Darth Verrin

Dark Council
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Darth Verrin last won the day on May 25

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About Darth Verrin

  • Rank
    Kaar of Ancient Knowledge
  • Birthday 07/20/1970

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  • Alignment
    Corruption III
  • Social Point Purchases
    2 Protocol Droids - Gifted to Vanessa and Holle (-4)

    Mission Rewards
    Combat Stimulant Injector
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    CT
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    Darth Verrin
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  1. Steenking Jedi... they are behind this, I have no doubt! BAH! (I don't often post OOC - it gets me into trouble more often than not - so I don't know most of you as 'people', but instead as your characters. I just wanted to say that it has been a fun eight years, and I've enjoyed meeting/RPing with the lot of you. While this news is somewhat saddening to someone like me, who tends to avoid 'change', I have no doubt that everyone will go on to tell their stories elsewhere. As for me, I'll pack up the Library, ship it off to some beachhouse on some far off planet, and make Maggie bring me bourbon as I watch the sunsets and read the tomes. Best wishes to all of you, in whatever you do.) - Verrin
  2. Verrin had never been a big fan of torture. The reason was likely due to his experience at the receiving end of the activity, and since then, he'd been through so much without ever really resorting to it himself, that it never was his go-to for information. He wasn't blind to it - he knew it existed, and that people like Ianthe were particularly skilled at it, but even as his apprentice stated in her reports - things said under the torturer's knife were often unreliable. He knew that he had said everything and anything to make it stop when it was happening to him, and he was sure some of it was made up, while the rest amounted to too much information. But the torturer - Dabon - was more interested in how Verrin remained alive through the experience than he was about the information he was extracting. He kept up the efforts long after Verrin had exhausted every scrap of useful information. He corrected his inquisitive student on her plan to 'twist the screws' though, "His long term goal? It should be the same as yours, I would think: power. At this point, I'm more interested in what he's willing to do to achieve it." Verrin slumped back in his chair, and propped his boots up on the tiniest portion of cleared space on the corner of his desk. He held on hand to his forehead, thumb to one temple, and pinky finger to the other, and closed his eyes. He had a slight headache from Haversham's monologue, and he sighed. Maggie dutifully obtained a small cloth and some ice from the beverage cart, and brought it around the desk to her master, applying it to his forehead. Without opening eyes, Verrin clasped the cooling cloth to his head, and muttered a quiet 'thank you' to his droid. Maggie smiled affectionately, her emotional replicators working to empathize or sympathize her master's emotions while her programming accepted his gratitude by activating her own pleasure centers. She was always learning - a constant struggle - to both understand and simulate the feeling of sentient emotions. She then pressed her android fingers into Verrin's shoulders and neck, and began to massage the muscles there. For his part, Verrin listened to the remainder of Holle's noble (perhaps too noble?) thoughts. He had to agree that whether she was putting herself in danger, or danger was steering towards her, that she was moving up in the Sith pecking order. She did need to prepare for possible... trouble. She was pushing herself lately though. As far as he could tell, she only just figured out how to telekinetically move a pillar, hide herself from sight, and even the nuance of Battle Meditation. He didn't think she was ready for more - not yet. While she had used the Force to push her slave at the starport, and the telekinesis to pull Gelos' lightsaber from him, she had certainly not mastered the powers he'd just taught her. He wasn't sure she had the control, the focus, or the attention span to learn something more destructive. But did she have the talent? Talent could make up for quite a bit of missing training. He spoke quietly, "More lethal? A paper clip can be more lethal. A datapad can be lethal. Did you have something special in mind?"
  3. Verrin's eyes narrowed slightly at his apprentice's next words. She was toeing the line of rank - a Sith Lord versus a Darth's Apprentice - and depending on how much of a show Haversham wanted to give, he would either swallow his pride and bear her words, or lash out. Verrin supposed it all depended on whether he wanted to test Verrin's loyalty to his people, or instruct them on the pecking order of the Empire. The order to 'do as instructed' visibly ruffled Havershams' feathers, but he didn't lash out... not yet. However, before he could respond that, Holle practically grabbed her breasts and squeezed them in the man's face, as if to say, "you can't touch this, Lord Haversham". To be fair, she didn't actually do that in a literal sense, but her gesture did have both Verrin and Haversham widening their eyes at the af-front. She didn't stop there either, barrelling on regarding the matter of Haversham's master, and his interest in Alchemy. And the only thing that kept Haversham in his seat was her oblique shift to discuss the man's apprentice. Haversham sputtered like a flooded engine, but finally spat out, "Brugh, hugh, hahm, hah - what... what is the meaning of this, Lord Verrin?! Your Apprentice oversteps her bounds! Will you not muzzle her, or should I?" But Verrin had lapsed back into a tolerating kind of disinterest in the man's plight. "Oh please, Lord Haversham... if I got my feathers ruffled every time a young woman insulted me, I would have lost my plumage long ago." But he didn't completely ignore his apprentice's mis-step, "As for you, Apprentice... watch your tone around a Sith Lord unless you intend to back it up if necessary." The verbal reprimand seemed to soothe Haversham's ego a bit, though not entirely. He likely wanted Verrin to physically lash out at the transgressor. In his mind, the lashing included bits of clothing coming off... and the Zeltron rolling about on the floor... maybe in a small coating of some kind of oil... and perhaps another apprentice... Verrin had two, after all, didn't he? But Verrin's direct attention brought Haversham out of his fantasy. "The condition stands, Lord Haversham. While the holocrons of this Library are more available to the Empire than ever before, our Emperor has given me instruction to filter that access as necessary. I am not denying your request outright, but attaching conditions. If you cannot meet the simple ones I've set before you, then sadly, you will not be able to meet the conditions that the Dark Side will put upon you in order to learn Alchemy. If there is nothing else, then this meeting is concluded." Verrin stood up as a more physical punctuation to his sentence. Haversham rose as the Kaar did, whether out of intention to actually leave or out of respect - Verrin figured it was the former - and bowed slightly. The only words he spoke further were, "My Lord." And at that point, he turned about and left the office. Once the door closed behind him, Verrin cautioned his apprentice, "Be wary. Right now, his ire and frustration are directed at me because I'm not granting him easy access to what he wants. If he turns that ire on you... he may be a misogynist, or more likely a sleaze, but he isn't where he is today because he was unable to best his fellow acolytes at the Academy. Haversham is an idiot in many ways, but he's not stupid. Be prepared to suffer if you pull his eye onto you. Now... this Gelos, and your slave are... dead?"
  4. As Verrin's apprentice approached the desk, Verrin followed her with his own eyes, trying to determine her goal. She had some datapads in her hands, but now wasn't really the time to discuss research projects. She knew that; she knew protocol. Yet, here she was, going against it. Haversham, on the other hand, followed Holle with his eyes too - but he was far less interested in her research and much more in her figure, and the amount of skin showing. He even replied to her 'surprised?' comment with an unflustered, "Pleasantly!" To his credit, as little as it was, he didn't drool as Holle bent to sit down in the chair next to him. Verrin raised an eyebrow at the offered pads, but accepted the first one without saying a word. His eyes scanned over the data quickly, absorbing the material like a sponge, or a particularly absorbant paper towel. It appeared to contain a report, though whether it was in Holle's hand, or Ianthe's, he wasn't sure. The writing was similar enough to the Pureblood Torturer's that if Holle wrote it, she must have been taking dictation. He glanced at his apprentice, who had all her fingers, so he supposed the meeting had gone well. He was mildly interested in the story of Holle's slave - how she'd been replaced by an agent of Haversham's to spy on him. It was a weak play, given that Verrin didn't deal with his apprentice in such an informal manner as to encounter her slaves with any regularity, but perhaps it wasn't completely thought through. Verrin had been misjudged his entire life as a Sith, so he didn't see why this time should be any different. He also didn't look up at Haversham in any accusatory way. Thus far, Haversham was not a threat, much less a concern. But Lord Haversham suddenly cleared his throat and vigorously shook his head as he tore his eyes from Holle's ample bosom. Apparently, he'd been staring for a couple of moments, and just now decided to focus back on the matter of Sith Alchemy. He began, "As I was saying..." and the launched back into more description on how his use of Alchemy would help Verrin in slightly more embellished detail, likely to impress the woman sitting beside him. After all, if he was granted access to such power, he could probably sway a young woman like Holle to share his bed... or a lab table... or a porter's closet... or the back seat of a speeder... or... Verrin was reading the second datapad, that detailed the man Holle had been tailing. His name, Gelos, identified him as an agent or apprentice of Haversham, and he was the one in charge of the spying effort. This report seemed more likely in Holle's words, given the nature of it - there was less factual detail and accounting, and more supposition. But it was still accurate, and had enough truth to be a report based on whatever pleas Gelos made while under Ianthe's care. Verrin sipped the bourbon Maggie offered, and flew through the report relatively quickly, ignoring Haversham's continued monologue-ing. The third pad was an accounting of Haversham's overall plans. If the text was correct, Haversham sought the seat of power in Ancient Knowledge, and meant to go through Verrin to get it. He likely wanted access to Sith Alchemy in order to create zombies or abominations to destroy Verrin, not help him, but that was supposition on Verrin's part as he read on. It was no more accurate than Holle's own impressions that littered the rest of the report. She was likely correct in her assumptions, but there was no hard evidence yet to accuse Haversham of the treachery - just the word of tortured souls, who might not even be alive. There was no evidence of their survival in the reports. Haversham was still talking, and frequently casting sidelong glances at Holle - checking out her midriff, the curve of her thighs, and the way her foot bounced in the air as she crossed her legs. His mind even imagined she was showing more side-boob than she actually was. But none of that dissuaded him from describing how a small army of zombies could effectively cement a seat of power, or even allow an attempt on 'greater power'. Haversham never quite said, 'attack the Emperor' - he wasn't completely clueless or oblivious to treasonous talk - but he certainly implied it in his description. Certainly, Holle would be impressed by his prowess if he could grant her master such power - right? The fourth pad didn't answer Verrin's internal question, 'who did Haversham report to'? Instead, it completely left behind any factual evidence and solely went on about Holle's predictions and suppositions. Verrin didn't outright dismiss them, as they were grounded in an overall understanding of the data the prisoners gave up while under the torturer's knife. But without any concrete evidence, they were merely windows into her psyche, more than anything else. They told Verrin how Holle thought, how she saw things in life. The last pad was a window into her soul, not Haversham's. Verrin finally placed the fourth pad back on his desk with the others, and refolded his hands in front of him while Haversham appeared to wrap up his plea for power. When he paused for a breath of air, and another stolen glance at Holle's figure, Verrin asked, "Who is your master, Lord Haversham?" Blinking at the first words to come out of the Kaar of Ancient Knowledge's mouth since he arrived, Haversham stuttered, "W-why... that would be Lord Ma- Ma... I am my own Sith, Lord Verrin. I speak for myself!" Verrin replied, "Hmmm... yes. I'm afraid I'm going to need a letter or visit from your Master in order to grant you access to that holocron. The Empire cannot have rogue Sith Lords raising armies of the dead right under their noses without SOME sort of oversight. But if your master, Lord Ma-Ma, will speak on your behalf, I will listen to her... or him... Now... is there anything else? I believe I have another meeting in just a few moments." Haversham appeared stunned momentarily. He hadn't even considered that his master would have to be involved in his access to the Imperial Holocrons. And while that wasn't true, Verrin wasn't going to tell him otherwise. So Lord Haversham began to speak a couple of times, but didn't quite get a sentence out. He looked to Holle for support. Surely, she wanted him to have more power?
  5. Verrin continued the chant and the Battle Meditation by himself. He had an idea of how to do it before he ever started this ritual, but by performing it, he put together the last pieces of the puzzle and was confident he could maintain its effects alone. It gave him time to look around the room, and appreciate how his apprentices were doing. Holle went off towards the cages, and found herself drawn tot he one with the Jedi. There, she taunted him, like a cat playing with her food, and she called out to Verrin, asking his opinion on turning the Jedi versus killing him. Verrin grimaced at that, but maintained his control. Holle didn't listen well. He'd learned that when he'd locked her in the training room not too long ago. It seemed she hadn't learned from that experience, because she not only wasn't keeping up the verbal part of the ritual - she was also asking about not killing the prisoners. Did she think that by failing to follow orders that the ritual would backlash and kill her master? Verrin had given specific instructions that she purposefully didn't follow. And he, steeped in the Dark Side, was annoyed. On the other hand, Vanessa did exactly as she was told. At first, she was eyeing Verrin critically, likely deciding whether this was a good time to lash out at him. Perhaps she too was debating whether or not to disobey him in order to see if the ritual would backlash. But the moment passed, and she stood up, still chanting. Slowly, she paced her way over towards the cages, and Verrin saw the flash of a knife in one of her hands. Had it been meant for him? He did not know. But one of the prisoners soon found themselves on the wrong end of that blade, and the ensuing strike coated his apprentice in a spray of blood as the person perished. Vanessa seemed to revel in it, shedding her ceremonial robe in a smooth movement, and using the fresh blood to mark herself. That blunted Verrin's anger as she not only did as instructed - she also made a leap of marking herself with a sigil. In a way, it was almost an homage to his own tattooing efforts, and she turned back towards him with a wild, drunk look on her face. Her eyes rolled back in her head, showing only the whites, and her chanting escalated in volume. She stayed in perfect sync with him, but Verrin thought he recognized someone else's Force aura emanating from her. It was bright and powerful, and reminded him of the power of any of the Emperors. Could it have been one of them, channeling through her? What if it was Cideon? What if it was his own master, Drackonis? What if Vakar had finally found a way back from the dead? But as soon as it happened, it stopped, and before Verrin had a chance to truly focus on her and identify the source of the aura. Vanessa collapsed in a heap, but was still breathing, so Verrin stood up, and the chanting ceased. He looked over towards Holle, and said in a very quiet voice, "Apprentice... I won't ask a third time. Finish them... finish them all." His voice was almost too quiet. He then stepped over to Vanessa's downed form, and he bent to check her pulse and general well-being. If she had been possessed, he intended to know right away, and put an end to it if possible. But just as he touched her neck, her eyes fluttered open and through the blood spattering her pretty features, she whispered hoarsely, "What... what happened?" His senses told him that it was just Vanessa, and not some spirit talking to him, so he patted her cheek gently and said, "Possession, I think. Lay still. I'll get us some water." He glanced up to see if Holle was doing as she'd been told, and then he went to the supplies to retrieve the water. He walked lightly, the power of the ritual still coursing through him, and he felt like he was twenty years younger. He clenched and unclenched his hand several times, marveling at the strength he felt, and then he obtained the water, as well as a tin of tea and honey. He then returned to his apprentice, and noticed how the power of the ritual was fading - the room taking on a slightly less-dark tone, as if the shadows were pulling back and returning to their normal density. He sat down beside Vanessa, and offered her a mug of water and the tea - if she wanted it. "I have supplies to heat it, if you want to wait," and he took a sip of water himself. Her nakedness didn't seem to affect him, but he did pay special attention to the mark she put on herself, intending to research it later if he didn't recognize it. Then he nodded at her, "Observe your sister apprentice." He looked to see if Holle was carrying out his wishes. He explained to both of them, "The Dark Side exchanges power for a tithe... power comes at a cost. Sometimes, you feel particularly fatigued after exercising your minds or bodies when using the Force... that is the Dark Side taking its tax in energy. Advanced power can stave off critical injury, or even revive the fallen... but the Dark Side usually takes energy from you, or from a sacrificial entity. Today, we sacrifice these lambs to power our ritual. A failure to have readily accessible sacrifices means that the Dark Side will look elsewhere for its payment... usually to you. I've seen Sith try to bargain with the Dark Side - trying to convince it that turning a Jedi is more beneficial to it than killing them. I'll wager it has even worked a few times throughout history, but I personally have never attempted to deny it its pound of flesh. I've even given it a pound of my own in place of an ally's when pressed. When you try to perform this Meditation in the future, should you choose to do so, you don't need to offer human sacrifice the way we did today. That's part of the old ways - the rituals. Now, we Sith have trained our minds to pay the Dark Side with some of our own vitality... energy that we can replenish through rest. But heck... the old ways do have a romantic sort of nuance to them, do they not?"
  6. The crashing fist upon the table had the Guardians of the Library perking up their heads and taking note. Thus far, there was no evidence or seeming intent to damage the Library or its contents, so they did not act... yet. But they were aware - they had been aware ever since the fearsome-looking Sith entered the place with the large cat. To be fair, it wasn't the first time an animal had walked the same tiles as the Sith, but it had been years since the last time, and possibly years before that it had happened again. There was an old Sith - long gone, but not quite forgotten - named Zeerah, who kept a pet. She had children too, which arguably were as well behaved as any animal, but that was neither here nor there, as they say... her footsteps hadn't tread these marble tiles since the Library was located on another planet altogether. In any case, the Guardians maintained their constant vigil, not even warning the man who seemed frustrated with his studies. It wasn't the first time a Sith got upset by the tedium of learning, nor the first time one got aggravated enough due to not being able to find the power they sought. But someone who did notice, and act, was a feminine-looking droid. Curvy and attractive (by galactic 'human' standards), she click-clacked her way across the marble tiles towards the seated man and his feline companion. Nobody ever commented on why she appeared as she did - with her figure and what amounted to 'high heels', she seemed very impractical for a protocol droid - and most assumed she was that way because the master of this place was a lecherous old fellow. But if they had asked, if they knew the truth, the design was created by another feminine droid named 'Prissy', and Prissy's owner, Apprentice Vessker. Whether they found amusement in this design, or were simply trying to facilitate a new make and model of droid, one could only speculate. Whatever the case, Maggie - as she preferred to be called - sashayed her way about, and didn't seem at all bothered by her own appearance. Maggie finally approached the table, and her 'face' smiled politely as she asked in an unnecessarily sultry voice, "Your pardon, Mister Varsin. Imperial records have you listed by name, but not by rank, else I would utilize your proper title. Please, be mindful of others within the Library who are also pursuing knowledge. They may not appreciate sudden, loud noises. Are you having some difficulty in your studies that I can assist with?"
  7. "... and THAT is why you should grant me access to the holocron! With my army of zombies, I'll be able to best serve you, My Lord! Why, with just ten, your Guardians would be freed up to do your bidding elsewhere! With twenty, you could staff the Library AND the Dark Temple 'round the clock. Plus... I could make them all appear as beautiful creatures - lovely ladies! You'd have an army of beautiful monsters at your beck and call, tireless, relentless... you'd be the envy of all the Sith, even the Council. I dare say, even the Emperor, himself! I'm sure that..." The voice of Lord Haversham went on and on, not a drone, but an excited prattle of empty promises and imagined wish-fulfillment. The sandy-haired, slightly obese Sith Lord wasn't a weakling, but neither was he ready to wield the kind of power he spoke so callously of. Verrin had no doubt in his mind that Lord Haversham thought he was ready for Sith Alchemy. But he was also pretty sure the man didn't possess the control and mental fortitude to exercise it if he tried. And the last thing Verrin wanted was for the spirit of the holocron to take over Lord Haversham, and then pester Verrin incessantly about how he'd allowed such a man to have access to the 'cron in the first place. If Maggie's pestering wasn't enough, and this minor Lord's was double that, then the griping and complaining he would get from the spirit of Bo Vanda could only be ten times all of this. It was better to weather this smaller storm of pleas than to allow it to happen. So Verrin sat at his desk, hands folded in his lap, and he looked at Lord Haversham while he pretended to listen to every little promise made. The Lord apparently had some idea of Verrin being a womanizer, or at least a lecherous old cuss, or else he never would have offered the bevy of undead ladies. And then, as if to cement those thoughts in Haversham's mind, Verrin apprentice, Holle arrived. She was quiet, and stood just inside the door to his office, but a glance at her almost had Verrin rolling his eyes. He knew she had a way of dressing herself that was both similar and different from the way one of his former masters did. She was young, and proud of her figure, though in his mind, she was simply enjoying the fruits of being young - not working to maintain a particular level of fitness or shape. Lord Haversham glanced her way as she entered, his porcine face lighting up as he allowed his eyes to roam over her body for a long moment (though that didn't stop his mouth from continuing on about the perceived benefits of an undead army of fashion-models), and then he promptly turned from her to focus his attention back on Verrin, who merely allowed him to continue. Against her better judgement, Maggie went to the beverage cart and poured her master a small glass of bourbon.
  8. "Hmm..." Verrin 'hmm'd'', neither agreeing nor disagreeing with his apprentice. He was so used to plots against him, that the idea of another didn't phase him in the slightest. Even now, his Guardians were arriving in the starport, moving the crowd like a ship parting water. They could be more stealthy, but they didn't have to at the moment - they were the Kaar's Guard, and none - not even local security - really wanted to interfere with them. "No unusual channels," he answered, regarding the slave's purchase. "There's a group that serves the Empire, and I think Maggie requisitioned 'a slave' from it, not this particular one. I'm sure I signed the paperwork, but if you decide to hunt down that lead, then ask Maggie for records. I have purchased others through them from time to time, but I don't maintain a stock myself." It was true, as he'd purchased a slave for Cimoreine, and one for Muriel in the past. Plus, he often bought slaves to practice Dark Side rituals upon, as they had done in the Dark temple not too long ago. It was possible that the man wasn't much of a Sith at all - certainly no apprentice. More likely, he was a recent grad of the Academy and either seeking his fortune, or serving a minor Lord's wishes - a minor Lord who didn't want to get personally involved... or caught. He posited another idea. "Take a shuttle over to Korriban, and bring these two with you. There is a minor Lord there named Ianthe. She has significant experience in the skillset you're looking for - she can probably teach you a few things, if she's so inclined, and she owes me a favor or two. Just don't ask about her cane, or make too much of a point of being alien. She's a pureblood, and has some thoughts on such matters. If you want to stay on her good side - just be aware of that." He patted her knee and stood up, motioning two Guardians over to help escort the prisoners (and protect his apprentice, if it came to that). "Let me know when you return, and if you find out anything," he concluded, not expecting this to take too long. They were already in the starport, after all. "I'll have Maggie let Lady Ianthe know you're coming."
  9. As they entered the port, Verrin nodded at his apprentice, and then suppressed his signature in the Force. There was no need to give away his location to any potential enemies looking for him, but he did trigger a button on his datapad that signaled someone of his whereabouts. And then, with seemingly no effort, and no use of the Force, he drifted into the crowds and practically blended in as a traveler. It gave him an interesting perspective, as Holle found her wayward slave... and the man who caught her. She neatly snatched the man's lightsaber, and then ignited it to fend off a counterattack of Force Lightning. The sudden burst of violence sent other travelers scurrying, though a few got caught at the edges of the electrical strike, and yelped or screamed as others tried to pull them away. The crowd parted quickly, leaving the trio of Holle, her slave, and the enemy Sithling facing off with one another. Soon, that number was reduced further, as his apprentice showed her quick grasp of the Force Push technique, launching her slave away. Verrin headed over in that direction, and was in time to see the slave trying to crawl away into the masses of people. But Verrin simply planted his boot near her head, and stood there. She looked up, recognized him, and immediately froze in place. Verrin let his Force Suppression drop off, so as to better observe the situation. They watched as Holle used her own lightning to drop the man to the ground, and then she deactivated the lightsaber just as local security arrived. Verrin raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. It felt as if Holle was attempting to persuade the security guard, but it was difficult to say if she was successful. Amused, Verrin telepathically sent a directive to the man's mind, "Do as she says," he ordered, letting the Force flow through them. The guard fell into line immediately, and began binding the fallen Sith. While that was going on, Verrin looked down at the cowering slave once more, and made a menacing face that caused her to faint. Verrin was a little surprised at that, but between the lightning and the blow to the wall, perhaps her stamina was compromised. He then drifted back into the crowd, so as to move with them as the security group sent them back to their waiting areas. He waited in one of those areas for a time, watching his apprentice from afar, but when he saw her just sitting and having a milkshake, he made his way back over to her, and eventually sat beside her. He looked sidelong at Holle, once again raising an eyebrow at the beverage dessert. He didn't say anything about it, but did make a mental note of the elaborate dinner, the two large pieces of pie, and now this treat. Maggie would have a fit if he ate all that. For that matter, he'd probably be up half the night too. He sighed. What a drag it was, getting old. "Success?" He asked.
  10. " I do not believe local law enforcement is properly prepared to deal with rogue Sith; " Holle said, and Verrin interjected. "Assuming this is a Sith, and not some bounty hunter or hired Agent." When she paused, he went on, "Not every non-Sith can be dismissed as a non-entity. The Mandalorians, for example, are quite competent. And a number of Agents, officers, and hunters train specifically for dealing with Sith. We are powerful, yes, but we are not invincible - however much we strive to be." He listened as she went on, describing her experience as a master, and her goals to reclaim her property. Verrin was satisfied that she was learning about power - how she was different now, than when she was a slave. He had to be wary she didn't jump to overconfidence, but he also needed her to get out of the hole where she was afraid of everything and everyone. He knew; he'd been there himself. They pulled into the starport and Verrin left the bike near the entrance, accompanying his apprentice for the moment. "Lead on... follow your senses. Decide how you want to 'confront' this person as we go." He was curious. She'd spoken of striking from shadow, which was the farthest thing from confrontation in his mind. Perhaps she thought herself skilled enough to deliver a non-lethal blow. Or maybe she'd changed her mind, going to a fully lethal attack... or a non-shadowed confrontation. Time would tell. But he had to consider the possibility that one of her earlier suppositions could be correct... ... this could all be a trap for her. And in all fairness, he wasn't blind that this could be a more elaborate trap for him. He focused his senses.
  11. Utilizing Imperial Law versus vigilante justice was an interesting argument, and one that he'd been through a number of times himself. As a Sith, the latter was the way to go - every time. If you wanted a job done right, you did it yourself. That way, there was no chance of 'old enemies' coming back to haunt you. But as a Kaar, and the ruling body of the Empire, he was a part of the system of laws set in place to handle transgressions. Without the law, society was in chaos, and productivity went south. A (generally) happy populace grew an economy, and paid more in tax revenue to sustain the monstrosity that was the Empire. Citizens who had to fight every day of their lives to avoid theft, rape, and murder were not that - not 'happy'. Laws were in place, and used, to maintain... well... 'law and order'. But it only took his apprentice a few moments to decide that she (thought) she'd be better off handling the situation herself. She decided to 'confront' this mysterious enemy, and deal with her slave. He didn't judge her for this, but Verrin did talk to her as he showed her to his new speeder bike, and had her get on behind him. "So... as a slave owner, how do you view this situation... having been one yourself, I mean? What comparisons and differences have you learned, having been on both sides?" He talked as he throttled them towards the starport, but then went silent to focus on driving, and to let his apprentice talk. The trip wouldn't take long, but should be long enough. He wasn't sure what she meant by 'confront', but he intended to observe, for the most part. He was eager to see where her strengths - and weaknesses - were.
  12. While Holle went through her mental exercise, and contacted her droid, Verrin assessed the situation. His apprentice was reacting, rather than acting - something he might point out, but not quite yet. She also had apparently given her slave quite a bit of free rein, as she was unable to track her efficiently. Force aside, it was relatively easy to track a possession in this day and age, even destroy that possession from afar if there was any real concern. His own datapad, for example, could be remotely detonated if stolen - assuring the data that was on it would not be compromised, and the added bonus of upsetting the person who took it. He considered the relationship between Holle and her slave. He had initially given the slave to her with the sole purpose of pointing out the other side of slavery - what it was like to be the owner, and not the possession. He wondered if Holle was starting to see the relationship differently now. He finally offered, "Might it be a much simpler matter altogether? That this person isn't after you, but after your possessions? It would not be uncommon for a righteous individual to attempt to free a slave from their master. Is this slave worth the trouble you're going through? Or are you somehow certain that this is a plot against you?" He paused for an answer, but whatever it was, he added, "It seems that you're reacting to this situation, running to and fro without a goal in mind. If that pleases you, then by all means continue. However, it is a chain that binds you. You have a choice not to react, but to act. Take this situation into YOUR hands, and make them react to YOU. If you find out this is your nemesis, then your plan is to what... kill him, or banter with him? If you find out your slave is involved, will you forgive her? Kill her? If this is simply a slave 'rescue', what is your intention? If it's none of that - simply two lovers sneaking off together, what will you do? Decide, my apprentice, and simply do it. Take control of the situation."
  13. "Oh, good heavens..." Verrin thought as his apprentice flew out the door and down the many stairs of the apartment building. He had no such desire to run, but was certainly capable of it, and kept pace with her until they hit the street. At that point, Holle took off at a fairly fast clip, and Verrin noticed a nearby speederbike rider. The rider was a young human of perhaps twenty years, and was using his bike to deliver some kind of foodstuffs. Verrin walked over to him, and as if catching a chill breeze, the young man shivered and turned to see the older Zabrak facing him. He asked Verrin, "What do you want, old man? I've got deliveries to make." But Verrin, nonplussed, simply answered him, " Give me your bike." The younger man blinked, as if stunned, or as if a flashbulb had gone off in his direction. But then his eyes and body language visibly relaxed, and he responded, "Sure, sure... here's the key. Helmet's on the back." Verrin deftly caught the small keyfob, stepped to the bike, and mounted, thumbing the starter. The bike instantly began to hover - it was a much nicer bike than he thought a delivery boy should be using,, but it worked in his favor at the moment - and without donning the offered helmet, Verrin throttled the bike, launching himself down the street after his apprentice. It had been a while since he'd ridden a conveyance like this, and he almost - not quite - smiled. He was no stunt rider, and wouldn't manage any feats on the thing, but there was a certain illusion of freedom that came with piloting oneself somewhere. For so many years now, he'd been driven, flown, or otherwise chauffeured places due to his rank. He seldom got out into the city of Dromund Kaas on his own. In short order, he caught up to his apprentice, who was entering a cantina of sorts. Verrin dismounted and entered as well, arriving in time to witness her interaction with the barkeep. It was inconclusive, but something - her slave had been here after all. And it was likely that Holle wasn't far behind. Non-judgmentally, he asked, " So far, so good, Apprentice. Now what?" He was curious if she would pursue this on her own, or ask for his help.
  14. His apprentice flitted from topic to topic like a butterfly in a field, and had Verrin somewhat concerned for her mental stability. Had he wound up with a bi-polar student? She wanted to learn precognition, then she wanted to figure out her nemesis, and then she jumped to the conclusion that her slave was betraying her. Without the wine, Verrin felt that his head would be spinning. Holle jumped up from the table, grabbed the sword from its surface, and dashed off to her bedchambers where a series of rustling noises soon emanated from. Verrin looked into his glass of wine, perhaps wondering if he could somehow use it to see the future, but then decided that it didn't matter as he upended the contents into his mouth. He swallowed, both enjoying and regretting the taste because while pleasant, he had a feeling it would be fleeting. Sure enough, Holle dashed back out, now fully dressed in more functional clothing and bearing lightsabers on her hips. Angrily, she announced she was going to find her slave and drag her back to the Library, kicking and screaming. Verrin raised an eyebrow at that last part, wondering what Holle thought she would do with her slave once she got there. Any overt violence would be met by dutiful Guardians, and would likely result in an ex-apprentice. In truth, Verrin had almost no desire to accompany his apprentice on this mission. Such 'hunts' could often take quite a while - especially if the target was actively trying not to be found. On the other hand, the slave could be completely innocent of the imagined charges that Holle claimed, which meant her discovery would either result in pointless death, or absolutely nothing - and neither appealed to Verrin in terms of excitement, entertainment, or otherwise. But... ... it COULD be an opportunity to see his Apprentice's progress in the Force and in combat. Having come to that decision, Verrin set his glass upon the table and nodded his affirmation. "Very well," he said. "Let's see what you can do so far. Just don't keep me out too late, or else any training you do with me tomorrow will be... unproductive." The last part hinted that if he was tired, he would be grouchy, and Holle's training would be adversely affected.
  15. Verrin avoided the pie - there was no real reason to have Maggie on his tail for overdoing a good thing, and she was probably monitoring how much he was eating and drinking without his even knowing it anyway. But he topped off the wine glass once more, then stood and went to the balcony window. He wasn't looking at anything outside, in particular, but rather he was focusing on 'nothing'. He was in thought, and didn't want to watch his apprentice devour her dessert. He mused that his apprentice could eat like she did, especially baked goods. He tried to imagine someone else on the Council baking something... maybe Darth Sanguira. He could almost picture her in an apron, coated in flour and butter, furiously mixing up a batch of cupcakes for the next Council meeting. She'd be whistling to herself, a smile on her face, as she put the poison into the treats and waited to see who on the Council would actually accept one. But when he got to the window, and looked out, he thought out loud, not really expecting any sort of response from Holle. "How to treat this... this... mystery 'threat' that you seem to think shadows your every step? The easy answer, of course, is to simply check Maggie's records and eliminate it myself. But that doesn't do you any good, Apprentice. I cannot.. should not... fight your battles for you, whether they are real or imagined. And yet, you do not feel up to the challenge of confrontation, yourself. You view yourself as weak - whether you are or not. You believe you are some weakness in my eyes, though I don't think I've ever said as much to you - or anyone for that matter. So what should I do - agree with you, that you are a weakness? The path of least resistance says that I should kill you, right here and now, and eliminate the results of my failed instruction. It would be easy, as you think, because I supposedly have so much power and you supposedly have so little. I could then devote the rest of my attention to my other apprentice - who requires very little of it, even now. It would certainly free up some of my time... But that is an admission that I have somehow failed - that I am incapable of teaching someone who isn't a 'model Sith'. So it's certainly not the answer in this case. I suppose I could send you back to the Academy for further basics instruction. You could train in the Force and in combat with others at the skill level you perceive yourself to have. But no doubt Darth Atrox, or one of his cronies, would get wind of it and eliminate you... or somehow use it against me. That won't do. I could seek out their counsel... ask someone like Atrox how he handles this kind of situation in his apprentices. But I'll wager he would merely mock me for choosing you... or offer advice that wasn't really beneficial to you. Plus, it would be openly displaying a weakness - as you put it - for someone to take advantage of. That won't do either." He sipped, and thought aloud some more. "Really, the only thing to do is to change up your instruction... somehow. You have potential, else I wouldn't have selected you. I saw you fight on Korriban - I know you can. I saw you push the pillar over, and I've witnessed that though uncontrolled, you can render yourself invisible. I even recall that you have some ability in telepathy. The foundations are there. The issue isn't so much your budding ability in the Force, or your growing prowess with a weapon. It's your psyche... your opinion of yourself... how you see the world around you. How do we change that? I could softball it - I could hand-pick opponents for you to practice on that are beneath you... easy wins to build your ego. But that doesn't prepare you for any real challenge. I could hand-deliver you information through holocrons... literally gift you power that you haven't earned, all in order to satisfy this self-assessment. What do you want power for though? Power to kill? Anyone can kill. You could kill me any time you choose... with proper planning. You could poison food... you could research contact poisons that you could apply to the training materials that this mystery Sith asks you for. But... tampering with Library materials would make me wroth. You'd have to do it, and not get caught. You know where this person will be... you think he's trying to size you up, though I can't imagine how, given that you don't practice either the Force or your combat skills in the Library. I think this whole 'sizing you up' is all in your head... but what if by some chance, you're right? You could tail him... find out where he goes, or what he does. For that matter, you could use your brain and research him at the very place he frequents. You could find out where he lives... if he eats out... you could lay a trap, or lay in wait for him. But... you think that if you wait for him... that should you be discovered before you can deal a blow, that he'll overpower you. That IS the nature of these sorts of engagements... the uncertainty of success." He grimaced, and sipped the wine as if he had a bad taste in his mouth, and was trying to cleanse it. Finally, he turned back towards the room and his Apprentice. "What's your goal, Apprentice? What do you think you're ready for me to teach you?"