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Berserker

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  1. The rest of the Mandalorians paid no attention to the foreign vessel that this bounty hunter operated from, minding their equipment and preparations of war instead. Kraven stood in the midst of them nonetheless, with the wild white hair descended across the base of his shoulders distinctively. Word from the command ship of the Sith Empire had spread to the personal line of Nyrys, detailing auxiliary mission briefings for outsourced militia. Kraven understood that this was an opportunity for the man that had appealed to him the night before, to become involved in something greater than his own personal greed. "The job is simple. There are Mandalorian Crusaders that need killing. Head to these coordinates, and an officer of the Sith Empire will address you. Do not stray." Kraven tapped on his wrist to transmit vital information to the Bounty Hunter. It was a code specifically used to identify foreign one-off spacecraft as questionable. There would be no immediate assault on the target from the Armada, but an abrupt questioning would ensue and if the proper credentials were not recieved. This hunter would die indiscriminately. Kraven transmitted the credentials as well as the staging point, the bounty and the details of it would be explained on arrival. "Happy hunting, mercenary."
  2. Who am I? Once the unfamiliar man had left, the one known now as Kraven had left the opulent vessel by way of narrower passage, hidden especially from those that monitored him in this encampment. You see, he knew that Lady Nyrys had left him here to entrench himself among the people, but the irrational suspicion inside of him wondered if she was keeping a careful eye on his every movement. This feeling, the naked and unseen eye judging his every move, made him wildly uneasy. The sharpness of his mind became sharper as days turned to weeks, and weeks into months. There were those that had decided that Kraven was a man unworthy, until he eased the weight of his boot against their necks in open combat for all to witness, growing the more he fought. With each triumph, and with the quiet resiliency inside of him, he began to nurture an undercover following to his name. What was one, turned to many, and the Mandalorians that harbored a hunger for battle turned their whispers to the last remaining Sith on this planet. They watched from their homes as the emerging Sith Empire swept through the galaxy with an unwieldy blade, not realizing that a fire of desire now burned inside of them. The citizens of this planet crawled from their quaint farms and dormancy, seeking one who could foster their urge for battle, and in secret, they had formed a collective to serve their selfish interests. And Kraven now walked as the head of the snake. Was this where his nomadic travels had led him, skirting the lands as a chieftain of the people? In the name of Nyrys herself, even she could not have anticipated this. His calculation was terrifying, for the words he spoke still came through course and difficult to understand most times, but his knack for execution seemed imperious. The night rolled over once more, and the rising of a clear morning sky was welcomed. Kraven had returned, and standing with him was a daunting sight of highly armored and weaponized Mandalorians, The decals of their Beskar coated in the rich hues of red, white and black; crimson tiger-stripes that culturally elucidated their savagery.
  3. "Lady Nyrys has deeper pockets than I first realized." Kraven not only strengthened his body, but the quality of his speech became a thing of notice. Error and flaws still plagued the structuring of his sentences, but for the most part, he spoke a little slower and took his time with the words he chose. The most comfortable speeches, were the ones he knew to be true. Kraven sized the Mandalorian up before expressing another word, revealing too much was not within his nature, especially to strangers of this sort. The metal armor that covered this Bounty Hunter was far too customary in these parts, a stronger alloy than anything he had ever laid eyes on, and the set that this one wore was trimmed in a stern red and black. His features were well-hidden inside the pride of his armor, weapons dangling from their rest points. It was hard to discern the mettle of a Mandalorian. Some were deceptively efficient, untouchable in the field of combat. Others were a far-cry from that, but burning with an ambition to become better than they were and earn a living as they did so. No names were traded, and Kraven understood that this individual was not interested in the simple things that surrounded them, overeager to jump into a world that he would be wholly unprepared for. The Sith Apprentice drew the sleeve of his robe to his elbow, revealing a small leather vambrace that was expertly stitched with a small digital interface. On the face of the screen were dotted coordinates, surely they were a matter of importance since he had been tracking them feverishly for days. Kraven brushed the wild locks of white from his iron jawline and looked back up at the Mandalorian, skepticism filling his expression as he stared. "Both is what you search for, then come. I leave when the sun falls here tomorrow. My ship will find war, yours will find what you ask of me. Coin and thrill, if you survive." Kraven turned away from the Mandalorian and returned to his quarters, for his message was as clear as he knew how to speak it. The Sith Empire had rounded themselves at the helm of Coruscant and from what he knew, death was King in those parts. Coruscant had fallen, and the destruction there spread across the holonet for all to witness. In war, there was thrill and coin in abundance, and perhaps Lady Nyrys could make use of this Hunter. Whether she chose to carve him from his armor and sacrifice his flesh to the art of alchemy, or use him in the way that he wished, was of no concern to him. The Dark Side would be the judge.
  4. Locals happened by his encampment more frequently, and by the days, newer faces would appear. There was one particular individual however, who had not been seen during his stay on Mandalore, and his continued proximity to the people and things he held dear, was something he would need to investigate. Kraven moved from his place of meditation, pausing his profuse study of the body over the last few hours, understanding the strange dietary regimens that the warriors of this planet endured. He consumed as much knowledge as he could, stomaching as much as he had the patience to learn about augmenting his physical boundaries, and surpassing any of his peers that routinely arrived to challenge him. Furthermore, the pair of combat instructors left to mentor his advancement had pushed him harder than tribulations he suffered under his brutal vassalage. But here he stood now, a Goliath of the people, eyeing the stranger before him. "You are unfamiliar, Hunter. Is it coin, or is it the thrill? Which are you trying to find?"
  5. S A L A M A N D E R. The skies drew sun, and cycled through moons more times than he had bothered to keep count of. The exchanges of day and night had never concerned him when he was a mere slave, and now they mattered less as he rattled the chains to his freedom. Those that he had arrived with had vanished into a war that, perhaps he was not ready for. The tribal Mandalorians traded in the news of the action, hearsay that he turned a deaf ear too. Did the two that he claimed as family fall in battle? Did they consider him a liability? If only they could see him now. If only they had trusted him to protect them. The seeds of doubt and inability inside of his mind, had propelled his physicality into a category that the warrior clansmen of this world were thoroughly impressed by. When his feet first touched the sweet dirt of Mandalore, he was worth little more than feed to the fauna of the land. The people here would scoff at the flimsy foreigner, knowing the time would come when he would break under the strain of their physical routines. That time did not come, but the respect did. The shake and shudder of his armor-weave was a sound that the people were accustomed to at the earliest of hours. Wolfish white hair scaled down the length of his backside, completely contrasting the dark-polished armor piece preset against his massive body. He was a Goliath, and the strict nourishment of his flesh and muscle was testament to such growth. In his downtime, he had opened himself up to a few subtle trades within the local communities; tending agricultural fields, the butchering of hunted meat, and even the cooking of it all. Learning to live off of the land was an inheritance of survival skills, allowing him the freedom to move independently, and abstain from the presence of others. His reclusive nature began to worsen the longer his family had been away, longer still when there was no word of their conditions. There were certain Mandalorian clans that he had frequented in order to trade for material goods and perhaps chance overhearing words of his family, understanding that isolation would only drive his mind madder than it already was. It was a maddening that unfurled from the mind like the rush of waterfalls, a tempestuous rage that always turned to violence when all else failed. The banners christened him as Kraven, the white salamander of Mandalore. They had another language for it, one that he had only just began to familiarize himself with. His time spent was towards the most arduous of travels, returning to his Mothers' vessel every few days to ensure no foul-play. When he did return, he spent the earliest hours of the day in meditation over the lessons that she had left behind, continuing with their applications into the real-world when he left to explore again. The outside cultures were what drew him in; scriptures, large monuments, and folklore derivative of Gods and exemplary sentient beings. He wished to battle individuals cut from such cloth, if only to test how far his body would go before it broke. The exuberance of his home ship was something he avoided, something he believed he was unworthy of. It was the pain and challenge of the unknown that he was most comfortable in, the danger of death warming his feet wherever he stepped. "Do you think they're alive?" Kraven did not meet the eyes of the farmer with his own. The question went from one ear and out of his other without the slightest of change in expression. He reached for corn stalk, picking from bunches fastened together by rope, eyeing the quality of crop. The size of his hand was monstrous, the contrast between that and the stalk went unnoticed, but spoke volumes to the amount of structural growth that had befallen the new warrior. "Vor entye." The mammoth salamander removed a small pouch from his waistband and placed it into the hands of the Mandalorian farmer. With a courteous nod and a shake of the hand, he piled a few stacks together and went on his way. Returning to the Best Behaviour this time around, felt different. Something seemed off. Kraven discreetly sniffed the air, tasting the dry scent across the back of his throat. Coolant from the ventilation, charred Lobster Bisellian, and a curious sweetened oak. His nose twitched slightly, and his hand slowly hovered to where his knives hung from. Time mattered the least of all, each of his returns home, he felt a familiar sense of comfort. Despite the luxuries he vigorously tried to avoid, there was now a deep-seated comfort that was afforded to him by the woman who had helped him break his chains. Those that would seek to impede on such things, would find their last day of breath, to be extremely fleeting. Kraven ended his hesitation and walked forward, the hardened leather of his boot stamping his arrival against the planted metal ramp. "Three! You've missed the news." Before he could enter his home, an acquainted Cathari handmaiden appeared to greet him with an excitement that was beside her usual composure. "The interference that screwed our connection with Lady Nyrys has been lifted, they are alive, they won! The team says they have bounced between Kuati and the Coruscanti systems, but we have yet to establish communication." Her adrenaline and excitement peaked as she spoke of it, and Kraven could sense her body quicken with roller-coaster haste. Her speech, and her breathing pattern drove faster with an expectation that he was not quite sure he could reciprocate, heart-rate beating through her chest. "Why am I thinking of this?" The nuances of his surroundings, as of late, were becoming more apparent, distracting even. "Also! A local had come to check on you just a moment ago, she was concerned about the wounds you had suffered a few weeks back. Who is she?" Sweetened Oak. "..Fair handmaiden. Is it too late to put these with the Lobster?" He managed an awkward smile, such body language was foreign to him, but the women aboard always seemed to melt when he tried. She smiled in return, and quite frankly, was undressed of all thought as soon as his innocence poured through his still-white veneer. "Don't be silly, c'mon, hand those over to me." She shuffled over to where he stood and snatched the stack of corn from his hold, needing both arms and a strong grip to carry what had just seemed weightless to the warrior. She scurried off to the kitchen unit aboard the vessel, while Kraven looked over his shoulders into the distance, and then to the stars. This life still held nothing for him, and he could feel the emptiness of that weigh in on his heart. His mind was a lock and key, and the missing pages of his life avoided him when his eyes opened, yet haunted him while he slept. He began to feel love and affection from the people here, and the locals that made it their business to accommodate his stay, which was a rare thing to be said on Mandalore. For now, he had returned from his long journey anew, and would break bread with his keepers before what came next.
  6. Nu Kai'tome. H U N G E R The air was sucked from his chest as the butt-end of the staff pounded into his sternum. An overly miserable and drawn-out wheeze was all he could muster as the momentum in his legs set like stone, and the weight of his body crumbled to the floor. There was no pain, just an astounding surprise, the efficiency was unbelievable and could not be traced by the natural eye. These Mandalorians were the flesh and bone manifestations of battle, unerringly proficient in all manner of combat, yet stoic in triumph. The familiar flavor of blood filled his mouth, coppery and softly boiled under the heat of his exertion. What went unnoticed was the loud clatter of his Lanvorak crashing to the floor, ringing out in defeat as Zero-Three curled into a ball. As soon as he went down, everything else became extremely quiet in his ears, nothing but the sound of his suffering wheeze was all he could hear. "You are finished?" The uncouth and direct voice belonged to a Mandalorian Weaponmaster, much older and much wiser in his years, with an unkempt black beard that fell to his belly, measuring all his years of life. He was a mammoth of a man, as tall as the trees and thicker by the trunk, especially terrifying in the traditional armor that most donned. Here however, Ghos Skarhoug stood indifferently with plain clothes, questioning whether this one would finally surrender or not. Thirteenth time he had hit the floor, but his left hand pushed across the dirt to find the handle of his weapon. His breathing had calmed, quicker than the last time, significantly more control than he once had. He did not look to where his hand needed to be, but he could feel the presence of his battle-ax near. The tips of his fingers scratched nails against metal, and his eyes burst opened, reaffirmed with flame. ".. I am not broken." The curve in his lips suggested a faint smile, struggling to find the words to jest. Gravity seemed different this time, mantling himself from the dirt worked his fatigue a little more each time. Three unfolded while spitting the red from his mouth, standing tall with his tremendous two-handed pole-arm, barely catching the disbelief painted on the face of the legendary Skarhoug. The Force, it was still with him, and more alive to him than the many faces that now circled both Three and Ghos as spectators. He could wield it, just as his two hands now clutched at the heavy-set lanvorak. Maneuverability with such weight was sluggish at best, but even the advice of those he had trained with over the last few days, could not pry him from the gift of Lady Nyrys. Three would press forward. The exhaustion in his arms did their best to resist, but his hunger commanded them differently. Charging with his first few steps, the Sith apprentice leveraged the weight of his weapon with his acceleration and heaved a quickening swipe towards his instructor. Ghos was a quick man for his size, and the bladeless staff reciprocated in a flash. Nu Kai'tome, the name was laughable at first, but after forty-seven minutes of this, the rest of Skarhoug's company chanted the Mandalorian cognomen with pride. The strong-winded battleaxe met with the winter-sting of the weaponized axle, and Three inched his way with raw strength. Ghos compensated with a few steps backwards, and the crowd drew silence almost immediately..
  7. The Force Shall Free Me And there was the answer he had searched for, the conviction in her voice and in her wisdom, hashed out an unbelievable level of persuasion. It made sense to him, and her words drove home a belief he would need to shatter the chains that anchored him to a world of confusion. It was interesting really, he could almost feel the weight of those very chains, shrinking in their burden as she spoke confidently to the only two men she cared to share her time with. Perhaps he had been so impaired with unlocking the mysteries to his own mind, so marred with selfishness, that he could not see that the two alongside him had chains of their own that needed breaking. Ball and chain metaphors were excuses for the pain and loss that each of them suffered from, or the disabilities and detachment that plagued their lifestyles. His own captivity was at the mercy of insatiable slavers, but his true imprisonment rested within his thoughts, both sides of the coin trying to break him at every turn. The Code was all that mattered, a constitution that bounded unified his new family. Before the two of them, Three had appeared differently now. Semblances of his frail appearance had faded entirely, replaced with a red-blooded hardiness that oozed from his presence. A dark cloak covered him whole, hooded over his facial features, falling across the more powerful build of his body. Three could not notice this, but the Force hauntingly played part in a rapid maturation of his muscularity. The density and power of his skeletal structure transformed innately, feeding on a unanimous power source that humidified his soul. His long ivory mane stretched further now, personifying a creature of the wild, with features more frightening than the common folk from whence he started his journey. He was as still as stone, the equanimity of a Gargoyle, hawkishly watching over his family as they traded words. As silent as he was throughout all of this, meant that the knowledge he consumed, was digested faster and more effectively. Imaginings of the Code, and how he could rewrite his life with the philosophy of the Sith was where his fantasies would take him. And then Drago spoke, returning him to the here and now. "..Brother." Three bowed his head lightly to Drago, and then deeply to his Master, turning to trail his blue friend. The sickeningly deep sound of his voice, still a surprise to any that could hear his words.
  8. MOTHER NYRYS BLOOD BROTHER DRAGO SON OF THE DARK F A M I L Y. It made more sense now, and the clarification she provided in words alone, was what provoked a fire inside of his heart. Whether she truly meant what she spoke, was impossible to discern, but he believed more than anything. What had happened in that moment, would mandate the pact that these three would surrender themselves too for decades to come. That is what it felt like, a promise to uphold and preserve these affinities no matter the cost, by any means necessary. This was his family now, and a conviction echoed through his bones, that he would never let what had happened to him, happen to them. His suffering would never be theirs, and perhaps Lady Nyrys would be the one to free him from the rest of his chains. Brother Drago had left for a mission back on Cathar that did not require his presence, so Three buckled down thrice as hard and honed the time he had been offered alone. Massive cuts of thick-boned butcher meat were suspended from seven-inch chain-links that sprawled all over the vault like cobwebs, the rendered flesh and exposed bone-marrow were mostly frozen over. He had been at it for hours, too many to count, and little sleep between them to interfere his exercise. There were bodies of meat that were pulverized into a mush that pendulum-swung crushingly, to and fro, consistently enough to track the passing of time with. The balls on his knuckles were chewed, sorely red and bleeding down his fists. The smile on his face was peculiar, perhaps it was freedom that bestowed him with an adrenaline potent enough to ignore the pain of his bones nearly fracturing from every blow. If freedom smelled of repugnant meat, and sweat, and blood, then he would have his fill. When he had crushed the other slaves, there was a numbness that blinded how he felt as he snapped their necks with his bare hands, there was a white noise that drowned out all emotion. Here, the noise became a feeding power inside of his arms, a pressure between his knuckles that unraveled explosively whenever he willed it. This is the Dark Side The power of his blows were filled with a conspicuous warmth, a radiance of temperature that exhausted energy into wherever he impacted. At first, and for many hours, he simply punched his heart out against what felt like stone. That pain created an urgency inside of him, a movement almost, and his feet began to dance. Order and structure found his footwork as if muscle-memory took over where the mind could never. The motion simmered his body, building up a wicked energy that thawed each rail of meat with a combination of footwork and punching power. His knees, shins and feet joined the assaults and a mixture of strikes stormed their way relentlessly into the objectives. This energy was not being created or destroyed, merely changing forms and locations, intensifying with the duration of his will. When his fists ached more than what he could stand, then he would drop and train the rest of his body using his physical weight. Attendants dedicated to his service, returned to him in cycles. Some tending to his wounds with impressive technology, mentioning that he was healing at a faster rate than before, while others provided sustenance in the form of food and even affection. Clothing was optional, incessant perspiration and sloppy hydration meant that these articles only slowed him. They would wrap his hands and legs, entertain him with conversation that was always one-sided, and these things feed him purpose. He knew he belonged and he would earn his place. He wondered though, during his recesses and moments of repose, fractured memories of a man echoed his moves. It was always the same dreams; arenas roaring to life over this man and how he fought fearlessly. His attire was overly-lavish, he was appeared brash and haughty, swallowing in all the praise that the thousands cheered him on with. The two of them looked similar, but Three barely spent time acknowledging what he even looked like himself. The thunderous chants were too muffled for him to hear in these fantastical dreams, but if he was reading their lips correctly, they all screamed Kraven.
  9. "I'm proud of you." Those words, and the ones that came before it. There was a persuasion about them. The root of his heart stemmed and felt alive. Three was still bowed as the words loosened from her mouth, and an emotion he did not remember, overwhelmed him whole. He did not move, and would not dare to lift his head and meet the face of the woman who spoke them. He was, by the entire definition of the word, speechless. There was a sliver of jubilation and accomplishment that sprouted inside of him, and the inspired run of emotion made it difficult to swallow. He had no means to respond to her, and perhaps she knew this better than he did. He kept his face low nonetheless, still cradled in respect to the powerful woman, distracting himself from thinking he had to say something in return. In spite of how incapable he was when it came to expression, the touch of a compliment was a piece of euphoria, almost as splendid as battle was. "Thermodynamics? Heat and Cold. Movement and Stillness." Three continued to listen, sheathing his hidden bewilderment. There were things she spoke of, in which had never crossed his ears before. These were foreign concepts to him, but to her, they were measured phenomenons that she could control at her whim. Her intelligence was diametric to the crude drunkard slave-masters he was accustomed to, and her confidence was much more becoming because of it. There were moments he wished to question just what she meant; the feeding, the Jedi, the Force—but there was an apprehension and uneasiness that rattled loudly inside of his brain whenever the idea came to him. Anxiousness rotted him through, for he had no inclination of why he was here or who he was to be here in front of these strange folk. He would listen nevertheless, taking whatever she said at face value, and following instruction to avoid his assured demise as long as he could. There was a peculiar emanation that bled from her presence, and even that of her speech, one that he felt compelled to follow and not forced like the others. Time would tell where that lead him in this life, perhaps the secrets buried inside of his mind would be found after all. "...Master." the denomination came out as confirmation, and not question. Three wasn't even aware that he spoke the word out loud, yet he stood now, proudly.
  10. MOLDINGS OF A GOD. The abstracts of information that he devoured from the time of his release of one slave-master to another, was extraordinary. Somehow, his disconnected consciousness endured the importance of each word and each lesson. The temptation of power was a dire motivation that underlined how incapable he appeared in front of the others, and the impression that true freedom lay on the other side, was more than fuel for this shell of a man to push forward. Three had rested at last, his own quarters were tended to with the hands of servants who moved as he once did, who labored at the expense of another's whim. The idea was rich, but tempered with an unfamiliar remorse. He would ask little of them, food and slumber was all he wished for, and the expedition to another planet offered him that in abundance. The mirror was what he found himself in front of when a plate became empty, or rest was too much. Glass so reflective showed him the skin of what he was, a face chiseled and filled to health, a man with features unlike the others that surrounded him, but someone who still felt unacquainted. While he trained, and read in silence, the blue man would keep pace and offer hospitable fellowship— the two fell in sync quietly, as if each of them shared an equal determination. Three looked considerably different now, as if what he was now and what he had arrived as, was night and day. Signs of malnutrition had been washed out almost completely, with the darkness under his eyes revitalized and the shape of his physique looking more remarkable by the day. His thick snow-white hair had achieved quite some length, and was styled to fall just over his shoulders. His skin was as smooth as oil, still marred by the tracks of torture, but the bronze-kissed complexion of it spelled fair health. He could feel the tender draw of power between his fingers now, treated by an enigmatic fury inside of him that he had no answer for. He did not just look different, he was on all accounts. The quiet about him remained, and was as unflinching as steel. There was a measure of confidence when he walked now, rehabilitating the horrid posture he had stumbled onto the scene with, but he was humbled before Master Nyrys. This one was mercurial, her motives and actions untraceable as she lived them. Three found fascination in her dauntless command of people and things, and wondered most times if she had always been that way. There was an alarming danger that filled her face when she colluded with that man back on Cathar, but here and now she presented a quirkiness that could not be tamed. “Apprentices, your favorite teacher is back!” He stood from his seated studies, a book with no title and perhaps no end, paper that illustrated the magnitude of emotions in ways normally unimaginable. The secrets of these Sith were incredible. Three pulled himself from his distraction immediately as her voice fell on his attentive ears, he could never guess when she would appear from the shadows as she did. He stood tall with the comfort of his black robes. and shot a glance to his blue accomplice before staring towards the feet of Lady Nyrys and bowing deeply.
  11. Uncharted was the time, as Three and Drago continued forward in their learning. The two of them shared an amicable silence, but coordinated their experience and understanding to the best of their abilities. Collaboration and trial and error all played a part in their routine, which was difficult because of the verbal limitations that Three suffered from, but still they managed. The lessons were straightforward, keen on exerting a certain amount of energy and physical distress in order to provoke immediate comprehension. In this, the former slave was well acquainted and adjusted quite fast to such drastic indoctrination. Many of his lessons were arduous and beaten into him, desensitizing him to the impression of pain, and alternatively turning such feelings into a narcotic rush. His body seemed well prepared for combat, despite the lack of sleep and nutrition that riddled him even still. There was no time to rest, especially when slave-masters decided to exchange hands. The small snack that the blue man had offered, now served as a torment for wanting more, and his appetite could be felt when before it had disappeared. Still, there was distractions in the mental imagery that these pages imprinted onto his mind, disciplines and movements that were not awkward for his body to try and attempt. Each time that Three had shadowed the applications, a piece of his memories seemed to flicker with a time he felt familiar with. "Perhaps, I was a fighter once upon a time—" The room drew dense, a humid pressure clammed the whole area, and Three stood up to stare at his partner. His expression was confusion, and as he opened his mouth to speak, the door swooshed open once more. There was a pause, and then he noticed just who she was. It was her, the witch-lady. Three closed his mouth as the first of her words were filled with fire, and a hate that he was not sure if he had created. Slave-masters had the worst moods, unruly and violent in most cases, it was a movie he had seen over and over. Three winced at her entrance, and subconsciously took a couple steps backwards. She spoke, and he listened to her instructions. The Force was what she spoke of, it was what Drago had used to repel him and what she had used to pry him from killing his friend. Was it what the man had used to free him back then? This universe was a strange one, but how did this lady thing that he could use it? The combat orientation was manageable because of his conditioning, but this was different. She levitated three spoons, what with her wild magic, and then reached out to grab one. The metal folded in on itself, crumpling without respect to physics, searing hotter and hotter by the millisecond. The spoon exploded, Three ducked and covered his head, as the pieces beaded and punctured the wall across from them. "Power?" He spoke, the word sounding questionable as it left his lips, as if he was unaware that he was the one who said it. Three wasted no time, he wanted to do what she had done, he wanted to experience what it was like. His posture tidied itself and he marched towards one of three spoons. The distinct dirty-white mane of his, sloppily covering his youthful features. The color in his eyes animated with curiosity, and he reached out with a tired hand. The entirety of his momentum froze the second the skin of his finger touched the tip of the spoon. He felt it, the hurt crawled up his spine and rattled him from his neck to his waistline, feet and bearing crumbling all at once. He writhed as his hand lashed and grabbed hold of the suspended spoon, which somehow carried his weight from completely slumping to the floor. His body trembled all over, quivering uncontrollably and the color in his eyes intensified into a tearful boil. "Aah.. Ah..." He tried to stomach what felt like a sledgehammer punching into his backbone, raw emotion squeezing into the contours of his face. He looked at Drago for help, completely regretting ever wanting to touch this damn spoon, and then he closed his eyes. The pain worsened, why was it always fire that he felt? There was a burning of his soul, a burning of his mind, and an ignition of rage that racked him from bone to flesh. He could not see it, but the metal that he hung too for dear life, was burning a bright orange, just as the witch-lady had shown..
  12. I am alive? Slaves that fell to the point of unconsciousness were as useful as dirt, ineffective for the labor required to build for the future. These were the slaves that had their throats slit in their sleep, or were chained and tossed to the ferals as a source of food. The meat on their bones was not much, but desperation drove a countless many to devour without prejudice. A dog eat dog world was what enslavement on these worlds meant, but here, on a land driven by what seemed to be the most feral, he lived. Three cracked his eye open before he shifted, trying to grab a handle on the situation. His senses were a little more crisp now, and although the wear and tear still ate at his muscles, the idea of sleep no longer barraged the clarity of his mind. As he searched the room, slowly adjusting his neck to look around him, he noticed it was still the blue man and himself locked away. The strange mysticism of those pages that pulled themself from a book, still drifted loosely in the air. Her voice, the dark lady, replayed itself in his head with instruction and warning. She was a shadow amidst men, he could swear she appeared as the creatures of this land once did, but the last he laid eyes on her, her stance and figured had changed. It was the command of her voice that reminded Three of who she was, and even now, she probably hid behind the layers of the shadows that danced in these chambers. "Where am I, anyways?" He looked to Drago, almost to ask outloud, and then the smell of food pulled every inch of his attention. Three scrambled to his feet, and spun around from where he lay. The crust of sleep contracted in the corner of his eye, while a trail of drool formed at the edge of his lips. This couldn't be another dream, the aroma of the warm plate persuaded goosebumps to rise from his skin. The shaggy-haired slave decided not to pay another second to curiosity, and scooped the venison with both hands before snapping into the meal. His heart, pumped with something he hadn't quite felt before. Perhaps, it was hope. Drago remained focused on the task at hand, clearly a man dedicated to discipline and tact. Three on the other hand, savored the food left for him, with evidence of the spices stuck in his teeth and face. He stood and drew the length of his forearm across his face to clean his mess and turned to the pain map scattered all around him with confusion comically built into his expression. The one nearest to him was where he would begin his journey. Brushing the folds from his disastrous attire, he marched up to the first page and sniffed it as if that would render any type of answer for this sorcery. It did not. The page was multi-dimensional, projecting crystal clear imagery of the anatomy and apparently highlighting the arm for whatever reason. There was a circuitry, a pattern if he was to guess, but he did not pretend to understand any of it. It was just a magical paper that suspended itself because that witch-lady said so. He reached out to grab the thing, perhaps he could examine it further for some inscriptions, and then it hit him. The muscles in the same arm were impacted immediately, as if a blade had just punctured skin. The whole of his arm froze over with numbness, and Three startled backwards, clutching at the wound instinctively. He huffed to the pain, muffling a jumble of words that made no sense to any dialect. Whipping his head around, he found no one near him. Drago was too distracted to be playing tricks, so the only answer was the witch-lady. This was her torture, and she was somewhere laughing between this world and the next. The pain was biting though, and did not wash away as quick as the whips from his Masters had over time. The feeling was internal, and bled into his senses. He had become quite accustomed to the abuse, so much so that it became laughable when the others were not watching. This was flinching, squeezing his eyelids shut as if that would somehow make it disappear. Just then, his mind relapsed for the split of a second. And he saw himself. Standing there, jabbing the air with a swift precision unbeknownst to him. He opened his eyes, with shock and awe. "What was that? It looked like.."
  13. His enraptured fixation was half-cocked when another had entered the room. He ignored her slight gesture, but his body could not. The full bearing of his weight was wrenched from the blue man and sent backsliding across the hard floor, arresting the mania inside of his mind. Three laid there, slaving each and every breath as hard as he could, heartbeat racing in place. Such a broken mind ran wild, and now the consciousness had returned, memories of the man who had ripped metal from metal with the lift of his hand almost as this one did. Reminiscing brought composure, and his stillness brought a weariness that nearly drowned his physical spirit. Suddenly, the exhaustion he had before was reimbursed, but by tenfold now. Three did not bother to move, and the level of his head evened out across the floor in rest. Something of a lecture was being announced, but three avoided eye-contact because he was surrendered to his depletion. “Sith…” The shell of a word left his lips, interested in what she meant, but too low to hear. It didn’t seem to matter; as abruptly as she had arrived, she had left. There were now ethereal mirror-like objects that surrounded the room, another occurrence he could not quite understand. She had explained what they were, but this was all too new to him, and the chaos that was his mind would not settle if people continued to arrive and depart in quick exchanges. The only constant for the last bit was the man named Drago, and he was still alive, they both were. Perhaps killing one another was not the intention, and just as those thoughts crossed his mind, the blue skinned warrior approached with pleasantries once more. His words were sincere and kind, and the respect he showed reminded him a little of what he might have been before the other Masters. He was not just an animal. Drago walked off, and Three smiled as well, before his face hit the floor and was light’s out.
  14. The sudden impact drove Three reeling in the opposite direction, nothing but open space broke his backward repulse, with his legs nearly kicking too far from underneath him,. His body equalized before he was completely swept, falling forward and balancing on all fours like a ravenous mutt, allowing the tips of his feet and the tips of his fingers to drag across the floor. His unruly white mane of hair steeped his entire face with sweat, sheathing nearly the entirety of his face, save for the brilliance of his tempestuous eyes. These eyes were haunting, dangerously void of thought. The auburn paint inside of them began to seethe, almost frothing with an unknown energy. The upsurge of dynamism in his body seemed to exceed all boundary, yet his breathing was more ragged now, panting with feral unrest. His chest, if he could feel it, was on fire. His heart pounded harder and faster, and these were the tell-tale signs that had left those other slaves mutilated. If his mind was a puzzle before, it was now a labyrinth with walls that were closing in on him. The only thing he understood was if he lost, he would die. The dread of him never knowing the answers, never knowing what he truly was, drove him berserk every time. "Kill." Instinct pedaled his momentum now. Recognizing the disorientation of the blue man, the hound snarled inaudibly and launched forward once more. Faster, harder, and with reckless abandon. His voracious advance covered the distance between them in no more than the split of three seconds. With his opponent unwillingly slamming into the wall with concussive force in order to break his own trajectory, Three thoughtlessly took advantage and unleashed a relentless barrage of hooks and knees towards the body and face, hoping to completely pulverize the blue man while he recovered his breath. He blindly unleashed, blacking out and seeing nothing but the dark red wash of color in his eyes.
  15. Tremors of adrenaline flushed beneath his skin, and the little hairs across it raised with inspiration. He watched the blue man wheel from a roll, lashing out with two brisk kicks to his mid-section. Curiously, Three controlled his breathing quite well, watching the fluid movement of the other and then admissibly allowing the assaults to batter against him. The reason was not clear, but a smile was slowly seaming across his face. The first kick pounded against him, but Three reacted ahead of impact with his arms in a braced forming against his chest, absorbing the first kick and then the crawling power of the second. The latter strike sucked a bit of wind from him, the foot adjusted just enough to slip between the brace of both forearms. It eased the steam in him a little, the wild intemperance inside of him turning to blatant vexation. Ire spelled out across his facial features, the elitism in his speech was hard for him to understand, especially if he really did mean the word friend. Perhaps it was pity. "F—f..fri" The word he tried to understand was friend, he could feel what it meant, the endearment of the word but he could not understand what it meant to this blue man. He used it, this Drago, but he continued to introduce harm. The lady before, she had left weary and distraught, locking the two within this room. Was it kill or be killed, like the slaves before him? There were too many questions, and time was running out. Panic crept up on his shoulders and a wild impatience took over him. Three shook his head, inadvertently shaking the pain from his mind and then something inexplicable occurred. "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrgghhhhh!" The slave let a rolling thunder come from the bottom of his chest, and up the canals of his lungs. A roar unlike any other escaped his mouth, a howl entangled with a dark energy which bled the tone of it mysteriously. The roar was loud, room shakingly so, and impressively nasty to the ears. Three pounced forward with more life now, rushing forward to spear the blue man from where he stood.
  16. Ughhh There was no period of time to consider what these people spoke of, what the woman-creature even meant. “Sith, Force, and Power.” As those words touched his ears, he could see the man who had freed him. The power that radiated from his presence, the force of nature he was when opposed. Yet, her words were spoken apace, and Three did not have the means to call these factors into question. He was still a slave, the substitution of masters was all it was in the end, but the shrewish creature was now in his mind somehow. It was like, a chisel to stone, and he felt the brunt of each strike laid. His headaches drew worse now, while the layers of his mind resisted the peeling nature of her invasion. He found his stance, but what stance was this, and where did he learn it? There was an arena, millions of cameras with their flashes in the distance, a man they all cheered for. The memory was too vague, and impossible to discern as it came and went like a flash in a pan. The Chiss was speaking too, a friend perhaps, not dressed like any of the slaves he had encountered before. Three tried to understand his meaning, but he had never felt such a dramatic shift in his body before this. A spark of vitality washed his consciousness whole, rekindling the weakened and starved muscles that mapped him. Concentration on dialogue was asinine at this point, euphoria was all he could feel and hear. He clenched his fists, and felt for the first time in months, natural fortitude. The aches and pains that were routinely beaten into him, shed their long-lasting pains. Fire lit like a fuse in his eyes. Friend Fer’drag’onisi was hostile, his sudden movement startled Three. He rushed composedly, yet his intent was quite clear. “..Why?” The distance between them was already close, and the surprise nearly broke Three into two. The blue man struck the slave square in the ribs, and the impact pounded into his body mercilessly. Three caved from his awkward stance, the point of impact was easily familiar to him, but it was the shock that doubled him over. The harm dealt was impaired by the exceptional response of his body hardening to take the hit, subconsciously of course. Even with the threat of a break, he had been there and done that plenty of times. Three coughed briefly for air, and then pillared himself against the floor with a straight arm. Spitting to the side, he noticed it was just the two of them now. The slaves had been put the test before, and he was never afraid to draw blood. The Arena. Three counted to the same number in his mind, and then detonated with vehemence. From his kneel, he kicked his right foot out into a quick sweep, tucking the very same arm he used to prop himself from falling. The execution of technique was near flawless, and the speed of which he moved was alarming and would rotate his body three-hundred and sixty degrees. Whether the sweep took the legs from under the blue man or not, what followed was a hook to catch the body and a dash rearwards to create distance. You could hear the power from his performance as he exhaled acutely with both swift attacks.
  17. He would be disappointed. Trauma had consumed the best of him, his mind was an uncoordinated patchwork quilt. There was no beginning, and no end. Conversation was a luxury that he could not afford, nor could the newly introduced complexities of his brain allow his mouth to move. Three, stood there, wondering if the offering of food was really without remuneration. Drago moved slowly, measurably, as if showing that he was attentive to the current state of the former slave. Perhaps the payment needed was conversation, but Three winced at the idea whenever he tried to reach into the banks of his memory to do so publicly. Three reached out and took the protein bar, then ate it whole without a second thought. The taste was overwhelming, and the flavor sank so deeply that he nearly spilled saliva from the corners of his closed lips. The provision was more relishing than the expired chunks of bread that was usually tossed at his feet. Three smiled. Surprisingly, his teeth were perfectly aligned and quite healthy-looking, but could use a good cleaning if the chance arose. It was all he could muster here and now, especially with the attention of the others in the room. He was still unsure of what was to transpire, and who all of these people actually were. The woman with the voice, the other man that stood nearby, and the blue man who now offered him nourishment. He smiled at the blue man, and for a moment, it would be easy for one to imagine how Three would look if cleaned up. Unfortunately for them, this slave was involuntarily muted, and his traumatism would continue until a breakthrough could occur.
  18. He went to mouth the words, while staggering to stand up once more from his embarrassing fall. The words did not come, and his mouth remained shut. In his head he heard the words Mister Snuffles play out in the voice of the woman creature, and then the words zero-zero-three clawed out in another voice, the voice of his previous master. Both were answers to that same question they had all wondered about him, but answers that were foreign to his mind and his tongue. Therefore, the failing husk of a man stood awkwardly, staring towards the man with blue skin and the blackest of hair. Drago was what they called him, for he had a name and a purpose, and now this man approached with a gesture he was vaguely familiar with. The hand extended in courtesy, or at least in fellowship, but he could not recollect what it meant for sure. "Master would have rations by now, could it be.." The auburn tinge in his eyes itched with slightly more enthusiasm at the thought of food, and he straightened out, confused by the offering. 003, or Mister Snuffles, reached out with an open palm and grasped the hand of the blue man. He turned the hand over to find it empty, which fueled the confusion inside of his mind. His name, it was his name again, if he knew what his name was, perhaps there would be a reward. 003 stepped backwards, releasing the empty hand of Drago, now palming his own forehead to try and stimulate his memory. These people gathered here must've wondered if he was a fool; thoughts of deprecation began to distract him now. He knew they drew judgment because of how he appeared, and the muck he carried with him in every direction he walked. He broke his concentration and took a subtle whiff of himself, now understanding the stench the woman creature spoke of, and the thought of running now became real. He fidgeted in his stance as the quiet grew increasingly more uncomfortable, And then it dawned on him. 003 smiled unusually, surprise was written all over his face. He pulled the long left sleeve of his white shirt up to his elbow, and then stuck his wrist out for Drago to see. He did it with more pride than he intended, unashamed of the raised flesh that was burned into him that read; 0 0 3. That was what they had named him.
  19. N Y R Y S The name, or so it sounded, echoed out loud. 003 hiccuped with alarm, eyes darting back and forth widely, curiously asking why no one else around him was shocked by how loud the voice was. Not one person. Perhaps these creatures were hard of hearing, or perhaps he was trapped in a deep sleep, one in which his escape from servitude was the cusp of his bliss. Unfamiliar hands rose to touch his face, hands that were tirelessly burdened by the weight of laborious tasks, this did not feel as dreams did. Her voice endured inside of his mind, the faint trace of words still chiming inside of his ear, words both unrecognizable and inherently powerful. He closed his eyes, and placed the palms of both hands against his temples for focus. “What is wrong with me?” What this madness? His body pushed itself from his resting position, subconsciously operating without his permissions. He paced when he was anxious, a quirk so stemmed in his behaviour, it existed since before the drama held on that liner. Here and now, he paced harder. His proprietor had vanished and the enslaved accompaniments with him had left as well. There were feral but sophisticated creatures that nudged by him every few moments, and by their expressions, he began to wonder if he was not welcome here. “Who is she? And why does no one else hear her?” His feet carried him but his mind was blindly racing. 003 dangerously kept his eyelids closed, carelessly thumping into hair-raising animals was the least of his worries, considering he adamantly questioned if his his memories were failing because his brain had been reduced to complete lunacy. “Why won’t these animals just get out of my way?!” Then, aggressively, he stumbled. Opening his eyes in frustration, his surprise came as his reality drew whole once more. It was a surprise fully painted across his haggard features, for his feet had carried him more than just a few paces, he looked up from where he had fallen and saw what his soul had heard. What he saw, he was unsure of, but his instinct knew that the words had come from this one. He was certain of this, but disoriented in how he had found this place. And with his jaw loosened in awe, he stood and reached into his pocket for those same documents that had her name written upon them. Crumpled and now smeared lightly by the mire of his hands, he approached Darth Nyrys.
  20. “Your name, what is it?” It had been weeks since the question was beaten into him, bruised knuckles and broken bones could not surface the answer from his mouth. It was no stalwart measure of will that kept him quiet in the face of his slavers, his mind was just blank. Bizarre really, the only thoughts he owned was what was immediately before him. Discomfort, blood and obnoxious extraterrestrial traffickers, those were a few that stood out. He had traveled and seen the most beautiful of planets, almost all of them riddled with plantations of those that were just as servile as he was forced to be. It was the question of his name that bothered him the most on the account that, no matter where he was, that question was asked by all. “Hey buddy, what do they call ‘ya? You gotta have a name, right?” No, but perhaps maybe he had one. His features were known to make bystanders wide-eyed. He could never understand if it was familiarity or shame, the details and differences did not matter when his next meal was often moons apart. He wasn't dead at least, and the fear of death had been erased since his near fatal disposal from the escape hatch of that twisted luxury liner. The man called himself a Sith, the one that pulled the door from his cell and freed him without second thought, such power was cemented in his mind. Every time the memory played out in his mind, he remembered it a little differently, each time more heroic and stunning than the last. What was his name? “We found you a new home, Mutt. You fetched a pretty price, but with some people I never plan to meet, so yer on your own from here." 003 stepped from the ground transport, while his slaver pulled the sack from his head, and unhinged the shackles on his wrist. He handed him some papers, some of which were stamped with a familiar face. "Is that what I look like?" The thought jumped out at him, distracting him from the repulsive cackle that his slaver ended nearly every phrase with. His stomach growled harder than last time, and he pulled his eyes from the small documents that were now crammed into both hands. He noticed that his Master moved and operated with a desperate urgency, extremely uncharacteristic for a creature that held a tight charge to those that served. Perhaps their lives were in danger again, especially in this place where they stood out like a sore thumb. His clothes were ragged, sweat-stained under the armpits, and quite obviously not coherent with the fashion of this place. Still, strange creatures brushed by him, looking either curious or confused. "What is this place?" They looked nothing like his slaver, who was unsightly by all means, but these things were terrifyingly inhuman. If he had to guess, these were the indigenous people of the planet, and he had seen nothing like them on all of the planets he had traveled too. They held a most frightening poise, and 003 simply watched them trek onward, too occupied by their own accord to notice how broken his world was. No danger. He stood for quite some time, awkwardly so, observing the world around him, not realizing that his slaver had truly left without him and there was no one left to keep him from running. His empty auburn gaze searched for direction, while his left hand subconsciously scratched at the long scars underneath the back of his off-white shirt. "What is a Darth Nyrys?" Frustration started to sink deep; while the words always played at the tip of his tongue but never jumped, his mind contrarily felt like a stone-cold wall, unmoving and lifeless. Exhaustion depleted his motivation to move, and he wandered slowly to the nearest building and leaned against it. Stuffing the small documents into his unhemmed pant pocket, he closed his eyes and breathed the foreign air in with a deep sigh. He blinked, swore he saw a blue man pass him by, and knew he had truly lost his mind.
  21. Nostro rolled from his bedside, shaking the sleep from his conciousness. He dragged his palm across his face and planted his feet as he looked strangely at the pair of women casually carting cheeses into his room. "..Secret admirer you say?" He shifted his weight and rose to his full height, the white sheets falling shamelessly from his now undraped body. The ladies looked at each other immediately, indistinguishably blushing, and tried their best not to stare where their eyes continued to lead them. Nostro laughed obnoxiously, their best was pitiful, and they did not seem to want to leave. He walked a few steps to gather his clothing, and cover his decencies in front of his visitors. "My loves, I hope this delivery didn't include the two of you, the company is appreciated, but I've got to get going." His blasè demeanor just meant this wasn't the first time his private quarters had been impeded on, his personal security hated the idea of him running it alone on this trip, but escaping the routine of it all meant that he welcomed the lone wolf approach. "We apologize, Master Kraven. We will be on our way." The pink-skinned duo smiled, brandishing their pearly whites and bowing a proper courtesy, before turning to exit room 488. "To whoever sent these, send my regards. And do come back later, I'll find a few things to sign." The door closed behind them, and the ooes and awes of the starstruck staffers could be heard faintly. "Ugh. What now?" The broadcasted comms across the luxury vessel crackled on, and reinforced what Nostro had said to his surprise visitors. "Shit. Time to fly." He put some pep into his step and hurried forward, pulling his red leather jacket across his back, grabbing a hand full of cheeses and sliding the pushcart out of his way. Taking off down the hall, Nostro would arrive at the Lido Deck shortly.
  22. "Not like Alcazar, but it'll do." The swallow of starfire 'skee was similar to feel of laser discharge blasting through your esophagus, it burned your senses into a frenzy. Kraven was all too intimate with how it made one feel, distracting the pain of a bruised and broken body after one of his main events on Akiva. The fire of 'skee, even just the smell of the muddied drink allowed him a blissful moment of familiarity. His eyes rolled, while the lids of them rested close, appreciating the aroma the luxury stateroom afforded him, drinking the last swill of starfire while cubes of ice broke against cold lips. Vzzzzzzt vzzzzzzt. He slammed his drink against the bedside table, while his other hand blindly searched for the hush-90 comlink he carried. Vzzzzzzt vzzzzzzt. His fine white sculptured brows furrowed in annoyance, finding it impossible to hold a moment of peace for longer than the count of a minute. Yet, his hands found the mark, as it always did, and he squeezed the comlink to ignore whatever promotion, whatever event, or whatever job they had intended the Thrysian Wolf to take on. Nostro Kraven, aboard one of the most beautiful ships he had ever laid eyes on, would not have this vacation ruined by the mongering of people and their greed. For now, he would pour another cold glass of 'skee and catch his sleep before sniffing out the action.
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