Just outside the growing reach of the Galactic Alliance, the reformed moon and holy place of the Force, Jedha, has been preparing for weeks to partake in a spiritual celebration of joy and love. Historically home to a religious order known as the Guardians of Whills, Jedha has long worshipped the five mythical aspects known as the Whills. The Festival of Love is one of the most romantic and widely anticipated celebrations in the galaxy. Beings come from all corners to indulge in the fruits of infatuation and to profess their love to the partner of their choosing.
Coincidentally, for the past several years, Jedha has also been home to a top-secret weapons research facility overseen by the SIA. As the war becomes a more pressing matter, Vice-Chancellor Aerarii Tithe and Minister of Defense Rufirus Drummer have petitioned the Senate to secure the base by accepting Jedha as a full member of the Galactic Alliance.
Objective 1: Hearts Over Jedha
To this end, the Alliance will hold a cultural exchange with the nominal government. Alliance citizens and high profile diplomats have journeyed to participate in the Festival of Love.
Deep within the crust of Jedha, the secret weapons facility has desperately been trying to develop a chemical agent that would dampen the dark side connection of the Sith by creating overwhelming feelings of love, happiness, and hope in the targets. Unfortunately, the SIA has been unsuccessful thus far in their endeavors and has only managed to create a chemical which induces extreme feelings of infatuation.
While trying to dispose of the failed attempts, the chemical is accidentally released onto the festival-goers. Those affected instantly develop intense feelings for the first person they lay eyes on.
Objective 2: Kyber Mines
The New Jedi Order has agreed to pay tribute to Jedha’s spiritual authorities by journeying into the Kyber mines. Little do they know, deep within the Kyber mines lies in wait a rare Pink Kyber Crystal which bestows upon the wielder an as of yet untapped power. The person to claim it shall enjoy these mysterious benefits
Objective Three: BYOO
Jedha is a planet rife with opportunities for exploration and spiritual growth. Pay tribute at the Temple of Kyber, explore the mystery of the Central Isopter, or take the apple of your eye on a romantic date. It’s the Festival of Love, after all!
Tag: Open to interaction
Objective: 1 - Hearts over Jedha
Festival of Love? Kat wasn't sold on the idea but she knew that it was important for the Galactic Alliance to attend the festival and enjoy the company, even being a part of the local culture, showing that the GA is respectful and inclusive. There were other missions that she could have been a part of with Jedha but Kat was also curious to see what would be going on in the festival, there would be some drinks which be nice to get through this day. She had selected a nice green dress that she had been able to get on Coruscant, it was expensive and she was lucky to grab the dress but she loved it. The deep green skirt matched her eyes and the lace top half was stylish and reminded her of dresses she saw on Eshan. Kat had spent most of the morning sorting her hair out, she was torn on a few designs, there was braids she knew from Eshan, a fishtail braid that she learnt when part of the SJC and then she could not braid her hair and just straighten it and let it down.
In the end, Kat let her down and straighten it since the natural waves would give a messy look to it. The straighten hair was brushed to fall mostly over one side. Adjusting her dress, she checked herself out in the mirror, it was good and she was pleased though a little concern it was over the top for a simple festival but why not dress to improve. As her sister would love to constantly remind Kat, every event is a chance to meet your future partner. Letting out a loud sigh and wandered out of her hotel room. She had come a couple days before and decided to stay at a hotel to check things out. Jedha was a world with history, one of the first planets the very first Death Star fired upon. While it didn't destroy the planet, it did do severe damage and the history of Kyber crystals and connection to the Jedi Order of old.
Kat walked through the festival and looked around, admiring the decorations and stalls that had been set up. It was pleasant type for Kat as she moved slowly through the crowd, curious to see if she recognised any familiar faces around the festival.
Location: Jedha Spaceport
Objective: BYOO - Pay tribute to The Temple of Kyber
When I heard about the Temple of Kyber mentioned among my peers, I desperately wanted to visit it. For most of the early days of my young life I lived the temple upbringing with the Order of the Lotus Moon before joining the Jedi Order. The Jedi Temples, to this day, hold me firmly in their grasp of awe. The architectural designs of the Jedi Temples were extraordinarily beautiful, and the history and knowledge swirling among the walls gave me a sense of serenity I never fully felt before. I will never describe myself as an artistic guru, but I will always give the proper acknowledgement to those that spend their lives giving us such beauty, putting smiles on our faces and glimmers of fascinations in our eyes.
Before embarking on my pilgrimage to the Holy City, I did a little historical research upon I discovered that the temple and the city had nearly been destroyed by some nefarious empire nearly eight-hundred plus years ago. Over the past centuries the city began to be grow and recover. even the temple itself had been restored; but only partially. The reconstruction of the temple was a painstaking endeavor, slowly being refitted to it's former glory days. None-the-less, I was intrigued enough to make the journey.
When I arrived at the spaceport of the Holy City, I was keenly surprised that the temperament of the climate was cold in lieu of the moon being a sprawling desert. I loved the cold, and this suited me perfectly. The spaceport, too, was sprawling; but with masses of bodies from several different species. If not for the lightsaber on my side, I probably looked like a wide-eyed tourist.
Master San Tekka slowly descended into the dark below. There was a dim illumination provided by torchlight which danced off elaborate statues of pure kyber depicting epic scenes from ancient Jedi mythology. Several of the Jedi in his expedition wanted to meditate upon such works of art but for most the kyber's call was stronger. Volunteering as a guide for the New Jedi Order only made sense. After all, this was where it had all begun for him.
As a Jedi Padawan Zark trained on Jedha under the wise krevaaki master Xylon Hexyra. He knew these mines well. With no need for armor he wore a simple grey tunic, utility vest and longcoat to protect him from the moon's frigid environment. His crossguard hilt dangled from the pommel cap against one hip. Across from it there was a holstered Glie-44 blaster. He glanced back at the others.
"Do not provoke the Guardians," Zark warned.
Before they could ask what he meant a black robed warrior emerged from shadow. An archaic lightbow rested between his shoulderblades. He appeared to be standing in silent vigil. San Tekka knew he was not the only tunnel sentinel, merely the only one who had allowed himself to be seen. Without hesitating the Jedi Master inclined his head slightly in respect and continued on. No effort was made to stop them.
Just when it seemed like the walk would last forever the tunnel finally emerged into a vast cavern. Its dimensions were not defined enough to truly quantify but everywhere the stone glittered with crystal trace like a star field. They were standing on a natural upper landing which still bore many traces of habitation. Monks in red robes which could only be the Disciples of the Whills had also descended the tunnels they maintained to meditate upon the nature of the Force. This was the true temple.
It was a refreshing breath of air to be here. Considering recent events, the various battles he had waged, recent captures, abuse at the hands of his enemies, the loss of some friends and the wounds that others had received. Attending a festival meant to celebrate love in all forms. Although, looking around Aaran figured that for the most part, many of the people present were more focused on Eros over the other forms of love. Certainly not the Agape that as a Jedi he was expected to practice to the best of his ability.
But it was not like he'd begrudge people from finding solace in whatever way they could. Life was cruel, the universe was not a fair place. So live and let live. Let others find comfort in whatever way they could. Be it among family and friends, or in the arms of someone special. Both options were equally valid in his eyes.
Granted he never experienced the latter himself, so he had no context. But judging from the way both Ryv and Auteme perked up whenever their own significant other came up during conversation, it was no doubt something truly special.
Taking a swig of the refreshments provided. Aaran did casually scan the crowd. He was here as a representative of the order. And the gaudy robes he found himself draped on seemed appropriate for the occasion. A bit on the nose perhaps, but still formal enough. It was of high enough quality that only the vain would think he wore them as a joke.
Granted his sense of fashion was god awful. So perhaps he simply did not realise out of place he looked.
But there were other things on his mind rather than fashion. As not too long into the festivities. He began feeling something. Flushed, twitchy. As if he were currently drunk on the mildly alcoholic beverage in his hands. His heartrate accelerating as his senses seemed to become hyper aware without drawing on the Force.
Pupils dilating, he stumbled away from the nearby table he was resting at. Desperate to get somewhat away from the larger crowds so he could get some air.
Ilian had never been to Jedha before, yet the moon felt familiar to him. It was an electrifying sensation to have all the images he'd constructed in his head reading the ancient tomes of his Order all suddenly come to life before his eyes. It was as if only now, as he followed Master San Tekka's torchlight through the darkness of the old kyber caverns, was the place finally real.
Dressed in simple garb and a traditional robe for warmth, Ilian can't help but feel a spiritual connection to those ancient Jedi and followers of the Force who'd walked this path before him.
"Do not provoke the Guardians."
The presence of the silent warrior is seen before it's sensed. A rare occurrence. Likely some form of Force masking, the Knight considers to himself as he mimics the Jedi Master's bow in passing. Any lingering thoughts on the technique quickly fall to the back of Ilian's mind as their path reaches its end. His lips part and eyes widen at the sheer beauty of the scene before them. A sight indescribable.
"Master San Tekka," Ilian speaks out quietly, "how did this place survive the Great Destruction?"
It was no secret that Jedha that suffered a near-apocalyptic event in it's history. Ilian had read a historical text written by a Master of many centuries past that suggested numerous worlds suffered similar fates as a result of precious kyber.
He looks to the Master, waiting patiently for a response while preparing to follow him farther.
"A student of history?" Master San Tekka arched his brow at Ilian Kastle
"Lost worlds like Jedha and Alderaan are one of our galaxy's great mysteries, Knight Kastle."
While he spoke Zark led them on. He produced a glowlamp to help light the way when their footing grew more treacherous. This close to the surface the mines almost resembled a small sullustan town. Most other living souls were red robed disciples, but there were a few independent Jedi and even one cultist of the Central Isopter who appeared harmless enough despite their dark reputation for disaster worship.
"Many scholars theorize that forces from beyond known space intervened during the years of darkness. Others contend that the Great Destruction refers to a mythological Holy City which Jedha owes its name. Some even believe it is a miracle of the Force or the work of some cosmic vergence."
His voice echoed strangely off the cavern walls. There was a sense of almost spiritual reverence to this place. Master San Tekka had always been able to feel the Force's call strongly down here in the mines. In some ways Jedha City felt like home. Training here was the only stable part of his childhood he could remember. Zark set old memories aside and continued.
"One thing is certain. If the Great Destruction was real then this Temple did not survive. Jedha City's foundations only date back a few centuries to when it was first settled by pilgrims. The early colonists believed this place matched tales of the Cold Moon. Sure enough they found kyberite deposits beneath the mesa."
He allowed Ilian a small smile.
"Word of Jedha took care of the rest. A new holy city was quickly born. Now it is old again by our reckoning. Even the Kyber Temple will be faithful to the ancient stories once it is fully restored."
MISSION CODENAME: HEARTS OVER JEDHA (OPEN TO INTERACTION)
AGENT: KALIE ALVEREZ PRIMARY OBJECTIVES: ENJOY THE FESTIVAL WITH Gramani Fey’la
/ REPRESENT GA PRESENCE AT EVENT SECONDARY OBJECTIVES: LOOK ADORABLE COVER ALIAS: N/A
Kalie walked softly through the crowded streets with a sense of lightness and grace. Her eyes sparkled as she took in the unique cultural elements of the festivities, trying to hide her anticipation of Gramani Fey’la
's arrival. She was essentially on leave from the agency and she had always wanted to attend this festival ever since she had heard of it when she was a girl, so when the invitation went out throughout the SIA for members to attend in order to help represent the Alliance, she jumped on it immediately. She had initially hesitated to invite Gramani, unsure how it would be received by the Bothan. They had only ever met under the pressures of SIA Operations, and so this was something very... different!
She stopped in her tracks, her eyes widening with concern. 'Oh no! Have I made a big mistake??' She worried. 'What if this is awkward? What am I thinking??' As she began to panic internally, she realized that this was a sign that she had begun to develop real feeling for Gramani. Her eyes widened further at this revelation as she stood there in the middle of the crowd, facing a deep internal crisis. 'No... No... He is a friend!' She thought, trying to convince herself. 'We are both spies anyway... it would never work out, silly girl!' She blinked a few times, then slowly started moving forward again, continuing to wrestle inwardly.
"...I hope this isn't awkward..." She whispered to herself. Somehow she had failed to process all of these dynamics beforehand, being focused solely on the excitement of the event and having an accompanying date for the evening.
But then, her internal conversation was smothered and the artist inside of her leapt for joy upon seeing some street artists who were painting portraits of the event goers. She walked over briskly and studied one of the artists techniques, taking note of the brushes and paints they were using. Noticing her presence, the artist looked up at her and gave her a warm smile,
"Care for a portrait?" He offered, And Kalie gave him a big, genuine smile.
"I'd love that!" She said, sitting down in one of the chairs in front of the artist. It was obviously set up for two, and the artist looked at her inquiringly,
"I'm sure a beautiful woman like you has someone special who would join you?"
She looked at him with wide eyes and a slightly embarrassed expression,
"Oh! ...haha! ...of coarse!" This is the festival of love after all... of coarse he was doing couples portraits. oops.
"Sorry..." She said as she started to pick herself out of the chair, "Maybe I can just watch you work?" She gave him a slightly embarrassed but cute smile.
Aaris stood at the beverage stand in his formal military uniform, looking beyond uncomfortable, his eyes darting around as if there were enemies all around him.
The enemies? people...
So... many... people...
He flung back his fourth shot of some peculiar rose-flavored whiskey, his face wincing at the annoying flavor added to an otherwise perfectly fine shot of alcohol.
"Disgusting. One more." He said, reaching quickly for another shot and downing it quickly. The stand attendant seemed intimidated by the large man, but tried to engage him in conversation none the less,
"So... a military man?" He asked with a sense of embarrassment at the obviousness of his own question. Aaris looked at the man with a blank expression, then nodded with an unmistakable look of pity for the man.
"Uh... thanks for the whiskey, citizen." He said awkwardly, pulling out some change and slamming it on the counter, making the man jump in fright. Aaris left the stand to avoid any further risk of conversation.
He had been asked by his superior officer to take his place at the event, and being the good soldier, he had agreed. He didn't think he was the best at social events and thought it a mistake for him to attend, but whatever.
Suddenly Aaris felt something very, very strange. He stopped and looked down, putting his hand on his stomach, his eyebrows furrowed.
"What the kriff was in that whiskey?!" He said as he started to feel his heart beating quicker with a strange warmth filling him. He looked up and accidentally made eye contact with Aaran Tafo
, who happened to be passing by at that exact moment.
Aaris' eyes widened, feeling an emotion for the man that made him want to throw up immediately.
"WHAT THE KRIFF?!" He yelled as he punched his head over and over violently, trying to snap out of whatever was overtaking him. The crowed of people around him had stopped by now and had begun to step away from the Pathfinder, unsure of what his problem was.
Aaris stopped, looking around with crazy eyes at all the people who were staring at him. Looking back, he saw Aaran Tafo
again. It was too much for him to take.
Aaris ran screaming from the festival and jumped head first into a citizens nearby pool.
Aaris came up out of the cold water, eyes frantic as he quickly wiped the water from his face. He looked up into the sky, sensing the foreign sensation had finally passed. The cold water must have shocked it out of his system.
"I'm going to kill him when I get back..." He said through gritted teeth, referring to his commanding officer. He wadded over to the edge of the water, completely drenched. He looked up to see the residents of the house staring at him in shock. He nodded a greeting to them,
"Good afternoon." He said as normally as possible, reaching out his hand for help out of the pool. They quickly responded by reaching out and helping him.
"Appreciated..." He said, a pool of water forming around his feet. The wife snapped out of her shock and grabbed Aaris by the hand,
"Your drenched! Follow me soldier..." The woman led him into their house and into a bathroom, giving him a towel and a change of clothes.
"Thank you, mam." He said as she closed the door, giving him some privacy. Aaris took off his wet uniform and put it in a bag, then dried himself off. He picked up the change of clothes, and instantly hung his head in shame...
Aaris sighed deeply, then forced himself to put on the ridiculous love-themed outfit. He picked up his bag of clothes and walked out of the house with a look of utter embarrassment.
"Erm... Thank you, mam." He said quietly, handing her some credits to compensate for the clothes. The couple waved as he walked slowly back to the festival, his head hung low.
He made his way back to the same beverage stand. The vender seemed completely shocked at his appearance, his eyes wide as he took in the spectacle standing before him. Aaris glared at the man, daring him to utter a word. He simply pointed at the bottle of disgusting rose-flavored Whiskey. The vender slid the whole bottle over to Aaris. He grabbed it and took a long swig of the fowl liquid. He then turned and leaned up against a stone wall, the bottle in his hand as he looked out over the crowd.
"What a kriffin' day." He said. He looked over and noticed Kat Decoria
meandering through the stalls. They caught eye contact for a moment, and Aaris gave her a nod, raising his bottle to her as if to say "cheers". All dignity was long gone at this point, so he might as well embrace it.
Linny had never imagined that the mines would be so busy. She tried not to stare at the Guardian as she walked past. She failed. Something about the utter impassiveness of them made her even more nervous. The Master and Knight ahead of her managed a respectful bow, which Linny failed to repeat. Luckily, she managed to avoid whipping the Guardian with her hair and scuttled off, red-faced, keeping a good distance between herself and everyone else.
She caught up to Master San Tekka as he was discussing the history of Jedha. The very twisted, strange and unknown history of Jedha, it seemed like. Since she'd found out she was heading there, Linny had spent some time researching. The lack of specificity in Galactic records was irritating, though it did lead to some spirited debate... along with conspiracy. Linny'd ended up reading some screed about how 'Jedha was a false flag and was just moved by the Empire wake up!!!' by 'Force_Truther_776' on the Holonet before deciding it was time to close the screen and go to bed.
"If Jedha was devoted to some other ancient, holy site, you think there'd be more references to it," Linny wondered aloud, eyes drawn everywhere in the cavern. Not just to the quiet mutterings of the red-robed people, or the soft footsteps of those around them. Her torch-light fell on vague outcroppings of crystals, splaying the beam into twists and coils of multi-coloured splendour. It was, in her own words, real pretty.
It also felt real weird.
"Does it always feel like this?" she asked Master San Tekka and Knight Kastle. "It's... different here." There was something about the air around her that felt strange. She'd say unnatural but the word didn't seem to fit. It was all natural, after all. A newcomer to the Order, Linny was unused to feeling the Force in any capacity, let alone the strange eddies and currents among the Kyber. "I feel like I'm being watched."
Gentle nudges and nibbles at her extremities, like something was searching for her. Something was yearning for her.
“And you’re sure this is a tradition?” There was a touch of weariness in Viera’s voice, crouched before the elderly woman who had pulled her aside. The native elder was short, very short. Enough so that the Thyrsian had to crouch in order to let the woman do what she needed.
“You came to Jedha, to learn of our traditions, yes?” “Yes.” “You come to experience the Festival of Love, hm?” “Correct.” “And who lives here, knows of said traditions?” “You do.” “Mhm, now stop fidgeting while I tie this around your head.”
Viera had to hold back an audible sigh, ducking head and holding her hair up for the woman. A piece of red cloth, folded together a couple times was wrapped and securely tied around her eyes.
“So what tradition does this follow, exactly?”
“Those with the Force can see deeper than those without. Eyes reveal emotion, windows to the soul. But to truly know who you will love, you must obscure one sense and rely on another.”
“And what if I wind up just walking into someone, or something?”
“I have faith, you Force users always seem to have a sixth sense.”
Viera had to bite back a snarky retort, feeling as though this native elder was feeding her a load of bantha crap. But she’d play along, not like the blindfold was hundred percent obscuring.
She could still see vague shapes through the material of the blindfold.
A dozen questions came to mind with each possible explanation that was offered. Ilian had not read or heard any of them before, and each one filled him with a unique sense of mystery and wonder. Despite this, he does his best to mask the welling excitement behind a stern demeanor as he listens intently.
A voice speaking up from behind the two prompts Ilian to turn and face their small group. It was that of one of the padawan learners accompanying them into the cavern. Rennis was her name, if he recalled correctly. Alienor Rennis. He'd seen her before at the Coruscanti Temple.
Ilian's eyes almost instinctively drop to the padawan's hip as she describes the strange sensation -- like being watched. He recalled a similar feeling that he'd experienced only once before. As suspected, he finds no lightsaber dangling from her belt.
With the corners of his mouth curling to a smile, he looks back to Zark.
"Master, I think a crystals is calling out to her through the Force," he motions with a nod of his head to her lack of saber, knowing full-well that the Jedi Master was likely already aware.
Breaking away from the Jedi Master's side, Ilian takes a few steps toward Linny and folds his arms into the sleeves of his robe.
"Focus, Padawan Rennis," his head tilts back, his eyes scouring the many thousands of glistening lights above them, "Remember your training. Center yourself to calm the currents that surround you. Then, reach out and find what seeks you."
"If Jedha was devoted to some other ancient, holy site, you think there'd be more references to it."
"There are a few oral histories," Master San Tekka admitted, "The Church of the Force has kept scattered records...I've even heard a surviving Central Isopter fable or two. Much was stolen from us by the plague. Some context we may never truly recover."
It was strange for him to be here as well after all this time. Decades hadn't changed the kyber mines or their radiance and yet he'd changed so much since his training. Failing his master amidst the Clockwork Rebellion, completing his Trials and becoming a Jedi Knight only to swear the Barash Vow. Finding his faith after the liberation of Coruscant from One Sith rule, and nearly losing it again during the Great Galactic War.
"This place has a deep spiritual connection. Even the ungifted can sense it. Disciples of the Whills are drawn here for a reason."
Zark could tell that the overwhelming sensation disturbed her. He did not have to sense her emotional upheaval to see it clearly written across her face. This one would find her training a true challenge, but he knew from experience those who struggled the most to embrace Jedi philosophy were often tempered into the wisest masters.
"Master, I think a crystal is calling out to her through the Force."
"I believe you might be correct," the senior Jedi agreed with Ilian Kastle
He smiled serenely at the younger man. Never too experienced for a little training. This was a lesson the Jedi Knight would have to learn if he were to take on a Padawan of his own one day. When Ilian moved from his side San Tekka's smile widened.
"There is nothing to fear, Padawan, except what you take with you."
Linny blinked. As the other two Jedi spoke, she felt their words fade to a soft echo, as if they were deeper within the caves. Every breath that she took brought a pulse of something. She felt it flow through the growths in the wall. She felt it throb through the stones beneath her feet.
"Focus, Padawan Rennis," Knight Kastle told her, his voice pushing through the din. The feeling was becoming overwhelming. Whatever scant training she'd had felt inadequate in such a spiritual, powerful presence of the Force. It was no longer just something that she could use, something that she could tease into helping her... it rushed around her, leaving her adrift. A leaf caught in the stream. A kite caught in a gale-force wind.
"Remember your training. Center yourself to calm the currents that surround you."
It seemed far easier said than done, but she nodded. Eyes closed, Linny focused inwards. Drawing on what she could remember from the temple, the most basic instructions that she'd been given. Breathing deep, letting it all in but asserting herself. Whispers in her mind from instructors. Let it guide you, let it show you, but stay strong. Stay in control. Her hands fell to her sides, balling into fists as she fought to maintain her composure and concentration. Knuckles turning white, brow furrowing, lips thinning.
"There is nothing to fear, Padawan, except what you take with you."
She fought to cast off her fear, that dread anticipation, that assumption she'd be overwhelmed. Focused on the distant call, that strange feeling beyond the beyond, past the current and surging rush of the Force until... until...
"There," she said quietly, and her eyes opened again. She breathed heavily, as if she'd exerted herself beyond belief... but everything was the same as before. She'd barely moved a muscle. The only indication anything had happened was her own perception and sense of the Force around them... as well as the marks in her palm where her fingernails had dug in.
"There. Deeper," she said, pointing off into the glowing, half-lit depths of the mines. Without waiting, she set off, her boots crunching on the ground as she felt it calling to her in the distance. A little ways off, but still close enough. It seemed to... resonate. It beat gently, in tune with her own heart.
"Is it meant to feel like this?" she asked, looking at both of the more experienced Jedi over her shoulder, "like a... pull? It's like it's tugging at my chest." She pressed her hand against her jacket, where she could feel it. Imagining a slender string slithering out into the distance, coiled round herself and whatever crystal awaited.
"Oh and uh... thanks," she said, slightly more awkwardly, giving both Zark and Ilian a mildly goofy smile before turning her attention to the path ahead.
Ilian can't help but smile watching Linny extend her senses to find the strings that were tugging at them. There was something pure and familiar about it that cast his thoughts back to memories of his own youth. Looking down at her, he pictures himself standing before his own Master deep beneath the sands of Savareen, where Sen-ro had taken him to search for a crystal of his own.
Kyber was much more sparse there. It had taken Ilian almost two years of searching barren caverns to finally feel what the padawan now described.
"Is it meant to feel like this? Like a pull?"
"We all feel it differently," Ilian answers calmly, glancing back to the Master as if for approval, "the Force speaks and makes It's will known to us in unique ways. But, one way or another, it calls to us. It beckons us forward to find It's gifts and hear It's truths."
He returns Linny's smile and steps to the side to let her pass. As she does, he falls in alongside her, letting her guide them toward what they cannot see.
"You mentioned scattered records, Master," Ilian looks to Zark over the padawan's head as they walk, returning to their previous discussion, "Do they allow outsiders -- Jedi -- access to these things?"
He'd heard of the Disciples of the Whills through mention in some of the Jedi's most ancient texts. Specifically, the words of verse 7:477 cross his mind. Ilian had always wondered how other Orders might interpret the purpose and will of the Force, but knew such thoughts could prove dangerous to the untrained and ill-prepared.
Good vibes and good times was all he ever asked for.
Luckily for him, the near future appeared brighter than ever. For once he was set to officially put aside his obligations to the Empire-- officially, that is. His previous stints gallivanting around Alliance space had been on the clock, and now he was free to cut off all communication and focus solely on his obligation to the woman at his side.
They walked hand-in-hand together down one of the busier streets that encompassed Jedha's Festival of Love, and Luc was enjoying every moment of it based off the satisfied grin that rested on his face. It wasn't often that he could be with her without having to worry about the Order demanding his presence back in Imperial space. The ongoing war had not been brought to a close just yet, after all, which left him bound to answer the call when the Imperator or his brother called upon him from afar.
But not anymore-- or at least not for the next thirty or so days. His attention was solely directed towards Auteme, and not even another major campaign would change that directive. For once in his life there existed a happy place where he could escape from the reality of the soldier that he'd become. He wasn't sure if she knew just how much he appreciated her, but he hoped his actions spoke louder than his lack of words. He still wasn't the best at the whole transparency aspect of relationships, and there were aspects of his past that he wasn't sure if she could accept.
Sooner than later, her questions would be difficult to continuously deflect. She'd seen his demons come forth upon the sands of Korriban already, and their relationship had long moved past a stage where secrets could be hidden forever.
"So...where do I start." He mused out loud, tossing his gaze between Auteme and the various stalls lining the street. He scratched at the back of his head with his free hand, coming to a stop in front of a vendor grilling a plethora of meats. "Or uhh- where do you want me to start, I should ask."
Love is the hardest of work. Love is not a goal; neither is being loved enough, nor simply falling in love. Love is an art, something to be practiced, something requiring the utmost focus and discipline to do properly.
The galaxy's turmoil had no end. As much as she loathed it she also understood she couldn't do everything for the galaxy. There had to be time for herself -- and time for Lucien. Though there were many aspects to the art of love, today Auteme focused on knowledge. She needed to know Lucien as best she could, to know his needs, to see him for what he was and understand him.
"Well, maybe-" she stopped herself, realizing she'd been about to ask a question. She tried again. "Tell me about Serenno. Your life before you left; all that. And then... your life as a spacer, before you started fighting the Sith?"
She looked at the street vendor's food and bought a kebab of some kind. She was relatively sure it was safe, but she handed it to Lucien as if it had been rigorously health-and-safety checked. No meat for her, anyways; though given it was vacation she might try something new. She kept her fingers laced with his as they continued down the road.
THE DIRECTOR | HEARTS OVER JEDHA CORUSCANT | SIA HEADQUARTERS MAD ABOUT YOU
Jedha had been a black site for a long time coming, and one of the scientists in a division she was largely disinterested in had been instructed to refocus some of their experimentation to something more critical. Apparently, in the disposal process, something had gone wrong.
An irredeemable misstep that revoked the privileges of the team responsible.
“Consequence of irresponsible behaviour.” M’s mouth was thin, talking through her teeth to the delegate responsible for firing the team who’d mistakenly caused the outbreak. Further conversation was not encouraged, and she terminated the connection. Things had been handled swiftly, and agents were already working to keep eyes on the festival-goers to ensure nothing got out of hand. Containment was key.
Roaming with purpose over her terminal, she queued up the next series of connections she sought to make.
establish connection to.... Kalie Alverez
display_transmission:// Report on the status of the festival? Any anomalous behaviours from the attendees?
An incoming report from another source made its way to her desk. Surveillance detected a certain Aaris Kolden ’s unnecessary swim.
With a gesture, she marked the individual of interest for detainment and market the target available to available agents in the area. The notification would reach the likes of Gramani Fey’la
, Ripley Kühn
, Allyson Locke
and Seniya Nehir
if they were on Jedha and shared proximity to the offender.
Once that was done, she rose from her desk and navigated from her office to the more discreet layers of the SIA headquarters where inaugural, less intense interrogations took place.
The room which contained Inaros Kaal was lightly decorated, not spartan or intimidating -- nor too generous in personality -- enough to suggest amiable conversation could take place.
"Admiral, I appreciate your time ." The Chiss introduced, taking a seat across from him and crossing her ankles to get comfortable. "I've just finished listening to some of the highlights from your ship's black box and your crew's interviews.
"Do they allow outsiders -- Jedi -- access to these things?"
"Knowledge the Disciples will share freely," he considered the young knight's request, "Access requires great trust. The Jedi's history is a part of their holy scriptures."
Master San Tekka followed along behind Ilian Kastle
and the young padawan Linny Rennis
. The Force called her deeper into the mines where luminous stones and the light from his glowlamp were all that illuminated their passage. An uneasy sensation gripped him. Something was not right here. There was a familiar presence. His hand drifted down to the lightsaber on his belt.
"Do not move," Zark's voice was quiet but emphatic, "We are being watched."
In a fluid motion he drew his energy blade and the pure white glow of his redeemed kyber crystal split the darkness. Shadows flickered off the emotionless expressions of three Guardians. Two held lightbows in a neutral posture while the third held San Tekka's gaze even with lethal plasma burning centimeters from his throat. Time seemed to stop.
"The Force is with me and I am with the Force."
"And I fear nothing," he finished the Guardian's mantra for him, "For all is as the Force wills it."
Zark deactivated his lightsaber, and the kyber monk inclined his head in a slight bow.