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Sihna Dreysel

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About Sihna Dreysel

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    Songsteel Staff (Corey's SP 10-7=3)
    Rank Rewards
    Weapon Upgrade: Power Increase
    Beskad (Sword)
    Armour Modification - HUD
    Carbonite Emitter
    Shield Generator
    Large Dorm - Clan Black Vheh'yaim
    Large Apartment - Keldabe, Mandalore
    Astromech Droid - X2-J7
    VT-Twin D209 Starchaser - Personal Starship
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  1. Sihna Dreysel

    Skills and Abilities Melee Weapons Novice Blade Weapon ⇉ Intermediate Blade Weapon ⇉ Expert Blade Weapon Throwing Proficiency Jar’kai Proficiency Novice Bludgeoning ⇉ Intermediate Bludgeoning ⇉ Expert Bludgeoning Ranged Weapons Novice Heavy Weapon ⇉ Intermediate Heavy Weapon ⇉ Expert Heavy Weapon Demolition Proficiency Novice Blaster Pistol ⇉ Intermediate Blaster Pistol Piloting Ground Vehicle Proficiency Personal Starship Proficiency Novice Vehicular Combat Medical/Survival Novice Survival ⇉ Intermediate Survival ⇉ Expert Survival Novice Biosurge - Bonus Resuscitate Martial Arts Novice Teras Kasi ⇉ Intermediate Teras Kasi Novice Tsikala ⇉ Intermediate Tsikala ⇉ Expert Tsikala
  2. Sihna Dreysel

    Biography Childhood: Sihna grew up in the wilds of Mandalore, raised by her Bounty Hunter father, Aric Dreysel. Her mother died when she was young, leaving her with no memory of the woman. Sihna was raised with the belief that the woman had died when she was only a few months old, though in fact Avalia was killed when Sihna was about 5 years of age, a discrepancy that has begun to attract notice. Aric was not well-liked, even amongst the vod’e, and his list of enemies has only grown since, leaving Sihna to face the dislike of a name she did not choose. Most of her childhood was spent exploring the wilds of Mandalore since her father was often out on hunts, leaving her to take care of herself during his absences and instilling within her a love of the wilderness. This was only strengthened by Aric’s increasing attempts to dominate Sihna’s life and future, often manifesting in abuse and the creation of scenarios that would allow him to ‘rescue’ her. When Sihna was attacked by her father’s Akk hounds at the age of 7 on his command, Sihna began to fight back and pull away from her father. She escaped at every available opportunity, no longer the easily controlled child of the past. Teen Years: Sihna began training on her own as soon as she was able, often travelling to Keldabe and finding instructors wherever possible. This allowed her to form friendships outside of her father’s sphere of influence, leading her to be much more well-liked than him. She took a particular liking to melee weapons, despite her father’s disdain for them. Aric was rarely around by this time, and when he was the two butted heads constantly. By the time she reached adulthood at the age of 14, the two were distant and she moved out on her own. She took on small mercenary jobs to sustain herself, but never had an affinity for it. Adulthood: When Sihna was 19 years old, she took on a small job as a merc on board a merchant ship. The ship was boarded by pirates halfway to its destination, and Sihna was badly injured during the fighting. She was brought back to Mandalore for medical treatment, but sustained damage to her left side that left her blind in her one eye, sporting damaged nerves in her arm and down into her hand that made use of ranged weaponry impractical and difficult, and a distinct limp. The injuries and her subsequent recovery led to a massive falling out with her father, ending in her decision to begin training as a gladiator to regain the skill and abilities lost due to her injuries. This decision caused a break between the two that lasted nearly five years. Sihna has since been taken in by Clan Black and has been trained by Corey Black. She's slowly begun to find a place within the clan - a home she's never had before. She has since begun to step out of the life of a Gladiator and begun to instead turn her skills to war on behalf of the Mandalorians. After declaring Aric dar’buir - no longer a father to her - Sihna is beginning to look towards the future and building Clan Dreysel into a clan that can be both respected and feared. Personality Often found in the background, Sihna is typically the type to support those she cares about to any end. She has no desire for power for herself, instead choosing to work quietly in the shadows of glory. Extremely driven, Sihna will push herself to incredible stress to accomplish her personal goals - often centering around combat and increasing her strengths and abilities to better be able to stand beside those she cares for. While not often found in the midst of conflict or battles for power, Sihna is exceptionally passionate about a few select things and will give no ground if these core values are trespassed upon. Where Sihna will take or allow abuse to herself, her defense of others is often swift and sharp. Sihna values honor above all else, a trait instilled in her thanks to her upbringing within the Mandalorian culture. She is incredibly loyal, and will follow those she cares for to any fate, no matter how painful. Sihna often described as fiercely independent, with a fiery temper when crossed. Sihna has a distinct way of speaking, often choosing her words with care, humor usually lacing them. When angry, tired, or stressed, Sihna falls back into the speech patterns of her childhood, speaking more in Mando’a thanks to her father’s early insistence upon the language.
  3. Sihna Dreysel

    Name: Sihna Dreysel Gender: Female Species: Human Rank: Al’verde Date of Birth: 3658 BBY (Day/Month unknown.) Appearance: Standing at the unimpressive height of 5’6, Sihna is slim but well-muscled. Having spent a number of years with martial training, as well as training in heavy armor, Sihna is stronger than most, though lacking the herculean proportions of some and still maintaining a slimmer build. Sihna has red hair and brown eyes - though her left is a milky white due to blindness. She bears numerous scars on her face and body and a crooked nose that shows signs of being broken multiple times. She walks with a slight limp in her left leg, and has a ‘dead’ left hand due to damaged nerves. Possessions: Beskad - A simple blade crafted of beskar that Sihna carries in addition to a multitude of other weapons. Songsteel Staff - A lightweight staff that is crafted with songsteel. Beskar’gam - Sihna has two sets of Mandalorian armor. The first is a lighter weight beskar/durasteel set used by Sihna as she began her fights in the arena. This set bears by far the most amount of damage, as it tells the story of Sihna relearning to fight after her previous injuries. The set is painted teal and gold, but lacks other adornments. This set lacks a HUD or other upgrades, and is by far the simplest of her armor. Sihna’s second set of beskar’gam is a full set made entirely of beskar, crafted for her by Tor Black after she began training with his son. The set is painted in colors of teal and gold, with a few small red accents on her shoulders, gauntlets, and knee plating. The armor contains a combined gorget/spaulder on her left side to protect the weak point in the neck of her armor - specifically on the side with her ‘dead hand’. The set bears signs of heavy wear and combat, including dents, scratches, and a few smaller marks of carbon scoring. Sihna has trained in and uses a full set of beskar, rather than a half or lighter set, opting for the protection of the heavier plating over the convenience of ease of movement. The gloves of Sihna’s armor have been specially crafted to account for the dead nerves in her left hand and her penchant to using her hands to block blades/smaller attacks. This decreases the potential further damage to nerves, etc, though does not negate the danger entirely. Sihna’s helmet possesses a HUD system, allowing her to track targets, issue commands, and monitor the data provided by the systems within her armor, among other things. This addition has also eliminated the problem of Sihna’s blind eye, as it negates her blindspot with the 360 degree view provided by the HUD. Attached to her gauntlet is a carbonite emitter, and the armor also boasts a shield generator. Large Dorm - Clan Black Vheh’yaim - Sihna has a dorm situated within Clan Black. Simple in nature, it is nonetheless a retreat for her and the place she feels most at home. Sihna’s quarters are spartan in nature, with little in terms of personal belongings, as she is still unused to having somewhere she might consider a ‘home’. Large Apartment - Keldabe - Sihna possesses an apartment located on the outskirts of Keldabe, and this is where she lives most often. While not as comfortable or ‘home-like’ as her DOrm with Clan Black, it is a place that is entirely her own and not reliant upon anyone else. Astromech Droid - X2-J7 - An imperial model astromech droid. VT-Twin D209 Starchaser Ship Skills, Abilities and Talents: Born a Mandalorian, Sihna is a Force-Blind Gladiator who has made a name for herself both in and out of the arena. She practices a variety of different weapons forms, but prefers melee abilities over ranged weaponry, and is deadly with anything from a staff to a blade. A survivor of childhood abuse, trauma, and manipulation, Sihna has developed a strong will and spirit that is extremely difficult to dominate or manipulate, making her exceptionally efficient in even the more chaotic or oppressive situations. She has spent a number of years training to increase her levels of endurance in combat, allowing her to outlast those with an average level of training. Sihna is able to work through pain, injuries, and mental stress to a high degree, as well as continue to fight long after others’ reserves are depleted. Rather than focusing on strength or overwhelming power, Sihna instead chooses to combine speed and reaction time to make herself difficult to predict and hard to strike, as well as hard to counter, giving her an edge that is often unexpected from one in full armor. Sihna has also spent a large amount of time within the wilds of Mandalore, leading her to a vast knowledge of survival skills and tracking, as well as basic field medical knowledge. Sihna has also begun utilising her combat skills outside of the arena as a ground soldier wherever te Mand’alor chooses to send her. While not very tall, Sihna makes use of her armor, speed, and above-average strength to make up for her rather diminutive height.
  4. Sihna Dreysel

    Table of Contents [ Character Information | Character Biography | Character Sheet ]
  5. Tipping Point

    Sihna heard the distinctive sound of a pistol being pulled from its holster and she the room fell into utter silence. No one dared breathe, well aware that any interference would cause the situation to spiral into a bloodbath. It was as it had always been. But the fact was no longer bitter, as at least this time Sihna knew she could hold her ground. Black had given her that ability, and Sihna did not intend to waste it. She turned to find herself staring down the barrel of Aric’s pistol, the sights centered directly on her forehead as he held the barrel steady with a hand that had seen years of practice. He was not as drunk as he’d played, then, and that fact caused another spike of hot anger to drive through her, another nail in the coffin of a relationship that had been unsalvageable for years now. “If you’re going to pull the trigger, now’s the time,” Sihna drawled, one brow lifted in a challenge. Her chin was tilted back, a reckless glint in her eyes as she stared down her father. Yet another gamble. Yet another toss of the dice. His expression was one of rage, but Sihna didn’t flinch. “It’s time you came to heel, Akk,” Aric snarled. Sihna felt the smile that twisted her mouth, pulling it up into a mockery of his words. “No,” Sihna hissed simply, spreading her hands in a motion that was both challenge and defiance. His eyes narrowed and he thumbed the safety off his pistol with a sharp click, the threat clear. Sihna stilled. It was as if the whole world came into sharp focus, every detail clear to her in that moment and she fixed her gaze on his, tilting her head ever so slightly. She felt her muscles tense, ready for action. And still no fear. Aric stepped forward, mistaking the change for fear, the weapon powering up with a whine until it was only a few centimeters from his daughter’s forehead. Sihna reacted with lightning speed, one hand snapping up and gripping his wrist, wrenching the weapon to the side as it discharged, leaving a black mark against the wall. There was a crack as Aric’s wrist snapped under her grip, but Sihna didn’t release him, eyes flashing in a cold fury. Aric cried out and Sihna disarmed him, jerking her elbow back into his unprotected face with a satisfying crunch, finishing the whole affair with a solid kick to the knee. Aric buckled, and Sihna took a step back, keeping a careful leash on the rage that still had its hold on her, resisting the urge to become more like him than she’d ever forgive herself for. Adrenaline still pumped through her system as she stared down at him, her expression almost bored, removing the power pack and gas cartridge one by one from the pistol contemptuously before she threw the now useless weapon at his feet. “This osik might work on drunk beroye and frightened aruetiise, but it stops here. So get the haran out of my face, and stay the hell out of my life, chakaar,” Sihna pronounced each word with crystal clarity, rage evident in the sharpness of each syllable. “You are done, and you are nothing.” “I’m your father,” Aric spat, hobbling back to his feet and leaning defiantly up against the bar. “You might leave now. You might decide to go off on your own and pretend you’re not what you are. But you will come crawling back because you have nowhere else to go.” His laugh was mocking, trying to find a way to break her down. “I’m your buir, girl. That will always be true.” The moment stretched on for what felt like an eternity as Sihna stared down her father. The same as a thousand times before, and yet completely different. Sihna felt herself go completely calm, a horrible weight settling in her chest as her next words bubbled up, spilling out of her mouth in a declaration that was long overdue but no less painful to make. “Not anymore,” she said, the words blank and final. Each dropped from her lips with a finality that was clear and cold. “You’re dar’buir to me.” She had thought the Oyu’baat was quiet before, but now it was utterly silent, no one daring to make even the slightest noise. Sihna paid them no mind, aware that she had crossed a line she wouldn’t ever be able to step back behind again. “You are nothing to me,” Sihna finished quietly, the words holding a strength that her voice had never possessed before. “So stay. The hell. Away.” The silence in the room was almost palpable as the two stared across the distance of the declaration, the gap between them widening to a greater distance than it had ever been before. There was no turning back from it now, no reconciliation to be had. “Ungrateful laandur,” Aric snarled finally, hobbling forward accusingly, his eyes darting about the room as he took in the sheer number of witnesses to his humiliation. Sihna simply stepped back, snagging her helmet from the counter and turning her back on him. She didn’t even register the insults Aric continued to throw at her armored back, each one more vile than the last. “Throw him out if you feel the urge,” Sihna spoke to the barkeep on her way out, depositing a handful of credits to pay for her meal. “It’s nothing to me.” The man nodded sharply, signaling two of the nearby beroye. They seemed more than happy to obey the unspoken command, but Sihna didn’t look back to see the display as she ducked out of the Oyu’baat. The barkeep watched the redheaded gladiator leave, sealing her helmet before stepping out into the street. He turned to the woman who stood at his shoulder, a frown creasing her features. “Make sure Black gets a copy of that vid,” he said sharply, and the woman glanced to him with lifted eyebrows. “You think Aric will try something?” “He’s just been humiliated in front of a crowd by his daughter. It wouldn’t surprise me if she ends up with a shiv in the back, whether from Aric or one of his groupies,” he replied grimly. “Let Black know. He’ll want to be on guard.”
  6. Tipping Point

    Sihna spread her hands wide, encompassing the Oyu’baat, a small smile playing at the corners of her mouth. But her eyes were steely, anger cooling until it became strength, a challenge in her gaze. “Do you see Clan Black here?” she asked pointedly, arching one eyebrow at Aric. “Because all I see is a chakaar making a fool out of himself and throwing accusations with no weight.” Aric’s face contorted in a sneer as he stared down at her, but Sihna didn’t move from her place at the bar, didn’t dare give an inch to the man before her. She had been running from this conflict for far too long, and she was sick of it. “You are nothing without me,” Aric hissed, his face mere inches from hers. “I taught you everything you know, little girl. You will come back, because without me you are nothing but the daughter of a whore.” Sihna’s smile was as sharp as the blades she carried, and Aric studied her a moment before Sihna slammed her head forward, smashing it into Aric’s nose and earning a cry of pain and anger as he crashed to the floor. Sihna ignored his friends, instead crouching down so she was on level with Aric once more, his hands slick with blood as he tried to stem the bleeding from his broken nose. She saw the rage in his eyes, a tempest that once would have sent her scrambling for cover, for a place to hide until the storm had passed. But now she met it with a frightening calm, the storm that brewed behind her own eyes easily a match for his. She had been pushed too far for too long, and she was done with it. When she spoke, her words were exceptionally calm and clear, her anger all the more apparent because of it. “I have heard enough osik from your lips to last a lifetime, buir,” she said, the word twisted and mocking, contorted in such a way that it showed everything he was not. There was no honor, no affection in the title as it was directed at him. It was an accusation of all that he should have been, and had chosen not to be. “Say what you like about me, but I’m finished allowing you to manipulate my life from the shadows. Your insults are a waste of breath. If you think, even for a moment, that I am going to forget the hell that you put me through as a child, then you are dreaming,” Sihna promised. “I remember every trial, every twisted ‘rescue’ of yours and every time I looked to you thinking that you were some sort of shabla hero, only to realize you were the villain. I am never going back to that. No matter what you call me, no matter who you try to take away from me, I will not go back. I am finished with that life.” Aric studied her for a moment, lip curled in fury, but he made no move to protest. Likely because of the blade that flashed in Sihna’s grip, the edge razor-sharp as she held it up for his inspection. “I will be dead in a ditch first,” she promised. “And if you try to make me, if you attempt to manipulate me into coming back, then believe me when I say that I will gladly take you with me.” She knew the entire Oyu’baat had stilled, watching the conflict unfold, but Sihna didn’t care. She was finished living in the shadows of the past, the memories that she had so carefully packed away from her mind. Besides, if she wound up dead in the Kelita river, at least this way eyes would turn to the man who had likely put her there. It was a gamble, one that Sihna knew could very easily end in an unfortunate ‘accident’ for her, but she’d had enough. This dance had been going on for far too long, and it was high time that it was ended. Sihna looked down at Aric, seeing the comprehension that flitted across his features. He knew that this was the end game. This was where they both stopped pulling punches, and Sihna knew with no doubt that she was going to have to watch her back. The fury in Aric’s eyes promised swift retribution, and Sihna flashed a hard smile in return. “And don’t ever talk about her like that,” she added softly. “Cin vhetin. No matter what she began as, my mother was more than you will ever be.” Sihna pushed herself back to her feet, stepping over Aric as she made her way to the door. She was done with the debates and the arguments. Sihna was finished allowing Aric to be the puppetmaster from the shadows. Her life was her own, and she was taking it back.
  7. Tipping Point

    Things didn’t improve from there. Aric’s words were slurred and his gait was stumbling from the amount of drink he had imbibed, but his insults were as pointed as ever. Still, Sihna sat through the majority of them, eyes half-lidded as she bit down hard on her tongue. Normally she would have slipped away, allowed Aric’s ravings to go unanswered as she retreated. But tonight she couldn’t find it in herself. She was so tired. Tired of retreating or standing in the middle of a full-out fight with him that she could never seem to win. Tired of constantly looking over her shoulder, waiting for the next shot to be fired in a never ending war between herself and her father. Things had only grown worse in the last year, step after step that had led to them both ending up in med centers on more than one occasion. Sihna bore a number of new scars from their encounters, though she was proud to say that so did Aric. She had left a nasty one that arced across his jaw, a testament to one of many times he had stepped too close and ignored warnings given. That time he’d underestimated her speed, as well, and been left with a reminder of why it was a mistake. She wasn’t even listening to him now, instead running one finger idly over the rim of her glass as Aric’s voice grew even louder. She could feel herself stilling, her motions becoming slow and deliberate. To the point those nearer the father-daughter pair began to move backwards. Not afraid of being caught in the middle - after all, most of them would welcome a good fight. No, this was different. This was a quiet respect, an indication that they were aware that a fight was about to happen - but that it was hers to finish. Something about today was different. Perhaps she could never win because she was always fighting on his terms. His way. Never placing him off-balance enough for her to gain the upper hand, Sihna was always battling him in an arena of Aric’s making. She had come even with him on a number of occasions, even come out ahead on a few. But there wasn’t a single time she could look back and genuinely say she had won. Time for a change, Sihna. Time to stand on your ground, not his. “You’ve been hiding behind the Blacks for months,” Aric sneered. “What’s wrong? Can’t stand on your own? Need Mand’alor’s protection to go toe to toe with anyone? Such a low price for being his whore.” The laugh that escaped Sihna was as sharp as glass, a warning rife in the sound. “You really can’t think up anything more creative than that?” she asked, turning to face him once more. “A whole year, and you just keep parroting the same insult, over and over again. Anyone would think you didn’t have any ground to stand on.” “I’m not the one hiding behind a clan that’s not even my own,” Aric snarled. “No. Because you don’t have one,” Sihna returned coldly. “You have thugs who might consider keeping someone from putting a shiv in your back, but you don’t have a clan.” Aric stepped closer and Sihna stood slowly, the motion intentionally languid as she leaned against the bar, her motions dangerously lazy. “You are coming back, Sihna. And you are doing it now,” Aric snarled, the words low but carrying through the Oyu’baat. “No.” So simple. No arguments, no justifications or threats. Just a simple answer. And one Aric had apparently not expected to face. “I will drag you back myself, Blacks or no,” Aric threatened, taking a step forward as if to intimidate his daughter into submission. Something that might have worked, when she was still a child and still so afraid of him. But times were changing, both for the Mandalorians as a whole, and for Sihna herself. And so she ignored the way Aric’s followers shifted behind him, preparing for a fight. Instead she simply smiled.
  8. Tipping Point

    12th of Nelona, 3632 BBY - Keldabe, Mandalore Darkness was falling quickly over Keldabe, lengthening the shadows of the city and prompting the warm glow of lights to spring up inside homes and businesses to combat the darkness. Sihna trudged through the cooling shadows, bag slung over one shoulder and weapons attached to her belt now that she was back in the city once again. She was bone-weary. Every step felt like it took a massive amount of energy to complete, her feet dragging in the dust, sore muscles aching from her trek out into the wilds. But it was a good feeling, one that reminded her of the recent changes and the reconciliation with Black that had made the venture out of the city less of a retreat and more of an exploration. It had been a long time since she was able to feel like she wasn’t running away. It was… nice. Not something she was used to, but something she hoped continued. The Oyu’baat came into view ahead of her and Sihna continued her path to its door, ducking into the warm light and welcoming atmosphere the place was known for. She removed her helmet with a distinctive hiss of seals releasing before moving to one of the corner booths. She swung her bag off her shoulder with little ceremony, tossing her red braid back over her shoulder as she leaned her head back on the wall behind her and closed her eyes. For a moment she simply sat there, listening to the sounds of the Oyu’baat and allowing them to wash over her senses like a balm. Knowledge still hung heavy in the back of her mind from weeks and months prior, her discussions with Corey a shadow that, while not dire, were a marker of change for the future. War was gathering in the galaxy like a storm about to break, and the Mandalorian people had a role to play in it. Gone were the days of conquering planets simply to do it, and good riddance. Now they sought more certain footing, honor of a different sort. Stories they could pass on to the next generation of honorable battles and standing with allies to shape the galaxy into something different. Something new. The barkeep passed a drink and a bowl of stew her way at Sihna’s request, and she settled in happily to enjoy the meal. It was nice to have something she hadn’t had to pack herself or hunt, and the aroma was heavenly. A ruckus at the door caught her attention and Sihna glanced up, eyes narrowing as a familiar figure stepped into the Oyu’baat. The shouts that accompanied him were enough to confirm Aric’s entrance, and Sihna hissed through her teeth in consternation. She could see the sway in his steps, enough that she could imagine the way his words would be slurring from too much drink. It seemed to be a pattern lately, even more than normal. Why, Sihna couldn’t say, but then again she had little desire to understand Aric’s life well enough to be able to predict his moods or his bouts of drinking. It was no longer something she needed to track so closely, and so what she did know came by way of rumors or her own frequent clashes with the man. She knew it the moment his attention fell on her, and Sihna sighed, closing her eyes and leaning her head back against the wall with a quiet thunk as Aric’s shoulders squared and he started across the room. Never a moment’s peace, apparently. Sihna opened her eyes halfway as Aric came to a stumbling halt before her, leaning on the bar. She smirked when he very nearly missed the countertop with his elbow, barely catching himself in time to keep from ending up flat on the floor. Pity. She could have done with watching him make a laughingstock out of himself, instead of just a general nuisance. “Well, look who’s back from her little adventures,” Aric’s voice was pitched in a stage whisper, his eyes comically widened as he gestured widely at the bag that sat at Sihna’s feet. “Tired of hiding away? Or did your precious Mand’alor call and you came running to his summons? Such a loyal pup.” Sihna sighed pointedly, taking a swig of her drink before setting it back on the counter deliberately. “Go. Away.”
  9. Into the Pits

    The crackle of lightning set Sihna’s teeth on edge as the Kaar reached out one hand, the air around the whole arena seeming suddenly charged with energy. Sihna’s eyes widened in surprise, the feeling a warning that she didn’t bother to question, instead already moving sideways, away from the big apprentice. Though he had ceased his own attack with lightning, Sihna saw the red ball gather above the Kaar, and that instinct deep inside of her confirmed that whatever was coming was not something she wanted to try to stand and take. She was still moving as lightning erupted in random strikes across the fighting grounds, a storm that originated from the Kaar who stood in the heart of it. Sihna didn’t even begin to question how the man could survive such a position, instead focusing on keeping herself from becoming a human lightning rod. Sure, wear Beskar, they said. Best armor in the galaxy they said. No one mentions the danger of getting fried by shabla Sith lightning. But there was no time for humor as Sihna’s booted feet pounded against the durasteel floor, her movements wild and unplanned as she allowed instinct to guide her, hoping to avoid the lightning that forked down across the arena. She heard a roar of pain and saw the big Sith driven to his knees but didn’t stop to take in any more than that. Instead she was handing herself over to the chaos that was burning in her, the same direction that she’d learned to trust as a child in the wilds of Mandalore, old instinct rising to the surface to place her feet where they needed to be. To halt her when needed, and to spur her to action when required. Sihna could hear the big apprentice roaring, could recognize the rage that poured into his voice. That did cause her to slow, drawing her attention as dread coiled in her stomach. There was no control in that sound, no knowledge of self or of action. She didn’t need the Force to know that, and his charge towards the Kaar only confirmed it. There was no honor in his actions, and Sihna hissed through her teeth, starting forwards. This was not the intent of this fight. Sihna tasted metal in her mouth an instant before the bolt struck her, too late for her to try to dodge or move out of its path. White-hot pain slammed into her and Sihna was thrown backwards with a shout as the lightning poured across her armor, heating it and burning flesh where the metal touched skin. It was all she could do not to scream as her muscles clenched in agony, her body shaking as she rolled to a stop, struggling to push herself back to her feet. Keep moving, Sihna, she berated herself. Move or get hit again. It took all of her will, but Sihna pushed herself back to her feet, leveraging her weight with the dual-bladed weapon she carried even as she set off moving once more. She couldn’t afford to pause, couldn’t allow herself a moment to breathe or to allow the white-hot pain to fade. Not if she didn’t want to get struck again. Instinct screamed at her to move and Sihna obeyed without question, sometimes avoiding a strike, other times weaving just for the sake of it. She could not differentiate between paranoia and actual danger, but at that moment it hardly mattered. The lightning strikes were random and chaotic, striking the floor of the arena in random bursts of energy that sent sparks flying with each impact. By te manda, this was a kind of power that shook her to her core. This was not simply martial strength or whispered legends, but raw and unabating strength, drawn from a source Sihna could neither feel nor see. This was a fight against gods, beings who could call down power she couldn’t even touch. But even gods had their downfalls. The boy was the next to be struck as he charged in like a fool, avoiding the first few strikes only to be hit by another. Sihna heard the scream that tore from his lips, saw the white-hot blade he still gripped in his hands. An instant later the boy was thrown back even as Sihna spun away, metal shattering and sending white-hot shard flying. She stumbled as the screech of metal sliced across her shoulderpad, leaving a gouge in the beskar even as Sihna regained her footing. Di’kut! The boy was lucky he hadn’t gotten himself killed with such an act, but the rise and fall of his chest as he dragged air into his lungs was enough to confirm his actions hadn’t killed him. Yet. But Sihna didn’t keep her attention on the boy, instead turning back to the fight in time to see Black deal with the massive apprentice who had so far seemed to think he could take on the Kaar alone. She heard Corey’s words but added nothing herself, instead inclining her head slightly to Corey. An invitation. Black’s blade snapped to life once more as he finished with the Apprentice, his body language shifting towards her, ever so slightly. She recognized the meaning without having to think about it, having realised the same herself. This was her chance to move into a direct attack, rather than lurking in the shadows of the others. Here was a moment that her size and her speed were an advantage, and it was time she made use of them. It was good to know Corey would help where he could, but Sihna knew better than to count on his aid. The Kaar had already turned his attention to Corey before, and Sihna would not be surprised if the Sith’s attention shifted again and Black was forced to deal with whatever other tricks the Sith had up his sleeve. Sihna threw herself back into the fight without warning, sliding forward as she used her small size to dart in and out of the Kaar’s range, the blades sliding through her hands to help make her atttacks more random, less predictable. Everything she knew about staffwork, everything she knew about blades, she combined as she worked with the newer weapon, turning it into an instrument of chaos as well as precision. The first strike was light, sliding in close to the Kaar’s leg, meant to draw his attention for an instant even as she pulled back, spinning to gain momentum and putting her strength behind the second strike aimed towards his side, the blade whistling towards the Kaar to test his defenses. The third strike came from below as Sihna allowed her left leg to slide back, offering her the leverage to slice upwards with the blade as she let the haft slide through her hands, granting her reach as she sought to take advantage of the armoured plating, seeking to bring the edge up between those plates. Reckless, maybe, but then she’d always been. Sihna kept herself moving, pushing her tired muscles, ignoring the white-hot pain in the places her lightning-struck armor had pressed against the skin. Pain had been her companion long before now, and so she simply set it aside, walling off her mind it to as she darted forward, slashing at the Kaar only to pull back just as quickly. Each time she moved back to his blind spot, careful never to put herself within easy reach of the saber he wielded. Until now the Kaar’s focus had been turned to the others, first Corey, then the big brute. Now it was her turn, and she would be certain that her attack was different than the others. Unpredictable, wild even. She didn’t have the Force to act as her aid, and so she would rely on her training and her mind instead. Perhaps a mortal might yet help to fell a god after all.
  10. Reconciliation

    Sihna could hear the wariness in Corey’s tone, see it in the tense lines of his shoulders as he spoke, offering a chance to start anew. To leave hurled accusations behind in favor of pursuing the friendship Sihna had believed lost due to her actions. It was more than she’d expected, and certainly more of a chance than she deserved. And so she nodded, uncertain of what words to offer for fear she might choose the wrong ones again and shatter the cautious truce. “Vor’e,” Sihna said simply, finally settling on the simplest form of answer that she could manage. Somehow a nod just didn’t seem like enough. They’d taken a step in the right direction, but Sihna couldn’t help but feel that her footing was still shifting beneath her feet, ever uncertain. “You remembered,” Black chuckled, drawing Sihna out of her musing as she glanced up at him. A smile played across her lips as she held up her cup of caf, eyes sparkling in wary humor. “That I did. I kept the sweet one, since I seem to recall you aren’t too fond of the way I make it,” she agreed with a grin. Corey preferred his caf black and strong enough to drop a Bantha, while Sihna sweetened hers until it all but banished the bitter bite of the drink. Sihna’s smile faded slightly and she looked down, fingers tracing the akk scars on her ankle absently. “I didn’t forget Clan Black, or all you did for me,” she said softly, all traces of humor gone from her tone. “All of you… But after Keldabe, and what I said, and Aric getting harder and harder to deal with…” Sihna shook her head, not lifting her gaze. “...I didn’t know how to come back without making it worse.” She’d spent weeks in the wilds of Mandalore, time spent wandering and searching for answers, finding none. Each time Corey’s accusation that she was running away rang in her mind, and each time she returned to Keldabe to find Aric hounding her worse than before. In the end she’d given up on her escapes, instead opting to take her father head on. She bore new scars because of it, small memories of defiances that, this time, she’d been able to stand against. “I thought it would be better if I just… disappeared. Less trouble that way, I figured,” Sihna laughed slightly, shaking her head, but there was a bitterness there. “Still running, I guess.” In the end it hadn’t seemed to matter. Each time she’d come up against him, he’d brought more backup or dirtier tactics, leaving Sihna standing alone. If she was lucky enough to still be standing at all at the end of it. Aric still reacted violently to defiance. That, at least, had not changed. Sihna’s gaze landed on her hands, still nervously tracing the scars on her ankle, an old habit she’d never bothered to break what with her usual array of armor. She froze, hissing softly through her teeth in irritation as she tucked her scarred ankles back beneath herself, carefully cradling her cup of caf in her hands. Sihna closed her eyes for a moment, banishing the echoes of memory from her mind before opening them and turning her gaze back to Corey. There was so much she wanted to say, explanations for the accusations he had left at her feet more than a year before. But a lifetime of silence was hard to break, and Sihna found herself struggling for words as silence fell between them once more. “You… you mentioned your mother, once. The last time we… talked,” Sihna said finally, wincing slightly at the last word. It wasn’t much, but it was a chance to rectify at least one of her mistakes. She hadn’t listened then, too consumed by anger and panic. But his words had weighed on her the last year, a chance squandered, his trust thrown back in his face when he’d told her of something that still laced his voice with pain. Whether it was the memory of the conversation that brought it back to her mind now or her own encounter with Tor earlier, the question was on her lips before she could think better of it. “What was she like?” Her voice was hesitant and uncertain, even to her own ears. Uncertain if the peace offering would be accepted or if she had just laid the groundwork for another confrontation. Sihna winced and looked away, fingers tracing the scars on her wrist and hand now, the habit going unnoticed by her this time.
  11. Into the Pits

    Sometimes it was nice to be the forgotten one on a battlefield. While the Kaar seemed happy to turn his attention to the brute of a Sith and to Corey, Sihna was left mostly alone. She could feel the way her mind tried to recoil from all of this, the shadows of her past trying to rise like spectres. But those were old friends, memories she was long practiced at ignoring when it suited her. She felt her blow strike against the Kaar’s legplates, the landing of it a small victory. But Sihna didn’t celebrate as she danced out of reach once more, fully aware that small victories meant little with such an opponent. Something changed. Sihna hissed through her teeth as the footing of the battle shifted, almost imperceptibly. She saw Corey react, and perhaps that was what tipped her off. Nothing more than a slight stiffening of muscles as he braced himself, but she’d trained with him long enough that she caught the motion in her HUD and immediately set herself, awaiting whatever was to happen next. A moment later she was struck by a blast of telekinetic air, slamming her backward and forcing her to regain her balance as she swung the bladed staff behind her, the tip dragging into the durasteel flooring with a screech and a shower of sparks to help her regain her balance. Her training with Black and in the arenas served her well, allowing her to keep her feet and regain her balance relatively quickly, but it was still a cautionary warning, a reminder that not everything was as simple as it was when she was fighting normal people. Sihna grimaced, bringing her weapon to bear once more. She would have to see if Kelareth would train with her when she got back to Mandalore, give her more practice with dealing with this particular kind of challenge. For now though, she glanced up to her HUD, taking in the rest of those she was meant to be working alongside. The one with the unfinished blade stood frozen, muscles locked in what Sihna recognized as terror. She hissed, the sound lost in her helmet, but she could do nothing to help him. The Kaar stood between them, and to cross so far to shield him would only call attention to the weakness as well as create a target-rich zone that Sihna had no desire to be caught in. Better to keep the Kaar busy. Sihna slid forward once more, but this time she aimed a series of blows towards the Kaar, the dual-blades dancing in the light as she varied her strikes, aiming for his feet, stomach, and chest randomly. She doubted that any of the blows would truly land, but if she could keep the Kaar’s attention from falling solely on one of the others, it might help. She heard the crack of it first, the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end in warning. Even then, she was lucky she was able to disengage as quickly as she was, reflex throwing her back out of the way before lightning exploded towards the Kaar. For Te Manda’s sake! Sihan snarled in her own mind, expletives slipping past her lips as she backpedaled instinctively. Stars, she hated Sith and all the osik they could pull. Once she was at what she deemed a safe distance she swung her weapon again, trying to regain her purpose and biting down hard on her tongue. Metal armor, metal staff, and lightning. Bad combination, she realised, drawing back at the large Sith’s attack. Part of her wanted to snap at him, remind him he was not alone in this fight and so his tactics had to be the kind that wouldn’t damage his allies as well as his enemies. But she bit her tongue, swinging her staff behind her and pacing sideways as she looked for her opening. He was Sith, and she doubted beratement from her would gain anything more than yet another enemy on the battlefield. Low and fast, Sihna, she realised, the moment of forced disengagement allowing her to see what the others were dealing with. The big Sith was attacking from a distance, and Corey was battling the Kaar who now wielded a far longer blade. She would have to be careful, but here her small size could prove an advantage that neither of the others had. But as she took a moment to recall the Kaar’s blade and the stance he took, an inkling of understanding tickled her mind. She was by no means an expert in lightsaber combat, but she knew blades, and as she watched she realized that the Kaar’s strikes were limited. Not in terms of power, but rather in the angles which the bladed weapon cut. Each sharp and precise, but unable to defend the closer an enemy was to his central form. You really want to get closer to that? She asked herself darkly, a huff of air past her lips coming in answer. Want wasn’t a part of it, though it wouldn’t matter until the di’kutla chakaar with the lightning realised he was turning the fight into a solo battle with his tactic. Sihna saw Corey stop, out of the Kaar’s reach but likely not outside the large Sith’s attention. He lifted his hand, miming a motion that Sihna didn’t catch as she turned her attention back to the Kaar. Whatever Corey was doing, she had to trust he knew his tactics. For now the best they could do was keep the Kaar’s attention elsewhere, and Sihna had to bite the inside of her cheek. Perfect. She got stuck trying to work with the big sparky brute. Sihna sighed and brought the dual-bladed weapon back up, spinning it to regain speed and focus, once more having to adjust from her instincts that came from wielding a staff. But this time, once she got her rhythm, she began to pace sideways, allowing the shaft to slide through her hands as she worked, he movement wobbling and unstable at first. But if she could get it right, find the balance and the speed, then she would be able to change her own range at will. It was different than a staff. So different that Sihna hissed through her teeth in consternation, forcing herself to focus. The motion became smoother as she found the balance, realising that speed would offset the way the blades tried to dip out of alignment. Besides, she was shorter than the rest. It only made sense that she should strike low and fast. Not a time for pride about your stature, she reminded herself, repeating the motion twice more to make certain she had not just succeeded out of luck. But each time the blade on one end of the staff snaked forward and she was able to pull it back just as easily. Sihna smiled. Sihna let out a sharp whistle, her helmet amplifying the sound as she paced closer to the apprentice whose brilliant idea it was to use lightning, trying to gain his attention. She was careful to keep her distance, not wanting to get hit by a stray bolt of lightning. That would really make her day worse. “Sparky,” she snarled, her own weapon spinning as she built power. “Together, or your strength won’t save you.” Simple, but a battlefield was not the place for long speeches. She just hoped the di’kut listened, else this was likely going to be a very short fight.
  12. Reconciliation

    The halls of the ship were empty, echoing with the soft brush of Sihna’s bare feet against the cool metal floors as she made her way down the corridors. Two cups of caf were balanced in her good hand, cupped carefully to avoid spilling as steam from the mugs rose and coiled around her, its aroma smooth and tantalizing. She had tossed and turned well into what would have been the late night hours if she had been planetside, the lecture she had received from Tor echoing in her ears. At first she’d been angry, her quiet responses to the older man clipped and clear enough to convey that emotion. She had seen the questions he’d wanted to ask but apparently thought better of at the current moment, despite the curiosity her answers had no doubt aroused. But her anger had long since faded, leaving her perturbed by two other things instead. The first was a small thing in the conversation, a moment where panic had landed heavily in her chest, making it hard to breathe despite her having no reason for it. Tor had asked a simple question about Avalia, Sihna’s mother, and yet she had suddenly found herself unable to answer. It was like something had gripped her, causing her to tense and retreat, her mind going blank and her fingers clenching and unclenching as if seeking a weapon. She could still see the concern in Tor’s face as he took in her unexplained panic and the confusion that had no doubt been written across her own features as she’d searched her mind for a reason to the reactions she’d seemed unable to control. And yet answers still evaded her, even hours later. But as curious as those events were, the second reason weighed far heavier on her mind than the first. It was more the reason that she now padded barefoot through the halls, dressed simply in cloth pants and a sleeveless shirt. Her red hair cascaded over her shoulder, carelessly held back with a simple tie. Her armor had been left in her quarters, along with all but two of her knives. A decent sized throwing blade was strapped to her right ankle, and a much smaller, much older blade rested in its sheathe around her left wrist. The blackened blade caught the light as Sihna turned down a branching hall, her steps soft as she made her way towards the Bridge and, she hoped, Corey. In the end it was not on the bridge that she found him, but instead in one of the large branching rooms, the viewport that looked out into space and the ships being constructed taking up nearly the entire wall. His back was to her as she entered, though if her time spent training with him was any clue, then he was well aware of her presence. Still, Sihna crossed over to him cautiously, wary of drawing him out of whatever thoughts held him here. As it was Sihna simply slid one of the cups of still-steaming caf across the smooth surface of the table he leaned against, the mug halting inches away from his hand. She promptly curled up in one of the many seats about the room, tucking her legs up beneath her, her hand brushing against one of the scars on her ankle self-consciously. Why she was nervous, she didn’t know, other than the fact that Black could easily shut her down. He would be well within his rights to. Silence reigned between them for a long moment before Sihna let out a slow breath. “I’m sorry, vod,” she said finally, the words soft and low but carrying across the space easily. She left off the more familiar ‘vod’ika’, uncertain if she still had the right to call him such and wary of crossing that line if she did not. “I’ve been...” Sihna shook her head and sighed. “A chakaar, di’kut, shabuir… take your pick. I panicked, and I lashed out instead of stopping for a few seconds to think instead of just acting.” She didn’t know how to feel safe. Didn’t know how to allow anyone close, or to think that her actions could be forgiven. In the year that had passed, Sihna had believed herself forgotten by Clan Black. Most especially by Corey. And so she’d kept her distance and her silence. At first it had been anger that fueled her stubbornness, then it had simply been easier, and then it had become normal. So normal that Sihna had simply come to accept that her time amongst the Blacks had ended. But even if that were still true, her words hung between them even now. Words she could not take back, but neither could she simply continue to ignore them. “Ni ceta, Corey,” Sihna finished finally, her voice quiet. The words that had choked her a year before were not easy, still a reminder of her past. But here they were warranted, and so Sihna turned away from the shadows of her past, refusing to give them voice.
  13. Reconciliation

    “Su’cuy, Sihna,” Tor’s response was calm, accompanied by a smile that wrinkled the corners of his eyes. Sihna returned it hesitantly, earning a soft chuckle in response. “No one is going to bite your head off here,” Tor assured her, looking back over the bridge. “Not even Corey?” she regretted it the moment she said it, closing her eyes and biting her tongue as Tor looked back at her with one lifted brow. “Bad joke. I’m sorry,” Sihna offered. “I’m not the one who needs to hear those words,” Tor replied, earning a lifted brow from Sihna in response. “He’s not exactly innocent in this either, Tor,” Sihna said, the words coming out slightly stiff. This was not the way she’d wanted this conversation to go. So much for a fresh start. “I never said he was,” Tor replied. “But your own actions hardly helped.” Sihna gritted her teeth, staring straight forward. Her spine was still, her arms crossed over her chest. “Is Corey getting this lecture too, or am I alone in that dubious honor?” Sihna asked, her tone clear and sharp as ice, anger lurking beneath the surface. She heard Tor chuckle and glanced sideways at him. “He’s been getting it for pretty much a year. Have you ever known me to let my son off the hook?” Tor asked, prying a half smile from Sihna. But temper still sparkled in her gaze. “I didn’t do it all right, Tor, but neither did he,” Sihna replied, turning towards him ever so slightly. There was something brittle in her tone, something sharp and buried that she didn’t dare uncover. Tor was silent for a moment and Sihna glanced over, half expecting to see anger in his face. “He did what he did because he cared, Sihna,” Tor said gently. Sihna’s jaw clenched but she didn’t look away, despite the fact it was difficult for her to form an answer. “I don’t…” she sighed and tried again. “I’m not… used to people caring,” she managed finally. She didn’t know how to sum up the years spent under Aric’s roof, didn’t know how to explain the things that had made her the way she was and left scars upon her, both seen and unseen. Sihna didn’t know how to explain all the times she had thought someone might intercede only to be left on her own again, until she no longer expected anyone to notice, much less care. She looked back to Tor, saw his gaze flick down to where the fingers of her good hand unconsciously traced the scars from the akk hounds on her left hand and wrist. Sihna immediately dropped her hand back to her side, forcing stillness and looking away. Silence fell between them for a moment before Tor sighed and Sihna looked back to him, expecting questions she had no desire to answer. But the patriarch simply glanced over her shoulder, his face difficult to read. “This isn’t the place for such conversations,” Tor said, nodding pointedly to the Bridge doors. Sihna bit her tongue but followed the cue, turning and slipping out the doors with Tor close behind. The two moved further down the hall until they were alone, overlooking a small bay whose purpose Sihna couldn’t name off the top of her head. “I didn’t come for a fight,” Sihna spoke before Tor could. “I’ll stay long enough so Corey knows I accepted his peace offering and then I’ll be gone. I won’t make any trouble. I’ll make sure Aric leaves the Clan alone as well.” Tor’s laugh was soft but it caught Sihna off-guard and she turned to him, brows lifted in surprise. “You think Corey invited you here just to give you a nod and send you on your way?” Tor asked. “He’s not wanting to just send you off, Sihna. I don’t think he ever wanted you to leave in the first place. It’s why he was so angry when you did.” Sihna looked away, her jaw clenching in anger and something else. “It was made clear the Dreysel name wasn’t one that would be a help to him,” Sihna said softly, her tone carefully controlled. “Add to that the accusations, what I was being called, the shadow it put on him,” Sihna shook her head sharply. “He didn’t need that.” “Sihna-” But Sihna shook her head sharply, turning to face Tor. “I told him he was just like Aric, Tor. I was furious at being sent somewhere because of my name. His reasons were solid in his mind, but it made me even more angry, made me feel like he’d made a decision for me instead of allowing me to make a choice. And so I snapped. When I realized that, I knew I needed to leave. He didn’t need me around slinging accusations at him when we were both furious. He had enough osik to deal with. I was angry. The last thing he needed was for me to be around when I was like that.” Tor sighed and shook his head. “He has his reasons, ad’ika. More than you know.” “If I stayed... “ Sihna shook her head. “I said exactly what I knew would infuriate him the most, Tor. I was so much like Aric right then, everything I swore I’d never be and I turned that against Corey.” Sihna sighed and leaned against the railing, closing her eyes for a moment. She felt like a weight had settled onto her shoulders, threatening to crush her beneath it. Silence fell between the two, reigning for a long moment. “I see your mother in you, Sihna, not your father,” Tor spoke finally. “You’re not a thing like him. You even look like her, you know. She even had the same shadows in her eyes, stories she didn’t tell either.” Sihna looked up at Tor, searching his gaze with her own. She saw questions there, but also a gentleness she hadn’t expected. She saw the frown that took over his features, the question that entered his gaze. “Sihna.. What happened to Avalia?” Sihna froze at the question. Asked so simply, there was no reason for the panic that suddenly gripped her, strangling her as she struggled to even breathe for a moment. Her whole body tensed, fists clenched at her sides and jaw clamped tightly as her breathing became erratic, the reaction impossible for her to either understand or control. She opened her mouth to speak but no sound fell past her lips, no answer or explanation offered and both confusion and panic warred with her mind. Sihna reached out with one shaking hand, gripping the nearby railing with white knuckles in an effort to support herself. She was shaking, unable to control the reaction any more than she could have forced herself to speak in that moment. Reason did not exist, nor did logic except to offer protest of the reaction. Horror and fear pressed in at the corners of her mind, the feelings somehow old and stale rather than fresh, but still enough to stop her speech and throw her into confusion. She looked to Tor, searching for an anchor, a way out of the miasma of emotions that had slammed into her so unexpectedly, the confusion written clearly across her face. Just don’t fall down, she berated herself. Shab, stay on your feet, don’t you dare fall down. What in haran is wrong with you? She wanted to run, to disappear, though she could not pinpoint the why of it all. Instead she took a moment, closing her eyes and forcing herself to take a series of slow breaths. “I don't-” she stopped, her throat closing and choking off her words as Sihna bit her lip. She waited a moment in silence, eyes shut as she struggled to control the mindless panic. When she did finally speak again her voice was soft, carefully controlled despite the shake that persisted throughout the words. “I never knew her,” she managed finally. “She died when I was a baby. Aric told me-” she stopped again, jaw tensing for a moment. “Aric told me she died on a deployment somewhere. He never said where, or how. He didn’t talk about her much.” There. The explanation was delivered, and such a simple one. One she had explained a hundred times before. It was simple enough, after all, Sihna’s knowledge of the woman was limited to whatever Aric had seen fit to tell her. And that was precious little. Even what she did know had come mostly in the way of insults thrown at her feet. She had never known what was truth and what was malice, and so had ignored most of it. Sihna glanced up at Tor, her gaze questioning, her hands still shaking as she fought to combat the last vestiges of the panic that had overcome her so suddenly. Sihna shook her head and stepped away, swallowing hard. “I think… I’m just…” Sihna forced herself to take another breath, forced her mind to clear even for a moment. “I’m going to go try to get some sleep,” she managed, her voice still shaking. She didn’t wait for the patriarch’s answer, instead turning and retreating to her own quarters, still shaking with whatever had come over her.
  14. Aftermath

    “A comm works both ways, Corey!” Sihna snarled in reply. “I didn’t even know where you were, much less if you’d been hurt or not. I’m not the only one who could have placed a kriffing call, so don’t you dare try to turn that so it’s entirely my fault!” She was shouting again, the words burning as they spilled past her lips. She was tempted to walk away then, even started to turn, but his next words rooted her to the spot as white-hot fury surged up in her. She turned back to face Corey, pacing closer, eyes snapping with rage. “That is not your decision to make. You don’t know a damned thing about my father or his lackeys,” she hissed, the words deathly calm but as sharp as glass. “Don’t you dare try to tell me how to deal with him. You know nothing except what everyone else knows! You have no idea what hell I’ve been through so don’t you dare stand here and try to tell me how to deal with my past. You do not get to stand here and tell me how to handle him and you do not get to stand on the outside and claim some sort of kriffing insight into a life you know nothing about!” All the years under her father’s thumb, all the pain and the rage and the helplessness were in those words, culminating in a furious storm that made her shake with fury ever as her eyes burned with angry tears. Her whole life, others had decided who Aric was and how Sihna ought to have dealt with him, from the time she was a child up to this day. It wasn’t enough that no one had bothered to look close enough at the man’s daughter, wasn’t enough that she’d faced every hell he’d put her through alone, but people had to then turn and tell her that she had handled it wrong, that another way would have been better. But none of them had had a pistol placed to their forehead by Aric at nine years old. Only she had been told he could make her disappear as easily as a breath. None of them had run from the akk hounds he had set on them as punishment for daring to flinch. And yet somehow it was worse coming from Corey. “Oh of course!” she snapped back in response to Corey’s words about trust. “How foolish of you, I suppose you should have known better than to let a Dreysel within striking range of your vode. I guess it’s all coming back to haunt you now, isn’t it? We Dreysels just can’t be trusted,” she wanted to stop. Wanted to walk away and allow them both time to cool off. But somehow she couldn’t. He accused her of backing down, that she should stand up to her father instead of running away. She was not about to prove him right by backing down. Not from him. Not over this. She didn’t have time to respond to his words about his sensitivity to the Force, but her eyes flashed in fury at his words. “You do not get to make decisions for me, Black,” Sihna snarled when he was done. “You do not get to stand there and play the part of a kriffing god because you think that you know better. You are not in a position that you get to decide what is best for me and pull the strings to manipulate me so that I fall in line and march according to your osik’la purpose!” Even an akk hound comes to heel... She was struggling to breathe now, anger and hurt pouring into her words and turning them harsh and sharp. The past mixed with the present and it was all Sihna could do to keep herself standing, to not simply collapse from the weight of it all. “I am not some akk hound to be called to heel just because you demand it. I am not your plaything, Black, and you do not get to decide who I am or what I ought to do. You stand there and you demand that I come to heel, just like him!” Silence fell between them suddenly as the accusation hung between them, echoing across the hard packed earth and causing dread to slide into her bones. Sihna’s chest heaved as she dragged air into her lungs, the anger doused in an instant as she froze. She had crossed a line, and they both knew it. The words had been the harshest Sihna possessed, an accusation that she had known would cut to the quick. And she had flung them at him anyway. Sihna closed her eyes, lifting her hands to cover her face as she stepped back, shaking her head as if she could call it all back. Corey was not the one who was just like her father. Sihna could hear it in her own words, could see the similarities as clear as day and it made her feel sick. She dropped her hands from her face and swallowed hard, her expression barren and haunted as she raised her eyes to Black. She could see the effect of her words and it struck her like a blow. “Ni-” the words choked her, a reminder of her past, of the demand for such an apology that had happened so many times. And yet it was not enough. Sihna could feel that certainty in her bones as her anger bled away and left her feeling utterly empty. “...I’ll have everything gone from the vheh’yaim by morning,” she spoke finally, the words dull and broken as she turned away. She stopped a moment more, not daring to turn back. “Gar serim, Mand’alor,” she said softly, abandoning any use of the familiar, well aware that she had lost any right to utter them. “Blood proves itself, in the end. I’ll stay away from Clan Black.” It was the only apology she could manage, though she knew it was nowhere near enough.
  15. Price of Memory

    Sihna sat silently on one of the flat rocks at the riverside, her features stitched in a frown, her bare feet pulled up under her as she stared over the water. She’s returned to Clan Black’s vheh’yaim hours earlier, immediately retreating out here without a word to anyone. Her mind was still on the events of Keldabe, leaving her restless and frustrated. Sihna had returned to her apartment in Keldabe but her mind at been ill at ease after the day’s events, anger and memory rushing through her veins like a poison. Nothing she had done had banished the emotions flooding through her, and so she’d made her way out here, even though she no longer lived with Clan Black, even though it made no logical sense for her to retreat here. Still, she’d made her way first to Clan Black, and then to the river beyond, her thoughts in turmoil. A footstep sounded behind her, but Sihna didn’t turn, unsurprised by Corey’s arrival. He came up beside her without a word, sitting next to her and handing her a steaming cup of caf. Sihna accepted the offer silently, curling her fingers about the mug as she stared across the water, catching the reflection of the stars across its surface. “I almost killed him,” Sihna spoke finally, her soft words shattering the silence. “I could have stopped all of this, put an end to all the osik, kept him from hurting anyone… He threatened a child, Black. I don’t even know how old she was. He threatened to kill her, he asked…” Sihna trailed off, the bitterness of the words catching in her throat. “He asked me to beg for her life.” Silence fell between them and Sihna closed her eyes a moment. “I could have killed him once they let her go. He would never have seen it coming. He couldn’t have reacted, and yet…” Sihna let out a slow breath, shaking her head. Sihna sighed and opened her eyes, looking back to the water. The questions that swirled through her mind were impossible to answer, that much she knew. To dwell on them was to court insanity, always questioning 'What if' and 'Maybe', instead of how fate had dictated such confrontations went. “I was so close, Corey,” Sihna said, finally turning to look at him. “So close to finding out the answers. And then he used the girl to save his own shabla skin…” Sihna looked back down at her hands, anger and frustration curling her mouth into a scowl. Every time she thought she was close to answers, the ground beneath her shifted once more. It was maddening and disheartening, each time leaving her angrier than the last. And yet Sihna couldn’t make herself walk away. The knowledge Aric held, the answers he was keeping from her, those were things she couldn’t make herself let go of. Sihna sighed and took a sip of the caf, feeling exhaustion settle over her. Another day, Sihna. Another day.