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Here We Go Again (K)

The Arbiter

The sleek N-1T Interceptor sliced gracefully through the skies over Anaxes. The sprawling Republic military facility below could have been seen from well over twenty thousand kilometers in the air without even straining. The fading twilight of the evening sky reflected slightly of the polished dark-blue paint scheme.

Having only joined the Jedi Order a little under a week ago, Marcello had been definitively scarce. For the time being, he was still feeling out the people and the greater organization that they supported. Flying was one of only a precious few ways for Marcello to clear his mind. The necessity for such activities had increased as of late with the frequency of his dreams. Maybe he'd sneak in a quick workout once he landed too...

Descending through the clouds, the familiar voice of the military air controller chimed in his ear as he slipped below ten kilometers. "Echo 6, radar contact, turn left heading 340, vectors for the visual."

Depressing the communicator toggle, Marcello delivered a calm reply as he banked the spacecraft gently to the left. "Left 340, will expect visual, Echo 6." It was less than half a minute before the Jedi Master was vectored on to his final approach path and the well-illuminated airbase bobbled slightly outside the bubble canopy of his starfighter as it cut through brief, moderate turbulence.

"Echo 6 you're cleared for the visual. Transient ramp 4 Alpha."

"4 Alpha, Echo 6." The remainder of the approach was as uneventuful as the majority of the flight had been. Downward thrust from the spacecraft's repulsors kicked up a small cloud of dust as the N-1T nestled softly onto the smooth concrete ramp reserved for vessels not otherwise permanently assigned to the air base. Once all of his systems had been shut down, the Jedi Master opened the canopy and stepped onto the stairs that had been wheeled up to the cockpit.

The moment his feet found the earth, Marcello heard the unmistakeable whirring and beeping of R9 who had been curiously quiet throughout most of the flight. Walking over to the astromech, Marcello laughed slightly as he gently patted his head. "Must be getting lazy in your old age buddy. You didn't even do anything."

An irritated series of beeps touched Marcello's ears just as his dark blue eyes spotted a...familiar figure. While he did not immediately recall the woman's name, he recognized her appearance from several years ago. The memory had only lingered because they'd nearly killed each other when they were supposed to be 'helping' some of the more novice fighters. "I'll catch up with you later buddy," Marcello absentmindedly proclaimed as he began to walk away from the droid.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
Ossus was only the beginning of what was to come. There were rumours of some members of The Order being uncomfortable with the aggressive techniques of the current Grandmaster; and Kiskla was taking it upon herself to investigate morale. It went without saying that when one belonged to an organization that was a pinnacle in history, not everyone would ever be pleased. These days however, far too many padawans were evidencing their unease and turning to other factions. Light factions, mutual factions, but not The Order. For a councillor, it was unnerving; especially someone heading reconciliation. Appeasement was her forté, amongst other distinct abilities. One of which being piloting.
For the last Republic engagement, Kiskla had been with the ground forces; and unfamiliar position for the sky demon. That wasn't the only opportunity to fly she'd given up as late, her Padawan was enthralled with the methodologies of pilots and she often handed over the controls to her student to further his advancement rather than maintain her own.

So for her visit to the core world, she'd come alone. Dar'rak was close to knighthood anyhow, and wasn't so reliant on his master to get him into trouble; he was fully capable of doing that to himself. Or rather, he wasn't. He was quite a straight arrow, despite his chemistry, and would outshine the valour of his Master one day.

But not today.

She'd been on the planets surface for quite an accumulated amount of hours now, and gathered enough sentiment to be assured that The Republican hub had no distaste toward the previous actions. The emotions and conversations were focused on the future, and in fact, they were pleased with The Jedi's apparent backbone. Or, at least that's what she'd gathered indirectly; she obviously wouldn't address the situation so blatantly for fear of exposing her dubious nature. What's more, she didn't mind spending time apart from Coruscant. As of late, she has having to remain squatting in one system for too long -- so many council meetings were being called! There were many a reasons for her being dubbed Wildfire; her want to spread herself out was one. Her temper, which was just about to manifest, was another.

"Son of a murglak," Kiskla muttered, scolding her own actions as she clutched an obsolete wrench in frustration. This was where having a droid co-pilot would have been useful considering her mechanical experience and knowledge was severely limited. She could tighten a mean oil cap though.
The blonde was on her hands of knees, meticulously balanced with practiced ease on the bridge of her A-Wing's nose, and she closed the panel she had been working beneath. Hopefully her handiwork wouldn't catch fire and blow up in her face later.
It would be wise for the Jedi Master to investigate someone around flight control who had more knowledge in this sort of thing -- and let's be honest, it wouldn't be difficult for her to capture attention. Even in a regulatory flight suite. Transferring her weight from her knees to her heels, she rocked backward and erected her spine to stand, casually dropping the tool to the ground below; where it conveniently clattered and nestled in with its brothers and sisters. The soles of her boots followed suit, and she landed lightly on her feet back amongst the port level, sapphire gaze darting from person to person, attempting to summarize their authorities by uniform. It wasn't until she initiated this search that she noticed a particularly bulky frame heading in her apparent direction. Intent being…?

Who cared. Her perpetual curiosity had been sparked.

@[member="Marcello Matteo"]
The Arbiter
Marcello arched a curious eyebrow as he stepped across the active tarmac. Clearly there was a touch of frustration in the movements of the familiar woman. It wasn't terribly uncommon for pilots not to be the greatest of mechanics, but it was pretty unusual for a pilot to stubbornly attempt a repair rather than just...ask. The Force spoke to the Jedi in that instant, but Marcello allowed the energies of the galaxy to drift casually through his body as he always did.

As the blond Jedi approached the woman, the name of his former opponent returned to his mind. Kiskla...right? Marcello recalled that her last name was some type of color or..something. White? No... Grayson? Yeah...that sounds about right. Wearing a black flight suit that he'd worn during his final assignment with a special duty squadron in the RSF, Marcello reached into a slanted chest pocket and withdrew his datapad. Tapping out a few commands on the device, Marcello eventually shifted his gaze back to Kiskla in time to see her staring straight back at him.

Strands of somewhat long hair partially obscured the dark blue orbs that gazed intently back at the woman before him. Though he remembered the woman being a Jedi, he had never actually felt her presence prior to this day. Good thing...he wouldn't have thought anything of it so many years ago. Life had changed him immesaurably in that regard. Managing a soft, easy smile, Marcello posed an easy question. "Need some help?"

The Jedi Master was...not a mechanic, but he'd studied aerospace extensively in college. Outside of that, he'd had the 'pleasure' of extensive work at the Corellian port authority which had forced him to pick up a bit of technical acumen here and there. At the very least, he tended to be able to keep people from killing themselves.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
Curious, but stubbourn.
Her palms clapped together as she dusted what would have been dirt from her hands and she shook her head as the blond pilot approached her. As he neared, she recalled why he had caught her interest; she'd seen him before. Where and why? In the past few years, she'd engaged with more and more faces and although she could recall events and faces and often correlate the two she was still at a blank.
Maybe because she was frustrated.

Help. Kiskla hadn't accepted help in.. how long? Any sort of assistance was rarely obliged to, she either instructed that someone partner their powers with her, or was simply a recipient without any consent. "Mm," Kiskla mused for a moment, glancing backward at the now closed panel. She could probably make it back to..Coruscant.


Was she mature enough to admit defeat these days? Of course not. But she wasn't a mechanic, she didn't know if she needed help or not.

"I'm not sure it's anything detrimental." As he neared, she regarded him; deciding instantly to tackle the obvious lack of knowledge that she had on him. He was wearing a flight suit, that would be a good place in her memory bank to start. His voice resonated for a moment and the recollection clicked.
About three years ago, while she was still with the RFS, she and the fellow before her had engaged in what was supposed to be a demonstrative exercise of combative wit. She'd been inexperienced and easily excited and had been easily floored a few times; but she'd been vicious. As had he.

Things might have gotten a little out of hand.

Now that she remembered this, was this going to be awkward? Nah, her the queen of poise? As if. She folded her arms with a shrug that swung her ponytail slightly; "You're welcome to take a look." That said, she wasn't accepting his help, but she wasn't cutting short the interaction either. An excellent transition point. "So long as nothing breaks further."

@[member="Marcello Matteo"]
The Arbiter
Marcello managed not to laugh at Kiskla's response, but his gentle smile did slowly transform into a smirk as he shook his head slightly. "I'll see what I can do about that, Kiskla." The Jedi Master didn't take the time to see what the woman's reaction would be to him using her first name.

With his datapad still in his hand, Marcello made his way back to the A-Wing's engine compartment. Given that it had been...quite some time since he'd seen one still in operation, Marcello had to search for the computer access panel he was looking for. Once he'd located it, he set his datapad on top of the spacecraft's fuselage and withdrew a multi-tool out of one of his thigh pockets.

After unscrewing the panel and placing the cover next to where he'd set the datapad, Marcello picked up the datapad and connected it to the auxiliary connection for the computer. In less than thirty seconds, he had a full diagnostic maintenance report on the spacecraft. Fortunately, Kiskla's problem was a relatively small one. A power relay that enabled the engine to communicate with the onboard navigation computers appeared to be damaged. The interruption in the circuit caused the engines not to send proper readings to the instrumentation in the cockpit. No doubt - Kiskla had been working the engines too hard without even knowing it.

Unplugging the datapad, Marcello carefully replaced everything the way it had been before collecting his belongings. Bending underneath the fuselage, he made his way back over to Kiskla as he stored his datapad. Inclining his head, he motioned for her to follow him as he walked back towards the hangar. "Simple fix. A circuit board that ordinarily regulates communication from your propulsion plant to the navigation computer that provides power to all of your instrumentation is faulty. Replace that and you should be able to run a complete cold-check without issue. It'll basically reboot the entire electrical system to ensure there aren't any lingering problems."

Once they'd entered the hangar, Marcello made his way towards the maintenance shop. A young enlisted man was sitting behind a computer when the Jedi knocked politely on the open door. "Sorry to bother you..."

"Something wrong with the higher grade fuel we had to provide you, Master Matteo? It's a little richer than what you said you typically ran, but I think you'll find you receive gains over time. I can do another check if you wo--"

Marcello held up a hand as he laughed to silence the young man. "It worked great. They're topping it off right now, in fact. You wouldn't happen to have any C-834 Power Relays would you?"

The enlisted man arched a curious brow. "What the heck did you manage to do in an hour?"

Smirking once more, Marcello shrugged. "Little rusty. You know how it is."

The man was already up searching through a number of serialized parts. Eventually, he found what the Jedi Master was looking for and handed it over. "Anything else sir?"

"This'll do just fine. Thanks again." Turning, Marcello began walking back in the direction of the A-Wing as he handed the part over to Kiskla. Mechanic or not, she was going to learn something today. He'd not made mention of her to the man working in the maintenance shop. It wouldn't really have served any purpose to attempt explaining who potentially did what and when if he had...no clue himself. Not his business or concern anyways. Force only knew he'd pushed his fair share of airframes past the limit of reason...

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
With all that jargon, it certainly didn't sound like a simple fix. It took her a minute to run through the definitions of each element; she was definitely rusty and his terms gave her a pang of reminiscent yearning. Still though, she didn't see any alternative to not following him. Especially since he appeared to also remember her. Well, that was a smooth transition from potentially awkward to just fine. His signature wasn't hostile in any manner whatsoever.

His disappearance didn't take long, and soon he re-emerged into the active hangar and Kiskla unfolded her arms and was unpleasantly greeted with a plunk of a part. For a moment, she was dumbfounded and knit her brows in temporary confusion.

This was @[member="Marcello Matteo"]'s idea of help? She could have done that, but better! Someone else could be working on the nose of her star fighter rather than herself. Her pouted lips twisted and she looked over at him with expressed irritation. It didn't take a rocket scientist, nor even a mechanic to recognize his implications and know where this was going.

"You're joking." She muttered, in the most spoilt way possible.
The Arbiter
Marcello, of course, expected a similar reaction. As such, he responded mostly with a broad, amused grin. "I hardly think you'd appreciate a jocular personality whilst engaged in troubleshooting the issue with your interceptor.." The Jedi Master's dark blue gaze flashed briefly, an involuntary action which typically occurred when he was at peace, comfortable. It happened all the time when he was discussing or doing anything related to flying. The air was his element, and he found space to be more comforting than even the most serene of meditation sessions.

Waving a brief dismissive hand, Marcello merely continued to walk towards the A-Wing. "I'm going to show you what I did. It's not complicated, and it could save your ass if you're somewhere remote without a mechanic nearby." As he walked, he glanced back at Kiskla. "The irritated pout is a cute look though if a bit dramatic." It wasn't like she was being asked to break down the entire engine for a mid-life overhaul.

When he'd arrived back at the engine computer panel, Marcello reached into his pocket for his multi-tool. Holding it up, he made a simple comment. "Use this to remove the screws and then the panel. Or.." Marcello stuffed the device back into his pocket and held out his right hand, palm up. With a subtle twirl of his index finger, he set the screws rotating using the Force. In seconds, they'd deposited themselves into his hand, and he simply pulled off the panel.

After setting the panel and its screws down, he pointed to the computer - it was a simple arrangement. There were four cards with alternating colors. He pointed to each from left to right. "Master power converter, secondary power converter, electrical power, integration power relay. That's the one that isn't performing properly. You can find out which is not performing to speck by downloading a simple program to a datapad or any type of computer and connecting it to the system with this chord here." Marcello indicated a chord on the far left next to a small keypad.

Glancing back at Kiskla, Marcello paused. "Hope you're staying with me." Without waiting for a reply, he returned his attention to the system in front of him. "Just pull out the integration power relay and slide in the one I gave you. When that's done..." Marcello pulled his datapad back out of his pocket. "Plug this in and run the program that's already open. You should get a return saying that all system components of the engine compartment and generator are fully operational. If you do, you just hop in the cockpit, do your normal cold-start check to reset the onboard computers, and you should be good to go."

Pausing, Marcello took a step back and allowed the woman to get to work. He would, however, remain close by to assist should she require it. "If you need help flying too, I'm available for lessons, nine to five." The rogue grin on his face clearly indicated he was kidding. In his experience, the good pilots weren't the ones flying legends from the past. It took experience and technique to have a taste for a particular airframe.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
Well, that was true. Since she often flew without a non-sentient being that could assist with technical difficulties, she was responsible for her own well being. When he inferred that she was pouting, and that it was a good look on her, she could suddenly recall why it had been so easy to pummel her fists into him three years ago.
He was as cheeky as herself.
The prints of her thumb pressed against the power relay, absently feeling out its lines and where the connections were. When it came to feeling connections on a metaphysical level, with a sentient, it was a piece of cake. But as soon as a machine was involved? She would just as easily cuss and call it a day; risking her involvement rather than admitting defeat. In the long run, @[member="Marcello Matteo"]'s interception had probably saved her from some bad burns.

"I think I can keep up." She replied, tapping the part against the heel of her palm whilst peering at the multicoloured graphic display. "Considering you're only working with a few loose screws--which seems like something you're rather used to." But she silenced as he continued to give her useful tidbits of information that she was digesting. Heck, she could drop out of this whole Jedi and Princess business and live in coveralls after this!
But that would be a disservice to the galaxy, I think we can agree. Then, he gave her permission to get started. She almost scoffed in disbelief at his audacity but there was hardly any other alternative at this point. So, she did scoff as she relieved him of his data pad and turned on her heels, before scampering up the ladder leaning against the RZ-1 Interceptor's body and crossing to the nose where the panel was already removed. One knee pressed against the metal of her ship, muttering to herself all the while about how she'd managed to get a wrench involved earlier, when she had probably only worsened the situation. A wench with a wrench was not usually a conducive combination; but a dude with a data pad? Sure.

Her usual irritated click of her tongue ensued as she wiggled the problem adapter free and snaked in the replacement. For a moment, she was helplessly feeling for that satisfying feeling of the connections greeting each other. Now what? Oh yes, the data pad. Plug that in..somewhere. She found the source that looked gaping enough for the program that was on the left side and she pushed the two together into forced cohesion.

She rested one arm across her knee as she relaxed a little, letting the program run and do it's thing. Red and green graphics flashed across the screen, until eventually the green cancelled out the red and it appeared that it was all systems were a go. Hmph; in the back of her mind she was a little resentful. It was then that she heard his additive commentary about flying lessons and her cerulean gaze rolled, blatantly unamused.

"Please." The Jedi Master muttered, mostly to herself, as she rose to her full height and looked down at the other on the tarmac.

"Nothing else to fill your time?" She asked casually, poking at the suggestion that perhaps there were initiatives to get involved with. As aforementioned, Ossus was only the beginning. On an unseen command, the canopy of her cockpit unsealed; opening the gaping mouth for her lithe physique to slide into. As per his suggestion, she did but not before dropping some more commentary to fill the temporary silence "Besides, it's the after-hours that always count."
The Arbiter
Marcello met most of Kiskla's quips with silence and a soft smile. It was quite a contradiction to how he'd met just about every word to leave her mouth in the past. Times had been different, and he'd been...slightly more brash. Not much but every little bit did count. Thanks to his master and the years he spent discovering things about both himself and the Force that he never thought possible, Marcello had shifted slightly into a much more reserved individual.

Once the younger Jedi was done following the vast majority of Marcello's suggestions, he took a brief moment to respond to her own statements. "Foolish is the mind that believes it has nothing to learn. However, to be more direct, yes I have plenty that I could be doing. However, I elected to lend you a hand because I'd hate for you to go out as a result of your own arrogance." A thin smile touched Marcello's lips as he offered Kiskla a shrug of his shoulders.

Stepping away from the RZ-1, he casually began making his way back to his own fighter but stopped no more than ten feet from Kiskla's. Turning back to face her, he offered a concession. "You're right, by the way. The extra time put in is often the difference between true skill and moderate competence. So...I'll extend you an offer to increase my own knowledge level as I did yours. Can't say I've...ever flown against a seasoned RZ-1 pilot. When you put humpty back together, you can meet me on Button 2." Marcello, of course, assumed she knew the secondary tactical channel utilized by the Republic's Navy. As they were on Anaxes, the channel was likely to be completely clear.

"Or you can stay here and pout." Turning, Marcello retreated the rest of the distance back to his modified N-1T. After motioning R9 to stay back this time around, Marcello climbed back up into the cockpit and ran through a quick hot-start check. Once it was complete, he transmitted on the field's departure clearance frequency. "Citadel clearance, Echo 6 looking for VFR departure to the east."

The response was near immediate given the low-frequency of current traffic. "Echo 6, clearance approved, contact tower."

"Echo 6." Reaching down to a console, Marcello depressed a button to roll the frequency to the tower. "Tower, Echo 6 looking for immediate departure to the east."

"Cleared for immediate departure Echo 6."

Marcello keyed the mic twice just as his repulsorlifts were coming online. Maintaining the spacecraft no more than fifty feet off the deck, he banked the sleek interceptor to the left as he applied power to the sublight drive and began increasing speed as he decreased thrusts for the repulsors. Once he'd cleared the immediate airspace of the field, he put the N-1T into lazy holding pattern and switched to the secondary tactical frequency to see if Kiskla would bite. If she did, cool. If she didn't, no matter he could do what he needed to regardless.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
Arrogant. Pouting.

For someone so unpredictable on the battlefield, and shocking with her tongue, she was unfortunately predictable when challenged. She would always rise to it. Stay here and pout? She wasn't pouting, she was just adamantly comfortable with not acquiescing to a pleasant demeanor at this point in time. With a half-hearted sigh, she shifted her weight in the seat and let her fingertips do their handiwork on her dashboard, activating the online registry. After that, she rehearsed the well-practiced starting procedures that any pilot should follow before takeoff, making sure all of her vessel's components were online and green.

While the operation ran, she sat in thought. The numbers on Anxes seemed wholehearted and functional; there were no murmurings or slurs. The army was preparing itself to mobilize again, though, especially after what had happened on Manaan when the Sith had counterattacked the Republic. They'd managed to defend it, but it was still a loss considering it had cost them the city. That was a controversial win.

Her onboard computer finally registered the fighter's status, and the display activated with an informative glow. Hm, Button 2 he had said? Before committing to one open channel or the other, Kiskla responded to her own private channel to see if Dar'rak had extended any means if communication. He hadn't, which meant the clock wasn't particularly ticking for her to get back to Coruscant with her report.

With little reluctance, Kiskla tapped into communications with flight control and relayed status back and forth until clearance was admitted. The power flux thing seemed to be holding up when her A-Wing's engine roared to a start; although it was little more than a hum to her ears in the sealed cockpit. Small droids hustled from her path as the angular star fighter rolled backwards and twisted toward the open portrait of stars.

It didn't take long for the fiery star fighter to zip from the tarmac and into the addressed clearance area; leaving the ground behind. Once hovering above, Kiskla's radar circled through the major points of contact around her, picking up the sleek, Naboo interceptor before she opened her channel.

"This isn't part of the nine to five." She commented over the frequency, reaching up to adjust the purr of her thrusters as her vessel hovered , waiting for her to bite into more dangling bait.

@[member="Marcello Matteo"]
The Arbiter
Marcello manipulated the flight controls to casually reorient his fighter such that he was actually facing Kiskla's RZ-1. The Jedi had to admit that the spacecraft looked every bit the nimble foe he knew it to be when employed properly. Time to find out first hand. Keying the microphone of his headset communicator, Marcello smiled thinly for no particular reason. "I do my best work when I'm not officially working." The comment was innocent enough in its accuracy.

As he punched a number of keys on one of the multi-functional touchscreen displays in front of him, the Jedi got to the point. "I've heard from the guys that you're a better than average pilot." Naturally, he recalled Kiskla supporting the claim all her own in the past. However, third party confirmation was invaluable. "Seen an RZ-1 put through its paces, but I'm hard pressed these days to find something that handles similar to my N-1T." Sure - there were plenty of great spacecraft out there, many employed by the Republic. Marcello, however, was particular. Ol' faithful had saved his ass on more than one occasion. R9 had too, actually, but the Jedi Master would be riding solo on this one. "Simple request. You do your best to keep up with me for a bit..."

As the map between his legs switched to a topographic overlay of a mountain training range immediately to the south of their position, Marcello set markers at the start and end point of what was known as MTR-3A - the most technically challenging circuit on the range. Maximum safe speed usually hovered around the eighty percent range of what most spacecraft were capable of doing. Very few pilots that didn't have the benefit of a close connection to the Force managed the course at that pace for the duration. So, to keep things interesting, Marcello liked to run it with the throttles pegged to full military. "Then we'll switch it up. Fair deal?"

Marcello didn't expect a negative response. If he got one, so be it. He intended to train regardless. In one fluid motion, the Jedi Master pushed the throttles for the sublight engines all the way to the stops and cut the repulsors. Immediately, the N-1T dropped to within twenty feet of the ground before the forward momentum provided by the sublight drive rocketed the spacecraft into full forward flight. Increasing the brightness of his Heads-Up-Display, the Jedi Master maintained his focus on the training range rapidly approaching off the nose. The entrance itself was marked by a low crossing. One could fly above it, but students typically failed if they came above the top of the canyon.

As the N-1T hurtled towards the first hairpin turn, Marcello initiated a gradual series of banks to the left and right, simulating breaking a target lock from an enemy advancing from the six-o-clock position. Given the speed at which he was traveling, the Jedi kept the control movements small and refined. They translated into tight swinging banks to either side of the canyon wall at roughly sixty feet over the deck. Timing the maneuver properly, the Jedi Master entered the 120 degree left hairpin from the right side of the canyon with his left wing pointing straight down at the canyon floor. Kicking in right rudder and pushing the control column just a bit more to the left to maintain his altitude, Marcello gradually pulled back hard on the stick. The combination of inputs wouldn't be enough to successfully complete the turn at full power, so the Jedi staged his left hand just over the controls for the repulsors.

Approaching the start of the turn's apex, he applied two-thirds power to the repulsors. The small engines underneath the fuselage immediately kicked out enough thrust to push him away from the canyon wall and towards the inside of the turn. To keep from being thrown completely to the other side of the canyon, Marcello reduced the thrust to the repulsors as soon as they took effect. The instant his N-1T shot back out towards the right at the turn exit, he briefly activated full power to the repulsors to force him back towards the center of the canyon. Deactivating the repulsors once more, the Jedi rotated the stick sharply to the right and came off the rudder input as he entered the next, much shallower turn at continuing full power.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
Kiskla smirked at his commentary, shaking her head at most of the conversation. She was better than the average pilot in terms of pushing limits, not in a lot of other ways. She had gone through the same schooling as other individuals, but because of her disconnection with reality, Kiskla didn't have a fear that perhaps one wrong move could tuck her into her death bed. Therefore, she was reckless. She also had a mind to oversee what was going on, and consider the best end game; her strategic thinking had gone unparalleled for a long time. All that being said, she hadn't been engaged in an aerial dog fight for at least two years.
Except for that time when she'd been the escape pilot for the ex-Empress and ex-Grandmaster and saved both their tails.
That's right. Right on the resumé.

The star fighter training course had been passed before, so Kiskla wasn't in the least bit concerned about whatever @[member="Marcello Matteo"] was suggesting. Pilots worse than her had come out unscathed. But still, Kiskla was a naturally competitive person and he was challenging her ego; which could not go unignored, even if he was only in it for self betterment. Pfft. One day she'd be boring enough to do things just for 'self-betterment'.

On her own screen, within the compact confines of her cockpit, the MTR-3A training route displayed the upcoming course. The course's ignition lights went through their various shades and stages until both Jedi Masters were given the green to go.
Usually, Kiskla would have pushed the J-77 engines on her vessel to flooded capacity in a typical guerrilla technique, but Marcello had suggested she try to keep up with him.
Ever sardonic and mocking in nature, she did so, making sure her sublight thrusters kept at an even pace with the Nabooian star fighter ahead. They were yearning for more; her vehicle was build for speed and maneuverability, both of which, save for the twists and turns, she was not getting as of yet.
Her light eyes were trained on the fluid movements of the seasoned pilot before her, and the upcoming canyon walls that would certainly provide more interest to the route.
The in-flight detection system beeped as the underbelly of her ship neared impact with the canyon's walls on her inaugural turn into the confined arena, and she adjusted the propulsion for Crimson to find a happy medium between the rocky sandwich. But happy mediums weren't her thing. A secondary turn was coming into view, and Kiskla checked the amount of power on her thrusters; she could make things interesting by thrusting her engines to full capacity and wedging between Marcello's underbelly and the canyon's turn; but to be honest, her curiosity was engaged to what he had planned next.
But as for permission when she could stop "Keeping up with him for a bit"? Not a chance. And as such, she was at a personal paradox.

As usual.
The Arbiter
Marcello remained keenly aware of Kiskla's position relative to his own. Thus far, she'd managed to follow the pace he was setting with relative ease. As they hurtled toward the next maneuvering section, the Jedi Master reached down and activated the second engine of his interceptor. Ordinarily, he operated off of a single engine while within atmosphere because it was more than enough to propel the vessel through the air at lower altitudes. However, when he needed full power available from the propulsion plant, he brought the second unit online for added power. Either way, the vessel only had a straight pipe exhaust split into two sections.

As the N-1T practically leapt forward, Marcello prepared for the next maneuver. As the N-1T approached the large canyon wall directly in front of him, the Jedi staged his hand over the repulsor controls once more. Within one hundred meters of the canyon wall, Marcello rolled the interceptor inverted and pulled the control column towards his chest. At the same time, he applied full thrust to the repulsors. This time, his sleek N-1T came dangerously close to impacting with the canyon wall as it rocketed down towards the large tunnel that would shoot them out into the next section.

Despite the fact that the tunnel was wide enough to fit two spacecraft through side-by-side, it was often an area where students reduced speed simply because it was so technical with a large degree of turns. Allowing the Force to flow through him, Marcello allowed his entire body to work off instinct. Continuous, practiced manipulation of all of the starfighter's control devices kept the N-1T from crashing in a burning ball of fire.

As the N-1T's control surfaces and repulsors worked overtime in concert, Marcello kept his dark blue gaze focused out ahead of the spacecraft. In a matter of two minutes, the N-1T rocketed out of an opening back at sea level. The final segment was the most difficult, but there was a long straightaway until they reached that point.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
Ah, so he did have more surprises up his sleeve. The native Naboo fighter increased it's capabilities and lurched forward, egging Kiskla to push forward on her yoke as well, and engage her J-77 engines that much more.

Behind the visor of her mandatory helmet, Kiskla's brow quirked as her sensors detected her wing mate's nearness to the canyon's wall, and his ability to evade contact. He was gutsier than she had pegged, and flew similarly to her.

The underbelly of her ship sided with the canyon wall as she whipped around the next unforgiving turn, curling with the curve of the stretched wall. Another! She applied a similar technique to this turn as well, Crimson giving a violent shudder at the suddenness of her movements. The air craft was tricky, and volatile.
Much like it's pilot.

Kiskla was relatively shocked to see the apparent ease that the navy star fighter ahead travelled; and the speed it gained. If @[member="Marcello Matteo"] was pushing it into overdrive, as would she. With a spiralling twist to evade the programmed, oncoming blaster fire, both tips of her wings barely missed the perimeter.

She shifted her own yoke, and flicked up the repulsers, transferring what power that was allocated to other elements of the core to her thrusters. Crimson shuddered in response, her radars beeping angrily as she narrowly avoided another mock, stray blaster bolt as she closed in on the tail end of the Nabooian star fighter. As the canyon's mouth began to widen, the tiny A-Wing belched forward, spiralling from it's narrowness to Marcello's aircraft and into his field. It was then, that Kiskla realized that this was a terrible, terrible idea, as his engines didn't seem to be quitting' despite the speediness of her A-Wing.
Immediately, she re-adjusted her engine's capacity as she continued to shoot through the training module; and reset the engines to half of their current state; additionally dropping the height of her flying to a meter above the ground to allow Marcello room to zip overhead. Man, was she ever rusty.