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Thread: Questions and Answers

  1. #1

    Challenge Questions and Answers

    He'd felt it again that day.

    A revulsion, a visceral hate that left him almost breathless. At least, he thought it was hate. He wasn't sure, but it was extremely negative to his senses.

    And he felt it every time Knight Iscandar saw him.

    If he was being honest, it wasn't every time she saw him. Thinking back, he realised that she would get a hold of herself as their interactions in class progressed. And she never acted on her hate in the slightest way. Still, for his burgeoning empathetic talent, the knowledge that one of his teachers hated him was something of a punch to the gut. What had he done?

    Khoovi, being only a pup, knew he didn't have the experience to really understand what was going on. So he looked at the situation from a more removed point of view. Did it matter? She did not seem to treat him any differently from the other cadets.

    Did she?

    Khoovi needed a wider pool of information, and that required research.

    "Excuse me," he said. "I have a question for you, if you don't mind."

  2. #2
    We'll never let you get away
    with this, Gunray!

    Ho ho ho! Foolish children!
    There is nothing you can do
    to stop me!

    That's what you think! Youth
    Troopers, let's show him what
    we're made of! Order!





    The YOUTH TROOPERS activate their power bracelets, and their multicolored light combines to form a luminous figure...

    By your powers combined, I

    BAASTIAN ignites his lightsaber.

    Captain Empire!!!

    Baastian Cain had started reading the script with his chin resting on his thumb and forefinger, propped up on his desk by his elbow, with an attitude of reserved interest. By the second act, he'd shifted his index finger to massage his temple in an attempt to ward off an oncoming headache. By the halfway mark, his face had sunk halfway into his palm, as if trying to hide from the awfulness. Now he was scrolling through the climax as quickly as possible so he could inform Lieutenant Heward that yes, he had read the pilot for that new youth holoseries she was so excited about, and no, he didn't think he'd be able to make it into a sound studio later this week for a reading.

    He was beginning to despair of even making it that far when he heard Khoovi's small, carefully articulated voice from his office's open door. He quickly sat himself up straight in his seat, fumbling the datapad on his desk with a clatter, and swept it into a pile of loose flimsis.

    "Oh! Yes. Of course, Cadet." He motioned to the empty seat on the other side of his desk and meshed his gloved fingers together. The Coruscant skyline shimmered in the window behind him. "What's on your mind?"

  3. #3
    He'd set up a list of questions in his mind. Thought out, succinct, and clear questions; ones he'd ask and that would be understood and give him some clarity and understanding before he bit the blaster and spoke to Knight Iscandar herself.

    But now, faced with the approachable and least fearsome face of the Knights (at least to the students), his mind was blank.

    He stepped into the office and jumped when the door slid closed behind him.

    "I, uh," he paused, gathered himself, and spoke again. "What is hate?"

    He stopped, and frowned. That was not the question he wanted to ask Knight Cain. That was a question for Knight Vissica.

    "I mean, what does it feel like? I have a problem, but I need to understand it first before I can solve it."

  4. #4
    For a brief moment of insanity, Baastian considered seizing the datapad from its flimsi tomb, pointing to it, and saying, This, right here. See this? This is what it feels like.

    He blinked that fantasy away. Khoovi's was a serious and inquiring young mind, and he wouldn't ask such a question without a good reason.

    "That's... Wow. That's a hell of a question."

    He paused, wondering if he should probe further. Hate was a troubling subject for someone as young as Khoovi to be pondering at length.

    "I guess... thinking about the sort of things I hate? There's a sense of fundamental wrongness. Things like... anarchy. Exploitation of innocent people. Injustice. Hate looks at something and says, 'this shouldn't be.'"

    He frowned even as he spoke, because he sensed that this wasn't the kind of hate a young alien in the Imperial capital was most likely to encounter. "Are you asking about your own feelings, or someone else's?"

  5. #5
    Khoovi kept Baastian's gaze solidly, his ears askew.

    "A fundamental wrongness?" he asked aloud. He pondered that for a second, but didn't answer his instructor's question. "How does it feel to be hated?"

  6. #6
    Unpleasant memories surfaced in Baastian's mind. A young insurgent spitting on his boots while being dragged off in stuncuffs in view of his family. A captured adept staring in silent fury from her cell, dead the next day after using the Force to stop her own heart. A rogue Dark Sider, mad and slavering like an animal, clawing impotently for Baastian's throat even after his other three limbs had been severed.

    "It's sad," he replied. "It's like a force field between you and the other person. No matter how you might want to relate to them, even to help them, you can't do a thing until they drop their shields."

    Internally he put his previous answer together with this one, and found himself in a precarious position. He hoped Khoovi would help make sense of these questions soon.

    "Hating a thing is different from hating a person. Injustice will always be injustice. But even an unjust person can change, given time and the right opportunities."

    He.... wasn't making this better, was he?

  7. #7
    Khoovi frowned. For all his efforts, Knight Cain wasn't making this better.

    "I feel as if I am being assaulted," he began. "I feel sick. I feel revolt... no... revult? Revulse? As if I am some sort of... I don't... I can't..."

    Khoovi took a breath. Even remembering the breadth and passion of Knight Iscandar's emotion made him feel ill, like he couldn't breathe.

    "I feel like I can't breathe."

    Khoovi opened his eyes. He hadn't been aware that he'd closed them.

    "Is that hate?"

  8. #8
    And now Baastian's reserve of personal experiences failed. He couldn't identify with what Khoovi was describing, but it troubled him greatly.

    "Khoovi, who is making you feel this way?"

  9. #9
    He only debated for a small moment whether he should try and keep the secret from Knight Cain; but he'd already made that decision from the moment he'd started speaking to the man.

    "Knight Iscandar."

    The Shistavanen took a deep breath.

    "I don't think she can control it. She apologised to me. I'm going to talk to her. I just needed to talk about this with others first."

  10. #10
    "Damn." It wasn't said as quietly as he'd hoped. Shouldn't have been said at all. But suddenly that Captain Empire script wasn't looking so bad. This conversation had just become a minefield of feelings and confidences, and Baastian didn't know which would blow up in his face first.

    After a moment's silence, he pivoted in his chair and rose to his feet, trying to lay out his thoughts against a city skyline criscrossed with threads of airborne speeder traffic. Then he took a deep breath and turned back toward the small Shistavanen cadet.

    "She apologized? So she's aware of what's happening, how it's affecting you?"

    He let out a deep breath, eyebrows sinking like sunlit clouds. "Knight Iscandar is a difficult person to relate to. Even for her fellow Knights, she's a closed book. But if I know anything about her at all, I know that she does not want to make you feel this way."

    And he really did believe that. If only because she would never want a cadet to know anything about her inner life, even if she did hate him.

    "You have unusually strong empathetic tendencies," he said. A statement, not a question - he'd read all the cadets' casefiles. "Have you felt anything similar from anyone else? Anything else... that intense?"

  11. #11
    He shook his head.

    "There's a similar sort of feeling from her when she speaks to Cadet Redsun. Not nearly as powerful. But I can't remember a time when there was anything like this."

  12. #12
    Redsun... freshman honor roll at the Academy of Carida, a family of career military officers, a real Old Boys' new boy. Baastian could see how he might have earned Palara's disdain, even unintentionally. But Khoovi? He was about as inoffensive a student as you could ask for. It was hard to imagine anyone hating him. Overlooking, underestimating, patronizing, maybe, but hating?

    He couldn't explain it, and he wasn't going to try. But the poor cadet needed some kind of reassurance, that was plain. Baastian walked around the side of his desk and leaned against the edge.

    "You know, we talk a lot about controlling emotions, but it's not that simple. There are some feelings that we can't control. They may not be rational, they may not even be reasonable, but they're there. I couldn't order you to stop being bothered by what you're sensing from Lady Iscandar. And whatever she's feeling, that she's sending these signals... well, I'm sure it bothers her, too."

    He swung one leg over the corner of the desk and sat there, hand propped on his knee. "Are you afraid it'll effect your evaluations in her classes?"

  13. #13
    "At first, yes." Khoovi nodded. There was a sense of relief in him now. He felt looser, less tense. That meant the next few conversations would be a little easier, which was why he'd decided to speak to Knight Cain first. "But I haven't seen any abnormally low or unjust marks from her. And she hasn't asked me to leave. This isn't a complaint, sir. I just need to understand."

    He leaned back in his seat, only to jerk forward not a second later.

    "You — you won't tell her about this, will you?" he asked. "I can only imagine how difficult this is going to be right now. If she's annoyed or angry with me for talking about her before I even get to talk to her..."

  14. #14
    "If that's what you want," Baastian said, eyebrows knitting. Despite what he'd just said, Knights were responsible for keeping their feelings in check. If this... reaction, whatever it was, Palara was having to Khoovi started to affect her duties, Baastian would have no choice but to confront her about it.

    "But I think it's also a good idea that you don't discuss Lady Iscandar with anyone else, either. At least not until you've had a chance to clear the air with her. If you need my help when the time comes, just... just let me know."

    His offer was sincere. But he was just as sincerely hoping Khoovi wouldn't take him up on it. Baastian was self-aware enough to realize that sometimes his straight-to-the-point perspective was more harm than help in complicated matters like this. Also he really didn't want Palara mad at him. Again.

    "And, Khoovi? Whatever's going on here... It's not your fault."

  15. #15
    The cadet nodded in understanding.

    "I will need to talk with others, but admitting that Knight Iscandar can't stand the sight of me to the whole Citadel is just asking for trouble."

    Khoovi grinned wryly, fangs peeking out from his muzzle.

    "...And I think that Knight Iscandar might appreciate it more if I approach her by myself."

    He stood.

    "Thank you for speaking with me," he said. "I should be going. No sense in holding off."

  16. #16
    Baastian stood as well, feeling relieved. "Good luck, Cadet. And may the Force be with you."

    After he'd left and disappeared into the lifts at the end of the hall, Baastian hissed through his teeth. "You're gonna need it, kid."

  17. #17
    One down.

    How many more to go?

    Khoovi shook his head and firmed himself. No way he was turning back now. This, however...

    This one might be the most difficult of them all. Aside from Iscandar herself, that is.

    He pressed the alarm button, and could hear it going off from behind the doors. Not here, maybe...?

  18. #18
    TheHolo.Net Poster

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    Matatek Sel Vissica's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
    Where the Empress commands

    The heavy clamshell doors hissed wide with a clank, revealing Lady Vissica in her spartan quarters. She rose from her haunches, placing a fine-toothed brush on a shelf with a few meager personal effects. Normally never seen without her armored cuirass, bracers, and greatsaber, all of her effects were neatly stowed at the back of the room.

    "Cadet Khoovi."

    Vissica took a stride, squaring to greet her guest.

    "What do you want?"

  19. #19
    Marshalling his will, the preteen Shistavanen stepped into Vissica's domain and felt the doors close behind him. The sound was, if anything ominous.

    "Knight Vissica," Khoovi began. As with Cain, he'd imagined himself saying a litany of things, making sure of his words and meanings, before entering. And as with Cain, those preparations completely flew out of his brain the second the Imperial Knight spoke. "What is hate?"

  20. #20
    TheHolo.Net Poster

    Death to the enemies of the Empress is mandatory. Pants are optional.

    Has been a member for 5 years or longer
    Matatek Sel Vissica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Where the Empress commands
    The Knight's expression didn't change, save for her small ears briefly perking before they relaxed.

    "Hate is a state of emotion, driven by passion and opposition."

    She highly doubted the Cadet had come to her lair for an academic understanding such as this. Vissica's tail slid along the floor ponderously, before thumping with a dull sound at the terminus of its path.

    "Why do you ask this? I find it unlikely you have never experienced the sensation."

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