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Discussion in 'Expansion Region and Mid Rim' started by Imani Sage, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Imani Sage

    Imani Sage Character

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    It was a miracle her personal ship was still in working condition. Being submerged in the clear waters of Ifrane, it only required minor tweaking for flight. Although, there were several occasions of near death, either due to an engine unexpectedly snap or a few broken controls here and there, but nothing she couldn’t handle. She was lucky to have reached the Jedi fleet and the Brighthome temple in time before the ship burst into flames, and in time before Wyck left for the end.

    Steering into the space station’s hangar, disregarding her designated landing point, Imani leapt from the cockpit. Dressed head to toe in her old Jedi robes, now worn after the many battles and wrinkled from a later lack of use, she streamlined to the temple’s war chambers. As she did, many other members of the Order, maintenance or full-fledged Knights, were surprised to see her alive and well. Since her departure, most believed she was either dead, dying or long lost her faith in the Jedi. All of which they would come to find was untrue. Imani was ready, she was willing, and she wanted to speak to Wyck.

    An unoccupied lift immediately shot her to her destination, where she was greeted by another fresh set of shocked faces. She brushed them aside, along with their questions or concerns, and this time made her way to the center of the war room. There, behind the looming hologram of a planet that resembled Coruscant, she caught the perked ears and bulbous green head of none other than her old master. The young Jedi Master screeched to a halt. And with locked eyes and a gentle call, she flagged down the clearly busy Grandmaster. No matter what he was doing, they had to talk.

    Master Wyck.” Her voice reverberated in the bridge. That should get his attention.

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  2. Wyck

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    Wyck was making the final preparations when he sensed her presence. The fleet was scattering; some of the Jedi would make it safely into hiding, while the rest joined him for the final bout. It had been barely a day since he had seen her, and, yet, he was thrilled to hear her voice. The Force thrummed with things left unsaid and he knew, whatever the outcome, that this would be their final encounter.

    Her intentions were not immediately clear to him. Imani's mind was clouded and he could not tell if she was going to join him in battle or heed his earlier advice, but he was prepared to hear her out. "Already scattered, the Order is," he told her and, as he did, several more large ships winked out of the system as they jumped to lightspeed. "Half have gone into hiding. The other half, to Coruscant we go. Face Andraste there, I must."

    She had to know it was a death sentence, and he made no attempts to hide that fact from her. He was done hiding things from her for her own safety. She was a Jedi Master now—he needed to trust her with everything, even the hard parts. "But sense your resolve, I do, my old Padawan." He gave her a weary smile. He was tired, but he needed to push just a bit further. "Even now, always have time for you, I do. Speak your mind. Listen to you, I shall." @Deviant
     
  3. Imani Sage

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    If you sense my resolve, then you know why I’m here.” She said, her feet carrying her ever closer to the Grandmaster. “I’m here to fight, Wyck. For the Order. For you.

    She attempted a heartfelt smile. Truth laid in her words but if one looked close enough, her commitment was not whole. Imani still felt her connection to the people of Ifrane and the family she chose to leave behind, but that was natural. She weighed her options and recognized the drawbacks but she came to Brighthome regardless. Even if her heart was attached to her kin, her mind was set on atonement for all her wrongs. Leaving the Order in their darkest days, abandoning Wyck. They raised her, and she believed it was time to repay the debts owed.

    I know what I said back on Ifrane— I was selfish. I wanted you to stay even in the Order’s most dire hour. Even if the Force called you elsewhere. I told you goodbye.” She breathed deep. “But I’m not ready to see you go.” Another anxious but genuine smile graced her lips. Imani seldom ever admitted she was wrong, but there she was, doing just that. There was no denying the truth, and the truth was, she felt compelled to fight alongside her brothers and sisters in the final battle.

    If we have to march to our deaths, fine. I can do it. My whole life has been with the Jedi Order and I see no reason why I should be watching safely from afar as it crashes and burns.” She paused, acceptance of the end sinking through. “Everything is as the Force wills it, so maybe it wants the Order to die. Maybe it’s time for the Jedi to end. And if you’re going, if the others are ready to lay their lives down for the inevitable, why can’t I?

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  4. Wyck

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    Wyck smiled at her for what seemed like a long moment. No matter what happened, Imani never lost that fiery bit of her that made her so special to him. But, as much as he wanted to agree with her, Wyck knew it could not be. The Force had shown him... another path. Another way. Imani was the key to the future in ways she did not know just yet—and perhaps she never would. Either way, he wouldn't allow her to needlessly throw her life away.

    "A poor Master would I be, if let you needlessly follow me to your death, I did," Wyck said with an air of his sagely voice from back when he was her teacher. But it quickly faded away with a series of elderly chuckles and a twinkle in his old eyes. "And an even poorer friend." He pointed to her with his cane. "Told you, I did. See the truth, I have. Your place is with your people. Your family. The sidelines, that is not. The frontlines, it is. If you die here, who will your people turn to to protect them when the night grows darkest, hm? And coming quickly that night is."

    It was true, of course. But what he didn't tell her was how much it pained him to think of her dead. A Jedi was supposed to rejoice for those who transformed into the Force. All his life Wyck had done just that; he had even rejoiced for the Sith Lord Leviticus when he joined with the Force on Ilum. But to think of Imani as one of the Sith's many victims... no. He could not abide that. He was glad there was another option—another path ahead into the future.

    "Each of us has a battle before us. For some of us, that battle waits on Coruscant; and for them, it will likely be the last battle." Wyck took a moment to process the weight of those words, shuddering almost as he did, and then reached inside his robes, retrieving from them a small, palm-sized cube. "For others... that battle lies elsewhere and will not end for many years to come. Perhaps, it will not even end with their last breathes, but will extend beyond, centuries into the future. The battle for the future, it is."

    He looked upon her as if drinking her in for the last time, because he knew it would be, and he wanted to remember her just like this: strong, confident, a Jedi Master in every way. "A soldier in the battle for the future, you are. Told you on Tython, I did, before you left: 'destroy the Sith, we must.' But that goal might never see fruition if you die here." @Deviant
     
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  5. Imani Sage

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    Wyck was every bit right, and Imani hated it. As a youngling, now freed from slavery, she despised being told what to do and how to do it. She was a rebel, in heart and mind, always going where other Jedi would not. Under Wyck’s guidance, Imani was trained and disciplined on a day-to-day basis. Back then, she hated heeding his every command or following his counsel, because she knew there was no debate. Today may be different but it was still the same: he offered truth and reality and she resisted. “I know, I know.” She whispered before her voice found its footing. “I thought I could stay and watch, but I can’t stand to see you go like this. No matter what you tell me or what the Force says.

    She reflected back to her people. “If I stay behind on Ifrane, perhaps I can protect them. Help them hide or survive a world where the Sith and slavery rule. Or perhaps not. If the Sith find out I’m a Jedi hiding among my kin, I fear the worst. Not only will they kill me but they may do the same to my people. I don’t want to be that burden or risk to them.” A sigh, knowing there was no easy choice to make. “I understand the positives and negatives here. I know what choices I have in front of me. And I want to be there with you, final battle or not.

    Her eyes wandered down to the small shape in Wyck’s hands. They narrowed, saw what it was, and Imani shook her head as he continued. “No, no— Wyck, you can’t. You can’t ask this of me. Please.” She fought back tears, knowing the decision had already been made. He was holding his life in his own two hands. All of his teachings and knowledge of the Jedi Order. It was the personal account of the last Grandmaster of perhaps this millennium, and for all she knew, millennium.

    She kneeled low, fingers latching to her oldest friend’s, hopelessly trying to keep his closed. Because there was no refusing his request, but by accepting, then her decision would be made too. She would have to remain on her homeworld, protect her kin and such a priceless artifact for the next generation of Jedi. Voice cracked, she persisted. “You can’t do this— I can’t do this.” The little girl she once was had always been there, emerging in her most trying times. Emerging now. She couldn’t let go what was destined to leave. The future is inevitable.

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  6. Wyck

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    Wyck was battling his own tears. The number of times he wished he could just hide her away from any danger were innumerable; and if he could find away to escape this fate and live in peace somewhere with Imani and her kin, he would. But that was the easy path ahead. Even now, the dark side whispered to him how much easier things would be if he just embraced it. However, Wyck resisted. His destiny was plain as day, and so was hers.

    "You can," he told her. "You must. Strong, you are. Stronger than any Jedi I have ever trained or known. Adamant, you are, almost to a fault. And you love freely and fiercely. It is a trait unbecoming of a Jedi, and, yet, it is your greatest strength." He looked almost lamenting. "If more Jedi thought like you—if I had thought more like you—perhaps the Order would not have come to this point."

    Reigning in his emotions was harder this time around, but he managed to. He needed to be strong for her here.—to show her that there was no need to fear what was to come. The tiny Jedi Master put his leathery hand on top of hers. He made no move to remove it. Instead, he let it linger there for a long moment before saying, "Fear not what is to happen on Coruscant, Imani. Should we succeed, the galaxy will be a little freer. And should we fail, and Andraste strike me down, then... I will become more powerful than she could possibly imagine."

    With his free hand, he offered her the little cube. It was, as she had suspected, his holocron. Everything he had ever known about the Jedi Order—its history, teachings, techniques, and secrets—were all recorded on that tiny device. It had all of the seeds necessary to restore the Jedi when the time came. But it also had a final secret. One last lesson. And that is what he wanted Imani to hear now.

    "Take this," he told her. "Hide it. Protect it. The seed of a new Jedi Order, it is. The times ahead of you will be challenging, perhaps more so than any in your life, but as long as you remain true to who you are, I know that you will be able to unlock the final secret contained within—and when that time comes, see each other again, we will." His words were cryptic, but he gave her a knowing smile. She would uncover the secret. And, when she did, he knew that they could, together, watch over the future of the galaxy and ensure the destruction of the Sith. That was when he pulled her close and allowed himself to hug her. "After all, no one is ever truly gone." @Deviant
     
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  7. Imani Sage

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    The holocron was a feather in her hands but a heavy weight on her mind. What she held was the spark of the Jedi Order, a candle in a cube, but enough to light the stars. Whether its use would come in later decades, or centuries, or even a millennia, Imani was not sure and neither did she care. What mattered was the Jedi Master, the mentor of her life, before her. She latched to his every word as if it was his very last. And in a way, it was. When he left for Coruscant, he left for good. Unlike the meeting on Ifrane, this was truly the final goodbye,

    Yes, Master. I know we will.” It was a long time since she called Wyck her Master, and it was no different from all those years ago. Tears streamed down her face, but she smiled through the pain. She knew nothing more to say after that. All Imani knew was to lean into his warm embrace, the arms of her father in the Force, and cherish every moment they were together.

    Master Wyck?” The girl’s voice was no more than a whisper. Her head rested on a pillow of grass under a blanket of stars. Blades of grass pulled from the soil were perched between her fingertips. The girl was in heaven, known then as the river moon of Al’doleem. It was one of the few places she trained, and one of the only places outside Ifrane she truly adored. The constellations were as beautiful as the sunsets of her home. The stars, like scattered embers of a fire, continued to burn in a pallor of brilliant light. And in the grass beside her, the old Jedi waited for her word.

    It came as a whisper again, but full of hope. “Thank you,” she said. For the first time since leaving the chains of slavery behind her, she was grateful. She was at peace.

    Wyck was a shooting star. In the darkest night, his fall would only breath life to a thousand wishes, Jedi or not. His heart and spirit, contained in the holocron or in the dreams of those he inspired, would carry on into a future bursting with light.
     
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  8. Wyck

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    When they touched, Wyck saw the future. A face. A voice. A girl. Was it her offspring? Or maybe a distant descendant? It was hard to tell the passage of time, but there was so much of Imani in her that he was certain she had to be related. And, somehow, it gave him comfort. She would live her life out in peace with the family she had longed to protect; and when, at the end of a long life, she was allowed to become one with the Force, he would see her again. Then the two of them could watch her spark carry forward until at last the Sith were gone from the universe.

    Unfortunately, the end of the their embrace came too soon. Wyck knew if he stayed much longer, he would lose his resolve. But the chirping on the nearby computer panel, signifying that the fleet was ready to make the jump towards Coruscant, gave him a reason to finally let go of his former Padawan, who had practically been a daughter to him and the only family he'd ever truly known. He looked her up and down once more with glossy eyes and was every bit as proud of her as he had always been.

    He turned, breaking their eye contact momentarily, and touched the button on the panel. A voice notified him that, indeed, the fleet was ready to make the jump to lightspeed and were merely awaiting his arrival on the command ship. "Coming, I am," he told the young Jedi and closed the communication.

    He turned back to Imani. Coruscant awaited. It was time to face his destiny, and it was time for her to return to her own. A sudden yet powerful wave of peace and purpose came over him. This was the Force's will for the both of them. And, soon, they would be reunited in a better place than this one. Of that, he was certain. So, with resolve shining in his eyes, he said to her, "Until we meet again, Imani Sage. And remember, the Force will be with you... always."

    He stole a final look at her, and then Wyck, the last Grand Master of the Jedi Order for at least the next five centuries, passed through the threshold that would take him to his waiting shuttle and the fleet beyond it. It was time to face Alais one last time... @Deviant
     
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  9. Imani Sage

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    And to you.

    She could barely manage a whisper. Imani was overcome with grief knowing her greatest friend was willingly marching to his death. She could feel it in the Force that this meeting was the last. There was no victory for the Order. But hope was strong. His actions would ripple through time, across a sea of darkness, and to a new dawn on the horizon.

    Although she was in pain, there was peace and purpose. Through the bond they shared, both of them found stillness in the storm. And as her former master melted into the shadow of the hall, Imani mourned the present. But when she looked to the holocron resting in her hands, she smiled for the past and held faith for the future.

    She returned to Ifrane where her family waited. They celebrated her homecoming once more, glad to know she would remain with them to the end of her days. Still, they grieved for the loss of Wyck, knowing how great of an effect he had on their lives and the lives of all Ifrane. Had he not intervened on Imani’s behalf, there was no telling what other horrors may have come to pass. His name, along with the Jedi he raised, would last for generations. Even if their bodies were lost, their spirits would linger, for in the holocron was the key to life in the Force.

    Eventually, Imani would unlock this herself. Not until she truly acknowledged that Wyck was gone. Not until she wed with another and gave rise to a family of her own. Not until she was ready to pass. And when she did, the Force welcomed her, as did one of her oldest friends. Young again, free, at peace and full of wonder. Her last words on Ifrane and her first words in the realm of the Force would come more as than a whisper. It was a warm greeting, accompanied with that same smile. “It’s been a while, Master.

    And with the end of this story, a new chapter opens. After all, death is only a door. The end is only the beginning.
     
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