Friends in High Places

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... The Republic and the Empire maintain a fragile truce, but the threat of open war hangs heavy as both sides quietly vie for power and domination. In the midst of this volatile mix of factions and schemes, unlikely heroes must fight to preserve all they hold dear.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Jesk could see they were at an impasse. He had his own reasons for avoiding bloodshed - at least now that Teizi was here. He would have executed a Sith lord without a thought, but he sensed a certain solidarity between this Sith and Jedi Lin. Fighting his own was not on his agenda today. Not that he had qualms about sacrificing Jedi for the Republic - he had done so plenty of times. But the circumstances here wouldn't look exactly... noble.

"Very well," he said. "If the Sith lord asserts his... innocence... we will take him back with us to Tython and put him on trial. Allowing him to speak for himself before the Council condemns him is only fair."

Jesk said the word 'innocence' with a sneer - and his choice of the word 'before' rather than 'if' made it clear how he expected the proceedings to go. Still, as far as he was concerned, he had done the reasonable and correct thing.

"Unless, of course, you will aid in the capture of the Sith who caused the environmental destruction? Such a gesture of good faith could stand you in good stead. Perhaps we might even let you go with a warning to change your ways, if you cooperated..."

"Not a chance," Pyrran said firmly.

He sensed the approach of Siralai and Visper, and was further reassured. There were many allies here. He could see hope - a scarce commodity in the past, but seemingly in great supply with these people.

***

Rossi nodded. She disappeared into her parents' room for a moment, then emerged with a lightsaber and handed it to Reyth.

"This belonged to my mother's Master, before he died," she said. "I know she'll want you to use it to protect yourself, Reyth, if it comes to that. Don't worry. Nothing bad is going to happen to you."

Rossi's own red lightsaber was now close at hand, too.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Hex

The Twi'lek boy had done his best not to be noticed on the way back to Rishi. He knew they would eventually remember his presence and tell him to get lost, but the further he could get away from his former masters on Mek-Sha before that happened, the better his odds of medium-term survival; long-term survival was further than he could imagine right now.

He was good at not being noticed. It was a skill you tended to develop when catching the wrong person's attention would lead to a blow - or worse. That was how he had gotten his nickname, Hex. People said he lurked in the shadows like a malignant little curse. Well, so be it. The shadows were the best place to stay safe. He couldn't even quite remember the name he'd been given at birth.

Hex had assumed that Rishi would be where he was expected to part ways with his rescuers, but no one said anything, so he just tagged along and waited. To his surprise, he was presented with food and a place to sleep. No one even hinted that it was time to move on. Odd - but he'd count his blessings while he could.

The presence of the other Twi'leks was a pleasant surprise, especially when he heard they'd been slaves too. Not that he'd wish that on anyone, but at least they'd understand. He found them a little confusing, though. They were scared too, but not the kind of scared he was used to - they were the kind of scared where you had something good and were afraid if you stepped wrong, you'd lose it. Hex couldn't quite relate. But Evanni, Shandri, and the human girl Tacia all insisted that Felix and Visper were their family now and would be adopting them. Hex was doubtful about this. Two humans weren't going to adopt Twi'lek slaves, and he doubted Shandri and Tacia were even minors anymore, though Evanni was clearly younger.

He didn't want to burst their bubble, though. So he just stuck close to the other Twi'leks, kept his head down, and stayed out of the way.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Teizi Lin

While she could hear echoes of her own words in Master Jesk's offer to take Pyrran to Tython, she maintained her defensive position. Something about the situation seemed wrong. Certainly she had suggested to various Sith that they should go to Tython to seek the Force...but this was different. What Jesk was implying...

"The Jedi have no place to be judge and jury over a Sith."

Her own words surprised her, but she realized that she believed them. Certainly, Pyrran could be put on trial for some of the things he'd done, but as far as she could tell from the political climate, the Jedi - and the Republic - weren't really in any position to do so. In war, atrocities happened on both sides. And really, it was odd how Jesk thought that these particular Sith were worth sending a contingent of Jedi from Tython - especially when there was a full-scale war going on and likely far more strategic targets to remove.

"Once again, Master Jesk. Stand down. Leave Rishi. There is no need for the Council's attentions here."
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Visper Averrod-Iresso

Jesk drew his lightsaber abruptly and ignited it.

"Are you prepared to defend your statement, Lin?" he demanded.

As he spoke, though, he was suddenly flanked by both Visper and Siralai. With his focus on Pyrran and Teizi, he had failed to sense their approach - or that of several others with blasters who were concealed in the trees. Siralai's gold lightsaber blade and Visper's green dual blade flared to life too.

"How dare you?" he demanded. "You have transgressed for the last time, Anjelica."

Despite the name he was using, the statement was addressed to Visper. Visper was silent, and gave no acknowledgment.

"Allowing you back into the order was a mistake," Jesk continued. "That is clear from your willingness to draw a blade against a Council member. Stand down, or I will see to it that you are stripped of your undeserved title of Master."

Visper shrugged slightly. "If I allowed a sister Jedi to come to harm to preserve my own title, I would be unworthy of it anyway. Do as you think best."

Jesk was starting to see the light that he was outnumbered. He had badly miscalculated what he would find on Rishi. He wouldn't make that mistake again. His lightsaber died, and he returned it to his belt.

"At least let me see the children," he demanded. "I must check on their well-being. I cannot trust they are safe around such a group of dark and dangerous characters."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Teizi Lin and Neva Xolte

This was it. The tipping point had been broached. All her hope and aspirations, bland as they were, splintered into atoms before an ignited lightsaber. Her life was falling to pieces around her - and yet, and yet she felt that her footing was firm. This place, the exact place she should be standing.

She met Jesk's challenge with a change of her position from defensive to offensive.

Siralai and Visper's arrival wasn't a surprise to her, though she saw her opponent's blade shudder with their arrival. He was off balance now. His attack on Visper seemed to be wildly off the mark. The name he'd used...didn't matter. Her actions and her words spoke so much louder than the shadows the man attempted to throw over her. Teizi was taken off guard by Visper's choice of words. She tucked them into her heart as quickly as possible, keeping her mind on the battle she assumed was still coming. He hadn't come alone, after all.

Almost on cue, Arksynn came crashing through the brush, out of breath but valiantly taking up position beside Pyrran with his blades. He gave the blue one in his Master's hand a shocked look before he seemed to remember himself. At the same time, Neva stumbled out of the jungle behind Jesk, skidding to a stop so quickly that she ended up sitting on the ground awkwardly holding her pistol above her head as she tried to regain her footing. Behind her, one frustrated Jedi was using his lightsaber to cut vines and undergrowth out of his way.

Neva's look of shock faded to embarrassment as she realized she'd circled back, leading at least one of the Jedi closer to the house. She rolled out of the way just as a small tree crashed forward, severed from its base, and tucked in behind Visper. Levelling her blaster at her 'rescuer' who was reining in his momentum as he took in the sight of a jungle bristling with lightsabers.

"Sorry I'm late! Had a bit of trouble shaking the tail." the zabrak flashed a grin at the now equally embarrassed Jedi and blew him a kiss.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Jesk

Jesk regarded the growing little group with interest. So this was the motley rabble that had come together to defend these Sith? Interesting. How strange that the Mahr woman always seemed to gather such misfits around her. It made him all the more sure of the part of his mission he hadn't yet told anyone but his four trusted Jedi about: that he planned to take little Ebben Mahr with him when he left.

For now, his attention turned to the Sith boy, who he carefully looked up and down.

"All that trouble over... this?" Jesk asked scathingly. "What a waste of effort on our part. He hardly seems worth it."

Pyrran said under his breath to Arksynn, "Ignore him. He's trying to provoke you into a mistake. If he really thought you were so irrelevant, you wouldn't have acknowledged you at all. Don't give him what he wants by taking the bait."

Siralai spoke up, addressing Jesk. "You have what you need, then. You've seen that the situation here is under control and there's no danger. You're free to be on your way."

Jesk shook his head. "Not at all. I need to make sure all the children are safe."

He knew the answer to this would be no. It didn't matter. He was stalling for time. While he occupied the others, two of his Jedi would be circling back to the rented house to get the Mahr boy.
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