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Adenna Alluyen

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  1. With the absence of the Justice's Mandate, a portion of the skies over Serenno no longer held orbital support for the Jedi bombers in that area. Those squads were alerted by the rest of the fleet of their new situation and began preparing for attacks from above as soon as the Sith fighters were able to pinpoint their locations and deploy. Flight leaders had the ultimate call whether it was safe or not to hit their targets, or if they needed to abort and began evasive maneuvers. Those bombers that were still under the protective screens and eyes of the rest of the scattered Jedi fleet continued their bombing runs, though with some squadrons of fighters moving to screen against the inevitable incoming Sith squadrons. That the planetary defenses hadn't launched was good fortune for the Jedi, but it also made them wary since they could still launch. They needed to hit hard and fast then move on as soon as their ten minute warning had passed. The slower bombers with their EMP weapons were not under the constriction of time, so they were able to drop their load and head back to space as soon as they reached their targets. Some bombers were intercepted early by the ever expanding swarms of Sith squadrons and took heavy losses, but there were still some that hit their targets causing chain reactions along the power grid. Power grids were hit and certain cities went dark. For the fighters and heavy bombers going to the factories, they spent most of their ten minute warning time going to the target, but that didn't stop some of them from having time to buzz the area first. To their dismay, they didn't see a stream of evacuating workers and it became clear that the civil authorities or the factory owners didn't take their threats seriously. Some pilots were more than hesitant to drop their payloads and asked for confirmation from their commanding officers as to what to do. The general in charge of the fighter wings knew that there would be civilian casualties, but they had planned for this possibility. If the Jedi held off their attacks, then their word would never be taken seriously again. The Jedi had warned their targets and given them time to take cover, and it was not their fault their enemy ignored that. This was war, and war was full of dead and dying. If the Jedi didn't strike now, then in the future, even greater numbers of people would die when they did strike, all because their threats couldn't be taken seriously. At the ten minute mark, those fighters that were not being harassed by Sith forces unloaded their bombs or missiles on the designated factories. Explosion after explosion ripped through them, killing worker after worker, but also shredding the production lines, storage tanks, store houses, and military tech labs that had been fueling the Sith war machine. The Jedi pilots didn't relish their duty, but they knew it had to be done so they did their job and kept the word of their commander. Perhaps next time, their next targets would take the Jedi seriously and evacuate their workers, but the Jedi could not control what the enemy did. * * * * * There was some ineffectual AA fire from the Sith landing craft that jostled the three Jedi assault shuttles, but their shields held. The Jedi assault team landed outside the perimeter that the Sith troopers were setting up around the bank and began pouring out with intense cover fire as they took to the streets. Two of the flanking shuttles worth formed a defensive flank, laying down blaster fire and grenades against the Sith troopers while the thirty men in the center shuttle charged. Adenna, with her orange lightsaber and blue dyed medium body armor was at the front of that charge, deflecting away shots with her lightsaber in one hand and firing a heavy sidearm with the other. As soon as the shuttle touched down, all of the doubts in Adenna's mind evaporated and she focused entirely on the task at hand. It had been too long since she had been in combat like this, but she missed it. Gone were the weeks of sitting behind a desk or working in training simulators with recruits. Gone was the need to be political or think about the bigger picture. All that was before her now was an enemy, a mission, and lots of determination. She and her thirty men charged in, weaving around haphazardly parked speeders and debris from buildings that were kicked off by stray blaster bolts in this rapidly developing battlefield. What civilians were there had already scrambled away with the arrival of the Sith troopers, so at least they weren't too much of a factor. As she charged forward, Adenna drew upon the Force to prepare her for the inevitable clash where she got in close enough to the enemy lines to unleash chaos the likes of which only a Jedi in her prime could deal.
  2. To Captain Gustav's surprise, it didn't seem that the local Serenno garrison was taking their threat seriously and deploying their defenses. That was more than a little bit insulting since it showed that the Sith supporting planet simply didn't consider the Jedi Order as a threat, or perhaps they didn't even think that the Jedi would actually carry out their word. He was relieved that they weren't scrambling their fighters to oppose the Jedi bombers and fighter squadrons, but that didn't mean the Sith weren't trying to get into the game. Their fighters might be a bit behind due to needing to make their microjumps and then deploy and get down to the scattered squads on the planet. Jedi fighters would need to attack their targets then come up to meet the Sith forces to give their bombers a bit of cover while they scrambled out. As soon as the Sith fleet reverted from hyperspace on top of his flagship, he began ordering a microjump of his own. The plan wasn't to get into a potentially costly space battle, but to wreck damage on the planet and get out. The Justice's Mandate angled as it exchanged some salvos against the Sith fleet for a few seconds, then flashed away into hyperspace. Three seconds after jumping, they returned to realspace and began positioning to return back to Serenno when the opportunity arose. * * * * * When the Sith fleet made their micro-jumps away from the airspace over Serenno's capital, Carannia, the StealthX scout quickly noted it and sent word to the waiting assault shuttles. Adenna smiled slightly and strapped herself into one of the crash seats as the shuttles made the micro-jump into Serenno's airspace. Three shuttles reverted into realspace above Carannia and began an immediate landing approach to offer support to the team that was down on the surface. Adenna clutched the harness holding her in as the shuttle rocked and shook around her with the rapid descent. It wouldn't be long before she, long with the rest of the ninety Jedi troopers that were part of the relief force, would touch down and chaos would likely ensue.
  3. When the Sith fleet arrived over Serenno, the scouting StealthX set sensors to active and took in as much data as possible before shooting it off to the rest of the fleet and powering up engines. As long as nobody approached the difficult to see ship, they would remain to continue to scout, but would flee at the first sign of attention. They were a scout, not a brawler. Onboard the Justice's Mandate outside the Serenno system, Captain Gustav smiled at the news. He had suspected the enemy would attempt to come and they had done so in full display. There would be no question that this was a Sith target and that it was defended by an enemy fleet made this even more a legitimate target. He had never had any doubts of that, but knew how the public relations could play out, and having a Sith fleet here prior to the arrival of a Jedi one would play into their hands better, or at the least, it would limit Sith propaganda efforts. "The enemy has arrived," he said over short range comms to the fleet. "It is time to begin executing Plan C." When the Jedi had been preparing this mission, they had intended on hitting multiple potential industrial targets throughout the planet. They had selected four major locations at differing points around the planet so that if enemy resistance arrived, they could hit something on the opposite side of the planet and buy themselves a little time. There were some setbacks for that, but it afforded them some additional options and forced their enemy to make some choices. As cold as it had seemed, early on when discussing things with the Grandmaster, it had been made clear that there were two acceptable outcomes of this mission. Either successful retrieval of hard currency from the Treasury or destruction of one or more of the industrial factories supplying the Sith war effort would be considered a successful mission. Protection of the Jedi fleet from heavy losses was also a requirement, though successful extraction of the infiltration team was not. If the eight members of the infiltration force were lost, then that was a most unfortunate event but not catastrophic. It was pointless to spend potentially thousands of lives in the fleet to save eight. There had been some disagreement among the Jedi military leadership, but the Grandmaster had insisted: the Jedi would no longer allow their own people's lives to be used against the Jedi by sacrificing countless numbers to save them. Everyone in the Jedi Order and its military were volunteers in this war and knew the risks. It was a cold military calculation, but it was determined necessary to win. Since the fleet had already been ready, they jumped within ten seconds of the announcement. * * * * * * On the far side of Serenno, opposite the newly arrived Sith fleet, a Jedi fleet dropped out of hyperspace after performing two microjumps from their prior position. Immediately, Captain Gustav sent a pre-recorded transmission out to the planet on a broad band public wave. "This is Captain Vlasmen Gustav of the Jedi Order Armed Forces to the government of Serenno. We are here to bring a reckoning for your part in aiding the Sith Imperial war machine. To that end, we will begin bombardment of the GalStar Machinery, Eurgani Industries Incorporated, Relvan/Gandor Shipping, Portsman Munitions and Explosives, Sooru-Hoffman and Partners Limited, and Incandron Industrial Tech Research facilities or factories as well as the Sith Imperial Academy. All have clear ties to the Sith Empire supplying its war machine as it invades the Galaxy and must know there will be repercussions to their war profiting. In addition, any governmental facilities or power grids may be targeted for ion bombardments. "To the people of Serenno, the Jedi understand not all of you may support the Sith Empire. Because of that, and our desire to protect innocent lives and make this war about the choices of your own government, we will hold our fire upon these facilities for ten minutes so that the workers may escape. Make no mistake: after ten minutes, we will destroy those facilities, but we wish to give you all an opportunity to evacuate and will not fire upon any surface transports assisting in those actions unless they demonstrate hostility or attempt to protect or defend those locations. "Your ten minutes starts now." With that, the transmission ended and the Jedi forces readied themselves for the Sith response. Despite their claims, only three of the facilities mentioned were on the targeting range, but they didn't want to give away too much, and had needed to remain adaptable in regards to what the Sith were doing, so they had included all the names. Besides, one captain had argued, if the Sith were forced to evacuate all of the facilities, it would provide at least some small measure of disruption to their operations. The Jedi fleet was arrayed not in singular battle formation, but rather in siege bombardment formation. They were scattered around the hemisphere opposite of the Sith fleet, capable of targeting multiple locations but not offer much battle resistance. Knowing the Sith would either have to make multiple hyperspace jumps or orbit the planet to get into attack position, each Jedi ship was on high alert and ready to reposition to jump within moments of a Sith arrival. Each ship from the Justice's Mandate down to the smallest fighter had at least four hyperspace routes pre-programmed so they could escape from multiple routes. Further, they also had return jumps plotted from each escape route so they could return to strike if the opportunity presented itself. If the Sith approached the Jedi forces, they would simply withdraw or jump into hyperspace in seconds to avoid heavy losses. Even if the Sith spread out to engage the Jedi, they would not be able to cover everything since the Jedi brought so many small ships as well as multiple flights of bombers already positioned to drop small electro-proton bombs on major power generators and multiple regional government and policing facilities. They were focusing on the power grids supplying the most industrialized areas of the planet open to them but wouldn't kill anyone directly. Chaos would ensue, but cities wouldn't be leveled or civilians burned to char. Any planetary defenses were legitimate targets and would be blasted either from orbit if there were no civilian cities nearby, or by fighter and bomber squadrons. The Jedi would be like a cloud of wasps: small but extremely numerous and maneuverable, swooping in on a planet to cause maximum chaos, disruption, and in some places, destruction. For the landing teams, they had their own plan and had not yet made the jump to the planet. Instead, they remained in their original, deep space location. Though it frustrated Adenna to be out of the action, she had helped develop the plan and understood why she was still being held in reserve. Jedi Order Armed Forces Fleet Destroyer Group Turbolasers: Focus Fire Callsign: Justices Mandate Experience: Green, 1XP Nebula class Star Destroyer Justice's Mandate (20/20) Defensive Escort: Suppressing Fire Callsign: Hope Experience: Green, 1XP Nebulon B frigate (3/3) Nebulon B frigate (3/3) Lancer frigate (3/3) MC-30 frigate (3/3) Raider II corvette (2/1) Raider II corvette (2/1) Hammerhead Torpedo corvette (2/1) CR90 corvette (2/1) Asset Denial Force: Surgical Strike Callsign: Shocking Surprise Experience: Green, 1XP MC40A Light Cruiser Shocking Surprise Nebulon B frigate (3/3) Assault Frigate Mk II (3/3) Vigil class corvette (2/1) Marauder corvette (2/1)
  4. Adenna paced slowly back and forth up and down the small assault shuttle she and thirty troopers were in. They were on standby waiting for the signal from the team or the planet itself that they had made their move on the Treasury. The entire Jedi fleet was on high alert, ready to make the microjump in seconds after receiving notification or getting any readings that there were Sith forces inbound. Every starfighter was already deployed and ready to jump along with the rest of the larger ships. A StealthX had been deployed now that the strike team was scheduled to make their move and had jumped in on outer fringes of Serenno itself so they could scan and monitor traffic, frequencies, and communications. They were in complete comms silence, but as soon as they saw one of several red flags indicating that the team had taken over the Treasury or that they were compromised, they would send the emergency message and the rest of the fleet would jump in. For Adenna, combat was nothing new. She wasn't nervous about what likely was to come. Rather, she was nervous about the wait. It was the one part of combat she hated the most because of all the anticipation that built up waiting to explode into action. She had been in several dozen tactical assaults similar to what she and the ground reinforcements were about to attempt and most had gone moderately according to plan. Those that didn't were always chaotic, but the Force had guided her and she had come out mostly intact. Not everyone she had commanded could say the same. Losing people who were following her orders was also nothing new to her, but it didn't eat at her like it used to. Perhaps it wasn't for the best, but she had developed an almost numbness to the deaths of those around her. Being in charge of the Jedi Order and its tens of thousands of followers in the middle of a war meant that there would be losses. If she felt each one, it would paralyze her to the point of being unable to take any action at all or rack herself with guilt and regrets. She recognized that being completely numb was also just as bad because it would cause her not to care about those who were dying and that could cause her to send people needlessly to their deaths. It was a constant struggle to maintain that balance. On days that she was on Nar Shaddaa commanding from afar, it was easier to be above it all, but now that she was about to be in the thick of things, it was harder to look at the helmeted and armored troops in this shuttle and know some might not make it back. There wasn't much she could do at this point, though. The gears were already turning, the clock had all but tolled. Now was the time to focus on the mission and let feelings come later.
  5. One and a half light days from Serenno, a Jedi fleet dropped out of hyperspace. The largest ship, a Nebula class Star Destroyer, the Justice's Mandate, was supported by a small cloud of smaller vessels including an additional cruiser and a dozen smaller ships supplemented by fighter and bombers. Only two squadrons of fighters were deployed to serve as scouts on the extremely off chance the fleet was discovered, the rest remained in their berths. Adenna Alluyen stood on the bridge, waiting final confirmation of the infiltration team launching in a civilian shuttle purchased through multiple shell companies from a small company that operated in Sith held space and headquartered on Onderon. While it had no military background, it was registered under a company name that did business with Sith and would come up in the Sith Empire's systems as known to them, though extremely close scrutiny would possibly discover its dubious origins. With an empire that spanned as many systems and had as many trillions of beings as the Sith Empire did, it was all but impossible to monitor everything, so the Jedi forces were hoping that this shuttle would allow their team to slip through the cracks. When they were ready, the shuttle had leave to depart and make the microjump that would take it into Serenno's orbit and to begin their daring heist on the Imperial Treasury.
  6. Even in the midst of preparing for battle, there were always those who needed to report to the Grandmaster. Adenna was used to it, and though the Jedi were fewer in number than they had been at their height, there were still a lot of them scattered throughout the Galaxy. She felt a twinge of guilt that she couldn't focus on them all, but she had to prioritize everything. However, when the Mon Calamari Jedi approached her, she was quite familiar with the repercussions of what happened on that mission, even if the details were a bit hazy. Other Jedi, traders, soldiers, and even the Galactic Media had been following that story, and none of it was good. The entire planet was a mess, and there were reports that the Sith were initiating an orbital bombardment. If they had more ships, they could assist, but to attack there would be folly, and so another planet fell into darkness. "I do not yet know all the details, Padawn," she answered, "but I do know that no single Jedi could have changed the inevitable there. The Sith came in too great of numbers and with too much power to oppose them directly, and so you did well to survive and return. What happened on that planet was yet another in a long list of tragedies, and if we are ever to stop it, we must do so methodically and carefully. I can tell yours is not a violent soul, so to join me on my path would not suit you. Go to Scarif with Master Sarna where you may find solace and understanding helping a population through something other than warfare. If the Force wills it, we will speak after both us return from our duties." She wished she could spend more time with everyone here, but the war had waited long enough. It was time for the Grandmaster to move off of her starting square and join the fray. She took a shuttle up to the Justice's Mandate as the small fleet prepared to make to hyperspace and Serenno.
  7. Adenna looked at the temporally out of place Knight. She could understand his fears for she herself had faced them before. Uncertainty, hesitation, belief of inadequacy, and fears of failure had plagued her when she was young and, in some ways, still haunted her steps. She had only read stories of the old Jedi Order at its height, and from what she read, they were not slouches nor were they inadequate. Though her response was firm, it was without any hostility, insult, or belittlement. "Knight Makashi, I know some things about the Jedi of your time. No, they didn't have to face the Sith at their might, but they also were far from weak nor did they award the honor of Knighthood lightly. You have earned your rank by gaining the approval of an Order of Masters who had the time and ability to properly, fully vet and test their Padawans and consider their skills. Though it doesn't demean our current Order, there are times where I wish that the Knights and Masters of today could benefit from that careful consideration and reflection rather than being the product of battlefield promotions of necessity." She gently placed one hand on his shoulder, allowing a small portion of her own surety in their purpose to flow through to him. "I understand your hesitation and fears, but we are Jedi and the Force flows through us. We are on the righteous path, not the easy one, and sometimes that means we must swallow our fears and embrace courage. When I was young, not even a Knight, the call went out to take a stand against yet another Death Star, a massive, moon sized weapon capable of destroying entire planets in one shot. Fleets in the thousands gathered in both sides to fight for this weapon and I took my place among the Jedi who answered that call. I was unprepared, barely skilled, and untested in combat, but every hand and every pure heart was needed. A Master much wiser than me saw my fear, sensed my desire to be courageous, and allowed me to stand with those heroes: a feat for which I am most proud and that molded me more than almost any other I have done. We do not always get to choose our opponents or when we must serve." Her hand left his shoulder and pointedly hovered over her side where the scar still remained beneath her robes. "I cannot say I made much of any difference, but I took that stand and the Force guided me through it, though with scars. At this time, you may not see your own skills or believe yourself adequate, but that is not the man I see." There was pride in her voice as she continued, pride for the sacrifice and history of the Jedi. "You are a Jedi Knight and, no matter what the Sith or anyone else may say, there is honor and pride in that. Trust the Force and let it guide your steps and you shall find your courage and rise to the situation. If you fall in this or any other conflict, let it not be to something lesser than yourself caused because you were afraid or unsure. Let your fall be because you faced a foe truly greater than yourself and decided to make that stand and sacrifice so that others might not have to." She paused a moment. "I would not have you accept a burden you are not ready to bear unless need dictate it. In this case, we are fortunate to have Knight Darkfire whom I do believe is able to lead the infiltration mission. It would be good to allow one of our Imperial Knight allies to show the strength of his Order so that it may strengthen the Jedi as well. We should be departing soon and there will be more time in hyperspace to prepare yourselves."
  8. Adenna was glad for the acceptance and pragmatism of the Imperial Knight. He didn't question the need or overall picture of the task assigned to him, he wanted only to know the details. "You have multiple options, it depends on what you want to utilize. Money is a possibility, but sometimes risky. You can also use the Force to 'persuade' Customs to ignore your lightsaber and weapons. You also could choose to disassemble the weapons and conceal your lightsaber, or a combination of all. Serenno is a Sith planet, but it is not on the front lines. While Sith security always strives to be vigilant, the truth is that nobody can always be completely on their game all of the time. Years of no threats dulls any security system, and I anticipate you and your teams will be able to take advantage of that." Despite her words, she knew infiltration missions were always risky. That is why she wouldn't be going with the initial team. It wasn't a decision of cowardice, but one of pragmatism. If the initial infiltration was compromised and killed or captured, it would be tragic but recoverable. If they captured or killed the Grandmaster, however, it would be devastating. She might not be in the first wave, but she would be joining the reinforcing team that came to help them collect the currency once they took the Treasury and would help them in fending off Sith counterattacks. "I know infiltration is difficult, but that is why we are only sending a half dozen men with you. The fewer that go, the less the chance that they will be discovered. I am sending two Knights to balance out the low numbers. Make no mistake, this is a risky mission, but no more risky than the front lines. The Jedi Order and Rebel Alliance needs this money almost as much as we need a symbolic strike against the Sith. So far, out offensives in this War have not gone well with only a few exceptions. We need to start building victories, and we also need money to buy more weapons, ships, and supplies. This will help us do it."
  9. As soon as their Jensaarai guests left, Adenna turned her attention to Tobias. She had heard reports that he had suffered physically, but she had not been prepared for the level of aging that had descended upon her old lover. It broke her heart to see him like this, but she could at least gain comfort when she saw him through the Force and saw that much of the tightness and struggle had been resolved. That was good, at least. They talked for several minutes, but, with her new job, she didn't have the amount of time she had wanted. There were others waiting on her and there was a fleet to launch. Tobias was in no condition to come with her, so this would be another goodbye. Leaving him with a charge to heal his body and ready himself for war once again, she left him in the hall to greet the other two waiting for her. Before she opened the door, she let out a deep breath and with it, the pent up emotions that had been stirred up by seeing Tobias again. When that breath was out, she breathed in and with that, brought her mind back under control. She activated the door and started the short journey back to her office. By the time she was there, she was the calm, serene Grandmaster who was in control and ready to fight. "Knight Makashi," she said, first greeting the odd Jedi Knight who had contacted the Jedi Order several months ago claiming to be from the old Order. "It is good to see you here, and I am glad you answered my summons." She looked over at the far younger man in his Imperial Knight armor. "Knight Darkfire," she said, "it is also good to have you here, and congratulations on your promotion. Please, join me in my office for a few minutes." When they were settled in, she quickly got to explaining their mission and what they were to do. "We will be raiding Serenno. Due to its wealth, it has a branch of the Imperial Treasury Department has a hub there and it is full of Sith Crowns. Though it is the currency of our enemy, it is still currency and can be most useful when trading with neutral parties or using bribes to get information and intelligence, and that is why we want it. Not only that, but we will also be hitting several industrial factories producing weapons and body armor as a distraction. "The first phase of this operation will involve scoping out and raiding the Treasury. I believe the two of you will be most useful there, and you will have a squad of troopers to help. You will land first before the fleet arrives on a common civilian transport purchased through a third party from a Sith sympathetic planet. Once on the ground, you will need to get through customs which could be a bit of fun, but then you will find the Treasury, analyze it, and launch a raid. While Treasury employees are civilians, they are also part of the Sith government and will be loyal to it. Use stun weapons if you need on the workers, but you may deal with guards or armed resistance as you see fit. "Once you have prepared yourself and ready to attack, I will come in with the fleet to cause a distraction. While we deal with any resistance in orbit, we will also bomb the factories hopefully drawing the civil attention there. You will raid the Treasury as soon as the bombs fall on the factories. I will also send additional troops and shuttles to pull out the currency you capture. Don't sacrifice yourselves in a pointless fight, but the Jedi and the Rebellion need as much money as you can take. As soon as you are in the air, with or without money, we will evacuate and leave. "Any questions? We will have more time on the way to go over fine details, but if you have any glaring questions, now is the time."
  10. Adenna was glad that Tobias had elected not to cause a scene. She knew he didn't always have the reputation for being diplomatic, and while she wasn't exactly an expert at that herself, she didn't need any issues. She would talk with him after this, though time was short since she was planning on heading to Serenno to launch a much needed bank heist to help with other plans. "Yes, we will be targeting the lanes between Kuat and Coruscant, as well as any others in the area that might be useful. We have been placing agents and spies on the ground to give us a minor heads up of when large shipments might be heading out, but it will be a grab bag of things that might get caught. Stop everything possible, and if it is clearly not working with the Sith, then let it go. If they are, even if they are simply supplying them, capture the ship and cargo if possible, otherwise warn them then destroy the ship." She pressed a small button on her belt summoning an Adept to the hall to serve as an escort. "The Jedi will be sending a small fleet of frigates and corvettes to escort the Interdictor. They will be under the command of Captain Enterion, but I will make sure he works with you and your cruiser. Let us see how our people can work together, then we can see about expanding our relationship. Your Saarai-Kaar may send whomever you wish to join the Jedi here and we can see about an exchange of ideas and training if that sounds agreeable to you and her." She stood, gave a quick respectful bow of her head, then gestured to the Adept who would be able to take their guests back to their ship. Further instructions would follow, and she would make sure Captain Enterion was aware of their new allies. She wanted to remain a while and talk with Vos, a long overdue conversation.
  11. Adenna grinned slightly at the word "piracy" being used. She had fought against plenty of pirates and didn't consider any of what she planned the Jedi on doing to be piracy, but she understood his concern. "We will focus only on Sith aligned ships or those doing business with the Sith Empire, but I can see your con...." Her voice trailed off as she saw the man entering the hall. It took a long moment to even recognize him, either through the Force or with her physical eyes. Tobias had changed in the year since she had last seen him. He had changed quite a bit, and she was sure it would take a good deal of time to fully quantify just how much he had changed. On impulse, she brought back the normal mental barriers that had been lowered so that she was back to her normal, guarded self as she stared at him while he shuffled towards them. She had received a report that the exiled Jedi had returned to Nar Shaddaa, but she had deliberately not brought their paths together. Instead, she wanted to wait and see what he would do, to see how he would address the situation he now found himself in. Part of her was gladdened to see him here, but another was horrified that he had chosen this time to return to her. It took her a moment to collect her thoughts, during which Tobias managed to get close to them and introduce himself. She paused, then decided to roll with what had come. "Master Vos, this is Defender Sarlaac and Defender Mantis of the Jensaarai. They have come to ally with the Jedi and the Rebels so that we can fight our mutual enemy, the Sith."
  12. Adenna nodded in acknowledgment of the offer, but gently pressed the weapon back into its creator's hands. "I respect your offer, but why would I wish to disarm an ally when in the middle of war? The trinkets you mentioned are of little value to the Jedi: physical possessions can be distractions and actions are more powerful than words. Your mere presence here and the risk you took is symbol enough, and if you wish to take action and fight, then we will have opportunity soon enough to accomplish that. If the Jedi and Jensaarai are to trust each other, bonds forged in combat are the quickest way." She took another sip of wine and sat back in her chair. "The Jedi are preparing a two pronged attack. One group led by me will begin raiding the enemy behind their lines, taking weapons and supplies meant for their armies of evil and bringing them to our own forces. The other group will be linking up with an interdictor and raiding enemy shipping with a similar purpose. We are in need of weapons, money, and supplies and there is no better way to acquire them than by taking them from our enemy. If you wish to accomplish us, you are most welcome. If you have other areas you feel your skills would be better suited, then speak them and I will see what I can do to support you in those endeavors."
  13. Adenna eyed the reaction to her challenge with consideration and not the least bit of intimidation. There were no shock troopers or Jedi Knights waiting in the wings to rush in and destroy these newcomers: she was here on her own and yet she had no fear. Though she could sense very little within the Force from these two, she did not pick them as assassins or even as threats. Instead, she was more intrigued as to these newcomers and whatever potential they could offer. She understood how direct her question was, but these were warriors, not diplomats and she wouldn't dishonor them by pretending they were anything but. "The Jedi stand in the Light and defend those innocent who can't defend themselves," she answered. "In times of peace, we heal and mediate disputes. But in times of war, we must stand up and use our strength and convictions to fight evil and Darkness wherever it appears. The Jedi seek balance within themselves, an opposition to the Darkness that is always waiting. To do that, we must sometimes make sacrifices of ourselves so others do not." She took another deliberate bite into her food. As she did, she allowed her own natural mental shields in the Force to fade so that the two, should they wish it, could get a sense of her. "In the past, we hunted the Darkness wherever it could be found, both within and without. We did so knowing that should it be left to fester, it would grow into a larger threat. The Jedi found many threats and ended them before they consumed worlds and the Galaxy is better for it. For some, that meant educating and correcting, but for others, that meant fire and death. "I accept responsibility but make no apology for the actions against the Jensaarai by those who came before me. Who am I to say what those involved on both sides saw? If there was a Darkness in your forefathers, then the Jedi were right to act. Had the they not acted, the Force only knows what the Jensaarai would have become. Would they have been another Palpatine, Ar-Pharazon, or Exodus? Would they have become like the Nightsisters, a threat as dangerous the Sith we face, or something far worse? We do not know, but through the intervention of those past Jedi, as painful as it was, the Force was able to guide the Jensaarai along a new path, one that led away from the Darkness. You are not alone suffering this harsh fate: the Jedi, too, have suffered from this purging as we have fought our own who have fallen and the failure to do so resulted in much suffering." She looked pointedly at both of the beings before her. She might have been born Adenna Alluyen, a slave of Thalassia, but now she wore the mantle of the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order and all the privilege and baggage that came with it. She would not shirk from the past, nor would she apologize for fighting any who were of the Dark. If the Jensaarai were to work with the Jedi, then they would have to be able to come to terms with the past. If the Jedi were to work with the Jensaarai, they would also have to accept what they had done. "The Jedi have not always been successful in their purpose, as the presence of the Sith can attest. Regrettably, we have had to take actions that are harsh, that are made in haste, or without complete knowledge. The Force guides us, but we do not always interpret it correctly. We have stumbled and we have erred, yet the best of us constantly strive to be better and walk in the Light. I cannot say if another method would have served the Jensaarai better, but the Force controls all and we must bow to its wishes. Some of us are destined to be born through fire, others through luxury. The Jedi have experienced both and have suffered for it and so also have the Jensaarai."
  14. Adenna ate politely while the ambassador spoke. She wasn't completely hungry, but there were several tasty offerings here and it would be rude not to partake. There were many in the Galaxy who did not have the luxury of a table full of appetizing food, so it would be a disservice to them to waste what was prepared. "One drop raises the largest of oceans," she responded warmly. "We, right now, are in need of soldiers willing to make a stand. It doesn't matter how many or how few: all who are willing to fight are more than welcome." She took a sip of some wine and replaced the goblet on the table. With a slightly more serious tone, she continued "The Jedi stand for the Light and will always do so. There is a constant struggle against the Darkness that every one who takes up the blade or blaster must wrestle with. I am aware of the toll that this war will take on the Jedi and I embrace it so that others do not have to. Our brethren in the Imperial Knights take this duty quite seriously as well, though admittedly they prefer rather harsh responses to any taint of darkness. I understand that the Jensaarai have had struggles with the Jedi in the past and have trod closer than some Jedi would like to the Darkness, but it is the opinion of past Jedi scholars that your Order is not corrupted as the Sith or Nightsisters of Dathomir are." Adenna's blue eyes stared straight into the Sarlacc's large red eyes and all semblance of casual friendship left her face, replaced with the rigidly hard intensity that could only be commanded by one forced to lead and make difficult decisions. "I do not intend offense, but I would be utterly remiss of my duties as leader and guardian of the Jedi Order if I did not make sure one that I wish to welcome into our ranks would not become a poison to taint and destroy what we believe in."
  15. It saddened Adenna to sense the barely contained disdain coming from her counterpart in the Imperial Knights. She had hoped that this would be an opportunity for her to finally sit down with Master Eleison and discuss future moves and her own plans for the war, especially with the arrival of another potential ally. The leader of the Imperial Knights hadn't seemed much interested in working together since she recovered from her ordeal on Coruscant, but Adenna wouldn't force the issue. As long as they were still focused on fighting the Sith, it would work. The Jedi had needed some time to organize and rebuild, but it would be their time soon, and with new allies, they would be more ready than ever. She used the experience of the last year and a half as Grandmaster to hide her disappointment both on her face and in the Force and remained congenial yet also dignified. There wasn't quite enough food here to serve a battalion, but it was a reception meant for diplomats with plenty of food that would match almost anyone's tastes. Most of the moderately large room was empty, but there was a table set near the throne where the former master of this hall used to recline that had been set for them. She didn't recognize the one called Mantis, but gave a quick bow of her head when he spoke of having met her before. Many had seen her in the past and, try as she might, she couldn't recall every one. "I am glad you are here," she said warmly while they were seated. "The situation in the Galaxy is indeed dire, but I do have faith that the forces of Light can stand against the current evil we are facing. There have been Grandmasters in the past who do not embrace the Jedi's role as warriors against evil, but I am not one of them. I know the Jensaarai have a long tradition of being warriors and am glad for it. Even if we have differences in theology, I believe there is always room for alliances with all who serve the Light and eschew the Darkness."
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