Nevarro was one of those places Ky knew about because he had once been a Bounty Hunter. Not ex-Guild, per say—the Guilt weren't the only ones operating out of this part of the Outer Rim. Nevarro was just the best place to come if you were looking to lie low or to exchange information discreetly. Half the hunters you did see were broke and using their last credits to buy a drink at the local cantina, which was where Ky found himself, shifting nervously in his booth while attempting to down a bottle of elba beer. Meetings with Jedi were typically uncomfortable for Ky. Not a lot of the Order liked him.
But rumors were beginning to circulate and that necessitated Ky reaching out to one of his fellows. Specifically, Ky had contacted Saul Devan: a fellow Knight who recently encountered something, word had it, that was "troubling" in the Expansion Region. Ky was curious. The Outer Rim was also reporting some odd occurrences, culminating in strange rumors out of Ukio. Still, Ky needed to be absolutely sure before he took his suspicions to the Jedi Council. The Council liked to turn its back on news that would force the Order to act.
It's too soon, he could hear Master Har saying. Our Order is still young, and the dark side has been quiet a long time. The Sith are gone, Ky. There is no reason to be concerned.
But Ky—as he had throughout most of his apprenticeship—had simply ignored her. How many times had the Jedi said the Sith were gone before they reappeared? The last time it happened, the Jedi Order was exterminated. The galaxy was still recovering from the echoes of that conflict. No... Ky could feel something. Something bad. It was stirring in the Outer Rim, and he couldn't tell if it was dark, light, or something else. He could only hope Saul Devan could help him sort out this mess. @Nightfall
Since his encounter on Mimban, the Council has still not made time to see him, desperate as he was to report what he saw there. For him the intervening time had taken its toll, the wounds he sustained on Ifrane still fresh, the cybernetics grafted to him to help him heal still felt unnatural at times, made him itch.
Given all of that, it was good sometimes to see an invitation present itself that gave him some time to heal, and vent, if things were as he expected.
Both Ky and Navarro were new to him, a planet and a man where he didn’t quite know what he was agreeing to. But he was a peer from the Order if nothing else, he was not about to turn it down. Especially when it seemed like there was someone who felt similar,
Skkkk-bhrk scratched his rebreather as he took a seat next to Ky,
“Sorry I’m late, still getting used to being a bit slower than I was” he said sliding across the booth seat to face Ky,
“Not that we’d be any later than the council, at least on these things” he knew what they were here to talk about, perhaps if Ky felt similar, there was a chance the Order could get its act together before it was too late.
Ky snorted. "If we waited for the Council to take action, we'd all be older than Master Yoda before things got done." He took a moment to look over his companion for the afternoon. Saul looked like he had seen better days. Ky's features softened considerably when he took in his fellow Jedi's injuries. He wasn't certain where Saul had gotten them—he just hoped it wasn't from whatever or whoever was causing all this mess. "It is good to see you well, all things considered."
The Jedi Knight waved over a serving droid and added, "A drink here for my friend. On me. Whatever he likes."
Ky waited for the droid to take Saul's order and dash away before lowering his voice again and leaning over the table. "I'll cut to the chase. We're both busy men and we both know this planet isn't where our attention should be. I've been hearing some weird rumors out of the Abrion sector. Some masked freaks set fire to the food production centers there. It won't take long for the Core to feel the effects of that, but until then, I don't expect the Council will act on whispers." He picked up his bottle and took another swig to soothe his dry throat. Volcanic planets like Nevarro never agreed with him. "Word in the stars is that you ran into something similar on Mimban recently. That true?" @Nightfall
Saul sat forward in his chair as Ky began to speak, a little chuckle following his whip about Master Yoda,
“The same as Ky would be fine, thank you” Saul was no connoisseur of finer things, or even average things for the most part. Whatever came he’d usually knock back without fuss, though drinking was a little harder now than it once was, had to be careful it went the right way. But distractions were enough, as Ky said they were here for a purpose,
“Aye, I’ve heard the rumours as well, but you’re correct, word does get round the Order doesn’t it” he said into his drink as he thought back to the darkness he’d seen on Mimban, and how he’d failed to stop it,
“A man, black armour, face covered the same. And a sword surrounded in the same energy. The town was sick, enough strife and pain that draws all sorts of attention. He’d made it first, taking people, draining them somehow until they dropped, lifeless” the images still flicked in his mind, even after the pain of Ifrane this was the next closest thing on his mind, the consequences of which were far larger than any suffering he might face,
“Knight of Ren. That’s what he said. I don’t know if he’s just an imposter playing at the dark side or really knows what he’s talking about” Saul continued, his voice sullen,
Ky reclined in his seat and stroked his chin. Knight of Ren. The title sounded familiar. When Master Har first began to train him, she recounted the history of the relatively young "new" Jedi Order. In the history she had related to him, there had been a man named Ben Solo instrumental to inspiring Grand Master Rey Skywalker to rebuild the Jedi Order. And Ben Solo had once been the dark warrior, Kylo Ren. Was this Knight inspired by Kylo, or...? He decided to bench the thought until he had a chance to return to Ajan Kloss and examine the library's records.
"Attacking a village and draining them with the Force sounds dark side to me," Ky said thoughtfully after a moment. "Whoever he was, he was clearly unconcerned with revealing himself to you. And that does not bode well. Followers of the dark side have remained underground ever since the Emperor was exposed as a Sith Lord. If they're becoming bold enough to reveal themselves now..." Ky huffed. "No. Can't think that way. This one could be a straggler. Or, as you said, a pretender."
He broke his contemplative pose leaned across the table again. And, though he tired to hide it, he could not help the grimace that appeared on his face. "Hate to ask, but I assume you're going to the Council with this information? How do you expect them to react to this once they've been given the news?"
Ky had his own guesses. The news of a single dark sider was not likely to move the Jedi Council. Many beings in the galaxy practiced the dark side of the Force. That did not always warrant the attention of the Jedi Order. But Ky was antsy. The Force hadn't felt right in awhile. Something was happening out there, he knew it—he could sense it. The who and the what were the issues, and now maybe he had the answer to them. @Nightfall
"How do I expect them to act?" Saul nearly wheezed out in response, his rebreather working hard to keep up. What amounted to a laugh for him nowadays followed, though it may as well have been a scoff as he threw his head back and his arms out, nearly spilling his beer.
Shaking his head, he took a moment to refocus himself, breathing in heavily as he let the right words come to him in reply,
"I have been trying to take this to the Council since I saw it" he replied, a longing in his voice, though a sternness with it "while certain... events have kept me from speaking, I've not had a hint out of them. And if word has made it around then it has made it to them as well, I'm certain of that" Saul's voice had raised as he spoke, his hand gestured uncommonly animated,
"I expect little, perhaps a grant of leave to follow whatever trail might be out there. At least there would be something. The Council are wise, learned, but you know as well as I that Jedi Councils are often slow to act to developments like this" Any Jedi who'd read their history would be see the pattern written in their history. Before the Galactic Empire, all the way long back to the past to the earliest days of the First Sith Empire, the Jedi Council had long had a tendency to be cautious, often to the detriment of a galaxy that relied upon them. Saul did not want to repeat that, not so soon after the last time. And it seemed to him Ky did not want to either,
"If you were going before them, what would you say? What would you want to see them do?"
Ky suppressed the answer he wanted to give, but that didn't stop the mental image of him standing in front of the Jedi Council admonishing them with various versions of I told you so from floating behind his eyes. Saul was right. The Council members were wise but removed. Many of them had trained directly under Grand Master Skywalker herself and believed all the dangerous elements of the dark side had died on Exegol despite the rising evidence to the contrary.
The young Knight closed his eyes, pinched the bridge of his nose, and sighed. "I don't know. There isn't much I could say to move them. And my speaking on your behalf isn't likely to inspire their confidence. But—" A lightbulb went off in his head and his eyes flew open. "But if we could bring them something more solid, they wouldn't be able to ignore it any further." His gaze snapped to Saul. "Do you remember the exact coordinates of this village on Mimban? While you continue to harass the Council for a meeting, I could go there and try to retrace the dark warrior's steps. I could search for something concrete — an artifact, a location, maybe even the man himself — to bolster your case."
His abilities with psychometry would help him with the investigation. Suddenly, Ky was on fire. This was too important to put aside and ignore. He began to mentally map his investigation: first the library on Ajan Kloss to learn more about the so-called "Knights of Ren," then Mimban to see if there were any traces of this Knight left in the village Saul spoke of... After that, the Force would be his guide. @Nightfall
A smile broke across his face as Ky continued to speak, there was real possibility here, he felt sure of that. Though perhaps that was the ale talking, he felt comparatively elated compared to how he had in the days prior. While he knew there were a great many good and heartfelt members of the Order, it was on the matters discussed today he felt most passionate, and it was good to know there was some among them who felt the same,
"Not from memory, but I can pull them from my ship, we can collect them on our way out of here" he said in a rush, trying to see if he could pull them out of his mind. Finding some evidence beyond his own experience was of utmost importance, that was clear now, so it was with that in mind that he added,
"I have to thank you then, for... understanding. If you're away on Mimban what would you have me do in the meantime? I'll secure a meeting with the Council, I'll make certain of that. But I'm ready to do more" his eyes narrowed as he spoke, he meant it too. For too long since Ifrance his injuries had kept him away from works beyond the quiet. And as much as he had enjoyed the change, the reminder of what it was all else was for, he ready to prove to himself he was still capable of more.
Saul's smile was contagious, as Ky found himself smiling too. It was rare that he found a kindred spirit among the Jedi. And he wasn't exactly going to turn down help, especially when he didn't know the size of the challenge ahead of them. His mind raced for what Saul could do to aid in the investigation. Then, just when he was about to give up, an idea struck him.
"While you wait for the Council to get back to you, head out to the Abrion sector. I believe it's a planet called Ukio. That's where I was hearing all of those rumors," Ky explained. "We need to know if these incidents are linked. I'll go to Mimban, and you to Ukio, and we'll both meet up back here with whatever evidence we can gather." Ky paused and a shadow passed over his face. "But if you run in to your masked friend or anyone associated with him, contact me before you engage. I'll do the same. If we can capture someone, the Council will have to listen to us. And we'll have a better chance of doing that if we do it together."
The plan was set, and it appeared to be solid. Ky made a mental note to keep his trip to the library brief. He didn't want the trail on Mimban to go cold before he could even arrive. He took one last swig of his beer and put his elbow on the table, offering Saul a handshake.
"Be careful out there, friend," Ky said sincerely. "And may the Force be with you." @Nightfall
The planet's name was familiar to him, though it seemed Ky was more up to date with the rumours flowing from that planet. Still, the plan made sense. Mimban and Ukio were the two most recent sightings, best to go to both and see if any part of the trail was still hot. And somewhere in there, if the Council responded to their calls they'd be on their way there just as quick. There were a lot of moving parts to their plan, it felt best then to keep the plates spinning while they had the momentum,
"Keep your communicator close then" Saul finished as he gripped Ky's hand close "Force be with you too" Saul finished strongly. It was time for them to go, the sooner the confirmed their suspicions, the sooner they prevented what could be another disaster. Or so Saul could hope. Though remembering Mimban once more as he moved to his ship, he only hoped that getting the jump would be enough to turn the tables this time.
If all the rumours were true, the galaxy could not afford otherwise.