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Private I’ve Seen Your Face Before My Friend

Pain Is A Necessary Evil
Writer
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Shadowport Backwater
Reconnect With An Old Friend

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The marketplace was alive and booming.

As the young Jedi took a walk through the many stalls around him, he took a second to take in all of the different people surrounding him. They all came from unique lives and backgrounds, each one with a story to tell. Whether they story was 100% false, would cost you a price, or might get you killed for asking, each one had a story.

Right now, his story had reached some writer’s block.

Constant fighting with the Sith had taken away from his time to live life. It seemed like with each break he took, two battles soon filled its place. For once he just wanted to spend some time away from all the fighting. That is what led him here, to the opposite side of the galaxy.

The market had offered some good parts for his X-Wing, which he purchased and would pick up later. Who knows what other artifacts this place held, waiting to be purchased. The search will continue for whatever he could find.

His lightsaber stayed tucked away within his jacket. No idea how the locals would react to Jedi, but he really didn’t want to find out.

Suddenly, his daydreaming was stopped. Was that…no, it couldn’t be. It had been so long since they have talked, and what would she be doing on this side of the stars? But it looked so much like her. Could it be?

Walking ahead in the crowd, he went up to the Mirialan in front of him.

“Amani, is that you?”

Amani Amani
 
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“Look, that’s as low as I’m going. Take it or leave it.”

“Oh c’mon. Surely we can come to a better compromise than this. I could get most of this for just a little extra from an official, more reputable source.”

“More reputable?!

“Uh...”

“Amani, is that you?”

The sound of her name made the Mirialan freeze up. How someone knew it, worse yet, had recognized her here of all places, was a complete surprise. Amani turned away from the Selkath merchant she was haggling with, peeking through the crowd of passersby for the source, her eyes soon setting on a vaguely familiar human. It didn’t take long to make the connection. She must have known one day she’d managed to stumble into an old Jedi colleague once again. She just didn’t expect it to be for a while longer. Or for it to be Okkeus of all people.

“...Nope! You must have me confused for someone else.” Amani responded with a shrug, swinging back around to speak to the merchant and avoid any further interaction on the subject. When she turned, she saw him passing credits with a large Besalisk, who then hauled off the precious supplies in each of his four arms.

“Wha-- Hey! I’ve been here bartering for like five minutes straight!”

“Ayup. And that gentleman was willing to take a higher price. That’s all the medical supplies I got. So why don’t you take your business to a ‘more reputable’ source.”

The disgruntled merchant cut her off, diverting his attention to less litigious clientele. Amani was stunned silent, the metaphorical slap to the face she just received making her eye twitch in irritation. One last time, she spun around to face the Jedi, now dropping all pretense of ignorance.

“Okkeus, what the hell are you doing here?!” She pushed them out of the way of the storefront, her hushed tone like that of a mother scolding her child.
 
Pain Is A Necessary Evil
Writer
He was ecstatic to see one of his old Jedi friends.

It had been forever since he had been out to Silver Jedi space, and lots of his old friends he hadn’t had the chance to visit for years. When he encountered Amani, he hoped that she would be excited to see him as well.

Guess not.

“Okkeus, what the hell are you doing here?!”

After she turned away angrily from the market stand, he was then pushed out of the way of all the people, back towards a nearby wall. The Jedi was somewhat surprised by the anger in his friend’s voice. It was strange to see she like this. Then again, he hasn’t been the best of Jedi either.

“I…I was just shopping around for some ship parts when I recognized you.”

Trying to straighten his somewhat worn jacket, he tried to bring up a topic that might calm the situation down.

“So, it’s been a while since I’ve see you, or any of the Silver Jedi, for that matter. How are things on that side of the galaxy?”

He knew that some people there still weren’t on the best terms with him. Who knows what Caden said to his peers while Okkeus turned to the dark side. What a time that was. Glad that was passed him now.

“Also, what brings you to an area like this?”

Amani Amani
 
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“Around here? Shadowports can be nasty places, Okkeus. Especially for, y’know… Jedi.” She forced the last word out from between sealed lips as quietly as she could muster.

“So, it’s been a while since I’ve see you, or any of the Silver Jedi, for that matter. How are things on that side of the galaxy?”

Amani’s frustration faded, and instead her face shifted into a sneer of disbelief, “Holy chit, you really have been gone a while.” They had not been particularly close friends during their time in the Order, but they were well enough acquainted. Even still, the finer details behind the trouble that had befallen him were lost in the sea of turmoil that defined those final months in her time with the Jedi. It hadn’t even crossed her mind until now that he may have had no idea of more recent goings-on.

“I’m doing my job. Medical cargo is uh, expensive, and pretty hard to come by. Especially out here. A little bird told me I could get some cheaper prices in this place," she shrugged, glancing back to the front of the stall they had just left, “So much for that.”

There was a long pause as she struggled with how to answer the first part of his question and explain the situation. The healer folded her arms close to her chest and admitted glumly, “I… have no idea what’s going on with the Concord. I’m not a Jedi anymore.”
 
Pain Is A Necessary Evil
Writer
Something about this just didn't feel right.

He knew that Amani and him were never really close friends, but he could enough by her body language and the way she spoke that something was up. Maybe she was just being extra cautious becuase of the area they were in. But that more than likely wasn't it. There was something else.

“Holy chit, you really have been gone a while.”

Gone a while? Well, yeah, it had been a long time since he had been over in Silver Jedi space. These past few months had mainly been fully of fighting against the Sith. And what a long set of months that had been.

"I mean...I guess it has been a while since I've been over there."

The Jedi nodded his head as he listened to Amani speak about the medical supplies. Interesting to see a Jedi all the way out here buying medicine from the black market. Maybe they were running low on supplies due to the constant fighting engagements they've had with the Bryn'adul.

“I… have no idea what’s going on with the Concord. I’m not a Jedi anymore.”

Oh, well that is why she was all the way out here in Podunk. So much for trying to make small talk about the Silver Jedi. But, he didn't blame her for stepping away from that life. He had left the Jedi on multiple occasions, either to follow his own path, or to...go down a darker one.

“Well, alright then. I hope your new life has been treating you well. What are you up to nowadays then? Besides buying medicine through the marketplace."

Amani Amani
 
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“Well, alright then. I hope your new life has been treating you well. What are you up to nowadays then? Besides buying medicine through the marketplace."
Amani blinked several times, as though confused by what Okkeus had said. Having always prepared herself for more exaggerated reactions to her abrupt departure from the Order, the casual response had taken her aback. She decided to run with it.

“It has its ups and downs. I get to do a lot of travelling, mostly for humanitarian work. Of course, life’s not always easy in the Rim.” The dense crowd was making conversation something of a challenge, and Amani casually pulled Okkeus out of the path of a massive Houk, who, given the look on his face, would likely have had no qualms about trampling over anyone too slow to get out of his way.

“You busy? Maybe we should go somewhere more suited for chit-chat.” Amani slipped through a line of pedestrians, gesturing for him to follow in the direction of the nearest cantina. “So, what about you? What’s been going on in the life of Okkeus Dainlei these days?” She returned the question.
 
Pain Is A Necessary Evil
Writer
It did seem like the marketplace where they stood was filling up quickly.

“You busy? Maybe we should go somewhere more suited for chit-chat.”

The young Knight shook his head. Most of his shopping and exploring had been competed for the day, and he wouldn’t mind catching up some more. Ducking behind a lumbering Ithorian, he followed her towards the cantina.

Walking through the entrance, they would find that the cantina wasn’t that busy, with the nightly drinkers not stumbling in for another hour or two. Pointing to the nearest available table, he went over and sat down in the chair.


“So, what about you? What’s been going on in the life of Okkeus Dainlei these days?”

Honestly, too much. Within the last year or so has been the most fighting he had ever been involved with. Whether it be with the Imperials, with the Alliance, or on his own, there was almost no break. But this wasn’t time to talk about his tales of woe, but rather do some casual chatting.

“Mainly just flying around from planet to planet, meeting new people. I’m with the New Jedi Order folks now, and that has meant quite a bit of fighting Sith. But besides that, I just travel the galaxy, where the hyperlanes take me I guess.

A server droid rolled over to the two of them, asking if they would like anything to drink. He wouldn’t mind a glass or two.

“I will take a Jet Juice please. Amani, you want anything? I’ll buy.”

Amani Amani
 
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Amani took the chair opposite Okkeus, hunching herself over the table as she finally took a moment to relax for the day.

“Mainly just flying around from planet to planet, meeting new people. I’m with the New Jedi Order folks now, and that has meant quite a bit of fighting Sith. But besides that, I just travel the galaxy, where the hyperlanes take me I guess."

“Not too dissimilar then, actually.” She noted between the two of them. Couldn’t blame him; all the travel was freeing, if at times directionless. The rigidity of temple life seemed almost alien to her now.

"Amani, you want anything? I’ll buy.” He asked as the waiter droid arrived.

“Oh, it’s alright, you don’t have to do that.” Amani quickly replied. She was appreciative of the offer, but only felt it polite to decline. She wasn’t planning on draining him of any credits. There was a slight, awkward pause as Amani weighed her options. The healer wasn’t exactly much of a drinker, though she had finally gotten around to a few alcoholic beverages over her time traveling. Not wanting to make the wait any longer, she simply opted for, “I’ll have the same thing he’s having.”

Once the droid had taken it’s leave, she would resume, “So, NJO, huh? Well, I’m glad you found something.” Amani held no particular convictions on the matter; Any and all Jedi business was so far removed for her focus or concern now, though her jaw shifted at the mention of fighting Sith. Warfare seemed to be the only constant over the last few years. A moment passed before she bluntly spoke again, “Do you ever get tired of it all? The fighting?”
 
Pain Is A Necessary Evil
Writer
Something inside of him seemed to shift. The casual talk about what they were each doing now turned to the talk of the Sith and fighting them. Something that he came out to the other side of the galaxy to escape.

“Do you ever get tired of it all? The fighting?”

Readjusting in the chair, he slightly leaned back, trying to find a comfy position. Crossing both of his arms across his chest, he answered the question with a shrug.

“Sometimes, yes, I get very tired of it all. It’s hard to keep finding a reason to fight after all this time. Combating the Sith has been something I’ve been doing since I was a little kid.”

Not-very-quietly, the server droid rolled over and set the drinks on the table. Giving it a nod of thanks, they droid went off to sever the next set of customers.

“I do miss the peace and quiet. Spending a week, hell, ever a day without having to worry about being sent to unknown world to fight off the Sith would be a blessing.”

Grabbing the glass with his robotic hand, he swirled around the liquid inside before taking a small drink. A small burn could be felt flowing down his throat. But besides that, it tasted amazing.

“Sorry for the rambling. But a break would be nice. What about you? I can’t imagine the wars have been easy on you either.”

Amani Amani
 
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Amani nodded along with his words. They were all too familiar to her. She might not have been as deeply involved in all the fighting as Okkeus, but the sentiments matched all the same.

“What about you? I can’t imagine the wars have been easy on you either.”

“Well, lately I’ve been staying away from them as much as possible. Haven’t been on a battlefield since, ah… Voss.” She paused, recollecting memories that now felt distant, but no less clear. “I’d be lying if I said it was easy to ignore, though. Can’t help but wonder how I could’ve helped, if I could’ve helped, every time I hear something goes wrong… But, the work I’m doing out here is fulfilling enough, if seemingly never-ending.”

It didn't help that Amani practically refused to ever give herself a break. Moving from one place to the next, absorbing herself in her work. Whether it was penance or seeking purpose, would be hard to say. In all likelihood, it was a bit of both.

A moment passed and she shook her head, “Sorry to bring the mood down with that question. Friends usually find less dour things to talk about over drinks, huh?” Amani grabbed her glass and raised it with a weary smile, “To much needed breaks.” Immediately as she took a swig of the jet juice, her whole body cringed in response to the strong taste. Obviously, she wasn’t all too accustomed to it. “Eck… If I'm being honest, I’ve never fully understood the appeal.” Amani laughed, setting the drink down and reclining in her chair. A sigh escaped her lips as she stared vacantly at a flickering ceiling light.

“Well, the way I hear it, the war’s over. Got any plans to cash in on that vacation?"
 
Pain Is A Necessary Evil
Writer
He followed along to Amani’s talk about the war.

Sometimes he thought what it would he like if he just decided to not got involved with the conflict, the battles, or the politics. For what he believed, not being involved would be relaxing. But obviously he was mistaken.

“Sorry to bring the mood down with that question. Friends usually find less dour things to talk about over drinks, huh? To much needed breaks.”

“To very much needed breaks.”

Okkeus grabbed his glass along with Amani. Raising it up, he followed the toast with a small drink. It had been a while since the last time he drank, and damn did it feel refreshing. He couldn’t help himself to chuckle slightly when Amani didn’t seemed to like the Jet Juice.

Setting the glass back down onto the table, he leaned back in the chair. It felt nice to just have a casual conversation with his friend. Not too many times has this happened since the wars started.

“Well, the way I hear it, the war’s over. Got any plans to cash in on that vacation?"

He had to stop and think about it for a second. It was true that the Sith had been defeated, for now, and the Jedi would be getting some time off. And truthfully, he didn’t fully know what he wanted yet.

“No plans I have are set in stone at the moment, but I am wanting to do some more traveling. The Alliance has been pushing on more exploration of the Unknown Regions, so that could be exciting.”

Only after saying it did he realize that his answer was kinda vague and probably skipping past what the real question was.

“Besides that, I have no clue what I’m going to do. I’ve never had this much free time. What about you, have any big plans on the horizon?”

Amani Amani
 
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“Unknown Regions, eh? Yeah, that would be the place to explore.” She’d yet to step foot there. The Outer Rim had already been something of an adventure all its own.

“Besides that, I have no clue what I’m going to do. I’ve never had this much free time. What about you, have any big plans on the horizon?”

Amani gave a noncommittal shrug. “Dunno. Just keep drifting, I guess.” She hadn’t given it much consideration. Nothing had really changed; The Sith Empire being dismantled was obviously something to be grateful for, but she hadn’t been in that fight for some time now. Amani never contemplated what effect it might have on her until just now as the question was reciprocated, but it opened up a whole new train of thought.

She smiled ever so faintly, “Maybe… now that the Empire’s territories have been freed… I dunno, maybe one of these days I’ll go see Mirial, or something. Always kinda wanted to.” If she ever found the time. She only just seemed to come to the realization that the only thing truly stopping her was, well, herself. Not that she was comfortable simply up and abandoning her work to focus on personal pursuits. But perhaps one day…

Amani shifted from her recline to instead lean forward against the table, “Just make sure that… whatever you do? It’s something you truly want to do.” It was unsolicited advice, but she felt compelled to get it off her chest, to pass on wisdom that came too late for herself, “The work that I do out here? It means something. It means something to me, and it means something to the people I help. I may not be out there blowing up Sith battleships, saving the day with my Jedi friends, but somebody needs to look out for all the people caught underneath it. When I can tell a wife that her husband’s critical injury is now nothing more than a scar; Or a poor man, that he doesn’t need to forgo a life-saving treatment because he can’t afford it; Or a parent, that their child is cured of a terrible disease… Those things give more to me, and to them, than a lightsaber ever could.” She paused for breath, collecting herself from the sudden outburst of passion.

“Now you don’t have to go around doing what I do… just… live the life that you want to live. I spent too much of my youth doing what everyone else expected of me. Make sure you aren’t caught in the same trap.” Amani leaned back again and exhaled, the realization of her tangent slowly building.

“Oh dear,” She grabbed her drink and downed most of the rest of it quickly, then shaking her head as if to rid herself of the taste. “Ugh… How’s that for a change in mood?” Amani chuckled at herself, then hiccuped.
 
Pain Is A Necessary Evil
Writer
The mood of the conversation seemed to switch.

He listened as Amani went on to talk about what she wanted to do with her free time. Since they started talking, he had wondered what she did in now that she was no longer a Jedi. But it seemed like that she was living a life that was good for her.

“Just make sure that… whatever you do? It’s something you truly want to do.”

Their entire talk had been her giving him life advice that honesty, he needed. Most teenager’s lives didn’t consist of traveling the stars fighting against the forces of the Dark. It just took a new perspective for him to see it.

As he listened to Amani’s passion full rant, and it only began to sink in with him that he needed a new change of pace. Maybe it was too late for a new path, just as it had been for his friend.


“Yeah…you are right. I do need a change of pace.”

“… just… live the life that you want to live. I spent too much of my youth doing what everyone else expected of me. Make sure you aren’t caught in the same trap.”

Live the life that you want to live. Was this the life that he wanted? Was his density supposed to be fighting wars that would keep going for generations? What was he meant to be?

Snapping out of it, he looked over to see Amani take another drink. Raising up his glass slightly, he downed another part of the drink, finishing it off.


“Change of mood works.”

Letting out a slight burp, he decided to move on to a different topic.

“It seems like you have your life figured out. Glad that is working out for you. Thinking about what you said though. Maybe it is time to do what I want, not what others want.”

Waving down the waiter droid, he ordered another round of drinks. Might just be one of those nights.

Amani Amani
 
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“Change of mood works.”

“Well, I’ve been told I can be something of an emotional drunk, so, I’ll try not to let the mood change too much,” she giggled, finishing the rest of her drink. “I swear, I drink a little too much one time, and suddenly there’s a label to slap on.” Of course for Lightweight of the Century Amani Serys, a little too much for her was maybe not the same as it was for others.

“It seems like you have your life figured out. Glad that is working out for you. Thinking about what you said though. Maybe it is time to do what I want, not what others want.”

Amani snorted, “‘Figured out’ is maybe a generous way of putting it. But, I did choose it, and that’s been enough for me so far.” She wasn’t sure if he would actually have found her advice of use, but it was as much a way for her to vent as it was to pass on wisdom. He seemed to take it to heart though, and if it could actually help him, all the better.

Amani nodded to the droid to confirm another drink for herself, and leaned back once again, “This is nice. Can’t remember the last time I ran into someone I recognized.” She smiled, reminiscences of simpler times drifting through her mind, “Small galaxy, huh?”
 
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