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Old 10-16-2007, 02:32 AM   #161
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"Malpenulte? Pretty specific for a 'guess', eh, Spanner." Kimber snorted. "Well, I've never heard of it, but...." Kimber began changing their course to match the co-ordinates of Tysy's tracking signal. "If that's where she went, then that's where we'll go."

She smiled then at both the mechanic and Lane. "And so our great adventure begins!" A slight frown. "Hmm....wonder if they have any fuel there? We go much further than the Cap'n's present position and we'll need to start looking for a source." She cast the mechanic and Lane a sideways glance. "Unless you two want to get out and push," she added with a crooked grin.


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Old 10-16-2007, 11:42 AM   #162
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Malpenulte, to the Exile's great relief, was not as dread-inducing nor sickeningly light as she believed that Cocyta would be. However, this penultimate planet before Bastila Shan's personal world proved to have its own shadows, its own dark horrors.

As soon as she landed and exited her tiny and rather cramped courier's vessel, she saw line after unending line of people waiting to enter some flawless steel-walled buildings. A tremor ran through her, and through the Force. For what, or whom, were they waiting? Would Bastila arrive, or were these throngs still considered unworthy to meet her? Tysyacha closed her eyes and felt a message that almost made her choke.

Return to the Light. This, Exile, is the place where tainted ones go to be cleansed. They wait to purify themselves through pain, the type and duration dependent on what kind of wrongs they have chiefly done. The lustful humbly submit themselves to isolation; the greedy and gluttonous to deprivation of food and drink; the lazy to lack of sleep; and the betrayers to the punishment of being forced into submission per extensive teaching on loyalty and hard labor, with no hope of release until they are cured. It is this line, the line of traitors, that you must enter if you'll be saved.

The Force inexorably drew Tysyacha to the end of the queue, and it held her there, gently and yet fast. The Exile prayed her crew would find her before her turn came.
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:32 PM   #163
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"Ok, people, looks like we're here," Kimber said to her two companions in the cockpit. She flipped a few switches and a planet appeared on the viewscreen. "Wow... it's...." Kimber tilted her head to one side. "It's kind of... dark, isn't it?" She shook her head dismissively. "Dark or not, we've got to find someplace to land, and, hopefully, some fuel. Otherwise, you two," she looked over her shoulder at Lane and the mechanic, "are going to have to get out and push. Of course, we could always make that mouthy droid push it instead..." she said hurriedly under her breath.

Her scanner bleeped. "Hey! What do you know! We're in luck! There's some kind of settlement down there." She zoomed in on the image. "It's small, but... hey, I'm picking up Tysy's signal down there, too. It's stationary."

She looked over at the mechanic. "You want me to set her down on the outskirts, or just go blazing right in?" For some reason, she was beginning to defer the command decisions to him, although she didn't really know why. It wasn't like he was any higher 'rank' than she was, was he? "Your call."


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Old 10-21-2007, 07:14 PM   #164
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He studied the planet for several long moments, his eyes and body unmoving, almost to the point that one would suspect he wasn't exactly conscious. However, soon enough, he slowly blinked his eyes, the statue coming back to life.

"Approach the settlement." he said, "It doesn't seem as though Tysy met any opposition on her way down. If she wasn't disturbed, I don't think we'll be met with anything that we can't handle."


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Old 10-22-2007, 12:25 AM   #165
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Kimber Quitaan, the mysterious mechanic, Lane, T3-M4, and HK-47 all exited the Ebon Hawk with a sense of unease, almost dread, although not enough to remain aboard the ship. Avoiding one's fears or what tempts one, Darth Traya had taught, is not strength, but facing it is. Thus, the five crew members of the battered vessel that was once Revan's and now the Exile's ventured forward onto an unknown world.

"Excuse me," quipped one of them to a blank-eyed passer-by. "Any fuel stations?"

"Around here, there is one," said the woman, and she pointed. Her gesture was a tad slow, off-cue, like a needle that had skipped a fraction of a second in a record's vinyl groove. "But prepare yourself, because if you go to Cocyta without the proper soul searching and cleansing, you will be destroyed by the planet as soon as you land."

After an awkward silence, someone asked, "Uh...care to elaborate?"

"Resolute Statement: I suggest that we should facilitate communication and put an end to hostilities," said HK. "This target seems rather stuporous, perhaps from lack of sleep. It would be a kindness to put her out of her misery." He shouldered his weapon.

"I am not afraid of you, droid," said the woman, her face as expressionless as her eyes. "Mistress Shan's wrath is far greater than your molten cannon could ever be. It is a good thing you are a droid. Otherwise, she would melt you alive if she found you."

"Melt you alive?" The unease turned to downright nausea. "What do you mean?"

"She has already immolated several upon Malpenulte, but that is their own fault. They attempted to address our Mistress when they had not yet gone through purification. For their arrogance and insolence, not to mention treason to the galaxy and their very souls, they were burned alive, or immolated through Force energy." A brief pause. "If you wish to find fuel, do so at the station nearby, but if you wish to save yourselves, stand in any of these lines--the one that fits the wrongs you have committed. Then, Mistress Shan's servants will wash away all of your transgressions and make you worthy to go to Cocyta without fear of death. Farewell. I must go and purify myself."

All five of them sensed a slight pull, a tugging at the Force, as if to break its bonds...
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Old 10-22-2007, 04:40 PM   #166
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He gritted his teeth, his body going rigid and his eyes resolute. He looked to each of the lines, to the thousands that were already lining themselves up to willingly be punished for whatever 'sins' they had committed in their life. His eyes were dark and stormy.

But then again...exactly how willing could they all be?

The woman they had just talked to, that was walking to her own form of torture and self-retribution now, had the blank eyed stare that he had only seen in certain situations - situations in which the Force had taken control of a person's mind, thoughts, and actions. Could it be...? But there were so many! Certainly these people weren't all under Force control? The power that would need...

He gritted his teeth against another subtle Force pull, this one stronger than the last. His hands - both human and mechanical - clenched into fists. What was this pull? It seemed almost...gravitational. There was another pull that he fought off, again stronger than the two before - and now he noticed that there wasn't only the one pull. But three. And each pulled him in a different direction.

Lust. He fought off the Force pull with even stronger resolution, his teeth gritted and eyes closed. Behind his mind's eye came the image of two women - both with dark hair, one with eyes of blue and one with eyes of brown - filled his vision. Two women. He had had them both. And he had abandoned them. Another pull dragged him in one direction

Gluttony. Ships - legions upon legions - flashed now before his eyes, each with battle turrets trained on the fleet that was imposing upon them, the silhouettes and shadows that blacked out the nearby sun. He had conquered them - he had been the one to lead them to victory. But it wasn't enough to save the galaxy for the time being. No. He needed complete control, so he could establish his own order and impose peace across the galaxy for decades to come! A second pull dragged him in another.

Betrayal. Seven times. Seven times. The terrible realization that while he, thinking he had been so noble in his life, so true, so pure, had betrayed all that he had stood for seven times throughout his lifetime made his will buckle. The pull started to get the better of him. He had betrayed his teachers, those that had raised him. Step. He had betrayed those that had followed him, believing that he would be their salvation - all he did was lead them to death. Step. He betrayed his lover, running forward on a path that she could not follow. Step. He betrayed his best friend, an eye for an eye, to 'save' this now-crumbling Republic. Step. He betrayed his followers - no, his friends - when he disappeared from them on Dantooine. Step. Then...he had betrayed his lover once again. He abandoned her, left her behind, with hardly so much as a word as to why so that she could be 'safe' as he went on that damned mission to find the 'true evil' of the galaxy. Oh, what a fool he had been!


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Old 10-22-2007, 04:44 PM   #167
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...Mistress Shan's servants will wash away all of your transgressions and make you worthy to go to Cocyta without fear of death. Farewell. I must go and purify myself."

"Yeah, you do that, honey." Kimber raised an eyebrow as she looked askance at the mechanic to her right, and then Lane to her left. "You know, she just didn't seem quite all there to me." She shook her head. "I dunno about this place. It feels... odd. You know, like... like the feeling you get when there's a salesman that comes to your door, and shows you all these completely useless items that you know you don't need but somehow you feel obligated to buy something?" She shivered as she looked toward the lines of people. "It's like we have a choice, but we don't."


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Old 10-22-2007, 05:08 PM   #168
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Tysyacha felt another poor soul step into line behind her; she was no longer the last. That gave her some sense of comfort, until she reached out through the Force to touch the newcomer. The sensation that greeted her was one part shock, one part bewilderment, one part delight, and one part utter relief. Another betrayer, no doubt.

"Hello," she mumbled, turning around and then almost colliding with the transgressor in front of her as she nearly fell backward. "You?! What are you doing here, unless you brought the rest of the crew of the Ebon Hawk to rescue me? This place is as much of a nightmare as I think Cocyta will be--we'd better think of something fast!

"Although--what are you doing in the betrayers' line? You must have spotted me. Quickly, let's try and think of a way to try and break the Force pull that's holding us here. You may not know how to use the Force, sir," she said humbly, "but I do. As for our purification, it will only come if we escape this world. I know that I've betrayed all my Masters and the Jedi Order by heeding a monstrous call to war, but that doesn't mean I am hopeless. Nor you. Now, on the count of three, try to step out of line.

"Raz--dva--tri!" Tysyacha almost screamed this last, and she tried with all of her strength to leave the queue. Sadly, however, the Force pull of Malpenulte was too strong, couched in the falsely-soothing illusion of being too subtle, too weak. If she would not have hurt the person in front of her, the Exile would have tried to slash at the air with her double silver sabers, but she feared even her fabled weapons would do her no good. She looked back over her shoulder to see if the mechanic had succeeded.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:00 PM   #169
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He didn't hear Kimber. No, her voice faded from his ears as he forced his eyes open - only to spot a familiar head amongst the infinite lines. The Exile! She was in the betrayers' line!

The steps towards the line were no longer forced, no longer dragging footsteps. He was running to the line now, only slowing down once he reached the back behind Tysy. Sensing his presence, she turned around - and tried, failingly, to step out of line. He sighed, ducking his head slightly and shaking his head. Did she ever think things through fully?

"Tysyacha," he said, his eyes on his arm as he began to undo the straps on the gauntlet that clothed his right, human hand, "Do me a favor - and stop talking." Pulling the glove off, he gently pressed his palm to her forehead, a tingling going through his skin as he did so. It had been so long since he had touched another human's skin...

With the physical connection established, it wasn't long before their own Force presence was able to fight off that of the planet's, allowing them to link together. With a slight frown, he allowed the barriers that masked his power down for only a second, allowing a shock of invigorating power through their connection - an extremely powerful shock, considering how short the time was that he had let his barriers down. The shock was enough to stimulate both of their Force signatures - and give them enough will to beat out the pull that was dragging them into the line, granting them freedom. For now.

"We don't have much time." he said, beginning to pull the glove back on and taking a step back from her, "Why did you come here? Was there a reason? Or was it just another impulse?" his movements were frantic, his words clipped a little more than usual. He wasn't exactly at ease. "Because I think it would be best if we get off this forsaken place as soon as possible."


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Old 10-22-2007, 08:22 PM   #170
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Tysyacha nodded in five quick reflexes. "Indeed. I did have a reason for coming here; it wasn't just another whim." She leaned close to whisper in the mechanic's ear. "You see, I have a sort of...teacher...who guided me to this planet in hopes of finding it."

"By the Force, no!" Traya's savage rebuke slashed through the fear and sudden panic in the Exile's mind. "Malpenulte itself is not what I had hoped for you to discover. Search, my Exile! There is something here upon this twilit world that is intimately tied to Bastila Shan, the Savior of Cocyta. With it in your grasp, or at least your possible means of destruction, you could weaken her enough so that Cocyta's energy does not bleed you of life like detergents bleed stains from a soiled tunic. She will not let you reach her unless you are purified, or unless you find the first secret to her power."

"And what is that?" Tysyacha nudged the holocron of Darth Traya through the Force. "How can I look for something if I don't know what I'm looking for?" she asked.

"It is not a what for which you search, moya' Dvukh, but a who. Bastila was once a Jedi, a true Jedi if such people can be called that. She was taught by three Masters, and they are buried here: Vandar, Dorak, and Zhar. Their tombs lie high in the mountains of Malpenulte. She is bleeding the power from their resting places, and yet she knows it is not enough to cleanse her soul of the evil within. You must give the Masters peace by finding the one person who knows their teachings."

"And who would that be? The Masters are dead! Surely only Revan still does!"

"There is one other. She had become a historian after her companion Juhani left with Revan to defeat Darth Malak, but now she stands on the steps of a great Machine. She has resigned herself to her fate, and in one hour she will be executed, liquefied. Find Archivist Belaya and bring her aboard the Hawk. She is the last piece of this light-and-dark puzzle that must click into place before Bastila Shan can be destroyed.

"Where is the Machine?" asked Tysyacha.

"You...have already been searching for it, or at least your companions have recently."

"The fuel station!" Tysyacha's face went white. "You mean...?"

"Palladium is only used for the weapons of war, not the transports," smiled Traya. "Mere civilian shuttles and speeders, and even ships like the Hawk, are still run upon carbon-based fuels..."

Tysyacha grabbed the mechanic's hand and bolted full-speed for the fuel station.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:27 PM   #171
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Organic fuel?? Was that really what she was doing to those people who refused to bow to her insanity? Turning them into rocket fuel?!

Her tug practically pulled him flying right off his feet, and he stumbled for a second before being able to regain his footing. "Ow ow OW! Hey!" he said, tugging his arm from Tysy's grip as he caught up beside her. She had grabbed the artificial wrist, and the way she had been tugging on it tugged at the joint in his elbow - which was really quite painful. He rubbed his elbow gently. "That's sensitive!"

After a few seconds he dropped both arms, pumping them as they ran. "Exactly where is this fuel station?" he asked, "And what about the others?"


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Old 10-26-2007, 10:33 AM   #172
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Lane rubbed thin hands together as mismatched eyes studied their surroundings. The world Tysy had chosen was certainly an interesting one. Lane had had a fair number of odd experiences in a rather long lifetime, yet this one was certainly surprising in its uniqueness. It was as if there were invisible threads everywhere, tugging at whoever set foot on the ground, pulling them this way and that. Lane's sinewy limbs relished the strange sensations, but the mind knew that they were not to be trifled with, so it resisted the urge to let go completely and instead kept Lane's body alongside the pilot Kimber, the irascible droid HK, the precocious T3 and the still-unnamed mechanic.

"Curious," the lips spoke for the first time in a while, "how our valiant mechanic seems to be going through a spot of inner turmoil." A thin finger stretched out to point towards the man being dragged along by a much-shorter-than-he Exile. "Curious, how frazzled our intrepid Exile is." The lips curved up into a smile as the long legs began marching forward. "Curious, how oddly suited they seem for each other."




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Old 10-26-2007, 11:38 AM   #173
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Kimber watched the mechanic as he headed for the lines of dazed people--slowly at first but then faster and faster until he was running at break neck speed. She frowned, then turned to Lane. "Was it something I said?" She quickly dismissed her confusion with a shake of her head. "Nevermind. Let's just go organise getting our fuel." Looking over her shoulder at Lane, she asked, "Are you coming?"

Seemingly without any difficulty, she started to head away from the lines of people and in the direction that the woman they had met earlier had said that the fuel depot was located. It wasn't that she didn't feel attracted to join any of the lines, (after all she was slightly curious about why the people were queuing in them,) but she just didn't feel compelled to join any of them. Greed? This wasn't the first job Kimber had taken for next to no money, so she certainly wasn't the least bit greedy. Gluttony? Her mother had taught her to take everything in moderation, and that's always what she did. Lust? She liked to explore, true, but wanderlust was more like extreme curiosity driven by boredom in her mind. Laziness? Please. Nothing ever got accomplished by sitting on one's backside. There was always something to do and one of her top-rated personal 'rules' was 'always finish the job.' And betrayal? She was a Corellian. Bravery and honour was paramount to her, as was indicated by the bloodstripe running down the length of each leg of her trousers. To betray one's comrades, co-workers, friends, or family was... well, it was the very worst thing a Corellian could do!

No, there was nothing that she had done in her life that she felt guilty about, or obsessed about, or really even had regrets about. Her main focus was her job. And just as it had somehow fallen to the mechanic to go and look for Tysy, it had fallen to her to find the fuel that they'd need to continue their journey.

So, as the mechanic had headed for the lines of people, she had headed for the fuel depot.


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Old 10-29-2007, 12:18 PM   #174
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"Zhal', zhal'!" the Exile cried to the mechanic as she dashed along, her hand in his. "I'm sorry! We must hurry, or else the last hope for the galaxy may be put out! Liquefied! Don't worry. I'll explain more if and when I find her." Tysy was running short of breath. She was sure the mechanic did not have a clue what she was talking about or to whom she was referring, but the Exile knew that it might well be too late already.

At the fuel depot, she saw several people resting on a bench near a great whirring tank, their echoes through the Force almost making her reel. So keen was their anguish, so complete their despair, that Tysyacha at first believed that they were being physically tortured by the dark currents of Malpenulte.

"Belaya!" Tysyacha called out. "Archivist Belaya? Are you here?"

"I am here," said a soft, deep female voice, shrinking in on itself. "I am waiting to be purified, here with all the others, but the Machine must prepare itself."

"Purified?" The Exile was confused. "If you wish that, why aren't you in line with all the others?" She turned her head back toward the winding queues.

"I have been deemed unworthy even for that," Belaya explained, her eyes full of the sacred detachment that the Jedi Order seemed to preach. "Blasphemy is the worst form of betrayal, and even you have not committed it. Deep in your heart, you still cling to the tenets of the Jedi Code. I do not, especially now that I know what it means to Mistress Shan, the Light of the Galaxy. For this, I must die, and die the death of the most ignoble criminal." She gestured to the tank. "I will become clean fuel, useful at last, for the Light's cause."
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:16 PM   #175
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Kimber was horrified at what she saw at the depot. People lined up to be vaporized into fuel?

"Eeew.... yuck!" Kimber shook her head, slowing backing away from the depot and the lines of people. "I'm not putting this fuel in my ship! And I don't care how environmentally friendly it is...."

Then she saw her Captain and the mechanic, talking with one of the potential 'fuel donors' near the beginning of the queue. "Erm... your ship," she corrected herself. "Hey, Spanner-boy!" She waved a hand at them, hoping that they would see her. "What the heck is going..."

Unfortunately, someone else saw her instead.

"...on?" A man's hand abruptly touched Kimber's shoulder. "You are early," she heard a man's voice say.

Slowly turned her head to see his face. "Early?"

"The machine has not yet finished the purification cycle." The man's eyes were glazed over, very similar to the woman they had first met that had said something about purification. "You will have to wait."

"Oh. Yeah, well, now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I really need fuel or not." Kimber started to back away slowly. "I think I probably have enough to get to where I'm going. Wherever that may be," she added under her breath. "But thank you so much for the information. I really hate waiting in line for...." She cast a nervous glance over her shoulder. There were queues of people everywhere. "...erm, stuff."

"You lack patience," the man said. "That is a sin."

"No." Kimber pressed her lips together. "That's a genetic trait for Corellians. You know, like Zeltrons are red?"

She grinned, then looked nervously over her shoulder. There seemed to be others gathering around her, with the same glazed look in their eyes. She was pretty confident that she could take down 5 or 6 of them, but any more than that and she was going to have a problem. "Lane?!" she called out, hoping that the near-human would be nearby to assist her in getting back to the ship. "Lane, I think it's time to go now!"


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Old 11-10-2007, 08:02 PM   #176
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Lane, buying some exotic-looking fruit from a local merchant, heard Kimber's plaintive shout. Pressing a few extra credit chits into the merchant's hand, Lane turned and darted quickly on long, lithe legs towards the Corellian pilot. Within moments, the enigmatic near-Human's sinewy body was interposed between Kimber and the approaching crowd.

"Kimber, what was that you said?" the lips asked as the eyes sized up the oncoming brute ahead.

Kimber was silent for a moment, surprised at Lane's swift arrival. "I said I think it's time to go," she replied, finally finding her voice.

"I think that is a good idea," the lips replied. Just as the lumbering man came upon them, Lane's hand quickly flashed out, stuffing a spiky, round fruit into his mouth. As the man staggered backward, Lane deftly stepped behind Kimber and cradled used long, spindly arms to cradle her up. Before she could register surprise on her face, Lane's legs had already churned forward and taken them meters away from the crowd of spellbound people.

Kimber turned to look behind them at their shrinking forms, then looked at Lane's face, only inches from hers. "How did you do that?" she asked breathlessly.

The lips curved up into a smile as the legs moved faster towards the Ebon Hawk.




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Old 11-11-2007, 03:17 PM   #177
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"Er...I don't think we need any fuel right now," stammered the Exile, "but we do need you. Belaya, if we prove to you that your 'purification' does not involve anything remotely related to being turned into fuel, will you stick with us instead of...the Machine?"

The Archivist nodded blankly, and without another word, the Exile grabbed her hand and gently but forcefully pulled her from the waiting bench. "If you're sure--madam--!"

Tysyacha, Belaya, and the stunned mechanic sped towards the Hawk, frenzied.
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:45 PM   #178
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He glanced to the side as he heard the call, his eyes the only part of him that moved. His ice blue gaze locked on Kimber, and then over her shoulder at the growing and approaching crowds. They would not be happy to find any of their group out of line for their 'purification', he knew that - and if they were, indeed, being controlled against their will, they would have no second thought if the time came to attack...or even kill. The thought of having to fight these people - no, not people, shells - regardless of whether or not they truly meant to kill them was enough to make him quiver. He had become so adverse to bloodshed...

He had been about to step forward to work his own against this Jedi before them, this Archivist, when Tysy herself launched forward and bodily dragged her off the bench. He paused, raising a slight eyebrow as he watched them take off. He knew that Tysy had always been strong...but that had been one hell of a pull. He must remember to ask her where she got her stims...

Breaking off into a flat-out run, he quickly caught up to the fleeing Jedi women, his ice blue eyes darting ahead to find the receding forms of their pilot and non-human crewmates. Sure that they were safe, at least for the moment, his attentions turned back to himself and the other two. They were just reaching the edge of the crowd of people, and he was feeling uneasy. Subconsciously, his human hand drifted over the left arm, his gloved fingers settling over the leather and tensing on the metal beneath. If it did come down to a fight...there were so many of them...

He glanced to the Archivist, with whom he was running level with now. He caught her eye for only a second, but it was enough. He could see the new light in her eyes. Their connection was established.

You know who I am. he directed to her, his eyes turning straight ahead as a blockade in the Force - subtly yet strong - hid their conversation from Tysy's knowledge.


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Old 11-12-2007, 07:41 PM   #179
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Back inside the Ebon Hawk, Kimber was starting up the engines. "I'm not even going to ask how you did that," she said to Lane as she scurried around the bridge, hurriedly flipping switches and levers to prep the ship for takeoff. "But thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

She plopped herself down in the pilot's seat and then flipped the view screen around to face the co-pilot's seat. "Here," she said. "You let me know when the Captain and the others are on board."

"Statement: If by the word 'others' you are referring to me and the diminutive mobile tin can that masquerades as an astromech droid, then 'the others' are on board."

Kimber turned to look over her shoulder at HK, and paused just long enough to raise a brow. "So glad," she said flatly. Turning back to Lane, she said, "Fuel or no fuel, the very second the Captain and Spanner are on board, we're out of here."

The engines now revving, her hand was poised on the throttle, ready to power up and take off.


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Old 11-12-2007, 09:13 PM   #180
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Sooner than a bantha could deposit its latest load of digested fodder on the ground, the Jedi Exile and so-called "Spanner Boy" boarded the Ebon Hawk with Archivist Belaya in heavy tow. Once they all settled into the cockpit and main hold for takeoff, the aging vessel bucked like an unwilling drexl larva against a novice rider, then shot upward. Everyone clenched their teeth hard.

"Irritated Statement: I highly suggest I pilot the ship next time, meatba--!"

At that moment, a flash of twin silver lightsabers cut HK-47's words short.

"You can't do that very efficiently without a head, can you, assassin droid?" snarled the Exile. "I'm sorry if any of you are going to miss his company, but as far as I'm concerned, we won't need HK until possibly Cocyta. Agreed?"

Snickers and smirks from the rest of the crew. Affirmative, Tysy mused.

Archivist Belaya slowly rose from her seat in the main hold, commanding everyone's full attention. "Why have you brought me here?" she asked, her voice almost whisper-soft and infinitely sad. "I will tell you what I know, presuming this is an interrogation, but all of you should have let me die."

Tysyacha also rose and took Belaya's hands in hers. "This is not a typical interrogation," said the Exile, "but rather something that could save us all."

"That could doom us all, betrayer," she answered. "Fuel rendering is the least-painful and most useful death I could ever serve. If Mistress Shan captures me--and us--rest assured we will be tortured slowly and then put to some more menial purpose. She will spend us all in her service for years..."

"This I promise you," said Tysy, "that I shall protect you with full strength."

"I believe it," answered Belaya, a smile starting to crease the corners of her parched lips, "but I also believe you are not strong enough to defeat or even face my Mistress. Not alone. The strength of many is required, and I am near my own end even as I speak to you. Thus, I shall tell you of the Jedi Code."

"Yeah, yeah, we know all that," complained someone, and then "Next"!

Tysy slapped a hand over her mouth in full-fledged shock. Not because she particularly loved or hated the Jedi Code, but Belaya only raised her palms.

"The Jedi Code means different things to the Light of the Galaxy than it does to other Knights. Masters shall fall before her teachings, and exiles. Let me tell you what each line contains, the death it shall cause, and the cleansing.

"There is no emotion; there is peace.

"Mistress Shan believes that emotion, passion, and feelings are all paths that can lead to the Dark Side. Thus, if she is to rid the galaxy of all evil, she must destroy that part of us that feels. Only the part that thinks must survive." Puzzled expressions from the crew. "She will purify our minds."

"There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.

"Without emotions and base lusts and instincts getting in the way, the many followers of Bastila Shan will have nothing but facts. Clear, mathematical facts that bring true happiness to the diseased beings of this galaxy. We will know all and understand all, and the mysteries of all philosophy shall be as child's play to us. Even the Jedi Code, which the greatest Masters have failed to grasp in all its essence, will be as simple as the alphabet to explain. No one will ever be ignorant or prejudiced or fearful after Bastila rules over all.

"There is no passion; there is serenity.

"Passion, as all Jedi know, inevitably leads to the Dark Side. Without our feelings and emotions to lead us to such passion, we will all be at peace. Who would not want this, would not yearn to forsake the inner struggle that rages within? There will be no Dark Side if there is no passion--only Light. Children will be born in true love, not in corrupt lust. This is sin, and evil. Why would murder exist, or hate, or even the pettiest jealousies? All are passion.

"There is no chaos; there is harmony.

"Not only is my Mistress a benevolent one, but also a lawful one. Chaos is not only disorder, the clutter of a messy cabin or the shout-filled clamor of Nar Shaddaa. It is war and anarchy, what happens when wild animals are set free in a civilized city. Chaos means the breaking apart of the family, the nation, the planet, and the very galaxy at its logical end. Under Law, things come together and unify themselves as one great entity, settling into calm order. This order is what the Light will bring, and riots will no longer erupt at all...

"There is no death; there is the Force.

"In Mistress Shan's new world, there shall be no death or even what the unlearned and uninitiated call 'executions'--only rendering unto the Force. Those who refuse its embrace shall be torn from it, but they shall not die, only live as empty shells of the beings they once were. Do you understand?"

Tysyacha did...and she wept.

The final piece of the puzzle has clicked into place.
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:00 AM   #181
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Along with the others, Kimber had stood and listened to Belaya explain Bastila Shan's version of the Jedi Code. Of course Kimber had heard of the Jedi Code, but she really hadn't paid it much thought. After all, she wasn't a Jedi.

Now, hearing Belaya's words, Kimber began to think about it. And the more she thought, the more disenchanted with the idea of 'Jedi' she became. I always suspected that the Jedi weren't playing with a full deck. No wonder Tysy left the order and became an exile.

As Tysy began to weep, Kimber moved towards her and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Looks like we've got our work cut out for us, Cap'n," she said. "'Cause I for one do not want to end up as a feelingless, passionless, rule-following automaton." She frowned a bit, and then glanced askance at the headless assassin droid laying in a heap in the corner. And then she gave a mock shiver. "One per ship is enough, don't you agree?"

She looked at Belaya then. "This master Shan, for all of her knowledge of Jedi and lightsabers and using the Force and so on and so forth, has missed one very important, very crucial thing about life in general. Conflict. You can't have the good without the bad. I mean, how would you quantify 'good' if there was no 'evil' to compare it to? There has to be evil in the universe, otherwise, what's the point of being good? What's the point of being at all? And isn't that the essence of the Force? Life itself and all the conflicts and heartaches and joys and triumphs it offers?"

She looked at the mechanic and then Lane. "We have to stop Bastila. We might not have the strength of numbers behind us, but we've got brains, will, and a fair amount of ingenuity and lateral thinking. We may not win, but we have to try." She grinned. "After all, that's the point of life, isn't it? Trying? Experimenting? Exploring? Maybe between the five of us...," She looked at Belaya, who was looking rather confused. "Yes, that means you, too," Kimber said to her. "We can come up with a way to either, one, convince this Bastila Shan that she's wrong and make her clean up her own mess, or, two, stop her from completing her warped idea of converting the Universe into a load of mindless zombies."

She squeezed Tysy's shoulder. "We have to try. Besides," she added with a grin, "we have to go on to Cocyta now. We don't have enough fuel to get back."


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Old 12-03-2007, 07:56 PM   #182
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He looked out the viewscreen, watching the blue lights of the wormhole flood across and around the ship, constantly shifting and warping as they painted different patterns across the durasteel cockpit. His hands were folded behind his back, his legs spread shoulder-width, in military fashion. He looked...very at home in his position, as if he had always belonged there.

"This is it, then." he said, smiling ever so faintly, no mirth in the expression. His eyes, usually kept carefully void of emotion, were tinted with a grim sadness now. The sense of a nearing end to their path was overwhelming...and rather ominous. "We either die or succeed. There is no retreat."

How often had he been in this position before? How often had he put others in this position, both in his command and out? So often he had risked the lives of those who loved him, of those who trusted and admired him...he had put them before him so very, very often, when he himself should have stepped forward.

Allowing his hands to fall to his sides, he lifted them to rest on the dash of the Hawk, now hunched over it ever-so-slightly. His eyes still didn't leave the screen. "Whatever happens..." he said softly, "I want you all to stay out of the way when we finally find and face down Bastila." his eyes flashed with a hard, steely determination that hadn't been there before. "Leave her to me."


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Old 12-05-2007, 06:30 PM   #183
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"Really?" A quiet, coldly sly question from Tysy. "You'll have to get past me first. Please remember, I'm a Jedi, the Exile Tysyacha Odnova. I have the power of the Force behind me, while you have--what? A hydrospanner?" Tysy turned around.
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:39 PM   #184
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He snorted a single, mirthless laugh. "You always were easy to fool, Syscha." he murmured under his breath, his voice so low that he wasn't sure if any other person in the cockpit had heard him. He straightened up again, still not turning to face the other occupants, his eyes still glued to the view screen.

"I have far more power behind me and over her than you could even imagine, Exile." he said softly. "Trust me. When this all comes to an end, you're going to want me there. Just leave her to me - I can handle things."

How long has it been and you haven't even a suspicion, Exile? Could I have faded so deeply into your memories...? The thought was both a comfort and a pain. A comfort to know that he hadn't caused her nearly as much pain as he had feared, and the pain to know that...perhaps he hadn't meant as much to her as he had thought.


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Old 12-05-2007, 10:11 PM   #185
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Tysyacha felt a faint stirring in three places: her mind, her heart, and a private one, physically felt and yet known in the soul. How long had it been since such strong words, such a promise of power and protection, had truly moved her? Certainly not since Atton--strange, since she had not felt "the fool" in the Force lately--but this, this was much more than a wisecracking pazaak player could ever say, Force or no.

She heard a sigh and felt a warm, heightening glow. Reveal me, apprentice. Now.

Reluctantly, but only halfway so, Tysyacha reached into a fold of her long robe and brought out the holocron of Traya, a cube infused with saving darkness. "Yes?" This was it--the moment of either damnation or acceptance, fragmentation or forgiveness.
"What do you wish me to do, Traya?" One second beat by, then two, three, four...

"Who are you?" asked the Lady of Betrayal finally. "By what name are you known?"

A slow smile spread across the Exile's lovely face, shadowed red in the light from the holocron. "You already know," she said to Traya's presence in the cube, "and as for her, the Light of the Galaxy, she will meet her end at the hands of Miss Odnova. There is only one who could stop me now, who could turn me back from this duty, and he is not here. He alone knows who I was then, and who I still could be. Alas, he has chosen to wander hidden from the eyes of man and droid, so I am Odnova, still."

She closed her hand around the holocron of Traya and turned to the crew. "Bastila doesn't know what's coming," she hissed, "or whom. We shall turn her back from the dream of turning the galaxy into a formless white void, all of us, but it is I who shall strike the final blow, if it comes to that. Agreed?" Tysy ignited her silver sabers.
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Old 12-08-2007, 01:15 AM   #186
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He gritted his teeth slightly, wishing that he could get Tysy to stand down...but, at the same time, knowing that to do that he would have to give away more than he was at liberty to reveal at that point. And so, he bit back his initial response, allowing his head to drop a bit, almost ducking away from the flashing, dizzying lights. He sighed lightly, knowing that the argument would be a losing one.

"Very well." he said softly, "But on one condition." he turned to look at the others, finally, his eyes moving at once from Lane to Kimber to the Archivist and finally to the Exile, his blue eyes hard and commanding full attention. When he caught each of their gazes, they would find it quite hard to look away. "When I tell you to get out of the way, I mean get out of my way. I don't want you all to become liabilities."

In truth, he didn't think that things would have to come to a 'final blow' - if he had his way, he wouldn't allow the fight to get anywhere near that intensity. But, should it come to that last strike...he wasn't sure that he would be able to bring himself to deliver it. Her chocolate brown eyes were in his mind, watching him with a soft expression from years in the past. He had fought those eyes before. But...would he be able to duplicate the act?


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Old 12-08-2007, 01:26 AM   #187
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Tysy deactivated her sabers and lay them crossed at the mechanic's feet in a formal gesture of surrender--that of a Mandalorian, not a slave or a coward. "I accept. I also have one request of you, not that I'm in a position to demand anything. If I'm going to duel this threat, this Dark Side marauder who thinks she's Light, then I'd like to have my lightsabers upgraded. I...was never much for repairing things," she mumbled softly.

The Exile turned to the rest of the crew. "I apologize. My passions overtook me."
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:37 PM   #188
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He grinned faintly, resisting the urge to pick up the sabers without using his hands, settling instead for bending to pick them up. He twirled each once in his hand, examining the hilt and the plating that made it up. Nodding slowly, his grin became somewhat softer as he addressed the Exile once more.

"Upgrades can be made," he said, "And fairly easily at that. Did you construct these yourself? They're quite well done." He crossed slowly towards the exit of the cockpit, weaving between the others as he continued to examine the sabers. "What are you looking to have done with it?"


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Old 12-13-2007, 10:35 AM   #189
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As the 'no-name mechanic' brushed by her, examining Tsys's lightsabers in his hands, Kimber exchanged a guarded look with Lane.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa... wait just a minute here," she said, laying a hand on the mechanic's shoulder. "Upgrades?" she asked him. "Hey, Lane and I can tinker about with droids and machinery as much as the next spacer, not nearly as good as you, obviously, but enough to probably get something working. But lightsaber upgrades? I don't have even the foggiest clue about how a lightsaber can be upgraded." Her eyes narrowed slightly. "And neither should just a regular ship's 'mechanic', unless there was some sort of 'Jedi equipment maintenance home-study/correspondence course' that you took," she added, sounding suspicious. "Now, I'm not accusing you of being something that you're not, but if we are going to take down this Bastila person, everyone here needs to trust each other. Completely. So, spill it, Spanner-boy. Just where did you learn your 'Jedi' repair skills?"

Her brow raised inquiringly as she waited for him to answer.


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Old 12-13-2007, 05:19 PM   #190
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He froze as he felt the pilot's hand on him, his shoulders stiffening even further with her question. Damn it all! How could he have been so foolish? So eager to finalize this battle, to put some sort of surety to their future and then escape the presence of the others before they got too suspicious, he had been completely oblivious to the implications that him upgrading the Exile's sabers would have. This...was going to take some quick thinking.

After a moment, the mechanic relaxed, his shoulders falling from their stiffened position. "I suppose you wouldn't believe me if I told you that I was just planning to play around with them until I figured it out?" he asked over his shoulder, a small grin on his face. He didn't wait for a reply to his rhetorical question, and instead turned around to face them. The grin, now that it was in full view, was really rather...sad. "Well...alright. The truth is that...well, I fought in the Mandalorian Wars." he said, his confession ringing true. His face fell even further, his eyes suddenly far away as he stared at the floor. "I served under Revan himself."


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Old 12-16-2007, 02:39 PM   #191
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Tysyacha's suddenly-wobbling knees buckled underneath her. She hadn't been prepared for such an admission. Revan himself? He was a servant of Light now according to the Jedi and their near-flawless archives, plus a heavy dose of rumor. However, during the Mandalorian Wars, Revan had been a Sith and a monster. How could this mechanic have survived, unless he was not there during that final battle?

"How did you survive?", whispered the Exile. "Were you not at Malapyatiy--?! She blushed for a split second and cleared her throat. "Malapyatiy. Malachor V. It's my own personal shorthand for that planet--my personal shorthand for horror. Your loyalty to Revan must have been without question. Otherwise you would have died, like I would have if I had not severed my ties to the Force. Please--tell me." Her lips, quivering halfway like a child's and halfway like a woman's, were open, panting.
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Old 12-18-2007, 04:40 PM   #192
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His jaw flexed, his teeth clenched together. His human hand curled unconsciously into a fist while the mechanical tightened around the lightsabers. He blinked slowly, his eyes distant and hard as they left the Exile, returning to the durasteel plating of the floor. He took a slow breath before closing his eyes, his voice soft and sounding...rather defeated. "I was with Revan on his ship orbiting Malachor. I...I watched the entire planet - and over a thousand of my comrades - die, while I stood helplessly by, unable to turn my general's mind." Real pain flashed in his eyes. "It was...a living nightmare."


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Old 01-15-2008, 07:52 PM   #193
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"I can imagine," said Tysy softly, but then a paralyzing sense of foreboding washed over her. "Is it--as much of a living nightmare as we face right now? According to the viewport of this vessel, we're being pulled into the atmosphere of Cocyta. Just like it was a ship itself, with a giant tractor beam that sucked anything and everything into it!" There it was, the white world, dead and gleaming as any of Tatooine's moons. It was coming closer, or rather they were coming closer, and dread filled the Exile...
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:08 PM   #194
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He looked over his shoulder, past the Exile, to the glowing surface of the nearing planet with a rather hard look taking the place of the pain that had been there previously. "I'm sure that what is awaiting us on the planet's surface is hardly as fearsome as Malachor. You yourself should know that much, Exile." And with that, he turned to tend to the lightsabers in his hand. It would seem that his illusion would survive another hour...but it was quickly growing tiresome. Soon enough, though, it would be beyond pointless to go on, pretending that he was someone he wasn't. Or rather...let them believe he was.


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