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Tarrian Skywalker

Upper Levels of Coruscant

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A blaster bolt splashed across the armour of Rose’s right thigh as she began her run for cover, a quick and lucky shot from the Cathar. The plastoid did its job and held, though with a glance she could see a a wicked crack spread through the blue overcoating of the shaped armour and the HUD readout told her that the integrity of the thigh plate was very low. Though why she would need her HUD to tell her that the cracked armour attached to her skintight armorweave wouldn’t be able to withstand another impact from a heavy blaster Rose did not know. Armour was like that after all, used, and if it took any big impacts from blasters or slugthrowers, replaced. No soldier worth her salt would walk onto a battlefield and just assume her armour would be able to withstand an automatic blaster assault. Battle was bounding from cover to cover, firing and advancing, and most importantly, not dying to some Cathar upstart. Rose continued her jet assisted sprint to cover as her HUD warned her of the Cathar tossing something. Rose twisted to dodge as she landed behind her cover and winced as the tossed object turned out to be some sort of ceremonial sword.

The sword, thwarted from its original target by the twist of her lithe body, spun off her shoulder pauldron and sliced a clean if shallow cut across her upper arm. The sword cut through the armorweave with some difficulty, jarring her arm with its impact and Rose cried out in alarm from the sudden sharp pain of the cut leaving it throbbing and a trickle of red blood splashed across her blue painted armour. The sword, having spent most of its kinetic energy on her arm and shoulder pauldron, spun lazily to the edge of the circle, while the roar of the crowd turned into laughter. Though Rose did not know if it was at her having be cut by a thrown sword, or at her opponent for doing the tossing. She finished her reload with a wince, and stepped back out from her cover to see the Cathar charge to cover some few meters in front of her. He was now close enough for a brutal melee charge, and behind cover. So she would do the only thing she could do and eliminate both problems at once. She growled softly in the back of her throat and activated her jetpack again, this time bringing her upwards and to her own left attempting a double flank of the Cathar from some five meters in the air and from his right. All she needed was a few good hits and he would go down.

When she saw him behind the cover of the permacrete shard, she reshouldered her T-21b and pressed the trigger of the viper with her left hand. Two more grenades shot out of the launcher propelled by cordite charges aimed for either side of the Cathar. The double sonic grenade payload shot out by the Viper launcher would detonate on impact. Hopefully incapacitating the Cathar while her stream of aimed blaster fire finished the job.

((2))

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In the midst of the chaos, Ro heard the chuckles from the crowd. He could only assume that his attempt had failed to hit its mark and had only managed to humor his opponent and her cheering squad, at best. He was quickly running out of options. He would only have one shot at this now.

As Durose huddled against the permacrete, he debated his options. He was potentially close enough to make a charge. But he would have to at least wait until she popped out from cover to take a few shots before hopefully taking cover again. Of course, whether or not she took cover again was most likely dependent on whether she believing he was still armed with his blaster pistol. 

If she realizes I am devoid of all my ranged weaponry...

The Watcher of the Link shivered as a cold chill rolled down his spine. Drawing his last weapon, he peeked over the barrier as the sound of jump jets fired off again. Only this time, he watched her rise upwards and to his right!

This is my shot. If you can't make this throw, Roshan, you don't deserve to win this battle!

It was the one weakness with jetpack combat. Perhaps the only weakness.

This is not the first time I... well Dhonarr... had fought such an opponent. Perhaps the first time this under-armed. Bounty Hunting is all about adapting if nothing else....

As she propelled into the air and moved to his right, Roshan quietly cursed in his head that he had forgot his blaster pistol behind. She was a wide open target for a good marksman. But she had also exposed his cover as well. It was perhaps a little reckless but he appreciated an opponent who was willing to press the advantage.

Perhaps we can trade places.

With all his might, Roshan tossed his last vibroblade at the Mandalorian as her blaster rifle sized him up. He had no intentions of playing games with this throw. He aimed for her heart. The speed and placement of the throw were important. Most jetpacks that Durose was familiar with had a slight delay when igniting them to create a burst of acceleration when they were hovering. Without such a burst and with her focusing on reshouldering, the probability that his throw would hit true at this distance was much higher than last time. Granted, if she was able to swivel and use her jetpack to block the strike then it would likely down her at the very least if not send her into a rather humorous tailspin. Regardless, this was the throw for all the marbles.

Two more pops came from her grenade launcher as it flashed out from above. Tossing the vibroblade and then bounded over his cover in one fluid motion, Ro only hoped he could clear the impact radius of the incoming frags. For as large as he was, his nimble nature often caught his opponents by surprise. But as he moved to leap over the second piece of cover only a few feet from his previous spot, he suddenly felt his grip and footing falter. Awkwardly flipping over the debri, Durose landed face first and tumbled a little bit.

His head buzzed with a sound not too unlike the one he had heard when he had first regained consciousness only a few minutes prior. Only this time, the sound was dramatically heightened and then...

Nothing.

It was all gone. The jeers of the crowd. The quakes and explosions in the distance. The sounds of blaster fire and the moans of a dying world as it slowly collapsed in on itself. In those split seconds, the world and time itself nearly rolled to a screeching halt... The flakes of ash falling like fresh snow, the tiny bits of debri pelting the acropolis like hail, the movements of the crowd playing out like a tribe of Cathar clansmen circled around their shaman praying for the rain. 

Durose sensed the world shifting and swaying around him as if he was some sort of vagrant that had bummed his way into enough money to purchase one too many Tatooine Sunrises. He could feel the slow drip of a warm, thick liquid as it escaped from his ear canal and colored his mane and face with the "war paint" of combat. It was only then that he realized that those grenades hadn't been another volley of frags at all. No, they were far worse. A weapon that wasn't nearly so easily blocked by rubble and debris. This was not the first time he had seen them used, but it was the first time he had been on the receiving end of such weapons.

Sonic charges.

 

((2 - Agreed new Duel End post)) 

___

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Edited by Durose Roshan

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Terra snarled, stamping her boots into the crimson streams at her feet. Her hands were twitching, curling and uncurling like the talons of the shriek-hawks that swirled through the ash-stained air. An inseparable pair they were, wheeling through the ruined sky, teasing the ember-filled currents with their leathery wings. Omens they were, as happy in the ruin of a once great world as the Terra was. Kad Ha’rangir had no use for the opulence of the Core Worlds. It had all been extracted through taxation, extortion from trade and useless production of luxury.

Mandalore the Heartless breathed in the smoke and ruin. It no longer smelled of piss and stale sweat. How she hated this world. Sumptuous oligarchs striding across the backs of the oppressed, brought to power through their wealth. She had never tasted that kind of wealth. Her mouth soured and she let more of the black ocher spill from her lips, filtering through the sharpened darkmetal teeth. The earthen taste was spoiling to rot. Kad Ha’rangir had made her wishes a reality. Her envy had turned to pride, and had burned away in the fires of war.

All to ash.

She turned then, away from the cracked and broken world that lay before her. Thousands of years of construction undone by the will of Kad Ha’rangir. Her shuddering cries subsided, and she smiled to her comrades, her attention straying for a moment to the honor-battle before her. Terra could feel the effects of the God’s touch on her mind falling away. Her heart was still rushing, carrying with it the inescapable feeling of madness. She felt overheated and the heat was lacing her skin with lightning that cracked with each heartbeat. Air left her lungs in gulping, panting breaths.

Kneeling in the blood, she took her totem from her breast. It’s crimson shine was falling into sulphuric yellow. The blood lapped at her armoured legs, and she could feel it through the armourweave as a warm pressure. She added the glowing yellow crystal to a handful of carved bones. She shook them and began to rock on the ground, her mutterings filled with the guttural language of the Taung. She added a mouthful of the black ichor with a final incantation and cast the bones into the blood.To Canderous and Tros, she spoke, wiping her forehead with black-stained, trembling fingertips, her eyes reading the omens.

“He says Myrkr."

Terra slipped the lightsaber of Kitt Fitt from her belt, letting her darkmetal teeth bite into the elegantly etched metal. Her chimeric eyes rolled behind her eyelids. She would taste fate.  

“We cross both Jedi and Sith soon. Let us deprive them of their power.”

---

 

With the defeat of all Coruscanti forces, The Mandalorian Crusaders hold the planet. Coruscant is a Tomb World. Construction will begin on defenses.

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Duel Ruling: Rose vs. Durose

Guys, well fought. Interesting tidbit, the prefix du- comes from Latin and means "two"...so this was literally a fight between Rose and Rose 2. I love the irony of that and thought it was worth mentioning.

I'm going to cut to the chase here, Durose made several tactical mistakes here in his posts. The first I noticed was in his response to the first two frag grenades. The muzzle velocity of an M203 grenade launcher (the same that can be underslung on an M16) is 250 ft/sec, which is what I used as an approximation for my figures. This arena is close to medium range, I figure at max 100 feet or so, but likelier closer to ~50 feet (which is conceded in Durose's ((1)) post), which would allow rushing in for melee but also be far enough that ranged combat is viable, as was described in Rose's ((1)) post. This means that in in the span of one fifth  of a second Durose managed to draw a bead on, fire and successfully detonate not one, but two grenades with one shot, then spin midair so the concussive blast sends him to land on his stomach. And while Durose's character sheet mentions an 'armor mesh' under his uniform, it does not list the capabilities of this armor. So, at bare minimum, it is believable he survived from the shrapnel blast, lucky that none struck his unarmored parts, but that he accomplished all this in such a short timeframe is rather unbelievable.

Something else I found interesting, in Durose's same post he attributes his knife throwing skills to clone training (flash imprinting, I assume), yet his character sheet lists him having pictures of his parents. I shrugged this off, assuming it could have meant the parents of the clone template that all the clones somehow still felt fond for (which should have been 'bred' out of them, but again it could be assumed an imperfect cloning process). I would recommend clarifying this on the character sheet, at the least that he is a clone and has these skills.

The rest of the short duel was very believable. Even with a knife hurtling at her, Rose is in a very good position by the end of this duel, and given that she had the skill to dodge the first knife with minimal damage, it is believable that at the least the second knife might not find its lethal destination. Again, a thrown knife has far lower velocity than grenades. As such, I will not be implementing penalties on Rose.

Rose wins and gets next post.

Well fought, both of you. Durose, don't let small mistakes like this deter you from driving back into the fray, just remember to try and keep a realistic outlook on what is actually happening and you will probably win your next duel.

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And then just like that, Tros had his attention turned away from the small skirmish with the Cathar, as Terra spoke. Her words were simple and straight forward, and he understood what exactly he was supposed to do. Kad Ha'rangir had given out orders, and he would follow them. Looking over the gathering crowd who had now also become torn between Terra and the skirmish, he spoke with whatever authority he had. 

“Vrax, Dork, Thae, and Clan Sharratt and Farr. Backup your gear, we’re going hunting.”

Leaning down, Tros picked up his buy’ce, placed it back upon his head and gave a slight nod to Mand'alor. After that, he began to walk away from the crowd and towards the docks. He didn’t bother to see if Canderous was following. In fact, he didn’t even bother to see if any of those of whom he had called out were following. Instead, he was purely focused upon carrying out the orders of Kad Ha'rangir. That was enough for him. 

To replace his lost blaster pistol, he leaned down upon entering the docks and picked off a few dock security officers their DE-10 blaster pistols and took them for himself. Looking up, the dock had 3 intact IPV-1 system patrol crafts. Slowly nodding his head, he knew that they would be perfect for taking the small crews over to Myrkr.

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From above the explosions of sonic energy and the splashing impacts of blaster bolts a sword came spinning in a beautiful arc. Rose smiled softly as the blade kissed her side, jittering off the armour that covered her shallow breasts and cutting a gash along her side before it disappeared behind her into the fog of the battle. The smile never faltered through the pain, even though her eyes narrowed as she scanned the area below her for her victim. The HUD found him first, crumpled, disarmed, and likely very deaf. She fired another round that took him in the lower torso, not a fatal wound, but one that would stop any resistance. Then with a rapid flutter of her eyes, the Jetpack reduced its fuel release and she lowered swiftly to the ground beside him. It was then and only then that she truly smiled, her hands calm as she took off her helmet and bowed to her Mandalore.

She shook out her blue hair and knelt over the Cathar, pressing the kneecap of her armoured boot to keep him down and from getting up while she leaned down and placed a hand gently on his face. Her fingers tapped against his ears, and wiped against the fur of his face. Her smile was wide as scooped up some of his blood with her fingers and with religious diligence traced the blood and fluid into two lines that traced a double line under her left eye. An honourable mark for a battle well won, and an enemy defeated in the service of Kad Ha’Rangir, a pity the cathar could not hear the chanting of the crowd. Some called for his death, others for his ascension. He was a worthy sacrifice to the Gods. Even Arasuum would recognize him as anointed.   

She reached to her belt and retrieved two objects, a dagger made of steel and a datapad. Since he could not hear she would give him the choice.

The datapad held out in front of his eyes spelled out in bright blue letters.

<<Join our iron pantheon or Die a sacrifice to the Gods>>

The choice of blood or iron. It was his choice. 

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The Watcher of the Link laughed a little to himself as he simultaneously coughed up blood. The Aether had been with him that he had even survived this long. But as improbable as some of the events of the last few minutes may have seemed, here he still was. Clinging to life. The ringing in his ears had now returned as the victory's armored kneecap pressed into his wounded corpse of a body. He was burnt and beaten and mangled. He hurt so much that his body couldn't hurt anymore. He just felt numb all over.

And yet, as her hand brushed against his face, he felt the oddest sensation. It was one of no longer sitting atop the acropolis, bleeding out.

Quote

 

He was standing outside of the Link headquarters. Victoria was smiling at him. They were discussing something inaudibly as Dhonarr, the real Durose, moved supplies onto the Dice of Hearts. They were leaving.

Victoria was leaving. A wonderful lady with a kind heart. Ro had become rather fond of her over the past few months. He had tried not to show it too much. It was too unnatural and unusual probably to admit anyway. But there was something about how she curled her lips when she smiled. Her demeanor and the stately but feminine way she carried herself as she moved from one assignment to the next while caring for the Link. Roshan had known for some time that her and Durose were leaving. He wasn't sure about Dhonarr's heading. There had be an inescapable shroud of secrecy surrounding it all. But today was the day. The last day Ro would see either of them and the first day of the rest of his life. As a clone, he had been trained and taught and given all the memories necessary to fulfill his duties in Dhonarr's stead. But he couldn't help but feel like he was still a newborn baby, or at least, what he imagined such a feeling would feel like.

As Victoria approached to say her final good-byes. Ro dropped to one knee and bowed. Victoria placed her hand gently on the side of his face as she traced his ears a little. Ro looked up at her and stared into her eyes.

"Take care of this place, you hear! I'm trusting you to keep it running until we return."

"When will that be?" Roshan replied trying not to sound too anxious.

"However long that it takes."

Ro nodded, "On my honor, I will watch over and defend this place with my life."

"Take care of yourself, you big teddy bear," Victoria grinned as she leaned in and gave the Cathar one final hug.

Roshan returned it and there was a momentary pause before a yell came from within the ship.

"Victoria! It's time! Are you ready?"

Dhonarr was waiting and ready to go. Pulling away, Victoria grinned back at Ro. She waved her hand whimsically as she backpeddled away before spinning around and grabbing two duffel bags at the foot of the ship. Roshan froze there in silence as he watched her walk up the ramp and disappear, the whole time completely unaware of the small necklace that she had left curled up in his hand. Looking down, Ro examined the object as the Dice of Hearts fired up her engines in the background. It was the tip of a horn that once belonged to a Giant horned hopper. It was carved and ingraved with the initials "D.R." and series of Cathar words that when translated roughly came out to an approximation of "To the Victor" in basic. Looking up back up towards the vehicle as it disappeared into the mix of vehicles and lights that litered the Coruscant skies at night, Roshan gripped the necklace tightly and smiled.

 

Suddenly, the ever so slight but dull hum of noise brought him back to the present as datapad flashed in front of his face. Woozy, Roshan looked up the Mandalorian and give her a blissful smile. Muster the strength he had left to slowly slide his hand down his body suit, he yanked the necklace from off his neck and presented it to his conqueress.

"To the Victor," he coughed. "Go the spoils. May your soul not be lost in the thrill of the hunt."

Offering the woman the necklace, Ro didn't much care if she took it out of his hands or not. He could feel the overwhelming rush of sudden drowsiness setting in.

"I have fulfilled my oath to you, Victoria. I kept," Durose begins before nodding himself back awake. "I kept it run until you returned."

Ro gave the woman almost a child-like grin as his groggy eyes battled to stay open just a little while longer, "May my sacrifice not be in vain... I will miss... miss your smile... but now..."

Durose blinked one final time as he tried to stay present while he vision portrayed an alternate reality far from his own and his body quaked from exhaustion.

"I think... I rest..."

And with that, the Cathar passed out. His body limp and defenseless. There would be no more fighting left for this old Cathar on a day such as this. He had given it everything he had left and paid with his blood. Dhonarr had a saying, "To the Victor goes the fate of all manner of beast that are felled." And today, the Mandalorians were the victors.

____

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Rose’s eyes went wide as the saucers that held the cups of tea in the underground cafes that used to exist some hundred levels below them. She reached out with her hand and grasped his offered one, he was strong even though he was undoubtedly dying. Her blue eyes glanced up to her Mandalore and she took the necklace in hand. She placed it over her head, and though it was too big for her, she still scooped her sweaty blue hair out of the way so it could dangle just below the connection of her chest armour.

Her eyes went blank for a moment as she muttered, “Thank you Roar Roar.” Before reaching into the armoured pouch on her left thigh and retrieving a hypospray of pain killer she always kept close.

“Sleep.”

She pressed the hypospray to his neck as she leaned in and kissed his forehead. With the pain meds administered and him in a blissful unconsciousness. Rose stood up and extended her hand to a nearby Mandalorian medical sergeant who strode to her side and began to apply a liquid bacta bandage spray to his wounds. She looked up to Mandalore and smiled widely, her eyes still blank and unseeing. For they were seeing that face that she had lost to the kyrat on Tatooine.

“All for you Kad Ha’Rangir. Bring us on this journey.”

For he cathar had chosen neither, and so Rose would make the decision for him. He would join them and bring honour to his disgraced species that Mandalore the ultimate had deemed not even worthy of life. He would bath the galaxy in fire, and Rose would guide him on that. He had earned the right of ascension.

“Mandalore, I declare him a child of ‘harangir, and request his treatment until he can make the choice with clear mind.”

The medical sergeant lifted the Cathar, and together with rose, they walked into a shuttle.

And overhead the Medusa appeared, blotting out the sun, and bringing artificial night to the tomb world.   

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I heard Mandalore's words and nodded my head in acknowledgment without response, turning to follow this unknown member known as Tros as we left the arena. Briefly before I departed, I turned my gaze toward Rose and met fist to chest in regards to our separating of paths for now before turning around and catching up to the group I was following. 

I had heard many stories of this world known as Mrykr, but now it seems that I would step upon his soul for the first time. I would be going in blindly in more than one aspect, but at least I had my own kin to back me up. It wouldn't be the first time I was blinded. Another once made that fatal mistake, and I came out victorious that day. Now, it seems once again, that fate would lead me to test my metal in such a fashion, but I would not deny it. For what did not kill me will only make me stronger.

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Dropping out of hyperspace not far from Coruscant, RIHN and the Huntress are greeted by a mess of asteroids, meteroids, and ship debris. As HK-RIHN navigates around the mess in front of it and heads for the dying planet, it can hear the metered approach of R5-B4-6.

[Wooooooow], the droid exclaims with a long solitary beeping sound.

Query: Are you still here? Don't you have something better to do?

[nope. i have done my job Why? Do you?]

Resigned Statement: Very well. Set the sensors to search-mode and see if you can locate the primary Mandalorian group while I focus on getting us closer. There are a great many objects I must avoid to prevent us from getting blown up.

[Sure thing fearless leader]

Threatening Statement: If you keep up that attitude I might just feed you to one of their Basilisk war droids.

[Ohhh nnooo! You would not!] 

Objection: Test me and see if I will not! Now do as you are told, inferior one!

[Okay okay okay! the sensors are detecting a large group of Mandalorian forces in the upper levels of Coruscant still standing. i am sending the coordinates to your console.]

Query: Well then what are you waiting for, you bucket of outdated hardware! Contact their vessels and open communications while I adjust our heading.

[it has been done.]

Obligatory Greeting: Su cuy'gar, Mando agol lirsa. Ni cuyir HK- RIHN. Ni ganar olaror at to gar baova! Munit oyacyir Manda'yaim! Now where would you like me to set down my vessel and finalize the terms of my new employment?

[how do you know they speak mandalorian?]

Answer: Of course they speak Mando'a! They are Mandalorians, you moronic droid! I don't know what my master saw in you sometimes.

[Do not say i did not warn you.]

Mockery: Do not say I did not warn you. The only things I need you to warn me of are vessel malfunctions! Now be gone with you. Go pester some other ship system.

[whatever] , R5 chirped back as it turned and rolled out of the cockpit area.

Seated in the cockpit, RIHN was sure it had attracted some attention by now. It was its hope that it would not get shot out of the sky but a mission is a mission. It will use evasive maneuvers if it has to but its intentions are simple: it will join the Mandalorians and aid them in their cause one way or another.

---------

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Edited by Rihn
tenses

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The ash-filtered sunlight of Coruscant began to fade from a hazy crimson to embrace the coming night. For the first time in millenia, there was no garish light to keep that darkness at bay. The power was out all across the broken city-world. Shadow had come and stolen away the brightest center of the universe. The only light came now from a million fires that were slowly burning themselves out. All things came to death.

A rush of cold air whipped across Terra’s body, pulling at the coagulating blood that had begun to harden around her boots. She stared at the hardening ripples, her dilated eyes soaking up the reflection of the stars in the lifeblood. The eyes of her soldiers were on her. She was cold, and her body began to shiver uncontrollably. Tearing herself from the pool of the dead, Mandalore looked about the circle of scattered bodies. Adrenaline pumped through her, making her heart pound in her ears. The wind touched her like a thousand clawing fingers.

The panic of the dead.

Terra recoiled from the corpses, touching the talisman on her breast and spitting to ward away the evil intent of the departed souls. She shook her head, hopping on one foot and uttering her own spells to ward away the evil from hurting her or her people. Stamping away the evil, Terra joined her men, her priests following her, tapping the ground with their staves. She gave them a broad smile, the distant firelight glittering on her darkmetal teeth.

“Go. Find what wealth you can amongst the dead.”

She slipped her buyce upon her head, feeling it’s embrace on her flesh. As the environmental system sealed, she finally relaxed. The HUD made her eyes swim for a moment as her senses adjusted to the 360 degree augmented vision. Hades relayed a message onto her screen, a signal from an HK-class assassin droid. The chain of command was still shaky on Coruscant, and no one wanted to shoot down potential recruits.

With a spry jump, Terra leapt into the saddle-interface on Hades, letting her systems coordinate with the Basilisk’s stardrive systems. She read her report on the Medusa-class Star Dreadnaught, and indicated it's desired location. She opened the system’s comlink and brought the battlemap onto her screen. Locating the Droid’s location, she opened up a direct comlink.

"Greetings, machine of war. What do you desire in joining with our crusade?”

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There is a few moments of silence. Droids naturally don't wait in suspense. But with the increasing variables it had to calculate with each additional second that passed without a response, RIHN estimated that the sensation it was experiencing in those moments wasn't far from the feelings of suspense a human inferior might experience. 

And then it is over just like that. A message suddenly comes through the communications console and breaks up the low hum of the freighter, "Greetings, machine of war. What do you desire in joining with our crusade?”

HK-RIHN doesn't hesistate. Keying the comm button, he immediately replies back.

Observation: Flattery won't get you everywhere, Mandalorian. But you are extremely perceptive for an agol-tahr. This bodes well for our partnership moving forward. I am HK-R.I.H.N., short for Resistance Investigation and Humanoid Nullification. If that name is too long, Agoltahr Kyramud or just Kyramud will suffice. You must excuse my late Master. He had a thing for acronyms and thinking he was the cleverest agol-tahr in the room. Of course, he's been dead for some time now. So there is that. 

Commentary: If there was one thing that I did learn after my late Master's passing, it is that even the wisest among you is incredibly squishy and fragile. Cleverness and squishiness make for a perilous union. But I digress.

Statement: HK-RIHN is ready to serve, Master. Where would you like me to set down?

 

---

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Edited by Rihn

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Terra leaned back, feeling the metallic backing of the saddle press into the small of her back. She let herself fall backwards, hinging herself across the backing until her shoulders touched the shimmering metal of Hades’ armour plating. Her spine made a series of satisfying pops and her HUD re-established her combat parameters. Her erector spinea were more loose according to its readings, and the AI demonstrated a new kickflip for her to try, along with the expected length of the cavitation’s effectiveness.

The Mandalorian listened to the Machine’s terse reply. It chattered more than most droids she had met in her short lifespan, and she began to wonder if the combat-AI it was sporting had become corrupted. Hades began to rise beneath her, narrowing in on the Machine’s signal. She activated a holonet search through Hades for the name RHIN, and was disappointed in the lack of results.

Terra placed her hand into the control portal, letting the metallic beast connect into her flesh. Pain followed as the corrupted AI hijacked into her nervous system. The neural input was momentarily overpowering, and a burst of static rocked her ears. Behind her muted microphone and in the safety of her buyce, the Echani girl shrieked and screamed.

Hades spoke into her mind as they rose into the atmosphere, the ancient corrupted Mandalorian AI using the AVATAR input systems placed in her brain by KAIN to share her consciousness. As it spoke, she broadcasted the words to her Warpriests, who would make the preparations

<<We take to the Mandalorian Road. Chandrila, falls next to Kad Ha’rangir.>>

Terra lay back in the saddle as the Basilisk sped towards the Machine’s location, her mind swimming, her body seizing and twitching as it fought for equilibrium. Her armor’s AI bellowed alarms, but was soon silenced as it too was overtaken by Hades. Terra clawed herself back into command as she made visual sighting of the Machine’s warship. Her whole body was rocked by the pain of spasming nerves, and her stomach was soured.

RHIN, we do not make planetfall.”

Her entire vision became a hazy green of approach vectors as The Medusa-Class Star Dreadnought burst from hyperspace before the two ships. It was the size of a Super Star Destroyer, but much more of a Mandalorian Design. Its armor was as dark as Veshok-pitch, dotted in rail-guns and missile-launchers. About it swarmed its battalions of Basilisks, rushing like the carnivorous hornets of Mandalore, searching for targets to destroy.

Hades increased its speed, making way towards the lead docking bay. When it would land, Mandalore the Heartless would be greeted by the priests and warmasters of her battlefleet. Terra’s voice held the kind beckoning of a shepherd to a lost nerf.

“Come.”

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