Nissea [Warrior]: Sorry I’m late, I was doing things.
Malavai, blushing: Apparently, I’m ‘things’.
Nissea [Warrior]: Sorry I’m late, I was doing things.
Malavai, blushing: Apparently, I’m ‘things’.
[Guess I’m in some sort of writing zone? This came out of absolutely nowhere and features a whole lot of Sithy business that I don’t normally go anywhere near and a character that’s still waiting to be properly defined and backstory for the worst boy rather than the best girl, hahaha. Sometimes when the plot bunnies strike you’ve just gotta run with it, and apparently I just did for nearly 2k words.]
It was the last thing the Sith expected to encounter scurrying about the edges of the Dark Temple, a furious little presence of cold rage and purpose completely untainted by the madness that otherwise permeated the area. Even more surprising to discover was that the being was not only a perfectly ordinary human, but young and Force-blind to boot.
Immediately curious, he shifted the focus of his hunt to the boy instead, a wave of his hand directing his bogwing to tighten her wings and wheel higher into the soft drizzle of the sky, a perfectly unassuming silhouette against the Temple’s stone peaks. Dropping back a comfortable distance, the Sith allowed the Force to do all his work for him, observing the boy’s passage under arches and over jutting walls, stealthy as a hunting cat. He was… very plainly here for a reason, driven by something that ran deep and swirled passionately at his core. Intensely focused, but with a sort of callous disregard for his own self; the boy didn’t know if he would come away from this excursion alive, and didn’t quite seem to care.
He carried things, things that no regular human boy should be carrying, a scroll and a blade that glittered so brightly through the Force with ancient energy and carefully honed power that the Sith could read the engravings on the knife and almost make out the strokes of ink on the carefully rolled parchment. The boy treated them with care; unrolling the map only for brief consultations and guarding it against the rain with his body. He picked his way around a curved section of wall, textured with glyphs carved in glossy obsidian, ran his fingers along the scored stone until he found what he was after.
Then he uttered words that no regular human boy should know, and the stone shifted.
The Sith’s curiosity deepend exponentially.
He raised his hand and seized the stone, forcing the doorway to remain open even after the boy had slipped inside. He sensed the way the boy waited, first impatient, clearly expecting it to close, then no longer caring as he pressed on inside. The Sith followed, summoning his pet down to ground level to perch by the carved wall, swiftly weaving threads of the Force between the bogwing and the doorway and forming an easy anchor that he could access to let himself out again from the inside.
If it proved necessary. You never really could tell, with places like this.
The boy moved on, down a winding passageway with only a small handful of forks, pausing only once to consult his map, and being very sparing with his use of a small electronic torch to light his way. All the while, anger flowed from him, cold white anger stemming from a whorl of grief that filled the whole of him, making plain the shape of his body through the Force. He couldn’t have been more than fifteen years, lean and fit but still gangly with youth, and yet there was so much tension in his shoulders, in the clench of his jaw. If the boy knew anything of what slithered along the walls or crawled over his head, he gave no indication that he was bothered; he was either not remotely squeamish, or utterly oblivious.
The Sith was certainly not bothered, as he felt something with far too many legs crawl across his chest and carry on its way as he took a moment to lean against the wall, waiting for the boy to fuss his way over a selection of doorways.
The Sith didn’t bother to follow him into the chamber that eventually yawned in front of him; his vision through the Force let him know all he needed about the ancient text inscribed across the walls, the smooth stone chalice that sat on an ornate pedestal in front of the towering altar that took up most of the room, crowned with a shimmering obelisk. He also knew, plain as day, that the boy now trembled with something new. Nerves. Anticipation. And was that… a delicious little glimmer of hope?
He had wondered, at one point, if this were some new Intelligence recruit, set on some impossible training task. But that thought was cast aside as he realised this boy’s mission was intensely personal, and terribly private.
He judged that the boy must be a terribly resourceful individual, to have gained possession of the artifacts he held. Particularly the knife, which he now brandished, brimming with tension, over his outstretched left hand.
The Sith tipped his head thoughtfully, listening as the boy spoke, his lips and tongue rapidly forming unfamiliar words, a little clunky with his lack of true grasp of the language, but still… impressive. Very impressive, for such a superficially ordinary little being.
The Sith decided he’d seen enough, and pulled himself to his feet, stepping forward while clearing his throat before the blade managed to nick the boy’s skin.
The boy startled with a shout, and the ancient blade clattered to the ground. Yet his shock was rapidly replaced with blind fury, and after a split second of sizing up the Sith he launched, recklessly, ferociously, fists raised.
The Sith let him come almost within arm’s reach before twitching his fingers and catching up the boy around the throat, lifting him into the air without actually laying a hand on him.
“Who are you?” The boy shouted through his struggles, deliciously furious. “You’re not meant to be here, what are you doing here?”
The Sith couldn’t help but laugh. “I think of the two of us, it’s the one with his legs dangling in the air that has less claim to any right to be here. Who are you, skulking about a cursed temple with stolen items? I have to assume you have some idea of what you were about to do, but truly, do you have any idea what you were about to do?”
The indignation that soared through the boy was delightful.
“Leave me alone! I don’t care what you think, just leave me alone. I know what I’m doing.”
The Sith sifted gently through the Force and tutted softly. “You don’t care, do you? You’re not afraid of me. You’re not afraid of losing your own life here, are you?”
The boy glowered, and somehow came across decades older than he aught. But his silence stretched long, simmering with grief.
The Sith observed him thoughtfully. “You won’t succeed. Whoever it is you’re trying to bring back…”
The boy shouted again, something that was almost a wild animal snarl, and thrashed savagely in the constricting grip of the Force. He twisted and bucked, utterly heedless of the pressure around his throat, he kicked out and so very, very nearly clipped the Sith across the chin.
“A more volatile being than I might choose to kill you know, just for that. Or perhaps for your trespass, or your blatant theft.”
“So do it then,” the boy spat back with an acid tone, flushed with absolute disregard for his precarious situation, and an impressive wall guarding his thoughts, for one unable to manipulate the Force.
But it did little to protect against someone as skilled as the Sith. Pressing through that barrier was as easy as drawing breath, and the image that the boy held in his mind was breathtaking in its contrast to the ferocity and willfulness he projected outward. “She’s young, isn’t she? Younger than you. Or is that… oh, I see. That’s as old as she ever reached, isn’t it?”
The boy shrieked a wordless rage, jolting so savagely against the Sith’s grasp that he almost considered letting go just to see how far the boy would go. It seemed a pity, almost, that such a vibrant being should have to suffer a complete inability to perceive the lifeblood of the universe. That a boy filled with such passion and fury should be blind to his true shape in the world.
He waited until the tantrum died down before speaking again. He was in no hurry.
“Your little ritual would have attracted the attention of spirits quite happy to claim you and use you, with no intention of delivering what you seek.”
“So why don’t you help me instead? Why don’t you do something decent with your stupid magic, what the kriff is even the point of being able to do what you people can do if you don’t-” his words were cut short with a sharp choking sound and a gasp for air.
The Sith saw little value in even entertaining the boy’s sad little fantasy. But what he did enjoy was the boy’s spirit. His fury and his cunning, his resourcefulness and courage. What a useful life, this boy could have. What a career.
He summoned the blade to his free hand, pocketing it before gently prying the scroll from the boy’s belt. “You will leave this temple, and you will turn your thoughts away from this absurd ritual. You want nothing to do with the stuffy old dead beings that would rather turn your mind than deliver a glimpse of your lost sister.” He spoke the words with a sliver of influential pressure, but the boy’s manner remained fierce; no fog came to his mind to absorb the suggestion. It was unsurprising, really, that the boy was far too strong willed for a simple mind trick; so be it. The words would be offered as plain advice. “And one day, you’ll be grateful that I spared your life, and gave you the opportunity to find a way to seek out true compensation for those who brought her to harm. There is a great deal of solace to be found in artful vengeance. Death comes to us all, boy, there’s no need to invite it early.”
The boy seemed to be taking in what he said, and had calmed his struggles somewhat. But the moment the Sith let his feet touch the ground again, he launched once more, utterly foolish but still, in his own way, admirable.
The Sith flicked his hand and sent the boy crashing against the far wall of the chamber. “You possess the sort of tenacity and ruthlessness that could get you far in the Empire. I’m curious to see where this will take you in life.”
And what you might be able to deliver when I decide to cash in on the debt you now owe me.
He smiled to himself as he turned and left the boy to find his own way out. If he was truly resourceful, he’d find a way, and if not… then perhaps the loss would not be so great after all.
Some decades later, Keeper took in the caller ID on his buzzing comm, and permitted himself a long sigh before responding.
“Intelligence headquarters, how are we able to serve?”
The voice on the other end was young, fresh, and a little bit nervous. An assistant of some sort, then, or an apprentice? “My Lord requests the presence of your Watcher Five at his earliest convenience, sir.”
“Watcher Five is currently on a rather well deserved leave of absence. I can arrange a meeting for him on his return, unless the matter is of some urgency? Might I request the nature of the appointment?”
A pause. “My Lord wishes to collect on a debt owed to him.”
Keeper drew his lips tight. He had a bad feeling about this. “I will be sure to inform the Watcher. If there is anything else we may be able to do…?”
“That is all. My Lord looks forward to the Watcher’s return.”
Keeper stared at his comm for a short while after the call ended, feeling an uncomfortable coldness in his guts. And then he began to dial out, suspecting that this might just be a matter that Five would appreciate some time to prepare for.
Continuing with the social structure of the Empire as I'm writing it in Dance (also, I apologize in advance, I didn’t have time to proofread this at all):
Something that the writers of SWtOR ignore (and drives me crazy) is the difference between enlisted ranks and commissioned ranks in the military. To be honest, this sort of deliberate error or ignorance about the military is one of the reasons I found the Trooper story harder to play, even though I really like the companions and the romances with Jorgan and Dorne and a lot of the people you meet on the way.
To quote an old post of mine:
In the military, there are enlisted ranks, warrant officers, and commissioned officers. The most common are enlisted ranks: soldiers (sailors/airmen,) specialists, and non-commissioned officers. Junior NCOs may command small units under a senior NCO or commissioned officer who usually has several such small units under their command. Senior NCOs are often administrators and supervisors, so to speak, and aren’t as likely to be in the field on the front lines.
A commissioned officer is, simply, commissioned into their rank. Not that long ago, you literally bought a commission. In the US, commissioned officers are appointed by the president and subject to approval by the Senate. A commissioned officer almost always has a college equivalent degree – either through a civilian university (then specialized military training to prepare them) or from one of the official military academies which focuses them specifically on training as an officer plus some specialization such as engineering. An enlisted person can have a degree.
NCOs are higher level enlisted troops. They are not officer “light” or normally a stepping stone to officers ranks, though someone *can* gain a commission in unusual circumstances (usually through a battlefield commission.) At which point the person would need additional training because the training for the enlisted ranks is not the same as for officers.
That’s especially the case with an enormous, high tech military. A commissioned officer would be expected to have a very intensive knowledge of one field, like the officers from Logistics that Quinn had drinks with. They have a very high level of specialized education, especially math, that allows some of them to project what different large units (fleets or armies) will need in the way of supplies months and years in advance. Other officers in Logistics would take that information and information from the civilian logistics sphere (under Vowrawn) and send orders so the producers of supplies are prepared for the demand. Someone has to take that information and make certain there will be transport for those supplies to the correct place. Etc., etc.
Supply chains on the scale of the Imperial Navy and Imperial Army are extremely huge and vulnerable to tiny omissions or errors. Someone dropped the ball on issuing orders in advance for cargo ships to be available to move supplies for the 3rd Fleet in the second quarter of next year? Now someone has to try to fix things, figure out which cargo ships in the right area can be reassigned to move those supplies and then try to find some way to move their original cargoes. The 3rd Fleet may temporarily run short on critical supplies and someone else is going to go without supplies they expected to receive. It’s the kind of small error that can snowball into food riots on low priority planets (which btw, would make for an interesting espionage story, but no one ever thinks that way.)
This isn’t something your average enlisted troop can begin to do. At the lowest ranks - privates or corporals, someone might be trained to handle supplies within a single squad (the smallest army unit). This is effectively an inventory job. To an extent, someone could hand them a checklist of what the unit needs on hand and they order it as supplies of an item drop past a certain point. They’d be monitored by a more experience NCO or junior officer who’d tell them to order extra of something if they know the unit’s going into combat, for instance.
A more senior NCO might have more training in this and might be assigned to handle logistics for a larger unit or they could be the person receiving the supply orders for several units, checking them and sending them on, etc.
None of this involves complex mathematics and projections and supply flows, etc. So a senior NCO who had been doing this wouldn’t ordinarily be trained to move into one of those jobs that Quinn’s friends in logistics do. And it isn’t usually the main part of their job. An individual NCO might study on their own to learn those things, but it isn’t a requirement and most don’t (I headcanon that the Imperial educational system makes a lot of courses of study available to citizens remotely by computer and people can take qualifying tests---theoretical and practical. But that takes ambition, and those who had that sort of ambition usually could have gotten admission to one of the minor officers’ academies.) And making the jump to officer would still require some additional training.
There is a standard basic curriculum for citizens in the Empire that includes a lot of the basic military training, and then those not going to an officer’s academy spend a couple of weeks in a basic military course that tests whether they’re competent, then they go to specialized training which could be two weeks to six months, depending on the specialty and the service they’re going into.
An officer spends at least three years (usually four) at an academy studying all of those things they need to know in command ranks - general courses on tactics and strategy and technology and combat and more specialized courses in logistics or combat engineering or scanner systems, etc.
And that’s a lot of the difference between enlisted ranks and officers ranks - education and specialized knowledge and training, especially in leadership.
I’m not going into warrant officers here because I haven’t seen much evidence for them in the SWtOR universe, and they exist in an odd space in-between enlisted and officers.
Tomorrow, more on the Imperial military (I hope, lol.)
(Day 60 here) (Day 62 here)
Darth Marr: "I have expanded many resources to find you. Now we talk."
Dude you were literally in the same room with my agent when she was handling all the stuff with Malgus on Ilum!!!! You could have simply walked over instead of hacking into my ship's computer?!?!
It’s when I was making graphs about my AO3 statistics that I realized that my writing process, research, and excess headcanon’ing (and writing long-ass analyses about it) is probably similar to the process that would be undertaken by Elara Dorne and Lana Beniko jointly writing fan fiction about a smuggler in their downtime.
I consulted the spouse -- agreement with a laugh
here i was thinking that i would have a smooth first run of false emperor with my agent since she can stealth past all the mobs, when the god droid suddenly disappears and the game declares i can't summon it back bc it's for 'story mode flashpoints only'....which i AM in
Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye is 100% Quinn and Sorak's theme song
He’s too precious, I can’t with this nerd.
I can't believe that on top of doing a complete disservice to the planet Dantooine, BW also decided to make almost all of the Pirate Incursion rewards 'Bind on Pickup'
sketch vs (almost) final?
Pray for me everyone - I want to finish drawing this comic because I think this one I’d be proud of
I know we’ve all joked about Lord Zash’s sudden face change when she becomes a Darth. (And I fully believe it was unintentional, maybe some weird programing thing with the devs.)
But what if it’s because she reapplied her Force-glamour or whatever it is that makes her look young, and since she did it in a hurry her face just didn’t come out quite right. It’s close enough, and she doesn’t look bad, so she just goes with it. And the SI is either too wary of her, or too distracted with everything else, to question it.
Nadrun is Zajeer’s brother now, but at one point he was more.
He and Zajeer have actually slept together, but they ended up calling it off when they realized their personalities clashed too much. Nadrun has a bit of a ruthless streak and Zajeer doesn’t like that, and they fought over it a lot. They ended up deciding that their relationship was better off as brothers than lovers.
Even though they are no longer involved, Nadrun still has a deep bond of love and respect with the nautolan. He is fiercely protective, and anyone who hurts Zajeer ends up dead, A blaster bolt between the eyes. The only exception to this rule was Theron Shan. Zajeer fired a warning shot at him.
When Theron betrayed him, Zajeer was forgiving because he understood Theron’s reasoning. He begged Nadrun not to kill the man he loved. Nadrun wasn’t too happy about that, but he backed down. The last thing he ever wants to do is be the reason for Zajeer’s tears. He loves him.
had kinda a bad day, so did a sketchie Leo to make it better 💚💜
--Do not copy, edit, or repost my works. Reblogs are appreciated!--
Quit posturing, Nadrun. Akaavi already loves you. XD
bold what applies - italicize sometimes - strike out never. tag some friends to play along! & repost don’t reblog!
Original post can be found here!
SUN (2.5) • egotistical • melted wax wings and fingers • stretching sunburnt skin • the most generous soul • blood in the fruit • halos • anger on fire • high vitality • thunderous laughter • is pride really a sin? • halogenic aura
MERCURY (5.5) • expansion of the mind • silver-tongued • an everlasting wanderer • polyglot • high dexterity • handwritten letters • innately critical • en vogue • eyes in the trees • hidden libraries • there’s always room for improvement
VENUS (4.5) • in love with strangers • iridescent waters • love potions for your mirror • selfless devotion • shattering crystal • seafoam upon sand • the golden ratio • drowning in your own passion • material value & high principles • luring • plush lips
EARTH (4.5) • fresh springs • tree hugger • we can start again tomorrow • a blazing rainforest • respects survival of the fittest • nature’s adversity • lazy bones • constantly evolving • flowers sprouting from wounds • a granite altar • fossilized remains
MOON (3) • illusory • silver shimmer off the ocean • secrets and gossip • cycles of reincarnation • a crybaby • physically ethereal • shared glances with a stranger • cat eyes (...literally???) • mistrusting their intuition • fear is a prison • ornate magic wands
MARS (2.5) • healthy competition • attraction and repulsion • magma and rubies • a blade being forged • wrath wrath wrath • malefic • intense eye contact • cannon fodder & fireworks • blood floods • copper taste on your tongue
JUPITER (5) • red robes and a suit of armor • beacon of stability • leader by birth • thunderbolts and lightning • guilty but can’t stop • secret rich kid • golden touch golden tears • innate optimist • failure isn’t an option • constantly reaching for more • unfinished symphonies
SATURN (2.5) • traditional • overbearing energy • a sculptor of reality • this existence is a karmic one • has a heart it’s just.. way down deep • law, order & justice • avoid all necessary risk • the sound of shackles clanging • sisyphus’ struggle • grappling with the reality of time • self-governing
URANUS (3) • psychedelic funk music • overflowing cups • a rebellion with skin • looking good in photo id • oblivious but caring • middle fingers in the air • double rainbows • icy diamond exterior • holographic • afraid of their own mediocrity • pearlescent smoke
NEPTUNE (2) • an elegy for the lost • dissolving boundaries • white horses • the burden of mystical conditions • deceptive • escapism is their reality • a polarizing entity • artists soul • paranoia • searching for the unseen • a siren’s swan song
PLUTO (4) • angel statues over graves • power • the cycle of necrosis • transformative • unfathomable depths • an ivory tower toppling over • screaming at the sky • violets and irises • eclipsed darkness • speaks with their shadow • sex, death, rebirth
tagged by: @raven-of-domain-kwaad - thank you, Raven!! 💚💜
I don't have the energy to tag people, so I'll leave it as an open tag!
Nice work, Commander.
So...I just read the update on Manaan someone at SWTOR posted in preparation for the next expac. Sigh. Viri is so out of this nonsense. So very, very out. Obviously the update has spoilers so I'll talk about it behind a cut.
So we're back to "Big Bad Empire goes after neutral planet to steal their resources."
https://www.swtor.com/info/news/article/20210730 Really? This again? And if you're a Republic saboteur or an Imperial loyalist you're going along with this crap? On one side we've gor the Republic's "hunt down all the Jedi to force them to return and fight for the Republic" and on the other side we've got the writers pulling this... At least there are the Mandalorian and Malgus storylines also happening, but damn it, this shit is boring and old. From a logical perspective the Empire going after Manaan makes no fucking sense. They're struggling for resources and personnel so they're going to blow it all on Manaan - yeah, to get kolto, when it's being established that bacta is also available now (it is mentioned on Ossus). Oy, SWTOR. I am tired of some of your writers. And this is another time I resent that my characters were not able to truly keep their Alliances separate, because none of them, NONE, would want any part in this nightmare and would tell both Empire and Republic to kindly fuck off and get someone else involved in their war games. Anyway. Viri's already headcanoned OUT of most of the post-Ossus events, and apparently that may continue.