Ask  Nar Shaddaa Falling Doesn't Kill You

Discussion in 'Outer Rim Territories' started by Vuthari, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Vuthari

    Vuthari Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 2
    1,052

    Jedi Master
    Messages:
    146
    OCC Account:
    Mithias
    Character Profile:
    Link

    [​IMG]
    Level 238
    Corellian Sector
    Nar Shaddaa


    It was a miserable night. There was no way of predicting weather patterns on Nar Shaddaa. Meteorologists gave it their best go, but failed on a regular basis. It was an aspect of Nar Shaddaa that he would never get used to, especially growing up on Ryloth where weather was just as unpredictable—he never got used to that either.

    Rain was pouring. Vu’thari had taken his speeder to the upper levels of the Corellian Sector to purchase a replacement hydrospanner and was greeted with rain that was coming in as sheets, barely able to see a dozen feet in front of him. Taking a deep breath, Vu’thari charged out into the downpour to quickly mount his speeder bike…and suddenly stopped. The very notion that he was standing still in pouring down rain was lost to him. Gently, he put the hydrospanner in one of the small storage compartments on the back of the bike. Looking over to the building across from him, there was a sole figure on the corner of the building, sitting on the ledge…with nothing between him and 238 stories.

    [​IMG]

    It gripped him in his soul. The feeling of impending doom. The Jedi had felt it before. Vu’thari was unable to escape the death that occurred on a nightly basis in Nar Shaddaa…but this was different. He was able to sense the human male from quite a distance. There was a darkness swirling within him. A few moments of resistance could be felt, but the resolve for death was eroding any self-preservation…he was going to kill himself.

    And there was a connection there. Vu’thari didn’t understand it, but the will of the Force was not formulaic or rote in any way. Regardless, the twi’lek could not stand by and do nothing. Quickly looking around, he saw no onlookers or anyone on the walkways—not in this weather. Blinking the water from his eyes, the Jedi tore off like a streak and crossed the gap between the two buildings. Fortunately, they were spaced fairly close, so the jump was manageable.

    I may be a Jedi, but I can’t fly…

    Like a flash, the Jedi traversed the walkways until he came up on the man from behind, then slowed to a walk. Without saying a word, he sat down next to him half a dozen feet away, looking down at the massive distance between where they sat with their feet dangling off the edge and to the bottom…which Vu’thari could not see. The rain was still pummeling the two as Jedi looked over and asked casually, “Mind if I join you?”

    @Critas
     
    Wolf likes this.
  2. Prax Dek

    Prax Dek Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 1
    146

    Rebel
    Messages:
    14
    OCC Account:
    Critas
    Character Profile:
    Link
    Prax Dek sat on the edge of the highest ledge on the Lucky Eight casino and lounge in Nar Shaddaa. To spite the fact that it was a clean 238 stories down to the nearest ledge, he dangled his booted feet over the edge and looked down. He was in poor spirits that had almost translated into a sort of fugue state. This was a night he would never forget, could never forget. Tonight, had been the night when he had killed his own father.

    A compulsive gambler and worker in the Lucky Eight, Prax’s father had worked there for years. There had been two phases to his employment. One before he had gone cripplingly into debt and one after, when he had crippled his family by selling them into slavery to pay his debt. Since that fateful day, Prax had lost track of his mother and sister. That fateful day, Prax had become a slave and on the road to becoming what he was now many times over, a killer.

    As a slave, Prax had been bought and sold more times than he could count. This last owner, a Sith calling himself As’rix had loaned him to his first owner, Blang the Hutt. Prax had been leery of the loan but the Sith had played it as his way to freedom. As’rix had called him into his office and told him it would ‘break his chains’ and ‘release his inner emotions’ or some other such nonsense. Prax had only heard one thing, it was his step to freedom.

    Prax reported to Blang and had been given his assignment. At first Prax was mystified and thought there must be some mistake. He read the name on the data pad and looked up at the chuckling face of the Hutt. At that moment As’rix stepped out from a hidden alcove and confirmed the target with a smug smile on his face. Prax did not understand. He was a trained assassin; his father was a broken down Sabacc dealer in a casino who fainted at the sight of a gun. They didn’t even tell him what his father had done to deserve death.

    As he knew he had no choice, he went to confront his father. Arriving at the small living quarters within the casino in short order. Along the way he had fought with himself. Could he even do this. What was he? What had he become? Could he kill his own father? He knew if he did not do this that someone else would be tasked and they would be far less likely to make it fast. Probably give the job to that boot lick Marced, the Trandoshan would kill a kid for a candy bar.

    The door to the quarters had opened and his father stood there, hope in his eyes. He had embraced Prax and invited him in. Prax felt as small as a jawa in a star destroyer. They sat down, and his father made them a meal, Prax ate but the food was ashes in his mouth. Of course, the discussion had turned to money and as predicted his father had asked Prax for a loan. Prax had given him everything he had, down to the last credit. The face his father had made was one Prax would always remember.

    It was at that point that Prax had told his father the reason for his visit. He explained to his father about the deal he had been made and asked his father why the Hutt and the Sith might have made such a deal. What had his father done that merited such angst? He discovered what his gut had told him all along, that it was simply for the delight of seeing a toy kill its own father. There had been no great slight, no accident or insult.

    Then his father had stood and walked into the bedroom. Prax allowed him his silence. The killer in him screamed at him not to allow his prey time to arm itself. But the practical side of Prax knew he was not arming. He knew he was saying goodbye. Slowly Prax stood and went to the doorway into the other room. He saw his father laying on his sleeping mat, he had spread his picts out around him on the mat. Picts of Prax’s mother, sister and of course Prax as well. They were mostly shots of happier times, before gambling had torn them all apart. Slowly Prax pulled his blaster from its holster and set it at the base of his father’s skull. His father told him he was happy that he could give his son one last gift, that one thing that he had taken from him so many years before. His last words had been, “I forgive you my son…”


    That had been a few hours before Prax had found himself on the balcony of the Lucky Eight. He sat in the rain, the cool water flowing over him and masking the tears that flowed down his cheeks. A little while before he had received word of his freedom through his data pad. The two demons had kept their side of the deal. They had watched the whole thing through the cameras in the slave’s quarters. Apparently, they had already made double his price as a slave in selling copies of the video on the black market.

    What have I become? Do I even deserve forgiveness?

    Prax felt as if he had already jumped from the edge, his mind and spirit spiraling down through the Nar Shaddaa night sky, trying to beat the rain to the inevitable below.

    He was stirred back to his awareness by his warriors’ instincts. Someone was approaching from behind. The warrior was struggling against the fugue, trying to bring him out of his funk and adopt a defensive posture. Perhaps the twin deal makers had come to finish on his body what they had started on his spirit. Mechanically he turned as the presence from behind him became a presence beside him. The lekku, a Twi’lek, sat beside him and asked if he minded if it joined him. Still in his faux fugue state he just shook his head and went back to contemplating the abyss below, longing for change. He was off the deep end now, drowning in the rains of Nar Shaddaa.

    @Mithias
     
    Wolf likes this.
  3. Vuthari

    Vuthari Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 2
    1,052

    Jedi Master
    Messages:
    146
    OCC Account:
    Mithias
    Character Profile:
    Link

    [​IMG]
    Level 238
    Corellian Sector
    Nar Shaddaa


    With a shrug, the human showed his indifference to who or what settled in next to him on the ledge. Reaching out, the Jedi could sense the vortex of darkness within the man. But he also could sense the pangs of regret and guilt. The practical side of the twi’lek screamed for him to walk away from this scene and let the man continue his death knell over the ledge—the galaxy would be better for it. But the Jedi in him tugged him to this stranger. Concentrating a bit more, he could sense the Force within him—powerful, wild, and untapped.

    He would make an ideal Sith…

    The idea crept into his subconscious and another urge to walk away ran through him, but he could not tear himself away from this man and his plight…whatever it was that ran so deep. His mind began to wander and question what his role as a Jedi truly was. The last few months had been a whirlwind of activity rediscovering his Jedi ways, taking on a Pawadan, exposing others to the Force and their potential, running operations for the Galactic Alliance, and actually meeting other Jedi for the first time since Eli. But he knew his duty was to protect…this man was not completely lost. Therefore, his conscious could not allow this man to die…

    He would make a strong Jedi someday too…if I could reach his soul.

    Looking over at the man, who seemed quite ready to take the next step, Vu’thari spoke just loud enough above the pouring rain so the man could hear him, “My name is Vu’thari. You don’t know me and I don’t know you, but I have seen the look in your eyes before. It may very well be none of my business, but that look crossed my face some years ago. My feet were dangling off the edge of a building not too far from here, much like this. Granted, it was a much more tolerable night than this, but the same kind of scenario…”

    Looking down with the human, he confessed, “My wife and both my children were cut down by a Sith. It was right when I arrived to Nar Shaddaa that I was sitting where you were, thinking there was no answer, no way to come back from the depths of that…”

    Pause. He looked over at the human and continued, “The galaxy conspires against us constantly. We go down a path that may or may not be our own doing. But there are other paths that we can step onto and follow. Brighter paths...paths that can grow our potential and spur our soul…”

    @Critas
     
    Wolf likes this.
  4. Prax Dek

    Prax Dek Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 1
    146

    Rebel
    Messages:
    14
    OCC Account:
    Critas
    Character Profile:
    Link
    Prax hardly noticed the twi’lek sit next to him on the ledge. He was focused on the swirling mists below, the rain obscuring his vision of the lower levels. Mind a million miles away, he was drowning in regret, pain and sorrow. Involuntarily he let out a choked grunt, as if his emotion affected him in a physical manifestation. He felt everything and nothing all at once. He couldn’t decide to which would be better or worse, to jump or to live with the guilt. Would the jump really cure the guilt, did he deserve to end the guilt and rid the galaxy of one more lost soul.

    He sighed and turned his head away from the newcomer. He did not want the twi’lek to see his emotion. He saw the legs of the interloper into his fortress of solitude out of the corner of his eye. He refused to look him in the eye but watched idly out of the corner of his. What did this creature want? Probably just someone sent by his recent tormentors to torture him more. He resolved not to give them the satisfaction again, he would not be their pawn anymore. Jump or no, that was one certainty he promised himself.

    The twi’lek began to speak and Prax could just hear him above the pouring rain. He listened as the creature tried to build rapport. He understood the tactic, it was an interrogation and torture classic. Show you understand their plight and get them to open up. Prax frowned deeply and briefly considered grabbing the man and having him join him in his tumble to oblivion. It would serve him right for his intrusion into his grief. A wife and daughter killed by the Sith. Of course, it had to be a trick, who else but they knew he grieved about the death of his father. This was poor sport indeed and Prax could feel the sadness in him hardening into the cold ball of anger.

    He could feel the eyes of the twi’lek on him then, saw his posture change to face him as he spoke. Paths and which to take. He was at a crossroads he knew and felt drawn both directions. Like a first coat of paint, he felt spread thin. Paths were open before him and much like an old rubber band, he felt he must surely snap. Or he could simply open his arms, inch forward a few more inches and free himself and the cosmos from the ties that bound them. The twi’lek spoke of brightness and alternatives, Prax saw no brightness, even the neon of the Nar Shaddaa night felt dulled like his senses at that moment. He blamed it on the rain and let the twi’lek speak, continuing to listen in morbid curiosity.

    @Mithias
     
    Wolf likes this.
  5. Vuthari

    Vuthari Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 2
    1,052

    Jedi Master
    Messages:
    146
    OCC Account:
    Mithias
    Character Profile:
    Link

    [​IMG]
    Level 238
    Corellian Sector
    Nar Shaddaa


    The human next to him still remained silent, which was not surprising to the twi’lek. Reaching out, he could sense the myriad of emotions continuing to swirl. Vu’thari was encouraged because even though the human was still in a dark place, some of that focus was now on the twi’lek beside him, in the form of suspicion and curiosity. But the Jedi was quite sure he could work with both of those mental states…

    There is hope yet…

    His next words came with risk, but this was a young man’s life in the balance. If it did not work, the man would fall to his death on his own accord. He was far along that path as it was. However, if his next words gained purchase…there was still a chance. Maybe…maybe not.

    In this moment, Vu’thari was thankful for the downpour. There was really no other time that the two could be outside in Nar Shaddaa full of 85 billion people and not have people around listening. His next approach was a huge gamble, but there was a connection with this man--he had felt this connection before with Ayasha, Kaylee, and Crix. Looking over to the man again, the twi’lek asked, “Have you ever heard of the Jedi? Amazing mythology surrounding this bunch. The Sith would never tell you this, but they are still around.”

    With a chuckle, the twi’lek continued on as if wrapped up in a story being told over a pint of spirits, “You know, despite their best efforts, they just couldn’t manage to wipe all of them out. Centuries of hunting them down—and they almost succeeded! But, I tell you what--they are a resilient lot. These guys? They have adapted and still remain a hidden thorn in the side of the Empire. Even these days…”

    Pause.

    “Do you believe those stories? Crazy, huh? The name is Vu’thari. What do they call you?”

    @Critas
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    Wolf likes this.
  6. Prax Dek

    Prax Dek Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 1
    146

    Rebel
    Messages:
    14
    OCC Account:
    Critas
    Character Profile:
    Link
    Prax continued to brood, judging his decisions by their cost to himself. Some might call that self-centered, but he really had no one else to consider at this point. For years he had only his master’s will and would it not be the truest sense of self decision to end it all and soar with the rain? His mind swirled with the prospect, but his sense of survival was winning that fight. He had not survived almost twenty years of slavery to toss it all to the wind.

    Then there was the case of this strange twi’lek that decided to interpose himself into the situation. He would undoubtedly try to interfere in the process. How tiresome it was, to have the perfect selfish act ruined by some nice citizen. Again, it was the eye of lady luck upon him and not in a good way. He climbed over 200 floors to get away from the world and end this pain, but lady luck sent a bandage. If it wasn’t for bad luck, it seemed to Prax he would have no luck at all.

    Listening to the twi’lek speak, his words caught his ear and made him look at the twi’lek and wince in confusion. Jedi. Not only was this rando interrupting but now he was telling bedtime stories. He had heard the stories in the pens, the younglings would love to hear them over and over again. He had learned later from the Sith overseers that there were no Jedi, only the Sith were strong enough to use the force. Didn’t everyone know that? Didn’t this stranger know that? It seemed logical to Prax but here he was telling him in no uncertain terms that the fairy tales had been true.

    Prax was definitely skeptical and frowned in indecision. When asked a question he just shook his head in the negative. He did not believe in children’s bedtime stories meant to give slave children hope. There were no mystical knights that could use the force, the only ones that did that were the Sith. They were the stuff of nightmares and not of dreams. The twi’lek called itself Vu’thari, I guess it was as good a name as any.

    When asked his own name, Prax froze. Asking a name in the pens had been the first step to the executioner’s block. They only needed your name when they wanted to strike you from the slave register. He involuntarily started shaking his head, not wanting to give his name but then reconsidered. If he was not going to jump, then he would eventually have to speak to someone and let them know his name. Worst came to worst it was all a trick and he came back here later.

    In a voice that was all choked up from grief and remorse he croaked out, “This one is called Prax if it please you.” He opened his mouth to add the obligatory “Master” at the end of the sentence but stopped him, no if this was a trick of some sort, they would have to earn back his obedience. He would talk like men and not a slave, he had nothing left to lose or, so he thought. Looking over at the twi’lek he straightened slightly and confirmed, “Prax…Prax Dek.”

    @Mithias
     
    Wolf likes this.
  7. Vuthari

    Vuthari Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 2
    1,052

    Jedi Master
    Messages:
    146
    OCC Account:
    Mithias
    Character Profile:
    Link

    [​IMG]
    Level 238
    Corellian Sector
    Nar Shaddaa


    “This one is called Prax if it please you. Prax…Prax Dek.”

    It was progress. Albeit, it was surrounded with doubt and mistrust, but progress nonetheless. Vu’thari could sense just a twinge of hope from the human. This was enough to spur the twi’lek on with renewed confidence.

    I can work with that small spark of ‘what if’…

    Still keeping a casual, nonchalant tone, Vu’thari continued, “Prax Dek. Well, it is nice to make your acquaintance on this miserable night. You seem like a nice enough fellow, so I hate to see you sitting out here by yourself. I know you don’t know me and have no reason to trust me in the least, but I think I can help you.”

    Holding his hands up in disbelief, looking over at Prax, he said, “Now, I know…you might be thinking ‘how can this idiot twi’lek possibly help me’ and that is, of course, a valid question…what if I told you that I could take you to meet a Jedi. You know, those guys used to be the protectors of the galaxy, defenders of the weak and all that. They say the Force guides them on a path of light. I bet if I took you to meet a Jedi, he might could help you never want to revisit this ledge…and especially not have to listen to me blabber in your ear all night.”

    @Critas
     
    Wolf likes this.
  8. Prax Dek

    Prax Dek Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 1
    146

    Rebel
    Messages:
    14
    OCC Account:
    Critas
    Character Profile:
    Link
    To say that Prax was skeptical of this entire arrangement would be the greatest understatement in history. He looked at the twi’lek with undisguised skepticism. Truthfully Prax didn’t understand his tone either, how could someone be that optimistic all the time? He did enjoy his apparent candor, it made it hard for Prax to tell when he was being entirely truthful. His manner made it appear to Prax that he was truthful all the time but that just couldn’t be now could it?

    Watching the twi’lek gesture he listened to him prattle on. He spoke of trust, that word as alien to him as the twi’lek to a Mandalorian. He nodded his agreement to the thought that the twi’lek gave voice to about how could he help Prax. Prax had no idea what this creatures’ angle was or why he was sitting in the rain with Prax. Did his lekku need tending or were they drying out? PRax caught himself staring at them for a moment and then looked away, not wanting to offend anyone should it be some sort of unmentionable ritual.

    Prax squinted one eye at the twi’lek as he made the claim that he could take Prax to meet a Jedi. Was this guy for real? Prax could do the same thing, all he had to do was jump off this ledge. He would meet all sorts of people in the next life. There had to be a Jedi, there right? Shaking his head quietly he said simply, “That is not possible Vu’thari.”

    He struggled with the name, it being alien to him. He could speak Twi’lek but it had been years and he was out of practice. Twi’lek had been prevalent in the various slave pens he had been sent to. It was not hard to learn the language and it had saved his life on more than one occasion. The comment about blabbering all night did hit home as well. Prax was not tired, he didn’t really seem to need as much sleep as most people he knew. He was however, soaked to the bone and hungry. He had no money as his freedom had been his only pay for this job. So as long as this snipe Jedi hunt included food, he was in.

    “Can we get something to eat before we go and meet this legend sir?” asked Prax. He had nothing to lose at this point, maybe he could get a free meal out of this deal. Perhaps if he ate with this jester of a twi’lek, the food wouldn’t turn to ashes in his mouth. He thought for a moment and realized he was not sure how to obtain food outside the pens. He had always eaten there as it was his master’s orders. How did one get fed outside the pens?

    @Mithias
     
    Wolf likes this.
  9. Vuthari

    Vuthari Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 2
    1,052

    Jedi Master
    Messages:
    146
    OCC Account:
    Mithias
    Character Profile:
    Link

    [​IMG]
    Level 238
    Corellian Sector
    Nar Shaddaa


    “That is not possible Vu’thari.”

    The twi’lek shrugged and kept talking. Slowly but surely, the suspicion and disbelief were turning to curiosity, which meant the focus on taking his life was lessening in priority. Regardless, progress was progress. Only, Vu’thari had not thought far enough ahead on what he was going to do if the man wanted to actually meet a Jedi.

    Do I tell this total stranger? One word from him, it gets me killed. Am I willing to take that risk?

    Vu’thari smirked at his own thought resolving that just being born who he was ended up being a risk. The man came out and actually talked.

    “Can we get something to eat before we go and meet this legend sir?”

    Through the sheets of rain, Prax could make out the big grin that formed on Vu’thari’s face. He responded, “Sir? Oh, I am not sir--just Vu'thari is fine. Now you see, that is the best thing I have heard all night. I know a place, as a matter of fact.

    Pointing to a building across the block, he replied, “See the yellow sign there with the green border? That is Zack’manya Cantina. They serve some of the best nuna sandwiches and their caf isn’t half bad. Its on me, of course. It is the least I can do for talking your ear off…”

    The pair picked their way through the downpour, careful to watch their footing on the walkways, which were slick with pooled up water. Few words were exchanged as they made their way around the sprawling bridges, leading to the next block. The pair opened the door to the cantina, into the dry, warm confines of the establishment. The pair had a few glares aimed their way as they came in, sopping wet. Once they got seated, Vu’thari ordered for the pair and tuned his attention back to him. In a voice that did not possess quite the playfulness, Vu’thari warned, “I can speak to you about many things in here. However, the one topic I cannot talk about here is the one you called a ‘legend’, if you recall…”

    @Critas
     
    Wolf likes this.
  10. Prax Dek

    Prax Dek Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 1
    146

    Rebel
    Messages:
    14
    OCC Account:
    Critas
    Character Profile:
    Link
    Prax stood and followed the Twi’lek as he led him to this nearby cantina. Prax noticed Vu’thari walking carefully as if worried that he might fall. When you have lost it all, puddles are less than a challenge. Prax walked without fear, if he fell then he fell. He still had that spiral from earlier in his mind. He still had that doubt, that little red devil on his shoulder telling him he didn’t deserve life unless it was dealing out death. Death was strength, strength was power, he could feel the emotion starting to rise in him as they entered the cantina.

    The reactions of the patrons inside did not help the anger Prax was starting to channel. Who were they to him? He had the power of life and death. His father had proven that. He smiled a positively wicked smile as they were led to their table, a little swagger coming into his walk. Then the memory came, “I forgive you son.”

    Prax almost collapsed to the ground as the grief washed over him. He was no killer, no wolf among the sheep. He was just another killer, another boot stomping on the defenseless, another bully in the school yard. Who was he kidding, he had no real purpose in the world if he wasn’t killing. But who did he kill, those that could not defend themselves. He wasn’t a killer, that at least implied some nobility, he was a murderer. That was an entirely different kettle of fish and Prax didn’t like it.

    Settling into the booth with Vu’thari he had so many questions, but his lips were locked in the rigor mortis of tempest within him. He felt as if his very soul might be torn apart at any moment. He started to sweat and clench and unclench his hands. He suddenly felt as if he was being pulled from all sides at once. Then he heard Vu’thari speak and it seemed to bring him back to consciousness.

    Nodding that he understood they could not discuss fairy tales he placed his hands in his lap in an attempt to keep them from clenching. Looking up at Vu’thari he just asked, “Why?”

    @Mithias
     
    Wolf likes this.
  11. Vuthari

    Vuthari Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 2
    1,052

    Jedi Master
    Messages:
    146
    OCC Account:
    Mithias
    Character Profile:
    Link

    [​IMG]
    Level 238
    Corellian Sector
    Nar Shaddaa


    As they began to enter the cantina, Vu’thari felt it. It was rush of darkness. For a moment, he thought a Sith was upon them. As a reaction, his hand slipped down to his blaster at his thigh. But then it dawned on him—it was Prax Dek. Looking behind him as he was about to sit down, Prax’s face was etched in a mask of anger. Turning back around, he felt the anger turn to despair. It was a storm of emotion with peaks and valleys. As they sat in the booth, the twi’lek faced the human once their food orders were given.

    “Why?”

    The question struck Vu’thari, but the general approach of the twi’lek was unorthodox. No one just offered to help someone without getting something in return. To a resident of Nar Shaddaa, that kind of behavior was a gateway for the next scam or scheme to take someone’s credits…or worse. So the question was a legitimate one that Vu’thari felt he needed to answer or else Prax would eat his meal and the Jedi would never see him again. There were reasons Vu’thari specifically picked this establishment to talk to Prax. It was clear there were no Imperial Hutta officials around and the music was loud—this made any conversations better, but Vu’thari still did not want the word “Jedi” popping up at any point—so he would get his point across another way.

    His emerald eyes stared at Prax’s sad blue ones and held them for many moments. In a quiet voice, the Jedi revealed, “Great question. Because of who you are…because of what you were born to be, I can help you.”

    There was no playfulness in the voice. It was no longer the tavern-talk mood. This was now serious. Vu’thari did not want to put him on the defensive by the change in his demeanor, so he eased into it.

    “I sense deep anger and despair in you, Prax. I can help you learn how to deal with that pain. Your tattoos tell me a bit of your past, so I know you have seen a life that is miserable and unmerciful to all who are within its grasp…but that is not your destiny.”

    Pause. The Jedi allowed the human time to process his words.

    “Those legends? You can be one of those legends, Prax Dek…and I can show you how.”

    @Critas
     
  12. Prax Dek

    Prax Dek Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 1
    146

    Rebel
    Messages:
    14
    OCC Account:
    Critas
    Character Profile:
    Link
    Prax ordered the nuna sandwich that Vu’thari had suggested. He hoped it would not make him sick as he had not had anything other than slave gruel for almost twenty years. He was sure he would pay for it later in one way or another. The overseers in his last pen had fed them meat once to celebrate a great victory over a rival fighting stable. It had not gone well, and the slaves had spent the next three days trying to keep their guts inside their bodies.

    After ordering Prax looked around the cantina, making sure no one was paying too much attention to him. Inadvertently he was checking for Vu’thari as well, even though it didn’t enter his mind to do so or remark on it. He was becoming a bit nervous again and a new possibility dawned upon Prax, the idea that the two devils who had forced his hand with his father might turn him in for the deed to the Nar Shaddaa authorities.

    With that in mind, Prax found both of the exits from the room, his eyes darting between the two as they admitted patrons. He would not put it past the Sith specially to give him his freedom only to have him arrested hours later. It would be very fitting and probably a great joke to the Sith. Just thinking about it made Prax’s blood boil and he could feel that dark well starting to rise within him. He likened the sensation to bile rising just before you vomit. It was not a pleasant sensation to Prax and he tried to suppress it.

    Prax listened to Vu’thari speak as he watched the room. He wanted answers, “What I was born to be? I was born to be a slave because that is what I am. My marks and tattoos mark me as property and that is how I will always be seen.” He leaned into the table as Vu’thari spoke of his anger and his past. He said he could make Prax a legend.

    Prax was not convinced, “Yes I do have anger sir, and despair. I won my freedom tonight. I am a free man. That is right. Free. Yet all I could think to do was to jump off that ledge. And you claim to be able to show me how to become something else, that it is my destiny. How can you possibly know that sir? Why would you want to help me? I warn you have nothing. There will be no reward for me.”

    Prax continued to try and find the angle in the speech of the twi’lek. There had to be something he was missing. Prax did not know what to believe but he knew what he could see and that was puzzling to him.

    @Mithias
     
  13. Vuthari

    Vuthari Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 2
    1,052

    Jedi Master
    Messages:
    146
    OCC Account:
    Mithias
    Character Profile:
    Link

    [​IMG]
    Level 238
    Corellian Sector
    Nar Shaddaa


    Vu’thari could feel the man’s frustration. He wanted to know what exactly he was born to be and said he was born to be a slave, complete with tattoos marking him as property. With the patience of a teacher that the Jedi was slowly starting to figure out, Vu’thari said quietly, “The clothes on your back, the tattoos on your skin, your outward appearance? All of that? It doesn’t make you. It does not define you unless you let it. You carve your fate…not a slave owner and certainly not your past.”

    The conversation was still at a level where it was manageable by way of how loud they were speaking. When living in Nar Shaddaa, you never knew who was listening, so the music overhead was still playing an important role in this meeting.

    Listening to Prax work through what was on his mind, Vu’thari eyed him and listened. He learned this was Prax’s first night of freedom…

    Why would a slave, on his first night freedom want to die when he spoke about how horrible being a slave was? There is something deep there…

    He questioned Vu’thari’s knowledge of his destiny, which was valid. How could he explain it was a “feeling” and be taken seriously.

    Vu’thari gave a small smile and corrected the man, “I am no ‘Sir’, Prax. I am a simpleton, repairing electronics for a living. But I have no ulterior motive, other than to help you. I have given you no reason to believe a word I have said…”

    Taking a quick glance around the cantina, no recorders pointed their direction and not a soul paying the wet pair any mind. He hated taking risks like this, but it was important. Vu’thari said quietly, “You need some salt…?”

    From in front of him, the small salt shaker lifted up slightly off the table and landed next to Prax’s hand.

    His eyes stayed locked on Prax’s, “I am not here to deceive you. I can and want to help you.”

    @Critas
     
  14. Prax Dek

    Prax Dek Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 1
    146

    Rebel
    Messages:
    14
    OCC Account:
    Critas
    Character Profile:
    Link
    Prax felt very naked and cold suddenly, wet and vulnerable. The words from Vu’thari about what defined him had stripped him of all his conceptions about who he was supposed to be. In the pens your exterior was all that mattered. There was no interior, no one cared what you thought. If you showed your interior, if you allowed someone in, then they could exploit that. This new person in Prax’s life was agreeable enough but he certainly was not ready to allow him in by any means.

    To say that this whole situation had him on his back foot would be folly at its best. Prax was in unchartered waters already and had not been free for over 24 hours yet. He had already met someone who refused the epithet “sir” when to forget said title in the pens would cost you your tongue. This same person claimed that legends were real and that he could show Prax the truth. Then in his next breath, claim to be just a simple repairman who just wanted to help him. Were there creatures like this in the universe? If there were, how did he find Prax?

    Prax pondered the simpler life he had left, at least in the pens he knew the rules. Out in the real galaxy, it seemed there were none. He could not read this twi’lek, he didn’t understand its motives. There had to be come gain for the creature and Prax would know what it was. Suddenly asked if he wanted salt, he got angry, he was hungry, but their food had not arrived. Why would he want salt? Did the creature intend him as its meal? Was that the other shoe that needed to drop?

    Then with eyes that slowly grew to saucer size, Prax watched the salt shaker lift off the table and move next to his hand. The stranger claimed he was not there to deceive Prax. It was not deceit that Prax felt at this moment, it was shock. Being a man of few words and remaining true to his nature he could only mutter one word in response, one word that wormed its way through the shock. “How”

    He reached out a hand as if to touch the salt shaker but then pulled it back as if the shaker was suddenly hotter than the sun. He waved his hand above it, to confirm to himself that there were no wires or unseen hands at play. His logical mind rebelled against the concept that something could fly on its own, but he had seen with his own eyes. Seen this stranger perform the “Impossible” he breathed out loud, eyes remaining wide in the darkness of the cantina.

    @Mithias
     
  15. Vuthari

    Vuthari Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 2
    1,052

    Jedi Master
    Messages:
    146
    OCC Account:
    Mithias
    Character Profile:
    Link

    [​IMG]
    Zack’manya Cantina
    Corellian Sector
    Nar Shaddaa


    Surprise. That was actually the best reaction he could hope for at this point. The twi’lek knew he could work with that—it was fear, suspicion and revulsion that would be the killer for this encounter. Meeting the eyes of Prax, he said quietly, “You will be able to do that too…I can teach you.”

    In the dim light of the cantina, he could see the many scars interspersed with the tattoos covering his body. It was all starting to make sense, looking at his build…

    He was a fighter. Some sort of slave who had to fight to earn his keep…

    Although the Jedi could not guess to what extent this was true, he had seen enough to know a bit more about Prax Dek, “I suspect you were a warrior. You are still alive, so I would venture to say an accomplished one…I can teach you how to channel those skills into something meaningful, something that helps others and something that defends those who cannot defend themselves…”

    Music continued to blare out in waves. Some patrons dancing, some at the bar, others talking quietly at tables and some still, loud and obnoxious as the drinks continued to flow at this late hour…and it was a perfect backdrop for communicating with the troubled young man in front of him. Looking around at the patrons inside and looking outside, then back to Prax, the twi’lek said sincerely, “Your future is not tied to here. Rooted, but not tied. Prax, your destiny is beyond this place and beyond your past…”

    @Critas
     
  16. Prax Dek

    Prax Dek Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 1
    146

    Rebel
    Messages:
    14
    OCC Account:
    Critas
    Character Profile:
    Link
    Shaking off the stun of seeing the salt shaker move seemingly of its own volition, Prax look at Vu’thari in disbelief. The concept that he could do something like that or that Vu’thari could teach him was completely alien to him. It did not make any sense. How had the salt moved? Prax stared at the salt as if it might lunge at his throat at any minute.

    As the stranger started to hypothesize about his former vocation as a slave, Prax recalled his work history. The twi’lek wanted him to channel his aggression and warrior skills into something meaningful. Something that allowed him to help people who could not help themselves. It had never occurred to him that killing could be turned to a force for good. Concepts like this made no sense to Prax. Good was something you hid and only brought out in the darkness of the pens. Good in the light was met swiftly with scorn and ridicule at the very least.

    How many times had Prax seen the right thing to do and turned the other cheek? How many times had he known the right path and taken the easier path or the safer path? How many people might be alive today had he stood up for what was right in a particular moment? These were the thoughts of a free man, thought Prax. Such sentiment was not considered in the darkness of the pens, only survival. Was this his chance to make up for those short comings?

    He returned his mind to the present when the twi’lek started talking about future and destiny. Something that just 8 hours prior would have been set in the mind of the slave. Now they were a black void of uncertainty. Beyond this place and beyond you past he had said. Prax agreed with that at least. His new life would not start here on Nar Shaddaa. That thought alone shook him to his core.

    Prax had never been off Nar Shaddaa, slaves were not permitted to leave even with their masters. It was an anti-kidnapping measure to assist owners. Quietly inside he yearned to see other planets and to try and redeem twenty years of slavery with a lifetime of service. He felt his mind changing even as his legal status had changed. He wanted to be more and to be what this Vu’thari told him he could be.

    “I hear your words and I want to believe them. I do not believe in faith, I have never had any use for it. But I have decided to trust in you. All of this…” He gestured around the room as if to indicate the entire situation. “All of this brought you nothing and yet you still gave me something, you gave me hope. What kind of new beginning would it be if I did not try to do the same? I will not return to the pens nor will I be that person again. I can not be.”

    Prax fell back into silence as the waitress arrived with their food. He dug into the nuna sandwich with gusto, forgetting the idea that he should be careful with new food to spite his hunger. The sandwich was as good as advertised and Prax ate quickly. In the pens you either ate quickly or you risked losing your food to an overseer or even another prisoner. It was a survival tactic and Prax knew it well. He had completely finished his sandwich before Vu’thari had taken his second bite, looking up as if to ask if there was more but not daring to yet.

    @Mithias
     
  17. Vuthari

    Vuthari Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 2
    1,052

    Jedi Master
    Messages:
    146
    OCC Account:
    Mithias
    Character Profile:
    Link

    [​IMG]
    Zack’manya Cantina
    Corellian Sector
    Nar Shaddaa


    Reaching out to the man in front of him, he could sense the tide slowly turn as the minutes past. The overpowering darkness filled with anger and despair had made its way into something with legs on it: determination, hope, appreciation. Vu’thari was no fool, he could feel the lingering darkness within the human, but it was something he could help Prax with. It was a risk—the whole approach to this was dangerous. He knew very little about the newly freed slave or the circumstances behind it, but this was no accident. This was the Living Force at work…again.

    Prax began speaking, admitting he now believed the twi’lek. He seemed determined when he spoke of not wanting to go back to the man he used to be. Nodding with a small smile, the Jedi assured him, “Everyone deserves a second go at life, no matter the circumstances. I am glad to hear that Prax.”

    Looking over at the server, he waved her over and quickly ordered another sandwich and cafs. Ayasha had cooked a huge meal earlier, so the twi’lek had only eaten half of his sandwich. Pushing it across the table, he stated, “You are welcome to the rest of mine…we have another one coming.”

    Thinking through how to proceed from here, Vu’thari offered, “After we eat, let me put you up tonight in a motel near here. Hit the fresher, get some sleep, decide for sure this is for you. Find out more about these ‘legends’, but ensure you are not in a position to be traced when you do it…”

    Pause.

    “Transparency is the only I operate with my students. Understand that just by us training together, I may get a glimpse into your entire life. While I will never judge you on your actions, you have to be comfortable with that. It is a lifestyle change. Once you begin this path, it will guide you. It is our duty to not stand idle. We are the protectors and as protectors, we fight. Quietly, and with obscurity, but we rebel against the darkness in very real ways…”

    Sensing the former slave, this was a language that he spoke. Combat. As such, Vu’thari would not deny the human this role, but it would be especially important to mold and shape what this warrior looked like.

    “I teach others, like you, these ways. It is good to be around others going through this kind of life. They are friends. If you do your research tonight, “friends” may seem like a contradiction to the teachings, but I teach a bit different than those legends of old—they do not live in this era.”

    Rising, the Jedi stood, slid a cred stick over to him, and placed a firm hand on the shoulder of human. He said quietly, “It was nice to have met you, Prax. Take some time tonight. Think on it. Find out more. If you want to walk this road with us, met me here tomorrow at lunch. If you are here, we will begin immediately. Until you get your feet under you, you are welcome to stay at my place. It isn’t much, but its cozy enough. May the Force be with you, Prax Dek…”

    With that, the twi’lek walked back out into the night downpour…

    /EXIT THREAD

    @Critas
     
  18. Prax Dek

    Prax Dek Character

    Galactic Alliance
    Level 1
    146

    Rebel
    Messages:
    14
    OCC Account:
    Critas
    Character Profile:
    Link
    Prax smiled as Vu’thari passed over his sandwich and tore into it with as much hunger as he had the first. Eating half eaten food was not a problem for the former slave, he had done it before and worse in his time in the pens. Food was a high demand low supply commodity in the pens, and you took what you could get. Not to mention the fact that he food was very good and thus far it had remained where it was intended, in his stomach.

    After admitting that he believed the stranger, Prax smiled as he heard the twi’lek speak of second chances. This would be a third chance in Prax’s mind, the first being his birth, the second was when his father had sold them into slavery to cover his debt, now this meeting marked the third. Prax was not sure if those counted in the grand scheme of things but they counted to him. He had resolved that he would not return to the life of a slave, in any capacity. He would die first.

    Vu’thari kept talking, he spoke of putting Prax up for the night. Prax just nodded to this as he ate, willing to accept the hospitality. He would take his own measures to assure his safety but the twi’lek was welcome to foot the bill. Sleep and some time in the fresher sounded like heaven to the human. The recent dampness from the rain storm being the last time he had been clean. He had memories of using the fresher when he was younger, but slaves were not given the privilege. He was not sure how he would sleep but he welcomed the opportunity to do so.

    The stranger, now his patron of sorts, continued to speak. He spoke of transparency and training together. Prax was no stranger to training. Transparency might come a bit slower, you let no one in when you were in the pens. Anything that could, would be used against you at any time. He was not very comfortable with the concept of sharing his life, but a new life might require new rules. Just not quite so quickly as yet. As he said, it was a lifestyle change and he would become accustomed to it.

    Protector. Fighter. Obscurity. These were all words that Prax was familiar with but in different context. He would have to learn to look at the world in an entirely different manner. He did not know if he was ready for the challenge, but he would do all he could not to fail. Then Vu’thari spoke of others and Prax’s mind started to churn. Had he thought he might be the only one? Foolish schoolgirl nonsense, of course there would be more. He trusted this Vu’thari, he could not say the same about any others. They would have to earn his trust.

    Placing his hand on the cred stick that the twi’lek gave him, he nodded to the stranger’s goodbye and watched him leave back into the rain. Prax finished his food, almost afraid someone might appear to take it from him. He paid the waitress, but he did not leave a tip which got a frown from the waitress. This puzzled Prax, he had done nothing to the woman and had even thanked her for her good food. He even shook her hand when she appeared to be choking on something and offered her a family remedy for her cough. That only seemed to infuriate her further and he beat a fast escape from the cantina.


    [​IMG]