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Round Two (Josiah)

Kara Avoyos

Princess of Kirima
Writer
The steady sound of fists beating a rhythm into a punching bag was soothing. There was nothing complicated about beating up a defenseless bag of sand, nor did it require any sort of space magic. The small training room had been set up for physical training rather than for or lightsaber practice, and Kara was the only occupant at the moment. One of the reasons why she’d retreated here was that it was usually empty, making it a good place to vent her frustrations.

The blonde was supposed to be in a different training area right now, with her teacher Josiah, but she’d opted for a frustration induced day off. The after a morning spent practicing her meager force skills, the last thing she wanted right now was to, once again, fail to grasp the basics of force manipulation in front of a man she’d grown to respect. He’d spent months trying to teach her about the force, but she was still having trouble moving anything larger than a breadbox.

Avoidance was something Kara had always been good at. Confrontation had been impossible for much of her childhood, tantrums were unbecoming of princesses, so her only recourse had been avoiding things that made her want to snap. Sarcasm had come later, but even that was still another way to dance around the edges of being direct. It was a touch unfair to ditch Josiah just because she was frustrated with herself. An apology would be in order later, maybe even a puffcake.

@[member="Josiah Denko"]
 
D O M I N U S
Writer
Normally, the situation which laid before the young Master known as Josiah would not be as...frustrating. It honestly was not a big deal in the slightest; sometimes students felt like sleeping in, or perhaps the one in question had forgotten their appointment. However, the fact that the hour was excessively early in the morning, coupled with the unfortunate reality that Josiah was the furthest thing from a morning person, caused the Templar to be wrought with frustration. For a few moments, he stood in the doorway of the empty training room, caf in hand, with a blank expression on his face...which quickly grew into a bonafide scowl before he turned on his heel. Frustration characterized him absolutely, and as he stalked about the training halls of the Roon Sanctum, his demeanor worsened with each step.

That was until he took a moment to peer inside one of the few opened doors of the training wing and saw the woman he was looking for. His apprentice, now promoted to the rank of Knight, was one of great strength, intelligence, beauty, and dedication. However, whilst she had put forth her greatest efforts for months in attempts to master the Force...she just couldn't grasp the concepts that Josiah had laid before her. For the most part, the young Master blamed himself. He thought that his teaching skills were subpar and that Kara was suffering because of it. However, as time wore on, Josiah realized something about his student...there was something blocking her focus. Something fundamental, stressful, and aggravating that it prevented her from accessing the Force as she should be able to.

Watching her pummel away at the punching bag reinforced this fact in the young Master's mind, and with a calming sigh Josiah let go of his frustration. He then entered the room, set his cup of caf on the floor, and approached his student with the beginnings of a smile upon his face. "I think you picked the wrong training room," he began, coming to a halt beside her. He reached out and placed a hand upon her shoulder, then continued. "We have to talk...it's about your progress. I've noticed that, despite your best efforts, you haven't been able to succeed in your training in Force utilization; yet in all else you excel. Even now, punching away at this bag, your strength and skill are easily identifiable, but when it comes to the Force...well, younglings can outpace you."

"As I've thought and meditated on this, I've come to a conclusion. Physical skills can utilize frustrations as fuel. Deep-rooted issues, pain, secrets...they can be gasoline to the fire that drives us to strike harder and faster. But when it comes to the focus required to utilize the Force...well, these things are nothing but a brick wall impeding your progress. Kara, you have been my student for quite some time now. You're like a younger sister to me, and I want to see you succeed...but in order to do that, you're going to need to open up. Talk to me, tell me that which is bothering you so that we can overcome this. Together."

@[member="Kara Avoyos"].
 

Kara Avoyos

Princess of Kirima
Writer
“No,” Kara said honestly, having become frustrated enough to at least be direct in this matter. “This is where I intended to go. You see, I’m avoiding you. Trying to see if ignoring the problem will making it go away since working through it has obviously gotten me nowhere.

Her former mentor responded with equal frankness, pointing out her complete ineptitude as compared to even the youngest members of their order before laying the blame on supposed secrets she might be harboring. While it was true she might have left a few things out of her introduction, and hadn’t used her real last name in years, she could hardly see what that had to do with anything. She doubted being the heir to the throne of a minor planet outside of the Confederacy’s control was near to being the biggest secret being held by a Templar.

That wasn’t to say that there was nothing bothering her, the trouble was phrasing the issue in a way that avoided giving away too much information. With luck the man wouldn’t find her interest of politics to be too curious. “I spoke to my mother the other day, things at home are growing. . .uneasy. The Queen’s nephew is an ambitious man. There are rumors.”
 
D O M I N U S
Writer
Troubles at home...that could very well be the underlying culprit of the trouble Kara had been having wielding the Force. There was not much one could do with words, save for attempting to make the individual dealing with these issues feel better in some small regard; what it would truly take to remove this blockage to her progress was action. These problems had to be resolved, lest she e impeded for the foreseeable future. However, whilst the young Master pondered these things, another thought popped into his head: that for an explorer of space, she was quite interested in the politics of home.

However, he dismissed that immediately, for when one missed home, they tended to keep an eye on things. Heck, that was one of the main reasons that Josiah watched the news in regards to Black Sun space, simply to see whether the rock he was born upon had imploded or not. In any case, he carefully considered what he could say in response.

"I see," he began, "do the ambitions of this particular Noble put your mother's life in harm's way? Or would a seizure of power on his part bring more harm to your family than good? Is that what has been worrying you?"

@[member="Kara Avoyos"].
 

Kara Avoyos

Princess of Kirima
Writer
It suddenly struck Kara that this wasn’t going to help. If secret keeping really was the cause of her block, then elaborate dancing around significant details wasn’t going to help at all. If anything trying to explain things to Josiah without actually explaining things was going to twist her up even more. She either needed to trust her mentor with everything or walk away, because trying to find a middle ground was obviously not going to work.

“Forget this.” She muttered, finally making a decision. “Yes, her life would be in harm’s way. Coups are notoriously bad for a monarch’s health. My cousin, the bloodthirsty leech that he is, wouldn’t let any potential threat to his hold on power survive if he managed to gain the throne.”

Which meant that he would send someone to collect her head as well. That was a worry for another day. Mother kept their communications secure, so Kara’s location was relatively secure for the time being. Besides she put herself in danger on a regular enough basis that someone else trying to kill her wouldn’t make much of a difference. “Things haven’t become violent yet, but there is evidence that he’s been in contact with several mercenary groups.”

“I may have also forgotten to mention running into a man claiming to be my half-brother back on Melida/Daan.” She continued. If she was unloading her secrets she might as well be thorough about it. Darth Kryptus. The timeline fits, my mother was known to be close with Count Cavill before I was born.”

Kara paused, trying to think of anything else that might be considered a secret. “I also don’t care for the strawberry flavored puffcakes you’ve been buying recently.”
 
D O M I N U S
Writer
What the young Master heard completely and utterly blew his mind. His expression was blank for a few moments...and then his lips parted, resulting in a dumbfounded look that paled in comparison to the monumental halt this revelation had brought to the gears which perpetually moved in his mind. The information was harder to process than a month old Puffcake that had become stale and harder than concrete, but after a few seconds of awkward silence, Josiah began to shake it off. 'Okay, he thought, closing his mouth and taking a moment to fully re-compose himself, 'so my apprentice is a princess...and the half-sibling of a Sith Lord...and her homeworld is in trouble. Got it.' Of course, this rudimentary repetition of the facts in his head was an attempt to accept that which had been stated. He inhaled a breath, then exhaled, then put a smile on.

"Sorry, you blew my mind there for a moment...I can't believe you don't like the strawberry Puffcakes..." he said, the humor evident in his tone. "Jokes aside, I did not realize that so much was going on...and now that I know, I can help, if you'll allow me. I can relay this information to the top brass and we'll see if we can't give that cousin of yours a proper asskicking." He paused, then took a step closer in order to place a hand upon her shoulder. The expression on his face was serious, but in the comforting sort of way. "I won't let your mother die." he said, before retracting his hand.

The young Master's words lingered in the air for a few moments before he decided to change the subject. There would be proper channels to reach out to in order to rouse a proper answer to the Coup and that would take quite some time, and a trip to Bothawui most likely. But for now, he had a student to attend to. As such, he turned on his heel and said simply, "Here's what we're going to do...We're going to train this afternoon, and then I'm heading to Bothawui in order to organize the efforts to put an end to this Coup...Consider this your lucky day, Kara, we're going to the Sun Vault." The Sun Vault was, of course, an area off-limits to the average Templar who was not authorized to venture within and to utilize the knowledge stored there. Josiah had just the tool in mind to assist his student day, and hopefully after this initial introduction, she would have the tools required to continue to train whilst he kept his word to her.

@[member="Kara Avoyos"].
 

Kara Avoyos

Princess of Kirima
Writer
Kara couldn’t help but giggle when as she took in Josiah’s shocked expression. Maybe she’d dropped everything on him a little too quickly, but it felt good to have it all off her chest. Now there was at least someone who knew her secrets. Even if he took some of what she said badly, and given the political headache that Kirima was turning into she wouldn’t blame him, at least now she could say that an attempt at honesty had been made.

When her former mentor’s first comment was about her not likely the puffcakes, the princess knew that it was going to be okay. No of her problems were going to magically vanish, but he wasn’t going to abandon their relationship because of those problems. After years of hiding who she was from everyone, this came as a surprise and a relief.

“Thank you.” Kara said as the giggling finally faded. As a master Josiah would have some pull with the Confederacy; if he said he was going to try to get help, then there was a good chance that he would manage it. Kirima had stood on its own for a long time, isolated in the Kalinda system, it was time for them to start looking for allies. With so many factions seeking to expend their realms of influence, it was nearly impossible to remain independent any more.

It took a moment for the blond to switch her focus from Kirima to her own training, but the prospect of going to the sun vault, where the Templar’s lightside artifacts were housed, certainly helped. Did Josiah mean to use a holocron to help her learn? Even if it didn’t work, Kara would at least enjoy getting to see how one functioned. She’d help to recover a few for the order, but not been able to use one herself.
 
D O M I N U S
Writer
The young Master was met with a fit of giggles in response to his words; and straightway he knew that some sort of ease had come upon his student. The tension that characterized her, born of stress and worry, was waning considerably; and all it took was opening up. Josiah smirked, amusing himself with the notion of how much better he'd feel if he opened up more...but quickly dismissed it as he led the way out of the training room. "You're welcome." he said, giving her a cliche thumbs-up along the way. Normally, the walk to the Tower of the Sun took a a few minutes, but at the pace Josiah was walking, the journey would take a fraction of that at best. After rounding the final corner, the duo would be greeted by a cadre of security droids, backed with a rather intimidating walker, who stopped Josiah in his tracks.

"We need access to the Vault," began the Templar in a casual tone. To this, the "lead" security droid ushered the young Master over to a console where his eyes, fingerprints, and voice were scanned in order to verify his identity and level of clearance. Once these tasks were performed, the security detail stepped aside and admitted him entry to the winding stairwell that led to the Vault itself. "Come on." he said with a smile and motion of his hand to Kara before striding off once more. He took the stairs two at a time and was halted once more by yet another security detail. This check was much simpler, as Josiah simply had to provide the key to the door. Once they saw it was in his possession, he was free to open the door; which he did, and step within.

The Vault itself was initially dark, but upon entering lights flickered into existence. One after another, they lit up in sequence both above and on the floor until the full expanse of the Sun Vault was revealed. Before their eyes were many shelves, in library fashion, and each was labeled alphabetically. Knowing exactly what he was looking for, the young Master led the way down the stacks of locked chests that sat neatly upon the shelves until he came upon a shelf labeled "D-F". Here, he plucked one of the topmost chests off of the shelf and then rounded upon another shelf adjacent to it, labeled "A-C". Here, he grabbed another top-mounted chest and finally led the way to an area free of shelves relatively nearby. This area was characterized simply by a table against the wall, upon which Josiah laid the chests, and plenty of room to practice.

"Within these chests are holocrons that have come into Templar possession over the course of our brief history. This one," he began, motioning to the chest from section A-C, "contains the Holocron of Jedi Master Sar Agorn. And this one," he said, motioning to the other, "contains the Holocron I personally made. Master Agorn's Holocron contains extensive knowledge on numerous subjects; and we're consulting it today so that you may learn of the abilities granted to us through the Light Side of the Force. My own holocron contains my knowledge in Tutaminis...and Djem'So. Whilst I'm away at the capital, I expect you to make usage of my holocron in practicing your saber skills. Now then, before we get tap into Master Agorn's knowledge, what sort of powers would you like to study today?"

@[member="Kara Avoyos"].
 

Kara Avoyos

Princess of Kirima
Writer
Kara stayed close to Josiah as they made their way into the sun vault. As a knight she didn’t have the same level of access as he did, so this was her first trip to the vault. One of the more senior Seekers had always been responsible for properly storing whatever they uncovered on expeditions. When she had enough experience to go out looking for the bizarre, powerful, and exceedingly dangerous on her own then maybe her access level would go up.

She listened with keen interest as the master explained the two holocrons in front of them. Getting permission to train with his holocron was going to be useful. She could learn at her own pace, but still be learning from a familiar source. Right now though, it was the other item that held her attention. Thus far most of what she’d leaned about the force has been universal. Although she naturally favored what the lightside represented, she’d yet to explore it too much.

“Combustion.” She declared after a few moments of consideration. Just because she hadn’t leaned any lightside powers didn’t mean the princess hadn’t already learned the names of the abilities she really wanted to learn. She kept a list in her head, and this was one of the more powerful ones that she wasn’t sure that Josiah could teach her.
 
D O M I N U S
Writer
"So, you wish to light things ablaze? Nice choice." commented the young Master. He set about taking the Holocron in hand and closed his eyes, allowing the Force to ripple and flow through his being. Telepathy was required to access and activate a Holocron, and upon brushing his mind against the device, it immediately began to radiate. Ascension gripped it's form and it hovered just off of the surface of Josiah's hand before projecting a pillar of azure light into the air. The light was...fuzzy momentarily. Almost like a projector getting into focus. Then, finally, the light began to sharpen and became the form of a Jedi Master long since deceased: Sar Agorn.

Lowering his head respectfully, Josiah acknowledged the gatekeeper of the Holocron with a slight reverence. After all, gatekeepers were not simply data but were "beings" with personalities and such modeled after the actual individual. As such, showing proper respect would get Josiah a long way; and by extension Kara. <"Greetings, I am Jedi Master Sar Agorn. I sense the Light radiating forth from the both of you, and as such my teaching is open to you. What guidance do you seek?">

"We seek your guidance in the art of Combustion." Replied the young Master. The Jedi nodded and then looked directly at Kara whilst addressing them both. <"I must first advise caution in the proceedings, for if used too aggressively, this art can lead to the Dark Side. That said, I need you to acquire nonessential things to practice upon, preferably something flammable so that you might be able to see the results immediately."> Josiah then turned to Kara and advised, "there should be a stack of pamphlets and such nearby, bring them over."

@[member="Kara Avoyos"].
 
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