Beyond Shores Yet Untrod (AU; Kyp, OCs, post-TUF; A/N - on hiatus, 3/19)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Onderon1, Mar 5, 2011.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    [face_thinking] Hmmm. I trust Ejen's instincts. On such a world as Sekoro, too easy is never a good sign :p

  2. Chilla Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Dual-wielding mistress of the Jar'kai lightsaber form; before the Order, she was an abolitionist raider on Ryloth. Ban'torva became a Jedi Guardian, and she was already a survivalist ... didn't suffer fools gladly, either, according to Kenth's records, Kyp considered, hiding his concern. It didn't help that Yaja'torva hadn't told her aunt she was coming to Socorro.

    That sounds like the type of Jedi to survive the Yuuzhan Vong, though.
    But might be difficult for Yaja to live up to her aunt's expectations.
    And lol - they really should have announced themselves somehow.

    I just hope she's not going to be hurt if her aunt's not what she expected, Kyp thought, sensing the Atin start to decelerate more.

    Good point.

    He felt a little guilty when Val'shira winced at the mention of the Ghosts, but she also sat up straight and nodded - clearly, she was determined not to let her past overshadow her second chance.

    Two similar flares of frustration came from Kyp's left, and he raised an eyebrow as Ejen and Yaja'torva looked at him. "Master Durron, Val'shira's not a Ghost anymore," Yaja'torva pointed out.


    They took a liking to Val'shira very fast. I like how they want to make her feel welcome.

    I'm the last person to criticize attachments, but I hope Yaja and Ejen are just having a first crush. If the girl really thinks deeply of Ejen, and we leave - and her aunt winds up being as hardcore as Kenth's file suggests ... Yaja could have a hard time of it here, Kyp worried.

    Exactly. She might decide to tag along a bit longer if the training is really tough.

    At least I hope they're our friends. One of the biggest problems with satellite praxia from the histories was that they tended to develop 'heretical' beliefs - case in point, the mess on Telos during the Mandalorian Wars, Kyp thought, smirking as he activated his comlink.

    Not a lot time has passed since the founding of the satellite praxia, so hopefully they won't be too different.

    'Heretical.' When did the Jedi Order's gadfly start becoming its enforcer of dogma?

    Oh Kyp....who knows, when he comes back he might actually agree with Corran! :eek: Next step would be wearing green robes... :p

    Yaja'torva reached out through the Force, trying to find her aunt - it seemed smarter than thinking too much about Ejen and winding up bawling.

    Yepp. Full crush.

    And besides, the past few days'd been exciting, traveling with Master Durron, but it'd been dangerous, too.

    And Yaja had to kill someone. I'm wondering if she'll feel bad once she's had some time to settle down and think.

    "A go-between," a voice replied - adult human male, not mean-sounding but cautious.

    Socorro seems like a planet where a go-between would be smart.

    "Drake Paulsen. Pirate lord of Vakeyya, at the very least," Kyp replied cautiously. He felt a measure of relief when Paulsen - the son of legendary smuggler Kaine Paulsen, and a proudly-untrained Force-sensitive - shook his hand, while the young man at Paulsen's right nodded politely.

    Glad they aren't hostile. Don't think smugglers generally like Kyp. Then again, they would have had equal problems with Corran showing up.

    "Something happened to the Ukio Praxeum? And please don't lecture me on operational security. The Paulsens are quite trustworthy - Liam was one of my first students, and opening any kind of Jedi facility on Socorro would've been impossible without their help," Ban'torva said, a little shortly.

    Wow. She is reacting more negatively towards Kyp then the smugglers.

    Ban'torva took a deep breath, then looked at Yaja'torva and asked something in Ryl, her lekku twitching to accentuate the question. Yaja'torva looked nervous, but replied, and Ban'torva sighed, smiling a bit.

    Hmm...not trusting Kyp? That's bad.

    "I had the external audio pickup active, Durron. I 'feel' fine, but I've got some system checks I want to run while we're planetside. But thank the locals for the
  3. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    Jade_eyes, Chilla: Thanks for reading. :D I'll go ahead and get right into the next chapter ... [face_peace]

    -------------------------------------------------------
    28.3 ABY: Vakeyya, Socorro, Socorro System, Kiblini
    Sector, Outer Rim Territories:
    -------------------------------------------------------

    As much as Kyp didn't mind being chauffered for once, he was hardly about to relax, even if the Paulsen smuggler clan themselves had come out to greet him.

    "So ... why the royal greeting? I'd think you'd be a bit busier than greeting me," he asked Drake Paulsen over the purr of the repulsors and the general hustle and bustle of the street. Vakeyya looked about the same as it ever had - transactions of varying degrees of legality taking place along either side of the main drag, with clouds of black sand kicked up and the dry heat of the desert smothering everything.

    The elder Paulsen - his father Kaine had died a couple years before the Battle of Yavin - half-smiled at Kyp as the Nikto driver pulled the speeder up in front of one of the better-looking cantinas. "We're helping keep you alive, actually. It's considered bad form to try and kill someone traveling with us. That, and this way, Ban'torva owes us another favor," Drake replied, while Liam hopped out of the speeder and helped Yaja'torva and Ejen get out.

    "Ah," Kyp said, forcing a smile. He supposed Drake had a point - who knew how many would-be gunslingers, bounty hunters and glory seekers would want to try and kill the dreaded Kyp Durron just to make a name for themselves?

    I think I may have finally gone and gotten myself in over my head ... a whole planet that hates me? Then again, I could look at it like just setting a new record. Besides, Socorro can't be as bad as having most of the Imperial Remnant and at least half the Galactic Alliance Senate hating my guts, Kyp considered, leaping out of the speeder as Drake stood.

    Kyp squinted, then, at the Aurabesh sign over the cantina door, realizing where they'd been dropped off at - the infamous Black Dust Tavern. He raised an eyebrow at Drake before asking, "Is this place exactly - ah, Padawan-friendly? I've heard stories ..."

    Liam scowled, but just said, "It's not a Hutt establishment, Master Durron. And from what we've heard, neither of these young people are exactly sheltered."

    Ejen gulped, while Yaja'torva squirmed a bit, and Kyp scowled right back at the younger Paulsen. "Ejen's crimes, such as they were, were to survive, not to hurt others. And Yaja'torva escaped slavery, losing her father later on. I'm just trying to be sure they're safe," Kyp pointed out.

    Drake started, but Liam gave his father a polite look, and the elder Paulsen finally nodded. Liam turned back to Kyp and said, "I give you my word, Master Durron, the students will be safe. At this time of day, the Black Dust Tavern is more ... family-friendly, for lack of a better term."

    He doesn't read like he's lying ... but there's still something going on, Kyp thought, considering Liam through the Force. The young man couldn't have been 21 standard years, but he had easily as much composure as his father - and, Kyp suspected, as much training in deception. Nevertheless, Liam gave the impression of a coiled spring, while Drake was more like a dozing male nexu waiting for something to stir him from his slumber.

    "Well, then, lead on, Knight Paulsen," Kyp said, keeping a mocking tone out of his voice as he let Liam lead their group into the cantina.

    "Master Ban hasn't formally knighted anyone, but she says my skills are about even with those of many current Knights of the Order. She still wants to consult a true Master before conducting a Knighting ceremony - it's one of many things she wishes to discuss with you," Liam said over the noise of a Bith house band.

    Kyp let the Force guide him while his eyes adjusted to the dimmer atmosphere, and he relaxed a bit when the air conditioning hit him. The Black Dust had low lighting, like a lot of cantinas, but the walls were adorned with holos of smugg
  4. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Very, very interesting stuff about Socorro and the military bent of the Praxia.

    Hmmm. Does Yaja know she doesn't have to stay there, or indefinitely? [face_thinking]

    :)

    I.E. family's good for a visit but the military and harsh life there might not be suited to her temperament or skills.

  5. Chilla Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    "We're helping keep you alive, actually. It's considered bad form to try and kill someone traveling with us. That, and this way, Ban'torva owes us another favor," Drake replied, while Liam hopped out of the speeder and helped Yaja'torva and Ejen get out.

    That makes sense.
    And a Jedi oweing them a favor is certainly helpful for them. Ban'torva seems to work together with them regularily if she already owes them some favors. But on that planet....I doubt the praxeum would last very long without the tolerance of the smugglers.
    Let's just hope she hasn't deviated to much from the Jedi Path in order to save the praxeum.

    I think I may have finally gone and gotten myself in over my head ... a whole planet that hates me?"

    You know, Kyp, it's not always about you. The Ghosts, for example, were after Ejen.

    Liam scowled, but just said, "It's not a Hutt establishment, Master Durron. And from what we've heard, neither of these young people are exactly sheltered."

    I wonder what they've heard and from whom.... [face_thinking]

    "I give you my word, Master Durron, the students will be safe."

    He didn't say anything about Kyp's safety...or the safety of the people on board of the Atin.

    Nevertheless, Liam gave the impression of a coiled spring, while Drake was more like a dozing male nexu waiting for something to stir him from his slumber.

    Can't decide which one is worse.... I wonder why they are so tense and ready for action....

    A female Rodian waitress chatted briefly with Liam, then led the group to a booth overlooked by a portrait of a brown-haired human man with Paulsen features.

    Thank you for not having a Twi'lek waitress! I'm getting kinda tired of them.

    "... just wondering why we can't go straight to the praxeum now?" Kyp finally heard Yaja'torva ask, and he repressed a groan - he understood the girl wanted to see her aunt, but the direct route to getting information was rarely the most effective.

    Trust Yaja to get straight to the point. :D

    "That tradition continues, Master Durron. Master Ban's running the praxeum more like a military academy than the praxeum on Yavin 4 was. She doesn't disagree with the need for Consulars or Sentinels, but we've learned how to defend ourselves, and how to survive," the younger man said.

    Almost the opposite of the Praxeum on Ukio. Then again, both ways have their reasons for existing.

    Kyp looked up, both impressed and a little concerned at how skillfully the new arrival had hidden her Force presence.

    Kyp hasn't felt her? That might be trouble - if she ever decides to fight him.

    She was an adult female Twi'lek, maybe late 30s or mid 40s, with purple skin the same shade as Yaja'torva, and two lightsabers hung beside a blaster pistol and vibrodaggers from the combat belt she wore over an off-black combat jumpsuit. A rather nasty scar ran down the Twi'lek's right cheek, but she smiled as Yaja'torva stood and beamed.

    Sounds like someone who's had a tough life and can take care of herself. I'm kinda surprised she's walking around with her lightsabers openly visible. Either everybody knows better than to start a fight with her, or the Ukio natives are actually more friendly then expected, or there's some deal going on with the Kaine's that places her under their protection.

    The sudden tension in the Force that'd flared when Kyp had stood started to ebb, and he nodded at Ban'torva when she cleared her throat.

    Why are they so worried? Maybe there's more going on then the praxeum being more military?

    She sees it too. We'll have to be careful when - and if - Yaja'torva stays here, Kyp thought, looking at Ban'torva as she sat beside him.

    Loved this silent communication between them.

    "Thanks for your honesty. I didn't think you, of all Jedi, would be critical of my methods, but neither did I want to assume."

    She probably learned to be cautious and not very trusting.

    Ban'torva sighed, then looked at Kyp and said, "But you'll let children fight
  6. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Jade_eyes, Chilla: Thanks for reading. :D This'll be a short update - I'm hoping to have a longer one on Sunday.

    -----------------------------------------------------
    28.3 ABY: Atin, Vakeyya Spaceport, Vakeyya,
    Socorro, Kiblini Sector, Outer Rim Territories:
    -----------------------------------------------------

    "OK, recheck that relay converter, then get some rest," Dalonera told Qewpee - the astromech was a glutton for work, and seemed to enjoy it, but the Mandalorian didn't want to push a guest too hard.

    "Freweep-tweet!" Qewpee chirped happily, turning back to her work in the engine room. Dalonera smiled a little and left the droid, raising an eyebrow when she sensed Norbok's frustration through the Force; she'd gotten used to the Ewok's moods ever since taking him on as her co-pilot.

    "'Bok? What's up?" the red-haired bounty hunter asked, finding the Ewok working on circuitry in the access tunnel to the cockpit.

    "Yub. Guests not listening?" Norbok asked, and Dalonera shrugged. It wasn't like the Atin was rigged with internal audio sensors, and she'd made sure the intercom required two active users to function.

    "I don't mistrust Durron's astromech, and Val'shira went to get some fresh food at the market. Our stores've been getting a little low. C'mon, let's talk in the cockpit," Dalonera said. Norbok finished closing up the panel, then followed her, taking his usual seat in the co-pilot's chair as Dalonera leaned against the navicomputer.

    "Yub. 'Nera, you sure this a good idea? Yub. Running with Durron almost got us blown up leaving Molavar. Now stinking Death Watch after us, and crazy Imperial woman had to be scared off. Yub. I not live this long blindly trusting passengers," Norbok complained.

    Dalonera tried not to bristle; Norbok was just listening to his survival instincts, and he had some good points. "I trust Durron, and he's been as honest as he can be with us. Besides, we're copying all of his nav-data. He never said it was proprietary, so we can make some money off of the updated nav-charts," she pointed out.

    "Yub. Fair enough. But how long we taking Durron and his friends across galaxy? Yub. I like credits too, but I like freedom and living more," Norbok pointed out.

    Dalonera took a deep breath, then asked, "You really want out?"

    Norbok blinked, feeling a little embarrassed and worried, then said, "I not want to ditch you. Yub. You good partner. Just ... running with Jedi is dangerous. We both see it."

    "Yeah. But I've got a lightsaber and use the Force, and you didn't refuse my offer to join up on Null," Dalonera said, trying not to be short-tempered. She'd trust Norbok with her life, but he had a bad habit of taking forever to get to his point.

    Norbok frowned, replying, "Yub. You different. Yub. You not navel-gazing goody-two-shoes."

    Heh. He's got a point, Dalonera allowed, smiling a bit. She still had to reply, "And you think Kyp Durron is a 'navel-gazing goody-two-shoes?'"

    Norbok shrugged. "No, but Durron bring his own set of problems. Yub. We lucky fewer bounty hunters and pirates after us than just the Ghosts. At least they quit after chief got killed. Yub. Twi'lek woman, droid, even Jedi boy, not have death marks. Durron hated by a lot of beings," he said, and Dalonera had to nod.

    "OK, maybe I've got a soft spot for the dinii jetiise. But - since he's hated - maybe he needs backup more than ever. And Skywalker's crowd are too busy and scattered to do more than pitch in when they're within distress call range," Dalonera pointed out.

    Norbok's shrewd smirk made Dalonera blink, and the Ewok chuckled before replying, "Yub. How close you have to get to hear Durron's distress call?"

    "It's not like that ... not anymore," Dalonera insisted, turning to go check on some more systems.

    She had to hide a blush as Norbok laughed, but there was a note of kindness in the Ewok's tone that made Dalonera smile.

    Or maybe that was her remembering that Kyp still looked fine.

    ---------------------------------
  7. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Enjoyed the Norbok/Dalonera conversation, very observant is our Norbok - and correct.

    LOL

    As to Kyp looking fine, still, always =P~ Yum!

  8. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    Jade_eyes: Thanks. :) I don't want to keep hitting the same point over and over, but I thought it was important to touch upon Norbok's independence and wariness. There'll be more about his past, and what happened with Dalonera after she left Yavin before the Vong War. [face_thinking]

    Meanwhile, more about the Socorro Praxeum ... :)

    -----------------------------------------------
    28.3 ABY: Socorro Praxeum, outside of Vakeyya,
    Socorro, Kiblini Sector, Outer Rim Territories:
    -----------------------------------------------

    The trip hadn't taken long - piling into a couple landspeeders, Kyp's hosts had taken him, Ejen and Yaja'torva out of town a bit to a seemingly nondescript bit of black sand desert.

    To Kyp, though, the praxeum had been obvious, at least through the Force. He nodded approvingly at Ban'torva as she pulled their 'speeder up to the entrance, and he asked, "Didn't want to waste resources building above-ground, right?"

    "On target. The biggest out-of-pocket cost was to buy a facility that was both secure and protected from the sun. Socorro's not pleasant when the weather gets out of control," the female Twi'lek said. She hopped out of the 'speeder, helping Yaja'torva out while Ejen leapt out, and Kyp slipped over the side, watching the sand shift.

    The kids were surprised - but Kyp wasn't - as two cloaked figures rose from the sand, wearing all-temperature cloaks treated with black paint on one side and black combat jumpsuits. The figures removed their rebreathers, revealing a male Duros and a female human, both of whom looked young. "Master Ban'torva. These the guests?" the Duros asked in Basic, while the woman - whose brown hair was close-cropped - swept sand off of a previously hidden hatch.

    "Yep, Leen - Adrita. This is Jedi Master Kyp Durron, visiting the various praxia out here, with his Padawan, Ejen Rask, and my niece, Yaja'torva. You've told the troops to prepare?" Ban'torva asked, and the guards nodded, shaking hands while the hatch opened.

    A flicker of surprise - not negative, but cautious nonetheless - leapt between the guards, and the woman, Adrita, smiled a little. "Yes, ma'am ... wow. We sensed a Jedi Master arriving, but we didn't think it'd be a hero of the Vong War," she said, blushing a bit as Kyp returned her smile.

    Kyp started to speak, but Leen cleared his throat and said, "'Rita. We're on duty."

    Which makes me wonder why these two are so casual, since they are guards. Then again, hiding under black sand in black outfits has to be stressful - joking can only help, Kyp wondered, glancing at Ban'torva while she shook her head and smiled.

    "At ease, you two. Leen, it's all right. We vouched for them before we ever left Vakeyya. You know the protocols," Ban'torva said, nodding. Adrita punched a code into a terminal on the top of the hatch, and it swung upward with a creak an a gust of fresh, cooler air.

    "Go ahead, get in out of the heat," Ban'torva said, and Yaja'torva started to climb down. Ejen followed her, and Kyp bowed, letting Ban'torva go ahead.

    "A gentleman, as well as a voyager," Ban'torva joked, and Kyp chuckled before stepping forward - then levitating himself down into the tunnel, instead of using the ladder.

    Ejen's eyebrows rose, and Yaja'torva smiled, while Ban'torva smirked. "Very nice. I didn't expect you'd have that technique down," the Twi'lek said, moving aside to let Liam Paulsen climb down (Drake had returned to his work in Vakeyya).

    "Telekinesis has always come easy to me. Not as well as to Ganner Rhysode, but self-levitation's often more useful and subtle than Force speed," Kyp bantered, looking around where they'd descended into.

    The chamber at the bottom of the ladder was a fairly sizeable vestibule, with several tunnels converging on the semi-circular room. The walls were a tannish-colored plasteel, with lights every few meters, and Ban'torva led them down one of the tunnels as the intercom chattered every so often in a variety of languages.

    "Old smuggler base?" Kyp guessed, drawing a smirk from Ban'torva over her shoulder.

    "The fi
  9. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Ejen and Yaja have a lot to take in and absorb and make up their minds about [face_thinking]

    Hope whatever they choose is right for them. :D
  10. Chilla Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Woah! You're so fast with updating! Sorry I didn't manage to reply to your previous post in time. :(

    Norbok...it doesn't surprise me he's wary of the situation and that he was able to look through Dalonera.


    "On target. The biggest out-of-pocket cost was to buy a facility that was both secure and protected from the sun. Socorro's not pleasant when the weather gets out of control," the female Twi'lek said.


    Hm, good idea! Plus, I imagine it's cooler underground (unless Socorro is very different from planet Earth).

    "You've told the troops to prepare?" Ban'torva asked, and the guards nodded, shaking hands while the hatch opened.

    Troops? Wow, definitely more military!

    Which makes me wonder why these two are so casual, since they are guards. Then again, hiding under black sand in black outfits has to be stressful - joking can only help, Kyp wondered, glancing at Ban'torva while she shook her head and smiled.

    I'm still worried that something might be up - unless, of course, you're just messing with your readers and making them doubt everything. :p ( <- that is supposed to be a compliment...)

    "Go ahead, get in out of the heat," Ban'torva said, and Yaja'torva started to climb down. Ejen followed her, and Kyp bowed, letting Ban'torva go ahead.

    For a brief moment, I thought Ban'torva would have everyone go in first, then just slam the hatch shut.... I wonder if Kyp let her go first precisely to make sure that they would also enter with them.

    Nice touch that Kyp was levitating himself. That might show Ban'torva he's every bit a Jedi Master. Best not to cross him!

    "Old smuggler base?" Kyp guessed, drawing a smirk from Ban'torva over her shoulder.

    Smart! Ban'torva is very resourceful.

    The teens, however, almost all wore black coveralls, and the humans among them usually had close-cropped hair, even the girls. The older kids were quieter, too, although they did chat amongst themselves as they approached - then, they'd stop, salute Ban'torva and Liam, nod and maybe say hello to Kyp, Yaja'torva and Ejen, and continue on with their travels, chatting in low voices after they went on.

    That part worries me a bit. While it's obvious they don't fear Ban'torva...I'm still not happy with this. They are too sober, too quiet.

    "Nearly 100. We rely mostly on non-Force-sensitive help to teach the combat skills, outside of lightsaber work, of course, and the Paulsens and their organization have helped a lot in that regard - security types from the various smuggling groups donate time."

    They really have a good connection to the local smugglers.

    Ejen, on the other hand, leaned against a wall, talking politely but cautiously with the occasional student - the boy was clearly taking in the scene, with a caution he had to have learned on the streets of Molavar.

    I wonder if he'll spot anything off....

    "Ah. So the majority of these kids were ... what, betrayed by their families?"

    That is so depressing! [face_worried] :_|

    Sounds like a lot of them could use a stay at the Ukio Praxeum to heal.

    "You're related to Releqy - and Elegos. I'm sorry for your loss. Elegos was always very kind," Kyp said, meaning every word.

    I can see Elegos as one of those who'd show great kindness to Kyp.

    "It was clear that protecting others sometimes requires taking up arms."

    Yes, unfortunately. A gentle Caamasi would have great problems with that. But I also believe that they'd make great Jedi - because for them, violence would be the very last resort, when everything else has failed.

    "You wouldn't think a pacifist Caamasi Jedi minder and a Twi'lek Jedi abolitionist guerilla would work so well together. But Daric balances me out, and he's great with kids. I couldn't run this place without him," Ban'torva said, smiling at the Caamasi.

    That seems like a great combo. I'm very glad she has him.

    "So. You seem to have everything lined up well," Kyp allowed, reentering the control room with Ban'torva. "I'm ... impressed."[/
  11. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    Jade_eyes: Ejen's heritage is going to continue to affect him as the story goes forward, including whether he trusts Kyp with the knowledge of the holocron's existence. [face_thinking] And it'll also affect Kyp's feelings where Val'shira is concerned ...

    Chilla: Thanks. :D I'm sorry I didn't send out a PM about the shorter update; I was busy that day. [face_blush]

    And as for what is or isn't going on with the praxeum ... more on that below.

    -----------------------------------------------
    28.3 ABY: Socorro Praxeum, outside of Vakeyya,
    Socorro, Kiblini Sector, Outer Rim Territories:
    -----------------------------------------------

    "You're better with computers than I am, Yaja. I can fix things, but programming isn't easy for me," Cirna said, and Yaja'torva smiled again as they sat at the scanning station. The human girl was really kind, and it was good to find a friend at the place Yaja had wanted to come to.

    But ... it's not like I imagined. Dad told me Aunt Ban was tough, but it's so ... military, Yaja thought, wondering if she'd made a mistake. Cirna was really nice, and Aunt Ban did want Yaja around, but so many of the older kids at the Socorro Praxeum were ... well, soldiers.

    It didn't seem like a place with Jedi, or at least they were really different from the Jedi on Ukio.

    But Ukio was a Consular praxeum. Guardians are like the soldiers of the Jedi Order, Master Nali told me, Yaja reminded herself, frowning a little. She got the difference, but to see it was something else, and it made Yaja think.

    "Cirna, can I ask you some questions? Just between us?" Yaja asked, and Cirna nodded - she was splitting her focus between the sensors and Yaja, but Yaja understood. It was Cirna's job, after all.

    "Go ahead. Is it about how what Master Ban'torva's teaching us?" Cirna asked.

    "Yeah ... Guardians have to fight, I know. It's just ... you guys, the older apprentices, seem so serious when Aunt - er, Master - Ban'torva's around," Yaja said, noticing Cirna's face shift a little.

    Cirna set the sensors for auto-scan, then turned to Yaja and kind of half-smiled. "We're not drones, Yaja. Master Ban's tough, but she's done so much for us. We owe it to her to do our best. 'Specially after ..." the human girl started to say, looking down for a moment.

    She looked up, and Cirna wiped her eyes with her sleeve. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you," Yaja said, feeling awful.

    "No, it's OK. It's just ... Master Ban and Knight Vor'kla are kind of like parents to a lot of us, and the smugglers who teach us are friendly. After my parents found out I had the Force, and they saw how hard the Hutts were fighting the Vong ... they sent me here to protect me. At least my parents cared about me," Cirna said, sounding a little better.

    She frowned, then, and she looked around the control room, saying, "But there's a lot of kids here from Teth and other planets in and near Hutt Space whose families tried to give them to the Peace Brigade. Their parents didn't care what happened to their kids - they would've let the Vong kill them, or do worse."

    Yaja gulped; Cirna sounded so angry, at least until the human girl took a deep breath and blushed. "Sorry. It's just - if I get mad about it, you should talk to the kids whose parents sold them out. You get that many angry Force-sensitive kids, and ... well, Knight Vor'kla's talked about the dark side. We need discipline, 'specially if we're gonna fight to protect people," Cirna explained.

    "Yeah ... I think I get it. It's just not what I thought it'd be. Maybe I got spoiled by going to Ukio," Yaja admitted, feeling a little down until Cirna squeezed her hand and smiled at her.

    "Not spoiled, just different. And not every older kid here is a soldier. I've got Guardian training, but I'm not the greatest with a lightsaber, so Master Ban and the other teachers are letting me be more of a tech. Things aren't the same like when Master Ban started the praxeum, eith
  12. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    A/N: Blergh ... RL's been a schutta lately. But, here's a short update before the weekend. [face_peace]

    -----------------------------------------------
    28.3 ABY: Socorro Praxeum, outside of Vakeyya,
    Socorro, Kiblini Sector, Outer Rim Territories:
    -----------------------------------------------

    Lunch was a more familiar affair - the kids seemed more relaxed, even the older ones, and the cafeteria fairly buzzed with chatter. Kyp was somewhat reminded of Yavin, except that the air was recycled and there wasn't the hard-to-balance clash between air conditioning and ambient, muggy heat.

    Just enough chaos allowed to keep the system from going out of control. Never an exact science where Jedi are concerned ... but maybe that's a good thing, Kyp thought, making his way through a bantha steak while he sat with Ban'torva, Yaja'tova, Ejen, Cirna and a human boy named Narm who was chatting with Ejen.

    "... stopped on a couple desert planets on the way here, yeah. Ukio was green and pretty, but the black sand here is really different. Socorro's not a bad world," Kyp heard, and he glanced at Yaja'torva as she and Cirna talked with real energy.

    Ban'torva smiled a bit and said softly, "She's made a friend. If Yaja decides to stay, it'd be good for both of them."

    "Yeah," Kyp said, keeping his tone even. He wanted Yaja'torva to be happy, sure, but he still wasn't sure the Twi'lek girl would find what she was looking for here. Ban'torva's methods got results, but the Socorro Praxeum wasn't what he thought a Jedi training ground should be.

    But then, it's not about me, is it? I should want what's best for Yaja'torva and Ejen, and Yaja's entire reason for leaving Ukio was to come here and be with her aunt, Kyp thought, poking at some green thakitillo while he glanced at Ejen.

    The boy seemed to be a little more energetic; Narm, the kid who'd greeted Ejen at the phys ed class earlier, was chatting about lightsaber technique, and Ejen sometimes smiled or laughed a bit. Not that Ejen was morose, as such, but he was still ... standoffish, where Kyp was concerned.

    It takes time and practice to work with an apprentice. You taught Miko for six years, and you didn't hit a stride until - what, the second year? Kyp reminded himself, feeling a bit melancholy as he remembered his first student. It'd be three years since Miko's death, in a matter of months, but sometimes it still felt like yesterday.

    Before the galaxy had been turned upside down.

    And before we started debating whether or not to teach kids to be soldiers instead of peacekeepers ... hmph. Kyp Durron, Scourge of the Triellus Trade Route, Piratebane, thinking of a peaceful path, Kyp considered, smirking a bit.

    Still, after the horrors of the Vong War, Kyp had changed. He looked around the cafeteria, wondering how many of the students would grow into full Jedi Guardians, how many would fight darknesses both big and small.

    How many would die in the name of defending a galaxy that often hated and feared Force-users.

    Well, that killed my appetite, Kyp thought, frowning. He finished his dessert and got up to take his tray to the disposal, glancing at Ban'torva as she followed him with an intent expression.

    "Meet me outside?" the Twi'lek woman asked, and Kyp nodded as they put their trays in the receiver unit.

    "Look, about before -" Kyp started to say, until he noticed the hesitant expression on Ban'torva's face. They slipped into the hall, letting the frosted transparisteel door close before Ban'tova started to speak.

    "I've been thinking, about our discussions - about my teaching methods, and what we're really supposed to be doing here," Ban'torva said, smiling a little as Daric Vor'kla caught up with them. Kyp nodded in greeting at the Caamasi male, raising an eyebrow when he saw Daric holding a live holocron.

    "I must say, you've had quite an impact on Ban'torva, Master Durron. She'd been so focused in the early years on producing effective Guardians that she rarely second-guessed herself," Daric said, a littl
  13. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Hi:

    Bittersweet parting between Yaja and Ejen. Not only does it look like she's found aniche, but Ejen's still looking for his - besides what could eventually be between the two of them [face_thinking]

    **

    Glad the Socorro academy will be more balanced; best for all concerned. :)

    Kyp definitely has an ... impact ;) more than he realizes, probably :*


  14. Chilla Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    The human girl was really kind, and it was good to find a friend at the place Yaja had wanted to come to.

    Definitely like this development, although I hope Yaja will make more than 1 friend.

    But ... it's not like I imagined. Dad told me Aunt Ban was tough, but it's so ... military, Yaja thought, wondering if she'd made a mistake. Cirna was really nice, and Aunt Ban did want Yaja around, but so many of the older kids at the Socorro Praxeum were ... well, soldiers.

    Yeah...I'm glad she can see the potential problems for her.

    "After my parents found out I had the Force, and they saw how hard the Hutts were fighting the Vong ... they sent me here to protect me. At least my parents cared about me," Cirna said, sounding a little better.

    :( Will Cirna be able to return to her parents or stay in touch with them, now that the Vong invasion is over? That might blow Socorro's cover, though... [face_thinking]

    "Sorry. It's just - if I get mad about it, you should talk to the kids whose parents sold them out. You get that many angry Force-sensitive kids, and ..."

    I can't blame them for being mad. Ban'torva really has a tough job ahead of her.

    Kyp gave a mental "nod," glad that Yaja'torva was keeping in touch ... and that she wasn't buying her aunt's sales pitch without thinking it over.

    Just gotta love Kyp's point of view. Sales-pitch. :p

    "SIR! 1! 2!" and so on, the students replied, shouting almost in unison as they exercised.

    Ugh. Military academy.

    Rather, he was looking more for evidence that Ban'torva was influencing her students.

    Woah. Kyp has some nasty suspicions.

    "What changed?" Kyp asked, leaning against the wall with genuine curiosity. If there was one thing his misadventures during the Vong War had taught him, it was that listening first and acting second was usually more productive.

    *snorts* You know, Kyp, you might be more popular if you had learned that earlier...

    "My mother gave me up to slavers when I was a child because it was a 'better' life than starving to death on Ryloth. Life on your knees is worse than dying on your feet, and I didn't have a choice. I gave into my hatred when I got free. You have any idea how I learned I had the Force? I Force choked a fat Twi'lek male, instinctively," she said, gritting her teeth.


    Interesting background story for Ban'torva. She's had a tough life, but it makes me glad she was able to stay on the Light Side. I'm sure the other students will be able to learn a lot from her in that regard.

    "The trick is how far do you go to keep another Peace Brigade from forming?" he asked, nodding for Ban'torva to follow him back into the gym.

    Good question. After all, the only thing Darth Caedus wanted was to bring peace to the Galaxy. o_O

    "Wow. I ... my folks died, a while ago. But I had my big brother ... well, kind of. This ... being at a school, it's ... been a while," Ejen said, feeling - what?

    Ejen will need a return to normalcy. Maybe Kyp should take him to Ukio for a while?


    =D= Good update! Sorry I wasn't quick enough with replying. RL is a terrible foe right now.
  15. Chilla Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to reply in length to both of your updates.

    A/N: Blergh ... RL's been a schutta lately.

    Couldn't agree more.

    Kyp was somewhat reminded of Yavin, except that the air was recycled and there wasn't the hard-to-balance clash between air conditioning and ambient, muggy heat.

    Nice touch! I like these little details!

    Kyp thought, making his way through a bantha steak while he sat with Ban'torva

    Grrr. My brain is malfunctioning. I had the mental image of Kyp walking through a huge Bantha steak. 8-}

    Kyp and food. It's a match made in heaven.

    Ban'torva's methods got results, but the Socorro Praxeum wasn't what he thought a Jedi training ground should be.

    If even Kyp disagrees....then it must be very off for Jedi.

    It'd be three years since Miko's death, in a matter of months, but sometimes it still felt like yesterday.

    I'm glad you mentioned this. I had the impression when reading the novels that Kyp forgot about Mirko fairly quickly. That didn't make sense to me as I'm sure there must have been a strong bond between them.

    Kyp Durron, Scourge of the Triellus Trade Route, Piratebane, thinking of a peaceful path, Kyp considered, smirking a bit.

    Kyp: "Bring on the green robes, Corran, my buddy!" :p

    He looked around the cafeteria, wondering how many of the students would grow into full Jedi Guardians, how many would fight darknesses both big and small.

    A sobering thought, but unfortunately not unreasonable.

    How many would die in the name of defending a galaxy that often hated and feared Force-users.

    That's sad, too. :( Considering how badly it hit the Jedi during the War and how big a role they played in defeating the Vong, I was hoping the situation would have gotten a bit better.

    "Looking at how some of the older kids are ... I don't want us to just be turning out warriors, or worse, living weapons."

    Yes! I'm glad she has realized it now, too.

    "And while this is purely hypocritical on my part, I don't want Yaja to grow up a warrior. She's my last living relative, Master Durron. If my niece becomes a Jedi, I want her to have more options than just swinging a lightsaber and fighting."

    I don't think that's hypocritical at all.

    "I don't want us to treat students who are less suited for combat as second-class."

    Great realization! Again, glad she has seen it and - even better - is willing to change.

    "Well, speaking for my colleagues, I think the Council would be thrilled for a more ... what's that word Cilghal uses? holistic approach."

    Glad Kyp could help them out a bit. I think his perception of the Council's reaction is right.

    Wow. Never thought I'd have that kind of an impact ...

    Guess he has to get used to actually leaving a positive impact!

    And that left Ejen alone with Yaja, who seemed really happy - more than she'd been aboard the Atin, even.

    Aww, that makes me happy.
    I like how Ejen can tell her mood so easily.

    Then Yaja blushed, and Ejen felt a little bad. "Oh. Well - but, you were learning how to survive, how to make deals, that kind of thing. You were learning how to survive," she said, nicely, and Ejen felt a little better.

    That part was cute. I like that Yaja doesn't look down on his lack of formal education. Like she said, he has learned valuable skills.

    He smiled, though - he wanted everything to be good for Yaja

    Awww! [face_love] Ejen's so sweet!

    "Ejen ... do you want to - y'know - stay here?"

    I'm glad somebody finally asked him.

    With you? Ejen wanted to say, his heart racing - Yaja was his friend, and maybe he felt even more for her ...

    [face_love] Cute little romance here!

    "It was really nice, but it wasn't quite home. I ... hope you find what you're looking for," Yaja said.

    I'm glad she's so understanding. And the last line is very sweet. I like how they both just want to best for each other, even i
  16. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Jade_eyes: Thanks. :D Ejen and Yaja's future together, if any, remains to be revealed. But one never knows ...

    Chilla: Thanks for the replies. :D Yeah, RL can be like that ...

    Kyp's not going to become too much like Corran. :p The Death Watch are still out there, after all. And Kyp and co. are moving into more long-unvisited territory, that might not be as hospitable as Socorro was.

    It might be time again for Kyp to kick butt and take names. [face_whistling] But first, a farewell ...

    And a bit more about Dalonera's "missing time" between when she broke up with Kyp and resurfaced. [face_thinking]

    -----------------------------------------------
    28.3 ABY: Socorro Praxeum, outside of Vakeyya,
    Socorro, Kiblini Sector, Outer Rim Territories:
    -----------------------------------------------

    The landspeeder waited, with Liam Paulsen behind the controls, as Kyp shook Ban'torva and Daric's hands. "Thanks for the hospitality. I'm sorry we couldn't stay longer, but it seems like things are well in hand here," Kyp said, watching Ejen and Yaja chat quietly off to one side.

    "Come back and visit some time. Maybe the next time you stop, we'll have a few Consulars, or at least Sentinels, in the mix," Ban'torva said. Kyp chuckled, but not mockingly - it was entirely possible that Daric could teach some of the kids more subtle methods of solving conflicts.

    And Yaja would make a pretty good Sentinel, come to think of it, Kyp considered, smiling a little as the Twi'lek girl hugged Ejen. Yaja turned to Kyp and bowed, then hugged him, and stood back with a sad smile.

    "Thanks for everything, Master Durron. I didn't think going just from Ukio to Socorro would have so much happen during the trip. But I think things'll work out here," Yaja said, brightening a little as Ban'torva smiled at her.

    "I hope everything works out for you, Yaja. We'll try to stop back sooner than later, maybe after we've finished our sweep of the praxia at the southern end of the galaxy. May the Force be with you all," Kyp said, nodding at Ejen as the boy shook hands and followed Kyp to the speeder.

    "Ready to go, my young apprentice?" Kyp asked, climbing into the speeder's front passenger seat while Ejen leapt into the back.

    "Yessir," Ejen said, buckling in and quieting down. The boy wasn't upset, but he was clearly thinking about something, Kyp could tell, and Kyp decided not to bother Ejen on the ride back.

    Liam glanced at them and hit the acelerator smoothly, taking them toward Vakeyya. "So. How do we compare to the other praxia you've visited?" the young man asked over the roar of the engines.

    "No worse, certainly. Ossus was just getting off the ground when I left, while Ukio was less strict than here. But it's like comparing muja fruit to shuuras. Every site has its own character," Kyp said, shrugging.

    Liam smirked, shaking his head, and said, "I owe Dad 20 credits. I could've sworn you weren't so ... diplomatic."

    "There's a world of difference between being a good guest and being diplomatic," Kyp joked back as he commed the Atin. "Dalonera?"

    "Here, Durron. Visit's over already?" the Mando woman asked, sounding a bit surprised.

    "We've gotten what we came for, and Yaja'torva's staying behind. I'm hoping to catch up a bit on the itinerary. Qewpee should have our next destination. Ejen and I will be back to the ship inside of a standard half-hour. See you then," Kyp said.

    "Got it. We're ready to go here - we'll warm up the engines. Milthiad out," Dalonera said, cutting the link. Kyp let himself relax, glad he'd kept his outer robe even though the praxeum had been temperature-controlled; Socorro's sun was setting, and the temperature was dropping fast.

    At least our next destination won't be a desert world ... we're headed to Vohai, in the Parmel Sector. Stast Whaphoon, a Squib Jedi Sentinel, went to ground there, Kyp remembered from his studies of Kenth Hamner's list of praxia.

    It's also the HQ of Arkanian Microtechnologies, and a temperate world. Should be calm ... maybe.

    ------------
  17. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Sounds like a pleasant stop next, climate and scenery wise :) but whether things stay calm... [face_thinking] ;)

    As to Kyp kicking butt and taking names -- he's quite stellar at it, and it's definitely a fangirl's big draw among other things LOL

    =P~ :*

  18. Chilla Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    And Yaja would make a pretty good Sentinel, come to think of it, Kyp considered, smiling a little as the Twi'lek girl hugged Ejen.

    Yes, probably a good idea for Yaja. Like this sweet farewell scene - slightly sad, but not over the top I'm-bawling-my-eyes-out kind of scene. I think such a scene wouldn't have fit considering they barely know each other.

    Yaja turned to Kyp and bowed, then hugged him, and stood back with a sad smile.

    I'm slightly envious she gets to hug him.

    The boy wasn't upset, but he was clearly thinking about something, Kyp could tell, and Kyp decided not to bother Ejen on the ride back.

    Thinking about the holocron or about leaving Yaja? I like how Kyp leaves him his space, but I can't help thinking that in case Ejen is thinking about the holocron, it would be better if they talked about it.

    Liam smirked, shaking his head, and said, "I owe Dad 20 credits. I could've sworn you weren't so ... diplomatic."

    [face_laugh] Cute touch! I can see this happening.

    Stast Whaphoon, a Squib Jedi Sentinel, went to ground there, Kyp remembered from his studies of Kenth Hamner's list of praxia.

    A Squib Jedi, that's interesting.

    It's also the HQ of Arkanian Microtechnologies, and a temperate world. Should be calm ... maybe.

    Hmm...why am I thinking about crazy scientist dude from your other story?

    It was pretty obvious that Dalonera and Norbok were more used to traveling alone than with a crowd, since there were more weapons racks than there were shelves and refrigeration.

    I was gonna say that this sounds like my apartment, then I realized that this would be...ehm...wrong. xD
    No weapons in my apartment, but more technological gadgets than food, I guess.

    It was a human male, young adult, with scruffy hair, wearing what looked like Jedi robes and a lightsaber, hands hanging at his sides ...

    Carbon-frozen.


    Woah! Great surprise! Wow, what in the world does Dalonera want with him? And who is he? Former lover? They aren't bounty-hunting a Jedi while flying Kyp around, are they?

    "About the wall hanging ... yeah. There's a story behind him ..."

    All I can say is: Do not anger a Mando female....
    Wow! Will be interesting to hear the back story.

    =D= Nice little update. Wonder if Kyp knows about the "wall decoration"?
  19. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    Jade_eyes: Thanks for reading. :D Vohai's going to be calmer ... sort of ... [face_whistling]

    Chilla: You're absolutely right - that holocron, as well as Val'shira not telling Kyp that she gave said holocron to Ejen, needs to be discussed. The trip to Vohai will be a time for a lot of revelations. [face_thinking]

    Including Dalonera's choice in wall art. :p Kyp, however, may know more about this than it first appears. ;)

    And I SO need to update Sticking Our Neks Out. [face_blush] RL's been very busy lately ... [face_blush]

    - Thanks again (and an update soon!)
    Onderon1 [face_peace]
  20. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    A/N: Well, I finally got a night where I'm not dead tired :p , so - an update. :D

    -----------------------------------------------------
    28.3 ABY: Atin, Vakeyya Spaceport, Vakeyya,
    Socorro, Kiblini Sector, Outer Rim Territories:
    -----------------------------------------------------

    Kyp stretched, glad to get into the Atin's recycled air for once. He was getting his fill of desert worlds, between the stopover on Molavar, then the business on Tatooine, and now visiting Socorro.

    The atmosphere in the freighter, however, was tense, and Ejen frowned when he boarded the ship. "It feels ... tight, in here, edgy. Like someone's gonna draw a blaster or something," the boy said, closing the ramp behind him.

    "Good instincts. I wonder ... Dalonera? Qewpee? Val'shira? Norbok?" Kyp called, focusing his Force-sense. He could detect the others - well, he detected Qewpee's energy signature, the astromech didn't have a presence in the Force as much as a bundle of electrical patterns that Kyp had grown accustomed to during the past few months - and everyone was unharmed.

    But they weren't comfortable, Kyp noticed. Val'shira appeared first, walking into the hold from a side corridor, holding her arms and glancing over her shoulder at the way she came with a wary look.

    "Val'shira? What's wrong?" Ejen asked, and Kyp glanced at the main tunnel to the cockpit. Norbok walked out of it, looking confused, until Dalonera stepped out of the central climbing shaft and sighed.

    "Look, you need to know - wait, no, the captain should tell you," Val'shira said, her lekku curling in what looked like an uncomfortable manner while she glanced at Dalonera with what Kyp swore was fear. It was very weird, since the last he'd heard, the women were getting along all right.

    Dalonera frowned a little, feeling more hurt than angry, and replied, "You knew I was a bounty hunter when you boarded the ship, Val'shira. That nutcase is too dangerous to thaw out - he killed the people who hired me to hunt him, anyway."

    "Yub. Wait - you still got him hanging in hold? Yub! I told you, give him to authorities! Yub! We could use cash!" Norbok exclaimed, putting his paws on his hips and scowling.

    Dalonera scowled back, replying, "You didn't hunt him. And there's ... complications. It's better if he stays frozen."

    "OK, wait a minute - time out! Two questions: 1 - who is this 'he' you're talking about, and 2 - where's Qewpee?" Kyp asked, putting a little Force emphasis into his presence. Ejen almost jumped, while Val'shira flinched, Norbok blinked, and Dalonera gave Kyp a most interesting look - one that, under different circumstances, might've been ... fun.

    The Mando woman blinked quickly, though, blushing a bit as she recovered herself and looked around. "I'm not sure where Qewpee is, actually. She was doing a systems check ... let me check on the internal sensors," Dalonera said, activating the datapad built into her armor's left bracer.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Qewpee had learned, in the few months since she'd left Mon Calamari with Cap'n Kyp, that curiosity could get her in trouble. Sometimes, trouble was fun, but sometimes it ended up involving Jawas - and they weren't fun, at least not to Qewpee.

    She'd been in the Atin's main hold before, but mostly with Ejen or Captain Milthiad or Cap'n Kyp when they'd worked on fixing some of the freighter's systems. And now there was something in the hold that was making all the organics upset; Val'shira, who'd been pretty laid-back, had been yelling at Captain Milthiad, and Qewpee could hear more shouting from the main corridor.

    "Frewee-tweep?" she chirped, peeking around the corner of the engineering hold and scanning. Mostly, there was food and drinks, and some weapons ... but there was something new, that Qewpee hadn't sensed before, in the back corner.

    Well, it probably couldn't hurt to check.

    Qewpee rolled into the hold, then stopped before the slab hanging on the wall, and plugged i
  21. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Cool update - =D= I love Kyp with Egen and Val'. (I just love Kyp) [face_laugh] He's got an open honest warmth and strength. :* :*

  22. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    Jade_eyes: Thanks. :) Sorry the updates have been few and far between lately, but RL's been very hectic. :p

    That said ... here's a short update, a flashback to how Dalonera caught Laskan Thold ... and what he was seeking. [face_worried]

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    27 ABY: Ord Radama, Esstran Sector, Outer Rim Territories:
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Force-using Mando bounty hunter walks into a cantina ...

    Dalonera shelved her amusement, keeping her eyes open as she strode into the Rusty Mold, a little dive that probably wasn't too dangerous - but she wasn't taking any chances. The Esstran Sector was a comparatively quiet part of the Outer Rim, but it was just close enough to old Sith space that dark-side artifacts sometimes wound up in markets on Esstran worlds.

    And Dalonera was seeking a challenge, albeit one that wasn't likely to get her killed. The Vong advance over the last few years had convinced her to keep her head down and stay out of the fighting. She'd stopped using her Force powers except among family or in absolute necessity, and stuck to tracking down petty bounties on the far southern end of the galaxy away from the war zones. News from Keldabe was that the clans were working both sides of the conflict until Mand'alor Fett said it was time to take on the Vong.

    Fett. Little clone boy grows up to be half-Mando and mostly bitter. I know blood shouldn't matter to Mando leadership, but sometimes I wonder what Ba'buir Canderous would think of the clans now, Dalonera thought a little sadly. She removed her helmet and ordered something mildly alcoholic, finding a booth that allowed her to keep an eye on the whole bar.

    It wasn't long before a rather underfed-looking Bith male walked in, clearly out of place in the Rusty Mold. He wore a researcher's lab coat and glanced around nervously, finally ordering what looked like water before sitting across from Dalonera.

    "Ms. Milthiad. Ho'nam Choclis, with the Clak'dor Astrophysical Institute. I'll keep this quick - for both our sakes," the Bith said in pretty clear Basic, glancing around again before looking at Dalonera.

    "I've seen a dozen places like this, Doctor. Just don't flirt with the waitresses or spill your drink on a big bruiser, and you'll be fine. Tell your buddies at the stargazing club about how you slummed in Devlikka's wilder side for a night," Dalonera said, waving her hand dismissively at the cantina crowd (but keeping her voice low; she was a smart-shebs, but she wasn't stupid).

    Choclis shifted uncomfortably in his seat and nodded. "Ah. Yes, my 'buddies' - it's one of them whom I'm representing. Dr. Ujar Ghelan, a Gotal anthropologist. His field is - er, was - artifacts from worlds in the eastern Esstran Sector. Specifically, Dromund Kaas," the Bith said.

    Dalonera's boredom suddenly evaporated, like she'd left her drink outside on a Tatooine noon. "Dromund Kaas?" she whispered, narrowing her eyes.

    She'd heard of the place both from her Jedi teachers on Yavin, and in hushed, nightmare stories from her family's histories. Officially, the Empire - the recent Empire, that was - had denied the existence of Dromund Kaas, most likely to placate the freaky "Prophets of the Dark Side" cult that had supported Palpatine for a time. Unofficially, the Milthiad clan's lorekeepers, and later, Tionne Solusar of the new Jedi Order, had confirmed the rumors that Dalonera had heard at her parents' knees.

    The entire Dromund system was deep within old Sith space, and Dromund Kaas had been the seat of the Sith Emperor's mad Sith Empire, during the Cold War era of the 3,600s Before the Battle of Yavin. Kaas was a swampy mudball, still polluted by the taint of the dark side horrors that had taken place on the world.

    There were few real remnants of the Sith Emperor's reign left, probably because the old Jedi Order and the Republic had annihilated the planet's Sith settlements in a last, climactic battle. One
  23. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Excellent flashback =D= definitely gives us the reasons why Dalonera's task is so vital.
  24. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    Jade_eyes: Thanks. :) I've been working on plot threads, and last week was 8-} in RL, but I'm at a point where I can manage a small update ...

    Plus: some spoilers below from The Old Republic. Just a warning ... [face_peace]

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    27 ABY: Dromund System, Kamat Krote hyperlane, Stygian Caldera,
    Eastern Esstran Sector, Outer Rim Territories:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    There weren't many star systems that Dalonera could claim she openly detested. But the Dromund system was one.

    As soon as the Atin - a YT-1300 that Dalonera had purchased after the fiery fate of the Akalenedat three years earlier - reverted to realspace, the Force-sensitive Mando woman felt her skin crawl. It was like an allergic reaction, brushing against a cobweb that had poison wove into its threads.

    "Yub. You OK?" asked Dalonera's co-pilot and hunting partner. At first, when Norbok had arrived on Vorpa'ya from Nimia, a backwater agriworld in Hutt Space, the Ewok had been kindly laughed at for trying to become Mando'ade.

    Nobody had laughed after the furry warrior killed a rampaging gundark with just a vibroblade and stealth.

    Dalonera's father, Dion Varnas, had declared Norbok's achievement worthy of a verd'goten, the traditional Mando adulthood rite of passage, and the Ewok had been roundly accepted as a member of Clan Varnas. (Dalonera was proud of both of her surnames. But for generations, it'd been part of the Varnas verd'goten for young warriors to choose whether they wanted to go by Varnas or Milthiad as an adult. And Dalonera revered her distant grandfather Donal.)

    Dalonera just nodded at Norbok's question, keeping quiet as she pulled herself together and eased the frieghter into a stable orbit around the blue-white world visible out the main viewport.

    The blue of Dromund Kaas' oceans and continents was a deep, rich color, almost nearing black in its intensity at some points. If Dalonera closed her eyes, she could almost see the dark blue as a veil of corrupt velvet ...

    Darkness, Dalonera realized, closing her eyes and centering herself. After a long moment, she opened her eyes and managed a smile, nodding when Norbok looked at her knowingly - the Ewok was perceptive.

    "I'll handle it. Can you take us in? I've got to prepare something," Dalonera asked, and Norbok nodded. Once Dalonera finished shifting the controls to Norbok, she headed back to the Atin's main hold, and found the weapon she'd prepared for the trip.

    Taking down a Force-sensitive, especially a crazed dar'jetii, was never a simple task. The smartest thing to do if one wanted to capture a dark-sider alive was to simply not be sensed coming. In that regard, Dalonera had something of an advantage; she'd trained especially to mask her Force-presence, and she had been considered for Jedi Sentinel training before she'd left Yavin.

    But that was another lifetime ago. The lessons were still useful, but Dalonera was too Mando - too much the huntress - to be a good little robe-wearing jetii.

    Besides, it's the huntress who I need to be today. On Dromund Kaas, I'm going to be at a disadvantage if I play at being Jedi. Light-side energy'll stand out like a flare in the middle of that cesspool. Whole shabla planet's dark-side, Dalonera reminded herself, checking the dart rifle she'd picked up at the clan compound on Vorpa'ya.

    It wasn't radically different from the dart launcher on her beskar'gam's right forearm, but Dalonera wanted something with more range than her stun-darts. If she could tranquilize Laskan Thold at a good distance, drop him and truss him up for evacuation, then all the better.

    If not, she still had her self-made, blue-bladed lightsaber as part of her kit, along with her vibrodagger, blasters and flamethrower. A smart Mando never discounted any of their gear just because it was nontraditional.

    Dalonera finished loading her
  25. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Awesome and vivid post! =D= =D= Can't wait to see the outcome of Dalonera's venture [face_worried] and oooh, Sithly/Darthly awakenings is something :eek: if it happens on the heels of a war that every one is still picking up the pieces from. [face_thinking]

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade