Akain Karna: Memento Mori

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Akain Karna: Memento Mori

Post by Mir »

Jade Empire
Loki Station

“Your credentials are…extensive.”

The darkened hallway was silent, except for the footsteps of the two people who traversed through Loki Station. The spoken words were the only thing that had attempted to compete with the footsteps. Loki Station was one of the Jade Empire’s secret stations, used for a myriad of reasons. Some of the reasons were intelligence gathering and clandestine operations, these the ones for the current conversation taking place.

“It happens.” The man said, nodding. He gave nothing away with the motion, even though he added a shrug to it. The nonchalance was overwhelming in it’s ability to underwhelm.

“We don’t know each other too personally, but-“

“Fought with your ancestor.” He said as they walked.

Halla Terrablade blinked, slowing to an almost stop. “I don’t follow.” She said.

“One of your ancestors, I fought alongside her once during a battle. It was actually against the Uul’ba-Rai, during an incursion of theirs.” The man said, as if it was nothing more important as what he had eaten for breakfast that morning. He slowed for a moment, to allow her to catch up. “That was…many years ago.” He added.

“Indeed.” Halla replied, as they resumed walking at their former pace. “My husband, Braily, is not overly convinced that you’re the person suited for this task. However, as I was going to say before, the person with whom I’ve worked on this with, she seems convinced that you are the lynchpin to ensure the plan’s success.” She said.

“Ashin.” The man said, simply.

Halla nodded. “She’s different when she talks about you. Almost like…well, I wouldn’t presume to say what it was like. But she does seem…quite taken with you.” She looked at the much taller man out of the corner of her eye as she spoke the last part.

Akain nodded. “She does.” He replied, continuing to display no emotion.

Unfortunately, Halla didn’t have a chance to press the issue, though Akain didn’t know whether she would or wouldn’t. The doors at the end of the hallway opened and the two entered a large room. There were people in the room, and everything ground to a halt. Not for the man, but for the woman, the Jade Empress, the undisputed ruler of the Jade Empire. The room was decorated in true JEAF style: function prevailed over form, though concessions were made here and there. The room was circular in shape, with the main focus of the eye drawn to a large circular section that was at the bottom of the room. Halla lead the way down the stairs, walking past the outer rings that surrounded the lower section. It was only a few meters lower than the rest of the rings.

As soon as she stepped on the main section, there was a hum, and the floor lit up. A working holograph projector, the floor shot up an array of stars, that Akain was able to quickly identify, had the legend not been overly clear. He was looking at their current position, near the Extragalactic Star Cluster. There were other entrances to the cluster, but this one was one of the most secreted ones in the possession of the Jade Empire. It made the task at hand that much easier.

“Akain, Ashin has discussed with you the prophecy.” Halla said. “You understand what will come to pass. Despite the fact that the Cluster has given the Jade Empire incredible economic growth, particularly in our ability to feed the starving masses of Trevel’ka, we’ve decided that for the safety of everyone, we need to find a way to stop the cluster’s spatiotemporal anomaly. Neither myself, nor Ashin can be involved in this action.”

“So you’re asking me, as a compromise.” He said.

“Precisely.” Halla said. “While I’m only beginning to forgive Ashin for what happened between everyone and thus can’t fully trust her suggestion, Kalja Leidias holds you in high regard. You were her apprentice once. Anyone that Kalja trusts is someone that I can trust.” Halla said.

Akain didn’t reply, he just continued to look at Halla, indicating that she should continue. While her curiosity at his seeming indifference grew, she continued her briefing. Waving her hand in a simple gesture, Halla pulled up a rotating image of a ship, along with information on the schematics and statistics of the ship in question.

“This is a Guardian-class Battlecruiser. It’s a highly technological vessel, and one of the workhorses that the Jade Empire possesses. We’re going to let you use one during your travels in the Cluster. We have a crew for you, that will consist of some Patriots.” She said. The unspoken insinuation was that they were there to watch Akain and make sure that he accomplished the mission. She handed him a datacard that had the particulars on it, itself given to her by a JEAF soldier.

“I’m very grateful, Empress.” Akain said. “I’ll leave immediately.” He turned and started walking out of the room.

“You’re taking this rather lightly, it would seem.” She said.

He turned back towards her. “No, I’m not.” He said, frowning. Then the look on his face cleared up. “My apologies. I know I look like I’m in my mid twenties. I don't know what Ashin told you, but my experiences are enough to fill centuries. It’s not that I’m taking it lightly; it’s just that I’ve seen many things. Sometimes I forget how important something can be to someone else. Time is...an interesting thing for me.”

Without another word, Akain left the room.
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Re: Akain Karna: Memento Mori

Post by Mir »

The doors to the hangar slid apart, and the former Jedi walked into view. A transport vehicle was there, along with a bridge crew, dressed in JEAF uniforms. His eyes took in the group in front of him. Many of the various species that called the Jade Empire home were represented in the group in front of him. There were two Joyites who looked like they were members of the Patriots organization. They stepped forward. Akain was tall, but he surrendered a little bit of height to the two Joyites.

“Akain Karna. My name is Nortris and this is my partner Dekregh. We are the two Patriots assigned to this mission.”

He nodded. “Then you’re in charge of the crew, as well.” He said. “I don’t know what we’re up against, not a hundred percent. I can’t make any promises that everyone here will come back alive.” Akain added, the last part in a louder voice for the rest of the people there. “But I can guarantee you that no one is going to fight for this mission harder than I will.”

“The Empress asks us to go, we go.” One of the soldiers in the ranks said.

“Loyalty.” Akain said. “I can respect that.” He said. “You know where we’re going, and you know what we’re going to do, and why. Nothing left to say but load up and let’s get a move on.”

The soldiers started to move. All but two, the two Patriots. Sensing that they had something to talk to him about, he figured that it made sense to deal with this head on. Akain waited as Nortris walked over to him. “You had a look on your face.” The Nagai said.

“You’re a known associate of Ashin Varanin.” The Joyite said and he nodded. Nothing about his association with Ashin was secret, he didn’t hide it from anyone. “I wanted to see if you’d come out with it.” He said, a slight growl in his voice, before he walked away.

“You’ll have to excuse my partner.” Dekregh said, stepping up as Akain watched the retreating form of the Joyite Patriot. “He had family that was…hurt...by Ashin’s actions.” Dekregh said.

Akain nodded. It made sense, and he had suspected that this would be the case. The quiet war between the Sith Empire and the Jade Empire might have been over, but that didn’t mean that all of the feelings just got swept under the rug. No, there was no way that billions of people who had been made to care about the situation, due to the actions of the leaders of the two governments would just do away with their feelings, just because the two leaders had managed to make peace. “I understand. Will it create an issue?” He asked.

“Doubtful. Like Pako said, the Empress told us to go, so we go. Doesn’t matter who the person in charge is. If she vouches for you, then that’s all that matters in the long run.” Dekregh sighed. “Notris will come around.” He said, with a firm shake of his head. “I know he will.”

The Joyite walked away, and Akain reached inserted the datacard into a personal datapad and started reviewing the information. He already knew the general information concerning their objective. But there was still a lot of information out there that he didn’t know. He had to understand what the Jade Empire already knew so that he could figure out how to stop this whole spatiotemporal anomaly. The situation was fairly straightforward. Some years ago, the Jade Empire’s had found this star cluster that was south, relatively speaking, of the galactic disk. Explorations had revealed that time moved much more quickly in the cluster.

At a factor of seventy-two, time progressed at a much, much faster rate. He unconsciously rubbed his chest, where the shard from the Spear resided, slowly marching towards his heart, slowly trying to kill him. Akain had a lot of experience with manipulating time. Maybe that was another reason why they had wanted him for this.

There were a few problems, as far as Akain could see. The most important problem was that they didn’t know how exactly the anomaly had been created, thus they didn’t know what exactly was required to shut it down. This was a problem indeed, considering that time advanced at such a fast rate. They’d all be old men and women by the time they returned to the known galaxy, provided they even returned. There were more than just a few Jade Empire colonies in the cluster. Xenovores and the Cold resided in there, and Akain hadn’t really dealt with any of them before. This was going to be an interesting test, all things considered.

Finally, maybe a cure for this boredom.
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Re: Akain Karna: Memento Mori

Post by Mir »

His eyes were focused on the navigation charts. Studying them was what was going to help them in this mission. The Extragalactic Star Cluster was a large place, and they had their way in. But the way in itself was tricky, at least the one that they were going to use. All of the others were much more public and in the Unknown Regions, you never knew who was watching. It was one of the facts that the Jade Empire had learned long ago. At least this way, they knew that their actions were kept under wraps. Adjusting his glasses, he turned to see Akain standing near him, watching him, while holding a rucksack.

“Oh yeah, hey.” He said.

“Are we ready?” Akain asked, and the man nodded. “Good. As soon as you give the go ahead, we’re on our way…Mister…”

“Call me Lion.” When the Nagai raised an eyebrow in response, Lion laughed. “It’s an inside joke.”

“Because that makes it better. I’ll assume something with an Academy.” Akain said and the man nodded again.

“It’s because I’m loud and domineering.”

Since this was the most that the man had spoken since Akain had met him, the Nagai wasn’t too sure how he was supposed to take that. So he simply nodded and walked away, leaving the ship’s navigator, Lion, to complete his work. Akain continued his path through the ship, and saw that the ship’s crew was hard at work, checking up on all the systems and making sure that the ship was flight ready. Though they tried to go to attention when he walked by, he waved it off, making a mental note to speak to Dekregh about that. As he was not a member of the JEAF, Akain didn’t want the men and women on board to be saluting him. He considered himself something more of a guest on the ship.

Well, a guest who could give orders.

He walked into quarters that he knew were for him, and tossed the rucksack down on the ground. There was nothing much for him to unpack, but he did it. All of this was done in the style of the Imperial military. Akain had been raised by two former Imperial SpecOps soldiers, who had been brought into the Imperial military because of the ferocity of the Nagai. His parents had trained him in a number of different skills and all of it had been reinforced with pain.

The boy had been taught the damaging power of physical pain from around the time that he could successfully walk. His entire life had been built around pain. Akain had lied to Derek and Caitlyn on the Nightfury. He had told them that the time he had spent actually living was a little over eighty years. The real number was, larger, much larger, to the tune of well over a thousand. The Spear’s ability to constantly de-age him was phenomenal. As in on reflex, the man reached up and rubbed the area of his chest where he knew the shard was.

He hadn’t wanted to scare Caitlyn, and he hadn’t wanted to give Velok anymore information that he had to at the time, since Akain hadn’t known how trustworthy the Whipid really was.

How could he explain that the trips hadn’t always been forward in time, either? Starting out in 3,653 before Yavin was one thing, but bouncing around, going forwards and backwards, it was something else entirely. There were times when he had been in two places in the same timestream. Even more complicated than that, more than once, Akain had been in the same battle twice. There were nights when he stayed awake, piecing through his memories, because even he didn’t remember what was real and what wasn’t.

Had he fought alongside one platoon during Ruusan, or another? Even worse, a few times, he had fought in a battle and had fought on both sides of the conflict. The levels of paradox reaching insanity was staggering.

But somehow, he was keeping it all together. The body was young, but the mind was old. More importantly than that, the mind had experience. When one looked at cage fighters, there was always a trend. They were young, and though the body was strong, they lacked experience and knowledge. By the time they got enough to be able to be a champion, their bodies had started to fail them. When they were truly, truly unstoppable, they were old men, relegated to teaching the next generation to learn from their mistakes, stuttering soft words that fell on deaf ears, as the new youth sacrificed their bodies for experience.

Akain didn’t have that problem. He had more combat and experience in manipulating the Force than anyone in the galaxy. More than the entire Jedi Council combined. He had all of that, in the body of a man who was in his mid-twenties. Simply put, by Velok’s own sentiments, Akain was the most dangerous sentient alive. This was one of the reasons why when he, Ashin, and Asemir had been working as a trio, Halla Terrablade had worried that the Jade Empire would lose the shadow war with the Sith Empire. Ashin had recruited him for that very purpose, though now their relationship was far more complicated than simply business associates.

Setting the empty rucksack aside, Akain sat on the bed in the room, and closed his eyes. He knew that he had a few hours before the ship would be given a fully clean bill, and was deemed ready to go.
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Re: Akain Karna: Memento Mori

Post by Mir »

Notris sat at his terminal, checking over a series of figures when the door to the bridge opened. Looking up, the Joyite glared at the sight of Akain Karna, as the Nagai walked onto the bridge of the ship and sat down in the captain’s chair. Going back to his work, the Joyite finished the overview of information, mainly a report from engineering regarding the status of the engines. Bundling the information into a more compressed file, he sent it, to Akain’s database, for the captain’s personal review at his leisure. He watched as the message appeared on Akain’s datapad and he started to read it.

The Joyite rose and walked over to where Akain was. “Do you find everything suitable?” He asked, and the seated man nodded.

“Everything is in order, we may commence.” Akain said, and looked up at the woman who was seated in the helmsman’s chair. “Lieutenant….”

“Reznikov, sir.” She said. “Lieutenant Reznikov.”

“At your leisure.” He replied with a nod, indicating that they were ready to depart.

The Guardian-class Battlecruiser, named the Jewel of Gehen, started to move forward accelerating away from Loki Station. Soon, they were far enough from the station that a jump to lightspeed could be attempted. The man sitting in the captain’s chair watched as the stars elongated, from pinpricks of light to twisting streams. Then there was nothing, as they were hurtling through hyperspace.

Akain reached out and pressed a button on the arm of the chair. His voice was soon broadcasted throughout the entire ship.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jewel of Gehen, my name is Akain Karna. I am your commanding officer for the duration of this mission. The mission is simple, and that is to stop whatever is causing the spatiotemporal anomaly that allows the Extragalactic Star Cluster to exist at a rate of time that far exceeds the rest of the galaxy. The reason for this is due to a prophecy detailing events that could happen to the Jade Empire. These are events that your Empress, Halla Terrablade, seeks to work actively against. For safety reasons, she herself can not undertake the efforts to stop the prophecy from happening, and thus it has fallen to us.” Akain said. He looked at Notris. “I am sure that everyone here will ensure that their best work is given in defense of the Jade Empire.”

With that he pressed the button again and rose, looking to leave the bridge.

He exited the command area and walked through the hallway of the ship. While everyone else wore the JEAF uniform, Akain himself did not. It made him stick out from everyone else, but he didn’t mind. He had more serious things to worry about. A plan had to be formulated, and for Akain that meant that the time spent in this trip in hyperspace was going to be put to good use.

Heading from the command area to a section that had been refurbished for his use, Akain walked into a room that had been treated with lightsaber resistant materials. The man walked over to a few crates that had been delivered earlier, while they had been waiting for the ship’s final preparations to be complete. Akain opened one of the crates and reached inside, pulling out a few of Muir Corporation’s Balin Training Droids. They had been battered and beaten up after years and years of use, but Akain had yet to find a better training droid.

He activated them, and the three droids quickly flew away from him, to orient themselves properly. They needed to scan the room, and get the measurements, as well as do calculations for a number of other reasons. Akain let them do their thing, all the while twirling the hilt of his main lightsaber in his hand. The rest of his lightsabers, he had left in his quarters. When he heard the snap-hiss, he knew. He turned, and copper blade met silver blade. His lightsaber was old, so very old, having gone with him through time. So to were his other lightsabers. Akain had never had cause or reason to acquire a new one.

It was humorous in some respects. All the experience that he had, all the knowledge, and Akain had never built his own lightsaber.

Swiveling, he blocked the next attacker, and the next. The Balins were very well programmed, and Akain had worked on higher level programming for them as well. The training that was built into them now, exceeded the intent of the designers and programmers at Muir Robotics on Calidna or the man who had thought up the design, Erik Muir, that was for sure. Akain had taken the Juyo programming and had expanded upon it. Members of his organization had been working with the Balins for some time, and had added so much wealth of knowledge. The Balins that Akain faced were a good bit above Juyo mastery, if such a thing could be quantified.

Akain flowed around the room, dodging and weaving around the crates that had been set up throughout the room. As he did, the Balins gave chase, working in concert to attempt to ensnare him and take him down. Casually, as if the action was nothing more than something he did everyday, Akain caused a wave of Force energy to emanate from his hands, pushing one of the droids backwards. A lazy flip through the air and it appeared as if the four combatants were in some kind of synchronized aerial ballet. They clashed and departed; meeting again at what seemed like the most opportune moment, designed by some unseen composer.

Slowly, Akain started to sink into the fight, into the rhythm of the movements and the dance that was being orchestrated.

Only then would the fabric of the universe be peeled back and the truth revealed.
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Re: Akain Karna: Memento Mori

Post by Mir »

He walked through a jungle of sorts. The colors were vibrant. Bright teal, and vivid purple clashed with dark green and burnt gold, a color palette so myriad and complex that it was a testament to the system of genetics and the randomness of evolution. It was as if he walked through Felucia. But that wasn’t where he was, no. He had been to Felucia before, and this was not that planet. Even still, the ground was moist under the boots that he wore; the air was humid as he breathed it in.

Akain looked around, slowing down his movements. He had to ensure his bearings, and checking the map that he had, he saw that he was still on the right track. But he needed to move quickly. Nightfall was approaching and it would bring a whole new host of problems. He wasn’t sure what exactly the flora and fauna were on this planet, but he had a feeling that the planet was not that generous when it came to those who it didn’t want to be there. Akain had never been on a sentient planet before and he wasn’t a hundred percent convinced that this
was a sentient planet, but there was something going on here, that was for sure.

The path that he was on started to dip, and Akain followed the terrain until he found himself faced with a chasm. A bridge was the only way to traverse the chasm. The bridge was intricate stonework, and was seemingly jarring with the landscape that surrounded him. As he slowed and surveyed the area, Akain looked down at the map that he had. He was going the right way, and he could see the chasm on the map. However, he wanted to move things along and get to his destination. It wasn’t often that the feeling of apprehension gripped him.

Truth be told, he hadn’t felt it, truly felt it, in years. Decades. Possibly even longer than that, Akain had lost track. But he felt something like it at the moment. It was something akin to the feeling that you were about to be plunged head first into danger that threatened your survival.

Akain looked up and his eyes widened, only slightly, as he saw a shape in the trees, a shape that wasn’t supposed to be there. The shape looked like a man, and not something that would call this land home. He was towards the top of the tree and he moved with the sway of the wind. Then he leapt, high into the air, and let gravity do the rest, drawing him down towards where Akain was.

The grip on his lightsaber tightened.

At least this was familiar.

The copper blade of the Nagai struck against the oddest of substances, wood. This wasn’t entirely new to him. In all of his times, he had fought against some of the weirdest and strangest things, and many of them had not ascribed to the typical use of a lightsaber. Sith swords, enchanted by alchemy or Sith magic were common to him. Even still more common was phrik or cortosis laced weapons. Few things could surprise him when it came to fighting and the tools used therein. But Akain constantly wished to seek out the new.

He pivoted, swinging his lightsaber in a broad downward stroke. It was time to start the dance. Akain’s style of fighting was a mixture of a great many things, but it was dominated by a few of the classical lightsber styles of the Old Jedi Order. Vaapad and Djem So were the most common, and Akain had then taken various styles from the around the galaxy and incorporated them into what he already knew. The final mix was a deadly, dangerous style. The way Akain used it was a very technical style of invitation and dance. He started with a few basic strikes, each with a different idea behind them. Based off of how the opponent responded, Akain would then isolate their particular style.

From that point it was a simple matter to develop or to cater to that style’s weaknesses and exploit them.

His foe dropped to the ground, to avoid a strike, and rolled onto his back, before performing a kip up that took him arcing over Akain’s head and outside of the considerable reach of the tall Nagai. So his foe was a bit acrobatic. That was good, Akain liked facing the acrobatic type. They added so much to the dance that it made it almost enjoyable, depending on their skill. This one was rather skilled. Not on Akain’s level, but, as Akain utilized a lazy lunge from the pages of Form II to test his opponent’s reactions, there were few that he had met that were. The man’s response caused a crackling sound to reverberate through their jungle setting, his wooden staff bouncing off of Akain’s own.

Strange that they still made the noise. The man’s style was something unique, a flowy dance that reminded Akain of the style used by Kail and the Lin-Shi monks. At the same time, he could see much more flair for the dramatic, something that the monks would shy away from. Still, there was raw power underneath it all, the power of a knight who would batter away at an opponent until there was nothing left. Fascinating. He wanted to learn more.

But then the man suddenly became boring again. Akain hadn’t meant to do it, but he had reacted on instinct. He had found an opponent and now he had deduced how to beat him, and once he had done that, it all became systematic and rote. Indeed, the look on Akain’s face had shifted to that of a man bored with his surroundings and searching for something new.

The forest man dropped to the ground, a smoking hole in his chest.

He had been protecting the bridge, that much was evident, and Akain crossed it now unchallenged. From there, he continued on the path until he reached another bridge, but this one was sloping downwards. Water was to Akain’s left, and the land that he was on formed a reverse of the letter C. The C shaped mass was cupping an irregularly shaped island of sorts. On that island was a ziggurat.

And in that ziggurat, was Akain’s answer.

His eyes snapped opened, and he pushed outwards, throwing an oncoming Balin away.
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