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Kai Tsintah

Inception

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Kai Tsintah    3

Kai did not remember how they got here. Idly, the Korun wondered whether she would be capable of making her way back to the settlement if the need arose. Her mind whirled, conflicting thoughts and emotions growing in scope and stature, as if somehow magnified by whatever surrounded her. Everything she felt here seemed stronger, Kai thought. The scout that guided her within said nothing throughout the entire journey to the Academy which suited her fine because Kai did not really feel like talking. Instead, she preferred to feed her senses with the aura emitted by her surroundings as the two travelers walked onward, keeping up an invariably brisk pace.

 

The young woman’s stamina notwithstanding, she wondered how many kilometers they had covered. Distracted by a myriad of thoughts mingling with budding excitement, Kai forgot to count her steps and lost track of time, given the burgeoning, dense cloud cover that painted foreboding shadow against the thick canopy of verdant green. Overwhelmed by the mystery of all that had befallen her that day, the Korun's initial curiosity about the appearance and identity of her shadowy companion all but faded away. For his part,  the scout simply stuck to his mission: leading Kai someplace she believed, would be a doorway to her new destiny. How much longer? This thought, pushing its way through a throng of many others, seemed to amplify the loudest. 

 

Just then, the rain forest enveloping the travelers seemed to thicken. Kai’s brows narrowed, her gaze sharpening as she clutched her walking staff ever tighter. And yet, her eyes were not deceiving her; the underbrush and forest engulfing them grew more dense with every passing step. Sensing danger at the last possible moment, Kai looked down, seeing a large flattened boulder just in front of her. And then another. And another. Stepping stones, she realized as her staff came down in front of her, hands twisting upon it. Her momentum ceased briefly, dual-colored gaze examining the obstacle in front of her. Man-carved steps. Ahead of Kai, the scout paused for a moment as if waiting for her to catch up. Odd. He did not turn. He simply. Just. Knew.

 

Alright, then!

 

Climbing the stairs, Kai ascended to the step just below her shadowy guide’s. The figure in front of her resumed forward momentum and the Korun simply followed with her gaze transfixed firmly ahead.  Curiosity growing by leaps and bounds, Kai felt as if she were jumping out of her skin, eager to reach the top of their steep ascent. Her footsteps halted in tandem with the guide and she stood beside the shadowy figure who seemed intensely focused upon the wall of green that blocked further entry. Expecting to see some sort of a building upon arrival, Kai hid her confusion under a mask of indifference. Patient to the last, she now waited to see what would happen next. As the two of them paused, Kai could feel a distinct shiver of cold -- no, dread -- ripple up and down her spine. Was this some kind of test?

 

Before she could voice the thought, Kai saw the vines and branches recede as if recognizing their visitors upon arrival. Whether through some magic, trickery or physical means, there was an entrance concealed beneath all the greenery and shadow, both of which had lifted away as if by some unheard command. Swallowing hard, Kai waited for the scout to step forward before she did. A current of cold air blasted through her as soon as she moved on, causing her to shiver uncontrollably. Somehow it had found a way through all the layers of clothing she wore, and Kai found the sensation quite unsettling. Distracting and unexpected, it made the Korun focus on it, rather than her new setting. Come to think of it, she did not even remember stepping through an entrance, or what it would have looked like. 

 

Kriff. Kriff. Kriff.

 

Noting now that she could see nothing except walls of darkness surrounding her in a large foyer that was the largest she had ever laid eyes upon, Kai faltered in her steps and waited for her eyes to adjust to the absence of light within. Remembering the light-stick in her pack, Kai swung it off her shoulder and dug out the rod, turning it on. The portable device was not overly powerful, but it was capable of illuminating a meter or so, all around her. Obsidian stone below her feet, above her and all around her, and not a sign of another living being present. Her guide had disappeared, or was that another illusion to test her? Increasingly frustrated and confused, the Korun took a small step forward and then another, hearing the echo of her own footfalls being the lone sound in an otherwise barren chamber.

 

“Hello? Is anyone out there?” Calling out into an empty twilight, Kai found herself shrinking inside in spite of wanting very much to ignore the feeling of uneasiness that sought out every inch of her body. For the time being, there was no response, save the echo of her own anxious voice.

 

She was alone.

Edited by Kai Tsintah
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Darth Verrin    2,089

The next sound in the great entryway was perhaps difficult to decipher - at first. The large, old, stone walls created echoes upon echoes, making voices carry beyond the norm, and altering their sound such that pinpointing origination was almost impossible.  That last task was made even more difficult by the darkness of the place, an almost tomb-like atmosphere that made one wonder whether they had walked into a cave... or a crypt.

 

It probably didn't help that the planet of Dathomir gave off a kind of Force-interference that imbued the entirety of it in a sense of dread or foreboding. The local tribespeople had been born to it, and so were immune. Those who migrated to Dathomir could shrug off the dark feelings given time and adjustment, if they didn't go mad first, or fall prey to the natural predators of the jungles.

 

Perhaps that was the sound that met the visitor's ears - the sound of predators. In truth, the noise-makers were a kind of predator - perhaps the worst kind: teenage boys. They had been playing around outside the Academy, and had seen the arrival of the visitor and her scout. They had rushed inside, and prepared their long-planned 'greeting' of the newcomers: they killed the lighting in the main foyer, and then hid in the far corner of the room, prepared to practice their telekinesis.

 

But then they heard the woman call, "Hello? Is anyone out there?"  And one of them snickered in adolescent anticipation.

 

The snicker echoed around the room, taking on an ethereal tone and bouncing here to there. Meanwhile, the other boy tried hard to manipulate a potted plant, sending it flying through the darkness towards the speaker. It passed into and out of the meager light offered by her stick, though whether she recognized it for what it was remained to be seen. It crashed in the darkness, sending a small shower of dirt flying in all directions from the point of impact. And the other boy snickered again, egging his fellow on.

 

That boy called out in his best ghostly tone, "Be-waaaAAAARRREEEEE!!!" The echoes made him sound much older and bigger. "Who invades my sacred tomb?!"

 

More snickers.

 

Just then, a portal on the opposite side of the chamber from whence the visitor entered slid open.  The sudden flash of bright light from beyond silhouetted a figure and cast its shadow far into the room, making it look gigantic. A wash of cold, treated air followed, and an older man's voice called out, "WHAT is going on HERE?!"

 

The snickering ceased immediately.

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Kai Tsintah    3

 

"Be-waaaAAAARRREEEEE!!!" Pause. "Who invades my sacred tomb?!"

 

Nope. Definitely alone no longer.

 

Kai stilled a shudder, feeling goosebumps rise. What on earth was this place and why was she led here only to be terrorized out by menacing sounds slightly warped by strange voices. The only comforting bit about the whole ordeal was that they spoke Basic, a language she could easily understand. Yet in as much as the voice did its best to sound its ominous warning, Kai resolved to stand her ground until whoever spoke revealed himself. Clutching her bo-like staff in thirds, she lifted it off the ground with her left arm extending downward as the right hand came up just above her head, to wield the stick at a forty-five degree angle.

 

If anyone or anything came at her now, at least she was capable of defending herself, Kai thought. Unfortunately, her reach would only expand by one or two feet with the power of each strike lessened by the lack of momentum she could have generated - if able to swing the weapon fully. Still, something had to be said for quick use of both sides of the staff in rapid succession and rhythm. Kai was quite willing to sacrifice power in return for agility and flexibility her stance now offered. With her feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent, she was ready for the ‘voice’ to attack.

 

It seemed to do just that, sending something that resembled ...a POTTED PLANT, straight at her head. Kai ducked out of the way just in time, unfazed by the clash of clay against a wall of solid rock. She was growing angry now, realizing someone was having copious amounts of fun at her expense.

 

Snickers, huh? Ghosts do not snicker?! I’ll show you…

 

“Show yourself you, you little coward!”

 

Unfortunately, Kai’s challenge was cut short by a sudden flash of light illuminating a silhouette of a rather imposing figure, accompanied by a chilly draft and a rather imperious bellow.

 

"WHAT is going on HERE?!"

 

Silence.

 

Attempting to make out the features of the approaching figure, Kai quickly lowered her weapon. A figure of authority, no doubt. The pranksters certainly thought so and now, so did she. Unsure of how to greet the man, the young woman took a knee and lay the bo staff on the ground, head bowed.

 

“I am Kai Tsintah. I was brought here by a scout who promised I could learn great knowledge here. If you are one of the sensei of this place, then I submit to your guidance and wisdom.”

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Darth Verrin    2,089

Verrin could sense at least four people in the room, and as his eyes adjusted to the lack of light, he took note of a kneeling figure across the foyer, shown by a dimly lit stick that lay on the ground beside it.  A woman's voice came from that figure, "I am Kai Tsintah. I was brought here by a scout who promised I could learn great knowledge here. If you are one of the sensei of this place, then I submit to your guidance and wisdom."

 

Verrin cocked his head, wondering what he'd walked into. He answered back, "So was it you, Kai Tsintah, who turned off the lights in this area?"

 

That caused another eruption of snickering from two other figures, unseen within the darkened room. Verrin smirked. "No... not Kai," he thought to himself.

 

He didn't need to see to reach out with the Force - his efforts causing two sharp yelps as telekinetic energy grabbed the hidden boys and held them tight. Reaching out one arm, Verrin's silhouetted figure touched a panel next to the doorway he stood in, and quite suddenly, lights came on within the great room, followed by the relatively quiet hum of air ventilation systems.

 

The light revealed Verrin for who he was - and aged Zabrak of moderate height. His age was evidenced by his horned head - some of which were broken or blunted - and his somewhat leathery skin.  That skin was an odd hue for a Zabrak; it was a dusky violet color, and the rarity could only be compared to albinism in humans. What skin showed was further masked by a plethora of black tattoo work - some tribal, some more intricate. Close examination would show burns, scars, and more beneath the inkwork.

 

He was dressed conservatively - a black, hooded half-robe covered his upper torso and arms, and black pants protected his legs. Thick, heavy, black boots were on his feet, and appeared well-worn, like the person they covered. There was a rod of some sort, clipped at a belt, but otherwise there was no particularly striking feature in his clothing. The only piece of ornamentation was a single, very ornate earring in his right ear. And one could argue that his golden yellow eyes were equally as striking, belying any other apparent signs of age.

 

With the lights on, anyone in the room could see two teenage boys levitating across the room towards the zabrak. The struggled and winced, but otherwise appeared unable to move. When they levitated within arm's reach, the Zabrak spoke again, apparently addressing the boys.

 

"Do you have any idea how much effort went into piping controlled air into this place?  And lights? Why would you possibly think it a good idea to disable them?"

 

One of the boys protested, "We were just practicin'!"

 

Verrin couldn't help it - he rolled his eyes.

 

He then glanced around, noted the broken potted plant, and he sighed.

 

"Why is it, that the membership of this place wants to destroy all plant life that we bring into it?"  He asked them, though in truth, the question sounded rhetorical.  "There's an entire planet of plant life out there, and yet you find the need to break the few that we bring inside to spruce up the place and improve the air quality."

 

The scout that brought the kneeling women moved alongside her, also taking a knee. Verrin walked across the room, approaching them both. The two boys levitated along behind him, still unable to break the Zabrak's mental grip.

 

When he got within a few feet of her, he spoke again. "Kai Tsintah. If you seek knowledge, then you've come to the right place. If however, you seek to destroy my potted plants, we will have to have another discussion."

 

He didn't really think she wanted to destroy potted plants.

 

"But first, we have this small matter... or matters... to attend to."  He nodded, indicating the two floating figures behind him. "On one hand, I could look upon this situation and consider that you were trespassing, and that these boys - in the middle of a practice session - were defending this place from intruders. That would put them in the right, and you in the wrong.  On the other hand, I could say we do not treat visitors of any sort in such a way, and that these boys have wronged you, who only came seeking knowledge. You would be in the right, and they in the wrong. 

 

If you were in my position... how would you...

 

Ahhh, forgive me... you don't know me.  I am called Darth Verrin. I am the Overseer of this place, and Head Librarian. Pleased to meet you. Now then...

 

If you were in my position, how would you handle this situation between your self, and these boys?"  His golden eyes watched Kai like a hawk.

 

Force Powers used:

Force Sense, Telekinesis

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Kai Tsintah    3

"So was it you, Kai Tsintah, who turned off the lights in this area?"

 

Surprised by the question, Kai shook her head in confusion. Was this stranger mocking her? Was it a test of some sort? Finally, what reason would she have to do such a thing? Dual-colored eyes widened as she lifted her head, curious to get a better look at him. Maybe his body language would leave some telltale clues to help guide her response. In the meantime, her mind swirled with a myriad of questions that seemed to run in panicked circles.

 

Why would I--and how? I don’t even know where the light switch panel is.

 

She was about to answer when a sudden commotion could be heard and then the lights came back on. Now Kai could see a pair of boys ‘dangling’ in the air as they slowly levitated over to the Zabrak. Wait. Was it really a Zabrak? Kai tilted her head as if the gesture would somehow adjust her sight so she could see better. Nope. No change. He was still lavender with black tattoos. The man appeared to be well settled into his middle age, although Kai was still too awestruck by the dusky violet appearance of his skin, to take notice.

 

The Zabrak took a moment to admonish the two teenage troublemakers but as he turned to approach her, Kai once again lowered her gaze to the floor. Just then, another presence materialized beside her and took a knee next to the Korun. Sneaking a quick glance over to her left, Kai realized it was the scout that had led her to this place.

 

"Kai Tsintah. If you seek knowledge, then you've come to the right place. If however, you seek to destroy my potted plants, we will have to have another discussion."

 

“No, sensei - I would not raise a finger to your plants,” Kai answered in earnest. “On my world, they are so scarce that if one manages to survive in the high altitudes of the mountain slopes, we do all we can to protect it and help it strive.”

 

Thankfully, Darth Verrin did not seem to think she was a vandal. Instead, his attention turned to the two young hellions apparently unaware that their actions could earn them some truly unpleasant punishment. Or, that the same or worse discipline could be applied to her, as the Zabrak indicated.

 

What to do? What to say to all this?!

 

Realizing that her neck was beginning to develop a cramp, Kai’s head lifted slowly. Dual-hued eyes of blue and brown met with the startling gold of a stranger who had just introduced himself prior to asking her judgment as to what should be done regarding all that had just transpired between her and the two mischief-makers. Scratching her head, Kai thought for a moment before answering in a firm, resolute manner.


“Have the boys bring in two new plants to decorate the foyer so sensei’s displeasure burns less bright and the quality of air in the foyer is restored. Have Kai take the broken plant and find it good soil outside so she may make amends for not catching it earlier as she should have. One should not let base instinct control one’s foresight,” she admitted, still in the kneeling position. “As for my presence in this place, it can be confirmed by the scout who brought me here.” Kai paused for a moment, hesitating. “Sensei Darth Verrin.”

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