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Events and Occasions / Re: Dancer's Palace 8pm PDT
« Last post by Imazi on 10/08/21, 07:51:49 AM »
I'm not sure if I can make it. I'm so tired... but I'll see. :sigh:
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Events and Occasions / Re: Dancer's Palace 8pm PDT
« Last post by Karmic on 10/07/21, 11:26:22 AM »
Hope to see you next year Sindee <3

As for myself - stuff has come up this week so I wont' be making this Friday's DP like I had hoped to.

Sorry guys!  I'll be dancing with you in spirit  :aww: :evil:
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Outside Realm / Re: NaNoWriMo 2021
« Last post by Dassalya on 10/04/21, 07:26:51 PM »
Thanks for the reminder, Imazi!
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Events and Occasions / Re: Dancer's Palace 8pm PDT
« Last post by Sindee on 10/01/21, 08:31:53 PM »
See you in 2022 then.
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Events and Occasions / Re: Dancer's Palace 8pm PDT
« Last post by Karmic on 10/01/21, 05:49:49 PM »
Awesome! No worries for me on the change.  My system's been a bit finky the last few days so it works out better this way, anyway.  More likely to be able to make it next Friday! <3
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Events and Occasions / Re: Dancer's Palace 8pm PDT
« Last post by Imazi on 10/01/21, 10:46:15 AM »
Work is wearing me out but I shall do my best to be there!
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Events and Occasions / Re: Dancer's Palace 8pm PDT
« Last post by ThyssenKrupp on 09/30/21, 11:35:29 PM »
Thanks for the tag, @Seraphie! Looking forward to seeing you and everyone else on the 8th!
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Events and Occasions / Re: Dancer's Palace 8pm PDT
« Last post by Seraphie on 09/30/21, 07:55:27 PM »
Tomorrow is the first Friday of the month, but I am going to postpone Dancer's Palace by a week, and I think I'm going to make that change permanent, because the first Friday of the month I keep needing to deal with stuff for my ESO guild - contest turn over and such.

So Dancer's Palace will be on Friday October 8th and from now on it will be on the second Friday of each month!

@Karmic
@Imazi
@Sebrik
@ThyssenKrupp
@Joshmaul
@GabrielThorne
@HeroOfStuds
@LVT
@Dassalya
@Orell
@Sindee
@recoveringgeek
@Cyone
@Birdface_Washi
@Crimsen
@Neodestany

Hope I got everyone!
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Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Last post by Orell on 09/26/21, 10:47:07 PM »
Note: If coming here from the "recently posted" tab, you might want to start out with Part 1 up above first!

Old Hatreds, Part 5

A Few Hours Later...

Shaantil stroked the slumbering Soldin's hair, the pair curled up together in the master suite, the girl not wanting to leave Shaantil's side, and Shaantil not interested in being anywhere else.

It had been a... difficult time since the fight. Agent Wellin had indeed arrived quickly, along with a medic and a dozen local guards and SIS agents to control the scene. Darth Anzel was still alive, at least what was left of him, but Agent Wellin promised that he would never escape, and that the information he would give would be used to save lives.

A few guards had questions about what happened, quickly dismissed by the Agent, no doubt used to having to explain away Lightsaber wounds on enemies when no Lightsabers were supposed to be present.

There was also the matter of Soldin. She was trying to stay brave, and that courage in the face of danger would come in time, but eleven was too young to suddenly face death and expect to remain composed. A sightless glare from the Jedi was all the answer they needed for now.

But the worst had been the apologies. From Wellin, from the other agents, from the guards, from their captain, both the Governor and Senator had already sent an urgent message to express their regret... even the Throneguard she told to enjoy their night were sorry. She already had to send a quick message back home, back to Cordae and the rest of the family, giving them the simple version of the story to help them understand why so many apologies had been sent their way.

Even Soldin had been saying sorry. That she strayed from Shaantil's side, that she got grabbed, that she just froze...

Shaantil kissed her daughter's forehead. No one could possibly blame Soldin for what happened, no one but Soldin herself... and that was an enemy that would be hard to defeat. One that Shaantil would make sure that her daughter would overcome.

A gentle knocking echoed through the room. Not from the door to the rest of the suite, rather from the balcony door.

Shaantil stared at the door. An army couldn't pull her away from Soldin right now... but if this was who she thought it was...

She carefully pulled herself away from Soldin, another kiss on the forehead comforting the sleeping girl's rest, and the Jedi strode to the balcony, calling her Lightsabers to her on the way.

The evening was brisk, to put it lightly, as she stepped out onto the balcony, privacy shielding hiding the Jedi and her tattered dress from the legion of illicit press that might be looking to capitalize. "How did you get here?" she asked the seemingly-empty balcony.

A moment passed, then another, and then a twi'lek was suddenly visible, sitting down at one of the balcony's tables, a glass of wine in her hand. "...the privacy screens are mostly focused on visuals, and aren't expecting someone who can traverse buildings like we can." A pause. "I'm impressed, you're still faster than me," Quarasha said, eyes flicking at the Jedi.

Shaantil leaned on the balcony railing, not looking directly at Quarasha yet, her miraluka sight focused on her daughter, making sure her rest was unobstructed. "...I meant at all."

Quarasha nodded faintly, sipping her wine. "SIS and I have an accord. They'll deny it if you try to go public, of course, but a Sith with my training, fighting against the Empire? They'd be fools to say no."

"They were fools to say yes."

The Sith snorted. "Tonight, you wish to say that?"

Shaantil paused, and then took a breath. "They were fools to say yes. That I might be... fortunate that they did does not change that."

"You really ride that Jedi philosophy hard, don't you? Ignore the self, all for the greater good?"

"Broadly speaking. But pithy lines make for good philosophy, not good policy." Shaantil paused. "You wanted me to chase you."

"I tagged the apprentice the moment she grabbed your kid. The longer they had her alone, the more they could..." Quarasha glanced up at the Jedi mother, before finally saying "...do. I figured you would be acting on instinct, and gave you something you couldn't resist chasing. It worked out."

Shaantil finally looked at Quarasha fully, rage briefly rising on her face. "You led me into an ambush."

"I led you into Plan... D, most likely. Possibly E."

"...what?"

Quarasha sighed, taking another gulp of wine. "Plan A, the first assassin kills you. Plan B, they grab the girl and make it back to the Empire for evil Sith things," she said, waving her hand mystically. "Plan C, they get her out of the building but can't get off-world, but still can set up a better ambush somewhere else."

"...and Plan D would be a one on one duel, with me likely unarmed and alone, but not certainly so," Shaantil finished, her expression calming.

"Well, one on two. The apprentice, remember?" Quarasha shrugged. "I mean, I figured out the specifics after the fact, but I advised on the security here, only a great mind would have been able to get his agents in place, and a great mind would've had more escape plans in mind. Keeping the pressure up removed those options, and gave us a fighting chance."

Shaantil looked back over at the Sith. Very professional, very calm, very matter of fact. But... a clever mind wouldn't come here without contingencies. She focused, letting go of her monitoring of Soldin for a moment, trying to search the area... "...make sure to remove the shock-traps you planted here when you leave. All... seventeen of them? Really?" At Quarasha's raised eyebrow, Shaantil stared back. "...you're right. All twenty of them. They wouldn't be delivered in such an odd number."

A small smirk crossed Quarasha's face, and the Sith seemed to relax a bit. "Nineteen, actually. I dropped one over the ledge." Shaantil's stare continued, and she let out a sigh. "Fine, I'll try to find where it landed, don't want some gardener getting an unusual wake-up call tomorrow. Are you going to ask me the other question, or should I just start running?"

"Why did you come up here?"

Quarasha blinked. "...well, I was expecting you to ask why I aligned with SIS-"

"That's hardly a mystery," Shaantil said, the cold tone returning to her voice. "Self-preservation. You're a traitor to the Empire, they'll kill or muzzle you, so you're helping their strongest enemy to get revenge and hoping to gain favor to help you avoid punishment."

Quarasha held the staring contest this time, setting down her glass of wine. "Are all Jedi of your generation such cynics? Whatever happened to people's hearts changing?"

"Sith frequently attack under flags of surrender or peace or while begging for mercy. And one would need to have a heart for it to change," Shaantil added, venom in her voice.

Quarasha's eyes narrowed. The words to bite back were there, on the tip of her tongue, but the former diplomat stayed her tongue. She knew where those words came from. "Bit far there, Jedi," she eventually replied, her own tone cold, but more soft than sharp.

".......perhaps," Shaantil admitted, the fighting posture she didn't realize she had slipped into fading.

'What you said? That is part of it. Most of it, even, I will admit that," Quarasha said, settling back into her seat. "But the rest... if the Sith conquer the galaxy, everyone that I care about will suffer. Anyone that I even could care about would suffer. A handful would thrive, and the rest left in pain. It took me too long to realize the inevitable contradiction of the Sith Empire, why it can never reign unopposed... but it's wisdom I can't ignore."

Shaantil's brow creased. "And which contradiction is that?"

Quarasha couldn't help but chuckle at the word 'which' there. "In short? It is best for all that the strong lead... but only if the weak can accept that they are not leading. And everyone that has any strength at all thinks they're one of the leaders."

"And every Sith thinks that they're one of the leaders," Shaantil said, gently nodding.

"Well, almost all of us.There's a few weirdos out there, like Beniko who seem to enjoy being a servant. I swear, that girl, when I first met her I pictured her as holding the whips, not taking them so m-"

"So, a dominant Empire would lead to galactic collapse," Shaantil said, cutting in before the topic grew too uncomfortable. Or familiar.

"Every time the Sith Empire's about to win big, some idiot thinking they should have more power sabotages the whole mess. I think that's the rather definitive proof, wouldn't you say?" Quarasha shrugs. "Maybe some magnificent bastard can find a way to align the entire power structure right, but I doubt it'll happen in my lifetime... so, best to let the side that doesn't try to conquer the galaxy because it's not competent enough to dominate it win." A pause from the Sith. "No offense meant," she lied.

"I consider it a compliment to the Republic." Shaantil looked over Quarasha. It... didn't sound like a lie. She'd had her own observations on the Empire that matched that in the past, the Empire's defeat at Corellia had become practically legendary for how little the Republic actually had to do to crush the Sith there. "And this attack?"

Quarasha shook her head. "My sources have given me good intel on other strikes, but this mess and 'good intel' were about as far from each other as possible. Just barely enough chatter from old contacts to be worth taking seriously, given the event. And Anzel was supposed to be overseeing training exercises four sectors away, he was completely in my blind spot. No offense meant, again... but he talked like he knew you. Were you just messing with him, because if so, color me impressed."

Shaantil shook her head. "I would have feigned confusion if I had to, but truly, I don't recall the encounter he described. Fighting with Sith while investigating hidden plots with Master Soldin... it wasn't an unusual occurrence. It certainly wasn't the first time I fought a Sith alone."

"Who was?"

"I don't know. But she was a woman, and... did not escape the battle. Besides, it's not like many Sith who fight me bother to introduce themselves."

"Really? Most of the ones that try to kill me can't help but be dramatic about it all." Quarasha shrugged, but gave Shaantil a quick look before finishing off her glass of wine. "...so, about the Rancor in the room..."

"Do you regret it?" Shaantil said, turning away from her visitor, staring back at the sleeping Soldin, her tone... quiet, like she doesn't want to hear the answer.

"...you might have to narrow it down." Quarasha waved her hand, cutting off the Jedi before she could respond. "...to oversimplify? Not as you want me to."

Shaantil heard the words, took them in, breathed, in, and out, focused on the resting girl, safe and secure thanks to the actions of the people on this balcony. Seconds passed, the tension drawn out until she finally had to ask, ".......meaning?"

"With....... her namesake?" Quarasha ventured with, tiptoeing around the name, and when the Jedi didn't fly into a murderous rage, she went on, "the actions were almost entirely above board. The intelligence on that world wasn't as definitive as I pretended later, and I wasn't even present there, but... she was there, operating and defending an illegal espionage platform. She was knowingly violating intergalactic law and multiple treaties of neutrality."

"I know."

"And the... 'attempted regicide'..." she said, looking away from the stiffening Erinian Princess. "Not... precisely. The actions were the correct ones, based on my objectives and what I knew at the time."

"Were they," Shaantil said, her voice leaden.

"I know the Jedi see it differently. It's why I'm not a Jedi, Princess," Quarasha said with more than a little bite. "My teacher, he taught me to do what is needed to achieve my goals, however much or little that might be. If my goals require the brutal, painful murder of a wise, benevolent ruler? Then I'll grab my very best torture knives and searing hot poker. If they require rescuing the daughter of a woman who hates me, then I'd best save the damned damsel in distress. Do what you must, regret nothing."

"Then you regret nothing."

Quarasha stared at her empty glass, wishing there was a bottle or four to help her through this discussion. "...I regret the goals."

Shaantil frowned. "The goals?"

"To secure my power in the Empire. To appease more aggressive Sith in the Empire. To establish myself in the Empire. To make the Empire stronger," she shook her head, disgusted at the idiocy of youth. "An Empire that enslaved me. That sneer at my kind. That is destined for self-destruction. That would only see worth in me if I was among the most powerful to ever exist, something I will never be, not if I want to keep what shreds of sanity I have left."

She looked up at the Jedi, a beginning of understanding starting to dawn on the woman. "I regret thinking that what I did was the best thing to do, that I thought it was the smart play. Sol- Your master's death was regretful in that it robbed the galaxy of a flexible Jedi who was good at fighting the Empire. The assassination attempt was regretful because I thought killing your father-in-law would make my situation better, when a Republic weakened by his death would only have made things worse in the long run."

"Also, you lost your hand."

"The smart play is the smart play, no matter what actually happens," Quarasha replied, standing from her chair. "Besides, getting a cloned replacement was quite affordable in the end. In any case, I've intruded enough. Try not to give Wellin a hard time for this, none of any of this was his idea, and he's not that bad of a spy. And... you should get back to her. You shouldn't be gone when she wakes," she said, the Sith's voice going soft as she looked towards the dozing girl.

"...in a moment." Shaantil took a deep breath, and looked at the Sith that had haunted her dreams and visions on more than one occasion. "I cannot forgive you for those actions...  no. I could. A Jedi should. But... I will not. And I do not approve of the SIS's dealings with you, they are taking a very foolish risk, and I do not trust that your aims will remain aligned with them or the Republic. Or the Jedi."

"I don't recall asking for either forgiveness or approval."

"Indeed. I believe you are a ticking time bomb, one that will leave a large radius of devastation when you do explode," Shaantil said, stepping towards Quarasha.

The Sith tensed as the other woman stepped into the array of traps.... all 26 of the shock-traps failing to go off. She took a step back, a hand going back to the Lightspear on her back, all too aware of the Lightsabers on Shaantil's hips, that the last time they fought, Shaantil won handily, and a rematch now would at-best be too close to call...

...but the Jedi stopped, two paces away from the Sith. "But I do remember one lesson from Master Soldin that... I find hard to forget. To never underestimate just how far a Sith will go to prove a Jedi wrong."

Quarasha stared at Shaantil for several moments, feeling like she was standing on the edge of the abyss, ready to bolt or fight or leap, whatever might be needed. "...it is always fun to see the looks on your faces..."

"Then for Soldin, I will say this..." Shaantil took a deep breath. So much of her didn't want to do this. Half of her was screaming that this was a mistake. That the dead deserved better, that the wicked needed punishment, that this lying Sith schuuta would be laughing all the way back to Korriban about this tomorrow. And yet... she stepped forward, took a deep breath and nodded. "...thank you, for what you did today, and I hope that you do end up proving me wrong."

Quarasha stared at her, and extended her hand, offering a friendly handshake. "...you're welcome, Jedi. And... we'll see about that other part, won't we?"

Shaantil just stood there, ignoring the offered hand. Too much had been done by her to accept it now. "...did you really have him?"

"You interrupted a counter that I was baiting. It would've taken longer for him to die, but he wasn't about to kill me," Quarasha said, pulling her hand back, a polite smile on her face.

"Mmhmm."

Quarasha's gaze returned to the room, to the sleeping Soldin. "She's cute. Very outgoing and charming, from what I could see."

"...she is," she said, the words enough to bring a faint smile to her face.

"She must take after her father." Quarasha couldn't help herself. She really should, but some things were still beyond her.

Shaantil only stared.

"Doesn't seem very strong in the Force, however."

"The cause for some to have a greater innate connection to the Force than others has been a mystery for millenia, but it is certainly far more complicated than bloodlines." She shrugged. "Do you think I care?"

Quarasha looked back at Shaantil, studying the Jedi's immaculate sabaac face. "Yes. But not nearly enough for you to stop loving her." She looks back at Soldin again. "...a lot of Sith in the Empire would care that much. It'd be enough to disown, or accuse their partner of deceit, weakness or infidelity." She shrugs. "Another reason I'm glad I'm gone. May the Force serve you well, Jedi."

"The Force guides me, Sith, not serves. If it did not guide me, we would both be dead tonight," Shaantil replied.

Quarasha returned a curious look, but faded from view, even from Shaantil's practiced sight as she slipped away from the balcony.

Shaantil remained there for a moment, thinking about the Sith's words... but beyond making a note that the Thorneguard should double-check the balcony for any more 'presents', she went back inside to her daughter, laying down next to her. Soldin had a horrible enough day as it was, the next morning would find her waking up safe and warm and loved, no matter what.
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Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« Last post by Orell on 09/26/21, 10:42:45 PM »
Old Hatreds, Part 4

Shaantil's sprint, at Jedi speed, drew no shortage of attention from the staff that she had to dodge around, or more frequently over. The dress complained, and later investigation would no doubt reveal many broken seams and lost tassels, but for now was the chase, and that presence, so familiar, growing closer.

It led down a flight of stairs, which the Jedi cleared in a single leap, rolling with the landing and hardly losing a step of speed. A door slowly swinging closed was blasted open with a wave of her hand, instinct and fear and rage mixing within the mother as she chased the one who had stolen her daughter away.

The back of Shaantil's mind was screaming at her: This was obviously a trap. A distraction in the ballroom to grab Soldin, drawing her to a place only she could reach so quickly, isolated and alone. There would be no backup here. The SIS was here, the smart thing would be to use their help to lock down the building, prevent escape, and arrive in force.

She paid it no mind. That was all very logical and sensible, and she had no time for either.

The presence faded away up ahead... but two new sights crept into the miraluka's vision: Soldin, still alive, still safe, no doubt terrified... and a larger figure, fully consumed by the Dark Side.

...and yet...

A wave of her hand blew the doors open once again and she landed, a dozen paces from the Sith, her dress tattered and frayed from the journey, but the Jedi's clenched jaw and fists spoke volumes. "Let her go!" she demanded, staring down the Sith.

He was indeed an imposing figure, tall and strong and broad in shoulder, clad in heavy armor from head to toe, even a full mask... and a lightsaber in his hand, the glowing red blade held at the terrified young Soldin's throat. He let out a little laugh, infinitely pleased with himself, and drew the blade an inch closer to the girl, drawing a whimper from the girl and a growl from the Jedi. "You forgot to say please," he said, a distorted, mechanical sound filtering into his voice.

Shaantil was silent. She couldn't attack, even as every muscle yearned to throw herself at the monster. One slip of that blade...

"...mommy..." Soldin sniffled out, trying not to cry, trying her best not to draw any attention... already scared out of her wits.

"It's been a long time, Knight Shaantil," he said, the armored gauntlet of his free hand stroking Soldin's hair, a threat baked into the motion. "Of course, you were a mere Padawan back then, and I was but a minor Sith Lord. Lord Anzel back then. You were trying to stop one of my little manufacturing operations with your very powerful master, and we ended up dueling on the factory floor, one on one..."

The Sith sounded almost... wistfully nostalgic about the whole event, and it was enough to break through the Jedi's rage, forcing a brief pause from her. "I have no idea what you're talking about," she growled at him, but tried to force a measure of calm upon herself, trying to fight the darkness within. "...let her go. She has nothing to do with this."

Darth Anzel laughed, his gauntlet coming to a rest on Soldin's shoulder. "She's your most cherished thing, is she not? Your great prize, named after your own master?" He laughs again, the mechanical tone of his voice beginning to grate. "Surely you remember your Trial of Skill, Jedi!"

More confusion flooded Shaantil. This... it made no sense... his presence... it wasn't what she felt... and what he was saying... "...my Trial of Skill was on Tython. A full speed spar with a true master of the Lightsaber, as is commonly done. What planet are you talking about?"

Anzel let go of Soldin's shoulder, the Lightsaber swinging away for a moment in a wild, passionate display. "It was on Kalas III, Jedi fool! We dueled, a simpering Padawan against a Sith Lord, and you nearly cut me down! Over twenty years ago we fought, but I am stronger now than ever before, and your Trial of Skill will be your undoing!" he bellowed, bringing the lightsaber back to Soldin's neck before the girl found the nerve to run.

Beneath her veil, Shaantil's brow crossed. This Sith... it wasn't the presence she had been chasing. And this Sith, looking every bit the menacing, powerful warrior he wished to be... who?

She was about to speak again when she heard a voice. Barely audible, mechanical distortions, but not belonging to anyone else in the room. "Gift Horse. Next chance, pull."

Shaantil had to stop herself from nodding, but she looked down at her daughter, putting on a weak smile. "...Soldin, sweetheart, it will be alright, I promise."

Even as Soldin nodded, the Sith growled at her. "You can't promise that, Jedi! You're not leaving this room alive!"

Shaantil let out a sigh, looking back at him. "...it was over twenty years ago, Darth... Ansol, was it?"

"Anzel!" he roared, drawing another whimper from Soldin, and a skipped heartbeat from Shaantil.

"...of course. I simply mean to say that it has been so long, I can hardly recall the event. Thwarting Sith... Master Soldin and I did it fairly often, and she encouraged me not to keep score on-"

"You lie!" the Sith roared again, his rage almost exploding now, every muscle in his body tensed, ready to fight. "Our battle was the thing of legends, a trail that forged me into the mighty Sith I am now!" He reared himself up, pointing his Lightsaber at the Jedi. "And you will your attempts to cripple me will-"

Mid-monologue, Shaantil crouched down and reached her arms out, using the Force to pull Soldin to her as quickly as she could risk. The young girl's eyes went wide as she was yanked from the floor, and Anzel's Lightsaber descended, seeking to cleave the innocent in two...

...and then was stopped, the snap-hiss of a purple Lightspear marking the arrival of a new fighter. Clad in black fabric from head to toe, and a particularly unusually shaped head, the figure sprung just in time to hold the striking Lightsaber back.

Shaantil embraced her daughter as soon as she reached her, holding the girl tight, Soldin holding on for dear life. "You're okay, it's okay, you're safe," Shaantil whispered to her child, her words trying to reassure more than just Soldin.

"I-I'm sorry, I d-didn't know what was happening, i-it happened so fast-"

"Shh, shh," Shaantil shushed, giving her daughter a kiss on the forehead. "You did nothing wrong, you've done nothing but make me proud, Soldin."

It was a weak smile on the daughter's face, but it was there at least, and Shaantil's heart rose... but then the two Keyis women remembered about the battle still going on. "...is she winning, mom?"

The slighter figure was battling hard, the purple Lightspear moving with grace and speed, dancing around Darth Anzel's guard. Her assault had managed to press him onto the backfoot, the heavily armored warrior focused so much on his defense that he couldn't strike at the unarmed pair in the room... but it was a Soresu variant. He was studying her, looking for an opening. It wouldn't be long before he found one.

Shaantil's gaze set on her bobbing and weaving defender. In a moment, she disappeared and reappeared a half-step away, trying to create an opening. Another strike, a burst of force, used like a Sith might use Lightning, destabilize a foe before a killing blow, but shaken off by the Dark Lord.

Shaantil's 'defender' was losing. She just hadn't lost quite yet. But it wouldn't be long.

And Shaantil remembered where she last felt that presence.

"...Mom?" Soldin asked again, breaking into Shaantil's mind before the flood of memories could overwhelm. Before the darkness could regain its hold.

Shaantil looked back to her daughter and gave a faint smile. "Not yet," she said, putting her hand over Soldin's eyes, turning her head to look away... and then her gaze snapped back to the battle.

Anzel beat back another thrust at his midsection, creating the opening that he was looking for, no doubt triumphant glee present beneath the mask as he lowered his Lightsaber towards his defenseless-seeming foe... when he stopped. His arm couldn't move. Neither arm coul, nor his legs, his head, his whole body.

His eyes flicked open to Shaantil, and saw the strain on her face. Force Stasis, holding him in place, holding him... defenseless.

The Lightspear struck with little preamble. Slash across the thighs, up through one bicep, down the other. Before the Sith could break free, the stasis was disrupted by the quick slashes, lances of sheer and complete agony shooting all through Darth Anzel's body as he fell to the ground, in five different pieces.

The defender injected a few vials into Anzel's neck, no doubt to keep the Sith Lord alive but unconscious by treating the shock that four lost limbs can create. She then straightened up, turning to face Shaantil. The person under the black coverings was clearly a twi'lek, and even more clearly uncomfortable as she looked over the huddled pair. After a long pause, the mechanical voice said, "I had him, you know."

"Did you," Shaantil said, staring down her defender.

"...I'm here with Agent Wellin. He has your location, backup will be here soon."

"Will it,"

The figure ignited her Lightspear, reared back and flung it forward, just as Soldin, eyes still covered by Shaantil's hand, let out a gasp... but the Jedi didn't sense danger from it. She was ready to move, ready to deflect the weapon thrown in her direction, a moment's hesitation possibly leading to disaster, for both her and the young girl held in her arms...

...but the Force said something else.

The Lightspear, undeterred, flew maybe a half-meter over Shaantil's head before embedding itself in the rodian that she had seen earlier. She had been drawing a Lightsaber of her own, appearing from the hallway, likely the Darth's favored apprentice, but was dead in a moment, a Lightspear beam where the woman's heart should be.

The figure walked past Shaantil and Soldin, calling the spear back to her hand. "You're welcome," she added, casually chopping off the rodian's head for good measure.

She turned the corner, and even though Shaantil tried to focus on her presence in the Force, after a few moments there was nothing to see...
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