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Fandom Star Wars: Rising Tide [closed]

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Star Wars

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka had regrets. She was not sure Kylo Ren and this First Order was worth weeks, possibly months, of only one meal with any decent food. “Do you all not eat breakfast of lunch?!” Obviously they did, as she stormed out after Kylo from the cafeteria. Maybe she would just have to hoard food from dinner time to have for the next day’s breakfast and lunch.

She let out a huff. Recomposed.

She could do this.

She had done plenty before that she hadn’t liked, she would get used to this nonsense of only one meal a day having any sort of decent food. Or she’d just mind-trick the staff to get her what she wanted, as she’d gotten wine earlier. Yes, that sounded like a much better idea. Her posture relaxed a bit with that in mind.

So she changed the subject, “How much time do you usually spend at the gym?”

~***~

Poe could only chuckle at Azra’s bombardment of questions, “You know, if I knew what he had, we wouldn’t have to go see him, Az,” Poe noted. “This isn’t my mission,” nor did he follow it as closely as he could. They had to go see Shriv, and talk to him. From there, they’d figure out what was needed.

Whether or not Shriv had everything that would satisfy Azra, or if they would need to go get more information elsewhere.

Poe wasn’t planning on becoming involved in this, just get enough to show Azra he wasn’t kidding about what the First Order was up to on the planet. That might be a bit tricky, but he’d done things like that before.

It wasn’t too much longer that a taxi pulled up for them, “You uh – Morgan?” The driver asked.

“That’s me!” Poe agreed, and was quick to move to the speeder and open the door for Azra. He’d help BB-8 in after her.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
“Of course we do,” Kylo said with a slight huff. She could just look at them and gauge if they ate those meals or not. They were obviously not in want of any extra food. They are. It could just be more...flavorful at times.

The change in subject came unexpected for Kylo, but he took it in stride. “I try to aim for four times a week,” he answered. “Or whenever I am in need of an outlet.”

Which was more often than not.

Officers and stormtroopers alike knew to stay away from him when he was in one of his moods.

It should be obvious to her that he was a very physically active person. “Do you tend to workout your body, or just your mind?”

~~

Azra could only sigh at Poe’s lack of answer. Of course, she should have expected that. She just wished they knew better of what they would be getting from this Shriv.

She slid into the speeder before Poe, Morgan, and BB-8 did the same. Or rather, while Beebee was helped into the speeder. She just knew she would slip up on Poe’s fake name. He just didn’t look like a Morga.

And it felt weird for him to use the last name Durand.

“So why don’t I get a different name?” She couldn’t help but tease in a whisper, so that she wouldn’t be overheard. “And my last name? Really?”
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka knew they ate, but that didn’t mean she approved of their menu. Still, she let herself be distracted by Kylo’s response, and how often he went to the gym. Apparently it averaged out to 4 days. He didn’t indicate how long on those days, though. And it could be more often than that.

‘Likely fairly often, then.’ He seemed to have a lot of terribly pent up emotions he needed to deal with, and the gym was likely his only outlet. Or at least, it was. Myka hoped to change that, eventually.

“I do work out the body, as well. Mostly through sparring or callisthenic practices,” Myka answered. She could do more. She was nowhere near as muscular as Kylo, but she wouldn’t call herself a slouch. “I admit I have neglected it in favor of the Force,” because she had access to things that dealt with the Force.

Not so much with the body.

~***~

Poe situated himself in the speeder once BB-8 was in, and leaned back, relaxing, as the driver took off to get them towards their destination. He heard Azra’s question and chuckled. “What, are you famous?” He teased back, but it was a legitimate question, as well. He didn’t imagine she was – he hadn’t heard of her.

That meant her name was safe.

Unlike his. Poe Dameron was known. Kes Dameron was known. He had a family of rebels, and a rebel name that was uncommon in the galaxy. He couldn’t use it for undercover missions, and not on a planet where the First Order had control. More or less. “It was there, it gave us a connection,” he shrugged, “seemed safe to me.”

And no one had asked for IDs, so it all checked out. "Plus your ship is registered to you, right?" If they did any scan on it, they'd find her name and they'd be all set from there.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Myka practiced sparring. While that did not surprise him, as she did have a lightsaber and presented a confident enough threat to him on Korriban, when they first met (and that she had managed to take down a Knight of ren), Kylo was intrigued enough to see her in action.

He may have to ask for a sparring session with her one day soon.

“Maybe we can offer a trade, if you wish. I help you in your physical training,” a light blush touched his cheeks at the offer, the underlying meaning not escaping him, “while you help me in the ways of the Force I am lacking in.”

It seemed fair, more than fair, really. They would both benefit from this mutual agreement, and learn more about one another, but whether that was good or not was to be seen.

~~

Azra felt some slight discomfort. No, the name Durand wasn’t famous, but her real surname, Kaplan, may be better known in certain circles, for several reasons.

“Yeah, the ship is registered under my name.” Her alias. “It should be safe.” Unless she made certain enemies during her time as a reporter.

Which could be very true, but so far, it wasn’t. They hadn’t made themselves known to her, if she did have enemies as Azra Durand.

Azra leaned back in her seat, but she couldn’t fully relaxed. She still remained tense for anything that may happen, even if they were in a speeder as anonymous specks on the city-planet. "I hope you know how uneasy I feel about this blind trust," she mumbled, a bit unhappy, as she crossed her arms over her chest.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
The boy was blushing.

Myka wouldn’t laugh at the poor dear, hearing his turn of phrase. Perhaps his attempt to express some willingness in where else that could go. “I think you may need help in certain areas of physical training,” Something he knew by now, as his blush indicated, “It may be more fair to agree to help each other, wherever we lack. You may know something with the Force that I do not. We have had different experiences.”

Different needs.

She did not know all that he knew, nor did he know all that she knew. There would be overlaps, no doubt, but she imagined he had learned a few tricks that she would enjoy learning. Or even improving upon.

~***~

“There, nothing to worry about, then,” Poe was at ease, although it was obvious that Azra wasn’t. Something she felt the need to state soon after, which caused him to give her a smile. There was some solemnity to it, for he did understand how difficult it could be. “You’ll see it isn’t ill placed.”

He couldn’t really do anything to reassure her.

She would learn, as they traveled together, that he meant her no harm.

BB-8 confirmed as much, as the speeder started to slow before a building of apartments, “Your friend’s here, Morgan.”

“Thanks, pal! He cover you?” Poe asked.

“Yeah, yeah,” he was paid. The doors were unlocked so they could exit.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
There was a slight huff at Myka’s addition to Kylo’s ‘poor’ phrasing, but he wouldn’t dare add on to it. Not when she could so easily reciprocate, as evident by her quick wit. Maybe she would help him out in that particular area in the future. Their earlier kiss certainly had been pleasant enough, much to his surprise.

“That is a valid point. Then I agree that we should help one another out, wherever we may need that help.” A more fair agreement, although Kylo wondered if it was a smart move. Perhaps Myka would simply take advantage and ask for something beyond what he wanted to share.

Nonetheless, it was too late now.

They soon arrived at the gym, the one he frequented. It was a fairly standard one, with weights, cardio machines, and space for sparring. “Well, here’s the gym,” he stated, extending one arm in a slightly awkward manner towards the room in question.

Kylo thought there wasn’t much to see in the gym, but he figured Myka would still want to look at the equipment and what they had to offer.

~~

Poe offered a smile, and this time, it eased some of Azra’s worries. She couldn’t explain why, but something in his face offered reassurance.

It still didn’t mean she trusted where they were going, what this Shriv would offer, but she trusted Poe enough to know he wasn’t knowingly leading her to certain death.

They arrived, and once the doors were unlocked, Azra slid out of the speeder and turned to Poe to lead the way to his...contact? Friend? She wasn’t sure which one it was. Probably both. She hoped.

“So what does this friend of yours look like?” she asked, glancing around to see if she could also see someone who looked like they were in search of something. Someone.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka stepped into the gym after Kylo agreed they could assist each other, where needed. Myka wasn’t sure what she expected, but the room wasn’t it. The cardio machines were a mystery to her. The weights made sense, but the machines? Mysteries. Not to mention the wide open space. It didn’t immediately click that it was for sparring.

She stared out at it blankly for a few seconds, trying to connect what she knew, with what she didn’t, to order it.

Eventually, she pointed in the general direction of the machines. “I have no idea what those things are.” Which was true; she hadn’t spent any time in a gym, let alone learning what machines were in a gym. “The weights I understand,” she added, “but the contraptions make no sense to me.”

It didn’t help that there wasn’t anyone presently using them. The weights were, apparently, more popular in this gym. Not a huge surprise if this was Kylo’s preferred gym.

~***~

Poe and BB-8 were soon out of the taxi, and it went speeding off. Azra’s question had him chuckling, “A bit blue,” he said, though he walked on towards the complex, not expecting to meet anyone outside, and walked right into the complex. There was a hall of rooms, and lifts that went up and down. Poe was about to step onto one when the man of the hour appeared on one that was arriving.

The duros smiled at Poe and stepped off the lift, “Weren’t expecting you two,” he noted the other, “three?”

“Yeah – Azra. Let’s head back to your place,” Poe said.

Shriv wouldn’t argue it, and he gestured them all to the lift he’d just stepped off of to plug in his floor information to take them up. “New recruit?”

“Not exactly,” Poe shook his head, “Interested media party.”

A once-over.

“Well at least this one doesn’t spit poison.” Shriv sighed.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo looked at Myka and her blank expression at some of what the gym offered. He repressed a smirk at the cluelessness, and he wasn’t the least bit surprised that she immediately asked questions about the machines.

“They’re cardio machines,” he answered. “Machines to help you get your heart rate up. I can show you how to use them later, if you wish.” But not now. He wasn’t dressed for a workout, and she may still want to see a few other places for their tour.

And recalling her blank expression at the area reserved for sparring, he decided to go ahead and tell her about that. “And the open space over there is for sparring practice.”

Something he imagined they could use in the future, if they were to help train one another in skills and techniques they were lacking in.

~~

Azra’s question was answered soon enough by the appearance of a duros, who was Poe’s friend in question. At first glance, he didn’t seem like much, but Azra had learned over the months to never judge someone by their appearance. Poe believed he had vital information on the First Order, and she would listen.

It was easy to deduce that Shriv was referencing Suralina. “That you know of,” Azra shrugged. “Maybe I just spit a different kind of poison.” She could attack with the written word, the poison she was hinting at.

But no, she wasn’t like Suralinda in that she could spit literal poison, though that could be cool. And come in handy at times.

“But I shouldn’t have to if what Poe said was true.” Azra looked at Poe with one brow raised. If this Shriv truly had the information she sought, or if it was just a reiteration of stuff she already knew.

With Poe’s hint at what was going on on Athulla, she doubted that was the case.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
‘But you can just run around a track or up stairs for cardio. Or….’ Well, Myka didn’t let the other thought fully manifest, even if it would be fun to scandalize Kylo a bit more. Cardio wasn’t hard. Why did people need machines for this? She turned her attention back to them, frown remaining, brows knitting.

Well, she could learn, she supposed. Maybe there was something to be said for the machines.

Her gaze turned to the sparring area. “There are not many spars with the Force, are there?” This was…hardly an appropriate space for that, given there was no walling it off from the machines that could so easily be broken by a thrown body, or Force lightning.

Then again, did Kylo really have anyone to spar with? “Do you ever spar much with your Knights?” That would probably answer that question, too.

~***~

Poe chuckled at Azra’s comment, though Shriv didn’t seem to find it amusing or clever. Expected of a journalist, perhaps. “I don’t know what Poe’s said, but if you’re a friend of his, there will be no reason to go about slandering my name,” he said, as the lift pinged and let them off.

He gestured them along to his apartment, and let them in, “Do you need any refreshments?” he asked.

“I could go for some soda, if you’ve got any,” Poe said, as he walked to the couch and plopped down in it. He was almost immediately joined by a loth-cat that jumped into his lap. “Hey there, Silky,” he greeted the black-striped cat, stroking its fur, “Been a bit, remember BB?”

BB-8 let out a trill as if he had been betrayed, and Silky looked in his direction – then jumped from the couch to tackle the droid.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo shook his head. “Not that many.” He was aware of the dangers of this space for sparring with the Force. Crashing into the machines, the cold, steel walls. It all contributed to their training.

Try not to get thrown into one of the hazards. If you did, it just taught you to be better next time. Oftentimes when he first started, Kylo would leave the room with bruises all over.

“I do.” They were really the only ones on the ship that were his equal in physical prowess. Except for Phasma, but she doesn’t have any sensitivity with the Force. She could only help in his skills for so much.

“They are the only ones on the ship that actually pose a challenge for me. Hopefully, I can add one more to that list soon?” he asked, raising one brow at Myka. Of course, he couldn’t let her be better than him when it comes to physical fights. He needed to have that advantage at least.

But it would be nice to have another sparring partner.

~~

“I won’t, I won’t,” Azra promised, raising both of her hands in slight surrender. Unless there was a perfectly good reason for her to need to publish an article about him, but she highly doubted that.

Shriv had a creature in his apartment.

She stiffened when she saw the loth-cat. She never had a pet growing up, and her only encounters with the creatures resulted in scratches on her arms. When the loth-cat was distracted by BB-8, she joined Poe on the couch, hoping the droid could keep it distracted.

“I don’t need anything,” Azra responded with her eyes still shifting to the loth-cat, as if it would suddenly break it’s concentration from BB-8 and towards her.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
It seemed it was the knights that Kylo sparred with. He made no addition about Snoke, which did make Myka wonder. Did Snoke spar with Kylo? With anyone? Something to find out, certainly. He may have power, but if he wasn’t honing it, that was a weakness. He would forget what to look for, what to prepare for.

“How else will I know if you are advancing if we do not spar?” Myka returned his question simply. It was an affirmation, “I assume that Supreme Leader Snoke also tests you in such spars, occasionally, when you visit him?”

She just wanted to hear ‘no’. Or, really, the truth, but she was assuming it was ‘no’. Kylo didn’t have many challenges if his knights were all he had. His growth was bound to be stunted by that fact alone. Especially given the knight she fought did not seem all that capable. Kylo needed more. Kylo needed to lose, so he could rise to challenges and overcome them.

Not that Myka ever intended to let him win.

~***~

Poe noted how tense Azra became at the sight of Silky, and he kept a smile to himself. Or, tried, and failed terribly as BB-8 ran around to where Shriv was to hide. Silky stalked after him, but when Shriv moved with the drinks, the cat followed her own, rather than the now mostly inanimate droid.

BB-8 moved cautiously behind Silky once she walked off, careful not to draw her attention back.

That left Azra as the interesting target, for being the other who didn’t like her. As Shriv handed Poe his drink, Silky jumped right up onto Azra’s lap.

“Guess she likes you, too,” Shriv said, noticing how Poe seemed to be fighting back an urge to laugh. “Still jealous?”

“No, no, not at all,” Poe shook his head. “I’m not a cat person, you know that,” but he also still liked them. Just had no plans of owning one. Silky could sense that he liked her just fine. That meant she had to bother people to make them love her…even if her methods tended towards failure.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo wanted to laugh. Snoke physically sparring? No, he had his Praetorian guards to protect him. He imagined that Snoke hadn’t seen physical battle in quite some time.

But challenging Kylo when it came to the Force? Snoke did that all the time.

“No, not in physical sparring,” he answered with a shake of his head. “There were others for that. During our interactions, he only concerned himself with training me in the ways of the dark side of the Force.” Which included many techniques over the years some would call cruel.

Maybe Kylo did as well.

~~

Azra squeaked when the loth-cat decided to jump up on her. Because life just had to be that unfair. “Good...kitty,” she said with shaky words. Her hands hovered in the air, unsure of what to do with them, then she brought one slowly down to touch Silky’s head.

The loth-cat’s fur was soft, but as she stroked Silky’s head, the cat moved and Azra brought her hand back to her side. “Oh, I am so honored that she likes me.” Azra did nothing to hide the sarcasm in her tone.

“Please get this loth-cat off of me,” she whispered to Poe. She kept thinking of how easy the cat could chomp down on her thigh or arm, or how those sharp claws could maim her. Even if Silky seemed she just wanted pets.

Azra tried to coax Silky off her lap, in the direction of Poe, much to no avail. The cat seemed determined to make the woman like her.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Snoke did not fight. As expected. He still practiced the Force but he had let his body go to waste. Good. That would make him much easier to deal with, when the time came for Kylo to finally overpower him and take his place. “I see. That is disappointing,” she still voiced that much, because it was.

For someone so powerful to forsake so much of the power that came from their own body, that came from the lightsaber – it was no wonder Kylo had missed out on plenty.

“It is fortunate you have not fallen into that habit of depending solely on the Force, and other people. While I have not held to your…degree of exercise, even I know the importance of staying fit.” No, Myka could not claim to rival Kylo in that department – but then again, that was where the Force helped to make up for what she lacked.

Although she wouldn’t mind improving her odds.

~***~

Poe couldn’t help but remain amused with Azra’s reaction to Silky. Her utter dislike and fear was something he shouldn’t mock, and so he would try to keep it contained. He did reach out to the cat – who immediately dug her claws into Azra’s attire in an attempt to remain right where she was. “Come on, Silky, go chase Beebee for a bit.”

BB-8 chimed that he did not appreciate the suggestion as Poe lifted the cat up, and off. He opted to hold the cat rather than just let it go immediately. “There, better?”

He wouldn’t linger on that, though, “So, Shriv, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I’m not just here to say hello to you and Silky.” Shriv nodded, pretty sure of that fact already, “I’m actually here to see if you can spare any information on those children the First Order’s kidnapped.” Shriv raised a brow.

“What kind of information are you looking for?”

“Well, you told me you’d gotten some files from some of the orphanages here, and had some information from parents still looking for their kids?”

“Aaah,” he nodded, “Yes, let me get to those,” he began to dig around in his datapad then.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo wouldn’t contest her statement of disappointment. It was true, and deep down, he knew if he planned out his actions carefully enough, that could be used to his advantage. Somehow.

Maybe he had his Jedi training to thank for his start in disciplining his body as well as his mind.

“That is something I’ve always strived to accomplish, to exercise both the body and the mind.” That way, he had two different systems of fighting to catch an enemy off-guard, and combining physical fighting with the Force could also prove very useful.

He cleared his throat. There was no one else in the gym, but he still felt odd to just stand there and...chat with Myka. “Shall I take you back to your quarters now?”

~~

Azra sucked in a breath between her teeth as she felt the sharp claws dig into her lap. “Yes, please go to Beebee, you furry little creature.” But the cat still protested until Poe successfully pried her off of Azra.

She sighed in relief once Silky was off. “Thank you,” she whispered before the conversation changed to why they were there in the first place.

Her mind switched off from the cat and onto the more serious topic at hand.

“Exactly how many children are we talking about?” It couldn’t be too many, right? Too many would cause disruption and chaos on a planet.

But did they have the manpower and weapons to stand up to the First Order? That she doubted. Azra didn’t know what she anticipated at all.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka was seeing very little of the First Order with Kylo Ren. Learning, very little, beyond what she read, but that was all right. When he took her back to her quarters, she could explore on her own. So, she nodded, “Yes, I suppose we’re done here,” and there was apparently nothing else he thought she should see.

She wanted to see the Bridge.

She wanted to meet the Officers who ran all of this. Find the Silver one. Figure out where that spark was coming from. There was still much she could do, before she actually turned in for the night. Or the day. Being in space was disorienting so far as time went. She had no idea what ‘time’ it was on the ship, or how they told it.

She would figure that out, too.

~***~

“Thousands,” was Shriv’s answer as he brought up travel logs, as well as data files from orphanages, and passed it to Poe, who leaned forward to grab it, and offered it to Azra, since he was still trying to keep the cat on his lap and not going after BB-8 or Azra.

Shriv summarized, “Human travelers, usually from the Outer or Mid Rims, have had their children stolen. There’s a log of police reports, and every single case was closed.” Without the child being found. “They don’t mess with those from the Core as much, on the off-chance they’re messing with someone with resources, or that’s the running theory.”

The Order was monitoring everyone who came in, and out.

“It mostly happens around Tanaj sector of the planet – here,” thus his reason for positioning, “and if you’ll look at the orphanages, you’ll find a trend of children leaving the planet between infancy to the age of four. Humans. Usually around the 15th of each month, from all orphanages on the planet. They move them to Coruscant, and then from Coruscant they split to three planets in the Mid-Rim, to five in the Outer Rim, and then they’re gone.”

And some of the children matched descriptions of those who went missing.
 

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