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Darth Verrin    2,201

(Two years ago...)

 

The attack on Dromund Kaas had happened a while ago, and the remnants of the Sith had dispersed across the galaxy - some to Nogatan, where this faction had come from, others to a temple hidden deep in the jungles of Dathomir, and still others on the inhospitable world of Ziost. For a while, they licked their wounds, they slowly recovered, and then they stuck their heads out of their respective holes to see how the galaxy was getting along in their absence. It was not going well.

 

The Jedi, feeling that the Sith had been all but eradicated from the galaxy, had pulled back to their enclaves and out of politics at large. And the Republic, without an Empire keeping them in check, had surged to fill the void left behind by the rest. Not even Mandalorians were able to come together to stop it - and nobody believed they would have even if they were at their strongest.

 

The void-filler was a feared and respected leader who disseminated punishment upon the crippled Imperials he came across.  Such punishments were largely terminal - a scorched earth policy when one didn't want the roots spreading beneath the surface after the tops of the plants had been cut. But the roots weren't completely eradicated... and they took hold elsewhere.  They grew stronger. 

 

Scattered Imperials, Sith, Mandalorians, Chiss, and Jedi banded together - the enemy of their enemy was their friend, and they all had a common enemy in the leadership of the Republic. On a small space station, they gathered, and they formed a pact to work together.  The plan was to relocate the majority of their forces to a planet called Nirauan, and begin their war upon the Republic that wanted them broken, once and for all. That was then...

 

A short time after, construction was well under way on Nirauan.  Expanded facilities and structures were needed to house military folks, Sith, Jedi, Mandalorians, Chiss, and civilians too - not only support staff for the various parties, but refugees, and the usual commerce and business-oriented beings of the galaxy. One such structure was a massive building that would become 'The Archives'.

 

(Some time between now and then...)

 

One night, like any other, the stars over Nirauan winked out of sight as first one massive ship, and then another, and another warped into space, taking up orbit around the planet. Starting at night, a convoy of cargo shuttles began to ferry out of the sky towards the Archives, and that flight-path was still congested when morning came and daylight lit the facade of the building in a warm, orange glow.

 

There were other ships too - some carrying people, others ferrying droids, and one older fighter class ship stole down among the traffic.  Its trajectory appeared to be the same as the rest, though when it landed, a large contingent of humanoids emerged. They were clad all in dark, light armor, and wore faceless masks that made them all look alike (aside from height and build, of course). They strode down the boarding ramp with purpose, forming a living aisle for a man dressed all in black, who exited seconds later. This man wasn't particularly tall, or built, nor was he wearing anything that designated him as a person of import or rank. But his mask was not faceless - it bore the resemblance to a bare skull, complete with baleful black eyesockets. He walked unhurriedly to the end of the aisle of guards, and paused to reach up and release some catches on the mask. It came free, revealing the face of a Zabrak beneath it.

 

The Zabrak was older, or seemed to be - it was difficult to tell given all of the tattoo work that covered his otherwise dusky lavender skin. Those tattoos were evidence enough to any Iridonian that this Zabrak had been through much.  Many of those markings addressed rank, battles, family, and the dead - and there were far more of them than there were not. He took a deep breath of non-humid air.  He didn't quite smile at that, but he was grateful to be gone from the oppressive humidity of Dathomir.

 

His golden yellow eyes surveyed the large building, before him.  It was roughly the size of the Institute, back on Nogatan - a massive temple-like structure, and the first time he'd been ordered to build an educational facility rather than just a Library. In a quiet voice, he said to nobody in particular, "It'll have to do."

 

He stashed the mask upon his belt and proceeded forward, with the ranks of Guardians falling in behind him. In the distance to either side of him, the cargo vessels were being unloaded by heavy lifter droids that moved the various containers towards the building proper.

 

Upon entering, Verrin took in the scene.  There was a lot to like. The place looked sturdy, for one thing, and definitely capable of holding the contents of a Library twice the size he was used to, if not more. It didn't have the black marble tile he liked, but he could have some flooring reworked, if he was really of a mind to. Besides, this building had multiple levels - something he wasn't so used to.  His Library had basements and sub-basements, but upper floors were a thing he wasn't accustomed to, and he snarled a little in disappointment. "Stairs..." he sighed. He wasn't so old that he was pained by taking stairs, but having them to negotiate meant things could get dropped - and not just people. There was nothing worse than tripping with an armful of flimsi, or being pushed by a rival Sith. He finished, "How quaint."

 

Descending one of those staircases now, was a familiar sight though. Maggie, his protocol droid and assistant, negotiated the steps flawlessly, even though her 'feet' were crafted to look like high-heels. She flashed a broad smile as her emotional replicators told her the expression to make, and she greeted her master pleasantly, "My Lord - please follow me.  Our wing is this way."

 

Verrin nodded, and followed her into the facility, passing the droids as they assembled a replica of his Library in this area.  It appeared there was another wing, adjacent to this one, that was also under some kind of renovation, but for the moment Verrin paid it no mind. The Guardians who followed him fanned out, their leaders surveying the site as they began to fulfill their oaths: to Protect the Library and its Contents. There wouldn't be any lightsaber duels here... no fires... no errant blasters going off... not without their direct intervention. Two Guardians stayed with him though - for he was a 'content' of the 'Library'.

 

Maggie went on about the developing construction, and pointed out that the portraits of the past Temple Lords had been brought along. Even now, they were being hung carefully on the walls of his area, massive twenty by forty foot canvases depicting people who were mostly dead and gone - but people Verrin had served in his time among the Sith.

 

Beyond those, along one wall were a few doors.  The wall spanned across both Verrin's 'wing' and the adjacent one - and two doors were within fifty feet of one another. Maggie led him through the one in his section, revealing his office. 

 

Sure enough, the black marble tile he loved was already present, though his area rug was still rolled, and his desk and beverage cart were still in packing material, carefully preserved.  There were also several crates that he assumed contained the contents of his desk, but only he would be able to make sense of them. He nodded at Maggie - things were moving along satisfactorily. "The adjacent door," he commented, "is that an office too, and who occupies it if it is?"

 

Maggie replied readily, "Why, Jedi Master, Homra Azner, My Lord. The Jedi contingent occupies that wing of the Archives."

 

Verrin's face went deadpan.  It wasn't completely unexpected; he knew he'd be working with or near Jedi when he agreed to the Sith'ari's orders, and the pact on that space station. But now that he was here, and now that the idea was becoming reality, caused him to pause and consider. He had a really strong dislike for the Jedi - a hatred, really, though he prided himself on 'being professional' if necessary. Still though... the Jedi would be right... there...  Would they miss one master if they went missing?

 

Verrin sighed and rolled his eyes. Even if he wasn't the one to make the Jedi disappear, he would likely be blamed for it, for being so close in proximity. This would likely be a frustrating situation. "Hmph," he hmph'd. And then he repeated, "It'll have to do."

 

He grimaced.  He couldn't help it. "Well... better unpack that beverage cart asap.  Either we'll have visitors soon, or I'll want that bourbon... whichever comes first."

Edited by Darth Verrin
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Darth Evastus    758

The Sith'ari walked the halls of the High Tower with the his cloak draped lazily beneath his pauldrons and over his left arm. Garbed in a much more extravagant outfit than his typical armor and layered robes, black cloth embroidered with golden stitching sat over his large frame, the pieces of armor emblazoned with the same gold detail, taking the appearance of someone of noble heritage - much like he was, and such vanity was a curse for those that could indulge in such things. Stress from pushing his body with the dark side of the Force and the radiation he had absorbed prior had greyed his hair, though he did not appear as weak as he once was as he held himself with the same grace as before. No longer was the scar on his forehead as prominent, though the jagged appearance still appeared on his paled flesh.

 

Even after two months of setting up the planet and dividing the populace, many had struggled to come to terms with their new circumstance, not even the one that had offered the Sith's hand in the coalition. While many had been settled, there was still much work to do with the uprising of the settlements and a Cult of Sith outcasts, one led by a Sith who deemed himself Darth Ravus. While this was something that was below the Sith'ari, it still piqued his interest that other Sith could have survived and segregated into their own Orders with their own twisted beliefs, but it just meant the Sith Order had to force it's hand to capture and recruit those who fought against his rule.

 

Approaching the entrance to the archives, the man opened himself to the Force and let it flow through his being. The structure he walked through was nothing like he had ever witnessed before, besides something of significantly smaller scale, but the wonders of it were still unknown to all. The untapped power that laid beneath and within the halls of the High Tower was something that intrigued the man, but also frightened him in some form, but that was what Verrin and the Jedi, one he had met briefly many years prior, were to uncover. While he knew the Jedi Order would be opposed to the idea of utilziing the technology and other aspects discovered for the war, they would seek ways to assist those trying to survive - and that fit the bill in the short term.

 

Descending the stairs as he utilized the Force to act as his guide towards Verrin, one of the two men the Sith'ari had planned on meeting at least within the year in a much less strict environment than a council meeting. The other was C'erian Eidolon, the esteemed Jedi Grandmaster that was somehow silenced by the mongrel of the Jedi, their Speaker, something that still confused the man - but questions and answers would come in time, they always did. The archives' were large enough to fit the entire former Sith database and more within it, though Verrin had successfully shrunken down most of the information stored when they had to retreat to Dathomir - and thankfully, new information could be gathered and stored once more without the threat of being attacked by every single entity within the galaxy.

 

Approaching the offices as his footsteps could be heard, the Sith'ari bowed his head in the direction of the older male as he caught the last bit of what he had said - the mention of alcohol bringing a slight grin upon the younger male's lips. Alcohol had it's placed, and rightfully so, they would probably need more than what Corellia and Alderaan could export out to them while dealing with the Jedi.

 

"Lord Verrin," addressing the Sith Lord in a calm and collected manner, the Sith'ari bowed his head in his direction before stopping a few paces away, "I assure you that at most the Jedi you speak with will probably question their own beliefs before causing you to drink excessively. Few of us hold the quality you often display, the undying understanding that philosophy of the Force outweighs both the light and dark entirely.. in addition to the way to make yourself smaller than who you actually are, always providing audiences for those that are far beneath you - I'm slightly envious of the latter."

 

He had chosen Verrin as his equal on the  based on his experience and what the man could do to assist the coalition was more than just being a teacher or a warrior. Verrin had been known for getting his hands dirty, in combat and in discovery, and with his new position alongside the other Jedi Archivist, it would be up to him to deal with the artifacts personally. While the Sith had been plenty before, many former Councillors had disappeared and Spheres had to be shrunk accordingly, and thankfully Verrin's Sphere of Influence had mostly stayed the same - he had to fill the shoes of three Spheres, while many others had been given their own primary Sphere of Influence to rule over.

 

"As my equal, I provide you with the duty of what you once held back within the Sith Academy, you are to lead the new blood and teach them accordingly, before sorting them into the other Spheres of Influence. Consider this as being promoted to the most important Sphere of Influence within our ranks, though in time your duties will lighten as more new blood prove themselves worthy of the title of Sith Lord."

 

Folding his hands behind his back as he finished speaking, the finally opened his eyes to look at Verrin without the Force.

 

 

Post Information

Spoiler

Thought others would've posted in here before my sick self did. Ah well, at least I got a post out and hopefully can keep up my posting mojo even after writing everything prior :P

 

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Darth Verrin    2,201

The Force was odd in this new place.  Or rather, the way it acted to Verrin's mind was the odd part.

 

He knew why; there were a few reasons. The presence of the Jedi was throwing off his senses - he was so finely tuned to the presence of the Light Side, that when it appeared on Korriban, Dromund Kaas, or Dathomir, he picked it up immediately. But here, where the two factions were becoming one, the Light Side was almost always 'on', niggling at his senses, and sending him into an almost constant state of wariness. When a youngling practiced their art, when a student used the Force to pull a book from a shelf, when a sparring pair used it to heal one another's injuries, each one was a warning bell, telling Verrin of potential danger. But now, those 'dangers' were supposedly not, and he was going to have to learn to accommodate the new sensations, bringing them more into balance with the way he sensed the Dark Side. Years of experience and training had taught him to be 'aware' of other Sith attempts on his life.  Now, the Jedi were going to have to be put into that same category of threat-level. He would have to adapt, or else he'd have to medicate himself so that he might find a few hours sleep now and again.

 

This also wasn't his Library - not like he knew it. Sure, he made the space 'feel like home' by hanging the portraits of Temple Lords past, by lining the shelves with his beloved books and flimsi, and by transplanting his office.  But it would take time to 'own' the space the way he was used to.  It was like buying new shoes that had to be broken in. He would do just that, as he'd done a few times prior to now, but it would take time.

 

Still, there was no mistaking the sensation in the Force that announced the presence of the Sith'ari. Verrin was slightly surprised that the leader of the Remnant would be here, overseeing matters, but perhaps he was still developing a level of trust in Verrin. He couldn't blame the man.  Back when he'd been the Hand of the Emperor, and Verrin had newly ascended to the Council, their differing philosophies had put them at odds. But time, and shared experiences had tempered that somewhat. Verrin understood and respected the man's position, and maybe he felt the same way. Verrin could only assume that, given that he was still alive, and still in a leadership role among the Sith.  If he was still hated so much in the Sith'ari's eyes, then he'd surely be dead or gone... or both... by now.

 

Verrin didn't quite snap his fingers at Maggie, but a nod and a look from him told her to hurry up with the beverage cart. The command came just before the leader of the Sith spoke, his words surprising Verrin as much as his presence.  He bowed in return, and replied in kind, "Sith'ari. We can only show them the way. Sadly... though we lead them to water, they seldom drink."

 

In truth, he was envious of the Sith'ari too. Prior to the recent meeting aboard the space station, he had been unaware that the Sith'ari had children. Seeing him with his offspring unintentionally turned a knife in Verrin's side as it brought up the memories of the family that he had lost to both Sith and Jedi. That, and it seemed like the man had some kind of relationship with Darth Sanguira, who was likely the mother of those same children. Verrin sighed inside. Even though time had turned the wounds to scars, he still missed his wife and children. Granted, it was that love and their loss that made him as powerful a Sith as he was, but if he had the choice to trade the power for them... he wasn't sure he would still be Sith.

 

The Sith'ari went on, both calling Verrin his equal and simultaneously telling him he was promoted.  It was contradictory, but still nice to hear, though the truth told Verrin that there were few Sith left to promote. He could see Darth Sanguira performing the job of managing the various spheres as well, if not better, than Verrin given her lust for power and her youth.  But then, if she was indeed the mother of the Sith'ari's children, then she likely had her hands full already. She had their upbringing to manage, their personal training, and then the constant guardianship of their lives from potential assassins. And now that Verrin knew Darth Tanit was around, albeit in a new body, he could imagine her taking command. But perhaps she wasn't yet ready to 'come out' as the Darth she was.

 

Verrin bowed a little lower, and just then, Maggie produced two crystal glasses of Alderaan's best bourbon from the beverage cart.  The service wasn't fully unpacked, but she'd focused on the guest at hand.  Verrin couldn't imagine where she produced the ice from, but there was a single cube in each glass that caused a pleasant ringing 'clink' as Verrin accepted them and offered one to the Sith'ari.

 

He nodded as he offered a toast to him. "As you will it, Sith'ari, so it shall be."

 

Verrin wasn't ingenuous enough to believe that the Sith'ari truly considered him his 'equal', though to even speak the sentiment spoke volumes of their ever-developing relationship.  Verrin sipped his drink to cement his toast to his guest, and then covered the former topic.

 

"I understand you wish me to work with some Jedi Archivist to uncover the secrets of some artifacts... items formerly tucked away in the Sphere of Mysteries, but also some devices that the Jedi are providing?"  He sipped again - the smoothness of the bourbon warming his insides. "I trust this Jedi is aware and willing to work with me, as well?"

 

Verrin stepped to the door of his office, expecting the Sith'ari to join him in surveying the ongoing work.

 

 

Thanks, man - I was wondering where all the Sith and Jedi went

:)

Edited by Darth Verrin
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Mirran Kai    87

Mirran wandered the halls of this place. She was not well, her days were fitful and Mirran had a habit of being like a wandering ghost when she was troubled in spirit. Like the day, when Master Giran had offered to be her master he had found the Padawan wandering the halls of Dantooine.

 

Mirran meandered not saying a word. Kaybee kept chattering like bird about various things. Mirran tuned him out. The droid needed a memory wipe. He was getting erractic lately. Maybe..she paused a moment. "Kaybee play file 7."

 

Kaybee whined. "But mistress you have listened to this file 57 times already. The data tape is going to degrade."

 

Mirran hissed back. "Play it. I wish to hear it."

 

Kaybee whined. "But the contents distress you. Please Mistress Mirran not this file. Not again!"

 

 

Mirran turned to the droid. "You're a droid. An artificial lifeform. Play the file I wish to hear or I'll give you a memory wipe. Maybe you will be more inclined to play the file with your memory wiped."

 

Kaybee whined. "As you wish... mistress."

 

The file played. It had been one last letter Kaybee had intercepted from the dataports a letter from Mirran's parents before communique's and missives from the Republic were servered. The letter was obvious propganda. It kept going on and on about how wonderful life was now under the Supreme chancellor that there was peace in the galaxy and that all Mirran had to do was surrender to the Republic authorities and she would be pardoned for her crimes. 

 

The data tape ended and Mirran was silent once more. A wandering troubled ghost.... 

 

Spoiler

Ehh.... I am around. 

 

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Darth Verrin    2,201

Verrin took in the scene - the construction, the moving of shelving and data, and the comings and goings of some people who didn't appear to be affiliated with the Sith's 'moving day'. There were a few individuals, moving through the shelves that the Jedi already had in place - most of them in robes, some with smiles.  By and large, in Verrin's mind, they were a happy people who relied upon the Jedi Masters to keep the peace so they could pursue their own dreams.  Verrin made a mental note to make sure he demanded more from young Sith Acolytes - that they become part of the solution, not just bantha to be herded.

 

But one individual stuck out to him from the others, and he commented idly to his guest, the Sith'ari. "That girl, over there... the Miralukan with the droid... she was at the space station, wasn't she? What role does she play in the hierarchy of the Jedi? Someone of import? She's..."  He reached out with the Force, sensing her unease, "... troubled."

 

A glance behind him to his guest had him wondering, "An opportunity to nurture the seed of emotion?"

 

Verrin wasn't so much concerned with solving a person's problems to bring them peace, but rather to provide a feeling of elation that might lead someone down the path of the Dark Side.

 

The young woman might not be so susceptible to that sort of suggestion, but then again... she might.

 

The thing with Miralukans though, was they could sense and see through the Force better than most sentients could with their eyes. Even now, he and the Sith'ari had to be shining like beacons to her senses in the Force.  The real question was whether she would avoid them, or fly towards them like a moth to a flame?

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Like Mirran, Vanessa was not particularly well. In the time since Taral V, and her incident with the Holocron, Vanessa hadn't been sleeping particularly well. If not for the mask of the Library Guardian masking her appearance, the dark rings beneath her eyes would be extremely easy to see, an almost permanent stain on her otherwise plain features. Every night was the same dream - or nightmare if you preferred, the same vision of Master Verrin being torn down in front of her by the late Emperor, and her soul being drained, sucked out through the Force. Even thinking about it forced her ankle to ache, as if the skeletal hand that had held her during the vision was still clamped to her. She looked down to check - nothing. It had never touched her - only in the centre of the vision. 

 

That didn't stop her from doing her duty during the day - or night.  No true Librarian, but the idea of sharing their information with the Jedi was particularly strange to her. Hell this entire situation of being allied to the Jedi, even temporarily seemed to be at odds with the Code. Even still, being able to review the content of the Jedi Order was stranger still - filled with propaganda about meditation, balance and calm. As if she truly needed calm. The Jedi Code was even more perplexing - how did the Jedi even function, or grow in power with the Force, if their very emotions didn't strengthen the bond? It all seemed like weakness. 

 

Regardless, as she passed down the aisles of tomes, she spotted a Miralukan wandering almost aimlessly. It was easy to spot the Jedi - they seemed, almost, as if they considered themselves above the acts of the Dark Side. Pompous and up themselves - yet this one seemed different. Conflicted, or at least, aimless. She wandered down the aisle, looking rather intimidating in her Guardian apparel, masked with black robes covering the rest of her. Her double-bladed lightsaber strapped to her back for ease of access, it might frighten the poor thing.

 

'Was there something you were looking for?' she asked, with no particular tone. It was part of her duties to ensure the safety of the Library - and this Jedi might have some ulterior motive. Or they might be lost. The Force told her that @Mirran Kai was of no particular threat, but it never hurt to make sure, 'If you are lost, I might be able to point you in the right direction of the information, or someone that might be able to help.'

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Mirran Kai    87

Mirran snapped to attention as if she had been in a fitful state between sleep and awake.

 

"Huh?"

 

She needed to be more aware of her surroundings. Why hadn't Kaybee said they were in the area that was controlled by the Sith? 

 

She turned towards her droid. "Uhh Kaybee why didn't you say this was the Sith area?"

 

The protocol droid whined. "I did Mistress Mirran. But you didn't acknowledge me. You didn't say anything to me at all. You just wander, does Master @Giran Antur know where you are?"

 

Mirran sighed. She shook her head wearily. "No. Probably not."

 

Mirran opened her sight to the Force. All seemed dark and shades of murkiness and some very forboding and deep shades of purplish black. 

 

She turned her sight upon herself and frowned her spirit was muddled and grey. Perhaps she wanted to settle the disquiet within her by unconsciously seeking out the Sith.  This was unsettling. Yet war brings out the turmoil of spirit and Mirran acknowledged the pain. The pain that Jedi wanted her to deny yet she knew existed.

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Darth Verrin    2,201

Verrin spied one of his Guardians headed towards the Miralukan Jedi he'd noticed, and wondered briefly whether an altercation was about to ensue.

 

Everyone present, among the Sith, had been briefed on the situation - how they would be living and working alongside their long-time nemeses, and how they were not to instigate trouble, especially in the Library. However, the Guardians took their life-oaths very seriously, and worked hard to protect the Library and its contents. The catch was that now the Library also housed Jedi. It might take some getting used-to.

 

But the Guardian in question didn't act aggressively, and now that he was paying more attention, he realized it wasn't just 'a' Guardian, but 'the' Guardian, his own apprentice. He had faith that she would handle herself admirably, assuming the Jedi did the same, and it appeared that the two were having something of a conversation.

 

"Excuse me, Sith'ari," Verrin pardoned himself from his guest momentarily. "I just want to oversee some of these 'first encounters' to head any potential issues off at the pass.  First impressions and all that.  I'll return shortly."

 

Verrin passed his beverage off to Maggie, and headed towards the conversing pair.  When he came upon them, he noted that they were standing almost on the edge of where the supposed 'Sith' part of the Library met the 'Jedi's' - like two neighbors talking over a shared fence.  He greeted them by saying aloud, "Welcome, young Jedi."  By and large, all of the Jedi were 'young' compared to him.

 

"Do not be overly concerned. The Guardians are here to protect the Library and its contents.  That includes you and your droid, so long as you aren't intent on defacing the property or anyone on it."  His tone was light, even if he didn't smile, and his manner was calm - even in the Force - for a Sith.  "The new facilities are open to Force users of both groups - and those who claim to be with neither.  The goal is education, and through that, a better understanding of life, the galaxy, and each other."

 

The statement was a little ambitious, and even as he said it, he doubted that anyone hearing it quite believed it could be so utopian. Still... it was good to have goals to strive for.

 

"You are the first of the Jedi to step foot among these shelves without malicious intent in many, many years. Historically, this Library - the one on Dromund Kaas that has relocated here, that is - has been attacked by Jedi intent on stealing holocrons or otherwise doing harm to the now-defunct Empire and the Sith who allied with it. Therefore - you are breaking all new ground if you are here for educational exploration and discovery. How exciting! Please... step forward. 

 

I am known as Darth Verrin.  I believe we met on the station, but I never caught your name.  Who are you? Who is it that is so bold as to be the first one to learn about a centuries-old enemy?"

 

Sorry - I didn't want to wait longer for replies.

;)

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Mirran Kai    87

Mirran "saw" the dark purplish form of the Sith Dark Lord. She was quiet and she said softly. "I have been on Dromund Kaas as well as Tython. Both are broken. I am but a lowly padawan but...my sight leads me to believe that in the end both must be rebuilt. Tython for the Jedi and Dromund Kaas for the Sith. I was not there when Dromund Kass was destroyed but I've seen....and felt the devastation and I can see and feel the same on Tython. The bastions of both our traditions and both our orders were destroyed. Perhaps I am over reaching but when both were devastated it left it's mark on the galaxy both on the Light and on the Dark. With both left in disarray....chaos reigns. But I do not know if such concerns you....Darth Verrin. But it concerns me.  Everything is...unbalanced. For a Miraluka that disturbs me...far more than Dark or even Light. " 

 

She sighed. "My name is Mirran Kai. And perhaps I am getting ahead of everyone or everything but I see something wrong and I wish to right it. And so much is off...in the galaxy. So much. But I am probably so small to you...I am but a padawan...a neophyte in the Force. And few listen to the ramblings of one such as I." 

 

Kaybee was quiet as she spoke and then stated,. "I must protest...Mistress Mirran. I listen to you. No matter how cracked your ramblings are. I consider them important." 

 

Mirran snorted. "You would. You are programmed for such. But..." Mirran found a button on the droid and flicked it. The droid switched off.  The droid drooped in a switched off mode. Mirran began to wonder how trustful the droid was, she had scanned the droid for spy and listening devices and found none. The droid had been given to her by her parents as a coming of age gift. 

 

"I think....he maybe spying on me. Although I have not found any evidence of such tampering...but my parents gave him to me. And to be honest...what parents would not take the opportunity to "check in" on their daughter? But my parents are very loyal to the Republic...so much so it disturbs me. Perhaps...perhaps you might know something that I overlooked in checking for rogue programming. I see you have a protocol droid as well." 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mirran Kai
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Darth Verrin    2,201

Verrin listened, and watched as the young woman switched off her droid.  It was an odd gesture, but one she explained in due course, causing Verrin to nod in understanding.

 

He reached out a hand to cup the young woman's chin, and said, "Padawan Kai. We are - all of us - neophytes at one time. Some forget that, yes, as the challenges of advancement weigh upon them. But no matter how practiced in the Force we are, we are all people, with different experiences.  While you may feel you lack the wisdom of someone more advanced along the path, that doesn't mean your thoughts and feelings hold no value. Come... I can have Maggie take a look at your droid.  We should talk... discuss the imbalance that you believe you see."

 

He released her chin, and noted some kind of hesitation. "What... you think I'm too busy to listen for a few minutes?  Too powerful to share your concerns? Too what... Sith-ly to have a civilized discussion with a Jedi?  Don't get me wrong, young one... I do despise Jedi as a whole.  But I also understand that not everyone who is one is kind, not every law officer is lawful, and not every social worker means well.  Come... I promise not to eat your fingers while they're still attached to your hands."

 

Verrin glanced at his Guardian-apprentice briefly.  Her oath would likely have her follow along, to assure the safety of the Library, but he didn't want her to be too pro-active in doing so.  This would be a lesson in restraint.

 

 

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Mirran Kai    87

 A hand reached out toward Mirran and cupped her chin. Mirran physically backed away. She was uncomfortable with such physical displays. The last one she remembered was from her parents. She reached out a hand about to remove his hand but he removed his hand before she could.

 

"I am not... accustomed to this sort of..." She paused and licked her lips they were dry like parchment and the roof of her mouth felt the same way. She was nervous. Why was she confiding to this man?

 

"Perhaps I seek to hear a different perspective on things. One view is one sided and...one view will give one tunnel vision."

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Darth Verrin    2,201

Verrin didn't need the Force to note the young woman's aversion to contact. He remarked on it though, "Ahh, that's right... Jedi aren't known for touching.  It leads to intimacy or some such. My mistake."

 

He gestured with an arm back the way he'd come.  "My office is there. I don't have any issue with offering a different perspective. We can have a seat, a chat, and Maggie has just unpacked the beverage cart.  Would you care for something?"

 

He then offered to guide her, if she wanted it.  But in his experience, Miralukans could see as well as anyone - they were sightless, not blind. Or rather, blind, but not sightless... he could never quite remember the phrase.

 

"One of my former masters was Miralukan. Taenok Mekura, of the Mekura household. I'm not privy to the noble structure in the world, and have no idea if that house still stands, but that's all besides the point.  He taught me, in my early years, to see things around me without using my eyes. I'll wager the instruction was a little different than yours, but all the same.. he made me more aware.

 

Now... will you join me?" He asked her.  He wasn't about to sling her over a shoulder and carry her to his office.  But maybe that's the sort of stories this woman had heard of the Sith.

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Mirran Kai    87

Mirran said rather firmly, "Such displays are only appropriate between family or those one is familiar with. There is no such connection between us and to even hint at one... leaves me with a slight distaste in my mouth. You are neither kin, or...a lover. And no offense...but I perceive that you are much older than me and...such a relationship would be ... ill-advised. Wouldn't you agree?"

 

"Hospitality is not unwelcomed and I will accept your invitation. I don't suppose...."

 

Mirran sighed. "There is a drink I remember as a child having quite often. It was fizzy and tasted of Meilooruns. I believe it was called Meiloorun Fizz. I don't suppose you would have such a drink and... I am just a tad bit sentimental over...my childhood."

 

He offered her a hand to guide her to his office and she took it only because she was unfamiliar with this area.

 

"One of my former masters was Miralukan. Taenok Mekura, of the Mekura household. I'm not privy to the noble structure in the world, and have no idea if that house still stands, but that's all besides the point.  He taught me, in my early years, to see things around me without using my eyes. I'll wager the instruction was a little different than yours, but all the same.. he made me more aware."

 

"I am also not very aware of my people's world. My family are outcasts and are not really welcomed back home. They had a vision and... well...it did not go over well with most. My parents were "assigned" as diplomats to Coreuscant but one doesn't have to realize how few Miralukans receive that honor. The appointment was more of a way to quietly keep their ideas from their vision from "harming" others."

 

"Now... will you join me?" 

 

Mirran chuckled. "These are odd times that a Sith and a Jedi would partake of a social call without killing each other." 

 

 

 

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Darth Verrin    2,201

Verrin cocked his head quizzically, sparing a glance at his Guardian.  A family connection, he understood.  But romantic?

 

Then the Jedi said it left a bad taste in her mouth, but followed up with his hospitality being welcome, and even taking his hand for assistance. If he hadn't already been slightly off-balance by interacting with a Jedi in the first place, then he surely would have been from the confusing signals and words. But the Force told him that the young woman didn't mean anything irksome by it, so he took no offense. 

 

Instead, he took her hand when she offered, and began to lead the way towards his office.  It wasn't far - the 'line' between the two factions was very close at hand here, and Verrin's business space abutted that of the Jedi Order's equivalent scholar. On the way, he answered Mirran's chuckling comment. 

 

"It's cyclical... these 'odd times' as you see them. You're young - and I don't mean that to be offensive, merely factual in the larger scheme of things. I have had conversations with Jedi over the years, as I sought my own understanding of the Force.  Admittedly, it's been some time since my last peaceful encounter with one, but the experience isn't foreign to me. Come to find out - aside from our core beliefs, we are all of us... people. I once took in a theatrical performance with a Jedi - something we both enjoyed."

 

He didn't mention the other side of the coin, so to speak - of the Jedi he'd killed.  He guessed that Mirran already assumed that much of him.

 

They entered his office - the place was essentially transplanted from his old one, with black marble tile.  His desk and curio cabinet was still 'packed', but Maggie had already unwrapped the chairs, and the area rug was in place, covering the sorcerous circle that had been engraved in the floor. The chairs were in place, upon the rug, and around the wrapped desk. But in all, there wasn't a whole lot more to his office than that.  The place was far too spacious for the furnishings he maintained.  

 

Well - there was that, and the beverage cart. Verrin asked Maggie, "Do we have something called Meiloorun Fizz? I've never heard of it, but you stock that thing, not me."

 

Maggie smiled widely at the attention, and headed towards the cart, knowing fully well what was in it already.  "We do," she concurred, "I'll need to check the sell-by date though.  We don't go through it very much, except as a mixer."

 

Verrin didn't want to ask what mixed drink utilized the stuff, but looked briefly to his guest before suggesting, "I'm guessing straight-up, in this case, Maggie. Also... would you run a diagnostic on our guest's protocol droid? It's standing on the Library floor.  There's a concern that it may be relaying information outside the facility."

 

"Of course, My Lord.  And here you go, Miss." Maggie offered the beverage, and then departed to attend to Mirran's questionable droid.

 

Verrin guided Mirran to one of the comfy guest chairs, and sat himself in the one next to it, forgoing his usual spot in his desk chair. He wasn't sure he could be able to see Mirran around the packing and desk.

 

He observed, "You've mentioned both your parents and childhood.  I sensed some agitation... or at least, apprehension. Is that what you'd like my perspective on?"

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Mirran Kai    87

There was a pause in the conversation when Mirran mentioned romantic entanglements. It wasn't as if the Miraluka was ignorant of the affairs of people. She may be a Jedi but it wasn't as if all Jedi walked a completely non- attached life. There were stories about Jedi who had children. Nomi Sunrider was one of them. Nomi hadn't fallen to the Dark Side. 

 

Mirran had very little taste towards alcohol. Unlike a rather boisterous smuggler she had ended up with earlier as they had escaped that space station. Mirran had a slight smile as the droid mentioned it was a mixer for other drinks. She nodded at being offered it straight. She was given it straight and took a sip and sighed. 

 

"It is not as I remember... but I am no longer a child. Course it is possible that the formulation has changed. But then perhaps my tastes have changed."

 

There was a hint of sadness in Mirran's voice. Childhood was a fond memory as well as the memory of her parents. While time for most children raised by Jedi ended up forgetting their parents and siblings. Not for Mirran. She had a strong retention of memories particularly past memories. 

 

"It was my parents deepest wish that I become a Jedi. Their vision was of our people being more involved and united with the Republic and part of that vision was me being given up to the Jedi. But I think they are either determined that their vision will come to pass or...they are being held against their will by the Supreme Chancellor and his government. I have received transmissions that I should surrender to the Republic. Quite emphatically actually. It troubles me. These are not the parents I remember."

 

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Darth Verrin    2,201

"It is not as I remember... but I am no longer a child. Course it is possible that the formulation has changed. But then perhaps my tastes have changed."  Mirran commented as she sipped the beverage.

 

Verrin nodded, "Even if they didn't change the formula, it's not your memory of it that's changed... it's you. As we live and breathe, age and grow, our bodies change - as you well know. Your tastes from infancy aren't the same as those you developed as an adolescent, and those changed in puberty.  Those, in turn, changed upon reaching your current age, no doubt. It's normal - the course of life. My tastes have changed too... many times. 

 

I often find I'm disappointed when something doesn't taste as well as I remember it.  But generally speaking, I find that something else tastes better too. My only fear is the day that I can taste nothing at all. I suppose then... we are well and truly on the way to death's door."  It was true.  He'd never enjoyed bourbon in his young-adulthood, and had only grown a taste for it sometimes after age forty.  Many foods had become bland to him too - but exceptional cooking could not be denied; he appreciated and enjoyed a good meal.

 

Mirran seemed sad to Verrin though.  Perhaps this was the first time she was coming to terms with getting older. And if she was removed from her parents, then she didn't have them to explain matters to her. And Jedi... if they were all about suppressing emotions, Verrin wondered whether they spared time to truly enjoy something, for fear that it might lead to the Dark Side.

 

Mirran explained about her parents, and her legacy, such as it was at her young age. Verrin listened, and nodded, though at one point he realized she might not be able to detect whether he was listening to her at all. Nodding was kind of pointless.  So he started to verbally add, 'Mmhm's, and 'Go on's, as pauses in her speech warranted.

 

"Forgive me if I'm jumping to conclusions here, but it sounds like you haven't yet had a chance to figure out who you are.  You've only been the person your parents expected you to be - a Jedi, an ally to the Republic.  Their wish was your command - or your burden to bear.

 

And now... you are also concerned that they have changed, like your tastes. There is a truth in life, that children grow up, and then see their parents not as parents, but as adults, like them.  You surely know people you care about, and do not care for... people you'd enjoy spending time with, and others who grate on your nerves to some degree. And now, you're discovering that your parents are 'people too' - people that you might respect as your blood, but maybe they aren't the sort of folks you'd like to spend time with as you did when you were younger. Maybe that's all it is...

 

... or maybe, your concern that they are somehow captive of the Republic regime is real, and that they are asking you to surrender because they are in danger? Do you think they would give up their beloved daughter to spare themselves? I'm not so sure.  If they are truly, loving parents, then how could they? And if they are not... if they are just 'adults' like any other, and not the sort you'd like to be with, then you're reaching for a dream that they'll be the Meiloorun Fizz you remember, when clearly, they are not."

 

Verrin paused a moment.  It was quite a bit of speculation, especially not knowing whether her parents were truly captive.  Did they love their Jedi daughter, or the government of the Republic more?

 

Verrin asked Mirran, "Well, Padawan... what does the Force tell you is truth?  Or do we need to send a spy to wherever they are, to investigate the situation?  Surely, the Jedi have funds or means to do that much, no? They probably have an agent there already, spying on something else."

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Mirran Kai    87

Mirran nodded. "I have heard such from an initiate...that I am not living for myself and living for my parents. I was only three....when I was taken from my parents. I...." She paused. "I can recall most everything about that day. The smells and taste of my last meal. It was some sort of mushy white cereal with a bit of nerf milk and Meliooruns. "  She suddenly laughed. "Force....I had a distinct love for that particular fruit. I probably drove my parents...no....I am sure I did drive them nuts. Anyway....I can remember  the conversation my parents had, words for word....verbatim. That may seem abnormal for a three year old...but not for me. You see I have a pretty sound memory and I can recall most memories of mine quite vividly if I wish. Perhaps that is why...I am concerned more so than most over my parents....I am not as detached as some in the Order who are cut from their family." 

 

She paused in thought over Verrin's words....

.... And now, you're discovering that your parents are 'people too' - people that you might respect as your blood, but maybe they aren't the sort of folks you'd like to spend time with as you did when you were younger. Maybe that's all it is...

 

... or maybe, your concern that they are somehow captive of the Republic regime is real, and that they are asking you to surrender because they are in danger? Do you think they would give up their beloved daughter to spare themselves? I'm not so sure.  If they are truly, loving parents, then how could they? And if they are not... if they are just 'adults' like any other, and not the sort you'd like to be with, then you're reaching for a dream that they'll be the Meiloorun Fizz you remember, when clearly, they are not."

 

 

Mirran sighed. "I know my parents...." She paused and then said calmly. "Master Verrin." She chose the word 'Master' as a term of respect. "They are not fanatics....of course, other Miraluka might say they are misguided but most might say that about any Jedi or... Sith for that matter.  But....something isn't right. I can feel it. Yet...I am not dumb....I can sense a trap as well. I don't know what to do? Sacrifice them?  I...."

 

She sighed. "They are my parents....and leaving them to a dictator rubs me the wrong way. They are only two of them...and in the terms of practicality....do you honestly believe that someone would risk resources either Jedi or Sith to save two Miralukan diplomats. Practicality would dictate that their lives are forfeit...but I cannot view them that way. They are...my parents....and I am their daughter. I am uncomfortable sitting here and doing nothing at all."

Edited by Mirran Kai

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Darth Verrin    2,201

Verrin pondered the woman's words.  She seemed convinced that her parents were being manipulated somehow, and wanted to do right by them. And while Verrin had no such affection or attachment to the people, or even to this padawan, he did feel a pang of pain upon his heartstrings.  How would his daughter have handled matters, if she found out he was being manipulated?  How would he have handled things the other way around?

 

He already knew the answer to the latter - he'd put every resource he could in getting her back.  And it didn't matter if she was Sith, Jedi, crippled, alive, or dead.

 

But he had failed, ultimately, and the Jedi had been the cause at the end. They had killed his baby girl.  Why should he give a kriffing bit what happened to this girl and her precious parents? He didn't. Not directly, anyway. His concern was his current job - and that was massaging the relationship between the Sith and Jedi. He sighed. He had wanted so badly to get off of Dathomir, but now he was wondering if he shouldn't just go back there.

 

Still... sticking it to the Republic was a tempting fruit. He was moved to pluck it.

 

"Well... if you want, I could have them extracted. I may not have an entire Empire at my back anymore, but I have enough resources to steal a couple of low-ranked politicians out from under the republic's nose. If it's a trap for you, then I would treat it as such, and send others to do the job instead.  There are plenty of folks who are far better suited to such missions than you.  Their only attachment is to credits, and I know a couple who are inclined to succeed.

 

The problem becomes whether or not your parents truly want to be freed.  If they don't want to be taken, that won't matter - they'd be taken anyway.  But the issue becomes that they'd want to get back to their lives.  And if they did - what information would they take with them? I suppose they could be brought to a neutral place - a location where you could meet with them and have that very discussion. But...

 

... that would be your call. Is it one you're ready to make? Do you truly love them so much, that you'd risk the loving memory of them, to find out if they are who you remember, or if they've become something altogether different?"

 

It would be a fairly simple matter to have a smuggler, and a merc or two, kidnap the people. But perhaps the Jedi didn't work that way.

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Mirran Kai    87

Mirran pondered over all that Verrin had stated. He had given a lot for her to think about. There was the possibility that her sight was skewed over her feelings over her parents.  She sighed and bowed her head recalling what memories she had of her parents. The last time she had seen them they had brought Kaybee to her.  They showered her with hugs and kisses but Mirran felt as if she had been among strangers. Did she truly know her parents? Did they wish to be removed? What if by removing them she discovered the exact opposite? Her parents angry and upset at her for removing them from Coruscant. What if they bought the supreme chancellors disgusting propaganda? Mirran wasn't sure if she could bear that...yet....there was indeed something wrong. What if her parents vision had been twisted and their ideals corrupted? She took another sip of the fizzy drink and it tasted bitter to her like a bitter medicine.

 

She sighed. "They could destroy everything we have worked hard for....I see that. They could be dangerous to our alliance. I don't know their loyalties. They can't come here...if they did....and it is as you say...that they show more loyalty to the current government then...they would end up political prisoners. This is most disturbing and yet...if I do nothing....it is a distinct possibility that the Supreme Chancellor may do something....perhaps even cause physical suffering to them...it is an old ploy to employ suffering to make a Jedi or perhaps more than one Jedi to come running. It is sadly predictable." 

 

Mirran shook her head. "And I am not immune to the pain of those who I have a measure of...." she paused. "Affection for. Both choices are not pleasant. But....I know one thing....if I remove them from the center of government.... then I shall know for a truth how they stand. There is comfort in that either way....I will know....for a certain how things are and there will be no more uncertainty in this matter. Even....if they end up prisoners of war....at least I will know they are relatively safe." 

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Darth Verrin    2,201

Verrin rubbed his chin thoughtfully. Mirran was speaking as a person who wanted control of her situation - not one who was willing to wait to see 'what the Force' brought her. That was good. He might argue it wasn't very Jedi-like, but it was good nonetheless. Besides - he wasn't in the business of training Jedi.

 

BUT... by allowing someone else to take the plunge, and the task of getting her parents back, was she really allowing herself to feel like she was part of the solution to a problem?  Or by handing it off to others to do, was she practicing her Jedi ways of a 'hands-off' mentality, creating a disconnect from her situation?

 

The simple answer was to have her head up the extraction herself.  But if she was inexperienced, then the mission was doomed to failure and she'd just wind up falling into a trap that the rest of them would have to extract her from, if they thought her worth keeping. That was the 'big step' answer.  The more conservative play - the 'baby step' one - was to extract the parents professionally, and then let the Jedi have her feelings about the situation. Let he find out the truth of her parents, for better or worse, and then weigh her with the decision on whether to imprison her beloved kin.  An escape back to the Republic was out of the question.  Verrin would see to their deaths himself, if it came to releasing them.

 

On the other hand, if they were caught, and truly loved their daughter, and wanted to support the cause of this fragile alliance... well, it wouldn't be so awful to have nobility and noble 'funds' on their side, would it?

 

Out loud, he murmured, "Mmhmm... their extraction will provide answers... evidence... truths. They will become a 'known' factor, rather than an unknown. Very well.

 

Give me as many details as you can remember... their residence, places of business... favorite restaurants, meeting places, and so on. Pictures would help - I Know you might not see them, but surely, some must exist. The more tools we give to an extraction team, the greater our chances of success. Once I have all that, and I hear back from the team, I will contact you for a field trip to meet them. It'll be a nice, safe location that won't just give away our base of operations.  There, you can determine their legitimacy... and loyalty."

 

He paused, and then added, "Our greatest advantage, I think, is that if we utilize our combined resources, then we are no longer 'predictable', as you put it. As you said - the typical plan is to threaten a loved one, and that almost inevitably leads to Jedi running to their rescue.  Now that you have the Sith as your allies, we can upend that 'typical' series of events, and do things our way.  In time, the Republic will learn new expectations.  But I suspect we'll get quite a few jabs in before they adjust.

 

Now... before I set things in motion for you... is there anything else troubling your mind?"

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