Dynasty

18 years after the Battle of Yavin...
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Beorht
False Dichotomy
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Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:49 am

Mikhail & Benna

Everything was surrounded in an inky black cloud or a sort of mist that seemed to float about the boys feet. He knew he was having a dream. Mikhail remembered being at the Manor, he remembered watching Alu and a group of younglings when Jeryn Dax said he’d take over and watch them for a bit so he could spend time with Benna. He had spent a lot of time with Benna, and Alu had gotten a little jealous. Mikhail wasn’t trying to ignore the girl, but after events on Teta with Benna, he really did want some alone time with her. Even now he knew they were sitting under a tree together, Benna in his arms and he must have fallen asleep.

God I’m such a loser! the boy thought. The truth was between trying to spend time with his family, Alu, and Benna, he’d not gotten enough sleep. The dream shifted to the night on Teta, he could almost feel Benna in his arms now… and then again to the valley of the Jedi. There was something off, he could see around him golden figures fighting against shadows. These people hadn’t been present at the battle, perhaps his mind was playing tricks on him. At the head of the specters was a woman who looked eerily familiar. She had white hair but otherwise didn’t look old in the least. He could see himself making a stand against the witch, and Felicity and Jace and Iara… Mikhail saw himself pass out from the exertion of breaking Sirena’s hold on the valley. He didn’t look good.

Fade to black and the dream changed again. Suddenly he was in a cave, other figures surrounded him. Each had a blacked out face or other blurred features, however one was clear. Standing adjacent to him was the distinct avian form of Quorl a Rishii jedi knight of his acquaintance. He looked around and then noticed something horrifying. Rearing on its back feet was a large creature. It was a large creature, standing the height of a man even when on all fours. Mikhail was scared, but didn’t back down as the creature charged…

Back to black and now the white haired woman from earlier was with him. She pointed and Mikhail allows his gave to follow as the scene changed before his eyes like a reflection in a pond. There was a strange swirl of darkness and he thought for a moment be might be waking up. It took a few moments until he realized that the swirling was part of the dream. All around him a black tar like liquid moved. Mikhail took a few steps back and saw himself standing and holding up his hands… his eyes were bloodshot and his hands were red as blood soaked through cuts on his hand. He was holding back the ocean of black liquid, but he knew he was losing ground. When he thought he was about to collapse suddenly the white haired woman appeared to him and then…

Mikhail awoke with a start. He took a deep intake of breath and was comforted to find Benna still in his arms. The girl looked at him confused. “just a nightmare…” he said trying to reassure her. The truth was he wasn’t sure. This dream had the same elements as others he’d have recently, only now it was much clearer. Looking around he noticed the two were still alone in the orchard. He leaned in and pecked the girl on the cheek. “Benna…” he started “I don’t know…” He didn’t know the words and stumbled with them. Mikhail wasn’t sure he’d be able to stay at the Manor for much longer, it was as if something was calling him.

Jace & Felicity

The boy stepped forward towards the door. A man wearing the royal blue of the Royal guards stood beside him, Captain Ian MkTavish of the Elysian Skyborne had fought beside Jace on Ruusan and the young prince trusted him implicitly. Next to both of them was a dark haired girl with the trademark green eyes of the Sage family. “It’s just an interview.” Jace assured the girl next to him. “If you just wait out in the hallway…” Felicity gave him a dirty look and he knew this was an argument he wouldn’t win. He highly doubted that Linna Beorht would try anything, but after his encounter with the Zeltron Lyshani Felicity had been wary of letting him alone. “Alright fine.”

The door opened and revealed a red skinned woman sitting and waiting, ready for her interview. Jace took a seat across from her flanked by Felicity and MkTavish. “Miss Beorht,” he said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He didn’t mention Iara around the woman. According to the Twi’lek woman the two had never actually met and he wasn’t sure what this young Zeltrons reaction would be if he mentioned Iara’s presence. “It’s my understanding that you came here with Jahn Stone?”

"I might as well have worn a blindfold on the way here, wherever here is." Linna Beorht gestured around the conference room table. "And now this? You have enough firepower in here to blow us all to kingdom come. I'm fairly sure those two are Jedi Masters, those four are Knights, and those other ones come from that uniquely improbable and annoying class of fourteen-year-olds who challenge Dark Lords. All to make sure he's safe while I interview him."

One of the older members of the Sage family cleared his throat. "Miss Beorht-"

"Doctor Beorht," she said, "but go on."

"Doctor Beorht, I thought it had been made clear to you that we agreed to this interview for your father's sake."

Linna grimaced. "And because your problems in Anari need the good press that I can bring. Ah, here's the monarch now."

Jace Vintari was young, younger than she'd expected. He moved like someone who knew what he was doing - unused to leadership, or even much companionship. The sort of young man who had been trained to work alone, and who still largely defined himself in terms of his training.

That much was immediately apparent. Linna leaned back in her seat, noting that the other Jedi didn't rise. She had hoped for a private interview - the right pheromones at the right moment could get interesting answers - but this would have to do. "Jace Vintari? I'm Linna Beorht. Nice to finally meet you."

He shook her hand quickly. His eyes flicked over her, and she noted his reaction to her lack of combat muscle tone. A tiny flutter in the Force told her he was taking her measure that way, too. The subtlest hint of relaxation came over him. "You too, Linna. Can I call you Linna?"

"Absolutely." Nano kept her smile perfectly white.

He sat across from her, hands under the tabletop. Another old instinct from his training, no doubt. "Has anyone offered you some caf?"

"Yes, thanks," she lied, as she put the tri-D recorder on the table. "I'm sitting here with Jace Vintari, Prince of Anari, in the secret stronghold of the Sage family. You've been associated with the Sages for several years, isn't that right? How did that get started?"

She already knew, and he knew that she knew. As fictions went, this one was relatively harmless. An appetizer. "They rescued me from a Sith called Darth Sirena." His mother, if her sources were correct. And if he wasn't going to mention having been her agent, she wouldn't bring it up. Today was about other things.

"The same one that ruled the Anari Sector as late as last year?"

"That's her."


The interview went on predictably for a little while.

"And now for the big question. How do you see the unrest that's plaguing the Anari Sector?"

"I wouldn't call it unrest," the prince said.

"What would you call it, then?"

He shrugged. "People always have opinions."

"There are some who say that your push for equality is a play against your fellow nobles."

"I wasn't raised a noble."

"Is that a yes or a no?"

He shrugged again. "I did what I thought was the right thing to do."

"Of course." She wanted to go on the offensive, nail him to the wall. Instead... "So will the Jedi be called in to deal with the problem?"

Jace blinked. One of the Jedi - Ember Rekali, the prince's supervisor in the Jedi Shadows - leaned forward and cleared his throat. "We've offered our negotiation services to various parties. We're arbitrating some of the disagreements. This isn't the sort of disagreement that requires anything more."

"Thank you, Master Rekali." Linna gave him a saccharine smile and turned back to Jace. "But there are more issues at stake than just power redistribution, aren't there? What would you say to Anari citizens who wonder why the Anari Commonwealth is financially supporting the Antarian Rangers? It's a private military force, accountable to no government, and some of your people are saying it's disproportionately strong when the current Sith Empire regime is so peaceful."

The prince set his jaw. "There was a different Sith in charge six months ago, and a different one two years ago, and a different one five years ago. Who knows who's going to be in charge tomorrow?"

It was a good answer, in her opinion. "And do you think that answer will appease the people who say you should be spending those millions of credits on rebuilding the infrastructure? Your sector has seen two coups and three invasions in the last ten years. I've been looking at the statistics for infant mortality, doctor availability - why aren't you building more hospitals with that money?" She had expected anger. What she got, instead, was a calm and clinical evaluation.

"The Antarian Rangers helped free our sector, pretty recently. They do a lot of recruiting in our space - we figure about a third of them are Anari citizens now."

She nodded. "But they don't report to you directly, so you can't know for sure right away." Some of the Jedi shifted uncomfortably. Linna beamed that smile at Jace. "And that's the other major issue for your people, isn't it. I see a couple of people in this room that you report to, in one sense or another. That's former Jedi Grandmaster Adam Sage, who took you in. That's Jedi Council member Master Ember Rekali, who helps supervise you. When you're off on Jedi business, Jace...who's making the decisions in Anari? And if one of these men tries to convince you that a course of action is right and just, aren't you likely to listen to them rather than your people?"

Jace grinned. "If you're trying to make me mad to get better answers out of me, Linna, it's not going to work."

"Jace...this is exactly the time when you need to be open. You need to give your people an answer. Despite your youth and inexperience, are you their sovereign? Or do you ask 'how high' when the Jedi Council says jump? Some of your people are saying you can't have it both ways. How do you plan to address that?"

“Tarsus Valorum.” Jace said. “During the old republic Tarsus Valorum was the first Supreme Chancellor in four centuries not to be a member of the Jedi Order. Yet the republic operated successfully in that period.” Taking in a deep breath he quickly said, “After our liberation there was a call for the Jedi to participate in government. I was one of the voices against that and I will continue to support our independents. Every ruler has his advisors.” He for a minute, Linna opened her mouth to comment and he interrupted her abruptly continuing his speech. “As for who is making decisions when I am not around, we have a very stable parliament and a just court system. These are problems that every ruler has faced before I am curious why you’re making them out to be strictly Anari issues. Every ruler has had to make decisions for the good of his people, some to greater degrees of success than others. I have made deals with corporate entities to set up factories in Anari space bringing much needed jobs. I have used my personal wealth to build schools. I abolished slavery and slews of policies that had people suffering under the yoke of the Sith. The record of my rule speaks for itself, despite what my detractors say.”

"And yet Tarsus Valorum had to utterly change the Republic with the Ruusan Reformations, because the Republic wasn't working. I'm sure it was an answer to some question, Jace, it just wasn't an answer to mine. If the Jedi Council orders you-"

The Force writhed and twisted, the signature of a relatively close event. An arrival, maybe. She'd done her best never to develop her connection to the Force, but even she couldn't avoid sensing the thing that put all the room's Jedi at the edge of their seats. An alarm sounded in a distant hallway; two or three people went for their commlinks. Others left the room.

Linna cursed viciously to herself and grabbed her tri-D recorder protectively. Jace rose; Adam Sage gripped his shoulder and sat him back down gently but quickly. "Stay here, Jace. If we're under attack, half our enemies have an unhealthy fixation on you. Stay here while we get this under control."

In a remarkably short amount of time, Linna and Jace were nearly alone.

"Guess I'm not a threat compared to whatever's out there," she said, half a joke.

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Beorht
False Dichotomy
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:29 pm

Mikhail Sage, a pimply god
Is sleeping with an older broad
The daughter of a Council member
Mikhail should not anger Ember

Little Benna Kol-Rekali
Got knocked up in some dark alley
By a certain godling pimply
Such angst cannot be resolved simply

Pimply God, I pray to thee
Cure Oedipal complexity
For I know you understand
Iara left you so unmanned

Jace Vintari, Sith Assassin
Trusted Prince, after a fashion
Jedi Council's newest puppet
All the Padawans try to tap that

Linna Beorht - ah, who can say
Why that girl turned out that way
Brilliant and promiscuous
Her daddy shouldn't make a fuss
...cause he was a fething hypocrite


"Stanzas While Glitbit." In Connory, Bard of the Hyperlanes: The Definitive Collection, G.Q. Beorht and A.-E. Sorosel, eds., 87 ABY, University of Lianna Press.

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Halcyon508
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:42 pm

At first it was a small thing, a single ship not transmitting any sort of clearance code jumping into the system. It was a small freighter, something that barely had a hyperdrive to begin with. Control didn’t think much of it, perhaps a stranded spacer whose ship was damaged, saw the moon and decided to make an emergency landing. Closer inspection revealed carbon scoring along its hull and multiple breaches. Wires were exposed to vacuumed and the vessel vented atmosphere.

Rescue shuttles were being scrambled when more ships jumped out of hyperspace behind it. They ranged in size, but were mostly small transports or fighter craft. Control realized quickly they were chasing the freighter which they now concluded was heading straight for the Manor. They primed the defenses in seconds and watched as the freighter neared. They had now warning before the hanger doors were over ridden and began to open as if of their own accord. Two men in the blue fatigues of Antarian Rangers took up positions just outside the hanger their weapons primed waiting for whatever would come.

The freighter lost no speed as it head towards the hanger bay. The Alarm was raised. Warning klaxons echoed through hallways as an intercom system explained that children should be taken to the safe zones. The Safe Zones were area’s around the Domed colony that went underground forming a bunker against natural disaster. They were also well hidden should the need arise for the population to hide and flee. Control was confident that people were now beginning their evacuation as they identified the ships. They belonged to the Sith, or at least that’s what the intel from the Jedi Shadows had provided.

Out of control and spinning the tiny freighter barreled into the hanger bay crashed into several ships and breaking apart into multiple pieces. Fires were lit and utility droids rushed on the scene with extinguishers. There was no movement from the cockpit. Without touching the controls the doors started to close themselves, no doubt part of the override that forced them to open to begin with.

Just after the freighters crash precious few seconds passed before the arrival of the other ships prevented the doors from closing. Defensive guns around the hanger fired and several red specs of light signaled victory over scant few of incoming ships. The vessels landed in the hanger bay and from the lead one sprang forth a man dressed in black. From his side ignited two red lances of light. Other figures dressed in black with iron masks descended the ramp, perhaps a dozen, escorted by strange looking clothed droids the type the Jedi had encountered on Teta.

The Rangers exchanged blaster fire with the droids as the shadowy assassins charged forward. The Rangers had no choice now but to flee the battle field, it was a fight they could not win. One valiantly offered to cover the others escape stepping through the door and closing it behind him firing his weapon wildly before the assassins finally reached him. Lightsabers struck the door and started to burn through, defenders wouldn’t make it in time to hold them off, soon the Sith would be loose…


Mikhail & Benna
The Alarms set about a wild commotion. All around people were ushering younglings and gathering them into groups to bring them to the shelters. Mikhail stared at the scene, it was an orderly chaos with everyone knowing their part. Everyone of course but the outsiders. “I need to find Alu!” He yelled realizing that the girl probably wouldn’t know the procedures in place. Jeryn was with her but she had an independent streak and there was no telling if she’d wandered off. Mikhail ran past a group of Kushiban and Hoojin hopping wildly trying to not be trampled underfoot of the larger residents.

“Damnit.” Mikhail said as he saw the first sign of trouble. A door from the hanger bay in the distance was blown open leaving a scar in the superstructure. Mikhail grabbed Benna’s hand and pulled her across the grass. “Jeryn said they were going to an orchard to pick some fruit.” There was something uneasy in the air and the boy was sure that is meant trouble for one he cared about. Iara could take care of herself and Benna’s hand was held firmly in his, so that means Alu was in danger.

There was no maps, but by instinct he was led through the transport tubes and about the large domed colony. Mikhail tried to recall the specifics of the place. Dome three was the forestry and oxygen reclamation dome. Domes four and five both had orchards…. It was a fifty percent shot as to which one she might be in. Stopping in his tracks he closed his eyes and thought long and hard. He had reached a fork in the road and needed to decide now where to go. Taking in a deeb breath he chose Dome 5. Alu loved apples and he could see the trees through the transport tube.

The two youths finally reached the orchards. People were scrambling now as the droids serenely went about their tasks of picking and pruning. It was only in the center of the plants that Mikhail could finally sense it. Alu was there! He started to run towards where he sensed the girl becoming more anxious as her feelings of fear grew greater and greater. He turned a corner of trees and saw a clearing. The younglings were huddled in a circle, Alu at the center with two Antari Rangers lying next to them. Both were wounded, but one was wounded pretty severely, the droids that shot him lying scattered around. Four figures in black with red sabers circled the group in which Jeryn stood vigil over.

As each stepped forward Jeryn moved to intercept only to need to back away as another took the opening to move in on the younglings. They toyed with the young Jedi as Droids with blasters moved into positions. They laughed a horrid undead laughter as they continued to feign attacks and strike at the younglings the boy was defending.

“Stop it!” Mikhail yelled surging forward with blinding speed. Following just behind him was Benna her saber on guard. The two joined the circle parrying the assassin’s blades eliciting a screeching hiss from the creatures.

“Playtime is over!” one of the assassins said as they charged….



Jace & Linna
Jace frowned at being left behind as the other Jedi left him. Felicity even reluctantly left him under the supervision of Serek. Serek has nominally been aboard the ship with Linna and Jahn Stone and acted as her bodyguard for awhile. “Miss Linna…” he said stepping forward and grabbing the holo camera. “I’m editing out everything from the start of the attack.” The group heard an explosion from outside and Serek gripped his blaster tightly.

“Go.” Jace said nodding his head to the door.

“I have orders to protect you.” Serek replied quickly staring with longing eyes, the holo camera still in his hands.

“It’s alright, I release you from your burden.” Jace replied. “I can protect Linna and myself should anyone get past Captain MkTavish outside.

Conflict was easy to see in Serek’s eyes. The man frowned a little and then looked at the two. He wagged his finger at Linna and said, “Behave.” Before exiting and getting into the fight.
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Pryde
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Pryde » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:28 pm

Felicity had quite recently developed a dislike for the press. Even when journalists were covering something good they alway seemed to continuously dig deeper looking for the bad. Bad things made good press and Felicity hated that everything had to revolve around scandal. So when Linna began making insinuations concerning Jace and his involvement with the Jedi Council Felicity had to bite her tongue to restrain herself from speaking out.

The newly christened Shield of the Order, a title bestowed upon her by Makaera for her role in saving Ossus from complete annihilation, stood off to one side of the room, out of view of the camera but close enough to jump in and shield Jace if need be. That necessity would never come, however, as a sudden alarm warned everyone of an attack on Sage Manor. Felicity's cousin, Adam Sage, rushed out of the room followed by the other Jedi in attendance but the young girl hesitated momentarily, her gaze catching that of Jace.

It was a sudden an unexpected feeling that eventually drove her to follow the others. It was a feeling of familiarity that she couldn't explain, but her need to discover what it was drove her to the battle. She arrived at the manor proper long after the fighting had already begun and the violet blades of her saberstaff sprung to life as she charged in deflecting blaster fire away from friendly Rangers. A number of Sith charged in to engage the Jedi and Felicity found herself face to face with a man wielding a saberstaff much like her own only his blades were red.

"I know you," he said, pausing just long enough to examine her face, "You're the one they were raving about on GNN, the so-called 'Shield of the Order'. Let's see how well that title holds up."

Felicity grimaced and took a step back as the man charged in with a jab. She ducked to the side and used the back end of her saberstaff to redirect his attack and create an opening, but when she swung the other end of her weapon back around he was no longer there. Kamior had leapt over her head and struck out at her with his saber. Felicity barely managed to block the attack in time and soon found herself forced on the defensive as Kamior put on the pressure utilizing his superior skills...

**********

The first assassin charged in, his saber raised and ready to strike. Mikhail tried his best to intercept him but the youngling he was trying to protect was just out of reach. Everything seemed to move in slow motion as the man swung his blade down at the defenseless child when all of a sudden he found himself blasted away with a volley of gold-colored lightning.

"I hope you don't mind making room for another," Keira Sage said as she landed in the middle of the circle next to Mikhail, "Just the sight of a few cowardly Sith picking on children is enough to piss me off."

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Halcyon508
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:20 pm

Adam Sage was fighting what seemed like a never ending supply of droids and a single assassin. The droids knew how to deal with a Jedi Master, being programmed to adapt to situations. Simply put their programing had determined the best course, distract the others and isolate the master and overwhelm him with numbers.

The green saber flashed from side to side blocking blaster bolts and taking the limbs and heads off the droids. He couldn't move, his body and saber being the only thing shielding a group of children on the run, but he was very tempted to jump away when he saw his little cousin come face to face with a masterclass sith, and the leader of this little invasion. "Run Felicity!" Adam yelled at the girl. Blaster fire intensified on him.

Karnior Solace stared at the little girl in front of him and let out a bit of a laugh. "I see now." He said knowing he could kill the girl. He was a sith lord and this welp was nothing more than a padawan. "We found the hidden strong hold of the Sage family!" The Sith attacked the girl and slowly began to overwhelm her defenses. He laughed as the two exchanged blows in a brilliant show of light. "The Sage family teaches their welps well." He said kicking low and unbalancing Felicity. He struck several blows at the girl on the ground before asking, "I can see much of her in you. Tell me girl, Keira Sage, what is your relationship to her?"

"I'm her cousin! And I'm nothing like her" Felicity spat out.

"Yes, I can see her in you," the Sith repeated "The dark hair and those pretty little green eyes..." The man reached out a hand in an open grip and squeezed lifting the girl off the ground and choking her slowly. She was beaten and yet her eyes... those damned Sage eyes the same as Keira's.

Kile Dax had has been fighting with the droids pushing them back away from habitation centers. He wasn't far from the main fighting and could see Adam Sage holding back a tide of fire like no other he had ever seen. Kile intended on helping the man until he saw the girl being lifted off the ground. He sliced through another droid and used the force to push several more aside clearing a path before he charged forward. The blue haired near human threw his body into the Sith knocking him aside and causing the girl to drop. The Sith stood up and immediately drew his saber to him with the force.

"No more fighting children!" Kile said thinking of his own Padawan Keiko and his brother Jeryn lost in the chaos of the attack. He ignited his saber and charged forward knowing that he was no match for this man and hoping to only hold him back for long enough...

**********

Despite the situation Mikhail couldn't help but smile at seeing his big sister. Out of all the Sage's besides Max he had been closest to her. She had been the most accepting and one of the few at the manor who didn't initially fear him for the possibilities he presented. Keira landed next to him and held her saber firm. "You've done it now." He said staring at the masked sith assassin. The smell of rotting flesh was starting to permeate the air. He looked around and made sure that the Antarian Rangers were still safe. The assassins backed off giving the droids a clear line of fire to the group. They signaled and the blasters started. The Antarian Rangers, despite their wounds, got on their knees and superimposed their bodies between the younglings and the attacking droids as best they could. They tried their best to remain on their feet and fired their blasters downing many of the droids.

Jeryn charged forward trying to take out some of the droids but was instantly intercepted by one of the Assassins, "This is no good!" he yelled lifting up his saber to block in oncoming blow.

Mikhail frowned as the Assassins continued to circle, "We can't go on the offensive!" Mikhail yelled blocking several blaster bolts before a lightsaber forced him to side step and parry. It was true enough. If they moved to strike at the droids the assassins would prevent them and hold them in combat preventing them from protecting the younglings from the droids blaster fire. They had no choice but to hold out until help arrived.
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Beorht
False Dichotomy
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:56 pm

Am I a walking deus ex machina now? Is the simple fact that I'm here, that I'm able to intervene, enough to make me a cliche? How did I get that strong?

The unending storm of droids around Adam Sage had yet to reach Ember Rekali. They were coming, of course - stampeding across the intervening space, ranged and melee weapons ready to shred him.

He left his sabre at his belt, and slammed his fist into his palm. The Force stole a portion of his freshness, his readiness, as it exploded from him. Ranks upon ranks of homicidal droids rose into the air and wrapped squealing around each other. Other droids threatened Adam and his youthful charges; those droids were blown away, animate battering rams. Others were coming, unfolding out of the assault ships, but he had given Adam a moment's breathing room. Ember sagged, wishing for a staff or a cane. For a sad, amused moment he envied Master Yoda his legendary walking stick.

I'm only in my forties. When did I get like this?

When did I lose my taste for a Jedi's life?


He strode untouched through the droids; they broke themselves on him. He was expending power at a furious rate, but time was of the essence here. He came through the crowd and the violence, and found himself beside a large, bald man. A warrior. A man who was fighting Padawans, taunting them, choking them.

Ember stepped between them - stepped up very close to the Sith. Looked him up and down. A Padawan charged; Ember grabbed his shoulder and held him back, relying on the Force to enhance his muscles. Kile Dax's assault stopped dead. Ember pushed him aside, as kindly as possible. His eyes never left Karnior's. "You used to be a child, too. I wonder what pushed you over the edge, to the point where you could kill such a...real...person. Children are special. Do you have any?"

"What are you talking about, old man?"

Ember ran a hand through his graying hair. "I'm trying to reconnect you to the fundamental assumptions of humanity."

"I've transcended them."

"You've forgotten them. It's not the same thing." Another Padawan lunged at Karnior Solace; Ember's lightsabre snapped out and froze, an inviolable barrier, and the young Jedi came to an abrupt halt. Ember kept his gaze locked with Karnior's. "What do you gain from this, friend? Does this attack have a purpose, or are you just caught in yesterday's dreams?"

The Sith Knight or Lord raised his lightstaff and closed with Ember. The Jedi Master raised his hands, palms out. Light flared from them, a mixture of pure radiance and a deeper warmth, a cleansing fire that rocked Solace's head back as it impacted his aura. It chewed into his Force presence, his connection to that energy, even the power woven into his lightsabre circuits. The Sith bloodshine crystals within the weapon shattered as one, audible even through the sabre's casing.

Solace drove his fist into Ember's face, and Ember's knees buckled. He knew his hand-to-hand, but switching from thought and Force Light to thoughtless, martial action was the work of several moments - moments he didn't have. The Dark Side flickered and died, flickered and died around Solace as he tried to overcome the aftereffects of the blast of radiance. Ember staggered back...

And metal hands closed around him, clawed hands. The Padawans were fighting droids, and now Solace was back at them. Ember found himself in Adam Sage's place, besieged and unable to take a moment to gather his full strength. His lightsabre flickered out, chopping through metal bodies as fast as he was able. He sacrificed accuracy for speed.

The tide of enemies bore him away, and everything was reflex, battle conditioning, muscle memory and instinct.

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:39 pm

Kile watched Ember fighting the Sith warrior as he refocused himself on the droids. One came in at him slashing with a claw, having lost its weapon. Kile ducked and dodged instinctively kicking out his leg to sweep the creature off its feet. While successfully knocking the creature over he received a large and painful bruise for his efforts. The light nearly blinded Kile as he fought the droids making sure to cover Felicity as he did.

The light dimmed and Ember staggered and the droids were quickly on him. Kile moved to help but found himself immediately intercepted by the Sith, his saber reactivated. The two traded blows before Kile kicked at the Sith's fleet trying to unplant him like he did the droid, however the Sith kicked back. Kile could feel his leg break as the Sith's foot intercepted his shin. It wasn't a bad break, just enough to impair his movements. solace followed up his attack with a high and powerful strike knocking Kile to the ground as he blocked it. The Theelin knight responded by slicing with his blade which the black clad warrior quickly avoiding by jumping backwards.

Kile knew that the blow would miss, but it gave him the room needed to stand up favoring his uninjured right leg. "You cannot win here." Kile said softly as several of the Sith assassins started to circle the group of Jedi. "There are too many of us here, and only one of you." He was buying time for Adam to be freed up or Ember to recover.
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Pryde » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:57 am

Karnior Solace stalked towards Kile like a hungry rancor ready to feed. He raised one fist and prepared himself to strike when he felt a momentary flash of danger. He quickly spun around and raised his arms up defensively to block Felicity's attack. The girl's lightsaber glanced off the Sith's armor doing little damage and shorting out as it came into contact with the cortosis alloy. Karnior followed up his block with a backhand that sent her sprawling. She landed on her stomach on the ground, he lightsaber having long ago slipped free of her grasp. Now the weapon was out of reach and Karnior wasn't about to let her recover.

Karnior stomped down at her with one massive boot forcing Felicity to roll to the side, further away from her weapon. She quickly climbed up to her feet and put both her arms up to block as Karnior blasted her with a solid punch. The blow connected with an invisible force, a wall of defense Felicity just barely managed to erect just before the attack hit. The force of the blow still forced her back several feet but she wasn't about to give up yet.

"You've got some skill, young one. Your reaction time is near perfect and your execution flawless, but you lack the experience needed to hone your abilities," Karnior said, he made no move to attack but instead stood there and watched her.

Felicity charged at him again, attacking him with a combination of punches and kicks aimed at his head, chest and thighs. Karnior skillfully danced out of the way of each attack before launching one of his own, a double palm attack that struck her in the abdomen and knocked her back several feet. She hit the ground hard and rolled backwards a couple of times before her momentum stopped. She coughed once and saw crimson spring forth from her mouth and onto the ground.

"And most of all," Karnior continued as if the conversation had never been interrupted, "you lack patience."

Felicity staggered to her feet and raised her arms up defensively, teetering back and forth as she tried her best to recover from the Sith's last attack. Karnior watched her with renewed interest now.

"I see you still have some fight in you," he said, his tone a mixture of surprise and an odd sort of regret, "I'll never understand what drives you Jedi to throw away your lives so carelessly. Best to let it end quickly."

"Well," Felicity said for the first time since this fight began, "I never was very good at giving up."

Then she lunged at him again, punching and kicking and throwing her elbows and knees at him. She knew she couldn't take a hit from this man so she needed to stay ahead of him and keep her eyes open. When Karnior's counter attack did finally come she did the same as before, she erected a barrier in front of her and absorbed most of the impact. Then she continued her assault, pounding away at his defenses while keeping an eye open for that next attack. All the while she ignored the sense of fatigue she felt clawing at her body from her excessive use of the Force. She would not be able to keep this up for long...

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:03 pm

Ember's lightsabre skittered away; a droid's foot descended on it, and the impact reverberated in his gut. The sabre, he knew at once, would be non-functional. Heavily damaged. Metal claws ripped at his clothes, his flesh. The ludicrous nature of the assault stoked his indignation, and for the first time in days he had to struggle with his temper. In the old days, Jedi Masters could have taken the droids apart, rivet by rivet.

He pulled in as much energy as he could and wrapped it around himself. There had been a Cult of Shadow lord who focused on this skill exclusively; Ember couldn't claim the durability or consistency of that monster's efforts, but he could approximate. Metal fists dented against his radiance. He shoved through the combat droids, making for Karnior Solace and the youths. One was a Knight, if he remembered right. A young one.

Kids.

His punch - maybe powered by anger, maybe not; he couldn't shake the indignation - struck Karnior Solace in the low spine. The Sith warrior folded over, but turned the fall into a roll and came up swinging a wrecked droid. The steel droid crashed into Ember's defenses and threw him back. He tumbled, slapping the ground, but got to his feet and charged.

He tackled Solace, bull rushing him through a storm of droids, and slammed him into the nearest wall. Then again, and again.

Solace kicked him, and he stumbled back. His shielding could do nothing against that kinetic energy.

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Pryde » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:49 pm

Felicity was growing desperate. Karnior skillfully dodged and blocked all of her attacks and showed no evidence of slowing. Felicity, on the other hand, could feel the waves of exhaustion threatening to overcome her, but she couldn't give in. These Sith had come threatening her family, her friends and she would gladly give her life to protect those she loved. With thoughts of Jace looming in the back of her mind she pressed herself forward, battling the Sith like a woman possessed.

Karnior was impressed, to say the least. Any other padawan would have collapsed from exhaustion by now but not her. The more tired she became the harder she pushed herself. It was an admirable trait, one he was rather familiar with. "Indeed I do see much of your cousin in you. That stubborn refusal to quit, I remember it quite well."

Felicity ignored him and simply pressed her attack. She would not waste energy on words, she would let her fists do the talking and talk she did launching a vicious combo against her opponent that put him on the defensive. Felicity pressed her advantage, lunging at him with her fist cocked and ready to strike only to be knocked aside by a blow to her head. She hit the ground hard but rolled to the side and quickly got back to her feet before charging at him again. This time she received a kick to her abdomen which doubled her over and a double handed blow to her back sent her sprawling to the floor.

She tried to get up again but Karnior placed his booted foot on her back and pushed her back down. "You were outmatched from the start," he said, "but you've been an amusing distraction."

Felicity tried to get up again only to again be forced back to the ground. Karnior smiled vicious as she struggled under his armored boot, he toyed with the idea of crushing her but was suddenly interrupted when Ember charged out of no where. The Jedi Master bull rushed the Sith off of Felicity and into a nearby wall, leaving the padawan lying on the ground gasping for breath.

Felicity had lost sight of them momentarily but she had another concern on her mind. Her eyes darted this way and that until she spotted her saberstaff lying forgotten in a corner nearby. She heaved herself up onto one side and glanced behind her. Ember was still battling the Sith though it was hard for her to tell who exactly was winning. Putting that aside for now she quickly scrambled to her feet and rushed over to her fallen saber, summoning the weapon to her waiting hand in the process.

By now Karnior had broken the momentum of Ember's earlier attack and the two warriors were locked in a fisticuffs to the death. Ember was getting tired, even Felicity could see it. In the short time since the battle had begun Ember had expended a great deal of power. If Felicity knew just how much it would have left her wondering if he had anything left. But there wasn't any time to think about that, Ember needed help and fast so Felicity did what she does best, she reacted.

Karnior had just broken through Ember's defenses and created an opening. His next attack would have sent the Jedi Master reeling but the moment he raised his fist to strike he felt a searing heat pierce through him. He looked down at the violet energy blade protruding from his side. Somehow Felicity had managed to slip the blade between the plates of his armor and though she had pierced flesh the injury was in no means fatal. It did, of course, burn like hell.

Roaring from the pain the Sith reached back and grabbed the hilt of Felicity's saber then he leaned forward and kicked backward, pulling Felicity off balance while simultaneously striking her in the gut. Felicity was knocked backwards, her saberstaff coming free from her hands. Karnior removed the lightsaber from his side by deactivating it then reactivating it again, then he twisted and threw the weapon at Felicity like a spear.

Felicity had only barely saw it coming but there was no time to react. Instead she closed her eyes and held up her hands, bracing herself for the inevitable. When nothing happened she opened her eyes again, falling backwards the moment she saw the deadly tip of her lightsaber just inches away from her face. She landed on her rump, both dazed and surprised. The lightsaber had stopped itself, either that or someone had stopped it and Felicity was sure that it hadn't been her. She glanced up at Ember and saw the Jedi Master watching her, one hand stretched out in her direction halting the saber's momentum.

Karnior had long ago withdrawn. The injury he had sustained though not fatal would make battling a Jedi Master a risky affair, even if he didn't have a young padawan and Jedi Knight to help him. He needed a moment to recover, the forces under his command would continue to press the attack.

Ember lowered his hand and Felicity's saber deactivated before falling gently in her lap. "Are you okay," he asked and Felicity nodded.

"I think I can still fight."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:58 am

"Good." Ember hesitated. "You kept your head. Makes me think well of you. You have a reputation as someone who does what she wants, regardless of orders." He crushed and threw a stray droid. "

***

The Assassins closed in on Benna, Mikhail and Jeryn. Benna kept her sabre up. Easy, girl. Just like fighting the Lost Twenty. You can do this. You can hold them off...

On the verge of a concerted assault, the Assassins paused. Turned back. Metal thudded on packed earth. A mountain lumbered around and through an apple tree: a man in a spacetrooper suit.

Metal wires slashed out from his gauntlets; sabres intercepted them, but high-tension steel snapped, and razor whips gashed the Assassins. Stokhli spray glued them to the walls; ion bursts short-circuited their many implants. Benna's lightsabre died in her hand, but so did every other weapon in the room. The spacetrooper smashed into the ranks of Assassins, throwing them into nearby trees.

He made a very short, very bloody job of it, and moved on.

"Thanks, Lamech!" called Mikhail. The spacetrooper made no reply.

***

Iara Beorht held a comlink to her ear as she stalked the halls. As far as she could tell, the main group had been contained, albeit at terrible cost. Many of the Sith were withdrawing. That was how they operated.

And because she had been a Sith, she knew how they thought. Their contingency plans, their patterns of attack and retreat.

So when Karnior Solace slipped back into his ship, breathing hard, face twisted in pain, Iara was sitting in his pilot's seat. She swivelled to face him as he came in.

"What in Kun's name did you hope to gain, Karnior?" she said. "I mean, seriously. You're Sirena's sacrificial lamb." Her eyes widened. "Unless...ah. You were following that ship, the one that crashed - you no more knew where you were going than I know who was in it, who you were chasing."

He lunged, but he was injured; she batted him aside with the unlit hilt of a sabre. "You see this weapon, Karnior? I took this from Sirena myself. If I wasn't going to kill you, I would give it back to you so you could return it to her."

His blast of telekinetic force put her through the windshield, and then she was skidding across the hangar deck.

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:51 am

Adam fought through the last of the droids and walked towards the group. "There is something wrong here." he said to Ember. His fellow Jedi master sensed it too. If this was a Sith invasion force why so few? No this was something else, a mistake. "We need to pursue that Sith." He said finally making his way towards the hanger. With a sudden lurch the bay doors started to close... Adam darted forward towards them reaching it only as it snapped shut. The blast doors were too thick to cut through with lightsabers, at least with any sort of speed. "Control." he said into a com unit he took from his belt. "I want you to open the blast doors."

"They've been over ridden sir." a voice called out, "trying to bypass now."

Adam shook his head and closed his eyes focusing with the force. At first nothing happened but after a long minute the door began to pry itself open inch by inch.

****

Lamech had saved them! Or at least taken care of the assassins. It took a few moments before Mikhail was able to reengage his lightsaber, and in that time the droids fondled their weapons trying to figure out what had gone wrong before discarding them. Without the Assassins to distract the Jedi the droids went down easily enough. Jeryn was wounded as one clawed him but otherwise the group remained unharmed. Mikhail moved towards the group of younglings and recieved a running hung from Alu who grripped him tightly around the waist. "I won't go anywhere Alu." He said hugging her back, "I'm going to stay here until its over. I promise I won't let the monsters hurt you..." his voice trailed off as he lifted his head and looked to Keira smiling weakly at his sister before turning to Benna with a look of longing. Everyone here was his family who he cared for and who cared for him....

****

Karnior watched as the blast doors started to close and smiled. The man jumped out of the windshield following Iara. Reaching out with the force he grabbed the saber that Iara had proffered which once belonged to his Empress and ignited the blade. His side was still burning in pain from the wound he sustained but it didn't matter, he'd gut the woman and then take a ship and leave this place coming back with a massive task force to harvest it for potential sith. He had made it halfway to Iara when he heard a crash. He turned just in time to see a figure emerge from the broken freighter he had been chasing. "You survived?" he asked as two lightsabers erupted into life, one baby blue and the other violet. By the way he walked Karnoir could tell he was wounded, "Very well. I shall break you and then finish the woman!" the sith charged!

The Jedi stood his ground and blocked the first blow reacting instantly by swinging his other blade around to stab at the sith man. Karnoir reached out and smacked the mans hand forcing him to drop the purple saber and in turn was kicked in the stomach sending him flying towards the ground. He stood up and the two men charged at one another again. The Sith struck high and the Jedi ducked low before redirecting his efforts into an attack and defending against another blow. The fight dragged on like this for what seemed like an eternity, although in reality was mere seconds, before the Jedi finally gained the upper hand. A high strike from the sith left him open and the Jedi slapped the Sith's saber aside and placed his own millimeters away from the Sith's chest. "It's over." the Jedi said staring down at the man.

"You think so?" the sith inched forward so the lightsaber was now cutting through his armor. "Only with your death is this over." The Sith Impaled himself on the Jedi's blade and swung his own blade into a stabbing motion. The Jedi barely had time react lifting up his left hand and raising it as the sabers tip struck his palm. He howled in pain as the saber ran through to the hilt and the Sith died at his chest.

The Jedi stood in shock staring at his hand. It had worked, in a pinch it had worked. His hand was severely burnt and the mans legs were shaking pretty badly, but he was otherwise unscathed. The doors to the Hanger started to open slowly and the Jedi smiled. He walked toward and offered his good hand to the woman who looked up at him with tears welled in her eyes. "Max..." she said letting him help her up and into his arms. The two embraced and shared a kiss as light flowed into the hanger from the opening door...
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Pryde » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:50 am

Felicity climbed to her feet and dusted herself off. Ember's remark wasn't far off considering her most recent antics, but he like the rest of the Jedi Order only knew half of the information. Felicity had left it out of her report and she urged Cyrilla and Feldar to do the same. "I just did what I felt I had to," she said quietly and then she looked away. "And," she added with a note of hesitation in her voice, "My mother was involved."

Had Felicity been watching him she would have seen Ember raise an eyebrow. Felicity's mother was reportedly dead along with her father but in her bid to stop the New Jedi Order from destroying Ossus the young girl had found out the truth. Her mother was alive and had been so for the past three thousand years after her grandfather had performed a ritual on her to make her immortal. The same ritual the Emperor of the Sith Empire of old used on himself.

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:36 am

"Ah. Well, that's different. Far be it from me to deny the call of family. With me, please."

He and Felicity followed Adam Sage as requested. Tendons protruded from Ember's neck as he put his full strength into helping Adam open the blast doors. Voice tense, he spoke to Felicity. Quietly. Whether Adam knew this or not, it was a private matter. "So you let the Order and the Council believe you a renegade, you made a report that put you in a bad light, because of your mother. That's...frustrating, but admirable. If there's anything quiet that needs doing, Felicity, the Shadows have your back. When you keep things secret, the Order can't help you. Or, I suppose, your mother. I had understood she was dead."

Durasteel tore, and the blast doors opened wide enough for the Jedi to slip through - a natural break in the conversation. Ember's broken lightsabre hung useless at his belt; he gestured at a dead Assassin, and a crude lightsabre flew to his hand. But there was nothing.

Nothing except Iara Beorht kissing Max Sage, back from the dead.

So that's who was in the ship.

"Max," said Adam, as if stunned.

Ember grabbed his shoulder and shoved him forward with a grin. "Go say hi to your brother."

"He looks...busy."

Ember's grin tightened. "Screw Iara. Who knows how long they've been at it. Go talk to your brother while I talk to Felicity."

***

Iara disengaged from Max, glancing over her shoulder at Adam - for whom she'd once nurtured feelings - and Ember - whose son she had slept with. Oncoming distraction. With a will, she made her lone lekku stop trembling. "Max, you did it. I'm so sorry we left. If we'd known-"

"You got them out," he said. "You got all those kids out. That mission was a clusterfrack from beginning to end, and you made it work." He hesitated. "What about Arice?"

"I haven't been seeing Arice. Not...that way. I couldn't. Maybe my subconscious wasn't willing to admit you were dead."

"And Lyn?"

"His spirit's gone - where, I don't know. It's just me and Alu...and you, if you'll have me."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:36 am

As Max wrapped his hands around Iara holding her tight he felt the pain in his hand where the lightsaber had burned him. "Of course I'll have you..." Max said in a whisper. Looking over the woman's shoulder he could see his brother approaching. Loosing his grip he watched as his elder brother aproached. Max embraced his brother in a hug and exchanged a smile with him. Adam in turn turned his body revealing Felicity standing next to Ember. The two released their embrace and Max moved to Felicity's side. A broad smile dominated his face as he hugged his kin. To him the girl was more than a cousin, more than a padawan. She was his child, her and... "Is Jace okay?" Max asked. Felicity gave him a nod. "And Mikhail?"

"He's fine." Felicity said.

Max squeezed the girl tighter, "There is something I need to discuss with all of you."

"Like where you've been?" Kile Dax interrupted walking up to the group.

"And what I've done." Max said firmly. "I fear I've set events in motion which could be catastrophic to those I hold dear."

"Then we will hear about it." Adam said examining the wreckage of the ships and the carnage of the battlefield. Droids were littered across the ground and the corpses of the Sith Assassins lay on the ground. He prodded one with his feet repulsed by the smell to see that the creature had long been dead, reanimated by the twisted magics of Sirena. The master walked over to a computer console and started to examine the date coming in. "Its going to take a bit to clean up all this mess." he said examining the date. "Devin Teuton was hurt pretty bad, reports say he was protecting that girl Ayame that he'd brought back with him." he continued to scroll down the list and spoke the name of the wounded before finally reaching the list he dreaded. "Two dead." he said listing their names. They weren't even Jedi... One was a functionary from the families food packing company and the other was a cousin of Kile Dax who he had brought to the Manor to keep safe. "I'm sorry." Adam said putting a hand on the mans shoulder. Crews were already beginning the clean up checking over the ships for salvage and brushing aside droids.

"It's alright." Kile said walking over and examining the information. "If this is correct, he died saving lives. A Noble end." The man's voice quivered a little bit as he spoke. Pol Dax was only nineteen.

"I did this..." Max said with a glum look about him.

"It isn't your fault." Kile said looking over Adam's shoulder.

"It is though." Max said. "I thought I had lost them, given them the slip, but they must have had a tracking device on the ship.."

A visiting Bith ranger who was helping with the cleanup of the freighter lifted his head, "Here sir." he said tossing a small device to Max. "Short range transever, they could have only followed you from a short distance away." He paused and thought for a moment doing caluclations, "Judging by the time it took them to revert to real-space after you and adjusting for time in hyperspace I'd say you were very near to losing them."

That fact didn't help dissuade the mans guilt. "There is more..."

"And I'd love to hear it." Adam said. "First you should get the Medic to see to that hand. And then we'll meet at the conference room." Adam looked to Felicity, "You go see to Jace, make sure that Linna Beorht hasn't tried anything fishy..."

"Linna Beorht?" Max asked staring between Adam and Iara.

****

It didn't take long before Max was patched up. A Bacta patch was placed on his hand held in place by a bandage, his bruised and broken ribs were likewise treated. Iara remained constant by Max's side all the way up until the conference room. Max entered and took center stage as Iara sat down. They waited for the others to enter sharing coy glances with one another.

Linna Beorhts interview was cut short, however Jace had invited her to come to Anari and continue their discussions. Jace had waited patiently while the brief battle was fought and Linna for her part was mostly behaved. The young Prince couldn't held but notice however how the woman had made herself comfortable shifting from provocative and sensual positions. The entire thing had made the boy uncomfortable and he was happy when Felicity had saved him to drag him to the conference. He hard heard Max was alive and was overjoyed. The man had taken him in and made him his Padawan. He was accepted because of Felicity and Max Sage and was overwhelmed with happiness at the returning of his mentor. When he entered the conference room he walked to his master and gave him a handshake. Max pulled the boy in and gave him a hug whispering something in his ear which made his eyes start to well up and a smile appear on his face. Regaining his composure he took his seat.

"What did he say to you?" Felicity asked.

"He said..." Jace paused and glanced affectionetly at the man, "He said 'you're my child...' that me and you were his..." He took in a deep breath. For a boy who had never known his father and had a mother like... well like his mother such a comment or expression of love by a father figure had him choked up inside. Emotions he'd never felt before surged to the surface, he belonged...

Mikhail had sent word to Iara that Alu was safe and that he'd meet her at the conference room. Alu escorted the boy with Jeryn Dax and Benna. The three made there way into the room where yet two more reunions happened. Alu jumped into her mothers arms and Mikhail cautiously approached Max. "I knew you weren't dead." Mikhail said distantly. "When I thought that you might be... I mean I had some doubts and I..." He couldn't say it, there were too many people around. "I made some bad decisions."

"It's alright." Max said. "I'm back."

"But where were you? What happened? Why didn't you contact us?"

"I'll explain when everyone gets here." Max said. Mikhail was dissatisfied but obediently went to sit besides Benna. Max noticed the two holding hands as they sat next to one another and wondered what else he had missed in his absence. Quorl came in next, followed by Keira and Adam then Ember and Kile. Soon the room was full and Iara had the droid Quirk escort Alu back to the rest of the younglings. Alu pulled on Mikhails robes not wanting to leave. Jeryn smiled at the girl and took her hand. He had nearly died defending the girl and the rest of the younglings which had ingratiated her to Alu somewhat. "I'll go with you." Jeryn said knowing that Mikhail or his brother Dax would catch him up.

Once they left all eyes turned to Max. "I know you have questions..."

"What happened to you?" Keira asked glaring daggers at her brother. "I saw you fall."

"Through shadows, to the lowest levels of the city." Max said. "I manage to wake up last minute in the fall and cushion my fall with the force. I was broken, and some locals took me in slapped me with bacta as best as they could. It took me nearly two weeks to recover." Pausing he looked around the room at all the faces and then continued. "I couldn't get a ship off planet and I couldn't send a message without risk of intercept, so I tried to cover our groups tracks as best I could and found a darkness lurking in the shadows of Teta. The Krath, a Darkside cult of old, had reemerged from the darkness supported by Sirena of the Sith. With some of the locals I tried to thwart their operations and gain as much information as I could. I busted up slave trade rings, droid factories, and destroyed malignant artifacts. Finally we'd driven them off Teta and dismantled their operation. They fled." He looked to Jace staring him in the eye, "into the Anari Commonwealth. I managed to find a ship and set off after them, but was led into a trap. That Sith was waiting for me on a moon Orbiting Elysium we fought but his droids and the assassins were overwhelming me. I escaped to that freighter and took off, I didn't know where else to go... and I didn't think they had a tracking device on the ship"

Quorl opened his beak to speak but was interrupted by Max. "Wait," he said lifting up his hand, "there is more." Now his gaze averted to Mikhails. "I had encountered him several times on Teta, but Valkner the Anzati from the warehouse, he's after you Mikhail. He's obsessed with you and wanted to capture me to find this location, to find you. I've seen him commit despicable acts wiping out entire families in his thirst for soup..." Mikhail looked away from his brother. Yet another terror he'd brought upon his family. "and he's not the only one. Sirena is also after you and has a great many agents out looking."

"Then we can't let her find him." Adam said. "It would be too horrible for his power to fall into the hands of the Sith."

"Do you think that these Sith are behind the unrest in my realm?" Jace asked changing the subject. It wasn't that he didn't care about Mikhail, and in fact it was the opposite. He knew that the boy would being feeling guilt and it was best to change the subject.

"It is a distinct possibility." Max said.

Mikhail grimaced at the thought. Everywhere he went he caused trouble, and now it seemed he would bring doom on all those he loves. He squeezed Bennas hand and looked around the room. Assassins were searching for him, Sith Cultists had infiltrated Jace's Kingdom, and it was all his fault. He left Lyn to die, he stole the Location of the Valley, he joined Sirena, he absorbed the valley's power and he was the one who slept with Benna. All he's done is make mistakes, and cause pain for others. Benna... he looked over at the girl. No that hadn't been a mistake, at least not entirely. Mikhail resolved himself knowing what he must do as the others began to discuss the situation...
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:58 pm

To Ember's eyes, the conference room resembled a soap opera, a web of connections and betrayals and families. He avoided Iara's gaze. Jedi discipline had no hold on her - Rach had been of legal age, and a Jedi Knight in his own right, and the Council hadn't seen fit to question her about Benna and Mikhail - but forgiveness was the most eventual of destinations. And some days he didn't feel like taking a step on that path.

"Anari is my home," said Ember. "My wife and I were born and trained there. Good intel, Max. If Sirena actually is behind the unrest there, I'm more than willing to root her out. The question is one of delicacy. A crusade against the Dark Side on the borders of the Sith Empire won't go over well with the nearest Sith, no matter how tolerant Koss's regime is. So far as we can determine, Koss and the CCOs are out for Sirena's blood. I hate to say it, but we may need to reach out to the Sith on this. I'll have to consult the rest of the Council. Force, so many implications to track."

"We need information," said Quorl with a chirrup. "We need better connections on the ground, and we need to move as soon as possible."

Ember nodded. "If we lose the peace in Anari, we might lose Ossus. I won't let that happen. My son died there. Nearly everyone here fought to liberate Anari from Sirena the first time. We all knew people that didn't make it."

"I have connections there, too," said Iara. She enjoyed a certain popularity with the Sages - had ever since the Anari liberation - and though she'd only been a member of the Order for a relatively short time, the Sages gave her more...what? Floor time?...more time in the spotlight than most of the Order did. On Ossus, Iara Beorht was a strong Knight with a questionable past, and those were a decicred a dozen.

Ember cleared his throat. "You're too high-profile, Iara. Especially with Sirena involved. She's known to hold a grudge."

Iara nodded. "Then I'm better as bait."
Last edited by Beorht on Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Pryde » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:06 am

While the others quietly conversed Felicity kept an eye on her cousin Mikhail. She could see the worry and the guilt in his eyes so she crept up next to him. "It's not your fault," she whispered to him, "You did what you had to in order to protect your family. Everything that's happening now is because someone else ordered it."

"I know that, but I--," Mikhail started to say but before he could finish that thought Felicity cut him off.

"My family was behind the attack on Ossus," she told him, "My mother led the assault and my grandfather had ordered it. They very nearly destroyed the Jedi Order and they haven't given up. I don't blame myself for the choices they've made and you shouldn't blame yourself, either. If it hadn't been you it would be somebody else, maybe someone who doesn't have the friends and family you have now. We will keep you protected because that is what families do."

Mikhail fell silent and Felicity couldn't tell what he was thinking. The others were talking about Anari now and Ember had just volunteered himself to venture there on behalf of the Jedi Order. Iara also offered to go but the aging Jedi Master advised her against it.

"I'll go," Felicity blurted out suddenly. The others just turned to look at her. "If we lose Anari we lose Ossus, right," she continued, "I will go with Jace to Anari and do what I can to help."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:39 am

Mikhail thought for a moment and then Felicity volunteered to travel to Anari with Jace. "It wasn't your family felicity." he said leaning over in her ear, "It was our family... even if the only connection was you."

Mikhail would have continued but Jace stood up and cleared his throat, "I believe..." he said looking around the room, "That we're all getting ahead of ourselves."

"Pardon?" Mikhail said. "We shouldn't get the people after me? And we shouldn't go after the Sith stirring up trouble in your home?" He looked at his friend with a bit of a frown.

"Am I not the Crown Prince of Anari?" Jace asked, "And yet I sit here as you all make decisions about my people?" Pausing he noted the change in those around him. "Firstly we will not reach out to the Sith Empire and invite yet more darksiders into my Kingdom. Nor can I allow the Jedi to operate with inpunity and no oversight... all those who oppose my rule would use that for leverage against me, I can see that coming from a mile away."

"Jace has a point." Max said. "He needs to think of this from a political stand point as well as from the moral option."
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:05 am

"My apologies, Prince Jace," said Ember, "but you're overreacting. I suggested contacting the Sith; I did not order it, nor did I suggest letting them operate in your territory. And I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that we would be acting without accountability. You've never had a problem with Jedi operations in Anari space; I've made sure that your office is copied on all relevant mission reports and disciplinary proceedings. That's the degree of oversight you're entitled to as head of state of a host government - that, and asking us to be delicate, and retracting your invitation to work in your territory. And if you don't want the Jedi doing their work in your territory, say the word, but based on our existing agreements we've been proceeding as though this is business as usual. You, personally, empowered us to keep the Sith out of Anari, and you've never questioned our judgment before. If you're changing your mind, that's your prerogative. If not, let us do our jobs, and be prepared to do yours as a Jedi, under our direction."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:56 am

Jace thought on the mans statement for a moment. He was right he had always followed the Jedi, done whatever they said. It felt right to him. Afterall it was felicity who had saved him from the Darksider, and it was Max who took him in and... made him family. in the back of his mind however Linna's questions and the nagging reminder from his advisors were ringing in his head. "You said that a crusade against Darksiders along the Sith Empires boarders wouldn't be politically wise." Jace said firmly staring at Ember, "With that single sentence you set policy for the whole of the Commonwealth without so much as consulting Parliament, or the leaders of our military or intelligence community. you haven't vetted your response with any member of the Anari government."

"Jace..." Mikhail said looking at his friend. "I don't think he meant it that way..."

"No he did." Jace said. He wasn't angry, he couldn't get angry. Instead he was merely stating a fact, "He immediately took charge of the situation, admirable in other circumstances, however Anari is not his to command."

"No but you are." Quorl said.

"And that's a problem isn't it?" Max interrupted.

That hit the spot. "Master Rekali, the political situation is delicate." Jace looked around the room, "I hate to admit it, but there are several factions within Anari that want to expel the Jedi, and even one that would invite the Sith back into our sector. As these people see it, the Jedi are not respecting our sovereignty. To them you are meddlers, and in some instances I can't blame them." He let out a little breath, "Jedi have been allowed free reign of Anari worlds, and my political and personal support for the Order and for the Antarian Rangers have earned me more than a few enemies. If Sirena is behind this, we'd have to find out before overtly involving the Jedi, as it stands this is an internal matter." Jace lowered his voice a little bit, "any response by the Jedi would need to be subtle in order to prevent the worse."
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Pryde » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:25 pm

"And what about me," Felicity asked him pointedly, "Am I a meddler too?"

She stared at him with her hands on her hips in that manner that typically spoke volumes to the average male. Jace was walking on thin ice here, one wrong word and his girlfriend would tear him a new one...

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:39 pm

"You think I don't know about this? Force, Jace, I'm the one that's bringing these issues to the Council - championing them. You're misquoting me, and I think it's deliberate. I said that a certain course of action would certainly provoke a Sith response. Cause and effect. Nothing more. And accusing me of personally wanting to control how we respond, when I'm not only sitting in council with others but specifically mentioned discussing this with the Jedi Council? That's immature and unacceptable. Stop standing on your pride, or you and I will have words about certain other roles you play." That was as close as he would come to publicly discussing the Shadows. "If you want the Jedi to be minimally or secretly involved, that's your decision and of course the Council will stand by it. But you're jumping into high-level discussions that have yet to produce a consensus, and treating intermediary points of discussion like they're final conclusions."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:54 pm

Jace was taken aback by Felicities comments and was happy when Mikhail spoke up for him, "Jace doesn't see us as meddling, he was just saying that factions within his government do."

"But not Felicity." Jace pointed out quickly. "I mean she's a special case."

"A Special case?" Mikhail asked.

"Well its because...." Jace's stumbled over the words trying to find a way to say what he wanted to say without saying it, "I just mean that..."

"He means that Felicity and his relationship makes her special." Max said, "The people think that in a few years Felicity may become a Princess of Anari. She's a suitor and has been seen in that light since the liberation of the sector."

Jace's face flushed red, "That is correct..." he said clearing his throat a bit. "They think that in a few years we ill be engaged or married and that you will share the throne with me." Pausing for a moment he quickly added, "Not saying that we won't be... I mean...." With all the eyes on him he didn't want to say how he felt about her, it was all too embarrassing.

"None of that matters right now." Max said shooting a warning glance at both Felicity and Jace. Now was not the time for the two of them to get into it. "Jace is right, we need to think of the political situation here. We can ill afford to alienate the people of the Commonwealth. That being said," he stared again at Jace, "You're taking this too personally. Master Rekali is only offering advice."

"But he..."

"I think I know what has you upset," Max said. . "And it isn't worthy of you." Pausing he thought for a moment before looking at Ember, "The boy is right though, you never said anything about consulting the Anari government. Any long term decision will need to be vetted through them."

"You have an idea?" Jace asked.

"When you return to Anari, a small group could go with you as advisers. We can figure out if this is even a real issue or if the Krath were just passing by, from there we can determine a better response." Max looked around the room, "Maybe hide our actions as a diplomatic mission from the Jedi. Would such an arrangement be acceptable your highness?"

Jace looked down at his feet, "It would..." he replied refusing to look Max in the eye.
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:49 am

"Then so be it. A diplomatic mission, composed of a representative sample of Jedi. We already have volunteers." Ember grimaced. "And for the sake of convenience, our outward mission will be approximately the same as our secret one: try to find a way to stabilize the Anari Sector. Our Order hasn't focused on diplomacy as it should. This will go a long way towards improving that portion of our image. Which should, in turn, help improve Prince Jace's image. And meanwhile, in the background, we can investigate as necessary."

He stood and dusted off his hands. "My hope is that you'll choose to return to Anari soon. Let me know when you and your Jedi advisors plan to leave, and I'll come with you. In the meantime, excuse me. Benna, with me, please. Alone."

He left the room, with his daughter in tow. They moved quickly through Sage Manor until they reached Ember's ship, a Consular-class vessel. Once secure in the communications room, Ember started putting a call through to Ossus.

"Boolon?"

An Ithorian priest in Jedi robes appeared over the holopad. "Yes, Master Rekali?"

"Two things. First, I need Benna added to the Shadow database as a field operative. Force knows we've had poor success with the young Shadows, but Benna, you're your mother's child and you grew up on the battlefield. You're ready, and you're needed. Second, Boolon, I need you to suspend Shadow mission directives to Jace Vintari. Don't assign him any further missions. I had hoped conflict of interest wouldn't come up, but he has other things to worry about."

"You're not kicking Jace out of the Shadows!" said Benna incredulously.

"No, I'm not. I'm just not going to send him any more missions for a while. Jace has his own agendas and priorities, Benna."

"It's just cause you're mad at him."

"Of course I'm mad at him. That's not the point."

"It's more the point than you think, Dad."

Ember shot an embarrassed glance at the hologram. "Boolon?"

"Your daughter is quite possibly right, Master Rekali, but I'll process your orders. You should know that most of the recruits you asked the Council for have been inducted."

"Max Sage is back, too. Put him on the active roster, but I think he'll be busy."

"Noted, Master Rekali. Oh, and there is one other thing. The Council approved my promotion."

Ember grinned. "Good for you, Boolon. And stop calling me Master."

"Congratulations, Master Boolon," said Benna.

"Thank you, Benna. Now remember - you're a Jedi Shadow now. You've already known too much about that world, but it's more important than ever that you keep Shadow business to yourself. For now, unless your father allows it, you probably shouldn't speak of it to Mikhail Sage, or Jace Vintari."

She nodded slowly, grimacing. "I'm not crazy about that, but I guess it comes with the job. I'll tell them if I need to, though."

"I'll leave it to your discretion," said Ember. "Now go back before they start to wonder. Tell them we found a new clue about Rach's whereabouts. We didn't, but..."

"Yeah."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:25 pm

Mikhail frowned a bit when Benna left the room. He wondered what her father was saying and if it somehow involved him, something in the pit of his stomach dreaded the answer. Other thoughts about Valkner came into his mind until a brief respite from his negative feelings came. Jace placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder, "Don't worry." The Prince said reassuring him. "Ember isn't a bad person, and he knows you care for her."

"I wasn't thinking about that..." Mikhail said. It was half a lie. He was indeed thinking of that, however his friend saw through him. His thoughts had driven him there several times since taking in the power of the valley, but now he was certain in his course. "I think..." He paused and looked up at Jace who smiled weakly, "I think I need some fresh air. I'm going to go for a walk in the gardens."

"No you aren't." Jace whispered as the boy left the room. He looked over at Felicity and beamed her a smile, "We should go pack, you'll need clothes for at least a week..." He paused, "I will pack and then meet you at your quarters to help." Felicity acknowledged and the two left.

Benna had just left the meeting with her father and Boolon. She was pacing a bit deep in thought and found her way to the apple orchard where she'd fought the Sith with Mikhail and Keira. The area had been cleaned up, either by droids or workers, and now looked as serene and peaceful as ever. "I too come here to think." a voice called from behind her. It was an old man with white hair who shared features with Mikhail and his brothers. In a way he could have been a wrinkled and old Mikhail, or so Benna mused. "It is so very calm isn't it?"

"It is..." Benna said looking over the man. She knew him even though she had never met him. "Daxan Sage?"

"That is correct young one."

The man came closer now and Benna noticed that his eyes seemed dim and pale compared to the vibrant green of his kinsmen. "Are you alright?"

The man laughed a bit, "My sight may be fading, but my vision remains ever clear." The man replied. "You are the one making time with my grandson?"

"We are... close." Benna replied.

"Yes I can see that." The old man walked forward and put a hand on the girls head, "Then perhaps the one lurking in the shadows should say what he came to say." he looked to the side and Benna's eyes followed him. At first the girl saw nothing but shadow and then from within it came a figure, one she recognized. "Jace has been following you for some time."

The boy looked at the man with suspicious eyes, it was few who could detect him when he wished to remain hidden. In his hands he held two backpacks. Stepping forward he looked Benna in the eyes, "I' wish I could go with you." he said reaching his hands forward and stuffing the packs into her arms. "But I have duties that I must attend to." His face hardened, "Mikhail is my best friend, my brother, and I want you to promise me to take care of him. He still blames himself for alot of things."

"Jace what are you..."

The boy raised a hand to silence her and continued, "I packed as well as I could. "You two won't be alone, I've made certain of that, but you need to hurry to catch him. He's in the Hanger bay." Benna started to move to run towards the hanger bay when Jace suddenly grabbed her by the arm. "Promise me you'll take care of him..."

"Jace... I promise." Benna said. And then Jace let them go...

"You did the right thing Jace..." Daxan said staring at the young man.

"You said you saw them safe together?"

"I did." The Man replied, "But the future is always in motion..."

"I wish I could have gone too."

"A different destiny awaits you." Few listened to the old mans ramblings anymore, but Jace knew he had the gift. "The mountain will fall on you and Felicity."

"But how will it end?" Jace asked.

"In fire..."

****

Mikhail was staring at the ship, he had the codes, Jace had given them to him so he could test fly it. The Swift Wind was what he needed to stay off the grid. If he wasn't at Sage Manor then the Sith would have no reason to seek it out. He would lead them away, far away and he would find a way to make things right. The boy was boarding the ship was a sudden tooting echoed from within. "Droid!" Mikhail called as the astromech tooted at him. "What do you mean Jace sent you.... how could he..." The droid tooted violently again. "You can't come." More whisles followed, "What do you mean we're waiting for someone?"
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:37 pm

With her backpack over her shoulder, Benna pressed the comlink to her ear. "Dad, there's something you should know. Jace tells me Mikhail is getting ready to...leave. I think he's been meaning to for a while, but I didn't put the pieces together."

Ember's voice cursed vigorously. "Leave where?"

"Not a clue."

"We get a nascent god on our hands, and he ends up wandering the galaxy whenever he feels like it. Wonderful. Your boyfriend is a public relations disaster. You're going, aren't you."

"I'd like to. I know you just asked me to-"

"Not a problem. Look, I'd far rather you didn't, but..." Ember sighed heavily. "Take Quorl. Mikhail likes him, doesn't he? I'll have him meet you - where?"

"Jace gave Mikhail the keys to the Swift Wind. I'm heading there. Dad...time might be short."

"Keep in touch. Be safe. You have my blood trail and I have yours. Love you."

"Love you too, Dad."

She met Quorl at the hatch of the Swift Wind. In a moment, Mikhail answered. "Benna...I didn't want to ask..."

"Of course not. Jace told me. Look, Mikhail, we've been together for a while. I trust you, and I'd rather you didn't...run away on your own."

"We can make this an official mission," said Quorl. "In name, anyways. You're important, Mikhail, and your health and safety are important too. Where do you plan to go?"

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:49 pm

Mikhail smiled, "I'm not sure yet." he replied to the large avian. "I was thinking of hitting the rim somewhere far from Anari Space and making of show of it, and then disappearing towards the core."

"That is a wise plan." Quorl said stepping up the ramp. The droid tooted playfully at the newcomers. "You draw the Sith away from your friends and family." He quirked his head to the side and stared up at the boy before stepping forward and looking back at the Manor. "What about supplies?"

"There isn't much on the ship, it wasn't scheduled for any sort of long journey." Mikhail replied.

Benna smiled, "Jace packed some things." He proffered the two bags putting them down just inside the hatch.

"He's probably watching us even now." Mikhail thought looking about the shadows. "It still won't be enough." he waved into the nothingness and pressed the button closing the hatch behind them, "Our first stop should be to get supplies, the computer has some records where we can get what we need, munitions, rations, everything."

The door closed up behind them and Mikhail walked to the Cockpit. "These shiney rocks always amaze me." Quorl said. "It was so much simpler on Rishi."

"We'll get you settled in a nest." Mikhail said.

"And what shall we do for money?" Benna asked.

Mikhail smiled, "Adam gave me an allowance, enough to rent a place and for basic needs. I've been saving it though."

"Short term." Quorl replied, "But we can navigate that storm when reach it."

Mikhail started the ship up and took off jetting through the open bay. They reached space and punched it into hyperspace...

****

Jace watched Mikhail waving at the nothingness and couldn't help but feel a small sorrow. IF the old man was right his friend would be fine and yet... He shook it off as he watched the ship leave and headed out towards Felicities room. He found the girl packing and quickly made not of the supplies brandishing a list. The boy stopped and quickly explained that Mikhail had left. "And I let Mikhail go...." Jace said. It didn't feel right to not tell her. "He didn't want to let the family get involved, he ran away... again." He frowned, "But I feel... it was the right thing to do."

The boy didn't know what hurt more, watching his friend leave or telling Felicity he'd let him go. "I'm sorry Felicity I fee like..." he didn't answer but the expression on his face was clear enough. He had done something he never wanted, he let Felicity down...

****

Daxan roamed the Manor, he didn't know what he was looking for and let the force guide him. He watched the young Princeling and felt a pang of sadness for him. He himself had given his firstborn son to the Jedi Order and lost many friends in the clone wars. Loss was something that all will experience, and you cannot shelter the young from it. As he aimlessly wandered he came upon a man and smiled. "I'm sorry." The old man said as he approached Ember Rekali. "I heard your daughter just left with my grandson..."
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:15 pm

"Indeed. You would think we'd be strong enough that people wouldn't feel the need to leave us in order to keep us safe. First Ashin Varanin, now Mikhail." Ember sat down heavily beside Daxan. "I heard once that you prophesied Max's death. You told him a Shadow would destroy him."

"Did I say that?"

"Yes, you did."

"Yes, I did."

"I need to know, Daxan - did you see anything else?"

"A nice day wrecked by Sith and droids. Oh, you mean anything else relevant. But who am I to decide what's relevant, Rekali? No, I didn't see anything at all. My prophecy was a matter of instinct. I rarely see images when I prophesy, unless hallucinogens are involved. Rekali, I've done something crazy, even for me. I sent a message to your assistant, Boolon Murr. I've asked him to join the Jedi party going to Anari. Oh, I know I don't get out much, but I felt like sending someone I trust. My family needs someone there who doesn't have a chip on his shoulder. No offence."

Ember grimaced. "None taken. Master Boolon is a man of peace."

"I know. I love Ithorians."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:23 pm

The man stood there for an awkward moment side by side. "You know..." The old man said, "people can be very fickle. How many times have you seen people up in arms about something they saw on the news and then forget about it in a few tiny days?"

"Are you referring to Anari?" Ember asked.

"Am I?" Daxan replied, "Perhaps, it does seem to fit." The old man sat down on a nearby bench grunting and moaning as if it were some great exertion. "They say that even amongst those that disagree with his policies, the Prince is still popular. How can something like that be."

"Separation of professional and personal opinions." Ember said. "Personally they like the boy even though professionally they believe him to be be..." the man stopped for a moment and stared at his senior.

"Foolish." Daxan finished the sentence for him. "I wonder if there are those who respect him professionally but do not care for him personally..."
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:37 pm

"There are other heirs," said Ember. "Few know about it, but there are two. Half-siblings. It's not a fact I've shared with anyone, let alone Jace, and I'm sure you understand that nobody can know. In part because of the political ramifications...and in part because we could use them. I need to talk about this with someone besides the Jedi Council. I'd like your opinion."

"Other heirs..." Daxan sat down beside him. "That changes things. Or does it?"

"Do you mean something by that?"

"You've pledged to uphold his regime."

"I'm not saying I would support a contender for the throne. There are other uses-"

Daxan slapped Ember's knee. "Of course that's what you're saying, son. A man like you never gets rid of options."

"Anari is my home. I'll do whatever brings peace and security."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:52 pm

"Have you ever seen Raxus?" Daxan asked looking about as if he were about to impart a great secret.

Ember for his part simply said, "No, I have not."

"It is a world of junk and garbage, and yet people live and work there. Filled with nothing but garbage and yet there is a constant. Everything is recycled and reused. Many of the metals and raw materials and parts found in ships, colonial prefab shelters, datapads, and many other devices started in that junk yard." Daxan smiled at the man and stared into his eyes squinting to better see the man.

"I don't know if I take your meaning."

"Must I have one?" Daxan said before continuing on. "The planet was once vibrant. The Circlet of the Tion and Nikato's Shining Gem they called it. But now?"

"Are you saying I should live in the here and now? Not worrying about the future?"

"Perhaps." Daxan picked up a rock from the ground and threw it. The rock spun wildly out of control. He picked up another and threw a "knuckelball". "There is no spin, and yet most still can't tell where it will land."

"Better the evil you know..."

"Is he evil?" Daxan interupted.

Ember furrowed his brow, "Just an expression."

"And yet what do you have up your sleeve? What possibilities fill your head?"
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:03 pm

"Everything about this situation is unpredictable, yes." Ember let out a slow breath. "I'm not sure I catch the point of the Raxus anecdote, though."

"They want it one way, or another, and it goes how it wants. Most things do. We get all tied up in how we can make things happen..." The old man pointed, and the rocks shot back to his hands. "...that we forget the rock has a brain."

Ember snapped his fingers in triumph. "Ah. Events unfold as they will, and I can't control everything. A lesson I've learned with my children, but perhaps not when it comes to recalcitrant and frustrating young politicians. Or immature and easily swayed electorates. The older I get, the more I sympathize with dictators. People are stupid."

"So what will you do?"

"For now? I give our prince all my support, and enough room to hang himself."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:16 pm

"Forgive me for saying so but that doesn't sound very Jedi-like." The old man said, "There must be a better scenario in there." The man paused and stared at Ember, "The boy is your subordinate is he not?"

Ember was shocked, was there a security leak? How else could this man have known about the Jedi Shadows? "How did you..."

"When your eyes go they say your other senses compensate. I hear things." The man rapped on the ground with the toe of his boot. "You have more duties to the boy than just supporting him as Prince, and he has more duties than just reporting to you. As his leader, you are responsible for him. For all the good and all the ill he might do, and as much as he may not wish to admit it he needs you. If you don't believe him he'll sense it and he'll lose confidence and then what? What happens to your home then?" The man laughed a little bit and his smile widened. "Young people."
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Beorht
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:24 pm

"So I create faith in him out of thin air? Look, if I could go through life always certain that I was doing the right thing, I would. But I don't have that gift. If I did, I'd be a fanatic. We have enough Jedi who wander around without realistic self-examination, and he's one of them."

"So teach him."

"Except that he can't be my subordinate. Not when, in a very real sense, I report to him. I should never have let him into the... Shadows."

"He's in already, boy. What are you going to do about it?"

"I have absolutely no idea. In normal circumstances I would trust him with a mission, but this situation more or less precludes side jobs, and I can't assign him or give him orders anywhere near Anari. Nor can I table this issue until the situation is resolved. This sort of situation doesn't resolve easily."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:36 pm

"Who exactly are we talking about here?" Daxan asked. the inflection in his voice made ember doubt the mans sanity for a moment. "Are we talking about the Jedi, who has obeyed and followed orders?" The man put a hand on Embers shoulder to reassure him, "Are we talking about the boy who was wounded on Teta protecting the Jedi Ideals? Are we talking about one of the Heroes of Ruusan who stopped a Sith from gaining immeasurable power?" Daxan shrugged, "I believe that boy has earned a bit of faith from you."

"But..."

"Ah." Daxan interrupted once more. "So we're not talking about that boy. We're talking about the child of Darth Sirena, the Sith trained as an assassin. The Prince of Anari..."

"You hit the crux of it."

"So you would define him by an accident of birth?"
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Beorht
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:43 pm

"No. But you know what? Every single person I've known who was raised in the Dark Side has taken several years, even decades, to break free. Jace is used to following orders, and he's an excellent field agent. But Adam and Iara took this boy and gave him perfect, total freedom. He's not accountable to the Jedi anymore, in any meaningful way. We're seeing a new side of Jace, a side that doesn't want to follow orders. He's asserting his individuality, growing as a person - that's fine. It's necessary. But it's too rapid - he's been on the throne maybe a year, tops. I can trust Jace the field agent. I don't know yet whether I can trust Jace the king. Nobody does."

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:00 pm

"They think he is a puppy, something they can take home and house train." Daxan said with a nod. "But the truth is he was trained to kill, quickly, effectively, and without remorse. This is what worries you?"

"It is."

"And yet when a Jedi is forced to kill does he not do it effectively? Does he not do it quickly?"

"But he feels remorse."

"Does he now?" Daxan shrugged, "Some perhaps, but all? There is no death, only the force. Some members of the Jedi Order that I knew back in the old days took that to heart, perhaps to their detriment." Ember frowned and started to open his mouth but instead remained silent contimplating the old mans words. He had heard it said that the man held no real opinions and only rhetoric, that he was insane and babbled inane comments, but to him the man possessed an intelligence hidden beneath age. It was something Ember and Jace held in common. "You of course know about the experiments done to him?" The old man asked. It was rhetorical, of course the Jedi Spymaster knew. "He can't feel anger, he is incapable. And from what my grief ridden grandson tells me Jace never really behaved in a manner you'd consider dark..." Daxan stopped and squinted his eyes as if trying to get a better view of something in the distance, "Ah..." he said.

"Ah?" Ember questioned.

"The mention of my grandson... I sensed something coming from you." The old man frowned and closed his eyes, "Perhaps you are projecting onto Jace your feelings for him? He was of course raised a Darksider, he turned from that path the same time after Jace and yet there is even less concern for him. Your own daughter has taken a liking to him and that has no doubt shaped your beliefs. You let her go with him afterall... Perhaps in time as you get to know and trust Jace you shall be equally confident in him." Daxan stopped and immediately apologized, "I didn't mean to be out of line, I know that my grandson is a sore spot. But that you trust him with with your daughter when he is in near identical straights as Jace.... it does mean something."
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Pryde » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:35 am

"I don't think it has anything to do with trust, Old Man," Keira said, coming out into the open. She had overheard two men talking and went to go have a look, she was surprised to find Ember here talking to Daxan. "Mikhail absorbed the Valley of the Jedi, like it or not he's a time bomb just waiting to go off and that girl is the only thing keeping him sane. Ember letting her go was necessity, but he does trust her if he doesn't trust him," she added, giving Ember a keen look.

"It's the same for Jace, you know," she continued, "That boy wields a great deal of power just like Mikhail, but Felicity would never allow him to use that power for evil and he knows it. She would stop him before he got out of control. Maybe even put him down if that's what it takes. Wouldn't be the first time she's killed family."

Ember gave her a curious look. Felicity had mentioned that her mother had been involved with the recent attack on Ossus but she had yet to tell him what transpired. Was Felicity forced to kill her mother to stop the attack?

"What are you doing here," he asked her.

"I came to ask permission to follow Mikhail."

The elder Jedi gave her a sharp look, "And how do you--,"

"Know about it?" She finished for him and then she shrugged, "Hey, you have your method for finding information and I have mine."

"My daughter is with him," he had hoped to leave it at that but he should have known who he was dealing with.

"You trust your daughter," she said, "I don't. He's my brother and I'll keep him safe."

**********

"You what?" Felicity asked almost incredulously. "Jace, he's got the power of the Valley! If word of that gets out it won't just be Sirena looking for him it will be every Sith in the galaxy! He should have stayed here with us, we could have kept him safe!"

She immediately stopped packing and started to rush for the door. "Where are you going," Jace asked.

"To bring him back," she said, "He's not safe out there by himself!"

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Re: Dynasty

Post by Halcyon508 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:08 am

Daxan smiled at his granddaughter. "Have we met?" he asked suddenly. His dim eyes stared at her and then he said, "Yes... I believe we have. You're my granddaughter aren't you?" Reaching out a hand the old man touched her face scanning it for familiarity. "Yes you do resemble her... but my granddaughter would know better than to interrupt her elders..." he smacked the side of her head lightly. "You and that brother of yours... so much alike." His smile never diminished. "That old owl is with him. Quorl." He nodded reassuringly, "He's a hoot." No one laughed which elicited a stern look from the old man who was positive that young people were supposed to humor their elders. "I'm sure that in my place he will dote on my grandson..."

"I don't think..."

"Oh fine..." Daxan said waiving his hand. "There is a StealthX in the hanger, I'm sure that Ember won't mind." The old man nodded, "You can you know, keep him company, keep him safe."

****

Jace grabbed Felicity by the hand. "No." he said firmly. He wasn't exactly sure where this new streak of independence had come from. "I have duties, an entire sector on the verge of civil war." It had been the first time he admitted the true severity of the situation out-loud. "I love Mikhail...." He said staring at Felicity, "But he knew what leaving meant, he knew I couldn't follow." He Paused deliberately as the girl looked at him, "And he knew you couldn't follow either. He doesn't want us as a safety net."

"But..."

"No." Jace said firmly. "I need you Felicity." He looked at her with his pleading eyes. "I don't know if I can do this without you. I don't know if..." The boy shook his head. "You have to go. It's the only way to make things work. You and Max can get access easier than anyone else. It needs to be you."
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Beorht
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Re: Dynasty

Post by Beorht » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:26 am

"You think the Council would let our pimply god run off with my daughter and a minimal guard? Mikhail has pulled this kind of stunt before. On top of Quorl, a Jedi team will meet the Swift Wind sooner rather than later. One or two of them are even Sage cousins. Feel free to join them." Ember's eyes narrowed. "Your name was put forward for a certain flexible, long-term assignment that would overlap with this mission. It's demanding and utterly secret, and following it may require reining yourself in, far beyond what you normally do. Thoughts?"

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