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Second Chances


almostinsane's Avatar


almostinsane
02.29.2012 , 08:31 PM | #11
Sweet! If only she were real.

Liked the emails. Gave some insight into Corula's character. I will be looking forward to reading more. I can't wait to see who will be her Master.

ConspicuousTree's Avatar


ConspicuousTree
03.01.2012 , 07:17 AM | #12
Act I: Interlude 2: Question and Answer

>> Interview Record: Na’sira Lybot – 1 (ref. NSL-K31-001) – Imperial Intelligence archives subsection Korriban Sith Academy.

>> Interview Commences: 06:00am Galactic Standard Time
> Lawson Presiding

Subject Na’sira opens interview with beaming smile. Lawson notes Sith cheerfulness down for Intelligence records. Click 'Show' to examine interview record.

Spoiler


--

>> Interview Concludes: 06:15am Galactic Standard Time
> Post-Script: Na’sira was pleasant to interview, being both receptive and co-operative.

Lawson notes the suggestion “Hybridised Cloaking” for the technique’s name.

Subject requested that the following text be posted with this report:

> Hi mom!

Lawson notes sense of humour in Sith for Intelligence records.

--

{ { Thanks for the extra feedback Wynternight & almostinsane. I'm not sure when Act II is coming... But soon(tm), and I'm pretty sure this is the last planned interlude for Act I.}}
The Hale Legacy - The Progenitor

mousestalker's Avatar


mousestalker
03.05.2012 , 05:24 PM | #13
I'm anxious to read Act II! Act I was so much fun. Love your character very much.
May the mass x acceleration be with you.

ConspicuousTree's Avatar


ConspicuousTree
03.09.2012 , 04:39 AM | #14
Act II: Mastery

Part 1: Colourful Life

Na’sira groaned as she came around from her slumber, pawing absently at the bedcovers. For a moment she had to take a minute to remember where she was; it had been a matter of what, a few hours since she was back on Korriban? She had just been staring absently at a piece of particularly dusty red stone – hoping that if she stared long enough it would become interesting - and this Zabrak comes fresh out of nowhere and discusses this very fact with her. Perhaps it is truth that aliens stick together in the Empire; most people who approached her had little other than abuse or assorted demands to address her with. All but Lawson, it did seem like certain parts of the military hierarchy were a little more sympathetic than the Sith.

Sye. That was her name. She had a much longer one but had suggested this as an amendment; a smart move apparently since the exact composition of the full name was not exactly memorable. She had been pazaak-faced for the entire conversation – particularly when it drifted into the realms of divulging facts about the withholding of certain types of knowledge and apparently advertising the Reclamation Service as a back door into the more interesting Sith archives. Other than making Na’sira want to sign up immediately, however, Sye also decided to make her - this crazed acolyte previously a slave and heretic – her apprentice.

Something niggled at the back of her mind. Not something negative. She felt like this would work quite well for no particular reason. There would only be one obstacle that she could think of, although it seemed easily overcome to her mind. The reward for the bounty notice was slave possession; a reward voided by her ‘graduation’ from the Sith Academy; and as she understood it, also cleared her of heresy charges. She was for all intents and purposes free - at last - and if the best insurance for that was to be taken on as an apprentice by Sye, that absolutely worked for her. Especially since she had that good sense – that little baseless conviction that this would be a good pairing.

Now she was awake and had recalled the whirlwind departure from Korriban, priorities shifted greatly in her mind. There was plenty more to ponder about on her new master, but that could certainly wait; the Fury-class heavy interceptor she was napping on was bound for Dromund Kaas so she had an hour, perhaps two, to ponder her next move beyond the realms of rubbing her nose in various peoples’ faces to irritate them. She would be particularly keen to annoy the bureaucrats whom the new master-apprentice pair would surely have to clear with. But something more important came to mind. She grinned broadly.

Colour. Now that she was finally free of the Academy’s restrictions she could set about the ever-difficult matter of filling her own personal world with the colour she so desired. She was going to bring colour to herself even if she couldn’t paint the rest of the world; she wasn’t going to be another casualty to the bleak Sith scheme. In many ways the colour was both literal and metaphysical; for the latter case the constant negativity that fuelled the Sith had a terrible habit of draining the world around them of positivity; of art, culture and imagination. It was, in fact, something she really despised about the Empire. On a more literal level, her colours were not ‘approved’ Sith standard, but that wasn’t going to be a problem. Oh no. Not when she cared less.

The most distinctive ways she could do this were twofold; first her clothing. It had taken her seconds to figure out a way to sneak bright colour into her attire. She would have to disguise her want for distinctive pink colour as representative symbolism; strange markings that she assumed were Sith symbols that she had seen elsewhere. Once imbued with the Force (or perhaps the right bioluminescent pigments, either would work) they glowed. They glowed with pink or purple colour. That would be objective two. Objective one was altogether more difficult.

The ultimate statement of her desire for colours other than red and black would be her lightsabre. Purple lightsabres were not unheard of and certainly not always associated with cheerfulness. But that was what this was about – it was about sneaking gaudy colour into her attire without compromising her appearance as a Sith apprentice. And to her mind there was no finer way than to colour her weapon so. The problem was that her new master did not exactly stock these crystals; there was dedicated equipment for making lightsabres and even a stock of varied colours. But individual purple lightsabre crystals – as she determined from a HoloNet search of about four or five minutes – could be upwards of one-hundred and twenty thousand credits. Money she didn’t have and doubted that her master would fork out.

Beyond the problem of getting the crystal there was also the matter that she rather hoped it would be a less piercing colour. She had heard tell of the Force being used to manipulate lightsabre crystals (and was indeed versed in doing so as she had already constructed her own lightsabre once) but hadn’t realised that some had adjusted the colour of it by doing so. Could she, then, make her purple crystal just that little bit closer to mauve? Purple was a good start and certainly she’d use it, but if it could just be a little paler it would be that much better.

Now the dilemma of how to procure a purple crystal; and pronto. She knew once her eager determination was set onto something little but physical restraint was capable of keeping her back from it and so it would go with this hunt for a lightsabre crystal. Knowing that the equipment to make it, the scrap parts and the sympathetic master were all there waiting for her when she was done was only to make this easier for her to decide to do after all. One option would obviously be to simply steal it, although such an action had greater consequences than the legal methods of doing so, she could easily reverse her freedom by attempting to steal from other Sith.

So to track one down or to implore Sye to assist her in the financial undertaking (as she certainly couldn’t do it herself) was the question. But then it struck her like a rock; Nerra! Ah, how she had forgotten how he lived. And in his new world credits were worth little and for sure he would be all too happy to assist his little Numa, no? However adequate this route – and the other rewards for doing so – she would be dodging bullets the whole way. It was nothing that she could do outside of the securest of channels. But she had the frequency for one secure channel. One she knew would be listened to by only one person.

It would wait for Kaas. She couldn’t risk framing her new master accidentally in the unlikely case that her transmission was indeed caught. In fact, she was rather certain that she wanted to make sure this transmission would go unnoticed. She didn’t want to place her old Tann in more danger than was necessary; and she knew just how to do it. Lawson. She had a direct line to her and thereby to Imperial Intelligence, and it was about time she made an offer.

She fiddled with the keys on her datapad as she attempted to bring up the line. Lawson’s tired voice murmured down the line.

“Urnh... Yes?”

What time was it on Kaas?

“Sorrreeee! Did I wake you miss Lawson?”

Perhaps barking in a piercingly loud voice was a little antisocial, but the passively fatigued chuckle that followed was a relief.

“Yes, but I assume this is something important?”

The channel was flooded with gargling, static and rhythmic beeping before stone-dead silence.

“... And we’re secure. Go ahead, Na’sira.”

She took a deep breath and poked her head around the doorway from the crew quarters to ensure her master wasn’t close by to hear her. A passive glare was shot up at a camera in the room; the droid half-integrated into the ship might notice. She would have to talk quietly anyway. She grumbled as she went on.

“... I need you to make sure a line is absolutely clear of bugs for me.”

A brief pause.

“With all due respect my lord, I can’t do that, you’re meant to be telling me if you have any more results for-“

Na’sira giggled and tapped at the sound input port to flood the channel with scratching noises; an ear-grindingly awful interruption.

“What if I said I’d do something for you?”

Another pause.

“... Like what?”

Now she had the upper hand. In theory. She was well aware that the Sith and the Intelligence hierarchy occasionally locked horns, especially where efficiency was concerned. And she was now Sith; and if she offered to be an inside agent to feed them useful information...

“Well. If you want, you secure that line for me, and I report absolutely everything I hear about the Sith's doings straight to your ears.”

A pause.

"I could even sing for you!"

A chuckle. She could almost sense the anticipation in the agent on the other end of the frequency though; the less jesting offer was serious business. Even a new Sith would be privy to some information she was not and if this acolyte went anywhere at all in life it could be a revolution in Intelligence internal affairs monitoring.

“... Everything?”

“Everything.”

“Deal.”


--


Dromund Kaas spaceport. She hadn’t actually seen this place before despite having been to the planet once before. She had been dropped in the middle of a clearing in the swamplands for her foray into the wilds under the cover of a lightning storm. It made her grin when a few officials tilted their head away and a customs droid conspicuously ignored her. Perhaps being Sith wasn’t so bad after all.

She borrowed a minute from her master and scurried off to a private terminal. It was all arranged; the line would be secure of bugs. A private conversation on Dromund Kaas? Who knew such was possible. She fiddled with the keys and put the frequency in. Even via hyperspace buoys there could be a delay on the words. But this was her best shot.

And at the end of the day, there was more she wanted to discuss with Nerra than a purple lightsabre crystal...

End of Part 1


--


{ { @mousestalker My pleasure to reveal Act 2! Thankyou for the compliment. } }
The Hale Legacy - The Progenitor

ConspicuousTree's Avatar


ConspicuousTree
03.11.2012 , 05:47 PM | #15
Part 1.5: Secure Channel

>> Welcome to the Dromund Kaas trans-system communication outlet, please input the destination frequency.

> 673160TC

>> WARNING
DESIRED FREQUENCY TRANSCEIVER IS IN A PROHIBITED LOCATION
REPORT TO THE NEAREST SPACEPORT OFFICIAL FOR IMMEDIATE ARREST
ALERTING SECURITY... ... ...

> *******

>> Verifying...

>> Transmission cleared by <error>
>> Monitoring disabled by <error>
>> Channel Secured (outgoing)
>> Channel Secured (incoming)
>> Establishing Connection...

>> Connection Established.

A cyan image flickers to life inside the private holoterminal booth. It is a small image of a robed figure with a stitched leather veil covering her eyes, and neatly kept black hair. The figure looks confused.

“Miranda speaking. Who is this?”

Na’sira leans on the transmit button.

“The heretic on the run you met on Nar Shaddaa. Few weeks ago by now. Hiya!”

The figure suddenly frowns with concern and clasps her hands behind her back.

“... Na’sira. Either I have been gravely misinformed, or you are not exactly a free woman.”

Na’sira’s turn to frown. She shouldn’t have such close tabs on her, surely? Or does she merely sense such things that easily? Regardless. She beams a smile.

“Well I technically am now! I’m Sith! It’s a long story!”

An uneasy silence and rolling of the woman’s shoulders.

“I see. Your signal is coming from Kaas. You will pardon me my wariness.”

Na’sira shrugs. Carefree.

“I only need to talk to a Jedi friendy-pie. I had your frequency. I figured you – as a Jedi, you know, and all that – might be able to find him for me.”

“Oh? And who might that be?”

“My brother. His name is-“

“Ed’an. I am acquainted with him.”

“Oh. Um. Well. Could I perhaps slightly maybe see him?”


The hologram appears to shuffle awkwardly again. Na’sira does the same; this seems beyond coincidence.

“No.”

“No?”

“The Sith have already attempted to access him. With your own divulgence as a lead no less. I will not grant them the privilege a second time.”


Oh bugger. She had completely forgotten about that. And even though she was still baffled by how involved her supposedly random would-be benefactor from all those weeks ago was, this was a factor to expect regardless.

“Oh. Ah. Yes. Um... This is a bit awkward.”

Na’sira scratches her neck.

“Miranda... Please?”

The Miraluka shakes her head.

“I cannot. It does not help that I doubt you are able to contact my frequency without fingers from the Sith or at least Imperial Intelligence.”

Smart Jedi.

“Is there some way I can..?”

The veiled figure lifts a hand and audibly sighs.

“I want to believe you. I really do, Na’sira. Nothing would warm my day more than to see you and your brother reconcile.”

Na’sira shuffles awkwardly on the spot.

“Sense the sincerity. Try, at least.”

The Jedi looked about to turn away but looks back and rests a hand on her chin thoughtfully.

“Talk to me. Explain why you want to talk to him.”

Na’sira took a deep breath.

“I need to talk to him about family issues naturally. But the main thing is access to his old account, I wish to make a sizable purchase and I can’t do it without a sizable bursary...”

The Jedi on the other end looks disbelieving but smiles with a shake of her head.

“I... Trust you. I cannot sense anything that perturbs me. But listen to me, Na’sira; don’t betray this trust for the Sith’s benefit. This would be your last chance to talk to your own brother – most likely forever.”

The Twi’lek smiles faintly and bows her head.

“I give you my word. If I thought I had the chance to run...”

Miranda nods firmly, just the once.

“We’ll discuss that later if you prefer. However. The next time you use this frequency, it will be your brother who answers; provided you give me at least a galactic standard day.”

Na’sira smiles again, but brighter. Ear to ear. She bounces on the spot with anticipation.

“Thankyou. Really! Thankyou! I have to go. The agent I wrangled to secure my channel might get suspicious – or fearful for their own skin – if this goes on too much longer.”

The figure nods lightly in acceptance.

“I won’t ask for details. May the Force be with you, Na’sira."

>> Connection Terminated
>> Call Duration: <Error: CALL RECORD DELETED>
>> Thankyou for using the Dromund Kaas trans-system communication outlet and have a pleasant day.
The Hale Legacy - The Progenitor

ConspicuousTree's Avatar


ConspicuousTree
03.16.2012 , 07:36 AM | #16
Part 2: Reunion

Na’sira came to gradually. She groaned quietly and briefly flailed some stiffness from her limbs; she had probably slept long enough for the ship to be in Republic hyper lanes. Her master had turned out to be quite the character; several traits of which she greatly approved. They key among those turned out to be rather startling but that was something to think about later – a day had passed and Sye was content to allow her to use the ship’s holoterminal and with the assurance of it being secure at that; she trusted her new master that much by now. As she slithered rather like a snake off the sofa she had snoozed on, she then noted Sye standing at the entrance to the bridge; pretty much completely slent. Na’sira took a deep breath and placed her fingers on the terminal.

It had been at least twenty years – she couldn’t remember precisely how long – since she had last seen or heard her Nerra, her brother.

--

Dawn over Tython. The shafts of sunlight bore down on the abandoned encampment atop the hill within which dwelled a dopey-looking Twi’lek man. He groaned quietly and briefly flailed some stiffness from his limbs; he had probably slept long enough to worry his minders. Not that it mattered; this was a private matter of the highest order, even from the Council’s eyes. Thankfully, the ‘middle of nowhere’ applied to most of Tython. This middle of nowhere in particular was safe and private – just perfect. As if on cue – that is, he had just finished waking up – the holocommunicator in the gravel buzzed and beeped at him. He drew in a deep breath. Over two decades. Would his Numa, his sister, be the same?

--

The flickering image of Ed’an came into focus on the holoterminal. His smile was the same overconfident grin as his younger self; and Na’sira’s loud and flailing greeting was the same too.

“Helloooo Eddie! How’ve you beeeen?”

He grinned and shrugged.

“Up and down. So, uh, yeah – about the whole running like a crazed gundark back then... Sorry about that, sis; was a little panicked.”

Na’sira swallowed. Her extravagant grin shrank into a small sincere smile and she tilted her head.

“I don’t blame you Ed. I’m... Glad, the Jedi found you. And that Miranda is looking out for you. She’s probably a better sister – well no, actually, I am the greatest sister ever.”

She grinned toothily with outstretched arms before continuing.

“But! She is a saner sister. That will have to do.”

The holographic man grinned with a shake of his head. He was clearly happy that her sister was still so light-hearted. Yet, he rubbed his neck awkwardly.

“Be that... As it may. I still want to see my little sister in person.”

Na’sira cast a glance at her master out of shot who stood in silence with her tea.

“Where?”

Ed’an hesitated, resting his hands on his hips and shaking his head.

“Getting off Tython will be impossible but I’m going to do it anyway. Nar Shaddaa is the only place I can think of that’ll keep us protected from the respective powers that be.”

He frowned deeply. It was clear that he didn’t know the ideal method to get off Tython.

“I’m going to pull a few strings. I still know people who know things in unsavoury circles. I might be able to get smuggled off.”

He paused. Any other year he might have blurted out that he’d get off the same night and be on Nar Shaddaa in two days. Jedi training now meant that he knew better than to make such a claim without thinking; he took a deep breath as he considered his uncharacteristically cautious approach.

“I don’t know. When I get to Nar Shaddaa I can disappear for as long as I need. I’ll be there at the Slopes in at most five days, probably four. At the least, two; that’s if I set off today.”

She nodded thoughtfully. She also gave him a queer look. She didn’t remember her brother as a calm deliberator; far from it in fact. Regardless, she continued to nod along;

“I’ll see you there. Promise. Also. Just before you go to do Jedi things. What’s your bank balance like?”

Ed’an elevated an eyebrow and thoroughly eyeballed his sister.

“... Not too shabby, why?”

Na’sira grinned from ear to ear.

“I need a purple lightsaber crystal. They aren’t cheap.”

Ed’an shook his head in disbelief but smirked.

“I’ll see it done that you have access. Don’t clean me out, though – that’s my retirement fund.”

“I’ll do my best but you might not be retiring early anymore. I just need to be bright and colourful without violating the Sith dress code. You understand, right?”

Her brother gave her a long stare. A very knowing stare. He chuckled.

“You haven’t changed a single bit. Love you, sis. See you soon.”

The image flickered away and Na’sira breathed out. Phew. That seemed to her more like they were still well acquainted. As if there wasn’t decades of missed stories and drama to catch up on. She smiled to herself; perhaps that was how it should be with one’s own family.

--

However, between now and whenever this reunion would occur there was plenty of time to burn. Some of it could be her upcoming Teräs Käsi training with Sye on Taris and similar combat practice in the ship’s cargo hold, but beyond that she needed something else. She pondered. Ah, over course – finding the crystal to buy! Still hovering about the holoterminal, she set about it and swept the holonet. However, between the overly exorbitant Imperial auction buyouts and blatant scam ‘bargains’, there seemed to be precious few if any that offered hope. She frowned; then remembered. If they were in the Republic hyperlanes, she could at the very least nose at their trade network; if she was careful.

She struck lucky after a very brief search. She recognised the name of a company on the listings – The Hale Trading Consortium. And there it was. For the low, low price of one hundred and twenty five thousand credits. Payable in interest-charged monthly repayments or the single lump sum. She briefly recollected what she knew of the Consortium – she had briefly consulted one of their outlets on Nar Shaddaa in search of legitimate ways off the moon – remembering that it actually operated largely out of the CEO’s own heavy freighter – dubbed the ‘Flying Fortress’ – which tended to loiter in deep Republic space, but was officially neutral. It was by far her best bet, especially considering she retained one of the contact addresses in her memory.

Lacking the ability to buy straight off the network, this would come in very handy; contact would have to be established more traditionally – or at least in a less automated way. Strangely enough the address appeared – perhaps falsely, perhaps not – to be the CEO’s own contact details. Not that it mattered; true or not the message would presumably get through. And no sane Trading Consortium turns down paying customers.

--

To: Saxton Hale (saxtonhale@thtc.corp.h)
From: Sera (address withheld)

Dear Sir,

I would like to express an interest in purchasing the rare violet lightsabre crystal under item listing 1355730 with a lump-sum of the one-hundred and twenty-five thousand credit asking price. I would like to know details of delivery, as I may not have the full sum until five days’ time and relatively rarely venture into Republic space.

I look forward to your response and my thanks in advance,

Sera

--

She hoped it was cordial enough and to the point. Formal conduct was hardly one of her strengths; between learning dozens upon dozens of songs, dances and the many nooks and crannies of the Force, she didn’t particularly have time for many other pastimes nor was it any fun to be formal to start with. It briefly concerned her that even with the help she may not have enough to pay; but perhaps Saxton would be open to haggling?

That could be fun, with her particular brand of ‘negotiation’. It too, however, would have to wait unless he was extraordinarily fast with his response. She peered toward the cargo hold, nodded to Sye, and meandered into the room. Within the hold there was a somewhat entropic (if categorised) pile-up of lightsabre parts; many laid about a traditional platform for sabre construction. It was past time she repaired her own and took her new one apart. It would give her time to think; there was something therapeutic about the process for whatever strange reason. No time like the present.

She carefully twisted the emitter off of the top of the lightsabre she now carried on display – an overly ornate piece that belonged to the unfortunate Sith Lord now dead and buried on Korriban – and rested it upon the table. She examined it thoroughly and wiped along it with a soaked cloth. Her mind drifted away almost instantly; lightsabre maintenance may as well have been something she could do in her asleep. It was like clockwork.

She caught herself looking back on her recent life and shaking her head in disbelief. She could scarcely believe her luck; everything from being backed up by Corsula to being apprenticed by her master Sye – a match that seemed to be, for all intents and purposes, practically perfect – had gone so smoothly. Ah, Sye. Many unexpected traits of her master were to follow this chance incident; including an appreciation (or perhaps tolerance) for her new apprentice’s inability to take things seriously as well as rolling with her various ‘curiosities’. There was plenty of work to be done – months of combat training to catch up on – but she still let Na’sira visit a slave-run black market parlour in the bowels of Kaas.

Allowing her attainment of shiny buffed lekku and an extensive bathing were the least she was to expect from Sye even in the near future, though. She was apparently a master of Teräs Käsi and with it a practitioner of Ataru – a hybrid of skills she intended to pass onto her. The martial art was something she only heard of in songs that she had picked up – and in one case mimicked in the choreography of a dance. She didn’t bother to hide her intrigue. To complicate matters she had grown an interest in the sabrestaff in the recent weeks. She had practiced very little with them – although many concepts were rudimentarily similar to the single blade it was still an entirely new theatre of combat. Combined with the extensive re-training, she may as well have been starting from scratch.

The future was laid out in front of her and it stretched for years of hard graft and plentiful fist-and-foot induced bruising. But for once she could look at it without being faced by her own shackles. This was for once her choice, finally on a track she had chosen herself. The last time she had that chance she failed; part of her was eager to make sure she didn’t repeat that failure. The rest of her was sure she wouldn’t; confidence she was definitely going to need. She found it in droves as she filled with glee. Where there should have been anticipation and raw eagerness, she giggled and clapped. Just wait for the fun to start!

With great power comes great responsibility. Freedom was a potent power for Na’sira as an ex-slave and she intended to use it for neither good nor evil. Selfishness, perhaps. But maybe if people found her practical jokes funnier or her Trandoshan-linguistic prowess during bouts of singing more entertaining it would be seen as benevolence!

She grinned at the thought. For a Twi’lek she could sing in Trandoshan surprisingly well. Her thoughts drifted back to reality as the lightsabre needed reassembling (and with it required a tremendous amount of focus with the Force); just one final thought.

Must get a Trandoshan singing coach.

End of Part 2
The Hale Legacy - The Progenitor