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9 mos ago
Current I am going to smuggle wholesomeness into your RPs and there's not a damned thing any of you can do to stop me.
1 yr ago
"Bud, you're like a pizza cutter; All edge and no point!"
1 yr ago
Habanero ain't the spiciest pepper but it's pretty tasty on things, ya gotta admit.
1 yr ago
And in addition to boneless wings being overrated; Anybody who looks at sauced and tossed wings, lovingly spiced and perfectly crispy and says; 'I'mma dunk that in blue cheese' has missed the point.
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1 yr ago
Boneless wings are overrated.


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Grand Bazaar of the Uniter, Keldabe, Mandalore.
25th Founding Day, Noon.

"Lor'ika. Mixed and wrapped. Two skewers and extra sauce, please."

"You want a drink with that, Vod?" The apron and armour clad woman behind the counter asked, her skillful hands already going to work while her visor remained locked on her customer— if not cocked to the side only slightly.

"Oh, shit. Yeah, big bottle of uj'gal if ya got it." Toryn replied, tossing the front of his gam'surpan over his shoulder so he could fish through his wallet, count out a few coins. Placing three on the counter and another pair in the tip jar.

For that, he received a nod in the affirmative, a friendly click of the tongue, a bright red glass bottle casually tossed into a waiting hand and an infiltration of a familiar scent of spices and cooking food that both put him at ease and made him even hungrier as she got to work.

Lor'ika— literally; 'Little Meats', thin strips of marinated and spiced meat cooked on a skewer with sauteed mushrooms and vegetables over a grill or hot plate, intermittently brushed with oil and sprinkled with a little extra spice before being drizzled with a sweet sauce and either served on the skewer, as bits on a plate or, as he preferred it, tightly wrapped in a toasty flatbread made on the spot— had been a staple street food of his people for Ka'ra knows how long, and a personal favourite of his since he was a boy. The longtime presence of Mandalorian mercenaries on the Huttese moon he once called 'home' insuring both that one was never too far from a stand and that of what few memories Toryn had of that distant time, one thing he recalled with absolution was of how much he loved going to the one across the street with Ruusad and Zara a few times a week. And how the old Mando cook there would just snort and stuff a bit of extra meat in there because the three of them looked 'too skinny'.

Something approaching a little chuckle escaped the Jedi at that thought. Pleasant and sad all at once.

The lor'ika on Keldabe was good, yeah, but he'd never quite found something that beat ol' 'Mama Mando's' in the years since.

...Ka'ra dammit he was making himself hungry; ten hours of work out on Taris and two more of travel time back had left him with just enough time to toss his armour in the ol' sonic scrubber and catch a quick nap before throwing it all back on again and heading out to Keldabe for a debrief. Before being sent back to the Dog to scrub his armour again and throw on a fancy poncho because apparently he had dinner reservations.

Needless to say, there hadn't been a lot of time between then and now to cram food into his face-hole. Or get some shut-eye. And with a few hours to go before the Feast, Toryn knew in his heart of hearts that if he tried to take a quick nap somewhere, he'd somehow wake up to either a disappointed Taung hauling him to his feet or, far worse, a certain Arkanian shaking him by the throat.

Honestly, the whole thing was giving the man three different kinds of headache. So much so that he almost didn't notice the approaching figure behind until they'd already bumped into him.

"Oh, my apologies..."

"No worries, Kiddo. It happens."

Toryn said with a shrug, instinctively checking that his wallet was still there as he gave the newcomer a quick glance; some kid in their early teens. A girl, dressed up in an Imperial uniform, near-human with blue skin just a tad too light to be pureblooded Chiss or Pantoran, a face speckled with Mirialan tattoos around the bridge of her nose, scarlet eyes (currently locked on the food being prepared) and a bob of raven hair with a slight green tinge to it.

Toryn didn't need much thought to figure out what her heritage could be.

For her part, said kid took a few seconds before she found the courtesy to actually look at the man she'd bumped into. And honestly, the look of wide-eyed shock, and open-mouthed frozen horror was the funniest thing he'd seen all day.

"You are... The Hound of Mandalore..." She finally managed to squeak out after a half-minute of awkward silence.

Toryn winced internally; he never really liked that name, though he'd never show it. Least of all in front of a kid.

"That I am. And you..." The Mandalorian stated neutrally. Coldly, even. Managing not to crack a snort as the kid visibly flinched at his words. "...Look hungry."

The twist of visible confusion on the poor girl's face was enough to finally break the dam. And out a little chuckle came from within Toryn's helmet as he turned his visor back towards the woman behind the stand, whom he noticed was having a chuckle herself at the whole thing.

"Can I get that last order doubled, Vod?"

"I'm not opposed to taking your money, Mr. Hound."

'And here I thought I was the one starving.'

Was all Toryn could think around a mouthful of food, watching the little blue terror seated next to him on the fountain's edge outright tear into her food like a starved kath hound. The quiet, awkward yet polite creature of about fifteen minutes ago lost in a ravenous hunger for cooked gizka, bantha and very quite possibly— he mused with a raised brow— anything within grabbing distance that had the misfortune of being made of meat.

If there was any confusion as to at least one side of this kid's family, that display pretty much killed it.

Still didn't stop the Mando from speaking once he'd swallowed his own mouthful, though.

"Gotta hand it to ya, Kid." he said, popping the cap off the girl's drink and handing it to her, which she took with an enthusiastic nod and a loud swallow before knocking it back to take a big gulp. "Most Imperials I've met shy away from our food."


"Swallow and breathe, Kiddo." Toryn cut her off.

"Apologies." The kid began again, after a moment of chewing and swallowing. "But if so many of my countrymen are so desperately frightened by food such as this, then I regret that you have apparently met only the cowards."

...Oh, he liked this kid.

'Maybe there's hope for the Empire, yet.' The Mando thought as he handed the girl a napkin, making a quick motion with his finger to let her know how much of her meal she was currently wearing as a face decoration. Leading her to hastily wipe herself.

"Forgive me again, I am usually more... civilized... when I eat." She said between wipes.

"Don't worry about it; you're on Mandalore, we don't have much in the way of formal rules for dinner etiquette, and the one's we do have, you're basically following right now anyway." Toryn replied with a slight wave of his hand as he took another bite of his own meal. "'Sides, I've been around Chiss most of my life. I'm used to seeing that metabolism and especially that appetite in action."

The girls eyes narrowed for a second.

"I never said I was—"

"You're at least half. There's hungry, and then there's Chiss hungry. And if you've seen it even once, you'll never mistake it for anything else... well, all that, and I've yet to meet a non-Chiss kid that talks quite like you do."

The girl maintained her stare for a few seconds more before a slight upturn of her lip made itself known on her features.

"Observant... you are not quite what I expected, Hound." She said finally. "That is a pleasant surprise."

"Oh? By all means, what were you expecting." Toryn replied, taking a swig of his own drink.

"Well, according to some in my homeland; You are a Hero of the Empire, but serve different masters. You prowl the Galaxy, striking down the wicked, that fire, vengeance and fury live upon your blade and that wrath erupts from your body as lightning!" The kid explained with gratuitous flare, ham and hand gestures unbecoming of a Chiss before adding, quite flatly; "...Also, I thought that you would be taller."

Aaaand, out Toryn's nose that drink went as he desperately managed something that was all at once a wheeze, a cough and a laugh.

"Ffffucking WHAT?" He managed, between yet more laughter, even as he clenched his nose in pain. "Are you serious?"

"Extremely." The kid added, with a non-plussed tone that made Toryn laugh just a little more. "So you can understand how... reassuring it is to see that you are actually quite normal."

It took Toryn a good few minutes to recover from all that, before wiping away a tear and holding his drink out to her to toast.

"My name's actually Toryn, by the way."

"You may call me Tanis." The kid replied, clinking her bottle with his and taking a drink.

"Huh. Small Galaxy."

"Pardon?" Tanis inquired, head cocking to the side.

"Eh, Doesn't matter— Ever been to a range before, Tanis?" Toryn asked, brushing the earlier question aside.

"I have, to learn how best to defend myself and meet benchmarks set by my tutors." The kid replied, with a slight nod.

"...Ever go to one just to blow something up?"

A moment of silence passed between them. And Toryn could almost hear the cogs turning in the girl's brain as a downright diabolical smile formed across her lips.

"I have not."

Toryn met that look with a little smirk of his own as he turned his attention back to his meal.

"Well, I got at least five hours of nothing to do after I finish this. So blowing shit up is what we shall do."

Maybe... just maybe this day wouldn't be too bad, after all.
Posted here because because the WIP is a few pages back and I'm a lazy bastard.

WIP, hoooo!


"Y'know, Kid... the point is to hit the target. Not to start a bush-fire."

At the tone of those words, the boy's head and shoulders slumped a little for a few seconds in quiet shame. Though that abated rather swiftly as the lad abruptly took up his weapon once more in a admittedly slightly shaky grip, holding it there for a few good seconds before firing again... The resultant amber bolt going high this time, missing the steel cut-out of a Stormtrooper bolted to the side of a broad old-growth tree entirely and smacking some particularly unfortunate bird roughly the size of a melon in it's fat, surprised face as it was flying by. Blowing the poor thing apart like a balloon filled with steaming, chunky pasta sauce.

"...Well, at least we'll have chum to bait some fish later." The older Mando spoke up again, sounding actually a bit amused now. "Try again."

Another blast and another decisive lack of shooting straight followed.

"Again." This command was accompanied by a slight clinking of beskar and the crushing of grass, barely heard over the bolt summoned by it. Predictably, going wide again.

The kid bit down on his lip and adjusted his stance, extremely aware of the man's closing proximity now, but still obediently doing as he was told... Kicking up a whole mess of dirt as he struck low this time. Letting out a low shaky exhale from both frustration and fatigue, he lowered his arm and head again. Very much aware that his elder was standing right behind him now.

Though whatever scolding the boy was expecting, it probably didn't include the sight of a bronze-coloured helmet thumping down to the ground by his feet.

The boy didn't really have time to ponder that, however, as he heard some more shuffling of armourweave and clanking of beskar behind him, hinting that his companion was now crouching down behind him. Followed by a slight weight on his shoulder, and the sensation of a hand much larger than his own coming to rest against that which clutched the old, heavy pistol. Gently pushing it upward into a firing position again, while another rested against his other hand, softly maneuvering his fingers and adjusting his junior's grip. Making the boy's eyes to start to wander a bit to the side in curiosity.

"Eyes down the barrel, Vaar'ika." The elder of the two instructed before their eyes could meet. His words sharp and direct, though spoken with an almost gentle patience one rarely expected from a Mandalorian.

The little Mando, of course, obeyed. Eliciting a quiet grunt of approval and maybe just a smidgen of a smirk he just barely caught in his peripheral vision from the armoured man.

"You've already felt the recoil before, so don't let it frighten you. Simply accept and prepare for it." He continued, the hand that had been fine-tuning the lad's grip on the weapon retreating to rest instead on his little shoulder. "Now. Breathe out. Calmly, and with purpose, and squeeze the trigger as your lungs empty."

Not long after, another fiery amber bolt escaped the weapon with a thundering crack. Still high and to the left, but at least he was actually hitting the target now.

"Not good enough. Again." Another crack. Still slightly to the left, but closer to center mass. "Again."

Bullseye. The tree actually swayed at that.

"That's better. Two more."

Twice right on the money, if the boy wasn't so dialed-in to his task, he might've actually noticed that smirk he'd seen in his peripheral earlier widen just a teensy bit.

The tree, for it's part, let out a groan of protest as bits of bark launched themselves off it's far side.

"Now, Keldabe Drill. Just like I taught you."

Two bolts to the target's 'chest', and one just left of the head. Provoking a loud 'crunch!' from the tree and a little snarl of "Shabuir!" from the child's lungs that actually caught his elder a little off-guard as he quickly readjusted his stance all on his own and fired again.

Two in the chest, one in the head. A grouping so nice he then did it twice.

And then a third and forth time, progressively faster and tighter as he went, until the old tree finally gave up the ghost and keeled over with a thunderous crash, roots and all before he had the chance to give it a fifth helping of the good stuff. Finally allowing the boy to lower the hefty weapon in his hands and catch a much-needed breath.

"...Not bad, Toryn." The older of the two said, after giving the lad a moment or two to suck in all the air he wanted into his tired little body. "We just might make a warrior of you yet."

At that, the boy cocked a brow between ragged breaths and cast a quizzical glance towards the man, whose face— an aged and weathered reflection of his own; with those bright green eyes he'd inherited over a twice-broken nose and under a short cut of greying brown hair— simply met him with a cheeky half-smile. And a pair of raised hands.

Immediately, Toryn's eyes snapped back down to the weapon in his grip, and then back again. Realizing finally that he'd been holding the damned thing completely unassisted for some time now and trying to rack his brain to remember exactly when that happened.

His grandpa, for his part, merely snorted at the display.

"...Well, once you learn to pay attention, that is."

"Grah...FUH-!" Toryn let out with all the grace of a constipated tauntaun as the compression and kickback of the shuttle's landing struts jostled him awake... specifically by the loud 'clang!' of his armoured head against the bulkhead next to him from where he sat, semi-sprawled and previously passed out in the back corner of the ship. Growling under his breath; "...Alright, I'm up, I'm up..."

Rising with a chorus a cracks, snaps and pops from joints and vertebra that always seemed to have a negative opinion to share these days, our Mando cast a quick glance over his surroundings. The gaze of his visor very calmly drifting to each corner of the room— an old habit that hadn't gone away since his time on Taris and wasn't looking to be leaving any time soon— before he was even fully on his feet. Seeming to ease a bit when he saw a lowered loading ramp, the backs of the rest of the Knights and his fellow Apprentices and probably more importantly, a distinct absence of anything that could be immediately trying to kill him.

'Well, guess the party's started.'

Toryn thought, giving his back and shoulders one last stretch before tucking the rolled up poncho he'd been using as a pillow under his arm and stepping forward and casting a glance around at the others, gauging their body language like he'd learned through his youth and ever-so-slightly broadening his senses through the Force like Reni had taught him to not really intrude upon their thoughts so much as to just perceive what they were radiating freely, trying to get a bead on how they were handling the 'big day' so far.

The Dathomirian, Sildarg? He didn't know enough about her to make an accurate call, but he could tell she was at least a little bit nervous. Which, to be fair, they were about to casually waltz into an ancient ruin on a desolate planet at the very edge of known space; there was an entire genre of holo-cinema about how bad of an idea that usually was. Hell; him, Kada and Nova had watched at least three of those flicks on the way here just to pass the time. So that was perfectly reasonable. Airus? Quite the opposite. Full-on Gung-ho-Joe, that guy; talking about The Force and how bloody great it was to be here, how powerful this place made him feel—

Toryn had to reel back from the Force real quick, that level of sheer, undiluted sunshine was starting to hurt a little.

Mala, from what he could tell, seemed almost nostalgic to be here. Which made sense, her being one of the few Jedi of the Old Order left, though Toryn made a point of not digging much further than that. Being very aware of what the Knights of old thought of his people and not particularly wanting to accidentally provoke a confrontation. On the opposite end of that spectrum, there was Reni; a pacifist, a technophobe, an open book— pretty much Toryn's exact opposite in every conceivable way... which is probably why the got along as well as they did. So much so that it'd almost become an unspoken game between them; every time the Mirialan got the normally-reserved Mando to crack, laugh or be more open? That was a point to her, just as any time he could catch her off guard by just being himself— or better yet, make her burst out laughing with a precise application of the laconic Mandalorian wit she was supposed to hate— that was a point to him.

It was... strange comparing Reni to the stories of Jedi he'd heard as a boy. 'Ori'buyce, kih'kovid.' his grandpa would say about them; 'All helmet, no head.'. An order so convinced of their own righteousness and authority that they believed any who would dare oppose or even disagree with them by definition must be evil and in need of 'Excision'. A word that held a very particular kind of venom amongst his people; a kind that could only be birthed when a foe attacks unprovoked, devastates your worlds, kills three quarters of the population and then doesn't even have the nerve to call it a war. Merely an operation, like the removal of a tumor or an unsightly wart.

Reni... Wasn't like that. And learning from and working with her these past few months had... altered... his perception of what was meant to be his people's oldest adversary.

And he could almost be certain that his grandpa— wherever he was in the stars, amongst the Fallen Kings— would probably approve if he's watching... Even if his Mirialan Master occasionally did weird stuff like stepping out into the middle of a snowstorm in her bare feet while looking damned happy about it.

...Actually, scratch that, Gramps was probably laughing his ass off right now.

A warm little almost-chuckle escaped him at the thought as he shook his head. Which distracted juuuust long enough that he only noticed Nova's attempt to emulate their master too late to try and stop her. And from the way she shot up half-way into orbit and bolted back inside almost the exact second her toes hit the powder, he really didn't need the Force to figure out what was going on in her head.

A snort escaped him— Reni's first point for the day— as he unfurled and slipped on his poncho; his armour by itself was warm enough, being rated for the void in space and all, but it tended to get starkly less so if the armourweave got soaked in the snow or his beskar began to ice up. Taking his time to adjust it to his comfort, run a gloved hand against the soft fabric and admire the old Taung patterns his mum had woven into the garment while he waited for the little blonde terror to finish tearing apart the lockers in the back of the shuttle in search of warmer clothes.

...And to be perfectly honest, Reni very nearly scored another point in absentia when Nova came half-trundling, half-waddling past him in hell knows how many layers. Pressing on into the Ilum with a fiery (if clumsy) determination that would have made her faceplant into the white stuff had Toryn not immediately started following behind and been there to give her a firm yank back upward he wasn't sure she even felt through all her insulation.

"Too many layers, Kiddo. Makes you work harder to move, which makes you sweat." Came the semi-electronic crack of Toryn's voice through his helmet. His advice sharp and direct, though spoken with an almost gentle patience one rarely expected from a Mandalorian. "And when that happens, you'll really start to feel cold."

For good measure, he kept his grip on the back of her jacket, whether she was aware of it or not for the rest of the way into the temple. The sooner the kid got outta the wind, preferably with the least amount of slips, trips and falls possible the better.

It also helped Toryn keep his mind off the growing pressure in the back of his brain, one that only grew with every step he took to the entrance of this place.

Entering the temple after a few more near-misses on the way from the shuttle, Toryn finally released his grip on the back of the young pilot's jacket and gave her a quick brushing off; The would-be Mando Jedi surmising that his junior might not have the mobility in her arms right now before grabbing hold of his own poncho and giving it a quick shaking out. Throwing the now snow-free garment over his shoulder as an ad-hoc cape when he was done as his visor once again calmly scanned about the main chamber as he had done in the shuttle earlier— as he did whenever he entered any room, in fact— the Mandalorian making a quick mental note of all the information that popped up in the slight orange tinge of his HUD as it adjusted to the lower levels of light; the composition and density of the stone, crevices that could be hidden in, potential angles of attack and calculations for firing solutions that would optimally respond to each... that kind of thing.

This place was... old. Toryn didn't need his scanner to know that, he could outright feel it in his bones; That 'pressure' he felt in his head earlier on the way in having migrated down and spread through the rest of his body. It didn't fill him with trepidation or anything like dread, mind you, but it did force him to stretch out his senses and pay closer attention to his surroundings.

He knew this feeling, because he'd been in places like this before; Albeit, without realizing why he'd felt it at the time... But all that aside, if his experience was anything to go by, Toryn knew that his day was likely to get very complicated, very soon.

“Well, Toryn, what do you think? Is it everything you imagined? Perhaps even more?”

Quickly, Toryn's visor snapped down to face the Mirialan. Finding her posed ramrod straight in direct parody of the temple around them and with a goofily-constructed, deliberately over-serious expression that even she was having trouble holding together with any semblance of control.

Immediately his shoulders relaxed slightly, and he loosed a breath he hadn't even realized he was holding in.

...Tag another point to the Green Lady.

"Of course." Came Toryn's wry reply, as he reached into one of the pouches on his belt and tossed Reni one of the fruit-bars he'd made before they left D'qar, likewise tossing another to the side Nova's way. "Because only the Jedi could ever build something so big, yet so very bland."

Giving his head a bit of a shake to rid himself of any remnant of that earlier tension, he fished a third bar for himself— sour, instead of sweet and made of a different fruit than the other two, as he still wasn't entirely confident that either of the other members of their three-string band were quite ready for the Mandalorian definition of 'sour' yet— and unwrapped it before pulling up his helmet slightly to take a bite. Offering a rare glimpse of the man beneath... Or at the very least, the pale skin and brown stubble around his jaw, and the long, often overlapping spider-line scars from shrapnel that traveled down his left cheek and intersected over the corner of his mouth on their way down to his chin.

"...Still, nothing that can't be fixed by an Alsakani with two days wages and a few cans of paint."

He added, piling on the sacrilege and heresies without skipping a beat as he took another bite of his snack. Lip noticeably curling upward in a wry grin as he chewed.
Just throwing up a WIP to show I haven't been procrastinating this whole time.

Edit: DONE!

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