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Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales from the Shatari Legacy
« Last post by Hawking on Today at 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: Make a (fashion) statement
« Last post by SquigglyV on Today at 03:19:11 PM »
That's always what i'm going for! I just want to be a generic Sith/Imperial 90% of the time. :P The same would be true of Jedi if I could stand to play a Jedi character.

Here are more examples!

3
Cantina / Re: Make a (fashion) statement
« Last post by Noth on Today at 02:55:50 PM »
Those are great! They have a really classic Sith look. Have to appreciate when people make outfits that could totally be actual game NPCs.
4
Cantina / Re: Make a (fashion) statement
« Last post by SquigglyV on Today at 02:47:45 PM »
I am apparently trying to set the standard for generic Sith fashion. :P


The one in the middle was actually one of my first outfits ever, though back then it had a different dye and gloves. Here's an old scary picture from way back in early 2014!

5
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Last post by Orell on Today at 02:16:04 PM »
Sith Politics

Nar Shaddaa, Imperial Docking Bay C-38

"...Lieftenant Beras says the new recruits are slotting in well, only a few regulation violations."

Ensign Prali's voice had a certain droning quality, but Asori couldn't quite miss the faint tone of amusement that came with it. "Anything more serious than the bad jokes I'll overhear about in the mess hall?" she said, doing her very best to keep a straight face.

While Prali could keep a straight face just fine, the lekku twitched with amusement, a little visual laugh that no one unfamiliar with the Twi'lek would notice. "A few things more interesting, my Lord, but certainly not more serious."

Asori couldn't quite hold back her smirk. "Good. Tell Beras to prepare for immediate deployment. There are a few soft targets I've been keeping an eye on." Asori looked down at her own datapad. How are supplies?"

The Ensign's twitch told Asori all she really needed to know. "Lord Zhel apologizes for the delay, but he should have our-"

Asori cut her off with a glare. "Tell Bresix that if he doesn't stop stalling, I'll bring my battalion to sort his situation out. Those words, precisely."

"...shouldn't we use his chosen name, my lord? As a matter of protocol?" Ensign Prali said, with a carefully measured amount of meekness to her voice. At times, Asori wondered if adjutant officers had special training when it came to managing Sith...

...not that she would ever ask the Ensign that openly, of course. That would be rude, and it'd give away that she suspected. "Yes, we should. But he's a glorified quartermaster putting on airs, he could use a deliberate insult or ten."

Prali's eyes flicked up to her lord, the Sith's stare boring into her eyes. "...of course, my lord. Just... seeking clarification."

Asori frowned, but not at her aide for once. The Force was speaking to her, something familiar, something close, something... dangerous.

"Asori."

Asori's ears had barely heard the words before she turned, both lightsabers flying through the air at the intruder to the docking bay. By the time Ensign Prali's gasp had registered, the Twi'lek's weapon was ignited, a purple blade batting both weapons out of the air, tumbling back towards the Sith Lord.

The yellow Twi'lek glared down the length of her lightspear, returning Lord Alnas' gaze. "A little jumpy, my old apprentice? I'm here to speak, not fight."

"You were never my master, Quarasha." Asori said, catching the returning sabers and settling into a ready position. "And what are you here to 'talk' about?"

"...either you don't check your holomail, or you've deliberately been ignoring my messages." Quarasha sighed, deactivating her spear, her eyes never drifting far from the Togruta. "You, lackey," she said, glancing at Prali. "You want to go into the ship and forget you saw any of this."

"Don't mind-trick my aide, Quarasha," Asori growled.

"It wasn't a mind trick, it was an assessment of what she wants." Quarasha's smirk went by in a flash. "Were I here to fight, Asori, I wouldn't have announced my presence. You're smart enough to recognize that, so how about we put down our weapons and talk like civilized people?"

Prali cleared her throat, both hands on her pistols, plain dread coming off of her in wave. "Uh, th-there's a few things I should probably-"

"Go. You didn't see any of this," Asori said, letting out a sigh. The Sith Lord relaxed her guard slightly, lekku flicking with irritation. "Well?"

Quarasha had to suppress rolling her eyes, but relaxed her own stance in return. "It's about Nima'Kluub. Have you read any of my messages?"

"Who the kriff in Nima'Kluub?"

Another sigh from Quarasha. "The colony. They gave the planet a proper name, I think it means 'Gift of Tranquility'." At Asori's unimpressed look, she shrugged. "It was their decision, not mine. You really should read your holomail."

"I've been busy."

"Clearly."

The Togruta has to suppress her growl, her eyes leaving the Twi'lek's gaze for a few moments. "Fine, they renamed the place. The old one was just weird. You don't need to show up in person to tell me."

"Given that you seem to be ignoring my messages, clearly I do." Another quick flash of a smile from Quarasha. Even after the better part of a decade of exile from the Sith Empire, Quarasha couldn't help but enjoy toying with another Sith. "It's about what they're doing."

"Uh huh. Spare me the suspense and just get on with it?"

A frown came from the former Lord. She remembered, long ago, when the colony was the Togruta girl's only real concern. Everything was about that, it was more than just a duty, it was a cause, something pure and good, a thing Quarasha so rarely saw in the galaxy.

"They're entering the galaxy. Stepping out of hiding. You know what that means."

Recognition flashed in Asori's eyes. Nima'Kluub had survived through secrecy for many years, protected from raiders and slavers and worse from the simple fact that almost no one knew it existed.

It was in the shadow of Hutt Space. Closer to Republic control, perhaps, but close to the Empire's front lines. And the Hutts would take persuading to leave it alone, and when you took into account the number of pirates with loose connections to prominent Hutts...

"You have a plan," Asori finally said, cynicism finally overriding fear.

"Of course I have a plan!" She almost sounded offended. "There's four nations of note. The Alliance doesn't care, so they're easy. The Republic... I'm handling." At Asori's raised eyebrow, Quarasha could only shrug. "It's tricky. The Hutts are also tricky, but I've found an angle. It's hardly a pleasant one, but it could work."

"And that leaves the Empire," Asori finished.

"...and that leaves the Empire." Quarasha sighed. "It would only take one-"

There was another growl from the Togruta, the formerly-idle Lightsabers slowly spinning into a ready stance. "Just get it over with, Quarasha."

The Twi'lek could only suppress her surprise, not trustly mask it. "...I need you to voice your support for them."

"My support." Asori's tone was without emotion, an old trick that Quarasha had strained to teach the younger woman. Avoid showing a reaction until you're sure what reaction you want to show. It doesn't always work, because there's a difference between not reaction and not showing a reaction, but it's better than nothing. "Meaning what?"

"Meaning you plant your flag and say that any attack against them is an attack against you." Quarasha narrowed her eyes. "Your power base might not be among the strongest in the Empire, but your soldiers are respected and your abilities are known. It'd ward off some potential threats, at least long enough for me to maneuver against them, and those too strong to care wouldn't care about the world as a prize in the first place."

Asori's eyes narrowed at the Twi'lek, and Quarasha could see her old student's hands tighten their grip on the Lightsabers. "In other words, I expose myself to embarassment, and get no benefits. Tell me what I get out of it and I'll think about it."

"...ah..." Quarasha sighed, shaking her head at the Sith Lord. "You'll fulfill a promise you made to the people there, before you joined the Empire. Remember that, Asori?" She said, noting the lack of a flinch from the Togruta. "You told them you were going off to learn how to protect them. To learn how to fight, so you could bring the fight to anyone that would harm them. Remember that, Asori Alnas, eager little girl wanting to do whatever it took to help the people of The Hold get free?!"

Quarasha was near shouting now, disgust plain in her voice, if only because she could see how little her old student seemed to care. "A promise made by another person," Asori said, idly swinging her Lightsaber, her eyes tracking Quarasha's form.

Ready to fight.

"Ensign Prali has a boyfriend on Dromund Kaas," Quarasha said. "He works at what passes for a restaurant on the outskirts of Kaas City."

Asori blinked.

"Major Hesselman, your Aurek Battalion leader, has gambling debts to three separate Hutts, and a cousin on Nal Hutta he's been worrying about."

Asori shook her head. "What are you-?"

"Reminding an old, foolish student what power really is," Quarasha spat. "I have information on every single officer under your command. Weaknesses, vulnerabilities, data that, in the right hands, would turn your finely tuned Regiment into a pile of corpses."

It was a lie, of course. Quarasha had some intel on some of the officers, some of which could make them vulnerable. It wouldn't tear Asori's power base apart...

...but Asori knew that, even if it didn't, it'd weaken Asori far more than a random colony the Togruta claimed would if lost. "You still love using your words, Quarasha. You never had any real power, did you?"

"Power is power, my old apprentice." Quarasha gave a little smirk, shifting into a defensive stance, the blade of the Lightspear igniting. "It's far more than simple martial ability. If you wish to test me there, feel free, but don't pretend that my silly little words couldn't tear everything you've forged to shreds."

Asori let a faint smirk go. "Ten moves."

Quarasha's confusion was brief, and by the time she understood Asori the Sith Lord was already on her, the two lightsabers brought down on the defensively-raised lightspear's haft.

The guard held firm for a moment before Asori pulled back, spinning both blades at Quarasha's ankles, or at least where they were before the Twi'lek backflipped out of the way. A roll forward followed by a roundhouse kick failed to find purchase as Quarasha again spun away, the spear's blade coming an inch away from shortening Asori's lekku.

A high-to-low feint, read and countered with Quarasha's spear thrust next to Asori's ear. A focused set of strikes forcing Quarasha back on the defensive, the haft growing warm under the heat of the deflections.

Asori backspringed, making distance as both Lightsabers streaked at the Twi'lek, narrow deflections pushing the blades aside. She lept over Quarasha's next charge, catching the returning blades and aiming both at the exiled Sith's back, missing again by inches.

The Twi'lek's counter-attack was caught by one blade, the second of Asori's aimed right at Quarasha's neck, again blocked by the quickly-raised haft. The brief stalemate held until Asori slammed her foot down on Quarasha's, sending her stumbling back, away from Asori's spinning blades... and one last leap, both sabers coming down at Quarasha's shoulders.

The haft was there once again, one hand supporting it, Quarasha's body buckling under the strain... but the other hand was on Asori's throat, gripping tight. "Stand down, Asori, or you'll be nothing but a husk," Quarasha growled, nothing but rage behind her eyes.

Asori blinked, fear only now creeping into the woman. She could sense what Quarasha was doing, what the exiled Sith could do. There was a nothingness, an emptiness, a gaping maw eager to devour anything connected to the Force...

She forced a smile, deactivating her Lightsabers, pulling her hands away from Quarasha. "Ten moves, remember. You're not bad with that thing, pick up a few tricks from Zakuul?" she said, her voice abnormally friendly, too clearly reminding Quarasha of the young and eager student from years before.

Quarasha's face flinched, just briefly, before she stepped back, pushing away whatever darkness had swelled up within her. "It's an effective weapon. Make your claim on the world when the time comes. Understood?"

Asori flashed another smile. "Sure, sure, like you said, I already promised that much. Tell them they have my help, okay?"

The exiled lord stared at Asori, hands still tight on the Lightspear, parts of her just screaming for blood and violence and murder and death and all those things that, once upon a time, she lived for... but instead, she stepped back, deactivating her weapon. "Good. Prepare your statement, I'll let you know when you need to release it." Her lip twitched into a sneer as she turned away. "May the Force serve you well."

Asori watched Quarasha go, dimly aware of her adjutant slowly walking up behind her. "...I can start drafting a-"

"Do it." Asori said, her tone clipped. "And contact Korriban, I need to do some research."
6
The Trading Floor / Re: Offering Guild Donations of Stronghold Decorations
« Last post by Auryn on Today at 04:05:23 AM »
Niarra! You might just be my saviour! Gonna check this out in more depth soon and getback to you :grin:
7
Events and Occasions / Re: Masquerade Ball The Second
« Last post by Auryn on 02/16/18, 08:46:56 PM »
Tanks!! :D :aww:
8
Events and Occasions / Re: Masquerade Ball The Second
« Last post by Iaera on 02/16/18, 08:44:14 PM »
I fixed the poll so two options can be chosen and people can change their choice if necessary. Let me know if you need the poll to do something else instead!
9
Cantina / Re: Make a (fashion) statement
« Last post by Noth on 02/16/18, 08:19:59 PM »
Character redesign + lightsaber show-off combo!



I redid Zorru to make her BT4 and give her a new haircut that's got a bit more of a samurai feel to it. Her outfit is a bit of a WIP, since I need to acquire some hard to find armors to acheive what I have in my mind for her, but I used the Battleworn Engineer's stuff for a slightly cybernetic feeling. Her outfit's orange, because it seems to be the Padawan/Initiate color, and she spends her days watching over Jedi Younglings.

Her lightsaber is the Serenity Unsealed lightsaber, very no-nonsense and extremely durable. You could drop it from orbit and it would probably land okay. I thought this made sense for a half-Rattataki Jedi who travels often. The pink crystal was originally going to be a healing crystal she found, but I'm considering the possibility of it being a healed Sith crystal instead... Still deciding. If I go with that, I may switch it to a more orange color.
10
Events and Occasions / Re: Masquerade Ball The Second
« Last post by Auryn on 02/16/18, 08:05:09 PM »
Sadly cannot apply 'can tick multiple' on the Poll, unless i just can't go back and edit it that way after creation. My bad~!

I too can do most of those days. I put in my preference. I would also rather not do Monday. (Aus time)

FYI, 'arvo' means 'afternoon'. I forgot that's fairly region-specific slang.
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