. This was a common exercise, and allowed the firer to get a sense of the weapon's zero aim as well as slowly honing their aiming skills. "Go ahead. Shoot when you're ready."
  9. "Well, let's start off with shooting then. I'll meet you in one of the smaller cargo bays, we can set up there." Winking, he gathered his gear, and promptly left. He'd need a few items for this session, namely a blaster rifle on training settings and a target drone, but first he'd need to deposit his gear back in his room. It was only a temporary accommodation, barracks bunks in a spartan small room, but at least they had lockers for their gear. Convincing the armory sergeant to let him borrow a blaster rifle took a bit of sweet talk, though, considering they'd just came from a battle and everything was still fairly chaotic. A box of field rations bartered later, and Aidan was allowed to sign out the rifle and target drone he needed. Sometimes it was too easy dealing with the enlisted, Aidan never understood why other officers had such a hard time connecting with their men. A few minutes later and he was setting up in the unoccupied cargo bay, having found a perfect lane with cargo crates providing 'cover' for the target drone at the opposite end of the bay. Now all that was missing was a particular Jedi Knight...
  10. Aidan thought a moment before replying. "Well, not that I can think of. I wouldn't say I'm amazingly fluent on proper lightsaber forms, but I've learned to let the Force guide me more than anything else. It gets me through most things, but admittedly I have yet to face an actual trained Sith." That, and if he could get her to show him a useful Force technique or two, he might have fair ground to request a promotion, he thought. But there was time. "Of course, if you want, I could always show you a thing or two. Like how to properly shoot...it's actually absurdly hilarious how many Jedi apparently never learned how to properly handle a blaster rifle. I suppose they could just do what I do with the sabers, feel the movement, the Force guiding your actions, but there is still an underlying skill to it."
  11. "I don't think I'd mind, if you don't. I need to start taking more responsibility for my training after all. I was, well, nervous about it before, but I think I'm more comfortable with the idea of it. Who knows, might help get me a promotion as well." He chuckled uneasily a bit before calming himself. This is going to be fine. You're going to be fine. Aidan was aware of Sandy's prior feelings on Kashyyyk, but if she still had them, she was doing an awfully good job at hiding them. She was actually doing an amazing job of making him very comfortable to be around, to the point where part of his fears were that he might start having feelings for her, if he didn't already. He wasn't quite sure, though the thought certainly caused an interesting feeling in his stomach. "Of course, I'm not sure how we get promoted. I don't think I ever asked Master Kyrie about it."
  12. "I...I think I can try." Aidan closed his eyes, following her instructions. The one thing his father had always tried to teach him was to imagine the tree. The exercise was a simple one, meant to teach those new to learning the ways of the Force how to reach out and feel it. There was no tree in particular, it was simply the tree, whatever tree felt right to the person at the time. Aidan always pictured a vibrant oak tree, impossibly tall, sunlight gently filtering through the shade of its leaves. This was his grounding, his center. But this time, some of the branches high up were withered, diseased. Their leaves had changed to a sickly brown or had already abandoned the branch. Suddenly Aidan was among the branches, climbing through the tree in his mind, feeling the memories and emotions of each leaf, each branch that represented him. It wasn't exactly what Sandy had tried to get him to see, but somehow it just...felt right. As Aidan neared the first branch his fist clenched, gripping a lightsaber hilt that ignited in front of him. He wanted to lash out at these parts of himself. They were weakness, poison, they didn't deserve to be part of him. But that's not true, is it? Before he swung, the faintest whisper touched his ear, words echoing from nobody and nowhere. They were right. Sandy was right. He needed to acknowledge their validity. Exorcism had taught him to rid himself of these feelings, to burn them to their core until there was nothing left. But from their ashes, from the wounds left behind, more and more insecurities and toxic emotions sprang. With a sigh, the lightsaber blade shut off, turning into a pair of pruning shears. Aidan reached down to the branch beneath him, positioning the shears, feeling the part of him this represented. His inadequacy over not being more than he thought he was supposed to be. Nobody had told him otherwise. He was the son of a Grandmaster and a Jedi Master, but that didn't need to define him. And it no longer would. It took some strength, but the pruning shears cut through the branch, allowing it to fall to the ground, where it would rejoin the soil and nourish the tree. Another branch, his hatred for his ever-absent father. Snip went the shears, down went the branch. His embarrassment at never being good at making friends. Snip, fall. Another branch. Another. There were so many more, but for now, he felt he'd made good progress. It was all a part of him. It had grown from him, it was him, but Sandy was right in that it didn't need to be. As he opened his eyes, he realized that Sandy would likely have seen everything. For an instant, he felt embarrassed, remorseful...but quickly allowed the emotion to slide. He didn't need to keep up an impenetrable shield. He was who he was, just like she was who she was. The echoes of her memories still resonated inside him, and he finally found the strength to speak. "Exorcism teaches a bit of a different way to deal with emotion. With encroaching darkness. I'm not sure it's as...healthy as this, at least in the long term. It's probably why there aren't many of them left. And...I never knew any of that about you. Um... Thank you for sharing that with me." There was a long pause of silence. He wasn't sure where to go from here. It was just nice being around someone who understood.
  13. "Well...he was one of the other Imperial Knight initiates. He took great pride in how he wore his armor, and helped me with mine when I was still learning the ropes. That and he enjoyed a good horror story. That's...really all I knew about him. Nice guy." Sighing, Aidan wiped the remaining polish off the chrome and admired his work. It was a lightsaber worthy of an Imperial Knight, one he was sure Kyrie would have been proud of. "You're a Jedi Knight now, right? I never managed to advance that far. I don't suppose you have anything to teach that might be helpful? Maybe something that will help me control my emotions a bit more?" He tried to make the last bit sound humorous, but Sandy would likely be able to read through his feelings and realize it was something he knew he was weak in, and as a result it was embarrassing for him. Brief flashes of when he'd fell into his berserker rages fluttered through his thoughts, but he quickly suppressed them. He was better than that. He would become more than the sum of his parts, to include his passion and anger.
  14. Aidan passed the small tin of polish to Sandy as she asked, along with one of the rags he'd been using. "They don't really issue armor to the Jedi either, from what I remember. But...it looks like that could easily be changing." Aidan kept working on the lightsaber, bringing out the luster in the chrome pieces. After a moment, he looked up. "No, wait, for that..." He moved around behind her, guiding her hand with his, "You want to move the polish in line with the texture of the surface, otherwise you might scratch it. Like that." After a few seconds more he let go, letting her continue on her own. "Raistlyn taught me that. He, uh...he didn't make it back." Aidan paused, thinking for a long moment about whether or not he should polish the man's helmet for his next of kin. It would be a nice gesture, but Aidan honestly didn't even know if he had a next of kin, and there were more important things to do. "You know, it's weird, when last I saw you, I had a burning desire to get to the front lines, to fight and even potentially die for my Empress. I never made it that far. I kept getting tasked with escorting seriously wounded back to the medical frigates. Kind of comical, really. I'm, uh...I'm still not sure whether I regret it or not. I know the Jedi would say what I did was still noble and valuable. It just...wasn't really what I expected." He let the words hang in the air, not sure why he'd said them, but he'd also always just felt more comfortable around Sandy ever since she'd taken a shine to him at Kashyyyk.
  15. Hours passed like minutes as Aidan scrubbed his armor. Carbon scoring, dried blood, all manner of dust and debris. Dirty armor simply wouldn't do, it wasn't how he was trained. Even though it had been conflict after conflict lately, and he didn't even have the time to clean his armor until now, the dirt was a mark of dishonor. He was gifted a military bearing by the Remnant, and now he would hold true to the same. Another spot on the pauldron, just below the armor plate. There. Now another, behind the left pectoral strap. He tried to busy himself to not think about things, but still his mind wandered. Dark Sun had been rather uneventful for him. He sought the front lines and managed to find the exact spot in the action to not experience combat at all. Whether it was luck or misfortune didn't matter now. He'd lost more friends in that battle. Well...not so much friends as people he'd worked with. Ran drills with. Ate and conversed with briefly in the mess hall or sparred with in the training pits. And there were now significantly less of them. Finished with his armor, he turned to his lightsaber. The hilt was mostly spotless, but it could still use a shine. He'd made the saber just before the battle but hadn't found the chance to test it, and that nagged at the back of his thoughts. What if he had been in a position to use it? Could he have saved some of them? Did it matter? He'd asked the same questions of himself a million times over in the aftermath of these battles, and finally he felt like he was going numb to them. The pain of loss was still there...just...duller. For now, all he could do was wait. The bigwig's meeting would conclude in a bit, and he could meet with Sandy and relax. There was still so much to do, but there was always much to do. They both could use some relaxation, a moment to unwind among the chaos. His mother was also here, and, well...he still wasn't sure he'd completely come to terms with his strained relationship with her. At least she was better than Aryian. He kept scrubbing the hilt.
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