CENTER OF PROFILE.
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Who's gonna break these chains and lies?
(Love is the answer)
I gotta speak it, believe it
(That's how I feel inside)
I can't sit here quiet.
“I can’t sleep. Can I stay here?”
It was an odd admission and request from one who usually preferred to deal with any personal issues on her own. More often than not, internalizing them so that she didn’t actually have to deal with them at all. Odd, but not entirely unheard of. Kaydel had stayed before, both by choice and by Evaan’s – or her daughter, Breha’s – insistence. Sometimes it felt like the Verlaine apartments were almost her home away from home, even if she didn’t take advantage of that very often. Especially now that she was out of the Academy and technically no longer Evaan’s student.
She didn’t seek her out as much as she used to, this woman who she sometimes looked at as more of a mother figure than her own mother. But, when she did, she was never turned away. Questions were never asked unless information was volunteered, and she knew she would always have a place among her family.
She was twenty-one today. Something her friends thought needed celebrating with drinking and partying and otherwise making mischief. But, she had turned them down. There were too many things on her mind to properly celebrate and her friends didn’t deserve to have her weighing them down with serious contemplations and life decisions when all they wanted was to enjoy themselves.
She had recently been approached by someone she hadn’t expected to talk to ever again. Someone she hadn’t seen in years. One Leia Organa Solo. Princess, war hero, Senator…General of the rather recently formed Resistance. It had taken some impressive negotiating to get her to listen at all and once she had, she had somehow been convinced that everything she’d previously been told to think about the woman was a lie. Though something inside had always thought she was wrong to follow along with all of those who had outcast Leia because of the revelation that she was Darth Vader’s daughter. Those who had dismissed her claims that history was repeating itself and another galactic war would soon be upon them if they didn’t act against it.
The Leia she had known when younger was not a terrible person. She was not a traitor and a liar, and she was not one to make up stories that warranted being made into a pariah in the New Republic Senate and a considered warmonger to boot. She was more than that, better than that. And yet, how could Kaydel have done anything but followed her parents’ beliefs? How could they be so perfectly good and right about so very many things…and be so very wrong about this? How could she so drastically change her path now?
That she had heard from Leia at all had come as something of a shock. That Leia wanted to recruit her for this rising Resistance even more of one. That she was seriously considering it was the biggest shock of all. How was she supposed to decide? How could she just…jump ship? Abandoning her post, her job, the people who’d stood by her through the last few years…these were things she wasn’t sure she could do. She had been training long and hard to get to where she was and to just leave it all brought on a guilt that made her question everything about herself and everything she thought she knew.
How could she leave Evaan and everything she’d given her for something the older woman wanted no part of? She hadn’t spoken to her, but she knew it to be a fact. If it wasn’t, she would already be part of the fight.
The wavering indecision was tearing her apart on the inside, though it hardly showed at all on the outside. It wasn’t something anyone could choose for her and she knew that. The fork in the road was before her and it was up to her alone to choose which path to take. She could seek advice, but in the end, it was up to her. And yet, none of this was why she had come tonight.
The reason she was being gestured inside very familiar surroundings wasn’t personal at all, but because she thought that Evaan might need her. Or, if not her specifically, someone so that she wasn’t alone. Something said that being alone tonight was not the best of ideas. They didn’t have to talk, they didn’t have to do anything, but Kaydel wanted to offer her company if nothing else, because today wasn’t just the anniversary of her own birth. It was also the anniversary of something much bigger.
Thirty years ago, today, the peaceful planet of Alderaan had been completely destroyed. Blown to smithereens in an attempt to cow another rising tide of resistance with terror and an overwhelming ability to snuff out anything in its path to ultimate power. Ancient history to many and of little importance to those born years after the event. Something to briefly feel sad about, but not be fully impacted by. It was hard to imagine the reality of such a thing if you weren’t around to experience it.
Yet, Evaan had been impacted by it then and no doubt still was today. Alderaan had been her home. To lose everything and everyone she loved had to be the worst thing imaginable and it wasn’t something you ever really got over, even years later. Kaydel knew how much her own home meant to her and the idea of anything happening to it – though a distant and never even fully formed thought – was enough to make her at least empathetic to that loss.
As the door was close behind her and Evaan gestured to the couch, offering her a place to sit, a drink, the normal guestly things, she shifted her weight instead. She was unsure of how to approach the real reason for coming. She didn’t want it to be taken badly. She didn’t want to stir up any buried emotions and the last thing she wanted was to upset her teacher-mentor-mother in any way. But, at the same time she wanted Evaan to know that she may not truly understand such a loss – no one could, who didn’t suffer it personally – but she was there, and she cared, and she acknowledged it.
“I have something for you and I’m not sure how you’re going to take it.” Again, she shifted her weight slightly, one hand going to her pocket uncertainly. At Evaan’s arched eyebrow, she swallowed hard and pulled something out, holding out her hand with the offering. Giving a gift on a day meant for receiving.
In her palm rested what looked like an ordinary clear vial, a few tiny rocks inside and a slightly thicker than normal metal stopper pressed into the opening. A simple gold ring hung on the chain looped around the vial, the symbol not immediately clear until closer inspection.
As Evaan reached out to accept the mystifying gift, Kaydel clasped her hands behind her back for a moment, not knowing what else to do with them as she quietly explained the gift. The ring was obvious. An almost tarnished gold band that twisted into the crest of Alderaan. The vial, not so much.
“It’s pieces from The Graveyard.” She watched Evaan closely for her reaction, knowing she didn’t have to explain more than that. The Graveyard was what was left of Alderaan. An asteroid belt created upon its destruction, the rocks not so ordinary after all.
Stepping closer, she reached out one of her clasped hands to push on the vial’s stopper, something else less ordinary than it seemed. A tiny hologram sprung to life, the shimmering blue light lighting up a map from before Kaydel’s time. A map that still showed the location of the no longer existing planet that had meant so much to everyone who had known it.
Taking a step back one more time, she bit her lip, still uncertain about this whole thing. “I thought…since you couldn’t be there, maybe I could bring it to you.” Thirty years was a long time, but it wasn’t long enough to forget. It wasn’t long enough to stop mourning.
We Choose Our Battles
Lieutenant - Asset
NAME: Kaydel Ko Connix
NICKNAMES: Kay-Kay, Kay, Dellie, Kaydellie, Super K
ALIASES: Lieutenant, Asset
DATE OF BIRTH: PLACE OF BIRTH:Dulathia
CURRENT RESIDENCE: Secret Rebel Base
I hate what I've become The nightmare's just begun I must confess that I feel like a monster
Dreams were one of Kaydel’s least favorite things. If they were happy, they brought melancholy and a nostalgia for better things. If they weren’t…they were even harder to deal with. Dreams showed you things that your waking mind would never conjure, from the best of the best to the worst of the worst. And sometimes they showed you things you didn’t want to remember. Things buried so deeply that, awake, they never crossed your mind. Things that could break you if they surfaced at any other time.
You couldn’t control dreams. That was another thing she hated. A lack of control, especially self-control. Ever since her brief stint as a prisoner of the First Order – Kylo Ren in particular – she had felt…different. She couldn’t explain it had she tried, so she didn’t try. She chalked it up to her refusal to deal with her emotions and the things that were happening around her. It had been a rapid succession of violence and loss that would throw anyone for a loop. There was nothing out of the ordinary about that. There was nothing strange about working herself past the point of exhaustion because that was what everyone was doing. There was no choice. They didn’t have enough people for it to be any other way.
But, not everyone agreed with this line of thinking, and she found herself sent away from the command center for some much needed rest. As unhappy as it made her, it wasn’t made optional. She couldn’t do her job if she couldn’t properly function and she couldn’t properly function if she didn’t get some sleep. It was logic that she couldn’t argue, and had been used on her before, but that didn’t mean she had to like it.
The unintentional scowl on her face was enough to deter anyone who might have thought about approaching her as she made her way to her bunk, and she paid it no mind. She was unhappy and tired of hiding that fact, allowing the slight crack in her mask to show and that one emotion to slowly seep through. It wouldn’t last long. She would rebuild her walls and return to appearing completely fine as she always did, but for now she didn’t make the effort.
A brief thought was spared to wonder if maybe she might be able to find Breha to join her for a nap, or if maybe she might find Rey in their shared quarters. Both were dismissed because it was more likely that both women were off doing their own important things. Like she should be doing. Her shift wasn’t supposed to be over this early and she felt at a loss. Not having something to do at all times never sat very well with her.
Entering her room, a glance around showed it was typical of pretty much every other bunk. Light on possessions and clearly used for necessities and not much else. Her side of the room was neat and orderly because she was neat and orderly. The one thing that did stick out every time she entered was the Heart of Aldera on the wall. A precious gift from Breha meant to bring peace to an unquiet heart. Sometimes Kaydel thought it really worked, even if it was just in her mind. But, those times never lasted as long as she would like.
On the small stand below the Heart were very few items. A holodisk with a special photograph, a single purple flower pressed and preserved between two pieces of glass, an empty mug and her datapad. She wasn’t one for many personal items. Too many possessions made it hard to pick up and leave on a moment’s notice as had happened too many times before and would likely happen again. It was the datapad she reached for as she kicked off her shoes and moved to sit on the bed with her back against the wall.
Pulling her knees up into a more comfortable position, she punched in her password and slipped a data card into the device before beginning to type. The information she added to the card had no place outside the command center and certainly no place outside her head when she was outside of a command position. Yet, she found herself reporting things she would never usually tell a soul. The kinds of things that had ended a previous relationship because she refused to share and had nearly broken her then. Her heart told her this was wrong and she shouldn’t be doing it, even as she continued to type. Her fingers rapidly moved, seemingly of their own accord, and the words flowed without interruption.
Once she finished, she popped the card out and hid it on her person. Though the information would go somewhere she knew it shouldn’t, to someone who should never have it…she wouldn’t risk it falling into anyone else’s hands. Even if the brief thought that it would be safer anywhere else but with her skittered across her mind, she continued the actions. She couldn’t stop herself.
Powering down the datapad, she placed it back on the night stand and shifted to lay down on the bed, an unwanted yawn cracking her jaw as she pulled the spare pillow closer, wrapping her arms around it and allowing her eyes to close. She was tired and maybe this time she could achieve some peace in the darkness. As she drifted off, that was initially the case, but soon the blessed darkness faded and what replaced it was so very much worse. Swirling nightmares dancing across closed lids, replaying things better left buried in the dark.
The darkness was suddenly split by rapid blaster fire and screams while a glance down showed hands covered in blood. Her hands. A flash of bodies littering the floor overshadowed by a familiar black mask. Red tinted tears shed for the fallen accompanied by the mournful wails of those left behind. An oath taken in the Academy and then shattered to pieces as those blood covered hands typed away on a familiar datapad on a base that was once hidden and unknown.
A kaleidoscope of images in rapid succession: The same black mask, the eyes of the enemy boring into her own, hope on faces soon eclipsed by death. The command room, the General’s normally friendly if tired brown eyes filled with betrayal and sadness and anger. Evaan, the mentor she looked to almost as a mother, shaking her head in disgust, eyes full of pain and regret. Breha…crushed and destroyed and turning away from the monster she had thought she loved. Explosions that heralded the destruction of the Resistance and everything it had been trying to accomplish, filling the world with red and black and a complete loss of hope.
Raising those same blood stained hands to cover her ears was useless against the voice swirling all around. HIS voice. The one who took away all of her willpower and control and turned her into the thing that she had become. The one who had made her this monster who just wanted it all to end.
“You will become an agent of the First Order.” “You will act completely normal, just as you were before.” “You will spy for me, take the Resistance from the inside out.” “Your first mission…to kill all of these Resistance members.” “I will always be able to find you.” “I will break you.”
Opening her mouth to scream brought no release. The words did not come from outside of her where they could be silenced or drowned out. They came from inside her mind, where she could only watch herself spiral downward into everything she hated without being able to utter a word.
Eyes snapped open, rapid breathing quickly slowing back to a normal rate, all external signs of the haunted darkness within vanishing in an instant. After all, nightmare reactions weren’t acting as normal as she had before. She was denied even that brief release of the storm raging inside her, left to suffer alone and in silence as she went about her daily life. He had said he would make her a monster. Promised he would break her. Maybe he was right.
A Childhood Tale
“Do you know what you need?”
The voice was familiar and elicited an immediate appearance as Kaydel’s head popped up among the tree tops. The wind blew her blond hair around her face as she stood clinging to the branches almost like a monkey. She spent a lot of her time climbing the trees around her home and her father often joked that she needed to keep her feet on the ground more often. Her mother wasn’t a fan, worried that she was going to fall and hurt herself or worse. She was always demanding that Kaydel come down, that she find something else to do, somewhere else to play. It was just one of the many things her parents couldn’t seem to agree on. Her father joked about it, her mother did not.
“What do I need?” She asked, eyes sparkling as she looked down at her father standing on the ground. Gone were the Senatorial robes and fancy formal dress he was most often seen in. Instead, he sported simple comfortable pants and a button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. As if he intended to do some hard labor or something. The idea made Kaydel grin a little more. Her father was good at what he did. He could argue his point and represent his people with the best of them. He could appear relentless and intimidating and stick to his ideals with an iron will. But, there was another side to him as well.
In reality, he was a much simpler man. He didn’t go in for trying to appear more important than he was. He didn’t think things should be handed to him for nothing. He believed hard work, honesty and dedication were core principals everyone should possess. Though he wasn’t naive enough to believe they all did. He was no stranger to physical labor and getting his hands dirty, believing one shouldn’t ask others to do anything they weren’t willing to do themselves.
Emiltal grinned up at his daughter for a moment, taking in the sight of his adventurous little blond among the dancing leaves. “A treehouse.” He finally stated, watching surprise flicker through bright brown eyes. “If you’re going to constantly be flitting through the trees, you should have a place to settle now and then, don’t you think?” His wife had been trying to get her to calm down and find another hobby for some time now and he had never really spoken against this idea. It wasn’t impossible that he had come to enforce the it, though his expression hadn’t really been serious enough to warrant such a discussion.
“A…treehouse…” She slowly echoed his words as if making sure he wasn’t playing with her. As she mulled it over, she found she really did like the idea, however. “Really?” She finally asked, watching him more closely. She didn’t think he would suggest such a thing and then snatch it away. That wasn’t how he was. But, she hadn’t thought he would come all this way to find her to make the suggestion either. Not when it was something that could be brought up when she returned home for the day. Her adventures in the trees were her thing and he let her have that freedom.
Emiltal nodded almost solemnly, though his eyes danced with mischief, saying the suggestion wasn’t all he had planned upon coming out here. “Really.” He confirmed her question, squashing her uncertainty at the idea and his sincerity in mentioning it. “I might even know where we can find the supplies for such a thing.” He added as if it was merely an afterthought. “If you wanted.” He was holding back another smile now because he knew how she would react. He wasn’t disappointed.
Kaydel’s eyes widened and she disappeared from view in an instant. The creaking of tree branches and rustling of leaves the only indication of her location before the sound of feet hitting the ground and then running toward him told him where she was. He knelt in preparation as she came barreling toward him, throwing herself into his waiting arms. “Of course I want to!” She cried in excitement, as she wrapped her arms around his neck in a hug of thanks. The fact that he’d said ‘we’ hadn’t been lost on her and it had thrilled her beyond belief. His answering laugh only excited her more. She didn’t hear such a thing as often as she would like and whenever she did it made her almost giddy.
“Good!” Emiltal finally voiced his opinion, glad he had managed to make her so happy. “Then, let’s go and find the perfect spot and begin our construction, shall we?” He released her so that they could walk but took her hand as they did so, smiling as she swung their linked hands and almost skipped beside him, pointing out several favorite spots along the way, but searching for the one that was just right for what they wanted to do.
“You can’t tell your mom about this.” He added, continuing when she shot him a questioning look. “This is just for you and me. A…special project.” Kaydel’s pleasure at such an idea was obvious. A father-daughter project sounded like just about the best thing in the world to her and she squeezed his hand as she nodded. “Okay. Just for us.”
She was nearly humming now as she led him through the trees on this mission of great importance. Stopping in her tracks, he nearly pulled her off her feet before realizing she had found what she was looking for and stopped as well. Looking up at the great tree before him, he knew it was perfect before she even said a word.
“This one.” There was a certain reverence in her tone and he almost felt the same. There was no way this could happen anywhere else. “This one.” He echoed his agreement, gaze travelling up and up as he pictured this tree house they would build. Another nod snapped him out of the reverie and he grinned down at her. “Let’s go gather our supplies, shall we?”
LEFT SIDE OF PROFILE.
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This is our time
No turning back
We could live
We could live like legends
'Cause legends never die
☲ Short and Sweet
Kaydel had thought to follow in her father's footsteps and entering the Senate, but the Navy caught her desire instead and she ended up mentoring under Evaan Verlaine before Leia Organa pretty much poached her out from under her nose for the Resistance. Since her father was a Senator, she grew up knowing Leia and her family, but her family turned against Leia when her parentage was revealed and Kaydel initially agreed, but eventually realized that the woman couldn't be as bad as they made her out to be. So, when she hopped ship to the Resistance, she basically severed ties with her parents. They were on Hosnian Prime when it was destroyed.
Kaydel is currently a Lieutenant in the Resistance, working directly under General Leia Organa Solo. She is also a sort of sleeper agent for the First Order, under the influence of Kylo Ren.
Lieutenant ▮ Asset ▮ Lover
CURRENT RELATIONSHIP(S): Breha Verlaine
PAST RELATIONSHIP(S): Kevaust and Daisdes
We are the lions
Star Wars ▮ AU ▮ Canon
✎ Other Verses: Legends, Crossovers
✎ Crossover Verses: Sci-Fi, Space
The Window To My Soul - Breha Verlaine
A vacation. It wasn’t really something Kaydel thought much about, even in passing. There was far too much to do here and leaving, even for a short amount of time, felt like abandoning the post she knew she was sorely needed for right now. It wasn’t a feeling of self-importance or anything of the like. It was merely the fact that they didn’t have enough people to run things the way they needed to be run and every person counted. Her work load wouldn’t be nearly as heavy as it was if they had more people to help. Or, maybe it would. A lot of it was her choice, pushing herself as long as she could because slowing down was a terrifying idea and she certainly didn’t want any down time that would actually allow her to think and process everything that she was avoiding.
But, when Breha set her mind to something, there was really no getting out of it. Not that Kaydel had tried too hard. Going away did sound wonderful and she wanted the time with Breha. They had precious little of that. And that was how they found themselves on Iloh. The ocean planet that had sparked daydreams of ‘we’ and beach houses and that ever elusive ‘when this war is over.’
She had to admit that it was quite nice here. Feeling the sand beneath her toes, allowing the crashing waves to soothe frazzled nerves. Despite this vacation being one that was supposed to be restful, she and Breha had spent the day doing anything but that. They had chased each other up and down the beach, screaming and laughing almost like the children neither had been in some time before crashing into the water together for a swim and other enjoyable things. They had gone hiking and exploring and just walking hand in hand and though it wasn’t restful in the typical sense, it was relaxing and something else she had sorely needed. The exhaustion she suffered from was not strictly physical.
As she sat on the warm sand with her legs curled under her and her gaze watching the ocean stretching out seemingly endlessly before her, she absently played with the ola around her ankle. The beach, the water…the shells on the anklet all reminding her of another day on a different beach many years before. A day, like most others, that she tried not to recall because such memories would bring her full circle to an event and a couple that she hadn’t discussed – except in passing mention that they were gone – with anyone up until now.
This time it was different, this time she didn’t fight the surfacing memory. It was a pleasant memory, but she always feared that even those would bring more pain than she could deal with. Something about this place, this vacation, the company…something had changed and she thought just maybe she could finally let go and allow that change. Her fingers traced the slightly larger orange shell as she closed her eyes and let it wash over her.
Laughter floated on the wind, childish and carefree as small feet pounded across the sand. Weaving and dancing to avoid the waves, a quick glance behind showed an older man close behind. His eyes sparkled with mischief and happiness as his expression twisted into one overly dramatic and his arms reached for her, a silly monster noise escaping his throat and eliciting a mock squeal of fear from her as she picked p the pace.
“I’m going to get you, Kay-Kay! There’s no escaping the sea monster!” Her father’s hands flexed as if he were preparing for the capture of a lifetime, his grin growing larger as he began to close in on her. Her response was to screech as if terrified, while truthfully feeling quite thrilled with the chase. He would catch her, she knew. And she didn’t mind. The capture was just as fun as the chase in her opinion and this time would be no different.
Once he was close enough, her father put on one last burst of speed and caught up to her smaller form easily. Wrapping his arms around her as if tackling her, he took them both to the ground, careful to take the brunt of the fall to ensure she was in no way injured as he cried out a single word: “Gotcha!”
“No!” The protest came out on a laugh that only increased beneath the new onslaught of a tickle war that she had no hope of winning. He knew all of her ticklish spots and took full advantage of that, teasing and laughing himself at her half-hearted attempts to escape.
Finally, he took mercy on her and the tickle war came to an end, an agreed upon truce that left both of them breathless and flushed and entirely too pleased. After a few moments of catching their breath, her father got to his feet and offered her a hand up. “Come. Walk with me.” There was no hesitation at all on her part as she accepted the offered hand and fell into step beside him, her adoration for the man written all over her face.
They walked in comfortable silence for a bit before she looked up at him, another smile lighting her eyes as she spoke. Simple, innocent and sincere in her tones. “I love you, Daddy.” It was something she said often and meant every time. He was everything to her and she wanted to make sure he knew it always. He usually said it immediately in return and she expected that this time. What she got was a pause that made her briefly wonder if something was wrong. Why hadn’t he said it back?
He stopped walking and turned to face her, his eyes meeting hers with something she couldn’t read in them. His smile was different this time. Gentle and caring, but not as carefree as it had been as he reached out to gently touch cup her cheek in one hand. “I love you, too, Kaydel.” The tone matched the action in gentleness and she never once doubted the truth in it. “And I’m so proud of you. More proud every day. I want you to know that. I want you to remember that always. You are such an amazing person and you’re going to make a huge difference in the galaxy one day.”
The seriousness in his words wasn’t lost on her, and she studied him for a long moment before throwing herself into his arms. Those words meant more to her than she could ever express and she tried to show that in her embrace and the simple words – with nothing simple behind them – that followed. “Thank you.”
She didn’t realize that the tears were rolling down her cheeks until she felt a hand on her shoulder and blinked back to the present. Instinct said to quickly reach up to brush them away, to regain her iron-willed self-control before it’s lapse could be witnessed by anyone else. But, she knew that hand and the simple touch conveyed so much in itself, even before her red rimmed eyes lifted to meet those of the one that hand belonged to.
Instead of reaching to hide the tears, she covered the hand with her own, swallowing hard before speaking words she had never thought she would be able to. Her other hand fiddled with the sea shelled anklet one more time and she watched Breha’s gaze drop to it before returning to her face, though the other woman didn’t say a word. “I haven’t talked about what happened. About them.” She started, clearing her throat and then trying again. “I know this is supposed to be a vacation. But…I think I’d like to talk now. If you’re willing to listen.”
She nearly started crying again as Breha moved to sit next to her instead of running away from the idea of dealing with everything she’d kept inside for what seemed like forever. The simple act of reaching to hold her hand, her eyes saying she was there no matter what, was almost enough to break that wall she had built around her heart in order to keep herself safe and she was more than a little surprised to realize that maybe this was going to be a good thing. Maybe it was okay to break if you had someone there to pick up the pieces.
The understanding and concern and, dare she think it…love in Breha’s eyes made her think that maybe she had found that person who would actually be able to do that. The one person who could save her from herself. Squeezing Breha’s hand, she took one more deep breath and began her story. She had thought that mourning the dead was useless, but maybe she’d been wrong all along.
I don't ever think about death
It's alright if you do, it's fine
I still remember
From the eyes of a child
MOTHER: Hanaelis Connix
FATHER: Emiltal Connix
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Kaydel could swear those two sentences summed up their entire relationship. She would protest, Breha would agree and...they would do whatever it was anyway. She loved the other girl for that. For making life interesting and making sure she didn't always take things too seriously. For making sure she lived now and then. Of course, she would never admit any of this, refusing to drop her stiff military facade completely. She had grown up thinking to follow in her father's footsteps in the Senate, but the Navy had caught her eye and she had taken to the military life like a pelikki takes to water. But, that didn't mean she couldn't lower her guard some on occasions such as these. It wasn't like she wasn't learning things from Breha as well. It just wasn't things that she would ever formally be taught. And sometimes it really was more fun than she anticipated.
She had known Evaan Verlaine most of her life. From near hero worship as a child, to her lifelong friendship with her daughter, Breha, to student-teacher, to mentor-friend and now where they were now. There had been times when she had looked to Evaan as almost more of a mother than she did her own. Especially after she had fallen out with her parents. Evaan had taught her everything she knew and used today and more, grooming her for something special before she had defected from the Navy to the Resistance. A decision that had bothered her more than she had allowed anyone, even herself, to realize. One made harder by the fact that Evaan had not agreed to join or to help until after Hosnian Prime had been lost.
Her gaze returned to Kylo's face as he spoke again, almost sluggish as everything settled in. He thought she was going to attack him? The idea hadn't even crossed her mind when he had given her freedom. Why would it? A frown graced tear streaked features. "I would never attack you." She told him seriously and after a pause she added one moniker that she had never used for anyone:
She sat the data pad aside and swung her feet over the side of the bed so that she was sitting up and facing Rey while she spoke to her, wrapping both hands around the now lukewarm cup she held. "This all has to be rough on you. I get that. It's quite an adjustment for anyone. I can't promise I can help you get used to it all and become some well-rounded soldier of the Resistance or anything like that. But, I can at least show you how things work around here and such. That may not seem like much, but it really is. It helps to know what's going on around you."
"You also don't have to be some bubbly, outgoing people person who loves everyone. I can guarantee that's not a requirement for anyone." She smirked a little. "But, there are a lot of people, so you will have to get used to that. When you're not off doing...whatever it is you'll be doing. And you're apparently my roomie now, so I'll tell you that this room is a pretty good place to escape to when things get overwhelming. It's not far away from everything, but not too many people come here. They tend to respect the need for a little privacy now and then."
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Her voice resembled disbelief. Despite his offended reaction to that, he realized there was no reason for him to be angry. Why would she think he'd come to her rescue? He always told her to go away and he found her annoying most of the time. Maybe it was because this was something he knew was right. Even though he would have gotten in trouble if she had been killed, Ben didn't think she deserved that fate. A small, very little, part of him liked her as well. It was buried deep down in the crevice of his heart, but hew knew it was there regardless. He hated the fact that he had a *soft* spot for her, though he supposed it should come as to no surprise. She wanted to be his friend for as long as he could remember. The only person who tried to look past his name.
How could he let her die?
Ben eyed the beast with a scrutinizing gaze, refusing to look away. The beast seemed startled for a moment, which was a good thing. He had asked Kaydel if they could run, though he knew her ankle had been twisted only a few minutes before. He wasn't sure if he'd be strong enough to carry her out of the woods. He doubted he could, so he decided he shouldn't bother. Maybe she could get on his back? Ben knew they had no time to waste if they were both to survive this whole ordeal, which annoyed him to no end. Not only did Ben hate being bothered, but he also hated when he couldn't get out of a situation. He and Kaydel were trapped. It... scared him.
When she grabbed his hand, his attention snapped back to look at her, and he refrained from wanting to pull it away because he knew they couldn't lose each other now. If they wanted to survive, they had to stick together, and that meant they had to keep ahold of each other somehow. Even though she told him that she could run, Ben still worried that she'd fall again. He never had a twisted ankle, but he knew it would be a pain in the ass. What could he do? He clenched his teeth and balled his other hand into a fist. Something was stirring inside of him, though he couldn't pinpoint what it was.
Kaydel's voice snapped him out of his thoughts again and he finally moved with her; squeezing her hand tightly to make sure they didn't separate from each other. Why couldn't they have been smarter about this whole thing? Playing out in the forest? Ben wasn't used to this, so he felt bothered that he chose to come outside with her to begin with. A part of him felt like this was his fault. Maybe if he didn't agree, they wouldn't be in this situation right now. Wasn't it his idea to come to the forest? Or was it hers? He couldn't remember anymore.
Ben could hear the footsteps of the beast coming after them and he almost tripped over something, though he was able to catch himself before that happened.
"Be careful of the sticks." He said, nearly out of breath.
He wanted to make sure he was quiet enough, but he figured the beast could hear them regardless. How are they going to get away from this thing? Ben looked around the forest area as they ran, doing his best to study their surroundings. He had to do something. He wasn't even sure if they were going the right way. Maybe he could push Kaydel to the entrance while he distracted it? That seemed like a foolish plan, but that might be their only choice. Ben wasn't sure where that self-righteous attitude came from, especially for someone who annoyed him as much as Kaydel, but...
His thoughts disbanded when he heard the growling get closer. He knew they had to act fast. Ben was the oldest, so it made sense for him to stay behind. Or maybe they could find somewhere to hide? Ben looked around again, feeling something pulling him in one direction, though he didn't want to diverge from the path. He also didn't want to let Kaydel go either.
"Kaydel..." He pulled her towards a small hiding area that he thought would give them a chance to cover their ragged breathing, "I don't think we can escape it fast enough." Ben tried to hold his breath back from making too much noise, but he was not used to running around like this. He was used to being inside of his room, where it was safe; where no one would bother him. Ben closed his eyes tightly and shook his head, noting that the same pull was gnawing at him like a bite from a parasite. It didn't hurt, but it was so... strong.
He could hear the beast. It sounded like it was sniffing the air. Ben cursed inside of his head and looked to Kaydel, "I'll distract it. Maybe you could go get help? There's no way we can get away from it fast enough. I know your ankle hurts, but I think you have a better chance than me with getting back to the house." He wasn't even sure if his parents were home at the moment. Maybe they were, but he had no way of knowing exactly where they were. "Don't argue with me about it." Ben said, knowing she would be hard-headed and stubborn about this whole situation.
Ben wasn't used to his force abilities, but he had a better chance of keeping the beast's attention if he could conjure them up strong enough. When he thought the beast noticed their whereabouts, Ben released her hand, and nudged her towards the direction of the pull. "Go that way." He stood up and made a motion with his eyes to make sure she started to run away.
And then he said a word that he never though existed in his vocabulary. "Please."
Mind GamesWWW.ROLEPLAYER.ME/syphantom.Sordana"My time”
he cold, it was all he had ever known, Sy had grown acustomed to the cell over his short period of detainment, perhaps they were waiting for the right time to execute one of the coveted knights of ren, his own plan had gone against the Supreme Leader’s orders, yet here Sordana had saw an opportunity, one in which to put everything at risk, something in which needed to be done in order to win. For Sordana, this was a learning experience, both to learn more about the workings of the Resistance, if at all possible, how to play these next steps were quite crucial. For if the Knight was gone for far longer than needed, the Supreme Leader would know something was amiss, for Sy could escape at any point in time..little did they know, he had chosen this path.
Footsteps, that only meant the inevitable dance of questions back and forth, what his plans were, what the First Order’s plans were, was he to be transferred to a secret Resistance base? If so this didn’t change how things went, he collected his breath reorganizing his own thoughts as he eyed the arrival that stood before him on the opposite side of the containment cell, he didn’t acknowledge yet. Although his force abilities were rendered innate, the knight of ren could still ‘feel’ the constant battle between light and dark. This one in front, was female, her presence radiated almost blindingly, like the white light at the end of a tunnel, when one reaches their goal.
It was that constant pull towards the irradiating light that seemed to capture his attention, this woman before him, was she a soldier? She didn’t carry any form of weapon, not from what Sy could tell when he eyed her up and down once and twice, so why? Was it out of sympathy for the plight of the situation, or something else. No one in their right mind would come face to face with a well trained knight of ren, not without backup, the guards at the door sure they were instructed to keep him detained, but they could be easily dispatched if he wanted to, something was different about her.
If anything she was the irregularity now in the equation, he hadn’t predicted this portion, merely being sent to some backwater Resistance world, questioned by Resistance intelligence, but that didn’t happen currently, he could still tell that the ship was moving, which direction though was an entirely different matter. Finally he broke his mental silence, giving way first, and making the first move.
“Have you come here to bask in the recent Resistance victory? Or was it something you wanted to learn?”
Knowledge was everything, and the Knight of Ren was ripe with details of First Order operations, he could play the game back and forth learn key resistance points, after all the art of war was to adapt to your enemy, and whether or not they let their guard down, Sy would seek every advantage he could gain.TEMPLATE CREATED BY WONDER WOMAN (OF THE GODS.).
When the time came and Professor Evaan Verlaine handed out the assigned positions to her soon-to-be-graduating cadets, the news came with little fanfare and equal amounts of moaning. The Cadet-Captain position in the final simulation was the most coveted position, so once that was assigned to Cadet Kaydel Ko Connix and people got over their woes of losing out to that, they didn’t make too big of a deal with everything else. Sure, a position with some authority on the command deck would give them a better chance of placing into the role or rank they were going for in the navy once they graduated, but for the most part recruiters only looked at a performance review and didn’t care much about what rank they worked in a simulation. Cadet-Captain was the only position that mattered, so as Evaan read out the list of names to the class, people took note but in general didn’t seem to care.
The only assignment of note that came out of Evaan’s list of names was Creya Ordun, Kaydel’s bully turned potential new friend, who Evaan assigned to the role of First Lieutenant, a position that would be working directly under the Cadet-Captain. Evaan had taken note of some of their back and forth lately and thought that the assignment would be good for them. A good leader would have to figure out how to give tough orders to both friends and enemies and Creya was a bit of both for Kaydel. Still, once she read out Creya’s name and position she moved on and didn’t linger. She didn’t want to draw too much attention to it. Kaydel would have to figure out the test on her own.
“Is everyone clear on what we’re doing?” Evaan addressed the class when she was done with the names and ranks. “You’ve been working with the simulator downstairs since you started here at the academy. You all know it like the back of your hand, but now we see if those hands can work together. This will be the hardest challenge you’ve faced here. The simulator difficulty will be set to nine, which is what professional pilots practice on. This is the real deal, people, so give it your all. It’ll take everything you have to pull it off.”
Evaan nodded to a small astromech droid sitting in the corner of the lecture hall. The droid beeped a reply and plugged himself into a computer right in front of him and a moment later a star map appeared above the room in transparent holographic blue images for all to see.
“The mission is one that if nothing goes wrong, would take three weeks of space travel. If you think nothing is going to go wrong, you’re not paying attention.” Some of the class giggled at that and Evaan waited for the giggle to pass before continuing. She pointed up at a hologram of the outside of the ship they would be pretending to be on. The simulator was just a replica of the inside of a ship, of course, but it helped to make it all feel real. It was a standard looking Starhawk-class battleship like the ones used by the New Republic Navy.
“Captain Connix is leading her crew and a cargo full of New Republic diplomats to a settlement on the edge of Wild Space. Their mission is to connect with the people of this far off settlement and convince them to join the New Republic but your mission is to make sure they get there safe and get back in one piece. The system is not easy to get to. There are a number of gravity wells and active starburts that will take several jumps to navigate around. Beyond that, you must avoid all pirate activity, Imperial hold-outs, and monsters that are waiting for you out there. The Starhawk is armed and capable of defending itself but you will be without a fleet and without a squadron of starfighters to protect you. One ship, thirty four escape pods, a few turbo lasers and quad cannons, and whatever ingenuity you bring with you.”
As Evaan spoke the hologram walked through the mission. The map was a long way and even though it was all simulated and fake, Evaan wouldn’t have held it against any student who felt intimidated looking up at that. It was a lot of work, one that would require tons of prep and smart uses of the gap times between sessions. Evaan believed in her students, though. It would be a long couple of weeks, but they would manage.
“Department leaders will meet up with Cadet-Captain Connix tonight and put together an initial flight plan and strategy,” Evaan said, “Your flight disembarks tomorrow. Class will meet in the simulator, no need to come here. I have a few minutes to talk with the captain and the department leaders to answer any questions or walk through any initial strategies or worries. The rest of you are dismissed. Make sure to read up on your crew position. You’ll all need to know the ins and outs of your role by tomorrow. Alright, that’s it. Have a good day everybody. May the force be with you."
kaydel ko connixwe have to get awayson of darkness
Perhaps this wasn't as bad as he thought it was going to be. He had the chance to tease her and she even tripped over a hole of all things. Was she really that clumsy? When he had taken off-- he had no intention of losing her. He didn't even realize she wasn't behind him until he was in the middle of a dense forest alone. He stopped and looked around; noticing how small he felt in the woods with large trees surrounding him. His heart started to race a little as he wondered where she was. A part of him had hoped she was only hiding in the bushes or something and she wanted to jump out at him to scare him. He had said she was afraid before, so was this her plan?
Ben huffed and rolled his eyes, "Kaydel? I don't know if you're trying to freak me out or something, but it isn't going to work. I..." He trailed off, obviously a little unsure of what he should say next. If she could hear him, then would she even come out at all? Hesitation appeared in his voice when he spoke again, "I-I don't know what you're planning, but it's not working!" He shouted, clearing his throat a little after feeling the irritation in his face from screaming like that. His voice even cracked.
Nothing mimicked him. Nothing resounded in the trees. He couldn't hear footsteps or anything else around him. No, there was nothing but silence. His hands came out in front of him and he stepped forward in the direction he had last seen her in, scared out of his wits. This had to be her plan. She only wanted to make fun of him for making fun of her back there... right? "Kaydel, I'm sorry for what I said before... but this isn't funny anymore. Where did you go? Are you hiding?" His voice had cracked again as he started looking behind trees and in bushes; hoping to find her hiding there. He only came out here because of her. Now she was lost.
And... so was he.
"Kaydel?" He questioned again, though this time what responded was something that sounded like a monster instead of a little girl. Ben immediately fell backwards, scrambling towards the nearest tree; hitting it with his back as he looked around frantically. He covered his ears and looked up when he thought something was coming out of the bushes. "Kaydel?" Why was he even calling her name? He knew damn well it wasn't her in a costume. His body started to tremble and he decided to do the only thing he could. He ran away. Back in the direction that he last saw Kaydel and towards their house.
"I lost her," Ben said out of breath, "I lost her. Where is she?" If he was approached by a monster, then she had to have dealt with the same thing right? Jesus, his mom was going to murder him! Hell, so was Kaydel's parents! If this monster or whatever the heck it was wouldn't kill him, then the adults certainly would. Luckily, he couldn't hear anything following behind him; though that might be because of his breathing. He was panting and barely able to breathe. His lungs were on fire and his mind only focused on one thing.
Kaydel was annoying and she bothered him a lot, but... he didn't think she needed to die for that. If only his connection with the force was a little stronger then he would be able to fend these things off. Either way, he needed to find Kaydel before he went home.
Ben scooped up a large stick as he ran, deciding he would fend those creatures off if one came after him again. "Oh man Kaydel save me from the beating I surely would endure if you're a goner..." As if something was leading him, Ben changed his direction, and realized that he was going in the right direction. Whatever it was, it had to be leading him to Kaydel. How could he have lost her in the woods? Why was he stupid? Ben wanted to smack himself. He didn't care what would happen, but then again... who would annoy him to hang out? Ben hated to admit it. Kaydel was... She was definitely something.
Eventually he heard his name being called and he sighed with relief. Kaydel. But he also heard growling. When he came across Kaydel, the creature had leaped in her general direction, and he swung the large stick as hard as he could. "Get away from her." He shouted, huffing as he realized swinging that big stick hurt his arms.
Ben turned to look at Kaydel, "Come on, we need to get out of here. We have to get away." Hitting that creature with that large stick was probably the worst idea he's ever had because all it did was make it land on the forest floor. All he did was probably piss it off.
Ben dropped the stick, "Can you run?" He sure hoped so, otherwise they will be this things meal if they weren't careful. Ben didn't think about the fact that maybe it didn't even have any intention of hurting Kaydel, but he was scared. When he was scared... nothing made sense.
Senator Connix and his wife continued down the soft, sunlight path that cut through a grassy garden, leading from one section of the festival market to the next, and Iona and her fellow diplomat/spy, Dol Maive, followed their lead. They were halfway down the path when Iona first picked up on Kaydel’s interest in separating from the group. It was a simple and direct act of espionage—distract a target with a distraction worthy of their attention before slipping away for counter intelligence or something equally tricky. Of course, Iona had no reason to believe that Kaydel thought that either herself or Dol were First Order agents. It would be safe to make the assumption that she knew, considering that that belief would prompt more caution, but the evidence that Kaydel knew the truth wasn’t there, which meant that this pawn off was simply for her to slip away and attend to other matters. More than likely, those matters would be secret Resistance business.
Kaydel cleared her throat and made her excuse. Iona and Dol played up their disappointment, of course, understanding that she was a busy young woman who had more to do, but making it clear that they yearned for more time with her. Dol told young Kaydel that it was nice to meet her, and that she appreciated the introduction with her parents, and Iona, in response to Kaydel’s promise to meet up again later, said, “I’m sure there are great wonders you can share with us on Dulathia. Go, do what needs doing; your parents will keep Dol and I plenty occupied, I’m sure of that.” The smile she gave to the senator and his wife was bright and played up, very much the sort of thing that politicians ate up on a daily basis.
Iona gave Kaydel a parting hug, a gentle sort of a hug that friends gave one another, and her chin rested on Kaydel’s shoulder for a moment as she embraced her old friend. “See you soon, sweet Kaydel,” she whispered in her ear and with that, Dol and Iona turned their attention back to the elder Connixes, who led them away from Kaydel and took them farther into the festival to see all there was to see. Iona played the part of the visiting dignitary well after that, focusing almost all of her energy into the facade. She admired Kaydel’s play, noting that the young woman she hadn’t seen since she was a girl had grown into quite a competent asset, but beyond that thought she lived in the moment, laughing at any joke Emiltal Connix made or cooing along with the casual niceties that Hanaelis Connix shared. It was Dol Maive’s job to suss out any First Order supporters, which she was more than capable of doing, and the Connixes would allow her plenty of access to Dulathia’s rich and powerful. It was Iona’s job to counteract whatever it was the Resistance was up to there, and she had done all that she could do for now. There was nothing more beyond that parting hug that she could do other than play along, for when she hugged Kaydel, she planted a tracker and bug under the waist ribbon of her friend’s dress.
Whatever the Resistance was up to on Dulathia… the First Order would soon know.
The rendezvous point was a quiet—currently unused—valet lot for expensive speeders belonging to well-to-do guests traveling to the festival from another part of Dulathia. The crowds were still growing, the day was early, so this lot was mostly just cargo crates and empty space off to the side of the main festivities. Tallie Lintra rounded one of the crates to meet up with Saile Minnau, who was sat on another one of those crates, waiting for Connix to meet up with them. Tallie was sure that Kaydel received her signal, so it shouldn’t be a long wait; hypothetically.
“It’s done,” Tallie said, “She should be here soon.”
Saile was looking something up on a datapad that sat on his lap when Tallie came by and he looked up when she spoke. “I think I figured out who our mystery dignitaries are,” he said, hopping down from the crate and handing the datapad over. “The shorter one, she’s a princess from Arkanis. It didn’t take long to find information about her on the holonet. She makes her rounds to these sorts of things, but the blonde one… she’s a Tarkin.”
“What am I supposed to do with that information?” Tallie’s eyes darted across the datapad as she read up on the information Saile found.
“A Tarkin? She’s a Tarkin… you don’t think that’s a big deal or whatever?” he sounded more scared than concerned.
“Iona Tarkin, Duchess of Eriadu,” Tallie shrugged and handed the datapad back to him. “So she’s related to one of history’s nastiest monsters, there are lots of privileged rich people out there that you can say the same about. Eriadu is a member of the Republic. We can’t just assume that this woman has ties to the First Order because of her blood ties to a war criminal who died before she was even born.”
Saile huffed a little bit and mumbled something to himself as he put his datapad back away in his pack. He was about to say something else when he spotted something behind Tallie that made him straighten up. Tallie turned around and saw that Connix was coming their way, meeting up for the rendezvous just as expected.
“Officer Connix,” Tallie said, her voice snapping into that militaristic, no-nonsense tone of hers. “You got my signal. Sorry to make you slip away, I just thought that maybe it would be good for us all to touch base before this festival gets too crowded.”
“Do you know you were talking to a Tarkin?” Saile’s voice did not sound as professional as Tallie’s, and it was easy to hear every nerve and tinge of anxiety dangling from every word. Tallie shot the soldier a disappointed look and shook her head before turning back to Connix for some sort of command or something to do.
“We’re not making any assumptions, ma’am,” Tallie corrected the record. “We just want to do more to help with the cause of finding the First Order recruitment spies than simply play your shadow. Do you think this Duchess with blood ties to the Tarkins has anything to do with the First Order?”