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Two Cracks, And A Diner (Grayson/DragonsFlame)

With his robes looking nice, his lightsaber's positioning checked twice, Josh walked into a diner on Coruscant, and took a seat in one of the booths near the back. Bingo, he was right on time.

After the meeting where the new Jedi High Council had been formed, Josh had ended up meeting Kiskla Grayson, one of his fellow Masters and Council members. The two had gotten along quite quick, and had arranged a little meeting, a business dinner basically, at the local diner to discuss the mission that was going down later tonight.

Yes, the deal with Tracyn... It was a rather delicate situation. Tracyn Ordo had been inflicted with Sith Poison, and the Council had elected to pardon Tracyn for his acts, and get help for him. The three that would be dealing with that tonight were Phyllis, Grayson and DragonsFlame. Josh couldn't find Phyllis, sadly, so this meeting would be just himself and Grayson it seemed. Not that he minded, he had quickly taken a liking to the rather smartassed nature of his fellow Jedi Master. If he ended up getting to know her during the meeting and have a good time while they discussed business, why not?

A waiter droid came by and asked about Josh's order, but he politely declined for now, stating he wasn't ready to order just yet.

Josh took out a datapad while he waited for his fellow Jedi Master, taking care of a couple of loose ends while he waited. He was still trying to get ahold of that doctor that Aleidis had recommended...

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
The first council meeting had been an unorthodox time. Evening, to be exact. The Coruscanti suns had set, and now the city was ignited with the ultraviolet, neon lights. Signs flickered and flashed all along the street lines in the major district, doing their best to rise above the rest of the noise to captivate the attention of someone. Anyone, so they could gain their credits and put them toward rent.
It was a vicious world, the entrepreneurial one. It took a kind of person, who walked with courage and determination to open a business of their own and struggle to keep that strore font. Especially in such a busy planet as Coruscant. In a way, @[member="Joshua DragonsFlame"] was doing a supreme justice by eating dinner tonight. And Kiskla was an associate to that unsought benevolence.

She hadn't left the temple with Dragonsflame only because she'd been up for so long. That morning, she'd woken particularly early to meet with her Padawan, Kei Amadis, to assist in his training in his territory. That kind of rise was irritating to her, and she'd had to have a shower to refresh her senses before dinner, and then dissolving an alchemic disaster in a Jedi Knight. All in a day's work!
Therefore, she'd twisted her blonde tresses backwards and into a loose bun before exiting her chambers to meet the other Master.

She was only a little off the suggested time, and the door's dring announced her arrival. Her light eyes tracked a waiter droid whirring away from a customer, and she quickly pieced two and two together. The other blond master was isolated in a booth for now, and she quickly solved that problem by sliding her slender frame across from him.

"I certainly hope you're not hexting at the dinner table." Kiskla replied, her coy grin an undeniable charm in regards to her somewhat outlandish remark in reference to the datapad.
 
Her remark was met with a teasing grin from her fellow Master as Josh looked her in the eyes. "Nope, just taking care of some unfinished business before a Jedi Master arrived for our dinner date. Have you seen her? Cute looking, blonde hair, looks kind of like you?" He had teased with a laugh before sliding her his menu. He didn't need it, he'd eaten out here before. First time since Saoirse's first meeting though, when she was a Sith Knight desperately looking for someone who she thought stood her up.

"But joking aside" he began. "I was just dealing with my Padawan, Gherron... He's been disappearing before training sessions lately, and coming back the next day with some kind of new trinket. It's suspicious. I was just telling him that he needed to shape up and arrive to training on time if he planned on becoming a Knight someday" he said. "Kid's quite the handful. But hey, enough about me... How're you?" He asked.

Good to get to the pleasantries and get some food ordered before they discussed business.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
"Poor girl," Kiskla replied, palm on the menu and finishing the tug before flipping it up to scour it's contents. She was starving.

But what else was new? She'd left her joke hanging, so she finished the quip with; "I'll be sure to warn her about what's in store." Kiskla supposed she should be receptive to the compliments, although they were mostly asides. Truth be told, they tended to bounce off of her these days. Ever since puberty, she'd received them enough to be either totally deaf, or indifferent. Honestly, she should have been more appreciative to people's responses of her physical attractiveness. When she was a teen, she was a lanky son of a gun with huge lips. Thankfully, she'd matured and now nicely fit into all her features.

"Trinkets?" Kiskla repeated from behind the menu. She'd spent a majority of her youth with pirates and theives, and that sort of behaviour seemed like gateway qualities to similar behaviours. Especially since Jedi supposedly had no material needs.

Kiskla's eyes fell on something that resembled the ingredients of a typical burger, with a side of something deep fried. That would be good enough. And, she surmised that it would be quick, which was good because her stomach was about to remind her how empty it was. She set down the menu and paid @[member="Joshua DragonsFlame"] his due attention, her lips twisted in thought. "What sort of trinkets?"

She shrugged. How was she? Stressed, mostly. Her Padawan had indirectly been a topic of discussion at the first council meeting that evening. The Army of Light was under his tutelage, and she was sure she had some hand of responsibility in it as well. She'd not insisted he stay with The Order, instead encouraged him to follow what he felt was right because she was so confident in his purity. "I'm..." she thought about it for a moment, considering how to voice it "Good." She finally nodded. She was speaking as a person, she was a good person. And you know, she was well to be grammatically correct."This whole council thing, it's..it was a little bit of a surprise." She might as well admit it.

"I've only recently been involved with The Order again." Kiskla admitted, folding her hands on the menu and shrugging her slender shoulders. "Guess they really do need a fresh perspective." She held up her hand to cut off the conversation, and dropped it again, firmly placing her pointer finger on the coated menu.

"What're you getting? Suggestions?"
 
He chuckled. "I'm sure she'll be quite pleased at your words" he quipped without missing a heartbeat, a smile crossing his lips. Finally someone that he could trade barbs with on a somewhat equal level. Too few smartasses in the world. Too many stuck up bantha dungs.

He considered toning down on the joking compliments. Though they seemed to phase her very little, he wondered if she perhaps felt disrespected, or even feeling that he wasn't being professional. Of course, there wasn't a real need to be anyways, was there? Just because he was a Jedi didn't mean he had to be stuffy at a diner...

Though his compliments were joking though, he meant well. Grayson wasn't a sloche by any means. She was a good looking gal in his opinion, but she didn't interest him in that fashion, even if his jabs sounded flirtatious.

"I'm not sure" he admitted when questioned about the trinkets. "Usually jewelled stuff, or things you'd buy with an extra bit of pocket money at the general stores on Coruscant" he added. "It's... Odd, considering we hardly get paid enough to feed ourselves" he explained.


As for the Council thing.. He just shrugged.

"I hardly remember my life before I was on the Jedi Council" he joked with a laugh. "It's like I've always done this. Always had a heavy hand in deciding and working toward the future of the Jedi. When Selena for a moment removed me, even if I tried to hide it, you could see I looked like you'd just gutted me. Why? Because I love doing this. I love contributing to the Jedi on this level, at this degree. Now getting to do that as a full Master on a new, improved Council with some fresh faces, some pretty ones..." He said, that last bit making him grin in jest. "And overall, I think we can do a really good job with this. Yourself especially, you seem like you can take care of yourself"

He thought for a moment at the suggestions. "The burgers are good, the steak is good. Comes down to personal preference"

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
"So you agree, you think you're pretty?" Kiskla smirked
(with an ambiguous mean girls quote from a galaxy that had yet to exist)
.
"Well, thank you. Hopefully I can be as passionate as you seem." That was sincere. Kiskla was a passionate person, but for all the wrong things. Her emotions often got the better of her, that much was for certain. But when it came down to the struggles of the Jedi versus the Sith? She was plagued with the brutal reality that neither of them would ever win. It was a recycled war, and would be for eternities to come. No differences made.

His confirmation of her choice was reassuring. Especially since, as if on cue, the waiter whirred over to them again. Her eyelights lit up when she spoke, and darkened as she waited for a response. "Well huns, what'll it be." Even though the droid was programmed to remember things impeccably, she still held a notebook. She didn't even write down the order Kiskla told her.

Ugh, she hated droids. They made her so uncomfortable.

As the droid waited for @[member="Joshua DragonsFlame"] to give her something to work with, a quartet of burly persons strolled into the diner and took a seat in the empty booth behind Josh. Kiskla's light eyes followed them, mostly out of curiosity; anyone speaking in hushed tones was worth paying attention to.
 
He smirked. "Yes, I'm very pretty. Thank you" he snarked, not another heartbeat going by.

"The Order is a massive commitment. Like a dog, or a marriage" he said. "Well... Maybe not so much marriage. People these days are HORRIBLE at being committed to relationships and marriages" he said. ".... Especially that Circe chick. The one who poisoned Tracyn? Yeah, that nut. I was the best man at her second wedding, which was actually a bigamist wedding. Her husband, or widow now apparently... Jak Sandrow, was my best friend. Yet despite them being married, she's karked more dudes then the Water Temple" he jested with a laugh, yet another reference to a universe that doesn't exist.

"Bottom line. Marriages suck, people can't commit to that, but you GOTTA be commited to the Order, to the Council, if you wanna make a difference. And that's something I feel like you'll do well" he assured. "Just work hard, maybe play harder, depends on what qualifies as "play" for you" he jested. "But I'm sure you'll enjoy it. You'll be more passionate if you just enjoy what you do" he said.

He sensed the men speaking in hushed tones, but didn't look at them. No need to alert them to their presence... Yet.

Josh multitasked quite well, trying to overhear one conversation, and giving his order of the usual to the droid, who Grayson's body language seemed to indicate she had a dislike for. Was it because the droid had bigger jugs then her? He didn't know. But regardless, that wasn't his focus right now.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
Kiskla's brows shot up at Josh's expressive distaste to marriages. And Circe..this name was coming up more and more. Who was she? Other than a physically abrasive person, apparently.
It wasn't that Kiskla couldn't be committed. She ran a planet for galaxy's sake. Two actually. And an army. And now, an entire Order.
She was committed, and steadfast. She certainly didn't need a lesson in that. It was just the amount that she cared would be the issue. She loved the lightside, but unfortunately she was so constantly exposed to the darkness that it wore on her. History would constantly repeat itself.

Her nose wrinkled as @[member="Joshua DragonsFlame"] continued to explain what Circe was all about. She couldn't even imagine the potential range of diseases that creature had probable intercepted.

"It takes all kinds of kinds." Kiskla replied imply, curling her fingers around a cup of water that sat on the table near her. She took a moment to sip the liquid before returning to the conversation which was going well so far.

"So. Dragonsflame. That's quite the name." She tilted the rim of her glass in his direction, resting her elbows on the table with a quirked brow "Pyromaniac?"
 
After the waiter left, Josh eyed Kiskla with a smile, also trying to overhear what was behind him...

"But enough about big green schuttas and their black holes" he snarked with a grin. "Bottom line, she's making trouble for our fellow Jedi. And we'll handle that tonight"

At question of his name, he simply smiled. Raising his pointer finger, he lit a flame on the tip instantaniously. He spun the flame around like a top a bit, showing off obviously.

"How'd you figure?" He teased with a grin. "Are you perhaps a Greybeard, Miss... Or Mrs. Grayson if you prefer?" He joked, another reference.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
Kiskla's eyes ignited at the demonstration, undeniably impressed. She too, had a name that referred back to flames. She had inherited it during her tenure in the Republic's Flight Academy. But her first Master had used it in reference to her personality and temper.

Wildfire.

"Greybeard." Kiskla replied quickly, immediately shutting down the alternative. Her right hand lifted to stroke an imaginary growth of hair around her chin, her grin looking quite satisfied. "Thanks for noticing. It's been in the works for twenty years."

Behind him, the brutes were chatting gaily amongst themselves. Casual conversation of bets and credit chips here and there.
"What about this weekend, though?" One asked, his undertone curious as he leaned across the table to make sure everyone in his booth was listening to their exclusive conversation. "Are you betting or riding?"
@[member="Joshua DragonsFlame"]
 
He laughed, amused at her antics.

"That's quite the beard you have going there, Ms. Graybeard" he joked with an amused grin.

"So hey, what do you think of this whole Tracyn mess?" He asked. "The part about gross green plant women aside"

He was absentmindedly listening to the conversation behind them as he spoke... Curious. It was relatively suspicious. It didn't take a rocket scientist to identify them as rather shifty.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
"I met him once on Tython." Kiskla divulged, looking beyond @Joshua Dragonflame's shoulder and the table behind him to what was happening in the kitchen. She was impatient by nature, and starving by circumstance. A dangerous combination that was making her stomach churn with irritation. It had yet to be audible. "He was troubled then. But not aggressive as described in the meeting tonight."

So as not to look desperate, she looked back at her fellow master. "But I do believe he's reckless. And coming into this kind of situation, eh," she rolled her wrist as if dismissing a thought that escaped over the condiments stacked against the wall. "It's unavoidable. Sith happens."

She turned serious for a moment. A rarity. "But you know him. Has he always been troubled?"
 
"No, not always" he explained, seeing the impatient looks toward the kitchen and smirking a bit. He slid a Bickers bar over to her to eat to satisfy her while he spoke.

"I knew him while he was married to Asha Seren" he began. "He was a decent guy, yknow? Loved Asha to pieces, was a good Jedi, a good fighter... And then the greatest day of his life was ruined" he said, sighing.

"The day his son Cassus was born. I remember it very well. I remember coming into the hospital with flowers, because Asha and I were really close before she died. They were in chaos. A Sith, who ironically is the Emperor right now, Kaine... He had a vendetta against Tracyn and Asha. He had snuck in the night after Cassus was born, and had stolen him. Right out of his crib. I came in to see Tracyn a mental mess, Asha was screaming wildly. It was unlike anything I had ever seen from a Jedi"

"Tracyn became obsessed with Kaine. Obsessed with getting his son back. That experience turned him into the brutal, merciless sociopath that you saw on Tython" he explained. "Well... Not just that alone" he admitted, biting his lip. "First, Kaine used some kind of monster Sith Alchemy to erase Cassus's memory, age him to adulthood, and turned him into a Sith vessal, a monster, a slave. And then programmed it into his brain to murder his own parents as a Sith. Probably doesn't help that Asha slowly descended into madness, and had constant thoughts of ditching Tracyn, ditching Cassus, and trying to flee into obscurity with a new lover. In that case.... Well, it was me" he admitted. "I mean, I didn't actually go with her plan. I did all I could to keep her sane, and keep her with Tracyn as long as possible, but Tracyn always had a feeling that something was going on, and he confided that to me at the cantina before I brought him to the temple. It's why he near attacked me, he thought I'd slept with Asha and the madness of the Sith Poison caused him to act out on it"

He sighs. "And then.... Of course, Asha died. Asha was murdered by the Sith on Coruscant just a month or so ago. Tracyn wasn't the same after that"

"And... Well, you know the rest of the story" he said. "Circe injected him with Sith Poison, and he went from a Jedi that had a lot of pent up emotion to an uncontrollable monster. He can't even control himself anymore, and he knows it. He BEGGED me to bring him to the Jedi to get help, before it took control of him again"

He shook his head. "That's what I know. I just hope that something can be done. He has a lot of psychological damage from the Asha and Kaine trouble alone, that might take years to repair. But we'll never know if we can't cure this thing before it overtakes him entirely"

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
Despite the kind expression, it was in distaste to eat something in a food vending establishment. Therefore, she left the bar between them. But he didn't seem offended, because he was busy telling the tale of his abused friend.

And Kiskla was totally engrossed.

By the end of it, she felt as if her mouth was totally dry. An anvil was on her chest and she exhaled deeply, as if trying to blow out all the words that Josh had just divulged regarding the Jedi Knight in question. "He was a victim from the beginning." Kiskla mused, leaning back in her seat and dropping her hands to her lap. "And you, you lied to your friend?" Her lips nearly curled with disgust at that admittance. "Had you not thought he'd been through enough?" Kiskla had little regard for those that interfered with relationships. The bond between two persons was delicate as it was, and hardly needed stress from third parties.

She stepped down from her soapbox when @[member="Joshua DragonsFlame"]'s tone turned more sentimental. There were emotions there that revealed that he really did have a bond with the awry Knight and she supposed that despite all the conditioning from the Jedi, that even masters were human. Heaven knows she was a ball of emotions; it just took particulars to unravel them.

Their conversation was interrupted by the sudden appearance of the waiting droid, who set down their plates in front of them with a clatter. One that was disturbing enough for the brutes behind Josh to turn around curiously.

"Thanks." Kiskla offered to the droid, who just winked in response. Or, maybe not winked; maybe just a short circuit. Either way, Kiskla's dinner was in front of her now and all was right in the galaxy. Her galaxy, anyway.

"I hope those memories don't interfere with the purging process." Kiskla mumbled thoughtfully, popping a deep fried potato strip into her mouth.
 
"Whoaaaaa" he said, throwing his hands up. "Okay, maybe I worded that wrong" he began.

"You see... Me and Asha became tight after a series of missions where we had to go undercover, take new identities, change our appearances, and live together in a rut home in the slums on Coruscant, to bust a gang called the Syndicate" he explained.

"So we did that, but we got really close during that time. Became best friends, to the point there was a force bond, one that served us well in recovering the Darkstaff in a later mission"

Josh didn't detail the pain and suffering he had been inflicted when Asha had died, himself barely surviving the outcome, in which in a normal case, he'd have died with her due to it instead of the bond snapping.

"When Kaine drove her to eventual mental illness, she constantly told me she wanted to be Cery, the name of the disguise identity. She told me Cery was in love with Jose, which was mine. She expressed desire to run away from the Jedi and Tracyn and Cassus, run away with me and live as Jose and Cery for the rest of our lives as lovers, basically. I did all I could for so long to deter her, keep her with Tracyn and the Jedi. Eventually she ditched the Jedi for the Silent Conclave, but once in awhile would randomly show up at my house between missions, where I'd have to try and keep her under control"

"Then eventually she died. And when I couldn't protect Tracyn anymore, I told him the truth, that I'd been protecting him from Asha and trying to keep him from snapping. This was after the poison took hold by the way that I told him. It was how he snapped out of it long enough for me to get him to the Temple"

"I feel bad for keeping it from him but... What if I'd told him beforehand? He would have snapped. He'd already snapped when I did tell him, but he'd have done so of his own will and wouldn't be as redeemable as he is"

He took a breath, his eyes brightening at the sight of his food. He'd hidden it well, but he was STARVING.

"Yeah..." He said as he started to eat. "Hopefully it won't get in the way"

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
Yeah, maybe.
Through @Joshua Dragonflames enlightening explanation, he revealed that indeed he wasn't the welt of a person Kiskla had considered him to be. Even if it had been momentary.

"You definitely need to work on your communication skills." Kiskla pointed accusingly, although her relaxed façade had returned. There were a few moments of silence between chews, but it was enough to overhear the intriguing conversation that carried on over Josh's shoulder.

There was some heavy discussion of some illegal activity in the Coruscanti area. Suggestively, Kiskla quirked a brow and coupled the gesture with a nod in their direction, to see if Dragonsflame and herself were on the same page.
 
Josh stared at her for a moment, frowning. He looked at her as if he were saying "You really thought I would do something as horrible as that?"

He sighed, chewing his food a bit uncomfortably. He could hear the mooks behind him in the silence, speaking of illegal activity ,..

At Kiskla's look toward him, he gave a faint nod. She was thinking what he was thinking.

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
He was offended, okay, fair enough. But in her defence she had little knowledge of @[member="Joshua DragonsFlame"]'s morals other than they were trained by the Jedi. But a lot of people were trained by The Jedi and went awry when it came to libertine pursuits.

Apparently Joshua wasn't one of them, and that was both noted and admired.

Kiskla looked invested in her burger, but in reality she was extending her hearing to the metaphysical. Reaching out to the thoughts that were going on behind the other blond master.

If I rig this, my account will go up ten fold.

Jax's wife's a babe. If he dies in this, I can totally score her. She's liked me for some time anyway. Pause. I think.
Kiskla reached out, gesturing with a fry in her hand. With her persuasion from a distance, the one who had been thinking about Jax's spouse opened his mouth.

"Say, where's this going on again?"

He got a few pointedly distressed looks from his companions, but one shrugged off the apparent absurdity of the statement. "Underworld's red district. We'll have the first strip closed off. After that, fair game."

She pushed again.

"I've got some friends that could be interested in making a few quick credits. Can they just show up and register?"

"You should know the drill by now, but yes." The tone was slightly irritated, so Kiskla withdrew her presence back to the table where she and Josh were seated.

"I hope you heard that."
 
Josh had stated, flatly, "I was with my girlfriend at the time, I wouldn't have betrayed her, six times moreso then the likelihood of betraying Tracyn"

His tone was so cold, but it was how to keep the conversation seemingly going as he listened, and he didn't really put much emotion behind it. His personal life he didn't talk about much, but it was the only answer he could think of in order to make it look like they hadn't just stopped talking while they did.

But Josh heard it all, and his focus was on their every word. She could see a hint of irritation on his face when one of them mentioned macking with another's spouse. When he felt Kiskla pull her presence away, he did as well.

Turning his focus back to Kiskla, he nodded.

"I did" he said quietly. His playful demeanor had disappeared and he casually ate his food without another word, his mind abuzz on the info he'd heard...

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
She didn't know Saoirse. @[member="Joshua DragonsFlame"] was well-connected within The Order. Up until a couple of months ago, all of Kiskla's connections had disappeared from The Republic. It wasn't until Master Wraith's persuasion that she started becoming active again. A seat on the Jedi Council was a surprise to her, but earned in respect to Josh.

Kiskla frowned. Was she going to have to apologize for her misinterpretation? That was a first. She did feel bad though, especially when Josh's expression faltered when the man thought about moving in on his buddy's wife. Poor timing. Time to tap into that Jedi Empathy.

"Hey," Kiskla started, not sure really how to go about this whole...apology thing. "I'm sorry about my misinterpretation. The story was complex, granted, and so are you." The so are you meant that he wouldn't be so basically categorized to a man whisking off on a whim with another's spouse.
 
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