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Blurred Lines: Cursed Past

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Kyradia didn’t want to get up, her messy hair covered her eyes as she tried to check the time. The room was dark and she had a hard time finding her clock, 4:00 AM wow well there’s an excuse. She lay down on what she thought was her bed but what she quickly realized was the sofa and stared at the ceiling. Wait there’s a blanket on this bed, she smiled thanks Andy of course he brought her one the romantic butthead. Well no use in staying awake she turned over and tried to get to sleep.

Nope that’s clearly not happening 30 minutes later and she couldn’t sleep, she sat up looking around she saw the dusty and empty engine room in the fury a slow hum echoing from the engine. Her holocom was on the table, her heart sank who was i trying to call she thought, many people came to mind. Well given the location it was likely she was trying to build up the confidence to call Ashara. Kyradia let out a big yawn as she stood up no use in staying here to do nothing but stare at technology.

She went to the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror, she could hardly see herself behind that forest of red she called hair. She began to try to tame the beast, same clothes as yesterday seems about right. She could hardly see her eyes right now as she squinted in the light. She let her mind wonder as she was waking up, everything seemed wrong right now, she kept messing up. She was the alliance commander, she knew had to make these tough decisions but why was it so hard.

She’d messed up with Ashara and wouldn’t be surprised if she never wanted anything to do with her. But still this was bigger than that Kyradia knew she’d made the right call choosing the transparent empire over the republics corruption but what that entailed she wasn’t so sure. There was no winning for her right now and she kept driving people away as a result with her impulse decisions, first Ashara and now…

Kyradia continued to spiral for a couple minutes then quickly snapped out of it as she sensed Andronikos, he was already dressed, he is so much better at life than me Kyradia thought

“hey you, are you alright you fell asleep in the engine room”

“oh yeah sorry didn’t mean to wake you i couldn’t sleep” hopefully that was enough she didn’t want to talk about it right now

“does it have anything to do with the holocom” his eyebrows were raised he clearly knew something was up

Kyradia looked away holding her arm with her other hand “yeah a bit”

“don’t worry about it too much you can take your time with it, i don’t like seeing my girl anxious it’s not a good look on you” oh really ok then

“so what would you prefer” she said putting on an evil grin messing with a little bit of lightning in her hands

Andronikos looked red in the face “uh ah well you know i would ah…” Kyradias grin only broadened “i would just prefer you to be okay you know” aw that’s sweet guess this wasn’t flirting time

“thanks i know.. rugged space pirate my ass” she said with a grin

“shut up i’m plenty tough” Andronikous said trying to hold in a smile

“uh huh sure” what a doofus Kyradia thought

With that he left her alone, she was about halfway through finishing her hair, her horns could be clearly seen and Her face wasn’t completely covered in hair now for the back. She felt a little better now, she smiled warmly i don’t think i could ever push him away so that’s something.

She knew she’d have to eventually call her, even just as a last favor to Kavaraa maybe to make up for things. She sighed there it was again her mistakes her stupid mistakes others not understanding what was necessary and getting blamed for it when she was just trying to… suddenly she felt a pain in her head. She had been running the brush through her hair harder and harder only realizing when she pulled some of her hair out, oops gotta stay calm try not to get angry at others, don’t fall back into old habits you know where that leads. She wished things were simpler then she could please everyone but she knew without her guidance the galaxy would just go back to pointless war.

She went back to the engine room and stared at the holocom for about 10 minutes she was sweating and her leg was going up and down like no tomorrow. She never used to be anxious, all these attachments made her a worrier. But nonetheless she knew this would plague her until she did something about it, she dialed the number and the holocom flickered to life with the blue transparent form of a togruta, orange skin, calm expression, Ashara…

Chapter Text

Oh dear Kavaraa thought as the tribe of angry Weequay surrounded her it seemed like a peaceful resolution she hoped for was off the table. As they lunged forward she took a running jump using one of their heads as a bounce pad before throwing her lightsaber in an arc around her. As she landed an array of Pink and black energy surrounded her as she could hear screams from the suffering weequay before the blade returned to her hand “sorry i reaaally tried to be civil”. About half were left alive meaning she would have to fight her way out, concentrating she channeled her peace and serenity into one huge burst of force energy sending many of the weequay flying back only one not landing on the ground either dead or heavily injured. As the the one left charged back at her she reared her lightsaber up for a forward slash quickly disposing of the weequay as it fell to the floor.

More weequay ran towards her these ones tougher looking, five of them one of which was looking like the leader due to his size. She began running towards them stretching her hand out with the force to push the leader back onto the ground with a resounding thud, as she did the other four surrounded her, she quickly ignited her saber skewering two of them at once before kicking the third away. The fourth one tried to grab her saber but as he did was pushed back into a wall with a thunderous crack, third guy left maybe don’t kill them all she thought as she moved earth around him to keep him in place. Now to the leader as she began to turn she felt a sudden clonk to the back of her skull making her stumble and drop her saber, damn let her guard down, the leader had a rather large polearm he was swinging at Kavaraa, disoriented she tried to move back dodging the attacks. She managed to avoid most of his attacks but then he swept her legs she hit the mud with a cold thud, ow some quick thinking was in order her lightsaber was out of view so no dice there any convenient rocks nearby? no damn what was she going to do. As she pondered the leader was getting closer and closer raising his polearm up ready to attack, but then she heard a pew and he suddenly froze and slowly fell backward

“Need a hand down there” she heard through the coms oh thank god there he was

“thanks Theron i may have been a little outnumbered” she said while catching her breath

“yeah remind me not to get on your bad side i don’t wanna end up like those lot” he said in a voice which Kavaraa thought was an attempt at flirting

“best get down here quick then and help me i think more are on the way” Kavaraa said with a smile

“be right there” Theron said sounding flushed hehehe too easy Kavaraa thought

 

“so may i ask why we’re here again instead of on our honeymoon” Theron said coming into the temple grounds oh god he kept asking this she sensed the dark side so she couldn’t exactly leave it

“i told you it’s just a quick stop” Kavaraa said she felt bad but she really needed to do some good right now and this temple was clearly evil. She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek

“what was that for” Theron looked his face as red as could be

“for helping and trusting me with this i know i just asked out of nowhere” hopefully this would make up for the detour at least for now.

“well of course i’d always help you however I didn’t know we’d be fighting some many weequay i’m working up a sweat” he said pointing to a small hoard he could see outside the grounds

“oh yeah looks like we’re back too it, i think they’re under some kind of spell dark side stuff” she said as she began to run towards the enemy

“oh with that level of confidence i feel so much better, very reass—” Theron said as she ran out of earshot

Chapter Text

As Ashara turned around her face turned from a calm smile to a frown. “Kyradia how did you get this contact this is supposed to be for emergencies only” she looked furious no wonder to be honest.

emergencies? Kavaraa had failed to tell her about that context, oh god what was she supposed to say this was all a big mistake she didn’t know what to do but she had to say something Ashara was just stood there looking all angry, hands on her hips those narrowed eyes like Kyradia had just suggested a crazy plan.

“well” she said impatiently Kyradia realized she had been silent for over thirty seconds.

“um hi Ashara i uh just wanted to um first of all apologize for what happened on Voss” oh god why was this so hard Kyradia had given speeches to the galaxy before, this was her old apprentice once one of her greatest friends oh right that’s why, she cared a lot more about Asharas opinion.

“oh really you wan’t to apologize now, you seemed pretty clear on your opinion back on Voss” Ashara said her face was all angry and scrunched up god this was gonna be a hard sell.

“yeah i wasn’t really thinking straight at the time and i made a mistake i’m really sorry” that seemed good right, it was the truth after all.

“you tried to SHOCK me” she said raising her voice oh god yep there it is, is there any way to salvage this Kyradia thought, her mind was racing as she tried to think of ways to justify her actions as anything other than cruel which it really was “give me one good reason why i shouldn’t hang this call up right now” oh god it’s do or die just say what you’re thinking be honest.

Kyradia sighed here we go “look… i get jealous of good people they make me feel like i’m inadequate and that i can’t become better. I take it out on them instead of realizing i’m angry at myself” is the truth working Ashara was listening but still seemed angry “and when i saw you so grown up and like a proper Jedi i felt like you had outgrown me and didn’t need me anymore. I didn’t want to lose you so i tried to bring you down to my level by trying to expose your flaws and in turn that made me lose you” wow i don’t think i even knew that about myself before now she thought “i understand if you want to hang up this call and never speak to me again but i needed closure” she paused “that’s one of the reasons i called”

Ashara seemed taken aback her eyes were wide and she no longer seemed so mad “i uh i didn’t realize you felt like that” she looked away from Kyradia holding her arm “how do i know you’re not just trying to manipulate me again”

Kyradia knew the only way to get he to believe her was to let her choose “because if you hang up now i wont pursue it any further I’ve made my peace i hope you understood it but it’s up to you not me” Ashara actually looked like she smiled for just a second oh thank god for the first time during the call Kyradia relaxed.

“ i’m sorry i judged you so harshly on Voss i didn’t mean to make you feel bad i honestly hoped you’d be proud of me” Ashara looked kinda embarrassed this must be fixed immediately Kyradia thought suddenly knowing exactly what to say.

“ok you have nothing to be sorry about this is entirely my fault and of course i’m proud of you, look at you your everything you ever wanted to be how could i not be proud” at that Ashara went red and looked away clearly overwhelmed .

“thanks master” she said with a shy smile.

“no please don’t call me master call me Kyradia or Ky if you’re so inclined” Kyradia grinned she felt the best she felt in weeks ever since Ossus she couldn’t get these things off her mind her head finally felt clear.

“ok Kyradia” Ashara said rather stnted and awkward “you said this wasn’t the only reason you called” Ashara had sat down now her calm warm smile had returned, Kyradia hadn’t seen that in 7 years. But now she had to go back into the less positive stuff.

“right well i made a similar mistake recently with a close friend she got angry at me for making a bad call and i retaliated” Kyradia put her head in her hands as she talked “now we’re not talking”

“ok i see, but what does this have to do with me” Ashara looked stern again Kyradia hoped this hadn’t put her off.

“i think i need someone to tell me when to stop, i don’t want this to happen again” Kyradia said she hated having to admit weakness, she was supposed to be the leader of the alliance not a nervous wreck “and you seem perfect for that, also i miss your company”

“so you need me” Ashara seemed guarded again maybe come on a bit less strong Ky show her you’ve changed.

“look i’m not going to force you into anything but i would like to show you I’ve changed so if we could talk in person on Odessen maybe you could help me with those jedi skills of yours” Kyradia really wanted to catch up more than anything but she did need help as well.

“ok fine but i will be on my guard i’ll see you then” Ashara said as she ended the call. Kyradia sat there for a minute contemplating what just happened thank god she understood best get dressed got a Jedi to meet.

 

Kyradia sat at the Odessen bar hands on her drink tapping the glass furiously she was way too nervous about this, the hard part was over now just to prove you’re a better person.

She felt a tap on her shoulder that shocked her into jumping out her seat, is she here yet? once she focused she saw it was Lana.

“commander are you alright” she said with her eyebrow raised.

“yeah totally fine great how are you” Kyradia leaned on the bar trying to look normal Lana looked thoroughly unimpressed.

“fine, we had a distress call from Kavaraas temple on Yavin 4 and need someone to look into it” oh of course she had to go do something .

“i’m kinda busy right now i’m meeting back up with my old apprentice” Kyradia said with a sigh.

“well i’m afraid we have no one else how can look into it and i think you owe it to her” damn it why was she always right, stupid sensible Lana.

“fine i’ll look into it” no point in arguing with Lana she knows what’s best and she’d almost definitely win the argument.

“good luck with your apprentice” Lana said with a half smile before leaving promptly.

Kyradia went back to sitting for another fifteen minutes before she saw the blue and white lekku of Ashara come through the door she quickly waved her over.

“um hi” Ashara said quietly man what’s the best way to make this not awkward.

“how have you been it feels like forever since we were on the fury” start small yes good easy don’t push it.

“well I’ve mostly been okay after you were captured we all tried our best to find where you were, we did that for about a year, well at least me and Andronikous everyone else kinda disappeared once they gave up on a quick rescue”

“i’m aware of them don’t worry i’m glad you two stayed” she leaned in “you were always my favorite” Kyradia smiled this wasn’t so bad

Ashara chuckled “yeah i know i don’’t think you were that subtle with that” what i thought they couldn’t tell damn gotta be more sneaky “anyway after a while the search was getting to me i was more vicious and stubborn i realised i needed to take some time away to remove the darkness that was building inside me so i had to leave Andronikous which didn’t exactly go down well” i can imagine that man never stopped searching Kyradia thought “he said i was cowardly but i knew i had to go then i studied peace and serenity on Voss until you found me years later” Ashara frowned “since then I’ve been trying to do what i can to help people.

Kyradia felt bad but thought not to press it right now “well i’d tell you how I’ve been but 5 years in carbonite and then 2 years documented by the whole galaxy so you probably already know”

Ashara chuckled again “yeah I’ve been keeping up with your exploits” she said with a smile “thank you for saving everyone i knew you were capable of it” Kyradia smiled but felt a bit somber

“i’ll be honest i was just doing it because i was angry at Arcann and wanted revenge for Marr but i kinda learned a lot along the way” She said half smiling

Ashara gave a smile “i think it was more than just that you had something to fight for you lost something you cared about and knew that what happened was wrong.” damn forgot how good she was at reading her

“sooooo is there anyone else you’ve met along the way” Kyradia gave Ashara a friendly nudge if this didn’t diffuse the tension nothing would

Ashara went bright red as she said that “what? i mean um no i dunno i’m uh a Jedi i” she contiuned to fumble for about thirty seconds while Kyradia gave a evil smile

“you’re messing with me aren’t you” Ashara said glaring as Kyradia

“ hehe maybe” Kyradia said this had been great she hadn’t felt this positive in ages it’s a shame she had work to do “i’m sorry to cut this sort but i have to go investigate some distress on Yavin IV, something at a jedi temple” Kyradia was hoping that Ashara would offer to help considering those circumstances.

Ashara looked concerned “what’s the danger?”

“not sure could be pretty dangerous i should be able to handle it” cmon reverse psychology

“ok no i’m not letting you go to an unknown danger alone after what you’ve been telling me i’m coming too” yesss it worked

“ok sure i wouldn’t mind some company” Ashara narrowed her eyes as Kyradia said that

“that’s what you wanted wasn’t it” Ashara said with a coy smile

“maybe” Kyradia said looking purposefully shifty. In response Ashara pulled Kyradia into a hug “what are you doing” Kyradia said her arms limp unsure what to do

“getting you back” she smiled evilly “i remember you hate hugs, also you seem to have changed so much i’m so pleased” Kyradia felt a little water in her eyes, eeww feelings

“thanks Ashara” she said returning the hug…

Chapter Text

Ash was setting the ship up for a hyperspace jump, they had a long way to go to deliver their cargo so best settle in for a long night. She couldn’t think straight at the moment, she hadn’t seen Gacen in a couple hours which could be very bad, she wanted to go find him but knew she had to not smother him that would just make it worse.

As if in response to her worry she heard him enter the cockpit. “hey Ash you got the route setup” he said as he plopped down into the co-pilots chair feet up on the controls

“Yeah I’ve got the route plotted and we’re ready to go into hyperspace” she was rather new to piloting but thought she’d been picking it up fairly fast with Gacen’s help

“I should probably check just in case don’t wanna end up inside a giant space worm or something” he said with a slight chuckle, he leaned over the console catching himself on about 10 buttons “don’t worry about that it’s probably unimportant” Ash made a mental note of which buttons to reset once he had finished. “pretty good but look here” he pointed at a point in the route near a black hole “this is a bit too close to the black hole it’s probably best not to risk it”

Ash was surprised “but I’ve calculated the risk and it’s small enough that making that journey will be worth it to get us there sooner” made sense to her they would get paid more even if there was damage

“yeah i know but better safe than sorry right, also if we add” he pointed to another star “this we can pick up lunch at a place that actually serves good food rather than bug food” he made a good point usually food at the drop offs was quite unenjoyable

“alright sure why not” Ash said probably best not to press it

“excellent” he said moving back to his reclined position, he slipped for a second and nearly fell over “I’m fine i’m fine don’t worry” he said scrambling back into his seat

“I wasn’t worried” Ash said with her arms folded she swore he’d lose his head without her “so you doing okay?” she asked probably best to at least ask

“what do you mean” Gacen said with a puzzled look on his face

hmmm she didn’t want to be too obvious “you been stable” she said with an eyebrow raised

“oh cmon Ash trust me i’m fine you’d know if there was a problem trust me” exactly that’s why she was worried but he was right she should trust him

“okay good i’m gonna bump this into hyperspace we got a while in there so make sure you don’t get too bored” she said hopefully implying the right thing

“yeah i’m gonna take a nap easiest way to combat boredom” he said with a smile he walked out the cabin with his usual chipper walk which was a good sign.

Ash stayed at the console for a bit making sure that every precaution was taken before leaving it to make the trip, she had an alert for if they came out of hyperspace, a remote pilot, the list went on. She had tried to install some upgrades to the ship after agreeing to join Gacens crew, the ship was royally unequipped and could fall apart any minute, now it could probably manage the Kessel run, Gacen said that was some kind of hard maneuver or something. Speaking of Gacen a nap didn’t seem like the worst idea and it would be good to check on him.

Ash got up and made her way to the bunks but when she arrived there was no sign of Gacen oh no this was bad she began to look for him checking for alcohol as she went there was none last time she checked, she made sure of it. None in the kitchen area but his hiding spots were more of the issue, None in the chess table good, none in the holopad and none in the medbay hidden as medicine. This meant he either already had it and he had a lot or Ash was overreacting.

Where was he though? she’d normally found him by now, she searched the ship one more time and still couldn’t find him in any room, the only place he could still be is in the turret. She made her way to the bottom of the turret “Gacen? you up there” She could see his feet but still polite to ask

“huh wha– oh hey Ash what’s up” Gacen seemed disorientated which was a very bad sign

“what are you doing up there i thought you were having a nap?” god this was going so wrong he better not be drinking himself to death up there

“nap? oh well… i like to nap up here sometimes ya know the hyperspace trails they’re cool n stuff” that’s a suprisingly good lie but his stupor and dazy way of speaking was giving it away big time

She would have to trick him down “well i’m going to take a nap so need someone up front” obligation seemed a good road to take

“oh well… sure i can do that i guess give me a minute to come down you just go ahead and go to bed” yeah sure and leave you like that fat chance at least he wasn’t slurring his words

Ash had to keep this charade up so went to the bunks but stayed awake. She heard a loud crash about 2 minutes later and made her way to the bar area fists clenched. Gacen was sat there on the floor drinking from a flask “uh A—Ash um this uh where did this flask come from” he said barely comprehensible “i think it’s haunted”

“God dammit Gacen why do you keep doing this” Ash was shouting now this was not the first time and she was really trying to help him she was furious

“alright fine okay i can’t do it are you happy now you win I’m a drunk and you’re in control” Gacen said retreating into himself beginning to drink more from the flask

“this is not what i want Gacen i want to help you why do you want to do this to yourself” she said snatching the flask from Gacens hands

“you know damn well why, everything is garbage, everyone leaves and i’m left alone i can’t do it anymore it’s too hard” he said trying to stand up but stumbling back to his knees

“so what you’d rather just drink yourself to death” Ash was really trying she had a lot of patience for him because of all he’d done for her but she could not tolerate that

“YES i would what’s the point in not i don’t exactly have any family who would be sad about it” Gacen seemed so lost Ash had no idea what to do she was terrible at talking to people regularly how did she bring her best friend out of this

“how do you know if there’s a point if you’re never sober hell when was the last time that you were” Ash really hoped that would it through to him

“i don’t wanna be sober because then i start thinking and when i start thinking i can’t stop and feel just as bad” Ash knew he’d been through a lot but he still hadn’t told him half of the story how was she supposed to help if he wouldn’t open up

“please tell me when was the last time that you were sober” she needed to know how long she had been lied to

“a little after we got out of Belsavis, what do you care anyway?” WHAT a little after Belsavis the whole time they’d been working together she was utterly furious she wanted to slap him so bad but contained herself

“of course i fucking care Gacen i’m not angry at you for no reason i’m angry because you’re my friend and i want my friend back the one who could bring me out of a bad mood with his stupid jokes and show me right from wrong when i was too stubborn to understand. You’re not the only one who lost people you’re all I’ve got now but i don’t know if i can keep doing this if you’re always drinking trying to die of alcohol poisoning” Ash was tearing up at this point she wasn’t familiar with this sensation what do people normally do with tears where do they go?

Gacens face changed though maybe it worked “oh i…i just thought you wanted me to be better so i could help” Ash was shocked did he really not realize that she just needed her friend back “you really want me to be better for me?”

“of course i do i know i’m not good at showing it but i really care about you Gacen, please just get better for me?” Ash didn’t like admitting these sort of things but this seemed like it was worth it

“Okay Ash i’ll try i promise it’ll be a slow process and i’m still gonna drink but i won’t drink myself to death” Gacen said with a half smile that was a half victory for Ash it’s better than nothing and he at least understood now.

“okay thanks buddy i really appreciate it” Ash needed a rest after that she felt so overwhelmed.

“good now i’m gonna take a nap on this nice cold floor i’ll see you in the morning” with that his head hit the metal and he passed out

Ash picked him up and moved him too the bed, even as dead weight he was the easiest thing to carry. “good night Gacen you stupid fool” Ash said with a smile and left him…

Chapter Text

As Gacen woke up he felt like a drill was drilling into his brain this was almost certainly alcohols fault. He lay there unable to get up for about half an hour, what happened last night? as he began to think memories started coming back to him. Oh god Ash had found him drinking but he’d been so careful ughhhhhh, Gacen slumped out of bed as he remembered he’d agreed to lay off the alcohol oh god he knew what his brain did without it though. Ash seemed pretty serious though so he should probably listen, Gacen made his way to the cockpit to find Ash already up.

“Morning sleepyhead how’s your head?” she said with a definite sarcastic tone

“well i feel like i’m being shot continuously by a Blaster rifle soo not as bad as i was expecting” he grinned this was a blatant lie it was more like a light saber stuck in his skull but he thought Ash could use some positive news

“alright well you ready to get some lunch we have arrived at Irodonia” Lunch but he’d just woken up that didn’t ma– he looked at the clock 12:00 ahhmakes sense

“well it’ll be breakfast for me but sure” he could really do with some food to soak up the alcohol he looked at Ash “youuu need me to land the ship for you?” she still hadn’t really got the nack for landing he didn’t want a repeat of last time she tried to land, so expensive

“no don’t worry i think i got it now” Gacen was worried he was very worried but probably should trust her he had plenty of disposable income anyway

“alright then Ash bring us down” he said leaning back to put his feet of the dashboard. She began bringing the ship down into the small spaceport of Iridonia, Gacen began getting anxious that was a rather small landing pad even he would have trouble with such a thing and he was pilot ace of the galaxy, “youuu sure you got this” Ash didn’t respond clearly fully concentrating on the task at hand, this is fine she has it covered surely Gacen mulled over the possibilities for a while but then suddenly felt a small oomf as they landed

Ash turned to him with a cocky smile “uh yeah i got this” Gacen hadn’t seen her this pleased in a while nice one. He got up and began pacing he was starting to get some nerves, he hadn’t been outside while sober for quite a while, maybe just a quick drink wouldn’t hurt, he began to try to stealthily drink from his flask but quickly found it snatched out his hand damn she was fast

“what did we JUST talk about” Ash looked visibly angry he had to explain

“it was just a little to calm the nerves Ash nothing more” He wasn’t sure if that was true or not now she had confronted him

“i don’t think it was nothing more, the rules are as follows alcohol is only allowed at a bar or social event where i will decide how much you can have” god she wasn’t his mum Gacen wasn’t really on board with the idea of rules

“Ash i didn’t agree to you babysitting me i said i was gonna do it myself” he could do it he was somewhat sure

“you wanted to get better Gacen this is the way, trust me on this i don’t want to have to limit you but i also don’t want to be dealing with the alcoholic binges so it’s these rules or none” she seemed pretty firm about it and as much as Gacen hated to admit it she was right, he had tried to kick it before and failed so her help was probably a good thing.

“alright Ash, sorry we’ll do it your way” Ash seemed genuinely pleased with that

“thanks bud, anyway lets get some grub” she said perking up they made their way out the ship and after all the ship parking preamble was done they were looking for a cantina

“you know I can probably spot a good cantina here” Gacen said with a cheery smile he was starting to wake up and the fesh air was helping his headache

“uh huh why’s that then you been here before” Ash seemed unimpressed with his street smart knowledge

“well it’s Iridonia home of my distant relatives the less red zabraks” he forgot the name something starting with I

“what so you have a natural instinct” Ash said clearly not taking his powers seriously

“exactly and by that i know that this cantina the Rancors Jaw will server the best food on the damn planet” Gacen said while pretending to be tapping into some force power

Ash stifled a chuckle heh even she couldn’t resist his wit “Oh really the Rancors Jaw sounds appetizing” her response was dripping with sarcasm

“hey a Rancor can be delicious if cooked right but i do admit the name does just sound like the owner thought of an animal and then a body part and went with the first which sounded good.” Gacens tone wavered a bit the Racor cooking reminded him of home he should refocus don’t wanna head there not right now. “after you” he said with a rather baroque bow at least he thought so

“alright mr showman pack it in we’re in a public place” she said walking into the bar she’s just jealous Gacen thought jokingly as they entered the bar they got the immediate vibe of a sleazy cantina full of lowlifes and criminals “are you sure abou-” Ash began

“It’s PERFECT” Gacen said with a smile as he sauntered over to the bar where a rather large Zabrak stood washing a glass. Music was playing softly in the background sounded like some generic popular music not really Gacens style. Ash joined him at the bar somewhat less impressed. “one pint of your finest beer please” Gacen said with a smile Ash turned to him with a sour look “you said only at bars this is a bar” he said innocently haha beat that logic

“fine but only one” she said she did not seem pleased

“don’t worry only one, oh sir can we also have some menus” Gacen waved his hand to call him over, the zabrak brought over the menus they looked pretty tacky but Gacen was starving so he didn’t care. He was browsing until he saw they did Grilled Rancor he was so surprised, no one ever did it because it was so hard to make “hey hey Ash Ash have you decided” he said excited

“uh yeah why are you squealing like a child” Ash raised her eyebrows concerned

“they do grilled Rancor” he said maybe he should tone it back a bit he was getting looks

“congratulations that sounds disgusting” Ash said looking unimpressed and turned to the Zabrak “i’ll have a Bantha Burger and i assume you know what he wants” Ash said gesturing to Gacen who had calmed down. The zabrak just gave a nod and passed Gacen his beer finally this was gonna be good, they began to make their way over to a table.

As they were heading over Gacen was about to take a sip and then he felt a tap on his shoulder “Gacen Zandar?” A rather rough looking Houk asked, this guy looked big better say no

“uh no sir you must be mistaken” he said confident his cover was safe.

The Houk began to mess with a holopad “oh really” oh no he has the holonet Gacen was all over that “not this Gacen Zandar” he said holding up a bounty photo of him, oh ok wellll this is bad. A bunch more goons surrounded them, Ash turned to Gacen

“what did you do?” she said as they were forced back to back

“i don’t know probably an illegal crime sometime in the past there’s a lot to choose from” Gacen said panicked

“well it looks like we’re gonna have to fight them off” Ash said readying her fists

“god dammit fine” Gacen said lifting the hand not holding his beer

 

*as the fight began a new song started playing on the jukebox*

 

Gacen didn’t know how many guys there were but knew he didn’t want to be in the middle of them he slid between the legs of the Houk beer raised as not to spill it. He saw Ash began to fight most of them off they were gonna get schooled but then three began coming for him, he took a quick sip of beer for courage and went to swing at the one closest which made them stagger back before he kneed them in the face knocking them cold to the floor. As he turned the second went for a swipe at his chest he moved his hands in the way blocking some of the blow, but as he did some of his beer was spilt damn gotta keep that out of the firing line. He went for a quick kick to the old voidwolfs knocking the second guy to his knees, he thought a celebratory sip was in order but as he was about to the other goon left clonked him on the head getting beer all down him. He elbowed the third guy in the side forcing him to move back then Gacen grabbed a bottle and threw it at his head with that he was out like a light. Hows the beer situation he thought about half left let’s put it down to avoid further damage to his drink. As he took a breather he pondered where Ash was in that big but admittedly smaller looking mob of goons, Suddenly he saw her and the Houk go flying out of the mob and over the table he just put his beer on, Motherfucker god dammit now he had to get another drink, Ash quickly returned to the mob seeming to hold her own, she’s probably got this Gacen thought. He gave the Houk a quick kick for spilling his drink before hoping over the bar, he began to pour while he watched what he could see of Ash fighting off the rest of the guys. He counted six bodies already on the ground and two more would soon be on the way as she threw a Rodian into a Deveronian knocking them both out in the process. Honestly if he got involved he’d probably get more in the way than anything, the beer was finished and he was really craving a drink when he felt something break over his head knocking him to the ground. FUCKING GOD DAMN BASTARD he thought as his vision clouded he’d almost certainly dropped his drink, as his vision returned he saw the Houk was standing over him with some sort of vibroblade he quickly began to shuffle backwards as the Houk began trying to attack him with the blade way too close t the old voidwolfs. He shuffled back to the end of the bar his balance was still off so he couldn’t stand properly, the Houk began to move forward though it was having trouble with all the glass from the beer cutting at his feet ha bare feet idiot. Gacen saw his chance and quickly unholstered his blaster with a quick one two he shot both of the Houks kneecaps the Houk fell to it’s knees roaring in pain. After a minute of regaining his balance he moved over to the Houk and knocked him out with but of his gun, stupid beer spiller. Gacen carefully made his way over the glass and began pouring as he looked up however he saw a goon flying straight towards him he ducked instinctively he hit the wall with a loud crack Gacen popped his head back up to see the bar empty and Ash standing in the middle of 14 unconscious goons “wow remind me not to get on your bad side” he said as he poured his beer.

Ash gave him a grumpy look “then don’t pour that” what no he never got his first one

Gacen began to say “the one i had got spilt and…” Ash cracked her knuckles clearly not in the mood “fine”…

Chapter Text

Kavaraa caught her breath as she stood over the last of the crazed weequay “i think that’s the last of them” she hoped anyway all this fighting was tiring her out

“not exactly a heroes welcome is it” Theron said as he holstered his blaster, the weequay had turned on them very quickly after leading them to the temple. Kavaraa suspected some level of control either from the temple or the presence within had forced them into fighting. As a result she had tried to kill as little as possible but unfortunately some were unavoidable.

“yeah not exactly, let’s get back to the temple we still need to investigate” she said, the temple was clearly made by an ancient force user judging by the structure but the big giveaway was that the door could only be opened by a force user. As they made their way over Kavaraa began to concentrate making sure to think peacefully, she muttered the Jedi code under her breath as she raised her hand and concentrated on unlocking the ancient temple. Her mind began to wonder as she concentrated, to recent events, why she was here and what that all meant, as she did her hand began to close into a fist before she heard a crash which snapped her out of her trance. As she opened her eyes she saw the door was open and bits of rubble were scattered at the bottom of the door.

“you know i probably could’ve done the same with a few thermal detonators” Theron said with a cute grin on his face, oh yeah so much precision in a thermal detonator

“oh yeah i’m sure you could” Kavaraa said with a coy smile where did that rubble come from was it her? probably not this temple was pretty old

“you okay there Kav?” Theron looked concerned Kavaraa realized she’d just been standing still for a bit

“yeah fine sorry i was somewhere else for a second” they should probably head in she was already delaying their time off with this little escapade no use in standing around. They headed into the temple and Kavaraa closed the door behind them as she did they were engulfed in darkness “oh woops i uh didn’t think it’d get so dark in here” she began to fumble around in the dark before bumping into Theron and then she lost her balance feeling herself fall onto the ground. Then a sudden bright light illuminated the chamber she put her hands in front of her eyes to block the light.

“is that better” Theron was holding a flashlight with his hand out “how did you end up on the floor?” but she bumped into him what?

“i bumped into you and fell over did you forget” Kavaraa was confused if not Theron then what

Theron shined his light on something behind her “i think you mean you bumped into that crumbled statue” oh god she bumped into a stationary statue she was so embarrassed “is that how you see me” he said with a smile

“no no of course not sorry i didn’t mean to i uh” Kavaraa wasn’t sure what to say

“honey i’m messing with you cmon get up off the floor” he extended his hand out and pulled her back up “one of the most powerful Jedi huh” Kavaraa knew Theron was messing with her but she thought she’d lean into it

“you wanna test that theory” she said trying her best to look intimidating

“ah uh yeah probably not” aw he was so cute when he was flustered Kavaraa gave him a quick peck on the cheek before heading down the corridor. They continued down the corridor until they found a large circular room with a skylight letting the in the sunlight “what do you think this was” Theron said clearly not that familiar with Jedi architecture this was probably a common area for peaceful meditation or a training room one or the other.

Kavaraa however saw an opportunity to get him back for the floor thing “looks like a ballroom to me” she said gesturing some dance moves

“why would Jedi have a ballroom that doesn’t sound right” he said scratching his head

“oh it’s actually more common than you think” This wasn’t true but Kavaraa wished it was true maybe she should add a ballroom to her temple “some Jedi enjoy a good bit of dancing” she said beginning to dance “maybe we should you know to appease the temple” she said turning on her holopad for some music

“i don’t think that’ll be necessary Kav” This was gonna be a hard sell but she could do it

“cmonnnn it’ll be fun” Kavaraa had began to properly go for it she had no idea if it looked good or bad she didn’t mind “nobody’s watching cmonnn”

“ugghh fine” yessss another win for Kavaraa, Theron began to awkwardly move his arms back and forward aww he was at least trying she should help she grabbed his arms and began to try and dance with him. They began to try to dance with each other both a little awkward but enjoying the idea of it. It took Theron a little while but he began to loosen up and they began to try and do more than just mild arm movments and shimmying on the spot. Kavaraa thought she’d try a spin she went for it but Theron wasn’t concentrating and didn’t catch her oh no she thought as she tumbled onto the floor witha crash.

*music stops*

“oh my god are you ok i’m so sorry” Theron quickly ran over as Kavaraa started laughing to herself

“yeah i’m fine you big dummy” she smiled at him before kissing him suddenly “ make sure to catch me next time we do that” Theron was blushing as Kavaraa stood up and picked a corridor to head down. They continued to explore the tunnels for about an hour before they found a clear direction to the main chamber, Kavaraa could sense the dark presence getting stronger as they made their may towards the main chamber.

“man it’s so dark in here i feel like something is gonna jump out at any second” Theron looked nervous

Kavaraa knew what she had to do she reared back a bit “BOO” she jumped out at Theron but he didn’t even flinch “what why weren’t you scared” Kavaraa said pouting

Theron smiled at her “you do that every time we go to these sorts of place” damn it he was right as well she did always do it “I’ve kinda grown wise to it, you need to raise your game” he said smiling

“challenge accepted” Kavaraa said with a devious smile

“wait no forget i said that” Therons regret was immediate realizing the mistake he just made hehehe she was gonna eat him alive with her scare. They reached the end of the tunnel and came to an odd door, it was inscribed with planets on circular movable discs.

“oooo oooo oooo a puzzle” Kavaraa could hardly contain her excitement she loved puzzles. She studied it for a second before saying “back in two seconds”

“wait where are you going” Theron said as she dashed off, she just needed to look through that skylight again. She made her way back there looked at the stars and came back. Without a word she began moving the discs to around until the door clicked and opened. “how did you do that” Theron looked taken aback and perplexed she should explain

“those planets are the ones which can be seen from the sky so i checked where they were in reference to a compass and then moved them around to the right positions” Kavaraa was intensely proud of herself she loved riddles and puzzles and the solve was always the best part but now on to more important matters

“well colour me im-” Theron started

“BOO” Kavaraa said out of nowhere, Theron jumped back in surprise nearly losing his balance

“god dammit Kav is that all you’ve been thinking about since i said it” he looked annoyed but in a good way

Kavaraa giggled “hehe yeah you gave me a challenge i had to win” she was now double proud of herself

“let’s head down don’t wanna wait here forever” Theron said recovering from the fright she agreed and they headed down into the main chamber. They entered a large expanse of a room with a large shrine at the end of it sitting at the top of the shrine she saw a hooded figure kneeling down in front of the alter, she recognized them as the dark presence she could sense this may get ugly she thought…

Chapter Text

The Hooded figure stood up as they entered the chamber Kavaraa readied her hand over her lightsaber; it was pretty common that these things got ugly when dealing with the dark side of the force. She saw Theron had taken similar precautions definitely also familiar with the dark side.

“who goes there?” that voice was surprisingly young maybe this wouldn’t be so bad, she gestured to Theron to wait.

“you first i’d like to know who i’m dealing with” holding the power in the conversation would help her negotiate

“Fine, my name is Kormel seeker of knowledge an–” he suddenly stopped while turning around. The guy was just a boy couldn’t be older than 16 blond dusty hair green eyes how could this boy be the dark presence. “ma-ma-master Kavaraa?” Kormel stammered what? he knew her from where she didn’t remember training someone like him, she shot a quick glance at Theron who seemed equally confused.

“um yes forgive me but i’m not sure how you know me” she hoped that didn’t sound rude if she had forgotten him she’d feel ever so bad

“ I-I-I have studied from all your holocrons, you-you-your teachings have really helped me understand how to use the force” but Kormel was using the dark side that wasn’t part of her teachings. The dark facade Kormel had a minute ago was completely gone now there was a excited nervous padawan meeting there hero, oh god but he’s been using the dark side and he was so powerful for his age Kavaraa had to do something and it may be harsh for him to hear

“then why do i sense you using the dark side Kormel” Kavaraa made sure to clear her mind so she could better negotiate, a tactic she’d used many times before to talk down Jedi plague victims.

“what? no i’m not using the darkside i’m just not suppressing my emotions like you say in your holocrons” he was clearly lying she could sense the dark energy radiating off him but he seemed to believe what he was saying was she not very clear in her holocrons? she should think about this later now she needed to talk him down don’t get flustered.

“Kormel i don’t appreciate you lying” Kormels face turned quickly to a frown anger clear on his face “even if it’s lying to yourself”

“wha-what do you mean i’m just searching for more knowledge i’m not hurting anyone” Kavaraa felt bad for him, he clearly was just trying to learn she remembered when that was all she wanted to do but he was taking shortcuts and she suspected not all the knowledge he’d searched for had been Jedi.

“i know you’re not hurting anyone but nonetheless you are using your anger and rage to fuel your use of the force, only the very strongest are able to control it and use it for good and even then that usually doesn’t last” the dark side was a fickle thing and although it could be used for good in Kavaraas experience it didn’t lead to the best long term solutions.

“wha- you don’t even know me you’re assuming i can’t control this you just met me you don’t know what i’m capable of” Kavaraa could see him getting agitated this may get ugly bringing him out of this may require more than a talk. Theron glanced at Kavaraa indicating should i do something about him, Kavaraa gestured a subtle no.

“i know i don’t know you but I’ve seen this time and again a young Jedi wants to learn more so they delve into some dark secrets, they are then corrupted by them and before they can do anything they are crueler than they could’ve possibly imagined” Kavaraa had seen this a lot in her years with the Jedi but it had never happened due to her teachings before.

“i thought of all people you would understand you always said not to limit yourself or hold your emotions back i can’t believe you would turn on your teachings like this” oh god was she really going against her teachings he could have a point but also if this is where her teachings lead maybe she had to reevaluate her teachings.

“i did say that but-” she began

“NO i think you’re the one who has been corrupted you don’t stand for anything you used to” he lunged at Kavaraa with his lightsaber, she quickly ignited her lightsaber blocking his blow before quickly knocking him out with an elbow to the head. He slumped to the ground almost instantly, he really was just a kid he had no idea how to fight. Not exactly her best diplomatic talk down she really hoped she could get through to him later but maybe he did have a point maybe her teachings were wrong or outdated.

she felt a hand on her shoulder “hey Kavaraa you alright” Theron said looking concerned

“uh yeah iiii was just hoping that it wouldn’t go like that” Kavaraa hung her head she felt terrible all this kid wanted to do was learn and her teachings had lead him down a dark path.

“hey it’s ok let’s bring him back to the ship we have a cell there you can get through to him there” Theron was so helpful no matter what she did he was always there she was very lucky to have him.

“Thanks Theron sure let’s go”…

Chapter Text

The Fury touched down on the plateau above the Yavin IV jungle, Kyradia sat awkwardly in the copilots seat fidgeting, it was weird to be back here she hadn’t been here since the fight with Revan. So many things were different back then and so much simpler but then again that wasn’t always a good thing. She looked around the cockpit, Andronikos and Ashara were in the other two seats just like old times at least she’d been able to recover that bit of the past. It had taken some convincing to get Andronikos to accept Ashara back onto the ship he was still mad about her leaving but Kyradia managed to get through to him.

“so should i just wait here with the ship” Andronikos had been less than pleased when she told him this was a force users only mission, clearly he wasn’t quite over it.

“yeah here seems good come on Ashara we gotta get going” Ashara got up and followed her out, she seemed just like her old self Kyradia was thrilled to have her back but also relieved. Ashara always had a way of getting through to her when her emotions were taking over she needed that right now, they stepped out of the ship and onto the stone plateau. All the memories were coming back now last time she was here she was talking with… Darth Marr she felt her hand start to shake and quickly stopped it with her other hand.

Ashara stopped as she caught site of it “Mas- Kyradia are you alright”

“yeah no i’m fine i just was thinking about last time i was here” she attempted a smile but didn’t really know if it was convincing

Ashara looked somber now “oh right a lot of people who were here are missing now” Kyradia had never really admitted it but she really looked up to Marr he represented the sort of empire Kyradia had dreamed of. It wasn’t just Marr though so many people were here that she hadn’t seen in years. Kyradia thought about this all for a bit before remembering why they were here.

“yeah well there’s no point on being down lets go find that temple” Kyradia perked up as she began to lead Ashara down towards the forest

 

within an hour or so Kyradia and Ashara were deep in the jungle hacking through the trees with their lightsabers, a magnificent flash of purple and yellow as they cut through the branches

“i always really liked the forests of Yavin” Ashara said while cutting through some vines “it’s so peaceful here”

“yeah i remember you saying how you loved the landscape” Kyradia did remember Ashara had really enjoyed their time on Yavin, apart from the fighting Revan part of course “ you know you could probably open a temple here if you wanted” Ashara went bright orange with that oops that wasn’t the intention

“ wha-i do-don’t know about that i’d be rubbish at teaching” Kyradia knew she would be great she was just nervous

“hey you taught me plenty” Kyradia grinned hopefully that was true Kyradia had learned a lot of patience when training Ashara. Kyradia continued to cut through the dense jungles, hopefully Ashara didn’t still think she was awful she was trying very hard to be a better person.

“so where are we going I’ve been meaning to ask you said something about a temple” oh god Kyradia knew this question was coming it was so complicated to explain and to do without making herself seem bad but she had to be truthful right?

“well we’re heading to the temple of a friend of mine from the alliance” hopefully that was sufficient explaining it would be long.

“you’re working with Jedi in the alliance” Ashara was beaming clearly she was pleased that Kyradia was no longer a kill Jedi on site kind of sith which was something

“uhhh well sort of” she technically didn’t know she was working with her for most of it and now…

“what jedi” damn it she was trying to avoid that question why was Ashara so inquisitive, wait she always was that’s why

“uhhhh Master Kavaraa” Kyradia didn’t make eye contact with Ashara, before the alliance was around Kavaraa and Kyradia had been rivals and Ashara knowing she had worked with her may see Kyrdaia as weak she had been hiding it purposefully as a result. Kyradia felt a sudden pressure from behind her wha- she turned to see Ashara was hugging her “ um why are you hugging me?” this was not the response she was expecting

“i can’t believe you buried the hatchet with her i’m so impressed with you” this hug was going on far too long but she did feel a lot better about the scenario knowing Ashara was fine with her having worked with their old enemy.

“well a lot really changed when the eternal empire attacked it made a lot of us do things we wouldn’t normally do” The hug was still going but finally she relented thank god

“yeah i guess it would do that” Ashara was smiling in that inquisitive i’m gonna ask you about everything kinda way Kyradia had to do something

“hey come on lets keep moving we’re losing sunlight” let’s end this conversation before she had to explain more stuff

“yeah sure”…

Chapter Text

Kyradia sat quietly while Ashara boiled water over the fire. Night had fallen and they had taken refuge in a nearby cave, it’d been pretty quiet since their previous conversation in the forest Kyradia was trying not to overstep and make herself look bad which was proving tricky. It was unclear how long a night cycle was on Yavin IV Kyradia thought it was likely to be irregular due to the fact it’s a moon, point being they could be here for a while.

Ashara picked up the pot carefully and began to pour out two cups of tea, Kyradia had no idea what leaves were being used but hoped it was just normal; there had been too many occasions where Kavaraa had offered tea and given her some weird concoction of flavours. Ashara passed her the cup and sat down opposite, Kyradia took a sip and to her delight it was just regular tea she smiled at Ashara “thanks this is good”

“you’re welcome thought it would help us warm up a bit” always so resourceful Kyradia would’ve just sat close to the fire and end up nearly burning herself. “hey you never finished your story?”

“story?” Kyradia cocked her head confused, story what story? she wasn’t telling a story.

“about how you became friends with Kavaraa, i wanna know what changed” friends seemed like a strong word but clearly there was no getting around telling this story without looking weird. She didn’t really want to think about it right now given everything but it would show she’d changed so why not.

“well i wouldn’t exactly call us friends but sure i’ll explain” Ashara looked pleased with that Kyradia was never sure but she thought Ashara may have looked up to Kavaraa before the eternal empire. Kyradia remembered being incredibly jealous at the time but she had never had time to address it.

“After me and Marr got captured by the eternal empire Kavaraa formed a team with people from alliance formed to fight Revan. They made a plan to break me out and also maybe take the fight to Arcann” Kyradia remembered being told about this many of her old rivals and friends tried to save her it still didn’t feel right, she never understood why they didn’t just go for Arcann what did she offer that was so special?

“oh i wish i’d known about that i would’ve been there in a heartbeat we all would’ve” Ashara was sweet but Kyradia was glad she hadn’t been there in the long run

“it’s ok this is not a success story” Kyradia sighed “apparently they got an excellent republic smuggler to smuggle them onto Zakuul, Kavaraa and the smuggler went to save me while everyone else tried to take the throne”. Kyradia definitely understood she wasn’t the top priority but that being said if she was in charge she would’ve saved herself first and then attacked the eternal throne with everyone together but hey what did she know she’s only the alliance commander.

“let me guess those trying to take the throne got beaten” Ashara was always so smart she probably agreed that the idea was badly executed. Beaten was an understatement but that’s because an idiot range monster and a giant buffoon were leading them.

“yeah Arcann easily beat them all with the help of Vailyn and the knights” Kyradia remembered how strong Vailyn had been honestly there was little chance they could’ve won without knowing how to disable her. “Kavaraa however did pretty good; she had nearly gotten to my cell when Vailyn caught up to them apparently one of the team had talked about the plan” Kyradia was pretty sure she knew who it was and it was really no surprise idiot rage monster “Kavaraa put up a pretty good fight but was eventually beaten like the rest of them”

“they completely lost? how are they still alive” Kyradia always thought that was one of Arcanns key mistakes but at least it showed some level of compassion.

“Arcann didn’t kill them as he thought they’d turn into martyrs for the republic and empire whereas if they just failed then it showed” Kyradia mimed air quotes “the strength of the eternal empire” pompous arse “so he had them imprisoned instead”

“so how does this relate to you and Kavaraa becoming friends” Ashara asked there’s that word again friends nope not friends. She did realise however she had gotten completely distracted from the point of the story

“i’m getting there patience” Kyradia was pretty tired of storytelling for now “i’ll tell you the rest in the morning i’m gonna turn in” She hoped she was telling it right she didn’t remember how Theron explained himself in the moment.

“ok night Kyradia sleep well” yeah not likely Kyradia thought as she turned over sleep was never easy

The next morning Kyradia awoke with a jolt to see Ashara crouching over her looking concerned “ma-master are you alright? yo-you were tossing, turning and talking about something in your sleep” oh phew just the normal sleep stuff Kyradia was worried there for a second

“yeah no i’m ok just a bad dream it’s not that uncommon don’t worry about it” Kyradia knew why she got them she didn’t really want to explain it to Ashara.

“i’m going to worry about it it doesn’t seem healthy” damn Ashara wasn’t going to drop it she could always just be vague

“i know it’s not healthy but i’m dealing with it, i’m sorry but i doubt you can do anything to help… it’s not a physical thing” that hopefully was detail enough

Ashara looked unhappy but content “ok but you tell me if there’s a problem alright”

“sure no problem” Kyradia realised she hadn’t slept in the same “room” as Ashara since she started getting these, well a lot had changed in five years.

A few hours later and they were back in the jungle, they had perched themselves on the top of a ridge and Kyradia was using Macrobinoculars to scout the area. She scanned the dense green forest for a while before spotting the tip on a rather large and over the top temple she recognised, she pointed to it “there we’re not far now”. The mission had been going well so far, she had managed to catch up with Ashara and Ashara was starting to trust her more and more, after the incident this morning Kyradia had been trying to take things a bit slow to not freak her out.

“so what happened with Kavaraa then?” not slow oh god that’s not slow Kyradia was surprised she had completely forgot about the story she was hoping that was enough but to be fair she hadn’t actually touched on them being “friends”.

“oh um well for a few years i believe she stayed in the prison reaching some form of higher force knowledge” Kyradia had no idea what that meant to be honest “or something i dunno meditation related, but during that time Theron was trying to find out where she was”

“who?” Ashara looked puzzled

“oh right Theron is that guy I was always complaining about the fact i had to work with back when we were investigating the Revanites” that should jog her memory

“oh right yes of course” Ashara had a smug look Kyradia definitely took a while to warm up to the idea of working with the republic

“anyway eventually he managed to find where she was and break her out, from there she secretly helped run the alliance through Theron” Kyradia still didn’t like the fact Theron had been lying to her but in hindsight Kyradia was pretty angry at the time so another thing may have put her over the edge, Ashara didn’t have to know that

“so eventually he introduced her to you and you forgave her?” Ashara interrupted was that the way it should’ve gone oh dear if only it had been that simple

“uhhhhhhhh no she introduced herself while i was comatose on the eternal throne fighting the emperor” Kyradia mumbled, the circumstances did not reflect well on her given that the only time she accepted it was when she literally defended Kyradia from death

“oh well that’s still good right she helped you beat the eternal empire and you made up” Ashara interrupted again why was she making this so much worse just let me finish oh god she was gonna look so bad in this story

“welll not exactly what ended up happening was my old rival Zoyin turned up obsessed with pleasing the emperor fought her and stabbed her” Kyradia may be telling this story far more casual than it was at the time, Ashara looked like she was about to speak but Kyradia quickly made sure she could finish before she looked even worse. “I killed the emperor which scarred Zoyin off” serves her right the callous bitch “and then saw the situation and…” Kyradia sighed deeply, Ashara looked troubled clearly this wasn’t reflecting so well on Kyradia, this is why she didn’t want to tell the story. “and after Theron and Lana convinced me we took her to Voss to be healed” Kyradia hung her head “sorry i know i come off like a bitch in that story that i only could bury the hatchet in the most extreme circu-”

Ashara wrapped her arms back around Kyradia and squeezed tight “you did fine i remember what you two had been through that was still very big of you to do and hey given what you’d been through i hardly expected it to be clean cut.” Kyradia was bewildered she was sure this story was going to prove that she was just what she’d been back on Voss but Ashara didn’t care “One way or the other you saved her life and that showed you care, is that the full story?”

Kyradia looked away for a second “mostly yeah, lets get going we have a temple to save” also this hug was making her very uncomfortable…

Chapter Text

Terri sat on the edge of the chamber messing with the stone cracks, she was worried after everything that had changed in the last few weeks. It was all so confusing but she knew she was doing what was right, but sill all this covert from the shadows stuff was making her doubt their purpose. She had been waiting for the ritual to be completed for a while now, Lusari seemed like she knew what she was doing Terri probably shouldn’t get involved. Lusi had had a lot more contact with the holocron though so she understood why she was being trusted to do this. Terri wasn’t really jealous Lusari and her did everything together she wouldn’t get upset at her embracing her destiny. Still she was so overwhelmed by everything in the past few weeks, Terri wasn’t used to this level of change and it didn’t sit well with her. Hopefully after a bit longer she would get used to it and these nervous jitters would go away, maybe once the rituals were completed they could take a break, just for a bit. It felt good to no longer be working for the sith though they were so cruel and Terri did count herself lucky for being able to get out. Maybe she was being ridiculous doubting things maybe it was just her brain being paranoid she should probably show a little more faith.

She put the thoughts behind her and got up, she made her way over to the main chamber where Lusari was performing the ritual. She sat in the middle of the chamber long blonde hair cascading down to the floor as she sat cross legged focussing on the holocron in front of her. She was so pretty Terri was insanely jealous of her looks, they had been friends ever since the first week in the academy and Lusi had helped her survive. Terri would be the first to admit she wasn’t the strongest or most courageous individual but she was at least a little smart so there was a common interest in being friends. “hey Lusi how is the ritual going everything ok?” hopefully she wasn’t bothering her by asking she didn’t want to ruin the ritual

she turned showing her teeth as she grinned at Terri “all good here Tairs but i did sense a rather strong presence on the edge of the perimeter” that was odd hopefully the temple owner wasn’t back but their intel said they hadn’t been there in months she was hoping they could just secretly do it without being spotted “could you go check it out for me sweetie” Terris face went bright green

“uh- yeah sure I ca-can do that no problem i’ll ta-take a couple of the mercenaries” Lusi was always so friendly it sometimes caught Terri off guard due to her reserved nature.

a voice emanated and echoed around the room coming from the holocron “I sense it too it seems familiar take more that just a couple mercenaries and be careful we may need to make a quick escape” oh god if the Lady was worried these were probably some bad sith. Terri hoped she was ready for a fight of this magnitude she really didn’t want to let the Lady down.

“Yes my Lady right away” Terri said bowing she wasn’t sure if bowing was necessary she wasn’t ever sure if she wanted to be called my lady but better safe than sorry.

she felt Lusari’s hand on her leg “be careful Terri” she looked really concerned Terri felt bad. It made sense though this was their first fight since escaping the academy Terri didn’t want to blow it.

Terri nodded her head and gestured to some of the mercenaries to follow her and headed out the chamber. She still felt weird about hiring the mercenaries but understood the need for it. Still it felt weird to be commanding them as Lusi had handled the paying of them, briefing them and generally interacting with them. Honestly they probably would do better if they just used their instincts rather than following her commands. She made her way out of the temple and was met with the scents of the dense jungle and the bright light of morning air. She quickly told the guards to get into a defensive position before climbing up a bit of the temple to get a better vantage point as she climbed she nearly slipped on the decaying rock, the owner of this temple could definitely be better at upkeep.

She still couldn’t sense any strong presence but she wasn’t very strong in the force so she wasn’t surprised. She put her macrobinoculars up to her eyes and gave a quick scan of the area, oh look trees lots of them this was going to require more than just a regular scan. She quickly changed the setting to infra-red immediately yellow silhouettes of all sorts of creatures appeared on the binoculars. However after a quick scan two specific silhouettes stood out to her they were humanoid, female and about average size, one clearly a Togruta with those big u shaped Lekku and the other could be any type of humanoid. She flicked the setting back to the normal mode to see if she could see anything more, she could make out flashes of purple and yellow light so they were clearly well armed. Terri felt a pit in her stomach as they came nearer these two were the real deal what was she going to do…

Chapter Text

“bweeoooooop” as they came out of hyperspace Gacen mimicked the noise of the engine. It had been a couple days since the bar fight at the Rancors Jaw and things were okay, he wasn’t drinking mainly thanks to Ash’s monitoring and he felt relatively unbuzzed. But things were only okay they were by no means good he hadn’t been this sober in a long time and he could already feel the intense nausea, he was sweating all the time and he could feel his hands shaking on the console. Needless to say Ash had handled most of the flying and things that required movement in the past few days. But that wasn’t the symptoms he was worried about, he knew where his head space went when he was sober and he wasn’t sure if he was ready, but as long as he avoided direct triggers he should be able to avoid a serious breakdown probably followed by alcohol.

“hey gacen HEY” why was she shouting he hadn’t done anything

“whaaat” he said slumping down in his chair

“you’ve been staring off into space for 5 minutes” oh wow woops

“oh uh sorry i’m getting some heavy withdrawals you know science stuff” yeah look at mr smart over here

“let me guess nausea, sweating, hand tremors, depression, anxiety” what how does she know Gacen folded his arms he knew things too

“you looked that up didn’t you” she couldn’t fool him

“no i just actually had an education” oh sure education but she hasn’t got those street smarts like Gacen

“yeah but i’m like handy smart”

“Gacen you’ve got your hand stuck in the toaster more times than i can count” yeah but it wasn’t giving him his breakfast because it is always jamming it made sense

Ash suddenly got up and began exiting the cockpit “where are you going Ash we need to land and i don’t think i should right now” Ash gave Gacen a puzzled look

“Gacen i landed the ship minutes ago you must be really delirious” what but he was in the pilots sea.. he looked around and realized he was in the co pilots seat man he really was tired. Gacen forced himself up and headed after Ash to start off loading the cargo.

“did you pick me up and move me out of the pilots seat” Gacen said as he lifted a box immediately regretting no using his knees to lift why are boxes so heavy.

“yeah man you’re really not that heavy” trust Ash to be strong enough to pick him up she clearly was having no trouble with these heavy boxes, why the hell didn’t they have a dolly. They continued to unload the boxes over the next hour after a bit Ash spoke up “so what’s in these things they have a rather pungent aroma” well she probably wasn’t gonna like his answer

“mynock guts” Gacen smirked

“ew what why didn’t you tell me” Ash said looking as disgusted as he expected nearly dropping the box.

“it never came up i guess” Gacen gave his most devious grin “they’re for some fancy Rodian restaurant apparently it’s a delicacy and also very illegal. So ya know right up our alley”

“of course” Ash responded looking very unimpressed. As far as Gacen could tell she didn’t mind the work but it definitely wasn’t like her previous job.

“hey lets get a bite before we get paid my stomach is growling” Gacen needed substitute edibles like immediately the withdrawals were giving him the munchies

“sure but no greasy bar fights this time i want a meal not a workout”

 

It was later now and Gacen had offered to get the pay settled while Ash started up the ship. She had taken a surprising amount of precautions to stop him from getting alcohol but left him with enough credits for emergencies. He got it he was pretty sure he couldn’t be trusted with more why take the risk. He probably was just gonna head straight back anyway he was so tired. He arrived outside the strange restaurant and was met by a rodian. “all the goods were in order pleasure doing business with you” he passed over the credits and Gacen began to turn when he spoke up “now that business is concluded a contact of ours has need of your services” more business huh the rodian looked a little uneasy but he could at least here the offer.

“Go on” a robot appeared from nearby and began to speak “we have a proposal for helping out our family we are in need of finding someone” of course they sent a robot all shady people do

“what family would i be helping if i may ask” Gacen wasn’t gonna do a job without knowing who it was for he had to turn on the charm

“Drayen” Gacen was stunned he was caught completely off guard he didn’t know how to deal with oh god what oh god say something

“uh um i’ll think about give me a contact” i contact was quickly passed over and Gacen was left standing alone in the middle of the street, why did he say that, did he want to do this, was it her, was he even ready , what would he tell ash. His head continued to spiral like this for a while before he thought to himself “i need a drink”…

Chapter Text

Gacens head was pounding what was going on he could hear what sounded like heavy machinery being operated nearby, why was it so god damn loud. Gacen opened his eyes properly and was quickly startled by what he saw; he could see the sky below him what was going on. He must be upside down that explained the backwards sky and his pounding headache but why was he? He felt a sudden drop as he began to fall but then was caught by something, what the hell was going on. He looked up and saw a chain tied around his leg attached to a CRANE! oh no what did he do. He needed to get out of this fast he looked down and was met with the bright crackling of a furnace… WHAT IN THE HELL HAPPENED. He could work it out later for now he had to get out of this situation he began swinging with the chain until he was able to grab it with his hand. He felt incredibly dizzy and lightheaded he definitely had a hangover but adrenalin was powering him through as he began to climb the chain to the crane.

As he reached the top of the crane his ears were pierced by blaster shots he then saw fly by his head. Well shit he’d pissed people off while blackout drunk this day was going great. As he shimmied across the crane trying his best to avoid blaster bolts he tried to remember what happened last night. He went to a… bar after he finished up the job but why he didn’t… the realisation hit as he remembered what the robot had said, well that’s a whole other can of worms to open later. He didn’t have enough credits for more drinks so he… oh no Gacen remembered the sabacc game, the winning, then drinking and then nothing. “God dammit you stupid dumbass idiot what did you bet” he thought as he reached the edge of the crane.

He could now see with more context that he was in a scrapyard, he could see three individuals furiously shooting their blasters at him, poor quality blasters good he was dealing with amateurs. He made his way off the crane with all the grace of a Hutt trying to run a marathon quickly landing in some scrap with a crash. He popped up out of the scrap putting on his diplomacy gloves “fellas fellas why are you trying to kill me” this was a terrible idea but thugs love to hear themselves talk

A large weequay spoke up “you owe us a ship compadre now either you pay up or we shoot you here and now” yeesh he bet the ship nice going jackass bet your home why don’t you

“now now i’m afraid i can’t facilitate that but surely we can come to some arrangement” Gacen moved closer slowly he had a plan, granted a very stupid plan but still a plan

“no we have already talked enough we will not be swindled by you again” yeah that checks out why couldn’t you just go home and brood like normal people. He continued to move towards them

“i apologise for anything that happened before now i’m afraid i wasn’t myself” Gacen was now close enough he quickly reached into his pocket and let off a flash grenade. He was instanly blinded by a white light AHHHH SON OF A BITCH it hurt so bad Gacen had about 5 seconds less of flashbang than they did he had to act quick, he turned around despite his lack of vision and sprinted in the general direction of the exit as his vision returned he quickly activated his personal stealth field. They would be searching the compound for hours he had a good headstart.

Gacen began making his way back to town hopefully he could get away nice and quick. As he made his way back his mind began to wonder; god damn it why did he do any of this everything was going so well and his stupid idiot ass was pushed over the edge by just a name. What was Ash gonna say when she found out she already hated his drinking problem but she was trying so hard to help him and he was just being a shitty dumbass. Why couldn’t he have just gone home like a normal person would it have been that hard no he was just too much of a stupid idiot fuck to do anything remotely challenging. He continued to spiral as he made his way back to the spaceport.

By the time he got back it was night he was hoping he could just sneak in maybe she wouldn’t notice he could say he got caught up with a job opportunity it was technically kinda true. He unlocked the ship and began to head to his bunk as he did he heard a voice in the dark.

“where have you been” it was quiet and calm but he knew it wasn’t really

“oh… um… hey Ash sorry i uhhh got caught up with a potential new business opportunity” why was he lying to her this didn’t feel good

“ok well if that was the case you wouldn’t mind letting me smell your breath” no no no that wasn’t fair he couldn’t control his mouth. Her arms were folded and she looked very tired she was probably waiting all night

“uhh i uh don’t think that’s uh necessary” he couldn’t win this he was fucked he’d fucked it all up it was too late this was it

“really why not?” Ash looked so upset with him what was he supposed to do the truth was so bad

“ok FINE fine i got drunk and nearly died and nearly lost the ship and i hate myself for it there are you happy i’m a mess you’re not you were right i was wrong” what was he supposed to say he had no idea

“no i’m not happy i can’t believe you’d do this it’s not even been a week Gacen” oh she was mad at him she didn’t get mad easy

“look i’m sorry ok I got some news and I… I just didn’t know what to do i couldn’t deal with it all it was too much”

“so what you just got drunk like that is that seriously all it takes” hey cmon she didn’t even know the context that wasn’t fair

“look this isn’t easy for me you know it’s not really even a choice I’ve had so much shit constantly going on in my head and my past it’s really difficult for me to deal with this stuff all at once I need something to null it all”

“ I KNOW i know you’ve been through a lot you’re constantly telling me that you’re constantly telling me it’s so hard for you well newsflash Gacen you’re not the only person with problems” He knew that but it wasn’t the same right?

“yeah obviously i know that but it’s not the same. Why, are you hiding something some big dark secret, something that weighs down on your soul, something you can never forget the knowledge that no matter what you do you keep hurting people i don’t think so” yeah she doesn’t get it

“NO OF COURSE NOT but i still have trouble like everyone does, when we got captured i lost my team, the only ever family and yeah believe it or not it weighs on me and you have never ONCE asked me if i’m ok” oh i see how it is

“oh right ok so you weren’t doing this to ‘help me’ were you, you just wanted someone to talk to it’s got nothing to do with my pain, everything I lost, everything i have to deal with” Gacen wasn’t sure about that but he needed to win the argument

“WHAT no i just wanted my friend back i wanted you to be ok because you’re the only person who makes me feel better when the whole world feels foreign and excuse me for wanting you to get better” no no no this wasn’t right

“WELL little bit of a hard truth for you Ash this IS ME the sad depressed alcoholic fuck it’s ALWAYS BEEN ME but i hid it because i thought there was something worth living for but i was wrong ok so what’s the point in a brave face. This is who i am the asshole the guy who doesn’t remember how he got chained up to a crane and doesn’t care because at least he could live with himself for a few hours and you can either get used to it or you can leave” there beat that

Ash was staring at him fuming with tears in her eyes “fine” she walked out of the room. Hey he won Gacen stood there for a second in silence…god damn it you stupid fucking asshole what was that shit that wasn’t helpful all you did was drive away the only person who you hadn’t yet driven away, the only friend you had left. You stupid idiot asshole she could really leave this time why the fuck did you do any of that. It doesn’t matter any way your poison has already reached her even if she recovers from this and forgives you you’ve already ruined it. You’ll drive her away just like you drive everyone away with your poisonous toxic shit you should be surprised it took this long she should’ve been driven away already really why would anyone put up with your shit that’s why Risha never looked for you, that’s why your father abandoned you, why your mother died, that’s why your sister hates you, how are you going to drive Ash away huh how are you going to make her despise you huh you’re poison is already in HER IT’S NOT GOING TO BE LONG BEFORE SHE GIVES UP ON YOU WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO HUH WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO WHAT AR-SHUT UP!!!!!!

Gacen stood sweating he should go talk to her at least salvage what he can. He made his way to the entrance to try and find her putting the bad thoughts behind him. He saw Ash was sitting on the ships stairs “um hey i’m sorry about all the shit i said i’m a big jerk” he sat down next to her why was she still here?

She turned to him she had clearly been crying “i’m sorry Gacen” what no that wasn’t right “i’m sorry if I don’t understand what you’ve been through i know I’m not the best at reading people I should be mor-”

“no no no stop Ash it’s ok if i’ve been shitty or acted shitty that’s because i’m a shitty person don’t blame yourself for my fucked up life it’s not your fault”

“i’m sorry i’ve been pushing you so hard i just miss you ya know the world gets hard without your whimsy” she leaned in to Gacens side he put her arm around her

“Ash?”

“Yeah”

“why didn’t you leave” Gacen didn’t understand why she’d stay with his well everything

“i tried to but i couldn’t because you shouldn’t give up on someone halfway that would be worse than not helping, i’d do irreparable damage to you and i couldn’t live with that” Gacen was surprised she was so willing to put up with his bullshit he couldn’t understand why no matter how hard he tried. “Gacen do you ever want to talk about your issues”

“what do you mean” Gacen didn’t like where this was going

“have you ever told anyone what’s going on in your head like you did while yelling” Gacen racked his brain

“i don’t think so no” was that bad had he been doing it wrong

“would you like to it could help” Gacen didn’t like discussing his past but Ash was right he had to deal with it at some point

“sure i guess but first i gotta ask you something”

“what” Ash looked up at him wiping the tears from her eyes

“are you ok”

“no” she let out weakly Gacen felt so bad how had he never asked her

“i’m sorry i was so selfish i should’ve asked if you were ok a long time ago”

“thanks Gacen”

“no problem Ash” he put his head on hers and they sat in silence for a few minutes more

“what do you mean about losing the ship” Ash spoke up

“oh shit we gotta go i pissed off some people big time” he completely forgot

Ash chuckled “alright i’ll start the engine”…

Chapter Text

Kavaraa sat in her meditating room clearing her head, it was a brilliant idea to install this she seemed to come here so often. She had been contemplating the encounter with Kormel, physically it was nothing but what he had said had really stuck with her. Was she going against her teachings? if so was that because they were outdated? or had she become misguided? she had pondered these questions for hours and needed to know more context before she made her judgement hopefully it wasn’t too bad.

She got up and made her way to the force cage which had seen a surprising amount of use since it had been installed. Kormel was still unconscious, Kavaraa didn’t remember hitting him that hard, she decided just to wait she needed to get to the bottom of this. Look at him he could barely even be called an adult, slumped against the floor, his unkempt dusty brown hair was covering his forehead and what could be seen of his face. Kavaraa hoped she could get through to him the dark side has done terrible things to naive young jedi.

About half an hour later Kormel began to stir “huh wha- where am i”

“you’re on my ship we took you away from that temple after you tried to attack me” dealing with those with an affinity for the dark side could be difficult. The quick swings in emotions could lead to danger, she would have to be tactful about this.

“yo- you were going to stop me I- I couldn’t let you do that” he seemed skittish and flustered hopefully he didn’t believe in his power to much

“Kormel i still don’t entirely know what it was you were doing, I had no intention of stopping you until you became hostile” Kavaraa wasn’t the bad guy here she had to make that clear otherwise she wouldn’t get anywhere

“I- but yo- you where saying i was using the dark side I- I would never” this poor kid she had to help him.

“can you honestly say that you weren’t using your emotions to fuel your powers” this would go one of two ways lets hope it’s the good one

“well uh um well yo-” he stumbled over his words for a minute or so “i guess maybe a little” his head hung low “but but i thought that’s what you said, in the holocrons, don’t suppress your emotions” Oh no oh no was it that easily misinterpreted? that wasn’t what she meant at all.

“uh no no that’s not what I meant, I meant it’s ok to feel, you’re allowed to feel happy, sad, disappointed, even angry if just a little. You shouldn’t have to be an emotionless husk to be a Jedi. But when you use the force you have to be calm and composed” Kavaraa said trying to regain her composure “ Like turning it on and off, does that make more sense?”

Kormel looked stunned “oh… right, that does make sense i guess i just heard what i wanted to hear” he seemed to shrink as he leaned up against the wall burying his head in his knees

“no no no I honestly don’t think i explained it very well now you’ve pointed it out” Kavaraa sighed “you’re probably not the first person led astray by my old vague teachings” Kormel seemed to look a little more hopeful at that “i was still pretty naive back then i think i’ve grown a bit since then”

“s- so i’m not a bad person” Kormel said muffled

“no of course not it’s very easy to be seduced by the dark side but you, you’ve managed to avoid that temptation after knowing what it feels like” Kavaraa was pleased with herself she had managed to help him out even if it may have been her fault in the first place.

The room was silent for a couple minutes “so what were you doing in that temple” Kavaraa had been itching to ask but his mental state definitely had been more pressing

Kormel sat up looking bewildered “ y-you want to hear about my research” was she seen as important why was that a weird request

“well sure you said you were in search of knowledge and that’s my whole thing” Kavaraa said with a smile “i’m always up for a higher understanding of the force

Kormels face lit up suddenly “ oh well um ok af-after i finished learning fr-from you’re holocrons on Tython I started searching for si-similar teachings in the Tython libraries but cou-couldn’t find anything so i went to look for more spe- specific similart-”

Kavaraa interrupted “sorry could you slow down i don’t have a notepad i thought i was getting the short version” he was certainly enthusiastic, Kavaraa liked that she would be exactly the same

“oh we-well the context is kind of important” well we should do this properly then. Kavaraa went to the controls and turned off the force cage

“cmon we can discuss this over some tea” she gestured for Kormel to follow but he looked surprised “something wrong”

“yo-you let me out I th-thought i wasn’t safe” oh this kid he certainly was inexperienced

“Kormel it’s ok you’re clearly not intending on hurting me and even so I have a lot of combat experience if you did attack me you’d just end up back in there”

“oh uh ok” Kormel stood up slowly

“cmon then i’ll put the kettle on and i want to here about this research”

Chapter Text

Kavaraa opened the tea cupboard “what kind of tea do you want?”. The cupboard was full of about 50 jars with small labels on each arranged alphabetically.

“uh Chamomile if you have it” Kormel sat down at the table and began getting out notes and what looked like artifacts. “If i have it” Kavaraa chuckled to herself as she reached into the Chamomile jar, there were only a few teabags left in the bottom of the jar; everyone picks Chamomile Kavaraa thought to herself wistfully, that or normal boring tea. Most the other jars were full or almost full except vanilla walnut, that was Kavaraas favourite, she picked out one of those for herself. She began boiling the water and turned to Kormel “so where are you from Kormel?” she said with a smile leaning on the counter

“wha- uh i thought you wanted to hear about my research” Kormel looked flustered to be asked about himself, Kavaraa recalled how Jedi felt about holding on to their time before the order, she didn’t exactly agree with them on the matter.

“well yeah but i also would like to know about you, you seem very conscious of the jedis need to learn and I like that” Kormel went red almost immediately

“oh- uh well um thanks I-I am from Ta-Tatooine my uh da-dad worked at one of th-the cantinas and i helped around the house” Kavaraa had guessed a desert planet, the hair and dusty look were a big clue “ I well uh it wasn’t the best cantina and my uh dad got” he paused for a long time “sh-shot I th-think a deal went bad or something i dunno the details” oh no that’s awful Kavaraa moved round the table and put her hand on his shoulder

“i’m so sorry that happened to you i can’t imagine what that must’ve been like” Kavaraa was doing her best to sympathise but having never known her parents she was finding it difficult

“it’s um it’s uh ok it was a lo-long time ago after that I was on the street until a Jedi sensed my gifts, yo-you know the usual story” Kavaraa remembered when Master Yuon visited House Thul all those years ago, it had changed her entire world she was sure luckly she had taken Rheelis shift.

As she drifted off into nostalgia she heard the chirping of an Orobird meaning her kettle had finished boiling. This broke her out of her trance, she headed over to the kettle and poured out two cups of tea. She sat down opposite Kormel “so, tell me about this research” she sipped her tea letting the familiar taste of vanilla hit her tastebuds.

“ok so after i finished with your teachings I looked for similar teachings and found word of some small amount of information in a holocron about a very old Jedi master who disappeared suddenly years and years ago” Kavaraa began furiously scribbling down notes as Kormel talked, she was completely entranced with what he was saying “they had a brief mention of the idea of not cutting yourself entirely from you emotions, i thought it wasn’t exactly the same but good enough” Kormel was speaking quite quickly which surprised Kavaraa given his previous tone, this made it difficult for her to keep up “so i looked into this Jedis history and biography he seemed fascinated with the idea of exploration of unknown planets and places, i was worried i was getting off track but i noticed there was a planet commonly referenced throughout his work” Kavaraas eyes flashed with realisation

“that was the planet we were on with the temple” this was so exciting a trail of maybe ancient knowledge or maybe a new planet discovery with new species, maybe new force techniques.

“exactly so i looked up the planet and found among many weequay folk tales one that spoke of a temple that would show the way to knowledge and enlightenment” ooooooo this was amazing this was exactly what Kavaraa was trying to find, knowledge and enlightenment

“so you think the jedi left this path for others to find?” Kavaraa was trying to contain the excitement in her voice and act like a responsible jedi, it was hard.

“i’m not sure if they wanted it to be found easily they covered their tracks pretty well but whenI was in the temple i found this trapped inside the vault” he gestured to a weird puzzle box he had gotten out earlier. Kormel suddenly retreated back slumping and avoiding eye contact “thats uh wh-where I used th-the dark side to uh get it out” aw Kormel, Kavaraa felt so bad for him she had definitely been in that sort of difficult situation before, the call of the dark side is hard to resist.

She put her hand on his shoulder “hey don’t worry about it puzzles can be real frustrating sometimes” he looked down further

“I-I just I thought i nearly had it I was so close and then it all reset on me ugh” he looked up as he finished “sorry I shouldn’t get so frustrated” Kormel didn’t seem like the most confident person Kavaraa helped he could help him stop doubting himself

“hey it’s ok to be a little mad remember what i said” he looked up with a weak smile

“yeah i guess” he sipped his tea quietly for a second

“hey so what’s the puzzle box do” Kavaraa was itching to know

“i don’t know i couldn’t open it and you interrupted me while i was still trying” he held it curiously “you’re like a super strong jedi maybe you can open it” Kavaraa went a little bit turquoise

“i’m uh not super strong but i’ll try” Kavaraa took the puzzle box and placed it in front of her, she closed her eyes and focused solely on the wooden puzzle box sitting in front of her. She let her excitement and guilt leave her mind only focussing on the grooves of the puzzle boxes mechanism, once she had a clear understanding of the boxes intricacies she began to move the pieces and then suddenly she heard a click. She opened her eyes quickly “what happened is it open” she said looking around, Kormel was looking at her wide eyed did she do something weird?

“y-y-yo-you opened it in like two seconds” what that’s crazy she thought but then she glanced at her tea, steam was still rising from the top wow she really did do it in two seconds, not too shabby.

“wow uh cool lets see whats inside” she said with a smile trying to hide her surprise, gotta look like a professional together Jedi. She looked to see what was inside and saw a small hologram device and as she picked it up it shot to life illuminting the room with a starmap of wildspace and futher. Kavaraa let out an excited squeal “it’s a map, it’s a map, it’s a map!!!” Kormel seemed equally as excited his hands and arms were shaking in an erratic fashion.

“look, look , LOOK there that planet is illuminated” Kormel was pointing to a planet on the edge of the map at the edge of what looked like the unknown regions

“i’ll check to see it’s info online” Kavaraa quickly brought up a holopad and compared the starmap to the galactic map “Iiiiiiiii don’t see this on this map” as far as she could tell there was no record of this planet on file, even better a secret planet this trail was so fascinating. “we gotta go there right now”

“right now I-I thought you were sending me back to the temple?” Kormel said surprised

“what no i need you here you have all the knowledge also i need to help you train” Kavaraa said this without really thinking

“wait d-d-d-do-does that mean you are accepting me as a padawan?” Kormel looked like he was about to explode with glee, Kavaraa was only just comprehending what she said and realised she had to give him an answer, she didn’t want to upset him or look like she just blurted something out

“uhhhhhh yeah sure you can be my new padawan but there’s no time to lose we have to go there now” Kavaraa was practically jumping with excitement

“go where now” a voice said from behind them, Kavaraa stumbled around to see Theron standing in the doorway with a tired look on his face

“uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” this was going to be difficult to explain…

Chapter Text

They had been chopping through the jungle for a while now. It was a lot thicker the further out you got meaning the element of surprise was completely out the window. Still the temple was in sight and they had taken a position to assess their next move.

“do you see anything” Kyradia asked, Ashara was looking through the macrobinoculars while they crouched in the underbrush

“10 people in total, look like mercenaries, vibroblades and blasters pretty standard, take a look” Ashara passed over the binoculars to Kyradia. As she looked through she could see the temple, it wasn’t a large structure, Kavaraa wasn’t really about that. It looked a little run down she really needed to take better care of this place, well at least that probably means she isn’t here. Kyradia took note of the mercenaries Ashara had mentioned 6 on the edge of the clearing and 5 on the top of the temple entrance. One stood out unlike the rest, she wasn’t wearing a helmet which usually indicated some form of status, she had olive green skin and completley white hair, probably a Milirian but surprisingly young looking.

“Ashara you see the one in the middle, she looks different right, kinda out of place?” Kyradia gestured towards the Milirian

“kinda yeah can you sense anything from her?” Oh yeah if course force sensing why hadn’t she been doing that? Kyradia took a second to channel her anger and pain and began to focus on the Milirian. As she did though she sensed something else, something much stronger, dark and somehow familiar it hit her hard causing her to reel back as the feeling hit her.

“Kyradia are you alright” Ashara grabbed Kyradias shoulder as she began to breathe heavily

“I uh dunno I sensed something else and uh I think i’ve sensed it before” Ashara looked worried but stoic how was she always so calm

“we probably shouldn’t waste any time then, how should we approach?” Ashara was right no time to waste

“uh um take out the ones on the ground one by one then move in sound good?” Kyradia was a little flustered, she couldn’t put her finger on what just happened and that angered her

“yeah ok i’ll go left you go right” Ashara seemed very focussed, Kyradia hoped that meant this would go off without a hitch. They split off and Kyradia headed for the first target turning invisible as she moved, as she approached the first target she tapped into the force using her new found anger to stride to the first mercenary stabbing the through the back. She quickly slinked back into the shadows and headed for the next guy, she followed the same strategy as it was tried and true to work but as she moved up she heard a volley of blaster bolts fire in her direction. She quickly pivoted to deflect the bolts sending them back towards the mercenaries on the temple in an array of purple light.

“shit, so much for stealth”

https://open.spotify.com/track/2aQfRMPKZ3RARyJyD12gjv?si=XIsXLPE4Q5OSQBEs4I5lRQ

how had they seen her had they seen Ashara? no time now she quickly sprinted to her intended target spearing him through the chest with her lightsaber before he could react, where was the third? She spotted him as he turned around ready to shoot, with a powerful throw her saber glided through the air slicing him in half. As it did she heard another volley of blaster shots damn no lightsaber, she quickly rolled out the way as they scorched the grass, seconds later she felt the lightsaber return to her open hand. Just the people on the temple now, she hoped Ashara was doing better on her side, Kyradia channeled her seething rage as she crouched down and then suddenly springing up onto the temple with a single jump. As she landed she saw two mercenaries focussed on her, the Milirian was looking around frantically and the other two were seemingly focussed on Ashara, perfect. With a sudden burst of force lightning she shocked the mercenary on the left incapacitating him when she felt a searing pain hit her shoulder suddenly. The other bastard mercenary had managed to shoot between her armour plates the lucky bastard, she shook off the pain channeling it into a devastating force push which sent him flying off behind the temple. Kyradia took a second to make sure her arm was ok when she noticed a sudden vroom sound, Lightsabers? had Ashara already dropped the other 5 mecernaries? She turned to see the Milirian staring at her holding a yellow lightsaber “so this is more than just a mercenary raid then” Kyradia said with confidence, this kid didn’t know what she was in for.

“why are y-you attacking we’re not hurting anyone” she looked like she was trembling a bit, to be fair Kyradia did have a reputation

“lets see you’re trespassing on someone else’s property with hired guns and what feels like a pretty dark presence in this Jedi temple” this kid probably didn’t know half of what she was doing “I mean I could go on” defiantly seemed like a patsy

“you’re one to talk about dark presences you’re sith” well she was right there but it was different

“technically yes but I saved the galaxy I think that gives me a free pass” can’t argue with that she was good sith

“n-no you didn’t you’re just another tyrant I can’t let you stop us” she lunged at Kyradia with her lightsaber which Kyradia blocked easily. Damn it Ashara I tried to diplomatic I promise

“you don’t wanna do this kid” Kyradia kneed her in the side before going for a slash along the midsection but to her surprise she managed to dodge it ducking and going for another swing which Kyradia blocked with the force. Kyradia went for another incapacitating slash this time opting for the legs but again the milirian managed to dodge it this time with a jump, damn this kid was acrobatic. As she landed she went for her own slash to Kyradias legs which despite her best efforts worked causing an uncomfortable laceration to her right leg. Damn it my robe is ruined Kyradia thought as she reeled from the strike, she was surprised the milirian was so adept for her age but this was more of a fight than she had had with a jedi or sith in months. But nonetheless it shouldn’t go any further Kyradia channeled the pain of her leg and shoulder and tapped into the force to sweep her legs dropping her to the ground with a thud. Kyradia put her lightsaber to her throat hopefully indicating to stop fighting as she had won.

“y-you cheated” the Milirians face was scrunched up in anger but Kyradia could sense the fear in her eyes

“there’s no cheating in a battle kid if you had that control over the force you would’ve used it too” Kyradia wasn’t planning on killing her, not only could she have information but she was a pretty accomplished fighter which was very curious. As she stood over the Milirian she heard the sound of a lightsaber as Ashara made her way up the side of the temple, thank god she’s ok. She was in battle with the last two mercenaries and was opting to knock them out instead of killing them, oh maybe Kyradia shouldn’t have killed them, well this would be difficult to explain. Ashara clocked the first guy in the head and he dropped like a ton of bricks to the floor but the mercenary behind her threw down a flashbang blinding her. Shit Ashara is in danger but the prisoner but Ash- Kyradia quickly sprung into action throwing her lightsaber straight through the guy as he approached Ashara. As she turned back around though she felt the the sudden movement of the Milirian as she scurried to the temple edge before jumping down. Kyradia tried to stop her with the force but couldn’t act in time “DAMN IT SHIT FUCK ARSE” Kyradia continued to curse as Ashara moved up to her at which point she composed herself.

“uh thanks for saving me”Ashara was still squinting so the flash bang probably hadn’t worn off “sorry the Milirian got away”

“nah it’s ok we can get after her i’d rather you’re ok” Ashara weakly smiled, Kyradia was hoping Ashara didn’t see all the dead bodies “cmon we should go follow her no time to waste” she grabbed Asharas hand and quickly headed away from the dead bodies….

Chapter Text

Terri was quickly running out of breath as she frantically rushed through the halls of the temple. She had to alert Lusari and the Lady of the danger as quick as possible, but why was the alliance commander here this seemed rather above her station. She had just been fighting one of the most accomplished sith in the galaxy, she was lucky to be alive, but all the mercenaries were dead what was she going to do? Were they doing something wrong? no the commander was a sith she was probably just trying to stop their plan, that made sense right?

Her mind continued to race as she stumbled through the halls eventually making it to the main chamber. “Lusari, Lusari Lusari w-we uh gotta uh bad uh p- people uh” Terri began to fumble over her words as she tried to explain the situation.

Dammit she was incredibly tired and out of breath, Lusari quickly stood up turning to Terri “Terri slow down what’s going on?” her face was full of concern as she tried to calm Terri down.

“B-Bad guys o-outside uh we we gotta go right now” Terri was so glad she managed to get that established her head was pounding she felt like she had just run a marathon, she wasn’t very physically fit admittedly.

“well i’m sure we can take them how bad they could be?” Lusi looked very overconfident Terri had to make this situation clear

“no no v-very bad idea we absolutely cannot take them it’s the Alliance commander” Terri began to take some deep breaths this was a really hard way to explain. Lusari looked shocked and confused but before she could open her mouth the echoed voice of the Lady emanated from around the room

“She’s correct I can sense her presence we need to go right now” with that Lusi quickly picked up the holocron and grabbed Terri’s hand

“come on lets go” Terri nodded and Lusi pulled her out the back of the chamber by the arm. As they were about to turn the corner at the end of the passage way Terri felt a sudden blast of energy fly over her head with a resounding crack against the wall. As they turned the corner she caught a glimpse of the commander sprinting across the chamber. Oh no oh no oh no she was still after them what was she going to do, she felt herself being pull round corner after corner by Lusari each time the glimpse of the commander got a little longer. She had to do something soon she was going to catch them at this rate.

“come on Terri we’re almost to the speeders” Lusi shouted over her shoulder. Cmon Terri think think think what will slow her down as she pondered this question the sudden blinding bright light of the outside hit her eyes, OUTSIDE YES outside has obstacles barricades things to block the entrance. She focussed her mind reaching out with her remaining hand and letting go of her movement solely focussing on the area around her, she pinpointed every good obstacle she could find and focussed all her energy to move it in front of the entrance. As she opened her eyes she saw that the entrance was covered in rocks, branches and an assortment of plants, wow that really worked she didn’t really know how she did it. She stood there astounded suddenly feeling a lurch from her collar

“come on Terri we gotta go” right yes escaping that’s probably more important, she turned around and began to run by the side of Lusari. The speeders were just over the ridge they might make it

“I think I slowed them down we can make it” Terri said with a smile, Lusari smiled back as they reached their speeder bikes and quickly piloted them away from the temple

Later…

Terri’s head was spinning as she sat against the wall of the cave, rain pattering against the floor just a few meters in front of her. After they had escaped the temple they had found an inconspicuous cave to rest up for the night, Lusari was taking stock of what they had left and making sure the lady was comfortable. Terri had only just really comprehended everything that happened in there, it seemed crazy now like some sort of story she barely felt like she’d been there. That was the alliance commander, the outlander, Darth Nox probably the most high profile person they possibly could’ve ran into but why was she there? It had to be a coincidence right? they probably wouldn’t follow it up they had better things to do. But that wasn’t what bothered her, the commander wasn’t exactly evil so what did that make them? Terri just wanted to get away from the sith academy, this was all too much.

“hey Ter you ok?” Terri hadn’t noticed but Lusari had been standing over her for almost a minute, ok uh gotta look together and sure of yourself

“uh yeaaaaah i’m all ok Lusi just a little surprised” was that convincing? it didn’t feel convincing it felt stupid

“yeah i’m not surprised it’s not every day you go toe to toe with the alliance commander” Terri felt her cheeks grow warm suddenly

“I uh I didn’t go toe to toe with her I uh kinda got my arse kicked” Terri looked away from Lusari

“hey you’re still here I consider that toe to toe” Lusari sat down next to her as she talked “you’re a real cool force user now maybe too cool for me who knows maybe you’re the chosen one”

Terri giggled “shut up stop being silly you’re twice as cool as me miss ritual performer if anything you’re the chosen one” they both giggled as they poked fun, Lusi was pretty good at cheering her up maybe things weren’t so bad

As they chuckled to each other they heard the familiar echoed voice “ The alliance commander being here is a bad sign we may need to get the rituals done with less precautions” that didn’t sound good maybe it wasn’t a coincidence

“do you think she will follow us” Lusari looked worried but determined Terri wished she could get rid of her doubts

“hard to say at this point, i believe our encounter was somewhat a coincidence but backup isn’t going to help us here we need to avoid her so speed is key” Terri felt relived at that maybe it was just a coincidence, wrong temple wrong time and all that.

The lady seemed to know a lot about the commander? as she pondered Lusari spoke up “you seem to know a lot about the the commander my Lady, do you have a history?”

“I’m afraid so, i knew her a long time ago, she is surprisingly persistent but if we proceed as planned it won’t be a problem soon enough” phew soon enough they wouldn’t have to do so much work, it was exhausting.

They sat in silence for a few minutes before Terri spoke up again “Lusari?”

“yeah Terri whats up”

“are we doing the right thing?” Terri had been wondering this for a while now but had been too scared to ask

“what do you mean” Lusari seemed confused, Terri knew Lusari was much more sure of herself than her but she hoped Lusi had considered that idea

“I dunno it’s just like everything after escaping the academy has felt kinda… sketchy” Lusari frowned a bit “I dunno there’s just so many blurred lines in what we’re doing” Terri looked down to the ground

“hey come on” Lusari lifted Terri’s face to her gaze “I know it may feel weird skulking around and keeping secrets but we’re doing it to not be found out by the bad guys. Unfortunately avoiding site from the bad guys normally means getting a little morally grey ourselves and yeah that does feel kinda shitty but we gotta do it if we wanna make things better for people like us” she always knew what to say that made so much sense “hey, soon enough we’ll be able to escape all this and we can start a new life as long as we do this one thing” Terri couldn’t wait

“yeah ok thanks” Terri smiled at her

“awesome see you in the morning” Lusari leaned in and kissed her on the forehead before turning over to go to sleep. what jus happened Terri felt extremely tense and she had no idea why. She was suddenly very awake, she felt an incredible tightness in her stomach while her brain tried to process what happened

“uh ah uh night” she said resting her head against Lusari…

Chapter Text

Kyradia was laser focussed, the Milirian her friend were trying escaping from the temple but not for long, she was gaining on them fast. This problem should be solved before it begins, they were clearly up to something and she had to catch them then she could find out. As she turned the corner they had just left through the temple entrance, hmmm if she could just aim the saber right she could take them out, she had to stop for accuracy but as she tried to steady herself she felt a sharp pain in her leg making her stumble for a second. Suddenly the bright light from out was diminished and as she looked back up she saw a cluster of rocks now covering where the entrance had once been

“DAMN IT SITHSPIT” Kyradia shouted as she got into a stance to move the boulders. As she moved she felt her ankle keel over and next thing she knew her head hit the floor with a wack, her leg burned with pain suddenly where was it coming from? had they done something?

“Kyradia are you alright?” Ashara had been lagging behind a bit and was now running round the corner

Kyradia began to try and steady herself “yeah no I’m fine I jus-” as she began to stand she felt her leg go again, damn what was with her leg? “just need to move these rocks” Kyradia stumbled onto the ground as she began to try and move the rocks

Ashara rushed over to Kyradia’s side “ok no you’re injured you need a rest” Ashara was probably right but she couldn’t let them get away

“no no it’s alright just gim-” she began to try and stand again and had to grit her teeth to work through the pain her leg was wobbling but she was up “gimme a second, see fine good as new”

Ashara folded her arms and raised her eyebrow “uh uh no I can see your whole leg trembling you need to let me help you” ugh Kyradia knew she was right but the enemy were getting away who knows what they were up to

“but Ashara t-the bad guys… they’re getting away” Ashara walked over and put her arm around Kyradia steadying Kyradia with herself

“no buts we’re going back to the main room and you’re resting” Kyradias screwed up her face, the bad guys could be doing anything right now why didn’t she care

“really i’m fine I just need a minute then we can go back to the chase” Ashara gave her a glare

“alright then stand on your own” she suddenly let go of Kyradia and the pain quickly returned as her foot hit the floor, she began to stumble but felt a hand grab her arm as she began to fall

Ashara lifted her back up and Kyradia gave in “ugh fine we’ll go to the main room but it just started hurting out of nowhere i’m sure it’ll pass no biggy” she hoped it would pass

“uh huh the reason it just started because your adrenaline is wearing off, I hope you didn’t do too much damage to it while in crazy fight mode” Ashara seemed tense, Kyradia kinda got it she did go into a bit of a frenzy when fighting but it usually worked out for her, except that one time with Arcann.

They arrived back in the chamber and Ashara laid Kyradia down against the wall. Ashara placed her hands on the injured leg “this may hurt a bit” she closed her eyes and began to apply pressure to the wound. As she did Kyradia felt like 1000 tiny needles were pressing into her leg, she gritted her teeth and thought of the things that made her angry to fight through the pain. Ok ok ok smiling, hugs uh uh, young sith lords who think they’re hot shit, any of the 5 sith lords i’ve been in rivalries with, uh prophecies, Saresh, as she continued to think the pain began to pass as a warm feeling spread across her lower leg.

“alright awesome healed up and ready to go” Kyradia began to sit up but Ashara stopped her with her hand.

“woah woah woah I’m not even close to done, I was just making sure you couldn’t feel it” damn it

Kyradia slumped back down “oh… okay sorry” Ashara narrowed her eyes at her

“even so you’re gonna need at least an hour or two to heal it properly after this” oh god damn it, this never happened to her she could usually shrug off her injuries. “why are you so adamant we keep chasing them now, they’re not anyone to us they’re just two low tier sith. We can catch them after you’ve rested”

Kyradia didn’t want to go into it right now “because, when we leave these escapees like this it always spirals into some big thing. I just wanted to have this one be open and shut so.” That sufficed right?

Ashara didn’t look pleased with that answer “Kyradia…” she sighed “please don’t lie to me, if you’re going to lie to me I don’t know if I can do this” Kyradia was shocked, it wasn’t technically a lie but it wasn’t the whole truth, damn it she was right though.

Kyradia sighed one more reason for her to look like a jerk “alright… I’m sorry I wanted to catch them because I wanted to make things right”

Ashara looked confused “make things right with who?”

“you know I said I had a fight with a friend recently?” Ashara nodded “It was with Kavaraa, we got into a huge argument after I made a bad call and… we never finished the argument” Kyradia tried to read Ashara’s face but she couldn’t tell how she was reacting to any of this, why was she so hard to read. “I… said some regrettable things we both did, she went off in a huff and well then she disappeared… I haven’t seen her since”

Ashara still looked confused “what was the argument about?”

oh god how to answer that “uhhhh… it was about a lot of things, we clashed a lot due to our different ideologies so a lot of it came out” Kyradia did feel good telling Ashara even if it was lacking some of the details.

“and what? you thought catching trespassers in her temple would make her forgive you” Ashara lifted her hands off Kyradias leg and moved up next to her “she’ll forgive you if you say sorry” Kyradia frowned at that

“Ashara, I don’t think I was in the wrong entirely, I mean I regret a lot of things I said and I was the catalyst but… I don’t think it’s a simple I’m sorry either way, we both said bad things” Ashara looked down for a second

“oh… I see” Kyradia put her hand on Ashara’s shoulder

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you I just know you looked up to her and I didn’t want to ruin that” Ashara rested her head on Kyradias shoulder

“it’s fine Kyradia for what it’s worth I think I’d side with you if it came to it” Kyradia was shocked Ashara would actually side with her over a jedi maybe she didn’t look awful for all this honesty “I… I just don’t want you to keep things from me” Kyradia looked at the floor solemnly

“yeah I’m sorry I”m uh I’m learning” Kyradia sat up she should change the subject

“hey how about I rest up here and you see if you can find out where these guys are going, I’ll be right here healing I’ll not move a muscle” Ashara chuckled to herself

“alright be on you guard just in case”…

Chapter Text

Beep beep beep, Ash’s alarm sounded rousing her grumpily from her sleep. Wait she was woken up by her alarm that wasn’t normal Gacen had normally woken her up by now. Weird, as Ash forced herself out of bed she pondered this, Gacen had been quieter since the incident. Ash had been a little too hard on him in hindsight, she may have wanted to vent at someone and lost sight of her friend. She had felt pretty directionless since the escape, the military didn’t appeal anymore it was just carrying out some political figures dirty work. Smuggling was… ok but it wasn’t exactly fulfilling.

After getting dressed she went to brush her teeth, she looked in the mirror, man she was a bit of a mess at the moment, at least she was keeping fit. She should probably look for Gacen badger him into getting them a new job to do. Keeping busy seemed like it’d be good for him, they had both been a little directionless since the escape but it showed a lot more in Gacen. She didn’t really know how to read people so it made it hard to help, she made her way around the ship looking for Gacen and quickly found him in the cockpit looking at something in his hands.

“Hey Gacen I wasn’t woken up by you what gives” Ash was joking of course she would much prefer to not be woken up at 3am because he tripped over the box fort he was making

Gacen jumped as he heard her voice quickly pocketing whatever he was looking at “oh hey Ash I uh couldn’t sleep thought the stars would help” he took his feet off the dashboard and swivelled around

Ash sat down in the copilots seat “did they?” as she started setting the ship up for hyperspace

“not really just couldn’t get to sleep” he swivelled back to the console “you know how it is”

Ash didn’t “so we got a job on the go” make sure to get the ball rolling on that otherwise it would be three days of Gacen proving the ship had an uneven gravity distribution.

“uhhh not yet I was gonna do the usual go to a cantina see if we can find a job it’s not like we urgently need to commit to anything right” Gacen leaned back on his chair trying to look chilled out, he did not

“I guess, although i’m not really a fan of those cantinas” it was either a greasy experience full of bad drinks or a brawl, she was only a fan of the latter

“aw cmon it’ll be fun i’ll do all the talking” his bravado was back now and with a smile he set a course for Port Nowhere

“that’s what I’m worried about” Ash said with a smile, Gacen raised an eyebrow at her understandingly

 

“Bartender gimme a beer” Gacen jumped up onto the barstool signalling to the Gran behind the counter. Ash joined him electing to sit on the stool next to him like a normal person. The Gran made his way over and Gacen began to speak to him in a language Ash didn’t understand, great now she had no idea who was saying what

“Ash would you like anything?” Gacen gestured to the bartender

“uh just a water” Gacen repeated it in the language and the Gran left

“alright cool now we wait to see if he can round up anything” Gacen said with a smile “I wouldn’t hold you’re breath though”

“so what we just wait around till then” Ash was not happy with this development this place smelled like Quesh but somehow worse

“yeah you know we can take in the surroundings this place is teaming with life and energy” Gacen gestured around him to the seedy bar they had chosen full of aliens all in various states of inebriation

“yeah I can smell it” Ash folded her arms, Gacen chuckled to himself

“aw cmon look over there” he gestured to a group of Duros arguing over what looked like a Sabacc game “one of them is gonna end up losing it I’m just betting on which one I’m thinking the one in the white”

“why?” to be fair the Duros in white did seem to be angry

“look closely he keeps closing his fist when he looses a hand and the bruises on his forehead tell me he’s been in a fight before. Also the emblem on his shoulder is one of the local gangs meaning he could probably get someone to let it slide” Ash was shocked that was a pretty good analyzation

“wow uh that was pretty astute” Gacen grinned at her “hey when you’ve been in as many seedy Sabacc games as I have you need to know how to read people” Ash didn’t doubt it

“how about those four” Gacen was gesturing to a group of seemingly bounty hunters, 2 rodians, a togruta and a human each with both blaster pistols and rifles, armour wa- Ash stopped herself as she realised she had went into a bit of a military analysis

“what about them, they seem well equipped” Ash was confused about what Gacen was talking about

“yeah you know hardened badasses ready to hunt but..” Gacen paused for a second “they’re all pretty good looking too” Ash turned and raised her eyebrow at Gacen “hey you know me I’m pretty much up for anything I’m just saying they kinda look like they would be too” Ash was gonna let him keep digging this hole “objectively I’m sure it’d be a fun experience” what would be a- Ash wasn’t sure she wanted to know

“aren’t you married Gacen” Gacen looked down shuffling in his pockets for a second and muttered “well yeah I’m just saying in a hypothetical setting”

“I see” from what Ash remembered his wife was the jealous type

Gacen leaned over “hey who knows maybe one of them is your type” Gacen began playfully elbowing her. Ash very quickly became purple in the face

“I- uh we- uh” Gacen grinned deviously at her “you’re messing with me aren’t you”

“uh huh” Ash groaned audibly at him “although I do wonder I’m sure I could fix you up with someone” someone please end this conversation please “I mean if you want”

“uh no I’m good Gacen” Ash didn’t really talk about that stuff with anyone

“oh come on you must’ve had crushes before” Gacen wasn’t gonna let this go

“uh I mean yeah but like not serious” hopefully that would suffice

Gacen’s eyes lit up “oh cmon cmon tell me who” oh that did the opposite brilliant

“wha- no”

“alright fine but how about this I name someone and you say wether you think they’re attractive, we’ll take it in turns to be fair”

“anything to move on” Ash sighed

“ok ok ok let’s start with an easy one do you remember my old crew mate Corso” Ash was just gonna get through this how hard could it be

“he had an angular face i guess” Gacen seemed underwhelmed by that answer “uh I guess that republic strategist Jonas”

“um yes he was defo a good looking guy” Gacen was far more into this than her “um ok how about that sith girl what was her name Lana? helped out with the conspiracy thing?” wow Gacen was more out of the loop than she thought

“I believe the commanders advisor was indeed somewhat attractive” Gacen looked frustrated

“cmon Ash you gotta give me more than that”

“I’m sorry I dunno she has quite nice hair” Ash didn’t think she was very good at this

“sure that’ll do” Gacen said seemingly satisfied

“umm how about that Jedi the one with all the tea?” this was actually a little fun she had to admit even if it was just a weird way to reminisce

“huh you mean Kavaraa? I’m very jealous of how pretty she is so yeah defo” Ash couldn’t tell if he was joking or not “ooo how about the other one the sith jedi you know dooooza”

“oh god no he was so loud and obnoxious can you imagine” Ash chuckled to herself

“he could literally pick me up like it was nothing it was ridiculous” they both laughed for a moment “haha see I told you we could pass the time” he had actually been right time had passed quick

“haha yeah I guess… thanks”

Gacen looked surprised “for what”

“for cheering me up, I’ve missed it” they sat in silence for a minute “alright where are the toilets in this place I gotta take a leak”

“oh I would go back to the ship the toilets here are a state” Ash really didn’t doubt that and made her way back to the ship

When Ash got back Gacen wasn’t at the bar he seemed to be talking to some of the patrons, probably trying to drum up business. As she sat back down she heard

“here’s your drink” it was the Gran from earlier as he passed over her water

“oh thanks… you speak basic?” why was Gacen talking to him in another language

“yeah all Gran do and as a bartender I have to know most languages, you’re friend was just trying to be discrete that’s all” that did make sense but Gacen and Ash knew many languages in common why didn’t he speak in one of those

As Gacen spotted Ash he made his way back over “hey Ash bad news on the job front, no decent work is around at the moment looks like we’re gonna have to wait a bit” how convenient

“alright you wanna go back to the ship” Gacen nodded and they made their way out of the bar

 

“man that place smelt like old coaxium fuel cells, I’m glad we’re out of there” Ash went to sit down in the living quarters of the ship

“yeah but you gotta admit it has a certain charm” he said with a smile

“yeah I guess” she paused for a second “Gacen why did you speak to that Gand in a language I didn’t understand” it had been bothering her ever since they left

Gacen looked flustered “oh uh well he doesn’t speak basic so i ha-”

Ash interrupted “yes he does Gacen why are you lying to me”

Gacen sighed and got a small card out of his pocket “I told him not to look for jobs like usual”

Ash frowned that wasn’t that bad at least “why is it because of that?” she pointed to the card

“um… yeah this card is a contact of someone I got after dropping of the shipment the other day” Gacen was sitting up straight now looking very serious

Ash connected the dots in her head “that’s what sent you on the drunken bender?” oh god what could it be, a death threat? a captured friend?

“yeah `I got told that the contact of the number on this card knew something about the Drayen family” wait what? that wasn’t a bad thing that was his wifes family right?

“but Gacen that’s a good thing right you’ll be able to see your wife right why would that make you so anxious” Ash moved over next to him

“because what if she doesn’t want to see me” he said looking up at Ash

“what that’s crazy why wouldn’t she want to see you” they were always bantering but there clearly was a loving connection there

“why didn’t she come looking for me Ash?” Ash was shocked she had no idea

“what?”

“we were in that prison for 5 years none of my crew came to look for me” Gacen sighed deeply “what if they all just moved on from me”

“Gacen it was a pretty secure prison no one could get in” Ash was sure that Risha wouldn’t just leave him to die that was crazy

“Theron got in, he’s the one who broke you out right? to get someone else out” Ash was shocked she’d never mentioned that

“how did you know”

“I’m not stupid Ash you don’t just suddenly miraculously get out of prison after 5 years I looked at the security feed” Ash felt bad she only kept that from him because he didn’t want him to know he was overlooked for the escape

“still he’s a spy with like one million contacts, it’s d-different” Ash didn’t know if she believed it but she had to help right

“we had loads of contacts she could’ve tried but” he paused for a long few seconds “all information about our partnership has been erased”

Ash didn’t know what to say no wonder he had been such a state “hey come on I’m sure it’s not like that you’re probably just assuming the worst” she wasn’t sure she believed anything she was saying “maybe she had to disappear due to some bad guy you don’t know and maybe she did search for you it’s just been erased right?”

“yeah but even so what if she’s just moved on, everyone else does and I’m just left here alone again, I’m not sure I can take that again” Ash didn’t even know where to begin but she had to get him out of this

“Hey I didn’t move on and that’s a what if and I dunno about you but I think it’s better to turn a what if into a sure thing so you can stop moping around” Gacen looked up weakly “look at it like this either this is all in your head and she misses you just as much as you miss her or I’m going to give her a telling off she will NEVER forget”

Gacen let out a small chuckle “I guess you’re right”

“I know I’m right” wow she couldn’t believe that worked maybe she was better at advice than she thought “we can call that number soon when you’re ready alright”

Yeah…sure thing Ash…thanks”…

Chapter Text

“Hey Andronikos just wanted to let you know we won’t be back for a little bit longer, things have complicated” they had just arrived at a similar temple after Ashara had found a clue and Kyradia thought Andronikos would get antsy without an update so had made sure to call him

Andronikos’ form flickered onto the holocommunicator “complicated how Ky?” Andronikos sounded way more worried than was necessary which didn’t surprise Kyradia in the slightest after everything that had happened.

“nothing too bad it just turns out the intruders are force users and they also got away” Ashara was out scouting the temple as there were no life signs minus the obvious fauna.

“do you need any backup that sounds pretty dangerous” Kyradia couldn’t tell if it was just cabin fever or if Andronikos genuinely thought it was dangerous

“nah we should be alright” she paused “we kinda need a discrete approach and… well you and Xalek haven’t left the best track record in that regard” Xalek especially but that was also what made him effective

“alright but let me know the minute you need my help it’s getting kinda awkward alone with a crazy Kaleesh” Kyradia got that he definitely was alittle crazy

“alright hun don’t worry we’ll be back in no time” she hoped anyway the sooner this was over the better

“so are these guys Sith, Jedi or are they other weirdos?” bless him he had never really understood the force side of things

“not sure yet but they were doing some weird ritual when we arrived” Kyradia was still very puzzled by the ritual as far as she could tell nothing happened but they had been speaking like it had been a success

Andronikos laughed “so probably on the sketchy side then”

“yeah most likely, I mean that’s usually not a good sign” Kyradia was way too familiar with force rituals if she could never be involved with one again she would be grateful

“hey as long as it doesn’t involve absorbing ghosts” Andronikos joked, wow he was right there what a terrible idea

“yeah definitely” force ghosts were another thing she could do without for the rest of her life. Except maybe Marr that was a good experience

“so where are you guys now just in case” Andronikos worried too much, if she told him about the injury he would be here in an instant, it was fine now anyway, felt good as new.

“Ashara found a connection between Kavaraa’s temple and two others that surround a big temple of some important sith guy Exec ken? Something like that, Ashara says he’s a big deal, anyway we thought we’d investigate it see if we could ambush them”

“how’s that going by the way” Ashara was investigating not her what did he mean

“well Ashara is investigating now but I’ll have a look too soon” what an odd question

“no with Ashara how’s it going with Ashara” oh that did make more sense in hindsight

“uhhhh well ok so far, she is impressed with how I’ve changed so that’s something” Kyradia found it very difficult to read Ashara she hoped she understood the fight with Kavaraa, it was all so difficult to explain

“well she hasn’t disappeared yet so that’s something” Andronikos said with clear sass, he definitely still held a grudge that Ashara had stopped looking for Kyradia

“Andy come on you know there was more too it than that” Kyradia wasn’t mad at Ashara for not saving her, everyone changed in those few years she was just glad none of them got themselves killed

“yeah I know I’m just saying, she’s still quite attached to the jedi” Kyradia knew that all too well “have you told her about that?” Kyradia knew what Andronikos was implying, ugh the one thing Kyradia didn’t know how to explain

“well um I told her about the fight but I uh I haven’t told her that part yet, I was gonna do it after this you know once we’ve reacclimatised” Kyradia knew she had to tell her she just wanted it to be in the right environment.

“Ky the longer you don’t tell her the worse it’s gonna be” he was right, of course he was right, she knew he was right but it just wasn’t that simple for her

“I know but I’ll just wait till after this is done and then I’ll do it” she meant it she would have to eventually

“alright just remember I’ll always have you back hon” that was really nice to hear she knew she could always rely on one person no matter what and he was a great person at that

“Thanks Andy… you’re the best” she ended the call and put away her communicator

Suddenly she heard from behind her “I’m finished scouting” which made her jump out her skin.

Ashara had creeped up on her while she was talking “oh my god how long have you been there?” hopefully not too long given the subject of conversation

Ashara looked embarrassed “Sorry, only just got back didn’t mean to scare you” Kyradia did her best to recompose herself

“it’s fine no worries I wasn’t scared anyway, I don’t scare easy” probably best to save face didn’t wanna look weak

“yeah clearly, come on it’s empty and I found a perfect place to hide” Ashara quickly led her into the temple entrance, it looked mostly the same as the other temple but somehow even less well kept. Turns out Kavaraa at least kept it somewhat tidy, little bits of rubble scattered the floor showing clear indents from where they had fallen. Similar inscriptions lined the walls most faded and incomplete. They made their way into the main chamber where Ashara showed off her ‘hiding place’ a large hole in the wall big enough for at least two with a convenient rock in front of it

“man… they’ll never see us coming” it was definitely not as inconspicuous as advertised

Ashara scrunched up her face “Hey I’d like to see you do better in 5 minutes” she had a point there but nonetheless they settled into the hole and moved the rock back in front

They both focussed preparing for the fight ahead, no slip ups this time…

Chapter Text

switching gears again we move back to Kavaraa as she tries to explain the map (interesting parallels in this and the previous chapter :D)

“wait wait what do you mean a map?” Theron didn’t seemed pleased, she didn’t blame him she had already detoured their trip once but this could be huge

“in the puzzle box there was a map in the puzzle box Theron” Kavaraa was frantically trying to explain what was going on but she was so full of excitement it was quite difficult

“ok ok, calm down start from the beginning why is the guy who tried to attack you out of the force cage and having tea with you?” that was a fair question she had kinda got caught up in things

she took a few deep breaths before speaking “well I went to talk to him and he seemed like he’d only lost his way a little so i tried to help him through it, you know before he fell any further and it worked he admitted to it and apologised” Theron looked puzzled still

“ok… but why is he out of the cage” oh right Kavaraa hadn’t really explained it

“well he said that he had been researching some teachings similar to mine so I had to find out more” Theron frowned as she finished looking unsuprised

“so you just let him out” Theron was always super paranoid but this he didn’t need to be paranoid about this it was different

“yeah he had apologised and there’s no way he could beat me” Kormel didn’t seem like he had focussed much on combat training to say the least

Theron took a deep sigh “what if he was lying, what if he was using some force disguise wha-”

Kavaraa interrupted before he could finish “He wasn’t lying Theron I would’ve sensed it, I know what lying feels like” so many people had lied to her over the years and Theron of all people knew that

Theron look away for a second “I- I just wish you’d talked to me about it first” interesting

Kavaraa frowned “yeah I guess I can understand wanting to be consulted before someone does something reckless” one rule for her one for him

Theron stammered for a few seconds “uh ah um” he paused for a second “you’re right I’m uh sorry you’re right I can’t exactly talk” Theron looked away solemnly, aw she didn’t mean it that harshly she took his hand

“hey uh it’s ok I probably should’ve told you I just got very caught up in the moment” Kavaraa always got caught up in the moment when something exciting happened. She imagined it gave Theron quite the headache but so did him running off into danger so she thought it balances out

“you trust this right? it’s all ok?” Theron turned back round trying to force a weak smile

Kavaraa took his other hand “I think so Kormel doesn’t seem like he could hurt a fly to be honest, he found a map to an unknown planet in the temple” hopefully that quick summary caught him up “and uh we may need to follow it up because apparently it leads to knowledge and enlightenment” she jumped a little in excitement she couldn’t help it

Theron frowned again “oh so we’re gonna have to-”

Kavaraa cut him off “postpone the trip, I know I promise I don’t want to but this could really help the galaxy” the knowledge they could find could help them break the cycle of Jedi and Sith, she hoped anyway.

Theron smiled lightly “It’s ok Kav if it’s that important to you, you know I’ll follow you, hopefully keep you out as trouble as well” Kavaraa grinned

“yeah right I’m the one always saving you remember Ziost” the frustration she had felt when he called her from Ziost was immeasurable but she had forgiven him

“yeaaaah not my finest hour” Theron chuckled awkwardly

“you got that right” they laughed for a second before she turned to go and see if Kormel was ok

But she then felt Theron’s hand on her shoulder “Kavaraa yo- you know how sorry I am right” he paused for a few second “ab-about Nathema and everything” she never had believed he had betrayed her but it was nonetheless crushing

she stepped back next to him gently holding his arm and hugging it “yeah I know Theron” she paused squeezing his hand a little “just please don’t do anything like it again” they stayed silent for a minute before Kavaraa broke away to check on Kormel

Later

They had set the ship on course down the nearest hyperlane to the mysterious planet and Kavaraa having realised she had been up for nearly a full day had turned in. She never remembered her dreams but every now and again something stuck with her. As she tossed and turned she could here something in her head

“i’ve seen the things you’ve done and know it can’t be” it sounded familiar, friendly but she sensed something was wrong “I believe you are the danger” no that’s wrong we’re not the danger he misunderstood “I have seen your alliance and the evil it spreads” that’s not my fault I’m trying to stop it I’m sorry I didn’t know I was only trying to help “peace demands it’s” what no I can fix it I can still fix it “death”

Kavaraa suddenly jolted awake breathing heavily and sweating “Kavaraa what’s wrong are you ok?” Theron was looking at her concerned

Kavaraa took a few seconds to catch her breath “uh- yeah It’s nothing just a… bad dream” as she got her bearings she put together what that was, Gaden Ko had said that the alliance was evil, he may have been right…

Chapter Text

A chuttering sound came from the speeder as Terri began to park it, it was slightly worrying maybe she should check it out later. Terri had some mechanical skill so maybe she could fix it. Lusari had arrived next to her and began parking, her hair was messy and full of small sticks and leaves, Terri wasn’t that surprised with the length of Lusi’s hair things were bound to get caught in it. She promptly grabbed her satchel and picked out a hair brush, Terri tried to hold in a smirk as Lusari tried her best to a least tame her hair.

As she finished she spoke up “ok we got everything for the ritual” Terri checked her many small bags and pouches for her adventuring gear and sure enough she was kitted out and totally rad.

“cool adventuring gear check, super good flashlight check, awesome lightsaber check, you?” she did think the adventure was super cool, she had always dreamed of being like the adventurers in the archives of the sith academy, she was very pleased to be doing it in a less evil way.

Lusari began riffling through her satchel “let’s see ritual components double check, emergency defences check aaaand one very cool holocron check” Lusari displayed her holocron for a second before returning it to the bag. It was cube shaped with triangular corners, the thing was much bigger than most holocrons she had seen but glowing just as sinisterly with a red hue. Apparently it was stuck that way which made sense considering it’s content, still that’s what they were here for to right that wrong.

Terri snapped out of her accidental daydream and responded to Lusari “alright let’s get to it then” she was trying to be more confident in herself and the mission after the talk with Lusi last night, she was hoping it helped.

Lusari nodded in agreement and they headed towards the temple. From what they knew this temple was buried in the side of a mountain but it’s entrance was still out in the open and from their scans the interior was still somewhat intact. As they made their way to the cliff edge they very quickly spotted the overgrown temple entrance sticking prominently out of the rock face it was covered in moss and vines and looked more like a cave than a temple. It looked very dark in there and as they moved closer they could hear echos resonating throughout the temple.

“woah that’s freaky” Lusari said seeming a little uneasy

“yeah we should stick close together, stay in my light” Terri turned on her flashlight and Lusari moved in close

“thanks Terr I’ll be right next to you the whole way” she took Terri’s hand and they began to go into the darkness. Terri was a little scared admittedly but she thought anyone would be, this place was spooky. As they moved further into the temple they could see cobwebs lined most of the walls and a huge amount of dust was caught in the ray of Terri’s flashlight, the dust levels were so high they were making the back of Terri’s mouth tickle. Every now and again they could see a little bit of rubble crumble off the side of the walls, this place would probably collapse within a few months. Terri could also hear a faint dripping sound echoing through the halls, must be water nearby.

Lusari suddenly spoke up “hey Terr do you know the way to the main chamber” Terri was confused the other one had been pretty clear

“no is it different to the last one” Lusi had looked at the maps and planned out most of this ritual, she was the smart one but Terri was defiantly the cool one after her fight with the commander.

“yeah this place is a Labyrinth but I totally solved it, it wasn’t even that well made” Lusi sounded a little mad, Terri knew that Lusi loved solving puzzles and she knew even better how she got mad when she saw a bad puzzle, this defiantly matched that tone.

“do you know the way then? are we lost?” Terri didn’t realise they could get lost in this creepy temple otherwise she would’ve been much more careful

“yeah no I’m fine just checking you knew” good thing too she would’ve just gone in a straight line forever

As Lusari began to lead they heard a creepy echoed voice chuckle. Immediately Terri’s hair all stood on end and she started to tremble, she began to turn around looking for the voice

“u-um Lu-lusi d-did y-you here that” Terri thought about igniting her lightsaber but didn’t want to draw attention to herself, it wouldn’t exactly be covert

“ye-yeah u-um what was that?” oh no Lusi didn’t know what it was that was really bad

“I don’t know um is it the Lady?” seemed unlikely but maybe it was a test

they were both looking around anxiously in the space “n-no she ca-can’t talk while con-contained” Terri kinda already knew that but she didn’t want to believe it was something else

“let’s uh let’s walk back to back y-you know for safety” Terri would feel better if they covered all their bases

“uh huh sure” Lusari backed up to were Terri was and she passed over the flashlight. They began to walk forwards carefully looking around for the source of the noise, Terri was facing backwards and could see little of were they came from without the flashlight but she swore she could see a small glow of blue coming from the end of the corridor. They continued down a few more passageways until they reached a door, Lusari stopped and Terri accidentally bumped into her back letting out a little surprised shriek.

“sorry, there’s a door here I need to concentrate” Terri nodded awkwardly and began surveying the chamber to avoid the embarrassment. She looked around the room for a bit before she found a average size moveable piece in the wall, It seemed too simple to be rubble and it may mean there’s a mechanism behind it. She closed her eyes and used the force to move the rock but then she suddenly felt a force knock her to the ground, what was that? it felt like a bunch of pipes maybe it was a mechanism. She reopened her eyes to see a Kaleesh skull starring at her, she cried out as she quickly moved the skeleton of her.

“ah oh my god oh my god oh my goood there’s a creepy dead Kaleesh here” Terri’s heart was racing, she had never been so frightened in her life but more than that she was confused; Kaleesh weren’t exactly native to Yavin IV so this was not random. Not only that but there still looked to be meat on his bones, but this place was abandoned it didn’t add up. As she looked up though she did see a lever in the hole so at least her wimpy moment wasn’t for nothing. She pulled the lever and as she did she saw that Lusi was still deep in concentration, the door began to lift and she opened her eyes.

“see I just needed a little time” she said with a smile, whaaat this was Terri not her she better not take credit. Terri gestured intensely to the lever “oh… right well um nice job” Lusi seemed a little disappointed but Terri felt it was more important to get out of this horror movie waiting to happen. They continued through the corridors eventually reaching the main chamber where Lusi began unpacking her things on the similar tablet in the chamber.

Terri took a defensive position as Lusari set up the ritual but as they prepared they heard the same echoed voice “hmhuhuhuh two little sith flies falling riiiight into my trap” Terri looked around for the source of the voice igniting her lightsaber for extra intimidation factor.

Lusari looked at Terri concerned but they had a job to do “Lusi get on with the ritual I can hold off whatever this is” she wasn’t really sure of that but she had to be brave and trust in their plan “show yourself” Terri shouted into the chamber as Lusari sat down to begin the ritual, she was protected like that Terri wasn’t sure how.

As her shout echoed around the chamber a blue etherial form materialised in front of her. It was a Male Togruta with a snarl covering his face, his teeth were like fangs and he was covered in some form bone armour. Terri was immediately scared of him what was this guy? an ancient warrior? a crazed zealot? whatever he was he seemed loco

“well well another fool has entered my abode ohohohohoo I’m going to enjoy skinning you” oh no no thank you no skinning, Terri began moving backwards as he talked, what was she supposed to do he was a ghost she couldn’t exactly hurt him. Could he hurt her?

her hands shook as she said “stay back I-I know how to use this thing” she was actually pretty good with a lightsaber and probably could take this guy if he was a real person

But in response the ghostly figure just chuckled spitting as he did “go on then I’m dying to see this” Terri tried a proper stab but it just went straight through him, in response he began to laugh in a booming voice

Terri had to regain the upper hand Lusi was counting on her to stall “yeah but you can’t hurt me either right…you ghost” it was true right he could only use the force against her and she was good at blocking that.

“oh but my dear I won’t be doing the hurting” he began to whistle and as he did Terri could here a aggressive shuffling sound coming from the other end of the temple “you best be prepared my Varactyl haven’t eaten in weeeks” oh god oh god what did Terri do she had no idea how to stop this she was going to ruin everything. She could hear the Varactyl coming closer and closer soon they would be here then what would she do, she had no plan and they were counting on her

Suddenly then she heard a familiar echoed voice but this time in her head “Terri get the ghost close to me” close to her what does that mean? close to the holocron, best option she got right now

She quickly shuffled next to the holocron, how was she going to get him over “oh I see how it is not brave enough to fight me yourself, afraid you’ll lose” she could see a little twitch in his face, please say that worked she could hear the varactyls howls very close

he began to step forward “believe me missy nothing would make me happier than flaying the skin off of you myself but” he was getting closer, yes! thank the force, stupid monologuing sith so easy to trick “I’m afraid I’m otherwise impa-” as he was talking his words were almost drained away from him and suddenly his form was being pulled towards the holocron with a chilling energy. Oh my god the Lady is saving her she felt so honoured, she heard a snarling coming from behind her, oh no the varactyl she saw them enter the chamber ready to pounce. She was petrified she had no idea what to do she just closed her eyes and trusted the Lady had a plan.

She could here the togruta screaming as she stood there unable to move “noooo, noooo you will never cage me I will destroy yo-” and then silence Terri could still hear the snarling though, she wasn’t brave enough she had really tried but now she had just froze. But then she heard them whimpering and as she opened her eyes they were running away.

“oh oh oh my god my Lady h-how did you do that” that was soooo coool Terri was sure she had messed it up but the Lady totally had a plan

The voice resonated inside her head once again “absorbing of a force ghost is defiantly a crude and dangerous way to achieve power but none the less effective” absorbing? so all his power now the lady’s? well at least it was with someone who would use it well

“you absorbed him? like all his power and personality wow you’re so powerful” Terri hadn’t talked to the Lady much before, that was more Lusi’s job but she was still very pleased to talk to her

“yes it’s actually not a very hard ritual but given to a naive young force user and it can lead to disastrous consequences for the individual trust me” she sounded so smart, Terri knew that the Lady was quite an old being but her understanding of the force was always so baffling

“Thank you so much for saving me from the Varactyls I know you didn’t have to” Terri felt like she should at least thank her, she hoped it wasn’t rude

“nonsense Terri you’re important to the plan just like Lusari, you’ll realise your part eventually” whaaaat she did have a part to play? she thought she was just helping out, why hadn’t Lusi told her?

“oh um well thank you” Terri felt very giddy after all this praise

“I must return to the ritual I have been away from it too long, Lusari may be getting doubtful” Terri let her go without another word and sat on the wall excitably replaying the events over in her mind. It was dangerous but also so cool not only fighting the commander but a force ghost, her friends would be so jealous. As she sat the room slowly began to glimmer with light, oh yeah she got to watch the ritual this time awesome. As the glimmers became clear she could see many different language symbols all lighting up with a glowing yellow light, as the ritual continued the glowing formed tendrils which branched together all leading into the holocron. The chamber then returned to the darkness it was once in and the room was silent.

Lusari stepped up and turned around “what did I miss” Terri smiled she was gonna be so jealous…

Chapter Text

The room was quiet, Kyradia could here the sound of her breath as they waited in silence, in then out in then out in then out.

“We have been sitting here for ages” it was true they had been here for what felt like years

Ashara scoffed “It’s only been like an hour Kyradia be patient” what but it felt like sooo much longer

“so what exactly is our plan here? I kinda forgot to ask” Kyradia was still feeling rather unsettled, ever since the encounter in the first temple something had felt off with this but she couldn’t place it

“uhhh well I thought we’d wait here and then we can watch them do whatever they were doing, maybe then ambush them i dunno” there was something to that but it seemed a little rough around the edges

“what if they sense us or have macrobinoculars like ours” sure Kyradia could hide through the force but Ashara not so much

Ashara frowned suddenly “uhhhh… um well” Ashara paused for a second “I uh didn’t think of that Mas- uh Kyradia” wow maybe she shouldn’t trust Ashara’s judgement implicitly

“right well let’s come up with a new plan, cause I don’t think stealth is really an option” Ashara nodded quietly, she seemed a little embarrassed but Kyradia couldn’t place why “As much as I want to know what they are up to I think we should prioritise stopping them first before this gets out of hand” Kyradia was trying so hard to not make this a whole thing, she had a lot she wanted to do and this was an annoying obligation

“I see your point I guess we can find out the details afterwards, if we’re gonna fight them you need to stay with me. I don’t want a repeat of yesterday” Kyradia never meant to run off but sometimes it’s necessary

“I uh dunno I get into a kinda frenzy when i fight” it was true in most fights she only remembered what happened afterwards

Ashara looked at her in the eyes “just… please ok for me” Kyradia knew she was probably right

She let out a small smile “yeah… ok I’ll try” she couldn’t promise she would but she would defiantly try “so what we guard the entrance” they hadn’t scouted any other entrances but Ashara had a point they should stick together

“yeah but if we’re gonna we will need to close up the other way in to the main room, I don’t have the umm right composure to bring down a wall so if you don’t mind” wow way to dance around the fact Kyradia was a angry person

“sure no problem” Kyradia made her way to the corridor on the opposite side of the room. She closed her eyes and began to think back to her argument with Kavaraa, the self righteous hypocritical points and the fact she just ran. She quickly could feel the rocks come loose and as she opened her eyes the corridor was no more.

“alright let’s go to the entrance” Ashara beckoned her over to the remaining way out. Kyradia grasped her hand tightly and cloaked their forms

Later…

The jungle was peaceful in it’s own way, from the vantage point on top of the temple Kyradia could see the trees rustling wildly in the wind. It felt like the tables had somewhat turned; now they were the ones guarding a temple from interlopers, that was assuming they even turned up. They were going out on a limb but this was the only lead they had so they had to at least follow it up, Kyradia had a pit in her stomach she wasn’t sure why but this whole situation just seemed odd. The Milirian seemed like she had good intentions but nothing about this seemed like it would turn out good. That usually meant someone was manipulating her and Kyradia knew all too well what that felt like, between Valkorion, Revan and Zash she wouldn’t ever wish that on someone. Her money was on the blonde one being the culprit, she seemed to be the smarter one and more in tune with the force, either way they needed to be stopped. Kyradia felt her hand get squeezed, Ashara couldn’t cloak herself so this was unfortunately necessary. Kyradia had never been one for physical acts of affection, she found them awkward and weird but she had a few people she didn’t mind it from. Ashara seemed really worried about her which was definitely surprising after everything that happened Kyradia was sure Ashara wouldn’t care about her wellbeing anymore. She still didn’t know everything though and when she did she probably would hate her again, maybe it was just better to get it out the way, that’s what Andronikos was saying right maybe she should.

“hey Asha-” Kyradia started

Ashara interrupted her suddenly calling out “look look down there” damn it maybe later

Kyradia was startled but tried to look “where?”

Ashara replied “where I’m pointing” she was shaking Kyradia’s arm now

“Ashara you’re invisible I can’t see your arm” Kyradia continued to search the trees for what she was pointing at

“oh right um yeah look by that ridge to the left” Kyradia scanned down and sure enough she could see the two interlopers from before, yes they came! the long blonde hair stuck out like a sore thumb. They were trying to travel through the bushes to sneak up, same as their strategy but a lot less well executed

“let’s get into position and surprise them” Kyradia began to lead Ashara over to the left. Ashara was having trouble walking while invisible which wasn’t surprising it takes some getting used to, after a little bit of guidance however they were in position and could see the two sith below.

“ready” Kyradia asked letting go of Ashara’s hand

“ready” Ashara said as they jumped

Kyradia landed with a resounding crack in front of the duo “well look who we found” both the Milirian and the Human were taken aback jumping back a few feet each

“h-how did y-you find us” the Milrian said clearly intimidated

“well Ashara found an ancient relation between the temples around that excess con temple, she’s smart like that”

“Exar KUN” Ashara interrupted, dammit Ashara not in the middle of the monologue

“yes, that guy and we thought weird ritual doers are bound to visit” Kyradia smiled “and I’m afraid we can’t let you past”

The blonde one spoke up “n-no we have to get past we have to you can’t just stop us” she clearly didn’t understand the magnitude of the situation

She ignited her lightsaber “oh I think we can”

the duo glanced at each other before igniting their lightsabers, the Milirian lunged at Ashara and the Blonde at Kyradia, Kyradia easily parried the simple move and went for a low slash. To her surprise she saw the form of the blonde disappear and reappear 10ft away, where did she learn that? no matter Kyradia could too, she quickly shifted next to her grabbing her by the throat.

“now now play nice” Kyradia sneered, the Blonde began to struggle as Kyradia kept her in place, this was a good intimidation tactic but also would allow her to further question the Blonde. The Blonde continued to struggle as Kyradia lifted her off the ground but it was no use she had her- suddenly she saw a fist career into her head knocking her to the ground. The bitch punched her what the hell, Kyradia wiped the blood out her eyes before looking to see where the Blonde was heading, to the temple big surprise, she could see Ashara was sparring with the Milirian and barely keeping up with her, she could handle it. Kyradia channeled the rage she felt after the bitch punched her and reached out with the force, suddenly the blonde stopped frozen in place, perfect. Kyradia could feel her begin to push against her force keeping the Blonde in place, she slowly moved towards the blonde keeping her steady

“stay still I don’t wanna hurt you” she paused “too badly” she could’ve broken her nose the blonde could do with some repercussions. The force was certainly strong in this one Kyradia could barely keep her still

She had just caught up to the blonde when she suddenly heard a voice “STOP INTERFERING” as she was pushed back onto the ground by a wave of force energy. She hit the ground with a thud but that voice it was weirdly familiar, who did that? no time Kyradia quickly sat up to see the blonde running into the temple, shit she had to catch up. She quickly stood up and concentrated, using the force she began to run after the Blonde but as she got to the door the Milirian stepped in front of her

“STOP” she pointed her lightsaber at Kyradia threateningly. Kyradia sighed and threw her casually out the way with the force, she didn’t have time for that. She bolted down the corridors of the temple determined to stop this once and for all. As she skidded round to the main chamber she saw the blonde had set down a holocron and some ingredients

“you better stop right now or I’m gonna lose it” she began to stride forward but as she did she felt a strong force wind push her back, no way was the blonde this strong.

Kyradia began struggling against the wind as that voice echoed throughout the chamber “ah Kyradia I’m afraid you wont be coming any closer” no what the hell was this? who was that? she struggled against the wind but couldn’t move any closer to the Blonde.

The Blonde had started meditating as the voice continued “now I’m afraid you’re too late, I have regained the power to subdue you, you won’t come anywhere near this ritual” If this is some Zakuul person trying to get revenge on her AGAIN she was gonna freak out

“I actually took a page out of your book, I gotta say the ghost method definatly has it’s drawbacks” the voice chuckled as Kyradia tried as hard as she could to overcome the force keeping her out of the room to no avail.

“WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” it knew about her old life before she was the commander, who was she?

Suddenly the room began to light up and beams of light began to divert towards the holocron, WAIT THE HOLOCRON! “now now now apprentice you always were two steps behind, the information is all right in front of you, put it together”

That wasn’t possible, it couldn’t be she had been sealed away for good. “No it can’t be you! I trapped you away in the mind prison”

“well clearly it didn’t work, every prison has ways out my dear” the voice began to cackle as the blinding energy entered the holocron “you really need to learn the only way to put sith behind you is to kill them otherwise they always come back apprentice”

Kyradia began to push with all her might against the force “I am not your apprentice you bitch and I’m going to stop you” she began to move forward slowly the force was weakening, maybe she could get to them.

“oh my dear I cannot wait to see it with my own eyes but I’m afraid I have to run, Lusari time to go” suddenly the force stopping her from moving was gone and she stumbled onto the floor. When she looked up she saw no sign of the blonde. But… it didn’t matter none of it mattered Kyradia just sat there in silence for a minute, she was back, Zash was back…

Chapter Text

“Ok so you’re clear on the play right?” The light shined though the gap in the elevator as it slowly ticked up. Gacen didn’t answer for a couple seconds, he could feel the pit in his stomach getting more intense with every floor they passed

“yeah totally we play dumb and get as much information from them as we can, then we can consider their offer, if it helps us find Risha” when Gacen had called up the contact he was only given a location, It all felt very shady and he couldn’t tell if that was a good or bad sign. He didn’t really trust any of this but they had information on the Drayens and as far as Gacen was aware there was just Risha and him left.

“and?” they had formed a plan which Gacen had tried his best to learn, he was better at making it up as he went along but this information was too important so Ash had been put in charge of keeping him in check

“and I won’t fly off the handle with some crazy scheme that will make our intentions clear” Gacen had never been one for subtly, that could be due to his usual mild intoxication but hell if he knew. “and you’re gonna try and read them? like see true intentions or something”

Ash sighed “sort of, I’m going to try and apply my interrogation training to read subtle tells they may have. I have no idea if it will work though” Gacen didn’t even know what a tell was let alone how to detect one. Ash turned to Gacen with a concerned look on her face “hey Gacen”

“yeah?” oh god that’s the pity voice he didn’t want to get real right now

“are you ok? we don’t have to do this if you don’t want to” oh that was actually alright. Gacen definitely felt very nervous about all of this but Ash was right it was better to try and fail than leave it as a what if

“yeah I’m alright, I… wanna do this it’s uh just a lot” god that sounded stupid “you know?”

Ash let out a half smile “yeah well I’m here to help regardless alright” Ash was sweet, she definitely had a rough exterior though, when Gacen first tried to shake her hand he ended up in a headlock but underneath all that she was pretty cool.

“thanks Ash and don’t worry I can always find my way out of trouble” he grinned hopefully that relieved tension. Ash had hid it pretty well but she also seemed nervous about this, guess it was a step up from smuggling and bar fights.

An awkward silence fell over the elevator as it continued to rise, what were they going to find? it couldn’t be Risha right that’d be crazy. What else though? old enemies? people from Dubrillion? Voidwolf people? no that was crazy right. He checked the elevator floor, 157, 158, 159, 160 god this was hell, every second he was in this elevator he wanted to just jump out but he couldn’t. He could totally run away go to the Nar Shaddaa undercity change his name, sell like droid parts he could be great at that, then work his way up until he was a factory manager maybe that’d be more fun than smuggling.

“GACEN” suddenly he snapped out of his weird worker daydream

“huh wha-what is it” Ash was staring at him with her signature frown

Ash pointed to the doors “the elevators here dingus” sure enough the door was open and he could see a corridor made of sleek shiny marble walls leading to a door of equal ridiculousness.

“geez this place has more blinding white colours than hoth, do you think a wampa lives here” Gacen chuckled to himself as Ash strode forward without a word, she totally thought it was funny she was just being cool. Ash strode up to the door and began looking around next to it

Ash began feeling the wall at intervals “um Ash… watcha doin”

Without turning around she said “I’m looking for a doorbell” Gacen frowned confused. He strode up to the door and knocked on it

“why not just knock?” Ash wasn’t the most well adjusted person due to her busy past but this, this was a whole new level of detached

“uhhhhhhh becaaause it’s…” Gacen raised his eyebrow at her “shut up ok” she stomped up next to him grumpily. They waited for a few more seconds before the doors slid open with an ODX droid standing there

“welcome Captain Gacen Zandar and… guest, my name is C2-J80 and may I ju-” protocol droids bored Gacen

“yeah ok jatey show me to your master if you please” Gacen tapped his foot impatiently

“well I never, very well my master is waiting through this way if you please” the droid led them into a lounge area where they saw a older gentleman mid to late 40s sitting on a big leather couch. He was wearing long red robes with rather flamboyant shoulder pads drinking some form of cocktail

Gacen leaned over to Ash “geez if I ever need a spare traffic cone I’ll call this guy” Ash glowered at Gacen and he promptly shut his mouth and jumped down onto a couch opposite the man

“welcome to my establishment Captain Gacen Zandar my name is Jadryl Waltar if you require anything of me please don’t hesitate to ask, my staff are at your disposal” he would regret that offer

“ooo well I am a bit hungry if your staff could whip up a Rancor steak with a few light deserts 8 bunches of grapes and a st-owwww” as Ash sat down next to him she pulled on his ear to stop him from speaking

Jadryl chuckled “I’m afraid we don’t have any stows.” This prick. “A joke I assume” Gacen was only half joking he was starving

“you got me sir, what I’d really like to know is why I’m here” Ash let go of his ear seemingly satisfied with the response

Jadryl sat up putting his drink down “yes well that is more than fair, I represent a part of the government of Dubrillion and this missi-” Gacen had to check this he had been told a lot different

“hold on government? I thought that was a tyrannical dictatorship” Jadryl frowned at him “not that I have a problem with that of course” Gacen looked to Ash for the all good, she was giving him an icy glare

“Your reputation certainly is accurate Captain” was that a good thing? hopefully “As I was saying this mission has been personally requested by King Actavarus III“ That fukin douche, he had tried to have Risha killed on multiple occasions, something told him that hadn’t stopped.

Gacen put his legs up on the table “and what is the mission pray tell”

“we need you to find Risha Drayen” huh well that worked out “we’re aware of your prior relationship with her and think you would have an easier time finding her” oh shit was this a setup, if they knew that this was almost certainly a trap

“um so you know who I am then?” this was bad he looked to Ash who looked equally worried

“yes the rival of the pirate lord Skavak who was in direct affiliation with the woman in question” wait what? they thought she hadn’t switched sides? “we thought our goals aligned considering you could take out the last of Skavak’s criminal empire” WHAT!!! THAT WAS HIS EMPIRE not that dick hole Skavak’s

“um could I have a quick sidebar with my” he looked at Ash for a title then they answered simultaneously

“Bodyguard”

“Advisor”

Gacen had to salvage it “she advises me on the best bodyguards it’s a totally real profession”

Jadryl looked confused “um but of course” Gacen and Ash made their way to a corridor where there didn’t seem to be any surveillance

“ok what the fuck why does he think that Skavak had the empire, THAT WAS ME” Gacen was furious even from death that asshole was stealing from him

Ash quickly covered his mouth “keep your voice down they could have cameras and we need to play ou-” Ash removed her hand away from his mouth with a look of disgust on her face “stop licking my hand you Gizka’s ass” no one could keep Gacen quiet

“I just don’t understand alright what the hell changed” Gacen hadn’t seen Skavak in 7 years why the hell was he coming up

“well let’s see if Risha wanted to disappear which we have reason to believe, she would want to protect the people close to her” Gacen was confused so Skavak and her were never close

“so?”Ash sighed heavily, holding her face in her hand

“sooo she’d want to erase any affiliation that could lead to people coming after them” what was Ash on about? he continued to frown confused at where Ash was going with this “Gacen I love you man but it’s right in front of you. Risha potentially swapped you and Skavaks role round in records to protect you from these guys” the moment of realisation finally hit Gacen

“oh” he stood there lightly shaking “I see”

“yeah” Ash noticed his shaking and held him steady “you know what this means” Ash smiled as she held his shaking form

“tha-that Risha is out there and wanted” he paused for a second “to keep me safe” Ash nodded and Gacen felt a strange sudden impulse came in for a hug

“woah um Gacen wha-what are you doing” he squeezed her tightas he felt his eyes well up “wait are you hugging me so I can’t see you crying”

Gacen speech wavered as he spoke “NO”, Ash awkwardly hugged him back for a second before letting him go

“alright let’s get back in there and get a lead” Ash stood there for a second letting him compose himself

Gacen coughed for a few seconds to ‘clear his throat’ “once we do can we totally wreck this assholes place” Ash smiled deviously and nodded “hey Jaity I’m gonna need a few Bad Motivators if you please” Gacen called out as they returned to their seat

“right away captain” the droid shuffled out of the room

“sorry about that we were discussing” Gacen paused, gotta think of a lie “business arrangements” nailed it

“I see well are you willing to accept my offer?” Gacen could squeeze more out of this guy without having to agree to anything, what did he think this was his first shady negotiation

“well first of all I’d like to get all the details and maybe an advance cause if I remember correctly Risha can be quite dangerous” Ash gave him a disapproving look, hey he was just making a bit extra money Risha would totally approve

Jadryl picked up a holopad “very well how much are we talking” hehehehe too easy

“well we’re going to need at least 3000 credits for equipment and fuel expenses if this is more of a search and less of a go one place and find her, am I correct” Jadryl nodded looking less than pleased “and I’d like 2000 as insurance just in case things don’t pan out how much is the actual pay by the way” the drinks arrived as Gacen began to quickly drink his first

“10,000 credits this is an important bounty” damn it he works for a King of course he could pay more stupid Gacen.

Gacen began his second drink “Ok let’s get some details so I know what I’m up against” Gacen put his hand in his pocket and primed a smoke grenade

“A few years ago Risha’s efforts to retake Dubrillion became worryingly organised so we sent the best bounty hunters we could find to try and bring her down but she outsmarted every one” that’s my girl Gacen thought as he began his third drink “we decided to get serious and sent the Champion of the Great Hunt but when she arrived at Risha’s last know location there was no sign of her it was like she’d vanished we figured we’d spooked her and thought that ws a win nonetheless” huh not like Rish to get spooked seemed a little odd, he armed a small sticky bomb in his pocket, he began hi fourth drink “but then we noticed in the underworld of Dubrillion there was people who seem to work for her or at least support her in a” he paused “mobilised fashion, we thought she must be still out there taking us down from the shadows so we sent out the bounty hunters again to find her but up until now nothing” Gacen cocked his pistol as he finished his fourth drink

“so you need me because I know her and how to anticipate her is that it” Gacen smiled fully aware of how drunk he was

“well that was the initial thought but after we realised who you were with your little heart to heart out there we feel you may be more useful than we realised in finding her” SHIT there were cameras there time to go

Mecernary droids suddenly began filing into the room, Gacen swiftly threw his sticky bomb to the ceiling light and smoke to the floor, as he did he saw Ash vault over the sofa and punch one of the droids in the stomach ripping out the things wires. Jadryl quickly scurried into a room as the smoke went off and the lights went out in the room, Gacen meandered round the sofa stumbling on the edge as he did. There was a big window he’d spotted when he walked in it looked perfect for jumping out of, he couldn’t see shit though who put all this smoke in here.

“ASH??” he shouted “WHERE YOU AT” he made his way over to the wall and began shimming along it trying to find the window

“FIGHTING A DROID WHAT’S THE PLAN” he could hear the sounds of breaking machine and could only assume that she was massacring them

“COME TO ME I HAVE” he paused “A PLAN, I THINK” he shimmied further but bumped into something, it felt metal and human sized. Oh shit a droid he quickly ducked as a blaster shot singed the top of his mohawk, he quickly slid under the legs before drawing his blaster which he fumbled with and dropped on the floor. Damn it he searched on the floor until he felt it and promptly grabbed it, as he looked up he saw the droid ah shit what would he do, suddenly he saw a blue fist burst through the chest before swiftly shorting out. Ash held out her hand pulled him up off the floor

“where is this plan of yours” Ash said as she coughed through the smoke

“come one there’s a window” he could now see the illuminating city of Nar Shaddaa through the smoke, target acquired

“oh you have GOT to be kidding me” Gacen grinned as he shot the glass shattering it and began to run towards it

“come on Ash we gotta hustle” he jumped out the window and began free falling, he wasn’t really sure what came next but he’d think of something. As he began to think he felt himself suddenly stop falling followed by a pain in his back, what? he looked to see he was sitting on the back of a taxi. A rodian was screaming curses at him from the cockpit about the dent he made. He scrambled to the front “I gotta borrow you’re taxi dude don’t worry I’ll pay for it all” as soon as he said that he calmed down and let him take the wheel “get ready bud this is gonna get bumpy” Gacen swerved the taxi around and could see that Ash had just jumped out after him, cmon dude you can do this. Gacen drove to where he thought Ash would be getting closer and closer as she fell further and further, he quickly swerved into position ready to catch Ash, easy, so cool. He suddenly saw a blue blur go past the taxi, shit he was off by like 5ft he hadn’t had enough alcohol. He quickly nosedived the taxi to catch up with Ash adjusting to the right position as they got closer towards the floor he pulled up and heard a resounding wumph as Ash landed next to him. “see Ash told you I had a plan”

Ash sprawled down into the seat and responded with a quiet “what did I say about crazy schemes” her hair was everywhere as she glared at Gacen with an exasperated look. Doesn’t matter they had a lead, Champion of the Great Hunt…

Chapter Text

Smoke billowed from the front of the taxi rising high into the sky as Ash and Gacen stumbled out

“god damn it are you sure this things busted” Gacen asked the Rodian who responded with a string of Rodese curse words “ok I’m sorry for falling onto your taxi I’ll pay for the damage” Gacen enjoyed having money, it certainly made these types of conversations easier. He passed over the credit chip and turned to Ash, she was surveying the area or at least trying to she was still pretty delirious from the fall

“that smokes gonna be seen for miles we gotta split and fast” Ash had a good point, this plan certainly hadn’t been the smoothest he’d ever come up with “where are we I don’t think I’ve ever been to this part of Nar Shaddaa” Gacen didn’t recognise this place either and he’d been on Nar Shaddaa an awful lot.

He tried to check his holopad but there was no data on this area “I can’t say I know I’ve never been here before and there’s no data for this place” he paused looking around “we should probably keep a low profile” Ash nodded and they made their way out to the rest of the slum. It all seemed pretty normal to Gacen, streets with gazebos and tents littering the edge of the streets, tall buildings overlooking the street and broken down speeders. Gacen had always thought Nar Shaddaa was a marvel of sentient interference, the place probably didn’t resemble the actual moon at all, he hoped his planet never ended up like that. As he looked around he noticed the people seemed off, not in a dangerous way but usually gangs would congregate in different parts of the slums and patrol, but here… well here anyone he could see seemed alone and like they were avoiding others.

“does something seem off to you Gacen” Ash seemed to have picked up on it too, how could you not it’s everywhere

“yeah it’s kinda um quiet” quiet was defiantly not synonymous with Nar Shaddaa, Gacen didn’t like this

“my thoughts exactly we should move quick” Gacen nodded in agreement and began to walk a bit faster as they tried to find the exit

“first chance I get I’m stealing a speeder” Ash surprisingly nodded in agreement. They walked in silence until they came to a crossroads

“well what now” Ash said clearly frustrated

“uhhh right I guess” Gacen thought the smaller passage could mean a way out

“ok but this better not bite me in the ass” Gacen nodded and they headed down the corridor “so what next?”

seems like a silly question “huh what do you mean we head this way” Gacen said frowning

“I mean with the whole finding Risha thing” oh that made more sense

Gacen hesitated before he spoke up “well we have a small lead so I say follow that up” he paused looking at Ash “I mean if you’re fine with that”

Ash smiled “of course I am but what lead it went south before we got any good information” Ash was right if they could’ve gotten a lot more information that would’ve been helpful, but they’d have to make do

“the Champion of the Great Hunt is an old friend of mine” Ash didn’t look surprised and Gacen didn’t know if that was a good or a bad thing “we did a couple jobs together years ago hopefully she’ll help us out” Gacen thought she would she’d never been the grudge type.

Ash shrugged “I guess that’s as good a plan as any” before striding ahead. As they turned the corner they were met with an odd site; forcefields on each side of the wall like a prison in fact the whole place reminded him of a… oh oh dear

“hey um Ash I think we stumbled into a prison camp” Gacen tensed up, as the realisation hit him all the memories of his own incarceration started flooding back

“yeaah ok um let’s uh just get through here and uh you know run” that seemed like a good plan, as long as it didn’t involve them dying right now it was considered a good plan in his eyes though. They slowly crept forwards trying to avoid looking into the cells each side of them, they made their way about halfway through the chamber before they heard a raspy voice

“well well well someone is out of their cell when they shouldn’t beeeee” his words were barely audible but yet conveyed a strange presence Gacen couldn’t quite place. Gacen turned to see a huge human male up against the forcefield, all his veins could be seen pulsating as the hulking form stared right at him

Gacen responded flusteredly “oh um no not us we um are just passing through we uh aren’t inmates” the man just stood their laughing to himself with a raspy croak

Ash grabbed his arm “don’t interact with them it’ll only cause trouble” she was right Gacen recollected himself and they began moving to the end of the chamber

As they did they could here the voice speak up “hahaha it doesn’t matter if they find you you’ll be in here like the rest of us” what the fuck was that guy on, probably what got him in prison. They hurriedly exited the chamber and arrived into another large slum area

“shit there’s more” Ash cursed as she looked around for another exit. Gacen began looking around for an exit too but just saw more long streets.

Before they had a chance to find out however they heard “THERE THEY ARE THE TWO FUGITIVES, GET THEM” over some form of megaphone. As Gacen turned he saw a bunch of guards ready to give chase.

“shit” Gacen grabbed Ash’s hand and immediately they ran into a nearby alley

“what’s the plan” Ash exclaimed as they ran down the alley

“well so far run and I’m working on the next part” Gacen skidded round at the end of the alley and dived into another hoping Ash would follow.

“oh perfect” Ash shouted sarcastically. Well at least she was following, Gacen could here the sounds of the guards gaining on them and knew he would have to be creative to lose them. Diversions? what’s a good diversion? he realised as he went to drop a smoke grenade but when he went to get one none were left damn it shit that was his go to. He looked around and saw a stack of large pipes on a precarious girder perfect, he drew his pistol shooting them loose and then dropping into a slide. The pipes began to fall as he slid along the ground, boy he was cutting this close as he saw the pipes falling above his head he closed his eyes expecting pain but surprisingly when he opened his eyes he was fine. He stood up quickly looking to see he had made a small barricade hopefully enough to stop their cars, suddenly he saw a flash of blue land next to him. How on earth did Ash jump over? not important, he sprinted ahead as they found their way out back into the streets. Ash moved a dumpster in front of the alley as Gacen looked for an exit. He could see across the way the taxi area, perfect he could steal a speeder, he began to run towards it but as he reached the other side of the road guards swarmed from around the corner blocking the way. Crap Fuck Shit he turned and saw guards still on his tail, the only option was the door in front of him, he bolted towards it luckily it opened as he did. As he entered he was met with the strong smell of body odour, he could see conveyer belts, casting buckets and vats all around, must be a smelting factory perfect. He quickly ran up one of the cat walks before jumping onto a conveyer belt leading up; he could escape the factory from the top. He looked back to see Ash had taken her own route choosing to swing up and over onto a catwalk, she grabbed onto a light sticking out of the wall used the momentum to jump and grab onto the nearby catwalk, then used her swinging momentum to shift herself to the top of it in one fluid motion. How on earth did she do that Gacen thought as he reached the top of the conveyer, he suddenly felt himself lose his balance as he was teetering on the edge of something. He turned around to see a giant bright burning reddish brown vat in front of him

“shit shit shit” he let out as he tried to balance himself, he felt himself lose his footing as he began to fall, but then he felt his scarf catch against his neck making him gasp for air. He felt himself hoisted up and saw Ash on the walkway next to him, did he even weigh anything?

“ok that’s why we don’t get on conveyer belts you doofus” Ash said condescendingly Gacen nodded no time to argue his point. They ran along the walkway he could see the roof exit on the ladder ahead, as they ran he could see bolts of energy fly past, looks like the guards had caught up. He reached the ladder and quickly scrambled up helping Ash up after him, he then shot out the ladder supports causing it to fall off it’s hinges. They made their way to the edge of the building where Gacen could see guards swarming the ground buuuut there was a very clear path to the taxis in the air he only needed a glider. “GACEN YOU BETTER HAVE A PLAN” Ash shouted as Gacen looked around for something to use before he saw a pylon hanging from the ceiling of the sector roof.

“yeah yeah I do I just need some rope” he scanned the roof for suitable tools YES on next to the ladder there was a fire hose. He scrambled over to it collecting a long enough section and cut it off, as he did he could hear guards at the broken ladder and it wouldn’t be long before they figured out a way up. He scurried back over to Ash with the length of hose trailing behind him

Ash looked wide eyed at the hose “you have GOT to be kidding me” fair criticism but not the time.

Gacen sighed “just trust me” he swung the hose out and threw the hose end up to the pylon, please wrap around please wrap around, the hose went flying over and then wrapped itself round the horizontal section of the pylon. YES perfect, he made sure the hose had little slack and then gestured to Ash to grab hold. She hesitated looking around for another option but as she hesitated a Guard mad his way on to the roof

Ash looked around awkwardly “ugggh fine” she grabbed hold of the hose and they ran towards the edge of the building

Gacen grinned as they jumped “wheeeeeeeee” they fell for a couple seconds before the hose caught then and they began swinging towards the taxi area. At the middle of the swing they came pretty close to the floor hearing blaster shots trying to shoot at them and some coming very close. But as they reached the apex they were out of the sectors borders and jumped off landing on the taxi pad with a bumpy roll. Gacen quickly got up and pushed the droid out of the taxi turning on the ignition

“but this is an unauthorised departure, you can’t” the droid pleaded as Gacen shoved him out

Ash stepped over it’s head and got it “yeah that’s totally the worst of our crimes today” as she got in Gacen pumped the accelerator and they sped out of the district.

“we gotta get back to the ship like right now!!” Gacen said pushing the taxi to it’s limit, hopefully they had outrun whatever all that was.

Ash slinked down in her chair and quietly said “I hate when you’re right”…

Chapter Text

Kyradia sat still unable to move as the last few minutes played back through her mind. Zash was back and she seemed stronger than ever, this wasn’t right this shouldn’t be happening, it couldn’t be. She closed the door on that chapter of her life she didn’t ever want to think about it again, how was she even back? she’d been locked in a mind prison. Kyradia wasn’t an expert on Rakatan tech but that seemed like the exact thing the prison wasn’t supposed to allow. But that was her no doubt about it Kyradia would recognise that arrogant tone anywhere she was back and she seemed vengeful. Her mind was filled with memories she’d rather forget, she’d been gaslighted for years as they trained together being told that she had a great purpose. The old hag had just wanted her body but that didn’t change all the years of manipulation. This was exactly what she was trying to avoid now this was a whole thing that she would have to commit to, all she wanted to do was to reconnect with Ashara!

 

Terri parried the yellow blade as it collided with her saber creating light green sparks that danced around the clashing sabers

“leave us ALONE” Terri screamed at the orange Togruta who she had fighting since Lusari entered the temple. She pushed the Togruta back with the force giving her some distance to breath, Terri was very quickly running out of stamina this fight had been going on forever. They seemed evenly matched but Terri was still very wary of her inexperience with a saber however but she had to keep going to allow Lusi the time she needed.

The Togruta stood still for a second seemingly collecting herself, she definitely fit the Jedi bill she’d probably try to tell her she was misguided next.

“why are you doing this?” the Togruta said lightly smiling walking slowly towards Terri

“you wouldn’t understand Jedi” The Lady had explained Jedi would think what they were doing was against their precious code, Terri was inclined to agree from her limited experience the Jedi were hypocrites to say the least

“when I was a padawan I was manipulated into feeding my ancestors ghost to a sith lord giving me no other choice than to follow them” she paused looking confused “It was complicated, try me”

Terri hesitated for a second from her look she seemed like a Jedi but her story seemed truthful maybe she could understand why, if she just explained it right. Terri was about to open her mouth when she saw the red and blonde blur of Lusari running out the front of the temple “Terri!! we gotta go now!!” she ran past the Togruta and grabbed Terri by the hand and began to run into the forest

Terri quickly put the conversation with the Togruta to the back of her mind and turned to Lusari “did you do it?” she asked as they ran deeper into the forest. Terri looked back and surprisingly saw the Togruta wasn’t chasing them and instead heading into the temple, but? the sith lord manipulated her why would she go back?

“yep next stop the temple of Exar Kun” Lusari said grinning Terri let the lingering curiosity go and smiled back at Lusi she couldn’t wait for this to be over.

the echoing voice rose around them laughing “yes not long now my dears I can’t wait to see the world like you do again”

 

 

Kyradia had been sitting there for way too long, they were getting away she should be chasing after them why was she just sitting here? She tried to get up and couldn’t bring herself to, she took a deep breath as she put her head in her hands. What was wrong with her? yeah Zash was back but she could easily destroy Zash, she’d dealt with powerful sith lords before Zash included why did this feel so much harder for her. Maybe because she had moved on from petty sith conflicts, if Marr had been right about one thing it was that sith infighting was the dumbest and most detrimental part of their society. She had to deal with this quickly don’t make it into a thing, it doesn’t have to be she can still catch them right? Zash would want a physical body almost certainly and the ritual had to have something to do with that right? and maybe those girls too. As she sat there she felt a hand on her shoulder, how long had that been there? suddenly it began shaking her.

“Kyradia! KYRADIA!” Ashara violently shook her as she returned to reality “are you ok?” Kyradia turned to Ashara without a word taking a deep breath “Kyradia! what happened?” Ashara continued wide-eyed as Kyradia let Ashara shake her

Kyradia took a deep breath and bit her lip as she got ready to talk “she’s back” Ashara squinted confused “Zash is back, she’s in that holocron they’re carrying around” Ashara’s brow raised as she stepped back a bit

“As in the woman who was inside Khem!!” Kyradia weakly smiled remembering how furious Zash had been stuck inside the Dashade.

“yeah the one who trained me and uh taught me to be sith” Kyradia fidgeted in the space not wanting to recall it

Ashara kneeled down putting a hand on Kyradia’s shoulder “we’re gonna catch her don’t worry” she smiled and leaned in hugging Kyradia tightly, Kyradia hugged her back looking off at the wall, she didn’t deserve this hug, she didn’t deserve any of it. They had to catch Zash and they had to soon, she felt a warm sensation on her eyelids and quickly wiped her eyes man this place was dusty.

Ashara let her go and looked at her maintaining eye contact “hey come on lets not let them get anymore of a head start” Kyradia nodded and got up

“where are they going now though” Kyradia had been so caught up in everything that she had let them get away “we have no idea where they’re going”

Ashara smirked “well signs point to the temple of Exar Kun” Kyradia frowned at her

“how do you know that?” Kyradia was under the impression there was multiple places they could go right now

Ashara’s smug look continued “i put a bug on the Milirian” Kyradia’s frown quickly turned into a devious grin

“this is why you’re the best” Kyradia felt suddenly invigorated with a new energy, they could sort this quickly and simply they just had to catch up

Ashara grinned joking “I know Ky I’m pretty great” before grabbing her hand “now lets go catch a sith lord” they raced out the temple, Kyradia knew Ashara was right but she still could feel the lingering doubt that she hadn’t felt in a long time…

Chapter Text

Kavaraa shifted uncomfortably as the ship began it’s decent into the jungle. They had managed to find a suitable route to get to the planet Kormel pointed out in the map and were on their way down. Kavaraa had left Theron and Kormel to land the ship and hopefully get to know each other better while she got her jungle gear, she had all the best stuff and was ready for anything. She had been was twiddling with the map hoping she could get a further clue on where they had to go on the planet for the majority of the decent. Zooming in there was a marking of seemingly where they had to go but given the size of the planet she wasn’t sure that meant a lot, she didn’t know a tonne about planet maps but she could probably still work something out. There were a load of numbers on the side but she had no idea what they meant

“you alright over there?” Theron called over from the doorway, Kavaraa was started suddenly and hesitated before turning around

“oh yeah fine just getting my jungle gear together” Theron didn’t have many types of gear, he wasn’t really known for preparing for danger however he would just jump into it

Theron looked away for a second “are you sure after last night you’ve seemed a little off”

Kavaraa shuffled her feet “um yeah I’m ok the dream is just sticking with me, don’t worry it’ll pass” Theron looked concerned it was fair to be, she was still very worried about the state of the alliance but she’d done all she could any further and she’d be no better than them.

“ok it’s just you left to ‘get your gear’ and it seemed like an excuse” Kavaraa couldn’t help but chuckle a little “what’s so funny?” Theron folded his arms

“yeah that’s just genuinely cause i wanted to get my gear i spent a long time putting it together” she made sure to get all the best stuff she didn’t want to be unprepared at any moment

Theron chuckled “yeah to be fair it seems like you’ve gone the extra mile” he said that like it was a bad thing, it wasn’t

“I know right I got this cool vest with tonnes of pockets for all sorts of jungle safety nick nacks and also look” Kavaraa bent down “trousers with zips versatile and comfy” Kavaraa beamed at Theron as she unzipped and rezipped the pocket while maintaining eye contact

Theron tried to hold back a smile as Kavaraa continued to show off all the amazing parts of her gear “i guess I shouldn’t be surprised you are fully prepared” he looked away for a second

he was about to speak up when Kavaraa stopped him “yeah I know you didn’t bring jungle gear” Kavaraa nudged Theron playfully “that’s why I brought some for you” Kavaraa clapped her hands “yaaaay” she brought out an outfit and gestured for Theron to take it. Theron reluctantly took it looking like he regretted his decision to not get his own. “go on go on try it on” Kavaraa was excited she had made sure they matched

“fine give me a minute” Theron smiled crossing his arms. He awkwardly walked back into the room 5 minutes later wearing a tight button shirt and long shorts covered in bandoleers and holsters.

“oooo you look great” Kavaraa thought it may be a little bit smaller than she had expected

“you think? isn’t it a bit tight” Kavaraa didn’t mind

Kavaraa grinned “is that so bad you look like rugged explorer” she winked putting her hand on his shoulder

Theron blushed looking away “um y-you think so?” he’s so cute when he’s flustered

Kavaraa poked him as she spoke “yes I do you’re looking handsome” Theron was so embarrassed when she flirted bless him

Theron composed himself and turned raising his eyebrow “you don’t look bad yourself Kav” trying his best to flirt, to be fair he was doing better than usual

“see i told you you’d like it” Kavaraa held him as she teased

“yeah i’m starting to like it a lot more” Kavaraa let out a giggle blushing a bright shade of purple. Maybe she should kick it up a notch she began to lean in.

suddenly they heard a voice from the doorway “Master Kavaraa we’ve landed” Kavaraa jumped back in fright as Kormel entered the room

“K-Kormel how long have you been there?” Kavaraa stammered as her and Theron both shifted awkwardly

Kormel frowned “um like 5 seconds why did i miss something’

Kavaraa and Theron responded in unison “NO”

Kormel’s frown broadened “ok i guess um we’ve landed did you find any clues on the map?” the map! Kavaraa had completely forgotten about the map

“um ah no I didn’t sorry” she picked up the map and pocketed it

“nice vest Kavaraa how many pockets does it have” Kormel grinned

Kavaraa’s grin returned “over 20 it’s fantastic” Kormel looked just as excited as her, at least someone understood being prepared

“I have one back at home that has over 30, it’s the best” wow that’s so cool and better than Kavaraa’s

Kavaraa tried to hide her jealously “wow amazing you know what else I ha-” Theron cleared his throat loudly and spoke up

“I could take a look see if my spy experience could spot anything on the map” Oh yes the map that was probably more important. Theron had a point he normally was better at that stuff than her

“ok sure” Kavaraa turned it on and passed it over. Theron examined it and frowned looking from Kavaraa to Kormel

“so how in both your Jedi knowledge did you not see these longitude and latitude numbers” ohhhhhh that’s what those numbers were, that actually made a lot of sense

“well um I uh don’t normally read maps so I” she paused looking at the ground “I didn’t know that’s what that was” Kavaraa was embarrassed, why didn’t she know that

Theron grinned and opened up his holopad “well not to worry because it’s not too far from here, at least on speeders” Kavaraa’s tune immediately changed

Kavaraa eagerly said “and Mauksy” she jumped on the spot a little

Theron sighed “yes and Mauksy” of course he’s annoyed just cause they don’t get along

“Who’s Mauksy?” Kormel asked with his arms folded

Kavaraa beamed with excitement “oh you’re gonna love him”

 

Kavaraa stroked the technicolour feathers of Mauksy as they lowered the speeder platform “oh you’re such a good boy you’re doing so well yes you are waiting on the lift like this you’re doing so well goood boy” The Orobird was looking around franticly, Mauksy had never liked the lift it wasn’t very natural for a bird so it made sense. The lift reached the ground and he instantly bolted off onto the jungle floor leaving a tuft of colourful feathers in his place

Kormel and Theron sat on speeders next to Kavaraa “so Mauksy is an Orobird?” Kormel said with a chuckle

“yes and he’s the cutest most handsome fastest bird ever to exist right Theron” Kavaraa continued to stroke Mauksy as he nestled up next to her

Theron sighed sarcastically “uh yeah sure” Mauksy loudly squawked at Theron in response

Kavaraa jumped up onto Mauksy’s saddle and continued to stroke his feathers “oh don’t listen to him he’s just a big meanie isn’t he that’s it he’s a meanie” Mauksy squawked nodding “he’s just jealous of you that’s all jealous of your handsome feathers yes that’s it” Kavaraa grinned at Theron who seemed less than impressed

Theron spoke over Kavaraa’s continual praise towards Mauksy “ok so it’s not too far from here but at a certain point we’re gonna have to ditch the speeders and go on foot” They nodded and Mauksy squawked in understanding as they got ready to go, Kavaraa gave Mauksy a ruffle and they sped off into the jungle

Chapter Text

The heat was beating down on Kavaraa as she rode through the jungle, she wasn’t used to this Alderaan wasn’t exactly known for it’s harsh weather conditions she was definitely not built for this climate. They had been trekking through the jungle for about 2 hours when Theron’s voice came through the coms

“the beacon is just over this ridge I think it’s best we continue on foot from here” his voice came through slightly garbled but Kavaraa thought she got it

she leaned down and stroked Mauksy’s neck “hey buddy let’s stop nearby alright” Mauksy squawked in acknowledgement and dug his feet into the ground skidding to a holt, Kavaraa was shook around as he stopped and had to take a moment to compose herself, after she could see striaght she dizzily got off his back “maybe stop just a little slower next time Mauksy” Mauksy nodded but Kavaraa was not convinced it went it. She looked around and saw Theron leaning against his speeder about 30ft away, she gestured for Mauksy to follow and scurried over to Theron and Kormel

As she arrived she realised she had become very out of breath and took a second to catch it “you a bit tired over there Basen’thor” Theron grinned winking at her, he only called her Basen’thor when he was teasing her.

Kavaraa tried to scowled back at him as she caught her breath “hey I’m out of p-practice cut m-me some slack” Theron chuckled to himself as she stood up. “Ok so where to now?” she walked over to Theron hastily, she was excited to find this place whatever it was.

Theron pointed towards a nearby outcropping “see that ridge it’s apparently right there” Kavaraa looked over at the ridge, there was a moss covering most of the rock, messy and sprawling seemingly untouched by anyone. As they got closer Kavaraa could see a glistening pool of murky green water at the bottom of the ridge, the stone cast a shadow over them giving them a break from the harsh heat of the jungle.

Kormel bent down and began sketching the area, he seemed so pleased to be on this adventure, Kavaraa appreciated Kormel’s help but was still very worried about his pull to the dark side. Her experiences with those pulled to the dark side had never ended well, she thought back to Master Yuon and Bakarn both of them nearly destroyed by the pull of the dark side but nonetheless left fractured by it’s effects. Kavaraa couldn’t let down another friend but maybe with Kormel she had got there quick enough, she had to keep Kormel from falling he had so much potential it would be a shame to squander that.

“so what exactly are we supposed to find here” Theron frowned looking around “looks like a normal bit of jungle to me”

“dunno yet but if Kormel is right something here will lead us to the next clue” Kavaraa wasn’t sure what they were looking for to be honest but this trail apparently lead to knowledge that was her whole thing, she had to try.

Theron groaned “I hate treasure hunts” he began looking at the rock wall as he continued to grumble

“oh come on sweetie just imagine it like you’re sifting through someone’s secret documents, they’re conceptually the same” Theron frowned at Kavaraa as she grinned mischievously. Kavaraa tied Mauksy to a tree and made her way over to the pool where she began investigating the water, she had a hunch there was a clue in it. She got a glove out of one of her many pockets and submerged her hand searching for anything that felt unnatural. After a little while she clasped something that felt a little odd it was cylindrical and smooth so she quickly pulled it out, it could be a capsule. She held it up in the air and saw a large tooth, oh well that’s disappointing and also kinda weird she tossed it back in without another thought. She turned around and saw that Theron and Kormel weren’t having any better luck, looks like it’s time for some good old fashioned force. The force of course, she sat down crossing her legs and let go of the situation around her focussing on the ridge trying to find any inconsistencies in it as she focussed it seemed like completely natural but then she heard a rumbling sound. She opened her eyes to see the rock wall descending and behind it a dark passage was revealed “I got it” she shrieked out in glee turning to see Kormel frowning at her, that was odd she turned to Theron and saw his he had pushed a rock into the wall “oh, it was a button” she paused looking away “cool”

Theron came over putting a hand on her shoulder “hey I imagine this was a team effort right, this is a Jedi temple after all the force connection would help right Kormel” he looked at Kormel expectantly

Kormel shrugged “uhh yeah sure totally I felt something” he didn’t look convinced

Kavaraa kicked the ground “I guess” she lit up a her lightsaber heading towards the tunnel “let’s go” they both followed her and after a few minutes descending through the tunnel they came to a large octagonal chamber

“so what now?” Theron’s voice echoed as he spoke startling them

Kormel whispered back “I guess just go further into the temple it’s probably like the previous, I’d watch out though it’s probably booby-trapped” Kavaraa chuckled to herself and nodded

Theron tilted his head back “well considering the last temples lack of traps I’m sure we’ll be fine” he stepped forward into the chamber and as he did the floor beneath him fell away, he began to fall but Kavaraa quickly reached out with the force catching him before she lost sight of him. He was now held in place floating above the hole

Kormel quietly spoke up “that’s because I disabled them” Theron glared at them as he floated in place

Kavaraa moved Theron back over next to them and let go “don’t worry Kormel he totally had it coming” she grabbed his hand a lifted Theron back up onto his feet “don’t get cocky sweetie” Theron folded his arms and nodded reluctantly, Kavaraa kissed his forehead and began investigating the room

The room was made up of many tiles with an exit at the other end of the room “how do we know which to stand on” Kormel said testing the tile in front of him with his foot.

Kavaraa wasn’t sure either but as she looked at the ceiling and saw it covered in constellations “it’s a puzzle” she said jumping up and down excitedly, Kormel gasped in excitement and opened his notebook immediately writing notes down. Kavaraa began talking hastily “so what are we thinking these mean these correspond to real constellations, I think it’s what we can see from this planet right” Kormel nodded in agreement.

Kavaraa got out a small electronic device and started pointing it at the sky, Theron’s brow furrowed “should I even ask what you’re doing?”

“it’s a device that shows me the constellations visible on a planet” she said not looking away from the device

Theron rubbed his forehead “and you just had that?”

Kavaraa winked at him “told you I’m prepared for anything” she continued calculating for a second and then pointed at the tiles “ok here, here, here then here” Kormel nodded in agreement and they tiptoed onto the first tile, Kavaraa braced for it to fall but it held their weight, she was sooo right. They continued to tiptoe to the other side without any issue and were soon in the door way to the next room.

Theron grinned “phew glad that’s over let’s go” they made their way to the next chamber and were met with a similar chamber with water running through channels in the walls

“oooooo more puzzles yay” Kavaraa beamed with excitement Theron however groaned, this was gonna be a long day

 

Several long intricate, delicate and extremely specific puzzles later they arrived at a larger chamber where a blue holocron sat humming in the middle of the chamber

Kavaraa slumped her shoulders “awww no more puzzles I feel like we were really hitting our stride” Kormel nodded smiling, it was true her and Kormel were crushing these puzzles and she’d used at least half of her pocket items, she was doing great. Theron however was not having the greatest time he may be a strategic and espionage genius but puzzles didn’t seem to be his thing, he dragged his feet as he entered the chamber and sat down massaging his head.

“is it over? I don’t wanna see another puzzle in all my life” awww he’s adorable wwhen he’s exasperated Kavaraa plopped herself down next to him and put her arm around him

“awww I’m sorry but if you didn’t keep assuming you knew the answer you wouldn’t have injured yourself so much sweetie” Theron avoided eye-contact, he probably knew she was right, trust Theron to do something without thinking it through. She did need a minute though and sat with him laying her head on his shoulder “let’s hope the next part of the trail is about espionage then I’ll be useless and you’ll be amazing” she looked up at him smiling, he let out a little chuckle and put his head against hers

“yeah let’s hope so” they sat in silence for a second before Kormel cleared his throat awkwardly

“um should we s-see what this holocron is doing here” Kavaraa snapped out of the rest and remembered what they were here for

“oh yeah let’s see” she bolted up and picked up the holocron examining it carefully “um, seems pretty stand-” as she spoke she felt an incredible energy envelop her and suddenly her vision was full of blue light. Then suddenly she was falling, she landed with a strange lack of sound she quickly stood up igniting her lightsaber “who’s there?” she looked around and all she could see was endless flat blue ground. As she continued to look for something she saw two blue forms fall from above like her, they stood up flustered and she quickly recognised Kormel and Theron. Kavaraa squinted at his blue transparent form “Theron?” he looked back at her squinting “you’re blue” this was confusing they looked like holograms, were they in the holocron?

“so are you” Theron sounded equally confused

Kavaraa tilted her head “I’ve always been blue” but as she looked at her arm she saw she was equally transparent

Theron chuckled a bit “no I mean more than usual and also transparent are you ok” he came over to her and took her hand, good at least they weren’t incorporeal

Kormel looked around equally confused “what’s going on”

A booming yet calm voice came from all around them “perhaps I can explain” as Kavaraa looked around for the voice a humanoid form appeared in front of them, it was a male togruta he seemed old wrinkles clear on his face and a hunched back. He was adorned in Jedi robes and clasped his hands together “welcome to the first stage of your pilgrimage”…

Chapter Text

Kavaraa had spaced out for a moment after hearing the word “pilgrimage” but as she collected her thoughts she looked at the elderly Togruta and tilted her head “I’m sorry? pilgrimage what do you mean?” Kavaraa’s mind was racing, clearly Kormel had stumbled onto something huge, it could be good it could be bad but she had to find out what it was either way

The elderly Togruta stroked his chin “uhhh maybe let’s sit down it’s uh difficult to explain” as he finished he began to sit down and as he did a table and chairs appeared in front of them, whatever this place was he had some form of control. Kavaraa went to sit down and gestured to Kormel and Theron to sit down

Kormel quietly sat down next to Kavaraa while Theron frowned and shook his head “hold on I feel like you’re being a little trusting of this guy, we don’t even know where we are” Theron raised a fair point but they were already transparent blue what else could go wrong

The togruta chuckled to himself “that’s fair I’ll explain where you are and anything else you want to know but your back must be killing you after those puzzles” defiently considering Theron’s success rate, Kavaraa smiled at Theron and after an audible groan he sat down. As he did Kavaraa took his hand and squeezed it; no matter what this was Kavaraa wanted to make sure she could still feel Theron’s hand.

Theron smiled and squeezed it back as a kettle appeared out of thin air, the togruta took it and began to pour liquid into cups “would you like some tea?” he let out a tiny grin as he offered.

Kavaraa nodded intently “yes please do you have Vanilla Walnut” she had been craving tea for hours

the Togruta’s face lit up “I do indeed good choice” Kavaraa smiled back as he poured her cup

She took it but before drinking any Kormel asked “so where are we and uh who are you sir” Kormel avoided eye-contact as he mumbled the question

The togruta finished a sip of tea “well my name is Avulo Bysh and I was a Jedi scholar quite some time ago and as for where you are you’re still in the chamber, the holocron has just made you visualise this space so you can talk to me” Avulo gestured to the blue void around them

Kavaraa nodded as he talked “wait so you live in this holocron?” it was nice to meet another scholar even if he was seemingly trapped

Avulo chuckled to himself “no my dear I’m just a representation of him, like a recording but I can actually respond to you” he sipped his tea “the real Avulo almost certainly died many years ago” Kavaraa glanced to Kormel as they talked who was already taking notes on an unfamiliar notepad, that thing isn’t gonna be there when they left she could already tell.

She glanced to Theron who was rubbing his forehead “of course, force stuff I assume well let’s get back to the point here what is this pilgrimage” he nodded to Kavaraa looking pretty confused but trying none the less. Bless his heart he was the best

Avulo put down his cup “well I’m afraid I can’t disclose that much information on it, that comes later, for now what I can say is that given your here it means you’re particularly intelligent and wise. As a result you may be given the chance to gain access to secrets lost to the ages and protect them from the wrong hands” he paused to let someone speak but they all stayed silent after an awkward silence Avulo spoke up again “the pilgrimage is the test to prove your worthy” Kavaraa was stunned secrets lost to the ages, was she worthy? well that’s what this was to test

Kavaraa shakily said “so we complete more trials like the ones in this temple and we find these secrets” she may be able to do that she wasn’t sure

“maybe I’m afraid I don’t know what follows my part, it was for extra security” Avulo seemed to stare off behind them for a second before turning back to them

Theron spoke up again “so what are these secrets? where are we going?” he seemed aggravated with the lack of detail.

Avulo grinned “if I told you that they wouldn’t be secrets all I know is the next step of the pilgrimage” Theron sharply inhaled as Avulo finished

Theron pinched the bridge of his nose “so what, we complete all your trials and we’re let into your special elitist jedi knowledge club” Kavaraa frowned at Theron

“Theron it’s not like that it’s necessary” it wasn’t elitist they were just wary of the dark side, a few seconds of her frowning and Theron had began to look uncomfortable and tried to avoid eye contact with Kavaraa. She was half messing with him half being serious.

Kavaraa turned back to Avulo and blurted out “what’s the next step” rather frantically

Avulo “first of all you’ve been lovely company and I wish you well” Kavaraa blushed that was so nice “second of all I can tell you the location in the form of a riddle” yessss Kavaraa loved riddles

“You will find us on the planet”

“with a resource used in your mechanics”

“a device defined by the twinkle”

“of it’s shining unique crystal”

As Kavaraa began to question exactly what that meant she felt the same overwhelming blue energy envelop her and she when she opened her eyes she was on the floor of the temple. She quickly sat up “Kormel!” she looked and spotted him rubbing his eyes next to her “did you write down the riddle?”

Kormel nodded reaching for his notepad “of course i did it’s right he-” he opened it up but there was no sign of it “wha?” Kormel asked looking at the blank page

Kavaraa put an arm on his shoulder “I don’t think it carried over buddy” he nodded and began scribbling it down “ok so what are we thinking a planet with crystals” she scratched her chin thinking, she already knew but she wanted to build up to it

“ILUM!” Theron exclaimed as he began heading to the exit “we can think about the details later I need a nap” what Theron totally stole that from her, she was totally gonna say that. She stomped up next to him in a sulk, oh well he had a point a nap sounded pretty good right now…

Chapter Text

Terri shivered as her boots crunched against the dead leaves on the forest floor, night had fallen on Yavin IV but they were pressing on wary of pursuers on their tail. They’d had to ditch the speeders when the jungle to too dense for safe travel and as a result had resorted to walking. Her feet ached so bad it felt like they’d been walking for hours but they had to get to this lake thing soon they were almost done.

From her right she heard the calm voice of Lusari “that was close huh” Terri turned to look at her, she was smiling at her seemingly catching on to her discomfort

Terri played with her hair, embarrassed she’d been found out “yeah it was kinda scary” she muttered avoiding eye contact, she hadn’t been able to shake the fight with the togruta from her mind. She had no idea if her words had been lies or truth, it seemed like they told the truth but the story seemed so farfetched. She didn’t know what to believe but she at least knew she could trust Lusi.

Lusari chuckled looking away for a second “yeah you don’t know the half of it, that commander may have killed me today if The Lady didn’t protect me” Terri gasped, the idea of Lusari nearly dying was not one she wanted to think about and the Lady truly was powerful if she could stop the alliance commander in her tracks. Lusari frowned for a second “that does bring up a point though” she paused looking to her bag “the commander had some very harsh words for the Lady it seems like they had a pretty intense rivalry. Apparently she was the one who trapped the lady away in something called a mind prison” Terri was left slack jawed for a few seconds before she composed herself

“no wonder she’s been following us were they arch enemies” Terri had wondered why she was so persistent this made a lot more sense if they’d been rivals

Before they could discuss it any more they heard her echoed voice from Lusari’s bag “I’m afraid so Kyradia and I have had a rather complicated history and not all of it paints me in the most positive light” as the Lady spoke the holocron rose out of the bag surrounded by a humming red energy and began floating at eye level

Lusari’s lips tightened as she spoke “you referred to her as apprentice?” Terri stepped back, now she understood Lusari’s tone they were basically like temporary apprentices right but the Lady couldn’t do something like that to them right?

An echoed sigh came from the holocron “yes but our falling out wasn’t my fault trust me” that was reassuring at least a little “it was the classic apprentice decides she’s had enough of being an apprentice so tries to take down the master” Terri’s body relaxed as she heard that, she had no intention of betrayal she would just be content with repaying the favour.

Lusari didn’t look so convinced “so you were trapped in a mind prison? just for that” she put her hands on her hips and stopping the consistent pace they’d been making towards the temple

Another exasperated sigh echoed around them “trust me the details are very complicated but she did far worse than me” Lusi’s frown softened a little “do you know how she got the togruta on her side” Terri broke out of her shock suddenly The Lady did had a good point

Terri put her hand on Lusi’s shoulder “I do actually she totally manipulated the togruta forcing her to join the commander she told me herself.”

The Lady let out a laugh “that’s the same as the account I have” with that Lusari’s expression dropped and she let out a long sigh

She looked up to The Lady slumping her shoulders “I’m sorry my Lady I was just worried something was up” she paused lowering her head “I’m sorry for accusing you that was wrong of me” Terri thought Lusi was probably right to check though she shouldn’t feel so bad.

The holocron lowered a bit to meet Lusari’s eyes ‘it’s ok Lusari from the outside it does sound bad but I assure you I have no intention of repeating past mistakes and don’t worry I wouldn’t let any harm come to either of you” Lusari let out a half smile and stood back up

“thanks my Lady, we shouldn’t wait around any longer they are probably still after us” Lusari’s confident tone returned as she strode forward as Terri stumbled to keep up

The voice echoed as the holocron hovered next to them “I think I’ll stay out of that dingy bag from now on, this new found power is more than enough to suffice” Lusari and Terri nodded as they continued on towards the temple, Terri’s feet still hurt

 

A few hours later and they could see breaks starting to form in the trees where moonlight shined in and with that both Lusari and Terri began to rush a little faster aware of how long they’d been walking. Soon the towering trees turned into small foliage as they burst out the forest and were met with a beautiful sight. In front of them they saw shining black temple towering into the sky until it just touched the bottom of the clouds, in the middle of it’s four peaks was a huge statue seemingly of Exar kun. Beneath the temple lay an island of some form of black sooty structure maybe basalt. Surrounding the island was a shimmering lake with what seemed like little stepping stones dotted throughout the water.

Terri felt unable to move as she took in the wonderful sight in front of her “wow” she paused “it’s…” she couldn’t think of a word to describe all of what she saw

“stunning” Lusari stood next to her seemingly in a similar state of awe. Terri felt Lusari’s hand take her’s as they stared at the sight in front of them, it was definitely unique maybe that’s what Terri would miss about this experience the sense of adventure

They stood there for a few more seconds before they heard the Lady’s voice from behind them “The Temple of Exar Kun, the fallen jedi who the Massassi viewed as their new god” she paused for a second “then suddenly the Massassi all died I think I can guess who’s fault that was” Terri was broken out of her trance as she heard about the Massassi that was truly awful

“that’s horrible” Terri exclaimed turning to the holocron

The holocron floated up to them “quite well unfortunately sith commonly will do anything to gain more power” she had a point there but there was always a line and this guy definitely crossed it “I’d watch out while in there and avoid the tomb in my experience tombs of sith lords usually house a spirit of some kind” Terri felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, after the encounter with the crazy togruta ghost she’d had enough of ghosts for a lifetime, the thought of facing another more powerful one was rather unsettling

“um are we g-gonna run into him” Terri was hoping to hide her fear but she clearly had failed

“as long as we don’t disturb the actual tomb we should be fine, we’re just here for the potent force energy” Terri nodded, she had theorised that’s why they were here. “and before we forget Lusari could you set up the beacon for the escape shuttle” Lusari nodded getting out a contraption Terri didn’t recognise, she knew they would make a quick escape but had never really got how. She supposed it was the quickest way available, she just hoped the mercenaries ships were well equipped to deal with force users.

Lusari finished unfolding the beacon and flipped a switch “there we go they should’ve received the ping and i can message them when we are ready to escape” Lusari walked back over to them with a smile

the Lady seemed to pause in thought for a moment before she spoke up “I would advise Terri handles that side of things you may be too busy with the ritual” Lusari nodded with looking very serious for a moment and passed the comm to Terri, that probably would be more efficient all Terri would be doing is lookout duty and maybe slowing down the commander. Terri wasn’t sure if either duty was less busy but one was definitely more important to their plan. The Lady turned to look at the lake “I’m sure by now you’ve noticed the stepping stones” Terri had wondered about them, they looked a bit precarious she’d have to look down when crossing

Lusari tilted her head looking at the stones “I had wondered about that are you sure there’s no other way to cross” Lusi could probably think up some clever scheme

The Lady continued “I doubt it I believe it was built like this very purposefully the water is almost definitely unsafe and it’s extremely difficult to fly that close to the temple” Terri smiled to herself, the audacity of some sith to build such monuments how was it possible they were that far up their own butts, she let a small giggle by accident trying to hide it with her hand.

Lusari gave her a quick smirk before she started walkimg towards the first stone “well no time like the present” she bent her knees and jumped to the first stone. Looking back to them with her head held high “huh these things ain’t that far apart actually” she gestured for them to come forward, The Lady slowly floated towards her but Terri looked at the floor for a second she’d never been that acrobatic and didn’t want to embarrass herself. Come on you can do it she told herself, she summed up her courage, bent her knees and jumped to the stone next to Lusari’s wobbling a bit but none the less finding her footing

“huh you’re right easy” Terri said with a smile keeping her eyes firmly on the stones

“alright let’s do this one at a time” Lusari steadied herself as Terri nodded back. Lusari went for another jump and crossed a few at once with impressive strides as she reached the last however she began to teeter on the edge looking like she was about to fall in. Terri put up her hand and reached out with the force pulling her back from falling, Lusari turned around and awkwardly mouthed the word “thanks” to her. They continued to jump from stone to stone and after about ten minutes were reaching the mid-way point at which point the stones began to open up with multiple routes

“hey look an easy bit” Terri chirped as Lusari jumped to the right stone. They could probably make some good time if she took the other route, she jumped to the left stone and tuned to see where the next one was. As she did she felt a shift beneath her feet and the stone began to sink, oh no it was sinking fast she had to jump somewhere quick hopefully Lusari had moved from the stone she was on. She jumped to the right stone but as she jumped saw Lusari was still there, oh no she was gonna knock her off as he feet landed on it however she felt herself caught by Lusari who instinctively grabbed her and after a small wobble they were both balanced on the stone.

It was pretty cramped but they were both ok “woah hold your horses Terri I’m still here” she could feel Lusari’s breath on her face as they held each other to avoid falling

Terri’s face went a deep shade of dark green “sorry my stone kinda sunk” this was so awkward why couldn’t she just have waited

Lusari smiled at her “oh ok that makes more sense, at least i caught you” Terri couldn’t make eye contact she was so embarrassed. Lusari moved in and whispered “by the way I totally agree” Terri looked at her confused

“huh what do you mean” Terri wobbled back a bit but Lusari caught her back phew that was close, Terri held Lusari’s shoulders trying to steady herself

Lusari grinned and whispered “these sith lords egos must weigh their heads down right”

Terri couldn’t help but snort with laughter “Lusi stoop you’re gonna make me fall in” Lusari smirked as she began shimmying around the stone

“well that’s payback for nearly making me fall in Terr” Terri grinned that seemed fair, Lusari looked towards the next stone and steadied Terri

“Ok I’m gonna jump now make sure not to fall alright” Terri nodded tensing up ready to balance herself. Lusari jumped and Terri wobbled waving her arms before feeling a force pushing her back on to the stone

the holocron passed by as the Lady said “you’re welcome, I couldn’t bare to watch that any longer” Terri looked away embarrassed and played with her hair, she just wasn’t very dexterous that’s all. They continued to jump from stone to stone now wary that some would sink and eventually they made it to the island and the temple entrance

Lusari sat down as she stared at the temple “oh my god I can’t even imagine doing that again” Terri definitely agreed sitting down next to her breathing heavily, talk about a workout

The Lady floated in front of them and spoke up “well hopefully once the ritual is complete you wont have to” what a relief that was stressful enough

Lusari lay on her back for a second “are you excited for it to be complete my Lady”

“oh yes my dear I cannot wait to feel a breeze on my face again It’s been far too long” Terri knew it she had a hunch they were restoring her physical from but was never completely sure.

“well trust me you wouldn’t enjoy how tired we are right now” Lusari had a point they’d been up for nearly a day there was defiantly upsides and downsides

“quite” The lady turned back to the temple “time is of the essence lets go” Lusari and Terri nodded and they headed towards the entrance

 

As they entered the temple Terri could see it was made out of a black shiny substance possibly obsidian or some form of darker marble, it seemed studded with a type of gem Terri wished she had her geology guide to identify them but whatever they were they seemed rare. The walls were etched with ancient sith language, she didn’t know too much of it but the gist seemed to be protective rites on the temple. Terri was surprised however when they entered the main chamber and there were no side passages

She looked around the large circular chamber “is this it?” she had expected a maze of tunnels they’d have to trekk through

The Lady sighed as she said “for what we’re doing here yes but if you want to get lost in the catacombs searching for Exar Kun be my guest” Terri pursed her lips, yeah that was fair she should’ve guessed

“do we perform the ritual here or somewhere else” Terri wanted to make sure to cover all bases she could

Lusari turned to Terri a calm look in her eyes “here should do” she paused looking away for a second “this ritual is gonna be quite different to the previous two” Terri tilted her head she guessed that made sense

“different how” Terri wasn’t trying to pry she just wanted to be sure

Lusari looked away which seemed odd to Terri “well it’s gonna be a lot longer and it’s uh” she paused taking a deep breath

Terri held her hand “go ahead tell me I can take it” she wasn’t sure about that but they’d come this far they had to try

“it’s gonna hurt me” Terri gasped blinking in shock “The Lady says that this ritual is extremely powerful so some excess force energy will uh divert into me, it’s gonna hurt a lot but it’s necessary and I’ve made my peace with it” Terri looked at the floor for a second

“ok just uh promise you’ll be ok” she tried to keep her cool, she knew this wasn’t gonna be easy, but she just couldn’t help worrying

Lusari held up her pinky finger with a smile “pinky promise” Terri took her pinky and pulled Lusari in for a hug holding her tightly

“I’m holding you to that” she said feeling a wetness around her eyes. They held each other in the hug for a few seconds before letting go, Terri wiped her eyes and composed herself “I’m uh gonna go check the perimeter you be careful” Terri turned to leave

Before she did she heard the Lady’s voice call out “don’t worry Terri I’ll look after Lusari” that was at least reassuring…

Chapter Text

“so wait you know the Champion?” Ash folded her arms as Gacen messed with the holoterminal, they had escaped Nar Shaddaa and were laying low on the side of an asteroid with the power levels at minimum. Gacen said it should only take a few hours before the thugs give up which seemed unlikely but then again these thugs didn’t seem the smartest. Ash would’ve found them almost instantly, still Gacen was familiar with these people so she should trust him

Gacen began to pick up some wires and sort through them “yeah she’s an old colleague of mine, we worked together a lot back in the day” He was trying to wire the holoterminal to work on minimum power, they didn’t need to he was just impatient. Ash had heard stories of the Champion of the Great Hunt, she sounded pretty proficient at what she did and Ash really respected that but she also was eccentric like Gacen which she was looking forward to less. Ash let her mind wonder as she imagined what bounty hunting would be like, she didn’t think she’d get much joy out of it personally but it would at least keep her fit. She let the thoughts pass and as she looked back down she saw that Gacen had become tangled up in the wires and was frantically trying to wriggle out.

Ash took a long sigh before speaking up “do you need a hand down there” Gacen continued to struggle only getting more tightly stuck in the wires

“nope I’m good just need to find the right wire” as he begun pulling at the wires more and more started to spill out of the console

Ash raised an eyebrow at him “Gacen” he looked up seemingly defeated

“fine just get me out” Ash began to untangle the wires one by one making sure not to repeat any wires and soon enough Gacen was out of the wires and standing back up

Ash tilted her head at Gacen “why are you so eager to call her now?” Gacen looked away for a second before speaking up

“well ya know, find her and we may find Risha so I kinda wanna get on that” his awkward tone dropped suddenly as he grinned “and once we find Risha I’ll kinda wanna get on that too” he raised his hand for a high five “what up” Ash gave him a stoney look a few seconds as he held his hand in the air ready for a high five. After about 30 seconds of awkward silence he put his hand down reluctantly muttering “It’s times like this I miss Guss”

Ash sighed “yeah I know you wanna find her but we also can’t find her with a broken ship, she’s been missing for 5 years I doubt she’s going anywhere soon” Ash knew she didn’t quite understand Gacen’s headspace, she’d never been in love but she was aware it made people act emotionally and Gacen was definitely in line with that.

Gacen nodded “yeah I guess you’re right I mean we should be fine to turn everything back on now anyway” Gacen had been messing with it for a considerable amount of time so he may have a point

Ash nodded and turned to a nearby console to turn the ship’s power systems back on “so what are we hoping to get from the Champion?” Ash was curious how much she knew considering the best bounty hunter couldn’t find Risha

As the lights of the ship flickered on Gacen began typing on the holoterminal “well best case scenario she knows where Risha is and she was paid to keep it a secret, worst case she will give us like a possible location of a lead” he paused “or capture us herself to find out” wow well that wasn’t any clearer

Ash walked back over “wow that’s extremely broad and also worrying, should I be on my guard” Gacen smiled at her as he finished typing on the holo

“well Amy was always kinda unpredictable, she follows the money but once the money is secured who knows. Sooo I’d say watch out for her but don’t be rude or anything” this person was sounding worse all the time.

Ash frowned at him “sounds like your sort of company” Gacen feigned looking offended as the holo flickered to life with the form of a young human female with brown hair and cybernetic implants

She looked confused as she spoke “Hello who is this how did you get this number” this was not what Ash was expecting she seemed timid and confused not warrior like at all.

“is this her” Ash folded her arms ignoring the humans question and turning to Gacen

Gacen chuckled turning to Ash “whaat no this is Mako her sidekick, It’s weird she doesn’t recognise me” that did seem odd she wasn’t looking at them

Mako spoke up again seemingly more agitated “Who is this, I can’t see your holo that’s why I don’t recognise you” Gacen’s eyes widened looking at the pile of wires on the floor

Ash let out a heavy sigh “This is Captain Gacen Zandar and Ash’shen’tor former leader of Havoc Squad I hear Gacen is an old friend” at that Mako’s guard seemed to drop “our holo doesn’t work because Gacen is an impatient child” Mako nodded at them as Gacen screwed up his face at Ash

“well that does sound like him and I thought I recognised the voice, but you guys have been missing for like five years” her previous serious tone was gone replaced with a much more chipper voice

Gacen spoke up before Ash had a chance “it’s a long story but we actually require something of you Mako” that was probably easier than explaining where they had been

Mako began tapping on a holopad “Ok I’ll set you up to meet with Amy” Gacen was taken aback for a second

“wait how did you know I wanted that” Ash was caught of guard too it was admittedly not a hard guess but she sounded so sure of herself when she said it

Mako raised her eyebrow “why else would you call” she had a point there

Gacen nodded to himself “well maybe I just wanted to chat to you” in no universe had that sounded genuine

“I doubt it” Mako tapped her holopad further “Ok if you wanna meet with Amy she’s currently on a job at… The Nebulous Resort” Ash began to mess with a holopad she had no idea what that was she’d have to look it up.

Gacen leant over and whispered to Ash “space hotel orbiting Ord Mantell I have always wanted to visit” Ash nodded that was definitely not where she expected it to be.

Gacen turned back to the holoterminal “we can be there if you pencil us in”

Mako nodded “alright but I can’t guarantee she wont be in the middle of the job” Gacen pursed his lips as he responded

“sure that’s good whatevs it’s tots cool we’ll be there and we can wait that’s chill” his eyes widened and he quickly ended the call

Ash raised her eyebrow “what was that?” Gacen put his hands over his face and groaned

“ughh I dunno I just wanted to look like it wasn’t such a big deal” Ash was confused it’s importance didn’t matter surely

“you could not have clearly made it look like a big deal right then” Gacen nodded from behind his hands

“I have a reputation to uphold” Ash let a long sigh and put a hand on his shoulder

“Gacen I hate to tell you this but it’s been 5 years I think your reputation is long gone” Gacen reluctantly agreed and they started setting up the jump.

later…

As they parked the ship Gacen was ranting about the other ships and something about how his parking was so much better or something. To be honest Ash had tuned him out she was laser focussed on checking the perimeter, something felt off about this she couldn’t tell what but she had a hunch that Durbillion wouldn’t give up that easy. She imagined Amy would be unaware of it but indirectly involved, but there was also the possibility she would turn them in, or alternatively that they were spying on her. They exited the ship and were met with the resorts towering buildings, it was weird to have a hotel in space but she could understand the idea behind it. What was most surprising was that it was actually wider than longer, she guessed there was less restrictions when building in space and weight would definetly be one of them. Ash thought back to her first mission on Ord Mantell this was certainly a different perspective to the first she was surprised to see a hotel here of all places but it was clear it was a stay at the hotel type of hotel. She looked at the people around her they seemed to all follow a few categories, rich nobles with their families, businessmen seemingly here for meetings, young people on holiday and people like them smugglers or bounty hunters blowing their latest payout on something dumb. None of these people seemed like a threat but she was fully aware of inconsistencies in the patterns and would have to look out for them

“Ash ASH! are you even listening to me” Ash was suddenly broken out of her analysis by Gacen who was probably still rambling

“huh oh yeah sure that parking unbelievable” Ash didn’t even try to make it convincing and got right back to her analysis

Gacen then proceeded to shake her lightly “no you ass, the bar is this way that’s where we’re meeting her” oh that was fair Gacen tugged her in the direction and they hurriedly headed to the bar

As Ash was dragged in she apologised “sorry I was analysing the perimeter” she did feel kinda bad she had a habit of going into those sorts of states, must be kinda annoying.

“yeah well let’s at least get to the table before you go all paranoid on me” Ash nodded and began to look around the room for threats, she then spotted the table they were heading towards. At it sat a female Zabrak seemingly Iridonian with light pale skin and long grey hair heavily braided coming down to her shoulders. She was wearing some form of Mandalorian Armour with a cape behind it, the armour seemed very used but well kept and she had her feet up on the table leaning back nonchalantly. She seemed relaxed but also ready for a scrap with her hand at least somewhat close to her blaster, she held a grin on her face as she slowly sipped a beer, she was kinda attractive by normal standards. As they walked she waved them over and Gacen quickly upped his pace, Ash realised she had totally not looked around the room yet she had become distracted by the zabrak and began a scan.

Gacen spoke loudly as they arrived slipping into a chair “well well well did I spot a low tier bounty hunter in the midst of this high class establishment” Amy grinned at Ash as she sat down next to him

“man” she put her beer down on the table “you got old” certainly a simpler rebuttal, a few seconds of silence passed and Ash was worried Gacen had exaggerated his friendship with her. But after a few seconds they both began to wheezed with laughter “man seriously though I haven’t seen you in years man how have you been and also” she turned to Ash “who is this new one” Ash looked around awkwardly as Amy tried to meet her gaze

“well I have been lowkey of the grid and this is Ash she’s an old friend of mine, I’m surprised you never met to be honest” he paused for a second rubbing his chin “actually no I’m not she used to be a soldier” Amy’s eyebrows raised

“ohhhh I see well pleasure to meet you Soldier Ash” Ash nodded awkwardly and began to try and focus on assessing the room. From what she could see the room was pretty empty but there was a few patrons sipping quietly. As she looked around he did spot a group of people seemingly quite drunk but given their level of inebriation they wouldn’t be a threat.

Gacen had began to drink the beer seemingly already ordered “As much as I’d love to reminisce with you I’m afraid this isn’t just a social call I’ve heard through the grape vine that a few years back you were tasked with finding my wife” Ash saw there was also a drink in front of her and Amy was looking a little confused she wasn’t drinking it, ugh fine she took a little sip to keep up appearances.

Amy frowned for a second “aw I thought you just wanted to see me but yes I was told to find her but just so you know I was gonna hopefully get her to pay me more money I didn’t really wanna ya know kidnap her” Amy sipped her drink with a strange look of apprehension in her eyes, Ash was under the impression that she didn’t mind that sort of thing.

Gacen gave an awkward smile “always classy Amy” he looked unsurprised, so she was that kind of bounty hunter huh

Amy swirled her drink playfully “hey man as long as I get the money I was promised” Ash took another look around the room but still nothing, maybe Gacen was right maybe she was just being paranoid “but if you’re asking me for a lead all I got is that she was last seen taking an unknown ship from one of your old underling gangs called the Horned Rancors or something stupid like that” she took a long swig of beer “that broad is damn good at covering her tracks, she didn’t tell that gang leader anything but she would take a ship” Ash respected that amount of precautions maybe she’d get along with Risha.

Gacen had been listening intently but now spoke up “but there’s like departure logs and stuff like that right?” Gacen’s words were frantic and shaky Ash knew this would affect him but so far so good right they had a lead

Amy leaned back raising an eyebrow “yeah I checked that and all records were in some way redacted, believe me I checked every type of log that would relate and she thought of everything” Gacen seemed to grin a little bit Ash was definitely impressed with Risha’s ability to go off the grid, Gacen seemed proud and also furious at the circumstance.

“of course she did that’s just like her, well did you perhaps get anything else” Gacen seemed to be grasping at straws here

Amy let out a long sigh “no believe me it took me months to get that far I tried but nothing matched up and I was pretty tired of the bounty at that point” she paused for a second “also I didn’t really wanna kidnap my friends wife so seemed like a good idea to put it on hold” she looked away for a second “I would advise go to the gangs hideout see if you find anything I missed”

Gacen nodded clearly disappointed but not crushed “alright thanks for trying Amy” she seemed genuine but something still felt very off. Ash felt a sharp head pain suddenly, was she having a migraine? NO this felt like… the room began to spin and shake

“Gacen I think some-” she tried to finished but her lips began to feel heavy, Gacen seemed to be holding his head too confused

Ash turned to Amy who had a solem look on her face “I’m sorry you guys, I hope you find her but ya know money is money and they offered it to me first” god damn it she knew it she shouldn’t have trusted Amy. She went to grab her but fell short, Amy gave her an conflicted look before Ash’s vision darkened and it all went black…

Chapter Text

Ash could hear a faint murmuring as she awoke, she kept her eyes closed making sure not to arouse suspicion. When unsure of her situation it was best to be cautious, what had just happened? they were talking to Amy then she… oh yeah she drugged their drinks. She was furious she’d let her guard down around her this never normally happened, the murmuring got louder as Ash got her bearings, the accent sounded clipped and noble with a similar twinge to the noble they met on Nar Shaddaa. Damn it Ash knew they wouldn’t give up that easily, why was she always right to be paranoid.

As Ash opened her eyes just a slit she could see he was talking into a holocommunicator he seemed gaunt and hunched with messy grey hair covering his head and chin. “yes your highness we have them captured and the information shall come shortly” The man on the holo seemed to be sitting in some sort of throne Ash could only guess this was the current ruler of what was it Dubrillion? He was bald with a stern frown, wearing some form of ridiculous robes, that’s all she could make out from her view.

As he responded Ash could hear his grating voice pierce the chamber like a knife “very good Armande once your done send them here” with that the imposing figure’s holo dissipated and ‘Armande’ began talking to the guards. Ash began to assess the room it looked unlike any interrogation chamber she’d ever been in, a bed a closet this almost looked like… oh they were still at the hotel. These guys were clearly amateurs Ash had counted 4 guards total none of which carried electro shock sticks, if she wasn’t stuck to this chair they would all already be on the floor. It felt like zip ties holding her to the chair but they were definitely breakable, just noticeable she needed to be subtle. She saw Gacen slumped next to her seemingly still asleep which was probably for the best he would make a scene when he woke she had to assess their chances of escape. She saw three possible exits, the obvious door but that seemed like more trouble than it’s worth with more guards probably outside, the window which Ash didn’t want to repeat because they got extremely lucky last time and third was a vent she could see leading into the room seemed covert and possible. But none of that mattered if she couldn’t get past these five, they still seemingly hadn’t noticed she was awake so she still had a chance. Armande seemed to be preparing some interrogation tools, all pretty basic stuff tweezers to pull out nails, small drills and a number of liquid syringes she’d have to watch out for those. She looked to Gacen who was still sound asleep she would have to take her chance soon.

The guard to the right of her seemed unenthused and bored seems he’d be the easiest to take advantage of she just had to get out of the zip ties. She slowly turned her hands forward tensing them into fists, then a quick turn back and relaxing of her muscles and her thumbs were out. Ash shook them off honestly using zip ties was embarrassing it wasn’t that hard to get handcuffs, she kept her hands behind the chair as she looked to the guard next to her. He held a knife in his side pocket perfect, quickly she went to grab it then proceeding to stab it into his leg. He screamed out in pain alerting the rest of the room, three guards two left one right but she knew who she needed to go for. The guards on the right would go for their blasters aiming them at her the one on the right would try to grab her. She ducked immediately avoiding the volley of fire from the guards then slid under the left guard sweeping his legs as she went, she stood up quickly ready to assess her next move. Armande stood in the corner surprisingly unfazed by the commotion, the guard next to her would get up try to stop her and the other two would continue firing. Easy way to solve that she grabbed the guard lifting him up and throwing him in the firing line of the other two guards, she had to tense as she did it but nonetheless his body flew in the way of the blaster fire and knocked the guards to the ground. She proceeded to grab Armande putting the knife to his throat. He would try to wriggle free but Ash held him in a grip where that wasn’t possible too easy

Armande seemed to chuckle to himself “he he well my dear that was very impressive what amazing anticipation” he seemed strangely calm for someone who had lost which was never a good sign.

Ash could smell a musk coming from the man which was fairly off-putting “you move you’re dead” Ash unfortunately didn’t mean it but only because they could get information from him, they could still maim him though.

“oh yes of course but I think you’ve put yourself in a bit of a bad situation” she completely had the upper hand this guy was full of it “because you seem the best at anticipating but you can’t let go of me to stop this” As he said that she realised he was going to stab something into her leg but she would have to let him go to stop him. Before she could decide she felt the sharp prick in her upper thigh, instinctively she sliced with the knife but as she started she began to feel very woozy and gave up as she stumbled away for Armande. The room began to spin she could see people shifting from their positions very weirdly, she turned back to Armande who seemed to be covering his throat hah she had got him. She turned to see the guards coming towards her let’s see there was 3 wait no 5 wait no 4 wait, she felt herself grabbed by the guards and she was suddenly back in her seat, what the fuck she should’ve anticipated that. Wait she got stabbed with something was she drugged? she didn’t feel drugged? just kinda woozy, Armande came over still holding his throat. “well that was a regrettable decision now wasn’t it Ash” Armande spoke rather raspy all of a sudden that cut must’ve got him. Ash spat in his face causing him to flinch back

Ash was confused she totally got him “how are you even alive I just sliced your throat like so bad” that wasn’t what she meant to say that was weird

Armande laughed as he wiped the spit from his face “My dear that was an hour ago the drugs have kicked in” she waass drugged she totally knew it. Ash snorted to herself giggling loudly “am I missing something my dear?”were was that coming from she never giggled

what an idiot “this is by far the worst truth serum I have ever had I’m gonna be too loco to answer you, stupid moron” it was true this truth serum sucked

Armande raised his eyebrow “well good news it’s not truth serum I knew your skills and knew my guys wouldn’t be able to stop you so I inhibited your ability” aw that was so not cool she was gonna beat this guy into the ground

“so what you’re saying is that you’re a big baby coward pants” Ash giggled to herself, woah hold on why was his face all swirly no wait the room was swirly no wait she was swirly maybe they all were swirly.

Armande let out a long sigh as Ash began to stare into space “wake the other one up he’s the one we’re after” this prick just because his eyes were like bigger than hers he thinks he’s hot shit

Ash turned to see Gacen being jostled awake “ugh wha where am I” he looked around the room and spotted Ash looking at him quizzically

Ash waved “ good morning sleepy head we’ve totally been captured by this lizard” Ash gestured to the lizard where Armande was sitting, Gacen frowned at her looking ever so confused

Gacen looked deep in thought for a second “well still not the weirdest place I’ve woken up in the last week” had Gacen always had that many horns? had Gacen even had horns to begin with? oh my god Gacen was being attacked by horns!!! wait no he’d always had horns “who’s this smelly prick” he gestured to the lizard man in front of them

“oh that’s Armande captain of the cowardice ship he turned into a lizard a fe…” she looked at him that’s not a lizard that’s a human “never mind he’s back”

Gacen turned to Armande “ok I know you guys are the bad guys but what the fuck is up with Ash” Armande let out a very long sigh

“we drugged her to stop her from attacking us” he grimaced as Gacen began laughing to himself

“that actually makes a lot of sense” Gacen seemed like he didn’t have a plan

Ash leant over to Gacen and shouted “hey have you got a plan to get out of here I totally got the guards covered” Gacen turned to her giving her a long stern look

“I dunno Ash but maybe don’t shout it in front of the enemy” oh yeah Ash nodded in agreement winking

Armande interrupted them before they could say any more “ENOUGH look tell us what you know about Risha Drayen” Gacen nodded taking in a long sigh

“ok I’ll tell you just get in really close” no Gacen we were doing so well

“Gacen no don’t tell them” Ash pleaded he was gonna give it all up but Gacen put his hand up

Armande sighed and leant in Gacen grinned as he said “nothing” Ash let out a series of giggles as Armande’s face dropped into a grimace.

Armande got up “ok hit him” he began striding around the bed as a resounding whack hit Gacen square in the jaw. Gacen just smiled it off but Ash could feel a boiling rage build up inside her she would totally crack their skulls if moving wasn’t so hard right now.

A few loud punches later and Gacen’s face was full of bruises he spat blood onto the floor breathing heavily. Armande returned with some assorted tools “are we ready to talk now Captain” he held a blade of some kind

Gacen laughed “nah mate you can punch me as many times as you want that’s pretty much what I feel on a daily basis” Ash took a look at the tools on the desk seemed like your average setup bonesaw, drills more syringes wait she felt like she knew that already.

Ash chuckled to herself “yeah trust me it took me years to get him to open up you’d have better chances with the drugs” oops that may have been bad to say, Gacen turned to her slowly with wide eyes “Um never mind disregard that I’m drugged” Armande smiled picking up the syringe and jamming it into Gacen’s neck

Gacen’s pupils dilated instantly “ahhhhh woah Ash you weren’t kidding this stuff is bananas B A N A N A S” Gacen cracked up at his own joke and began laughing to himself

Ash joined in as Armande tried to speak over them “Ok I’ll ask again what do you know about Risha Drayen” Gacen began grinning, Ash thought she spotted an Ortolan in the corner and needed to find it

“She’s pretty awesome in bed Mr flying spaghetti oh also also also she’s really pretty” where was this spaghetti she couldn’t see it.

Armande gritted his teeth “fine let’s be more specific where is Risha Drayen” Ash snorted to herself

“your mothers butt!!!” Ash shouted out, Gacen quickly began dying of laughter as Ash followed suit

After he stopped laughing Gacen leant close in “nah but for real I dunno that’s what we’re finding out dumbass, it’s been like a day give my lady a little more credit.” Armande looked like all his anger was about to come out as Gacen made a kissy face at him

“you are very lucky I’ve been ordered to keep you alive, but I still need to know what your relation was to Risha, we are unclear on your previous statement on Nar Shaddaa” Gacen leant back and took a long sigh, that did seem pretty unavoidable phrasing, stupid truthy druggy serum.

“ugh fine I was her husband and her business partner, you know where it says the voidhound was Skavak well that’s a load of bs to throw you cucks off I don’t know who changed it but hey it got me off the hook from you guys for years” Gacen looked at the floor pursing his lips “is that enough can we go now”

Armande began to chuckle to himself “oh no I’m afraid King Actavarus III asked for you personally so don’t think we’re letting your little conquest continue” Gacen’s anger was visible now which was pretty rare for him, he tensed up snarling at Armande

“oh that giant pompus cunt wants to see me well we’ll see about that” He began to try and wriggle out of zip-ties but after about 30 seconds gave up panting “damn it Ash how do you do this? you make it looks so easy”

Ash had been completely somewhere else and when she snapped back she tried to stand up again. Summing up all her effort she stood up and looked ready to fight, as she did she saw a little canister enter the room from the vent and suddenly a searing white light filled the chamber causing her to reel back in pain. She could hear some muffled noises around her and when the white light cleared she could see all of the guards and Armande unconscious on the floor and a familiar zabrak form standing there.

Amy threw a gun in her direction “sorry I took so long they were really clingy with the money” Ash went to catch the gun but missed it fumbling as it fell onto the floor

Ash frowned at Amy as she began to untie Gacen “but you totally betrayed us why would you help us” Gacen was still swaying lightly clearly rattled from the beating, the drugs and the white light.

Amy finished untying Gacen who slumped to the floor “I was always gonna save you I just wanted a bit of money in the process” Ash frowned that seemed kinda unnecessary and still selfish if a bit less “is Gacen ok?”

Gacen grumbled on the floor “yeah he’s just been beaten up and drugged” Ash went to pick him up and even while still drugged it was an easy task

Amy sighed deeply “are you both drugged” Ash nodded wide eyed

Gacen lifted his arm up “I knew you’d come and saaaave us Amy I always had faith” he slumped back over Ash’s shoulder as he finished speaking

Ash didn’t believe that for a second “you did not” Gacen struggled limply as Ash began moving him towards the door

“I did so she’s always been loyal, anyway you’re the one with a crush on her” Ash felt her skin flush going a deep shade of purple

“i do not Gacen” Ash looked back to Amy who was checking a holopad “shut up she might’ve heard you” Gacen chuckled to himself as he gave in and let Ash carry him

Amy looked at them agitated “Guys we gotta get out of here it’s gonna be crawling with guards soon enough” Ash nodded as they left the hotel room, in the corridor things were conveniently quiet so they easily made their way to an elevator.

As they arrived in the elevator Ash stumbled nearly dropping Gacen “ok buddy you hold yourself up my arm is tired” she awkwardly laid Gacen down on the floor

Gacen lay there not moving “fine I guess I’ll just walk myself I’m fine now see look at what I can do” Gacen continued to lie still while his eyes darted around

Amy frowned at him “what are you doing” she had been loading some form of gadget on her arm with canisters Ash wondered if she had a air gun

Gacen’s eyes widened “crazy backflips and frontflips can’t you see them” Gacen continued to lie flat

“no we can’t” Amy let out an exasperated sigh, Ash had gotten distracted by the view from the elevator she could see the whole planet it was so shiny “damn it looks like they already got guards out looking for you we’re gonna have to hide you guys”

Gacen giggled “we’re great at hiding no problems Amamamamy” Gacen sat up looking out the window “ooooo we can go to the pool” Ash liked the sound of that idea

Amy didn’t seem to however “ok no there is no quicker way to get found out than hanging out at the pool in normal clothes, go hang out at the Pazaak tables you’ll fit in there” Gacen beamed at the idea and began to get out a credit chip “BUT do not play” Amy said with an exasperated sigh.

The elevator arrived and they headed to the Pazaak tables it smelled weird here Ash thought it might be a mix of like alcohol and oil? maybe, woah why were they on the ceiling, wait no the floor was on the ceiling.

Amy grabbed both their wrists “ok stay here lay low I’ll be back once it’s safe” Gacen nodded not looking away from the Pazaak table

Ash was already bored “fiiiine mom I’ll stay at the gambling tables” she didn’t know how families worked, Amy gave her a disapproving frown and ran off

Ash turned to the game maybe it could be interesting, she could see all sorts of aliens quickly placing cards with little numbers on them but some were red and blue or green? Ash leant in to Gacen’s shoulder “Gacen I don’t understand what’s going on?”

Gacen jumped seemingly surprised she was there “how long have you been there?” Ash shrugged she wasn’t actually very sure how long. Gacen nodded and began to explain “well Pazaak is a simple game really you need to get 21 and the dealer deals cards with numbers on them, then you choose to fold or stay in you can go ov…” Ash stopped listening she had seen a sign that said ‘observation deck’ and it sounded cool she’d always loved seeing planets close up all those people down there doing things while she could see them all well sort of they were there but so small in her vision but they were there. “and that is why minus cards rock and plus cards are stupid?” Ash suddenly snapped back to the conversation what was he talking about

“oh yeah sure totally pluses suck” that wasn’t convincing at all

Gacen frowned “you weren’t even listening were you” Ash reluctantly nodded

Ash quickly forgot about the pazaak grabbed his arm “hey look there’s an observation deck wanna see the planet” she smiled at him as he considered the idea

“I feel like we’re supposed to be here but I don’t remember why” he paused “sure lets go” they rushed over to a lift and within a minute they entered a private viewing booth

Ash looked up seeing the planet in all it’s glory, the whispy clouds covering the sparkling blue oceans and lush green grasslands so pretty and very hypnotic. She felt herself getting very dizzy and suddenly realised she was lying on the floor, she looked up and saw Gacen also lying down, they both started laughing “I think the drugs are still in our systems”

Gacen sat up leaning against a sofa “ok let’s test tell me something you wouldn’t tell me normally” Ash squinted for a second trying to think of something

her eyes widened as she thought of something “oh I’ve got it Ash isn’t my real name” she had never told anyone that not that it was very important

Gacen looked super taken aback “what do you mean?” Ash also sat up opposite him “are you a spy?”

“no dummy, my full name is Ash’shen’tor right and my equivalent of a first name is in the middle bit so Shen, Ash is my family name” Gacen looked off dizzily for a second

“what?” Gacen looked entirely confused, Ash began giggling to herself

“it’s like my family name like yours is Zandar but when I was abandoned people didn’t know that so they called me Ash” Gacen leaned back comprehending what he just heard

“huh, should I call you Shen then” Ash burst out laughing not sure why it was so funny

“no please I like Ash fine, anyway you tell me something you wouldn’t normally tell me it’s only fair” she never cared for chiss customs anyway

Gacen rubbed his chin for a second “ok sure” he paused “I have a sister that I am estranged from” Ash’s eyes widened she had a hunch it was something like that but was never sure

Gacen seemed pretty serious she shouldn’t press it “oh wow I can’t even imagine there being two of you” they both snorted with laughter

“hey how dare you two of me would be wonderful” he paused lowering his smile “she’s uh not that much like me anyway” Ash nodded

“I think one of you is enough for me, even that is excessive” Ash joked as Gacen’s smile returned as he began to laugh quietly

Suddenly the elevator opened and Ash could see the form of Amy stride into the room “ok what the fuck did you think I meant when I said stay put” Ash and Gacen both laughed, Ash slipped back onto the floor

Gacen perked up wobbling as he stood up “hey that’s what you get for trying to make money out of me Ames” Amy gave him a reluctant nod and they headed out…

Chapter Text

Kyradia covered her eyes as the Fury touched down in front of them blowing dust and sticks in their direction. They had decided they would need to be crafty if they were going to catch Zash’s people, Ashara’s bug had been working wonders they knew exactly where they were and what they were saying but catching up was still an issue. This temple was in the middle of a lake so Ashara had suggested an arial assault, definitely the right call apparently their adversaries had jumped over stepping stones for like an hour. As the boarding ramp lowered Kyradia could see the rapid foot tapping of seemingly Andronikos, as soon as it was down he strode over to them folding his arms as he arrived this was gonna take a while.

“so I’m guessing you didn’t capture them” Kyradia nodded not making eye contact. Andronikos put his hand on Kyradia’s shoulder Kyradia let out a small smile but that’s all she could muster at the moment

“come on let’s get inside we can explain in there” Ashara began heading into the fury leaving Kyradia with Andronikos, Kyradia still not looking at him

Andronikos held her by the shoulders “hey Ky are you alright you look pretty shaken up” Kyradia took a deep breath before wrapping her arms around him burying her face in his shoulder. Andronikos awkwardly put his arms around her “hey hey hun it’s ok just tell me what happened ok” they were both bad at hugs and general signs of affection so Kyradia didn’t blame him for being surprised by this

Kyradia held him for a few more seconds before she looked towards him and shakily said “Zash is back” Andronikos’ eyes widened raising his eyebrows

He stumbled over his words as he responded “what wha what do you mean back h-how can she be back?” he seemed to still be processing the information frowning heavily

Kyradia swallowed “I uh I dunno how but she got out of the prison and I uh dunno but we gotta stop her” Kyradia hung her head and sighed heavily

She felt a hand clasp the back of her head and hug her tightly “hey it’s ok hun we’ll stop her and trust me I wouldn’t mind showing her the back end of my blaster, I’m not afraid to hit a girl” he paused “at least one like that” Kyraida let out a small chuckle

“yeah right she’s a sith lord she’d kick your ass” she smiled at him as he frowned lifting his chin up feigning anger

He raised his eyebrow grinning at her “she may have the force but i’ve got you, with you around I think I’ll be just fine” he was right there Kyradia couldn’t wait to destroy her

She leant in close to him “oh yeah you just assume I’ll protect you” in response Andronikos leant and passionately kissed her

Kyradia let it last for a few seconds before Andronikos leant back “yeah I do” Kyradia looked away turning a deep red

“shut up” she punched his arm playfully

Andronikos chuckled “never” they grinned at each other before turning towards the ship. Ashara was standing there arms folded tapping her foot impatiently, Kyradia just grinned at her as her frown broadened

Kyradia took Andronikos’ hand for a second as they walked “uh thanks”

Andronikos cocked his head as they walked “for what hun” Kyradia sighed she didn’t want to have to say it out loud she was so bad at touchy feely stuff

Kyradia toiled with her hair “for uh cheering me up” ugh why was she so bad at this. They made their way to the ship in silence Ashara looking relived as they finally arrived.

 

The Holoterminal flickered to life with the temple structure coming into view “this is the temple of Exar Kun” Ashara explained, she was taking point on this one which seemed like the best idea she would explain it with less anger and cursing.

Xalek cocked his head at the display “and this is where the Dashade is hiding?” they all frowned turning to him

Ashara turned to him “what no” Xalek held an icy glare towards Ashara before turning to Kyradia, Kyradia let out a small sigh even now when Xalek was a sith lord he was still jealous of Ashara.

Xalek folded his arms confused “you said we were after Zash right?” Kyradia frowned but then it hit her Xalek only ever knew her as part of Khem

“um Xalek you’re aware that Khem had Zash’s uh essence inside him right, they’re not the same person” Xalek took a long moment

“oh I uh I always assumed the two voices was a Dashade thing” Kyradia pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed “that does make a lot more sense actually” Andronikos sarcastically nodded her head at him

Ashara stifled a chuckle “well so you’re aware the real Zash is currently inside a holocron and should be some sort of human, maybe blonde but the ritual is unclear as of yet” Xalek stroked his chin nodding “ok well with… that out the way Zash’s followers, a milirian named Terri and a human named Lusari are performing some kind of ritual” Kyradia nodded, the bug had certainly given them insight on those two, they seemed very naive and unaware of the seriousness of what they were doing. She was almost positive Zash had lied to them but she wasn’t sure how much, Zash had always been lying to her so she could only assume it was the same.

Xalek got out a small notepad “so kill them and take the holocron” they all let out a long but expected sigh as Xalek began seemingly jotting that down

Kyradia spoke up knowing it would be much easier to convince Xalek if she said it “no they seem like they are somewhat being manipulated and as a result we should take them alive” Xalek nodded crossing out what he just wrote

Xalek murmured quietly “I see useful for interrogation” Ashara sighed looking towards Kyradia

Kyradia shrugged “sure but make sure they’re not that injured alright?” Xalek nodded taking futher notes, Kyradia had given him the notebook after a few incidents where he forgot key orders like that and compromised their plan, she was pleased he actually used it.

Ashara turned back to the display “anyway we know that the ritual will be starting soon and as a result we need to get there ASAP so we’re gonna fly over and drop out of the ship” Andronikos nodded looking a little frustrated to be on ship duty again

He said through gritted teeth “alright I’ll get the parachutes ready” Ashara smiled at him

“oh don’t worry you’ll be seeing plenty of action apparently they have some mercenaries prepared for extraction so you’ll be blocking their escape alright?” Andronikos smiled nodding seemingly pleased with his assignment “oh and don’t bother with the parachutes they’re too slow”

Andronikos looked taken aback “what? how are you gonna land?” he kept looking towards Kyradia clearly worried

Kyradia gave him a devious look “we got the force don’t worry” she let a little lightning crackle in her hand

Andronikos stepped back “if anything that makes me worry more” that was fair but they’d be fine she knew it, that was the easy part

Ashara pointed at the temple “once landed we will most likely be met with one or both of the prior mentioned followers so that’s why we’re bringing you Xalek” Xalek smiled his hand brushing over his lightsaber

“sounds good I’ve missed the action” Ashara narrowed her eyes at him and Kyradia had to admit she was also worried about him accidentally killing sone of them but given the stakes they needed his help

“Kyradia will then head in and stop the ritual before Zash can I guess return” she looked to Kyradia who nodded, Kyradia wasn’t sure how Zash would come back but she assumed it would have bad consequences

Xalek looked away for a second before asking “what if she doesn’t stop the ritual” Xalek seemed reluctant to ask the question but Kyradia understood the reasoning.

Kyradia didn’t want to think about it but it was likely to happen “then I’ll have to fight Zash and hopefully you can help me” both Ashara and Xalek nodded, Kyradia felt a small well of pride knowing they’d have her back

Ashara looked to each of them “so we all clear” they all nodded “ok lets get going then” Ashara and Andronikos went to start preparing leaving Xalek and Kyradia in the room

Xalek moved to the corner and began practicing with his lightsaber, Kyradia stayed quiet for a second before speaking up “Xalek what’s the key thing you need to remember about this mission?” Xalek turned around frowning in confusion for a second

“um” he looked away “don’t kill the followers?” Kyradia nodded smiling at him, he attempted to smile back but it came out as more of a snarl, Kyradia had never related to Xalek more. “so she’s back then?” Xalek gestured to the door Ashara had gone through as he folded his arms

Kyradia let out a long sigh “ya know Xalek you’re not my apprentice anymore and neither is she there’s no reason to be jealous of her” Xalek had always been jealous of Ashara back when they were apprentices, Kyradia kinda got it he was much more traditional for a sith apprentice so it must have been annoying how she always favoured Ashara.

Xalek looked away “I’m not jealous” he paused “I just think you already have a force using friend to help you out… who says you need another” Kyradia let out a long sigh before walking towards the cockpit she didn’t want to deal with that right now.

As she walked into the cockpit she could see Andronikos plotting the course into the navicomputer “you got everything sorted up here hun?” he turned round to her with a smile

“oh yeah these mercenaries wont know what hit them” Kyradia nodded at him raising her eyebrow

“uh huh i bet they’ll go down in seconds” she leant in giving him a quick kiss on his cheek before looking out of the view port

he put his hand on her shoulder “are you prepared for this Ky?” she continued looking out the viewport

“as ready as I can be” she paused “it’s just well we have so much history I uh I dunno I thought I’d put all that past stuff behind me and could become better” she paused again “I’m a better person now right?”

Andronikos squeezed her shoulder “of course hun and for the record you’ve always been awesome, no one likes confronting their past” she held his hand tight

“yeah i guess I just…” she trailed off, thinking about her past always did this she should focus on the task at hand “never mind I’m gonna go check on Ashara” Andronikos frowned at her but didn’t press her as she stumbled away.

when Kyradia caught up with Ashara she found her meditating in the engine room “brings back memories huh?” Ashara was startled nearly falling backwards but caught herself.

“uh yeah I uh guess so I dunno i feel kinda homely in here” she stumbled up looking around awkwardly

“yeah I get that, no matter where I sleep the Fury is more like home to me” Ashara nodded seemingly agreeing. Kyradia looked away holding the back of her head “I uh just wanted to check you were ready for this?”

Ashara gave a warm smile “yeah I think so, I’ll have you’re back” she cocked her head “but are yo-”

Kyradia interrupted “please don’t ask me if I’m ready for this everyone is doing that” Ashara chuckled nodding

“alright sure no worries” she paused “uh I know we’ve gotten a little caught up in all this but I just want you to know I’m sorry I judged you so harshly” Ashara fidgeted awkwardly

Kyradia nodded “I think it was completely fair I can be a real grade A bitch sometimes” Ashara gave a half smile

“maybe the old you but you’ve changed since then Kyradia, this conversation is proof in of itself” Kyradia frowned she didn’t really agree

Kyradia looked away “you’re too kind I’m not that different if yo-” as she looked away she felt arms wrap around her as she tensed up turning to see Ashara hugging her “uh ah um Ashara I’m still not a hugger”

Ashara laughed deviously “take my complement then” Kyradia’s arms went limp as she conceded

Kyradia groaned “fine” Ashara let go beaming, seemingly pleased with the results. Kyradia knew she wasn’t right though and she’d probably agree if she knew everything about her, maybe she should tell her? no after they stop Zash just in case she needs Ashara, it’s too much of a long story anyway.

A silence fell over the chamber that was broken when they heard Andronikos’ voice through the coms “we’re getting close guys get into position” looks like it’ll have to wait she had a sith to eviscerate…

Chapter Text

Terri put down her macrobinoculars, still nothing, as far as she could tell it seemed everything was going according to plan. She needed to distract herself; she could hear the faint sounds of the ritual and of Lusari, she knew she had to be strong but all she could hear was Lusari’s screams in pain. She must be enduring a lot of pain for this that’s how it worked right? Terri wished there was another way but she had to trust her. Lusari had told her it was necessary, the excess force energy had to go somewhere right? She hoped this would be worth it maybe they should’ve just left the Lady and got out of there that wouldn’t have been so bad. No that’s wrong they’d promised they’d help her she buried her face in her hands how could she think that they were supposed to be better than the sith. Terri hated this she just wanted to get out of here the world was so bizarre she didn’t know who was right or wrong or even if that mattered, she took a long deep breath she did know one thing she could trust though, that Lusari knew what she was doing. Terri wished she had Lusi’s confidence she had to at least try and help right even if she was really bad at it, she’d been distracted too long she picked up her macrobinoculars and started surveying the area. The beacon still looked active and the mercenaries were ready for their pickup, the conversation of where the other mercenaries were was not going to be a fun one. She didn’t know where the Commander and her friend would come from but the Lady was pretty confident they’d be on their way shortly. That still puzzled her though, the commander had once been The Lady’s apprentice but then why was that togruta still helping her? she had been manipulated but Terri saw nothing holding the togruta there. Maybe she had fallen and wasn’t aware of it, like that Jedi they’d learned about Norman Car? something like that Terri wasn’t really listening at the time. She could just be lying Terri had to consider that possibility that people lie, she had been told she was far to trusting in the past (mainly by Lusi) she had to remember people lie in the real world. She realised she’d been staring at the same patch of forest for about 10 minutes, damn it she had to concentrate this was important.

She began to scan the area again but was still met with nothing, she’d identified a few points in the brush where they could be hiding but Infra-red was showing up no signs. Maybe if she used the force she may be able to gleam something, she closed her eyes and let go of herself feeling the space around her. She focussed on living things and could sense the many fish circling in the lake, phew glad she didn’t fall in some could be carnivorous. She tried to picture the commander who she had fought on the top of the first temple, red skin yellow eyes long red hair. She began to feel something but it wasn’t from the forest it was from… above!!!. Terri frantically looked up at the sky and was met with a black and grey Ship descending through the clouds from across the lake. oh no oh no oh no what could she do, keep them off the island? how would she? Terri gasped as she got an idea, they would be using parachutes right so she could divert them. She dropped her binoculars and scurried to the top part of the wall ready to divert them maybe with a gun maybe with the force she wasn’t sure yet. The ship raced towards her and as it did she saw the landing ramp descend, here we go get ready. She saw the silhouettes jump she followed them with her eyes waiting for the parachutes to deploy but after a few seconds they hadn’t deployed what were they thinking? they wouldn’t be able to land in the lake it’s not that deep. The silhouettes began to get closer and Terri could see there was three of them!! two she recognised and a new maybe Kaleesh? She watched perplexed as they got closer and closer to the water and saw the three of them push down with the force, no that wasn’t possible? right? She saw as a wave of dust came towards her, blue lightning shooting out of the Zabraks hands, they were actually slowing down this might work. She saw as they landed with a less than graceful roll on the edge of the island, oh god Terri had gotten so caught up in it she hadn’t even tried to stop them. She had to tell Lusari but she also had to stop them she quickly looked around and saw a rock she could probably lift. She haphazardly flung it in their direction and jumped down into the courtyard rushing to the entrance of the temple, she took a deep breath and shouted

“LUSARI MY LADY THEY’RE HERE” she spun around and saw the three enter the courtyard. What was she gonna do she could barely take on one how would she handle three, Terri’s muscles tensed up as she shakily turned her lightsaber on the green glow reflecting of the temple walls. She stammered “I-I-I c-can’t let you past s-stay back” god she sounded so weak she doubted they were even slightly intimidated

The commanded sighed ignited her own lightsaber “just let us pass and we won’t have to hurt you” the Togruta and Kaleesh followed suit, the Kaleesh snarling as he did he seemed very scary

Terri’s breath quickened rapidly she had to do this for Lusari “I can’t do that I made a promise” she stepped forward and as she did she heard another lightsaber ignite next to her.

She turned to see Lusari’s yellow lightsaber floating there as she heard in her head “not to worry Terri I’ll fight with you” the Lady had her back maybe she could actually do this she swallowed all her fear lifted her lightsaber and ran forward ready to save her friend.

 

She sprinted forward taking a running slash as the commander blocked it pushing her back a few feet. She could see to her right the yellow saber parry the attacks of the Kaleesh as the togruta went for a disarming slash on her. She thought of all they had done to get here and suddenly all the frustration she’d been feeling built up putting all her energy into throwing her at the wall. She turned back to the commander ready to fight but as she did a flash of blue energy caused her to flinch followed by an intense searing pain when she managed to reopen her eyes she saw bolts of energy covering her vision. She began to convulse in pain, no no no she needed to fight through it fight smarter she began to walk forward she could see the commanders snarl as she shot the lightning at Terri. Terri continued to walk forward and managed to grab her arm, she saw as the lightning jolted back into the commander causing her to stumble back in pain. Terri saw the opportunity to maybe incapacitate her as she went for a slash where she had gotten the commander before but to her surprise she saw the commanders hand grab the lightsaber by the blade and rip it out of her hand.

The commander threw it to the side and clicked her neck he face far more serious than their first encounter “that hurt, now get out of my way kid” Terri felt an intense force and next thing she knew she was against the wall her back sharp with pain. She slumped down the wall as she saw the commander sprinting towards the temple no she had to stop her she had to save Lusari, she got up and began to chase after her but choked as something grabbed the back of her neck. She stumbled around to see the togruta back up and ready to fight, she knew she had to catch the commander though and ignored her turning back around to run.

She began to run but as she did she saw an orange form spin over her landing in front of her “I’m sorry but I can’t let you pass” Terri felt anger boiling up like never before

She felt herself scowling as she shot “try and stop me” at the togruta she then lunged at her with her saber…

 

 

Kyradia sprinted with all her might towards the temple entrance, this had to end now. As she arrived at the entrance she could see an immense amount of dark energy surrounding something, she guessed the girl. But as she began to run in the chamber seemingly shifted becoming a pitch black corridor, she looked around as silhouettes began to form in the space

She recognised the shape, Zash was messing with her. The silhouettes opened their pinprick yellow eyes as an echo filled the chamber “I’m sorry Kyradia but you’re not getting through we’re almost there and we can’t have you messing it all up” Kyradia scowled as the silhouettes began to run at her. Alright she could play this game she took a deep breath taking in all her anger and rage remembering every shitty thing Zash had done and quickly feeling the lightning build up in her hands. With a defiant scream she let out all the energy she could muster as the lightning jumped from shadow to shadow each falling one by one leaving an empty chamber. Zash wouldn’t let up for long though she knelt down and pictured the room she had just seen, she built up the energy and in a flash she had strode there.

She could feel the wind on her face as she looked up and was met with a vortex of swirling black energy in the round open chamber surrounding the small blonde form of Lusari. She could hear her shrieking out in pain as Kyradia saw dark slivers of energy enter her form, Zash had said it would hurt but Kyradia was sure she hadn’t been entirely forthcoming. The echo of Zash’s grating voice returned ringing in her ear “well well well good job you outsmarted me there well I’m afraid that was the easy bit” Kyradia looked around for some form of entryway and as she did she saw a Lightsaber rise up in front of her floating in the space.

This lightsaber was familiar though, this was Zash’s lightsaber oh she was so ready to destroy her “oh don’t worry Zash! I’m going to stop you and I’m going to enjoy every second of it” she lunged at the lightsaber trying to grab it as it danced out of the way of her hand. While she fought she could hear the echoed laughs of Zash mixed in with the screams of the girl, the saber lunged at her as if it was being held by someone, damn it she didn’t have much time. She blocked the saber with her own, the mix of red and purple sparks sparking off into the dark abyss before her. She felt the force of the blade as it began to push her down further, she had to fight back! she stepped back letting it fall but as it did it rose back up ready to fight again.

Kyradia could feel the scowl on her face “sithspit!” she cursed as the blade went for a horizontal slash, she could feel the heat of the blade as she narrowly avoided it flipping over and using her momentum to bring a hard slash down on the blade. She pushed the blade down and instinctively went for a jab as she did however she stumbled forward, damn she forgot there’s no one wielding it. She sensed the blade would take advantage so put her own behind her and blocked the blade going for a vertical slash then she let it go jumping as she did narrowly avoiding the blade.

The laugh echoed out again “getting sloppy are we Kyradia at this rate you have no chance of stopping me” as much as she hated to agree with Zash she was right this saber was just a distraction she had to get to the girl. But she’d have to eliminate it nonetheless

She grinned she knew what to do she took a deep breath taking a defensive stance drawing as much power as she could. She waited and as the saber slashed at her she began to phantom stride around it she could see it turning to her prior locations as she continually strode around it. After it was clearly disoriented she strode threw it grabbing it by the handle turning it off as she went, it deignited and Kyradia threw it into the corner. Ok now the vortex she could use the force against it? no it’s a vortex of force energy that would only feed it, take some in? maybe that would make a hole big enough to get through. She put her lightsaber away, well this was definitely gonna hurt she took a deep breath gritting her teeth and began drawing energy from the vortex, as it hit her she felt the searing pain coarse through every inch of her body. She built her anger letting it seethe as she redirected the pain, she began walking towards the edge of the vortex, every second a new wave of pain hit her she had only felt something like this once before. She put her hand on the edge of the vortex as she did every nerve in her hand shot with pain, redirect it push it down think of all of it every last thing, home, the change, the sith all of it. She felt the energy flow through her as she took a deep breath stepping fully into the vortex, looking around all she could see was dark energy and all she could feel was an intense wind blowing against her face. To her surprise the energy wasn’t so bad in here, however the somewhat tame screams she could hear before were now deafening seemingly acting like a lightning rod for the energy.

She began to walk forward slowly putting her arm over her eyes to block the wind as she did she heard the familiar echo everywhere around her “what do you think you’re DOING!!! you really think you can stop me again!!!” she absolutely would, Kyradia saw a sliver of dark energy fly towards her entering her form coarsing through her her body, the pain she felt like every nerve in her body was on fire as she continued to push it down.

She let out a deafening scream and as she looked around she caught a glimpse of blonde hair through the dark clouds, there she was she just had to get to her. She looked up as she began to stumble forward “yeah and this time you wont even have a Dashade to live through” she took a deep breath trying her best to deal with the searing pain “this time you’re going to be gone for good” she started moving towards Lusari who she could see screaming out some old sith language.

The echo of Zash began cackling “you’re going to have to be quick then apprentice, I’m almost home” she almost sang the words she said as Kyradia stumbled towards Lusari. Just a little further and she could end this, she would’ve loved to have saved Lusari but they were way past that now it was Lusari dead or Zash alive she knew who she’d pick. Standing defiantly Kyradia reached her the pain almost immeasurable as she tensed every muscle in her body, she took a long deep breath before drawing her lightsaber she had to end this but then Lusari suddenly went quiet. Kyradia was bewildered no screams not even any emotion just nothing like she’d gone catatonic, no matter she had to stop her she ignited her lightsaber ready to end this. As she drew the blade up she suddenly felt an immense amount of wind on he back suddenly her vision was covered by the dark force energy and before she knew it she felt herself pushed up against the wall of the chamber. As she got her bearings she opened her eyes, did she get her? was it over? She could see Lusari kneeling down in the middle of the chamber no vortex and no Zash to be seen. But wait if she’d got Lusari? then how was she breathing? as Kyradia pondered that she saw Lusari’s arm jut out suddenly as the red lightsaber shot into her grasp. No no no she couldn’t have no! Lusari stood up turning around to face Kyradia, her hair was weirdly curled and her eyes, Kyradia knew those eyes

Lusari grinned at Kyradia viciously “well it certainly feels good to be back” she clicked her neck and strode towards Kyradia “and what are we going to do with you apprentice” she began to cackle with laughter, the likeness was unmistakable Kyradia was too late, Zash had returned…

Chapter Text

Terri could feel the snarl on her face but she didn’t care this was too important she had to get past the togruta. Terri slammed down with her saber three times against the yellow saber in front of her each time sparks flew off creating little spots in her vision. Every time she slammed the blade down the togruta somehow managed to perfectly counter every move with that annoying calm expression on her face, didn’t she understand how important this was! how could she be so calm about this? She had to break her Jedi serenity or whatever it was, she just had to get past the commander was gonna hurt Lusari she could just tell. She could see Lusari’s yellow blade keeping the Kaleesh busy The Lady seemed pretty capable in lightsaber combat from what Terri could tell, Terri wished she could say the same for her. Terri decided it was best to pretend she was still attacking while she thought of a plan, giving strikes that were believable, but ineffective at least she hoped so. She had to get to the togruta’s emotions then she’d slip up but was she really gonna manipulate someone that felt wrong. As she pondered she caught a second of Lusari screaming, she had to do this morals be damned Lusari was in trouble.

She took her lightsaber back “I don’t understand why you follow her?” she was technically still telling the truth but she knew her motives were corrupt

The togruta frowned at her seemingly taken aback “I don’t follow her but this a matter of great importance we can’t let you complete that ritual” damn it that was still rational she’d heard this speech from her before and she was starting to not believe it.

She could still push the apprentice angle though “is that why she is stopping the ritual and you’re here fighting me” Terri paced as she spoke fully aware the togruta could still attack at any moment.

She sighed shaking her head “we have a plan and I’m playing my part” she grinned raising her eyebrow “if you think you’re gonna bruise my ego you have sorely misjudged me Terri” Terri stepped back wide eyed how did she know her name? was this some Jedi trick?

No matter she had to deal with the problem at hand the ego thing wasn’t working maybe try a different cord “so you trust her not to take advantage of the ritual?” Terri noted a sudden twitch in the togruta’s cheek trying to brush off the comment “she is a sith after all are you sure she wouldn’t want the power to herself” she’d clearly struck a nerve with her now as the togruta frowned maybe this was her chance

The togruta’s eyes went wide as she thought about the question “well I uh- I think they cert-” Terri knew this was her chance she lunged forward ready to at least stun her with a slash. She saw the togruta look up in surprise but to Terri’s surprise she felt herself stop as the togruta held up her hand. She tried to fight against the force but seemed to be unable to move forward

She felt the muscles in her neck tense up as she seethed in anger she swung forward with the lightsaber unable to reach the togruta “NO NO NO just let me pass” She pushed against the force using this new anger to force the togruta’s hand back down. She continued to lunge but the element of surprise was gone as the togruta lifted up her lightsaber effortlessly blocking the blade. Terri began wildly striking at the togruta any way she could trying anything to hit her, she could feel tears beginning to well up in her eyes as she futilely swung the blade at the togruta over and over to no avail.

A softer expression took over the togruta’s face “now why do you want this so bad you’re helping out a bad person” no she was wrong she was tricking her or just didn’t understand she had to do this right she had to.

Terri continued to slam the blade against the togruta’s her head spinning from the mix of emotions “I have to go in I-I-I have to save my friend” she could feel the togruta’s blocks getting less and less quick but she could also feel herself running out of energy.

She continued to hit the blade with a barrage of strikes feeling the tears trickling down her face as the togruta spoke up seemingly short of breath “I promise we don’t plan on harming either of you” Terri was breathing heavily as she held the saber against the togruta’s blade, maybe she was right mayb- wait she couldn’t hear Lusari anymore! something had happened she couldn’t afford to wait around.

She looked the togruta dead in the eye her hair covering her face and vision blurred by the tears “NO YOU’RE LYING, you don’t care about us JUST LEAVE US ALONE!” as she said the words she felt all this anger and power build up all at once going for a horizontal slice and to her surprise it wasn’t blocked. Seconds later she could see the togruta stumble back a noticeable diagonal burn across her shoulders and the end of her montrals cut off falilng to the floor. She stumbled back further holding the now stub at the end of her left montral, this was Terri’s chance she began running towards the entrance but suddenly she felt a huge force pulling her back. She turned to see the Kaleesh snarling with rage trying to pull her back with the force, NO not this time she felt the power within her taking the pull from the kaleesh and turning it back against him throwing him into the wall. She could see the togruta now stumbling to the floor she hoped she would be ok she only meant to maim. No time now she turned back to the entrance an eerie quiet in the air, she had to save Lusari!

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Kyradia was frozen in place as the form of Lusari stepped towards her with an evil grin on her face. Kyradia was sure that was Zash there was no doubt from the familiar eyes to the way she cockily walked towards her, this was what Kyradia was afraid of, damn it she had failed but there was still a chance to end this.

Zash began to cackle to herself another yellow lightsaber entering her hand “I have to say this form is much more ideal than yours ever was or that stinking Dashade” she flicked her new long blonde hair around and stroked her chin “I may have to cut the hair but I think I wear it well, what do you think apprentice?” her words were laced with malice she had been waiting years for this moment but Kyradia wasn’t gonna give her the satisfaction

She stood up scowling and igniting her lightsaber “don’t you dare call me that” Zash grinned flourishing her two lightsabers as they made eye contact “and if I have anything to say about it you won’t be wearing that form for long”

Zash gave a sarcastically innocent look “oh I see that’s how we’re playing it” she clicked her neck moving towards Kyradia like a beast stalking it’s prey

Kyradia stood up ready to fight “yeah it is you bitch you killed that girl and I of all people know what you deserve for that” Kyradia was ready if she could do one good thing in this life it’s get rid of Zash again.

Zash’s new face extended into an almost unnatural smile “oh she knew what she was getting into apprentice I’ve learnt from my past mistakes” Kyradia’s snarl broadened she hated that name

She moved up to Zash “call me apprentice one more time and I’ll shove this lightsaber so far through you no holocron could save you” they stared each other down for a few seconds in complete silence tension thick in the air “and you and I both know she didn’t know what she was getting into” Zash tried to stifle a laugh but then let out a loud cackle

“I may have left out a few details but you know all too well sacrifice is key to victory” a cocky grin curled on her face “but I forget you’ve gone soft” alright that’s it no more preamble she’s dead

Kyradia moved back entering a combat stance “You wanna test that theory” Zash mimicked her movements entering her own stance

“gladly” she grinned as they lunged towards each other

their blades clashed pushing against each other the mix of purple, yellow and red filling Kyradia’s vision. Zash pushed Kyradia back and went for a high and low slash with her two sabers, Kyradia held her saber vertical stopping both blades and proceeding to kick Zash back. Zash caught herself kneeling down looking like a hyena ready to pounce, she jumped forward with a flurry of strikes causing Kyradia to stagger back as she blocked each successive strike. She went for her own set of strikes clashing with each of Zash’s sabers separately before jumping causing Zash to have to block Kyradia’s attempt to cleave her in two. Kyradia could feel Zash reach out with the force using it to push her into the air, Kyradia wasn’t so easily confused however using the momentum flipping over and landing in the middle of the chamber.

Zash smiled at her swiftly turning around “very impressive you haven’t lost your touch” she got into a stance ready to run at Kyradia “and I must say Lusari’s ability with two lightsabers is brilliant I should’ve chosen someone like her to begin with” She began to speed towards Kyradia ready to strike, Kyradia wasn’t going to allow this reaching out with the force she shot out bolts of lightning making their way to the sith in front of her. She saw Zash try to block the lightning with her sabers forming an X, Kyradia continued to press the lightning as it jolted around the sabers and into her enemy. She could see Zash gritting her teeth in pain and the lightning coarsed through her, Kyradia savoured every second watching Zash convulse in pain, but then she saw Zash suddenly shift positions damn phantom stride.

She took a second to compose herself “two can play at that game apprentice” as she brought her arms up a volley of lightning shot out, Kyradia barely anticipated it as the blue light sped towards her but just managed to redirect her lightning to stop it, they both snarled as their lightning began to push them further apart. The light blue energy clouding Kyradia’s vision she could barely see Zash but she could feel her anger as well as her own this was it and Kyradia had to stop her. She began to walk forward but it was useless any ground she made she was just pushed back, she had to stop this stalemate. She knew what to do she began to crouch down ready to jump, she sprang into the air spotting where Zash was then focussing and striding over to her location but when she arrived she was no longer there. Kyradia looked around panicked as she saw a form flipping over her head she readied her saber and blocked the downward strike as Zash landed and went for a couple more swipes. Kyradia wasn’t so easily fooled as she effortlessly parried each manoeuvre, she noticed something in Zash however she looked agitated maybe she hadn’t anticipated Kyradia’s competence with a blade.

She grinned at her “what’s the matter Zash not up to the challenge” Zash snarled at her and Kyradia tried to use that opportunity to sweep the leg but was met with a knee to the face. She staggered back in pain feeling blood running from her nose damn bitch where was she, Kyradia’s focus returned just in time to stop her as she went for a running jab.

Zash held her sabers against Kyradia’s while leaning forward “no apprentice just not getting overconfident” she was so close Kyradia could feel her breath “there’s still so mu-” Kyradia knew she had to fight dirty as she head-butted Zash driving her horns into Zash’s face. Zash cried out in pain as she fell back wards. Kyradia could see her holding her face in pain her sabers dropping to the ground this was her chance she could stop her just had to go for a stab. She raised the blade but as she did she felt it pulled by the force, NO she pulled against the force whatever it was and tried to drive it down. She overcame whatever force pulled her back hearing a scream as she drove the blade down but her saber was suddenly stopped with as sharp jolt as Zash grabbed the blade by it’s end.

Her face rippled with pain as she ripped it out of Kyradia’s hand standing up suddenly and slashing across Kyradia’s stomach. She felt the searing burn as the saber cut deep forcing her to stumble back against the wall, she began to cough and felt a strong iron taste in her mouth. She was having trouble breathing as she looked up to see Zash bleeding from the face but ready, holding her own saber over her. No she couldn’t lose like this she couldn’t it wasn’t right Zash deserved to die

Zash smiled deviously “you lose Kyradia” but as she raised the blade Kyradia saw the milirian enter her vision grabbing Zash’s shoulder

Zash looked to her confused “Lusi we need to go now the others will be here soon and I don’t know if we can hold them off” Zash’s confusion faded nodding but looking agitated at the same time, Kyradia lifted her arm trying to say something to the milirian about Zash but only more blood came up she couldn’t stop her. She tried to move but it hurt to much she felt tears enter her eyes trying to hold back the pain.

Zash seemed to take on a strangely warm expression “ok Terri sure we gotta go” Kyradia could see a twinge of disappointment in her face as she acted like Lusari before turning back to Kyradia “well it’s a good thing I enjoy the chase looks like you get off easy this time” Terri began leading her out of the chamber in a sprint leaving Kyradia unable to move of the temple floor, she’d lost she’d be dead if not for the Milirian, she’d failed…

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Terri began running back out of the chamber with Lusari in tow, she was not only ok but it looked like she had fought off the commander maybe all her worry was misplaced. As she began to run through the courtyard she could see the togruta still on the ground seemingly not a threat and the Kaleesh making sure she was ok. She guessed they could just run out but as they began down the steps she saw the Kaleesh turn to face them ready to fight. But then a few seconds later she saw him flung against the wall slumping down seemingly unconscious. She turned to Lusari “um did you do that” Lusari turned to her a bit absent minded

she nodded smiling “yes I did I uh think I still have some residual force energy or something” Terri couldn’t help but notice she was speaking a little more like she was from the empire, Terri guessed with high tensions she’d forgotten to disguise the accent.

Terri frowned as they reached the edge of the courtyard “did we succeed then I don’t see the Lady?” she had wondered about that in the ritual chamber but saving Lusari from the commander was her only concern at the time

Lusari seemed to be miles away “huh oh right no it was a success I’ll uh explain later” Terri nodded that was fair, their part in this was done now what did she care their favour was complete. They reached the edge of the lake seeing their escape vessel on the other side of the lake, Terri headed for the stones ready to cross but stopped when Lusari didn’t follow “I’m gonna do something crazy but remember I’m still teaming with force energy” Terri frowned at her a little confused but none the less she trusted her, taking her hand prepared for what she was about to do. Lusari took a deep breath and Terri felt herself lifted up into the air jumping across the entire lake landing on the other side with a roll. Terri got up taking a deep breath wow that was incredible this force energy was great she helped Lusari up as the ship moved in. They both readied themselves and jumped up on to the descending landing ramp, Lusari quickly dashing to the cockpit, Terri followed ready for what came next.

Lusari shouted “get us out of here!” to the mercenary in the pilot seat as they arrived in the cockpit Terri couldn’t believe they’d actually done it

The mercenary turned to them “will do but we have a small problem a ship has been harassing us we’ve avoided it for now but I think it’s on it’s way for a second attack” Lusari gritted her teeth turning and walking back towards the landing ramp

“leave the fury to me” Terri watched from the cockpit as a ship she assumed the fury came into view but as soon as it was there heading towards it she saw it spiralling off course as it began to fly down into some part of the forest. With that the ship began to rise from the surface of the planet and fly above the clouds leaving Yavin IV. Lusari came back to the cockpit and let out a deep breath smiling at Terri “we did it Terri” Terri had no idea how they had but hopefully would find out once they were alone, she none the less smiled back at Lusari glad they had survived the complications.

Now she had a clear look at Lusari she saw how the ritual had messed with her, her eyes were much yellower and her hair was all curled up it was kinda nice “I like your hair by the way” Lusari grinned at her running her hand through her hair

“yes I like it too I think I might keep it”…

Chapter Text

Kavaraa zipped up her snowsuit as the ship began to descend to the planet of Ilum, she had no idea how to find the temple once they had arrived but hoped it would become clear once they got there. She was at least prepared for the climate with her big artic snowsuit, she’d learnt her lesson from her trip to hoth long ago that she did not deal well with cold. Since then Kavaraa had decided to have a coat custom made she’d be the first to admit she went a bit overboard with the design. She lifted the hood up fitting her montrals into their sleeves chuckling at the ridiculousness of the look, it was purely functionality over style but she didn’t care her montrals got frightfully cold without them. People told her it made her look like a bunny which she thought was a compliment, she’d also chosen to insulate it as much as possible as to avoid a cold chill and of course the thing had millions of pockets.

As she put on her gloves and snow boots she noticed Kormel lurking outside the door trying to act natural, he’d be there for ages if she didn’t intervene “Kormel do you wanna talk to me?” he seemed caught of guard dragging his feet as he entered the room nervously

he rubbed the back of his head “uh yeah I kinda might need some gear for the uh cold weather d-do you have anything i can borrow” Kavaraa frowned seemed like a lot of fuss over nothing she had plenty of spares no need to be embarrassed

She opened up the cabinet “sure I got some spares although they may be a little big on you, they’re Theron’s size and mine well they have these silly montral cosies on the top” Kormel looked up at the snowsuit Kavaraa had picked out and took it silently. Kavaraa’s expression softened Kormel was far too nervous something was up “so I’m assuming you want to talk about more than borrowing a snowsuit?” Kormel’s eyes went wide as he put on the snowsuit seemingly shrinking at being found out.

He stammered not making eye contact “i uh well yeah I just well do you remember what the Avulo Bysh guy said?” Kavaraa noddded, she’d been meaning to look up Avulo but they’d got so caught up in the pilgrimage that when they got back on the ship she just had a nap instead “well he said this is uh a test to see if we’re um worthy right?” Kavaraa nodded again staying silent she wanted to allow Kormel to say what he was thinking without her input. Kormel finally looked at Kavaraa in the eye “I fell to the dark side at least a little what if I’m not worthy” Kavaraa could see the fear in his eyes and couldn’t help but feel bad for him.

Kavaraa moved forward putting her hand on his shoulder “hey come on bud the fact that you’re even asking those questions is a step in the right direction” she gave a warm smile as Kormel frowned clearly confused

“what do you mean” Kormel sighed still looking fearful

Kavaraa tilted her head “it’s good to be unsure if you’re worthy because doubts about ourselves are some of the things that make us strive to be better people” Kormel began nodding slowly a look of understanding coming across his face “It’s perfectly natural to have doubts but we don’t let them overcome us, we let them fuel us to be better” she gave him a warm smile letting go of his shoulder, he seemed to be reassured of their goal Kavaraa wasn’t entirely sure if any of them were ‘worthy’ but they should at least try. As the conversation ended she felt the ship touch down on the ice of Ilum she was excited for the next leg of her journey she really felt that she was on the right path finally.

They had landed on a ridge not to far from a republic base and were now working out where to go from here. Kavaraa was trying to find the next temple or clue through the force while Theron analysed the area and Kormel messed with the starmap. However Kavaraa wasn’t looking yet she had just been looking across Ilum, the bright white snow and ice reflecting starlight to create a truly stunning visual. But Kavaraa didn’t feel in awe she didn’t have the fondest memories of this place especially given recent events, it had been many years but she still remembered being called in to stop the Sith attack. Empire vs Republic it all felt so trivial now but yet it wasn’t, it was the way the galaxy was going and what was she supposed to do? should she even do anything? was she obligated? she thought we were past that. She put the thoughts to the back of her mind and focussed on trying to find a sense of something special or a potent force connection. She began to focus trying to find the secret clue but as she did she was met with an array of powerful forces causing her to flinch back in pain. She held her head as it throbbed with pain and sighed, right Ilum home of lightsaber crystals is gonna have at least some potent force energy should’ve seen that one coming. She hung her head for a few seconds before she started messing with the snow, she drew a little togruta face with a smile but was disappointed when the wind caused snow to blow over it rendering it just snow.

She sat there for a few more minutes before she heard a voice from behind her “as expected schematics, mining records and other such underground data has elicited nothing on the spooky secret hidden jedi temple” Kavaraa chuckled as Theron sat down next to her “any luck on your end Barsen’thor” Kavaraa gave him a coy grin

“nah it’s a dud there’s too much potent force energy here for me to even sense the place” Kavaraa put her head on her hands pouting

Theron put his arm around her “well let’s hope the kid has something we missed, if you’re done though why are you still out here then it’s freezing?” she told Theron to get a snowsuit like hers but noooooo and now he was gonna be the one whining, she certainly wasn’t cold.

Kavaraa looked out at the icy outcroppings dotted over Ilum “uh I dunno I was just well thinking about last time I was here” Theron nodded letting out a sigh of his own

“the whole Malgus thing?” Kavaraa nodded not making eye contact “look Kav there’s nothing you could’ve done about Oss-” Kavaraa interrupted before Theron could finish

Kavaraa snapped “yeah but there was something we could’ve done!” looking pointedly at Theron before her expression dropped “uh ah sorry I shouldn’t have snapped at you” she fidgeted awkwardly embarrassed she’d let that happen

Theron squeezed her shoulder “It’s ok Kavaraa don’t worry about it” Kavaraa knew she was better than that this place was just bringing it all back.

She stood up taking a deep breath “let’s focus up we should probably scout the area just in case of uh beasts or something” wow great excuse Kavaraa, but to be fair they probably should scout the area while they wait for Kormel

Theron stood up seemingly brushing off the awkward conversation “yeah sure might as well” they began to head towards a somewhat steep but scalable descent off the ridge. They began slowly edging down the hill Theron let out a grumble “man this is steep I can barely balance myself” he was right he was barely keeping himself up, Kavaraa for some reason was not having the same problem

Kavaraa chuckled putting her hands on her hips “really I don’t think it’s that bad maybe if you had allowed me to get you special snow boots you wouldn’t be having this issue” Theron let out a long sigh turning around to head further down. As they began to reach the bottom of the ridge Kavaraa saw Theron lose his balance tumbling down into the snow with a wumph.

Kavaraa let out a snort as Theron picked himself up out of the snow “oh yeah yeah real funny” he wiped his face clean of snow as Kavaraa continued to laugh

She managed to stifle her chuckles for a second “I’m sorry it’s just you gotta admit getting covered in snow is pretty funny” she continued laughing at her dork of a husband

She then noticed Theron begin to grin “oh yeah it probably is pretty funny” and before Kavaraa could react she felt a cold wumph of snow hit her face, she stumbled back nearly falling but managing to maintain her balance.

Kavaraa’s face scrunched up “hey cmon” Theron began laughing to himself

He grinned picking himself up off the floor “you’re right that is pretty funny” he wiped the snow stopping as he noticed a devious grin on Kavaraa’s face

She lifted her arms up “you wanna dance spyboy” as she did she lifted the snow around her with the force as Theron’s eyes widened. Kavaraa unleashed the barrage of snowballs as Theron dived behind a rock, evaded her for now.

After the barrage was over he popped his head over the rock angrily “hey come on the force is definitely fowl play let’s keep this above board” Kavaraa conceded that he had a point

She grinned at him “fine but I’m still gonna wipe the floor with you” she rolled to the ground hiding behind her own rock

Kavaraa could hear a chuckle from Theron “we’ll see about that Barsen’thor” Kavaraa instinctively rose up ready to aim but as she did she spied a snowball heading straight for her that narrowly avoided her traveling just between her montrals as she ducked. She let out a sigh of relief as she scanned the area for that distinct red coat as she did she prepared a small army of snowballs ready to go for Theron when he showed himself. There! she spotted him running between the ridge towards her position she let out a volley of snowballs each narrowly missing him as he slid into a small snow trench. Dang it now he hand the upper hand she began to run closer zigzagging as she went she could see snowballs being fired but only Theron’s hand was visible one hitting her leg. She managed to avoid the rest of the snowballs sliding behind a rock staying there for a few seconds creating snowballs before she jumped over the trench spotting Theron exposed. She rained down fire on him as he began to run getting hit a few times as Kavaraa landed in the trench, she spyed him leaving her vision heading back towards the ridge. She couldn’t let him get away she put together a huge snowball and sprinted out the trench, she was met with the surprise of Theron standing still waiting for her with a huge snowball. Oh no she began to try and slow down as Theron threw the snowball at her it clocked her in the face causing her to fall back onto the ground. She quickly regained her composure though throwing her own snowball at Theron causing him too to fall down next to her. They both caught their breath as they lay next to each other then Kavaraa started giggling to herself and Theron promptly joined in laughing as they lay in the snow. They laughed for a few seconds before they turned to each other

Kavaraa smiled at him “I love you you silly fool” she leant in for a kiss that they held for a few seconds

Theron grinned “you too you cute doofus” they began laughing again as they lay in the snow.

Suddenly Kormel came down the ridge holding the map from before “guys guys guys the map has changed it’s got new coordinates here” he stopped noticing that Kavaraa and Theron were lying on the ground “um sorry am I interrupting something?” Kavaraa giggled loudly as Kormel looked on in confusion…

Chapter Text

Kavaraa brushed the snow off her stopping to rest for a minute, the snow wasn’t too heavy but still enough to annoy her. Theron stood in front of her shivering while messing with his datapad, she hoped he didn’t catch a cold this was so like him. To be fair going earlier in the day would be better than later, she assumed the coordinates were confusing him. Kormel had explained the map had changed once it detected their location and pinpointed a location on Ilum where they were supposedly supposed to go. But given the large ice outcroppings of Ilum this was proving harder than expected, they had been walking around the edge of one for a while, Kavaraa hoped they’d find their way in soon.

Kavaraa tapped on Theron’s shoulder “everything alright sweetie” Theron grumbled to himself as he turned to face her

“I was hoping the location was on the other side of this Ice mountain thing but it seems like it’s concealed within” Theron let out a small groan as he went back to his datapad “I’ll see if i can find any charted cave entrances” Kavaraa nodded, she had learned to let him handle the tech stuff she always seemed to make it worse. She turned to see Kormel had sat down and seemed to be writing more notes, Kavaraa still found it odd that he used a book instead of a holopad but to each their own, must’ve cost a bit though. She plopped herself down next to him and after a few seconds he noticed her and gave a shy smile before returning to his book

Kavaraa didn’t want to bother him too much but her curiosity got the better of her “I’ve been meaning to ask what you’re always writing in the book?” Kormel’s eyes went wide holding the book tightly

Kormel began to stammer “well uh I wanted to make an account of my uh well our adventure and I’m not so good with tech so I uh use this” Kavaraa was worried she was pressuring him but he had a little excited glint in her eye when she asked.

Kavaraa nodded “I see well I can see how that’d be useful” she paused thinking “although that Avulo guy was kinda clear this was supposed to be a secret pilgrimage ya know” she’d felt pretty conflicted about that she wanted to help the galaxy but ancient knowledge in the wrong hands could be terrible, she hoped it’d become clearer with the next clue.

Kormel grinned “way ahead of you I haven’t given the names of most things like planets and locations and I just described the riddle as a riddle” what a smart kid Kavaraa couldn’t help but grin she’d chose right with this one

Kavaraa cocked her head “am I in it?” Kormel’s shyness returned as he nodded quietly, Kavaraa was already in a bunch of holocrons one more story wouldn’t hurt “only good things I hope?” Kormel relaxed letting out a half smile

“yeah of course just your smarts and jedi ability” Kavaraa felt a small sense of pride which she made sure to stop it from going to her head

she stood up “well once it’s finished I can’t wait to read it” she made her way back over to Theron who seemed like he had found something

Theron looked up grinning “good news there’s a cave entrance just over the ridge” Kavaraa smiled phew she did not want to traipse around the snow any longer.

 

After a small trekk they could see the open mouth of an icy cave in front of them, Theron spoke up “finally let’s hope it’s a little warmer in there” Kavaraa nodded as they strode forward but then she thought sensed something, not something strong just something nearby.

She patted Theron’s shoulder “be on your guard I think I sense something” he nodded moving his hand towards his blaster. Kavaraa kept her eye out as they entered the cave, still nothing maybe it was just a Lisk going by or something. None the less they all crept forwards carefully, Kavaraa had learnt a lesson about caves a while back that was quite simple, the vast majority have things in and it’s about 50/50 if they are friendly. They made their way into an open chamber with four different exits, Kavaraa could see what looked like beast hairs on the ground. Kavaraa moved in close and whispered to Theron “be careful I think this might be a beast lair” he nodded confidently “which way do you think we should go?” Theron pointed to the two passages to the right

“could be either” he whispered back Kavaraa nodded and they started heading in that direction. Kavaraa was wary now from what she could remember the beasts of Ilum were not usually friendly and she didn’t want tot stick around to find out. She decided to move to the back just in case, she stepped back past Kormel who gave her a wide eyed look as he turned around, she made a shhh gesture as she stepped backward. Kormel nodded eyes even wider gesturing wildly at Kavaraa, what did he mean as she considered she stepped back and hit something, something furry and big. Kavaraa’s eyes went wide as she turned to see the hulking form of a Gorgodon snarling at her

“oh right” she could see multiple nearby, well so much for the stealthy option

 

A second later the gorgodon brought it’s huge claw down but before it could slam Kavaraa into paste she focussed with the force pulling up the ice in front of her as a shield. As the huge claw impacted with the ice it began to shatter but for now was still holding, Kavaraa drew her saber hearing blaster shots start to ring out from behind her. The cave became illuminated with different glows of pink, yellow and black, Kavaraa sprinted backwards as the gorgodon slammed through the ice wall and began bounding towards her. She took in a deep breath throwing out her her saber in an arc which sliced against both his knees, the gorgodon stumbled falling to the ground and sliding to her feat with a light thud. She could see Kormel looking around stunned as the other two gorgodons began bounding towards the three of them. As one ran at Kormel she reached out pushing it onto its back with the force, she couldn’t help but chuckle as it glided across the ice to the other end of the chamber. She now focussed on the other one bounding towards her but as she was working out a plan she saw a torrent of flames jet out from behind her causing the gorgodon to reer back. She saw Theron slide in next to her with a grin

Kavaraa looked at him in confusion “when did you get that?” he raised his eyebrow at her

“how do i get anything” he leant in giving her a quick kiss before he dashed off to deal with the gorgodon patting out the flames. Kavaraa blushed before remembering she was still standing in front of a live gorgodon and it was starting to get up. As the gorgodon began to get up Kavaraa put her hand on the boney head of the creature focussing fully on subduing its aggression. After a few seconds it dropped to the ground unconscious Kavaraa smiled before she dashed forward aware there were two more gorgodon to fight. She caught a glimpse of Kormel as she dashed forward who seemed to be fumbling with his lightsaber. Maybe she should teach him lightsaber combat, she mentally noted it down as she ran at the gorgodon she had pushed to the other end of the cavern. As it stood up it roared in rage bounding towards her, she continued to run at it and slid under it’s legs. She spun around barely catching herself on the ice then used the momentum to jump onto it’s back, as she impacted with it she grabbed onto the fur and held tight. The gorgodon began to thrash back and forth trying to wrench her of it’s back, she had to grab on tight as she could narrowly avoiding being flung against the wall. She began to climb once the gorgodon got tired and reached it’s shoulders where she stood ready to repeat the subduing process but as she began to focus she felt the claw of the beast slam into her knocking her back down to the ice. Her body seared in pain as she forced herself back up, new plan instead of climbing she’d create her own platform. The gorgodon turned to spot where she had been flung to but as it did she focussed with the force, she pulled with all her might against the ice dislodging a platform of ice from the rock beneath her. She rose slowly as the gorgodon bounded towards her and just before it would hit the platform and her she jumped landing square on its face. She quickly put her palm against its skull and focussed, it began to try and tear her off but it’s efforts quickly became lazy and seconds later it slammed against the ice unconscious. Kavaraa looked for the last one but saw Theron standing over it confidently while watching her, she made her way over to him deigniting her lightsaber.

As she arrived she gestured for a high five which Theron returned “zero casualties nice” she then looked at Theron quizzically “I am wondering how you managed it though” Theron chuckled

“you have the force but I have fancy gadgets” he bent down and picked up a small chip attached to the gorgodons forehead. Kavaraa smiled they were so cool. She turned around to see that Kormel had just ignited his lightsaber looking combat ready.

she walked over to him as he looked around confused “don’t worry bud we got em” Kormel let out a long relieved sigh

“phew sorry I just haven’t had much combat training” Kavaraa nodded putting her arm on his shoulder

She gave him a light smile “I think I know the first thing I’m gonna teach you” Kormel nodded looking a little embarrassed

Kormel brushed off the embarrassment eyes widening “that’s fair, you were so cool though with all the ice moves” Kavaraa smiled she thought they were pretty cool too

Theron rejoined them datapad out “we’ll have time to discuss jedi stuff later we’re close” Kavaraa nodded following Theron as he led them down the passage.

After a while of following Theron he stopped confused turning back to them and walking back past them

Kavaraa frowned at him “uh Theron something wrong?” Theron looked confused as he messed with the datapad

“well uh the coordinates are supposedly close just a little further west” Kavaraa nodded that was alright she could go a little futher “and uh west is that way” Theron pointed to the wall of ice in front of them.

Kavaraa let out a sigh “oh I see” Theron nodded “well uh can we melt through it” Theron put his hand on his chin

“we could but it’d take a while” Theron grimaced “how do we know we’re right though we don’t want to waste a day melting ice” that was a pretty good point

Kavaraa peered into the thick ice no clear cavern “I’ll see if I can sense anything ya know uh forcey” she closed her eyes and reached out with the force, she could sense… something very faint but still something in the direction Theron was proposing. “I well I sense something but it’s not a sure thing” Theron let out an audible groan

he gestured to his flame device “alright well looks like i better get to work” Kavaraa nodded looking awkwardly at him “whatever we’re looking for better be worth this” Kavaraa could agree with him there this was a lot of work it better be worth it…

Chapter Text

Kyradia’s vision blurred wincing with a large jolt of pain, she held her hand over her stomach trying her best to stop the bleeding. This was bad, this was really bad she couldn’t die not like this not after everything she’d been through bleeding out in a temple it wasn’t right. She tried her best to move but every time she tried a sharp pain would ring out from her stomach, if she moved she definitely would die she just hoped for some kind of miracle. Kyradia scowled thinking back to the fight with Zash she completely had her beaten and then suddenly she didn’t what the fuck changed, if she got out of this she would destroy that woman no chance of survival this time she swore it. Kyradia felt a sharp pain as she coughed up more blood the iron now all she could taste, there were so many things she still had to do what about the galaxy? what about her friends? what about him? she’d never even had a chance and now she may never get one it wasn’t fair. She shuddered doing her best to take deep breaths but saw her vision darkening no matter how hard she tried, no she had to keep going she couldn’t die here she wouldn’t! She focussed all her attention on staying awake but she knew she couldn’t last forever, Kyradia could here a muffled noise coming from somewhere close she couldn’t pin down where. She could see colours enter her vision moving around maybe people maybe animals it was all so blurred, she tried to focus but was suddenly met with a burning pain around her stomach that caused her to scream out in pain. But as soon as it was there the pain had passed and her vision was clearer, she could here what sounded like a voice it was all becoming clearer and clearer.

the voice sounded worried “Kyradia! KYRADIA can you hear me?” Kyradia’s vision cleared as she saw Ashara trembling while lightly shaking Kyradia

Kyradia took a deep breath “uh um yeah I can here you” Kyradia looked around the room seeing Xalek standing behind Ashara looking equally distressed.

Ashara let out a long sigh of relief “oh thank the force we thought we’d lost you” Kyradia turned back to Ashara and frowned her montrals they were missing bits had she been in trouble

Kyradia did her best to clear her throat still tasting the blood “Ashara your montrals are you ok?” Ashara gave a amused frown

she cocked her head at Kyradia “are you serious this is nothing Kyradia have you seen yourself” Kyradia nodded looking down to her stomach wound her hands covered in her own blood. Ashara had her hands on it probably doing the healing thing again that would explain that pain. “Kyradia what in the force happened?” Ashara looked wide eyed and distressed

Kyradia hung her head thinking back to the fight “Zash is back properly back and she beat me, would’ve killed me if it weren’t for that Milirian girl” Ashara frowned as Kyradia tried to sit up

“what do you mean she’s back when they left Xalek only saw the two girls?” Kyradia tried her best not to focus on Ashara’s own injury but couldn’t help worrying

Kyradia sighed “she took the blonde girls form” Ashara’s face dropped understanding flashing across her face “like she wanted to do with me and like she accidentally did to khem” Kyradia leant back against the wall “and then she kicked my ass” Kyradia slumped back down

Ashara put her hand on Kyradia’s shoulder “hey we’ll find her I promise” Kyradia gave her a half smile not believing her but appreciating the sentiment “but for now we need to keep you alive” Kyradia nodded very aware of the giant gash on her stomach

Kyradia looked back down to the wound wincing this wasn’t gonna be pretty “let me guess this is gonna hurt like a bitch” Ashara reluctantly nodded. Kyradia took a deep breath “bring it” she tensed up ready for the pain and as Ashara’s healing power started she felt a white hot pain surround her stomach as she could feel the wound begin to force itself back together. Kyradia gritted her teeth as hard as she could feeling every second as the pain got more and more intense until her vision suddenly went black.

 

Around her she could see only darkness, she could hear faint voices they sounded distressed she wasn’t sure why. She looked around for something but suddenly she felt a gust of wind on her face and then another and then a crimson cloud off in the distance. She could see flashes of energy within it as sat there motionless. She looked down at her hands but… where were her normal robes and more importantly where were her tattoos? She looked like she was… smaller like she was before… Suddenly she heard a much louder voice echoing around her

“oh well this is a delightful development” then the voice cackled loudly the sound resonating all around her filling her ears until she had to cover them before everything disappeared again…

 

Kyradia opened her eyes slowly she could here a beeping sound like a hear monitor it was way too loud someone should turn it off. She looked around the room and was met with the familiar sight of her bedroom on the fury, she looked to the left and saw Andronikos seemingly asleep in a chair next to her. She smiled he always looked cute when he was asleep but wait what happened? how did she get here? last thing she remembered was being healed in the temple, had she passed out? Maybe Andronikos would know she would have to sit up to wake him though she began to try and move but was still met with a searing stomach pain causing her to reel back onto the bed and let out a strain of extreme curses. Still not healed then she lifted her clothes up to look at the wound, she grimaced as she saw the large scar strung along her stomach even her tattoos couldn’t hide that. She hoped to god the Bacta would make it less noticeable, she noticed Andronikos was now stirring from sleep and as he got his bearing his eyes widened

a small smile crept across his face “hey you’re awake are you ok?” he made his way over to the bed kneeling down next to her

Kyradia frowned “I wouldn’t say ok but I’m uh awake and only hurt a moderate amount” Andronikos nodded looking off at the wall “uh how long have I been out? don’t you dare say 5 years or I’m dumping your ass” Andronikos chuckled giving her a coy smile

“not too long at least by your standards, a couple days at most” Kyradia did her best to give a smile “after Ashara healed you she brought you back here and then we fixed up the ship” Kyradia frowned what was wrong with the ship Andronikos looked away awkwardly “I may have crashed the ship but before you say anything it wasn’t my fault it was because of the force” of course Kyradia gave him a grin

Kyradia raised her eyebrow “sure it was the force” Andronikos rubbed his forehead giving an exasperated sigh “thanks” Andronikos nodded

Andronikos put his hand on Kyradia’s shoulder “always hun” he leant in kissing her forehead “I’ll go get Ashara she’s been pretty worried about you” Kyradia nodded that was a good sign at least. Kyradia sat there in silence thinking about all that just went wrong, she had really messed up here and had to deal with this as soon as she could at least stand. A few moments passed and then Ashara came rushing in

she let out a gasp “Kyradia you’re ok” she dashed over and pulled Kyradia into a sudden hug, Kyradia felt the pain of her stomach as Ashara held her tight

Kyradia winced in pain “um ah Ashara the wound it’s uh stop please” Ashara let go quickly realising

She rubbed the back of her neck “I uh sorry I was just worried” Kyradia nodded doing her best not to move anything abdominal related

Kyradia frowned remembering Ashara had a wound of her own “um Ashara are you ok your montrals” Kyradia pointed to the stubs where Ashara’s montrals ended.

Ashara held the end of one in her hand “uh yeah the Milirian may have got me pretty bad but deadly or anything they should be reattachable” she looked away letting out a sigh “they probably wont help me sense things anymore but it’s still better than losing them” Kyradia felt bad she had brought Ashara into this

Kyradia looked away “I’m uh I’m sorry I got you roped up in all this I didn’t want you to get hurt” Ashara nodded letting out a sigh

“Kyradia I’m not you apprentice anymore this was my decision and I’m glad I chose it” Kyradia smiled weakly at her she guessed that was true

Kyradia took a deep breath “I need to get after her” she looked Ashara in the eye “as soon as I can I’m going after her” Ashara frowned at Kyradia

Ashara folded her arms at her “if you go as soon as you can you’re gonna get yourself killed cause you’re still injured” Kyradia grimaced, she knew Ashara was right but every second she wasted Zash got futher away. Ashara put her hand on Kyradia’s arm “after you get in a bacta tank and heal up we will go and find her ok” Kyradia’s eyes went wide Ashara still wanted to help even now?

Kyradia stammered “Ashara you don’t have to do this it’s got nothing to do with you” Ashara raised her eyebrow at Kyradia

“she a crazy sith who time and time again has proved to be an evil person, I don’t think I need a reason” Kyradia felt so overwhelmed by everything that had happened she definitely could use that bacta nap

Kyradia took Ashara’s hand “thanks Ashara I don’t understand why you keep helping me but ya know thanks” Ashara looked at Kyradia and smiled

“I started this with you I can’t exactly give up now things have got tough” Kyradia nodded she guessed there was something to that “and besides you think I’m gonna let you have all the fun taking Zash down” they both chuckled and then Ashara got up leaving Kyradia to rest. But she still didn’t know, Kyradia had to tell her as soon as she was healthy again who knows if Ashara would help after that…

Chapter Text

The blue light of the holocommunicator flickered as Gacen looked up at the still broken holo, he really had to fix it but Ash told him he’d just make it worse, at least it was broken on their end

Amy’s voice came through “so just to be clear we’re square now no hard feelings about the whole knocking you out thing” Gacen guessed she’d atoned for it, they’d gotten off the resort scot free and had a new lead he’d certainly been in worse interrogations

Gacen nodded “yeah no worries Ames we’re square but you gotta keep all this Risha/Dubrillion/our involvement stuff a secret ok” Gacen had gotten the impression this whole situation was very hush hush and was aware of how mad Risha would be if he fucked it up

Amy raised her eyebrow and chuckled “haha I’d like to see them try” Gacen was inclined to agree Amy was definitely a very competent fighter, only Ash could really stand up to her in his opinion or a jedi but that’s a whole other thing.

Gacen smiled back “yeah I bet, I’m sure you can handle it thanks for the lead Ames I look forward to the next time we inexplicably cross paths” with that he turned off the holo and made his way to the cockpit. He could see Ash sitting in the co-pilots seat, he plopped himself down in the pilot seat putting his legs on the console.

Ash turned to him with a tired look “oh uh hey Gacen did you settle up with Amy?” Gacen couldn’t help but smile Ash was not dealing with the after effects of the drugs as well as he had, she was probably used to super efficient high class truth serum not underworld stuff that makes you all sluggish.

Gacen began searching around in his coat “Yeah that’s all sorted we’re even” he paused as he found his flask “you doin alright the drugs still affecting you?” he took a quick swig of booze to calm his nerves, Ash seemed too tired to mind

Ash rubbed her forehead wincing “is it that obvious” Gacen nodded sarcastically, Ash slumped down in her chair “ugh I feel like crap boiled my brain and left it in a trash compactor” wow graphic Gacen wondered if he’d built up a tolerance to these sort of things

He gave her chair a light shove “but hey you’re one of us now” Ash frowned at him confused “officially done stupid things while under the influence of a drug, you’re a cool girl now” Ash was getting such a experience of underworld culture with him was that a good thing? Gacen had no idea

Ash groaned giving Gacen a glare “don’t start” Gacen chuckled to himself coding the hyperspace route to the Horned Rancors base

Gacen took another quick swig of booze “yeah you’re right you were never cool” he could here Ash grumbling quietly as he prepared the ship for hyperspace “you are gonna wanna look away from the view port unless you want a giant headache” Ash nodded turning her chair around sluggishly. Gacen performed the last checks and pushed the ship into hyperspace, the stars extended into blue starlines as the ship jumped forward into hyperspace. They definitely had been a state at the resort he’d never seen Ash so loose, he may have let a secret out but he trusted her to keep it. He sat there silently for a few minutes taking swigs of booze at regular intervals, he couldn’t remember much about the Horned Rancors except he thought the name was cool and maybe the leader. He was half prepared for a fight or a friendly welcome, both equally likely but if Risha trusted them for whatever all this was they were probably good. She’d certainly done a good job covering her tracks, he finally had a lead on her and this may actually lead somewhere he still didn’t even know if she’d want to see him but like Ash said it’s better to find out than pine forever. He took a long swig of booze and got up glancing over to Ash who was asleep in her chair, yeah that’s fair he hoped she’d be up for when they arrive she kinda helped him look intimidating.

Gacen made his way through the ship to the engine room and sat down against the console, he liked coming here every now and again it reminded him of her. She was always fixing something one of them had broken when he’d pop in and she’d always give him the same look like she knew he did something stupid even before he’d even told her. He wanted to go back to that so badly he’d loved that life going on silly adventures, outsmarting scoundrels and getting paid for it, when did it all change? He knew when though and he knew why, why did he go to Zakuul? he did the noble thing very unlike him, he should’ve just stayed with her running was the only thing he was actually any good at anyway. Gacen always thought if they were separated it’d be Risha who would’ve left, maybe to become a queen or something he didn’t know but still he never wanted it to come to an end. He could just imagine Guss butting in talking about something bizarre or most likely tmi, he could destroy Corso at cards or have a drink with Bowdarr and uh do whatever Akavi liked to do. But most of all he could be with Risha see her sigh as his latest scheme went wrong or be bewildered as it succeeded, she loved it though he could always tell they were what each other had needed. Gacen took a long sigh and a longer swig of booze he wondered if she thought these things or even missed him he hoped so otherwise he had misjudged her a lot. He didn’t really blame her if she gave up on him though he’d been missing for years and he was aware she could do a lot better. But all of this secrecy it meant something right? at this point he just wanted to know if she was ok that’d be enough then he could at least rest. He let out a quiet chuckle, for all the flirting he did she really had him hooked. Gacen got up and stumbled back towards the cockpit he could mope all he liked but they actually had a lead, find if it actually goes anywhere. He sat himself back down at the console as he saw Ash stirring from sleep.

She squinted “uhh did we arrive” she sat up looking less like death which was a good sign

Gacen cleared his throat and slurred back “uh not yet we’re still in hyperspace” Ash frowned at him looking to his flask

Ash let out a sigh “have you been drinking?” Ash didn’t look too angry which he guessed was good

Gacen reluctantly nodded “just a little” that was defiantly a lie “I just uh now that we have a lead I’m uh a little nervous and I just need something to calm my nerves ya know” Ash nodded surprisingly calm

“ok just don’t have anymore we need to be ready when we arrive” Gacen nodded putting away the flask, that was fine he’d had his mope time to focus.

better change the subject “you feeling better now?” he could only imagine how she’d handle booze

Ash rubbed her eyes “much better I feel like myself again, alright give me a brief on these Rancors guys” Gacen racked his brain to try and remember anything

Gacen had no idea “uhhhhhhhhh I think the leader is called hugo and he’s a zabrak?” Ash let out a long sigh as the ship dropped out of hyperspace, the old base of the Horned Rancors was in front of them looking more like a spaceport Gacen frowned well at least they were still in business…

Chapter Text

Gacen frowned as he began to fly towards the old Horned Rancors base, there was so much traffic, he could see all sorts of ships coming and going from the station. It was much larger than he remembered but most of all it seemed so commercialised he looked to Ash who seemed unfazed by all this.

He brought the ship into the open hanger landing the ship with a delicate thud, he turned to Ash “I’ll be honest things seem a little different since last time I was here” Ash nodded looking out the viewport at the bustling hanger bay

She raised her eyebrow “different good or different bad?” she gestured to one of the many weapons on her person, she really was a walking armoury.

Gacen thought about the question for a couple seconds “uhhh I dunno yet, it definitely seems safer though” Ash seemed satisfied with that answer as Gacen stumbled towards the landing ramp, he was still pretty hammered but this was when he did his best work. Gacen teetered as he made his way down the landing ramp, he could see a Nautolan shuffling towards him looking flustered

As he arrived Gacen tried to stand up straight “uh ah um hello sir we uh don’t appear to have you or your ship on our flight records for today” Gacen frowned what flight records this was still a criminal organisation right

Gacen wobbled catching himself on the landing ramp “do I need to be last time I was here I didn’t need that” the Nautolan nodded frowning at him

He stuttered “well ah you must have not been here for a while this place is a spaceport and has been for a while” Gacen frowned they better still own this place this place was a hot commodity at least he thought it was.

Gacen glanced to Ash who was silent “well uh who’s in charge here then” Gacen looked around at the busy hanger it certainly seemed more legit and less dingy or whatever

The Nautolan looked at his datapad “uh well that would be Vlugo Deys I can’t think wh-” before the Nautolan could finish he was interupted

Gacen snapped his fingers “that’s his name ohhhh yeah I remember now he was a big guy, uh zabrak super friendly ah he was great” he looked to Ash proud of himself, Ash’s expression didn’t change however and after a few seconds of awkward silence he turned back to the Nautolan “tell him the voidhound wants to see him it should clear things up” the Nautolan didn’t seem to believe him but still messed with the datapad for a second.

A look of surprise crossed his face and he looked back to Gacen “I uh have been asked to escort you um sir” Gacen grinned people still knew him that felt good. The Nautolan began leading them through the spaceport, it was surprising to see the halls of a once secret hideout covered in franchises, neon signs everywhere and so many people it made Gacen’s head spin

Gacen turned to Ash “I am freaking out right now this is wild” Ash frowned at him confused

She cocked her head at him “what do you mean?” Gacen could tell Ash was already scoping out every danger around them, must be hard to turn that sort of thing off.

Gacen rubbed his neck awkwardly “I dunno last time I was here it was a super secret hideout for one of our gangs and now it’s so uh docile” Ash nodded rubbing her chin

“well it’s been five years Gacen things and people change” she had a point he was never expecting it to be the same

Gacen screwed up his face “yeah I know but changing this much, it’s like I’m at a mandatory republic gathering” Ash gave him a stern frown, they had been at plenty of those gatherings together and 9/10 times Gacen had embarrassed her or Risha, it was really the republics fault for making it open bar.

They made their way to a lift where the Nautolan gestured for them to get in, once in Ash turned to Gacen “so what if this is a trap” Gacen let out a jovial sigh

He put an arm on Ash’s shoulder “man you really don’t trust anyone” Ash’s expression stayed stern

“Gacen on my first proper assignment my entire squad betrayed me I have pretty good reason” oof she had a good point there he couldn’t exactly argue with that

Gacen conceded answering her question “well in that situation I have plan A” Ash looked at him expectantly “by which I mean plan Ash cause regardless of the dangerous situation we get in to you are still gonna kick their ass” Ash couldn’t help but smile

She lightly punched his shoulder “damn right” Gacen flinched back a little rubbing the surprisingly large pain in his arm wow she was strong.

After a few minutes the lift opened and they were met with a large lavish chamber filled with expensive rugs, in the middle Gacen saw the form of Vlugo the pale stocky zabrak wearing very expensive clothes, looking admittedly older but still energetic as his face broke into a large smile. He clapped his hands roaring with laughter “Gacen fucking Zandar you son of a bantha” as Gacen approached Vlugo pulled him into a hug “where the hell have you been” Gacen laughed happy to see his old friend even if he hadn’t really remembered him, the fact he wasn’t trying to kill him was a big plus.

Gacen laughed to himself “well that’s a long story but the basic jist is that prison sucks and don’t be noble” he let go of Vlugo, Gacen felt weird seeing someone from before Zakuul but it did feel kinda nice.

Vlugo gestured for them to sit down “words to live by I’d say” Gacen laughed as Vlugo turned his attention to Ash “and who is this lovely lady” Gacen gritted his teeth as he saw Ash’s face twitch

Gacen stammered “uhh this is uh Ash and she will uh probably kill you if you call her lovely or lady again” Ash’s eyes narrowed nodding

Vlugo’s stepped back wide eyed “I uhh I uhhh noted” he sat down opposite them hands clasped together “She reminds me of Akavi” Gacen laughed maybe a bit more friendly “now not to insult you but given what I know about you you’re not just here to see your old pal” man was he that obvious he had to work on keeping up with people first Amy now Vlugo.

Gacen cleared his throat “yeah sorry I am here for a reason but first what in the force changed around here? it’s all commercial” Vlugo laughed looking at the expensive items around him

Vlugo rubbed his chin “well a couple years ago we noticed a lot of ships coming through this route result of a new charted hyperlane and many of them needed somewhere to refuel. So we thought we’d oblige considering they had plenty of money” Gacen did think the new hyperlane was perfect to get here quickly. ”and well we made like twice what we made as a gang so we talked to Risha about it and we decided to turn it into a spaceport of course with you guys getting a cut” Gacen grinned Risha was always the opportunist he would’ve totally done the same.

Gacen clapped “that is awesome man trust Rish to take advantage of that sort of thing” Vlugo nodded suddenly his face turning serious

He looked away for a second “how are you and her Gacen is it all ok? She didn’t want to talk about you when I last saw her” Gacen sighed slipping out of his nostalgic moment and remembering his situation he couldn’t imagine what she’d been through he just hoped she hadn’t given up on him.

Gacen’s tone got much more serious “I uh still haven’t seen her” Vlugo nodded solemnly “that’s actually why I’m here, she was last seen here right?” Vlugo pondered the question for a few seconds.

Gacen glanced to Ash for a second, she was still silent he could see her analysing the guy man she really couldn’t turn it off. Vlugo looked back to them “uh yeah I guess so I saw her maybe three maybe four years ago, she said she’d take a ship and dump the old one, that was it she was acting kinda weird kinda jumpy” that explained why he found the ship at a dump and it added up no doubt Dubrillion had definitely gotten more intense with their searching. Gacen still remembered when he read that King Acta-whatever had levelled 6 cities to suppress the rebellion that guy seriously had no chill.

Gacen refocussed on the matter at hand “did she tell you anything else like where she was going? or who with if anyone?” Vlugo sighed shaking his head. No no no no no there had to be something anything what about those records he looked at Vlugo intensely “you keep ship comings and goings on record right? we could check those” Vlugo frowned

He looked at Gacen concerned “I uh I guess maybe they could have something I can give you access as long as you have supervision” ok that’s something the lead wasn’t dead phew

Gacen nodded frantically “yeah yeah sure that’s perfect” he caught himself letting out a breath he looked like a lunatic he had to calm down.

Vlugo shrugged off the moment messing with his datapad “ok lift should take you there, it was great to see you Gacen I hope you find what you’re looking for” he put a hand on Gacen’s shoulder, Gacen smiled at him and after a few seconds Gacen and Ash made their way back into the lift.

Gacen caught his breath before turning to Ash “do you still think this is a trap?” Ash gave a thoughtful look

“it’s still yet to be seen” Gacen nodded she may be paranoid but at least paranoia would equal safety. Ash turned back to Gacen “you ok?” ugh he didn’t want to answer that

Gacen sighed “I dunno I just want this to lead somewhere” he felt a hand on his shoulder as Ash gave a smile good thing she put up with him he’d get nowhere without her help, he still didn’t understand why she put up with him. The elevator was silent for a few seconds before it arrived in a small room overhanging a large hanger, a short rodian turned around to face them

The rodian cleared his throat “I uh was told you want to look through our records on a day about three years ago” Gacen nodded he looked to the screen which already had a day inputed, good old Vlugo remembering the day if he restarted his crime syndicate that guy would be his first hire.

Gacen peered over the console “Ok uh look for departures on one of your ships by uh human females is that possible?” the rodian nodded putting some data into the console and in a few seconds a long list of hangers came up, wow this place is huge now.

The rodian frowned looking at the different logs “I uh sir there seems to be a problem” Gacen frowned but as he looked closer at the data on the console he saw all the information for each hanger was mysteriously redacted. Gacen let out a long sigh clenching his fists “Of course” trust Risha to redact not only her own information but the information of everyone with her description, he took a few deep breaths how the hell was he supposed to find her if she kept doing this shit. There was a long tense moment of silence then Gacen had a realisation “ok you know what scratch that last thing search for male mon cal all other details the same” Ash frowned at him

“last time I checked your spouse was not a fish” Gacen couldn’t help but chuckle, he really hoped that doofus was still with Risha

He smiled at Ash “yeah but in my crew I had a incredibly loyal mon cal friend” Ash’s face flashed with realisation “and I’m willing to bet he would help Risha honestly just so he had some structure in his life” the rodian began putting in the details

Ash frowned “this is the guy who’s always praising you right?” Gacen nodded that was definitely one of the reasons they got on “as if you needed your ego stroked any more” Gacen took a sarcastic gasp before looking back to the console

The rodian spoke up “here we go two results one in hanger A22 and one in” he paused frowning “G31 I uh I don’t think we have a G31 it should end at 30″ Gacen frowned that didn’t sound right

Ash folded her arms “if there’s no G31 who noted it down” that was a good point this could totally be something

The rodian stammered back “It’s uh an automated system it doesn’t make mistakes but it says there’s a male mon cal and the other information is redacted” Gacen sharply gasped and began to choke.

After a brief coughing fit he spoke up again “we have to find this hanger NOW” Ash nodded at him in agreement

The rodian quickly interjected “well I can get it up for you in a second but there’s a little more information” Gacen gestured to the rodian in a spit it out motion “well ah it says that the ship was a MC-18 light freighter and they headed down the hyperlane to the outer rim the one that leads to Dantooine”

Gacen’s eyes widened this really was a lead “ok show us where hanger 30 is and we’ll work from there”

Ash frowned at him “I don’t understand what’s so important about Dantooine?” Gacen smiled at her it made sense she didn’t know he only knew due to Risha

“Dantooine is very close to Dubrillion she’s hiding in plain sight, well probably not that plain but like near Dubrillion” Gacen paused he may be jumping to conclusions here “maybe I mean either that or they jumped somewhere else”

The rodian gestured to the screen “ok this is where the hanger is, the lift is programmed to take you close” Gacen gave the rodian a smile and headed back into the lift

Gacen shuffled agitated, Ash turned to him arms folded “dude calm down it’s just a theory lets get some proof before you lose your mind” Gacen nodded trying to take some deep breaths

“i uh yeah sorry I know I’m jumping to conclusions but you gotta admit that whole things fishy” Gacen couldn’t help but smile at his accidental fish pun, Ash gave him a piercing glare. He could always count on Risha to be super careful but he could also count on Guss to be the opposite. He quickly realised he was jumping to conclusions again and tried to put it to the back of his mind, the lift arrived and Gacen scurried out making his way to Hanger 30. It was at the end of the corridor with 29 opposite Gacen looked at the end of the corridor studying it, Ash caught up a few seconds later not nearly as out of breath as Gacen was.

Ash looked from him to the wall “you think it’s a fake wall don’t you” Gacen nodded very intently

He rubbed the back of his neck “well maybe like a bit of it” he walked up close to the wall staring at it for a few seconds before trying to slam into it. To his disappointment it didn’t budge and his arm also really hurt, he saw Ash let out a long sigh heading up to the wall and knocking on different parts of it. She moved along the wall and stopped at the left side suddenly kicking at the wall, Gacen watched as the wall flew back out of his vision Ash turned to him with a cocky smile. “yeah I know you’re awesome I’m a klutz let’s move on” Gacen sulked walking through the passage, he could see what looked like a large hanger on the other end of the tunnel.

Ash stopped him before they reached the other side “it could be trapped let me go first” Gacen nodded that was fair. Ash slowly made her way in Gacen was trying very hard to contain himself this may be it the lead they needed finally a solid direction. Ash moved forward but no traps were triggered she then gestured to him to come forward and he quickly made his way into the hanger, it was empty which made sense but he could see a thick layer of dust this place hadn’t been touched in a while. There were walkways and girders though this seemed like a legit hanger

Ash coughed to herself looking around “so where are we going to get the proof in this empty hanger, I mean a secret hanger is good evidence that something is up but it’s still not proof” Gacen looked to the corner of the room spying a camera

he pointed up to it with a grin “cameras baby they have an internal memory we’re gonna get that boi sliced” Ash nodded pleased with the plan. Gacen rubbed his chin “now we just need to work out how to get to it”

Without a word Ash sprinted off towards the wall, Gacen watched as she jumped using her momentum to scale the wall and grab a beam about a third of the way up the wall. God she was acrobatic he thought as she pulled herself up grabbing onto the bottom of a walkway then flipping onto the top of it, he couldn’t even climb out of bed sometimes how did she do that. Gacen watched wide eyed as the walkway began to shake and fall as Ash ran up it jumping and grabbing onto a small pylon on the roof, she swung back and forth before releasing herself springing over to the edge of the room where she seemingly caught her foot in some grove that kept her from falling. Gacen watched as she ripped the camera out the wall she then let her foot free and began free falling, she fell for a few seconds before grabbing onto the now fallen walkway to slow her down and then dropped to the floor like it was nothing. Ash walked back over to Gacen with the camera in hand frowning while massaging her wrist.

She threw the camera in Gacen’s direction “I think I injured my wrist a little” Gacen caught the camera still unsure of how any of that happened.

Gacen collected himself remembering the plan “awesome let’s go get this camera sliced”…

Chapter Text

Ash had a headache, she’d been researching flight records for MC-18 light freighters in the outer rim for hours nothing concrete had come up just a list of possibilities. Trust outer rim spaceports to be sloppy with their organisation, she had narrowed down the flimsy records to maybe being on Dantooine for a few days with multiple different classifications given for the same ship in a few different close hangers. She swore half the time finding people was only hard because of people’s incompetence, she couldn’t be too mad though they were actually getting somewhere with this. She turned the holopad off this was enough of a lead to investigate and she had a hunch Gacen would try anything at this point.

She peered into the living area of the ship, Gacen was talking to the bounty hunter again apparently she had a slicer or something to slice that camera. They definitely had a lead but that camera may contain proof that would save them weeks of searching in the outer rim. Ash looked to Gacen as he ‘negotiated’ with the bounty hunter, apparently they were square so they would owe her a favour which she was not looking forward to. Gacen seemed a lot more in his element now he seemed lively and excitable it was certainly a far cry from the mopey Gacen going around the ship wasted she’d come to know. Ash really hoped they’d find Risha for nothing else at least it’d given Gacen some direction to help himself out of this pit. Ash could see he’d been through a lot he was always talking about people leaving him Ash didn’t want to do the same she of all people knew how it felt to be abandoned. She did wonder though who had left him before Risha because there had to be someone else, could be the classic father issues but then again Ash didn’t even know where he was from it seemed like it had to be more than that. He said something about family while they were drugged at least she thought he did, ugh she did not want to repeat that experience she had acted like a total idiot. But Gacen definitely mentioned something about family and he was a pretty distinct person right, you didn’t see many sith Zabraks like him at least not ones so eccentric. Maybe his family abandoned him too just like her but she didn’t have massive abandonment issues right? Ash put that to the back of her mind that was a whole can of worms she didn’t want to open. No that felt wrong too he’s talked about family before what did he say to her it wasn’t parent related it was… sibling? Suddenly it clicked back in Ash’s mind the conversation in the observation room, he said he had an estranged sister and that she wasn’t much like him. She guessed that was sorta abandonment but she couldn’t think of any reason he could feel so strongly about it, best not to press it it’s his business not hers.

Ash made her way back to the cockpit Gacen was still negotiating some deal, Ash was really not looking forward to whatever the bounty hunter wanted at least this time she wouldn’t get drugged. She would have to wait around a while maybe check the holonet see what the galaxy is up to, she began browsing all the normal stuff she avoided, top 10 things to do on Rishi, which sith lord are you most like?, what your lightsaber crystal says about you. She got the time wasters out the way and looked to the news in the galaxy, she browsed to see if there was anything besides the normal propaganda she frowned as she saw a story that seemed different. Jedi found captured in the depths of Zakuul she tapped the article and was surprised to see the face of an old friend Dzûsa the jedi knight. She hadn’t been too close with him but he was a good jedi and efficent, it said he’d been captured and used a ‘force battery’ whatever that meant. Lana Beniko from the alliance had saved him that sounded about right for the alliance the strong leader commander and her two level headed advisers who totally were just as bad. Ash frowned for a second the leader of the alliance was… a zabrak what if? no that was crazy Gacen couldn’t possibly not know must be unrelated. She dismissed the idea but a few minutes later she had to check she messed with the holopad getting up some old article about a conspiracy of some kind but more importantly there was a picture of the commander. She looked closely at the image she had to admit there was a little resemblance she could see but she may be seeing things. She didn’t have the best opinion of the commander after the business with Jorgan she understood why it happened but it still hurt to know what happened to him, that was part of the reason why she didn’t want to join the alliance. Wait this was ridiculous how on earth could Gacen not realise about the commander or maybe he had and he was just realy good at hiding it from Ash. Ash let out a sigh or maybe he’s been so drunk he hasn’t noticed, she hated that that was the most realistic option.

She should just drop this it was intrusive she put the holopad down but as she was about to she heard footsteps from behind her. Gacen sauntered into the room “well don’t worry they’ll be here soon to slice that cam” Ash frantically grabbed the holopad so Gacen couldn’t see

She turned to Gacen stammering “uh oh ok good get that sliced” Gacen frowned at her jovially nice going Ash very smooth

He peered towards the holopad “whatcha got there shen” she was so distracted hiding the holopad she barely caught the nickname

She gave him a glare “oh don’t worry it’s nothing important” Gacen gave a inquisitive smile please just drop it, Gacen didn’t need anything else on his plate right now

She had to think of an excuse “uhhh I kinda finished the search and got kinda bored so did uh the which sith lord are you most like quiz” Gacen chuckled

He gave Ash a playful grin “haha no wonder I’m a Vowrawn apparently how about you” oh thank the force he was easy to lie to

Ash had to think of a sith “uh I got uh Revan” was that even in the quiz she had no idea

Gacen nodded “yeah that kinda suits you you’re pretty middle ground” Ash nodded letting the comment slide, she looked from the holopad picture to Gacen there was a definite resemblance. Did he know? if he did she probably shouldn’t press it right? well if he didn’t what would it do to him? he’d been on such a positive rise lately this might put him back down.

Ash should check but subtly “did you hear about Dzûsa” Gacen frowned at her

“apart from that he’s a huge friendly behemoth that could probably crush me no” Ash had to be careful here just say the right details she could tell him later

Ash switched the holopad back to the article “apparently he was trapped under Zakuul being used as like a battery” she watched Gacen as he nodded

Gacen leaned back in his chair “I guess that explains why he went missing before us, I gotta be honest Ash I don’t really keep up with news and general galactic goings on” he paused looking away “the old booze will have that effect on ya.” Ash let out a long sigh of relief it was simple he just didn’t know and that was… fine for now at least until they find Risha then she could tell him. No wonder he was so weird about it Kyradia did not have the best history and if Ash hadn’t seen her alliance she’d want to avoid her at all costs too. That must be an interesting family she thought she probably shouldn’t have meddled that was his secret to tell, still she would still respect his privacy so what was the problem really.

Gacen poked her suddenly startling her “you know I beat him in a fight once” Ash frowned at him yeah right

Ash raised her eyebrow “you’ve never won a fistfight in your life I very much doubt you beat that giant” Gacen grinned

“I never said it was a fist fight, I beat him at Pazzak” Ash let out a long sigh “hey just trying to cheer you up you look a little uncomfortable” was she that obvious

Ash rubbed her forehead “nah I’m alright It’s just been a long few hours” that definitely was true

Gacen got out his flask “I’ll drink to that” Ash smiled let him have this one for his sis

 

The airlock opened and the familiar form of Amy strolled into the ship with her sidekick in tow “so I hear your in need of my services” wow she was well a lot. Ash could see her now in her bounty hunter outfit, long cape, bright colours why did all Gacen’s friends have to be like this

Ash responded arms folded “well we need the services of Mako mainly her slicing abilities” Mako nodded to Ash as they made their way to the living area

Gacen passed Mako the camera “we need the internal memory of this bad boy” Mako caught it seemingly familiar with the two of them

She examined it for a second “yep this shouldn’t be too hard gimme five ten minutes I’ll patch it into the holo” Gacen’s eyes widened looking down to the mess of wires still on the floor “and apparently fix your holo” she groaned getting to work

Amy raised her eyebrow at Gacen “sooo you did find something I missed what was it” Ash felt that information shouldn’t be handed out to a woman who had betrayed them before

Gacen chuckled “Amy let’s be real I’m not telling you that with your track record” oh thank the force Gacen wasn’t being sentimental

Amy nodded “yeah that’s fair, I’ll have to up my game” Ash still wasn’t clear on the relationship Gacen and Amy had it seemed like a you scratch my back I betray yours and then rinse and repeat, she’d never understand the underworld.

after about 10 minutes the holo flickered to life and an image of Hanger 31 was displayed, Mako stood up “ok that should be it this is the first point the camera was on, which was” she looked to her holopad “about 6-7 years ago” wow Gacen’s wife sure was a planner. Ash could see the hanger and the MC-18 light freighter that she had been staring at for hours of reports sitting in the hanger, so at least that part was right.

Gacen nodded looking very serious all of a sudden “ok set it to 3 years ago around uh” he looked to his hand where Ash remembered he wrote down the date Risha had visited “4 months in on the 25th” Ash focussed on the display as Mako changed it to those parameters.

Everything looked the same the ship was still there the, room was empty Mako spoke up “Ok I’ll slowly fast-forward throughout the day”. The image sped up at about hour 5 the screen suddenly went black

Gacen looked at Mako confused “what happened where’s the hanger” Mako frowned looking at the datapad

Mako grimaced “it looks like it’s been deleted I’ll see when it cuts back in” Gacen took a sharp inhale of breath putting his hand on his head. They continued to watch the transmission as it suddenly cut back in two hours later but now the hanger was empty no sign of the ship.

Ash looked to Gacen who’s face dropped no she couldn’t let this be it “go back to before it cuts out maybe there’s something” Mako nodded she didn’t seem convinced but it was worth a shot. Ash looked towards the corner where they entered as the screen cut back in and she spotted a small figure for just a second.

Ash pointed “there in the corner slow it down” Mako did pinpointing the moment the figure was on screen and looping it, it was unclear who it was yet but Ash had a hunch.

Ash looked to Gacen who’s eyes were wide “uh um zoom in” Mako zoomed in and the both of them could clearly make out the form of Guss Tuno as he was suddenly pulled back by a hand off screen.

Gacen’s face broke into a smile “that beautiful clumsy bastard” he pulled Ash into a sudden surprising hug

Ash squirmed awkwardly “woah uh ok you’re welcome” she was the one who saw it after all. Gacen let her go with a smile, this was a solid lead looks like it was next stop Dantooine.

Amy loudly cleared her throat “right now that that is over we are calling in our favour” oh god no Ash didn’t want to deal with this right now

Gacen grinned at her “I think we’re gonna like this one” Ash narrowed her eyes at Gacen that meant it was so much worse

Amy was smiling too “I have been tasked with eliminating a noble who will be attending a gala but to get in I need some rich influencers I.e Gacen’s extensive wealth so basically get me in and make excuses while I’m gone” Ash’s heart sank a gala meant she’d have to dress up her least favourite thing.

Gacen was squealing with excitement “Ash you know what this means” don’t say it “we have to go fancy clothes shopping” Ash groaned this was her literal worst nightmare…

Chapter Text

The blue lines extended as the transport ship jumped into hyperspace and Terri finally breathed a sigh of relief, they had escaped she could put this whole Yavin incident behind her and move on. Lusari was handling something in the back she hadn’t really explained what it was but it was nice to have a moment to herself after all the exploring and rituals, she finally had a chance to just rest. She did wonder where the Lady was maybe Terri had been wrong about them summoning a physical form for her Lusari said she would explain soon enough anyway so no need stressing over it. Still something had seemed weird about Lusari when she caught up to her, she had seemingly beaten the commander which in of itself was impressive and looked like she was in a bit of a frenzy. Terri assumed it had something to do with that residual force energy from the temple she’d been talking about, clearly Terri had missed the actual ritual while fighting the togruta. She had properly injured that togruta slicing her head thingy, she hadn’t meant to but she was only trying to save her friend why couldn’t the togruta understand that. But she had let out such power to stop her, she had no idea she had that in her maybe she wasn’t as weak as she thought. Whatever the case she never wanted to be in a fight like that again one was enough for her now she could move on from all this.

Terri thought she should probably go find out what Lusari was talking about with the Lady, she got up and made her way to the living area where she saw Lusari meditating.

She cleared her throat “um Lusi you got a minute” Lusari turned around slightly startled

Lusari relaxed quickly “sorry I was somewhere else entirely” Lusari frowned “what can I do for you Terri?” so formal maybe the ritual had some residual effects on her head too she had been acting weird ever since.

Terri looked away “well uh you said you’d explain you know where the Lady has gone and stuff” Lusari frowned looking rather sad was something wrong?

Lusari sighed folding her arms “I guess I couldn’t put it off forever” Terri frowned Lusi had definitely said the ritual had been successful was she lying? Lusari put an arm on Terri’s shoulder “The Lady is here” Terri frowned looking around for another person like a ghost or something?

Terri cocked her head “what do you mean the Lady is here I only see you” she felt awfully confused the force had a habit of being confusing

Lusari swallowed hard “yeah exactly” she gestured to herself “the Lady is here” Terri frowned like inside Lusari like a second personality or something? “I am the Lady” Terri’s eyes widened wait what? like always or like now?

Terri started feeling very uncomfortable “so like you are sharing Lusari’s form can I talk to her?” Lusari’s face dropped into a solemn frown, no no no no please no

Lusari let out a long sigh “no uh Lusari isn’t here anymore” Terri felt tears begin to well up in her eyes “that’s what she meant when she said ‘it’s gonna hurt me’ she knew giving me a form was an exchange and that it would kill her” Terri began shaking no she couldn’t be gone why would she do that? they had a plan

Terri’s lip quivered “bu-bu-but w-why?” she felt tears begin to stream down her face as she breathed heavily

The Lady let out a sigh “she thought you would talk her out of it and well she thought you could succeed so she didn’t tell you” Terri covered her face with her hand trembling as she did “I told her she should tell you believe me I did it seemd so wrong to deny you the information but she was adamant it would be a mistake. She said bringing me back was too important and she was willing to sacrifice herself for it but I promised I’d look after you don’t worry.” damn it Lusi why did you have to be so noble Terri began to sob loudly looking at Lusari’s form but knowing it wasn’t really her standing there.

Terri tried her best to talk “s-s-she wanted t-this?” the Lady nodded Terri couldn’t believe Lusi had done this and she hadn’t told her. Terri began to sob as the Lady pulled her into a tight hug

She held the back of Terri’s hair “hey hey it’s ok it’s ok I’m here I promise her sacrifice won’t be in vain” Terri felt her tears well up against Lusari or rather the Lady’s hair tears obscuring Terri’s vision as she sobbed loudly “she wanted us to prosper Terr she saw the power in both of us right?” Terri didn’t say anything just continued sobbing “she saw the power within you and I think you’ve seen it now too I promise we’ll do great things to honour her memory” Terri was breathing heavily as she suddenly pulled away from the hug.

she didn’t make eye contact with The Lady “I-I-I’m s-sorry I j-just need some a-alone time s-seeing you i-is j-just too weird” the Lady nodded.

The Lady seemed to be tearing up a little too “I understand Terr take all the time you need” Terri quickly made her way to her bedroom curling up on the bed as she began to sob again. She covered her face with a pillow as her sobbing got more and more out of control, she just couldn’t believe it Lusari was gone and she didn’t even get to say goodbye. Lusari had been her best friend and the only thing that got her through the sith academy and now she was just gone what was she supposed to do now. She’d always led the way and she’d always followed how was she supposed to find her way now. They were gonna get something simple and easy like a farm or a little shop or something but the point was no sith or jedi would bother them they could just live a simple life and earn a simple living. Maybe then she would’ve been able to sum up the courage to ask her out but now it was all gone just like that. Lusari knew this was gonna happen and she didn’t tell her, were the plans only in her head then did Lusari ever want that as bad as she did. She was right about Terri being able to talk her out of it though there was no way Terri would’ve let her, was she even right to feel bad Lusari had done the noble thing sacrificed herself for the Lady if only she’d been a bit less noble they’d be fine now. She continued to think like this for about an hour sobbing until her pillow was soaked with tears, she just couldn’t believe it but no matter how she spun it Lusari had done the noble thing. Eventually she calmed down coming to the realisation that no mater what Lusari did what was right and she had to respect her decision, the Lady said Lusi wanted Terri and her to prosper the least she could do was respect that.

Terri sat up wiping the last of the tears from her eyes and took a few deep breaths, she got up and made her way back to the living area. She was shocked when she saw the Lady curling her hair and looking quite different, Lusari’s signature bangs were missing, her hair was cut to just under the shoulder and it was insanely curly at least that which she had managed. She was wearing a red and black long robe and much different makeup to before opting for red lipstick rather than Lusari’s classic dark blue.

Terri was startled hardly recognising her “um hey” The Lady looked up looking a little shocked but then sympathetic she put down the curler causing Terri to lightly chuckle seeing a half curled Lusari hair

The Lady gave a reassuring smile “feeling any better Terri?” that was a difficult question to answer

Terri frowned “uh not really but I’m uh coming to terms with it” The Lady nodded “you uh certainly look different” Terri had to admit she kinda liked it

The Lady laughed awkwardly “yeah I uh thought It’d be best if I tried to look as different as possible ya know to help you cope” Terri smiled she did appreciate that the Lady seemed much friendlier now she was ‘alive’ as it were maybe there was still a bit of Lusi in her. The Lady gestured to the curler “can uh you help me with this I’ve never really used one before” Terri smiled glad to at least have someone to talk to.

Terri picked up the curler “sure can do” she moved behind The Lady and began to curl her hair. That was a point actually she must have an actual name right “hey uh now that you’re out of the holocron do you have a uh proper name?” Terri couldn’t see the Lady’s face but assumed she was nodding

“yes I do think now I’m back I may as well use my real name again, you can call me Zash” there was a pep in her voice as she responded Terri could imagine after so long trapped in a holocron forced to lie it felt quite good to be able to be genuine again, even given the circumstances

Terri tried her best to stay positive and avoid thinking about it “nice to properly meet you Zash” Terri paused unsure if she should ask “so uh now that you are free what is your plan?” Terri heard Zash chuckle there was a very thick imperial accent to Lusari’s old voice which was very strange Terri hoped she’d get used to this soon

“well now that I’m back I need to amass some power and followers which I believe should come in tandem.” Terri thought that was fair given who was currently in charge of the sith military Zash would need more than just Lusari’s admittedly high power to stand a chance. Terri sighed trying her best to keep it together as thoughts of Lusari entered her mind again

Terri collected herself “what uh sorts of power” she hoped it wasn’t anything weird

Zash rubbed her chin “well I’m not entirely sure but the hope is that it’s something that will enhance existing powers” Terri could probably do with a bit of that “but that is yet to be seen I need to meditate to find out” wow she could sense that sort of thing?

Terri finished curling Zash’s hair “there we are finished I hope you liked it” Zash turned around looking bizarrely different

Zash beamed at her “I love it Terri” she paused putting a hand on Terri’s shoulder “I’m gonna need some help to achieve my goals though Terri someone like you could be very valuable” Terri was taken aback she wasn’t that useful and she’d been wanting to get out of this life

Terri held her neck “I don’t know Zash this is all so weird” she gestured to Zash’s form she was still having a hard time looking at her.

Zash nodded “come on Terri Lusari wanted us to prosper don’t let her sacrifice be in vain” Terri took a long moment Zash had a point if she walked away Lusari would’ve died for nothing she couldn’t allow that

Terri took a deep breath “ok sure for Lusari” Zash grinned, Terri guessed she wouldn’t mind changing things a bit then people like her wouldn’t have to go through the same thing she had.

Zash smiled “I’m so glad you’re on board Terri I can’t wait to get started” maybe this wouldn’t be so bad she just hoped it helped for Lusari’s sake…

Chapter Text

Kavaraa fidgeted as she held her hands in front of the portable heater, she’d made sure to get the best one possible and it was certainly paying off right now Ilum was colder than she remembered. She saw Theron doing his best with that flamethrower of his it was taking some time but they seemed like they were getting somewhere with it, she could see what looked like an open chamber through the ice now. She’d didn’t like all this waiting around it gave her too much thinking time, she kept going back in circles about everything that happened. She hoped the alliance was doing ok without her she just needed some time away from it all, Lana could handle it all right? she helped everyone be a little less crazy. It was still all so confusing, it didn’t help this planet was the perfect example to bring back those memories. Malgus back, even thinking it made her stomach turn but was the alliance planning on working with him that seemed like a bad idea, she hoped they knew what they were doing still it would’ve been nice to have been consulted about it. Her mind shifted back to Kyradia, Kavaraa didn’t know wether to feel bad about it all, she didn’t say anything wrong right but to be fair she could be quite rash about sith tactics and they’d won against Valkorion she may need to be more trusting. Kavaraa sighed, she couldn’t condone Kyradia’s recent methods though no matter what, she hoped Kyradia felt bad but Kavaraa somehow doubted that. She could at least try to see if she’s ok right there was nothing wrong with that she had the time anyway and it’s not like she was being intrusive shewas just checking up. Kavaraa took a deep breath and reached out with the force trying to focus on Kyradia she felt her vision shift far across the galaxy somewhere in the outer rim what was she doing there? she could sense Kyradia’s presence weirdly quiet but then she felt that presence clouded with an immense dark energy it felt potent and dangerous. Kavaraa jumped back startled focussing back on Ilum she took a few deep breaths oh Kyradia what have you gotten yourself into now.

She looked to see Theron making his way back down the tunnel how long had she been focussing for, she put the thoughts to the back of her mind one thing at a time. Theron looked very tired and seemed to be dragging his left arm, holding the flame thing up that long must have been rough.

Theron folded his arms “alright we’re through to some kind of chamber can i rest now” Kavaraa nodded standing up giving him a thank you peck on the cheek and quickly scurrying down the chamber however with the melted ice she quickly lost her balance slamming down on her back with a thud.

Kavaraa winced as her back recoiled with pain “owwwww” she saw Theron stand over her trying to hold back a grin

he raised his eyebrow holding his hand out “yeah running on an ice floor with recently melted ice not your smartest plan ever” Kavaraa screwed her face up sulking as Theron helped her up. Kormel was standing behind him with a small smile at least she’d managed to make Kormel smile that was rare. Kavaraa turned around this time optioning to walk slower as they proceeded through the makeshift tunnel, soon they reached a small open chamber with what seemed like a marble door.

Kavaraa chuckled “I think we’ve found it” Theron gestured to the map they were right on the coordinates they were doing so good.

Theron walked up to the door “I would advise we don’t take too long here, that ice has a chance of closing back up and I don’t have enough fuel left in this thing to do that twice” Kavaraa nodded sure she could do quick, she went up to the door trying to open it but it wouldn’t budge there was no handle and as much as she tugged the door wouldn’t move. Theron frowned “you have a lightsaber right?” that seemed a little like cheating

Kavaraa continued trying to open the door to no avail “That’d kinda be disrespectful to the temple creators don’t ya think” Theron sighed gesturing to the tunnel “ugh fine” Kavaraa ignited her saber cutting the door off it’s hinges hopefully so it could be put back later. She focussed with the force putting the door to the side, she could put it back later she then gestured to Theron and Kormel to follow.

They made their way down the marble stairs, Kavaraa couldn’t help but notice this temple was far better made than the last one she wondered if a lot less people would find the second temple. Without the map they had she could imagine people giving up on the temple hidden in an ice mountain, those were probably just treasure hunters who got lucky anyway she was a Jedi well sort of. At the end of the stairs was a large room with holocrons lining the walls, at the end of the chamber was another door looking a little stronger this time. She could see alcoves in the wall either side of the door with some writing underneath, they moved into the room Kormel immediately going to study the door while she perused the holocrons. She focussed on one that and in response she heard a name spoken “Zez-Kai Ell” she frowned had she heard that name somewhere before? she moved to the next one “Jelph Marrian” each one she checked had a name. She moved to the other side opting to see if the trend continued the first one she checked the name “Voren” moving to the next the name “Bandon” she knew that one Darth Bandon apprentice of Malak.

What were these names for? there was still the alcoves and the writing, she could see Theron looking at the room with confusion “I’m not even gonna try to understand what’s going on in here” Kavaraa smiled “call me when you need practical assistance”

She put a hand on his shoulder “that’s probably for the best I think it’s Jedi and sith history” Theron sighed sitting down he deserved a rest after helping them get here. This had to be some sort of puzzle right like the last temple maybe Kormel had found something out, she made her way over to him as he was reading the writing underneath the alcoves. Kavaraa bent down next to him “any ideas Kormel” Kormel seemed to break out of a daze turning to her a little suprised

Kormel smiled “I’m not sure yet but this says ‘Status’ in an old jedi language” Kavaraa nodded status huh well a darth is a status right what about the other side though

Kavaraa frowned “Kormel have you heard of Zez-Kai Ell” Kormel looked surprised to hear the name

he nodded “uh yes he was a jedi master during the mandalorian wars he was one of the masters who banished the Jedi Exile Meetra Surik” Kavaraa definitely recognised that he was a jedi master huh well that was status too.

Kavaraa was onto something “so the holocrons on the wall are names of jedi and sith so if we place the masters and darths maybe we can open the door” Kormel nodded clearly processing the information

Kormels face lit up “yeah that makes sense and I’ll uh try my best to know who everyone is” Kavaraa beamed back man they were puzzle masters

After about 30 minutes of working out who was who and who actually had ‘status’ they placed the holocrons in the alcoves and were pleased to hear a cachunk as the door began to open.

Kavaraa fist bumped the air “yesssss nice one Kormel” Kormel was smiling too, he certainly was a quiet induvidual but in this environment he really shone.

Theron came over looking a little more rested “so I don’t need to hear about the ranking system of force users anymore” Kavaraa chuckled looking at the chart they had made to classify them. Kavaraa nodded gesturing for them to follow, these trials were definitely helping them prove themselves this must be a knowledge trial if the last one was about problem solving she wondered what the other ones were gonna be about.

They came to the end of the second set of stairs into a large open chamber with large marble statues, she could see a similar door at the end this time with a horizontal alcove. Kormel as expected shot over to the door leaving her to examine the statues again, there were four statues each of a scene. Upon first examination she noted each statue had a holocron in an alcove, she could see Revan fighting Mandalore, what looked like the destruction of Telos (which time was unclear), what looked like the reclaiming of Korriban but most notably a group of individuals fighting Kavaraa could see three sith purebloods, a zabrak, a twi’lek and a familiar face. Malgus again admittedly without his respirator damn she could just not escape him today, these were clearly historical scenes maybe the group represented the great galactic war.

Kavaraa made her way over to Kormel who was studying the writing again “what does it say this time” Kavaraa had a hunch it’d be a timeline

Kormel didn’t turn around “it says order” Kavaraa silently celebrated behind Kormel

Kavaraa grinned “alright I got this one we need to put the holocrons in the statues in order” Kormel considered it seemingly agreeing. They quickly got to work ordering the holocrons, in the process Kavaraa determined it was the second destruction of telos but also when examining the great galactic war statue she swore she recognised something about the purebloods but the statue wasn’t amazing so could just be a coincidence. Soon they had them all in order and the door cachunked open, Kavaraa smiled this hadn’t been so bad maybe they could be worthy. They headed down the stairs reaching a similar room to the last temple with a single holocron sitting in the middle.

Kavaraa turned to the others “ok we know what’s up this time don’t freak out and we will have the next clue” they both nodded. Kavaraa was excited they may actually find out where these secrets were…

Chapter Text

Kavaraa felt that farmilar energy envelop her and suddenly she was sitting in a cabin she looked to see Theron and Kormel sitting there too looking confused. Kavaraa frowned she’d been expecting a blue void this was unexpected, she turned to Theron who seemed like he was thinking the same thing

Theron frowned “uh correct me if I’m wrong but this seems weird” Kavaraa nodded it was certainly odd. She could here the sound of someone from the next room, she looked around the room it seemed oddly familiar she couldn’t tell where from.

Kavaraa leant over “does anything about this place seem familiar to you guys” Theron looked around the room with a confused expression Kormel shook his head

“uh not as far as I know Kav why does it to you?” Theron asked, maybe it wasn’t anything it wasn’t the strongest familiarity anyway probably just the cabin design or something.

Kavaraa stroked her chin “I’m not sure maybe it’s nothing” she could hear a crashing sound as clumsy footsteps came towards the door. The door opened and the familiar face of Avulo Bysh

A big warm smile crossed his face “I’m deeply sorry I wasn’t aware I had guests I’m gonna need a few extra plates” now Kavaraa could see him properly she could see the togruta looked slightly older he wore a simple robe and sandals, he had aqua blue skin and long montrals going down to his waist further signifying his age. He went back into the kitchen and came back with 3 extra plates and a large pot he looked to each of them “I assume you’ll be eating” Kavaraa saw no reason why not and nodded. Avulo smiled serving what looked like a casserole to each of them Kavaraa could see Theron reluctantly accept “I think your really gonna love this it’s a real delicacy trust me” Kavaraa was excited to tuck in

Kavaraa took a bite and it was great the sauce was rich and the meat was quite chewy yet tender it seemed well cooked as well which was much better than she could do. “mmmm what is this it’s so good” Kormel picked at his food but ate it none the less he looked a little less enthused than Kavaraa

Avulo smiled “I’m glad you like it it’s Balana thranta Casserole bit of a secret recipe don’t tell anyone” wow this guy knew his stuff she’d only had Balana thranta once before when she nicked a bit from the meal while a servant for House Thul it was good then and it was good now although she wasn’t getting in trouble this time which was nice.

Theron chuckled “it certainly beats your cooking Kav” Kavaraa gave him a grumpy stare she knew he was right last time she cooked it was basically ash she just didn’t get cooking

Avulo began pouring each of them tea “so if you’re here that means you’ve passed the second trial right?” Kavaraa had gotten completely distracted by the whole visage now remembering she wasn’t really here “Trial of knowledge, huh I like this one because it shows you’re really a scholar, of course I only have the other trial to compare it to so there’s not too much competition” Kavaraa chuckled the first time they had met Avulo he said he was only told the clue for security she guessed she’d get a slightly older Avulo every time

Theron cleared his throat “not to rush you but I believe we earned a little more detail on this ‘ancient knowledge’” Theron had a point they had to get that information

Avulo smiled sitting down “yes of course well as I’m sure you’re aware my name is Avulo Bysh but may I ask your names” Kavaraa was suprised he hadn’t asked that last time

Kavaraa cleared her throat “I’m Kavaraa that is Theron Shan and the boy is Kormel” Kavaraa frowned for a second realising she didn’t know Kormel’s last name

Kormel timidly mumbled “Kormel Hartful sir” Kavaraa felt bad she really should have know that

Avulo chuckled “oh please don’t call me sir I’m just an old man, but a Shan it’s wonderful to meet you son your family has done much for the jedi order” Theron had a terse expression as Avulo praised his family, Kavaraa should deflect this quickly she was sure Theron wouldn’t want to talk about jedi stuff

Kavaraa cleared her throat “yes well me and Kormel and I are jedi too” Avulo’s smile broadened

“it is so nice to be in such wonderful company and what family are you from miss Kavaraa” Kavaraa felt a pit in her stomach the question she always hated answering

she held her neck awkwardly “uh well I’m afraid I don’t know my family name so I’m just Kavaraa” Avulo fidgeted clearly regretting his question

he cleared his throat “well I’m uh sorry miss, still I have to get to the details I have dallied far too long. In this world many ancient secrets are dug up and in these cases we commonly see them used by bad or misguided people infatuated with the promise of power. In these cases this means they usually need to be stopped and their knowledge secured, but after they are secured where does the knowledge go?” Kavaraa frowned she assumed it was usually destroyed or stored in the archives on Tython

Kavaraa spoke up “on the archives on Tython?” Avulo stifled a laugh

Avulo wiped his mouth which was covered in casserole “we have found that keeping ancient secrets adjacent to our impressionable padawans can lead to bad results” Kavaraa had to admit she had a point there she saw Kormel fidgeting awkwardly staring at the floor she hoped he’d get his confidence back soon.

Theron smiled “what a surprise, so you keep them hidden?” Kavaraa had wondered if it could be something like that it was certainly better than it being just one secret.

Avulo smiled “we take them away where they can’t hurt anyone, only the most vigilant and wise can tend to them and that may be you but what do I know there’s more trials to come I don’t have the whole story” Avulo looked like he’d amused himself

Kavaraa looked to Theron who seemed intrigued this could really lead somewhere, she turned back to Avulo “we’d be honoured I assume we get the clue now?” she’d tried her best not to demand the clue immediately she thought she did ok

Avulo nodded “you’re certainly catching on I like you” Kavaraa felt a little bit of pride well up within her she liked Avulo too.

“the third trial of the temple will be”

“upon a land devoid with sea”

“in this land many trials you will face”

“upon the dunes of the Jundland wastes”

Avulo smiled “it was so wonderful to meet you all I had a delightful time” before they had time to respond the same energy enveloped them and they were back in the temple chamber

Kavaraa sat up and began pondering the riddle it was definitely a desert or wasteland planet that’s what it meant by land devoid of sea but which one? As if to answer her question she felt a tapping on her back she turned around to see Kormel

he looked uncomfortable as held his arm “uh I know the Jundland wastes they’re uh they’re on Tatooine” Kavaraa’s eyes went wide that was Kormel’s home…