Birthed of Tragedy and Violence [FT | MWG | Closed]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Birthed of Tragedy and Violence [FT | MWG | Closed]

Postby Thrashia » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:32 pm

Jokoto System | Sub-Sector Aule | Sector R-T of the Thrashian Empire
Ten months after the Coronation of Empress Dheinalia

The world burned. The colony's cities had been sacked, quickly and with brutality. The raiders had only been able to halfway make good their escape when the Thrashian sub-sector EART arrived. The Victory III-class Star Destroyer Seraphim launched a barrage of missiles into the ramshackle frigate-analog ships that the raiders were using, followed by pinpoint turbolaser fire. Two of the raider ships were destroyed outright, the largest crippled, and a few smaller ones managed to escape into hyperspace.

"Tractor beams to bring that rust bucket into position," ordered Captain Kasandra Nuil. The bridge was a flurry of activity. "Alert Major Stukov that his stormtroopers will be making up the boarding teams."

"Aye, Captain."

"Comscan, where's that analysis of the surface?"

"Report is coming in now, ma'am."

Captain Nuil stalked over to the Comscan station, furious. As part of an Enemy Action Response Team, it was their job to get places and stop an enemy from doing just what these raiders had achieved. The fact that their local deep space station had only received the SOS-call an hour before, nearly half a day after the raiders had actually attacked, meant nothing to stem her fury. The Imperial Fleet needed to be faster.



The young ensign manning the station looked up, his shaved face smooth as a child's. Fresh out of the Academy most likely, Nuil thought.

"Report is coming now," he repeated, indicating his holoscreen display. Nuil leaned forward and looked across the data scrolling down.

A voice popped up in Nuil's ear, coming through her com piece. "If I may be so bold as to interject your thoughts, Captain Nuil, allow me to sparse the information coming through my systems."

A small six-inch tall holographic figure appeared next to the display. The form was that of a young woman wearing a typical Imperial uniform - with some very liberal adjustments made to it's cut.

"Go ahead, Sera," said Nuil. Sera was a new piece of technology that had been integrated into all newly developed Thrashian ships: an artificial intelligence system designed for aiding ship activity and crew support. Each AI took the name of it's respective ship as it's own. Nuil had taken the change in stride, accepting that such changes were likely to be more frequent now that the Empire was in a new galaxy.

The cute looking figure gave a salute.

"Power fluctuations are being detected in all four of the colony's major cities. Their central power networks were apparently damaged...I calculate that three of them will overload within the next four hours. The last is stable, though failing."

"Life signs?"

"Endrograd, Lykia, and Phomos are bereft of life signs. It would seem that their populations have either fled, perished, or were taken captive by the raiders. Some life signs have been detected in the surrounding highlands. The settlement of Lucipher has roughly six hundred and fifty-three life signs. However, many appear to be I am now seeing a reduction in this number. Many must be wounded."

"Alright, thanks Sera," Nuil leaned up. She looked down at the ensign. "Make sure you can start giving out such updates as fast as Sera can in the future."

"Uh...yes, ma'am?" the ensign looked flabbergasted at such a concept. Nuil grinned to herself for the moment's levity, then turned back to her own duty station. Just like sending FNGs to go to Maintenance and ask for ion fluid for the TIEs.

"Lieutenant Khasara."

The Vossk being turned, at it's name. "Yesss, Captain?" The Vossk were a client state of the Empire and as such it's people were allowed to join the Imperial military. Some races, such as the Vossk, were highly aggressive and militant; having the chance to find an outlet for that built up aggression was important for harmony within the Empire. Khasara was one of four thousand newly inducted Vossk personnel.

"Have emergency response and medical teams prepare for landing at Lucipher. Have the landing commander get in touch with Sera about the details," she ordered.

Khasara placed his right hand, which had only four fingers and ended in slight claws, over his chest and bowed in the Vossk form of salute. "Asss you command, Captain."

* * * * *

The atmospheric entry had been a bit rougher than expected. Lieutenant Schrell adjusted his earpiece for what felt like the sixth time in the last five minutes.

"Your earpiece seems to be a problem, Lieutenant," a disembodied voice came through the earpiece.

"Yeah, Sera, I'm aware. It annoys me sometimes. I'm on the waiting list for one of the sub-dermal ones," Schrell replied, irritably.

"That may indeed fix your problem." Sera wasn't capable, according to its core programming, of being sassy. But that didn't appear to be a problem in terms of its learning curve.

"What's our ETA?" asked Schrell.

"Lambda Shuttle Tydirium will arrive at point delta in six hundred seconds. Atmospherics are apparently keeping the pilot from being able to have a more direct route."

"Yeah, well, whenever it is that AI can control the weather, get back to me," said Schrell. "What's the update on the colonists?"

"Life signs have remained steady at about five hundred...processing...yes, five hundred. One hundred and twenty-three life signs have been lost in the last fifteen minutes."

Schrell gritted his teeth. "Kark me! Those bastards must have left some of their raiding party behind when they ran off to orbit." He switched a channel to the pilot. "Sergeant Qallus, get us there faster! Those Sith spawn are killing our colonists!"

"Give me another minute to get through the ionosphere and I'll boost speed," the pilot replied, his voice strained.

The shuttle shook like the fist of an angry god was shaking it, before finally returning to a more normal vibration of it's engines. Several of the stormtroopers in the back made the sign of the Goddess, apparently thankful for making it through whatever atmospheric storm was affecting them. The medical team next to them looked thankful, their faces not obscured by helmets. Instead they'd donned rebreather masks, just in case there were localized toxins or lethal agents in the air.

Everyone was thrown back into their seats, belts cutting a bit deep, as the engines whined loudly like a banshee's roar and the shuttle thrust forward.

"Sit tight, folks. This is going to be a rough one," Sergeant Qallus' voice came over the intercom.

"ETA updated to less than two hundred and seventy seconds...your pilot is good, Lieutenant."

"I'll be sure to pass on your compliments," gritted Schrell.

The shuttle came to a hard landing three minutes later on the outskirts of a burning Imperial town. The settlement had been originally constructed out of prefabricated buildings. As he stepped off the shuttle and assessed the area, Schrell could see where more natural buildings, built from local materials, had begun to surround the more rigid and less architecturally pleasing prefab units. Several of the buildings were half-destroyed, their walls torn down and roofs destroyed. A few unmoving bodies lay among the rubble.

Three squads of stormtroopers fanned out around the landing site. Schrell turned to his platoon sergeant, ST-9983, Frenk.

"Sergeant, I'm leaving 3rd Squad with you here to secure our landing zone. Have the medics set up a triage station here and expand the perimeter at your discretion."

"Yes sir, Lieutenant."

Schrell turned to his other men and switched to the platoon com line. "First and Second Squads on me. Advance marching order, hostiles expected. Sera will advise on position of civilians."

A series of com clicks was all the confirmation he needed. First squad moved forward into the settlement. A single trooper advancing forward, followed a few dozen meters from behind by two more, and thence forward by pairs -- leapfrogging from cover point to cover point. DC-20 blaster carbines swept the areas as they passed.

Schrell led 2nd Squad, following behind 1st. He wore body armor, but not the full environmental suite that his stormtroopers enjoyed. The smells of burning plastic, plasteel, and even the sickening scent of charred flesh filled his nostrils. It only served to make him angrier, which he used to fuel his focus.

A com click sounded. "Hostiles at 2 o'clock from lead. Thirty-five meters."

"Confirm presence of civilians," ordered Schrell, giving the hand signal for his second squad to speed up movement.

"Two dozen civilians confirmed. They're being lined up against the outer wall of the central gymnasium."

All Thrashian settlements, as part of their prefabricated design, included a sports center and stadium, often called a gymnasium. It seemed natural that civilians would have fled there in the event of a crisis. It's high walls and sturdy construction would have seemed like a safe bet.

First squad had reached their forward scout. As they approached closer, Schrell was glad to see that all of them had activated their adaptive camouflage -- their normal pristine white armor changing to match their surroundings. The unit had taken up position around a burnt out shell of a public transport.

Using hand signs, Schrell sent his second squad to flank around to the right and gain a second firing angle. He then carefully looked over the edge of the broken window he was by to see what was happening.

A group of mixed aliens, all wearing a mix-match of body armor done in colorful paint schemes, was shuffling along a bunch of unarmed civilians. The majority were human, but a few Duros and a Zabrak could be seen among them. They all appeared to be female and half were children.

A mound of dead women and children was already lying on the ground, blaster holes burnt into them and into the wall behind where they had stood.

"Pick your targets, start with the larger ones. On my signal only, open fire. Confirm order," ordered Schrell.

A series of com clicks confirmed.
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Postby Thrashia » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:01 pm

Lucipher City Center | Jokoto

The pirates moved them to stand in front of the wall.

They killed Papa...they killed papa...they killed papa...

A single human child stood, slightly separate from the group. The pirates raised their weapons and fired unceremoniously. One pirate, a hulking brute of a humanoid, grunted as his blaster didn't fire. The small child, the last remaining civilian in the latest batch of victims stood silent and still, practically a statue.

Antoinette...they killed her...they murdered her...

The pirate's blaster clicked and hummed into activation. He grunted in pleasure and raised his weapon, the barrel sighting down at the diminutive girl.

Mother...mama...they raped and killed her...mama

Her blond hair waved in the wind, hiding her face partially. Her eyes though, bright and blue, were wide with a fierce anger and fury.


Lieutenant Schrell roared into his comlink, shouting the order to fire.

The pirate pulled the trigger.

Time seemed to congeal, a syrupy mess, through which all particle material waded - against a tide.


The bolt of plasma never reached the child. Her hair whipped back from her face as a near-visible wave of air burst out from her, her hands raised in fists. A trickle of blood fell down her wrists from where her fingernails had dug into the skin. The plasma bolt that had been going towards the girl's heart evaporated in mid-air, first halted in its flight.

Energy boiled the air and the pirates were lifted into the air like rag dolls, thrown aside by a child's tantrum. As they rose and fell away their clothes disintegrated, their weapons, their armor, and their flesh. Even the smallest particulate matter that had been their physical form was burned away.

Her voice became audible.

Schrell could hear it, time seemingly moving back at normal perceptions. His men hadn't fired, the pirates killed in a flash.

Her scream continued. The anguish, torment, and suffering...words failed to describe, nor measure, it.

The side door entry of the gymnasium opened, another pirate appearing.

"Oi! What's this then? Can't you morons cut out the noise?" The pirate seemed to finally notice that none of his companions was anywhere to be seen. There was only the little girl and the collection of other dead civilians.

The girl turned and her fist tightened.

"What? Where's the rest of--ughsls." The voice was abruptly halted.

The pirate rose in the air, grasping at his throat like a man desperately seeking to remove a noose. His legs kicked and his body squirmed.

The girl twisted her hand and a series of wet, loud snapping sounds echoed through the area as the pirate's legs and arms were snapped by an unseen force. The girl slammed her fist down. The pirate's body smashed into the ground, rising up a meter or so before being slammed back down again. Like wet laundry being slapped against a rock, the sound echoed. The sight was far worse.

Schrell threw up. Momentarily glad that he wasn't wearing a helmet.

The girl fell to her knees and began sobbing uncontrollably.

Schrell looked at his men. "Move around the other sides of the facility. Get inside and clear it. I'll remain here and deal with this."

The troopers happily obliged. None of them had reacted the way Schrell had, but their body language betrayed their unease.

The lieutenant holstered his blaster pistol as he stepped forward. He kept his hands wide at his side, open and palms forward. He could hear the girl's voice changed, deeper and scratchy sounding, apparently ravaged by the power she'd unleashed.

"Little one..." Schrell softly called out, standing a few meters away from her.

The girl's face was still in her hands, tight against her knees, bent over and sobbing.

"Dear child. I'm Lieutenant Schrell. I'm with the Imperial Navy. I'm here to help." The words sounded hollow and pathetic even to his ears, but it was the truth. The fact that they hadn't been here earlier was enough for Schrell to wish that all the pirates had received the same grizzly death as the last one.

Schrell was studiously ignoring the pile of flesh and broken bones at the edge of his vision.

The girl looked up, eyes teary and bloodshot. Tears ran in rivulets down her cheeks. Her teeth were ground together, tight. Her breathing was shallow and coming in huffs. She didn't seem to really see Schrell.

"I'm Tim Schrell...I'm here to help. I'm sorry I wasn't here faster. Are you OK, little one? What's your name?"

The girl seemed to slowly calm, slightly. She stood up and walked toward Schrell. He had to strain himself, standing as rigidly still as possible; trying desperately not to flinch.

Her blond head came to rest on his stomach, so short she was. She wrapped her arms around Schrell and began crying anew.


Her voice was muffled by his uniform and armor. "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you."

She lessened the strength of her arms, but kept her head pressed to his armor.

"T-Tanya. My name is Tanya. They...they killed my family. They killed everyone."

Schrell went to his knees and got eye-to-eye with Tanya. He tried to use the hem of his uniform's cuff to wipe away her tears. She was covered in dirt and flecks of blood. Thankfully none of it seemed to be hers.
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Postby Thrashia » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:14 am

Victory III-class Star Destroyer Seraphim | En Route to the Nozomu System

Captain Kasandra Nuil drank a bottle that night. She wasn't expect to be on duty for a full cycle, having brought the crew off full alert status after the landing teams confirmed that the last raider scum had been eliminated. It was a simple task. Pour the synthrum. Drink the synthrum. Seeking the void was easy that way and helped to allay some of Kasandra's guilt. Empirically she knew that she wasn't to blame. She'd done her duty and the EART had done what it was suppose to do.

We just weren't fast enough, she thought.

"S-Sera," Kasandra called aloud. Even in her private captain's room she wasn't quite alone. "Sera!"

The small, six-inch tall holographic AI figure appeared near her desk. Sera had a somber expression and sadness showing. Damn thing is learning how to emulate emotions a lot faster than I expected, she thought absently.

"Yes, Captain Nuil? How can I be of service?"

"Alert me once we reach Karak Dom."

"Will the Captain also wish to stop us first off in orbit above Nozomu?"

"No, we're going to drop off the scum to the ISB before we report to SHQ."

"As you command, Captain."

Sera turned off and the room was darkened in the absence of the holographic light. Kasandra welcomed that, as it matched her mood. The only pleasure was the thought of what the Imperial Security Bureau was going to do to the fifty-five odd raider scum that had been captured after Major Stukov and his stormtroopers had launched a boarding action against their crippled ship. He'd killed another hundred taking the ship, losing only four troopers in the process. Twenty-nine had light to medium wounds. All told it was an impressive feat of arms by the Seraphim's crew.

Thinking of the stormtroopers brought back images of the young girl that had been rescued from the surface. Nearly the entire colony had been gutted, except for thirty civilians that had survived. Barely.

But it was the girl, the little ten year old, that Kasandra's memory was drawn to like a lode stone. Tanya, the girl's name, had been attached to Lieutenant Schrell, a stormtrooper officer who'd been witness to the girl displaying a rare power. Wasn't every day you saw a raw, untrained Force sensitive. She'd most likely be sent to the Imperial Acadamy on New Bastion.

Kasandra opened up her datapad. "Computer, play archived file 22A-9, sub-section two."

The pad beeped. A question appeared on the screen: Audio or Hologram?

She emptied her glass for the third time.

Golden liquid filled it back up.


The pad beeped a second time and a small image of a tiny girl appeared above the screen. She was sitting in a chair, eyes fixed on something outside the range of the capturer lens. A male voice, Lieutenant Schrell's, was heard in the background.

"Can you tell me what happened, Tanya?"

The girl had been "debriefed" when she came aboard. The medical team aboard ship had recommended not asking any questions, but the need for information meant that they had to ask her quickly, before potentially vital details were lost in the haze of after-shock.

"The market was attacked," she half-whispered, eyes losing focus. "People were running in all directions. Screaming, yelling. I...I was lucky, at first. I found my mother and sister. We ran together."

"Where did you run to?" asked Schrell's voice.

"Our home. My home. Father was at home, off work for two cycles in a row." The girl seemed to smile at that, remembering something fondly. "He didn't often get two cycles off in a row, so Mother was going to make something special for dinner. That's why we were at the market. They had a new delivery, so my mother said. Antoinette and I went along to help."

"What happened when you got home?" asked Schrell, his voice quiet.

"They had already arrived. A bunch of ships came down, faster than any I've seen, all over the city. When Mother opened the door, we found three of them inside our house." Her voice, when she said that key word, became hard and venomous. Seeing her tiny, innocent face contorted with such anger was frightening and saddening in equal measure.

"Papa...he'd tried to fight. I think. But they'd killed him. They shot him, a bunch of times. He right arm was gone. They must have done something else, because his neck wasn't right either. It was bent at a bad angle.

"Mama screamed when we saw him. They heard that. They grabbed us. Antoinette pulled out her safety knife, the one you use on camping trips. She surprised one of them, stabbed him in the arm. The bad man didn't like that. He shot her. He shot her. Then he kicked her, when she fell to the ground.

"The hurt one tied me up and sat me on a chair next to my sister. I couldn' anything. I couldn't move. Even before the cord was tied around my hands, I couldn't move."

Her voice was rising in octaves and her breathing was coming more shallow. Tanya was gripping the sides of the chair she was sitting on, her knuckles white from the pressure.

Lieutenant Schrell tried to calm her down. "Tanya, that's enough! You don't--!."

"The other two grabbed Mama. They took her to the table, there in front of Papa, and tore off her clothes. I started crying. Antoinette had bought her that dress three years ago, as a present."

Lieutenant Schrell cursed in the background. Kasandra emptied her glass a fourth time.

A fifth cup was poured and quickly dispatched.

Tanya's voice continued, eyes slightly dilated, body tense, but inexorably continuing her tale. It seemed that she couldn't stop. Wouldn't? It didn't matter.

"They attacked her like that for a long time. She tried to fight back at first, until they punched her, beat her. They didn't stop. Not for anything. After another hour or two a new one of them entered my home. He was their leader, I guess. He took out a gun and shot my mother. No hesitation. He simply shot my mother, smacked his pistol across the head of his two subordinates, and then left.

"The injured one took me with the leader. The town outside was completely ruined. I must have not been able to hear what happened outside. I couldn't focus on anything outside. They took me to the central gymnasium. There were a few other people there. The leader asked if there was any more wealth or treasure we might have. If we gave him what he wanted, he'd let us live. That's what he said. When no one answered, he shot Old Man Vektryn -- the old baker. He was a nice man, always gave me a sweet roll when I asked. He shot Vektryn in the head. He said that it was a waste of time asking us.

"They began taking people outside. We heard the blaster fire. No one else was coming back inside."

Tanya looked up, her eyes now more focused.

"I didn't want to die. They killed my family. I didn't...I couldn't...I was just SO angry."

The holographic image began to shake. The sound of metal being bent out of shape, objects smacking into one another, being moved. Lieutenant Schrell's voice rang out. "Tanya! Please! You're safe now! Control it! Breath!"

The girl's fists bent the metal of the chair she was seated on. Then just as suddenly it was too much for the girl. The rumbling and shaking of the room stopped. Tanya fell back in her chair, collapsed into unconsciousness.

The recording continued and Lieutenant Schrell finally appeared within the hologram's capturer view, alongside a medic. They checked her vital signs, making sure she was OK.

"Goddess preserve us," said the medic. "I've never seen a Force-sensitive that strong before. Have you, Lieutenant?"

"No," replied Schrell, simply. "I've already made my report to the Captain. The Imperial Knights will take her in. She's young yet and needs someone who can help her with her new-found power. Poor girl.

Kasandra turned the datapad off. The hologram recording disappeared.

She emptied the last fifth of the bottle directly into her mouth.
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Postby Thrashia » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:07 am

There was no solace to be had in silence. In the gaping depths of emptiness, that space known as silence, there was only torture for Tanya. For when the silence came the horrors soon filled it. Memories, unbidden and unwanted, would rise up like vengeful shades; horrific and ghastly in their apparition-like state. Images, soaked in blood, that overlaid the living, real world around her like some sickening painting -- the artist of which was her own personal demon.

The entire time she spent aboard the Imperial ship that had rescued her therefore had been spent seeking noise, distraction, and lightheartedness. The crew were kind, almost unbearably so. It seemed that every one knew her story. Conversations would stop, young men and women would avoid her eyes, and all without exception would look at her with eyes filled with pity.


The idea of it filled her with anger.

She didn't need pity.

She didn't want pity.

She wanted something else.

At first, after being rescued from the firing squad that would have ended her life, she was able to blank out the memories. But the more she spent alone, avoiding the awkwardness of adults who didn't know how to handle a traumatized child, the more she had time to remember.

Her explosive sound of her sister being shot through the neck...

The sound of her father's body hitting the floor...

The screams of her mother as she was raped...

Tanya became aware, suddenly, that the various objects around her room were once more hovering about her like moons around a planet. Without her noticing her breathing had become rapid. She tucked her legs against her chest and struggled to get her ear buds into her ear. Once they were in place the soft, lilting music that she had once played and danced to filled her mind. She focused on the music, and tried her best to breathe deeper and slower.

She bit her lip until she tasted blood.

The objects fell down, Tanya's power no longer holding them aloft.

*knock* *knock*

Tanya barely heard the rapping on her door. She got up off the simple bed that was in her assigned cabin aboard the Seraphim and pressed the door lock. The door slid open, revealing a silver-metal protocol droid.

"I must say, my dear Tanya, you do keep your door locked far too often," started the droid.

"I'm sorry, Xeno," replied Tanya. The protocol droid, X3-N0 had been assigned to help her by the Captain. The droid was the only one who wasn't awkward or weird around her. The soft, lyrical voice that the droid had was also pleasing. "I'll try not to lock it so often. I just feel safer when I do."

"I well understand that, little mistress. May I come in?" Xeno never entered before asking. The sense of well being that that little act gave Tanya was enough to make her love the droid.

"Yes, Xeno. Please come in."

The droid shuffled into the room and sat on a chair next to the bed, as he normally did. On his first visit he had attempted to merely stand, but it had made Tanya uncomfortable and so he'd sat without comment. "Is there anything happening today?" she asked, sitting on her bed with her back against the wall.

"Nothing more the normal ship routine," said X3-N0. "However, I have been informed by the Captain that a unique opportunity has been opened up for you, little mistress. If you're willing, that is."

"What opportunity?"

"I can detect the apprehension in your voice already, little mistress. Please don't be worried. I've been told that a member of the august organization, the Imperial Knights, is arriving on Nozomu. He wishes to meet you."

Tanya cocked her head to one side, thinking. She was still young, but she'd been learning about the Empire and it's various organizations and history since she first entered the central schools. She remembered that the Imperial Knights were the small organization of guardians that protected the Imperial Family.

They were also Force users.

"Why does he want to meet me?"

"Now, now little mistress. Don't pretend with me. You know now, as well as I, that you have a strong gift," said X3-N0.

A bolt of red plasma, frozen in the air before her by the strength of her will.

"He, I don't know his name unfortunately, thinks you might have a place at the Imperial Academy on New Bastion."

The clothing, flesh, and bone of armed pirates disintegrating under the baleful power of her anger.

"And there you can learn to control your power."

Tanya looked up, noticing that once more the objects were hovering in the air. Even Xeno was. The droid said nothing, simply looking down at Tanya with the same expression as always - the one he was built with. Neutral and direct.

The non-reaction and the calm face calmed her down again.

"I think that might be a good idea," said Tanya. She sniffed.

She could hear a smile in the tone of his voice. "I would agree, little mistress. We'll be meeting him in a day, as soon as we arrive. Yes, I think he can help. After all, it would be good to control it, not let it hurt you."

The words flashed through Tanya's mind and she remembered something else. She remembered why it was that she kept seeking to be alone within her cabin. She remembered why it was that she no longer sought out the company of the adults aboard the ship. Her jaw tightened and she felt like either crying or screaming.

There had been one more emotion in the eyes of those she encountered aboard the ship.

Every one of them, the same emotion.

Last edited by Thrashia on Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Thrashia » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:45 am

Planet Nozomu | Somnium Sector Capitol | Empire of Thrashia

The Imperial Star Destroyer Seraphim achieved orbital docking around Nozomu a few days after Xeno last visited her room. Tanya wasn't quite sure how she felt about coming to this planet, the sector capital, she'd been told...but anything would be better than remaining aboard the ship. She could only handle the looks of the crew, and emotions swirling around them, for so much longer. Her realization that had made her voluntarily choose to stay in her cabin was a fresh scar on her mind.

The people around me are scared of me. They're afraid. They fear me.

A transport took both Tanya and X3-N0 to the surface. The viewport on the side of the shuttle allowed her a bird's eye view of a wondrous landscape.

Nozomu was a verdant planet with flowing rivers crossing wide green savanna, stepped plateaus cropping up at random, providing tower-like vantage points for any who wished to gaze across the land. There were scattered settlements and cities across it's surface, but the capital city of Yamato-miyako was the jewel. It sat amid a flowing river delta, it's towers and orderly streets blending into the natural formations around it. Architectural marvels unlike anything that would have been seen on Tanya's home world were present here.

She saw shopping districts filled with people. Beings from all across the Empire were there, Humans, Chiss, Devaronians, Ugnaughts, Duros, Trandoshans, Zabraks, Twi'Leks, and more. The sheer mix of species was enough to distract Tanya for a moment. Her colony had only had a few non-Humans in it, largely because, as her mother had explained, their colony was from Kuat originally.

The shuttle flew onward, passing across parks and sporting arenas; housing districts and factories, restaurants and clubs. Everything was shining and clean. It was enough to make Tanya sick.


The shuttle came to land before a small group of buildings, the primary of which was a red-brick ziggurat.

The crew of the Seraphim feared me. Everyone here will too.

The crew led her down the ramp and into the building.

Once they see me.

X3-N0 disappeared around a corner. The crew that had brought her turned and left. She felt herself pulled toward a doorway. The room was dimly lit and spacious, few furnishings at all. The floor was covered in pebbles and every few feet there were large, man-sized stones.

Once they know.

An old man sat cross-legged upon a stone in the center of the room. The light lay upon his face and hands. He was motionless and still, as if he too were a stone or rock.

"I sense much anger in you, young Tanya," the man said.

He opened his eyes, revealing purple irises. His skin was olive brown and wrinkled. His face was sallow and sharp, due to high cheekbones. His white hair was tied back in a neat cue. His clothing was a simple red robe with an under shift that was of a lighter red. Tanya couldn't stop looking at his eyes.

He knew.

He nodded. "Yes, I do know."

Tanya's guts clenched like a tightening fist. She gritted her teeth. Her breathing became rapid and short. If he knows and can even read my mind...

He blinked those violet eyes.

He knows. He knows. He knows. He knows. He knows.

The room throbbed. The floor seemed to buckle. Tanya became more aware of her surroundings and realized that every large stone in the room was now floating above her head, even the one that the mysterious old man sat on.

"Tell me," he asked, "What is it that I know, Tanya Rachender?"

She felt like someone was trying to strangle her. She could hardly breath. Her palms felt wet and she looked down to see that she'd dug her nails so hard into them that they'd begun to bleed. An alien sound echoed throughout the room, followed by another. A part of Tanya couldn't comprehend the sound. It was one she swore she'd never hear again.

She bent over and sobbed. "You know...that I-I'm-."

"You are...?" he prodded.

"T-That I'm A MONSTER!"

The sobbing was cut off with a roaring scream. The feeling was liberating in a way. She had had the thought in her mind ever since she'd been taken aboard the Seraphim. And now, here, another being was able to see, to know, and understand. She was--.

Laughter cut through everything. She stared at the old man, bent over and slapping his thigh.

"Ahaha! To think you'd be able to make me laugh like this. It's been a while, I tell you."

The reaction was enough to disrupt Tanya's concentration. The stones fell back to the floor, thumping down with some force. She stared.

"Why are you laughing? Why are you laughing at me?"

"My dear child," the old man smiled at her. "You are not a monster."

"I-I am, I--."

"Tell me your name." His voice changed, from one of mirth to that of command.

"I am a--."

"Tell me your name." The demand was stronger this time, a strange feeling and sensation carried with it.

"M-My name is Tanya. Tanya Rachender."

"So, Tanya; Tanya Rachender. Does your name sound like that of a monster's? Are you some beast that has popped out of a story book or nightmare? Are you not a young girl?"

The words rocked through Tanya. What did the old man mean? What was he talking about? Who cared if her name was what it was, and of course she was just a....

Tanya sat down, pulled her knees tight, and cried.

Strong arms encircled her and she felt herself lifted. She sensed instead of saw the old man carry her out of the room. The near-silent patter of booted feet in the hallway was calming. She could feel the calm, steady heartbeat of the old man, in sync with his steps. The more she focused on that sound and the pulsing rhythm of his heart, the more she was able to stretch out other senses. The robe he wore smelled of some floral scent, with a slight bit of body odor that was reminiscent of her father and the boys in her old class. Her newer sense, the one that she had discovered at the worst and best of times, was also open -- and felt a calming, reciprocal energy. It was radiating from the old man. It felt like a cooling balm.

"You are welcome here, in my home," the old man said.

A door opened and Tanya finally opened her eyes. She found a room, sparsely furnished like the other one before her. X3-N0 was standing near a bed and desk, waiting. The old man lowered her to her feet and looked down at her with a small, knowing smile.

"I am Torvald Himura, Imperial Knight of the Empire, and -- if you don't mind -- your teacher as well."

Xeno stepped over. "I've brought all your things here, Young Miss. I'm to be yours now. I'll assist you in all that I can."

Tanya didn't know what to say.

"Say nothing," Torvald commented. "Rest tonight and tomorrow. We will speak again when you are ready."

Tanya merely nodded and said nothing as Torvald left the room. She crawled into the bed, laying down with a sudden feeling of extreme exhaustion. The last few days had felt like years, her emotions stretched like thin wires across a chasm; being weighed upon by unseen hands, a fraying thread close to snapping. Relief flooded through Tanya.

She hadn't felt it. From Torvald. She hadn't felt it at all.

No fear. None at all.
FT Factbook | Thrashian HoloNet News | Newbies Need to Read This | Thrashia IIwiki

"D-Damn you all...! All of you dogs whose souls are still bound to the Earth! Long live Neo Zeon!" - MSG: Unicorn

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Postby Thrashia » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:26 am

Imperial Knights Training Sanctuary | Yamato-miyako City | Planet Nozomu

Tanya slept the first day like one of the dead. Nothing could drag her from her sleep, though Xeno told her that he had tried several times. She had dreamed during that period, dreamed of memories that swirled about in a poisonous miasma. Without her understanding exactly why, she felt a crevice within her when she dreamed. So long as she did not attempt to cross that chasm, then she felt safe and secure. Nothing could touch her.

In the weeks following her arrival on Nozomu she rationalized it in the only way she knew how: she had already survived a living nightmare -- there was nothing worse that her subconscious could throw at her. Once you were past the worst there was no going back.

* * * * *

The alarm next to Tanya blared. A small metallic click turned it off. With a sigh Tanya sat up in bed and cracked her neck.

"How long was I asleep, Xeno?" Tanya asked, stretching and walking over to a small basin. She passed her hand over the sensor and warm water gushed out. The water felt great as she rubbed it over her face, just like her sister had taught her. A fresh start to the morning with a fresh face, as she'd always said.

"Nearly a full twenty-four hours, Young Miss," replied the protocol droid. "Master Himura told me to let you sleep for as long as you needed. He said you would need it."

Tanya turned and considered the droid. Torvald Himura...huh? He truly planned to be her teacher, didn't he. It wasn't an uncomfortable thought, but neither was it a pleasant one.

Her old clothing was gone. It had been thrown away and incinerated by her wish. The temple servants, clad in simple red robes, had brought her replacement garments. She opened her wardrobe to find that a pair of loose pants, a t-shirt, and a sash were waiting. They were all different shades of red, though complementary. Not that color really mattered at this point. Fussing over her clothes was so past life. The life that no longer was and she had been forced past.

Other necessities were laid out as well. Xeno had obviously prepared well while she'd been laid out, asleep. A small ration bar, a glass of water, and a pealed verak. The sweet fruit was one of her favorites and had been one of the foods she had requested when being transported to Nozomu. Xeno had obviously remembered.

"Thank you for the breakfast, Xeno. I appreciate it."

"You're most welcome, Little Miss."

She got dressed. "Where is Master Himura?" she asked.

"He told me that he would be waiting for you in the main meditation chamber, where we were last time."

She followed Xeno, letting the droid lead the way as she had not been keeping track of that the first time. The building was beautiful in it's simplicity, though she felt that the materials must all be expensive. The only other time she had seen such finely cut stone walls and floor tiles was the one time her class had visited the planetary governor's office on her old colony planet. Instead of grandiose, it felt...solid, steady, reliable. It had a calming effect.

Master Himura was sitting and waiting much as he had been when Tanya had first laid eyes on him. He was facing away from Tanya. Before him was a clear glass vista of the city skyline. The weather was clear and bright, with a soft purple-tinted atmospheric shade.

"The sleeper awakens," Master Himura said, a smile in his voice.

Tanya said nothing. She sat down on a cushion that had been laid out. Xeno turned back and went to stand motionless by the door.

Master Himura cocked his head to one side, as if listening to something. Tanya got the sense that he might be disappointed somehow in her. Yeah, well, frak off old man. Language her mother would have scolded her for using -- even though she'd heard it from her father or older sister first -- was becoming a more normal feature of her daily life.

"I am told that you're eating better."

Tanya took a deep breath and looked out the window. It was huge, taking up nearly half the wall space, starting from the floor.

"Yet you are still troubled -- in your sleep."

She held her breath. An animalistic part of her, a frightened part, held onto her lungs like a drowning man clung to a life raft. She...couldn't breathe. A spike of fear hammered her mind and dragged down the vertebrae of her spine. Tingling in the worst way possible.

Without being aware of him having moved, Torvald Himura was sitting in front of her, closer than before, and looking her in the eye.

"Release...," he said, quietly. "Release yourself. Look upon your hands."

She glanced down and found her hands gripping her legs so tight that her knuckles were white. Finger nails were digging into her flesh, even through the synthetic fabric of her clothes. Pain that she had not allowed herself to feel began to filter through her senses.

Tanya ordered her hands to release their hold.

They didn't move.

Open! Let go! She screamed in her mind.

Her hands unclenched slowly. Her lungs loosened. She felt a gasp of sound come from her as she fell forwards slightly. She threw her arms out and barely managed to keep herself upright. Air sucked into her lungs greedily as she came close to hyperventilating. A warm touch landed upon her shoulder and she felt her fear begin to recede, her heart begin to beat more slowly, and her breath become more steady.

Master Himura removed his hand from her shoulder and the momentary connection was broken. "You are a strong child," he murmured, "Though clearly you have much to learn that will eventually allow you to master yourself."

"I w-want stronger," Tanya declared, catching her breath.

"When I teach you, it is not with the intent to simply make you strong," said Master Himura. His eyes were narrowed as he focused on Tanya. "Being part of the living Force is not merely about mastering one's talents in the pursuit of strength."

"Then what is it about?"

"In the Force your emotions become your reality, Tanya. With your gift you act as a bridge between the Force and the World. Your emotions can impact the world as surely as that of the Force. Be mindful, therefore, of yourself."

Tanya considered his words, biting the inside of her cheek to distract the pain in her legs. Must remember to have Xeno clip these dagger-nails later. She looked back at Master Himura.

"I don't understand."

Master Himura grunted. "Not now, perhaps, but you will. In time."
FT Factbook | Thrashian HoloNet News | Newbies Need to Read This | Thrashia IIwiki

"D-Damn you all...! All of you dogs whose souls are still bound to the Earth! Long live Neo Zeon!" - MSG: Unicorn

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