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The Last Armegedon

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  1. Shiro's eyes burned with both anger and fear as he listened to the missive, his grip upon the datapad tightly squeezed as fractures began to cross into the video he gazed upon. Not only did the fear of the unknown set a weight within his heart, but the newly added weight of his comrades in arms now sat squarely upon his shoulders caused his neck to ache from the thought of their loves solely placed in his hands. He was a fresh recruit, barely out of basic training, and the only experience he had outside that was saving his own skin in the Arena on Krayiss II. This was a whole new league for him to be thrown into, and if the enemy contact they made previously was any suggestion of truth to the missive, things were about to get even more serious. But if it hadn't been for the anger boiling in his blood, Shiro's level of anxiety would have sent him straight into a hyperventilate state. Shiro was a descendant of a POW, political prisoners locked away for lifetimes and generations by an ancient Imperial order that died out long ago. And for him to be thrown into another prison as an enemy soldier of another faction that hid it away from public eyes, one who supposedly served its public, infuriated him beyond belief. He knew the truth of politics, but this was beyond that. This was the same devil his ancestors knew assuming a different name and persona. Perhaps Shaq'teel knew this when he sent Shiro to join the Imperial Legions, to discover this truth for himself and offer a way for him to change it. Shiro's mind was ablaze with the information and possibilities that now presented themselves. And despite the fear, he knew his purpose now. He was an Imperial Marine, and he would serve loyaly to change things. "Prepare to move out. We've got our orders. Dustan..." Shiro began to bark out orders, his blood boiling with anger and the missive fresh on his mind when he noticed Dustan messing with the terminal. "Its pointless. Comms are..." Was all he managed to mutter before an eerie message began bellowing across the ship, its automated voice repeating a cryptic sign. In a burst of anger, Shiro grabbed Dustan and shoved him against the wall near his men, rifles shouldered and at the ready by all. "What did you do?" Shiro blurted out, his glowing red gaze inflamed by the fire in his chest. "You've likely just alerted the entire enemy's army to our position." Shiro couldn't believe the stupidity, but at the same time, he couldn't help but understand that if the roles were reversed, he might have done the same thing. So he released the private and ordered all to lower their weapons. "What's done is done. Prepare yourselves and move out. We certainly cant stay put any longer. We continue forward and pray to whatever Gods we worship that we dont run into anything. Double time it men!" Turning back to Dunstan, Shiro dusted off his armor and handed him his weapon. "Forgive me. Tensions are high right now and this missive only confirms the worst. Let's go." Allowing Dunstan to follow his fellow Troopers and Shiro's Marines, Shiro took up the rear, his Z-6 at the ready. Turning right out the room, the group began their trek once again into the unknown, the cryptic and eerie message on a constant repeat as it bellowed across the ship, echoing in the darkness of its holds and around every corner. Turning his gaze to Dustan once again, Shiro spoke a simple question. "Where is the Seal located?"
  2. Shiro stared back at the injured man, his stance seemingly cold and calculated, despite the gaze of sorrow he felt as he watched one of them make the long approach. It felt like an eternity in the moment and a part of him wished it to be over. But Shiro had called for the best of actions, and because of it, he felt he shouldn't turn his gaze away. He could see the breathing shallow, notice the body tense and go limp as the mind fell in and out of consciousness, and he could see the movements of the man's comrades as they grew ready for the moment just as Shiro did. And then came the glow of crimson as the bolt buried its self just below the jawline, most everyone jumping including Shiro. And in that moment, Shiro heard the familiar gurgle of death as the former sentient was released from his pain eternally. It's only natural for anyone to second guess a suggestion or to wonder if they thought right along the process of logic and reality. And for Shiro, it was no different, his hands and body trembling as he watched the man expire. A part of him wondered if he could have been wrong and he just suggested a being's life to be taken. But there was also the half that knew better, knew the outcome no matter the routes taken and the luck granted. Shiro sighed and shook his head. He needed to think clearly and rational if he and the others were going to make it out of here alive, his glowing crimson eyes catching each of their stares as they began to look to him for guidence. And then the Trooper made his approach. "Please, its Shiro Seven." Shiro spoke in return to his question, his gaze shifting in sorrow toward the Trooper who still held the body of her fallen comrade. "New recruit in the Imperial Marines, Private rank as well. We got pinned down just down the corridor by a few green men and a rancor sized beast wielding a cleaver. This direction was our best retreat." Shiro pointed in the direction they had came from near the engine rooms where their Staff Sergeant intended to storm the bridge using the service lift, but before they could reach it, they were led into an ambush. And now, like these Troopers, they were leaderless and alone behind enemy lines. Not the best combination for fresh recruits. "Our Staff Sergeant was KIA'd and I've been doing my best to keep us alive."
  3. The hallway was long and dark, only the emergency lighting and visual capabilities of their HUDs giving any birth of sight for what remained of their group. Shiro ran at the front, the Z-6 gripped tightly in his hands, his gaze alert as they passed poor sods strewn about in a cadaver Station. Glancing at them here and there, he couldn't help but think back to the men that were lost and even farther back to the lives he claimed during his time in the Arena, the praise and glory he claimed seeming pointless and minute now. It felt as if it was all for not now, as if it was a fantasy one would grasp at in moments he found himself in now. Truly, despite the training he recieved, he was no where near ready for this moment. And he knew it. After passing a few doors, Shiro's ears caught a sudden sound echoing ahead, his finger growing ready beside the trigger of the Z-6 as his gaze shifted in its direction, a door spliced open just up ahead. It was a faint sound of white noise and squelched pitches, and it drowned out the near silent squeaking as his feet slid against the metallic durasteel flooring in his attempt to stop when he reached its frame. If Shiro's finger had been any faster than his perifial vision, he would have lit the mess hall up with a barrage of blaster fire before he noticed the group of Troopers laying within. "Might as well quit with the radio, Trooper." Shiro spoke as he entered the room, the others behind him save for the two who remained just outside on guard. "Comms are worthless. Can barely hear the man next to you expire through them" Shiro's gaze then followed the room until they fell upon the two injured, one in dire shape by the looks of it. It was a grizzly scene to look at, one of the legs so badly injured that bone stuck out the pastisteel of his armor. Shiro sighed. Even if they managed to get him out of here, by the time help arrived, infection would have likely set in, if he didnt bleed out first. There was no way to truly tell the extent of the injuries internally. Shiro looked at the others and shook his head. He wouldnt blame the man's fellow Troopers if they wanted to stay behind, but with the resistance they've ran into, their likelyhood of survival was slim to none. Shiro wasnt even sure of his own, and he had more men with him to watch his back. "Your best bet would be to follow us. The more men, the better. But the one wounded, for sure, won't be able to come." Shiro spoke with half a heart, his sorrowful gaze meeting the quick glances of his teammate's surely anger filled glances behind their helmets. "He'd only slow us down and even if we managed to reach a safe spot to bunker down in, his chances of making it are nearly non-existent. I'll leave the decisions to you, unless you'd rather me choose, but you better hurry. We move out in three." Shiro wasnt quite sure where this authority figure was coming from within himself, as it surprised even him. But he shrugged it off as being blunt and realistic. But as he recognized it, so too did his own men seem to see it. Because as he spoke, his men gathered at the door and outside of it in wait, their gazes fixated in both directions down the hall. With a large tug on the Z-6, Shiro moved and stationed himself near the exit. Three minutes and they would leave, with or without the Troopers.
  4. It was utter chaos and horror for Shiro and his unit as the onslaught began. They expected resistance, but not on such a well played out level. And with their Staff Sergeant now laying dead just a few yards away, the moment of victory soon turned dark and bleak. Death was consuming all around them, and they could only watch in perifial despair as they numbers began to drop like seconds upon a clock's hand. For now, all they could do was fall back and hold the line, dig their heels in, and pray. And Shiro found very little comfort in religion, as numerous as they may be. Shiro took cover to reload his E-11, taking a brief moment to observe and record the carnage to memory. Never had he ever seen such. Not even in the Arena on Krayiss II as the fights escalated and grew vicious. Sure, Death was a constant visitor, but never on such a scale. And they were trapped, bottlenecked in this blasted hallway with no means to move forward as bolts of plasma darted over their heads. At their twelve o'clock was a resistance he had never seen, a colossal beast surrounded by numerous masked fiends. To their three o'clock was a malfunctioned escape, the striped gears of the bulkhead grinding against the sparks of its counterpart. At their nine o'clock came a stomach wrenching scream Shiro had never heard, and at their six, retreat. All Shiro could do was stare at his rifle in disbelief. Trapped and leaderless, morale was beginning to wane quickly. Just as Shiro removed his helm and tossed it aside, sweat drenched white hair taping its self to his forehead, his crimson eyes glowing with devastation, Shiro heard a subtle thud before a scream echoed out. Jumping to his feet, a look of horror enveloped his face as he gazed upon the towering colossus grasping its Imperial prey in one hand and collapsing its frail form with very little resistance as those who remained went into full panic. His mind raced as fast as his heartbeat hastened in the moment, and survival Instincts took hold of his thoughts. Raising his E-11, Shiro took a calming breath as he flicked the rifle to full auto and let loose a volley of crimson bolts into the enemy at their front. "Fall back." Shiro shouted out orders to his comrades through the echoing sounds of constant barrage, his crimson eyes glowing with desperation and rage. "Take nine o'clock positions and we'll deal with whatever hell hole we fall into.... move now." Shiro's men began flanking to the left, the Imperial Marines following his suite exactly as each opened their own full volleys in retreat, unsure of what laid at their destination, only their urge to survive quelling their hearts and minds as they moved, with Shiro and two others finalizing their six. And had Shiro taken a second longer, he would have fallen to the cleaver's edge. Tossing aside his empty E-11, Shiro disappeared with the others down the left hallway, the young humanoid managing to gather up two vibro-knives and a Z-6 that laid strewn around the bodies that littered it. Whatever laid ahead, Shiro only hoped it was better than what they were leaving behind, horror still filling his thoughts as he acted on instincts enough to get away from the bloodbath they were facing. He was beginning to realize the uncertainty that was war.
  5. Darkness, t'was like a bitter old friend, wrapping you up in its warm protective embrace while it searched for a moment to stab you in the back. Such was the environment of the Dauntless as the transports found their mark and drove themselves into its the belly of the beast as if piercing its thick hide like lethal injections, releasing its compounds with the aim of stopping its heart. The crimson glow of Shiro's helm was about the only initial light that presented its self upon entrance, his white locks dyed maroon by its illumination as his crimson gaze glowed beneath. With a tap of his hand aside his head, his helm lit up his field of view as the others did before him, a stocky Staff Sergeant at the head of their group. "Alright men. Flank out." His voice echoed across the comms as each member loaded a magazine in their E-11s and twisted the fire rate to rapid. "If they dont know we're here yet, they soon will thanks to the Dark King." For Shiro, it was the waiting game that drove his nerves the worst. He could feel his accelerated heart rate pulsing through his entire form, hear his hastened breathing within his helmet as his gaze darted about in expectations, his finger hanging closely to its trigger. Five transports had made landfall, and in combination with each other, filled the Dauntless' belly full of Imperials. It was only a matter of time before contact was finally made and blaster fire ripped about like hellfire. And as it lit the hanger up, in a single fluid motion, all Imperials aboard shifted toward its direction, Shiro included. "Light em boys and girls" Shiro's CO let out shortly before the stocky man let his 11 loose into oncoming raiders, a sinister laughter erupting in the continuation that oddly gave Shiro a sense of ease as he followed in suite. "Give em hell or die trying!" Shiro brought the E-11 up to his gaze, letting the HUD's enhancements connect with it's own as each target came into view, a slow tempered exhale releasing as his finger squeezed its trigger and let crimson bolts fire in small yet controlled rapid fire bursts. Beneath his HUD, he grimaced. He didnt like the feeling he held in the pit of his stomach. It felt too easy, felt too controlled, despite it being his mission and his inexperience as both a foot soldier and as working as a part of a group. He couldn't help but feel this way. His opponents were outmaneuvered, pinned down in a hall, incapable of given them their all. But this was the mission and as the words Shaq'teel echoed in his mind, he knew it would have to be this way. As the gigantic wave pushed forward, swallowing up all that it encountered, the swarm of Imperial troops pushed farther in toward the Dauntless' core, Shiro included. But it soon found themselves facing the turning of the tides as the march of the Imperials became bottlenecked through a small hall that led from the beachhead into the engine room where more laid in wait. Before any of Shiro's company had a chance to advance into the open, blaster fire rang through the open comms channel and the rattling gasp of their Staff Sergeant echoed through their helms, the head of the snake cut off. Despite the numerous echoes of death that managed to ring through their comms, this was the first that caused Shiro to briefly second doubt himself. It was that of their leader's death that caused the group to seek refuge within the hall and hold back the wave that threatened to engulf the Dauntless into Imperial Control.
  6. War had began, its drums beating through the chests of men as much as the mechanics of machines, the throbbing effects of explosions matching the pace of the mortal hearts. Shiro could feel the durasteel beneath his feet shift and rattle as the ripples echoed within, sweat beading upon his brow as he and the rest of the company moved in fluid motion in their turn to exit, the sound of their shift and stomp briefly drowning out the outward noises. The moment of truth was upon them as the relieved themself from their previous stature and headed toward a new destination, the unknowing weighing upon their minds as much as the determination to not fall this day ached within their hearts. Even Shiro refused to perish without taking as many as he could with him. As the monumental march of the company barreled down the hall way adjacent to the hangar bay past Launch Bays 44-46, Helms managed to find their ways upon their heads and HUDS were brought online as they prepared themselves for what surely awaited most of them, if not all, as silent prayers were mumbled beneath hidden breaths in numerous religions. But for Shiro, his heart pounding so loudly that it resounded in his ears, found himself strangely calm. It was a normal occurrence for the young humanoid before battle that he displayed on numerous accounts in the Arena, an ability to grasp upon his fears and anxiety and use them to drive himself, evident in his knee bouncing as he sat within the shuttle during it's release into open space. He would pour all the doubt, all the fear, all the anxieties he felt into himself, using that energy to heighten his alertness and double down on his reactions, letting the rush of the adrenaline that was pumping throughout him to fuel his actions. It was how he survived in the Arena, it was how he had survived most of his life, and hopefully, here today, it would be what caused him to survive once again and even into the future. Outside he could see and hear the ongoing conflict as the escort of fighters barreled down on enemy attackers as well as the shuttle brushed against and by lingering debris, some of the foregoers never having made their destination as bodies floated by the view ports signaling the roughness of the terrain and the Dauntless Class that was their target. It was only a matter of making it there before the real threat began. And in a twisted sense of irony, Shiro welcomed it to the thought of being shot down here and now.
  7. "You understand, Private?" Shiro had sat in silence, his attention upon the Officer before him as his explaination resounded throughout the hangar and fell heavily upon each of their ears, some more than others as Shiro noticed a Twilek beside him, his teeth gritting with each voiced note. His gaze shifted across the rifle that he too held within his arms, taking note of each element that was pointed out, from the different firing settings to the scope's readout abilities, and even noticing the fold out stock as well as the power cells. "Yes sir." Shiro responded along with the others, his youth filled voice squeaking within the confines of lingering puberty, no longer a boy but neither a man as he felt the Officer's gaze and attention fall upon him. "Have you ever seen Coruscant like this? Are you ready for what comes next?" Unfortunately, Shiro could only nod his head in response to the first portion of his questions, the white hair and crimson eyes mirroring the visage of the Officer in a youthful manner outside the pale versus bronzed skin. He was present for Coruscant's initial blow, but was lucky enough, or unlucky of you prefer, to have managed escape. But if the Arena of House Zibeti had taught him anything, it was that luck played a part in everything, and until you ran out of it, it would continue to run the course of your life. The only doubt in this moment was whether or not this would be the day it ran out on Shiro, especially with such high odds stacked against him as a mere recruit within the mighty Sith Imperial Forces. For in the Arena it was a free for all fight, everyone your enemy and no one your friend during the matches. But here, and now, it would be a testament to his ability of adaptation if he survived this day. For Shiro had never fought beside anyone, let alone beings he would have to learn to trust with his life as much as watching his back and theirs. His hands finally settled, his throat parched from the unsettled nerves. Was he truly ready? "In all honesty, no. But who is ever truly ready to die?"
  8. Shiro stood there in line, adorning his silver plastoid armor with helmet caressed in arm as the ship he was aboard exited hyperspace. Coruscant. It was a planet he had briefly known when hell broke loose upon his first time arriving. His mind reverted to the chaos he saw, remembering the durasteel beneath his feet shifting and rising as the moon collided with the cityscape that day. It seemed so long ago, yet it still rang fresh in his mind as he gazed upon the debris of ships and rock that now floated in its orbit. He remembered his escape, shackles binding his hands before as he escaped his captors. But now his hands were free, tightly grasping the E-11 Blaster Rifle he held as he realised what laid before him. The last time he was here, he was a captured fugitive. But this time he came as a liberator. But there was a deep sense of fear shaking beneath his hardened exterior. Despite his time in the Arena of House Zibeti, standing here and now, he couldn't help but revert back to that scared child he once was as he gazes upon the destruction before him, his hands trembling and the rattle of his rifle echoing in the silent hanger. Sweat beads down his brow as he snaps to attention as his commanding Officer approaches and gauges the newest recruits, the smell of fear and doubt lingering in the air surrounding them. Shiro, in his silence, dives deep within himself and searches for the courage to overcome the fear, the fear of emanent death, the fear from the lack of training and being thrust into open warfare, and most importantly, the fear of letting down Shaq'teel who had seen so much promise in the young Armegedon. Shifting his gaze from the view of Coruscant for a brief second, he gauged his comrades in arms, beings of all races, and he could see himself in each and everyone of them. He could feel their fear, he could taste their doubt in themselves as firmly as he could taste his own. But mostly, despite the fear, he felt their diligence to survive no matter what was thrown at them. And in that moment, he felt one with them. Shifting his gaze forward, he awaited the Officer's speech.
  9. The Ship's innards were massive and exotic to the young humanoid as he disembarked the transport and first laid his feet upon Imperial Durasteel. His eyes wandered in both amazement and fear as he gazed around, feeling as if he could be sucked away in a mere fraction of a second. Only looking up at the stars had he ever seen such spacious holdings and he felt minute in comparison. Taking a deep inhalation of the recycled air, he followed his escort forward. "Next! Shiro heard from the corner of his gaze as his escort shifted him forward in line, his gaze shifting to meet that of a burly man that towered his own figure both in height and mass. With a chew of his sandwich that laid across his podium, he leaned his gaze in close to Shiro. "Name? "Shiro." Shiro replied, his crimson eyes gazing solidly back into that of the man's, a semblance of the glare he often gave in return in the Arena on Krayiss II. "Shiro what?" He questioned. Shiro stood briefly in disbelief as he shot a gaze toward his escorts in wonderment. Shaq'teel had told him they would be expecting him, yet this did not feel like the case. Fearful to reveal the name Shaq'teel had revealed to him, especially in Imperial territory incase some grudges were still harbored as apparent on his face when he gazed back toward the man, Shiro instead used the name he had always claimed. "Seven...Shiro Seven." "Like the number? Interesting" The man jested as he handed Shiro the enlistment forms, Shiro pointing toward the Imperial Prison number that laid tattooed to his face. "Ah. Imperial Penal Colony." He spoke as he took the signed forms back from Shiro and handed over an ID badge. "I heard rumors some descendants took up the numbers as names over the years on the older worlds. Either way, welcome to the Empire, Soldier. Step that way Private Seven." Without a word, Shiro stepped past the burly man where others had began to line up and receive their uniforms and hand over personal effects. With one last look behind him, Shiro noticed his escort departing and he turned back to the life that was beginning in front of him. Though he trusted Shaq'teel, he still doubted his purpose here. But either way, at least here with the Empire, he held a semblance of Freedom in his grasp.
  10. The transport ship from Krayiss II arrived in a fashionable time frame to the Kuat system, the emblem of the Spider adorning its hull and transponder codes identifying it sole purpose of arrival as it touched down with a comfortable squat. Shiro sat alone in its hold, the memories of Krayiss II playing over in his head as he thought back to Shaq'teel's words, the thought of true freedom being within a possible grasp if the Zibeti Elder was to be truly believed. He had heard whispers of the Sith Order before, but he couldn't fathom himself skilled enough to be counted among their elite no matter how sweet the words of his Master were to hear. "We've arrived," His escort spoke as he stood, ushering the young Shiro to follow. "It's time." Shiro stood upon an unknown precipice, adorning clothes he had not worn since he was condemned to slavery. His glowing crimson eyes looked out the small viewport as he stood, watching numerous Soldiers and Guards motioning about as the pit within his stomach turned into knots. Time was a relative matter, not only in practice, but in theory as well. To say it's time was to know it, and even Shiro doubted its authenticity. But still, he followed his escort onward and down the sloping ramp as his boots clanked beneath him. If it was truly time, only time would tell.
  11. Days had turned into weeks, and weeks had turned into months since his first run in the Arena, Shiro not only having captivated the hearts of the spectators, but of his opponents as well as time slowly passed. He had grown wildly, a fierce competitor in the Arena, a being of no remorse nor greed as he simply seemed to live for those moments of battle. Outside the Arena, he returned to his quarters within the Zibeti mansion, polishing his armor, training, eating, or sleeping. It was as if he held no life outside murder and mayhem. Rewards for his victories were offered, yet, he turned them down. Banquets were thrown in his honor, yet, he never showed. And even to those he that had come to know him as a brother, he was quiet and reserved, barely speaking a word and rather leaving his actions to speak for him. But there was a truth in Shiro's actions that he felt only he could see, the reason behind his seclusion. Sure, House Zibeti had been good to him. He had risen among the best Gladiators they had to offer and he adorn the best armor and weapons forged within its walls, a set of reinforced leather armor with steel pauldrons, greaves, vambraces, and cuisses with razor sharp clawed gauntlets to slash his opponents into ribbons with like a wild animal. But to Shiro, there could be no friends, as he knew with each moment in the arena, he would eventually face each and everyone of them until none remained. He was a killer, a murderer, and as such, a life of solitude was the only peace he would have. And there stood Shiro once again within the Arena he called home, his latest opponent the very first veteran he met when he arrived within the walls of House Zibeti, the one who called out for his to rise from the ground, Curshaw. Curshaw smiled when he laid eyes on Shiro, flexing his muscles and revealing the scars that littered his upper form in proud display. "It is good that we finally meet in the Arena, little one." He spoke in jest, a prideful chuckle erupting as he poised for his first attack. "Let us see if you are deserving of the praise that the Masters give you." Curshaw was a Zabrak from the world of Dathomir, House Zibeti acquiring him when he was just a young one himself and only four years younger than Shiro was. But now he was the oldest living Gladiator in House Zibeti at a ripe age of thirty five and still in peak condition. He prided himself on the fact that he had endured nearly every injury imaginable and still always found victory without defeat. And in a sense, Shiro found a semblance of respect for his Elder in that aspect. And as such, Shiro planned to give him everything he had without hesitation. So as the match sounded as it did every time, Shiro chose to make the first instead of waiting for his opponent to that had became a custom with him. Shiro was quick on his feet, almost abnormally so. So when he charged forward toward Curshaw, he was able to outmatch his elder in agility. But Curshaw was no fresh opponent. He may have been slower than Shiro, but he knew how to read his opponent and outwit them. So as Shiro drove his claws forward in a quick strike at the man's thigh, Curshaw's blade was there to meet Shiro's. And so the battle would rage, well into them being the last two left standing in the Arena as their fight continued. And for those watching, it was almost evenly matched. But with Shiro still being the newest member despite his rise, and Curshaw being the well experienced veteran that he was, it was only natural that it ended when Curshaw spun the hilt of his spear across Shiro's face and knocked the boy unconscious. With Shiro defeated, he was drug from the Arena back to House Zibeti where he would spend the next few days resting as the gash across his eye began to close. And when Shaq'teel returned nearly two weeks later, he wasnt surprised to see the boy back in training, the fire within his sight as bright as ever. Shaq'teel would quickly wave Shiro over, sitting down upon the stone bench as he looked at Shiro' visage, inspecting his healed wound and asking how he was. "I am fine." Shiro replied, pulling away. "It was just a loss in the arena." Shaq'teel chuckled but then gazed at Shiro with a stern look. "Good. But your time here with House Zibeti is ending. I have just returned from Korriban and I bring you great news." Shiro turned to Shaq'teel, a look of confusion once again adorning his face. "What do you mean?" "As you know, House Zibeti was granted land upon Krayiss II as reward for our exploration and recovering what's been lost our species…" Shaq'teel spoke excitedly, something Shiro had never seen before. "And when I saw you that day on Onderon, I knew there was something extremely unique about you, not just your eyes and your Force Sensitivity. So I had your blood test against the archives both here and at Korriban just to be certain. And my hunch was correct. You're an Armegedon!" "An Armageddon? Shiro began to question, but Shaq'teel quickly corrected Shiro. "An Armegedon, a race of beings even older than my own. Their homeworld was destroyed too many millennia ago to know the exact date, but are known not only by their glowing eyes, bronze skin, and silver to white hair, but by them taking their racial name as a last name." Before Shaq'teel could finish, Shiro responded. "But my last name is Seven, the Imperial number given to my great great grandfather. Not Armegedon." Shaq'teel smiled. "Exactly. That's how your family was lost. Your name was taken, forgotten, and a new one was given. Although I'm not quite sure why. May have something to do with…" Shiro finished it for him. "Why we were imprisoned on Odik II." There was a long pause between the two as this information was processed before Shaq'teel finally ended it and spoke. "I've arranged for you to go to the Sith, be trained to use the Force, and hopefully become a Sith Lord under the Dark King. You leave tomorrow." Shiro looked at Shaq'teel, still adorning a confused look that Shaq'teel smiled about as he patted the boy on the back. "This is a good thing. You've already felt its touch, and by staying here, you will only hinder your growth. And as I stated, you are only a slave to you, and that growth will set you free. So go Shiro, learn of your heritage, and become powerful so that you will never again be a slave to anyone." And with that, Shaq'teel squeezed Shiro's shoulder as he rose and turned to walk off. "Gather your things. You leave tomorrow." And when tomorrow came as Shiro was escorted to the ship by Shaq'teel, he was met by those he called brothers, standing shoulder to shoulder in rows across from each other as he and their Master walked in between the two. Shiro, faced with fear once again, stepped upon the boarding ramp as he looked back, that same smile on Shaq'teel's face as he spoke. "Make House Zibeti proud, Shiro Armegedon." And so the ship began to lift, they bowed in unison with their fists upon their chests, Shiro placing his own upon his chest before turning to disappear into the ship as the ramp began to close. And with that, a new life for Shiro was about to begin.
  12. Overlooking a small but luxurious community sat an ominous castle forged from darkened and aged stone, six peering towers that seemingly reached towards the heavens themselves adorning its sides with a towering spire carved into the cliffside behind it. Adorning its halls, walls, and flag staves were the Sith Imperial Insignia with a blazing star crossing its patchwork. This was the famous House Zibeti, Scholars and Philosophers who answered only to the Supreme Commander of the Dark King's Armada. And just below it sat its infamous gladiatorial arena, set within the town's center, a means of not only strengthening House Zibeti, but offering the township a means of weekly entertainment. Within the stone walls of House Zibeti sat an barren courtyard, the open gladiatorial barracks running along it's walls and open to the courtyard day and night. It was here that Shiro would be rushed to wake as a bucket of cold water was splashed upon his face, causing the young humanoid to gasp for air and recoil as he gazed upon a circle of faces. "Rise, young one." One voice spoke, but Shiro found himself incapable of seeing who it was that said it. "Welcome to House Zibeti, slave." Another spoke in jest as a few laughs erupted around him, causing more confusion than anger at this point to boil up within him. "Part ways, maggots" came a booming voice as the gathered faces shot aside and gathered in rows on each side of Shiro, leaving his gaze to fall upon the being from Onderon to come into view, two of his escorts on each side in tow. Shiro, noticing that he was no longer bound, rose to his feet and attacked without thought, the being grasping at his hand and twirling elegantly as Shiro was tossed upon his back once again, dust kicking into the air and into his dry mouth as his breath escape for a moment. "You hold true to your promise, young one." The Onyx being spoke as he gazed down upon Shiro with a smirk, his hand stroking at the beard like tentacles. "For now at least. We will see how strong you truly are in the weeks to come however." Offering Shiro a hand up, he lifted the young boy up, placing a hard pat upon his back despite how frail he looked and causing the dust upon Shiro to flow off his form. "I am Shaq'teel of House Zibeti. What is your name boy?" Shiro simply stared at Shaq'teel, his crimson eyes full of rage and bitterness as he said nothing in return. "It is alright. You do not have to say anything if you do not wish. That is your prerogative. But if you wish to earn your freedom, then you will have to earn it, make no mistake about that. You weren't cheap." Shaq'teel spoke, throwing Shiro his weapons and gear before turning to depart, leaving Shiro even more bewildered. But before he cleared the row of men, Shiro spoke, his tone firm despite his youthfulness, almost as if he growled in his speech. "I am Shiro Seven of Odik II, and I will be free, even if I have to take your life to achieve it." Without fully turning around, Shaq'teel turned his smirking gaze back toward Shiro. "Then you have a long way to go, young Shiro, as many have tried and none have succeeded." And with that, he disappeared within the spire. A few weeks would flow by before Shiro would see Shaq'teel again, the first few days of it spent to himself as he adjusted to his life there. He would sit in silence as the others joked and boasted about the arena below and the privileges to those who were afforded in victory. A few approached Shiro, but he shrugged them off and even fought one which ended in him being placed on bed rest for a day or two as his wounds healed. But as the days turned into a week, and a week into two, Shiro began to join in on the training regiment that was presented daily if only to pass the time and stave off the boredom. And finally came the day when Shaq'teel came to pay Shiro a visit. "I see you have taken to our lives here, young Shiro." Shaq'teel spoke when he entered the small quarters Shiro had taken up in. "This is good. You will need it for the Arena." Shiro scoffed, turning his head away as he ate upon a small fruit he had grabbed from the commissary. "This Arena is the key to my freedom?" He questioned as he chewed on a small bite. "Are you not a free man already? Can you not do as you please? Shaq'teel poised in response, Shiro's glare shooting toward him. "Do you feel that because I bought you that day on Onderon, that I own you?" Shaq'teel sat down upon the small bed, sighing. "I paid for your freedom that day. You are the one who has chosen to stay. There are no locks or chains here to bind you. Your freedom has been at your behest. And what I offered you by allowing you to stay is a chance to define yourself. You can leave, wander this barren planet…. Or if your lucky, find a way off and back into known space. But all you will end up in return is the same life you are running from. At least here, you have the opportunity to be whoever you want to be." Shaq'teel smiled as Shiro's confused face began to realize that he had never tried to run or escape, having only relied upon Shaq'teel's words from the first day. "And now you see the true chains that bind you. I only told you that you were owned, but never that I owned you. This is why I have entered you into the Arena tomorrow. Tomorrow will show you the truth." As Shaq'teel stood and exited, Shiro sat both in confusion and in realization, as the being had never truly enforced any leverage over him. And for the first time, a small chuckle erupted from Shiro's mouth. How could he have been so dupt? It made no sense. He had noticed the others coming and going as they had pleased, very few returning after dark and coming in the next day as if they lived normal lives. Yet, he sat here believing their privileges to be rewards of the Arena and of their ties to this House Zibeti. But he never thought to question anything. And now with this realization, he wondered on what the being had said about leaving. He was a wanted criminal, bounties on his head for three murders. Perhaps that was why he never thought to question anything here? Perhaps he felt this is where he belonged? His thoughts would ponder on such things even into the breaking of dawn when the others began to arrive. The only difference now was a hint of a smile upon his face. Today would bring the truth, whether bitter or sweet, and for the first time in a long time, Shiro looked forward to the day. Geared up, he met with the others in the yard as they made their way toward the Spire, and through the Spire, down to the Arena below. The Arena was a sight to behold for even someone like Shiro. The entrance from the Spire was columned by previous Champions, each dating back over nearly four millennia. There was even one that resembled Shaq'teel near the end as the others beat their weapons upon their chest in a March similar to war, fires lighting the darkened cavern they strolled in through. And when they entered the Arena its self, they were met with cheers and adoration from thousands of fans sitting upon its seats. Shiro had never seen anything of such magnitude, not even upon the holonet back on Odik II. And toward its center, House Zibeti banners draping its sides along with a emblem of a Spider, sat a column that resembled a commentators box. "Welcome Gladiators!" Shaq'teel's voice boomed across the stadium, causing Shiro to stop in his tracks along with the others. "Twenty of you enter here today, but only ten will leave. The rules are pretty simple, survival of the fittest. Either kill or incapacitate your opponent, those are the only option to end the match, so choose your opponent wisely. You may begin…. Now." Before Shiro could react, battle began to erupt all around him, his fellow Gladiators randomly picking opponents at first glance and a large brute quickly claiming aim at him, Shiro diving forward over his vibroblade into a roll before he was cut in half. Shiro quickly became thankful he was quicker than his Human opponent, but things had just begun. Despite the training Shiro had undertook these past few weeks, he found himself quickly taken in disarray, most dodging and backtracking to stay away from Brud whom he had a previous encounter with before. Brud was typically a decent guy other than his lack of patience, but today, in the here and now, Shiro saw his bloodlust in full glory. And unlike before, Shiro's fear had all but taken complete control of him, his thoughts questioning whether or not today was the day of his death and would Brud be the one to kill him. Sidestepping, the tip of Brud's blade caught Shiro's arm, tearing flesh nearly to the bone in a gushing graze that caused Shiro to grasp at his arm and stumble backwards away. And that was all it took for Shiro to find the truth he had been looking for all along. Crimson eyes glowing red with rage, Shiro let his torn arm dangle loosely as the pain slipped away from his thoughts and bloodlust began to settle in. He could see the same in his opponents and though it scared him, he reacted like that of a wild animal backed into a caged corner. He would not die this day without giving the fight of his life, and though Brud was strong, he was sloppy even with the blade. Driving forward as Brud drove the blade toward Shiro's chest, Shiro tilted to his side, causing Brud to miss his target and present Shiro with the opening he hoped for. With a singular blow to the throat with his vibroknucklers, Shiro drove his will to live home and ended it for Brud. His gaze was stern despite the pain he felt as he looked upon the torn throat of Brud as the man fell to his knees and then collapsed, no longer seeing Brud as a fellow combatant, but as an enemy. Cheers erupted around him, but they were drowned out by the beating of Shiro's own heart as it spoke the truth he sought all along as his gaze shifted to meet that of Shaq'teel's own whom smirk in knowledge. Shiro was indeed a murderer, forged in the fires of his life and molded through the confrontations that came with it. And with that, Shiro left the arena to await the others, a coldness growing about him.
  13. The sun felt warm against his bronze skin and ivory hair as Shiro was dragged out of the tent by the poles collar, the shackled chains ringing around him as he stared out into the masses of aliens that surrounded and stared at him attentively upon the arena like stage, his anger fueled by the mere thought that was no more than a oddity, the same look he saw from the others on Odik II. "We'll start the bid at twenty five thousand credits." Shiro heard the man state as his crimson eyes darted toward him and he momentarily felt the familiar tingle of electricity shooting through his form. "Twenty five thousand to our Trandoshan friend in the back. Do I hear thirty thousand?" It would go on like this for several minutes, most of it a blur for Shiro as he struggled against his confines only to constantly feel the pain of electrocution vibrating through his form. Odik II and the way he was treated there was one thing, but now he had become a captive, and being sold as if he was property. And this made his blood boil with intensity that he had never felt before. If only he could free himself. If only he could reach out and grasp those binding him, he ache to crush their throats and bury their egos in the hatred that was beginning to form within his heart. If only. "Five hundred thousand credits!" Shiro heard abruptly, his gaze shooting to see a onyx skinned fellow dressed in fine silk standing off to the side, a group of crimson skinned confidants standing around him as the beings voice caught everyone off guard, Shiro included. "F-F-Five hundred thousand you say, friend?" Shiro heard the bidding manager stutter out in disbelief. "I'll have to see it to believe it." The onyx skinned being and his comrades began their stroll through the crowd, the crimson skinned beings that surrounded him pushing onlookers aside with authority that even Shiro could not question, his mind not only dumbfounded, but taken completely aback by, a hint of fear rushing in. When the man stood before the stage, he reached up and stroked his beard like tentacles, and said only a few words that even sent the manager reeling fear, making Shiro wonder why he even ran during his arrest. "House Zibeti claims him in the name of the Dark King. Don't worry human, the credits are good." As he tossed a credstick upward into the hands of the human manager, his men climbed up and began to drag Shiro away, the young boy screaming a echoing proclamation derived from pure wrath just seconds before stun prods were brought out and his world ended in darkness once again. "I will never be anyone's property, his nor your's." As he slipped away into unconsciousness, he heard the being reply. "Good. I will hold you to this."
  14. House Zibeti An Ancient Noble House within the Sith Dominion, it has existed since the days of the fallen Dark Jedi and their arrival upon Korriban. Since those days, House Zibeti has pioneered the Exploration and Expansion of the Sith Empire, fully embodying the Philosophy and Order of the Sith into their work. And as the Sith Empire began to expand past Korriban and into what would be the future Sith Territories, House Zibeti would be at the forefront, mapping systems and alternate hyperspace lanes where few dared to tread with fearlessness and ambition. Because so few were willing to partake in such a task either out of fear or selfishness, House Zibeti, which was then compromised of only few fallen Dark Jedi, began to enlist the labor of the Massassi and Zuguruk castes to further their endeavor. But even then, the necessary labor force was not large enough, forcing them to turn to slave labor and the indentured servitude of newly exiled fallen Jedi to stay ahead of the other Houses with promises of powerful positions once they rose higher than the other Houses. Zibeti, translating as Star in Tsis, became a Noble House among the other Lords guided by the Sith Core of Engineers by the time of the Sith Wars, lead by Philosophers and Scholars, prompting one of the lesser Houses to attempt and succeed in assassinating the heir apparent in hopes of hindering their rise. But instead, House Zibeti, under the leadership of the secondary heir, rose to meet the challenge by training their slaves and indentured servants in the ways of the Force and as warriors, further granting more positions as Protectorates and Guardians for those who wished to free themselves from bondage and rise among them as pledged equals. And thus, the Gladiatorial Arena was added onto the lavish Mansion that, along with their lavish House Robes and Branded Skin, bore the Sith Imperial Insignia with the Shooting Star cross it's crest as its eternal symbol. And through the Gladiatorial Arena, freedom could be grasped. With such hope, and the growing of the Sith Empire as a whole, teams of Surveyors guided by Protectorates began to spread far and wide as new technology became readily available, endeavoring House Zibeti to adapt and improve their trade immensely and granting them the ability to navigate even the roughest unknown regions. Newly undiscovered hyperspace routes were uncovered, and previously undiscovered planets became ripe for the picking, allowing ever more conquests and expansions, and granting the Imperial Court an abundance of resources as their own grew in turn. Because of this, they began to catch the eyes of the Dark Lords, gaining even more fame and renown, solidifying their names in history as Masters of the Stars.
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