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Masterclass: Machinations of Ambition

Ashin Varanin

Professional Enabler
Writer
The Spires of Hell -- when people assigned overblown names to places, Ashin generally found that the result fell short of her expectations. But here, under an ancient yet permanent atmospheric field that clung to a balcony, Ashin knew that the ten-thousand-kilometre drop, and the round moon Athelvai so far below, exceeded even the grandiose name her people had attached when they found the ancient Celestial construct. The huge world called the Dark One blotted out the sky.

They would train, and fight, on the side of a spire as long as a planetary radius. Such were the Spires.

She'd recently traded her lightsabre to Zaiden in a Concordance of Fealty with her old Hand. Rather than his unique weapon, however, she carried only a generic lightsabre, crimson blade, basic construction, no imagination. The blade snap-hissed to life as she circled around the edge of the railingless balcony, seemingly unafraid of being thrown over the side. She kept to a low guard, maximizing her field of view and minimizing light pollution, a virtually useless stance but one she sometimes found intuitive. Her sabre-tip skimmed the flat top of the balcony, leaving a line of fire.

"And you remember none of it? Not taking the Stormblessed, not the...none of it?" She chuckled. "How often do you get to burn a capital ship that's a Sith temple, Mirien?"
 

Mirien Valdier

Ice Queen
Character
Mirien shook her head slowly. The blade almost felt foreign in her hands, used so little in her time in the Inquisition. It was more for threats than outright use, and it scared plenty. "Not a bit of it, I'm afraid." The simple blade, unbeknownst to her the same she'd carried since they day she'd earned knight came to life with that same familiar sound. She chuckled a little, but it was a sad one. Her life before the Inquisition a blank slate. Sometimes fragments came in dreams but she truly never remembered. "Just dreams sometimes, things that don't make sense. Feth not a bit of it makes sense. Mirien doesn't even exist in the records anymore. I'm Rebecca by the books or some gǒupì." Always with the Atrisian curses. Strange how the times had twisted her.


Colder, bitter, darker, angrier. The stars knew she had the right to be angry. She was always lovingly referred to as the Ice Queen for a reason, but here she was different more open. Eyes followed Ashin, truly Mirien was hesitating, unsure of herself. Somethings came natural like telekinesis. It was like she was born to do it. Made for it. That was instincts, but saber training. Would her muscles remember the steps? They often did, when her mind and memory failed her. And now she had to trust them to remember for her. "They told me I was a criminal. Told me I resisted arrest, got hurt and fell about three stories. Probably should have killed me, but didn't." She said with a shrug, debating a moment while hoping Ashin would move first. But no, it was time for her to take the lead. Seemed to be a common pattern with her these days, always in the lead. Usually resulted in a butt-kicking by invisible monsters but that was another story!

She fell into a similar stance, both hands clutching the blade, almost nervously. Holding a high guard, felt natural to the brunette. Pacing for a moment, almost stalking the floor, carefully reading the tiny ripples in the force, she waited still for a moment. For she knew the moment she moved, she had to commit to her action and follow through. Ashin wasn't taking the first move, she was going to have to. Without warning she then lunged across the training space with extraordinary speed, much power devoted to attempting to slam the blade down against Ashin's shoulder. She always was the more brute force type. Some things just didn't change, even when memories and personalities did.
 

Ashin Varanin

Professional Enabler
Writer
So the @[member="Mirien Valdier"] Ashin had known, the woman who'd helped her tear down the Sith'ari Centrality from the inside, might or might not be entirely gone. Personally, Ashin had always sneered at the tale of Revan -- as if a Sith Lord could become a heroic boy from just a memory wipe. Fresh chances, in her eyes, could not be so comprehensive. But the question remained.

The assault -- straightforward, brutal -- was the old Mirien all over. Ashin tanked the hit, sweeping up from her low guard with deceptive slowness. Some had compared her style to that of Vader. Slow movement that just happened to be at the right place in the right time. Mirien's two-handed chop slammed into an iron high block; Ashin was an old hand at strengthening her wrists with the Force. She struggled past the aftershocks and swept Mirien's blade down and to the side, off to Ashin's right. A sidestep left sidled forward, and her shoulders and torso went to a closed position, sternum tightening as she whipped her blade above Mirien's arms, a decapitating strike. Not that she intended to kill the Grand Inquisitor.
 

Mirien Valdier

Ice Queen
Character
@[member="Ashin Varanin"]

This, simply was not what Mirien was used to. Thoughts raced through her mind, thinking on what she'd been. Who she'd been? Ashin, this woman knew a part of who she was. It was a piece to the giant puzzle. And there was one question she had to ask Ashin at the end of this. There was a key she held, had held since she became Grand Inquisitor. It was hers, found on her body when they took her in. The woman knew nothing of what it went to. So, like many she had met who knew a little piece of her past, she always asked. But for now that would have to wait. Questions, were secondary. The more pressing matter was the attack threatening to decapitate her!

The force screamed out it's warning just in the knick of time. With her saber in her left hand, there were only a few options. Not enough time, to bring it up to defend, too close as well. So, Mirien pressed in closer, smashing her right elbow down upon Ashin's forearm to try and halt the potentially deadly strike. But now so close, this she did not like. Options were limited, too easy to work attacks without the distance, space or time to block.

Space she liked, needed. Telekinesis, her primary attack method, but war was coming. She needed to be prepared, the entire reason they had come to the Spires of Hell. The Grand Inquisitor, could not let her group know her weakness. It wasn't allowed. Ever. Nor was it smart. A few were looking to take her position and it required her to be stronger, more powerful. It was time to expand and learn. To see what her body remembered that her mind did not. And boy did it remember for her. Everything here was shades of the Mirien, Ashin had known so long ago.
 

Ashin Varanin

Professional Enabler
Writer
@[member="Mirien Valdier"]'s elbow slammed into the inside of Ashin's rising right arm -- curse them lefties! -- and halted the strike. Ashin still had momentum, and a quick step carried her past Mirien. She considered slamming her left fist into the back or side of Mirien's neck, but the moment had passed, and so she just...stepped away. Her lightsabre deactivated.

"Good. You can get close, very close, without getting nervous and trying to jump or push away. You know how few people are capable of clinching like that? And then holding onto that proximity?" Ashin grinned. "I've fought exactly two who could work like that, and then do it in the long term. Darron Wraith, and Darth Moridin. That's the standard to aspire to, right there.

"A thought comes to mind, maybe enough to take a very quick break. I know who you are, but I don't know who you are now, or in what capacity you work for Atrisia. After Csilla, I know there's more than one of you. Now don't get me wrong, I've got no taste for secrets. Secrets all die eventually anyway, and I'd know better than most. I've been through more fake ID's than the Jedi Council's been through girlfriends. But in the meantime, I've kept a secret or two.

"You know how to clean up memories yet? You're a specialist, brilliant at telekinesis, but I'm betting nobody's ever sat you down and taught you the more complicated arts. I could show you, easily enough. Nothing to do with altering my memory or yours -- I can reverse Drain Knowledge, give you the technique. Assuming you don't have it already. Just being neighbourly."
 
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