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Inheritance (Je'Gan)

Aleidis Zrgaat

Young soul from an older generation.
Character
It'd been awhile since Aleidis had visited Datar.

She'd been a Jedi. She'd been training the Padawans in basic survival and first aid, teaching them how to cook on an open fire and bed down in the trees. It felt like a lifetime ago - Aleidis had been a different girl, then. She was older, now. Almost noticeably so, externally. Internally, the difference between then and now was like night and day. Child and adult.

Or Jedi and Sith, for that matter.

But there were still some things she could enjoy. Aleidis stepped off of the small, private shuttle she'd taken to her home planet, enjoying the feeling of cool grass beneath her bare toes and the relief that Datar's light gravity provided on her slender form. She loved to be out of her stuffy veda cloth robes, comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt. Casual clothing was a rare treat, something to be savored - almost as much as the massive, cloud-scraping trees of her homeworld were. The endless forests of Datar, shrouded in eternal dusk, were a rare stop for just about anybody who wasn't a slaver... and the slavers had had some difficulty getting to the planet, thanks to the influence of a Ghostling Chancellor.

She was stronger, now. Emotionally. As a Jedi, Aleidis had been quick to assume the best and quicker still to forgive. Leading the manifold peoples of the Republic had tempered her optimism. It'd taken that enduring diamond of faith in her soul and sharpened it to a razor's edge. Some might call it maturity, and they'd likely be right. Aleidis didn't see it, but it was fairly obvious to those close to her that a good deal of the unyielding joy and compassion had been trimmed away by anxiety and cynicism.

Even if Aleidis Ijet would never truly be a cynic.

Aleidis stepped nimbly away from the shuttle and stepped over some gnarled roots as thick around as her waist - pointed feet making little sound in Datar's fecund soil. They were high up, and it was colder here - peering down the mountain, Aleidis could see the village she'd grown up in twinkling down in the treetops a few kilometers away - no more than fifteen huts, perched atop the trees. A couple dozen lives, like a billion others. Somewhere down there, her father was likely blowing out a candle and bedding down for the night, his wife passed nearly a decade ago and his daughter gone off to the jedi long enough ago that he'd be hard-pressed to recognize her if he saw her in person. Tomorrow, he'd wake up with the sun and begin hunting, just like any other day. That the only blood relation he had left in the universe was less than a mile walk away was something he wouldn't know. It was better that way.

She could walk down this hill and be home by morning. Ghostling children were trained to be able to find their way home in the darkest nights from a very young age, after all. She could climb up little hand-holds leading up to the village from the ground, sneak in the thatch door, and wake Jobar Ijet with breakfast and a smile. Only a handful of souls in the Galaxy had any idea that Datar existed, or that the Chancellor was from there. Even fewer would be able to find her. She could disappear, and live a simple life of gathering herbs and trapping rabbits, of tending her father's morose nature.

Shifting thick hair away from slightly pointed ears, Aleidis took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. Home was home, regardless of bittersweet feelings, but Datar hadn't been her home for most of her life, now. Coruscant was home. She'd left here at six years old, and now she was weeks away from seventeen. Most of her cognizant memories had nothing at all to do with the place. Sad, but that was life. Her life. Datar was the planet her body was made for, but she belonged to the planet no more than her lungs belonged to the air.

But gosh, it was a pretty view. Je'Gan would understand if she took a few minutes to soak in her feelings and appreciate being home while he dragged his aged behind around the Oneiromancer, getting ready. They had some time, here. She had time away from work, he had time away from the order, and when he'd recommended they take this trip, she'd jumped at the chance. Perhaps it was training? Perhaps Je'Gan was ensuring his heir didn't stress herself into an early gave? (As if that were something he needed to worry about.) Whatever the reason, she could scarcely refuse him. Je'Gan Olra'en had been as constant an influence in her life as Boolon Murr - at times more, sometimes less - but his presence had never really gone away.

Heck, she still wore that orange Tsil crystal around her neck. Just in case. It's weight was familiar, comforting, like a father's steadying hand on her shoulder.
 

Ashin Varanin

Professional Enabler
Writer
Sometimes he just needed to stretch.

The Fallanassi apostate had picked up more than a little lore with the White Current. The Fallanassi passed down tales in their invisible city; what else was there to do when one's entire focus was non-intervention? When one's powers were so purposeless as to be toys?

And danger waited in those stories. What was one to think, hearing about illusory plagues with physical symptoms? Plagues so real they could kill, if you believed yourself infected? What was one to think except I am a god?

He could cloak the Oneiromancer; that much was simple. He felt no frequent need to stretch himself, but every now and again, circumstances required more of him than five hundred years of habit could handle.

This region of Datar was in the grip of a mild epidemic -- or had been. A widespread but not terribly serious virus had circulated, killing a handful of people across this particular valley. And Je'gan found himself needing to test two things. One, whether he was capable of those legendary illusory plagues, given enough long-term meditation. And two, whether he could do it in reverse...and bend the currents of the Force enough to gradually cure everyone.

Such had been his activities, unknown to the Ghostlings, for the past week. Now Je'gan approached Aleidis and her shuttle in the guise of a Ghostling, a face he'd worn throughout the region. But she'd know him.

"I love quiet, dark forests," he said. "As a general rule, anyway. Comes of growing up on Varunda Nine. Nice place, right between the Protectorate and the Fringe, in the neutral zone there. Jungle world, many Tyia." He shimmered back into view and touched the brim of his hat. "Welcome home, Chancellor. Time for masterclass."
 

Aleidis Zrgaat

Young soul from an older generation.
Character
@Je'gan Olra'en

"Since when do you use titles to refer to me?" Aleidis asked the lean man with a small smirk, folding her arms. "It makes me think you're making fun of me." The Ghostling complained with a mockingly haughty tone. To address Je'Gan Olra'en - the man who'd once been known as Darth Shule, who could bend the very realities of nearly ever soul in the Galaxy - as a semi-spoiled teenager displeased with his manner of address was a pleasure Aleidis likely reserved for herself. Not that she was spoiled, but she had to say something.

Je'Gan's words carried an odd sort of gravity. An importance of tone and inflection, a pressure that hung in every syllable and hung like an implied threat regardless of content. Such was the nature of men who were centuries old and virtually unkillable; men who'd done near everything the Galaxy could consider a sin or virtue and were going strong. Men who were more akin to eldritch forces of nature or demi-gods. To accept that pressure and be cowed by it wasn't in Aleidis' plans. She'd long since grown acclimated to Je'Gan's presence, and while she afforded him the respect due his power and position - she was not the wide-eyed Padawan who'd been amazed to see the last lines of the Sith Code etched into the very Force itself on the floor of a temple training room.

Regardless, she didn't need to say much to get her point across - having spent the last two years in nearly constant, quiet contact at all hours. Je'Gan understood the intention well enough, more likely than not - he was a serious person by nature and nurture, and as cynical as Aleidis might become, she was still a warm summer breeze compared to the man who'd sought her out based on her idealism and compassion alone. So long as she could joke and smile with him, the core of what had pulled his attention to her remained untouched. Cracked by pressure and tempered by experience, Aleidis Ijet was still herself. And she was still his heir.

Her hands moved behind her back, clasped loosely behind herself. Legs together, back straight. She was attentive, she was earnest, she was eager - she was still the same girl who'd struggled for months to make it to the top of the Jedi temple to meet his tests. She didn't need to report she was ready any more than she had years ago; her body communicated what her voice didn't need to.
 

Ashin Varanin

Professional Enabler
Writer
The Grandmaster's face broke into a broad grin. "Don't mind me," he said. "I get forgetful of the niceties around here."

The grin faded. "Look, Alei. I'm...well, I'm tired. Darron and Ben were right: This job exhausts. I can't imagine how you feel, so I was hoping we could spend this time giving you the resources you'll need.

"You like to lead from the front, and that's something I've always respected about you. You've got enough tenacity and drive that, well..." He shrugged. "Frankly, at any point, if I inhabited your body again, you could trap me. Think of Empatojayos Brand, the story I told you. You have that kind of strength of self. Frankly, I could probably teach you Force Walk, soul-binding. Or I could teach you...well, nearly anything. So what do you want to learn? What'll take your mind off the job for a day?"
 

Aleidis Zrgaat

Young soul from an older generation.
Character
@Je'gan Olra'en

That she could best her master - built up to near demi-god status in her mind - at something was a bit of a shock to Aleidis Ijet. His compliments brought a small flush and a proud puffing to the teenager's posture, and then he did what he'd asked her years ago - what she wanted to learn. As convenient as flow-walking might be, Aleidis didn't want to have that kind of power. That sort of knowledge. It'd consume her, destroy her. How could anyone keep an eye on the future, knowing what the past held? Or work towards a better today, when they could already see tomorrow?

"Soul-Binding, Master." Aleidis replied resolutely. Since becoming a leader, she'd realized that there were threats in the world that couldn't be talked down - men who couldn't be reasoned with, who might never be redeemed. She wasn't about to go around ordering their executions, but the day might come where she had to detain them. And for that, to not kill them? Took a very specific set of skills. Soul-Binding was one of those skills.
 
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