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Author Topic: Schisms: The Vhal'Dan Civil War  (Read 28243 times)
Illyiss
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« Reply #45 on: March 21, 2018, 02:17:49 PM »

Very good point...it might not be someone from outside who comes for Ari....does Kazic even realize the true source of his concern....

That is my wonder as well.  I think he is worried about her people coming for her, but I think that he is missing the deeper source of his fear, or is just unwilling to admit to it, I don't think he wants to believe that anyone inside the order would want to do her harm...
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Darth Pandćmis

Peace is a lie...

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TheDutchman
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« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2018, 02:20:24 PM »

Very good point...it might not be someone from outside who comes for Ari....does Kazic even realize the true source of his concern....
That is my wonder as well.  I think he is worried about her people coming for her, but I think that he is missing the deeper source of his fear, or is just unwilling to admit to it, I don't think he wants to believe that anyone inside the order would want to do her harm...

All I can say is: you guys are good  Wink
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Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

TheDutchman
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« Reply #47 on: March 29, 2018, 08:07:30 PM »



Chapter 7: Impetus, Part I

They lay together in their bed, nothing but a sheet covering them both, if barely.  The autumnal night of Galtea was refreshing even against their bare skin, the portal to their bedroom adjacent balcony open.  As Kazic traced his finger up his wife’s spine and along her right lekku, he smiled at the memory of their wonderful night.  He must have unconsciously halted because Saani’s drowsy whisper interrupted his ruminations.

“…Don’t stop…” She purred, her toes flexing as she lifted her leg, the blue skin glistening in the full moonlight.  She tilted her head so as to put her other lekku within his reach.

Quietly chuckling, Kazic complied, gently stroking first one and then the other lekku.  “Kanp’a…I’ve been thinking…”  His deep voice was quiet, tender.  His hand gently massaged Saani’s lekku and shoulders.

Closing her eyes, she whispered in a contented voice, “…What’s that K’ompo…?”  Her fingers grasped the rumpled sheets, her dark blue fingernails digging into the bed.  “…Oh that’s good…”

Grinning, Kazic looked appreciatively at his wife.  “…Well Kanp’a…as I said…I think that maybe…we should formally adopt Ari…”  His smile widened considerably as his wife turned, sitting up on her elbow.

“…Wha…I mean, you’ve ‘thought’ about it?”  Saani’s voice was questioning with an undercurrent of anticipation.  If she had been lethargic before, she was completely alert now.

“It’s been foremost upon my mind, Kanp’a.  And I think that it’s best for all involved…”  Seeing Saani’s eyes widen in surprise, he noticed a…yearning underneath.  Kazic’s smile widened further, adding, “…And, let’s face it Saani…Ari is already family…”  Kazic didn’t think that his gray lips could smile any wider.

Her eyes large and full of unshed tears, Saani practically jumped into her husband’s embrace as they wrapped their arms around one another, laughing as they gently rocked back and forth atop the bed…

            <<<<< >>>>>

Even in the darkness of her rooms, Ari could see the assorted fauna that decorated her quarters.  She could feel the ambient temperature changing, decreasing slightly from a pleasant 18.9 degrees to a not uncomfortable 17.8 degrees.  She could hear the four monorails closest to the Gardens District that they lived by, including an industrial tramway carrying commodities, supplies, and munitions.  But she was only aware of this in the most vague of senses.  No, what she was focused on was what percolated through the aether around her.  Or, more specifically, from Kazic and Saani to her.

While she did not know exactly what was being said, she could easily deduce from the emotions that they were feeling—sharing—that they were discussing…her.  In and around and throughout the apartments that she had come to consider a home, one with Saani and Kazic, she felt the tides and eddies within the aether, a sensation not unlike a…warm, comfortable blanket after being left out in the cold.  No, Ari thought, shaking her head.  That’s what she would have likened it to back Home.  Now, she was much more…erudite.  It was as if she were floating in an anti-grav spa, comforting, pleasurable, wonderful.

Ari smiled one of her rare smiles.  While these Vhal’Dan could sense and utilize the aether, they weren’t really…aware of it as they should be.  As she was.  If they were…well then, they would know the absolute joy of shared adoration and how truly marvelous it could be.

Like now.

Wrapped in the warmth of Saani and Kazic’s affection—and now along with her own feelings for them—Ari felt a contentment that she’d not felt since…before she’d been taken.  No, this wasn’t Home…but it was her home, at least while Saani and Kazic were here.

Cuddling deeper in her pillows, she finally slept a deep, dreamless sleep.  She did not have to wonder what the feint sounds of the night portended.  She did not have to fear where her next meal came from.  She did not have to question “Why,” knowing that she would never be told the answer.  No longer was she plagued by the nightmares of her abduction, or the violence of the crash, or even the loneliness of Yavin.  

Not while she had Saani and Kazic.

            <<<<< >>>>>

The noontime sun of Galtea was both radiant and warming, the sunlight streaming through the transparisteel wall of the R&D Department, illuminating all of the Force artifacts that lay virtually untouched upon the sterile tabletops.  Except one table.  The sunlight was unable to penetrate the congregated bodies of scientists, administrators, and Jedi as they crowded around the table and—more importantly—the teenage girl speaking about the object upon the table.  Rapt, every single person there hung on every word, every explanation, every enigma solved.

“This was one of the specialized Corusca gems that Naga Sadow had devoted to his plans for eternal life.”  Ari’s voice resounded through the laboratory, each person in attendance completely captivated by what she was saying.  “It took him the better part of his decades-long exile on Yavin 4 but…he was finally able to devise a method of suspended animation that had no adverse affects.”  She punctuated her last sentence with holding aloft the orb in her hand.  “It was through this gem that he was able to freeze time for almost 600 years.  For all he knew, it might have worked longer—perhaps until the end of time—but he was awakened by the man who would become his second apprentice: Freedon Nadd.”

Collective whispers arose from the crowd.  Almost all of the Vhal’Dan had read about Freedon Nadd but this…well, this was new.  “Excuse me young lady but you’re saying that this…jewel is not only responsible for extending life but is—somehow—the provenance of Naga Sadow, one of the most frightful and powerful Sith Lords ever to have ruled the galaxy?!”  The incredulous voice of the sub-chair of Antiquities sounded almost flippant…if one would care to describe such a venerable and respected scholar as sounding.  Everyone turned from Aresaea to focus on the elder gentleman who challenged the girl.

Messer Subiah Fuqua had held a position within the University for over twenty-four years, 5 of which he acted in his capacity as one of the heads of the college.  And in that time, he’d written a thorough dissertation on the Yavin Massassi, publishing what would become the definitive accepted theories of the ancient Sith.  Or rather, what had been conjectured up until now.  And Aresaea’s information had all but invalidated much of his hypotheses so he was understandably upset.  As with too many people in their capacity as an “authority,” their egos were often times next to said positions.

It also didn’t help that he was one of Anson’s staunchest supporters in addition to being a powerful maenowan, although he’d never become a Gray Master; he’d never taken any apprentices nor done any teaching to teidowans.

Ari’s face did not show her dislike for the man, even though she knew that he would fight for his perspective despite being completely wrong.  “Yes, yes it is.”  Was all she said.  And, looking around the room, she could tell that almost everyone there needed only that: her word.  She knew with certainty that Saani and Kazic not only believed her but accepted her knowledge as fact.

Stupefied, Fuqua sputtered a bit before attacking from another angle.  “Young lady…how do you even claim to know this?!”  Ari thought that his eyes were beady and small.  The shaver-worms on Yavin would have feasted on them long ago if he’d gone there… Instead, she slowly inhaled and continued.

“He told me.”  The room went silent and no one moved a muscle.  If Ari thought that Fuqua’s eyes couldn’t open any wider, she was mistaken.  Unfortunately, she noticed that almost everyone in the crowd had likewise reacted.  She mentally berated herself, suddenly aware of Saani and Kazic’s alertness in the aether.  And one of Kazic’s admonitions came back to her as she now realized just what he meant: “Don’t tell people of her abilities to hear people in the aether (well, he said ‘Force’ but she nevertheless always thought of the aether first).”  

She could feel the currents of the aether change; it felt…charged wasn’t quite the right word.  Frenetic?  No, more…serious… And as Ari contemplated the fundamental shift within the room, Kazic and Saani moved beside her, gently but firmly extricating her from the center of the crowd, making apologetic sounds while they left.

“Excuse us please, sires, siras.  My wife and I have to explain some things to our ward; her command of Galactic Basic is still far from perfect.  I shall find out exactly what Aresaea intended to communicate as soon as we’re able to work through the misunderstanding.”  Kazic’s words disarmed most, giving a plausible explanation that the crowd had expected.

As they exited the building, boarding the monorail to their apartments, none of them so much as spoke.  But then, they didn’t need to: Ari had come to recognize many specific moods within the aether, at least as far as both Saani and Kazic were concerned.  Still, the ride was not exactly pleasant either.

As Kazic ushered Saani and Ari through the door, he deliberately secured the door, engaging the locks that Kazic seldom bothered with.  After a brief moment to collect himself, he joined the two women in the conservatory.

The bright Galtean sun shone beautifully through the transparisteel windows, the high clouds stark white against a blue sky that drew the eyes ever onward towards the horizon.  But Kazic only saw two things: Saani and Ari.  “Ari…you must be more careful; you cannot tell others of your talents, especially those that you and you alone possess.  Too many people would be frightened and, as such, would…lash out.  Specifically at you.”  Kazic’s patient tone was underscored by a hint of apprehension.

Saani had a comforting hand gently rubbing Ari’s back.  “Ari, Dear One, Kazic’s right.  I know that Professor Fuqua angered you but you must always be on your guard.”  Ari looked as if she were about to talk but Saani cut her off with a raised hand.  “I know that he was wrong.  And you were right.  But he is a man who takes such as a personal affront, to say nothing of the fact that he already is suspicious of you.”  Saani sat next to the girl, slowly stroking her red hair.  “Ari…there are sometimes necessary…fictions that people must deal with in regards to others, especially to people that are not…friendly.”

Ari’s face assumed a blank look, one that she normally had whenever she was absorbing new information.  “…So I must…lie…to some people?”  Saani was about to further explain herself when Kazic suddenly cut in.

“Yes.”  His tone was deadly serious.  “That’s precisely what you have to do sometimes, Ari.”  He sighed, crossing his arms.  “…Ari, let me show you exactly what I mean.”  And once again, Kazic opened his mind to her.  As she had on numerous occasions, Ari Delved him, the familiarity of doing so had become second nature.  A moment later, Ari closed her eyes, leaning against Saani.

“…I, I understand.  Thank you Saani; thank you Kazic.  I’m sorry.”  When she opened her aqua eyes, they were clear, intelligent, and full of understanding.

Saani and Kazic exchanged a patient look.  “Don’t be, Dear One.”  Saani remarked, giving Ari a hug.  But Kazic was silent, an introspective look tinged with worry upon his gray brow.  “What is it, Komp’o?  What’s on your mind?”

“Well, it’s—”  Suddenly the room’s holofeed chimed, indicative of an incoming message.  Kazic answered after a slight pause.  “Hello?”

The projected disembodied head turned to the Anzati Master.  It was Bhorja Travikx, one of Anson’s koawans.  “Excuse me, First Speaker, Second Speaker?  I’m sorry to interrupt but I must inform you that an emergency session of Congress has been called.  The Kage implores you both that you make haste to the Hall of Balance.”

Again, Saani and Kazic looked at one another, the unspoken questions put aside until afterwards.  “I understand koawan.  Speaker Saani and myself are en route and will be there shortly.”  Kazic’s business-like tone was mirrored in his entire demeanor, even as he signed off.  “Ari please excuse Saani and I.  We have government business to attend to.”

Ari nodded her understanding, at least seemingly placated from before thanks to her Delve with Kazic.  As Saani and he left their apartments towards the main hyperloop leading to the Hall of Balance, Kazic had the disturbing realization that the daen nosi had suddenly returned…
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Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

TheDutchman
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« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2018, 08:10:26 PM »



Chapter 7: Impetus, Part II

Projected in the middle of the Council chambers, there were several different views showing the same event: the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.  A couple of holofeeds were shaky and unfocused, as if recorded by an amateur or from a personal device while others showed the building in crystal clarity.  One and all they’d recorded what looked like an earthquake hitting the Temple, large cracks in the duracrete running up the entire structure, right into and up through the central spire.

A quiet collective gasp resounded through the hall, seemingly loud despite that there were only nine Vhal’Dan in attendance: the Kage, the Arbiter, and the seven Speakers of the Council of Balance.  And while many faces remained impassive, some Speakers had a look of dread already cast upon them.  Seventh Speaker Sarith Tovar had a hand over her mouth while Third Speaker Pytir Danisen’s teeth were clenched so hard that the grinding could be heard throughout the entire Hall.

Then, as the holofeed continued, the Temple’s central spire lit up, an arcane purple, blue and white glow that rivaled the coming dawn in radiance.  This time there was no quiet gasp; there was outright shock as disbelieving yells echoed throughout the chamber.  For several seconds the blinding light remained, slowly dimming allowing not only the darkness of night to return but also a shadowy afterimage that was seemingly burned into the holofeed itself.  Then the image changed showing disparate views: the mass destruction, civil unrest, and millions upon millions of people panicking, not knowing where they ran to but only that they needed to escape.  The images changed again: multiple lists containing hundreds, thousands of names scrolling across the feed, a lone, shared epitaph following every single one.

“DECEASED.”

As the holofeed looped, Anson stood, not even bothering with turning the images off.  Indeed, as the light played across his face, producing shadows and harsh edges, he stood resolute, his voice filled with conviction.  “And that is not all.  There is now a definitive Force Nexus surrounding Coruscant that can be felt even as far as the Outer Rim.  But this…vergence in the Force is the most upsetting component arising from the events on Coruscant.  My agent there, Master Jorl’Taf, explicitly stated that all Force-sensitives within the area were inundated by the explosion, many of them succumbing to unconsciousness.”

Then, slowly, deliberately, he switched to a new holofeed.  This one showed a hallway from the perspective of a high mounted camera, likely security footage.  But as the seconds crept by, two figures entered the feed.  Both were wearing what appeared to be black, crystalline armor.  Even on the grainy recording, the light seemed to…dim around the armor.  But for several frames, the feed was almost crystal clear and the two figures’ faces were distinctly visible.  Anson paused the feed, manipulating the image to zoom in on the exposed faces.

They both were tall handsome men, one with light short hair, the other with a closely shaved head and stubble on his muscular jaw.  They looked similar, possessing virtually identical looks upon their faces, dangerous and deadly serious.  When Anson spoke next, his voice was calm and carried throughout the Hall.  “From the intel gathered, the taller man was identified as the ‘Sith of Cygnat.’  But that’s not the worst of it.  The other is one of Grand Master Kimar’s own: Jedi Knight Valens.  And while there are conflicting reports concerning a cohort of others supporting them, it is these two that facilitated what people are now referring to as the ‘Night of Madness.’”

Anson walked from his chair and around the semi-circle arrangement of the Speakers, looking at each in turn.  “Look at them.  They are responsible for the destruction of Coruscant, for millions of deaths, for a lasting Dark Side presence in the Force that will span decades, if not centuries!  And even if the most outlandish figure is to be believed, these two accomplished this with only a small consortium.”  Anson let that sink in.

“And they brought the Jedi to their knees.  THEY KILLED GRAND MASTER KIMAR!"  The Arbiter’s voice rang throughout the Hall.  Suddenly he adopted a pedantic pose.  “I’m reminded of the words of Kage Stryka…”  Kazic thought that Anson had been deliberate in choosing his old master to make a point but he remained silent, wondering where Anson was going with this.  “…‘A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.’”  Anson stared straight into Kazic’s red eyes.  “I can tell you now after this so-called ‘Night of Madness’ that Kage Stryka was wrong: a millions deaths are a tragedy beyond reckoning.”

Kazic’s face remained inexpressive but within he was seething.  So, that had been Anson’s intent: to undermine his master and—by extension—him.  He patiently crossed his arms, knowing that Anson had not yet finished.  “This must never happen to the Vhal’Dan.  And if this can happen to the Jedi in the very heart of their Temple on Coruscant, then it can most assuredly reach us here on Galtea!  The survival of our Order is at stake.  The time for half-measures is over!”  Kazic knew that Anson’s theatrics were intended to evoke an emotional response.  And, as he looked around at his fellow Speakers, he saw that Anson was succeeding.

Suddenly, Anson turned to Arkady, addressing the small man in the same authoritative tone he’d been using.  “Kage!  I insist that we vote again upon the measure of militarization, suspending at least some individual liberties to ensure that the Vhal’Dan are at their strongest!”  Having said that, the Arbiter sat, on his chair, his face full of conviction.

Rising, the Kage’s face was calm as was his voice when next he spoke, choosing to ignore Anson's infringement upon decorum. “The Arbiter has recalled the initiative for militarization and suspension of ‘non-critical’ liberties.  Speakers: cast your vote.”  Arkady sat, a hint of a frown upon his face.  And as every Speaker entered their vote, Kazic noticed that the only one to look at him—besides Saani—was Corvus, the Fifth Speaker.  And he knew…

Arkady stood, the ballot tallied.  “For militarization: Arbiter Anson D’Aklon, 3rd Speaker Pytir Danisen, 4th Speaker J’Nessah Raanh, 6th Speaker Auryn Kerosin’e, 7th Speaker Sarith Tovar.  Against: 1st Speaker Kazic Ovarug, 2nd Speaker Saani K’aval, 5th Speaker Corvus Watashi.”  Both Saani and Corvus’ eyes mirrored the disappointment in his own.  Kazic turned his head to Sarith.  He had to hand it to Anson; he knew that the Seventh Speaker had a cousin in the CSF and exactly what footage to show her.  …Dammit… Kazic morosely thought.  …Now I know what the daen nosi portended…

The Kage’s voice echoed throughout the Hall.  “The vote for militarization has passed.  The Vhal’Dan will make the necessary preparations Arbiter D’Aklon has proposed; please see to it, Speakers.”  Looking directly at Anson, the Kage flatly stated.  “This concludes these deliberations.”  

And while those Speakers that had voted with Anson gripped his hand in congratulations, Arkady joined Kazic, Saani, and Corvus.  The Kage spoke in hushed tones.  “…I will do what I can to blunt Anson’s initiative on certain points but…well, even I cannot go against a majority Congressional vote.”  His gruff voice sad, Arkady was about to leave when Kazic stopped him.

“It’s not your fault Arkady.  Congress has voted.  I would be a hypocrite to go against the Council only to champion the republic that serves the Vhal’Dan.  I will do all that I can to ensure that our liberties remain intact.  Our freedom is tantamount to our survival and I will not stop fighting for it.”  And while Saani, Corvus, and Arkady all agreed, Kazic knew it would not be easy.  But he believed in the system that the Vhal’Dan had put in place and he believed that he could correct what he saw as nothing more than an error in judgment caused by an emotional knee-jerk reaction.

He never could have guessed just how wrong he would be nor that the cost would be numbered in countless deaths.
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Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Lord_S_Gray
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« Reply #49 on: March 30, 2018, 04:50:37 AM »

Politics...the art of the possible...and Anson D'Aklon has just made his plans very possible. This is the essence of the balance between freedom and vigilance played out, they are both right, Anson has very real evidence there is a very dangerous threat out there...yet if they lose their freedoms what are they actually protecting but their lives? Interesting that the Kage is at best lukewarm about this though.

Have to say I loved Subiah Fuqua, the academic seeing his life's work denigrated by an upstart kid who says she talked to a long dead Sith Lord...Though its an interesting question, if they did believe her what would the Vhal Dan do with the techniques she might be able to show them based on Naga Sadows work?

Anyway I have to hand it to Dutchman once again, I am truly honored for the substantial level of crossover to LotA built in here, and the almost disturbingly precise senses Ari possesses, frankly I think you do a better job on detailing some aspects of these events and characters than I did!   
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

Illyiss
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« Reply #50 on: March 30, 2018, 08:03:04 AM »

The Vhal'Dan have been manipulated into presiding over a court of emotion, and against all that they should know of making decisions based on emotion, while initially emotionally effected by such news, they have had their hand forced.  Anson, I wonder how long he delayed his presentation to prepare his assault, for assault it was, using the speakers' own compassion and fears as weapons against them, has cemented his order down a path I wonder if he realizes the implications.  If he does not, then he is lost and adrift in his own fear and pathos driven need to protect.  Perhaps even being manipulated himself.  If he does realize, then he has fallen, and is willingly driving the Vhal'Dan into changing, becoming a different order, irreparably effected by his machinations...

Meanwhile, Ari has just found fully the feeling of home she has missed since violence and greed descended upon her people, ripping them from their home, and one another, will have scant time to know the peace that has settled into her sleep so recently.  With her clearly advanced command of the Force (which she knows as the Aether, and more deeply, directly than any Jedi grasp), I fear will become a target, she already has potential enemies, and through that, either a point around which lines draw, or in reaction to some yet unknown event, become the catalyst, or worse, the weapon...
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Darth Pandćmis

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« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2018, 10:18:21 AM »

Politics...the art of the possible...and Anson D'Aklon has just made his plans very possible. This is the essence of the balance between freedom and vigilance played out, they are both right, Anson has very real evidence there is a very dangerous threat out there...yet if they lose their freedoms what are they actually protecting but their lives? Interesting that the Kage is at best lukewarm about this though.

Have to say I loved Subiah Fuqua, the academic seeing his life's work denigrated by an upstart kid who says she talked to a long dead Sith Lord...Though its an interesting question, if they did believe her what would the Vhal Dan do with the techniques she might be able to show them based on Naga Sadows work?

Anyway I have to hand it to Dutchman once again, I am truly honored for the substantial level of crossover to LotA built in here, and the almost disturbingly precise senses Ari possesses, frankly I think you do a better job on detailing some aspects of these events and characters than I did!   

Ah, LSG, I think you may have hit the nail on the head.  I can easily see Anson wanting to take Ari into custody with the primary intent of delving her for as much of just this sort of information she might possess.  I am curious: What liberties are considered "non-critical"?  I suspect that list of non-essential liberties (are there any such thing?  Oy...) will end up being very important indeed...
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Lord_S_Gray
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« Reply #52 on: March 30, 2018, 02:16:21 PM »

The Vhal'Dan have been manipulated into presiding over a court of emotion, and against all that they should know of making decisions based on emotion, while initially emotionally effected by such news, they have had their hand forced.  Anson, I wonder how long he delayed his presentation to prepare his assault, for assault it was, using the speakers' own compassion and fears as weapons against them, has cemented his order down a path I wonder if he realizes the implications.  If he does not, then he is lost and adrift in his own fear and pathos driven need to protect.  Perhaps even being manipulated himself.  If he does realize, then he has fallen, and is willingly driving the Vhal'Dan into changing, becoming a different order, irreparably effected by his machinations..

Based on Anson previous behaviour I think it's the emotional path that he is justifying rationally after feeling...the problem is the evidence is actually supporting and feeding his emotion. The road to hell is paved with good intentions...the road to repression paved with appeals to saving freedom. Having said that need to remember the others who voted with him are Gray masters capable one would hope of seeing through such emotion. Fascinating situation Dutch has created here - he should have done the politics in episode 1 !
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

TheDutchman
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« Reply #53 on: March 30, 2018, 03:06:31 PM »

Thanks guys!  I'm glad that this translates as more than just a "red vs blue" issue (or worse, setting up Anson as a Straw Antagonist).  I really wanted to show that BOTH sides have merits.  Anson is a man of passion whereas Kazic is more logic.  And they're both right...and both wrong.

Fascinating situation Dutch has created here - he should have done the politics in episode 1 !
Higher praise I could not have asked for my friend  Cheesy.  Thank you!!
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« Reply #54 on: March 31, 2018, 11:56:55 AM »

Thanks guys!  I'm glad that this translates as more than just a "red vs blue" issue (or worse, setting up Anson as a Straw Antagonist).  I really wanted to show that BOTH sides have merits.  Anson is a man of passion whereas Kazic is more logic.  And they're both right...and both wrong.

Well, you've done it masterfully.  Well done!  Its an interesting situation, and one that doesn't have a good answer.  I easily find echoes of the debates that were kicked around in 2002-2003 about the Patriot Act after 9/11.  Many of the same issues were brought out and, largely, not dealt with.  This is more urgent and therefore moving faster but the parallels are interesting.  I feel sorry for Anson, more than anyone else.  He's going to end up knowing he destroyed the very thing he was trying to save - and maybe not even really understanding why...
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« Reply #55 on: March 31, 2018, 05:32:05 PM »

I feel sorry for Anson, more than anyone else.  He's going to end up knowing he destroyed the very thing he was trying to save - and maybe not even really understanding why...

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
-Oscar Wilde the Ballad of Reading Gaol
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Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

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« Reply #56 on: March 31, 2018, 11:14:38 PM »



A Brief Intermezzo

“…So the Vhal’Dan militarized?”  D’Aylanna’s voice was quiet yet probing, filling the pause in Kazic’s tale while she continued her Force Healing.

The wasted Anzati Master inhaled, a hissing sound between gritted teeth.  Nodding, he continued.  “Yes; even moreso than the Order had been prior to the Ruusan Reformation.  Our R&D had taken several steps forward, giving us some of the best tech our Jedi could equip.  Most wore their armor even in the City and everyone carried their main lightsaber, a shoto, at least two vibroblades… Some even had blasters strapped to their persons…”  Kazic wheezed a laugh.  “…So uncivilized…”  His laugh degenerated into a coughing fit, each one contorting his body before he finally rasped an uneasy breath.

D’Aylanna smoothed his white hair from his brow, her small, delicate hands gentle, her eyes full of concern.  “…Kazic, what of Anson’s call to do away with ‘non-critical’ personal freedoms?  What does—did—that even mean?”  Her stroking hand seem to help calm Kazic’s coughing fit, giving him strength.  His red eyes stared into hers.

“…Well, at first it was just a simple curfew for non-Jedi.  No one really seemed to mind.  Next, all Vhal’Dan Jedi—regardless if they were teidowan or master…or even Speaker…had to have Congressional permission for any and all missions.  This then filtered down to all Galtean citizens.  Soon, our lives became very regimented, schedules a ‘routine part of our day.’”  He suddenly went very quiet, Kazic’s lips pulled up in a grimace.  “…But after a couple years, when most of the Vhal’Dan had come to…accept the seemingly little changes as a small expense for our safety, Anson proposed a new Initiative: that Congress would implement an Ident Program where every single citizen would be surgically implanted with a datanode that kept track of…well, everything.  Location, vitals, even our damned food habits.”  Kazic sneered, disgust clearly evident upon his face.

“…And…did the Vhal’Dan Congress pass this…measure?”  D’Aylanna asked, her normally steady voice trembling slightly with an undercurrent of shock and revulsion.

Kazic’s eyes stared straight into the Hapan Master’s dark eyes.  “No…not that Anson didn’t try… Maker knows that the Arbiter recalled the Initiative a number of times… No…but it was close, so close…”  Kazic’s eyes lost focus as his mind relived the memories of the past, as vivid as if he were experiencing them for the first time.

After a moment, D’Aylanna spoke to him, interrupting his ruminations.  “Kazic…KAZIC!  What about Aresaea?  What happened to her?”  The small woman’s face was intense, her skirts rustling as she stood over the Anzati Master.

Again, Kazic’s eyes became razor-focused.  “Aresaea…?  Ari?  Well, I made absolutely certain that she was never alone; she was always accompanied by either Saani, Jorol, Tsarvung, or myself.  If we had an off-world mission, Ari would always come with us.  And while I could trust Arkady to keep Ari safe should the need arise, I knew that the best way to avoid anything bad from happening was to ensure that nothing occurred in the first place…”  Kazic smiled fondly.  “Ari… She grew into a fine young woman, not only beautiful but incredibly powerful in the Force… She…she was the strongest Force-user on Galtea, even moreso than Anson or myself and even Arkady claimed that she would do things that he found…incredible…”  Kazic’s smile melted, his expression suddenly pained.  “Saani and I…we counseled caution, to never let anyone know the depths of her prowess in the Force…but after a time…people started remarking.”  A single tear slowly slid down his face and he closed his eyes.  “Oh Dear One…”

Pressing her blue lips together in shared empathy, D’Aylanna’s expression saddened, both her hands suddenly gripping Kazic’s withered fingers.  “…Kazic…what ever happened to Aresaea?  Did…did Anson take her?”

Kazic’s eyes opened, his face suddenly fierce and angry.  “No…well, yes.  I mean…I mean that everything changed when, returning to Galtea from a short jaunt to the Karideph System, Ari…saw something, something that suddenly revitalized her search for her People.”  Kazic’s voice dropped to a bare whisper, his eyes full of regret.  “…She’d…accepted that Saani and I were her home, her family… But even as the years went by, part of me…suspected—knew—that it was…inevitable.  Ari…was a…light shining in the galaxy, a wondrous radiant soul… Saani and I knew that she…would eventually have to leave…for us to have to say ‘goodbye…’ But…we were not prepared for the eventuality.  Or the events that led to her leaving…”  Kazic’s voice once again became a whisper.  “…Or the storm that followed…”

And as Kazic spoke, D’Aylanna sat intently listening to his every word, the secret history of the Vhal’Dan revealed as the venerable Anzati Master continued…
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« Reply #57 on: April 01, 2018, 11:17:14 AM »

Oh I like the reveal that it's all a story being told from Kazic's point of view.  Yes, that is a dangerously slippery slope of freedoms surrendered, and very on point for what we are facing today in the world.  I do hope we will be getting more of the tale.
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« Reply #58 on: April 01, 2018, 02:03:32 PM »

As a narrative device this was very neatly done. Brought back to 'present' day of the prologue whilst also adding in a time skip - as a single time narrative it would've been possible but a bit harder to do give the serious issues involved here we are left with the impression that the tension and characters traits and opinions gradually harden without having to see it piece by piece.  Also works as a good break between the "Impetus' and.... whatever comes next....
As to the context itself...how quickly people adapt to a new order....and Ari...well as Kazic said she burns too brightly to conceal...what will that light....
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

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« Reply #59 on: April 02, 2018, 07:22:24 AM »

As a narrative device this was very neatly done. Brought back to 'present' day of the prologue whilst also adding in a time skip - as a single time narrative it would've been possible but a bit harder to do give the serious issues involved here we are left with the impression that the tension and characters traits and opinions gradually harden without having to see it piece by piece.  Also works as a good break between the "Impetus' and.... whatever comes next....
As to the context itself...how quickly people adapt to a new order....and Ari...well as Kazic said she burns too brightly to conceal...what will that light....

Echoing LSG.  This was great!  I love the literary device, and it is well applied here.  And the foreshadowing of the next part of the narrative is perfect.  Just enough to confirm our suspicions without giving anything away.  Love it!
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