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[h2]Haiki Benara
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Mentions: @Fallenreaper@Almalthia[h2]

Once, Haiki would've chafed at Tishombra's insults, let his anger take over and hit back with mockery of his own. Maybe he might've even challenged her then and there over it, once. But not anymore, the wounds truth well deserved humiliations he'd suffered at the hands of Overseer Cessair were too fresh and the lessons too well learned. Let the woman think of him as weak, as fragile. He knew others did and he must definitely look like it. The Overseer had only healed his serious wounds and forbid him and J4N4 from further healing them, so he was still covered in scrapes and bruises. If she thought him weak, she would be that much easier to take by surprise. If nothing else, his lesson at the alchemy instructor's hands had taught him that gloating or mockery could be left until after your enemies were assured to be helpless or dying at your feet.

Instead he just grabbed up J4N4 by a conveniently extended carry handle and tucked her under an arm as he lined up. He wanted her close at hand in case any trickery happened too suddenly. The importance of proper preparation was another thing his dangerous new 'mentor' had beaten into him with her lessons and he wasn't about to be caught off-guard now.

Kass is about finished, will take questions from the GMs about certain issues we've already started to discuss.

Hai moved quickly away from the scene of the fight while trying to keep alert and maintain his bearings as he hurried down the tunnels. Jana, on the other hand, waited to give the creature a few more quick zaps and an angry shriek before rolling almost nervously after her Master.

The Tuk'ata twitched and growled, its form limp. A familiar pair of eyes watched the student and his droid hurry down the tunnel. It growled then began to advance onto its fallen companion. With a sharp movement, it managed to snap the cord off. The younger male began to raise before its savior lashed out leaving a painful, red stripe on its skin. A pitiful yelp echoed throughout the caves.

Hai and Jana flinched at the yelp, but the boy quickly shrugged it off and moved on. They passed by several smaller intersections following the Overseer’s instructions, until they came out into a wider circular chamber that ended the passageway. The ground was rougher now, uneven under his feet and easier to trip over in the dark. Except, things weren’t all dark anymore. Apart from Jana’s light and the red flare of the lightsaber, there was a soft white glow radiating from the center of the chamber. As they got closer, it was easy for Hai to see that it was the flowers he needed that gave off the gentle light.

“Jana, snip and store two of the flowers for sampling and fetch a third for my use. I’ll stand guard.”

Hai wasn’t going to be taken by surprise. Not with only one working arm. He backed up facing the dead end’s entrance, lightsaber still held in his left hand. Jana could give him the antidote but he couldn’t risk letting his guard down to fetch it himself as much as he wanted to. Besides, collection for the Overseer came first. He had to prove himself.

A set of glowing eyes glared through the darkness, followed by bared teeth as a familiar shape stepped into the faint light. A sleek Tuk’ata, the very one tangled by the cords, emerged. It growled and edged forward cautiously. A large gash painted its side from its pack’s members.

It rushed at Hai running along the side. Before it reached him, it leapt into the air with mouth open and ready to take a bite out of his shoulder. J4n4 began to saw off a section of the plant causing sticky, glowing sap to leak down the stem.

Hai pivoted, trying to whirl out of the path of the oncoming beast, but his reflexes were just a hair too slow thanks to the poison coursing through him. Instead the beast was a little off target but bit into the shoulder of his paralyzed arm as it bore him to the ground. Between his Zabrak biology and the numbness from the poison, he avoided any real pain or disabling shock, but he was still fighting for his life.

Hai screamed at his attacker more from anger than anything else and started hitting it repeatedly with the training saber. For its part the tuk’ata seemed equally determined, savaging the increasingly shredded shoulder in its jaws and trying to tear into the boy’s face and stomach with both sets of claws. In the writhing struggle neither could land a decisive enough strike until Hai switched off the lightsaber and reversed it to stab down at the Tuk’ata’s face directly.

The pain caused the Tuk’ata to retreat. Half its face a bloodied and cooked mess. It shook the blood off its face, splattering all over. One more shape appeared from the shadows, but it didn’t rush up and into the fray. It lingered at the side waiting and watching. Likely seeing which would kill each other first.

Once the blood cleared from its vision it went in for the boy’s foot. Its jaws clamped down and it ripped him toward the exit. Mindful of the lightsaber, it let go long enough to prevent the boy from hitting it. However, the moment he started to rise it went for his foot with new determination.

Haiki struggled to get a swing in, but the warped animal was too crafty for him now and he’d already taken two more gashes for each time he’d failed. The thing was probably planning to drag him back to its lair and let its packmates devour him alive. No...he couldn’t die like that, he wouldn’t! But between the poison and the blood loss he could hardly focus and he could feel himself getting weaker. Maybe he had already failed.

With a shrieking battle cry Jana bowled into the Tuk’ata and started zapping it in the face with her taser, trying to give her master a chance to break free and fight.

The Tuk’ata shrieked, letting go of Haiki’s foot. It lost its balance and fell onto its side, snapping at Jana’s rounded body. Teeth scraped on the armor creating deep gashes, but no internal damage. The Tuk’ata raised its head to utter a barking cry. Once more it rose wobbily to its feet as its tail whipped about to sting Haiki.

Haiki scrambled backwards and barely got the training saber up in time to deflect and burn the stinger tail, oozing blood from his shoulder and foot along with half a dozen other smaller gashes. He threw himself shakily to his feet as Jana shot another entangling cord at the threat and then the two of them ran as fast as the Acolyte’s near-death condition allowed.

He had no desire to stay and be eaten and who knew if the beast would call others of its kind. Someday he vowed, he would come back here and burn all of these things out of the catacombs and wipe them all out. But today he would count himself lucky to be alive. If he actually lived through the day.

After a while of running, or at least something weakly imitating running he turned back to Jana. He grimaced as he noticed how that filthy animal’s claws had scratched up her paint. His chest was starting to go numb and breathing was getting harder in ways that didn’t have to do with the exertion. Jana beeped hopefully and extended one of the stems out to him. He took it in his one good hand and tried to squeeze the liquid from the stem into his mouth, just one mouthful. He hoped it wasn’t too late. It would be an unforgivable embarrassment to succeed like this and then die moments after.

The numbness subsided after a few moments, leaving him to breathe easier. He relaxed slightly, though blood loss and exhaustion were taking their toll and he wouldn’t truly feel safe until he was far from the catacombs. He made his way slowly back to Overseer Cessair, limping and pressing a torn, formerly less bloody strip of his uniform to his shoulder wound.

When Haiki entered her classroom, Cessair looked up from her datapad. She made no extra effort to move from her seat or help him. Instead, she leaned back.

Hai presented the flower he hadn’t drank from to the Sith Overseer, in the little vessel he’d given her. “Well,” Hai paused and gestured to his many wounds and the blood matting him head to toe. “It wasn’t easy, but I got your flower”

Mara didn’t say thank you as she took the vessel. Her figure rose to place it into one of the pots filled with water and soil. She sealed it tightly in a cabinet with a lock before she went to another. From it, she pulled another vial and passed it to Haiki. Her face remained firm and unaffected.

“Drink this and I will teach you one brew. Any additional lessons need to be earned through tasks and other errands.” she stated clearly to ensure he understood.

The boy nodded, his bloodied face serious more than excited as he took the vial, uncorked it and swallowed its contents. Immediately the symptoms started to fade. Mara continued to keep her unimpressed mask and took her seat. She continued to work on grading the projects, indicating she dismissed him. Before he exited, her voice broke the silence.

“Your lesson will begin next week. About three hours after class, do not be late or I will put my energy elsewhere. I hope you will show more respect and subtlety with your actions in the future.”
Flower Fetch

Korriban, Sith Academy Int.

6 ATC 1

Week 1, Day 3

Classes were already over for some time with most of the acolytes settling back into their rooms when an impatient, rapid knocking started up against Mara’s door. It was the pale skinned Zabrak boy, Haiki Benara, looking tired and impatient, his little ball droid whirring nervously at his feet. “You should already know why I’m here.” The boy didn’t sound awed or frightened at all considering he was talking to someone well known for poisoning students who disappointed her. Mostly his tone of voice was somewhere between smug and impatient. It only helped enhance the overall obnoxiousness of the situation that he was talking loudly through the door.

Mara ignored the brash knocking. Her eyes looked down to her datapad and continued to work as she wrote more notes. She didn’t enjoy brashness or impoliteness. Especially by those who were underneath her.

“I’m bored to death just following along at the same pace as the dimwits in your classes. I want the chance for more, to get the knowledge you aren’t giving us. I’ve heard you sometimes give out favors. I want advanced lessons. So, What do I have to do to get them?”

Mara placed her pen tool down. The hairs on her neck rose in irritation at hearing the little gnat bellow into the door and announce his intentions. Irritating an Overseer was ill advised, a lesson he hadn’t managed to learn. An oversight she aimed to correct. As he continued to pound, she opened a desk drawer. Inside a small ring with a thin needle sat beside a vial. She picked both up then opened the cork of the vial, pressing the needle inside. A quick jerking motion coated it to her satisfaction.

The Overseer shoved the vial back in and closed the drawer. After placing the ring on her middle finger, the needle on the inside, she rose to her feet. She took her time approaching the door before she snapped it open and jerked him inside. On her hand the needle penetrated his skin causing a small notable sting near the shoulder area. The door slammed shut behind him as she walked back to her desk in silence.

Hai slapped a hand to his shoulder as soon as he felt the sting of the needle, going dead silent as he pulled his pale fingers away with faint but noticeable red stains. He stood there frozen and staring at his hand for a moment and then started mouthing words to himself, lips moving frantically. If Mara observed him even for a few seconds it would become clear that rather than really panicking the Zabrak boy was analyzing his own scenario, running through his options and possibly dissociating from himself at the same time to get it done. After a moment he snapped out of it, clenched both fists by his sides and let out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. He moved closer to her desk with a grim little smile on his face and spoke up.

“I see I’ve made a serious error in making demands of you. I underestimated you, overestimated myself and disrespected you in your own territory. It won’t happen again. Now, if I’m already dead, I’m already dead. It’s possible that I could identify the poison in my system but given the delivery method and my current lack of noticeable symptoms it’s unlikely to be one I know. I’ve seen other students more experienced if less clever than myself die attempting self cures in your class under similar circumstances and the longer I take the more I’ll deteriorate. To avoid that, any guidance at all would be appreciated.” It was the closest she would ever get to an apology from him, or a request for help. No true Sith would beg for his life or apologize after all.
Haiki Benara

[6 ATC 5]

Korriban- The Tombs, Exterior

Interactionsn- Open

Mentions -
@FallenreaperDash, @Almalthia Tish, [@Elvenqueen] Aria, @vFear Atria, @Bea

Today would not be another failure.

The past few weeks had been little more than a string of humiliations for Haiki. First, He'd been beaten into submission in unarmed sparring twice when he'd previously been top of the class. Next he'd had a part he needed to upgrade J4N4 stolen from him by some idiot with more raw strength than sense. Of course, he'd barely survived his little side project from Overseer Cessair. That had been a victory of sorts, but still far too humiliating.

No, today would be different. There were new students here, some looking too old to be anything but recent captures, the Zeltron mutt specifically. Another Zabrak, a human, but no, nobody he remembered. That was good, they wouldn't know his tactics. He knew how he must look to them too. Small, scrawny, milky skin swirled through with dark, ugly bruises from lost sparring matches. Let them think him weak. While they were busy underestimating him he would sweep past them all...

...or so he hoped.

"If any of you do piss yourselves, maybe you'll be less appetizing for whatever they have waiting in there. I'd be far more concerned about becoming some Tuk'ata's meal." He tried to sound almost lazy, despite the nightmarish encounters he'd had with the beasts in the past. still, he had to suppress the urge to shiver that came with a growing coldness in his chest, a sudden heaviness in his limbs. Not weakness, no. Caution born of experience. Horrid, agonizing experience...

No! That wouldn't happen again! He would never be prey again!

Even if he had to feed each and every one of these fools to the Sith Hounds in his place. - Haiki Benara, Sith Acolyte
Mideo "Mid" Benara

Nar Shadda,
Aboard Airus Vel Aath's ship
(Date and Time to be inserted later)

Welp, this was it. Mid had to face facts. She'd done everything she possibly could, explored every avenue of escape and tried every strategy her Master had taught her. There was no denying the truth anymore or stopping the inevitable. She had to admit it.

She was so bored! She'd tried the moving meditation her Master taught her, mentally reviewing all the plants she knew and their uses, even running through the events of famous battles she knew in her head in reverse order, just 'cause.

Now she was lying on the floor of the ship's cockpit so she could sneak glances out of the windows while her Master's Holocron showed off the basics of Makashi but she'd already seen this section twice on the way to Nar Shadda and she could see most of it in her head already and practicing it alone only worked so well and-

"aaaaagh! What's taking him so long?" She pressed her face into the cool metal flooring of the ship and felt it buzz against her face as she whined her frustration into it. Impatience was not the Jedi way, but this was just plain unfair! They were on Nar Shadda to retrieve some cool artifact on her first real mission and her Master was all 'Stay on the ship, Mideo.' 'It's too dangerous Mideo.' 'I'll only be a little while Mideo' 'Boring cryptic saying that wasn't worth paying attention to Mideo' Well, it had already been a little while and there was no sign of Master Airus at all!

What if he needed Mid's help? What if he'd been kidnapped by pirates or double-crossed by a contact or there was some Sith agent at the Casino waiting to spring an evil trap on him? Master Airus was way tough for a bookworm but he'd obviously underestimated how much he'd need Mid's help on such a rough planet! She deactivated the holocron, hopped up off the floor in one move and gathered up her saber and trusty but tattered brown cloak, then marched out of the room in pretty heroic fashion.

Her big heroic exit got kinda deflated as both Sparks and Goldie barred her path to the descending ramp though.

"'C'mon guys let me go! I've gotta go help Master Airus!"

The two little droids exploded into a bunch of beeps and whines. probably something about how they were both really sure Airus told her to stay behind and for them to keep her out of trouble and the ship locked up? She pretty sure but it was hard to tell, especially when they talked so fast and mixed together.

"Nuh-uh, I heard him too! He told you both to not let anyone in the ship. I'm going out! Besides, he needs our help! The Force is telling me so!" Well, maybe it was more about the bored part of her brain than the Force, but neither of them knew that! She didn't even know that, not for sure! Goldie still inched around to block her more and whined, probably about how the planet was dangerous and it wasn't safe and blah blah blah.

Mid gave a big drawn-out sigh as she added on to her plan. "Well okay, if Nar Shadda's so not safe and you're so responsible, why don't you come with me Goldie? I mean, Sparks can keep the ship locked up, you can still keep me out of trouble and we can both rescue Master Airus together!"

The utility droid whirred loudly, then gave a low, resigned beep. Mid burst into a pointy toothed grin. "Great! Let's go!"

As she walked down the ramp she took her first deep lungful of Nar Shadda air. Smog, toxins, ozone from old blaster fire and a general smell of scum and decay tinging the whole atmosphere.

"Oh yeah, I think I'm gonna like it here Goldie! Master Airus here we come!"

"No deal Sweets Pattoga, I ain't running a charity here! No pay, no ride!"

Mid pouted and glared at the aged Trandoshan taxi driver that'd pulled over for her, but those reptilian eyes of his were unmoved even at such an intimidating sight. When he spoke his words rasped and his breath smelled like Spice and Mid almost wanted to punch him in his stupid leathery old face.

"But I have to get to the Galactic Vices Casino! It's a matter of life and death! More important, it's big business!"

"Then you can walk for all I care! See how long you and that shiny little droid of yours last downtown before someone steals you both for parts!"

Goldie definitely didn't like that. He made a noise that didn't really need translation from Binary and started to turn around, but Mid put a hand on his dome. "We're staying! And..." she took a deep breath and focused her mind, blocking out her frustration, reaching out with the Force and the driver with a wave of her hand. "...You will take me to the Galactic Vices Casino."

The old lizard's eyes clouded over a little and when he spoke his voice was flatter, less raspy. "I will take you to the Galactic Vices Casino."

Ha! It actually worked! Mid hopped into the cab with Goldie and then they were just a short ride to the Casino. First big use of Force Powers down! Master Airus was gonna be so proud!

As soon as Mid entered the Casino she was bombarded with sights, sounds and smells. The blaring music and the flash and chime of gambling games hit her first. Then the sheer mass of people all milling around and crowded together laughing, arguing, talking. The slaves flowed in between them in glittery skimpy uniforms carrying all sorts of exotic and familiar dishes back and forth too constantly to keep track, both repulsive and intriguing to her eyes and nose. Then there were the dancers, haloed in light and moving with slow grace or wild energy.

It was all more colorful and bright and interesting than anything Mid had seen in years, but what really drew her attention and even overwhelmed her was the red skinned dancer on the big center stage. Not because of the unusual red lights around her, or even how big her stage presence was compared to everything else there. No way, it was 'cause she was pouring out so much rage and sorrow that it was almost painful even to Mid's limited senses. It was worse than anything she'd felt in her life! it was-

-The young Zabrak Padawan pulled her hood up close around her and closed her eyes, shutting out the overstimulation as she'd been taught. She tried to find a few details apart from the emotions to anchor herself. Underneath everything else there was something very faintly familiar permeating the air. The sharp smell of fresh spice- no, more than that. The smell of yarrock. The same barely remembered smell as the pirate warrens of the Iridonian desert, her earliest home before she was even a Youngling. Yarrock, like her Father made. Like her Mother sold. Warriors used it to give themselves courage in battle, gamblers used it to give them confidence, help them bluff. There was a sound too, from those faded infant days. At the bar closest to her a tangle of people were singing off-key in Huttese. It was an old pirate drinking song, like her mother and her crew used to sing.

Goldie gave the girl a concerned beep, but Mid slowly grinned a pointed grin and opened her eyes. She had nothing to fear here, if she was wily and careful. These were her mother's people. These were her kind of scum. Mid patted Goldie's dome and flowed into the crowd.

It was time to find Master Airus, finally. But she wanted to see what was up with that red-skinned dancing girl too...

I'll make these changes as soon as I have time

Yup! I plan to have her go through that ICly as some character flavor and an indicator for the passage of time as she grows up!

Great feedback here and that all makes sense, I think I purposefully lowballed how skilled she was because I wasn't sure what the appropriate level of training and control she'd have access to for either of them is.

Non-Force skills:
Both of these are also sensible, I think I'll be going with Jungle, Desert and Arctic.

The bone structure thing also makes sense.

For failures she was s'posed to have touched either a dead body or some medical materials during a healing class and gotten rather traumatized, it also ties into why she was so resistant to learning any healing skills and her failure to learn anything beyond the very basics of first aid would also be listed.

Addendum: We like her.

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