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Author Topic: Tales of the Orell Legacy  (Read 6023 times)

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Offline Orell

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Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Reply #30 on: 03/03/15, 10:09:21 PM »
Originally posted 08/12/2014: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg30275#msg30275

Consequences

((Note: Basically aftermath of Shaantil quitting the Jedi Order. I'm... okay with this one? Honestly, though, it felt more like a story I needed to write than one I had to. She only has herself to blame, which was needed, and her new duties aren't a punishment brigade, but an accurate assessment of where she can do the most good in the service corps...

...its just not something I was particularly enthused about writing.))




Master Ketran frowned at the knock on his door. That would be her, the reassignment Ketran had been looking forward to get past all day. A political one, another damn Jedi that couldn't keep their pants on taking the 'honorable' path instead of just learning a bit of self control.

Ketran shook his head, his hand drifting towards the bottom drawer of his desk, but stopping himself. Proper alcohol was hard to come by on Tython, best not to waste it. "Come in."

Shaantil entered, the Miraluka Jedi not dressed in the usual robes, but still carrying the lightsabers. An act of defiance? A subtle hint and warning? Just another warrior Jedi too used to being armed? Ketran doubted even she knew. Most Jedi receiving reassignment carried one, for many a reminder of who they were as their career as a Jedi ended... usually one of the worst days of their lives.

The older man gestured at the chair in front of his desk. "Good afternoon, Jedi Dumas."

"...thank you. And thank you for seeing me, Master Ketran. I... am to meet with the Reassignment Council?" she asked, the unspoken question clear.

"You are. As in now. The members of the Reassignment Council are busy people, Shaantil. They have shared their thoughts with me over the last few days, and as I tend to head the Librarian's Assembly, and thus generally stay around the library here, I'm the only member to be on Tython at the moment."

"...is that common?"

He smirked faintly. "There's usually two or more of us around here, but things have been a bit busy lately. I trust this is acceptable?" he asked, smiling faintly, his mind focused on not thinking about just getting this over with."

Shaantil nodded quickly. "Of course. My apologies. Is there a decision, then?"

"It has largely been left up to me. The other Masters of the Council of Reassignment have voiced their input, of course, and my decision will be heavily based upon their thoughts. First off, do you know what this is?" Ketran opened a drawer and pulled out a gardening trowel.

Shaantil's poker face earned her a grudging respect from the Master. He could sense her disappointment, of course, but at least she tried not to show it. "...a trowel. Used by members of the AgriCorps, of course."

"Of course," he agreed, "but there is something else important about it: This is one of the deadliest weapons that members of the Service Corps use in the line of duty."

"...it is?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Of course. It does a number on weeds."

Her sightless gaze met the elder Master's eyes. "...a joke, I assume."

Ketran smirked, holding the gaze. "Yes, but not a very good one. The Service Corps are filled with educators, farmers, explorers, healers. There is no service corps that involves regular combat, and you will generally be expected to withdraw from the field if a fight does somehow find you."

"Even if others are in danger?"

He waved his hand dismissively. "Ah, that rhetorical question. Fighting the Sith is no longer your concern, Princess Dumas. In any combat situation, you will have the same standing as a civilian. I can hardly order you to not act as a good samaritan, and I think you would ignore any such order anyway."

His eyes narrowed, his voice growing more stern. "But battle is the purview of Jedi Knights. A calling you have given up, by your own volition, because you chose your husband over your Knighthood. Blame me, blame the Council, blame the Code, blame the 'prejudical fear of love and compassion' if you wish, I assure you, I've heard all of them, but the truth is, you knew what the Service Corps meant when you chose this over outright expulsion, remember to blame yourself too."

Ketran sighed, shaking his head and leaning back in his chair, waiting for the young woman to mutter something about how he needed to get laid, just like at least fifty other failed Jedi that had come before.

Shaantil, however, broke her gaze from the Master, instead staring down at her lap. "...perhaps you are not wrong. I did choose this, for the Order, myself and for Cordae... will I still be permitted to carry my Lightsabers?"

He gazed at her evenly. Test one passed at least... "That will be up to your superiors in the Corps you are assigned to... but given your ability with them, propensity to run into danger and your... political standing, Princess, I imagine they will allow it. Its probably a good idea to not make things any easier for assassins, hm?"

"...quite so. Thank you."

Ketran waved his hand dismissively again. "Do not thank me for stating a simple fact. It is their decision, not mine. Now then, how do you feel about agriculture?"

She hesitated. "It is a noble, much needed field, pun not intended..." she looked up at the Master, his gaze boring into her again. "...but it is not an area I am... particularly interested in. Or suited for," she added quickly.

There was a faint smirk on the Master's face at her awkward reply. Too much respectful deception... but she got there in the end, call it a pass. "I've been examining Jedi for reassignment for many years, and the number of Knights that are actually interested in the Agricorps I can count on my hands and feet."

"I would think there would be more..." she said, frowning faintly.

"Oh, more than that do join them, but they generally request it outright. As for the Medical Corps, well, you have no real talent for healing others, with the Force or through mundane means as far as I can tell... still, there might be a use for you as a nurse somewhere."

There was no response from Shaantil at this, at least verbal. Still, her unamused gaze spoke volumes, and couldn't help but draw an approving smirk from the Master. "It is an honorable profession, Shaantil, and not as simple a one as you imagine. I imagine your life has been saved a few times by their aid."

"I am certain it has," she said, her gaze unwavering. "But we both know that you are not seriously considering that as an option."

"Quite so. Well spotted..." he said, picking up a datapad. "Your skills as a pilot are substandard, correct?"

She shook her head. "Only in terms of Jedi. I am not capable of combat maneuvers, however I can fly acceptably for basic needs."

Ketran nods, tapping the pad to bring up another file. "Ah, yes, you relied upon an Astromech droid for that... droid piloting suites tend to be rather predictable."

"You have not met T7-L5. It is an... unfortunately unpredictable droid. And I still rely upon it, as it is my responsibility, not the Jedi Order's," she added, a shade reproachfully.

"I know. I more refer to your vessel. Defender's do not grow on trees, we will need to reassign it to a serving Jedi Knight who will need its flexibility."

There was a hesitation from Shaantil before she nodded. He could feel the sense of loss from her, and he was all too aware of how much like home his own ship had been, before taking more permanent residence on Tython. "Of course, I understand..." she finally said. "I will have T7 remove our things from the vessel immediately. You... um... may wish to... uh..."

Ketran glanced over the datapad at the young woman. "You are not the first Jedi in this situation. I assure you, we will be replacing all of the furnishings." She at least had the good decency to blush as she nodded, and he continued. "Still, you will need a vessel for your duties, and I believe we have a few scoutships that have finished their retrofits."

"Scoutships?" she asked, and the Master carefully ignored the faint smile creeping up on her lips.

Ketran nodded, his voice taking a more formal tone. "It is the opinion of the Council of Reassignment that you be reassigned to the Exploration Corps. Your primary assignment, especially considering recent events, will be to learn more of a certain neutral world you may be familiar with, Erini. With special attention to the cultures of the Force Adepts there."

He again tried to officially ignore the growing smile on the Jedi's face, but at least was glad that there was no argument for once. "Additionally, I imagine you will be given the occasional assignment, exploring potential hyperspace routes and unexplored planets. May the Force be with you, young woman. I think you will need it."

Shaantil stood and bowed. "...thank you, Master Ketran. And please, give my thanks to the rest of the Council."

Ketran harumphed, not letting his smile breach his face. "We've done what is best for all, Jedi Shaantil. Don't let us down."

She bowed again, before turning to leave. "I will not, Master. Enjoy your drink," she added, leaving before he could respond.
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 #31 on: 03/03/15, 10:17:57 PM »
((Originally posted on 11/07-8/14 in the Eyes on Erini Thread
 - Part 1: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=2858.msg32793#msg32793
 - Part 2: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=2858.msg32859#msg32859))


Attempted Regicide

((Note: Hooboy, this one. This was probably the hardest task I set for myself, a pitched battle between two of my characters, trying to make the winner earn it while still letting the loser keep their dignity.

The thing is... the fight was uneven to start with. Shaantil's whole thing was that, despite not having badass unique powers, was still an excellent fighter, while Quarasha's potential for amazing power was greater than Shaantil's... but she lacked the training and combat experience Shaantil had. In a straight up fight, it was no contest, Shaantil would win, so I had to even things out.

I think the battle itself was paced really well, personally, but I'm a biased judge. :)

This also took place during the Inansi Exodus, the utterly massive event post of which can be seen here, thanks to Cordae: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=2858.msg33326#msg33326))




Imperial Embassy, Vysberg, Ernmarch, Erini
Morning of the Inansi Exodus


Effet sighed, leaning back in the chair in Quarasha's office, listening carefully to the sounds of the Embassy at work. His job at this point was fairly easy, thankfully. The idiot locals were outraged at all of the petty little offenses, of course, but he just needed to delay them, assure them that the Ambassador would go address their concerns at her earliest possible convenience, don't yell at me, I'm just a middleman here. It wouldn't work forever, of course... but they only needed another week or so.

The light tapping at the door opened his eyes and he quickly stood up, eyes darting around the office, making sure nothing was out of place. Time for the fun... Effet strolled over to the door, opened it, and stepped out. "Madsen, how are those projections looking?"

He counted in his head for a few moments, barely listening to the pathetic aide's exasperated response about how undermanned they were now and how it was delaying things. "...idiot," he thought to himself before cutting the clerk off. "You have two days to finish them. Do your job before I tell the Ambassador you've been slacking off!"

He ignored Madsen's blubbering apology as he walked back into the office, slamming the door, smirking at the figure now leaning back in the chair. "Really, Leiftaneant," Quarasha said, sipping from her glass, looking for all the world like it had been her here the entire time. "Are things SO disorganized here?"

Effet shrugged, sitting down opposite her. "All the experienced diplomats were pulled out or got transferred. Half the staff now have no experience at all, and the other half... they make the newbies look downright intelligent. How was your flight, my lord?"

"Thoroughly unpleasant, but I couldn't exactly take first class accommodations." She leaned forward, turning on the holocom, nodding at the image of Lieutenant Rylar appearing, right on schedule. "Mister Rylar, how are things on your end?"

Rylar bowed on the comm. "Things go as well as can be expected. All the transports are underway, we should be arriving right on schedule... my lord, if I might have a-"

"Is this about the Demeter crew?" Quarasha sighed.

"...yes, my lord. I am used to working with well trained Imperial officers, not... pirates and former slaves. That Cathar alone, there's no place on a starship for an officer that cannot talk!" He shrunk back on seeing Quarasha's glare, by all rights enough to maim the officer even through a comm message. "...I only speak from the perspective of naval efficiency, of course..."

"Of course. Lieftenant, you are in charge of the vessel, but you will use the crew most familiar with those systems. And you will treat the former slaves among that crew with the same respect you show me, is that understood?"

"...yes, my lord. They're competent, I'll give them that, and I am certain we will succeed without incident," Rylar said, groveling so blatantly that Effet had to stop himself from grinning.

"Wonderful. Also, there is an Imperial soldier on the ground in Inansi territory, working to coordinate the evacuation process, Chief Warrant Officer Aradenn. You are to ensure that he gets on a reliable vessel during the evacuation." She held up a hand as Rylar opened his mouth. "And no, this is not up for debate. I'm holding you personally accountable for his fate." She looked at Effet. "Is everything ready here, Mister Ornell?"

Effet shrugged. "Ready as it will be, ma'am."

The Sith's eyes narrowed. "That is not what I want to be hearing at this point, Lieftenant."

"...not what I want to say either, ma'am," Effet said, doing his best not to flinch. "Our exit's as solid as I can make it. It won't be quick at all, but the pilot's in our pocket. My route there is solid, I've run it a few times after dark, no chance they'll pick me up before I'm on the run. Your path... less solid. I'll show it to you, and I've marked it as best I can, but there's a few tricky spots I can't properly secure."

"Your concern is touching, Lieftenant," she said, trying to keep the sarcasm out of her tone. After all, if Quarasha was caught, his ride off was a loss too. "But I have a few advantages you don't. And the way in?"

He shrugged. "I'll walk you through that too. I haven't been able to walk it myself, but it's still doable. You'll just have to be good, ma'am."

"I am very good, Lieftenant. I'll manage."

Rylar cleared his throat, speaking up. "...what about the princess? Her mode of vision adds additional-"

Quarasha waved her hand dismissively. "I've fooled Miraluka vision before, it's not as impossible as they like to claim."

Rylar shook his head. "...permission to speak freely, my lord?" Quarasha shared a brief, curious glance with Effet, but nodded. "Is this entirely wise? Erini is already practically part of the Republic now. This...... desperation play will only enrage them if it is not completely successful, and might permanently damage our relations with other neutral worlds... and if it succeeds... they would still join the Republic. Their king and the fallen would become heroes, ma'am, it would not stop them."

Quarasha sighs, leaning back in her chair. "...haven't I taught you anything, Lieftenant? What happens doesn't matter, it NEVER matters. What matters, is the story that is told of it. Ambassador Cordae is third in line for the throne, and everyone above him is in the palace right now. If they die, the only ones to benefit... well, that would be the Republic, wouldn't it? Rumors are already crossing the capital that Thrax's assassination attempt was TOO obvious, so obvious that it couldn't possibly be him... and so who?" She smirked faintly at the comm. "Erini will join the Republic, without question... and if everything goes according to plan, the Republic will quickly regret that decision."

She stood, looking at Effet, nodding in encouragement. "The plan is solid, the pieces are in play, the players are in motion... and the fools have no idea what's coming. Within a week, the Republic will control Erini, and within a year, the independence movement will be a firestorm that makes Balmorra's resistance look petty. The Force is on our side, gentlemen, and victory is within our grasp."



Sun Crown, Vysberg, Ernmarch, Erini
Twelve Hours Later


Shaantil breathed carefully, sitting on the floor of her and Cordae's bedchambers, focusing... thinking...

A daily ritual for her... letting go of the emotions... the pleasures... the anger... the joy... letting the trials and tribulations of married life depart... a married Jedi was a Jedi always in reach of the Dark Side, always battling temptation and desire... let it go, listen to the Force, breathe in, breath out... let the river of the Force flow, drift into it...

Every day, another set of memories to deconstruct, decompress, never destroy, but always detach from... at least, as best as mortally possible...

She felt the Force flow around her, unending, eternal, the same as every other day, any other day... a ripple...

Shaantil frowned, hesitating but reaching out... drifting into the ripple...

A king... the king... the father in law, Cordae's father, Istvan... a half-dozen others near him, Throneguards, her students... words being spoken, none she could hear, a hurry, something happening... she focused, looking for details... a hallway in the palace, near the King's chambers... his clothing was odd... a dressing gown? He was woken up, recently, his form was alert, but his eyes looked exhausted... something happened... something requiring him awake...

A figure appeared, a Lightsaber in hand, covered head to toe in black... the crystal blue? The blade swung, again and again... Throneguard surprised, even by this.... they went down, maimed but not dead... still alive... why... the figure turned on the King, a pistol in hand... a soldier to the end...

Shaantil flinched, the figure impaling her father-in-law, she watched, he died... this would not happen... won't happen yet... she could sense it, hours still... can be stopped...

She forced her focus away from him, to the attacker... small form, small hands... odd shape on her back and head... lekku, tied down... she pushed forward... focusing further, seeing past the clothing, seeing as she normally would...

...Quarasha...

Her hands tightened, the anger cutting the vision off... she had enough information... no loss...

Shaantil stood, striding towards the dressing room, and the armor that laid in wait. Quarasha would be here. To kill the King... it didn't matter why. She would be stopped... not just for her mother's sake.



Sun Crown Grounds

"Well, at least they're making this interesting..." Quarasha thought as the third guard in ten minutes passed her location, thankfully fooled by the Force, the shadows and the night itself.

Between the laser detection grid on the perimeter, well-placed sentries, a few stun traps set up in apparent weakpoints and a guard rotation that was irregular enough to be difficult to predict, these primitive backwater locals were at least slowing down the assassin's progress.

She smirked under her mask, slipping behind the guard and finally moving forward through the palace gardens. "...I wonder if a Jedi helped them..." Not that it would help them out much. It had been some time since her last bit of fun like this, but with the Force behind her and a few hours until the attack, she had plenty of time to-

"Guard behind, hide," came Effet's voice over her comm.

Quar dove to the side, sliding into a hedge just as the guard rounded the corner behind her. "What does Bluebird want?" the guard said into his earpiece, walking past her, the black of her outfit nearly invisible in the dark night. "...alright, be there in a second. Let the paranoid little..." his voice drifted off as he continued on towards the palace itself.

She waited for a few moments before rolling out, continuing as she mouthed into her comm, the weak intelligence quickly picking up and interpreting the movements. Silent communication never was so easy. "Thank you, Fit," the tone said, the Sith wincing at the mistranslation as she continued to creep forward.

"No problem, Quash." She could hear his grin. Oh, he would pay for that... "Why aren't you doing that whole invisible thing, though?"

She darted across another lane. The gardens were the usual opulent affair, at least. Plenty of cover. Effet chose well here, at least. "It is not effortless and I have much to do here, Fit. I'd rather not exhaust myself before needing to escape," she mouthed, creeping along a low wall.

"Your funeral... hold, guard post." The assassin stopped, waiting for her spotter, letting the night calls of the assorted birds and insects around her fill her ears. Footsteps nearby, growing louder... louder... twenty meters at most... and stopped. "...hold..." he said again.

Quarasha closed her eyes and reached out... he was close enough, she could sense the boredom from the sentry, but the sense of duty was still strong... not wanting to abandon his post for the warmth of a mug of vynist or the comfort of a soft chair, instead wanting to catch an evil assassin... hah...

It was a simple trick, a rustle in the bushes off to the side, a slight coercion that this might be something of note, and his head turned, slowly approaching the fearsome shrubbery.

"Go, quick," came Effet's voice and she moved, darting behind the guard, briefly annoyed that killing the man would disrupt her own plans. "...have I mentioned how much I love that outfit of yours, my lord?"

"...just because I cannot hurt you right now, Fit, does not mean I will not do so in the future." She looked up and pulled a small device from a belt pocket, throwing it at a nearby security camera. It was a nice outfit, at least. Head to toe covering, sleeves for lekku, tight fitting and even mildly blaster-resistant. With it, she was a faint shadow in the darkness, a trick of the light, nothing worth looking twice at.

The only issue was that she was carrying too much of a load... although, that was not a problem she would have for long...



Meanwhile...

Shaantil adjusted the clasps on her gauntlet, ignoring the present Throneguard, trying to keep her composure. It wasn't that she wanted to kill Quarasha... not really. The Order's core precepts have always spoken of redemption, providing second chances for those that had done harm. "To ignore that would be to dishonor the very principals Soldin had fought for for so long..." she thought.

Shaantil looked back at that thoughts, and had to resist the urge to laugh. Even after all this time, she still thought of her as Master Soldin, not mother...

Regardless, the Sith needed to be stopped, she needed to be defeated, stopped, before she could harm anyone else... with a lightsaber, with lightning, with words... the Sith needed to be stopped.

She looked up as the door opened, three other Throneguards entering and saluting her, much to her own dismay. "What can we do for you, your highness?"

Shaantil approved of their armor, at least. She could picture Jedi wearing such armor: Gilt, well designed, imposing but still regal... and still very much armor. Shaantil could even pick out distortions in the armor, dents and breaches that would have needed to be hammered out: Armor that had done its duty. She could tolerate formalities from armor like that.

"Keran, Mhiles, Valen, Hathway... you are among the finest of the Throneguard I have trained here. What I am going to say will no doubt sound strange to you, but I need your trust here." She exhaled, looking over the guardsmen, sensing their trust, devotion, respect... and curiosity. "I may as well be blunt, I received a vision through the Force, of a Sith Assassin coming to attack the King."

The Throneguard's faces barely flinched, although there was a certain... rigidness to their stance. The difference between not reacting and not showing your reaction. "You've seen a vision of this, your highness? As in, of the future?" Mhiles asked, trying to keep the disbelief out of his voice and only partly succeeding.

"I did. Is it any more impossible than my ability to see at all without eyes?"

Keran nodded. "With respect, your highness, yes. It's just a different way of seeing, Radar versus Optics. Seeing the future is... different."

"...is this one of those future things that you're not able to change because if you change it then it never happened so how did you see it, or one of those things that only might happen but might not and who can really say?" Hathway asked, a smirk forming on her face. "Just want to be clear of the rules, your highness."

"Be serious for once, Hathway," muttered Valen, shaking her head. "She's talking about an assassin planning on attacking the King." She turned her eyes to Shaantil, the overly built Throneguard no doubt voicing their shared question. "How reliable is this... information, your highness?"

The Jedi frowned faintly. The same question had occurred to her. This style matched what she expected from Quarasha, she had motive and there was no question that a Sith Assassin could breach even the Palace's defenses, but... visions... "...a vision through the Force, Valen, is... akin to listening to a distorted comm message. What I saw, I am certain of, but... the context, the details, can be difficult to determine. I know that a Sith will attempt to kill the King tonight, if we do not act. Of that, I am certain."

Valen nods. "We'll double the guard, call in a CAP, evacuate the King and-"

"No, no we should not," Shaantil said, interrupting the Throneguard. "If we take overt actions, we would simply spook the assassin, and they would carry out contingency plans."

"If they have any," piped in Mhiles. "It feels like we're making a lot of assumptions here."

"We are. We simply have to assume that our opponent is as intelligent as we are." Shaantil sighs. "We need to protect the King, without giving any outward sign that he is not in danger. I should be able to defeat the Sith in combat at least."

Keran shared a look with the other "...okay, what's the plan, your highness? This is starting to sound a bit impossible."

Shaantil smiles at the Throneguard. "I do not know your security measures as well as you do. I have found that, in that case, the best solution is to give talented individuals an impossible task. I will not allow Cordae's father to come to harm... tell me what you need from me."

Valen looked around at the others and nodded. "...okay, your highness. First things first, what exactly did you see?"



One Hour Later...

Quarasha's first instructor on Korriban was a very clever man, although perhaps a little too arrogant about the abilities of the Sith. Nothing too out of line for a Korriban instructor, just the usual belief that the Sith are superior to all non-Sith, all are enemies to be crushed, mercy is a weakness... Quarasha paid dearly in pain whenever she failed to keep her amusement with him hidden, but there were things he knew...

"Assassination, Acolytes, is frequently misunderstood by foolish mercenaries and spies. It is nothing new, nothing civilized, nothing elegant. It is something pure, primal. It is a hunt. Anyone worth assassinating will be protected, by soldiers, by walls, or even by Jedi. Only a dimwitted thug goes to where they are strongest. An assassin is a hunter... and a hunter goes to where their prey will be vulnerable."

This chosen hunting ground was nothing spectacular. It was just a lavishly decorated hallway, a nicely sized bust of some old mass-murderer-turned-royalty fitting for a small form to hide behind, nice carpeting, and only one camera to mark and evade. Just a simple, anonymous hallway...

...but a hallway with a second floor window overlooking the gardens, perfect for an assassin to escape through, and on the most direct route from the King's bedroom to the redacted portion of the Sun Crown, right where the bunkers would be and where security briefings would be held.

Quarasha shifted slightly, her bent legs cramping up slightly underneath her. She had been crouching behind the statue for a good half hour, ever since finishing up her preparations elsewhere on the residence. The battle in space had to be going on by now, the king would have to be on his way... unless the military decided to let the king sleep in before informing him about an attack on his world.

...but half of assassination is waiting. Half is preparation, half is guiding the narrative... do it right, and the actual execution of the execution is almost child's play. And yet... something was off. Something wrong. She couldn't quite explain it, but every instinct in her body was telling her that the plan... wasn't going to work. That someone would-

The doors slammed open and Quarasha could sense it. Two soldiers, the King and some sniveling advisor, blabbering on and on about how terrible the situation was, how the Kyn would be outraged, as if that were any surprise...

She tapped her wrist, turning on the voice scrambler. The Lightsaber was heavy in her hand, waiting, waiting... the Force swirled around her, and she faded from sight as the party passed the bust.

The first warning they had was the snap-hiss of the Lightsaber, the blue blade and the black clad figure appearing out of nowhere from behind. The first guard had no time to react, the saber cleaving through the woman's arm and blaster rifle, sending her to the ground in a painful heap. The second guard was able to pull his rifle around, at least, but the wild, surprised blaster fire was easily deflected, the assassin darting forward, the lightsaber cutting through the barrel again before continuing its arc down, slicing through the knee, the guardsman's cry of pain echoing in the grand corridor.

The figure turned, looking at the King, ignoring the cowering flunky. Even her eyes were covered, the tight-clinging black fabric... almost gave the appearance of a skull...

"If it is any consolation," the assassin said, voice cold and mechanical. "It is not personal, only necessary."

"Feth you," spat the man, pulling out a blaster, not willing to go down without a fight, not noticing the assassin's hesitation.

"...that's not his voice... his eyes are different, his pose, his curse would be more eloquent..." Quarasha thought, absentmindedly deflecting the first shot back to the blaster hand, knocking the weapon away. "...that's not the king, is it?"

Regardless, the 'Republic assassin' needed to take her mark... and she stepped forward, raising the blue saber back- and spun around, acting purely on instinct, driven by the warning in the Force, bringing her lightsaber up to block the two blue-silver beams of light, buckling under the power of the attack.

Quarasha's eyes widened underneath the mask, a jolt of fear coursing through her. Under the Erinian Army helmet... that was the last person she wanted to run into here. Former Jedi Knight. Former Padawan of a Jedi killed by Quarasha's schemes. Current Princess of Erini and daughter-in-law of the man Quarasha was here to kill... a woman that had so very many reasons to kill her.

Shaantil raised a blade, hammering it down on Quarasha's guard, forcing the Sith to dart backwards, head spinning, trying to think. "...you don't know what you're stopping, your highness," Quarasha said, the mechanical disguise hiding her voice. "Keep playing the part, you'll be fine."

Shaantil frowned, stepping forward slowly, her sabers on her guard. "I know precisely what I am stopping here. Surrender, and you will be treated fairly."

Quarasha shook her head, continuing to step back. "It would end badly for all of us, your highness. This is necessary, for the sake of Erini and the galaxy." Her eyes glanced at the window. Blasterproof, certainly. Projectile proof, most likely... from the outside, at least...

"...you are mad." Shaantil said, springing forward. The Lightsabers hit naught but air as the Sith Lord disappeared, clouding herself in the Force and darting under the Jedi, appearing well behind her, standing as though she had hardly made an effort to move. An old strategy for her, speed and stealth to feign teleportation.

"Not mad. I just see the Republic's future." Quarasha said, seizing the heavy statue with the Force. Enough mysterious comments and implications, anything else and the damned Jedi would ruin everything by saying her name. It took a few moments, longer than Quarasha had hoped, to lift the statue off the foundation, but once free it soared quite readily with the Force's aid.

No doubt the window would have proven quite difficult to destroy with more conventional means. Modern technology and a government security budget can purchase all sorts of defenses... but so few planned for the kind of power a Sith could summon. The window, built to withstand small bombs, blasters, bullets and more, shattered as the statue smashed into it, taking out a decent amount of the frame as well, the Sith Lord diving out into the night.

Shaantil turned to the King's double. "Get Keiran and Hathway to an infirmary, I'll stop her!"

"But what did she mean by-" the double said, sighing as Shaantil dived out the window, on the chase.



Quarasha fumbled with her pouches, looking for the right detonator as she landed in the gardens. Miraluka sight was difficult to fool, especially at speed. She needed to make some distance, and that would have to mean a fight. "Fit!" she mouthed, the communicator imperfectly translating again, "The Princess is following me, take her down!"

Effet cursed under his breath, scoping in on the palace again, seeing the blur of a Jedi Princess leaping through the destroyed window, hot on Quarasha's heels. "...great, how do I explain ten years of marksmanship experience to a damn Sith?" He shook his head, speaking up before Quarasha could start shouting for real. "She's moving too fast, and I'm over a kilometer away... and she's a Jedi. Once I fire, the local security will start coming after me, so I'll need to leg it. Give me a stationary target with the Lightsabers out of play, I'll have a chance."

Quarasha growled, throwing herself to the side, out of the way of the descending Jedi's Lightsabers, as her thumb finally pressed the right detonator. All throughout the Sun Crown, particularly in these gardens, small explosives detonated. No grand firestorms created, no massive destruction, not with these, explosives with yields comparable to firecrackers, but expertly designed to destroy sensitive electronics, such as the countless security cameras and listening devices that might spoil the fun.

Shaantil's blades swept towards the Sith again, heavy, fast strikes, aiming at taking off a head, a limb, impaling... Quarasha dodged away from a few, the blazing arcs cutting too close for any comfort, bringing her Lightsaber around to block another heavy strike, grimacing at the effort, and then crying out in pain as the Jedi's armored boot swung into her ribs, throwing her to the ground, wheezing.

"Surrender, Quarasha. You cannot win this fight, and I have no desire to kill you," the Jedi said, hands tightening their grips on the Lightsabers.

Quarasha could only laugh, turning off the voice disguiser now that there was no point to it, and pulled herself back to her feet. She could sense the anger, barely restrained, the hatred... "...I think we both know you're lying on that account, Princess. Even an acolyte could sense the hatred coming from you. Why don't you be a good little Jedi and meditate for a few hours? I'll wait, promise." Quarasha kept her tone light, flippant, trying to hide the fear.

The Jedi took a deep breath, shaking her head. "That is why I do not wish to kill you. I have no desire to give into that anger, but nor will I allow you to leave here. Surrender. I think you would prefer a long prison term to death."

"...let me think about it," Quarasha said, her voice cold, the thought of spending the rest of her life in chains... never. She vanished from sight, the Jedi dropping back on her guard. The swirls in the Force were confusing, misleading, pushing her vision one way and then another, trying to track the hatred in the-

Shaantil spun around, her lightsabers catching the suddenly appearing thrust and turning it aside, the Sith tumbling past her. "A cheap trick, Sith," she said, stepping forward to pursue when the figure disappeared again. The same swirls this time, feints in the Force... but the Sith's anger rang true, and Shaantil was able to catch the strike again, blocking the thrust and driving her knee into Quarasha's gut, sending her scrambling backwards, gasping for breath. "Do you think this my first fight, Quarasha? You may be clever with words, but that is all. Words will not save you now. Surrender."

"DIE!" Quarasha shouted, anger overriding her quick tongue, her hand thrusting a stream of Lightning at the Jedi... and only to get caught in the Jedi's Lightsaber, the effort behind the block hardly noticeable. "...I could escape from the guard... I just... need to..." Quarasha thought, desperation sinking into her heart. Unless something changed-

"Is this all the power you have, Quarasha?" Shaantil taunted, a smirk beginning to tug at her lips. "Or are they promoting anyone to a Lordship? I was expecting at least a bit of a fight from you..."

Anger, good, sweet anger surged within the Sith and she stood, dropping the Lightsaber for now and redoubling the attack, the power of the Sith Lightning illuminating the entire area, nearly driving the Jedi back a step. "Is this more to your liking, Princess? Enough power for you?!"

Shaantil staggered back under the renewed assault, mentally kicking herself for taunting the Sith... but she held strong, the Lightning grounding itself in her Lightsabers, the power diffusing harmlessly. "...it is better, Quarasha, but it is not enough. You are finished. Stand down."

The fight was a stalemate, at least for now. The Throneguards would eventually find the fight and tip it inexorably in the Jedi's favor... assuming Quarasha's power could hold out forever, which it couldn't. But for now, at least, the Jedi was stationary, her Lightsabers busy, having to hold their ground against the lightning's onslaught... but for Effet's purposes at least, the time was perfect.

His Las-Rifle beam cut through the night sky, coming from the top of the Giers Industries building, tearing into the Jedi's left shoulder, breaching the armor like tissue paper and the flesh underneath as well, sending her to the ground. The lightsaber in the now useless hand fell to the grass, screaming in pain as the lightning now could pass through her guard, unblocked. "Target hit, no headshot. Good luck, ma'am, falling back."

Quarasha laughed, sending more lightning at the Jedi, eyes wide as her foe twitches under the assault, immersing herself in Shaantil's agony. "No more quips, no more clever jokes, Princess? Then scream for me!"

The lightning coursed over Shaantil, agony shooting throughout her body, wherever the lightning touched. She pushed off the ground with the Force, throwing herself out of the way, scrambling and stumbling back, trying to reach a short wall. Her shoulder was nearly immobile, the pain from the las-rifle wound and the distortion of the metal punishing her with pain with every attempt at moving that arm.

The lightning let up as she retreated, at least, giving Shaantil a moment to recover, to calm her nerves- to recognize the swirling Force, and throw herself to the side again, crying out in pain as her maimed shoulder impacted on the hard ground, but not as bad as the suddenly appearing assassin's quick thrust would have been.

Shaantil kicked out at Quarasha's knee, forcing the Sith a few steps back and allowing the Jedi to rise to her feet again, her only remaining saber held aloft in one hand, her useless arm hanging by her side. "...no more jokes, no more tricks, Sith. Do you wish to kill me? Then let me show you how a Jedi dies."

Quarasha darted forward, saber cutting towards her head, blocked and pushed aside by the Jedi. Shaantil's counter was weak, however, the off-balance swing easily deflected, driving Shaantil another step back, if only to not lose her legs. Yet another step, a wild swing to turn aside another stab with deadly intent, Shaantil trying to keep alive.

The Sith disappeared again, the swirls appearing again... but this time, Shaantil was able to read them. See past the deception, the lies in her vision... and she saw Quarasha, daring around to her weak side. Instead of another block, Shaantil spun to the side, dodging the 'surprise' attack and swinging her saber down, cutting deep into the Sith's side, inwardly relieved at the pain she felt from her foe.

Quarasha fell herself, rolling to the ground, kicking herself for becoming predictable. The pain was good, at least. Focusing, anger flowing into her as fuel, power for the Dark Side. Instead of collapsing as she knew her body wanted, she turned, pursuing the Jedi and grabbing her unprepared throat, slamming her against a wall, feeling the life force within the weakened Jedi... and drawing it out.

It was not a power that Quarasha used often. More complicated than mere lightning, more difficult to use in a pure fight, but a power all of its own, slowly draining the life force from her foe, filling her body with it, weakening the Jedi further while healing the otherwise severe wound the Sith received. Shaantil barely managed to shove herself away from the Sith after a few second, stumbling to the side, the blue-silver saber wavering in her hand, trying to hold the Sith off. "...what... was that?"

Quarasha could only laugh at that, touching her now mended side. "...not an unknown power in the Empire, Princess, but seems pretty strong, doesn't it? You've lost, Jedi. Give in." Quarasha sprung forward, another strike aimed at Shaantil's throat, turned aside only barely, the Jedi once again forced back.

Shaantil shook her head on her retreat. She had to focus, ignore the pain, just think. Quarasha's tricks were clever... but they were tricks. Overwhelming Lightning, invisibility and a direction change, the Force Drain... powerful, but... one note.

She batted away another swing by the Sith, and saw it finally. The swings were standard, inelegant. At best a simplified form of Niman or Shii-Cho, using her tricks to compensate. Another thrust at Shaantil's face, and the Jedi dodged back, letting the blade get closer than entirely needed...

Another swing, and another, deflected again. Shaantil knew she had to keep retreating, keep looking like she's barely surviving, tumbling to the ground to survive another of the Sith's flash-steps. The earth gave way under her feet, dropping her to a knee, and she could sense the Sith behind her, drawing the blue Lightsaber back, thrusting it forward at Shaantil's unprotected back, to end the fight in one last move.

And it did.

Shaantil spun to the side, ignoring the pain in her wounded shoulder as best she could and driving her elbow into the Sith's face. The blow wasn't too strong, the shoulder maimed enough to keep the Jedi from putting the full power behind it, but enough to send Quarasha stumbling back, her lightsaber hand exposed, a vulnerability that Shaantil was looking for, swinging the blade up and through the Sith's hand.

The beam from the Sith's Lightsaber faded into nothingness, the crystal separated from the focusing lens, and the assassin's scream of pain as her hand was cut in two echoed through the gardens. The fallen digits fell to the damp grass, Quarasha left cradling the stump of a hand that remained, pitifully crawling away from the Jedi, her thoughts shattered, mind reeling from the defeat clutched from the jaws of victory.

Shaantil drew herself up to her full height, lowering her own Lightsaber, but still on guard. "...it's done, Quarasha. On behalf of the nation of Ernmarch, I hearby place you..."

She looked down, at the broken Lightsaber... at the crystal laying in the glass, lifting it up with the Force... a very familiar crystal. "...this... this was my Master's. This was Soldin's." Her gaze slowly turned to the cowering Sith, the pain from the fight, the Sith's attempt to murder Cordae's father... and the reminder of her own mother's loss fueling the Dark Side within the Jedi, anger creeping into her words. "...you planned to murder innocents, murder good men with my Master's weapon?!"

Quarasha's breath was rushed, shock coursing through her system, trying to fight it down, buy herself time... have to recover. "...seemed... like a good idea at the time... surrender still on the table?"

Shaantil's lightsaber creaked softly, the pressure from the Jedi's grip too strong. "...no, Sith, it is not. I will not give you the chance to talk your way out of this. Make peace with the Force," she said, raising her Lightsaber up once again, ready to cleave Quarasha's head off.

"...no time like the present..." Quarasha hit the other detonator on her belt, her last resort. It was meant to be triggered once she was already on her way out, after all, since she wasn't entirely sure about how much damage they would cause... because these explosives were not firecrackers. Republic shaped charges instead, heavy explosives designed to breach warship hulls and kill whoever was on the other side, a half dozen of the charges going off, right outside the various bedchambers of the Allied Marches Royal Family.

Even deep in the gardens, the light of the explosions could be seen clear as daylight, the cacophony of the shredded walls and shattered windows echoing across the city.

There wasn't much heat from the explosions, at least, but the sound was enough to turn Shaantil's head, her jaw dropping... Cordae's brothers, his family... by the time she recovered enough to even remember about Quarasha, she was gone... and try as she might, she could not focus enough, the last, lingering impressions of Sith's trail fading into the night.

She turned back to the palace, pushing away the demands of the Dark Side for vengeance, and raced forward, praying to the Force that no one had been harmed. Quarasha... she could wait.



Vysberg Interstellar Dockyard
Thirty Minutes Later


Quarasha stumbled forward, her stealth now failing. It had been too far from the Sun Crown, and while the pain of her hand helped in some ways, the Force's invisibility required focus, focus that was a diminishing resource for the maimed assassin... but it had taken her far enough. She ducked into the turbolift, marked with Effet's sign, and nodded weakly at the figure inside. "...go."

Effet returns the nod, hitting the lift control. "...ma'am, how'd it go?"

"...poorly. Rylar was right, that blasted Schuuta must have seen it coming."

Effet blinked, exiting the lift towards the Heart of Vysberg, the large freighter serving as their exit from the world. "...the king's alive, then?"

Quarasha nodded, hiding her hand from the Rattataki. "Likely the family as well. We... might be able to blame the  Republic for it at least..." her knees buckled under her, only saved from another trip to the ground by the officer's quick reaction.

"...bloody hell... ma'am, your hand-" he started, staring at the Sith's stump.

She pulled her hand away, refusing to look weak in front of her subordinate. "I am aware... the ship is prepared?"

He nodded. "As soon as they reopen departures, we'll be gone. Nice pressurized compartment full of livestock to hide in, supplies for a few days, and the captain's very interested in seeing his husband and kids again... are you going to be alright, ma'am?"

"...I'll be fine, Lieftenant... and I am done with this world," she said, stepping aboard and preparing for the extremely unpleasant smells.



Sun Crown Infirmary

Shaantil winced, the doctor finally working on removing the damaged armor. "...please be careful." She ignored the annoyed grunt from the man and nodded at Valen. "...please, go ahead."

Valen sighed, shaking her head. "We've recovered the remains of the Lightsaber, ma'am. No fingers, though. We've alerted... well, every security, military and police force within fifty kilometers about the attack, but no reports of anyone matching Ambassador Quarasha's description being seen so far, and between this and, well, everything else, no one's entering or leaving the Imperial Embassy without a gun pointed at them."

Shaantil nodded weakly, trying to push herself from the table. "...I should get up there, help however-"

"Uh uh, your highness," the doctor tutted, finally wrenching the armor plating free, earning a hiss of pain from the Jedi. "You're in no condition for any more excitement today. And, yes, I will sedate you if you try to leave here."

"...very well, doctor. And... thank you for your attention."

"I'll accept Knightings, hard currency, or just you being more careful next time, alright?" The doctor said with a smirk, but interrupted by a cough from the Throneguard.

"...your highness, His Eminence would like a moment of your time. When you're treated, and after the crisis in space is resolved, of course."

Shaantil's face fell, nodding grimly. ".......about his children. I... understand... whenever he is... ready, I will meet him."

Valen blinked. "You don't know? I know this wasn't part of your instructions, your highness, but I had the Royal Family evacuated to the bunker as soon as we got into position. I'm pretty sure he wants to thank you."

Shaantil stared at Valen for a few seconds, before breaking into quiet, relieved laughter. "...Force... thank you, Valen, thank you... when I saw the damage, I... I thought they were... was anyone injured?"

She could see it on Valen's face the moment she said the words, her heart sinking again. "Guardsman Mhiles and two of the cleaning staff, your highness. He was sweeping the area for... explosives."

"...I see," she said, her voice quiet, broken. "...find his next of kin, Valen... I will need to give my condolences."

Valen saluted and left, no doubt in a hurry to leave the Jedi to her thoughts...

"...three dead, two severely injured, death, destruction... so you could try to defeat her..." She sighed, hardly noticing the doctor's continued work. "...a waste."
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 #32 on: 03/03/15, 10:33:06 PM »
Originally posted on 11/27/2014 here: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=3048.0

Regrets

((Note: Basically, this is how Merrant fell to the Dark Side. Not through love, or being kidnapped, or anything that might excuse him... he fell because he wanted vengeance, and he could have walked away at any time.

Its a key point with me about falling to the Dark Side, honestly. Too often we see Jedi fall because they were always assholes, or they had sex, or because they were captured and tortured. I don't know many times when it was a good man giving into their darker impulses that led them to the dark side. It was a key point for me in writing this: The blame, as much of it as possible, should rest on Merrant's shoulders... because that's where the blame belongs, for this and for everything that follows...

...because the darker the fall, the more joyous the rise.))




Ten years ago...

Brel slammed the door behind him, leaning heavily against it, gasping for breath. He couldn't have been followed, not this far. He'd been running for eighteen hours, almost a full day, no way he could have kept up...

The lock clicked and he pulled himself away from the door, finally allowing himself a moment to relax. It was a small hideout, barely more than a room, a comm, a bed, a refresher and, most importantly, a spare lightsaber, but small was important. You have to know where to look just to see the door, let alone open it up.

The comm powered on quickly enough. Brel had been expected to report back long ago, that damn Jedi got in the way, his Master would want to know what had happened...

He bowed low as his Darth Zhal's image snapped in, speaking in a rush, even as he tried to keep the panic out of his voice. "My lord, I have urgent news. I need-"

"Silence, Brel." Zhal's voice was cold, the image showing only a hood and long robes, even his face shrouded in darkness. "I sent you and your Master to deal with a Jedi, and now you stand before me, cowering? If you have failed me..."

Brel tried to ignore the slow pressure growing on his throat. "...n-no, my lord. Master Corran is dead, I slew him myself, but-"

Zhal laughed, the tone lacking any true mirth. "Good, good. I've been waiting to hear of that fool's death for many years. So, where is your master, or did you strike him down for his previous failures?"

Outside, someone screamed, the voice echoing even in here, and Brel shook his head quickly, a primal fear overtaking his voice. "No, my lord! Corran's padawan, he killed Lord Hesderan, he disarmed me... he's been chasing me ever since, I need-"

"Are you begging me to save your pitiful life?!" Darth Zhel roared, "From a miserable Padawan?"

The screams were getting closer now, and draining what little pride remained in Brel. "I... yes! He's strong, my lord, and almost here! I need help!"

"Interesting... Defend yourself until I arrive, Brel. And stay there."

"Of course, my lord! When will you-" Brel rushed out as the holocom faded, his shoulders slumping. "...get here."

There was another scream outside, too close... Brel grabbed the Lightsaber, igniting the crimson blade. His eyes were drawn to the door... wondering... the door was hidden. No one saw him come in, he was sure of that, and as long as he stayed quiet, stayed hidden... he'd be fine...

Brel was lying to himself, he knew. He could sense the Jedi on the other side of the door, getting closer and closer...

He jumped as the purple beam was driven through door. He was here.

It was a thick door, at least. A few inches of durasteel was a task to cut through, even for a Lightsaber. More than enough time to think of a plan, a way to ambush him, a way to escape... and all Brel could think about was how much he didn't want to get run through with the blade.

The door fell away, the heavy clang of the clanging steel echoing in the safehouse, and the Padawan stepped through, a dark-skinned Zabrak, clad in brown, Jedi robes, and his eyes... there was a hatred there, pure, untarnished by pity, or remorse, or fear...

Brel held his saber forward, mind entirely on defense, stalling this Padawan, at least until Darth Zhel could arrive. "...surrender, Jedi. You won't defeat a... pure Sith warrior..."

The Jedi narrowed his eyes. "Shut up." He moved with what seemed like a blur, slamming his Lightsaber against Brel, knocking Brel back against the wall, leaving him groaning as his foe stepped forward, an impaled Sith on his mind.

Brel managed to throw himself to the ground, just under the Zabrak's lightsaber,   scrambling around him and keeeping his guard up. "...I didn't know you Jedi fought to murder... better get control Jedi..." he said, not taunting so much as pleading, hoping that the Jedi might start holding himself back.

No suck luck. A rising strike knocked the guard away, forcing him to again retreat, the purple lightsaber's follow-up strike only a hair's breath away from carving into his chest. Brel tried to counter, a flailing swing, easily deflected. The Zabrak's counter carved into the wall next to Brel's head, sending him scrambling to the corner, desperately staying alive for one more moment.

"...J-jedi, I... I surrender!" Brel blubbered, dropping his Lightsaber, keeping his hands up, eyes wide with fear. "Y-you win, just... just don't kill me!"

The Zabrak ony hesitated momentarily. Everything in his training taught him to stop, knock the Sith out, bind his hands and return to the Order with the prisoner in tow. The Jedi way. The same thoughts that had been running through his mind ever since...

...ever since this despicable punk drove a Lightsaber through Master Corran's heart.

The Jedi would try to redeem this murderer. Give him a second chance, wipe away his sins, make his crimes nothing, a bit of trivia to pass around the fire.

"You don't deserve mercy," the Zabrak muttered, and drove the Lightsaber into the Sith's chest, right into the heart. He stared into the dying man's eyes, breathing in the shock, the pain... the fear. His lips moved briefly, mouthing a plea, or a prayer, or... perhaps an apology?

The Jedi pulled the Lightsaber free, letting the corpse fall to the ground. Finished. Master Corran was avenged, this murderer would never hurt another again.

He raised his head slightly, hearing the sound of... applause behind him. He whirled around, narrowing his eyes at the figure in the doorway. Long black robes, a heavy, deep hood, a Lightsaber on his belt... another Sith.

"Ah, thank you, young Jedi. Brel there was a pathetic little servant. Some skill with a Lightsaber, but hardly the kind of termprament needed for success in the Empire. I am Darth Zhel, and, as you no doubt guessed, I am responsible for sending him on his little task. I assume old Corran was your master?"

The Jedi nodded, and said nothing, his hands tightening on the Lightsaber.

Darth Zhel smirked... or at least sounded like he was. "Ah, the silent treatment. I assume you have a name, Padawan Mysterious?"

"...Merrant. Why?"

"Why? Why what? Why did I want Corran dead? Why am I here? Why am I not killing you right now?" Zhel chuckled lightly, stepping inside, away from the door... his hands staying far away from the Lightsaber on his hip.

"...all of them?" Merrant could sense the Darth's power. There was no way Merrant could defeat him, not now...

Zhel waved his hand dismissively. "Oh, Corran and I have a history, you could say. Nothing important now. I'm here because that sniveling dog wanted a rescue, and I wanted to see what would terrify him so greatly." His head turned, openly appraising Merrant. "Not quite what I expected, but then again, it looks like he didn't have, aha, the heart for a real nemesis."

"And why are you still alive?" Zhel chuckled again, a low, throaty affair. "I have no need to. You have done me a favor here, after all. And I hate killing a talented youth." He gestured to the door. "The door is open, have a good day, Padawan Merrant."

Merrant glared at the Sith, hands tight on the Lightsaber, but he nodded quickly, self-preservation for once overriding his desire for vengeance.

He was about to leave the room when Zhel spoke up again. "You enjoyed killing him." It was more a statement than a question, a fact, not an assumption.

Merrant stopped, then slowly shook his head. "...killing him was... just," he lied.

"I felt that pleasure, young Merrant. He hurt you by killing your master, and you took vengeance. How could you not enjoy it?"

"...I am a Jedi," Merrant said, his voice wavering.

 "Ah, of course. No Jedi would enjoy killing an unarmed man." There was a smirk in Zhel's tone. "Of course, I doubt a Jedi would kill one, either. Begging to surrender, begging for mercy... pitiful of him, wasn't it? Pleading for mercy after killing your master, your friend?" He laughed to himself, watching Merrant softly nodding. "You took him apart. That anger makes you stronger, young Merrant."

Merrant shook his head. "...no, it doesn't. Anger makes us weaker."

"More lies, even now?" Zhal shook his head. "You defeated Brel's master, and then took apart Brel himself, the one that slew poor Corran. Search your feelings, Merrant. You were stronger, fighting in anger, than you could ever be with the Jedi's peace. Accept the truth."

Merrant shut his eyes, trying to push away Zhal's words... trying to ignore the rush of power, the pleasure he felt, cutting Brel down, killing the bastard...

Zhel's voice was like a whisper in Merrant's ear now. "...you have power, Merrant. The Jedi teachings have their place in others, but be honest... they have only been holding you back, keeping you away from your true potential. Accept- no, embrace it. Go back to the Jedi, and they will punish you, shun you for taking vengeance on the one that murderred Corran, maybe even expel you for doing what waas just..."

"...or?" Merrant asked, not trusting himself to open his eyes.

"Or you can come with me. Learn how to embrace and use that anger of yours. Learn how to change the galaxy and take advantage of your potential."

"You mean become a Sith."

Zhel laughed. "We stand for power, Merrant. What you do with it is your concern. There are plenty of Sith in the Empire that use that power for noble ends." Merrant opened his eyes, feeling Zhel pat the Zabrak's shoulder, almost... like a friend. "Join me, Merrant... make your mark on the galaxy."

Merrant hesitated... and nodded. Zhel was right. The Jedi woudn't understand. They wouldn't trust that power. They would just hold him back more, push him away from this strength... they didn't have the will to change the galaxy...

...but Merrant did. "Lead the way... Master."
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 #33 on: 03/03/15, 10:36:51 PM »
Originally posted 12/26/2014: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg34129#msg34129

Good Tidings and Cheer

((Note: At this point, Lien's entirely a sidelined character, and is only relevant as it comes to Kyri... which is the whole point here. Kyri's been through a lot, and is no longer the Coruscanti girl Lien remembers, and a lot of this is about recognizing the distance Kyri's come since I first created her to be just Lien's kid sister, a character I created only to reflect on Lien.

Also highly relevant here is a bit of an adventure Kyri had on the player created world Ialdon, the adventures of whic start out here: http://begerencolony.org/index.php?topic=3024.msg33281#msg33281))




Lien and Azentiza's apartment, Coruscant

"...ya sure 'bout this, Li?" Kyri asked, glancing at the tightly wrapped box on the excessively plain coffee table. "Feels weird openin' a Life Day present without ma an' pa."

Lien shrugged, sliding a can of beer over to his sister and collapsing into the couch. "Hey, I still got other presents for you, Ky. Just didn't want to creep 'em out is all." He smiled at her regardless, the soldier's prosthetic eye somehow glinting at the doctor.

"...it's na gonna explode or nothin', righ'?" she asked, smirking at her older brother the demolitionist.

Lien groaned, leaning back in his seat. "That only happened once, it was ten years ago and it was barely a firecracker!"

"Tha present exploded in my hand!" she said, grinning at the memory.

Lien barked a laugh. "Yeah, I know, because you were shaking it! I told you not to shake it, but no, Doctor Orell just had to-"

"I thought you were jokin'!"

He shook his head, waving dismissively at Kyri. "For the thousandth time, I'm sorry! This present? Guaranteed, not explosive."

"Yer sure?" she asked, giving the box a theatrical poke, pulling away from it immediately, as if it were a live bomb, earning another roll of Lien's eyes.

"I'm sure. Absolutely nothing in there is even combu-" Lien hesitated, then sighed. "...okay, if you get it really hot, it'll catch fire, but there's nothing explosive. Promise."

Kyri pushed her hair out of the way so that she could give Lien a proper Look, before picking up the box and tearing off the wrapping paper, revealing a sizeable knife, complete with leathersis handle and sheathe, around 25 centimeters from end to end.

She glanced up at her brother, carefully drawing the knife, looking at the blackened steel. "...a boot knife? I ken figger why ya din't want me openin' this in front of tha parentfolk."

"Survival Knife," Lien corrected. "Although you probably can store it in yer boot. Its not a weapon-" Kyri snorted at that, prompting Lien's sigh. "Okay, its not JUST a weapon. Its useful fer a lot of things, sorta a tool of last resort."

"And ya ken kill folk with it."

He sighed again. "Yeah, that too. You can kill folk with a lot of things, Ky."

Kyri shifted in her seat, sheathing the knife. "Yah, I know. Sorry, jus'... kinda on edge 'bout that lately."

Lien looked over his little sister, nodding his understanding. "You know you can talk to me about it, yeah?"

"Yeah. I know, I'm good." Her eyes flicked up to meet his, an awkward smiling crossing her face. "...an' thanks."

He nodded, not believing a word of it, all too used to Kyri's tells. "Right. Anyway, the knife, the interesting part is that I got it on Sylthas. Its a rocky little world here in the Core."

Kyri blinked. "Um..." she said, not quite sure how to put it...

"No native life of note there, but they've got a ton of iron ore, real high quality stuff. World's littered with mining and smelting towns. Good folk, really. Bit simple, then again they got their life sorted and it ain't like the areas too bad. Did a few ops there back when I was in Patchwork Squad." Lien grinned and tapped the knife. "That there is 100% Sylthan Steel, not a drop of recycled metal. Treat it good and it'll do good right back. Just don't take it against a 'saber and you'll be fine..."

Lien blinked, finally noticing Kyri's supremely awkward smile. "...what's wrong, Ky?"

"Um..." She shifted awkwardly. "Well, I brought a present too, kinda figgered givin' it to ya in front of mom an' dad would get awkward..." She reached into her backpack, pulling out a small, if heavy, box and slid it across the table. "Go ahead, I'm sure you'll have a laugh..."

Lien lifted the package, eyeing it and then his embarassed sister, before carefully removing the wrapping paper, opening it to reveal a set of spiked knuckles, the polished steel glinting evilly as Lien carefully lifted it. "Brass knuckles, Ky?"

Kyri laughed weakly. "Uh, well, na really. Steel ones. I mean, you've always talked 'bout how difficult it is fer ya ta fistfight 'cos of tha cybernetics in yer arm, how yer always riskin' breakin' yer fingers from tha extra force. If ya punch with these, tha force will get spread out over yer palm, much safer fer ya."

He smiled at the doctor. "...yeah, that makes sense and all. But Brass Knuckles are just wot they're called, Ky. Don't mean they gotta be made of brass."

"...well, these are steel. Uh, Sylthan Steel, ta be precise." She smiled awkwardly at her brother. "...least we din't shop at tha same store? Prolly?"

Lien turned the knuckles over in his hands, slipping his fingers into the rings, testing the weight. "...yeah," he said, his tone empty.

Kyri rolled her shoulders, looking over her brother. "...you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm good, Ky." He looked up at her, a faint smile slowly appearing. "You just used to get a kick outta gettin' stuff from other worlds is all. Gettin' you gifts is gonna be a bit harder."

"I loved it an' I still do!" she said, smiling brightly. "Come on, I grew up surrounded by metal. Gettin' ta see new places an' new things, who wouldna want that?" She shrugged slightly. "Jus' got unlucky this time is all. Lotsa worlds out there an' all, I'm sure we're gonna trade good ones."

"Yeah?" He gestured at Kyri's arm. Her vest was sleeveless, and while her arm-band did a decent job of covering it, her tattoo, a stylize line-work of grass wrapped around her bicep, peeking out from under it. "Where'd you get that?"

Kyri flinched, her hand reaching over to cover it. "...kinda a long story."

"...you're gonna have to stop breakin' laws, Ky. You know I can't cover for ya." It was always a worry of his. Not that Kyri would ever ask him to 'clear things up', of course. Not even that their parents would, not exactly... he just knew that he would want to. After the sacking, after Falkc, hell after everything that comes with growing up in Coruscant's less prized districts... he'd always want to protect her.

"I didn't break any-" she stopped, mid sentence, and immediately winced. "Okay, I broke a couple, but they werena Republic ones... ya know that dinner I missed a few weeks ago?"

Lien nodded. "Don't worry, still got ya beat on missed meet-ups, Ky. Remember when every other week was actually every other week?" he said, smirking.

Kyri grinned. "Nope."

Lien chuckled, relaxing at the sight of the cheerful doctor. "Me either. But you were sayin'."

"Well, my navcom got screwed up a bit, jumped to tha wrong system, an' ran outta fuel. Kinda had ta land 'til I could get some more... an' kinda ran inta some folks livin' on tha world..."

Lien chuckled, listening to the story, glad to be assured of the probable happy ending. "...and let me guess, they praised your sky-beast as some sort of diety, and you the grand emmissary."

Kyri laughed. "Kriff, tha' sounds like a bad holo. Does tha' actually 'appen? Na, wos luckier, bunch of smart, low tech folks. Ya know, tha whole 'reject most tech except for tha really useful' sorts? They had some laws 'bout outsiders is all, they jus' let me trade some doctorin' fer some fuel."

Major Orell leaned forward, a frown crossing his face. "...yeah? What sort of doctorin'?"

"Hazards of low-techness, really. Their water table got infected with somethin' cholera-like." She smiled softly, looking down at her beer. "...helped 'em get tha water purified in tha short term an' treated tha folk that were gettin' real ill. Prolly ended up savin' tha whole village..."

Kyri pulled the armband down, revealing the full, if simple, tattoo. "Tha kids there kept drawin' stuff like this on me when I wos dozin'. No caf, ya know? So, kinda felt like keepin' a bit offa reminder."

"Nothin' like an Orell playin' tha hero, right?" Lien said, grinning... but the soldier's instincts wouldn't leave him alone. "Where was this, anyway?" he asked, as casually as he could manage.

There was a flinch on Kyri's face. Nothing too big, just a small tell that Lien had seen many times before, often regarding topics like if she was seeing anyone or who had taken the last sweet from the tray. "...no idea, really. Navcom wos screwed up real bad, needed ta get it wiped."

He stared at his sister, struggling against himself. On one hand, she was fine, no harm no foul, big galaxy, probably nothing to do with the chatter, and if they wanted to live low-tech, no skin off his nose...

...but on the other... maybe he was reading too much into too little, but the basics matched some chatter he'd seen about a heavily xenophobic world, and if she had stepped on it and interacted with the locals... the intel would be invaluable...

In the end, the officer won out, even if the brother was cursing inside. "...Ky, it could be important."

"Yah, it's real important," Kyri said, narrowing her eyes. "I helped those folk, lived with 'em fer a week an' they broke their laws ta help me. So, no, I don' know where they are. Ya hear? Find another snitch."

Lien held her gaze for a few seconds before relenting, nodding softly. "None so blind as those that won't hear, yeah?"

Kyri blinked, the sharp glare dissolving under a childhood joke. "...somethin' like that. Sorry."

"Don't be," Lien said, an apology on his face. "Still proud of you."

"Oh, don't give me that kath crap, Li," she said, grinning. "I ain't a kid needin' ta be buttered up, ya know."

"Fine! I'm very disappointed that you saved a whole village!" he grinned back. "Really, Ky, you should know better than that! Who knows the consequences of such a rash decision!"

Kyri just laughed and blew a raspberry at her brother, looking over the knife. "...hope I don't gotta use this, ya know."

"Same here." He lifted the knuckles, a thought occurring to him. ".......aren't these illegal on Coruscant?"

She blinked, looking back down at the spiked knuckles. "Huh?"

"Yeah... concealed weapons and all that."

"...huh." She shifted in her seat. "...I mean, they don' really enforce that much, yah? Tha CSF has got bigger things ta do... yah?"

"Ky."

She harumphed. "I's a stupid law anyway."

"Sure thing, Captain Kyri." Lien grinned at his sister's scowl, setting the knuckles down. "How's the illegal shippin' been lately, anyway?"

Kyri flinched again, and even she knew it this time. "Complicated..." she said, looking away, her mind racing for excuses for everything.

"...you wanna talk about it, Ky?" he asked, his tone soft, undemanding. "I know you don't need me to keep an eye on you and all. Just... if you need to vent is all."

Kyri smiled at Lien. She knew he was lying, at least a little. He would want to help her, just as she would want to help him if he was hurting... and she also could see the red in his eyes, the tired smiles, how exhausted he looked when he wasn't trying to hide it...

"...nothin' too much, Li. Jus' been... some trouble with somma tha others. Nothin' I cannae handle," she lied. Telling him about the Grasper... no. It'd be a good way to get him killed... even if he could do anything.

"If ya wanna vent, Ky..."

She groans, cutting him off. "I vent! I gots other folk to vent to!"

"I get it! I'm just offering!"

"Well... look, its just..." she glanced at Lien, hesitating a moment. "...mind if I ask ya somethin'..." she hesitated, "...kinda real awkward?"

He shrugged. "Hit me."

"You ever... know someone that killed a person they din't have to?"

They were screaming. The explosion had terrified them, and the shrapnel from the converter and the rakghoul was all over the place. They looked at him, and the door behind him. He looked back. Another scream, and the crowd started move and rush towards him. He raised his rifle-

Lien blinked, shaking his head sharply, pushing away the memory. "...you mean... what you mean, Ky? Murder?"

"...I... no... well... a lil, sorta? I mean... on one of yer ops, one of yer team ever... I mean, it'd be easier if ya killed someone, but ya coulda worked it through jus' by goin' 'round or somethin'?" She glanced at her stone-faced brother. "...just a hypothetical, ya know?"

"Sure. Right. Hypothetical." He sighed. "...you know what I do- did, Ky. Demo work ain't exactly known for being precise, even with experts. Collateral damage..."

She cringed. "Yeah, well... more mean... direct? Ya know? Na...... an accident or somethin'?"

"...look, Ky... killin' folk ain't easy. Watchin' a buddy die... that's a lot harder." He shifted again, looking away. "...you go careful first and foremost, especially if they got numbers on you. They won't give quarter, so you can't either... or someone dies."

He sighed, looking back to Kyri. "Look, it's... easy to want to not to kill folk, or to think you can just sneak around or stun or sedate or just beat their ass until they're flat on their back... but you get one thing wrong, Ky... and everything goes to hell. Or worse. Easy not to like it, but it ain't easy to do either."

"Yeah, sure," Kyri muttered. "Killin' cos its tha righ' thing ta do, ain't that jus' nice."

Lien took a deep breath, his mind racing as he tried to push away the memories again. Dale. Ana. Mer. Hale. Vir. Sal. Massey. Gorman. Tindare...

He shook his head. Too many names, too many faces, too many friends and more lost... "Its not nice, Ky. But its needed-"

"It's easy ta say shit's needed! I could do tha' all tha time! But murderin' folk's still murderin' folk! Why-"

"Because I've lost enough friends!" Lien roared, slamming his fist on the coffee table. "You have no idea what that sort of fighting's like, Ky, don't go 'round insultin' others for getting through shit safely! You got no idea how lucky you've been!"

By the time Lien could focus on her, Kyri was pressed against the couch, staring back at Lien... and her new knife in her hands, still sheathed... but looking like she was about to draw. "...Li..."

He blinked and looked away, the rage evaporating under her terrified stare. "...sorry. But... its still true, Ky."

"...you wanna talk-"

"No." He sighed, sitting back and finishing off his beer, his blood cooling. "...old shit, Ky. Nothin' I ain't been dealing with for a while."

"...you talk to anyone?" Kyri asked, her voice soft, relaxing on seeing Lien calm as well.

Lien nodded. "There's a shrink. And Az. You don't gotta worry 'bout me, alright? Just... the folks backin' you up, Ky? If you feel like ya gotta hate 'em for their killin'... hate me too. Because I've done what you've said and worse..." he sighed, looking her straight in the eyes. "And I'd do it again, and more if it'd bring some friends back."

Kyri stared back at her brother for several seconds, and slipped the knife into her pack, hefting it with a shaking hand. "...I... righ'... I... need ta... go," she muttered, her head spinning, trying to process it all.

"Ky..."

She shook her head quickly. "...it's... alright, Li... jus... need ta think... see ya in a few... righ'?"

Lien hesitated, but slowly nodded. "...yeah. Mom, dad an' Az'll be here... looking forward to it. Stay safe, Ky?" he added, looking away, not watching her leave.

"...yeah," she muttered, leaving before he could say another word.
« Last Edit: 08/12/16, 01:42:35 AM 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 #34 on: 03/03/15, 10:47:22 PM »
Originally posted 01/24/2015: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?action=post;msg=34831;topic=835.15

Treason

((Note: And its time for Quarasha's Treason arc... which is still going on. In all seriousness, at the time of writing this, I have no idea what's happening with it, where it's going, I'm just holding on as hard as I can and riding it out.

Prior to this post, Quarasha was accused of Treason, Darth Thrax claiming that she gave Master Hawking sensitive intelligence on the Dark Reapers, and thus she's imprisoned, awaiting trial. And, yes, she totally did it...

The first part is the expected, Rylar and Effet talking about it, dealing with the logical aftermath to it all. One of those dull but needed bits, I suppose.

Part two here is more interesting. I'd alluded to the fate of the Demeter slaves before, but not in story form. The general theme to it is that, thanks to Quarasha's help, they're thriving. Even a Sith Lord can do good deeds and have friends in odd places...

And part three... I felt it important to exposit why Quarasha wasn't trying to escape, basically. I'm not a fan of cardboard prisons myself. Prison breaks are an overused trope as it is in fiction, and as head!Quarasha puts it, if a prison could feasibly be escaped from by a Sith....... why would you put a Sith there to begin with?))




Lord Quarasha's Office, Dromund Kaas

"Treason?!" Rylar's jaw practically hit the deck, trying to process the Rattataki officer's news.

Effet sighed, looking up from the mass of datapads in front of him. "Do I have to repeat myself? Quarasha's been arrested for treason. Should I get some hand puppets so I can act it out for you?"

Rylar shakes his head, collapsing into his chair. "...this is... ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. You know-"

"No, Rylar, I don't, and neither do you," Effet said, looking up at his counterpart. "She's a Sith, you know what they're like."

"She's a loyal Imperial!"

Effet rolls his eyes. "She's an anti-slavery Sith, and there's a lot of slavery in the Empire. Not that it matters much."

Rylar glowered, looking away from Effet. "So she has a philosophical position... what... what has she been accused of doing, exactly?"

"From what I heard-" he looked up, knowing what Rylar was about to say. "Which I heard from Darth Necare, who was there. I'd count her as a good source." He had to resist the urge to smirk at Rylar's flinch and pressed on. "She's accused of having given the Jedi information on Thrax's dealings. And we both know how much she hates Thrax."

"You think she's guilty," Rylar flatly replied.

Effet shrugged. "It doesn't matter what I think. Thrax is insane, sure. Maybe Quarasha's right-"

"Lord Quarasha!" Rylar corrected, narrowing his eyes at the Rattataki, earning a snort in response.

"Right. Maybe she's right, maybe she's wrong. But she's pissed off a bigger Sith, and I know the smart bet here."

Rylar shook his head, staring at the datapads. "...that's what you're doing." He snatched one up, looking it over. Financial records for one of their Lord's credit accounts... a few large, odd deposits highlighted. "You're digging up dirt on Lord Quarasha to suck up to 'a bigger Sith'!" He shouted, throwing the datapad at Effet's head.

The sniper ducked out of the way, the datapad rebounding off the chair and clattering to the floor. He scowled at Rylar. "I have no intention of going down with her. Besides, I'm following orders."

Rylar looked incredulous, barely able to believe the sniveling, backstabbing soldier before him. "Orders? From whom?"

Effet's cheshire grin looked in danger of splitting his face in two. "Darth Necare. All Imperial personnel under Lord Quarasha's command are required to report on any potential evidence of treasonous activity. She didn't say what would happen to those that hide details... but I think we can both guess."

Rylar's face blanched. "She's... she's a diplomat! Half of her dealings are trading favors and exchanging bribes! You're going to-"

"I'm going to be honest, Rylar," Effet said, frowning at the other officer. "Just as you are. If she did tell the Jedi anything, she didn't tell me about it, and I doubt she'd let you know."

"...no, she wouldn't," Rylar said, staring off at the wall. "I just can't see her doing it, though."

"You can't see her using the Jedi to attack a Sith she hates?" Effet asked, smirking.

Rylar smiled faintly. "I can see that. I just can't see her being sloppy enough to get caught." He looked up at Effet. "Why are you being so... eager with this?"

"Simple, we tell the truth only. If Quarasha survives, then great, she's fine and we haven't actually betrayed her. She might be a little angry at us-"

"Only a little?" Rylar cut in, a slight smirk on his face.

The Rattataki sighed, pressing on. "-but she'll be furious at Thrax, and she can't get rid of us so easily. If she doesn't, though? Then we show we're loyal Imperials who had no idea about any treason, and we get absorbed into Darth Necare's power base, most likely. Opportunities like this don't come around very often."

"We won't be directly advising Sith anymore..." Rylar said, his face dropping.

"A nice change of pace. You might even get a command again." Effet grinned. "I'm going through the finances, and yes, I'm trying to give a bit of context for all the bribes. You get the idiot diplomats in line, get them to get their reports in." He set down a datapad, picking another one up. "...and try to get a line on that Togruta."

Rylar blinked. "Togruta?"

"Yeah. The one Quarasha occasionally had hanging about. I think I saw her with a lightsaber once. Discovering a secret apprentice would earn us a lot of points with the real Sith."

"...what does that have to do with Thrax?" Rylar said, puzzled.

"I don't know. I just don't want any surprises..."



Planet P-3411, known locally as Planet Sasmi, Outer Rim

The sunsets were almost always beautiful here. Growing up in Coruscant's underbelly, and then the prison of the various slave pits, Asori had rarely gotten the opportunity to really see them... at least, until now.

The Togruta had set up a chair on the aged, battered hull of the Demeter, watching view of the world's sun slowly sinking below the horizon. The Demeter, formerly a slave ship with over seven hundred people as its cargo... now, and Asori always smirked when she thought of it, a more literal slave ship, a ship for the slaves, the ones that now lived here... free, creating a colony of their own, a settlement where they could be... people, without living under anyone's thumb.

The harvest had been a good one. They had food enough for the winter, and if they ran into any problems, the sea had fish, and the Demeter had fuel. They would survive... no. They would thrive. Finally.

She turned, hearing the heavy footsteps of the colony's defacto leader. The big, blue, burly Cathar called Bolin... clever, wise, kind, the only thing that kept him from being a perfect leader was his tongue. He gave a little wave to the younger Togruta, smiling at her.

She smile back, beckoning her friend over. "Hey Bolin. You missed the best part."
 
He shrugged, gesturing off towards the village, not far from the Demeter.

"Don't tell me Daense is still griping about the water..." she groaned, turning back to the sunset. "She always finds something to whine about. I swear, I think she misses the Hold. At least she had REAL problems back then..."

Bolin firmly slapped her shoulder, shaking his head. He put his hand on his shoulder, and then mimicked breaking a stick.

Asori looked down. "...she still misses her husband?" Bolin nodded, then clapped his hand on Asori's shoulder, getting her to smile a little. "...sorry. Keep forgetting that. It's... hard to find him... tell her I'm still looking?"

Bolin nodded, and Asori had to resist smirking. "...well, mime to her." At Bolin's rather expressive gesture, she grinned. "You know, we could probably get it replaced. Or... I don't know, maybe we can tear off a droid's head, so you can wear it and it can talk for you?" Her grin grew wider at his annoyed look. "Maybe it can make some jokes too. It'd be great!"

Bolin's gesture was, again, very expressive, followed by miming shooting himself in the head. But then, as he was in a habit of doing, he motioned that he rather liked not having to talk... and smiled at the smaller Togruta, before pointing at her Lightsabers.

"...yeah, I'm still practicing. Have to be ready if some pirates find us, you know?" He looked a bit worried, but nodded. "Relax... I'm not going anywhere. Quarasha's offered, but... I don't know, the Empire scares me. And the Jedi are too preachy. I just want to be able to protect us here. It's not like-"

She was interrupted as her comm started to buzz. "...you mind Bolin?" At the shake of his head, she turned on the comm. "...hello?"

"Miss Asori?" came a distorted, mechanical voice, the hint of an Imperial accent making it through the synthetic voice. "I cannot talk for long, but I felt you should be informed."

She frowned. "Who is this?"

"A friend. I regret to inform you that Lord Quarasha has been arrested for treason against the Sith Empire. Imperial personnel are looking for you, believing you to be a secret, illegal apprentice of hers. They know about the Demeter, but not P-3411 yet. Stay out of Imperial space. Stay safe."

The comm cut out before Asori could say anything, and she slowly looked up at Bolin, the look of horror matching his own. "...what are we gonna do?"

All Bolin could do, as usual, was shrug.



Sphere of Justice Holding Cell, Dromund Kaas

Quarasha was laying down on hard bed, eyes closed, her mind still thinking about the security field holding her in as she finally started drifting towards sleep.

"Assets, my clothing, a small knife in my boots, and the Force. If I can create a thirty second headstart, I could escape the city. Too many ships to search them all, could get off-world, and from there, safety. Thirty seconds... thirty seconds..."

Her eyes opened slowly, and there was another woman before her, another Twi'lek, yellow, a woman, wearing brown robes and sitting in the middle of the cell.

Quarasha sighed. "...you again."

The Jedi smiled faintly. "I am pleased that you remember me, Lord Quarasha."

"My dreams need more creativity," Quarasha joked, sitting up. "Where's the women of my life in negligee, dancing for my amusement?"

"That is up to you, Lord Quarasha. One of the advantages of lucid dreaming, I think," the Jedi said. "But I think you have more important things to think about right now."

Quarasha frowned. "If I mind trick the guards-"

"The guards that are only here because they are strong willed enough to resist," the Jedi interrupted.

Quarasha sighed. "Fine, kill them with something thrown."

The Jedi shook her head. "This is a prison for Sith. What is around to throw?"

"You're not being very helpful... and where's the other one?"

The Jedi shrugged. "I appeared to you before with her, yes. The other one, the Sith ideal you thought you strove for... but that was with a decision before you, regarding the slavers of the Empire, the slavers you dealt with regularly."

Quarasha frowned. "So, you're saying that because I chose you, she's gone."

A light chuckle came from the Jedi. "I think we spend too much time looking for the logic in the chaos of dreams and visions. Take me as I am, Lord Quarasha."

"...so good to know that I would be just as insufferable as a Jedi," Quarasha muttered, before looking around. "Fine. How should I escape?"

The Jedi shrugged. "You cannot. If you could, you would have done so already. If a Sith could escape from here, then it would be a poor place for holding a Sith. And if I knew a way to escape, then you would know it too. This is your dream after all."

Quarasha nodded, smirking faintly as a barely clad Sasmi and Izamura sat next to her, leaning on her, their hands stroking her arms. "I gathered."

The Jedi just rolled her eyes at the display. "I know your thoughts as well. You want to try to escape, and will try, even if escape is impossible."

Quarasha frowned and nodded. "I'll take as many of them down with me as I can. I may get lucky. But I won't let them get... creative."

"You fear they would turn you into a slave again," the Jedi said, blunt as only a caring Jedi could be, and to that, Quarasha has no response. "Let me sum up your possibilities. Try to escape, and you might survive through incredible fortune. Wait for an opening to exploit, which may never come. Or take your chance with the mind probes, and hope you can hide the truth. Or you do something foolish, so that you can die with a weapon in your hand."

"...is that so wrong?" Quarasha muttered, the phantom lovers no longer providing much interest.

"A Jedi might say so. A Mandalorian would approve, I think. But you forget that your tongue has always been your greatest weapon-" the Jedi sighed as the images of Sasmi and Izamura started to grin. "Please keep your imaginings under control, you know precisely what I meant."

Quarasha grinned herself, but nodded. "You think I can still talk my way out of this."

"That, plus your mental conditioning? Yes, I believe it your best hope, Lord Quarasha. And, when in doubt, you can always trust in the Force."

"The Force?" Quarasha frowns. "The Force serves at my pleasure. Not the other way around."

The Jedi's smile was faint, amused, a joke only she was in on. "...as you say. But you know well that a subordinate can surprise you wonderfully, if you give it the chance. But prepare yourself, Lord Quarasha... because I think you have a long road ahead of you."

"...you're just me, right?" Quarasha asked, a puzzled look crossing her face, something about the figure's words... not sitting right.

"Perhaps. Perhaps not. Perhaps I am the indigestion caused by the utterly bland food they serve here." The Jedi winked at her. "Enjoy your dreams, Lord Quarasha. I think we will meet again..."

And in the cell, outside her dream, Quarasha smiled, a small measure of hope finally arriving, for the first time in days...
« Last Edit: 03/03/15, 10:51:27 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 #35 on: 03/03/15, 10:50:19 PM »
Originally posted 01/24/2015: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg34842#msg34842

Lord and Admiral

((Note: A nice little meeting between Quarasha and Villem. They had gotten off to the wrong foot, of course, but it was nice to see them have a bit of a repore, even if the stuff Villem hinted at didn't come to fruition.

This is a modified chat log, by the way. Sometimes such things are obvious, with little hitches here and there as the characters don't quite interact as you'd normally think. I think this was transferred okay, but I can't exactly be sure.))




Deep in the heart of Dromund Kaas, the Sphere of Law and Justice holds a special prison. The guards are well trained, the droids highly powered, and the security measures have few equals... because this is where Sith may become imprisoned.

Lord Quarasha lays on a bunk in one of those cells, the security field powered and giving off a faint, dull glow. She does her best to seem unconcerned with her surroundings, staring up at the ceiling, still in her usual robes, a faint frown on her face... utterly bored out of her mind.

Quarasha feels a disturbance in the Force. A new presence approaches, unlike most of the usual seething Sith. The Force is present, yet not overpowering. This is not a Sith Lord, nor a mere Acolyte. Something inbetween, and yet something very familiar.

There is a pause in the outer chamber, a ripple in the mundane existence of all who dwell here. Not just the prisoners are trapped day after day.

She raises her head slightly, looking towards the door, but staying silent, laying down. "...at least something interesting is happening."

After a moment, the reinforced blast doors slide apart with a heavy hiss, and Admiral Eldarus Villem, ever-dressed in his crisp, white, impeccable uniform enters. He is sans officers' cap, archaic lightsaber, and belt.

The blast doors slam shut behind him.

Quarasha sits up, an eyebrow raised. "...no hat, Admiral?"

"Regulations, Quarasha. Forgive me, however it would seem addressing you as Ambassador would be inappropriate." Eldarus strides across the room, and with a pause to observe the surroundings, and the lack of grimy metal chair that could be force-levitated into the wall, he merely clasps his hands behind his back, and stands rigid.

"I understand why no weapons or a belt. But what could one do with a hat?"

"There are devices that can escape a sensor wand, and even simple weapons that could be missed by a physical search. This is Drommund Kaas. Many expect treachery in their morning hotcaf. I could have exerted my will on the matter. I reserve such resources for more important negotiations." Eldarus regards her through the faintly flickering force field.

"Indeed. My fault for getting caught off-guard. Quarasha sighs, but then smirks faintly. "I suppose we can both be grateful they did not require you to come in here naked... but that does rather beg the question.

"Neither of us is predisposed to begging, Quarasha. Instead, I will merely ask if you were an object lesson for Darth Thrax, or if this is the first maneuver to eliminate any remaining moderates from positons of influence?"

She gazes at Eldarus for several moments, but sighs. "At this point? No, I do not think this a power-play of his. I think he speaks truly, that he was informed I gave military secrets to the Jedi. Much as I may wish otherwise, I am hardly a significant obstacle to his plans. If he were smart, he would go after more influential and powerful Sith first, and leave me for later."

She hesitates, then shrugs. "Make that smart and sane. Sadly, the machinations of an insane mind can be rather tricky to predict."

"Where did this rumour, if it is such, orginate? Taelios? I will not refer to him as Darth inside these walls," Eldarus added.

"From what Thrax has told me? A rebel leader on Zythia, while being 'interrogated'," she says, making exagerrated air quotes, "that the Jedi Hawking Shatari told this rebel that he was getting information from me."

"Was this Shatari involved in the defense of Erini? An erstwhile companion of Prince Keyis wayward Jedi bride that you insulted?"

Quarasha closes her eyes, thinking over the question. "...from what I remember, he is a part of Iaera's enclave, which then-Knight Shaantil was a part of, yes. I do not know if he assisted in defending Erini at some point, however."

"I did not think it was in a Jedi's nature to lie and frame an innocent woman. Even the Imperial Ambassador to Erini."

She shrugged. "I have seen varieties of Jedi, Admiral. Underestimating them should be done at your own peril." Quarasha sighed, continuing on. "From the context of Thrax's information, the rebel was undoubtedly savagely tortured. Its possible the rebel knew of me, and simply screamed out a name that might get the pain to stop. Hence why torture is generally considered useless for actual information gathering."

"Threat of force is usually more substantial. Especially in the form of a Harrower-Class Dreadnaught in high orbit over one's Capital city."

Quarasha shakes her head. "...the trick to proper interrogation, Admiral, is to get the subject to want to tell you the truth, and convince him that you'll know when they're lying. Fear and pain gets them to talk, yes, but only the truth will do."

"Regardless, here you sit. Awaiting your fate. What have the Inquisitors demanded of you? Or do they suspect you to wilter as you ponder your limited future?"

"I imagine they're going through my ship, my office, my underwear drawer and looking for any incriminating material, any suspicious activities, and anything that might be useful blackmail material for when I'm let go."

"Your release has been promised to you?" Eldarus absently rubs a scar on his chin.

"No. Call me an optimist, Admiral." She smirked faintly. "I imagine they'll have a few pointed questions for me, given my diplomatic work, but unless they find something 'shocking', or planted, they will mentally probe me, which I have consented to, to prove that I did not leak intelligence to the Jedi."

"Innocent, yet still tainted. What then? Where does Quarasha go after such a public spectacle?"

"You mean, when I am vindicated for my loyalty to the Empire, and seeing Thrax stew with egg on his face?" She smirks. "Hard to say. There's not much neutral space left. There are still to be some stewards of the systems that do not wish to get involved in the war, but I was wondering if I might find success in a related field, given my contacts around the galaxy."

"Is that the limit of your vision? Diplomacy? Brokering trade deals in the Outer Rim while Dark Thrax and the Tenebrous Gospel blanket the Empire in their fanaticism?"

"I was thinking of Intelligence, Admiral." Quarasha smirked. "As for Thrax?" She shrugged. "The Empire has survived stronger fanatics. Fanaticism is not growing in the Empire, Admiral. Thrax is simply attracting those that flocked to Jadus, Malgus, the Dread Masters... weak willed fools somehow blessed with power, nothing more."

"Intelligence. A trait we each claim to possess. Some would say mine is marred by ego. Others might say yours by hubris."

Quarasha rolls her eyes. "The other sort of Intelligence, Admiral."

"Don't test my patience Quarasha. I have come with an offer. Rather, an opportunity. It will be you who needs to keep her ego in check to recognize its' value."

She blinks and sits back up. "...I'm listening, Admiral. Forgive my jokes, it seemed a bit like you were here to taunt me."

"Our verbal duels, however entertaining, are secondary to the matter at hand. Tell me, for all your vaunted contacts, what have you discovered about the Ialdon System?"

Quarasha frowns. "Off the top of my head? Ghost stories, mainly, from the more lawless sectors of the galaxy. Extreme isolationists. If you go there, you'll never come back alive. Some fanciful stories about hidden cities, a great source of power local, how they kidnap naughty children and gobble them up in one bite."

She smirks a bit at the last part. "You know how... inventive some types can be. Oh, yes, and about four different lost treasures that can be found there, if you follow a completely accurate map..."

"Isolated no longer. The Erinians have already made contact. Their merchant whores establishing trade routes and diplomatic channels. It appears Darth Thrax and the Tenebrous Gospel have also taken an interest in the System. Recent history has taught us well their form of diplomatic relations only has one outcome."

She nods. "They were talking about some plans of theirs a few weeks ago. They plan on creating a forward position in the system, I believe in an asteroid field." Quarasha looks around, and rolls her eyes. "A worthy plan for the Empire to support," she adds, tonelessly.

Eldarus lightly paces too and fro, occasionally glancing at Quarasha. "Their current position at distance is not unwarranted. Like Erini, Ialdon is technologically capable, including their own capital-scale fleet. That is not what gives them pause. Taelios has also brokered his own deal, and recently installed an orbital defense screen around the entire planet."

She sighs. "Of course he has. At this point, I think Taelios would literally tweak Thrax's nose if he could."

"If Intelligence is what you crave Quarasha, that makes four factions vying for control of Ialdon's future. If the Jedi are not involved yet, they will be. That will be five."

Quarasha frowns. "Taelios, Thrax, Erini... I assume you are the fourth?"

"Ialdon does not have a stake in its' own future?"

"Oh. Right." She shrugs. "I'm sure there will be others eventually... and I am still waiting for your point."

Eldarus pauses in his rthym to regard her through the force field.

"The point Quarasha, is that I have access to critical information before the rest of the galaxy does. Captain Villem has been undercover on an Erinian freight scow for the past month that makes weekly jumps to Ialdon. Those hyperspace trips provide plenty of time to mine the crew for rumours, facts, and upcoming plans."

"A point I might add, that remains classified."

She frowns, glowering. "Haven't you heard? I'm a poor person to entrust with classified information, it seems."

"That's why you're not going undercover. That's why you'll be operating in plain sight, as a concerned Imperial diplomat warning the Ialdon elders about the coming storm. You have an advantage that Darth Thrax and the Gospel do not. Your interactions with the Kyn and Inansi have given you a keen insight into the minds of Force-sensitive xenophobes with the weight of ceremony to bear."

Quarasha frowns. "What's your game, Eldarus?

"Subject yourself to whatever interrogations the Inquisitors demand. Then surrender yourself into my custody. The events on Erini, your disfigurement, and recent political accusations have taxed your endurance. I will supervise your rehabilitation, and utilize your modest diplomatic influence to establish contact with our remote colonies, several of which lie close to Ialdon."

"Using Captain Villem's knowledge of the System, we will smuggle you on world, and establish contact with the Ialdon elders."

Quarasha stares at Eldarus for several seconds, before giving in, her shoulders slumping heavily, closing her eyes, for the first time since Eldarus showed up, a hint of the fear behind the mask showing through. "...rehabilitation. For treason, in the middle of open war. If they find me guilty, Eldarus... if I am very lucky, they would just kill me then and there."

"...it does not please me to think about what will happen if my current run of luck holds out..."

"As I said Quarasha. I keep my resources in reserve for the important negotiations." Eldarus turns and starts walking towards the blast doors.

She looks up, opening her mouth slightly, hesitant... but manages to barely speak up. "...wait."

Eldarus pauses near the door, having not yet keyed the caller.

Quarasha takes a deep breath. "...despite everything that has gone on between us... you have had my respect, Eldarus. The Empire would be a far stronger place if there were more Sith like you in it."

"I am stronger because I am not Sith. I am a Villem. My family has defended the Empire for three generations. The Republic is pouring resources into Rhos, helping the Erinians rebuild their fleet. They will want to point it at something. We will give them that target. Thrax and his doomsday weapons. The Princess will no doubt ensure the Jedi lead their charge. Taelios sought to give Ialdon security. You and I will give them what they always wanted, obscurity. For the price of a single Imperial city, we will ensure the rest of the galaxy never disturbs them again."

Quarasha slowly shakes her head. "...if they do not kill me, Eldarus... I will help you. That... is all I can offer now. Goodbye,"

"Ambassador." He regards her directly one final time. "It is I who will help you. When this is done, the Empire will need an intuitive warden for such a unique system. An individual capable of both strength and sublety."

Eldarus pressed the caller, and then speaks just before the doors open. "Governor Quarasha." Eldarus passes the blast doors as they open with a clank-whoosh.

"...Admiral," she says, not looking up, not wanting to see the blast doors close.
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 #36 on: 03/03/15, 10:56:02 PM »
Originally posted : http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg35703#msg35703

A Major Visit

((Note: ...yes, I like my puns on occasion.

Prior to this one, Quarasha was rescued by the Republic, after she was convicted of treason, had her mind messed with, to have three of her most cherished memories copied in a corrupted form, and then shoved into a Dark Reaper to have it drain her of life force until she died.

It was not fun. Read more about it here! http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=2993.msg35052#msg35052

The relevant part, however, is that TFZ, the military group Lien's in, has command of her, and the optimistic Major thinks he can get through to the Sith Lord...))




The cell wasn't much, of course. A hard bed, bare table and simple chair, not to mention the absolute minimum sanitation facilities... in truth, it was about what Quarasha expected of a military prison. One of the guards had assured her that, per Republic regulations on the treatment of prisoners, her bedding and food would be of the same quality as a Republic soldier.

On reflection, she wondered if that spoke more to the Republic's attempts at seeming 'civilized' towards their enemies, or about how they treated their rank and file...

She glanced over at the table, and the datapad that lay accusingly upon it. The Republic... the Colonel wanted her knowledge in exchange for her continued existence... and she would comply. An even exchange, a trade she could direct to her enemies in the Empire, and elsewhere...

Quarasha flinched as the memories resurfaced. The airlock doors were opening- She had disabled them- No, she failed, the attack failed, the slaves would die- They were safe, they were free- Miller, Drexa, Sasmi, they died- They won, they were alive, Sasmi- Sasmi didn't care about her, just a quick fling- Sasmi loves her- The bracelet was for Sestra- The bracelet was her's- Then where is it?

The Sith screamed, clutching at her head. The memories were false, she knew it, she knew it, but they wouldn't go away... that green Jedi hadn't done enough... but she had still helped...

It took a few moments before she noticed the guards talking to someone, and she struggled to push the memories away...

"-wasn't us, sir. She just does that."

"She just occasionally screams like she's been shot, Sergeant?"

"According to the Doc, crazy Sith mind fuckery, sir. His words."

"...his report phrased it better."

Quarasha forced herself up, gazing towards the guards, and the new one, an officer, clean uniform, Major insignia, band of metal over his eye, probably an implant, thick neck and broad shoulders, but a growing gut-

The officer nodded at her. "Ambassador. Been a while."

She cocked her head. "...we've met?"

He nodded again, approaching the security field. "Few years back, kerfluffle at a ruin, chasing down some Force thingamajig. Think you were just an apprentice then... and kinda regret missing my shot, to be honest. Major Orell now."

Quarasha stared at the Major, her mind reaching back for the memories... "...you were wearing armor then. And you were a Lieftenant. And thinner." She had to resist smirking at his annoyance.

"...yeah, thanks for that," he said, looking her over.

"Here to gawk, Major?" she said, mustering as much haughtiness as she could manage.

Lien shrugged. "Not every day Zerek gets a Sith Lord in our cells. One advantage of the Brass is that I get to indulge my curiosity some times... you're being treated proper?"

Quarasha quirked an eyebrow at him. "Concern for my wellbeing, Major? Aren't I just a filthy Imp to you?"

He shrugged again, sitting down in a chair. "Today, sure. Also, murderous bitch."

"You know, I actually haven't murdered that many people..." she sighed. "You'd think a soldier would know the distinction."

Lien didn't say a word for a few moments, and Quarasha noted the wound that was clear under his stoic gaze. "...like I said, Ambassador, that's you today. Month from now-"

Quarasha groaned, flopping back down to the bed. "Please, Major, don't give me the damn Jedi speech. Don't you think I'll be hearing it enough from the actual Jedi?"

"I got a special line on this. My girlfriend did some nasty stuff back in the day-"

"No doubt why you're with her now..." the Sith interrupted, earning a muted chuckle from one of the guards.

Lien looked back at the pair of guards."...keep laughing, I'm sure there's some latrines that need to be dug around here."

"Major, I'll be getting both barrels from Jedi far better at this speech than you," she said, sitting up just to flash him a pitying smile. "Leave to my misery here, if you don't mind."

"Look, I'm just-"

Quarasha interrupted Lien with a glare. "I'm no sniveling girl, no misguided cultist, no wounded soul yearning for a nice man to give me a hug, Major. I am a Sith Lord. I earned that title, and it is not one the Empire can take from me. Now go away, I'm sure you have young men to order to their deaths."

The understanding had long faded from his face, leaving only anger in its wake. "Fine. Enjoy your stay, Sith," he said, spitting the word, "with that attitude, it's going to be a very long one."

As the Major turned away and stormed out of the room, Quarasha nodded to herself, laying back down on the sparse bed. "...hope so."
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 #37 on: 03/03/15, 11:01:50 PM »
Originally posted 03/02/2015: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=835.msg36505#msg36505

Escape

((Note: ...I've got no idea what the hell.

The context is that Colonel Vastar, after Quarasha was stubborn about the location of a datapad with a ton of Imperial intelligence on it, ordered a Cleanse of the facility that was holding... a procedure that failed, either by accident or design.

Padawan Miller, an old... something of Quarasha's who was visiting her at the time, escorted her out to his ship to take her to Coruscant... or more accurately leave the keys in the ignition and let her knock him out.

As of this writing... I have little idea where this is going, but at this rate, it'll be a hell of a ride!))




Miller collapsed to the deck, his limbs twitching from the sudden blast of lightning.

There was a part of Quarasha that regretted disabling him like that. He knew it was coming, of course. Even if the Padawan hadn't told her to do it, the opportunity was too juicy, and one person cannot be an effective guard while also piloting a vessel.

"He probably knew it'd happen, so he wanted to make it look like his idea..."

She shook her head, dispellign the thought. Possibly a more cynical Jedi would do that... but Miller was too great an idealist for such machinations.

It took a few minutes to sort out the ship's controls. Miller has set course for Courscant, and while that was a good planet to disappear in, it was also a world with plenty of Jedi and Republic soldiers that could start looking for her. Nar Shaddaa was right out, Colonel Vastar's people would be watching for Miller's ship there. Alderaan... no. He'd know about Sasmi, he'd use her...

Quarasha closed her eyes, fighting against the false memories, muttering to herself a simple mantra, "...she loves me, she loves me, she loves me..."

It was only a minute or two, but two minutes she couldn't afford to waste, until she opened her eyes again, going back to the star map. Same problem for Nar Shaddaa anyway, Izzy was there, and Quarasha was hesitant to put the Echani in any more danger than she was already.

Nowhere near the Empire, of course. Republic, no, Jedi transponder would attract all of the wrong sorts of attention there...

...she couldn't help but smirk at the memory, a younger, more foolish Miller attracted to the siren call of his poor, abused Sith girlfriend. "Good times..." she thought to herself, before a pang of guilt managed to seep through, reminding her of the risk the Jedi was taking with her.

...what she needed was a backwards, unremarkable, anonymous pit of a world that nevertheless had enough traffic to provide her a ticket to other, more useful systems. Somewhere out of the way, where a Republic search party would draw a lot of attention and would be prohibitively remote to deploy...

Almost by themselves, her eyes drifted over Tatooine. Neutral planet, because no one cared enough about it to claim, multiple spaceports, a favorite of criminals the galaxy over... perfect, or at least close enough for her purposes.

The engines whined as they dropped out of Hyperspace, and groaned again once the new coordinates were punched in, sending the Defender hurtling towards the pit of a desert world... and Lord Quarasha was now officially on the run from the Republic, the Empire, Erini, any bounty hunter willing to go after a Sith...

Quarasha tapped her chin, thinking it over. There had to be a few more people wanting her captured or dead...

She shook herself from her reverie, pulling herself out of the chair... and gripping it tightly as the deck seemed to move under her. "It hasn't been enough time... still too weak..." The Dark Reaper had nearly killed her, nearly drained her completely of the Force, and even after a few weeks of rest, the power that she had once wielded so freely was now exhausting. Knocking out Miller like that had been just about all she could manage, and as gullible as Miller could be, she had no illusions about her chances against him if he had chosen to fight back...

A few slow breaths later, and the her feet were steady again, letting her limp her way to the medbay and back, retrieving a case of sedatives. One vial was all she needed, enough to keep the Padawan unconscious for the trip, so that he didn't have anything more to lie about. She dropped the empty hypo beside him, her mind shifting slowly to Tatooine, how to land there without a credit to her na-

"Kill him," a piece of Quarasha's mind whispered to her. "A second dose of the sedative will stop his heart. A peaceful death for him, and he won't be able to report anything."

The Sith hesitated, a hand already holding onto the second hypo. It would be easy, and a safe play. It'd give her more time to run, more time before anyone would have an idea where she was, and what was one more dead body to her? He was a liability, and his death was needed...

...but he was willing to take her from the prison facility, even as the Colonel possibly wanted her to die there and only a malfunction saved her, possibly wanted her to escape to lead her to the intelligence he wanted so much... too many possibilities, too many unknowns...

Her grip on the hypo grew stronger, almost crushing it before hurling it aside. Safe but shortsighted, she told herself. Killing the Jedi now would mean they would look for her harder, she told herself. To kill a potential liability, a potential ally... as they said somewhere long ago, penny wise, pound foolish...

Quarasha couldn't land the ship without landing fees, and so it would stay in orbit. All she really needed was the escape pod and the survival supplies within it. Anchorhead wasn't a big city, but it was large enough even for a Twi'lek to hide in. He contemplated sending the ship into the larger of Tatooine's suns before she left... but no. Same problem. Perhaps Miller was a liability, perhaps he was an asset...

...but she knew she could not survive forever on her own. Everyone else the trusted she could not see in danger...

Very quietly, as the escape pod rocketed towards the desert sands, Quarasha swore to herself, suddenly all too bitter about the turn her life had taken...
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 #38 on: 03/09/15, 05:20:00 PM »
Closure, Part 1

((This part of the Writer's Commentary is being written just after the whole thing has been published.

But yeah, spoilers for the below.

I mean it.

Seriously.

So... this story was a thing. The origin? A random thought I had, while discussing Quarasha hiding out on Tatooine in the chatroom: What if, while hiding out, she just happened to run into the parents that sold her into slavery.

The thing is, after Quarasha got free, I was heading out of town for basically four straight days, and would be unavailable to continue the story. As is my usual habit, I wanted a reason for the delay... and so came this.

I tend to measure my longer writing projects in units of NaNoWriMo's, since I tend to write them under a shorter time crunch, but still a hard time crunch. Broken Chains came out to .14, Droen Swamp came out to .13, Attempted Regicide was .14, and this, nearly .15 NaNoWriMo's, all written inside a week, including copy edit. Not quite the pace I'd need for the full thing in a month... but a hell of a rush regardless.

Hul and Bel first appeared in Hard Choices. I hardly hid the connection, many making the connection after the first or second part... which, admittedly, was the point: Heighten the tension, make it clear that something would happen, the only question is what would.

And, as noted in that story, the goal here was very similar: Keep the story gray. Hul and Bel aren't sinister villains or noble saints. Quarasha isn't a kind soul or a heartless monster.

As befitting the work of Terry Pratchett, who sadly passed away as I was working through the final part of this... they were people. Some parts good, some parts bad, all parts human (or something similar). Where the falling angel meets the rising ape.




Quarasha smiled to herself, leaning in the shade of one of Anchorhead's countless open-aired shops.

After everything of the past month, the Force had finally proven kind to her. The rare visit by a local tribe of Jawas giving her good money for the repair tools she had looted from the escape pod, not to mention some of the survival supplies that the woman had no use for.

Those credits bought new clothing, not nearly as fine or soft as the robes she wore not too long before, but the light skirt and headdress were better suited to the heat of Tatooine's suns, as well as hiding most of her skin from sight. A handy thing when distinctive tattoos covered your lekku. They also bought her a small knife, the sort useful for cutting rope, skinning game, or disemboweling unsuspecting attackers.

The rest needed to last her a few days. Let them think she had run off already, or gone into the desert to find an even more illicit spaceport. Quarasha knew she was in no shape for such a trek, as the desert sun would overwhelm her in short order. She could always find a speeder, but stealing one, or stealing enough credits to rent one, would raise too much attention, even here. No, far better to stay here in Anchorhead, a city just large enough to hide her, and wait for the Jedi to move on.

...the only trouble was, where to sleep. It had been a few hours since her escape pod had crashed landed, and her eyelids were already weighed down with fatigue. There were flophouses, rooms above cantinas, even a few decent hotels, but all requiring money she couldn't easily afford, and all obvious hiding places for a Sith on the run.

Quarasha pushed herself off the wall with a groan. There had to be homeless here, and they had to sleep somewhere, shielded from the suns in some meager fashion.

Her path towards the less affluent parts of the small city was a winding one, but eventually took her near the Spaceport. She took only a quick glance at the large building as she passed through the intersection, but she saw enough to send shivers down her spine. A brown-haired human in Jedi robes, Padawan Miller Turlim.

Quarasha forced herself to look away, walking as casually as possible, trying to just avoid attention, just another figure in the crowd. Before long, she stepped behind another building, her eyes wide as adrenaline pumped through her veins. "Did Miller get cold feet? Is he just playing along? If he's searching, who else is?" she thought to herself, trying to keep fear from leaking out. She couldn't afford to let him track her emotions...

She shook her head and spun around, looking to put some distance between herself and the Jedi, and was promptly spun to the sand, colliding with a hurrying woman crossing the street after her.

"...what did I do to deserve this, Force?" she thought to herself, spitting sand out of her mouth as the other woman helped her up.

"I'm so sorry, miss!" the woman said, helping her fix her headdress. She was another Twi'lek, yellow skinned as well, although rather older than the Sith. "You just moved so suddenly-"

Quarasha smiled politely at the woman. "...I'm alright," she said, suppressing as much of her accent as she could. "I simply saw someone..." she trailed off as she gazed at the woman, her mind racing. Twi'lek, only warmth and concern coming from her, subtle traces of makeup, the sort a free woman would wear, a thin ring on her finger, a wedding band, simple but well made desert clothing... "Local, not a slave, kind, maybe charitable..."

"...are you alright?" the woman asked, concern crossing her face. "Did you see someone in trouble?"

"...there's worse ideas." Quarasha thought to herself as she nodded. "...my... my masters," Quarasha said, with a quiet, trembling voice. "They'll want to take me back..."

Something passed over the woman's face, but when it left, there was resolve there, and Quarasha knew she had her. "I'll distract them-"

"No!" she blurted out, trying to look as impulsive and scared as she could manage. "I... I just need to hide and... they'll think I'm somewhere else... I can get offworld then..." It was a desperate ploy, but what else did she have? Use the Force to persuade her, and Miller or any other Jedi might sense it and draw them right for her.

She needn't have worried, however, as the woman quickly nodded and pulled Quarasha along, nodding firmly. "...I know a place you can stay. Please, come with me..." her voice hesitated briefly. "...I don't think you told me your name."

Quarasha blinked, and cursed herself for not thinking of it before. There would be too many people looking for Quarasha... she needed a name for a meek, unassuming slave... "...damn you, Aylaa..." she thought to herself, as she stuttered out "...M-Maisey."

"Pleased to meet you, Maisey," the woman said, smiling at Quarasha as they hurried down the road. "My name is Belthiana Ahnshal, but just about everyone calls me Bel."



It took nearly half an hour of walking through the assorted roads, alleys, hideaways and the like before they arrived at a small, but respectable little building on the outskirts of Anchorhead. "I live here with my husband," Bel explained as they approached the desert cottage, "but we don't exactly have a lot of house guests."

Quarasha nodded quickly, still playing the part of the worried girl on the run from her captors, a role the Sith was just self-conscious enough about to find embarrassingly amusing. "...any room you can spare... I'll stay out of the way."

Bel smiled softly at her. "Just... give me a moment to speak with my husband..." she said, before ducking inside, leaving the fugitive Sith on her doorstep.

It wasn't that Quarasha was paranoid about the older Twi'lek... well, no more than she was paranoid about anything, but there was something about the woman that she couldn't place. Perhaps the woman was guided to her by the Force, making up for lost time? Maybe she had seen the woman elsewhere before, but it had faded from memory?

...maybe so many things have been going wrong for her over and over again, that Quarasha was getting suspicious of any good news?

"...probably that last one..." she mused as the door opened, Bel emerging long enough to usher Quarasha inside.

The inside of the house was about as Quarasha expected, stark if cluttered, a few pieces of worn furniture, a painfully small kitchen, and a door leading to probably the only other room, and the only bedroom, in the place. And standing there, in the middle of the room, was no doubt Bel's husband, another yellow-skinned Twi'lek. He was probably a strapping young man maybe thirty years ago, but age and drink were no doubt responsible for the slowly expanding gut.

Quarasha almost missed the expression on his face. It... almost looked like guilt, although it was hidden quickly. "Hul, this is Maisey," Bel said, smiling at Quarasha. "Maisey, meet my husband, Hul."

"Huleshal Ahnshal for long," he says, smiling at his wife. "But I work with a lot of humans, so..."

Bel laughed lightly, interrupting him with a kiss. "Ignore him. Even his parents had trouble pronouncing it." Quarasha laughed with them, keeping it subdued, restrained... meek.

"So, Bel tells me you're going to be staying with us for a bit..." Hul said, his eyes glancing at his wife.

"...if it is not too much trouble," Quarasha said, knowing that she was already safe. The couple wanted to help her, she just needed to seem meek and modest a little longer. "I... have a few credits left."

"Really? How did you get any credits in the first place?" Hul asked, and there was a hook to the question. He had a bit of paranoia in him as well...

"Hul!" Bel chided quietly.

Quarasha shook her head. "No, it's alright. I... stole a few tools from them, before I left. I knew I would need credits, and everyone says that Jawas will buy good equipment." She smiles faintly, as if secretly proud of it. "...it was at least enough for a meal and this clothing."

"Why would you spend it on clothing?" Hul asked, and the silence in the room answered him. "...of course. Sorry."

"I understand," 'Maisey' replied, while inside Quarasha was laughing her head off, and she could see Bel rolling her own eyes at her husband's fumble.

"We don't have much space, as you can see... but you could sleep on the couch, if you'd like," Bel said, smiling once again at Quarasha. "And your credits are no good here. Just... be our guest, please?"

Quarasha smiled at the couple, bowing her head with even some sincerity behind it. "...thank you. I'll try not to stay too long..."
« Last Edit: 03/12/15, 11:54:43 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 #39 on: 03/10/15, 11:36:30 PM »
Closure, Part 2



Several Days Later...

Quarasha blinked her eyes opened, woken by the sound of someone working the lock on the door. She groaned as she pushed herself up from the couch, cursing the lethargy that was still claiming her.

It wasn't that she was being lazy. Ever since she was pulled out of the Dark Reaper, and when she wasn't struggling to keep her memories sorted, she was perpetually weakened, napping frequently, unable to move for too long. The adrenaline from her escape had worn off and now... she slept about half the day, at least. At least the false memories were staying put for now... perhaps something about pretending to be someone else, giving her enough distance from the painful lies.

She had found enough time, when both of the Ahnshals had been away, to poke around the place. Their stash of credits wasn't too large, but enough to be useful. There was a blaster here, but it was a heavy antique, the sort that would hurt more if hit with than actually shot. A few interesting 'toys', but nothing she hadn't seen before...

...and of course, she had spent a good amount of the time cleaning up the place. Her hosts weren't slobs at all, just very busy people who didn't have time to keep their home perfectly clean. The Sith wasn't accustomed to being a cleaning maid... but she needed to do something to keep her in their good graces for now... and at least she wasn't washing their shorts.

She was sitting up by the time the door opened, revealing a very worn looking Hul. "...hello, Maisey. Is Bel here?"

Quarasha shook her head. "She said she might be back from her run a bit after sundown... er, sunsdown?"

"Night also works," Hul said, chuckling lightly, before grimacing and grabbing his shoulder. "Damn, hope I didn't pull anything."

"What's wrong?" Quarasha asked, walking towards him and cursing the servile instincts she needed for this role.

He waved her off, collapsing into an overstuffed chair. "The Republic's throwing on some extra security measures, something about a few Jedi landing here. Half our time is dealing with their protocols, which means we need to rush our actual damn work."

"Jedi? Why are they here?" she asked, doing her best to avoid sounding any more than casually curious. "...great, more of them."

"No idea. Asking a Jedi a question's a good way to invite trouble, and the local garrison's about as chatty." He glanced sidelong at Quarasha, and she could sense another hooked comment coming. "Did you ever have anything to do with military sorts?"

"Yes, I had a few that bowed and scraped at my feet." Quarasha looked down, turning away from Hul, letting her voice shake, just a bit. "...y-yes, a few times. They were... not kind," 'Maisey' said.

Hul, to his credit, cringed at the response. "...I'm sorry, Maisey. I... should have thought..."

"I understand, Hul," she said, turning to smile at the older man. "You and your wife have been very kind to me."

His reaction wasn't quite what she expected. She thought the man would be comforted by it, reassured but then dropping the subject, like a 'kind person' would of course do. Instead, he only seemed to glower more. "...thank you. I'm not sure if I deserve it, though."

"Why not?"

"...its not important," he said, looking away. "...thank you for cleaning up, by the way."

'Maisey' smiled at Hul, even as Quarasha rolled her eyes. "I don't mind."

"You don't have to. You're our guest here, I don't want you to feel like..."

"A slave?" Quarasha said, smiling faintly. "I don't mind, really. I'm glad to have something to do here at all, I'd just be bored out of my mind otherwise."

Hul nodded, seeming to relax a bit. "I'm glad. You still don't want to go outside?"

"...not with multiple Jedi around." Quarasha thought to herself as 'Maisey' responded. "...I want to be careful. If I leave too quickly..."

"...they might catch you," Hul finished.

She nodded. "Or someone else might..."

"You think there's a price for you?" Hul asked, clumsily, obviously not thinking about the implications... especially with how he cringed afterwards. "...I'm sorry, I didn't-"

"I know. I think there is," she said. "The Republic might put a price on my head eventually," she thought, bringing Hul a bottle of the local swill. "But they'll probably wait for a little. They want to solve this problem, not rely on some local Hunter."

"No amount of credits would sway us, Maisey. I promise, you're safe here."

Quarasha sighed and shook her head. "...everyone has their price."

Hul was about to ask more when the door was pushed open, Bel slipping through before Quarasha could reach a good hiding place, but far enough to make her intentions clear. "Relax, Maisey, it's just me," she said, smiling at her and greeting her husband with a kiss. "I hope I wasn't interrupting anything. And that there was nothing to interrupt." She winked at Maisey with a smirk that was far too familiar for her own good.

"No! Of course not!" 'Maisey' said, while Quarasha was struggling not to laugh.

Some of Quarasha's humor clearly came through, as Hul's grin matched his wife's. "Darling, you know I'm a one gorgeous-yellow-twi'lek man! I wouldn't know what to do with two of them!"

"That is clearly a lie," Quarasha said, smirking faintly at the couple.

Bel kissed her husband again before going to get a drink of her own. "Don't worry, he knows what would happen if he tried anything. How have you been, Maisey?"

"...bored, mostly?" Quarasha shrugged. "Better than being dragged away. Have... either of you heard anything about me?"

They both shook their heads. "Only something about some Sith that's maybe in town," Hul said. "I haven't been paying much attention to the soldiers' scuttlebutt, though."

"...super." 'Maisey' nodded, despite Quarasha's own frustration. She'd have to stay here longer. "Thank you..."

"You're safe here, Maisey. I promise," Bel said, smiling encouragingly at Quarasha as she sat down on Hul's lap. "There's no price-"

"Hul told me," Quarasha said, smiling at her. "...have you lived here long?"

There was another flinch from the couple, almost in unison. "...a few years," Bel finally said. "We... used to live in the Republic, but..."

"...but things happened that are best forgotten," Hul said, stroking his wife's arm. "I heard that Anchorhead needed more mechanics, and I managed to get a good offer before we moved here."

"...what were you running from?" Quarasha mused in her head. Legal trouble most likely... but the pair had still been quite nice to her, sensed no deception, just... guilt, ground down deep in their minds. "...I'm glad that you're here, then. Besides for myself," she added with a wry smirk.

Bel chuckled. "It took me a few weeks to find something to do, but dealing with the water trucks is nice. There's a lot of moisture farms around Anchorhead, and there's a lot of people in Anchorhead that... need water to live." She smiled at Hul, kissing him once more. "Honestly, my day is mostly just driving a heavy truck, watching out for sand people and trying not to die of boredom. It's Hul that gets the interesting work."

"No, I get the idiot spacers who don't understand what proper maintenance is," Hul groaned, leaning his head back. "'Just get it working', they say. 'Don't touch that, it's working fine', they say. If I had my say-"

"Which you don't," Bel cut in, drawing a smirk from Quarasha.

"Don't remind me," Hul said, quickly kissing his wife. "Those ships should get impounded until they're not a danger to everything else in space."

"Space is pretty big, though," Quarasha said, trying not to so openly watch the happily married couple.

"Trust me, Maisey. Some of those ships, no, those wrecks will find a way to hit something!"

Bel lightly elbowed her husband. "But doesn't that make it someone else's problem?"

"I have standards, Bel! Smacking some sense into idiots with more 'secret' compartments than common sense is just a bonus!"

All three of them shared the laughter, relaxing into their chairs, or Hul's lap. "...how long have you two been together?" Quarasha asked, only dimly realizing after that the meek Maisey wouldn't risk imposing.

If either of them noticed, they didn't seem to show it. "...almost thirty years now," Hul said, his lek slipping over Bel's own, drawing another playful slap on the arm from the older woman. "Back then, I was working for a speeder repair station, and she comes in this ancient, beat up little thing."

Bel groaned. "You're never going to let me forget that speeder, are you?"

"Bel, the main oxidizer was held in by three layers of adhesive tape, the hover assembly was five days away from exploding and the less said about the cooling system, the better." Hul grinned at his wife, though, clearly enjoying the memories.

Bel, for her part, scoffed at his description. "There was nothing wrong with the cooling system."

"There was no cooling system! You pulled it out completely! You didn't even seal off the loose power leads!"

She scoffed. "It was slowing me down! The cooling system just drains power, and it's useless in the winter anyway."

Hul looked at Quarasha and gestured theatrically at his wife. "Do you see what I have to work with? Thirty years, and she still denies she did anything wrong. Its a wonder she's allowed anywhere near those trucks." Quarasha just nodded at him, trying to suppress her laughter but unable to hold a grin back.

"That truck might drive like an dewback, but it's my Dewback and I know how to get the most out of it!" Bel huffed, playfully flicking Hul's lekku away.

Hul laughed at his wife, a stray hand flicking over Bel's lekku in a way that Quarasha recognized all too well. "I hope you haven't removed the cooling unit on it..." he said in a low voice.

Bel was about to respond herself, no doubt with some sort of painfully obvious double entedre, when Quarasha cleared her throat. "...if you would like to inspect cooling units," she said, smirking at their flustered faces, "do not let me stop you. I'll start dinner while you... perform maintenance?"

"...Maisey, I'm sorry, we didn't-" Bel started, before Quarasha held up her hand.

"Please, I don't mind. I don't wish to impose... just please wait until you get to the bedroom?" she said, smirking at the couple.

"We just don't- woah!" Bel said, at least until Hul picked his wife up and carried her to the bedroom.

"We'll be out in a bit, Maisey!" he called over his shoulder, earning another genuine laugh from the Sith Lord. "This might not be so bad after 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 #40 on: 03/11/15, 08:12:45 PM »
Closure, Part 3



One Week Later

It seemed odd to think it, but Quarasha was honestly enjoying hiding from Jedi on one of the most desolate wastelands in the galaxy while pretending to be a former slave and maintaining a constant deception towards her hosts.

Of course, when you put it like that, anything would seem bad.

Still, the Ahnshals had proven to be excellent hosts, spending most of their time out working but always being friendly with Quarasha when they did return home. Hul mentioned a few times that the Jedi ships were still around, making his job an even bigger hassle than normal. It had taken long enough that Quarasha was starting to ponder other plans... maybe find a speeder and head towards the Imperial starport? Dangerous, maybe, but better than waiting around forever, no matter how nice the accomodations.

Quarasha smiled at Bel, dragging herself away from her thoughts as she laid down a card. "Plus four to 19."

Bel flipped over a card and groaned. "...26 and bust. That's... eight games to three so far?" Bel sighed. "I never should have challenged you."

"...I thought we were playing by Galactic Senate rules?" Quarasha said with an all-too-innocent smile. It had been all too amusing to watch Bel explain the concept to 'Maisey'.

For her part, Bel wagged her finger at the younger Twi'lek. "Just because we're not playing for credits doesn't mean I enjoy losing! Another round?" Quarasha nodded and the pair started to shuffle up their decks, Bel taking a few surreptitious looks at her foe, or at least that's what they were supposed to be. "Do you mind if I ask a... difficult question, Maisey? You don't have to answer."

"I don't mind, Bel. You and Hul have been more than patient with me," 'Maisey' said, and Quarasha cringed inside. If anything, the couple had been too careful about not upsetting the former slave girl, but it was time for the rundown of the obvious, wanting details of her life in chai-

"I was wondering where you came from... before you were a slave, I mean."

Quarasha blinked. "...I wasn't expecting you to ask about that."

"Why not?"

"Shit." Quarasha thought fast. "It's just been so long since then... I hardly remember it, is all. I... don't like to think about it." Not a lie, even by Quarasha's standards.

For some reason, Bel didn't back off this time. "...but do you remember anything about it?"

"Bits and pieces. A few words. Images. How terrified I was to leave." Quarasha thought to herself, trying to push the old, bitter memories away. "...one of the slavers said it was Nar Shaddaa. I don't think about it... it hurts too much," she said, keeping her tone level and cold.

Bel nodded, getting the hint. "...I'm sorry. I'll go first," she said, flipping over a card.

They played in silence for a little, Quarasha winning that hand and the next, as the awkward silence threatened to overwhelm the room. "...I don't know where you're planning to go, Maisey," Bel eventually said, "But you're welcome here as long as you'd like. Hul and I can manage to feed an extra mouth."

"...you're being very generous," Quarasha said, glancing up at the woman.

Bel only shrugged, keeping her eyes on her cards. "...well, we wouldn't say no if you found a job and chipped in over the long term. We... just want to do the right thing." She glanced up at Quarasha, giving her a faint smile. "I know you're suspicious, and I'd be the same in your shoes. Hul and I... we have our reasons. Just leave it at that?"

Quarasha smiled and nodded softly. "I understand. I'll try not to abuse your hospitality for too long." There was another long silence as the pair continued to play, Bel finally winning a hand thanks to a lucky Breaker. "...can I ask you something in return, Bel?" Quarasha said, her curiosity piqued by Bel's question.

Bel let out a note of triumph as she hit a natural 20. "Ask away."

"You and Hul... where did you live before you came here?" She didn't need to be a Sith to sense Bel's sudden spike of fear and guilt, it was painted all over the woman's face. "Did I say something wrong?" 'Maisey' added, her expression the very picture of naive innocence.

"Maisey, it's just..." Bel sighed and looked away. "Why we left's not important. It was a little Republic colony in the mid rim... ever hear of Cyphar?"

Quarasha shook her head. The name did ring a bell to the former Ambassador, but she knew the slave girl would have no idea, so it was best not to risk it.

Bel seemed to relax as she spoke, not missing a turn. "Not a big world. Maybe a million people on it in total. Maybe. Still, it had a few good beaches near the cities, and tourists from the Core would sometimes go there for vacation. I spent some time driving a taxi for them, but then a Hutt moved in..."

"On a Republic world?" Quarasha asked, for the moment not caring about the political savvy of a common pleasure slave.

She shrugged. "I heard he bribed a few of the officials. It didn't matter, though. That far away from the Core, only the Jedi gave a crap what happened, and even they rarely showed up. He started cornering a few of the produce and fuel markets, then raised prices and started expanding..." Bel flinched as she shuffled the deck, so slight that the watching Sith almost missed it. "...anyone not rich was in debt to him eventually. We... stayed around there too long. Too many debts. Not enough money to leave, and all the work was drying up...... I'm sorry, Maisey, I... shouldn't-"

"I understand, Bel," Quarasha said, smiling softly at the older woman.

"...no, you don't..." Bel said. For a moment, she seemed to struggle with something, before taking a deep breath and plunging on. "...we had a daughter there."

Quarasha glanced around, seeing no pictures, no holos of anyone but Bel or Hul. "...what happened to her?"

"...something terrible," Bel said. She was hiding the truth, that was clear, but what wasn't. "We... don't like to talk about it... she was so young when she was taken from us..."

Quarasha shifted awkwardly in her seat. "...you don't have to-"

"I do, Maisey," Bel said, her smile drenched in sorrow.. "...it... hurt, more than you could know, losing her. It took days before... before I could even admit to myself what happened. I couldn't look Hul in the face for so long..."

Quarasha set down her cards reaching across the table to pat the woman's shoulder. "...I'm sorry, Bel."

"...sorry..." Bel let out a sad, bitter laugh. "You don't even know what I mean..." Bel set down her cards and slumped back in her chair, staring up at the ceiling, a whisper on her lips. "...she was so happy, so beautiful... I'm sorry, my Eyan'Aola..."

Quarasha stared at Bel, frozen in the moment, eyes wide, Bel's words echoing in her mind...



"Mama! Can I go outside and play?" the little girl said, voice squeaking with the energy of youth.

The mother chuckled at her. "Quarasha, you know its getting dark out there."

The girl whimpered, kicking up the dirt of the hovel's floor. "But Elav got a new toy and he wanted to show me..." she whined.

The mother relented, as both of them knew she would. "...oh, alright, my Eyan'Aola, but not for too long. Your father will be home soon..."




The memory, true and real and old, surged within Quarasha, pushing her to her feet, absently dropping the cards. "...mirror."

"...is something wrong, Maisey?" Bel said, standing and gazing with concern for her new friend.

"........what did she like to do?" Quarasha asked with a distant voice, drifting to the kitchen and staring into a freshly scrubbed brass pan, studying her face.

Bel frowned but sat back down. "...what all girls love to do. Play with other children, tease younger boys, ruin their dresses in the muck..."

"Ignore the wrinkles, the age. Eyes, color, bones, shape..." Quarasha looked up, staring at Bel, then back down at her distorted reflection in the pan. "No. No, no no no, nononononoNO!" Her mind raced, her breath quickening as the memories, buried after a decade of abuse, finally clawed their way back to the surface, he nagging feelings of the last week finally hitting her full in the face... how familiar Bel's face was, how much like Quarasha's it was.

Like mother and daughter.

"...Maisey?" Bel asked, clueless to the Sith's realization and stepping closer to her now-erratic friend.

Quarasha's spoke softly, the words coming from years away. "...her best friend was Elav. A Mirialan boy. Green skin. She loved to tease him about it, another frog in the muck." Bel's eyes grew wider, stepping closer to the still whispering Sith. "There was a junkyard nearby. She would climb around until you called her in for food."

"...who... who told you that?"

"She was always hungry, it always made her come running. She heard your stomach rumble too. She knew you were hungry, and she didn't understand why you didn't eat too... you called her Eyan'Aola, and she didn't know why..."

"It... it means 'little flower'..." Bel said, her voice trembling, reaching out towards Quarasha's face. "...d-do you-"

Quarasha's hand moved like a snake, grabbing Bel's wrist. "...how much was she worth?"

Bel pulled at her wrist, her bones grinding together under the younger woman's impossibly strong grip. "...y-you're hurting me Mai-"

"Quarasha!" she shouted. If looks could kill, Bel would be a smoking husk, a fury behind her eyes that the Sith Lord reserved only for her most hated enemies. "Quarasha! Her name... my name is Quarasha!"

Bel stared long at Quarasha, her eyes racing over the Sith's face, her own jaw dropping. "...no..."

"Yes! Yes, yes, it's me, you're you, aren't we just a happy family?!" Quarasha's grin was manic, threatening to split her face in two, the mask of Maisey crumbling into oblivion. "It's been a long time, mama!" she said, getting a solid grip on the pan before swinging it at Bel's head. The walls echoed with the sounds of the collision, knocking Bel to the ground and slamming her head against the floor for good measure.

Quarasha's voice was almost childlike, echoing within Bel's concussed mind. "The three of us have so much to discuss, don't you think?" Bel tried to push herself up, say something to calm the other woman, and she looked up just in time to see the brass descend one last time.
« Last Edit: 03/11/15, 08:38:33 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 #41 on: 03/12/15, 05:20:34 PM »
Closure, Part 4



Three hours later...

Hul groaned as he dragged himself back to the house. The air was still blazing with the heat of the twin suns, the twilight sky bringing the promise of at least a brief respite from the desert inferno. Still, he was looking forward to spending a bit of time with Bel and Maisey before he'd have to head back into work...

The lights were off when he pushed the door open, drawing a frown from the mechanic. "...Bel? Maisey?" he called out to the darkness. Maybe they'd gone out for something?

"We're in here, Hul..." came Maisey's voice... from the bedroom... in a rather... suggestive tone.

Hul's legs moved all on their own, not even waiting for input from the brain. It took a few moments before Hul's tongue was caught up to speed. "...and what are you doing in there?"

Maisey giggled. "You'll see..."

The bedroom was dark too, but Hul could just make out a woman in a chair just inside. He couldn't help but grin, wondering if that was the game...

The lights rose gently, slowly illuminating the room, and Hul's expression of amusement shifted just as slowly, first to confusion, and then to horror as he saw Bel. She was strapped to the chair, her head lolled forward, the side of her face a mess of blood and bruises. "What's going-"

The attack came out of nowhere. A heavy blow to his knee, dislocating the joint and driving him down as the second hit arrived, a smash against his stomach, knocking the wind out of him and fracturing a few ribs, just in time for the final strike, a powerful shot to the back of his head, bruising the leks and sending him face-first into the floor, leaving him concussed, retching and immobilized.

"So kind of you to join us, Hul," came Maisey's mocking voice. "Your darling wife was missing you so dearly, weren't you, Bel?" Quarasha stepped forward, idly spinning the long steel rod she had found in the area. Not as good as a Lightsaber, but against an unarmed mechanic, the improvised quarterstaff was more than enough.

Bel stirred, almost as though on command, still woozy from the multiple blows to her head. "...Hul..."

Hul stared up at his guest and tried cry out for help, but the effort ended in in a weak groan of pain as his body refused to cooperate.

Quarasha didn't give him a second chance and staff slamming into Hul's back. "No screaming, no shouting. Anything louder than a whisper and I'll kill you both... and believe me, I can make a quick death hurt quite a bit."

"...w-why?" he stuttered out, coughing up blood.

Quarasha tilted Hul's head up with the staff, directing his eyes to his wife. "Why don't you be a darling and catch Hul up?"

Bel's eyes focused, and looked up at the Sith. "...please, don't do this-"

A sharp jab to the gut cut her off, leaving Bel gasping for breath, tears welling in her eyes. "Tell him. Now," Quarasha growled.

Bel sobbed in the chair. "...Q-Quarasha, please..."

Hul stared at his wife, his mind refusing to believe his ears. "...w-what?"

He flinched as Quarasha's staff tapped his shoulder. "I didn't hit your ears, father. Its been long... too long. So much has happened to me... and to you!" Quarasha's smile was crazed, laughing at a joke no one else could hear. "A hovel on the galaxy's most useless planet, is that what a little girl is worth these days? I think you got the raw end of that deal!" she said, punctuating the words with another swing at Hul's gut, the dull smack echoing throughout the bedroom.

"...h-how...?" Hul managed, as he fought to recover his breath, trying to fight past the broken ribs.

Quarasha stepped away from the pair, twirling her staff in thought. "...a good question for once. I've spent the last hour thinking about it. Coincidence upon coincidence upon coincidence... but the Force cuts through them. On the run, and I had the entire galaxy to work with, but my eye was drawn here. Logic behind it? Or a push from the Force... it knew. It knew I needed this..."

"...what?" Bel managed, looking at Hul in pure confusion.

Quarasha laughed, looking back at the couple. "Shall I tell you of what's happened since you sold me off for a few hundred credits? Oh, how much was I worth? I've always wondered what your price was..."

"We were fools, Quarasha," Bel said, tears starting to crawl down her cheeks.

"How much?!" Quarasha shouted, raising the staff again to strike her mother.

"Two thousand!" Bel cried out, flinching, trying to protect her head.

"Hm," Quarasha said, lowering her weapon. "You got robbed. Probably my age, though. It took them a while to pawn me off on someone. Ryon Calder, that was the one that bought me, for five times that I'll note. Oh, it wasn't so bad during those early years," she said, twirling her staff once again. "He had me help in the kitchens and such, doted on me with sweets and such. It lasted years, until I stopped being a little girl..."

"...no..." Bel sobbed, sunken down in her chair, no longer trying to free herself.

Hul pushed himself up, sitting down on the floor, trying to ignore the agony in his knees. "...we thought-"

"You thought what?! That a girl does not grow up?! That the humans see Twi'lek women as anything but things to be lusted over?! You knew what you were selling me into, and you didn't care!"

"We were-"

"You didn't care!" she shouted, swinging the staff at Hul's head again, sending him back to the ground, ignoring Bel's wails. She turned back from them, twirling the weapon once again, her voice now as casual as discussing the weather. "...but I discovered something, after I saw Calder for the useless pig he always was." She let go of the staff, stepping back, and letting the weapon continue its lazy spin, the point slowly sinking in for the concussed couple.

Quarasha flashed a smirk at the pair as she grabbed the staff out of the air, refusing to let them see how much such a minor parlor trick had drained her. "Don't worry, I made sure the bastard died before I went to the Sith..." Quarasha flinched, once and then again, fighting past some unknown foe before looking back at her parents. "...anyway, it was a better death than he deserved, but I can't kill him twice, can I?"

"...Sith?" Hul said, horror creeping into his voice, all too aware of what that meant.

"I am. Lord Quarasha, former Lord Ambassador to the neutral world of Erini, former Ambassador and Imperial representative to a dozen small worlds. It's the Republic that wants my head. No slaver would dare try to collar me anymore." There was a dark smile of the Sith's face as she stared down at her parents. "...all thanks to you. Because you saw me as an inconvenience, a token to be thrown away for a few credits..."

"Quarasha, please-" Bel tried to say, before the staff swung for her chest, the sharp cry of pain accompanying the snap of a rib.

"I'm still talking! You mourn me? You mourn me?! No! Praise me! Your cowardice, your disgusting weakness gave birth to a power that has shaped the future of the galaxy! Aren't you just so proud of yourselves?" The staff swing around once again, slamming into Hul's side, sending him into the bedroom wall. "The fate of the entire galaxy, changed because you were too pathetic to pay your bill!"

"Quarasha, please!" Bel cried out, cringing at the blow that nearly came.

Instead, much to Bel's surprise, the cold steel softly touched her cheek, turning her to face the Sith Lord once again. "Oh? Do you want to explain it away, mama?" she said, spitting the last word out.

Tears flowed down Bel's face now, and none from her injuries. "...y-you're right. We... we were... we were only thinking about ourselves. There... there's not a day since then that I haven't wished I could undo it..."

"Too late!" the Sith screamed, the heavy staff slamming down on Bel's shoulder, another crack of bone echoing around the room. "You don't get to take it back! Oh, I'm sure knowing that you're guilty has helped you sleep at night, that you're not like those other bastards, that you're one of the good slave traders, the remorseful ones!"

"But-" Bel tried to say, before the staff cracked her other shoulder as well, bringing on another cry of pain.

Quarasha's tone grew quieter as she spoke, her hands tightening their grip on her staff. "You didn't care. Neither of you did. If you cared, you would have tried to buy me back. Tried to contact me, tried to find me! You went into the middle of nowhere to wallow in your self-affirming 'guilt'. Worthless scum..." she said, raising her chin, sneering down at them with all the superiority a Sith could muster. "The only thing you gave me was genes. Nothing else. You do not have the right to call me your daughter, and it took me far too long to see it. No, you're nothing. A bug beneath my heel. And its time for me to step-"

There was a cough from Hul, now standing, at least partly, supporting himself against the wall. "...d-don't... it wasn't her... it wasn't her idea."

Quarasha's gaze slowly swept towards Hul. "What."

Hul raised his chin, fear clear in his eyes but a steadiness to his voice. "...blame me. Let... let Bel go. Do... whatever you want with me."

"Hul, don-" Bel said, before Quarasha's elbow collided with her face. "You're saying it was your idea?" the Sith Lord demanded, staring through him.

Hul gulped, but nodded, staring his daughter in the eyes. "...y-yes. I... I wanted you gone. I couldn't stand you. The debt... it was just convenient... I... would have sold you anyway. You were... worthless."

Quarasha screamed in rage and charged him, the quarterstaff dropping to the ground as she grabbed Hul's throat, slamming her father against the wall. "Let me show you how worthless I am!" she said, drawing on the Force again... but not in so benign a manner.

She had used the power before. A few rare texts described the method well, to drain the life force from another, but Quarasha had never found too much use in the ability. At best, all she could do with it was slightly weaken a foe and heal a minor wound. A tactical use here and there, a surprise attack against a troublesome Jedi... but now, something changed, terrifying and wonderful all at once.

Normally it was a slow trickle of life force... and now it was an immeasurable torrent of energy. Maybe Thrax's attack on her, or the Dark Reaper itself was to blame... but Hul withered under the onslaught, the drain flowing into Quarasha, a rush of pure, unadulterated power. Normally Quarasha could drain someone for minutes without endangering their lives, but now...

"...my Eyan'Aola..." he said, his voice barely a whisper as the power of the drain faded, maybe a dozen seconds after it began, nothing left but an empty husk in Quarasha's grip.

Quarasha staggered back, her eyes wide, only dimly hearing Bel's sobs, her cries for her husband to get up. The Force coursed through her once again, as strong as she was before... no, stronger. The abyss had gazed back into her, and blessed what it saw... how far could this go... no, that was a question for later.

Her eyes fell down on Hul's corpse. She'd dreamed of this moment for years, finding her pathetic excuses for parents and finally ending them... she had pictured them cowering, making excuses, or even completely ignorant of doing anything wrong...

...she had always imagined the rush from the kill, the pure joy, the thrill of taking vengenace for the great injustice of her entire life...

No, there was none of that here. Huleshal Ahnshal was dead, and a piece of lifeless meat was on the floor. No advantage gained, no threat dealt with, no knowledge gained, no riches earned. Useless. A waste.

Quarasha lifted her head, finally noticing Bel's sobs of despair. "...w-why... h-he was..."

"...he was lying. Playing the sacrificial lamb to save you," Quarasha finished, slowly turning to Bel, too late realizing her father's deception. "If what he said was true, you wouldn't have stayed with him. You were partners in this... you loved each other too much for it to be otherwise..."

"Just... just finish it... please..." Bel said, her entire body slumped down.

Quarasha stared at Bel for a few moments, then shook her head. "No."

"...what?"

The Sith bent down, digging through Hul's pockets until she found his access card to the space port. It would open the maintenance hallways, the hangars, the lockers with the tools that could override a civilian vessel's locks. In short, her ticket off-world. "What he did was foolish. Foolish but noble. I wasn't expecting that. I may have... overreacted."

Bel gaped at her daughter, still bound, hand and foot, to the chair. "...overreacted?!" she said in disbelief, her eyes looking once again at her husband's body.

Quarasha rolled her eyes, turning to face her mother. "He had a spine in him. I wonder if you do too..." She walked towards Bel, pulling her combat knife out of her skirt.

"...w-what are you doing?"

"An experiment." Quarasha held down Bel's left hand and cut the rope binding it to her chair. "If you have a spine, you'll live. If you don't, then you'll die." She smiled faintly at Bel, then drove the knife into her mother's gut, hilting and leaving it, relishing the cry of pain. "I'm leaving now, but you have everything you need to survive. Your comm and the first aid kit, with enough kolto to keep you alive, dear mother, will be right by the door. Its a long way to crawl, but if you try, you just might be able to make it."

Quarasha stepped away, Bel's weak, distant gaze still on her as she left the bedroom, effortlessly moving her father's body into the bedroom doorway, right between Bel and the kolto. "...as long as you can do what is necessary to survive."

The front door of the house slammed shut as Quarasha left, her ticket off-world in her hand.

Bel's eyes stared at the first aid kit by the front door, then down at the knife. Three ropes to cut, and twenty meters to crawl before she bled out. "I love you, Hul..." she thought to herself, lightheaded from the pain as she reached down, grabbing the knife in her gut.

"...I won't forget," she whispered to him, taking a deep breath to steady her nerves. If she did nothing, she would die slowly, but once she removed the knife, it would stop holding the blood in, and she would bleed out in minutes.

One chance. Quarasha's last words echoed in Bel's mind. "Survive."

Belthiana Ahnshal pulled hard on the knife, tearing it free.

"...I will not die like this..."
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 #42 on: 04/21/15, 01:06:13 AM »
Loyalty, Part 1

Spoiler: Writer Commentary • show
One major part of this storyline (continued in, uh, part 2 as well as "Grunt Work" below it) was solidifying Quarasha's new "status quo", as well as getting Asori into things. Quarasha's no longer a Sith Lord, but she still considers herself Sith, she still has friends, contacts and people-she-can-blackmail in the Empire and she knows that the more nations she has fingers in, the better. So, firmly neutral overall, but still a strong Imperial lean, even if she's no longer allowed in the Empire.


((Note: The news post in this story relates to this: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=985.msg38031#msg38031 ))

Quarasha frowned at the news feed, staring at the flames engulfing Kaas City.

"It's not your problem, Quarasha," she thought to herself. The Empire threw you out, you are no longer reliant on them. And you never liked Kaas City to begin with. Its amazing there's flames hot enough to spread in that damp..."[/i]

Her gaze continued, the carefully scrubbed news report echoing in her safehouse, trying to pick out not details, but the gaps where details would be, the things the Empire would hide for security's sake.

Intentional bombing... well, that much was obvious. They had to admit that to continue the security measures. The fire... the fire...

Quarasha blinked. Kaas City was a miserable, soaked swamp. The buildings were created with modern equipment, not wood, thatch or other easily flammable materials. The fires were undercontrol now... but why would they need to get under control...

"Its not your problem, Quarasha, lay low..." Quarasha grimaced, pushing away the thought in the back of her head. She needed more leverage, after all...

She tapped the comm, clearing her voice as she called up an old friend. "Rylar, its me. The explosions on Kaas, I need intelligence dispatches on it. Temperature of the fires, detected accellerants, any speculation on the explosives used. Quickly, before the culprits make it off-world and before your youthful indescretions show up on Darth Necare's desk."

She smirked to herself at Rylar's glowering reply, hanging up on him once he finally agreed. There was too much to do, and plenty of arms dealers on Nar Shaddaa. One of them would know if military-grade firebombs were being sold...
« Last Edit: 12/30/17, 08:35:51 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 #43 on: 04/22/15, 12:00:20 AM »
Loyalty, Part 2

((Note: The news post in this story relates to this: http://begerencolony.org/forum/index.php?topic=985.msg38031#msg38031 ))

Halfway Down district, Nar Shaddaa

Raleth grinned at the holoscreen, Pride in a job well done radiating off the Cathar as he lounged in the barely lit, half-abandoned warehouse.

Well, in fairness, not his job. More the pride of a craftsman, seeing his fine goods used well... although not many craftsman would expect their work to leave a crater on Dromund Kaas.

"Hey boss, mind if we change the channel?" one of his lackeys... Dra-something said. "We've got a lot of work left, and the Frogdogs have a game in five."

Raleth sighed. In fairness to his 'loyal employees', there were a dozen blaster shipments to check, pack and ship, and even with six of them working, it would take some time for them to get it done... and it WAS the playoffs. "Fine, fine... I"m sure they'll interrupt if something changes on Kaas."

One of the other workers grinned. "They better not. Remember a few years ago when some little war crap cut off Zelgaz's last minute score?"

"Ugh, I was this close to firebombing the broadcasters for that shit!" Raleth groaned, walking over to the holoterminal.

"You say that every time, boss!"

"I mean it! I had the bombs all set! And then-"

In a moment, the holoterminal shut down, not to mention all of the lighting in the building, enveloping the work area in absolute darkness. "What the kriff?" one of the workers said, and Raleth could hear him standing up.

"...must be the Hutts exercising some leverage," muttered one of the others. "I got a torch, just give me a-" Ther was a shuffle of feet and a sudden, thick sound, echoing through the warehouse, like the slap of a slab of meat."

"Donnay? What was-" Another strike, a grunt of pain, followed by another, and Raleth blanched as he heard the crack of bone and a scream of pain.

Raleth knew there were blasters everywhere, but in the darkness, surrounded by the echoes of broken bones and groans of pain, he had no idea where they might be... and what might happen if he tried anything. A few moments later, and the sounds of battle faded, only a few whimpering groans left.. until the lights came back on.

The arms smuggler's men were pooled on the floor, the few still conscious clearly regretting that choice... and a figure in black, covered head to toe, a cloak over its head and back as well, and a long, steel pole in its hands. "Mister Raleth, I presume," the figure said, the voice cold, distorted, mechanical.

"...who-who's asking?"

"Call me Dalen. You sold some explosives recently. Ones used recently. Very recently. Admiring your handiwork, Raleth?" The figure looks at the holoterminal, the news feed from Kaas City on once again.

Raleth gulped, his eyes glancing at the nearby weapons. "...I have no idea-"

The figure darted forward, the steel pole slamming into his ribs, pain shooting through his side and he would swear he heard a crack. "Try again," it said, idly twirling the staff.

"...I...I...I don't keep track-"

The quarterstaff swing again, slamming into the Cathar's face, sending him down to the ground, a deep gash opening up in his cheek. "Lie to me again."

He blinked up at her. ".......and you'll...?"

He could tell the figure was smirking. "That was a request. Why would I ruin the surprise?"

Raleth stared at his attacker, and flinched as the weapon was lifted again. "Stop! He... he was a human! Light skinned, dark hair, tattoo over his eye! I... I have a picture! On my console!" he blubbered, protecting his head.

He lowered his arms once he heard the voice's soft chuckling. "Good," it said, and before the Cathar could react, brought the staff down once again on his head.



Thirty Minutes Later, 500 meters up.

Quarasha sighed, staring down at the Cathar's bound, gagged, blindfolded and probably still unconscious form. Not too far from the Imperial docking bay, easy access for any Imperials getting a good tip, not near any of her safehouses, and plenty of discrete exits.

...only question now was who to call...

Rylar would be an obvious choice, returning the favor... but he might not be able to get people moving quickly, and there would be questions. Beniko... she would have to deal with the new head of Sith Intelligence eventually, but perhaps too early for that...... perhaps it was time to show her worth.

Quarasha pulled her comm out, turning back on the voice disguise as an afterthought. "Tell Necare it's Dalen. A lead on the attack is on Nar Shaddaa, the man that sold the explosives. Sending location, please send someone to pick him up. Evidence is on him. Have fun."

She sighed, turning off the comm and slipping into the shadows. Someone had to make sure the idiot wouldn't get gutted by a local, after all...
« Last Edit: 04/22/15, 12:12:12 AM 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 #44 on: 05/03/15, 08:35:01 PM »
Grunt Work

Spoiler: Writer Commentary • show
First, this is partly to better develop Asori. I don't think I had it in my head to make Asori a full on Sith yet, but the intention was 100% "Asori's a new character with a clean slate I can do fun stuff with". This was her largest introduction, being Quarasha's lackey but still quite capable.

Also? I just LOOOOOVE doing banter with disposable characters. I like developing these minor, disposable characters with just enough humanity, because it makes it a bit more impactful when they get axed. It's also fun to write snappy banter, damn it!


((Asori was a slave Quarasha encountered during the Breaking Chains story, and more recently showed up in the Treason story dealing with the immediate aftermath of Quarasha's arrest for treason. Also deals with the investigation into the Kaas City Bombing...))



Port Helshan, Rishi

Asori flipped through the entries on the datapad, glancing up periodically at the bulk of the spacecraft above her.

"I need you to go to Rishi and look for a few ships. It seems that the Kass City Bombers might have fled there after their attack," Quarasha had said three days ago, back on Nar Shaddaa. "I would go myself, but there are too many hunters there and not enough cover. And I want to see how you can handle yourself. Don't look like a Force User, try to avoid attention, and you'll be fine."

The Togruta grumbled to herself as she flicked off the datapad, mentally crossing the ship off her list and slipping back down to the port's undercity. "'Oh, and it might also be boring as all kriff, take forever and I need time to do my nails'," Asori said, slipping into a mocking impersonation of the Sith's accent. "Just look at all the hidden landing pads on Rishi, huh? All the cities are full of those kriffin' things! That's what Rishi's for, landing in secret!"

She shook her head, weaving her way through the slums. It was almost like home... well, what she remembered of Coruscant anyway. The air was cleaner and there was mud and wood underfoot instead of cold steel, but the desperation, hunger, fear, anger... that was all too familiar.

Asori shuddered as she walked past a couple arguing, the raw emotions bleeding off of them, anger, hatred, fear, room for lust in there as well... Quarasha told her it was natural to feel those emotions flowing off of others, it was part of her connection to the Force. That she could use those emotions like... fuel or something. That she'd understand it when she needed it.

She turned the corner, and glanced up once again, noting the sag in the ceiling above her. Another ship, no doubt, and she groaned, looking to the nearby supports. Twenty-nine ugly wrecks of a ship so far, maybe number thirty would be something important?

It was a few minutes work to climb up the supports, using the shadows of the undercroft to stay out of sight, and she peeked up at the ship, an old, half-wrecked light freighter colloquially known as a "Corellian POS". Faded red stripes on the bottom of the hull, no registry seen... but Asori didn't even need to flip through the datapad to write it off. None of the ships on the list were anything like it.

She was about to climb back down when voices started drifting down through the improvised landing pad. "You sure about this, Domnic? I heard the suppliers got pinched."

Another voice, probably Domnic, responded. "That's why we're doing this, Raz. Bastards tracked us back to Nar Shaddaa too damn quick, we need to cover our tracks."

"But blowing up the Ravemach? You know how much I feel for the old girl." Asori's eyes lit up and, carefully going through the listings on her datapad while hanging onto the support, found the Ravemach, an older model Marsteth Light Freighter... which left Dromund Kaas six hours before the bombing.

"They've got records of the ships, Raz. They'll be looking for it, just to be sure, and we don't- hey, hey, calm down, man," Domnic said, his voice going softer, more familiar. "Look, we'll get a new ship after this. A better ship, twice the size, brand new... you know we've got the credits for it. Just trust me, okay? Sonni's setting the charges, soon as she gets here, we'll blow it up, jet off once all the other ships start scrambling for safety and be free and clear, forever."

"...yeah, alright. Think we'll see the explosion from here?"

"...you've met Sonni, right?" Asori narrowed her eyes, she could hear Domnic's grin. "It'll probably take out half the buildings around it too. Not that you could call the hovels around here buildings."

"Yeah, probably doing the locals a favor," Raz joked back, and Asori's eyes were drawn down, to a few kids in rags, playing in the muck, just like the kids from the hold... trying to enjoy whatever they can, not caring about the world around them.

She tried to picture what a large bomb would do to them if set off on the landing pad above... and then stopped, pulling her Lightsabers out of the hidden pockets in her jacket, and started carving a hole in the ceiling, letting the rage simmer in the back of her mind.



Raz and Domnic sat on the gangplank to their new ship, Domnic glowering at his frustratingly dim brother. "They're looking for that, you idiot!"

"I don't care! I'm not taking it without some part of her!"

"Its just a name! A name for a ship we're dumping at the nearest shipyard!"

Raz huffed. "The Ravemach is more than a name! Its my ship, my pride and joy, and you're killing it! So this is now the Ravemach!"

"No! It'd... it'd... ugh, I can't BELIEVE you're making me say this, but it'd ruin the Ravemach's sacrifice!"

"...alright, what about the Ravemach B?"

Domnic gaped at him. However the pair was related, the older brother knew that brains had nothing to do with it. "That's just as bad!"

Raz frowned, looking down at his knees, eyebrows scrunched in deep through. "......okay... what about the... oh! What about the Macharev?"

Domnic blinked. "...the what? Macharev? That... sounds pretty good. Where'd you get that?"

"Anagram for Ravemach."

"...idiot."

Raz shrugged. "They wouldn't be looking for th-" he turned, seeing a Rodian woman strolling towards the ship. "Hey Sonni!"

Domnic got up, nodding at the Rodian. "Are we all set?"

"Charges set and ready. Shall we?"

Raz sulked again. "...can I at least push the button?"

"No! You'd screw it up somehow!" she scoffed at the younger human.

"But-"

"Hey," Domnic interrupted. "...you guys hear that?" There was a faint hum in the air, a sizzling sound in the air, slowly getting louder and louder... and then, only twenty meters from the group, a long shaft of light came up through the floor, glowing purple, slowing moving...

Raz blinked. "...w-what's that?"

"Shit! Raz, get the ship-"

"The Macharev!"

"Get the kriffing ship ready to go right kriffing now you kriffing idiot!" he shouted, and for once Raz actually listened, hustling into the small ship's cockpit.

Sonni was already darting towards the gangplank, well aware of the beam's importance. "Jedi or Sith?"

Domnic pulled out his blasters, aiming at the beam, just waiting. "What do you think?"

"Engines aren't starting!" said Raz, a note of panic entering his voice. "The intermix container must have jostled loose when we landed here, I'll try to reseat-"

"Do I sound like I care?! Get it done!" Domnic's eyes were focused on the lightsabers. Any moment they would stop and the Sith would come through the hole made and charge, faster than the blink of an eye. Or maybe lightning, lots of lightning, or... something... but he knew the secret. Sith liked to talk about being invulnerable, but a blaster bolt that gets past their Lightsabers still killed them just as dead. Sometimes, you just needed to push enough shooting at them...

The Lightsabers stopped, and right on cue, up... hm, she came, a little Togruta girl with two of the damn things.

Domnic might have been expecting a bigger foe, but he only hesitated for a second and immediately opened fire, the hail of blaster fire bearing down on the Togruta. She didn't bother trying to deflect it, instead throwing herself to the side, behind a stack of crates, and Domnic didn't let up, keeping up the suppressive fire. "Hurry up, Raz!"

"I-I am hurrying! Ships aren't simple, Dom!"

"I can't hold her off for-" Domnic started to say, but the words caught in his throat once he felt the sharp force pull on him, throwing off his balance as she stumbled forward, momentarily grateful he didn't fall over- and then he screamed as Asori's lightsabers came down on his shoulders, lopping the two limbs off like a hot knife through butter, the now useless, blaster holding appendages flopping down to the deck.

Asori didn't bother to hesitate, the anger that propelled her thirty meters on a single leap propelling her up the ramp. There was a distant voice in her ears as she entered the hallway, a Rodian woman, threatening something about a button, but those incoherent murmurs were replaced by screams as the woman's hand fell to the ground, Asori realizing only later that it was the one holding the detonator.

She turned to hear the blubbering of the last one, the dim pilot. There was fear in him, glorious fear, wafting off of him like an overused cologne, and she could see him cowering there, holding a half-disassembled component like it was a shield, so weak, so useless. She raised her Lightsabers again...

"Your rage is powerful, Asori. Some might tell you to quell it, but you know how much it can do for you. But much like an untamed Akk Hound, it is limited, wild and free, but prone to mistakes. I tell you to harness, to tame it. To bring it out when you need it, but to not let it control you."

Asori closed her eyes for a moment, pulling away from the rage, and the pilot... Raz, his whimpering grew more clear, less muted... although no less indistinct, what with all the blubbering. "rryimsorrryimsorryimsorryimsorryimsorryimsorry-"

"Shut up," Asori muttered, before kicking him in the face, making him follow suit.

She walked back to the gangplank, looking over the damage. The Rodian woman was still conscious, but not a threat, holding her maimed arm and whimpering, and another boot to the face quieted her too. The gunman didn't need such treatment, unconscious but still alive on the gangplank, two local kids already running off with his blasters.

After dragging him onto the ship proper, while ignoring questions from the curious locals about if she was a Jedi sent to help them, she drew up the gangplank and sighed, leaning on the wall, thinking for a few short moments before pulling out her comm. "...hey, boss?"

Quarasha's replied almost immediately, as though expecting the call, although her voice had that mechanical distortion. "What is it?"

"So... good news and bad news...."

"Bad news first," the Twi'lek said with a groan.

".......so, you know how you told me NOT to look at all... force user-y...?"
« Last Edit: 12/30/17, 08:39:35 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