Beyond the Rim

18 years after the Battle of Yavin...
A divergent, persistent and interactive Star Wars timeline with a rich history and established characters.

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Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:15 am

Mikhail worked the controls of the ship as they headed in towards the planet, or rather moon. It was a dusty little speck in space. Quorl stood over his shoulder directing him as they made their way through the atmosphere. "Where are we and why are we here?"

"This is Bugscat." Quorl said, "And we're here for supplies. Code sifters, sonic charges, ration bars..."

"Aren't Sonic charges and code sifters illegal?" Mikhail asked inquisitively. He knew they needed rations and other supplies, but as he looked through the list he noticed a number of objects meant for other purposes. They would be useful enough for the group but he felt uncomfortable at the prospect of using black market sources.

"Not here they aren't." Quorl said reassuringly. "Anarchy rules here." The avian said as they started in towards the landing pad.

"This doesn't feel right." Mikhail added.

"It is the best place to get what we need for a reasonable price." Quorl added as the ship lurched and buckled finally coming to rest on the planet. "And it is far enough away from Anari space and most civilized area's that it should take awhile for the Sith to react to our presence. And by then we'll be long gone. The perfect diversion, just like you wanted."

Frowning Mikhail stood up from his chair to see Droid standing by the hatch as if on guard. "Droid has the right of it." he replied looking at the mechanoid keeping watch. "We have no friends here."

"But no enemies either." The Rishii pecked lightly at Mikhails shoulder and reached a hand up to ruffle the boys hair. "It will be okay." Taking a deep breath Mikhail walked to the door and hit the button opening the hatch. The planet didn't stink like he imagined it would have. The air was so dry it was hard to breath and Mikhail figured it also didn't carry much. A dock official came up to them and requested payment for landing. First he requested it for himself and then for the main dock. Quorl paid the man his money and cocked his head to look at Mikhail, "This is also a good place for the others to meet us." he said. "Now the person we want to speak to owns an inn and Cantina. He can get us what we need and put us in contact with the people who have what he can't get."

"All for a reasonable price?" Mikhail said. In h is head he could see the money vanishing from his account already.

"Now you get it." Quorl replied.
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:52 am

The Snotling's Codpiece was built into a bare hill. Benna, swathed in a form-hiding robe and poncho, coughed against the harsh dust. She took the lead and opened the door, kicking little dust-drifts over the threshold.

Miners, glitbiters, spacers and assorted others filled the place. Benna cast about with the Force, trying to sense anything out of the ordinary. There was no unusual hostility.

Beyond that, well...she was still a Padawan. Albeit a Padawan without a Master. Her parents had taught her, and then Rach had been her Master. But when he was disciplined, he lost his Knighthood, and Benna was cast adrift. Since then, she had worked with multiple Jedi teachers, trained at the Academy, and gone into the field under the aegis of various Knights.

Just inside the door, she paused and turned. "Do you see your friend, Quorl?"

The Rishii folded his wings and shambled across the cantina, attracting more than a few stares. "No, not yet. He should have been here by now."

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:15 am

Mikhail sat down at a table with Quorl and Benna. They had to wait now, thats all that they needed to do. The waitress came over and asked for their order. Mikhail was about to say that he didn't want anything when Quorl interceded telling him to order a drink. "Umm blue milk..." Mikhail said which got a bit of a chuckle from a nearby patron. The waitress quirked an eyebrow and smiled at him patting his head much to the irritation of the boy. The others ordered and the waitress was off.

Quirl ruffled his feathers a bit and then said, "And we will be eating too."

Mikhail flipped through the menu pad attached to the table. "So many different Bantha dishes..." he said with a look of utter disgust. "Bantha's are filthy animals...I don't care to eat them."

"There is more" Quorl said flipping the page for him. There was a slew of other dishes and Mikhail picked the one that seemed the least offensive.

Before the waitress could return they were approached by a Rodian in dark clothes. "Pretty Girl..." he said looking at Benna brushing a hand through her hair. Mikhail glared at him but made no move as Quorls wing made him sit. "You looking for work girly?" he asked Benna staring, "I give you good job, you young, but pretty. Fill out soon."

"We're here to buy." Quorl said lifting up his wing and taking the Rodians hand off Benna. "We have some very specific needs Weebo."

"Weebo meet your needs." the alien said, "Have lots of connections."

"Quality merchandise only." Mikhail interjected.

"Of course...." He did the Rodian version of a smile, "Have many programs, holograms, pleasure droids for young man... although for quality experience girl needs to be real yes?"
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:31 am

"Force, Quorl, where have you taken us?" Benna gave the Rodian a brilliant grin. "Weebo, is it? If you're looking for a quality experience, I've been called memorable with a knife. Back off."

"The girl's already employed, Weebo," said Quorl. "And we'll hardly need pleasure droids on this trip. You remember the things Barthazal stole from your people?"

"Weebo thanks you for seeing that justice was done."

Quorl chirrupped and leaned in closer to the Rodian. "Do you still have the sifters?"

"Weebo can get them. And what other needs can Weebo fill, hm?"

"Sonic charges."

"Ahhh. And the normal things that go with your requests?"

"The normal supplies, yes."

"Weebo will see what he can do. But there is a small catch, a favor between old friends..."

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:44 am

"Weebo know of smuggling ring..."

"And how is that different then here?" Mikhail said. "besides it was my understanding that everything was legal here."

Weebo made a strange sound with his snout, almost like a snorting. "Here maybe." the alien said. "But they smuggle people, slaves from civilized worlds. Work circuit. You want to stop yet?"

Quorl raised a wing to forestall Mikhail but to no avail. The boy squinted his eyes suspiciously and said, "What's in it for you?"

"You let younglings speak for you Quorl?" Weebo said with a nasty affectation to his voice. "Perhaps junior should go away while adults speak."

"It isn't an unreasonable question." Quorl replied wrapping his wing around Mikhail. "The lad has the right of it."

The Rodian let out a little sigh, "Get rid of competition." Weebo replied, "Avert eyes of Jedi and others who might otherwise not take notice of our operations." Narrowing his eyes the Rodian stared right at Mikhail, "Satisfied little one?"
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:11 am

"Asymmetrical justice," said Benna.

"The cost of getting things done," said Quorl. "Your father taught you that."

"Figured someone should mention it, even if I agree with you."

"All is talk, too much talk, yes? Try warehouse on street at other end of town. Find slaves, yes? You like to make slaves unemployed? Go craaaazy, Jedi friends." Weebo's Rodian face approximate a grin. "And then Weebo will get you what you need. At very reasonable rate."

Benna stood. "Wasn't looking forward to eating here anyway. Let's get to it."

"Younglings speak more, yes?"

Benna grinned, eyes slitted, and said nothing. Quorl and Mikhail stood with her. The owl shared a quiet goodbye with the Rodian, and the Jedi made for the door.

"Have you balanced your fears?" Quorl asked, as they crossed the dusty town.

"Balanced?" Benna asked.

"Put them in their proper place. Too many young Jedi have no fear, no caution. Please tell me you both have fear."

"I have fear," said Mikhail quietly. Benna simply nodded.

"Good. Fear may be a path to the Dark Side, but so many Jedi are afraid to fear. And this is stupid."

The warehouse sat in the bottom of a deep depression or a smoothed-out sinkhole, out of the reach of the wind. A little landing pad sat beside it, and sentries monitored the roof and the rim of the pit.

"What's our approach, O Feathered One?"

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:56 am

"The defenses along the perimeter are formidable." Quorl said. It was true enough, many guards lined the perimeter around the warehouse. It was nothing that the Jedi couldn't handle. Mikhail opened his mouth to say as much when Quorl, as if reading his mind, added, "Too much collateral damage."

"We don't want to risk innocent lives." Mikhail said, "The slaves or any innocent workers that may be nearby."

"Just right." Quorl nodded. “I do have a plan, but I don’t think you’ll like it…”

****

Quorl was right, Mikhail didn’t like it. The short avian wore a ragged tunic and held a blaster rifle to his back as they walked forward. Both Mikhail and Benna had binders attached to their hands and secured behind their backs. Quorl played it up poking them in the back and pushing them forward. The three approached the gate and Quorl deposited the children on the side of the walkway to talk to the guard. Mikhail stood up and tried to ease his way closer to the conversation to hear what was being said. Quorl seeing this darted towards him and gave him a hard peck on the head with his beak putting Mikhail on his hid parts. "Maybe too much trouble." The guard said staring at the two.

"But you want yes?" Quorl asked.

The guard looked forward and grabbed Mikhail by his chin and examined him. "We want, yes..." he said nodding his head. "You come this way." The guard motioned and led them through the doors. Mikhail and Benna were lead away as Quorl was sent to the offices to negotiate the fee for the two slaves he had gathered.

Mikhail and Benna were put into a pen, there was plenty of people jammed into it. Mikhail noticed that most of the people were either children or attractive women. This group apparently wasn't in the business of slaves for hard labor and instead had other nefarious purposes. some of the people were aware and alert but many more had vacant drug addled expressions. It was a settlement of sorrow that Mikhail navigated. The youth didn't have time to talk to any of the people or interact on any meaning level before two overseers came into the pen. The two walked around and examined the merchandise. The boy looked on with suspicious eyes wonder exactly what was happening. The two overseers approached him and Benna and he instinctively put himself in front of the girl. The slavers smiled and reached down grabbing him by the chin. They moved his head from side to side examining him. "He'll do." the slaver said.

"Yes I think the client will appreciate this one."

"What of the stubborn bird? This is his slave is it not?"

"He's being compensated as we speak." The yanked on Mikhails arm and pulled him out of the slave pen. They pulled him through hallways and past several security checkpoints and into a large room. Two women stood flanked by guards and retainers. One was elderly and the other was young, Mikhail was guessing a daughter. There were several other boys around his age lined up and he put was into the row. "For your consideration..." the guard said pushing him a little.

The girl, who Mikhail supposed was the intended customer, stepped forward and gave him a once over. "Is he obedient?" The mother asked.

"Of course Milady." The Guard said, "A bit untrained, but young and mailable."

The girl cocked her head and circled Mikhail. He could feel her eyes staring at his back as. The girl rounded him and stood before him once more. She reached a hand out and pulled his tunic aside a little to get a better look at his chest. The girl stared back at her mother he walked forward. Together they began to poke and prod at his chest and arms. Mikhails face grew bright red and he hoped that Benna and Quorl would make their move soon before he was sold to this spoiled princess as a... what? "I shall choose him as my body slave..." the girl said to her mother before turning to Mikhail and saying, "You understand what this means? You shall attend to all my needs, and when the time comes in a few years you will give me and raise my children." Mikhail gulped...
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:01 pm

"This is not enough," said Quorl, hefting a bag of coins.

"That's what you're getting, innit?" The slaver rested his hand on the butt of his blaster.

"You can't change the price - you're the low egg in the nest. This I know. I think the bag weighed differently when big boss gave it to you. I want to speak with him now."

The slaver hesitated, glancing at the nearest guards. Even without the Force, Quorl could read his mind. A disgruntled client was one thing, but an accusation like that could land one on one's freshly kneecapped kneecaps. And the simplest way to deal with it... "Fine, I'll get the boss again."

Quorl waited patiently, while stretching out to the Force. Mikhail, he sensed, was alarmed but not greatly so. Benna was irritated and bored. He touched her mind. Calm yourself, fledgeling. Wait to move until I draw the guards away. Avoid collateral damage. He sensed her grim assent.

And when the slaver came back in with the boss, Quorl presented his lightsabre. "You're under arrest," he said.

The room exploded in violence. Blasterfire rained down on him as the slavers hugged the walls, trying to stay out of the sabre's reach. Quorl gathered the Force to him and leaped straight up, flapping hard once. He crashed through a vent; his claws scrabbled on the sheetmetal sides of the duct. Torrents of plasma punched gaping rents in the duct, spattering him with molten metal. The same trick of thought that had sent him up now propelled him along the duct, quickly. The blasterfire followed him. He stabbed his lightsabre through the bottom of the duct behind him - through the sheet metal, and the drop ceiling. A big old 'come and get me' sign.

He kept evading them.

***

Benna sensed the distant violence, and seconds later, the nearest guards checked their communicators and left in a hurry. She touched the nearest woman's shackles, then others, working as quickly as she could. "Don't run until it's done," she said, over and over again, knowing they could get killed by the perimeter guards. It would have made more sense to leave them locked up for the moment, but she couldn't stomach their misery.

Only when all the women in her cage were free did she touch the cage lock and slink into the hallways of the slaver base. Her lightsabre had followed her with telekinesis; now it sat on the roof, nearby. She could feel it. Using that bond, she activated it, and a distant snap-hiss betrayed the weapon. The noise grew louder, and she heard a ring of metal on metal as the sabre fell through the ceiling and struck the nearest floor. She turned a corner, and the blade shot into her hand. She deactivated the weapon and padded through the halls.

Quorl dropped out of the ceiling, winked at her, and ran past. She pressed herself into a nearby alcove as a swarm of slavers ran by, chasing the owl.

Then she stepped out behind them and threw the lightsabre as a whirling horizontal scythe.

Between her and the owl, they made a very quick, very messy job of it. And a minute later, she cut down a guard and shoved her way into a well-furnished room, where upper-class slave buyers waited with Mikhail.

Blood dripped from her hands as she raised her sabre and pointed it at the buyers. Her breath was ragged in her chest. "You're under arrest."

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:50 pm

The girl was now in the process of feeling Mikhails pectoral muscles when the boy, red in the face, heard Benna enter. "Great this is when my girlfriend decides to come." Benna threw Mikhail his lightsaber and he caught it.

"Jedi?" the girls mother called.

"Girlfriend!" the girl replied a second after. Admirably in a certain way the girl superimposed her body between Mikhail and Benna. "He's mine, I paid for him fair and square. Everything was legal!" Mikhail put a hand on the girls shoulder and moved her aside with a weak and sympathetic smile. She was selecting a mate for life and was already trying to protect her property.

"I'm sorry but..." he walked over to Benna and struck up a pose next to her. "I'm with her." Igniting his saber he pointed to the slavers and then said, "And you're under arrest."

"Oh that girl is going to arrest us." One of the slavers said with a smirk on his face. "Foolish Jedi slavery is LEGAL on this planet. You have no authority to arrest us."

"Perhaps slavery isn't illegal but," He looked to the girl and her mother. "Kidnapping is." Mikhail concentrated on the Woman and the girl, "These aren't people born into slaver or who sold themselves into slavery, most of the people here are drug addled kidnap victims. Under this planets law..." Mikhail took a small datapad out of his boot and examined it, "That makes it illegal."

"Well we didn't.. we couldn't have..." the mother began.... Her situation wasn't much different than the Kuati tradition of a Telbun. She had assumed that Mikhail was sold into slavery by his family, not kidnapped by the nefarious deeds of pirates or what have you. It was a thin line but such was life on the rim.

"Its okay." Mikhail said smiling weakly at the girl who was showing signs of high distress. "You couldn't have known. But leave now."

The woman and her daughter started to file out as the stand off between Jedi and slavers continued. The daughter turned around and beamed him a large smile, "My name is Jamine."

"And I'm Mikhail." He said with a curt nod, "Now go, I don't want you to get hurt."

They filed out of the room and two more slavers entered. "Surrender to the authorities." Mikhail said. "There is no need for violence." It was the Jedi thing to do.

"Oh but Jedi... I think there is." The man who apeared to be the head slaver said. He snapped his fingers and two beings apeared, one in black armor with a helmet and mask which had a crude skull painted on it. He dressed like an awkward Mandalorian, but his helmet showed that he was no true Mandalorian by lacking the signature T visor. The other was a droid with a floppy hat and two blaster pistols. "Meet our bounty hunters... If we weren't paying them enough already you'll be happy to know there is a standing bounty on Jedi. Kahmran, BH-98... bring me there heads..."

The droid pulled our two blaster pistols and started to fire wildly at the Jedi. He was smart for a droid and randomized his pattern of shooting to force the Jedi to block from one extreme to the other limiting their ability. Kahmran on the other hand lacked sublty. He started firing and ignited his jet pack flying into the air and landing on a support beam overhead. Extending his arm he fired a rocket from his wrist which landed next to Mikhail and exploded sending the boy diving for cover...
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:41 am

Jedi were trained to interlock their defenses, to trust each other, but Mikhail and Benna took that to a new level. They'd been on many missions together, for being so young, and their blue blades worked in perfect arrhythmic harmony, a harmony of intent and coordination rather than musical timing. Quorl actually found it difficult to integrate his defenses with theirs; trusting them to deal with the onslaught of blasterfire, he Force-leaped up into the rafters. A telekinetic blast shoved the bounty hunter's rocket launcher aside, and a second round blew a hole in the roof. The winged Jedi and the jet-packed bounty hunter collided in a whirl of Force energies, rocket exhaust, and crazily conjoined momentum. They hurtled into the sky, dancing violently.

There came over Benna a sense of the future, as happened sometimes when her flow-walking skills intersected with Mikhail's energies. She glimpsed another grim building, larger and home to more sources of blasterfire. She and Mikhail and others - Vahla, maybe, with purple eyes and monochrome hair - defending themselves against something horrific and half-glimpsed.

And compared to that, this droid assassin was nothing.

That didn't make her better than the droid, but a moment's confidence was a moment's clarity. Blaster bolts sizzled back at the droid along incoming trajectories, in ways she'd never been able to manage outside of training. Hit after reflected hit rocked the droid, setting the big floppy hat askew. Carbon-scored in multiple places, wreathed in smoke, the droid retreated with inhuman speed. The slavers joined it.

Sweating, Benna lowered her lightsabre and turned to Mikhail.

And punched him in the shoulder.

"Jamine, eh?"

"Ow. What? She was buying me. Let's go. Quorl has this covered."

She nodded, and they pursued the slavers, lightsabres in hand.

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:00 pm

The two ran down the corridors after the pirates and the droid and Mikhail stopped. "What are we chasing them for?" He said suddenly as Benna rammed into his back. He lurched forward almost falling over and stumbled. He composed himself and turned around and looked at the girl. "Let the local authorities handle them." He said before looking back. The girl gave him an awkward look and he lifted his hands up, "Look she was going to buy me."

"That isn't why I'm giving you the look." Benna said narrowing her eyes.

"We held up our end of the bargain, we disrupted their operation and gathered evidence for the authorities. If we arrest those men and don't let the locals do it we taint the arrest and they walk." Mikhail said. He looked up in the air where the man with the jetpack continued to fight an aerial battle with Quorl the two spinning and darting at one another as blaster bolts flew across the air. "Besides if we don't stop that a stray shot could hit someone!"

"Okay so what should we do?"

"Get the slaves out of the line of fire, and then we help Quorl." Mikhail said.

Benna gave him a superior smirk and then said, "Did you learn to fly and didn't tell me?"

Mikhail sighed, "No but if Quorl can make him land..."
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:36 pm

Up on the rim of the sinkhole, now devoid of slaver guards, the droid stopped and tipped his hat at them. Then he was gone, and the only motion came from scattering slaves and the airborne battle. The Mandalorian knockoff and the avian Jedi fought in silence, apart from the blasterfire and the hum of the lightsabre.

"So how do we go about getting Quorl to bring him down? I'd rather not screw with his tactics or his concentration - ah. That jetpack will only last for so long, and they've been fighting for a while. Any minute now, the fake Mando is going to want to hit the dirt, but he'll want to keep the high ground. So he'll touch down on the edge of the pit. Let's get up to the edge."

They scrambled up the sand-buried wooden stairs, lightsabres turned off. Using a technique she had honed on Faran's Hold, fighting the Cult of Shadow, Benna slammed the ground with her mind, and dust rose from the sand in obscuring clouds. The wind spread the cloud across half the circumference of the circle, and when Mikhail pointed to the other side of the pit, dust rose from the sand there, too. With the perimeter hidden, it didn't matter where the fake Mando landed - the Jedi would be able to respond with some degree of cover.

He landed, at last, setting his feet on the sand. Clouds of dust hid him as Quorl landed, too.

Everyone had cover.

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:54 am

Even with the cover provided by the dust the bounty hunter was able to hold off the Jedi firing wildly at them and keeping them at bay. A combination of blaster fire and explosives prevented Mikhail, Benna, and even Quorl from getting too close. The three Jedi were however holding their own and standing their ground. Mikhail knew that it was only a matter of time until the Mandalorian wannabe ran out of amunition for his rockets and darts and couldn't hold them off anymore. The bounty hunter knew as well and placed one hand on his right arm. Flame spurted out of a wrist device on his gauntlet and he circled around putting up a wall of fire between him and the Jedi. "Alright." he yelled through the mask, electronics amplifying his voice so it could be heard over the flames. "There is no profit in this."

"So you surrender?" Mikhail yelled back his eyes squinting to see through the smoke. The fire was dying down and would soon be gone giving him the chance he needed to charge in and incapacitate the man.

"No." the Bounty Hunter said. "My employer has left, illegal operation anyways. I am a bounty hunter, I fight when I'm paid. There is no payday here."

"What of the bounty on Jedi?" Quorl asked.

"Too much trouble." The skull masked man replied quickly. He started to back away and slowly holstered his weapons. "And you have no charge against me. I haven't disobeyed the laws. I was legally employed as protection by those gentlebeings and had no involvement in the kidnapping past acting as a bodyguard to them."

As much as Mikhail hate to admit it, the man was right. He had acted within the legal limits of the planet, or at least as much as the boy understood the law there. He bit his lower lip and disengaged his lightsaber. "You should find better employers."

The bounty hunter waved his hand and turned his back on the three jedi and started walking towards the speeder park, "Maybe I will... someone who pays better." the bounty hunter said. Mikhail couldn't help shake the feeling that they would run into the man again. The man had almost single-handedly held off three Jedi. In the long run he would have been captured, but still it was an impressive feat.

The man walked out of view and Mikhail turned to Benna and smiled at her. They had made it out unscathed, and beyond that done a bit of good freeing a group of slaves. "Hey..." he said with rosey cheeks as he aproached her. Their hands met one anothers and their bodies closed in tight, Mikhail leaned his head in to kiss the girl when suddenly a brush of air disturbed him.

"No no no..." Mikhail turned and saw Quorl gently beating his wings and hopping towards them. "There will be no nesting on my watch!" He interposed himself between Mikhail and Benna and cocked his head looking Mikhail right in the eye, "You're feathers haven't even grown in yet!" he said. "Little owlets shouldn't be thinking about... about... nesting." The avian Jedi shook his body violently puffing out his feathers making him appear larger. "There will be none of that on my watch!"
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:43 pm

"Deflate. You'll get sand in your feathers and then we'll never hear the end of it." Benna stepped away from Mikhail and grinned at Quorl shamefacedly. "Fine, no nesting. Look, the damage is done-"

"Not wanting to hear, thanks very much," said the owl. "Now we wait for the Rodian."

Right on cue, swoops and desert skiffs roared over a nearby dune from the direction of town. Weebo's swoop drifted to a halt in front of the Jedi as clouds of sand blurred the skies. "You have done this thing!" the Rodian exulted, leaping from the vehicle and embracing Quorl. "Weebo's band of unsavories loves you for dealing with other band of unsavories." He gave the Jedi a little carved snippet of japor wood. "Bring this chit to little blue house at south end of town. They give you what you need. Call has been made. Girl is Jedi, yes? Girl..."

And his good cheer faded.

"Girl is Vahla."

"Yes, I'm half-Vahla," said Benna.

"Vahla Jedi...ooh, they hate you so much." He shook his head and shoved past the Jedi, down into the sinkhole to loot it.

"Who hates her?" called Mikhail.

The Rodian marched on.

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:49 pm

Mikhail took the carving and contorted his face a bit. "Little blue house at south end of town?" he asked repeating what the Rodian said. Weebo nodded at him and Benna and himself set off down the road. Benna came in stride next to him and the two were intercepted by Quorl. "Remember..."

"No nesting..." Mikhail said with a bit of a sigh. "We know."

Quorl cocked his head, "Was going to say check the merchandise."

"Oh..." Mikhail said as the Rishii pecked him playfully on the head. "Owe...What was that for?"

"Owlets shouldn't think such thoughts." Quorl was a proper sort of bird. He knew of course that physically Mikhail and Benna had reached sexual maturity but from a mental point of view? No it wasn't acceptable yet, they needed to mature before making a nest. "You don't want an egg..." he said with a serious tone.

"Of course we don't Quorl..." Mikhail replied somewhat confused. The pair walked silently down the road toward the house. They were halfway to the house when Mikhail reached over and took Benna's hand in his. the boy and girl exchanged a glance and smiles, "I can wait." Mikhail said as they got closer to the house. "I..." he wanted to say he loved her but he wasn't sure she would believe him. Were they too immature?

"I know Miki." She said reaching up a hand and pinching his nose playfully. "I do too." They reached the door, showed the carving, and were allowed in. The House was ramshackle. It was just a cover. a Twi'lek greated them. She smiled and winked at Mikhail as he entered. The two were led down to a basement and then through a tunnel. There various devices and shelving units were set up.

"Here is your cargo." The Twi'lek escort told them pointing to a stack of boxes. "Tunnels lead to the spaceport for delivery."

"Everything is here?" Mikhail asked looking through the goods. Code sifters in a small box were on top. Large crates were labeled for the sonic charges. "And the food stuff? Ration bars?" the woman nodded to another set of boxes. Mikhail opened it up and pulled out a package. Inside was thin dry ration wafers... "Crackers?" Mikhail said looking up at the Twi'lek. "You're giving us crackers for rations?"

"They have nutrients built in..."

"They're crackers!" Mikhail exclaimed.
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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:45 pm

"Bleh. Even forage food was better than this." Benna screwed up her face and choked down the rest of her cracker. "At least my folks taught me to make do. I can live on really nasty things."

Quorl fluffed his wings. "There is nothing wrong with a good cracker."

Benna lifted a crate and slammed it down on the nearest hoversled. "I'm just saying." She carried on loading the sled. Mikhail and Quorl joined in. They dragged the recalcitrant old hoversled through the tunnels, ignored and unaided by their Twi'lek escort. He took wordless custody of the sled once all their gear was aboard the ship.

"Is there any other reason to stay on this rock?" Benna asked.

"I think we could stand to learn a little more about who's after you, or people like you," said Mikhail. "I'm worried."

"There is fighter's tradition on Rishi." Quorl fluffed again. "Do not stand still in the dark. Run. Fly. Things catch you, they catch you. But when you do not know what's out there, waiting for it to catch up gets one fricaseed. We'll get moving, yes? Yes. Must meet Jedi bodyguard team. And Keira Sage will at some point find us also."

Benna pouted. "Aw, no, you invited Keira? She's been insufferable ever since Certh hit on her. Now she thinks my whole family's made of idiots."

"Hey, that's my sister."

Benna grimaced. "Fair enough. I'll drop it. Like I said, my folks taught me to make do with anything." She leaned out the cargo hatch and squinted into the sandstorm. "Hey look, the Jedi support team."

"I don't want a bodyguard," said Mikhail.

"Hush," said Quorl. "You trying to get Benna killed? No? Then hush. Is friends - look, is good friends." He greeted the new Jedi warmly, leaving Benna and Mikhail at the hatch.

"I...don't really know any of them," said Benna quietly, putting on a large, fake, meet-new-people kind of smile.

Mikhail sighed. "Me neither."

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:05 am

The first of the Jedi to approach was a Sullustan walking with the aid of a large cane which was like a staff in the arms of the short man. He came up to about Mikhail's chest but offered his hand just the same introducing himself as Gol Goram. Mikhail nodded politely and introduced himself. Next, after a brief conversation with Quorl was a tall blond man. He towered over the short Mikhail, who had been nicknamed Lytle. Benna and Mikhail stood firm as he walked up, "Jathis Harne." He said smiling at the two. Mikhail had heard he was some sort of intellectual, and had seen him walking about wearing his blackened cloths. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm intrigued by your.. umm shall we call it a condition?" he asked the boy.

Mikhail knew he was talking about the Valley of the Jedi. "Yes." Mikhail said politely, "I'm sure we'll have plenty of opportunities to talk about it."

The man nodded and moved on as the large Toruga walked up behind him. "It's a pleasure to meet you." he said with a toothy grin. "Ember speak... highly of you." he said. Mikhail didn't know how to take that. Did Benna's father even like him?

"I'm honored that Master Rekali would speak of me."

"Of course you are." The alien turned and nodded to Benna, "And you are his daughter are you not? I had heard that you were with the Sage kid."

Before Benna could reply a girl, perhaps a year or two older than them, pushed her way to the front. "So this is Mikhail Sage?" she said giving him a look over. "Powerful they said, a veritable god..." she quirked her head sidewise and walked around him examining him and making him feel incredibly uncomfortable. It was like he was back at the slave auction being sized up. "Very impressive, powerful and cute. You could pass as a Telbun. I think I'll enjoy our time together." As she crossed him she let a hand pass over his chest lightly brushing his shoulder and then came to Benna. "And who are you little girl?" she asked.

"Benna Kol-Rekali." Benna said staring at the girl.

"A pleasure to meet you I'm sure." she looked back to Mikhail and said, "I am Alana Thane. And I am at your service." She bowed a little.

The last of the Jedi a Rodian walked up to them and gave them both a nod. "Chet Neeva." he said. "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. "We brought Quorls command ship, The Eyrie." He gave a nod tot he owl who looked appreciative. "Your ship can dock in it and we can make our way to whatever our next destination is." Looking to Quorl he asked, "What is our next destination?"

Quorl looked over to Mikhail and and pointed with a deathered wing, "The boys choice." he said.

Mikhail looked to Benna, "We've made our presence known here on the rim. The assassins will be after us. Perhaps we should hide in the core?"
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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:17 pm

"Well," said Benna, trying not to look at the new girl, "we need to get lost in a big crowd."

"Denon, maybe," said Mikhail. "A Repubic-controlled ecumenopolis."

Alana Thane laughed. "You came all the way out here to get lost, and now you're not lost enough? So you'll turn around and head back coreward? Yeah, that makes plenty of sense."

Benna's eyes slitted. "Sure it does. Since all of you exalted Knight types have joined us, we'll be vastly easier to sense. So we need to hide somewhere with a lot of people and a lot of life. This dustball sure isn't it. Now that we have our supplies, we're ready to go." She grinned widely, without humor. "You'll have plenty of time to practice your logic and galactography on the trip to Denon. And maybe your lightsabre skills."

Quorl chortled. "The Eyrie has much room for such things. No burning each other, now. No, no, no." The Rishii and some of the older Knights headed to the bridge.

Thane folded her arms. "You asking to spar, kid?"

"I think she is," said Mikhail, which had to be the most assertive he'd been in a social situation not involving slavers for some time. "And it's Benna, not kid."

Benna grinned, and this time she meant it. Her lightsabre spun between her palms. "Whenever you're ready, Alaema."

"Alana."

"Sure. We've got nothing but time until we hit Denon."

As the Eyrie lifted off, its spacious cargo hold became the finest sparring chamber Benna had ever experienced.

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:57 am

The duel never came to be between Benna and Alana much to Mikhail's relief. The two would have torn eachother apart and over what? Mikhail sighed a bit to himself. Two days cooped up in space and he had mostly stayed to himself in his room locked away from everything. Benna had visited and the two shared what private moments they could however Quorl was adamant in his policies. They were often interrupted during private conversation and asked to come to the bridge and talk. They could have gotten to their destination much quicker, but instead of taking the major hyper routes Quorl had taken them off the grid through backwater systems.

They had stopped twice to land take on fuel and more supplies, much to Mikhails relief. Now they had more than just crackers to sustain them. Actually they had much better than crackers, ration wafers or bars. They had Gol Goram. The little Sullustan had apparently been a chef and was fond of making lavish meals. Mikhail enjoyed the change in cuisine and eating next to Benna. At times they were so along at their table in the mess that it almost felt like a proper date. However one person kept interrupting. Alana Thane insisted on sitting near Mikhail, playing with his hair, touching his shoulder, and ignoring Benna. The boy wondered what exactly her game was. She was an intelligent girl, and being raised on Kuat had a firm grasp of machinery but....

Mikhail just wanted to be left alone. Instead of taking up quarters on the larger vessel Mikhail had instead gone to the docking bay and made up his bed inside the smaller cramped captain quarters of the Swift Wind. He had told himself it was just so he could get moments of peace but the truth was he felt like running away again. Benna sharing a bit of empathy with her boyfriend had settled quietly into the room next to his on the small craft.

Mikhail had just woken up and was performing his basic calisthenics to keep in shape. Normally he waited for Benna and the two ran around the cargo hold together but today he had awakened especially early and decided to go out on his own for a bit. He ran in circles shirtless for a bit before finding a piece of machinery to put his feet on and do pushups. Stretching and gymnastic like motions followed as the boy tested his body. He would repeat the routine when Benna awoke.

The youth was doing sit ups when Alana came by. He wasn't sure how long she'd been skulking in the shadows watching but continued his excessive without acknowledging the older girl. "Here..." Alana said stepping forward. She bent down curving her body and gripped his feet tightly, "Let me help..."

Mikhail sat up and stopped his movements, "It's alright. It's better if you don't." His face was flush red, from the exercise or the girl he couldn't tell.

Alana smiled and pulled his knees apart crawling through them and putting a hand on Mikhails chest. She pushed the startled boy to the ground and rubbed a few hands over his chest. "You're young still..." she said massaging his knotting muscles. "And yet so much tension... I could perhaps help you relieve that tension and give you a bit of experience along the way..."

"I'm with Benna...." Mikhail said weekly.
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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:13 am

"Benna, come here a moment. Be calm."

Quorl beckoned, and Benna came to stand at the door with him, looking down into the cargo bay. "What's wrong? ...oh. No, she's not."

"You want me to summon her to bridge?"

"No." Benna folded her arms. "I'm tired of defending him from girls who want him because he's got the power of the Valley in him. We have worlds to save. We're Jedi. That one's a Knight. We shouldn't be tied up in this dren. He's so submissive, Quorl. I always have to jump in. But this time, I think I'm going to wait and see whether he can get past that. He says he loves me - I can't help thinking this'll tell me for sure."

Quorl ruffled his feathers. "Dangerous to be so cold."

"I trust him. I do. It's just that if I keep taking the hits for him, maybe he'll miss a chance to grow. He's already younger than me. He needs a little...push. Ah." Benna grinned as, below, Mikhail shoved Alana away. He stood and backed off, saying things she couldn't hear. Alana sauntered after him. "You know, if I jumped from here, I could just reach her. I'm thinking an elbow."

"Without elbows, how can I comment? Is suitable plan - if you're in Sith Academy. Keep it in pants."

She blinked and grinned. "Did you just use a sexual metaphor to talk about violence? There's hope for you yet." She leaped out of the high-level door and landed hard behind Mikhail. She stood and dusted off her hands. Mikhail turned, his surprise transforming into relief. Alana pouted gently. "Alana. So glad you could join us for our morning workout. What's your pleasure? Running, calisthenics, sparring, Force training? Normally we have this cargo bay all to ourselves, but since you're new to working out, you can choose."

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:39 am

"Girls..." Mikhail said lifting up his hands in a defensive posture, "There is no reason to fight..."

"Whose fighting?" Benna asked forcing a sigh from Mikhails lips. "We're just going to spar a little bit."

"Yeah..." Alana replied. "Just a bit of a sparring session is all." She started to unhook her ligthsaber.

Mikhail didn't know much, but he knew that Alana was a knight. No matter how strong Benna's skills might be to fight a knight level..."Alright then." He said having devised a plan which might have the desired effect. "But lets do this my families way..."

"Your families way?" Alana asked. She had known Max and Jax Sage from their time on Kuat and probably had heard about the Sage Martial arts through the grapevine.

"Yeah..." Mikhail replied. "We have several different types of sparring."

"Go on..." Alana said giving a nod.

"No strikes are allowed, you fight until either one person submits or is put unconcious by a choke hold." he nodded at the two of them who nodded back. "It's a family tradition of martial arts... I can show both of you some moves and..."

"Oh so you want to grapple with me?" Alana asked with a wink.

"And teach you some things..." Mikhail finished ignoring the girls comment.
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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:58 am

"Grappling? Done." Benna threw aside her lightsabre. She could hold her own with a blade, but a Knight, even a recently minted Knight, had the advantage.

But when it came to grappling, she'd been trained in a war zone by her parents, who had been commandos for the Detori Order and the Jade Empire.

She settled into a loose, mobile stance. Alana had the advantage for height and strength, albeit not by much. As the grinning Knight's hand snapped out to grab Benna's wrist, Benna went with it, let Alana pull her in, then stepped in closer and spun. Alana folded over her hip, rolled over her shoulder, and landed hard, flat on her back. Benna danced away. "One-nothing. How long have you been a Knight, again?"

The Jedi Knight spat blood. "Feth. You're another one of those ridiculous little wunderkind girls."

"Oh, did Felicity Sage toss you around? Don't worry, she does that to everyone." Benna leaned in conspiratorially. "At least, she did until I came along." Felicity was better than her at close combat, but not by much.

"Yeah, well, the Sage family has its own style of martial arts. I don't think you've got that on your side, kid." Alana moved more cautiously now, sizing Benna up as actual competition. Which was all Benna had wanted in the first place.

"Yeah, well, my parents were commandos and my brother died because he wasn't good enough at close range. You wanna lay a bet on how hard I've trained?"

Alana moved in, refocusing, and Benna drew back slightly, just far enough. She grabbed Alana's wrist and lunged, using the Force to enhance her leap. Alana conjured a Force push that radiated out from her body - but by then, Benna had locked her into a flying arm bar, with her knee around Alana's neck. The echoes of the blast sent shivers through Benna's body as she and Alana fell to the floor. Alana struggled against the lock. In vain. "You should have stuck with the sabres," said Benna through gritted teeth. "I pop my hips forward like you were doing to my boyfriend just now, and your elbow says goodbye. Everyone's got their niche. You're better than me at most things...you sure aren't better than me at everything."

She felt telekinetic force grip her body and begin to pry it loose; in response, she popped her hips up as advertised, and Alana grunted in pain.

"You're not tapping out. I'll take that to mean you have no idea how to run a fight like this." Benna let go, stood up, and turned away. Fight over without a surrender - the ultimate insult.

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:12 am

Alana stood up and dusted herself off a bit letting her hands move slowly up and down her body to give the two a show. She turned and smiled to Mikhail and gave him a bit of a wink. "Well that just goes to show that Mikhail has alot to teach me." She came up to him and spun around so her back was facing him and then fell into his chest. She grabbed his hands and wrapped his arms around her as she pushed back into his body. "Like how to get out of this hold..." she said faking a bit of a struggle wiggling her body against his.

Mikhail let go and took a few steps back causing the girl to fumble. "Look..." He said firmly. "Me and Benna are together."

"I know." Alana replied. "I'm just trying to have some fun." She looked over at Mikhail, "Well then fine. I get it." It was a change of tactics. "But i really do want to learn. I can't be shown up by every little girl can I?"

Letting out a sigh the boy stepped forward, "If you're willing to take this seriously..." he started, "Than I can teach you some things."

"Mikhail..." Benna started. "Are you sure?"

"Every Jedi should be able to defend themselves Benna..."
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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:53 am

"That's fair enough. She could certainly use the help." Benna smiled without friendliness or humor. "Maybe we could get Quorl in here to give you some pointers, Alana. He's really good at close-range combat. I hope you don't tickle easily."

"Eheh. Heh. HAHAHAHAH!" Mikhail's laughter was incongruous, even awkward, but she sensed the relief behind it.

"Look, Mikhail, I saw you say no while I was up there. I trusted you before, and I trust you now. If you want to teach her, even if she wants to act like anything but a Jedi, go right ahead. I mean that. I'm not being passive-aggressive. Ultimately, this wench being a better fighter is going to help keep you alive. I do reserve the right to test her training now and again."

Alana smiled at her. "If I can test you with a lightsabre."

"By all means."

"Let's...keep safe, all right?" Mikhail said. It was a tentative step towards assertiveness, but it was progress. "Like you said, this is all about how safe I am."

He made the joke with a straight face, but Benna caught the desperate humor and giggled. A door opened, and the Sullustan chef came in. "We're landing on Denon. We'll spend a few days here - I wanted to make sure, Mikhail, that you were clear on taking at least some of us with you, wherever you go to stretch your legs."

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:37 am

Mikhail nodded at Gol and gave him a little smile. "Well I think its obvious I'm going to take Benna..."

"You need to take more than Benna." The Sullustan said firmly.

Mikhail sighed. The purpose of him leaving was to get away from this nonsense. "I'll go..." Alana said softly. Mikhail let out a bit of a sigh. "I can take good care of the two."

"I'd rather not." he said finally. "You and Ty need to stay here and work on the Swift Wind. There is maintance that needs to be done." Inside the little ship a rapid amount of toots echoed out as Droid rolled on down. Mikhail smiled at the small creature and carried on a small conversation for a minure before Droid grabbed hold of Alana and started to pull her towards the ship... With one problem gone he focused his attention on the Sullustan. "I have a question." He posed as Quorl and a few others came down to join them. "You are all here to protect me. But for how long?" No one said a word. "I mean what I am... it isn't going to change. I'm always going to be a target. When does it all end?"
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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:01 am

"My dad told me, before we left..." Benna bit her lip. "He said either you'd learn to control your power, or the Jedi Order would get into a better strategic situation. A better relationship with the New Republic, maybe, or another Jedi Temple on a better-defended world. The last time we protected someone who a powerful Darksider wanted, the Cult of Shadow dropped some monsters on the Ossus Temple and my brother got killed."

Quorl nodded vigorously. "Yes. When we are less, what is word, precarious. What we do here, keeping you safe - and you're not going out with just two guards, no no no, it defeats whole purpose - what we do here distracts Sirena and the Sith, and lets the rest of the Order build these things we need."

"We need another Temple, yes," said the Sullustan. "On a well-protected planet, like Denon. In fact, making connections to that end is one of the secondary missions we've been asked to accomplish."

Benna squirmed, thinking of her own secondary mission as a Jedi Shadow: to watch over these particular Jedi, to make sure that none of them were adversely affected by whatever beliefs, artifacts or events they ran into when the searchers caught up with them. That much seemed inevitable, whether or not they were hiding. Somehow, they would be followed.

In part, because she had used Quorl's holonet pad to talk to her father, and she knew that the Eyrie had been fitted with a subtle tracking beacon, a tiny thing. Another Jedi Shadow had sacrificed his life to convince their Sith pursuers that everything was on the up and up.

The Shadows wanted the Sith to chase the Eyrie. For purposes of distraction.

"We could look at real estate while we're here," she said.

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:32 am

Mikhail let out a little sigh, "Fine." he said softly, "We also should stock up on supplies, Chet can come with me, it makes sense he has negotiation experience." He looked over at Benna, "I want Benna with me." Quorl puffed a bit which Mikhail took to mean he was suspicious of nesting behavior. "Quorl too." Mikhail liked the stubborn old Owl. "Is that enough?"

"Ty needs to work on the ships." Chet said. "Alana should also come." Benna groaned audibly. "Three knights and Benna should be enough."

"And I'll just stay with the ship." Janthis said. "Keep ole red face here company." he slapped Nysar Ty on the back hard and laughed a bit jovially. He winked at Mikhail and said, "Get her back before super now."

Mikhails face went red as he tried to devise a plausible scenario for him and Benna to sneak away for a proper date, their first. He climbed into the aircar and waited. Alana tried to slip in next to him but Quorl quickly settled into that spot. The car took off and started soaring through the cityscape.
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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:11 pm

The aircar was instantly lost in the aerial traffic lanes of Denon. With Chet at the helm, they went...

Nowhere.

"Are we going anywhere?" Benna asked.

"Depends," said Chet. "Who's in charge? Quorl? Mikhail? You?" He chuckled.

"Mikhail's in charge," she said firmly. "Quorl's in charge of the bodyguards, but Mikhail's in charge." Quorl chirrupped; it might have been agreement.

"I'll be in charge," Alana Thane joked. Silence descended.

Mikhail squirmed. "If you want to look at potential Jedi Temple locations, we can do that."

Instantly, the aircar descended. "Done," said Chet. "I made a call already. We're going to look at a section of the city where the Caamasi government used to have an embassy a long, long time ago. The Empire closed it after the Caamasi genocide, and it was never reopened. They say it's a sad and beautiful place - and it's close to all kinds of nice things. As far as the short list of potential Jedi temples, Denon is a strong contender. It doesn't...mean much...to most Jedi, not like Ossus, but it's a good world and a good location."

He put down in a dusty landing bay with beautiful architecture. The graceful colors and lines reminded Benna of clouds at their best.

An old Caamasi met them in the bay. "Ah, Jedi Chet - I've prepared a small tour, if you're amenable."

Chet grasped the Caamasi's hand tightly. "Dweilu. It's been too long. These are Quorl and Alana Thane, Jedi Knights, and Padawans Benna Kol-Rekali and Mikhail Sage."

The Caamasi bowed. "I'm pleased to meet you and your Padawans." His long thing muzzle twitched as he looked back at Chet. "Shall we start with the west wing, old friend?"

The tour was pleasant, bordering on dull. After ten minutes, which Benna judged a safe time, she and Mikhail slipped away by unspoken agreement.

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:22 am

The first thing that Samanthe noticed when she walked through the chamber was of course the bodies. Littered across the room was the corpses of young sentence, all pretty little boys. Most were blond haired and fair of skin with soft and feminine features of youth. She suspected she might come upon a scene of horror, but nothing like what she saw now. There had to be dozens of them. In the corner she saw her target, the crazed Anzati sitting slumped over the corpse of another victim his tentacles out. She'd have to be on her guard less she become the desire of his insatiable hunger.

"What do you want?" the creature in the corner stirred. "Why are you here?"

"My mistress sent me." Samanthe replied. "She has a message for you."

The creature stood up and Samanthe got a look at his young victim. Even for her, a cold blooded assassin, this was a bit much. "I have no need for your mistress's words! It was by her order that I missed the most delectable meal one could ever have. The pleasure I could have derived before devouring that boy... but you and Ashin and the others denied me." He stood up lumbering towards the woman in a zombie like trance. "Unless...."

"Yes Rolf." Samanthe said. "I have come for that reason."

"Where?" The man yelled. "Where is he?"

"Here. On Denon, just as Sirena has foreseen."

The Anzati's tongue licked over his lips. "And you know where exactly?"

"The old Calamari Embassy." Samanthe said. Valkner didn't say a word and pushed the woman aside as he left the room. Samanthe looked at the carnage with disgust. Looking around she found what she needed and burst a fuel line to a stove sending flammable liquid throughout the room. A snap-hiss of her lightsaber ignited the floor. As she cleared the building and took off her in a speeder she heard the explosion. The gas would burn for days leaving no evidence of the macabre massacre...

****

Mikhail and Benna held hands as they walked through the abandoned corridors. "I thought we'd never get away." He said to Benna turning and staring her in the eyes. "Although I do feel a bit guilty." His smile broadened, "giving them the slip I mean..." He leaned in and gave her a little peck on the cheek. "Benna..." He wasn't sure what he wanted to say, "Do you think we'll ever really be free from threats?"

"Mikhail I don't know... but I do know that I'll be with you."

"Forever?" Mikhail asked.

"Forever and always." Benna replied leaning in. The two shared a kiss which, if seen by Quorl, would earn them both a peck on the head...
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:52 pm

When Mikhail's presence amplified her flow-walking, it gave Benna a sort of temporal vertigo, a sense that she was cut loose from the underpinnings of cause and effect. It happened often enough that she constantly felt as if she was about to go over an edge. When Mikhail kissed her, the Force sparked between them, and she clutched him for support as the constraints of time were ripped away. She perceived the ancient sorrow of the Caamasi genocide, and the slow forced exile of the last survivors. Intellectually she knew it for the past, but it seemed present.

As did the image of Rolf Valkner.

In a dream-state, she walked the embassy halls unseen as Valkner soared through cavernous chambers. Telekinesis broke the stonework and lightsabres lit up the air. She tasted ozone.

It was a future, and by the sense of it, an unavoidable one.

There's no reason for you to stay, young one, said a quiet, even voice. You could say I'm tempting you to leave Mikhail, to abandon the Jedi, and you'd be correct. You're tired of this. You've never had a life, thanks to your parents. And you never will. There's nothing wrong with giving your life in service, but it has much less meaning if you didn't choose it. You didn't choose this, Benna Kol-Rekali. You're almost an adult, almost ready to make your own choices. Where is it written that you must be a Jedi? Where is it written that your midichlorian count defines your destiny? You're afraid that if you let go of Mikhail and your family, you'll be swept away, lost in time, and perhaps that's so. But so long as you continue on your course, you'll be chased and wounded and unable to take a breath. Is that what you want the rest of your life to be?

"But I love him. And them -- my family."

Love is not the be-all and end-all of existence. Ask a battered wife whether she should run. Ask a tyrant's dutiful child. Now your anger stirs. You think I'm unfair to compare Mikhail with an abusive husband, Ember Rekali with a tyrant. But ask yourself this, Benna. If they loved you as much as they say they do, would they put you in this much danger? Would they pursue lives that jeopardize yours? Your brother died because Ashin Varanin did exactly what Mikhail is doing now. She brought her troubles home.

"I'm not concerned about safety." The battle raged around her; she walked through unscathed, her mind elsewhere. The voice had no source, no gender, no gut feeling attached. "Yes, I'm old enough to make my own choices, and I choose to stay with Mikhail. I choose to be part of the Jedi."

How much of that is your agency, Benna, and how much is your education? You were raised to be faithful above all else. Devoted. Committed. A team player, a squad soldier. You're like a Sage -- you close ranks and endure, subduing your rational mind. Ember is a victim of path dependency. Mikhail is a victim of youth. He thinks you'll never die. And if you were to die, he would hunt down whoever did it and murder them. In his own way, he's almost as damaged as Jace Vintari. Now, I'm not telling you to abandon everything you've ever known. That way lies Rach's path: poor discipline, no allegiance, promiscuity, violence, unintended consequences and wrath. However, I think you should realize that by being supportive of Mikhail, you've ended lives. Observe.

Before her, Rolf Valkner landed in a blur of sabre fire. His tendrils snapped out, latched into the Caamasi, and began draining the pacifist alien's soup. He used the Caamasi as a sentient shield.

Your father was wrong to put you on this path, just as Iara Beorht was wrong to put Mikhail on it. For that offence, Ember will be held accountable. Wrong has been done to you and your siblings. I've mentioned Rach and Faran. Now think of Certh. Stuck in a Jedi rut, unable to think for himself though his gut rages against the institution. He's too easily influenced. Hence his participation in the raid on Indosa, and his subsequent exile to the Agricultural Corps. He has no personality -- though the desert may work him in interesting ways. Benna caught a glimpse of Certh, brown hood held across his face, forcing his way into a sandstorm. Her vision flickered. She saw him in a tent with a woman, surrounded by fire. She saw him in battle, commanding the sands.

Certh will only learn who he truly is by breaking free. Must it be the same for you, Benna? Your whole life is Jedi business and Mikhail. Hormones and tradition. When was the last time you read a book, learned a new skill, created something, spent time with friends other than him? You have no life, Benna, and if you keep going in this direction, it'll mean that you choose it.

She snapped back to the present with a gasp, lying on her back. "Mikhail...Valkner's here."

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:53 pm

Stormhawk
Cruiser on the boarder of Chiss Space


Commander Shran paced the deck of the ship as the reports came in. Out of the viewport at the front of the bridge you of course couldn't actually see what was happening, but looking in the sensors. Shran was a member of House Nuruodo, charged with the leadership of the Chiss Expansionary Defense force and he took his duties seriously. The sensor logs and reports coming from various other ships in his task-force told the whole story. There was an exodus of shorts going on in the Unknown Regions. Registry showed the ships as Mostly Ebruchi vessels, although on occasion other vessels from various species of the region could be detected. The Ebruchi were pirates so having ships designed by other species within their fleet was standard operating procedure, however something here was odd. Shran examined the data once more. There was several undamaged Vagaari ships. The Ebruchi normally didn't have enough firepower to overtake the Vagaari, and when they did the end result was hardly a pristine warship. "What is their location?" he said indicating the nearest Vagaari vessel on the display.

"The same as before sir." the sensor operator said.

They pirates were being real cute about the boarder skirting as close as they dared to the line but never crossing it. The Chiss had their rules, they couldn't be the aggressors, so Shrans orders were simple, if a ship crossed into Chiss space take it and bring in prisoners for interrogation. Something was going on in the region, and the Chiss needed to know. "Sir I think we've got one."

Shran looked at the sensor panel and smiled, "Prepare the assault group for microjump." He said. One of the ships in a group of vessels had misjumped and ended up inside of Chiss Space near an old asteroid mining base. "Have the pickets set up a perimeter around us to warn if any of the other ships try to come to their rescue." He doubted they would. The ship that had misjumped was a Korsain ship, which in itself was strange. The blue skinned aliens were brutes and would never willingly join the Ebruchi, and their ships were heavily armored and more than capable of seeing off the traditional Ebruchi attack craft.

The small assault group jumped in near the Korsain vessel and the clawcraft started in on the small fighter escort. The Korsain fighters were primitive craft and were easily swept aside and forced to retreat. Their society was based on a strange cultural sense of evolution, survival of the fittest in an extreme sense. Clearly because of his mistep the captain of the ship and his crew were inferior. No help would come from their own kind, and the Ebruchi simply wouldn't care.

Shran watched as the small taskforce broke the enemy fighters and brought their ships into position to launch the shocknets. The large nets struck the craft sending pulses of energy through it disabling it. Shuttles were launched from the other ship sending commandos over to the alien vessel. It wouldn't take long now for them to overtake the barbarian crew and capture enough of the barbarians for the interrogators to gather their information. Biting his lip Shran shuddered to think what was bringing all these disparate groups together...

*****
The Citadel

Zar Quwil sat with his mechanical frame hunched over a large table. A holographic display on the table showed him a variety of scientific information. Strange devices and weapon specifications, progress reports on construction into various projects, genetic variances, and other information scrolled in front of him. A beep resounded and he looked over at the station that he affectionately called the Oven. The man stood up coughing a bit with his mechanical lung and walking over to the display. "Ah." He said looking at the data. "I vas vondering when you'd be back." he walked past rows of large human sized cylinders. Each had tubes and wires sticking from it and runes of ancient design. One tube had a number of spinning and blinking lights making a torrent of noise. "Come on..." The demented doctor said in a voice you might hear from one watching the birth of a small animal. "It's okay to come out now..."

A hatch on the front of the cylinder opened up and the form of a man fell out coughing up strange fluids. His body was covered in a pale red and purple slime. He stood up, "How long?" he asked looking around his surroundings.

"About four days ve think." The Doctor replied. "It's hard to tell when exactly you expired, but zis body was well prepared."

"And our Empress?"

"In the Command Center. Your target is now on Anari, out of reach. But there is another on Denon." The doctor replied. "I thought you'd never finish cooking though..."

"Shut up." The Man said walking over to a nearby locker and opening it up. He had done this twice before and knew the drill. He found his clothing, a spare lightsaber, and an older suit of armor. He put them all on and started to walk towards the exit of the room.

"Welcome back to ze land of the living, Karnior Solace...." the Doctor said with his mechanical voice.

Karnior walked through the halls of the Citadel and up to the command center. He walked in and looked over some Data before approaching the Empress. "You've sent Valkner?" he asked having only given a cursory glance at the data."

"A Mere distraction Karnior. Don't worry, you haven't been replaced. The main force is much more subtle than Valkner is right now. He'll need time to regain his wits before he's of use again."

"Yes milady..." Karnior looked over the data. That Sage Kid wouldn't know what hit him."

*****
Denon

Mikhail looked at Benna with a shocked expression. He asked and she quickly explained about the Caamasi. "We need to go, find him before he can..." He never finished his thought. "No..." Mikhail said. "It was our presence that caused the Caamasi's death wasn't it? we need to get back to the others and quick..."
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: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:58 pm

"I don't know, Mikhail. I mean, I don't know if our not going back will change anything. Maybe if we stay here, he'll come for us alone - maybe my vision won't happen. If we stay away-"

"We die."

"Better me than someone else."

He took her by the arms. "Look, Benna, your visions come true more often than not. Let's charge in to save the day and get someone killed. Hopefully it's Valkner."

"It won't be him. Not today. I don't know what's going on. Feth, Mik, it's starting again..." The visions overwhelmed her. She slumped to the ground, unconscious.

***

Lennig'lado'savrik refrained from adjusting her armor. The fight had been heavy here in the upper levels, suspended above the sea, and the crashed Vagaari colony ship had many, many more twisted levels to navigate. Pausing to rest could let unseen enemies maneuver.

The Vagaari were not in possession of this ship, though their blood decorated the airlocks. At a guess, the Ebruchi pirates had taken it less than a week ago, before crashing it through a blockade and into a Chiss colony world. Enter Commander Glados and the rest of the boarding specialists.

She slapped a stim against the port on her armored thigh and raised her charric rifle. The lightsabre bounced on her hip, deactivated. She had no intention of using it, at least not yet. Wonderful close-combat weapon it might be, but she was no Jedi, and she treasured her limbs. That, and its glow was totally unacceptable.

Movement. The charric hissed, stippling the worm-faced Ebruchi with blue plasma bolts. Slugthrowers barked and blasters wailed, but she was already moving, rolling across the corridor. Her armored heel came down on a vent cover as she exited the roll. She got her feet under her and leaped forward, into the vent.

Grip points on the metal armor -- and a stupid amount of associated training -- let her adhere to the inside of the vent rather than sliding around. She crawled on elbows and knees up the tilted vent, knocked out the next vent with her charric's butt, and unloaded on the Ebruchi from the side. Silence reigned for the tenth time in as many minutes. One more gasping breath.

"Icepick, this is Control."

"Go ahead," she gritted out.

"Levels above you confirmed clear. Proceed to bridge section to retrieve nav com."

"On it." She angled the grip points out of contact and slid down the vent. It ended abruptly, a hundred yards over the water broken by the rest of the derelict. Repulsors kicked in, slowing her fall; the suit took the rest of the impact, and she dove, trusting the seal over her mouth and nose. If she could capture the ship's navicomputer, Control might be able to find some meaning to this...migration. Not just Ebruchi, oh no. Blazing Chain, O'reen rogues, Abominors, even Mnggal-Mnggal death ships. The nastiest things in the Unknown Regions were heading in a strange direction.

At least they weren't headed for the Chiss. Then again, their navigation wasn't that great.

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:22 pm

Mikhail and Benna ran towards her dreams, towards death and destruction and the adversary of all that was good and just. The hallways all started to look the same, and soon they were utterly lost guided only by instincts. "Wait..." Mikhail said remembering who it was that they were facing. Benna's eyes started to roll over and suddenly the girl pushed him aside. He lost his footing and slid across the floor as the girl ignited her saber and intercepted a red blade aimed at her. It was a trap.

Mikhail was face down on the ground. He tried to get up but for his effort received a heeled foot into the back of his head. His forehead struck the ground and suddenly his entire vision was blurred. There was sounds, furious sounds of saber clashing, but it didn't last long. It took great effort but Mikhail finally managed to turn himself around and look about. Valkner was there and he Benna. Mikhail tried to get up but was so dizzy he felt he'd throw up. He raised his hands and concentrated as best he could sending out a burst of energy which bounced harmlessly off a nearby wall.

He couldn't move, was impudent to stop Valkner and then... "Mom?"

Iara was there. She walked towards him, "It's alright Mikhail." the woman said in a soothing voice. Something was wrong though, despite what Master Rekali had once said about Iara she normally wore more... clothes. "I'll make sure everything is alright." She approached and knelled down over him licking her lips as she stared into his eyes.

"You're not Iara." Mikhail said weakly. Suddenly the woman face morphed and change, a lekku seemingly appearing from nowhere along with sleek black sith tattoos. The woman was beautiful in her own right. She leaned forward and placed her lips on his. He could feel the draining effect of the Witch's magic as his vitality left his body. He tried his best to fight back, his arms flailing about helplessly against her sides. But the magic was taking effect and his mental and physical resistance was diminishing until finally he embraced the woman and darkness consumed his world.


Nephila Clane stood up and licked her lips lookind down satisfied at her handy work. "Boys are so incredibly easy..." she said rolling her eyes.

Her two sisters came by next to her to flank her as Valkner snarled, "You weren't needed here."

"Of course we were." Lyna responded for the others. "We can't have you eating him just yet." Valkner started to aproach them dropping Benna like a discarded doll. "I don't suggest that. You may be powerful, but we three are no school boys."
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Pryde » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:44 pm

"Funny," another voice interrupted them, "You look like school boys to me."

All eyes turned to the source as Keira Sage stepped out from the shadows. "That's my brother you have there and I'll be taking him back now."

"How did you--," Lyna began.

"Know where he was," Keira finished for her, "I've been tracking him since he left Sage Manor. What? Couldn't you tell that I was here?"

Lyna refused to respond. "No?" Keira continued, "Well then I guess you're not as powerful as you think you are."

The young Jedi ignited her lightsaber and held it in front of her while her free hand snapped and sparked with the power of golden electricity. "So," she said, "which one of you is first?"

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:16 pm

"ah." Lyna said with a bit of a smile. The triplets blades ignited in a hail of red. "You want us to come at you one at at time?"

"We don't fight fair," Nyra chuckled a bit. "we fight to win." She raised both her sabers into a combat stance and started forward as Lyna moved around to a side.

Nephilia dropped the boy down and blew him a sweet little kiss. In her hand she quickly formed a pulsating ball of hatred and malice and shot it at the young woman. Keira dodged it delivering herself right into the raised blade of Lyna the two fought for a brief moment before Nyra broke into the fight pressing down on Keira with her blade. Nephilia for her part uttered profane words causing the entire area to darken with an unnatural shadow. It was the same spell Sirena had used on Ruusan, darkness which weakened all things light. Soon Keira would be dealt with, together the sisters were a well oiled machine accustomed to taking powerful targets in tandem.

Valkner watched with an amused look at Nephilia dropped the boy. He waited for her to be engrossed in her spell before darting across the room and scooping Mikhail into his arms. Nephilia saw this and stopped her incantation moving to intercept him. She was no duelist but she fought him anyways. Valkner, despite having a young nubile teenage boy in one arm fought with brilliance blocking and parrying his young female opponent with apparent ease. His tentacles were out now, but he couldn't feast yet... "I'd be lost in you." He whispered into Mikhails ear. His tongue slid across his lips. "I yearn for you..." he said as he blocked another saber blade.
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:37 pm

As Valkner cast her aside, Benna fought for consciousness. She struck the floor hard and tumbled into the wall. Blackness closed over her mind. An image replaced her vision, as if someone or some force thought it was important for her to see what her eyes would have seen.

Events unfolded as she sprawled there, incredulous. She had seen the touch of Sith Magic before, knew the tricks of illusion, but Mikhail's reactions were nothing if not genuine, the more so for the sublimation of his conscious mind. And now the voice from the previous vision returned.

That boy has so far to go, Benna. You could take him there, or he could hold you back. You could be so much more or so much less. And now he's about to die. What you need...is more time.

Feth you, whoever you are. My boyfriend just thought he kissed his Master. He has issues. Even the bad guys are his fan club. I'm tired of this dren.


She rose -- she wasn't sure how, or when, or how long it took to stand. One of the red women began to turn. By then Benna was across the room. It was as if time had uprooted her and cast her out. And though it terrified her, she knew she was moving faster in objective time than she had ever moved with traditional Jedi physical enhancement.

The flow-walking, and the Warp, and a mother who was cast outside the bounds of reality. You've been ripped free of time as nobody ever has, Benna.

Her lightsabre was caught half-way through activation as she lashed out at one of the Twi'leks. The blade deployed with agonizing slowness; instead of bisecting her, it scored a line of char across her back. With ludicrous ease, Benna slipped under a lightsabre. Time began to stutter, and she clung to reality as she and an uninjured Twi'lek engaged blade-to-blade.

Then Quorl was there, sweeping through the air, his wings like battering rams. Valkner turned towards the owl, and Benna caught a surprised expression in his tentacles just before Quorl bashed into him. The Anzati flew.

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Halcyon508 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:35 pm

The fight raged on. Mikhail watched from afar. He could see his body being scooped by Valkner, he could see the twi'lek that kissed him fighting him. He watched Quorl swoop down and his body fall from the Anzati's arms as he defended himself from the avian. And all the while he could only think of one thing, "This is so embarrassing."

"What is?" the voice called from behind him. He didn't need to look to know it was the woman who had been haunting his dreams.

"That woman just kissed me, in front of my girlfriend... in front of my sister... and then I stopped struggling and I kissed her back..."

The woman laughed a little bit, "That is what you're embarrassed about?"

Mikhail turned and saw the woman. She looked younger now, more beautiful than the last time he had seen her. Her white hair looked soft and inviting, and her eyes were green much like his own. "What else should I be embarrassed about?" Quorl and Valkner were hitting each other with abandon. It was strange to watch their fight. It was like watching an aerial jousting match as each took to the air and gained speed and momentum before charging one another. Even when they locked in pitched battle they never stopped moving circling one another either up or own. Mikhail was reminded of what Benna had told him about fire. If fire ever stopped moving it would die and perish, it always needed to remain in motion, so too did these combatants need to remain in motion or else they would fall down, and likely perish.

"What else do should you be embarrassed about?" The woman asked in a mocking tone, "How about the impotence of a nascent god to do anything about this situation."

"You can be a cruel woman." Mikhail said with a frown. Now that Quorl was distracting Valkner the twi'lek who had kissed him was finishing whatever magical spell she had cast on him. He flinched as he saw his body stand up and start to obey her commands. "Are you the goddess Vahl?"

The woman laughed, "I can be cruel perhaps." She said, "But it wasn't my intent."

"No?"

"No." She stated firmly. "And you know I'm not Vahl, a nice quip though."

"Do I know that you aren't Vahl?" Mikhail responded as the twilek placed his body in front of hers. Her hands ran down his chest and she kissed him on the cheek whispering in his ear. He could hear her words you are mine echoing through his empty head. He felt his cheeks grow red and blush as she gripped him tightly.

"You know who I am." The woman said. "You've known since Teta."

"I suppose I have." Mikhail replied. "Why are you haunting me? Why not go be with your daughter, or your husband." the spirit didn't answer. "What has that woman done to me?" Mikhail asked instead.

"Sith Magic." Clinically the woman replied, "I heard of something like this once, a kiss can create a void in the soul or spirit that she fills and turns the body into a puppet. I imagine she has a very nice collection of puppets. Looks alot like Iara doesn't she?"

Another shiver ran up Mikhails spine. Quorl fell from the sky. Mikhail couldn't see how but he had to assume it was from Valkner. The Anzati swooped down and stood in front of Miikhail and the twilek sorceress. He extended his arm and without thought Mikhail watched his body slice at it with his lightsaber. Mikhail looked about desperately hoping someone would intervene but there was no one. Keira was fighting the twi'lek with two lightsabers and Benna was losing to the dark robed and nearly fully clothed twi'lek. Mikhail could see it was only a matter of time now before she pushed the young girl back and slew her, that was until Quorl barely recovered jumped into the fight. Mikhail let out a sigh of relief when he saw Benna would be okay. "How do I reverse it?" he turned and looked closer at his bodies face. It was like a black film had covered his eyes whites and all. He fought mindlessly against Valkner. Mikhail himself had to believe that if he was in control of his body he would have put up a better fight against the man. It wasn't long before the Anzati had the upper hand tossing his body aside like a rag doll. The sorceress intercepted him and locked sabers.

"What would you do to keep this power inside you from their hands?" The woman asked. "How far would you go?"

Mikhail could feel his heart racing as the wounded Quorl and Benna were barely able to matched the well disciplined sith woman. Keira herself was having difficulty in dealing with the two saber wielding duelist. They had picked their opponents well. Unfortunately this meant there was no backup for the sorceress who was quickly loosing ground to the insane Rolf Valkner. The Anzati pushed her aside and she flew across the room. "I'd do anything to stop this madness." Mikhail said. His heart was beating so hard he could feel his chest pounding.

"You're a good boy." The spirit leaned in and kissed him gently on the cheek.

He felt his face blush and shied away. "You're my girlfriends mother..." he said as if it were the height of awkwardness.

"You don't understand." the aperation replied.

Valkner was leaning over his body no doubt contemplating what exactly he wanted to do to it. He leaned down and placed a kiss on the boys forehead. "Why does everyone keep doing that?" Mikhail asked with an exacerbated sigh.

"It's like gravity. Those with a strong presence in the force naturally attract others." the woman said with a superior smirk on her face. She had all the answers after all.

Mikhail felt his heart racing as the Anzati's hands probed all over his defenseless body.... that was it. "Now you understand." Brembla Kol-Rekali said. Mikhail had felt his heart beat, he felt his cheek flush first when the twilek kissed him then when Brembla did. He still had a measure of control over his body. "Now what will you do?"

Mikhail paused and started to control his heartbeat. He slowed it down, slower and slower. "Can I do it?" Mikhail said. "Stop my own heart?"

"You can." Brembla replied.

And Mikhail could. He felt his heartbeat slowing, fading ever so slightly. "I'm sorry..." Mikhail said. "I'm sorry Benna..." his heartbeat faded. "Am I dying? Is that why I could see you? destined to die and take this power with me?"

"Are you willing? To die for them, to stop them?"

"I am." Mikhail was feeling weaker now.

Brembla walked over and wrapped her arms around him. She whispered into his ear, "There are alot of things worth dying for, but the question is do you have anything worth living for?"

The Sorceress joined in on the fight with Quorl and Benna. Quorl was holding his own despite his wounds, however with two opponents he could no longer protect the girl. Benna took a boot to the head and was knocked across the room. There she lay out of the fight, and unable to contribute in any meaningful way. The Sorceress exited one combat and entered another helping her sister fight Keira....

Mikhail was groggy now, he felt the weight of the world on his shoulders and darkness crept into his view. He looked over and saw the girl on the ground, injured, wounded, and in tears. "Benna..." he whispered with all his might. Suddenly he felt a power, as if the light was flooding into him. He could see an unearthly glow emanating from his body. He felt invigorated. "Benna!" he screamed and his body jumped up. Valkner flew into the air to avoid rays of light.

Mikhail screamed,


"BENNA!" his body rose up pushed by the force to its feet. Black was replaced by a piercing glow shooting out of his eyes like a ray of starlight. Even though he had returned to his body he still wasn't in control. Three hundred voices from within him screamed out, "Leave now." and pointed straight to Valkner. What came next was a show of light and power on an unimaginable scale...
Domani, forget domani
Let's live for now and anyhow who needs domani?
~ Frank Sinatra, Forget Domani

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Pryde » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:15 pm

Keira was holding her own for the most part, the use of Sith magic complicated matters somewhat but the young Jedi was confident in her abilities just as she was confident in Mikhail. She knew the boy couldn't be done in so easily, that was why she waited so long to reveal herself. Mikhail was powerful enough and skilled enough to handle himself, so when he finally entered the fray Keira was more than happy to let him handle it.

"Benna, leave now," Mikhail shouted.

The girl had taken a nasty blow but despite that she still had the heart to resist and she would have, if not for Keira. The older Jedi immediately broke off her fight with the sisters and hurried over to Benna, grabbing her by the waist and dragging her along.

"Wait, Mikhail," the girl tried to protest but Keira cut her off.

"You're no good to my brother dead, Benna," she said then she glanced back over her shoulder at the battle ensuing behind her. "Quorl," she shouted and the owl-like Jedi glanced first at Mikhail before hurrying off after Keira and Benna. Whatever was happening with Mikhail the fight was now in his hands...

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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Beorht » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:22 pm

Vahla physiology and a decade of hand-to-hand training came into play as Benna's head continued to clear. She slipped out of Keira's grip and staggered the Knight with a quick, weak Force push as she backpedalled towards the Caamasi embassy. Quorl darted to catch her, but the duel with Valkner had taken its toll, and the Rishii's claws snagged only Benna's outer robe. She shrugged out of that like water out of a pitcher, and darted back through the front door. A Force grip -- Keira's or Quorl's -- tugged at her, spinning her around.

Heat and light on her back, and a sound that rose in volume. As the grip failed and bits of rubble began to pummel her, she turned and saw the radiance that had turned everything into pallor and long hard shadows. It came, as she had known and dreaded, from Mikhail, along with waves of concussive force that ripped columns asunder and toppled ancient statuary. Crumbling walls came apart, battering the Twi'lek women and the Anzati who until moments ago had hovered, victorious, over the boy. Now Valkner was holding back the light, desperation in his eyes. The Anzati was pressed against a high wall. She caught his eye through the radiance and threw him a two-fingered salute as pieces of the ceiling began to rain down around her.

A shuttle, presumably Valkner's craft, broke through the roof and fell into a nearby gallery with an almighty crash.

Another vision presented itself, called by a touch of flow-walking. An uncertain future, this, but so soon as to taste fresh. The embassy and the entire block demolished. Thousands dead. Mikhail in Republic custody.

Your job, Benna

Mom?

Stop him. Even if it means Valkner getting away.


Benna stretched out a hand and closed her eyes, and connected with Mikhail, or what remained of him. The force that blasted through him carried the signatures of hundreds, thousands of Jedi. But he could regain control. She had seen it.

Mikhail. You're done. Come back to me.

The Caamasi embassy shuddered and broke apart around her, but left her untouched. Mikhail turned to her. His eyes glowed, like bottomless pits in a sun. Language without words battered her mind, the conflicting, incomprehensible compound will of the Valley of the Jedi.

And then he was simply Mikhail, and Valkner's broken shuttle was escaping through a wall, and all the other Jedi were gathering.

Her fist cracked into Keira's jaw. "It was my decision, not yours," she said. "Don't play savior with my agency. If you'd have taken me, this whole city block would have come down, and your brother would have gone to jail. That much-" She tapped her temple. "-is certain."

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Pryde
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Re: Beyond the Rim

Post by Pryde » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:57 pm

The blow had taken Keira by surprise, but the older Jedi was not angry. After regaining her balance and rubbing her jaw she simply smirked. "You've got heart, little girl, I'll give you that," she said, "but you'd be a fool to believe I'd leave my little brother to rot in a dungeon."

She leaned in closer to the girl and lowered her voice so only Benna would hear her. "Don't think for one second you're the only one who cares about him, Benna, and let me remind you of how he feels about you. Had your little stunt not worked, what then? How do you think Mikhail would feel after killing his girlfriend? I made a choice and I weighed the risks, saving you keeps him from going off the deep end and you don't need me to tell you how dangerous that is."

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