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Private Behind The Sun

Mandalore
Sith Imperial Prison Labour Camp 'MIF-BDG-0762' , "The Beast"
Several days before the Battle Of Mandalore
"All previous experiments have proven near fatal on any subject with heightened force sensitivity, my lord." The Sith Imperial scientist sounded out as he slowly filled a syringe with a vicious black fluid present within a durasteel canister.

"Speaking without being spoken to, again - I beg of you to inquire of the consequences. Do what you have been told." The Kaleesh snapped at the man who could only muster filling the syringe with the thick, black fluid in reply to him.

Strapped to the table a Jedi, wayward and far from any semblance of home, familiarity another syringe was fixed into a hydraulic arm attached to the bed. Four of them all precision aligned with laser-light guiding them toward specific veins and arteries within the subject's form who laid against the metallic surgical bed. The back was leaned forward from a completely flat position if only so his limbs could be better fixed to the structure with metallic clamps.

"Is it ready?" The Kaleesh asked, a voice peering through the darkness around the blinding florescent light which shined in the Kiffar's face. The Sith was only visible by his gold, corrupted gaze shifting about the darkness.

"Whenever you'd wish, My Lord." The Imperial uttered in begrudging obediance, peering back toward the Kaleesh only to receive a nod of approval from the Sith Lord before two strong arms crossed over his chest. Though the procedure was always a discomforting spectacle - Cyggys seemed content to view each one personally. As much as he could've easily recieved the results from written reports it was all the difference to see them in the flesh. To hear the desperate, fear addled screams - to hear the spinecurling crunch of pain in each of his demented experiments. It was ecstasy - the ultimate feeling of power. To dehumanize and toy with sentient life, it was from this that the chains were broken for Cyggys.

The robotic arms began to slowly lower down toward the Kiffar - inching at a crawling pace. The Jedi was given no reprieve in each passing moment of unnerving anticipation as the unnerving instruments coursed slowly toward's Ryv's flesh.

The loud metallic hiss of the blast door opened to reveal a figure of average height draped in the dress rainment of a Sith-Imperial officer.

"Halt this procedure." A low commanding voice sounded out from the doorway before soon enough the man approached the SIth Lord - the technician padding unto the control panel until the syringes halted not a centimeter from the Jedi's flesh.

"General- You had not made your presence announced or I'd be here to greet you..." The Kaleesh said, feigning a hunch in his back before coughing into one of his hands, eventually clasping them in front of his chest. The outright sinister tone was replaced with a visage of decrepit ignorance.

"I don't care to hear excuses. Your task was completed several days ago and still you operate unauthorized." The General spoke- imposing himself on the Sith who may very well had been able to eviscerate him where he stood. Fearless. With a motion of his hand the technician began to slowly disarm the array of syringes and medical instruments hovering closely toward the jedi.

"I- I am most sorry General I just am not one to waste- " The Kaleesh was cut off to a gloved finger raised toward his gaze by the commanding officer.

"I will not hear this drivel again. Your assignment is complete - have the serum transported to The Epitaph and be done with it. Am I clear?" The General ordered once more.

"Y-yes of course... what is to be done with this...Jedi?" The Sith Lord inquired, motioning toward the Kiffar who had just had the clamps opened around his limbs.

"A Jedi among Mandalorians - why is he here?" The General inquired once more, arching a brow as he offered a glance in the direction of the Kiffar.

"T-test-" A scraping, guttural cough interupted the Kaleesh as he sought to speak. Likely a self imposed hex to play up a spectacle.

"Test subject- for your directive." The Sith Lord iterated.

"Out- both of you..." The officer ordered only for the Sith Lord to slither out with his technician underling in tow, the blast door hissing closed behind them. With bright, cold fluorescence now sending the room alight the condition of the Jedi could truly be appraised - Irveric narrowing his gaze as he stepped toward the surgical apparatus. A man late in his prime, human and clearly tempered by close scrapes with death he was a man forged from war in its purity.

"And what brought you here, Jedi?" Irveric inquired - addressing Ryv directly.

Ryv Ryv
 
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Ryv

Paragon of Hope
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It wasn't a surprise when a group of the prison guard's approached Ryv's cell the prior night. It had been months since his abduction at the hands of Wirm'nael'armiir and his contingent of purge troopers. Days after, he was dropped into the prison camp with nothing more than the facilities uniform and a few necessities. The Mandalorian's locked away thought nothing of him his first month, not making the connection between his inhibitor collar and their lack of one. It provided him an adjustment period to his new day to day life before the rumors started circulating. Ryv assumed one of the guards or their lackeys dropped that tidbit of information and allowed it to spread on its own.

By week six the other prisoners avoided him like the plague. Whisperings circulated the prison of the Jedi's presence. It didn't bother Ryv until a group of young mandos with something to prove cornered the Jedi in the mess. Unable to talk himself out of the confrontation, Ryv was forced into a more violent altercation. His opponents were younger and a tad bloodthirsty, offering the relaxed Jedi a plethora of opportunities to tear them down piece by piece. It was supposed to be the one time scrap that afforded him enough respect among the other inmates they'd leave him alone. It didn't turn out that way. Instead, a tray was slammed into the back of the kiffar's head and he woke up in the infirmary with half a dozen stitches and a splitting headache. They beat him until a foundling of the Eldar clan broke it up and carried him to the nurse.

When Ryv realized it was his silent cellmate, he approached the young mando and introduced himself. They got along well enough, with Garr providing Ryv protection, and Ryv providing Garr hope. The foundling hadn't realized how far gone he had fallen until witnessing the padawan's ongoing struggle. Together they slogged through the day-to-day, keeping an eye on one another to ensure they managed to meet their work orders. Out in the yard, they put in the effort with the equipment, growing stronger so the workload became easier over time. It was a great system for the two of them until Garr was dragged out of his cell days earlier. When he didn't return by morning, Ryv expected his number was soon to be called.

Today just happened to be the day, the kiffar reasoned. The social experiment could only be entertaining for so long to the depraved minds of the Sith. A point proven as they proceeded to test the Jedi's mettle throughout the night. An unending list of questions assailed him before one instrument or another sliced, tore, or bore through his skin. Ryv didn't have what the other Jedi had anymore. He could not fall into his mind and see himself through the ordeal with the force. Oh no, he was forced to endure the keen-edged scalpel as it sliced long, bloody lines through his flesh. It didn't take long for the padawan to break and beg for it to stop, tears streaming down a grime-covered face. His words fell on deaf ears when he refused to answer their questions.

As "specialists" rotated time in the chair with Ryv, only one thing remained constant. The spite filled, golden gaze of Lord Cyggys. While the kiffar could never quite get a full view of the Sith Lord, Ryv managed to piece together a rough idea of what the khaleesh looked like via glances when the monster leaned a tad too close in glee. It all started to make sense. Each precise slice, jagged tear, and flesh melting burn was for the beast's enjoyment. Nothing could get a Sith going like the suffering of an innocent man.

So, Ryv resigned himself to whatever fate the Sith had in store. He heard the rumors of breaking one's connection to the force. The thought terrified Ryv, permanently losing what little he had left that connected him to his past life. It didn't matter at the end of it all, none of it did. Lanik was home, the order had been reunited and everything was the way it should be. No one would die to save the stupid kiffar who couldn't save himself.

He probably should've considered himself lucky when the Imperial general strode into the chamber and cut the procedure. The small, finger-like incisors were pulled back into the shadows as the piercing gaze of Lord Cyggy's drifted from the room. It was a small victory marred in the pain oozing from his bloodied body.

Tavlar's question confused Ryv. It wasn't the first question he'd been asked, though it was the only one of its kind. The empire's operatives sought answers to a great many questions, though none were personal. They all related to the Jedi banding together on Kintan, how they knew where to find Lanik, the possibility of some greater order, and his place in it all. It made it easier to ignore them. None were hidden behind a facade of concern. It was apparent those who captured him intended on breaking him to break his order. The Sith picked the wrong Jedi.

"Was looking for a place to grab grub," he wheezed out, each exertion of his body sending spasms of pain throughout it. "Must've gotten lost by Kashyyyk, taken a left when it should've been a right."

 
Why did it seem like each and every Jedi and Sith manufactured the same line of behavior. Sith embarking on a display of immediate, dangerous power whilst jedi spat in the face of their strife with a snide remark. The Sith approached seemed pathetic more than anything each and every time he encountered it - the Jedi at the very least was an admirable approach.

"I tend to make a similar mistake..." Irveric retorted with his own bout of dry humor as he began to slowly inspect the conditions of the procedure area. In all due credit - everything seemed properly maintained and sterilized where the Sith Lord might've very well been able to forsake such decorum in favor of sating his own demented fantasies.
Perhaps the very same room being used in his own trials for 'Project Kyber Dark'. If Irveric could avoid any interaction with Lord Cyggys he would - but acquiring what he needed was no easy feat - especially with the level of compartmentalization the project required.

"And what do they call you, Jedi?" He asked, arching a brow as he turned toward Ryv. Free to leave the bed once more the General didn't seem all too imposed by the Kiffar. Being a man of imposing stature less so in physicality, favoring his mental resolve in spades. Unyielding to anything at all - he was iron.

"Regardless- I do still care to know how you found yourself amongst Mandalorians." He reiterated once more.

Ryv Ryv
 
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Ryv

Paragon of Hope
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"I'm here the same way a lot of us end up in imperial controlled prisons, I'd bet," Ryv said slowly, trying to avoid any more unnecessary pain. "Your people took one of ours, we went after him, and then they snagged me," he didn't seem ashamed or upset by his answer. If anything, the kiffar looked exhausted and pained by the crucible that was his last several hours. Small spasms shook his body with each breath, a dozen or more scars oozed beads of blood that inched towards the ground, guided by gravity. Upon further inspection, the imperial general would notice his left eye, entirely swollen shut, and caked with a layer of dried blood. The young Jedi carried wounds inflicted to cause great suffering, nothing more. "Lanik's his name, but uh, we got him. Successful mission and all that shit," he raised his head to meet the general's icy gaze with his one good eye.

It took the Jedi a few minutes to push himself up to a seated position. At one point, his hand shot to his side, covering purplish-black bruising over his right side. "Names Ryv, Ryv Karis," he introduced himself without much thought, confidence ringing through the exhaustion. The iron-willed general would recognize the spirit and resolve of a warrior within the smaller man, even marred in misery. "I'd ask your name, but it be in poor taste. Hard not to recognize the dude who put up an open bounty on the Jedi of the galaxy," the proclamation carried the weight of knowledge, though the kiffar seemed calm beyond his pain. "That bounty happen cause of Lanik taking your arm, or have the Jedi done some other great harm to you in your life?"

Ryv's words towards Tavlar were in no way condescending. It appeared as if the young Jedi showed genuine interest in what drove the imperial and his beliefs. "It's obvious this sorta shit- " he paused to pat the table he occupied earlier. "- is not really your thing. The Sith, I could see it. It was in his big yellow eyes- that lust for power, the corruption of a weaker will. You lack it, but you also don't have much going in the way for you in the force. You don't quite seem petty enough to fund Jedi torture out of jealousy though, general Irveric Tavlar. So, what is it that makes you tick?"

Empathy, the understanding of others, and the ability to share in how they feel, a trait Jedi in the past had in spades. Nowadays, it lacked, especially in war. It so happened to be one of Ryv's greatest assets. His ability to understand that is.


 
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"I'm well aware of the operation, yes. A failure perhaps but failures are useful in telling hard truths which can go unseen and fester ." Irveric stated flatly. In all truth - the General didn't seem to regard the rescue in any dim light. Not only was he indisposed with his deployment to the Mandalorian System to be involved in any capacity but it truly was a trivial encounter. He didn't have any use for the Jedi - that was far more the prerogative of Darth Voyance than it was him.

"I wasn't aware my involvement with that was so widely known - regardless it was less a matter of personal malice than it was a matter of strategem, Karis." Irveric iterated.

"For each Jedi knight on the field of battle it is another fifty or so of my men put to the saber - any means of which they can be subdued without the spill of Imperial blood shall be taken." Tavlar offered. Not unlike Lanik - Ryv seemed to have some insight on Tavlar's line of thinking. His disdain for his SIth masters began to grow more and more palpable. The tension thick enough to slice with a blunted cleaver. Almost each and every interaction he seemed to have with them brought upon another moment of teething grounding against one another or eyes narrowing in outright disdain to the posturing of self congratulating hubris.

"It doesn't take you too long to make that determination does it? To reach the conclusion that I do not belong as a cog in this horrible machine. You're not the first. In all truth I was conscripted - pressed into service against my will. I could've fulfilled my service nearly twenty years ago yet here I stayed. Its not for obligation - patriotism. The Sith are no identity that I can adhere to being as I am."
He iterated, referring to his lack of any force ability.

"In spite of the Sith rule of law...the Sith are no entity that maintains order, peace. They are a chaotic entity collectively - their code declares it as such. Yet they claim an Empire. Reap the fruits of the labor of millions while they suffer. I am adherent to the Sith but to the Empire in itself. My loyalty is to its people, to my soldiers, my comrades." Irveric explained - his voice ever cold and even. If Lanik ever spoke anything of the man that may very well been apart of his description of the Imperial, until the Knight incurred his rage at the very least.

Ryv Ryv
 
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Ryv

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Ryv remained silent and still as he listened to the general speak. Rarely did someone of his station, a lowly padawan, have the opportunity to sit down and hold a conversation with one of the greatest military minds of the galaxy. To hear the philosophies and the rhetoric of an imperial officer, now, that proved to be a great gift.

"Your involvement in the Lanik situation? It was reported by uh, the silver Jedi folks. A lot of em saw your scrap with him," Ryv coughed into his forearm, his body once more spasming with pain. "Heard a lot of good things about that battle. Hearing an average Joe managed to go toe-to-toe with a Jedi of Lanik's status was surprising. Though, seeing you, I can see why, no connection to the force, a military career spanning a few decades, and a mind capable of challenging even the great Jedi general of old, Revan, all paint an appropriate picture of a badass. The likes of Thrawn and Tarkin would be proud, good general," he pushed himself to his feet and padded over to the spread of tools used on the kiffar. His fingers ran along each of the torture devices, eyes closed as he passed by them.

"I understand your stance, man. A good-hearted Jedi is, unfortunately, a dying breed in the galaxy. I can't say I'm happy so many of my order put down conscripted soldiers, but in war, the merciful man is probably gonna die, huh?" he lifted a scalpel and studied it. Cleaned since the introduction to the kiffar's flesh, Ryv could see his bruised and bloodied face staring back at him. "When I infiltrated the ship housing Lanik, I spared every imperial man and woman. None of them went home maimed or in a body bag, good general. My order can perhaps learn a thing or two from your philosophy," he chuckled weakly, using his free hand to brace himself on the table as not to fall to the floor.

Hearing Tavlar's view on the Sith turned Ryv on his heel. Confusion visibly dotted the padawan's face, up until a smile managed to take hold of his face. "You know what, general, I believe there is hope for everyone in the galaxy. Ideals may clash, but there can be peace. Perhaps there is hope for you. Someone so experienced and skilled might yet find a place out in the galaxy, not under the heel of Carnifex and his following. But uh, what do I know? I'm just a kid."

 
"You flatter me, Jedi." Irveric said, offering a faint laugh. A farm boy from Dantooine who moved offworld to weld together ship hull composites on Ord Thoden had now been spoke in the same breath as the likes of Darth Revan, Mitth'raw'nuruodo and Wilhuff Tarkin. Two of the more monolithic battleminds of the Imperial school of doctrine. Promotions had been delivered via transmission, never with fanfare and revelry. His advancement from Major General to a full fledged General only coming from the strategic demands of the Sith Empire in the wake of initating a conflict which would inevitably evolve into full scale war with the Silver Jedi.

The sight of Ryv taking up the scalpel did little to draw the alarm of the General. Though in this moment Ryv might've very well been able to try for a desperate attempt at ending his life, potentially saving hundreds of other Jedi and thousands of Republic, Alliance and Silver Jedi soldiers collectively from the ruin Tavlar's command and his army brought unto the battlefield. Even if Ryv mustered every fiber in his being, in this moment he would be far too weak to do anything to Irveric and thus he held the Kiffar in no regard as a threat.

"It is most appreciated that you spared them, Kiffar. Though I'm sure the core worlds paint a picture of rampaging hellspawn riding out on a depraved crusade to shred their way of life - it is simply not so. Each and every one of them all...they're mortal men and women just as I am. Born from the rich golden fields of Dantooine or the underlevels of Kaas they each can tell a story their own. I've spent my entire adult life serving with them. Made true comrades here, fought with them - earned their mutual trust only to see a saber cut them down right in two or a flechette round dig into their throat as they desperately clawed for air...it may seem an easier path for me to defect. To find myself among the ranks of the Alliance or some other but I have an obligation to them. If I'm not there to lead them, someone who truly values them then another who does not will be they an aristocratic glad hand with a rotten agenda or a demented Sith who regard them more as automatons than living and breathing men and women." Irveric admitted coldly. It was odd that he found himself far more at ease confiding himself in Jedi than in any of the Sith. Though the 'Jedi' were certainly his enemy - the Sith rarely regarded themselves any differently. The Jedi at the very least sought to ease and help where as the Sith listened for whispers with only the desire of power in mind.

"You're wise beyond your years, Jedi. Sane minds rarely prevail in the galaxy however. The 'blessing' of the Force so arbitrarily gifted means many can simply study its secrets and forsake all of what makes one a person at all. To love, to lose...these people know little outside of their cults - outside of their constant training and honing of their gifts. Jedi and Sith both predominantly value what gives them power and little else. They rarely breath life into anything else." Irveric states.

Ryv Ryv
 
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Ryv

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"Hmmm," Ryv set the scalpel down and moved away from the tools. His fingers brushed against the metallic incisors that nearly pierced his flesh and injected whatever horrid contents the demented Sith Lord had in store for him. The general's idealogy mirrored the fierce tool. Tavlar, much like each needle, sought to poke holes through others and embed whatever each held in turn. The machine may have been far more merciful than the general. Emotion as powerful as any Sith Lord's burned within him, driving him on a one way trip to a bloody, sudden end. A part of Ryv yearned to pull the man off his path, bring him to a cause better than the imperial machine, but it likely prove fruitless.

"Without a doubt," he said in response to the general's words. "I wish I could say the Republic, Alliance, or Silver Jedi Order saw you as more than a faceless enemy. More men would live and more folks heading home to their family on both sides. Its an ideal state, but what can the groups who stand against the Sith do? Look at Kintan, Tython, Coruscant, Mandalore. Tens of thousands of displaced refugees, a barren and burning countryside, a leveled city, and widespread genocide," Ryv allowed his gaze to settle on Tavlar's once more. "How can any force fight against such primal evil? If the soldiers do not shoot to kill, how will they go home? If the Jedi do not put a threat to their people and forces down, who will protect the individual soldier? Now, I'm not saying any of this shit is right, because it's not, but, no one can fight back against the Sith-Imperial war machine if they pull their punches. It's not the Jedi or any other group's fault your men die. Its the fault of those few you all allow to stand atop the obsidian pyramid. With a mind like yours, your people can fight back, the Jedi order willing to lay down their lives at your side."

Ryv moved back to the table and slowly sat down, visibly exhausted from the exertion of just stretching his legs after hours under the Sith's attention. "Consider this Jedi propaganda if you like, but I'm just a dude before I'm a Jedi. I want everyone to go home alive. I don't even care if people use the dark side of the force or whatever. Its literally just space magic that reflects your emotion. If you aren't killing folks for the fun of it, I don't care," the kiffar seemed entirely disinterested in the more theological side of the order. "Its people like that Sith that need to die, good general. Not your people, not your men, not you."


 
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The Jedi's rhetoric was reassuring to say the least. All the more - Irveric was content to let him speak his mind. These were moments any military mind need cherish. There was nothing more vital to advancing one's potential as a tactician than learning the thought patterns and beliefs of the enemy, as much as Irveric didn't really seem to regard Ryv as one. Stripped down of any political affiliations or creeds it would take a great slight for him to justify doing harm on the Kiffar.

Were the General the very same drive-yard technician ripping cigarra and drinking his woes away on Ord Thoden that was conscripted into the ranks of the Sith Empire the two might've very well have been good friends. Alas - this was what the winds of fate brought for the two of them.

What Ryv proposed all but drew a rare smile across the General's lips. He had been proposing all which Irveric aimed for to begin with. It seemed each and every interaction, ever event within his life drove him closer to aligning himself with his truest destiny. To realize what he must do, that he was not deemed for a life of servitude to a rotting, tyrant crown.

"You do not speak for the creed you follow, that much is true, Ryv." Irveric said, addressing him by his name.

"It is war. Death is as much as a reality of it as anything else. You likely know that as well as I do. I wasn't so much different than you when I graduated from the academy and shipped off to put down an insurgency on some backwater world. I grew up tending to crop fields on Dantooine, welding hull plates on Ord Thoden. You think I had ever cared to be a soldier? A man at the head of a host of several million who all look to me to lead them. They rely on me to get them home above all else. I can not sleep so peacefully at night without seeing their faces peering back at me in the night, the faces of those I failed to get through it all. To die...for this?" Irveric says, motioning about the room with his crimson durasteel cybernetic arm.

"No - I will not even question defection if only because it means I am abandoning them. My men, the Empire...they don't deserve any of this. This sick man will topple...it is due its course." Irveric says, his words dipped in shades of implication.

"You seem to have a more even keel than even the masters of your creed, Ryv. I see markings on your body that don't spell a young indoctrination like so many of the others had faced. Perhaps that is why, you lived among mortals for long enough to peer beyond the veil unto what is real." Irveric remarks in admiration.

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"You know, man, you might be right," Ryv said softly, considering both the general's implications and the truth behind his final statement. The scars of drug abuse, backstreet brawls, and other marks of his past life decorated his body. The worldly of the galaxy could see the truth behind each marking, of that the kiffar was sure. He usually kept a jacket and long-sleeved article of some kind to cover it up from others in the order, given the shame he felt in it all. "Perhaps I am a fool for hiding who I once was, good general," a hand traced one of the first scars received during his time with the khaleesh Sith. "I fear rejection by my peers for past sins, yet you look upon them and mark me a man, no different from yourself," Ryv said while forcing himself to his feet once more.

He limped across the room until he stood a mere three feet from the soon-to-be Lord General, determined gaze locked on the grim visage of Tavlar. "I can't fault you for wanting to stand beside your men. When I ran through Kintan, searching for the innocents caught in the cross-fire, I couldn't leave 'em either. I don't think it's cause I'm a Jedi or anything like that. I chose to stay because others already abandoned them. Death is a part of war; I just wish it didn't have to be. I want there to be peace, so no one else has to die fighting a conflict between the likes of Jedi nobility and Sith sycophants. I guess that means I want to eliminate free will, though, huh?" the kiffar grinned up at the human.

"The weight of responsibility is crushing," Ryv said as he'd limp over to the wall, leaning against it for support. "I imagine being a general is like being a Jedi. People want to follow you, trust you, and believe in you. It hurts letting them down," his head drooped a bit, eyes downcast as the memories of a small child crushed before his very eyes surfaced in his mind. "In the order, I'm a nobody. I'm a padawan leagues behind everyone else. A dumb kid trying to play catch up, I guess, but there's a girl back home who believes in me. She relies on me to be not only a good Jedi, but to be a good friend and a decent partner. She's all I could think about since I've been here—getting home to her, being able just to see her smile and run my hand through her hair once more. I think out of everyone; it hurts most to know I've let her down," his words retained the fire behind them, though the kiffar openly struggled with all this in mind. "What about you, general? Is there someone you don't want to let down above all else? Someone, you'd sacrifice everything for?"

 
"Your rank among the Jedi means nothing to me. Experience...merit, it all means far more than any title they can give you or anyone else for that matter." Irveric iterated. Beneath his seemingly easy going demeanor, Ryv showed shades of humanity, his motives not that of blind adherence to code or righteous dogma rather to a desire to do right by others and himself.

"I had heard Jedi were not supposed to have such relationships but I also know well that many do not adhere to that component either. I suppose it is easy for one to justify simply doing good by others, but not to impose such penance on themselves." Irveric remarked in his own curiosity and soon enough, Ryv inquired of Tavlar's own involvement with similar relations.

"...I do." He admitted, as far as he could remember, for the first time.

"She's one of my subordinates - we met when she was green about a decade ago, during an anti-insurgency operation on Folende. She was leftenant put under my command fresh from the academy. She was injured, badly. Still marks her to this day, the burns and scars...she was different for sometime, agitated at herself more than anyone else. I brought her back from the edge and since then we've...had some sort've relation you could call it. No one within the military knows about it...love? I don't know, I don't think so but...comfort? Certainly..." He admitted. Another layer to which the two could relate to one another.

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Ryv slid down the wall, pulling his knees against his chest as Tavlar spoke. During the brief conversation, Ryv shifted back and forth through the room, exercising what little freedom he had in the encounter. The cell he now called home was small, and the yard, while larger in comparison, housed dozens of Mandalorians out to get the young Jedi. Even though the room they both inhabited didn't quite equal the size of the yard, the new environment at least provided him an opportunity to explore. More importantly, it offered him the chance to find something that could aid his escape. With the general's entrance and display over his men, the instruments of Ryv's torture remained out in the open.

The general's following words surprised the Jedi once again. The propaganda and rhetoric on the enemies of the free galaxy eliminated the idea that these people lived normal lives.

"A lot of the uh- older traditions, I guess, were against attachment for the Jedi. It was sorta believed strong emotion led to the dark side for a long time," Ryv shrugged and once more got back to his feet, beginning to pace elsewhere. "I think in some cases, that proved right. I dunno about the orders around the galaxy nowadays, but lots of folks have something they're willing to fight for. Partners, friends, pets, you name it," he moved over to a transparisteel pane, likely used to observe from a safer location. "I'm a bit surprised you've got something going on for yourself, general. I guess I shouldn't be, considering you're a normal guy too. Maybe a bit jaded, but pretty much average."

Comfort or love? What drove him to remain around Auteme at first? He certainly felt comfortable around her, but there was something more there it felt like.

"I think comfort is the basis that breeds love, man. I'm sure if you take some time to break away from the warfare and be with her, you'll probably realize that."

 
"Believe me were it not sheer chance that I happened upon her I likely wouldn't have anything going on." Irveric remarked with a faint laugh as he crossed his arms over his chest, the servos of his cybernetic limb hissing with the slight movement.

"Perhaps you're right...however we're both confined to this horrible machine. Time is not my ally in service to this Empire. It wasn't all too long ago that I had my limb replaced at all and here I am ahead of the occupation force of the Empire's most volatile territory. I've barely felt comfort in these twenty years I've done this...afterall its difficult to rest knowing people under your command are killed in droves if you aren't there to lead them. It is a horrid, wretched feeling. I'd certainly care to get away from this all, spend time with her in comfort but I am duty bound. Not in service to the Sith but to this Empire as a whole. " Tavlar spoke -- ever stoically but with words carrying a great degree of purpose.

"Perhaps when my 'destiny' has been seen through I can live out my days in isolation, peace. Until then it will be a bloody struggle to see through what shall be done." Irveric admitted, uncrossing his arms as he peered around the room once more. Were it all truly up to him he likely would've unsealed all these cells, let the Jedi flee back to Peace and the Mandalorians set off to reclaim their homeland. But none of this was up to him at all.

"I will not be a man who dies in service to the Sith, Jedi. I'll not be doing good by anyone to let this all continue any longer. Not by the Empire, not by the Galaxy...not by her. I will see to it that justice be done." Tavlar admitted.

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Ryv

Paragon of Hope
Character
"You know, it's kinda crazy to think of all the people I've met, you may be the most driven to take down the Sith," Ryv stepped away from the one-way glass and moved to take a seat for the final time while in the general's company. "A lot of us back home have been wrong by their brotherhood. My master Cedric and best pal, Maynard, are a couple more examples. We all want the same thing, I think, but we just don't say it out loud. It's not really Jedi-like to want to put them all to the blade and kick their shit in until they beg for mercy," his eyes dropped to the floor, his thoughts slipping to his late father. Would the padawan's former hero consider the path his son chose a worthy one?

Ryv looked back up at Tavlar, looking into the man's eyes as if to ask a question. Before the words could escape the kiffar's lips, the world shifted. He could feel his conscious slipping through reality, falling through some strange ethereal landscape. The torture room he'd become so familiar with, replaced by a hellish landscape. As he searched for someone to call out to, he took in the grisly scene.

Wherever Ryv now stood, rubble and destruction surrounded him for miles. Smoke rose heavenward from massive funeral pyres, each hundreds of bodies tall. In some places, darkly garbed soldiers pulled corpses towards the fires, while elsewhere, scavengers searched them. His thoughts immediately went to Kintan, the young Jedi reminded of the horrors he witnessed on the Sith-Jedi border world, but this dwarfed the battle there. He began walking towards one of the scavengers across the unsteady ground. Before he could make it to the stranger, he felt his foot catch something, and he tumbled to the ground. As he crashed into the debris, his hands reached out for some form of leverage. He felt his fingers close around a rounded object as he rolled onto his back and sat up. Lifting it closer to examine it, he choked back a scream and threw it away. His attention immediately shifted to the uneven ground; terror welling up within him as he realized it wasn't the rubble of homes or shops that littered the streets.

Cracked bone, seared from the machines of war, stained the planet's surface. Ryv stumbled up to his feet and began running in a random direction, fighting to look down at the sea of dead bodies crumbling away to dust at his feet. He closed his eyes, refusing to even glimpse at the horrors all around him before immediately slamming into someone. His eyes shot open as he fell back, only to feel a vice-like grip clamp around his throat. Unnatural strength lifted the struggling Jedi off his feet while crimson eyes full of hate bore into Ryv's very being.

"A pity," the creature wheezed out, it's grip growing tighter around the padawan's throat. Ryv could feel the twisted and corrupt powers of the dark side swelling around them both, piercing into his soul. The masked stranger tilted their head to the side, somewhat perplexed. "Strange... you do not belong here, boy. Be away," the monstrosity threw Ryv away with a single flick of its wrist.

Before Ryv connected to the ground, he was falling once more. The devastated landscape replaced by familiar corridors, littered with dead Jedi and dismantled guardians. He hit the floor of Peace with a thud, groaning out in pain.

"Dude, what is eve-" Ryv's question ended before he could ask it as a feminine voice screamed out from deeper in the station. "A-Auteme? Auteme?!" he pushed himself up and charged off down the halls. Smoke assailed him as he reached the corridor, housing the padawan's room. He stumbled through the hot-smoke, waving it away from his mouth and shielding his eyes as he managed to reach the entrance finally. "Auteme? Where are you?!" he called out to her as he entered, stopping in the doorway at the sight of his closest friend held aloft in the grip of an armored man. Two tendrils wormed their way up her nasal passages, piercing deep into her brain. Her struggling died away, form going limp before being tossed aside. Ryv screamed and leaped towards her killer, his body colliding hard with something cold.

The kiffar's eyes shot open suddenly, his face now acquainted with the cold floor of the Beast. He pushed himself up after having fallen from the table. Mere seconds had passed, though he felt exhausted and shaken by whatever it is he'd just seen. His gaze shifted back to the general's, confusion in his amber eyes.

"W-What happened?"


 
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"To the Galactic Core, the Sith are some ethereal entity only seen in brief glimpses on the field of battle...to me, they're far too much a harsh reality." He said flatly. To the Jedi, The Alliance and the Republic...the Sith were merely the enemy. To Tavlar the Sith were the enemy, his peers and his overlords all at once. It was one thing to attempt an easy rest while your enemy rampaged worlds you'd only ever seen on a starmap. It was another thing enitrely to try and rest easy while they controlled every facet of his existence.

When the Kiffar tumbled Tavlar was quick to crouch down to appraise whatever inflicted this, though exhaustion, stress and undernourishment would be his sole assumption. As soon as Ryv faced the General once more a familiar yet far more foreboding visage stared back at him. Embedded within the chaos his mind manifested a split moment before Tavlar appeared in a far more gruesome vision. Half of his mortal gaze snuffed shut with an eyepatch just under a nigh demonic, protruding black metallic 'horn' which jutted from his skull, the lone eye staring back at him with an empty thousand yard stare before a loud kinetic shot pierced Ryv's senses once more -- ringing his ears instantly. Behind the nightmarish abherration of the General, A tall man in ebon armor discharging a blast through the temple of a Jedi pilot crawling and raking his fingers through ashen soil from the nearly unrecognizable charred wreckage of an X-Wing. Legs missing with blood pooling around him, perhaps a reprieve even if he left the world with a bloodcurdling cry for mercy. For Ryv.

Snapping back to reality -- the present gaze of the General looked over him.

"I'm not sure - you were speaking and then you collapsed. You're malnourished, exhausted. You need food, water, rest..." Tavlar said, all but lifting Ryv off the ground himself. It was difficult for him to regard the Jedi as less than one of his own soldiers who he would've sacrificed everything to protect. Irveric, Ryv, all of the Jedi on Peace and all of the troopers under Tavlar's command were all but slaves to the horrid exchange of darkness and light that enslaved the galaxy.

"Cmon.-" Tavlar said, standing the Padawan up he wrapped one of the Kiffar's arms around his own shoulders, peering over the curious tattooing for a moment before he began to make way to the sealed blast door which isolated the horrors taking place in here from anyone else. The blast door opened only for two guards flanking the entrance way to peer back in curiousity and alarm before falling back at attention once they saw the Officer grey of the General emerge. Eventually the two had entered Ryv's cell block once more to curious gazes and whispers from the far more imposing Mandalorian inmates - their whispered tone all but hushed as soon as the General passed them by before soon enough he would arrive at Ryv's cell, letting his support off the Kiffar as he brought him to the rigid cot in the cell.

"Water and nutrients for the boy - he won't be around much longer like that..." Irveric said, turning to acknowledge a passing officer.

"General -- if I may what good is the Jedi living? He's spent, we've gotten the value we can from h-" The Prison Officer was hushed as soon as Tavlar's gaze met his, only to acknowledge him with a nod any further.

Turning back to Ryv he arched a brow -- he could sense the Jedi had something to say once more before he collapsed.

"Was there anything else you had to say?" He inquired outright.

Ryv Ryv
 
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Major Faction

Ryv

Paragon of Hope
Character
Each of the General's words went entirely unheard by Ryv, his mind elsewhere, traveling through the force to view some horrid future. When he finally came back to, he peered up at Tavlar, eyes widening in shock. Gone was the esteemed general, replaced instead by a devilish counterpart. Ryv's amber gaze searched the stranger's face for signs of familiarity. Behind the thick coat of blood and grime, the kiffar could make out the features of the accomplished general. However, great pain assailed him, driving him along the edges of madness. The singular horn jutting from his skull drew the attention of Ryv next, so much so he shakily reached up as if to take it and tear it free from the imperial's forehead. When Ryv's hand passed through nothing, he pulled it back, staring blankly at where it was only seconds before.

"That's pretty weird, not gonna lie to you, general," Ryv uttered as he found himself on his feet once more. "That makes sense, though. Your mind plays tricks on you when you haven't had much in the way of food, huh?" he chuckled weakly, his arm slung over Tavlar's shoulder. With the pain still fresh in both body and mind, Ryv offered no argument. The mercy afforded him by someone of such high-standing, in prison no less, would not be denied. A proper meal and drink would give him the necessary strength to push through the next day. He could not show weakness in the Beast. The Mandalorian prisoners and imperial guards alike would latch onto it, use it as a weapon, and beat him until he slumped into an eternal rest. He couldn't die here; he had to get home, to Auteme, and the rest of the order.

Once Ryv and Tavlar reached the prisoner's cell, he took a seat on the stiff cot he'd called a bed for months. It wasn't pretty, but in comparison to the night prior, it felt like fleece on his battered skin. The momentary comfort almost made him miss the second offer of kindness provided by the general. Ryv knew accepting such kindness would rouse discontent among the surrounding prisoners, likely marking him as a target for even more hazing. It just didn't matter anymore; he could barely go on struggling through the day to day, after such harsh an evening with the senile Sith Lord.

"I appreciate your kindness, general. I won't forget it," Ryv nodded to the imposing warrior, the corner of the kiffar's lip turned up in a faint smile. "If you ever find yourself in the core needing help, just give me a ring. I shouldn't be here much longer," he spoke each word with confidence, surprising given his current state. He stretched his legs out before him, looking to the cot that once housed his cellmate, Garr. What would the young foundling of done in his shoes? He showed the Jedi far more kindness than many in the galaxy. The strange vision still plagued his mind, seemingly warning Ryv of something or someone, yet all he could think about was the officer's agony in whatever horrific moment the padawan had seen.

"Uh, general, I uh-" Ryv looked back up at Tavlar's question. "Wherever they put you next, just be careful. The galaxy would be worse off without you."

 
"I don't doubt it. Let's hope for both our sake that's not needed." Irveric says in regard to being sheltered in the Galactic Core by the Jedi. Irveric wasn't all too sure himself he could delve into Core space or really any plot of land not claimed by the Sith or no one at all. He might not have been the biggest brand of evil in the Galaxy but he'd certainly not be welcomed with open arms by the Alliance nor Republic. Even if he might've one of the lesser evils among Sith Imperial high command he was still one of them regardless. He'd put countless civilians and opposing soldiers beneath bloodied earth. There was little curing the injustice in elaborating the nuance of his career to any of them.

Turning to leave he passed a prison worker who laid down a tray holding a metal cannister of water and another of nutrient. To Ryv's ode of good health to the General he turned back with an arched brow.

"I've done just well enough...I'd hope not see you in another place like this again, Ryv. I'm sure enough you'll get out..." Tavlar said, nodding once to the Kiffar before soon enough the blast-door sealed the Jedi into his isolation once more. Though the two might've come across swathes of common ground between the two of them -- it was unlikely they'd greet one another as friends again lest the winds of fate sailed another direction.


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