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Svata Dragoste

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Svata Dragoste last won the day on November 10

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  1. 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."
  2. 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."
  3. 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."
  4. "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?"
  5. 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."
  6. 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."
  7. Svata laughed. He liked this one. With spacers like him, you always got one of three types. The naive starters who looked at the galaxy like a planet hoppin game, ready to catapult themselves by speeder bike into a gundark nest for credits and glory. The tough-as-boots veterans who'd seen some kriffing nonsense and wore it like a crusty beggar wearing an old coat. And then you had the salty star-runners who'd crossed from one end of the galaxy to the other and seen so much craziness that they looped right back around to laughing at the universe. Svata liked the second kind least. "Not so sure about breaking them. And if it comes to that, you better hope its not by hand." His grin widened. "But if it's a fight you're looking for, I'd be happy to kill some time."
  8. "I really...really hope you don't mean that literally," Svata chuckled. "Well, you shouldn't have to wait long. Sarlaac isn't the kind of Jensaarai to let a student sit on their hands. I reckon you'll get put through your paces. He'll..." Svata paused, stopping in his tracks as something occurred to him. His tail swished once, twice, then he started walking again, a pondering expression on his face. "Hey...hope you don't mind me asking, but does it ever get annoying to you when people complain about pain and such? I mean, I imagine it's something like a blind man listening to everyone constantly gripe about the bright light, or a droid listening to his master constantly bellyache about how hungry he is. Something between background noise and consistently insensitive. Ah, here it is." He strode up the ship's' ramp and punched a few keys. The door whooshed open, and the faint smell of recycled air puffed out into Svata's face. "Anyway, take a minute to shake the dust off your boots. Defender Sarlaac should be back by now, or at least will be soon."
  9. Svata laughed. "That's a new one! I'm not that short am I? Heheh. No, I'm a Ryn. Handy tip, if there nose looks like a flute, then they're probably a Ryn." He grinned. Blowing out his lips, Svata dug his hands into his pockets as he sauntered along. "Well...Sarlaac is what you might call a true Jensaarai. A true believer in the ideals. And if call him slow and old, please do it when I'm in the other room. He might be the kind of guy to take that as an invitation for an "object lesson", and while you don't feel pain I can assure it ain't fun for the rest of us. As for what we're being sent to do...something regarding the Jedi I think. I'll let our master explain it." "Hey, if you don't mind fighting an old spacer like me, I'm good to scrap. Just don't break my nose and don't pull my tail. Seriously, a broken nose for a Ryn is a real hassle."
  10. Svata stepped out onto the Raka Nwul and breathed in. After a lifetime of breathing the recycled air of old cargo freighters and junk ships, it always hit him how good it was to breathe fresh air on a spacecraft. Ithorians were something else. "Alright," he muttered to himself. "Pick up a new apprentice. Sreth...Bones? Yeah, that was it, the Tognath." Svata hadn't met too many Tognath in his time, but the ones he had run into had all made an impression. Tognath were tough buggers, and not someone you wanted to get into a fight with unless you were a hundred meters away with a rifle. An endoskeleton and exoskeleton, combined with an immunity to pain, made them pretty memorable when things got hairy. Svata recalled one Tognath he'd seen in a bar fight. An Abyssin had sucker slammed the smaller guy with a cargo chain and snapped his leg. The look on the creature's one eye was one Svata would never forget when the Tognath not only didn't go down but hobbled right at the thug looking more pissed than anything else. It was about that point that the Abyssin discovered Tognaths grow up under significantly higher gravity than most other species, and are a lot stronger than they look. The next two things the Abyssin discovered was what the wiring above the ceiling tiles looked like and that synthetic glass shards in your face hurt no matter how quick you regenerate. "Well this should be fun." Svata wandered across the ship, without much of a plan in mind. Truth be told he just liked walking, and would take any excuse to do it. Wandering, meandering, ambling, it was all the same to him. Just so long as he got to keep moving he was a happy man. He chuckled as he remembered Parami shouting at him in a rare moment of pure irritation that she was going to nail his tail to his left foot if he didn't stop pacing around their little ship. His winding path took around the outer edges of the ship, and he nodded and waved at the other Jensaarai and residents of the big ship. Eventually, he heard someone pounding away at something, with the quiet but intense grunts that only came from training and training hard. He rounded the corner, and there was the Tognath, finishing a routine with...honestly some damned impressive power and control. That man would be a force to be reckoned with in a fight. "Yeowch! You got Sun-Dragon? I've heard horror stories about that guy. Word has it he skinned his last apprentice who gave him lip. Problem was it was a Givin." Svata grinned, mustache poofed up in a silly parody of the refined, mature elder. "Doubt a word of it's true, but the fact that the story is going around at all..." Shaking his head, Svata extended his hand. "Sorry, manners. Svata, apprentice of the Sarlacc. If you're Sreth, then I imagine I'm here to pick you up."
  11. Svata watched, dumbfounded, at the display his teacher put on. The whirling violet blades always seemed a hair's breadth from slicing the duros in half, but they never touched him. The old ryn looked down at his own lightsaber. He breathed in, and out. He activated the dual blades. Golden-yellow light glinted off of Svata's bits of jewelry. The two beams of light hummed and blurred as Svata slowly turned them. He grasped the handle first as he would a staff, and immediately saw the problem. The hilt was too short, and if he treated it like a staff he'd slice his own legs off. The weight, as Sarlacc has said, was off too. Every bit of muscle memory and experience Svata had conflicted with the weapon his eyes were seeing. Very, very slowly, he brought it around in a careful twirl. He cried out then growled as he singed his hip in the process. His footwork was wrong, he needed to find the right stance if he was going to swing this around. He closed his eyes and called to mind the lessons the Jensaarai had taught him on lightsaber forms. The best form for a dual bladed lightsaber... His eyes opened and he smiled, letting his feet move his body into a relaxed position. Form VI. He grinned. A relaxed form that combines bits from the previous forms to create a single, balanced style. Balance from the experience of masters past. He shook his head, chuckling. Perfect for me. He swung forward again, more confident, and struck Sarlacc's lightsaber. The blow was clumsy and the blade slipped and sparked along his master's steady blade. Svata dropped back and tried again. And again. And again. Hours passed. Svata went through the basic stances and attack routines of Form VI, repeating them over and over again. He found his tail lashing out to give him balance as he overstepped time and again. He learned to keep his eagerness in check. Form VI was a style that emphasized opportunities, not aggression. As Svata relaxed more, he found his bladework flowed in an easy rhythm. Time and again he saw chances for improvised attacks, tricks, and Force manipulation. His double-bladed lightsaber was ideal for the balanced style, the constant spinning and easy momentum of the form making Svata's attacks seem as much a performance as combat. Yet Sarlacc easily deflected every blow Svata sent at him. The Defender's speed was unmatched compared to Svata's rhythmic attacks. Eventually, Svata tired. Breathing hard, he grinned at his master. "How was that?"
  12. Svata considered. "I agree. This...this does not feel right." He shook his head. "When stuff starts making your skin crawl, that's a good sign the universe is telling you to move along." He held up his lightsaber and ran his fingers across the simple carvings. Protector He smiled as he looked back to Sarlaac. "I think it's high time I learned how to use this properly."
  13. Svata frowned, bowing his head as the weight of what his teacher spoke of hit him. "Destroy them...kill them all..." A sigh escaped him, and with it seemed to go a great deal of his strength. "That's...I'm not going to lie, that's more than I was expecting. War makes people hard and sharp, but for the Jedi to order the deaths of others..." Svata shook his head. "It goes against everything I know of their order." Svata rested his head in his hand. The light that had held the galaxy together for 10,000 years was commanding people to submit? The keepers of peace preached violence? The Sith had brought darkness to the galaxy, but was this fire what was needed to push them back? A fire that burned anyone unlucky enough to be caught in its path? "..............heh. Heheh. Hahahaha!" Svata's chuckle turned into a full-blown laugh. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I know that's inappropriate. It's just...something popped into my head and..." Svata's hand clamped over his mouth as he struggled to hold back his snickering. "Heh..Sarlacc...heheh...Let me tell you a story, and you tell me what you think after. I'll respect your decision, whatever it is." Svata sat down on the floor, and for a moment he was back with his family. Looking up at the wise duros only made his smile warmer. I guess I am back. Svata cleared his throat, and his fingers brushed against his nose as he began to speak, his words in line with the low, quiet strains of a slow, old song. He talked as he played, and as Uncle Meska had taught him, the words and the music flowed together. The tempo swung up, almost feverishly fast and high. "Svata was a screw up. He was a disgrace. He put his family in danger and brought them nothing but dishonor and pain. His anger at the world, at the harshness it gave him for nothing he'd ever done, justified his actions to him. If the universe would do nothing but take from him, then how could he live but to take back from it?" The song changed, dropping to a lower, mournful minor key, slower and quieter until it was almost inaudible. "But in his selfishness, anger, and fear, he did not see the harm he caused. He thought his family fools, or even cowards who clung to their name like a scared child hides under the covers. But it was him who was hiding." The tune shifted again, this time slowly rising and intensifying into a major key, hope and rising goodness evident in every note. "He was made to see though. They made him open his eyes. With hard grips and loving hearts, his family showed him what was in their name. They showed him his legacy...and what he was doing to it. The regret he felt then was overwhelming, and it choked his anger and hate from his soul. He turned around. He changed, and he brought honor and peace to his family. To his..." Svata stopped mid-note. After a few deep breaths, he quietly said, "...his legacy." Svata chuckled again, and raised his head to match Sarlacc's gaze. "That's the abridged version, but the point is that the Jedi are in a bad place. You see that, I see that, and I believe it's our duty to make the Saarai-Kaar see that. But...but I have so many stories up here," he said, leaning forward excitedly and tapping his temple. "So many stories of the Jedi, Ten millennia of peace and hope brought by these heroes, by these selfless men and women who gave their entire lives to protect a galaxy they would never truly live in. And that is a legacy that doesn't go away, no matter how much the Sith try to suppress it or the current batch lose sight of it. Maybe the Jedi are lost, but I...I have hope. I believe the Jedi will come back, bright as ever before. Maybe the Jensaarai will need to show them, or maybe there's dozens of Jedi right now making their voices heard." Svata shrugged. "Or maybe I'm a sentimental coot who doesn't know what he's talking about." A grin split his face. "Anyway, that's my take on this Defender. I agree that we should tell the Saarai-Kaar, but I also don't think we should give up on the Jedi yet. But...what do you think?"
  14. Svata listened, and as he did he remained one with the Force. Sarlaac's words, Svata's memories, the melody, it all blended together into something primal, indescribable, and beautiful. In the bowl, the bolt moved, slowly and hesitantly at first, then quicker and with more precision. Soon, it elevated out into the air, and turned slow somersaults around Svata's head. As the bolt spun, Svata grew more and more accustomed to the Force. He could almost see the purpose of it all, a maddening order just beyond his comprehension. Was this what all Force-users felt? No, not Dark Siders. No one could feel this and act as they did. They sought to control the Force. They were delusional, like a man who believed that because he shielded the sky with his hand he had put out the stars. Svata sunk deeper into the Force, and he glimpsed more with every layer. Finally, he saw the connection between himself and Sarlaac. It was a tiny thing, fragile and ephemeral, but it shone like silver in the darkness. The bolt orbited faster as Svata leaned down, eyes rolled back in his head but his sight never clearer. The thread was a thing of purity, light from nothing yet as tangible as durasteel. Where it joined with Svata's spirit, it frayed in a dozen directions, hopelessly tangled but slowly weaving itself back together. Where it joined with Sarlaac it was strong...but dim. Like a shadow was passing over it. Coming out of the trance as if coming up for air, the bolt dropped to the floor, and Svata's eyes focused on the duros. "Something..." He shook his head. "Is something wrong, Defender Sarlacc?"
  15. The washer zipped past Svata's head, but the old ryn's sight wasn't focused on the physical. Eyes half-lidded, he sunk into the Force, humming a tuneless melody. He called up memories of Uncle Meska, the hunched codger drilling the clan's history into a surly teenager. The man's voice, rough and clear, echoed in his mind, and Svata felt the legacy of the Dragoste's stretching out into time, as he had back then. Like standing on a mountain, he embraced the feeling, and embraced the Force. All things were connected. All things were everlasting, because all things existed within the Force. "I am an echo in the Force," Svata said, voice so quiet he could barely hear himself. "I am a ripple, an offspring...I am a shadow." He stretched out his hand and felt the depth of the Force. It had no bottom. It was eternity. In the face of that, Svata had no power. How could he even think to control something like that. But he would not control it. He would do as he had done as the Keeper of the Dragoste's. He would channel that eternity. In the bowl, a bolt shivered. Then, slowly, it turned, clinking as the hexagonal head rolled along the ceramic. Svata's humming sped up, the jumble of notes taking on a new cadence. The bolt, quivering violently and painfully sluggish, rose out of the bowl. Seconds passed, before Svata's song stopped, and the bolt dropped back into the bowl. Sweat beaded on his brow, but the fierce smile on his face was defiant. "Got it."
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