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Private Holojournals: Voyage to Cosm's Well (Amea, open to OPA, SJO, and Spacers Guild)

Shira Varanin

second worst jedi (Zak of Amroth still #1)
Character
OOC/ To participate, just post a picture or two (sourced) - maybe stock images or something from Artstation or Deviantart - and add some in-character commentary. No posting order, no pressure, toss in a picture and some thoughts whenever you feel like it.


(source)
Shambhala-class science vessel Baobab, en route to extragalactic globular cluster known as Cosm's Well.

Being back in command of a capital ship is both more familiar and less intuitively satisfying than I'd hoped. I plan to get a better feel for this ship and her diverse crew as soon as I can. Maybe I can regain a sense of normalcy before we reach Cosm's Well and leave everything normal behind.

Cosm's Well was never fully explored, so far as anyone knows. We may be the first ship to make the crossing since the start of the 400-Year Darkness. The globular cluster is made up of old red and orange giants, neutron stars, pulsars, quasars, a broad variety. Fragmentary records suggest we'll find species, ruins, treasures and phenomena that are completely divorced from our experience and expectations.

In the navy they taught us to be prepared for unforseeable events. It's a matter of mental flexibility and grit. I hope I still have what it takes.

Amea Virou Amea Virou
 
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Bleeding Edge Tech
Character

All in all, I've had worse living compartments.
(source)​
They laughed when I came aboard with three crate-loads of extra provisions, but we’ll see who’s laughing when I still sit on a steady supply of chocolate and other lifesavers. Petty, yes, but given what happened during the last time I signed up for a trip like this I’d say it’s warranted. Carbo-proteins this time though, and some even have actual flavoring to them. Can’t say ‘Naboo Ham with Cheese’ sounds like a hit, but at least it’s not like eating glue.

This time the captain’s changed though. Not familiar with who she is but the name strikes a familiar tune. Varanin used to be a fairly big name amongst the early Sith cults that formed after the isolation brought on by the Gulag Plague. Since it falls on that particular end on the timeline though I can’t say I find much interest in it. Much too close to gossip and hearsay as opposed to actual recorded history.

And yes, sure, one could argue that they are both practically the same given enough time, but what I am trying to say is that I want my legends to be long dead and even longer forgotten. From what I understand, Ashin might be neither depending on who your source is.

But I get ahead of myself. A name’s just a name, same as mine.

This trip is supposed to take us to one of the more rare and beautiful sights in this known universe. As averse as I am to long trips like this, I find myself fascinated by the idea of seeing this ‘globular cluster’ for myself. I will put some faith into this ‘Shira Varanin’ and her ability to take us there.

As for the rest of the crew, well… We’ll see.
 

Shira Varanin

second worst jedi (Zak of Amroth still #1)
Character

This station, right at the edge of the globular cluster, is called Father Torus. It orbits a blazing pulsar with no official name.


The station's unaffiliated and run by a family of Duros hypernavigators. They make their living off star charts and fuel for anyone crazed enough to enter Cosm's Well. Father Torus is the last outpost of galactic standard civilization on our route, so far as the Duros know. They were cagey about what's out there.

I have my eye on a crewer named Amea Virou Amea Virou . I think she's strong in the Force, but not in any way I recognize.
 
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Avowed Xenophile
Character

My one and only picture of the girl who broke my heart and got me this job, not in that order. So here I am, second assistant to the junior aft engineer or some crap like that.

On the plus side, the
Baobab is a decent ship for a science vessel. I heard this class is named after a science boat that took down a rogue Omega Pyre cruiser back in the day. Wouldn't mind seeing a little excitement like that to get my mind off things.

Or a rebound, but I'm leery about chatting up anyone else on the crew. This could be a long cold trip if things go sour, and in my substantial experience, things always go sour.

On the plus side, I get to play with the ship's killer sensor and holoanalysis rigs, which are the best I've ever seen up close.


 
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Bleeding Edge Tech
Character

One of the smaller cargo bays.
(source)​
First stop, first branch extended towards our destination and where we are headed. Been traversing the ship to get a feel for every little nook and cranny that could hide something from us. Call it an occupational hazard or just straight up a good routine. Spend enough time punching pirates and malicious smugglers and it is hard to trust that your ship is safe. I am confident in my own ability to stop such a raid but this ship is also far bigger than those I usually sign on with.

While I didn’t find anyone that seemed to have any malicious intent, I did find a stowaway. Seemed to be a kid judging by their size. They hid in a crate on one of the lower cargo bays. Can’t really say I blame them given that I have granted myself access to many other ships in the same way.

Still, this is no ordinary trip and I’d hate to see the kid suffer for something they weren’t aware of. Left a note by their little hideyhole and asked them to come clean and tell the crew about their presence. Hopefully the captain will show them kindness. In the end, it’s not in my place to be the judge.

And speaking of the captain I swear she is looking at me in this weird way. Every time I feel a pair of eyes burn against the back of my head I eventually find myself staring back at Varanin in confusion. At first with surprise, but quite frankly it’s more frustration than anything at this point.

Might have to ask her to spit it out. Not keen on waking up with a dagger above my chest while between ‘the Well’ and the… Well, this place. Home.
 

Vyri

Hands for Hire
Character
 (Source)
Desperate for a bite of something sweet. Amea's cabin is as messy as her work, I doubt she'll notice the handful of chocolate and mints I've borrowed.

What.

It's that time of the month.

I'm judging her tastes in chocolate types. Dark chocolate is much better than this milky chit she horded. Why would you want watered down chocolate?? It'll hold me over for now.


(Source)
 

Shira Varanin

second worst jedi (Zak of Amroth still #1)
Character

I bumped into Amea Virou Amea Virou and straight-up asked her what kind of Forcer she is. I framed it as knowing what all our resources are, but mostly I just wanted to know. I've spent the last few years around OPA Judges, but before that my peers were 100% plain Galactic Alliance NJO. It's only recently that I've branched out - on Gargolyn and so forth. So I was curious. I didn't push too hard though; I'm the karking Captain and that means treading lightly around the few things that aren't my business.

We met this attractive gentleman as he gassed up at Father Torus. He warned me that the Duros proprietors added a few errors to the nearby parts of the star charts so they can salvage people who run afoul of the pulsar. He gave us a cleaned-up set of charts and let me probe his mind to determine his truthfulness. I've kept the Duros' treachery to myself; best to just move on quickly. But I don't know who else my new friend might have told.

His name is Taraxyr and his species is native to Companion Esk, which is significantly farther out than Cosm's Well. The brain piercing is solid doonium; it's a crown that denotes his achievements as a crafter of stable hyperroutes. Taraxyr will be a useful resource going forward. He's agreed to fly with us for the moment. His ship is as alien as he is, and shares an aesthetic with his crown piercing.


A smuggler and bounty hunter named Vyri Vyri signed on before we left. She'll be a valuable resource if the Duros try to pull something, so I've discussed the matter with her.
 
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Jedi Accountant
Character


Image Debit: A HoloNet relay
Now that Telcoplus has started producing the HoloNet relays, they started bidding on the other intergalactic communications project, ensuring coverage from the main galaxy to Cosm's Well. It wasn't just about transfer pricing anymore. The authorities requested that the winner prepare audited financial statements, while the project was underway. Just that, even after making sure they wouldn't be paying out bribes, nor engaging in collusion or bid rigging, Telcoplus never had a full-scale audit before, because Nagai regulators back in Firefist were content with reviewed financial statements, but there was an additional complication caused by VPN buying the old auditors of Telcoplus. Would there be a need for more stringent independence standards to be applied and terminate any transfer pricing work currently being done? We can't assume the regulators in Cosm's Well will be as lax as in the main galaxy or in Firefist; we need to set up a provision for any penalties we may incur in Cosm's Well - however, independence breaches will be an issue only if financial statements are materially misstated because of professional malpractice, she thought.
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer

(source)​

I wish it weren't so, but I've become a little disillusioned with the project of Jedi unity. Many of those involved are my friends, but I see several core problems regardless. Being alone on this forgotten, nameless world has given me the clarity to get a better handle on those problems.


The division between the Silver Jedi Order and everyone else may be as deep as ever, and the patches over that division are revealed to be threadbare and stretching. Every time I turn around, it feels like some jaded Silver is sneering at the other Jedi for focusing on threats other than the Sith Empire, for example - or other Jedi are sneering at the Silvers for equally asinine reasons. I'm being a little hyperbolic, of course, but only a little. (What's ironic is that, five years ago, it was the opposite: the other Jedi were the ones yelling at the Silvers for doing nothing useful.) There's a lack of giving each other the benefit of the doubt; a lack of good will and real intent; a lack of respect. It's terribly political and it reminds me forcefully of a key reason why I'm a gorram hermit.


A complimentary problem with Jedi unity is what I can only describe as insular nepotism - picking in-crowd favorites to put forward for this or that position, and don't even get me started on the obsession with titles and formal roles. I've had more than one person suggest I should step forward for Grandmaster in some capacity. Kark no. I would be the worst Grandmaster, and that's saying something. For every battle I fight and meeting I attend, I have this need to walk away and centre myself. There are medical reasons for all of the above, of course, but I'm still keenly aware of my insufficiencies.


Anyway, I'm meeting up with an OPA-backed expedition to an extragalactic star cluster known as Cosm's Well. The intergalactic void is peaceful. Maybe it'll give me what I need.

 
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Bleeding Edge Tech
Character

At least the navcomputer doesn't talk, yet.
(source)​
Re-reading my last entry makes me think about just exactly how rash I can be in my assumptions. Shira has been curious about my force tradition which both means she is aware of my force sensitivity and that I have been sloppy in my obfuscation. Had a moment when I tried to explain to her what it meant to do what I do. First rule of being one of us used to be that you never told anyone about it. I know of a few individuals that broke the rule, but I can’t say they are more than exceptions. Won’t record their names here, should someone find this pad.

After all, someone has already gone through my stuff. Been keeping a tight check over the amount of supplies I brought with me. My room might be a mess, but I hope you never mistake it for anything other than an organized mess. The books are by the bed, the datacrons in the wardrobe along with the clothes. Admittedly the room could do with a cleaning. So, thanks whoever you are. You’ve proved a point, now please stay out of my stuff.

I’ll be checking the seals on my crates in the cargo bay and ensure that they are left untouched. Might add a few more just to be sure. And maybe locking my door is a good first step too.

Either way, I told Shira the basics about what it means to be me and that I liked to protect people violently with my fists. Anything beyond that would be too much. Then after that I’m not sure what was worse. Me messing up the description or the fumble for words afterwards as I began to babble on and on about the specifications of the captain’s robotic arm to distract her, and to some extent myself. Did the same when I met Vyri by accident in the corridor. Seemed her room was fairly close to mine. Funny how it seems that I see her more and more lately. First Jerec, and now here?

... She wouldn't. Would she?
 

Vyri

Hands for Hire
Character
Boy, people on this ship don't trust anyone with a knife near their backs. First the Captain and the Duro's and now Amea's locking her doors.

I assured the Captain I'd keep an eye on things, not that I think we have much to worry about now. They aren't suicidal and I've seen Amea when she's been crossed.

Bloody. So bloody.

I'm no hacker but James taught me well and good how to use my ...special talents to trigger a door lock. Only thing is I have to be careful when to use it, heard the two blabbering about force chit on deck the other day. No saying how far either get with it, but best I keep my cards close to my chest with em. James is expecting a report soon. If I don't have what he wants...


Comfort eating chocolate has been my nights. I torrented some Apokka and Me off SpaceTube TM before we left dock, so I've been plenty entertained.

Wonder what other treats Amea has stored on her. Maybe I should check her crates one night...


Source
 
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Seydon

Raquor'daan
Writer

Source

Sulfur and the smell of calcium roiled off the surf with the scents of salt, flotsam, jetsam, and partially buried beds of scallop-leafed kelp. Seydon turned into the wind, stepping lightly on the black sand. Low highlands, dark as the beaches and skeined with ashy grasses, glowered against the long tracts of frothing sea ridges. Mid-day light was fitful as the weather, pale, lambent with a ghastly corona that flickered with the wafting overcast. He pulled up his gloves tighter and checked the buckles keeping his harnessing secured over his torso. Twin swords idled in their oiled scabbards just behind his shoulder.

The Baobab was somewhere in anchor high overhead, resting between the edges of the planetoid’s gravity well and the lesser grav-pulls exerted by its three kin moons. From orbit, the world looked painted in clouds and rainfall, with the majority of the southern hemisphere opaque. Most crew had opted for shuttling to a nearby refueling station; hawkers, merchants, navigators, tramp pirates waited. He trusted Shira Varanin Shira Varanin and Tobias Katarn Tobias Katarn to negotiate. It beggared the imagination how often simple barter exchanges got bungled by captains riding high with strange airs and graces brought on by exploratory pioneering. Seydon counted them fortunate no Jedi or Mandalorians were helming the voyage, muscles unconsciously tensing and unwinding at the thought. He kept his nose to the wind and checked his chronometre.

A half hour past local noontime, precisely. His eyes picked out the sick shade of bilious colour that suddenly flashed in the dark wave breakers charging up the beach. Local sapients, living along the coast line in clustered beads of low-roofed villages, had made furtive contact a day prior. Speaking to Shira, then the hermit Jend-Ro, before someone knocked reluctantly on his bunk and queried if he’d be interested in solving a local issue. Payment was non-perishables and some raw resources the Baobab could utilize. Seydon slipped Winterfang free and held up the blade in an Ox guard, spreading his feet apart into a proper stance. The next wave breaker heaved, disgorged something enormous onto the sand. It stood the span of two men, swathed in so much kelp and sea moss little of its hide showed, with a long articulate neck ending in a bovine-esque skull stripped of hide. Mad light burned from inside its emptied eye-sockets, rearing back and bellowing a roar like the trumpet-sound before Doomsday. Well, he thought, are you going to keep me waiting?

Seydon leapt forward, and went to work.
 

Shira Varanin

second worst jedi (Zak of Amroth still #1)
Character
I'm finding myself unusually optimistic about Jedi unity, of all things. Every big meeting and convocation I've attended has been two steps forward, even if it's one big step back. I disagree with Master Jend-Ro Quill on this issue - we've discussed it since his little ship Voyager caught up with us at Father Torus. He was the optimist and he's lost some degree of his faith; I've had the opposite journey. What he sees as nepotism, I see as the experienced mentoring the next generation and encouraging them to step up to fill needs that others just aren't filling. And what he sees as an irreparable divide, I see as a couple of shavvit grumblers with little resonance or traction on either side. We talked all this through while recording it on a small holocron, the first he'd built.


(
source)

He's also putting too karking much emphasis on the meetings and too little on what's being done in the real world. For example, the two major groups - the Silvers and the Peace Station/Republic/Alliance crowd that Quill and I associate with - have worked well together. Kintan is the prime example, both its defense and the management of the aftermath. It's worth noting, too, that what's been achieved is radically better than what's come before - on both sides of the fence. The non-Silvers have more coherence than ever. The Silvers are undergoing a process of maturition. They're respectable now; their turnover's such that all their terrible souls are long gone.

One of the benefits of going on this expedition is I get to step outside the Jedi politics and the shifting Jedi zeitgeist. On that point, Quill and I agree. The distance gives clarity. No wonder Yoda and Kenobi spent twenty years as hermits. Maybe Quill has the right idea.

Or this impressive Seydon Seydon of Arda person, this karking unwashed itinerant who took down something very large to get us a few supplies and save a tiny village.



(
source)



Amea Virou Amea Virou Vyri Vyri Griet van Vliet Griet van Vliet
 
Avowed Xenophile
Character
Most crew had opted for shuttling to a nearby refueling station; hawkers, merchants, navigators, tramp pirates waited. He trusted Shira Varanin Shira Varanin and Tobias Katarn Tobias Katarn to negotiate. It beggared the imagination how often simple barter exchanges got bungled by captains riding high with strange airs and graces brought on by exploratory pioneering. Seydon counted them fortunate no Jedi or Mandalorians were helming the voyage, muscles unconsciously tensing and unwinding at the thought.
The fuel station was apex truck stop, like you find on the Blood Trail or the long quiet straightaways on the Mara Corridor.


Captain Varanin tagged me as part of the negotiating for spare parts and all that. Then I wound up running into this Sluissi pirate who, well...


...let's just say that pirate was looking to unload. Feth do I love negotiating. If what they say about my mother's true, I'm basically half Jawa. I snagged us a great deal on alien tech even with snakeskin rope burns on my wrists. Situations like this, I'd like to think I give as good as I get.
 
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Seydon

Raquor'daan
Writer

Spatial Cartography was silent and bare. Blocky console stations, outlet banks rigged with forests of bristling plug-in adaptors and attached xenotech modules that redefined ‘non-standard’ definitions, were powered down or else set to conservative ‘wait’ modes during the graveyard shift. The recessed strip-lamps were mostly dimmed, the harshest light coming from desk lamps left on by weary navigators. Datapads, flexi-glass prints, holographic slates webbed with upraised quadrants, even crumbling papyri prints scarcely decoded littered most available space. Dark clouds of starlight drifted away in the viewports. The bulkheads groaned as counterpoint to the leaden silence. Seydon padded in, dressed in just a waist shift, bare footed and bare chested and nursing a steaming caff cup.


He chose a workstation facing the two module entries and carefully piled aside the clutter. He laid out a small but page-thick, red-leather bound journal, accompanied by a dog-eared notebook stuffed with torn rags of paper scratched with ink. The former had belonged to Shev Rayner, Outer Rim legionnaire and Wild Space mercenary, the latter his own. Seydon plucked a pencil, worn almost to the eraser, and powered on the console screen. The shift of power sent vibrations up the console’s casing and made Seydon glance round, the sound loud to his ears. No one came. He returned to dead Shev Rayner’s spidery handwriting and began combing for clues.


Talk of late amidst the crewmen orbited the recent Coruscant invite. Another conclave gathering, he surmised, trying to put to bed issues plaguing their ranks. Issues of theology, politicisation, the ongoing Sith threat, and whatever-the-hell heavy handed and arse-karked foolishness this ‘Grayson’ Imperium was up to. If they only knew their counterparts were just as riven by confrontation over orthodox. Like winter cold against an obdurate stone, it would only take the right application of ice seizing the cracks to shatter the granite apart forever. …Granite that could transmogrify into ink and reform later into something else, he thought ruefully. He plucked a long-stemmed pipe from behind his back, thumbed in a touch of sweet tabac, lit the pipe bowl with a dash of fire sparked from his fingertips. The Jedi/Sith dichotomy was exhausting in its tedium. Little wonder men like Jend-Ro Quill Jend-Ro Quill preferred hermitage silence to temple cacophonies. They were at times near mirror-images in their zealotry and even Seydon found himself considering the long history of the Order as ‘the Tyranny of the Light’. He dragged on his pipe and breathed blued smoke out his nose. His pencil drew a small outline of a sword.
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer

This Seydon Seydon of Arda reminds me of a Jedi Knight I met when we were both younger men, during Darron Wraith's tenure as Grandmaster. Those were simpler days. The Sith Empire was a distant threat - the Battle of Roche was still a gleam in Ashin Varanin's eye. The Jedi were united.

He's probably no relation to Seroth ur-Rahn. It's nothing. The eyes are completely different, just for starters.

We chatted a bit in a galactography lab. I do mean a bit: I'm not wordy unless provoked. Seydon seems very much of the same solitary mold. I appreciate that immensely and left him to what appears to be primary source research.


I split off from the
Baobab while Captain Varanin was scanning a stellar core fragment. The Voyager and I followed a feeling to an abandoned moon. The landscape was lovely white scalloped stone and soft violet ground cover. Under a white structure with blue accents, I found a complex set of chambers with inscriptions and what might be...puzzles. I fumbled around and recorded all of it, of course.
 
Bleeding Edge Tech
Character

This was a good place for reflection.
(source)​
Took a moment to myself on one of the more recent stops. They said it was to defeat the purpose of a hike by taking a speeder to the top of the mountain, but I also don’t think they understood that the entire purpose of this diversion was. Shit’s been hectic for the last few weeks and I just wanted a moment to myself. Between forgetting who I am to taking on jobs that could see me dead simply for fun, I don’t really know what to say.

I don’t hate it. I guess that’s a good start. There is a freedom to what I do that I can’t really deny is all too enticing. I meet a lot of the good, but also a lot of the bad. People that generally are just trying to do their best and get on with life. Some that burn bright and die fast while others that burn far too slow for my tastes and die much the same. Not sure where I land on that spectrum yet, but one thing I do know is that I certainly ain’t ready to set down any roots. This whole trip is a good testament to that, I suppose.

It’s this expedition, and after that it’s another. I keep my friend — she knows who she is — updated about my on-goings but I don’t think it serves much purpose beyond keeping her updated (duh). Haven’t filled her in on the whole amnesia thing. Not sure it matters, like at all. These days there are times when I forget the seat I am in. In reality it’s when I start to think about who I am and how I got here that shit gets existential, and quite frankly fuck that.

As I look out at the starry skies above I keep wondering what our destination looks like.

Guess I’ll find out soon enough.
 
Jedi Accountant
Character


Image Debit: A slide given to Griet by the Nagai regulators
In Talz accounting parlance, there were five common threats to assurance independence: self-interest, self-review, advocacy, familiarity and intimidation. To almost everyone else, self-review was a much smaller deal than the other four, and to a lesser extent advocacy, and those few jurisdictions that have statutory audits handled by the state claimed private auditors claimed self-interest was the reason for that move (however, auditors in these jurisdictions are usually not well-received by the auditees). However, the self-interest portion had a handful of bright-line materiality tests, such as a certain firm or auditor not holding a material interest in an auditee (so that auditors holding mutual fund shares can still hold them), nor an auditee can hold a material interest in an auditor, or even a single auditee taking up a disproportionately large share of a firm's portfolio. But the primary driver of what standards to be held onto was the auditee's incorporation jurisdiction. If it meant referring-out work to be done in a jurisdiction with more stringent auditor independence standards, so be it.

"Hopefully there would be some auditors in Cosm's Well that should be willing to take on the Cosm's Well portion of Telcoplus' audit if it came to that: they should be compliant with the auditor independence standards in place there, there is no ownership stake by any Cosm's Well entity in Telcoplus"
 

Shira Varanin

second worst jedi (Zak of Amroth still #1)
Character

source

A trading post built in and around a ship that'll never take off again. It exists for three reasons: An intersection of local hyperroutes; a rich deposit of glaussite ores; and an entrenched supply-and-demand issue regarding intoxicants. We took on several cases of local hooch for analysis and consumption, in that order. We also bartered for glaussite; apparently many species out here use it in hyperdrive manufacturing.

Speaking of, the local drives range from a class six to a class three. Our class two is nearly obsolete back home; here it's well above average. We're carrying shuttles with class ones, which will be invaluable trade goods if absolutely necessary. Like, say, if I locate the secret goal ORION asked me to track down - technology that could save a lot of lives.

They only had limited intelligence on it, so they've asked me to just get anything that might be useful. Weapons, primarily. I stored this lovely lady in Cargo Bay Nine and locked her up tight.


source
 
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