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Sreth Bones

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  1. Bones looked the Sarlaac up and down, memorizing his look. He wasn’t sure why, but he was not expecting a Duros. In his opinion, most Duro were just spacefarers. People who had no place to go. Still, he was a Jensaarai, and now his newest teacher. Still, Bones felt like he would’ve preferred Sun-Dragon over this person. Once on the bridge with Sarlaac and Svata, Bones took a moment to look around the area. This was certainly the most technologically advanced place he had ever been in his life. Usually Bones was used to the dirt encased machinery of back alleys, or the greasy gears and halls in the Pipes. This room was bustling with activity, but incredibly quiet. The people were active, but focused. And most of all, the area was slick and clean. Bones felt a little out of place in the room. When the Sarlaac whispered the name of their target location, Bones smiled on the inside. He recalled that brief vision he had right before meeting with the Saarai-Kaar. The molding and production of war droids. And while Mechis was a place only occasionally mentioned on the streets, every talk about it always included droids. At Sarlaac’s question, Bones spoke up, recalling what he had been told and heard. “Well, the Jedi were peacekeepers, but now days they are just, I don’t know, wandering warriors? I mean, I know that the Jedi and the Sith are both born of the Force…” Bones quoted the Saarai-Kaar’s words, hoping to get a few points with his new teacher. “...and they are faced with the same temptations. So, they are people who are one step away from darkness? And that’s what we are acting on, right? Jedi messed up and we are cleaning up the mess before something bad happens? Heh, my dad would be proud, taking up his line of work.” Bones chuckled at his own joke, thinking how his dad would actually be shaking his head disapprovingly. His parents wanted so much more for their children. “So we are breaking some droids, right? Awesome, I can’t wait for a fight, and clankers should be fun to break apart.”
  2. Bones shrugged at the question. “Eh, I don’t really notice I guess. Don’t care really..” Bones had grown up on Coruscant, interacting with many being’s who felt ‘pain’ on a level that the Tognath never fully understood. What Bones considered a smack on the shoulder could be an arrestable offense on some planets. To Bones, so many other people were so delicate. He and his sister were told to act as if they lived in a world of glass when interacting with people. And those very subtle and gentle acts, such as displays of affection among humans, were just completely unknowable to Bones. Why kiss when you can hug with the vice grip of passion? Why not smack a person’s chest instead of a firm handshake? Maybe that’s why Bones liked Sun-Dragon. He wasn’t a ‘gentle’ person. When on the ship, Bones glanced around at the ship’s interior. It was to be expected for a scout ship as Bones theorized. Simple metal walls and floors. Bones sighed, already he was missing Raka Nwul. “Well, better then back home I guess…” Bones mutterred, thinking briefly about Coruscant. That place was inhospitable to say the least After a few minutes of searching, Bones found what he believed would be his room. A small empty chamber, no more then two yards wide. The only items inside included a platform for a bed, a folded blanket and pillow, a smaller platform as a table, a surprisingly wooden tote box for items and a sink with a mirror. The roof above the bed slanted upwards, and judging by the heat in the room, Bones figured he was near an engine. A boon to be certain, as hotter temperatures were more comfortable to the Tognath. Bones placed his staff and rifle next to the door, and stored whatever clothes he had with him in the tote. Not five minutes in, and Bones already had made himself as home as he could. To most people, this would’ve been quite sad. Not sure what to do, Bones sat on the bed and simply waited. Taking a moment, Bones pulled out his datapad and began to read. “The two easiest elements to understand are Plant and Metal. Plant is the element of life incarnate. All that grows, matures, and develops over time has Plant in it. From the smallest of reproductive germs to the largest of space dwelling monsters, you can find Plant. It is also the element of thought as well as freedom. It creates and digests information. All that thinks and has an active mind have connections to his element, and Plant allows people to connect with each other in various ways. “Metal on the other hand, is raw strength. It is the element that resists change by standing strong against all forces. It is what allows things to be done. It chooses destinies and alters the world in ways. Metal is the element of determination and willpower. Focus on a singular task, and being able to ignore distractions is a base trait of Metal. It is rigid and unforgiving, and allows one to make their own path. These two elements are the first ones a force user will discover because they are the easiest to connect with. Plant and Metal are everywhere, and are especially vital to a being’s body. A person who both thinks and moves with determination is able to feel and notice these elements easily, and those who are force-sensitive can use these elements to greater uses. A student once asked his master, ‘how can both Plant and Metal be in the same body? Do they not fight each other?’ To which the master replied ‘You read the texts, yes? And understood them? Then you have Plant in you. You held the book, yes? And walked up here without being blown away by the wind? Then you have Metal in you.’ The two elements may oppose each other, but they are both vital to the being. Without Plant, you become a slave to orders. Without Metal, you are blown away from task to task, unable to change the world.” Bones looked up. He heard a noise. Someone was outside his door. After pocketing his datapad, Bones stood up and punched a button, causing the door to swish open and reveal who was there.
  3. Bones chuckled at the Ryn’s acceptance to fight some time. “Whatever you say ol’ Jawa.” Truthfully, Bones only took his words about breaking noses and pulling tales half-seriously. In a real fight, there weren’t rules like that. You used whatever you could use. A club, a handful of dirt, a wounded shoulder, all were fair game in a fight. Still, Bones would try to keep in mind. As the two walked through the ship towards where Svata had first came through, Bones took one last glancing around the ship. The dirt trodden floors, the potted plants, the simulated sunlight and the heat of a hot world were going to be missed. The sounds of small avian birds flying above and landing on the ground to snatch pieces of fallen food, as well as the mumbles and talkings of nearby individual’s filled the air. Bones studied every person he went by, from the Ithorians passing by, the marketplace visitors from the planet, and even a few Verpine peeking out from certain spots now that Bones was aware of them. A gardener, going from house to house tending to each plant he was assigned. An elderly merchant selling his children’s home-made pieces of furniture. A female human mechanic working on a malfunctioning door. This place. This ship. It was alive in its own way. Just as alive as any planet could be. In his short time here, Bones felt like he was making a home here. But at the same time… “Well, whatever we are doing, I can’t wait. I’m molting for some excitement.” Bones proclaimed as the two began to exit Raka Nwul, onto the surface of Artus Prime towards where the Sarlaac’s ship was hidden. Soon the two would be on board. And soon Bones would meet the Sarlaac.
  4. Bones jumped a little, not aware that he was being watched. He found that his audience consisted of a singular being. Judging by the grey hair, the wrinkled skin, and the look of knowledge in his eyes, the being was quite old. “I don’t know about that…” Bones replied to the rumored story. “He’s one tough Tuskan-Eater, but last time he made me pick all the Lumas fruit. Course, it was a six day task done in five if that says anything”. With a few tugs, Bones un lodged the staff from the log and approached the being. “My name is Sreth, but I prefer Bones.” The tognath extended a hand to shake the smaller Svata. The yellow eyes, the rough palms and the shorter stature made Bones wonder. If Bones could smell, he probably would’ve had an answer. “What exactly are you? Some kind of uncloaked Jawa?” Bones stepped towards his gear and clothes and began to get dressed and put his gear back on. As he did, he began to ask every question that came to his head. “So what kind of person is Sarlaac? Can’t be any more harsh the Sun-Dragon. He’s not a slow, old teacher is he? I mean, he is named Sarlaac, but I don’t want to assume. But I don’t want to be as old as you before I advance either. Any idea what it is we are being sent to do?” Bones was redressed and reequipped with all of his belongings either on his back, on his belt, or in his pockets. Confidently, Bones stood in front of Svata and waited for him to lead the way. “Maybe some point we can have a friendly duel, just to see how much more I’ve got to learn?”
  5. As the Saarai-Kaar talked about the history of the Jedi and the Sith and how they were related, Bones nodded in acknowledgement and handing over his newly made weapon when gestured to do so. As the talking continued, Bones focused his eyes on the saber in the hands of the Saarai-Kaar, thinking about how he was one of the few people in the galaxy with such a weapon. That made him excited. Bones snapped back to reality when the aged Weequay turned his words to Bones own experience. To which darkness was he referring to? The presence that Bones felt while crafting his blade? Or was he referring to that horrid moment on Coruscant when his sister died? Or worse, was he referring to the family he had killed? Bones wanted to ask, but he feared the answer would be the latter, and Bones did not feel like that was him resisting the darkness, even when he turned himself in. “Um, Thank you sir. Saarai-Kaar sir.” Bones stammered as the Saarai-Kaar finally handed back the blade and applauded the Tognath for his use of asking Aoi for help. Bones felt a smidge of pride rise in him at the words. But training with a new master? The Sarlaac? What a poor choice for a name. At least Sun-Dragon was named after something fearsome. Who would want to be named after a worm in the ground? Still, it sounded like the Sarlaac would be taking Bones out from Raka Nwul and into the galaxy. As much as he had grown accustomed to Sun-Dragon’s harsh training, he yearned for excitement beyond picking Lumas Fruits. As the Saarai-Kaar escorted Bones to the door, he spoke about standing against the darkness. He spoke about entrusting a task to Bones. As he did, Bones felt the pride in him rise further. It had been so long since someone entrusted something important to him. He had almost forgotten this feeling. If he had skin, Bones would’ve been smiling comm implant to comm implant. “Yes Saarai-Kaar. You can count on me, erm, us!” Bones gripped his lightsaber tightly as he vowed this to the being before him. We won’t fail!” And with that, Bones turned and dashed off. His home was nearby, so the run was quick. Breaking into his room, he found that all of his gear since he got here was waiting for him on his bed. On top was his worn-down Slugthrower rifle, polished pistol, and vibroknife. Bones paused at the sight of the rifle, and then picked it up. Its familiar weight and texture felt both correct in his hands as well as well as wrong. He looked down its sights, opened its chamber and inspected it for wear, tear, and rust, and then put it down again, studying it. Bones wasn’t sure what to do. Should he bring the rifle with him or not? He knew he was good with it. He was a good marksman. Slugthrower rifles were harder to handle then blasters, due to how the bullets were affected by outside forces such as gravity and wind. There was a particular kind of art with them, albeit a primitive one. However, Bones wasn’t sure if he was ready to pick up this damnable weapon again. It was the same rifle he had when he turned himself in. But it was also the same rifle he had when his sister died. There was history to this weapon. In the end, Bones slung it over his shoulder and equipped the knife and pistol at his sides as well as an ammo belt going from right shoulder to left hip. He had no idea what was going to be needed for whatever task he was to accomplish with the Sarlaac. He did make sure though that his lightsaber was at his left side. His instincts would draw that weapon first in an emergency. He would use Jho’s rods as a walking staff for now. Bones took one last glance around the quite empty room. He left nothing behind. He carried the data pad in his pocket, he had all of his weapons and gifts he had received so far. He was ready. As he opened the door and exited, he glanced over and to his surprise, found an interesting item on the plant pot. Sitting on top of the little sapling in the dirt was a muddied blue scarf, with gold embroidery. Bones snatched it up and looked around, trying to figure out where it came from. No one else was around. Did the bird that stole the scarf return it? Bones doubted that. Perhaps someone found it and recognized it as the Tognaths? But only two people here knew about the scarf, and only an Ithorian child had actually seen and studied it. Bones shook his head. He knew he didn’t need to keep this, according to Sun-Dragon. He shouldn't keep it. It was just a reminder of the past. But he couldn’t just leave it to the birds again. Bones quickly bent down and dug a bit into the dirt, balled up the scarf, stuffed it inside and then, covered it up. It would be here for him when he eventually returned. Bones left the area, and found himself at the place where Sun-Dragon had begun to teach the art of Arosymladd. No one else was around. Bones wasn’t sure where to go. The Saarai-Kaar had simply told him to be ready. With all of Bones’ personal possessions on his back, he was. A figure walked by. Bones thought it may have been Sun-Dragon, but quickly let that thought disappear. The armor the figure wore was much different. More metallic then Sun-Dragon’s, but just as fearsome. He was easily identifiable as a Jensaarai. “Hey! Excuse me!” Bones called out, beginning to chase after the person. It seemed he was in a rush. “I’m waiting for someone named….” Bones didn’t get to finish. In an instant, the person was far down the street, moving at a pace Bones would not be able to keep up with for long. Whatever the person’s mission was, it was more important then listening to a young Tognath. Bones, alone again, looked around, unsure what to do. He remembered how the Sun-Dragon had begun to train him here. Perhaps Bones could do a little more? Bones placed most of his equipment on the ground as well as some of his upper clothes, revealing his bare, rough, porous exoskeleton. Grabbing a nearby log, Bones planted it into the dirt firmly, making a makeshift dummy. Then, facing it, Bones grabbed his staff and got into a fighting position. One, two, one, two, Bones practiced striking the log again and again. Bark and wood chips flew off as Bones utilized his muscle to make strong, fast strikes. Bones chuckled to himself, feeling a little alive. He was getting a feeling for the staff. Bones tried a few tricks here and there. Spinning the staff once and bringing it in suddenly for a strike, sliding his hands down the metal frame so he could swing the whole thing like a club, and some piercing moves as well. A few times, Bones stopped and tried to focus on the Elements. He would recite the words over and over, though it was clear that he wasn’t feeling it quite the same as before. Practice was needed. Still, Bones did feel he was getting better with the staff. One, two, one, Bones struck, and then taking a step back and spinning around, Bones lunged forward. With all of his might, he plunged the staff into the log. Bones let go of the weapon. The staff wobbled a bit but remained embedded into the piece of wood. “Heh, pity Sun-Dragon didn’t see that” Bones said out loud, studying his work.
  6. The Sacred Sites Plant: Ithor Deep in Ithor’s forests stands a massive tree that is completely unique to the galaxy. While the species has never been fully identified and is simply called “MotherRoot”, scientists speculate it is related to Lumas Trees, judging by the fact it is bioluminescent every five years. Standing over 80 meters tall, it is a sight to behold. The MotherRoot is incredibly sacred to the Ithorians. But instead of foreboding anyone from touching the tree, the Ithorians allow a small cult dedicated to the Motherjungle and the MotherRoot to care for the tree. Their tasks seem inane to many outsiders, but with a religious ferver the cult does everything in their power to care for the tree, building only the necessary housings to sustain themselves. Life at the MotherRoot is extremely rigid and focused. At the top of the tree the branches open up and stretch outwards as if holding some kind of orb. At the center of this is a column of lichen that only glows every five years. If a person can secure permission from the Ithorian government, a difficult task to say the least, they are able to take a specialized shuttle to the site and partake in one of the rituals performed inside the tree. The cult gather around the massive column of lichen to pray, dance, and worship the Motherjungle. During this time, practitioners of the Elements of the Force are able to perform their own meditations near the glowing lichen. The meditation can be so powerful that people who are focused enough can feel every single lifeform on Ithor, as well as hear every single thought that is occurring on the planet. If one is not properly trained, the process can be harmful. Fire: Mustafar Between two long stretches of obsidian mountain ranges, the Fire Shrine sits before a crack that supposedly leads all the way to Mustafar’s molten core. The heat that comes from this crack is enough to melt Mandalorian Iron to its basic components. Reports show that rare metals and minerals are within the crack itself, at temperatures too dangerous to traverse. This geological feature has led the native Mustafarians to consider the area as a sacred prayer site, and the shrine only adds to that belief. Between the shrine and the crack are two massive statues made of a solid Phrik alloy. The statues resemble cloaked Northern Mustafarian figures, each holding a bowl of fire that never extinguishes. Every so often, the Mustafarians report that the crack is widening slightly, and the rightmost statue is beginning to fall into the crack. If nothing is done, the statue will fall in a few more years. The shrine itself is made of mostly obsidian, stone, and a few rare metals. Standing at about 50 meters high, the entire tower-like structure is mostly solid. The two smoothed, carved entrances at the base of the shrine, covered in old writings, go in a few meters and make an abrupt turn to show a view of a rising flow of hot magma. This magma works its way up a specially carved tunnel that funnels the magma out the front of the shrine, creating a never-ending lavafall that oozes to the crack. If a being entered these tunnels without proper protection, they risk being immolated instantly during one of Mustafar’s magma surges. At the top of the shrine is a flat platform with a pillared archway facing away from the crack. At the center of a platform is a fire pit that burns with no signs of any fuel. This platform area, layered with a metal that burns to the touch due to the heat, is a sort of meditation area. At first glance, one might think the shrine is sith based, but the letters and runs on the pillars and the doorways at the base of the shrine are in an ancient Je'daii language. Meditation at this shrine is meant to be done sitting on the platform facing the crack with the everburning fire at the meditator’s back. The heat is extreme here, and only practiced and focused meditators are able to accomplish this feat. During meditation, the individual must focus on all of their feelings they have ever experienced. They must call them up, one by one, address them as stated by the Elements of the Force, and then put them down again without moving from the area. This entire process can take up to an hour at a time, with the user suffering horrible burns that surprisingly always heal rapidly once the user leaves the planet. Ground: Alderaan There are very few reports about what the shrine to Ground looked like. The best guess at where the shrine was is that it existed among the ancient hives of the Killiks on some mountain. Judging by the meditations set in the Elements of the Force, practitioners were supposed to balance on the old remains without falling down the mountain to severe injury. With the loss of Alderaan, practitioners of the Elements now must find their own sacred site. The requirements for a sacred site are as follows: 1) The site must be connected to dirt or mud in some way. 2) The site must be strongly connected with the Force in some way. It could be that the place is surrounded by life, or is some kind of foci for the Force. 3) It must be difficult to find for the ordinary eye. The meditations set for Ground state that the individual must go into a trance that will last an entire cycle without food, water or sleep. Planets that have been prime opportunities as a sacred site include Geonosis, Ryloth, Kessel, and Mandalore. Water: Naboo Deep near the core of Naboo is a series of caverns that twist and turn in a maze-like pattern. Worse, the Force here seems to scramble most modes of navigation and people are forced to navigate by their senses only, and the several large beasts that hunt this area do not help. Several heat vents from the planet make the water in the caverns continually cycle around and around. Only those who are properly equipped with breathing air and a calm mind connected to the Force can navigate these caverns to the Shrine. The shrine is a small circular chamber, about a meter radius, with clearly artificial carvings. Stairs, archways, and pillars dot this chamber, leading to a small alter at the center of the chamber. A light source of glowing sea urchins pierces the darkness here. Practitioners of the Elements of the Force are supposed to float above the alter, bathe in the light of the Sea Urchins, and reflect on how their clear mind was what led them to the shrine. Metal: Artus Prime Deep underground on Artus Prime, the shrine to Metal is a colosseum. From the size, it appears to seat about 500 total individual to watch whatever matches that were to occur at the center of the 50 meter wide stage. A light from above is actually a hole that leads all the way to the surface. The stage itself is made of Mandalorian Iron, and encased with a force field. Four doors that enter the stage lead to staircases that head straight to the surface, as well as secret tunnels imperceptible to the normal eye. The entrances to these staircases are half-buried by rubble and debris, but theoretically anyone could enter the shrine. There appears to be no entrance to the seating areas of the shrine. However, these seats are filled with rows and rows of robot bodies, most of them long beyond repair. While the chassis should be impossibly old, some people have reported at seeing droids from the modern era in the crowd. Attempts at scavenging from the shrine have turned less than profitable results. Early attempts revealed that the metal surrounding the area was useless and brittle, and while the metal walls of the stage as well as the knightly statues surrounding it are made of a Phrik and Cortosis Alloy, and not to mention the floor of the stage, they are much too heavy to machinery to excavate. The shrine to Metal is the only shrine that has a being that is designated at a caretaker. Wielding a robot chassis from the Old Republic, a shard named Fool claims to be the descendent of the creator of the shrine and that his descendents will care for the Shrine long after him. When people enter the stage, Fool locks the doors and sends in customized battle droids of his own making to battle the ‘challenger’. If the person is victorious, Fool lets the person leave the way they came with a very small chunk of Cortosis. If the person falls, he supposedly places the remains inside one of the dead droids in the crowd. According to the Elements, to meditate here one has to do a strict training that can border death. It appears that Fool has taken the responsibility to make sure that people who enter do fulfill that meditation by battling his droids.
  7. Overview: While the teachings of Elements of the Force encourage finding a balance between all five elements, some people understand that they are made up of a single element over all others. People trained in the Elements of the Force, as well with a proper focus that comes from meditation, are able to call this element in their body in full. This ability is called ‘Bonding’, and can last from a few minutes to a maximum of an hour (with the exception of Ground), depending on how well trained the user is. The effects of this power varies from element to element, though there are a few consistent effects. First, the user’s physical body tends to reflect the element they are calling out. Second is that the force powers associated with the element are much easier to use while bonded. Third, force powers associated with other elements are more difficult to use, and force powers belonging to the opposite element are impossible to access while bonded. This power does not grant access to other Force powers beyond what the user already knows. Rather, it makes it easier to use the ones they already know. Before a user would be able to perform Water Kinesis while focused on water, they must learn it outside of the Elemental Bond power. That is not to say a person could develop their mastery of a certain force ability while bonded, but they would struggle to use that ability outside of being bonded. A person who learns Elemental Bond is unable to bond with more then one element. This reflects how they see themselves, and understand how one element is more present in their body then the others. Effects: Plant: The user’s body flows with life. Minor wounds like cuts and scrapes heal rapidly, and major wounds that would cause a person to bleed out quickly cauterize themselves. If practiced daily, a master of this power could regenerate an entire body limb over the course of a week at least. In addition, a person practicing this power passively can get insights into the thoughts of people nearby. Associated Powers: Force Healing, Mind Trick, Telepathy, Thought Shield, Force Illusion, Plant Surge, Fire: Emotions become a blazing furnace within the user. The skin grows hot to the touch. The more practiced the user is, the hotter the user becomes, with masters sometimes developing a flaming skin. Energy flows freely within and around the body. The user finds themself able to reduce, disperse and scatter energy blasts that strike them, turning a potential lethal shot into something less harmful. Associated Powers: Tutaminis, and Force Blinding. Ground: The user finds perfection within their body. Their body becomes slightly rippled with the area around them, as everything around the user becomes the same level. Like a chameleon, the user’s body matches the world around it. Practitioners of this learn how to balance themselves further and further, making the effects so great they are perfectly camouflaged in any environment. Unlike people who focus on other elements, masters of this technique are able to practice Elemental Bond up to a day’s length. Associated Powers: Art of the Small, Force Stealth, Force Cloak, Buried Presence, Cleanse Mind, Hibernation Trance, Phase, and Psychometry Water: When focused on Water, the user’s body is much more malleable. User’s find themselves able to absorb physical blows without much harm, and always perfectly calm in tense and dire situations. The user also tends to become much more perceptive of the world around them, able to absorb the most minute of details in an instant. Masters are able to use this to great effect, bending themselves in the right way to absorb the most devastating of hits and falls. Associated Powers: Force Sight and Listening, Battle Meditation,, Battle Precognition Metal: The user’s body becomes rigid and durable. Muscles are enhanced to a degree that, with mastery, can perform superhuman feats with ease. The skin becomes much harder to cut open, though blunt force can still affect the user. Speed is often a side effect of this technique, as well as a single-minded focus on one task. Associated Powers: Force Jump and Speed, Force Body, Force Weapon, and Telekinesis
  8. Bones looked around at the near barren quarters as he entered. He did not know what he expected, but this sparse, simple look was not what he was expecting. Of course his eyes were instantly drawn to the armor, the most fantastical thing in the quarters, but still, Bones was surprised. Wouldn’t a leader have something more? Tactical tables and maps, or gifted treasures and tokens? “My saber?” Bones jumped from his studying of the armor and handed the Saarai-Kaar’s own blade. As he did, he also revealed his own, hoping to get a word of praise from the Saarai-Kaar. However, when he received none, he quietly put it down and listened, a little disappointed but still focused on what was being said. “If you desire to become a Jensaarai you must become one with us. All of us. The Sun-Dragon is an able teacher. He is often relegated the more . . . difficult . . . initiates that come to us. Like you, he had to overcome a dark past.” Does that mean I am a difficult initiate? Bones thought to himself, and easily recognised the silent, guilty answer as a resounding yes. How could an ex-criminal and murderer be easy to train? When the Jensaarai turned and asked about this histories of the Jedi and the Sith, Bones looked away in an answer of no. Truth be told, he had glanced at them, and then prompt skipped them over to learning more interesting, and more importantly, useful things. Who needed history when you had a sword? Who needed past relations when you had current affairs to review? Even then, who needed current affairs when you were supposed to be detached from the galaxy?
  9. Bones had to stop to catch his breath. He was now in the central part of the ship, where all the houses and factories were. Bones even figured that his own dwelling place was a few blocks away. Was this intentional? Perhaps the Tognath was placed where he was so that way if he did something stupid or reckless, the Saarai-Kaar himself could race over and knock some sense into the young being. It didn't matter at the moment though. Bones straightened up and looked at the dwelling before him. It was different, but only in the most subtle ways. The texture of the walls was rougher then the other homes. The color was a slightly browner tint. Someone had taken great care to have a few desert-like plants grow around the front doorway, as well as on the roof. However, Bones could hear something from inside. It was muffled, but Bones could definitely hear something. It wasn’t chanting nor singing, but it was very rhythmic, and solid. The language was unfamiliar to Bones. It wasn’t like the smooth four-throated words of the Ithorians. It was more guttural, with a mixture of humming. It reminded Bones of the ship’s name: Raka Nwul. Perhaps the language coming from inside was the same as the Ship’s. Or perhaps it was the original language of the Saarai-Kaar. Bones took a deep breath and pressed at the door to open. It was locked. Bones cursed himself silently, realizing he had not gotten permission to enter. “It’s ok Bones. He is expecting you. The leader of the Jensaarai is expecting you.” Bones took another breath, trying to calm his own nerves. Bones looked at his newly crafted weapon. The lightsaber felt right in his hand. Inwardly Bones smiled. He wasn’t nervous. He was excited. He had made his own weapon, his Gift of the Hive, and was now going to present it to someone. Bones took another breath and, using the weapon, knocked three times at the metal door. The music inside went on for another minute, then stopped. Bones took a step back and, with his lightsaber between both his hands in front of him, waited.
  10. History: According to older teachings known simply as the Elementals, the Force does not in fact come from life, but rather everything, including life, comes from the Force. All things, from the fiery supernovas to the smallest grains of sand, come from the Force. All things that exist have the force flowed into them, and in turn, when things die and are destroyed, they return to the Force. This teaching was absorbed and referenced several times by the Je’daii Order. In time, this teaching became a little less literal and more metaphorical. While the belief that these five elements do compose every single thing in the universe, people trained in the Force see that these elements represent certain aspects of the universe, such as sentient life, raw emotion, and peace of mind. This teaching was used to help prospective students of the Force to find a way to understand the Force as something more than an invisible field. This teaching also gave students an idea on how to control themselves, and provided a language that was easy to catch on. If a person was emotional and rash, people could say that the individual was filled with fire and needed to balance themselves with more water. A wise man would be considered one with the ground while a powerful warrior could be said to know the aspects of the metal in his body and how to use it correctly. However, when the Je’daii Order became the Jedi order, this method of teaching was mostly forgotten and pushed to the side to make room for more ‘civilized’ and ‘scientific’ methods of teaching. The fact that the Elementals discussed very little of the light and dark side of the Force made it especially unpopular. A few members of the Jedi did pass the knowledge to their pupils and made several holocrons of their teachings for researchers to study, but for the most part the teachings were forgotten. During the Republic Classic Era, a group of Jedi rediscovered the holocrons holding the Elemental Teachings, as they were renamed. These Jedi sought to make a resurgence with the Elemental Teachings, only to be blocked at every turn by the Order. They were told to hand over the holocrons and forget about these ancient ‘barbaric’ teachings. Instead, the group of eight Jedi left the order and set up a temple on Toydaria, a planet where people would not expect to find Jedi. The group died out about two centuries later, for unknown reasons. This temple remained hidden until the height of the Galactic Empire. The temple and its teachings inside were discovered by a Jensaarai warrior known as Bursa, who was trying to find a base for the Jensaarai to use. Overjoyed at his discovery, he presented his findings to the rest of the Jensaarai, who decided to incorporate it into their own teachings. They renamed the teachings as “Elements of the Force” and heavily edited them so they would be much easier to incorporate, even adding their own criticisms of other Force traditions and teachings as well as how some of the elements connect with certain Force abilities. Some sections from the Mireinio Ysbrydol are direct quotes from the Elements of the Force even. However, the Jensaarai also point out that the Elements of the Force are not necessary to understand the Force. Still, they are a useful tool in lessons about the Force, and for those who connect with the elements around them, the Elements is not to be discarded easily. The one criticism that the Elements of the Force still receives from outsiders is the entire lack of focus on the Light and Dark side of the Force. While it mentions Ashla and Bogun, it only uses those as examples on how the elements oppose each other. While modern versions of the teachings have criticism of the Jedi and the Sith, they do not explicitly state what is light or dark. However, many Jensaarai point out that by following the teachings and developing a strict code of honor, one will learn the difference between Light and Dark naturally. Whether one uses the elements to protect or to murder depends on the Tradition it is paired with, though the Jensaarai are very keen to direct its students towards protection and not aggression. Rankings: The Elements of the Force is considered a Sub-Tradition. That is to say, by itself it could be a tradition, but it works best when it is paired with another, more accepted tradition, such as the Jedi, the Sith, or the Jensaarai. Still, within the teachings of the Elements of the Force, there are rankings. These rankings have their own requirements, as well as include whatever requirement the Force Tradition these teachings are paired with. A person can’t become a Master in Elements of the Force if they have not attained the rank of Master in the Jedi or the rank of Dark Lord in the Sith or Defender in the Jensaarai. Initiate: A person who is being introduced to the Force as well as the very basics of the Elements of the Force. People at this rank know that the force exists as well the names of the five elements and vaguely understand what they represent. Disciple: A person becomes a Disciple of the Elements once they have mastered the basics. They can recite from memory what the elements represent, and have begun to practice all the forms of meditations the Elements include. They have learned at least one Force power that belongs to each element, and have a deep understanding of at least one of the elements. Most Disciples have begun to learn the Elemental Bond force power at this point. Master: A person becomes a Master once they have a deep understanding of all the elements. They have journeyed to the sacred sites of the Elements and practiced the appropriate form of meditation at those sights. In addition, they have made their own private sacred site dedicated to the Ground element (explained in the sacred sites). A Master will usually take up an initiate, usually in the form of an apprentice through the order the Elements are partnered with. Teachings: Below are the words from the Elements of the Force, as written. All things are made up of the Force. Life flows from and to the Force. When a creature is born, it is by will of the Force. And when a creature dies, its spirit and essence return to the Force. When you are knitted in the womb, the Force is building you. And when you are decaying in the ground, the Force is receiving you. As the Force creates everything, there are five basic elements the Force uses to build all things: Plant, Fire, Ground, Water, and Metal. Depending on how these elements are combined and composed gives everything its form. Because all things are made of these elements, the Force flows through everything. Consider the Force like a river. As it flows through the elements into you, it becomes diluted and weakened. There are those who are especially connected with the elements and are especially connected to the Force. As such, they can influence the elements and the Force around them, and allow the Force to flow more freely into them. From these elements the Force flows through into us, and in turn, we flow back into the Force. Recall how when a being dies, it goes through a series of changes. When their last breath is drawn, the element of Plant leaves them and returns to Plant. Water in the body turns back to Water as the body becomes dry. Fire turns back to Fire again as the body gets cold and still. Metal turns back to Metal so the body loses its strength. The corpse shrinks and does not function. After all this, whether cremated or buried or simply rotting down, the remains go back to the Ground. The bonds that connect the body will scatter and break apart. As the body returns to the elements, the elements return to the Force. Just like how the Force is both Ashla and Bogun and opposes itself, so too are the elements. Particular elements oppose each other. Fire, as Bogun, and Water, as Ashla, attempt to destroy each other, as do the Ashla Plant and the Bogun Metal. Only Ground is both Ashla and Bogun. That is not to say these elements are inherently good nor evil. Peace of mind can be used for mass slaughter by cunning generals, and emotions can give rise to courageous acts of martyrdom. Life can be both healthful as medicine, and as deadly as a virus. Good and evil must be determined by a strict code of honor, one that does not bend easily, nor changes from situation to situation. The Elements: PLANT: Plant is the element of life incarnate. All that grows, matures, and develops over time has Plant in it. From the smallest of reproductive germs to the largest of space dwelling monsters, you can find Plant. It is not restricted to just organic beings, for even beings like the Shards, the Tsils and the Vaathkree can draw from the Force. Plant is also the element of sentience and thought. To create ideas, to develop plans, and to be sentient is to draw from the element of Plant. Freedom comes directly from this element, and to restrain the Plant element in another being is to damage how the Force interacts with them. All light siders draw from this element. It is easiest to feel the effects of the Force from this element due to the fact that freedom and sentience come from it. Dark siders must grudgingly draw from Plant however, for to affect other beings, you must acknowledge how the force uniquely exists in all things. Many dark siders try to pervert this element, and as such, pervert the Force, while light sided users, such as the Jedi, wish to let Plant exist freely. Recall how the Sith Alchemists of Korriban used Plant to mutate prisoners into deadly, mindless Sithspawn. And how when Jedi Master Kaara rescued those prisoners and used Force Healing and medicines to bring them back to sanity. To meditate on Plant, place yourself where there is life. Whether it is a thick forest, a grassy plains, or even a busy street, as long as there is life around you. Feel the life around you. Connect with all that is around you. Be one not with just your thoughts, but with the thoughts of those around you. Start small, with feeling the blades of grass under your feet, and grow from there. Use this element to connect with other beings around you. Feel how their presence and yours are similar. You both think and have independent stories. You and everyone around you has Plant inside. You both live and draw from the Force, and will eventually return to it. This connection binds all living things together. Tricks such as telepathy, illusions, mind-affection and healing, are but the weakest uses of this element. You can use plant to harm and inflict damage. Darth Vishna discovered this when she utilized plant to drain the very life and thoughts out of Jedi Knight Arrauch on Coruscant in an attempt to save herself. Plant however can also be used in more passive and beneficial ways. Plant can be used to aid healing the flesh, or to trick the enemy into not seeing or remembering you. Recall how Jedi Master Jensho, running from a group of bounty hunters, created a vision of a rancor charging towards her pursuers to momentarily frighten them away. FIRE: Fire is the element of passion and emotion. All that you feel, from the joy of helping another being to the rage at being hurt, comes from the element of Fire. To be lost in rage or depression is to be consumed by Fire, and as such, it must be carefully controlled. However, it is not to be avoided. Happiness, joy, and excitement draw from Fire, and thus the Force, just as much as anger and sadness do. Fire is also the element of energy. From it, a person can draw enormous power and fuel for their bodies. Recall how an angry man can strike quickly and with more muscle then he could when he is calm. Fire enhances the other elements and can grant access to powers impossible without Fire. Lightning, combustion, and redirection can come from this element if properly trained. Defender Saava utilized all of these abilities while saving the Ithorians on the Green Hand from the starweird, able to feel the pain the Ithorians had suffered and channel her own righteous fury into energy to stun the monster. But with these uses, there must be careful application. There is a difference between burning down a fortress with enemy soldiers and burning a senator's home with innocent civilians. You do not kill with the stun settings of a weapon, but instead force your target to halt. The same is with Fire and your emotions. A moment of pain can clarify many things, as Defender Reek discovered when he used Fire from his body to stun and shock the nerves of his apprentice lost in a rage. Had Defender Reek gone a moment longer however, it wouldn’t have been about stunning his apprentice, but killing. Thankfully, his intent was benevolent and his own anger did not drive him further. To meditate on Fire, find a place where you can easily call up emotions without distraction, but also a place that is warm to the touch. A fireplace, an observation deck facing a star, or a smelting forge will do. Start by calling up happy times in your life. Laugh at the jokes that come to you, chuckle at the celebrations you have partook in. Then let this happiness die down to sadness. Concentrate on the losses you have experienced. Feel the injustices you have witnessed. Then let anger flow into you. Do not be ashamed of this feeling, nor do not let it overflow. Rather, follow where your anger flows, and understand that what it targets is something you must deal with in time. Call your anger back, and douse it with understanding. Repeat these steps until you can call up any emotion in an instant, as well as put it away without worry. Use this element to accomplish great deeds and to connect with others around you who are in pain. Draw power from Fire, but keep in mind how fire is a deadly element. Those who use fire to kill often call upon fire to create storms of lighting or pillars of fire to burn everything around them. If not controlled, it can consume the user, as many dark siders discover. Recall how many sith, consumed by anger, lose most of their bodies and have to implant more metal to replace what was lost. Fire must be restrained, used with careful consideration, such as by summing a flame to bring heat in the dead of cold, or to absorb an energy blast from hitting a friend. Fire is an element to not be feared, but respected. Without fire, one grows cold and apathetic to the world around them. GROUND: Ground is the element of balance. It is stable and comforting. It is both light and dark. At its core, it is the closest to what the Force actually is. Force users who often draw from this recognize that the force is much bigger than anything they can comprehend. They witness the majesty and pure power of the Force. When a person becomes connected to everything, they recognize this element easily if not by name. For this reason, Ground is the most important element to learn about. Through Ground will a wise man experience what the Force truly is with none of its illusions. Ground is also the element of reality. There are no falsehoods in Ground. There is only what is and isn’t. There is no future, nor past. There is only now. There are no what ifs. Only what can be done and what is truly impossible. There are facts and nothing else. Out of all the elements, those who focus on the Ground element are the most literal and blunt students, like Defender Mudhorn, who was never deceived by lies nor Force tricks, even when with the witches on Dathomir. The element of Ground also represents wisdom and knowledge. Unlike Plant, which represents thought, or water, which represents calmness, Ground is factual. It is said that people who are older and closer to death are often wiser because they are closer to the Ground. Meditate on the element of Ground by balancing yourself, both physically and mentally. Find a place where balance of body is difficult but not impossible. A stump, a narrow rod, or a shaky rooftop. Place yourself on it without falling and bend your mind to the realities of the world around you. Practice the stances of the other elements without falling, recognizing that despite how all the elements fight each other, they are all needed to bring balance. Use the element of Ground as a way to balance yourself, mentally and physically. Draw from it to recognize how truly great the Force is, and how many concepts of it are only fractions of the big picture. Realize how there is a reality that you are a part of, and use Ground to help recognize that reality. From Ground you can find ways to balance your pain with comfort. Your presence can be easily hidden when it is balanced with your environment. And due to its relation to reality, space itself folds to the element of Ground, if you can draw enough from it. Defender Glerg first realized this when, while gathering information, moved through solid durasteel to avoid notice by Hutt gangsters on Tatooine. WATER: Water is the element of peace and serenity. Even when moving, Water is at rest inside of itself. It is simultaneously in action while perfectly still. To draw from water is to draw from the calm. To allow your mind to be still, and to have no emotion troubling you allows you to draw from the element of Water. Water is also the element of vision, both outward and inward. It is the element that reveals your inner most desires and fears. When drawing from the element of water, you will see your own flaws as well as the state of others around you. When your mind is calm and still, you will often see things that can save your life. Many people who see the future, especially Jedi, often draw from this element. However, the most clever sith generals do not dismiss this element easily. A person who chooses not to learn from Water is often brash and unthinking. They do not plan ahead, nor learn from the past. However, to focus exclusively on this element will leave one cold, unable to bond with the world around them. Recall how at the height of the Jedi Order before the clone wars, they were unable to care about how the galaxy was shaping around them until war broke out. Meditating on Water requires patience and stillness. Find a secluded spot, one where the distractions will not be easily accessible. Hold several ounces of purified water in your hand as you let your mind go blank. If no water is available, find another liquid that you can hold in your hands without distraction. Listen to the stillness around you. Notice how when you move, the water shifts but ultimately is calm. Feel how the water tries to match your own temperature. Be like the water. Let your mind become blank and serene. Use Water to calm yourself, and to think ahead through all situations. Feel the water in you and how, even during chaos, it is still. Let that stillness spread to your eyes, and see perfectly. If you can draw enough from Water, you can even help others become still, whether by choice or not. Darth Leerak, once Jedi Knight Tal, first began his descent when he utilized Water to slow his prisoner’s body and cloud the mind to make escape impossible. Do not grow cold like Leerak. Be more like Defender Mynock, who when investigating an illegal mining operation, tricked the minds around him by making them think he was a simple worker. Remember how angry you felt when a wrong was done against you. Recall how it can feel to suffer under the Force. The end never justifies the means. METAL: Metal is the element of strength. It can be both raw or refined. Your muscles and bones draw from this element. Metal is powerful by itself and needs little to continue functioning. Warriors work on their bodies to constantly purify the metal in them, making themselves stronger and stronger. It is also the element of willpower and determination. Metal allows a person to restrain themself, and to hold back on their thoughts. Like a bar of durasteel, a person who draws from Metal is unflinching and determined. A person can focus on a task and power through, no matter what is happening around them. Both Jedi and Sith often draw from this element to make their movements quick and strong. It has a unique bond with the element of Fire, for together strength becomes liquid and adjustable. A person who is in rage can bend the metal in themself for greater purpose. However, focusing solely on Metal without regard to the other elements can be costly. Think about how a droid functions. It is determined and focused on its programming. It is strong and able to accomplish great feats. But without Plant, it is unthinking and non sentient, and doomed to follow orders forever. To focus on Metal, follow a strict structure of training. Whether it is practice of swords, blasters, or muscles, do training exercises that will not only exhaust you, but push you to your peak performance. During all this, feel the pain that courses through your body. Feel the adrenaline that flows through your veins. But most importantly, focus on the training regime before you, and do not break the rhythm you develop. Only then will your Metal be purified. When your metal is purified, it is much easier to use in times of trouble to accomplish astonishing feats. Abilities such as speed, strength, and telekinesis come from this element. Defender Tokin of Kalee was a master of Metal, training his muscles every day in strict rituals. This granted him abilities like Force Wave and Force Weapon to defend himself on his homeworld in an attempt to stop two warring tribes. However, he never allowed his thoughts to become too rigid and automatic, as he refused to develop the ability of choking his opponents with the Force, nor did he kill a single Kaleesh during the battle of Dragon's Tooth. Instead, he utilized Ymladd Heb Arfau and stunned each combatant.
  11. As the Tognath held the weapon in his arms, a chill went throughout his body. He could feel the power waiting to be used in his hands. A kind of aura of authority. Or maybe it was just energy. Fire, and Metal perhaps? It was certainly big. Bones felt like he could wrap his hands around it four times. Perhaps it was a little large for his tastes “Will my weapon feel like this?” Bones wondered aloud. Bones nodded at the Saarai-Kaar’s command. Build his weapon. Prepare himself. Shouldn’t be too hard. Bones sat himself down on the ground after the, what he assumed was a Weequay, gave him a smile. That sort of encouragement was unique to Bones. This entire situation was just unique. Slowly, Bones spread the parts in front of him, as well as the two synthetic crystals. Bones breathed a whiff of sulfur and focused. The pieces were in front of him. The tools were ready to be used. All he had to do was to work with them. All he had to do was work with them. Bones reached and gripped his head in frustration. What was he supposed to do? “Alright, alright, calm down. Think this through. Use the Force, right? Right.” Bones breathed again. The elements. Plant. Fire. Ground. Water. Metal. The elements of the Force. “Gaaah! That’s not helping!” Bones groaned. He stood and walked a few circles around the parts. Think. Think. Focus. Let the Force flow, correct? Bones breathed again as he walked. Let the Force flow. Bones stopped and faced the dome. He could feel the life flowing from inside. It was breathing. It was pulsing. It was curious and knowledgeable. Bones took a few steps and felt the doorway. The purple glow from inside was something different. Something unique. It felt insidious. And hungry. "No no no...I'm not messing with that... I got a job to do" Bones stepped away suddenly and turned away. Bones needed something else. Knowledge. Bones smiled on the inside and reached up to his comm implants. “Hey... Aoi? Aoi can you hear me?” “Bones!” The tognath flinched a little bit, realizing he needed to adjust his comm system. “I didn’t expect to hear from you so soon. What, you tried to find me again and got lost?” Bones chuckled and explained his situation. He knew he needed to build a lightsaber, but he was unsure how. He needed a little help, though he didn’t state that outright. He figured that Aoi was the best option, sense he wasn’t sure if the Jensaarai would approve of him asking for help. Something about them felt so independent and self-reliant. Rather then being frustrated or annoyed, Aoi was excited to help. She calmly explained her ideas how the lightsaber worked again, and gave descriptions on how to fit the parts together. As she did, Bones sat down on the ground and began to work. He would occasionally ask questions, but otherwise he would only confirm what she was saying. It almost felt like he was back on Coruscant in his repair shop, working on his next credit check. The talk also helped distract the Tognath as well. The presence he felt in the dome behind him became less noticeable. To Bones, there were the parts in front of him, the task, and his friend. However, there was one hiccup. “Aoi...one of the gems is cracked. Is that bad?” There was a pause of silence. Then… “How did you crack my gem so fast?" Aoi began to yell, forcing Bones to flinch. "Thats….I’ve had those for two years now!” Bones held up his hands in surrender, though the verpine couldn’t see it. “Hey, who said I cracked it?” “Well it certainly wasn’t cracked when I gave them to you. Seriously, how did you manage to do that? I mean, those are special!” Bones immediately felt bad. While he was confident he did not crack the gems, he did feel like he let down a friend. And in just the first day of meeting her. “Look..I’m…” Bones sighed. Sorry was what he wanted to say, but couldn't bring himself to say it. “Do you think the crack affect the blade? I feel like it might shoot off the energy in another direction.” Aoi sighed and buzzed in thought. “Ya, you are probably right. I suppose you could try to use that to your advantage, but I don’t see how...I would restart with the design, and focus on using just the one good gem. “ Bones looked at the half-complete weapon in his hands. He had gotten so much done it seemed. “Listen, Bones, the Hive Mother is wishing to speak with me. You think you have this?” Bones nodded. “Ya. I do. Thanks so much.” With that, Bones was alone again with his thoughts and the parts. A project he had to restart on. If there was one thing Bones hated, it was restarting on his own work. “Maybe...I don’t have to…” Bones muttered. An idea was forming. He could use the energy to his advantage. If he was right, a slight offshoot of energy could be useful, and unique! Bones got to work. He had to re-work some of the parts again, but not the entire blade. The power cell would still shoot energy into the primary focusing crystal, the first and uncracked crystal, and would move into the second. However, if Bones could angle the crystal correctly, some of the energy would come out of the crack at a slight angle as well as the usual straight line outwards. Then, with two separate series of blade channels.... Bones breath a whiff of Sulfur again as he tightened the last screw. It was done. A lightsaber, if it worked. Made up of scrap parts from around Raka Nwul, it looked like a piece of trash at first. However, the extra little jut that poked at about a 45 degree angle from the top did make it look different. Bones took a breath. He gripped the weapon in his hands, and turned it on. The weapon hissed to life. From its top a jet of flaming energy shot out. 56.5 centimeters exactly, as Bones predicted. A second later, a much shorter blade almost crawled out from the extra jut. A odd style crossguard Bones mused. Bones could feel the power coming from it. Energy from a old but polished power cell from a scrapped speeder. It was guided by energisers. And it was tamed by crystals. Gifts from the Hive. “That is what this is…” Bones said as he held the weapon, fascinated by it’s power. His very own lightsaber. “A Gift from the Hive.” Bones deactivated the lightsaber. He had to show Aoi his handiwork. But first, the community was depending on him for some sort of task. An important one, if the Saarai-Kaar believed Bones needed a weapon for it. Possibly something to do with those droids he had a vision of. Bones breathed heavier as he ran. Excitement was running through him faster then he could ever run.
  12. Bones continued to whisper the elements to himself over and over. Plant, Fire, Ground, Water, and Metal. Each word he tried to taste it as if left his tongue. Each element he tried to focus on how it connected between him and the rest of the universe. Then he felt the other presence. For a brief moment, a powerful presence was there, like a fog of magic. Bones’ bones tingled slightly at it. It was so powerful, and huge, compared the small thing like he. Bones didn’t have time to fully comprehend the presence, as his own senses seemed to leave him. He felt his body leaving him. Or perhaps he was leaving his body? Either one, something was happening. His eyes no longer were in his head. His ears weren’t connected to his communication implants. He was no longer sitting on Raka Nwul. He was floating. That was the closest word Bones could use to describe it. Floating in a sea of mists. Before him, nothing. Behind nothing. But there was something. Light. And Darkness. Bones had no arms, but he reached forward. He tried to grasp what was there. As he did, the mists around him swirled violently. Places and times flowed past the Tognath. Bones tried to take it all in, but it was like grabbing an ocean. Finally he rested on just one vision: It was just a flash. A scene of metal and rock and fire. Of forges busy at work. Of molten metal pouring down heating furnaces into molds. Of people made of metal, overseeing the production. It was so formulaic. So strict and rigid. Everything moved with a singular purpose. Molten metal was rapidly cooled by being doused with hyper-chilled sodium-potassium. The metal was taken apart and put together with others. Screws were wound together. Gears were fitted and moved. Photoreceptors were being installed and turned on. Weapons were being forged. Bodies were made. “War Droids” Bones muttered. Then he was back on Raka Nwul. Bones shook awake at the sound of another being. He looked up and instantly recognised this person as the leader of the Jensaarai. He didn’t know if it was the style of the armor, the way he carried himself, or the presence Bones had felt earlier, but this...this was… “Master Saarai-Kaar” Bones greeted as he was helped up. He instantly bowed slightly once fully stood. He had little experience with figures of authority, but he knew he owed respect to the person who was practically giving him shelter. At the sound of being useful to the community, Bones nodded eagerly. “Yes sir. I have been wanting to get some action, though Sun-Dragon told me there was more than that to helping the galaxy. “ Bones then held out the datapad that Aoi had requested Bones to give in her place. “No sir, I have not built my um...laser sword” Bones chuckled at the common name he had learned. The Jensaarai were the first people he heard call the weapons lightsabers. “Sun-Dragon said he was going to show me, but first he wanted me to come here.”
  13. Bones nodded and left at Sun-Dragon’s command. It seemed simple enough. Seeking out the verpine couldn’t be too difficult, especially since he had seen one earlier watching the training session. All he had to do was find that bug. However, it quickly became harder then he expected. Either he was really bad at searching or the verpine was just really quick, but Bones began to doubt his own skills at finding a single bug. Eventually, he had to start asking around. Anyone he came across Bones would ask if anyone had seen the verpine. He would get a few shaking of heads, a few negative responses, but nothing more. What’s more, the Ithorians seemed a little offended at the question even, for reasons that were at the moment unknown. Tired after an hour of searching, Bones sat down against a wall to rest on the warm durasteel floor. The sky was still quite bright, making the Tognath feel quite at ease at the moment. He had never been to his species homeworld, but he had heard that it was intense and full of fire and brimstone. A hot, deadly place full of trouble, which made an endurance to heat necessary for survival . His parents had left that place to live on Coruscant, where they could raise children in a place that would be more wholesome and opportunistic for the two. Bones sighed a deep sigh. His thoughts had been sucked into the past, where memories of his home before reigned. In all the time lately, Bones had very little time to think about his past. The home that he missed so much. The home where he would steal his parent’s speeder bikes with his sister, and go drag racing through the busy night life of the city-planet.. The home where the two trouble-makers would sneak into before their father and mother woke up to leave for their cleaning jobs. The home where the smell of boiling egg-rakata his mom had set to cook overnight would be waiting for them. Bones chuckled. The one time his sister knocked over a lightstand, and immediately tried to pretend how she had, in fact, been coming down from the bedroom to catch Bones in his escapades. She was never very good at lying and the tognath’s parents saw through the ruse immediately. “Oh, Muv…” Bones began to sob invisible tears. Their species retained as much water as possible and never wasted it on expressions. “Muv, Muv...Would you be proud? I...I don’t know… “Don’t know what?” Bones jerked up, caught off guard by the sudden feminine voice. Before him had walked up a lithe, chitonous body of an insectoid. “You! Your the person I’m looking for!” The verpine looked at the Tognath curiously, but chirped a few noises of embarrassment. With a metal prosthetic hand, she reached up and stroked her antenna, much like how a female human would brush her hair back. “Um, I didn’t realize I was so badly wanted. I saw your little, um...was that a duel? “ “What? Oh no no, it was just some training with Sun-Dragon.” Bones quickly stood up and shook the Verpine’s metal hand. “ My name is Bones, and I was told to talk to you.” “Me? Oh my...thank you, um, Mr Bones,” The female verpine looked almost shocked at hearing this as she clutched Bones exoskeleton hand, “but I fail to see why Sun-Dragon would suggest me to speak to…” Bones shrugged. “All he said was speak to the verpine and to do what they…” “Wait wait wait” the verpine interrupted, waving her hand over Bones’ rebreathing to stop his speaking. “He didn’t mention me by name? He said ‘the verpine’?” When Bones nodded, her attanna drooped down slowly. “Um...but I’m sure he meant you, since you had watched us train…” Bones stammered out, realizing how disappointed he made the verpine. “Um...miss…?” “Hmmm? Oh ya, I’m sure he did. Hmm...oh sorry, name is Aoi. Hanaha Aoi. I’m the...um...the representative of the Hive.” Bones turned his head in puzzlement. The lack of facial muscles and tear ducts meant that the species that to develop other ways to show emotion. “You...oh that makes so much sense now! Hehe! Yes, there is a hive. A while ago, the verpine, um, we sort of snuck aboard Raka Nwul. We made ourselves indispensable to the ship by becoming its engineers, and so the hive now lives in the Pipes. Inside the ship. We are everywhere down there. I think there’s about 680 of us down there...” Bones was genuinely surprised. In all of his time here, he hadn’t seen anything that would indicate an entire colony of insectoids on board. To be able to live on the ship without being seen was impressive to say the least. “So you all are engineers onboard?” Aoi shook her head, then nodded slightly in correction. “No no...well, Most of us are, yes. I do some work as an engineer, but I’m actually the designated representative of the Hive. If anyone has questions or problems, they usually find me.” “That must be interesting. Being the diplomat between two groups.” “Eh, not really. It’s mostly dealing with complaints about missing parts and blocked water valves. I unfortunately don’t get to see too many happy Ithorians.” Bones suddenly understood. He remembered hearing rumors of thieving individuals taking random items and returning them very altered. To the Ithorians, they liked hand making their tools. So when a technical minded verpine takes a tool and upgrades it without permission, that could be very annoying. “Anyways, enough about us. You said you needed to speak to us?” “Oh! Ya, sorry…” It was clear that Bones had almost forgotten his task. “I’m supposed to acquire parts for a lightsaber…” Aoi’s antenna perked up again. “That’s a new one. And it just so happens I know a bit about lightsabers. Not much mind you, our Hive mother doesn’t want me to go too much into investigating Jensaarai technology, but we have studied some of your laser swords. Even presented a few ideas to the Defenders…here, come with me…” Aoi led Bones down the street a ways, where, once at the center of a cross-section, tapped the floor with her metal foot a few times. To Bones’ surprise, the floor hissed and opened up a circular hole. Aoi fell down a little ways into a narrow, cramped, crawlspace. She indicated for Bones to follow, who did so. After a few moments of crawling at a downwards angle, Bones found himself in a chamber of crisscrossing pipes, circuitry, and hallways. Bones gazed in awe at what he was seeing. The entire mechanical parts of the ship were open to access from the area, he was sure of it. If he knew the layout of the ship better, he could find where all the ship’s power cores, water distillations, and much more. Bones instantly understood why the verpine called the interior of Raka Nwul ‘The Pipes’ There were also many more verpine down here. Bones lost count after 20, but could easily see how an entire Hive could exist inside the ship. Each Verpine that Bones witnessed was busy at work, whether it was by cutting and rewelding pipes with plasma torches, labeling areas and wires, or providing food to a coworker. Aoi led Bones around, showing him some of the Pipes while explaining what she was trying to find. She explained some of the concepts of the lightsaber, how it was simple in design yet also complex in style. She appeared genuinely surprised when Bones began to fill in some of her trains of thought when she explained certain parts. Bones’ work on Coruscant as a repair shop owner had given him many insights into how some pieces of technology worked. It was easy to tell that a bond of friendship was developing between the two. Finally, after acquiring enough parts, which was almost nothing more then two handfuls of metal junk, Aoi explained the concept of the crystal. “As far as I can tell, the Jensaarai, use crystals as well as the emitter matrix to force the focused plasma from the lenses into a blade of pure energy. The crystal, as i understand it, is the heart of the lightsaber.” “And where am I supposed to get those? Not exactly a mine around here. ” Aoi looked at Bones and buzzed a little in thought. Bones couldn’t help but notice her mandibles clicking in excitement. Eventually she reached into one of her many pockets and held out something clenched. “I’ll give you this on two conditions. One: you promise to make a delivery for me to the leader of the Jensaarai. The Saarai-Kaar. Two: You give me a radio-frequency for those…” Aoi gently tapped at the communication implants on Bones’ head. The Tognath was surprised. People usually didn’t ask for such a thing, at least not in Bones’ experiences. “Its so that way I can contact you again. You know, for professional reasons.” Bones had the distinct feeling that there was more going on, but he agreed. Having that, Aoi dropped two small red crystals into the Tognath’s open hand. They were just slightly smaller then Bones’ smallest finger. “These are gifts from the Hive-Mother. Apparently someone here knows how to make synthetic crystals, and the Hive-Mother only gives those to people she respects. So don’t go showing it to other Verpine, k? I don’t want her to think I’m disrespecting her.” Bones agreed and thanked Aoi for her generous gift. Along with that, she handed Bones a datapad, containing a map of Raka Nwul’s interior design, or at least its current one. Apparently it changed quite often. ___ Later, Bones nearly collapsed on his bed when there was a knock at the door. Opening it, Bones found Sun-Dragon, who relayed his next task to the Tognath. Go to Dome #8 and await instructions there. Bones bowed and agreed. With grabbing his items, including the lightsaber parts in a carrying case, the crystals in his pocket, and his metal rods on his back, he rushed off to the Botanical Domes. After some investigating, Bones found himself in front of two locked doors. The glass doors had been painted over to hide whatever was inside, and a large warning label pasted on the paint told how the Dome was off limits for everyone but trained personnel. This instantly made the Tognath curious. As far as he knew, there were not many places off limits. What could be inside here? Bones pressed his communication implant against the glass, trying to hear what was inside. It was quiet. Bones scratched a bit at the paint and peeled off a small chunk. From inside a slight purple glow was emitting. But beyond that, Bones couldn’t tell anything. Except something was alive inside. Bones could feel it. Maybe it was the Force, or something else, but Bones could tell there was something inside. Still, there wasn’t much to do but wait. So Bones sat down on the ground, cross-legged, and waited. Surely someone would be here. With any luck, Bones could deliver the map to the Saarai-Kaar even. After getting bored for a few minutes, Bones opened up his own datapad, and returned to the section on the elements of the Force. After a bit, Bones closed his eyes and repeated the elements over and over. It was something to do. And strangely, it felt right to do so. To just wait and focus on the elements of the Force.
  14. Energy ws building in Bones. He could feel it in himself. The feeling of being connected to everything briefly. Combined with the fight, it was invigorating and thrilling. With each blow he tried to inflict that came from letting the Force flow through him, it was more and more stimulating. His exoskeleton felt like it was trying to sing. His breath felt smooth and hot. Each whiff of Sulfer felt like a fire inside of him. “Flow with the river, but remember, you are not a leaf to be pushed without influence. Do not block the river and seek to divert it. Roll yourself in the river, allowing the uniqueness that is you to be buffeted by the force and pushed in ways that are unique to you. Every branch is different, but they spring from the same tree. Do not resist; do not hold fast; but like a rudder, let who you are speak in the force. Together, a path will become apparent.” Momentarily distracted by trying to comprehend what was being said, Bones lost the feeling of being connected almost immediately. He didn't react well to the incoming blow. The flow had become disconnected. Bones tried to actively move out of the way of the blow, but he was too slow now. He could only witness it coming towards his face. The blow was hard and swift. Had he been a human, it might’ve been concussive. Bones tumbled backwards and fell onto his back and even exclaimed a curse. “Son of a nerf that actually hurt!” Bones took Sun-Dragon’s help and stood again. The small crowd who had gathered were now dispersing, their entertainment done. Bones rubbed his exterior skull, checking for cracks. “So what you are saying is I have to learn how to think while using the Force? I think I need more practice then. Ow..." Bones rubbed his skull more, an aching feeling beginning to develop. For a human, it definately would've been much to painful. Bones wondered if Sun-Dragon was using the Tognath's underdeveloped nervous system as an excuse to hold back less then other apprentices. "Still, I also need to let the force and me reflect each other, correct?” Bones seemed to unstand the lesson. Instincts could only go so far, as his sister used to say. He had become a good boxer and a decent speeder bike racer by practice, not by instict. He had nearly crashed his bike several times at first on Corescant, barely missing a pedestrian or a passing vehicle. And in the criminal world, he had won most of his early matches by luck and deteriminating until one of his ‘coworkers’ taught him how to hold himself and how to strike. “Sun-Dragon, a question…” Bones spoke up. “In the Mireinio Ysbrydol, I keep seeing the phrase ‘Ashla and Bogun” Bones pulled out his datapad and showed Sun-Dragon on the topic of the elements and the Force in the 'Knowledge of Nature' section. “The other stuff I get...kinda. Some of it I have to reread...a lot” Bones tone took on one of annoyance briefly, but then returned to questioning. “But it never fully explains what Ashla and Bogun is. Since it seems they are more closely related to the Force then the elements, I assume they are some kind of aspects of the Force?”
  15. On the ground, a feeling of frustration grew within Bones. Similar to the annoyance he had when kept slipping from the branches trying to collect Lumas fruit, this feeling was a bit stronger, mostly because it was being done by another living thing and not Bones himself. “Focus not on your weapon. Focus on yourself. A Jensaarai is always seeking truth and is always ready to act. Your mind, body, and soul bonded together as one. The weapon should become nothing but an extension of your will and of your person. When you are centered, unhampered by the distractions about you, you will become one with your weapon.” Bones breathed a deep breath of sulfur dioxide and recited the words again. The elements came to his lips, as well as the words Ashra and Bogun. Bones moved to stand up, and felt his hand touch something. His rifle. Angrily, Bones shoved it away, unwilling to use such a weapon. He had made his bed. Now he was going to sleep in it. Bones stood up and faced the Defender, staff at the ready. “The skills of combat can be learned. To be a Jensaarai you must become master of the most difficult aspects of the galaxy, yourself. A Jensaarai feels emotions. He uses them. He controls them and makes them work for him. Otherwise they are as dangerous a distraction as an undefended plasma shot, a distracting onlooker, or the soft dark side whisper that promises the ease of victory but does not tell you the price.” ”Again! Let the force flow through you and bind to you as one.” Bones nodded and tried to focus. Again and again, he quoted the elements softly. “Plant, Fire, Ground, Metal, Water.... Plant, Fire, Ground, Metal...“ Bones began to admire and become fascinated by the swirling of the air around Sun Dragon’s staff. Realizing this, Bones shut his eyes momentarily and focused on his other senses. While feeling wasn’t something his species were known for, he could still hear and smell and taste. Taste. The taste of small amounts of water on his tongue, intermingling with the Sulfer Dioxide he breathed. The Water. The Water was in him, supporting his blood and organs. Bones gripped his staff tightly. His metal staff. Like the metal in his body. Metal was the element of strength. When a person died, the metal gave away and the body crumbled. Metal made him strong. He had metal in him. Slowly, his hands slid down the staff and met together at the staff’s center. Fire. Bones anger was like that of fire. Passionate, and capable of spreading and giving speed. It was in the air around him, in the oxygen and in the sulfer Bones breathed. It gave him energy. Bones breathed again and twisted both his wrists, separated the staff into the two rods they were originally part of. Plant. Plant was life incarnate. All organics had plant in them, as did nature around them. Including Sun Dragon. In his mind’s eye, Bones briefly saw Sun Dragon. He saw how both Bones and Sun-Dragon were the same, and how they related to each other. Bones dashed forward, bringing one rod to block Sun-Dragon’s staff. Ground. Land. The element that all things came from and all things will go to. Neither Ashra, nor Bogun, but both. Ground was balance. It centered the soul, and kept it going towards its rightful destination. All it needed was for Bones to listen to it. Through all these elements the Force flowed. And for the briefest moment, they flowed through Bones. Bones knew it wasn’t instincts that were driving him, nor was it his own mind. The Force was flowing through him. In that moment, Bones felt all of the elements within him, guiding him and granting strength and speed. Bones free hand moved rapidly now, trying to strike Sun-Dragon’s open side. Even as he did, his other hand, the first attacking hand, drew back and tried to strike again and again. It was wild, but not frantic or desperate. The Force was briefly flowing through the young Tognath.
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