Jump to content

Keenava Dira

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Keenava Dira last won the day on September 12

Keenava Dira had the most liked content!


50 Excellent

About Keenava Dira

  • Birthday 08/15/1989

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. “Yes, she became Grandmaster of the Order while we were fighting on Falleen. I’m not sure what happened to you there, but I am glad to see you well, Bas.” Keenava responded as she piled an ample serving of steamed veggies on her plate. “As for the feast, you’re very welcome…” Keenava stalled for a moment before realizing no one had given names, so it was impossible to direct comments at the right person. “Welp, it seems I neglected a formal bit of introduction. My name is Keenava Dira. As for what brings me here, I was following Leena. I am waiting for her to finish her business, or here to find another master as well.” Keenava finished before stuffing a fresh bit of leafy green into her mouth. She mulled her thoughts on what to add regarding ‘seeing combat.’ Technically, she saw a lot of combat, though not as much as her former Sith peers. There were also the battles she recently fought on Falleen. But in the end, Keenava figured her new friend meant to ask whether she participated in the Sith battles of recent history. That proved to be an even more complicated answer. “I didn’t see much battle, but the why of it is a bit complicated.”
  2. "Alright, I’ll be right back," Keenava said with a happy sigh. Keenava rolled from a seated position into a handstand and pushed herself to her feet. She stretched her core a moment and took a few deep breaths before heading into the Bloated Tortur. Thankfully, Malin cleared the freighter out because Keenava remembered the state of things when Malin was at the con. And, to be frank, he wasn’t the cleanest individual. Keenava bounced against the metal of the ship’s hull on the balls of her callused feet to the kitchen at the center of the starship. She remembered when this place was buzzing with the pitter-patter of various feet and sighed a little to herself at the recollection. She would miss that. But maybe she would have her own crew someday. She wasn’t sure. Her future was a vast unknown. Much like space, it was terrifying and exciting all at the same time. While shuffling through the cabinets to find the rations, she found a secret hollow-backed compartment in the pantry that hid some vegetables. She looked over the vegetables with a careful eye and a cursory sniff or two. Then, with a soft smile, the Twi’lek quickly prepped and steamed her bounty and got to work arranging the rations for their impromptu picnic. When she was done, she had a big dish piled with rations and steamed vegetables with a handful of plates and silverware. She accidentally made a little too much, so she figured she would provide additional plates or flatware in case anyone else was hungry. She didn’t mind sharing, she was going to stock up before going anywhere anyway. _____ Keenava came out into the open air of the improvised landing area, gracefully balancing the plates and flatware with her shoulders and arms. She was busy setting her food and dishes up when Basi came up to their spot. “You’re not interrupting anything private. Feel free to grab a chair or seat and grab some food if you’d like. As for Grandmaster Leena, she is handling some private matters and she may be a while.” Keenava piled a plate with veggies and rations, grabbed a glass of the fancy beverages provided by her new friend, and went to sit over at the table that was set up while she was rummaging in her ship. She settled down and swung her feet back and forth over the warm asphalt beneath them. Sure, it looked a little odd to be having a picnic on a landing pad, but she’d seen much weirder.
  3. With one last flourish and a small dip, Keenava sucked in a breath and collapsed to the ground. It had been a while since she indulged in martial practice, but she felt a giddy, lightheaded sensation at the familiar exhaustion that gripped her. Still, even as she plopped down on the cold, asphalt-like surface of the landing field, she heard the scratching of boots and the slight shift of clothes as a woman approached. She was young, about a head and a half shorter than Keenava when standing at full height. Her appearance seemed tailored as if she spent hours alone on her hair. Nobility? Upper class? Her body language suggested curiosity, and her bearing indicated that she led more with her non-dominant foot, as if she were used to bolstering or protecting. A shield user, perhaps? It was too soon to tell, and there was precious little evidence to go off of regarding her chosen weaponry. Keenava shook her hands out, trying to scramble her innate impulse to build a profile on everyone who approached her and fought to reach a standing position. "Katas are good and well, but perhaps a spar would be better?" Keenava smiled at the offer, but she was having a hard enough time remaining on her feet. "Normally, I'd accept, but I’ve been at this for a few hours, and I just really need to sit down. Do you want to join me? I don’t have much in my ship right now, but I have some basic rations if you want to share." The Twi’lek said, patting the hull of the ship that sat beside them on the pad.
  4. Kata by kata Keenava moved. She sidestepped the rough surface of the tarmac, feeling the rough calluses of her feet tread across the pavement, and tumbled back to it. Her boots lay discarded beside her ship. She wished to balance her limbs and broaden her awareness. A layer of moisture blanketed her face. A smile tugged gently at her lips. Her movements accelerated, becoming a little more frenetic. Each elegant stroke of her brush reached new acrobatic heights until Keenava was doing flips through the air. She sprung from the landing pad and landed upon the Torutur’s hull, using her momentum to launch backward into a somersault that carried her back down. Her heart and mind opened itself to the Force as the music of exertion sang in her mind. She let the flow of life that sang in the rebel camp carry her. She could feel them all; the stevedores with their cargo, the troops with their routines, the nurses with their patients, and the other Jedi with their studies. Not in the sense that they were part of her, no. She felt as if they all washed down the river together. Each voice carried another current. Together they wove into a mighty invigorating energy that spun across the camp. It was a beautiful weave of life that strung them and the world together. After about an hour of practice, Keenava still felt energy buzzing within. However, her heart pounded against her chest, sending signals to her mind and indicating that it was time to stop. The Twi’lek used the momentum of her breaths and slowed the flow of her moves until she stilled. Her breaths worked out in metered repetitions. And, with a simple flourish, she returned to the foot of her ship. She exhaled deeply, a big grin stretched across her face. Her bright amethyst eyes shone with electric hues of effervescent glee. And she marveled at the fact that she could feel such beatific joy. When the high dwindled, her mind lingered briefly on her sister and mother. They could not enjoy such vibrance together, which wasn’t something Keenava would forget. But she could enjoy life for them. They fought to live every day they could, and Keenava felt like she wasted a lot of time. Every path in the dark led to conclusions that no one could understand. Each platitude she clung to while meandering upon the threads of torrid blackness did her no service. And every promise of strength was a fragile lie proposed by unstable minds. It was, therefore, an odd sort of justice that pushed Keenava to live for every moment. Her mother would never see her shining face as she lived the life she’d always meant to live. But Keenava would still fight for every minute in tribute to the moments they lost.
  5. Force… I am never sleeping on a surface that rough again Keenava knew the Jedi despised attachments and luxury because they inspired indulgence, and that was a distraction—she’d heard the lectures and their Sith counterparts. She could understand the purpose behind the rhetoric—on the surface—and the meaning behind their words. Regardless, that rustbucket’s hull was riddled with uneven struts, scrap edges poking at her skin, and a malaise of noise and wet rodent smell that made getting any sleep a nightmarish effort. How the hell she got to sleep on those slate metal sheets on Korriban was a mystery. Maybe she was able to endure the pain a lot more. Keenava shrugged inwardly. Still, she liked feeling things. It was a lot better than ignoring them or feeding on them. The familiar sodden grass of the rebel camp was a welcome respite from Fallen and that accursed tin can that would barely pass for a ship. She flexed her feet and breathed in the welcome tropical air as she bent to and fro, listening as her back gave a satisfying crack that led to a welcome feeling of relief. After rolling her arms out and testing her quads by lifting her heels to her glutes in steady reps, she looked back as the Grandmaster departed the squib’s vessel. Leena looked troubled. The way her brow ridge and eyes furrowed suggested that whatever she had waiting for her was not going to be brief. "Take all the time you need, Leena," Keenava said softly, looking at the young woman with kind eyes. She offered a stabilizing hand as the Mon Cal walked past, and Keenava felt as if everything she’d planned had evaporated. The former assassin watched as another of her masters walked away and wondered perhaps if she possessed some kind of inherent repellent that deterred any would-be mentorship. My next master better watch out. I might start building a reputation. Keenava chuckled a little at her own dark attempt at humor before padding into a cartwheel that sent her in the direction of her ship. The Bloated Tortur sat on the tarmac as it had all that time ago when she ran into the former owner with, oh, so much grace. It was a fond memory, if clunky. It would likely have been less clunky if she hadn’t threatened him. He gave as good as he got, though, and soon they had a standoff on the deck, staring each other down with murderous intent. It was hard to believe that they’d had that kind of relationship, given where they are now. She wondered where he was now, considering she had his ship. Though, since he’d reconnected with his family and was no longer on the run, she was sure that wherever he was, he was happy. She sighed contentedly. Finally. Here I am. My own ship, my own home, my own community, my own name, and my own feet to carry me forward She’d come a long way to get here, and she hadn’t achieved it alone. If it weren’t for her... Keenava’s memory briefly flashed to the young woman on Falleen. Kyrie? Her name is Kyrie. If it weren’t for Kyrie, she would’ve been stuck in a deep, murky blackness of void-like mortality. She would have been drifting far from the great Dejarik Board, the only life she ever knew, and any hope of ever getting back. And not only did Kyrie free her, but she gave her a gift. She allowed her to take back the choice she made all those years ago. And Leena, Roene, and Sandy all helped her see a new path—a path forward. I’m sure her former masters would disagree and attempt to lay some sort of perverted claim on her if they had the chance. But, for the first time in a long time, she could truly and confidently say that her future and her choices were none of their effing business. _____ A few moments later and the Twi’lek was beaming at her new ship. She'd taken a quick tour of the inside. And aside from needing a serious dusting, it was exactly as she remembered it. She took a beat, looking at the landing gear. She flexed her hands and allowed her mind to wander, settling beside her newly acquired ship to practice a few martial arts techniques that she’d let get a bit rusty over the past few weeks. We can’t have that Her head swiveled around the improvised landing pad, noticing a few aliens ambling about, but she decided it wasn’t going to deter her. As long as she had ample space, she’d be okay. Keenava’s heart thudded rhythmically in her chest, rapping out the metronome. Her left leg came up and crossed her midsection. She flexed her right foot, channeling her energy into the ground and shifting her balance to accommodate. She bowed her head slightly and allowed her arms to spread gently out to either side of her body, opened to the air around her, and arrayed like a massive yet lithe avian. Her hands stretched like talons poised to strike, and her lekku were lent to their devices, though she did not forget they were there. Power came from this stance, but it was primarily a defensive starting position. What followed were a series of quick jabs that utilized the back of her wrists and the pointed ends of both of her hands. She kicked and spun, taking very graceful stances that harkened once more to that mysterious avian that Keenava had studied during her time on Corellia during one of her more annoying moments of solitude. She had no choice but to pick up where she left off for fear of letting the silence aggravate her. Keenava had no such qualms now, but she still wanted to grow and didn’t like skills sitting unused. Her style was a hodgepodge of different styles that she'd watched her masters use, and she tried to incorporate things she studied and practiced—she looked to the animals, to the planet, and to the force itself to help make such things possible. Her studies even extended as far as to include multiple alien anatomies and their pressure points and nerve clusters. It created a fairly effective combo that could be used to be lethal or disable opponents. It also never failed to center her and work out her jitters whenever she felt cooped up. It was weak to use as a wholly aggressive tactic. To use it as such would underutilize its defensive capabilities and render the user vulnerable. That is why it was primarily used to defend, or ‘stun-and-run,' as she liked to say. The sun beat across her brow, but her heart was hammering away with an effervescent elation as her lekku moved in tandem with her arms, creating an ebony silhouette that flew like a dark silken gossamer, hugging the wind.
  6. A few hours passed as the two played Sabaac, leaving Keenava to wonder how much her admission missed its mark. Leena seemed to shy away from it, and the Twi’lek worried a little if she overshared. It wasn’t something she was used to. Healthy exploration of emotions wasn’t something explored in the Sith and the Jedi hated expressing emotions so it complicated matters when Keenava was trying to take a step to becoming more mentally and emotionally healthy. She’s not your therapist you goofy twin-tails The ebony Twi sighed imperceptibly as she won another hand. Leena was incredibly bad at lying and though she showed a lot of skill in the more mechanical aspects of the game, the little guppy had a tell that the former assassin could pick off almost instantly. It meant some questionable calls, but Keenava won almost every hand. The grandmaster had picked up on what the former Sith was doing after hand number five and attempted to bluff her tell and shift into something different. Keenava was admittedly surprised, but caught the change in stride, winning that hand as well. The Mon Cal let out an audible groan and was going to shuffle up another hand when her comm chimed. “I told you, Leena, I’m really good at reading people,” Keenava said, suppressing the urge to express the pride she felt in her skills, especially since said skills were earned through pretty morbid research; she did some less morbid research too, but the first-hand experience was always more effective. Leena’s face sank and she indicated that they would have to put their plans on hold. Urgent matters called her back to Ylesia so she rose and asked their ragtag band of rodent traveling companions to change course. There was some back and forth, but eventually, they agreed and they were off again. Life has a way of pushing me in different paths, doesn’t it? Keenava thought to herself with a wry chuckle as she lay back on her makeshift bed and attempted to rest. << Changing course. Next post on Ylesia >>
  7. (((Trigger Warning) TW: Trauma)) Keenava felt a cold knife digging into her back and a familiar unease creep into her stomach. The tone that Leena used reminded her. Every word made her feel small. Keenava knew it was not the Grandmaster’s intent, but that didn't make it hurt less. Seeing an opening in the conversation, Keenava started up, though her tone was somber. "Thank you for telling me and catching me up. But I have something more to say before we get to Ilum." Keenava cleared her throat and raised her hands, open palms, to shoulder level. "Look, respectfully; the irony isn’t lost on me that I have at least eight years on you, Leena—and if you’re wondering how I know, I was an assassin. It used to be my job to study alien anatomy. Please don’t talk to me like I’m a fresh youngling coming to the Academy. We both know that isn’t the case. You’re my Master—correction, Grandmaster—and I will respect your wishes, but you need to understand that there are depths of the force that you have never seen. And hopefully, you never will." There was a weight to her voice. It only got heavier. The Twi’lek moved to sit on her knees and placed her hands atop them. "You speak of sacrifices and loss, but do you know what those words mean? I’m not trying to invalidate your past or your trauma. War is hell. Death is hell. Believe me. I’ve seen it. It’s terrible." The words sounded dismissive, but Keenava’s amethyst eyes filled with pain. She reached a gentle hand to Leena’s right shoulder and settled her fingers around its apex, feeling the cloth of her robe beneath her callused hand. She let her pain resonate between them without forcing it. She let the sorrow settle in the connection, not as a tumor but as a ballad. It was a fragile song that Keenava sang through her newly acquired connection with the force. "Has anyone ever taken something from you on such a profound level that you didn’t feel like you anymore? Have you ever suffered something so deep that you detached? Do you know what happens after an experience like that? No one talks about it. No one talks about how you’re afraid to wake up because your body isn’t yours. No one talks about the dissociation that sets in when you can’t feel anything anymore—the long, restless nights of staring at the endless void and speculating about your existence. Fear becomes an easy respite because no one can protect you when nothing is safe. Everyone looks like a predator. Every corner looks like a trap." Keenava took a measured breath and removed her hand from Leena’s shoulder. Her eyes were still misty, but she carried on. "When I was at my lowest point, someone promised me that I could regain control, feel something again, and desperation is all that remains after so long. Hunger, thirst, smell, taste, touch—they're all gone. All that remains is a torrentially deep desire for control, love, something, anything." "The Jedi say not to build attachments, but one of the most visceral attachments we as biological beings have is with our own body." Keenava’s right hand moved over her heart. There was a warmth there that she wasn’t used to. "People talk about hedonism like that’s all the Sith are. And sure, some Sith enjoy hedonistic revelry. But a lot of Sith are just broken. They can’t look for help because looking for help means admitting to themselves that they’re lost. Looking for help means finding people who want to ‘cure’ them by denying their trauma and ignoring their pain. The Dark Side is easy because it's easy to take what you want when everything in your life has gone to—pardon my language—druk. "And, instead of helping, the Dark Side draws you further. Panicked, treading water at the surface of a dingy mire, a dark hand promises redemption. But it doesn't give you what you seek. It pulls you further and further down until your lungs give out. You have no choice but to drift into darkness, gasping and grasping for whatever you can. "The Dark Side takes. It takes and takes and takes and takes AND TAKES until you have nothing left. The Sith masters you fight have lost everything that made them who they used to be. They are not the indigent, suffering children of generations past. They made a deal with death for power and control and lost more than they thought they would." Both Keenava’s hands went to the crude metal hull of the ship, and her knuckles curled white as she remembered, but they gradually resumed their resting position as she let her feelings out. "This purification was a boon. It was a buoy to keep me afloat. But I still remember everything. I still have scars. They aren’t going to go away. I saw their faces again on that dust ball, walking through the wastes; the faces of everyone who abused me; the faces of everyone who abused my cell mates; the faces of everyone I killed; the faces of everyone I saw die; Furion’s face; Jzora’s face; Exodus’ face; my mother’s face; my father's face. I was lost, trudging through the sand. And…” “You saved me." Bright tears glistened on her face as Keenava looked deeply into Leena’s eyes. "I don’t think you understand what you did. It may not have seemed like much to you. But for me, it was everything. It would have ended there. I was ready to end it. I was given back my soul, only to realize how much of a monster I was. I hated myself and was ready to let go. But you didn’t let me go. You showed me another way, and the Jedi taught me to love myself again." Her ballad swelled to a serene melody, bolstered by a sweet and gentle sound. "I can’t tell you I will never be hurt. I can’t tell you that everything will just go away one day. But I can and will promise you this, here and now. Nothing in this galaxy is strong enough to convince me to return to the dark side. Even were the Spider King Exodus to come and threaten to kill everyone I love and wrench the air from my lungs, I would remain steadfast against the dark side. I have no love for it and no love lost over it. I can promise you nothing will corrupt me ever again." Her song concluded with a weak smile. Keenava’s expression was a little shaky due to the tears that fell from her eyes, but her eyes—her resolve—were steel. "As far as a prized possession? My saber is not that important. It is sentimental. I would love for it to be purified because I’ve already bonded to it, and it does mean something to me, but if that doesn’t work, I will build another one or two. I haven’t decided yet. And the ship—" Keenava paused, leaned closer, and lowered her voice, "I don’t know if you’ve seen this rust bucket we’re in, but it’s seen better days. The ship was a gift, and it’s just sitting on Ylesia gathering dust; it’d be a waste not to use it." Keenava took a deep breath and steadied herself back on her knees. "Then there’s Seela, my sister. We haven’t been close for years. It’s not because we don’t get along; I haven’t seen her. The last time I was with her, I was ashamed of who I was. I wasn’t willing to look at her because I didn’t want to drag her into my life. I didn’t want her to see my ruby eyes. They weren’t my eyes. They were his. Seeing her is not about me regaining a lost attachment. Seela and I accepted decades ago that we might never see each other again. There will be a hole if she dies, but I know better than to let that consume me. If I could connect with her, hug her, and tell her what I’m fighting for, we could die without regrets. I’m not saying that because I expect death. I’m saying that because death happens when we least expect it. Grandmaster Leena, I’m going to see her so I can release my attachment, not secure it. And I am more than willing to wait." Keenava took another deep breath and used the back of her right hand to wipe some tears from her face. She chuckled a little when she remembered Leena’s admission and a mischievous smile spread across her face. "Now that all that’s out in the open, are you up for a game of sabacc?" The hand she used to rub the tears from her eyes flipped, and a deck of cards appeared, seemingly out of thin air.
  8. I’m worried we’ll be crushed into this tiny ship like a Skazz Spit can. Keenava thought to herself while she untangled her lekku from a stray bit of wiring for the third time since coming on this ship. "The accommodations could use work, but I’ve slept on worse." Keenava assembled a crude resting space with some scrap and tested it by lying down briefly. She recoiled at the feeling of a bent, rusted piece of piping she was using for a pillow and adjusted it before returning to an upright seated position across from Leena. "I don’t know if I have any force-related questions at present. Several poignant events in the galaxy happened while I was dead, so it might be prudent to catch up on that. I think I saw something about a moon crashing into Coruscant, the sacking of Naboo, and other notable parts of the galaxy erupting in turmoil. I also heard someone say the Sith were gone and that Nar Shaddaa was their last stand. Trodai’s presence at Falleen proves they aren’t gone completely, but knowing they are not dominant anymore is refreshing." Keenava rattled off with a matter-of-fact tone. Keenava’s thoughts drifted to Exodus and his grand design. His utter disregard for Jedi mingled with his desire for the Sith to be the dominant power in the galaxy, would not have led to this, which likely meant that Exodus wasn’t part of the Sith leadership anymore. Whether through dying or fleeing—which for Exodus was unlikely—he was not around anymore. Who were the new Sith? Was Ailbasi still around? Was anyone she knew still around? Okay, so she had questions. But these weren’t questions that Leena could answer. She wasn’t even sure she wanted anyone to answer them. Maybe Keenava was better off not knowing about the new Sith. After all, she was with the Jedi now. It was certainly an awkward feeling, but it was a good-awkward feeling. “I wish to do something when we get to Ilum." Keenava gently pulled an inert lightsaber hilt from her pack. It had all its smaller components but lacked a color crystal and a crystal at its core. It pulsed with a myriad of lingering energies. The metal base had marks of corrosion and stains of rust and blood that ran the length of it. The cloth padding wrapped around its handle was dingy and worn. Altogether, the piece was plain and looked like a piece of tubing you’d find in a ship much like this. But the energy that pulsed within resonated with Keenava as she held it. She set the hilt on the ground between them and nodded toward Leena as if giving her permission to touch it if she wished. "I want to purify my hilt. I would make a new saber, but this weapon and its components are significant to me and my life." The shackles, bound with titanium and durasteel, formed the metal of the hilt. Forged and melted with careful hands, the metals accented each other without muting the power inside the original material. The shell of the hilt was molded—slightly curved—to fit the articulation of Lallu’s right hand. The rags, woven with Kevlar and leather, formed the padded handle and were added to accent the curvature of Lallu’s palm and fingers. The ruby and silver of her mother’s abdomen jewelry provided ornamentation that accented the bottom of the blade. The electronics and crystals were last, comprising the arteries and veins of the structure. The blade echoed the crimson of her eyes and the blood of vengeance in her heart. “This blade has done terrible things, but so have I. I could make a new blade and forget my past. But I have found more strength when I accept all of myself. I want to give this weapon a fresh start. I figured you could help. Then, after Ilum, I’d like to grab my ship and check on my sister. She’s capable of taking care of herself, so I’m not worried, but now that I have a second chance at being me, I want to reconnect with her.” Keenava’s voice was soft. She didn’t have any worries for her sister–that was true. But she missed her terribly. The last time Keenava saw Seela, she’d rescued her from the same slavers that had killed their mother almost two decades ago. She was ashamed of the demon inside her and couldn’t face Si Si. She showed her a safe house on Talus and left her to her own devices. It was a mercy. It was the only mercy she could give. “Ultimately, I will go where you go and learn what I need to. But I wished to make my requests plain.” Keenava’s amethyst eyes rested on Leena’s, and she smiled a little. “If you’re still looking for a question, I am curious about what you do for fun.”
  9. Keenava giggled a little when Leena collided with the diminutive red critter the former assassin had been eyeing for the past few minutes. The Twi'lek was still a few yards out, so she could not hear what Leena was saying, but she did hear the squib cry out in shock and hastily attempt to shoosh the Mon Cal. But the little red critter's attention was no longer pointed at her. Keenava, feeling just a bit cheeky, let her mind expand and open to the world around her. She then tapped her leg muscles into an ornamental but silent aerial flip that sent her soaring to a position just behind the squib on the opposite side that Leena was on. She padded her boots through the force and utilized her limbs to create multiple contact points with the ground to disperse the sound of her landing. Then, as Keenava gently lifted herself from a squat position, she put her right index finger to her lips and winked at Leena before tapping the squib on the shoulder and going, 'Boo!' The squib cried out again and fell to the ground in shock. Keenava responded with a captivating alto laugh but offered to assist the critter when she had regained her composure. "I saw this little one a while ago, but there was no sense in ruining her fun, especially when I did not feel like I was in any danger," Keenava said warmly, standing up to her full height and relaxing her posture. "Apologies that it took me so long to get back up. I was not used to using the force that way. And shifting my knowledge, learning something new, and then trying to implement all of that at the same time while trying to avoid my alters’ outside influence. It took a lot out of me." The Twi’lek’s lekku were a little restless, wriggling without intention before returning to their normal static position behind her head. "Not to mention, I had an interesting moment after I was out." Keenava continued, vaguely recalling the interaction she had with a facsimile of her former master. "Though this trip has been rough, I am glad I came here. It helped me frame my identity around who or what I am outside of the dark side. I cannot say everything is all leveled out, but I am at peace with everything that has happened. And though you may have had nothing to do with finding me in the desert a few days ago, I am glad you are the one that found me." That lost soul on Tatooine, utterly dissociated and detached from the life she had led, was nihilistic and filled with so much emptiness. She wanted nothing more than to curl up and perish. She was nothing. There was absolutely nothing to redeem. But Leena and Ruin brought her back to herself—the irony that a droid named Ruin led to her salvation was not lost on her. Roene enlightened her. He showed her her sins were not burdens. They happened, and they formed who she was. Sandy’s warm heart anchored Keenava. It helped her remain steadfast against the forces of darkness that threatened her. And that mysterious figure—the Anzati woman she met before. She was the thread that started this whole thing. Because of her, Keenava could think and feel outside of hate and anger. She was allowed to see the monster she became so she could choose not to go down that road again. "Anyway, introspection aside, I am ready to go if you are," Keenava smiled. Her amethyst eyes glinted in the early morning sun. "I do eventually want to pick up my ship on Ylesia, but it is not going anywhere." I am sure Malin will be thrilled that his gift is getting so much use. "So, Master, where are we headed?"
  10. Keenava Dira


    Wrong Location XD
  11. Keenava felt Si Si’s fingers between hers as they scampered down the dusty road. They took turns weaving back and forth and singing a song they’d made themselves. It was a joyful, trivial little tune that didn’t mean much, but as the first note of her sister’s music started... Keenava felt a sharp poke at her ribs. Blustering for a moment while she rolled restlessly on the ground, Keenava’s eyes sprang open, and she leaped to her feet, instinctively raising her arms into a defensive position. A few figures scattered with yelps of panic, and a gem clattered to the stone beneath them. They stood away from the Twi’lek with their shaking hands raised above their heads, but they made no further move. It was unclear whether this was due to an abundance of shock or an element of etiquette or decorum. Regardless, they stared at Keenava with wide eyes. The Jedi regarded them slowly, eyeing their empty hands and pockets. She scanned the rubble around her and took a couple of centering breaths before relaxing her posture and lowering her hands to her sides. She bent down, grabbed the gem and her bag, and took a moment to pat herself down and assess that all of her belongings were still together. She looked skeptically at the arrayed scavengers, shook her head, and then began walking away from the remains of the temple. Dawn rays broke over the horizon and lit her cheek, warming her from the tips of her lekku to her toes. She felt a tingling sensation tickle the base of her spine and something warm in her chest. It was odd. She wasn’t sure how she would feel fusing with her remaining alter, but nothing changed. Keenava came to a stop in the foyer of a broken home and ran over the past few weeks in her mind; she’d been cloned in a place she didn’t recognize, realized that she’d been purified, was caught fleeing slavery by a Sith killer droid and Grandmaster Leena on Tatooine, and then fell into a whirlwind of activity that filled every remaining moment after. Any time that she’d had to reconcile her past, had been rushed to accommodate conflict and functionality—at least until she had that moment with Furion when everything broke down after Leena’s massive purifying wave. It was the first time after her cloning that she was able to process and accept everything that had happened without the weight of expectation resting on her shoulders. She turned her head to see the rising light of the Falleen sun and smiled a little to herself. The sins of her past would continue to plague her, but now—as Roene had advised her on Ylesia—she was finally comfortable accepting who she used to be and moving forward with who she wanted to be now. And, all things considered, she was extremely confident that she would never fall again. She may not always agree with the Jedi, but there was nothing in or out of this galaxy that could convince her to go back to the dark side. No amount of power, or what the Sith called "freedom," was worth the toll. Keenava resumed her stroll through the ruins until she came upon a small contingent of armored people. She wasn’t sure what their affiliation was, but they weren’t looting or fighting, so she didn’t really pay them much mind. She was doing what she could to follow the message that Leena left her and was just about to leave when one of the figures in the mysterious group of people drew her attention (@Kyrie Eleison). An Anzati woman with dark hair and facial scars drew her eyes and stirred her heart. Cautiously, Keenava approached the group, her head cocked slightly to the side. She moved until she was standing in front of the woman and looked deep into her intense emerald eyes. The feeling in her heart swelled with warmth, and it reached out toward the woman the closer she got. But Keenava kept her hands to herself and didn’t get much closer than about six feet. She briefly stammered, spluttering as she tried to come up with something to say, but assembled her thoughts and cleared her throat before starting again. "I don’t know how I know you. In fact, I don’t even think I know your name. But I feel like I should thank you. If it weren’t for you, my life would have taken a completely different turn." Keenava said, her amethyst eyes glinting with hope. Keenava couldn’t explain the link or why she felt compelled to do that, but after she was finished, she turned around and walked away to restart her search for @Leena Kil.
  12. A pulse, a blast, and a wave; each breath, each step, each ache, and each tinge of nausea mingled into one delirious moment. When the rite was done and the wave of cleansing dawn rushed from Leena’s body, exhaustion finally took Keenava, bringing her to the ground. It wasn’t gentle, but she managed to avoid serious damage by carefully aiming her body at a stretch of flat stone. When she made contact with the cold, dusty brick beneath her, she coughed, and her vision dimmed. Her head began to bob bit by bit, and she slowly lost focus as Leena's form faded away. Silence followed. The dust motes clinging to the surface of her eyes were a distant memory. A deep velvet black took her, a black interrupted only by two yellow wolfish eyes. A shadowy form moved in the black, though its movements were nigh imperceptible. Keenava sat opposite the ethereal form, with her alter, Lallu, sitting beside her. Lallu, an alter that had come to represent every other alter before, was formed from distinct traumas and trauma bonds that Keenava had formed throughout her life. Lallu inhaled sharply, anxiety writ across her face. And Keenava followed suit, though she was not anxious. You’ve failed. You’ve— Keenava’s hand shot up within seconds of the shadow’s speech. Cold fury oozed from the malicious gaze that he leveled at her, but he remained silent. No. No more lies. No more duplicity. From the moment I met you, you’ve lured and baited me. I was desperate—a traumatized plea away from doing exactly what you told me to do without question. You once asked me, Who are you? What do you want? Then you proceeded to answer for me. You said I didn’t have the answers and that you could show me how to find them. You inserted yourself as some kind of savior in my hopeless need for something beyond the limited scope of my understanding. And though you narcissistically pushed me toward the very same path you were warding me from, you were right about one thing. Who I am is something only I can discover. You dangled certainty beyond my grasp like a cruel miser, hoarding peace because you saw little use in it. What is peace when you’re a Sith? Why is peace important when strength is all you see? You said you could lead me to the freedom my heart craves and then imprisoned me, heart and soul, within the bosom of a world that shackled all who sought it. The Sith Code was and is a fragile lie, made to tether those to its misguided promise. Twisting nature to fit your whim only creates narcissistic bonds and twists the fabric of who you are to reflect your own misdeeds. I’ve committed patricide, homicide, arson, and any number of other hideous crimes in your name and in others. But none of it did anything except leave a gaping hole. Will you let me— No. You’ve had years to speak—almost a decade! You will let me speak, and then you will leave. Keenava cleared her throat and held Lallu’s hand. Lallu swallowed slightly, but her voice replaced Keenava’s. I told you that you were my friend. You were my savior. You were my lover. You were my desperation, my devotion, my love, my obsession, and everything I could have ever dreamed of. Lallu was almost on the brink of tears, but she didn’t move or hesitate. You were the only man I could ever trust. You were the only man, woman, or being that had ever shown me anything close to kindness, outside of my mother and my sister. And yet you constantly pushed me away. I ached for you. I yearned for you. And maybe that chased you further away. But I didn’t know. I didn’t know until now. Love is a power, but it’s also a weakness. The vulnerability I showed to you opened me up to all sorts of repercussions and to so many feelings that I hadn’t felt in a long time. But, unlike the monsters of my past, you never took me. Every time I followed you, obsession writ across every feature, you never physically used or abused me. Not once. And for that, I am very thankful. But I didn’t realize your torture was ever more malicious. Your words cut so deep that I couldn’t find who I was beneath your lie. I used to think you were the most extraordinary man I had ever met. But now I know. Lallu looked at Keenava with a feeling of deep sorrow in her ruby eyes. Keenava nodded and grasped her hand a little harder. The shadowy form attempted to speak once more, but this was Keenava’s mind. Furion would have the power she let him have. If she let him have any at all. After a moment of letting her tears fall in silence, Lallu continued. Your response was: How can you expect me to love you more than myself? I was devastated. Not a second went by that I didn’t play that moment in my head again and again, hoping for another outcome. But it never came. That fantasy that I held onto for so long was so much dust in the wind and would never coalesce into the picture I wanted it to be. But the tumor of pain, loss, and obsession you fostered through the darkness took root. I couldn’t ignore the searing reminder every time I touched the force. Every time I tried to take anything for myself, you were there. Because the dark side is pain. The dark side is shame. The dark side is regret. Only when I was freed from that agony could I see any hope of redemption. Maybe you did me a favor by rejecting me, allowing me to see beyond you. But you don't deserve to be recognized for incidental victories. And while my feelings for you may never truly be gone, I can say with certainty that you have no power over me anymore. Lallu’s face was thick with tears, but her eyes were cold. Keenava nodded with a warm smile, continuing to grasp her alter’s hand. A beat passed, and the three of them sat in silence before Keenava and Lallu fused. A wreath of light passed over their forms as they joined, and Keenava almost started crying as the residual feelings poured into her. But she maintained her composure. The Furion form stirred, still fighting against his muzzle. I have another chance—a real chance. I get to choose my destiny and who I want to be. I hope you are okay wherever you end up, but I have no further thoughts for you. With a wave of her hand, the Furion specter disappeared into the black. A memory of her and Si Si playing together as kids replaced him. Keenava looked on, deepening her warm smile and let herself glide gently into sleep.
  13. Before Keenava loped up the staircase of the blackened temple to Leena’s side, she took a deep breath. She felt tingling sparks at the tips of her toes and fingers. Shaking her wrists, she could feel a slight drag in her forearm. Her legs were relatively pliant, but she could tell they would be sore in the morning. The surface of her fingers glossed gently over the metallic hilt attached to her hip, checking to see if it was still there. Then, with a bend from side to side—which elicited a creaking sound from her jumpsuit—Keenava crossed the distance to Leena’s side. She could feel the bright energy pouring from the Mon Cal as she surged her purifying energies into the temple. But a rumble and crunch from further in alerted Keenava to something dangerous that was about to happen. The Twi’lek dipped her hand into the soothing river of force energy around her, something she found a lot easier this time, and quieted her frantic mind to cobble together a plan. She’d only just learned to touch the force this way, unfortunately, so her options were limited. The stones would be too much to hold before they could crash. Keenava could not guarantee anyone's safety if she tried to hold the stones up for any amount of time. And she knew that force-speed was an effective alternative, but the technique didn’t dilate time, and any advantage she had would decrease with every additional body. There had to be a way to keep the stones from crashing down. Could we get them to crash outward? Maybe. But there were risks. There were always risks. Keenava drew on the grandmaster’s strength as she stood beside her and thrust both of her hands outward at a forty-five-degree angle toward the ceiling. She rooted herself to the ground and did whatever she could to imagine projecting the temple ceiling up and away instead of letting it fall down on the Jedi or the cultists and sacrifices within. She harmonized with the energy around her, feeling allies and comrades as they all worked toward a common goal. And though she wasn’t sure it would work, she knew they had to do something or they would all be crushed.
  14. Like velvet night, the tremors of malediction continued to swathe the Jedi as they pushed further through the war-torn streets. The choir of sorrow to which Keenava was accustomed was pressing loudly against her, threatening to overwhelm what control she had. But the darkness would not find purchase. She held fast to the will she was given, and thus the burden of mortality could weigh on her again. That’s not what death’s supposed to feel like. Death is supposed to be fun. Why does it feel different? Why do I feel sad? What did you do to me? I didn’t do anything. That is what death has always felt like. But the rush of fury and vengeance drowned any speck of conscience you had. Even our father’s death, though justified, was painful in its own way. They deserved it. He deserved it. While I do not feel remorse for our father’s loss, we were drowning in the depths of the deepest black and couldn’t see the pain we inflicted on others. That’s good. It makes us more effective. No. It makes us sociopathic. It robs us of choice. It leads us further away from reason and logic. It makes us reckless. So? So, no matter what the future holds, I would prefer to think for myself than to let myself go back to distorting the forces of nature to get what I want. I would prefer to think freely than shackle myself to an unfeeling cancer that robs me of my freedom. It’s the Jedi that rob you of your freedom! You only win your freedom with strength, remember? Strength through pain; strength through trauma. But everyone has trauma! And most Sith insist their trauma trumps other traumas, as we did. Every Sith I have met competes with others through pain. But no one wins. I have felt the deepest, darkest indecencies that anyone can feel in this galaxy. I have been sullied by a number that spans too far to count—my own father among them. I did not know what life was like beyond the darkness. But my trauma does not invalidate other traumas. My experiences do not make me ‘better’ than anyone else. And holding that trauma as a badge over others did nothing but make us look arbitrarily pretentious. The Jedi may not be the answer, but they are careful. The Jedi wish for peace before starting war and use logic to solve what they can. They are not perfect, but no one is. Do you remember Furion? Do you remember Exodus? They ruled absolutely and saw others as lesser beings—Including you! You cannot in good conscience tell me that that made them better. Because, at that time, you did not have a conscience. You were motivated by pain that you refused to acknowledge because acknowledging it would make you weak. Do you remember Ailbasi and how you recklessly charged in? No plan, no thoughts, no strategy? You were stupid. That conflict was baseless. But now, do you feel that emptiness in our lekku? The absence of that leaden weight that kept us down for so long? That is a resolution. That is a conclusion. That emptiness lets us think and choose like anyone else. Maybe we can choose anger, but it doesn’t have to be our only tool. And if we have to deal with more empathy and compassion than usual, that is well worth the price. Remember earlier, when we felt the force flow through us? We channeled the cool energy through our body instead of trying to twist it. It was a balm. It lifted us and helped us instead of dragging claws across our back and reminding us of the pain that we had suffered. Every day does not have to be a trial. Every day does not have to be a reminder. We can live with our own choices and our own will. We can be our own person. There was no sound, but feelings of withdrawal and grief touched the edge of Keenava's perception. Our sister lives, our fate is unknown, and we have new ways to explore the force and friends to help guide us. It is not perfect, and things may change. But our world is better than it has ever been, and I intend to keep it that way. The Twi'lek was keeping pace with Leena and Kadi as they wove through the streets, stopping only when they arrived at what appeared to be the nexus of dark energy: the temple to the Fanged God.
  15. Only after the beam of plasma finished its arc, did Keenava see. The roadway sat motionless in her mind. The feather-light touch of the force tickled at her nose and spread throughout her body, mingling with fragments of her torrid past, manifesting in a technique that she didn’t understand. She let out a breath she didn’t know she’d been holding, and one of her knees fell to the cold road. Soil and gravel bit up at her through her jumpsuit. The planet felt cold. Death was no stranger here. The leader fell, and her head fell beside her. But the glimpse held in her blue eyes as the moment drew on was almost relief. The frail form of the woman as she crumpled to the ground was not the demon she was a scant second or two ago. In death, though corrupted, it was as if she’d had one breath of clean air—a breath of clean air in a coal mine. Before the final act carried her to her grave. A somber silence masked the next few moments as Keenava held that pose. The beam of verdant green still fizzled and spat as the healing mist continued to shroud her. Dust was all that remained. Dust is all that persisted as the thralls of darkness continued to fall around her. Even the cult leader had been banished to this macabre ashfall. In her somber state, Keenava saw the particles hanging in the air, falling gently as the light cleansed them: mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. Their deaths were justified, but now that Keenava could think, now that her conscious soul had been purified from its inky black, she could feel the weight of them. If she had the choice, she would do it again to protect the future, the balance, and her friends. But it felt different. Something about Keenava was happier that she could feel this sad. If the choice to end a life was effortless, what meaning was there in life to begin with? If you don’t value life enough to stay your blade, what kind of life do you lead? "May the force be with you." Keenava breathed as she bowed her head and extinguished her blade. The Twi’lek felt rumbles and concussions as powerful figures clashed on the paths ahead. She could feel the chaos of the world around her as the somber moment passed. And as she let the shroud of mist fall from her shoulders, she could feel her master in the distance, effort pooling in the force as she struggled. Keenava did what she could to send good thoughts to her master and bolster Sandy in her fight, but now was not the time for hesitation. Stretching her quads for good measure, she ran back to Leena and Kadi to regroup.
  • Create New...