The Datafiles of Doctor Ayy’shiri (Ayy’shiri, SWG)
This face looks back at me. It’s cold and mechanical, I can tell I wasn’t sure if I was building another of my Pit Droids or something new. She is new. She is me in an odd way. RU-N4N is the moniker of identity I’ve given her, Runan is what she’ll be called. A remote controlled droid unit with no obvious ties to me. She has two A.I. processors, one is a dummy unit should she get into a situation that would infringe on her remote operation. The second is entirely disabled until a time when Punkal, Arazil and Kal can activate it. I hope that day never comes. And I hope that they take the precautions to safeguard those keys they have in case anything happens to them. Though, that’s a day I hope I never see.
He sleeps so peacefully beside me, holding onto me as if I were Mister Bantha. It makes it difficult to continue my work, but I have no desire to move. This was never a place I expected to be in my life and perhaps that’s the reason I’ve decided to keep a personal log of my research and adventures. If they could even be called adventures…
Perhaps in time we’ll adopted a clutch of snotlings and this will serve a purpose in telling them the story of their psuedo-parents. Perhaps it’ll just be a datachip that is eroded over time when it is dropped and forgotten. Perhaps, even in my worst nightmare, it’ll be found by Imperials when I have finally gone too far. Though, should that day come, I’ll wish them luck on breaking the encryption.
Maybe I’ll just leave it unlocked…
I’ve got this feeling that if I ever go down, it won’t be for the petty salvage that Arazil and I clean up and peddle. Or the contracts I take from time to time to serve as a simple spanner jockey for the Rebellion when they need an expert eye on their crafts.
Something tells me it’ll be for something that I haven’t even seen coming up on the horizon. Which only goes to tell me I need to step up my game. My job requires me to keep my record pristine. A smiling face to represent Quantum Mechanics. Legitimate credits to back a not so legitmate employer. I’ll never forget the look on Punkal’s face when I told him I could make ships in the name of the Glaston’s. Then again, I love getting him to make that face. Watching as his brain processes if what I’m saying is even possible, then the light to his eyes when he realizes that he’s talking to me.
I specialize in the improbable.
And the impossible.
Which is why she stares at me right now.
I think Kaliper was a little more than distressed when I put her down beside the edge of the bed.
RU-N4N. A little joke of what I’ve become. I wonder how many will get it and understand my walking, talking, “Kriff off” to my own culture. I think it’s because of that, that I choose to leave behind the ‘da’ in my name. I am no longer the second of two, in reality, I’ve always been solitary. My twin died the day we were born. I could go further and say that I’m not really a Shiri anymore either, but that would be a lie with my father so close to me.
Kriff, my father… I don’t want to see his hotel bills from West Carova…
I’m getting strange readings from Sadzulu. I sent him to work on the Backfire, which leads me to realize that I shouldn’t be surprised by the readings. What baffles me is that I can’t seem to route his datafeed back to my terminals. I need to remember to ask Kaliper about it.
Speaking of Kaliper, I’ve managed by the grace of my fathers’ green thumb, to transplant a series of native Lokian plants to a hydroponics lab on my ship. Another experiment. Sustainable living in big black void of space. I can’t forsee either of us maintaining a home planetside and at the moment, I don’t have the funding to begin my attempts to build a space station.
Asking for another loan…
I have far too many debts to pay as it is. Quantum Mechanics still hasn’t been able to turn around the credits it took to build it, but then again, it is still a new venture under this incarnation.
Maybe once RU-N4N’s construction is complete.
Oh! The Mos Espa Nunaball game is on!
It’s not a word that was ever in my vocabulary before other than the tales told in my history classes and by a wayward spacer. That was true up until I met Armide Vencu. The same night I met Punkal and Kaliper. The same night my life changed entirely. It’s hard to believe some days how much has happened in the time that has passed… I’ve gone from opening a small architectural firm to serve as a front to my research and development facility to becoming… what?
A ramat. A pirate?
I watched my facility explode. I sat with Kaliper until the flames died out and I knew that nothing would ever be the same. It was the day after I expressed my emotion for a man who would become my employer. And as the final embers of my lifes work died down, I made a deal that would end our affair and give birth to a new chapter in the life of Quantum Mechanics.
I’ve survived. I’ve prospered and by the grace of some metaphysical bolshit I can’t explain away with my theories, I’ve not gone bankrupt. Rather, I can look to the future and see where this navi-chart is taking me. Not that I’d ever presume to know the final result, but I’ve got faith in those around me and more hope than I know what to do with.
Armide told me that I have the soul and the heart of a Mandalorian today. She told me that it would be an honour to have me take up the ways. And I’m torn.
Could I do it?
Yes. Without a doubt, I could uphold the culture that is being offered to me.
Would I be happy doing it?
Yet, I’m still torn. I spoke with Kaliper about it and he supports it; should my path guide me there. It’s not something I can walk into lightly. Then again, nothing is. My next step is to speak with Sidewinder, I have concerns and while I can take them to Armide, she is my best friend. She is the closest thing to a sister I’ve ever had (and I have two living sisters.) I’ve told her if I am to do this, I don’t wish her to train me. So, these questions remain for Sidewinder. For Desev Vencu.
For the first time in my life, I’m almost scared to ask them. Not of Sidewinder, but Desev. I know that he wishes for me. And when my most important question is to not be separated from Kaliper while I train… My heart tells me he is not the one to ask. I don’t want this decision to hang on a question of desire.
…not when I love already.
I spent a good portion of the evening speaking with Sidewinder about what it would mean for me. It will not come between Kaliper and I. My heart is settled. However, I have been told that for the first part of the training, I will not be allowed any contact with the outside. That includes him and gives me the motivation to do as I do… to learn all that I can as quickly as I can. Hopefully my place on the rug will not be cold by the time I get back to it.
I was told that this training could kill me.
I’m not scared.
I’m focused on my success and the pride I could bring to the Vencu family.
It is Sidewinder who will train me.
But not today. And not tomorrow.
I’ve been given the time for now to spend with Kaliper. To say goodbye for a period of time that, hopefully, will not be long. I can’t think of how much I’ll miss him, I will only focus on how thankful I am for this time. And how happy I will be to be at his side once again once I have earned it.
Earned… as if I had something to prove.
I need to prove to myself that I can do this. That I have the strength, that I am more…
More of what though? A warrior fit for a Zabrak? That I can fight to protect what is mine and what I hold dear?
Am I doing this for myself or because of everything the Vencu’s have done for me?
I made my decision and now I question it. Now there is no one to answer my questions except for me. Questions I need to answer before this time is up.
…I think too much.
The first test of RU-N4N has gone smoothly. Both her remote operation and her dummy A.I. are working as intended, if not better than intended. I’ve got a feeling that part of her ‘ghost’ the secondary A.I. I installed, is intermingling with the dummy system. I don’t forsee any future issues with this, but I’ll be running more tests to be certain.
Having her first run succeed has relieved me of one challenge I wished to complete before beginning my training. As I sit in the cockpit of the Dancing Nuna staring down at Corellia, I find that I’m alone with my questions. What I’m considering makes me decision to sell Quantum Mechanics to Punkal look like a choice of what colour panties to slip on today.
I will be changing my life as I know it. I can’t be certain that this is the change I want to make until it is done. But once the first step is made, I can’t go back. I can’t turn around and say, “Sorry, I was mistaken.” I would have thrown away everything I am, everything I was, everything that I could be. Thrown all away in order to call myself Mandalorian.
While the absence of Kaliper is no longer a consideration to this decision; as I know that it will keep us apart only temporarily; it is the impact to my business. To my loyalties. It will effect everything I do…
The Tolian Twi’lek reached forward, changing the log from a written entry to a visual holo-feed. Her half-cybernetic tchin wrapped around her neck loosely. She pulled her legs up against her chest in order to rest her chin against her knees and wrap her arms around her calves. She stared out into the black void of space, not even looking to or focusing on the planet below.
I can’t help but to feel there’s something deeply psychological about all of this. I’m not unhappy with who I am or with where I’m going. Yet, I’m debating adopting a culture that is not mine, nor one that I have an emotional tie to outside of friendship. If I was studying the Iridonian way of life, I don’t believe I’d be having such an internal debate with myself. It makes sense. I love a Zabrak, I wish to understand his roots be it pirating or the Iridonian culture. I’ve been studying ul’Zabrak…
I suppose the first question to ask myself is, “Who am I?”
If we all had the answers to that question we’d be looking at another galaxy entirely. I am Doctor Ayy’shiri, the youngest of the children born to Ven’shiri and Shavi’shiri. My father is a homosexual man who married my mother because he wished children and she, as his childhood friend, agreed. I am the only one of my family to complete a University program of any type, let alone two.
Ayy’shiri sighed and reached up to rest a hand against the top of her head.
I’m a pilot, who dreams of a faster engine and a day when I never have to touch a planets surface again. I’m an engineer who believe she can construct the impossible but only managing the improbable. Some things remain impossible for reasons. I’m a Runan, an exile of my people because an accident took away half of my right lekku and so my connection to Kikka’lekki no longer exists in their eyes.
My connection to the Goddess was severed long before I lost that lekku.
As my father like to say, “Her science proved her religion wrong.”
I’ve never thought of myself as a warrior, I never say that I had the spirit of one before. I don’t think it was ever tested. Then again, the Outer Rim will bring out the best and worst in people. In becoming Mandalorian, that is what I’ll be. I worry if that will be all I will become.
I think a better question to ask myself is, “What am I not?”
Her hand slips down from atop her head, she rests her arm casually against her knee. Her cybernetic fingers wavering back and forth as she thinks.
I’m not a woman who can be told ‘no’. The connotation of negativity only serves as a challenge to me. I’m also not a woman who likes to put a definition to who I am. If my life has taught me anything, it’s that I’m not the person today who I will be tomorrow. As living beings we undergo a constant evolution, the people and experiences around us serve to constantly shape us.
She reaches forward and picks up a hydrospanner from the console of her ship and runs it between her fingers, her eyes focusing on the shape of the tool.
I’ve answered my own question. I’ve not let a single culture dictate who I am in the past, why would I start now? Espicially with one that would change how I live so irrevocably. I’m Doctor Ayy’shiri, an engineer with a warriors heart and a fire in her soul. I am Runan. I am a woman who can stand on her own and tell the galaxy anything I wish without needing a definition of cultural belonging.
And I will continue to live this way.
I only hope that the Vencu’s will forgive me and not think less of me.
She pushed herself up from the pilots seat of the Nova-class Cruiser, the image recorder following her down the hallways until the flopped unceremoniously into her bed. Having forgotten to turn off the feed, the holovid recorder catches an entirely new use for a hydrospanner.
“Runan, bring me the P-Q1312 A.I. Interface.” Doctor Ayy’shiri stated calmly from the cockpit of her Belbullab-22 starfighter. It really wasn’t much of a traditional starfighter anymore. In the years since Ayy’shiri had obtained the wrecked frame of the ship from a junk dealer on Lok, she had been working to turn it into a small glowing ball of speed. The sublight engines were the heaviest part of the ship, even sacrificing a long range hyperspace engine for an increased acceleration booster.
She had picked apart most of the forward control panel to access the droid interfacing frame. The old interface was now scattered across the floor of the top story of the hanger. The droid space now served as housing for a modified heavy reactor core. The installation of which had made her sick with radiation for a few days despite the anti-rad suit. Sev 2.0 reminded her nearly half a dozen times she needed to receive her inoculations. “Thank you, Runan.” She mumbled when the droid deposited the interface onto the top of the panning droid she was using as a worktable next to the Belbullab.
Her fingers slowly trailed along the edges of the interface. “Poy, now you can touch stars. Perhaps even grow into the life of this ship.” She whispered as she picked up the interface and inserted it into the console. “Every ship has a soul, the spirit that drives it and connects it to her pilot. I can’t have you in my mind anymore, I can’t believe you’re part of me anymore. The days of living for us both have passed, I can’t dance to bring your soul ease, I can’t continue to push…” Her voice broke as she threaded the wiring through the console to interconnect it to the crafts systems. She pulled her hand away from the interface to wipe away the tears that streamed down her cheeks.
“…I will take you to dance in the stars.” She scrunched her nose and pursed her lips in hopes of fighting off the emotion. “I don’t think I could make a better gift for you.” She pulled her hands away from the console and leaned forward to rest her head against the bared edge. Ayy’shiri lost her fight against her emotion, “…how have I survived, Poy?”
I’ve found myself sitting outside the shipyard more often than not. The days are quiet and the nights, even more so. There’s something surreal and almost relaxing about the calm that’s come over West Carova. My father has been in Mos Eisley, and while I need to speak with Kal and I crave time with him, I’ve not made the effort to seek him beyond the simplicity of our nights and mornings.
Last night however, I slept in Poy. I didn’t mean to but I woke up with the familiar rattles and clangs of the Rustbucket all the same. I remained in West Carova for far too long last night speaking with Ku’jo. It’s rare to be able to hold a conversation with another Twi’lek close to my own age. To see such different paths but the lessons learned remaining the same, amazes me to some extent.
I’ve never married. I’ve never had children of my own. But I understand the loss he speaks of, how it changes a person and how it lead him to become Mandalorian. He understands why I could not make the same decision and I think over the course of the conversation we both became a little envious of each others chosen way. I can’t help but to feel that Ku’jo might’ve found what he was seeking without making the sacrifice of who he would be and forever changing the course of his clan. But that is his concern, not mine.
Though… the conversation did leave me wondering, would I be a good mother? What would I, as a runan and the lover of a Zabrak with no single place to call home, be able to teach my children? Could the process that has made me barren even be reversed?
…Too many thoughts. I need to focus on work.
Kriff that. Heading to Backfire.
A new project has unveiled itself. I really don’t need another project, especially one that’ll be off the books. I couldn’t be more excited about it. And yet, I have no idea how I’m going to pull this off. It’s a fact that excites me.
Doctor Shiri! Your father is on comms.
[Audio Log Interrupted]
I’ve made an appointment to go to Coruscant to rectify a thing of the past. I don’t know yet if it’s something I want but sometimes I can’t help but to feel as if I’m constantly playing a dejarik game. Positioning all the pieces and preparing to move regardless of it I actually move them or not. This is no different.
These conversations I have with Ku’jo lead me to want more in my life. As I told him last night, I don’t know why I chase after more when some days it feels like I drown in projects and ideas. It feels like I’m constantly trying to push a line that doesn’t seem to exist for me. And if it doesn’t seem to exist, how will I know when I cross it? That question has been the theme of many of our conversations in various incarnations. Mostly pertaining to the struggles he tries to conquer daily in his training. The mental and the physical.
I sent a transmission to Kaliper, letting him know that I’d be going to Ka’ra to speak with Sidewinder and Armide. From there I’ll be leaving for Coruscant. I no longer wish to remain sterile. I have no plan to have a child, but I no longer want to know that it’s a path that’s forever closed to me. I’ve said it more times than I can count, I cannot be told that I am unable to do something. Yet, in my youth I was so eager to take away that very ability from myself.
I’m not a young Twi’lek. I’ve seen well over thirty standard years. I understand Ku’jo’s struggle to learn from those who cannot understand the experiences we’ve lived at their ages. Then again, there’s that old adage that you’re only as old as you feel. And I don’t feel my age most days. I suppose Kaliper is to thank for that. His energy, the life he has. Even the silliness.
There’s a pair of rasps nesting outside my window. I woke up to their songs this morning and felt something akin to hope. It’s not the first time I’ve awoken with such a feeling but after the past week everything seems to have settled. It’s amazing how little time it takes to destroy so much for two people, I say that I’ve not yet experienced the destruction.
Three days ago I wasn’t even sure what road I would take. What direction. The decision made itself for me. The question disappeared. I don’t know if I consciously made the choice, I just knew where to put my foot before stepping forward. I don’t regret it, I only look forward to each day.
He’s staying with me for now, for how long that will last, I’m uncertain. I’ve never acted so impulsively, I’m find myself being nearly frightened of both knowing and seeing how it’s all falling together. Because that’s what has been happening, pieces of a puzzle falling together as if they had never been taken apart.
Today, I return to work. There’s things to do, orders to meet and a ship to get out the bay doors. There’s also discussion to be had with Arazil, a discussion that will break a good portion of the rules I laid out for myself. Ku’jo has expressed interest in coming to work for Quantum Mechanics, I’ll admit, in having him we’ll have a better chance at competeting with Afterburn in the speeder market. It would work out well for us, especially if his daughter joins us as it’s been offered to her.
I never thought I’d see a day when my work became a family business, but that day is none too far. And again, I find myself considering that it is fitting. Arazil and Punkal have become like family through their friendship and our business only continues to grow.
An image if Ayy’shiri flickers onto the screen. She sits at a worktable working on a data processing unit, straddling the stool she was precariously perched on. The ends of her lekku are curled upwards; it seems to match her furrowed brow as she worked on a data processing unit. A pair of well worn goggles covered her eyes.
What is this Syck still doing here; he asks me. As if I hadn’t already moved six. He’d know that if he checked the records at all. Does he? Probably not. He trusts Arazil and I to do everything then comes in and prods us. He’s just twisting my lekku.
That’s got to be it…
The Tolian Twi’lek rambled on her native Ryl.
He came in to do business while Arazil and I were talking upstairs.
She snerked loudly and set down the micro-adjuster before pushing her goggles up to the top of her head and looking to the holorecorder.
A discussion that has to be revisited. And why? Why couldn’t I spend a simple day at work? Kai’rii chased Ku’jo down and blasted him halfway out of the system. She does this before comming the Vencu’s. They wanted to kill him and honestly, if it wasn’t for Armide, I believe they would’ve. Unfortunately, it has surmounted to losing a friend who was more like a sister than a friend.
Ayy rubbed her face, groaning quietly.
What am I doing? What have I done? I’ve lost a sister, I’ve lost a business contract with the Vencu’s. I might’ve lost us the contract with the Backfire. I need to remember to tell Arazil to comm Kaliper…
Another groan as she waved her hand dismissively at the holorecorder.
Tangent. I lost Kaliper.
She smirks sadly.
When I was seeking a safe place to build this research project that literally blew up, Kaliper took me to Lok. I had just moved away, closing down my Architectural Firm to finally fund my shipyard. He drove all over Lok with me sitting on the back platform of his load lifter. The entire time he kept rattling off these reasons of why I should come to Lok, where I could get security and his stories of piracy. I thought I was going to regret the trip going into it, by the time it was done I had set up construction droids. And then everything became complicated…wonderfully so.
Arazil asked me what Kal had done today and I couldn’t answer him. If all of this backfires, I deserve it wholly. Kal had done nothing. I thrived in the chaos he creates. Did I sometimes get a little skeeved that I’m probably old enough to be his mother? Here and there. But never enough to walk away. Yet…
Ayy rolled her shoulders back in a shrug.
I don’t regret the actions that lead to all of this, I regret their timing. I regret that they have come to hurt so much and so many. I regret that I have lost two friends I loved. And what have I gained?
She picked up the data processing unit between her fingers and examined it closely.
I don’t know yet. I don’t know what it says that I believe deeply enough in it to not pick up the first white shirt I find and run through the past week; waving my arms like an overcharged protocol unit.
I hope that all is not said and done with either Kaliper or Armide. In time perhaps we all will heal.
She tossed the processing unit back onto the workstation and sighed.
Or so I hope.
With a dull thud Ayy’shiri’s forehead hit the desk of her workstation.
Can I please have a day without bombs, blasters, illicit affairs and an angry vode? …And without my father if we can work that in.
A finger juts up in front of the holorecorder.
I did something stupid.
All I had to do was ask a question and a weeks worth of turmoil never would’ve occurred. I’d have not alienated so many, nor destroy a bit of my own reputation. My personal standards were shattered because I acted out of cowardice. It’s only fitting that the week ended in having the strength to seek forgiveness and being able to accept and begin to change the flaws that lead to it.
I’ve done what I can to make repairs so that we all may heal.
It was Ku’jo who told me that people aren’t an equation I can plug numbers into and make it work. They are variables. They aren’t like the droids whose company I’ve relied in past years. And I think that has been the hardest lesson to learn.
Red broke into the shipyard, she sliced my personal records. I acted so impulsively that she didn’t know who I was… and I couldn’t blame her.
It was Eilu who asked me the question I couldn’t answer honestly, “Why.” I had heard it asked time and time again, I couldn’t answer then either. But it was my darling Eilu who made me realize that I was lying to myself, I was trying to justify what couldn’t be.
I can fix most things that are put in front of me.
This was a challenge.
And I couldn’t be happier that I was able to meet it. I’ve got faith that I’m not about to kriff it all up. Any of it.
Alright… so, maybe I could be happier.
The final combat test of RU-N4N went smoothly. Other than some blaster damage, she was at peak performance in remote operations. I’m going to be putting her into daily use as soon as I finish with the repairs. The very first TWIT-Series Droid. TWi’lek/PIT Droid hybrid. It amuses me and angers her dummy A.I. something fierce.
A droid with lekku.
I’m waitin’ for Kikka’lekka to smite me for this one.
Or that was what this week was all about…
But when did I begin to have faith in the theological ramblings of a gaggle of Kivas?
And my visits to the Shrine of Fire at the Temple in the Freeport don’t count.
Tomorrow I need to set up the remote shipyard we use for freighter construction to build an at-spec Incom X-Wing. Business is running smoothly, which is a relief after the threats to it. Threats that never became an issue.
…I was reminded of the stories of Last Call and the rising of an army of unhappy droids. I should be reminded to give them a natural oil for their next bath. Maybe a good polishing. Or upgrade their programming…gotta keep the little kriffers happy.
Ayy’shiri’s face comes in to view, her tapered fingers sweeping a thin strap over her shoulder. Behind her is the weather beaten fabric of a nomadic tent. Her eyes are focused on something in the distance and the pitched bark of a puppy can be heard coming from that direction. She smiles; a slight curve that speaks to a bittersweet serenity.
Vassij’ra is a horrid practice that has kept Ryloth in the losing end of evolution for far too long. I’ve yet to meet a Twi’lek who hasn’t faced in some way. Who hasn’t at one time been mistaken for a slave of any sort. We’re a good people, far from idiots. And yet we continually allow this tradition to continue. Not only do we allow it to continue, but we celebrate it to a certain extent.
She raises her fingers up to curve them into two faces and using her thumbs as mouths to make them speak to each other.
“Corrupt kriffwad, take my firstborn an’ give my family nobility.”
“You’re the bottom rung of Sesk’kesva. Sorry, barve. You’re only second teir now.”
“OH! THANK YOU CORRUPT KRIFFWAD!”
Her head shook and emitted a wry chuckle, lowering her hands. She picks up something and throws it out. A pup can be heard barking again, the sound going off in the distance.
I barely remember the day that my father sold Tiatkin. I don’t think I was more than six standard. Kriff, I can’t even remember her face then. Goes to explain why I couldn’t recognize her when I first saw her. She was just standin’ there in the center of West Carova. I stared at her longer than I talked to her, I think. An’ now she’s sleepin’ on the Dancing Nuna.
Ayy sighs heavily.
What am I supposed to say to her? How do I react to her? I want to get to know her, but kriff. It’s been longer than thirty standard since we saw each other. I told Linn, I think he was sober. I guess I won’t know till I comm him again. I talk to her like she was a droid, “Hi, how you doin’? What do you do?”
It’s getting to seem like I need to know how to categorize everyone. I just can’t let them be. Name. Skills. I’m wondering if that’s a defensive mechanism I’ve built up or just who I am. Am I that aloof? Even noticing it with those I interact with. I need to touch ground…
She seemed to understand, or think I’m insane and was just polite.
She’s not the only family I found today…
Kal brought me a Kusak pup. Said it’s one of the litter that just wandered into a cargo bay or somethin’. I joked that was possibly half Gizka, half Kusak considering how Gizka’s breed. The pup is now named Kuzka in honour of his ridiculous joke of a heritage.
It’s not as if I needed another companion. Pet, droid or otherwise.
It’s a good addition though, good balance. And somethin’ that actually lives to remind me that not everything is a droid.
And there’s something to look forward to…
Salvaging. I’m going to learn to love the trade.
Buildin’ my dream depen—
The datadevice is snatched out of Ayy’s hand, the inside of a Kusak’s mouth appears before static and the feed deactivates.
Ayy’shiri looked straight into the holo-recorder. There was a spot of what seemed to be grease in the middle of the lens. She tried to wipe it away. The spot didn’t budge. The twi’lek disappeared.
She reappeared a moment later and attempted to remove the spot with a bit of blue cloth.
The spot remained.
[Holofeed Deactivated – Alema 14 OFFLINE]
[Holofeed Activated – Alema 17]
The view of the holo-recorder swerves downwards to focus on the scattered pieces of what was an ASN droid. Slowly, the recorder comes to settle on the Tolian doctor as she climbed down from the top of her pink Belbullab-22. Ayy’s lekku slide up to wrap around her neck while she regarded the broken droid for what was exactly calculated to be three hours, tweny seven minutes and nine seconds. “Buildin’ a new one is one way to fix it,” she mumbled and turned on her heel to jog up the stairs to the second tier of the yard.
[Holofeed Deactivated – Alema 17]
[Holofeed Activated – Alema 11]
The Twi’lek halts immediately at the top of the stairs. She looks between the two gatherings of pit droids and points slowly at each of them. “I need all of you. Now.” The droids swivel their heads around to look at her.
“No.” Came the chorus.
“I need all of you, now. We’re going to move out the birds with the load lifters, deconstruct tracks aurek and besh, deactivate the claw units and install ditanium gravlocks with a fully hydrolized system to aide with construction.”
The Pit Droids almost immediately rushed for the stairs, leaving Ayy to stand there with an eyebrow raised. “Not one of you is going to talk back?”
“Did you clear it with the orange one?” A golden pit droid named Smoo inquired.
“Did you clear it with the kriffin’ weird one?” Asked a pit droid wearing a swoop helmet.
Ayy raised a finger as she looked over the edge of the railing to look down at the gathering pit droids. “Arazil is his name. He’s also your boss and no.”
A black pit droid looked straight up at Ayy, “You said deconstruct.”
“..Yeeees,” came her slow response as she came to realize the keyword in the discussion.
[Holofeed-Recording- All Alema Units]
Had to route the Backfire’s system computers to connect with the Quantum Mechanics mainframe again. I had remotely disconnected them when I sent Sadzulu to Kaliper. I can’t sleep. I’m exhausted. More exhausted than I’ve ever remembered feeling before, which is funny in its own odd way. Through all this shaking and all this crying, I’ve been remembering.
When I was a child, my father took me to the Kala’uun Starport. I’m sure it wasn’t my first time, but it’s the first I recall. He pointed out the Kala’uun based transports as they came through the cavern passages, informing me of each one that my misha had put a hyperdrive into. He explained that the made she ships dance through the stars more gracefully than any Tyrian dancer.
It was that trip that made me decide that I wanted to build the ships so that my misha could make them dance.
Now, Ryloth can never be anything but a distant memory to me. I can’t regret it, the situations leading up to it weren’t anything I had control over. A random act in which I found myself involved in. When I awoke after the bombs, I knew that there were things to do. I picked myself up and continued on without realizing the impact that it had on me mentally. I broke and I forgot to tell myself to repair. Instead, I reacted. I made mistakes and lashed out. I had it in my head that I had to become tougher than besk’ar That I had to secure a legacy.
My legacy isn’t to be had from my womb. My legacy isn’t one that I even need to worry about. Legacies are for heroes. And I…
I am not a hero.
I ‘m just a Twi’lek.
And that’s all I wish to be.
Today, I tried to sell a ship. A Koruni-Class YT-1300 I had recently completed. I was proud of her in her raw state. She wasn’t ready to sell, Arazil still needed to add his modifications to her, but I had a client interested. A client who didn’t wish to pay. By the time they allowed to let me go, we were higher in the sky than I wished to jump and nearly ready to break atmo.
There’s such terror to knowing that you have no choice in a matter, that those you were with care nothing for you or the life you have. I didn’t think about dying when I was working with the bombs that took my lekku. But the thought didn’t leave my mind once when I was in the possession of these two. I feigned confidence, believing and hoping that the datadevices I stored everywhere would help me. When they removed my cybernetic lekku replacement, I honestly believed that I’d be theirs.
I believed that my security failed.
And yet, I carried that foolish confidence.
When I saw Daofi, Geia and Arazil, I thought I had died. I was walking through a dream as they led me out. They led me back to him; he who has the very face I keep being pulled away from. (Regardless of it being my choice or not.) It was him who brought me home. I broke the moment we launched, curled up like a pikne on the grates of her floor. I cried. I can’t remember a time when I have cried so much, harboured so much fear.
All I was doing was my job…
Punkal tells me I have to have security now for business. So it won’t happen again, so he won’t lose his investment. If he doesn’t enforce it, I know that Arazil or Kaliper will. What am I going to do with two Zabraks as my partners in business and life, respectively. I’ll ask Cazne’tal, while he’s a miner, I know that he seeks work. Kaliper’s already offered him work on the Backfire, but he can be so sporadic with his runs in the black.
In considering this though, I’ve realized something. A statement that Ku’jo made when we last spoke that keeps coming back to me about looking at people as equations and how he was a variable. I can’t deny that since I turned away from him, everything has slipped back into balance. He wasn’t the variable, I was. I am. I’m a variable because I’m blind to my own equations, so stuck in the status quo that I’m never willing to take a risk. I couldn’t do it when the Vencu’s offered me a place to train alongside them. I couldn’t do it when Ku’jo gave up everything to try and give me something that I already had.
I realized it when Kaliper told me he almost didn’t continue to look. When he told me he found himself asking when the bacta, Mandalorians, greener grass and now, kidnapping, was going to pay off. If it would.
I asked him if he wanted to walk away.
When he said no, I realized what could be done. It’s not the safer route, but it’s one worth trying. And in trying it, hopefully I’d have bridge the gap between my personal life and my business. It’s a rule I long held, but I’ve come to also realize, that my family… the Glaston’s, the Vencu’s, the Kusak’s… they are my business.
And while I will not sacrifice them, I can transition my work to be in line with spending more time with them rather than taking it all for granted.
If the Galaxy won’t let up on me, I’ll make the most out of each day. I drove him away once and he almost lost me twice. I’m not going to hope he’s still there tomorrow, you know, when I finish the last touch on that YT-2400 hull. Our lives are never as long as we believe, or even hope them to be. But if I’m not dead tomorrow, I want to know that the YT-2400 was built already, the rewiring only took a few hours and we’ll have jigged ourselves into chaotic bliss before the stars show up in the sky.
I’m not going to let this scare me.
I’m still terrified.
Kriff, Goddess, make this shaking stop.
Ayy’shiri pulled her goggles up onto the top of her head and pushed herself to her feet to get a better look at the womp rats nest of wiring under the engine control panel. She scratched between her lekku, her brow furrowing in thought. Tapered fingers twirled the hydrospanner for a few moments before she chucked it at the hull and stormed off out of the compartment.
A few moments later the Twi’lek returned with an armful of wire spools, a pneumatic drill and a hydraulic socket adjuster that she dumped onto the grated floor. Her jaw set and she pulled on her work gloves as she crouched down in front if the engine control panel and picked up a set of wire cutters.
Ayy seemed completely unaware she was being recorded in the hours she spent rewiring the engine. The hull vibrating with the volume of the music she had routed through the systems.
I’m broke. I knew that buying it would break me. And I did it anyways. I really need to get one of those orders done…
But here she is.
I don’t need another ship. Kriff. And I probably could’ve made this girl, but here she is. I kid myself in thinkin’ I’ll ever use Poy in anything but a simple race about the void. I need a ship that can carry a haul and I live on the Nova. Backfire ain’t always going to be available. And I can’t really go running to the boss to secure safe transport everytime I’ve got to drop off a droid.
I saw her out of the corner of my eye. Some moisture farmers found her near one of their vaps, she’d been picked over by Jawas, pirates, thugs. The hauled the chassis into their compound. I paid them more than I should’ve, but she’s mine.
When you build ships there’s a pride in knowing that every bolt you’ve put into her. You’ve given it part of your soul; an imprint that’s going to grow and evolve with the history of the ship. But when you restore them, you’re taking a unique being and transitioning it to its next step. You’re leaving your imprint and your experiences with them, but you’re nurturing them back.
In buying a new ship, you’re guaranteed that the ship and the pilot are a good fit. They’ll grow together from that first flight. In taking on an older vessel, you’re not assured of that compatibility. The souls of some of these birds are damaged, overconfident or surly. They don’t always get along with the pilots who take them on. Sometimes a pilot knows when they first see a ship, what type of flight it’s going to be.
Poy was love at first sight. She, like this Firespray, was a salvage buy. I knew from the moment I purchased that I had found part of myself. That’s a feelin’ that doesn’t change when we’re up there in the black. She understands what I wish her to do. I know her fluctuations, I know what she says with them.
The Dancing Nuna is a shell. She’s waiting for history to be built within her. She’s cold and expectant.
This one? This one sang to me. I knew the moment I touched her, what we could do for each other. She wants to continue the story and soar into the void again. I’ll not disappoint her. She will be self-experiment I need. I will salvage every part.
She will be a symphony of stories.
[Audio Feed Deactivated]
I keep wandering back through the past few weeks and asking myself that horrible question of regret; What if? It’s a practice that will drive me mad, but it’s all I seem to be able to do.
What if I had gotten in my speeder as I had planned to that night? Ku’jo and I would not have made love. I used to accept credits to make others feel like I would never want or have anything but them. It’s taken me a long time to adjust and for most of that time, the very idea of any sexual act carried no interest. But this wasn’t just about sex… This was Jasshi’rr. I became disloyal to Kaliper the moment we had our first discussion.
Bou’omoa is the joining of the minds. In the presence of a Kiva, the ceremony is traditionally silent.
I was in the medical center within the Vencu Compound and he stopped in to see what aruetii had landed herself there. A simple greeting turned into hours of conversation. Unexpected, beautiful. Every word I carried with me.
Without the presence of a Kiva or even conscience consideration of what we were doing, Jasshi’rr had begun.
The day in the medical center was just the first. Ku’jo and I could not have a conversation that consisted of only highlights and summaries. He saw more of me than I ever saw of myself. And I him. Goddess, I believed, truly believed that I was complete and tomorrow would be a new opportunity. We talked of building a new swoop using both of our designs. The stability of the Poe’kunal-Class Swoop and the speed of the Zephyr-G. He had begun building the prototype in one of Relapse’s cargo holds… He wanted to give the design to Quantum Mechanics to impress Arazil and perhaps earn a bit of trust. Our minds together…
Goddess, I miss the sound of his voice. I realized that one about a week ago, the first time I tried to comm.
If I had gotten into my speeder, the inevitable act of Bou’hada would’ve been postponed until we had no other obligation.
Bou’hada is a matriarchical jumble of bolshit, it’s not about any form of one-sided submission. It’s about being able to jointly submit to one another, connecting not just bodies. But minds. Souls. After that night, everything had changed. And as our spirits struggled to find the peace to complete Bou’ihka, our lives were unravelling themselves.
He had given up everything in his belief of me. In what we had found together.
And I… I lacked the courage to give up anything. With the first sign that my own employee was investigating me as a risk to our boss, I ran. I ran to play damage control and repair everything I had knocked out of place. I couldn’t stand up like he did…
It wasn’t lack of belief.
I was scared, Ku’jo.
I was terrified.
The last time I spoke to you, you told me that I never asked you to help me. I never asked to tell me what you were seeing. I’m so stubborn… and when I’m in a panic I see everything in the tunnelled stars of hyperspace. I was scared…
I needed you to tell me to sit down, to take a breath because Goddess knows I won’t do it on my own.
And what did you do?
WHAT DID YOU DO?!
…you left me. You left her. You left us both with this kriffin’ pit in our kriffin’ lives. Why?! What was so important that you couldn’t kriffin’ wait? I thought I was the coward for running when I knew that we were becoming one. I thought I was the piece of osik for running back to the Backfire.
You were so much stronger than this, Ku’jo.
I kept apologizing to your daughter, rambling as if my apologies would make it all sweep back to the night I should’ve gotten in my speeder.
I can’t control time.
I can make sure that Mo’lam is taken care of. I won’t leave her, Ku’jo. I promised you that when you were alive and I’ll carry that promise until the day I join you.
Ayy’shiri’s image flickers onto the viewfinder of the Crusader Mark II helmet. She smiles softly and leans back in her chair, pulling her legs up to hug her knees against her chest.
I rigged your helmet to my datapad. I’m not entirely sure why, we didn’t know each other that long. That’s been puzzling me about this grief, we were nothing but a blink of the eye. What I got to know and see of you was a single wire in mainframe. And yet, I feel your absence. Perhaps I’ve always needed to hold onto a ghost, perhaps I know that in another life; in another time, we were one.
Her long, thin lekku snake over her shoulders to slip around her legs in the same fashion as her arms and she rests her chin atop her knees. The gaze of her hazel eyes remains affixed on the T-Visor in front of her.
We gave you a proper Hou’ji. I asked Punkal if he knew of a Kiva who would tend to the ceremony on behalf of a trio of exiles. Kriff, he came through, just like he always does. I felt a little sorry for him, I screamed at him. I screamed at everyone. I was so mad at you, Ku’jo. He didn’t ask why other to make sure it wasn’t Arazil or Kaliper who offed themselves.
Wouldn’t you know it? A Kiva contacted me no more than an hour after I got off comms with him.
I made Mo’lam go. She didn’t want to, almost had to have my bodyguard drag her. I truly hope that she doesn’t blame me for all of this, although I’d not be able to fault her for it.
She chuckles quietly.
You’d like Cazne’tal. He’s a runan, like me. The circumstances are quite different, but he has a strong spirit. I wonder about his wife, she might’ve known he was to become runan. I sent her to my father to work, while I know I need an assistant, I don’t want a Twi’lek who believes they were born with a silver chit in their mouth. Goddess knows, I can’t stand the memories of myself like that. They don’t seem happy though, but who am I to make such observations when it’s outside observations and the lack of communication that stood in our way. We can never presume to truly know those around us. In order to do so would require connections that we can hardly trust to form with ourselves.
The tips of her clawed nails scratch lightly over a bruise on her forehead.
I think I’ve formed such a connection with myself through all of this, of all the people to push me towards it, it was Eltich Ahi. The very man who made me a runan.
I asked him to kill me. Between this pit that you left inside of me and my inability to look to Kaliper or anyone else in the face, I asked him to kill me. He wouldn’t raise his blaster to me. Instead, he took off his helmet and trusted me. He laid onto me a lesson that has given me the strength to make this connection. “We live our lives for those we’ve lost.”
And perhaps that’s why I’m speaking to your helmet now. I took your armour to the island and gave it to Armide, everything but your helmet. Sidewinder didn’t understand why I’d keep your helmet, that your soul needed to be with them. I told him that I would keep it with me, that this part of you would remain where you would’ve wanted it. It was with me today.
Today I made you proud.
Today I fought for what was right alongside some of the finest warriors I’ve ever known. It was only my job to send droids, but with the union agreement…
Slowly, she shook her head and chuckled quietly. When the chuckling subsided she raised her head to look back at the T-Visor.
I did it for you. I painted my armour for the meanings I’ve come to know from my time with the Vencu’s and you; and I stepped into battle. I’m told I fought well, but that’s not what mattered. What mattered was that I fought for what was right. A sense of justice and freedom that we craved ourselves.
Kaliper was surprised to see me and I him, though we were fighting for Iridonia it never crossed my mind… I was so lost in my own head. I felt ashamed for my grief, for what I’d done. I couldn’t bring myself to speak with him, you’ve never seen me in such a state. I couldn’t talk. I watched when his best friend went down, the guns of the AT-ST I was in couldn’t fire off fast enough.
Kell was a good pup. She and Kal were siblings more than anything. If you’d ever seen them interact you’d have noticed that. When I first moved into the Backfire, I ain’t ever seen anything get so jealous. We took to each other quick enough though. She used to sleep by the hammock most nights, wasn’t ever too far unless we were on Lok. Then, only Goddess knows what she was up to. Kaliper swears she only ever had one litter of pups, but the way these kusaks keep appearin’ all over the Backfire I’m pretty sure he’s wrong.
She smiled awkwardly as she sniffled and quickly wiped the tears from under her eyes.
She was part of Kal.
We’ve both got this pit now.
We stayed and talked in the middle of this battlefield long after the others made their way off-world. I don’t know if it was all talking, we certainly fought. We continued the days fight to fight for ourselves. He fought to regain the woman who first crawled into his hammock. I can’t give her back to him, but we’re both continuously evolving. He asked me if we’d ever be as happy as Arazil and Tocy seem to be, and I couldn’t tell him that we would be. I don’t have answers and I no longer have any wish to make promises that the galaxy won’t allow me to keep. I could tell him that we’d walk together. We’re travelling on the same hyperlane and we’ve come this far.
Can’t get much worse, can it?
Ayy’shiri offers a wry chuckle and leans forward to rest her elbows against the desk and press her forehead to the top of the helmet.
I know better than to ask that.
Of all the things to come from recent events… Eltich offered me what I once asked of the Vencu’s. He offered to show me the path of Resol’nare.
Ayy’shiri appears in the viewfinder of the Crusader Mark II’s T-Visor. She stares at the cross section, with her chin resting against her hands and she lays against the edge of a worn wooden table. She looks exhausted, but happy.
He’s undeniable when he’s excited. I watched the transition of envy register on his expression the day I was mapping out my blueprints for Poy. He wanted to achieve the same, he wanted to give me a run for my credits. Who was I to deny him?
He runs about his days so hyped up on red bantha energy drinks and whatever else he manages to push into his system. There’s times when he’s barely coherent. What the galaxy sees of Kaliper Akanth and who he is, are two images of the same scene. One is blurred, it’s true beauty hidden. He wears this mask of silly, chaotic insanity as a Mandalorian wears beskar’gam.
The clearer image, the one few see is brilliance. He lives his life in this silly, chaotic shell and revels. It’s in this chaos that he forms the most creatively intuitive solutions I’ve seen. The day I explained my restoration of Poy, he set out on his own mission.
He promised me that he’d build something faster.
She rubs her forehead before dropping her hand back down against the table.
I didn’t think he could, to be honest. I thought it would be like his idea to put out a fire on Lok with ice asteroid from Endor’s system.
It was a big fire…
Tonight, on my last night as aruetii, he tested his project.
We paced through the Karthakk System in Poy and Nerate, cycling through each of the overload rotations on the engines.
Kriffer beat me by at least six-hundred after topping out at twenty-two hundred.
He built the most unsafe, unreliable and amazingly agile starfighter I’ve seen. He beat me. And in the process of beating me he overloaded his reactor. He had no ejection seat, the canopy was jammed and we had nothing up there to aide us.
I watched his ship explode. I could barely control Poy when the blast wave rocked her, throwing her back in this empty void.
So much had been lost and this… this I wasn’t prepared for. This… wasn’t over. The pings on my radar lead me back to him.
Now he’s afraid of space. No good can come of this. Part of his kriffin’ soul is that black!
I’d rather have him still alive and frightened of space than lost to it forever. I am glad that I spent my last night as an aruetii by his side rather than feeling that pit encompass me.
Tomorrow morning when I awake, I will make sure he has what he needs before I run five miles, do a hundred push ups and sit ups. Tomorrow I do it in armour. Tomorrow I do it with little sleep as my teacher and I spoke well into the night of the philosophy of the Resol’nare and Mandalorian culture. We saw a bit of what to expect from each other.
You’d have liked Eltich. How he thinks and how he upholds the Resol’nare remind me of many of our discussions after I had decided I couldn’t train under Sidewinder. I found myself wondering why I had not thought to turn to him, but who could’ve imagined that the man who made me a runan to my people would be the one to guide me down this path.
Ba’jur, beskar’gam, ara’nov, aliit, Mando’a bal Mand’alor. An vencuyan mhi.
She reached out to run the tips of her fingers over the horizontal line of the T-Visor.
Tommorow, I am Ayy’shiri, hibir be Resol’nare.
Kai’rii told me to wear your buy’ce, to earn the beskar’gam for us both.
Three days into my life as asr’manda and already I find myself judging the aruetiise I come across based on the Resol’nare. Already, the life behind this buc’ye has drawn me in, naturally at that. Tonight, I believe I have learned that while we are unique as mando’ade, we are not unique as warriors.
The Iridonians are quite obviously not mando’ade and yet, those I have met uphold the same definitions of honour and integrity. Their jat’o is their beskar’gam. Their devotion to their people, to their culture and themselves is just as strong.
I respect that and I hope that the day never comes when I fight against them. That said, I look forward to the days when I fight alongside them.
I voiced my devotion, the solidarity birthed by destiny, to Eltich tonight. I find more and more that when I speak, there is weight. Even in jest. It truly makes me think about what I wish to say before I speak. Useless words do nothing but cloud a character.
There aren’t many useless words in Mando’a.
The word for today, parjai. At least on a business front. Rustbucket Salvage has merged with what remains of Afterburn Racing company, with this merge we will be forming our third division, Rustbucket Racing.
Three months ago, I asked a friend to build me a shipyard. I promised him that I would make it work with the assistance of one of his crew, Arazil Sutekh.
Three months later, we have three divisions. Three sources of credits and more brilliant technological minds under one canopy than there might be in the Rim entirely.
When I asked Sidewinder to train me as a Mandalorian, he and Armide both told me that I’d have to walk away from everything in my life and begin anew. Begin as Mandalorian. I couldn’t do it.
When Eltich offered to train me, we discussed this. He wouldn’t make me sacrifice my life as an aruetii after I argued that I’d have to learn how to incorporate it into my life as asr’manda. He humoured me. He saw the point in my arguement on a business level… but the rest?
In my struggle to incorporate my personal life with the changes that have been happening to me, I’ve learned a lesson that I’d not have been able to learn by merely sacrificing. The two lives cannot co-exist. I have come to understand on my own why the Vencu’s asked me to sacrifice. I had to understand why and I believe Eltich saw that.
I am no longer Doctor Ayy’shiri.
The woman she was and the woman I am becoming are foreign to each other. They would pass each other on the streets and never recognize one another.
I am not sure who I am by name. Perhaps I will remain nameless until my verd’goten, should I survive until that day.
I am asr’manda.
We went after them today. Sani and Saevio. We had them pinned in the Mos Entha starport. I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t the Glastons showing up. Shab, I told them to get out of there, I told Kiora. She didn’t listen, neither did Daofi. He called me a traitor. I owe Sani and Saevio nothing. They’ve never been anything but names and reputations to me. I wouldn’t fire on a Glaston, not for this. I can’t make them understand that, I was never crew. The end result was getting Roben. I can’t explain the pride I have in my Hibi’buir for ending the job and watching the Imperials walk away, having turned on their own to help us…
As we moved in on Roben, my former employer was stabbed in a fight with Qeq. I begged to take Qeq out only to be told by my Hibi’buir that now was not the time. I wanted to see him.. Punkal, but with Daofi so close, I didn’t wish to stir the nest.
Geia told me he was fine but she raged at how people could accept that Skalui was free. I raged. There is nothing I can do though, not yet.
Not yet… there’s things to focus on. Training. This business… I don’t ever want to have to choose between my aliit and crew. I saw that choice barreling down on me. I walked away from Kaliper to keep from hurting him more than I have already and so I will walk away from my business with the Glastons. In speaking to Arazil, we understood each other. We understood that now is the time to follow the paths that were laid out before us. I won’t leave Arazil without support and that poor man has more than I think he might be able to handle.
First it was Kaliper.
Then it was Quantum Mechanics.
I took with me Rustbucket Racing Company and returned to the junkyard I inherited with it. I don’t think I’ll miss West Carova, but I will miss the Glastons. In time, perhaps those I have offended with my choice will come to understand as I have, that this was the only choice for me.
Six days and I already feel as if my armour is a second skin.
I feel complete.
The image of a Tolian Twi’lek flickers onto the screen through the HUD of the Crusader T-Visor. The scars on her face from the explosion that had almost taken her life are more visible than they had been in some time, she was tired, but for the first time in too long, her eyes were bright with hope of the future.
I’ve lived a week now as asr’manda. A week wearing my weight in armor and armaments. I understand too well now how you were so thin and yet physically hard. Our bodies weren’t so different. And now, even more so. Bone and muscle under the skin.
She chuckles quietly and folds her arms in front of her to rest her chin upon her hands and stare into the cross-section of the T-visor.
I’ve walked away from everything or I’ve lost it. Quantum Mechanics, Kaliper, the Shiri’s, Punkal… the droids… you. The parasite that never stood a chance. Shab, I never even knew until it was gone. And despite all the loss, there’s been hope. True hope. I’ve never felt so alive, Ku’jo. I’ve never felt like I was truly a complete person. I was always living with her ghost, knowing that I was one of two. Even when I dropped the ‘da’ from my name and put my memories of her into Poy.
Her lips twitch to form a sidelong smile and she looks out over the stars of the Corellian system. The HUD of the t-visor picking up the mess of parts and scrap being used to continue construction on the Icarus station.
It seems like it’s been so much longer than a week… moving into the Junction, all the problems with both the Alliance and the Iridonians. And now Qeq? It makes me thankful that we have this place, perhaps the Vencu’s were right in one thing. Keeping to themselves. And while outsiders are here at the Junction with us, we can trust them. Which is more than I can say for the Vencu’s. They turned us in.
Her expression falls and she lifts her head, her jaw setting and clicking twice. Her gaze hardens.
I suppose their betrayal of us doesn’t surprise you, she betrayed you and I as well. They walk over the Resol’nare, upholding the bits of it that seem to fit to their taste. Their armor is just there to protect their bodies and faces against the enemies they make from their constant backstabbing. If you keep shitting in your own yard, the stink is going to keep everyone away. There’s no doubt in this asr’manda’s mind that they are dar’manda. And in a time when we need solidarity of the Mandalorians having to watch our back for Vencu trouble…
You were right Ku’jo. They won’t stop.
She lowers her head back down to rest against her hands again.
No one stops. Saevio won’t stop until we’re dead. I wonder how much he knows about me, I wonder if Kaliper has told him anything. I know that Arazil and Punkal won’t give up the Junction. But Kaliper might… we made our choices but I will not leave my Hibi’buir’s side.
Her eyes slowly close and she smiles wistfully.
If I die tomorrow, it’ll be a good death and I’ll have died happy. I’m whole. The wounds of the past are healing.
I hope you’re proud of me, Ku’jo.
I know that I’m proud.
I could not have found a better guide on this path. It has been a trial by fire and I am dancing around the flames.