Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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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Quaxo9
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Arksynn

He'd washed up in a waterfall and pressed the wrinkles out of his clothes with his hands as best he could. Even though he hadn't found the weather terrible, he was sweating even before he dressed. He had to admit that his fear currently had a hold on him. Stepping back into the pool, he knelt in the cooler water and tried to meditate. Perhaps if he could meditate, he could make his mind focus on some other emotion. Hate? But did he want to be steeped in hate for what he was about to ask? Certainly that would have been an appropriate emotion for an acolyte to approach a master on Korriban - but this was not Korriban. And Pyrran wasn't like any of the masters he'd seen there.

Which was the only reason he thought he had a chance of not being instantly struck down for his impertinence.

Unlike Reyth, he'd done a lot of thinking about the future. Well, as much as he could with his limited ideas of what the future could hold. He was certain of a few things, though - that he wanted to be Sith and that he wanted to be close to the Mahrs. Aligning himself with Pyrran ticked both those boxes. If only he could get the Sith lord to agree. What if Pyrran didn't think he was good enough to be his apprentice? Worse, what if he accepted and then found out what a disappointment Arksynn was. What then?

Then he'd deal with that too. Just like he'd dealt with other things that he didn't want in his future. At least temporarily.

Once he'd reached a more suitable level of nervous, Arksynn pulled himself out of the pool and into his robes. He noticed that his sleeves didn't quite tuck into his bracers like they had and his pants were definitely over his ankles. A teenager shouldn't be surprised that he's growing, he realized, but at the same time he'd sort of given up on getting a growth spurt. He figured he'd always be a runt. Maybe it was food - or the fact that it was available throughout the day. He'd never questioned their rations before, but now he couldn't help but wonder if Anewe had deprived them of that too. It seemed like something she'd do. He hadn't meant to think on his former master, though he supposed what he was about to do was related enough that her memory would be bound to pop up. Hopefully not for much longer.

Arksynn found Pyrran near the house, as expected. The man didn't stray far from his sisters' side these days. Nor did his Twi'lek ever seem to leave his. He hadn't really wanted an audience, especially if things didn't go well, but he also highly doubted that he could get Pyrran to ask Vette to leave. He'd been watching them and they seemed pretty close. Really close, actually.

Focus. He'd caught the Sith lord's eye and approached stiffly, getting down on one knee when he was close enough to be heard without necessarily being close enough to be struck down. Arksynn stared at the ground, clammy hands balled into fists. It was now our never.

"My lord, I realize that this is not how things are usually done, but I wish to pledge myself to you as your apprentice. If you would have me, my lord."
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Pyrran Onyk Mahr

Pyrran froze, dumbfounded, unsure of what to make of this - Arksynn's sudden and extreme deference, and his declaration, both in equal measure.

Yes, Pyrran was a Sith lord. He had earned that rank. Fought for it, scrambled for it, at times struggled to stay alive to maintain it. But he didn't quite feel like it. He still felt like the boy who was beaten mercilessly by his father. The young acolyte who was tormented and brutalized by his teachers. The apprentice trapped in service to a master who took away his moral choices and forced him to sink ever deeper into the muck and mire.

He didn't feel like the sort of person who commanded... this.

Pyrran had been quiet for too long. He realized this when he received a gentle but firm prod in the back from a Twi'lek elbow; Vette was making it clear to him that he needed to speak. He coughed and cleared his throat.

"Arksynn, this... surprises me. Please, stand, so we can speak face to face."

He offered the young man a hand to his feet.

"Yes, I am willing to teach you, if you're sure that's what you wish. If you're sure you are understanding what you're signing up for. I cannot provide you with a conventional Sith education. That is not the path I'm walking. I'm trying to be a good man. To use such power as I have to help others. That is the only path I can offer to you. If that is what you want, I can lead you but we must learn to follow it together."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Arksynn

He said yes. Arksynn had almost reluctantly gained his footing at Pyrran's request, and now stood equally dumbfounded in front of his new mentor. As much as he'd wanted this - and had tried to put his best foot forward - he hadn't actually believed he'd be accepted. Not that he was cynical by nature, but he'd come to expect disappointment.

After the initial surprise passed, Pyrran's words sunk in. The young zabrak grinned in spite of his nervousness.

"My 'conventional' Sith education didn't really agree with me. A good man...is someone I think I want to be." He paused, then restated. "Yes, Master, this path is one I choose to follow with you."

He hadn't really known what path Pyrran was following before he asked. What he knew was that he was nothing like his former master and that instantly attracted him to the idea of Pyrran continuing his training. However, it also left him without much of a frame of reference for what his new master might expect of him. He hedged his bets by offering a stiff bow.

He was still going to be Sith.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Teizi Lin

Today's work was cut out for her. The matriarch had her first dose of medication working on her fluid-filled lungs, so Teizi set about caring for the rest of her. The clogged excretory system was the next biggest issue. Teizi did the bulk of the work with the abundant saltwater - thoroughly wetting the animal, then using a sort of fat-fingered comb to break up the clods of gunk stuck to the beast's skin. Freshwater finished the job as a quick rinse that wouldn't aggravate the fresh skin. Next, she inspected the tauntaun's feet and found them blistered from the hot sand; to these she applied a simple poultice and wrapped them carefully in cloth. Then she trimmed the animal's nails and worked oil into them - both back feet and front feet. The remaining horns on the tauntaun's head were also oiled and polished. Finally, she started working on brushing the knots out of the cleaned fur from head to tail.

When Teizi was done, she stepped back to survey her handiwork. The tauntaun was a new creature. She stood proudly at her full height and eyed the other tauntaun, as if daring them to look so good. Right. There were still six more to go.

She'd washed some seaweed in clean, fresh water as a surrogate for the moss and lichens the animals would eat on their native Hoth. They seemed to take the meal well enough and she hoped she'd be able to gather enough off the beach to keep them fed until she figured out what to do with them. Her mind started to move in the direction of next steps, but her eyes fell on the salt crust forming on one of the buckets. There was no sense figuring out what to do with the tauntaun if she couldn't make sure they'd all survive.

On to tauntaun number two.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Pyrran Onyk Mahr

It occurred to Pyrran in a flash that - tradition aside, and power dynamics aside - it was going to be extremely awkward to have a young Sith following him around and calling him 'Master,' especially a young Sith he'd played dejarik on the terrace with and splashed around on the beach with not so long ago.

"No need to stand on ceremony," he said. "Just 'Pyrran' is fine, as you have been."

Lest the younger Sith think that his education would all be totally slipshod, though, he added, "That is not to say we will be equally lax about your training. First, I would like to see you run through your lightsaber forms. Then we will meditate."

His voice was self-assured. Confident. He could convince himself he sounded experienced.

Well, almost... because he glanced briefly at Vette for her reaction, and was heartened when she gave him a subtle thumbs-up gesture.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Arksynn

He filled his lungs with salt air, feeling the tingling sensation in his nostrils, strangely thinking to himself that he'd never breathed so deeply in his life. His life up until now. This was the turning point - no, really it was the result of a turning point. The true turning point had been when he lay dying in that arena and he'd been healed to be spared by a Jedi. Lana could have let him die. Siralai could have decided she didn't need the hassle of dealing with an angry and untrustworthy Sith. And now here he was. A new Master. A new life.

A new life that was starting right now.

"Of course, Ma...Pyrran! Right away, sir!"

The boy's eagerness was plain, though Pyrran would undoubtedly see that his new apprentice's lightsaber skills were lacking. Arksynn didn't remember much of forms, having not really gained much instruction, and was merely running through a series of 'moves' he'd learned from his practice with Reyth or his watching other fights. If Pyrran was so inclined to notice, one or two more defensive forms were in the mix - bits of wisdom obtained from watching Jedi Lin on Dromund Kaas.
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Padawan Dallyn

Being planetside after a successful mission should have had him feeling like it was a homecoming. They'd gotten the information on the twins that they'd hoped to get, put an end to the horrible operation on Mek-Sha, eradicated some evil mad scientists and saved three people. At the very least, he should have felt pleased with the group's accomplishment. Even a Jedi would have been allowed to feel that.

It wasn't so much that he didn't feel like he'd be allowed...it was that he couldn't focus on all the good things that had happened today. He'd told Theron that he was thinking of leaving the Order. The other man said he wouldn't say anything - and Dallyn believed him - but it was more that he couldn't believe he'd spoken those thoughts, those desires, out loud. He hadn't known they were real until the words came out of his mouth. Speaking them had given them life and now he had this monstrous thing before him and he didn't know what to do with it. Perhaps he just needed to speak with his Master and do some meditation. Maybe that would help calm the storm of ideas swirling through his brain. Keep the monster called 'choice' at bay.

He hadn't expected that the thing that would finally break his internal cycle of turmoil would be a smell. An utterly horrendous smell. As they got closer to the beach house, the smell intensified to the point where he had to hold back a gag reflex. It smelled like something had died - no, rotted and then died and then rotted again. While he didn't want to get any closer, Dallyn felt compelled to find out where the smell was coming from. He cut off into the trees before reaching the house and slowly made his way forward, holding his robe over his nose and mouth.

And there was his Master. Her outer robes stripped off, shirt sleeves rolled up, softly cooing, "Who's a pretty girl?" to a tauntaun with its head thrown back in a fit of ecstasy as Teizi washed its neck with a wooden brush. The scene struck him as bizarre and Dallyn found himself unable to speak as he stared at the picture in front of him. A great ruckus sprang up to his right and he jumped as all the tauntaun suddenly started sounding an alarm call, one particularly large one dashing toward him and snorting violently.

"Hold! Hold, girl." Teizi was somehow in front of him now, holding the aggressive beast's halter and patting its nose. A blush clearly coloured his master's cheeks and it struck him that she was pretty. He hadn't really noticed before. Maybe it was because she was always so stern and stoic and for this moment in time she was at her ease. And just like that, the moment melted away. The master he was more familiar with reappeared, though the hints of blush remained.

"Padawan. It is good to have you back. I trust you were able to keep your promise to Captain Neva?"

"Yes, Master."

The ensuing stretch of silence was ended by a massive sneeze from the tauntaun Teizi was holding. Dallyn had to swallow hard to keep his gag in his throat as he looked down at the mass of goo slowly running down the front of his robes. He slowly raised his gaze to meet his masters' and found it once again softened. The hints of a smile.

"It will wash, Dallyn. I am glad you're here - I could use your help getting the rest of the animals cleaned up."

The boy swallowed hard, then nodded. He supposed that sometimes the work of a Jedi was unsavoury for many reasons - he just hadn't expected this one. Teizi invited him into the pen, where he was greeted by some cursory sniffing and snorting before the tauntaun seemed to calm and went back to doing what he supposed were normal tauntaun things. He was handed a brush and as she stood on one side and Dallyn on the other, she talked him through what needed to be done. How to run the brush in such a way as to clean the animal without harming it. He was unable to comment for some time as he struggled to breathe - did she have no sense of smell?

After they finished the animal she had been working on, Dallyn seemed to catch his stride. Perhaps there was so much stink in his nose that he couldn't possibly detect more of it now. Teizi began talking him through the wrapping process, but he couldn't hold in his questions any longer.

"Master...why are you doing this?" She was silent for a little longer than he liked, so he added, "I mean, where did these animals even come from?"

"We're doing this because they needed help. They were being mistreated and they were sick. It is the Jedi's way to serve - and that includes creatures thought of as beasts."

Dallyn thought on this for a moment as he rolled the mound of gauze into something more usable. He wasn't sure what to make of that. He was doubly unsure of what to make of her next statement.

"I bought them. These are now my tauntaun and it is my duty to care for them."

He looked at her like she had just grown a second head. "What are you going to do with seven tauntaun? Are you going to keep them? I mean, how are you even going to get them off of Rishi?"

"I don't know." Her answer was sharp. The tautaun stopped and looked at her, even as her gaze was on the ground. For the first time since he'd come under her tutelage, Dallyn understood that a Jedi didn't always have all the answers. Sometimes, they just acted. Despite the strangeness of the situation, he felt comforted by the idea.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Pyrran Onyk Mahr

"Yes. Very good. Good."

Pyrran circled his new student, watching with an encouraging but critical gaze. From time to time, he would move in to correct a hand position or a piece of footwork, or tip Arksynn's blade to a better angle.

"You've taught yourself a lot, haven't you? That's good. It shows signs of ambitions. But there's much you still need to learn."

In terms of their educational background, they were essentially opposites. Pyrran had been taught very formally as a Sith from a young age, first by his father and then by his teachers. The training had been... brutal. Correction had been administered with a blow... or worse. Pyrran had feared and despised his teachers; he never intended to be that sort of educator. But he did have knowledge he could impart to Arksynn, study and scholarship to balance the boy's lived experience and observations in combat.

"Here, I will show you the simple offensive and defensive forms I used as a boy. As you've seen, combat is more than a series of forms. But these are useful for practice, for working on your balance, skill, and speed. Now, for the first..."

As Pyrran demonstrated, he realized he was genuinely enjoying himself. Maybe he was cut out to be a teacher after all, he thought with slightly amused pleasure.
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Master Jesk

Master Jesk was not accustomed to being ignored. And at the moment, that seemed to be exactly what was going on. First, Siralai Mahr had been defiant - a typical attitude for the wayward Jedi, but a difficult one for him to swallow. Initially, Lin had seemed more pliable... but then she had dropped out of communication entirely. Jesk had thought she had taken his request seriously and would prioritize it, but apparently not. Apparently the matter had reached a point where he could no longer rely on underlings to complete their tasks.

"Prepare my ship," he ordered. "I will take four of the Knights with me. Gordon, Aranthia, Minre, and... Vull, perhaps." Loyalists, all. One might even say zealots for the Republic. "We depart for Rishi as soon as all is in readiness."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Mek-Sha Nightlife (Star Wars)

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Teizi Lin and Padawan Dallyn

Dallyn watched his Master work as he fetched pails of water and brushed whichever tauntaun would let him close enough to do so. The animals seemed strangely attached to her, but maybe it wasn't so strange because it seemed like the feeling was mutual. He couldn't quite understand how that had happened so fast as it sounded like she had just gotten them this afternoon. Teizi's hands were so sure. So confident. Though confident was something he had always attributed to her, this confidence seemed different somehow.

"Master, did you always want to be a Jedi?"

The question startled the both of them: he had meant to ask about how she became a Jedi and she, well, she knew the answer to his question might not be what he was expecting. Teizi bent her head toward the tauntaun's neck for a moment, the steady rhythm of her brush slowing her heart's pace. She supposed it was only fair that he would want to know about her past as a Jedi. Or perhaps the answer she was going to give him really was obvious and he'd simply nod knowingly.

"I didn't." Her pause to inhale was slightly longer than usual, but Dallyn was patient enough to wait for her to continue. "I actually didn't know that I was Force sensitive until I was about your age. Until a Jedi found me, I was just a farm hand with no hopes for a different life." and no desire, either she finished silently.

Dallyn struggled to hide his surprise. She had just started her training as an initiate when he was almost through his padawan training? Maybe she was older than she looked...but he doubted that, seeing her like this without her robes to add that Jedi stateliness betrayed her age. So how had she risen so far so fast? Was it something that just 'clicked' when she went to the Temple?

"How did you know that you were supposed to be a Jedi?"

She should have anticipated that follow-up question. Internally, she was struggling with the notion that a Jedi Master should not reveal details about themselves to their padawans. Should escrew connection. So many Jedi she had looked up to had held themselves apart as their Order held itself apart from the rest of the galaxy. But then she also remembered how many other respectable Jedi always seemed to know someone who could give them aid and reached out to those around them to lift them up. Teizi took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and allowed what words may form to simply come.

"I still don't know if I am 'supposed' to be a Jedi. When I first arrived at the Temple, it was so obvious that I was different from the other novitiates. The children my age, well, weren't really children and had been learning for so long already. Most of them were well-educated and I...was not. It took me a long time to catch up, but I worked hard to do so because as I spent time in the Force, I could see things differently. I could see perspective, which was something I hadn't known to exist, really. Where I came from, everyone thought the same way and did the same things. They all wore the same lives."

"I realized that while I loved to work with the animals, that I really was nothing more than a slave labourer. I would never own land of my own. Never reach even the meagre potential I had while I was there. And...while I don't look down on that life that I had liked very much, I also knew that now that I possessed this knowledge that I could never go back and be satisfied."

She gave Dallyn a sad smile. What a terrible thing to say. That she was a Jedi because once she knew what she had been, she could never be it again. That contentment with herself and her place in life was so important to her that she took the harder road.

"I have worked hard to follow the Code and to make my Master proud of the Jedi I became. While I still feel like I have to fight to be on level ground with other Jedi who had a much more auspicious upbringing than I, it becomes yet more apparent that it isn't how you are introduced to the Code that matters. It is how you live it out."

Patting the tauntun she was working on, she turned to throw the dirty water into the bushes. She was fairly certain she'd messed things up by being so candid with her padawan, but at the same time it was cathartic. In that case, there was one more thing she wanted to add.

"I don't think I'm a different person just because I am aware of the Force and follow the Jedi Code. I think I just took a different path. Every day, I just hope that this path needs a traveller like me."
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