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Raven Nasra

Nar Shaddaa - Rebel Alliance Headquarters

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The Duros’ eyebrows could not help but raise in curiosity, his green-skinned forehead wrinkling. The woman’s words seemed to hint at something. He knew enough of the schism to realize that old feelings still festered and calmly shook his head, allowing the warrior to leave without response.

 

Turning his attention back to Adenna, The Sarlacc inclined his head as he listened, scooping up a serving of an interesting seemingly bean-based dish onto his plate. 
 

“The Jensaarai and the Jedi. Once we stood at odds, but that was long ago. The force and time are the greatest of healers.” he offered in response to the odd exchange, or lack thereof. “But on to business at hand,” he continued, stirring the food on his plate. “We are a much smaller order than even the Jedi or the Knights of the Remnant. In truth, we would like nothing more than to be left to our own to live peacefully amongst our homes. But, like you said, the situation is dire and honor demands that we stand and lend aid. Defender Mantis here was saved by one of your healers after the fracas on Coruscant. It is with the Saarai-Kaar’s blessing that he has come to ensure that the work of your healers is uninterrupted on the front lines of war where their powers are needed most. I could sing of his praises as a warrior and his abilities to move about unnoticed if that would put your healers at ease; but trust me when I say he is a wraith to only be seen when the situation demands.”

 

”I and Apprentice Svata, on the other hand, have come to serve as a liaison at the bidding of our master. The Sith are a force that can only be stopped by combining all of our skills and abilities. We have some ships and men, but we do not bring with us a standing army; instead we bring with us the skills that have kept us alive since your predecessors and ours. Skills in standing against wayward force wielders and moving about unseen amongst enemy and friend.” 
 

Pausing, the Duros raised a forkful of food to his mouth, pausing to allow Adenna time to respond. 


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Adenna ate politely while the ambassador spoke. She wasn't completely hungry, but there were several tasty offerings here and it would be rude not to partake. There were many in the Galaxy who did not have the luxury of a table full of appetizing food, so it would be a disservice to them to waste what was prepared.

 

"One drop raises the largest of oceans," she responded warmly. "We, right now, are in need of soldiers willing to make a stand. It doesn't matter how many or how few: all who are willing to fight are more than welcome."

 

She took a sip of some wine and replaced the goblet on the table. With a slightly more serious tone, she continued "The Jedi stand for the Light and will always do so. There is a constant struggle against the Darkness that every one who takes up the blade or blaster must wrestle with. I am aware of the toll that this war will take on the Jedi and I embrace it so that others do not have to. Our brethren in the Imperial Knights take this duty quite seriously as well, though admittedly they prefer rather harsh responses to any taint of darkness. I understand that the Jensaarai have had struggles with the Jedi in the past and have trod closer than some Jedi would like to the Darkness, but it is the opinion of past Jedi scholars that your Order is not corrupted as the Sith or Nightsisters of Dathomir are."

 

Adenna's blue eyes stared straight into the Sarlacc's large red eyes and all semblance of casual friendship left her face, replaced with the rigidly hard intensity that could only be commanded by one forced to lead and make difficult decisions. "I do not intend offense, but I would be utterly remiss of my duties as leader and guardian of the Jedi Order if I did not make sure one that I wish to welcome into our ranks would not become a poison to taint and destroy what we believe in."

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The scrape of a chair broke the moment of silence that proceeded the Grandmaster’s shift and query. With a quick wave of his free hand, The Sarlacc stopped the now standing Mantis where he stood; having stood to take offense to such an accusation.

 

Setting his fork down on his plate, the Duro warrior’s unblinking gaze met that of the Grandmaster and a soft chuckle rolled from lipless mouth, “A fitting question in times of war I suppose. Especially of one whose peoples have crossed blades before. If you will recall the histories however,” he continued leaning back in his seat and hooking a gangly arm around the corner of the back in clear signs of non-aggression. “it was yours who sought out our people with the intent of destroying them. Not the other way around. Jensaarai do not fear the darkness; nor do we embrace it and cultivate it’s destructive fruit in some fool’s rush for power. To do so is to only give into weakness. Isn’t that what the dark side preys upon, weakness? We seek the truth Grandmaster. Though formed in the darkness, we have risen with the light of daybreak. We have come at the direction of our master and intend no harm to any who seek the path to true peace.”

 

Slowly, Defender Mantis lowered himself back into his seat, turning his attention back to the food before him and ignoring any would be wayward glances from those who were less than comfortable with his ancient Sith-inspired garb.

 

Picking up his fork again, The Sarlacc continued, “Tell me, Grandmaster, what is it that the Jedi seek?”


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Svata watched his master leave, then turned to back to the ship. Absentmindedly humming a tune as he played a counter-melody on his nose, he ran a security check through the ships systems.

 

No unauthorized access, no twitchy systems, and even the landing struts were registering the expected weight plus Svata. Smiling, he rubbed another of his charms as he pondered the Sarlaac's silent admonition.

 

This new master is going to take a bit to get used to, he thought, moving the charm through his fingers in a deft bit of sleight of hand. New family, new rules I guess. Still, seems like a solid man. The Saarai-Kaar trusted him with this mission, and Meska would have stretched my tail if I didn't learn from him.

We are just a few steps apart on the trail...I like that.

Still, wonder how he got that name? Reaaaallly hope the Force doesn't see fit to name me Shaak or something like that.

Heh, maybe Bantha. I'm certainly hairy enough.

 

Svata sauntered up to one of the landing platform guards, who eyed him as he approached but kept discipline by holding a respectable, neutral military stance.

"Excuse me," Svata said, dropping his previous formal tone and lapsing into his more natural, breezy voice. "But I don't suppose I could get a tour?"

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Adenna eyed the reaction to her challenge with consideration and not the least bit of intimidation. There were no shock troopers or Jedi Knights waiting in the wings to rush in and destroy these newcomers: she was here on her own and yet she had no fear. Though she could sense very little within the Force from these two, she did not pick them as assassins or even as threats. Instead, she was more intrigued as to these newcomers and whatever potential they could offer. She understood how direct her question was, but these were warriors, not diplomats and she wouldn't dishonor them by pretending they were anything but.

 

"The Jedi stand in the Light and defend those innocent who can't defend themselves," she answered. "In times of peace, we heal and mediate disputes. But in times of war, we must stand up and use our strength and convictions to fight evil and Darkness wherever it appears. The Jedi seek balance within themselves, an opposition to the Darkness that is always waiting. To do that, we must sometimes make sacrifices of ourselves so others do not."

 

She took another deliberate bite into her food. As she did, she allowed her own natural mental shields in the Force to fade so that the two, should they wish it, could get a sense of her. "In the past, we hunted the Darkness wherever it could be found, both within and without. We did so knowing that should it be left to fester, it would grow into a larger threat. The Jedi found many threats and ended them before they consumed worlds and the Galaxy is better for it. For some, that meant educating and correcting, but for others, that meant fire and death.

 

"I accept responsibility but make no apology for the actions against the Jensaarai by those who came before me. Who am I to say what those involved on both sides saw? If there was a Darkness in your forefathers, then the Jedi were right to act. Had the they not acted, the Force only knows what the Jensaarai would have become. Would they have been another Palpatine, Ar-Pharazon, or Exodus? Would they have become like the Nightsisters, a threat as dangerous the Sith we face, or something far worse? We do not know, but through the intervention of those past Jedi, as painful as it was, the Force was able to guide the Jensaarai along a new path, one that led away from the Darkness. You are not alone suffering this harsh fate: the Jedi, too, have suffered from this purging as we have fought our own who have fallen and the failure to do so resulted in much suffering."

 

She looked pointedly at both of the beings before her. She might have been born Adenna Alluyen, a slave of Thalassia, but now she wore the mantle of the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order and all the privilege and baggage that came with it. She would not shirk from the past, nor would she apologize for fighting any who were of the Dark. If the Jensaarai were to work with the Jedi, then they would have to be able to come to terms with the past. If the Jedi were to work with the Jensaarai, they would also have to accept what they had done.

 

"The Jedi have not always been successful in their purpose, as the presence of the Sith can attest. Regrettably, we have had to take actions that are harsh, that are made in haste, or without complete knowledge. The Force guides us, but we do not always interpret it correctly. We have stumbled and we have erred, yet the best of us constantly strive to be better and walk in the Light. I cannot say if another method would have served the Jensaarai better, but the Force controls all and we must bow to its wishes. Some of us are destined to be born through fire, others through luxury. The Jedi have experienced both and have suffered for it and so also have the Jensaarai."


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The two Jensaarai traded silent glances with one another. The Mantis tucked into his food and The Sarlacc carefully chewed, allowing the silence between them to settle for a minute before pressing onwards. 
 

“One cannot change the past. It is why we can derive so much knowledge from the past, so long as it is kept true. What is important is that we move forward from where we stand in the moment. Though there may be some of our order who view your Jedi with suspicion yet, just as I am aware some of your followers will be less than thrilled with our existence; our order, like yours, is committed to the cause of the light: peace.

I apologize that we cannot bring any trinket to formally memorialize this event. The Jensaarai are a simple people. Perhaps, in time, we can exchange teachings of our respected ways and unique abilities granted us by the force; but for now,” he paused, drumming his fingers on the table as he pondered for a moment, “I suppose we can hope that this will do.”  Reaching to his hip, The Sarlacc drew his lightsaber hilt and extended it across the table towards Adenna, the emitter facing the length of the table. “I hope that this can symbolize our level of commitment to the cause.”

 

The Sarlacc had constructed his purple-bladed weapons many years before and he knew the importance of such a weapon to the Jedi. He hoped that the weightiness of the object would impart the seriousness of their endeavor.


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Adenna nodded in acknowledgment of the offer, but gently pressed the weapon back into its creator's hands. "I respect your offer, but why would I wish to disarm an ally when in the middle of war? The trinkets you mentioned are of little value to the Jedi: physical possessions can be distractions and actions are more powerful than words. Your mere presence here and the risk you took is symbol enough, and if you wish to take action and fight, then we will have opportunity soon enough to accomplish that. If the Jedi and Jensaarai are to trust each other, bonds forged in combat are the quickest way."

 

She took another sip of wine and sat back in her chair. "The Jedi are preparing a two pronged attack. One group led by me will begin raiding the enemy behind their lines, taking weapons and supplies meant for their armies of evil and bringing them to our own forces. The other group will be linking up with an interdictor and raiding enemy shipping with a similar purpose. We are in need of weapons, money, and supplies and there is no better way to acquire them than by taking them from our enemy. If you wish to accomplish us, you are most welcome. If you have other areas you feel your skills would be better suited, then speak them and I will see what I can do to support you in those endeavors."


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Taking his weapon back to his beltline, The Sarlacc responded cheerfully, “One of the differences between our two peoples is that the Jensaarai, in an effort to move about unseen and undetected, utilize a variety of weapons beyond the traditional lightsaber.”
 

Scraping the last of the food that was on his plate together onto his fork and eating it, the Jensaarai listened, nodding.

 

“Perhaps,” he chuckled, “We may be of assistance yet. It would be sad to tarnish the Jedi name with claims of piracy. We have ships as well. Allow Apprentice Svata and I to harry enemy shipping. No sense drawing more ire if rogue and rapscallions can be blamed. Defender Mantis, however, if you will allow it, was insistent on his quest, even to the Saarai-Kaar. He feels that he owes a life bond to the healer of the Jedi that saved his life.” 


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As the booming voice of the Grandmaster echoed through the complex, he was warned by the voice of the woman he was madly in love with. He had followed the crowd gathering into a bigger and bigger crowd until they amassed into a giant crowd. There at the head of the congregation of troops stood the two women most important to him. Adenna and Sandy. 

 

His body flinched in pain in reaction to the memory of his last encounter with Sandy. In another part of his mind he wondered what happened on the mission he had to bail out of. Across his body the Force Brands that had been burned into his flesh briefly flared along with the memory. A quick trace through his datapad showed that his ship was docked nearby- now he was curious about the particulars- of the missions end results. Had she found the EV? Where was it? In a dark corner of his mind that he was trying to shine light onto he hoped it was at the middle of a singularity inside a black hole. 

 

Thats foolish. Thought to himself. He knew he should banish those... unproductive thoughts.

 

Wary of his social status, he avoided the general push to greet Sandy. He was a black sheep, and so he wouldn’t make the situation worse than what it already was. His fingernails dug into the smooth skin on his chin, he regretted ever shaving because now he didnt have a beard to twirl, he decided to make the Scratching his chin, he regretted shaving his beard, he melted back through the crowd; contemplating what to do next. 

 

Limping his way from the gathering, he wandered through the compound. Waiting for his summons- or orders to report somewhere. This was an odd switch of how he used to be- brazenly walking into rooms and meetings, speaking his mind. His actions were always misunderstood so now he wouldn’t take any action for the time being, just meander through the compound. Looking over certain shops and departments. It wasn’t his place to oversee everything here, but a lot of what was occurring now was possible because of the actions he had taken years ago. There was a sort of pride he felt with how he had laid the groundwork for the Jedi to be supplied in such a fashion. Jedi were not supposed to take pride in their action for fear of the slippery slope that was the dark side. The moment was brief, but left Vos day dreaming about what could have been- but that was pushed aside as well. Such thoughts were nothing more than distractions. Why keep bringing the thought up and reopening those wounds?  

 

Looking down at his hands through his semi-blinded eyes, he sighed as he examined his brands. Then continued to walk around the grounds. As he walked around the corner he saw a doorway- and a flood of memories came back to him. Again, his muscles stiffened, and he walked towards the doorway. 

 

His mind raced, waking in this fog- he remembered this doorway, it was his access to the Hutt he was enslaved to. As his cane clacked against the paved lane- he knew they were just memories and the scars were long gone but the leather whip against his flesh sent a cold spark of pain through his body. 

 

In the back of his mind he knew that he was over analyzing everything and letting things resonate with his new body, well a different body than the one he had originally been born in… through the Force he tried to pull himself away from it all- and back to reality. When he finally did; he was a little shocked that he saw the dining hall through the door frame. There were several people there. And Kel, and… Adenna. He froze, not realizing how he got there in the first place. In hindsight it was obvious: he had walked there in a daze of long ago memories. Coupled with that and the Force… He rested the cane against his leg and tightened his hair atop his head, then tightened the cloth around his eyes. At the moment he was seeing through the Force anyways so what did that matter? With his left arm in a sling, he gripped the top of his cane with his right hand and stepped forward. 

 

There he was- in Jedi Master Robes- cleaned and without any blaster holes or other tears in the garment, hair that was tinted with grey, no facial hair, but there were the brands across his exposed skin. 

 

Calmly and confidently, Vos stepped into the meeting area- the swirls within the Force emanating from the others in the room that he could feel were quite… organic. The blues and green hues bounced off or maneuvered around the purples and yellows. Time to focus on the physical realm...

 

The cane subtly announced his presence as he walked towards the table. One of the guests clipped their saber to their belt, judging by the sound of metal on metal, and they continued to speak. Inwardly, he sighed as he heard the subject of piracy. Time to be bombastic, he thought. 

 

Tobias bowed and greeted Adenna, “Grandmaster.”

 

Turning his head in the direction of the guests she was hosting “Good day, Gentlebeings, I am Master Tobias Vos.” He said and bowed as a greeting, and took a seat with a slight sigh as he stretched out his left leg. Since he was close enough to overhear their conversation, he chose not to provide any input on the topic. He hoped he was doing the right thing here... something told him to be here, who was he to resist?

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Adenna grinned slightly at the word "piracy" being used. She had fought against plenty of pirates and didn't consider any of what she planned the Jedi on doing to be piracy, but she understood his concern. "We will focus only on Sith aligned ships or those doing business with the Sith Empire, but I can see your con...."

 

Her voice trailed off as she saw the man entering the hall. It took a long moment to even recognize him, either through the Force or with her physical eyes. Tobias had changed in the year since she had last seen him. He had changed quite a bit, and she was sure it would take a good deal of time to fully quantify just how much he had changed. On impulse, she brought back the normal mental barriers that had been lowered so that she was back to her normal, guarded self as she stared at him while he shuffled towards them.

 

She had received a report that the exiled Jedi had returned to Nar Shaddaa, but she had deliberately not brought their paths together. Instead, she wanted to wait and see what he would do, to see how he would address the situation he now found himself in. Part of her was gladdened to see him here, but another was horrified that he had chosen this time to return to her.

 

It took her a moment to collect her thoughts, during which Tobias managed to get close to them and introduce himself. She paused, then decided to roll with what had come. "Master Vos, this is Defender Sarlaac and Defender Mantis of the Jensaarai. They have come to ally with the Jedi and the Rebels so that we can fight our mutual enemy, the Sith."


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“Oh of course.” The Jensaarai quickly agreed. “The Sith and those who supply them are the only ones who need relieved Anything else caught in our snare that does not constitute a threat will be quickly released.” The Duros turned to offer a nod of greeting to the newly arrived Jedi before turning back to Adenna. “Am I right to assume that a time and place for such an endeavor has already been designated? No sense just parking and waiting I suppose.”  The Jensaarai tried to choose his words carefully, unsure what all the new arrival had heard or was privy to. 


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Kel watched on in silence as the grand master and the Jensaarai discussed the histories of each of their groups. For a moment it seemed like hostilities would ensue when defender mantis aggressively rose from his seat in response to one of Adenna's remarks, but defender sarlacc prevented any escalation. Soon after, Kel was beginning to feel out of place when he heard a ping from his comm. The Jensaarai apprentice had requested a tour. seeing this as a perfect opportunity, Kel excused himself from the gathering to acquaint himself with the new comer.

 

When Kel arrived at the hangar he recieved a salute from the platform guards that Svata had spoken to. "As you were good sirs. I can handle things from here." and so the guards had returned to their posts leaving Kel and Svata to their own devices. "So, shall we be going then?"


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There was a slight wince as Sandy mentioned an apprentice, but Aidan steeled himself. It was likely coming sooner or later, whether he liked it or not. It was simply the way of things.

"Honestly, I don't know if I'm ready for one, but I'm allowed to select my own before one is eventually assigned to me. I'm really not sure I'm ready for it, either. But hey, they made you a master, and you helped train both myself and Kel, so...maybe it won't be that bad, I guess. Speaking of, do you feel...different at all? I always kind of just expected to feel, I don't know...more powerful when I was made a full Knight. Instead I just feel like the same old Aidan. Frankly, it's a little scary, it feels like more responsibility without the internal reassurance to tell me I can handle it."

He decided to gloss over his dreams, as it was something he could handle later. He'd earlier found an interesting meditation on his father's holocron, and was already planning on trying it to help rid his dreams of nightmares and calm his inner mind. He wasn't perfect and he knew it, it was one of the reasons he was able to overcome the Sith poisons on the Eternal Vigilance: by embracing the truth that he was flawed and would need to start his true path from that perspective.

 

And then a message came in from Master Kyrie, with attached official documents marking him as the Imperial Knight's official ambassador to the Jedi. Maybe it was something to do with his heritage, but it was yet another responsibility on his plate that he would have to grin and bear with. He didn't think he was the most diplomatic person, but then again, he'd never really tried either. A slight pang of sadness rushed through him as he also realized that he wasn't able to see his Master for a bit longer, but this was the life they led. 

He brought his focus back to the present, addressing Sandy once more. "Apparently, I'm also now the Imperial Knight's ambassador to the Jedi. Why they didn't make one of the masters the ambassador, I can't fathom. Probably has something to do with my name. Gods, I might need to just up and change it...how does Arbuckle Finklehorn sound?" It was a bad joke, but he still allowed himself a dry chuckle.

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Sandy left the questions about if the Imperials drafted their apprentices from the ranks, and chalked it off to they probably did the exact same thing the Jedi Order did. Jedu more….militarily. They probably had a full force of testers for new immigrants to feed their ranks and Sandy pondered if the Jedi could use such an apparatus. And decided to ask Adenna the next time she saw her. Her emerald eyes looked up into Aidan’s equally green eyes and she smiled in response to his question. 

 

“I feel absolutely no different than when I was an apprentice. I have a basic idea of how I can get through situations, but i’ll be damned if I don’t just wing it every time. But perhaps I have just gotten better at winging it? There is a lot of pressure sure, but I guess its kind of a pressure that has built up over time for me.” She looked off over his shoulder, as she thought over the deeper implications of his counter questions. “I don’t feel as scared now I guess. When I was fighting Relmis I was calmed and focused.” She touched her stomach where the flesh was still taking ages to mend, she winced a bit and looked back down at her own datapad as Aidan checked his. 

 

She looked up when he did. Guessing that this might be the best time to ask him the question she had been considering since she had gotten her orders. 

 

“Well my Lord Moff and High Imperial Ambassador Finklehorn, may I say you are most welcome to join me on Scarif if you so desire.” She flipped him her own datapad. "I was there a couple years back and even if the mission is hard, it could be a nice place to relax." She laughed and took another sip of the rapidly cooling caf. “But really Aidan, change it or not, you have done your family name more than proud. Your mom scares the shit out of me, and I can’t imagine what your Dad was like. But I know you have more than made them proud. Sorry the name gets you all these side adventures though.” 


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Nodding in acknowledgment to the guests, the Jedi Master remained silent. But he did deduce that they were still planning some sort of hit and fade attack. Despite his eyes covered by the cloth, Tobias still looked at his Grandmaster, then back to the visitors. He did have input, but he remained silent. His mouth and opinions were the source of him getting into trouble- and he was not about to voice his outside-the-box thinking. If the Grandmaster wanted to hear his thoughts, he would give them. Until that time came to be, he would remain silent. 
 

Deep down, he wished the Imperials had built him that Interdictor he had paid for... for the Jedi, of course. He kept his stoic expression in place. 

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On 7/5/2020 at 4:57 PM, karyu128 said:

Kel watched on in silence as the grand master and the Jensaarai discussed the histories of each of their groups. For a moment it seemed like hostilities would ensue when defender mantis aggressively rose from his seat in response to one of Adenna's remarks, but defender sarlacc prevented any escalation. Soon after, Kel was beginning to feel out of place when he heard a ping from his comm. The Jensaarai apprentice had requested a tour. seeing this as a perfect opportunity, Kel excused himself from the gathering to acquaint himself with the new comer.

 

When Kel arrived at the hangar he recieved a salute from the platform guards that Svata had spoken to. "As you were good sirs. I can handle things from here." and so the guards had returned to their posts leaving Kel and Svata to their own devices. "So, shall we be going then?"

 

Svata smiled. It had been some time since he'd met a Kel Dor, but he'd had a fondness for the species since meeting a Kel Dorian mechanic on a fueling station in the Hypori system. The old fool had made a habit of pushing himself by doing ship repairs without a spacesuit. He'd always joke that it was good incentive to be efficient. Personally, Svata suspected the man just did that for the small, quick repairs, but the clan hadn't gone back to that station more than a handful of times, so he'd never found out for sure. The mechanic had also been a surprisingly stable father and family man, with an appreciation for order and hospitality that Svata had come to associate with the species.

 

"Hey, I'm not going to complain. I was actually hoping to take a look at your lightsaber construction process. I understand its a pretty personal process, similar to a Jensaarai and their armor. Don't get me wrong, we're required to find or make our own lightsabers too," he said, waving his hand absentmindedly, "but not many of the Jensaarai I've met have put as much emphasis on it as a Jedi would, and I think that's a bit of an oversight on our part. I'd kick myself if I passed up the chance to see how you do things."

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"I see." And so the two of them walked through thee halls until they reached a firing range which was adjacent to the armory. Kel then reached for his saber pistol and ignited the bright green blade. "There is a certain truth in that statement. There's a philosophy to the way we craft our lightsabers. Every lightsaber is unique. whether it's simply aesthetic." He then pressed a button turning the blade off, aimed the pistol at a target, and fired off a green bolt of laser fire hitting the target dead center. "Or in functionality." He then twirled the saber pistol in his hand like an actor in an old holovid before placing the weapon back in its holster. "We Jedi have a certain saying, "A lightsaber is a Jedi's life". To us the lightsaber is more than a simple tool. It is the culmination of the lessons we've learned and the struggles we've endured. It is our faithful companion in preserving our lives and the lives of the innocent. And it is the guiding light with which we shape the next generation. It is our past, present, and future."

 

Once he had finished his demonstration, Kel gestured for Svata to follow him yet again. "Now, i believe you wish to construct your own lightsaber yes? do you have a Kyber Crystal?"

 

 


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Svata shrugged, holding out his wrist and letting the four tiny, deep yellow crystals dangling from the charm glint in the light.

 

"Dantari crystals. Passed down through the family. Supposedly it changed color depending on the 'heart of the holder' but I think that was just a tall tale I got fed.

 

Will these do?"

 

Svata had planned on using the old family heirlooms ever since he'd joined the Jensaarai. He was the last Dragoste. It would be best that their legacy found some use at the end of the line.

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"I have a feeling these side adventures would happen whether or not I was born a Darkfire. Some things just are how they are."

He took one last sip of his caf, looking long and hard at the cup. He didn't want this to end, the little slice of happiness he now shared with Sandy. She had been the one person who he felt most comfortable around, where he could lower his defenses and not worry about being attacked for who he was or his past or any of his other weak points. He could simply be himself around her, and it sucked that he always tended to realize it right before they tended to part ways.

"Also, while I'd love to come with you to Scarif, I'm still liable to get orders to go elsewhere. When we get some more free time, though...would you like to do that meditation with me I talked about earlier? I think someone there with me would really help, I don't know, brace me through the process? That sounds like kind of the right way to put it, I guess."

He stood from the table, looking around before focusing back on Sandy with a warm smile.

"I should go report in, though. With all the activity around this place chances are I already have orders waiting for me, and while I was given some time off, I'm sure they won't wait forever on me."


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Sandy nodded slowly, glancing down into the burned dregs of the caf, where small speckles of the bean floated in the remnants of the drink. She set the cup down and flicked the metallic rim smiling at the soft metallic sound and looked back at Aidan. “Yes, these adventures are persistent enough that I almost miss the galaxy wide peace.” She laughed at the bitter joke and glanced back at the table, her hands wrapping mechanically around the cooling mug. She could feel the tinge of disappointment in her voice as she spoke. They were a good team, and if there was anyone that she trusted within the Rebel Alliance, it was Aidan Darkfire. “Well it should be a relatively quick mission for me without danger so I will see you again soon after we part ways.” There was the silent, unsaid I hope that echoed with those words. 

 

War, especially this kind of war, was brutal, friends departing as swift as meteorites and burning just as bright. And somewhere in the back of her mind she dreaded reading the holo reports in the coming months. Constantly fearing if the little holo name of her best friend would be outlined in red. She looked back up and forced a smile on her face. 

 

I would be honoured to meditate with you Aidan, if you can catch me before we go off on the missions I will be in my room, and…” She stood as well, extending her hand. “If we don't see each other before we go, please stay safe, and may the force always be with you.” She hated that phrase, it was always spoken with the expectation that the force was not with them. But nothing else felt appropriate. 


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Jedi Master

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He took her hand, smiling warmly as he stared into her eyes.

"And also with you."

And then the moment passed, and the young Imperial Knight found himself walking the hallways of the base towards the nerve center of the Jedi command areas. It was high time he'd reported in. When he arrived, some of the more important brass seemed to be in a meeting, so he sat outside in the main operations area waiting for them to finish.


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Adenna was glad that Tobias had elected not to cause a scene. She knew he didn't always have the reputation for being diplomatic, and while she wasn't exactly an expert at that herself, she didn't need any issues. She would talk with him after this, though time was short since she was planning on heading to Serenno to launch a much needed bank heist to help with other plans.

 

"Yes, we will be targeting the lanes between Kuat and Coruscant, as well as any others in the area that might be useful. We have been placing agents and spies on the ground to give us a minor heads up of when large shipments might be heading out, but it will be a grab bag of things that might get caught. Stop everything possible, and if it is clearly not working with the Sith, then let it go. If they are, even if they are simply supplying them, capture the ship and cargo if possible, otherwise warn them then destroy the ship."

 

She pressed a small button on her belt summoning an Adept to the hall to serve as an escort. "The Jedi will be sending a small fleet of frigates and corvettes to escort the Interdictor. They will be under the command of Captain Enterion, but I will make sure he works with you and your cruiser. Let us see how our people can work together, then we can see about expanding our relationship. Your Saarai-Kaar may send whomever you wish to join the Jedi here and we can see about an exchange of ideas and training if that sounds agreeable to you and her."

 

She stood, gave a quick respectful bow of her head, then gestured to the Adept who would be able to take their guests back to their ship. Further instructions would follow, and she would make sure Captain Enterion was aware of their new allies. She wanted to remain a while and talk with Vos, a long overdue conversation.


Adenna Sig

 

Send PM's to Travis.

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She watched him walk away, flexing the hand that he had so recently grasped, and she was almost completely overwhelmed by a sorrow that bubbled up from the very pit of her stomach. It was a long standing sorrow, and one that she easily pushed away with an exhalation of her lungs that scattered the dismal feelings away. But was it the old unrequited feeling of her heart? Or was it something else? Some kind of premonition of what was to come? She didn’t know, but she did watch the back of his black haired head until it disappeared around the corner of the cafeteria door. She blinked and looked down at her hand, placing it palm down on the cool metal of the table, letting the force calm her tired mind. Sorrow was replaced with a calm pride in Aidan and his journey. 

 

He was strong and had done his family more than proud. 

 

She shook her blonde head, and walked slowly back to her room, letting the exhausted state of her body lead her to the spartan quarters buried in the Jedi barrack. She smiled wanly at the ‘master’ placed before her name on the duraplast door, pushed it open, let it slide closed behind her and with a flop, fell into a deep sleep on the bed. 

 


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Jedi Master

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The armored Duros set his fork on his plate and templed his fingers at chin level as he listened to Adenna. Nodding slowly, he spoke, “Then let the bonds that were severed in blood be bound once again by blood. The blood of our enemies. I will look forward to rendezvousing with you in the future to more formally cement our renewed bonds.”

 

Standing, The Sarlacc briefly nodded to Adenna before turning as he and The Mantis exited the room. The Sarlacc paused briefly as he passed Tobias. “Master Vos, I look forward to seeing your exploits firsthand.”

 

Back at their ship,  The Duros turned to his companion, “Go see if you can find the Jedi healer you have bound yourself to. I can feel that she may need you.”

 

Seeing that their cruiser was safely secured and the crew about their regular tasks, the Duros made his way to a sentry to enquire as to a training yard. He did not want to interrupt his apprentice and had every confidence the elder Jensaarai would come through. Even before the Ryn had joined their order, he was a proven survivor.

 

A brief escort later, and the armored Jensaarai found himself in a well worn dirt packed open air yard, a practice facility of sorts, no doubt. While his escort positioned itself outside the doors in hopes the visiting Jensaarai would not wander off, The Sarlacc slowly walked to the far side of the worn field. There he ritualistically removed each piece of his custom built armor and carefully stacked it as he had done more times than he could count, his array of weapons safely nestled beneath the pile save for one, his collapsable aros - staff, cortosis infused to withstand the blow of a saber, the weapon was by far one of the Defender’s preferred means of individual combat. The weight of the weapon helped him focus as well.

 

Picking up the rod, no more than 2 handholds in length, the barefoot Duros strode to the center of the field, his black body glove skin tight against his wiry frame. Stopping in the middle, the man closed his eyes, allowing the force to flow around him its protective sphere shielding him from any watchful eyes.

 

Inhaling deeply, The Duros stepped forward, twirling the rod in his hands so each end ratcheted out, locking in place at it’s designed 6 foot length. With his eyes still closed, he stepped forward the weapon whirling about him in a blur of spinning hands and metal. Step. Step. Turn. Swing. Duck. Step. Twirl. Twist. Step. Swing. Smash. Step. Swing. Step. Step. Leap. Smash. Roll. Twist. Leap. Step. Turn. Step. Turn. Step. Swing. Roll. Turn. Step. A continuous flow of moves that increased in speed and ferocity; each flowed into the next like water down the falls free-falling to the rocks below and smashing in a spray of blurring vapor to coat and conceal all in its path. His body became a whirling blurred vortex as he gave himself over to the force. His mind was lost in the force as he followed the meditative steps of the combat drill. Each step, turn, twist, and swing was ingrained in the fibers of his very being. The Sarlacc was the master of his body and his body was a vessel of the force’s will. He channeled it and from his body it flowed.  The force twisted and arced with energy as it warped and blurred about his body, whipping up the still blades of grass and bits of dirt in its vortex. Where did the Duros end? Where did the force begin? This was The Sarlacc.

 

   


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It had been months since Brazen had arrived at Nar Shadaa and the Jedi Knight was still in utter disbelief with all the change. Walking the streets outside the Jedi Outpost, he looked around in quiet contemplation, the memories of Coruscant fresh upon his mind. So much had changed since he disappeared, the Galaxy all the darker for it. But here, on the once infamous Smuggler's Moon, a beacon of hope was lit anew.

 

Yet, for Brazen, there was still alot of darkness to fight through. He was filled with anger and vengeance, wanting to seek retribution for Coruscant and the Jedi Order. And so, he had spent most of the time since his return balancing his spirit, delving deep into his meditations, as he sought to curb his resentment and angst. Even going as far as seeking the Masters of the Order for their wisdom and guidance.

 

But despite the tempering of his mind and the balancing of his spirit in the Force, despite the best intentions of the Masters, he still felt alone in this Galaxy, and unable to turn the page he found himself stuck upon. Kicking a small loose stone with his boot, he recited the Order's age old Tenents in silence to himself, closing his eyes and opening his mind as his breathing steadied.

 

"There is no Emotion; There is Peace,

There is no Ignorance; There is Knowledge,

There is no Passion, There is Serenity,

There is no Death; There is the Force."

 

With a relaxed sigh, Brazen turned the corner and back into the Outpost, and perhaps today would finally be the turning of the page. For today was the day he was to meet with Jedi GrandMaster @Adenna Alluyen for the first time since his arrival at Nar Shadaa and his realization of how much the Galaxy has changed since his disappearance almost two centuries ago. It was her who suggested that he take the time he needed to get familiarized with this new era and center himself, and so he did. But Brazen had never been one to sit around for too long.

 

When he reached the waiting area outside her office, he noticed one of these Imperial Knights @Aidan Darkfire he'd heard about sitting across the way. In all honesty, he thought them to be heretics, tempting themselves with the darkside to defeat it. But after gazing upon the man briefly, he seemed no different than Braze did, albeit Brazen was sure his armor was better looking. While he awaited the Grandmaster's summons, Brazen approached the man and offered a hand. 

 

"Brazen Makashi, but you can call me Kashi, Imperial."


 

Sheog the Mad said:
oof Sheog

Is actually a tribe of autistic ewoks in a costume

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