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Over the past months, the inquiry into the New Jedi Order has been regaled with stories of Dark Side corruption, war crimes and assassinations of Senators. In light of failings in the current oversight and accountability mechanisms, the Senate inquiry has released its interim report and recommended that the New Jedi Order be confined to their temple on Coruscant until a full investigation can be completed.
Chancellor Adhira Chandra
, herself a former Jedi and facing a vote of no confidence should she ignore the report, begrudgingly agrees to the recommendation. The New Jedi Order, appreciating the volatility of the situation, have largely complied with the mandate out of respect for the democratic process.
The news of the interim report is met with predictable unrest. Opposing crowds march on both the Senate Rotunda and the Jedi Temple, each blaming the occupants of these hallowed buildings of corruption. Security forces scramble to calm the situation, unaware that agent provocateurs from the New Sith Order are stirring up dissent in preparation for their attack on Coruscant.
Join the Senators or New Jedi Order as they hunker down and reflect on their decisions, or take to the streets to make your displeasure known.
Objective I: Denouncement
Safe within the Senate Rotunda, the elected representatives of the Alliance worlds find their house divided. While terrible events transpired during the Stygian Campaign, Jedi loyalists see the final outcome - the defeat of the Sith Empire - as justifying the means. Their colleagues in favour of the inquiry’s interim report apply a stricter view on how the Jedi should behave. Meet with your fellow Senators, be their allies or opponents, and debate the outcomes of the Jedi incarceration.
Confined to the Jedi Temple, the NJO gathers to examine the path which led to this surprise outcome and seek to understand if outside forces are at play. Knowing they can’t openly defy the Senate inquiry without risking further condemnation, the Jedi debate how they can continue to defend the Alliance they swore to protect, even if it appears to have turned its back on them.
Eboi sat on his Repulsorpod listening to the rumblings of his fellow senators, the war was over. It was a war that he was against, the Chancellor has overstepped her boundaries and bought the war towards the Sith for no reason. Millions of people died in the war and trillions wasted when it could've been spent on the people. Sure the Galactic Alliance won, sure the Sith are no more but with the recent revelations of the war crimes that the Jedi have committed, it was rather distressing. The Jedi who stood for peace and justice the arm of the Galactic Alliance were massacring civilians and other atrocities. It only fueled Eboi's distrust for the Chancellor and the Jedi, was this war really for peace and hope or was it for the Chancellor who was a former Jedi to finish what her organization has started? She has placed her ideology over helping the people of the Alliance, do people really care for the Sith Empire? How could they when a chunk of them can't even find a decent job?
The Senator pressed a few buttons, and his Repulsorpod detached from the docking place. Eboi wanted to set the tone of the discussion, but mostly wanted to vent his frustrations. "Honorable senators," Eboi said his pod heading towards the middle of the Senate Chamber. "My name Senator Eboi Seth and I represent the planet Chandrillia. For the past couple meetings we have deliberated over the alleged crimes that the New Jedi Order has committed during the war against the Sith while also committing acts of treason such as defection. While we have won the war against the Sith I question whether it was a victory for the Galactic Alliance or for the Jedi? Let's not forget the disastrous defeats during the first few months of this campaign."
Eboi leaned against his pod. "As we continue the investigation, I must ask of you to question the motives of the Chancellor and the New Jedi Order." he said. "The lack of accountability by the Jedi as they become the very thing that they swore to destroy. I do not like the Sith in fact close friends of mine have been killed by Sith Lords, however I've been against going to war for the Sith Empire at that time did not harm us and that we have many things that we need to take care of such as the increase in homelessness, crime, and on going corruption. Why should the people be dragged into another Sith-Jedi war? Remember all the times that the people have suffered because the Sith and the Jedi clashed. Take the destruction of Taris during the Jedi Civil War. Billions perished over the squabble between the Sith and the Jedi. I ask the Chancellor how many people today have to suffer and die while the Jedi fight their never ending war?"
The Senator frowned. "If you ask me I'm tired of Jedi and Sith," he said. "Especially in light of these revelations of the crimes they have committed in the process. The people ask for food, a living wage, and an end to crime but what do we get? Another war? Fellow Senators I ask you during questioning think about the motives of the New Jedi Order and especially the Chancellor's past as a Jedi. A Jedi being active in politics sets up a dangerous precedence as it gives the Order more power than they should have. They serve the Senate not themselves."
Never before had a door looked so tempting. As Aeris sat on the stairs leading further into the temple she couldn’t help but be reminded of that talk she had with Dagon in light of the crimes they were now all collectively under house arrest for and how shaken her faith in the New Jedi Order had been. In many ways she knew this was the justice they deserved, because what they had done was by all accounts atrocious. For what little it helped her, at the very least, Aeris was glad to understand that this wasn't aimed at her specifically. She had remained true to her idea of what a Jedi was meant to be, a list that generally did not have bullet points such as committing war crimes for the 'greater good'. Despite all that was going on there was technically nothing that would stop her if she decided to simply shed this one particular cloak that she had draped over her shoulders. At least nothing more than public perception.
And yet for as enticing as the thought of leaving would have been she felt compelled to at the very least try to stick this one out. She had friends here, Kai, and a great responsibility that she took immense satisfaction in with the library which wasn't to mention Saan'an, her apprentice. The kid was her first apprentice and she wasn't exactly keen on letting that go just yet. Even if it meant he was now an associate to Kaigan Fossk, or as the Circle knew him — Darth Solipsis.
Gods, the secrecy killed her inside. How would she even find a way to break that to him? Or the time to even do so.
Because this whole thing was a mess, and undoubtedly one of Solipsis' doing. She couldn't quite put a sticker on it, but something within the force told her that this was how he would get them all lined up for the shot, stuck in a barrel and blown up. If his strike came now it would be able to take out many of them without any real repercussion to his image if he played his cards right.
Yes, for the seemingly billionth time in the last twenty years, people were starting to see the Jedi in a negative light again. Proving once more that these ties that bound the New Jedi Order to the Alliance was just as fragile as the ones forged between the Alliance that stood before it, and the Republic before that. Perhaps worst of all this was that despite her disdain for the situation her order had found itself in, Aeris still agreed with parts of the Senate. They weren't wrong in having their opinions such as they were as even she herself wondered why the Jedi was so intricately intertwined with this government.
Why did they dilute the Jedi faith into something so partial? Were they not the guardians of all life? What made Alliance citizens more valuable than those under the Confederacy or even the Eternal Empire? The Jedi were meant to be symbols and beacons, were they not? Weren't they meant to lead by example? Was there not more to gain by acting as the inspiration for something as opposed to the brush that were used when painting something? Why did they always insist on rising and falling with a democracy that in the end always threw them overboard when it was convenient?
The questions were endless, but that would hardly matter for whatever was going to happen in the coming days. Because Aeris doubted that she was alone in her fears. The coming days were all going to pave the way for a massacre, a trip down a one-way road in which the Jedi would have to stand up to a Sith-sized steamroller if their contingencies didn't hold up.
She feared the worst, but kept a hope up for the best. Neither felt particularly likely just yet.
THE _WARDEN OBJECTIVE II: INCARCERATION CORUSCANT | JEDI TEMPLE | MEDITATION SPHERE To fight ignorance through knowledge;
To act as the guardians of life;
To bring light to the darkness;
To serve others, rather than rule;
To always seek betterment;
To be the light in the dark
The temple had never been so full. Padawans, knights, masters all collected within its grandiose walls. They occupied the library, courtyard, hallways, training rooms.
But it was not for the right reasons.
Supposed to be a beacon of safety, hope, sanctuary, promise, the temple had been relegated to a structure of temporary holding and punishment. The combination of reality and purpose was cloudy and obfuscating the true intentions of the Temple. Jedi could still learn, they could still enjoy the facilities as they always had, but there was something intangibly frustrating about being told to go somewhere and stay.
In a show of good faith, to set the example to trust the process of their allies –– he'd left Prosperity to join those detained on Coruscant. His meditation centre was far more powerful aboard the Jedi ship, but he was glad he was on the ground alongside those that were going through the same rolling emotions as he initially had. Some were just a little more stuck on the first phase than he had been.
He could feel the agitation growing, the discomfort and anxiety in the questions from those within their shared walls.
While in his meditative state, Asmundr would breathe in questions, riddled with unease: How long is this for?
What are appropriate oversights?
Are we in trouble? Is the Senate going to punish us?
And exhale out defensive reactions: I didn't do anything wrong! Why do I have to be confined because of others?
Listening and feeling the mounting stress of others was only part of his concern. Ever since the establishment of The Circle of Seers, the notion of unforeseen circumstances and threats stalked the perimeters of his mind.
Something, somehow, murmured that there was a connection. Something wider, something larger than the secretive news the council had uncovered.
But solutions evaded him, and thus he focused on exuding a harmonic influence to all those within The Temple to reassure them, keep them calm, focused. All the while, saturating himself in the benevolent calm Ashla offered.
FORCE HARMONY IS IN EFFECT FOR ALL JEDI WITHIN THE TEMPLE
THE SENATOR OF TEPASI
OBJECTIVE I: DENOUNCEMENT
CORUSCANT || SENATE BUILDING || GRAND CONVOCATION CHAMBER
A waste of resources.
Honestly, she was shocked an Aargaun could sustain this level of spending without a return on their investment. The hours the senate had invested personally into the affairs of years ago and trying to connect them to the accusations of the present was appalling. And all they could come up with, after that investment of travel, time, and effort was a detainment strategy?
"So we've made it this far." Brama started, tenting her age-worn fingertips against one another on the podium. Her tone was controlled but thinly lined with traces of now-you've-done-it tightness.
"What comes next?
We find out the Jedi are innocent, and we stuck our noses in business they didn't belong in? What measures have we in place when the public decides to scrutinize The Jedi, latching on to the rhetoric that they're an unhinged bunch of hyper-religious murderous renegades?"
Brama was furious. The Jedi were being patient with the Alliance's government, outstandingly so. They'd agreed to confine themselves to make themselves appear smaller, controllable, non-threatening, apologetic.
The treatment of the New Jedi Order was atrocious. It felt wrong. The Jedi were mystical beings, frightening in their own way and not a group she wanted to be at odds with. She'd seen what they'd done to The Sith; witnessed their power and been on the right side, the side that had the power to harness the Jedi because they were working together.
What did the other side look like? Was The Senate prepared?
She leaned back, feeling a knot in her chest flare up at the same time as the heat grew in her cheeks. To calm herself, she rest a palm against Boyce's head. He gave a welcoming snort.
"Or we find out we want to level accusations. What does it look like when we decree The Jedi are no longer our allies?
Tepasi yields the floor."And eagerly seeks some insight.
Kai paced the dorm floor, fidgeting. After several laps going from either end of the room, he heard a soft chime and suddenly changed course, hurrying over to his desk. He grabbed his datapad, checked the notifications, hoping to see the name Damsy Callat on the screen...
... false alarm.
"Are you okay?"
Kai looked up. Another Padawan, a Rodian, was sitting on his bed in a meditative position. In fact, most everyone Kai had seen in the Temple ever since the confinement began had appeared frustratingly serene and unbothered by it all, content to meditate and wait for the storm to blow over. Or maybe that was just Kai's limited perception of his fellow Jedi.
Well, he'd know what was going on in their heads soon enough. Since he couldn't leave the Temple to feed, he'd have to start snagging people's thoughts here and there to sustain himself...
<I'm fine,> Kai said, and resumed his pacing - only to halt, glancing back at the concerned Rodian. He was drawing attention to himself with his fretting. Something was going on here, something that was making everyone seem unusually calm in the face of their situation. Whatever it was, it wasn't affecting Kai. Probably something to do with the Light Side.
The amulet he wore disguised his true nature, hiding it from others in the Force, but it didn't change what he was. A Sithspawn wasn't going to benefit from Force harmony, even if he was a Sithspawn who wanted to be a Jedi. Wanting to be good is not the same as being good, and Kai wasn't exactly in a state of grace.
<I'm just worried about a friend of mine,> Kai said, seeking to explain away his behavior. <She hasn't responded to my messages.>
"Well, I'm sure she'll wind up here eventually," the Rodian said. "All the Jedi are supposed to come here."
Kai pursed his lips. He would sense it if Damsy arrived. But if she never showed, did that mean something had happened to her? Or did it mean she no longer considered herself a Jedi?
Some may have questioned how the Black Mynock had found the tunnels. They were ancient, older than the very Temple that stood atop it. Many rooms were buried down there, some caved in, others free of any obstacle, and even leading out into the under levels of Coruscant. Miles long they were, with no protection, save for the silent stalkers of the night and the labyrinthine maze one had to navigate.
It took an experienced and deft athlete to traverse the painstakingly decrepit trails. After his mind shifted, he spent more time down here, than above in the Temple. He had time to plot out a rough past, whether it was through sheer luck his recklessness hadn't gotten him killed, or the will of the Force, the Mynock had found his hideout.
After returning from Korriban, they made it back to the Jedi Temple. Once they had touched down, Dagon seemed out of sorts. The Senators present didn't seem to want to listen to his appeal, no second guessing, just going about their business as if their decision and plan of action was already decided.
It wasn't right.
And from what he could tell, Dagon agreed.
The transmission he sent ended, and Aelys approached.
"You think it's a good idea to call all Jedi here?" A question he wouldn't have thought he'd ask. As headstrong as he was, he should've been for it. "The Senate could take it wrong." And have all the ammunition they'd need to do whatever they wanted. If what Dagon had suggested was true, then if there really were Sith in the Senate...
Underground. Here where water still dripped lazily from broken sewer pipes, where flaps of mynock wings echoed across the abandoned hallways as they departed after draining the last bit of derelict power source, where cobwebs were left to thicken to replace the faded plaster. Here where Aelys, Ryv, and Dagon had accidentally met for the first time a decade ago; chasing Mad Imp - an Azrael Asylum escapee - whose plot was to blow the Temple up into the sky.
Then, hope and innocence had still shone brightly in their eyes illuminating the darkest edges of the temple's abandoned under levels.
Now, Ryv was gone. They had marched as heroes to the Stygian ending a threat others had for so long shut their eyes to, only to return as the villains of the story. Persecuted by those who had showered themselves in golden laurels made of the New Jedi's blood.
"You think it's a good idea to call all Jedi here?" A question he wouldn't have thought he'd ask. As headstrong as he was, he should've been for it. "The Senate could take it wrong." And have all the ammunition they'd need to do whatever they wanted. If what Dagon had suggested was true, then if there really were Sith in the Senate...
"I know." replied Dagon after a long drawn sigh of exhaustion, shutting his eyes for a moment. The fatigue and anxiety did not bulge. "But it's the best shot we've got if things go really bad." he explained turning his eyes back to the armored figure of the Black Mynock, "I can't shake off this ominous feeling in the Force and I've never been one too good with Sense." can't imagine what Asmundr Varobalder
feels. Mentor and apprentice once, both the Warden and the raven-haired Jedi were complete polar opposites.
"It's a contingency, A. The Senate isn't stupid, they won't fire the first shot - it's gonna paint them bad." and some wicked part of me hopes they do. Clear our wrongly soiled names for us. He shook his head - enough Jedi blood had been spilled.
Another sigh and he clenched his fists, "Why did Auteme
sign off on this?" the question he answered himself, "I get the system's essential but..."
"...sometimes it's not enough." it's why he had never attached himself to the Alliance when it came to crimefighting on Denon. Vigilante justice.
The Black Mynock tugged off the helmet from his head.
Between the both of them, there was not much skill with the Force, he surmised. He knew Dag was a skilled acrobat and great range of motion due to his mobility, but himself? He was raised as a warrior. It was instinct to use the Force in the regard of combat, and on occasion, it was helpful in anticipating the next steps he had to take in a fight. But, here? Where all they could do was sit and wait? His paltry skill in that aspect of the Force was useless.
He sucked in the inside of his cheek, chewing on the inner skin of his mouth. "You think they'll come?" Who else was there besides the Silver Jedi? Ryv knew how he felt about them, but he wasn't here. Still, it was safe to say that anyone that had crowded that Silver Council Chamber on Commenor, knew with how much vehemence he had regarded their 'cousin' Order with. To further illustrate his dislike for them, he said, "I'd never bet on a Silver."
But where he was stubborn and confrontational, Dagon had a friendlier disposition. Besides, they hadn't been in contact for nearly two years. The Kaze Jedi could've made some friends in that time.
An armoured glove planted on Dagon's shoulder, his dark brown orbs scrutinizing his friends features. "You're starting to sound like me," his face cracking into a smile.
It was a tribal setting that he grew up in on Thyrsus. Society was different there, than it was here. Conflict wasn't solved with a judge or through the manipulation of lawyers trying to undermine each other. If there was an issue, it was solved through combat, or by the respective Clan's elders. And if the issue was severe enough to warrant killing, then it'd be considered an 'honour killing' that no one else could interfere in.
Archaic, in some ways, and a potential for a slippery slope without Elders or a Council intervention, but it was how he grew up. It made sense to him. And what Outsiders thought, didn't particularly matter. But here? In the centre of the Galaxy? Sometimes it was hard to come to terms with the rules these governments came up with.
"It's not up to the Senate to punish us... What happened should be handled in house."
He paused, visual confirmation of an idea beginning to form in his mind.
"You think she's in the Temple? Or at the Senate?"
He'd do whatever he could to protect what Ryv built...
Blue flashed against blue. Lightsabers twirled as two Jedi matched blows. A shuffle of feet, a sudden shining exchange. One swung high; the other ducked low. A jump back, followed by a furious thrust. A parry met this, deflecting the attack with a flash. The two opponents separated, changing stances and circling. The calm didn't last. Both dove in to attack, catching in a lock. A hand caught a wrist, pushing one blade out of the way. The final swing stopped a heartbeat from it's target's chest.
Breathing heavy, Leon deactivated his lightsaber and let go of his opponent's wrist. The duelists stepped back, and each gave a nod of respect. They moved away from their designated space as another pair took position. The knight had never seen the sparring halls so full. Frankly, he'd never seen the temple this full.
Some spoke of it. Some avoided the subject. Everyone knew why they were there, but at the same time no one knew why they were there.
What was about to happen?
Leon was forcing himself not to think at all. Between the protests outside, the whispers of something terrible on the horizon, and the general uneasiness Leon had felt the past few days, it wasn't worth it. Instead, he wandered around. If nothing else, the Force would guide him somewhere he was could be useful.
"You think they'll come?" Who else was there besides the Silver Jedi? Ryv knew how he felt about them, but he wasn't here. Still, it was safe to say that anyone that had crowded that Silver Council Chamber on Commenor, knew with how much vehemence he had regarded their 'cousin' Order with. To further illustrate his dislike for them, he said, "I'd never bet on a Silver."
Dagon remained silent on both the question and the remark. There had been tensions between the two Orders in the past and Dagon vividly remembered that day when the New Jedi had gone to the Silver Assembly's Chamber as if it was yesterday; hearing Master Heavenshield's admission to siding with Carnifex for the safety of his homeworld had shattered numerous childhood dreams and fantasies into a thousand fragments. But he endured, didn't let that poison live in his veins. He never was one of politics, all that tit for tat bullchit. When the Knight had marched to Sev Tok, to Nar Kreeta and to Ossus to fend off the Bryn'adul and the Sith, he'd done it for the sake of his code, of doing what's right.
And to this day, he maintained that as his core dogma - doing what's right. Some may find it subjective but if he abandoned those principles, that purpose, what did he have and who was he?
A tired, lopsided smile greeted the Mynock's in return. Somewhere in the background, the ghosts of their previous pasts dashed through the tunnels in the wild pursuit of the Mad Imp. Faces all so young, so gleaming in grins, smiles, and smirks. Each had carried their own burdens then but... they seemed to pale in comparison now. He looked away from the past and back to Aelys - his face was no different than Dagon's, perhaps even carved out more with the signs of battle and combat. Both in their twenties but as if they had been through numerous lifetimes of war.
"I'll take it as a compliment." he casually shrugged at the Mynock's comparison.
Violence oriented around combat was the way he understood the world.
Combat opened a Thyrsian's mind to their opponent's way of thinking, to their soul, like how some believed the eyes were a window. To Thyrsians, combat was the door. A part of him had the mind to venture to the Senate and drop that figurative gauntlet, to challenge those stuck up Senators to a battle to not only better understand them, but to make things right.
But that sort of thing wouldn't work here.
Neither would it work with the supposed 'Shield' of the Jedi.
The question he had posed Kaze had been innocent enough, but the idea in mind was undoubtedly more nefarious. A fact that Dagon was astute in deducing. Not that Aelys had any inkling to hide that being his planned course of action. They were friends. Now, more so than ever before.
"I'm suggesting that the Black Mynock takes the memory rocks."
The friendly demeanour and tone shifted. Not to aggression, but to appeal. He was already moving to collect his helmet. "You know I'm right. Whether she has them on her, or if they're in her office, they're the cause of all this."And I don't know why.Everyone treated them as if they were truth. Was he wrong? How many friends had died when the Sith and their Imperial allies crushed the Alliance before this one? How was everyone so ready to believe accusations, when so many times before their forebears had been infiltrated, tricked and betrayed by those they had thought to be friends.
He needed to see for himself.
How damning could they be?
He found his helmet, and came around to face Dagon. His already sun baked features darkened as he looked across to his friend. "If... If what you've been sensing is right, and if some bad chit happens while we're locked up in here, then how can we- how can the New Jedi trust her to keep their best interests? Yeah, Jedi help however they can and you're calming people down by accepting this mandate, but what if Dag." His gaze leveled. He knew his next words were extreme, but often one had to make a radical example to make others better understand them. "If the Senate is filled with Sith, or - or if Auteme is some double agent, those stones... Are the only justification people need to keep you locked up. And then when it's too late, you're going to be sitting there, dumbfounded and blaming yourself when it wasn't your fault."
Aelys didn't need any further proof than what he had seen. His mentor and friend had taken all the blame onto himself. He had wanted to strive to be like the Sword, to be able to take the faults of others onto himself. That was a leader. It was what he said he could've been. Saw it deep down. He'd make things right instead of letting everything Ryv built crumble over one mistake.
"No matter what, you guys deserve to know what's really keeping you helpless... If it's worth listening, or if you'd be better off disobeying... " Hard eyes stared at Dagon.
"Dag... Auteme and Ryv... They should not have hidden the details from us. From anyone. I'm going to right a wrong."
Aelys raised the helmet up and over his head and slid it down to conceal his features..
A heavy set of black boots thudded against the duracrete staircase as a thick furred cape swayed in the polluted megalopolis’ artificial winds on its way towards the grand entrance of the Jedi Temple. A young woman’s dark locks brushed against the sickly pale skin on her cheeks. For each step that passed her by she began to feel a stronger and stronger purpose flicker behind her amber-green eyes and push against her chest. The message from this ‘Dagon Kaze’ had been pretty damn clear. The Jedi needed her help, and she was not about to turn them down. It was to be an honorable death or a glorious victory, for the alternative did not exist.
As her head peered over the edge she was met by guards who were quick to approach her.
“Halt.” One of them said and slowly approached her. “The Jedi Temple is off-limits until further notice.”
“I am one of them, my master recalled me from a mission in light of the house arrest.” Her voice betrayed her youth. “Now, if you would please let me pass…”
As her eyes glanced up at the guard who stood in contemplation for a moment. She could be a spy, too. But then, if she was a Jedi and he had told her not to undergo house arrest he would surely be fired. But then also, if she was indeed a spy and she would pose a risk to the Jedi he would undoubtedly get fired if he let her in.
Well, he was screwed if he did and screwed if he didnt. She looked the part enough that the man relented with a long exasperated sigh.
“Alright, you may pass.” He grunted as she pushed past him. “You have a—” She wasn’t listening, she had already pushed well beyond them. “Alright, whatever, I guess.”
Eyna pushed into the temple proper and slowly spun around to take it all in. There was so much concrete and metal here, it was nothing like the rooms she had seen on Midvinter. The construction must have taken ages to accomplish.
But the girl’s marvel was cut short by the harsh cough of a nearby woman. She glanced up at her. Blonde hair, green eyes, and a surprisingly warm smile. Average build, average height, all in all just average. No visible muscle definition in what little skin she did show. A diplomat more than a fighter, most likely someone who relied on their power in the force more than actual bruteforce.
“Go for the hands and easier targets. Pain cripples their ability to think straight.”
“Most Consulars are not as used to pain as a guardian is.”
The images flashed before her and reality snapped back to it. Eyna quickly gasped for air as she got herself reacquainted. The flashbacks had become less common but their intensity had ramped up by far more. Whatever it was that her father had wished for her to become he still refused to let it go.
“Are you okay?” The blonde woman asked as she knelt down ever so slightly to reach Eyna’s height.
“Yeah, I was just spooked.” Eyna said and shook herself out of the mood. “I was summoned.”
The blonde woman gazed deep into Eyna’s very soul in search of something. She no doubt felt that spark of dark inside of her that didn’t let go. Or so she thought before this weird woman let her shoulder go and stood up again.
“Of course,” She smiled… Did she always smile this goddamn much? “Who was it that summoned you, and why?”
“Uh,” Eyna raised her brow in surprise. “Dagon Kaze?” She said and held up her pad to show the message. “And because you need help?”
The pad was ripped from Eyna’s hands as the blonde peered over the contents at an alarmingly fast rate. A studied reader? Possibility that initial assessment was too kind. Analysis shifted to target nerds.
“Of course he did.” She sighed and rolled her eyes. “Not your fault, kid. That man either just saved us all or doomed us.”
The pad was handed back.
“My name is Aeris Lashiec.” The blonde woman said as Eyna wrapped her hands around it’s edges. “And you are?”
“Eyna.” Eyna said and contemplated a last name. She let in a deep breath and a long sigh. “Just Eyna.”
If this was the final days before she died, for better or worse, she did not wish to drag Coci’s name down. For all that she had done before Eyna left, she deserved better than that.
“Well, Just-Eyna,” Aeris said and tried to cheer her up. “Welcome to the New Jedi Order. I’ll show you the way to an available room.”
A small patrol of guards passed through the hangar, making sure no people were trying to escape. Ever since the nerfing Senate order, the whole place had gone on lockdown. Who knows how many Jedi were crammed into the Temple right now.
With the ongoing war with the Maw, wouldn't the Alliance want to have their Jedi on the front lines, protecting the innocent people? They were no help locked up in the Temple like the children they were being treated as. And that is why he wouldn't stand for any of it.
Once the patrol had passed, the Knight snuck onward toward his X-Wing. He wasn't planning on heading offworld, becuase according to Dagon Kaze
, something was coming. And he wasn't going to wait around locked inside to find out. There had been enough sitting around in his life, and he was tired of seeing people get hurt.
His heart dropped slightly once up close to the ship. Around one of the landing gear legs was a clamp, connected to a long chain, which was connected to a box. It seemed like the Senate was so paranoid that they grounded all the ships. Looks like this was going to be somewhat harder than he thought.
Pulling out his lightsaber, the Knight tried to turn on the weapon as quietly as possible. Flicking the switch he watched as the bright blue blade emerged, lighting up the area. Quickly, the man cut through the clamp around the gear. What looked like his ticket out of here was soon replaced with a blaring alarm.
"You! Stop where you are, now!"
Looking to the right, the Jedi watched as ten guards ran his direction. Starting to panic, he shut off his lightsaber and opened the hatch to the X-Wing. With a jump into the cockpit the man started to launch the takeoff sequence. Skipping a few steps he slowly lifted the ship off the ground, only to be met with blaster fire. He knew the ship could take some shots, but he wasn't going to stick around to find out the limit.
Punching the throttle forward, the ship rocketed out of the hangar and into the open city. Hopefully he could lose any guards that follow in ships of their own. But now he needed to find a spot to land, and to start figuring out what is really going on.
"I would have to agree with the sensible Representative Tagge."
The pod that carried Annasari moved forward, taking its place in the center of the floor. Disgust seeped through her words.
"Individuals within the order stand accused, yet they are not brought to trial? Instead, we condemn the only means our government possesses to protect itself from far more nefarious force users?"Her nostrils flared further with each question, the anger in her voice rising. "I have received reports of Brotherhood vessels in Jakku's space."
She allowed a few moments for the thunderous roll of outcry. Liar and fear-monger seemed most frequently thrown, but there were those of empathy, as well.
"An Alliance planet falls under assault as we fight amongst ourselves, our enemies taking advantage of the chaos. Even worse, there is nothing I can do for my people, yet sit and pray. If I request aid from the defense force, they are but sheep to a slaughter. The New Jedi Order is the only shield between us and them! If the accusations are true, and the standing committee on force affairs have failed, then find those who will not- but do not condemn our nation to an undeniable truth. The Sith will come for us, and should we ostracize the order further, we will be at their mercy! The uncertain fate of my planet serves as proof."
As the pod raced backward to its position, a blue gaze swept the floor, daring a challenger to come forth.
She had just been returning from the other side of the galaxy, when she had received Dagon’s message. Viera’s focus had been helping evacuate innocent civilians, caught up in the power vacuum left in the wake of the Sith Empire’s apparent collapse.
Viera had heard the rumblings of what had been going on with the New Jedi Order. But she wasn’t one to shy away from distancing herself from them. Her Master had drilled that notion into her early into her training.
Never get too attached to one group or another. They’re liable to fall at the flip of a coin, or you can end up falling too deeply into their doctrines. Allyia had always instilled that notion during training. That where there is too much Dark, there can equally be too much Light. Both were just as destructive if left unchecked and out of balance.
She had arrived back in Alliance space, dropping off another ship full of refugees. Viera hadn’t hesitated to turn her ship towards Coruscant upon hearing the message. Dagon needed her help, and she wasn’t one to leave an old comrade unanswered.
But Viera wasn’t going to go through the front door. No, she was going to keep her presence hidden for as long as possible, having no desire to be locked up in the Jedi Temple. Instead, she utilized something Dagon had told her and the others ages back. Of a network of tunnels underground, hidden beneath the temple, that stretched out into Coruscant’s undercity.
The young sage had found one such entrance, and began to navigate the maze of tunnels. She had little difficulty doing so, using the Force to guide her towards a familiar presence that lingered deeper in. Her only concern was keeping quiet, boots splashing into puddles, trying to not stir any of the creatures that had made a home in the darkness.
Eventually though, she neared the light and the sound of two people talking. She recognized the familiar presence of Dagon, growing stronger with each step closer.
“Hey D, it’s been a while.” Viera smiled, stepping into the light and pulling down the hood of her cloak. “Came as quickly as I could once I heard what was happening.”
The Jedi Knight stared at his friend as he donned the faceless mask once more. It was as foreboding as his words. The assumption that Auteme
may have been corrupted sent a frigid shiver down his spine. Dagon, himself, had crossed the line to the Dark Side twice; the New Jedi Order hardly had the necessary training to be considered proper, proper Jedi. A fledgling order with no guides to shine a radiant beacon of light as they walked through the valley of darkness. Auteme wasn't immune. No one from the Order was. No one ever was. That taste of power, of strength so easily conjured that all could be achieved, was more tempting than anything else he'd ever faced.
Aelys was right. They needed to know what the hell was on those stones and if there was any validity to it. They had to skirt the line of the law... or not really. Aelys and Dagon were crossing no lines.
The Black Mynock? Well, he's not a New Jedi, is he?
The system - essential, but never enough.
Partially reluctant, yet partially determined, he nodded his friend's way, "You're right." then the raven-haired Jedi threw a glance down the dark tunnels, "I'll see what I can do to make the tunnels easier to navigate if it... all goes to chit."
Just a moment before the Mynock disappeared, Dag grabbed him by the shoulder, turning him around, "Not 'you guys', A - you're one of us." he dropped his hand back to his hip, "Don't forget that."
And as the Black Mynock vanished into the darkness, another form materialized from it. A familiar one, too...Viera?!
He blinked once, twice, as if to reassure himself it wasn't the shadows and the exhaustion playing tricks on his mind.
"Viera! Hey!" the raven-haired Jedi grinned at the unexpected sight of an old comrade, then the reality of their situation returned on his shoulders, thinning his lips into a lopsided smile.
"Really been a while, huh... wish we met under different circumstances though." her making tea, lounging in the Enclave - now seemed a distant memory of another life. A simpler one, where everyone knew who the enemy was.
Reports played audibly throughout the senatorial office, the New Jedi Order were being incarcerated to their temple. They had been judged, they had been tried and found guilty by their peers. By the very people the Jedi sought to defend and give their lives too. Despite their sins, wrongfully or rightfully proclaimed, none could have predicted this outcome. There was sure to be outrage among the populace, disagreement with the Senate’s mandate.
By then it would be too late.
The Epochian paid the replays of the New Jedi Order’s plight little mind, already aware of the results of the inquests from his time within the Senate as a member of their most august body. His eyes scanned over holodocs and blueprints, designs from Epoch Engineering Corporation. Various prototypes, capital ship development, an a strange space station reminiscent of Mercy.
Incense burned, smoke peacefully gliding through the chamber as the judgement replayed over the air over and over again. His eyes looked up, the image fading away over his desk as all designs dissipated from view.
Her hand remained on the girl’s shoulder for a moment with a concerned look. There was pain in her eyes and an undeniable seething hatred beneath the surface. It was hard to read when it was held back as it was, but it was definitely there, almost as if her aura or energy in the force itself was broken and cracked. Aeris didn’t want to think the worst of her but the timing was certainly uncanny. A dark threat loomed, and a dark aid arrived? Call her superstitious but the timing was unsettling at best.
“It is not much, but it should hopefully be enough.” Aeris said as she let the girl explore her new dwellings. “I trust that given certain events, you will understand if we wish to keep you under watch for the time being.”
Eyna remained still for a moment before she looked up at Aeris with a piercing gaze.
“It’s more than understandable.” She spoke so silent she almost whispered. “If that’s what it takes for you to trust my intentions then I will be happy to abide.”
It broke Aeris’ heart to be the one that had to do this. The girl didn’t strike her as dishonest, but procedure was procedure even during house arrest. If she wanted to help, or even stay, then there were a couple of proceedings that were needed to ensure that she was in fact not a threat to them. Hopefully Eyna would’ve known that much if she was somehow able to connect to Jedi frequencies.
But for now, there was much else that Aeris needed to attend to. Better wishes for a brighter future could come after they had won the battle rather than before. That storm wasn’t going anywhere until it had swept in and engulfed the temple.
The question was just where, when, and how. Aeris would see to the books in the library if she could find anything from the past.
The first Senate session following the release of the interim report by the Inquiry into Misconduct by the New Jedi Order was always going to be unruly. The findings of the interim report were alarming - detailed and repeated crimes committed by members of the NJO with little recourse. That the NJO were only confined to their temple pending further investigations and not yet on trial seemed to have gotten drowned out in the noise. It was a far cry from the motion to establish the inquest, which passed unanimously.
Or maybe those who had voted in agreement hadn’t believed the Jedi capable of such acts?
“I remind the Member for Chandrila that the terms of reference for the inquiry are clear,” Tithe explained from the Chancellor’s podium, playing his usual rule as keeper of the peace. “The investigation pertains to the actions of the New Jedi Order during and since the Stygian Campaign. Now, ah, unless the Chancellor had taken up a laser sword without my knowing…”
A cry went up through the Grand Convocation chamber. The most vocal Senators were either in unwavering support of the Jedi or wanted their heads. The way the numbers fell, neither would have the support to get their arguments up without the support of those who remained silent, the Senators hedging their bets.
“Now the Jedi, yes the Jedi,” he explained to the chamber. “They have not yet seen formal charges levelled against them.” The use of the word ‘yet’ drew the loud outcry he’d been expecting. Tithe smashed his gavel on the podium to bring the chamber to order. “It was the recommendation of the inquiry to simply restrict their movements while further evidence was gathered.”
If it meant a week could go by without a Jedi assaulting or murdering a Senator, all the better.
“The chair of the inquiry assures me, and this chamber, that a final report with be provided forthwith.” While the Senators working on the investigation had always known their work would be high profile, few would have imagined the level of scrutiny their work would be met with. Senate panels of inquiry were often dry affairs with little public interest. Then again, they didn’t normally deal with the Jedi.
“And once that final report is provided, well, yes, we can, uhh, consider the need for a formal undertaking by this elected body.”