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Personal Growth

Sargon Vynea

Spencer's guard unicorn
Writer
Sargon stood in the empty apartment that was his home. It simply lacked everything that made a home a home, from creature comforts to warmth. In truth he didn't even think he'd opened the front door in over a month. It was more like a long term storage facility then a home really. Boxes covered in dust were stacked neatly against a wall, and a few random pieces of furniture were covered in plastic sheeting. Its walls carried no memories of laughter nor shared moments with friends. In fact the only sign of life at were a single set of dishes that he never bothered to take out of the dishwasher.

Not that he ever bothered to cook while he was in. It was simply more efficient to go out or get something delivered then to buy something he'd just end up throwing away. He'd spent the last three months going being shipped from one point in the galaxy to another for the Fringe. He'd enjoyed it if the truth was to be told. The camaraderie, the action, and the continual testing of his own abilities against deadly enemies. When it was over though it led him back here to the reality of his life.

He didn't bother to pretend he cared that he was being permanently reassigned, and a company would be here in a day to move his possessions. In truth most of them still were packed securely inside the very boxes they'd arrived in. He had no neighbors he would miss, in truth he didn't even know their names. So no one would be surprised that by staring into the emptiness that was personal life he felt as empty as his home.

His life had been an odd journey, and he hadn't truly felt like he had a home since his father's ship finally died out on him a year ago. It still lay banged up in a storage facility, and nearly half his pay was tucked away every month to see it patched up and worthy of flight again. The rest paid the bills and piled up in some account he rarely checked. The Fringe provided everything for him on mission, and other then a few rounds of shots he hadn't spent a single credit.

It was a stark difference from the man who'd spent every single credit he had just a short year ago. He'd spent all the money his father left him and every credit he earned doing illicit jobs. He'd paid the bills and kept his ship up, but it never occurred to him to save up for the big things. So when the hyperdrive blew and it caused a system wide electric shock to the entire system he didn't have anything left to cover repairs. He then discovered just how many dings an unshielded ship could take when the one in the pilot seat barely understood the controls.

In the end the repairs were going to cost nearly as much as a new ship would have. This ship was special though, and so he put it in storage by pawning off some of the pretty things he'd bought along his adventure. It would have died there to if not for finding employment within the Fringe. They'd fed him, trained him, and given him a new hope for something in life. In return he fought and killed for them. Perhaps one day he'd have to die for them as well, but he hoped before then to have something to leave behind.

A man was only as good as the memory he left behind in the end, and at the moment he highly doubted anyone would keep his name alive. He had no personal life to speak of, and professionally as far as he was concerned he was simply another number listed as a tool to be used. So he worked where he could with his squads and making them the best they could possibly be. As far as he was concerned they were his only hope of being remembered. Maybe just an echo in another man's life but still it was better then falling to silence.

He felt he had learned a lot since he had started leading his men into battle. The key to it all in his mind was being self aware. You couldn't improve if you didn't know your weaknesses. It was easy to play to your strengths that is what came natural to anyone. To make your weaknesses your strength, that is how you became truly strong. This is where his thoughts lay as he stood in the silence of his apartment. He was learning to be a stronger melee fighter and use his newly acquired shield. The phrick shield had taken a very large amount out his savings to acquire, but it had proved itself in combat already. He'd received a money back guarantee that it would hold against a lightsaber, but it was hard to collect your rebate after you were dead.

He'd taken the lessons he learned in sparring match to heart and now he was arriving at a new problem. The combat style worked for him, but the lack of any ranged counted did not. He'd already discovered that force users had about a half a dozen different ways to attack you from a distance, and he simply didn't have a retort. He'd also been told something he never expected. He was a sensitive to the force and could with training use it. The very group he held in disdain for their self elevated positions above the common man, and he now belonged to them.

His wanted to refuse it spitefully, but the cost of pride could be the death of those he was responsible for. It was an odd thing to feel responsible for other lives. He'd never given thought to such things before. It was simply another sign of how much life could change in such a short time. So to protect and fight against his enemy, he would become them.
 

Sargon Vynea

Spencer's guard unicorn
Writer
The trip to his new assignment promised to be a long one. More due to the fact that he had hitched a ride on a military transport, and gotten one with absolutely no passengers. Bakura had recently requested to join the Fringe and as such a bevy of transports was carrying gear and legionnaires onto the new world. It seems that the planet had quite the history of resisting foreign powers, but they'd actually asked to join the Fringe. According to his information this was due to two reasons, one the Fringe's continually expanding territories posed a very overwhelming threat to Bakura, and two economically it just made good sense. It seems the tariffs were simply destroying their economy.

The truth behind these facts were simpler and far more dangerous. The government of Bakura was nearly completely saturated with corruption, and had been for quite some time. The problems were coming quickly to a very violent conclusion, and so the leaders and reached out rather desperately to save their own skins. The common people of Bakura were in an absolute fury about it, and so quite a few of the 121st found themselves with a new home.

Sargon who was now enrolled in the Academy found the idea of traveling so much a bit silly, but with the increase in territory in different directions personal were stretched thin. So it was Sargon found himself wearing a trio of hats, student at the Rattak Academy, Optio of the 121st legion, and a proverbial new born pup as a force sensitive. It was enough that he was tempted to hit the bottle, if he had the time. Even under normal circumstances he could have shaved time in his schedule as Optio, but his squad was being assigned protection detail on Bakura's governor.

The man was reputed to be an absolute lout of rather unsavory appetites, and no moral character. It was a wonder the people hadn't stormed the governor's home and simply gutted him. Now that it was Sargon's job to prevent that he had no doubt it would happen. It was simply the way things lined up, and more so to the point why the governor had come running with an open embrace to the Fringe. Nothing created motivation like saving your own hide.

The only lucky part was he was only had to be here part of each year. The rest he'd spend studying at the academy, and wherever else the Fringe had need of him. It was a busy schedule but truth be told beyond all his inner grumbling he enjoyed it quite a bit. His life was full of challenge, and if there was one thing any true Iridonian loved it was an impossible challenge. The most impossible of which was the one startling revelation that would change his life forever. He could use the force, or rather with training he could. At the moment he didn't believe he could even touch it if he wanted to, and he didn't. Comparatively an angry mob of a populous and some time in an archaic looking academy seemed like incredible fun.

Of course again the Zabrak in him had an itch inside of his skin at the idea of the challenge. His father had faced all the adversity in his life head on and challenged it unrelentingly. He'd challenged his son the same way in his growth and training. When he spoke of Iridonia you could feel the yearning in his voice for a home he'd never again visit in the flesh. Sargon had loved his father and respected him, and when he died Sargon had lost a part of himself, and for a long time he acted completely self-destructive in nature.

He'd put that behind him though and thrown himself into life with a new focus. He would leave the selfish man he was behind in the forgotten shadows of the galaxy. Even now as he flew in the unremarkable gray shuttle towards his new home his focus didn't waver. Dozens of files on Bakura were being downloaded onto a datapad for study. Another datapad was nearly full on Fringe military protocol, vehicles and their short bloody history. The last one was the one he would force himself to focus on completely. It was a datapad filled on information about the force and its applications and it literally spilled over onto two more. The force was a thing of legend and myth and there was enough written on it that no single subject compared. He was done resisting. It was time to learn.
 

Sargon Vynea

Spencer's guard unicorn
Writer
Bakura was a lovely world, and to tell the truth of it Sargon understood why their people took such great pride in it. The industry of the planet was nearly the scale of a core world, and the Bakuran shipyards were state of the art. Their grasp on technology was even prestigious between the HIMS system, and repulsor technologies they'd made quite a name of themselves. Throughout history they had been a fiercely independent people trust in their own strength to defend them against the unknown dangers at the edge of space. Their true enemy had always been growing from the inside though, a festering wound that spread like cancer. Corruption was a sickness that once it reached a critical point there was no simple solution, and when finally the people of Bakura were ready to rise up the government had run to the Fringe to save it.

As such Sargon and the 121st were now permanently based on Bakura for much of the foreseeable future. Sargon had security detail on the planetary governor a man so vilified for his corruption that his own people were willing to risk civil war over it. He'd nearly begged the Fringe to take Bakura in to save his skin, and now it was Sargon's job to keep him safe. Simply lovely.

Checking over his Centurion's notes on the detail, and its current problems Sargon just shook his head. In the end there was a simple truth here, a public figure was impossible to protect at all times against a threat that was willing to die to eliminate him. He hadn't had a chance to met with the man himself yet, but his reputation didn't leave a favorable impression. To add onto that he had it seemed given up any pretense of pretending to be an honest man now that the Fringe was here to protect him. In truth Sargon didn't understand why the Fringe didn't simply set him aside for another. Either way Sargon would complete his objectives.

Two weeks later
Optio Sargon Vynea's report to 121st Legate

Attn: Legate Hiak

As requested, Legate, I am sending my formal report in. Since our arrival on Bakura we've run into several problems at the capital. The rural areas are mostly quiet, but the urban areas are close to rioting. We've noted continued rise in politically motivated violence against both Fringe personnel, and Bakuran government officials. Requesting 121 Legion Command be reassigned to Bakura immediately. 121st Praefect has had notable high continued contact with governor, and the possibility of bribery has become a concern.

I've also requested intelligence to look into the governor's finances and the Bakuran shipyards costs. The governor's business position on the shipyard's board has profited them quite tidily and at the expense of the Fringe. We are also requesting public relations teams to help stop the rising feel anti-fringe sentiments.

Optio Sargon Vynea
 

Sargon Vynea

Spencer's guard unicorn
Writer
Two months later
Salis D'aar, Bakura

It had come, the moment Sargon had been dreading had come, and the people of Bakura were nearly in full revolt. A law was passed into effect effectively doubling the taxes. Its purpose was to hide the incredible amount of money the governor had siphoned off of the Bakuran Shipyards, and its contract with the Fringe. Nearly three months into the annexation of Bakura, and not even a single ship's frame was built. It had only take one extremely blunt communication from Annaj to put fear into the governor's heart, but now he needed to find away to make up for all the lots funds and time. The only answer in his mind was to take it from the people

During the first riot there was possibly still a chance to deescalate the violence and near terrorism of the people of Bakura. The government had reacted by opening fire on thousands of innocents across a hundred different cities. The result from the desperate people was immediate. They laid siege to the various Fringe military centers, and Bakuran government centers had been burnt down. Now they marched on the capital, and the Legion was left with two chooses. To let it happen and try to pick up the mess after. Or they could defend and tens of thousands of civilians would die and this would be far from over. All of this for one very corrupt man who in truth deserved the fate marching towards him.

Thus was the situation when Sargon found himself on the grandiose balcony of the governor's mansion with a pair of his own legionnaires as the Governor prepared his speech to halt the oncoming storm. Unbeknownst to him was that he lacked the art of public speaking. His voice was rather nasally, and his face in truth resembled as much a rodent's as a man's. Nevertheless there he stood on live holovid being broadcast across the entire planet certain of his ability to slip through the righteous fury of the mob once again.

"People of Bakura, my people! I understand your anger at the burdens the Lords of the Fringe have placed upon you. I too share in your misfortune as they tear the wealth of this world away to feed their war machine. I say my security forces should join in you in ridding this world of...." The governor's speech ended there. It was not the crowd who would not be swayed by his words. It was not that he saw his words had no effect on a crowd who'd had enough of the slimy man. Nor was it even the charge of the revolting army of civilians charging the walls of the palace. It was the blaster rifle of Optio Sargon Vynea who silenced him, and ended his life on life holovid.

The effect was utter silence across the entire planet as billions tried to understand what had just happened. The Optio would have left the situation there in disgust, but to do that would mean a continuance in the violence. The surge of their wrath might still come and leave the planet in a state of civil war. With little other option left Sargon stepped forward and turned his comms unit on.

"Citizens of Bakura, justice has been met. I ask you, no in honesty I plead with you. Please return to your homes, and I promise the damage caused by this man to your planet will be undone. I've been here but a short time, and already I can see why you hold it in such an esteemed position in your heart. Its a beautiful world. You have great technological and industrial achievements, and your history is rich with glory. You have every reason to be angry with the current state of this beautiful world. However, I would ask for time. A simple request really, give us the time to root this corruption out. The current government has robbed the Lords of the Fringe as much as yourselves. They've pocketed the credits we've sent to construct warships and civic projects to grow fat off of. Then when they realized they were in over their heads they sought to put the burden of their sins upon you."

Stopping for a moment Sargon looked across the crowd and removed his helmet. "He has been judged for his crimes, and his attempted crimes of treason. Give us the chance to make a better Bakura with you. If in a year's time you still find our existence such a burden return here and demand we leave you in peace. However if this day you choose to storm these walls there will be death. I do not wish for that to happen. So ask yourselves will things truly be better if we leave you right now? Will your own security forces not simply fire upon crowds of you again? Say what you will not one singe legionnaire has fired upon a civilian on Bakura. Would you really rather us be removed, and leave you as lambs amongst the wolves? Take a moment Bakura, for your children's sake, give peace a chance."
 

Sargon Vynea

Spencer's guard unicorn
Writer
Continued development of Sargon and training under Lucien to become the governor of Bakura

Holocommunciats between Sargon Vynea and Grand Admiral Shira Karrde

Sargon: Grand admiral I have the reports on bakura. I don't believe I'm the right man for the job though. i'm a soldier, not a visionary. I don't mean to doubt your judgement I simply feel others may be more qualified.

Shira Karre: Well, Centurion - it IS Centurion, isn't it? - it's not often we get humility in this office. Breath of fresh air. Name me some more qualified people, if you will.

Sargon: No, Grand Admiral, I'm currently an Optio at the moment. Perhaps one of the prophets people respect those who wield the force. Its been seen in me but i haven't even the ability to touch it so far, or even feel it. There are civilian leaders, and higher ups in the military who are more experienced at commanding at that level.

Sargon: I truly do wish the best for the people of Bakura. It has great potential in the Fringe, and I believe one day it will be a jewel. I just honestly with for best for the Fringe, and I'd hate to see potential wasted because I don't know how envision it.

Sargon: As is the best I could come up with is trying to give them their pride back, Grand Admirl. We are building a new line of interdicter capital ships, and possibly a second line of smaller capital ships with HIMS technology.

Shira Karrde: Yes, I've heard about the HIMS research. I'm fond of it myself. Listen, Optio. Do you know why military dictatorships can, from time to time, have amazing success? It's because I don't delay, I make quick decisions, there's no process to be satisfied. Sometimes I pick wrong. But for every leader like me, we need a leader like you, who'll think hard and question himself before acting. We're like gunfighters, Optio. I draw first, but you draw most accurately. Who knows who wins.

Sargon: Of course, Grand Admiral. I simply want whats best for our people, personal glory aside. When I came to the Fringe I was a mercenary, and beyond lost. I'd drained every resources I owned including what my father left me. Since I've arrived I have found purpose. I believe in the Fringe. Its not simply an empire or a kingdom, but a place any man can come for a second chance. I place the judged can build a home and be the man he'd always wished he could have been. I simply don't want to fail that dream, and the chance I've been given.

Sargon: How many men get a true second chance? How many places can truly claim to be hold to such a varied background. Yet none of them crushed out. We shall be the greatest strength the galaxy has ever known because every single person has a chance here. Not just the privileged and powerful, not just a force user, but every man can rise.

Shira Karrde: You remind me, Sargon...you remind me that this place has an ideal. I spend too long looking at us from the other side, from the outside, in order to anticipate our enemies and our shakier friends. And in that particularly harsh light, I usually end up gritting my teeth and saying 'I have the power to effect change, so I have the responsibility to do so, regardless of anyone.' You're being given power, and trust me when i say that no man is the best judge of whether he's ready or not. One way or another.

Sargon: Yes, grand admiral, I will dedicate myself to the task. I will bring Bakura to see the opportunity in the Fringe. I will do my duty and I can promise you my utmost loyalty. These may be bold words for an Optio, but know you have a true believer in me. I'm as always a loyal soldier and under you command but should ever a need arise please call on me. I will not fail the Fringe. I will not fail you. I will not fail myself. I apologize for my lack of resolve, I simply want whats best for our people.

Shira Karrde: You don't need to psych yourself up, Optio, and those are words I've heard too often to take them as a true litmus test of reassurance. Instead, I'll take your doubt as proof that you're ready to work.

Sargon: Yes, Grand Admiral, as for the reports on Bakura. The governor's death has given the immediate drivers of revolt a problem. The people are unsure of us, but the fact that justice was done means they aren't willing to move. The shipyards are at full production the first cruiser should be out within the year. Its a large undertaking but once its on the field it should create an extremely large interdictor field. The ship itself will require fleet support but the redundent shields and point defenses will make her difficult to take down.

Sargon: As for the destroyer class if we equip them with a HIMS technology we could make them an armed troop carrier. Blow right by the front lines and hit them in soft locations they aren't ready for.

Sargon: When they turn their fleets inward to deal with these it will leave their border worlds ripe for the taking.

Shira Karrde: I've been waiting for someone to get creative with interdiction, Optio. Our current model is publicly available, and small. I'm glad to see that Iron Crown is moving ahead with these vessels. I'd never thought of using blanket interdiction and a HIMS in the same operation, but it could very well work, assuming the right feints were in place. A good insight. Tell me, Optio, where do your specialties lie? Your skillset?

Sargon: I'm a soldier, Grand Admiral, I believe in a good plan, and extremely solid preparations. Once you are engaged you only have what brought with you, so everything needs to be in place. The key for everything to me is information. I study before any mission every facet of information I can get, everything. That I believe is my skillset, most of my battle is fought before I ever get my boots on the ground. After that its simple math, I do whats needed to reach our objective, and try to keep my men alive. Sometimes that requires sacrificing one of the good of many, but that’s the life of a soldier. We aren't the mercenary army we once were, and from I've seen we are all proud to serve and feel like true soldiers. As for my specialties, if you mean my combat style I believe in efficiency. I don't allow a man to go full auto, and I've been training in hand to hand combat where I can. i've been using the dark age sword and shield combo. It seems to give melee experts of the modern day quite the twist. If you mean in my force training, Sir, I simply don't know. I've yet to really develop it between attending the Academy, completing missions, and learning to govern Bakura.

Shira Karrde: Well, you've been watched enough that you're known to have the Force on your side, boosting natural capabilities. I can appreciate a Force-user who defines himself as a person first, and as a thinker, with Force skills a distant second. I'd image you'd benefit from less traditional powers than some prefer. You've served Fringe well enough, and Force knows you'll need this. Right now, information and instinct should be flooding into your head. You're learning how to enhance your own memory, even walk back through it to spot things you didn't before. It's arguably my favorite way to use the Force. Beyond that, of course, yes, you'll have to find time for training, one way or another.

Sargon: I believe you are right, and I think it maybe time to make a choice. Grand Admiral I don't believe I can continue to serve in as many capacities as I am. In all honesty I know it. Its hard for a man to admit his limitations,but I’ve met mine. I do not believe I can continue to be an Optio-cadet and a governor, while I train in the force. The force training is immutable, its simply who I am and i can't avoid it. So with your permission I will withdraw from the academy, and as my rank of military governor super cedes my rank of Optio I believe I will request to retire that as well. A man has to choose what he is and what he will be. I can either be a military governor and a force user and do what I can to govern and lead well. Or I can be an Optio and my place then is with my men training them each day to proficiency and on my various duties. Perhaps its bold of me to ask, but I ask that you choose whichever you think I would provide the best support for the Fringe as.

Shira Karrde: Sargon, those are three worthy paths. One of them would be enough. A set of two is feasible with dedication. I should say that the Fringe is about choice, and make you choose -- but it's also about freedom, so let me free you from the choice, as you request. Govern Bakura for me, and learn the Force when you can. Even that will strain you, but that's what I require.

Sargon: Thank you, Grand Admiral. My actions will prove my gratitude for our faith in me. I have my goal. One day many years from now perhaps you will come to me, and you will tell me I have done achieved the potential of Bakura and my own abilities in the force. perhaps you have heard words time and time again, but one day I promise you will come to me and tell me I have been true to them. With your leave, Grand Admiral, I have much to do.

Shira Karrde: Indeed you do, Governor Vynea. Carry on.
 
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