Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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Byss-Southern Hemisphere
[member="Jamie Pyne"]

"Okay." Aela said as she hefted her pack and clicked the harnesses shut over her chest.

The bag was heavy, though not so much that it was uncomfortable to carry. She had wanted to be prepared for this, and unfortunately they had no idea what they were expecting and as such they had simply prepared for everything. She'd stuffed the bag with medical supplies, scanning equipment, and a few random things that she figured they'd might need. She hadn't brought a tent or anything like that, mostly because she had absolutely no intention of sleeping within the Citadel.

This world, Byss was already oppressive enough within it's presence. The darkside lingered upon this world, clinging to it and hanging onto it exactly like it did on Korriban. There was something...evil about this place, and the odd clouds within the sky matched with the view of the swamps all around them only seem to enhance that effect ten fold.

"Ready?" She asked her companion. "It'll be a mile or two before we can see the Citadel."

Unfortunately they hadn't been able to land the shuttle any closer.

The Marsh that surrounded the citadel was oppressive, so much so that the only solid land in the area had been three miles away from the citadel itself, a patch of earth that seemed to have been cleared ages ago exactly for the purpose of serving as a landing pad. Of course back then the road to the Citadel hadn't been a broken rotten mess, but beggars couldn't be choosers, and thus she and Jamie would have to head down the broken highway on foot.

She glanced towards the horizon.

Aela knew that somewhere, just beyond her sight sat the remnants of the Grandfathers fortress.
Jamie lifted her hood up and over her recently shortened golden hair, falling over her temple and to the sides of her cheeks, obscuring the majority of her face. Twilight was an armor well suited for these types of missions. It allowed great mobility, offered protection and concealment, and had a variety of electronics to help with an abundance of situations that the pair might find themselves in. Her lightsaber had been lost back on Mustafar, and time had yet to permit her to build another. Thus, her reliance on the Force, on her own skills, her armor, and Aela, were elevated. Hopefully though, this would not be an overly dangerous mission. Though her wounds had healed, a faint scar across her upper back left a reminder of what the Knight of Ren had done.

"Ready." She said with a subtle nod.

Her own small pack was thrown over shoulders and clasped at the waist. Within, water and easy to carry meal bars were packed, as well as a small container of medical supplies as a secondary source, two flashlights, a flare, emergency comm, and a change of clothes. Being prepared was now something synonymous with missions, for Jamie. Even the most seemingly mundane of excursions came with a full array of supplies and precautions.

"Lead the way."

[member="Aela Talith"]
[member="Jamie Pyne"]

She glanced down the lengthy winding road.

There wasn't really much to go on. Her father had told her that the road would eventually take her to the Citadel, and from there he had no idea what to expect. Her grandfather had been a man of many mysteries, and the things he had done during his lifetime only furthered that. She frowned for a moment and then shifted her pack, moving to fish out one of the lightsabers from her bag. It was the one that she had found on that unnamed world, the ancient Lightsaber that had been one of the first prototypes.

As they wandered forward she offered it to Jamie. "Just for this trip."

She told her padawan as they moved down the worn rock bridge.

"I have no idea what we'll find inside." She told her Padawan, making sure to step on sure footing as they moved. "I don't want you to get caught out."

Aela knew that Jamie had lost her lightsaber, and she had no idea what they would find within the walls of the citadel. Sith magic, Yuuzhan Vong biots, old guardians that had been left behind by her grandfather, all of it was possible, and she wanted to be prepared.
Does the thing even function?

Jamie took the weapon as it was offered, turning it over in her hand as she observed it. It was old. She wondered if it would activate if or when she needed it to. It was probably better to err on the side of caution and simply assume that the foolish thing would not be a reliable strategy if it really came down to it. If it worked, all the better, but she wouldn't rest her life on the chance that it might work and then suddenly short out. Technology as old as time itself was often a fickle thing. Slipping it into the empty holster on her hip, the slot having been intended for Daylight, she turned her attention back to the road and path ahead. The echoes of their voices carried through the great emptiness surrounding them. Each footstep both girls made came with the sound of crunching dirt and rock beneath their feet.

"That's assuming we even make it across this bridge, if you can even call it that anymore." Part of it had fallen away, forcing a path to follow. What was beneath the darkness, or how far down it went she had no idea. But the intent to find out was absent entirely. "Just be careful. It doesn't look very sturdy." A quick glance over the edge was more than enough for the woman, instead focusing on crossing the path, rather than the what-if of falling.

"Is there something you're hoping to find inside?"

Anything but Terentateks. Don't let there be monsters here.

[member="Aela Talith"]
[member="Jamie Pyne"]

She continued to wander carefully along the broken and crumbling stones, hopping at times to avoid a pitfall or simply using the force to get a bit farther in a single step. The marsh around them seemed to expand forever, and as Jamie glanced over the side Aela considered what this trip would have been like without the great stone roads.

Probably a lot more muddy. "Yes."

Aela told her Padawan as they continued to walk, glancing up ahead.

"My grandfather is sort of an enigma, but he's something I've long since given up on solving." She said with a slight grunt, landing on one of the further stones with a quiet thud. In the distance they would just begin to see the spire, fallen and crumbling as it was. "I'm hoping that somewhere in that citadel I can find out about my family."

She shifted and glanced at Jamie. "His parents, where he came from."

Perhaps it was a silly idea, or perhaps Jamie would understand. Her Padawan was from Naboo, and as far as Aela knew her family had been from Naboo for the past eight millenia. For her it was more difficult. She had no idea where her heritage came from, at least on her fathers side.
Jamie was acutely aware of the general history of Aela's family. It wasn't exactly a shining gem of a history. A great deal of darkness had overshadowed much of it. At least from the bits that she'd learned through their many conversations in the past. In a way Jamie wondered why Aela wished to go through all of the trouble to uncover answers to questions that might be more painful than the unknown. On the other hand however, she knew exactly how it felt on a much smaller scale to wonder what the answer to some closely kept secret was.

Her own sister had been the answer to one of those secrets.

What answers Aela might find here though? In a place like this? The place is nearly collapsed in on itself.

Jamie's guess was that all that laid within the walls of the fortress were ruins, and perhaps some wildlife that found its' way within. Overgrowth and the reclamation of nature were unstoppable, and with the amount of time since it looked that anyone had explored this place it seemed unlikely to have any sort of answers for the older girl.

Still, for Aela's sake she held out hope that there would be something of value she could hold onto.

"I guess we'll find out soon enough." The fortress drew closer with each step.

[member="Aela Talith"]
[member="Jamie Pyne"]

As they wandered closer it became readily apparent that the road had all but crumbled. Instead of leading directly to the fortress, a stretch of the great stone bridge had completely collapsed, leaving a twenty foot gap within the rock that they would have to cross. She frowned slightly as they came upon it, stepping carefully to the edge and testing the edge of stone.

When one of the cobbles gave out beneath her she quickly jumped back, watching as two or three stones fell into the swamps below. "Well."

She said quietly.

"We knew this would be difficult." Quietly Aela slipped her pack onto the floor, fishing around for a moment until she retrieved a length of cable. She fiddled with it for a moment, attaching a hook to the end and tying it in place before she wandered closer to the edge. She watched her footing as she did so, weary of falling once more.

With a few swings she tossed the cable to the other side, hooking it onto the raised edge of the bridge and giving it a few powerful tugs to make sure it stayed in place. After a moment she tied it to the parapet on their side, ensuring it was tight before looking at Jamie.

"Do you want to go first?" She asked. "Or should I?"

A small smirk touched her lips.
Her stride came to an abrupt stop as Aela leaped back from the crumbling stone bridge just in front of her. The pathway had been eroded away by the passage of time, no longer suitable to sustain their individual weight, let alone both of them together. Trying to cross was unsafe, bordering on suicidal. Though the idea that Aela had in her head of how to cross was hardly something Jamie was willing to do if there was at all another approach to take. The blonde watched as Aela threw the cable from one side to the other, hooking it and tying it off as best she could.

The smirk on Aela's face didn't go unnoticed, but Jamie shook her head as if Aela was out of her mind.

"You think I'm going across that?" She leaned in closer to the woman. "You're insane."

Taking several steps back and away from the gap between the two ledges Jamie shook her head at her master. "Insane, Aela." Then, breaking out into a sprint the blonde ran straight past the other girl, jumping into the air even before she reached the gap. A pair of repulsors fired beneath her feet, lifting and carrying her across the gap with ease before setting down a few feet past the rock's edge on the opposite side. One benefit of coming prepared this time was that Twilight had gravity boots.

With a wide smirk the blonde turned back to Aela, her hands and arms crossing. "Waiting on you."

[member="Aela Talith"]
[member="Jamie Pyne"]

She perked an eyebrow at her apprentice.

"I see." Aela glanced over towards the rope, then back at Jamie. She picked up her back and slowly lifted it with the force, floating it over the expanse slowly and eventually letting it tumble to the ground with a soft thud on the other side. She smiled, and then wandered over towards the rope.

"Well." She began as she took the first step, extending her arms. "My young apprentice."

Her feet touched against the tightrope as she slowly began to wander forward,

"You won't always have the wonders of technology to save you." The Jedi Master moved gracefully across the rope, her feet touching against the slender tether over and over again. She used a small amount of the force to balance herself, letting it guide her as she moved across the expanse. Then finally for the last three or so feet she jumped, bounding from the rope and landing with the same soft thud as her bag on the other side.

She smirked at Jamie.
Jamie's glare towards Aela could pierce the thickest Mandalorian armor.

"You know you're not that much older than me!" Oh how she hated being treated like a child. Even now, Aela still did it.

I'm not even technically an apprentice anymore! The nerve!

A loud hmph echoed through the air as the Jedi turned away, looking towards the citadel a ways away still. Still, she called back even as her eyes focused elsewhere.

"And just why is that? Hmm? Are you planning on taking away the galaxy's technology one day?"

Without waiting for the older girl Jamie trotted off along the path, still partway crumbled, towards the fortress belonging to Aela's grandfather. The closer they got the larger it appeared. Ancient stonework, a retreat once likely guarded beyond imagination, filled with untold horrors within. Jamie imagined most Sith similar to one another, demented and tormented beyond repair, meddling with forces they had no business with, toiling about spreading monsters among the stars by the millions. Whether or not Aela's lineage held that kind of terror she wasn't entirely certain, but what little she had been told in the past, it wasn't a beacon of light by any stretch of the imagination.

[member="Aela Talith"]
[member="Jamie Pyne"]

Aela wandered after Jamie, scooping up her pack and smirking at her apprentice as they wandered towards the stone walls. She could begin to see how much they had crumbled and fallen. They were still a few minutes away buy things about the Citadel were becoming more and more clear. Before it had been a simple blurry outline, now she could see the details, the stone effigies, the carvings that had been torn through the heavy stone gates.

"I won't take it." She said, finally catching up with Jamie. "Someone else might though."

Like the First Order, or the Sith Empire, or the Sith Ascendancy, or any one of a hundred new enemies that seemed to have cropped up in the galaxy the moment she retired to Wroosti. A sigh escaped her lips for a moment, quelling the thought. "It never hurts to be prepared."

She said with the wag of a finger.

Jamie wasn't technically her padawan anymore, she was a Knight as recognized by the Orders, but still.
A heavy eye roll followed, "I'd say I was more prepared than you. Maybe this someone else might prefer to take all of the rope hooks in the galaxy. Then who will need help? Hmmm?"

Jamie waged her own finger mockingly back towards Aela as the two headed closer to the ancient ruin. She wondered whether or not anyone else in Aela's family had ever bothered to venture to this place, or if it had simply been lost through time and abandoned with the memories. Regardless of how old such a place like this was, her dire mistakes of the past would not be forgotten. It was always places like this that she let her guard down and got herself into trouble. No more.

"I'm still at a loss for how you cope with the fact that your family is at such odds with itself. Two completely different spectrum of the Force. I'm amazed, really."

It was hard to imagine that the family hadn't torn itself apart through infighting. Most Sith tended to regard the lightside as an ember that needed extinguishing, while the same could be true for those who walked the path of the light, in regard to the dark.

[member="Aela Talith"]
[member="Jamie Pyne"]

She frowned for a moment.

"Well." Aela said quietly. "It's not like we actually see each other all that often. I Aunt and Uncle might as well be dead as far as my father is concerned, and I've only ever actually met my Uncle once when I was 10."

That had been a long time ago. Sven and Sable mostly kept to themselves, hidden away on some world within their own little fiefdom. She doubted that they caused much trouble on a planet that was entire uninhabited by anyone, though of course there was a bit of a double standard there. She tried to ignore it, but...well that was rather difficulty. "My Uncle Cameron...well he sort of drifted away after my Aunt died."

That was hard to think about.

"Anyway, most of my family is really more...neutral, than Sith." Her Grandma and great Grandma had bene Sith once, but both drifted away from use of the darkside same as her father. "I don't know really. I try to reason it out sometimes but it seems that every time I do something else creeps up."

She glanced up as they neared the decrepit walls. "I just want to know if it stretches back further, or if he started it all."

Aela referred to her grandfather of course, Darth Moridin. The man whose Citadel they now stood in front of.
"And if it does?" She asked, "Go back further, that is."

The blonde carried on towards the massive staircase, decrepit as it were, before them. "Will you keep searching? What exactly is it you're looking to find? The first traces of the dark side in your family?" That might have been a closet that she wouldn't like to discover. From what she had told Jamie thus far, things were somewhat of a bleak outlook. Despite the woman's best efforts to assure Jamie that her family was more neutral, that is, towing the line between vaguely being Sith to just outright being villainous monsters at one time or another, the girl still felt as though Aela's attempts to rationalize it were more to do with her desire to see her family as something with redeeming qualities.

"Are you just hoping to find that the dark side was just a brief period or stain on your lineage?"

It seemed as though Aela was partially guilt-ridden for the actions of her ancestors, something Jamie didn't quite understand. No matter how good a person is, everyone is their own individual and blaming ones self for actions out of their control was something of a lost cause.

[member="Aela Talith"]
[member="Jamie Pyne"]

She shrugged. "To be honest I'm not sure what I'm looking for."

Honest enough. A part of her simply wanted to know if her grandfather was the way he had been for any reason in particular. Yet another part of her wanted to know if her lineage was...well destined towards something, if she would eventually fall to the Sith just because her family history bent that way. The idea was silly of course, blood didn't make you turn one way or another, but the thought was still there.

"Do you know your family history?" She asked. "Before the Gulag Plague I mean."

She had a slight advantage in that given that half her family outlived the Gulag Plague, but she still didn't know it all. Her Oma wasn't exactly forthcoming with information and things had always been rather...difficult when it came to her Grandmother. Still she knew more than most, at least on one side of her fathers family, the other not so much. She glanced up at the huge staircase for a moment, spotting the odd divits within the ground before letting her eyes settle on the massive metal doors.

"Careful." She said as they began to ascend, her eyes wandering to the two odd statues standing at the top of the staircase.
Jamie watched her step as the two began the climb upwards towards the large stonework entrance of the structure, two eerily constructed statues on either side looming high above, as if casting a shadowy veil of contempt over those who would see themselves rise to the peak. The air surrounding this place felt cold, dark, and gloomy, as if it were somehow cursed by time to remain as it had been left through countless generations.

"My family have always been of the Naboo, so far as I can tell. Physical records only go back so far, but my father's family name dates back as old as I have found. I have a cousin, Mahavro, that married and had a son, Crolan. It will be him that carries my father's namesake further, as my other cousin Shayne had a daughter, and I have no brothers."

There had been times as a child where Jamie had feared her father resented that he had only a daughter and no son, but he had never made that apparent. Torlen had always treated her well, as if she were everything to him, and that Jamie alone was enough children for him. There had never been whispers of another child, not even Mariya, though she was certain now that there were no more surprises around the corner.

[member="Aela Talith"]
[member="Jamie Pyne"]

"I see." Aela said quietly.

Naboo was, well not insular, but their society was based on something that had existed for thousands of years. Unlike her own family Jamie's had stayed on Naboo for hundreds of years, dozens of generations and they would keep doing it that way. It seemed odd to her that Jamie couldn't inherit her family name, or rather carry it on, but she wasn't about to judge Naboo society on that.

"Hang on." She said quietly. ""

She glanced up at the statues staring at them.

An odd...sort of pit began to form in her stomach as she stared up at him. It seemed to be a man dressed in robes, equal to its opposite on the left. They both held two great stone swords and wore some sort of armor with an odd insignia that Aela remembered from the library her father kept in his home. She stared at it, and then suddenly, it's head snapped towards the two girls.
Jamie gave Aela a strange look when ordered to stop. The blonde paused, glancing around. There didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary going on. They were at the entrance to an ancient Sith Lord's castle ruins, in the dark, and without any clear idea of what they were getting into or looking for. Whatever it was that Aela felt off, felt fairly par for the course in Jamie's eyes. Nothing about this place felt right.

It wasn't until Jamie focused her eyes on what Aela had been staring at for a long minute, that she realized something. Statues don't move.

The girl looked on for a second, as if in disbelief at what she had just seen. Her eyes blinked several times before she shouted to Aela in surprise.


Her hand immediately went to her side, taking from it the old lightsaber that Aela had loaned her. Quickly finding the activator the girl pressed down on the button, discovering it was a bit more resistant to her, thus needing a bit more pressure to actually ignite the weapon before the figure that once was stone began to take much more lifelike movements, freeing itself from what appeared to be generations of rest.

[member="Aela Talith"]
[member="Jamie Pyne"]

"Uhh." Aela said as she copied Jamie, drawing her remaining lightsaber and immediately stepping back.

"Yes." Her lips thinned, her gaze falling on the figure. "Let's no-"

Before Aela could even finish her sentence the statue suddenly moved again. This time its entire body seemed to jerk forward, the great stone hands tightening around the blade as it suddenly fell forward and swept towards the two girls. The motion of the statue was not crumbling or broken, but smooth, as though it were alive. The rock hewed forward, Aela raised her lightsaber in defense.

She tried to slice through the stone blade, only to suddenly be met with resistance.

The blades clashed, and then the second statue began to move.
As Aela's lightsaber caught on the stone Jamie took a step to the right, thrusting the blade of her weapon into what would be the leg of the living statue. Despite her best efforts, it seemed hardly phased by her strike, perhaps even amused by it. The other then moved in the same fluid motion, coming to life with a violent determination to see the unwelcome intruders driven from the ancient place. It thrust its' own stone sword towards Jamie who instinctively ducked well beneath the strike.

"Tell them to stop Aela! Maybe they'll listen to you! You're family right?!"

As stupid as it sounded, Jamie saw no reason as to why it wouldn't potentially work. If these statues could come alive and swing weapons at them with some measure of calculated precision, perhaps they could also be reasoned with and understand communication or orders, or something. Regardless, fighting them seemed to be a tiresome idea, and one good hit from that stone sword would be enough to break bones.

[member="Aela Talith"]

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