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Not even my best scar...

- - - - - Retired damn kids too old for this osik

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#1
Ijaat Mereel

Ijaat Mereel

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Location: High Plains of Concord Dawn

 

What had happened in the years of his life had enough dramatics to fill a holo-drama. Hero. Villain. Mentor. Exemplar & cautionary tale. The wind outside howled fitfully, desert sand filtering and slithering in eddies from outside, and for the dozenth or more time, Ijaat grumped at himself to secure the joins of the cheap pre-fab his shop was in. Tools were precious to his work, and the sand would ruin the delicate instrumentation. Turning back to the bench, he sat on a rickety durasteel stool, the lurid foam green paint chipped to reveal dull metal underneath, the floor worn and cracked wood, with a sandy pit in front of an anvil and forge. The bulk of the space in the building was given over to racks and racks of weapons, with the walls being covered in peg boards holding tools, and benches with vises holding various projects or scattered with drawings.

 

At one such bench on the East side of the hab, a window portal shuttered by a scarred iris portal shed a little light on a face as weathered and beaten as the piles of smooth rock he had drawn from a former creek bed. The windward side of the hab was sagging a bit. Shoring it up with stone might slow or even stop that issue. It was near twilight, so the light was fitful at best, and shadowed his face heavly, almost dramatically. A full beard, not the famed scruff of old, covered his lined and leathery face. Dark eyes, once reputed to be bright and sharp as a hawk, were lined with crows-feet wrinkles and shadowed by the dark circles of pain and loss, grief etched in sweeping lines across his cheeks as well, and the shaggy hair at the top of his head thinner than before, and streaked grey like his beard. Overall, almost anyone would struggle to connect the crumbling visage in front of them with the Clan Chief of Mereel. But that was his goal, wasn't it?

 

The Force, a withered connection as it was, pulsed telling him someone was near his hab. Grabbing under the bench, he checked to find the DE-10 still there, and thumbed the safety off to wait, his hand sliding back to the scarred work top of the bench as it eased the blaster pistol in it's hard-case to be easier to draw. A visitor meant either a customer who had somehow heard of the old mad-man in the desert who could fix broken tech like a miracle, or someone had finally found who he was, and death had come to claim him. A grimace crossed his face as he rubbed at his right shoulder, in the midline of his clavicle, as if an old injury briefly pained him. Either way, today would be exciting. So, with a grim sigh, he picked up the tweezers with laser micrometer, clicked several lenses down over the monocle vis-amp headbaned he had, and turned back to repairing the buc'ye in front of him, waiting.

 

Davin Skirata


Edited by Ijaat Mereel, 08 January 2018 - 01:21 PM.

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#2
Davin Skirata

Davin Skirata

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It wouldn't be just the Force that told Ijaat there was someone coming. The low rumble of an aging Daw Motors cargo skiff tumbled through the cracks and crannies of the shop followed by clanking and groaning as the old repulsors churned to a stop and the brake was set. 

 

Davin hadn't been this far into Mandalorian territory since the Civil War. Sure, it was only a few months ago, but even before then he tended to check up on his brother and his people two and three times a month. Ra had changed many things, but he couldn't change the fact that these were his people, regardless of if he had brainwashed them into thinking otherwise. Davin, clad in borrowed armor to hid his identity, hoped from the driver's seat of the skiff and into Concord Dawn's heat. The cheaply made Mandalorian helmet didn't have a visor tint and so the sunlight was blinding. Cursing under his breath he swiped the helmet off and shielded his eyes from the sun with his hand and made his way towards the small shop, his boots sinking in the loose, sandy earth. The door of the skiff slammed shut with a slight nudge from the Force.

 

He pounded on the door. From the corner of his eyes he spotted two large Jacks gazing intently at him. One yawned before they walked away.

 

"Builder! I need something done," a pause before he pounded again. Three times. "I have the credits! I can pay!"

 

Ijaat Mereel


Edited by Davin Skirata, 08 January 2018 - 02:35 PM.

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#3
Ijaat Mereel

Ijaat Mereel

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There was a decidedly irritated squint at the door as the pounding and demanding voice echoed. From the tone, he surmised it was a younger lad. Though to be fair, not many Mando'ade lived to be the age of himself, so essentially anyone coming knocking at that door was younger than him by a good betting odds. Standing, he slid the pistol into a holster at his left armpit and grabbed a battered gun made of beskar. It had seen action but was obviously well cared for, and the twinned symbols of Mereel & Vereen were etched in tiny detail on the back of the grip, hidden by his hand as he shouldered the shotgun like firearm. With a walk decidedly closer to a trundle than anything else, he shifted over to the door. His clothes were torn and darned multiple times, scorched and patched, grease stains and other spots, but were a plain off-white tunic and blue-grey breeches held on by a brown leather belt. At the ankles, the breeches tucked into tan combat boots, and a battered dog tag carved in mando'a hung chained around his neck, as well as a plain band of beskar on his wedding band hand.

 

Rolling his sleeves up to reveal corded muscle still capable of potentially ruining your day, he continued his slightly limped gait and wrenched aside a view slit cover in the thick and barred door. The hab itself would crumble before any of the doors or windows with the work he put into them being so reinforced. The armor was shoddy, cheap, and no one worth their salt wore it. But the one out in front of him stood tall, confident, at ease and gave off nothing in the Force of danger or threat. No more than any other living Mandalorian did to one like him. With a rasp of crude durasteel on stone, several bars were slid out, locks turned with dragging thuds and clicks, and a few chains clattered, as well as a faint biometric scanner beeping. Finally, with a hiss of pneumatics, the door swung open and outward almost like a pop gun going off, and the grizzled smith popped his head out, barking curtly.

 

"Don't wake the damn dead if you know i'm here. Come on in, shut the door behind you and tell me what osik you have that is so important to dent my damn door right before a dust storm..."


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#4
Davin Skirata

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"What storm?" Sure enough as soon as he asked the wind began to pick up slightly, making Davin hurry along into the workshop. It smelled familiar, like Gil's old shop and his father's before him. The smell of a Beskar forge. There was nothing like it in his opinion. Even when the fire was out it left behind a certain kind of smell. As instructed he shut the door behind him.

 

"Do you have a shop out back? I've brought something pretty big and pretty old. Someone mentioned you up at Lokaium. Some merc, said you can fix just about anything old and Mandalorian." He picked up a tool from the table and flipped it a couple times before dropping it on the floor clumsily. He cursed under his breath and squatted down to pick it up. 

 

The Force worked in mysterious ways. Few people truly understood it, and even those people were just high on themselves, for no one could really know the Universe. It flowed in all things living and dead, flesh and metal it didn't matter who or what you were. It worked especially strangely with a few species throughout the Galaxy. For instance, with just the brush of a finger a Kiffar could see into an objects past, look deeper into that stream and one could find an ocean and lose themselves in its current. 

 

Clang!

 

Pling! 

 

Clang!

 

Davin knew that unless it was something important his psychometry didn't just go wild like this. Deeper.His field of view expanded, inch by inch until the entire room was visible. He was meeting someone, someone he knew. DeeperYou know not what you seek. He had heard this warning before, a not so subtle warning for the cold black ocean he was about to be submerged in. He felt it all around him, different flows of time. Like a lure reeling him in the tool's path led him through a series of events. Sorrow, pain, anguish, relief. 

 

And suddenly he was there. Well, not there really. He was at this man's side. The day his world changed forever. 

 

"We are ready... The seismic devices are primed and tuned. Sorry for the whining they make. We'll want to launch them soon, so that this happens at the right time. Is he of like mind?"

 

His field of view shifted as a painfully familiar pair entered. The bright red armor of Verz Horak, nothing subtle about that man, and the stern look of Mia Monroe, her resolve solid like orbs of beskar in her eyes. He didn't need to see anymore, but it kept going. It played again in his mind, the destruction of his home, the lives lost. Thousands of warriors cheated out of death in battle screamed out as their souls joined the Force or were ripped down to the Netherworld. 

 

And then he was here. He dropped the control wand. It was just a rusted out, improvised pry tool now. It clanged loudly on the floor again as he stayed there, crouched, unmoving, something like rage boiling up in the Force.


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#5
Ijaat Mereel

Ijaat Mereel

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The boy had a reaction to a tool, and the keldabe cannon on his shoulder came down with a warning whine, light humming along with harmonics as it readied. At this range, and inside his dwelling, he'd need a new hab entirely. But, live to fight another day. He had been about to answer the kid, and admonish him for his lack of care with the tool, when the Force surged around him. Even for one with such a mastery of sense as he, the dulling he took in neglecting his Force powers must have been even more complete than he thought. Fingers curled right alongside the trigger, with a twitch it would be pulled, releasing plasma and death and the fury of a small sun on the warrior in front of him. This gun had taken apart a murder tooth, so he had no idea what the fate of the armored one before him was.

 

Rage boiled, and for almost a moment a similar demon answered within Ijaat. A black, pulsing and seething serpent coiled within him. Psychometry was his first guess, and as the boy stayed frozen in shock and anger, Ijaat laid the nose of the barrel against his helmet, right at the forehead, and racked the gun with an ominous clacking and dragging sound of the action. Weary eyes looked at the form, directly in the visor, and he sighed with heavy pain, shoulders sagging as memories very similar to what the other saw from the vision surface. What he had done. Once he had believed it the only way forward. Now he knew it was but one of many, and he accepted that all of them would have lead to death and destruction on a mass scale. The path he had chosen just had the best chance of actual change for his people.

 

Licking cracked lips, he spoke finally.

 

"Let's not go gettin riled now, eh? I felt that. So you know who I am. And that means you know very, very clearly what I am capable of. Two options. You sit, we talk, then fight it out or you go on and forget you found me. Other option is I pull the trigger and boil your brains in a plasma sheathed projectile that chews up vehicle armor, and then find a new hab to live in or replace my Northward wall. Either way, if you aim to kill me take the talk in my advice. You'll at least get to know the real story. Though, no matter what you chose, i'd ask you to meet my eyes and have honor when you decide."

 

Davin Skirata


Edited by Ijaat Mereel, 08 January 2018 - 06:40 PM.

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#6
Davin Skirata

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"Fine," his hands tightened into balls of rage, "Slayer of Mandalore." He stood, letting the barrel level with his gut. 

 

"Let's chat."


Edited by Davin Skirata, 09 January 2018 - 09:26 AM.

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#7
Ijaat Mereel

Ijaat Mereel

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"There's a few of you with balls left yet then. Good. We need more of that."

 

The barrel of the gun twitched, indicating a chair. Plain battered durasteel of the same chipped foam green paint as the stool. His eyes and stance made it clear Ijaat wouldn't be sitting. Not just yet.

 

"Have a seat. And i'll let you go first. Get out your vitriol. Get out your accusations. Then ask your questions, if you have any. No use in me trotting out a canned story before you've came to a calm center and can listen. So talk."

 

Davin Skirata

 


Edited by Ijaat Mereel, 09 January 2018 - 11:57 AM.

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#8
Davin Skirata

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Still pointing the gun. The man was nothing but an old coward, waiting for his demons to devour him but pretending he was still half a warrior. With a sound that was half angry snarl and half grunt Davin took the seat. In all honesty he wanted to wring this man's neck. Unlike Mia he had nothing here, nothing to protect besides his wounded sense of pride.

 

He sucked his teeth.

 

"I don't have anything to say to a man who would start a war with his own people and then hide away. Speak your platitudes old man."

 

Ijaat Mereel


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#9
Ijaat Mereel

Ijaat Mereel

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With a heavy sigh, the gun dipped for a minute from being aimed at the younger man. There was worry, doubt, and pain etched in that reviled face, but still a cold resolve under all. With an echoed sigh, a vent of heat, the gun in his hands shut off, the light dimming as he let it drop to the floor. Bits of dust and splinters of wood traced the air like spark and ash from a fire, and he spread his hands and arms wide, nodding to Davin, and the bench behind him where a tomahawk of mythosaur bone waited for his care. A job from the natives. One he did for free, for their kindness and help to him many times over. Well, free in exchange for the knowledge how to work the material. His mind flickered from thought to thought as he stood defenseless and waiting. And his breath rushed out in a ragged oomph of a sigh.

 

"Then pick up that blade and bury it in my chest. It's honed mythosaur bone. It'd split my sternum in half and pass through my heart like butter. No platitudes. No excuses. I did what I did because the Mandalorians needed to be broken. Right now the Empire rages, but demagogues like Ra are always short lived. This is the reaction to my action. Once it ends, the mando'adewill hopefully see the middle path forward that needs to be trod. I didn't start a war. I ended one. I burned away the old. Now what you do with it is your choice. I can't be worthy of helping, but I can make the sacrifice you never could to give you all the best chance that there is. Now go ahead, if I am worthless kill me. Or, touch my temple. See the memories I have. Understand my thoughts. And truly know, for yourself. Not by me, for me, or for anything else."

 

Here the pistol dropped to the floor with a slow motion of his hand, as did a knife. It was all let go. His life, his future, and his legacy rested in the youngers hands now. One judgment was escaped. He would not even bother with this one. The time for running was well past, no matter what the Tribes said.

 

Davin Skirata


Edited by Ijaat Mereel, 09 January 2018 - 03:12 PM.

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#10
Davin Skirata

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Davin sighed and slapped his hands on his knees as he stood up from the chair and took a few steps towards the knife. He paused and knelt down to pick it up. It was heavy, a relic of a bygone era. Mythosaur bone weapons were passed down from generation to generation and were as important to clans and families as ancestral beskar'gam. His eye twitched in annoyance. This man didn't deserve to take the high ground. His misguided actions had caused a downward spiral and led his people astray in their struggle to reclaim their home. 

 

He flipped the knife in his hand a few times, just like he had the control wand earlier, and walked towards the man. He brought the knife up above his head and cracked the handle against the Mandalorian's face. The blade cut into the cheap leather gloves he wore and bit into skin, drawing blood that dripped onto Ijaat's face. He tossed the blade aside and regarded the man. 

 

"Can't be worthy of helping...Kark that. Who knows if our people will ever fully recover from what you did. None of that matters now. I came here to get my brother's droid fixed." He sighed and muttered under his breath, "And now I gotta fix this old man?" He wiped the blood onto his pants.

 

"The Mandalorians have allied with the Sith Empire. Something doesn't smell right, now you're gonna fix Gil's droid so I can fight them and any other Sith that tries to take my new home away from me. There are people, not Mandalorians, that need someone with nothing to lose to help them keep their ships afloat as the Sith and Mandalorians ravage their worlds. Now you can start to atone for your sins like Monroe attempted to do, or you can fix my droid and live out your final days waiting for a death that will never come." He dropped the Resistance's symbol etched into durasteel on the table. 

 

"I'm going to find a good mug of Black Ale. I'll be back in a few days waiting on your answer."


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#11
Ijaat Mereel

Ijaat Mereel

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The blow was seen from a mile away. It wasn't bothered to be hidden, either. When it hit, the blod of himself and the younger man mingledwith his own, a tear in the skin from the blunt force of the blow. Lad had muscles, and fire. And Mia had seen that, while they had done what was needed, perhaps there were better ways to their exile and life after. Subconsciously his eyes flickered to the row of lockers, knowing that while they would all open easily, there was something else hidden in there. That he had swore he would never wear again. That if he did, would paint a target on his back like a mofo. A massive target. It wouldn't be a challenge, but the very symbolism tied up in it would agitate those Davin spoke of. And if the worst had happened... And the alliance had came about anyway... Then what was he doing sitting here?

 

Reeling thoughts, possibilities, chances and everything flared out from his mind. Nothing Force given or spawned. Just the wide tapestry of possibility saw by his own intellect and instinct. For a span of moments, thought and memory spun in his mind, reflected in his eyes in a lost slack of gaze. Then finally, as if from a distance, a light seem to come into them. A clench of his jaw that he hadn't known had been slack. Posture straightened and drew up to full height revealing a slouch that wasn't even noticed before. Whereas at their meeting he was inwardly drawn and morose, the fire that burned in his eyes was something different than fitful embers now, or the flicker of rage and response. Something entirely different and in it's own way frightening all the more so.

 

"Find your ale. Return when you will. The droid will be fixed, and you'll have your answer."

 

Davin Skirata


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#12
Davin Skirata

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He returned two days later. He didn't expect much as the droid had been seriously damaged during the Civil War. But here he was again. He still felt anger as he knocked on the door, but it was muted and burried. He understood there were more important things than revenge in this life.

 

Ijaat Mereel


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