Plot  Tython Hazy Shade of Winter

Discussion in 'Deep Core and Core Worlds' started by Darth Tagus, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. Darth Tagus

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    Archaeologist was... a different hat to wear from his typical role as Sith Acolyte.

    It was probably something that his dear mum and dad had pictured for him, or it was closer that the truth of his situation at least. The former slave turned Sith was as far from an archaeologist as it was possible to be in vocation - unless there were archaeologists who specialized in uncovering the past of the Sith and the Jedi.

    Which actually did sound like something the stuffy Sith-Purebloods back on Korriban were into now that he thought about it - the Dark Side would be needed to open a lot of the locks and bypass a lot of the traps now that he thought about it.

    Whatever.

    Right now, he was dressed in the typical gear of an archaeologist and was waiting at the mouth of a cave for someone to join him. He had a vibroknife visibly on him and his lightsaber hidden across his lower back but otherwise was unarmed - how very civilian of him, right? Humming idly, he looked back at the cave entrance for a moment.

    There was a certain level of dread in the pit of his stomach as even while he was surpressing his Force Signature to appear non-sensitive, he could still feel the Light Side of the Force within the cave. The locals had reported this cave to the Empire and the Empire had dispatched a pair of archaeologists from different universities to investigate.

    The one he had replaced was currently floating off down a river a few miles away so there was no worries about him coming back. Still, this left him slightly on edge as he waited for the archaeologist he was supposed to be working with.


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  2. Nikka Toren

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    One thing she was not anticipating was this particular mission. She had been seeking an opportunity to find old Jedi artifacts, and when the call came she was eager to answer. Especially when it was a joint calling between two universities; one of which an old acquaintance had attended, and called her on. Nahlina Tarkes was her name, and she was told that she was exceptionally beautiful even for a Zeltron, but she did not quite understand what that meant, only that she and the woman had split drinks and old woes, and bonded afterwards.

    It was strange; aboard the Alpherys, the woman's concerned voice played over and over in her head, how her partner had not answered at their rendezvous point, and how it wasn't like him at all. She then pleaded with Nikka about taking her place; she knew it was not her specialty, but surely she could give her some information on the caves, and could supply her with the information she had learned while there, and about her partner? She had no idea why she would want her, of all people, but this would also bring her extra credits after that costly shopping spree on Gizer...

    Tippy was not happy. In fact, his processors were sparking in indignation. Did his mistress even think?! There were so many possibilities that something could go wrong. A cave-in. Bad people hurting her. Kriff, the woman attracted danger just by breathing! He gave her a stern lecture in what limited ways he could, but even he of his limited intelligence could not pierce through the Miraluka's sheer amount of stubbornness and curiosity.

    And now there was news of the possibility of a holocron. One of the most sought-after pieces of Jedi lore; she longed to look for clues within, to find what treasures of the Jedi of old would unfold. But after Nahlina's brief history overview, she was sure that she could navigate very well its' history and lore. But about the partner...

    She had to suppress her Force signature with as tight a leash as she could manage. As a result, her Sight was very limited as well... thankfully, Nahlina was on board and guiding the ship to their planet-side rendezvous, strangely silent as they pulled in for a landing. But Nikka was overwhelmed by the feeling of it all. So much Light... she wished Cas were here to feel it. He would perhaps be better for this operation, but here she was.

    Undercover.

    Once again, she tugged on the archaeologist's clothes, thankful they were at least a similar build. "Are you sure you want me to do this?" she muttered, shrugging under the heavier-duty synthweave and synthleather. Thank goodness she could keep her boots... and her two lightsabers, safely stashed away at her lower back, along with the belt of tools Nahlina had lent to her, and her trusty stun baton and vibrodagger. She was blind, she had to be prepared right? Her hair was too long to be left loose; it had been braided down her back and off her neck. She could feel the air shift as the Zeltron turned towards her; all her senses were amplified now. "Cheeka, you're doing me a favor. I only hope to repay it later, with more than cred." She lightly placed a hand on Nikka's shoulder, touching foreheads. "Thank you. Please come back alive."

    She took deep breaths before leaving the ship; keeping her signature suppressed was not going to be difficult. Pretending to be a civilian wasn't either. But the sheer fact of the matter was, she had a bad feeling about this mission. And it grew the closer she got to the caves. She had to rely on sound; wind in trees, the smell of running water... the dankness of the caves. And another. She stumbled slightly over some branches, and cursed under her breath, before tracing her hands over the bark.

    "Where is that partner of mine..." she muttered, careful to be just loud enough that she could be heard by the caves. Was he there? Or was it someone else?... she would find out sooner or later, she supposed. "We were supposed to meet, and he was supposed to help..." she harrumphed, arms crossed beneath her bust. "Hello? Do I have to step blindly into a cliff here?" She stumbled more, and growled. "Yes, partner with someone else, they said. It would be fun, they said. It would be even more interesting if I had eyes to get me there in the first place!"

    Finally, she staggered through the undergrowth, into the clearing. And huffed. "I can smell you. Why didn't you answer my comm? I'm a busy person, you know, and I hate having to feel my way through a bunch of trees." She turned her head to the left and right, arms still crossed. "Well? Are you going to guide a blind woman, or are you just going to stand there gaping at me?"


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  3. Darth Tagus

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    Zeven was bored and when he got bored, he tended to get a little bit reckless. He was honestly considering just diving right on into the cave system himself but had decided, at the last minute, that there was really no point in going in alone. Going in with the actual archaeologist would be the best option for all involved. He would have someone along who actually knew what the hell was going on - Zeven had used the Force to tear information from the mind of the archaeologist before he had killed the other man but that was more general stuff.

    He raised an eyebrow when someone started to speak.

    Staring at the woman who appeared at the edge of the trees, Zeven blinked a few times as he took in the sight of her... and wasn't 'sight' just the most amusing bit of that, eh? The woman who was supposed to help him through the caves and help him figure out where the First Blade actually was...? And she was blind.

    There was some irony there that he was too busy moving across the clearing to respond to. Instead he focused on moving over to her and touching her left forearm with his right hand, to let her know where his hand was for her to grab onto.

    "M-my apologies." he stuttered slightly, "My c-com was broken upon landing I... well I turned off my pilot droid too son I suppose. I thought I could handle the landing but, well... y-yeah..."

    He affected a nervous, slightly bumbling, demeanor to further sell himself as a university-based archaeologist rather than the Sith that he was. Despite her lack of sight, his steps became something closer to shuffles and he stooped, lowering his height as if subconsciously not very confident. There was no telling how much she could tell from body language so he made sure that his body language didn't immediately scream 'Sith' - would be embarrassing to have the whole thing just go up in smoke because he walked with a bit of a strut.

    Which, he would admit, he had done on Korriban a few times.

    "S-so the cave entrance..." he began, "It um... well it looks natural but there are small, quite tiny really, tool marks. I think that the caves have been expanded from their natural state!"

    Having to pretend to be excited by chisel marks was going to kill him inside.


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  4. Nikka Toren

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    Oh, kark.

    They hired a shy idiot, didn't they?

    Unless... well. She wasn't going to say anything in the first place, merely raised a brow. The arc of it was visible from above the bandage, the quirk to her lips a very wry one as a hand touched where his shoulder was meant to be, based on touch. But she merely sighed, and tilted her head to the side slightly. "Oh really? And how old are these marks? Did you check that the stratification of the rock matched the lines of the floor? Did you sense anything amiss, did you try at least to take ten steps in and do a visual check for any loose rocks? I can manage fine," she grumbled, with no end of pretended snark. If this male was an assassin or anything of the sort, he was of a poor type.

    "If we're going to work together, I need at least a name to go by so that I can blame you." Here, a suddenly playful grin quirked at her lips, and she nudged him with an elbow. "Honestly! Don't scare me like that. I know I'm good, but it's nice to have eyes for once."

    But here, her brows quirked again. "No need to stumble about, I'm not some worldly professor. They just didn't want to dirty their hands.. I don't think they apprised you of the information that your partner was disabled." Here was a wry note of bitter irony; if that ni'chalto heard her now, he'd be howling with laughter.

    Her hand skimmed over his own, as if to assure he was really there. Tough hands... her hand slid up, onto his forearm, to his shoulder. Muscles. He was strong, perhaps. Well... she would reserve judgement for now. "Pardon, I just needed to know that I can sense where you are," she shrugged nonchalantly. "By the way... Nahlina Tarkes, pleasure to meet you. And you are..?"


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  5. Darth Tagus

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    ... oh this was going to be a hard mission.

    Already Zeven wanted to snap back with a witty retort but he had really snookered himself here and affected a demeanor that likely meant that he was going to get a lot more digs from the sassy blind girl than he was comfortable with. And girl was right - the woman they'd sent looked like she was barely out of her teens! Had they sent a grad student or something? She was tiny! So many comebacks he had and all of them had to be kept inside for fear of breaking his character.

    He forced himself to audibly swallow.

    And then forced himself to let out a breath as she 'revealed' that she was just ribbing him. He knew that she had been playing around but the kid he was pretending to be would not have. So instead he sighed as though he was greatly relieved and chuckled a little bit awkwardly.

    "S-sorry about that... I er, well I did check the chisel marks in quite some detail. The erosion is a different level to the more natural sides." he told her with a small smile that she wouldn't actually be able to see, "I just didn't want to go too far in, you know? Rob a colleague of such a potential find? I'd not hear of it!"

    Her hand was, for lack of a better word, groping up his arm. Raising an eyebrow, he looked at her for a second and it was on the tip of his tongue to flirt with her. She was rather pretty in her way after all, he could admit that to himself even if most of his internal commentary so far was to make the jokes he wasn't able to otherwise make. He chuckled weakly again.

    "G-gym membership is free for my university..." he muttered before answering, in a slightly louder voice, "My name? O-oh! It's Vix Torra!"

    What a stupid name that man had had.

    "Shall we enter?"

    He tugged slightly to lead her towards the cave entrance. The sooner they got this started the sooner it ended and he got back to acting normally.


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  6. Nikka Toren

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    Oh good Gods above, if the man, not boy, was going to be this bumbling, she could use a drink. Shame she left the Gizer ale on board the Alpherys... hopefully this wasn't going to be longer than a standard day or two, she could barely fathom how long it would take otherwise. Being sighted must surely be some sort of limitation, otherwise she would have understood the appeal. As it was, she could only judge by vocal tone. Interesting... perhaps he was older than she was. She hoped so, she was not up to babysitting a nervous wreck of a studious man.

    So instead, she huffed slightly. "No need to be nervous. This is an expedition, not a competition...Yet." Her grin grew, the bandage crinkling slightly. There was a sudden ease, as if the blind woman were more at ease that there was someone sighted nearest her... she forgot how so few knew of her kind. Though perhaps the appearance of her scars genuinely did work.

    When they stepped closer, she exhaled, then shivered just a bit. Not from the chill; she was used to sensing cold. No, it was the prickling of awareness around her, the familiar sensation of the Light humming in her blood. But she was shut off from it--no soul-searching here. The dead voices of the past would have to wait, she had to bide her time with this young man, draw him out. Who knew if this was the real deal of Vix Torra or not.

    She let her fingers trail lightly over the cave's surface. The rough texture matched to what he said, her breath coming out in a rush. "Oh yes, you're right! Which means, if my memory is correct..." she paced further away, undaunted by the darkness. "...Maybe the rumors are true. Of what was here, before..." She put her hand to her chest, then gave a soft laugh. "And here I thought it was just a bunch of nonsense made for starry-eyed graduates.."

    She turned suddenly close to his direction, giving a warm, wide smile. "Do you realize what this means if this is the right place?! So much information for our respective universities!" She then strode, deliberately as if towards him... then slightly past him, as if she hadn't noticed. "But surely, you're the finest in your caliber," she demurred, bringing her jacket closer to herself. "What do you think...Vix?"


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  7. Darth Tagus

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    Yes nothing to be nervous about Vix, you nervous wreck of a university man. Honestly, Zeven regretted not keeping the man's character close to his own but during the memories he had managed to steal from the man's mind, he really was this nervous in real life. Which was honestly rather bemusing in some ways he had to admit - what was even the point in becoming a respected member of your field of study if you continued to bumble around like a student?

    Honestly, it was like if a Sith Lord started acting like a fresh-from the academy acolyte.

    Just embarrassing.

    She seemed to come alive with some enthusiasm and excitement... and them walk right on past him as though she hadn't seen him because, duh, she obviously hadn't seen him due to the fact that she was blind. He almost rolled his eyes as himself as he turned and placed a hand on her shoulder.

    "Yeah it's so exciting!" he agreed eagerly before guiding her ahead, "Careful of your footing - it's smooth and even but it is descending as a slope."

    It was true, the cave began to go deeper and Zeven was eager to follow it. Even as they descended, the cave began to smooth out even more and it wasn't long before they were stepping onto actual bricks. They were stone, made from the same stone as the cave, but clearly they were organised. He grinned a little bit as he looked down the dark passage before them, pulling out a torch and turning it on in his free hand.

    "Looks like a tunnel... paved with bricks." he told her with a smile, "It's leveled out and all the walls and floor and ceiling are smooth! I think we might be onto something here!"

    They had better be, for his sanity.


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  8. Nikka Toren

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    She was suddenly wheeled around, and gritted her teeth, still pretending to smile.

    This was going to be the biggest headache this side of the galaxy had to offer.

    So instead, she paced slowly, as if to listen to the cave's surroundings. The coolness grew; not quite cold, but not pleasant if they were university types. Yet... they did not shiver, and he certainly seemed a far more hardened person than the average academy young man. And if she had eyes they would have rolled at his ironic use of obviousness. "I can hear the difference..." she muttered, then sighed.

    "Look, you don't have to act nervous around me. I know you are very well-accredited in your field. So let's drop the nerves act, shall we? Besides... your palms are dry." So saying, she stepped forward from his hand's reach of her shoulder, then continued. She tapped her heel on one stone, then another, fingers skimming lightly over the texture of rock with a frown of concentration.

    "It's strange... if this were abandoned for millennia, there ought to be other branched tunnels, some breakdown of the walls... perhaps even living things. Don't you find it a little strange, considering the environment?" Here, she turned her face to his, lips parting slightly as if to work a question out. "...I confess, they talk very little of the history here," she mumbled out. "And since my sight has been taken from me, I cannot see language or hints of anything else. This cave must surely be deep, but with no other tunnels or collapsed parts of the path? Very strange..."

    She continued on, but exhaled softly, her steps pausing every so often when they continued on. Deeper and deeper still. He was limited by the torch's light, but her pace did not relent. However, she did stumble a few times, and winced when her leg twinged. Ah... that. Even when it was healed, every now and then it let out a warning. She needed to wrap this up quickly.

    She took a deep breath, then her mouth formed into a determined line. "Let's see how far this goes..." Perhaps, they could talk about more than caves. Because no offense intended, but talking about rock floors was just about as entertaining as listening to a HoloNet political newscast.

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  9. Darth Tagus

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    Drop the nerves act? Well he supposed that he would be more than happy to partially drop it but there was no reason for him to drop it entirely. If he was to drop it entirely then he might be tempted to act like himself and he knew well enough how well that would go! Namely it would probably identify him as a Sith so it was probably worth avoiding for now.

    Still, she was somewhat more perceptive than he had guessed. He chuckled a little bit as he decided he was going to lower some of the acting but obviously not all of it.

    "And how do you know I'm not merely a species that doesn't sweat?" he asked with a small smirk before adding, "Most people prefer it when I act subservient to them... doesn't threaten them."

    He hummed once.

    "I feel as though this is too neat. This feels... like a trap." he admitted honestly, "As though we are rats running down a short run for the cheese at the end."

    As they continued onward, he paused as something in the air changed. Indeed, there was a smell in the air that told him that something was afoot. He stopped them, placing a hand on Nikka's shoulder to stop her where she was standing.

    "You smell that?" he asked her bluntly, "It smells like... like bronze and steam?"

    No sooner had he said this than two droids of odd design came rolling down the tunnel towards them as spheres. As soon as they approached, the spheres sprang open into their droid forms, both of them firing a bronze crossbow bolt at each of the adventures before charging in with their blade.


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  10. Nikka Toren

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    She tilted a brow as she glanced at his direction as if to say, Are you kidding me? Her mouth twitched, however, betraying an easy humor. "You reek," came the amused reply. "If I wasn't blind, perhaps, it would not be so noticeable." At least he had stopped trying to play the stuttering, nervous ninny that must have been Nahlina's companion. Which meant nothing. He could very well be the real deal... or not.

    She felt a twinge of awareness when he commented on rats. But when he put his hand on her shoulder, she turned to face him again she groaned. The set to her mouth suddenly twisted to a sardonic smile. "Why no, whatever gave you that notion? You had to mention being a rat!"

    This statement was punctuated by the whistling of two bolts. Too close for comfort to her. And far too close to her companion... whomever he was. Translucent, ancient constructs. Her heart was overjoyed, even as both of them were lunging in. She could not see, only hear, sense the vibrations through the air. That was when her idea struck home.

    She suddenly stomped down on the ground--hard. And listened. The sound waves rippled over everything around them, like echolocation. It was only a concept she had been taught years ago, but was grateful for remembering; as the first one lunged towards her, she felt her vibrodagger hum to life to defend, deflecting the blade just long enough for her to pivot, and stomp down again. Again, the vibrations betrayed them. Was her companion not going to fight?

    "Vix!" She called out, arching her brows. "Show off your university gym membership, yeah? Or you going to," she grunted as another crossbolt just barely whistled by her ear, close enough that it would have ended her for good if she were two inches closer. Another parry, and she stomped again as she wheeled around, "let a blind woman do your work for you?"

    She could not See. It was only a matter of time before she would grow tired. He needed her... and right now, only for now, she needed him.


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  11. Darth Tagus

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    He reeked huh?

    Well if that was all she really had in terms of a witty retort then he actually felt he had been rather charitable when he had mentally categorized her as being sassy. If this was the kind of thing she led with then she had the wit and sass of a five year old and he was honestly a little bit sad.

    When he finally revealed his true self, matching wits with her would be like dueling an unarmed opponent.

    "Well I'm sorry for noting that we seem to be the subjects of some kind of experiment or test from beings long dead, not unlike a rat in a maze." he shot back with a roll of his eyes that she could probably hear in his tone of voice, "I'm sure we can get past my use of terminology."

    Especially in light of these weird droids that seemed to have activated.

    They were fascinating in their own way he had to admit - they looked ancient but something in their design meant that they had managed to continue to exist down here after all this time. The only issue now was making sure that he survived the encounter and preferably doing so without showcasing the fact that he was actually a trained Sith.

    So rather than going with his first instincts of smashing the droid to pieces, he dodged out of the way of the crossbow bolts by the skin of his teeth. One of them actually cut his right arm slightly as it passed, drawing a light bit of blood. Annoyed at this, Zeven decided that he had toyed around with the idea of being completely powerless for long enough.

    "I got it!"

    Ducked into the droid's guard, he grasped it's sword-arm tightly in both hands. Using nothing but his physical strength (because it was all she knew he was good for), he hefted the droid up off the ground and spun around with it. It's bottom end smasked the side of the droid closer to her, knocking it off balance, before he slammed the delicate machinery into the unforgiving stone of the wall.


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  12. Nikka Toren

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    She gave an unseen grin at his return attitude, just barely managing to hold back a laugh. At least he wasn't cowed by her own attitude; there was only one other person that could really take her attitude and give it back, but... she had heard nothing from him. Which was why she had decided to go alone. One Padawan that knew nothing? She was useless. Even now, she was failing those she cared for by not being there... but in a musty, ancient cave.

    "Oh really? And here you are," she ducked another crossbolt, wincing when the dagger barely caught the odd droid's fourth lunged attack, close enough she could smell the oil and metal. "a university graduate, clearly the height of cleverness." But she was smiling, as if to take some of the barb out of her words. She seemed more amused than anything else... almost as if she had faced bigger obstacles, and was concerned, but... not very rattled.

    So she was surprised when her opponent suddenly was knocked sideways; the sword arm raked up her arm, not enough for a terrible wound. Her mouth twitched in frustration, as she supressed the urge to simply mentally smash the thing to pieces. No... instead something else did the work for her.

    A groaning myriad of cracking sounds formed in the wall where the first one had been smashed, the smell of steam and leaking oil filling the air with its' musty smell. But then... the first ceiling rock fell down, then another. She abruptly grabbed his arm, trying to drag him along with her even before the first rock fell. By the time she had shoved him, though, one smashed into her back, hard enough for her to gasp in a breath. Then another, and another.

    Was... was the cave roof about to collapse?

    She wasn't going to wait to find out. She pulled him with her as the ground shivered underfoot, the rocks suddenly buckling down where seconds ago they both stood.

    "Another trap! Gotta move!"

    Whether or not he followed was a different thing, but she wasn't willing to be stoned to death so soon. Especially with such an... interesting partner in the mix.


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  13. Darth Tagus

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    Their games came to an abrupt end when the passage began it's second attempt to kill them - namely a cave-in. Now Zeven had absolutely no issues with the passage trying to kill them but he was beginning to get a little bit annoyed that he wasn't able to simply use the Force to get himself out of danger. Indeed, had he been able to use the Force he would have used Force Speed to avoid the collapsing section.

    Maybe even have taken the archaeologist with him.

    Instead he was forced to use his regular physical attributes to get himself out of this one... and that was never going to go as well as he had hoped. Cursing a little bit, he felt one of the stones land on his left shoulder, jarring it painfully but thankfully not managing to break anything yet.

    "Go on then! Honestly, you're slow enough that Hutts must get annoyed standing behind you...!"

    Despite his words, the two of them were making rather decent progress, even managing to get ahead of the collapsing ceiling. At the end of the passageway there appeared to be a door, made up of three rings with symbols carved into them. Before they could reach it however, the floor fell out from in front of them, creating a chasm between them and the door.

    Fantastic.

    Gritting his teeth, Zeven looked behind them and could see that the collapsing ceiling was quickly catching them up. He knew that the blind woman could 'see' in some vague way... but he doubted she would be able to make the jump and he still needed her. Grabbing the short woman by her hips, he lifted her up, spun around on the spot to build up speed, before bodily tossing the small woman across the chasm. She landed on her arse but he supposed that was better than landing inside the chasm and it's unknown depths.

    Taking a small run up, Zeven threw himself across the gap - only to fall short.

    Cursing, Zeven landed awkwardly at the edge of the chasm, desperately clawing at the dirt to stay on the level ground, everything below his shoulders dangling dangerous off the edge of the chasm into the abyss below.


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  14. Nikka Toren

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    What the kark was he on about, her being slow? She was still as fast as him in his long legs! In fact, making good time if the sounds were any indication. If she could use the Force and her Sight, she would have probably left the male bound and gagged somewhere safe while she would continue. But... but. She had a feeling she needed him. An inkling, perhaps, that he even needed her. She wasn't too certain even now what would happen if one of them was too hurt to continue. It wasn't long before she heard him cursing, and winced in sympathy. No doubt both of them would be sporting bruises before long.

    She yelped when he suddenly grabbed her up and tossed her.

    For a moment, her senses tilted crazily as she flew over the chasm, landing so hard she almost bit down on her tongue. Kriff, that man had no sense of elegance or finesse, had he? She was about to turn and flee deeper into the cave, assuming he was right behind her... when she heard the whumph of him landing on the other side... and beginning to slip.

    She paused for a sliver of a second. In that time, she decided whether or not she would let him fall, and continue her journey unhindered... or save his ungrateful butt.

    She wrapped her hands under his shoulders. Planted her feet against stone. Inch by unbearable inch, she dragged. Her arms sang with the strain, as did her neck and back, but she kept pulling at his heavy weight anyways. A few times, her boots had slipped, and she would simply scrabble, then refind purchase to pull harder.

    Finally... she managed to get his torso up. She knew he could handle getting the rest of himself up; he felt of muscle. Power. There was a thought, a suspicion behind it, but she had to push it aside for now.

    No... once he was a safe enough position up to bring himself out of that unseen chasm, she would flop down to her butt, knees up, forehead down. The cave-in had stopped at the chasm; so either way, they smashed to death if they weren't careful.

    She tilted her face in his general direction, her voice light. "Well. Now I know what flying feels like... I hope not to repeat it." When she slowly stood, she held back a wince as her neck and back ached sharply in protest. She held a hand down to him, the smile gone from her voice. "You okay?"

    Maybe after this... the next challenge would not provide so many acrobatics. Maybe. She wasn't hedging her bets, though. Not anymore.

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  15. Darth Tagus

    Darth Tagus Character

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    Well the fact that she had actually helped him up was something of a surprise. Perhaps it was because he was a Sith but he was mentally prepared himself to have to use the Force to save himself when she instead decided that she was going to save him. It was rather strange to him, for her to throw herself so fully into the act of saving a stranger. Rolling his neck a little bit now that he was safely on firm ground again, he sat on the stone in silence for a moment.

    He just looked at her.

    Why had she gone out of her way to save him? There was a not insignificant chance that his weight would have dragged her down and yet she had almost immediately threw herself into the effort of saving him from falling back into the abyss. It... was a little bit odd to him. It didn't properly gel with his Sith values and yet it seemed more... trained... than a typical civilian. As though saving people who 'could not' save themselves was something she did often enough to not even have to think about it before she acted in their defense.

    "I'm alright." he answered her simply, "Thank you for the assistance... and I hope you enjoyed your flight. You landed on your arse but, well, you had padding there so I'm sure you're fine."

    Looking up at the door, he frowned slightly.

    It was clear that it was locked tightly and that the rings were the key to unlocking it. There were six rings in total, each one getting smaller the closer they came to a central button. If he was a gambling man he would bet that pressing the button with the wrong code would result in another trap and Zeven was really in no mood for another trap. Looking at the rings, he sighed.

    "Alright so the door has six rings we need to line up to form a code phrase or an order." he declared with a scowl, "Each of the rings has the same words on... knowledge... peace... serenity... Force and harmony. The button has a Jedi Order symbol. Do... do you have any idea what order we could put those words?"

    He didn't.

    As a Sith he hadn't learned anything about the Jedi Order - much less the Jedi Code - and the Empire had outlawed research into it almost 500 years ago so it was a long shot the archaeologist did either.


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  16. Nikka Toren

    Nikka Toren Character

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    She could practically feel him staring her down. She wasn't too certain that it was necessarily a good or bad thing; did she have dust on her face? Was her outfit grimy? She dusted her hands on her pants carefully, giving a small shrug. It had probably seemed strange, such a small woman trying to drag him up by the shoulders, but... she didn't like to admit needing him. Archaeologist or not, he was necessary. Who knew what else he was good for? Maybe her hair was falling out of its' braid... in either case, now was not the time for vanity. Instead, she merely nodded at his thanks.

    "No problem," she mumbled, planting her hands on her hips. She let out a sigh, rubbing her forehead with the heel of her right palm. "You'd have done the same for me, maybe. Thank goodness that semester rock-climbing paid off, huh."

    She had no idea what she was talking about... but perhaps it would stave off further questions of what she could do later on. It was only now that she was aware just how tied she was to the Force--and how lonely it felt suppressing it all from herself. But when this mission was over, she would continue, and probably have to suppress her abilities again.. but she hoped not.

    She frowned deeper when she heard him talking of a door. Instead of rushing right over, she tilted her face in his direction, raising a brow. "It's too bad the order is extinct; we could use someone who has knowledge. Why not let me have a feel?" She was itching to go ahead and unlock it, but even now she wasn't certain the male would take kindly to her true identity, no matter if she had just saved his life or not.

    Her fingers lightly glided against wood, over each ring in turn. From largest to smallest, the words etched in were cool to the touch. The absolute lightest pressure yielded no sound, yet she paused on the smallest, and obviously, main button on the whole thing. She turned her head to him, and gave a smile. "Let me just do a small experiment, yeah?" Came the hesitant response, and turned back without waiting for a reply.

    Once again, her hands ran along all of the smooth wood, as if to memorize every grain and whorl, every ring and its' placement. "Now... we know very little... just fairy tales, old stories from spacers," she spoke softly. There was an element of truth to it; during her time as a travelling mechanic, the stories of the Jedi were just that, little more than stories. Soldiers of the Light, powerful beyond belief, peaceable people razed down centuries ago. "This planet is one of the few concrete pieces of evidence they even existed. Even though there was that HoloNet announcement..." She paused, as if to contemplate it. "I don't believe it myself. It sounds like a bunch of children playing a fantasy game."

    Each button, she gave a light rap, as if to listen. Light enough to not disturb the mechanism... but enough that, so it would appear, she would hear some sort of give. Even though she knew the code by heart.

    Peace. Knowledge. Serenity. Harmony. The Force. She knew them well enough that she would have recited them with no prompting. But still she dithered and knocked lightly about, pressing her ear to the wood as if to listen. Half an hour had passed; she finally leaned back, rubbing the back of her neck. She was sure he was getting impatient; whatever waited on the other side of that door meant more to her, however, than any agenda of the partner she was with.

    "I... think I've got it," she mumbled, a puzzled tone creeping into her voice. "Let's just hope I'm right..."

    Again, her fingers skimmed over the words on the rings, scripted in as clear Basic as she'd ever felt. "I think... Peace." When she pressed down, there was a click. Nothing happened.

    "And then... hrm... Knowledge, maybe? Or was it Harmony?" Her hand paused between the two, as if to debate. "Let's try... knowledge!" Another click. Nothing happened. However, she flinched as if she expected it to fail. You never knew with old tech...

    "What next..." she hummed, rubbing her palms together. "If I heard correctly it should be... Serenity." Click.

    She turned to her partner, giving a small shiver. "Let's hope I'm right, and not triggering anything... yeah?" She gave a nervous chuckle that wasn't all forced, then took a deep breath. There were two left.

    "Was it Harmony? Or Force?" she grumbled, lightly tapping against each one as if to truly debate the answer. "I'll take a wild guess. Harmony! Sounds pretty, anyways!" Another click, followed by the last. She then tilted her head to this Vix character, giving him a playful grin. "I haven't had a puzzle like this in years..." she said with a half-element of embarrassment. "Would you mind doing the honors and pressing the last button? I'm afraid if I do, I'll trigger another cave-in."

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  17. Darth Tagus

    Darth Tagus Character

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    Would he have rescued the blind woman had the shoe been on the other foot? He supposed that, if he was being honest with himself, he likely would have. She was useful to him and she hadn't proven herself to be any kind of real threat so he saw almost no reason why not to let her continue helping him. So yes, he supposed that he likely would have rescued her regardless of his nature as a Sith. Though he wasn't too proud to admit that he would have hesitated for a lot longer than she did before she actually decided to go along with saving him.

    "I suppose it did."

    Then she started going on about how she didn't actually believe that the Jedi were back and almost immediately he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. As she said, there was the holonet announcement and if that was all then it would be rather easy to dismiss the idea of the Jedi returning however that was not all the evidence there was.

    There were still entire sections of Corellia's capital city ruined by the combined Jedi and Mandalorian attack.

    Jedi had been fought, publicly, in the former Imperial Hutta.

    A Jedi had even been captured by the Old Empire!

    Zeven just stared at the back of her head for a moment.

    "You seem to be going very hard on the 'I do not believe in them' line of thinking - considering they've been seen my multitudes of people throughout the Galaxy for months now..." he paused as she worked out the puzzle, the puzzle that was connected to the Jedi, "Wait..."

    The answer clicked into place.

    It wasn't a flawless fit yet but it fitted well enough for now; this woman was a Jedi. She tried to downplay any connection or knowledge of the Jedi but then she went through a puzzle about Jedi ethics with barely any effort or time at all. Of course there was the chance that he was wrong but he didn't really think that that was all that likely. He would be open to something changing his mind but for now?

    For now he was convinced that she was a Jedi.

    Reaching out, he pressed the button and the door began to sink into the ground, revealing a stone chamber with a pedestal in the centre. The pedestal clearly held a bronze Jedi holocron, resting peacefully in a cradle. Zeven... swallowed his pride and went with a new tactic.

    "You're... you're a Jedi aren't you?" he half-asked, half-accused, but with his voice conveying nothing but awe, "By the Force... you're a real Jedi aren't you? You can here because you knew there was a Jedi artifact here, you can see even though you're blind and you opened that Jedi riddle door first time... you must be a Jedi! Oh by the Force I am so happy to meet one of you!"

    He fanboyed.


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  18. Nikka Toren

    Nikka Toren Character

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    She huffed, giving him a raised eyebrow. "Oh please. You think that old spacer tales go with those terrorists that call themselves Jedi after everything? After the events on Corellia? And countless other instances? Please," she scoffed, striding past him into the antechamber.

    Inside, she groaned. Why the hells had she answered Nahlina's call for help. Perhaps in here she would be killed by this person... who seemed to know far more about the Jedi than even her companion aboard her ship seemed to know. Whom was stronger than most men, who played a nervous wreck of a man yet for the time that they had spent avoiding traps did not study them, nor remark on any anthropological endeavor of conversation.

    There was something to him that didn't fit an assassin or a bounty hunter, which meant only one other thing... even though she sensed no Dark Side to reach itself around her, but then again... could he say the same for her?

    When the door rumbled down, she stiffened at his tone. Her face suddenly became cold, her expression stony. She was just sure he was delighted to meet her.. enough to collect a bounty. Enough to show the galaxy yet another specimen to capture and drag to be studied.

    "No, I can't see!"

    The anger, the vehemence that poured out of her was very real frustration. She suddenly turned on him, her whole body trembling. "Nor am I a Jedi! The last time anyone called me that, they tormented me." Her fingers grasped her veil and tore it off savagely, revealing the heavy scars in her sockets. Her mouth was a hard line. She took in a ragged breath. Though they had quite a distance between them, her expressions were as clear as day.

    "I hoped to find... one last piece of history." Her voice faltered, and if she could have she would have glared at him. "I cannot see. It is all... sound waves. Senses. I am not blessed with the privilege of sight like you are," she said bitterly, smoothing the veil back over her eyes, tying it back.

    She was actually annoyed at him, now. His fanboying prodded a sore point home, one secret doubt she had harbored since leaving the caves of Ilum. She was not a Jedi yet, but a student. Someone learning the Force, very capably so, but... she was not one of them yet. She was too passionate, too impulsive. And above all... she was alone. Especially now, she felt alone. And if that man was what she thought he was, she needed to be on her guard.

    Because if he was a Sith... she highly doubted she would make it out of this cave alive and unharmed. Just in case... she was prepared.

    She would not go down without a fight, if she had to. I'll show you mine if you show me yours seemed very much the thought here.


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  19. Darth Tagus

    Darth Tagus Character

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    There was so much emotion in the air, in her words, that he didn't even need to be open to the Force to feel it, to sense it. Instead he could just stand there, still blocking himself off from the Force carefully, as she railed against him with real emotion. He was still firmly of the opinion that she was likely either a Jedi or an ally of them at any rate but the way she let her emotions go like that spoke volumes about her level of control over herself and over the Force.

    Hells, there might even be hope for her as a Sith with passion like that.

    "I'm not the people who tormented you."

    His voice was soft, barely audible for a moment before he repeated and extended upon it.

    "I'm not those people and I am sorry that that happened to you." he told her, actually managing to be honest with everything that he had said so far, "But I'm not them. I'm not here to torment you for being blind or for... or for being someone who can feel the Force. However you use or don't use it."

    He held his hands up, palms showing, in a gesture of surrender that she couldn't see... but he was positive she likely could See through the Force. Zeven took a step closer to her before stopping and taking two back.

    "I didn't mean to cause offense." he told her simply, "I just wanted to let you know that... if you were? Well... if you were a Jedi or something like that? I'm here for research and discovery and learning. I'm not here to give you a hard time or hate you or anything like that. So what do you say? Can we go inside and learn together?"


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  20. Nikka Toren

    Nikka Toren Character

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    "Show me what you are."

    She said this resignedly, taking one deep breath. Then another, as she crossed the distance. Her voice was soft, raw after such an emotional outburst. She took off her gloves, and let them drop to the floor. "I know you're not... and you seem to know much. I think... no. I know what you are. I should be afraid, shouldn't I... especially when I think the real Vix Torra sounded nothing like you do."

    She was grim, sad. "Ah, but you already hate me. And you will, because that is your shackle. That is what cages you."

    She shrugged. "What if I was able to use such a gift? Would I not have used it before even arriving? Not that it matters much..." here, she gave another smile.

    "Just... do you mind if I See how you look? It hardly matters, I know, but I am curious. It's a curse." She paused a moment, then tilted her head. "Or perhaps it should be another time... Yes. Let's learn." She turned away again, not even waiting for a response, and immediately sorry she had even asked in the first place. And then felt something. A scrape. Rasping metal. And then...

    Something landing just behind the pillar that held the holocron aloft. Something more massive than even the two they had faced before.

    "Of course it wasn't going to be easy," she muttered, grabbing her dagger again. When would it ever be?

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