Jedi Temple - Ord Mantell
Players: Jessalyn, Krieg
The sun sets one more time on Ord Mantell, the hues turning from the brighter reds, yellows, and oranges to the deeper shades of purple and blue... the view no less stunning now than it was any moment before. As the night starts here at the Jedi Temple, Krieg stands out on the balcony once more, overlooking the whirl of activity and the military base not far on the horizon. He's still in his emerald green shirt and cape, the black trousers contrasting the hues of green. As he leans up on the edge with his hands clasped before him, he reaches out with his right hand to take up the cup of tea sitting on the ledge for a small sip. He seems lost in thought, his gaze somewhere far off, but he was at peace. Perhaps it was something about how it reminded him of home...
The sound of footsteps echoes off the walls as a Jedi, a woman, dressed in green tunic and cloak, climbs up the stone steps to find the imposing figure of Krieg standing there admiring the view. She hesitates when she reaches the top, clasping her hands behind her as she extends her senses to judge the aura of the man whose presence she's about to invade. Hopefully he's in the mood for company, she tells herself wryly. Jessalyn clears her throat and takes a few steps in his direction. "Welcome. If you haven't already been welcomed properly, that is," she says in a warm and friendly voice. She's perhaps a bit taller than average, with dark red hair that contrasts sharply with her pale features and wistfully sad eyes. "I'm Jessalyn Valios."
Hearing the sound of footsteps approaching, Krieg turns to see the new visitor to his private area here on the balcony. Not many knew he was here, though the ones that did usually had something important to discuss with the Marshal. Hearing her clear her throat Krieg gives a lopsided grin, knowing she was sizing him up. Straightening, he sets his cup of tea on the ledge and turns to her fully, giving her a slight bow out of respect. "Thank you for your welcome, Miss Valios." His own tone was much different than the bland neutrality he normally had, though there was still authority behind the words he spoke. It didn't take long, however, for him to catch the glimmer of her hair in the fading light... Snapping his attention back to her he greets in return, "I am Ian Inrokana, though you probably know me better as Krieg Inrokana. It is a pleasure to meet you."
"Please, call me Jessalyn," the woman says, returning the bow with one of her own. "The pleasure's mine." Her eyes and her other senses miss very little about him. This is someone who could be extremely valuable... and she is uncertain of how far to extend her trust. There are few in the universe who receive her trust now as it is. She walks to the edge of the balcony and leans against the ledge herself, turning her gaze from Krieg to the sunset. "I was wondering if you had talked to Master Skywalker yet," she asks as nonchalantly as possible. It's likely she already knows the answer to the question, one way or the other.
Turning now as Jessalyn moves to the balcony as well, Krieg moves back to his cup of tea, leaning forward on the balcony to rest on his arms once more. Inhaling the aroma of the tea before taking another drink, Krieg listens to what she has to say. He felt oddly at peace, and it almost scared him how much he wanted to share everything he knew of the Empire and how to bring it down, though that sort of information would not only get himself killed but probably this entire world as well. The time was not right, though he knew that crutial moment was yet on the horizon, and not long at that. After a few peaceful moments, the sunset filling in the time in between, Krieg replies calmly and a bit quieter. "As you wish, Jessalyn. And no, I have not spoken with Master Skywalker, though I am not sure he would want to speak to such a man as me. Senator Al'Dira was a pleasant surprise to speak with, though what brings you here to talk?"
Drawing in a deep breath of air tinged with salt from the nearby sea, Jessalyn lets the cool night air calm her thoughts as she searches for the answer to Krieg's question. "You have no reason to avoid him," the Jedi says quite plainly, interlocking her fingers and giving him a sidelong glance. "I'm hoping that you and he have the same interests at heart, after all." She studies him thoughtfully as the breeze picks up, the change in season hinted at in the chill that suddenly makes her skin shiver. "And perhaps you and I, as well. Why -are- you here, Mister Inrokana?"
Hearing her first comment about avoiding Skywalker, Krieg rather chuckles. There may be a part of him that told him to stay away as he was the exact opposite of Krieg in terms of affiliation as of late, though his philosophy might be far more in line. Perhaps it was out of respect for the other man's legendary background, but moreover it was more that he was a guest here, and he did not wish to overextend. Turning his head to look at her after looking down for a moment he replies with a slight smile, "I am here as a guest... I'm afraid I took on the New Sith Empire too soon, as I was facing off with over 72 enemy fighters by myself. My comrades were able to get away, and I do think I was able to buy some time for the NR ships in the area to flee as well, though I was forced to make a jump to hyperspace in the blind. I am only fortunate to be here under the good grace of Drayson Honos and the man he picked up." Taking a deep breath at the events and interests at heart he adds after a long moment, "Well, initially I am here under the good graces of those I mentioned. However, I have felt for some time that I could do more good inside the Empire to bring about a change for the better rather than leaving it. To a degree, I have been able to help many, to include a woman you might know as Shael, another as a Miss Ona Rei Delamont. Though there is an opporunity for more here... the good senator was instrumental in helping me establish a relationship I hope will last. One that will keep the door to peace and order after all others have closed."
The fading colors of the sunset shine off the coppery strands of Jessalyn's hair as she tilts her head back to look up at him, giving her full attention to Krieg as he speaks. She folds her arms loosely across her chest, rubbing her arms and then tugging her cloak in closer. Her eyes widen at the mention of those two names, a small gasp leaving her throat, and she studies him with increased scrutiny. "I see," she murmurs after a long pause. "I think you might have a great deal of opportunity here to help," she adds, suddenly invested, even concerned. "So what now? Are you just going to go back to the Empire? That seems like a death wish."Â
As he finishes, Krieg takes a long breath again. It's probably overly appearant that he's spent a lot of time thinking on this topic, and has gone to great lengths to cover up his activities from the prying eyes of the Empire. Even now, he'd have to throw a spin on even this when he got back. Though as he watches her reaction, it kicks in that her eyes definately did widen at the mention of the female names, something he did not expect. It could only mean that she knew the woman, either directly or indirectly... Through the conviction of his words Krieg can't feel the cold, but notices now the other woman feeling the chill of the night. Standing upright and collecting his cup, he waves back toward the inside and adds, "Please, let us walk inside where it is warmer..." Indeed, Krieg was in rare form as he smiles at her openly now, almost like a child in a candy store. His crystal blue eyes sparkle when he starts to tell her what lies in store for him next. "Yes, I am going back to the Empire. Some have called me a tactical genius, however I tend to refer to myself as a man of opportunity. You see, when I return I am to be assuming command of a brand new Sovereign star dreadnaught, one that I wish to bring to bear for good this time around. The Empire is failing, and this is our response to the NSO threat. Though the time is about right that the NSO and the Empire would have me be pitted against the other. I intend not to be pitted in either direction..." Chuckling, Krieg lets his words soak in as he begins to make his way inside.
Blinking in surprise at the scope of his plan, Jessalyn doesn't hesitate to follow when he suggests they move inside. Though a veritable storm of thoughts is brewing beneath the surface, she keeps her composure serene enough, and slowly sorts through each piece of information he has given her. She remembers quite clearly the image of Krieg in the mind of the pilot she'd been asked to heal, the woman who's memories of torture and mutilation had nearly driven her mad. But Krieg is good to his word -- she saw his kindness, as well, the only ray of hope that kept the girl alive and sane while in the Empire's hands. But something else he said takes precedence all at once over these thoughts, and Jessalyn's brows furrow together as she steps inside the building and down the dimly lit corridor. "So you refuse to be a pawn and you're going to turn the tables on them both," she chuckles. "But... forgive me, what did you mean before when you said you made a blind hyperspace jump? That's impossible, isn't it? At least, for you to be standing here talking to me now."
Still raptured on the thoughts of what was going to happen in the near future, Krieg continues to beam... it wasn't often he could come up with such an impressive plan to not only acquire power and strength for the cause of good in the galaxy apart from the NR, but to topple several dictatorships in the process. Turning down a corridor he keeps good to a calm stride as he mentally slows himself down to clearly articulate his plans. "I see the moment has come for me to make my move in the intergalactic scheme of things. You probably should know you are one of very few that is aware I am seeking to form my own goverment and state within a vast sector of Imperial worlds. I am looking to bring back the senate, and turn COMPNOR from a force of fear and dread into a police force. The ISB would become a highly effective intelligence agency... though those are plans for the future and there is much that needs to be done." Pausing from all his plans he furls a brow as he thinks. "The hyperspace jump... yes, there are a few aspects that still remain a mystery to me. I had no other option; I cleared a path with every last missile I had and jumped... I had to override the computer, but I know the path I set out upon was the correct one. I can't explain it... and I shouldn't be alive, nor here. It's almost as if there were some unseen fate of the galaxy driving me to be here from it all..." He chuckles, continuing to walk and reflect upon the event... not really leading them anywhere in particular.
They pass by an open doorway, and Jessalyn gestures inside, slipping her cloak from her shoulders and folding over her arms as she steps within. She can't help but be bemused by the look on the man's face, which seems so incongruous with his station. How many Imperial officers has she ever seen giddy with delight? Not many. But the sheer ambitiousness of his plan is almost... shocking. Jessalyn doesn't know whether to be cheering for him or looking for the holes in his strategy that might bring them all to ruin. "I'm surprised you trust me enough to tell me," the Jedi notes with an arch of a red-gold brow. She finds and takes a seat that's no more than a round cushion set before the tall windows that look out at the twilit sea. "Do you believe in an unseen fate, Krieg?" she asks quietly, folding her hands together, her gaze fixed outside rather than on the tall blonde man.
As they enter the room, Krieg leaves his cape in place, but stands by as he watches Jessalyn remove her outergarments. The warmth and light indoors was so inviting and at home... ahh, it was good to be here, he thinks to himself. With the warmth washing over him, he looks to Jessalyn as she speaks again, his expression now becoming much more serious as his plan was rather ambitious, though he had the utmost in confidence it would work. "Well Jessaly, I figure that in a building as guarded as this one, being it is the Jedi Temple, I think I can trust this information with the keepers of peace and order for thousands of years. Being in the position that I am, I cannot say that I will be alive long enough to find out if I am wrong; I have no other course of action but to trust someone. It is time for something radical to be done, and I think the sheer audacity of it all will let it succeed." As she takes a seat, Krieg moves over to a small seat as well to have a seat after re-filling his cup with more tea. Listening again, he responds after looking at the floor for a few moments to think. Looking back at her he contemplates, "An unseen fate? Well..." Out of habit he takes a sip of tea and puts the cup back in his lap. "To be honest, I cannot say one way or another if there truly is one. I have heard of things the Sith and the Jedi have said about such things, though I do not trust anything the Sith ever say, even when I have the displeasant orders to work with them. Let me say that if you were to tell me one existed, I would believe you."
Considering his blithe words about expecting death at any time, Krieg's good mood and contentment seem all the more perplexing. Jessalyn can't help but smile to herself, shaking her head slowly as he gives his reasons for trusting her. "So that's what the Empire told you about the Jedi?" she asks wryly, that smile turning to more of a bemused smirk. "Well, I have to admit, I'm a fan of sheer audacity. I hope you succeed." When he takes a seat, she turns to face him, her hands clasped on her knees as soft and curious green eyes look upon his face. "I won't tell you what I believe about fate," she says, her expression serious, "mostly because that would take too long. But I will tell you that I know of only one way of surviving a blind hyperspace jump, and it has nothing to do with luck. Do you understand what I'm saying to you?" Her brows lift meaningfully, hoping he will come to the same conclusion that she already has.
Sitting upright, but enjoying the cushioned seat more than he has any other seat (something just seemed so right about this place!), Krieg looks to Jessalyn as he takes another sip of the tea as he contemplates all of her words. Placing both hands around the cup in his lap he looks to her, curiosity filling his face as he searches for answers he suspects he will be given. There's a part of him that feels like he's in trouble when she asks him if he understands what she's saying, and it takes a moment to shrug off the in-grown training. Thinking a bit harder as he tilts his head slightly and his brow furls. It takes him a bit, but eventually he comes back and says to her, "Wait a second, you're telling me that what I thought was sheer luck isn't luck at all..." Realization is setting in at the connection she was implying, and it was a bit shocking to him. Staring at her with an eyebrow raised he asks, "Are you telling me there might be a connection with what happened in that jump and who the Jedi... are? Is that even possible?"
This isn't the first time that Jessalyn has had such a conversation with another person, but that doesn't diminish her own little sense of joy at watching the expression change on Krieg's face as he begins to consider the possibilities. It's ironic that she resisted her own moment of revelation; now Jessalyn could think of no other way she'd have rather spent her life, even considering the most recent events that have left her questioning almost everything else. "It has to do with what's inside of you," she answers simply, shrugging her shoulders. "It's likely that you have a connection to the Force." She doesn't say anything else; no recruitment lines or philosophizing over the Dark Side and the Light, just a simple statement of fact.
Almost forgetting he has the tea in his lap, Krieg leans back with his right hand moving up to his chin, lost in thought. There were so many possibilities... instintively his left hand holds the cup as he replies to her calmly, sorting things out. "A connection to the force... a connection with fate..." Shaking his head Krieg isn't sure what to think about the latest, but it did explain quite a few things in his life and how he was more successful than others in a great situations, escpecially when his life was on the line. Finally he looks back to her as if something was tearing inside of him, or perhaps finally being able to be himself outside of the strict military regime. "Tell me, who are the Jedi? I have heard many things, been told many lies. You say I have some connection to the force, a connection to this fate. Logic tells me you are right, and it tells me there is credible proof to it all. Though it doesn't answer anything beyond that."
Surprised at the frankness of his question, Jessalyn blinks, then smiles at Krieg. She grows pensive, uncertain how to concisely answer such a question as this. She licks her lips and adjusts the cloak draped across her lap. "I don't know if I can do the answer justice," she says ruefully, glancing over into Krieg's blue eyes. "The Jedi Order has existed for as long as the Old Republic... their purpose was to protect and defend the government and democracy, especially from the threat of the Sith and the Dark Side. When they were destroyed, Palpatine was able to tip the balance of the Force in favor of the Dark Side and hold the whole galaxy in thrall. That's why it's so important for us to keep fighting, even when we are met with defeat over and over. We can't let that balance be tipped again, but every day I sense the Dark Side more and more."
Nodding, Krieg holds on to every word Jessalyn says. However, when she speaks about who the Jedi were and still continue to be, it is more of a lesson that he knew well from his study of the galaxy and his pursuit of tactical excellence. Looking at her in the eye he takes his right hand and puts it back into his lap and leans forward, his eyes giving way to the excitement and openess to the knowledge of something more coming. When he speaks there is a measure of awe in his words, "Yes, the Jedi are the ones that brought about peace and order for thousands of years. It wasn't until people relied on them so much that the military went away, a mistake that paved the path for the Sith as you call them to take over. Hence where we are now. Though, I am still wondering what it is that makes the Jedi the Jedi. You tell me there is a connection to fate and it comes from... within a person? Forgive me if I ask too much and seek answers I should not know, but my line of work hinges on the knowledge of so many things... and the revelations of what you're implying here fully could change everything."
"The Jedi and the Old Republic made a lot of mistakes," Jessalyn observes, pursing her lips. "I'm not going to try to defend the history of the Jedi Order. That isn't what any of us are about now, anyway. In fact, there are a lot of differences between the New and the Old, ones that we felt would help correct some of the problems and abuses of the past." She takes a breath, a little nervous as he hangs on her word. She never considered herself the Jedi Historian or even a real expert on Jedi philosophy. "It's not fate. It's the Force. It's the energy field created by life itself. It's inside you, yes, but it's also everywhere else. It binds the galaxy together. It connects me and you, right now. It's what gives me the ability to do things that others can't because I can control it. But so can a Sith, right? So what's different?" She can't help but smile and give a slight shrug of her shoulders. "The simple answer is that the Dark Side is about anger, aggression and fear. And the Light Side, the true nature, of the Force is aligned with benevolence and healing, justice and forgiveness. My commitment to that, and to the Jedi Order itself and to the cause of the Republic -- and to resisting the Dark Side... that's what makes me a Jedi."
Listening intently, Krieg thinks deeply on what she is saying, memorizing every last word she says to ponder upon later. Sitting back now at having his main question answered, the implication fully there now. Finishing his tea he sits down, his brows still furled in thought and concentration as he sorts through all the thoughts and connections that become appearant. Setting the glass down on a nearby table he looks to Jessalyn now, his eyes starting to light up as he understands the connections more fully. Starting softly he says, "This is something I have not heard from anyone about the Force. There has always been talk about it, but to... to feel this way in what happened. Maybe I'm going on a limb as to what happened, and maybe you're right that I have this connection. I don't understand it all, but everything fits into place. The Sith do not talk about the Force in such terms, their twisted views pervert anything they do. However, this makes more sense..." There were still many things to be sorted out, but now he had at least a partial answer. After a moment longer he mutters quietly, "Peace through strength."
"You'll have a choice to make," Jessalyn adds, her voice growing firm, the smile gone. "As you discover your connection to the Force, others will notice it. They'll notice you. The Sith will try to sway you and seduce you into giving into your anger, sow seeds of mistrust, tempt you with supposedly unlimited power. Becoming a Jedi is very disciplined because of this. We learn how to resist those temptations so we don't turn into our very own enemies." It's a suggestion, however slight and hopefully subtle, that Krieg consider the Jedi as one of his options as he comes to terms with what she has just told him. "I think you understand it better than you think you do," she adds softly, her lovely smile returning.
Taking a deep breath at he soaks all of this in, Krieg looks to Jessalyn; his conviction was rising as to what he was about to do, and who he truly was. As she grows serious in her discussion of what the force did and the sides that were drawn, Krieg knew all too well the lies of the Sith. Straightening his own back and sitting up, the resolve floods back into his face at first, still serious. "Jessalyn, there is more truth to your words than I care to admit; the sith are powerful, they lie and manipulate to get what they want. I want to be honest and forthright with you, I have worked under the Sith named Darth Venger. I have also worked with Darth Malign. I would say served with, but neither deserve such honor. I have seen what they have done to others, and I play my own fine line avoiding their wrath while trying to achieve good." There's a hard pause as he steels his full resolve, "I have looked into myself recently, and the move upon the Empire to break free has been a long time coming, but moreover it is who I am. I no longer can work under the control of the Sith in any regard. I must make my stand." Stretching a bit he sits back, a lopsided grin forming. "I am sure there is much to be learned, much to discuss, and many to meet. Though I cannot stay here too long without being able to go back to enact this change, I would like to continue this further."
Watching as the man seems to come to some sort of decision, Jessalyn tilts her head thoughtfully. "I know of your past allegiances," she says, deciding to be honest with him. "And I believe you about trying to do good from within the Empire, because I healed the mental wounds of that pilot who was tortured by Venger, and I saw you there. So you can know that the trust is here is mutual and I have nothing but respect for you and your decision. However..." She hesitates, straightening her shoulders and draping her hands across her lap in a comforting gesture. "If you stand up to the Sith once and for all with the strength and power of a Jedi, your chances of defeating them -- and resisting them -- will be much greater."
With probably one of the only lighthearted laughs in many, many years, Krieg actually lightens up. Giving a sort of respectful bow he replies, "From everything I am, I thank you for the support. There are few times in my life I have received such a grand gesture." Watching her as a sort of teacher all of a sudden Krieg pauses to agree with her final statement. "From what I know so far in history, and what I know from what I have seen over the years, I do feel you are correct. I am not sure of everything, though I am starting to realize my path is to be the one to stand in the gap against the sith that have tormented so many. I only wish at times I could help the ones they tortured more than I have..." There's another pause, and no doubt something he'd have to go into more depth with a teacher about, but for now he takes a deep breath, relaxing. "Thank you for telling me all this."
The laughter makes Jessalyn smile, and she stands up slowly, smoothing the cloak over her arm once more. Her usually vivid coloring is muted, pale eyes almost colorless in the dim light. "You are welcome. Just remember that the Force is with you." Maybe that would be enough. She can only hope that it is. As he pauses, she gives him a curious look, but she can only wonder what be on his mind. "Well, it's dinnertime for my family, I don't want to be late or my five-year-old will chide me for being tardy." A little chuckle bubbles up from her throat, and a lightness returns to her eyes. "I hope we meet again soon," she adds, turning to go.