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#21
Sol Damerin

Sol Damerin

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Spinning the barrel of his Protector, Sol found himself wishing he'd loaded it with some of the acid slugs. Those would be incredibly useful against the heavily armored Drexl. Alas, all he had was eight tracking Flechette rounds. The key for this one would be the timing on the shot. The spread on the rounds wasn't that bad but he wanted it at a minimum and he wanted to pour all eigh into the same target which meant waiting until the thing was almost on top of them so he could shoot it dead on. 

 

Inhale, exhale. 

 

They wind up on opposite sides of the creature. She'd dived one way and he'd dived the other, winding up near where her rifle had landed. While she used fancy cloaking tech, seriously where had she gotten something like that? He knew camo belts existed but they were damn expensive. Drawing the Drexl's attention with her dinky pistol. Things weren't going like he thought since it appeared as though the flying beast wasn't going to go for another strafing run. It seemed content to just go after them on the nominal grond tearing up the tower as it did so. Which meant his first plan was out the window, his second was letting it eat Mariya then shooting it in the face when it came for him. This plan would be effective, but he sort of liked Mariya so he discards it.

 

This left him with his third plan. 

 

Jumping onto the things back he begins to climb towards its head. The presence of something that was about the size of a large Porg, crawling on it gets the Drexl's attention and it tries to shake him off. Well, so long as it didn't try flying to shake him off that was fine he could hang on. He is moving as quick as he can, which is pretty dang quick, towards the dragon's head. When he gets there he presses the barrel of his protector to it, holding on to the dragon one-handed, and he starts pulling the trigger. This was a bad plan, he probably should have discarded it. 

 

Mariya Fleischer


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#22
Mariya Fleischer

Mariya Fleischer

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The mercenary remained cloaked, but her silhouette could still be seen at a close distance. That was the main reason why the beast continued to lash its claws at her, thankfully with some difficulty. Still, she needed to retrieve her rifle back. Explosives were too dangerous to use in this confined space. She fired again and avoided another close swipe before the attacks stopped.

 

She looked up and saw Sol Damerin climbing nimbly on the Drexl's back, his huge pistol in hand. A dangerous stunt, she told herself but probably would work. With the Drexl distracted, she picked up the pace and scrambled across the floor. Halfway though, she found herself stopping as Sol had began to fire directly at the beast's head. The cries of the beast were loud as it shook its body, taking off part of the wall with its weight before collapsing.

 

"Hey! You are gonna fall!"

 

She decloaked and grabbed for something nearby, which turned out to be two dirty looking cushions and slided them under Sol who was still hanging on the beast's head. The cushions were never going to be enough to absorb the whole impact if he fell from such a height, but she had no other choice. She had no idea what else she could do but pray that the beast's head would provide some sort of additional absorption.



#23
Sol Damerin

Sol Damerin

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The point blank flechette rounds do the trick and there is a spectacular spray of gore as a sizable chunk is blown out of the creatures head. It starts to tumble towards the edge of the tower and Mariya helpful yells out the obvious. Not that he blamed her, lots of people yelled out the obvious during difficult situations. We are under attack, I've been shot, you've been shot, my legs are missing, stuff like that. Sol had long ago learned how to tune that kind of stuff out, for the most part, if you spent time thinking about it that was valuable time you could have spent dealing with the current situation. 

 

For example, his predicament with the drexl was pretty easy to solve. He watches with some amusement as she sends a pair of cushions tumbling off the tower. This was clearly meant to cushion the fall somewhat, despite the fact that they would do nothing to help. His attention return to the platform itself and as the drexl goes tumbling over he launches himself from the destroyed head of the beast. As it goes plummeting downward he lands back on the tower top, rolling to absorb the impact. It probably looked really impressive and he'd only cheated a little by using Force speed to quicken his reaction times. 

 

The drexl slams into the ground below with a resounding crash. This is accompanied by the sound of the one remaining drexl who wasn't full enough of holes to be dead, taking wing. Sol couldn't quite tell what the damage was from up here but it looked substantial but not total. One building demolished out of six demolished plus the damage to the watchtower. Overall, it could have been a lot worse. Looking over at Mariya he shrugs his shoulders. "You were saying?"

 

Mariya Fleischer


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#24
Mariya Fleischer

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I was saying... well... nothing important," the mercenary blinked her eyes at the acrobatic feat that Sol Damerin had just performed. Putting the age factor aside, even a top gymnast would have difficulty making that jump without stumbling a little. It was just a little too perfect to be true.

Then again, she had already suspected him to be a Force user. Still, the so called evidence that she had seen so far were vague and inconclusive at best. One could easily explain his capability to see at night with some sort of optical implants. Or contact lens. Both were reasonable workarounds to using a pair of night vision goggles. As for the jump, one could attribute it to luck, though she had her doubts on luck playing a role in it. There was nothing much to pin down his identity.

Not that it really mattered. What mattered was the fact that they were somehow alive, limbs intact. For that, she was thankful, though she wondered if they were still going to get paid. One building and a watchtower in ruins. The loss of the building meant that some of the wildlife had escaped. She had no idea how much time and effort was spent by the scientists to capture those creatures. Reconstruction fees and recapturing efforts would be steep.

"I am just hoping that we are still going to get paid after everything. Won't want to do the work for free."

 

A practical response to what she came here for.


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 04 January 2018 - 07:41 AM.


#25
Sol Damerin

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If Sol knew that Mariya had even thought age was a factor in his jump he would have been a little offended. He wasn't a vain man and he knew he looked older than he was but come on, he didn't look too old for this surely? He was only thirty-two and he was in great shape physically, by the Force he was still technically in his prime. Just because he looked a bit haggard didn't mean he was falling apart at the seems. 

 

Coming to his feet he surveys the damage. Bright side, the building that had been destroyed wasn't one of the pens. The drexl had been going for the people shooting it and had taken out a wall while doing so. The building their fellow mercs had been holed up in was the barracks so it meant that they'd be sleeping in one of the scientific buildings tonight but at least it wasn't that bad of a setback.

 

Of course, they didn't really have the supplies to properly repair the barracks which kind of sucked. The buildings were all temporary quick builds but they hadn't really accounted for one of them getting a giant hole in the dura steel plate. Still, perhaps the drexl bodies could provide some scientific merit? They'd been autopsied before but he didn't know what the scientists were trying to do here so it might not be a complete disaster. 

 

"Wait, you didn't negotiate payment up front?"

 

Sol says his gaze going over to Mariya, a single eyebrow raised questioningly. It wasn't really surprising it was usually a tough sell to get payment up front but he'd pulled it off half. Hopefully, she'd gotten a clause that guaranteed payment regardless of the expedition's success in her contract. If she hadn't, well then she wasn't much of a haggler. That or she was mighty generous in his opinion.

 

Mariya Fleischer


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#26
Mariya Fleischer

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"Half payment in advance, the rest when the job's done. But you know how it goes... contracts can be broken."

 

Mariya shook her head in response. She had no idea if Sol Damerin had done the same negotiation tactic, but she knew people loved to find some excuse to pay less when the job was over. Of course, she could break into their accounts or safes later to get her remaining payment, but it was troublesome. More time wasted, unnecessary risks and leave a bad taste in her view of her employee.

 

"I'm not sure about you, but I won't mind a nice warm snack. Don't think we need to guard this tower anymore. I won't mind taking a look at those... creatures also. You coming?"

 

She made a gesture for the both of them to leave the tower, which was now exposed to the elements. After the attack, everyone would have been on high alert and their shift was nearly over anyway. The mercenary had never seen a Drexl before, naturally she was curious to see how they looked like up close. Her stomach also reminded her that it was a good time to get something hot to munch on. The cookhouse had remained intact and she had seen the lights on. With luck, they could ask the awaken chefs to serve them something quick. Even if it were leftovers.

 

Then it might be going back to sleep, though the barracks was looking chilly with the hole. Maybe the engineers might figure out something by the time they were done at the cookhouse. Of course, it was entirely up to her new companion to decide whether he wanted to join.



#27
Sol Damerin

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"They can, but usually the big companies honor contracts."

 

Well, that was mostly true. Typically when they didn't it was because the whole thing was part of some insurance fraud scam. He didn't see the pharmaceutical company they were working for on this job defaulting on their contract though, not worth the potential hassle of litigation if the mercs banded together for a class action. That was the benefit of working for legitimate companies you had your contract on paper so you could seek recompense. Of course, then you had to deal with the hassle of planetary taxes which got really complicated if you had no fixed address like Sol. Bureaucracy! Making the mercenary life boring, which is why a lot of mercs would work under the table for criminals despite the higher likelihood of getting stiffed. 

 

Sol's train of thought is interrupted when Mariya speaks his gaze flicking up from the wreckage. Her invitation is met with a shrug of the shoulders, he wasn't particularly hungry but poking the drexl sounded interesting and their shift was over. Most people had trouble sleeping after a battle but outside of the gore on his shirt Sol looked no more worked up than he had at the beginning of the night. Maybe there was something to his meditation thing?

 

"Sure."

 

Moving over to the ladder he leads the way down, placing both hands on the side of the rungs and sliding down quick. When she catches up he heads towards the mess looking over at her as they go.

 

"You know, those first few shots you took were really impressive considering the situation. You sure you aren't a Jedi?" 

 

Was he teasing her? It was hard to tell since his voice was still flat, but at this point, she may have put together that this was just because he was an unemotive guy rather than because he was unemotional. 

 

Mariya Fleischer


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#28
Mariya Fleischer

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"I won't mind having some fancy space magic during the fight. That would have helped a lot... but nope, I had to depend on technology. I think you behave like a Jedi more than I do. All those meditation stuff that most people would shun..."

 

Mariya never thought of herself being Force sensitive. There was no test to see one's sensitivity, at least based on what she knew. Her little interaction with Force users did not equip her with knowledge like blood testing for Midi-chlorian count. If she had known, perhaps she would have gone for a trial just to see how much potential she had. Perhaps not. It could be a waste of time, considering the meditation experience just now helped nothing to justify her capability to detect the Force.

 

She reached the corpses of the Drexls, walking towards the nearest and shone some light from her goggles. It was the one that had given them a big fight on top of the tower. Gigantic, ugly and mean. She made a mental note of bringing bigger caliber for her sidearm in the next time since all the blaster shots showed little effect on the corpse. Depending solely on her rifle for heavy firepower might not be sufficient.

 

"I think I have seen enough. Let's go."

She led the way this time, heading into the cookhouse that was lit up. The chefs were indeed up after awakened by the alert. The late night supper menu was a serving of hot beverages and hastily cooked eggs with bread. Good enough, at least there were proteins available. She took two half boiled ones and poured herself some stimcaf.

 

"So... all this talk of Jedi. You sure you ain't one?"

 

The blonde posed her not so innocent question to Sol Damerin while cracking the eggs into a small plate, a rather rummy looking mixture. Luckily there were spoons on the table to allow her to eat the unconventional meal.


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 12 January 2018 - 02:29 AM.


#29
Sol Damerin

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"I don't think most people shun meditation," Sol says dryly. "I just think most people don't do it. But meditating is hardly unique to the Jedi, plenty of religions, spiritualists, and even medical professionals recommend it."

 

Sol doesn't comment when she shrugs off the potential of her being Force-sensitive. These days, with the galaxy as in turmoil like it was with so many factions vying for dominance it was possible for someone to slip through the cracks if they weren't powerfully Force-sensitive. Not everyone knew you could do it through blood-test and not everyone knew that another Force-sensitive could usually detect the Force in another. If he felt compelled he could probably do one or the other test with Mariya to figure it out but he didn't see the point in offering just then. If she was Force-sensitive and she was meant to be trained then it would come up, the Force would see that it happens. 

 

Walking around the corpse he pursues his lips at the sight. They were damn ugly that was for sure. The one they'd elected to look at was the one whose head was partially missing after receiving eight rounds of flechette. However, even if it wasn't missing half of it the tentacle mass that was its face wasn't appealing, but Sol could see why someone would want to ride it into battle. It was a peak predator and one that could pose a challenge even to modern firearms, it was almost a shame to have killed it.

 

They enter the kitchen and Sol elects to just grab some toast settling in across from her. He munches the bread, raising an eyebrow at her question... Also at her rather interesting choice of meal. The eggs weren't even soft boiled, just... half boiled.

 

"I am positive that I am not a Jedi."

 

He wonders if she would ever think to ask the more direct questions of whether he was a Force user. He could be a bit of a jerk for his own amusement sometimes and it was fun to do the enigmatic man routine of: "I never lied to you, you just didn't ask the right questions."

 

Mariya Fleischer


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#30
Mariya Fleischer

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"Okay, so you ain't a Jedi."

 

Mariya added pepper and sauce to the rummy mixture and ate them with the spoon, noticing that Sol Damerin was undoubtedly taking a curious glance at her choice of food. It was just something that she had gotten used to eating. The military canteen was never known to serve eggs properly and she had learnt to deal with them a long time ago. By eating them in whatever fashion they were served. As she wiped her plate of eggs off her table, her thoughts continued to wonder if she should persist with her questioning.

 

"I know. Maybe you are a grey Jedi.... no? Erm... Sith? Dark side user?"

 

She tossed out all the possible terms at the man's face, trying to get a reaction from his usual unreadable expression. There was nothing shown on his face to betray his thoughts.

 

"Knight of Ren? Force sensitive individual? Force... erm wizard? Whill? Solitary monk? Gah... nevermind, I must be going crazy to keep harping on it."

 

Giving up, she turned her attention to her freshly brewed coffee and took a drink., deciding that it was too bitter for her taste. She reached out for the sugar on the table and added a spoonful to the dark liquid, stirring it gently.



#31
Sol Damerin

Sol Damerin

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Sol blinks as he watches her pour sugar into her coffee, he could have sworn she'd gotten water. Ah well, that wasn't really an issue now was it? It was kind of funny how she just started throwing out terms at him, guessing every single sext of Force wielder she could think of. All were met with his stony expression and a "Nope." Until she was finally all guessed out declaring her impending craziness.

 

"You could have just asked if I can use the Force, rather than trying to figure out what I am. I already told you what I am, a mercenary. But I am a mercenary who has the ability to use the Force in his skill set. Personally, I think the ability to use the Force is just that a skill, though not one everyone can learn. It just so happens that most people who do learn also join a religion and take on a title related to said religion, but not every person who uses the Force has to have a title. Though if I have to have one, nondenominational Force wielder would be my choice."

 

Sol pauses briefly to let his words sink in before adding. "Also, yes I did obstinately stick with that definition and answer your questions literally just to screw with you." He shrugs his shoulders as if to say what can you do, the faintest upward twitch of the lips playing across his face for a brief second. 

 

Mariya Fleischer


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#32
Mariya Fleischer

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OOC: Oops, it was water originally. Edited... to become stimcaf...

 

She was drinking the stimcaf from her cup when Sol Damerin spoke on a particular notion that she had been guessing for a while. Unfortunately he had caught her in the wrong timing with the declaration. The mercenary found herself spitting out her stimcaf back into her mug, coughing as the calm companion remained composed as usual.

 

"Cough... wait... cough..."

 

Tissues flew off from the table and went to assist in wiping the mercenary's mouth clean. A couple more were used to wipe the stains off the table and her armour. Mariya felt like a fool when doing so, but decided that she would rather cause a scene than be scalding her mouth with the hot beverage.

 

"... Cough... so you are a... " her mind tried to recall what was the strange term. "non deno... non what... non something Force wielder. Ahhh, who cares what the darn term is, it's a just a label."

 

She calmed herself down and took a sip of the coffee again, this time making sure she was not going to choke on it. Was that a faint smile on Sol's lips? 

 

"Hey, stop laughing. It's not supposed to be funny..."


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 14 January 2018 - 12:46 AM.


#33
Sol Damerin

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Sol wasn't sure Mariya understood humor since her reaction was pretty much the best one someone could hope for. Who didn't enjoy a good old-fashioned spit-take after all? Still, he didn't laugh though his faint upward quirk of the lips turned into a small grin for a second. Still, Sol hadn't gotten where he was in life by pointing out when a woman was wrong, that was just a bad idea on every level.

 

"Non-denom-in-ation-al." Sol repeats a bit slower for her benefit, he wasn't being patronizing he just figured she might appreciate learning the new word. "It means I am not part of any particular religious sect of Force users. Mostly because I think most of them are pretty stupid. The two big ones support either cutting yourself off from all emotion or giving into every emotion and impulse. Not really conducive to a healthy state of mind in my opinion."

 

Another pause as he absently takes a sip of his own drink. "But yes, I am a great and mighty wielder of the force. I'd levitate something to prove how great and mighty I am, but I'd rather not see you spit up again as funny as that was." It was remarkable how he could convey sarcasm without ever changing his tone of voice. Also how lightly he treated something most people viewed with at least a measure of reverence and respect. 

 

Mariya Fleischer


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#34
Mariya Fleischer

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"Non-de-nom-in-ational... non demoninational..." she practiced the pronunciation several times under her breath.

 

"Okay. Got it. But that's too difficult. I'll just say you are a Force User. Force User Sol. That's a good ring to it," Mariya nodded her head, not sure if Sol Damerin was going to like it. Even if he did not, she probably would call him that once in a while just for the fun of it.

 

"So... mighty Force User, how did you know about the Force? Like... you woke up one day and discovered you could move things or something?"

 

One question at the time, if the stony faced Force User Sol was willing to share his life story. Some people were generally reserved and private, including the man before her but the blonde was determined to ask. Sure, she had her fair share of meeting Force users but never found a good opportunity to interact with them. Now, there was one sitting in front of her and casually eating toast in the same kitchen. It was too good to pass up. She had other questions in her mind, but she needed to see if Sol was going to open up a little more. She wanted to know what tricks he could do, did he feel special and did he use a lightsaber.

 

Those light sticks were pretty powerful in her opinion, though she never had the chance to handle one. 


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 16 January 2018 - 02:03 AM.


#35
Sol Damerin

Sol Damerin

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"I was found to be Force Sensitive when I was very young. There are a few different ways to know, you can use it subconsciously and it becomes obvious, you can do a blood test to see if you have attracted midichlorians, or trained Force Sensitives can usually detect your presence in the Force. There used to be a pretty big Jedi population on Coruscant and I was found and brought to the Jedi temple while I was still in my crib. That's their preferred way of finding new apprentices, get them young so they can learn how to shut themselves off without every forming any attachments." 

 

While Sol's tone is neutral and matter of fact, because he was telling the truth, Mariya might piece together how he actually felt about this practice considering what he'd said earlier. As for the discussion of his past she'd find that there are some areas he was touchy about but just speaking of his childhood or training wasn't among them. Mostly because honestly, his earlier years were generic, most Jedi had the same story he did so it hardly felt like something private when he spoke of it.

 

Mariya Fleischer


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#36
Mariya Fleischer

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"It's obviously not obvious to me since I don't feel anything mystical during the meditation. Never heard of Mid chlorians also. Huh, Jedi temple..."

 

An raised eyebrow paired with her surprised look. It quickly changed into a pretended annoyance, an expression that read something like "And you claim you ain't a Jedi when I asked you earlier". She knew Sol Damerin would catch her meaning even though she said nothing verbally. She got a feeling that the older man seemed to be enjoying the fact this whole interaction of making her work for answers.

"So... what kind of training do you go through? Meditation, lightsaber fighting... new abilities?"

 

Mariya wanted to know about the curriculum. No specific reason why, but pure curiosity. Also, it was an easier question to ask. It was generic and not personal yet. 

 

"Oh oh,do you still use your lightsaber?"

 

She had to toss that question in as well while waiting for Sol to reply.

 

 



#37
Sol Damerin

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Sol's answering look says... absolutely nothing he was as stone-faced as ever. However, if he was one who could convey complex meaning through subtle facial expressions his look would have indicated that he had said that and he meant it. Just because he'd been a Jedi didn't mean he was currently a Jedi after all. If you quit your job as a pilot and became a farmer you might still have the skills of a pilot but you were now a farmer. Same essential idea.

 

"Meditation can work if one is particularly Force-sensitive, though some people have low odds of Force sensitivity and use it subconsciously without realizing it. Maybe they find they win more often than not while rolling dice, or that their reflexes are so keen time almost slows down, or that people are unusually agreeable around them. Subtle things like that can be the Force at work."

 

The following slew of questions gets a quirk of the brow from Sol. It felt like Mariya was a child eager to find out everything despite her age. He'd never found a mercenary this naturally curious before, beyond himself. It was actually an interesting change of pace.

 

"Lightsaber combat, meditation, Force use, and a school curriculum meant to train us to be diplomats. A lot of history and cultural lessons. I do use my lightsabers if the situation calls for it but they can attract more attention than they are worth most days so I don't use them all the time."

 

Mariya Fleischer


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#38
Mariya Fleischer

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"Why do I get the feeling that the Force is working in subtle ways that no one can understand..."

 

Mariya had never thought of someone being lucky being referred to Force sensitivity. The Force continued to be as mysterious as ever. People always had a curiosity to learn about the unknown and the concept of the Force was an appealing subject to explore. It also reinforced the view that Sol Damerin had been talking about earlier, about the Force being a religion. She continued to think aloud.

 

"Diplomats with combat training. I think the presence of a Jedi itself will make most people become more polite and think twice about their replies. Not a fan of history, but lightsaber combat sounds fun."

 

She picked up her spoon and mimicked the gesture of a lightsaber, making sounds with her mouth.

 

"Swish swish.... swash..."

 

Another spoon was picked up and she passed it to the man.

 

"Teach me a move or two?"



#39
Sol Damerin

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Mariya's response actually gets another slight upward quirk of the lips. She was quick, understanding what he was getting at without him having to delve too deeply into it. The Force did work in mysterious ways. It was the energy the bound and connected everyone and everything together, but it was more than that. It granted visions and gave blessings to certain people and well you could look at it all as coincidence you could also just as easily see it as a vast invisible hand prodding the fate of the galaxy in certain directions. 

 

Taking the spoon he arches an eyebrow at the woman. "You want to learn how to fight with a lightsaber?" It wasn't a request he got very often from non-force sensitives. After all, it was incredibly difficult to use a lightsaber without The Force. Generally because if you were fighting someone with The Force with a lightsaber and you didn't have one yourself you'd get killed. Also because it was hard to deflect blaster fire without The Force. "Maybe, it's not something I normally recommend but if you want to learn I don't mind showing you a few things. Though if you want a whole string of lessons I am going to charge." Showing her one or two things wasn't a big deal but more than that and it was a big chunk of time. Time he probably should be spending with his actual apprentices wherever they'd gotten off to.

 

Mariya Fleischer


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#40
Mariya Fleischer

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"You agreed? Yeah awesome! I just wish to know the basics. A stance or two for attacking and defending." 

 

She smiled, excited to know that Sol Damerin had agreed to show her. There was never going to be enough time to learn everything about using a lightsaber, but knowing the basics were always useful. Anything that would improve her skills for survival and mercenary work was worth learning. Besides, she had her fair share of close combat training, but nothing related to fencing or sword play. 

 

"I mean, I don't expect myself to block a blaster anytime soon. Not without the Force,"

 

She added on to let the Force User know that she would just take a few moments of his time. Unless Sol decided to ask her to go to a remote location and risk getting spotted in the middle of the night with a giant light stick, using the spoon was the next best thing. They could even engage in a mini spoon fight if necessary, although Mariya knew she would probably lose. Still, the spoon was too short in her opinion.

 

"Wait a second," she walked over the utensils area and managed to find a pair of chopsticks, which she happily handed one stick over to Sol.

 

"This is probably better."


Edited by Mariya Fleischer, 23 January 2018 - 08:58 AM.