On a planet such as Zeltros, where the "party never stopped" it felt rare to find a place that was so quiet and peaceful. The warehouse had been emptied of its vermin, and blood no longer stained the walls where she walked. Acolytes had been brought in to deal with the cleanup, but the woman had sent them away, leaving her alone in the silence.
There was much for her to think about. Some of the acolytes had found an entrance to lower levels that apparently held zombies from a bygone era of AMS, and maybe even other surprises. The warehouse would need a front if it were to function as a serious place of refugee for the Sith. The government would have to be convinced. The people would have to be convinced.
'The people.' This place was located in the midst of some of the most disenfranchised neighborhoods on Zeltros; it was an urban hellscape. Gangs ruled the streets, dictating the lives of the people who lived here. 'Can I do something with that?'
A memory flashed before her eyes. Father spoke with Mother while a young Ambrosia stood quietly and obediently nearby, holding up a bowl of cherries for Mother to pluck from. They will do anything for you if you make them feel as if they have worth, she had said to Father. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose, Father had added. Anger rolled across Ambrosia's face, and she clawed the memory away. She turned, opened a door, and found herself staring into a large bathroom mirror.
Porcelain skin. Large, innocent doe eyes. Petite. Perfect. Pretty. There was nothing about Ambrosia that even whispered Sith. She was unassuming, and yet, she drew people in. 'Can I do something with this?'
All her life, her worth was held entirely by her appearance and what she could do for others. She was literally born to serve others. Even now that she was free, even though she had no reason to give a second thought to her appearance, she maintained herself out of habit. 'Why shouldn't others serve me?' The idea brought about an unknown emotion that filled her chest with warm, set her brows forward, and curled up the corners of her lips. 'Oh, they would roll over in their graves.'
Three days later, the acolytes had since been brought back. Renovations were underway in the building. Debris was being removed, paint was being applied, and surfaces across the warehouse were being wiped clean. Ambrosia, in the meantime, was out wandering the streets. As usual, she was dressed in white, but a heavy navy cloak hung around her small shoulders. This was the first time she'd ventured out into the city to show her face, having avoided it thus far. And, thus, she received stares from among the natives, suspicion obviously placed upon her. 'Who is she?' 'She doesn't belong here.' 'I wonder if she has any valuables on her.' She could practically hear their thoughts.
As she walked, Ambrosia created a small pulse in the Force. It was just heavy enough that it might catch the attention of those who possessed a connection to the Force. She hoped they would lift their heads, not knowing what they'd felt but stirred by it regardless.
There was a man slumped against the wall, a smoking cigarra held loosely in his hand. His chin was tucked in and he faced the ground, his features half hidden under the ragged cloak that fell over his forehead. Ambrosia watched as he lifted his head, looking forward with sunken, depressed eyes as he searched for whatever he'd felt. Taking the chance, Ambrosia made her way over, approaching the poor soul as an angel might come to comfort a child.
"Whadoyawan?" he slurred, running a hand through his greasy hair as he hurried to sit up straight. Ambrosia gave him a smile and squatted down, balancing on the tips of her toes as she loosely crossed her arms on her knees. "Only to speak with you," she answered plainly. "What's your name?"
He regarded her suspiciously at first, but after several long moments of meeting her soft eyes, he grunted and answered her question. "Uhh, Thane. It's Thane."
"Thane." She repeated his name as if it held weight, her voice as soft as ever, but laced with promise as if she was intrigued by this man. In reality, she would have cared nothing about him if he had not reacted to her little testing of the waters. She looked at him with a sudden intensity, as if she were studying his worth. Her smile had faded, but it returned a moment later as she began to speak again. "What's your story, Thane?"
He was hesitant to speak with her, but it was clear to her that her attempts to disarm the man were working. Through a combination of her features, her soft words, and her interest in him, she was convinced she was getting the hold on him that she wanted. So, as she had hoped, he slowly began to relay his story to her. He was born here, and his parents were poor. He dropped out of school to try and provide for his family because his parents were druggies and his siblings were too young. His father died in a factory accident. His mother killed herself. His siblings were taken away and he was left on his own. He was depressed. He fell into drugs. He couldn't keep a job.
As he spoke, Ambrosia listened intently. She kept her face soft but kept any look of pity away. She had always hated pity, and she imagined he would too. He continued on with his story, and she subtly reached out to him through the Force. 'Tell her more. You can trust her.' A voice almost seemed to whisper in his head as she attempted to persuade him, and it would. Shame flushed his face red, but he told her his story. When he was finished, he avoided her eyes.
"You were never given a fair chance," she stated with a small frown. She watched his lips tense and brows furrow; he agreed, it was obvious. "You never deserved that. You should have had so much more." The Arkanian woman stood up, then offered her hand to the man. "Thane, come with me. There's something I would like to show you."
For any other stranger, he would have scoffed, refused, and told them to piss off. But Ambrosia had already begun to weave her web around him, so he placed his dirty, calloused hand in hers and pulled himself up. Following just a half-step behind her, Thane walked slouched over as she made her way through the streets that he knew like the back of his hand. "You aren't the only one," she stated, glancing up at the man as they went about. They passed by many others like him. Poor, sick, addicted people who had never been given a fair chance in their life. She stopped after they walked for a bit, and grabbed his hand. She placed her other hand over his and looked hopefully up into the man's eyes. "I want to change that."
"You- you uhh, what?" Surprise widened the man's eyes as he looked from the perfect little doll in front of him to her hands holding his. He blinked. "Wha- what do you mean?" He swallowed hard, a little nervous, and definitely still drunk.
"I was called here for a reason, Thane. I believe you can help me with it."
A day later, Ambrosia waited quietly outside the warehouse. She was confident Thane would show, and when she spotted the scarred, ginger man approaching from a distance wearing the new clothes she'd bought for him, she smiled ear to ear.
"Um, if you don't mind me- uh, asking... Why- why me?" He reached to rub the back of his neck, nervous and craving a smoke. "I mean, I do want to help you! Don't- don't get me wrong. You're like, an angel- " He paused to laugh uncomfortably, then sighed. "But I'm just- I'm just street trash. Worthless. No one's ever- I mean, why do you give me this chance? Wouldn't someone else be better?"
Ambrosia stepped forward and placed a hand on his shoulder. "From now on, Thane, I never want to hear you speak ill of yourself," she said, delivering the words firmly but with a smile. "You are so much more than you think you are. The Goddess has deemed you worthy, so who are we to argue?"
There it was. Ambrosia looked up at the man through her lashes, waiting for his reaction with bated breath. He looked at her curiously, his brows twitching upwards. She could tell he was in thought, so she removed her hand and turned away. What she said had to be the most natural, absolute thing in the world. She could not appear to doubt herself or doubt that he would believe her. "Now come. The sooner we begin the sooner we may be able to find your siblings."
She entered the building, and to her absolute pleasure, Thane followed.