Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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Howling wind blew trees into each other, and lightning sliced through the clouds as soaked earth took the rain's relentless beatings. The smoky black of the night drowned the wilds in a thick, hazy darkness - the jungle was a scene made from blackened shapes and outlines until thunder announced seconds of flashing light. Something heavy-footed - large and animal, and immediately classed a possible danger - darted between rocks, and a stony gaze followed the creature warily as its owner stirred flame from her fingertips.

As far as Aria was concerned, the demon moon more than lived up to its name.

Dxun was a test, and for the past day she'd only barely passed. Landing in the morning when daylight still gave the moon an illusion of being at least acceptable, the aspiring Sith had spent the past perhaps fourteen hours simply surviving. Her plan when she'd set her sights on the moon had been to put herself through several days on the planet for hoping it might do something for her resilience, and Aria had been confident of her ability to endure it until the first pack of nighthunters. The sudden and unavoidable presence of ugly, fanged things pouncing from nowhere had only been succeeded by a bog claiming her starship and climate turning her datapad obsolete, and at some point a storm had started. She'd started, by then, to operate in the moment.

Small flames danced and Aria burrowed further into the muddied corner of the wreck that comprised her shelter, studying the fire ever more closely. The shadow drawn of her by the fire moved with her; Aria blinked and looked around, alert.

Her thoughts were on the Force. Not meditating, of course, because meditation bored her to no end. Aria was simply letting her mind be apart from her rain-soaked body, and the Force was her platform. She liked being able to sense - to be so much more aware. She could sense the Force now. It was everywhere, and it was how she liked it.

- [member="Vaylin"] -​
Five years, one month and ten days.

It had been her twentieth birthday the other week too, or at least she believed it had been.

Her time keeping had once been infallible, but the years had seen it slowly slip away from her. Eroded into the bog and jungles of Dxun.

For the first year, she had been afraid - positively terrified of everything around her. Who wouldn’t be? A fifteen year old Padawan left isolated and trapped on the Demon Moon. Those that she had cared for, who had provided her with safety and security had been taken from her in the blink of an eye. She had prayed and begged for them to return, but it went unanswered. Her fellow Jedi; her Master was gone. She had tried to search through the Force, reach out across the galaxy to find her. All she found was an emptiness, as if countless numbers had sudden been taken from their place.

The second and third years had been the worst. The reality of her situation had well and truly sunk in for Vaylin. But she was a Zabrak; an Iridonian. This was just another obstacle that needed to be surpassed.

At least that’s what she told herself. Fooled her mind into thinking.

She made strides to become one with the jungles around her, to become its boogeyman, rather than being haunted by the ones that already existed. What remained of her Master’s old ship became her shelter, a place of safety at first - then nothing more than a resting place after a hunt. Even the constant storms became nothing to her, she even embraced them - using them as cover for her tracking. It was during this time that she became unafraid of the various beasts, especially so after she discovered she could communicate with some of them. It was a bizarre thing, but how would you explain seeing a teenage girl wandering the jungle with a pair of Maalraas at her side.

Then the fourth year came about, and that’s when she found it. The Dark.

Vaylin had felt it crawling at her for years, nipping away at her defences bit by bit. She had been feeling it ever since she had first arrived, recalled her Master cautioning them all to be careful, that Dxun was a festering ground for the Dark Side. Hell, there was even a temple to some ancient Sith Lord somewhere on the moon. Vaylin had been oblivious to it back then, but over the years she had grown accustom to it, allow herself to sink into it like a bog.

The light had abandoned her, no one had come for her.

So she embraced it, and truly became one with the jungles of Dxun.

If she just laid there, her entire being flat against the dirt, she could feel the Force practically humming across the moon. It had been a window into it, a very useful one when it came to scouting. Over the years she had felt the presences of people come and go, never particularly coming close to her territory. But over the course of the last year she felt something stirring in the galaxy, many more were coming to Dxun for one reason or another.

A year ago she had felt it, a familiar presence in the Force she had almost mistaken for her old Master. But it wasn’t, instead it was one of the other Jedi with them at the time: [member="Jacob Crawford"]. One couldn’t blame her for immediately wanting to find him, she wanted answers. Why and how did he return? But by the time she could reach him, he had already been captured and carted off to a large metal building. Then in the recent months she felt him moving, leaving the confines of that place and leave the moon with another.

The past several months in general had been abuzz with activity.

There had been a pair of Jedi; a learner and a teacher who had come, the light side that emanated from them was like a blight amongst the dark side that festered on Dxun. But Vaylin had watched them briefly, her interest peaked when the older of the two had begun instructing on how to tame beasts.

Then another pair; this time a man and a woman had arrived and immediately went towards the temple that simply reeked of the dark side; to an almost suffocating degree. To Vaylin, the man felt like he was lost to the Force at the time - his companion on the other hand was a mystery. Almost as if she was cloaking herself to one side.

The last, well she practically heard them. A group of men and women, some dressed in armor and others not. Most were not connected to the Force, but all seemed to share a common goal. They had been building something, an outpost if she heard correctly during her time eavesdropping.

But now there was a new one, someone had arrived on Dxun slap bang in the middle of her territory. The animalistic instincts that had slowly woven into Vaylin’s mind was screaming at her to hunt. Who’d dare intrude on her land?

So she stalked and hunted, following the woman not longer after she had landed. Vaylin kept her distance though, watching as she stumbled about the place; losing her ship to the jungle’s bog. The moment the newcomer had found shelter, Vaylin began to plot. Eventually she directed her current maalraas to stalk close by, to spook the woman out. But it didn’t seem to work, and her pet returned to her side.

Vaylin grumbled to herself as she stared down at the shipwreck, just about seeing the flickering of a fire beneath it. Remaining in her hiding place up in a tree close by, she let out a series of growls to the maalraas below. The beast let out it’s own, before shifting its entire posture down and began a sprint towards the wreck.

[member="Aria Vale"]​
Only her attentiveness to the ripples of the force made the noise of Dxun's beasts suddenly stand out, warned her to be ready seconds before the growls of a nearby maalraas reached the wrecked starship. It was barely long enough to rise to her feet, call her saber to one hand as she let the fire dwindle, but it served. Aria ducked out from her shelter - haste knocked her head into the metal, but she took no notice of it - and one of two crimson blades sliced through the darkness as the outline of a creature pounced.

She'd realised by now that nighthunters were sneaky little things with a great talent for staying hidden until they were right in your face. The force could only do so much under such limited time, and so nothing but instinct served to direct the swing of her saber. Something landed on her from the right - something with claws - and the instant it took to prise it off with the help of her blade was all it needed to dig itself into her side. The maalraas landed in the mud; Aria touched the end of her saber to its corpse, quickly ensuring that the foul thing was as unrecognisable as it was dead. It wasn't necessary, but it certainly brought the ghost of a smile to her face.

Now her focus was on the cuts in her side. They weren't deep, but they stung, and Aria didn't know nearly enough of the creatures to say whether it might become infected without the proper attention. Irajah might be able to tell her, but she was currently without a way to contact her and Aria'd planned on staying a little longer than a day, taxing as it was.

But something else distracted her attention, lessened the wound's immediate importance. Someone was here, and they were nearby. Why hadn't she noticed there was someone there before? It didn't greatly bother her, but it was unlike her - and that on its own was enough to at least get her curious. Perhaps someone was hiding, although it couldn't occur to her what good it could do wasting energy on concealing yourself somewhere so empty. Aria wasn't anything to hide from, after all.

Her saber stayed ignited - thanks to caution, thanks to the darkness that constantly demanded some way to see through it; either worked. She'd been made curious, but equally so she'd been made the slightest bit more wary. Now her mind went from being open to the force to carefully, carefully manipulating it, detecting and pinpointing the other presence - eyes went in either direction, and she took a step forwards.

- [member="Vaylin"] -​
From her perch above Vaylin observed in silence, analyzing what this intruder would do in reaction to her pet. They would obviously move, either to attack or flee the moment they picked up the maalraas' approach - even the most simpliest of animals knew not just stay still. It was proven true when the woman was quickly out of her shelter, hitting her head against the metal in the process. But in that same instance her expectations were completely flipped - the moment she heard the familiar snap-hiss if a lightsaber.

It's red...Wait why is that my first thought?

Was she expecting it to be a different colour?

Vaylin's brief musings were cut short when she felt her connection to her pet extinquish as his life ended. She gritted her teeth, her grip on her spear tightening. She expected he would die, but it still stung her deeply - feeding into her anger; into the dark. He had been a loyal pet, one she had brought to her side two years ago, along with another; a female. Though that one Vaylin had to put down herself not a month ago, when a 'blip' in her focus had slipped and she tried to maul her.

That had been a sad day.

But there was a small consolation in the fact he managed to wound the intruder, if only a minor one. Then the woman's focus shifted, and her eyes began searching - was she able to see her? How!?

Vaylin gave pause however, as she began to feel something strange. Connected to Dxun as she was, Vaylin could feel as the woman began 'prodding' around with the Force, probing for her location. And amongst the dark for so long, Vaylin could not see the Force well, beyond the fact this intruder was using it, which brought just one word to the front of her mind.


A clap of thunder tore across the sky, and Vaylin leaped from her tree perch. She plunged downwards, her spear's head aimed for Aria's shoulder. But as she fell the woman suddenly reacted, aiming her lightsaber up in defence. Vaylin was forced to alter her descent, sending her crashing into the dirt with a loud thud. But Vaylin was quickly on her feet and darted away, slipping back into the dark.

[member="Aria Vale"]​
She could definitely sense someone, nearby - she was just having a strangely difficult time seeing them. Her eyes had long adjusted to the dark, but whoever else had had the misfortune of ending up on Dxun clearly knew how to hide. Why this unknown being was so eager to hide herself was still a mystery, but she'd get to that later.

Then she heard branches rustle as lightning slashed the sky, and she looked up, saber at the ready; a figure launched into her line of vision, and a thud announced their landing. Aria started backwards, and so did the other woman, up and hurrying away in an instant. She thought she saw the outline of something that looked like a spear. A spear? What did she have a spear for? Gingerly, she tried to look more closely, but the woman was already darting back into the shadows.

Well, that's odd. Who was this woman? What was she on Dxun for? Easy as it would've been to return to her shelter and wait out the storm, Aria was a slave to her curiosity and she'd certainly been made curious. Besides, it was something to do. Sitting huddled against rusty metal conjuring flames to stay warm was definitely one way to make Aria restless.

"Hey." Curiosity clear in her gaze, Aria marched through the mud, voice cutting through the storm as she attempted to catch up to the other woman. "Hey!"

Aria had to give credit where it was due - the woman was fast, and she was stealthy. Maybe she was used to having to sneak around, she thought fleetingly; Aria herself had honed her ability to sneak around for a good three years when she'd shadowed for the Silvers. A spy, maybe? Had she just been lurking around Dxun for that long?

She caught something move between a pair of trees with the speed of one used to being on the run.
Curiouser and curiouser.

"Oh, for gods' sake." She stopped in her tracks, deciding by now simply to assume she was being heard. "Who are you?"

- [member="Vaylin"] -​
Once she was in the darkness, Vaylin moved like a shadow only she never remained in one place for too long. There was only enough time to see the glimmer of her eyes and the glint of her spear every now and then. However Vaylin did pause the moment the woman began to speak, even march onwards in the direction she had gone off in.

The gall...

Hidden amongst the trees, Vaylin let out a threatening growl more beast than human. This intruder was purposefully trespassing now, she really didn't like that. But her time in view had given the woman a chance to zone in on her, and by the time Vaylin had dissappeared again she knew she was being more closely tracked now.

Vaylin cursed to herself for that slip up. The woman had already demonstrated an understanding of the shadows, how to track through them whether as the pursuer or the pursued.

It simply made her more dangerous in the Zabrak's mind. As such, she made the decision to go on the attack.

With Aria now stationary, Vaylin began circling around her. The rustle of foliage and leaves, intentionally snapping branches and twigs on the floor. She made an audible illusion to confuse the woman.

She stopped, standing not too far ahead of Aria.

A pair of eyes stared back through the darkness. Two orbs of golden amber narrowed into a unwavering glare. The twisted corruption of the darkside churning like small maelstroms, wild and untamed.

With a blink of the eyes she was gone. Leaving no sound other than the falling rain.

Then, with the sudden whoosh of a body moving through the air. Vaylin came darting towards Aria, from the woman's left. Her spear was held forward, intending to slice the blade across Aria's abdomen.

[member="Aria Vale"]​
Something was moving over there.

No - over there.

Over there?



She was good, Aria had to admit. Not so skilled that she didn't presume she could overcome it, but still, she was surprised. The how and why preyed at her concentration, dancing through her mind, but frustration was a good motivator. Sharp gaze swept across the trees, stance holding a confidence she didn't feel as she sought out the elusive Zabrak darting through the shadows.

Now, where was she?

Not there. Not there. Not there, or there, or there. She thought she saw a glint, and further examination unveiled the moonlight's reflection in a puddle. She thought she heard something creeping up from behind, and then she whirled around to see a squirrel leap across the dirt.

Exasperated, Aria spun on her heel - was that a spear? She whirled back around; the figure was feet away and wielding a blade as though she knew how to use it. By now, Aria was content to assume that she could.

Gods, get a grip. Aria was trying to become Sith - she was trying to become strong. It was her against one other woman with a knack for sneaking about. Getting frustrated would help nothing. And Aria had a lightsaber.

Oh, and speaking of which-

She brought her saber up instinctually as Vaylin pounced, eyes apprehensive as Aria's blade shifted into place to meet hers. The spear snapped where the plasma hit it, split neatly in two.

Much better.

"Don't worry," Aria added cheerfully, "I don't much like guests either."

- [member="Vaylin"] -​
Vaylin knew she wasn't a logical thinker, hadn't been for the past couple years. Not when instinct was the dominating factor to surviving in these jungles. And especially so when in the middle of a fight, when her blood was pumping and the dark was coiling inside her.

But it still came as a shock when her spear was cut in two, sending the halves falling into the dirt and mud.

She's got a karking lightsaber...what was I thinking.

Realizing her error, Vaylin quickly moved away turning in almost dance like motion to make some distance between them. Though she didn't go too far as Vaylin was still just about visible in the glow of Aria's red blade.

At first it seemed like the Zabrak was short, but she was infact keeping her entire body low. Almost in a crouch, but rather in some bizzare posture, as if she was imitating a beast such as a maalraas.

Vaylin glared up at the woman when she spoke, then her eyes flickered down to her now destroyed weapon. In the red glow it was clear to see that it had been makeshift, made from wood, metal and vine. Nothing particularly matched, and even the spearhead itself looked as though it had been intentionally sharpened. However, something glinted beneath the mud, that seemed to have fallen away from the spear when Aria had cleaved it in two. It looked somewhat like a-

In one swift motion, Vaylin snatched it and shifted her arm back a bit so it was cloaked by the darkness - just out of the glow of Aria's lightsaber.

Standing up, Vaylin showed her full height; a few inches taller than Aria and she glared at her with amber eyes. The rest of her face was now visible. Skin covered in grime, bags under her eyes and hair that was matted and dirty.

Anger was evident in the Zabrak's expression, slowly seething beneath the surface as her dark presence began to leak. Then she stepped back, and another, until she just silently walked backwards into the shadows again. Though instead of trying to attack, she screamed. It reached out across the jungle, her hoarse throat letting out an animalistic roar. The dark side rolled off her, spreading deeper into the jungle behind her.

Then silence...

Until numerous roars began to pop up in the distance, from several different directions. The beasts of Dxun had just been alerted, and they were answering Vaylin's call.

She quickly leapt up into a nearby tree, getting out of the way as the oncoming beast charge headed towards Aria.

[member="Aria Vale"]​
She watched warily as the Zabrak got to her feet, and for a moment eyes locked, amber staring at amber. It struck Aria how closely the other woman resembled the animals prowling the moon - what it was about her, she wasn't entirely certain, but the comparison was easy and unsettling.
And she felt the dark side, too, raging and feral. Usually Aria was one to appreciate such darkness; not so much, however, when she was its target.

This she didn't like at all.

Then the woman screamed, and Aria tried not to start. Why the...?

It took a minute before she realised what Vaylin was trying to do. A roar came from somewhere at another end of the jungle, too perfectly timed for it not to be in reply. Then another, somewhere else. Then another. Then another.

Okay, so she's some kind of beast-whisperer. Good to know.

Fine, they were just animals. Lots of...very big animals, but just animals. Aria had defeated far worse. Hadn't she? Oh, godsdamnit.
Just kill the damn things.

Yet again her saber was out and at the ready.

Animals from behind.

She wheeled around to face the creatures that Vaylin had called upon.

Behind you - she's moving away.No time!
Crimson sliced through the black of the night - and through the creatures all leaping at her. Caught up in her task, Aria couldn't distinguish one from another, couldn't tell what animal was what; it was a horde of fur and limbs and claws, and she was its target, and that was all there was to it in the present. She could feel herself taking hits, too. Over and over she'd stumble backwards, over and over creatures would sink themselves into her, tear at her jacket - one left a large gash across her forearm that would almost certainly get infected if she didn't look at it later.

But she did kill most of them, or at least get them off her back - after all, they were just animals.

Aria tore a nighthunter off her sleeve and did her best not to look at the bloodied scar on the other arm; she'd be fine, and there were other things to worry about at the moment. Vaylin's increasingly fierce attempts to get in Aria's way had her as intrigued as the darksider herself, and the Zabrak had long disappeared off into the trees by the time she was done with the beast charge.

Eyes scanned the trees - she caught something not far into the jungle. Well, the Zabrak had to have run out of tricks by now. Probably.

"You know you'll have to come down from there eventually, right?"

- [member="Vaylin"] -​
Vaylin had remained up in a nearby tree, crouched on a branch with little issue balancing on it - as if she had done this countless times before. She watched and waited as the roars continued, heightening to a point until they were drowned out by their stampede through the jungle. Then they came; Bomas, Cannoks and Maalraas. A mix of beasts that would usually be at each other's throats, were all gunning towards Aria. Vaylin peered up at the canopy, through the small gaps where she could just about see several shadows swooping over, circling around. They were Drexls, but it seemed this part of the jungle was too thick for them to descend into.

Her eyes fell back on the trespasser, as she prepared herself for the oncoming storm.

It was honestly fascinating, watching as the woman sliced and slashed away at all the beasts that came to her. There was a rather animalistic sway to her she moved, just cutting away at anything that lunged at her, no thought given to specifics. Or was that just the survival instinct kicking in? Either way beneath the hazy and feral mind, Vaylin was impressed.

The woman was managing to keep up, never letting herself be too overwhelmed by the creatures. No matter how many times they struck her, wounded her. She hit back twice as hard, using the pain as fuel.

Eventually the trespasser did manage to succeed, at least to the point that she had slain the majority of the beasts and the rest had the foresight to flee before they too shared the same fate.

Vaylin cursed silently, the woman had bested her again. And now there was only one last thing that came to the Zabrak's mind. She reached back to where she had put the item, tucked in the band of her trousers. Then she dropped, landing down into mud with little concern for the mess it caused.

She stared at Aria for a while, saying nothing in response. Then suddenly shifted into a stance, one that seemed rather out of place and wrong. As if Vaylin had forgotten how to specifically hold herself. It would take a moment for Aria to realize it, but the Zabrak's stance was quite familiar...

Until Vaylin promptly flicked her right hand and ignited the blue blade of the lightsaber held in it.

And without missing a beat, she charged at Aria.

[member="Aria Vale"]​
It took pleasantly little time for the Zabrak to drop back down, and she was ready for an attack but mildly surprised at how it presented itself. Aria had fought enough battles to recognize the stance one assumed when they were readying to wield their saber.

She has a saber?
Why not start with that, then?

The thought was cut off in a heartbeat, instantly replaced as Vaylin lit her blade.

It was blue.

The azure of a Jedi's saber was a rare sight for Aria these days - despite her strong reproach of the light and its servants, she had never been one to hunt down those she disagreed with simply because of the fact, and she didn't otherwise see much of the Jedi on such a planet as Maena.
But she'd grown up surrounded by the light, been one of its warriors for five years.
She knew a Jedi lightsaber when she saw it.

One wouldn't need to be at all bright to tell that the Zabrak was no Jedi - and yet the blue of the blade was unmistakeable. If Aria were a faster thinker, if Vaylin had given her another minute or two to process the information, she might've put two and two together to identify the woman as a former Jedi; but the Zabrak wasn't offering such a courtesy.

Well, at least now it was one against the other.
Aria liked it better that way.

Fingers twirled her own saber - still crimson, a stark contrast to Vaylin's blade - into a grip near identical to that the Zabrak had on her own. The other woman charged, and Aria was ready; move forward, don't back up, never back up. A graceful swing of her saber, presumably into Vaylin's own, accompanied two steps forward.

- [member="Vaylin"] -​
There was no planning, no moment of contemplation on what to do. Vaylin simply lurched forwards, like a beast with a taste for blood. And also particularly annoyed that her prey was putting up a fight still.

Blue and red clashed back and forth, lighting up the dark area around them.

Vaylin's movements were sloppy, her foot work and even how she was holding her lightsaber was atrocious. There was clearly some training there, but it was blatant as hell that it wasn't much. The Zabrak wasn't even shifting into any particular Forms, just remained on a basic one.

Which was very much the truth. Vaylin had only been a Padawan, with the basics of lightsaber combat learned. That, and using the weapon had always been a last resort the past few years. All that time she never used it, never continued to train it had resulted in a loss of that knowledge.

Vaylin tried to push against Aria, but the Zabrak's preference with being the aggressor was working against her. Aria's far superior training, trumped Vaylin each time she tried. Forcing the Zabrak to constantly move backwards - forcing her to be defensive.

That was until the back of Vaylin's right heel dug into a patch of mud, sticking into it deeply. As she tried to move, the trapped foot refused to follow and she tumbled backwards.

Aria's red blade zipped past, missing Vaylin's hand and sliced across her lightsaber - seperating the blade emitter from the rest. Effectively destroying it.

Vaylin was stunned, and fell backwards into the mud.

She stared up at Aria. At her impending death.

[member="Aria Vale"]​
Aria was more than a little impressed that Vaylin, clearly without any great training, could command Dxun's animals against her - but it took an instant from when the Zabrak drew her saber to see that here the odds shifted. Saberplay was hardly Aria's specialty either, in truth; but she'd trained in the art for several years and been forced to wield a lightsaber plenty of times in battle.

She knew, in short, what she was doing. Vaylin quite plainly didn't.

In fairness, the other woman had something of a knack for it. Had their little fight lasted long enough she might've even picked enough up to be able to carry it. But fate rarely worked that way, and a brawl that lasted minutes but felt longer ended swiftly when Aria's blade neatly split Vaylin's into two useless pieces.

Good. A blue blade, honestly - leave those for Jedi.

It was faintly satisfying, truthfully, to finally conclude Vaylin's string of attacks; but now there was the more imminent thought of what to do now. Were Aria someone else, she might've killed the Zabrak just for the inconvenience she'd caused her, but - and quite fortunately for Vaylin herself, she supposed - she wasn't the sort.

No, by now the woman had been wordless more than long enough to pique Aria's curiosity.

Others might've killed Vaylin - but Aria wanted answers.

"Well, that was fun," she said flatly, saber still alight just to be on the safe side. "You planning to talk yet?"
- [member="Vaylin"] -​
She had been defeated. After years surviving in these jungles, fighting the beasts that lurked within it. Becoming the predator that hunted them.

She had been bested. By some strange woman, a trespasser who had no business being here.

She accepted her death. Her eyes fixed firmly on her would-be executioner. There would be not tears shed, no closing of the eyes praying it would be over quickly.

No. She'd remain defiant, right until the end.

Everything was gone, even the urge to just lurch back up and continue the fight had been knocked out of her.

"You planning to talk yet?"


Vaylin was surprised. This woman wanted to talk, why? Her bestial instinct wanted to brush it aside as a trick. But the more rational side, of which had been buried for a long while now, finally managed to crack though that shell. The Zabrak saw the look in the woman's eye, recognized it to be curiosity.

Perhaps she wasn't fated to die today.

"Yes." The voice that all of a sudden escaped Vaylin's lips did not fit the Zabrak laying in the mud. It was rough and incredibly hoarse. Derived from the fact she hadn't drunk any water in hours now. And the yell that had called the beasts earlier hadn't helped at all.

[member="Aria Vale"]​
Amber eyes narrowed at Vaylin's surprise - had she truly thought she was about to die?

It seemed so odd to Aria, though she supposed she could understand it. The Dark Jedi had long shed her reproachfulness of murder, but she very rarely killed without cause and if first impressions were to be believed, one wouldn't think she killed at all. The last time it had come up that she could recall, she'd only been able to demonstrate her lack of aversion towards killing by simply doing the deed - and she had done, of course, with a faint smirk and a hand brushing her hair out of the way.

But she wasn't, in short, easily mistaken for a true killer, the kind that took lives without reason or remorse. And yet years surrounded by beasts whose sole instinct was to kill had made Vaylin look at her through the same lens, she who was at first sight so harmless it was frequently to her advantage. It made Aria mildly surprised, and very, very curious.

She didn't comment, though, and the rest of her face was impassive.

"Oh, good." Her blade lowered, finger hovering over its button for just a moment before she decided she had no use keeping it ignited and pressed down, letting the bloodred that lit up the night disappear.

"So." She crouched near the Zabrak, hilt still in her hand for good measure. "First things first. Who are you? Why exactly did you have to send half the damn jungle after me?"

- [member="Vaylin"] -​
Now that the fight was over, the bloodlust that had been pumping through the Zabrak had dwindled. It gave way to clarity, and she frowned when she noticed the woman's eyes.

Amber, much like her own.

Vaylin racked her brain, wondering if that was a new development or whether she had completely overlooked it. And it didn't take too long for the Zabrak to realize it was the latter.

Then her eyes fell on the red blade, and that further compounded that fact.

Amber eyes. Red lightsaber. Sith.

With the woman deactivating her weapon, Vaylin sat up slightly. She showed no visible concern that her arms were coated in mud as she propped herself with them.

"Vaylin." Her voice still managing to pass as being rather sharp, despite how croaky it was. "And why? Well I was trying to kill you." Vaylin just gave the woman a deadpan look, as though it was a stupid question to ask.

"My turn. Who the kark are you, and why are you trespassing on my land?"

[member="Aria Vale"]​
"Yes, I gathered that."

Ever-so-slightly amused, she studied the Zabrak again. She'd noticed the girl's glowing amber eyes from the start - Sith? Dark Jedi? Then why the blue blade? The contrast was jarring and it made Aria inordinately curious, but she saved the thought for later.

"Trespassing?" Aria snorted. It explained Vaylin's attempts to take her down, but in Aria's head it only opened up more questions. How long had she been on Dxun to have begun to think it her land - what had she been through since to start to think it her land?

But it had taken long enough to get Vaylin to so much as speak, and Aria had learned the importance of exercising control, of pacing herself. She was without a doubt intrigued, but she kept it off her face - she was long an expert on that skill - and simply regarded the Zabrak with a light wariness. One question at a time.

"Well, Vaylin," she went on wryly, "my name is Aria, and I'm trespassing for, uh, exploration purposes." Close enough.

"Why are you here?" It was almost an afterthought. Her voice was softer now, curiosity finally showing. "How did this-" she gestured at the jungle-"become your land?"

- [member="Vaylin"] -​
Vaylin frowned as she looked up at the woman; Aria, her name was apparently.

At first she wanted to lash out, a feeling of indignation rising at how dismissive the Human was about her reasoning.

But it was the tone that stopped her from even continuing that line of thought. It had been years since she even spoke to another person. Added to the fact the last memories she had of just simply conversing with someone were both bad.

One being her mother, shouting and constantly badgering her.

The second being the condescending prattle of the Jedi.

There was something in Aria's voice. A lack of either of those two things, instead it was soft and curious, not biting or laced with danger.

"Five years," she croaked out. "I've been stuck on this...moon for five years. This is my land because I made it so, I hunted the beasts that once tormented me. And they now run from me."

Vaylin voice grew worse with each word, ending with a harsh coughing fit, she raised a muddy hand to her throat, as if trying to rub it would ease the burning she was feeling. But it was clear the Zabrak was in need of water if she was going to talk any further.

[member="Aria Vale"]​
Aria narrowed her eyes in faint concern as Vaylin's words became hoarse. The Zabrak's answer had Aria more curious than ever, but it was obvious that it would have to wait.

"Okay, you need water," she announced, her voice already switching to that tone it took on when its owner was using her brain. There were supplies on her starship - it was half submerged in mud, though, and she didn't know what the inside of the craft would look like now. She could conjure water in theory (it ought to be the same principle as fire, she supposed) but she wasn't certain her level of faith in her abilities.

Besides, she could really use some shelter.

"My ship's not far from here, we can get you water there. Follow me." Aria got to her feet, waiting a moment to see if Vaylin needed help following suit, then she set off briskly, trying not to go ahead of the Zabrak as she walked.

They reached her ship, and Aria frowned at the bog that obscured half the vessel. It wouldn't be hard to lift it out - what state would it be in, though?
Best to find out, she supposed.

She closed her eyes and concentrated hard. The craft was mercifully small, only big enough to comfortably fit Aria and perhaps a handful of others, but it still took several achingly long moments before she could sense it starting to budge. Slowly, slowly, it rose out of the mud, and Aria sensed for a patch of land that she could rest the ship on before she did exactly that.

"In here," she gestured as she paced up a muddied landing ramp. "Hold on just a second."
Aria sat down on one side of the table in the centre of the ship's inside, setting a glass filled with water on its surface as she waited for Vaylin to do the same.

"So, five years. How did you get stuck here?"

- [member="Vaylin"] -​
Vaylin had been hesitant when Aria had told her to follow. The Zabrak wasn't one to follow orders, not as if there was anyone around to give her any to begin with. But with none of the bloodlust or adrenaline flowing anymore, the more rational part of her mind was taking charge.

The woman had stated her ship was close, and it reminded Vaylin that her own little residence; her old broken down vessel was too far away in comparison. So she decided to listen and follow.

Besides she really needed that water.

So she stood up, hands shifted through the mud trying to find some grip. Finding none however, Vaylin simply pushed herself up onto her feet, caking herself in more of the mud in the process. Not that the Zabrak seemed bothered by it.

On her feet, Vaylin followed Aria in silence. Only when they reached her ship; half submerged in the bog did the Zabrak give a reaction.

A look that basically said 'this is your ship?'

She watched as Aria managed to gradually lift her ship out of the bog. Vaylin was impressed, though she didn't show it in her expression or voice it.

Once they were inside, Vaylin remained standing. She took the water and immediately gulped a good half of it down in one go, but she didn't take a seat. Whether it took Aria a moment to realize or not, the Zabrak seemed to have some manners, given she was currently muddy as hell; only her front was mostly clear of it, and as such was refusing to take a seat and not spread the mess.

"I was with a group of Jedi, the Council had sent us on a mission here. The group consisted of myself, my master, another padawan and two knights. We had been in the middle of investigating when...they just disappeared, in the blink of an eye. I was left behind, for whatever reason...that's it really." Vaylin isolation from any civilization, from the HoloNet, meant she was completely clueless about the actual event that had taken her fellow Jedi at the time; the Netherworld. "Although...I do recall feeling the presence of one of the Knights returning about a year ago...but I was never able to reach the place he had been taken too. That, and I felt him leave Dxun a while ago now."

[member="Aria Vale"]​

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