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Holle

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Holle    65

Holle's Office, The Dathomir Academy

Following the events of Mind Over Matter

 

There was something poetic about having say in what students could and could not enter the Sith Academy. While it was normally not the case given the nature of the Sith's tenuous surival in the galaxy, the notion of bringing in untested tribal warriors and demanding their loyalty to a new master was something untoward to those with a healthy level of caution. Darth Verrin, her master, was absolutely correct in his assessment that the warriors would have to face a change in loyalties. That made what Holle and Kai had been assigned to do absolute necessity. To understand where these women stood in relation to their drive for success as a warrior, versus their loyalties to their kith and kin, it was common sense once Holle had the veil of ambition lifted from her eyes.

 

The Zeltron had stepped out of her master's office following the discussion, as well as her introduction to the newest student he had adopted as a pet project. The woman was at least respectful and understood her place in the pecking order, so she had that going for her. Still, Holle hated the idea of competition for her master's attention and training, and that meant that there was a tenuous balance of which Miss Tsintah was not aware. The woman stood on the precipice of disaster should she manage to usurp more than her share of the old man's attention; but likewise she stood close to respect should she prove to have more tact than the more Rancor-headed students in the general population.

 

Holle looked at her cohort of tribal warriors, and spoke to them in their language. She detailed what was to take place, and while they did not quite understand the need to allow yet another stranger speak to them, they understood that Holle had proven herself to be someone that would not guide them down a false path. While she conversed she cast sideways glances at Kai, a subtle motion for the women to look at her.

 

"The women will follow us to my office, and there we will speak to them one at a time." She said, not looking at Kai while speaking to her. Holle motioned for the women to follow and without so much as a word they formed up quite formally behind her through the halls and into the fastidiously kept office. If Darth Verrin's workspace was the end result of a hurricane of research, then Holle's was a precision strike. Everything had a place, and everything had a purpose. There was not so much as a single thing askew. Holle turned and told the warriors to wait outside, and that they would be spoken to one at a time.

 

Holle moved around her own desk and seated herself, leaning back in the comfortable chair and crossing her legs. She motioned to one of the chairs for Miss Tsintah, while the warriors stood at ease just outside the now closed office door. "I have told them we will ask them questions about their home, their history, and themselves. We are going to build a psychological profile on each of them, and assess the possibility of their entry as students in the Academy from there. I will not guide your line of questioning, rather I will interpret. I will also be taking notes. Are you ready?"

 

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Kai Tsintah    49

Having waited outside of Darth Verrin's office for a few minutes, Kai used the time to observe the tribeswomen who continued to stand in the hallway, almost adamant in their immobile state. Perhaps Apprentice Holle had used some darkside magic to persuade them to remain as they were - or maybe they simply respected the Zeltron as a fellow warrior? Either way, they seemed staunchly determined to remain as they were until their 'liaison' emerged again. To Kai's surprise, it did not take long.

 

She barely had time to consider a single path to facilitate their current assignment when Holle emerged from the same door Kai had exited only moments earlier. Turning to face her immediately, the Korun bowed in deference to the Sith Apprentice and waited to be spoken to. Watching the Zeltron approach and speak to the group of natives, Kai shifted her dual-colored gaze shift from her fellow Sith to the women, and back and forth like that - watching for any signs of trouble from either side, focused deeply on everyone's body language since she could not understand what was being said.

 

Assuming Holle was explaining to them what was about to take place, the Korun vowed to pick up the native language as quickly as possible. To this end, she was certain there were books and holo-recordings in Darth Verrin's office that would help her do just that. It would be time consuming, but definitely worth it, especially if the project were to have the desired impact. The more of them fluent in the locals' culture, the quicker the assimilation of the locals would take place. Or at least, that is what logic seemed to dictate.

 

"The women will follow us to my office, and there we will speak to them one at a time." Holle said without looking to her.

 

Kai nodded, "Yes, my lady." She waited until everyone formed up and began following Holle, then stepped in behind the last one to bring up the rear. In a space of a brief reverie, they would find themselves in the Zeltron's office which was a stark contrast to the Zabrak's workstation. Everything here was meticulous and painstakingly precise. Not a speck of dust visible, not a single item out of place. Kai's eyes widened slightly, taking it all in and realizing that if she had an office, it would probably be a perfect mix between Verrin's glorious disarray and Holle's draconian exactitude.

 

Heeding the Zeltron's inviting gesture, Kai took up a seat on the edge of one of the chairs near Holle and listened to the woman explain the what they were about to do, and how they would be going about it. When asked whether she was ready, Kai turned to Holle and shook her head. "I do have a question before we begin. Is the nature of this study going to be based on their verbal answers only, or will there be a practical aspect to this as well?" The measure of one's Force aptitude, after all, could not be rooted in conversation alone. Waiting for Holle to answer, the Korun wondered whether she would be scolded for asking a question before getting permission to ask it - but she would not worry about that now - the last thing the Zeltron would want to demonstrate is any kind of disunity among their own kind. 

 

Qui rogat, non errat.

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Holle    65

Holle bristled for a moment at the question. She had just said explicitly what they were to do, but after a small moment considering the curiosity of the acolyte she calmed down ever so slightly. Her eyes lingered on Miss Tsintah, an expression of reserved annoyance hanging between the two of them in the momentary silence. "Yes, the nature of this study will be verbal, and only verbal. We are to appraise them on their words alone." She said, answering the question very directly. Holle adjusted her chair behind the desk and looked over at the door where the women outside waited, "These women are not fully aware of what the Sith Order represents. They know that I am the liason between our Academy and their tribe. Our cooperation is built on honesty. Should we implicitly believe every word they say at face value? No, we should not. There is more to truth than just accepting someone's statements as gospel. One of the key components to discerning the truth in someone's words is to pay very close attention to the little details. Body language and facial expressions, however subtle, can reveal more about someone than their voice can."

 

The Zeltron paused for a moment, looking at Miss Tsintah with more intent than before. She had drive, it seemed, wanting to know just how the interviews would work. It was a quality she shared with the student. Holle did not like to go into situations blindly. "Learning to read people in this simple way is one of the key aspects of diplomacy. The ignorant often find that the word diplomacy and Sith do not mix, but the old adage that one can attract more flies with honey rather than vinegar remains true regardless of one's outlook on the greater Force. We have a very tenuous connection with the tribes on this planet, and no position to simply wipe them out. Besides, what would we gain from destroying them all? Is there something that we as an Order would benefit from by their eradication?" Holle steepled her fingers in the small pause. "No, I personally do not believe so. They have practices and an understanding of the Force that is very different than our own. It is a more religious look than most Sith are willing to adopt. They have long traditions of shaman and war chiefs that draw on the power of the Dark Side to settle their disputes or search for truth. I feel as if we as an Order would benefit from finding those willing to share their ways with us, rather than simply discrediting anything that is not strict dogmatic Sith doctrine." Holle sat back lecturing, a small trait she picked up on from her master. She had already been a verbose woman to begin with, but in the environment or her training that habit had grown exponentially. It was a thing she never considered actively, as there was no better way to educate someone than with imperical truth or historical fact backed up by the Library's stacks.

 

"I digress though. What do you feel would be gained from a so-called practical examination of the women? Make your case well and I will consider it, Miss Tsintah."

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