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Private what the cat dragged in

Discussion in 'Pandora Town' started by Ben Solo, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

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    jan 30 / @Jaesa Willsaam

    When Kylo Ren finally crawled made it into Pandora Town, his dirty, torn clothing was clinging to his body from both sweat and rain. His hair hung in messy, dampened strands, and he smelled very clearly like a man who hadn't bathed in several days. It had in fact been more like a week, but being drenched by rain storms along the way had helped.

    He knew it might not go well, but he found himself heading towards the only familiar place in the Town: the ship he'd landed in first, belonging to a woman named Jaesa. She'd shown him mercy that night instead of killing him, and he hoped maybe she would again.

    Luckily, he found it parked in the same place it'd been before. He walked up the ramp to the door, and knocked on the metal exterior. "Jaesa? Jaesa, it's Kylo." There was a pause.

    Then, from a speaker he couldn't see, "My master is due back in approximately 6.75 hours. Perhaps you could wait out there?" The droid. Kylo's eyes shut in frustration, and his hand fell back to his side.

    "Perhaps I could wait inside?" he countered, patience already wearing thin.

    "She said she would dismantle me if I opened the doors when she is away." Of course she did.

    He headed back down the ramp, and with a groan lowered himself to sit at the bottom. It at least kept the rain from pouring on his head any longer, and it beat anywhere he'd slept recently.
     
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  2. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    After a busy day at work dealing with a disgruntled and displaced demigod on the outskirts of town who had gone on a furious rampage, the last thing Jaesa expected to see when she arrived - sore all over, limping a little, and in desperate need of a drink - at her ship was a bundle of black hair and black clothing curled up into an apparently unconscious ball, taking shelter beneath the ramp up to the ship entrance.

    At first she assumed it was some transient who had seen her ship as the first bit of shelter from the rain that had been hammering down most of the day. But as she limped closer, she felt... a presence through the Force. A Force user, camped out asleep under hership. Eventually, she got close enough that something - either the sense of her or the sound of her boots splashing through puddles - woke the person up, and a pale face turned up to look at her, and she stopped dead.

    "Kylo?" Of course she remembered his name. It wasn't every day someone arrived in Pandora on her ship - although it was actually the second time it had happened - and tried to kill her. She folded her arms, cocking her head as she stared at him. He was in a much worse way than he had been last she'd seen him. "You look like you rolled around in a swamp," she deadpanned as she approached further and stopped a couple of feet from him. Then she paused and wrinkled her nose. "You smell like it, too."


     
    #2 Jaesa Willsaam, Jan 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
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  3. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

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    It wasn't until Jaesa called his name that Kylo was roused from a shallow but very necessary sleep. It would seem that, without meaning to, he'd dozed off at some point under the ship's ramp. Then again, that he was underneath it at all seemed to imply some sort of intentionality- but he had no recollection. Just that annoying droid insisting she was away, sitting down onto the metal... and then lifting his head to see Jaesa coming towards him, the sun going down around them.

    "Mmm." He groaned and shifted out from underneath the ramp to sit up and smooth a hand over his tangled hair. "Hi, Jaesa." His voice was low and groggy, thick with sleep. But he soon smelled himself, and her words rang true. "I know," was all he could grumble in response, before slowly getting to his feet. He started to step towards her, but then remembered that nobody would likely want him in their space right then.

    "Sorry to..." He didn't know how to describe this, and so gestured at the ramp with a lazy wave of his hand. "Your droid... is very frightened of you." He raised an eyebrow, and glanced over the woman. "I don't have anywhere else to go, currently," he offered as a vague explanation. It was the Kylo way of asking for help.
     
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  4. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    He was an absolute mess, looking and smelling kind of gross, really. Jaesa kept some space between them, just to lessen the stink rising from him. He was heavily travel-stained - where had he gone, and why had he come back? She snorted a little at his comment about her droid. "Nah. If droids were capable I think he'd be in love with me. He can just be a bit trusting of people." People were just there to be helped and looked after to a protocol droid like Seetoo.

    When Kylo admitted that he had nowhere to go, Jaesa quirked an eyebrow, almost mirroring him. "And that's why you came here?" If he'd managed to fall asleep on the dirty concrete beneath the ship's ramp, then he must have been there a while. He'd clearly sought her out and then stuck around with the sole intention of seeing her. Clearly, since she'd let him stay a night once, he was after the same charity again.

    Even just a few months ago she probably would have sent him on his way. But now, she watched him with a frown for a few moments. "You can't stay here for long," she told him bluntly. "My ship isn't a hostel for stray Force users." Besides, what would she tell Wolfgang if she let some other guy live on her ship with her? He wasn't the jealous type but that might be too much even for him. Still... She sighed, rolling her eyes. "One night, maybe two if I feel generous. But on one condition." She looked him up and down, pulling a face before giving him a small, dry smile. "Clean yourself as soon as you get in."


     
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  5. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

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    He nodded once. "That's why I came here," he agreed. As for why he'd stayed... "Falling asleep under your ramp... felt less like a choice." More like his body refusing to remain upright for another hour. He groaned and stretched his arms out, feeling a bit stiff from the chosen resting spot.

    "That's fair," he replied to her offer. He knew he was asking for a favor from someone who owed him nothing- someone in whose debt he already existed. "More than. Thank you, Jaesa." He pressed his lips together into a stiff, but grateful smile.

     
  6. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    She could understand that. She had, after all, done the whole travelling thing when she had first arrived in Pandora herself. Back then, she'd been an innocent, lonely little padawan just trying to find her Jedi Master from back home. So much had changed. Thinking back on that was like looking into a life that no longer existed and never would again.

    Responding to his thanks with a nod, Jaesa led the way up the ramp, punching in the security key to open the doors (she was careful to stand in the way of Kylo, not trusting him enough to let him know how to get onto her ship; there was only one other person she trusted enough for that) and then heading in, making her way stiffly up the stairs onto the deck and stepping aside so that Kylo could follow her up.

    "Refresher's down on the bottom deck, to the right," she told him, pointing to the other set of stairs that led down onto a much less brightly lit deck. Then she paused, looking him up and down and folding her arms. "I'm not really sure what to do about your... clothes," she said slowly. They were filthy, and carried as much stink as he himself did. "I suppose I could ask Seetoo to launder them, but it would take a little bit for them to dry again." Even with their technology, it wasn't instantaneous.


     
    #6 Jaesa Willsaam, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  7. Ben Solo

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    He'd started in the direction she'd indicated when she raised a very good point. He looked down at his crusted, stained clothes and knew cleaning himself would be useless if he put them back on afterwards.

    "I..." He paused. "Do you have a... sheet? Towel?" He tried not to smirk. "Or you could just leave me in there to talk to the wall until my clothes dry."

     
  8. Jaesa Willsaam

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    "You could always talk to Seetoo," she said, with a short laugh that stated quite plainly she probably would have rather have talked to a wall. The droid was fine as droids went, but he was so... stuffy. And boring.

    Turning away, she headed into the crew quarters Kylo had slept in last time, a slight limp evident in her step from her tough day at work. Reaching up to one of the four bunks in the room, Jaesa pulled the sheets free. They were clean and pressed, like all of the others; Seetoo regularly laundered all the bedding despite the fact that Jaesa had never had all four of those beds filled before, having never had a crew of her own.

    Moving stiffly back to the deck, she tossed the sheet at Kylo. She could've given him a towel, but they'd probably have been too small. "Just tell the droid to deal with your clothes. I think he's down there right now anyway." Probably checking on something in the engine room.

    Then she turned to move into the mess room, heading straight to one of the curved couches - though not before pausing at a mini-cooler she'd installed that held her beer so she could grab a bottle - and dropping down onto it, rolling her neck to try and soothe sore shoulder muscles. She was sore all over. Fuck, she needed this beer. While Kylo dealt with cleaning himself up, Jaesa slipped her phone out of her pocket and sent a text to Wolfgang explaining the situation and asking to reschedule their drinks. There was, after all, no way she was going to leave Kylo on her ship alone, lest she return to find that he'd stolen it or something.


     
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  9. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

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    Talk to Seetoo. Kylo pressed his lips together. "Pass. No offense to Seetoo." A little offense. It was because of the droid his spine felt oddly bent out of shape, at the moment. But he caught the sheet, nodded his thanks, and turned in to begin the process of scrubbing the last week from his body.

    Twenty minutes later he emerged, a million times more relaxed, clean, and better smelling. He dried off as best he could, and spent another few minutes figuring out the best way to go about being in the home of a woman he barely knew in a sheet. In the end, he knew there really wasn't a modest way to go about it. He wrapped it around his lower half, and decided to find a place to sit as soon as possible, or else not use his arms all night. He passed his clothes off to Seetoo, and then went to find Jaesa.

    He found her on a sofa upstairs, bottle in hand, still looking a bit worse for wear. "Hello." He almost raised a hand in a wave, but thought better of it and gave a somewhat awkward smile instead. He moved to sit in the couch adjacent to her, falling into the cushion with a heavy sigh, and arranged the fabric around his waist as best he could. "Rough day?"
     
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  10. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    Jaesa preoccupied herself with texting Wolfgang, explaining that she was going to have a visitor on her ship for the next couple of days - for all her suggestion that she'd give Kylo only one night in warmth, she knew she'd probably offer him a bed for at least a couple, if he found himself some kind of job so he'd get a place of his own. It was too damn cold to end up on the street at night.

    It didn't take too long before the man showed up again, trudging through the doorway in nothing but a sheet wrapped around his waist. She couldn't help but smirk at him, laughter in her eyes before she slipped her phone back into her pocket.

    "Could say that," she said with a grimace in response to his question. She gestured with her drink at him. "Want one?" He'd already sat down so she lifted a hand, the mini-fridge door swinging open. A bottle of beer suddenly flew out of the fridge as though someone inside had tossed it at Kylo, and if he didn't react to it quick enough it was likely to smack him in the face. He was a Force user same as her - he should be able to deal with something like that easily enough. The fridge door swung shut again.

    "Nothing like a pissed off deity to keep you on your toes," she continued, wincing a little as she adjusted her position on the couch, raising the bottle to her lips and taking a swig before she eyed Kylo. "Why did you turn up looking like someone had thrown all of Pandora's sand and dirt at you?"


     
  11. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

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    Apparently the offer was less of a question and more of a think fast scenario, as a bottle promptly flew towards him. Kylo turned and caught it easily, and flashed her a knowing grin. "Thanks," he chuckled.

    A pissed off deity, hmm? Kylo's brows lifted, though his eyes looked down to open the bottom before taking a long sip. He sighed after and leaned forward, resting the bottom of the bottle on his thigh. "Can't say I've had that experience, thankfully," he replied. At her question, however, the bit of amusement that had been on his face fizzled away. He shook his head almost bitterly. "I sort of feel like Pandora did just that," he began.

    He glanced back to her. "I walked here. From Horizon." The shortest answer he could offer, the one he was most comfortable sharing, and likely not satisfactory at all. "I don't recommend it."
     
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  12. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    "It's an engaging one," she said with a grin. And it had been. Maybe some people would think fighting against an enraged demigod to be at the bottom of the list of things they'd like to do that day, but it had been exciting and Jaesa always liked to get her adrenaline pumping. So what if she was going to be sore for a few days? Pain was energising.

    His vague explanation of why he had turned up so filthy made her nod slowly, more knowingly than he might have expected. She'd had her own experiences of that kind of travel. Less than two years ago she had managed to escape Anakin in Horizon, dragging herself through the desert, the plains and the ever-shifting forest, desperate and determined to return to her then-Master in Misty Hollow. She'd been barely in one piece when she'd arrived.

    "Is that so?" She took another swig of her beer. "Well, terrible as you looked, you were in a damn sight better condition than me when I did the same kind of journey once." She didn't offer more explanation on that any more than he did with his own remark. She remembered all too well the pain she'd been in after that journey, and how much she had believed it had been worth it to get to Sauron. Bitterness twisted in her gut the same way it did whenever her mind took a path down memory lane.


     
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  13. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

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    That lifted an eyebrow. Her reply was even more vague than his initial response, if possible. "Worse than crawling through rain storms, snow storms, and hail? Lucky me." He watched her for a moment, then took another swallow of the drink. "How long have you been here, Jaesa?" He was curious about her experience, having not forgotten the violent images he'd seen inside of her head upon their meeting. Whether they were from Pandora or her universe back home, he hadn't been able to tell.
     
  14. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    Jaesa met his quirked eyebrow with a mild expression and small shrug of her shoulders. "Try lying on the top of a metal train for hours underneath the desert sun, with no water to drink," she said calmly, her voice not conveying any of the bitterness that curled in her stomach.

    She had suffered burns from that endeavour, from the sun and from the roof of the train, and those had not even been the end of it. And all so she could get back to a man - not a man, a monster - who had never loved her the way she had him. Or... thought she had.

    Kylo's question caught her off-guard, as unwillingly caught in memories as she was. She thrust them away, hoping the man was not as adept at reading emotions through the Force as she herself was. "Nearly two years, best as I can guess." She wasn't entirely sure. She had not paid much attention to the passing of time in her months with Sauron. Two years give or take seemed about right though. "Longest two years of my life."


     
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  15. Ben Solo

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    He nodded slowly. That definitely sounded worse, and he didn't want to press her on it. Her tone was even, but he couldn't imagine such a thing sat with her so... casually. He could sense a brief bitterness hanging around her, but sought it with the Force no further than that.

    Two years, though. He'd been in Pandora perhaps a month and was already sick of it. That they were the longest of her life, apparently, didn't serve to give him much hope in the matter. "So it doesn't get easier, then?" He snorted.
     
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  16. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    She was silent for a few moments after his question, trying to figure out what kind of answer she could possibly give to that. For her, things had both got so much harder and so much easier, somehow both at once. She had struggled so much with the dark side, with the monster she had become and trying to distance herself from the killer her former master had made her into. That had been so very difficult, but she had had Wolfgang. He had made everything so much easier, so much... lighter. She could deal with anything when she had him around.

    "Depends on who you ask," she said slowly. "I reckon it's different for everyone. And no matter how tough things get here, I'd rather be in Pandora than back where we came from." She didn't know what his version of their galaxy was like, but she was well aware that the Republic and the Empire were inexorably inching towards all-out war again back in her time. And she had the unpleasant knowledge of what awaited her there: a life in the Empire, the apprentice of the Emperor's Wrath. Dark side or not, Jaesa had no desire to be Sith.

    She took a long drought from her bottle, as much as she could manage, swilling it in her mouth for a few moments as she set the bottle back down, the bottom of it resting against her knee. Jaesa glanced over at Kylo. "Would you go home, if you could?"


     
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  17. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

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    What she said was true enough, and maybe he couldn't pass judgement on the place yet. That she'd rather be in Pandora than back home was interesting- though perhaps it was only because his "home" was so recently forced behind him that he had trouble with the idea. At her question, therefore, his initial gut reaction was yes- his lips parted to say so. There had been a few moments in Horizon, with Rey, when he'd thought differently, but he'd left that behind and willingly so. It hadn't gone any better than it had in their galaxy, so did it really make a difference?

    He let the initial thought go with an exhale, and instead lifted his shoulders in a shrug. "I don't know. I'm not sure there was much left for me back home, but this doesn't feel much different anymore." The implication was maybe that it had, for a second, seemed different. He hadn't realized his gaze had drifted until he consciously pulled it back to the woman. "At least the decision's made for me. No way back, right?" Jaesa had been the one to tell him that. And it was why, with nowhere else to turn, he was considering seeing Darth Vader soon.
     
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  18. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    She caught his hesitation, and the implication in his words. Perhaps something had happened in Horizon, something that hadn't quite gone the way he'd expected or wanted. She cocked her head slightly as she watched him, wondering what could have changed his perception of Pandora as being different. She didn't ask though. Wasn't like they were friends, to share things like that. She wasn't sure what they were, given that their first meeting was succeeded by his attempt to kill her and he'd left the ship the next morning before she'd even woken up.

    "Right." A tough pill to swallow, at first. No way home, no matter how much you missed it. The only things she missed while she was in Pandora were her parents. She could only hope that her absence would keep them safe from the Sith she knew were hunting for her across the galaxy. Better she stay a world away from them than go back to a galaxy where her presence would only get them killed.

    Silent for a moment, Jaesa eyed Kylo with some curiosity, a question she had wondered since he had dropped into her ship tickling her mind. She wasn't sure how rude such a question might be considered, but Jaesa was nothing if not forward. "Are you a Sith?" she asked, tapping the side of her bottle with a fingernail.

    He was dark side, that much was plain as day, and she had the feeling that he had been so for longer than she had. Likely not all of his life - tapping into the unique facet of her Force abilities, she could see a light to his nature that suggested he had found his way to the dark, somehow, like she had. Maybe he had been a Jedi once, too, but defected.


     
    #18 Jaesa Willsaam, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  19. Ben Solo

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    Right. So Kylo would rather not dwell on it, at least not that night. He was glad when the subject changed- even if it was to an odd question. Kylo shook his head, took another sip of beer. "No. Neither was my former master. There may be some who use the teachings the Sith left behind- but they're extinct." At least, as far as he knew. "Are you?" She was dark side too- she'd made that clear the night they'd met. And what he'd seen from her past certainly indicated a more violent use of her abilities- not that he was one to judge.
     
    #19 Ben Solo, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  20. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    Extinct. There was some visible surprise on her face at that revelation, and the bottle she was raising to her mouth for a sip paused, hovering there instead. "Guess they fought amongst themselves too much," she said thoughtfully. Master Karr had told her about that. He had had an unusually intimate knowledge of the Sith and their inner workings for a Jedi; hardly surprising when he had spent several years under cover in the Empire himself, before he had ever found a young Jaesa Willsaam and taken her as his padawan.

    He had told her all about how they were powerful, but unlike the Jedi they did not work together, instead scheming and murdering within their own ranks. Seemed like far in the future, that would bite them in the ass. It was the only thing she could think of that would lead to their extinction, anyway.

    There was a slight stiffening to the way she sat on the couch when the question was turned on her. She should have expected he'd ask the same of her. She took a quick swig of her beer, emptying the bottle and staring at it in displeasure. "No," she said, before falling silent, her mouth working as she tried to figure out the best way to explain what she was. "Pandora was my introduction to the dark side. No Sith involved."