From the private Journals of Irsin Rashos
23:10:122 ABY; Late Evening after returning to the Skiff
Or She might be at least. That’s more than I had yesterday.
Upon arriving on Eriadu I got the following message from Grale.
I can provide no assurances that would satisfy you, of course. Except to say this: if it were my intention to see you dead, what was stopping me from doing it when I had you at my side? I made you my student all those years ago because I saw your potential for greatness, Irsin, not to toy with you. I am already taking a great risk by contacting you in this fashion at all, but I feel it is a necessary one. I suspect that, due to the duplicitous actions of a common enemy within the Sith Order, we are both in great danger. Pick a location that will maximize your security, only do it quickly. I fear we have little time. -Master Vorman
After careful consideration, I decided to contact the Ren sisters. I had no one else I could turn to for a secure location. So I sent the following message to the dead drop Q’ayla and I use.
Q’ayla: I have urgent news to discuss. Grale has contacted me and claims that someone has deceived me to believe he is the one taking action in the galaxy. He wishes to meet. I can think of no safer place than on your ship with you and your sister there if he turns on us. Can we clear the ship as a meeting place on short notice?
And I waited for a response. A short while later Q’ayla responded.
Irsin: We’re leaving Master Tahl to follow-up on our bank account lead. In the meantime, we’re going to “look into the ship” we followed here. That should give us the better part of today. Where can we meet to pick you up?
I reserved a bay in a separate spaceport and fed the same location information to Grale, giving him a time that would provide myself and the Ren sisters some time to discuss and organize the ship.
I arrived and we caught up on recent events somewhat. I explained to them that I didn’t trust Grale, but I had to know what he wanted to tell me. If there was any chance that he wasn’t the one behind my mother’s death I had to find true killer.
An hour later Grale showed up, and as near as any of us could tell, alone as I’d asked him to be. He boarded the ship and Q’aleane had us take off to add an additional layer of security. Not only would he be unable to take advantage of any preparations he might have done, but we’d have the option of venting him into space if we needed to.
We stood in the cargo hold of the ship. Grale eyeing me and the Jedi at my back. After asking that we speak alone (and I responded in the affirmative that this was ok) We sat down on some crates to talk.
He told me a very interesting tale. He was involved with my mother many years ago when he was still simply a Saber himself. He encountered her and they nearly killed each other on one operation until they found they had compatible missions. They lost track of one another however, and though he wished to find her, it wasn’t until he attained the freedom granted by being a Master that he was able to seek her out again. By then she had already apparently met up with the man I believed to be my father, and the scene from my childhood ensued.
He claimed that she had disappeared after being hurled from the room, and that it had taken him years to track her down. But he ‘knew’ that the child was his, and so he kept an eye out for both her and…well…me for many years afterwards. When the opportunity presented itself he recruited me and has been training me as his own ever since.
My mother meanwhile eventually turned up, and he captured her. As he spoke of her, and the harm he had done to her, my blood began to boil. But he claimed he never killed her, and didn’t harm her enough to be life threatening. Someone must have gotten ahold of the video and doctored it to show something that had never occurred.
I sat there speechless. Though he admitted to doing my mother harm, he seemed to have, at least at one time, genuinely cared about her. Now it was more of an obsession. I could see the fel-light that kindled in his eyes when he spoke of her, and it was only reflected even brighter when he spoke of his perceived fatherhood of me. I was shaken by the notion that this man was my father. He had been a mentor, a teacher, a life-line that had helped me learn to survive the vortex of death and mistrust that the Sith cultured and maintained. But he had never been a comfort, never more than someone who saw value in me…and I saw now, someone who saw me as an extension of his own existence. That I had been attached to his own self-perception, that I was his legacy.
Eventually I found my voice and asked him about the Senator, if we were to believe that he too was a framing? And discovered something even more interesting. He had killed the senator. But he had only tried twice. The first time had been on Coruscant. The one which I and the Ren sisters had foiled, must have been someone else. It must have been whoever had led me to believe he had killed my mother. They were after the cache which we found on Wayland. Pure and simple, and they were using the previous attempt on Coruscant to cover their true motivations.
At one point Grale…that is…um…Master Vorman, asked me why I was in the company of the two Jedi. I hestitated for only the briefest of moments. Reuinited with my master why was I with the Jedi? But something inside me screamed that Grale had hurt my mother, that no matter who he was he could never be fully trusted again, not now, not ever.
And something I had expected even less. A sense of….doubt? A feeling of….protectiveness, of belonging. The Jedi, however different from myself they might be, however short-sighted and idealistic, however foolish, had never done me any harm. Not when they had had every opportunity to do so. I could have been vented into the atmosphere so many times by now I didn’t even begin to keep count. No doubt the Skiff which I had come to feel was all but my own home very likely had a self-destruct mechanism that could be remotely triggered in the case of intruders on the ship. Hell, Q’alya was likely better than me at Lightsaber combat, and I doubted I could take on Q’aleane in a contest of wills. Between the two of them I wouldn’t have stood a chance in a straight up fight. And yet with all of that, I still lived. In fact they still helped me. They guarded me, even against this man, who was quite possibly more powerful than all 3 of us working together.
All of this surged through me in less than a second, and I knew with a panicked moment that I needed to master my emotions or he would sense the weakness in me. This was one thing you never did with the Sith. So I quelled the fear in my belly, found the words that a Sith Master would expect to hear from a valued student and told him “Every tool, not matter how blunt, can always be of use.”
Grale grunted in acknowledgement, and I probed his emotional state to ensure that I hadn’t revealed myself to him. He seemed unconcerned with the comment, and I inwardly breathed a sigh of relief.
With the small talk out of the way our thoughts turned to the task at hand. How to track down the true killer? The true target? Grale suggested we start with his accounts. The only way someone would have gained access to the video that was sent to me to doctor in the first place would have been from his private accounts.
So we began there. We found a set of tracking software embedded on Grale’s accounts. Not only was it designed to monitor and forward information, but it had an extremely complex alarm system built into it. I was able to circumvent it, barely, and avoid it alerting the owner to our presence.
After several hours we had learned much. I was in a rare spot when it came to computer work, either this hackers style so closely matched my own thinking, or I was leveraging my Force talent to actually read the intent of his coding prior to attempting to code around it myself. I had outdone a man who was clearly more talented than I was, and on 6 days out of 7 I knew I would never be able to reproduce what I had done.
The result was that we knew the man’s name. Master Doone, a Shi’ido who Grale was aware of peripherally. He was extremely talented in computer work and the race explained how he was able to look like Master Vorman when we encountered him on Wayland. In addition I had managed to place my own listener program on Doone’s own accounts, which would altert me of any activity on his part, including a location ping. Furthermore I was able to create a false program atop this one, which would direct the Financial Scan the Ren sisters had asked Tahl to initiate to the true culprit, and make it appear as though Grale’s accounts were a shell, a false identity meant to throw off any pursuit.
I took an exhausted breath. The many hours spent on the computers was more taxing than I was used to. It had been some time since my computer skills had been so tested. Sometime amidst the work Q’aleane had burst into the room and told me Grale was not my father, and she had confirmed this through DNA testing. I almost had to kick start my brain to process the words they seemed a foreign language compared with the 1’s and 0’s I was reading a moment previous. I nodded and thanked her, but found that some part of me had never believed he was actually my father. I had simply stored the knowledge away that he THOUGHT he was my father, for future use.
Grale took his leave to try and track down any information on Doone that he might, and the Ren sisters dropped me off at the skiff so they could rendezvous with their own master Tahl.
The next day I was contacted by Q’ayla again through dead drop. the following conversation ensued:
Q’ayla: Irsin… I need your help. We’re going to investigate this bank – it looks like the Sith may be involved beyond Doone and Grale. Master Tahl is going to look into the legal route, digging through public records connected with the ownership of the bank. In the meantime, I’ve been tasked to hire a slicer that can get us information in a way that is … less reputable. And, you know, try a
me: I am willing…..also for what its worth, I was fully aware you could hear me. I told Grale what he needed to hear. I meant no offense….you and your sister are going far beyond what you’ve any right to do in order to help. I respect that. I admit that I suspect your motives, but old habits die hard, and even if you are as honest as you seem, it will take time for me to accept that.
Q’ayla: Don’t worry, no offense taken. And besides, sometimes I don’t mind the thought of acting like a blunt tool, using my sabers to get things done… far more interesting than all this deception and financial investigation. But I’m a Jedi – that’s just ’Q’ayla’ talking, don’t mind her. Are you staying anywhere on planet, or are you just living in the skiff? Either way, let me know where and when you w
Either way, let me know where and when you want to meet, and I’ll be there.
me: I’m living primarily on the skiff now, but I go into the city for food and supplied occasionally
I’ve stopped at a Cantina named The Varen a few times if you’d like to meet there
Q’ayla: Sounds good – I’ll go change, and I’ll meet you there in an hour or so.
I had thought long before sending Q’ayla the message I had, but it had hurt me to find that she might have thought me a crass as I’d appeared. For some reason it had never occurred to me that she would have actually believed the words I’d given Grale.
We met at the bar and she asked me about Taris a bit. I deflected the questions as best I could, that was NOT a subject I wanted her probing about. Whatever she had against Trasa and Desvin, there was more fear in it than hatred, and I didn’t want to jeopardize the tenuous trust we had begun to build.
After a few drinks we returned to the ship and I got to work developing a program to infiltrate the bank. Ultimately I ended up tapping Q’ayla and Q’aleane to make my life simpler to accomplish tasks that would have been all but impossible through a brute force slicing method. But we got the information we needed, my luck had not yet run out, though I kept wondering to myself, how much longer until it did?