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Old 09-09-2008, 01:35 AM   #1
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Scion of Darkness: Fear Leads to Anger

Star Wars
Scion of Darkness: Fear Leads to Anger

After nearly 200 years of mass lawlessness, plague, and starvation, the Galaxy is slowly crawling towards a new dawn. The GALACTIC ALLIANCE OF WORLDS, a benevolent government body, has taken shape on the mid-rim world of Retalia, spreading to many of the surrounding systems.

The knowledge of the old times, the period before the Great Dark Age following the collapse of the second Galactic Empire, is slowly being recovered and re-distributed through one of the most important places in the entirty of the new Alliance: the Galactic Doctryna Academy.

Now at the dawn of a new age of peace, prosperity, and re-education, the students of the Academy carry the future of the entire Galaxy on their young shoulders - a responsibility they will be forced to bear far sooner than any of them expect...


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The imaging pad flashed to life, and the image of a male human in flowing brown robes flickered to life, standing with his arms relaxed at his sides. His robes were clean and tidy, and his brown hair was neatly kept, flowing gently to a stop at his shoulders. He could have been handsome, were it not for the blank look on his face, or his oddly frozen stance. The image began to slowly rotate as the lecturer began.

“The Jedi,” he said ominously, his voice rattling slightly in his ancient chest. “Possibly the most famous - or infamous - Order in the history of the Galaxy." He awkwardly shifted himself around his desk towards the imaging pad, bracing himself against the terminal as he reached it. "For millenia, they waged war with their Sith bretheren, in an endless battle for dominance over the Galaxy - a battle that almost tore it apart on many occassions."

The class was somewhat better attended that it usually was - Ancient Galactic History was a much more popular course this term. Professor Ralgraddor Tavik, an old, withered-looking man stood at the head of the room, beaming up at all the young faces arrayed before him in the multi-tiered lecture hall. The new material he had introduced about the Jedi Order and the late Imperialistic Age had done the trick, alright. Once word spread that Professor Maltic had passed the course to someone else, it was sure to pick up some much needed popularity - the course had been in danger of being eliminated from the program entirely. Luckily, Tavik had been able to convince the Board to give him two semesters with it. He turned slightly, the better to see the hologram on the imaging pad.

“The man you see before you is a reasonable representation of the average human Jedi Knight’s appearance: unassuming robes, gloved hands, and neatly kept hairstyle.” He tapped a control on his data-pad, and the image slowly blended into a cross-section diagram of a strange cylindrical device. The class drew it’s collective breath as they looked up at the enlarged image of the ancient weapon. Tavik smiled. “I see you all recognise the Jedi lightsaber. For decades, they were believed to be nothing more than a myth, until a Mon Calamari doctor named Aamek stumbled across one while excavating the Zelhadi ruins on Tola Prime.” He tapped the data-pad again, and the imaging pad shut down as the lights faded in. “Next month,” he said, “We will begin our studies of the ancient Knights - spending a possibly unnecessary amount of time on some of the most famous names to come from the Order - Kenobi, Windu, and the Skywalker line in particular. We will also spend a good part of the semester studying the different branches of the Order, particularly the many denominations calling themselves Sith - and yes, there is a distinct difference between the Jedi and the Sith. But we’ll get to that.”

Tawnos Rashel sat near the back of the room, paying close attention to the lecturer, typing notes madly on his data-pad. He already knew a great deal about the Jedi Order and their Sith ‘counterparts’, but was sure that he would learn something from Professor Tavik. And if not, he would at least get an easy credit.

Professor Tavik continued. “I’d like to start by getting an idea of what lies and anti-Jedi propaganda your minds have been polluted with over the years. Can anyone tell me, first of all, about the hierarchy of the Order?”

A few members of the class exchanged blank looks at his question. A fairly large Twi’lek male activated the small red light in the top right corner of his desk, but Tawnos beat him to it - Tavik noticed his light first. He nodded for him to speak.

“There were three councils, all of them convening here on the old capital of Coruscant at the Jedi Temple - the exact location of which is now unknown. Each council was governed by a single High Council, consisting of twelve Masters, headed by the Order’s Grand Master.”

Tavik nodded, seemingly impressed. “Very good, Mr...”

“Rashel, sir,” he responded, somewhat nervously. He didn’t do well in front of crowds. He never had. “Tawnos Rashel.”

Tavik nodded, a small smile across his face. “Mr. Rashel is correct. From what we’ve been able to tell after recent excavations of the old Enclave here on Retalia, we know that four of the five pillars were occupied by a council - though which council convened in which tower, we’re not sure.”

“What about the morals of the Jedi? Can anyone tell me about them?”

A human female with short brown hair responded, a wry smile across her large, square jaw. “Sort of like a ‘slice first, ask questions later’ system,” she said. “Take no prisoners, don’t go down without a fight, that sort of thing.”

Tawnos rolled his eyes, but Tavik’s face remained neutral. “Not entirely correct,” he said. “You’re most likely thinking of the Sith. No, the Jedi had a fairly advanced system of morals, for the barbaric times they lived in. Pacifism was a key aspect of their faith, as was vegetarianism. They refrained from killing their opponents in battle, as well, preferring to take live prisoners.

“And that is the point that I wish to impress upon you now, at the start of the semester, instead of two months from now. There are many... stories... about the Jedi that are simply untrue. Much of the ‘common knowledge’ about the Jedi is either misinformation, confusing the Jedi and Sith Orders, or simply fiction altogether. There is verifiable, historically accurate fact that disproves many of the commonly held theories about the Jedi Order. If you don’t accept that now, then you’ll have a hard time in this course, as the Jedi played a key part in the development of the Galaxy in the ancient times, before they became extinct.”

A deep bell chimed three times, signalling the end of the first Ancient Galactic History period of the semester. Tavik nodded to the class at large, signalling that they were dismissed. There was a crescendo of murmuring as the students began packing up their data-pads and shoving them into their overstuffed bags, heading off for their various next classes.

Tawnos stood, shutting down his computer terminal and carefully gathering his notes and placing them all in his bag. A few people bumped into him as they passed, not stopping to apologise. He glared at a particularly large Twi’lek male as the oaf nearly knocked him over as he passed on his way to the exit. He finished gathering his belongings, and followed him out of the room.

Last edited by The Doctor; 09-10-2008 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:01 AM   #2
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The large screen at the front of the classroom went blank and Ciral, a woman in her mid-sixties breathed a nearly imperceptible sigh of relief. The substitute teacher had filled in for her during this class' last session and had started them watching an ancient piece of 'art' called, 'Win or Die'. For her part, Ciral despised the thing and all it represented, but she was determined to hear her students' honest opinions of it.

"So," she said brightly, "what did you all think of that? Questions? Comments? Like it or not?"

To her great disappointment, most of the students offered vague comments as to the program being 'interesting' or 'different', and a few of them seemed to have genuinely enjoyed it. Ciral found her eyes roving the class, searching for the one girl she knew would tell her teacher honestly what she thought. And there she was, frowning thoughtfully three rows back from the front. Slowly, she raised her hand and Ciral couldn't resist smiling.

"Yes, Samira."

Samira Yelizaveta's hand dropped and her frown deepened. "That has got to be the worst thing I've ever seen that has dared to call itself a work of art."

The classroom fell into an astonished silence and Ciral almost laughed out loud. "Would you mind explaining what you saw that led you to that conclusion?"

"There were too many things to name them all," Samira replied. "But I'll pull a short list off the top of my head. First off, it's painfully obvious that this is an attempt to program the people of that Empire to believe that their Emperor was the greatest humanitarian alive and yet, his rule over the galaxy has had lasting effects that we are only just pulling away from. That's the problem with it from a societal standpoint. From an acting standpoint, well that lead actor... what's his name... don't suppose it matters, really. His acting was flat."

"Define flat," Ciral prompted as other students in the class giggled at Samira's blunt honesty.

"He spoke in monotone almost throughout the entire thing," Samira answered. "His face was fixed in this almost pained stare and he could barely hold that. Not to mention how he couldn't keep his eyes off the camera unless he was running away from it, in which case he often glanced over his shoulder as if to be sure it was still following him. Best part about it? When he died in the Emperor's arms... played a pretty decent dead guy."

Laughter rippled through the class. Then, the tone sounded to end the class and Ciral smiled. "Thank you for your honesty Samira. I expect a short essay from all of you on this subject. Turn it in two days from now."

Samira stood, gathered her things together and left the classroom. As she headed down the hall, she was joined by one of her classmates.

"I didn't like it either," he said. Samira recognized it as an attempt to relate to her.

"Your answer to Professor Ciral tells me otherwise," she shot back. "And so did that blank stare of captivation on your face while we watched it. Before you think I was watching you the whole time, please do keep in mind that you sit right next to me and you were leaning so far forward our entire row could see your face."

She turned down another hall and left him behind, blushing in embarrassment.


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Old 09-09-2008, 04:59 PM   #3
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Professor Shi-Ti walked down the rows of desks, like the bringer of death as he looked over each individual design schematic and provided his critique. The assignment was simple: create a schematic for a droid with the purpose of mining in mind. That being said, all the designs he had picked up so far were simple, probably only good for a substandard droid model that would inevitably need much maintenance if utilized. Of course it was only the beginning of this class, so he wasn’t looking to put heads on the pike. Not yet anyway.

He picked up another schematic and gave his less-than-constructive critique, before moving on to the next one. He picked it up, expecting another simple schematic and was met with a highly detailed design that actually caught his interest. Ti examined the schematic more, and the more he did it the more interested he became. It was like an excitement coming over him that he actually almost showed it, but didn’t when he looked up and saw who had made it.

Talon San. His most dreaded student, one who had no problem correcting the teacher or explaining something a hundred times better than any professor on the subject and rubbed it in their face, it was amazing that Ti hadn’t tried strangling him. This student was one who excelled at everything he set his hands to, but was either a bane or a glory depending on the teacher. In the Twi’lek professor’s case, it was the former.

Talon smiled at the professor and asked “You like my design? I would’ve put more detail into the ore processing unit, but I’ve always been a bit more interested in the motor functions of droids. Your tips helped out a bit with that.”

Calling of his teachings ‘tip’ caused him to grind his teeth a litte, but the motor functions part more was evident by Talon’s blatantly cybernetic arms and face. One might have to wonder why he did not just get a skin covering for those parts, as he would look more normal that way. Not that anyone would ask, as the answer would always be the same: skin was not necessary.

“It holds many innovative details that I will be more than interested in seeing implemented in an actual prototype model that I expect to be finished at the end of next week.” Professor Ti replied with a fake smile, before turning to the rest of the class. “Did you hear me students? At the end of next week I expect for prototype models of your designs to be in the droid workshop, ready for inspection and grading at the end of next week.”

There were groans in response, but the professor ignored them and continued on saying as the bell sounded “And remember students, the paper on the ethics of engineering is due the day after tomorrow. Dismissed.”

“Already got it for you Professor.” Talon said pulling a datapad out of his pack and handing it to him.

Ti took out his own datapad and downloaded the data before returning it, asking “I can assume that you will be done with the prototype by the given date, right?”

“Always am. See ya next time.” Talon replied with a grin, turning and practically running out, leaving the professor shaking his head.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:58 PM   #4
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Tick. Tick. Tick.

Her chin rested atop her hands, which were layered atop each other on the powered off datapad in front of her, which in turn rested on the top of the long desk in the lecture hall. Her fingers drummed out each passing second as she watched the clock over the professor's head, beggingfor it to be over. Listening to this oaf teach about 'symbolism' from stories written a billion years ago was excruciating - to the point where she literally was getting a headache. Kara Jensen was a true lover of literature, it was true, and she loved to play with words...but half the crap pouring out of Professor Anderbane's mouth was just ridiculous.

"Now, how many of you noticed the repetition of the moon rise? Note how most of the story's action takes place in darkness, rather than light. Using the natural setting to set the tone of the event has been a classic literary technique for over a millenia, now, and you should be able to identify what will be happening in the scene before it actually happens, just by paying attention to the description of the time of day, or even the weather..."

Well, thanks for the update, Captain Obvious.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Kara was convinced that it was a mistake to have signed up for this course - it was evident that Anderbane still thought he was teaching that class of twelve year olds he was rumored to have had before signing on to the Academy for this ridiculous class, and it was absolutely infuriating to listen to. With only a few minutes to the bell, Kara became far too restless to stay seated any longer. Sitting up, she stuck her hand up in the air. Evidently, the professor didn't notice the movement, as he continued along with his discourse.

"However, note that when she realized who her mother truly was, she had just turned on a light - and light symbolizes knowledge! You remember those old Holonet cartoons you watched as a child? It's no coincidence that it was a light bulb that appeared over a character's head when they had an idea! Now, if you could just find Document thirteen-thirty-one in your holobooks--"

"Sir?"

The class all swiveled in her direction - not a very difficult task for most, as she, for some unknown reason, had been shoved up in the first four rows - as she spoke out, catching the Professor's attention. He slowly turned to look at her, and she watched as his face visibly morphed into one of a scared uncertainty. It was obvious that this new professor had already been warned of her.

"Yes, Miss...?"

She didn't bother with an answer. "Can I be excused, sir?"

"Can you tell me who you are?"

"I believe I asked you a question first, sir."

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The professor sighed again, dropping the data pad he had in his hand against his knee as he returned to his podium. No doubt he was pulling up a seating chart on its screen. "Miss Jensen, class is almost over. I believe you can wait. Now, class, if I can have a volunteer to read the first passage for us..."

"My apologies, Professor Addlebrains," she answered coolly from her seat, "But I don't think I can."

He seemed to have heard that one before. Again, he let out a slow sigh. "It's Anderbane." he muttered under his breath before looking up at her. "What is such an emergency that you can't seem to wait for the last few minutes of class?"

"The fact that I'll need to be dropping this course as soon as possible." she answered lightly - as if it were any other regular conversation between two friends. "I fear that if I have to listen much longer, my IQ points will continue to drop until I find that I have suddenly contracted a learning disorder."

Anderbane's eyes widened, his jaw dropping ever so slightly as he stared at her - evidently, he had never had a student talk to him like that in any of the few years that he'd been teaching before getting his newest degree.

Well, welcome to the Academy, sonny boy. I'm Kara. Nice to meet you.

He was saved a response by the triple ring of the bell, announcing the end of the class. Most students seemed to have been electrified out of their chairs by the sudden sound, as they jolted upright and began collecting their things; they couldn't wait to get out of the class room. Kara's movements were a bit more leisurely - even after Anderbane called her down to the podium to speak with him.

She left the classroom five minutes later with a nice little yellow card in her hand, detailing that she was to report to the administration office for disciplinary action immediately.


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Old 09-10-2008, 06:28 PM   #5
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“Hey, wait up!”

Holobook and datapad clutched under one arm, Kyan negotiated his way carefully through the stream of students leaving the building. He was trying to catch up one particular student—a loner for sure, but one that obviously knew his stuff. And Kyan was hoping that he might be persuaded to be his tutor.

Although Kyan did well in school, ancient history was not his strong point. Nor his love. It was, however, his father’s love, and although Kyan was trying hard to read the texts and pay attention in class, he inevitably found himself in a stupefied state of mind by the end of class. He just had no interest in dead things. And that’s what history was, right? An account of things that had once lived and left their mark?

He liked living things. Moving things. Life sciences and mechanics were his game. True medical droids weren’t exactly ‘living’, well, not in a biological sense anyway, but they moved, they performed, they calculated.

But Kyan’s father was an archaeologist. And he was paying for Kyan to have a ‘well-rounded’ education. Withdrawing from this history class was just not an option. So, passing it was a priority if Kyan wanted to continue his studies in biomechanics.

“Hey,…erm….” Aw, c’mon, think, Kyan! What in the Nine Hells is his name! Ruskel? Rascal? Ra… “…Rashel! Hey, Rashel, wait up!”


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Old 09-10-2008, 08:33 PM   #6
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Tawnos turned slowly at the call of his name. He saw a somewhat short young man working his way towards him, and sighed, slowing to a stop just outside the lecture hall door.

“What can I do for you, uh... Kyan, right?”

Kyan smiled at being recognised. “Yeah, Kyan, that's right. Say, you seem to know a lot about history and, well, I was wondering if you could help me out a bit. You know, like a tutor? I'm pretty good at mechanics and life sciences. Not bad in chemistry either. Maybe we could help each other? If not I could pay you. I've got to pass this class. You see, my dad's an archaeologist. He'll flip out if I don't pass it.”

Tawnos stiffened slightly, taken aback by the request - no one had ever really appreciated the fact that he knew more about history than most of the school put together. He scratched his head, looking Kyan up and down again, as if he could see what kind of potential for learning his peer had.

“The thing is,” he said after a moment. “History... isn't something you can just teach. I could tell you what happened at Yavin in 140 BDA, and I could tell you all there is to know about the Old Republic, the Palpatinian Empire, and all of that - but if you don't appreciate and understand the complexities of time, how one event leads into another and how the sum of history will affect the future... if you don't see the beauty of history itself, then you're just going to end up bombing the final exam anyway. And that's not something you can really tutour someone in.”

Kyan's face fell slightly, and Tawnos felt an unusual and quite uncharacteristic pang. “But--“ he said quickly, “I'm sure I can help you at least scrape through, I s'pose.”

He smiled broadly, showing pristine teeth. “Thank you!” he said, relief washing over him. “I really do appreciate it - it's only the first class, and I'm already lost at sea. The discussion at the end of the class about the Jedi and Sith has really got me thrown for a loop...”

Tawnos waved his hands dismissively. “I'll give you a little tip, Kyan,” he said genially, moving beside him and beginning to walk again. “Forget everything you think you know about the Jedi. What most people think they 'know' is really nothing more than fear-spawned bigotry and lies. People don't understand the Jedi, so it's only natural that they'll fear them. They weren't the monsters myth makes them out to be. Far from it, actually.”

“What about the Sith Order, the one Professor Tavik talked about?” asked Kyan, shifting his books in his arms so he could keep hold of them better. “I haven't heard much about them, really, other than that they were enemies of the Jedi.”

“The Sith are where many of the stories about Jedi come from,” replied Tawnos. “The Sith believed in power through passion. Their anger, and hate, and rage gave them their power, but they became so immersed in their own negative emotions that they were more often than not driven insane by their own emotion.”

Kyan nodded, trying to retain all this new information. They reached a split in the path. Tawnos needed to take the left fork, while Kyan needed the one that would take him straight through to the Technical Sciences wing of the Academy. Tawnos blinked in the bright Retalian sun as it shone through the brilliant glass dome that shielded the massive city-state from the harsh environment of the surface. Much of the Academy hallways themselves were actually built into the labryinthine caves that ran through the cliffside, carved by the people of Retalia hundreds of years ago as the Galaxy began to crumble around them.

Kyan stopped, Tawnos standing at his side. “Well,” he said, shifting his pads into his left hand so he could extend his right. “Thanks, Rashel. I appreciate you're willing to help me.”

Tawnos waved aside his thanks. “Don't mention it,” he said, taking the extended hand in his own. “And it's Tawnos.”

Kyan smiled. “Right, sorry. Tawnos. Where should we meet?”

Tawnos inhaled, and looked out around the campus. “Well, I've got to be in the East Library tonight around 18th rotation. We could meet back here around 16th and half, and we can go over the Clone Wars - and if we're lucky, maybe talk about the Palpatinian Empire a bit.”

Kyan nodded. “Thanks again. I'll see you tonight.”

“Catch you later, mate.”
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:26 PM   #7
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The yellow card twirled between her fingers, and then it twirled right out of sight as she tucked it away in her back pocket. She smirked to herself; no doubt Professor Addlebrains figured she would be a good girl and head straight to the administration, like she was supposed to - but since when was Kara a good girl?

The door slid open before her, and she sighed as she stepped out into the sunlight. The wind brushing against her skin drew a sigh from her lips, and she hovered there at the door for just a moment before she moved to take a seat beneath a tree, closing her eyes against the wind. This was a nice place to spend a class.

Kyan looked up from his datapad as she sat down, shifting with slight discomfort - she had an air of rebellious fury to her that he found disturbing yet oddly fascinating. He nodded to her as she caught his eye.

She smirked slightly, shaking her head. "Study boy." she muttered under her breath, closing her eyes.

He shifted again. With a look around, he sighed, and activated the keypad lock before placing it carefully back inside his back. He looked back over at her and smirked.

Sighing lightly, she stopped and turned her head, opening her eyes to look at him when she heard the movement of the pack. "Well, would you look at that." she muttered, grinning, "A man who actually listens!"

His grin spread wider, and he shrugged. "I've learned that when you listen, you hear things," he said, his hands in his lap. He was silent a moment, then he reached over to shake her hand. "I'm Kyan."

Smiling, she lifted a hand to shake his. "Kara." she answered with a nod. She glanced down at his pack. "You don't have class now?"

He shook his head. "Nope, I'm done for the day. How about you?"

She smirked lightly to herself. "I suppose you could say I'm done."


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Old 09-11-2008, 10:14 AM   #8
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In Samira's mind, there was a whirlwind of information, fact and fiction being woven together into a logical progression of events on the datapad in her hands. Occasionally, she spoke in a hushed tone and her words were picked up by an audio recorder she'd connected to the pad, which then sent them onward to the pad itself where they were converted into text and displayed as notes on what she'd been writing.

The piece of writing in question was a script Samira had been working on since the beginning of the semester. While not very long just yet, it was beginning to take shape. But Samira's biggest problem right now was that she had not chosen to sit down for this writing exercise. No, she was walking through the halls of the Academy, glancing occasionally in the direction she was heading to be sure she'd avoid other students planning to get to their next class - or leaving their last class - early.

Rounding a corner, Samira ran into another student coming the other direction, and though she managed to hold onto the datapad, the audio recorder clattered to the ground. Murmuring an apology, Samira tried to bend down and retrieve it, but she quickly realized that whoever she'd run into was holding her firmly by the shoulders. A flicker of annoyance came to her face.

"If you don't mind..." she began, her eyes focusing on where she thought a face ought to be. Chest. Her eyes moved slowly upward and she gritted her teeth.

"I do mind, actually," Jannt Vorr replied, his deep voice practically echoing down the hall. "You've been avoiding me, Sami, and I don't..."

"Told you not to call me that," Samira interrupted. "Also told you not to talk to me again. Didn't you get another girlfriend yet? No? Maybe it's 'cuz you're just a lazy slicer who got into the Academy because you awarded yourself with a scholarship, and not because you're smart enough in other subjects."

Vorr's eyes narrowed and he shoved Samira up against the wall. "If you told anyone..."

"Oh, please give me a little credit," she snapped, just a little frightened by his show of force. "If you want to pass the Academy by manipulating your grades in a computer program, do you think I care? You'll run into your own inadequacy in the real world. Then you won't be able to slice your way out of bad situations."

"I asked you to tutor me and you said no," Vorr growled, pushing her against the wall again.

"You asked and I said yes," Samira countered. "You didn't learn and I ended the sessions. Now if you'll excuse me..." She pushed away from him and reached down for her audio recorder, but Vorr grabbed her from behind, holding her close.

"Why'd you pull away, Sami?" he asked softly. "We made a good couple, didn't we?"

"You're unstable, now let go of me," Samira demanded, but Vorr held onto her just that much tighter.

Unstable?" Vorr echoed, his grip tightening still more. "Unstable?"

"I warned you," Samira told him, squirming just a little under his grip. "Now, I'll sing." She drove her elbow backward into his solar plexus. His grip relaxed a little and a rush of hot air washed over the back of Samira's head as his lungs contracted, expelling all that had been in them. But Samira wasn't finished yet; she stomped her heel down on the inside of his right foot, causing him to stagger. With Vorr off balance, Samira struck his nose, and finally kneed him in the groin; he fell over, curled in a ball and groaning.

"S. I. N. G." Samira said. "I guess some things you learn in Entertainment History class really do work. Go get some ice, Vorr. You obviously need it."

Retrieving her audio recorder and datapad, Samira continued quickly down the hall, deciding to forget about writing her script until she was in a more populated area.



((It's cheesy; and I couldn't resist. I do so love cheese ))


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Old 09-11-2008, 08:23 PM   #9
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Talon ran down the halls of the Academy, weaving in and out of people and getting strange looks all around. He was convinced that someone in the administration hated him, because every single one of his classes were so spaced out that he had to sprint to reach them in time. That all being, said, it was not the reason he was running. The reason he was running was because he had promised to meet his sister before next class, something about it being important, and she had arbitrarily chosen the other side of the school as their meeting place. Typical, but not unexpected.

He pushed past a large Twi’lek, accidentally running straight into another person head-on. Not exactly pleseant considering Talon was moving at full momentum at this point.

Tawnos stepped across the threshold into a small hall off the main Eastern corridor. He caught a glimpse of the arched ceiling of the man corridor about a dozen metres away before he was bowled over by a man even taller than himself, sending a number of pads scattering to the floor.

"Son of a-" Talon nearly swore to himself standing over the man, angry he had knocked him over. He knelt and began to pick up the pads quickly, saying "Sorry about that, I'm in a bit of a hurry and didn't see you behind that big guy."

Tawnos grunted as he pulled himself to his feet, rubbing the back of his head where it had impacted with the doorframe. "Ah, well..." he said, checking for blood. "No harm, no foul, I s'pose." He knelt down and helped pick up the scattered pads. "Where you headed?" he asked as he straightened again.

"Going to meet my sister over in the main lobby. Figures that she'd choose now of all times to want to talk to me about something." Talon replied, picking up the last of the pads and handing it to the man. "Not exactly fun when that's on the other side of school from your next class, but eh, what're brothers for? Talon San by the way."

"Nice to meet you, Talon," replied Tawnos, nodding and smiling slightly. "A little tip: if you take the third hall of the Eastern corridor here down through the caverns, you can get to the main hall in half the time - it's more direct."

Talon's jaw dropped at that moment. "You're kidding? You mean for three years I've been running for- It's the administrators I tell you. I correct one of the professors and they all go out to make your life miserable. I was told that area was under construction or something like that. Thanks for the tip and really sorry about knocking you over."

Tawnos chuckled. "Well, it is under construction, but the workers are Selerites - they're more than friendly, and are more likely to talk your ear off than report you for entering a restricted area." He handed him a final pad, and suddenly pulled a face. "Erhm... it might be better if I tag along: the workers know me. If they see you walking through with me, they won't worry about it next time they see you."

"Glad to have you along... err, I don't think I got your name?" Talon said extending out his hand.

"Sorry," replied Tawnos, realizing he was right and taking Talon's hand. "The name's Tawnos. Tawnos Rashel."

"Nice to meet you Tawnos," Talon said shaking his hand firmly and then motioned towards where the shortcut was. "Should probably head off now. My sister's not the most patient of people."

Tawnos nodded, and fell into step beside Talon. "Is she a student here?"

“No, I’ve got her enrolled in a public school nearby. She hates it there, but I’m certainly not going to let her run around beating up every thug from here to the outer rim.” Talon replied with a chuckle. “Of course she likes to play pranks to get for that, like sometimes she’ll disable my arms and I have to reactivate them using my feet and a hyrospanner in my mouth. Not fun I can tell you that.”

Tawnos looked sideways at him, taking in Talon's metallic arms and facial features. "I didn't want to say anything about that..." he said, somewhat uncomfortable. "So you must both be good with your hands if you can maintain that kind of equipment - and your sister, if she knows how to shut it down without shorting it out."

“She’s good, but she’s a bit impatient for that kind of job. She’s good for the quick stuff, but when some time needs to go into it you should give me a call.” Talon said looking over his arm. “Not exactly pretty, I know, but it works better than skin when you get into mechanical components and such.”

"I can see how that'd be the case, yeah," he said. As they talked, the hallway gave way to rough-hewn stone walls, lit by somewhat darker fiber-optic lighting than the hallways above. They came to a narrow stone staircase, and were forced into single file as they began to descend.

"Hey Grall," called Tawnos, as they reached the bottom of the staircase. "Just passing through to the main hall - this is Talon San," he said quickly, as the rather intimidating looking foreman came towards them, giving Talon a dark look. At Tawnos' words, however, his face split into a massive grin, literally stretching from ear to ear.

"Nice to see you finally getting along with someone, lad," he said, his voice accented with a thick Selerian lilt.

Tawnos smiled grimly. "Yeah, well, this guy's not bad," he said, smirking at Talon. "He actually apologised when he smacked into me. Others generally don't."

“Yes, and when I run into people they normally want to take my head off instead of taking me on a faster way to where I wanna go.” Talon said with his own smile.

"Aye, well, it's nice to see," said the foreman, scratching his rather large rump as he spoke. "I don' right like some o' the stories ye come through here with, lad," he said, frowning slightly at Tawnos. "Ye shouldn' be gettin' in ter fights as much as ye do."

Tawnos chuckled, glancing at the timepiece on his left wrist. "Listen Grall, we gotta go - he's meeting his sister in the main hall before he heads to class. I'll come around sometime this week and help you out, if you need it."

"Aye, yer a nice fella, Tawnos," he said, chuckling heartily. "Mind yerself, lads."

"Thanks Grall."

They made their way across the chamber. Once they were out of earshot, Tawnos smirked. "Trick is to be forceful. Too subtle, and he'll keep you down there for hours just chatting."

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Talon said before asking “So how long does it take to get through here?”

"The passage heads back up just here," Tawnos answered, leading him through a still narrower crevace to another staircase, this one leading upwards. "This'll take us right to..."

He led him through the hall at the top of the stairs, and raised his arms mock-dramatically as he indicated the main hall.

Talon laughed and was about to say something when he heard from across the room “Hey! Talon, over here!” He looked over and saw his sister waving him over, and motioned Tawnos to follow him before doing so. He walked over and his sister rushed to meet him, giving him a catching him in a big hug when within range. Talon smiled and returned the hug, before asking “Okay Seira, what’d you call me here for.”

Seira smiled and replied “Oh, I just felt like talking to you.”

“Just talking.”

“Yup.”

“Nothing else.”

“Nope.”

“No trouble or reason?”

“No, unless you count the fact that my history teacher is hitting on me again.”

“WHAT?!” Talon nearly roared, before Seira laughed and said “Just kidding. Nope, I just felt like saying hi to you before going home and doing homework like a good little girl.”

Tawnos smirked, as if to say he doubted very much that Talon's sister - Seira, apparently - could ever be described as anything even close to "a good little girl".

Seira caught glance of Tawnos and grinned. “Who’s your friend?”

“Oh, this is Tawnos Rashel, a guy who I literally ran into earlier. He was a good enough sport though to show me the shortcut that you apparently knew about but never told me.” Talon said giving her a stern look.

“Relax, it’s not that big of a deal.” Seira said, breaking the embrace and walking over to Tawnos, extending her hand out. “Nice to meet you Tawnos. I’m Seira San.”

Tawnos took her hand, returning her smile. "Nice to meet you, Seira. How's school?" he asked, a teasing smile on his face.

“Besides breaking bones all day, pretty boring. Not much excitement there.” Seira replied, a bit of a seductive tone in her voice.

“Speaking of which, shouldn’t you be at school right now, taking a test?” Talon asked, clearly annoyed.

“Umm, we had a drill and left early?” Seira replied meekly, but unconvincingly.

“School. Now. See you back later this evening” Talon stated firmly, receiving a look of distain from Seira.

“I’m not a 10 year old, I know all that stuff better than anyone else.” She muttered before starting to talk away, although he did throw a suggestive glance at Tawnos before moving on.

Tawnos shook his head, smiling himself. "Don't forget to look both ways before crossing the street," he joked, watching her as she stalked away. He caught Talon giving him an odd look, and flushed slightly. "So, uhm..." he coughed. "What's your next class?"

“Droid AI programming. Not very interesting, but it is useful, and it happens to be right around the corner from here.” Talon replied, his tone less stiffening. “It’s been good meeting you though Tawnos, hope to see you around again sometime.”

"Yeah, sure thing," he said quickly. "I'm sure we'll run into each other again - hopefully not quite so literally next time."

Talon laughed and said as he began to leave “Yeah, good thing you didn’t hit the metal or your head would still be ringing. See ya.”

"Later mate."
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:27 PM   #10
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Tawnos stepped out of the main hall onto the front steps of the Academy, his eyes closed as he felt the warm, artificial breeze play through his hair. He stretched out his arms, groaning slightly as he felt his muscles strain themselves out of a stiff cramp. He had sat through two classes already today, and had two hours to stretch his legs before his third later in the afternoon.

He moved swiftly down the front steps, a slight spring in his step. He couldn't explain why, even to himself, he was in such a good mood; he just was. He checked his timepiece, then looked both ways before crossing the street, planning on heading to a small restaurant just off campus. He had tried the food at the Academy's cafeteria, and hadn't been all too impressed. He understood that the Alliance had limited funds, but they had managed to assemble a more than decent teaching faculty and facility; you'd think they could scrape together a little bit more a year to give them some decent food.

He was forced to stop at a traffic light, and watched as the various shuttle-pods wizzed past in the perpindicular direction. He was reminded of his brother, who had always had an odd fascination with vehicles, particularly air speeders and the like. Tawnos had never understood it, himself - to him, they were just a mode of transportation, no more interesting - in fact, less so - than his own legs. But then, his brother had always been odd.

It took him a moment to notice that he was not alone at the stop. A few feet agead of him was a short girl with long, flowing red hair. It was another moment before he realised that it was Seira. He smirked slightly. As the light changed, permitting them to cross, he said, loud enough for her to hear, "Make sure to look both ways, kiddo."

She turned, smiling herself - she had clearly known he was there at least as long as he had known who she was. She held back for a moment, waiting for him to catch up. "No class?" she asked as he fell into step beside her.

"Not for another few hours," he said. He arched an eyebrow, thinking for a moment. "As I recall, the high school is back the other way, isn't it?"

She glanced at him sideways, grinning. "Yup." She burst into mock desperation. "Oh please Tawnos, don't tell my brother, please, I'm begging you!"

He laughed, shaking his head. "I don't think I'll need to - the school will probably contact him anyway, won't they?"

She shrugged. "The message always comes before he gets home. I just delete it when it comes, and he never thinks to run a recovery protocol."

"Fair enough," he said. "So if you're not going to school, where are you going?"

"There's a nice little restaurant I like a few blocks ahead - lunch at the school is disgusting."

"The Kessel Run?" asked Tawnos.

"Yeah. You know it?"

He nodded. "I've been going there for two years now. It's where I'm headed now, actually."

"Oh. Mind if I join you?"

He stopped, and gave her a dark look. "You should be going to school," he said.

She grinned. "I'll take that as a yes."

She turned, and stalked off, leaving Tawnos to catch up, shaking his head.
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:53 PM   #11
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Samira had already been seated in the Kessel Run when Tawnos and Seira entered. With a thoughtful frown, she watched Tawnos for a moment before deciding that yes, they had been in a class together. Entertainment History, a year earlier. She smiled cheerily and waved him over.

"I do seem to have forgotten your name," she admitted up front, "but I know your face. We had Entertainment History together last year... from Professor... oh, I'm horrible with names... Gressh? Professor Gressh, wasn't it?"

She kicked the chair opposite her out from the table and gestured to it. "Have a seat. And re-introduce yourself if you wouldn't mind... and who's your friend?"

Though she realized it was a lot of information to take in all at once, Samira didn't feel it was overwhelming... and she was just trying to be friendly, after all...


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Old 09-17-2008, 08:57 PM   #12
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"Taresh," he corrected with a smirk. He pulled the chair out the whole way, shifted it to the side for Seira, and pulled one for himself from the next table over.

"The name's Tawnos, Tawnos Rashel. And this is Seira Tan. Samira, right? You did your final seminar on Bith Quintet Bands."
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:05 AM   #13
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"That's right," Samira agreed, smiling. "Quite the memory, you have." She paused for half a moment. "Would you believe I actually managed to take something practical out of that class? Used it just today... remember SING?" Aside to Seira, she added, "Sensitive spots to aim for on a man if he grabs you from behind. Solar plexus, instep, nose, groin."

To Tawnos, she went on, "Remember Jannt Vorr? Followed me around like a little lost pup most of last year..."


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Old 09-18-2008, 06:19 PM   #14
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((I'm removing Tawnos from this scenario for plot advancement purposes. Seira, however, will remain, being an NPC.))

Seira giggled in a deceptively evil manner. "Reminds me of a guy in my Political Sciences class," she said. "He stares at me for the entire class. I'm close to offering him a coaster for his lower lip."

Tawnos shook his head. "Tell your brother - from what I could tell of him, he'd be more than happy to mop his blood off the floor with his own hair."

"That's be a problem - he's a Bith. He doesn't have any hair."

A sharp beeping began emitting from Tawnos' breast pocket. He blanched, and pulled from the pocket a small, flat calendar device. He tapped the screen, and the beeping stopped. "Son of a kath... I gotta go," he said. "I was supposed to call home tonight - it's my Grandmother's birthday. If I don't call her, my Mother will have my head shipped home in my backside."

He threw a small card on the table in front of Seira. "Passcode is 1846. Pay for both meals, and get it to your brother - he'll be able to find me easier than you." He returned his chair to its original table, and with one last odd look at Seira and his bank card, left the restaurant.

Seira turned back to Samira, brandishing Tawnos' card. "Kath steak, then?" she asked, smirking.

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Old 09-20-2008, 07:37 PM   #15
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Samira laughed. "Devious one, aren't you? Somehow, I think Tawnos has a vague idea of that... did you see the look he gave you as he was leaving?"

Seira giggled. "He did, didn't he? So SING, huh?"

"Works on Human males quite well," Samira answered. "Not sure about a Bith, though. And has he yet tried to restrain you from behind?"

"He does and I'll have a lot more than words to give him," Seira shot back, sounding rather proud of her skills. Samira blinked.

"Right..." she murmured. The waiter came and Seira ordered for both of them, though Samira complained a little at the amount of food Seira had ordered.

"Hey," Seira retorted, "he gave us his bank card. If he wanted a limit on our spending, he should have told us... say, care for a shopping trip after this?"

"I've got a rehearsal in half an hour," Samira answered. "And I really don't think Tawnos would be all too happy to find his bank account empty, do you?"

Seira shrugged. "Your loss," she said. "Sure you don't wanna come? I'm sure they wouldn't miss you too much..."

Samira blushed. "Wouldn't miss the lead female?" She snorted. "Right."

"Lead, huh?" Seira didn't seem entirely impressed. "Well, still your loss."

Their conversation turned at first to other things, and then died out altogether when it became painfully evident that they had extremely little in common. Twenty minutes after they'd sat down, Samira headed to her rehearsal and Seira bounded off to take advantage of Tawnos' bank card.


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Old 09-21-2008, 12:33 PM   #16
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((I'm jumping ahead a few hours, so we can get the ball rolling. This is the post I was referring to when I said you'd all know how to follow my lead.))

Night had fallen over the city, and the campus was eerily quiet. Tawnos walked the silent Academy streets, staring at the ground with his hands in his jacket pockets, oblivious to the world around him.

His mind was running over the scenario that had played out in the restaurant that evening. He didn't trust women. He couldn't afford to let his guard down, not after what had happened back on Gwellin; and yet he had handed Seira, a girl he had met barely an hour before, his bank card and given her the passcode. What was worse, he hadn't even thought about it - it had just seemed like a natural, logical decision. The level of trust he had for someone he had just met, considering his track record with the demographic, was frightening.

An artificial cloud shifted across the massive glass dome enveloping the city-state of Retalia, and the moonlight reached the surface beneath it with a pale yellow glow - the filtration effect of the sulphuric acid and molecular ionisation in the planet's atmosphere. The deadly atmosphere was the result of the world's carpet bombing in the early part of the Second Galactic Empire's weak-grasped reign over the region. The people had been forced to burrow into the ground, digging hundreds of thousands of underground caverns beneath the planet's surface stretching across the entire continent.

Tawnos sighed as he glanced at the timepiece on his wrist. It was 3:30 in the morning. He rubbed his eyes for a moment, though he wasn't the slightest bit tired. He turned a corner, intending to take the scenic route back to his apartment, Seira still running through his mind.

Not only had he given her full access to every credit he had, but he had been incredibly reckless in the way he had spoken to her. It wasn't in the guarded, defensive way he usually talked to new people - though it certainly seemed that she had been putting up defences of her own. But he had been more than willing to talk about nearly everything with her, despite the fact that he didn't even know her. It scared him.

A noise, like the sing-song whine of a breaking window mag-seal, caught his attention. He turned quickly, his hand moving instinctively to the small blaster pistol he kept on his belt whenever he ventured out at night. An odd, computerised beeping and whistling was emanating from a nearby alley, though he couldn't make out what was causing it. It couldn't have been a droid, he thought; all droids on Retalia were programmed to return home and shut down at sunset, to avoid theft. Tawnos moved in closer to the alley.

"Hello?" he called, his voice sounding odd in his own head after going so many hours without use. "Is anyone there?"

He put his back against the building to the right of the alley, a few feet away from its mouth. He pulled the blaster pistol to his chest, and closed his eyes, straining his other senses. He could smell the bitter scent of disposed-of food; the stench of a dead yelt rat; and he heard, unique from the natural night-time sounds and distinctly apart from the droid-like beepings, the sound of laboured breathing. He opened his eyes.

"I know someone's there," he called, a little more quietly this time. "I'm armed. Come out with your hands above your head."

The sounds ceased suddenly, and the air was still for a moment. Then, without warning, Tawnos felt the air forced out of his lungs as he was flung to the ground by some unknown force, his blaster pistol sliding into the deserted street. He rolled over on his back, the better to see his attacker, but all he saw was a tall black figure and a blur of swift motion as the world around him went black.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:09 PM   #17
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The evening had certainly ended on a high note, Samira decided as she left the little theater in which her play was being rehearsed. She had again narrowly escaped death... thanks in part to a heroic entrance by the lead male. The distraction his arrival caused was enough that Samira's character could outwit her idiot-guards and help her hero bring down the evil warlord before his weapon of mass destruction obliterated a planet full of billions of innocents. Samira laughed softly. While not exactly realistic, it certainly made for good entertainment and she was happy the rehearsal had gone well. They would go live in two weeks.

Now, she was making her way back to her little dorm room on the other side of campus, almost floating due to the success she and her fellow actors were coming on in this little play. For this reason, as she entered one of the more poorly lit sections of campus, she didn't notice a shadow break free from an old tree to follow her.

About halfway across campus, she decided to take a small shortcut, which would put her almost directly behind the building in which her room could be found. For a moment, she hesitated, wondering about Vorr. Then, she casually dismissed her concern, reasoning that he would be far more cautious about approaching her a second time. And so, she pressed onward, into the dark. As she entered this darker hall, the shadow behind her surged forward. Thinking she might have heard something, Samira whirled. Nothing.

"I thought..." she murmured aloud. The sound of her own voice startled her, seeming almost menacing in the darkness of the hall. Coming to her senses and realizing that this dark hall was a foolish idea that didn't lead anywhere near her building, she started back toward the light. But the shadow caught her from behind, and a hand clamped over her nose and mouth. Gasping sharply, Samira caught a whiff of an overpowering scent and then the world faded around her.


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Old 10-02-2008, 05:20 PM   #18
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I'd like to request that a Moderator lock down this thread. I'd like to start this over with a fresh cast, one with a slightly less hectic collective schedule.
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