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  1. - Top - End - #991
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Trill pulls in a breath, and pauses. "Yes, I am sorry," she says, before taking another breath, and following behind Zo. "I think I may have an idea of what this place is that we're in. It's just... a bit far-fetched to believe."

    She follows Zo into the middle passageway. It's narrow, would be difficult for more than two people to walk abreast and even so it's cramped for Zo. It goes tens of meters forward into the darkness, but there is an opening up ahead, perhaps another fifty meters ahead, entering another room with what looks like a raised dais inside of it.

    About halfway down the corridor, Trill suddenly asks "Zo, does the name Oran Storian mean anything to you?"

  2. - Top - End - #992
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Spoiler: ooc
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    Was half-expecting Nodoa to see if she knew anything, too


    Zo does remember the name - Trill is talking about Jedi Master Oran Storian. Zo can't remember all the details, but Oran was something of a renegade in the order, choosing what he felt was right over the council's wishes. It came to a head when left the order about midway through the Clone Wars, claiming that the use of clones created to be soldiers and given no choice but to fight constituted slavery, and that he refused to be part of it. What became of him thereafter Zo never learned, but Zo is able to sense a note of admiration in Trill's voice. Perhaps she knows.

    The chamber ahead has angular sides, but a great many of them, at least eight and probably more. The raised dais in the center of the chamber appears to have a yellow light on it, maybe shining from it and maybe emitted by it. With his bulk blocking the way forward, Nodoa and Trill can see little past Zo.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Shadowflick, it's not too late to see if Nodoa knows anything, although she'll have a penalty. She'll obviously know different details than what Zo would.

  3. - Top - End - #993
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Zo sighs. "I heard whispers on the ship I grew up on. He didn't agree with the war, and left before the betrayal. I never heard of his death though. Maybe this is why. To think.....here all along just a few clicks away...."

    Zo reverently approaches the raised dais

  4. - Top - End - #994
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Trill sadly replies "He is dead. On Core-" before she is cut off.

    As Zo approaches the dais, something - an amorphous, glowing form vaguely resembling a hooded figure, fades into being over the dais. Trill shines her flashlight strait at it, and the light goes right through it to the other side of the wall. It approaches Zo and Trill, with Nodoa behind them. As it approaches, seems to have arms, which are placed out in front of it, as if holding something. Then, a tongue of amorphous glow extends from it, almost like a lightsaber - indeed, it looks like it might be emulating Makashi.

  5. - Top - End - #995
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Zo starts back in surprise. "By the Force, what is this thing?"

    One of his hands goes to the vibroknucklers out of habit, but then he pauses and his posture shifts to emulate that of the figure of light, drawing the lightsaber and thumbing the power button on it. He doesn't expect it to still hold a charge after all this time, but that's what the spirit did so he will try to communicate with it that way.

  6. - Top - End - #996
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    As Zo presses the button on the lightsaber hilt, he is surprised to find that it still does have power, as a shimmering green blade erupts from the hilt and into the air. The luminous apparition raises its lightsaber-like projection as in a salute, and then moves in for a strike before entering into a guard position. The strike comes quite slowly, and Zo is easily able to move the mummified Jedi's lightsaber into a position to deflect it - which he feels no force of impact when the apparition's blade makes contact.

    The apparition then rises up over Zo's head and descends to the floor behind him, within reach of both Zo and Trill. Trill, for her part, takes a step back and shines her flashlight directly at it again, almost as if trying to blind it, but at the same time, her stance also resembles a guard stance.

    Nodoa, in the back, steps farther back into the tunnel, and there is a shuddering, and the walls shake, and Nodoa turns around, then back toward Zo and Trill.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    The apparition rolled one advantage on Zo and no successes, but it was moving sufficiently slowly that I should probably have used fewer dice (or more difficulty dice). Obviously you don't yet know what would (or wouldn't) happen if it hit you.
    Last edited by PetrifiedWalnut; 2019-11-04 at 10:18 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #997
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Zo looks around at the shuddering walls and warily takes a step backwards towards the dais, remaining focused upon the glowing figure.

    He readies the lightsaber to strike should it assault Trill.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show


    Taking the Defend action on Trill


  8. - Top - End - #998
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    The apparition indeed swings at Trill, and despite Zo trying to set it off guard and despite Trill reacting with excellent agility, and shining her light directly at the apparition's eyes, it still manages to hit her. She falls to the floor as if struck by an impact, with a loud "oof!" as she lands on the floor. She then rolls and reaches for her light, as if to take cover. She does not appear hurt, at least.

    Despite moving fairly slowly up until this point, the apparition reacts far more quickly in response to Zo's counterattack, but the Anx' great strength still affords him considerable speed, and the mummified Jedi's lightsaber makes contact with the form's apparent head. The form reacts to being struck, in much the same way as Trill did being propelled backwards, but does not physically land on the floor. Instead, it raises its saber once more, salutes Zo, then salutes Trill, and then vanishes.

    Nodoa emerges from the tunnel again with her vibro-axe in hand. At the same time, three doors in the room with the dias open. Of these, one leads to a corridor that reminds Zo of the starship that his parents served aboard. The second opens to what looks like an exhibit hall in a museum. The third opens to a laboratory facility with visible cybernetic equipment. Nodoa would recognize the equipment and general layout of the laboratory to be of Chiss design.

  9. - Top - End - #999
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Zo takes a stumbling step towards the familiar corridors on instinct, then another, then another.

    "How is this possible?"

    He looks back to the others, tearing his eyes away with clearly some effort.

    "Let's stick together and explore these rooms. Left to right. Methodically. We don't want to get separated."

    He gives a wistful smile.

    "Come on, I'll show you around my old home."

  10. - Top - End - #1000
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    "Your old home?" Trill asks, and closes her eyes and takes a breath, before following Zo, and is in turn followed by Nodoa.

    "Zo, I believe I know what this place is. I think it is one of the training temples that the Jedi used to send their students to face trials... and if the student failed badly enough, the master would pay for it with his life, too. Speaking of whom, that explains the mummy in the antechamber."

    Trill holds onto her flashlight, but turns the light off.

    "Pretty sure none of us presently have masters, though," she adds, glancing back at Nodoa, who is curious, but a bit nonplussed by the cryptic nature of the choice.

    First Zo, then, Trill, then Nodoa step across the threshold, and the door closes behind them to reveal the solid metal wall of the ship's outer hull. They are in the storage compartment. A hatchway connects to the escape pods. Another hatchway connects to the main crew quarters, and a third to the central corridor that connects the rest of the ship. All three of the hatchways are closed, preventing any view of what would be going on elsewhere on the ship, but their command consoles appear functional and they all have power, so presumably they could be opened. As of the moment, nobody is in the storage room, apart from Zo and his two companions. The storage crates are also closed, but Zo knows that they mostly contain food, spare parts, and other commodities, although one of them has spare weapons in case they are needed.

    Then, suddenly, there is a shuddering through the ship. It feels suspiciously like what happened when the clone troopers boarded Zo's childhood home, all those years ago.
    Last edited by PetrifiedWalnut; 2019-11-26 at 12:43 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #1001
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Zo rushes forward to the control cabin, weapon at the ready, praying that he won't find what he remembers.

    "Quickly, with me!"

  12. - Top - End - #1002
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    The shuddering ceases. Trill draws her hand-blaster and Nodoa her vibro-axe as Zo heads for the main hallway, which should connect to the control cabin.

    The door to the main hallway opens. In the hallway, there are three obviously frightened children - Zo recognizes them immediately as younglings he had known as a child himself. He was about the same age as they were when he last saw them, but in this experience, they remain children, while he is his adult self. They look up at Zo, seemingly recognizing him, but not knowing what to do with him being there.

    As Zo feared, the sounds of blaster fire begins to echo on the other side other side of the ship.

  13. - Top - End - #1003
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    "Protect the younglings!"

    Zo is shouting and acting before he can think of keeping things secret, operating fully on instinct.

    He brings round his shield to act as a barrier between the fire and then stoops low, gently but firmly escorting the children down another corridor.

    "Their families' escape pods are this way. Hurry!"

  14. - Top - End - #1004
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    The blaster fire continues elsewhere in the ship as Zo escorts the younglings back into the cargo compartment of the ship. As he does so, Trill hits the control panel to close the door, and Nodoa quickly hotwires it to stay shut, as Zo continues to move the children further toward the escape pods. Trill and Nodoa join him in an escape pod with the three younglings, just as clones manage to break down the door, but they do not get a shot off as the pod launches out into space.

    In the pod, Trill admires the younglings while Nodoa seems dumbfounded as to what is going on, although she does seem to recognize who her friends and enemies are, at least.

    As the pod jumps into hyperspace, or would jump into hyperspace, there is a feeling of vertigo, and suddenly Zo, Trill, and Nodoa find themselves lying atop the raised dais in the room with the three doors. Two of them - the one to the museum and the other to the laboratory - remain open, while the one to Zo's childhood home has closed. Three ghostly visages of the three younglings are visible, standing next to the door, watching quietly, as if expecting a new choice.

    "I suppose... it's time for my story? Or for what I presume is Nodoa's?" Trill asks, glancing at the two doors.

  15. - Top - End - #1005
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Zo is still breathing heavily, caught up in the emotion of the moment. His crest ripples with colour as he tries to get himself under control.

    "Let's just carry on round. Maybe we'll finally find something out about you, eh Trill?"

    He tries to be casual. It doesn't work too well.

  16. - Top - End - #1006
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Trill laughs. "About me? I guess it's time. I see how you came to be. I guess my only question is why you decided to apostatize?"

    Confidently, or bravely, Trill walks toward the door. Nodoa stops as Zo goes with her, and then adds "You know, this is a bit weird for me. I'm going to stay here, thank you." Before either Zo or Trill can react, the stone door slides down between them, cutting them off.

    They are standing inside of what is clearly a history museum. Artifacts from different parts of the galaxy and different time periods line the walls, with exhibits. The museum is clearly in the process of renovation, with sections blocked off. A hallway dedicated to the Green Jedi is completely closed. The logos on the museum imply that it belongs to the Corellian democratic authority, although clearly the Empire is having its way with it. A doorway in the hallway opens to a small classroom-like area, its walls also lined with exhibits.

    Inside of it, an aging human man sits crosslegged, with books from the museum's store nearby. He is wearing a fairly simple shirt, pants, and a light jacket, but he would probably look better in robes, honestly. As the two adventurers enter the room, he looks up. "Good morning, Simlay! Did you bring a friend today?" he asks.

    Trill starts, looks up at Zo, and smiles.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    If Zo wants to roll for it, he can, or you can just decide whether your recognize this man or not. He is Oran Storian.
    Last edited by PetrifiedWalnut; 2019-12-15 at 11:35 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #1007
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    "Master Storian? I saw a holo of you on the Yaatra when I was a child."

    Zo looks down at Trill and raises one large scaled eyebrow.

    "SImlay?"

    In a softer voice, but still rumbling and probably audible to all around him, he continues.

    "So, what pivotal moment is this?"

  18. - Top - End - #1008
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Before Trill can answer, possibly because she is too busy taking in what she sees, Oran replies to Zo.

    "Yes, you remember correctly. Come and sit!"

    Trill takes a breath, looks at Zo, and then walks in front of Oran and sits down crosslegged, placing herself to give him room. She looks back and forth between Oran and Zo.

    "Simlay... my name is Simlay. 'Trill' is an alias that I took for reasons that... I'm sure you now understand." Her breathing is labored as she says this, as if a part of her past has been brought from a place long-buried, but at the same time, there at the surface all along. She looks into Oran's eyes, and then back at Zo. "Everything I know, I know from fables, fables that Oran told me. I suppose..." she says at last, "we are here to hear another fable... or to take part in our own."

    Oran smiles and nods sagely. "Perceptive, you are. Perhaps it is time to tell the tale of two orphaned younglings meeting, one awaiting a sign, the other on a quest. What will each find, and what will they become?"

    Trill - Simlay - places her hand on her chest and closes her eyes.
    Last edited by PetrifiedWalnut; 2019-12-31 at 10:31 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #1009
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    "So which of us are which, master?"

    Zo manages a grin, finding levity in this small moment of calm.

    "Is there something we must learn here, or something you must teach?"

  20. - Top - End - #1010
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Master Storian sits and regards the two in front of him. "It seems you have already learned the greatest lesson you needed to before coming here, for you are indeed the younglings of the tale at hand. Simlay is indeed on a quest, but has she finished it? And you, Zo, now have a choice: the galaxy you live in now lies under the shadow of evil. Will you merely help other survive the shadow, or will you seek to overthrow it?"

    "That I am not sure," Trill... Simlay responds to Oran's question of her. "I came hear searching for a way to grow trees. Having found it, I see that it is not something I can export with my current capabilities, but in its place I have found something else. But is it possible that I may find some other way to grow these trees?"

  21. - Top - End - #1011
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    "Survival is all I've been able to do for a long time. But I've been forced into action with the invasion. I don't want to settle back down and hide away again."

  22. - Top - End - #1012
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Oran quietly sits and regards the two before him. "Daunting indeed are the trials that you will face, and they are only beginning. You," he turns to Zo, "have succeeded in your first test. What of you, 'Trill', if that is the name you have taken for yourself?"

    Trill hangs her head. "No, I have failed. I came here searching for a way to end a famine. I see now that is not what awaited me."

    "Do you have anything to say to her, Zo, about her failure?" Oran asks.

  23. - Top - End - #1013
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    "Failure is the first step to learning. If all you do is succeed, the lesson will be forgotten."

    Zo chuckles.

    "Or at least that's what the old Clawdite in charge of the ExplorCorps ship I was born on always used to say."

    Zo rubs his neck and sighs.

    "So what insights do you have into what we might face? Things are...clouded for me if I look too far."

  24. - Top - End - #1014
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Simlay listens to Zo, looks back at Oran, closes her eyes, breathes in and out, and then laughs. "This is... one of your stories, too!"

    She opens her eyes again, and then adds "And in failing to find what I sought, I have instead found something else." She looks at Oran, and then up at Zo, smiles, and turns her attention back to Oran.

    "Indeed, you have," Oran answers. "You have both found something, and learned something. Jedi you may yet be."

    With that, the scene fades, and Zo and Trill... or Simlay... find themselves back out in the room with the three doors, except now all three doors are closed, and Nodoa is nowhere to be seen. On top of the raised dais there are two shining objects, about a centimeter long and a few millimeters wide: one blue, and one indigo. They look like khyber crystals.
    Last edited by PetrifiedWalnut; 2020-01-21 at 10:55 AM.

  25. - Top - End - #1015
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Zo smiles, letting the breath he didn't know he'd been hoilding out in a long deep sigh.

    "So. You're not who you appeared to be."

    He heads over to the plinth, looking down at the tiny crystals.

    "Then again, so am I. So, what now?"

  26. - Top - End - #1016
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    "I... guess I'm not," answers the young woman, glancing up at her companion and approaching the dais, admiring the crystals in front of her and Zo. "Although this is a secret that I am sure you understand why it needs to stay secret."

    After looking at the crystals for a good many seconds, she then turns to face Zo, looming over her. "Most of what I know about the Force, and the Jedi, I learned from Oran telling stories in the museum in the little town on Corellia where I grew up. One of these fables concerned a temple where students would go to face trials, where they would be beset by illusions, friend and foe alike. From everything we've seen, it seems obvious that we now find ourselves inside of one - and have completed our first trial." Breathing a half-chuckle, she adds "I guess that makes me Oran's orphaned padawan."

    Looking at the third door, the one behind which lies some kind of biotech lab, Simlay adds "I think we should find Nodoa before we try to leave. We did kinda get her into this."

  27. - Top - End - #1017
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    "I suppose so. So what do you suggest?"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    So sorry. Work has been insane. I've been pulling 14h days then crashing immediately after, to get all our clients set up with VPNs to work from home. How are you coping?


  28. - Top - End - #1018
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Spoiler: OOC
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    I was wondering - yeah I totally understand. I'm lying low, shall we say.


    Simlay approaches the third door, the one that went into some sort of laboratory, as opposed to the museum of Simlay's childhood, or the ship of Zo's. Quietly, she looks up at the tall, trapezoidal block of stone now sealing it shut.

    "Well," she says, "There were three doors, then two of the three closed as we went through them. Nodoa stayed behind and now this one is closed. I would guess she is inside. Do you suppose maybe we could open it?"

  29. - Top - End - #1019
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Zo nods, and tries to pry apart a seam if he can find one.

  30. - Top - End - #1020
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    The seams of the door are very obvious cracks, but even if he could get a lever into the cracks, the door itself would weigh several tons. The two of them will not get it open using only their muscles.

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