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Star Wars The Last Epitaph

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Sinrebirth , Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Aurrenna Adasca
    Lecture Hall, by any other name

    Another reply, another set of words and competing voices. They were all like children finally being given back their distractions, their things they were to idle away the time. Only they didn't want to seem eager, no one did and so a new spouting of rhetoric was dribbling from mouths in rabid denials as no one actually made a move to get was being given. None, no one wanted to be the first it seemed to step forward now that the impediment of getting their devices and things was lifted. Or so she would of thought, but most surprising was that it was her own partner once more taking up the self righteous martyr approach. Honestly the psmooth voiced fellow didn't know how to keep his tongue from wagging at times like these and made a point of defiance. Looked rather smug about it as well. Honestly how had one such as that survived? Resisting the urge to shake her head she merely sighed at the theatrics of it all.

    Tarkin as usual seemed to be the one to push forward and retrieved his communicator and made a speech of the whole thing. He had an interesting point of view but ultimately one that was folly. She would leave it as such, to say anything onto what that man had said would do nothing but stroke his ego. To poke the obvious holes in that in offering to play his comm call out in front of everyone he could secretly be signaling his companion killer openly in code or style. Creator knows that man had enough style and varied knowledge to make rather good public secret messages.

    Next was Ni'Korish, she seemed to just want to be helpful. If one believed that she had a desolate mineral rich galaxy to sell you. Might as well speak now herself. "I would like to take you up on that offer. I am sure the House is starting to worry at this long silence."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @darthbernael , @Imperial_Hammer , @TheAdmiral , @greyjedi125
     
  2. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    IC: Jori Atreus
    Amphitheatre


    Jori smiled satisfiedly, she got some sort of support from the Hapan. She was not sure what it meant for now. She only knew Tarkin, even him barely, the others were sort of Wild Cards in this case. Well until she got to know them better. Tarkin and the Hapan were a good start.

    She noticed something. It was Tarkin’s datapad. There was something written on it. Yuuzhan Vong. Jori’s face remained impassive, but her mind was running fast. What did that mean? Was he pulling a prank? He did not seem like the the joking sort, but who knows? She took a note to ask him about it afterwards.

    Tarkin kept surprising her with his linguistic skills. She wondered if he could understand old Kuati. That could be problematic as the noble houses liked to use it in front of otherworlders to relay information that they should not understand. Or to make nasty comments about them. Jori doubted that he knew it as it was not very popular and nowadays used by a narrow circle, who liked to keep to themselves.

    The voice of the Professor brought her back to the present. So those were the languages spoken. Maybe she should invest some time to learn some of them. They could prove useful. The return of the commlinks was a welcome turn of events. She needed to consult with her household regarding the situation. Jori tried to hide how pleased she was of her and the Princess’ newly found lever that gave them influence and some power over her other classmates. She was sure they won’t reveal anything in front of her which they are not ready to divulge, so probably no spicy secrets. But if she kept her eyes and ears open she could add certain pieces to the puzzle.

    The Nagai claimed the teenage boy, Palpatine, as a witness, interesting. So far she had ignored the boy, maybe she should try to talk to him as well. Gauge some information out of him? Jori restrained a grin at Tarkin’s speech. That man surely liked to talk. Clever move to choose her and Ni’Korish. Sound reasoning. The Hapan seemed uncharacteristically reasonable. That must be a trap.

    “Needless to say, I am open to being an impartial witness to your communications.” she smiled warmly but did not add ‘and devour all the juicy tidbits of information that you may reveal’.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @darthbernael @Mitth_Fisto @Imperial_Hammer @greyjedi125
     
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  3. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: The Professor
    Lecture Hall indeed, but it is a two-way street, I forget

    They bickered, but also threw a degree of it at him.

    Save for Vy'ndall, most of it had fallen into place as neatly as it could, but he was cautious to have a them versus him mentality. Maybe he was getting rusty. But regardless, this was not the class of Joren, Vydra, Zas'tel, Dunkeel and Vale... nor the class of Sek'nos, N'Tael, Jin, Lagertha Atreus and... well, the one whose name he dare not think even now; No Name. Let alone the abortive class between then and now. These were their own people, and maddeningly so.

    Instead of isolated waifs, these were politicians and warriors and spies. Well, he had one spy among those others, but that was besides the point. These five; Vy'ndall, Tarkin, Aurrena, Ni'Korish and Jori... they were not as easy cattle. With a slight snort, he weighed, and decided.

    "Your personal effects will always be given to you at my pleasure, for this land is sovereign. We are separate to Nouane, and the treaties that Nouane has signed. I do not need to recognise the Galactic Republic or the Hapes Consortium and their terms." The Professor sounded apologetic. "I appreciate what you are doing, my friends, but I am giving these comlinks and so forth back to you so that you can prove your innocence." A wave of genuine feeling would suffuse them, and the harsh Chiss features softened.

    "But alright," he gestured to the others. "You do your communications, with the witnesses present, in whatever order you see fit." He stepped from the lectern. "Vy'ndall, please come with me; to Palpatine."

    Without another word, he led Vy'ndall to his office.

    ---
    Office

    Palpatine was sitting in it, hands in his lap and linked, peering at the over-sized gap in the room; where one of the four statues had been. "Professor, why did you send that one away?" He kept his back to the Professor as the door opened.

    "Yanjon?" He answered. "Maybe I needed to trade-in one for collateral."

    "To go on the run?"

    The Professor snorted at Palpatine's comment. "Vy'ndall, what do you think?"

    The young Palpatine turned in his chair, surprised at last. "Sorry, sir, I did not expect you to be there."

    Holding up a hand to forestall the Nagai's response, he swept into the room. "Vy'ndall wishes to communicate with his home; I have allowed this, on the basis of witnesses being present. He has stridently requested that you are his witness."

    Palpatine blinked. "Myself? I am nobody special."

    "Many would disagree as to that, my boy." The Professor sat down. "I still want to discuss something with you personally, Palpatine, but you are welcome to depart as necessary." The blue-skinned man glanced to the skylight, as if peering into the depths of the dimming sky. "I'm sure we still have time."

    ---
    Time

    Time was in-fact running out.

    The coral and almost amphibious ships of the Yuuzhan Vong; the beautiful and unique vessels of the Nagai; the boxy and angular designs of the Eriaduan elite; they were making in-roads, slowly but sure, stealthily and carefully, into the Nouane system.

    Some of them had encountered obstacles, that had slowed them - they had been required to double down on mine-sweeping, on defensive measures, on scans in their immediate vicinity. This had the added impact of preventing them each from discovering the other.

    Thus the droid courier, bound for Muunilinst was both undetected by the three fleets, and did not detect them. The statue left, though undoubtedly it would be noticed by the fourth party present in-system.

    But they all remained undiscovered.

    For now.

    And in the middle of it all, a two-man Jedi freighter made its way to orbit.

    Grandmaster Yoda and his present Padawan, Nejaa Halcyon, were here.

    The next stage of the investigation was about to begin.

    TAG: @greyjedi125 (combo), @darthbernael, @Mitth_Fisto, @TheAdmiral, @Imperial_Hammer (post as much as you wish, you are free for the moment)

    Mentions for @HanSolo29, @QueenSabe7 as Joren, Vale and No Name, because why not
     
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  4. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC A Shadow
    Watching as the dance continues


    The Shadow’s lip curled as he watched the plot. Each fleet danced around each other, avoiding one another, and moved steadily closer to the planet. His targeting solution for the flagships of the two fleets from the UR constantly updated so that he was prepared for the eventuality that battle would be joined.

    As he observed he noticed a small courier ship departing the system. An eyebrow rose but as the small craft arrowed from the planet he sent a small tracker to follow, as unobserved as possible, to determine the what and why of the ship's departure. And then the presence of the Jedi grew unmistakable. The essence of the one in command was known to him, having spent time working with that being in the past, but for now he left his own presence unknown.

    Much was to come and with that arrival things would rapidly develop.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth

    IC Tarkin
    Left to his own devices


    Tarkin sat, attentive, as his classmates made their choices. A muffled snort at Ni’Korish, whatever else she was she did have a modicum of diplomatic training. The rest seemed diplomatic enough as well, to varying degrees, but he could almost feel the antagonism radiating from Adasca as well, whether it was due to the past or more recent events.

    He suspected that their possessions would be returned to their quarters, but he’d have to go over everything with a finely tuned scanner as he was sure that someone would have found another way to bug what was returned. He had to counter the desire to return to his quarters to check, though, against making the comm call that the Professor suggested and, for now, the best course was to make the call and get that piece of business out of the way.

    As Adasca had decided to take the Princess up on her offer he turned to Jori beside him, “Since Ni’Korish will be assisting Aurrena I would appreciate your assistance as my witness.”

    He stood, retrieving his datapad and the comm unit that had been returned before moving toward the floor of the amphitheater. “As several seemed to scoff at the idea of public calls we can perhaps do so where we worked to create the presentation we never made.”

    As Vyn’dall had gone with the Professor, he did not get an opportunity to speak to the Nagai but he hoped that after their calls he’d be able to find the other and they’d finally get a chance to talk, before even more chaos was piled upon them.

    With that, he turned and made his way to the door of the amphitheater.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @Mitth_Fisto, @TheAdmiral, @Imperial_Hammer
     
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  5. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: This is a combo post between me and @darthbernael Thank you for your patience!

    IC: Jori Atreus, Tarkin
    Somewhere private, Nouane


    They walked in silence. Jori did not want to speak where they could be overheard. Hopefully Tarkin will divulge some information. She peeked at him, he seemed to be focused. There surely was more going on with all those ominous exchanges. "So... Yuuzhan... Vong, was it? What does it mean?" she asked once they reached the more secluded place where they prepared the presentation.

    A half smile touched Tarkin’s lips at her question. He made himself a stimtea as he pondered how best to answer her question. Stirring it he returned to their table. “You know I have a strong military background. Often that means researching places, potential threats, that others probably would not consider. One such is a species that little is known about, a vicious, antagonistic, and expansionist species, the Yuuzhan Vong.”

    He sipped the tea, eyes on her face as he did so, and wondered how far Ser B would think was appropriate to divulge, given the circumstances. “Prior to the chaos that engulfed us with the murder of one classmate and the disappearance of another I received intelligence that indicated the Vong were active and near, very near.” He deliberately did not mention the Nagai threat as he still held a small hope that if he and Vyn’dall could speak that could be resolved.

    “Since then I have had to do my own research and study those around us and I came to a certain conclusion, that has very recently been confirmed.”

    Jori frowned "I have never heard of such species. Where are they? In the Outer Rim or in the Unknown Regions?" she considered informing Kuat. If a war was coming, that could be very... profitable.

    Tarkin thought for a moment, he had knowledge but there was a lot that was mere speculation and he had to decide how much of the fact and how much speculation to speak about. “Hmmm, to start, they are one of the few truly extra galactic species that are even hinted at. They are caste oriented, having a pyramidal type structure of governance. The warrior caste is the largest and usually the one that draws them into battles with other species, but even then the various clans, how many clans are unknown, fall into competition as to be the one to do the most destruction.”

    He sipped at the slowly cooling stimtea, “They can use biotech to mimic other species, humans being the easiest as they share a lot of characteristics with our kind. The biggest hatred they have is of machines, they find artificial beings and life as abhorrent. Which is part of what often draws them into conflict with other species. All of their technology is biological, ships and weapons grown to what they are needed to be, for example. But one of the few ways to know if there is one around, they have absolutely no Force presence, like a void in the force. It doesn’t help those of us without Force powers but it is one way to know.”

    He smiled grimly, “And I’ve managed to either challenge or insult one of them, it seems, so I’m certainly one who they will want to destroy.”

    Jori wanted to laugh, it was so absurd that, extragalactic species, organic ships, it was a tall tale. The problem it seems was that Tarkin believed in all of that nonsense. She decided against showing any incredulity as he might get offended "So, how do you know all this? Also who do you think it was, the Nagai or the Arkanian, though I admit they do look like their respective species?"

    A slight twitch of Tarkin's lip was the only evidence that he was aware of her skepticism of his words. “As many of the threats that surround us are well known, or at least have been studied in varying degrees, I made it a task to study the relatively unknown threats, those that may seem only myth or legend, including what I could of their languages. Hence the two languages I spoke earlier."

    He winced at the taste of the stimtea as he took a sip, it had gone cold as they spoke, "Vyn’dall is a Nagai, yes, but not one as integrated into the Republic as he seems. Aurenna, however, unless she is a student of the unknown such as I, has shown to me, along with other factors, that she is no Arkanian.”

    Jori considered what he said. "So, how do you know they exist? Was there any intelligence data gathered? How do you know that much about them?"

    The tight smile returned to Tarkin’s face. “Outside these walls I usually have a lot of resources at my disposal. And, given the go ahead by superiors, I have done so. Given the nature of this program, I have very little of my evidence here, but I am certain the arrival of Master Yoda will reveal more than some people are willing to allow to be revealed.”

    His fingers ran along the edge of the datapad, “But, as much as I’d love to continue this discussion, the purpose of this is so that I can make my communication with you as a witness.”

    Jori realised that she won't be getting any more information out of him so she shrugged "Feel free to talk, I can keep a secret... for a price..." she grinned teasingly.

    The half smile returned to Tarkin’s face. “I shall keep that in mind.”

    He placed the datapad on the table, “I shall be contacting my nephew Ranulph Tarkin. He is the current head of the family, and with the family’s position, the de facto leader of Eriadu. I am certain he is quite concerned with the lack of communication between himself and I, especially given my position in the Eriaduan Defense Forces.”

    He tapped the pad, opening the comm function, sure that such had been tapped, truly negating the need for witnesses which made the witness just something to put the sender at ease and perhaps reveal more than they intended. He found Ranulph’s comm code and opened it, allowing the holographic camera to capture his scowling visage.

    “Nephew, to begin, I am well. We have been allowed to communicate with home but only with a,” he gestured and the camera pickup swiveled to capture Jori sitting there, “witness from the class. ‘I shall proceed from the simple to the complex. But in war more than in any other subject we must begin by looking at the nature of the WHOLE; for here more than elsewhere the part and the whole must always be thought of together.’* What news is there from home except the Valorum family probably calling for my head, sure I was the one to murder Tarsus?”

    He remembered conversations he’d had, discussing, in general terms, the same thing he just had with Jori, and knew that Ranulph would recognize the singular emphasis and put together what it meant even though he wouldn’t say more, even given the offer Jori had made. He couldn’t deny that an attachment between Eriadu and Kuat would be enormously beneficial to both planets, but it would be on mutual terms of benefit, respect, and whatever else was there, not in favors owed, or he’d walk away from it.

    For now he waited for Ranulph to respond.

    *Quote is attributed to Carl von Clausewitz

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @darthbernael Anyone
     
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  6. Imperial_Hammer

    Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2004
    IC: Ni'Korish
    Location: Here and there

    Finally some regularity. Ni'Korish's offer was quickly taken up by the alien Aurrenna.

    "I would like to take you up on that offer. I am sure the House is starting to worry at this long silence."

    Perfect. She would far rather keep Aurrena's company than that windbag Tarkin's. The proposition worked well for her. The class was then dismissed with the instructor politely refusing to return their gear. Ni'Korish was.... unhappy... about this, though not greatly so. With the kind of class he was dealing with, he likely feared his student's capabilities with their effects. There were certainly Hapan Battle Dragons only a short hyperspace jump away waiting on her command. No doubt the others had similar support lurking in the margins. One hot head could create an inter-system conflict if the instructor was not careful.

    She closed the Comm pad she was taking notes on, and watched as Jori and Tarkin walked off to do their comms transmission. She really needed to drive a wedge between those two. The Kuati would be a better with her than against her. She made a mental note to seek Jori out later. She then looked towards Aurrena. Well, she had better live up to her word.

    Ni'Korish stood up and walked over to where the alien had been sitting.

    "Hello!" she said, painfully aware this was the first social moment she had with any of her classmates. "So, that was quite a session." she said, looking around. The room was quickly emptying. "Is class here always this... contentious?" She let an amused smile creep over her face to emphasize her attempt to cajole a little gossip from her colleague. "In any event, I'm ready to supervise your comm when you are."

    She looked around the room again, putting her hands on her hips. She let out a little sigh. It was all hitting pretty quickly how behind she was here.

    "To be honest, I'm not even sure where the living quarters are here. I went right into this thing from my shuttle. If you could point me in the right direction when you finish up, I'd greatly appreciate the assistance."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @darthbernael , @Mitth_Fisto , @TheAdmiral , @greyjedi125
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
  7. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    A fantastically sinister combo post with the Grandmaster of all things Sith, @Sinrebirth

    *************************************
    IC: Vy’ndall

    Choices and Shadows

    So, the Academy resided within a Sovereign State. Ahh, Of course, he should have seen that play much sooner, much sooner. Still, all was not lost. Vyn'dall looked at his communication device and silently noted that he had a pending message.

    Gracefully, the Nagai took a moment to appreciate the sumptuous details surrounding the Professor's quarters and committed as much as he could to memory.

    "I'd like to make my call from my own quarters, if it's all the same." He stated smoothly, first regarding Palpatine, then the Professor.

    The Professor began setting up the chess board on his desk. "Go, go, Palpatine. He wants you as his witness; I have recused myself from events until Grandmaster Yoda gets here."

    Palpatine pouted somewhat. "I would rather play chess - the last Professor mentioned he wanted to show me something."

    "Yes, the last one mentioned that to me," the Professor said enigmatically, placing the King, or, rather, Imperator. "Please, continue."

    Running his hand through his flame-red hair, Palpatine nodded. "Fine, we're going, we're going."

    He nearly placed a hand on Vy'ndall's back to push him along and hurry.

    "I need to get back."

    “You need not leave.” Vy’ndall stated calmly to young Palpatine.

    “Please enjoy your chess game. I know where to reach you when I’m ready to make the call.”

    He hadn’t stated when he wished to contact his government. Just that he needed a witness present whenever he did so.

    “By your leaves.”

    The young nagai bowed graciously, then turned, walking himself out the door without hurry. Inside his mind, there was a far greater matter he seriously needed to meditate about.

    The Professor absently paused mid-piece placement. "If you make a call without your witness present, and I discover as much, I will have you arrested and handed over to Yoda."

    Palpatine tensed.

    That was quite a statement.

    Vy’ndall also paused understanding the weight of the statement leveled at him.

    "Of course."

    The Nagai remained still for several heartbeats, waiting to see if there was anything else the Professor wished to threaten him with, before departing.

    Vy’ndall was deeply absorbed with his own thoughts by the time he reached his quarters. He absently entered the code to his door an gained entrance to what was now little more than a well furnished prison. Still, considering all that had transpired so far, matter could be worse; or maybe they were about to be.

    For a long moment, he held the communication device in his hand, knowing there was a message waiting for him. He wasn’t making a call, so at least he could take this one last message in private, or at least that's what he was led to believe. No matter. It had to be done this way.

    After going through the motions of ensuring some privacy, the nagai resolved to listen to what news awaited him.

    Taking a deep breath, he readied his mind, then entered the decryption code which would release the message.

    It was a message from the Nagai Consulate on Coruscant. Because the Nagai had no fixed homeworld, as far as the known galaxy was aware, they legally were a species without representation, but often the Galactic Republic accommodated species in diaspora, granting them membership and citizenry, especially as Nagai had been present in one shape or another within the greater galaxy for millennia now.

    The Nagai were no different, and so the Consulate was their sole fixed point in the cosmos... and of course a tool of the distant High Command.

    We correspond with concern about the way you as a Nagai citizen have been treated by Nouane but understand that the Dwartii program was prepared for interference - they have no jurisdiction over the Professors, by design. We have sought to locate other parties to correspond with - but we await their response. We cannot even approach the past Professors - after their guidance, vanish shortly after they finish their position, without even a trace.

    The Consulate has very little political power - no martial strength; no army, fleet. We are a formerly warrior tradition to some, true, but it is those values we held in the past. Our position is that in your circumstance we must rely on the procedures of the sovereign system of the Dwartii program. We understand a Jedi is present now. Please stay in touch, Vy'ndall. Meditate on the best way forward, and advise us of your progress when able.


    This was hardly a surprise; the Professors were genetically modified, the story went, so they could not be held accountable for their actions as Professor. Their terms matched those of the Chancellor's, thus their Professor had changed over when Valorum fell thanks to the murder of his son.

    The Consulate was indeed toothless; it had no people to tax, no estates to charge, no spacelanes to claim.

    Not yet.

    But within that was a code.

    If one was to take, say, the first word as zero, and the twelfth word... who knew what would happen?

    Vy’ndall fell to the floor and felt a powerful stirring within himself after reading the message. She who had taught him dark secrets had foretold that this would occur, that such a moment would happen when he least expected it.

    What precious thing would he sacrifice to achieve his true destiny?

    The nagai felt a terrible anguish overtake him. Was this a trick? No, it certainly was not. A prize always required a sacrifice. His High position, His Family Fortune, their High Social Status, The Peace of his People. Their Trust. Their very lives.

    Peace is a lie.

    Oh, but Power. THAT was REAL.

    The Professor showed him that he had Power. The Jedi had Power. And for him to have Power, he needed to be Free.

    In a single moment, he rent his garments, then took his blade and performed a secret ceremony. A slice of his left palm and the shedding of his blood sealed the deal.

    There would be no call.

    There would be War.

    There would be Power.

    And then

    The red came for him.

    Red anger.

    Red pain.

    Red fire.

    Red blood.

    Bloodshine in the light.

    The red rewards its Nagai adherent with a vision.

    It was the Professor, the last one. He had his jovial expression, though he was in the black attire that the current one was wearing. With a sigh, he reached for his face, it slotting free as if a character from a play replacing a mask with another. There was a chuckle, and there were four other black clothed... actors?

    Caricatures, their faces frozen in a single emotion.

    [​IMG]

    They hovered above Vy'ndall, circling him and the Professor, who had no face - his cowl was up, and it revealed a black upon black within it. In his hand was the face he once had... and in the other was a face of blue.

    All that peered back was a single, blue eye.

    A slight chuckle sounded out.

    "You want a level one deeper, my Nagai friend." He sounded almost gentle, but nonetheless compelling. "You need more to give, more blood."

    Vy'ndall's body began to shake involuntarily, he could not control it. He suddenly could not tell if he was dreaming or not, but this, THIS was beyond anything he could imagine, and he could imagine a great deal.

    Surprise was not a word that fit the moment. No, this went far beyond such conventions. This was Destiny Revealed. The world that he knew fell away into mist as a new one opened, and he entered willingly and completely.

    To go deeper, more blood was required.

    For a brief second, his logical mind cried out, warning him that this could be a trick. One played on his darkest desires for him to reveal top secret information, for him to betray his people.

    Vy'ndall uttered a guttural sound of Anguish, as he extinguished the voice of reason. He had already made his decision, taken the fateful leap as it were.

    "More blood, you say? How about the blood of a warmongering people?"

    The Faceless Professor and the congregating caricatures peered at each other. His teacher looked back.

    "Is that a threat..." A delicious amusement permeated the Force.

    "Or a promise, Vy'ndall?"

    "An offering." The nagai reasoned.

    "If you are here, in this moment, then you know what I desire."

    The nagai looked absently at the cut in his hand, instinctively understanding that which was needed.

    "...and that I'm willing to pay any price for it."

    One face stood impossibly revealed, but he couldn't figure out who were the other three. His natural mind begged the question, but his ambition concluded that it did not matter.

    "Power," reasoned the Professor.

    He turned slightly aside. "I already have a candidate in mind for the seventh... but perhaps you will suffice here and now. My candidate is not quite ready, after all. He will require nurturing, until he can break the Force."

    The vision jarred slightly, as the gathered... priests, perhaps? Circled, looking at each other. The Professor said.

    "If you can deliver that blood, I shall explain this."

    A stone appeared, engraved with words and hermetica in an ancient tongue.

    "It contains the Ultimate Truth of us all. It is what I rail against; what I have sought to bring to an end. It will be yours, this knowledge, if you bring that devastation you promise..." The Professor paused... "Though not yet. The balance of the Force must be completely undone... though I will give you this before you need to pay up."

    A chuckle, soft and amused.

    Vy'ndall remained crossed legged in his meditative pose and would for many hours more, even as he now spoke in his native tongue.

    "Enigmas of the Dark, you have yourselves a deal."

    Valorum had not died in vain. There was a greater purpose to his demise -and so he'd served. It would seem his blood had been required. The world unseen was far greater than the world which was seen, that he already knew; and now, if he played his cards right, he would see himself as part of that world.

    Others had failed for lack of Power.

    He would not.

    The stone floated before Vy'ndall in his mindscape, which started to match the confines of his room, with the faceless Professor and the caricatures evident. "You must keep your people from attacking Nouane, for now. If they do... the plan of the Dark will be undone. The Dark Man must be created, the one who will destroy the balance of the Force."

    "You have met him; it has been foreseen what he will do; what he will become."

    "Can you wait for the fall of the Light; for the insidious infiltration and hollowing of the heart of the Republic, and the Jedi with it? Will you serve as the Xyston of the Darkness, until your people can be bequeathed the galaxy?"

    It was a reinforcing of the deal, with the shapes of the hermetica settling into a language that was hooked within many other languages of the present day, but it had a meaning in the Force, too - as it was designed.

    "Only the chosen traitors can read it... even a full understanding of the most ancient tongue of the Sith would not allow you to understand it in full."

    The letters writhed, as if entrails, as if serpents, as if vines, wrapped around the stone tablet as it bobbed in the air before the Nagai.

    So, that's what he was, what he needed to become to attain the Power he only dreamed of.

    A traitor

    What of his dream of becoming the New Republic's Chief Security Council? No, that was not his dream, that was someone else's. A shoe horn at best. And, if there was any indication, these four likely decided who sat where at any given time.

    So, he had to betray his people.Those he loved as well as those he cared nothing for. But, had he not already betrayed himself?

    The nagai's dark eyes searched the shapes he saw before him, in order to glean their understanding.

    "I'll do all that I can to dissuade them, but I cannot control how they will act. There are those who have little faith in my work, those who have agendas of their own."

    With those words spoken aloud, Vy'ndall knew he'd made himself a man with 'no country'.

    That was inherently, a part of the deal. Part of his personal sacrifice.

    Nodding slowly, the offer presented mandated that he change his plan of action.

    "I shall make the call."

    A pause.

    Languidly, with his bloodied hand, he reached for the floating tablet.

    "Be prepared for the murkiest scam, Vy'ndall," said the leering Professor.

    "Meticulous planning..." He took a step around the Nagai, and leaned into his ear. "Tenacity spanning..."

    "Decades of denial..."

    The man chuckled. He was acquiring a tune. "Good luck, my friend." He snapped his finger...

    ... and the slab dropped to the floor, awakening Vy'ndall from his trance, blood splaying up from the floor onto his pale skinned face in reality...

    ... the slab remained, sitting there...

    And he could read it.

    There was a knock at his door.
     
  8. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Palpatine
    Professors Room, Curiosity

    It was becoming increasingly obvious that this Professor was the same one that had greeting them before. Palpatine was trying not to stare, but the Professor was clearly enjoying his lesson too much... and possibly not caring. It was a chess board, nothing special... but here was the Professor, his blue face twisted into excitement... it was an odd expression on what had been such a naturally severe looking face.

    “Well it’s the typical chess board to start, but it’s also a bit more symbolic, because there’s a theory that every war since... oh, thirty six thousand years ago, has basically been the same roles, but new players in them - the Truth’s that we cling to do not change all that much, just the faces that reveal them.” The Professor indicated. “But let’s see.”

    “So we start off with the King, though it would be more appropriate to describe it as the Emperor or Chancellor, nowadays.” A slight pause. “Or, is it the Father and Son, perhaps - eternally opposed?” The Professor touches the white piece as the Father, the black piece as the Son. Palpatine seemed to nod at that. Of course, he hated his father, so.

    The Professor moved on. “The Queen, or perhaps, Empress, Mother, or indeed Daughter, depending on the roles you give to the other pieces, no?” Palpatine looked to the Professor, as if the Professor was expecting him to say something to clarify. Into the pause, the Professor shrugged.

    “We have the four Sages represented as the Bishops, two on the light and two on the dark.” He indicated them, and Palpatine frowned.

    “Do we even enough about the four of them to posit which is which? I mean Braata is associated with the dark side, but Sistros purely suggested a more honestly manipulative sort of government. Yanjon and Faya we don’t even know the genders of...” Palpatine trailed off.

    “I think we could assume Sistros and Braata are dark pieces, no?” The Professor said with a grin. “And the other two seek to stop them.”

    “Black pieces,” Palpatine said, his finger on the king and toying with it.

    “Of course,” he said, with a soft snort. “The Knights... the Jedi have Knights, but the Sith have Lords. So one would assume that they correspond...” the Professor’s voice grew sly. “But we only have two, right? A Master and an Apprentice, at least.”

    Palpatine narrowed his eyes but the Professor moved on to the Rook. “These are the war forges, the fortresses that unleash the weapons of battle. Sometimes battle-stations, sometimes merely fonts that birth destruction.” The Professor counted off names on his fingers. “Kuat, Fondor, Mon Calamari, Corellia, even the ancient Star Forge itself.”

    “Concepts of war rather than individuals?” Palpatine frowned.

    “There is a degree of resources to any war, so that is no surprise. Acknowledging the economic and material aspect of conflict needs to be taken into account somehow.”

    “True...” Palpatine allowed. He picked up a pawn. “And these?”

    “Why, the foot soldiers, of course. The faceless masses that are not in-charge of their destiny. Usually troopers in white armour for the Republic, and troopers in black or silver for the Empire.”

    “Sith Empire,” Palpatine added.

    “And sometimes a Jedi Republic,” a mischievous glint. “Which you’d know if you hadn’t diverted my history lesson.”

    Palpatine‘s expression grew neutral. “Sorry.”

    “Of course,” the Professor said, smiling. “Did you fancy a game?”

    “Against you?”

    The Professor‘s eyebrows raised, clearly surprised. “Never against me, my boy.”

    Palpatine resisted the urge to bristle. “Then who?”

    “Who knows?” The Professor said, darkening his voice and smiling.

    Palpatine tried not to grin back.

    "But for now, off you go." The Professor gestured the young man. "Vy'ndall is probably looking for you."

    TAG: No One, but some mentions for @QueenSabe7, @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @Mitth_Fisto, @HanSolo29
    ---

    Vy'ndall's room

    The hermetica connected with the bleeding Nagai.

    It claimed that the writer had privileged insight into secret realities, arguing that even though the contradictory and aimless nature of existence appeared obvious to all intelligent beings, awareness of the Force exposed this obvious "fact" as a lie, further stating that the Force betrayed Force-sensitives, making them live in a compromised, chaotic universe—to live the lie.

    Because of the Truth that it was all coordinated.

    All planned.

    Every part of it.

    The chaos was the lie.

    The door knocked again.

    "Vy'ndall?" It was Palpatine, speaking up for the man's attention.

    TAG: @greyjedi125
    ---

    discussing secrets

    There was minimal pleasanteries, and of course a waxing lyrical quote.

    “Nephew, to begin, I am well. We have been allowed to communicate with home but only with a,” Tarkin
    gestured and the camera pickup swiveled to capture Jori sitting there, “witness from the class. ‘I shall proceed from the simple to the complex. But in war more than in any other subject we must begin by looking at the nature of the WHOLE; for here more than elsewhere the part and the whole must always be thought of together.’* What news is there from home except the Valorum family probably calling for my head, sure I was the one to murder Tarsus?”

    Ranulph
    grinned tightly. "Uncle Wilhuff, you joke but the power struggle within the Quintad might spill into civil war if the identification of the murderer isn't discovered... or at very least a more aggressive response will be levelled upon the impediments to the investigation. Imagine if a full deployment occurred outside our sector?" That was a fair hint to the position. "It's always easy to reunify a nation if there is an external enemy, after all."

    "Are you not concerned that the situation cannot hold as it is? Surely you have it within your power to do something about it?" He narrowed his eyes. "It's not as if you did murder Tarsus Valorum, after all."

    Jori's comlink at this point began to buzz. The indicator confirmed it was Kuat of Kuat - the ruler of the sector, system and indeed controller of Kuat Drive Yards. Apparently, news was spreading like wildfire, notwithstanding how little time she had been there.

    TAG: @darthbernael, @TheAdmiral (combo for latter)
    ---

    Elsewhere in the school

    As much as Ni'Korish and Adasca had their moment, the Hapan Princess also had a call from her mother, the present Queen Mother. The Hapan Cluster was not a member of the Galactic Republic, but they could attach themselves to all manner of Intelligence network, after all. But, rather unhelpfully, perhaps suspiciously, her enquiries beforehand had not revealed the drama surrounding Nouane in it's entirety.

    Even now, of course, it wasn't everything.

    But there was more.

    More than enough to concern the Queen Mother.

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto, @Imperial_Hammer (combo for you two and myself)
     
  9. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC A Shadow
    Time to add to and perhaps subtract from the chaos


    The stalemate was getting strained, the Shadow could feel that. He knew steps had to be taken to either lance the wound and cause it to explode and burn itself out or be resolved without such violence. His talons clacked on the console as he thought, rejecting many choices, for one reason or another. Finally one came to mind, one that meant exposing himself more to the situation but also one that could take one suspect off of the list below and add reference and depth to the knowledge one being needed of what was occurring.

    Choice made he directed his ship to make its way closer in system. He only needed to get close enough that that one being could sense his presence. He kept the craft under stealth and kept the needed weapons trained on the flagships of the two fleets as it flew through the system. When he was close enough that there was a wavering sense of that being’s Force presence, he had the spike program on his main computer hack the Jedi Council frequency that he felt Yoda would be using.

    *Grandmaster Yoda,

    You know who I am and my mission. I know you do not approve of that mission but that you also know what it takes for me to show up personally. I would request a word before you begin your investigation.

    The Ghost*

    Message sent he sat back, talon once again clacking against the console as he waited and observed.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
    *****
    IC Tarkin
    Messages, Calls, and Secrets


    "Uncle Wilhuff, you joke but the power struggle within the Quintad might spill into civil war if the identification of the murderer isn't discovered... or at very least a more aggressive response will be leveled upon the impediments to the investigation. Imagine if a full deployment occurred outside our sector? It's always easy to reunify a nation if there is an external enemy, after all."

    "Are you not concerned that the situation cannot hold as it is? Surely you have it within your power to do something about it?" He narrowed his eyes. "It's not as if you did murder Tarsus Valorum, after all."

    Tarkin turned his head, a swift movement, even as Jori’s comm chimed. He raised a hand, but not as swiftly, and if she noticed, his eyes would seem grey for a moment as his had rose to block the sight, before he paused, then turned back, eyes normal again. ”Nephew, yes that was a poor attempt at humor, even given the truth behind what it reveals. You are correct about that last point, though, Tarsus alive did the Tarkins more good than him dead ever could.”

    He did attempt to keep one ear open in case Jori revealed anything in her call and, given the blanch to her face, who it was was an important figure. But he must finish this call, and even if she was slightly distracted she would probably catch any overt messages to his nephew.

    ”Master Yoda has been dispatched here to investigate so perhaps he will discover the truth. However, you have a point about power but perhaps we should consider all it’s wide varieties. In my current position I am a suspect as much as the others are and what I do have within my power is now to keep it all from falling apart, keep the major factions that Are present from bringing all to chaos.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @Mitth_Fisto, @TheAdmiral, @Imperial_Hammer
     
    greyjedi125 likes this.
  10. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Vy’ndall of House Tremyr
    Nouane, A courtship of Shadow

    He was absorbed by what the mysteries the hermetic revealed. It was not at all as he had imagined, or expected. Everything he saw contradicted all that he knew, which only left him feeling troubled, more than anything else. But before he could delve further, there was a knock at his door.

    It was Palpatine.

    A sudden wave of annoyance was dispelled with practiced discipline. It was time to make the call.

    “One moment, please.” Vy’ndall called back, sounding as amiable as ever.

    Without hesitating, the nagai went to the door and opened it. He stood shirtless and bare-chested, pale as a baleful moon, except for his bloodied hand. “Come in.” He said smoothly, dark eyes observing the young human with interest. “Thank you for coming.” He intoned then, quite placidly.

    Without another word, Vy'dall took the hermetica he held in his hand and placed in on his desk. Then the nagai proceeded to his wall closet and changed into a stately and exquisite outfit tailored with the finest brocade, making sure to wear a bordeaux colored glove on his wounded hand. He'd also ordered a miniature cleaning droid to ‘clean up’ the bloody mess on the floor, which was something that took only moments.

    All the while, he made sure to observe Palpatine’s reactions.The young man had been favored, of that he was certain. But, as he’d learned through his mentors within the family Cabal, it wasn’t what you knew that mattered, but what you could prove. How small they all seemed suddenly, now that he was made aware of something…deeper.

    “Your patience is appreciated.” Vy’ndall finally said, with a hint of a smile. Gracefully, he moved to the center of the room and placed the communication device on the appropriate cradle. Speaking the access codes in his native tongue, with the required varying tonalities, in addition to providing biometric confirmation, the link was establish.

    The Emblem of The Nagai Consulate on Coruscant flickered into view, then loomed before them, and there it remained.

    Vy’dall was hardly surprised at this. After his long silence, they were probably verifying his credentials, which was the correct protocol. Still, he knew he was being monitored just the same, so he began his address without delay.

    “Esteemed Council, I, Vy’ndall of House Tremyr, Envoy to Nouane, greet you. Much has transpired since my last communication, and as you can see, I am now required to have a witness during these exchanges. This, my witness, is…”

    Until now, he had not realized that he had no knowledge of Palpatine’s first name. How very curious.

    “...Palpatine, the Eldest Son of House Palpatine of Naboo, who is also a fellow classmate.”

    “During my Time of Silence, one which was brought about by the sinister murder of Tarsus Valorum, news of which I am certain you are aware of, I was afforded time to finalize this communique. Nothing good has come from unprovoked violence at this time. Peace should be the focus of not only our people, but all peoples, both great and small. These plots that surround us are not profitable, but serve as reminders, that senseless killing is nothing more than that. Senseless.

    I am told that Master Yoda, the most righteous of Jedi, is soon come to mete out Justice, and I for one wish that I could expedite his flight. Let the tragedy of Valorum’s murder sue this tumultuous galaxy into a time of peace, a time for reflection and introspection. I wished to communicate these things in person, to let you know that I live. A report will soon follow, as I now prepare to receive your wisdom.”

    A soft pause, followed by a graceful bow, is what he offered. He then simply waited for the Nagai Council’s response.


    Tag: @Sinrebirth *( @darthbernael ,@Mitth_Fisto ,@TheAdmiral ,@Imperial_Hammer )
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
    TheAdmiral and darthbernael like this.
  11. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Grandmaster Yoda
    Making orbit

    The message turned over in Yoda's mind time and time again. He was tempted to respond, but he was here to pierce the veil of secrecy surrounding the Dwartii Exchange Program, and he would not do so with the aid of the Society. "Told them before, I did, that I do not believe the Balance can be maintained; the Chosen One will bring balance to the Force, not them."

    Nejaa Halcyon looked up from his datapad, reading notes on the Professors. "Master?"

    "Worry not, you should, my Padawan. Arrived, we have."

    The Republic cruiser, painted in diplomatic red and a newer Corellian model, could be piloted by two, which suited Master Yoda. He had no desire to bring staff on this sensitive issue, not with a Chancellor having fallen since Tarsus died. "Has there been an update on the former Professor's location?"

    "None, Master Yoda," Nejaa said, without checking again; he must have checked only recently. "There is no record of his existence before the Program."

    "The intention of the scheme, it is, to keep the Professors identities hidden."

    "Yes, Master," Nejaa said, the teenager frowning. "But even such surgeries cannot be done just anywhere. You'd need a specialist, and an above-board one at that. Obroa-Skai, Arkania, Kodai, perhaps Khomm...?"

    "Not Khomm," Yoda said, shaking his head.

    "What did the King think?"

    "My old Sephi friend does not trust matters on Dwartii, and with Kuat and Hapes now pulled in, we have additional factions about to be drawn in." Yoda peered into the Force, notwithstanding the shadows that graced it. "Violence I sense in the Force; soon to come; soon to be."

    Nejaa knitted his brow. "I don't sense anything."

    "A tip, I have received," Yoda said, grumbling. "See, we will, what the Professor and his students have to hide."

    They broke atmosphere, and came to settle, greeting by the nervous Nouanese. Yoda paid them no heed; the Dwartii Program was beyond their legal remit, and the Professors had the political system here tied in knots. Not so much blackmail, as knowledge. What few were willing to speak feared the perceptiveness of the Professors; how they seemed to know their every move.

    "Most troubling, this is."

    TAG: No-One
    ---
    IC: Palpatine

    Bored

    It was typical diplomatic fluff, and Vy'ndall was saying very little of substance. Palpatine zoned out, absently turning over in his hand the small piece the Professor had passed to him. The Imperator, in black, at that. Palpatine had his suspicions that he was being groomed for something, but what, he could not divine. The chaos that prevailed on Nouane didn't seem to assist anyone; not even the current Republic Chancellor, who was already mired in some kind of scandal.

    Eriadu was divided, certainly, but Hapes and Kuat replacing the Sephi representatives? The Sephi were irrelevant poltically, to be sure, but so was Vy'ndall, representing a dispossessed refugee state. Palpatine's lip curled at the thought. He let it hang, and refocused as the Nagai responded.

    There was no code, merely disappointment. In the Force, Vy'ndall would sense the bloodlust behind their neutral facade.

    "We await your wisdom, Vy'ndall, then. Our formal protest is all we offer."

    The line cut-off, and Palpatine frowned. "That was shorter than I expected. Was my presence that much of an affront to them?"

    The young man wondered whether he had missed an interplay. Everything about Vy'ndall screamed warrior to him, but they were portrayed as the said, sorry, dispossessed refugee state. The incongruity didn't match.

    TAG: @greyjedi125 (combo)
    ---
    IC: Ranulph Tarkin
    Elsewhere on the Program Grounds

    ”Master Yoda has been dispatched here to investigate so perhaps he will discover the truth. However, you have a point about power but perhaps we should consider all it’s wide varieties. In my current position I am a suspect as much as the others are and what I do have within my power is now to keep it all from falling apart, keep the major factions that Are present from bringing all to chaos.”

    Ranulph pursed his lips. He could tell there were subtleties there. Ones he did not care for. Wilhuff always acted as if possessing a higher purpose than merely Eriadu and the Quintad's games; as if the galaxy was his stage. It was palpable, and his superiority was sufficient to draw the ire of many a rival. Ranulph barely noticed it, unless his nephew was being obtuse... but presumably he was required to, and Ranulph spied the beautiful Kuati woman at the edge of the hologram.

    He smiled, bearing his teeth, and nodded. "Of course, Wilhuff. Chaos is our enemy, and order our goal. But if there is treason afoot, it should be struck down ruthlessly, nephew. If you play with your food, you are liable to become food. That lesson we all learned on the Spike." He nodded. "Soon enough we will need to strike at this chaos - before pressures overflow back home."

    Not at home, but back home.

    Ranulph communicated with some artfulness that he was not at Eriadu, and signed off.

    That left Tarkin to tune into what Jori Atreus had to say to Kuat of Kuat.

    TAG: @TheAdmiral, you and I discussed the combo with Tarkin starting from this point, @darthbernael, TheAdmiral will open a PM

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto, @Imperial_Hammer, can I be copied into your combo, please? [face_thumbs_up]
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  12. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: This is a combo between me and @Sinrebirth and @darthbernael thank you both!

    IC: Jori Atreus, Tarkin, Kuat of Kuat
    Somewhere private, Nouane


    Jori listened intently the conversation that Tarkin and his nephew were having. She was formulating her own report for her family, which hopefully will reach Kuat of Kuat, it was then when her commlink buzzed. She frowned slightly and took it. It would have been funny if she was not so shocked by the identity of the caller. Talk about serendipity.

    "Tarkin, I hope you don't mind me taking the call. It seems everyone wants to know what is going on here." she flashed him a friendly smile.

    His nephew having signed off Tarkin found her call coming at a fortuitous time. He’d be able to hear her call and see what she had gained from his own, not to mention whatever thoughts she’d air to whoever was calling. A half smile touched his lips in response.

    ”I do not mind, and yes it seems anyone with interest wants to know how events are going here.”

    He let his mind drift over what Ranulph had said even as he waited and listened.

    Jori tilted her head slightly, still smiling, but her mind was calculating what she could say or not in front of him. She picked her commlink up and connected it to the holoprojector and the image of her planet's ruler appeared "Greetings Kuat of Kuat, I understand you wanted to speak with me?"

    At the greeting one of Tarkin’s eyebrows rose, but otherwise he remained silent, the little half smile still on his face. He stood for just a moment, retrieving a pair of stimteas, in case she desired one, and returned to his seat, making sure he wasn’t too far to be able to hear as he did. When he sat, he leaned back, sipping quietly from the tea, after putting hers before her.

    Kuat of Kuat appeared, and she looked as neutral and ambivalent as possible.

    [​IMG]

    Kuat of Kuat, formerly Onara Kuat

    The woman was youthful in appearance, but with the wealth she was swimming in, whether that was true or not was anyone's guess. She eyed Tarkin, and turned back to Jori Atreus. "Greetings, Jori. I did not have opportunity to congratulate you on obtaining a space on the Dwartii Exchange Program before you left. You have brought great honour to your family, and I understand that a telbun has been proposed to your family on your return."

    "From your cheekbones I imagine you are Wilhuff Tarkin, the young man who butted heads with Tarsus Valorum before his untimely demise." Her expression didn't waver as she addressed the Eriaduan. "One hopes that the reputation of the Program is not permanently sullied by this affair."

    Kuat of Kuat was debating whether or not to ask for privacy, but decided that the threat she offered would work; Eriadu was a bold, angry little well, with a relatively young and brutal nobility, having colonised Eriadu anew in the last millennia. Kuat however had been a stable world for some twenty five millennia, and had managed to remain safely ensconced within the Republic's embrace save for a handful of minor incidents - the most notable of which being a Sith assault over three millennia ago. What was occurring on Nouane was fanciful drama for a world which had built weapons for Coruscant without ceasing.

    However, appearances had to be kept.

    "It is my understanding that there is a disagreeable amount of tension within the halls of the school - the Professor kindly notified me that Grandmaster Yoda is due to arrive, and of course an investigation could fling mud at all manner of student, notwithstanding that you arrived later." She paused. "As such, I thought it appropriate to ensure that your reputation remains spotless... and to let you know that the Aurora has been put in your service."

    The Aurora was one of the most brand-new Mandator-class dreadnoughts - the second of its class. To keep with the regulations on arms it had a limited weapons outfit and hyperdrive, so it in-theory couldn't leave the Kuat system to travel to a port in Republic Space. But such hyperdrives could be relatively simple to replace, and upgrade... as many critics of the eight kilometer design had long contented.

    To even mention it was to both emphasise how serious Kuat of Kuat was taking matters on Nouane, and how far she was willing to go to ensure their interests were protected.

    Jori's face remained impassive, but her mind was racing. A Mandator? What was she supposed to do with such a craft? Arguably one of the biggest, if not the biggest ship in the Republic. She was not a military person and it was way over her head. "Thank you." she said "Yes, there is quite a lot of tension going on around here..." she paused "May I ask, since Tarkin is here, as you may know I am not knowledgeable on military matters and he..." she gestured towards the man sitting next to her "He is an experienced officer and I trust him, will it be possible to sort of employ his services as a consultant in regards to the usage of the Mandator?"

    Tarkin had nodded in respect to the Kuat of Kuat when she appeared and acknowledged him, keeping the slight grimace off his face that he would have otherwise shown. ’People insist on using a name I no longer use.’ he thought as he continued to listen to what the ruler of Kuat had to say.

    His mind moved quickly when he heard the name Aurora, he’d seen the specs on the Mandator class and, while Eriadu wouldn’t be purchasing any, the cost was prohibitive, he knew much about the vessels. He split his attention for a moment and reached out, ’Another addition to the equation, Ser, a Mandator dreadnought is en route from Kuat, if not arriving soon, so the space above is going to get even more crowded.’

    His attention came fully back to the conversation as Jori requested that he assist her. Keeping silent for the nonce, as it was not his discussion and she hadn’t spoken to him but to her ruler, he waited to see what the Kuat thought of the matter. A tiny tic to the corner of his mouth did appear as he looked over at Jori however, noticeable or not.

    Kuat of Kuat did not miss the hint that Tarkin made. "Even more crowded? Are you suggesting that Eriadu has dispatched forces to the Nouane system? I was merely suggesting the Aurora would be available in a nearby position."

    Her gaze cut to Jori. "Did you know of this?"

    She went to speak to someone out-screen, appearing relatively urgent in doing so.

    Tarkin’s eyes widened fractionally, the message he’d sent to Ser B should not have been overheard but he must have been whispering as he sent the mental communication as Kuat had heard and now knew. ”Eriadu has sent no fleet that I am aware of here, Ma’am.¨”

    ”However,” he sighed, things were certainly getting much more complicated, ”you may say that I am able to access information and such that others are not. Jori and I were discussing elements related to that prior to my having spoken to my nephew. Things here are not what they seem and it appears that has filtered out to include the space surrounding the planet. If things are not resolved here, the galaxy may enter a bloody war.”

    Everything he had told her was truth, however he left out as many elements as possible, still attempting to keep his own, deepest, affiliations private as he needed to do. He only prayed that Kuat of Kuat missed the holes in what he’d said and demand that he clarify.

    Jori frowned, what was Kuat of Kuat talking about, she had not heard anything coming from Tarkin. What did they both mean by space over Nouane is getting crowded? "I believe that there is merit, to what Tarkin is telling us, despite the fact that it might sound ludicrous at first." she paused "I know it is not exactly precise, but my gut feeling tells me that there is much more going on here and that Nouane is a centre where the fate of the Galaxy might be resolved." she hoped that she did not oversell it though and eyed Tarkin for a second. If he was wrong she would appear as a fool who believed the first man who spun wild tales of extra-Galactic species bent on domination.

    Bernael had been indeed whispering, and the Kuati leader had kept up.

    "Then the Aurora will be sent post-haste to the nearest system. Jori, you will have sole control of it; your friend may advise, but it will be you that commands Kuati products." She eyed Tarkin. "I am suspicious that what was a gift is in-fact a trap."

    Kuat of Kuat eyed Jori again. "If you require an evacuation, it will take time to reach you." As she went to sign off, she paused. "Oh, and if Grandmaster Yoda picks you, you'd best be honest."

    "In all aspects."

    That last was as much for Tarkin as for Jori.

    Tarkin nodded to the orders of Kuat. He respected her choice, it was not his system or ship so he would advise as needed. A tiny smile touched the corner of his lip again, they both were wary that what he spoke of was a fool’s errand but whether any of this ever came to fruition or not he knew as much as he’d been made privy to of what was going on behind the scenes, in orbit.

    ”As you command, Ma’am, a wise decision.”

    He turned his head fractionally and the smile grew just a hair as his eyes met Jori’s, ”And yes, we must answer all questions the Grandmaster poses, honestly.”

    Jori in turn nodded "Of course, I don't think we can lie to a Jedi Master anyway." she smiled.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @darthbernael
     
  13. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: The Professor
    Wandering the halls

    Yoda was about to arrive, and the Professor had his last steps to take. He'd dusted off the black robes so he couldn't be sensed entirely, though he would have much preferred a Taozin nodule at this point to completely obscure him. He knew Tarkin and Jori were finished up, though Adasca and Ni'Korish remained in conversation, ditto Palpatine and Vy'ndall.

    So it meant that he needed to keep them occupied for the moment.

    He checked the holocams to the port, and looked back, frowning. Ah. The Consular-class ship had arrived, and there was the green-gremlin, stepping down the ramp with another, Corellian looking Padawan with him. The Professor skipped to the others.

    "Tarkin, might I have a word?" He leaned around the doorway, again his blue-face, etched seriously, not mixing with his demeanour. "And Jori, Grandmaster Yoda and his Padawan have arrived. Do be a good student and greet him, would you?"

    He smiled broadly, almost amused.

    "I just need to bestow Tarkin with a small gift, in exchange for his assistance." A finger was raised to stop her going, almost as an afterthought. "Please direct Grandmaster Yoda to my study, if you would. Yes, I know some of the statues and the lightsaber are missing from my room, but that's fine, I assure you. Necessary renovations, my dear."

    He flicked a hand to bid her go. "The Padawan can go wherever he wishes to solve this terrible tragedy."

    TAG: @darthbernael, @The Admiral

    @Imperial_Hammer, @Mitth_Fisto (combo finale)

    @greyjedi125 (combo finale)
     
    greyjedi125 and TheAdmiral like this.
  14. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    A brief, but thoroughly enjoyable combo with The Great Sith Master, @Sinrebirth (as Palpatine)

    ************************************************

    IC: Vy’ndall Tremyr
    The Last Epitaph Begins

    Silently he held the moment, probably a mite longer than necessary, but held it he did. That had gone as well as it could have been expected, he mused. The nagai smiled thinly in his mind, while his face remained placidly neutral.

    His people wanted blood- and of course, there would be. Lots of blood…and Anguish.

    With practiced grace, he turned to face Palpatine, whom he had heard well enough. Vy’ndall absently flexed his gloved hand, feeling the cut beneath as he spoke.

    “It matters little if they felt affronted. Your presence was required, otherwise a different scene may have played out. Who knows? Either way, I shan’t keep you any longer.”

    Vy’ndall offered a polite smile and inclined his head in diplomatic gratitude. “I believe you have a chess game to return to, do you not?”

    He let that hang in the air for effect.

    “As for me, I must prepare to meet with a Jedi Grandmaster. First impressions are everything, as you know.”

    The polite smile widened ever so slightly, before it slowly faded.

    Palpatine looked at that smile for some time. "I find that I attempt to avoid my first thoughts of someone. It is usually coloured by how I wish for the person before me to fit into my perception of events."

    "I prefer a pale, white piece of paper... so that I might allow them to give a stronger impression on me, on their truths, rather than my interpretation of them." He sniffed slightly, his brow slightly beetling at the metallic quality to the scent.

    The young man absently wondered aloud. "I do have a chess game, indeed, though I do wonder what pieces you and I are. I would loath to be a minor pawn on another's board." He tapped his chin thoughtfully, finger in the cleft. "Though I suppose even a pawn becomes a major piece when it crosses through enemy lines."

    He went to turn, slowly. "Imbued with the knowledge and power that emerges from success, after all."

    "So perhaps I will abide by being a lesser piece for a time... but will you, I wonder?"

    Vy’ndall listened to Palpatine’s words and took a moment to truly ‘look’ at this curious human. What exactly did the 'Professor' see in him that he could not readily see? It was quite the mystery. The nagai successfully fought-off the temptation to glean some deeper insights by unseen means; but, with the ‘new knowledge’ he’d been afforded, the need did not seem as dire.

    “We are all pawns on someone’s board Palpatine, whether we are aware of it or not. Trouble comes when we delude ourselves into thinking that is no longer the case.”

    Vy’ndall maintained the polite smile as he spoke. He had no intention of revealing his true self to anyone. That was the first rule of politics.

    “If a Pawn, then be the best Pawn that ever was, if a Rook, then the best Rook and so forth.”

    The nagai moved closer to the entrance of his quarters, but did not open the doors, not yet.

    “That’s what I believe in.” He asserted cooly.

    “I honestly hope, in the final analysis, that we are at least pieces on the same board, you and I.”

    There was palpable honesty in that statement, mixed with a less perceivable sentiment.

    “Can’t you feel it? Our destinies are about change, quite dramatically I might add.”

    The polite smile widened ever so slightly.

    Palpatine paused. "Not yet, no. I can't... but I can see the strings, and I hate them." He shrugged. "Perhaps after I have completed that chess game you speak of, we shall see. I suspect... my opponent has arrived."

    The young man was beginning to wonder, as he turned to go. "Whether we are pieces in someones game... or the player - the King, the Imperator - is what this Program will decide," a smile rolled across his lips. "... and if I lose, I would destroy the board, so I hope that you have your own board, Vy'ndall..."

    "Because I do not intend to be second fiddle to anyone." Palpatine fully turned.

    "Including the Professor..."

    For a moment, Vy'ndall would have a glimpse of the boys true nature. He was not darkness; he was an event horizon, into which all light entered and did not return. He was not trained; not one iota, but he was himself concealing his incredible power with no conscious thought or decision.

    "... perhaps I will write his Epitaph," Palpatine said softly, and the moment passed. "Good day, Vy'ndall."

    And so he swept out.

    The nagai regarded Palpatine as he departed and trembled in the Force. Not even the Professor and his masked cohorts evoked such a reaction in him.

    Having felt such a troubling disturbance, Vy’ndall had to amend his earlier question. No longer was it, ‘Who was Palpatine?’ , but rather, ‘What was Palpatine?’

    Vy'ndall lingered where he stood, going over in his mind all that he had learned thus far, of The Professor, of Palpatine, of the Program; everything. He had so many questions. Palpatine was right. He had to prepare his own board, fashion his own chess piece, if not a King, then a Rook. The Best there ever was.

    To that end, he needed knowledge, a better understanding of all the mysteries that surrounded him- and so, he turned and made way to kneel before the hermetica.



    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  15. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Getting deep with the Professor, combo with @Sinrebirth

    IC Tarkin and the Professor
    Discussions

    Tarkin was still considering the last conversation, as well as his own with his nephew when the Professor entered. The stance, gait, the entire way the man held himself clashed with the serious demeanor that seemed etched on the Chiss face. That, added to other clues told him that the Professor was truly not the man he seemed to be, causing his sense of alert to raise even more. The black robes over the uniform he wore only added to that sense of wrongness.

    "Tarkin, might I have a word? And Jori, Grandmaster Yoda and his Padawan have arrived. Do be a good student and greet him, would you? I just need to bestow Tarkin with a small gift, in exchange for his assistance."

    The amused tone caused the corner of Tarkin’s lip to dip in a fraction of a frown. And a gift, that certainly reeked of trouble. He listened as the Professor gave Jori her task of greeting the Jedi, a small smile on his face, ”An honor, Jori, to greet the Grandmaster of the Jedi. We can catch up and discuss your call afterward, but I do also appreciate the honor you gave me.”

    He turned back to the Professor, face composed in his usual neutral expression, ”At your will, Professor. ‘The more things change, the more they remain the same’*1, after all.” His lip turned up fractionally for a moment before he nodded, letting the Professor know his attention was fully focused on the man.

    "Yes, yes," the Professor said, chortling. "You're very astute."

    "So, I have a gift I would like to give you, but it depends if I'm talking to you, or to whomever is clearly bequeathing you with knowledge that no Tarkin should know. You had been playing your cards rather close to your chest, but all of a sudden, after the isolation, you're not."
    The Professor shrugged. "I'd like to know why, if at all possible, you're nattering in Janguine in my class - a very dead language."

    That last one was a double bluff. If Tarkin had no idea, as unlikely as that was, the Professor would just backtrack. If he knew that it wasn't just Janguine, and in-fact belonged to a collection of refugees that used Janguine as their first redoubt, then he'd just tell the Professor.

    Because as much as the Professor was prone to this, Tarkin was definitely a show-off.

    Tarkin chuckled, a dark sound, ”Observant as ever, Professor, I do like the new body by the way, very militant. I am quite sure I need not tell you why things are coming to a head currently which means that the time to lay some cards on the table have begun. Likewise, Janguine, honestly?”

    He made sure Jori was out of earshot so she wouldn’t get caught in what was now occurring before continuing, ”Considering the book you know I was flipping through in your study, not that long ago, you and I both know exactly what that language is. And yes I know I’m just confirming what you suspect of me, that I know more than a ‘simple’ military noble of Eriadu should know.”

    He turned away, aware that the Professor, if he chose, could end him just as he suspected the Professor had ended Tarsus’ life. But what was life without risk. He refilled his stimtea, ”I am a Tarkin, Professor, and Tarkin’s always find a way to complete whatever our mission is. And we never have only one arrow in our quiver when hunting. Nothing is bequeathing me knowledge, but I do take advantage of every resource I have.”

    The book had been bait; to sniff out any who would recognize it. Good, good. It didn't do for the Last Class to be interfered with. By and large, everything was going according to the design, though the tweaking was forever necessary.


    "Nothing, eh?" The Professor smiled. "You make the one miscalculation, and it all goes a bit awry."saying this rhetorically, to himself, though he was happy to be misconstrued. "But as you say, arrows and all."

    He sat on the nearest available space, led folded. "Go on then, dazzle me with what it is you want. I would hate to have a dramatic messy finale in front of a Jedi Grandmaster."

    Tarkin snorted as he relaxed his usual stiff stance for a moment and leaned against the wall, to all appearances very casual. Appearances could be deceiving, take the Professor after all.

    ”For a class with so few apparent Force users many of the questions revolve around them, Professor. The other questions and projects also were designed to get the class to think about the state of the galaxy and how it was trending.”

    He still had the stimtea in his hand and he took a sip before continuing, ”I may not have any recognizable Force ability but that does not mean I cannot recognize the trend of the galaxy. The Republic is in decline and has been for a time. The Jedi are stagnant and only a few, such as the Grandmaster are still as they were. Darkness is gathering but something is needed to begin the final push to it, at least, equaling the Light.”

    He set the stimtea on a nearby surface, hooking a chair and sitting, in a position that would allow him to move rapidly if needed, ”I do not know if having an advance scout for both the Nagai and the Yuuzhan Vong was part of your plan but I do have to commend you on the disappearance of one student and the murder of another, especially Valorum, to set up what has happened.”

    He ducked his head for a moment as he felt something rise inside him, hiding the swirling grey that rose in his eyes before he regained his composure, ”I am surprised that Yoda did not sense how crowded the space above us is, or if he had he may factor that into whatever is going on here. But if I must extend my logic and ‘dazzle’ you as you said, then you have orchestrated this to influence us and more specifically one of us to become something much more than they already are.”

    He sat back, considering, ”But knowing what I know, should your gift not be my slow suffocation or death by any other means, I have an offer that I will put forth near the end of our chat here.”

    The Professor paused. Definitely more than he should. A Shadow of things to come, no doubt. There was an edge of the lament to his inner tone, but it did not show on his grim-set expression.

    "Merely signposts on an already destined path, my dear Tarkin." The Professor shrugged. "There are dots I would connect for expediency's sake, with some quiet amendments, perhaps. After all, it is as recorded what will happen. It was so defined, destined, even. The Force is the focus of my lessons, as you note, because it is in that celestial path our fates are preordained."

    He snorted. "There is but one who opted to do something about that. After thirty-five millennia, the plan he put into motion will finally come to fruition, and save us from the Force. I have no desire to be a bystander, and you can ill-afford to be; you are in the Prophecy, in Episode IV, your son gets a lot of screen-time, after all."

    The Professor unfolded his legs, sitting forward to thread his fingers, leaning with a face that was not his, and never was. "The Nagai, the 'Yuuzhan Vong', even this Chiss I used the face of, they are all parts of the Grand Design, as much as Naboo, Hapes, Kuat, and indeed Eriadu. Between them all the Force will be sundered, and I am merely easing it so prophecy can be fulfilled; whether I am the cause, or the effect, is another question."

    He held his hands out, shouting to the ceiling. "I could tell you I'm interested in galactic peace, when in-fact I'm planning for it's destruction." His voice lowered and his hands balled into fists, before he leaned back and planted them behind him. "It is what you see, not what you hear, is true; perhaps I am merely managing an eventuality, and preparing for the aftermath, rather than causing it, dare I suggest?"

    "I would see what you offer me, before I make my offer, Tarkin." He grinned. "Unless you have some sperm on ice for your wife to use, then you are quite likely to survive this affair."

    "Changed, perhaps? Yes."

    "For the better?"
    Another smirk. "Who knows?"

    Tarkin reached for his stimtea, sipping it as the Professor explained his position, a fractional smile touching the corner of his lips. ’Ahh, he reminds me, or rather part of me, of someone once known.’

    His eyes flashed grey for a moment as the smile stayed on his lips, ”One you said, only one. Your words bring to mind lessons I learned years ago, from a source that I am sure you are very familiar with, given those recent words.” The smile twisted up for a moment, eyes sparkled in apparent humor, ”It’s a shame you are not this one you mention or an old ‘friend’ would say hello.”

    He sat back, finger idly tapping on the side of the mug of tea, ”Your belief makes it sound as though this plan is predicated on the fact that time is immutable, unable to change from a path once set upon it. And your wish is to destroy the one thing that binds the galaxy together, the Force. That would destroy it entirely.”

    His eyes flashed once more, tone a little deeper, ”My offer though, since you asked, and answered at the same time, yes my son, given to your ‘prophet of destruction’ to serve him, when the time is right. And no I do not have, what was it, sperm on ice. Eriaduans may be considered backward in that we prefer the natural way but, in this case, it does assist my continued survival.” His eyes grew distant for a moment, ”Besides the situation in that regard has grown, hmmmm, more fluid as it is.”

    "I'm sure that old friend knows his place; his Truth, no?" The Professor shrugged.

    "I am of the belief that time can be made immutable, actually. Indeed, I had a piece of ancient Sith masonry in my collection which espoused this exact view, once upon ago. The hermetica was quite firm in its belief that there was no such thing as free will, and the Force manipulated events to serve a cosmic balance that billions would regularly die for."

    "I'll take your son, but you know enough to imbalance things, you do realize. Even though you still only have part of the picture, it is a bigger part than a Tarkin should... I'll accept, and bequeath you a gift if you agree to abandon this form and project... even to forget, if you'll allow me to find a Force user who can erase such things."
    The Professor wiggled his fingers. "Especially as Yoda will dig this out of you, without precautions which I cannot bequeath to you." A shrug.

    "I will trade you a piece of the puzzle, a connecting tie between you and the next Dark Man, which will force him to seek out your son in the future - to claim his prize... an oversized statue, perhaps, for you to keep safe until the time is right... when he comes for it, your benefactor gets to know precisely when events are about to truly unravel."

    A slight scoff. "Maybe he can stop it, who knows, with this extra warning?"

    Tarkin considered the offer from the being claiming to be the Professor. ’All this time and he’s been ducking in and out of here, influencing things in the galaxy through his own proxies, the students of this academy, but this seems to be the last.’ he thought.

    His head tilted to one side and his eyes unfocused. He didn’t notice that as he did his eyes shifted, first swirls of grey then silver then back, randomly alternating between all three as well as his own. When his eyes refocused a smile spread across his face.

    ”I’m afraid your old friend disagrees with your assessment and your intentions. You, he believes, have spent far too long, the last 36 thousand years in fact, so stuck in your rote role of destroying what you believe is the thing that imbalances the galaxy when you fail to realize it is not a simple two place system. There are five legs to the stool supporting the galaxy and you only seek to remove two of the legs. Did you not know that the ‘tripod is the most unstable of all structures’*2?”

    He sipped the cooling stimtea, reviewing all he’s just absorbed. Yes the Professor was right, he knew more than a simple Tarkin should, but such things were the way of the galaxy when things needed doing and his life had always about having taken the hard road and fighting to get the results that benefited the galaxy, Light or Dark.

    ”If you do not recognize the other three legs, and obviously you believe you control or have dammed one of the three, I will not reveal them. So my son will be part of the path that the one you are grooming will use to try to break the galaxy, but,” he smiled again, the smile of something coming up from the depths to leave a half eaten corpse floating on the surface, ”you too have made a miscalculation in your offer. I am certain the Grandmaster knows that someone like me is here and if he does not find it your plans will be even more disrupted.”

    He sat back, knowing he could have doomed them all, himself especially to a dark fate, in the coming days, but he’d chosen his path many years before and the being the Professor represented, if not was, had been at opposition to his own many times in the past and would again many times in the future.

    The Professor snorted. None of the other students would have an understanding of what they discussed, and indeed his other didn't understand his goal; nobody did. But yet, his intransigence made him testy. The Chiss-faced man hissed slightly. "It is as I said. I will not be a bystander this time."

    "You think yourself special but you are merely seeking to win the next game before the first is even over. The first, it is about to be played." He hissed. "The Dark Man is about to rise; the one who will completely imbalance the Force, and the Balance will die. It is prophecy."

    He placed a hand on his chest. "It is already written, and I should know what that means."

    So he stood, and turned away. "I offer you the statue of Sistros; to take away, and give to your son. When the Dark Man seeks out the statue, he will find your son; that will connect him to you, and you to him." The Professor glanced back. "When you have spoken to the Jedi Grandmaster, I will bequeath the statue to you, and you will accept erasure of this man's mind. You create a temporal paradox; just by being, and I have no desire to be your opponent. Not here; not ever. I ask you, nay, beg of you, not to speak of the wider events you hint at to Vy'ndall and Aurenna; they must not strike until the Dark Man exists, or - or."

    The Professor looked away, and his voice caught.

    "Imagine a world where you succeed here, and today, and guide the Force off its destined path; imagine a world where your vaunted Balance died abruptly, driving you mad with pain, a feedback loop that shattered your psyche and brought your sanity and sense of self to an end."
    The Professor looked pained, violently, and terribly, and Tarkin would know that he spoke his Truth; that there was a reality where such a thing occurred, or occurs.

    Forty some years from now, it existed - in what would be become 19 BBY; a twilight in the very Force.

    Thirty three years thereafter, it would manifest here as a corporeal moment of impossibility.

    The Professor shared the terror with him, as if his mind had opened to Tarkin.

    "That moment will be the warning that it is time for you to intervene anew. Here, and now, you cannot; must not, or there will be no other timeline but the one where the Balance dies forever - but before."

    And in that paradoxical statement, he revealed to Tarkin - and Sir B - that there was a world-line where it went even more wrong. If the End of Times was at stake today, as the Professor implied, then another, worse, timeline, was a truly terrifying concept.

    Tarkin’s eyes, this time, did darken, almost to a black color. The voice that came from his mouth was flat, even, toneless, ”The family this man is a part of is mine and I have put my mark upon them. He has already stated that who we represent does not oppose what is being done, merely the forces that are arranged here that do not belong here yet, in this time, they must not invade yet, must wait until the right time. Yes we can see that far. Who you are trying to raise will have his day.”

    Tarkin shook his head, as though attempting to shoo a flying insect away but the voice continued, ”The one who created your path, if you not be he, was the reason what we do even has form. His students, who he set at opposition to each other, caused the rift that allowed something incorporate to take form. This man is just one in a long line of those to serve it. We do know of the alternate timelines, and how poorly things can go. Even in ones where the Event happens in recent days, the End is inevitable, we strive to delay that day as long as possible.”

    ”Before I return this man to himself, one last thing, he must know why he raises his son to follow the Dark path, to accept the reasoning behind why this path must be taken. His explanation to those militants will happen but not all may be stripped from him.”


    This time, as Tarkin shook his head, his eyes returned to normal, ”I can speak well enough for myself, but in this case I do agree, I must not lose all, or even your plan will fail. If my son does not know his reason he will not grow to be the man that the man you raise here needs.”

    ”From what I know you have been in opposition to who I serve, many times, whether you realize it or not, but, given how the Light continues to succeed while the Dark often plots it’s own demise it’s goals and yours also often coincide. But I will not discuss more than is needed with Vyn’dall or Aurenna, to keep their peoples from bringing the End now.”


    The Professor ignored the barbs, and calmed. He raised his hands, energy clearly apparent. "Your son will know, Tarkin, I assure you that young Wilhuff will fulfill his role, and the Dark Man will discover him in time. The End of Time will come; it is inevitable now, and the Dark Man will rise."

    He reached out to wipe Tarkin's mind of what he could not know; the coming End, the Nagai, the Yuuzhan Vong, and dutifully severed him from the Shadow with a deft swipe. Tarkin could not be allowed to reconnect the dots, but he had enough knowledge to muddle through. "Tarkin?" The Professor carefully asked, hoping his Force manipulations had not been noticed.

    Tarkin’s eyes gazed coldly at the Professor. ”That is not a gift, whoever you truly are. And I suppose whatever you took, whoever it was, will not be pleased.”

    He stood, holding the mug in his hand. His heels clicked together. ”By your leave.” The lack of inflection in his voice showed the barely suppressed violence in the man. He turned and exited the chamber.

    ”Indeed I am not pleased.” A ghostly voice sounded as a presence faded into view as Tarkin departed. It was neither male nor female, but both at once, seemingly. Likewise, it could not be said to appear as any specific species but was a tall being, it’s essence suffusing the entire chamber. ”However, your actions have proven you do not know everything that occurs in this timeline you’ve tried to bend to your will. I could tell you your mistake but I believe your ego would not allow you to understand. Therefore, I will allow events to play out as they are for now. But this chaos will deepen more that even you expect.” With its last words the figure faded from sight.

    *Quote 1 attributed to French author Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
    *Quote 2 attributed to Frank Herbert, in ‘Dune’

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, (@greyjedi125, @Mitth_Fisto Mentioned)
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  16. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Nejaa Halcyon
    Arriving at Nouane, the Dwartii Exchange Program

    It was quite a moment, to be assigned as Padawan to Yoda. But, here was young Nejaa Halcyon, a Corellian by birth, and adorned in his green robes in acknowledgement of that. The Jedi from Corellia maintained their own traditions, but ultimately fed into the Temple on Coruscant for their final training. Nejaa however hadn't expected to be apprenticed to the Grandmaster, and every day was a marvel.

    Well, most days.

    Today, he was on guard; the tensions surrounding Nouane and the Professor were immeasurable.

    The death of Tarsus Valorum had ended a Chancellorship; Roan Lath had returned to Thustra and been cleared of all wrongdoing under interrogation by Yoda himself in the time between the death and now, and Yoda had remained inscrutable as they headed in-system. At one point, it appeared as if the wizened Jedi Master had sensed something, or indeed somethings, but he hadn't verbalised any concern.

    Nejaa simply busied himself with the data he had on the students, new and old, though he was inclined towards one suspect at the moment. Master Yoda had asked him not to share his suppositions, in-case they clouded the Force. Nejaa had thus sat on his concerns for over two days.

    But here they were, and as he settled the Consular-class ambassadorial ship down, Yoda was already heading to the ramp, his walking stick tapping away. By the time the ramp was dropping, Nejaa had finished his post-flight checklist and joined him. "Any last minute guidance, Master?"

    Yoda made a noise of thought. "Trust what your eyes see, my young Padwan, not what they hear. Lies and deceit are tested and refined within these walls, and our enemy will take advantage of the distrust that they engender to conceal his true goal. The environment here, truth will be lost to the tension." He peered up, as if tasting the Force with his nose. "Yes, yes, careful we must be."

    As they stepped down the ramp, a droid settled an oversized crate next to another, and Yoda watched it, before looking around.

    "Someone to greet us, there should be, no?"

    Nejaa nodded, wary. "Shall I go look for myself?"

    Yoda smiled slightly; a mischievous grin.

    Jori Atreus had her work cut out for her, when she headed to the hangar.

    TAG: @TheAdmiral (combo?)
    ---
    IC: The Hermetica

    Vy'ndall's Room

    The stone erupted into brilliance, a green glow washing the room and all of a sudden, Vy'ndall would sense his freedom; a low-level surveillance, so diffuse as to be background noise, had been thwarted, and all over the bedroom a hundred tiny pinpricks hissed and popped. There were miniature cameras everywhere, clearly.

    He felt the room become its own bubble in the Force, a shield between him and it encompassing him.

    The words upon the stone lifted up, and Vy'ndall's new understanding told him that this was an ancient Dwartii dialect, but also connected to the long-dead Sith species. With both merged, you would be able to decipher them, but his mind simply spoke of it, as if the Force had opened to him in a new and unprecedented manner.

    The stone revealed writings beneath the words that had abandoned the stone, as if overlaid upon and concealing what was beneath. An art form known as a palimpsest did this, overlaying or superimposing writing over the other.

    [​IMG]

    The hermetica spoke a truth; that the Force made those who followed it live a lie; that they lived out of the decisions of the Force, and expected Force-sensitives to live the lie that the galaxy was chaotic and not controlled at all. That there very days were led by Gods, by divine choices and that everything they did had no purpose - that free will did not exist, and the Force had betrayed them.

    The Force made all who could touch it into traitors - traitors to life itself.

    That only through betraying the Force, could a Force user truly be free.

    So said Daritha Trayus, the artisan who became known for his trickery and deceit, as lying was the only true expression of the Force.

    That Trayus had became synonymous with Wapoe, to the people of Atrisia, another ancient pre-Republic civilisation.

    That the Sith remembered the truth, and hid, and protected it save from those chosen few.

    It was a serpent that slithered between the barriers of conscious, unconscious and subconscious, an unavoidable truth that ensnared, like a Tanis.

    To embrace it was to become Trayus, or, the tomb genuflected, Traya.

    That knowing this about reality was nothing more than Anguish incarnate.

    It pressed upon Vy'ndall, upon his skin, upon his mind, wishing to imprint itself upon his essence there and then.

    TAG: @greyjedi125
    ---
    IC: Lady Tarkin

    One last piece of the puzzle

    It wasn't long after speaking to Ranulph that the wife of Tarkin decided to damn the rules and contact her husband.

    His comlink chimed; the Professor had not made sure it was taken from him, because now he had no need to concern himself with such things; he need only play his last moves and they would be done and dusted and this delicate piece positioned perfectly.

    His wife was evident, looking flushed and concerned. "I know, my love, but I need to speak to you now. Galactic consequences are afoot, but if I do not speak to you now, when shall I? Ranulph doesn't know I'm calling, because I wanted you to know first."

    She took a deep breath.

    "I am with child, my love."

    TAG: @darthbernael (combo)

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto, @Imperial_Hammer (when your combo goes up I shall provide a post for you, too)
     
  17. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    A most dramatic combo with the one and only Master of the Sith, @Sinrebirth

    **************************************************************************


    IC: Vy’ndall Tremyr

    Door to Madness, Threshold of Anguish

    "LIIIIIIIIEEEEESSSSS!!!!"

    The nagai knelt upon the floor, panting heavily, sweat falling from his brow. He felt a throbbing pain, then looked down to see his right hand digging into the cut in his left. His ears ached with the echoes of his screams. His mind. He had barely saved it.

    Or had he?

    An overwhelming emotion had taken a hold of him, no, it still had a hold of him. His dark eyes darted to an fro, as he peered into the shadows, as if attempting to glimpse a sudden apparition.

    He couldn’t seem to stop the all consuming anguish that threatened to sunder him from within.

    The Hermetica.

    It was lies. It was poison. All of it. It had to be. This was not the power he was promised. This was…perversion itself. Vy’ndall could not unlearned what he had now learned, these insidious lies were now seared into the very fabric of his soul and he hated himself for knowing them. These concepts were the most dangerous weapon ever conceived.

    A recipe of universal implosion. Sheer and utter madness.

    Oh, the sophistication of it all. Vy’ndall shook his head and chuckled all at once. The sheer brilliance was astounding, but he could see why it needed to be secret. Poison was most effective when delivered without the target ever being the wiser, and he had drank from the cup with unabashed eagerness.

    It was comically tragic really. His mind rejected these concepts, these teaching, but the more he tried not to think on them, the more he actually did- thus expediting the erosion of his own mental stability. This…Daritha Trayus, her sith poison would end them all.

    And then, he understood that he himself, had held a naive concept of the Darkside. That this, this was darkness beyond his ken.

    “No!!!”

    Gritting his teeth, then nagai summoned his remaining strength and slowly rose, his body trembling, even as he wailed despite himself. He desperately needed to clear his mind; Grandmaster Yoda, he was already here- and he would know, he would see it in his eyes.

    Again, Vy’ndall would peer at the shadows of his room for a long moment, eyes narrowed to slits, as he gazed with an accusing expression etched upon his face.

    He was afraid, probably for the very first time in his entire life. He did not dare come close to the stone, the lying stone, the mind altering rock; for that is what it did. It twisted your understanding, until you understood nothing. It betrayed all that you ever knew, for it was a weapon, a subtle and most insidious weapon crafted by devils.

    The nagai moaned aloud, trying to clear his mind, but to no avail. Had this been the plan all along, to addle his mind just before the arrival off the jedi? Was he just…..a pawn??


    “LIIIIIIEEEEEESSSS!!!!!” he hissed! “It’s all…lies.” He sobbed softly into his cupped hands.

    The green words floated around his form, surrounding him for a time, hammering upon the mans physique and indeed psychically with their truth. His hands grew porous; he could not use them to prevent him from seeing what he saw. His eyelids did not protect his pupils; they were unable to stop reality surrounding him. His mental defenses were mere butter to the cuts of their voices.

    All the words wanted was the Nagai to accept it.

    To embrace it, and become what he clearly had to; what anguished him so was not the tragedy of it all, it was his resistance.

    He had to become his pain; his horror; and he would be saved.

    Ancient Sith and Nouanese words caressed his clothes, passing through and scraping across his skin, like sandpaper upon flesh. They chanted as they did. It was simply the truth, and it was all he was...

    Fate - monstrous

    And empty

    ... all any of them were...

    Come, come, O come,

    Do not let me die
    ... all the choice they truly had...
    The chains are the hard part

    The chains are the hard part

    ... that was, to say...
    None at all.

    Unable to shut it all off, unable to unsee or unlearn these lies, his only recourse was to empty himself of all else, lest he go mad in an instant. He'd fallen for a trap most terrible, most terrible.

    He chuckled. What was his part in this again? Oh yes.....Blood. Power. Madness. Anguish. But not necessarily in that order.

    Somehow, he would scrape power from this mental prison, this prison which he could not escape. He would refashion himself, reforge his vision. But he would not give in. After all, all a nagai had to himself was his pride.

    To become the Lord of Anguish would be his greatest work yet. No....there was something else, but he couldn't quite see it yet. He had to get past the lies, find a flaw in this prison. But he was getting ahead of himself.

    Vy'ndall narrowed his focus. If Master Yoda came, he would say nothing. The grandmaster would either know, or know not, for mere words would fail most miserably at the telling of the tale. But never mind that. He wasn't dead....which meant.....which meant......what did it mean?

    What indeed.

    In the emptiness, the words seemed to flutter away, nearly receding back into the tome, until they pressed on, determined, settling on Vy'ndall's skin, and were the Nagai to peer beneath his layers, he would see the words of the tome were now tattooed upon.

    The tome with the strange hieroglyphs simply settled to the floor, as if inert anew.

    The moment was spent, and indeed, Vy'ndall had been offered power, and found truth.

    It would take time, pain, and terror, for him to see that strength; that potential.

    For now?

    There was just surviving the moment.

    Even if it involved treachery.

    For that was all he now possessed and ever would. Vy’ndall had forgotten, neglected, and even ignored cautionary words which were spoken to him at the beginning of his career, at the time he actively sought power. Now he would not be able to recall who’d spoken the words, or the words themselves for that matter:

    ‘Those who reject the Light are ultimately lost to Darkness’

    Still, it was a fitting Epitaph.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
  18. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Uh huh, as if there weren't enough complications, with @Sinrebirth

    IC Tarkin
    Complications

    Tarkin returned to his quarters, something gnawing at the edges of his thoughts. He felt off but couldn’t explain why. Perhaps it was the imminent questioning by the Jedi Grandmaster or his Padawan, perhaps it was the tension he still felt among his classmates, or the way things were moving with Jori, or perhaps it was something else entirely. The vagaries of it annoyed him, dealing with absolutes and what was identifiable and able to be overcome or turned to his side was more what mattered.

    He had barely settled on the bed when his comm chimed. Lifting it revealed the hologram of his wife. She looked flushed and concerned. Before he could get a word out, she spoke.

    "I know, my love, but I need to speak to you now. Galactic consequences are afoot, but if I do not speak to you now, when shall I? Ranulph doesn't know I'm calling, because I wanted you to know first."

    She took a deep breath.

    "I am with child, my love."

    He sat, rock still, for a moment. Considering the timing it was possible, they had only been at the program for seven months, but why had she decided now, and not sooner, to tell him. The fact that she was going through a separate direct channel told him that it was truthful and something that must be dealt with immediately.

    ”Hello to you as well, my wife. With child? How far along are you? Do you know the sex of the child yet?”

    Typical of her husband to work through the necessary questions.

    "I had missed the signs for so long, and he is not especially wriggly, it seems."

    She kept her voice even, but was looking forward to his reaction, notwithstanding the circumstances.

    Tarkin sighed, wondering what beside the obvious current situation would have kept her from noticing for so long, sure that most women could feel such within weeks of new life growing inside her. ”Wife, I do recall you saying that it was time to begin attempting for an heir, only a week ago, did you know then and that was your subtle hint that you already were with child? Have you considered a name for our son?”

    His mind was still trying to work through what had recently happened but also attempting to absorb this latest shock to his system. Their relationship had oftentime been the typical Eriaduan one of formality and relative distance between them so this overly emotional state his wife was showing was taking him several moments to get used to.

    "It was a subtle hint, husband. I was conscious of the possibility of us being watched... but Ranulph... the way he is." She looked concerned. "If I lose you, with no heir, then I will be shuffled aside. I had to tell you - are you in danger?"

    She was clearly struggling to maintain the Eriaduan stoicism.

    Tarkin frowned, it seemed Ranulph had not filled in his wife as to all that was occurring. He fuzzily remembered warnings from his nephew in their last call but the gaps he could sense blocked out most of what he could piece together of what Ranulph had meant.

    ”There is a great deal of danger here, Ranulph warned me of...something not to mention that I’m surely considered a prime suspect in the death of Tarsus, at least by those who may not have been present since that occurred.”

    He closed his eyes for a moment, pinching the bridge of his nose, ”Work with the Captain of our household guard, if things turn sour here, he will need to get you and our unborn to a stronghold. I trust Ranulph will ensure you are secure and any heir will be raised in our ways.”

    "As long as you are sure, husband," her voice was cautious. "I would much prefer you to leave the program and return to Eriadu, I admit." With that, she signed off, leaving Tarkin and his thoughts... and his fuzziness.

    Tarkin stared at the comm for a moment longer, his mind running through the brief but very informative call from his wife. If anything else the situation had just gotten even muddier. He shook his head, the fuzziness seemingly even more irritating now. And he still had yet to face the Jedi and be interrogated by them.

    Sitting down on his bed, knowing he’d have to remake it later to satisfy his need for the strict military lines, even now, years past his initial training, he appeared deep in thought as he tried to work through recent events and figure out what he’d apparently lost.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  19. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: This is a combo between @Sinrebirth and me! Thank you it was quite fun!

    IC: Jori Atreus, Jedi Grand Master Yoda
    Nouane


    Jori smiled at the Professor, but inside she was angry. Being sent away like a servant to just meet the newly arrived Jedi. Of course her face did not betray how she felt about it, but that were the vagaries of being a student again. Here she was just a member of a wealthy and aristocratic Kuati family, nothing too special. She needed to learn to humble herself. That too can be a potential weapon...

    She walked through the corridor leading to the hangar area. Before entering it she stopped and sighed silently and put a smile on her face. Jori was greeted by the diminutive figure of Master Yoda and a handsome young fellow. "Master Yoda, I apologize for being late." she said as she bowed "The Professor sent me to greet you."

    Master Yoda peered at Jori Atreus, and gestured for Nejaa to continue on. "My Padawan will deal with my luggage and so forth. He will find me a room, no doubt." With a clak, clak, the wizened Jedi tapped his walking stick upon the floor. "You know why I am here, hmmm?"

    "Much discord there is, here, and elsewhere in this star system." Yoda made a noise of thought. "Most concerning, it is."

    Jori gave a warm smile to the young man, but turned back to Master Yoda "Pardon my manners, my name is Jori Atreus from Kuat." then her face became solemn "Yes, I have recently arrived here and I was not a witness to what had transpired, but I saw the effects that it had to the other students."

    Yoda nodded sagely. "Terrible, I imagine it was, for the innocents involved. Related to Kuat to Kuat, are you? Onara is an old friend." He walked slowly, purposely. Nejaa had, of course, disappeared.

    "Pretty distant, but I guess we are all related on Kuat in some way or another." she gave a small smile "Oh, I did not know that. She is quite concerned with the current situation." Jori said solemnly.

    Yoda nodded to himself. "Concerned, many are. Here I am, because my old friend, the Sephi King, was worried by the report he received from your late colleague, Roan Lath." He tapped along, tap tap tap. "Onara, when she is afraid lashes out, sending you support, is she?"

    Of course, there was a revelation in that statement; a chilling one.

    Jori looked solemnly "It seems that the news moved fast." she sighed "Unfortunately she is, a bit of an overkill if you ask me though." she stated carefully "Hopefully this will be resolved without any further escalation."
    Yoda tapped in thought. "A fan of overkill, Onara is - not a tactician, but an accountant, she is; eliminates her variables with escalation." The wizened creature looked back at Jori. "Know, did you, that Roan Lath died?"

    He had used the word late to describe the man.

    Jori tilted her head and raised an eyebrow "No, I did not know..." she paused for a moment "How did that happen?"

    "Went back to Thustra, he was allowed, but in his shuttle he arrived; dead. His ship, in hyperspace for longer than he was dead. No cause found, merely suspicion. Kept quiet, the death has been, to prevent a repetition of events after Tarsus Valorum died," Yoda said, with a huff. "Many questions, this program does raise."

    Jori frowned again, considering the new information "That indeed is worrying..." she paused, not sure what to say next "Hopefully it will be resolved soon enough, though I guess the damage has been done."

    Yoda paused, looking at Jori. “Done, you say? No, I do not believe so. Onara has responded in a way others may; the Tarkin family is military strong on Eriadu... the Hapans, they are independent - their own forces, they could bring to bear here.”

    “Indeed, one could say that Tarsus and Roan were the most obviously weakest of the students here - in terms of their influence over their homeworld’s martial strength, hmmm?” Yoda wondered aloud. “Eriadu, Kuat, Hapes... it come to blows, a disaster it will be for the Republic.”

    A frown. “Which makes the Nagai, Arkanian and Naboo students all the more curious, no?” His eyes settled on her. “Tell me about them; know I do, how inscrutable the Professor can be - judge him myself, I will.”

    Jori thought for a moment "The thing is that such things sometimes set off a chain of events that turn the small fires into a forest fire." she smiled sadly "Forgive me about my scepticism." Atreus paused thinking about the Jedi's question "As I mentioned I have arrived pretty recently and barely had any time to get to know them, I have mostly been in contact with Tarkin." she tilted her head "Though recently there was a weird altercation between Tarkin and the Arkanian in some alien language, also an exchange of messages between him and the Nagai. I can't really say what was being told though." the information was safe enough as the Jedi would surely find out about the exchanges. Besides she really was not sure what they were all about.

    "An alien language, you say." Yoda closed his eyes in thought. "How curious. Enquire of them, I will." He tapped as he wondered. "Adasca - an adoptee to the Arkanian leader, she is. A relatively known factor, I would say. The Nagai, Vy'ndall, he is almost unknown comparatively. In the Unknown Regions, many Nagai make their wealth, returning to their communities to disperse their fortune among their species. A refugee nation, they are - their world was said to be lost centuries ago, when Nagai became more prevalent in our galaxy."

    The Jedi Grandmaster mused. "Tarkin also falls at the centre of this, knowing more than I would expect." That told Yoda a degree of who the Eriaduan was associated with; an old friend that the older creature had encountered centuries ago, with his own Master. "A mystery, that is not. Pride themselves on their intellect, do the Tarkins."

    A slight hmph of annoyance. "Where am I to meet the Professor, you say, Lady Atreus?"

    Jori stored the information that the Jedi had given her "Well, there are a myriad of languages, just the ones used were unfamiliar to me." she smiled and shrugged "But yes, it would be best for you to talk about it with them. I am sorry that I cannot be of much assistance in that regard." she gave an apologetic look.

    "I will take you to him." she gestured and started walking trying to maintain a pace suitable for the diminutive Jedi.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @darthbernael
     
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  20. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Palpatine
    Idle in the Professor's Office

    The young man paid little heed to the droids as they transferred the statues out of the Professor's room, ostensibly for redecoration purposes. He regarded the one remaining; Sistros, the one they actually knew the most about, Palpatine gathered - a sublime politician who argued for appeasing the masses. The young man liked that, but he was growing vexatious at being separated from the rest of the class.

    If he didn't know any better, the young man thought that the Professor was making a specific plan involving him.

    As he settled in with a lukewarm pot of tea, Palpatine idly handled the King on the chessboard.

    He regarded it, and looked up; waiting.

    Having decided enough was enough, he walked off, pocketing the black piece, to track down Ni'Korish. She was more similar to him than not, and he had no need for the bashful teenager routine now. Not with Jedi here, and whatever the Professor had planned for them all about to blow-up in their faces.

    TAG: No One, @Imperial_Hammer (as and when you've posted up), @Mitth_Fisto, I will do a new TAG for you depending on how the combo ends
    ---
    IC: Nejaa Halcyon

    Wandering the grounds

    The Jedi Padawan was almost sniffing his way around, attempting to be investigative but generally following his way through the Force.

    In short order, he had closed his eyes as he followed a current in the Force.

    That meant he didn't see Tarkin before he bumped into the man, the teenager falling back and drawing his lightsaber before he had a chance to think about it. There was a snap-hiss, and he brandished it at the gaunt man - the green blade emerged instantly -

    Though the flow of the Force tickled it's way beyond Tarkin, towards Vy'ndall's room.

    ---
    Musing, Professor's Room

    Nobody was here when he arrived with Jori Atreus, and the Grandmaster huffed. "Missing a Professor, we appear to be." He arched an ear, and tapped his walking stick. "Most concerning." He wiggled the ear, and produced a datapad from his pocket.

    He peered at it and gave the Kuati had her opportunity to reply.

    Yoda was looking at the profiles of the other students. Jori was innocent, of course, though Ni'Korish may know something useful, and important, she was, as a Hapan Princess. But his eye get being drawn to Vy'ndall, so the Jedi Master made a noise to interrupt Jori.

    "Locate Vy'ndall, could you?" He nodded, more certain. "Speak to him, I would."

    From the office, Jori would have to pass the confrontation between Nejaa and Tarkin to get to the Nagai's room.

    "Mention Roan to no-one, if you would. His death is the key to resolving this entire affair." Yoda absently eyed the chessboard, reaching for the white King and musing again. Whatever Jori said after - he wouldn't hear it.

    ---
    Vy'ndall's Room

    As the Nagai put himself back together, a flutter in the Force allowed him to hear those words.

    "Locate Vy'ndall, could you? Speak to him, I would."

    The Nagai would have sensed the other, lesser, light, approaching - a Jedi Padawan, but had bumped into Tarkin. But clearly the Jedi were picking up something from him now that the Trayus Hermetica had merged with him.

    He was in danger, clearly, but there was no way out of the complex without revealing himself... without betraying himself.

    Would he opt for subterfuge, or react now? Precipitously, or appropriately?

    Who could say?

    TAG: @TheAdmiral, @darthbernael, @greyjedi125
     
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  21. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Enjoying teasing a Padawan with @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, and @TheAdmiral

    IC Tarkin, Nejaa Halcyon, Jori, and Vy’ndall
    Hallway encounters

    Tarkin had left his room, confusion and concern etched into his features. So much had happened and so much was still happening and his mind was all over, trying to figure out what had happened to him earlier was at the forefront of his mind. So much so that he didn’t even notice the figure before him until he literally ran into him. The collision rocked him back a pace, ”What the frack? Watch where you’r... “

    He trailed off as he realized his own distraction was just as at fault as the person, ummm Jedi, before him was. ”Apologies, young man, quite a lot has happened, even in the last few hours, and I was not watching where I was going. You must be the Padawan of Grandmaster Yoda. I am Tarkin, as I would imagine you are aware.”

    The sight of the drawn lightsaber was a concern, of no doubt, concern that a Jedi would draw a weapon at so innocent an encounter had him wonder if the man considered him one of the suspects. He kept his hands well clear of his belt, clear of the light blaster he’d just recently reacquired. ”Am I that much of a threat to you, young Jedi?”

    Vy'ndall sat in his quarters, eyes closed, listening to the voices, to what was revealed, sensing, feeling, scheming. There was danger. Then again, there was always danger. He chuckled lightly as he continued to tune in.

    No, he would not run. Only the 'guilty' took flight. Wherever would he go anyway?What pray tell was his crime? Occult knowledge? His only choice was subterfuge, for such was his best ally at the moment. He was a 'politician' after all, and as such, the game of interpretation would serve him well in this instance. He would wait for these brights to come to him. They would test each other, as it was meant to be.

    Jori was annoyed by the Professor. He had sent her to bring the Jedi to his office then he pulled a disappearing act. Most annoying and frustrating. She was used to intrigues and cloak and dagger stuff, but this was too theatrical for her tastes.

    She was making up excuses for the Jedi, though he did not seem to pay any attention. Which was for the best as Jori was sure that he would see through the poodoo she was spinning. The little gremlin sent her to find the Nagai, great, just great. Was "bell girl" written on her forehead? Outwardly she gave him a pleasant smile, though she was sure he could see right through her and nodded.

    Time to find her fellow classmate.

    Nejaa blushed, and shut-down his lightsaber. He bowed. "My apologies, Mr Tarkin." Then the Padawan shook his head. "No, you are a suspect, after all. It would be useful if you stayed in your room for now. I am following a current in the Force."

    He went to step around the Eriaduan, and then noticed the Kuati woman approaching - Vy'ndall's room was beyond the moment between him and Tarkin. He glanced forward, but he couldn't sense the connection any longer. "Lost it," he said with some disgust.

    Tarkin stepped back again, a frozen expression on his face, ”A current of the Force” came out in a near whisper, as his mind recoiled against the fuzzy areas it had recently acquired, the words striking as though a clapper striking a bell. Several long moments passed as he regained his composure,

    ”I appreciate the advice and know that you have an investigation, that many of us are suspects in, to complete, but we have all been recently allowed out from being confined at the Professor’s command so a little fresh air is appreciated.”

    A tight smile appeared on his face, ”I do look forward to the questioning though, I have nothing to hide and know I did not murder Tarsus. I’ll probably be the easiest of your suspects to discard as one.” He frowned at the last words, not entirely sure why he’d said them, but that they’d felt right to say.

    As for the Nagai, he continued to savor all that transpired outside of his doors. He sensed the flickering lights struggling against encroaching shadows, tendrils reaching out to obfuscate paths and purpose. It all seemed so clear now. Still, he understood that he had a part to play, that he had been thrust into a stage he had longed to belong to for a very long time, though the script he'd been given was not of his choosing.

    No matter.

    He was ready for his scene. He was patient, and what's more, he had a plan.

    As Jori made her way through the corridors she stumbled upon Tarkin and what seemed to be the young Jedi from earlier "Oh..." she started "I hope I am not interrupting anything?" she smiled and tilted her head.

    Nejaa blushed again. "Merely a chance encounter, Lady Atreus. Sir Tarkin here interrupted my following a peculiar trail in the Force. It has gone now, but I feel as if I should ask; are any of you an undeclared Force user?"

    They were almost outside Vy'ndall's door, now.

    Upon hearing Tarkin's voice and feeling his presence, something stirred deep within the Nagai. Vy'ndall rose from his seat and found himself walking towards the doors of his chamber, then opening it. The feeling, that he had longed to speak with this man suddenly hit him, compelled him, even to the point that he barely registered Jori or the Jedi.

    Well, that wasn't entirely true.

    Vy'ndall gave Jori a slight nod, but ignored the other. It stood to reason he had not heard the question at all.

    << Are you alright, old friend?>> He'd ask Tarkin in Nagai without consciously realizing it. Something seemed off about the man; this man who was the closest thing to a like-minded being, and now.....he could not bear to lose that too.

    The inputs continued to rail against his mind, so many, and all at once. And then his comm chimed, the small holo opening and a face that he couldn’t place but seemed familiar stared up at him ”Tarkin, I had to resort to this to reach you, what has happened?”

    He went rigid, his face a mask as his eyes began to shift wildly back and forth in color.

    His mind a random series of blanks and fuzziness

    His wife calling to announce that she was scared for him and that she was pregnant

    ‘A current of the Force’

    The smile and tilt to Jori’s head stirring emotions in him

    Are any of you an undeclared Force user?

    << Are you alright, old friend?>> in Nagai

    And the call and question


    To those around him he merely seemed motionless, as though in shock but from his perspective the hall was shrouded in all the colors of grey as they swirled around. As each of those points rocked his mind, again and again, it felt as though the swirls punched through him, through his mind.

    He felt things begin to shift in his mind, the fuzziness clearing, the blanks seeming to take on form and color, A voice entered his head ’Sooner than I’d planned but the galaxy does not always follow one’s preferred path. Let what was hidden and lost be restored!'

    At the exultant cry his head whipped down and his eyes shown a dark grey, no way to hide it from his companions or the Jedi. The same voice came from his lips ”The bridge rebuilt, the man whole once more.”

    The paralysis that had affected him withdrew and anger tinged his eyes, as they returned to their normal color. It faded as he looked to Jori, ”Not interrupting, Jori, you have helped me just now, with something I didn’t know I needed help with.”

    He turned to Vy’ndall <<You too have helped old friend, perhaps we can salvage this debacle yet.>> responding in Nagai.

    Looking down at the comm, ”I am returned, Ser B, and will report when time allows, but,” he looked at the others, wondering if any were in league with the Professor and if he stated the basest fact would they respond aggressively, mostly discounting that from Jori given her recent arrival, ”the one behind this is certainly not ho or what he seems to be.”

    Finally he looked to the Jedi, sure the display he’d just put on had caused enormous ripples in the Force, but it had not been by his doing. ”Padawan, I believe your question may have answered itself, at least in my case. If you can reach your Master, tell him an old friend’s friend says hello.”

    Jori was confused by what had transpired here. What were these people talking about, she hated all those cryptic and mystic mumbo jumbo that the Jedi seemed to always bring to the table. Now Tarkin and the Nagai were acting weird too. Where did her family send her to? An insane asylum? "I am glad of being of service then." she smiled to Tarkin and turned to the Jedi "As far as I know I am not a Force sensitive." she smirked.

    As if on cue, Vy'ndall gave a respectful nod to Tarkin. <<Let's chat again soon.>> He offered.

    He half-turned to give a similar nod to Jori, then turned fully to return to his quarters. He would not conduct official business outside of his chambers, unless absolutely necessary.

    Tarkin already annoyed him; Vy’ndall too.

    Nejaa scowled and put a bit of emphasis in his words. “I would appreciate you not changing languages mid-discussion. I will consider such actions to be an attempt to interfere with the investigation if it occurs again.”

    As much as the Jedi was a Padawan, he clearly commanded respect. Lady Atreus, is there anything I can help with?” He said, more politely. Did Master Yoda send you to speak to me?”

    He checked his comlink, but had no messages.

    Jori was trying not to look too annoyed by what was going on "I was sent to fetch Vy'ndall to Master Yoda, he wishes to speak with him." she stated flatly "I was not instructed about you, I am afraid." she shrugged slightly and eyed Tarkin, giving an expression which hopefully said 'we need to talk'

    Tarkin nodded at Vy’ndall’s words, in return. They would talk again, soon, and in depth. He turned back to the Padawan, a tight grin on his face. ”Vy’ndall chose the language and I responded in kind. But I do understand your frustration. And will remember your words.” his last could be interpreted many ways, so he would see how the Jedi took it.

    He smiled and nodded at Jori, the message received, ”Perhaps since Jori had informed you of the reason she is here you could bring Vy’ndall to your Master, which would also give you the opportunity to give him my message to him.”

    Vy'ndall froze mid step.

    Ah, so he was being 'summoned' by the Jedi Grandmaster after all. The messenger just didn't get an opportunity to deliver the request. Smoothly, the nagai adopted a more amiable expression upon his face and turned.

    "My apologies, Jori. I was simply reacting to the distress I heard in Tarkin's voice, nothing more. It was never my intention to cause any sort of alarm. Interesting that speaking in one's native tongue when concerned for another can be construed as 'interference'. I would have thought such a thing to be easily sensed. Perhaps I was wrong."

    The little Jedi was annoyed? If that was the case, then he had no business investigating such a complex matter.

    "I'd be honored to walk with you and meet with the Jedi grandmaster." He said directly at Jori.

    Jori tilted her head quizzically "I thought the Jedi was going to escort you." she paused "And no, I was not distressed by you talking in your language, I am getting used to that around here." she smirked.

    Vy'ndall returned Jori's knowing smirk with one of his own. She was a sharp one. Too bad he wouldn't have the opportunity to get to know her a bit better, at least that was his thinking with the way things were going.

    The nagai said nothing else and simply waited for the next move.

    Tarkin chuckled, the others had sensed his wordplay as he’d put it across. He looked at the Jedi, the man had most likely been raised in the Temple his whole life and while he was Yoda’s Padawan, he perhaps had not been around people such as were granted admission to this school, or so it seemed.

    ”Padawan, your order are known as peacekeepers around the galaxy, but as I’m guessing you’re beginning to sense, those here are of those that your order will report to in the future and therefore do not see you as the ultimate authority. Your order is to be respected in their role but while we understand you and your Master are here to find the truth of the situation, we do not take kindly to coercion.”

    He turned toward Jori once more, but directed his words to the Jedi still, ”If you are so concerned with what may have been said you could have either asked or do what I suggested and take my friend here, Vy’ndall, to your Master and report the ‘incident’. Instead we now stand here, tension in the air because you felt the need to exert authority.”

    Nejaa Halcyon glared from one to the other, and then back to Jori. She could have supported his assertion but instead had not. Politicians, he remembered. With a polite smile, he nodded to the Nagai. "I'll escort you, of course." The Padawan eyed the two of them that remained with uncertainty. "And deliver Mr Tarkin's message."

    "I will undoubtedly need to speak to you each at some point," Nejaa said, reluctantly, and went to lead Vy'ndall. He blinked, though. "I'll need you to show me where Master Yoda is, of course."

    Vy'ndall secretly enjoyed the glare that proceeded from the inexperienced Jedi. He sensed a possible opportunity there, but felt any attempt to fan those flames to be 'premature' at the moment.

    "My pleasure." he replied amiably and returned the offered nod.

    To both Jori and Tarkin he gave formal bows, before falling in line. Of course, he wasn't surprised when the Jedi announced he still needed assistance to get around, so he simply waited patiently for the issue to be sorted.

    Tarkin’s smile seemed friendly but cold. ”Of course, the investigation has to find the culprit.”

    He nodded to Vy’ndall, knowing the Nagai would probably have something very interesting to say about his time with the Padawan and Master Yoda, when he returned.

    Turning to Jori, ”Would you care to get a stimtea?”

    Jori gave a friendly smile to the young Jedi then turned to Tarkin gesturing to him to lead the way.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral, @Mitth_Fisto, @Imperial_Hammer
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
    Sinrebirth and greyjedi125 like this.
  22. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Aurrenna Adasca & Ni'Korish A Combo with IMPERIAL HAMMER!!! . . .& Sinrebirth as well.
    Lecture Hall

    Ni'Korish had stood up and walked over to where Adasca had been sitting. Her attempts at humor were rewarded with a pained smile, "Debate is the cornerstone of democracy." she said with a fluid shrug as she left it at that. Honestly having to have someone monitor her call was bad enough but if it could at least somewhat be private would be best. The next question was a little surprising.

    "To be honest, I'm not even sure where the living quarters are here. I went right into this thing from my shuttle. If you could point me in the right direction when you finish up, I'd greatly appreciate the assistance." Ni'Korish asked, to which Adasca could merely smile, genuinely this time.

    "It would be my pleasure to show you the way." she softly replied as she stood, smoothing out her dress before waving the way to a quiet alcove where she could make her 'privacy call' in a rather public manner.

    Ni'Korish reflected how the events passed. Aurrenna was seemingly punting on her attempts to build bonds. She replied to her comments on the class with a fairly unremarkable "Debate is the cornerstone of democracy" and a shrug.

    Hmm. Yes indeed. She then very politely accepted her request at assistance finding her living quarters. Also, cool and dry. Hmmm.

    Maybe Aurrenna was not to be a productive ally. She would have to look elsewhere. Once released from these responsibilities and properly unpacked and situated in her living quarters, she would seek out the Kuati. After that, unclear. Certainly not Tarkin, though it would no doubt give him great glee to be involved. At the very least he would be competent and.... readable. People like him at least know the rules and largely follow them. Who else... Palpatine? The exact opposite problem... too young, unreadable, but also seemingly smitten. Emotional. Perhaps the other alien... Vyn'dall was it? He seemed polite, despite his being non-human.

    She would have to think more on this. Ni'Korish would not mind a few more students.

    She followed Aurrenna to the alcove she had chosen. Despite her civil demeanor, she was likely just as unhappy to be there as Aurrenna was. Getting involved in someone's private calls was a quick way to wind up dead. She would give Aurrenna a wide berth.

    "I'll wait here." she said, standing right at the entrance of the alcove. Just close enough to hear the loud parts, just far enough to not hear the whispers. Were she in Aurrenna's shoes, Ni'Korish hoped she would be aware enough to give her the same courtesy.

    Aurrenna nodded to the other woman, trying to remember that this was a kindness she was being given and a bending of the rules that they had been dealt. "Thank you. I shall try to make this brief as I am sure my family is worried, their future plans for the family might be at risk after all." she said with a slight smile and pained expression. As one who knew that love and care were not wasted on her, but were fragile things built upon results as any power family surely was.

    Ni'Korish stood to the side as Aurrenna moved past.

    Taking a seat in the alcove Adasca made to sit with the table between her and wherever. She opened a comm line to the preset for Arkania, and under the table in her lap she jabbed two fingers into the small indent of the rock. As the villip reflexed to open and then from the added pressure clamped down the pain, the pain was so sweet it made her gasp from the fierce torture and pleasure of it. Remembering her role she whimpered as she felt the connection and made sure to speak first, for the comm and for the villip. "This is Aurrenna Adasca. I have only now been allowed a brief monitored call. Master Yoda of the Jedi order is to arrive shortly to investigate a mysterious death of the famous student. I am doing well."

    Both villip and comlink activated, the former recognising the need to a surreptitious call almost immediately. Czulkang was not one to reproach his agents while in the field; not without first finding out why they had not been in touch... his son, Tsavong? He would have glassed the planet and shrugged at the loss of his spy.

    The Arkanian, however, Lord Adsaca - her adopted father - loomed, after he was put through by the first party who picked up the comm. "It has been too long, Aurrenna. House Adasca would like to know just why you were deprived of your comlink. Are you truly a suspect? I have been unable to speak to the Professor." He sounded stiff.

    For Ni'Korish, however, her comlink was going; it was her mother, and it was marked. Most urgent.

    Adasca sighed at this, she was effectively having to give two reports at once with neither party knowing about the other, that was until Lord Adasca had spoken. Now Czulkang knew the way in which she was giving her report, but that merely lessened the danger to herself a small portion. Hopefully Yun-Harla was enjoying this and would smile on her efforts. Speaking with a soft but firm tone she made sure the first was at least loud enough for her ease dropper. "Sorry Father, it could not be helped. The prior Professor stepped down shortly after the incident. Before he did, when he notified us at the next class of what had transpired he had all personal possessions confiscated while we were attending the emergency session class and then instituted total lock down. The replacement Professor only just arrived before additional replacement students from Hapes and Kuat, one for the dead and one for Roan Lath who has mysteriously left the program in the middle of lock down. The Former of which is Ni'Korish whom is monitoring this call at the new Professor's instruction."

    Ni'Korish nodded silently, as she began her call. Most of the call was indeed too quiet for her to hear. She'd rather it that way. Safer, especially since this all had little to do with her.

    Her comm gave a gentle vibration. She picked up her communicator and saw it was an inbound message from her mother. Top priority. Sigh. Ugh, she couldn't ignore that one.

    She heard the conversation continuing in the alcove.

    Facts and figures. A name. Regencies of power shuffling, and mystery gaps and manipulations. Reaching up she brushed back her hair, a nervous habit of Adasca that should soften her father a little, gently tugging her ear which the villip should transmit shifting for Czulkang to signal that she was still viable where she was at. Flirting ever so with the whims of Yun-Harla.

    Well that seemed to check out with what she had heard and pieced together. What a mess though.

    She flipped open her comm and keyed it to a close-cropped static transmission. She lowered her voice to a whisper. Hopefully the distance she afforded Aurrenna would give her some privacy as well.

    "Hail Ta'a Chume. I've arrived on the planet and its a mess. I'm wrapping up something here. I'll establish a private line in ten to fifteen minutes when I'm in my quarters."

    She snapped the comm closed and leaned in to where Aurrenna was talking. Ugh, she really didn't want to interrupt them, but she was also in a bind with this incoming communique. She could walk off - but that would also run its own risks with the Professor. And he could very well find out. Ugh. She already give Aurrena a break by not hovering - she would have to cash that in sooner than she had hoped to.

    Time for a handy lie.

    "Almost done?" she asked from the thresh-hold. "Sorry to interrupt but I need to use the restroom."

    The Arkanian mused. "Curious about Lath. I shall make enquiries of the Sephi monarch; he is good friends with Master Yoda, so that may explain his personal visit - I do understand the Grandmaster himself is en route, after all..." Lord Adasca stroked his chin, human-style. "Hapes? That is a worthy partner for Arkania! You have done well. Kuat is a tool of commerce, and an ill-shaped one at that."

    "Do you require any support? Arkania could support a motion in the Republic Senate for a more... direct, Judicial enquiry after all?" His eyes flared. "The Republic is eager to show off its new Dreadnaught-class heavy cruisers after all; there hasn't been much call for them... I am sure the Militarists in the Senate would support a show of force; they've been campaigning heavily for a central fleet - two hundred bespoke Katana-class Dreadnaughts..."

    Lord Adasca was thinking aloud, but at the suggestion that ships be sent in-system, Czulkang growled - loud enough to be heard by Aurrenna, and indeed, Adasca, who frowned, and perhaps even Ni'Korish heard.

    Listening as a 'daughter' is wont to do she found herself almost nodding along. Not letting the facts and knowledge she was gathering in droves right now cloud her judgment of how to act or be. If not for her situation she would of been giddy, except two things rather had to happen upon the heels of one another. Heresies of fleets of mechanized Katana-class Dreadnaughts, a veritable slap in the face to the divine was laid out. Czulkang growled, as one not trained to live with such affronts on a daily basis is expected to when you live where things are as they should be. Merely to add to the joy of the moment and her wide eyes Ni'Korish had to stick her head in and speak about bodily functions. Fas! Fas! she internally cursed.

    Outwardly merely the eyes were wide open as her mouth opened to speak the very honey of the goddess. "Father was that your end or is this transmission less secure than I believed? I do not believe a fleet is needed right now, it likely would only escalate things. Better to let the Grand Master succeed or fail on his own merits. If he succeeds the program was fade away, if he fails I am sure those pining for a fleet will have the greatest weapon to parlay for centralization. Sadly my time is up. I must go if there is nothing else for this unsecured line?"

    Lord Adasca paused, his eyes blazing with thought. "Go, my daughter. I shall take your words to heart but I will consult the Senate. Inevitably a response will be called for, but as you suggest I will point out that escalation is not needed... you are very brave, in the circumstances."

    Another moment, and Adasca decided to drop the other foot. "We found out that the Professor has never used Arkania to replace his face. But we also have no record of who he is... or whether he is indeed replaced with every turnaround of the Chancellor. It may be that..." His eyes glittered dangerously. "The Professor is a singular entity, and an ancient one, at that. Be cautious, and go - give no appearance that you know his secret."

    At that the line cut, leaving Czulkang still connected, cautiously and wisely silent - and Ni'Korish ready to head to the restroom, apparently. It would be for Aurenna to release her, first, and then, perhaps... a moment with his commander?

    Mulling over those words she casually spliced out the threaded implications her 'father' had just shared with her. She sincerely hoped that Ni'Korish either had not heard, or as that was largely unlikely with her pressing need for the facilities then that they might engender them to each other more so. Making sure the screen was properly showing them disconnected and her logins erased before she lifted the comm pad with a smile, holding it out like an gift. "If one must go, best not to leave this with me. Neither of us wants to cast shadows on doing our due diligence for the sake of justice." Waiting for her to come take it before she made as if to stand. "Would you like me to show you to the restroom? Or do you perhaps need a few moments to yourself?" she asked, the smile transforming into a demure grin as solid white eyes glistened under a knowing arched brow.

    Either this woman was truly a slave to her bodily functions, out to make an enemy of her without care, or had a pressing matter to cause her to cut Adasca's time short. Not that it was cut short at all, not yet anyway. All she had to do was take the pad and leave Adasca in the alcove to talk to herself whilst holding a silly rock. The problem was, would she?

    Ni'Korish had leaned in, waiting for a response from Aurrena. The conversation was quiet, and she dare not get too close too quickly. She overheard the person Aurrena was talking to say the following line.

    "The Professor is a singular entity, and an ancient one, at that. Be cautious, and go - give no appearance that you know his secret."

    Ooh, now that was a juicy secret. She immediately pulled her knees in together and tried to remember the last time she really needed to use the restroom. She set her best impression of a small, pained-looking smile on her face - as though she was in some significant gastrointestinal distress. It would both sell the need for urgency and minimize any possibility that Aurrena suspected she had overheard the last line.

    The alien came out of the alcove and engaged with Ni'Korish. She extended her comm pad since she had finished her call.

    "If one must go, best not to leave this with me. Neither of us wants to cast shadows on doing our due diligence for the sake of justice. Would you like me to show you to the restroom? Or do you perhaps need a few moments to yourself?"

    Ni'Korish took a deep and jagged breath as she moved to take the comm pad. "Oh thank you. Yes, lets not invite any shadows here" She took another breath. "I'll be sure to let the professor know there was nothing suspicious to report here."

    Turning her attention to the back half of Aurrena's statement, Ni'Korish looked behind her, and then back to the alien. "Are there restrooms in our quarters? If they are, just letting me know how to get to my room would be great."

    She shifted her weight. Was she overselling this? Oh well. Everyone has been there once. Royalty, nobility, even the blowhards. Nature calls for them all.

    "If the restrooms are in a separate place, lets start with that first."

    She looked back to Aurrena for guidance, still with a small smile. She had no intention of sticking around once either her room or the restroom was revealed to her.

    Mother was waiting after all...

    Aurrenna smiled softly nodding at the question and the sight. Weakness, all she could see was weakness but all she could show was sympathy and understanding. A good match? The whelp couldn't withstand the mildest form of discomfort let alone real pain and keep from letting it distracting her from her duties. Still her 'father' Lord Adasca had been far too free with his words, that truly was the wondrous nature of these beings that they had not exterminated themselves yet. "This is a comfortable facility, there are both. One set near the auditorium and another in your quarters. Sadly I am not sure which quarters are to be yours, for . . . expediences sake I would suggest the ones down the hall just there, you should see them on your left."

    Making to stand she placed a hand on the table, uncomfortably holding the still active 'rock' in her free hand by her side obscured by the table. "Would you like me to come with you? Or shall I wait for you here? I would hate to intrude if you would rather privacy. . .otherwise we can have a discussion about the class' and facilities to better orient you whilst you handle things." she simply stated with an arching of a brow, all of life was a test and this was an odd one but one she felt she had to give.

    The time ticked on, with Mother no doubt waiting for her response. She needed to make this quick.

    "Ah great." she said with a smile. "Yes the restroom down the hall will do nicely." The swallowed hard, keeping with the act. "No, I think I'll go alone to the restroom. It may be a while. Thank you for your help though, I appreciate it. I'll manage with finding my room, I'm sure its not too far"

    She turned around and began walking to the refresher. The fact that she did not have an assigned room yet was ridiculous. Did she have to track down the professor too to get this information? Her baggage had better be wherever she was sleeping when she arrived there.

    She walked down the hall, looking to the left. She came upon the door. This was not ideal. She'd prefer her room. But circumstances as they are. She opened the door to the restroom, expecting a large restroom. Instead she found a single-occupant refresher. Perfect. She would give all of Hapes for a locking door right now.

    Her thoughts turned to privacy. Probably safe. There are only so many female students, likely fewer female staff. She would let her Mother know her transmission was in a semi-secured space.

    She dialed her comm into the encrypted line to the hidden nearby system operative, who would then patch her through to the Queen Mother. Ni'Korish pressed the transmit button.

    "I am here, Ereneda. My apologies for the delay. The facilities here are crude."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth, @Imperial_Hammer
     
  23. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Czulkang Lah
    Impatient, system edge

    The yorik coral flotilla lazily traced a path in the Nouane system, waiting for the Hapan Princess witch to depart. Once he was certain, Czulkang cleared his throat, demanding attention. Enough was enough. He was going to come, and, the other vessels in the system be damned, erase the planets population. This was beyond acceptable now. The Yuuzhan Vong did not wait. They stalked, and he had long bypassed that notion. His son, Tsavong, was relentlessly entreating him for permission to take a troop to the planet in yorik-trema, and lead a force of Hunters - the exclusive users of the Cloak of Nuun - into the planet to prepare.

    [​IMG]

    Tsavong Lah, Supreme Commander of Domain Lah

    Czulkang wasn't opposed to the idea, as Anor did not seem to have utter control of affairs on the ground. The mystery of the Professor could be sorted when the man's body was dissected by the Shapers aboard. It seemed fitting. Czulkang hoped he would never be old enough to teach, aboard their old and dying worldships....

    "I need information to appease the Supreme Overlord," spat Czulkang from the villip. "He is reluctant to allow us to be deployed for much longer, in-case we misstep and expose the entire invasion. Word has reached me that he is pushing the Seers to discover a negative portent about this galaxy, to redirect us to another - perhaps one of the smaller satellite galaxies."

    "The warrior caste will not have it - my son will not have it." He swelled his chest. "I will not have it. Spy you are, but dictate to a Warmaster, even your special position does not allow."

    Clearly, the older Yuuzhan Vong was winding himself up to do something.

    "The other infidel ships will be like a masquer pierced by an amphistaff," he said, a Yuuzhan Vong saying which could be summarised as 'a blade passing through butter', "regardless of their number and faction." He roared. "We shall have victory, and BLOOD!"

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto
    ---
    IC: The Queen Mother

    Indeed

    The directions that Aurrenna have to Ni'Korish were clear, and indeed she would find a room with an open door and her belongings evident. There was a simple code-lock system for her to make use of, so she could secure her surroundings and privacy. Her mother was there, and impatient.

    "I am here, Ereneda. My apologies for the delay. The facilities here are crude."

    "Of course they are," the Queen Mother said, tartly. "For they are founded by men and their ridiculous patriarchy. A Republic of fools, though the Program I had hoped would be more than that... indeed your father had received word of its importance in the coming decades." A slight snort. "Men's clubs on Coruscant, it turns out, all heresay. Your fathers over-reliance upon his drinking buddies," she said with a sneer, "requires me to be more forthright with our intentions... and offer you the Hapan muscle to protect you if you so need - a flotilla of Hapan Battle Dragons and Nova-class battle cruisers is ready to protect your dignity."

    [​IMG]

    The Hapan Prince Consort, father to Ni'Korish

    She regaled the stories of several Chancellors and various movers and fixers across history coming through the Dwartii Program. There was more to it, and indeed there was a belief that half of the corruption plaguing the Republic now had came from the world... as if there was a great intention to girdle the galaxy in pettiness and competitiveness, a squabbling that was begetting only chaos - a consummate effort to slide the galaxy ever towards darkness.

    It was all true, of course, but the collective hindsight of the community was only garnered by Hapan perspective. Those within the system were caught between a hundred, thousand mediocre issues, unable to peer above water. The Queen Mother snorted. "It is that change that I want access to. Someone seeks this chaos, to create something new, undoubtedly. Your true mission is to identify who is best placed to take advantage of this energy that all this tension is poised to unleash. Sidle up to them, and protect Hapan interests, my daughter."

    There was a light rap at the door.

    "Princess Ni'Korish?"

    It was Palpatine.

    TAG: @Imperial_Hammer (combo)
    ---
    IC: Grandmaster Yoda

    Professor's Room

    The wizened Jedi Master could not help but peer around the room.

    The recesses that were now missing statues - their imprints were evident, and their recent removal was apparent; the books in the library, with some obvious omissions... an illegal duplicate of the Aionomica, including the discredited third volume... a Jedi training guide, as written by Grandmaster Fae Coven, a Jenet that Yoda had in-fact met, before her passing. There were other, similarly illegal texts, that the untrained eye would not have recognised. The writings of Darth Nemo Dak, and indeed several heretical writings by Kel-eth Ur, a so-called 'Light Sith', as well as corrupted writings by Darth Rivan, were within this collection, on secret shelves behind shelves...

    That was of course, ignoring all the inter-species texts that pre-dated the New Sith Wars, and included knowledge lost to the Dark Age. Of the blue-skinned species that the Professor now emulated - the Chiss, ancient allies of Vitiate, and the Nagai, a species that also originated from the Unknown Regions and was present in this class. While Yoda was conscious that the Professor was leaving books askance, or hidey-holes slightly exposed, as if to manipulate Yoda's attention, indeed he was unable to resist - and would claim to be mischievously aged and senile when confronted.

    But presumably the Professor knew that, too, so there was definitely something hidden here.

    Something else.

    Yoda's eyes were draw to the shelf above the desk, which appeared to be vacant of what should have been there. With a touch of the Force, Yoda jumped, settling atop the ledge with his legs dangling, as he placed a weathered hand on the space that a Forcesaber had once been placed. "Hmmmmm."

    It was to this scene that the still-abashed Nejaa led - while being led - Vy'ndall to the Professor's room. With an incomplete Chess set atop the table, for the White King remained in Yoda's grip, his walking stick absently discarded, and the Black King missing entirely, and several books on the floor in an untidy mess... or, perhaps, this was organised chaos. The Professor's room had never been tidy, but he always seemed to know what was where and when and how...

    Summarising the man himself, perhaps.

    "Master?"

    Yoda peered down at the Nagai, eyes narrowed in the Force.

    "What was here, I wonder, that the Professor saw fit to remove?"

    TAG: @greyjedi125
    ---

    Elsewhere

    There was not much to say about Jori and Tarkin, who were clearly following their own schemes, plans, and asides. The Professor sat back in his chair and enjoyed his own beverage, the flesh-face of Thrawn abandoned to float in a tank. He sipped at the tea - a peppermint concoction - as he waited to see whether Sir B or the eponymous Presence had intervened, or the memory holds that he had placed upon the Eriaduan had fallen away.

    The majority of his plan was going well, and indeed this room was completely within the Exchange Program. Not a Force user in the galaxy could detect it, and even if they could, the Black Coat concealed his intentions and mastery.

    For, indeed, he was the Master of Masters, and as he had long said, his Eye needed to be given to his apprentice's apprentice, and to his apprentice's apprentice after that...

    But even if one partook in this Last Epitaph, one would not see it all.

    Everyone of those gathered had part of the puzzle, and not all of it, whatsoever.

    Organised chaos, eh?"

    The Master peered up, or, perhaps, at.

    "What an interesting way to describe me."

    TAG: No-One, @darthbernael, @TheAdmiral (you two may combo your 'chat', of course
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  24. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Vy’ndall Tremyr
    The Professor’s Room

    For the most part, Vy’ndall made very small and polite conversation with the ‘padawan’, or was he an ‘apprentice’, or perhaps and official ‘jedi’? Well, it didn’t really matter in the end. The Nagai smoothly guided them to the Professor’s Room, which he found to be a most interesting location to meet the Jedi Grandmaster. That too was an example of ‘living irony’ as far as he was concerned.

    The sight that greeted them upon entering the Professor’s Room was an unexpected one, but the Nagai took it in stride. The Jedi were here to ‘investigate’, so it stood to reason they would be busy sticking their hands into places they did not belong.

    “Greetings Grandmaster Yoda, it is a pleasure to finally meet you. I hope you have been well.”

    Vy’ndall spoke in light tones and bowed deferentially to the old Jedi Master and smiled easily his way. By Yoda’s words and expression, Vy’ndall surmized the wise old one was likely already having an interesting day.

    'Good luck figuring out the Professor.’ He thought, after regarding their surroundings with a critical eye.

    “How may I be of service to the Jedi today?” He asked genially after a beat.



    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
  25. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    OOC: Mid-fortnight update because it's small and why not.

    IC: Yoda
    Professor's Office

    The little Jedi regarded the Nagai with soft eyes, and then they hardened slightly as he shifted back to Nejaa. The Padawan bowed. "I have the sense of something amiss, Master, but it isn't entirely clear. I left the Kuati and Eriaduan's to escort Vy'ndall to you."

    "An escort he did not require, I would imagine," Yoda said, softly. "Manipulated too easily by these politicians, you are, my young Padawan."

    Nejaa's cheeks blushed. "It would seem so, Master."

    Yoda pushed off the shelf and landed lightly upon the Professor's chair, not even shifting the pieces on the Chessboard. He regarded it for a moment, and replaced the White Imperator - the King. "A piece, missing it is."

    "Master?"

    "Our Professor fancies himself to be playing a game against me, my Padawan..." He eyed Vy'ndall, encouraged by his arrival. "Go, find the Professor, and if he resists, apprehend him."

    "Are you sure?"

    Yoda nodded, slightly. "Sure, I am."

    The Corellian Padawan turned to go, his reluctance permeating the Force. Yoda settled into the Professor's chair, the gameboard between him and Vy'ndall. "Have you, the missing piece, I wonder? Or are you already represented on this board, I wonder?"

    He leaned forward. "Agree with me, my course of action, do you, Vy'ndall? Not the only person with mysterious intentions here today, is the Professor. You, too, come from a species of no homeworld, and no seeming motive. Many questions there are..."

    Yoda gestured lightly up to the shelf he had recently abandoned. "Such as, wonder do I, what sat there before, hmmm?"

    TAG: @greyjedi125