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Author Topic: Sisters  (Read 1250 times)

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Offline Seraphie

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« on: 02/07/13, 07:57:28 PM »
((OOC: Because I rp 5 sisters, I can't exactly rp conversations between just them in the game, so this thread is for those various conversations. This means that from one post to the next there may be a change in location, a significant passage of time, and which sisters are talking may change.))

Sera makes her way up to the orbital station around Tython, eager to talk to Stell, not quite attaining her usual calm. « Emotion, yet peace, » she tells herself, reaching for the Force to help calm her. She barely notices the Jedi coming and going on the station, or the Republic guards stationed around it, as she makes her way to the hangar where Stell is docked. As she approaches the ship, Stell comes down the ramp to meet her.

Sera smiles at her older sister, trying to ignore the bubbling of emotions she inexplicably feels in her belly. She moves in to hug her, then pauses a moment in her motion, seeing Stell in the Force, then ignoring what she sees, she takes the last step forward to hug Stell. She takes a step back again after the hug, and lookes at Stell for a long moment, saying nothing. Stell lookes at Sera and gives her a weak smile, « Do I look that different? » Sera's frown is visible in the tightness of her lips, « Yeah, you do. » Stell moves in and hugs Sera again, « It was a tough trip, and it isn't over yet. » Stell holds her sister tight for a few moments, her heart heavy with what she and Anaris have been through and the news she brings her youngest sister.

As Stell releases her from the hug, Sera steps back and looks up the ramp, « Where are Anaris and Adasa? » For some reason, her voice catches in her throat as she says his name, feeling the boiling in her belly again, and a tightness in her chest. Stell looks at Sera, knowing there's no easy way to answer, « Anaris is in the kolto tank in the medbay. Adasa is still on Korriban. » The disappointment catches Sera by surprise, « He... stayed behind? » Then she catches herself, frowning again, « Is Anaris ok? » Stell moves up and puts her arm around Sera, speaking softly as she always seems to do only with this sister, « Anaris will be ok. And we had to leave him behind Sera, we had no choice. But we'll go back to get him. » Sera starts taking a step forward with Stell's arm around her shoulders, then stops at Stell's comment. She turns towards Stell, not moving, saying nothing, for many long moments, taking in the new darkness she sees in her sister. She reaches deep within to connect with the Force to bring her own emotions, the feeling of a hard knot in her belly, the feeling of a jagged deep cut in her chest, under control. Then she takes a deep breath and steps forward again, towards the ramp, « Come tell me about it. »

The two sisters sit on the couch, as Stell asks her C2 unit to bring them a couple of glasses of warm blue milk. Sera looks at Stell, saying nothing, waiting for Stell to start. Stell looks at Sera, deciding to start with the end. « Adasa and Anaris were both very badly hurt. I did what I could to heal Adasa and brought him to a darth who was his contact on Korriban. Then I went back to get Anaris. But the darth had told me, when he took Adasa, that I should leave or die. So we didn't dare go back to check on him. » Sera speaks softly, regaining her usual calm as she listens, « Why don't you start at the beginning? »

As the droid arrives with the glasses of milk, Stell tells Sera the whole story : their arrival on Korriban, Anaris' inability to control the effect of the darkside on him, the argument with the darth who was to be their host, Stell being force-choked, Anaris leaving her, unconscious, with Adasa at the darth's appartment, Stell and Adasa going out to find him, Stell's paranoia and the shadows of darkness she felt around her, finding Anaris seriously injured with Nephtis and her three male sith friends, Stell giving in to the shadows and using force lightening on Adasa and on Nephtis, pretending to be an apprentice, Nephtis accepting Stell as her apprentice, the return to the camp with Adasa in a coma and Anaris seriously injured, the vision in the night from Anaris of what he lived previously on Korriban and why Nephtis wanted to hurt and kill him, Adasa waking up, Nephtis taking Stell and Adasa to where she had Anaris tied up as she tortured him, Adasa and Stell attacking Nephtis and the one other sith who were in the room with them, Adasa getting hit with force lightening by Nephtis and passing out again, the shadows inside Stell absorbing the force lightening and the impacts she took, cutting and knocking out the other sith, cutting off Nephtis' fingers, and then her hand after she freed Anaris, Anaris puting himself between her and Nephtis, taking her force attack, calling her to come back to the light, Stell regaining some sense of the reality around her and letting go of the shadows, the burning and cutting and screaming of the shadows as she let go of them, Anaris ordering Stell to get Adasa to safety before he died, even though it meant leaving him unable to defend himself with the two passed out sith, Stell wanting to kill the sith before leaving and Anaris refusing to let her do so, Stell healing Adasa enough to stabilize him and getting him to the speeder, killing one of the two sith guards outside before leaving and sending the other running, leaving Adasa with the old man and the beaten female twilek slave who answered the door, the old man's warning to leave the planet or die, returning for Anaris, Anaris' unsuccessful attempt to reason with Nephtis before she passed out again, Stell's argument with Anaris that Nephtis had to be killed to prevent her from continuing to hunt him down, Anaris insisting on being the one to kill her, their slow speeder journey back to the shuttle as they worried about who might stop them, finally the relief of getting back to their ship and getting Anaris into the kolto tank, as Stell waited to have cleared Imperial space to finally send word to Sera.

Sera listens quietly, maintaining her strong connection to the Force throughout the story, to maintain peace in spite of the emotions the story creates. She looks at Stell as she speeks, seeing the traces of the shadows she had let in within her, new dark lines appearing, weaving their way into the mostly white core that was Stell. When Stell finishes, Sera is silent for a long moment. Finally, she starts with a question, in her usual soft tone, « Are you so sure she couldn't have been redeemed, like Anaris, or Adasa? » Stell looks at her, surprised by her first question, « Sera, I don't have time to save everyone. I won't take the chance of another Sith hunting us across the galaxy and trying to kill us or those we care about. » Sera answers, « And what if, someday, somewhere, she could have been redeemed and found someone to love as Anaris did? What if someone had eliminated Anaris three years ago for the same reason you eliminated Nephtis, depriving you of him? » Stell closes her eyes, tears welling up, her emotional defenses weak from the experiences of the trip, « Well, I'm glad that didn't happen Sera, and if that's the effect of my choice, then I'm sorry for the person who won't have her to love, but I have to make decisions like that sometimes. I have to protect those I care about. » Sera's voice remains soft and quiet, « At the expense of those others care about? » Stell takes a deep breath to try to steady her voice, « Yes. Sometimes, yes. » Sera looks at Stell, « Well, it's your choice to make. »

Sera sets down her empty glass, her voice calmer than her heart, « So, do you think the old man, the darth, will take care of Adasa, or do you think he's likely dead? » Stell puts a hand on Sera's arm, « No, I don't think he's dead. I don't trust that darth, but I wouldn't have let him take Adasa if I didn't think he would at least keep him alive. » Sera lets out a small breath she didn't even realize she was holding in. Stell leans over and hugs her, « We'll go back and get him Sera, I promise. But we need to heal up first, and we're going to need to find some help. » Sera looks at Stell, « Well, I might be able to help. » Stell shakes her head vehemently, « No, you are absolutely not coming to Korriban with us. » Sera laughs softly, « No, of course not. A Miraluk half-breed on Korriban. That would be a death sentence as soon as they spotted me. I may have found you some help though. » Stell raises an eyebrow, « Oh? » Sera smiled, « I went to the barge last night... » Stell's eyes go wide, « You what? » Sera laughs softly, « Well, I was worried about the three of you... » her smile fades, « I could feel that things had gone badly. I could feel you... go dark. » Stell frowns a little, « Sera... » Sera shakes her head, « No, no, it's ok. I'm just happy Anaris was able to pull you back from there. But at the barge last night.... Kezie was there. » Stell just about yells, « What?! » Now it's Sera's turn to put her hand on Stell's arm, speaking softly « It's ok, I'm ok. Your friends kept me safe. » Stell looks at Sera, still concerned. Sera smiles at her big sister, « I met some friends of yours, Miller again, and Karmic and Gad'riel. » Stell smiles, « Yeah, they would keep you safe. » Sera nods, « And Miller and Gad'riel offered to help if they can. » Stell looks at Sera thoughtfully, « Well, maybe that will help with our return to Korriban. But we need to take time to heal up first. And we need to plan things out carefully this time. » Stell sighs, « And I need to learn how to keep the shadows out. » Sera leans in and hugs Stell, « I know you will be able to learn to do that. Don't worry, the light within you is too strong for the shadows to win. »

Stell hugs her sister back, then pulls back, looking at her, a slight smirk on her face, « So... just how do you feel about Adasa, Sera? » Sera pulls back as her face goes bright red. « I don't know Stell, it just... happened... I didn't expect... to feel like this. I mean, I'm a padawan, considering becoming a Jedi, I'm not supposed to have attachments. It's just... » She stumbles on her words, her face still blushed, then looks at Stell, « I've fallen in love with him. I guess there's no other way to say it. I... » she looks down shyly, speaking softly, « I hope it turns into love... do you think that's wrong? » Stell looks at Sera, her face undecided between a smile and a frown, « I just want you to be careful Sera, and to be happy. I don't want to see you get hurt. » Sera chuckles, « I'll just repeat that to you when you leave for Korriban again. » Stell chuckles and hugs Sera again, as the two turn to other topics of conversation.

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #1 on: 02/07/13, 07:58:01 PM »
Stell moves to the door to the ship, temporarily docked with the orbital station above Tython, and activates the airlock. She looks preoccupied and her hand sits distractedly on her belly. As the airlock opens, she smiles at Sera, though her smile is a tenser one than usual, and her eyes look tired.

Sera smiles as she walks through the airlock onto the ship, carrying a heavy pack with her. She moves up to hug Stell, "Congrats on your success." As she backs away, she takes a moment to really look at Stell in the Force, noticing that the dark tendrils within her, that appeared after her trip to Korriban, seem to have shrunk just a little, "You seem to be controling the darkness better." Stell gives her a smile that looks more like her, "Yeah, I've been practicing. Anaris has been helping me."

As Sera takes a step back, her Force sight is suddenly drawn by somthing new, lower down. She stops, gazing intently at Stell's belly, dropping her pack to the floor with a loud thunk. She brings her gaze back up and puts her hands on either side of Stell's face, tilting her head, waiting for Stell to say something. Stell looks at Sera and smiles, a much wider smile. "Yes," she says simply. Sera smiles an ear to ear grin and hugs Stell tight, "How long have you known?" Stell chuckles, "Not long. Figured I wouldn't be able to hide it from you." As Stell backs away, she leans down to pick up Sera's pack, giving her arm a gentle tug, "Come on." Sera reaches for the pack, "No, let me." Stell raises an eyebrow at her, "Not you too!" Sera chuckles but pulls her hand back, "Fine. But I get first dibs on babysitting." Stell chuckles back at her, "You might have to fight Ahlana over that right."

The two set Sera's pack down in the main common area of the XS Cargo, then make their way to the hold where they see Anaris, sitting silently against the wall, on a mattress, watching the equally silent prisoner in a Force cage against the opposite wall, still wearing beskar cuffs. Sera steps in front of Anaris, blocking his view of Kezie, and leans in, hugging him and whispering in his ear, "Congratulations!" Anaris nods at Sera with a smile, before shifting a little on his matress and shifting his gaze back to the Sith in the Force cage.

Sera turns back to Stell, who smiles and nods at her, tugging at Anaris' sleeve. "We'll be in the corridor, not far. Call, or even whisper, if you need us." Sera nods, and as the two step out of the hold, she sits in Anaris' spot on the matress, facing the prisoner.

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #2 on: 02/17/13, 05:15:27 PM »
Stell walks into the room on her and Anaris' ship where Sera has been sleeping and is packing her things. "Are you sure you don't want to stay with us a bit longer?"

Sera turns towards Stell and smiles a little, "No, I think you guys should get your space back to yourselves... or mostly to yourselves." Her smile disappears, "I'm not helping anyway. I've done too much harm. He shuts up any time I'm even near. Not that he says much anyway, I know. But still..." Her voice trails off.

Stell moves closer to Sera and puts an arm around her shoulder. "Don't let Kezie get to you Sera. He's sith and he's so full of himself it's amazing he even notices when anyone is on the same planet as him, let alone in the same room as him."

Sera laughs a little, softly, though the laugh is short, "It isn't Kezie who's getting to me, it's me who's getting to me. And Ozner." She sighs a little, "He was right. I did let my emotions get the better of me. If I wasn't so attached to Adasa, I wouldn't have dug so deeply in Kezie's mind, I would have been more patient, and I wouldn't have done the harm that I may have now physically repaired, but... I destroyed any chance of being able to convince him to be cooperative."

"Don't be too hard on yourself Sera. We all have our moments like that, trust me." She gives Sera's shoulders another squeeze.

"But I'm training to become a Jedi, Stell. I haven't taken my trials yet, because I'm still too undecided. I think maybe I'm still too attached to too many things... and to too many people. But the way I attacked Kezie's mind.... I feel like I should have to redo my initiate trials." She pauses, her mind rolling with so many thoughts, so many of them conflicting. "I'm going to have to choose Stell. Jedi, or not Jedi. I see through the Force, see the Force in all that surrounds me, feel it in me in my actions, and yet in this, such an important decision, I can't feel its will. Maybe that just means that I'm not meant to be a Jedi."

Stell gently turns Sera towards her, giving her a full, tight hug. She backs away after a moment, looks at her sister, and gently lifts her mask, looking into her eyes, as Sera blinks at the sudden appearance of normal human vision, "Sera, maybe the time for the decision just isn't right yet. When it is, you will feel it in the Force."

Sera smiles softly at Stell, "You're probably right. Listen to you, I bet you can't even recite the full Jedi code, and yet you speak to me of the Force with the wisdom of a master." Stell frowns at her as she lets the mask fall back in place, "Emotion, yet peace. Ignorance, yet knowledge. Harmony, yet chaos. Passion, yet serenity. Death, yet the Force. I can too recite the code." Sera giggles, "You, um, flipped one of them." Stell frowns, "What...? I.." She scowls a little at Sera, "Well, I'm close." Sera chuckles and hugs Stell back as she chuckles too.

Sera takes a step back, "I can't help in getting any information from Kezie. And I don't think I can give you any useful advice in the negociations you're looking at with Moirae. So I think it's best I get back to my research on Tython. You work at getting Adasa back and I'll work at finding a way to heal him. Completely." Stell nods at Sera, "How is that research going? I assume the weight of the bag you brought with you means your brought some of the research with you... doesn't the Order frown on removing datacards from the archives?"

Sera's face gains a little colour as she answers, "Well, I was short on time to read all that I had taken out already when you called, and didn't really want to take the time to replace all the cards, so I brought them along to keep reading." Stell just chuckles. Sera continues, "But the research is going well.  One of the crystals of healing would surely do the trick, given their reputation, but my understanding is that that portion of the Temple was completely destroyed and there is no trace of the crystals. So unless I can locate a Healer from the Temple on Coruscant who survived the destruction, finding one of those crystals is unlikely. So instead I've been reading through all the descriptions I can find of the artifacts that were kept in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant before it was destroyed. Unfortunately, many of the records of what was there were destroyed too."

Stell looks at her sister and puts a hand gently on her cheek, "I know you Sera and I know the connection you have with the Force. I'm sure the Force will lead you there. Give it time." Stell frowns a little, and Sera catches her thought, "I know, time is the one thing it feels like we're running out of." Sera moves closer and hugs Stell again, whispering, "Please, do what you can to bring him back." Stell just nods, words not getting past the not in her throat.

Sera steps back, puts the last item in her bag and closes it, then turns towards Stell and puts a hand gently on her belly, "And take care of all three of you." Stell smiles and nods. Stell smiles and nods. "Do you want us to keep you in the loop on our progess in getting him back?" Sera hesitates and takes a deep breath, "Not that I can help much, but sure. Just leave me a message if I don't answer. When I'm not reading, I'm going to be meditating, deeply." Stell nods and smiles again at her sister, as the two head out of the room towards the airlock leading to the Tython orbital station.

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #3 on: 03/17/13, 10:18:30 AM »
Stell looks up from the drawings she's sketching out, for decorating the nursery, as the terminal in the study beeps that she has an incoming holocall. She sets down her work and moves over to the small holoterminal, pressing a button to answer it, as a small blue three-dimensional image of Sera materializes. Stell smiles at her youngest sister, « Sera! How goes? »

Sera looks at Stell, maintaining a deep connection to the Force in order to keep her emotions under control. « I'm well Stell. How about you? How are you and Anaris and the baby? »

Stell frowns a little at her sister's controlled tone, « We're good Sera. What's wrong? »

Sera hesitates, then laughs softly, letting out a small sigh, « You always can tell... » She takes a deep breath before continuing, « Adasa came to see me today. » Sera stops at that, causing Stell's frown to deepen. « And? What's up? Is he adjusting? Healing? » Sera takes another deep breath and continues saying little, « He has debts he incurred during his previous …. activities... apparently. » Stell's concern is now visible in her whole face, « What kind of debts? » Sera's head tilts down a little, « Large ones, apparently. » Stell huffs at her sister's slow trickle of information, « To who? » Sera answers quietly, « To the Hutts. »

Stell tenses her jaw, working at containing the volume and tone of her response, with a little success, « Echuta! » She closes her eyes for a moment, then looks at the holo of her sister, « To the cartel, I assume? What is he doing Sera? Stop telling me what happened one grain at a time! »

Sera takes a deep breath, her connection to the Force not quite enough to completely ease the pounding of her heart, sounding like thunder in her ears. « He's living on Quesh for the moment. He took me there to show me his place. It's provided to him by the Hutt's to whom he has the debt. Apparently he has certain missions he must complete for them to clear his debt, and some of them at least are collection missions, relating to spice trade. »

Stell's volume rises this time, « Echuta! Sera, keep away from that, and from him if necessary! » Sera nods, speaking quietly, « I know. I came back to Tython quickly, don't worry. » She pauses a moment before continuing, « Stell, you know what a debt to Hutts can be like. We have to find some way to help him. » Stell takes a deep breath, controling her voice, « Sera, I'm not sure we can. Debts to the cartel aren't shakeable. They have to be paid off, or people die. » Sera's voice now sounds a little shaky, anger colouring it. « You found a way to help Cher, but you won't help him? » Stell frowns deeply at the comment, but softens her voice, « Sera, you know Fierfek isn't part of the cartels, thank the Force. And is that what you would want, that Anaris or I would go to the cartels and offer to take on Adasa's debt? »

Sera looks down, saying nothing for a moment, then speaking quietly, « No, of course not. I'm sorry Stell. I just... » Her voice breaks a little as she continues, « I don't know what to do. I care so much for him, and now he's stuck with these jobs, and I don't want to leave him alone in this, I want to help him, but I don't want to do this... collecting from spice dealers and helping spread spice... we've seen how it destroys people... » She takes a moment to steady her voice again before continuing, « I don't want it to destroy him. »

Stell sighs, « I know Sera. We don't want to see that happen either. I'll talk to Anaris and we'll try to talk to Adasa. Maybe we can find a solution that lets him pay off his debt in some other way, without being involved in the spice trade. » Stell pauses a moment, « Do you want to come visit us for a couple days? Have some company? » Sera considers for a moment, « Sure, for a couple of days. I... I found what I've been looking for in my research, so maybe I can show you and Anaris and get your advice on that too. » Stell finally smiles again, « That sounds great! Go pack and get on the shuttle. We'll pick you up at the spaceport. » Sera smiles a little and nods as the holo of her blinks away. Stell glances at her decorating project material, sighs and heads downstairs to find Anaris.

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #4 on: 03/23/13, 10:57:13 AM »
Stell frowned, waiting at Spaceport Pallista, for Sera to disembark from her shuttle and come out. She had been able to get frustratingly little out of her sister in the holocall, other than she wanted to come stay with them on Alderaan, for at least a few days, maybe a bit longer, and it didn't have anything to do with Adasa. She sighed, shaking her head a little, in person would be better. In person, Sera couldn't keep much from her.

Sera smiled as she stepped into the large room, spotting Stell waiting for her. She took a moment to truly look at Stell in the Force. She tilted her head curiously, something was... different. Nothing big, but something in the very bright light, and the little bit of dark in her sister had... shifted somehow. Like a new balance had been found somehow. The bright new life within her was well and strong though, and she smiled at the bump that Stell's belly was becoming. She moved up to Stell, smiling.

Stell returned her smile, though her concern showed through it, as the two hugged. "Come on, there's a speeder waiting." Stell reached for Sera's bags, noting they were fuller then usual. "Staying for a while then?" she asked with a raised eyebrow. Sera smiled at her, holding firmly onto the bag, "Maybe." Stell sighed as she gave up trying to take the bag from Sera and led her to the waiting speeder.

The two sisters settled into the speeder for the long ride to Stell and Anaris' home on Alderaan. Sera looked out at the peaceful looking country side, seeing marks, nonetheless, of less peace under the surface - droid guards at various intervals, trees felled by blasts, a kilik hive have blown open in the distance - as they passed through. Stell looked at her sister, giving her a few minutes before letting loose the barrage of questions she held in.

Stell finally put her arm around her sister, giving her a hug, before turning towards her in the speeder and asking, "So, why the visit and the full bags?" Sera turned to her sister, smiling, "I'm leaving... I've left...." her smile fades a little, "I've been asked to leave Tython." A frown of concern quickly appeared on Stell's face, "They've kicked you out of the Order?" She bit her tongue, holding in the myriad of other questions, not to mention outraged comments and Hutteese that come to her mind. Sera put a hand on Stell's arm, giving her a reassuring squeeze, shaking her head gently and smiling again, "No, they've asked me to take a break." After a brief pause she continues, "Stell, I've seen this coming for a while. Six months ago, I found myself a padawan with no master. Master Welfandril told me that she felt that she had nothing left to teach me. Two months before that she had already told me that she thought I was ready for my trials. Since then, once a month, I've been called to meet with three masters, to discuss setting up my Jedi trials. Each time I've told them that I don't think I'm ready. They keep telling me the same thing - that I am ready, that it's natural to be nervous, that they are convinced that the Force is calling me to serve in the Order...." Her voice trailed off a moment. She took a slight breath and continued, "The problem is that I'm not convinced. I'm not sure..." She hesitates then lifts her mask for a moment, looking at Stell with her abnormally small human eyes, "I'm just not sure if that's what I want, if I want to give my life to being a Jedi."

Stell looked at her sister for a moment, "Well, if that isn't what you want, then don't become a Jedi. But they shouldn't push you into a decision. You need to take the time to make the decision that's right for you." Sera nodded, "I know, and that's why they've asked me to take a break and come back once I've made up my mind, if I choose to take the trials and join the Order." She sighs, letting her Miraluka mask fall back in front of her odd eyes, "They must really want me in the Order to have not just told me I'd used up my chances and to either join the Corps or leave for good."

Stell sat back a moment, hesitated a moment, then asked the question weighing most on her mind, "Sera, is it your feelings for Adasa that have made you reconsider joining the Order to this extent? I wouldn't want you to give up a future you've dreamed of for one that is," she frowns, "uncertain at best." Sera smiled at Stell, shaking her head, "No, otherwise I would have taken the trials even before I met him. You know that this uncertainty goes back farther than that. And Stell, I'm not sure being a Jedi was ever really a future I dreamed of. It was more the future Ange dreamed of for me. I just want to use the Force for good. I want to heal and to help. I want to spread light. I'm not sure I want to do that as a Jedi." She chuckles, "I did once tell Anaris you know, that being a Jedi was just one way, one specific way, of fighting for the light. By no means the only way."

Stell looked at Sera and nodded, thinking back to the discussions, with her and with many others, the meditation, the silent lone reflection Anaris went through as he struggled with his decision to leave the Order. "Sera, you know I just want you to find the path you want, to be happy. I won't push like Ange does." Sera looked at Stell smiling, "I know that Stell. For the moment, I want to spend a little bit of time with the two... the three of you," she corrects herself, smiling at Stell's enlarged belly, "and then... " She finished with a sigh, sounding almost relieved, "Go home." Stell smiled, leaning in to hug her sister, "You know you're always welcome."

Stell leaned back, her smile growing, "We have another house guest at the moment too. I can't wait for you to meet Kyrri'e. I think you'll like her." Sera tilted her head towards Stell, "Oh? Who's Kyrri'e?" Stell smiled, "A friend, who's staying with us right now, and whom Anaris is training. She wants to learn to use the Force, but isn't sure she wants to be a Jedi. She loves to sing and dance and she actually has a really beautiful voice." Sera chuckled, "I like her already."

As the speeder halted before the small by Alderaanian standards house, the two women got out, walking to the house arm around waist, smiling at Anaris who opened the door at their approach.

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #5 on: 04/21/13, 10:25:41 AM »
Sera trudges into the living room on Alderaan, carrying a cup of tea she's barely sipping, craddling it between her hands. She falls into the large chair next to the piano, her mind and body numb. Minutes pass. She isn't even sure where her mind is drifting to, racing to, her own thoughts lost to her.

"You look exhausted," Stell speaks quietly from the couch.

Sera just about spills her cup of tea. She looks up, though barely, "I'll be ok. Just need a few minutes break." Stell's voice seems... different, but Sera doesn't register, "Sera, you can't keep this up at this rate. You're going to kill yourself stretching yourself too thin, and then who will keep Kiive alive and calm?" Sera's face turns back to the cup of tea, "I have to stay with her Stell. I'm keeping the damage from getting worse as best as I can, but I'm still loosing ground to the poison. But when I'm there, she has company, she has rest. When I'm not... well, she hasn't wanted to tell me, but I can sense that it's... nightmarish." Forcing herself to a moment of awareness of the present moment, Sera leans in and takes a sip of the tea cupped in her hands. "Sera, Kiive is strong. She can handle the nightmare for a bit. You've barely slept more than an hour at a time, and even at that, only a few times a day, in days. Any breaks you take with her, you spend trying to help Adasa in his withdrawl. You need to go have a good long sleep."

In the forced moment of awareness of the present, Sera suddenly registers that Stell's voice is off. She looks up, looking at her for the first time. Eyes...her eyes are wrong, wet cheeks, the touches of dark swirling within the light within her. "Stell, you're crying..... you've been crying." Stell closes her eyes for a moment, "I'll be ok." Sera struggles against her physical and mental numbness to be in the present moment, taking another sip of tea to ground herself, noticing Stell's hands on her belly, both of them, as if glued there. "Stell... are you ok? Is Anaris ok? Is Aurore ok?" Stell's voice strains through the tears, "We're all fine Sera. We just had a tough mission last night. We helped Ozner rescue some children." Stell's voice breaks at the last word.

Sera forces her tired muscles to move, forces her tired mind to alertness, takes another sip of tea and moves to the couch, next to her sister. She hesitantly puts the cup of tea on the table, then without hesitation puts her arm around Stell, pulling her towards her. Stell leans against Sera, her body gently heaving in her attempt to hold in her tears. Sera's voice sounds tired, but less distant, "Stell, what happened? Were the children hurt?" Stell just shakes her head, the tears winning out over her voice for the moment. As the heaves settle, her voice strains through the tears again, "They had been kidnapped from the Order. They were younglings. They were all ok." Sera holds her sister, stroking her arm, one hand on top of Stell's hand on her belly, struggling against her mental fatigue to process what Stell said. "Then what has you so upset Stell?"

Stell takes a deep breath, and hesitates. When she speaks, her voice is stronger. "Sera, the Order took those children from their families. Is that really any better than the person who kidnapped them from the Order? Is it any better than what the Sith do? Any better than what Anaris went through?" Sera pauses, trying to think clearly, not having much success. She finally settles for, "I don't know Stell."

Stell pulls back a little, looking at Sera, her hands rubbing her belly, where little bumps can suddenly be seen pushing out, then disappearing, as Aurore's movements seem to reflect her mother's distress. Stell's voice is suddenly fierce, "I won't let them take her Sera. She's ours. She should grow up with us. She should have a family. She should have a choice." Sera looks at Stell, silent for a long moment, then sighs, "Stell, if you want to understand why the Order takes younglings from their families as toddlers, you're probably better talking to Ange. I know why, but I'm not sure I agree with it, and I'm not quite in mental shape to really explore it right now." Stell suddenly frowns, her voice softening, "Sera, I'm sorry. I know. You're exhausted and I shouldn't add to it." Stell leans back against Sera, quiet for a few minutes. Sera's mind drifts back towards the overloaded numbness.

Stell's voice is quiet, but leaves no room for doubt or discussion, "I'd die before I'd let someone take her from us." She pauses. "I'd kill."

The sisters sit in silence, leaning against each other on the couch, as Sera finally drifts into sleep.

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #6 on: 06/12/13, 06:23:52 PM »
As Anaris steps out of the door of the house where Stell grew up on Tatooine, Stell frowns, looking back at Sera, sitting on the edge of the bed, crying. She moves next to her, kneeling before her, taking both of her hands and looking up at the tears running down her cheeks below her Miraluka mask.

"What does he mean, Adasa just left?"

Sera struggles to quell the flow of tears. She recalls the earliest meditation she learned, with her grandmother, focusing on a smaller and smaller area, until she sees only a single grain of sand in her entire field of view, finally strengthening her connection to the force enough to separate herself from the intense emotional pain. As the flow of tears finally subside, she looks up at Stell. "He just left... He... I asked him to come back... I... He..." Sera sighs in frustration, trying to get one single, complete sentence out.

Stell's frown deepens as she focuses on her sister, thankful that Aurore is, at the moment, peacefully sleeping in her little bassinette. "How about you start at the beginning."

Sera nods and takes a deep breath. "I'd been meditating, out in the sand and he came to sit with me. He told me about how he's been helping Ozner in an amazing fight against darkside...energies I guess, or creatures.. and how amazing Ozner's power actually is, and how good he's feeling about helping him. He said he's become very weak in the Force but he feels much stronger in mind."

Stell nods, "Ok, and then?"

Sera takes another deep breath, her focus improving with the telling of the story, "Well, I told him that I was really happy that he's found a way to help and serve and that it's helping him, and that I'm still trying to figure out where and how I want to serve and help."

Stell nods again, letting Sera continue.

"He started talking about how I can be a great Jedi and about how do I want to help the galaxy... which kind of surprised me, when I had just said that I was still trying to figure all of that out... So then I asked him what about us, because I was surprised he seemed to be pushing so much towards," she pauses a moment, " or maybe just assuming that I'm going to become a Jedi."

Stell's frown returns with her next nod, "So, what did he answer?"

"That we could still make it work, and that he didn't want to see me waste my great tallent."

Stell nods once again, "Ok, well that's good."

Sera shakes her head, "No, that isn't good. That's what I tried to explain to him. Being a Jedi is about fighting for the light on a particular path, in a particular way, by a particular set of beliefs and code of behaviour. I won't dance around the line like Anaris did. If I decide to be a Jedi, it's because I have decided the Order's path is the path for me, and I will respect the code and the Order's beliefs, including the belief in no relationships."

Stell pauses a moment, staring at her sister, before she asks quietly, "Is that what you want?"

Sera takes a moment, as the emotions threaten to start flooding again, "I don't know Stell! That was my point. I don't think the Jedi path is the right path for me. I want to fight for the light, fight to make the galaxy a better place, but I don't think I want to do that in the Jedi way, just like Anaris didn't want to do so in the Jedi way. I think I want to be able to love, to have a family like you have, to have friends. But I'm not sure yet. I'm still trying to figure it out!"

Stell gives her sister's hands a gentle squeeze, "That's ok, Sera. Take your time to figure it out. There's no rush."

Sera shakes her head again, as the swell of emotions starts eroding the calm she had established through her meditation, "But that's the thing, Adasa took that as my saying that I don't want a relationship with him so that I can be a Jedi! But that wasn't what I meant at all! I don't even think I do want to become a Jedi, but I'm just not sure yet! I just needed him to know that if that were to be what I chose, what that would mean. But I didn't mean that I don't want a relationship with him! And he just huffed off all hurt and angry, and wouldn't come back when I asked him to let me finish! He just didn't listen at all!" The exasperation edges into her voice as the tears start pushing to come out again.

Stell frowns again and sits up on the bed next to Sera, puting her arm around her, rocking her gently. "I'm so sorry Sera." She just holds her silently for many long minutes, as Sera lets the tears silently roll out again.

Stell takes a deep breath, "Sera, we all have moments when we don't listen well... but... well... sometimes it seems that guys seem to have a particularly hard time properly hearing what women are saying... maybe especially women they care about.... They kind of get wrapped up in their own reaction.... Well... I suppose I do that often enough too....." Stell sighs, not sure how to help her sister through her first broken heart. Finally, she just says softly, "I'm sorry Sera. I hope he comes back and the two of you can work things out. And I hope you can figure out what your heart wants."

Sera nods, as she pulls her legs up under her and snuggles into Stell, letting the tears flow freely in her sister's arms.

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #7 on: 06/13/13, 06:16:09 PM »
Sera looks up, across the room, at Stell, "I think she's hungry."

Stell nods as she moves towards the bed where Aurore has been lying on her back while Sera, with her Miraluka mask off and her abnormally small eyes showing, has been playing with her and cooing at her. Aurore is played out however, and is now fussing, her pitch steadily increasing. Stell picks her up, sits down comfortably on the bed, leaning against the wall, and starts breastfeeding her. She smiles at the little miracle she holds... her daughter... the product of her and Anaris' love... already so much bigger at almost four weeks old.

Stell looks over at Sera, "How are you doing?" Sera takes her eyes off Aurore for a moment, looks at Stell and sighs. "I'm doing ok. I'm doing some extra meditating to keep myself calm and to keep the emotions from flooding me again, but it's a lot of work, and it still hurts.... and I'm not quite sure how to rid myself of the emotions."

"It takes time Sera. With some things, the emotions never completely go away, they just fade enough in intensity that they don't have much of a hold on us anymore. All the Jedi training in the world can't make emotions just disappear, poof, without them coming back to bite you badly later on in life. Dealing with them allows you to heal. Just wiping them away, burying them, doesn't."

Sera chuckles at Stell, "Don't underestimate the ability of proper Force training to allow you to shed emotions, Stell." Her smiles fades, "Mostly, I'm trying not to think about it right now. Anytime I start trying to figure things out, I just end up feeling like I'm going in circles, like a gizka caught in a Nikto maze, you know, the kind where they trick you by rotating a piece of the maze, so that your gizka never can actually get out and you automatically loose your bet."

Stell raises an eyebrow at Sera, "Where did you learn about underworld gambling?" Sera looks down a little, but doesn't answer. Stell adjusts Aurore a little, and her own position, before turning back to Sera. "Well, want to talk about it? See if that helps?"

Sera pauses a very long moment, until finally, when Stell has started thinking that maybe she wasn't going to talk after all, she starts, "Well, I found myself thinking that if I don't have Adasa anymore, then maybe I should just go, take my trials, and become the Jedi knight everyone seems to expect me to be." Sera puts up a hand before Stell can get a word in, "Except you, I know that." She continues, "But then I started thinking that, you know, even before I fell in love with Adasa, I had been avoiding the trials because I wasn't sure I wanted to be a Jedi. So maybe I should just accept that I don't want to be a Jedi and go find Adasa and tell him that he doesn't have to worry about it anymore. But then I start thinking that maybe, years from now, will I wonder if I left the Order for good just for him? And then I might resent him for it. And if he can't give me the time I need to figure out what I want, and if he can't support me while I make the decision that's best for me, then would it ever even have worked between us? And then I start thinking that maybe I'm just too demanding, that I want to have my cake and eat it too, to have him and to keep the door open for the Order, and that maybe I'm hurting him by being to selfish. So then I think that maybe I should go join the Order for real and be self-sacrificing and stop being so selfish..."

"Sera." Sera stops suddenly, breathless, and looks at Stell. Stell smiles, "I get what you mean about circles." Sera sighs, slumping a little, closing her eyes. "Sorry." Stell chuckles, "That's ok. I know it's tough to sort out. You know, a relationship isn't a magic recipe to a happy life, with no hardships either though." Sera looks up at Stell with a puzzled look, "Oh?" Stell looks down at Aurore with a gentle smile, then back at Sera, "Well, I spend a lot of time worrying about Anaris, scared that I'm going to loose him. As you saw on Alderaan, sometimes I don't control that worry so well." Sera considers this for a moment, then asks Stell, "Would you rather go back, to before you met him, and not have met him so that you wouldn't have to worry." Stell's answer is instantaneous, even before Sera has finished her question, "Not is a million years." She smiles at Sera, "It's definitely worth it. Just don't expect it to make you happy, don't expect Adasa, or anyone else to make you happy. You have to choose happiness, look for it, find it, create it, share it. And that's true whether you choose the Jedi path or any other path, with a partner or without."

Sera slides next to Stell on the bed, smiling at Aurore who is now fast asleep. "Well, I sure like the idea of having one of my own some day." She pauses. "But there are lots of younglings needing tending to on Tython too...." She frowns a little, looking back up at Stell, "I guess I just need to figure out where I want to go."

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #8 on: 07/06/13, 10:28:59 AM »
Sera walks into the kitchen of the home on Tatooine, smiling as she sees Stell, with Aurore quietly cooing in the sling in front of her, helping Étoile preparing the vegetables for the meal. Sera gives her mom a hug, then moves to Stell, giving her a hug and cooing back at Aurore with a big smile. "Where's Anaris?" she asks. Stell's answer comes out a little sharper than she'd like, "Off training with Kyrri'e or Lunri, or some other activity in which I can't take part with a baby strapped to me." Sera gives Stell another hug, "Still sore about last night I take it." Étoile glances up at each of her daughters, but says nothing, returning her attention to the chopping board and the veggies.

Stell closes her eyes for a moment, keeping the chopping knife on the board, and takes a deep breath, "I'm sorry. I told Anaris I was fine with it. I just..." She opens her eyes, frowning, shaking her head lightly and getting back to chopping the veggies, bringing the knife down hard in each chop, "I'm fine." Sera looks at her sister for a long moment before saying anything. "Can I take Aurore for a bit, while you're working on the meal?" Stell stops for a moment, looking down at her daughter, almost hesitant to take her off of her, then she nods, sets down the knife, undoes the sling and passes both the sling and Aurore to Sera. Sera takes Aurore and shakes her head at the sling, "No, I'm going to go have fun playing with her, I won't need the sling." Stell watches Sera head into the other room with Aurore, staring at the empty doorway after they've passed.

Étoile looks up, smiling softly at Stell, "Tow and tug." Shaken from her reverie, Stell turns towards her mom, "Hm?" Étoile smiles again, "It can be tiring, feeling that you have to tow her along with you all the time, but as soon as she's out of your sight, she tugs at your heart to be with her again." Stell looks at her mom, slowly nodding. Étoile smiles again, "You don't have to give up everything else in your life to be a mom, Stell. Some stuff you may have to give up for a while, but it'll still be there when you're ready to get back to it." Stell sighs, picking up the knife again and returning to her task. "I know. It just feels... right now... like I can't do anything I was used to doing. I can't just trapse off trying to save people who need saving with a baby strapped to me, and I can't just leave her behind with you for days on end, because I want to be the one to raiser her. I want Anaris and I to be the ones to raise her. So now we have these sith after Anaris, and I can't even go fight by his side, help him. I couldn't help save our friends if they needed saving, because I always have Aurore with me, and you're right, I don't want to not have her with me. But I can't even defend the ones I love anymore. I can still run my med runs between Nar Shaddaa and Tatooine, but even then, if she needs feeding, Anaris ends up being the one going out to make the pick up or drop off. And then last night, Seiyd's reaction... it felt like I got kicked off my own barge just for being a mom, and a lousy mom at that, bringing my baby to such a place..." Stell pauses in her chopping as she closes her eyes, taking a deep, steadying breath.

Étoile smiles again at Stell, "I know."

Stell opens her eyes, looking at her mom again, "How did you figure it out. I mean, with five of us, it must have felt like the rest of your life disappeared until we were older."

Étoile smiles again, "Well, I had it a little easier, because I was teaching, not trapsing around the galaxy saving people. But I did realize that as much as I loved being a mom, I also loved being a teacher and I wanted both. So, I gave up the teaching for a bit, something I never regretted, while each of you was a baby, but I always went back to it, at least a bit of it, as soon as you were a little older. And you all came with me at times, into class. And other times, you were being babysat. And as much as I loved every minute I got to spend with each of you, I also needed the minutes of teaching, apart from you, for me. It was a question of finding the right balance."

Stell considers her mom's words and goes back to chopping as she thinks. Étoile continues, "Aurore is already almost three months old. Another three and you'll be starting her on some solid food, then it'll be a little easier. In the meantime, you could pump some bottles to leave with me for your evening on the barge. Or, you could ask to be replaced as hosts for a few more months. And if Anaris needs you fighting at his side, well, leave more bottles with me. Time flies so fast Stell. You're already 30. It seems like forever since I held you in my arms as a baby. That time is so short, try to enjoy it."

Stell puts down the knife and goes over to give her mom a tight hug, "You know what, maybe I'll get Sera to come in and finish helping you with the meal, and I'm going to go play with Aurore for a bit." She steps back to look at her mom, "If you don't mind." Étoile smiles, shaking her head, "Of course I don't mind! Go, go, go!" Stell smiles, heading towards the other room, then turns back, "At least you aren't stuck with the tow and tug anymore." Étoile smiles, watching Stell go through the doorway, her eyes still on the doorway many moments after Stell has passed, then goes back to her chopping, saying quietly, "Still lots of tugs, my baby."

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #9 on: 11/06/13, 08:57:11 PM »
Sera looks up from her packing as Stell knocks gently on her open door, Aurore in her arms. Sera nods for Stell to come in, smiling at both her and Aurore. Stell seats Aurore on the floor, where she wastes no time in getting to crawling about the room. Stell looks at Sera's pack, then at her, "So, which village are you heading to help out today?"

Sera smiles at Aurore as she explores her room, then turns her masked face back towards Stell, shaking her head lightly, with a smile, "No village today."

Stell frowns lightly as she notices sandperson type gear in the pile of things Sera's packing in her fuller-than-usual pack, "Where are you going then?"

Sera follows Stell's gaze and smiles as she continues packing, "To the sea, to meditate."

Stell's frown deepens a little, "To the sea? What's wrong Sera? I thought you were enjoying going village to village helping with healing."

Sera chuckles, "Nothing's wrong Stell, can't I go spend some time meditating in the sand?"

Stell narrows her eyes at her youngest sister, "The sea is always where you go when something's wrong."

Sera smiles at Aurore, who's crawled over to her bed and is now pulling herself up to an uneasy stand, then looks back towards Stell, "I'm fine. I'm just trying to figure out... what next in my life. Yes, I've been enjoying the healing, but really, I'm not accomplishing anything the doctors couldn't accomplish without me." She puts out her hand, expecting an objection, "Yes, I can use the Force to help with healing, and no, neither Dr. Slean nor Dr. Fromster have given any indication that I'm in the way, they've been happy to see me everytime. But really, some heatstroke, a few cases of womprat fever, one pregnancy with blood pressure complications, a broken arm, they are perfectly capable of taking care of all of it without me. I need to do..... something more."

Stell sits on the edge of the bed, next to Sera, glancing briefly at Aurore before bringing her concerned gaze back to Sera, "And you think some time in the sea will help you figure it out?"

Sera nods as she reaches down to pull up Aurore who's reaching up for her, "It usually lets me focus on the path the Force has for me, without the distractions of so much going on around me." She smiles at Stell with a smirk, "Don't worry, I'll avoid rancor alley."

Stell raises an eyebrow at Sera, "You better." As Aurore coos out, "Ma..ma...ma...ma" Stell reaches to take her onto her lap, then looks at Sera again, "What about Adasa?"

Sera pauses for a moment, a frown barely visible in her face below her mask. She answers quietly, "I don't know. I guess he's still busy helping Oz. He hasn't been around in a while and hasn't called." She takes Aurore from Stell as she gently coos "Sa....sa....sa....sa," reaching for her, then turns back to Stell, "I have to figure out my own path, regardless of his choices."

Stell's look softens, as she gently puts a hand on Sera's arm, "I'm sure he hasn't forgotten about you."

Sera smiles, as Aurore plays with the tassles of her Miraluka mask then calls and reaches for Stell once again. She hands Aurore back to Stell and nods, "I'm sure he hasn't. But I need to figure out what I want to do with... the talents he pointed out that I have. How I want to help this galaxy, or our little corner of it."

Stell gives her sister another long look before nodding and standing up, "Would you like some company? I could speeder with you to the Dune Sea, then back again."

Sera smiles, shaking her head, "No, thanks though. I just need some space to think." Stell nods as she then heads towards the door, with Aurore back in her arms, then turns back to Sera, "Just be careful. Come back alove and well, and don't be gone too long." She grins at Sera, "Aurore will miss you too much." Sera just chuckles as Stell steps out, "That's ok, I'll miss her too much too."

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #10 on: 01/19/14, 02:18:42 PM »
Stell shakes her head, a confused frown on her face, "Hub-BA, hub-BA gourd." Aurore squishes another fistfull of hubba gourd through her fingers, smiling excitedly at Stell, "Sa-a! Sa-a! Sa-a!" Stell begins to clear away the remains of Aurore's lunch and wipes Aurore's face and hands, removing the bib, as Aurore continues to repeat, in the same excited tone, "Sa-a! Sa-a!" Stell picks her up, giving her a hug and sighing, "We'll get to full words eventually."

Stell turns, Aurore still in her arms, as she hears the door slide open. Aurore, now almost yelling the two same syllables, is instantly wiggling to be put down. Stell's momentary look of shock is quickly replaced by a wide smile, "Séra!"

Séra smiles, though her cheeks look tired below her veil, as does her gait in the few steps forward she takes, arms outstretched to surround both Stell and Aurore in a hug. Aurore snuggles into Séra, again repeating, "Sa-a". Stell feels Séra take in a deep breath and then let out a long sigh. She says nothing for the moment, just enjoying the hug that Séra seems in no rush to end.

Séra finally steps back, giving Aurore a kiss on the forehead, and smiles again, "Sorry I was gone so long. I can't believe how much she's grown! How has everyone been?" Stell smiles back, deciding to give her sister time before prodding into her lengthy disappearance. "Good! There's no more trace of Fenris in Anaris, and he is still wholly himself. The wound has completely healed. This little one," she smiles, setting down a very wiggley Aurore who makes her way to Séra with the mix of a steady walk and a very unsteady run, "is now walking, is only breastfeeding first thing in the morning and right before bed, though not even always those, and is adding a new word every couple of days. Maman's doing well, though stressed with a lot of marking right now."

Séra nods, brushes the sand and dust off her clothes and kneels down with a smile, arms outstretched to take Aurore. She breathes in her smell, letting her empathic senses bathe in the infant's exuberance, wonder and innocence, letting the Living Force wash over her, fed by the newness of the life in her arms. Something resonates in Aurore. Séra gives her another kiss and smiles at Stell, "She's Force sensitive." Stell chuckles, "Apparently. She's been repeating your name for the last 20 minutes, not that I could figure out what she was trying to tell me." Séra chuckles, nuzzling into Aurore, "Time to start teaching you to play with water drops and sand grains, isn't it? Isn't it?" Stell frowns for a moment, though she says nothing, then appears lost in thought. Séra continues nuzzling into Aurore who giggles and tries to tickle Séra back.

Stell snaps out of her reverie, smiling at the giggles between her sister and her daughter, then decides to ask the obvious question as diplomatically as she can, "So, when I saw you put on that outfit, I didn't quite expect you to be gone quite so long." Séra pulls Aurore tightly to her into a hug and smiles softly at Stell, "Sorry."

Stell raises an eyebrow and crosses her arms, leaning back against the table, clearly waiting for more of an explanation, frustrated, not for the first time, at not being able to make eye contact with her veiled sister. Séra finally chuckles softly, "Well, I went out with the goal of a few days of meditation in the sand, maybe a week, to try to hear where the Force is calling me to, but, a couple of days later.... Adasa called me." Stell's eyebrow climbs higher, but she holds in the barrage of questions, forcing herself to stick to just a nod to let Séra continue.

Séra sits on the floor and sits Aurore on her lap where she can continue to happily play with the beads and fringes of the trim of Séra's veil. She looks back at Stell and smiles, sensing all of her unasked questions. "He still seems so lost, so wounded. His connection to the Force seems to be fading," her lips press together into a frown, "and I don't know why. I invited him to stay with me. We sat and meditated in the sand, we talked, we walked and talked some more. I took him with me to visit my clan among the sandpeople. We didn't stay long, because they weren't too happy about my bringing a stranger straight in. I think there are still some rituals I need to learn. But I gave them the energy cells I brought as gifts and they gave me a new belt."

Séra pauses to unclench Aurore's hand that's wrapped itself around a fistfull of veil and hair, "Ouch ma belle, doucement." She turns back to Stell, "As we walked one day, we spotted a farm under attack from the Exchange. We crept towards the farm, wanting to help, but just as we reached the back of it, a shuttle suddenly flew over and set down, letting out some very well armed forces, neither Republic, nor Imperial. The members of the Exchange who survived the first minute of the fire fight beat a hasty retreat into the dunes. I was all for staying hidden, as the owner of the farm spoke to them afterwards, but, Adasa wanted to meet them." She frowns a little, beneath her mask, at the whispered disagreement they had. "They call themselves The Hoods. Their outfits all vary, but the all wear a similar hood that is deceptively technological. Apparently they spend most of their time in the Outer Rim, and they said their goal is to help and protect those being abandoned by both the Republic and the Empire, and being left in the crossfire between them." She pauses, apparently lost in thought for a moment, distractedly running her fingers through Aurore's hair.

She shakes her head, returning to the present moment. "While Adasa spoke to them, I sensed that someone in the house had been wounded, so I went in and set about healing him. He was only a child! Thankfully the wound wasn't deep and I was able to heal him. While I worked, ome of the hoods came in and saw me healing. When I was done, they asked Adasa and me if we would join them.". She looks towards Stell, her voice suddenly quieter, her tone seeming flatter, seeming to have lost the emotion of the rest of her story, "So we did."

Stell looks at Séra in disbelief, "Just like that, without knowing anything more about them, you got on their ship?" Séra shrugs a little, turning her face back towards Aurore and giving her a small smile, "I sensed no deception in them, though I did sense that there was more that they were holding back. I figured Adasa would protect me... and he really wanted to go." Her tone takes on a hint of sadness.

Stell's tone softens to one of concern, as she asks quietly, "Are you ok, Séra? Where is Adasa?" Séra nuzzles into Aurore again, making her giggle as she reaches her hands towards Séra's neck, trying to tickle her beneath her veil. Séra laughs lightly and her voice regains its calm. She nods to Stell, "I'm ok. That's where I've been for the last five weeks, with the Hoods. They had me work with their doctor." She pauses. "They're pirates, really, in a lot of ways, and there's lots they do I don't approve of, but I saw them do a lot of good Stell, protect people, build schools, supply hospitals, in areas that no one else is taking care of." Stell just nods, letting Séra continue. "But I realized just how little I know about healing. Their doctor... he was amazing... he could fix so much, with so little, whereas all I could do was call upon the Force to do some mending, some healing, some soothing...." She snuggles into Aurore again, breathing in how alive she looks in the Force, then turns to Stell again. "I decided I want to go back to Tython. I'm still not sure if I want to be a Jedi, but I know I want to be a healer, and I think that's where I can best learn that art and science. So, if I have to take my trials, and become a full fledged knight to be able to be a good healer, I'll do so. And if they just have me train and work with the MedCorps, I'll do that too. Whatever path it takes is fine with me, but I know now where I want to end up – as a healer."

Stell pauses a moment, watching Séra nuzzle into Aurore again and Aurore chewing on the fringe of her veil. She smiles at Séra, "You'll make a great healer Séra. Grand-maman will be proud for you to continue the tradition, as will Maman." She pauses, frowning slightly, "So... where is Adasa ?"

Séra takes a deep breath, "He stayed with the Hoods. He understood my decision and encouraged me to persue my training. I told him I'd look for him again, once my training was complete, and that he can call me any time. I think, maybe, he finally found a place where he feels that he fits in, and where he can do some good. The others didn't care about his scars or his wounds, or his past. Most of them have their own scars, visible or not, and many have pasts they won't talk about. In the five weeks I was there, I saw the threads of light in him brighten and strengthen, I saw him smile again, and laugh." Her speech becomes halting and she takes a deep breath trying to steady herself, holding onto Aurore tightly, but still looking at Stell, "I miss him... so very much.. already... my heart... when I think about leaving him behind, when we had finally found a place together... feels..." She falters and just takes a deep breath, a tear rolling down her cheek below her veil. Stell moves to Séra and kneels down, puting her arms around both Séra and Aurore, holding them tight. Séra leans into Stell and hugs Aurore tightly, taking an unsteady breath and speaking again in a strained voice, "But I believe that this is where the Force is calling each of us." Stell nods, a lump in her own throat at the emotion she feels from her sister, whispering, "Well, for the time you're here, welcome home sis."

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #11 on: 09/28/15, 10:33:16 PM »
Cher hit the buzzer and smiled at the voice at the other end of the comm. "Yes?" Cher's smile became a grin, "Yes, Ms Vuedange-Helghan? The Republic has some concerns about some Imperial movements in the area and I'm afraid we need to use your homestead to set up a local base of operations. I can assure you that you'll be well compensated for the inconvenience." A long silence follows at the other end of the intercomm. "Cher?" Cher burst out laughing, "So, can I come visit if I promise to leave the Republic at the door?" the smile could be heard in the voice, even over the comm, "Come on in!"

Cher noticed the sudden silence as the low hum of the ship hangar bay type forcefield in the doorway went silent and its soft shimmer disappeared. She stepped through the open doorway into the small entry room at ground level that served as Stell's office for teaching. There were no visible signs of security, but she knew, as did the rest of the small town of Tessla, that under the floor was a smaller version of the security system used at Dancer' Palace, that could, in an instant, freeze anyone trying to force their way in on the spot.

Cher walked down the stairs and through the tunnel leading to the courtyard that was the heart of the family home. She noticed a few new family photos along the walls of the tunnel that was the family library, holodisks littering the seats and desk.

Cher stepped back out of the tunnel to the bright sun, the hot air and Stell's wide smile and open arms. The sisters hugged for a long moment before Cher took a deep breath in and pulled back, smiling at her sister, Mom's Dewback stew?" Stell nodded with a smile, "It's simmering for supper." Cher looked around, “It’s awfully quiet. Where are the girls? Did I manage to come at nap time?” Stell chuckled, shaking her head, and dragging Cher with her to the seating area, “No, Anaris took them to the market with him.” Cher paused for just a moment, frozen in a memory. Stell turned back as she sensed her sister freeze and put a reassuring hand on Cher’s arm, speaking very softly, “He can protect them.” Cher exchanged an understanding glance with Stell then nodded softly and took a seat. Stell smiled at her again, “So, new assignment? How is it? Where is it?”

Cher smiled, though Stell noted the brief moment of hesitation before the smile, “It’s interesting. It’s not somewhere specific and I can’t really say much about it. I… think it’s going to be good though.” Stell raised an eyebrow with a slight look of concern, “Nowhere specific and can’t say anything?” Stell frowned softly, “Black ops? Are you sure that’s an assignment that suits you? You didn’t like the front line so much the first time, and… after Yavin….” Her voice trailed off with the unspoken concerns. Cher remained silent for a moment before speaking, “After Yavin… I needed time to heal, and I need something different. I can’t go back to what I was doing… to those who are left. I think they all feel the same way, because the other two have gone far and wide too. But I don’t want to leave. This war is far from over and I mean to make sure it ends the right way.” She frowned and went silent. Stell gave a gentle smile, her eyes still full of worry, “There are other places and other ways you could do that, you know?” Cher shook her head, with a resolute look her sister knew all too well, “No. This is going to be good. It just got off to a bit of a rough start, but now I think it’s going to be good.” Stell raised an eyebrow again, “Rough start?” Cher sighed, “I had some concerns… about the leadership…” Stell raised a now amused eyebrow, “Oh? Male leadership?” Cher narrowed her eyes at her sister’s teasing, “Yes, male leadership.” Her tone became more serious, “I was worried the leadership… had been compromised.” Stell’s eyebrow shot up much higher, quiet for a moment before replying softly, “That would be rather bad in a black ops group.” Cher nodded and finally gave her sister a small smile, “But the leadership has just changed. Others shared my concern. So, I think things’ll be good now.” Stell was silent a moment, then simply nodded, watching her sister.

Cher shifted a little on the couch and glanced around, before turning her gaze back to Stell with a smile, “So, how soon will Anaris and the girls be back?” She remained sitting on the edge of the couch. Stell tilted her head a moment, before replying softly, “We probably still have a bit. I know that look. What else is bothering you?” Cher scrunched her lips together for a moment into almost a pout, “I met a Sith…” Stell now narrowed her eyes intently upon Cher, who shook her head, “No…” Stell let out the breath she was holding in and relaxed, listening as Cher continued. “Do you think it’s possible for a Sith, not just species, not just a former Sith, but one who actively pursues the Sith beliefs and calls oneself Sith could serve and be faithful to the Republic?” Stell considered the question for a long moment, a frown creeping onto her face as she rolled the idea around in her head, then shook her head, “No, I don’t think so. What do you know of the Sith code?” Cher shruged, “That there is one and its basis is power, unlike the Jedi code centred around calm.” Stell nodded, “The Republic… in spite of all that’s wrong with it, fights for peace. The Sith believe that peace is a lie. How could one who’s Sith fight for peace? They seek power, personal power, to achieve personal victory. I’d think it’s more likely that a Sith might ally with the Republic if he saw it as a means to greater power, or to victory over certain foes, but I don’t see how he’d remain true to the Republic once that power and victory were achieved.” Cher nodded slowly, “This one claims to be Sith but to no longer follow Sith ways, saying that she discovered friendship instead.” Stell raised an eyebrow again, “And you believe her? Do you trust her?” Cher shook her head vigorously, “No. And no. Even she says she shouldn’t be trusted.” Stell snickered in reply, “That sounds like a Sith playing with your head. Friendship may give her the edge she needs for manipulation.” Stell frowned, hesitating a moment before speaking softly, “Plus, once you’ve touched the darkside, drawn upon it… it takes a lot of work to keep it at bay.” Cher frowned, silently lost in her own thoughts after Stell’s comment.

Cher tilted her head, looking intently at Stell, “But what of your friendship with a Sith?” Stell chuckled, “Karmic?” Cher nodded. Stell smiled softly, “Yes, I consider her a friend, and she considers us friends, but we’re fully aware of our differences. She never pretends to be anything other than Sith, nor to serve anything other than the Empire. She just knows how to set those differences aside where she sees it to be an advantage. The more people she gets friendly with, the more people she has potentially useful connections with, the more people she can potentially sway to her perspective, the more people she can potentially get useful information off of. It doesn’t make the friendships any less real for her, nor for me,” Stell frowned a moment, her voice darker, “but we both well know that we sit on opposite sides of a fence and that someday we might have to fight over that fence.” Cher watched Stell, “Yet you invite her into your home, let her live around your children.” Stell nodded, her face still sullen, “Yes, and I trust her to respect my wishes as to what my children are exposed to… as long as she isn’t ordered to do otherwise.” Stell spoke softly, “I know that if it looked like things were about to go bad, she’d warn us if she could, but I also know that if she’s ordered to slaughter us, she will, or die in the trying… and I’m not sure we’d win.” Stell shrugged, “I know, it doesn’t seem to make sense, but somehow… I can live with it, and her friendship is worth it to me.” Cher tilted her head again, shaking it incredulously, “Why?” Stell smiled, “Because she’s one more person that perhaps I can sway to my way of seeing things, who could provide useful connections or information, who could, potentially, one day, save my family.” Cher frowned darkly at her sister, “Or destroy it.” Stell nodded, “I’ll just keep believing that the Force will favour us in that outcome.” She tilted her head again as she looked at Cher, “You could ask Anaris you know.” Cher shook her head and then gave a small shrug, “I know he’s great, Stell, but I just… feel… I don’t know… creepy, asking him about things related to that past.” Stell chuckled, “He doesn’t mind, but that’s ok. I might ask him. If he thinks I’m wrong, I’ll let you know.” Cher grinned at her sister, “Like you’d ever admit to that.” Stell laughed and got up to go stir the stew a few metres away in the kitchen area.

Cher looked around, “So, I’m also here to ask for a favour, but it’s totally fine if you say no and you’d rather not.” Stell raised an eyebrow at her sister from over the large simmering pot. Cher chuckled, “Well, in my new… outfit.” Stell interrupted her for a moment, “About which you can tell me nothing.” Cher nodded and grinned, “Right. Well, I’ve been put in charge of some teamwork training exercises and I was wondering if I could use some space here for some slicing and rescue type training missions, not in your home, but in the shop and storage areas.” Stell nodded with a smile, “Promotion? Yeah, we’ve been doing some reorganising and Anaris’ lab is now fully in the hangar, closer to the production line, so the hangar would be off limits, but outside you could use. And the room at the bottom of the elevator is just storage right now, so you could set up some scenarios in there.” Stell grinned, “Don’t suppose I can come watch, or even join in?” Cher smiled at Stell’s question about promotion, without answering it, then nodded at her descriptions and finally laughed, “No, my goal is to get the people I work with working as a team, not the people I work with –and- my family.” Her look turned more serious and she hesitated a moment before adding, “Some of them are Jedi.” Stell frowned, the spoon halting in its motion. Cher added, “They’ll only be here for the mission and I’ll keep them away from this area and you and the girls.” Stell’s frown remained as she started stirring once again and finally covered the pot and stepped back to the couch with her sister, “As long as they don’t create any trouble for us. But you’re responsible for them while they’re here.” Cher nodded and smiled, “Thanks! I might grab a few of your droids this afternoon already to set up the first scenario I have in mind, if you don’t mind.” Stell nodedd in return with a smile, “I can give you a hand if you’d like.”

Cher glanced around again, as she leaned back against the couch, the tough topics now dealt with, “So, what’s the new around here?”

Offline Seraphie

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Re: Sisters
« Reply #12 on: 09/23/17, 06:57:09 PM »
One week before last night’s Dancer’s Palace:

Stell sat happily on the lounger, her two daughters cuddled against her, as the three of them took turns reading from the book before them, 9 year old Aurore helping her 7 year old sister, Eliana, with the occasional words she still struggled with. Aurore suddenly stiffened up, a strange look on her face, attention suddenly held by something within. Stell stopped reading and looked at her daughter with a frown. Aurore finally looked back at her mom, eyes wide with surprise, a smile slowly working onto her face as she spoke softly, “Aunty Sera.” It was Stell’s eyes that went wide now, her mind slow to process what the short statement meant. As the significance settled in, her eyes towards the entrance to their family library set up in the tunnel that separated the entrance to their homestead from their inner well sheltered Tatooine home. As Eliana turned her puzzled gaze between her mother and older sister, Stell set her gently to the side and got up, moving slowly towards the door. She opened it as if expecting to see a ghost, but there was no one there. She looked back at her eldest daughter. Aurore nodded and got up to follow, now smiling widely.

Stell moved through the door and to the stairs that led from the sands above to their homestead’s central courtyard. She reached the top and passed through the small entry room, deactivating their security screen. There, through the opening, she spotted her. Frozen in the moment, Stell could only contemplate her youngest sister, a little taller it seemed to her, though she knew that wasn’t possible, a little skinnier, if that was even possible with her small frame, and a little older, but the same smile beneath the Miraluka mask that covered her oddly sized human eyes. Time unfroze as Sera spoke, “Stell.” Stell took a step forward and pulled her sister to her, clasping her arms tight around her and holding her. “Sera.” The two sisters held tightly to each other in what felt like both a fleeting moment and an eternity. Stell finally pulled back to look at Sera again. Sera smiled again, then turned her head slightly to the side, “Aurore?” Aurore stepped forward with a smile and a nod, stepping into the hug Sera offered with open arms. Eliana stayed back, clearly puzzled. Stell smiled at her, “Eliana, this is your Aunty Sera. You probably don’t remember her, because you were still very young when she last visited.” Eliana looked at Sera then gave Stell a questioning look, “The Jedi?” Stell nodded and Eliana gave Sera a shy smile. Sera smiled at her shy niece then turned her face back towards Stell, “Can I come in?” Stell nodded with a chuckle, “Oh, my gosh, Sera, of course! Come in! Where have you come from and how long are you staying?”

Stell led the way, through the tunnel, past the books left on the lounger, and into the inner courtyard, to a seating area. Sera smiled, speaking as they walked, “I’ve come most immediately from Anchorhead, before that, a long trip from where I’ve been the last few years, a place of turmoil, that needs to be forgotten by the galaxy for a while. And I’m staying… well, until I find somewhere else I want to be.”

Sera looked around with a smile as she sat down, “Where’s Anaris?” Stell smiled, “Putting the boys down.” Stell knew from the tone that she would have seen Sera’s eyebrow raise if it weren’t covered by her mask, “Boys?” Stell chuckled and nodded, “Aiden and Zerah.” Sera smiled brightly, her smile widening even more at the similarity between the youngest’s name and hers. Aurore sat next to her, though not on her lap anymore she noted and Sera tried to coax Eliana to come sit on the other side of her, but to no avail. Eliana clung shyly to her mother’s side. Sera chuckled as she gave up for the moment, “I hear Ange is working at Dancer’s Palace now?” Stell nodded, “Yeah, she’s there tonight actually. She’ll be back late tomorrow.”

Many hours later…

Stell shivered for a moment in the quickly cooling night time air as she swirled the wine glass in front of her, took another sip and smiled again at her sister, “It’s so good to have you back, Sera.” Sera looked up from her wineglass at Stell and smiled. Stell set her wineglass on the table, “You want to stay here tonight? Stay here for longer? Or go back home? Wouldn’t want Maman upset that you came home, spent a few hours with her and then disappeared here for too long.” Sera chuckled, shaking her head, “It’s ok, I’ll stay the night and go back tomorrow. I told her I’d be back before supper tomorrow. She knows we need time to talk.” Stell frowned suddenly, at the wording and the tone, “Is there something more Sera?”

Sera set down her own mostly empty wine glass and turned her face towards Stell, “Just one more thing.” Her voice seemed odd, making Stell's frown deepen, “What is it?” Sera took a moment before replying softly, “Celest.” Stell’s eyes went wide as emotions rushed clearly over her face in quick succession, settling on a mix of hope and dread, “Did you find her?” Sera shook her head softly, keeping her face turned to Stell but saying nothing. Stell’s look shifted after a few moments of silence. She took a deep breath, still silent a long moment before she dared ask what she didn’t want to ask, didn’t want to hear, didn’t want to know, “Is she…?” She couldn’t finish. Sera gave a sad half smile, speaking softly but plainly, “She died. I’m not sure of much more, other than she died in a fight.” Stell’s face froze in a mix of contradicting emotions, before tears finally welled up and started silently running down her cheeks. She closed her eyes and took a breath, “How long ago?” Sera hesitated a moment, “Three years ago. I… couldn’t come back from where I was then.” Stell nodded, “Does Maman know?” Sera nodded in return, “Yeah, I got in early this morning and I told her. Part of why I came tonight instead of inviting you to bring the kids with you and come visit at home. I wanted to give her some space.” Stell nodded again, wiping at some of the trails of tears on her cheeks, but giving up as more kept coming. Finally, she just closed her eyes and let the tears wash out the grief and the regrets. Sera got up and sat back down next to Stell, putting an arm around her. The two sisters sat together in silence, sharing their grief long into the night.