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Jan 20, 2022 9:02 AM
anakin's dream come true
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"My name is Elesse Vendar, Master of the Jedi Order."

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"Pah. There's no business for you here, Jedi."

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"On the contrary, Gardulla Besadii, there is every business for me here. A Jedi is pledged to uphold the freedoms of sentients everywhere, not only in Republic space."

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"Your silly philosophy holds no sway here, and the Hutts are sovereign. What I say is legal is what the law upholds."

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"I am not here to discuss legalities, only facts. And the fact that concerns me at the moment is that you are the largest single slaveholder on this planet."

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"Then keep your concern to your own little corner."

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"But you are here and not there, so out of my corner I have come with light to shine upon this den of rats."

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"It remains no business of yours, Jedi, and the patience of the Mighty Gardulla is not without limit."

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Elesse steps forward, a hint of a predator's graceful sway in her stance. A quiet nudge to Anakin hints this would be a good time for her to fade into the background as Elesse swirls a coil of her Force presence around the room, almost the inverse of the hiding technique: a focusing of attention and a natural funnel to shape the reactions of those she cannot affect directly.

"My business, Mighty," she imbues the word with considerable scorn, "Gardulla, is whatever I say it is. Do you think you are the only sort of being who will see what they want and take it without compunction or regard for the desires of others? That yours is the only strength to apply here, that you or your rabblesome and scabrous followers could sway my course or give me even an instant of pause once I have begun? I tell you this, and mark my words for truth: by the time I leave this place, there will be not a single slave remaining within these walls."

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Anakin fades back...

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...But not fast enough, and Gardulla isn't inclined to forget she's there.

She scowls at Elesse, and then her gaze snaps to Anakin and she gestures. "Slave, to me."

Then, turning back to Elesse: "You have no power over me, girl."

Her guards are more obviously readying their blasters now, and Elesse has a sense a silent alarm is being raised.

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Anakin's expression twists, rage washing through her - breaking her hiding technique -

And she walks stiffly to Gardulla's side, kneeling off to her left - in sight and reach of the two guards with their electrostaffs, and some of the more resistant guards are apparently very thoroughly trained to point their blasters at Anakin and not Elesse - but their focus is split, wavering, and it's clear they believe Elesse is the greater threat. 

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"You think so?" Elesse tilts her head. Then turns her gaze at Anakin. "Tell me child, have you ever been offered the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to one of the Jedi temples? As part of the Ruusan Reformations, the right of pilgrimage for Force-sensitives was codified as one of the foundational rights in the Republic's constitution and is referenced in every treaty of alliance or neutrality, including that with the Hutt Cartel."

"The abrogation of that right is one of the few that still carries penalties up to and including intervention by a Jedi-led militia."

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She's not supposed to answer questions. In front of Gardulla, in this type of situation... It'll get Anakin's friends hurt. Gardulla's angry enough to kill one of them, and seriously harm the others. 

She looks at Elesse, thinks about that rush of power, her promise -

"No. I haven't."

 

And she makes her leap of faith. 

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She nods. "Thank you."

Then flicks back to Gardulla. "A Mantellian Self-Defense Force admiral owes me a favor." (Not a lie.) "I can have three light cruisers in orbit in less than six hours." (Lie.) "I wonder how much longer the palace shields will hold. Your generator is a CoMar model, is it not? I can't imagine the desert air is kind to it. I heard a bit of a whine as I entered." (Not a lie.)

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She's tense. "So you want a war, little girl? The Mighty Gardulla is not without allies, and you will not much outlast me."

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"You think you are worth a war, o Mighty," the scorn again, "Gardulla? After your quick and ignominious defeat prompted by a mistake you might have averted by paying a bare minimum of attention to the formalities of existing within a galactic context? What profit is there in that? Jabba stands poised not a thousand kilometers away to seize your criminal enterprises. He and the rest of the Hutts will make a brief show of presenting any Force-sensitives among their stock they might have been hording and toast your demise. One less competitor and saboteur to worry about. Any outside allies you may have will assist at picking your carcass for whatever value escapes the ruin and make a note to next time select more carefully for intelligence."

"As for my own person... As a Jedi, I heed the will of the Force. If nothing else, I rest easy knowing that the evil you personally perpetuate will have been wiped from the stars."

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Gardulla gestures -

And a trapdoor opens under Elesse's feet.

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Almost before it finishes doing so, she's in midair flipping backwards- the electrostaffs in the hands of the guards nearest Anakin come to life and jerk backwards into their wielders' faces- her lightsaber snaps into her hands and ignites, a pillar of shining gold- her heels hit the edge of the opening and she's pushing off again into a cluster of the more dangerous guards.

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There is very promptly a lot of chaos! 

Including Anakin throwing herself at the two guards nearest her - drawing a knife and cutting one's throat as he collapses from Elesse's own attack - grabbing his blaster and shooting the other guard - then shooting a few of the guards who're trying unsuccessfully to turn their eyes from Elesse long enough to shoot her - 

She's aiming to kill, of course, and she hits what she aims for. 

She vaults over Gardulla then - weaves past the activated electro-staff of one of the guards on the other side, which is easy, they're reluctant to hit Gardulla - she yanks one's staff into Gardulla, hard enough to hurt even if not disable, slams the other's staff into his face - 

Those two aren't long for this world, either. 

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Gardulla roars in anger - hits a panic button - and then reaches for the controls for Anakin and her loved ones' explosive chips -

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She doesn't get far.

storm of energy, roiling with anger deeper than anything Elesse has ever felt pour off someone, bursts around Anakin. She reaches out to Gardulla with one hand - and clenches it into a fist. Gardulla chokes and rises from her pedestal, writhing and trying in vain to scramble at her collapsing throat.

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That will have to be addressed at some point, Elesse thinks, absently dipping to let a bolt of blasterfire hit one of the guards behind her and raising her saber to swat the next back at the attacker. The girl has strong potential, it ought not to be wasted, regardless of what the Council thinks.

The explosive anger will certainly be a problem for them, on top of her age... Maybe Elesse won't return to Coruscant immediately. Take a leaf from Master Jinn's book, much as they're doing here, and turn in the report after what is needful has been done.

Since Gardulla isn't using her pedestal anymore, Elesse makes a beckoning gesture and sweeps it through the air, crushing the left wall of guards.

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Of course, plenty of the guards are now trying to shoot Anakin - terrifying Jedi is terrifying, but not currently killing their temperamental employer, and they're expecting backup - which seems imminent, especially as the blast doors open.

But they reveal only a single human woman in plain clothes, a sturdy pipe repurposed as a staff in her hands, a cold expression on her face.

Well, it reveals her and the armored bodies at her feet. 

She throws herself very specifically into slaughtering anyone aiming their weapons at Anakin. Her Force sensitivity is much less obvious within the Force than Anakin's - but, well, she's very accurate, and she fights like she has eyes on the back of her head, like she knows her opponent's moves before they do, and she's not being subtle about enhancing her body, especially her strength. She likely doesn't have training - she moves like a very dedicated and talented amateur, though she's successfully keeping her cool throughout the fight. 

They'll finish off the guards pretty fast between the three of them, likely even before Anakin finishes killing Gardulla.

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Well, that's helpful. Unexpected, but helpful.

When all the guards are down, Elesse deactivates her lightsaber and tucks it away.

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