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Haruun Kal


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(I was going to wait for Adrian, but I don't want either of us to fall into inactivity either.)

 

Tros watched Adenna carefully behind his buy'ce, deciding against what sort of words he should choose to use for her, as she did not put her lightsaber away, which meant she did not trust him. But her was used to having people not trust him, seeing as he was a beroya. But then again, would she trust him more or even less if she found out that he was Tros Ardell the Senator? Perhaps a question that should have an answer sought out at a later time. Now, he needed to get to the bottom of why the jetiise were so interested in Haruun Kal again.

 

"This place was once an outpost for the jetiise. It was attacked a few times, falling multiple times to the Empire, Black Sun, and the darjetii. A few of your kind have come to try to get the place running again, but the people of the planet would rather them not make the place active, as it could spell out a doom for them. So most kept the place as a ruin, using it as a hideaway place for them."

 

Tros turned his body just slightly and picked up a stray datapad and then offering it up to Adenna.

 

"So this place has not been a functioning location for your kind for a while. This datapad shows you the last 'active' entry the jetiise have had."

 

Taking a moment to let her actually read the entry before Tros spoke again.

 

"And my purpose in being here is to investigate."

 

Tros left his purpose at just that. Adenna didn't need to know the rest as of yet. When she did, he would enlighten her. But until then, it was reserved.

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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((Adrian told me he is forfeiting his place in the posting cycle until his character can become more relevant))

 

Adenna looked over the datapad without expression. She didn't sense any deception coming from this man, but that could mean only that he was a good liar or believed lies that had been told to him. She would attempt to verify what he had said, but it was unlikely that she would learn much here.

 

She had been sent here for two purposes, though one of them now seemed to be answered. This enclave was a wreck and nigh indefensible even against nature. Before arriving here, she had believed that a secluded outpost was a good idea because it offered privacy and seclusion from prying eyes. Now that she got here and saw the type of environment this was, she realized that whomever built this enclave in the first place was a fool. This environment was too hostile to ever be considered safe and too unique in the Galaxy to be worth using as an environmental training center. If there was hostility among the locals, then she would need to see if an agreement couldn't be reached to settle things peacefully. The Sith had been dealt a harsh blow on Coruscant and seemed to have retreated from the Galaxy. Black Sun was equally silent, perhaps focused on their own matters. The Jedi were on the rise as was order and stability, so there were fewer and fewer reasons not to have a Jedi presence here if they were afraid of being attacked.

 

"I have been sent to investigate as well," she replied. "There isn't much left of this place, is there? Why would anyone desire to take refuge here and, more importantly, why would there be people fighting to get them out? Jedi aren't ones to occupy planets they are not at war with against the wishes of the natives. If there were Jedi operatives attempting to rebuild here, there would have been no need for the natives to fight to push them out. Someone must have attacked with the intent to kill rather than simply for the inhabitants to leave. Either that, or there is something more going on here."

 

As for the other purpose she was sent here, perhaps he could help. "The one who sent me also mentioned that there have been rumors of people called 'Mandalorians' being involved in whatever is happening here. Since you have been here longer than I, do you happen to have any sort of information on that? From all I have read, Mandalorians would not be fun to deal with if they were behind the attack here."

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Tros was now insulted by Adenna. Her lack of knowledge of what a Mandalorian was hit him hard, since he knew first hand that she had particpated within a strike on slavers alongside his fellow vod. Through his own buy'ce, Tros tried to see if Adenna was simply pulling his leg before he responded to her.

 

"I am Mandalorian. And these bodies are Mandalorian. And I also believe that you are correct in saying that we would not be fun to deal with."

 

Taking a moment to look back down at the corpse before him, he looked up with a bit of remorse upon his face, but a look that would not be seen by Adenna or her young jetii friend, as his own buy'ce covered the look.

 

"But even within my own people, there are those whom hold different values, whom are considered shunned by our own culture. The Kyr'tsad is what they are called. It is there own bodies that lay before us now, mixed with your own jetiise."

 

He would have responded to her other question, minus for the fact that it held no purpose for him, nor could it gain him any ground at this point. It also would not serve her any purpose either.

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Adenna felt a moment of disappointment in herself at her failure to recognize this soldier as a Mandalorian. Her memories were so incomplete that it often took specific efforts to remember something and she had not had the time or thought to delve further about this man. She showed little other than hesitation, but the revelation jarred many of her memories and connected some dots.

 

"This explains some things," she said softly, and it did.

 

The woman who was Adenna before would not have enjoyed being in this position, but the woman who was Adenna now had no such sense of pride. All that mattered to her was the completion of her mission and she would do anything, no matter how degrading or humiliating others may see it, to accomplish it as long as it didn't violate the Jedi's beliefs. The mission was paramount and though she believed some of her peers and even superiors would frown upon her next move, she would rather accept disapproval than failure. Pride was of the dark side, humility and serving were of the light side.

 

"It is apparent that you are more familiar with what is going on here," she said blandly. She wouldn't openly admit the weakness of her memory loss--not until she knew she could trust the man--but she would not shirk away from what logic told her to do. "I sense no hostility or duplicity from you and believe that, for the moment, it may be possible for our goals to coincide. Therefore, I am willing to acknowledge your superiority in this situation and offer my assistance in whatever way you find necessary."

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Tros was now stunned. He went from anger to being stunned. Or perhaps the word was bewildered. But for a quick and very brief second, Tros could only stare at Adenna from behind his buy'ce. With a moment taken to accept his own bewilderment, he refocused and responded almost immediately as he could.

 

"My purpose is far different than yours. I search here on behalf of Tros Ardell to find answers as to whom attacked him, and then to uncover a possible chance of my own to find out whom is Mand'alor."

 

The amount of truth he told her was unbelievable. But than again, Tros was also very certain that the jetii would not be able to piece together that Saberforce was Tros Ardell.

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Adenna nodded calmly at this, though her mind was working furiously. The soldier mentioned a name and, to her surprise, it was one that she was familiar with. She wasn't quite sure where from, but the name "Tros Ardell" was known to her for some reason. She delayed the exploration into her memories so that she could address the new information he gave her. When she was done, she was not convinced to alter course.

 

"You claim your purpose is different, yet you are here where I am. You hunt men who have attacked this 'Tros Ardell' of yours, and yet, there has been an attack on Jedi supporters here. Is it too much of a stretch to say that perhaps the two are linked? The Force has worked in more mysterious ways. That and I am not entirely convinced that our lives are entirely our own, left entirely to chance, and completely random. It seems that for some in this Galaxy, destiny has a strange way to make things happen to a select few that would not otherwise occur for normal individuals. I am one of those such individuals and I think that perhaps you are as well.

 

"It may not be my purpose to find out who this other person you are seeking is, but I pay off debts. If, by assisting you, I am able to complete my mission, I will help you find this Mandalor you seek. If not, then we may still be of assistance to each other and can part ways whenever our paths divide."

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For a long time, Adrian seemed more than content to let the two warriors negotiate amongst themselves, for his own purpose here still required revealing. In the shadow of an experienced Jedi Knight and at least one, probably more somewhere, Mandalorians, he knew he would amount to practical uselessness in a fight. Therefore, the quiet one remained so, careful not to do anything that might provoke hostilities like interrupting. Adrian might have leaned up against the wall had this meeting taken place on Onderon, or for that matter at any reasonably clean facility, but here the doctor decided that the various microbial populations living on the walls constituted too great an infectious risk to be worth a few moments' comfort--thereby conclusively proving there were worse places in the galaxy than his old home planet, which he had previously thought not possible.

 

He did more than simply listen to the conversation, however, not that the Mandalorian would necessarily notice it. Adenna, however, almost certainly would. It seemed only natural a doctor's first instinct when surrounded by the detritus of recent battle would entail looking for survivors, and while the doctor who presently stood behind Adenna remained stationary on account of being more or less tethered to her--this place presented too many dangers for one so untrained in martial skills as he to roam about unsupervised--he extended his search for survivors through the Force.

 

Even after expending great concentration filtering out the native fauna from his search, he could find only death outside of the two warriors that stood before him. Those that had survived the initial battle had either left or succumbed to various opportunistic infections after sustaining some form of battle-related injury. Adrian had no way of telling how many might have been in the former category--the number could be zero or a few dozen for all he could tell--but yes, he could discern casualties from the latter category.

 

It was one thing for a Mandalorian to die from injuries sustained in battle. Adrian suspected, however, that it would be quite different for a Mandalorian to survive the initial battle, and then slowly decompose to death because there was no one present to aid him. Though he had grown up on Onderon, he was not Mandalorian, and he tended not to allow his patients, Mandalorian or not, decompose while still alive, no matter how overwhelming his caseload might be.

 

The doctor had a sinking feeling that he would be performing autopsies after all, as the conversation between Adenna and the Mandalorian portended an investigation. But should Adrian reveal his knowledge as a doctor? As he didn't know the stranger, he decided that time had yet to arrive, though a flick of his head nodded to Adenna that he would cooperate.

 

For now, Adrian remained silent. If Adenna judged it prudent to introduce him to the Mandalorian, he had no doubt she would do so.

 

((I am still actively reading the thread, but I'll only post when I see a point in doing so. The last few rounds have given me severe writers' block because it's been difficult to envision doing more than just watching. Please don't wait more than about 4 days for me unless I post in the absence thread.))

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There was a hesitation by Tros as to what he should actually do with Adenna. Never before had he ever found himself in such a place to where aiding one person could pay off on his own end. In his own career as a beroya, the help of another normally meant losing your own profit. But he had never seen nor heard of a jetii betraying someone they help. With a quick glance at the younger male behind his buy'ce, Tros pondered for a single moment before responding.

 

"While I do not believe in this Force of yours, I can accept your help and offer mine up to you."

 

It was a start for him, to say the least. Tros wasn't sure if Adenna would know anything of Mand'alor or his whereabouts. But on the off chance that she could at least point him in the right direction, he would gladly jump on the opportunity.

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Adenna inclined her head briefly in acknowledgment and clipped her lightsaber to her belt. "Perhaps we should share what information we have? My Padawan and I are here on orders of the Grandmaster to discover what happened to this outpost as well as to investigate rumors of Mandalorian interference. You mentioned an offshoot group of some sorts and, judging on the bodies here, I can make a reasonable deduction that there are indeed Mandalorians here, though what their purpose is remains unknown to me. We do have a ship nearby, though I suppose you also have one since I see no signs of prolonged exposure to the native fungus on your armor. What sort of information were you seeking from this place?"

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Tros was willing to tell Adenna a few things, but he would have to protect his own vod and leave all information regarding his link of Riella out of the situation. In fact, leaving Hallas, his own buir out of it as well, as he was now fully marked by CorSec for attacking the senator on Coruscant. Carefully choosing his own words, he responded rather slowly.

 

"I have a two fold mission. Besides for seeking out Mand'alor, Tros Ardell requested that I find information upon a Mandalorians whom call themselves Kyr'tsad, or Death Watch by your terms. My own personal feed with images regarding those whom attacked him, I came here to find out where the main group operated from, and if their armor matched that of what I have."

 

Tros lifted his armored hand to reveal the body before him.

 

"In Mandalorian culture, armor is very significant to each Mando who wears it. Therefore, colors and symbols play a big part in discovering allegiances and such within my culture. And these are very much so tied into shabuir Kyr'tsad."

 

Quietly, Tros refused to acknowledge the chaab that he would indeed be locked against his own buir if he keeps following the trail, proving Riella to be right. But until such a full proof was before him, Tros would admit nothing. For now, he would remain focused on the aka at hand.

 

"Other than a confirmation, that was my only and sole purpose on the planet. Than I would do a bit of research and find where the clan came from, track them down, and kill them if needed."

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Adenna's eyes glazed over slightly as she thought on what he said. In a few seconds, they snapped back into focus as she tilted her head sideways slightly. "Armor may be significant to your culture, but it is not all powerful. Jedi tend to favor browns and tans, but only a fool would assume that a Force user in tan robes was always going to be a Jedi. Sith have been known to disguise themselves as Jedi just as Jedi have been known to wear black in the night. It is not hard to sense the disdain from you even without the Force. I have the impression that you believe yourself honorable, yet if you disdain these, why do you assume they also share your sense of honor? Are you so sure that someone did not plant this armor or that they are not trying to guide your steps toward their own purpose?

 

"Having just had a revelation about poor information myself, might I suggest that you may need more than just pieces of armor? It may be prudent to see if the survivors of this team are still on the planet or, if not, where they went. It seems to me that having a live prisoner would answer far more questions than a pile of bodies. Even if they can withstand interrogation from you, I do not believe they could resist the power of a Jedi as well. If you can find one alive, I am certain that, between the two of us, we can find whatever information they may possess."

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Tros was now fully insulted by Adenna. She quickly responded to his honor, challenging it without knowing anything of his culture. There was a very brief moment when Tros thought about just pulling his blaster and shooting her down. But that moment didn't last, as Tros knew very well that he needed her, as well as the fact remained that she needed him too. So he had to stay his own desire to make the jetii suffer for her mistake. With a bit of distain in his voice, he slowly respond to her.

 

"Unless you can perceive them through your Force, I suggest to take the hint from here and assume that all of them are now dead."

 

Tros lifted a single hand to reveal the entire ruins they were now standing in.

 

"This planet can be cruel, it takes life without thinking twice. Random animals, booby-traps, and weak integrity make this place a death trap. I will not navigate where a path has yet to be cleared."

 

Tros was absolutely certain that Adenna would not react to his strong stance with open arms. While he may have ventured deeper into the ruins under other circumstances, the fact remained that the place was dangerous. While he would not openly tell her either, part of him wanted her to oppose him and take charge into exploring the ruins. A jetii leading him further in, witht he help of her Force, would make for exploring and raiding that much simpler.

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Adenna's face remained placid, her voice even. Her memories had been stripped, but her sense of logic remained. "There may be none left here in this very outpost, but what of the survivors of this raid? What of those who sent them? I doubt that the attackers would have left any of the Jedi alive if they were victorious and if there were Jedi survivors, they would have reported in making my trip unnecessary. Since the Jedi have not reported, it is logical to assume that they have all been either killed or captured. It is possible that both sides wiped each other out, but that is unlikely. There are no abandoned ships in the area to indicate that the entire attacking force had been destroyed so it is reasonable to assume the survivors took their ship or ships and left this place either for another city or to go offplanet.

 

"We have no way to know what they did here. A clever foe could easily have doctored the scene to make it look however they wanted. For all we know, none of the Mandalorian bodies here fell in this battle. They could have been staged. They could also have been just wearing the armor in the hopes of throwing off you or the Jedi. It is only a logical assumption that Jedi would eventually send an investigator to determine what happened here, what better way to get away with this crime than to cast the blame off on some rogue group of Mandalorians? These could be Sith or even Black Sun agents. Both would have great reason to attack the Jedi and both have the resources to cover their tracks.

 

"Senator Ardell has worked with the Jedi and CoreSec in the past, it is also possible that either or both of those two targeted him as way of revenge, or as part of their early attacks against the Jedi on Gala. They may have accidentally attracted your attention by using Mandalorian armor which would lead you to assume that these are all this rogue group of Mandalorians.

 

"My point is that you do not yet know what I have theorized is not true, unless you have further evidence that you have not disclosed. Even if you do have such evidence, it could very well be that these Mandalorians were merely pawns in a much greater plot. I do not believe it is wise to discount any possibility until we have far more evidence, and one of the best ways to do that is to track the survivors here or, at the least, the ones who sent them, and interrogate them."

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Tros could not help but acknowledge that Adenna may be right. In his haste to uncover who had really attacked him in his apartment on Coruscant, he had skipped a few steps that should have been ingrained within him from his time as a beroya. Looking from behind his buy'ce, Tros focused heavily upon the jetii before responding to her statements that rang with more truth than he would prefer.

 

"Then my dear, where do you suggest we start?"

 

Tros held a few ideas, but none of which would actually be helpful, since by this point, he would have to rely upon the facts at hand. While he didn't particularly enjoy the idea, Tros could see that there is where the jetii and her Force would come in handy.

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Adenna took one look around the ruined room and considered. "Well, it is entirely possible that these men didn't come straight here and leave without going to at least one of the settlements. If they were sent by the Sith, it is possible they knew where this place was, but if not, they may have been forced to ask around among the locals. I am not an investigator, but I have spent a sizable amount of time in a hospital bed surrounded by plenty of them and managed to pick up a humble amount of their ways. It won't help much, but perhaps with your brawn and my Padawan here, we can make some quiet inquiries."

 

She motioned for Adrian to come forward. "Adrian here is a doctor, and one who seems more than casually interested in the various types of microbiology here. I propose that we go into the capital here under the guise of a doctor, his student, and a a bodyguard. He is, obviously, the doctor, and due to my age, I could easily pass as a medical student studying under him. You, of course, would be a bodyguard since the doctor here isn't so ignorant as to travel to a place such as this without at least some protection. We could make the rounds and casually ask about rumors of well armed expeditions going out into the lowlands where he could study the native flora and fauna in more detail. It is entirely likely that someone may mention seeing your Mandalorians departing or at least remember them asking questions. Once we get on their trail, we can backtrack it and find out additional information such as where they got supplies or if they paid with anything in electronic credits. I have some friends in CoreSec who can probably trace financial transactions for us and possibly link to whomever was paying those who attacked this place."

 

She shrugged and glanced back at the soldier. "Does that sound good to you, Mr. . . ." She frowned, "I don't believe I caught your name."

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Tros couldn't help but flinch. Maybe a bit too much in the open. Had Adenna been anything other than a jetii, he might not have jumped so much. Although he had thought she would at least remember the name Tros Ardell, since she worked with him on the slavery mission to Thalassia, but clearly she was suffering from some sort of amnesia and did not remember it. Now he was unsure of how much research she would have done to hear his beroya name of Saberforce and know that he was very famous throughout the Outer Rim. Carefully, he took a moment to observe the younger boy, Adrian before he responded to her.

 

"My real name is of no consequence. But the name most people know me by is Saberforce."

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Well, this was embarrassing.

 

Adenna was right: Adrian found the local microbiology interesting indeed. Too interesting. The doctor found it so interesting, in fact, that in his quest to determine just how quickly and in what manner said microbiology had interacted with the local battle casualties, he had failed to actually search for a way out of this place. Only now, with Adenna suggesting they move on and the Mandalorian agreeing to cooperate (for now) did the error become apparent to the doctor. Oops. Adrian should have known where the exits were. He had worked in the same building for some years. Only when he now found himself in an unfamiliar environment did he suddenly realize that the exits had changed. They were no longer static. Just one of the first things he had to realize as a Jedi...

 

He said nothing of this. But his interest in the local microbiology immediately waned, at least for the time being, his attention diverted towards answering Adenna and this armor-clad, self-styled "Saberforce."

 

For the first time, Adrian spoke, though only a single word at first. "Indeed." Despite the acoustical dampening properties of all the local mosses, molds, and other assorted living spongy materials, his rather deep voice still managed to fill what remained of the room rather easily. Though Adrian was perhaps the least experienced in the group, perhaps his commanding voice would help him convincingly play the part Adenna had in mind, though he wasn't an actor. Adrian was new to that part.

 

The doctor smiled. He seemed to be warming to Adenna's suggestion.

 

"There are at least three species of fungus here that I would like to investigate as having medicinal value, and it would be a shame if decomposing corpses were to somehow interfere with my research," the doctor said, already trying his hand at what Adenna had in mind. The bit about possible medicinal uses of the native flora and fauna was, at least, true. The part about decomposing corpses really wasn't that big of a deal, strictly speaking, at least from the strictly medical research point of view--though of course they should be investigated for other reasons. "So, of course it makes sense to find out about any unusual movements in the area. The information might even help me identify some of the remains, something that the local authorities might expect me as a doctor to do."

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Adenna nodded in acceptance of SaberForce's desire to remain somewhat anonymous. She didn't require knowledge of everything about him as long as she sensed no treachery from him. Everyone was entitled to their secrets, including herself.

 

Adrian spoke up and seemed in favor of her plan, and SaberForce had not argued against it. She did lift a finger in caution for her Padawan's sake, "It is probably best that we do not mention coming here. Not only will it raise suspicions, but if we are asking about this place, word could get back to whoever orchestrated this attack and it would cause a great deal of problems for a lot of us."

 

She addressed the Mandalorian and asked, "Do you have any objections? If not, I offer use of our ship as means of transport if you need it. That is, unless you have a ship of your own. I wouldn't want to leave it out here around the metal consuming fungus any longer than necessary."

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Now, much like Adrian had before, it was Tros' time to be fairly silent. With a simple nod of his head, he spoke a bit more quieter than he had before.

 

"I have a ship of my own, and I will follow you."

 

His words were not really all that needed in the situation, seeing as the two jetiise seemed to have a plan that they were going to act upon, whether or not Tros decided to follow along. In his own mind, it was far better to follow along and remain silent, than to go off on his own. His time as a beroya had taught him enough to know when he needed to step into this role.

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

((It's been long enough of a wait, I'm ending the plot aspect of Haruun Kal, and then taking my leave.))

 

Tros turned without waiting for a response and headed for his ship. He would land in the main spaceport in Pelek Baw and go to a local cantina. Tros wasn't sure if the jetiise would follow his own pattern of investigating, but it wasn't like he really cared either. He was only in the mission for the long run of his own gain, not theirs. And as his time as a beroya had taught him to only rely upon others to an extent of which it was profitable. If there was nothing to be gained from having an ally, you cut them loose. While he wasn't at the point to cut the jetiise loose yet, he was in a position to move on without them, or at least not really care about them having the lead. From his own standpoint, being a beroya made his experience in the matter far more important and critical than any of experience in which they could claim.

 

Walking through the streets towards a local cantina that was popular according to one of the dock authorities, a man of which didn't like the idea of having a Mandalorian present, but seemed to suggest that he could find his own kin their. Tros resisted every urge to correct the man over the use of the word kin, but decided against it. As an aruetii, he shouldn't expect to think the way he or his vod did. Walking into the cantina, he was immediately met with a few stares from all of who could see him. Tros didn't flinch or panic, as he was used to getting such looks wherever he went as Saberforce. Being both Mando and a beroya, it happened more often than not. Ignoring the glances he got, he walked in and sat in a booth, one that would allow for him to observe the entire room. It didn't take long after he sat down that he had someone in his face, giving him a very ori'dush stare. Tros turned his buy'ce ever so slightly towards the man and responded.

 

"Me'copaani?"

 

He smiled from behind his buy'ce, as something told him that the population here was used to seeing Mando'ade and hearing their language. The man continued in his ori'dush stare, but did respond, a sign that he did in fact know the language enough to understand what was said to him.

 

"We don't like your kind here. You cause too much trouble. Go and talk to him about where your place is."

 

The man pointed his way towards an Ithorian sitting down at a booth by himself in the corner of the cantina. Tros kept his smile as he stood up, taking notice of the strong emphasis on the words, your place. He was almost too glad to respond to the man with a single word, utreekov, and then moved his way towards the Ithorian that he pointed too. As he now stood over the Ithorian, the alien never moved, but rather took a sip of something, not even acknowledging that Tros was now standing next to him.

 

"I was told you know where my vod reside?"

 

Again, the Ithorian didn't move. It was an erie feeling, almost as if the beast deaf or something. In a natural reaction to being ignored, Tros slipped his hand down towards his blaster riffle, a motion that finally got words out of the Ithorian. While Tros couldn't fully understand what he was saying, as the Ithorian choose to speak in his own language, his buy'ce translated what the beast was saying. He spoke of an underground cantina not far from their present location, and that he suspected that death would come to anyone, Mandalorian or anything else. Almost as soon as he finished, he took another sip, choosing to continue to ignore and not look directly at Tros. It didn't bother him, as he was satisfied with at least getting an answer to his question. Turning away from the Ithorian, Tros walked out of the cantina and headed for the location that was told to him. Walking the very short distance, Tros found exactly what the Ithorian described, which was a small hub around a door without a building behind it. This brought an amusement smile to the beroya, as he was told by his original contact that his vod had gone to underground on Haruun Kal to avoid being spotted. He just didn't didn't think that it meant that they were actually underground. Opening the door, the Mando was greeted with the sight of steps that went down a floor or so to another door. It seemed odd to him that any of those who feared the Mando'ade would actually allow for them to reside underneath them.

 

Walking down the steps, he opened the door and saw a room filled with all sorts of alcohol, crates, and cots in the open eye sight. There was a small table before him, but no one occupied it. In fact, there seemed to be no one living within the room, as there were no other doors in or out. But then he spotted a blanket lift and fall on a cot, a sign of someone sleeping. With a raised eyebrow, Tros walked over to see that the cot did have someone sleeping in it, and it was the lone living and breathing person within the room. Taking only a single second to stare, Tros kicked the cot, flipping it, along with the occupant of the now waking Mando. Mid air, the Mando gave a shout.

 

"Tion'cuy?"

 

"That's no concern of yours."

 

Tros didn't wait for his vod to catch his breath, as he jumped on top of him, pinning him to the ground as he had his blaster riffle pulled and aimed right at his head.

 

"You need to tell me some things. Mando'ade are dead within the jetiise ruins. Why!"

 

Tros could see from behind his buy'ce the panic of the Mando. Being caught off guard sleeping was worthy enough to get killed for, seeing as it was apart of the Resol'nare. The fact that Tros hadn't blasted his head off was for a couple of reasons, the major one being that he still needed answers.

 

"We fought each other."

 

"WHY!"

 

"I don't know. Something came over us, almost like one of the jetiise mind control things. Although it was far stronger, letting us know that it had control over us."

 

Tros stopped for a second as he contemplated what exactly the vod was saying.

 

"So you're telling me that a jetii made you kill each other off?"

 

"No! There was no one present with us. It was just a sudden urge to draw weapons and fight, but the urge was not our own."

 

Tros began to stare daggers at the vod, although he could not see his eyes due to his buy'ce hiding his face. The answers given were not one that he wanted to hear, nor did it ring very loud as a good answer. In fact, his answer was so far fetched, that it took every ounce of will power by Tros not to call him a utreekov. Carefully letting his anger die out, he reset the conversation.

 

"Who are you and why are you here?"

 

"My clan is Ordov, we served clan Ardell before they turned to the Kyr'tsad ways and became dar'manda. We fled to Haruun Kal to get away, and then this happened to us. I am the lone survivor of my clan."

 

Tros was now on the verge of losing his cool completely. First his own vod Riella spoke ill will towards their father claiming him to now be with the Kyr'tsad, and now this Mando declared the same thing. As much as logic dictated that it could be the truth, his own personal anger as the claims was much stronger than the truth. Pushing his blaster directly into his face, Tros spoke with a very clear and evident anger within his voice.

 

"You're claims here today are worthy enough to die for Mando. Maybe next time you should have followed the Resol'nare closer and been self prepared during your sleep for an intruder."

 

At his last word, Tros pulled his trigger, blasting a hole into the man's face. Standing up, still overwhelmed with his own anger, Tros took a full two laps around the room as he tried to come to terms with what was just spoken. If everything said was true, than it meant that there could be a jetii with terrible power to control anyone with their Force. It also meant that his father, his own buir was apart of the Kyr'tsad. If all was true, than it meant that his own mission of finding Mand'alor was far more crucial now than it ever was before. Stopping his pacing, he took out a timer and placed it within a frag grenade near some of the alcohol and crates. Tros then left the underground room and went back to the spaceport and his ship, Orar, and then he was off planet. Almost a full two minutes after he took off, the frag grenade went off, causing massive damage in Pelek Baw, as the explosion left a nice size crater.

 

((You two can post around this if you need to, or come to find out the same information however you wish.))

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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  • 7 years later...

It had been a relatively short time since she'd left Mon Cal, but she'd done so much since then. After Rose's death, and her narrow escape, not to mention what she'd seen of the Jedi while she was there, she'd been sent spiraling, nearly rejecting the Jedi outright. But she owed her father more than that. The order he loved and served for so long, there had to be more to it. Maybe the Jedi were a shadow of what they were now, or maybe the ones she'd met were just bad examples of what a Jedi was.

 

As it were, she'd spent the last few weeks going from planet to planet, almost aimlessly as she saw more of the galaxy than she'd ever seen before. She remembered how excited she'd been on Ord Mantell. The luster of it are, the energy, the new experiences. Somehow that had been taken from her, and she was desperate to reclaim those feelings. That drive had brought her here, to Haruun Kal. She'd heard whispers of a ruined Jedi enclave here, and had spent most of what was left on a round trip back to Sullust, where she'd found herself previously.

 

If the living Jedi couldn't show her what she'd been looking for, she'd ask the dead instead. Sifting through rubble and ruin to find answers appealed to her more than training soldiers anyways. Maybe she could finds answers. It was no secret that the Sith were evil, or that the empire was waging war against the Jedi, but evil was a point of view and the Jedi were likewise waging war against the Sith. The dead and the past would tell her the truth. Her true purpose was to find archives untouched for years, read what she could. It would be free of propaganda, from either side of the war she hoped.

 

She cleared the treeline, to her surprise, and faced a large building. A temple. Not as large as the one on Felucia, and certainly not as large as the one she'd seen in holos of Coruscant before its ruining, but it was clearly Jedi. The architecture and the feeling about it were there, like Felucia, and like it had been on Nar Shaddaa, though it had been much fainter there. She took a breath, and stepped forward. This place would hold answers. She could feel it.

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It had been a few weeks since Kari had arrived at Haruun Kal, the Togruta Je'daii having long set up her encampment inside the Conclave's Courtyard, near its outer entrance. This was where it all began, where her training started, where the point of this life had taken its singular path that led to her standing upon its soil once more. Kari stood in its halls, her bare feet cold against the dusty durasteel halls. So much had changed in her life over the last decade, yet this place abandoned and left empty had only remained as it was, preserved by the nature that had reclaimed it in it's own.

 

Her purpose for coming here was of a different nature, wounds left by her previously unnatural existence. Yet, if there was one here, she was blind to it. For all that remained of her here was mere memories of her days as an Adept to the Jedi Order, a hopeful with no Master until the day that Lusef Aryan came into these halls and plucked her from it. Running her hand against a stuck door, she placed her forehead upon it, gazing down at the crowbar still laying where she sat that day. It seemed a lifetime ago.

 

Just as she smiled, a clutter of noises ran out as Ghost rounded the corner, bumping into some old container bins and knocking them over. Her aura went on alert in the moment, but she shook her head at the T3's clumsiness. So much the two shared, over two lifetimes, maybe three now as she glared down at her original form and the orange skin she remembered so well. Tori's treachery may have been in good intentions, but she was thankful to be back in her own form, feeling whole again, complete even.

 

Grabbing her cloak, she adorned it and began her trek back outside the ruined Conclave. As she exited, she gazed up at the setting sun, wondering if she would find Gala exactly the same, the wounds in the Force that Tori created closed now that Kari was whole again. She could only hope. Signaling Ghost to follow, she made her way to her tent and began starting a small fire using kindling she had gathered. But as she started the fire and began preparing the meat, something felt aloft in the distance. She felt a presence approaching, one of kinship and confusion. Reaching out into the Force, Kari cautiously brushed @Nia Doarr's mind.

 

"Welcome"

"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." - C.G. Jung

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She stiffened, the intrusion into her mind largely unwelcomed. She glanced around, looking for the source of the voice. She clearly wasn't as alone as she'd thought. Someone was close, and they had command of the Force. She hesitated. Perhaps it was a ghost. She'd heard stories of Jedi and Sith leaving behind wise and powerful spirits, but she still questioned the validity of those claims. She pushed on. With no way to respond to the presence, it was the best she could do. Until she saw the smoke. Not from the temple, though it had clearly taken a beating itself, but from nearby. Perhaps this was the person who had spoken to her?

 

She approached. It was a small camp. She'd left her robes near where she'd arrived on the planet. She was alone, and in a galaxy that was very hostile to the Jedi. Her father's lightsaber had been left, too, though it had pained her to do so. There was a lone figure, tending a fire. Nia hesitated- she could see the lightsabers, and the woman certainly wasn't dressed like a Jedi. But why would a Sith be here? And she felt like a Jedi. Nia couldn't explain how, but there was almost an aura about the woman, similar to those of the other Jedi she had met, such as Mjan and Kel Koon.

 

The best way to find out, she decided, was to ask.

 

"Excuse me ma'am. Are you... a Jedi?"

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"No, child." Kari responded, her voice soft as a subtle chuckle erupted from her lips. Slicing the meat near the bottom, she turned and placed it over the fire, the fire briefly picking up as the meat dripped over it. She smiled and turned toward the newcomer, a being of an aquatic species she had seen before, but never knew the name of. "Come, sit. Are you hungry?"

 

Kari motioned to a small makeshift table with beaten cushions surrounding it just on the other side of the fire pit near the entrance of the tent before plopping down across a few as she laid across them. "Forgive my intrusion earlier." Kari spoke apologetically, the Togruta's eyes meeting that of the young Nautolan with kindness. "I felt your presence upon the Force, and I grew curious as to why you have come so far into the Wilds."

 

Kari watched attentively, curious as to what the girl would say and how she would respond. She had already felt her timidness, her caution. So Kari remained distant, letting the girl come to her. Hearing the sizzling of the meat, and smelling the aroma of the spices upon it, Kari reached out with the Force and plucked the two steaks from across the fire, pulling them toward the two and letting them settle upon the plates. Then Kari reached behind her and grabbed her flask and two cups, pouring each of them a small bit of water into each.

 

"Perhaps you seek the Jedi?" Kari proclaimed about as much as she questioned, her cuspids tearing a small bite of meat from the bone and began to chew. Swallowing, she finished. "Or perhaps something else?"

"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." - C.G. Jung

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nia was hesitant to accept the strange woman's offer. If she wasn't a Jedi, then who was she? The lightsabers implied force-sensitivity, though she claimed she wasn't a Jedi. She didn't seem like a Sith though. Maybe an Imperial Knight? Though what would she be doing here, in the ruins of a Jedi temple? Perhaps the same as Nia was. She kept her distance. If this had been earlier, before Mon Cal and her encounters with the Rebel forces, she might've accepted. But she was different now. Wary. Mistrusting.

 

When the Togruta spoke, she confirmed Nia's first thought. That she was a force sensitive. This only brought more questions, however. How had she 'felt' Nia? Reached out through her mind? Were these skills she herself could learn? But she had little time to ponder, as the woman finished cooking her meal. It was clear that Nia was intended to sit, so she did so carefully, still keeping her distance.

 

The question put her on guard, concerned.

 

"I seek answers to a question, though I may not like what I find. But now, if I may ask... What brings you here? If you are not with the Jedi, then who?"

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Kari chuckled softly with a smile at the girl's questions, feeling her reluctance to trust. Whatever she had gone through, it made her very wary of others. "It is hard to explain what I am." Kari spoke, stopping mid chew to remember her days here at Haruun Kal. "I was once an Adept here at the Temple, though that was many years ago."

 

Kari remained in silence as she finished her meal, her gaze not wavery from the temple as she finished, as if she was lost in deep thoughtful memories here within. As she finished the meat, she poured a glass of water and washed what remained down before her gaze shifted back to Nia. "I was a Jedi once, twice even." Kari spoke with a chuckle. "But now I am neither Jedi nor Sith, both philosophies trivial and incorrect to me. I walk alone, letting the Force be my guide, finding its balance within myself."

 

Pouring water into the second glass, Kari offered it to Nia. "And what of you, young one? What drives you to visit abandoned Temples?"

"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." - C.G. Jung

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  • 1 month later...

So the other woman was once a Jedi, and from the sounds of it, had reached the same conclusion as Nia was closing on. She relaxed, finally accepting the woman's offers of nourishment, though she kept her distance. She glanced at the temple. This was her goal. Inside, she could find records. Stories. Maybe even firsthand accounts of the galaxy that explain what happened to the Jedi, why they aren't like the stories she'd heard as a child.

 

The woman's repeated question snapped her out of her thoughts though, and she frowned, repeating herself as the woman had.

 

"I seek answers. Knowledge that I hope is in what remains of this temple's archives. You say you were trained here- perhaps you can show me the way to the temple's library?"

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Kari's brow furrowed briefly as the girl spoke, the Togruta's mind falling upon caution. "And what knowledge do you seek in old ruins that you cannot find in populated Temples?" Kari could sense the girl's troubles, but digging around in old Temples such as this one usually bore darker intents.

 

As she poured herself another glass of water, offering to do the same for Nia, she found herself curious. The girl did not seem nefarious or malicious, but why would someone attuned to the Force be creeping around old temples when access was so much easier to be granted at Felucia. Perhaps something happened to the girl? Or someone was forcing her to find something unknown? Kari didn't want to jump to conclusions just yet.

 

"I'll make you a deal little one." Kari spoke after she took a sip and set her cup aside. "Tell me what it is you are searching for, and I will gladly aid you. I know this old Temple like I know the ground beneath my feet, and I can likely point you clearly to what you seek."

"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." - C.G. Jung

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Nia hesitated, but revealing what she was searching for couldn't hurt too much, could it? She took a sip, contemplating. The reason she'd come here was to learn without outside input. Having a guide would help her achieve her goal, but it could also compromise it. Unfortunately, it was a risk she would have to take. She didn't know this temple, didn't know where the archives were, or if she could even access them alone. Whoever this woman was, she would have to trust her.

 

"Alright. I suppose I don't have much of a choice. I seek the history of the Jedi and Sith conflict. I seek it here instead of another temple because I wish to read of it outside of the eyes of the Jedi. I've witnessed the Jedi make decisions and commit acts that have shaken my faith."

 

She watched the woman, on guard. She'd revealed an inkling of her own allegiance, and had yet to discern how the Togrutan woman would handle that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Kari couldn't help but burst into a chuckling fit as the girl revealed her intent, patting her leg and nearly knocking over her cup from the notion. This girl had came to a Jedi Temple in search of the eternal Jedi and Sith conflict? Believing that the Jedi would even house such knowledge in such a place. Gaining her composure, Kari sat back upright, her legs still crossed, as she wiped tears from her eyes.

 

"Forgive me little one. I do not laugh at you..." Kari spoke, a hint of laughter in her voice before she cleared her throat and continued. "But do you really believe the Jedi would house such knowledge here? That the Sith would house such knowledge at their ancient Academies? Both fear the knowledge of each other to ever house such things, let alone keep it historically accurate."

 

"But I feel your pain. It was a lesson that I too had to learn on my own, and is one I am still learning. After all, though I was a Jedi Padawan once upon a time, the man I thought to be my Master was a Sith that managed to infiltrate the Jedi Order and used me to nearly destroy the Temple at Gala."

 

When Kari spoke the second time, her tone was regretful, almost sad, and held a sorrowful seriousness in it. Even by reading her body movements and gazing at her eyes, once could clearly see it. And though it was a pain she had nearly rid herself of, the occasional thought still brought up the painful scars it left upon her soul, especially where it concerned Lusef and his training. She was just thankful that she had finally laid to rest the part that drove her family apart.

 

"As for the Jedi, there are many incarnations. Some are true to the name and title, others who stray for the sake of their own crusade, and a few who walk finely upon the edge of the light, tempting themselves with the darkness they choose to fight. It has been this way for millennia, and will likely be that way for millennia to come." Kari shifted her gaze toward Nia inquisitively. "What happened to shake your faith, if you don't mind me asking?"

"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." - C.G. Jung

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