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Fyre

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The trade vessel hung quietly between two stars and a handful of worlds. There was no life out this far, save for the occasional frontiersman that fancied themselves independent enough to wholly ignore civilization. Coming out this close to the edge of the galaxy was always a gamble, but then Cedric had won the majority of his most recent bets.

The long recruitment process had tired him somewhat, but he understood its necessity. To gather the galaxy's greatest and brightest, one needed to expend a little bit of effort. It was to that end that Cedric had reached out to one of the Outer Rim Coalition's finest.

A single encrypted message had been sent to [member="Dax Fyre"] inviting the judge to meet with Cedric at the edge of known space. It had briefly explained the knight's intentions to move against the Sith Empire, though the details of which had been left ambiguous.

The trade vessel Cedric awaited on was entirely alone, its docking bays open for the judge should he choose to attend. Cedric waited alone in the hanger, clad in the armor of his old station on Ession, though his cowl was drawn back to reveal his patrician features.

Patience is a virtue.
 
The Reaper of Won Shasot
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The Revenant Dawn flashed out of hyperspace, quite near where [member="Cedric Grayson"]'s own vessel was. Pinpoint jumps were a specialty of his and many pilots in the Coalition. They had to be considering how outnumbered they usually were.

In truth it hadn't necessarily been the prospect of taking the fight to the Sith that had enticed Dax to come to this meeting, but rather how...cryptic it all seemed. He'd even opted for his less recognizable vessel for this, desiring to keep as much of this quiet a possible.

The Dawn approached the vessel, and soon enough made her berth within the larger vessels hangar. The bay door hissed open and out strode humanoid figures and a single canine-like being, the likes of which Cedric had certainly never seen. Dax was clad in his usual attire of tan cargo pants, black boots, black and grey hooded shirt and a black leather jacket, his slugthrower and saber attached to his belt. Halzyn on the other hand was fully armored in, excluding his helmet. He too carried his blaster pistol on his hip. Athena, the Marshall's hound of Won Shasot, moved her head two and fro, her antenna like feelers taking in the foreign surroundings.

As Dax approached Athena began to growl at the unknown man that stood before her, but a soft pet and mental command calmed her down. "You must be the Jedi Knight Cedric Grayson. Grand Marshall Dax Fyre." He offered his hand to shake, "This is my second in command, Captain Halzyn Ciir," the other man simply nodded towards the knight. "So...what exactly are you planning?"

[member="Cedric Grayson"]
 

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It would be a lie to say that Cedric wasn't relieved when he didn't see Stormtroopers marching down the landing ramp. He found himself expelling a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding - the anxiety was starting to get to him again.

"I am. It's an honor to meet you Grand Marshal," Cedric took the hand's man in his, and gave it a firm shake. "As well as the rest of you. I'm afraid the rest of my comrades are too enveloped in activities near Sith space to be here. I'm the only man aboard this ship," that was part lie, and part truth. If his communications had been discovered, then Cedric had hoped the ensuing assault would result in his death alone. Fortunately, his gamble here had won.

"As for what I'm planning," the knight cracked a grin, " - well, you could say that the plan is already in motion. There are those of us that understand that Sith expansion is very bad for the free galaxy. The alliance and its allies are wrapped up with their concerns involving the First Order. They can't sit and fight the Sith while the enemy is on their doorstep."

The smile faded, "With that in mind, I've gathered a group of volunteers. We've Jedi, soldiers, smugglers, and everything in between hailing from each corner of the galaxy. I thought you might be a bit sympathetic to our cause."

[member="Dax Fyre"]
 
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Dax listened to what the Knight had to say. When he was done, silence enveloped the group for a couple moments as Dax thought crossing his arms. "I'm sorry, but you'll understand my hesitation when I say a handful of individuals can't take down the entire First Order." He shook his head, "I'm not even sure what you'd want me to do. I may be Grand Marshall of the Judges, but that doesn't mean I can take down ever dark sider and Knight of Ren in there." What the man was proposing seemed near ludicrous to the Marshall. He didn't even know the Knight, let alone trust him enough to follow him into a suicide mission. A valiant cause sure, but the ORC was happy avoiding the First Order whenever possible. And so far, the Order had repaid them in kind, he wasn't about to be the one to bring down the wrath of the First Order on the Coalition.

[member="Cedric Grayson"]
 

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Cedric cracked a smile.

"Not against the First Order. We don't want to provoke all out war, no, I was thinking more along the lines of their most powerful ally," his arms folded about his chest as he continued, "The Sith Empire is a better target, and one neither the alliance nor the coalition will be able to deal with once it's spread out to your space."

He paused for a moment, searching each of their expressions for anything worrysome.

"And I'm well aware as to what a handful of individuals can and can't do, but we're not a handful. We have army ready to deploy for all out war when the time comes, but we need a team to soften the Sith up before we commit." Cedric gestured to himself, then to Dax. "That's what I picked you out for. I can't imagine the ORC is very comfortable with Sith dominance in the galaxy; helping me is helping the coalition."

[member="Dax Fyre"]
 
The Reaper of Won Shasot
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The two men's faces gave nothing away...and the Kuskuri...well her face was a mutant unreadable mess to begin with. Dax allowed the man to finish speaking before he said his piece, mind already made up. "Well you have one thing right. The Coalition is not at all comfortable with such a large and rapidly growing empire. And them being Sith is indeed worse. But you're wrong when you assume that by helping you I'm helping the Coalition." Dax paused a moment allowing that to sink in. The Coalition had always been very clear in their policies regarding foreign relations. Keep the feth out and we won't bother you. And they still had little reason to believe it wasn't heeded, save a single small attempted invasion by the Mandolorians who were swiftly beaten back. "But I would be helping my own people." The Marshall said, breaking through the momentary silence. "You may not know this about me Mr. Grayson, few do, but I have my own little empire in a distant corner of the galaxy that nearly no one knows exist. My people aren't ready to explore the galaxy, let alone fight the Sith. Once the Sith found them, and they would find them, we both know their knack for finding new things to destroy, they'd be killed in a mass genocide, or worse, enslaved, for a second time. I can't allow that to happen." If [member="Cedric Grayson"] was attentive enough, he'd notice the Marshall's stoic demeanor crack, ever so slightly, a clear passion and determination showing through it. "You have an army, and I have faith that you have a plan and a strong team. I'll help you."
 

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Cedric exhaled a quiet sigh of relief.

"I'm glad you see things as I do," he smiled, "The Sith are on the verge of taking my homeworld. It'd be difficult to stop them alone. Fortunately, there are more than just a few of us that see the Sith for what they really are." He paused a moment, looking over Dax's companions one more time.

"Tell me something Dax," his arms folded about his chest. "I'm happy to have you on my team, but before I can bring you into the fold, I'd like to know your history. A man's history often reflects his future. I want to know the sort of man I'll be fighting alongside of."

It was an odd question. Some would even call it forward. Cedric, however, needed to know all he could before he brought a possible leak into his private network.

[member="Dax Fyre"]
 
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Dax couldn't help but burst out in laughter at the man asking his history. When the man finally got a grip on himself, he said, "Man, I'm going to need a stiff drink and a half to tell you my history. I have some booze aboard the Dawn here if you'd care to join me." While [member="Cedric Grayson"], may or may not see the Rogue's sudden change in demeanor odd, or perhaps a little worrisome, it was with good reason. Asking Dax about his history was not unlike asking the personification of Coruscant their history. It was long, perhaps too long for his years, and filled with the kind of tragedy and betrayal that made one wonder if they were listening to someone recount a soap opera, not their life.

[member="Cedric Grayson"]
 

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Cedric paused to consider it for a moment. He rarely let himself drink in public for rather obvious reasons. Still, this wasn't really the public, was it? After a few moments of hesitation, the knight followed Dad into the Dawn.

"I can't promise I'll keep up with you," he assured, a hint of amusement lacing his words. "I'm sure someone with a title like yourself probably has a good bit of history to them," Cedric lofted a brow. "You don't just get to be called Grand anything for doing nothing."


[member="Dax Fyre"]
 
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Dax couldn't help but chuckle in agreement, "Well, you're not wrong. What's your poison?" the Rogue asked, gesturing for the man to take a seat as he poured himself out a glass of Corellian Whiskey. The selection on board was endless. One might've guess the Marshall had become an alcoholic with the amount of liquor he had on board.

[member="Cedric Grayson"]
 

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"Balmoraan Bluesky myself. I'm not much for the bitter drinks." He explained, knowing full well the way folks tended to judge when one asked for a Bluesky. It was a fruitier drink that was stereotypically ordered by women, and one that tended to get people very intoxicated very quickly.

"You've a better collection than me," Cedric mused appreciatively, "But then I'm more of a smoker. It's hard to drink and run a military effort that demands almost all of your time. Folks tend to get a bit uppity when the man giving orders is intoxicated," the youth snickered.

"Anyway, fire away mister...Fyre," he visibly cringed at the awkwardness of his own words. "Let's hear your story."

[member="Dax Fyre"]
 
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Good choice,” the Marshall said as he poured the man his drink and handed him the glass before settling himself down in a seat. “Thank you, and I can relate to that. I smoke on occassion as well. But, when I got a couple new internal organs, not my lungs thohgh, I figured the best way to break them in was lots of alcohol,” he told [member="Cedric Grayson"]. “Alright, well...where to start... the Rogue tapped his finger on his glass idly as he thought. “Might as well start from the beginning. A long time ago, I was a Jedi of the Alliance. Ever since I was an infant really, I never got the chance to know my parents. Naturally my master, a man named Jay-Cril Talon, became my father. We were assigned to Outer Rim. At the time the Coalition wasn’t even a concept, and the Kathol Outback were still the Underground. Slave and spice trade was pretty rampant. Now, my master and I had tracked down one of the slave rings to Tatooine, they were working out of an abandoned Hutt palace. When we went in, just him and I, we took it like we usually did, near sunrise, quick, quiet. Normally we just get the slaves or spice, and get most of the resistance on the way out, if any. But this time they knew we’d be coming. It was a ghost town at first, but when we reached the slave pens we didn’t find more than a few slaves. What we did find was a Sith.

[member="Cedric Grayson"]
 

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Cedric was not surprised to hear that Dax had once been a Jedi. Many of the coalition's judges had once been a part of the Order before its fragmentation, and those that hadn't were often the children of those that were. The skills that came with apprenticeship within the Jedi Order would certainly help in the field.

"Not often you find a Sith in a spice den," Cedric mused, "I assume things didn't end peacefully?"

These days, it was rare for encounters between people with differing allegiances to turn out well. There was far less patience in the galaxy, and even less of an even more important quality: understanding. Preoccupied with his musings, Cedric drank quietly and listened to Dax's tale.

[member="Dax Fyre"]
 
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Dax shook his head, "Of course not. He killed my master," he said, looking into his glass before taking another sip. "He almost killed me too. During the fight, he knocked my slugthrower away. At the end of the fight I was on the ground, scrambling to anything I could use, one of the slaves we'd let out slid the pistol to me and I turned over and shot him when he tried to jump on me. He'd thought he'd one already and he got sloppy." It was clear that Dax wasn't going to get into the details of what happened beyond that. While it may have been a wound that healed, it had certainly left a scar on his person.

[member="Cedric Grayson"]
 

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The knight listened in respectful silence.

As Dax spoke his piece, Cedric found himself sympathizing. He'd never had a traditional master, but his family had been ripped apart by the wars the Sith had caused. While he no longer held any hatred for the followers of the dark side, he understood Dax's displeasure.

"Here," Cedric reached into his pocket and produced a strip of flimsi paper. "This is a comm code. Use it to access our private network. From there, you can get involved with our operations," he offered quietly.

Evidently Dax had convinced him.

[member="Dax Fyre"]
 
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