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Aidan Darkfire

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Aidan Darkfire last won the day on July 6

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About Aidan Darkfire

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  1. He took her hand, smiling warmly as he stared into her eyes. "And also with you." And then the moment passed, and the young Imperial Knight found himself walking the hallways of the base towards the nerve center of the Jedi command areas. It was high time he'd reported in. When he arrived, some of the more important brass seemed to be in a meeting, so he sat outside in the main operations area waiting for them to finish.
  2. "I have a feeling these side adventures would happen whether or not I was born a Darkfire. Some things just are how they are." He took one last sip of his caf, looking long and hard at the cup. He didn't want this to end, the little slice of happiness he now shared with Sandy. She had been the one person who he felt most comfortable around, where he could lower his defenses and not worry about being attacked for who he was or his past or any of his other weak points. He could simply be himself around her, and it sucked that he always tended to realize it right before they tended to part ways. "Also, while I'd love to come with you to Scarif, I'm still liable to get orders to go elsewhere. When we get some more free time, though...would you like to do that meditation with me I talked about earlier? I think someone there with me would really help, I don't know, brace me through the process? That sounds like kind of the right way to put it, I guess." He stood from the table, looking around before focusing back on Sandy with a warm smile. "I should go report in, though. With all the activity around this place chances are I already have orders waiting for me, and while I was given some time off, I'm sure they won't wait forever on me."
  3. There was a slight wince as Sandy mentioned an apprentice, but Aidan steeled himself. It was likely coming sooner or later, whether he liked it or not. It was simply the way of things. "Honestly, I don't know if I'm ready for one, but I'm allowed to select my own before one is eventually assigned to me. I'm really not sure I'm ready for it, either. But hey, they made you a master, and you helped train both myself and Kel, so...maybe it won't be that bad, I guess. Speaking of, do you feel...different at all? I always kind of just expected to feel, I don't know...more powerful when I was made a full Knight. Instead I just feel like the same old Aidan. Frankly, it's a little scary, it feels like more responsibility without the internal reassurance to tell me I can handle it." He decided to gloss over his dreams, as it was something he could handle later. He'd earlier found an interesting meditation on his father's holocron, and was already planning on trying it to help rid his dreams of nightmares and calm his inner mind. He wasn't perfect and he knew it, it was one of the reasons he was able to overcome the Sith poisons on the Eternal Vigilance: by embracing the truth that he was flawed and would need to start his true path from that perspective. And then a message came in from Master Kyrie, with attached official documents marking him as the Imperial Knight's official ambassador to the Jedi. Maybe it was something to do with his heritage, but it was yet another responsibility on his plate that he would have to grin and bear with. He didn't think he was the most diplomatic person, but then again, he'd never really tried either. A slight pang of sadness rushed through him as he also realized that he wasn't able to see his Master for a bit longer, but this was the life they led. He brought his focus back to the present, addressing Sandy once more. "Apparently, I'm also now the Imperial Knight's ambassador to the Jedi. Why they didn't make one of the masters the ambassador, I can't fathom. Probably has something to do with my name. Gods, I might need to just up and change it...how does Arbuckle Finklehorn sound?" It was a bad joke, but he still allowed himself a dry chuckle.
  4. While Sandy seemed to prefer her caf black, Aidan preferred his with a good bit of cream and sugar. At least, until he noticed they were out of cream and sugar. War rationing. Lovely. So he poured himself a cup of light roast, hoping the flavor wouldn't be too terrible, and sat down with her. "I, uh...I slept. I keep having these vivid dreams. As far as I can tell, they're just dreams, not prophetic visions or anything, but sometimes they're good, and sometimes they're about the war. More and more lately, they've been about the war. Firefights I can't escape, dead bodies littering a battlefield, that sort of thing. I spoke to a doc about it once, they said it had something to do with stress and I should try to get away from the front lines for a bit. Unfortunately, that's not really how the galaxy works, right?" Aidan took a long sip, the awkwardness of his answer hanging in the air between them. He didn't want her to feel bad for asking, so instead he changed the subject. He'd been waiting to tell her, anyways. "So, uh...I got word from one of the masters in the Imperial Knights...I've been officially promoted." He tried to act rather blase and casual about it, but couldn't help himself from letting a slight grin slip.
  5. It was like a gentle nudging, but on his mind rather than his shoulder. Aidan woke up slowly, but with a smile on his face. Gingerly he rose, making sure to put his shirt back on and straightening the rest of his casual clothing, then went to the door. Sandy was still sitting across from his room against the hallway wall, and she wasn't quite yet asleep. With a half cocked grin, he called out to her. "Hey. Hey, lady. You can't sleep here, you see. It's not a bedroom." He stifled a chuckle, attempting to maintain a semi-serious face, and failing terribly. After it was clear the joke landed, he scratched the back of his head, leaning against the doorframe. "You, uh...want to grab some caf?"
  6. A week of sleep. That sounded about right. It was a strange sensation Aidan felt as he watched Ismael walk away, he didn't feel any more powerful, and yet here he was a fully-fledged Imperial Knight. Slowly the realization of all his newfound extra responsibility hit him as he retreated back into his room, flopping on his bed. He would likely have an apprentice in the future, and frankly he wasn't sure he was ready for that. Was anyone who came before him ready? Several minutes passed before he settled on the idea that some things simply are learned by doing. He had triumphed over himself, coming to accept and care for the man he'd grown up to be despite his emotional issues with his past. However, the question before him that he couldn't shake, even as he tried to sleep, was could he live with his failures if they irreconcilably affected others? What if his student, someone the Knights would entrust to him in the highest of faith, turned to the dark side? Aidan had his own brushes with the darkness, and while he was aware it gave him perspective, he also knew better than others how easy it was in contrast to the hard path an Exorcist needed to walk. If he was overbearing and controlling, he would push the pupil away, likewise if he slacked in discipline and mentorship they might simply slide that way anyways out of resentment, as Aidan had. Was this what was meant by the 'crushing weight of responsibility'? Briefly he wondered if his father had thought about the same concerns, but shook the thought from his mind and attempted to drift to sleep. Eventually, he managed to quiet his thoughts enough to pass into unconsciousness. Still, though he slept, rest would not find him easily.
  7. "...Sir?" Aidan was at a slight loss of words, though the promotion was expected, he thought it was likely just going to come in the form of paperwork. A visit from one of the masters was absolutely unexpected. After it all kind of hit him, he took Ismael's hand, returning the firm handshake. "Thank you, sir, this is an honor. I swear on the Empress that the trust placed in me will not go to waste." As the master nodded, turning to leave, Aidan had an afterthought. "Wait...does this mean I'm being assigned an apprentice?"
  8. Rousing from his sleep to a knock at the door, Aidan quickly made himself presentable. His senses told him there was a decently strong Force presence waiting for him, but he was groggy enough that he just assumed it was Sandy. Yet when he opened the door, it took a full two seconds staring back and forth at Ismael before it connected with the younger man who exactly had knocked on his door. Immediately he knelt and bowed, showing respect. "Master, forgive me, I was not expecting you. It is an honor. What can I do for you?" He stood, subtly trying to close the door behind him, not proud of the disheveled state of his room in front of one of the few Masters the Imperial Knights had in their ranks.
  9. To say Aidan was impressed with the assembly was an understatement. It put into perspective all of their hard work, but if anything Aidan just wanted to sleep for a week. So for the time being, while he politely made small talk with those who approached him in the briefing room, he didn't go out of his way to engage with anyone, and quickly snuck out as things were obviously winding to a close. Eventually, he found himself back in his assigned quarters. After taking another hour or so to type up and send a report to Imperial High Command (or what there was left of it) delineating what happened on the mission as well as Adenna's debrief, he quickly passed out on his bed. There was no Force trance, the young man was simply exhausted. Hopefully he'd find the time to rest before the next skirmish, but with the way things had gone, it wasn't likely.
  10. The water felt excellent on his skin. It was an older refresher, but it still did its job well, sterilizing the young Imperial Knight's skin of the carbon and dirt accrued over the course of their lengthy mission. For a good chunk of it, Aidan didn't even know if they were coming back, and yet at the end of all things, here they were. He'd never really had a sense of accomplishment about doing anything major like this before, but even with the loss of the Vigilance, he felt like he'd learned a lot and come a long way. Shirtless and still toweling off, he made his way to the cockpit to monitor their progress, reinvigorated a bit by the shower. He was still sore, the many cuts and nasty bruises on his skin clear testament to this fact, but he was alive. He checked the readouts, noting they were about twenty minutes out from Nar Shaddaa, before turning to Sandy. "So this is the life of a Jedi, huh? Danger, heroics, not knowing if you're going to come home...It's a little different seeing it all from the other side of the coin." Two minutes until the drop from hyperspace, then another fifteen or so to get landing permissions and navigate to a docking bay or landing pad. "Have you ever tried Zabraki food? Spicy, but still flavorful. We should get some when we get a chance. And I...I think I need to go find my shirt." Not waiting for a response, he jumped up and left the cockpit, fully aware of what he'd said. It wasn't that he didn't care about Sandy to wait for her to talk, he was simply too burnt out over everything they accomplished to really bother caring about anything at the moment, to include his shirt.
  11. "No...you go ahead. I could use a bit." Aidan wasn't exactly piloting the ship, but he certainly was monitoring the R5's piloting, which given the circumstances wasn't bad. Twice he needed to override the astromech, having sensed something the droid couldn't possibly calculate for, but these were small adjustments, perfections on an already smooth course. Aidan himself was very much worse for wear. He wasn't torn up or bruised like Sandy, but he still felt like he'd been run over with a steamroller. His entire body ached, he was lethargic and just drained, and he wasn't incredibly happy about losing the Vigilance, though that wouldn't matter much until they were back standing in front of the Queen to give their report. Still, he was proud of himself, all that he'd managed to accomplish. He wasn't necessarily following in the footsteps of his father, rather he forged his own path through the stars. And that was something for him to be satisfied about for the time being. Eventually, they hit the far side of the gravity wells, and stars turned to starlines as they made the jump to hyperspace. Aidan's eyes closed. He needed a long nap.
  12. Aidan might have sat in the seat, but it was Kel's R5 astromech next to him that was doing most of the work. As soon as the route was calculated, Aidan activated the engines of the autopilot, carrying them away from the Vigilance. The massive craft already had a lilt towards the nearest black hole, indicating its orbital positional stabilizers had finally given out over the strain of the fight. "At least the Sith don't have it. I can't imagine what they could have done with the secrets it kept." He half muttered to himself, sitting near Sandy. The mission was technically a failure, but they'd survived. And right then, that was all Aidan cared about.
  13. Aidan had just managed to rise to his feet as he felt the rushing wind of the depressurization. In the distance he heard bulkheads beginning to seal off, but the damage to the ship was extensive and it was already on low reserves...they would need to move quickly. The Force came to him one last time to open the door to the room he'd been trapped in, and though it drained him dry, it felt like this time it answered his call much easier. The Force was with him, always and forever. Stumbling through the hallways, he made his way back to where the group had landed with Kel's R5 unit in tow, calling out to Sandy, yelling above the rushing winds of the escaping atmosphere. "Aggressive negotiations much?" But now wasn't the time for joking, they needed to get out of there. "Where's Kel?"
  14. The pain was still fresh when next Aidan opened his eyes, but before him there was no longer the visage of a council chamber or murderous Jedi. He was back on the ship. His muscles ached, his head spun, but here he was, back on the Vigilance, in the room he'd been lured to. In the corner was the youngling's mangled corpse, and a curious device that had to have been the device that was used as the toxin-dispensing trap sat on a nearby table. Slowly he stood, moving out of the room as best he was able, it took significant effort to lift the door up again. Now the hallways were dimmer, power to the section having been cut. Was it the Sith? Everything that had happened pointed to there being a saboteur on board who was obviously versed in the arts of the dark side. As he walked along, questions sprang into his mind. Where was Sandy and Kel? Or even for that matter, the astromech droid Kel had sent with him? How long had he been incapacitated? Somewhere on this ship there were answers, and the Imperial Knight was dead set on finding them. As he wound another corner though, he realized the opposite had come true: the answer had found him. A dark figure wearing a half-cloak and a mask stood before him at the far end of the hallway, a lightsaber hilt in each hand. Aidan stiffened, reaching for his own hilt as the other began to take several steps towards him. Two red blades ripped into existence with a vicious snap-thrumm, almost all but verifying this was the Sith that had caused them so much trouble. Aidan activated his own silver blades, but as his left shoulder was still injured he only could hold it and defend himself with his right arm. Hastily he called out, hoping to stop the advance of the masked figure. "Stop! What have you done with Sandy? I don't want to fight you, you don't have to do this!" The figure took several more steps at a brisk pace, finally reaching striking distance before lashing out, both blades caught on an overhead block by Aidan's staff saber. A cold, mechanical voice echoed from the mask, the reply chilling Aidan to the bone. "You don't have a choice." Aidan summoned all the strength he could muster, leaning heavily on the Force to deflect and block the flurry of blows the Sith next rained down upon him, but with every strike and block he felt himself being slowly driven back. There was no error, no room to counterattack, the Sith's form was perfect. The Force gave no hints like it normally had, no guidance to his weary body, only allowing him enough strength to lift his saber to meet the foreboding red blades again and again. The Sith advanced with fury unmatched, silent as the grave but fighting with deadly efficiency. As the seconds bled into minutes, the only answer Aidan could come up with became glaringly clear: retreat. Aidan called upon the Force once more to blast the Sith back, but the Sith endured, shrugging off the blast. It didn't create as large a window as Aidan had hoped, but he took the opportunity, turning on his heel and fleeing down the corridors he'd come from. At a brisk walk, the Sith followed, blades still lighting the hallways, coming for their quarry. Panic began to fill Aidan's mind. He couldn't hide, not from another Force user. He could run, leading the Sith on a merry chase around the ship, but the Sith had seen far more of the ship than he, and even if he could keep moving, chances are he would only die tired. He needed an ambush, to create his own opportunity. Aidan was the only one who could solve this, and as much as he relied upon and trusted in the Force, he knew the Force wouldn't automatically solve every problem he had. The person channeling the Force was as much a part of the puzzle as the Force itself, a critical lens that directed and focused its flow. The Sith caught up to him in a T-junction hallway as Aidan was catching his breath. The floor was damp, and a cable hung from the ceiling near the door the Sith had been led into. "Do not flee. This is inevitable." Aidan knew it was anything but. Reaching out, Aidan pulled at the cable, causing it to jam into the Sith's back and send high voltage through him to the grounded deckplates, causing a large enough opening for Aidan to whirl around with his own saber and catch the Sith in the mask. He'd intended to end it there, but his own blade was deflected enough that it cut deeply into the mask and a bit of the Sith's face, revealing much of what was behind the mask and leaving a nasty wound. What was revealed caused Aidan to rapidly backpedal, the Sith's face comprised of withered white skin, thinning black hair, and corrupted yellow eyes. The Sith finally managed to free themselves, catching a moment of respite on one knee before removing the rest of the mask, more a hindrance than a help at this point. As he looked up, it was like looking in a mirror. This was no Sith, Aidan was fighting himself. Sith-Aidan cocked an all too familiar grin as he choked out a taunt, the words raspy and strained as they were no longer assisted by the vocalizer in the mask. "I...told you. Inevitable." Now it was Aidan's turn to surge forward, filled with emotion and disbelief. This was an impossibility, and yet it was happening. He had struggled with the dark side in the past, but was he really destined for this? Anger welled up inside him, and through it his strikes rained down on the Sith-Aidan who now defended himself on the retreat, not managing to find an opening to push back the assault against Aidan. Anger at the future, at the Force, at fate. This was cruelty shoved before him, ugliness and viciousness, and he hated it. Sith-Aidan managed to find a single hole in Aidan's defense, but Aidan simply used the opportunity to have the strike cut his staff saber neatly in the middle, leaving him with one working hilt but an easy opening to cut through his opponent's right wrist, from which he used the Force to rip the remaining red lightsaber blade from and draw it to his own hand as he dropped the other dead hilt. This wasn't a fight on equal footing anymore, Aidan was focused, precise, and filled with the Force's strength. Red and silver spun in a storm that Sith-Aidan could not possibly hope to weather. In a similar move, Aidan caught Sith-Aidan's blade by feigning a block with his silver saber but deactivating the blade, causing his opponent to swing through into his trap. With a quick maneuver, the other arm was severed, and Aidan now held both red blades as Sith-Aidan fell to his knees. Crossing beams of red energy met the space just before Sith-Aidan's throat, and the fight was over. But instead of shock, instead of fear or frustrated rage, Sith-Aidan still wore a half-cocked smile. One strained word escaped his lips as ochre stained eyes taunted Aidan to get it over with. "Inevitable." And Aidan almost did, had he not caught his reflection on a nearby panel behind the kneeling Sith. His own face now matched his doppelganger's, and he realized he was the one with the red lightsabers, the tortured kyber crystals within screaming in the Force like beacons of pain. This was not the answer. This ran contrary to everything he'd ever been taught, be it from Kirlocca, Sandy, or even Kyrie. He was raised by the Jedi, he knew their principles, he had been indoctrinated into the Imperial Knights in the holy order of Exorcists. He had fallen down the path of darkness before, and here he was doing it again. There was only one way to break this cycle, the endless chain that tied him to his own darkness, and it lied in the purging fires of exorcism. He knew what he needed to do, but he wasn't sure if he had the strength. Aidan deactivated the red sabers, throwing them to his sides as he called for his still working hilt, reigniting its silver blade. "What...are you..." Sith-Aidan called out in confusion, Aidan's own former emotions echoing through the voice that was his but also wasn't. The saber he held in his hand represented everything he idealized, everything he strove for, but he'd never come to terms with the fact that by definition it was meant to be double-edged. A lightsaber blade had an omnidirectional cutting surface, but the metaphor meant that what could harm one's enemies could just as easily harm oneself. Exorcists were forged in the righteous fires of the light side, but fire burned. Aidan had felt Kyrie's fire, but had never fully come into his own with it. This was the moment that would be tested: it was now all or nothing. He was either ready, or he would die. "NO!-" The Sith tried to lunge forward, to stop him, but it was too late. Aidan reversed the hilt, driving his own silver blade deep into his own chest, and immediately he felt immense pain rip through his entire body. The Sith, the ship, his surroundings, everything seemed to shift as if collapsing, but it wasn't something Aidan really noticed over the painful torrent of the Force tearing through him, cleansing him and burning away his lingering darkness. By the light's fire he was burned, by the light's fire he was pure. This was the only way. It took every ounce of strength and mental fortitude to stop it from killing him, but eventually the blaze subsided. Aidan's eyes slowly opened as he gave a bit of a cough, feeling like he'd just had the worst hangover in the galaxy. He was back in the room with the youngling, on the ship, though this time he felt Sandy and another a short distance away, struggling. Kel was there too, but... Aidan tried to stand, but he was still incredibly weak from his ordeal. Weakly he reached out, trying to touch Sandy's mind. He could offer her no aid but peace of mind, but a small gift sometimes blossomed into something greater than the sum of its parts. The Force was their ally, but none could know its will. Only time would tell if their group would leave this ship alive, or if it would become their tomb.
  15. He almost managed to ignore it. He heard the voices, clear as day as if they were real and right next to him. Kirlocca's voice stung the deepest, as Aidan had a special connection to the Wookiee who practically raised him and the young Imperial Knight missed him deeply. But when Sandy cried out, he could take it no longer, the emotions welled up inside him to the point of bursting as he leapt forward from where he sat, silver blades meeting Sandy's own as he began defending her. The onslaught was relentless to say the least, blow after blow, parry after parry, never counterattacking to strike true but merely to drive back. The four Jedi were more than a match for the two, and very quickly Aidan felt his strength drain from him. The thought flew through his mind questioning if the toxin he'd inhaled was the culprit behind his loss of strength, but he had no way of telling. "Stop! All of you!" They didn't. "Mother, please! You wouldn't do this!" She continued. "Master Kirlocca, you of all people told me to trust in the Force above all else, does it really tell you to do this?" The Wookiee fought on. "Masters, stop this insanity!" His words fell on deaf ears. At a glance in desperation, Aidan looked to Sandy, worrying for her, but that was when he caught it. He was tethered to her, a very faint tie, translucent and ethereal, binding them together. He had feelings for her, feelings he hadn't resolved. This wasn't trusting in the Force like he had quoted Kirlocca seconds before, this was him attempting to fight fate, to assert his will. He was the seed of the Dark Side inside of Sandy Sarna. He had caused this. Maybe not in totality, but in part. Enough to make him guilty in the scene that played out before him. Finally he remembered: this was an illusion, he was dancing on strings like a puppet. Summoning the strength of the Force to himself, he let out a strong shove that sent all of them back several steps, before extinguishing his blade, and kneeling down. "If this must be done, then you must hold me accountable as well. I submit myself for judgment." One by one, they came forward, readying their blades. Trust in the Force above all else. He remained motionless, allowing them to continue. Trust in the Force above all else. If this was going to happen, he needed to allow it to happen, to accept it and move on instead of fighting it. Trust in the Force above all else. Their blades burned as they cut into him, but it was Sandy's blade that hurt the most. Trust in the Force above all else.
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