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Exodus

Coruscant - Galactic Throne

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((Exodus))

 

A perverse joy ran through the mouthpiece's vile body as the Anzat's appendages thrust into his cranial cavity. His body twitched and jerked as knowledge and life essence were ripped from him, but the servant was merely happy he could be of use for one final time, that he had earned the forgiveness of the most Unholy One. Thoughts fluttered before his eyes, and that of the Spider, of the entire life the vile wretch had lived. Brell Bjornsen had been his name before he was selected as a boy, tempted and lulled by the sweet words of Ar-Pharazon even as his parents were cut down like common chattel. The tortures and trials he'd endured were brutal, rituals that the Dark Lord would know served no purpose other than to merely amuse Ar-Pharazon. Brell had even forgotten his own name, committed fully to his purpose, lacking the perspective of the truth until this very moment. Still, as he began to slump in the grasp of the Spider, he clung to the idea that he'd still served a greater purpose, that he was more than a mere pawn on the chessboard that was Sith intergalactic politics.

But no. As his mind intertwined and was consumed by Exodus's own, Brell saw very clearly the truth of things, having been lied to by the Sith, having served as a meaningless puppet. No grand afterlife awaited him, no riches or women or lavish accoutrements, simply the terrors that lurked in the Darkness. Putrid tentacles snaked from nothingness in Brell's mind's eye, entangling his soul and fueling the rot within. Or was it simply always this ensnared by the shadow? As he sank further into the abyss, all he could see was the laughing face of Ar-Pharazon the Great, chuckling with glee over this final betrayal, the knowledge that his eternal damnation only went to serve the Sith, and nobody else. He had given all, and was repaid only in agony. He was nothing, and would be forgotten, and moreover he had given himself to it willingly under false pretenses. This was the power of the terrible manipulations of the Sith: that only at the end was one's true role revealed, and that it was often far less than one thought. But as the only way to truly gain this knowledge was to die, it was an easily maintained secret.

The mouthpiece's corpse hung from its skull as Exodus gripped it, limp and lifeless. The Dark Lord had gained the knowledge he needed, the exact location and situation, as well as glimpses of the forces that had initially taken the place. A name whispered softly in the wretch's soup: Arkab Skon, leader of this so-called Glory Bound group of Mandalorian interlopers, a man who had taken quite a liking to a particular Sith artifact found within the temple, an artifact the mouthpiece had knowledge of...


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Jax nodded to Scar and began following the death troopers trying to avoid any unnecessary contact with the enemy. "What exactly are we trying to secure Scar?" Jax asked still unsure as to what the Dread company was looking for.

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The Jedi let her eyes drift shut as the Lok Skyshatter picked her up. The man had followed her in her desertion of the Jedi Order, trained under her friend Knight Alekseyev, but she felt she hardly knew him. All she had known in her time as Grandmaster of the Imperial Knights was war, and the Holy Crusade against the Sith that had driven her from the Jedi Order. Chaos had led her into the arms of the Empire. She breathed out a restful sigh and focused on the faint murmur of his heartbeat that filtered from beneath his armor.  

 

She reflected on the life around her but could only feel the looming terror of the Sith above. Their darkness was like the circling carrion, feasting on the death and destruction of a dying world. There was a distant familiarity to the darkness. It stank of greed and filth, an odor far more potent than the unwashed humanity that clung to the skeletal remains of triple zero.  

 

As the man set Kyrie down, her eyes opened once more, and the peacefulness drained from them. The levy, that great isolation of the dying world, that which had brought her peace, had died. As his rough hands began to bandage her wounds, her voice was grave and haunted.

 

“I did die on Kuat.  I fell fighting a Sith Master and his legions.”

 

The Exorcist gazed into the bloodied mud, remembering his face. Remembering his agony. Remembering his redemption.

 

“He is one with the force. At peace, at long last.”

 

Kyrie stared into Adenna’s blue eyes, her own violet eyes flashing with the reflection of the Holy Fire that had been the death of her and the Sith army on Kuat. She winced as Lok scraped some of the debris from her wounded leg, channeling the pain into laughter. It was a sound the old Kyrie would never had made. She swept her hands over herself, indicating her much younger form. She was half a decade younger physically than when they had met on Kashyyyk, but her soul was much older.

 

“I was called to this body by its owner, and it is not my own. I do not know how much longer she will keep me. ”

 

The Imperial Knight placed a hand on Lok’s head, giving him an awkward pat to try and indicate he should let her rise. His hair was matted from the journey, but it still smelled faintly of the standardized Imperial cleansing solution that all the refreshers were equipped with.  She looked to both of them now as she slowly got to her feet. The pain seared through her mind, but she spun it away into the force, helping it to disguise her presence further. A mask of pain and suffering on a dying world was an easy disguise. She indicated the sky with a pointed finger,

 

“You know how those scavengers love their dying Jedi. It would be like lighting a flare.”

 

Kyrie took a step, focusing her strength into not falling. She appreciated his offer but it was too risky. 

 

“Best not to let this party be ruined by turbolaser fire.”

 

The girl gritted her teeth, feeling the nausea grind through her guts, tinging her tongue with sourness. She reached out for his arm to steady herself. Another breath and she wretched out the emptiness of her stomach. Her shoulders straightened, and she brushed her hair from her eyes.

 

 “The Force is with me, and I am one with the Force. "

 

Her eyes looked towards the horizon, concealed as it was by smoke and flame. 

 

"Let us leave.”

 


 

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Adenna nodded at Eleison 's decision, appreciating and respecting the practicality of it. Without discounting what the junior Imperial Knight could do, she had an inkling of what Skyshatter was offering and feared it would also have left him drained. It was best not to risk exposure, especially since Adenna herself knew some things that would help in the long run, even if they weren't as quickly effective. Considering the vomiting, she also didn't offer the stim as it would only make things worse.

 

"Gavand, Morguesen; assist our friend here," she ordered and two of the team stepped forward to offer assistance. She wanted Skyshatter less distracted since he could also use the Force. To Eleison, she said, "I am quite proficient at healing and some refreshing abilities, Skyshatter and I can assist you when we are in cover. We will seek shelter immediately, and the skills are not overly noticeable at a distance."

 

The group, now thirteen, slowly retreated from the scene of carnage and moved into a large building complex to seek shelter for the night. As they went along, Adenna gave Eleison small amounts of their nutrition powder mixed with purified water from her canteen. She didn't want to overwhelm the woman's system, but realized she needed to start getting some nutrients. Since coming across her, Adenna had decided to cut their original two week mission short which meant they had extra rations to offer. They had been here for six days already, but getting Master Eleison back to safety and linked up with the Imperial Knights now took precedence. Having their respected leader returned to them would drastically boost morale within both the Imperial Knights and parts of the old Imperial Remnant.

 

The building they were using seemed to be some sort of office or company headquarters and had not been too heavily looted since it had few things useful for survival. Even then, it was still dismal and not exactly a place that Adenna would want to retire in. Still, it would function and seemed to be mostly void of others, though they placed motion sensors around the camp and constantly kept guards on watch just in case.

 

As they set up their makeshift lodgings and sent a trio of troopers to locate water for purification, Adenna took more time to look at the myriad of issues plaguing Eleison's body. Malnutrition was the worst, though various cuts, scrapes, and some minor infections were also present. Basic first aid and food would take care of most, but what concerned the Grandmaster the most was the mention of something about souls and this not really being a body that was her own. She didn't know too much about possession and soul transference beyond moving into an empty clone body: that was a field that bordered too much on the Dark Side and had fairly little practical use for her to have studied. Even so, she was aware of a few things, especially when it came to physical healing and part of that included calming the mind and soul.

 

"We can easily repair and refresh your body," she said, "but I admit to fairly little knowledge regarding the soul, possession, and transferring your essence. What happened to bring you into this body and what might be done to ease and soothe any discord and strain?"


Adenna Sig

 

Send PM's to Travis.

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The body seized, the brain loosened, and the euphoric surrender of life loaned itself to the Sith Reaper. The Anzati King released his clutch, and tossed the creature to the wayside. The emptied corpse rolled a few paces, lightly sprawling to an awkward stop. What life remaining in such a broken creature, drained without struggle or remorse. The excessive torture that the wretch had suffered was an overindulgence that the Lords of Old used to exhibit their insanity, wanton and serving little more than to inflate their desperate egos. This mouthpiece of Ar-Pharazon was no more, and the ignorance that the worm had suffered with for decades, had finally come to an end. Exodus brushed his heavy-cloak, shaking the moonfall soot from the rich embroidery, casting his sight to where he now understood his destination would be.

"Arkob Skon. I see you."

The Spider dropped out of his thought and sprang for the entrance. Hoarse adrenaline flushed through his veins. Exodus jerked his movement unpredictably, leather bound boots trampling incredibly fast over the rocky terrain, bounding left and right in dark flashes. Meteoric deterioration fell from the skies in all shapes and sizes, hammering the landscape all around him with terraforming power. The King himself worked to keep his balance definite, knowing that the slightest mistake could lay him beneath an impact that would wipe him from existence. The danger zone did not hesitate in a constant attempt to erase all things living, unearthing all manner of hazard and secrets as it did. His handmade alchemical vestments afforded him excellent maneuverability, akin to the hunters of his homeworld. And so, the Dark King moved like the wind.

Visions drew to the front of his mind, screening his reality with instinctive direction on where to find this entrance. He had never been, but the wretch now showed him the way. He found himself ignoring the many wide-berthed fractures in the tectonic plates of Coruscant, most of them oozing super-heated gases to the surface or belching a yawning descent in which there would be no returning from. Then suddenly, the assassin tucked into a roll and launched himself into a rocky opening.

_______


Exodus deftly flew himself a great distance into a lightless black, landing where his memories had led him, lightly against another ruptured bedrock. Looking around, sweeping the full range of his eyesight, he found himself in a cavernous space. Erected before the Dark Lord now, was the broadest barrier stretched from wall to wall, salmon-colored and seemingly thicker than the walls of Dragon Gate. He marched forward, indifferent about the obstacles that stood in his way.





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((Jax/Nyrys - as SC-4R))

 

Scar moved quickly and surprisingly quietly for a lumbering war droid, the droids being well adapted to all battlefield conditions including stealth to maintain the element of surprise.

 

"Our primary mission is to secure the location from further damage both to the structure and the artifacts within. The Mandalorian insurgents seem to be after something specific, else they would have never employed these tactics. We must deny them their goal."

Suddenly, Scar stopped, holding out an arm to stop Jax as well. The four melee variants also froze, choosing to hide behind various points in order to stage an effective ambush. Scar's volume adjusted down very low, as he began to do the same, gesturing for Jax to follow.

"Two of them, just ahead. Their path has changed. Forty five seconds to intercept. We will eliminate them and continue on. Ready yourself."

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((Exodus))

 

For nearly two days, nothing had happened. It didn't sit well with Vadmir, he was hoping to join his brothers and sisters in battle, yet here he was, assigned to gate guard duty. Vadmir had no idea why Skon wanted this place locked down so tightly or what even lay at the back end of the cavern, most of the troops reinforcing the location had been restricted to the far end, having set up two E-Web emplacements and the ray shields which finally came online a few hours ago. If the entire Sith fleet had come knocking, Vadmir doubted they'd be able to get through easily, as the emitters were tied directly into what remained of the planetary power grid. They'd have an easier time blasting through the rock directly, but Skon seemed convinced that wouldn't happen.

As he looked across the lunar impact fields for what felt like the millionth time, he knew in his gut that he was truly bored. There wasn't much honor in this, though he knew that his job was somewhat meagerly important. In an hour or so it would be time for Breyk's shift, and he could resume playing sabacc with the others and taking their money. But for now, the moonfall did have the capacity to entrance and dazzle. It was a spectacle unlike any other, and Vadmir knew that he'd never see anything like it ever again.

One piece of falling debris caught his attention, though, moving at a different angle from the rest. It was small, but angled shallowly and as it got bigger Vadmir realized it would impact very near by, if not on the shield itself. He debated calling out for the others to watch the spectacle, but decided not to simply because he wanted them to be surprised. Most of them were jerks anyways, and likely would have done the same to him. Besides, they could watch his helmet cam footage later.

Closer, closer...whatever it was seemed to have some kind of cloth attached to it, catching the wind and billowing behind it. It flew with enormous speed, impacting right outside the shields with a loud thud and kicking up enough dust that Vadmir couldn't immediately tell what it was. But as the dust began to clear, Vadmir thought he saw the silhouette of a person. Impossible. It took a half second for his senses to confirm, his pupils dilating wide under his helmet, and a cold sweat forming on his brow. This person, whoever they were, defied everything Vadmir had known to be real. There were whispers he'd heard of space wizards among the Sith, powerful beings that could warp reality with their minds, but Vadmir had always shrugged it off as nonsense. Regardless, the man represented a clear threat.

He took a deep breath, ready to yell out a general warning to his brethren, but deep in the recesses of his mind he knew it was far too late for that. One thing was for sure, he'd never see another thing like the moonfall ever again.


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Bakra frowned. The corporal had a point, but he didn't like the idea of having a batch of fresh-blooded cadets watching his back. Not to mention that he was actually starting to like his fellow pilots. It would be a shame if they died now. He was pulled out of his thoughts by a noise that peirced his ears as the hanger wall was torn down in one fell motion by the Sith and the freighter on the other side was pulled towards them.

 

The power of a Sith Lord, he heard the corporal mutter. Suddenly, he felt that he was on the winning side. How could anyone stand up against such casual power? Before, he'd served out of greed, looking to make more money than he had on Nar Shaddaa. But after witnessing what he had today, from the self mutilation and whirlwinds of metallic death to the sundering of entire walls of durasteel, he realized just how likely this war would be much more than a few skirmishes on backwater planets.

 

Still, he hada job to do. He wasted no time on a response, moving to his ship and retreiving his transponder before sprinting up the entry ramp and into the cockpit, getting acquainted with the controls.

 

"Everybody buckle up. I've never flown one of these and we're about to go through a warzone with possibly no support and the wrong transponder in the ship. The only ones who know who we are are my squadron and they might all be dead already. I'll get us there but it's gonna be rough."

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The Dark Side is fueled by war. By that pride of man that grips the heart and turns him to violence. We embrace sentience in all its forms as passion is its lifeblood. The Jedi would have you deny your very humanity. There is no peace. There was never peace. Not while free will exists.

 

*****

 

The Krath stumbled onto the freighter, her legs feeling like they were made from lead and her joints as if they were filled with the burning sands of Tatooine. The expenditure of power was draining, but there was something far more sinister at work. A feeling that made the fine hair on the back of her neck rise. Adrenaline pulsed and the Sith slide down the bulkhead that adjoined to the cockpit. She gazed out the open landing ramp with glassy eyes and focused on her own locus of control.

 

The Sith could feel it there, gnawing at her gut, a devouring hunger that was not her own. Her eyes closed as she focused/ It was like a parasite burrowing itself through her, its teeth rending her flesh, consuming her power. Her temper had no effect on it, nor anger, nor hate. The Sith Lord shook as she tried to smother the parasite with her own fire, but all the strength she poured into it, it consumed and grew stronger. It was somehow familiar. She smelled spiced pipesmoke.

 

<<Did you think I would be so easily tossed aside?>>

 

Fieldgrey’s eyes snapped open and she scrambled into the cockpit, tossing herself into the nav-chair.

 

No, no, no. Not now.

 

She was in a cold sweat, her heartbeat pounding in her ears. She would leave the Pilot and Shiro to the steering. She spit a mouthful of blood into her hands, cringing at the site. It began to smoke.

 

<<Will you ignore me...>>

 

The Sith Lord closed her eyes again against the onslaught of her master’s haunting presence. All she could feel now was hunger.

 

<<Like the death of your Sister?>>

 

Darth Awenydd frowned. She had died from her own weakness. Chaos had brought that life short. It was why she craved power, to stop the chaos from killing more innocents. Her mind turning to that night on Nar Shaddaa, the ravaging of her mute sister by the Sith, her own escape. Kyrie had died there, slain in that rusting apartment. Amongst the blood of their mother, last moments spoiled in vile depravity.

 

…Hadn’t she?

 

From behind her eyes came a vision, a battletorn hanger. Not much unlike the one they were escaping now. A dying Sith and a dying Jedi. The woman had a silver lightsaber, and she was on fire. Her flesh was melting into white flame. Emerald eyes.

 

You were made like glass, so fragile, so fine.

 

The Pilot’s voice cracked through her self-reflection, burning through her master’s lesson.

 

“I'll get us there but it's gonna be rough.”

 

Grief dissolved her resolve and hunger overcame her. The Sith licked the smoking blood from her hands, removing the crimson stain from her pale flesh. She was fighting for control and losing. Her voice was grave, but betrayed her inner struggle with a hint of desperation. 

 

“Get us to the Sith fleet. We will not be led into another deathtrap, even at the Dark Lord’s command.”


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Lok looked toward the two with understanding eyes. It would indeed drain him significantly, but it was a price he was willing to pay simply to nourish his Commanding Officer. But like Adenna, this soul transference, troubled him. Not so much the affects it could pose on the body and the soul in the long run, as most cases rarely saw side effects. But it was the nature that it often found its self aided with, and for an Imperial Knight, it could spell expulsion or even purification. And for Kyrie, it could have dire consequences. With a simple nod, Lok gathered his things and began to long trek ahead to safety.

 

Lok's main assessment as an Imperial Knight was that of a similar nature to a Jedi Sentinel. He was neither strong in Force, nor was he highly skilled in combat. No. Lok was well rounded, holding a vast knowledge of the Force to make up in the areas he lacked, and could weild a blade enough to protect those in need. But this was something that had followed him over from the Jedi Order during the Schism. And from that gathered knowledge, he held a slight understanding of what was happening to Kyrie.

 

As the others began to set up camp for the night, Lok made a small detour toward a balcony that still remained sturdy. He gazed up toward the smoldering skies over Coruscant and contemplated over their finding Kyrie and of her transference. Perhaps it was the Force's guidence that led her to Adenna and Lok, or perhaps them to her. Either way, it worried Lok about repercussions. After all, the Force wasn't inheritantly light nor dark, only the nature of the user. But in this day and age, as well as the sins of the past, it was still viewed as a tool of darksided. But Lok knew better.

 

Returning to camp, Lok approached just as Adenna was question Kyrie about how this came to be. "I must confess that I am puzzled too. It's not unheard of, but rare that a lightsider use such a power. And the Order will likely view it as such, wanting to purify the body." His eyes shifted between the two, allowing his words of warning to linger briefly. "Is the soul still present? Or has it passed from this world? If it has passed, then perhaps we can make the case of the Force's will. But if not, if it still remains, we need to strengthen the bond between you two in order to heal the mixed souls" 

 

He realized what he was suggesting, but given the array that the Order was in right now, they needed Kyrie more than ever.


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Shiro boarded the ship with Dunstan on his shoulder, carrying his comrade up the ramp with haste, the others boarding behind them just as quickly. So many were lost upon this frigate, this deathtrap forged to keep the criminals within and yet unable to stop those outside from getting in. The horrors played back over and over in his mind as he sat Dunstan down, his gaze still fixated upon the Sith as she moved down the hall toward the cockpit and out of sight, the Imperial Marine unable to discern which of them were capable of more death, the Cabal or she.

 

"Will you be alright Corporal?" Shiro inquired as his crimson gaze shifted away from the Trooper toward where the Sith had trekked, following the Pilot from before. "I want to find out what's going on exactly."

 

"I will be now." He replied, placing a hand up on Shiro's shoulder, causing Shiro to gaze back at him and then to the others, only twelve members of the original assault remaining, the rest ghosts upon this ship now. "Be careful Shiro. The Sith are unpredictable, even under the leadership of the Dark King. Only his power binds them together."

 

Shiro's gaze remained on Dustan and his warning resounded through his thoughts as he stood and headed toward the cockpit where he caught the form of the Sith huddled against the bulkhead and the pilot taking the helm. Cautiously he approached, unsure what to think of her or what she might do, too many questions for both swimming about in his mind to make sense of anything at this point.

 

<<Will you ignore me...>>

 

Shiro heard an otherworldly voice pierce his mind as his gaze briefly caught her form scramble for the nav-chair as his eyes ached to fade and his head ached to split for a simple second, his crimson eyes glowing as his form fell toward the bulkhead its self. Catching himself, the moment passed and Shiro shrugged it off, hoping whatever it was had passed and went unnoticed as he entered the cockpit. Catching her gaze upon his, he shifted them away as the pilot finished prepping the preflight check and offering his warnings when he heard the Sith speak, his attention turning back to her and Bakra.

 

"Speaking of deathtraps..." Shiro spoke, his gaze fixated mostly upon the Sith's, but shifted toward the pilot as he finished his question. "What was the purpose of our mission here?" Shiro still held the missive that spoke of the Imperial Seal, but he felt that was just a secondary goal. If it was, then what was the true goal?


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G L O R Y  H O U N D 

 

 

What have my enemies become? He looked to his open palms for answers. Searching the metal canvasses covering his hands, combing the unsurfaced asphalt before his feet as he stepped slowly towards the barrier, his eyes found no clear answer to the question. The expression on his face suggested no such concerns, unnaturally composed for how harshly the world around him was beaten, much less the problem that laid before him. There were harsher times than these, powerful creatures that offered a chance at death. The softest of sighs escaped his cold lips, a droplet of frustration for the way things were. The rise and fall of the crusaders, a campaign so miserably abrupt that it seemed like little more than a temper to be thrown. And this was all that was left to show for it.

 

 

“Just one moment,” 

 

 

Exodus moved closer now, waving his hand with the Force as words of caution eased into the minds’ ear of Vadmir the hopeless. He spoke without tongue, and with a dark inflection of sound that seemed strangely commanding. Ordinary folk would spin tales that when the Spider chose to speak, the heaviness of his simplest words took hold of the soul entirely. Gripping, seductively magnetic, eating away profoundly at all levels of consciousness. The Emperor-King was closer now, cleverly positioning the curious Mandalorian directly in front of his slow march, blocking the line-of-sight the others would have. The barrier and a foot of space separated the two.  

 

“Little Mandalorian. We have not crossed paths before this, so I will give you a single chance to prove your nature.” Exodus held eyes as only the strongest ilk of the Dark Side have, with a burning chroma impregnated with inquisitive hatred. Such a fiery saturation churned the calming emerald that once was, and became the only means in which the Dark Lord communicated his emotion. Rats, I dislike them entirely. Sniveling pests, self-serving and easily frightened. They are a necessary breed, but I find them everywhere I step. Jedi, Crusaders, Mandalorians, and I dare-say, even several Sith have shared the same skin.” He whispered his words sincerely, spending the small measure of time to occupy space inside the mind of the Mandalorian. The gesture was passive, seeding his subconscious with imagery of battle, triumphs that showcased the Emperor as a threat that now stood just an arm reach away. 

 

“You see.. this is an extermination. And just like rats, this Glory Bound you serve, scurries beneath a land that will never belong to them. There is no honour here among you cowards, you bring shame to your heritage, and I know you can feel it. Do not worry, I will butcher the lot of you for it. Your chance is to choose now, Vadmir. Die in the dirt with the rest of them, or join the Dark side and find your dignity. You and I both know, this wall will not hold me.” The Dark Side was intoxicating, but the truth was a heavy swallow for most. He understood the meaning of this. Kill the others and drop the wall, or face retribution.

 

"Choose, Vadmir."

 


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Delta’s eyes narrowed as the EOD team disabled the next placed trap, holding the woman in front of him like a shield of mandalorian iron and tender flesh. Elements of Lima One and Hotel Two were advancing in behind him, taking cover before letting the next line advance, teams of four branching out to clear adjacent tunnels as they wound their way towards the power generator. When the passageways began to expand out into a vast complex, Delta motioned to his team. 

 

It was important to avoid being flanked especially while in the heart of the enemy encampment, the generator was close and so it was time to switch tactics. He let him men pass in front of him as they advanced, spreading out into fireteams to cover the vast debris filled space. He motioned to Landgraf, and the female took the captive mandalorian in tow, her blaster rifle in place at the back of the woman’s head. If ever there would be an ambush it would be here. There had been enough time to set something elaborate up even. 

 

He let the dull red glow of his ‘T’ visor survey the stubborn mandalorian as he passed the woman over. 

 

<”I am Mandalorian, you can trust or not. You die uselessly or not. You have showed little honour or desire to be redeemed. Mock as you will. You can be saved or you cannot. You and yours can attack my men, kill a few then be disgraced. I care not. Your body will remain warm enough after the blaster discharges. Salvation and honour exists, but only for the victor. You have a choice, now make it.”>

 

He motioned to Landgraf who grinned beneath her helmet biting off a laugh at her commanding officer. She was not used to seeing him so causally cruel. But the Ishi Tib Marines were looking for spoils. 

 

The laugh was soft but vicious as the heavy support company entered the cave, their heavy weapons wishing to be used against anything but moonfall. Lima One, the Devil Hounds were finally on location and they were eager for combat. The company had sustained heavy casualties, but they were a united enough force to be effective. And the objective was very close. Delta looked back at the Mandalorian then to his advancing companies. 


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Blood Prince

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((The timing on this is all too good to pass up. I'm weaving the narration together a bit here just to emphasize the cymbal crash that each of these is meant to represent. If further clarification is needed, I will provide it, or if necessary rewrite it.))

((Exodus))

At the words of this man, Vadmir froze. By himself, he didn't look like much compared to the firepower the Mandalorians had assembled here, and Vadmir had complete trust and faith in his brothers and sisters. Why, then, was he paralyzed with fear? The all-encompassing despair that this would be the final resting place of the Glory Bound? All of them were criminals to their own culture, but here they were united in singular purpose: to regain their honor. Death in combat was honorable, but it did little to further their way of life. Vadmir knew they were often utilized as disposable soldiers because of this, but this feeling made him feel as if no amount of effort was worth anything. It was as if this man knew something he didn't...whatever Arkab was up to? Had he doomed them all in his ignorance?

As these thoughts washed over him like a gentle waterfall downstream from a toxic waste dump, another of the guards nearby at the sabacc game took notice at his posture, leaving the game to come check on him.

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((Delta))

Ah. And there it was, just as Rina had suspected, the claim to be Mandalorian and the refutation in the same breath. This man knew Mando'a, he may have loosely known some Mandalorian people, but it was clear he didn't understand her culture or values at all. If there was one thing that defined a Mandalorian warrior, it was pride. Even in her shame as one of the Death's Watch, she had not chosen to forsake her heritage and leave the clans altogether, she held true to her faith and beliefs and wanted more than anything else acceptance from her old friends and family. Earning that in death was often seen as a last resort, but one that the Glory Bound took seriously.

<"And the cruelty of the Sith emerges. Do you seriously expect me to just surrender to the likes of you? If you truly knew us, knew our lives, our culture, you would not disrespect me with these offers of false surrender. You just don't get it, and you may never. But maybe I can help things along.">

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

((Exodus))

As Corran slowly approached Vadmir, he noticed the younger soldier slightly shaking, completely transfixed on something. What? A fleet of Star Destroyers in the distance? Some terrible war machine? Corran began to circle to his side in his approach, scanning the horizon but seeing nothing. Something began to churn in Corran's stomach, though, a bad feeling he couldn't kick. It was when his gaze turned back to the younger warrior he finally saw him, and his stomach dropped.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

((Delta))

There may have been some realization, some dilation of the pupils behind his helmet as Rina dropped down to a crouch, recoiling her legs to hurl herself at the nearest Ishi Tib marine, sending them both sailing towards the exact spot she'd aimed for. Behind his cover, watching things, Remar's stomach sank. He had silently hoped and prayed, but oftentimes gods simply just don't give you what you ask for. He watched her fall, the memory etching itself into his mind in slow motion as he knew this was the end.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

((Exodus))

Spast! Where had this one come from? Corran's reflexes shot through him like lightning seeking ground, immediately going for his blaster, his actions noticed by several of the rest at the card table. This was it. This was where it all came together or fell apart, and as the strings of fate began to unravel with every microsecond it became clearer they were headed for the latter. They were proud warriors, sure, but this was war, and war is ugly. As Corran inhaled deep, in the very recesses of his subconscious there was a small voice softly telling him they were in for a reminder of just how ugly things would get.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

((Delta))

As Rina fell, she made it a point to keep her eyes on the Sith commander. She wasn't sure why...pride, defiance, these were to be expected. However, she also felt regret. Things could have been different. In another universe, they could have been different people. Friends, even. But war and fighting were inevitable, the results of biological nature and games of kings and kingdoms. People died every day. Few truly lived, and fewer still found redemption in their death. Rina had claim to both.

As they landed square on the tripwire, an enormous explosion rocked both of them, shredding both of them almost instantly. There was a feeling of blinding pain and then...nothing. For the rest, however, the gates of hell had opened. Shrapnel from the blast tore towards several other unprotected soldiers, and the three hidden Mandalorians burst from their hiding places, lighting up targets of opportunity with heavy repeating blaster fire, two grenades from Remar, and blaster fire. The element of surprise was thin, but they would use it until they failed.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

((Exodus))

Corran yelled a general alarm, causing the rest to scramble for battle positions. Two or three Mandalorians stopped as they saw the man outside the shield, not realizing who he was. Corran was smart enough to understand this man was a Sith, an individual who represented incredible danger by themselves, but the other greenhorns began to question his warning.

Slowly, Vadmir turned, taking off his helmet, revealing a face that was red from tears and anxiety. The very act unnerved his brothers, as freely removing one's helmet was tantamount to sacrilege among their people. His voice was soft, but they all heard it. 

"We're all dead anyways."

It was only then that they noticed the thermal detonator he'd been holding, as he made a beeline sprint for the shield emitters. He would give his brothers their honor back. This was the way. The only way. The detonation rocked the cavern with a bass thud, the confined nuclear blast completely atomizing Vadmir and most of the emitter array, immediately causing the shields to fail.

And for the rest of the Mandalorians, the gates of hell opened.



War was ugly. And it was long past due for it to rear its ugly head.

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Kyrie welcomed the assistance of the reconnaissance troopers that had accompanied the Jedi, letting them support some of her weight as they moved to deeper cover. It was another collapsed building, but one that was much more intact than many she had explored since the death of this world. The permecrete was crumbling, but most of it was cloaked in the façade of the standard officeworks. She didn’t recognize any logos, and nor could she decipher the faded arubesh on the rotting scraps of flimsi that piled up in the ruins. It smelled of ranat urine and stagnant water. She could sense the roaming spirits of those that had died there passing about her in a haze. She could almost hear their laughter.

 

Side effect of being so close to a wound in the force.

 

The young woman drank the protein solution, letting the bitterness of it dissipate in the rising nausea. The force was illusive, and she could barely feel its strength. Every time before she had drunk from its river and it had always restored her, but now that water did not flow. All she could feel now, was the unease of her rescuers. Mutterings of souls were of little comfort to non-exorcists. She took another swallow of the protein solution and stared at Lok and Adenna through her violet eyes. A pensive smile passed over her face

 

“Master Alluyen, of all the ideologies of the Jedi, those that the Exorcist follow, run the knife’s edge that is the boundary between the light and the dark.”

 

The smile turned into a frown

 

“We take the dark side upon ourselves, consuming and debriding the wound that is left so that it may heal. I fear somewhere along my path, I strayed.

 

She stretched out an arm, letting the cloak fall away from it to reveal the anorexic flesh. Gone were the muscles and strength that she had been once blessed.

 

“In that stain of corruption, the crucible of my soul was shattered. The dark side was used to resurrect me, but for what purpose, I do not know.”

 

The girl glanced between the two Force users. With the expression of her internal frustration, a few tears swelled in her eyes unbidden, blurring her vision.

 

“The soul I share this body with is dark. A tortured pawn of dark sorcery. It is because of this I can only see the Force as though through the reflection of a shattered mirror.”

 

The Jedi shook her head, the tousles of muddy blonde hair bouncing with the movement. 

 

"What you ask is for an Exorcist to become at peace with what she swore to destroy." 

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Delta shrugged his heavily armoured shoulders, as the woman began to talk about things she did not know. Inwardly he smiled, hidden behind his visor and helmet at her last refusal. It was pathetic really, refusing a chance at redemption with death so very near. But Delta could not find it within himself to care. Sure she was beautiful, but there was plenty of beautiful flesh available after a battle, and the Sith had the balustrades of their halls packed full with clingers on that had nothing but their flesh to offer. Delta could feel the lack of his own conscience like an empty page in a book. But it was better this way in the end. He had men to take care of and the mandalorians be damned. If they believed in Arasuum and Kad Ha’Rangir they would join them in death and entropy. For Delta had seen the real power, not in Gods of men and petty religions, but in the Spider. In a man in ascendance who had toppled empires and republics. When such a man existed, who needed gods? 

 

And that Spider demanded much, and offered his redemption freely. He had no  need for other gods or morals. Strength through arms was enough for him. Mandalorians be damned. Their culture was the epitome of weakness. They had fallen apart at a death of a single woman at the hands of a Jedi Knight. A kriffing child. Delta could feel disdain take the place of pity in his mind, and a silent hatred rose in his chest. The hatred of a man looking on rats that had raided his pantry and were now stuck to the glue of traps and completely at his whim. The hatred that dehumanized, the hatred that Delta fully embraced. 

 

“Then die you fooli-” 

 

The woman fell to a crouch and Landgraf’s blaster bolt sizzled through the air above her head. The Ex BJlack Sun commando cursed and brought the stock of her rifle to her shoulder and dropped into a crouch to get a better shot on the escaping mandalorian. But it was too late. She had tackled one of the squid headed marines and pitched him into a trap. Delta held her gaze with a silent look of disgust. Watching her eyes until her body had been shredded by the explosive fury of several high yield mines. One mandalorian was down, three IShi Tibs, and now there was a hole in his forward defense those bastards would very likely exploit. 

 

“Covering fire! Prepare for assault!” There was only one reason to trigger the trap now. 

 

Landgraf’s cool voice carried with it a tremble of fear as she alerted the remaining elements of Lima One that had made it into the cave that they were about to receive some kind of attack. Half the support company had already dropped to cover at the first blaster bolt, the rest at the explosion that had taken the lives of some valiant marines. 

 

Then three positions opened up with streams of blaster fire and a few grenades. The bouncing explosives detonated in the front lines of marines and scattered them in an explosion of bright light and shredding shrapnel. Delta could feel a ping of metal off his armour as he fell prone and began to return fire. 

 

There seemed to be only three positions and their fire was meager compared to the large amount of sith troopers in the area, but it was enough to slow them down and nibble away at their lives. The bastards. Delta triggered his mic on with a press of his chin. Filling his trooper’s ears with his voice. 

 

“Marines, hold position and return fire, Lima One, ordinance on those positions.” 

 

Delta’s HUD clearly marked the positions of the three mandalorians and their bolts and fire easily marked them to those without the expensive HUD systems. Behind him two groups of Lima One were beginning their moves as the Ishi Tib poured their fire towards the positions. 

 

Clear the backblast area! The familiar call filled the interunit comms as the three separated two man squads checked the rear funnel of their HH-15 launchers and their spacing before firing a missile each at the enemy positions. One of the soldiers was hit mid firing and his missile went wild into the roof of the large expanse. But at least two were on target and the three kilogram explosive rockets would do significant damage, but the miss was followed up on by several underbarrel grenades fired by two soldiers in the ishi tib marines. 

 

As the explosions echoed throughout the caverns with blinding light, Delta stood and began his rush.

 

“Push god damn you!” 

 

And as one, the mass of soldiers sprinted forward to exploit the work of their heavy weapon operators, to overwhelm and slaughter the few mandalorians. He stepped over the bloody carcass of the foolish girl, and led his men into the breach. 


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Adenna wasn't too surprised to hear Kyrie's words and from her own contact with the Imperial Knights, had some small idea of how that taint would weigh upon them. She didn't judge it as she herself had strayed more than once and recognized that in the face of evil, sometimes dark things had to be done to stop it. She wasn't completely sure what happened, but she had been pondering a possible solution.

 

"If you were summoned into this body and if the soul of the girl is still present, then it seems to me that she was and is still alive. If that is true, then you controlling her body is an abomination that is nothing but the Dark Side incarnate," she said calmly and without any anger or accusation. It was simply a fact as she understood it. "I wonder if it is possible to separate your soul out from this body and allow you to guide into a proper vacant clone of your own body. If such a thing were possible, you could end this abomination, free your own soul, and allow this possibly innocent girl to re-assume her own independence. We need to get you off Coruscant and back to someone who has more experience in these matters, possibly one of your Imperial Knights. If we can separate your soul out, we can then care for this girl as she needs to be."


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Lok sat in bitter silence, listening and lingering on the words spoken by the wiser. He could see and feel Kyrie's pain and frustration, knowing very well the contradiction that plagued her; an Exorcist who needed an Exorcism. Much like his own predicament, an Onderonian whose world now seeped with the darkness of a thousand Sith Lords and the lies that escape their twisted lips. With a sigh, he looked toward Adenna and Kyrie.

 

"With those who wield the darkside, true intentions are never known." His gaze first fell upon Kyrie, a gaze that showed that her felt and knew her pain in his own way, but then his gaze shifted to Adenna. "I agree. If there is something that can be done, it would lay in the Imperial Knights. But I am leary of such a measure as well. If Master Eleison was indeed called back to this life in such a manner, messing with it could have dire consequences."

 

Lok's gaze shifted back to Kyrie before settling back upon the distant horizon as the peering rays of sunlight began to brighten the smoldering skyscape. A new day was dawning, and what life remained upon Coruscant was near its awakening. With Kyrie in her condition, and the given the extreme hostility that was surrounding the planet, it would be better if they moved only at night rather during the day despite the little difference in lighting coverage. Even then, it would still take at least four days to get back to the shuttle.


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The Herløv and its escorts reverted from hyperspace over the still burning sphere that was Coruscant. After receiving instructions from Imperial Central Command, it fell into the appropriate formation and powered down its active situation functions and went to a standby mode appropriate for a warship in friendly space.

 

The journey from Borleias had not been a long one so Qaela had not had the time she needed to properly heal from her injuries. The burn on her forearm was easy enough to deal with, but the lightsaber stab on her upper shoulder was a good bit more painful. She didn't spend the energy to heal herself with the old Nightsister spells because of how taxing that was on her. She wanted to be fully alert when she reported back to the Dark Emperor so she would be ready for his next mission. Until then, she would allow the pain to continue to fuel her and keep her alert.

 

She made arrangements for her two fallen escorts to receive a proper funeral and pyre while she waited for the Spider to be ready to receive any supplicants. Though the Sith sometimes didn't care for any but the most noble and powerful of their fallen, Qaela believed that all who faithfully served the Sith Order were worthy of recognition. While she oversaw the academy on Korriban, any student or instructor who died in good standing was given a proper funeral and a pyre upon a stone or metal altar. No outside material was used to burn: only the body of the fallen and their attire were ignited with the fury of the Dark Side and consumed. The remaining ashes were gathered and ritually compressed without removing any impurities into a smoky diamond with their name laser etched into its face. That diamond was then given to Qaela so she could place it within a shrine she kept secured by magicks and technology on Korriban. The shrine itself was arranged into rows with Masters at the top, Lords below, Apprentices on the bottom. Even Aspirants who were deemed worthy had a place here on the lowest rung of the shrine.

 

She made arrangements for the captured Rebel shuttle to be fully secured and scoured for any useful tech. The navicomputer and most of the bridge had been destroyed by its crew before they were slaughtered, but there was always more to be had. The ship itself would be taken to the Black Scarab for further study.

 

Until the Emperor was ready for her, she would wait and recover while taking care of minor business back on Korriban.


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"The Dark Side is yours, Vadmir. You are free."


 

His cloak was charred and splattered with dried blood, and his armor softly dented and scratched. Strands of his wild crimson hair—no longer the full inky black of his youth—hung loosely over his face, having escaped his royal topknot. Under normal circumstances he would have already bathed, washing away the sweat, blood, and stink of fire from the derelict barge. He would have sent his armor for repair, and secured himself a new cloak before returning to battle. Appearances mattered, particularly as the Emperor-King of the Galaxy. No time. The brilliant arranger of death closed his eyes and took a bottom-heavy drag of air. A deeper breath than usual, but only to appreciate the moment. He knew the look of undoing all too well, and as of late, preferred the raw sounds that came from it. When the thermal detonator triggered and unleashed catatonic rage, the symphony that came from it was comparable to music in his ears.

 

Exodus clapped his hands together by the bridge of his nose with his eyelids still sealed shut, much in the way that pious Humans humbled themselves into prayer. The wall fell in that moment, and the full brunt of pressure that discharged from the blasting cap leveled out in forceful waves. Flesh vaporized while stunted metal punted across the cavernous hollows, ringing a viciously loud roar down the distance. Legendary Transcendence, the dark-bladed lightsaber he had drenched with the souls of his prey for decades, moved from his waist-buckle as if it held a mind of it's own, sensing what was about to be. Exodus opened his eyes, searching out the number of enemies that rallied themselves behind the temporary veil of uprooted dust and dirt. The beating of their tiny hearts betrayed them however, the shuffling of their steels and the fear of the unknown turned them into blaring beacons.

 

He started his focus with a single breath. In, and out. He could hear water dripping through a crack in the cave ceiling, singling out a pattering against the stone floor, while a heavy debris shook loose from the explosion that obscured the entirety of the cave. He studied the rigid patterns carved into the floor’s stone before Vadmir had freed himself, and pitched his path to memory. He took hold of his weapon, and made a few tentative swings with the blade. The war relic felt solid in his hand, but remained eerily ethereal in nature, as if it wasn’t there. His blade was now his breath. 

 

 

Exodus dived forward and plummeted into battle, the Dark Ones’ weapon blazed all the brighter as a sudden darkness spread forward with him. A black mist rolled across the barren lowly cavern floors, consuming everything in its path. The Glory Bound turned to fight..


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The sky had exploded into flurries of high speed movement and weapons fire as the Crusaders tried to pick away at the advancing Sith, with none of them even having the decency to come into stabbing range. Dark troopers were resilient, but even they could be downed by a basilisk’s arsenal given the chance.

 

“Ranged assets, dig in and keep the crusaders busy while our close quarters forces begin clearing out the museum, additional support isn’t far behind us. There’s something inside the building that requires our immediate attention.”

 

Darth Nyrys and a squad of dark troopers covertly entered the museum, leaving the firefight to confront an unknown threat.

 

====================

 

After moving the target vessel from the debris field, Sith forces began the boarding process, prioritizing securing the bridge, engineering, and the reactor.


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The young Exorcist took the Jedi’s words into her mind as they came, processing them slowly. Her brain felt like it had been drowned in the swamps of Dagobah and washed up on the misty shore. She hadn’t been able to clear her mind in weeks. She shook her head once more, trying desperately to clear the mist from her mind.

 

Abomination…

 

Why was she so fixated on that word? Kyrie breathed out a heavy sigh, but still her mind would not do anything other than spin the word over and over through her mind. She couldn’t feel any condemnation from the Jedi Master, but within her, something recoiled.

 

Do they hate me for what I have become?

 

The Exorcist’s dirty fingers clenched into fists as she hid them against her chest, beneath the veil of her cloaks. She tore at a loose nail, feeling the pain sear through her as she ripped it from the skin. Pain cleared her mind for a moment. She could feel the blood well up on her fingertips, and she fought the urge to suck on the wound.  She lost, and her voice was timid as she spoke around her fingertip. Her words were directed at Lok but they did not sound her own.

 

“Do you hate what I am?”

 

The Imperial Knight repressed the impulse to hit herself in rebuke.

 

Why would you say that?

 

Kyrie ground her teeth, revulsion rising in her stomach, amplifying the nausea with a deeper feeling of self-hatred. Realization came as she emptied her stomach into the mud. There was a crimson stain to the bile, but it disappeared into the tar-coloured ground. 

 

Teenage Insecurity. This is the ghost of my other soul.

 

Her voice was frail as she spoke again, but it held her own intonations.

 

“It is true, we must separate.”

 

She spit out another mouthful of bile, wiping her trembling mouth with the back of her dirt-stained hand  

 

“Cloning data of my own form was destroyed on Kuat. The Force will find me a new form…”

 

She smiled at Lok, a masquerade of stained teeth to hide her own self-doubt

 

“If not… The Force is with me… And I am one with the Force.”


 

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(Oh s***, Sorry gray forgot about you saying that you responded)
Jax nodded in understanding to Scar before preparing himself for combat. Priming his blaster rifle and falling into the best position to engage from with the Sith war bots.

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((Delta))

Throgun was the first to fall. Of course he was, he was the largest threat. For an ambush, the Sith troopers were remarkably well trained, and though Throgun took out his share with his heavy repeating blaster before going down, there was no chance of completely catching the entire unit off guard to the point to ensure a clean kill. Chun was hit twice, first in the arm, then a lucky shot caught him in the gut. Chun was always tough, though, and continued to lay down fire even as he tried to kick himself backwards into cover. A well placed grenade made sure he never got the chance.

Remar faced his own death with pride, charging the troops, and while he was certain several of his shots hit, he was dead before he hit the ground, concentrated fire chewing through his body glove in the parts his armor didn't cover. The fire stopped, the dust and smoke began to clear, and Remar's last laugh was made readily apparent. He'd collapsed the entrance to the tunnel just as they began firing, hopefully stalling the Sith. It was all he could do. The Sith would push forward, inexorable, inevitable. He would see his brothers and sisters soon.

In the power substation, Nolo's group was still under the impression that they were still needed to provide power to Arkab's shields. Where Nolo had hoped Remar's team would ferret out a win, now the best he and the remaining Glory Bound could hope for was a stalemate. Each of the ten remaining Mandalorians made their peace, and readied themselves for war. 

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((Exodus))

"You vainarrogant animal!!"

Skon's voice boomed through the tunnel, amplified by his suit. As the mists crept in and the shields fell, the chaos in his troops turned more to order as they regrouped in a retreat, moving back to more fortified positions. There was no immediate counterattack, though, a hesitation swept across the cavern as the leader of the Glory Bound took the field. Skon's armor was decorated now with trinkets and cloth taken from Ar-Pharazon's sanctum, as well as with blood of the fallen painted in shapes and runes.

Skon walked closer, wielding a large shield of Mandalorian iron and a Sith sword, also pilfered from the Temple. Again, he spoke, his voice resonating clearly.

"Your sheer hubris is astounding, that you would dare call yourself Sith. You think yourself better than us because you won some twisted genetic lottery? Because of some invisible wizardry inaccessible to the majority of the galaxy's population? Without it, you're nothing. We are the true warriors, our entire life being a struggle to survive and thrive, each day fighting to lay claim to the right to continue on to tomorrow. You took shortcuts, your ego growing fat while it rested on the laurels of your gift, a gift wasted."

Skon threw the sword downward, burying it between them in the dirt of the cavern floor.

"I challenge you, Sith. The true test of the warrior. No armor, no weapons, to the death. You can kill us all, slaughter as many as you please, but you will never gain true respect unless you can back up your overblown powers with a true warrior's prowess. You will always life in the shadow of fear, using it as a whip to maintain order while always wondering where the next dagger will come from out of the dark. But here, now, I offer you the chance to move past that. Kill me, and my men will offer no resistance. Claim leadership over them or sacrifice them, their lives are yours. But we all know that won't happen."

Skon gestured out of the cavern to the moonfall fields as his men finished digging into their positions, firing up the remaining E-Web on standby should the Sith disagree. 

"Shall we?"

----------------------------------------------------------------

((Jax/Nyrys))

The ambush was swift and silent. The first Mandalorian's head was neatly separated from his shoulders and was sailing across the room before he knew what hit him. The second one was similar, managing a stifled scream before the Darktroopers swiftly moved in, surgically striking key parts with their vibroblades. 

Scar stood from the corpse, slinging the blood on the floor. "It was fortunate this time that we managed to take them off guard. We will likely not get the chance again. Lady Nyrys is approaching. Transferring command functionality."

As Nyrys approached, Scar quickly filled her in on the situation inside the museum, indicating where the rest of the hostile scout troops were inside the museum.

In space, the Sith taking the Mandalorian ship found little resistance. The Mandalorians had turned rather savage, many of them catatonically fulfilling crew functions, while others that provided actual resistance had simply abandoned their weapons to favor ferally charging at the boarding parties. On the bridge in the exact middle of the room on the floor sat a bronze medallion etched in Sith runes. Soft whispers drifted across the ears of those who entered, pleading with them to protect it, though whatever "it" was wasn't readily apparent.


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Adenna wasn't too concerned about the cloning process. Even if Kyrie's own body's DNA was lost, there were ways to craft new clones that would be more suitable and not previously occupied by someone. She was more concerned with the mental state of the leader of the Imperial Knights. She suspected it would take some time before Kyrie would be able to lead the Knights anywhere. She would offer whatever healers of both mind and body that the Jedi Order could spare, though she wasn't sure they would be accepted by the insular Imperial Knights.

 

It was now fully dark, so if there was a good time to evacuate, now might be it. At the minimum, it may hamper any hostile eyes from visually seeing who was boarding their shuttle. They needed to get Kyrie some medical attention that they weren't going to get here in the ruins of a desolated planet.

 

She activated her homing beacon sending a highly encrypted signal to their shuttle. The pilot they left behind would receive the message and come pick them up as soon as they reached an appropriate area. "We need to get out of here," she announced. "With finding Master Eleison, our mission changes and now we need to evacuate and return to our allies both for proper medical care and to report what we see here. Let's go find a place for our shuttle to pick us up and pray to the Force that we can get through orbit without the Sith seeing through our forged Idents."


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"What? I could never... Why would you?" Lok questioned in a jumbled mixture of thoughts and words as his gaze shifted from the sky above back toward Kyrie in a half enraged half confused state of mindframe at her question. But as his eyes glazed over silver in color, his own understanding became clear as he saw the souls' visage mixed with Kyrie's own. With a humbled smile, he spoke more clearly this time, aiming his words at the one who truly questioned it. "No."

 

Grasping Kyrie's arm as she leaned forward, the dark bile spilling its self upon the ground, he stroke at her hair and pulled it from her face, his gaze still glazed in silver as he looked upon them both through the Force, attempting for the first time to understand what was truly happening. It was a small endeavor, barely a blip upon the radar that oversaw the whole of Coruscant, but he needed to truly see what Kyrie was enveloped in, the darkness she spoke of if he was to truly help. He was no Exorcist, but he still held the gift of the Imperial Knights, to see darkness in a world of light. Sitting her back up, the glaze disappeared and his gaze fell back upon her as she spoke.

 

"Indeed. I see it now." Lok spoke, his face having taken a humbling tone after the brief encounter with the soul that resided beside her bringing concern for both. He knew she spoke the truth, the Force capable of many things both light and dark, and even in between. But it wasn't what he saw nor the Force's will being played out here that worried him the most. Smiling at her words, he spoke. "In order to understand the reason, we need to discover the intent. We won't be able to do that here. We need to get off..."

 

Just as he was about to finish his sentence, Master Adenna spoke up for him. They did indeed need to get off of Coruscant, not just for their sake or Kyrie's, but to figure out why she had been reborn in such a darkened way. And the only path that would reveal the destination was the one thing they could not truly access on a level that alerted the enemy, if Kyrie's existence hadn't already. He could feel the darkness in the distance growing, could feel their preoccupation at that moment. It was now or never.  "I saw a sturdy rooftop a few clicks east earlier. Could provide a stable means for a quick exit if we're capable to reaching it."


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