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A chance meeting

Gorteko Graye

Active Member
Writer
A cloaked man approached a town on the desert planet of Tatooine. What was this towns name again? It didn't matter, he only came here about once a month for supplies because it was the closest place to where he stayed, although it was still a half day's walk. Behind him he was dragging a bag through the sand, it was full of what he was to trade for his supplies. As he entered the town he didn't even need to look up from the ground the go to the trader, he had made this journey enough over the past couple of years to remember his steps, though his steps are about all he remembers of this town.

He entered the traders shop and walked to the counter, bringing his bag up onto it. The shop owner would open the bag and see what the man had brought to trade this month. They had a sort of agreement, the shop owner would scrap what the man brought and would give him about two weeks of rations, and if needed some tools. The trades were rarely fair but neither of them seemed to mind as they felt it evened out over time. As he emptied the bag the trader would see robes and other cloth, along with goggles and masks, and some sand people weapons, from what he could guess, the man had killed about five Tusken Raiders this month, maybe a Jawa as well, he'd look closer at the gear later. The trader would shake the bag to make sure nothing else was in it, before putting the food into it and handing the bag back to the man.

Their exchanges were often wordless like this, it best suited both of them. The man took the bag and tied it to his cloak like a type of backpack and left the store. As he stepped out, he looked to the sky for a moment, the suns were burning especially hot today, his walk home might not end until nightfall. The man returned his gaze to the ground as he started to leave the town. While nearing the gate he noticed a group of men loitering about, one of them began to approach. Neither man changed his course and they ran into each other, the man from the group falling to the ground. Seemingly annoyed the man on the ground began to talk as he got back up, "Hey! Watch where you're going. If you're gonna knock someone down, you need to compensate him." The man would say as his friends chuckled and surrounded the man. They flashed their weapons, some cheap blasters and knives, surely enough for a mugging, though they seemed to be new in town as everyone else around scattered, not wanting to be around for what was to come. The man would lower his mask, and remove his hood before reaching into his cloak and drawing his weapon. The attackers didn't seem convinced that this was a bad idea, they had him out numbered and surrounded, surely it would be an easy fight. As they took a step closer, the man had already decided on their deaths, and he ignited his red light saber, preparing himself to kill them all.

[member="Lilla Syrin"]
 

Lilla Syrin

A great leap forward often requires first taking t
Writer
It was an old settlers’ saying that you could burn your eyes out faster by staring straight and hard at the sun-scorched flatlands of Tatooine than by looking directly at its two huge suns themselves, so powerful was the penetrating glare reflected from those endless wastes. Despite the glare, life could and did exist in the flatlands formed by long-evaporated seabeds. One thing made it possible: the reintroduction of water.

For human purposes, however, the water of Tatooine was only marginally accessible. The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down out of the hard blue sky-coaxed, forced, yanked down to the parched surface.

And moisture vaporators needed parts. Lilla had returned to the abandoned farm she’d once considered home and had decided to make the place both habitable and functional. So she was on an eopie and heading into Mos Eisley.

Even in the blistering heat of the day, there were enough people in Mos Eisley to make even the beginning of the afternoon busy.

Built from the beginning with commerce in mind, even the oldest of the town’s buildings had been designed to provide protection from the twin suns. They looked primitive from the outside, and many were. But often walls and arches of old stone masked durasteel double walls with circulating coolant flowing freely between.

Lilla was coaxing her eopie through the town's outskirts when several figures appeared in front of her — and in the middle of the small crowd they represented, was a single figure. This close to the gate, it had all of the trappings of a mugging.

As the eopie slowed, in response to her pressure on the reins, Lilla slipped from the saddle and ran to where the action was clearly about to begin.

She had one hand on the hilt of her saber and was contemplating drawing it, as much as a warning as anything else, when she heard the familiar snap-hiss of the weapon she favoured — except this one had a red blade.

Now she had a decision to make — which side was she on?

[member="Gorteko Graye"]
 

Gorteko Graye

Active Member
Writer
Some of the group seemed frightened, but some seemed to think he was just bluffing, what business would a Sith have junk trading here? They inched closer and then a shot rang out, and one of the muggers hit the ground, the one who seemed to have started the whole ordeal, and the rest stayed frozen in place. With one of their own dead, they didn't know whether to avenge him or run for their lives. While he was holding a lightsaber with his right hand, it's possible he could have deflected a shot to kill the man, but as none of the muggers had shot yet, it seemed that wasn't the case. A light breeze, something that had been going all day, rolled though the town, as it reached the group the man's cloak ruffled. If one was looking closely they could have noticed the hole in his cloak and the blaster in his left hand. Something the muggers failed to notice as they remained in their standoff with the man.

The man was more observant than those opposing him, he could watch all five of the men around him, waiting for them to make a move. But that wasn't all he was watching, he watched the crowd, as attacks can come from anywhere, he needed to be prepared for everything. Something bothered him about that crowd, while everyone else ran, someone was watching. He only hoped they hadn't found him, he knows he couldn't beat them as he is now, especially if he would have to fight the rest of these delinquents first. The man's left leg began to quiver as he waited for the next move, he was clearly becoming exhausted.

[member="Lilla Syrin"]
 

Lilla Syrin

A great leap forward often requires first taking t
Writer
There was the unmistakeable sound of a blaster, and this was typically the point where the body count begins mounting.

Except, for some reason, only the single shot was fired. It was as if the group ahead of her were frozen in time.

Lilla saw the shot. Her keen Jedi reflexes allowed her to see the point of origin — and it puzzled her. The man brandished a saber. Why use the clumsy blaster instead?

The questions were stacking up for Lilla — and as she observed, she was aware that around her people were moving away from the confrontation. Which was not a problem in and of itself — except now she realised that instead of being part of the crowd, she stood out like a sore thumb.

But that was OK. Sometimes the very presence of a Jedi was enough to ensure good behaviour — although Lilla suspected it had gone too far this time for the sight of any Jedi to force the men to simply walk away. Blood had been spilled.

[member="Gorteko Graye"]
 

Gorteko Graye

Active Member
Writer
The one watching them, the man could feel them, they seemed strong in the force. He was unable to look in their direction so that was all the information he had, the worst situations ran through his mind, he did not want to go back. He knew he needed to kill these men quickly if he had any chance to escape a second fight, he began deciding his moves. Two of the remaining men had blasters, the other three had knives; he would need to eliminate their range before killing the others, and making his escape. "I gave you..." The man began, he spoke lowly, almost quietly and he seemed to be talking through some kind of pain, "The chance, to run." This seemed to be the signal for the fight to start.

The two men aimed their blasters and the other three charged in. The man had only a moment to act, but that would be all he needed. In a swift motion he threw his saber and revealed his blaster, each intended to kill the muggers with blasters. As his weapon impaled one of the men, he took his shot at the other, narrowly missing, in return a shot skimmed his right leg, bringing him down to a knee. He only had the one moment, now he was surrounded, the men with knives all lunging at him, the man with a blaster that was still alive, lined up another shot. It was now or never, do or die, he had to live through this and maybe the watcher wouldn't kill him. The man threw his arms up into the air just before he would be stabbed, and all of the surrounding sand enveloped them, making it impossible to see. A flurry of blaster fire ensued, then silence until the dust settled.

When everything was visible again one would see seven body's on the ground, the cloaked man was the only one breathing, though he was unconscious, he might be mistaken for dead as well. Around him lay four blasters, not including the nearby blasters from the muggers, they were all the same model. All of his weapons were worn, almost as much as the man himself was. If one were to look at him closely they would see outside of his physical injuries, he was also malnourished and dehydrated. Which would explain why he past out after the fight. If checked for items they would find that he had not one, but two red crystal light sabers along with his four blasters, other than his weapons he only had the rations from his trade with him.

[member="Lilla Syrin"]
 

Lilla Syrin

A great leap forward often requires first taking t
Writer
Lilla was a natural empath. Which was not the boon some might expect it to be. Many Jedi learned the ability. Which meant it had a natural on and off switch. You either opened yourself up and searched – or you did not.

For Lilla, since as long as she could remember, the switch was stuck in the on position. This meant she would be overwhelmed by every thought and emotion in the vicinity. So, she’d learned to block these out – and her control of the Force made this even more precise. By concentrating, she could turn the tap on slowly. She had levels between on and off.

But right now, in this situation, she had closed the ability down. Which was a pity, because she might have been able to pick up on the physical situation. But for now, she had what she could see – which was plenty.

The stand-of continued – neither side willing, or able, to make the next move.

But the solo combatant was the one that was talking. Which meant one of two things.

The first that he was honourable. A Jedi invariably gave an opponent the chance to surrender before engaging.

The second? They say the best guard dogs are the quiet puppies. The ones that yap are typically cowards – hoping to avoid confrontation by scaring their foe away.

Were there other reasons? Of course, but in Lilla’s experience, these two comprised the majority of situations. It allowed her to ascertain the threat of an adversary.

Maybe the gang saw his words as a sign of weakness, for they decided to rush him. The fight was, not unsurprisingly, swift. One attacker was impaled on the thrown saber, the man used his blaster on the rest.

He took a hit himself and Lilla was tempted to step in now. The rights and wrongs of gangs and dark-siders were secondary to preserving life. Once peace was restored, appropriate blame could be attached.

But then the man used the Force to conjure a small sand-storm. For the bystanders, nothing would be visible. But Lilla had the Force and could see without her eyes. She saw the fight unfold, the man’s many blasters coming into play and a second saber.

He was the last to fall, but Lilla did not believe it was because of his injuries – at least not those incurred here.

She stepped forward as the sand fell – her Jedi robes still flapping in the artificial breeze – and, using the Force, removed the weapons to a safe distance as she sensed all were dead but the dark-sider. Reaching him, she saw the extent of his injuries – and his general health. The latter was of greater risk to his life right now.

Looking around, Lilla put a hand on his shoulder. Calling on the Force, she allowed it to flow into him, healing him. It would not replace the lack of nourishment – but it should help him regain consciousness. She considered cuffing him, but in his present state he represented no real threat, so she knelt over him, and simply waited for him to come around.

[member="Gorteko Graye"]
 

Gorteko Graye

Active Member
Writer
The man was only unconscious a short while, but waking back up was startling for him. Someone was above him, the watcher, a Jedi. His right hand shot to his side, he looked for a weapon, to no avail, while trying, and failing, to scurry backwards away from the Jedi. All he could manage was to kick up sand and look a little silly, but he was in fear for his life. This short episode was already tiring him out, so he decided to accept that he could not escape. He did feel a little better though, he was in less pain; did she heal him?

This concept was foreign to him, he would not have offered the same courtesy. But here they were, A Jedi and a Sith, surrounded by dead bodies and sand. The man tried to speak, but his voice was caught. turning his head to the side he coughed in order to clear his throat, he must have inhaled some sand. "Why, are you helping me?" The man would ask as he struggled to get the words out. He was still exhausted from his condition, but he had more to worry about at the moment.

[member="Lilla Syrin"]
 

Lilla Syrin

A great leap forward often requires first taking t
Writer
Lilla waited. Her first – her only – priority, was to ensure the safety of those around her. Right now, the Sith did not pose a realistic threat, and the bodies littered around them meant nobody was venturing too close anyway.

So, the Jedi remained calm and patient, as the seconds ticked over into minutes. The Sith’s vital signs told her he was not in danger of dying – although he was not precisely in tip-top health.

Finally, he regained consciousness and she was aware that her presence was slightly intimidating. It was a tight-line she walked now. She needed to be enough of a threat to keep him from trying anything foolish, but not enough of a danger for him to feel the need to do anything rash.

After his initial shock, he seemed to settle down.

Smiling at him, she spoke softly and slowly – but with authority. “I am a Jedi.” She paused after speaking as if those words, in themselves, were sufficient to answer his question. But then she added, “All life is precious. Your past is your past and I cannot condemn nor judge you for past misdemeanours. But the present I can do something about. You were the victim here, I can attest to that. As to why you’re in this physical state, that is something I should like to better understand.”

Her motives were transparent – to help him regain health but to be sure he had not just committed some atrocities, for which he would have to answer to the local authorities.

[member="Gorteko Graye"]
 

Gorteko Graye

Active Member
Writer
"And here I thought," The man would begin as he worked his way back onto his feet, "It was a Jedi's duty to kill Sith." He seemed to be speaking more clearly now, like he was getting used to something he had not done in a while. the man patted himself down as a last check for his weapons before he would start to look for them, and to make sure his bag was still tied to him. Upon seeing where his weapons lay, he would begin to approach them, making sure to keep track of the Jedi, even though she had helped him, he still would not trust her enough to let his guard down.

"if it's all the same to you, I have somewhere to be and I really must be leaving now." The mans speech seemed sincere, as though he actually appreciated the help, though it might just be his way of saying he doesn't think he could defeat her at the moment and needed permission to leave safely. Reaching his weapons he stood behind them facing the Jedi, he did seem to wait for his permission as he did not want to touch his weapons and get himself killed.

[member="Lilla Syrin"]
 

Lilla Syrin

A great leap forward often requires first taking t
Writer
Lilla was wary as the man gained his feet again. It was one thing to be a humanitarian – quite another to be sucker-punched being too helpful. But she trusted in the Force to warn her and so she did her best to relax under the circumstances.

“And, despite popular belief, there is no mention of Sith or even the dark-side in the Jedi Code. And given the Republic has not automatically given Sith outlaw status – I have no gripe with who you are, only what you might do.”

“Furthermore, killing is not part of my Order’s Code. That’s simply not how Jedi operate – not real Jedi at least.”

She was aware of his intent to collect his weapons and she was not against the idea – he’d used them on the gang as a last measure – but she was keen to understand why he was here and in this state, so she considered them a simple bargaining chip.

“Anyway, I’ll not detain you, but whilst you collect your weapons, I’d appreciate you telling me how you ended up needing so much medical attention.”

[member="Gorteko Graye"]
 

Gorteko Graye

Active Member
Writer
The man began collecting his weapons, he would answer her question as he placed each weapon in its respective place. "I have been here for... A while. I don't stay near the town and food is scarce, not as scarce as the water. Sometimes i find what I need, sometimes I don't." The man attempted to speak as clearly as possible, though it was apparent that it was not easy for him. Having collected his weapons he dusted himself off a little bit preparing for his long walk back to his current home. "I should go before something worse happens, but before that... If you would mind enlightening me; what brings a Jedi to a desolate place like this?"

[member="Lilla Syrin"]
 

Lilla Syrin

A great leap forward often requires first taking t
Writer
Lilla’s eyes narrowed slightly. He was evading answering her question directly. He was not being particularly awkward — but sufficiently vague as to not give her what she sought. And this merely raised her suspicions.

But then he attempted to engage her in conversation and she figured that talking to him might open him up and earn some trust. Plus, she had nothing to hide and zero to gain from either lying or withholding.

“I lived here most of my life. For many years as a slave and then rough, as a vagrant, before finding an abandoned old moisture farm as home. Then, a few years back, the Jedi found me and took me to their temple.”

“What brought you here?”

[member="Gorteko Graye"]
 

Gorteko Graye

Active Member
Writer
How interesting it was to him that their stories were similar. If she were speaking the truth, then obviously she went through worse as he was never a slave, but still, they were similar. "Hmm, I also lived here for most of my life, different part of the planet, but this was my home. A shame the Jedi never came for me, I had to seek out the Sith in order to protect myself, Ironically enough now I need protection from them." He felt as though he was saying too much, but it mattered little at this point. The man would turn his back to the Jedi for the first time since he woke as he prepared to walk away. The irony of his last statement seemed to be unnoticed as he didn't ask for any help from someone who seemed to have the ability to help him. "Well, thank you for your help." The man would say, with the most sincerity he's had in their conversation as he would take his first steps away from the Jedi.

[member="Lilla Syrin"]
 

Lilla Syrin

A great leap forward often requires first taking t
Writer
Lilla listened and – as she had hoped – he was opening up.

Everyone in the galaxy had a story to tell, and this man was no different. Circumstances, fate, timing – call the mitigating factors whatever you want – but Lilla wondered how many went one way or another based on the smallest of margins. On another day, maybe she would be the Sith and the man in front of her the Jedi?

Nature or nurture? An age-old debate – and one she was part of. Not that she was aware of her role – or that there was even an experiment in progress.

“Protection?” she echoed. “Are they the reason you’re in this shape? And is there anything I can do? So far I’ve done nothing, not really. But I can help, trust me.” There was genuine concern in her voice – she did not see the man as a potential convert, but just someone that needed help – and she as a Jedi after all.

[member="Gorteko Graye"]
 

Gorteko Graye

Active Member
Writer
The man had only taken a few steps before he stopped. Why does this Jedi care so much? Why does it matter to her what happens to him? These were foreign concepts to the man, from living in solitude after being with the Sith, most people he'd dealt with were more focused on themselves. But what if she could help him, he could stop living out of a cave, by himself. It had been a long time since he had a conversation like this, and it was nice, maybe the force was telling him it was time to go back into the galaxy and leave his life of exile.

"Can you help? I wonder..." The man would start before he turned back to face the Jedi. "Is the light strong enough to hold back the dark? You've been the first to show me such kindness in a long time, and I am in your debt for what you've done. If you believe that you can help, I will trust you." He spoke very self-assuredly, it was clear he had come to the decision to trust this stranger,

[member="Lilla Syrin"]
 

Lilla Syrin

A great leap forward often requires first taking t
Writer
“Yes, I believe I can help,” Lilla responded. “And my wider community can help too. Darkness and light are natural phenomena. Neither can prevail for any length of time – there is a natural balance to them. So, although I do not believe the light will extinguish the dark forever, I similarly accept as true the dark cannot consume the light.”

“Being alone is not a sensible approach to keeping the dark at bay. A single candle burns only so bright and will eventually die. But many candles, many thousands of candles? They will endure. For darkness cannot drive out the dark; only light can do that.”

“The next steps are yours. I cannot and will not insist you become a Jedi, or even a devout light sider. That is your choice, your path. But if I can protect you from the Sith, and turn your path away from the dark side? That I would be my goal.”

“So, make your choice and be strong – others can, and will, help you. They can guide you, nourish you, advise you even – but nobody walks your footsteps except you.”

[member="Gorteko Graye"]
 

Gorteko Graye

Active Member
Writer
The man stood still as he listened to what the Jedi had to say. He took in her words as well as what was happening around them. The light breeze that was still blowing, the onlookers too afraid to show themselves still while he remained here, the burning of the sands below them. It was all a lot to take in, so much so it was starting to tire him out; this mustn't go on much longer or he might lose consciousness again. The man focused back on the Jedi, beginning to ignore what was around them. She spoke like a philosopher, someone with wisdom beyond what he believed her years to be. Were all Jedi like this now? It had been a while since he'd dealt with one, but they were not like this, he knew that much.

The mans' leg began to tremble again, he began to seriously doubt if he could even make the walk back to his home. And with that, it seemed all signs pointed to his new Jedi friend. Not for nothing, he would have made the same decision even if he could make the journey. "I take it, you've got a ship?" The man would ask as he began walking back to her, stumbling his first few steps before regaining his footing. "If you wouldn't mind taking me back to my own ship, we could leave from there to wherever you're going next." Despite his condition talking seemed to be getting easier for him. He could only hope that she would trust him enough to meet his terms.

[member="Lilla Syrin"]
 

Lilla Syrin

A great leap forward often requires first taking t
Writer
As was often the case in these matters, seconds seemed to stretch for hours. The feeling of isolation didn’t help – the onlookers were giving the pair a wide berth and that gave an air of surrealism that compounded the situation.

And Lilla sensed that the Sith – or whatever he should now be considered – was growing increasingly vulnerable. And vulnerability sometimes led to rash decisions and even rasher actions – and Lilla did not want to put the man into a position where he might be forced to do something they both regretted.

Lilla considered Force Healing, but to a Sith, even a former one, that might seem a little too forward, so instead she offered her arm and shoulder, to allow the man to lean on her.

"Yes, I have a ship and I can take you to yours. Now, before we get that far, would you permit me to heal you? I can use the Force to do some repair work.”

[member="Gorteko Graye"]
 

Gorteko Graye

Active Member
Writer
In the couple of years he had been here, the man hadn't really been taking care of himself. He barely noticed his loss of strength and the frailness of his body as the change was slow. But now, like he was waking up from a long dream he could see how far he'd fallen, the state he let himself get to. It's a wonder that he's even alive, let alone that he could fight at all. The Jedi offered to heal him, that would be nice; even if it only eased his pain slightly. A true recovery would take time, no more starving or dehydration, he'd need to begin training again as well. While the road ahead will be tough, the man knows he can manage it, he's certainly lived through worse.

​"That would be greatly appreciated." The man would say while taking her arm, as much as he didn't want to, there was no other way of him walking. it wasn't until now that he could feel the pain of his legs, the adrenaline long gone, taking the numbness with it. His legs were not the only source of pain, but as the rest of his body was not what was holding him up, they were the primary source. "After you."

[member="Lilla Syrin"]
 

Lilla Syrin

A great leap forward often requires first taking t
Writer
Lilla took some of the man’s weight. In fact, it wasn’t until he leaned on her that she realised how frail he was — and she quickly surmised his ailments were not injuries — but rather the result of neglect.

It was something she was acutely aware of. She’d gained a significant amount of body weight since joining the Jedi - now that food and water were no longer luxuries.

As he leaned on her, she pulled the Force to her — gently at first, so as not to spook him. Then she gently pushed it into his body - through the basic light-sided ability known as Force Heal. She was not a trained Jedi Healer, so her expertise was more akin to field medicine. And given what he was suffering from was not injuries as such, there was a limit to what she could do.

But her efforts would soothe any pain and give a short period of renewed energy. To aid this, she fished in her pocket and pulled out a ration bar. In his current state, it would actually do wonders. “Here, take this,” she said, “I’ve got you.”

[member="Gorteko Graye"]
 
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