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Author Topic: Tales of the Orell Legacy  (Read 8736 times)

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Offline Orell

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #15 on: 03/03/15, 08:55:08 PM »
Originally posted 09/24/2013: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg17155#msg17155

Preparing for Emaglaha

((Note: As the title indicates, this is a lead-in for an event I ran for a few Imperial players, where they were going to investigate (read: attack) a Republic archaeological expedition on the planet Emaglaha in Neutral space, on the belief that a Listening Post is hidden there.

A lot of the upcoming posts are based around it, for... obvious reasons, as time will tell))




Quarasha frowned as the Rattataki finally arrived. Late, as he tended to be, although always before she could be rightfully offended at the tardiness. Always an excuse with him, one tale after another that amounted to being fifteen, twenty minutes late to a meeting.

As he entered the Fury's conference room, Leiftenant Effet Ornell gave Quarasha a slight bow, and a salute to the other occupant, Lieftenant Brynce Rylar, another of the Sith's miserable finds. "Apologies, my Lord, I was hung up-"

"Save it, Ornell," she said, cutting him off. "Are you prepared?"

The Rattataki nodded. "I've scouted four lookout locations over the city, each with excellent views of the landing pad and bunker. It's at the edge of my rifle's range, but I could still eliminate targets-"

Rylar sighed. "We've been over this, Effet. We'll need the element of surprise."

"And once shots start flying inside? We won't be wasting surprise then, and I'll be able to take a Jedi off your team's hands." Effet smirked, patting his rifle.

"And get yourself killed, more likely. We do not have enough data about the enemy to judge their capabilities effectively, and my team will be able to take care of things without you throwing your life away for petty attempts at glory."

Effet leaned over the table, glaring at the human officer. "I've eliminated Jedi before, at this range they won't have a chan-"

"Enough," Quarasha said, cutting her sniper off and fixing him with a stare. "You will hold fire until ordered to by Rylar or the team's lead. I would rather keep you as a final surprise, in case things go poorly or they retreat too quickly." She turned to Rylar. "And you are to play nice with your team, defer to any Sith that are present and be prepared to leave without them if things go poorly."

Effet gave Quarasha an approving smirk, even as Rylar frowned. "My Lord, I am not accustomed to leaving soldiers to die. Particularly Sith. I would rather hold out until the mission is finished, one way or another."

She shook her head. "You will not. If the Republic holds the base, they will be able to spin whatever story they wish, and I want to minimize my involvement with this operation. That means not allowing yourself to be captured there."

"Then the strike team is to be left in the dark as to your involvement, my lord?"

Quarasha stared at the pilot for a few moments, quickly going the options over in her mind. "...too many variables, too many options..." She shook her head with a sigh. "Your discretion. Tell them if you must in order to get a good team together, and if you think you can trust them to win."

Effet grinned at the Sith. "Want any survivors?"

She sighed again, knowing what the officers were expecting to hear. They had served under too many brutish Sith to expect any less than a bloodbath. "If the team can take prisoners for me to question, then they should feel free to do so. But don't tie their hands, and don't give any Sith orders on the subject. Anything else?"

Effet shrugged and looked over at Rylar, who shook his head. "...only one. Is the party a wise idea, given the attack?"

That earned a glare from Quarasha. "The attack was dealt with, the assassin is now dead, dismantled and melted into the deckplates. If there is a further attack, I doubt it will be done at a foreign party with a few thousand guards on the premises, and I need some element of plausible deniability."

Rylar looked away from her as the glare only grew stronger, sparks dancing between her fingertips. "I am no cowering damsel, and I will not cancel the plans made because of a failed attack. Your concern for my well-being does you justice, but it is not your place to question my strength. Is that clear?"

Effet grinned at his compatriot's clear discomfort, and Rylar could only manage a feeble nod. "Good," Quarasha continued. "Dismissed."

She collapsed in her chair, once the pair of officers had left, glaring at her stack of datapads. She was too cautious, she knew. Too careful. Too willing to let a good opportunity pass by in favor of playing it safe. Her pitiful power base was proof enough of that. Friendships and tentative alliances with others in the Empire, favors owed elsewhere, a few debatably legal bank accounts filled with bribes and kickbacks, and these two officers...

Rylar wasn't a bad officer, at least. Capable, intelligent, diplomatic, good strategic thinking but over-promoted, tossed in over his head by an Admiral who saw potential but had idea of how to cultivate it, and ended up having to demote the man after a few disgraceful operations.

Effet, on the other hand, was a terrible officer, but made up for it by working alone and being an excellent scout and shooter. Too much arrogance, too must disrespect, too willing to suck up to any Sith around, and far too willing to blame racism from others for his own failures. He deserved better than the guard duty Quarasha rescued him from, but not by much.

The garbage heap, in short. Officers no one else wanted, agents that she could trust, if only because she was their only option for a new start to their careers. The safe option.

Sith don't play things safe. They seize the moment, take what they want, laugh at any that stand in their way. And Quarasha knew that it was high time she took that to heart.
« Last Edit: 03/03/15, 09:17:29 PM by Orell »
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Orell

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #16 on: 03/03/15, 08:58:40 PM »
Originally posted 09/25/2013: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg17249#msg17249

Legacy of the Master

((Note: While only the second story written between the two, this is meant to look like the visits by Shaantil to her mother are a more regular thing now, with Shaantil finally getting over the awkwardness of her discovery that Soldin was her mother, as well as an indication that Soldin was accepting that, yes, she's Shaantil's mother, damn it, she should act like it.

...also, she has only two days left before retirement >_>.))




A ping came over the intercom of Master Soldin's ship. "Knight Shaantil to see you, Master. Should I power down again?"

The elder Miraluka chuckled softly, rising and moving to the door. "Yes, C2. I will let you know when to turn back on." She opened the door, smiling at her former student. "Come in, Shaantil. It is good to see you again."

Shaantil stepped inside, waiting for the door to close before giving her mother a brief hug. "And you as well, mother. Have you been well?"

Soldin gave a weak shrug, leading the girl towards the main room. "As well as can be expected. There has been an unfortunate amount of hostility as of late, but I'm working to deal with that."

Shaantil frowned, filling a glass of Vysint from the table and taking a seat. "I did not know you had attracted the Empire's attention. Is it something I can assist with?"

"The Empire?" Soldin laughed. "If only it was the Empire. The Empire I can deal with, I speak of the Council. They think I have spent too long away from Tython and the other core worlds, too far removed from what they think a Jedi should be."

"...ma-, apologies, mother, you told me that I should trust in the Council, to accept their guidance. Surely that means you should not ignore it either."

Soldin shook her head. "Listen, yes, but do not remain ignorant of other possibilities. Their concerns are noted, but unneeded. And that is quite a thing for someone in your position to say, my dear."

The Master smiled slightly as her daughter looked away, clearing her throat. "I listen to their council, I simply have... a different interpretation of their teachings than what they intend."'

"Perhaps I taught you too well, then," Soldin said, sharing a chuckle with Shaantil. "Don't worry about me, child. I volunteered for a change of pace, a little bit of archaeology. Something simple, to ease my mind and soothe their concerns."

"Simple, mother?"

"As simple as it ever is. The actual expedition is being led by a rather eager young man, I simply need to keep track of things, stay on the lookout for trouble and yank on his hood if he does anything too foolish." She smirked at her daughter's expression, remembering a time when a rather different hood was being yanked on.

"...I will note that we arrested him two years later for taking bribes and allowing for the import of contraband. My detection of him was... eventually accurate."

Soldin laughed, finally taking a sip of the imported, and technically illegal, beverage. "You lept at a young man that was intending on showing us to the stationmaster! Hardly a master criminal!"

"...it was my first time off Tython as your Padawan..."

"Yes, and that little jump made me the laughingstock of the rest of the Masters for a good three months, so, no, I will not let you forget it," Soldin said, smiling at the embarrased, but still smiling, Knight.

"...very well, I suppose it is only customary that you persist in teasing your daughter..."

"Of course it is! And there is one other subject that is quite customary to bring up."

Shaantil raised her eyebrow. "...I sense that I do not want to know what that is."

Soldin gave an evil little smile. "Grandchildren."

Shaantil cringed. "...Master, please..."

"That friend of yours is moving forward-"

By now, Shaantil was firmly hiding her face from her mother, or at least trying to. "Seiyd told you?"

Another laugh from the Master. "She wouldn't tell me if my robes were on fire, I figured it out on my own, and long before she did. Come on," she added, searching her memory for the right saying, "it is not as though I am getting younger."

"Mother! I don't even know if Cordae and I are... are..."

Soldin realized she was probably enjoying this far more than a Jedi had any right to, but why stop now? "Biologically compatible? How can you not know that?"

"We are separate species with different biologies! He has two livers, and I have no eyes! It is not-"

"And you haven't run any tests for compatibility? Or checked to see if others have done any studies?"

Shaantil hesitated. ".........not as such. It... has not come up..."

"Never?" Soldin asked, pressing on. "You have never considered your future with him? The impact your relations, in both senses of the word, might have on the two of you, and his world as a whole?"

Shaantil took a deep breath, speaking carefully, as though reciting the words from a script. "I... have considered the possibilities, but as caution is being observed in our... relations, the long term concerns have never been fully... explored."

Soldin gazed at her daughter. "If that is how you always lie, it is a miracle the Order did not find out about you and Jace earlier. What is your REAL concern, Shaantil?"

"I do not-"

"You are afraid of something on some level, and I think you know what it is. Are you worried about your career? That the Order might-"

"No! It is his planet!" Shaantil interrupted, glaring at her mother.

The two stared at each other for several moments, a slight raise of the eyebrow from Soldin prompting Shaantil to sit back with a sigh, briefly meditating. "...I apologize, mother, I-"

"It was nothing. You were saying?"

Shaantil let out a brief sigh. "...he loves his world, and would do whatever he could to protect it, and it loves him as well. The people became... fascinated with me, sight largely unseen, simply because of my relationship with him. That it is neutral, and I am... not does not help matters either. Whether my choice or not, to be with Cordae means to be with his world... something I know next to nothing about..."

Soldin gazed at her daughter, and slowly shook her head. "Then learn. See it yourself, learn about its past, research it... find out what it is like. You will have to deal with this at some point, because either he or the Order will force the question upon you."

"...even if I am sure it is not soon?"

Soldin smiled, reaching out for her daughter's hand. "The future waits for no one, Shaantil. The Jedi least of all."
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Orell

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #17 on: 03/03/15, 09:03:33 PM »
Originally posted 09/29/2013: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=1662.0

How a Jedi Dies

((Note: This is a converted chat log of the event from way back when. There was stuff in the event before and after this, but this is the most significant part in the long run: The final battle of Master Soldin.

First off, Norland: He was going to originally be a bigger character of mine, but things just never quite clicked with him. Originally, this was going to push him into darker, grayer areas, but I never could get the nerdy-archaeologist-turned-evil to work right, and he just kinda... drifted around.

As for Soldin... I went into this putting her out there in the open, and letting the event participants decide what to do with her. The dice were favorable, giving her a few moments of excellence before eventually falling to being outnumbered by powerful Sith, and this remains one of my favorite story arcs for my characters.))




After a long flight, a long hike and two bloody, trying battles, Darth Karmic, Darth Usha Ephese and Agent Ca'ssan finally reach the center of the Republic listening post on the ruined world of Emaglaha.



Karmic senses two presences. The first is a rather terrified and angry, and rather powerful, Jedi coming up near the entrance, and a more calm, collected and... familiar presence somewhere above. She whispers into the com, "There's a pissed off.. nervous..and powerful Jedi coming this way... and someone calmer further on."

There's another set of corridors, the base seemingly laid out rather haphazardly, until you near an opening leading to the main entry area, a spiral staircase leading up somewhere... and a Mirialan Jedi entering the base.

Karmic wraps her energy back into her tightly again, concentrating on hiding her energy's detection and signature from the approaching Jedi, she moves over towards the walls of the corridor, watching the Jedi. ...

"Fear your end Jedi!" Ephese bellows. Knowing full well that she can't hide herself, she emphasizes her own aura, attempting to strengthen and expand it to overshadow and distract from the signatures of her companions. As she does this, she draws her saber.

Ca'ssan lays down on his stomach, bow drawn. "Aw hell, we're making a scene now?"

The Jedi takes a step back at Ephese's display of power, and quickly jerks his hand forward, dropping down a shield at the opening. "...who... who are you?! What are you doing here?!"

Karmic stands silent, letting Ephese do the talking so as to not reveal herself.

"I am Justice!" Ephese continues in a bold voice, her confidence growing. "Meet your destiny or flee like a craven. The choice is yours."

Ca'ssan loads a durasteel bolt into his bow, rather than usng blaster fire.

The Mirialan gapes at Ephese. "Justice? JUSTICE?! You... you're nothing but murderers! Killing scientists, archaeologists, good people that deserved NONE of this!"

Rather than argue, Ephese hones her energy to overpower the shield at the door, battering it and causing it to flicker briefly, but still generally holding strong.

Ca'ssan smirks and attempts to provoke the Jedi further. "Oh, they all deserved what they got. And I deserved the satisfaction of watching them bleed."

Karmic just frowns in her skull's mask, watching the shield.

The Jedi's hands start glowing. "Monsters... I will bury you! Collapse this whole mountain on top of you! It's what you deserve, far better than what you really should be allowed! I will crush you like the-"

With a thump, an older, Miraluka woman lands next to the Mirialan. "Enough, Norland."

*laughs* Crush us like all the scientists we've crushed? And kill even more innocents in the process? Be my kriffing guest!

Norland beams at the woman. "Master Soldin! Together we can-"

Soldin shakes her head, pressing a datachip into Norland's hands. "No, we will not. There are more important things right now. You need to get this data to the Republic."

Norland blinks at Soldin. "But... there's only two of them. We can-"

Karmic looks out through the shielding, smiling slowly under her mask as she sees Soldin.

Ca'ssan grins widely. "Oh, yes, go on and deliver your data. We'll just go ahead and slaughter some more. Hope you don't mind."

Soldin raises her voice. "Go, Norland. The Sith would not send only two. And you are in no condition to fight them."

Ephese doesn't recognize the other Jedi and disregards her even if she is the more powerful foe. Picking on the weak will serve them better. "Come. Open the way with me." she taunts, her energy focusing again on the shield.

The shield starts to flicker more and more, as Norland glares at Ca'ssan. "We have to punish them!"

Karmic whispers softly, "That data may be what we're here to find out about... ", following it with a soft curse in Arcaic Sith.

Soldin gives one last look at Norland. "Our duty to others is more important than petty vengeance. Now go." Norland glares back at Soldin, about to tell her off... until he is thrown out of the base by the Force.

Ca'ssan smiles. "And here I thought I'd get to blow a hole in two Jedi. Shame. One will have to do."

Soldin sighs. "...enough games." She gestures at a control, raising up a rayshield to block the exit and turns to Ephese and Ca'ssan.

Ephese nods at Karmic's comment, as Karmic sighs, watching their information escape.

Over the Imperial team's comm, Effet piped up. "...poor Froggy got tossed out. Want me to take care of him?"

Ephese replies "Absolutely. He's got the data that we're likely after.", right as Ca'ssan says "Please do. He has what we need,"... and Karmic adds, urgently whispering for good measure, "Yes Effet! Please! We need that data!"

Effet: "Goodie, taking him- woah, he moves fast...  I'll try to pin him down, but I'm far enough away I have to account for planetary spin."

Soldin ignites her Lightsaber, waiting for the rayshield to go down.

Soldin gives Ephese and Ca'ssan a brief nod. "I don't suppose I can know the names of my assailants?"    

Karmic whispers over the comm again. "Anything you can do will be helpful...even if its just holding him there until we're done with his Master."

"Darth Usha Ephese, Shadow of Moirae, and the Empire's Justice." Ephese ignites her blade and bows formally the blade is held lightly in her hand, as if it were an extension of her will.

Ca'ssan readies his trigger finger. "Sure. Hello, my name is Kriff You. Nice to kill you."

Soldin grips her lightsaber. "How polite. Very well, let me show you how a Jedi dies."

The ray shield goes down.

Karmic moves behind Ephese as she steps through the doorway - still stealthed she moves quickly off to the far side and circles around to the side of the Jedi before she force-charges forward - a current of wind moving into the Jedi as she reaches her side and pops out of stealth, bringing her double-saber around in an arc again - pressing the fight immediately to the Jedi.

Soldin is about to leap at Ephese when she sees Karmic unstealthd, having to twist out of the way of the attack and rolling back to her feet, stepping forward to slash at the center of Karmic's double-blades.

Karmic stops her forward momentum, her Force energy pushing back as Soldin steps to slash towards the center of her blades, pushing them apart just enough for her to weave her saber in close to her body, barely spinning enough to glance Soldin's lightsaber off of one of her blades and wide as she leaps backwards and away from her, returning to a defensive stance, "Pleasure to dance with you... Jedi.. Its Karmic.."

Soldin nods briefly. "We've met."

Karmic nods back at her, "Yes, we have." ...

"You will return the favor, won't you?" Ephese teased the Jedi while lunging in during Soldin's moment of distraction.

Soldin turns to meet Ephese, deflecting her strike mostly to the side, wincing as it caught a bit of her side. "Return what favor?" she says as she feints high before twisting down low, trying to cut off Ephese's ankles.

"Your name, of course. so we know whom to send condolences to." Ephese leaps lightly into the air; the arc of the blade sweeps under her feet as Ca'ssan fires off his bolt to pierce the Jedi's leg.

Soldin takes a tumble, dodging the bolt but rolling out of her defensive stance. "Master Soldin."

"Its an honor... to fight you." Karmic says softly as she steps up and presses her attack as Soldin rises up from her roll. Her body and saber move as one as she turns and lashes up and around towards Soldin's face - testing the Jedi's limits.

Soldin backflips away, dodging the slice with barely an inch of room and flinging her Saber at Karmic, trying to return the favor. "The feeling is not mutual."

"Aww..." Karmic snickers out as she seems to flow backwards, trying to move out of the spinning saber's way. She drops back and kicks, taking a strike to her calf muscle as she flips. She snarls as she lands, a gash down her leg, she crouches defensively. "How rude."

Soldin frowns as she calls her Lightsaber back to her hand. "Battle is a grim necessity, not an honor."

Ephese spins in an ariel; cartwheeling toward Soldin while projecting the dizzying centrifugal sensation at the Jedi hoping that the distraction will shake her concentration and make her loose the return catch of the saber, causing Soldin's hand to miss it entirely go flying off behind her, crashing into something expensive by the sound of it.

"So why do Jedi guard archaeologists in the middle of nowhere..?" Karmic asks softly, the soft shine of her eyes showing through the sockets of her death's head helmet - focusing on cutting off the sensations of pain from her leg while she speaks and crouches.

Soldin frowns and reaches into her robes, not responding to Karmic's jab, and pulls out a small, hold-out blaster, firing it at Ephese's chest. Oddly, Ephese laughs as the blaster bolt rips through the fabric of her robe and grazes her hip, earning a raised eyebrow from the Master.

Meanwhile, Ca'ssan loads up a bolt armed with 4 thermal detonators attached. "There is no Death.. there is the Cas," he says as he fires the bolt towards the Jedi's chest.

Soldin moves as if a blur, snatching the bolt in midair, right before it impales her... and then she has a good look at the bolt's contents. The terror is on her face for only a moment, and she flings it aside, thinking far too late to throw it at her foes. She leaps away from the explosion that follows, managing to avoid almost all of the blast and tumbling to the ground on the other side of the hall.

Karmic's eyes narrowed as she saw the Jedi go for a blaster. While crouched, she calls on her energy to strengthen her shields in front, as the energy of the detonation washes over her. She then stands from her crouch and focuses all her not inconsiderable attention on Soldin. Tendrils of dark energy snake out of her quick as a whip and move to wrap around the Jedi, attempting to surround her in an almost reverse-force shield, a cocooning of dark energy to hold the Jedi tightly in, and squeeze. The air around Karmic goes cold as she works.

Soldin rolls to her feet, extending a hand to hold back the dark energies... and the other hand to open fire on Karmic some more, to at the very least disrupt her concentration, succeeding as Karmic immediately gives up the efforts. She springs in a force-leap to try and move out of the way and ends up getting shot once through that same shoulder. She snarls as she rolls hard behind some crates.

Soldin breathes heavily. "...is this the might of the Sith?"

Ephese pirouettes and brings her arm down in an arc, aiming to cut off Soldin's blaster-wielding hand. The Jedi's fortitude was impressive, but this game was beginning to lose it's charm, and Soldin is unable to bring her hand clear in time, letting out a brief cry of pain as it is removed. She backs away from Ephese, the lost hand still clutching the blaster as it its life depended on it, leaving the Jedi defenseless.

Karmic closes her eyes and stealths before she rolls up to her knees and then her feet, moving out from behind the crates and into position.

Ca'ssan stands up and pulls out his knife, throwing it at Soldin... who plucks it out of mid-air, holding it in her remaining hand, a look of determination clear on her face. "Thank you."

Ca'ssan chuckles. "Now why didn't I lace THAT one with explosives?"

Ephese chuckles at the spray of blood. "How strange... that the last pillar of the Jedi is pride. We're not so proud to throw our lives away on a lost cause... Why are you?" She eyes the blade warily, knowing a dying snake was still poisonous.

Soldin watches the Sith carefully. "My cause is not lost."

Karmic walks towards Soldin, stealthed. She moves around behind the woman and spins, aiming to slice her through the back. She pops out of stealth just before her saber comes around, and Soldin cries out, dropping to a knee as the blade cuts across her back. Finally, in desperation she lunges forward, no longer aiming for disabling strikes, instead trying to drive the knife right into Ephese's throat.

"You're thinking of your pet." Ephese smirks and easily parries the attack, but pauses, standing over Soldin, the look of victory shining in her eyes, "He's a dead man already. The moment he feels your passing, he'll forget your orders. His drive for vengeance will consume whatever paltry sense of duty you tried to instill... such a shame. Maybe we'll adopt him. It -is- Karmic's favorite past-time."

Soldin stares up at Ephese, a ghost of a smirk on her face. "...how little you know of us." Ephese twirls her blade drives it down into the base of Soldin's neck. A choked gasp comes from Jedi Master's throat, as all of the smugness fades away, replaced only by pain and... almost a sense of relief, a faint, pained smile finally crosses her face as the word "...Simon..." escapes her lips, ending as she falls to the floor.

Karmic sighs, watching Ephese end Soldin. She clicks her saber off. "What a waste..." she said softly, panting heavily as she drew her energy back into herself, working on blocking the pain. "Effet..did you get Norland?" ...

Ca'ssan grabs his knife back from her cold, dead hands. "Simon?"

Effet growled over the comm. "Damn froggy bastard why don't you just- Fuck!" After a brief pause, the sniper said, "...sorry, ma'ams, he's off the world. Most of the other scientists managed to get offworld too, they ran for the ships almost immediately."
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Orell

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #18 on: 03/03/15, 09:11:26 PM »
Originally posted 09/29/2013: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg17397#msg17397

Aftermath of Emaglaha

((Note: Three short parts here, each crucially important. Between the end of the event and this, the Empire had left with Soldin's body, as well as many prisoners that turned up dead later on, and Shaantil had gone with a few friends to investigate why Shaantil felt a sudden shocking loss.

Norland's bit would have been very important... if the character had gotten off the ground more. I'm still rather happy about it. Quarasha's part was needed, an explanation for why she wouldn't say Soldin had died, just that a Jedi had been killed there, making her magnanimous attitude towards not dragging the dead through the mud clearly nothing of the sort...

...but in my mind, it's all elevated by that final section. Short, sweet, still makes me teary. Happily ever after, one way or another.))




The sniper's fire pinged off the Defender's hull as Norland scrambled to lift off. The other transports were in the air already, just waiting on the Jedi and any other survivors...

Tears blurred his vision as he pounded the controls. He felt her death in the Force, and he knew that he had no chance against a foe that Master Soldin could not defeat. She was right, he was useless, unable to fight, only suitable to dig and play as a courier...

He drove his ship through the gray sky, trying to escape the world in a hurry, get away from the Sith, give the Master's death at least some meaning. His comm blinked at him, the other ships asking for orders. Wondering what to do, just like he was...

He shook his head, triggering the comm. "This is... Knight Norland, we... we need to leave the system now, plot a course for Carri-" he stopped himself before giving the order. If the Sith wanted to destroy them all, they might set up an ambush on that path, they'd know the first instinct would be to run back to the core...

"Sir? Where's Master Soldin? Where are we going?" The panic was evident in the other pilot's voice, and Norland's training was clear: You have to provide them a source of confidence, strength, authority... everything Norland lacked.

Norland steeled himself, calming down before speaking. "...Master Soldin cannot join us. Set a course for... Tatooine. We need to take the long way home."

There was silence from the other ship, and then, "...yes sir. Course laid in. See you over Tatooine..."

Norland tripped the engines and watched the stars bleed into hyperspace, collapsing into his chair and staring down at the datachip. The reason Master Soldin gave up her life. It was going to be a long, long flight to Republic, having to move slower in order to not outrun the civilian ships... and it didn't make sense. The data from an archaeological dig is... important in a broad sense, but not worth a life...

He stepped away from the controls, walking over to his study, plugging the datachip into his systems. "I have to know what the data is, after all, in order to know who to give it to..." he told himself, looking over the files.

There was a lot there, of course. It looks like Soldin just dumped an entire set of directories into the datachip, not caring about filtering or organizing any of it. "...makes sense, she didn't have time to do much more than copy a lot of data over. But... what sort of data is this?"

He opened up a few of the logs, frowning at the mass of raw data. "...this is a trajectory calculation... that number... that's the average hyperspace speed for an Imperial Fury, and these are time stamps... and that... that looks like it could be the mass of a Fury..."

His eyes poured over it all, making a few notes, teasing out what he could learn from this... until realization dawned. "...this is hyperspace traffic," he said aloud. "They were... they were using the base to monitor Hyperspace traffic?" He blinked again, bringing up the galaxy map and frowned, glaring at the screen. "...all that death, all that destruction... we invited it? Why... why would Soldin do that?"

He slumped down again. He had friends in that base. Colleagues, so many others simply fascinated in this world that tore itself apart, what it must have been like to be there... "...and we brought more war to it."

Norland leaned forward to remove the datachip, when he spotted one, oddly out of place directory, with an encrypted file and a small note, reading "Norland, deliver this to Knight Shaantil. -Soldin".

There was a part of him that was tempted to try to decrypt the file, out of spite, or curiosity, or something else... but he held himself back. Master Soldin died to get this information, including whatever that file was. He would respect that, if nothing else...

-----

Sometime later, on Dromund Kaas

Quarasha stared at the mangled body of Master Soldin, momentarily ignoring the nervous posture of her lackey. "...why am I looking at this?" she finally asked.

"My lord, Darth Ephese desired that, as it was your operation, you be given the right to decide what to do with her."

Quarasha glared at Rylar. "THIS body? She was at the base?"

"Yes, my lord, and defended it to the death to allow another Jedi to escape with some data. We do have proof that the Republic was using the base as a listening post, without the permission of the Vorskan government. If you want to take credit for the operation, you would gain significant credit among the other Sith, and blowback from neutral worlds would be minimal."

Quarasha sighed, rubbing her eyes. "...and if it were any other Jedi, I would agree. Bring me Farworlder, Saxtus, either Nahir and I would gladly do it. But this one... you brought me the former Master of the only Jedi that Erini knows about. A Jedi they LIKE, Force knows why... this would be more trouble than its worth..."

Rylar looked at the fallen Jedi, frowning. "...we could always put it into an incinerator, pretend like nothing happened..."

"...and that would leave a mystery, one the Jedi would insist on solving." She turned to her lackey. "Put her on ice. Or in stasis, or whatever will prevent decomposition. I need time to think.about this..."



Elsewhere...

Shaantil's mind drifted in her sleep, the drugs from O'reily still in her system and... be it the Force, Seiyd's influence or merely the sedatives, she began to dream.

Two figures appeared. The first, a woman, one Shaantil had known all her life. Old, but no longer worn down by the years. The second, a man, younger, confident, all smiles, someone Shaantil had never met, but knew all the same.

They embraced tightly, like old lovers too long separated, as they merged together, joining the Force.
« Last Edit: 03/03/15, 09:17:14 PM by Orell »
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Orell

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #19 on: 03/03/15, 09:16:27 PM »
Originally posted 09/30/2013: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg17408#msg17408

Farewell

((Note: While the final part of the previous post was my preferred farewell, I felt Shaantil deserved more closure than that, and that Soldin would provide that closure too. She was no victim of fate, after all: She knew what she was getting into, which is why she made sure to talk about children and the future during her last visit with Shaantil.

So, yeah, more tearjerker moments, but this time for the character... because Shaantil deserved it, damn it.))




Norland sighed, stepping out into the early morning of Tython. SIS had the data, finally, and the Jedi Order's contact seemed far too eager to receive it, given all that happened. Or maybe that made it better, that someone was getting use out of it. Norland didn't know, and at this point didn't care. He had another job to do.

It took some asking, but he eventually found Shaantil, sitting next to Master Yarwin's favorite waterfall, looking deep in meditation, an astromech droid next to her.

It was odd, though. Something about Shaantil reminded him of Master Soldin, aside from the obvious...

He shook his head. "...just imagining things..." "Knight Shaantil?" he said, approaching her.

Shaantil turned her head, nodding at him. "...Norland. You were... with her. On Emaglaha."

"I... yes. I was. She... gave me the time I needed to escape," he managed, looking down at the flowing stream. "...I cannot imagine what you are-"

Shaantil raised her hand. "...thank you, but... it is not needed. It is... good to see that you are well." Her voice cracked slightly, betraying her unwavering Miraluka gaze. "...is there something you need from me?"

Norland nodded. "...she gave me something. A datachip. It had the data from that place, which SIS has. They seem... grateful for the data."

Shaantil took a deep breath, and nodded. "...good. I... hope they are aware of the cost."

"I made sure they were." Norland replied, pulling the datachip out, levitating it over to the Jedi. "...she also left something for you. An encrypted file, possibly a message?"

Shaantil snatched it out of the air, a touch too eagerly, passing it to T7 to decrypt. "Did SIS get a copy of it?"

"No. It was addressed to you, and you alone." He bowed his head, managing to add, "...I will never forget what she did there, I swear to you." It was the truth, at least, although, thinking of all those that died there, Norland wasn't quite sure what he meant by it himself.

It went over Shaantil's head, however, as she watched T7, waiting for the decryption to finish, hardly noticing Norland slink away.

"T7 = decrypted file // File = holo message // T7 = play?"

Shaantil turned to her droid. "...of course, T7... but keep the volume low."



Soldin appears in her customary robes, the hologram robbing them of their color, or of any color at all.

"My child, as I speak this, it is my hope that this makes its way safely to you. I am relying far too much on the whims of the Force, but, in the end, what else can we do?"

Soldin's wan smile gave way to a softer one. "The Force has been calling to me, child. For what, for why, I do not know... only that there is a great danger in my path, a danger that would befall others if I deviate from it. If you are receiving this, then I have faced that danger, and I did not defeat it, and for that I am sorry."

"You were an exemplary student, the best I could have ever hoped for. Time after time, as I have heard of your work, of the good you have done in the name of the Jedi and the Republic, it has made me so very proud. As much as your father would have grumbled about his daughter being a Jedi, I know he would have felt the same. My only hope is that you continue to be a light of good in the darkness of the galaxy."

"I know you are afraid of the future, of what may come to be, from one thing or the other. Do not be, child. The future is nothing but what we make of it, but it will not stop and wait for us to be ready for it. Because, if there is one thing that I am sure of, beyond all others, is that you are ready for it. You simply may not yet know it."

"If there is a chance that I am a prisoner of the Empire, then alert the Order as soon as possible, of course. I would ask that you recuse yourself from my rescue, though. We both know that you would not be properly centered for such an attempt, and I would not wish you there if the Sith do manage to turn me to the Dark Side, because we both know what would need to be done."

"I sense that it is far more likely that I will be dead, however. In that case, do not mourn. I went into this battle willingly, knowing what my eventual fate might be. I lived a good life, with you, with Simon, and I rest now in the arms of the Force. I could not have asked for a better life, or a better end to it."

"Goodbye, my daughter. The Force will be with you always, and so shall I."



Shaantil stared at the holo, then at T7 once it faded away, who looked at her closely. "...Jedi = want to watch again?"

She shook her head, choking up as she spoke. "...no. No, I- no. Not now. Save it. For later." She took a deep breath, retreating into her meditation, her mother's voice still ringing in her ears.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Orell

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #20 on: 03/03/15, 09:21:07 PM »
Originally posted 11/27/2013: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=1872.msg20033#msg20033

Orell Family Dinner

((Note: Hey, it's time for some more lightheartedness! This is part of a Family open prompt thread that I created during... well, American Thanksgiving time, because spending time with the family's fun!

This is a bit after Lien got transferred to desk duty, planning missions instead of carrying them out, largely because I felt the character had reached a good place and I didn't need to put him through any more misery.

Also, its fun! Its nice to have chars with happy family lives!))




Lien's intercom buzzed, a protocol's voice speaking up. "Captain, your sister wishes to speak to you. Shall I connect her?"

"Go ahead... C-Something..." he winced, still struggling to recognize all the protocol droid names.

"'ey, Li, wot's this I'm hearin' 'bout you hostin' the family dinner?" Kyri said over the comm, a... suspicious sound in her voice. "Don' we always do it back 'ome?"

He let out a laugh. "Come on, Ky! It's just a place, and way better than doin' it down in tha dark. Bigger, too."

"Yah, but does tha' mean yer gonna cook?"

"Hey! I'm a damn good cook!" he said, grinning at the comm. "At least as good as ma an' pa!"

"Uh huh," she said, suspiciously. "So, it ain' so you ken order stuff in secret?"

"Ky."

"Or so we gotta feel nice an' not complain?"

"...when has that sorta thing stopped ya in the past?"

He could HEAR her roll her eyes. "Hones'ly, Li, I KNOW ya don' really live there. Ya work on Carrick, way too long a c'mmute. You hostin' on yer hunk o' junk?"

Lien sighed. His sister wasn't wrong, exactly, but... "It's important to have a real flat, Ky. A place you don' gotta worry 'bout bein' stolen away, ya know? Or get shot down? And I'd rather host on a place without exposed wiring. And carpets."

"...uh huh. But... ya are cookin'?"

He sighed. "Yes! I'm sure ma will help out, and you can if ya want-" He sighed as he waited for Kyri's laughter to quiet down, "And I'm gonna be invitin' Az along too... and she'll prolly force her way into the kitchen, whether I like it or not."

Kyri snickered at the last. "She's a better cook than ya, righ'?" Once it became clear an answer wasn't coming, she continued. "Alrigh', alrigh', I'll be there, jus' migh' be a bit late? Keep gettin' confused 'bout tha time differences..."

He chuckled. "I'll forward you an app for that, Ky. See ya there."
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Orell

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #21 on: 03/03/15, 09:22:34 PM »
Originally posted 11/29/2013: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=1872.msg20075#msg20075

Silicon Feast

((Note: Second verse, same as the first. Shaantil needed some comedy, even with her relationship with Cordae, and so, T7, master of comic relief, stepped into the picture! A shame there's no turkeys in Star Wars, though...))



"Feel the Force around you, Shaantil. It is in everything, the people around you, the unliving steel, the droid, the air... the Force is eternal, unending, unyielding. Take comfort in that, if you can. You will never be alone."

Shaantil sighed softly in her meditation. A small comfort, perhaps, given to the Jedi after an unexpected and extended stay on a frozen pit of a world... but a comfort regardless. Master Soldin would always be with Shaantil, through her memories and through the Force...

"T7 = sorry..."

The Jedi turned her head, looking at the small droid, rolling into her quarters. "...what are you sorry for?" she asked, mentally kicking herself for not keeping more aware of her surroundings.

"T7 = had small accident // Jedi = angry?"

"What happened?"

The droid looked around, almost acting bashful. "T7 = know Jedi = sad // T7 = know Cordae = busy + Soldin = ... // T7 = wanted to cheer Jedi up"

That earned a slight smile from the Jedi. "Thank you, T7, but what happened?" she said, restraining herself from making a joke at the poor droid's expense.

"T7 = find holonet article on food = good at cheering up // T7 = found recipes // T7 = tried cooking!" She stared at the droid for a few moments, before motioning him to continue. "T7 = read roast birds = good food // T7 = read recently killed birds = best food..."

"...so, you are sorry that you killed a bird, T7?"

"T7 = not done yet... // T7 = found + killed local avian species..."

She frowned. "...T7, we are on Nar Shaddaa. What avian species..." She winced, knowing the answer.

"Bird = Mynock"

Mynocks. The womp rats of the sky. And... "...I thought they were silicon based life forms?"

"Jedi = not like Silicon?"

She shook her head. "At least, not to eat."

"T7 = sorry..." T7 seemed to slump down even lower, but continued. T7 = had trouble preparing Mynock // Skin = tough // wings = little meat // T7 = may have made mess"

"...well, that is understandable... is that all?"

T7 shook its head. "T7 = cooked Mynock // T7 = think Oven = had malfunction?"

"Why is that?"

"Recipe = said to roast at 350 degrees // Mynock = overcooked + burst into flame + exploded..."

Shaantil gazed at T7 for several moments. "...350 degrees what?"

T7 looked around a few times, before reluctantly answering. "...recipe = did not say?"

The Jedi winced, although there was a slight smile on her face. "...please, T7, clean up the mess and... see to repairing the oven, if it is needed?"

"T7 = understand // T7 = sorry // Jedi = mad?"

Over twenty years of Jedi training was thankfully enough to prevent her from breaking out into laughter. "No, T7, and thank you for the thought of it..."

She managed to hold her expression for a good ten seconds after T7 left the room, before dissolving into muffled laughter.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Orell

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #22 on: 03/03/15, 09:27:40 PM »
Originally posted 12/01/2013: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=1872.msg20178#msg20178

Happy Families

((Note: Oh, Arazel, poor, poor Arazel...

Another character that sadly didn't go anywhere, although a lot of the blame this time is on her secret. She was supposed to be a very Light Side Bounty Hunter, who would refrain from killing, isn't a Mandalorian and was still a loyal Imperial, but I just couldn't really get traction with her... largely because I kept trying to hype up this secret.

See, the backstory for Arazel was that she her mother was human, who was married to a Sith Pureblood, Darth Khorus... and Arazel came out fully human. Khorus reacted... as you would expect, but did raise Arazel almost like a daughter, hence her strong Imperial affiliation.

So... enjoy this, maybe Arazel will come back again without the convoluted secret holding her back >_>.))




Arazel sighed, staring up at the massive, forboding estate before ducking her head back under her hood, hiding away as Kaas City chose to resume the hourly downpour.

The raincoat was thick, heavy and warm, at least, far better than the dress contained underneath, but still not enough to make the hunter comfortable. She had become too used to the armor, or other hard, thick outfits, clothing suitable for hard work and hard living, not... this.

She reached the main door, walking past the slave letting her inside and reluctantly removing the raincoat, putting her dress fully on display. Light, blue and... fluffy was truly the only word. She felt like a cloud... or at least, a cloud in a bad way.

The butler bowed to Arazel as she entered, the slave collar carefully displayed under the collar of his coat. "Madam. Darth Khorus is expecting you in the dining room. This way, please."

The butler-slave started forward, turning as Arazel spoke. "I know the way. Leave me."

He smiled briefly. "I would, madam, but Darth Khorus insists..." At the hunter's roll of the eyes, he continued on. "Our lordship has asked that I confirm that you have come unarmed, and there is no armor underneath your lovely gown."

She snorted at the blatant lie. "None of either, unless you count my fists."

"It may please you to jest, madam, but may I urge you not to try to use them?"

Arazel sighed as they walked.. "You may." The estate was wearing on her nerves. She hadn't been back here in some time, not since the last time Darth Khorus insisted on dinner... and then not since the previous time...

"We do miss you here, madam. You do not visit often, and many of us have fond memories of you." The butler turned to Arazel, in front of the large doors to the dining room. "Why, I remember when you were-"

"Don't," Arazel said, cutting him off as she opened the doors, striding in, ignoring the slave's briefly hurt expression and fighting a grimace as she saw the figure at the far end of the table. Darth Khorus.

The Pureblood Sith always had a talent for striking an imposing look, regardless of the setting or the outfit. Here, in simple clothes, the robe more reminiscent of a dressing gown than a Sith's robes, his smile, his expression, his very stance screamed out to Arazel's practiced eye that this was a deadly person to have as an enemy.

He smiled, standing and walking around the table. "Ah, Ara, darling. How good of you to make it." He chuckled at the hunter's stiff bow. "Now now, Ara, I think we are beyond such petty formalities. Let me get a closer look at you..."

He stepped forward, his eyes trailing over Arazel, taking in the horrible dress. There was a ghost of a smirk on his face, she knew. "You look gorgeous as always, dear Ara. A shame about that tattoo, it does rather spoil the look."

Arazel couldn't hold back her harumph, bringing a grin to the Dark Lord's face. "You disagree? Feel free to speak up."

She hesitated, choosing her words carefully. "...the dress is quite lovely, my lord. But it is not my sort of dress."

"You mean, you think you look like a bantha in a frilly dress?" Darth Khorus made no attempt to hide is amusement, infuriating Arazel to no end.

"No, my lord, I think I look like a Rancor in a frilly dress." This earned a laugh from the Darth, and she continued on. "I think there has to be better dresses for women with muscles out there. Mandalorian women have to wear something, don't they?"

"They wear armor, darling, and I think you know that too." He turned, walking back to his end of the table and gesturing at the other chair. "Sit down, please. I want to know all about your latest exploits, criminals captured, Sith insulted, Hutts killed..."

Arazel chuckles softly, sitting down and spying the veritable feast laid out before her, happy that the subject has finally shifted to something else. "No hutts killed this time, my lord."

"Then what are you using that armor for?" He asked, almost looking taken aback by the notion. "It took so long to repair that from the detestable shape it was in!"

"Criminals and Sith, my lord." She reached for a drumstick, but stopping as Darth Khorus coughed.

"One last thing, Ara? It's just you and me here, you know what to call me."

Her eyes flickered, pulling the drumstick to her plate. "...of course, Father..."

This was going to be a long dinner.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Orell

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #23 on: 03/03/15, 09:30:39 PM »
Originally posted 12/23/2013: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg21613#msg21613

Meddling Admirals

((Note: This takes place after the meeting noted in here: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=461.msg22222#msg22222

...surprisingly, Quar and Villem got on mostly great after this whole debacle got settled ^_^))




Quarasha glanced around the table, a soft frown on her face, taking in the Lieftenants once again, trying to keep a measure of her attention on Rylar's droning briefing voice. Various minor lords petitioning her for assistance or favors, despite having nothing to bargain with, updates on the success of the trade packages she had organized, some political upheaval because an idiot King ignored her guidance and there was a budding rebellion forming...

She held up her hand. "Forgive me, Rylar, but when you say Rebels, do you mean armed and dedicated insurgents, or a few civil demonstrations?"

Rylar glanced down as his notes. "Largely civil, my lord. A few hotheads throwing rocks, although the latest had a few improvised firebombs used once the riot police descended."

She nodded. "And the next in line?"

Rylar blinked. "...Prince Torfal. Still somewhat young, rather weak willed in my opinion. Not a fan of the rebels, but less......" he paused, searching for the right word.

"Less of a prideful idiot?" Quarasha finished, waving off his hurried response and turning to the Rattataki. "Ornell, I assume you know the layout of the palace, and the best places for a change in the guard?"

Effet grinned, giving the Sith a cocky wink. "Just say the word, ma'am. It's been a while since I assassinated a King."

Quarasha nodded. "We need to shape the outcome as well, Effet. Get a local rifle and start training." She sighed, ignoring Effet's grimace at the prospect of not using his personal rifles. "And the other little task, Rylar?"

Rylar nodded. "I have spoken to a few old friends of mine that had served with the Admiral, examined records, orders, status reports-"

"What Admiral?" Effet interrupted, frowning at the human. "We're not talking about an Imperial, are we?"

Quarasha raised he hand, cutting off Rylar's response. "We are. Admiral Eldarus Villem has taken a particular interest in Erini, and I would like to know who I am dealing with before he wrecks my plans there."

Effet's eyes narrowed. "And you go to Rylar for info? I thought I was your military advisor."

Rylar's sneer was hardly being hidden now. "She went to the naval officer for information on an Admiral, and not the sniper. A true military advisor would have told advised her to do just that, Ornell."

"And she should have still asked, Navy! I'm not some damn lackey for-"

A crackle of lightning and the sharp scent of ozone interrupted the pair, an annoyed looking coming from the Twi'lek. "Ornell, you will do what I order, and I will go to you for advice and information when I choose to. If this arrangement is unsatisfactory for you, feel free to return to guard duty in the middle of nowhere. I hear there are very few kings to assassinate there." Turning away from the now sulking Effet, she turned, nodding to Rylar. "You were saying?"

Rylar cleared his throat, giving Effet a brief, if smug, look. "The Admiral is a good one, ma'am. A good leader and strategist, respect of his men, loyal to the Empire... with respect, ma'am, the tone by many of those I spoke with was that if he asked the to transfer to his command, they would agree without quesiton."

Quarasha smirked briefly. "And you?"

A pause. "He would not ask me, my lord." At Effet's snort, Rylar frowned, fixing the Rattataki with a glare of his own. "Do you have something to add?"

Effet shrugged, smirking at the glare. "Sure. What Sith's ass are his lips glued to?"

Rylar's eyes narrowed. "I don't follow your meaning, Ornell."

"Oh, come off it, Rylar. You don't get that high in the Empire without a Sith's favor. Especially in the Navy. Someone's watching his back."

"He no doubt takes assignments from powerful Sith, but if he is a simple minion for a Sith Lord, it is disguised quite well. And you clearly know nothing about the Navy's heirarchy."

"And you clearly know nothing about sucking-"

Quarasha sighed. "Enough. I can sense that there is more to him. He would not be moving on Erini like this if he did not think that he could withstand retaliation from the Necares." She looked up. "Keep your ears and eyes open, both of you, and find me something that I can use in case-"

Rylar raised a finger. "He does have a son, Lieftenant Paskr Villem, recently transferred into the Admiral's command. A good officer in his own right, although I do not know how much off a weakness it may be."

Quarasha gave her minion a tight smirk. "It's a start, at least..."
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #24 on: 03/03/15, 09:35:21 PM »
Originally posted 01/02/2014: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=2034.0

The Battle of Droen Swamp

((Note: This takes place shortly after an invasion of Erini by a non-aligned, secretive group known as the Silence Keepers, who landed troops on the planet's surface in order to seize anti-orbital weapons, but were unsuccessful in their attack... but just because the main force has been defeated doesn't mean that pockets of resistance don't still remain.))



Droen Swamplands, Crossmarch, Erini

Lieutenant Roff Kolsten grumbled under his breath as he crept through the shallow water, slapping his neck as yet another of the swamp's bugs sought out a convenient food source. The bugs were lively today, and Droen wasn't the most pleasant place even in the best of times. The low fog, low visibiliy and thick foliage was making it a blasted chore to find the Capt-

A hand reached up and quickly pulled Kolsten down, causing the soldier to fumble for his sidearm before recognizing the uniform. "Captain? What's going-" Captain Dumas' hand quickly covered his mouth, cutting off his query, leaving the young Lieutenant even more confused. He'd heard some stories from the older members of N Company, and half of them sounded insane, but she was the Captain, at least for now, and it was his job to follow orders, and try not to get too confused by his new superior.

Her hand fell away, and she nodded at the Lieutenant. "Apologies, there was a sentry too close for comfort," the oddly accented voice said.

"A sentry, ma'am? There are Skads here?"

"A half dozen, a rear-guard for their main force, I think... Skads?" she turned to face Kolsten, her goggles and cap obscuring much of her face.

Kolsten shrugged. "The enlisted have been calling them that. Damned if I know why, but better than calling them aliens."

There was a faint smile on the Captain's face. "Inspecific as well. Are the men ready to move?"

"That depends. Are we going further into the swamp, because I'm pretty sure they're about ready to go the other way."

The Captain shook her head. "Further in, I am sorry to say. Please get them organized, Lieutenant, I would like to speak to them."

Kolsten sighed, but nodded. "Yes ma'am. Saints preserve you, I doubt they'll be happy to hear it."



A few minutes later, the fifty members of N Company were assembled, a ragged line of annoyed and damp soldiers, trying to stay out of the worst of the swamp. Kolsten frowned at the snickers that echoed around the Company as the Captain appeared, nodding warmly at them.

"Corporal Borlin, is there something amusing?" Kolsten asked, glaring down at the soldier with the biggest grin on his face.

Borlin saluted, trying to rein in the smirk. "Not exactly, sir. Something of an inside joke?"

Captain Dumas sighed. "At ease, Lieutenant. I am aware of what he finds amusing, it is not an issue."

Kolsten nodded, giving Borlin a dark look. Borlin, for his part, returned it with a grin and a wink, turning to Captain Dumas. "So, what's the situation, Princess?" More laughter from the older members of the Company, infuriating Kolsten.

She held her hand, cutting off Kolsten's response, a faint blush rising on her cheeks. "I would prefer Captain, if you do not mind." More laughter, and earning a salute from the overly casual Corporal. "As you are aware, Intelligence believes that there are Silence Keeper forces in this area, no doubt attempting to isolate a foothold that they could use to harrass the surrounding areas, or perhaps make another attack on the defense cannon. Thankfully, the swamp is largely inhostpitable to everyone," another round of snickering, "and they still appear to be on the move."

"Unfortunately, their likely have in excess of two hundred soldiers, still well armed with off-world weaponry." That stopped the laughter, and it made Kolsten blink. "In truth, I believe their numbers are likely larger, their patrol and rear guard patterns seem to indicate a force of around three hundred, perhaps even more than that."

There was a nervous laugh from Borlin. "Good thing they don't know we're here?"

She nods. "Agreed, or at least that they do not know our numbers. Unfortunately, we cannot allow them to dig in here. If they do, they could become extremely difficult to expel, or could become a staging point for future attacks."

Another soldier spoke up. "In other words, we have to boot them off planet when outnumbered 6 to 1."

"Sounds like a good way to get slaughtered," says another.

Captain Dumas raised her hands, quieting the rising murmurs. "I am aware, but I do not plan on defeating the entire enemy force. We simply need to harass them, draw some blood and prevent them from putting together a good defensive position."

Borlin grinned. "Let me guess, Captain, you've got a plan?"

She smirked down at the soldier. "Is that not why I am here?"

"I thought it was so that she could kill all the Skads in the swamp, alone," joked another.

"With one hand tied behind her back!" Borlin replied, grinning wide.

She sighed, smiling at the rank and file, leaving Kolsten feeling thoroughly lost. "I am not quite that adept in combat. But, yes, I do have a plan, and I need five volunteers to go with me-" She stopped, seeing nearly every hand in the company go up. "...please let me finish, I need five volunteers to go with me so that we can be bait for the enemy."

After a pause, half the hands were lowered, the Captain letting out a light chuckle and picking out a few of the raised hands.

Kolsten frowned. There was a joke here, something the enlisted were in on for some blasted reason, that the Lieutenant was not privy to, and this plan already sounded suicidal. "Captain Dumas? What is going on? You cannot seriously expect to pull this sort of thing off?"

The Captain frowned, turning to Lieutenant Kolsten. "You were not with N Company during the fighting on Alderaan, yes? At Ambassador Keyis' leave, I was given command of N Company during the cleanup of the fighting there, and His Highness has done so here as well, under the condition that I attempt to keep my presence discrete."

Borlin grinned at Kolsten. "Have you even seen a Jedi fight, sir? I'd rather fight an entire battalion than one of them."

She smiled at Borlin, a light laugh escaping her. "Rumors of our invulnerability are sadly overstated, but regardless. If you wish to call me Knight Shaantil, I will understand, but for the moment, Captain Dumas will do."

The Lieutenant stared at the Jedi, before sense finally returned to him. "...right, so Princess... uh... nevermind, ma'am... what's your plan?" he finished weakly, desperately trying to ignore the laughter from the rest of the company.

"It's simple. I spied a good ambush point not far away, and as my vision is not as limited by the swamp as anyone else's..." she spoke softly, detailing the plan, and hoping that the confidence by N Company was not without warrant.



"So, you're sure you'll be able to see them, Captain?" Corporal Borlin whispered, clearly wary of alerting any potential enemies behind a nearby tree.

Shaantil sighed, trudging through the swamp, Borlin and a few others in tow. "My vision is not based upon light, difficult as that may be to understand. I see through the Force, sensing the life around me, the connections to the Force inherent in all living beings. The fog and gloom are no barriers, the foliage easy enough to see past, and living beings, like yourself or our enemies, stand out quite well, even through all of that."

There was silence from the group, still struggling their way through the swamp. She had heard from the others how miserable the swamp was, and while she was hardly enjoying the hot, damp air... to her, at least, the swamp was gorgerous. The trees, the lichen, the shrubs, all glowed faintly in the Force. The other creatures, insects, reptiles and more, moving throughout the area, giving little echoes in the Force, surrounding her and the squad with life, pure and simple. No malice, no hatred here, just countless life force, surviving, thriving, almost in defiance of the Silence Keepers' attempts at destruction.

One of the other soldiers, Private Deslen, eventually spoke up. "So... yes?"

Shaantil had to hold back her laugh. "Apologies. Yes, I will be able to sense their presence long before they can see us."

"It just seems a little... weird, ma'am, if you don't mind me saying so." Deslen added, stumbling over his words. Shaantil took another look at him, racking her memory of the fighting on Alderaan.

"You are also new to the company, private?"

"Yes, ma'am. I've heard some stories about you, though, just... the eyes thing..."

She nods, giving the private a brief smile. "I am used to such reactions. My people are not terribly common in the galactic community, and, to be frank, the unique aspects of Erinian biology can seem just as strange."

"Do you mean the two livers, or something else?" Borlin asked, grinning.

"The livers, of course," she said, carefully ignoring Borlin's grin. "It is an unusual feature for a species to have, mundane as it may seem to you... and there are stranger species out there. There is one that has no hair, and instead has two appendages that come out of the back of their heads, containing additional brain matter, giving them excellent recall. A fascinating-"

"...you're talking about Twi'leks, Captain?" one of the other soldiers volunteered.

Shaantil looked at him. "Yes. You have heard of them?"

There was a long pause, the squad seeming to be searching for words. Eventually, Borlin volunteered "Yes, ma'am. Images of them as well. Definitely a unique species."

She grimaced, keeping her tone level. "Of course. The Imperial Ambassador is a Twi'lek. I suppose there have been images of her in the news."

A longer pause, only a suppressed snicker breaking the tension. "...something like that, Captain."

It took a few more moments for realization to dawn upon her, the other reason why they might know what a Twi'lek looks like. "...ah. I suppose you do have access to the holonet..."

More snickering from the squad. "There's some inventive stuff on there," Borlin said, grinning.

"Indeed there is. Regardless... Corporal, do you mind if I ask a personal question?"

"You're the Captain, ma'am."

"Where are you from?"

He blinked at Shaantil, but recovered quickly. "Not far from here, actually. St. Imvara City. Not as big as the capital, but those Vysbergers don't know what a real city's like anyway, so we don't mind," he said, waving his hand dismissively.

Deslen snorted. "Somehow we manage without having four churches per saint. It's a wonder you manage to make anything there."

"We make the best and holiest soldiers, Private, and don't you forget it."

"And little else. I've had some of the Imvara brews. I think the galactic term for that is 'love on a raft'?"

Borlin tried to hold back the laugh. "Big talk, Vysy. I didn't know you were alergic to elegance and class."

"Since when did you have class, Corporal?" Deslen said, grinning.

Borlin grinned at the private, waving him off. "You should head over some time, Captain. City's just gorgeous in the spring, and the Vys are only jealous of how beautiful the churches actually are."

"I'll keep that in mind, Corporal. Thank you for-" She paused, raising her hand. The squad slowed to a stop, raising their rifles. "See something, ma'am?"

It was something, indeed. Large shapes finally becoming clear. She slowly moved forward, getting closer to the figures, her perception of them growing more and more clear, confirming what she already knew. The Silence Keepers were here... and this wasn't just a simple rear guard. "...it is difficult to count them precisely," she whispered, confident that the background noise of the swamp would cover her voice. "Thirty, perhaps forty. They do not seem to be on the move... or very alert."

She tapped her radio, signaling for the squad to spread out, reaching for her Lightsabers with her other hand. "Lieutenant, are you ready?"

"Aye, Captain," came Lieutenant Kolsten's voice. "Have you found the enemy?"

"Yes, we have. Prepare some explosives for the kill zone, Estimate forty enemy soldiers."

There was a short curse from the other end of the radio. "Give us five minutes, but we'll be ready."

She nodded, her senses, reaching out, trying to find the right angle, the right way to approach, the best way to... "...ah..."



Five minutes later...

The collection of Silence Keeper forces were taking a much deserved break. After landing on this accursed planet and meeting more resistance than they could have expected, it had been long days of hurried retreats, avoiding fights, trying just to survive, hardly able to get any sleep because of the local forces that they knew, just knew, was on their trail. The rest of the force had already moved on, this group hanging behind, if only because if they marched one more kilometer, their knees were going to fall off.

Still, they were safe. There was no reason the locals would bother searching this pit of a swamp, and even if they did, the odds of finding them were simply im-

CRACK

Forty heads turned. While they could have wondered where someone found a dry twig to step on, instead what caught their eye was six Erini soldiers thirty yards away. slowly turning to look at them.

There was a tableau of silence that held for a good few seconds before the parties reached for their weapons. The Erinians began running, their leader calling for the retreat, blaster and laser fire flying wildly at the Silence Keepers, taking down a few of the slower ones. The rest, however, grabbed their rifles, logic out of their minds for now, exhaustion and instinct taking over, putting them onto the chase. Wild fire went both ways, neither group able to get a good line of fire on the other. A cry came out from the Erinian group, and wild shot finding a glancing blow. Almost as if in return, the blaster pistol found more than a few marks, a few of the Silence Keepers falling in their pursuit.

But the swamp was, well, a swamp. Too much cover, too many corners, too much fog, too little light, and the chase went on and on... until the Erinians finally ran into a dead end, an outcropping of rocks, cutting off their escape. The lead Silence Keeper grinned, raising his rifle as the Erinians took what little cover they could. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel...

...until the world exploded. Three huge explosions behind him threw him forward into the muck, the cries of pain and death from his men signifying their true fate. He pushed himself out of the mud as the laser weapons started firing, rays of light cutting into his troops, silencing any attempts at return fire, the two wide beams of light coming from the top of the rocks. His last thoughts, as the beams swept towards him, were of how much they had underestimated this world...

Less than a minute later, Shaantil called out to stop firing. The Silence Keepers were no longer alive to her sight. It took another few shouts in order to get the message across, the laser fire ending, and the cheers of victory beginning. She stepped out of her cover, towards the massacred Silence Keepers, frowning softly. Some of the ones hit during the chase might survive, but not forever, and they had no way to treat and contain the enemy without leaving themselves vulnerable... they were outnumbered enough as it is...

She flinched slightly as Borlin clapped her on the shoulder. "Damn good plan, Captain! They didn't know what him 'em!"

She turned, nodding briefly at him. "How is Deslen?"

"Just a flesh wound, ma'am!" came the pained voice of Private Deslen, clutching his arm. "Just singed me a bit, I'll be fine with some bacta," he said, smiling gratefully as the corpsman hurried to his side.

"There are more out there, Captain." She looked up, the proud, triumphant gaze of Lieutenant Kolsten betraying his grim words. "But this should make a nice dent in their forces."

She nodded, clapping Borlin on the shoulder. "Indeed it should. Once Deslen is treated, I want everyone ready to move. We have more hunting to do, and I would like to put some space between us and this massacre as possible." She kept her tone firm, professional, as though accustomed to this. If anyone there heard the doubt she felt about the death she had unleashed, no one was willing to comment.



Samna groaned as she woke, the dim light of the swamp coming through the window of her room. Someone was making a ruccus outside the cabin, probably Handel running after a frog or something.

It was just so unfair! No holonet access, no friends, nothing but a disgusting, smell swamp for kilometers in every direction! She couldn't even bring her comm, all because Daddy wanted to get in touch with their roots.

Shouting now. Handel probably found something disgusting and wanted to bring it inside, again. Mom was on her side about all that stuff, thankfully, but she was probably just stressing out about her dumb job again, something about another deal that just HAD to have Mom's attention, or it'd all fall apart.

She buried her head under the pillow, the argument getting louder. At least they could let her sleep in a little. It's vacation! She doesn't need to be up for school or anything, and the swamp's still disgusting in the afternoon!

And then came that loud sound, freezing Samna, her eyes opening wide. She remembered what that sounded like, from the Holonet. A blaster. Daddy didn't bring one of those, just an old hunting rifle. The arguing stopped, and she started hearing footsteps, loud ones.

Handel started screaming, and there was another voice, not Daddy's, a mean one. She couldn't hear what he was saying, but it didn't stop Handel, who was still screaming. Samna couldn't move. She needed to get out of bed, hide somewhere, maybe get out the window...

The footsteps got closer, and the door was kicked open, a huge man standing there. Samna screamed as the man in armor, with that dark visor hiding his face, walked over and grabbed her, dragging her out of the bed by the arm. She pounded on his armor, trying to break free, trying to get away from him as he pulled her through the cabin.

Mom and Daddy were outside, holding onto Handel, shushing him, trying to stop his crying. The man in armor shoved Samna at them, and she scrambled to her parents. Who were these people? The armor, their strange weapons, they weren't Eresari, were they? Were they aliens?

She clung to Daddy, looking around at the strangers. They were taking to each other, gesturing. Some of the others were just standing around, others were pointing their big weapons at her family, and a few of them were looking over Daddy's old truck.

One of the big men laughed at the others and walked over to them. He said something, about last... last...

Daddy wrapped his arms around Samna, whispering to her, saying it was going to be alright. She knew he was lying, and she just squeezed him tighter, staring at the big man as he pulled out his gun...

And then there was a blur of light, and the big man screamed, his hand with the gun falling to the ground. The other scary men started looking around, and then there were more blaster sounds, bursts of red light slamming into a few others, knocking them down.

Samna looked around, and saw the strange blur again, a blue beam spinning around, flying back to the trees... and then someone in an Royal Army uniform flying out of them, two of those beams in her hands... and then landing, the beams going right through two of the bad men.

Her jaw dropped. Those were Lightsabers! She had heard about them on the holonet, but they were so...

The bad men started firing at her, and the woman moved quickly, the blades catching and throwing back some of the blaster shots, knocking back more of the enemies. She kept moving, a burst of speed to drive the blades into another one, swinging them out to catch a pair of others.

More blaster fire, and a loud sound in there, like Daddy's rifle. The woman lept again, far too far to be possible and then throwing those Lightsabers on either side of Samna's family, right into the two bad men one either side of them.

She landed behind yet another one, the blaster now in her hand firing back at the ones still shooting at her, the bad guys' weapons hitting their own man! Samna grinned, watching the woman finish things off. A few more of the bad men firing at her as the woman ducks behind Daddy's truck, the shots blasting out the windows or going high, and the woman's blaster picking off the last of them.

Samna blinked, looking around as the woman came out. It had all happened so fast, the woman coming out from behind the truck, holding a red spot on her arm... only one of the shots had hit her? "Are you alright?" the woman asked, looking to Samna's daddy.

Daddy nodded slowly. He didn't say anything. Samny didn't think he knew what to say. "You're a Jedi!" Samna blurted out, then turned back to her father, embarrassed. "I... I..."

Mom cut in for her. "...Samna means thank you. And... thank you. Thank you!" she said, still hugging Handel.

The woman pulled the two Lightsabers out of the bad men, turning them off, smiling gently at Samna. "You are welcome, Samna. Please, call me Captain Dumas?" She looked around, the helmet covering all but her nose and mouth, but... still looking familiar? "Were there any more of them?"

Daddy shook his head. "I-I don't know... they came out of nowhere..." He looked at the woman. "...th-thank you... they were about to-"

"I know. Please, go inside, calm yourself. I will see about-"

"You're Shaantil!" Samna exclaimed, her eyes wide. "I've seen you on the Holonet! You're the Prince's girlfriend!"

"Samna!" her mother scolded, before smiling nervously at the woman. "...I'm sorry, Captain, I don't know what-"

"She is!" Samna insisted. "She sounds just like her, and she has the same Lightsabers too!"

Shaantil chuckled, kneeling down and smiling softly at Samna. "You have good senses, Samna. But I need to be here as Captain Dumas, not as Knight Shaantil. Can you keep my secret?"

Samna's jaw dropped, and she nodded quickly. "O-of course, Sh- Captain!"

Shaantil bowed her head at the girl before standing again. "...in any case, you should-" she stopped, then turned quickly, the Lightsabers in her hands again, turned on, as a lot of the bad men came out of nowhere again, more than before, all of them with guns, pointed at Shaantil and the family.

"Put them down, Knight Shaantil. Surrender, and we'll leave the family be."

"Stay behind me," she whispered, before speaking to the bad men. "You are a fool if you believe I would trust your benevolence. You do not seem in the business of taking prisoners."

He sounded like he was grinning. "Hostages are different from prisoners, girl. I bet the Erinian Council would bend over backwards to get you free in one piece. Or your little boyfriend, at least..."

She paused, almost like she was thinking it over. "Do you believe I am some idle Princess, needing rescue? I assure you, I can more than defend myself, regardless of what happens here. You would be best served by putting down your own weapons."

The man let out a laugh. "There's thirty of us and just one of you, girl. I think I like those odds."

"It would save most of your men from a sad fate, and you would be well treated. I give my word on it."

There was a dark tone to his laugh now. "You think I would betray the Silence Keepers for a soft bed? Perhaps I should just shoot you on principal now."

Shaantil sighed, raising the Lightsabers into a defensive stance. "Go."

The leader paused. "Where?"

Without warming, over a dozen silver-blue beams of light came out from the side, cutting into the surrounding troups, felling almost half of them in the first volley. The Silence Keepers that remained opened fire themselves, some at the beams coming from the swamp, the rest at Shaantil.

The Jedi's sabers moved too fast for Samna's eyes to believe, a glow seeming to come from the woman, blaster bolts flying off into the sky. Samna thought she heard a grunt come from her as the second volley of lasers fired, cutting down more of the bad men, and then another volley, and then another.

It was short and brutal, nothing left of the Silence Keepers but bodies in the end, and Shaantil slumped to a knee, grimacing in pain. "Captain!" Borlin shouted, rushing out of the trees. "Get a corpsman over here! B Squad, get into the trees on the far side, make sure no one else is coming!"

Shaantil turned, turning off her lightsabers and sitting down heavily, smiling at Samna and her family, and then up at Borlin, a few black burns on her armor. "...flesh wounds, Corporal, nothing more, I assure you. I am glad that you got my message."

Borlin waved the hurrying Corpsman over. "We need a better code, ma'am."

Shaantil gave a light laugh but nodded. "Agreed. Any casualties?"

Borlin paused, listening to his earpiece. "Hof and Lorton, Captain. Too much return fire."

She frowned, but gave a soft nod. "...I am sorry, Corporal."

He just nodded. "We know."



Shaantil winced slightly. Bacta was useful, but hardly pleasant to apply to fresh blaster burns. "Thank you," she said, nodding to the corpsman. "Corporal, situation?

"Bowles and Toren are volunteering to escort the family back to civilization. It'll be tight, but the truck should be able to take all of them, plus Hof and Lorton."

"Good," she said, strapping on her armor. "Is there anything else?"

"The father said there will be a glass for you at their home, if you want it." Borlin smirked slightly. "Its an offer of hospitality, if you're wondering. The girl really guessed it was you?"

Shaantil smiled faintly, nodding. "Lightsabers are somewhat distinctive, although she would likely assume that anyone with blue Lightsabers and no eyes is me. Did they say where they lived?"

Borlin passed over a scribbled note. "Of course. I bet you'd make their heads explode if you went there with the Prince.

She chuckled softly at the address on the note. "And Samna gave her holonet address as well. Perhaps I can find some time for them..." She stuffed it into a pocket. "The Silence Keepers are still out there, Corporal. Give the men some time to recover, but be ready to move out. Their tracks will still be fresh, perhaps we can get an impression of where they came from."

"Can't wait, ma'am," he grinned.



Lieutenant Kolsten saluted immediately upon seeing Shaantil, making the Jedi wince inside. It was difficult to tell how much of his professionalism was that of an officer respecting a subordinate, and how much of it was that he now knew of her relationship with local royalty. On balance, it was likely not too great a concern... but still something of an annoyance. "How fared your hunt, ma'am?" he asked, his eyes glancing about in the manner of a man trying to count without making it obvious he was.

"Fifty-two enemy forces defeated, Lieutenant. They had found a family on vacation here, but we prevented them from coming to any harm."

Borlin let out a guffaw, sauntering up beside Shaantil. "She means that she saved the family all on her own, and we got there just in time to save her from their backup."

"I can speak for myself, Corporal," she said, smiling faintly at Borlin. "But, yes, thank you for your assistance."

"Assistance? Come on, Captain, that wasn't assistance, that was us being big damn heroes!"

Kolsten gave a brief smile, clearly not sharing in on the mirth. "That is your job, Corporal. But well done regardless. My group encountered two of their patrols as well, on forage duties from what we could tell, not that there is much fit to eat here. Thirty enemy forces dispatched in total, although we took some losses in the fighting."

Shaantil nodded in response, letting out a soft sigh. "Understood, Lieutenant. We were not as lucky either." She looked around, trying to get a count of N Company and a sense of their disposition. "They have lost much of their fighting force already, and they must know this already. They may be on their guard, but they are unlikely to go on the offensive now. And we have something they do not."

Private Deslen spoke up. "Good fashion sense, ma'am?" A round of laughter came up from the rest of the company.

"No, Private." If she had eyes, they would have rolled right out of her head at the groans that followed. "Fine, yes, that as well, but-" she sighed, waiting for the joking cheers to die down. "What we have that is important and relevant to this conversation, is we have artillery support. We simply need to find them a target... and I think I know where to start looking."

----

Back at the cabin...

Shaantil kneeled on the ground, carefully rubbing exactly what she was hoping to find. The mud of the swamp was still soft, as the mess on her own boots could certainly attest to, and a man running at full speed in heavy armor tends to make an impression.

"You're a tracker too, Captain?" Kolsten asked, keeping an eye on their surroundings. He trusted the Jedi, of course, as well as the superiors that put her in charge, but he was damned if he was going to lose focus in the middle of a potentially hostile swamp.

She nodded, carefully looking around. "In truth, much of my work for the Jedi Order involves tracking down criminals. Admittedly, I prefer to do this sort of work on a starship with a full suite of sensors, and an astromech droid capable of detailed scans... but the Force and my experiences are allies that seldom leave me." She starts moving forward, reaching out with the Force, focusing on the ground, trying to mind more impressions in the soft mud, Kolsten and the rest of the company moving forward with her, spreading out through the wetlands.

In theory, it would have been a simple task. Thirty heavily armored men moving through unfamiliar, soft terrain, in an area where there was no real place for other tracks to come from. But the swamp seemed determined to not pick sides in this fight. Stretches of dried ground confused the tracks, a stretch through a stream left little to work with, a brief stopping point for the Silence Keepers left the tracks confused, criss-crossing each other until Shaantil could find the main tracks back out again... until eventually she started seeing people ahead of her, figures on the edge of what she could perceive through the swamp... and as she focused her vision forwards, on that area, more and more of them, more than she could count, some standing guard, some sitting down, a few on the ground, likely asleep...

She raised her hand, the Company falling to a stop, staying low, and she turned to Kolsten. "Around a hundred and fifty meters ahead," she whispered.

"How many?" he asked, clearly trying to see through the foliage.

"All of them, I think." Some of the closer figures were on the move, a patrol, no doubt. She motioned to the others, laying flat on the ground and the rest of the company following suit. "...what is the range on the signaling device?"

"Not small, ma'am, but it needs line of sight. Whoever goes to signal would need to aim it at the center of their camp... I don't suppose they've clearcut the entire camp?"

That earned a small smile from the Jedi. "I am seldom so fortunate, Lieutenant. How accurate are the artillery cannons?"

There was a pause. "...as accurate as artillery cannons ever are, ma'am. Wind makes them drift a bit, and it's firing explosives... and they'll probably fire a lot of shells in order to be sure they get the job done."

Shaantil looked at the Lieutenant, dreading the next answer. "...minimum safe distance?"

"...it depends on the wind and distance. Two hundred meters at a minimum, I'd say."

Borlin let out a snort. "Ten kilometers, on the other side of the cannons, if you ask me."

"She wasn't, Corporal." Kolsten nodded at Shaantil, holding up the signaler. "I believe I could-"

He didn't get any further in his offer before Shaantil pulled the device from his hand, calling it to her own with the Force. "Lieutenant, we both know that I am more likely able to get close enough to send the signal unseen and escape the bombardment zone unharmed.

"You are also the least expendable here, ma'am. I do not wish to bring politics into this-"

"Then do not," she snapped, turning to face him. "I am in command here, and I will not sacrifice those under my command for the sake of politics."

Borlin coughed, speaking up. "...we could always call in for more troops. They've gotta have, what, two hundred at most? I bet if the whole 78th got here, we'd be able to mop them up in a half hour."

"It would take too long, Corporal, and they would fight to the last... this is our best option."

"Ma'am-"

"I have decided, Corporal," she said, cutting him off, a steely tone to her voice. "Lieutenant Kolsten, pull the company back to what your estimate of safety is, inform command that we will be needing artillery support momentarily and move forward for clean-up the moment the explosions stop. Is that clear?"

There was silence from the Lieutenant for several moments, before he sighed. "Saints preserve you, ma'am."

She nodded her thanks and looked forward again. The patrol was well past, the discussion apparently not having carried to their position, and she scrambled up to her feet, crouching down and moving forward.

The Silence Keepers had cut down a few of the trees, no doubt for firewood and barricades, but otherwise the concealment was intact, no doubt for their own purposes. As she cleared a stream with a Force-assisted leap, the Jedi was momentarily grateful for the enemy's tactics. Keeping the area as untouched as possible was no doubt intended to make them harder to find, to allow them to use the swamp to launch more attacks on the surrounding areas, attacks that would have no doubt been like the one on Samna's family.

It was only fortunate that they could not anticipate that a Miraluka would not be fighting against them...

A patrol grew near. Shaantil quickly scurried to a nearby tree, crouching down, reaching out with the Force, willing the soldiers to be momentarily more lax in their efforts. It was pointless, she pushed into their minds, there were too many of them to worry about a stealthy attack, she persuaded, the locals had just gotten lucky so far, she pushed them to believe.

She held her breath as they passed, and only let go the moment she was well in the clear, giving a silent thanks to her mother's insistance on practicing the Jedi mind trick's more subtle uses.

Shaantil stepped forward again, slipping from tree to tree, slowly growing closer to the enemy camp. "Captain," Kolsten's voice coming through the comm in her ear, "we are in position, and the artillery is waiting on your signal."

She nodded to herself. Sounds of the camp were growing louder as she got closer, almost close enough to get a clear target. The Silence Keepers were talking to each other, sometimes indistinct, a few jokes... one of them mentioned children, another a husband elsewhere, in between boasts of how this small force would give Erini a beating they would never forget...

Finally, the Jedi reached her position, a large bush, the center of the camp easy to see... and she hesitated. One hundred people here, at least. Sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, wives and husbands... they were a rest here. Perhaps they could be persuaded to surrender?

A part of her laughed at the notion. If they were going to surrender, they would have done so once their fleet was destroyed. They would not surrender before a single enemy soldier, Jedi or no, the threat of bombardment or no. Give them a chance to escape, and they will simply unleash more death and destruction on this world.

The image of Samna's family, huddled together in terror, flashed in her mind, and she knew that giving the Silence Keepers any chance would simply mean more of that, without a Jedi to save them next time, and she shook her head. Iaera would not approve, she knew that... but she also knew that, as bad an option as this was... it was better than any alternative she could think of.

She raised the device, activating it and shining the targeting laser onto a non-descript patch of ground. After a few seconds, her comm beeped. "Target recieved," said an unfamiliar voice, "firing for effect in ten. Travel time, thirty seconds."

She pocketed the device, turning and moving as quickly as stealth would allow. In her mind, she heard the distant echoes of the cannon fire, the whistling of the shells in the air, and she sped up. A patrol was near her path to safety, and she sped up, leaping forward, over their heads, just as the first shell exploded behind her.

She winced, the forms in the Force disappearing behind her, some being throw by the power of the explosion, and soon more came, more and more, the life of the swamp blasted apart by their force, the sound almost deafening, and Shaantil only sped up... and whether it was to escape the explosions, or to escape seeing the desctruction... even she wasn't sure.



Fifteen minutes later

N Company strolled through the destruction slowly. The camp was now a mess of upturned earth, shattered wood, and the colorful gore that follows a true saturation bombardment, a few murmurs of shock at the destruction.

"...any survivors?" Shaantil asked, a hollow note to her voice. She couldn't see anyone... anything around for so far. Even the insects were staying away, the vibrant signature of the swamp replaced with... nothing...

"If there were, Captain, they didn't last long..." Kolsten added, his voice wavering slightly. "You... did a number on them."

She nodded faintly. "...organize a few patrols, Lieutenant. Look for any signs someone might have made it out."

"And if they find someone?" he asked, looking down and stumbling away from a severed arm.

She hesitated. "...give them a chance to surrender... but do not put the men in danger, Lieutenant." Shaantil didn't notice the salute, striding away, moving towards what remained of a stream, gazing into it, Master Yarwin and Master Farworlder's words ringing in her ears, about how Jedi were not soldiers. This is no doubt what they meant...

...but if the Jedi were not willing to do this, could they ask anyone else to? Perhaps that was the point. Or perhaps it was simple practicality. Or perhaps...

She shook her head, kneeling down, dipping her hands into the stream. There were unlikely to be simple answers to this question, but, as she slipped into her thoughts, entering meditation, that does not mean there are not answers at all...
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #25 on: 03/03/15, 09:41:08 PM »
Originally posted 01/15/2014: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=2061.msg23012#msg23012

Second Encounters

((Note: This was originally part of a "Younglings" open prompt, what our character's were like as children. As a result, this is the first meeting between Soldin and Shaantil since Soldin anonymously gave the baby daughter to the Order.

The location itself is not Coruscant, but an unnamed world because I kinda figure that there's lots of Jedi academies all over the galaxy, hidden on safe worlds. We bought the whole galaxy, after all, we might as well use it!))




Shaantil, Age 10. Norland, Age 9

"H-hey, wait up!"

Shaantil turned at the voice, smiling faintly as seeing the young Mirialan in the one-size-too-big robes jogging after her across the academy's grounds. "Norland, hello. How is the Force treating you?"

Norland panted as he stumbled to a stop, bowing his head briefly to his classmate. "...I am well enough? I was heading to get some lunch... and wondered if you wanted to come along?"

His nervous smile at the older student was missed by Shaantil, who simply nodded. "I suppose I can eat before Master Doren's course. Another lecture on the Jedi Civil War, I think..." She sighed, moving towards the dining hall. "You have taken that course, yes?"

Norland nodded eagerly. "Yes, I took it last term. Do you need help with anything?" he asked, his tone clearly hoping the answer was yes.

"Does he ever tell why we use that name? Clearly it was a Sith invasion, not a civil war between Jedi. If it were a civil war, worlds like Taris would not have been attacked, yes?"

She glanced over at the groan from Norland. "Don't ask. When I asked, he went on for a half hour about the 'proper' name for the war that should be used but couldn't because the galaxy had already decided what to call it. And then we got extra assignments because he couldn't finish the actual lecture topic, AND he sprung another one on why 'Jedi Civil War' is the wrong name." He sighed, running a hand through his hair. "And I had a Calculus exam the next day too..."

"You make him sound obsessed..." Shaantil observed.

He snickered, glancing at her. "Then ask him yourself. He's just very sure of himself."

There was a moment of silence from the Miraluka, and then, "...perhaps I will take your word for it, Norland." There was a flash of a smirk from Shaantil. "What do you have in the afternoon?"

A sigh from Norland. "Lightsaber practice. Again. Master Holdas thinks I'm the worst student in the class, I know it."

"You are not that bad, Norland."

"Yes, I am," he muttered, looking away. He'd seen Shaantil with the practice sabers. She was just so graceful, always in the right place with them, far better than he could ever be, he just knew it.

"No, you are not. You simply need a little more practice."

He sighed. "Last time? I tripped, stabbed myself in the... stomach, then fell over, lost my grip on the practice saber and it went right by Master Holdas's head."

Another moment of silence, and then, "...a lot more practice, perhaps?" Shaantil said, smiling kindly at the younger initiate. Before he could respond, she turned away and started jogging to the dining hall door. "Come on, I don't want to be late!"

Norland groaned at her, stumbling after her, turning the corner just in time to see the door whoosh open and Shaantil almost run into an Astromech droid. "Miraluka = no running!" the droid chirped, and Shaantil backed away, mumbling apologies as an older Miraluka stepped out, clad in formal robes, her red hair streaked with gray, frowning down upon the young initiate.

"Have care, youngling," the Jedi Master spoke, her voice dry and firm. "T7 is not a comfortable thing to run into." It wasn't one that Norland knew, probably one from offworld? Maybe even all the way from Coruscant...

"I apologize, Master," Shaantil said, bowing down, her voice shaking slightly. "I... did not see it through the door..."

The woman's face was impassive, gazing down at the girl. "Yes, droids can be somewhat difficult on that regard."

More chirping came from the droid, and it almost sounded amused... "Miralukas = show-offs! // T7 sensors = better // T7 = not say so all the time!"

A brief sigh from the Master. "Yes, T7, we are aware." She turned her head to Norland. "Youngling, do you know where Master Holdas can be found?"

He nodded quickly, pointing out towards the training fields. "I-I think he's dealing with the morning class, Master."

"Splendid. I hope he will not take too long..." she said, to herself if to no one else, starting to walk off.

"A-an honor to meet you, Master...?" Shaantil stuttered out, the unasked question clear.

The Master sighed slightly and turned, again gazing on Shaantil. "Master Soldin, and my companion here is T7-L5."

"Initiate N-Norland," Norland said, wincing at his own stutter, not wanting to offend the unfamiliar Master, and relaxing with relief as she simply nodded at him.

"...Initiate Shaantil, Master," Shaantil said, bowing her head once again.

The Master's gaze turned to Shaantil once again... and for a moment Norland could have sworn he heard something from her, a... sharp breath or something? The Master's gaze lasted for a few seconds before she nodded sharply, finally speaking. "A pleasure to meet you both. Your studies here progres well?" After the blank, instinctive nods from both the students, she added, "Do you excel in anything in particular?"

Shaantil just muttered something, but something made Norland speak up. "...history for me, Master Soldin, and the Lightsaber for Shaantil."

There was a faint smile on the Master's lips now. "Lightsabers can be difficult for one so young. I assume you show simply more than Master Holdas' usual comment of 'showing promise'?"

Norland snickered, earning a reproachful glare from his classmate. "I heard she disarmed Master Holdas once!"

"...i-it was just a practice spar! He was not truly trying!" Shaantil said, an embarrassed blush rising on her cheeks.

Master Soldin let out a very, very brief chuckle, raising her hands. "I will have to hear that story from Master Holdas, then. On your way, both of you. May the Force be with you."

"May the Force be with you," echoed the initiates, and Shaantil immediately hurried off, Norland in quick pursuit, snickering as he passed the droid, and enjoying his fellow initiate's embarassment far too much for his own good... and completely oblivious to Master Soldin's gaze, watching the pair race off with a very odd look on her face...
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #26 on: 03/03/15, 09:47:54 PM »
Originally posted 01/22/2014: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=2101.msg23334#msg23334

Prepare for the Worst

((Note: This was part of an open prompt for Rakghoul related stories, shortly after the Rakghoul event started upon Alderaan, and referencing Lien's actions during the original, far more awesome Rakghoul event.

The thing to note about the original Rakghoul event? Lien did some very, very bad things. The highlight being, while stimmed and sleep deprived, opened fire upon a group of panicking civilians, killing them all... civilians that might or might not have been infected at all.

...I retired Lien partially because I don't know how much more horrors I could inflict on the poor man without driving him insane.))




Kyri sighed, waving the droids onto her ship, trying to give her comm a bit of attention as she loaded up the supplies.

"Ky, I want you to promise me here." Lien had called her up a half hour ago, and was still going strong about the Rakghouls. How dangerous they were, how serious it was that Alderaan had an infestation, how even if it looked like it was mostly underground, she still had to be careful...

"Sorry, Li, promise wot?"

There was a brief pause before Lien pulled out his shouty voice. "Ky! Promise me you're not going to go to Alderaan!"

She sighed again. "I promise, Li. I ain' a kid, but I ain' a dummy either. An', 'fore ya ask, already warned the company na ta go there."

Lien groaned over the comm. "You told a bunch of smugglers not to go somewhere? Have ya any idea..."

"Of course na!" she said, giggling lightly as she took a datapad from the droid foreman, signing off on the delivery. "I told 'em tha' they'd need ta obey customs an' tha' tha Quarantine would blow 'em up iffen they tried gettin' 'round it."

"...I dunno, Ky. Tha' still migh' only encourage 'em. And you be careful too out there. Tha Quarantine's good, but it wouldna be the first time somethin' slipped by one. Make sure everyone you treat isn't infected, keep a mask on and some vaccine around at all times-"

"Are ya really tellin' me how ta treat folk, Li?" she interrupted, shaking her head with a light sneer. "Ya ferget I'mma Doctor or somethin'?"

"-and make sure you have a blaster on you at all times. Especially when dealin' with patients."

That made the doctor pause, glancing at the crates of vaccine in the ship's hold. "...I don' think tha's really needed, Li..."

"Ky, the change can come fast, and yer na gonna get a lotta time before ya gotta to put 'em down. Stay armed. Period."

Another pause from Kyri. "...you've done tha' before." It wasn't a question. Kyri knew her brother, knew how he acted about normal soldiering, and this... was something different.

And Lien's pause only confirmed it. "...promise me, Ky."

"...wot ha-"

Lien's voice was soft now. Hurt, and an old one. "Ky. Promise me."

Kyri stared at her comm, before slowly nodding, a look of horror on her face she was only too glad her brother couldn't see. "...promise."

"...thanks, Ky. If you hear anything about it spreading..."

"...you'll be mah first call, Li. Promise."

"...stay safe, sis."

Kyri just hung up, gazing out over the cargo of vaccine, all the sudden far too aware it may not be enough.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #27 on: 03/03/15, 09:50:50 PM »
Originally posted 06/09/2014: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg28408#msg28408

Heroic Aftermath

((Note: This took place after a particularly interesting Smug Co night event, where Kyri had... well, done what she says below. It wasn't her first kill, not at all. She had killed some people before, and reacted horrified by it as... well, I figure most people would do, but this one was something more special: The horrified realization that... she didn't notice it anymore.))



Chief Medical Officer's Log #140609-1 - Doctor Kyri Orell Reporting

Kyri appears on screen, staring at a datapad down on her desk. Her shirt is off, her shoulder covered by a heavy bandage, a sports bra preserving her modesty.

She stares at the datapad, a distant look in her eyes, her face drained of color.

The console beeps softly, startling Kyri into looking at the camera. "...righ'... um... so... kriff...."

She takes a deep breath, not looking at the camera. "...I... yesterday, I killed four people. They were slavers. They were hurtin' folk, hurtin' my friends, or would've, given a chance. Shot three others, made sure ta go for woundin' shots with those. Coulda done tha same with tha other four..."

She shakes her head. "...na, that's... I din't even think 'bout it. I mean... kriff, they were slavers an' all, i's just..."

She looks down at her hands. "...supposed to be a doctor. Li's tha soldier. Don' matter how good a shot I am an' all. I mean... I ken feel it, I'm gettin' better at all this. Think I missed alla once last night. Wasna hesitatin' either. Iffen I needed ta shoot... then I'd shoot."

"...rescued a lot of folk. Think it was 'round thirty people... slaves... they're gonna get better lives 'cos of us... an' tha people we killed... slavers, real bad folk... that make it okay? That make it... good?"

Kyri sighed, leaning over to turn off the camera. "...an' I din't even care 'til now..."

---END LOG---
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #28 on: 03/03/15, 10:00:04 PM »
Originally posted 07/29/2014: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg29958#msg29958

The River Flows

((Note: This... came about because of huge amounts of OOC drama. I hesitate to delve into it too much, but I feel I can't provide the right context without it.

Shaantil decided to get married to Cordae, and wanted to remain a Jedi at the same time. She went to the Custodum Council, informed them of it, and wanted a chance to defend herself. This all seemed reasonable to me and some others... and very unreasonable to others. Part of this was that the Custodum Council was being understanding and pragmatic, and not as rigid as many were expecting, rightly or not.

But, yes, there was drama about this, the appropriateness, of if Shaantil was overstepping her bounds, if we were reaching JINO, what the consequences of this would be...

While I didn't appreciate the suddenness of the drama (if it had hit a few weeks earlier, then things would've been much smoother), I recognized the valid points being brought up, and agreed to have Shaantil go in that other direction.

I will note, this has turned out for the best for Shaantil. Her not being a Jedi Knight opened up a lot of RP opportunities, and in the end, seems to have been the right decision for the character, stepping out on her own terms.

Of course, this is also the first appearance by Merrant in my stories, a Zabrak former Sith (and also former Jedi before that). This story is at least about him, and has an obvious bit of passing of the torch symbolism to boot.))




Tython, during the Council's deliberations

The river flowed.

Of course, there was little else for it to do. Principals of gravity pushed it along, the waterfall not far away feeding its banks. It twisted around a rock here, carried a tiny pebble away, depositing it only scant meters downstream.

There was little life in the stream for Shaantil to percieve. The Force flowed through all things, the water and the rocks and the countless microscopic organisms that clinged to a brief life in the rushing waters.

Her words to Yarwin, the other day on Kwenn, rung clear in her head. The river is a river. People use words to classify it further, but the river knows what it is. This may be no rushing rapid, or bubbling brook. Perhaps too small to be a true river. Downstream lay another river, much larger. Does that make this one a tributary? Or perhaps just a creek. Does it matter what others call it? Does the river truly care what name it is given? It simply acts. It simply is what it is...

...but nor does it insist on what it is, either...

"...Knight Shaantil."

If she had eyes, she would have blinked, but her thoughts scattered regardless, looking over towards the voice. A man stood there, Zabrak by species, anxiousness in his voice and stance, his aura... there was darkness, but tempered. There was light, firmly trying to push through. "I am Shaantil, at least," she said, nodding politely. "And you are?"

The Zabrak nodded. "...Merrant. May I sit down?"

Shaantil nodded, gesturing at the bank. "Of course. Your name sounds... familiar."

"...maybe your former Master, Soldin, told you about me?" he said hopefully, sitting down on the bank, carefully positioned out of Shaantil's immediate Lightsaber range.

She shook her head. "No, I do not believe she did... no, it was an intelligence report some time ago, of a Lord Merrant in the Empire."

There was no humor in Merrant's laugh, just as much a resigned sigh as anything. "Didn't realize I got SIS's attention. Should I be honored?"

"That is one possibility." She gazed over at Merrant, studying him carefully. "How did you know Master Soldin?"

Merrant frowned softly. "...a long story. Short version is that she brought me back here." He glanced at the Miraluka, not trying to hide his sorrow. "...my condolences."

"...she has rejoined the Force, and left this world defending civilians. My thanks, Merrant, but I doubt there are many other ways she would rather have died."

He nodded. "...been avoiding you. Not good at this part." He smirked briefly. "Thought you might attack me. Guess I was wrong."

"The day is young." Shaantil joked, a soft smile on her face easing the former Sith's nerves. "Is there something I can help you with?"

"Not really. Wanted to talk to someone that knew her. And you didn't seem busy."

She shook her head. "I am waiting for the Council, in truth, and meditating on a question."

Merrant shrugged. "What question?"

"What do you see before you, Merrant?"

The Zabrak blinked and looked around, before returning his eyes to Shaantil, a smirk on his face. "A Jedi not nearly old enough to pull off cryptic questions."

"Not me, Merrant. That," she said, gesturing at the river.

He shrugged. "A continuous liquid made primarily of hydrogen hydroxide. I heard it's deadly."

Shaantil couldn't help but smirk. "...Master Soldin must have adored you."

"Use your ey- um, vision. Its water. A stream."

"A stream? Not a creek?"

Merrant shrugged again. "Does it matter?"

"No. Or perhaps yes. We treat what we call streams as streams, creeks as creeks, rivers as rivers, regardless of what they actually are. Mislabel a rapid as a stream, and danger might come in its wake."

"...Soldin wasn't this abstract," Merrant muttered to himself, earning another bemused smirk from the Miraluka.

"I take it you have yet to meet Master Yarwin."

"No, but heard enough stories to be terrified of the man," Merrant joked, laying back against the bank and staring up into the sky. "What's the real question?"

"What am I?"

Merrant shrugged easily. "A Jedi Knight? Woman? Miraluka? Better armed than me?"

"Not everything is a joke, Merrant."

He shrugged again. "Feels like I have three modes these days, joking, moping or pissed. I like the first one best. Best answer from what I can see? Jedi."

"The ring I was given recently implies otherwise."

"Ah. Heard about that. Not sure myself. Romance isn't too popular on the other side."

Shaantil raised an eyebrow at Merrant. "Are you certain about that?"

He smirked back at the Miraluka. "Oh, sex is popular, sure. Passion and all that. Only part of the other side I miss... well, sort of. But there's a lot of them over there that think of Romance as breeding in weakness. If you can make it work, then great, but it's a bit like telling all the other Sith after your power base who they can kill to cut your knees out from under you."

Shaantil frowned thoughtfully, her mind flashing back to the wedding, Aylaa and Ilireth's taunts... and idly wondering which of the two is the least dangerous. "Perhaps."

"Not sure what makes up a Jedi Knight anymore. Know I had it wrong before. Obvious answers are too simple. Protect people, guard the Republic, smite Sith, ask cryptic questions... probably something in there about protecting the Order too, although that might get a bit circular."

She shook her head at the Zabrak. "There were Jedi before the Jedi Order, and during times when the Order had to go to ground and hide."

"Maybe. Don't know. Just feels like an important part. Besides, they went to ground for the Order, right? Get through the dark times, wait until they could come back and start it back up again." Merrant shrugged again. "Bet that was hard on them."

"...hiding as they did is not so difficult," she said, a frown forming on her face.

Merrant looked over at her. "Try not helping when you want to. Because you know you could, but you know you can't. Because you can't trust yourself, not ready yet, too dangerous. Seeing the killing blow right there, but not ready to kill yet, so have to keep defending, wait for a different opening and hope you don't get gutted..." he shut his eyes, breathing slowly. "Sorry. Moping. Still better than pissed."

"If not helping others troubles you, then perhaps you should start doing so."

Merrant frowned, looking down at the river. "Can't yet. Keep snapping. Need to do it Soresu style, hold back, wait until the moment is right, patience. Strike too soon and you lose more than the fight. Better for everyone, better in the long run, just hurts for now. Won't hurt forever. Getting better. Do what's right, no matter how much you hate it," he says, speaking it like the mantra he no doubt believes.

Shaantil's gaze remained on the Zabrak, her face not twitching so much as a muscle, digesting the Zabrak's words. "...perhaps there is some wisdom to that."

"...you don't have to sound so shocked." He glanced at the Miraluka, giving her a faint, false smile. "...I answered yours, you answer mine. What do you see? What am I?"

Shaantil's gaze remained on the former Sith for several moments, before finally standing, stepping away from the stream. "A good question. I see a man weighed down by his past, but only bent, not broken, and certainly not beaten by it. As for what you are... a good question. One I cannot answer. But I think I know where you are going..."

She gazed at the stream again, and sighed, slipping off her outer robe, the weathered, white and gray fabric, patched countless times before thanks to holes from blades, Lightsabers and blasters, so familiar in her hands, carefully gripping it as  she strolled over to Merrant, seeing the initiate waving for her from the temple. "...and I think you will need this when you get there."

The Zabrak blinked as Shaantil dropped the robe into his lap. "...white's not exactly my color..." he said, tongue desperately trying to fill space while his mind tried to process what just happened.

"...then make it yours," she said, striding off back to the Custodum Council's chambers, a new question in her mind... one that she wished she had thought of a long time ago.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #29 on: 03/03/15, 10:05:37 PM »
Originally posted 07/31/2014: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=2083.msg30039#msg30039

Hard Choices

((Note: There's spoilers for the below story in this note, so skip past if you want surprises.

You sure?

Okay...

So, this is the story about how bad Quarasha's parents felt about selling their little girl into slavery. Originally written for the Parents prompt, in fact.

I had a few goals with this: Make Quarasha's parents not be evil, but also not give them the excuse of "cultural reasons". They sold their child for money, because they were too desperate to see any other alternative, and now hate themselves for it.

As much as the story below makes me uncomfortable... I think it hit the mark right on the spot. They're both to blame, they did a terrible, terrible thing... and they did it because, sad to say, they're just as human as anyone else.

...yay, cheerful stories!))




Eighteen years ago...

"Bel? Bel, come to bed, honey..."

She made no effort to move, ignoring her husband's movement behind her in the hovel. Her eyes were focused on the empty bed, a bed where a child should be. Her child.

Her husband sighed. "Bel..."

"...not yet, Hul," she croaked, fighting off the tears. "...I... I'll be-"

Hul sighed, leaning awkwardly against the wall. "It's been a week, Bel."

Her eyes clasped shut. "I know, Hul. I just need-"

"-more time," he finished, shaking his head. "How much longer? A month? Two? We should just... get rid of it. All of it"

She turned away from the bed, glaring at her husband. "I will take as long as I like, and if you so much as touch anything in this room..."

Bel's glare drove Hul back a step. He knew he was kicking himself inside just as much as Bel was... she just needed to accept what happened. "...I won't, Bel. This just... isn't healthy."

"Healthy?!" she barked a laugh, turning away from her husband. "...nothing about any of this is healthy. Our child... our child is gone!"

"It was for the best, Bel."

There was silence from Bel, as though the woman... couldn't quiet believe what she had heard. Or that she had so recently believed it herself. "...how can you say that?"

Hul sighed again, sitting down next to Bel. "Because it was. We were starving. Gisead the Hutt's collectors were hounding us. We... we couldn't afford it. All three of us would have been out of our home if... if we didn't agree."

"...I could have found more work."

Hul shook his head. "...you were trying. I was trying. Please, Bel, you know all this. We went over it. They'll take care of her, better than we can. She'll have food, clothing, heat... a future. Weren't you always going on about how you wanted her to get out of this pit, live somewhere better than this? They'll do it, they'll take care of her, she won't have to live like this."

Bel listened to her husband. She wanted to believe it. She yearned for it to be true... "...and we'll never see her again."

"...no, we won't. It's for the best, Bel." He gave a sad smile to his wife, sliding his arm under Bel's lek, rubbing her back. "...our heads are above water for the first time since you were pregnant. We just... let people think something terrible happened to her-"

"...it did."

Hul looked away, his own lekku twitching at the memory. "-and no one will think twice. We save up some, maybe one of us gets promoted... and we can try again." He laughed bitterly. "...we have enough credits to last us a year now, Bel. And she'll be fine, she's... probably happier out there right now."

"...do you think so?" Bel asked, her voice weak.

Hul smiled, kissing her cheek. "Of course! You know how smart she was, quick and charming, cute as a button... she'll have a great life, they'll make sure of it."

Bel froze, Hul's words echoing in her head, and her stomach turning at the implications. "...he called her cute..."

Hul blinked, and quickly shook his head. "Only because she is, Bel. They wouldn't do that."

"Wouldn't what, Hul? Use a pretty young Twi'lek girl... Force, what have we-"

"No! Bel, no, they don't do that," Hul interrupted, his own denial betrayed by a terrible feeling. "You remember? The man said-"

"The slaver, Hul!" she shouted, standing and turning on him, her hands clenched into fists. "You... you think that a slaver-"

"Keep your voice down, Bel! The neighbors-"

She lashed out, the slap ringing in the little girl's bedrooom. "Is that all you care about?! The credits and what other people think?! We sold our daugh-"

Hul stood and clamped his hand over his wife's mouth, his eyes wide with panic. "Shut up! If... if people find out, it could ruin everything! All this for nothing! Please, Bel, we can't let anyone know!" There was fury in his wife's eyes, a cold, searing hatred that he knew, without a doubt, that he would never be able to forget. After a few moments, after she seemed to calm some, he removed his hand.

Her voice was quiet, thick with disgust, at herself, at her husband, at the slavers... "...say her name, Hul."

He blinked. "...Bel..."

"Her name, Hul. Or did you forget it so quickly?"

He shook his head. "...of course not."

"Then say it. Say your lovely daughter's name, the one you sold. Say it."

He opened his mouth and tried, but the name died in his throat, his own grief finally coming forth, that which he had spent the last week fighting against, telling himself it was all for the best, that she... would be better off.

She sunk down to the small bed, and he to the chair, staring at the rusted floorplates. "...I hope she forgets all about us. What we deserve..." Bel began, but couldn't finish.

"...she-" he shook his head, stopping himself, before finally forcing the name out. "Quarasha... she should hate us. That's what we deserve."

Bel nodded, tears trickling down her cheeks. "...what have we done?"
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas