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Messages - Hawking

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1
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales from the Shatari Legacy
« on: 02/18/18, 03:48:05 PM »
(( https://youtu.be/B5SbVN2wY6o?t=38m36s ))

She missed nature, sometimes.

Coruscant was nice. It was a marvel of engineering and home to trillions. It housed the Enclave she called home, the people she was duty bound to protect, and the titanic industry that made her life amongst the stars possible. But it had no trees of its own, no mountains, no rivers. The Coruscanti skyline cut an amazing figure during the day, and a truly unforgettable one at night…but sometimes she longed for a simple black sky pinpricked by distant suns, unblemished by the unceasing pollution of light that came with the greatest city of them all. It was hard to think in this place, sometimes. You never felt alone, surrounded by so many people and so much activity, but Aspasia had never done her best thinking around other people anyway. Quite the opposite, really. So when the opportunity had come to get away for a bit, she’d taken it without a second thought.

::

The girl sat on the deck of the modified freighter-turned-luxury vessel, lounging on a chair that had once been the most comfortable in the fleet, or so the pre-flight instructions had insisted. It was stained, now, and had evidently been chewed on by something. The padding was spilling out in certain places, and it had a must to it that was impossible to ignore, but she’d sat on worse, and was grateful for the opportunity to take a load off. The wormhole of hyperspace rushed past through the ship’s frontal viewport. The dials around her pulsated light from their LED fittings slowly and serenely, autopilot engaged. Aspasia wasn’t here to fly the ship, nor was she here to keep the company of a crew, or even a captain. It was an automated ship in need of supervision, manned only by a crew of government owned droids, running senatorial business to…somewhere. She didn’t often ask where. A volunteer had been needed, so she’d volunteered. She’d even worn her robes; brown and loose fitting as they were. Badge of office. She mused to herself. The grand, flowing outer layer of her robe lay draped across the chair behind her. It had been enough for the Senator in question, he’d wanted a Jedi, and hadn’t stopped to ask about rank or responsibility. A Padawan was as good as a Master, she supposed. Of course, the Jedi would likely see that differently, as would her Master. Masters. She hadn’t specifically told them she’d be going out to do this. Nor had she the last 3 or 4 times. 

“Ughhhhh.” She groaned. Ye came all the way out here to think, idiot. So think. Reflect. Don’t go runnin’ from your feelings. She kicked a leg up on the console, being careful not to let the twin lightsabers in her lap spill onto the bulkhead below. Still half-constructed, there were plenty of ports yet uncovered, and this ship was dusty as hell. She didn’t want to think, not about that. Not about the searing disappointment she was sure she’d seen in Ran-del’s eyes, not about how wrong she’d been about Sibyl-ko, not about the frustrating amount of sense Iirim had talked. Certainly not about Master Hawking Shatari and the conversation Iirim had calmly-but-firmly suggested she have with him. And most absolutely not about how she’d been acting recently and how completely, undeniably awful she was at being a Jedi. Being young was hard, they’d said. Being a Jedi was hard, they’d said. But bein’ a young Jedi… She groaned again, and rubbed her eyes in frustration. “You’re your own worst enemy, Spazzie.” She mumbled to herself. You should be better at this. You’ve been taught to be better at this. You know better than this. So why can’t I get it together?. Why indeed.

“Ugh.” She kicked her feet up and off the console, where her boots thunked to the floor. She carefully slid her lightsabers back onto her belt, and then yanked her boots free of her feet. The bulkhead was cold beneath her toes. Time for a walk.

::

The corridors of the ship were narrow and lined with tall, elegant plexiglass windows. She’d forgotten the name of the vessel, and only half remembered the intended mission and destination of the craft (something about retrieving a personal assistant’s “personal items” from the Senator’s private station), but she was glad to have the escape. It was different out here. The cool bulkheads and steady hum of the engine weren’t quite a substitute for grass beneath her feet and the sun above her head, but it was quiet, and most importantly, straightforward. There were no moral dilemmas to confront out here, just peace.

Aspasia wandered the corridors aimlessly for a time, sticking her head into random rooms and compartments, looking intently for nothingness and finding it in spades. She hopped onto the Senator’s couch. She poked his pillow. She briefly considered drawing a moustache on the grand, incredibly poorly crafted portrait of him that lay in the central hold of the vessel. The droids had no interest in her. Some of them beeped at her, but binary remained foreign to her ears.

Why was she such a screw up? I was gettin’ better at all this. She lamented as she perused the Senator’s bookshelf. He owned thirty-seven copies of his own autobiography, and had autographed all of them. She should have been happy. She’d flown the other day for the first time. She’d investigated the hold of a mysterious shipwreck near Coruscant, and potentially saved lives. She’d met an ancient machine. And then killed it. No. We killed it. And it asked for it. Literally. She corrected herself glumly. She hadn’t been thinking that way when she’d met it though. She’d been afraid. Machines, she had learned, were smart. But that one had feelings, and held concepts of philosophy that even some organics had trouble understanding. It had been designed for war but lost its taste for it, it had come to understand the harm it was doing, and it had wanted out. That was terrifying. And to make matters worse, it had been Iirim’s droid that had ultimately euthanised it. No, she’d seen a threat, and would probably have moved to take it out had Ran-del not stopped her.

The thought made her burn with shame, even alone, even days after the fact. He’d been disappointed, she’d known it. Maybe she’d never been the most lateral thinker, but she wasn’t dumb…but letting her fear rule her like that? Like she had been for a while now? That was dumb. Real dumb. It hadn’t been the first time, either. She’d lost count of the people who’d told her to believe in herself in recent times. They’d also said she was young, and shouldn’t be so hard on herself. Nobody was perfect, some had said. Jedi make mistakes too, others had said. Her mind drifted back to the conversation she’d had with Iirim, as she left the Senator’s library in search of his movie room. Maybe he’d have Captain Blitzer.

“Do ye worry for our souls?” She repeated to herself, letting her voice echo throughout the halls of the ship. She’d asked that of Iirim. A Jedi harnessed incredible power and incredible responsibilities. Our decision makin’ has to be flawless. She ruminated. The Order had entrusted her with those powers. They’d trained her for this, given her license to do good as she saw fit within the confines of their philosophies and the Code. The Force had a plan, she was not the director of the show, merely a piece to be guided in the grand orchestration. Or something.
“Soooooo,” She uttered as she wandered, voice singing a dry melody, “who messed up when the Jedi burned down my kriffin’ home?” She spun on her heel, pirouetting like a dancer, hands outstretched, fingers cutting through the cool, artificial air. She’d asked that of Iirim too, although a little more politely. Aspasia found herself standing in the central atrium of the ship. It was a large room, but surprisingly bare of the ostentatious trinkets the Senator had lying around elsewhere. A large window crested the top of the room, letting the brilliant light of hyperspace flow in to illuminate the centre floor. She danced her way over, bare feet skipping and hopping. Her mind wandered too.
“Whose mistake was it when my brother died instead of me? Was that the Force? Or was that the Jedi? Doesn’t seem like a very Jedi thing to do, but I ‘spose the Force doesn’t make mistakes.” She asked of her assembled crowd of nobody. “My Masters think I should let go o’ that. You’re one with the Force now, Ashton, they say.” She explained. “Of course they weren’t there, and I’m not sure how much they believed of my story. Probably not the bit about ye getting’ eaten by those monsters, and stoppin’ ye from joinin’ with the Force. Or maybe you did.” She sighed, and ran a hand through her hair, standing in the shimmering blue and white light of hyperspace. “Be nice if ye answered me one of these days, y’know. I miss you. Thought I saw you on Ossus, too, when I found my crystals. Our crystals, I ‘spose. Think one was waitin’ for you. Doesn’t like to be activated when the other isn’t.”

She received no answer.

“Not like you to shut up for so long. Seven years? Unheard of.” She joked, smiling sadly to herself. “There’s a girl at the Enclave now, by the way. She sounds a bit like us. We had a go at each other, ye’d like her. Apparently Maguire wasn’t just known as properly evil only to us, turns out these people are our cousins or somethin’, and were convinced that home was some sorta demon backwater…guess they were right.” She laughed, her voice echoing down the hallways.
“Ugh. What are you doin’, ‘Spasia.” She sat, flopping down under the skylight.
“Saying to yourself what you should probably have been working through with your fellows in the Order, Padawan. Assuming you want to ever get past this block.” The voice echoed out from nearby, catching Aspasia completely by surprise. She shot up from the floor, alarmed.
“AGH- What- who-? Master Shatari?”

And so it was.
Master Hawking Shatari appeared in the light of the central atrium, appearing from around a corner. He wore a simple tan tunic, his lightsaber hanging from his belt. She hated it when the Masters did that, and really hated when they were smug about it. Aspasia sighed. “Hi, Master. Sorry. Didn’t realise there was anyone else on the ship.”
Hawking smiled, jade green eyes meeting her own. She didn’t trust them, not entirely, but they’d seen the galaxy a hundred times over. They beheld her, considered her.
“I’m sure there’s a lesson in there about attuning yourself to Sense.”
Aspasia cleared her throat. “Right. Aye. Sorry, Master, I ‘spose I was…uh…distracted.”
“So you sounded. Please, sit.” Hawking wasted no time himself, sinking into a cross-legged position. He patted the floor beside him. Looks like she’d be having that conversation after all.
She sat, flopping slightly more ceremoniously to the floor this time. “Excuse the bluntness, Master, but what are ye doin’ on the ship?”
“Catching a ride. I have business in the sector, all that secret squirrel stuff that Master Farworlder and I have been embarking on. It’ll make a great holo someday. It so happened I knew the Senator, and heard there’d be a certain errant Padawan on security today.” He replied wryly. Aspasia had no idea if he was joking or not. She never did, nor did she like being the butt of his jokes. He was too familiar for someone who’d been gone for years, and for the man who’d come to Maguire.
“Right.” She replied coolly, avoiding his gaze.
Hawking was quiet for a few moments, but not uncomfortably so. She disliked that, too.
“You’re carrying a lot, Aspasia.” He said finally.
“Perceptive, Master, aye.” 
“Please, there’s no need to be hostile. I think we’re overdue a chat, don’t you?”
Aspasia sighed. Grow up, Spazzie. How many times do Ran-del and Miller need to hit you over the head before you embrace common courtesy? He was right. He wasn’t her enemy.
“I…do, Master Shatari, yes.” She replied slowly.
Hawking turned his gaze upwards, looking out at the currents of hyperspace.
“Your introduction to our ways has been…well, a tornado as opposed to the regular light breeze we prefer to induct people with. The Force has embraced you quickly. Probably a bit too quickly.”
“The Force, Master? Or the Order?” She inquired, blowing a strand of hair from her face. She felt him looking at her.
“The Force, Padawan. Your transition into the Order has been exemplary, by all accounts. Given the pressure you’ve faced and the adversity inherent in emerging from where you did…you are on the Path to becoming an excellent knight, Aspasia. I believe that. But learning to listen to and understand the Force is a lifelong endeavour-”
“Ah. So you’ve been keepin’ tabs, then? Easier to do that from a distance, I guess. Or were you happy with the hand ye played, starting me off on the Path? Pluckin’ me onto that Drey while everythin’ was burning around us?” She said quietly. She regretted the words even as she spoke them. She barely knew the man, and he had saved her life, even if it had come at a terrible cost. But no, maybe she needed to work through this. Honesty was the best policy.
Hawking frowned lightly.
“I kept my distance for a few reasons, Padawan. Maybe I was incorrect in doing that, but-“
“You were the first Jedi I ever saw. You and Zarasmina,” Aspasia interjected coolly, “you were nearly dead, everything was on fire, and it was your student offerin’ me her hand and a way out of the mess her master had made. I didn’t forget that.”
Hawking said nothing, merely studying her impassively.
“That’s not to say I’ve got a grudge or anythin’ against you,” Aspasia said quickly as she realised how she was sounding, “but…Master Shatari…ye killed my planet. My brother, my Da, everyone. Even if you didn’t mean to, and it didn’t sound like you did…that’s what happened. And I swore my life to servin’ the Order you represented, even after seein’ that, because you saved me. But…how am I ‘sposed to reconcile that? Can I reconcile that?”
The light played across his features, and Aspasia swore she saw his eyes glint, just so.
“Do you know where I went, Aspasia? When I disappeared from the Watch.”
She didn’t. Nobody had. “No, why?”
“I left to find Zarasmina. Perhaps I’ve worded that differently in recent times, but that was the crux of it. My student was, and is, out there. I took an oath to teach her and protect her, that’s true. She’s the future of the Order, that’s also true. But so are you. And from what you’ve said, and how you’ve felt, and from how I left Zarasmina on Maguire…”
Aspasia’s eyes widened slightly. That selfish bastard.
“…you’re tryin’ to make amends.” She said slowly, in disbelief. “You know you messed up on Maguire, and so you’re tryin’ to, what, apologise? To who?”
“To-“
“To yourself!” She interrupted, getting to her feet. “Do you even care about what you did to me? How hard you’ve made my trainin’? The doubt and the pain I’ve felt? I’ve been carryin’ all that for…years! I came to peace with it right up until you came back-and now you’re tryin’ to save face? You’re responsible for my induction, Master, but to bring on someone with all that shite bubblin’ under the surface…I’m a fallen Jedi waitin’ to happen!” The words tumbled out of her mouth, half articulated and emotional.
Hawking stood, slowly and quietly. He looked down at her. Aspasia shrunk, just a bit. Had he always been that tall?
“Maguire was my fault. Your brother’s death was my fault. Zarasmina disappearing was my fault. But your induction to this Order was not a fault, Aspasia, and it was not an accident. Are you the first?”
“What?”
“Are you the first Jedi to have lost someone? To have lost everything?”
“Well, no, I don’t think so, but-“
“But what?”
“But…” Aspasia floundered for words. She felt tired, and confused, and just a little bit like crying.
He put his hand on her shoulder gently. His palm was warm. “You’ve lost, you’ve suffered, and you’ve sacrificed. Such is the life of a Jedi. But you’ve given, and you’ve gained, too. I heard about the mission you undertook just recently, how many lives do you think you saved?”
“I…dunno.” She hadn’t stopped to think about it.
“If the mission report is accurate, that fleet AI still had access to the vast majority of its systems and suites. Coruscant was only a hop and a skip away. We don’t know for certain, but it could yet have caused serious damage.”
“That wasn’t me. That was Ran-del, and Sibyl, and Iirim-“ She retorted, before being cut off.
“But it was you too. You were there. You saw, you spoke, you acted, and you learned. You’re learning every day. Our way is not one that’s mastered overnight. As hideous as that cliché is, and as frequently as I’m sure you’ve heard it, it’s true. Your challenges have been arduous, but you have the strength to see them through. You wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
She didn’t know what to say to that, so she said nothing.
“I am sorry for my role in what transpired on your planet, Aspasia. I am, truly. I spent four years considering my role in that disaster as I recuperated. My body suffered as your planet did. I wondered how I could be so idiotic, how my decision making could have been so poor, how I could have been so thoughtless and callous and rash. But what I have never questioned is why we were there. We went to save a generation of Force-users who were being persecuted and killed. The Force led us there, and the Force led you from there. It was your destiny to serve its will and help others, even if you couldn’t help the people you loved.”
He exhaled, letting his hand return to his side.
“You haven’t disappointed the Force, yet, Aspasia. If you had, it probably would have conjured a lightning bolt from the aether to smite you down. Your Masters know that, and I think you know that. I think they also know how much you despise being talked at, as I just have, so perhaps I’ll leave it there. But know that you’re a fine student, Aspasia, and a woman with a good heart. As much as I hate to admit it, the duty of the students is to supersede and improve upon the failings of their teachers. I presented you with a hell of a failing, and you’ve been improving upon my mistake ever since.” He smiled.
“I…just…” She grasped at the air, looking for the words, “…miss him, Master. My brother. The Order is my family now, but…I wish he’d been here to see it. All of it.”
Hawking’s eyes drifted down to regard the twin lightsabers on her belt. He quirked an eyebrow. “Must I say it?”
Her eyes trailed down likewise. She’d spent a lot of time around the crystals that languished within those housings in recent weeks. Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence after all that she’d found two. What was she saying? Of course it wasn’t. The Force didn’t work that way. She smiled.
“Don’t think you do.”

::

He left shortly after that, leaving her to her thoughts. They had talked a little more about the details of that fateful mission; of what he’d found. There wasn’t a whole lot she hadn’t heard from others, but it was nice to hear it in his words, and especially to hear about what he’d thought of Maguire. He talked about the meditation at the crack of dawn, about the beauty of the forests, and the way the moon had gleamed on the fjords. He mentioned the hospitality of the townfolk, and the simple “charms” of Maguirish food.

That had helped, Aspasia thought as she reclaimed her robe and her boots from the cockpit. It had been a selfish doubt, all this time, to assume that the Jedi had blundered in and destroyed something thoughtlessly. That was not the Jedi way. A Jedi appreciates the nature of all things, Miller had once told her. So maybe things really had been that bad, and maybe, like that droid, it had been a necessary mercy. It wasn’t the best option, Hawking had said that himself, but it also had not been the worst.

Aspasia sighed, and moved to sit down again as the ship shunted out of hyperspace. She was used to it now, but that deceleration from lightspeed had once kicked the small girl from that small, strange world on her ass every single time. The metallic grey and neon pink visage of the luxury orbital station came into view, slowly orbiting a world of brilliant greens and deep blues. It looked pathetic next to the planet, really, and Aspasia found herself wondering why anyone would bother staring down at such a gorgeous planetscape when they could walk its surface.

She hummed to herself for the next half-hour as the droids did their thing, retrieving whatever sensitive material the Senator had lied about reclaiming. She suspected it was underwear. The planet rotated slowly beneath her, teeming with life.
I’m ready. She realised. I think I’m finally ready to go back. Hawking had suggested as much. It was the final piece of the puzzle for the closure she sought. She didn’t know what she would find there, and neither had he, but they’d agreed that should she truly wish to finally move on from the ghosts of her homeworld, she should probably visit the graves. To be a Jedi was a journey, Ran-del had told her, albeit in a more flowery, poetic and emphatic fashion, as was his style. To walk the Path was to do so in the face of fear, not in the absence of it. There is peace, She recounted to herself.

In a galaxy torn apart by war, strife and loss, that didn’t sound so bad to her.
“Peace.” She murmured.
Time to go find some.

::

2
Cantina / Re: Gratitude
« on: 02/16/18, 03:31:25 AM »
Thanks to @Noth , @blingdenston, @Orell and particularly @Iaera for a fantastic impromptu Jedi-venture. I'll be treating my computer with more compassion in the future.

3
Cantina / Re: Theme songs for your toons
« on: 02/15/18, 10:45:43 PM »
Agent Rieko "Boogie" Black -   Minor Swing.
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpmOTGungnA )

Assasination ain't no thing if you ain't got swing.

4
Media Gallery / Re: Auryn of Worlds
« on: 02/14/18, 02:39:49 PM »
Wouldn't recommend holidaying to the second one

5
Absolutely reversing my earlier position, these games just get better and better

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDhM9qneay8

Freestyle Street Basketball is the best. For the J

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-lvT2hdyec

I can't believe I forgot that existed. This is the correct answer.

Or maybe this: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDlD-Qkt92I ) but that'd be pushing the limits of sportsball.

6
Events and Occasions / Re: Masquerade Ball The Second
« on: 02/12/18, 09:36:57 PM »
Boogie is bringing the goggles.

7
Absolutely reversing my earlier position, these games just get better and better

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDhM9qneay8

8
Cantina / Re: merrant has some explaining to do
« on: 02/09/18, 01:26:51 AM »
Official inquest into the Custodum's integrity beginning in 3, 2, 1...

11
Cantina / Re: WWOHS?
« on: 02/07/18, 03:14:37 PM »
Digging back into the vaults of yore to my Sith RP days here...

Lethash would probably offer him a gracious bow and some thinly veiled quip about how helpful the dear overseer had been, and mentally note him down as one to avoid or stomp on later.

Lexicanus would go on some esoteric tangent because his player had no idea what he was doing when he was an active character. He'd probably then disappear or invade Harkun's soul or something.

Carvur would rip his head off. And then eat the head.

12
Cantina / Re: Make a (fashion) statement
« on: 02/05/18, 02:58:48 AM »
The goggles!



They do NOTHING!


(Agent 'Boogie' Black, coming to you live from Imperial Intelligence Headquarters, which is apparently not a giant pile of rubble. Or maybe it is. Schrodinger's Galaxy.)

13
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales from the Shatari Legacy
« on: 02/03/18, 04:39:43 AM »
The man with the unusual name rubbed his temples in frustration.

The body stayed where it had fallen, still smoking. It had started to smell. It was getting its smell all over the place.
Soon, the entire alley would be consumed by its stench, and the local population would probably be forced out by the raw rankness of the scent. Standard for Nar Shaddaa. He'd liked this place, once, before he realised that the foul smells that belonged to the world had a nasty habit of sticking to clothes, too.

This wasn't how this was supposed to go. The idiot who had just played an instrumental hand in creating this new, frustrating corpse stood over it, and was now attempting to stonewall the unusually named man. Poorly.
"To clarify, you don't know who shot him. No idea in the foggiest."
"Nope."
"Are you sure?"
"Yep."
"You're holding a blaster with clear signs of recent plasma discharge."
"That's a lighter."
"What?"
"Y'know, for lightin-"
"Yes, yes, I know what a lighter is. I've never seen one that looks like that."
"It's new."
"You shot him."

The idiot's eyes grew wide.
"I did not."
"Yes you did. You clearly just did."
"You didn't see it."
"No, but I was right around the corner, interrogating your frien- ugh."
"What are you, some kinda rozzer?"
"And if I am?"
"Then I know my rights, and I know I don't have to talk to you."
"You're not even an Imperial citizen...not that Imperial citizens have those rights," The man said in exasperation to the idiot, "and even if you were, and even if they did, they still wouldn't apply. I'm not law enforcement."
"I think I technically still am, or somefin'. Did the laws change when those fellows in the big white ships creamed the military, booted our behinds and took the Sith to the cleaners? I dunno. Nobody does, with all the stuff goin' on. If you're not some cop, then who are ya?"
"I'm low on patience, pleasure to meet you."
"Right, Mr Lo, I've had quite enough of your questioning, this is a public space and is subject to protections, I will not be harassed-"

A blaster appeared in the man's hand, sleek and black. The idiot's tirade of half-construed legal cliches instantly turned into word salad, and then incoherent noises, and then finally silence.
"That corpse was a source, one that I liked. I'd appreciate an apology."
"A source, ey? So you're not a rozzer, what are ya, some kinda spook-"
"Yes. Exactly. Congratulations, I will now present you with your Imperially certified genius card, which entitles you to specially marked speeder parking in Kaas city, or the bits that aren't covered in rubble anyway, and a free drink the next time you visit the Nexus Room cantina."
"Fantasti-"

Bang.
Thud.


Two frustrating corpses, freshly fallen in the neon lights of the Smuggler's Moon. Some things never changed. The man with the strange name felt a headache begin to form at the back of his head. This was going to be a lot of paperwork. Nobody ever mentioned that part of field agency. You were accountable. For everything. The Navy hadn't been like that, and the Navy Commandos definitely hadn't been like that.

Maybe he was in the wrong job. No, of course not. He was good at this. Damn good.

The man sighed. Sadly, the corpses couldn't simply be left here. Somebody would see them, and probably scream or something, and then complain, which would find its way up the chain, probably to him. Someone was going to have to clean this up.

"Amanaki, this is Boogie, I'm going to need some street cleaners. Yes, send the burly ones, please. The packages are rather big, we'll need some muscle to move them. Yes. Right. Right. I hardly think that's fai...oh, come o-...fine.  I'm well aware of what the Sphere has mandate- yes. YES. I know. The Hutts are more than welcome to choke on their Mantellian spice weasel-alright. Alright. Secure channel, I'm aware. You're at the Dancer's Palace? Drinking what? With who?"

14
Cantina / Re: Gratitude
« on: 02/03/18, 01:10:35 AM »
Big thanks to everyone I RP'd with at Slopes tonight! A great night of philosophisin' and talking about feelings! Great stuff.

15
When you're mad late to the party



(this would make a great emote, get on it, bioware)

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