Log:Sparring the Metaphysical
Kneeling next to the carcass of a sand panther is Hadrix. Vibroblade set beside him in the grass and vibrodagger making short work of cleaning the kill. Clothed in black and gold armor with his cape draped around him, the Mandalorian hums to himself as he works. Guts piled to one side and with the de-gloving of the beast near completed, the actual meat is being cut off and put into kill-bags being tended by Gripper.
All the while his head moves as if speaking - the ebb and flow of the force in the area disturbed by the not quite true calm that is the man. A rock in the river. But likened to other times here, in the preserve, the old rage is currently quelled to a dull pulse at the core of him. Likely slaked by the thrill of the recent hunt and kill.
Hunting and the rituals of cleaning a kill are not beyond Aryn's experience. Her father was an avid hunter and had expressed his enthusiasm for it with Aryn over the course of her childhood. Aryn, like her father, also grew to enjoy the thrills of a good hunt and the reward of cleaning a kill /and/ cooking a good day's work. Today, Aryn happens upon another avid hunter in the apotheosis of her daily walk across the grounds. Dressed in green and browns, her ensemble was a classy tunic made complete by the presence of a stylish cape clasped with an electrum brooch. She spots the Mando, and draws closer for an enthusiastic greeting. "A clean kill, sir. Good day!"
"I would be delighted to accept some in trade for compensation for your skillful work!" She replies cheerfully. Aryn's gloved hands clasp over her heart endearingly, patiently watching Hadrix. "How fairs your small one? It has been time since I've seen him and heard his babbles." She puts on a pretty smile.
<"Kar? He's well, in one of the fountain parks with his nurse while I hunt. I'll have to bring him to you sometime, for a visit."> a brief pause in his work as he carves, head canting to one side then the other.
<"I think it's been... since that derelict ship, with the hive creatures since we saw one another last, eh?" depositing cuts into the game bag before looking back to Aryn once more, Hadrix ponders aloud, <"Any more sign of that things... extensions, if that's the right word? The lot of you, jetii I mean - it seemed that once they got inside your blade reach there were problems - have you all been working on that?">
"Ah, yes the fountain park. The trickling sound of the waters there are often accompanied by the laughter of children. It is a peaceful and safe place for them." Aryn replies, glancing toward the distant treeline for no particular reason aside from nostalgia. Perhaps she could hear those sounds in her mind.
When Hadrix brings up their last visit together, she nods. "Yes. The Mnggal Mnggal (Nal Nal) are a dark foe. They slither through the galaxy infecting and spreading like a slow cancerous disease. A sentient disease at that. We have not encountered anymore outbreaks, but those I know of have been halted. It's a silent war; a galactic problem. Despite it all, no one wants to believe they're a problem."
<"Invisible are the more dangerous. People don't pay attention and they gather like nest-bugs beneath a house."> bones are gathered into their own bag and after a moment of consideration, standing and using a small 'freezing' spray to begin cleaning the fanged skull, the big man's grin is apparent again.
<"I'll help the hunt if you want. They die to fire and I've an affinity."> lifting the skull as if to set it as a shoulder pad for the woman, <"You should add this too your robes."> a brief laugh warbling his vox,
<"And the lot of you need more hand to hand training, like Narsai gave or I could provide, eh?">
"Should you desire to hunt, I will not decline. The Mnggal Mnggal hunt all. We will all be needed in the end; should their designs come to fruition in our lifetime." Aryn says in a distant tone, her expression turning neutral as her eyes dip from the treeline to the ground. For a moment, she recalled the burning colonies she had seen, and the chaos and death that ensued.
"Add what?" Aryn asks, drawn from her thoughts to glance over at the skull. "Oh, Mother save me; they might think I were truly lost should I walk into the senate building with that." Aryn laughs an innocent giggle and steps back a bit to give the big guy room.
"Oh, you dabble in the arts, do you? Ms. Narsai was kind to teach me the dance of your people. While we Jedi are encouraged to study a discipline, few have extended their purview to encompass the more efficient of fighting cultures. Should you have the desire, we might demonstrate our mastery in a friendly duel.." Aryn's hand unclasps and she gestures to the open swaying grass near her. "What say you, Commander?"
Considering the question before the skull is casually hung on one of the game bags meant for the smaller woman, Hadrix nods, <"Several, including Noghri Stava, some of the Wrruushi defenses, my... ex wife taught me to speak her language so I am well versed in Echans as well."> Shoulders rolling as he gives her additional space.
<"Would my armor make it unfair? Though I doubt to even land a touch on jetii - fast reflexes."> tapping his chest as he speaks, neck turning and limbs being stretched in old ritual. <"There was a dark user whom I used to spar, but I don't know if it bodes the same for your own religion.">
"The Jedi Code compares to your Resol'nare, Al'verde. A code to live by. My worship is still my choice, thankfully. I would not forsake the Mother, not even for the power of the Force. I gave her my heart long ago." Aryn steps away from the tall Mando'ade, unclasping her cape and casting it to the ground nearby. Joining her cape, her lightsaber, and her blaster (holster and all). She only had her tunic, and fancy moves!
"You may keep your armor, sir. I would never ask a Mandalorian to step from their code. I grant you first strike," Aryn says, sliding into and easy stance, her blonde hair loose now and moved by the wind.
Aryn is struck from the start, but whatever momentum followed the strike was carried through and mitigated, having no effect on Aryn. An odd style to experience, she pivots, sustaining yet another blow and repeats the same technique. While he had his Mando-Iron, she had the Force as armor. Her retaliation was minimal in response, testing for openings and finding air. She kicked once, then twice, missing the large Mandalorian who proved far more agile in armor than she anticipated. The thrill of the fight showed on her face as hair clouds one eye, but a subtle jerk of her head sees it urged aside. "It is a faith shared among my people, yes. The Mother and the Father."
<"Mother the planet?"> dodging back from the strikes with a hop and a roll, circling, studying. <"The Father a moon? Or something more? Purely metaphysical?"> still wondering aloud as he is forward again with a series of jabs aimed for shoulders and chest (never the face!), aiming for hollows between bones with the edge of his knuckles and not the breadth of the closed fist.
<"Or am I overthinking?"> jab jab jab!
Aryn is struck, this time it finds purchase and sends her back. Muscle memory leads the impact's momentum into a spin, grimacing, but ducking his follow through jabs on instinct alone. It's the first time she's shown pre-cognitive ability against him, reacting without even seeing. She retaliates, kicking low in a spin, then two-step side-kicking him in a heavy strike carried through with her laughable bodyweight.
"The Mother is the Creator. We are by her design, just as the worlds we see are, and the people on them. The Father is the influencer. It is his wisdom that makes us brave, his absence that leaves us vulnerable and foolish. We cherish the Mother and her creation, and honor her for life. We worship the Father, seeking his guidance and grace in life, seeking justice for transgressions and his shield to protect us from those who act against us. May his wisdom guide our blade to what's just in this galaxy."
Lighter or no, the hit is solid and Hadrix is forced to fold and his vocoder rushes in static when air is forced out and he is driven back steps. A flaring appreciation radiating from him at the strike,
<"That looked like one of Narsai's kicks."> laughing and listening, though, to her explanation. Circling again to get his breath while a ridge-hand strike is aimed for an elbow,
<"So the duality of nature, anthropomorphized, yes?"> still secular in his reasoning, trying to apply logic rather than faith before a knee goes out, targeting her hip.
"She enjoys her kicks," Aryn confirms, giggling. Stepping back and switching her lead foot, she transitions to a defensive stance blocking his attack and answering back with one that struck the gap in his armor. It required both hands, open-palmed and using the heel of her hands to strike outward to stop his advance. Her follow through found no purchase though. She held her ground, walking an imaginary line like a duelist but standing confident like a Mandalorian.
"To the educated, perhaps. For those who believe, it extends beyond what we can relegate to science and logic. Having faith in something means believing that influence is there without proof, without seeing it. Some might compare a smuggler's worship to the notion of luck."
<"I wouldn't call me educated. I wasn't raised that way - nor do I believe on faith. It makes no sense to not have evidence."> Stopped cold and held by the smaller woman, using her brace for leverage even while he rolls with the following strike.
<"As for luck, let the Corellians worship it while hating odds."> still laughing, enjoying himself and then dropping low, attempting to get both hands on Aryn, an obvious wookiee fighting style maneuver meant to put her into the air using raw upper body strength.
"Having an educated approach and being educated are not synonymous, Commander." Aryn lunges to one side, tumbling gently and avoiding the brute strength and raw power of his technique. Her evasive action was akin to the Echani; light-footed and agile. She answered his miss with a stinging knee against a softer, unprotected portion of his torso. The surprise was short lived because she stumbled when missing her subsequent attack, then recovered with a shift in footing.
"It is a choice one makes to believe they are part of something larger. You have shown faith in me when you had no evidence to the contrary. The result of religion is establishing a forum where others believe like you. They worship like you, and live their lives to the will of the Gods. Even if we do not know their will, living in kindness, practicing restraint, and helping the helpless makes us feel closer to them in spirit. To know that you make a difference is a form of self-validation that builds character. Where else might you safely divulge your weakness and not feel judged but through prayer? Where might you find the right words to help you through your life? It all serves a purpose, even if there is no evidence to the contrary. Sometimes, faith.. and luck are all we have holstered on our hip."
Forced onto his hands by the knee to his body, grunting and turning into a roll to get away from the second, Hadrix turns and moves to kick up to his feet, his stance shifting between teras kasi and echans now, curiosity growing.
<"I admit my faults to my clan and compatriots and share my weakness with those I see. Speaking to air may aid some, but I hold no truck with gods, or fate, or luck."> a shuffle step comes and a snap kick is aimed for the mid-section and following arch of a palm strike... speaking in the Echani 'tongue' with a simple sentence for those that know, 'Nice counter'.
<"If I'm stripped to my last, it's my body and my will that remain holstered, rather than faith.">
Aryn spin kicks his hand away and transitions into an ax-heel kick that misses its mark. Dust stirs between them and Aryn grins. Saying 'thanks' never looked so bad ass.
"Few share your confidence and trust, and even fewer have kin like that. Religion is often the source of enlightenment to those who are at their darkest point. They are emboldened by hearing the words, encouraged through the influence, and led by the example of others who believe as they do. My people lost what the Mother gave to us. Our greatest treasure, our /home/. We prayed for justice. We prayed for a reckoning. And we were answered."
Moving again in the slow spiral in the grassy spot being flattened by them, Hadrix's head cants to one side again <"One could argue that because the Rebellion was in desperate straits - and rumored to have a budding jetii in their midst it was less answered prayers and more application of talents beyond the ken of others, no?">
The question coming just before a strike intended to put his elbow down into her shoulder, aimed purposefully where there is less chance for a miracle to cause bone fracture - but his other fist is coming in an abdominal strike that might have normally been an uppercut.
"A fair arguement, but further research would turn up that the Rebellion was crumbling when the Empire struck our planet from the Galaxy. It was a call to arms, and every Alderaanian from one corner to the other answered. The Rebellion grew that day, reinforced with Gods fearing and worshipping noble blood of the Motherland. We had our justice. We had our reckoning. And when the battle was done.."
Struck but unfazed, Aryn retaliated through a series of well executed strikes, but nothing found purchase. Alas, she was still smaller, with shorter arm span. She broke off the attack to find a new stance. "..and the smoke settled, our enemy lay upon the ground like a great slain beast. -- Faith, Commander, is its own reward sometimes."
<"That's circular though, and laden with confirmation bias."> a frown in his tone as he keeps his steps to fall outside her reach or even simply let them strike armor and let it do its job.
<"Because something happened, and it was something wished for does not confirm the validity of wishes. While the Rebellion grew due to the atrocity - that speaks to the character of thousands of individuals, not a guiding invisible parental figure's hand. You cannot write a text about a deity and say it was written because of he deity's hand. It's a similar argument that a deity is too mysterious or powerful for our comprehension and so we cannot witness it. An all powerful being can allow itself to be viewed, make its presence known and speak its will directly.">
Hadrix's knee flies again, too hard thrusts that leap him forward, the first to knock a leg to one side and the next trying to put her off her balance entirely.
"Circular but not bias. It is fact. And I have not argued that it was the Gods' will or wish that it occur. I said we prayed, and it was answered. Sometimes prayers are answered by the arrival of someone else. Gods do not reveal themselves to us. Yet people write text every day about dieties because they believe their God has a hand in it. It's foolish to discredit what thousands have come to believe. We live in a galaxy where the unexplained occur right before us."
Aryn avoids his attacks, taking a step back and emitting her influence over the Force in a sudden display of raw power. The result? A sudden wave of dust kicked up around her, and her body levitates in place with no other explanation.
"We cannot see the Force, and we do not hear its will. Yet thousands of generations have said it has one, and I am proof now that its power exists! Yet the entity of the Force, its will, its presence is all around us and even now you cannot feel it. It speaks, but can you hear it? It moves but can you touch it?"
Aryn lands gently and falls to her knees, winded by the effort. "Faith goes beyond reason and logic. An entity's lack of presence is no indication of its existence. The Force exists and you cannot see it, or touch it, or feel it. And texts upon texts of ancient history have been written about its will and influence."
She rises up slowly, nothing flashy. "The galaxy is too large, too wonderous, too mysterious to rule out anything."
<"Your ability to utilize this power, the times I have had it used on me, when you removed my scars and when I've had bones crushed by invisible force is empirical evidence of the existence of it, Aryn. I can feel the force and have seen evidence of its action and existence"> no return strike has come from her, so he does not pursue in violence and when she rises on her own he stops moving to offer her a hand up.
<"I rule out nothing, but I will not believe in something that I have no evidence of. Prayer, in and of itself, is a coin toss and has been found statistically to be 'answered' fifty/fifty. Perhaps your Force has a hand in guiding things - as it can transfer thoughts, mend bones, and send lightning coursing through others - but that does not make it a God. Only an aspect of nature that very few can access."> Looming there, hands coming to rest crossed before his waist, right hand on left control gauntlet by reflex, and Hadrix's visor focuses squarely on the smaller woman.
<"I learned from others it is a tool, used by those able to make contact for ill or good, based on perspective - the cursed 'point of view' that some jetii and dar'jetii like to spout of. But I cannot condone faith alone as faith has been used to lead some down terrible paths"> there is a lance of pain through him <"Your force is proven to exist. I will believe in a god when it makes itself known to me and proves its power. Otherwise it's a child's tale and no more.">
"You're entitled to your thoughts on the matter," Aryn replies, grasping her hands at the small of her back and standing poised. She seemed neutral and unfazed by the sting of his words. Jedi trained to be above hubrus, and Aryn's passion came from delivering a point of perspective. She believed in her Gods, and enlightenment didn't manifest if she made others believe in them too. He did not believe, and they were just as they started; nothing had changed!
"You mistake me, Commander. I have no intention of encouraging you to believe in anything. I just wanted to explain my beliefs because you asked. My display was a parallel." She breathes in deeply when the breeze blows, and smiles feeling the comfort of its touch as it cools the sweat on her brow.
"For someone who does not believe in tales for children, you have an awfully heavy statistic on the outcome of prayers. I should also say that I do not believe the Force is a God. It is the Force and nothing more. The Mother, and the Father.. are Gods; to me, at least, and that is good enough for me!" She grins cheerfully.
<"My apologies, I was similar - I was not intending to sway thought, only argue perspective. We have no means to convert one another - that is a personal matter no matter what is presented."> Hadrix's head bobs slightly, still lacking visible expression.
<"As for statistics of prayer - observation both personal and from the study by others; multiple planets and multiple studies. Secular minds work often in both concert and discord as the faithful. If your faith makes you a moral person, then it is a good thing, even if I disbelieve it."> there's a grin returning to his voice through the vocoder washouts and Hadrix shifts after a moment to a parade rest posture in his footing.
<"And while you do not believe your Force is a deity, it may just be the cause of faiths, intentionally or otherwise crafted by others with the talent - not to imply you have such inclination, Lady Cole."> moving again to reach out and offer a wampa paw, <"A good spar, in both senses, burc'ya.">
"You have a good heart, Hadrix Kora," Aryn says, accepting his paw with her smaller hand for a gentle, lady-like grasp; not the traditional handshake by any means. "And a keen mind. I know why you do not believe blindly, and I do not fault you for this. It earned you your first scars, and has left you in the shadow of a storm that still thunders within your core. I can feel it. The idle rage. Yet, you stay in control. Your holstered willpower," She echoes his phrase from before, "serves you well. My faith reminds me I /should/ be a moral person. It is I who must commit to that path; to be accountable for my actions, and to leave the Mother's creation in a better state than I found it." She releases his hand after cradling it with her other fondly. "Well fought, Commander. I aspire to be as strong as you are one day."