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Svata Dragoste

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Svata Dragoste last won the day on November 10 2020

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  1. Triumph rose in Svata like the sunrise as he saw his master take the fall and slide back. He'd half expected to lose his hand in that maneuver, even considering the ridiculousness of the fear given that his master was unarmed. He strode forward. He would point the tip of the blade at Sarlacc's throat and call an end. He couldn't believe it. Against all odds, against all sense, he had actually- Sarlacc held up his hands. For the tiniest fraction of a second, Svata thought his master might be calling an end to the duel. Then his mind caught up, and his fear followed. Dropping low, hoping to dodge whatever missile his master intended to send at him, Svata made the crucial mistake of loosening his grip on his saber. He didn't even notice the tug until the tip was searing his side. He screamed, and reflexes trumped precision as he jerked away from the blade and dropped it, the blades deactivating though the damage was done. Searing pain lanced through his side, and though Svata tried to master it, the only thing that ran through his mind was an acute awareness of the agony mixing with the acrid stench of cooking flesh. He gritted his teeth, eyes watering, only catching a glimpse of his master's saber returning. No time then. Svata could barely stand, much less swing a saber. Attack now, or lose for sure. Svata's tail whipped up, and his blaster settled back into his hand. No careful aiming this time. Svata pumped the blaster again and again, sending stun blast after stun blast winging at his master in wild shots. ((3)) ((Nearly incapacitated and in agony from the blade cutting his side thanks to Sarlacc's ballistakinesis, Svata drew his blaster and fired wildly at Sarlacc, hoping to catch him while prone and recovering his lightsaber))
  2. Svata hissed through his teeth as his teacher slid towards him, as fast as he remembered. The spinning arc of Svata's blade caught the arcing staff just as Svata ended the fanciful twirl, re-established a firm grip on the weapon, and pushed one-handed as hard as he could against the incoming staff. The Sarlacc's cortosis weapon, already loose in his fingers, tore free and flew into the metal wall where it raised a ringing hum before bouncing down to the floor in a clangor. Svata, having overcorrected for what he thought would be a parry, left himself open as he was forced to widen his step to keep from tumbling sideways under the momentum of his own overzealous block. Even if by some miracle he'd been holding onto a thread of his attempt at the Secret of Evaporation before, it was gone now. Fighting with a lightsaber was complicated enough, but a true Jensaarai like the Sarlacc understood the trick of mixing solid weapons and their momentum into a fight. Only now...he was unarmed. But a man who walks with the Force is never unarmed. Caught off guard, Svata's blaster arched up on unseen directive towards Svata's face, and only a quick head turn saw the blunt metal scrape a layer of skin off his cheekbone, saving him from an addled moment that would have spelled his end. With the flip of a man practiced at sleight of hand, the blaster dropped from his fingers to be caught by his tail by the barrel before it could clatter to the floor. His master still had his armor and the Force. Svata had to end this quickly or he'd lose what little ground he'd gained with the stun blasts. Dropping any pretense of clever tricks, Svata fell into the classic Form VI stance and took his dual-bladed lightsaber into both hands, jabbing out like a spear towards Sarlaac's right leg. If his left leg had been grazed by the stun blasts, then forcing him to lean on it might...might...keep him off balance long enough for Svata to figure out how he was going to beat a trained Jensaarai Defender. ((2)) (Was thrown off balance by Sarlaac's trick of deliberately keeping a loose grip on the staff, but managed to avoid being addled by the blaster being Force pushed towards his face. Svata dropped the blaster to be held by his tail, and jabbed out with his lightsaber towards Sarlaac's right foot, hoping to force him to put weight on his left.)
  3. Svata frowned. As his teacher spoke, his voice the pleasant drone of an caring instructor, something felt...off. Svata felt exposed, in a sensation that was oddly familiar. The rancor. Yes, back on Dathomir, when Svata had exposed his mind and soul to the rancor, it had felt like this, though more intense. This was...furtive. Quiet. Poking at my head? Fortunately you taught me how to deal with this kind of thing, teacher. Can you read what's not there? Svata began to let himself become part of the moment, using the Secret of Evaporation to conceal himself from his master...when his master threw something at him. Is that... A lightsaber hilt. Kriff! Svata had no time for an artful dodge. He leapt straight back, his body dropping to the floor while moving backwards from the oncoming bit of metal. The hiss of the lightsaber activating followed a split second before Svata hit the metal floor. Svata's eyes opened, ignoring the pain in his back that was no doubt going to be far worse in a few hours. Well, not dead or burning...so good sign there. Svata gritted his teeth as he used the martial arts training the Jensaarai had drilled into him to roll to his feet, displaying a spryness that belied his age. His back protested the move, muscles already stiffening from the sudden fall. It's not about if you fall...it's about how fast you get up! A grin stole over his face at the thought of his uncle's decades old advice. Always wanted to try this... Svata spun his dual-bladed lightsaber in one hand and activated it, creating a bright, spinning yellow marvel. A lovely distraction. His other hand casually flipped his blaster out of its holster and fired two stun blasts from the hip towards his master. ((1)) (Dropped to the floor to dodge the thrown lightsaber, taking a bad fall to do it, got back up and used the activating of his lightsaber as a distraction while drawing his blaster and making two hip shot stun blasts.)
  4. Even though his head felt like someone had filled it with wet sand, Svata looked up. With two blank, red orbs for eyes, most people would have seen a duros like Sarlacc as eerie and emotionless. Eyes were the windows to the soul after all, wasn't that what people said? So what did it way when someone painted over it with a fresh coat of scarlet? But...Svata saw the kindness there. In the crinkling at the edges of eyes, the smile lines on the face, the relaxed posture... Sarlaac was a good man. Maybe I'm asking too much to expect one big plan to fix the universe. Maybe the universe just needs a few more good men. Svata stood up, and a warmth spread through him as he smiled. "Alright, that sounds good." He cocked an eyebrow, and his grin turned cheeky. "Don't go losing now. Hate to have to explain that to the boys and girls back home." Heh...me winning. He drew his lightsaber hilt, leaving it off for the moment. Yeah right.
  5. As the Jensaarai ship flew through hyperspace, Svata stared out the viewport. The blue light played across his weathered features, making him seem washed out. Faded. Svata turned away, and his eyes met his teacher's. "Sarlaac...I had forgotten. I had forgotten what people were capable of." He shook his head. "Fear, pride, it all ends the same. We seek truth but...what are we supposed to do with it? Teach? They won't listen. Protect? The fight never ends." Leaning against the wall, he took out his saber and looked at the carvings on it. He remembered the rancor on Dathomir. "There's so much potential out there. And it keeps gettin wasted by folks who can't see past the shadows under their beds. What are we supposed to do?" He slumped, tired. "What are we even doing?"
  6. Svata opened his mouth to retort, but bit his knuckle instead and sat in silence. After several long minutes had passed and he had eaten a few bites and sipped from his canteen, he spoke. "We came here looking for a truth, can't really complain if it's not the one we expected." He looked up at Telperiën. "What your people have gone through...I can't imagine. And I don't mean that as some polished sewage huckster spiel meant to smooth things over. I honestly can't imagine what...this..." he said, gesturing at the wasteland around him, "would do to a person. To a people. I also don't rightly understand what you're aiming for, or at least I can't envision it clear enough to make sense of it. What will your paradise look like when its grown back to how you see it?" He shook his head. "So understand where I'm coming from when I say... ...you all scare me. And I'm truly afeared that this story of yours isn't going to have a happy ending." He ran his hand through his hair. "I could be wrong of course. I find I usually am to some degree about most things." He grinned. "By the way. I always thought those rancors of yours were slow, plodding brutes. All claw and no brain. Turns out that was another thing I was wrong about." He chucked to himself as he rubbed the bruises no doubt forming on his ribs from the beast's grip earlier. "So I can successfully say this trip has been a learning experience."
  7. Jorus grinned around his cigarra, and keyed his own comm system. "Numbers 1 thru 4, go screw up." On cue, four antique Z-10 Seeker-class scout ships rocketed forward, accelerating to attack speed...and then kept accelerating. By the time they were within 1000 meters of the convoy, they were at the breakneck pace you'd expect of a ship trying to cross stars without a hyperdrive, and at risk of colliding with the train of freighters if anyone so much as turned a degree in the next few seconds. Jorus leaned back, propped his feet up on the dash of his own ship, and waited for several moments before breaking the silence. "...and...now." Retro thrusters, welded to the sides of the ships in ugly clusters, roared to life on each side. The ships strained and squealed in protest at the sudden deceleration, but the old scout vessels had been built tough. Even so it wasn't enough. Cables fired from the undersides of the craft that latched onto the nearest freighters, but the ships were going too fast to match their prey's slower speed, and the suddenly linked ships were wrenched off course and began to spin wildly. The cables detached as the scout vessels rocketed off to circle around for another try...now with the full attention of the escort on them. Jorus chuckled. "Classic two man spacer pocket. Big guy makes a show of robbing you, and while you're trying to make him back off with whatever you've got handy, the little guy takes your credit chits. Professionals will hold their position to fight off pirates...but when someone insults you by doing it poorly...well that gets a special kind of angry out of old pilots." As if following his direction, fighters began peeling off from the convoy to pursue the scout craft rather than wait for them to make another run.
  8. Svata would not hurt a girl for this lesson. Not after that scream. Right or wrong, teaching moment or not, it wasnt him. And he'd sooner feed himself piecemeal to a slashrat than burn that girl to learn a trick. He listened, but did not follow the instruction. He'd do this his own way. The girl's trail was readily apparent. In the ruined wasteland, her footsteps were evident on crushed scrub brush and churned dust. Svata followed her at a jog. Two hours later Svata groaned as he created another hill and the girl was still nowhere in sight. Her trail was still clear, as it seemed she wasnt trying to hide it. For this exercise, he supposed that made sense. But it did mean he was going slower as he kept stopping to find Mark's of her passing. He'd wasted a good ten minutes when the trail of something big had crossed her path and sent careening off on a new course, only to double back when he realized she likely didnt have claws. The lady was sprinting for goodness sakes! These witches were tough, but how long could she- His thoughts were interrupted by a faint sound, something foreign to the desolate landscape and all too familiar to someone who'd fathered 3 daughters. A girl crying. He saw her, curled in the shade of a brown, dead bush. She was shaking. By the Force she was actually shaking. Svata moved up to her and plopped down next to her. She flinched away, but her heaving breaths and sweat slicked skin told him she had no strength to run. Svata plopped a canteen in front of her. "You're dehydrated. Drink up before you pass out." Her wide eyes, contracted to near mad pinpricks, stared at him like she was watching a snake curling to strike. "Girl, I'm not carrying you back." In the middle of his sentence, she snatched the canteen and slid roughly away, until she was a solid 10 feet from him. She guzzled the water. "You've got to be kidding. This might make you strong girl, but..." He stopped, at a loss for words. Not my world. Not my way. ...still feels wrong "Come on, let's get..." He paused. The girl's gaze had shifted to his left, but her face had only tightened. The crunch of dirt, faint but unmistakable, made his head turn. A rancor looked down from the nearby rise. "...Quiet for a big fella, aintcha?" The beast, a scarred, wiry thing, stared at him. No subtlety, no hesitation, no fear. An animal that knew in its genes that it was unchallengeable. Then it looked at the girl. Svata kept his voice even. "Girl, I know you're tired, but if those witches trained you to push yourself, then you better start remembering those lessons..." The rancor rumbled out something that might have been a growl and took a step forward. "cause this here's a surprise test." Svata started slowly moving to one side. The rancor stopped, tracking him with its eyes. Then it shifted back to the sweaty witchling... with the blood-soaked hands. "Girl...run." She didnt move. "Run!" Svata shouted. The rancor's head snapped back to Svata as the girl sprang up and sprinted away, clutching Svata's canteen. The rancor lurched towards Svata, its rumbling steps signaling that it was done stalking. "Fast for a big guy too huh?!" Svata yelled, half in denial and half to keep the predator's attention on him. He sprinted to the rancor's right, doing his best to keep it circling. All that muscle, bone, and teeth didnt turn well, but if it got the chance to charge then Svata was a dead man. His mind raced on a mixture of adrenaline and denial that this was how he died. He was not about to end his life in some rancor's stomach on a ruined planet because of an object lesson from a sun-baked witch reminiscing about the good old days. The rancor unfortunately disagreed. Svata was a hair too slow, and while the creature's close-set feet and top heavy bulk kept it from quickly pivoting, its arms had the range to make up for it. The back of a claw clipped Svata's shoulder as he sprinted, sending him into a lurching step that became a tumble. He scrambled to his feet and scurried over a small dune a split second before the rancor's claw came back to carve three furrows into the dirt where he'd been sprawling. Svata had nothing that could even scratch this thing. The Force... Really, really hope this does something to animals. Svata became a part of the moment. Unfortunately, as he suspected, the technique only hid him from the abilities of Force-sensitives. Not mundane eyes...or noses. The rancor shrieked in triumph as it stepped forward and loomed over the dune, staring down at Svata. It was hungry, and pleased. Svata could feel it. He could feel it. A crazy, probably stupid thought struck Svata. Too simple to be inspiration, but Svata would settle for desperation. He reversed the technique. Instead of concealing himself by making himself indistinguishable from his surroundings in the Force, he opened himself up and forced every ounce of him out. It was like stepping into a cold shower. He felt vulnerable, exposed, and panicked all at once. But the rancor stopped. It was confused at first by the inklings of Svata's deluge it was sensing. But then little bits began to stick. Svata feeding his first son as he wailed at the universe for being too much for a baby to handle. The rancor propping its mewling cub onto it's back as it cried for food the mother couldn't find. Svata showing his daughter how to heat nerf horn to make carving it easier. The mother rancor watching as the cub tore the throat from a dead animal and screaming in victory as if it had killed it itself. Svata wrapping the broken arm on his third son after he'd decided to return a dug's insult. The mother disemboweling some scavenging reptile that had gotten too close to her cub and taken a snap at it. The rancor shook its head and screamed again, but this time in rage. It didn't want this. It didnt want to know its food. This thing was food. Food! It's claws dropped around Svata and closed. Svata staring at the bodies of his family. He was all that was left. The mother mewled over her unmoving cub, her voice a sorrowful mimicry of it's now silent cries. It had starved. The mother hadn't been able to find enough food. The roar of the rancor was deafening. It hadn't wanted to remember that. Sorrow, rage, and raw pain laced the rancor's cry, and Svata felt every bit of it as it mingled with his own pain. In that brief moment the two creatures understood each other. The rancor stepped back, shaking its head as if to dislodge something, and it stared down at Svata once more. He had no control over it. He'd only offered it truth. The decision it made would be its own. The rancor growled, pure frustration evident even to Svata. Then...it turned away. Resigned, it strode back into the wasteland, hunting once more. Svata could sense in some lingering connection that it did not know what Svata was, bit it did know he wasn't food. Either it had forgotten the girl or left her trail alone for Svata's sake, because it trundled off in the opposite direction. He didn't know which, but was grateful for either. ____________________________ Svata staggered back into camp. "I failed your gorram test," he grunted, before plopping down onto the dirt.
  9. Svata paused briefly, food halfway to his mouth, at the words 'for sport'. Then, he completed the bite and kept his face neutral. Seek truth He palmed one of his small throwing knives from inside his clothes. With a moment and a quick breath, he put the tip of the knife against his upper left arm and drew it down an inch. Red trailed behind, and he turned the knife so that its flat caught the pooling blood. When it had spread almost to the small knife's edges, he carefully drew the knife away, lifted a dishcloth from the counter with his tail, and pressed it against the bleeding. He sheepishly smiled at one of the stoic students. "Sorry miss. Ain't nothing personal." He lifted his hands with his free hand and rubbed the flat of the blade against each of the palms, streaking them red.
  10. The ramp lowered, and standing at the top was Svata. Dressed in the same colorful garb from the night before (albeit more ruffled), the old ryn yawned and ran his hand through his hair. "Star lag. I'll never get...Never mind. Guess it's time to get to work." He put his fingers to his mouth and whistled back into the ship. "Sarlaac! Time to go!" As he shouted, he silently noted that Sarlaac was probably already up. In truth, Svata had been as well. His priorities just put breakfast and a thermos of caf above personal grooming. Gesturing dramatically, he waved the visitors onboard. "Care for a flight? Unless you were planning on walking?" He paused for a moment, eyes turned upwards in deep thought while his tail swished behind him. When he lowered his face, he wore a brilliant white smile. "Where are my manners? Breakfast? We've got a fresh pot of caf. The good stuff, straight outta Garqi, not that powdered bantha dropping they crank out in the Inner Rim." He turned and hobbled back onto the ship, legs still stiff from a rough night's sleep on a cot. Well...that and a few too many decades spent walking on them. Real smart Svata. You couldn't have joined a Sabacc league or written your memoirs, could you? No, you had to join a kriffing warrior order. "C'mon, I've got this trick for making fruit preserves taste like...something besides fruit preserves."
  11. Svata listened in silence, face solemn. In the quiet that followed the young cathar's speech, Svata waited a long moment before speaking. "Now now now, don't go putting words in my mouth. I don't know what bent your life outta shape. I wouldn't presume to know. And I certainly wouldn't say your life experiences have no meaning. But I've heard this particular speech of yours before. It was wishful nonsense when I said it, and I suspect it's the same for you. Like a spice-jacked kid saying every hit is a choice, and they could stop when they want." Svata stretched. "But there's no need to listen to an old man who just doesn't get it. You do what you want, and I hope you live long enough to learn something from it. Let me know what you figure out. I'm curious if you'll make it where you're looking to go. And to answer your question. If me talking gets you to kill me out of anger, then yes, anger makes you a fool."
  12. Svata's eyes closed as Telperiën began her tale. Cross-legged, he sat down before the fire and bowed his head. Still as stone, he listened. If there was one thing he had learned in all his years, both before joining the Jensaarai and after, it was the weight of a story. His eyes opened as she finished. No hint of a smile crossed his face, and in an instant he seemed decades older. Wrinkles made shallow by his ever-present grin deepened. His hands, usually animated, now sat folded in his lap, gnarled and spotted. "You got it in one," he said quietly, bare speaking over the crackling of the fire. "Hate's a worm that burrows in your gut and leaves you screaming. Only a fool holds it in his hand and thinks he's the master." He looked out across the landscape, then up to the stars. "But anger makes fools of us all." As he lowered his head to meet the group, his old smile returned along with his spirit. "Sorry, hope we didn't interrupt. Figured we should stop by. Be polite and all." He flicked his hand to the side of his head in a brief, informal salute. "Svata. Don't really have any other name worth getting excited about."
  13. "Oh trust me, I know enough to know I don't know anything about this planet." Svata turned his head, taking in the wasteland. "The stories they tell about this place...Spacers know that there's something different here. Something that don't welcome outsiders. Now that I'm here...yeah, I reckon I can feel it." He inhaled through his nose. "The place is alive. Not like some vibrant green world like crazy Felucia but more like...can't describe it. A wind? A sound?" He shook his head, then snapped his fingers as the right descriptor presented itself. "Like a breath! This place...it breathes in the Force, all quiet but constant." He frowned. "Can't tell if it's sleeping or just weak. Not that we want to cross it either way." He noted with a start that Sarlaac had begun concealing the pair, and he'd missed it. Guess that was a marker of the difference in skill between them. "That's a different trick from the one you taught me, isn't it? I know you're there, but only because I've got eyes. Handy." Svata straightened his colorful clothes and ran a hand through his white hair to smooth it back. "Now how about we go be polite and introduce ourselves?"
  14. As Svata's feet touched down on the edge of the orbital platform, he let himself sink back into the "now". He was a part of this moment, indistinguishable at a casual glance from anything else. Sure, these platforms were supposed to be unguarded and without crew...but Svata had heard that one before. A few silent moments passed as he pried the hatch control panel off, a minute as he exploited a backdoor in the obsolete system, and he was in. No telltale whoosh of air accompanied the door opening. So the inside wasn't pressurized. Good sign so far. Quietly, his mind half awake as he remained "invisible", he propelled himself down the weightless halls. Bits of electronics lay exposed where the plating had been removed or rusted away. Mechanical components stuck out at odd angles where they'd clearly been patched on. Whatever this platform had been originally, it clearly had bee customized for things that didn't need gravity or air. Svata got his answer as he rounded a corner and got a view into the control room. Floating through, numerous arms manipulating multiple panels, was an Imperial probe droid, or at least what had originally been an Imperial probe droid. Sections of plating had been replaced with different materials and colors. In some places it looked like it had been spot welded together. Extra antennae stuck out from every angle, making the thing look something like a junkyard sea urchin. Photoreceptors of different colors spun and reoriented constantly all across its "head". Svata held perfectly still for almost a minute. After he was sure the droid had looked straight at him several times, he crept forward. He half propelled, half crawled along the ceiling, staying as far away from the droid's shifting mass of arms and rigid antennae as possible. Soon, he hung directly above the mechanical creature, but it was blocking his reach to the dataport he needed. Frowning, he reached out with the Force and tugged on one of the exposed electronics down the hall. It sparked as the circuitboard shattered, and while it couldn't make a sound the sudden, dim flash was enough to catch the precise machine's attention. Svata held his breath until the droid was well and truly focused on the anomaly before reaching down and plugging in the data drive. Several long seconds passed before the indicator light turned green and Svata pulled out the drive. The droid never even twitched as Svata crawled back along the ceiling above it. _______________________________________________________________________________________ "Well," Svata said back on the ship with a grin, "that wasn't so much of a chore."
  15. Svata grimaced, taking deep breaths to calm his rising irritation. "Blur the lines that separate me, huh? Open up my mind and body to it." Svata's tail twitched. "I gotta mix. Like crowd walking. I gotta smell the room and wear it. So come on you old pudding brain, what's the first step of mixing anywhere? You gotta wait. You gotta listen. You gotta watch. You gotta be...intensely." Svata inhaled, struggling to both focus and let go. He needed to relax, let it come in its own time. He started by counting the smells. Oil...some sort of sweet sauce...meat...maybe someone's lunch...old, dirty leather...disinfectant... His breathing came slow and even, dropping to almost imperceptibility. His mind stopped sorting stimuli. It flowed. He felt the warmth on his bare arms, then the weight of his scarf, then he heard the low hum of a crewmember. He simply flowed. He couldn't say when he'd tapped into the Force. It was like...playing a part. Sinking into a role. Eyes lidded, Svata stood. He saw, but he didn't. If he truly saw, wouldn't that mean he could be seen? If he thought, would they hear? Svata walked in a daze through the bridge. No one glanced his way. A crewman walked right at him, then absentmindedly stepped aside. Svata thought, for just a second, there was a flicker of something in the man's' eyes. But then it was gone. Svata inserted his datadrive, and waited. No, waiting was something, an action, a distinction. Svata wasn't anything like that. Svata simply was. When Svata emerged from the bridge, data drive in hand, he took a deep breath, a real breath. Everything snapped for a split second, and Svata was back. "Well...that was...wow."
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