Post by Nicademus Delvardus IV on Jan 10, 2016 20:42:00 GMT -8
A recent addition to the ranks of the First Order, though viewed more as valuable allies by many, the Knights of Ren were granted their own section of the Imperial Strategic Command for the services rendered by Soku Ren in the recent Battle of Mariunhus. This part of the Command's structure is a place many dare not venture, mainly due to the Dark Side alignment of the Ren who inhabit its corridors. Meditation chambers and sparring areas were constructed as well as personal quarters for those Ren visiting and living on Muunilist. The most common visitor to these corridors is the Supreme Commander himself who values the presence of these Dark Siders within the First Order's arsenal.
Post by Harnan Ren on Jan 18, 2016 23:13:12 GMT -8
The Conquest had not long touched down at the Imperial Strategic Command, before Harnan came striding down the ship's landing ramp, dressed in his full combat gear and carrying Illaria over his shoulder, as she tried to resist his grip. He did not pause once as he headed straight for the Tower of the Knights of Ren, Stormtroopers moving out of the way as they looked on with confusion, none daring to try and stop the silent crusader as he marched onwards to his goal. He pushed open the doors to one of the meeting rooms, ignoring any demands from Illaria to put her down, right up until he was mere feet away from Soku, and dropped her to the ground on her ass, before removing his helmet and giving a nod to his fellow Knight of Ren It seems the Lady Ren has something she needs to confess...
*Those that knew Soku Ren even passingly knew that he strove for order, and, it seemed, that applied to every aspect of his life... Even the decor of his quarters. It was very orderly to the point of being sterile. His simple bed stood in the center of the wall opposite the entrance, its unoccupied sheets so immaculately folded it was as though it had never been touched. A pair of potted ferns sat to either side of the bed's head, equidistant, turned so that they could appear as identical as possible. To the right, a dresser and wardrobe stood, housing Soku's garments and other belongings. To the left, a desk with a terminal, where Soku could scan the HoloNet and keep up to date with galactic events, as well as other intel.
To either side of the door were the exemplary displays of his order obsession: Bookcases, filled row by row with various materials. Reference materials, books of history, books of law, biographies and autobiographies of Imperial figures past, all arranged by type and alphabetically. Materials Soku had studied religiously, devoting himself to the ways of understanding law and how to keep order.
The right wall sported a door leading to a refresher. Opposite this wall was a window, allowing a view of Harnaidan. Said window was where Soku stood when Harnan had barged in, literally dragging Illaria in with her. He had been reveling in his successes thus far, not the least of which the recent liberation of Deralia. A mere handful of Jedi had escaped, but the larger picture was attained: The Jedi had been removed from the world and the First Order had arrived to establish peace. Little could bring down the high he now experienced. Which was why, when he turned to face his brother and sister, his look was of mere mild concern.* "Do tell," *he replied, his mind still mostly elsewhere.*
Post by Illaria Ren on Feb 25, 2016 21:44:30 GMT -8
Along the way, from the Conquest to the Tower of the Knights of Ren, Illaria grabbed onto everything within reach of her, which was not much, tossed over Harnan’s shoulder as she was. When the flash of annoyance crosses her face, so too does a particularly insolent idea come to mind. Was it not always this way, though? The occasional corner of the duracrete walls, as they rounded a bend in the hallways of Imperial Strategic Command, proved to be excellent junctures in which she could grasp hold of with relative ease. Of course, this was only if she were intending to be obstinate and frankly, that was her only intention at this point after Harnan had manhandled her and thrown her over his shoulder. She did not appreciate being paraded through Imperial Strategic Command like this. The frames that bordered any doorways they passed through were also verified to be exceptional sites in which she could anchor herself. Despite the fact that the Shapeshifter provided him with countless inconveniences, it did not seem to slow her fellow Knight much, if any.
“Put me down right now!” Illaria screamed at the top of her lungs as she pummeled Harnan’s back. “You are the most annoyingly insistent, barbaric, jealous man I know, Harnan!” It was right about that time that he walked through the door to Soku’s quarters and unceremoniously dumped her on the floor at his feet. She let out a soft, muted squeak as she landed on the ground and her face flushes, turning the normally brilliant electrum hue of her skin a couple shades darker. Gathering her composure, she straightened herself and exhaled loudly in a huff as she tried to blow the hair out of her face. The solution was short-lived as the golden locks fell right back in her face only seconds later. Letting out an exasperated noise, she thrashes about before finally brushing the errant hair from her face.
Folding one leg over the other, her posture stiffens with arrogance permeating through her body language, evident in the social cues conveyed, as particles filter through a sieve. Crossing her arms over her chest, the Shapeshifter arches a single eyebrow, her silver gaze wandering from Harnan then to Soku. “I do not know what he is talking about. I have nothing to confess.” Pursing her lips, she smolders in her irritation as her eyes narrow. One glare from Harnan is enough to make Illaria reconsider her words because she knows for certain then that he is not going to allow this matter to drop until he feels it has been properly dealt with. The Shapeshifter sits there and stews a moment longer, the exasperation practically radiating from her, her behaviour and mannerisms like that of a petulant child who has been caught with their hand in the sweet-sand cookie jar.
"You really are going to make me say it, aren’t you?" Questioning him in a fussy tone, Illaria casts her eyes downwards, her mouth set in a pout. “I take back what I said earlier on Deralia. You really did deserve everything I said.” She spoke in the sulky tones of a querulous child. Exhaling forcefully, she makes a frustrated noise again as she stares him down, a scowl twisting her features into a biting expression.
Post by Harnan Ren on Feb 26, 2016 19:52:01 GMT -8
Had this been under any other circumstance, Harnan might have laughed, even enjoyed the sight of Illaria getting momentarily embaressed before throwing something of a tantrum at her hair. In fact, despite how recently events had transpired, a part of him actually longed for the days prior when her antics made him smile, and wondered if those days would ever come again. But for now, he remained quite focused, stoic really, as he tried to not think too much upon what had happened on Deralia, upon the fight he and Illaria had had, and the revelations that had come from it. They were things he was trying not to think too much upon, not because he was afraid of shattering apart entirely, no, that was something that she had still somehow managed to prevent, even after having struck him as she had. No, he was afraid of a great many other things, all of which had long and lasting consequences which he did not want to think about.
He almost felt his resolve crack as she sat there smoldering, her child like behaviour almost more than he could tolerate, but he managed to maintain his composure as he continued to just stand there and glare at her. It was hard to believe that Illaria was a 300 year old Shapeshifter, sometimes she carried a confidence that did not beg one to question her, but other times like now, she could really make you consider just how old she really was. But, it was honestly one of the things he liked, and wanted to protect, about her, and in a way, his actions now, were a result of his desire to protect her, even if they were perhaps a little misguided. He shook his head as it seemed like she was about to tell Soku the truth, before she sulked and tried taking back her apology, but he knew her better than that, and so paid no mind to her comment, as he kept his voice level and calm Yes I am going to make you say it. However, if you'd prefer, I am more than happy to explain how you used your mouth on certain parts of the Supreme Commander when you apologised... Or would you prefer to explain it? He paused for a moment and stared down at her, waiting to see if she would say anything, but it quickly became apparent she was just going to pout, and so Harnan turned his attention to Soku, closing his eyes and giving a shake of his head as he did so. He then set his gaze upon his brother, ignoring the attitude that Illaria was giving off as he started to speak, the Lady Ren having decided to let him explain the situation, which was likely something she would regret. After all, Harnan didn't quite have the fancy vocabulary of his fellow Knights, and was very straight forward and upfront about what he said, with a no nonsense attitude that got him in trouble amongst politer company Remember just before Deralia? when you sent her here to apologise to the Supreme Comamnder after her attitude with him on Yaga Minor? Well, Lady Ren decided to interpret your instructions rather loosely when it came to orally apologising... Despite her protestations when the audio was working, the reason she arrived back a day late, was because she was spending the time jamming her hips against Nicademus' and giving him a good ride... And now the pair have decided to claim one another as lovers...
Last Edit: Feb 28, 2016 22:24:02 GMT -8 by Harnan Ren
*Soku continued to stand, hands folded behind his back, watching the pair seemingly bicker like children for a moment. The exchange between the two was noticeably more tense than usual, which in and of itself was worthy of concern, Soku beginning to suspect dire events. In a strange way, he almost felt like a father waiting for his children to explain themselves before doling out their punishment— No. A father was not a title he could possess, nor one he ever desired.
The slightest knitting of his brows was the only clue to his ill thoughts as he waited for the confession, which was given rather bluntly by Harnan: It seemed that Illaria had slept with the Supreme Commander himself; became "lovers," even. Soku's eyebrows raised, in clear surprise. Similarly to Harnan, he had not expected his request for apology to have been carried out so... liberally.*
"Indeed?" *he asked, but his tone was not accusing, rather intrigued. He turned back toward the window, looking out over the city once more. Where they had brought order, order they would bring to the rest of the galaxy; the First Order and the Knights of Ren. A united force... perhaps even more strongly united?* "This could be to our advantage..." *The musing was automatic, as he considered the possibilities.
Turning back toward the pair, he continued,* "I do not dare dictate what you choose to do with your body—nor do I have much interest—but this could be a great boon to our relationship with the First Order. Still... I do not see why this concerns me; such matters are beneath my desires. If this is creating a rift between the two of you, it would be in your best interests to sort it with each other, would it not?"
*Truth be told, such matters were beyond his desires, but in the pursuit of peace and order, things must be sacrificed, and Soku lived every day with that fact and had long accepted it. When it came to others, such matters he could not even begin to give counsel on; it was best sorted by themselves, or a more... capable individual.*
Post by Illaria Ren on Mar 6, 2016 17:15:35 GMT -8
Looking up at Harnan, Illaria raises an eyebrow, a smirk crossing her lips as she listens to Soku speak. “Well then…” She rises to her feet and pretends to brush off her combat armour, the electrum-coloured plates clinking against one another as she does so. “Directly to the point as always, Harnan.” She remarks sarcastically as she pauses to pat him on the shoulder then brushes by him sulkily. “So much for handling this delicately…though, you say I am the child. Hmph.” When Soku originally told her to go mend things between her and the Supreme Commander, Illaria had it all planned out. She would simply walk into his office and place anote of apologyon his desk then slip out. No muss, no fuss. It was supposed to be simple. However, such a simple task was made more complex when Soku told her a note simply would not do.
“Smart move, brother.” The Shapeshifter said in response to Soku’s comment about not daring to dictate what she did with her body, or even the fact that he took any interest in what she did whatsoever. The left side of her faintly reddened lips tugged upwards as she tilted her head, it was so subtle and before long, her mouth twitched back into a more neutral expression – the cool detachment in her eyes sealing her fate. “I think it is well known by now that I do as I please and the Supreme Commander is who I please to do right now.” It was infuriating, the way the smirk slowly spread across her lips and it made anyone want to just slap it from her face along with the air of arrogant triumph that saturated her posturing body language.
Throwing her hands up at her sides in a gesture of exasperation, Illaria looks up to the ceiling before returning her silver-touched gaze to her brothers and speaks in a petulant tone. “Honestly, like I said before, I fail to see how this is even a problem. Nicademus..” Yes, Illaria did refer to the Supreme Commander of the First Order by his first name, which told her audience quite a bit more than she was actually saying. “..is no longer furious with me anymore and our alliance is stronger than ever with the First Order. I really fail to see how this is not an improvement.” Pausing, a devious smirk crosses the Shapeshifter’s lips as she turns to regard Harnan. “In my defense…you…” Her gaze narrows as she looks pointedly at Harnan. “..did leave me alone unsupervised and he was begging me for it with his eyes, so what was I supposed to do?” Turning up the palms of her hands, she gives a shrug and looks around innocently. “If I had turned him down, we would have been back right where we started. Two equally unhappy people on opposing sides of this alliance. Though, that is not to say I was not an unwilling participant. Because honestly, I was quite willing.” Her lips twist into yet another grin at the filthy thoughts careening through her head.
“There is nothing to sort out. I merely apologised to him. It might have been done in a less conventional way than either of you expected, but what is done, is done.” Frankly, the Shapeshifter had the tact of a doorknob. But Soku ordered her to go and talk it out with the Supreme Commander, and talk it out she did. No matter that the talking was done sans clothes and in the throes of passion, she did fulfill her orders to the letter and now it was quite obvious that she was savouring this moment.
Leaning up against one of Soku’s bookcases, Illaria took up a casual posture as she crossed her arms over her chest and regarded both of the men afore her. Both had witnessed her rise and fall as a Knight of Ren, when she was on the brink of chaos, out of control, spinning wildly into the mire of her own anxious thoughts. But this evening, something about her appeared different, something felt different. She looked as if she were returning from their ordeal on Deralia on fresh legs; she looked radiant and composed, despite her childish behaviour only moments ago. In the midst of it all, she turns to look at Harnan still staring her down and bites her lower lip a moment, delving into her thoughts. “Good idea or bad idea?”
Harnan had shot Soku a glare the moment the words advantage passed by his lips, quite certain he knew just what sort of plan Soku was starting to formulate in his mind, and it was not one Harnan liked. He wasn't exactly sure what he had expected to achieve from dragging her here, but some foolish notion had driven him to bring her here, certainly it was for her own good that Soku knew the situation between Illaria and the leader of the allies he had argued for them to make. But in that moment, he started to wonder if this really had been the best move, whether he had properly considered just what sort of attitude that Soku would have about all this. He had been about to explain just why this was a concern of Soku's, when Illaria decided to take this as a win for her, and rose to her feet, Harnan not moving once as she patted his shoulder, before brushing past him.
As Illaria spoke, Harnan couldn't help but feel his patience with her wane, as he turned to look at her, as she said much the same things in front of Soku, as what she had said when the comms had been turned off during their fight. He merely continued to glare at her as she went on, saying he did leave her unsupervivsed, a decisions that he would not have made if he had been given even the slightest chance to object, but Soku had insisted he complete the vessel inspection, and leave Illaria to tend to her business alone. He merely simmered beneath the surface, waiting for her to finish her little show, as she went over to lean against the book shelves, and in that moment, she asked him the one question that he would have otherwise answered calmly, but in that moment, it triggered him. Harnan then tossed his helmet onto the nearby table, managing to land the thing upright, as he took a couple steps towards Illaria, the look on his face a mix of anger and concern You're really going to ask me that now? You really want to know? It was a bad idea! You would have been much better off denying him and being where we started! You think you can find happiness with this man? You think he is capable of actually loving you? Did the thought never occur to you that he is merely using you? The only reason he is happy, is because he now has someone within the Knights of Ren that he can use to his advantage! You should know the kind of man he is, he will throw you away the moment his control of the First Order is threatened, or he finds out the truth about you not being a human... He comes from a long line of men who served the Galactic Empire, who were notorious for their humanocentrism. And even if he was capable of loving you, do you really think he would feel the same way if it turns out you cant provide him with any heirs? And if he loves you so, why has this remained a secret? Why not proudly proclaim his feelings for you! You're being played! And this is exactly why I didn't want you coming back unsupervivsed! Harnan stopped a few feet from Illaria, his height making him tower ever so slightly over her as he glared down at her, his composure borkne by her once more. He then turned his attention to Soku, staying where he was standing, as he tried to calm himself This is absolutely your concern. Because even though I will not let us use her, this by no means, is a guarantee that your friends wont try to use her for his own gain. This relationship of theirs could compromise this alliance, and if the mood so much as strikes the man, could hurt Illaria. You're the mastermind behind this whole thing, so I fail to see how this does not concern you...
*Illaria's rather smug response was the slightest bit off-putting, but her assessment that her relationship with the Supreme Commander—and therefore the Knights of Ren's with the First Order—drew Soku's approval. If this was what she chose to do and she was comfortable with it, he would allow it. Her use of his given name was indeed telling, and he contemplated reminding her to use proper titles when referring to the man, but his thoughts were interrupted when she so casually leaned up against one of his bookcases.* "Er..." *he stammered, hands unfolding and his right one raising slightly.
Then Harnan spoke, arguing the point with Illaria once more and suggesting that the Supreme Commander was merely using her to his own advantage. Soku would have paid more attention, but he was too busy fidgeting at the act of Harnan's helmet being tossed onto his table. He fidgeted, his hand raising further, shaking somewhat. Harnan attempted to bring the conversation back to him, stating that it was of Soku's concern, but their mistreatment of his fine furniture had prominence in his mind.*
"Please," *he spoke somewhat shakily, before regaining control of his composure and lowering his hands to his side. A scowl crossed his brows as he continued,* "I am no party to this." *A hint of frustration entered his tone.* "He values our alliance, and knows what we are capable of. Illaria can handle herself, should there be any problems. But I will handle the both of you if you continue to mistreat my instruments!" *His eyes darted back and forth between the table and the bookshelf, hoping nothing was out of place. If the table had been scuffed...*
Post by Illaria Ren on Mar 17, 2016 19:34:58 GMT -8
Illaria tenses up as Harnan seems to explode, tossing his helmet onto the nearby table. She jumps as it bounces, once, twice, and then comes to a standstill. Her silvery gaze traverses the space between the helmet on the table then falls upon her fellow Knight of Ren. No longer was the smug look plastered across her expression and as he approached her, she backed up and flattened her back against the wall. She was like a cornered animal now and he had her sighted directly in his crosshairs. There was no hiding now, not that she would have done so. She was more likely to strike out at him like a defensive Nexu with its back raised. The closer he gets, the more trapped she feels as he towers over her. This close, she can see he has lost his control – the anger and concern he feels for her, getting the best of him. The holocomm unit on her belt vibrates with an incoming call. She ignores it.
Trapped. There was no way out, she looked to her left and to her right, he had her boxed in, determined to force her to deal with this. The Shapeshifter’s breathing remains steady, her mind still focused as she begins to contemplate the easiest way out of this. He was trying to cage her once more, place her in a prison of his own making. The panic rose within her at this thought, her hands flexing into fists as she struggled to maintain eye contact with Harnan. She was not going to give in so easily. Her heart began to pound erratically as her mind slowly began to lose its focus, searching for a way out of this situation with all the methodology of a bouncing ball. She wants to scream at him so loudly that it is rendered not a cry of panic and surrender, but the roar of one who has been forged stronger by the challenges she has faced. Instead, she remains silent and takes to Harnan’s lecture with a quiet shame unusual to her.
Of course, the thought had occurred to her that Nicademus was merely using her to his own ends. In fact, that had been the first thing to come out of her mouth the very next morning. Illaria still had her doubts as to precisely what the Supreme Commander hoped to accomplish by inviting her into his bed and she very badly wanted to entertain the thought that it was just as he said – what happened between them meant something to him and he never wanted it to end. Perhaps she was merely daydreaming with her head in the clouds, but a part of her was thrilled to know that another desired her so deeply and needed her so much. Was Harnan right, though? Was Nicademus merely using her to his advantage? She had not even considered that his family line was so devoutly dedicated to the Galactic Empire that they and even he too, might ascribe to the doctrines of humanocentrism. Were that the case, then there was no way he was capable of loving her, at least not the moment he found out she was anything but human.
“You think I am incapable of taking care of myself?!” Illaria bristled at the thought. “You are a child compared to me. You all are! I have done perfectly well for the better part of these past 250 years or so.” The Shapeshifter fumed as she threw her hands up once more, gesturing wildly within the space between her and Harnan. “What I am is beyond the comprehension of your short-lived human brains. What if I am the one using him?” She appealed to him, though it was quite beyond her nature to even consider perpetrating such an act upon an ally. “Chaos forbid, you even stop to consider that maybe, just maybe, I am the one who is three moves ahead of him in this game of dejarik…..but no….it is always poor, pitiful Illaria. She will be hurt because the big bad Imperial used and abused her. Such a human sentiment…” The Shapeshifter deadpans in a sardonic tone before she looks at Harnan in all seriousness. There is no longer even a hint of playfulness or light-heartedness present in her expression. “I am not human. I never was. So why are you expecting me to act like one?” Illaria queried, an immediate chain of events taking place beneath her notice as she spoke. It had happened so slowly, her fury had risen so subtly, that even she had not noticed the way her left hand crept toward the lightsaber hilt on her weapons belt. Anyone looking her in the eyes would clearly be able to see how defensive she was being, as the amber slowly leeched into her silver irises.
It was about this time that Soku started stammering and wringing his hands as if he were about to have a nervous breakdown. Sighing, Illaria drops her left hand back to her side and closes her eyes, bringing her opposite hand up to rub the bridge of her before exhaling forcefully. Fixing her gaze on Harnan, she pauses as if she means to inform him that this is far from over yet, but says something entirely different. Cursing under her breath, she scolds him, “Now look what you have done.” Pushing by her fellow Knight of Ren, she makes her way over to Soku, expression softening instantly as she looks upon her clearly stressed brother. Approaching him, Illaria suddenly latches onto Soku, wrapping her arms around him in a hug. Like a child, she encircles his waist with her arms and rests her head against his chest. She may not be human, but she still has the capacity for empathy and compassion, and this was just one of her ways of showing it. “I am sorry, brother…” She murmurs into his robes, hating to see him so terribly frustrated and distressed by a situation that is so clearly her fault. “I cause too much trouble. I will try to be better...”
The holocomm unit on her belt vibrates again and she thinks to ignore it once more. However, the Shapeshifter relents and releases her hold on Soku, reaching down to pluck the comm unit from her belt. Examining it a moment, she replaces it in a pouch on her belt and turns on her heel, eyes fixed on Harnan as she pauses in her steps to regard him. The smug look slowly returns to her visage. “I do not think I care for what you are implying, Harnan. You would be wise to keep such thoughts to yourself. Wiser still, not to even think them.” Illaria ventured as she motioned meaninglessly with her hand. Her gaze, however, did not flinch from Harnan’s. “Careful, Ren, that you do not allow your personal feelings to interfere with our Master’s missives.” She hisses as she moves to shoulder by him and out of Soku’s quarters.
Post by Harnan Ren on Mar 18, 2016 23:36:39 GMT -8
She really was so insufferable sometimes, especially when she got as smug as she was. She certainly had a point that she was older than him, but it by no means meant that he did not worry about her any less, nor feel a desire to protect her, since at times, she acted like she was a lot younger than even he was. Perhaps if he did not know her as well as he did, he might have believed she was the one using him, hell, if he wasn't so annoyed with her, he might have even taken a moment to consider it. He looked at her for a moment, as she queried him, he suddenly felt a weariness washing over him, starting slowly at first as he considered her question. But his attention was soon drawn back to Soku, as Illaria pushed past him to hug their nervous brother, apologising to him. He then met Illaria's gaze as she stared him down, but it was her next words, she she pushed past him, that he took to heart the most, as his rage slowly left him and he glimpsed even a small amount, the effect his actions had caused. Raising his hand, he gripped onto his helmet with the force and lifted it of the table, before it flew through the air and into his open palm, his grip tightening upon the object Forgive me brother... I did not mean to cause you such distress... By your leave... Harnan gave a bow to Soku, before taking his own leave of Soku's quarters, and heading for his own quarters, which was little more than an empty room with a bed set in one corner. Unlike Soku, Harnan valued little beyond his own weapons and armour, nor did he much care for the lavish lifestyle that many others amongst the First Order, and even the Knights of Ren, were accustomed to. He was born and bred on the battlefield, and he had begun his new life with the Knights of Ren with nothing, and that was how he lived, with the barest necessities of life. He removed his gear, placing it in a pile, before laying down in the bed, taking a brief moment to consider all that had happened, but it wasn't long before he felt himself overcome with sleep, his dreams drifting him between worlds, between lives
*Soku had at the very least expected compliance when he asked his comrades not to disturb his materials. He received not only that, but... affection. Not something he was used to or even indulged in himself. His response was to simply stand in place briefly, frozen, uncertain how to respond. His right arm rose again, uncertainly hanging in the air for a moment, before awkwardly resting on the small of Illaria's back. After a pause, he responded,* "Very well. Thank you." *Another brief pause before a thought came to him, one he voiced before he realized it.* "You are stronger than you know."
*Well that was... odd. Not necessarily out of character, but affection was not his forte. Perhaps their bonds as brothers and sisters were growing stronger, then. Nevertheless, he watched as the pair of them quieted themselves and took their business elsewhere, bowing briefly to Harna, and then contemplating the encounter. Truly, at their heart, all the Knights of Ren were concerned about each other's well-being. Quite a stark contrast from Soku's past experiences... And not an unwelcome one.
He turned to look out over Harnaidan's skyline once more. A unit like theirs was powerful, yes, more powerful than any Sith or Jedi could hope to be. As long as they stood together and fought for the future, for true prosperity in the galaxy... Nothing was impossible for them.*
At the very top of the Tower of the Knights of Ren, was a single solitary room, which allowed access only to those amongst the noble Knighthood of Ren. Inside, a secure room had been setup to allow the Knights to communicate with their Master, whom hid in the shadows, and orchestrated thier moves behind a veil of anonymity. Harnan stood before the doors, letting out a sigh as he gathered his thoughts together, before the door opened and allowed him access to the sanctum within. It had been a long morning for Harnan, as he had arisen early in the day to begin a bout of training, in an effort to work out his frustrations from the night before, during which he had forced Illaria to confess to her relationship with Nicademus. He had spent a good hour pummeling various training dummies with both his bare fists, and a small array of training weapons, his thoughts swelling upon the matter, before they had finally culminated in Harnan releasing a force shockwave which had leveled the rooms equipment.
He struggled with the decision he had made, wondering if perhaps his actions were entirely correct, despite being born of a legitimate concern for her safety, no matter how strong she was. No doubt existed within Harnan's mind of Illaria's capability to handle herself, nor of her ability to wreck havock upon those who drew her ire or sought to use her for their own gain. But he had sworn an oath to her upon the day she had freed him from his imprisonment, to protect her, and regardless of how powerful she was or would become, he would always view her as someone he had to protect. Perhaps she loved Nicademus, and perhaps he loved her in return, but he could not take the chance that there was nothing more sinister at work, and even if she could not see the threat, he would be ready and poised, able to remove it before it struck her from within. His morning had not improved much when his training session had come to its abrupt end, and he was making his way back towards his quarters, when WT-1337, or Captain Leet as he nicknamed him, came rushing up to the Knight of Ren.
Harnan had yet to see Illaria since the night before when she had stormed off, at the time he had assumed she was headed to either her own quarters, or that of Nicademus. Once WT-1337 had caught his breath, Harnan had quickly learned that Illaria had headed to the latter's quarters, and if gossip amongst the Stormtroopers was to be believed, had attempted to kill Nicademus. In his frustration, he had punched the wall, adding a small dent to the metallic surface, when Captain Leet had concluded his little briefing upon the rumours that had been floating around. He was certain she had not meant to kill Nicademus, since if that had been her objective, she would not have been caught, nor would she have failed to do so, meaning this was something else. The gods be damned, he thought, cursing him with such a burden, that he could not leave her alone, even with the man she professed to love beyond even him. Harnan had then returned to his quarters, to find not only orders to ship out to Nirauan, where he and Illaria were to lend their aide in the final effort to claim the world for the First Order, but also summons to meet with the master.
Thus it was, that he now found himself, answering these summons in his full gear, and he did not have a good feeling about this in the slightest. As soon as he had passed beyond the doorway, it immediately closed and locked behind him, the only current light source illuminating a small circle on the floor, which Harnan walked up to and took to one knee in, removing his helmet and placing it on the ground as he bowed his head. Within seconds, the holoprojector sparked to life, displaying before him an image of a shadowed figure, whose features were impossible to distinguish, but could only be the mysterious Master of the Knights. Everything about him was shrouded in mystery, and even as he spoke, Harnan knew the man's voice was beind distorted by some electronic trickery, so as to disguise their Master's true identity
Master... I do hope I did not keep you waiting.
Not at all. I hear everything went well with the Deralia operation?
Of course Master. It went off without a hitch. Soku got his vengeance, and the First Order has a new domain to call it's own...
Good... Speaking of the First Order, there is something we need to discuss Harnan. Specifically, the current state of it with regards to Illaria's new found relationship... Oh, don't act surprised, did you really think I would not find out? Honestly, I'm a little disappointed that you didn't come to me yourself with this news... At first, He was relieved that things merely seemed to be just their Master checking in with him regarding Deralia, but the conversation quickly turned towards the First Order and Illaria's affair with Nicademus. Every muscle in his body tensed in that moment as the Master revealed that he was already well aware of it, undoubtedly thanks to either Soku or Sohei, and was disappointed in Harnan for not coming to him first. A part of him had wanted to come to their Master with this information as soon as he had realized it, with the idea that he could protect Illaria from being hurt by Nicademus by having her be forced to break things off between them. But a part of him knew that it would be foolish to try that, especially since the more likely scenario was that the Master would want to use her proximity to the Supreme Commander to his advantage, and Harnan had long ago promised that he would not let anyone use Illaria like the Jedi had. Plus, even if he had managed to break them up by talking with the Master, he knew that she would never forgive him for it, and she would be pushed ever closer to Nicademus, and further from him. But, his indecision in the matter had been for naught, since the Master had found out about it anyway.
His mind began to race as he quickly considered his options, or at least, what he thought were options for him to take. Thoughts of abandoning Illaria in that moment briefly shot across his mind, screaming at him to let her take the fall for this, so that she might take responsibility for her own actions for once. But they were quickly silenced, for Harnan knew he could not do any such thing, no matter how much he was angry at Illaria, he knew she would not last with the Master, especially with the attitude she had taken with him. Even as broken as he was, he knew that he would not be allowed as much time as he would prefer to sort through everything, time marched ever on, and the wheels of fate churned ever on. He would need to cover for both Illaria and himself, certain that the wrong answer could very well lead to a disasterous end Admittedly, I do not believe this relationship wise between them, since it could compromise this alliance... and if the mood should ever strike the Supreme Commander, he could use her feelings for him to hurt her...
And yet, do you not also harbour the desire to be with her as well? perhaps it is you, who are compromised by your feelings for her... The words struck home with Harnan in that moment, as first Illaria, and now their Master, had accused him of allowing his feelings to compromise him. When Illaria had spoken the words, they had jolted him from his rage, but as the MAster accused him of such a thing, Harnan felt his anger return, as he slammed a closed fist into the floor What if I am?! Have I ever once failed to protect her?! Even as the words escaped his mouth, he knew he had made a mistake, as a few seconds later he felt his Master's disapproval of his answer as the force gripped him by the neck, choking him for a moment. He did not even move to place his hand around his neck, knowing that no matter what physical action he took, it would do nothing to stop the invisible energy that constricted around his neck, choking the life from him. As his Master's hold on him was released, Harnan rubbed his neck a little, to ease the discomfort as his Master glared down at him for a moment before speaking again Don't get smart with me boy! You may be her Guardian for now, but do not presume that you are irreplaceable. You are where you are, because I have allowed it... It was not mere chance that guided her to you that day...
No... You made sure she found me. You counted on me waking up to her, everything in my life gone, with naught but her to rely on... You wanted me to fall for her, didn't you? So that you might have leverage over me...
You're a quick learner... It's what I like about you. But apparently not quick enough... That much is apparent, since you felt the need to hide this from me...
I did not feel it prudent to inform you of this matter...
And why exactly was that? because you thought I'd take advantage of this situation? That I'd use Illaria for my own goals?
Exactly... And I swore that I would not let her be used by anyone else again the day that I joined the Knights...
That you did. Perhaps I shall have to find someone a little more malleable to my will then, if that is how you still feel... It was then, that Harnan lifted his gaze to meet that of the shadowed figure before him, knowing that this was not going to end well if he didn't come up with something fast. It wasn't out of a fear for his own life that he acted, for that was something that had been stolen from him long ago, when he had been captured and imprisoned for all those years. Instead, it was his concern for who might replace him, and what effect it would have on Illaria, that he he knew he would have to come up with something to stay their Master's hand. Sure, she was angry at him now, but he knew it would destroy her if he were to be killed by their Master in that moment, before someone else was brought in to replace him in the role he held. As it stood, Soku and Sohei were the only two proper Knights capable of replacing him, with Atlantia still being in her early stages of training, and Illaria having a dislike of Varik. But even between the two, Sohei still retained a great disdain for anything not human or near-human, and Soku was more concerned with spreading order and justice. The worst outcome, though, was if another Knight of Ren appeared, one willing and able to manipulate Illaria into doing exactly what their Master wanted. She could be damned if she thought he wasn't going to let his feelings for her affect his decision in this moment Do you trust me so little to be able to handle this situation?
That depends entirely upon how you think I want you to handle this situation...
You trusted me enough at one point to choose me as her guardian. So trust me now to handle this...
Hmm... I suppose you are right. Make sure that his ambition remains as it has, and that the First Order does not fall. But, should you or Nicademus fail in any of your missions, know that it will not be either of you that suffers for your mistakes... It will be the one you both hold most dear... Is that clear? He bowed his head, his hand tightened into a fist once more, as he knelt there. Although he did not overly like the idea of being forced to work alongside Nicademus, the man having already earned his ire and suspicion, considering the supposed feelings he felt for Illaria, and the impact he had apparently already had on her. But He would not allow Illaria to suffer for their mistakes, what ever they may be Transparently...
Good... You may leave. The comm transmission then cut off, causing the holo image to disappear as Harnan rose to his feet, grabbing his helmet from the ground and donned it once more as he did so. As soon as he had left the room, he slammed his gauntletted fist into a wall, creating a new dent, as he calmed himself, knowing that he could not afford to give into his emotions, especially if he intended to ensure victory. He shook his head, before heading off in search of Illaria, to inform her of their newest orders, which he doubted she would take too happily to, since it would mean spending time with him again so soon
*After delivering his report to the Supreme Commander, Soku strode through the Tower. He was searching for a specific individual, one who possibly had a lot to answer for. If not him... then Soku would figure out where to go from there. Those who recognized his purposeful pace cleared out of his way with haste, ensuring he had an unmolested path to whomever he was seeking.
It did not take long to locate the towering Zabrak known as Vladimir Savage, but height differences meant little to Soku, despite the man's comparatively diminutive size even compared to the average human.* "Vladimir, a word with you," *he spoke sternly, but not accusingly.*
Post by Vladimir Savage on Nov 14, 2017 21:06:56 GMT -8
Upon being addressed, the Zabrak turned, looking down at the human before him. It was Soku Ren, the one who recruited him into the Knights of Ren out in the wilds of Munnilinst. A trickery of sorts, but corrected in time, by proving his resolve and his prowess. While not evil or dark-sided in any way, Vlad believed in a cause and followed his own principles. Upon doing so, he found his calling within the Knights of Ren. Surprising, to be sure, but the goals of the Ren, and that of the First Order seemed to be pure and unaltered by anything aside from strict adherence to a simple code. Restoring order to a chaotic galaxy. And while their actions may not have held the galaxy's best interest at times, they got results. And results were something he couldn't argue with. Noting the stern tone of the man before him, Vlad inclined his head in acknowledgement.
"Certainly. May I inquire as to what this is about?"
Since the battle on Ossus and the subsequent escape of the majority of the Jedi, Vlad was still decrypting large portions of information that his astromech droid had recovered. To him, the Jedi escaping meant little. They had accomplished their goals and achieved a large bounty of information from the Jedi Library. All in all, Vlad called that a win.
*Soku scrutinized the Zabrak's reaction both visually, audibly, and through the Force. It seemed Vladimir held not an ounce of apprehension about him. He did not quite accept this as evidence of his innocence quite yet; after all, Jedi were disciplined to hide their emotion, or outright repress it in some instances. Arguably a better tactic, had many of them not decided to suddenly embrace traits only a weaker individual not dedicated to the cause of justice would strive for.
Promptly placing his mind back on track, he explained,* "Upon reflection, the Jedi seemed to evacuate a little too efficiently, before our bombardments came. I do not know what drove them to seek such a route instead of holding their ground, thus I am attempting to investigate the matter to ensure there were no anomalies. Now to stop beating around the bush." *His scrutiny became even more apparent, just barely fighting back a scowl as his gaze matched Vladimir's.* "Did you or your astromech have anything to do with this?"
Post by Vladimir Savage on Nov 14, 2017 21:59:14 GMT -8
Vlad knew what Soku was after the moment he started speaking. Of course this conversation would come up. Due to the face that Vlad had been a Jedi once and that his first mission happened to involve the Jedi fleeing Ossus more efficiently than expected. Normally Vlad would either stand his ground or shrug it off. But this wasn't one of those situations. Raising an eyebrow as Soku launched his barbed question, he folded his arms across his chest, shifting enough to cause the glimmering lights of his powered light exoskeleton to peer through the opening of his cloak. Inhaling slowly he looked over Soku for a moment. Finally sizing up the situation, he spoke.
"Aren't we subtle...no. Clank and I did not have anything to do with the Jedi predicting what your end game was. Perhaps if you didn't utilize such predictable tactics, you could catch them off guard. Even I knew what you planned to do before you did it, and I wasn't made privvy to any of your plans aside from what we discussed prior to our arrival."
Still speaking evenly, tone as neutral as he could make it and his eyes having never left Soku, Vlad continued to speak.
"Clank was busy keeping the Jedi and their soldiers occupied in the Library with security features, while I was in the mainframe, collecting whatever I could. Honestly, if I had wanted to tip of my former brethren to your actions, I had multiple opportunities. But I didn't. I kept my mouth shut and my attentions on mission. Why? Because I honor my loyalties. I swore allegiance to the Knight of Ren. To order in a galaxy filled with unrest. I think I've proven I'm willing to honor my word and my allegiances, don't you think?"
Oddly, he was still calm. Normally he would have been annoyed with someone quesitoning his loyalties and his motives. At this juncture, however, he was still in the 'initiation' stage of proving his loyalties to the Knights of Ren. Not that he needed much persuading to keep doing so, but apparently Soku didn't quite trust him yet. Hopefully he would soon, if he wanted to maintain a proper working relation with the Zabrak.
*Soku scrutinized him thoroughly, sensing at the worst irritation... Irritation borne from accusation. His eyes narrowed when the bombardment tactics were accused of being "predictable" but he continued to hold his tongue while the Zabrak explained himself. Once he was finished, Soku smirked.* "If you would call the bombardment 'predictable,' then you have not studied my tactics. I prefer a straight fight, personally leading my forces into the heart of our enemy's base. I would sooner use bombardment for weakening their defenses so that I could make my way in. It just so happens the opposite was true.
"Anyhow, it is because of this I cannot feel too certain. Do not be so bold as to claim proof of loyalty just yet, however. Regardless of your innocence, regardless of your performance, I believe further trials are necessary." *He paused a moment before adding,* "Make no mistake, I do believe now you had no involvement in tipping off the Jedi. But consider this business. 'Building trust with a client,' if you will." *He considered leaving it at that, but decided it would be better to at least attempt to dispel any notion of him being under scrutiny.* "Do not take this as keeping you under a microscope. Were you still a Jedi, would you unconditionally trust a former Sith because they aided you in one mission?"
Post by Vladimir Savage on Feb 18, 2018 10:52:58 GMT -8
Vlad listened as Soku spoke. The man before him did raise some good points. Deciding to take the criticisim as constructive rather than the opposite, Vlad shrugged.
"Unconditionally trusting a Sith is the story of my life, Soku. In case you weren't aware, my brother happens to be a Sith Lord within the First Order. A bad example, however I do see your point. If you feel the need to continue testing my resolve, I will submit to whatever trial you have in mind."
Vlad eyed up the Knight of Ren, observing his reaction as Vlad made it clear he would continue to comply to whatever the Knight had in mind. Regardless of how Soku colored the situation, he was still under scrutiny. Maybe not to the degree he originally thought, but it was still there.
It worked out well that for the most part people seemed to avoid this section of the Command area. Although the average person did so unaware why Panno could feel the darkside eminating from the tower like waves. The closer he and Brock got to the base of the tower the worse it got. Intellectually he knew that it was simply the effect of having so many darksiders in close proximity and that he could ignore the effects. In a more primal part of his mind though he could not figure that out and all those complicated thoughts. Instead all it thought was danger, and as such his equivalent of the adrenal gland was pumping full throttle.
I really do hate this place.
Walking along he tightened his grip on his lightsaber maglocked to his armour and used that as a comfort. He had faced worse than this. Nothing would be as bad as the failure of Prakith, not even walking into a hornets nest like this one.
Do you suppose that the guards will just let us in?