Jump to content

Keenava Dira

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Keenava Dira last won the day on March 17

Keenava Dira had the most liked content!


39 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. 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.
  2. Keenava saw the flow of energy rush to contain the chaotic rush of bodies as they scurried away from salvation like nunas with their heads cut off. Because, regrettably, salvation meant death to creatures so far gone that they had no light left. The sounds of tissue sizzling and bones popping formed a macabre chorus around them. And though she was familiar with the sound, it still turned her stomach. "Stop them." Leena waved at the fleeing queen of the damned. "The city must be protected, lest our brethren Knights be overrun." Keenava’s head turned. She instinctively detached the cool metal cylinder from her hip with a flourish and activated its bright green blade. It was alien. It didn’t feel like her, but it would do. The snap-hiss was familiar enough. …Use what you know and combine it with who you are now… …Keenava disappeared, leaving a corona of shadowy darkness behind her. She felt her heartbeat fall into sync with the beat of the planet like a bead of rainfall rejoining a mighty river. She swirled her head and caught the dimming red energy of the usurper jogging through a small clearing nearby. The trees around him bent in his procession, breathing in his essence. She could hear their whispers… Keenava felt the dry, hollow air of Umbara clawing at the crevices of her hands. Her mouth dried up, and her throat rasped. The shadowy beings that hunted her were replaced by the 'Consumed' around her. And the Jedi usurper’s bright red silhouette was replaced by their leader as she fled. Feelings of malnourishment and exhaustion clung to her muscles. Hunger and rage thrashed against each other and threatened to engulf her, but they found no purchase. She wasn’t desperate. She wasn’t drowning. She was in control. She grabbed the thread of her memory and followed the sensation to something she once knew. But, instead of relying on her id to twist the world to her whim, Keenava let her mind and body drift into the bright flowing energy around her. Like a leaf as it blew through the breeze, she fell into the force and let the healing mist embrace her, willing herself forward. The mist answered by blanketing her and mottling her shape. It was as if she were almost a cloud herself. Then, with force-enhanced speed and nimble movements, Keenava’s feet shot from the ground. Her departure cracked the air with the force of a slugthrower’s ignition, and she took off like a rocket. The Consumed attempted to cling to her as she made her way through the street, but she used their grasps to further her momentum. She flipped through the air and stepped on her assailants' heads, jumping from place to place. They were light movements, but her momentum would propel them to the ground as she moved if they didn’t brace themselves. She was a blur, the green beam of Leena’s lightsaber streaming behind her all the way. When she caught up to her quarry—the shepherd of the Consumed—she let her momentum carry her into a series of aerial flips and allowed the remaining kinetic energy to flow into the durasteel, cushioning her joints as she hit the ground a few feet ahead. The healing mist flowed around her body at irregular intervals, covering pieces of her form without pattern. With glowing purple eyes, and a glint of the red they once were sparking at the edge, Keenava held the burning green blade as a barrier. "I’m afraid I can’t let you do that. If you won’t stop, we must stop you." Keenava said, her voice measured and neutral. Keenava could feel the force of darkness that her target had been fleeing toward. If Leena hadn’t snared them, the potential chaos they would have achieved was a dangerous unknown. “Quick and clean. I’m no stranger to death. I would grant you life if I could, but all roads are closed. It is time to face your fanged god.” With a single elegant strike, Keenava leaped at the leader with the intent to decapitate her.
  3. Breathe… One step, and this flash in the pan became open warfare. Breathe.. The ray of light that Keenava held in her hand moments before erupted into a tidal wave of blinding energy. Breathe. Webs of darkness flowed beneath them and around them, redoubling their efforts to drive the Jedi from their land. It was a little disorienting. They went from one act of protective defiance to standing at the eye of a chaotic storm. "You’re a Jedi now. That does not mean you forget who you are or where you came from. You are a child of light. Let it flow through you. Use what you know; combine it with who you are now." _____ Familiar words. Keenava didn’t know what made these words different, but something about them took her away from the enormity of everything. Instead, she focused on one thread at a time. A thread of the past—the overwhelming void of darkness in front of them—a thread of the present—an oddly familiar feeling that came from somewhere outside the city—and a thread of the future—the reassuring salmon hue of her friend Leena—all wove together to create the tapestry of her life in this moment. When she looked out at the ‘Consumed,’ she saw herself. Like many times before, she’d seen different versions of herself. But this one was a distinct reflection. This one was Lallu. All of her scars, tattoos, abuse, and Sith motivations merged into one angry, red-eyed maniac. You’re scared. No, I’m not. Yes, you are. You’re still that little girl who never got to grow up. You’re still lashing out at everyone who took advantage of you. And you’re pathetic. You’ve given up everything that made us powerful. I could take out these chumps like it was nothing. I didn’t give up anything. You’re still here, aren’t you? Lallu was silent. The difference is that I was given a gift. I was given a second chance to be the woman we wanted to be—to be the woman our mother wanted us to be. At the word "mother," a tear fell down Lallu’s face. Keenava came to her side and gently wiped the tear away. So I’m here to give you the same gift. Fight with me. I’m not ashamed of you. You happened, and you made me more of who I am today than anyone else. Let’s fight together. Keenava reached for Lallu’s hand and felt as the deeply callused tissue touched hers. You’re right. Let’s do this. The Twi’lek felt a surge of assurance and just a tinge of... mania? _____ Keenava latched Leena’s saber to her belt. Then, with hands outstretched, she began muttering under her breath. Leena’s purification and the Consumed’s depravity were clashing like roaring beasts. But the Dark Side prided itself on obfuscation. Confusion and illusion were common among the Sith in their clashes with the Jedi. But Keenava wasn’t only a Jedi. She lifted her fingers to the web of darkness that unfurled before her. Then she began to carefully touch the velvety black strands. Lances of painful memory cracked against her braintails as she went, but she continued to stand. She began to thread the silky strands together, navigating every shameful act and dark scene imaginable. It was nothing. Pain was nothing but a reminder. I’m alive, and I’m here. And I won’t let you have this ground. Every step felt like trying to wrench open the mouth of an active volcano. But it was something she could do. It was something only she could do. It set her apart from every other Jedi. She knew the dark; she’d seen titans fall and rise like it was just another day. She’d suffered depravity and seen it committed in equal measure. She’d seen horrors that would make the Consumed wish for death. And now she had the mental discipline and control to hold it at bay. She would be a servant of the light by helping them navigate the dark. With one big pull, Keenava created a channel large enough to let Leena’s influence through. Her eyes slowly fluctuated between glowing amethyst and a bright magenta as she "held the door," but she was at peace. Conflict was her norm, chaos was her life, and after all this time and all these self-discoveries and head trips toward self-acceptance, she wouldn’t hide anymore. As Keenava watched the flow of Leena’s brilliant purification thread through the sluice gate that she created in the Consumed’s dam, the Twi’lek reached one hand to the saber at her belt and readied herself for whatever followed.
  4. Keenava's tearful reverie was shortened by an abrupt intrusion. The ground swelled with a familiar ick. Emerald and ebony fog billowed around them like the aftermath of a garish pyrotechnic display. They finally show themselves... The Twi'lek accepted Leena's proffered hand and left the solace of her vision to unite their efforts. Their trinity surged with a hypnotic brilliance before the encroaching swarm. And with that catalyzing gesture, Keenava found herself on a razor's edge, balanced between the void she knew, and the light she'd been fighting to preserve. Though the beast of temptation was resting near, she wasn't concerned anymore. The shear vastness threatened to overwhelm her as it had in the past, but she was smarter now--stronger. Focusing on the light of her mother, a warmth deep in her core, she could shift the flow and shape her channel. She willed herself to be a tributary, not a dam. And, while she fought to maintain focus, elements of her power and resolve spilled out. Growing ornate patterns of frost started clinging to the edge of her gaze as her eyes glowed a little brighter. Gentle drops began to fall from the sky. A puffy steel-gray mist broke against the emerald procession. And an invigorating chill broke the thick humid air. Dew drops glistened on Keenava's lashes, reflecting the lavender light from her eyes. "No. This child was lost. She is in our care." The mist that rose from the trio's ankles was soft. It was imbued with the fresh bracing vigor of a bright winter's morning. "In fact, you all seem lost." "The Dark Side is not strength." "The Dark Side is a lack of resistance. It is giving in to your basest instincts and desires, listening to the rashest part of your brain. It is giving up the fight. It is defeat. It is surrendering ectropy in favor of entropy which is chaotic and unknowable." "And yet, it is where the lost go. I have been where you are now. There is no future for you of any meaning or substance. Abandon consumption, and choose redemption." Keenava stared at the black parade with empathic eyes and a neutral face, waiting for Leena to continue.
  5. A sliver of ice tickled the base of her neck. Her feet brushed steel through thick boots, pounding hard with desperate speed. Panic, fear, and terror spread from her shoulder; it was a familiar touch, gripping hard. But she saw no assailant, nor any looming darkness. Yet the dread she felt was exigent. Hello darkness, my old friend… A young Falleen collapsed at their feet. But Keenava could not see her. She felt the floor drift, and her gaze shifted. The gashes began to blister on her back, and fresh whip lacerations stung as air rushed by. Her heart pounded the melody of suffering. Hot salt bit at the skin of her face, and her mind warred… Keenava stood, her body limp and forgotten—a prisoner of the cologne of misery that the victim effused. The twi’lek’s eyelids drooped, and her gaze focused on nothing. Her body felt numb from the waist down. But, in a way, so did her mind. She tore at her own lekku, trying to feel something—anything—but nothing happened. She was nothing…just meat… Only meat… "Focus on the light. Find it within yourself and drive the darkness back from her mind." Leena’s voice washed across her; cold water brushed over her sordid trance, shaking her from her reverie. She slowly flexed her hands and felt as her mind rose from the murk bit by bit. "This girl needs you." Keenava felt Leena’s gaze on hers, and a rush of ice cracked against her mind. Awareness was restored like a flash of lightning, which almost brought Keenava to her knees. Warm streaks tickled her cheeks, and now she could see the injured girl at their feet. "Right… yeah, we need to move her." The Twi’lek looked around quickly, spotting a pile of crates that seemed just large enough to obscure them from view. "Alright, help me get her over there." She made a sign with her lekku. On the way, Keenava tried to do as Leena asked, but… how? She'd just given up on twisting the force to her advantage. How did she…find the light? Did she just ask nicely? Would the force respond to that? Fake it til you make it, I guess? __ She imagined herself going outside and seeing stars, a moon, a sun, or any other brilliant astral body; she pictured herself lighting torches, candles, light emitters, flashlights, etc. But she couldn’t ‘find the light’ as Leena said. What a beautiful little one! Confused, Keenava probed her mind, but nothing was there. She looks lost and afraid. You remember that, don’t you? A song of regret and pain gripped her for a second, to be replaced by a ballad that stung with a visceral sadness. A voice called from somewhere. It was soft, gentle, and familiar. M-m-mom? Kiki. It’s nice to hear my strong girl’s voice. But I’m not strong. I ran away for so long. I killed so many people. I caused so much anguish.I’m not worth forgiveness. Why am I here? Why did I come back? Why didn’t I just stay floating in that void? Free from the confidence she’d built to protect herself, Keenava’s heart was bare, and streaks of tears flowed freely now. Whether her tears were real or imagined, she didn’t know, nor did she care. You’re right. You did run. You ran from a world that threatened to consume you. All the cards were stacked against you. And yet, you never gave up. You kept fighting. Do you remember this? __________ A cloudy scene enveloped Keenava. She was pre-pubescent again, and the darkness of her cell was a dim black, lit only by a sparse arrangement of blinking light emitters. It had been a few years since she volunteered to take her mother and sister’s place. She sat staring at the space between the bars, hoping for things to melt away and go back to how they were. Scratches throbbed up and down her lekku. They made her a little lightheaded, but she barely noticed. "You gave us a lot of trouble, you druk. And, as punishment, you get to watch us do this!" The cruel face she had known for so long swept across her vision. And, in his hands… "NO! MOM?!" "Oh, so this lady right here means something to you. It’d be a shame if something happened to her." "YOU GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF HER RIGHT NOW!" Flames erupted from Keenava’s arms and lit her mother’s captor ablaze. Her mother’s eyes widened with concern, but her mouth was gagged. __________ Why are you showing me this? I lost control. Yes. But why did you lose control? To protect you from them, but it didn’t mean anything. I know what comes next. I couldn’t save you. And you can’t save everyone. But maybe that’s okay. How could you say that? You’re gone, and I didn’t even get to say goodbye! Her mother appeared to her in a spectral form of lavender light that bent down and put a hand on her shoulder. People die. I never got the chance to talk to you about it, but it happens. If I hadn’t died there, I would’ve died somewhere. The important thing is that my strong girl held on. She kept on living. And if she hadn’t, none of us would be around anymore. Your sister would’ve been alone, and you would likely have passed away sometime later than me when they deemed you too much trouble. You may be lost now. You may have a hard time forgiving yourself, but I’ve never blamed you. Never once did I look at you and see anything but my strong little Kiki. You even have my eyes now, which makes my heart soar every time I look at you. Keenava sniffled. The beauty of her mother's aura transfixed her. I don’t deserve you. Of course you do. They do too. Keenava’s mother stretched her arm out, revealing Kana, Kara, Kava, Malive, and all of her daughter’s alters. Many people made a strong impression on you, giving you a voice to speak for yourself. But, in all of that, you lost your voice. Now they’re all here to remind you that there’s only one Keenava. There has always been one, and she’s right here. The figment of her mother touched a hand to Keenava’s chest. All the alters joined hands. And the closer Keenava looked, they all looked a lot more like her than they used to. They all cried together. The murdering, the sadistic, and the chaotic were all weeping in tandem. And then all of them faded into Keenava’s mother’s hand. They are only fragments of you. And now that you can think again, the whole galaxy—no, the universe—gets to hear your voice: my fierce, protective Kiki. Now you get to be the beautiful soul you were always meant to be. And maybe, just maybe, you can help others do the same. Thank you for everything, Mom. The Twi’lek looked up to see her mother once more, but she wasn’t there. All that remained was a vivid light glowing in the palm of her hand. __ Keenava smiled. It was a small gesture, but it echoed in her physical form as she bent over the Falleen that lay mired in darkness. She stretched her hand out and connected to the light she still felt in the palm of her hand, letting the force flow through her. She gently ran her fingers along the young woman’s brow as a mother would her child, tucking stray strands of hair behind her ear and wiping the blood from her cheek. Under her breath, Keenava hummed a lullaby that her mother used to sing. Soft tears continued to flow across her cheeks as she tried to share her light with the young woman.
  6. Berry fizz tickled, an expression of wonder; then nothing remained. Keenava savored the dregs of her beverage. Bright notes of red fruit clung to the inside of her palate as the fizz settled at the back of her throat. It was a lovely bouquet, one that Keenava had hoped to repeat. But, as she bent from her post to discard her glass on a nearby tray, three newcomers joined the throng. The first figure was small and covered in ornamentation. The others who loomed behind were almost certainly hired muscle to cover the first. Bodies were displaced, pressing closer together, and the heat of the room rose a few degrees. She could feel the distinct weight of influence as everyone’s tempers shifted. It was as if the entire cantina tensed in unison, save for the troopers. They seemed content to continue their crude jokes and gestures. Keenava sidled up to Sandy and bent ever-so-slightly toward her master, letting one of her lekku—the one facing the front of the bar—fall in front of her before whispering, "I'm following Leena. If you need me, I’ll be at the ship." This close to her, it was almost impossible to ignore her intrusive thoughts, but Sandy’s guidance still sang beneath the chaos of her mind, keeping her away from inappropriate diversions. That said, getting out was easier said than done. She could simply walk out the door, but who's to say their new guests would let her leave? The repugnant behavior from the trooper’s table reached a fever pitch to the point that a group of toughs nearby were preparing to leave. Keenava, though also disgusted, saw her opening. She fell in step behind the rough-looking individuals as they left, shuffling her silhouette with theirs to mislead those that chose to follow. Once her tail hit the door, they veered into the crowd. Keenava broke and carefully followed her steps toward the shuttle, intentionally brushing Leena’s shoulder as she continued.
  7. The air tightened. The number of bodies began to test the edge of subtlety. It became increasingly obvious that something was going on, even to untrained eyes. Troopers of no indicated allegiance, mysterious hooded individuals, and a scant few nameless patrons that could easily contribute to the mess combined into a stew of suspicious origin. Her eyes gilded the cantina, leaving no inch untended. Conflict was inevitable, and her instincts fought to keep her aware of each ebb of the growing dissonance. The soothing touch of Sandy’s guidance was a boon, and she managed to successfully divert her intrusive thoughts, but it was a silver thread amidst a rough-hewn thatch. When she finished with the bulk of the building, her eyes fell on each patron in turn. And though his paltry beard was enough to give pause, the price tag clinging to its tawdry fibers diverted her gaze to a very familiar Hutt, gazing at her from behind the bar. The misshapen contacts did little to hide his crimson eyes, and his crooked nose looked like it was almost falling off his slimy face. Sheog... Despite herself, Keenava laughed. It was a bright sound, full of joy; there was no hint of the chaos she once possessed. The smell of blood and sod lingered in her mind. She could almost feel the scabs ghost over her arms, and she could remember the feeling of slime upon her lips. Alters warring against themselves, antiseptic burning the fibers of her skin, and uncertainty clashing with anxiety merged to form a lovely bouquet. The planet of Trulalis wasn’t the best memory she had. But it was where she first met Sheog, so it wasn’t all bad. And though she hadn’t always treated him as well as he deserved, he, Rose, and Raia were the only real friends she had until a few days ago. It was not the reunion she expected. But she was glad it was him. "I’ll be right back," Keenava said quietly to Sandy before making her way to the only open barstool. Like the others next to her, she sat with a mask of patronly indifference. However, her beautiful eyes—a brilliant amethyst replacing their former crimson hue—told a different story. "I’ll have a Hyperdrive or a cup of something fizzy if you don’t have it." Keenava said, settling her elbows on the bar. After a beat, the Twi’lek found a lapse and penned something discreetly on a small piece of paper. Then, through practiced sleight-of-hand, she pinned it to the back of a credit chip that she handed directly to the bartender. "Plus a little tip for your trouble," Keenava added with a genuine smile of gleaming ivory. When her drink came, she grabbed it happily and hopped off the stool, finding her familiar place on the wall a foot or two from Sandy and the others.
  8. Keenava found a reliable groove to follow that effectively smothered the whispers conspiring to drag her into very uncomfortable territory. That is, until Sandy's scarred hand clasped her wrist. At the fragile contact, Keenava's defenses vaporized like tissues in a typhoon. Catalyzed by the surprise, chutes of electricity shot up the sinew of her arm, exploded like fireworks at the crux of her skull, and fell down the length of her brain tails. There the sensations lingered, smoldering at the tips of her lekku, taunting her. Keenava's imagination hadn't sufficiently emulated the touch of a callused master's hands as they slid across the thin flesh of her forearm, eliciting a soft yet vibrant blush in the apples of her cheeks. Images of ecstasy danced in her brain at the razor's edge of decorum. And, without the ability to rely on the force for fear of doubling down on her fantasies, Keenava was trying to tread water as the surface rose quickly above her head. But then, almost as quickly as it came, the candle was snuffed out. The sensation of peace washed over her, replacing and renewing her confidence. Sandy's power was a gentle rock to lean on, standing against the tide, and it helped Keenava regain her footing. Perhaps she would investigate and unpack her curiosity at another time, but loosely indulging her ego or id was not something she deemed appropriate anymore. Especially when it was very possible her feelings would not be returned. "Hey, miss," Keenava hailed the waitress as she walked by, "can I get a Hyperdrive?" Keenava asked, flashing a warm smile. "If you don't have that, please get me a nice juice or some water. I don't need alcohol this early. Thank you." The former Sith Lord leaned against a wall near the table they were gathering at and handed the waitress a modest credit chip as compensation. The ident on the account had no details about her in particular if anyone chose to investigate. The creds ran to an account on Corellia owned by a woman named Ullanna Gwynn. And, at least in this case, it wasn't because Keenava was incredibly prepared. It was due to the fact that that was the only account Keenava had ever opened, and she still remembered the access codes.
  9. Keenava looked curiously at the group as they all put on serious faces, but surrendered the concern as they pushed on. It wasn’t her mission. It wasn’t her call. They stuck out, though, as she knew they would. This world was a den of hedonism, with or without intention. Pleasure was the language, pleasure was the currency, and pheromones were almost more common than air. Look too serious, and people will think you’re up to something. Look too innocent, and people will see you as an easy mark; she had an uncomfortable amount of experience in that arena. So Keenava adopted an aloof expression, carefully scanning their surroundings with her eyes, taking note of easy access points, escape routes, and choke points all without moving her head. She was reluctant to use the Force to do so and instead leaned on her mundane senses. The dark whispers were thick. And even if she could resist, it was unwise to probe where unwanted ears could be listening. When they reached the main thoroughfare, Keenava was struck with a sensory explosion. It was thick here. The smell of sin was languid and ever-present. Every moment they pushed further was a moment of time threatening to consume them. The rain didn’t help. The smell of sweat and pheromones wasn’t easily washed from the masses as they continued onward. But to them, it was normal. Keenava felt a mild physical reaction as heat rushed to her cheeks, but muffled the bulk of her reaction with a small cough. And, if that wasn’t enough, it was heavier in the cantina. The bar was an isolated space, so the pheromones had nowhere to go. They were swept into the ventilation system and recycled, creating a continuous air of want and need. Keenava did everything she could to isolate—but she’s right there—h-her feelings and stop them from—you and her shared a moment. I wonder how far you could go—overwhelming her other senses. Keenava’s gaze hovered over Sandy briefly after she took a deep, sobering breath. She bit the inside of her mouth and let the pain distract her. It was important not to let your—but you two are very similar. You’re very close. Imagine her scarred hands—baser desires control you. The phantom sensation of calluses skimming the top of her skin gave her gooseflesh and sent chutes of electricity from the base of her lekku down to the tips. Keenava reached up and pinched her right brain tail slightly. The pain was severe, but it was enough to reboot her senses. She shook her head, let the others get a small lead, paused briefly by the dancers, one of which was a beautiful blue Twi’lek, and made some motion with her lekku before falling in-step behind the others. The dancer’s eyes glinted in the dim light of the building, but she continued dancing with her fake smile plastered across her face. The atmosphere was suffocating and familiar. The unwashed faces, the dancers with their illusory masks, and the patrons doing their best to wash away fading contention, placating what little hope they had with promises of quick relief and amber denial. Darkness preyed on desperation and these people were very desperate... Keenava stuck to the back of the group, successfully steeling her thoughts and maintaining her mildly aloof body language despite the murky environment threatening to consume them.
  10. A deep ocean of darkness lay beneath and around them. The warmth and convenience of slipping into something familiar were there. But she’d been away too long. The warmth threatened to burn, and the convenience was coated with piercing barbs. She was different now. It wasn’t a posture that she could just shift out of. Every step deeper into the darkness was nothing but surrender. It was releasing every choice she had and justifying weakness. But now, the darkness could only take her to the edge. It could only teeter her on the razor. She knew what lay on the other side. She knew the saccharine temptation. And she knew exactly what waited for her if she fell... She knew the mantra well: Peace is a lie; there is only passion—false Denying peace in favor of passion blinds you to balance and serenity. Through passion, I gain strength—a lie While passion can create strength in the short term, it is only through understanding compassion and controlling your chaos that you can achieve anything resembling true strength. Through strength, I gain power—the biggest lie Just because you have strength, it doesn’t mean you have power. And power is overrated. Power begets needless bloodshed and struggle. It is a temporary satiation for a glutinous soul. Through power, I gain victory - no Victory over what? You’re a pawn for the dark side. You are a pebble in the river. You are constantly chasing the goal while life continues to move the goalpost. It’s never ending. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall set me free—ironic Through altering the fabric of the force, you’ve tied a noose around your neck. Breaking from the peace to gain some scrap of passion and power will only have you chasing that high like a death stick addict. Keenava felt the comfortable cling of her new clothes and smiled a little to herself. She kept her saber and other goodies stowed away where she could get to them later. It would not behoove her to bring a lightsaber hilt—let alone two of them—to a planet of the Sith while they were trying to stay incognito. "Oh! That reminds me." Keenava shuffled through her pockets and pulled out a note. "It came with something else, but considering we’re trying to be inconspicuous, I figured it would be too loud to bring with us. I found these with the boots, and I think they were meant for you." Keenava chuckled a little at Leena’s response. “Don’t look too serious, or they’ll think you’re hiding something. In fact, the more inconspicuous you try to look, the more obvious you’ll be. Don't go judging people with your eyes. But, if you can, just act normal. The more you look like someone who belongs here, the less people will question it.” Keenava adjusted her jumpsuit a little, saddled a newly acquired slugthrower into a hip holster, and followed behind Leena. “Just a tip from an old Assassin master of mine.” Keenava said, taking care to keep her voice at an inside volume without leaning or hiding her face.
  11. Keenava was ready to go, but something felt... off She gave Master Sarna’s shoulder a gentle squeeze before wandering through the camp. The sensation she felt in the force was a mystery, yet oddly familiar. Like a trail of breadcrumbs, it led her on an elaborate series of paths that meant stopping at irregular intervals. She couldn’t tell whether it was a good call or a foreboding one. Regardless, it led her all the way to a mysterious, scrawny individual who had a massive crate of what looked like junk sitting beside him. He was discussing things with a small robed figure that Keenava couldn’t see because its back was turned. But the man wasn’t it. It was the crate beside him. Something was here. Something had called her here. There… Slightly obscured but still visible near the top of the junk pile was the glint of a familiar jewel. Keenava’s insides wrenched at the prospect. But, in the end, despite its torrid past, it was made for her. Keenava waited until the robed figure—who turned out to be a merry little jawa—walked away before approaching the scrawny figure and his junk. "Hello, sir, I believe you have something of mine," Keenava started with cautious confidence. She pointed to the jewel near the top of the pile. "That’s entirely possible; I’m a scavenger; I collect all sorts of things." The man replied with nonchalance. But his emerald green eyes screamed of a deeper understanding than he was letting on. His mop of salt and pepper hair was long and braided. His beard was big, but well groomed. He looked to be almost 60 years old, but his attitude and countenance suggested a youthful exuberance. He reached into the pile and revealed a corroded-looking metallic canister. The handle was covered in rags and bandages, and her mother’s jewel stood out at the base. "You’re in luck. I wasn’t able to sell it. People were wary of it, saying it gave them the heebie-jeebies or something.” The man handed it over without batting an eye. The familiar metal felt at home in her hands, but the shadow within burned against her palm. She quickly extracted her old force crystals and threw them on the ground like they were violent suns threatening to melt the skin from her bones. Afterward, the metal was quiet and the weapon was inoperable. But the chassis sang a quiet tune of joy at their reunion. The old scavenger picked the crystals off the ground and chucked them into his box. Keenava raised an eyebrow in response to the cavalier gesture. "You don’t want anything for it?" The man smiled. "Oh, I never give anything out for free. But, in a way, you’ve been an unwitting pawn in a lot of my money moves over the years. I can’t really divulge anything more specific than that, but let’s say I like to keep an eye on people." Keenava wasn’t sure she knew how to process that, but she chose not to look a gift horse in the mouth. She was mildly suspicious of the man’s gaze, though, as one of his eyes started to move independently of the other. "Well, since you’re in a giving mood, do you have anything else you’re willing to give?" The Twi’lek replied, a mischievous glint in her eye. The man chuckled. It was a pleasant tenor sound with a well earned gravel at the bottom of it. "I suppose I do. You’re welcome to pick and choose, considering I wasn’t able to sell any of these. I don't really blame people. Everyone here is in varying states of post-traumatic stress and disrepair. In hindsight, trying to sell anything here was a mistake, even if I was giving discounts." The old man proceeded to pull things out of the crate one by one: TL:DR (These are the items she kept) - (for a full list check out the spoiler. Just a warning, its a bit long). - The Idarah A.I. unit. Without it's higher functions it will likely just be used as an auto pilot/targeting system on her new ship. (Idara/Idejjen/Ida) - Two weighted (adjustable) training bracers. (Starfire) - A pair of lavender lightsaber color crystals (Aleria Thorne) - Kevlar Jumpsuit with Indigo accents, and a black leather duster (Anilara Starbane) - A pair of sturdy yet stylish brown leather steel-toe boots that go up to the knee with articulated joints. (Scorpion) - (Decorative) A dancing outfit and Amethyst necklace (Esmernia Langarmie) - Drawing of Keenava as a Sith Lord (Adwin Antares) - An MP89 player, with MC2310 Master Headphones (it needs a mod for Female Twi'lek), and a necklace in the shape of a moon. (Liv) - A hydrospanner named 'Locksley,' and a metal memento with Ca'aran's face on it that she will return to Delta if she ever runs into him. (Kailen Aeli) More detailed explanation/description: "And, lastly, a deck of Sab–" "Hey! That’s my deck, Bill! Give that back!" Malin snapped as he appeared with his entourage in tow. He was irritated, but still managed a sidelong smile at Keenava before snatching the deck from the old man’s fingers. "I’ve been looking everywhere for those!" Malin took a moment to shove his cards in his coat pocket then looked between the older man and Keenava. “What’s going on here?” The older man looked at Malin with an amused smile. “I was giving this young lady a run of my scav stash, because I couldn’t sell anything.” "Well, while we’re in the business of giving things away, I've been meaning to give this to you, Keenava." Malin handed her a set of keys and activation codes. "It’s the keys to my ship. I heard you didn’t have one of your own. And, while I enjoyed the smuggler's life a bit, I’ve got to look after my cousin and this little anarchist." He said, running his hand over the small Togruta's head. "And, since I’m not on the run anymore, I can actually take a look at giving up mercenary work altogether. I owe it to my family to give this life thing a shot. And before you ask, I’m giving this to you because you’re the only other person I know here. Aside from Bill, of course, but he’s the one that gave me the ship. It would be silly to return it now when it has so much life left to give. Just watch out for the droid in the cargo bay!" With a fond smile and a wave, the smuggler rounded up his young ward, his protocol droid, and his cousin—who Keenava just noticed was wheel-chair bound—and left the Twi’lek with her mouth agape. After the grizzled gentleman packed up the rest of his crate, he sat there with one leg outstretched and a death stick hanging out of the corner of his mouth. Keenava hefted a large bag of junk onto her back. She couldn’t really explain why she felt a connection to these items, but something about them was warm. They felt like old relics despite their mundane appearance. She took a long look at the man, and her brow knit with curiosity. "Who are you? And how do you know so much about these people? How do you know so much about me?" The man smiled. It was a warm smile that made Keenava feel like reciprocating. “Let’s just say I’ve been around a very long time. I’m a caretaker of sorts. You take care of those. I hope they serve you well on your journey ahead.” She couldn't explain why she felt at peace with that explanation, because for all intents and purposes it didn't really make sense. A caretaker? But he just gave all of these things away. The man was an enigma. Keenava turned away to head back to Sandy, but paused to wave at the man because it felt like the right thing to do. But when she turned back, he was gone— "—I'm not gone, I'm just a few feet away!" The man exclaimed with his crate over his shoulder. "Also, you asked what my name was before and I forgot to tell you. The name is William Natronus. Though, my friends usually called me Big Will. Now go catch up to Sandy." Keenava had no idea what kind of head trip she was in, but she had nothing else to do, so she scampered off to rejoin Sandy with her new haul of stuff.
  12. "...Falleen…you in?" Keenava wordlessly nodded in affirmation to Sandy before quietly excusing herself. The Twi’lek shuddered a little as the warm tropical clime tickled her exposed face. Hundreds of small needles pushed silent electricity beneath her skin, pulsing in and out with different magnitudes and frequencies. She flexed her toes, feeling her callused feet move against the warm topsoil. She bounced gently on her feet and rowed her neck first to the left, then to the right. She extended each hand to its fullest and then let each finger rest as she shook her hands back and forth at the wrist. Faleen. Jzora. Keenava had no idea where Jzora was from. But that word was still echoing through her head. It was a word on the holonet: a woman who looked just like Jzora. And though she recalled so little of her former... master? That word brought a flood of vivid memories to the forefront of her mind. Roene told her to accept all that she was. It was key to touching the force again. So, dangerous though it might be, she let the memories play one after the other, refusing to omit any detail. Kheldar. Bekka. Ronin. Chaos, water, flame-retardant foam, and a seedy but reliable bar in the middle of Coruscant’s most popular district. Fresh from her escape and with her stolen identity in place, Lallu was vulnerable, susceptible, and alone. She was surrounded by people—some of the most notable people in the galaxy that she didn’t know or recognize until much later—but so alone in a world that was seconds away from picking her up and throwing her back into hell. She shrouded herself in a need for validation because that was all she had. Broken was her balm, because her brain knew no better. Then she entered, while scraps of clothing threatened to reveal everything Lallu had on display. It was time for Jzora to put on her best game face and flirt the pretty little thing out of what remained of her damaged clothes. Jzora was a skilled seductress, heir to a legacy of cold-blooded passion fueled by will-enslaving pheromones. This would be epic; there would be poems and songs... "You look pretty... pretty." What followed was a drug-induced haze. But, with a clear perspective, Keenava could make out more details than before. Titans of shadow surrounded her. Shadowlord. Alora. Raynuck. Starri. Exodus. Kakuto. Lucifer. Emily… Furion. Legends of Sith that would defy generations to come gathered to listen and learn from each other. "From history, we must learn this lesson. The Jedi, for all their vaunted wisdom, fear what lies at the core of every man and woman. They fear not being able to control the darkness that lies within them, and in turn, they completely shut themselves off to it. And this is where you and I differ. As Sith, we are not afraid of our inner darkness. No, indeed, we embrace it; we embrace what makes us unique because that’s what makes us strong. Let me take a moment to reflect on the code many of you have heard countless times." The irony is that he was right. The fear of oneself has the power to destroy. The fear of what you’re capable of can turn you against yourself. And the fear of how others will see your darkness will make you shut it off from the world, holding it in and letting it consume you. It is through accepting and understanding who you are—all of you—that you can find strength. A calloused hand glided across the soft skin of her cheek. I'll find you later. A blur of time whirled across her vision, and she was there in a cell. The construction wasn’t important. It was like all the others. But this cell was where she met him. Deep in the bowels of Coruscant, those golden eyes pierced the night. The deepest depth could not smother the gold that she could still see as clear as day. "…My path is dangerous and uncertain. You may question my methods and my choices. You will certainly question my intent, but I will tell you this only once: You will know both what I tell you and what you can figure out for yourself. Never expect me to tell you everything. Follow me, and I will lead you to the freedom your heart craves." But to what end? And was it really freedom? Or was it delusion and obsession? Keenava gasped. Her heart rate spiked slightly, but nothing else changed. The pain she felt was like that of a lost limb. It was a shadow of her passion, but it still bit at her every time she saw his eyes. She fell… Coruscant ran past her face in a flash of light. She shot into the depths like a missile with one goal in mind. A simple, subtle catalyst that served as a breaking point between security and bliss pushed her into a downward spiral, down into the womb of Coruscant’s chaotic energy and turmoil. She was consumed by the spine of the world, by the energy of her own will held back, by his energy, and by the euphoria that came with letting go, but her body couldn’t contain it all. She had to let it… "HOW DARE YOU?" Lallu exclaimed. "HOW DARE YOU TALK TO ME THAT WAY AFTER ALL THIS TIME. I trusted you! I thought I knew you! Then you betrayed me, my mother, and my sister!" She slammed him into the left wall with a violent shake. "I HAD TO WATCH MY MOTHER DIE! YOU KRIFFING SCHUTTA!" She slammed her father into the right wall and listened as his arms broke against the durasteel. Her tone calmed a little, but the intensity of her eyes never halted, and the blade of her lightsaber glowed with brilliant golden fire. "This isn’t mercy. I want you to die slowly. I want you to feel every agonizing moment like I did. I want you to see, hear, smell, and taste every pain and indecency I was forced to feel. And I want you to hear my cries. Because it's all your fault!" Lallu slammed her father to the ground in front of her and fed upon the sound of his spine breaking. She projected the last twenty years of pain and suffering into his form. She didn’t let up. He screamed in agony with every torment he went through, and when he finished reliving her past, she could hear pounding coming from the door to the penthouse. She idly ignored it. Her attention was on him. "COME SEE THE MONSTER YOU CREATED, YOU DESPICABLE WASTE OF EXISTENCE!!!" Lallu said, driving the golden blade of her lightsaber into every part of his body. Each stab was slow but deliberate. Each stab signified another act of indecency, and each stab ended with another satisfying cry of pain. “... I need you to be strong.” But why did strength come from misery? Why did strength come from pain? In the end, just like his life, his death meant nothing. And her display of strength was that of a toddler lashing out at her father, twenty years or more past due. Keenava stirred, emerging from her reverie with a brow coated in sweat. Her teeth were tight, and she released a breath she didn’t know she’d been holding. She could see different pieces of her stained glass window standing before her, like liquid mirrors, beyond the veil; beyond reality. Kana. Kara. Kava. Lallu. Ulanna. Ootunavi. Zythma. Every color was an error, every jagged edge was a sham, and every scrap of texture was a reflection of the depravity inherent in every alter. She stood tall among the fragments, a quiet challenge echoing in her expression. But the fragility of her thoughts belied a deeper doubt. Just a few years ago... This was me. Technically, this is still me. A frisson ran the length of her spine. She opened her amethyst eyes and looked out toward the Exalted Mountains. "What will it take for me to go back? Will knowing I am capable of it help me avoid it?" Keenava muttered anxiously to herself. Keenava’s brow knit in consternation. Will going to Falleen put us in danger? Sandy, who’d been respectfully monitoring the Twi’lek during her solitude, noticed the conflict and approached carefully. She gently lifted her scarred hand and held on to Keenava’s as it shook at her side. She gave no preamble. She had no expectations. And the reaction was almost immediate. Like an anchor in troubled waters, Keenava’s ship steadied. The shared scars tethered her nerves, reminding her of the world around her. Whatever she did or whoever she was, she needed to do it and be it to get here. Lessons were learned, and every step was a step forward. Keenava affected a half-smile as she turned her amethyst eyes to look at the forest in Sandy's gaze. "I’m ready now. Let’s get going... and... thank you."
  13. Friend. It was a strange word, and an even stranger feeling. It hung leaden on the shelf of her mind for so long, unused or taken for granted. But now there were not one but two people who granted her clemency—people who, until recently, would have likely dispatched her without hesitation. They were looking at her expectantly. But there was no weight to it. The feeling was warm. It was like the tingly sensation you get holding your hand against a budding flame—not the feeling you get when you let your hand sit right above the flame—but the building sensation that rose as you held your open palms beside a blaze. It was careful and considerate. It was warm without burning into a chaotic inferno. A silent tear rubbed the obsidian cheek of the Twi’lek as she nodded quietly to their proposal. "Of course, Sandy, and of course I’d be happy to accompany you both. Heck, I’m super eager to get moving. I’ve been sitting down for way too long." Keenava replied. She rose to her feet and immediately felt the blood rush straight into her lekku. She noticed the world spinning for a brief moment but remained steady. "Oh!" Keenava exclaimed, "there is something I have to take care of first, but I’ll be right back!" After allowing the blood to settle in her protesting brain tails, the Twi’lek vaulted gently over the mess hall table into a neat flip and threaded her body gracefully between two soldiers that were walking by. She kicked her body into standing and maneuvered her way out of the mess hall toward the medical tents. Minutes passed before Keenava returned with a slight smile tugging at her face and a faint bounce in her step. “That little girl from before says ‘Hi,’ Sandy.” Keenava paused, abruptly noticing the Togruta in their group for the first time, and wondered whether they’d been there the whole time or if they’d arrived after she left. Regardless, Keenava was now bouncing on the balls of her feet, ready and willing to go as soon as everyone else was. Sitting down for a long time had really made her antsy. Now that she was up, her limbs were eager to move.
  14. There’s truth to what they say: misery loves company; and broken people find others who are broken. Keenava felt the squeeze; a hand gesture; a pulse of hope and assured security that passed quietly between them. She felt the trust, new though it was, and smiled a little before Sandy began her tale. The young Jedi Master raised one of her pale hands, and Keenava was surprised by the damage. An illustrated tapestry of woe streamed across her white skin. A myriad of emotions bloomed at the sight. Her words wove with the branches of scar tissue that were still visible. And with every new revelation, Keenava moved a micrometer closer to the edge of her seat. Every colorful swirl of pain drew their experiences closer together, which was something she never thought of. Until now, she never understood that a future with the Jedi was possible. With how broken she was, she concluded a future with the Sith was inevitable. But this young woman persisted. Sandy pushed forward regardless of her pain and managed to avoid losing herself to it. Even as close to it as she was, the evidence winding up and down her wrists, she avoided destruction. Sandy was one of the strongest people Keenava had ever met. It was one thing to feel pain and hatred; all people do. It’s a natural part of life. It was quite another thing to embrace everything else and persist to spite it. The embrace of the dark is tempting, it’s easy. You want to seek revenge, you want to push past your peers, you want to rise above your abusers, you want to seek strength to free you from expectation. You want to feel loved, you want to feel like you matter, you want to find validation. But what do you need? You never seek to resolve those lingering feelings, or to process them in a healthy way. They become ancient barnacles that cling to a sinking ship as your everything sinks into an unhealthy miasma until you’re left gasping in the dark with no way out. Keenava reached out, touching Sandy’s scarred hand gingerly. She ran her callused fingers soft over the branched scars. Every branch an echo of pain; the trails of tears that were shed in futility. A single tear slid across the Twi'lek's obsidian skin as she looked deep into the forest of Sandy’s eyes. She clasped the Jedi's hand between both of hers and felt a wan smile tug at the edge of her cheeks. “Thank you for sharing. I know it's hard and I’m glad you opened up.”
  15. As Keenava spoke, she kept an eye on the young Jedi. Not much changed. But something dark crept across the young woman’s emerald eyes. Instinctively the Twi’lek reached out to one of Sandy’s hands and gave it a reassuring squeeze. They shared a silent moment before Sandy spoke again, the young master’s smile reflected upon Keenava’s face. … “If you saw these old masters before you now, say if Exodus walked through those doors behind you, what would you do? Would you seek revenge for your treatment?” The sound of his name tickled the ends of every vertebra as it worked its way down her back. What would he think? And would she seek revenge? Warring forces in her mind attempted to persuade her, but she had more control now. It wouldn’t go their way anymore. Keenava took a moment to visualize the Sith Master. She took a moment to visualize all her former masters to the best of her limited ability; Jzora in her haughty disguise, Furion with his wolfish smile and glowing golden eyes, and Exodus the brooding spider that tried to shape her to his own end. They all stood there in that space, glaring at Keenava from over Sandy’s shoulders. Exodus was furious, his muscles taut and ready to strike; Furion was disappointed, his golden eyes cast downcast, and his frame conflicted on what to do next; Jzora was uninterested, her body language indicated strongly that she had everywhere better to be than here. Yet, oddly, Keenava felt nothing. The only hint of emotion was a single tear when her gaze fell upon Furion. But save that one gesture, she couldn’t spare the same vibrance of emotion she once had for him. It appeared as if her affection was based solely on his power over her. And now, though he was still very powerful, his influence was gone. Exodus’ presence was unquestionable, but the force behind it was the light of a candle that had nearly burned out; furiously pushing outward with the intent to change, and – in the end – having very little effect on its surroundings. Jzora’s time had been so long ago that Keenava had forgotten her connection to her. She remembered her appearance and mannerisms, but it was like she was looking at a stranger. Keenava hummed softly to herself, her lips quirking back into a half-smile. “I can’t possibly know what they’d do to me. But I can confidently say that I would not seek revenge if I ever saw them again. In fact, the only monster I ever swore revenge against is gone. My father.” Keenava’s expression sank. “The man robbed me of my choice to have a normal life. He took my mother from me and traumatized my sister and me. I confronted him a while ago and killed him. Maybe he’ll come back. Maybe someone cares enough to clone him. I’m not sure, nor do I care. The physical act severed any bond I have with him. He doesn’t get to be part of my life or my sister’s life. He was the reason I didn’t get a choice. There are monsters that take and take and take, but if I had had a choice, I wouldn’t have been there in first place. I stared into his cold, hate-filled eyes and cursed him in the name of my mother. Hours later, in a safe house I was using at the time, I burst into tears. Finally, it was over.” Keenava sighed, letting go of Sandy’s hand and looking briefly into the distance. “He’s not a particularly pleasant part of my past, but what’s done is done. Anything you wanted to share?” Keenava said softly, quirking an eyebrow.
  • Create New...