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Star Wars--So[m]ething Something Evil Rises (Jabba x Firesblood)

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Offline Jabbathejack

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"I met Sika." Reynik spoke quietly, eating his food without hesitation; Esbern was right, they needed to eat to keep up their strength ready for when they needed it. If they didn't eat, then they would die, but that had always been the case throughout his entire life.

"He's sharp, all right."

He did not elaborate, knowing that he couldn't trust anyone listening in right now. Not that he could even fully trust the people who sat at his own table.

"One of my new bunk mates seems to have disappeared without trace, but I haven't had time to ask anyone about him. Did you hear anything?"



Offline Firesblood

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Esbern listened, pale blue eyes fixed on Reynik as he spoke of meeting Sika.  The wrinkled skin around his eyes tightened briefly, but relaxed just as quickly; if they were in danger, then no doubt they would have sign of it by now.

“Aye, so I’ve heard.  I asked around about him from some of the others.  He was a Jedi, and a damned good one at that—for a time.  I don’t know how he ended up here, nobody willing to talk seemed to, but he’s been a fixture here for coming on two decades,” Esbern said conversationally, shoveling a large spoonful of some sort of mash into his mouth. 

Marigon tilted her head slightly when Reynik mentioned his roommate had gone missing, asking if they had heard anything.  She finished chewing some of the bread and washed it down with more tea, fingers skimming her tray for something else to eat.  It seemed to take her more effort to do things when she wasn’t in the comfortable space of her room. 

“Mazelor,” Marigon murmured, skimming her spoon over the pile of mash to collect a small helping of it.  “Sika reassigned him to the borer tunnels within an hour of his return, for population control.  No reason was given and we all know better than to ask, but that’s his favored method of punishment for people who land themselves on his bad side.”

Giving up on the rest of her meal and blessedly unaware of Esbern’s scolding expression when she pushed her tray away, Marigon rose without another word and grabbed her walking stick, heading back to the force-users wing without a backward glance.  Esbern shook his head and slid her tray closer, piling what was left on top of his; waste didn’t sit well with him, another lesson taught by slavery. 

“Garin and the Bug are gone.  Shame—I’d have liked to say goodbye, but he comes back ‘round about every two weeks, so we can give him our regards then,” Esbern commented lightly, subtly following up on their discussion from the gardens. 
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 12:56:49 PM by Firesblood »


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik frowned as he heard the explanation of Mazelor's whereabouts.
"I had an issue with him." He spoke quietly, sounding as if he was simply relaying just another piece of information. "He disliked the idea of a former Sith being here."

He grimaced, knowing that it must be the reason why the Chiss had been disciplined. Reynik looked up at Marigon, wondering how much anti Sith issues she had to deal with when she first arrived. He nodded as she left, turning back to his meal.

He raised an eyebrow at the mention of Garin; from the way he spoke, it sounded like Esbern was actually taking a liking to the young pilot, despite everything that had happened.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 06:14:28 PM by Jabbathejack »


Offline Firesblood

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Esbern said no more on the subject of Garin or his ship, preferring quiet while he shoveled what remained of his and Marigon’s meal.  He didn’t acknowledge the trouble Reynik had faced; it stood to reason that Savati recruits might share their hatred for the Sith, given that the Sith had nearly wiped them out.

The old man finished the rest of his meal in silence, and when he was done he gave Reynik a small nod.  “See you tomorrow, Reynik.”

--

“—nearly killed me.  Yet, you immediately throw him in the tunnels after he attacked—”

“Silence!  I will not be scolded by the likes of you, I don’t care whose belly you spawned from.  I warned Mazelor, he disobeyed, now he is being punished for his folly.  Now sit down!  And if you ever question my methods again, I’ll make what Mazelor did to you feel like a walk in the park.” 

Silence stretched within the room for a span of a few seconds before the rustle of cloth indicated movement. 

“That’s better.  Now, Reynik should be arriving soon—”

“Why?” Marigon interrupted sharply.  There was the sound of something hard impacting flesh, followed by a sudden flex of dark, fathomless rage within the dark side of the Force—but the sensation faded almost immediately. 

“Because I wish it, that’s why.  For reasons unknown to me, they have decided to send you back to Cygius.  You must be as good, if not better, than before.  He will test you the moment he has you again, and if you do not match up—you know what that will mean.  Reynik is exactly the sort of foe you will face, and if you can’t hold your own against him, then only one path remains for you to take—are you ready to pass the piece of Savat you hold onto the next generation, Doma?”

“…No.”  There was revulsion in Marigon's voice.

“I thought not.  You will comply, you will learn how to function fully again.  I have been too soft with you.  It ends now.” Sika said.

“Is there no one else?” Marigon asked, voice barely above a whisper. 

“Let go of your pride.  You haven’t the luxury of it any longer, as low as you’ve fallen.  It no longer serves you as it once did.  Besides, Reynik will be returning with you when you go back.  It is likely that Cygius will use him to test you.  Best you learn his fighting style now, so you can defend against it in the eventuality its turned against you.”

“He is better than me.  He was better than me before I went blind.”

“Then you have a lot of work to do, don’t you?”
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 12:10:04 PM by Firesblood »


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik slowed as he approached Sika's room, following his orders. Yet he felt the others within through the force, long before he actually heard their words. Something was not right. He stopped, remembering to shield himself through the force before he listened.

Of course, the news was no real revelation. He had expected immediately that Marigon would be an issue for him and now, he was receiving confirmation of that fact. However, his meeting with her had suggested that she was not outright against him. Perhaps there was a chance to utilise this in his favour?

As their voices died down, Reynik cleared his mental defences and knocked loudly on the door, waiting to be admitted.


Offline Firesblood

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“Yes, yes, come in,” Sika called, annoyance still edging the timbre of his voice. 

The door opened on a moderately sized cavern, furnished only with racks of training weapons, a shelf of practice drones and blinders, and some other accoutrements specific to exercising ones martial skills.  Marigon was sat cross-legged on the floor, hair bound up for once, and wearing fitted garb more appropriate for sparring than her usual oversized, shapeless brown robes.  She looked far smaller without them, but no less a challenge; it was clear that she took great pride in keeping herself in peak physical condition.

Sika was pacing about a meter in front of her, her walking stick held loosely in hand.  He gestured for Reynik to come forward. “I’ll keep my explanation brief.  You’re here to assist me in retraining Marigon.  Normally I would continue working with her on my own, but we are now on a deadline.  In as little as a months time, both of you will be returned to the Empire, and she is nowhere near ready.  You will help me to remedy that—since the two of you have already built a certain rapport with one another.” 

Marigon rose to her feet, staring past Sika with a stony expression on her face.  It was clear that she was unhappy about this, but she said nothing.     


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik stood listening in silence, standing tall and unmoving. He did not react to the task that he had been given, not letting on that he had overheard any part of their conversation.

"As you wish."

He had never been asked to teach anyone anything before now; he had only ever been the student. It was no easy task, especially with a blind person still learning to cope with their situation. Even with him being aware that this was simply a ruse for Marigon to learn his fighting tricks, he would still be required to produce results.

"We will start immediately."

He watched Marigon, noting her obvious annoyance, although he showed no amusement at all at the prospect of what lay ahead. His painful facial twitch was the only reaction at all.


Offline Firesblood

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 Sika grunted and took several steps away to clear the area, leaning on the walking stick casually.  “Practice sabers to begin with, moderate burn.  Don’t hold back, Reynik.  Pain is a useful teacher.”

Marigon turned and made her way to where the practice weapons were, hands skimming over each one until she found her preferred dualsaber.  She adjusted the burn strength as she returned to the center of the room, then closed her eyes for a moment of meditation to better hone her focus.  After a minute or two, her senses amplified and her sight through the force strengthened.  She exhaled softly and faced Reynik, saber held loose at her side. 

“You’ll need to work on that,” Sika muttered.  “Your enemy isn’t going to wait for you to find your way, and I’ll only allow it for a short time more.  You must find a way to live in the space where you are at now.” 

Marigon said nothing, unseeing gaze fixed on the floor as she waited.  Sika gestured wordlessly for Reynik to attack.


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik watched Sika step away, his expression blank. He nodded in response and for once, his face was still as a rock. He glanced at the practice weapons and waited whilst Marigon selected her own one. The moment she was clear, he held out his hand and a saber jumped into his grasp.

Non lethal, unlike the one that was strapped to his leg. Reynik's eyes narrowed on his target, the saber sparked into life. Sika was right, pain was a useful teacher indeed. That was a lesson that he had learned, even before he had started his training.

Marigon had endured the same training that he had done; she would know what was coming. She would also know that he was under as much scrutiny as she was, if not more, especially considering they were out to learn all of his sneaky little tricks.

After a split second's pause, Reynik attacked. A real enemy would not allow any leeway at all and neither would Reynik. When he struck, it was hard. Yet, of course, he was still on his guard, ready for her to counter him at any moment.



Offline Firesblood

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For the span of two breaths, Marigon’s senses crystalized; the intake of breath, the subtle creak of the mat beneath their feet, the sound of skin dragging over smooth wood as Sika turned her walking stick within his tight grip, waiting, and the steady hum of the practice weapons in their hands, loudest of all.  If she focused harder, she thought that she could even hear their heartbeats, perhaps even the slow drip of water leaking through one of the tiny fissures in the stone wall.

Reynik moved, and Marigon’s saber clashed against his, blocking his initial attack; the young woman gritted her teeth, her arms jarred from the strength he had employed.  Sika bade him not to hold back, and it seemed he had no plans to disappoint.  The sound of the locked sabers grated on her nerves; it was so much louder than she remembered it being, but she forced those thoughts from her mind.  There were so many things that could disrupt her, and she couldn’t allow them to. 
   
Block, parry, block, dodge—

“Marigon, this isn’t a defense lesson.  Attack him back!” Sika demanded. 

But she couldn’t.  He was too fast; every time she thought she might have a window to go on the offensive, the Sith dealt another shattering blow that came far too close for comfort.  As time wore on, signs that she was losing the mindset she required to function became more apparent.  And then came what would have been a killing blow had they been using true sabers, and Marigon hissed softly, the smell of burnt flesh acrid to her nose.  Her concentration broke.  She tried to slip back into defense, but she was too slow.  Blow after blow landed, and her anger crippled her further.

Sika watched wordlessly, his features a stony mask.  It was clear to him that Marigon wouldn’t be able to regain her composure or her calm without a break, yet he allowed Reynik to continue.  Pain was a useful teacher, and she would receive no mercy among her enemies.  She needed to learn. 

“Please, I can’t—” Marigon tried, voice trembling with barely-contained humiliation and rage. 

“Keep going,” Sika interrupted coldly, leaning on her walking stick. 


Offline Jabbathejack

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At first, Marigon tested Reynik, parrying his strikes decently, even if she failed to land her own attack. He breached her defence, feinting towards her head before flipping his sabre and cutting midsection, slamming home across her gut.

After he had broken her concentration with that first strike, the battle became easier, until it dissolved into nothing more than Reynik beating Marigon without mercy. Other instructors would have stopped the bout, even Sith ones, yet Sika did not.

Even when Marigon balked, Sika insisted that they continued and for a time, Reynik obliged. He deflected her sabre with a flick of his wrist, leaving her wide open for a well placed kick that knocked her off her feet and flat onto her back. Others might have pressed the attack still further, but Reynik stopped, his sabre spluttering into silence.

He turned to Sika, his face twitching painfully as he waited to see if he had incurred the instructor's wrath by his silent defiance.


Offline Firesblood

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Gravity seemed so much heavier as Reynik landed the kick that sent her flying to her back.  Her practice saber fell from her hands and skittered across the mat a few feet away, immediately going out.  She waited for the blows to keep falling, but then heard his saber go silent as well, heard the shift of his feet as he faced Sika.  She couldn’t smell sweat—his breathing hadn’t changed.  This had been nothing at all to him.  In a steep contrast, Marigon felt partially soaked with perspiration, and every breath she took seemed far too difficult to draw than it should have. 

Sika stared at Reynik for a beat, then shifting his gaze to Marigon as she slowly sat up, her shoulders hunched in defeat.  He could feel the anger boiling inside of her, threatening to break through. 

“Get up,” He murmured, knuckles white as he gripped her walking stick all the more tightly.  Marigon complied, getting to her feet.  Her face was dark with shame, and her eyes remained fixed on the floor.  “Less than a minute.  That’s how long it took to break you—and your anger only made it worse!  How many times have I told you—you must abide in a place of calm and relative peace in order to use the force as a second sight!  These Sith practices you cling to will only be a detriment in this.”

Marigon remained silent, and Sika shook his head.  “I expect failure at first, but I also expect you to make improvements, Marigon, and far more quickly than you have.  You are getting in your own way.  Now, find your calm and try again.  And this time if you lose your focus mid-fight, do whatever it takes to get it back.  Let him hit you, let him land his blows—it doesn’t matter right now.  Just find your center again and keep going.  The rest will come later.”

Marigon exhaled and retrieved her practice saber, facing Reynik again.  Calm was far more difficult to grasp this time.  It was never easy for a Sith to display any sort of weakness to another Sith; the weak were the first to go among their ranks.  If he really was returning to Cygius with her, he would know that weakness better than anyone, and he would know exactly how to exploit it.  These thoughts and more ran rampant through her mind, and the peace she was meant to find slipped right through her fingers. 

“Again, Reynik,” Sika ordered.


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik watched silently, half expecting Sika to round on him. His expression remained unchanged, even when the instructor turned his attention back to Marigon, seemingly putting him off the hook. Perhaps he would wait until later, but either way, Reynik was not worried.

He remained silent, acknowledging Sika's order only by firing up the lightsabre and launching into an attack once more. He kept the same intensity as before, remaining cold and calm as ever. At first, she focused on her defensive position, parrying his relentless strikes, but throwing little of her own.

Reynik threw a flurry of attacks towards his opponent, breaking through her guard to strike home with a glancing blow. He readied himself for what would be a killing blow, using a subtle force push towards her elbow to knock her off balance. It was hardly a strong push to the body, but often, that was so unexpected, it had the effect of pushing his opponent out of step and leaving them open for his next attack.


Offline Firesblood

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Marigon wasn’t entirely ready when Sika made the call to begin again, but she forced her doubtful thoughts away with a will and finally managed a firmer grasp on the center that the Master was always going on about.  The blows came in a dizzying flurry as before; Reynik was a more gifted duelist than most, and it was enough to her for now that she managed to block most of what he sent her way.  As before, his attacks inevitably breached her defenses, and the young woman hissed as his saber glanced off flesh.  As it had before, the blow interrupted her tenuous calm, and it was all she could do not to immediately revert to the conditioning she had received on Korriban. 

It took more time than it should have, but she eventually found her way back.  More of his attacks got through than not, but she kept trying.

When Reynik grasped the Force with the intent to use it against her, Marigon felt it.  She was no martial expert and never had been, but when it came to manipulating the force for sorcery, she was unparalleled—and by doing so, he had unwittingly changed the rules of their match in her favor. 

His subtle force push was met with an unrelenting wall of force, which slammed into him with enough strength to send him end over end into the nearest wall.  Marigon advanced on him without hesitation and took advantage of the small opening she had made for herself, striking his saber from his hand and following with what would have ordinarily been a decapitating blow to his throat.  It might have been tempting for any other to keep the burn against his skin out of sheer spite for the beating he had dealt, but Marigon withdrew almost immediately, trying to slow the rapid pace of her breathing and heartbeat in the aftermath. 

“All well and good, but not what we are meant to be focusing on.  This is a purely martial exercise.  Apart from your ability to grasp aspects of the Force you are not trained to use, your skill with force sorcery and manipulation is not in question,” Sika said flatly.

Marigon grimaced and glared fiercely at the Jedi Master, the hand gripping her saber tightening. “At no point did you express that we should not use the force in our tactics.”

Sika shrugged lazily, leaning against the staff.  “The only things I want you using the Force for is enhancing your senses and refining your secondary sight.  I will say that you did better this time.  Still god-awful, but better than the first go.  Shall we go for round three?”   


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik fell back, slamming into the wall with enough force to knock the breath out of him. Before he had the chance to recover, Marigon was on him, slashing out at him.

Marigon's sabre struck his face, carving a burn across the oppsite side to his previous scar. Despite the severity of the strike, the only noise he made was a faint grunt. The moment Marigon stepped back, Reynik was back on his feet, his fallen lightsabre springing back into his hand, even as he caught his breath.

Sika's reaction surprised him; surely as the instigator of the force attack, he was due the lecture, even though it had been a decent move that he had used in a number of combat situations.

"I will ensure that I only use permitted techniques in sparring in future."

He spoke up quietly, even though Sika had chosen to virtually ignore him. It seemed as if he was picking every opportunity to berate Marigon; certainly, Reynik disagreed with the man's style of instruction.

Reynik's face twitched; the practice sabres were far lighter than normal, but they still left a painful burn, yet that was nothing like what he had faced before. As Reynik stood waiting for instruction, he looked as if he'd barely been scratched.

At the order to continue, Reynik's sabre sparked into life and without hesitation, he attacked.