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Star Wars: The Wanderer and the Teacher

*dramatic music*

It's a dark time for the galaxy. Seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars,
the Empire grows ever more oppressive and cruel with each passing day. There is suffering and fear everywhere.
As the Imperial war machine grinds on, consuming world after world to feed the Emperor's insatiable lust for conquest, there are few safe places left.

Hope remains, however. Rumours spread, sharing news of a growing rebellion that promises to restore the Republic of old.  In hushed whispers, some even speak of the return of the legendary Jedi Knights. The bravest say that the days of the Galactic Empire are numbered, that its overstretched, that it's on the verge of collapse-

"No it isn't!" protested a girl, barely into her teenage years. In the stifling classroom, everyone turned to look at her in astonishment. Alistair Leavitt, standing next to the large screen that he'd been reading out loud, looked back at the girl with a smile.

"And why is that, Pree?" he asked, crossing his arms. Wearing a simple short-sleeved shirt that showed a powerful physique, with nary a wisp of hair atop his crown, Alistair could appear intimidating to others, but his students knew better. He was no more dangerous than a mouse. Probably less, really. "Remember: justify your opinion based on evidence, then form your conclusion."

"My mom" Pree said, trailing off as she realised what she was saying. Some of the other students giggled. They were a wide mix of species, of course, so the giggles varied from a deep bass thrumming to high-pitched squeaking. Growing increasingly red in the face, Pree nevertheless held her head up high and looked at her teacher with determination. "Their economy is bigger than ever! The Holonet says that Corellia has never been richer, and the...uh, the military is getting bigger, and the Senate is working together, and the Emperor is still strong-"

"Hey Pree," teased one student, a girl with a red veil over her eyes, "if you love the Empire so much, why don't you go live there and marry a stormtrooper?"

"I don't love the Empire!" Pree protested. "I'm just not letting my bias affect my judgement! That's what scientists do, Livas! Not that you'd know anything about that, always going into the city to play arcade games and sneak around..."

An excited ooh... spread throughout the classroom, but Alistair intervened before the two girls could get a head of steam. "Okay, that's enough. Pree, Livas, remember, this is a safe space. We don't talk like that in this room. It's okay to disagree, and I want you to disagree with each other and even me sometimes, but we're always respectful. That's what the Republic was based upon: respectful discourse. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Mister Leavitt," the two girls said simultaneously. Livas glanced over at Pree. "Sorry."

"Me too, sorry," Pree replied, smiling.

"Okay, then!" Alistair said cheerfully. "Now we know what your homework is: study up on why the Republic fell, and think about if that will happen to the Empire." There was a loud chorus of groans, but he was undeterred. "We'll all discuss it next week. Now, where was I? Ah, right. Let's start from the beginning again."

More groans answered him.

*dramatic music*

It's a dark time for the galaxy. Seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars,
the Empire grows ever more oppressive and cruel with each passing day. There is suffering and fear everywhere.
As the Imperial war machine grinds on, consuming world after world to feed the Emperor's insatiable lust for conquest, there are few safe places left.

Hope remains, however. Rumours spread, sharing news of a growing rebellion that promises to restore the Republic of old.  In hushed whispers, some even speak of the return of the legendary Jedi Knights. The bravest say that the days of the Galactic Empire are numbered, that its overstretched, that it's on the verge of collapse. Others say that the Empire is too strong to ever fall, and that it'll last for millennia, that the time of the Republic has passed.

Nevertheless, far into the Outer Rim, refugees flock together, seeking what safety can be found, hoping-

"Mister Leavitt, sir," a boy interrupted, a teenage twi'lek with pale green skin, "can we go outside and start swimming now? It's really hot today."

"Of course!" Alistair said cheerfully, leading to a few gleeful hoots, "after we finish today's lesson on Galactic Affairs." Hoots turned to groans in an instant. "Now, once more from the top:"

*dramatic music*

It's a dark time for the galaxy. Seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars,
the Empire grows ever more oppressive and cruel with each passing day. There is suffering and fear-

"Who's that?"

With an exasperated sigh, Alistair turned around once more to see the kids looking out the windows. He walked over to get a look; it was a speeder, and quite a fancy one at that, with a gleaming paint job and stylish lines. A common sight in the Core Worlds, such an extravagant craft was completely incongruous on a remote world like Yaffa. It flew over the treetops on the other side of the lake before settling down right outside the school, drawing excitement from the students, who eagerly started discussing what they were seeing.

First out of the speeder was a woman, jumping off the speeder with flair. She looked around with a grin. She had a sway to her hips, as if brimming with nervous energy. Despite the summer heat, she wore a black jacket with only a tube top underneath, plus thick leather pants. Like her speeder, her attire and demeanour were completely alien to the simple folk of Yaffa, as was the enormous holstered blaster that she stroked idly while she walked.

The man who followed her was just as disconcerting. He wasn't especially tall or imposing but he walked with a confident grace, his eyes darting around, hyperaware of his surroundings, his long black hair styled in a ponytail underneath a wide-brimmed hat. His clothing was ordinary, save for his belt, which was positively festooned with weapons; knives, two blasters, even what appeared to be grenades, and other assorted implements of death and destruction. As they got a better look at him, the children became very still and quiet, holding their breath.

A few moments later, they all heard the school's doors open, followed by the sound of heavy footsteps in the hall. Then, finally, the footsteps stopped, and there was a loud series of knocks on the door. Alistair, fighting hard to keep his composure, walked over to the door and opened it.

"Hi!" he said with forced cheer. "Welcome to our school. How can can we help you today? I'm Alistair, by the way, these are my students."

The woman didn't answer straight away, instead looking him over from head to toe. She smirked, then glanced inside at the children. "Hello...oh, I'm so terribly sorry, we're interrupting a lesson! Kio, isn't that a shame? We really don't mean to be a bother, really! Now, we're looking for the principal, so if you could point us in the right direction to their office, that would be just wonderful, darling."

"Er..." Alistair said, baffled. The 'school' was a tiny building that consisted of only two classrooms, a bathroom and a storeroom, as was clearly evident to anyone who saw it. He only realised in that moment that there was no sound coming from the other classroom; the other class was surely listening intently. "That would be me, I guess. I'm Alistair." Glancing at the children, he said, "alright, go ahead to the lake, everyone."

Nobody moved an inch, transfixed by the strange visitors, and Alistair shrugged. "Or we can get back to the lesson, if you aren't interested in swimming. I'm sure that our offworlder visitors would have a great perspective to offer on the state of the galaxy."

Knowing better than to call his bluff, the teenagers promptly stood and hurried out the door, the visitors moving out of the way of the juvenile tsunami. Soon enough, the classroom had been vacated, leaving Alistair very much alone. He heard the other classroom empty as the younger children left, their teacher following. Trusting his fellow teacher, Lorne, to keep an eye on them all, Alistair half-sat on his desk, smiling through his nerves.

"So...uh...are you thinking of enrolling your kids here?" he asked mildly, his eyes flicking down to the variety of weapons on the visitors' belts.

"Oh no, no, not at all, darling," the woman said lightly. She bounced on her feet, charged with energy. "I don't have any children. Not for lack of trying, of course, oh no, but sadly..." She pouted. Her partner didn't react in the slightest, still regarding Alistair impassively. "So I'm Ophelia, very nice to meet you, we just wanted to say hi! A few of us are settling down a few kilometers away, I'm sure that you've heard, we're in that charming place to the west, by the river..."

"Hack's Ridge," Alistair offered quietly.

"Yes. that's it!" Ophelia said excitedly, snapping her fingers for emphasis. "Now, it's just us on this little world, and we want to earn our keep, so we're thinking of opening a school! Isn't that lovely? This place is charming, but we can give you more resources, more space, Kio here will be a wonderful teacher for the kiddies...isn't that right, smoochums?" Kio merely grunted. "We can teach the kiddies all sorts of things...operating a spacecraft, how to use a blaster, hunting, unarmed combat...all such special skills! It's a dangerous galaxy out there, and the children need to be ready for it!"

Alistair, feeling increasingly nauseous, struggled to stay friendly. "That's...uh, very kind, but our community is happy with the status quo. I don't think any of the parents would want their children learning those skills, to be honest with you. We all came to this planet because it's peaceful, remote, far from the Empire..."

Ophelia dramatically placed a hand on her heart. "Oh dearie, rest assured, we won't be any trouble, none whatsoever! We're happy to protect everyone, don't you worry! Really, though, would you consider our offer? It'd mean so much to us if you supported our little project."

"Er..." Alistair said hesitantly.

"Wonderful, wonderful!" Ophelia cut him off, beaming as she bounced on her toes and clapped her hands. "We'll give you a couple of weeks or so to think things over, okay? I'm so excited about joining your community! I would love to get to know you better as well, you're such a handsome man, and we will be working together, after all!" Apparently on impulse, Ophelia abruptly stepped forward and kissed Alistair passionately, who froze in panic. "Until next time, Ally!"

With that, Ophelia merrily departed, leaving a thorougly confused Alistair in her wake. Kio remained for a few moments, fixing Alistair with an intense look as he slowly ran a thumb over one of his knives, before he too left. A couple of minutes later, he heard the sound of the speeder's engine starting, before it zoomed up into the air and away. Alistair exhaled, feeling an acidic worry in his gut, before he too went outside.

Lorne was waiting, having stood next to the windows so that he could simultaneously overhear the conversation while also keeping an eye on the children. For their part, the kids were more subdued than usual, although in the thick heat, most had sought the cool sanctuary of the lake, especially the younger ones. Many were gathered in groups, talking quietly, occasionally glancing at the teachers.

"Well, we knew that this might happen eventually," Lorne said. He had a smooth deep voice, giving him a natural authority that made him especially suited to working with children. Indeed, Lorne's entire appearance was reassuring; he was much taller than Alistair, dark-skinned, and just as well muscled, the top few buttons of his chequered shirt open in surrender to the tropical heat. "This is a perfect base for pirates. Close enough to the trade routes and Hutt space, but far enough that the Empire won't care."

Alistair, watching the children as they started playing in the water, crossed his arms. "I don't even want to think about why they want the children. Just thinking about that woman with them...what she would do with them..."

Lorne placed a reassuring hand on Alistair's shoulder, squeezing it lightly. "We have time to work something out, Al. We can get help."

"From who?" Alistair asked grimly. "The constables in town wouldn't dare go up against pirates, even if we could pay them to try it. The Empire might help us, but they'd bleed us dry for the privilege, and half of those kids would be conscripted into the army the moment that they come of age. And between everyone around here, we've got, what, a half dozen blasters? Maybe three people who even know how to shoot? many people did Sollie say that she saw last week?"

"A dozen, minimum," Lorne said. "Probably more. Those gunships need large crews. That's probably why they're here, to recruit."

Amidst the sound of happy splashing and joyful laughter, Alistair bit his lip. "I didn't think of that...damnit, we can't let them have the kids, but the Empire might be even worse."

Lorne glanced down at Alistair, and extended an arm around the shorter man's shoulders in a one-armed hug. "There might be another option..."

Re: Star Wars: The Wanderer and the Teacher

Reply #1
[ Eny’dInraln Mirwirr “The Mureyca di Grezme” (The Kiss of Danger) | Command Bridge | Sojourner 2 ] ATTN: @Griff

It was quiet. Too quiet. Eny’dInraln Mirwirr, Eny for those she deemed close enough to drop the formalities, sat alone, contemplating finding some space debris to blow up to pass the time. Her mentor/boss/friend had opted to finally take that vacation he’d been complaining about putting off, leaving her in charge of the Sojourner 2 (named the second as a jest since there’d never been a first) until his return in three weeks. That left plenty of time to be driven mad with boredom. Or find something to blow up.

To put off the temptation to burn unnecessary fuel and send new coordinates to Khanak for when he decided to return, Eny dropped her booted feet off the console and shimmied out of the pilot’s chair. She could check on the plants in the hydroponics bay and maybe feed the fish. When she’d first come aboard about eight years prior, Eny had mistakenly named one of the more colorful and personable fish. Khanak had found it more than a little amusing at dinner one night, telling her she was eating Davin. Only after she’d eaten had Eny found it amusing as well.

Hooking her boots over the ladder rungs, Eny slid down, hands protected with black gloves. She preferred to wear a light-weight, form-fitting black suit at all times, something suitable to wear as the base layer under her armor. Even before taking up with Khanak, Eny had learned the necessity of remaining vigilant.

The Soujourner 2 echoed with a salacious drinking song as Eny went to work. She knew every bolt and joint of this ship like the back of her hand now, having helped Khanak make repairs in the middle of more than a few skirmishes and even adding on new modifications as they came available on the market, whether legit or black. The mimicked VT-49 Decimator base had been built in the shipyards orbiting Fondor. While Khanak hadn’t been able to install the two sets of quad laser cannons, he had four laser cannons, two atop the main hull and two below. He had been able to keep with two concussive missile launchers like the Empire’s official Decimator boasted. The YT-1300 Corellian light freighter modular aspect for additions and maneuverability had been manufactured in the Corellian shipyards, with the Firespray-31-class patrol craft wing shifting and hull stabilization capabilities and class 1 main hyperdrive and 0.3 back-ups installed at the Kuat shipyards. Capable of docking and carrying two smaller starfighters or shuttlecraft at the airlocks on either side of the wings, Khanak kept one heavily modified N-1 starfighter, the Saina, docked for personal use, leaving the other open for visitors. He’d taken the Saina for his vacation, destination uncertain, though he’d at least given her the frequency he’d keep open for communication.

With enough hull space to transport six full-sized Empire speeder bikes along with their drivers and supplies, steerage for six passengers aside from pilot and co-pilot, and storage for consumables last up to a month between hubs, the Sojourner 2 was a nomadic base of operations for the nefarious and do-gooder alike. It just so happened that Khanak was a bit of both, depending on the contract, and Eny was happy to go along with either aspect as well, so long as they got to end idiocy in whatever form it was manifesting. As a former Jensaarai apprentice, she was well-equipped to live happily in the borderlands between so-called good and evil.

Khanak Ris was Myr Rho, a subspecies of the noble Cathar, so while he possessed some feline aspects in his appearance (fine golden (hair covered him from head-to-toe, maintained retractable claws, and stood at 1.9 meters tall) and reflexes, he did not possess the exact drive for high morals as the Cathar. Khanak was just as passionate and quick-tempered as a Cathar and an efficient hunter and fighter, but he was rarely plagued with moral questions. He took jobs that aligned with what moral compass he did possess and ignored the rest. Having a hydroponics unit on the Sojourner 2 and a vast network of allies across the galaxy allowed Khanak to focus on jobs for the sake of jobs and not just for the sake of profit.

When they’d first met on Susevfi, the Jensaarai home planet in the Suarbi system, he’d found her feline-influenced armor “adorable.” Having never met a Jensaarai before, being among the majority in that regard, Khanak hadn’t known that such a term could be deemed offensive to a Jensaarai apprentice. Though they abhorred the Jedi and their faux perfection, they did have in common with them the development of light sabers as a part of completing their training and, like Mandalorians, the development of customized armor. Over a generic cortosis-imbued flexible frame reminiscent of ancient Sith battle armor, the armor took on the style of the animal the apprentice felt most kinship to. The chosen animals were typically not overly aggressive but were capable of fierceness when threatened, showcasing a typical Jensaarai mindset.

Eny had always felt an affinity for the sand cat common in the savannas of Susevfi, the fel’tro’ik. This was why she’d installed retractable claws into her armored gloves and boots, dual hand spears that could extend from the gauntlets, and feline-like ears atop her atmospheric breathing capable helmet with built-in macro binoculars that acted as UV and IR sensors. With the cortosis elements of the armor, an element that had
unusually high energy absorption and transmission coefficients, to the point where many energy weapon blasts dissipated along the fibers without damaging the fibers themselves, she could walk through a barrage of blaster fire for limited time periods without risking injury—unless the bastards targeted one of the weaker joint areas repeatedly.

Her preferred armament was an energy short sword and a blaster, along with multiple pouches that she kept filled with various metallic debris of numerous shapes and sizes. In the few times she’d been disarmed, the fools had left these pouches alone to their own detriment. Eny, like most Jensaarai, possessed ballistakinesis, a Force power that allowed her to accelerate objects at lethal speeds. She could also use mechu macture, a Force power that allowed her to deactivate and destroy machines through a purple stream of pure energy. With these abilities, along with Force push and thrust and an unprecedented ability to mask her presence in the Force, Eny presented herself to Khanak as the perfect partner for his growing business.

As a not-quite bounty hunter, not quite marshall for hire, he presented himself as a jack-of-all-trades problem solver, and with Eny’s Jansaarai background, he could expand the types of jobs they took and their working area. At the time, Eny had been more than keen to leave Susevfi. Years prior, her parents had been killed by the Jedi when they’d murdered the Jensaarai’s first leader, Nikkos Tyris, and her cousin, the son of the Saarai-kaar, the leader of their people, had then been cut down by Darth Vader himself, with members of the Inquisitorius coming to Susevfi soon after to destroy the remaining Jansaarai. But just as they’d masked their presence from the Jedi many years before, they did so again, and while many were lost to both attacks, a foundational number remained to build back. 

Though Eny believed in the tenants of her people, she no longer felt tethered to them. Her cousin had been the last tether keeping her there, and with his death, she’d been left adrift, no longer focused enough to finish her training to become a Jansaarai defender. Khanak’s arrival had been timely and beneficial to them both. The eight years since had been filled with more than a few near-death experiences, jobs that pushed Eny far past the reaches of her Jansaarai training. Khanak had been the one to bestow the nickname “Kiss of Danger” on her, telling her that every great entrepreneur required a moniker for further success. While Eny knew the name stemmed from the tendency for things to backfire on her, therein requiring her to use all her abilities to get out of the hole she inadvertently dug for herself, Khanak claimed no one else would. They’d think she was a sexy fighter. This had earned a heavy sigh and eye roll from the former Jansaarai apprentice.

Eny was still sipping from a portable packet of Sullustan ale when she meandered into the shared office space just below the command deck. With a wall-sized viewing glass, it was the perfect place to kick back and –

“Oh, what have we here?” Eny rose from her near attempt to sit on the plushy sofa they’d acquired on a recent job and deviated to the communications console.

It took her only a few minutes to read, deliberate, and decide. The job seemed simple enough, the location not too terribly far that Khanak would be hard-pressed to join her here if it took longer than three weeks to solve, and the reward was humble enough to tell her that the people were desperate and the idiocy level of the nefarious circumstances were high. Quickly sending off a message to the sender that The Mureyca di Grezme would arrive in less than a day to take the job, Eny then sent off another message to Khanak updating him on the job and coordinates. She was fairly skipping as she returned to the helm, no longer so bored that she felt the need to blow up space junk.

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