Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Holle    69

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?"

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kai Tsintah    59

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.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Holle    69

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."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kai Tsintah    59

Testing the waters was not usually Kai's style, but she had not spent the amount of time with Holle as she did with Darth Verrin or even Aiden for that matter. What she already saw of the Zeltron female she did not particularly like, but the basic understanding behind Holle's behavior did not elude her. She knew all about the infamous Sith competition. And while it was far from beneath her to indulge in the latter, Kai felt that it would be pointless to try and get one leg up on Holle. In fact, she would be lucky if she could keep up with the Zeltron. What was that saying again? If you can't beat them, join them - yes, that's what it was. Maybe it was time to adopt this particular frame of mind, Kai thought. At least for the time being.

 

Still, as Holle spoke, Kai could not help but feel a seed of derision swelling within. Appraising someone solely on the basis of their verbal communication seemed rather foolish in Korun's mind. These tribeswomen were not only mysterious and feral (unless these were merely appearances?) but they were also strong with the Force. Who was to say that they simply wouldn't tell Holle just what the Zeltron wanted to hear? Or Kai, for that matter. But the other Apprentice was adamant in stating that their relationship was built on honesty. She trusted them. And she wanted them as allies. 

 

The Korun, on the other hand, would not trust these women farther than she could throw them. Cautious to a fault, she considered Holle's question while pondering the one point in Zeltron's earlier discourse - the one that focused on learning from these natives. These people's Dark side ways were different from the Sith. Could they have also been more powerful? Is that what drew the Zeltron to these people? But Holle did not elaborate further, merely waited on an answer to her final question.

 

"I appreciate your insight on a subject which I find as unfamiliar as I do, fascinating. I was merely curious to see how these people deal with conflict or strife. How they handle survival. How far they would dare go, to ensure their freedom or protect their lives. I find that whenever an individual is pushed to the extreme, that is when you meet the real person. Consider this. You can live with someone, side by side - for years - perhaps even decades. Share her land, her fire, her food. Communicate on every topic. Then one day, bind her, and hold her over the edge of a precipice. And on that day, you will finally meet the woman."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Holle    69

"The issue at hand is we are not binding them at all. They are not going to be enslaved as students, they are going to be trained. There is a difference between adversity and total submission. We are bringing them in as equals. If one is to train as a Sith, then they should be considered Sith. The adversity they face will breed strength or cut the chaff. They are used to hardships and struggle, we should shape that strength of will into a potent Sith. It should be considered a gift, not an obligation, nor should we consider forcing it upon them. If they wish to return home, then so be it. They have seen nothing truly dangerous, they have not seen any secrets, just the training grounds. Consider this the interview process for higher education, only instead of writing an essay on why they would be a good fit for our prestiguous educational facility they are to tell us what their motivations in life are. Once we discern that kind of information we can determine which ones to put through further testing. Let us not waste time on pushing them all at once when realistically there is no way that all of them will be good fits." Holle said, pushing the button to open the door. She called out in their tongue, and one woman entered the room and the door closed behind her. She was of moderate height and build by the standards of the Dathomirian tribes. It looked as if she was a hunter for sure, and she was looking around the room with a mix of caution and curiosity. The Zeltron motioned for her to take a seat across from her, and spoke again in her tongue. The woman looked to Miss Tsintah then back at Holle and nodded.

Holle then turned to Miss Tsintah again, 
"Begin with your questions, Miss Tsintah."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kai Tsintah    59

Not binding them at all, the Zeltron said. Not that putting someone through a 'trial of fire' was necessarily binding or enslaving, it was just pushing someone to the brink of losing control and revealing who and what they really were, under the veneer of what they normally displayed. Holle went on to make several important points though, like facing adversity through strenuous physical and mental training. Suppose that would peel off another layer or two when it came to these largely unpredictable tribeswomen. And only women, Kai thought. Not a single male among them. The men must not posses any of the gifts that females do, or to such little extent as to be considered negligible. Once again, she focused on the Sith Apprentice's voice and nodded her agreement.

 

The door to the office opened, and Holle called out in a foreign tongue. One of the women stepped inside while the door closed behind her. Her movements were akin to a stalker, careful and light, her steps entirely without rhythm. A hunter, perhaps? Kai thought. She wasn't overly tall or muscular, but there was something akin to a fierce determination about this one. The woman regarded the office tentatively, studying every spartan detail. When Holle spoke again, Kai felt the tribeswoman's eyes on her, very briefly. Their guest was seated now. Part of the Korun wished she could make the savage words, but it was of no importance now. The Zeltron was going to translate for Kai, so she better get started.

 

Locking her gaze with the tribeswoman, the dark-skinned Apprentice began her line of questioning while maintaining her usual deadpan countenance.

 

"What is your name? How many years have you? The name of your clan or tribe? What is your primary purpose as a member of your people? Who is your leader? Tell me about your spiritual convictions. What do you believe in, more than anything?"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Holle    69

Holle listened to the rapid-fire questioning without expression, just as the huntress who was chosen as the first to be interviewed did as well. The Zeltron considered for a moment how best to approach translating without being quite so blunt or crude in the approach. She spoke with the woman, at length, about the topics chosen and took her own notes on the matter before translating the answers to Miss Tsintah.

 

"She is called Zoren and she is 29. She is a huntress of the Broken-Arrow tribe. It is her duty to feed her sisters, sisters being the tribe, as well as serving as a protector of her people. It is her belief that the most important thing to anybody should be strength in unity. She states that those who choose to disrupt her tribe's unity are exiled, and those exiles have formed their own tribe beyond the lands she calls home. They call their leader Mother, but her true name is Shala." she translated reasonably well. She then looked to Miss Tsintah to add her own bit, "Perhaps you should be made aware of the tribal organization on this planet. It is divided along sex. The primary native power of this planet are tribe composed entirely of women, with the men separated into their own groups as well. Procreation is at the discretion of the female, and she chooses the best possible candidate based on the male that is the strongest in their seasonal competitions to determine mating rites. It is all about protecting the future through producing the strongest children possible. It's elegant, in its own way." Holle said, fascinated by the knowledge she had gleaned simply from living among them for a fairly short amount of time.

"But I digress. You may continue questioning her, or you may dismiss her and call in the next candidate. It is at your discretion."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kai Tsintah    59

This whole situation, including the being put on the spot part, would have been unnerving to most people who had little to no experience in such situations - but Kai found a way to maintain her inner peace. She controlled her anxiety with regular breathing and maintaining solid eye contact with the tribeswoman. She was also unaware of the proper procedure to conduct an interview or interrogation of this sort. The questions she asked were merely inquiries based on her own curiosity and had very little to do with logic or form. Nodding at Holle's translation of the native's responses, she offered her name in return, along with a brief word of appreciation for the native's frankness in communicating with her, Kai. 

 

The bits about the tribal organization which were entirely Holle's addition, made the Korun swivel and cant her head in the Zeltron's direction. "A true matriarchal society, then." She commented briefly, considering this Dathomirian 'min-maxing' when it came to procreation and such. It likely translated to other layers of their culture which by now was screaming 'survival of the fittest!' at Kai - a concept she could identify with - even if her own background did not pick one gender to establish a firm upper hand in the society. The Korunnai were equal where gender was concerned. And nothing was more important than the herd and its survival. 

 

But Kai did not see Dathomirian's way of procreating and producing the strongest offspring possible through some esoteric mating rites, as 'elegant'. She viewed it as rigid and premeditated, nothing more. In her mind, the definition of 'strongest' varied greatly, depending on the individual's motivation, their purpose for being. Sometimes the smallest person could be the one to change the course of the future, and not necessarily because they were the strongest, fastest or smartest. There was a subtle combination of traits that often made the strongest individuals, like the metals combining to forge a great sword. 

 

"But I digress. You may continue questioning her, or you may dismiss her and call in the next candidate. It is at your discretion."

 

"I was under the impression that we were both tasked with conducting the interviews." Kai said. Blinking, she looked away from Holle and returned her gaze back to Zoren.

 

"Tell her she may go, and bring forth the next candidate."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Holle    69

Holle dismissed Zoren before looking back to Kai, "Yes, this is a mutual assignment, however I have lived with these women for over a year now, and know them quite well. These interviews are for the benefit of the Sith, and for you as a result. What I hope you learn from this is how to read body language, and a little bit of their tongue." She said, looking back to the door and calling out for the next woman to enter the chamber.

This Dathomirian was quite tall compared to the previous one, and carried a long spear. Her physique was impressive, toned with lean muscle and showing a fair amount of scarring from previously won duels or battles. She was a very powerful woman among her people, and widely respected among the tribe. Holle knew her as the huntmaster of the group she had brought, but she chose simply to nod to Miss Tsintah, 
"This woman is very impressive, is she not? What can you tell about her just by looking at her? One of the most important abilities a Sith can learn is threat assessment. Who among the group is the most powerful, or most dangerous? Learning how to do that will definitely help you survive far longer than those with much less awareness. Appraise her on look alone first, take note of it, then proceed with your questions."

 

Holle looked at the warrior and spoke with her in the native tongue. Kora nodded in response, and looked to the stranger in the room and seated herself down with a calm facial expression. Her spear she held down, as if she was not prepared to fight, and her overall body language was that of someone who felt as though she was safe, or was confident enough that if she had to fight she could handle herself. How Miss Tsintah read that was entirely her own business though. Holle was pleased that she was able to teach someone though, and it felt good to have time to instruct on her master's behalf.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kai Tsintah    59

The Zeltron made a fair point (more than one, in fact!) and thus, Kai bowed her head in deference to the initial statement Holle had made. There was no need for further acknowledgment as the next tribeswoman walked in the door. This specimen looked lanky and limber, toned muscle and scar highlighting this one's worth as a warrior. Indeed, she was quite impressive; even had she not carried her spear, Kai would still find herself immediately on her guard. "This one is physically fit beyond even our kind's expectations." Recalling the acolytes fighting in the training pits, the Korun could not think of a single one that was half as impressive as this female specimen. 

 

"Reading her body language, she is in a constant state of readiness; her weapon grip is a sure one although she does not appear tense, merely 'aware' of her circumstances at all times. Her bearing exudes confidence and grace, as if she is not one to take orders often but rather, give them to others. Her many scars speak not only to her bravery in combat but to her incredible survival skills as well. I would assume she is a venerated warrior or huntress among her kind, and there is much to be learned from her - if only she would allow it."

 

Kai's head bowed in deference to the Dathomirian, possibly a much wiser and experienced woman than both Kai and Holle, combined. "What might her name be? Does it have a special meaning among her people?"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×