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I Can Go The Distance

Since his father had died - for real this time - a few years ago while trying to protect Coruscant from the invasion of the One Sith, Josh had tried in his honor to learn more about his heritage, learn more about his parents. Who were they? Who and what was he? Something that his father had told him in the few times they had spent together since he had found him again had stuck to him. Had it been a joke? He couldn't tell with him.

He recalled it clear as day, despite the fact it had been years since their last meeting.

"That Aleidis girl, what are your thoughts on her?"

"Huh?"

"You two, you're clearly close. Her eyes lit up when she recognized my last name. Well, that and she started laughing hysterically, but it appeared you two were quite close the one time I met her."

"I haven't seen her in years, to be honest with you."

"Ahhh... A shame."

"Why?"

"No reason. Is there someone in your life, perhaps?"

"There is. Though Force knows I wouldn't know how to say anything. It's just... Difficult. There's something different with them, compared to other interactions with people."

"That's normal to feel. One thing I have learned is that emotions are a part of us... They are part of what gives us life, and to ignore them is not to live at all."

"Part of being human?"

"Who said you were fully human?"

"Huh?"

He had only chuckled and didn't state further. He was probably joking, but Josh couldn't help but be curious. It was one of their last conversations and after his death, he had put everything he'd told him in general under the microscope for any meaning that it held.

He had consulted hundreds of contacts, called in hundreds of favors, to learn about who and what his parents were. His father would have told him eventually, he was sure, but... He'd never gotten the chance to get it out of him. The Sith had taken that chance away from him. He was on his own now. The last lead he'd gotten had led him to a grave on the desolate remains of Mandalore. But now, this new lead had a document in his hand. A dossier. A collection of information on a woman named Serena Ordo, who had joined the Galactic Republic's Jedi Order and had risen to the rank of Master. The dossier concluded with her having been convicted of working with the Sith Empire before she had run off with her co-conspirator, Jedi Master Philip DragonsFlame. It had come out after the recorded demise of both of them (Despite the man's survival, though he had been incognito for so long after it was no wonder he was pronounced dead as well) that they had been framed as the real culprit had been arrested.

Finding the clan that his mother had belonged to, finally, was a bittersweet comfort for Josh. After recent events, there was no way that the Ordo clan would ever accept him, being a Jedi. That was a part of his heritage he would not be able to embrace. Perhaps one day.

But one part of the dossier had caught his attention...

Serena Ordo
Echani

Echani?

He knew of their race. He had even met and worked with a few. He was somewhat familiar with their customs and culture, and had integrated a bit of Echani hand to hand into his combat style, though had never finished the training as Celiana was only giving a brief deal so he could spar with her. And he had always suspected ulterior motives with that spar...

Regardless, he wasn't sure where to go from here. What did that make him exactly? Was he Human? Was he Echani? Was he a mix of both? Unlike the Mandalorians, which were a clan, the Echani were a human-like race. He couldn't help but stare into the mirror at that moment, fretting over every detail of his complexion. His features were very heavily similar to his father's... Which may explain why Jason was the same despite his mother being a Chalactan, potentially a heavily dominant gene. Regardless... He supposed it didn't matter what exactly he was, though he did feel a temptation to undergo a few tests to understand his genealogy...

What he did know was that he wished to honor it. His family was gone, it was just himself and Jason now. His family was not here to honor that heritage, and he knew that perhaps one day, Jason would want to honor it too. He wanted to know all that he could, in case there came a day that Jason was curious.

He didn't know where to start though... Hmmm...

Perhaps there was one person who could help.

Taking a deep breath as he looked over at Jason in his playpen, who had fallen asleep soundly while his father had been pouring over his research, Josh would pull up his datapad and leave a message with Jedi Master [member="Jyoti Nooran"], a woman he knew he could trust. She was an Echani herself, there was a good chance she would be a wellspring of knowledge.

"Good evening, Master Nooran" Josh would greet as the message would begin to record. "I hope you're well. I have a request for you, if perhaps we could find a time to meet up and talk."

He let out one more exhale then, ironing out his nerves as he would then ask.

"I wish to learn more of the Echani."
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
Near the end of her day, Jyoti had retired to her private quarters to tinker with an old holocron. There were countless examples out in the wild, but so few of them remained functional these days. There was a challenge in repairing the optical lattice, which kept her engaged as she worked on restoring the holocron.

The communicator on her hip started to buzz while in silent mode. Gingerly, she set the busted holocron down on the workmat with gloved hands before reaching the communicator on.

She scanned the display to find a new message from holocron. He had questions about the Echani. Jyoti may have only adopted the qualities and customs of the race to maintain her new alias, but the avatar's research had been very thorough, making her indistinguishable from the real deal.

She issued a quick text message back to Josh:

"I'm available now. Come to my quarters with your questions, and bring snacks."

[member="Josh DragonsFlame"]
 
He hadn't expected the response so soon. While Jyoti had been sending the message, Josh had been off to check Jason's pulse and breathing and make sure that he was sleeping soundly. Satisfied with what he found, he would return to his part of his quarters that he had assigned as a sort of study to continue doing more research. When he did, he would find that a message had been sent to his datapad. A text. Tapping the button, he would read the message sent, and he couldn't help but smile lightly.

"I'm available now. Come to my quarters with your questions, and bring snacks."

Good. That meant that he might find information sooner than he had been expecting. Jyoti was generally quite busy, and he could admit he was surprised she had replied so soon. He had no clue about Jyoti being an android, of course, and that the Echani thing was just part of her identity. He only knew that she was an Echani and would hopefully have information as a result. He wasn't sure how to explain why if she asked though... Would it be awkward to spring it like that?

Regardless, Josh would ring for one of the nanny droids to look after Jason, seeing as he didn't want to take him to the area assigned for taking care of the kids while Jason was sleeping soundly. He'd prefer he remain comfortable and not fall into a panic when he realized he had been moved away from his quarters. Jason had been panicking a lot when he woke as of late, not being used to the Temple quarters. Josh felt horrible and wished he could stop the panic faster, but he knew he was just going to have to adjust. He also knew that he missed his mother too, but... There wasn't anything that Josh could do about that. He had to be both parents now.

Once Jason was settled, Josh would gather the snacks that Jyoti had requested, dress into his robes proper and would head off to her quarters. Once he arrived, the Jedi would gingerly poke his head in.

"Jyoti?" He would call quietly as he would step in slowly, in case she was in the middle of something. He looked around then for Jyoti. "I'm sorry if I was interrupting anything."

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
Jyoti felt Josh on approach well before she saw him, so she was already turned in her chair at her desk to face the door. Her hair was down, and the outer coat of her Jedi robes hung on the back of her chair.

"Howdy," she said with a smile, waving him over to an empty chair next to her desk. "No, you're fine, just doing some archival work."

As a permanent master of the Silver Order, she had a pretty large room, enough space for a small open office in the corner where she was now. Much like her main office in the administrative wing, the walls were lined with all sorts of fauna, the room was filled with flowery and citrus scents. Otherwise, the room was neat but bare, the sign of someone who didn't spend much time there.

She looked to either side of his person as if searching for something. "So, where are the snacks?"

[member="Josh DragonsFlame"]
 
He could admit, Josh wasn't used to seeing Jyoti with her hair down. Most of their encounters had been all business, usually pertaining to a mission or piece of business, or they had gone to some kind of gala and her hair was up. This time, she seemed to be more relaxed, with her hair down. It was a good look for her. He couldn't help but look around at the room a bit, noting the sheer amount of botany. The last time he'd met someone this obsessed with botany, it was Master Arisa Yune. He tried to hide the frown at the reminder that she was no longer with them.

"I got them" He spoke as he would hold up the bag of snacks. "I got sealed chips, sealed sandwiches, popcorn ready to pop, soda, sealed chocolates, and if there's anything you're craving, I'm sure we can scrounge it" He would remark as he would walk over, giving her a warm smile as he approached. Josh would sit down at the empty chair when she motioned toward it then, as he would put the bag down on either an empty surface, or if nothing was available, the floor nearby. As everything was sealed up, nothing would be hurt by that, of course. And he'd made sure to grab enough for the both of them.

He was still getting used to speaking more causally with Jyoti though. They'd done so in a few talks, but as many of their encounters were business, he was still trying to learn to let his own hair down around her.

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
While Josh started looking around her room, she realized her mistake inviting him here. While maintaining a new alias, bits of her old self bled through. Nothing could be proven, but it still made things awkward when people like Josh seemed to be on the cusp of the truth.

However, with great poise, she maintained her easy-going demeanor for their encounter as if she had noticed nothing.

She perked up as Josh rattled off all the goodies he had brought. "Goodness, Charlie will kill me if she found out about this. She stopped eating her junk food around me, I think out of embarrassment."

"It doesn't sound like you brought any refreshments, but I have us covered," she said, glancing over at the mini fridge next to her bed.

She stood up from her chair to retrieve couple bottles of sweet iced tea. "So you had questions about the Echani? What's been on your mind?"

[member="Josh DragonsFlame"]
 
While the energy sensed was similar, and the love for botany was similar, neither were solid proof that she was Arisa Yune, and so it never crossed his mind. He could be on the cusp of the truth, but with nothing to really point at the correlation between the two, nothing came of it. As he would sit down and list off the goodies he'd brought, the way she perked up brought a smile out of him as he watched the change in her features, bringing up emotions from him that after hearing recent rumors he remembered to quickly push back down. There had been a time to say certain things, and that time had come and passed. That was life. Hopefully, this would pass just as the time had.

He laughed a bit at her remarks. "I'll be sure to offer her some sweets the next time I see her. And, nah I got 'em, but a variety is nice, certainly" He spoke as he would pull the aforementioned sodas out of the bag that she'd missed.

At her question, he mulled it over a moment. "I guess to be blunt, I want to honor a family member and their cultures" Josh would explain. "I want to learn everything I can about the Echani, their culture, their traditions, their quirks, what's important to them, anything you think would be useful to know, really."

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
"Liquid sugar isn't exactly refreshing," she quipped while handing him a cold bottle of sweet tea.

She plopped back in her chair, then uncapped her own bottle for a swig of tea, processing his answer about his sudden interest in Echani.

"I could help you with all that," she replied with a nod. "So who are they, and what's the occasion? "

[member="Josh DragonsFlame"]
 
"Mmm, fair" He responded with a shrug as he would take the bottle of sweet tea, gingerly taking a sip. Though Jyoti would suddenly open by asking just what family member merited honoring to the point that he would go out of his way to do so like this. He wasn't sure how to answer, to be honest though. Did he just come out with it? Did he just tell her straight up, no frills, nothing? Considering he looked nothing like the usual Echani, considering the strong gene pool on his father's side (Jason was a testament to that), it might come as a bit of a shock. But who knows? He had never seen Jyoti even slightly rattled. It'd probably just roll off her like nothing, right? Well, let's hope for the best.

So he spoke it bluntly, calmly, and just left it pretty plain and simple.

"Mother."

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
She raised an eyebrow at that revelation. "Mother?"

At first glance, he didn't appear Echani, but in hybrid pairings, Echani traits were often recessive. Perhaps a consequence of their origins as a product of bioengineering.

"So you're half Echani? Why didn't you tell me earlier? There aren't too many of us running around the galaxy, so it's always nice a meeting another."

The avatar may have just been playing a part in her true mission, but she was certainly growing into it. She liked being Jyoti, maybe even more than Arisa.

[member="Josh DragonsFlame"]
 
"I didn't know."

He scratched his head at that. He supposed it was a bit much to just reveal this flat out, but he honestly didn't know until now. "It's why I contacted you" Josh would explain. "I've been trying to find information on my family for years. I recently uncovered some documents regarding my mother, which has been difficult as the Order she belonged to was destroyed a long time ago."

"To be honest, I actually kind of called you first" He would admit with a light chuckle. She was literally the first person to come to mind when the question came of who to consult.

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
"And which Order was that?"

It was a legitimate question. There seemed to be endless Jedi sects alone, not even counting the myriad of other Force organizations out there. Not since the time of the Old Republic had Force Users appeared to be so ubiquitoous.

"I suppose I can help you find your mother. If she had anything to do with the Republic or Jedi Order, then we may be able to find something. After the fall of the the GR, government officials and military personnel brought over their archives for safe keeping."

"If not, then I guess it's just time for some good old fashion sleuthing."

Day to day, a large part of the Shadow's duties included investigations. Finding missing persons (and hunting down fugitives) was all part of her job description.

[member="Josh DragonsFlame"]
 
"No clue" Josh would admit. "It fell before I was born. I'm not having an easy time finding much information on it. It's kind of... Odd, really, not knowing anything about your own parents, pretty much. I don't know much about anything about either of them, except that they were Jedi, and that they had been exiled. And that a Master who served the Order I was in prior to the Galactic Republic had been involved."

He also knew who his late father's alter ego had been, but he knew that any background he had found on the late Supreme Chancellor Philip J. Halen prior to becoming a Senator was falsified.

He hadn't expected Jyoti to offer to help to look for information on his family, and their background. He had come seeking information on the Echani, but both worked for him. He certainly wasn't complaining. "I appreciate that" He spoke softly with a gentle bow of his head. "I wish I knew more, but Jedi sects pop up and die like fish."

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
"Very good," she replied with nod. "Something we can look into tomorrow. I have access to the archives of both the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order - at least up until the point of the split."

She almost mentioned Josh contact Shmi who would also have access to all the old Jedi archives, but caught herself. The topic of his ex was still quite the sensitive one, and no one had seen her since their split. She would make due with what was available.

"So back to your original question about Echani? What do you want to know? I mean, do you ever plan on visiting?"

[member="Josh DragonsFlame"]
 
“Mmm, odds are those hold records for other Jedi sects that went down as well, since most at the time were tied or allied to the Republic” Josh would agree.

He wasn’t sure what they would find. The Order that his parents had been in and his first Jedi Order were the same... But those archives as far as he knew had been lost. He had disappeared for a year during his imprisonment and had returned to find it bare nothing, without a trace. He couldn’t even remember the name anymore. It was one of the few things he never remembered again when he had regained his memories. He had served the Republic’s Jedi after that and those memories were clear. But those before that were not.

“Visiting?” He inquired when the question returned to the Echani. “Hadn’t thought of it. Wouldn’t know where to go, who to see. Honestly, as far as what I’m looking for, I’m not sure. There is so much to learn about the Echani and I know so little. I don’t know where to even start. I guess I’m looking for... Direction, to start off, if that makes sense.”

He was searching for a beginning. All of this was just so overwhelming and he didn’t know where to begin it all.

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
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