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The people who get shit done. Allegedly.
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Attention new members! Due to a very persistent set of spammers insistent on selling us kitchens, all new members from now on cannot start new threads. If you're not a spambot, just shoot Wes Loran a PM and you'll be given access to posting new threads.
Thank you for your patience! -Indy (16.08.2014)
Miserable at Best
, attn: levithan crew & assoc masters
Member No.: 378
Joined: 18-June 08
The long and arduous return voyage from Corbos was the most difficult endured by the young and unstable padawan. The craft was silent and none had the heart to speak. All had suffered at the tentacles of the maddening horror insidiously crafted from long forgotten Sith alchemy in one way or another. Some wore the scars on their body, others in their minds and souls. By fortitude, luck, or cowardly action, Seras Amadis escaped the brutal scene with barely a scratch on her. A fact she felt guilty for and something that stood in frank and frightful comparison to the bloody state of her robes and the pink and clammy stains to her hands.
Her psyche had paid the price which she had so deftly avoided paying in flesh. Seras had spent every reserve she had and every ounce of energy that she could spare on that planet. And in her madness to heal the bloodied remains of Sine Boral, she had even dipped into pools of finite reserve and taken more from the Force than she should have done. Even that was not enough to mend his grievous and mortal wounds. In desperation the padawan reached further into the Force, further than she had ever ventured with her mind's eye, further than any Jedi of sound mind wished to venture. For a brief second, no longer than that of her panicked and racing heart, Seras Amadis scraped against something utterly unwholesome and terrifyingly primal, a force that her inexperienced mind could not begin to grasp, let alone understand or harness. It was then that the dead thing once known as Padawan Boral twitched with ill-gotten afterlife granted in the guilt stirred ministrations.
While the darkness Seras had made fleeting contact with wasn't known or understood, the nature of it was more than enough to convince the padawan that it was a force not to be meddled with. It was something to be feared and shunned, locked away and abandoned, never to see the light of a mind. But even with that realisation and the constant and insistent training and instruction from her masters, the young padawan with her unrealistic and immobile mindset replayed the events with fervour. Slowly and against everything Seras had been told throughout her life, she wanted–no–needed to control and wield such a repulsive thing. In her naive mind the darkness had twisted into a murky light of hope that in her caring hands was the gift of life everlasting. Such were the deeply guarded thoughts that the padawan considered in quiet solitude on the shuttle to Shedu Maad.
Their arrival had been expected and everyone in the redoubt was informed via official channels and whispered rumours of the padawans' plight. This was not a joyful return and the sombre atmosphere of the redoubt paled in comparison to the miasma that the padawans on the shuttle drowned in.
The landing ramp deployed and after hesitation the padawans emerged in a broken line. Seras stumbled into their midst and down the ramp. The one bright spot on the horizon was the misplaced hope that Master Stone would have been there to welcome her back. Long before the shuttle had even set down she had searched for him. Again the crushing isolation she felt threatened to overwhelm her. But then again, she had become to expect such behaviour from her long absent master. Sighing sadly and smiling emptily, Seras joined those she felt less and less apart of.
“You cannot escape, Jedi – the Fourth Battle of Ruusan will be ours.”
The sea, the endless sea of darkness reaching from the depths and crushing them all under the weigh of that hatred and anger… It choked him, smothered him and he clawed at his throat as he screamed silently…
Cold durasteel under him, his hand clutching the fabric of someone else’s robe – it was quiet, too quiet. He could remember them laughing when they’d come, before… before what? Where was he? A violent spasm went through him and his hand shook like a leaf.
It never ended, the flow of faceless warriors bearing the helmet of their senseless crusade of hatred. Damn that thrice-cursed traitor who’d led the Sith to the Republic on a path of broken corpses. “Qel-Droma!” he snarled as his blade took another Mandalorian’s head. A shot tore through his arm, but he kept running towards the turncoat, the one who’d started all this insanity with his lust for power. “QEL-DROMA!” he bellowed as he was pulled down by the armoured men – the Sith never even looked, and there was only pain, pain and now…
Golden eyes snapped open, wildly looking for the enemy that loomed just out of sight, waiting for a moment of weakness to spill their blood on the marble floors of Coruscant. Where was his lightstaff – no, he did not use a lightstaff, his blade was blue, was it not? Who am I? A voice whispered an answer in his mind, but it was not true, he knew it. Lies, all lies – they twisted words, the Sith, they twisted words until the sun cast darkness and they were all damned .
Exar was right, he could see it now – the Order was deluded, it was weak. To serve the people? Justice and peace? What pathetic excuses for their own lack of ambition. Larad Nood looked at the moonless sky and smiled. He’d kill his Master before dawn came, because he was strong and the Jedi were weak. None could stand against the Dark Side.
“Not right,” he muttered through clenched teeth as he twitched, his free hand clenching until his nails drew blood. He would not yield to them, he’d sworn – the Dark would bleed for every inch. There is no emotion, there is peace. The light had hurt, they’d said it would heal him – burned, it burned so much. He hadn’t been bad, why did it hurt? There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. Hundreds of voices shouted, but he couldn’t understand them. They were not his, but he owned them. It made no sense, none of it. There is no passion, there is serenity. Why did he see blond hair and sightless eyes? Amadis, he knew her, he’d… know her? There is no chaos, there is harmony.
“Where is it?” he whispered, terror coursing through his veins, “I can’t… I can’t find it.” There is no death, only the Force. But Sine was gone, wasn’t he? And he wouldn’t come back. There was noise and he dropped Callan’s arm, the Light flaring around his hand, crafted in a spear. He wouldn’t let anyone else be taken by the Code, there would be no death and no Force.
Group: Jedi Order
Member No.: 437
Joined: 9-August 08
It was true enough, if looked at from a certain standpoint, that the trip to Corbos had been a success. The colonists were safe. The Leviathan was gone and was no longer a threat to the mining colony. Life could go on as per usual for those that the Padawans had rescued. Even though it was eerily quiet on the shuttle for the entire trip back to Shedu Maad, at least those on board were alright.
But nothing was alright. Callan felt that nothing had been won, nothing had been gained, all had been lost. Two Padawans had been lost in the battle with the Sithspawn, including one of Callan's closest friends. Sine Boral had been very promising. He was a powerful Guardian and a member of the Bear Clan along with Callan and Nereus. All that Callan wanted to do was curl up in a ball in his bunk and forget about the entire mission. That couldn't happen though. Callan was never going to forget any of those that were lost, Sine especially.
He scarcely noticed the grooves of the unfamiliar lightsaber digging bloody rivets into his palms and he squeezed Sine's lightsaber with every once of his strenght. There was no rhyme or reason to the behavior but holding on tightly to the last remnants of his friend gave Callan some small modicum of comfort. Nereus on the other hand, was occupying the other half of Callan's body and his mind.
The Kiffar had been thrashing and twitching wildly for most of the trip. It was clear that he was having another of his visions of another life, due to the fact that Callan was getting flashes of memories that belonged to someone else through the link that the two of them shared. His friend was in pain and there was nothing Callan could do to help, other than share the visions with him through the Force. He'd become accustomed to this feeling of helplessness in recent days, but that didn't help the situation. The Onderonian felt awful for it.
As the crowded shuttle set down in Shedu Maad's hangar and the loading ramp was lowered, Callan joined the other Padawans in the back of the line. He let pressure off of Nereus so that he could guide his friend along. He was taken by surprise, however when the Kiffar drew his lightstaff and trained it in on Callan. It was clear that he was still not in his mind, and Callan could not retaliate or harm him. He could never hurt Nereus.
The two of them were in full view of the Masters and the rest of the Order at this point. Callan was too focused on his friend to pay any heed to those who had come to see the returning "heroes."
Thinking quickly in reaction to Nereus' outburst, Callan dipped to the side and under the guard of his black-haired friend. Grabbing Nereus' hands in his own, slightly larger ones, Callan robbed the Kiffar of the use of his hands. Nereus' lightstaff was familiar after years of friendship and Callan found the activation button quickly. He pressed it with his palm and forced the now deactivated blade from the hands of its owner.
As the shaft clattered to the ground, Callan spun behind Nereus and gripped him in a gentle yet forceful bearhug to prefent any further movements. He had to talk Nereus out of this state or else he could hurt himself or any of the others around. Stragely enough, Callan could have cared less about his own safety. He whispered softly and calmly in the ear of the Kiffar in an attempt to bring him back to reality.
"Come on Nereus...snap out of it...everything is fine. We're home."
It wasn't often that Callan lied to anyone, least of all Nereus. However, the last thing he said to bring him out of his trance was a blatant falsehood. Callan vowed to himself to never lie to Nereus again as he was about to.
"It's all ok, Nereus."
Green Guard Shoto x2
Model 22T4 Hold-Out Blaster
Cortosis Weave Forearm Guards
Jal Shay Advisor Armor
Group: Jedi Order GM
Member No.: 154
Joined: 21-February 08
Not since the return of the Jedi sent to battle on Korriban had the mood on Shedu Maad been so solemn. Those of the Order mourned as they did everything else: with restraint. That said, these most recent losses were felt keenly by all their number. The death of Knights and Masters was always a tragedy, yes, but accepted as an inevitability in this hostile galaxy. When Padawans fell, though, one could not help but find it unjust. It wasn't right for students so young and promising to be cut down. Knowing their spirits had rejoined the eternal Force from which all life sprang was cold comfort even to the most enlightened of their teachers.
While Nereus had been off with his peers on the colony mission, his Master had been in the process of dusting off her long-dormant 'Nara Andros' facade, tracking down some odd rumors regarding one of the Hutt cartels. The recall signal had come through the Jedi beacon tranceiver installed on the Lucidity right before she been set to make contact with an information broker on Nar Shaddaa. Soon as she'd read the curt message flashing in amber letters on black, Shay had dropped her casual investigations cold and requested flight clearance off planet. Duty dictated nothing else, but the Sentinel couldn't claim duty was all which motivated her with any amount of honesty.
Nereus hadn't been her Padawan long enough for them to develop the strength of Force Bond the Investigator shared with her brother. Still, enough connection existed between them for Shay to know something was wrong with the Kiffar. Very wrong. The many parsecs separating them had kept her from reading the source of his trouble, which contributed to her subconscious undercurrent of anxiety. The Sentinel's worry was not only over what harm had befallen her student, but regarding her potential ability to help him.
Thanks to the Lucidity's upgraded hyperdrive, Shay beat the Padawan shuttle back to Shedu Maad by a spare few hours. She'd spent the interval in conference with those other members of the Council currently on the planet, along with some of the Masters assigned to the students involved in the ill-fated mission. The report sent back to the Redoubt had been short on facts, so there hadn't been much any of them could do but speculate. Can't blame the kids in the slightest for being terse. They never thought we'd send them into a situation like that alone.
Not for the first time, Master Marin reminded herself she wasn't at fault for what had happened. No one, not even those far more competent in foresight than her, had anticipated the dangers awaiting the group of apprentices sent to Corbos. Even if the Force had been so kind as to give warning, none of the Council would've suspected so potent a sithspawn had slumbered undiscovered on the pastoral world for countless years. Castigating themselves in hindsight would serve no purpose. What's done is done. Life moves on, as it always has.
She'd known the second the Padawan shuttle reverted to realspace in-system. As she'd felt the presence of the Kiffar move towards the planet, Shay had reached out with her mind towards his. Much to her surprise, the psychic touch had been immediately rebuffed with unexpected violence. The sense she'd garnered of Nereus' state of mind in that instant of contact brought a hollow feeling to the pit of her stomach. To say the young man wasn't himself would be like saying Corellians were just the slightest bit stubborn.
Emotion, yet peace. Master Marin preferred the original iteration of the Jedi Code over the more widely accepted modern version codified by Odan-Urr before the Great Sith War. She felt the ancient mantra better reflected her own nature. To her mind, outright denying you experienced any emotions would be as irrational as a fish denying they breathed water. The ability to feel was an essential component of what it meant to be a sentient being. Take that away, and you'd be no better than a droid with squishy parts.
Therefore, instead of suppressing her emotions, the Sentinel chose to accept them, embrace them, then set them aside. After all, Shay had avoided taking on an apprentice for two decades because the Dolomarian had believed she'd not prove adequate to the task. She couldn't stand the thought of failing Nereus now, when he needed her most. Letting her feelings get in the way of helping him would do exactly that. There was a time and place for all things, and a purpose to every event in the Force. Even the ones you wish never happened.
Reaching the main hangar bay shortly after the Padawan shuttle set down, Master Marin spent a short while observing the students disembarking. The sight of Seras Amadis standing alone and downcast at the end of the boarding ramp brought Shay a pang of sympathy for the Miraluka. She could guess who it was the young woman sought out in the midst of the sparse crowd in the cavernous space. The pall of discontentment darkened Seras' aura more now than when Shay had first noticed the problem back on Corellia. The time was swift approaching where she needed to give a certain fellow member of the Jedi Council a piece of her mind.
The Councilwoman separated from the archway she'd been lingering under, her course set straight towards the landed craft. So as not to sneak up on the blind Padawan, the Sentinel dismissed the habitual dampening of her Force signature as she approached. The older woman's hands came to rest on Seras' narrow shoulders, fingers squeezing gently in a comforting gesture. "Padawan Amadis... how are you holding up?" The misery the Investigator 'heard' resonating off the Miraluka almost had her hugging the girl outright, but she didn't want to send Nathaniel's neglected student into shock.
“Where is it? I can’t… I can’t find it.”
"Come on Nereus...snap out of it...everything is fine. We're home. It's all ok, Nereus."
The sound of her student's lightstaff striking the ground drew Shay's attention next. Hearing the whispered words exchanged between the two young men--one crazed, the other concerned--had the Dolomarian's angular features going blank as she repressed another urgent surge of concern. Releasing her grip from Seras, the blonde woman extended an arm towards the fallen weapon and 'pulled' it into her hand through the Force.
For a moment the Councilwoman examined the length of smooth wood with a contemplative expression. Then her amber eyes returned to considering her Padawan's two closest friends. Callan shared in the Kiffar's suffering, thanks to the mixed blessing that was a Force Bond. "What happened to him?" The words came quiet but calm, with a subtle underlay of firm resolution. Rare it was for the normally upbeat Jedi Master to behave so solemn. "I tried to reach his mind earlier. Nereus fought back... he didn't recognize me."
Name: Shae'andri'lar MarinNicknames:
Shay, Shay-faceCurrent Aliases:
Brin Trell, Nara Andros, Tacita DreaGender:
, a Delaya-class courierModifications:
Class 1 Hyperdrive, Tractor BeamSecondary Ship:
, a YV-929 armed freighterModifications:
Second-Degree AITeritary Ship:
A Stealth X StarfighterModifications: Jedi Shadow Bomb
Jedi Order (Alliance [Provisional Commission])Rank:
Jedi Master (Lt. Colonel/Intelligence)Class:
Jedi Sentinel/InvestigatorKnown Forms:
Shii-Cho, Makashi, Soresu, Shien, NimanMastered Forms:
Member No.: 591
Joined: 13-February 09
Returning from his mission to Yavin IV, Grozaddik had been unaware that the Padawans who had gone to Corbos had returned to Shedu Maad. While he had been on the jungle planet, dodging rancors and other nasty predators, the Jedi Master had time to reflect on things that had happened over the course of his years. Of course, one would think that constantly watching your back for danger would not give someone even a moment of peace to reflect. Most of the Wookiee’s reflection had been done on the way back from the planet and now he was almost home. Seated within the furry lap of the Jedi Master was the small, gilded cube that he had found. As of yet he had not discovered how to access what he was sure was a holocron, but he was sure that the archivists would be able to figure it out.
Grozaddik was rather upset that he had found nothing else on the planet, as he had been sent to find the supposed “Lost City” of the Jedi. As far as the Wookiee was aware the Jedi had never had a city anywhere. Being the sort that they were, running a city on an uninhabited planet would seem as though they were forming their own government. Of course, wasn’t that what they had done with Tython? Birthplace of the Jedi Order though it was, the planet was still considered a truly Jedi planet along with Ossus? Perhaps it was not too far out of question for the same to have been done on Yavin IV with this so-called lost city. Groz preferred to leave such thoughts to those that were better suited at working out the mysteries of the Force, but occasionally he found himself dwelling on such things while deep in meditation.
Finally the alarm went off that informed the Jedi Master that he was mere minutes away from reverting to real space. Just as he came out of his meditative trance, Groz was hit by an overwhelming sense of sadness and despair. Unable to determine where the feeling was coming from he pushed it to the back of his mind and prepared himself for the worst upon arriving at Shedu Maad. Had the Confederation learned of their allegiances? Had they come to wipe the Order from existence? No… that didn’t seem possible for Groz could not feel the emotions of battle. There was only the solemn quiet of mourning. Grozaddik braced himself for whatever it was that had happened and reverted close to the planet so he could arrive quicker to the temple.
Upon dropping from hyperspace a message blared at him on a secure Jedi channel through his gauntlet holoprojector. Groz was almost afraid to check to see what it was, but he activated the device and a blurred message slowly came into focus. It appeared that the Padawans had finally returned from their mission to Corbos. Well that was good news, so why did he still feel an overwhelming sense of sadness? Reaching out as best he could into the Force, the Wookiee Jedi Master sensed that it was centered within the hidden enclave. Something had gone horribly wrong it seemed. Groz attempted to reach out to his new student, but could not find the young human. That was not surprising for they had not spent nearly enough time together to form any sort of bond, and Groz’s ability to sense things he was unfamiliar with from this far away was a bit lacking.
Groz felt that the rest of the trip to the hidden enclave was not quite what he had wanted. Returning from a mission that he had – in his mind – failed, he wanted to be welcomed with smiling faces for at least returning with something of value. That was unless the thing turned out to be a fake, but Groz had a feeling that was not to be the case. While he drew closer to the enclave, Groz felt the small cube in his lap start to pulse softly as if it had slowly started to wake. Looking down at the thing he found nothing out of the ordinary and ignored it for the moment while he set his fighter down next to the shuttle he could feel the Padawans on. Again, the small cube pulsed, this time more strongly.
Again the Jedi Master ignored the sensation and shoved the thing into a deep pocket of his cloak as he opened the hatch and hopped down. Behind the little R9 unit that had been assigned to him was beginning its own debarking process and the Wookiee Master started for the Padawan shuttle with long strides. Stronger the cube pulsed and the Wookiee started to wonder what it was that had caused the thing to activate now, and what he would find within, if anything at all. Groz noticed Master Marin nearby as well, addressing an unfamiliar Miralukan Jedi. It was then that the Jedi Master heard the activation of a lightsaber and the quickness with which it was turned off suggested that it had been accidental. Then he could hear it clattering to the deck and Groz came around to see a young human supporting his Kiffar counterpart.
Dark eyes scanned the hatch hopefully as his translator floated up behind him. “Master Grozaddik, the Padawans have… Oh! You are already aware of this fact. Perhaps then you know that there have been casualties.”
With a deliberate movement of his head, the Wookiee turned to look at the hovering droid. “No, I was unaware. The message that I received was somewhat static-filled due to my being just out of range for a short-range transmission and yet too close for a long-range. What sort of casualties?” the Wookiee asked as he turned his attention to the human standing at the top of the ramp with the Kiffar. Within the hand of that young human was Sine’s lightsaber. Deciding it best to not jump to conclusions – despite the fact he still could not sense his new Padawan – Groz stood patiently with the other Masters with a solemn look upon his features.
Name: Grozaddik [BANK]Nicknames:
StealthX X-Wing Fighter
(x4 Jedi Shadow Bombs)
J-1 shuttle ZenithFaction:
- Lightsabers (3)
- Lightsaber components x4
- Upari crystal
- Chiba DR-10 translator droid
- Jedi utility belt
- Jedi battle armor
- R2-series Astromech Droid, model number M8 (nicknamed "Mate")
Learnt Lightsaber Techniques: Form I: Shii-ChoForm III: SoresuForm V: ShienForm V: Djem SoMastered Lightsaber Techniques: Form I: Shii-ChoForm III: SoresuForm V: Djem So
- Force Protection
- Force Healing
Member No.: 378
Joined: 18-June 08
The life forms around her were similar in thought and appearance through the Force; all suppressing and hiding their true feelings in the face of such tragedy. It had become common knowledge of the horror that they had faced down, the ethereal abomination that they had murdered. Despite all the pain, the knights and masters showed little in the way of grief or sadness. That would have been very un-Jedi like. However, it seemed that even the sternest of master was willing to forgo the traumatised padawans some protocol. This was their first trial, their first experience in the inhospitable jaws of death. They were all rightfully shaken.
It was a genuine surprise when Master Marin approached and placed her hands upon her shoulders. Seras stood dumbstruck for the longest moment, a torrent of conflicting emotion and thought pressing the confines of her mind and threatening to spill over. It was a wonder that the padawan was able to contain them. With Master Stone absent, she had thought herself invisible and Master Marin's compassion touched her more than she wished to admit.
"Padawan Amadis... how are you holding up?"
"I'm fine, Master Marin... I'm fine," Seras managed to whisper in a poor lie. She was not fine; none of them were fine. This event would live with them until the end of their days. It would be the shadow lurking in the back of their minds; a constant reminder of the terrors of the Force and how those who possessed a dark malevolence could mould it to take the most abhorrent and teterrimous of forms.
It was difficult to determine which padawan had it worse. It was worthy of a Greek tragedy where those who now existed beyond the veil had it easy. Callan had been perhaps shaken the worst by the deaths, especially of his childhood friend, Sine Boral. The rivalry between them had pushed both padawans to best the other and they were both better because of it, but not good enough. Seras could plainly see his pain and the place in his soul where his friend had once existed. It was raw now, raw and bloody and drenched in pain and loss.
"Not right. Where is it? I can't... I can't find it."
As her ethereal gaze drifted it settled on Nereus as he spoke. She only knew it was him by elimination of the others. He didn't come back the same. He had given too much of himself to defeat the sithspawned leviathan. His aura existed as a kaleidoscope of energy that shifted angrily through sets and feelings that Seras could not being to understand. It hurt to touch it.
Master Marin released her tender grip on Seras' shoulders and focused her attention on her own padawan. Seras whined softly as the compassion and kindness that she had been the centre of disappeared. Jealousy touched her soul once again and she hated herself for feeling it. It was only the rational side of her consciousness that maintained the balance, reminding her needy and selfish nature that Nereus needed the attention of his master far more than she did.
"Come on Nereus...snap out of it...everything is fine. We're home. It's all ok, Nereus."
She managed a small and concerned smile as Callan became the voice of reason and tried to rouse Nereus from his stupor. The sound of the lightsaber igniting shook the pacifistic young padawan quite severely. She flinched back, almost as if struck, and watched in bewildered horror, unable to move. Callan seemed to have everything in hand now and Master Marin joined them, deep concern etched in her aura.
Seras wanted to help, she wanted to be there for her friends. But she found that her feet refused to move forward. A wake of despair moved about her, realising that she would only make things worse. No one wanted to hear the fanatic caterwaul of the pacifistic padawan on the best of days. Dejected, Seras shuffled back, edging away from the assembled crowd.
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