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Thread: Shadows of the Republic - The Price of Freedom

  1. #1
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    Tionne Thanewulf's Avatar
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    Jedi Shadows of the Republic - The Price of Freedom

    26 BBE, aboard The Incessant, a Corporate Sectory Authority Marauder-class corvette somewhere within Spangled Veil Nebula

    The mesmerizing blues of the nebula dominated the viewport spanning over the entirety of a wall in a spacious briefing room aboard The Incessant, particles of gas randomly fluxing through the vacuum, their haphazard motion disturbed by the ship set afloat amidst them. It was a calming sight Tionne could observe for hours, expending endless effort to try to divulge the pattern of this celestial play. Long streaks of azure substance squirmed around the hull, wrapping the vessel into a crystalline haze that ever so conveniently kept it out of plain sight. The notoriety of nebulas as starship graveyards kept any curious intruders out; the covert nature of the operation required secrecy and subtlety above all, with only a few people outside of the Jedi Council and the Chancellor’s office knowing of the mission and it’s aim. Despite Tionne’s wish to work alone, she had been assigned with a few other colleagues, mainly due to concern of her Master regarding the peril that lay ahead. Thanewulf had just recently learned of her weakness – her inability to heal herself in the Force – but did not want escort nevertheless.

    She believed one could talk their way out of any conflict without having to resort to saberwork, provided a person was mentally equipped for such a venture. As long as she stayed out of situations where Tionne would even need to think of visiting Jedi Healers afterwards, she would do just fine. Apparently, her superiors thought otherwise.

    The redhead rummaged through her leather jacket as she leaned back in the tall seat at the head of an oblong black table. Upon finding her pipe, she allowed herself the luxury of lighting it; soon enough, sweet-scented smoke encompassed her, enticing a deep sigh. Nervously biting on the tip of it, Tionne gathered her thoughts and readied herself to debrief her fellow Jedi once they arrived. The pipe, however, would remain lit, regardless to any objections they could possibly have. Thanewulf was far from perfect, thus they needed to accept her as such.

  2. #2
    There was something peaceful about the nebula; more so even than the vast silence of Hyperspace. In amongst the amorphous azure clouds, gases swirled and collided and compressed, twisting and tightening into the birth of stars. Through the Force he reached out, marvelling at the beauty and order of the natural world, as it guided an act of pure creation. Aside from the fifty or so souls that shared occupancy aboard their ship, he was alone with the universe; and though the experience of unity with the Force was something he would not experience until his mortal coil unwound its last, this was close enough to that blissful eventuality to fill him with hope, and tranquility.

    The calm sea that was his mind rippled, waves distorting the surface as a rude interuption burst into his consciousness. "Yo, 'yos."

    Frustration wrapped itself around his mind as the words filtered through his senses, tearing him away from his meditative spectical, and crashing him back to reality. He willed a wave of calm to wash over him, the tide in sync with his gentle breaths. Carefully, he peeled his eyes open, regarding the figure that stood before him. Unlike Inyos, who dressed in the iconic and traditional robes of the Jedi Order, the Padawan - identifiable as such only by the braid that draped from his scruff of blonde hair and over his shoulder - was adorned in some sort of treated animal hide, stained to a mix of emerald shades, and polished to a glossy sheen. The ensemble was as unorthadox as the man who wore it and, while Inyos regarded his fellow Padawan with respect and perhaps even friendship, there was so much about him that infuriated Inyos' traditionalist views.

    "Mandan," he stated, voice calm and neutral save for the slightest faint trace of a frustrated and scathing tone, "I trust you have just cause for this interruption."

    Fingers scratching at the nape of his neck, Mandan cocked his head to one side, clearly processing the needlessly thesaurian words that Inyos had chosen. Whether he established a successful translation or not, his response would no doubt have been the same. "Tionne wants to give us the run-down on the plan," he revealed, jerking his thumb over his shoulder in the approximate direction of the ship's briefing room.

    With measured pace, Inyos rose from his kneeling pose, carefully smoothing out the front of his robe. "You should probably adopt a more respectful form of address," he critiqued, fixing Mandan with a disapproving look that he had no doubt been rehersing for when he had a Padawan of his own. "She passed her trials; she is a fully-fledged Knight now, and you should show proper deference to her seniority."

    Mandan's eyebrows contorted, scepticism on his features. "A few months ago, she was just a Padawan too. A fancy new title, and suddenly she's meant to be better than us?"

    Unleashing the faintest of sighs, Inyos offered an almost imperceptable shake of his head. "She has always been better than you, Mandan," he muttered. His expression turned mildly contemplative. "Perhaps if you could learn when to keep that mouth of yours closed, it would make for a more noteworthy achievement."

    Without saying anything further, Inyos stepped past the other Padawan, and strode off calmly down the corridor. Mandan faltered in the doorway a few moments longer, frowning deeply before setting off in pursuit at a quicker pace. "I know I was just insulted," he called out, "But whatever language it was you used, it sure as hell didn't sound like Basic."

  3. #3
    Irkhaniel Feskin
    Irkhaniel Feskin was now thirty-four galactic standard years old, and did not feel a day over the age of his padawan, twelve year old Istina Ch'fer. A strange feeling of happiness swelled within him at the expression of wide-eyed wonder at the news he had just told her; he wanted to laugh, but instead, he smiled warmly.

    “Five?” Istina asked, eyes wide. “Isn't that too many for an investigation?”

    “It does seem so, doesn't it?” Jedi Master Irkhaniel Feskin nodded, though he was not nearly so serious as his padawan. “Well, if the allegations are correct, the slavery ring extends deeper into the Republic than any had thought previously. Something of this scope would undoubtedly need more than the usual complement.”

    Istina nodded, her master's logic making sense to her, though there was still a sense of curiosity as to the need of five or more Jedi on a single investigation, and some confusion as to what some of the words he'd just used meant.

    “It's a very political scandal, Istina, and the Jedi are as pressed by politics as politicians themselves, though it may seem otherwise. If we are to redress this lack of our duty to the Republic, we must do so quickly.” Irkhaniel grinned. “And though quality beats quantity, quantity has a quality all its own.”

    Istina giggled at the lame attempt at humour while unconsciously memorizing the line. It wasn't hard to collect herself and ask the next pressing question to enter her not quite thirteen year old head, Irkhaniel noticed. “Do you know any of the others on this assignment?”

    Irkhaniel nodded. “Though only a few times, I have met Knight Thanewulf while she was a young girl learning at the Temple. She is a talented young woman with a bright future ahead of her, though she is not without her faults.”

    “How old is she?” Istina fired back as quickly as she could. Irkhaniel chuckled.

    “I believe she is nineteen or twenty; she's just passed her Trials this year, so this mission will be a good test of her abilities.”

    “Is that why the Council assigned you to the in... invest... investigation? To kinda help her along or something?”

    “Or something, Padawan. I'm sure Knight Thanewulf will acquit herself well. And the Council assigned us. We are a team now, Istina.” Irkhaniel dropped his smile the slightest bit and looked her in the eyes to reinforce that sentiment.

    Istina smiled and nodded, still retaining some of that happy glow she'd had since he had asked her if she wished to be his padawan learner. Still bubbling inside, her eyes widened as she saw the door leading to the briefing room.

    “There it is!” she gasped. However her exuberance was swiftly drawn in at the sight of two young men walking towards them from the opposite direction. One looked very serious, and was dressed in garments that matched his own tan and brown Jedi robes and tunic. The other was dressed in shiny dark green garments the Master could swear he'd never seen on a Jedi before. There was a deep chord of sadness in the young man though that Irkhaniel could see, and he felt a pang in his soul that such hurt could exist within a being of light as the Padawan who was smiling brightly before him.

    “I believe you must be our partners for this mission,” he said. He bowed. “I am Irkhaniel Feskin, and this is my padawan, Istina.”

    The young girl looked scared as the young men's eyes went her way and she fidgeted with her sleeves as she bowed self-consciously.

  4. #4
    Mandan Hidatsa
    So, this was a Marauder-class Corvette, huh? Mandan didn't mean to criticise its designers, or its owners, but it certainly looked more impressive on the outside than it did on the inside. The corridors and quarters were all cramped and boring; spartan and utilitarian, rather than the elegant and comfortable designs that were more familiar on Republic vessels. He supposed it was a ship very much dedicated to its task, with little room nor time dedicated to anything but that objective. Republic ships were a thousand and one things, all at once - warships, patrol ships, couriers, transports, diplomatic vessels; more besides. This ship regarded its role with single-minded, determined focus.

    Attention span sending his mind off to wander around those notions for a while, Mandan was caught by surprise when Inyos drew to a halt. The sudden appearence of a man and a small girl compounded his confusion; as was the fact that Inyos was practically tripping over himself trying to offer over-excited and gleeful greetings - at least, as close to 'over-excited' and 'gleeful' that the uptight and seemingly emotionless Inyos ever managed.

    "Master Feskin," Inyos saluted, his own bow notably deeper than the elder Jedi's had been, as a sign of greater respect. "It is an honour to meet you." He shifted the motion ever so slightly, less effort placed into the gesture he cast towards Feskin's young Padawan. "And you, Istina."

    In all honesty, Mandan didn't have a clue who the man before him was: the name didn't strike any sort of chord in his memory, despite the fact that Inyos' reaction suggested it probably should have. Then again, Inyos was the sort of person obsessive enough to have memorised the biographies of every Jedi Knight who had passed the Trials in the past few hundred years, so him recognising someone that Mandan didn't was no surprise.

    The nod that he offered in greeting was curt, but respectful. "Master," he echoed, not having been paying enough attention to the man or to Inyos to have caught his name. Through the living Force with which he was so intimately attuned, he felt the tremors of discomfort emanating from the young girl as she shifted awkwardly under their gaze. His features softened, a gentle smile blooming on his face. "Hey there, little one," he said warmly. "I'm Mandan Hidatsa, and this anal-retentive lump of Jedi right here -" He clapped a hand onto his companion's shoulder for emphasis. "- is Inyos Aamoran. We're both very glad to see you."

    Mandan took a small shred of satisfaction at the wiff of frustration that crept into Inyos' aura, but to the Guardian's credit he quelled it quickly, not allowing it to influence him at all. "We should no doubt make our way to the briefing; no doubt Mistress Thanewulf would prefer not to be kept waiting."

    He gestured towards the path before them, offering the Jedi Master the option to go first. Mandan meanwhile shot a subtle wink in Istina's direction. "See what I mean?" he teased, just loud enough so he knew that Inyos would hear. The Guardian ignored him; unphased by his apparent failure to provoke a response, Mandan simply fell into step beside the young one. "I don't get to go to many briefings like this," he offered casually, feigning inexperience in an attempt at reassurance. "Think there'll be a buffet?"

  5. #5
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    Rossos Atrapes's Avatar
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    Last edited by Rossos Atrapes; Oct 6th, 2009 at 10:59:30 AM. Reason: Wrong account. >.<

  6. #6
    Irkhaniel Feskin
    “Hi,” Istina chirped, and fell into embarrassed silence once more, as if afraid she'd done something wrong with that single word. Irkhaniel could feel a sort of confused awe from her that the older padawan could act so comfortably in the presence of a Master.

    Irkhaniel felt very grateful to the young padawan – Hidatsa – for his willingness and gentle demeanour in helping calm Istina down. He knew well enough that for her first mission with him, she was still very much nervous and eager to prove herself to him. So he 'ignored' the byplay between those two padawans, and focussed on the third, Aamoran.

    Think there'll be a buffet?” Hidatsa asked.

    “I don't know,” Istina replied with all the seriousness of a child. Still, she felt much better about her lack of experience when there was another, much older Padawan who didn't have much experience either. “I hope so. I wasn't very hungry before, but I feel like I could eat a whole bantha right now!”

    “Will there be more coming, Padawan Aamoran?” Irkhaniel asked quietly, joy surging within him once more at the sound of his student becoming less anxious. It would serve her well, if things went as he feared they would; she'd be exposed to a side of the galaxy he'd like to have waited to show her.

    The smell of tabacc smoke filled his nostrils, and the Master took a second to enjoy the fragrance. He never smoked himself, but he'd been exposed to many different kinds while hunting down an artefact that seemed to make rounds through a number of mystical orders that enjoyed using incense and other such things to aid their meditations. Sadly, he'd never found it, but had found something far different and much more traumatising.

    Knight Thanewulf was looking a bit anxious herself, he noted. She looked up quickly, and he smiled.

    “I am sorry we made you wait, Knight Thanewulf,” He said and bowed once more. “There were some things I needed to take care of before making my way here that I considered to be too important to wait.”

    He didn't say that those things were in fact the ceremonial tying of Istina's padawan braid in the transport on the way to the corvette they were on now, which had not been finished until just a few minutes ago. He'd added a lock of his own hair as they wove the strands together, and they had finished by imbuing the braid with the Force; it would be a physical symbol of their bond. While they had been celebrating the first act of their partnership, he'd told her about the mission they'd been sent on. She'd been brimming with questions, but had held off in a remarkable show of self-restraint until they had started to make their way to the briefing room.

    Now Istina was having trouble containing her curiosity over the first girl Jedi she'd seen since becoming his padawan, and keeping her attention on the nice boy, Hidatsa. Amusement flowed through him as he felt her feelings towards the older padawan take a slight turn towards fascination.
    Last edited by Irkhaniel Feskin; Nov 2nd, 2009 at 01:16:57 AM. Reason: BUMP!


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