Renfry's eyes narrowed slightly in skepticism. So then there isn't anything that would "sully your soul" with using it, she said. These Mandas were certainly a strange bunch.
She had learned a great deal about them, but still wasn't sure why they hated hated Force users so much. Why were people always so resistant to think, she wondered. Of course failed to notice her own positions on similar issues.
A demonstration, then, she said, rising and leaving without another thought on the matter, seemingly unperturbed by the threat. These Mandas really were violent people, weren't they?
Where to go and what to do for their demonstration, though? She headed out into the street and then stopped.
Uh... do you know anywhere that's private? she asked, looking back over her shoulder at the other woman. She had only been here for about a day, and hoped the other woman was more familiar with the local geography.
Shaking her head, Takai knew the sorcerer wouldn't understand. Mandalorians prided themselves on their bravery and skill, surely using magic to defeat one's opponents was cowardice. Right?
Following the woman outside, the woman who Takai realized she would have to stop thinking of her as "the woman", Takai decided she needed to break the ice on the whole name thing sooner rather than later. "My name is Takai, by the way." She volunteered, hoping it hadn't been a mistake. "You knowing my name doesn't mean you can mind control me or anything right?" She hoped she wasn't being too superstitious.
"I'm sure we can find something." Taking the lead, Takai could led the way through the streets before eventually finding a rather large alley stuck between the poor slums and the industrial zone that neighbored it. It looked reasonably abandoned, absent the rough population that made the slum alleys their home, likely due to the factory that probably didn't take kindly to their presence. A locked gate barred their access to it however.
"Can your magic do anything about that?" She said pointing to the lock.
Renfry glanced at the woman again as she introduced herself, and then remembered that neither of them had done so yet.
I'm Renfry, she said after a moment.
It's nice to meet you, she added. This woman - no, Takai - was one of the first people she'd met in the wider galaxy. She wasn't quite what Renfry had expected, but she seemed quite reasonable overall. Actually, not quite so different from a Nightsister in some ways. Even if the Manda herself didn't see it that way.
She followed after Takai until they reached a fairly large alley and the lock that held it in place.
She cast a quick glance around them and then looked back at the lock. She lifted up her hand and after a moment a small, round bolt of green energy appeared over her palm almost like a bolt of flame.
She flicked her wrist and the energy lanced through the lock like a blaster bolt, sheering it cleanly off the door and allowing the door to open slightly.
She glanced back at Takai to gauge her reaction before pressing forward.
Well, how was that for a demonstration? Or would you like something more? she asked, quirking an eyebrow before adding, Or perhaps you'd like to know how to do it so you could practice on your own?@Arclight
Takai watched with a fair amount of doubt as Renfry examined the lock. So far she had mixed opinions of the tattooed woman. She was nice enough, hadn't been following her for any ominous reasons other than to tell Takai that she was wreathed in some magic shadow.
And then she shot the lock with her hand.
An oversimplification but it was all the same. She reached out her hand and a small green flame appeared in her hand.
And then she shot the lock with her hand.
It took all Takai had to not let her jaw drop to the floor. Instead she just went a few shades paler and her eyes flicked to meet Renfry's.
"That uhh..." She trailed off before gathering her wits about her once again. "That was pretty cool, i guess. Not like I couldn't have done that with my blaster though."Holy shit what the kriff. Takai was mentally screaming as she brushed off the rather impressive feat. She thinks I could learn how to do that?"I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more." She said tentatively, pushing her way into the alley.
The alley itself was fairly barren and clean swept. A few dumpsters lined the walls as well as stacks of materials and other factory refuse.
Renfry could sense the upheaval in the Force within the woman despite her attempts to remain stoic on the outside. One more benefit of the Shadow, though she didn't reveal this one yet. Still, Refnry couldn't manage not to smile. She shouldn't been showing off, but she liked to, and she couldn't help herself.
With a flick of her hand, she closed the door behind them without touching it.
Of course you could have done it with a blaster. But you need a blaster, she said, smugly. Or at least you do right now, she said. It was clear that as odd as Renfry was, she was perhaps far more dangerous than her appearance betrayed.
She held out her hand and a green flame appeared once again before she tossed it into the pile of garbage, which began to burn. Another wave of her hand, and the flame was sucked away, into the air, and evaporated.
I'm sure your blaster can do that, too? she said with a smirk. But your people are prohibited from using it, she said with a shrug as if she were about to simply leave. @Arclight
Of course she could have done it with a blaster. But Renfry had a point and she knew it. This woman had power that ordinary people didn't. She carried no blaster, she didn't need it. She was a weapon. A weapon that was clearly enjoying herself. She didn't hide the satisfactory smirks or smug tone of voice as she showed a power superior to Takai's.
Takai was unsettled by the demonstration and her mind raced with conflicting thoughts. Renfry wielded the Shadow, and Takai had it too. It wasn't strictly forbidden, but many of her people might think to kill her for holding this Shadow. They would see her as dangerous, as a threat. She was already exiled in her own mind, stripped of her helmet and laid bare to the world. She was vulnerable.
And the Shadow was a weapon. Right?
"Wait." She said as Renfry made as if to go. "Tell me more about the Shadow." If she was to be certain, she needed to know more. "Is it a weapon? Something else?"
Of course she wanted to know more! Who wouldn't want to? And the parlor tricks that Renfry had demonstrated was only the tip of the iceberg. The Shadow was capable of so many things, the likes of which even Renfry knew she only scratched the surface of. It was part of why she had left Dathomir: she wanted to know more. She wanted to know the essence of the Shadow.
It is a weapon, but it's also much more, she said.
It's the life essence of all. It binds everyone together, living and dead. The world of the spirits, bent to the will of flesh, she said. It was fortunate that this one was a woman. They had a greater orientation toward the spirits than males. Or at least that held true on Dathomir.
It's always been there, whether you can feel it or not. Perhaps it's what you name the Manda, she said. The woman said that they all believed that they eventually joined the Manda. Perhaps the Manda and the Shadow were one and the same. @Arclight
Takai listened with intent. She had to know more before she could truly make her decision. All of Renfry's answers only brought more questions though. It was a weapon, but more. Takai could see that, extinguishing flame was the function of a tool, not a weapon.
Of course it seemed much more philosophical than a weapon or a tool. Life essence. The living and the dead bound together. As she explained, and indeed made the observation, Takai wondered just how interconnected this woman's Shadow and the Manda were. They seemed very similar in how she felt, what she described as the oversoul of Mandalorians past whispering into her mind the battle-sense that she seemed to have.
"Perhaps." She said with hesitation. She was wary to mix the two in her mind, for if she was wrong, that way lead to the loss of her soul. "You think that your Shadow is the same as my Manda? How does the Shadow speak to you?"
Renfry was unsure whether or not the Manda and the Shadow were the same, but they certainly sounded like it. Renfry gave a shrug as the woman said "perhaps." The Nightsister gained nothing either way, so she decided to let Takai make up her own mind.
It might be, she said. She didn't know and she knew she wasn't familiar enough with the Manda to have a definitive stance.
It depends, she said. She had heard stories that the Shaman of the Nightsisters could see the spirits at every moment, though Renfry was not so powerful yet. She glimpsed the spirits before on Dathomir with intense concentration, but here, far away from her home, not so much.
Some can see and speak to the spirits directly, but most only feel their nudges, she said. And so it had been for Renfry. Apart from those isolated incidents at home, she could not see the spirits every waking moment.
You've felt them nudge you before, haven't you? Maybe warning you of danger or giving you... instincts about things, she said. It was the best way she could describe it. Like a subconscious prompt to pick a certain path.
Renfry seemed uncertain of whether she actually believed that her Shadow and the Manda were one and the same. Takai supposed that was fair, far be it for her to make such distinctions.
"I think so. Sometimes when i fight.. It feels as if I am being guided by the ancestors. A gentle nudge here, a whispered warning there." Indeed it was never something so clear cut as if she were being controlled, but rather a subtle nudge to pick a certain course of action. One that she always benefitted from listening to.
"And you're willing to teach me of this Shadow, if is wished it? To hand someone you barely know such power?" She didn't know much about Renfry's people, but Takai knew that many would guard such power zealously. Takai wasn't certain she would so generously hand weapons out to outsiders, but they had already established that she was a tad bit paranoid.
Renfry frowned as the woman asked if she would train her and why. Honestly, Renfry wasn't really sure. She hadn't come into the galaxy to train someone else, but she could at least give her the pointers.
As for why, why not? It wasn't like she was going to kill Renfry or even could use the Shadow to kill the Nightsister yet. What would Takai do with the power? Who knew and who cared. It wasn't Renfry's responsibility. The galaxy would flow ever onward either way.
I'll point you to the path, she said, offering no further commitment than that. There was much that Renfry had to do, and there was much magick that she certainly wouldn't teach a stranger. But some of it was the woman's birth right.
A Rancor shouldn't live its whole life thinking it's a Veeka, she said after a moment. The woman deserved to know what she was, and not knowing your own nature could be more dangerous than being told.
It sounds like you've already experienced parts of it before. Focus on it, she said. She had never tried to teach anyone, and wasn't very good at it. How had this happened? Of all the things...
Takai nodded. What else could she say. She understood the Veeka-Rancor analogy, though she had a hard time picturing herself as anything but the Rancor already. A bigger Rancor then.
"I will try." She said hesitantly as she closed her eyes and tried to focus. She stood there for what seemed like forever but was probably only a few moments. She felt... a whole lot of nothing. She tried harder, focusing inwards, seeking the awareness of herself and her surroundings that seemed to come to her when the adrenaline was pumping.
"Am I supposed to... do anything else?" She voiced into the darkness, her eyes still closed. She had seen with her own eyes that magic, the shadow, the manda or whatever one wanted to call it was real. Had felt it in the heat of battle. But here, now, it alluded her.