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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Friends in High Places

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Siralai Mahr

Siralai swore under her breath. Then, in a more audible and even tone, Siralai replied, "I take your point. Unfortunately, diplomacy is something we need to at least attempt. If we simply attack them outright, even if we win, we'll paint a target on our backs for the Jedi Order and possibly half the Republic as well. Just... keep them away from the house, please. I'll be right there."

If it ended in bloodshed - and it probably would end in bloodshed - they just had to make sure it was clear to anyone witnessing that they hadn't struck the first blow. Even the Jedi, stodgy as they could be, surely wouldn't expect someone who was attacked to refrain from defending themselves.

One way or the other, though, Siralai wouldn't allow her people to be hurt. And her people now included the three Onyks, Arksynn, and Reyth.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Neva Xolte

Distract a bunch of murderous Jedi. Right. She waited for Siralai's image to wink out before puffing out her cheeks in a silent expression of uncertainty. Focus. What did she know about Jedi? They didn't tend to like Sith very much...and they were renowned for being do-gooders. The former may have been what brought them here, but perhaps the latter would be what she could employ to her benefit.

Looking around, she spotted a recent rock slide with some rather precariously perched boulders near the edges of the brush. That might do it. Approaching, she made a few calculations and rolled some smaller rocks into strategic positions around a slight depression in the soil. Hopefully she could pull this off without permanent damage to herself. Placing her leg into the depression, she fired a shot into the rubble under one of the boulders. As it rolled down onto her makeshift holding place, her yell of pain was more realistic than she'd thought it would be. She fired two more shots into the air for good measure.

"Help! Someone help!"

Neva knew she couldn't be that far out of earshot - and her blaster bolts would have been visible. Now she just had to hope that these Jedi weren't too focused on their task to ignore her. She shifted under the rock, relieved to find that she could tug her leg out if need be. Her calculations hadn't been too far wrong. At least if things went south, she wouldn't be unable to join in the fight.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Pyrran Onyk Mahr

Neva's distraction proved more durable than Pyrran's. After his flight of unexpected birds had caused the Jedi momentary inconvenience, he was stuck backtracking toward the house, staying out of sight and hoping another opportunity to slow them down would present itself.

When Neva's blaster shots and cries rang out, though, the Jedi did pause. The four followers looked to Master Jesk; Jesk nodded and said, "Yes, the Sith can wait. Delaying our errand a few moments to perform an act of mercy is a worthy cause."

The four nodded and headed toward the sounds. Jesk appeared about to follow them - but then something stopped the Jedi master. He motioned for his charges to go on, and then after they had gone, he stood listening. Sensing. Pyrran didn't move, didn't breathe. But staying still wasn't enough. The Jedi could feel him there.

"Sith," Jesk growled through clenched teeth.

Pyrran knew hiding was futile. So was running. Negotiating likely was too, but it was the only course of action left to him. He put his hands up, showing that he held no weapons.

Before he had a chance to speak, Jesk's lightsaber was drawn and pointed toward him. The tip touched his chest, burning easily through his garments before coming to a sizzling rest on the skin above his sternum. Pyrran had to grit his teeth to avoid crying out in pain.

"What do you want, Jedi?" he demanded. He was afraid, yes, but also desperately angry. How dare these people come here and threaten his family and friends?

"Your life," Jesk said calmly, pressing lightly on the blade. "And I will claim it."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Teizi Lin

She made no attempt at a subtle approach, crashing through the underbrush with uncharacteristic disregard. The fingers of her right hand flared open and her hand shot forward and then away from her body. Pyrran would feel the Force pulling at his body and flinging him away from the lightsaber blade at his chest. She hated to just...move him, but Jesk seemed ready to thrust the implement through the Sith and she couldn't bear the thought of being too late. Teizi ignited her own lightsaber in her left hand, its orange glow bathing her flushed cheeks.

"Master Jesk! Hold! You go too far!"

Standing directly opposing him now, she held her remaining weapon in a low defensive position across her body, the tip angling up toward her shoulder. She had her right arm flung behind her as though she were to begin sprinting. Despite her hastened appearance, Teizi's breathing was measured and her stare was pointed.

"You asked for my opinion - and then come bearing arms? This man did not even arm himself against you, though I am certain he had ample opportunity. This brashness. This drive to kill, even Sith, does not bespeak the Code. Stand down, Master Jesk and we will resolve this with some civility."

"I hope." she finished mentally. Not daring to take her eyes of Jesk for a second to check on Pyrran.
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Padawan Dallyn and Arksynn

He was focused on finding the Sith twins, as his master had instructed, when he nearly ran into Arksynn. The fear coming off of the other boy nearly made him gag, but he steadied himself just in time. Dallyn didn't get the chance to ask where the girls were or where Pyrran was before the young zabrak ignited his lightasabers and took up a defensive posture.

"Why do you have my master's lightsaber? What have you done?" Arksynn shouted, his emotions swaying wildly between anxiety and anger.

It was then Dallyn realized that he was still holding Pyrran's lightsaber out in front of him like an offering. Realizing how it must look, he held up his other hand in an attempt to calm down the young Sith.

"My master sent me - she said that they'd traded lightsabers for some unknown reason and she sent me to return Lord Pyrran's weapon to him." Belatedly, he added, "She sensed some other Jedi nearby and sent me to stand guard over Lord Pyrran's sisters. I don't think she trusts the intentions of..."

"No shit." He was cut off by the other boy's flat tone. "We overheard them saying they planned to murder my master and Reyth and then bring the others back and make them be Jedi." The blades flashed into an attack posture. "And I'll bet you're going to stand guard. You're just going to keep them safe for those other Jedi to take them away. Well, I'm not going to let that happen!"

Dallyn ignited his own lightsaber just in time to parry, Pyrran's falling to the sand, momentarily forgotten.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Friends in High Places

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Master Jesk and Pyrran

Jesk eyed Teizi with a level stare. "How utterly naïve," he said sadly. "I believed you were capable of great things, Jedi Lin. A Master someday, perhaps. Even on the Council. But clearly not - not if you fall for these transparent Sith tricks. This man is a Sith lord. He has done unspeakable things to reach that rank. It is impossible to advance in the Sith hierarchy otherwise. Do you deny that, Sith? Answer carefully. Lies will only show all the more clearly the degeneracy of your character."

Pyrran was puffing hard, winded and off-balance, but he was not planning to give up his life without a fight. He had a lightsaber in each hand now, prepared to defend himself. The Sith was still willing to try to negotiate, but he was no longer going to attempt to do so unarmed.

"I do not deny it," Pyrran said coldly, his voice calm and even despite the pounding of his heart. "But it was not for the sake of advancement. It was for mere survival. I seek a better way, a purer life - and you would deny me that, and slay me in cold blood instead?"

Jesk eyed Pyrran suspiciously. "A purer life? I see evidence of that 'purer life' right now. You have slain a Jedi and taken their lightsaber. The proof of your guilt is in your own hands. It is my duty to carry out the sentence. Do you deny your crime?"

For a moment, Pyrran was just... confused. But then he remembered that only one of the lightsabers in his hand was red. He hadn't even thought about it - for many years, he'd scrounged whatever he could find for an offhand weapon and thought little of it. But how it would look to Jesk...

He couldn't deny it, though. Because to deny it was to implicate Teizi. Pyrran could only imagine that Jedi Masters were as hard and unforgiving as Sith ones. Pyrran knew there was a high likelihood that he would die. There was no reason to take Teizi down with him in a futile attempt to clear his own name. No, he wouldn't tell Jesk that Teizi had willingly sought the help of a Sith.

Pyrran sneered, and shrugged sarcastically. He was accustomed to doing both, after all those years under the Imperial boot. "Believe what you will," he said.

***

Vette came upon the two apprentices as she ran in the direction of the fracas. She stopped, put her hands on her hips, and sighed.

"Stop it!" she said firmly. "Idiots. Everyone is possibly about to die - including both of your Masters - and you're squared up against each other instead of helping? What kind of apprentices are you? Get a move on and make yourselves useful."
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