PRIVATE Take it Easy (Raine & J'seth)

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Onboard the Orion

J'seth

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....J'seth nodded &, reluctantly, let Raine let go of his hand. He saw her leave for a while, & could hear occasional discussion, though he couldn't understand from where he was. Fortunately, she wasn't gone for too long & she returned with a pair of crutches. A smile crossed his face as she returned, & as he noticed the crutches, he sat up more & swung his legs over in preparation for getting about for the first time in too long! The snap, crackle & pop of his joints protesting the lack of use brought no small amount of amusement by emphasis.

...Taking the crutches Raine brought, he smiled, "Thank you Raine--hope I don't embarrass myself too badly!" With the crutches under his arms, he gingerly stepped onto the floor once more--thankful that there were no needles or other devices plugged into him! Despite some initial pain he soon regained his balance. Taking a moment to focus his breathing & feel his weight adjust to standing once more. Again, despite initial aches & pains, he was soon able to get his bearings once more & with no small amount of enthusiasm he began to make his way forward....for the first time in too long! He was thankful that he took time to observe others walking on crutches over the time he had been recovering, as it helped give him a head start.

...As he made his way out, with Raine accompanying him, he gave her a warm smile as he looked into her eyes once more, "An hour or two with good company is timeless!" Indicating the corridor as they moved on, "You are my guide!" He had no idea how long it would take to get to where this Jilly was, but every moment mattered....especially with Raine's company!
 

Raine

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They took their time (as they ought to, with J'seth being the convalescent and all), but eventually made it down the hall to the nearest turbolift, and from the turbolift, down another hall, to Jilly's. The mess hall had less than a handful of people in it, most of them finishing their simple meals and others on their way out. Raine helped pave a way for the two of them to a secluded table - not too far away from the amenities - and then helped J'seth take a seat, stowing his crutches nearby.

"Welcome to Jilly's," she said, gesturing to their surroundings with a generous sweep of of one arm. "As you can see, it's a simple mess hall, designed for troops serving on board a military ship. But don't let the spartan look fool you: Jilly is a magnificent cook; we would be lost without her. Now, we are currently under quarantine due to a virus scare - so food is served in limited quantities, and mostly in military rations. Not very tasteful, but more than nutritious enough. I can get us some of those? And as for drinks, there is water, flavored water, stim tea and coffee. Can I interest you in any of those?"
 

J'seth

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...J'seth did his best to not slow down Raine as she led him onward. Thankfully the way was mostly down hallways, & the occasional other person they ran into was gracious enough to allow them passage, so they made good progress. What Raine referred to as a 'Turbolift' was something else he would clearly take time getting used to. He was sure that she found his surprise amusing, but he didn't mind--she had already brightened his day!

...As they made their way closer, the scent of food wafted down the hallways. Making their way to the table, he seated himself as she set his crutches aside. As Raine made her presentation, he listened enthusiastically, "Simple fare is fine--a meal shared with good companionship is always best!" Thinking carefully a moment, "If if would be easier for you, I'll have whatever you are having." Gurgling noises from his stomach made his situation evident to Raine, assuming she hadn't already been aware; with an embarrassed smile, & trying not to laugh, he continued, "I guess I was hungrier than I thought!"
 

Raine

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It took only a few minutes for Raine to flag down a server droid and have it fetch trays with stim tea and some rations. As a courtesy, she also asked for two small bowls so she could share her gummies with J'seth -- the candy-snack that she always seemed to carry on her person no matter the time or place.

"Dig in," she invited him once the droid put everything on the table in an logically organized fashion. "And enjoy!"

Pulling out a bag of gummies from her pocket, she tapped on it to roll out a handful of colorful candy onto J'seth's dessert bowl before doing the same with her own.

"My favorite candy," she explained with a childlike grin. "Sugar and gelatin, no preservatives." She was curious to see what he thought of them, or if he had the inclination to try them, even.
 

J'seth

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...J'seth was a bit wary regarding the 'droids'--which he still wasn't accustomed to seeing, but he wasted no time in getting started on his meal. The rations tasted quite different from those that Kagan had shared with him, but they were nonetheless tasty. In fact, quite tasty! He took his time eating, as he hadn't had such a feast for some time & wanted to enjoy it. Raine being present made it even more enjoyable!

...He watched in amazement as Raine emptied what she called her 'favorite candy' into bowls for each of them. He had not had such before, but her smile dispelled any hesitations he may have had. He took one in order to try it, & with her smile still beaming, he ate it. His eyes widened a bit, as it was more sweet than he was accustomed--even though he used to enjoy wild honey--but it was easy to consume. Looking into her eyes once more, he smiled, "I have never had 'candy' before now...but I think I could get used to it." Still looking deep into her eyes, & warmed by her smile, he thought: ~Especially, if it would please you!~
 

Raine

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"Well, be careful - they do tend to erode the enamel if you have too much. They're laced with sweeteners," Raine explained, entirely unabashed about taking a whole handful of gummies and packing half of it into her grinning mouth straight away. This girl was quite fixated on her favorite snacks!

"Still, they can offer a nice and helpful dose of a sugar high when you're looking for that little extra kick,' She said after swallowing, then dug into her ration, slowly unwrapping one end before touching the ration to her nose. They seemed odorless and cardboard like to her, but at least they were filling! Stealing a peak at J'seth, she noticed that the young man was rather happy with his meal.

It was reassuring to see he did not have ridiculously high expectations for food, because they were under quarantine and thus, nutritional options were heavily limited!

"If you want, I can arrange for you to get the candy delivered, provided you are fully recovered and have your own quarters on board the ship where you can stash these safely," Raine winked and took a small bite out of her ration.
 

J'seth

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...J'seth was pleased to see Raine enjoying herself, as she really was, as opposed to the customary formal behavior. From his observation, she seemed to have a genuine addiction to these 'gummies', consuming them with great abandon! Apparently, she was of the impression: Life is full of uncertainties, so eat dessert first! as he had heard someone else mention while he was recovering in medbay. Thankfully, she hadn't forgotten the rest of her meal.

...Despite their limited time available, J'seth took his time with his meal. He had not had something as solid as this since the ration bar slivers Kagan had given him during their escape, so he needed to be careful until his stomach could get used to solid foods once more. The thought brought back memories of time in the desert where they went for weeks on minimal provisions & needed time to adjust to more substantial fare upon returning home. He smiled to her once more & said, "I am fine with the sweets Raine, & I probably need to cut back a bit: I always used to get scolded whenever I got into the wild honey!"

...Home. What did that mean for him now? He would have to think on it. Had anyone else been captured? Was there really a population left, of had the 'Rakata' Raine had mentioned earlier struck them? As he finished his meal, he was more than a little concerned. Reclining back in his chair, he gave her a concerned expression before asking, "These 'Rakata'...Please tell me what you know of them. I may be called to fight, even before I'm fully recovered, so I need to know all there is!" He then looked into her eyes once more, "Hope I haven't dampened the mood..."

...He couldn't bear the thought of seeing Raine hurt. Though he had only met her a short time ago, it felt longer...much longer.
 

Raine

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"Eons ago, Rakata are the species that once ruled the Known Galaxy. Every species would bow down to them or perish. They would conquer entire sectors without pity or mercy. At the time, were also known as "the Builders" as they were known to create technologies of tremendous power, fueled by the Force. They are a humanoid race, with distinct amphibian features - cone heads, eyes on stalks, long and lanky bodies.

In the old days, they were a technologically advanced race that developed early in galactic history, even developing some early hyperdrive technology. Long-term use of the dark side of the Force corrupted their society and turned them into a race of merciless warriors. They would go on to conquer and enslave every other species they came across throughout their known galaxy.

During the reign of their so-called 'Infinite Empire', they were characterized by their cruelty, savagery, and arrogance. They were known to strip entire planets of their resources, terraform worlds to fit their own shifting needs; to kill entire slave work force; and to eat and defile the bodies of slain enemies and even members of their own species.

To make the long story short: they were the big bad douchebags.

Thankfully, all things pass and so did the Infinite Empire. As it fractured due to constant internal tensions amidst warring factions, their reign of terror too, came to an end. To make matters worse -but not like they did not deserve it- some weird plague swept through the regions and all but decimated their numbers. As the Force users were culled from the overall population at an ever increasing rate, the Rakata lost their ability to manipulate their own technology. Soon, they were forced to rely on inferior devices that were not dependent on the Force.

Sensing weakness, slave species rebelled in large-scale insurrections on many member worlds and stemmed the total collapse of the Infinite Empire. As a result of this vulnerability, the Rakata were unable to suppress the massive outbreak of violent slave rebellions and uprisings against their rule. The nearly decimated Rakata could do nothing but abandon their conquests and retreat to the safety of their homeworld of Lehon.

The surviving Rakata devolved into barbarism and eventually forgot how to operate their own technology. After millennia of barbarism, the remnants of the species finally joined the Galactic Republic while some remained behind. No one was certain as to their actual numbers until we encountered them here, in the Unknown Regions. Now they seem to have resurfaced, and their blood lust has been renewed. They have also gotten the Force back - don't ask me how - this I do not know. But they have it... and so now it's almost as if we are fighting the Rakata of old - plus some biological warfare, zombies and unknown Celestial technology.

Anyway, I can provide you with a datapad of all this and other info on the coneheads - I don't really know much more beyond what I just told you. A great bunch, aren't they?"
 

J'seth

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...J'seth listened intently to Raine's explanation of the enemy they were fighting. HIs own look of disgust mirroring her own as she elaborated on their background & what they had done: what he heard seemed quite familiar, which had him wondering if those who captured him & his tribe were working for these 'Rakata'. He put the thought in the back of his mind as Raine finished her description with more than a hint of sarcasm. "Yes indeed, a 'great' bunch," he muttered with no small amount of sarcasm himself. "I would greatly appreciate a...datapad, is it?" He looked even more embarrassed than earlier, "Would you mind...showing me how one works?" While he had some basic familiarity with machinery, these 'computers' were well beyond what he was familiar with, & his ignorance was probably showing in no small degree.

...He gave her an embarrassed grin, "Hope I didn't put on damper on things, by inquiring..."
 

Raine

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"Sure, although it will have to be another time," Raine responded with a smile. "I don't have one with me at the moment." This was definitely a good thing - since it was presenting an opportunity for another get-together with her new friend.

"That, and anything else you'd like to see and learn about - I am at your disposal," the young woman nodded and took another bite out of her ration bar. And no, he did not put a damper on anything. "The master key of knowledge is persistent and frequent questioning. And a prudent question is one half of wisdom," she winked.
 

J'seth

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...J'seth nodded, knowing Raine was likely a very busy woman despite having taken her time to meet him, & he didn't want to impose on her more than he had. "I understand Raine. Should the opportunity permit, my time is yours!" He wasn't in a hurry to get a computer at the moment, as he wouldn't know how to use one, & certainly didn't want to risk breaking one by accident.

...He soon finished his own meal, practically at the same time she did, before adding, "At some point, I will need to know my way around the ship," he gave another embarrassed smile as he looked into her eyes once more, "...can't be getting myself lost, after all!" He hated to admit it, but he was running out of things to discuss--at least from off the top of his head anyway--but he was enjoying Raine's company. Her presence seemed to help him forget his previous troubles...for a time anyway.

...He only hoped that in the future he would have more time to share with her...much more!
 

Raine

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"Perhaps next time I visit, we can have a tour of the ship - as detailed or as brief as you like," Raine smiled, watching the young man closely and wondering if he realized the amount of trust he engendered in those he met. Or maybe it was just her? The feeling was very real, even though part of her was trying to tell Raine that she was just imagining the whole thing. Nah. Raine did not imagine this thing. She felt it.

"So maybe in a day or two, then?" She probed him directly, wondering if J'seth noticed her eagerness. "I don't want to push, and you are still recovering," she explained quietly, scooping up the last of the gummies and popping them into her mouth, one by one.

"As for getting lost - not a chance - I know the Orion like the back of my hand; I promise you that."
 

J'seth

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...J'seth smiled warmly & nodded at Raine's suggestions, "An in-depth tour will be most helpful--such knowledge could be important in the future. A day or two will be fine; whenever is convenient for you...,." He then gave a playful grimace, "...& permitted by medlab." While he was still recovering, the confinement was driving him crazy. "Hopefully, I won't be having to get by on crutches for too much longer; I felt like I was crawling slower than a snail!"

....His mild attempt at levity took second place to seeing Raine enjoy herself, with what apparently was her favorite snack. He smiled, as it reminded him of when he used to get into the wild honey back on his home world. He enjoyed her company...indeed, her presence was pleasing: did she realize it? Who knew. He still found himself looking into her eyes once more as she playfully finished her snack...& wishing he had more time to spend with her.
 

Raine

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"Well, if anyone can give a proper tour of this ship, it's me!" Raine exclaimed with a smile to match the bravado in her voice.

"If you like, I can even take you out for a short flight in one of the fighters we have on board. Of course, that would have to take place once you have fully recovered. Which brings me to a simple yet invasive question: how do you really feel? The medical chart I have read only gives me the general overview of your injuries but as usual, it does not give specifics which are probably privy to the attending physician and no one else.

Unless, of course, they have the small print stuff on some password-protected computer... which I would really hate to have to break into, just to get some answers regarding a friend's condition. So! I'm coming to the horse's mouth, so to speak - hoping that you can be frank with me and tell me exactly what your injuries are - physical and psychological - if you don't mind sharing."
 

J'seth

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...J'seth was pleased that Raine was so willing to assist him with finding his way around--her smile was an added bonus! An expression of wonder crossed his face as she offered to give him a ride on one of the fighters, perhaps not unlike the Y-Wing that Kagan had brought him here in, "I would enjoy another flight; one that I'm not half-unconscious on this time." His flight with Kagan had opened up a new vista for him, & it let his imagination run wild. He couldn't pass on such an offer, especially if Raine made the offer!

...As she made her last inquiry, J'seth had a feeling it would be mentioned. Still, how could he not answer her honestly after all she had done for him so far. "Fortunately, I had no diseases or other infections from my time in the cell, & aside from the 'quarantine' as it's been called, I've not shown any illness thus far...at least none that I can discern, anyway," which wasn't that much, as he hated to admit. "My physical ailments are still taking time though: my leg hasn't completely healed, & at one point I could overhear Kagan & Dr. Star mentioning that I was severely malnurished from my time in captivity, though that seems to be alleviating bit by bit..."

...J'seth then got quiet, as he placed his chin on his hands in thoughtful contemplation, "Emotionally...I'm at a complete loss. Despite my experiences, I'm feeling like a complete ignorant when confronted with the universe beyond my homeworld, & it's painful. I also wonder about what became of my tribesmen after I was separated from them...." He then looked Raine in the eyes once more, as they gave solace to his woes, "I feel...alone. On my world we would say that 'Loneliness is a slow-acting, but fatal poison.' Even our more solitary tribesmen would rejoin the rest of us at some point & share their experiences. When separated for reasons of weather, or lengthy travel, the thought of the others kept us going, giving something to return to....But now, I've felt empty. Truly, alone..." He refrained from saying any more, & felt he had already said too much. If not for Raine's presence he would have probably succumbed to at least some sense of despair. He could only hope that she wouldn't push him away following this....that would be harder than anything!
 

Raine

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"I am glad you are healing. For some reason, I thought maybe your injuries were far more severe than they appeared on the chart. One can never tell about these things, especially if pots-event emotional trauma is involved. Your leg will undoubtedly heal soon. The nutritional imbalance will take time but eventually reach a healthy plateau. I am glad you are not allergic to military rations because we've been mandated to eat those until the hive virus quarantine has lifted. And that's another gift from the Rakata to worry about - so I will put some documentation on the datapad about that, for you to read about."

Pausing to take a sip of her drink, Raine nodded as she contemplated a response to J'seth's emotional woes.

"Don't feel bad because you're a strange pilgrim in a strange land... as with everything else, it will take time for you to acclimatize yourself in the Unknown Regions, but eventually - you will feel less anxious about it. Even in the state of war, we have all become accustomed to this area of space - some faster, some slower. Proceed at your own pace and don't let anyone rush you into anything.

As far as your tribesmen are concerned, they may have gone into the afterlife but I believe you will see them again,"
Raine smiled wistfully. "And you are not alone here. You have made new friends: Kagan, Lana, me... that is more than some will ever have. Now, as to whether we could ever become a part of your 'tribe' that is not for us to say... but we'd be honored if we should ever earn that place. Finally, being here is not an end - but a new beginning. Who's to say you won't be able to return to your homeworld in the future? Do not give in to despair, J'seth. Let me help you..."

She looked to him intently, wondering if he would trust her further than he already had; then she moved her chair closer to his and sitting beside him now so that their elbows nearly touched, the Jedi turned to face his profile to see if he would do the same.
 

J'seth

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..."Please do: anything more that you can share with me regarding this enemy is valuable!" He then gave her an awkward grin, "I need to recover as soon as possible. The enemy may not allow a more leisurely pace, & I may have to fight in my current condition." It was an unsettling possibility to be sure, but it could happen. Just as one didn't ask the sun for mercy, he should expect none from these 'Rakata'. He nodded quietly a she reassured him that he wasn't really alone here. "I hope I can pull my weight here Raine: I can't abide burdening others, & I'll need help to find a niche."

...J'seth's thoughts drifted momentarily to his tribesmen as Raine mentioned they could well be dead by now, depending on how things proceeded in the time since their capture. He would cling to any vestige of hope, for their sake; he would not give up on them, not until he knew for certain if they were alright! He wanted to respond to Raine's reassurance, but found himself at a loss for words....no, he had the words, but they wouldn't come forth. Before he knew it Raine had moved alongside him...& he had taken her hand in his. He felt his eyes water a bit as he gazed into hers once more. In the end all he could manage was a polite nod & a soft, "Thank you."

...~You have helped me so much in our short time together. More than you know, you been my support Raine! I hope someday to be able to help you should you need.~
 
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Raine

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"Alright then," Raine said, her voice barely audible now, except for the two of them as they sat close together. She held his hands in hers, but did not apply any pressure to the hold; it was more like a gentle, reassuring hug of the man's fingers. "Just relax and focus on centering yourself being at peace... all around you is calm, you are in a place of safety," she continued, locking her gaze with his. "Your heartbeat slows to an even, strong rhythm as you find that inner tranquility that lets you assume full control of your thoughts, senses, movements... you are one with the Force, and the Force is with you.... always."

If J'seth showed no signs of agitation or anxiety, Raine would move on, delivering a barely noticeable squeeze to his hands.

"You can sense your faith, determination and courage - your constant companions - they are now by your side, reassuring and guiding your path. Your belief in the fate of your friends and the galaxy at large is one of hope as you ease into a state of harmony with the universe. Any aggressive, anxious or uneasy feelings about the past are slowly ebbing away as you feel entirely self-possessed. You are at peace..."

At this time, she would cease speaking and merely watched his body's response to her efforts. Intimate uses of the Force, such as the Aura of Peace could either break or deep-forge a long lasting trust and understanding. Only time would tell which would happen here...


 

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@Raine - the GM will take critical success into effect. Rolling 1D6 to determine bonus. Total roll: 29+6+6=41. DC: Epic!

@J'seth may resist Raine's efforts to calm his mind and put it at ease by rolling Willpower - or if he chooses to accept her help - do nothing.

 

J'seth

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...J'seth really appreciated Raine's patience with him. Clearly, he would have more to thank her for! Still holding her hand, he listened carefully to her instructions: trying to center himself, & obtain a little inner peace amidst the turmoil. Closing his eyes, he tried to relax as he listened to Raine's instructions...he tried to picture an image that would give him calm: a pool of water. ~From water does all life begin.~, he thought. He still could not comprehend what she was referring to as 'the force', but that wasn't important.

...As Raine spoke, he could see a pool of water in his mind: a very image of stillness & reflection. After a moment, however, he could see a second pool of water next to it; as he watched in his mind's eye, the two came together. It was a surprising, but reassuring image. He couldn't get over the slight detail of the second pool being of a different shade than the first: the second being a slightly-grayish color....like Raine's eyes! It was not an unpleasant image, but struck him as more than a little presumptuous. ~One thing at a time, all things in time!, as Kagan would say~, he thought to himself.

...As Raine spoke, he felt noticeably more at ease--so much so, that he felt like he might fall asleep! All too soon he heard an irritable noise that he managed to recognize as a timer. Opening his eyes, & looking into Raine's eyes once more, he gave an embarrassed smile, "That time already?! It finished all too soon." Indeed, two hours passed far more quickly than he would have liked. He had hoped to be with Raine longer....much longer.
 
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