Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

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Iaex Larek
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Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-21 10:37

Iaex woke from his sleep with the regularity that he always did, and didn't even bother to glance at the chrono that would have told him so. Climbing out of bed he groped his way across the quarters he called his own, turning on the lights and getting prepared for his day.

As far as things go, the real definition of a 'day' on a ship is only defined by what the crew collectively decides it to be, and at any given time most of the crew are off-duty anyways. Definitions of days - being such fickle things - never failed to be constantly defied every time a system was entered and the endless cycle of new definitions of day and night, and the respective lengths of each came into play.

No matter, though. Not out here in the void at least.

Staring for a moment at the view of the outside of the ship which was available to him on the sensor feeds which were set up in his quarters, he was satisfied in that assessment of the situation. The void was the only real way to describe it, as there was virtually nothing in it, in the vast space between galaxies. Normally the ship traversed through hyperspace, but occasionally it would drop out to take readings on its position, and to study the radiation of the various galaxies around it.

Never mind that fact, however. In the long time during which the trek was being undertaken, Iaex had dedicated his efforts to studying - and practicing - the use of the Force and of his lightsaber which had been given to him by the Emperor before the departure of the expedition. He did check up on the sensor stations and readings, that much was true, but it was not his job - it was merely his expertise and interest that drew him to it.

Sitting down on the floor of his quarters in the ritual he practiced every morning, he searched deep within himself to feel the spark of the Force, always there within him. Drawing it up to fill his entire being, he concentrated next on the task at hand. The ritual was the same, his practice of the Force, but the method was always different.

Repetition causes memorization, but variety within that repetition causes learning.
Such was the code by which he had taken to performing his practice. This particular morning he grabbed several objects from within his quarters in the mind's eye that was the Force, and gently lifted them from their places, carefully bringing them to surround him in the air. Today, a total of 11 objects of varying dimensions and mass had been chosen, and were arranged in a series of patterns in the air around the young Initiate as he concentrated upon being as precise as possible in his maneuvers. Other times he practiced speed of movement, or power, sometimes combining several to stretch himself. Such was, he had decided alongside the guidance of the Holocron and the many materials available to him, a good method with which to practice his control. Regular practice, in measured increments to push myself a little more each time.

Continuing for some time longer, and using different methods and approaches throughout, he felt the familiar tiredness and fatigue growing within him as he stretched his limits, as the eleven objects were balanced in the most precarious way atop his head, him resorting to gentle nudges of the Force and the prompts of precognition to keep them there. He went on for a bit longer, before putting each of the objects back within the spots they had come from, and rising from the floor of the room. Glancing at the chrono, it was still quite early and he knew that with the definition of day and night which most of the crew took, almost all who were not on duty would currently be sleeping at the moment. What better time to practice my lightsaber skills in the training center, then?

Throwing on a comfortable set of clothing for going to the training center, he collected his lightsaber and set out into the corridor beyond his quarters. Deciding which turbolift he wished to use, he turned right and headed along the long, quiet corridors in its direction. On the way he encountered none beyond a single STARS trooper doing his rounds.

Once in the training center, Iaex headed to the back, where even those who were up at this hour would not likely bother going with the whole rest of it empty, and set up to practice. The small orb which he released to float around was programmed, in short, to fly around and shoot at him. His task, with the aid of precognition and the various blade-handling techniques he had studied largely from the materials given to him by the Director General.

As he set loose the orb, he stretched out his limbs briefly for a moment, then as he activated the lightsaber its sensors activated as well and the game would begin. The laser blasts when they did make contact did not so much injure as they stung, and each 'round' which was played went to 25 points. The points, as determined by Iaex as he chose the parameters, were awarded to the orb for every shot he was hit with, and awarded to him for every one he deflected with the lightsaber. Needless to say, the first few games had been rather short, and won by the orb.

Any more, the games grew longer. And beyond that, the orb's victory was no longer assured. Watching it hover and hiss around him, he prepared for what was to come, drawing on the energy of the Force, calling on it to give him the tingle of warning, just like THAT as the orb fired, and his blade was moved to block the shot of charged energy, sending it bouncing harmlessly into a wall of the room. He would possibly play several rounds today, since no one else was here.
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Rikku » 2011-06-21 20:17

Rikku had already grown tired of the constant boredom of her shifts. In a way, she wondered if the Dark Jedi she had seen earlier had even gotten her message. It wasn't entirely unlikely that the system had dumped, lost or redirected it. Either way, she knew that sooner or later they would run into each other...

This 'morning', Rikku got up several hours earlier than normal. Some days she would keep a normal schedule and not get up extra early. Then every so often she would use some of her "vacation time" to sleep in to stay rested. As a lack of proper rest could be detrimental to her tasks and responsibilities. Then there days like today, where she would get up hours before anyone else on her shift. Then she would head to the usually empty training rooms. Mostly she had just practiced unarmed forms over and over; first basic then progressively more challenging forms. She had generally not trained with her weapons proper. As she couldn't always make sure the security feeds were 'off'. Today, she knew that she needed to get in some actual weapon time...

Rikku made her way through the empty hallways and corridors. The few people that were up would still be at their posts. As such, it was easy to avoid being seen. She reached the door and opened it. As she walked in, she couldn't help but notice one of the rooms was already occupied.

As she walked over her feet were silent on the durasteel floor panels. As she looked through the peep window very cautiously, she noticed the young man she had seen earlier. The one that she had figured to be the dark jedi. She watched as the orb circled and occasionally fired shots at him.

I have read of this drill. Though it is something else to see it actually done. I can't hope to match him if he fully grasps his precognitive abilities. He is fortunate in that he can sense what will happen before it actually occurs. I have to sense it as it occurs and react. Thus it is that he is forearmed and forewarned. He will need it I am sure! I wonder why I was ordered to make sure that I could protect him. If the Sotaicho asked me, he seems to be doing pretty well on his own. Though, it would be a better judge if he were to train against a true opponent. One that isn't as limited in creativity as a droid or a remote...Besides, this is as good a time as any to introduce myself.

Rikku moved her right hand to her left hip where the hilt of her zanpukto was. The blade would come out when she instructed it to. Yet always the hilts were visible. Right below the larger hilt was a smaller hilt; a short sword. On her back another sword's hilt was located. Rikku readied herself mentally, then opened the door and darted through...

Rikku's speed was accelerated with with repulsor fields. In a fraction of an instant, she was a blurr of movement! With a smooth motion she gripped her primary blade's hilt and drew it and struck in a smooth motion. As it was swung away from her body, the metallic blade sprang to life; with what seemed a will of its own. The elegant uniform and shallow curve of the blade sliced through the air without a sound. Rikku smiled as the jedi turned his lightsaber and parried the slash.

As Rikku went past her hair brushed across the young man's shoulder; pulling her blade through in a perfect draw-cut. As she came to a stop about two meters behind the jedi, her sword arm was still bent. The edge of her sword pointed to her right and the tip was pointing obliquely at the floor. The cut if it had connected with the man's flesh would have cleanly sliced through both of his lungs and his heart. Without turning her body around, she looked over her shoulder.

"Not bad! Congratulations, you managed to survive a basic 'sword-drawing' maneuver. Though, I admit you have an innate advantage with your precognitive ability. However, I am still very impressed!" Rikku flicked her bangs across and gave a teasing smile "Maybe you don't need my help after all. Though I wonder what your friends would say if I beat you...Boy!"
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-23 10:35

Well on his way through the second match, having closely lost the first to the orb, Iaex was getting into the swing of things. As he allowed his mind to let go, and surrendered his reaction to the Force, his ability at blocking the shots improved immensely. Spinning with ease to match the movements of the orb and block most shots, his concentration grew stronger even as his mental grip relaxed. It was a very odd sort of feeling, the more control he surrendered, the more he had.

Then, just like that, it was drawing him away from the orb. The distinct tingle in the Force identifying danger to him led him to perform a quarter turn to the right, raising his lightsaber's blue-green blade to parry the slash of another weapon, as a woman flashed past him, her hair brushing his shoulder. He heard the soft sound of her landing behind him, but the sense of danger was no longer there. Straightening his back, he squared his shoulders and turned off his lightsaber.

It was then that she spoke from behind him, "Not bad! Congratulations, you managed to survive a basic 'sword-drawing' maneuver. Though, I admit you have an innate advantage with your precognitive ability. However, I am still very impressed!" With that, Iaex turned to face her, his senses taking in every detail as he did so. If there was a momentary flash of confusion on his face, it was imperceptible and disappeared as soon as it had shown itself. "Maybe you don't need my help after all. Though I wonder what your friends would say if I beat you...Boy!"

"First of all," He stated, glancing at the...sword, that she was holding. Yes, that was what it could be called. "who are you and what are you doing here? Second of all, how do you know all of that?"

Clipping the lightsaber's hilt on his belt, Iaex once again tried to consciously use precognition to determine any ill will on her part, but no such signal came to him. Somewhat puzzled still by that fact, but content in the knowledge it gave him, he relaxed his stance somewhat while waiting for the woman to respond. Plus, why would she possibly be up at this hour in the training center, and choose to seek me out. Her apparent lack of abilities with the Force pointed to the fact that she was not another member of the Omega Order, and that itself could be confirmed as well by the fact that Iaex was the only member of the Order on the expedition. This shall be interesting to discuss with Lord Roscoe's Holocron....
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Rikku » 2011-06-23 19:49

"First of all," He stated, glancing at the...sword, that she was holding. Yes, that was what it could be called. "who are you and what are you doing here? Second of all, how do you know all of that?"

Rikku turned to face the young man as she commanded her zanpukto to relax. The sword's blade reshaped itself into a rounded and harmless rod that extended past the handguard; which sank into and elongated the hilt by a corresponding amount.

Rikku then spoke, "My name is Rikku Uesugi. I thought I would get in some practice in the quiet and empty training center. However, your presence was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. As I was the person who sent you that message a couple days ago.That and sooner or later we would be having this little chat.

I am not human nor a near-human that you would know of. I am from where you are going. Or I should say, from where ICE is going. My government considered wanting this expedition not to happen. We were not sure you were ready to step out into the void between galaxies. However, our decision was changed and now as we speak we have contacted your Emperor Kane. I was placed, surreptitiously, on this ship before our ambassador made contact with your NIF Government. My orders are to help you young Dark Jedi. To teach you what I know. Specifically, teach you combat skills and help you hone yours.

As to how I know who you are. We have been aware of your Jedi and Sith Orders for a long time. That and I knew a Dark Jedi would be on board. The only question was who and when we would meet."

Rikku then held up her weapon in front of her, "This is my races equivalent to the lightsaber. It is made of a living metal, we call fumetsu. We call the weapons zanpukto. They are semi-sentient and do have feelings, like your pets do. Though they are only 'born' that way. As they grow older over the centuries they mature and become sentient. There is more but you and I will have to learn that together, sorry.

What is your name dark jedi? I do have to admit that for a human boy, you are pretty cute." Winked as she added, "Though probably not my type..."
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-24 01:11

Somewhat interested in the behavior of her 'sword' as it reshaped itself into its hilt, he observed it while listening to her explanation and introduction. "My name is Rikku Uesugi." She began without a beat, gesturing slightly to the surroundings, "I thought I would get in some practice in the quiet and empty training center. However, your presence was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. As I was the person who sent you that message a couple days ago. That, and sooner or later we would be having this little chat." So not exactly the run-of-the-mill encounter out of the blue as it would initially seem.

With her initial introduction over with, she went into the much more complicated answer to the other of Iaex's questions. "I am not human nor a near-human that you would know of." The initial premise of this made sense to Iaex, out of the vast number of species there were some that shared physical similarities while remaining biologically distinct. One of the basics of sensor operation is detecting biometric differences to determine the species of the scanned life form. Of course, most facilities are not equipped with such high-quality sensors, and the crude detection of life is as far as they can go. Her next statement however, snapped him out of all his musing over the intricate details of his craft, "I am from where you are going. Or I should say, from where ICE is going."

His mind trying to grasp and wrap around the possibilities and probabilities of that coincidental similarity, he continued listening as she elaborated further. "My government considered wanting this expedition not to happen. We were not sure you were ready to step out into the void between galaxies. However, our decision was changed and now as we speak we have contacted your Emperor Kane. I was placed, surreptitiously, on this ship before our ambassador made contact with your NIF Government." Almost in response to his rising suspicion as to her purpose there, she stated rather bluntly, "My orders are to help you young Dark Jedi. To teach you what I know. Specifically, teach you combat skills and help you hone yours."

With a new eye he studied her on yet another level, she was definitely skilled in combat, but her skill and ability were as yet unseen by him. Best to tread carefully, that line. Had I not been forewarned of her strike, I would have been dead. "As to how I know who you are. We have been aware of your Jedi and Sith Orders for a long time. That and I knew a Dark Jedi would be on board. The only question was who, and when we would meet." She held up her weapon once again in front of her, "This is my race's equivalent to the lightsaber. It is made of a living metal, we call fumetsu. We call the weapons zanpukto. They are semi-sentient and do have feelings, like your pets do. Though they are only 'born' that way. As they grow older over the centuries they mature and become sentient. There is more but you and I will have to learn that together, sorry." Taken somewhat aback by the mention of the age of the weapon, the zanpukto, his thoughts immediately turned to the longevity of a user who would use such a thing. Were they weapons passed down through the generations, or were the users as long-lived as their weapons were? "What is your name, Dark Jedi? I do have to admit that for a human boy, you are pretty cute." With a wink, she added, "Though probably not my type..."

With the straightforward manner in which she had presented her information, and shown the potential of the level of knowledge she had into his information, he proceeded in kind. "My name, then, should seem to be a fair place to start - as it is one thing you do not seem to know of myself or my order thus far. I am Iaex Larek, the representative of the Omega Order on ICE, for the purposes of overseeing and aiding the expedition. In addition, as with many other members, I possess various other special talents. Specifically, I served in the Federation Starfleet as a sensor systems operator and analyst and have been reassigned to oversee and advise those systems on ICE." Acknowledging her compliment briefly, he responded in turn, "And as I am sure you are already aware through any dealings with humans, you are what we would consider attractive, whatever species you may be."

Now, cutting straight to the chase in determining exactly what he was dealing with, he asked the questions on the top of his mind. "But considering I currently am away from any advanced sensor equipment, I am left with several questions." Understandingly, she nodded for him to continue. "You mention that you are from our destination, yet seem intimately knowledgeable in the details of our galaxy. How long have you operated among us? Secondly, you mention that we must learn further skills and information together - should I take this to mean you are still a student as well?"
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Rikku » 2011-06-24 05:30

"My name, then, should seem to be a fair place to start - as it is one thing you do not seem to know of myself or my order thus far. I am Iaex Larek, the representative of the Omega Order on ICE, for the purposes of overseeing and aiding the expedition. In addition, as with many other members, I possess various other special talents. Specifically, I served in the Federation Starfleet as a sensor systems operator and analyst and have been reassigned to oversee and advise those systems on ICE." The boy acknowledged her compliment then continued, "And as I am sure you are already aware through any dealings with humans, you are what we would consider attractive, whatever species you may be."

His next comments quickly followed, "But considering I currently am away from any advanced sensor equipment, I am left with several questions." After Rikku nodded and smiled at him, the boy continued, "You mention that you are from our destination, yet seem intimately knowledgeable in the details of our galaxy. How long have you operated among us? Secondly, you mention that we must learn further skills and information together - should I take this to mean you are still a student as well?"

Rikku smiled girlishly, "Thanks Iaex! If I may call you that. Though, I should mention that I am a young 175 standard years old. To answer what is probably one of your unspoken questions; we are generally mistaken for being immortal. We don't age and die like you and essentially everyone else. Yet, we can die from sickness, injury or be killed. In short, we are no more able to avoid or prevent our deaths than you or anyone else...Sadly, injury and being killed as become more common for my kind than it used to be in the past."

Rikku then quickly changed the topic to the answers to his spoken questions. "I was fist here when I was really twenty. My teacher at the time wanted to show me that people that aren't Eldorrin are no different. That you and us are really the same inside. Since then, I have been here for a total of twenty-five years. Including the time needed to build the cover for me to be here. We have had people here since the early days and before the founding of the Old Republic. Though mostly in small groups and keeping out of anyone's notice. Though if the Anzati, Gree or Columni ever manage to find and re-decipher their histories; they will find mention of their contact with us. To answer what will probably be a question you will ask. No, we never meet the Celestials. We found some of their constructions and ruins. Does that answer your question?

Yes, I am still a learner. My teacher, master as you term it, died over twenty years ago. I can still remember her telling me to run and not to stop."

Rikku turned the conversation back to him. "Why did you choose or forced to go? Being a girl from one of the thirteen noble families is not fun and games. I choose because I wanted to make a life and a place for myself. I think that is why the Head Commander let me...I must ask what you are going to have done with me?"
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-24 06:35

Once again, his surprise was only extremely brief as she indicated to him her age. A flash in the pan fast enough that if she had blinked in that second, she would have missed it. A species capable of such feats would be extremely interesting to any of a large number of biologists, anthropologists, historians, and anyone else taken to such studies, but to Iaex it was merely one of the many strange facts of life - things beyond his control which were worth knowing. Even with that in mind however, she didn't look as if she should be any older than 20 or 21 standard years old.

Her perceptiveness in picking up on his inferred inquiries was admirable, though it seemed as if she were trying to allay all suspicions as to her and her intentions so as to get to a much more important, serious business beyond the happy carefree exterior she presented. "I was first here when I was really twenty. My teacher at the time wanted to show me that people that aren't Eldorrin are no different. That you and us are really the same inside. Since then, I have been here for a total of twenty-five years. Including the time needed to build the cover for me to be here. We have had people here since the early days and before the founding of the Old Republic. Though mostly in small groups and keeping out of anyone's notice. Though if the Anzati, Gree or Columni ever manage to find and re-decipher their histories; they will find mention of their contact with us. To answer what will probably be a question you will ask. No, we never meet the Celestials. We found some of their constructions and ruins. Does that answer your question?" Nodding his agreement with that answer, for now, he waited for her to continue. "Yes, I am still a learner. My teacher, master as you term it, died over twenty years ago. I can still remember her telling me to run and not to stop."

Then, as soon as she had made it through his questions, she brought things back to him, "Why did you choose or forced to go? Being a girl from one of the thirteen noble families is not fun and games. I choose because I wanted to make a life and a place for myself. I think that is why the Head Commander let me...I must ask what you are going to have done with me?"

Mulling over her questions for a moment, he started his first response in relation to one of her previous statements. "As far as addressing me, I suppose Iaex is acceptable. I am certainly not acting as Commander Larek of the Starfleet, rather of the Omega Order." Continuing along to answer her own questions, he decided informing her of the reasons he was on the mission did not hurt. "As for how I came to join this expedition, my parents started a shipping business between many of the worlds in the Outer Rim near the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. I was raised traveling the star lanes on the very fringes of the galaxy, and strange though it sounds, I felt the need to reach out to even greater horizons and explore new frontiers. I joined the Federation Navy, and my skills led me to be noticed by powerful people, and offered the chance of a lifetime to join this expedition, so I did. I call no world my home, and have always been told that I am destined to roam the stars."

After giving the abridged version of his experience in joining the New Imperial Federation, and being reassigned to ICE, his tone hardened somewhat more as he pondered the options available to him now. "I presume, then, that because you are just now revealing yourself to me that your presence aboard the expedition is unknown to Vicereine Roosh or Moff Calad? If that is the case, it limits my options somewhat. As a Dark Jedi, I do not fall under their jurisdiction or authority beyond my mission, and answer to the Emperor." Pondering things for a moment, he explained the predicament further, "If your ambassador is currently in dialogue with our government as you say, we will have already requested or been given your identity, in which case the expedition will be informed. The prudent course of action on our part would be to inform the Vicereine and the Moff of your identity and presence aboard the mission and determine a course of action with their counsel, as well as any directive we receive from the Emperor. In response to your direct question as to your status, I have no intention of executing you as a spy or imprisoning you and have the necessary authority to prevent such from happening unless overridden, assuming you will assist us in determining the continued integrity of this mission."
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Rikku » 2011-06-24 15:40

"As far as addressing me, I suppose Iaex is acceptable. I am certainly not acting as Commander Larek of the Starfleet, rather of the Omega Order." After a moment's pause Iaex continued, "As for how I came to join this expedition, my parents started a shipping business between many of the worlds in the Outer Rim near the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. I was raised traveling the star lanes on the very fringes of the galaxy, and strange though it sounds, I felt the need to reach out to even greater horizons and explore new frontiers. I joined the Federation Navy, and my skills led me to be noticed by powerful people, and offered the chance of a lifetime to join this expedition, so I did. I call no world my home, and have always been told that I am destined to roam the stars."

When the young man continued, his tone hardened somewhat, "I presume, then, that because you are just now revealing yourself to me that your presence aboard the expedition is unknown to Vicereine Roosh or Moff Calad? If that is the case, it limits my options somewhat. As a Dark Jedi, I do not fall under their jurisdiction or authority beyond my mission, and answer to the Emperor." Seeing her slightly confused look he explained, "If your ambassador is currently in dialogue with our government as you say, we will have already requested or been given your identity, in which case the expedition will be informed. The prudent course of action on our part would be to inform the Vicereine and the Moff of your identity and presence aboard the mission and determine a course of action with their counsel, as well as any directive we receive from the Emperor. In response to your direct question as to your status, I have no intention of executing you as a spy or imprisoning you and have the necessary authority to prevent such from happening unless overridden, assuming you will assist us in determining the continued integrity of this mission."

Rikku nodded, when he finished. She all to well understood the position she had put him in. "You are correct to presume the Vicereine and the Moff have no knowledge of my presence. However, I am sure that the Emperor has contacted her on the subject. Though I highly doubt that our ambassador would mention on his own volition my presence here." She looked into his eyes as she explained, "He is my childhood 'boyfriend'. We were separated by my parents who consider him nothing more than a commoner and not worthy of me. His parents are dead and have been for a long time. I know him well enough to know he wouldn't say anything that he feels would put me in danger. Thus, I don't think that he will immediately volunteer that information."

Rikku saw his eyes narrow some, but quickly continued speaking. "That said, I am able and can give you the information myself. I knew beforehand he would likely be the person on that end. So, I have a copy of my personnel file with me." She took out a small datacube. She then walked over and handed it to the dark jedi. As she did she softly added, "Please forgive him, he has lost too many he cares about. He doesn't trust you like I do. He will but he needs time to acclimate."

She then stepped back before she spoke again. "My mission is your protection and not theirs. My orders say nothing about going beyond my assigned duties to assist this mission. However, if there is a way I can, I will." Rikku's tone became very serious, "There is one thing I wish to make clear. Now that I have made you aware of my mission. You must understand that until you say otherwise, I am to answer to you and you alone. You may call me by my private name, Mayumi." She noticed the flicker of confusion. "In our society we all have a first and last name as you do. Yet we also have a second first name. One we only tell our closest friends or the person we trust completely. The tradition goes back to when we believed that knowing the name gave power over the person's soul."
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-25 00:29

Simply nodding in response to her acknowledgement, his mind churned out possibilities on how he could handle the situation. While ICE was a haven for many individuals of an even more diverse set of backgrounds who were attempting to leave it all behind and start over, none were quite as particular as this case. The connection between Rikku and the ambassador was special, but what would that mean of others in NIF service? Surely there were other - agents...representatives...infiltrators...what to call them - in other areas of the NIF, and possibly even the NR as well.

Accepting the datacube from her, he put it into a pocket while he continued listening. She explained her mission, and the fact that along with his knowledge of the mission, he took command of it. The last thing she mentioned brought yet another flash of confusion across his face, this time noticed by her. With further explanation, the concept made sense, and was still in use by several societies that he knew of offhand. In some ways, the current behavior of most humans in the galaxy was at least similar, in that first names were often only used by friends, though the secret second name had either never existed or had long since faded from memory when the various societies had mixed over the millennia.

"Your presence onboard ICE and the long presence of your species in this galaxy points me to the fact that you have other members within the NIF, and possibly our protectorates and other governments of this galaxy. Do you have access to their identities as well? And, before you wonder, it is not my intention to deal in the galactic politics of highly-placed foreign agents in the New Republic, I leave that to your ambassador and our diplomatic corps to sort out."

With such an apparently high-level of information on this galaxy, it was likely that in any negotiation those placed within the New Republic would be a matter of contention, the NIF and NR were at war, and information provided by such agents would go a long way to sooth the pain of having been similarly infiltrated. However, if Rikku - or Mayumi - were any indication, they would be hesitant to give over such information. Iaex himself had no hatred for the New Republic, they were his sworn enemy by his oaths to the New Imperial Federation, but he had no reason to hate them. Others within both sides of the conflict, were consumed by such hatred of the others that the chances of reconciliation were much lower among them. Much of this was, of course, reflected in the respective upbringings of them compared to him, growing up in the center of the galaxy and constantly surrounded with the galactic politics of the day as opposed to living far from civilization.

"Further, you mention your mission is to protect me specifically. What exactly is it you are to protect me from?" Taking a somewhat lighter tone however than the serious business which was being discussed, he added "And, I am honored that you trust me with your private name, Mayumi. There are several civilizations in our galaxy with similar customs, and I suspect some others used to have such customs but have since forgotten."
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Rikku » 2011-06-25 01:07

"Your presence onboard ICE and the long presence of your species in this galaxy points me to the fact that you have other members within the NIF, and possibly our protectorates and other governments of this galaxy. Do you have access to their identities as well? And, before you wonder, it is not my intention to deal in the galactic politics of highly-placed foreign agents in the New Republic, I leave that to your ambassador and our diplomatic corps to sort out." After a moment of pause, he continued with a question, "Further, you mention your mission is to protect me specifically. What exactly is it you are to protect me from?" His last comment brought a smile to Rikku's face as did his gentler tone, "And, I am honored that you trust me with your private name, Mayumi. There are several civilizations in our galaxy with similar customs, and I suspect some others used to have such customs but have since forgotten."

"Yes we do, even among the New Republic. That would be something that Emperor Kane would need to talk to Tyr, our ambassador, about. If asked politely and not demanding, he would stand a better chance of getting both Tyr's and those agents cooperation. If he does slip up and insults them his chances of getting their full-help will quickly fade. We are a race that is always mindful of honor. As long as we are treated with respect, there is no quarrel and you can expect our full help. If you insult us, we will only tell you what you ask for and no more. I do not know how His Majesty Kane will take that advice. But it would be to both ours and the NIF's benefit to follow it.

As to territory, we are no where near as large as the NIF. What we do have is eons of consistent technological, social and biological development. As I am sure Tyr would have already stated, we will not be inclined to share military technologies..." She paused for a couple seconds to add emphasis, "However, there is a way to get an exception to that policy. It won't be easy but it could prove beneficial to the NIF's war effort. If you are very fortunate, it might lead to a posting of one or more of our vessels with an NIF fleet. Which in turn may be negotiated to allow your scientists and engineers access to them. However, to be clear, it would require me to make a call to Tyr and pull family connections. If you ask me to do that, you must understand that it would be a very large favor. As we are in a war of our own."

Rikku shifted her tone back from the serious tone of an officer to a more gentle tone, one you would use to a friend. "I am honored to trust you. As to your question, my orders not entirely very clear as I would have wanted. In short, it was to help you in any way you see fit. To protect you from any dangers that may occur in this galaxy, in between or in the galaxy we will arrive in. Sadly, we haven't explored the galaxy we are headed to and only have starcharts for a very small area. Due to that we had no reason to expand. I am sorry that I could not be more precise, milord. I mean Iaex!"
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-25 02:00

As he expected, the issue of agents in the New Republic would be one that would surely be raised, but that was for others to negotiate and decide. "The Emperor is aided by the entire Diplomatic Corps, so I am sure that the negotiations will pan out. The New Imperial Federation is a creation of careful statecraft, our military, and our constant drive for advanced technologies."

Her assessment of the size of their territory was surprising to him, insofar as the fact that no attempt had been made by such an advanced civilization, capable of traversing the distance between galaxies, to explore their surroundings. In some ways, it could be said that Iaex took the Corellian perspective on things of that nature. There were, he reminded himself, advanced species within this galaxy whose integration into the greater galactic community was facilitated in entirely human explorers arriving, and some which even now remained reclusive.

In response to the sharing of technologies, Iaex once again was at a loss to how things should be handled there, "As you know, I am in no position to present the official opinion of the New Imperial Federation on matters of technology research and sharing, so I believe such things should be left until the details of our two governments' interaction have been fleshed out further. You mention that your civilization is at war currently. This enemy is presumably in your galaxy, what is their status in all of this? I am sure the opening of diplomatic negotiations with the Federation will lead to that issue."

In any case, in spite of their lack of knowledge as to their own galaxy beyond their borders, ICE was planning to go deep into the unknown with no idea what awaited them, so little actually changed in that regard. "As to your galaxy, if there were to be the ideal expedition to survey it, ICE is it." With all of these new developments to the mission, it would be important for Iaex to inform the Vicereine and the Moff. Reaching into a pocket, he pulled out a comlink. "In order for us to best do that however I must make sure the necessary precautions are taken." Punching in a command code to the comlink, he connected to the ship's Helios AI, Jack.

"Initiate Larek, what do you require?" Came the calm and level voice from the comlink of the advanced AI which resided in the ICE's systems. Similar to normal World Devestators, the ICE was basically a giant droid, that also happened to be a warship, a mobile shipyard and manufacturing plant, and an intergalactic transport and science vessel.

"Jack, arrange a meeting for me with Vicereine Roosh and Moff Calad. Inform them that it is urgent."

"Very well," came the reply from the AI, "is there any time you would prefer?"

"Later today would be preferable, but as soon as possible." Turning off the comlink, he slid it back into his pocket before looking up once again. "Jack will get back to me when the meeting has been arranged."
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Rikku » 2011-06-25 02:32

"The Emperor is aided by the entire Diplomatic Corps, so I am sure that the negotiations will pan out. The New Imperial Federation is a creation of careful statecraft, our military, and our constant drive for advanced technologies."

He took a moment before continuing, "As you know, I am in no position to present the official opinion of the New Imperial Federation on matters of technology research and sharing, so I believe such things should be left until the details of our two governments' interaction have been fleshed out further. You mention that your civilization is at war currently. This enemy is presumably in your galaxy, what is their status in all of this? I am sure the opening of diplomatic negotiations with the Federation will lead to that issue."

As to your galaxy, if there were to be the ideal expedition to survey it, ICE is it." Reaching into a pocket, he pulled out a comlink. "In order for us to best do that however I must make sure the necessary precautions are taken." Rikku saw him enter in some form of code.

A moment later a disembodied and slightly electronic sounding voice spoke in a calm level voice. "Initiate Larek, what do you require?"

"Jack, arrange a meeting for me with Vicereine Roosh and Moff Calad. Inform them that it is urgent."

"Very well," came the reply from the AI, "is there any time you would prefer?"

"Later today would be preferable, but as soon as possible." Turning off the comlink, he slid it back into his pocket before looking up once again. "Jack will get back to me when the meeting has been arranged."

Rikku waited till she was clearly given permission to speak again. "If you are concerned about getting tangled up in our conflict, that is extremely unlikely. I know both our military and political establishment will not allow that. As we would not be involved directly in your war, unless asked for assistance. We would not allow or ask for yours in ours. In addition, once long ago, this same species tried to wage a war with us. They were utterly crushed. We didn't wipe them out or put them back to the stone age. Now it seems that they are intent on getting 'revenge' for their fools mistake.

I know that the Empire will suffer infrastructure damage and losses. However, it is not really a question on whether we will win or not. It is a question of how quickly it will be. I am not being overconfident. The enemy of ours, called the Myrderi, are about Galactic Par in your terms. In more concrete terms they would be slightly below tech-wise compared to the New Republic. The war will definitely be over and done by the time we get there. If you are curious I am sure I can find some stats for their vessels to give you.

As to diplomatic relations, that is why Tyr was ordered to make official contact with the NIF Government. Likewise, it was why I was reminded to try and talk to you as soon as possible. So as to avoid any unintentional negative appearances that would result in a tardy contact."

Rikku's voice and body language changed to that of a nervous 'college girl'. "Iaex, please don't think poorly of me! However, I must tell you that I am...wary of the Vicereine and the Moff. As you might be aware, I already managed to get myself on her bad side not that long ago. I had a misunderstanding with a very jumpy crewmate. I am sure that you are well familiar with the report." Rikku clasped her hands in front of her and bowed her head "Please forgive me! I promise to do the best of my ability to never allow another incident to occur..."
Last edited by Rikku on 2011-12-15 21:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-25 06:41

As Iaex put the comlink away, Rikku waited several moments beyond that before she spoke once again, "If you are concerned about getting tangled up in our conflict, that is extremely unlikely. I know both our military and political establishment will not allow that. As we would not be involved directly in your war, unless asked for assistance. We would not allow or ask for yours in ours. In addition, once long ago, this same species tried to wage a war with us. They were utterly crushed. We didn't wipe them out or put them back to the stone age. Now it seems that they are intent on getting 'revenge' for their fools mistake." All in all, it sounded as if it were a senseless rivalry like so many that had occurred in history, most all of which came to no good and plenty of wrong.

With a sense of calm assurance, she continued on, "I know that the Eldorrin Empire will suffer infrastructure damage and losses. However, it is not really a question on whether we will win or not. It is a question of how quickly it will be. I am not being overconfident. The enemy of ours, called the Myrderi, are about Galactic Par in your terms. In more concrete terms they would be an even match tech-wise for the New Republic. The war will definitely be over and done by the time we get there. If you are curious I am sure I can find some stats for their vessels to give you."

Having not seen the technology of the Eldorrin Empire, as she called it, Iaex could of course make no judgement for himself as to how assured such a victory was, but assuming their technology was as advanced as it seemed to be by this description, they would make a truly fearsome opponent indeed. Her assuredness in the capability of her civilization however quickly melted from her voice and demeanor as she switched subjects, "Iaex, please don't think poorly of me! However, I must tell you that I am...wary of the Vicereine and the Moff." Thinking over the time of the expedition so far, he saw no particular reason for this caution, aside from the particular attention they had paid to protocol thus far in the expedition. "As you might be aware, I already managed to get myself on her bad side not that long ago. I had a misunderstanding with a very jumpy crewmate. I am sure that you are ewll familiar with the report." As a matter of fact, Iaex was himself not familiar with the report, having devoted most of his time on the expedition thus far to training and working with the sensor crews to record and catalog data, in addition to working on several strange readings that had been picked up and nobody else could decypher. She bowed her head and clasped her hands in front before asking him, "Please forgive me! I promise to do the best of my ability to never allow another incident to occur."

Before he spoke again, Iaex reached down within the deep well of the power of the Force within his being and used it to gently nudge her head back up so they made eye contact, "I do not happen to be familiar with that report, having not bothered to follow the disciplinary proceedings of the expedition, though I would definitely advise you avoid such incidents to simplify matters as much as possible." Then, with a slight hint of a smile he added, "Also, though the Vicereine may seem to be a harsh individual, this is not the person herself, she is quite honorable and I am relatively sure she holds no ill will against you. As I already said, her, the Moff, and myself all derive our authority from the Emperor for different aspects of this expedition. We must simply inform them of the situation so that a plan may be crafted going forward."
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Rikku » 2011-06-25 07:04

This guy is much nicer than I thought. Mmmmm.... Maybe I could find out if he likes dinner sometime. As I really don't have any friends here. And he is the closest I got to one. Drats! He can probably read my mind...

Rikku looked down then quickly up, "Hai! I mean, yes Iaex!"

She shifted her tone back to a more serious note, "I have a bad feeling though that should Tyr get himself in trouble. That it will negatively affect my ability to serve you. For the record, Tyr is impulsive and does tend to act then think. Usually, after something didn't go according to plan. However, he does tend to do a great job of improvising his way out of trouble. Just that, if I know anything and if there is some event that gives him a reason to act. He will probably get on the bad side of someone important.

As the last communication I did get was a notice that there was an investigation into the loyalty of the EES Providence. A ship of ours that is or was in your galaxy. If what is suspected turns out to be true, than it probably won't be the only thing. Bad things come in pairs. Since, I have no way of communicating with those in command, I don't know what may or may not be going on.

Also, if you don't mind I wouldn't mind working with you on your swordmanship. Since, I find it...relaxing." As she finished, Rikku held her zanpukto in her hand, awaiting Iaex's orders.
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-25 07:36

"As it is said in some places, c'est la vie, or 'that is life'. The best course of action for us to take here is to ensure the stability of ICE, as that is what falls within the mission profiles of everyone on the expedition - we are neither considered a regular unit of the NIF military, nor expected to act as one, especially when we get to our destination."

Then, in response to her later inquiry, he reached out his hand to the orb which still hovered silently in the air, using the Force to pull it to him, and once he had it firmly grasped in his hand, switched it to the 'off' setting and set it aside. As he placed it there, he spoke over his shoulder to her, "As it turns out, I did come to the training center this morning in order to work on my lightsaber skills - as I am still quite new to the technique - before you interrupted my training."

Turning around once again to face her, a wicked grin swept across his face as he saw her standing there holding her zanpukto. "So if it does - as you say - relax you, then by all means let us spar." Reaching over with his hand he grasped the cool metal casing of the lightsaber and removed it from his belt. Waiting a fraction of a second, he felt the weight of the weapon in his hand, knowing that even once ignited the weight would not change one bit in spite of appearances otherwise.

With a simple motion, he ignited the lightsaber and the blue-green blade sprang back to life with the distinctive electric crackling hiss particular to lightsabers. He raised his left arm up and gave the lightsaber a simple flourish, admiring its simplicity before lunging forward in Rikku's direction, placing himself within commfortable striking distance from which point he swung the blade in a simple arc up and to his left, her own blade coming up to meet the strike, giving the resistance that seemed so impossible from a blade made of concentrated energy and yet somehow still occurred. Definitely a side-effect of having used vibroblades my entire life, I am too used to having to deal with a weight on the other side, and it puts me slightly off-balance to not have it anymore.
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Rikku » 2011-06-25 08:03

Rikku couldn't help but smile a little, "It is a bit meditative for me..."

As Iaex attacked, she parried quickly and easily. Her blade and the lightsaber made a very disconcerting screeching sound as they hit. Rikku didn't pay much attention to it. Deftly, she batted the weightless lightsaber blade aside and counterattacked!

As she lunged forward right as she beat the blade aside. Brought her blade up and stroke as she shouted, "KAI!" She stopped her blade's edge just short of cleaving his head in two. Iaex quickly noticed that she had flicked her blade more than swung it. In comparison the speed of the strike was much quicker.

Rikku stepped back and brought her blade back to the ready position..."My zanpukto can cut just as well as your lightsaber. It is also perfectly balanced. The cutting targets that I will teach you are the crown of the head, horizontally across the neck and the diagonals that go through both the lungs and heart. These are the basic cuts and the quickest to kill. If I cut an opponent down, most any being would be dead before their body hit the floor. The concept is to kill and move on.

Is it just me or are you a bit unbalanced, senpai?" As she said the last word, the young man could detect a slight hint of an endearing tone.
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-25 10:43

Her parry was expected, and as the two blades connected and she pushed against his lightsaber, he swung around again with a simple flick of the wrist, but rather than connecting again with her zanpukto there was nothing, and instead the blade of her weapon came to rest just short of his head, her having flicked her blade rather than undertaking another swing as he had expected.

They both stepped back once again, holding their blades at the ready. It was then that she spoke again, "My zanpukto can cut just as well as your lightsaber. It is also perfectly balanced." She began, two things he knew more practice with his lightsaber would remedy. While the balance was currently strange to him, as he progressed it would eventually come to be an extension of himself. Reference to the zanpukto reminded him of how well it managed to resist his lightsaber however, an uncanny fact as all but very few materials were normally sliced through with ease by such a weapon. "The cutting targets that I will teach you are the crown of the head, horizontally across the neck and the diagonals that go through both the lungs and heart. These are the basic cuts and the quickest to kill. If I cut an opponent down, most any being would be dead before their body hit the floor. The concept is to kill and move on." In concept, it made sense with everything he had learned thus far, and everything he knew. The trick was, as usual, in the application and practice so it became a reality rather than a theory. Then, with a bit of a sarcastic yet endearing tone, she asked "Is it just me or are you a bit unbalanced, senpai?"

Staring across the expanse towards her, he answered honestly, there was no reason to lie after all, "As it is, my experience with lightsabers is limited. Living on the frontier when growing up, a good reliable blaster or slugthrower and a vibroblade was what I entrusted my life to, when not in a ship at least." With a hint of a shrug he continued, "The lightsaber is quite different from a vibroblade, as there is no physical blade so I have been forced to compensate until I get used to it." Another of the features of living on the frontier that had not left him was his interest in languages, leading into his next question as he stepped forward again cautiously, this time making sure to call upon the Force, knowing that the more control he gave over to it, the greater control he would have. "And what is the meaning of that word, senpai, if you don't mind my asking?"
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Rikku » 2011-06-25 14:34

"As it is, my experience with lightsabers is limited. Living on the frontier when growing up, a good reliable blaster or slugthrower and a vibroblade was what I entrusted my life to, when not in a ship at least." With a hint of a shrug he continued, "The lightsaber is quite different from a vibroblade, as there is no physical blade so I have been forced to compensate until I get used to it." After a short moment, he asked a question of his own, "And what is the meaning of that word, senpai, if you don't mind my asking?"

Rikku nodded as he explained: That makes a lot of sense. From what I can tell, a lightsaber has a massless blade; at least if you compare it to the hilt. Which would explain the ease of pushing his weapon aside and finishing. I may have to adjust some of the concepts I introduce him to. So that they are more effective for such an unbalanced weapon.

His question jerked her back from her thoughts. "Senpai is a term that is a bit..complicated. General use is as a sign of respect to a more senior student, coworker or even superior. Particularly, one that you are personally familiar with. It can also be used as a term of respect for a mentor that is not your teacher/master. Such as, in a traditional martial school, the student that is the highest ranking and helps the master with inexperienced or new students." She paused and then added the last definitional use. "Or it could be used as a term endearment between two individuals; where there are romantic feelings on one or both sides. Though normally a suffix is used to denote that instead: 'kun' to the boy's name and 'chan' to the girl's. Regardless of its intent it is a word to denote and convey your respect and honoring of the person addressed." I hope he doesn't figure out I was using the last of those usages not the others...Being a dark Jedi is probably already aware of my thoughts. I am not supposed to be liking him romantically. Yet, he is much different than the other guys I know...I hate how confusing this is!

Rikku quickly added with a cute smile, "If I may suggest, try using smaller more precise movements rather than larger sweeping ones. Large slashing or cutting movements are much easier to read and anticipate. Smaller movements like the 'flick' I just did are much harder to read or anticipate. There is less of a telegraphed signal. Thrusts are good for the same reasons. The goal is to have as many options as you can without telegraphing your intent. Though please try to not cut me with your lightsaber..."
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-26 03:46

As he explained his difficulty with the lightsaber, he could tell she was musing over the thought of such a strange weapon, to which he added during her thoughts, "The blade is, in itself the lightsaber's greatest strength once I get used to it. It has no mass, allowing infinitely precise and rapid movements, and can cut through almost any material. With the Force and practice, it will become like an extension of my arm."

A moment after, that she went on to explain the meaning of senpai, "Senpai is a term that is a bit..complicated. General use is as a sign of respect to a more senior student, coworker or even superior. Particularly, one that you are personally familiar with. It can also be used as a term of respect for a mentor that is not your teacher/master. Such as, in a traditional martial school, the student that is the highest ranking and helps the master with inexperienced or new students. Or it could be used as a term endearment between two individuals; where there are romantic feelings on one or both sides. Though normally a suffix is used to denote that instead: 'kun' to the boy's name and 'chan' to the girl's. Regardless of its intent it is a word to denote and convey your respect and honoring of the person addressed."

Nodding slightly as he heard the definition, he wondered exactly which of them was intended. A slight hesitation before she offered the last definition stood out to him, but it could have been out of embarrassment that it was the definition, or fear that he could misconstrue it as such. In any case, he decided to brush that out of his mind as she continued quickly with a smile in switching back to the topic of training, "If I may suggest, try using smaller more precise movements rather than larger sweeping ones. Large slashing or cutting movements are much easier to read and anticipate. Smaller movements like the 'flick' I just did are much harder to read or anticipate. There is less of a telegraphed signal. Thrusts are good for the same reasons. The goal is to have as many options as you can without telegraphing your intent. Though please try to not cut me with your lightsaber...

With a slight chuckle he replied to this, "As I improve further and grow stronger in the Force, I will be more successful in using a lightsaber, but for now I have to put much more effort into striking, parrying, and limiting my own strikes so as to avoid any injury to either of us. As I stated, a lightsaber can cut through almost any material with little to no resistance. As for many options, the Force brings forth many possibilities to choose from."
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Re: Bridging the Gap [Rikku]

Post by Rikku » 2011-06-26 20:31

Rikku nodded. In concept his added comment on lightsabers made sense. Though personally from her point of view, she would much rather deal with the more versatile zanpukto. Though, she also had to admit to herself that versatility is in the mind's eye of the wielder.

"As I improve further and grow stronger in the Force, I will be more successful in using a lightsaber, but for now I have to put much more effort into striking, parrying, and limiting my own strikes so as to avoid any injury to either of us. As I stated, a lightsaber can cut through almost any material with little to no resistance. As for many options, the Force brings forth many possibilities to choose from."

Rikku smiled and he heard a happy chuckle. "Please forgive me. As a species, we cannot nor will ever be what you call 'force-sensitive'. For some reason, we do not possess that characteristic. As you grow more skilled, I am sure you will realize what I already know. You inherently will be powerful than I or any of my kind will ever be. Despite all my people's technology and skill, we cannot ever rival a force-user. I guess it is the price we 'pay' to be as we are. Sorry Iaex, I won't be as large of a challenge as you grow and mature." Then she added as a whisper, "Iaex-kun."

Why am I being attracted to this boy! He is in his early twenty's but not more than 27. So either way, he is about seven years older than me. He wouldn't ever like you back. Besides, you are an extragalactic alien to him. Yet...he is a much nicer guy than any of the other boy, I know. That and he and I could at least relate. Why couldn't the DJ be a girl?! Then I wouldn't be having this conflict! Rikku sighed a little... Yet, I wouldn't want it any other way. Even if he never likes me, I can at least take care of him even if it costs me my life.

Rikku suddenly realized he was looking at her quizzically. She instinctively had a sheepish girlish look on her face. "It is nothing. I am sorry Iaex. I didn't mean to delay you. Let's continue..."

Rikku immediately lunged in delivered a series of quick thrusts. As her front foot hit the ground she thrust at his face, throat and heart. She brought the blunt training boken into the attack. She didn't want to hurt him should she get through. For each set of thrusts she instinctively changed the order of the targets. Then on the fourth set, she did a flicking cut at both of his wrists followed by the crown of head.
Last edited by Rikku on 2011-12-15 21:02, edited 2 times in total.
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"The world now unchanged from ancient times
leaves that are words retain seeds in the heart"

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