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  • Set Adrift (Open)

    His direction had been easy to determine until that point, singular halls branching only in two directions, he need only avoid traveling in a circle through a constant use of the same directional turn. He found it easy not to be lost since he had no intended direction in mind to that point, only the intention to explore. Through his walk he had not seen a soul. There had only been the sound of his garments shifting against each other, the muted steps of his leather boots, and the crackle of flames that alternated between growing louder and fading away as he came into proximity of the torchlight.

    Any sense of direction he had was lost the moment he entered the octagonal chamber. The lighting was much improved for the atrium, acting as a crossroads to many different locations. He stopped himself from wandering idly, taking in the chamber and it's lavish decorations. Between each portal to a hall, a sunken in shelf housing a small pedestal and the true focus atop it. One had a pyramidal structure, crimson light dashing between ornate gold designs. The next station over housed a sword, the air around which seemed unstable, like looking into the heat cast off by a fire. Two stations over, a cylindrical device, badly damaged in appearance but obviously of some significance. The other four passages were briefly forgotten, having seen nothing like the architecture and items found before him.

    Alastair would not have classified himself as the type to fancy mysticism, but even he had to confess a certain intrigue. On Serenno, he had seen chambers of weapons that had never even seen combat and busts of former counts long dead, but here within the Sith the prizes they coveted he knew held far more significance than the paltry attempts at immortalization he had witnessed in the past or the trophies they sought to show off. It was the first time he truly contemplated where he was, and where he was going. He brought his gloves hands up to lace into the crooks of his elbows, the doe-skin material of his doublet tightening about his arms.

  • #2
    The grating sound of rock scraping along rock echoed down one of the corridors he had succinctly forgotten, the sealing of a hidden chamber punctuated by a thud as the weathered stone clapped against the floor. Darkness pervaded the area, the now closed port caught in shadows where torchlight did not reach. A crimson glow steadily grew in brightness, radiating from ancient Sith runes carved along the wall's surface. The luminance intensified to the point of eerie lucidity, burnishing the Sith Master's flawless skin. Her hand was raised, responsible for the ambiance rendered as she activated sorcerous cuneiform that served as a barrier between those aimlessly wandering through the halls and her personal armory. One of many precautionary measures she took.

    The red glow faded over time and the steady thump of her boots striking the marble floor filled the corridor, the uninterrupted scuff of her cloak intermingling with the sound. As she made pace toward her personal chamber, that lay in the next hallway over, she adjusted the tight bands and weave of Mandalorian iron that made up her unique gauntlet weapon. Fingers, encased in the valuable metal that were sharpened to points at her fingertips, flexed as a notch was tightened; causing the mechanism to constrict considerably against the black leather that made up the majority of her attire.

    A presence lingered in the central chamber ahead, a signature she did not recognize. Her gait slowed, ever wary of her fellow Sith. When her form at last came to the threshold, separating the octagonal chamber from the hallway, she paused within it; leaning her svelte body against the ornate framework hewn of stone and sliding her molten gaze across this unknown individual with deliberating scrutiny. Her arms came up to fold before her, very similar in the way he now stood. The faint clink of metal was warning enough of her appearance; which, for now, she didn't bother diminishing by use of the Force.

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    • #3
      In a chamber of silence where even the crackle of torches from a previously passed flame remained audible, the click of heels and rustle of metal were enough to forewarn him of an approaching figure. His head and eyes were the first to take the slight turn towards the figure, and his body followed suit. Her mimicking posture subconsciously pushed him to alter his stance. His weight shifted towards his left side, carrying in a straight line down through his planted foot with his right receiving reprieve, causing the slightest bend at the knee. His arms went lax, gloved hands resting evenly beside his waist with his shoulders tucked back slightly and chest out.

      Before he could regard her features, his emerald visage found itself affixed to her gauntlets. The segmented metal work bent with her movements, working it’s way down to sharpened coverings over her fingertips that resembled talons. Were the lightning any worse, he would have sworn she were another species but human. His attention went vertically from there, setting his gaze upon her molten stare. Were it not for her menacing appearance, he might have been capable of regarding her for her beauty, but as it was he was incapable of regarding her as anything but a potential threat.

      For a moment he was uncertain whether to actually engage her in any fashion. He unfortunately held a first impression of what Sith could potentially be based not off personal experience, but legend. While he knew not to generalize all he would meet, this one was quite the enigma presently. She very much had the appearance of a predator, waiting for him to make a misstep. He did the only thing he could think to do, engaged her in conversation as opposed to ignoring her, but taking the focus off of him and towards something he was at least curious about.

      He did so first by advancing towards one of the pedestal’s, the one housing the sword. “Does it have a story you know of?” He was also curious of the odd aura projected from the weapon, the blade appearing to radiate what he could only describe as heat.

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      • #4
        Silence persisted, elongated by mutual interest and uncertainty. As he appraised her, so too did she take in his physical worth; her conclusion being very much in his favor. Next, she regarded his signature within the Force; a cautious man, one not readily taken in by appearance. Wise, then. It was many a man's folly, falling for her voluptuous curves, wine red lips, inviting stare, and the overall seductive aura that she put off naturally. The majority of her assets were tucked away in battle attire; the event of her mission on Ascation growing near to actualization and attributing to her state of dress. As mentioned previously, the majority of her attire consisted of soft leather that had been forged into a type of bodysuit; one adorned heavily with straps, studs, and silver buckles. Swaths of burgundy served as accents at various intervals, particularly at the tasset that hung past her waist and tabards; their ends frayed and scorched from her battle on Coruscant with Revan Luciano.

        Fully concealed arms unfurled from their crossed position, her svelte frame adroitly departing from its leaned angle against the corridor's framework. As he moved, so too did she, stalking ever closer at a gait that would keep him guessing. She was pure predator in that instant although her hands remained far enough away from the lightwhip coiled at her hip to provide some measure of comfort. When she finally stood mere feet away, her eyes departed from his face and took in the artifact he asked about. So, he had an interest in Sith Relics. Or, perhaps he was just trying to engage in polite conversation to determine exactly how much of a threat she was.

        "The blade is an artifact recovered from a reliquary on Korriban in the Tomb of Tandris Dhraal; a Sith Lord who is said to have single-handedly destroyed an Enclave of Jedi during the Great Sith War. The sword still radiates his power.." She explained to him, holding her hand up toward the weapon and causing the rippling crimson atmosphere surrounding it to intensify; much like the runes guarding the entrance of her armory. "You've had your question. Now, it is my turn..." She informed him, her lush lips curving into a mischievous smile. "I have not seen you before and yours is a face I would remember. Are you new to the Empire, then?"

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        • #5
          As he paused at the sword, and noted her closer proximity, he suddenly felt keenly aware of his lack of weaponry. His hand brushed at his side where the hilt of his sword used to rest, the leather of the belt and sheathe having worn down the material of his doublet enough to make it clear something was missing. Beyond that, he lacked that comfort location to rest his hand. Everything felt more awkward now, particularly in the presence of people he associated with having the capable of seeing right through him. It was all he could do to keep a semblence of control, steering conversation firstly, that is.

          This woman though was not about to give him anything, without expecting something in return. She answered his question, an interesting tale concerning the swords history. It was not exactly his style of blade, though he was curious of the balance. Even more than that, he wondered what it would feel like to hold or if he was even capable. Something about it felt dangerous, like it was now meant to be seen but not touched. Her demonstration seemed to affirm such a thought, as the aura about it intensified by her mere presence, or some other manipulation. "Is this the game we are playing then? Alright." He conceded to allow her question, turning to face her more than he had previously.

          "Yes." His one word answer likely would have been infuriating, albeit amusing. It was only for lack of desire to earn her ire that he pushed any sort of snarkiness away and continued. "I've only just arrived less than an hour past." He still didn't wish to give too much information away, because if they were playing a game of questions he wanted to ensure she still had some to ask. How long that would last, the lack of detail and elaboration, remained to be seen. It would depend on when the game became more of a conversation. "The fact that you would remember my face means you have been here long enough to differentiate newcomer from veteran." He employed a deductive reasoning that didn't lead into a question. "Where were you headed?" If she were going to derive personal details, he saw no reason to keep asking about the room they were in,

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          • #6
            His brief inquiry was met with an unerring stare, the torchlight just over her shoulder causing the amber hue of her eyes to seem liquefied. He chose to answer her question with a single word, causing the Sith Master to arch her brow. She had not asked an open ended question and he had fulfilled his obligation to the game they played; albeit to an unsatisfactory degree, at first. He seemed to contemplate his short reply; either debating what lies to tell her, whether or not the brevity of his reply would rouse her temper, or if honesty would serve him best. She was pleased he went with the latter of the options; the tension coiling through her frame, not unlike a serpent ready to strike, dissipated and she sagged back against the wall. She pressed her foot against the wall's flat surface and returned her arms to a crossed position, her eyes finally turning away from him.

            The impulse to reply to his statement was strong but she withheld, choosing to adhere to the unspoken rules of the game she started. The corners of her lips quirked into a smile, her head bowing ever so slightly as she contemplated her own tactics for his question. "My room." She answered plainly, in retaliation of his own simplistic answer. "Where are you from, zandeln?" She posed, the Dathomiri word bringing out the accent in her voice. She was eager to see if curiosity would make him malleable, susceptible to her manipulations in the game.

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            • #7
              The molten fury of her eyes was like a wildfire, intending to consume the forest green of his own. He could see the caged wrath waiting to be unleashed should he not step far enough to humor her. Or, his one word answer might scorn her and she would leave him be, and while Icarus had encouraged him to mind himself and solitude would help him do such it was no way to move through life. That, and connections would serve him well. His judgment had served him well, upon seeing her sink into a state of comfort. His arms returned to the crossed place they had originally found themselves when they had met, and he squared off to her completely now.

              The sword was forgotten, nothing more than an icebreaker in the first place. The game was intriguing, particularly the way she played. He quickly discerned her cunning. First she earned her revenge with a one word answer, but while it might seem denying him information he had garnered more than she might intend. If when their game was through she persisted to her room, he could observe the path she took and find where he might procure his own chambers.

              The next statement to follow was her question, which she did so with an accented addendum. No doubt she intended to provoke his curiosity, if not for her actual statement than for her origin. She was leading him down a line of questions she wanted him to ask, likely to preserve her own privacy and give only the information she wished to give. He was very curious though. The only way he was likely to get more, was to give more. A one word answer would work, but would just continue to provoke have completed answers.

              "I came from Serenno. A planet of power struggles, so I should fit right in here." Eventually, was the word he left out. He still had many life lessons to receive, though some he didn't know he needed. "And where are you from?" His question posed would not sate his curiosity immediately, but if necessary he could research the word she had spoken to him, and he would at least learn what the language was and where it originated from.

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              • #8
                "Serreno, hm..." She repeated, silently considering the planet he claimed as his homeworld. Jezebella had learned of the planet through codex entries and records attributed to one particular Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Tyranus; otherwise known as Count Dooku. She had never been to the D'Astan Sector in the Outer Rim Territories. But, she would have to make that a future destination if such handsome men were common there. Her mischievous smile persisted after his answer and even flourished at the utterance of his next question. So, he was smart enough not to fall into the verbal trap she had set. He certainly was an interesting man, usually she'd be bored by now.

                "Dathomir was my home before I came to the Sith." She replied, obligated to offer him more than a single word answer given his canny avoidance of her bait. The crossed position of her arms was adjusted as one of the plates of her gauntlets began digging into her side. One arm lowered, still crossed over her abdomen. The opposite arm extended slightly, her palm upturning and her metal tipped fingers aiming at the ceiling. They were momentarily inundated with darkness as the torchlight was extinguished. Then, the flickering flame reappeared in her palm, growing in brightness as her fingers splayed further apart. "Have you met any of our illustrious Council yet?"

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                • #9
                  Alastair wondered at how she took his avoidance of her bait. She displayed none of the typical signs of anger, like narrowed eyes or tensing body. The slip of her arm lower in fact spoke to more comfort, perhaps even respecting his cunning at deciphering her play. Before she even asked her next question, he knew where to steer his own. It became quickly clear to him that he had more to gain from their game than she did, which made him curious why she indulged him in the first place. His green eyes studied the intricacies of her gauntlet, until the light suddenly vanished. His hand instinctively went towards his side, where his sword would have been, only to find nothing. Instead they both posted on his hips in a natural progression from the movement when the light returned.

                  Proof to the fact she was powerful was given with the gesture, smothering and rekindling the flame by sheerly the power he had the potential to harness. Knowing he had more to gain than her, he naturally was suspicious of every question she asked. He knew that beneath their present game, their was likely always some game of power struggle happening. It was similar on Serenno, but with far greater stakes at his present location. "James Icarus. He was responsible for my induction." Once more he avoided the one word answer, yes, and gave her an actual name for an answer. Far more than he needed to.

                  And now it was his turn. While feet remained planted, his torso twisted slightly to allow vision down each of the passages surrounding him. His lips upturned into a smile, creased with lines in the skin on surrounding his mouth. "Will you show me where I might procure a room?" A one word answer would have been infuriating, if it did not accompany action. His body turned straight once more, lined up with hers.

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                  • #10
                    "I see." Jezebella quipped fluidly at his reply, her thoughts going briefly to her fellow council member. He was more than capable of judging those that wandered into their hallowed halls and she was rapidly coming to the conclusion that he had made the right choice with this inductee. His next question was not an inquiry at all but a request. She arched a brow once more, snuffing out the flame in her palm by snapping her metal adorned fingers together. The fire reemerged in the brazier and she pushed off of the wall with her juxtaposed foot, stepping towards him; as she did so, her hand came up and the tips of her fingers slid across the doe soft material of his doublet in an effort to turn him with her. She looked right at him as she did so, her stare diverting just as her hand ran out of sleeve to explore when she stepped past him.

                    "I will." She finally answered, her back to him as she started down the hall where her own room could be found. While she wasn't privy to every empty chamber within the headquarters, she did know of a few that had been recently cleared on account of one or two disciples' untimely demise. She had taken the head of one of them herself, his blood still saturating the sacred stones of the council's chamber floor. "Not a very exciting question." She said over her shoulder offhandedly, her footsteps echoing forth. "What is your name?" She might have easily plucked it from his mind, untrained as he was. This was more befitting of their game, however.

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                    • #11
                      The arch of her brow gave away her surprise at his question, always exploring her expressions and mannerisms to attempt to get a read on the woman. Once again she displayed her power, but this time he was more prepared and expectant of seeing her capabilities. She crossed to him, not a very far distance to go, and raised a hand upwards. The metal scratched across the material of his coat, an audible sound just shy of what would be expected of tearing. The end purpose of her touch was made revealed when she coaxed him to turn a different direction then his former heading, and in time with the gesture she gave her acceptance.

                      "From your end, perhaps not. For me, it makes certain I am not sleeping on the marble floor of a random hallway like some vagabond." He caught the profile of her face when her head just barely turned back towards him, for the first time appreciating her as a beautiful woman rather than a stalking predator. As they slipped more into a state of comfortable conversation made more entertaining by their game, his guard slipped slightly. "Alastair Kade." He couldn't give her much more to work with than that, having already given the location of his former home and finding no need to come up with some grandiose title.

                      His steps increased in pace to bring him alongside her, fixing his gaze ahead as he prepared his next question mentally. He wanted to know her name, this much was a given, but he did not want to copy her. Their footfalls echoed in unison through the barren halls, drowning out the sound of the flickering flames they passed in the rows of braziers, very unlike his solitary stride of before. "What is it you want more than anything?" He wondered how honest she would be with his question, because it had so many layers and potential to be far too revealing.

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                      • #12
                        Jezebella mentally filed away the name for later use, should he last long enough for them to meet at a later time. Judging from his place of birth and the cunning he had thus displayed, he'd manage well enough. But, the ire of stronger Sith in these darkened halls was an easy curse to incur and there was really no telling. He caught up to her swift gait and she turned her amber eyes upon him, inspecting his expression as he pondered what next to ask her. The question he proffered caused a slight delay in her steps, albeit a brief one, and made her delve into deeper thought than any inquiry posed previously.

                        Jezebella had been possessed of a great many desires when she had first stepped into the halls of the Sith, many many years ago. Some goals she had reached effortlessly and many had been dashed upon the rocks of reality. Her more recent obsessions revolved around the energies of the Dread Council and the powerful devices they had left behind. In the end, her long term commitment had always been one and the same. "Power. Enough power that I can take what I want, control what I will, and keep it without contest." Some would claim she already had as much. However, she had faced enough rejection that could not be overturned in her past to know that it was still not enough. As she spoke, she redirected her gaze to cloak the uncertainty that clung there. They had already passed her room and shortly after her answer, she came to a halt in front of a chamber that had been left open. The spartan furnishings, freshly made bed, and unlit recesses were enough to lead one to believe that no one resided within.

                        "We so seldom find our wants and needs coinciding, however. While I am curious what you will pose to me as being your own ultimate desire, Alastair Kade, if only to see how it changes over the duration of your training... I think I will conclude our meeting with the advantage of being able to ask the next question at a later time." A rectangular device was removed from her utility belt and then extended to him. "This datapad details the layout of the headquarters, training facilities, and the mountain pass that will lead you to the tavern. There is also a list of Sith who have reached a suitable level of talent and prestige to train you. I bid you good evening, Alastair. Do try to live long enough for us to indulge in our game again."

                        Once he accepted her datapad, she looked him over once more before turning to head back to her own chamber several doors down.

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                        • #13
                          The brief lapse in her gait was noticed for what it did to his stride, slowing him to ensure he didn't walk off and leave her to stop completely. It was certainly a deeper question than had previously come before, and for the first time in a while he was hyper aware of his surroundings. Light flickered incessantly as the torchlight did the same, casting shadows in all manner of directions but also light. Aside from their breathing, all he heard was the sound of the flames, and the air smelled of the incense of likely another Sith in their nearby chamber.

                          Power would have been a predictable answer for a lot of people, but her deeper elaboration spoke of pain and loss that she seemed unwilling to experience again. He expected a similar question, which she alluded to, but was left without it as she decided to depart with the advantage for their next meeting. His eyes turned inward to the chamber, rather simplistic in it's design and furniture, but as to be expected when meant to house someone with no title or true status. He stepped into the doorway, then turned back towards his fellow Sith.

                          The datapad was a rather important gift for his present situation. While he had a place to bed down for the evening, it suggested where he might retrieve sustenance and training, the two next important things for him. "Same to you." He smirked, his eyes tightening at the corners and smile lines forming at the gesture. Just because she was not new, did not mean death didn't stalk her, and so he wished the same for her survival. He waited within the doorway, counting the number of doors she went down and which resolved to be her destination. The useful information was tucked away before he stepped into the room, studying the datapad and sweeping the door closed behind him.

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