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Darth Verrin    2,127

"That's too bad," Verrin commented idly on Kai's self-stated qualifications. But if he appeared disappointed, he didn't sound that way.

 

He was mildly amused with the repeated term 'sensei', but attributed it to a cultural quirk that would stick or not as Kai heard more, different people address him. Of course, there was always the possibility that the moniker would stick as others heard her speak it.  But the conversation required his input, so he leaned on his elbows on the desktop, and spoke to some of the questions Kai brought up.

 

"It's my understanding - and mind you, this is skewed, as the male point of view is somewhat dampened on this world - that the various tribes number between forty and a couple hundred women per group. The nature of their culture, level of civilization and technology, and this planet's geography dictate that larger groups become unwieldy, and smaller ones get absorbed or snuffed out completely.

 

I also understand that there are some tribes of menfolk here - those tribes tend to be few but long-established. The various amazon tribe leaders know that in order to perpetuate their species, they require menfolk for reproduction. My reading tells me that they have 'coming of age' rituals where mating is a mixture of the women defeating their desired mates, and rites of passage for the menfolk - as they strive to be the best specimen, so their tribe or family is chosen for mating. The various amazon tribes have a mutual understanding that the male tribes are to be preserved at all costs, but not allowed to prosper enough to be a threat.

 

We are in a similar situation, where we do not want the amazon tribes to become strong enough to be a threat to us. We want to take their best Force-sensitive people and make them part of our tribe, so to speak."

 

Verrin steepled his fingers in front of him. "So to address your points... if we don't make ourselves too strong a target, then the tribes will not unite against us. We are more than strong enough to handle any single tribe, and likely even several. We are NOT numerous enough to withstand a large number of tribes banding together against us. We aren't in our home territory... we are in theirs. They can win any kind of 'siege', so to speak.

 

As for their technological state, they have little. Electric power is absent, as are traditional 'firearms'. They don't possess blasters, or a desire to that I'm aware of. But they are skilled with their bows, their spears, their knives.  They have smiths, and can create simple martial weapons - I know of at least one tribe near the hills that wields metal sabers. But they mostly fashion weapons and tools from their environment, which is jungle. Their real strength comes from the Force.

 

This planet is steeped in it - the Force - and they, by osmosis or attrition, or what-have-you not only have some innate ability, but those who have really connected to it and can tap into it have become their shaman. These women are able, through rituals as old as the Sith's own ancestors, to create the same effects as we can. If you've read up on Battle Meditation, for instance, they can do it. If you look into Force healing techniques, or telekinetic binding, they can affect them too. They just require a focus - a ritual, or fetish - like our ancestors did. And most importantly, some of them can connect in some way to the rancors... I wouldn't say they tame them, because they are hardly 'tame' themselves. But they manage to come to some agreement with them on a telepathic level, and can get them to work together for mutual benefit."

 

Verrin paused.  He had some first-hand experience with the tribes, both as an emissary and as a captive.  While he was no expert on Dathomir, he wasn't oblivious to the ecosystem either.

 

"I'm pleased you're not concerned about the competition, Acolyte Tsintah. You'll do well, I think."  He looked first to her, then to his Apprentice.

 

"You both make good points that we not only need more information, but we need to start integrating those tribeswomen who will be loyal to us.  Because you both share the genetics that make these women trust you - over me - I want you to initiate interviews with the eight subjects my Apprentice has waiting outside. Question them... assess them.  You are aware of my concerns, so I trust those will influence your decisions.

 

Apprentice - take the Acolyte with you, and go interview your candidates in any way you see fit.  Find out which can be loyal to us, and have the rest escorted out of the facility. Feel free to question or test them as you will - but keep in mind that if they are not selected, they will take whatever information they learn back to their tribes. In essence, you two will be picking your peers in the near future. I think it'll be a good lesson in how a Sith Lord looks at budding Sith... they have to be good enough to be competition, but the concern is always that they will be too good. I eagerly await your conclusions, and will discuss how you find the process at length.  It's not often that such an opportunity presents itself to Sith at your stage of development."

 

His eyes roved over them both, and a sense of pride could be read in his gaze, or felt in the Force.

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Kai Tsintah    47

Well, Kai may not have had the answers Darth Verrin sought, but she did sense the Zabrak seemingly 'entertained' by something she said. Either way, she did her best to offer her 'counsel' and once she was done with that, the acolyte expected to be dismissed. Before that would happen, however, the Sith Lord spoke at length with respect to the points she brought up earlier.

 

Force-sensitives? It was by far, the most interesting news when it came to the tribal population. Well, it would certainly explain a few things. Like riding those awful beasts, to start with!

 

In the end, Darth Verrin had made his decision. It may not have been what Kai expected, but then again, when did Sith go forth and do the 'conventional'? They were ordered to gather more intelligence and start integrating the tribeswomen into the Sith 'herd'. To that end, they would have to determine which ones would be the most suitable.... Not a task to be envied, Kai thought. Then again, she was not going into the unknown alone; the Zeltron was going to be in charge of this task as they went to interview their 'guests' waiting outside.

 

"As you will it," Kai answered simply. She bowed to Darth Verrin, then to Apprentice Holle, then removed herself from Verrin's office content to wait outside. Hopefully, they would take some time to confer as to what Holle expected of her, and how the Sith Apprentice wanted to proceed. With the door closing behind her, Kai's dual-colored gaze befell the gathered women and a staring contest ensued. Might as well observe them here, while waiting for the Zeltron to emerge; it would give Kai and the Dathomirians a little time to get 'silently' acquainted.

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Holle    63

Holle took one final drink from her mug and sat the thing back down on the beverage cart with but a simple use of telekinesis. She had been given another task, and for it to be performed with his new project student. The Zeltron noticed that the woman did not rise to the barbs, and so she noted that she was at least a nose above the rest among a fresh crop. Control of one's tongue and temper around their betters was a very fast lesson that was most often learned through pain, so she could appreciate that much about the student.

 

She bowed her head in her seat, "Absolutely my Lord. It would be my pleasure to screen potential students. We needn't use our resources on those who have no chance to yield any progress, correct?" Holle looked upon Kai with the final word. 

 

"Acolyte Tsintah, you will ask these women what you believe to be pertinent questions regarding their readiness to learn in the Academy. Of course, I will interject should the line of questioning prove to be irrelevant. I will interpret between you and the tribeswomen, as I speak their language. If you wish to interact more with the tribes in service to the Sith Order then I would recommend you to learn the language as well. When I return to Sector A-7 to meet with their priestess I will discuss this learning opportunity with her. If they agree to teach you their language then of course I expect you to accept the gift of their welcome into their community. Am I understood?" She said, with the true panache of someone who had a taste of being a successful diplomat for her master and the Sith. Holle could get used to serving as an intermediary between neutral parties and the Sith.

 

The Zeltron looked to her master, holding a finger up to pause Miss Tsintah for a moment should she go to answer immediately as she was leaving, "I will compile the list of potential candidates at the conclusion of the interviews with both myself and Miss Tsintah's opinions on each woman in question. May I make a request of you, though, my Lord? Would you kindly set aside some basic archival texts on linguistics and the power of langauge for Miss Tsintah? I feel it would be in her best interest while we are on this world to study up on the idea that words can hold power beyond simple understood meanings."

Edited by Holle
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Darth Verrin    2,127

Verrin smirked at Holle's last request, and glanced over to Kai, who seemed to want to exit the office as quickly as possible. He couldn't sense any fear from her directed towards him, so he guessed that she was either eager to start the interviews, or she was uncomfortable with Holle. Of course, a combination of both was possible, or even none of those, but Verrin thought he'd amuse himself with an answer for both their benefits.

 

"Naturally, those texts are available.  I'll have Agatha flag them for ease of access, though you could show Kai how to do that yourself. But... by the by, Apprentice... how do you know that Miss Tsintah cannot speak their native language already?"

 

He let that question sit for a moment, as he looked upon them both. He guessed that given Kai's self-described isolation, that she didn't know the native tongue, and even if she did, she might not know the particular dialect. But she was also surprising in many regards, and for all he knew, before she ever traveled to Dathomir, she took the time to learn the basics of the native language. Or perhaps she knew sign language, pictoform, or telepathy... some other communication method. Interpretive dance?

 

Most likely though, his apprentice was correct, and the pair would have to work together to talk tot he tribeswomen. That would require them to start building trust with one another, as Kai would be relying on Holle to translate what she said without interjecting her own opinions to change the tone of a statement too much. He could already imagine Kai asking where the tribe's water supply was, and having Holle translate it as, "The dullard wants to know if you are capable of drinking water."

 

But similarly, he knew that Holle would need to start building trust with Kai in order to work with her in completing their goals. And in the near future, if Holle was to instruct the new 'student', she would need Kai to trust and believe it what she said.

 

The Sith... building bridges... who would have imagined they'd fall so low?

 

In fairness, Verrin attempted to offer a quip at Kai. "Follow Holle's lead though - she has established a level of trust with the tribe already, and has managed to get me coffee... I cannot stress how invaluable that is to me."

 

It was true. Even though he was as prepared today as he was on day one for Holle to kill him and take his place, she HAD managed to get him coffee by working with this tribe. She had definitely scored some favor points with that effort.

 

"Go on now... both of you. The sooner you start, the sooner we can begin bolstering our ranks."

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