Ahto City was a bright location by design. It was brilliant and the way the sun reflected from the curves of the buildings acted as constellations against the modern architecture. The crowd was peace-starved with all the news of The Republic’s endeavours and losses — the victories were small, and those that occurred were important for the media. They were broadcast and blown up beyond measure, hoping to reach all Republic Citizens in an attempt to stir their spirits with propaganda. What would have been an impressive day naturally, was turned massive with all the attention. Such as today. Peppered throughout the city, covering different events, were news anchors of various stations. Grins were spread like butter across their mouths, their words set to an octave of excitement and positivity to reassure the viewers at home. All around the poised reporters the streets were bloated with enthusiasm, the footsteps of the natives light as they waved random streamers and other decorative doodads to emphasize their festive spirit. More than one marine creature have salutations to their mothers from over the shoulder of an unknowing news person.
Today was a conglomerated event hosted on Manaan, a day that fell between the restoration of the city after it’s destruction, and the finals of the Aqua Cup. Below the jolly streets of Ahto, raced sleek speeders at breakneck speeds, curving around the track like clockwork. The throngs of spectators were overjoyed at the controlled recklessness.
Those involved in the Restoration of Ahto City had been extended an invitation — and by personal request of the Selkath’s, the organizer of the initiative had been asked to speak in the middle of the day. Just a few words to rally the spirits.
Said organizer couldn't be found within the crowds, however. And she couldn't have been for the entire parade. Not because she didn't like to mingle and share in the festivities, but because she had an anniversary of her own to acknowledge-- which inspired much more enthusiasm from her celebratory bones.
An irrepressible smile had been stained on her lips since her arrival -- a combination of the infectious atmosphere and her pending company-- and it remained as she pulled into a side street en route to the podium. Unfortunately, this was the last ally before the swell of the crowds. The young woman’s transmission opened a direct channel to Marcello Matteo "A whole year," she emphasized again. A year was a very long time by any standard -- but when someone was constantly risking their lives (as both blondes tended to do) -- a year was a very long time. Even if a majority of it had been spent, regretfully, at a distance. It was a remarkable feat for someone as standoffish and reserved as Grayson herself. Probably why she had been so excited about this particular day-- though she got marginally excited anytime she had a time slot for Matteo. For a moment, her snowy gaze dropped from the blue light to her chrono. Tick tock-- time waited for no woman. The transmission was one of many two-way communications, though this time it was just a message. “First anniversary I’ve ever celebrated — I’ll catch you soon, Soto.” The transmission closed, and she took a step back into the sea of sentients.
She was almost swallowed by the crowds when she re-emerged to the scene. It was strange. Behind the infectious excitement, the Kiffar couldn't help but feel the slightest indication that there was reason for concern. Maybe it's because they were surrounded by water and she was from a planet that rivalled the dryness of Tattooine. That wasn't it. No. And she certainly wasn't a nervous public speaker.
"Excuse me," the blonde announced her presence behind a short-haired reporter. She had an assigned spot to get to, and this girl was definitely in her way.
"Grandmaster Grayson! You're just on time. Oh what they say about Jedi is true, always appearing at the perfect moment. Tut tut Celeste, move and let the girl up. This is the speech maker, yes yes, the motion maker. " the female selkath's arms gestured wildly as she spoke, and the reporter obediently shuffled out of the way and exchanged places with Kiskla. "Get up here, girl. My my so good you could make it. Heavens I still shudder thinking of if the republic hadn't come to us with those supplies and healers! Only so much Kolto to go around."
"As you said, Jedi at the perfect moment." Plus the government and council at the time seemed to forget about what was left after the battles-- she'd seen a gap and turned it into an opportunity. Devastating though it had been, and still was. Lives had been crushed and lost.
The Selkath found this amusing and responded with a belly-built chuckle. "Alright, up there you go. Stand to the left until they call you up." as she spoke, she fretted about the Jedi's lithe build, picking at imaginary dust and flyaways. "Oh and," large flipper-like hands reached up to Kiskla's chest, which instantly made her tense. The Selkath seemed unbothered though, and proceeded to puncture Kiskla's clothing with a pin for the day. The first annual everlasting day pin. "Ok, good to go now. Right right."
"No no dear, thank you." And then, like a proud mother she took a few steps back down from the back of the steps and became an onlooker to the proceedings.
It didn’t take long for those participating on the platform to cue the Grandmaster who had organized the original restoration of Ahto City.
“Good afternoon, Ahto City.” She started neutrally enough, gracing the circulating cameras as the microphone peaked loudly — adjusting to her accent. “It’s both an honour and a consolation to be standing here with you all, able to dedicate a day to your world’s ability to rebuild after an oppressive disaster. The regrowth of everything that your city is, and will continue to be is a true testament to the strength of Manaan and it’s citizens.”
She used to be a big talker, but her mind was truly elsewhere. As was her concentration, due to an irksome feeling tickling her spine. “You’re all an inspiration to The Republic in these trying times against The Sith government! Here’s to you and your continued growth!”
That feeling suddenly worsened, and as she stepped from her place on the podium and was replaced by the mayor -- and drowned by the uproarious clapping of the crowds, she cast her gaze skywards.