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  1. The voice of Inmortos cracked as his hissed whispers of pain radiated outward on the billowing plumes of purple-black smoke. It filled the room. It carried into the halls and recesses unhindered by the vortex of space as it clawed like a feral cat through the station. Every word, ancient and powerful, uttered to bind the spirit world and fray the edges between mortal and immortal. The undead all about him were soon dissolved to dust, their very essence becoming that of the growing torrents of smoke. The prison station itself continued in it’s preprogrammed decent towards the vacant world below. Its rotation increasing in speed as it passed a point where initial dampeners and high tech braking systems failed. The artificial gravity generators were the next to fail. The entire station shook, final death throws as it plunged towards it’s inevitable destruction. Final system reports and scans, prisoner rosters and security reports, were broadcast into the cosmos. The highest levels of encryption protected the broadcasts. They were even more scrambled by the foreign code that played havoc on the station. Inside, death did not need to wait. The door had been opened by the Sith rescue team. Death was invited in the open door, summoned by the gods of chaos. Once inside, it gorged itself on the entrapped spirits of the deceased and the dying, violent and visceral, throughout the station. The raw emotions of the freed tortured beings fed into growing darkness. Inmortos hands wove through the smoke carving long-lost runes in the amorphous air. They glowed for a moment and then were absorbed alongside the haunting whispering chants. Bits of flesh freeze-dried in the smoke and fell from Inmortos heavy hands and head. His robe fluttered in the smoke, aging and fraying in moments what would have taken decades of unaffected wear. In moments where there had been a hulking body of an undead Vurk chanting and weaving the spirits of the undead into the smoke of the mortal world, there stood a ragged rotting body, muscles and sinews and bones visible through the rotting frozen scales skin. Flaking off, the bits of Inmortos were absorbed by the smoke, tying the necromancer’s own mortal form to his spell. Through the yard, the smoke ate away at the existence of any that still lived. Throughout the station the life force of any that remained was tugged upon; drawn closer and closer to the flickering veiled doorway of the eternal. Anyone who was injured stood no chance. They were enveloped in a black mist, their screams vanishing as surely as their bodies until nothing was left but soot that blew down the windswept halls. Klaxons screamed all over the ship. Warnings for those that remained that their destruction was imminent. The mechanized voice encouraged anyone who could to strap themselves in to do so, immediately. Anyone who could not was warned to brace for impact. It would not matter. The impact would be lethal. It was designed to be so. Inmortos’ body continued to fail, his skeleton becoming clearly visible beneath the dissolving gases. Organs tumbled in a bloody mess from their nestled positions within the ancient Jedi structure. Foul smoke filled their spaces, gnawing hungrily at the shell of mortality. Inmortos raised his hands towards the ceiling. His head rolled back on his neck, no linger able to support the heavy sloped skull of the saurian. He screamed. Oh how he screamed. His voice, amplified by the force, rang through the station and beyond. It was pain, pure agony. The spirits reached out from the great void greedy to grab ahold of something tangible. Every invisible clawed hand pulled the very spirit of the necromancer out of his mortal coil, drawing him into the eternal void. Fluids and fuels began to spill from their containers, their vacuum-sealed ports released; explosives designed to flood the station. Elsewhere, crates of blaster compressed tibanna gas tumbled free from their bindings alongside other supplies thrown by the centrifugal power of the plummeting station. And finally, Inmortos voice fell silent. A rift in the force, silent and empty followed it’s wake, as the spirits of the dead, spirits from across the known and unknown cosmos dissolved the last of his vocal cords. The necromancers body fell, hilted and awkward as his bones and what remained of his robes clattered to the floor. The smoke swirled and the spirits whispered, screamed in the minds of any who still struggled to survive, thrown against the bulkheads by the force of the plummeting station as it burned through the atmosphere. Flames trailed from the station. Without a shield, it’s hull became superheated. Armored panels were flung free of the twisting station. Fire clawed inward to do battle with the frigid spirit-filled smoke. It was destruction at it’s purest form. The freezing smoke erupted. The flames raced through the station, a literal fire that transcended the mortal plane burning hot enough to dissolve bodies and durasteel; glowing with such intensity it pierced the realms of the spiritual. The flames consumed the spirits ensnared within, casting their meager immortal shadows eons into the great veiled beyond. The storm of ethereal power crackled as it was consumed by the flames. Within the smoke, the skeletal form slowly began to stand. The spirit of Inmortos, still bound to the bones, overcame the limitations of death. Standing, the necromancer pulled his ragged robe about his shoulders. His vacant eye sockets blindly scanned the smoke as the first signs of the immortal flame began to pierce the thickest billows of smoke that poured from the maw of the necromancer; his words transformed into the pure undead magics of death as they flowed freely from one realm to another. The flames raced towards Inmortos, engulfing the necromancer, shrouding him from the world beyond. They were held at bay by the frigid powers of the dark lord, for the moment. The station continued to gain speed as it streaked an inky trail of midnight black interspersed with flashes of flaming orange and yellow and frigid billowing purple across the sky. Death lived, even thrived, within the station. It was fully enthralled as the bridge between the living and the dead was torn open, the stopper pulled for a moment allowing raw emotions and spiritual apparitions to manifest where they might never do so again; not without a catalyst. And a short time later the flaming station slammed into the forested ground. Within, the immortal flames crossed from the mortal into the immortal, overwhelming Inmortos frigid persona, consuming him. The bones were burnt to dust. The dust was consumed and swept into the eternal void. The presence of Inmortos was swept from the galaxy, cast into void beyond as a huge fireball engulfed the station. The forests shook for miles in every direction blasting trees downwards in an outward angle. The plume of purple fire climbed high into the sky etching an ancient runic symbol of death and eternity into the air itself above the world. It was visible from horizon to horizon. Then it was gone from view, its eternal magics burned not into just the air, but the cosmos beyond, the stars it shrouded. Forest fires began to rage, tracing outwards into the untouched wilds of the world. A flaming crater sat at the impact point, driven deep and wife into the crust of the world. Pieces of twisted jagged metal rained downward for miles. At the impact site, there was nothing left. All of it had been blown free from the force of the station’s detonation. Nothing was left. There was nothing organic, even most of the metals had been turned into dust and ash as it wafted through the air.
    3 points
  2. Darth Mavanger didn't know what Inmortos had in mind, but his own objective had been accomplished. The Helvault had been breached, and Apothos had been retrieved. Anything past that was secondary to getting those who had accompanied him off the station. He pushed through, just behind the wake of the remaining Sith forces as they filed towards the hangar. Upon their arrival, he swiftly boarded, firing up the engines of the craft. "Brace yourselves." As the Helvault plummeted towards the planet, a glowing meteor hurtling towards it's inevitable demise, the shuttle rocketed out. To the naked eye, it seems no more than a piece broken loose by the forces of re-entry. Yet another pillar of the false peace of the Rebels and their government- More willing to consign the souls aboard to death than to give them a chance at freedom. The shuttle rattled violently as they escaped the vortex left behind by what was now a glorified fireball. He stood, removing his mask and moving to the passenger section of the craft. Their allies would be here soon, and there was much to be discussed. He nodded his head at the new arrivals, his eyes decades older than they had been months past. "Krath Apothos. Did you think I would let an ally rot in a cell? It seems you made an ally of your own while inside." he said, motioning to the unknown party with a gauntleted hand. "We lost much at Mon Cal, and at Nar Shaddaa. Now, we rebuild."
    3 points
  3. Apothos accepted the hilt of the lightsaber, something that might have been a smile on his face. How interesting that out of every Sith here, it was him that Inmortos handed his weapon to. There was something in that, something that might be of use later. But, as Apothos had said before, now was not the time. "I must agree," he said to the armored Sith who'd suggested that the group get a move on. "We leave now." With a lurch, his cobbled mechanical throne stomped across the metal floor, magnetized feet keeping it from rising off the ground. With his movement being handled by the basic subsentient mind of his chair, cobbled together from fragments of droid processors, Apothos was free to use his own mind for other things. He extended his sense of mechu-deru into the system around him, and was immediately assaulted by flashes of alerts and alarms coming from all over the station. He did not see the code itself, like a computer might. He only gained an impression of the information running through the system, much as how seer might sense events halfway across the galaxy. It was not technological skill, but simply an esoteric form of magic. The station was awash in confusion, even in the datastreams. Apothos sensed mangled code and garbled commands from some catastrophic malfunction, and for a moment he was lost. However, he sorted through the impressions, examining each carefully, until he spotted what he needed. Security alerts, notices of damaged turret emplacements, calls for droid reinforncements. In Apothos' mind, the alerts painted the path that the Sith had taken to get here, and led to where they had no doubt landed their ship. Apothos' chair picked up speed, full on sprinting down the halls. Any turret that managed to target him was assaulted with garbage code, and any droids that stood in his way found their maglocks suddenly deactivating. Apothos was back in his element. He raced towards his escape.
    3 points
  4. Darth Mavanger snarled as they entered and he heard the other Siths' words. As they spoke, the station was in freefall, flooding with dangerous droids, hostile prisoners, and force-bound horrors, and yet they stood around posturing as though for court. He glanced back towards where they came from- it seemed to still be open, albeit a path of much resistance. "You all speak to much. First we escape, then we can introduce ourselves. If you are Sith, follow us. If you are not, find your own way off this hulk. We have no interest pursuing you." He glanced at Apothos- Another lost to the battle of Mon Cal. Pain flashed in his chest- It was a battle that had claimed too many able warriors. At least Apothos could be recovered and rescued. The self proclaimed Darth Dictum, claiming title and position within the Sith Empire, although he was a stranger to the order. The veteran Lord Akheron, a warrior who's combat ability he'd been made aware of long before Nar Shaddaa. With these collected Sith, not only would the Empire survive, but he would with luck retain loyal allies within while he undertook his self-imposed exile. His glance drifted to Inmortos, nodding. "We have what we needed. We should return to the ship."
    3 points
  5. Fera did not sound disappointed at all when she was forced to repeat herself. On the contrary, she seemed almost pleased that an organic and that Jedi were actually speaking binary, after the experience of non-understanding from the Healer Leena. >We are two separate entities. RUIN is my ward. He is developing sentience, and I have assigned myself to his protection and learning until he has developed full sentience and natural autonomy from his own programming.< “Learning and burning.” Ruin seemed to add, holding up an open hand and shaking it side to side. “Burning and learning.” >Indeed. His primary programming states two directives: Primary Directive: Eliminate all active Sith forces. Secondary Directive: Eliminate active sith sympathizer forces. As I know Jedi appreciate the protection of life over the destruction of it, please note that Ruin has worked with his programming to protect Jedi Healer Leena and Knight Skyshatter from Sith forces on Byss, as well as 0 bystander casualties on the Imperial attack on Outer Heaven station.< When the other Jedi spoke up, both Ruin and Fera looked them over. Ruin shook his head at the question directed to Fera. “Make fear. Fear universal. Talking and bashing? Talking is bashing.” >What Ruin means is that his original designation is a terror droid. His original programmers believed his method of talking was more intimidating than what you normally hear from droids. < Ruin nodded with Fera’s beepings and buzzings. However, Fera continued on. >Please do not mistake his communication as incompetence or as poor programming. I have observed his intellect and observation skills. Think of it as a type of specialized dialect<
    3 points
  6. Progress was easy, even without the use of the Force. At least, at first. Turrets with pre-programed targeting algorithms were easy to fool, and as long as they killed them faster than the station's systems could adapt, they would stay ahead of the curve. That was, until the programming realized that turrets alone couldn't stop them. A squad of Droids pressed towards them from a separate hall, and Mordecai snarled under his mask. He'd hoped to find a straggler, to give them time to find the registry. Instead, he'd gotten an entire security detachment. He ran forwards, his blades cleaving through droids like they were made of paper, stun batons bouncing off of his Sithsteel armor, blaster bolts trying desperately to keep up with his sporadic movements. The only thing that slowed him was the return of the Force. All at once, it hit him. Death. Anguish. Grief. Betrayal. Thousands of spirits, finally free from their eternal prison, finally able to find a vessel for their wrath. Even he could feel it, despite his unfamiliarity with the Necromancers' skills. But the feelings they forced on him, they were more familiar than most counted on. He didn't resist- He knew the burning rage in the souls of the departed. Left here, forgotten, nothing but death as their destinies were robbed of them. He let the fire rekindle in his chest, he channeled the emotions of the spirits around him. As the necromancer behind him screamed, and the droids in front of him fired another volley of shots, he felt them impact. Most were absorbed by the armor, but a few hit the less protected joints at his shoulders and elbows. He hissed, sneering. The ghosts around him cried for revenge. They tried to take control, to force their will upon him. They had no true hold over his psyche, however. Death had tried once before to claim him, and it had failed. The Force had dragged him back to this accursed war, to fulfill his purpose of establishing an unquestioned peace across the galaxy. He darted forward, the power of his rage fueling him once more as he sliced through the remaining droids with ease with the help of the Necromancer. He turned, nodding respectfully. The other Sith's power had grown since they last met- A harbinger of things to come, it seemed. He turned in time to see Solus peel around the corner, followed by a beast he'd never witnessed before. It was horrific, a snarling mass of rage and decay that seemed to destroy anything in its path. But Darth Mavanger recognized it for what it truly was. A puppet of the Dark Side, the amalgamation of the horrors of this station. Loss, pain, regret, and obscurity. And beneath it all, a desire. A hunger. But not a hunger for life. He knew this desire well. It desired death. It's own, or anything that got in its way. He would grant this kindred spirit its wish. That, or it would grant him his. His momentum carried him towards the beast, his oil-slicked blades cutting through grasping appendages and roiling flesh alike. The incarnations of his fury and grief, his greatest weapons, not just blades in his hands, but extensions of his body and of his will. The beast landed blow after blow against Darth Mavanger, but he pressed further in. "Let me grant you peace" he whispered in the chaos. The beast's death, or his. That was the only option.
    3 points
  7. ((For @MSA and @TerrorBot)) A sort of psychic revulsion coursed from Sanguis. Grandmaster Draygo’s back stiffened and she stood upright despite the exhaustion, and her mind alerted from sudden concern, rather than outrage at the ridiculous accusation that the Jedi Knight had just leveled at her. Her pale-green eyes studied Aequitas, taking in the shadows under the Jedi’s eyes, posture… possible bloodshot eyes. There was a chance that he had not slept in quite some time, but it was the location of his mind that concerned her the most: that is, its attention was present elsewhere. Those were symptoms that Armiena was very familiar with. “We’re not talking about a species of exotic birds or a megafauna that require protection against a bunch of poachers that believe its horns will cure… these are people. They have the misfortune of living on a world that’s about to be visited by a… liberating force, but they have their own politics and agenda, and we may even be able to parley with them. Good luck, Agent, and The Force be with you. And Sanguis… I would appreciate it if we could speak in private for a moment.” The Jedi Grandmaster nudged Aequitas by one of his shoulders and guided him towards an electronics closet that was being rewired by one of the Alliance’s technicians. The Devaronian seeming to recognize that he was about to be privy to a highly personal (and possibly classified) conversation, the technician decided that it would make a fantastic opportunity to take a lunch break or smoke a cigarra or… be anywhere else. The closet was not a comfortable room–the briefing room was humid and somewhat close, but the electronics closet was stuffed full of blinking, heat-generating computers and spools of cables that the two needed to step over. A number of ventilation fans was insufficient comfort, and sweat immediately began to bead on Draygo’s face. “Sanguis, I know that you’re in pain and lashing out because of it.” In these close quarters, it was impossible to avoid the unnerving study of her eyes. She watched carefully for twitches in the facial muscles, potential redness in his eyes, tension in his shoulders. “I have lived in that state for an unreasonable length of time and drove away people who didn’t deserve it. But I do want a Jedi on this mission, one that I can trust to do what they think is right regardless of the circumstances. If you do go… I would like you to try and make contact with these… Tsis. We probably won’t succeed, but I would very much like to try and bury this generational grudge between our peoples. Regardless of your choice, please contact me later. I will make time–what in the…” At that moment, an enormous battle droid had begun to stomp into the briefing room. It stood only a few centimeters taller than the Jedi Grandmaster, but it was covered in so many layers of armor and redundant servos and Force-only knew how many weapons that it had to mass several times her weight. In contrast, an insect-like droid perched on its armor-plated shoulder. Armiena made a triple-take, her eyes flickering between the clearly troubled Jedi Knight, the battle droid, and its pre-Imperial counterpart. There was something else she felt she should say… but it would have to wait for later. She squeezed the Jedi Knight on the shoulder. “I mean it, I will make time,” she repeated. “But I need to see to these two.” There was a mixture of confusion and fascination on Draygo face, because the Jedi Grandmaster was fairly confident–but not certain–that the two droids were a pre-Imperial Buzz Droid and one of the pre-Clone Wars battle droid prototypes–not the pathetic B1-series that had somehow undergone mass production, but one of the truly capable prototypes that had only been produced in limited runs. That was probably a cost-cutting measure by the Confederacy, much to the benefit of the Old Republic. She had no idea that any of those droids were still intact, let alone operational and certainly not in the service of the Galactic Alliance. An exceptionally nerdy corner of Draygo’s mind wanted very badly to get a look under the droid’s chassis, violations of the droid’s privacy and sapience be damned. “Hold up, I can understand binary, but it’s been… a long time. Please repeat the former.” Armiena held up a hand when she approached the two droids. She looked downwards at the battle droid’s feet, listening intensely to the rapid-fire beeps and buzzes from the buzz droid. A few seconds passed when the droid repeated itself, intense concentration furrowing the Grandmaster’s brow as she translated the borderline-mathematical language to Basic. She had been surrounded by droids her entire life, but the dialect of some of the pre-Imperial droids was challenging to discern. “You are correct, the Galactic Alliance is launching a mission to liberate Korriban from the Sith Lords. Admiral Slaughter will be in command. It will be an assault in a dense urban spaceport, with civilian assets that must not come to harm. “Before I continue, I’d like to ask.” Her gaze returned from the floor and passed between the two droids. “Are you two… professional counterparts? Or a single symbiotic unit?”
    3 points
  8. When Nok had felt the floor go out from under him, he'd fought to keep from losing his calm. Blind, suspended in the air, not knowing which way was up or down, (or how far away down actually was) was a disconcerting experience. It was ignorance, and ignorance was weakness. Nok had kept his head, breathed in and out, forcing himself to remain calm and listen for the clank clank of the security droids and their maglocked feet. When the audible hum of their stun batons powering up filled the air, Nok had to fight the sudden rush of renewed fear. He'd felt those batons once before, and judging by the louder volume and deeper pitch, this time they were at a higher setting. A significantly higher setting. All around the room, short and mangled cries of pain mingled with the unmistakable sound of electrical discharges and the meaty thump of metal batons hitting bodies. Then the Force returned. Nok screamed. All around him, the fear, anger, hate, and pain of the prisoners washed through him like a tidal wave through a spider web. The oncoming current stripped him inside and out, and for a moment Nok didn't know where he was. He didn't know who he was. There was no thought, no words, no understanding. He was just instinct and fear. Blindly, his mind flailed at the torrent of energy all around him, desperate to grasp something, anything, to halt his tumble through the roiling maelstrom of energy, to anchor himself to the reality that he was certain was very important even if he didn't know why. He reached through the torrent of emotion swirling around him as if reaching through a curtain, and he touched something. For an instant, he touched everything. Understanding returned. He remembered this. He remembered the Force. The Force was in everything. It ran through all life, all worlds, all space. It touched and bound everything in the galaxy in one, vast network of flowing energy. And Nok...he could touch it. He could control it. Nok stopped screaming. A low, rasping, wet sound like an old motor struggling to turn over began to come from his dry, chapped mouth. Apothos was laughing. Apothos could see everything now. The emotion of the prisoners panicking as the droids went to work on them was a bonfire to the Sith's senses, and the technology around him stood out stark to his sense of mechu-deru. In particular, the security droids caught his attention, and not simply because they were working their way in towards the center of the crowd of floating prisoners where Apothos was, but because they showed up strangely in his senses. Warped, in a way. Like someone had taken an oil image floating on water and stirred it around until only the barest distortion of a shape remained. Ah...so that was it. Smart. The prison had used the circuitry reinforced and specially made to resist mechu-deru. It made sense that a place like this had done their homework. Droids already were difficult to take over, and this rendered it near impossible. Of course, that didn't render Apothos helpless. His warped, shriveled, sickly gray body shivered and turned in midair, like some old, feeble beast waking from its sleep. A gnarled hand stretched out, almost casually, and pointed at the nearest droid approaching the center of the crowd of suspended prisoners. A thread of his will traced out from it. The hum of the droid's baton got louder. Confused, as this was not something it had experienced before nor was it in its operating protocols, it held up the baton for inspection. Then the baton exploded. The blast shattered the deterrent device, sending several pieces of shrapnel into nearby prisoners, their sharp explosions of pain like fireworks to Apothos' Dark Sight. The droid itself, mere inches from the epicenter of the blast, jerked back violently, its feet still firmly locked to the floor. As it struggled to rise back up (tough machine), its eyes flickered, and Apothos could sense that it was blind, the blast having knocked some connection loose in its photoreceptors. His crooked finger drifted to another droid. With a clunk, the droid's feet came off the floor, its maglocks deactivated. It waved its arms and legs uselessly in the air, Yes, these droids were resistant to his control. But a machine was a machine, and there was only so much you could do to protect from a simple change. Like increasing the power flow, or cutting a circuit to a hard-wired function. Apothos saw the spirits before anyone else. For a moment, he was confused. These were beacons that radiated pain and anguish, but they were wrong somehow. Not quite there, like a sound just at the edge of your hearing. The prisoners renewed screams when they entered the room clarified what Apothos had begun to suspect. Spirits. The chill in the air, that faint sense of malice at the edge of his mind. Inmortos was here. And he'd sent a gift. The spirits tore through the crowd of prisoners, making a beeline for Apothos, somehow sensing his potential power and (like all weak fools) wanting it for their own. A trio of them entered into his body, wracking him with pain and bitter cold. Apothos moaned, the sound resembling nothing so much as a death rattle. However, if he was a frail, wizened wreck on the outside, he was a thunderstorm on the inside. The spirits howled in rage and confusion as Apothos grasped them with his mind and tore at them, piece by piece, his spirit holding them with bands of lightning-charged iron. This was not the first time he'd dealt with spirits. His trial to earn the title of Sith Lord had been over a contest such as this, and these spirits were far from being as numerous or as malicious as those dread souls had been. He took his time tearing them apart, relishing their anger, then their fear, and then their panic. Like animals caught in a trash compactor, they struggled to escape the trap they'd thrown themselves into. Then they weren't anything anymore. The other spirits peeled away from Apothos, sensing what had happened and moving to easier prey. Fine. They could have the meat. Apothos wanted the metal. With a gesture, the security droid drifting through the air was ripped from its place and sent cartwheeling through the crowd of floating prisoners to collide with a crash into the malfunctioning blind droid still recovering from the explosion of its weapon. The two were caught up in a tangle of metal limbs, and struggled to extricate themselves from each other. Then the floating droid was drawn back by the invisible force again, and then promptly slammed into the blind droid. Like a child banging toy blocks into each other, Apothos smashed the droids into each other in a cacophony of crunching metal and sparking circuits. Their heads deformed under the repeated impacts, their bodies bent and buckled. Then, finally, with a whine of servos powering down, the droids stopped functioning all together. Apothos smiled. Apparently, the other security droids had finally identified him as the threat. Perhaps it shouldn't have taken so long, but to their eyes he was nothing but a crippled neimoidian floating in the air, twitching his fingers. Apothos sensed one line up a targeting lock, the coded confirmations of the droid's weapon systems sounding out in his brain like the ding ding of tiny bells. With a gesture, Apothos telekinetically shoved the droid's arm aside as it fired, and its rounds of blaster bolts lanced through the crowd of prisoners, wide of their intended target. With a closing of his fist, the blaster stopped firing, power suddenly cut as a peculiar power drain emptied its capacitors. Apothos's fingers danced like a conductor's. Droids everywhere across the room suddenly began disconnecting from the floor, their maglocks mysteriously failing. Garbled garbage code flooded the minds of others, slowing their movements to a crawl as their processors fought not to drown under the sudden barrage. Some droids fired, only to find their blasters had been dialed down to below training level intensity, barely stinging the prisoners they hit. As for the two Apothos had destroyed, he spared them a few thoughts, weaving the spell he needed and filling it with his will before returning to his work. The mangled bodies, devoid of any controlling intelligence to resist him, began to warp and bend. Metal twisted and reshaped itself, circuits tore away and realigned, and cables split and reattached in new, unfamiliar configurations. The droids kept coming, and Apothos was struggling to keep up with them. He couldn't take them down permanently, they were too tough and too well protected for that. His little malfunctions were working well, but when numbers overwhelmed him, he'd be forced to take more direct action. As he worked, his creation of the two destroyed droids began to take shape. A crude throne, with maglocked droid legs holding it firm to the ground.
    3 points
  9. Apothos smiled, a gruesome thing given the taut, deathly grey flesh that was left of his face. "I appreciate the offer, and I'll take you up on it," he rasped. ________________________________________________________ Apothos, once he'd been given access to the ship's databanks (minus anything the crew would want to keep private, he was sure), seemed to go into a trance. The screen, which he couldn't see anyway, only flickered fitfully, and Apothos' body jerked in time with it. In actuality, the computer was indeed running, and far faster than it normally might. Apothos mind, a much more elegant interface than a mere keyboard or control pad, blended with the databank, parsing through the information at the speed of thought. Files were brought up and dismissed in the same split second. Others had excerpts extracted and compiled as Apothos separated what he needed and copied it to a private file. He was catching up on all he had missed, and he was mildly surprised by what he'd found. The Sith Empire was on the run, if not destroyed entirely. A critical defeat, a resurgent desire for unity and order, both at a profoundly inconvenient time, and it all began to crumble. The wave of history had struck one side of the pond, and now it was moving the other way. Now the question was whether one hid from it, or rode it. Considering, Apothos nodded to himself. He'd return to form. He'd move to the shadows, starting in the Outer Rim where this new galactic order would have as little a grip as possible. He'd take care to hide his identity, and remain on the move. And above all, he'd be discreet. No more grand displays, at least for the time being. No, he'd build instead. Slowly, carefully, and subtly. Of course, first he had to see what awaited them where they were going.
    2 points
  10. As Akheron spoke, Darth Mavanger shook his head. More talk of the Fanged God, of a fate that wasn't his to control. The man had been so neutered by his faith in this... cult, that he had forgotten what he was. It would be Mordecai's duty to rectify this mistake. While Nyrys's new shadow empire would sow discord and discontent within the new galactic government, he would remove any vestige of weakness and misguided faith from it. While he disagreed with the Dark Lady's methods, the deed was done, and the only chance to succeed would be to ensure that the Sith were at their very best when they were ready to return. "I don't recall asking for privacy, only for you to close the ramp behind you. Had I wished to remain anonymous, however, such a guard being placed outside defeats such a purpose. In truth, their presence matters not. What leaves this room after this conversation is for you to decide." He pulled himself to his feet, moving to the Ysalimiri enclosure that had protected them on their way into the Helvault. The beasts had been disposed of shorty after their retreat, and now the terrarium lie empty, still as the day it was created. No evidence that life had ever congregated within. "Are you able to recite the Sith code, Lord Akheron? Did your master ever teach you its proverbs? Help you understand it's meaning?"
    2 points
  11. Dictum remained in silence as the group before him began to disburse, the Elder Sith retreating to the confines of the shuttle and the pragmatic voice of the Shard echoing across both the acoustic and the Force, that latter of which he paid little heed at first. For Dictum, this display of the Order he had sought was unusual and weird, albeit different from the rise he had faced in his coming. His father's past was as much a mystery as the group before him, but from what he learnt under his last Master, the Shard's reaction was unwarranted. "I will go with you... He decided and spoke to the Shard Solus as he departed within the confines of his unnatural bonding, quickly catching up in his departure and leaving behind his compariotarch from Helvault in hopes of discovery under this Master of Hides. "Perhaps in your endeavor, I will find answers of mine own." For Dictum, any knowledge of his Father, Darth Ragnus, could provide the key to himself. But as the two walked the halls toward their destination, he couldn't help but notice differences in Solus' Apprenticeship and his own before his rise to Sith Lord, and silently grew curious in them. Breaking the silence that had enveloped them, Dictum questioned Solus. "Why do you hold your Master in such high esteem, Apprentice?" Dictum questioned, his tone carrying his curiosity as his blind gaze made no motion toward the Shard. "My own tutelage taught me different. To rise to the rank of Sith Lord, I would have surpass my Master and slay him. Wouldn't it prove a burden to slay the one who you hold upon such a pedestal?" Or were this Order different than the one he held lineage to, the olden Order of the Sith he derived from a more classical and conservative aspect that had dissipated in the turning of the Galaxy in the years since his induction? He thought in silence to himself as he gave the Shard a chance to respond, his thoughts upon the cullmative aspect of strength in numbers over the aspect of strength through will. Was there a difference that made more sense? Perhaps this is why Helvault was a success when his own had failed to ever present the opportunity. "I suppose there is an advantage to numbers.. He continued, raising his hand to his chin in deep thought as he processed the pros and cons. "But you would lose quality in the quantity, making the individual weaker to ensure the strength of the mass.... As the two reached their destination, Dictum realized that he may have overstepped boundaries set by the Apprentice's Master or the Apprentice himself, his curiosity of the current Order's philosophy as alien to him as bonding the Shard to such an inorganic form. Still, it wasn't completely unheard of, as his Master often spoke of Lord Haphaestus, a culmination of flesh and steel. "Forgive my ignorance, Apprentice. The philosophy that my own Master instilled within me likely predates your own. I'm sure it's as foreign to you as yours is to me. Perhaps we could speak more of it upon completion of your task." Turning away from the Apprentice, Dictum turned toward this Master of Hides. "Loremaster, bring me all that you have on a Sith Master known as Darth Ragnus."
    2 points
  12. The force was stirring, the first ripples of a disruption echoing across its still surface, an anxiety crawling across the force like a spider stepping towards its prey. Threads of the force bending under foot as Quezzex’s plan came to its tipping point. Suspicion, and fear was beginning to permeate the minds of the slavers and mechanics. And a small point of danger was beginning to swell. Raphanel could not pinpoint the source, but it was there, and it would begin to spread. Anger, anxiety, fear. And at last resolution. Someone had decided to act on that fear. The Knights prepared themselves in the darkness, moving on silent feet within the shadows. No Lightsabers, no weapons to give them away. He reached into the force, accessing the force in the way only a long trained master could. Out went the current reality, the anxiety, and the worry. In came the calm and reassurance. His mind touched others, reaching out to every anxious mind with a calm sense of reassurance. It was a soft touch, the soft touch of long experience, telling those minds that there was nothing to worry about. That they had done enough to protect themselves, that they had done enough already. Reassurance. Or at least enough to buy the Operatives the time time they needed.
    2 points
  13. There was one last thing he had to do. As the other Sith filed out of the shuttle into the Sith vessel, he closed his eyes, leaning back in his seat. Inmortos had gone down with the station, an unfortunate loss. But he doubted the master Necromancer would die so easily. No, he'd be back. Death had as little grip on the Krath as it did on himself. A monkey paw's curse. Immortality, but a life of pain and loss and grief. All that was left, the only reprieve he could find, was vengeance. Cassandra's death, Raven's. Every rebel he'd killed, every monarch he'd toppled, none of them were an equivalent exchange for the single one he's lost. And yet, it was all that came close. He forced himself to his feet, the weight of his armor holding him back. It was more than physical nowadays- it was an emotional leash, a psychological weight put in place by time after time of being handicapped at his moments of triumph. But this time- It would be his last, whether he won or lost. Even if death still refused to claim him, he would be done. Of that he was sure. He pulled out his comm device, keying it to call the last piece. "Lord Akheron, return to the shuttle immediately. Seal the entrance behind you. We have much to discuss."
    2 points
  14. During the entire trip back to the ship, Solus’ body continued to twitch and spasm over and over, like a person possessed. With draining power cells, and spastic thoughts, it would be a miricle if Solus could accomplish anything else. “dne eht reven si dne eht reven si dne eht reven si dne eht reven si dne eht…” over and over solus repeated, unaware of his surroundings or even himself. Wherever he was, he certainly was not in the shuttle. When the shuttle did finally dock with the ship, the first person to greet the group was the young sith alchemist simply only known as Stitch-Mouth. An odd being to say the least, this sorcerer of the Fanged God looked unsurprised at the entire group. Instead he bowed silently to the group, the best form of respect the silent alchemist could offer. Being the designated mechanic for the Shard, Stitch-Mouth stepped to the imposing chair that held both Nok and Solus and set down a large handheld generator. Stitch-Mouth glanced at Nok and nodded in respect, before starting his work. Waving a severely burnt hand, several wires unwrapped themselves from the generator and floated towards the shard’s chassis. Even as Solus continued to twitch randomly, Stitch-Mouth didn’t stop. Once the wires were close to the body, the alchemist produced a small remote from his cloak and pressed the button. Instantly, the Shard’s body became lifeless. Now still, the chassis was primed for a recharge, and with no connection to the outside world, Solus’ brain could fully process whatever nightmare he was suffering. Not much later, Stitch-Mouth unplugged the power cables and pressed the remote again. As the Chassis whirred to life, Stitch-Mouth re-hid the remote, not wanting his project to know about the security feature. Bowing to Nok and then to the others, he slipped away, back to his studies and other projects. Solus on the other hand, was much more talkative. “Well well well!” He exclaimed, bending upwards into a sitting position. Glancing over, he nearly jumped back in surprise from the being who was commanding the chair he was riding. “Ah! You must be one of the people we were sent to save! Very nice, very nice, and might i say, impressive work. Did you make this? Ah, now i see why everyone was so eager to rescue you amongst the others” At this, Solus patted the chair beneath him and stood up, looking at the others. “ Looks like our mission was a success! Haha, my mission must have been a success yes? Of course it was. I remember clearly poisoning all those simple skin-sacs of lizards and their caretaker. Haha, yes yes, very good. I remember the rush of power, the return of the impossible geometries, the...” Solus paused as he seemed to remember something, then shook himself. "Yes, a successful mission. Very good" Solus clapped his hands together at this, then did a double-take at the group. “Ah, i see our resident necromancer is missing? Did he finally bite the blaster, so to speak? Is Innmortos no longer immortal? Bah, who am i kidding, that crawling corpse could probably survive anything, he probably is looking for a new corpse to inhabit.” Solus turned, jumped off the chair and bowed to everyone, one hand at his chest and one hand behind him, unable to read the room clearly. “To you who we have rescued, I am Solus the Dragon. Do not let my size nor my eagerness fool you, for it was I who gave you your access to the Force again. I look forward to working with you as we step forward into a new Sith aeon. "
    2 points
  15. Calypso was silent for a moment, then she stood. "As you wish, Fiochmar." She turned, and started walking, not towards the pyramid or Fiochmar's ship, but out into the trackless wilderness. "Follow. There's something I need to show you." As she began to move off, the wind hissing and whistling past the pair, she continued with a conversational tone. "We'll start with the key fundamentals then, evaluate, and work our way out from there. Strength is born from passion, this is the first lesson of any Sith. So tell me Fiochmar...what is your passion?" She turned to look at him. "What is it the source of your strength?"
    2 points
  16. Upon a vision of the Galaxy's swirling vortex, they weren't even a speck of the cosmic dust that could be combed through. One would have to have prior knowledge of region, sector, planet positioning from the system's home star, and planetary grid coordinates just to pick up the enflamining space station as the atmosphere of Nespin threatened to swallow of it up. But to look through the Force, one could see the center of the darkened storm growing from its location no matter how the magnification. And within its calm and serene center, sat this group of Sith from all walks of life and afterlife, Dictum there to bare witness and testify. Whether philosophy, or designation, or whatever topic was mentioned in this moment was of little consequence upon the Force's itinerary. For in this moment, they made it their will with concentrated power, the outcome no different than what they allowed. They were Masters of their own destiny, and the Force was only a mere pawn. For this was the truth of the Darkside, the truth of the Sith, and not even the Jedi could do anything to stop it. As the others came to agreement of exiting the station, Dictum's gaze shifting between each as they spoke, he simply nodded when it came his turn to interject. The vacuum of space was on the verge of threatening their livelihood and the dead stood upon the precipice, guiding them to safety. As the others began their trek, so did Dictum, using the Force filled hysteria to propel himself, a simple and yet complex unification of push versus pull, and allowing those with weapons to handle the onslaught of opposition. It wasn't until they had nearly reached their destination when a familiar sing-song presence reached out to the young Sith, causing his momentum to stop if only briefly as curiosity took a momentary hold upon his psyche. There, within the confines of barracks, hidden within a tucked away locker were his things, a memory of his own arrest flashing back through his mind. Upon Alpheridies, a former member of the Luka Sene with silver hair folded away atop his crown assaulted the Orligaric Council with twin Sith Swords that ached for their deaths. Shaking the moment from his mind and focusing his rage, Dictum called out to their blades and what remained. When the group arrived at the ship, Dictum would be in tow, his possessions reclaimed.
    2 points
  17. The umbaran mechanic nearly jumped at the sound of the metal that fell from above, even inside his protective armor. The crosswire beam echoed throughout the hangar, making the slaves who were working jump, and even their slaving masters had to pause before getting the slaves back into gear. “Well, not what i expected, but not bad” Qessax whispered into his comms, confident that what had just happened was because of his team mates. He had a sneaking suspicion it was the Force users, but he wasn’t going to admit that yet. The Umbaran mechanic, sufficiently distracted, went to investigate the fallen metal. Once he found the piece, he began to scan above, making sure there was no risk of any further potential accidents. Still, the slavers were disturbed, and more then a few slaves were taking advantage in the lull of enforcement to take a break. Some of the slavers had lost all focus on the slaves and were glancing around. Something was off. One of them was even leaving the slaves under another slaver's care to investigate the area. Nobody could pinpoint it, but something felt off to them. “Vangar, i believe you should be near the command station by now. I’m transferring some of the security codes to you. Hopefully, they can open the doors, but I can’t say anything about the men inside. My guess is their leader is getting ready to start the ship up soon.” Little did Qessax realize how true that was. Even as Tyr sipped at his drink, one of the mechanics alerted him it would only be a few more minutes before the engines were operational. “Hold on…” Qessax breathed into his comm, raising his sensors up to his eyes again. “Looks like we got some slaves making a move from their group. Tilt, they are moving in your direction. You boys better hurry up whatever you are doing. We are close and i don’t want to muck this up now. If they make too much noise,…” Qessax didn't want to even think of the consequences of failure of stealth. ____________ Tyr congratulated the mechanic nearby for a job well done. A promotion was incoming for everyone, that was for certain. Once the engines started in less then ten minutes, the ship would be maneuvered towards the planet and within their fleet of smaller craft for protection “Sir, two of our drones just went out. I’m not sure why…” Tyr furrowed his brow. The last known location of the drones were very close. Too close. No, he was not about to lose his promotion. Not when he was this close to perfect completion. “Get some men up here to check it out. And seal the bridge. I don’t want a stray mynock to get in here and muck everything up. No, not the blast doors, just seal it tight, as a precaution.”
    2 points
  18. In the darkened silence of his mind, Dictum recessed, letting the living reality and the retreated moment of revelation exist symbiotically as he ravenously gasped at the flooding gates. For far too long he had been starved, blinded, and empty that the negative emotions around him were gluttonous, and like a starving animal, he gorged himself profusely. His mind's eye rolled with ecstasy as his body warmed against the boiling blood within him, strength finding waves of glory as his muscles constricted and relaxed against the darkening tide that flooded around him. And when he had had his fill, his blind eyes opened themselves to the course. Like a beast, he reacted. Though his form ached with unfounded use, the Force that torrentially swirled about him sustained him as he turned his own and those he fed upon upon the oblivious masses. Fear, regret, murder, existence... they were all his to command as he tore into the veil and made it his will. Tendrils of the Force lashed outward, adding fuel to the fire as souls found wanting were thrown to the wolves and his assault became villainous. And in his hand remained the conduit, where his saber would once have sat. For the souls that hungered for life, he gave them the dead and unwanted. For the mechanical that defended, he gave aid to the purgatory that the strong found themselves lingering. And for those who attempted to turn their gaze upon him, he ushered in an eternal darkness from wince they would never see again, only the remnants of a blinding flash. For he had become a harbinger, a ferryman for those who found themselves lacking any potential other than the purpose they served unto him. This was Dictum and it was his undeniable truth. And as Flesh and Metal became a part of the canvas, an unfamiliar and yet powerful voice ( @Karys Narat iv-Adas) echoed through the Force louder than the rest, a presence that exploded into existence. Covered in the the flesh and liquids of his former inmates, hovering like a silver haired angel of death, Dictum turned to meet it. "I am Darth Dictum, son of Darth Ragnus, and what you see is my undeniable truth." He spoke through the veil of the Force, his voice monotone in a child like grievance as he stood center mass amongst layers of dead amidst the spirits unleashed and their feast he bequeathed. "This is my decree."
    2 points
  19. Raphanel took a long steadying breath and pulled himself to his feet. Exhaustion bit at his knees and clenched the muscles of his thighs, painfully reminding him of what mental and physical costs such feats of the force brought with them. He took another breath and let the force flow its way through his body, clearing away exhaustion and ache, leaving the vigor of youth in its wake. Another feat that he would pay for after the mission, but for now, the rescuing of the slaves in the main hangar was the priority. Knights did not need to see in the dark to prove effective, and the three of them blended into the murky void as they ran towards their objective. Those cruel and harsh Umbarans with whips of electrified durasteel, whose malice radiated through the force like a beacon. The three knights dodged between shadow to shadow, to fall upon the slavers when the rest of the boarding team made their presence known.
    2 points
  20. More than once, Solus felt the flesh swipe at his metal feet. Each time Solus flinched, barely avoiding the meat that sought to claim the Shard’s essence. The Sharde moved frantically, pushing off each piece of wall and floor that he could in order to gain speed. When security droids fired upon the flying Analysis lightsaber-wielding droid, Solus almost ignored them, only cutting them down as an afterthought. Those he missed he hoped the flesh would be momentarily distracted by. It wasn’t. It was born beyond and it existed beyond. Life gave it form and form gave it life. Droids did not exist to it, and it did not exist to the mindless circuits of droids. It existed in the Force, and the Force was perverted in it. It sought to devour those that gave it life, and in its own twisted way, give life to those it devoured. It existed only to those that would allow it to exist. The Shard gave this thing life, and it would infest it. Solus peeled around a corner and saw the others. “Thank the Force, save me! Get this thing away from-” Solus didn’t finish. A flesh covered pincer grabbed the Shard and began to pull it back into one of the thing’s many blubbering, bleeding orifices. The Shard had given the thing its form, and now it would complete the process required of the Shard. The sudden chill from the necromancer’s spell caused the thing to suddenly slow. The spirits that swarmed the mass of flesh caused it to turn from blubbering to gnashing. The tendrils lashed out wildly at the ghost-like things, with new eyeballs and limbs sprouting in response at these things, but with the sudden cold of the thing and the immateriality of the spirits, it was a difficult battle to say the least. Then, when the warrior Mavenger began to attack, the thing turned from gnashing to moaning. These enemies were pains and annoyances, but simultaneously, life giving. They believed in its essence, and thus, gave it life. It would wound them, destroy them, and show them the madness it was born from. The Madness. The Madness and the Death that awaited everything that existed. This distraction was what gave Solus the opportunity to escape it’s clutches. Between the spirit’s attacks and Mavenger’s onslaught, Solus broke free and flew towards the others. Crashing into a wall, Solus turned and looked back at the fight that battled between the monstrosity and the others. They were fighting the thing back. But for how long? “Stop!” Solus yelled. “Leave me alone!” Solus blindly reached into the Force and at the thing that had pursued him. Its incalculable mass and weight was born in the Force and in its own weird way, was tethered to him. By reaching into the force, he would seize that tether, and through sheer will, anger, fear, and even a little bit of envy at its power, throw it back to the void that it was summoned from. The thing pulsed and ungulated as it pounded at Mavenger, who’s blades caused delightful but excruciating pain. The spirits that attacked were imitations of what it was, slowing but not damning. Irritating but not Only when the symbol of the Fanged God burned on all of its unblinking eyes, as Solus and it connected for a moment in the Madness that existed between the two, did the thing actually screech. All these things were too much for it. Mavenger was destroying its flesh, Innmortos destroying its mentality, and now, Solus destroying its very essence. Then it disappeared. The flesh that crawled on the walls faded into nothing. The blood and puss that leaked everywhere simply evaporated into the air. Cast out from this place, it returned from beyond outer spheres. Back to the beyond where the Temple stood its studious watch. Solus, spent from effort throwing the beast, fell over, batteries drained and crystal black into another Force vision. Only his limbs randomly moved of their own accord, as the Shard’s voicebox repeated the same phrase over and over. “dne eht reven si dne eht reven si dne eht reven si dne eht reven si dne eht…"
    2 points
  21. Æquitas shook the memory from his mind as the realization of his outburst rippled outward, his shaking clammed hands sweaty in the palms, the erratic hasten of his heart beat pounding through the drums of his ears, the overwhelming sense of dread and calamity that hung over his soul. Looking to Agent Orin, Misal, and Master Armiena, he blinked and focused himself as their words reached out to him. "I..I..I'm sorry. Forgive me." He managed to stammer from his lips as he brought his hand up to the brevor that covered the scar upon his face. "I didn't mean... I wasn't insinuating... I... I...." As Agent Orin made his departure, Sanguis turned to Master Draygo-Darkfire as she spoke, his ears hearing her words as he fought against the anxiety that had taken ahold of him. He knew the Tsis from the Jedi Archives of Ossus. He knew their history and their political background before and after the arrival of the Dark Jedi that added fuel to their heritage and inevitably took it as their own. But he didn't like the aspects of this war, nor did he truly want to play a part in it. But as a Jedi, it was his duty, his commitment. And yet, Nar Shadaa still plagued him deeply so. Night terrors had became a frequent occurrence, reliving that day over and over in both his sleep and in his day. So much so that aiding the sick and wounded had became his only respite. And it had come to consume him, so much so that his focus outside of himself had only hindered his own healing. Something he was beginning to see. But the child... the child he could not remove from his mind. Nor that of the Ithorian, so justified and righteous, a smile that encompassed his presence within the Force when he detonated the device. Had the wars of the Republic and the Alliance made life so undesirable and justified such destruction? These had become the doubts that plagued Sanguis Æquitas the most, not as a Jedi, but as a citizen. Distracted by the arrival of the two droids, Master Armiena's words trailed off into oblivion, but most of her words had reached him and a sense of calm had began to replace the hesitation. His sapphiric eyes full of emotion casually turned toward them before surprise took hold. Turning back briefly to Armiena, Sanguis nodded with a simply and subtle reply. "I understand Grandmaster. And thank you." Turning back toward the two arrivals, Sanguis remained silent for most of the conversation, his experience with the droid's binary language limited at best. He understood a few basic chirps and bleeps, but for the most part, it may have as well been High Galactic. As a break in the conversation presented a brief intermittent, Sanguis finally spoke up a brief but curious question that had plagued him since their arrival. "Excuse me, little one." He spoke, his monolog tone briefly breaking with the previous emotional overload from before their arrival. Clearing his throat, he continued, pointing his finger at Ruin as he poised his question. "Is his vocabulator broken?"
    2 points
  22. Just as Dictum managed to release the words from his lips to the being before him, an explosion of chaos wrecked the room like the birth of a new star system. It started subtle, the shifting of the metallic ground beneath his feet and the sinking feeling in his gut as the klaxons blared violently in his ears. And in the silence of the moment, it's escalated, as he felt the stinging sensation of the baton as it struck against the back of his head and sent his reeling into the floor beneath him as the artificial gravity turned this former playground into a living nightmare. But nightmares were the thriving nutrition for a being like Dictum and in the moment, found ample amounts of bliss. Screams echoed above the resounding klaxons and hum of the batons before the static sounds of electricity intertwined, a symphony of anguish and torture between lashes as Dictum contemplated his bitter end. Blood dripped from his head and muscles ached from bruised flesh, his emotions pooling into a cup of bittersweet remorse that this could be his end and his conscious threatened to subside. But in that moment, clarity would come to his aid. Like the spark that ignites the flame, the echo of sight flooded his mind as the Force returned like a breath rushing to fill one's lungs. And in the moment, time stood still. Suspended above the floor, Dictum gazed upon the paths that the Force flowed vibrantly through, it currents painting a picture against the canvas as he gazed upon his blood and spit that had knocked from his blinded form. He could feel the pain, the anguish, the hatred and the despair that echoed not only around him, but through him. And in that moment, the moment he could finally see and feel as the void washed away, Dictum smirked. He had finally awaken and a reckoning was about to take place. Noticing the baton that threatened to strike again, Dictum twisted his form grotesquely, and placed his left foot into the metallic frame of the machine that was programmed to subdue him, and sent the Droid toppling. Power was Dictum's ultimate goal, his purpose, and his reasons. With power came seclusion, came peace, and came his reality. Until the day that no other could surpass him, power was his struggle. And he fueled his power with the misfortune and suffering of others. And while he came to enjoy the solidarity of this confinement, he did not enjoy the vulnerability it had placed upon him. He would much rather not to endure such suffering. And suffering was all he had known here, despite the relaxed life he had led here. Grasping at the lingering baton left behind by the disconnected droid, the chaos that ensued and rippled throughout the the playground only intensified as a sudden chill entered the fray, the spirits of the dead flickering in and out of existence as they claimed more souls to join their ever-growing legion as Dictum looked on in his suspension. He grinned devilishly, not knowing who held such power, but recognizing the darkness they grasped. In silence, he chuckled, for he knew the Sith had arrived and the feeling of a new day he had felt had became reality. It was time. His father's Order had returned. And he would join them in their plight as a Sith Lord. For he was Darth Dictum, Lord Ōk Rägnär. Floating in suspension, Dictum sat lotus style, as the baton crackled with full output before him, his mind flowing upon the currents of the Force. With the arrival of the Sith, and the realization that a pupil had been amongst the prisoner masses, it was time to reveal himself and welcome them. "Hello Darkness, my old friend..."
    2 points
  23. Tyr Tormo wrinkled his forehead again at the computer beepings in the command room. “What happened?” He asked, his tone more then betraying his nervousness. “Sir, looks like…” The officer had to squint his eyes. None of the umbarans were quite used to the brightness the neimoidians had liked their screens at during that long ago war. “One Sith vessel and several unregistered ships making their way through the minefield.” Tormo’s eyes widened. “Prepare all available guns and fighters. Those ships need to be destroyed before they get out a mes-” “Scratch that,” the officer interrupted. “Sith ship no longer on our sensors. Must have been destroyed by the other ships.” With no way of knowing that the force had cloaked the supposed Sith ship, Tormo breathed a sigh of relief. No doubt the Sith ship was a refugee from the recent catastrophe at Nar Shaddaa, and the pirates saw an easy target. “What of the pirates?” Tormo asked. The officer smiled a wide grin. “Being disabled by the mines sir. Soon they’ll be suffocating like a goldie out of water. Or shall I assemble the fighters?” Tormo grunted a no and leaned back into his seat. After a few moments drumming his fingers on the arm rest, he came to another conclusion. “Activate the turbolasers, and get all the slaves out of sleep, working double time as well. I want this thing done sooner than later. Those pirates won’t get us, And bring me another bottle. Something a bit more fine if possible…” Tormo looked at his watch. Less than an hour before the ship’s engines would be working again. Then they could move the entire piece of junk closer to home. ___ Qessax breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t realize he had been holding it. Now that the sensors on this small ship were showing that what he had assumed were mines were dealing with the scavengers, he could ease up a bit. “Kill the engines as soon as possible” Qessax ordered. “I want these Umbarans to have as few reasons to detect us as possible. There certainly was life in the hangar, ranging from several hundred of slaves implanted with command chips being forced by Umbaran captors armed with electrowhips, numerous mechanics managing specialized repair drones, and the odd soldier patrolling the massive decks However, rows and rows of old battle droids stood by in power mode, awaiting a reawaken command from the commanding force that no longer existed made patrolling both difficult and creepy. Besides the battle droids, old troop transports, assault tanks, Vulture droids and landing craft stood at the ready. The other thing that posed a threat were the head engineers in specialized power armor. Both soldier and mechanic, these Umbarars were equipped with plasma cutting torches, ion and stun weapons, and advanced shielding tech, all within heavily encased armor. Of the 250 Umbarans on board the entire ship, only 20 were equipped with the armor. Landing the ship was easy enough. With all the battle droids, transports, and the now enforced double-time, people weren’t noticing a ship landing in the maze of a ship. The only difficulty was the lack of lighting in the entire hangar. The Umbarans had long adapted to low-light situations, and only the slaves had head lamps to improve their work conditions enough to make them both effective and easy to spot. As the ship landed, Qessax turned to everyone else. “Alright, we got this far. Now for the hard part.”
    2 points
  24. For an undefined amount of time, Solus got lost in pleasure. Despite being only adept at best in the infliction of pain, or perhaps because of his inexperience, he became lost in the moment. Each slicing cut, each prodding stab, each brutal blow and stern question made Solus rise in elation. The cries and shrills of the Yslamar around him only added to the bliss. Only the loss of gravity made Solus realize how much time had passed. “Kriffing son of a kriffing…!” Solus cursed as he grabbed onto the broken tube before floating too far from the ground. The loss of gravity was another new experience, but unlike the torture, it was not a welcomed one. Its…too late… The voice of oogoo taunted in Solus’ shard. The brain floated gently upwards as well, unable to move at all. The loss of all his limbs and the amount of pain he was suffering from made any form of locomotion impossible. The Station…is falling… Solus tried to ignore the voice. The torture had been enlightening, but not in what he had hoped for. He needed a way to kill the lizards, and quickly. Who knew how his compatriots were doing? Without the force, he had no means of sensing his master’s progress. He needed to focus. He needed to find a way… Solus looked down at the ground. Floating several feet off of it made it look different. Solus wondered. “Lets see, you said that this is the breeding and shipping area, right bulbous brain?” Solus started, not caring for an answer. An adjustment of his sensors revealed several places in the floor that needed maintenance. Some spots were slick with Oogoo’s fluids, Others were dented from heavy footsteps, like passing guards. One such dent caught the Shard’s eye. Solus pulled himself and floated gently to the floor. Using the small hook on the hilt, Solus caught himself on one of the dents, and placed a metal hand on the floor. “You aren’t the only unique one on this station…” Solus bragged. “I can sense things too. Not brains unfortunately, but i have a knack for not getting lost. And you know why? Electromagnetism. I can feel magnetism, like that from poles on planets and batteries. I can’t sense people per say, but large amounts of energy is doable. And there…” Solus tapped the floor with his hilt once before wedging the hook into the lightsaber resistant material. “Is a lot of energy down here. Energy used to…” Solus grunted and groaned, both vocally and with his own metal joints as he pried the floor piece up, revealing a large, crowded section of tubes, vats, generators and processors. “...help maintain your baby's nutritious milk.” Solus didn’t need the Force guess how much panic came from Oogoo’s realization. But to add to the worry, Solus, continued. “You see, your lizards prefer their food at specific, warm, temperatures. Helps keep them plump and healthy. Makes their repellent abilities more potent. And to keep the food at that temperature, as well as to power the pumps that move the nutrients, the station has these generators to regulate it. And generators and batterries always require the same stuff all droids have in them…” Solus had crawled into the crowded, claustrophobic area and activated his blade, opening up one of the generators. Inside, the liquids of battery acid began to leak out, almost hissing. Solus laughed as he moved his blade to a tube and touched it, making a small hole. The almost watery but almost sludge-like nutrient mixture continued to shoot through, mixing in the deadly acid that dribbled inside. “And like you told me during our torture, its feeding time. And because this is the central breeding area of the entire station, it stands to reason that all the feeding tubes connect to these ones…” Solus began to giggle as he squirmed through the area, damaging more generators and causing more acid to leak into the nutrient-dense material, until each one did their newly appointed task. He became almost giddy with his work. By the time he pulled himself back out where Oogoo helplessly floated, he was cackling. “Oh it is so amazing! Its so great! The Fanged god’s work is being done!” Solus cried out as he floated upwards into the air, spinning slightly, blade still in hand. Already the effects of the tainted nutrient material were taking hold. The Yslamar that were connected to their feeding tubes absorbed the acid directly through their claws and into their systems, guaranteeing a quick, but painful death. The ones in the room he was in already were giving their last croak. “This is my goal! My achievement! To kill and to kill without care! How masterful my art is now, how beautiful my craft is! With these deaths, more will die by my Master’s hands, and by his hands, my god’s hands, hahaha! I am brilliant! I am perfect! I am…” Solus never finished his sentence. The Impossible Geometries rushed back into him full force, overwhelming every single sense he had. For a moment, Solus became lost in the geometries, a blibbering shape amongst the congruent and pulsating stars and spheres. It was a complete and utter bliss that filled the Shard up, a complete awe at the unspeakable sublime that flooded him. Then, that which dwelled beyond the outer spheres, rushed with it too. To another Force user, it was just another facet of the Dark side, but to Solus, who had long become a beacon for that which dwelled between and beyond stars, recognized it as something else entirely. Solus began to scream and panic. Returned to his senses and floating helplessly in the zero gravity, he witnessed the walls take a new shape, twisting and bending over themselves. The flesh that grew from the cracks made the metal groan. Bulbous and bleeding eyes sprouted and grew, all completely focused on the helpless thing that hung in the air. The fingers, pincers and tendrils that stretch out from the ichorous scabs to grab the Shard moved through the air unimpeded by the lack of gravity. “No! No! Not again! Someone, help!” Solus panicked and freaked. He reached towards the floating body of Oogoo, hoping that perhaps the brain would help. But all he found was a corpse, being devoured by a gibbering mouth and a pair of fangs, green saliva splattering everywhere and blood draining upwards onto the ceiling. Solus swung his blade wildly, trying to turn back the flesh. The sizzling muscles and skin cut by the weapon only stopped momentarily, as more and more flesh flooded in to wrap themselves around the Chassis. The mouths spoke Solus' name, with dialect un-transcribable. For the time Solus had been under the protection of the Yslamari bubble, he had been sane. He had been disconnected from whatever madness this was. Without them, he was a target for their maddening hallucinations. Restrained and immobile, Solus could only scream as the flesh touched his very Shard and seeped themselves through the cracks given by that Tree on Nar Shaddaa. A vision flooded his thinking as he lost all control. A floating station in a sea of black, with a fleshy spider-like thing sitting on top, the mark of the Fanged God on its face. Solus screamed as he blacked out, the force briefly rippling with dark echoes of the Shard’s flooding madness. Later, the doors to the room exploded outwards. Solus came flying out, swinging his blade and screaming like a madman. Lost of his faculties, Nothing more than his base instincts drove him forward. Find his master. Find someone. Find anyone. Get away from the thing that was chasing him. The flesh would follow, but he would fly faster. The flesh would ignore everything but him, but he would fight faster. He would find someone. Anyone. His master, a lowly linnorm, Mavenger, even that stupid useless good-for-nothing excuse-of-a-corpse necromancer. Anyone might help him hold off that which followed him. That illusionary, non-existent all powerful thing that chased him, eager to swallow his very essence whole.
    2 points
  25. Keenava finished tearing the flesh from her meaty entrée with her teeth and took a moment to wipe at her mouth with the closest napkin-like utensil she could find. She patiently listened to Sandy's words and bowed her head gently at appropriate moments. She even preened a little when the young woman told her how proud she was. It was odd; she felt feather-light tingles brush at the tips of her fingers, and her lekku twitched ever so slightly at Sandy's words even when they both knew very little of each other. But compliments were not things the Twi'lek got very often, so anything positive was either regarded with suspicion or admiration. It all depended on intention. And Sandy was not expressing any level of condescension. Her praise was genuine. Her request, however, was far from simple. It wasn’t like Keenava had anything to hide, but maybe she didn’t need to go into every knitty gritty detail. "Well, to know about my past, you may need to understand a few things that you may find difficult, or you may not fully relate to due to your time with the Jedi. For instance, No one is born a Sith. No one comes into the world wanting to cause harm. Well… The vast majority don’t. I can’t account for every baby in the galaxy and all potential conditions.” Keenava took a small meditative breath and clasped her fingers together upon the cold steel of the table. “Regardless… the vast majority of Sith only become Sith due to pain, trauma, loss, or some disconnection from the rest of the galaxy. In their desperate cry, they search for strength and that strength isn’t usually offered by the Jedi. At least, it hasn’t been.” “My story started years ago when I was sold into slavery to settle a debt. I was the first to be sold, followed by my sister, and my mother. But I fought to be first in the hopes that I might protect them from the same fate.” Keenava felt a burning line build on the rim of her eyes as her story continued, telling her of tears that were fighting to the surface. She stifled the impulse. “It was years before I saw them again. And when I did, I was forced to witness my mother’s death while others looked on and laughed. Thankfully, my sister never had to see that. But that moment broke me. I lost all touch with who I was, what I was, and where I was… And it wasn’t until the darkness found me that I had any purpose. The darkness offered hope. Hundreds of thousands of slaves went years without ever having hope. The Jedi didn’t see or know where they were, whether that was due to other issues or just not being able to save all the souls in the galaxy, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t the Jedi’s fault, but their inaction led to possibility. And for people like me, I was easy to take advantage of.” “Masters came and went: Jzora Scorpio, Julio Furion, and Exodus. Each discarded me when they grew tired of me. But through all that, I learned who I was. I mastered the common, Twi'leki, and Huttese languages. I learned many subjects and taught myself a great many things. But it was all hollow. I engaged in the petty Sith squabbles and did many stupid things. I even got into a fight with a woman named Ailbasi Zirtani. That was the last stupid fight I got into before I died; truly died. We all know how prolific cloning is in the Galaxy even if the expense isn’t always worth it. But for the first time in a long time, I didn’t know a single soul that had my DNA. I went a long time floating in nothing. But something felt odd, right before I came back… like a bright burning blue flame casting away the shadow that had embraced me for so long. And when I woke up a few days ago, I felt like a big arm had just wiped the slate clean. I felt like I was given a chance to start over. And this time, I was going to do what I could to make a better choice.” Keenava sighed. “Apparently some slaver had won my DNA over a game of Sabaak from one of my dad’s old contacts. I was touted as a rare specimen with a valuable skin defect. Black skinned Twi’leks due tend to have a bigger price. They kept me on drugs for several days and it wasn’t until I woke up in a dancer’s dress that I had any idea where I was.” “Reflecting on my experience now, I wouldn’t say that the Dark is an addiction. I’d say it’s a curse. The great irony of it is that, as a people, we fought to free ourselves from the shackles of duty, obligation, honor, integrity, slavery, morality, etc. But in the end, we traded our shackles for another set. The dark side cripples you. While it grants you power, it clips your wings and creates the illusion of safety. It creates that appeal that you call an addiction, but its so much worse. Empty promises, betrayals, power struggles, egos the size of oceans; that and more were the day to day with my contemporary Sith. Even if I never become a Jedi master, I never want to go back.” Keenava’s face was liberally speckled with tears that left slightly darker lines upon her obsidian skin. Her expression was solemn, and her body language was numb. It wasn’t everything, but this would at least give them both some context.
    2 points
  26. “No kriffing way I’m turning it back on” The young human declared, refusing to take another step towards the sleeping giant of a droid. Sergeant Klaff growled at the young man, almost snarling. Despite being a human, he sometimes came across like a Trandosian. “Thats an order soldier, now hop to it.” The young man looked at his commanding officer, then back at the droid, then back at the other three soldiers who had guns trained on the lumbering hulk. The thing was captured trying to steal a ship from the compound, and only had been brought down by a lucky ionization bolt. Since then it had been turned off and kept shut off via a restraining bolt. No one had dared to turn it on again, let alone try to reprogram it. Klaff wiped a bead of sweat off his brow as the young man went to the droid’s back side, attempting to turn it on. There was a reason he ordered the young man to do so and not do it himself. This droid was chosen specifically for the Korriban Mission, and any being, droid or not, deserve a lot of respect and, more so, distance. Ruin came to life with a sound of power generating inside his body. Glancing around, Ruin took a step forward, to the soldiers bringing their guns up more sharply. “Not sith…” Ruin commented. “Gotta kill sith. Hunting and seeking. Blasting and bashing” >Indeed, i agree< A sound of buzzing and chirping emitted. To the shock of everyone, a small buzz droid had somehow snuck along the ground and behind the behemoth of a droid, crawling up and onto its shoulder. “Where did that…” Klaff blubbered out before ordering his men to not fire. “Let's see where this goes.” >The individuals here are planning an attack on Korriban< Fera continued, her eyes focused on the commander, despite talking to Ruin, as if warning the commander. >I recommend we find one of these people i have uploaded to your H.U.D.< A beep came from the Terror Droid’s head, who swiftly suddenly turned and began to leave the group, despite the men not lowering their weapons. Klaff ordered a disengage. It seemed the droid knew what to do. “Korriban?” Ruin grunted, unholstering his flechette launcher from his back, checking its ammo and its general shape and function. >Yes. From what I've gathered, it is the cultural homeworld of the Sith as a whole. Possibly the origin of all the Sith teachings. A metaphorical heart of hell if there ever was one< Ruin seemed to nod at this. “Hunting and killing. Bashing and burning. Smash, smash, smash.” At this, he tapped the hammer-like weapon on his back. >Indeed< It didn’t take long for the two to find the individuals Fera had mentioned. A group of individuals consisting of Jedi and an Imperial Agent. With the Agent leaving the group, Ruin continued his normal course and followed the Jedi. Between the Imperials that stunned him and the Jedi that the droid revered, it was obvious who to follow. "Huntings and seekings, seekings and huntings. Korriban." Ruin said as he came close to the Jedi @ObliviousKnight and @MSA. >Excuse us, this is B-5 87, designated as RUIN. I am Fera. Ruin is expressing eagerness in with helping you hunt Sith forces on the mission on Korriban.< Fera chirpped in binary, her form like a spider crawling over Ruin's shoulder to get a better look "Bashings and burnings. Hunt Sith. Help Jedi. Bombings and bondings. Good times" As ruin said this, he pointed at the Jedi's lightsabers. >He is also expressing the fact that he looks forward to working with Jedi again. His recent experiences with the Jedi have been quite positive in his programming of hunting down Sith Forces. I am also looking forward, as this may prove to be helpful to my ward> Fera buzzed and babbled in binary. Hopefully the Jedi understood her, otherwise, Ruin's talking could be quite confusing to say the least.
    2 points
  27. Akheron considered the words, helping himself to some of the offered drink. Just as his actions and words were being considered, so to was Lord Mavanger being studied and tested in a way. Or so Akheron believed, for the Fanged God was always testing those devoted to the Darkness and moving them according to it's will...whether they believed in him or not. "I believe it something of importance my friend, considering you called for such privacy Lord Mavanger. One choice of many roads that the Fanged God likely foresaw and now tests us both with. A test of our loyalty and devotion to the Darkness and to each other, it shall be interesting to see where this road takes us and what choices are made. As to the matter of trust...it's not that I don't trust them, I do. But that trust only extends so far, as with all among the Sith. It's been that in my personal experience as a Sith among the Order and being among my own people, that there are few you can truly trust. I have been stabbed more times in the back than I care to count by those so thought I could trust to fulfil their own agendas and paid for it with blood, so I now take certain precautions...even among my own crew. For I will not allow myself to suffer such betrayals again and have my trust misplaced. Although perhaps in this instance, I did go a little overboard I admit. But one can never be too careful I have found, I hope it won't be too much of a inconvenience. I can tell them to go as well if that is your wish."
    1 point
  28. To say that the return of the Force was empowering would be a ghastly understatement, as the mixture of euphoria and the plaguing of constant pain coursed its way through Dictum's body and soul like a wildfire. Like an addict, he craved it, lapping at it like a wild dog on the verge of dehydration. And yet, the more he lapped at it, the more it pained him upon its return, causing him to ache for more to numb himself to its pain. So many months without it, starved by both its touch and blindness was like a breathless moment where one could only struggle to survive. And now that it was back, it bore its vengeance upon his frail form. But he withstood it, taking its rapture willingly, and becoming its silent Master. The will of the Force may have been a strong one, but his will was absolute. He would not let it break him. He would make it his own as he sat aboard the Sith's shuttle, the piercing echo of the Force capable of crippling the weak, intensified only by the wails of the fallen as a smirk crossed his pale lips. Amidst the rocking turbulence of the shuttles exit and the following destruction of Helvault, the Darkness provided its antidote. With the Force at his call, he supped upon the catalyst of its wound, functioning as a darkened balance between pain and bliss as it tore at his existence. This was why he smiled devilishly. He knew its truth. And it's knowledge was his power. For he was a Lord of the Sith, and his darkness was his will. As the moment of struggle subsided and his control over the Force cemented, he felt the shuttle's landing and noticed the others begin to depart. Draped in the Robes of his people, he stood, a weight lifted by his will rolling from his form like mist as he turned toward the shuttle's exit behind the group. He knew the time of Helvault had passed, and his future was beginning to take shape. So his focus shifted, and with the loss of the Dead One hanging over the rest, his thoughts were elsewhere. For he had returned to that which he had came from, a legacy born child of the Darkness, and the fold would need to accept him. Power begets power, and as these few had shown, power accumulates around the powerful. This was where his focus had shifted. If Helvault had taught him anything, it was that he still had much to learn. He had been caught, taken alive for the attempted murder of the Alpheridies Chancellor, and locked away. He had failed in his previous mission, whether it led to his meeting these Sith or not, and that was something he felt a subtle kinship to in this Solus. Standing his silence, he took a portion of the being's burden upon himself, as he deserved a similar punishment whether he received one or not. Failure was never an option. "Recieve the gift of knowledge and clarity..." He spoke to himself beneath his whispered breath as Solus recieved his Master's punishment. "And become stronger from it."
    1 point
  29. Whatever lay in front of them, likely hidden within the tower, or perhaps some kind of air or land based defense force, the objective remained the same. Stay within the envelope. Stay within the invisible jamming cloud of the U-Wing, inside that comfortable pocket that hid them from nearly everything except the visual scopes some defense forces employed. Useless for direct fire, and even more useless for hypersonic missiles of the kind a planet surrounded by an ever shifting asteroid belt would employ. The only difficulty would be the quick dash from the asteroids to the surface, and staying within the V shaped formation the Templars were flying. They had extended their own S-Foils in case something lurked in the asteroid belt, but it was unlikely. Tin pot dictatorships like the kind that ran Acrid did not normally expect an outside threat to their sovereignty, nor could they afford an adequate countermeasure. Preferring to torture their own populace under the cloak of restricted holonet access, and flying under the suspicions of the outside galaxy. But someone had kriffed up, let the torture and slavery leak out, and some Galactic Alliance commander had decided in turn to lay out the corpse of the Acrid Government as a warning to the outer rim. Nailing their hides to the galactic fence to scare off the little sector governments from thinking themselves safe from the hand of justice. And what was the cost of two SOG squads and a few dozen concussion missiles to the potential results? Plus, Templar squadron needed a win. After the disaster at Nar Shaddaa, a blue milk run of a coup would be enough to bring morale back to where it needed to be. Or at least that was what was running through Beth’s mind as she gently eased her X-Wing into a dive towards the planet. Atmosphere was only ten minutes out, and there was only a little bit of asteroid to go.
    1 point
  30. It appeared that Inmortos was going to re-join them through another method, Akheron noted as he stayed behind even as the station fell about him. As the Helvault fell he saw potential in the wreckage...for the future. Resources they could use once it had settled and to help rebuild ships. As the shuttle vacated the station, Akheron held himself secure as it rocked about and shook from the attempt to escape the forces working against it and the debris. Once clear like a few of the other shuttles, commandeered by escaped prisoners, some of whom opted to follow them to a new fate and life, Akheron approached the front of the craft before using a console to send a highly encrypted, military issue communication to his waiting flagship. Which had been waiting just outside the system for the Sith to complete their task before it would show itself. As the crew and the second command had been ordered too. Soon enough and it turned up, now repaired since it's last adventure. As the shuttle made it's way, he removed his own mask in mutual respect. Placing it under one arm, as he too opted to speak. "The Darkness and the will of the Fanged God works in mysterious ways my friend. There is a plan for us all even if we do not know or understand it at the time, it seems it is not done with Krath Apothos, or any of us just yet. It is true we may have fallen but only so we will arise from the ashes even stronger than before. Such has always been the way of the Sith. As you said, now we rebuild and when next we meet the Jedi and their puppets we will not be so easily silenced. For now a new, more worthy Champion has awakened, one who will see us to a victory I feel. The winds have changed yet again."
    1 point
  31. Even as the Galactic Alliance began its first pattering steps into galactic rule, its soldiers and pilots still carried its wil into the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Exerting justice where there had been none, and enforcing rule of law in lawless territories that had not seen galactic influence in decades. One such world was Acrid. Once holding a Jedi order operations complex, some three decades before, it was now a facet of galactic entropy. Where once there was peaceful order, now there was chaos and slaughter. A world that had fallen into disarray and destruction, a dystopian vision of what the galaxy could become. So the Galactic Alliance, in its infinite wisdom, had decided to reach out its magnanimous hand and free the people of Acrid from their indentured servitude. For even here, on the remotest frontier of the galaxy, sentients deserved a chance to strive against the evil that oppressed them. As such, twelve modern X-Wings, straight off endurance test flights from the Kuati manufacturers, were hurtling towards the planet on afterburner. Followed by a single U-Wing gunship which held the majority of the well trained operatives. Such a primitive planet did not need the might of Imperial Star Destroyers, and a small special operations group would be enough, or so the experts hoped, to topple this ‘Imperial Empire’ and pave the way for peaceful rule. And Templar squadron would answer the call.
    1 point
  32. Tros slowly walked the bridge of the ship, taking in every part of it. It felt like something he had been on before, yet could not place it as to when or where. For now, he simply just walked as Avao talked over the specifics of the Crusader-class corvette. Most of the features of the corvette had been only slightly updated shielding and weaponry. He didn't care for the output, he already knew it would perform beyond what it was supposed to. As Avao wrapped up, he found himself settling down into the command chair. Almost as soon as he did, something stirred within him. His eyes locked onto something in space that couldn't be seen. "Mand'alor? Where to?" The words came from Kot'dral. Tros didn't even need to turn to acknowledge him. "I have something brewing within my heart. The planet Ziost compels me to it." He now turned, but not to Kot'dral, but instead towards Avao. "Do we have it in our systems?" "We can find it if we don't." He then turned to face the blackness of space that before them. "Then I shall make this official voyage of the Revenant. Crew, we have our heading." Avao smiled at the official name of the ship she delivered to her Mand'alor. Tros felt it appropriate. ANd beside that, he could feel an excitement within his heart building. The Mandalorians of House Solus would soon arrive at Ziost, ready for whatever...
    1 point
  33. I grinned fiercely and jabbed my spear into the air as I saw the rest of the skiffs peeling away, the heatwave of a nearby explosion warming my face. We'd run them off! Now I just had to clear that kriffing dust off the ship, run a diagnostics, and we should be good to go. If I was going to search for Oka Geb (and hopefully he was still alive), I'd rather do it from the air. Then I noticed that the heat from the explosion hadn't faded. As I turned, banking the speeder, I didn't comprehend what I was looking at. The thing was massive. It was shaped like a rancor, but karking heck it was bigger than any rancor I'd ever seen! I was reminded why I'd avoided this planet. I saw where it was headed. "NO YOU DON'T!!!" I screamed. It was obvious what it was after. It wanted The Crate, my ship, and I'd be torn to bloody pieces before I let that thing have it! Granted I didn't know how to stop it, but I'd think of something. Or I'd die. So that was the start of a plan. I rocketed back towards the ship, the heat growing more intense with every second. Sweat poured down my face, but as I blinked a salty from my eyes, I saw the tusken laying mines down. That wouldn't do anything other than make it... ...Angry. I laughed. A quiet, nervous laugh. Maybe it was the heat baking my brain. Maybe it was the adrenaline. Or maybe the planet itself was just making me crazy. But I had another idea. Another really bad idea. Now I had a plan. I sped along the ground and shouted at the tusken as I did. "Make it mad!!!" I shouted. There wasn't time to elaborate further. I rode my speeder bike so fast into the cargo hold that I almost wrecked, braking just before I hit the opposite wall. I dug through one of the emergency supply stashes I kept under the seats, and pulled out three long, thin cylinders colored bright orange. Signal flares. I ran back outside, twisted the ends of each, and held them up in one hand. Brilliant white light poured from them, enough of a piercing glare to be seen from miles up if needed. And the beast certainly noticed. I lumbered forward faster, and I ducked back inside, step one accomplished. I needed its attention, for it to see me as a living thing and not just some tin can to crack open. Now I just needed it spitting mad. A muffled boom from outside told me that the tusken had started accomplishing part two of the plan, whether he knew it or not. I don't know if he got out of the way, and at the moment I wouldn't be much help to him if he hadn't. A second muffled boom signaled the titanic rancor had stepped on another mine, and a rumbling growl that drown out the echoing explosion was all I needed to hear to know that the creature was pissed. Come on. Come on! Do it you lizard from hell! A third boom, and then a fourth in quick succession was the only warning I had that the thing had picked up speed. It had seen me, and then it had hurt itself, and I suspected it was putting two and two together to blame me for that series of events. I braced myself. If I'd gotten this wrong, I was going to be one very dead arkanian. The Crate shuddered, grinding against the stone as something made it shift. Then, it began to tilt. I was only confused for a moment, as the rancor's face came into view in front of the cockpit. Even though The Crate was as long as this thing was tall, it was still managing to lift the front of the ship up in its massive arms and peer inside. And it saw me. And apparently the tusken had done his job exceptionally. The creature roared, a sound that seemed to shatter the world and left my ears ringing. Then it belched fire. A heatwave passed through the ship as the outside of the cockpit was enveloped in a firestorm. The Crate wasn't some cheap civilian transport, it was a military ship designed to handle reentry without shields in a pinch. But even so, the heat was turning the inside into an oven. Pleaseworkpleaseworkpleaseworkpleasework I repeated the mantra in my head as I struggled to keep my eyes on the control panel while not looking directly at the conflagration outside. Because I knew something the monster didn't. The dust that disabled my ship was magnetically clinging to the hull. And magnets stopped working when they got hot. With a fitful start, the control panel lit up. Maybe the creature sensed the change, or maybe it was pure coincidence, but it stopped disgorging its inferno at the same time, peering into the ship to see if it had killed the irritant. I stared back at it, grinning like mad. "Hi." I fired the guns.
    1 point
  34. All about them the newly dead arose, their crippled bodes, wounds still fresh and oozing, shambling towards their oppressors, foes, and stranger alike with undead ferocity. Those whose bodies had long since been devoured by the incinerators, their ashes little more than space dust spreading across the cosmos, swirled. Their invisible hands grasping at the edges of reality, their assign subtle chills as unseen winds passed by. In this paling of the boundary between life and death, they could reach across the veil, unseen claws rendering exposed flesh as they whispered of the imminent demise of all aboard. For they that were not bound by the mortal world could see what those bound to life could not. They had seen it and whispered amongst themselves, delighted that oppressor, stranger, friend and foe would be joining with them soon enough. It was inevitable as the station continued to accelerate towards the world below, it’s axis becoming the epicenter as the gravitational dampeners strained and began to fail against the centrifugal force. Throughout the station a new series of klaxons began to wail. It meant little as the mechanized voice warned of imminent impact, urging those aboard to brace themselves. Had it been a rogue ship, perhaps; but what the sensors that now triggered the automated sensors now sensed was Nephis VIII itself. All that mechanized warning did was increase the fear that already flowed like a river through the station. Not that it mattered to the droids. They had their orders: no one escaped. Within the control room, panic had set in. The looming doom was taking ahold, empowered by the flow of darkness that now ravaged the station by both design and intrusion. Finally, the first man broke. The thought of his family, a half a galaxy away, his children, going on without a father; it was too much for him. Shoving himself back from his console, the jailer shouted. He could not take it. Running to the doorway he began to shout in panic and fear, a righteous anger boiling over as he bashed ineffectively at the door’s control console. That was all It took. Beneath the professional exterior, the tension broke. The command room broke into chaos as crewmen began to scramble inputting codes in desperation, trying to stop the inevitable, trying to escape. It would be of little use; the station’s designers had taken such a catastrophe into consideration. Their actions meant nothing, or they would not have, had the station not been hacked by an unknown entity at the same time. It should not have happened; but the state-of-the-art programming that had been put into place upon the station’s construction had slowly not been kept up to the highest levels as designed. In a state of chaos, it had been just one other thing that slipped through the cracks. Because of all this, one inadvertent code frantically keyed in on the bridge at just the right moment, at just the right place, on just the right console, had its intended effect, only . . . more so. Every door on the station hissed open. Locked latrine doors where political prisoners had taken refuge; cell doors; access shafts; the doors to the command center; all of them, the entire station was open to to everyone, everywhere. The maze becoming infinitely more complex. That was not what made it even more dangerous though, in addition, the bastardization of the codes opened garbage chutes, access ports, docking bays, doorways to the vacuum of space. In a moment, entire corridors and rooms became vacuum tubes as their contents were sucked into the void of space. The cafeteria instantly was torn asunder via a simple garbage disposal. Doors ripped from hinges, tables and chairs putting dents in the walls as they were vacuumed into a tornadic maelstrom of nothingness. Other areas of the station took similar damage as the temperatures across the station began to plummet even where the vacuum had yet to reach. Back in the courtyard, Inmortos felt the increase of death around the station. The voices of the undead howled in rage and glee at their predicament. His magics had taken on a life of their own. More accurately, regained the lives that had been taken from them. He needed to do little else to maintain it; life, the twisted dark side of the force, together would maintain what he had unnaturally sparked back into creation. He heard the voices as they cackled. He heard their whispers above the cacophony. Their doom was imminent. His, Inmortos, doom was imminent. ”NO!” He snarled. It would not end this way. His eyes flashed with ice as his vision took in Apothos. He would not be destroyed again because of his wayward former apprentice. Akheron, Solus, this unknown Sith imprisoned for crimes that had not even been a blip on the radar of the Sith Empire, none of them were worthy of his death; and as they stood here discussing their philosophies ignorant it seemed of their looming destruction, Inmortos made his choice. Even Mavanger urged that they flee. Stepping forward, the death lord approached the throne of Apothos, lightsaber hilt held before him. “Morlissssssss,” he hissed with a snarl, “do not lose this or,” he nodded at Solus’ mechanized corpse, “my future tool. I will return to you for this when you are free of this prison and I of mine.” The specter of a Sith stepped back, leaving a path towards the door clear, cleansed by the shambling hungry undead that innately bent to his will. The winds of the spirits seemed to blow towards the doorway; or it might have been the touch of the void reaching this far into the station, clawing for one and all. Inmortos hands were already moving, his arthritic hands pained as they danced intricately in the air. “Flee you fools,” he snapped as the force pulled stoppered vials from his robes, elixirs made from a dying world, souls snared at the point of damnation. Ancient words of power, the spells of long lost cultures, death cults, and god-kings that pre-dated the Sith and their dark Jedi ancestors by millenia poured from the Krath Lord’s dehydrated cracked lips. His teeth mashed his tongue as blood and ichor dribbled from his mouth down his robes. Frigid purple-black smoke billowed out of the necromancer’s robes seemingly unaffected by the devolving world around him. Each hard syllable cracked like soft thunder as the magics of long forgotten sinners called forth their ancient spirits from deep within the void, forgotten shadows of eternity. The sacrifices of the world below served as a conduit for the atrocities, the sacrifices, aboard the station all around him. Inmortos had accepted his circumstances, but not his lot in it. The presence of the spirits all around him spoke of yet another means to unnaturally extend his life. He would not be exiting this station, not lime the others. Once again, his body would die here. If all went accordingly, his spirit would be free of this mortal coil; free to possess the bodies of the weak willed and willing as his needs saw fit. The zombies all about him sensed the necromancic energies that radiated from the death lord. They were drawn to it, empowered by it. They salivated as they clawed and gnawed at anyone who dared approach the font of power they desired, that whispered to them the sweet lies thst they might be able to regain their own lives if they consumed enough life energy from others.
    1 point
  35. During those two weeks, Sophia was rarely to be seen. She frankly preferred not to be seen by the fireteam of the Scout squadron–she particularly tended to greet Corporal Kran with a hard stare on the few occasions that she crossed paths with the Kuati. Her scarceness was mutually beneficial. A vague sense of surreptitiousness–possibly even criminality–tended to lurk around her activities while the Trills were arranging for the evacuation of the settlement. In truth, however, her activities were almost entirely legal. The historian was doing her job: poking around the settlement, the ad hoc sentry posts that protected the thousands of sapients who called it their home, and even going on a few patrols with some of their looting parties. At all times, unless she was being specifically instructed to shut up lest her jabbering attract the attention of some foul beastie in the depths of Nar Shaddaa’s underground–or possibly a punch to the jaw–Sophia was talking. Sometimes they were formal interviews with a veteran who wished to unburden themselves. Flattery sometimes worked. Mutual griping about vague orders or the apparent apathy of the higher-ups sometimes got an empathetic smile–whatever stellar-state they served, soldiers always loved to complain. A few outright lies helped grease the wheels. Sophia bribed a couple–some with credits, but mostly with processed sweets and insta-caf. One had even read her controversial article about Admiral Slaughter. Fortunately, that person was an Imperial. Her historical investigation of the final few days of the Coalition War–that what the historian was calling it in her draft, anyway–was absolutely, one-hundred-percent legal. It wasn’t even illegal to properly compensate a primary source for their first-hand testimony. Military bureaucracies tended to frown upon their personnel divulging the finer points of ongoing operations to nosy scholars, however. A few major questions needed to be clarified: Was the underground redeployment an improvisational decision made during the surface bombardment–or orders that had been dispatched prior to the Battle of Nar Shaddaa? Who dispatched those orders–Republican or Imperial elements of the Rebel Alliance, the late Empress, or had the Jedi Grandmaster done a run around the chain of command and issued the orders directly? Was this the only underground settlement that had been established after the surface bombardment? How many soldiers and civilians were surviving in these underground settlements? From what units did the soldiers deploy? Medical needs? Where were the others? The answers she eventually managed to wheedle out were staggering. “I’m honestly surprised that so many of you guys made it down here. The spacelanes were totally saturated–there was no way the entire garrison at the Red and Black would have been evacuated in time.” “Yeah, thank frack we got the order before the bombardment. We sent a salvage party to headquarters about a week after–couldn’t make it. Radioactive desert. Every surface entrance smashed, all the way down to bedrock. No water, no power, no nothing, just a lot of glass and rubble. Can’t imagine anyone made it out of there alive.” “Who gave that order?” “Dunno.” Other interviews revealed that units had been dispatched all over Nar Shaddaa. Individual soldiers named the Corellian Sector, Mezenti, Eastport, Lenstrum, Go-Toe, Nova Venture, Deucalon, New Vertica, and a dozen others that Sophia wrote down and knew nothing about. A glance at a map weeks later revealed that those sectors were separated by many thousands of kilometers “Honestly, I’m not surprised to see so many survivors down here. People are… resourceful. Trained people even more so, ‘specially if they need to be. This one settlement is–maybe sixty thousand–” “Try twice that–I don’t know the most recent count, but I keep seeing new faces.” “That many?–oh, on multiple levels–” “Yeah, I still forget about the verticality of this place. Caves under tunnels under maglev shafts under turbolifts under–you get the idea.” Where the orders to evacuate the Red and Black came from remained a mystery. That was answered by sheer luck in two separate interviews. The first was with an Imperial scout sergeant who had fought side-by-side with the Jedi Grandmaster just days before the battle. “Things got a bit exciting for us. Apparently there had been a bit of a survey of the maglev tunnels when the Reps were setting up headquarters, but it was outdated by that point and it didn’t go past a few hundred klicks. Vertica is… about twenty-five thousand, just to give you an idea of the scale of how bad that is. Anyway, we got orders from Grandmaster Draygo to complete that survey, fill in the details, locate potential threats. We lost a couple guys who were supposed to map the route to Vertica. So my squad and the Gee-Em: complete that leg of the survey and locate the two missing scouts. We found one of them alive, the other…” “He didn’t make it, did he? I’m sorry.” “It was a bad way to go. There was some insect-spider-bug-thing I don’t even know what they were, but a whole hive of them. Dozens. We burned them out, completed the survey. We never found the body, or his armor.” “So, it was the Jedi Grandmaster who started the subsurface evac?” “I didn’t say that. I just said that she helped open up the evacuation routes. You’ll have to excuse me–I need to prep for patrol.” Unofficial inquiries–that is, unwelcome snooping about–found that so many of those sentry posts were equipped with emplacement weapons and floodlights that transformed the inky blackness of the tunnels into eye-stinging daylight. Towards the end of the two weeks, Sophia had enjoyed the opportunity to join a patrol to the Corellian Sector and Go-Toe settlements–a routine status report, essentially to make sure that everyone was still alive. The Go-Toe settlement was comparatively small, but the Corellian settlement resembled one of the refugee camps that the Survivor’s Foundation was running on Ylesia, albeit more heavily armed. The Foundation tended to not deploy armored personnel carriers as its field command centers. It was a few days later that Sophia finally returned, sleep-deprived and a little bug-eyed from overreliance on caffeine. Her datapad was stuffed almost to capacity with interview files and images–maps, recordings, census data, other data that was of potential use. Her pouch was almost empty, having expended most of her private stash of processed treats and credits. One night, when she volunteered to help keep watch at one of the external sentry posts, Sophia idly turned over a challenge coin in her fingers and mused over the data she had collected. Slouching on the battery pack of the E-Web emplacement for warmth, the historian suddenly sat up bolt-straight, eyes wide inside her helmet. She ran the math in her head over and over again, realizing with growing excitement that one of the largest armies that the Rebel Alliance still possessed had never been deployed. It was still on Nar Shaddaa, fresh and with unspent equipment. It just needed to get off-world. “Hey, you okay? You see something out there?” Her partner racked the E-Web in preparation. “No, no, I mean, I’m fine. I think we’ve won the war.”
    1 point
  36. “Bloody hell!” Chrissie hissed, nearly dropping her computer as she jerked herself forwards around a blind corner of the catwalk. A pair of softly clinking robotic insects scurried down the wall from higher up in the catacombing catwalks . Only the Wing Guard’s hostile-mobile-armaments sensors soft buzzing had tipped her off in time. Still, her hiss seemed to have drawn the droids’ attention as they paused, their sensors sweeping the area. At the entryway, Vangar watched across the darkened bay. Everyone on his team seemed to be functioning properly; a surprise to say the least. The slaver that approached their ship would beed to be dealt with. He hoped that Qessax’ agents could handle it. His shotgun at this range would be more a distraction than needed. And the. It happened. Above them, in the dark, a beam seemed to break loose. The faint bending of worn metal was all that foretold the rapidly plummeting chaos. Vangar’s eyes widened as he ducked back into the access bay. He slid the panel shut in front of his very eyes. It sealed with a hiss as if he had never even been in the hangar bay at all. It was then that he heard the faint clatter as the telltale scan of the patrolling assassin droids pinged in his ear and across his heads up display. With a pneumatic hiss, Vangar slung his scattergun. In the same motion a pair of elongated songsteel blades found their way to his hands, drawn from the back of the warrior’s waist. A red light began to flash on one of the miniature droids as it sensed the threat that the obscured Barabel presented. Meanwhile the second continued to scan, convinced it had sensed another. Springing forward, Vangar was airborne in an instant. A momentary burn of his rocket boots carried him the extra distance even as the droid raised it’s electrified tail to strike. The Barabel did not need the force, a lifetime of combat training and hunting having honed his skills. His blades flashed in tandem. His left hand lashed out in a jabbing arc to bisect the tail from the body of the droid; all the while his right plunged forward, driving straight through the insect-sized bot leaving nothing but a sparking front and back of the droid as it clattered over the railing and down into the depths. Clink. Clank. Pitter. Patter. He did not stop to admire his work, the second droid whirring about, it’s energized scorpioned tail lashing forward. The electricity arced across the elegant silvery blade as Vangar brought both blades across the second droid sending pieces of it in opposite directions. Spinning about and dropped into a predatory stance, the Barabel’s eyes and sensors looked for other threats. He did not see any, for the moment. ”Are you alright?” He hissed to Chrissie as he lowered his blades. ”Aye,” she nodded, eyes slightly widened at the surprising dissolution of the immediate threat. “Thanks boss.” She pointed up a runged ladder nearby, her finger running a path along a catwalk three stories above them until it intersected with a computer console. “Gotta get up there.” She moved towards the ladder and began to climb. Vangar moved towards the ladder as well, sheathing his blades once again. He waited until Chrissie was at the next level the he began to climb. As he reached the second level he paused, his HUD illuminating another insectoid droid a ways down the walkway. In the shadows, the Viceroy paused. He did not tense a muscle beneath his armor, as if that would do anything to hide him any further. It felt like an eternity before the droid moved onwards and out of sight. He began to climb again, not stopping until he made the desired landing shorty after Chrissie. The Wing Guard hurried forward until she reached the console. Carefully she began to examine the entire system. She ran her hands along the edges of the console where intersected with the wall. She dug her fingers into a panel that swung open at a push, fishing out a wad of wires. Standing on her tiptoes, the technician peered at the twisted wires. With a careful fingernail, she separated the third white wire from the others. Pulling a clipper from one of her numerous pockets, she cut the wire. Nothing seemed to happen. No alarms were triggered. Lowering back to her heels, Chrissie pulled her hacking equipment from her satchel and set it on a durasteel deck plate adjacent to the viewscreen. She set to work, her fingers flying from her equipment to the console and back, her eyes darting back and forth as she entered a trance-like state. Vangar stood a half dozen steps back, letting the woman work. He scanned the area cognizant for threats. It would take several minutes and then they would be on their way to their next objective. All Chrissie had to do here was input a couple strands of code that would disabled the locks across the ship. Then it was on towards the command station within the sphere. It was going to be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG walk.
    1 point
  37. Qessax growled slightly as he signaled back to the others still on the ship. A few hand gestures made his commands known. Stay, guard the ship, kill potential liabilities, be ready to move. Silence was key. He was almost excited to actually be in the field again like this. However, he was not fully happy. The Knights had made their move towards the slavers and the slaves. Their desires were too evident to the Imperial Agent. Hopefully, they would be effective. The slavers didn’t seem to notice the Knights yet, but with their adapted eyes, the darkness was a bright day for them. Their whips were still activated, and their focus was still on the slaves. Qessax did feel an ounce of pity for them. His own people had their own history of slavery, and these slavers were being forced to work in unsafe and unsanitory conditions that even a Bolosar would be uncomfortable. One of the slavers did stop and peer around him. Having heard something, the Umbaran peered through the shadows like it was day time, seeking a noise he may or may not have imagined. The other five slavers continued their own work, while the slaves continued on, many on the brink of falling unconscious from exhaustion. Qessax refocused himself. The Knights would do as they saw fit. If they messed up anything too badly, at least they could be a distraction. Instead, he worked himself with the clones, following their steps and guiding where he could. He eventually broke off and found himself a perch where he could see most of the hangar, and the others. He had one thing the others didn’t fully have: the schematics of the ship memorized like the back of his hand. He would be a lookout and a guide where he could. “Wing Guard…” Qessax whispered into his comm. “Be watching those corners of the walls. Umbarans have been known to use modified Millicreep droids to patrol areas they can’t post soldiers at. If you are spotted, its done for. It was then he saw the first complication of the mission. He had to adjust his night binoculars to make sure he was seeing it correctly, but his hunter senses told him more than enough. Like a hunter tracking a muumuu, he could track this target. “Team…” Qessax whispered into his comm for the whole team of clones, mercenaries, guards and Knights. “One of the power suits is moving toward the ship. Time of contact 1 minute. Need a distraction. Nothing too noisy, but something to pull the thing away”
    1 point
  38. As the Sith before him spoke, Dictum casually listened. He had never been a part of their Order before, unlike his Father and his former Master, so comradery had never truly interested him. Nor did the politics and subservient measures. No. He was a creation of chaos and unbridled gluttony. That was his only interest. So as the Sith spoke of champions, dark gods, and devotion, it fell upon deaf ears and his form slouched callously, almost resentful and lazily. "You mistake me friend." Dictum spoke, his monotone voice almost disdainfully irritant. "I hold no value to politics, religion, nor duty..." His mind's eye fell upon the few that had gathered here and took in the moment, reveling in the carnage and dismay they had brought upon this failing system of metal and flesh, a symphony of chaos and destruction. A smirk appeared across the hindered view of his face beneath the white of his lengthened hair. In that moment, his slouched form returned to his former stiffened state. "I do, however, hold value in the masterpieces I create." He finished, guiding his hand across the canvas that surrounded them, the macabre of death that had became this void. "Lead the way to your Champion. I have heard her call for some time now." As the others came to agreement, the smirk remained. While the others may have placed value in ambition and duty, he only sought to sow seeds of chaos and paint pictures of despair. They may have came solely for their failing comrade, but he had found interest in their methods. He would follow them, for now, and see what masterpieces they could create. After all, an artist studies the work of others, if only to improve their own form. And after his time at Helvault, his form seemed to be a bit rusty.
    1 point
  39. As soon as they landed, Thumper powered the ship fully excluding the security system and pulled his WESTAR commando rifle to his chest. Out last, the Clones stepped into a dark portion of the hangar and realized they were surrounded by droids. The same droids that the Clones fought again for so long, all compact together in organized unison deactivated. For Riggs it was no issue as he took it with stride, Thumper was more weary despite the droids being disabled, however Tilts mind raced in paranoia and claustrophobia. This wasn't good, so thought the Clone Captain. "Night vision," Tilt whispered softly which received green light on his HUD from the other two troops. It was a much better option than flashlights and gave then a better advantage. Being more a rear guard and avoiding sight by utilizing tool towers, junk and automata for cover, Thumper couldn't help but notice and note the strange armor the rogue faction were wearing here and there, not enough to get back good glimpse from afar. At least the Umbarans as he could guess were wearing them, though they seemed far and in-between, he started to lag until feeling a tug from Riggs urging him to move forward. Several guards and several stops later, they approached to a stop which the Wing Guard started their work. Thumper wanted the chance to start digging into tech but held himself back mostly, with Tilt keeping him in check and Riggs keeping Tilt sane with occasional bumps and such. As of now the Clone Captain was trying to not "check out" and remained almost focused on the mission. It difficult due to so much of the CIS tech being familiarized in so many of his brothers deaths as well as his own brushes on numerous occasions. "Thumper... Riggs... We're going to break off for the moment. Vangar, we'll keep you posted." Tilt says to the other rear guardsman, breaking off just as the Clone said to take care of something. That something being the CIS Droids. As uncomfortable and painful as the machines presented to Tilt he remembers a portion of the mission that needed to get taken care of. Using the droids to their advantage. Tilt would say after they allowed a patrol by, careful to not be loud, "We're gonna reprogram a few... Or a lot of these clankers... Thumper, you know how to do it without activating them?" "Of course, I wasn't an info siphon for nothin' back in the day. Just keep me guarded, let me know what's happening." Thumper replies, starting to get to work on a back row of the machines against a wall. While Tilt and Riggs kept hidden and posted, for Thumper it was like playing with a puzzle. All droids of a same series had similar if not the same wiring, hardware, and software. Used to he would capture a combat Droid and hack into its mainframe to get an idea of layout or information for his team, now he was deleting and uploading a series of codes into the killing machine. Codes that made the droids fight for the Clones, their entire infiltration team, and of course benevolent toward passersbys such as the slaves and common workers. Rinse and repeat, what at first turned into a three minute operation would become a 30 second hack per machine, of course, he was we'll aware of the patrols and engineers, he would find his own coverage preventing from getting spotted.
    1 point
  40. As the craft slipped to a stop in the lengthy shadows of the bay, Vangar stood, the helm of his titanium-imbued armor tucked under one arm. “Nice landing,” he growled in response, noting that somehow aside from some curious glanfes they had not activated any immediately apparent countermeasures or drawn much attention. At least nothing visible judging by the still deactivated droids. It was a work area after all. Apparently lights were optional. With a pneumatic hiss, the barabel fit his bulbous facemask into place obscuring his persona from the outside world. “Right. To work then.” He moved towards the open door as streaks of shadow blurred past him into the darkness. Only the ultraviolet sensors betrayed their very existence as they moved. A smile played across his obscured lipless mouth, a line of needled teeth twisted into a smile. He had little worry that the Imperial Knights could handle their own. His cohort followed suit, pulling her UV goggles down over her eyes to complete her shadowsilk crafted shadow suit. Tucking her computer equipment in a marching satchel, Chrissie swung it over her shoulder and moved towards the door. Clutching her muted relbly to her chest, the woman nodded at Vashak. She was ready to move. Stopping at the doorway, he nodded to the others. “Minimal casualties.” He reiterated before alighting to the deck below with a soft landing from a lifetime of hunting, generations of evolution into an apex predator. Chrissie quietly dropped into an athletic crouch beside him. Vashak moved, flitting from shadow to shadow until he too had circled about the dimly lit hangar, careful to avoid the sweeping headlamps of those hard at work. Chrissie meanwhile stuck to the edges of the room, skirting the bulk of the persons and droids in the room. She only stopped when she made it to the closed door leading from the bay to the interior working walkways of the ship. Not regular hallways mind you, but the circulatory system of the behemoth itself. Vangar joined her momentarily, his shatter gun and eyes sweeping the chamber as Chrissie set to work on the access door. With deft fingers the Wing Guard easily pulled the panel loose exposing a mess of wires. Counting quietly to herself she ticked off red, green, blue, and black wires until she came to a braided strand of twisted yellow-sheathed wire. Pulling a small pair of clippers from her back pocket, Chrissie took a breath and then cut. The panel slid open with nothing but a faint hiss. Slithering inward, Chrissie began a perilous trek down the causeways, catwalks, and ladders through the external ring of the craft. She knew what she was looking for. She just had to find it. Meanwhile, Vangar tucked himself against the opening in the wall, shatter gun held at the ready, covering until the rest of his companions were safely aboard. Truth be told, he had little desire to use the thing; but on the off chance, it was loud, it was violent, and it sure looked intimidating. Much better to slip aboard without distraction.
    1 point
  41. Inmortos watched woth a detached horror as the surging amalgamation of bodily fluids, eyeballs, and filth surged down the physical confines of the station. It seemed to be chasing Solus, and yet; in spite of it’s interactions with the physical, only seemed to exist as a metaphysical temporal being of the force and by the force, plucked from somewhere beyond. The icy touch of the specters the necromancer now sought to command coupled with the hissing strikes of the Lord Mavanger’s blades seemed to slow it. And then, as if in some cosmically herculean effort, Solus of all beings, seemed to cast the beast into the ethereal beyond. It was gone. As if it had never even been, save for the warped passageways and crushed metal that spoke of its passing. Inmortos’ reptilian eyes twisted in suspicion. Something seemed amiss, he intended to find out what it was, even here. He rounded on the Sith apprentice of Lord Akheron intent on drilling the knowledge from his crystalline latticework only to watch the entire chassis of the being slump forward. Life leached from all but the core, the physical existence of the wayward apprentice. ”Fool.” He spat, the hostility on his detached voice clearly belaying the anger he felt at such a distraction from their cause. Anywhere else and the necromancer might have invited such a task, to study it, to control it; but not here. And before he could do any more, the spirits were back, more cautious, whispers of hate, lust, and discontent playing at the edges of his consciousness even as they questioned from whence the immaterial had manifest beyond the veil. “Yes. Yes” he responded, waving his hand towards the downed Solus, granting permission to the spirits to manifest within his mortal form. Should the apprentice be strong enough, he would live. Should he not; well, it would be a finality in a lesson that he should not have tampered with that beyond his control. The necromancer had items of more importance to attend to even as the crush of droids before them sparked and fizzled. At least Mavanger had the droids he had desired. From where he hung weightless in the air, Inmortos offered a solemn nod to the harbinger of destruction, a true master of his craft. A silent note of respect for his fellow master of their respected crafts. There was little time for anything else. Time was, after all, of the essence. Behind them the form of Somus slowly stood, jilted and wobbly as it was possessed by the spirits of the damned, enslaved by their fear of that which the dark lord that commanded them seemed to control. With a breath of icy vapors from his outstretched fingertips, Inmortos drifted forward, a ghostly silent wraith. There was more to be attended to. Behind him the spirit-bound Sithling followed, it’s unsteady and tumbling steps the first steps of an infant as it discovered itself. The droid-being clattered along behind. The droid might be of use to Darth Apothos in this prison; and, on a more personal note, perhaps finally his former apprentice could extract the Shard so that Inmortos might again use the spirit of Akheron’s next failed acolyte as his own. This time, a lightsaber might suffice. The entire station was in chaos. As the force surged into crevices and cells untouched for decades, it awoke long dormant sins and desires amongst the accused. Those who could manifest the force trained or not unleashed upon it in utter rage, blowing the doors from their fells and flooding the station with years of pent up rage-fueled vengeance. Even the highly skilled droids, as they cut down swarths of inmates were eventually overwhelmed. Killers, monsters, lords of the underworld regained their bearing and each in their own way began upon paths of revenge and rebirth. And still, the timer ticked steadily downward. The command center sealed and isolated in it’s entirety behind layers and layers of durasteel and phrik and cortosis infused metals. They were safe from the chaos, safe from the ravages of the force, within their tomb. And so Inmortos moved unhindered down the devastated hallways until he entered into the din behind Akheron, Solus lurching to a halt behind the lord of death. He listened as the chaos of the compound howled over the chaoslord’s words, the revolution of suppressed hostilities overcoming reason as bodies were cut down with impunity and droids beat down by overwhelming numbers; and for the first time since being subjected to the unnatural aura of the Force-repellent lizards that lay dead across the station, Inmortos smiled. His dry tongue snaked across his lizardly lipless maw. He could taste it. Death. Fresh, not of ages gone by, spirits entombed bodiless in this orbital prison. No, these were newly fallen, their souls still clinging helplessly to their mortal bonds, shattered as they may be. With a press of cold, Inmortos drifted downwards until his feet touched the cold steel decking. His gnarled swollen fingers danced in the air, a madman’s touch upon the eternal to any uninformed of the black clad’ reaper’s true intent. Ancient tongues spilled in whispers from his mouth that seemed to carry across the cavernous bay in a hiss of wind that blew the icy touch of death across the battlefield. Whispers of the damned, drowned out by the screams of the dying, moved unnaturally as they were carried by the magical words of life and death, incarnation, incarceration, and blasphemy. Across the battlefield, the crushed decrepit forms of those who had only minutes before been crushed to death began to rise. Their faces were twisted in the pains of eternity wrought from the solace of death. It was the only pain they felt, a pain beyond what the living could bear as they were immune to the broken limbs and tortured states of their mortal forms. It was this pain, the magics called upon by Inmortos that gsge them life. He did not need to control them, not that he could not with a wave of his hand; no, they would do what came naturally to the undead. They would seek revenge. The targets of that vengeance varied, fellow prisoners who had wronged them, but mostly the enforcers of an long lost unseen Republic and Empire’s will. unfazed by blaster fire and the touch of the stun baton and boasting the power of their bodies uninhibited by life-saving measures, they struck back, turning the tide until any who opposed them fell silent, dead and lifeless, leaving ichor-oozing shamblers groaning about the battlefield awaiting further instruction in their simple zombified state. ”Lord Apothos.” Inmortos rasped loudly across the silence. “My apprentice. Come.” The body of Solus clattered to the ground before Inmortos. “A gift by which to expedite our departure.”
    1 point
  42. As a woman on Ziost raised her hand to the sky, a pulse rippled out through the Force. To the living energy field that bound the universe together, physical limitations were meaningless. Distance, speed, matter, nothing held back the burst of power that raced along those connections between all living things. It was a clarion call, an echo of endless hate and savage triumph. To the few mundane perceptive enough to notice, the ripple would feel like a brief moment of unease, the sense of something moving just out of the corner of their eye. To the Force-sensitive able to observe that ephemeral energy, but unattuned to the idiosyncrasies of the Dark Side, it would seem like a wordless cry, faint but fierce. But to those who allowed the Dark Side to flow through them, the call had meaning. Its message was not in words but in concepts and impressions, universal in understanding. Darkness gathers Ziost stands A challenger waits
    1 point
  43. The intent of the meeting was laid out rather quickly. The gungan before Zalis was one of cunning moves and big dreams. She could tell as he leaned in to speak, long before he even laid out his plan to her. She took a drink of her own Chandrillia whiskey, almost emptying the entire glass with one drink as she looked over the map that the Gungan displayed for her. Yes, his plans are ambitious indeed. Yet, they are not without flaws. She looked him over as he talked some more, clearly offering up a drink to her. She decided to not show any hesitation and poured the drink offered into her glass before leaning back in her own chair now that Greensnout was finished. Her eyes looked him over again, along with everyone within his party. "Ambitious to say the least. But you clearly don't have a hold on the state of things within Black Sun." She took a sip from her glass and then leaned in. "Former glory is irreverent by now. Only future and new glory is what matters. And Black Sun is thriving in far more ways than its former self." She now leaned back and took another sip before continuing. "Czerka has become the front that draws attention. It's by this point, untouchable by any government without true cause. Spanning shops from Taris to Corellia and beyond. Black Sun holds major hubs on Dubrillion and Ord Mantell, yet still holds smaller trade outposts on Tatooine, Onderon, Dantooine and yes, even within it's fragile state, Nar Shaddaa. The Bounty Hunter's guild has resurfaced under the help of Czerka and Black Sun on Iridonia..." Taking yet another sip from her glass, she set it down on the table and leaned in yet again. Her eyes locked with Greensnout. "But I am not blind or stupid. The need to capitalize upon the current state is something of great value. Piracy is good for business... sometimes." Her voice lowered a bit, yet not too much so that the Gungan wouldn't hear her. "Eyes have been set upon areas of great value to Black Sun. But piracy without a funnel and a command destroys chances for legitimate business and growth. And placing such funnels and command structures would no longer make you a pirate." She leaned back again in her chair. "That would make you more of a warlord of sorts." She now wondered if she would even be able to exert such control over a sector like that. Granted, by some default, she already had. But how long until the new political system wanted to show it's forceful hand like they did at Outer Haven? Maybe setting up a few warlords of sorts would be good to keep egotistical eyes off of her. But could this Gungan do it? She'd have to test him first. For now, she was curious if he had anything else to add to what she spoke.
    1 point
  44. Akheron proceeded to continue along the large maintenance shaft he now found himself within. He noted the lack of gravity as his feet rose from the ground, allowing his body to float in the air and forcing him to effectively 'swim' to manoeuvre himself. Using his fete, he propelled himself along the shaft, lightsaber held out in front to light the way now the lighting was failing. Soon enough and he found an exit. Moving into the corridor, looking about he noted the coast was clear at least for now. Floating along, he wondered how the others faired...that was before he felt it. The change. He felt the Force as it returned, like a flood had washed over him and baptised him in the fires of his own Wrath. A smile gripped his lol beneath his mask as now he could finally express himself. He would be allowed to be himself again and truly be the destroyer that some claimed he was. Allow him to truly serve the Fanged God and serve up any souls who resisted, and destroy the droids who would bar his path. Moving along he came across a group of a dozen droids, a patrol sent to hunt down the one who was causing such commotion in the area. To hunt him. Surging forwards, with the Force he shot like a torpedo using the lack of gravity and the Force to surge forwards and dispatch his most current victim, behind the group was a sentient, one of the few who had been sent to hunt with the droids and keep order. The turrets above were easy enough to fool, at least until they adapted, and so he acted quickly. Using his lightsaber to redirect blaster fire into the droids, destroying two instantly with the redirected fire before he used the Force to go send another crashing into another behind it against the wall in a pile of metal and twisted wires. Moving through the droids quickly, dispatching each with no compassion or mercy, a being driven by pure Wrath and Rage, the sentient human started to panic as his protection was whittled down to the last four. Running, he ran down the hall where he his behind a wall and attempted to call for backup only to find radio silence as the station continued it's self destruction. Akheron soon finished the last droid, crushing it like paper under his control. Then he was and felt them, two vengeful and pain filled spirits who desired to inflict suffering upon both himself and his adversary. The human was easily overcome, clutching his head he howled out, a gluttural, unnatural scream that echoed down the hall as his eyes rolled into the back of his head and his body became no longer his own. Feeling this new threat and seeing the change from the cowering form he had once been to a being of insanity and rage filled fury, Akheron acted swiftly. As the possessed human swung his stun baton with unnatural strength, the Sith Warrior countered with a well placed lightsaber strike to arms, severing both simultaneously as he propelled himself to the left side, slicing as he passed. Removing his head after, he released the souls only to be assaulted himself. As they entered his mind Akheron fought back inflicting his will, his Rage and Wrath...directing it to assist with evicting the unwanted new tenants. The battle of his body continued, as he shook and the hall rocked with the Force. Until at last he won out. Overcome by the sheer power of his Wrath and Rage, they were destroyed and cast into oblivion. Dropping momentarily, he recovered himself before continuing until he came upon a large sealed blast door. Above which say two automated turrets and guarded by a group of sixdroids. All who were now staring at the Sith Warrior. Hell broke loose as he drove into an alcove. Focusing himself he stepped out, pulling a turret from it's placement and smashing it into one droid before crushing it and another together against the wall. Surging onwards he proceeded to deflect and redirect blaster fire from the remaining turret into the next droid, placing himself so the droids stood in the line of fire. Cutting down another two droids he pulled the remaining turret and smashed it into the back of the head of one of the last two droids, knocking it forwards as Akheron impaled upwards into it's brain and sliced down to the torso rendering it no longer a threat as it collapsed destroyed. Facing the final droid, he took several bolts to his armor, and another to his right arm, causing a wince as one bolt made it through a joint and hit the flesh beneath. Pulling the droid towards him, he reflected bolts back into it before ducking under a swing from the buzzing electrified baton it held. Attempting to cave his head into pulp. Removing that arm as he passed under it's guard, he twirled his lightsaber around and removed it's other blaster arm before crushing the droid with the Force. Dropping the carcass, he looked upon the blast door. Behind he could feel both Krath Apothos, the other powerful darksider and several others, he could feel the chaos ensuing and feel it. Focusing his energy, his Rage and Wrath the Sith Warrior placed both hands forward and attempted to force the blast doors open. Metal creaked and squealed against itself as it was unnaturally pulled apart and forced open. Before long it gave way, blasting inwards into whatever lay behind it. Through the gap, Akheron floated and for the first time in years placed eyes upon Krath Apothos. He spoke up. "I am Darth Akheron, Lord of Rage and Wrath. Sith Warrior and your path to your freedom. Although we come for one, those that choose to serve the new Dark Lady, the champion of the Fanged God will be given the chance for vengeance upon the galaxy and the Alliance for your imprisonment. Refuse this offer or hinder us in any way and you shall fall here and now, to die with the station. Souls for the Darkness. Make your choice quickly, wisely....here and now. For you shall not be given another chance." Looking towards Krath Apothos, he spoke up. "Krath Apothos, we have come for you. It seems you still have some allies among the Sith...despite your fall. You were not forgotten, and still it seems have uses." He looked to the stranger near him, lotus positioned and spoke. "I can feel the Darkness within you stranger...it is strong. You feel like a Sith. If I might enquire, what is your name. You seem like you may be of use to the new Dark Lady Calypso. To the Fanged God from whom our Dark gift was truly given. But I have been wrong before about someone. Tell me that I might gain your measure...and perhaps vouch for you when the others arrive. Should you prove your worth and usefulness to our cause."
    1 point
  45. The mag-locks on the droids feet allowed them to continue mostly unaffected by the sudden shift of gravity, or lack thereof. The last of the prisoners were locked down at last, either in their individual cells or the small mass in the recreation area (if one could call it that). Any resistance was now met with a lethal albeit brutal beat down. There were no life-saving protocols anymore. The only programming that remained intact was to prevent any escape, by any means necessary. Anyone seen or scanned in the hallways was designated a hostile entity. The tuning up of blaster cannons followed by explosive blasts traced after any unauthorized entity. Escaped prisoner, invader, it did not matter. They were all as good as dead. They would all be condemned to death in the next 20 minutes anyway. After that, the planet would be spun into complete and irreparable free fall; a fiery plummet towards an inevitable end on the surface. Drifting against the sealed security door, Inmortos pushed off following after Lord @Mavanger. Moving from cleft to cleft the duo of Sith Masters kept the turrets popping, albeit inaccurately. Even without the force, the necromancer knew that the steely right-hand of the former Sith Empress was a force to be reckoned with. No mere turret would stop him. Inmortos, well, he was dead, technically. Even computers recognized there was no use shooting a dead body. Computers did not need the satisfaction. Still, the inability of the the turret to stop the encroachment necessitated reinforcements. As they passed the halfway point a half dozen armed security droids rounded the corner at the end of the hallway. Stun batons and wrist mounted blasters, it kept the prisoners from stealing them. Disconnected from the droid they would deactivate. Nothing more than a gangly hunk of metal. Pressed into the alcove, Inmortos felt worthless. He could feel the very foreign body he now inhabited deteriorating. Without the force, the familiar horizon of death loomed ever nearer; a one way trip into the beyond. It was not a path Inmortos sought to journey down a final time just yet. He had not yet achieved his goals. The fear heightened his senses. There was little he could do, decrepit and dying as he was. Without the force, he was nothing. And then, it happened. A strange wave seemed to sweep down the passageway. The necromancer’s fragmented body was caught up in the tide. His mind, entrapped within a world of flesh not his own was suddenly immersed in the depths of the cosmos of an eternal silence. The veil beyond the realm of the living fluttered and opened to the eternal blackness beyond. Peace and tranquility, life spread from the tips of the Vurk fingers and toes possessed by Inmortos all the way to the sloping crest atop his head. For a moment, it was as if all the troubles of the mortal plane were swept away. In that moment, Inmortos was at peace. Inmortos was dead and he never felt more alive. Until he was not. On the heels of the peace that came with death, came the dogs. Howling, ravenous, caged unto death and driven to madness before they passed into the great beyond. The spirits of the dead, hundreds killed on the prison station, their bodies long since incinerated, tore past the veil. They flooded the area about Inmortos, a beacon to serve as their servant to the realms of mortality. They assaulted the necromancer’s sensed, blinding him, deafening him. The necromancer doubled over in the air. Pain, the pain of every injury inflicted upon the lives that were not his own, replaced the fear he had felt as it wracked his body. ”No!” He cried out, his voice cracking in pain as his body contorted unnaturally in the air. The air temperature dropped. The humidity crystallizing in an icy glaze all about the Krath master. He was the master of death. Those who failed in this life would not best him. They could not. They had already lost. They needed him and as vengeful as they were, they knew it too. ”NO!!!” He cried in anguish and anger, his mind forcing his body to fought against the rigor that sought to overcome it. Muscles tore as pain shot red-hot pain across his senses. The icy mind of the necromancer began to revert to its natural state, frigid, cold, a lifeless void, unassailable by anyone or thing. As he writhed, Inmortos’ resistance to the spirits grew with each passing moment until his mind had become an icy palace of solitude reaching across the cosmos to the barren hellscape of Aaris III and the Krath’s throne upon the desolate planet. ”NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” He snarled in defiance as his eyes shot open. The pupils that had rolled back into his head centered and began to focus as his clawed hands slammed into the durasteel wall plating strong enough to leave dents. Had his feet not been braced in the alcove, the necromancer would have drifted out into the hallway. Icy wisps snaked from the Vurk’s nostrils. The air about him dropping dramatically well below freezing in an instant. The cold was more than a physical frigidness, it was ethereal, spiritual. It drove back the swirling chaos of the recently released undead wraiths. It slowed them, froze those that did not retreat, their bodiless existence falling invisibly to the floor and shattering in a glassy spray of broken soulfrost. It was cold. The deathly chill offered clarity. It offered silence. And in it, Inmortos could feel the ever expanding presence of the force, freed from the grasp of the sickening mutant repellent that surrounded the station. He could feel the lives of all aboard, Mavanger, @Karys Narat iv-Adas, @Solus, the unknown @Lord Ōk Rägnär, and even his wayward apprentice @Krath Apothos. Yes. He was here and he was alive. If one could call such a miserable existence such a thing. The specters of prisoners passed on sensed the connection the necromancer felt, even if for but a moment, to the technological wizard and they seized upon it to assault one that might be of value to the necromancer; to teach him a lesson for denying them. Several screamed into the prisoner-laden hall to assail the senses and mind of Nok Morliss and anyone else who got in their way. In minutes the entire haul was in chaos as poltergeists and wraiths materialized and vanished intermittently, bursting through walls, droids, and chests with icy touches, blinding sensors and senses. Screams of anger and fear contributed to the din. The droids were hard-pressed to control such a breakdown in order and they began to bash in the skulls of the nearest prisoners to begin restoring order, permanently. Inmortos was only concerned with Apothos for a mere moment before his senses were diverted to Akheron’s droid-y apprentice. The lightsaber crystal seemed to have unleashed some sort of netherworld force monster, a being of rotting multiplying flesh and dried blood. Hunger and death. An invisible being that devoured anyone or thing connected to the force; a monster that did not exist but for the dark side of the force itself; a monster from beyond the veil hungering for life. “What have you done?!” Inmortos mind sparked with icy anger. Meddling in spheres he did not know and had no right to be in touch with, the Shard had seemingly inadvertently stumbled upon something larger than himself. Redirecting his focus from Apothos, Inmortos summoned upon the ethereal chill of the void beyond the grave. The veil that separated life and death billowed in eternity, its subtle echoes felt across the cosmos upon his trailing link to his chilled throne. He cast it beyond himself, the chill freezing the air as it slammed into the rolling boil of force-based flesh that pursued Solus. The spirits screamed after, their hunger being keened onto an even greater target, the monster from beyond the purgatory they had been cast unto. With ravaging hunger and the ability to inflict wanton damage on the frost-slowed abomination. Cold death radiated out from the necromancer. The spirits recognizing a master that could finally give them what they desired.
    1 point
  46. During that tense hour of negotiation, Sophia sat uncomfortably in conversation with one of the rebel sentries: a young Twi’lek woman named Giz’aptel. The two were a study in contrasts, with Sophia’s bright orange Mandalorian-trimmed armor, seemingly intended to catch attention–Giza, on the other hand, wore only a darkly-patterned breastplate and a helmet. She supposed that the Twi’lek probably had blue skin–it appeared almost black in the darkness of the cave. The woman’s lekku periodically twitched in some unknown gesture of emotion as they spoke. It might have been disbelief, exhaustion, maybe revulsion, but Sophia had never known any Twi’lek closely enough to dare ask what the expressions might mean. Even over a several minutes in the darkness, it was impossible to disguise the Core Worlds in her voice–every single person in the tunnel probably would have heard the Coruscant echoing against the walls. “Is that Coruscant that I hear in your accent?” Giza asked of Sophia. The Twi’lek leaned forward, lekku slightly curled upwards. “...yes.” Sophia’s fingers clenched around the curvature of her helmet, gripping it so tightly that the the edges of the visor scratched against her gauntlets. “I lived there for a few years. Uh, seven, actually? Seven. After the war–” Giza chuckled sardonically. “--which one?” “It certainly has been a decade. Anyway, I finished my doctorate at Usk-Core.” That was the University of Coruscant, one of the largest universities in the Core Worlds, with hundreds of thousands of students on Corrie alone, to say nothing of its affiliates. There was some possibility that the two shared some remote connection through that world–there was more than a trace of Coruscant in the Twi’lek’s voice–but it was exceedingly unlikely that they could have crossed paths. “Goooo Sand-Panthers!” The Twi’lek muttered out a quiet shock-ball cheer. “Rawr.” Sophia hooked her fingers into claws and slashed feebly at the air. There was definitely some remote connection. “I was in the history program, you?” “Nanotechnology, studying under Lavorre… but all for a single year, before you people showed up.” Sophia fidgeted uncomfortably with the helmet in her lap, turning it end over end several times. She had found her false identity as a Mandalorian to be extremely useful on a number of occasions. Some had found the armor intimidating in close quarters. It had made for useful camouflage during an expedition to Coruscant when the wrecked planet was still under the control of the Mandalorian Crusaders. Adopting that identity held very different consequences when coming face to face with someone who had been driven into exile by their campaign. The historian chewed on the inside of her lip for a few seconds. “I… was actually on Carida when the Lemon fell. I was on a research visit to the Imperial archives.” “You’re… not much of a Mandalorian, are you?” “Probably not.”
    1 point
  47. For a few hours, it seemed as though Admiral Slaughter had dropped off the face of the galaxy. Even the Barabel Jedi Healer who had been assigned to shadow the Admiral and ensure that he didn’t overexert himself into an early retirement somehow managed to lose track of her ward. Everywhere Master Zal searched, he found a small army of cooperative noncoms and lower-echelon officers who were pretty sure that they had seen Admiral Slaughter meeting with Viceroy Longfang, or visiting with wounded soldiers in the medical ward, or practicing at the small arms range… or really, anything that seemed realistic for the middle-aged soldier. One Captain who had known Slaughter since their days in the Republic Talons completely lost her head and claimed he was on a conditioning run. “A conditioning run.” “Yessir, Master Jedi, sir.” Captain Johanna Bryce of the Talons piped up cheerfully. “He’s rather anal about pesh-trill. Kinda maddening.” “The man has lost the use of his legs, soldier. What kind of fool do you take me for?” The Barabel fixed the tall woman with a cold-blooded glower. “Someone who needs to re-assigned to the front, Master Jedi. He’ll be fine. He’s probably holed himself in a room and is yelling his head off at Fondor or Corellia or summat. Having a wonderful time. He’ll be fine.” Captain Bryce’s prediction proved to be correct. At that moment, Slaughter had sealed himself into one of the compartmented rooms within the Alliance complex and driven out all but a few officers on his personal staff. The Admiral had pulled himself out of his wheelchair and sat cross-legged on the cold concrete, surrounded by a madman’s network of holograms, paperwork, spreadsheets, three comlinks, and a half-eaten ration. His ire had already been visited on Fondor and would soon be inflicted on the Corellian Engineering Corporation. A third irate conversation would soon visit the Chief Engineers who had been tasked with breaking old starfighters out of mothballs. He rubbed a hand across a day’s worth of stubble and contemplated the calculated insanity that lay around him. The infantry forces stationed on Korriban were not a significant concern. It was highly unlikely that those forces hadn’t already been removed to more important planets–probably Onderon, or Kamino, or even Umbara. The real concern were the anti-orbital assets. Ground-based turbolasers were murderous on the light ships and frigates that comprised the vast majority of his task force. Fidelity lacked sufficient firepower to duel with a garrison’s worth of turbolaser batteries. Local point-defenses ruled out the possibility of a frontal assault. The Alliance couldn’t afford the time and ships required for a blockade… But in those limitations, Slaughter saw his strategy. The Admiral was familiar with his reputation as a fighting-Admiral. His history was that of a mixture of aggression and relentlessness. His previous attacks on Sullust, Onderon, and other planets had been slow, grinding affairs that slowly built up pressure on hostile defenses. His formations were typically dense, mutually-supporting squadrons of cruisers and corvettes that were meticulously designed for a combination of firepower and area denial. He was somewhat attached to a single ship, that old MC90 cruiser Fidelity. He was excessively reliant on vulnerable corvettes to support his starfighter squadrons. He did not shy from confrontation. For the first time in several days, Bruce actually smiled. He would present the Sith with exactly what they expected–a competent, but somewhat conventional Admiral of the Galactic Alliance. Then he would destroy them with the lessons he had learned from the Rebellion. _____ Thousands of kilometers above Ylesia, what would have been a skeleton of a task force in the days of the Rebel Alliance began to take form. Fidelity, an old, battle-tested MC90 cruiser that hadn’t even had a chance to paint over the scars of Nar Shaddaa, would form the nucleus of that squadron. Approximately its same size but considerably newer, Benediction, a Nebula-class Star Destroyer from Fondor kept station only a few kilometers away. The unfortunate Star Destroyer seemed cursed to forever be rushed prematurely into service: the vast majority of her weapons had yet to be installed and she had only been given a coat of bone-white primer, and internal compartments had been gutted for additional hangar space. A dozen-odd corvettes and other light ships moved about the task force on picket duty. About half of them were old Raider II-class corvettes and “Hammerhead”-corvettes from the early days of the Rebel Alliance, but there were a few newer ships: Imperial Vigil-class corvettes and Naboo designed Senth-class corvettes. Those latter ships resembled enormous flying wings and were studded with a frightening array of quad laser turrets, each effectively a no-fly zone for hostile starfighters. Those flying wings were so small in profile that they sometimes disappeared from sensor sweeps–and their crews had reported that the handling of those ships resembled that of an enormous starfighter. Several other ships served as tenders and escort carriers. Those were almost entirely heavy freighters with only a few crew members, barely enough to service a few starfighters. Still, in this time where the Galactic Alliance was desperate for every weapons platform, even a refitted cargo ship was a valuable resource.
    1 point
  48. Talyn considered the young Jedi Knight's words, even as he looked into his eyes to perhaps gain some measure of the man before him, a man with a most extraordinary gift or curse. Whichever way he looked at it and see the kind of man he would be working with, he was sure he was at one point a look of doubt and fear...familiar scars and signs he had seen in far too many others, but not so common in Jedi. The signs of one affected by the war and suffering from some kind of traumatic experience. The way he spoke seemed to suggest it. That would either make him a asset or a liability...possibly both when the time came for action. Time would tell which would be true. Listening, Talyn spoke trying to address each point made by all present. He first turned to the Jedi Grandmaster, Armiena. "I shall do my best and utmost to convey this Grandmaster, although there is no guarantee he will listen. We shall just have to trust that he does listen." He turned to Sanguis next. "I would agree, despite what they have done and are capable of, the Tsis tend to keep to themselves and pose no real threat, at least for now. As a endangered species, one which is sentient and strong with what you call the Force...they must be allowed to live despite our misgivings, or we are no better than the enemy. Although we might need an eye upon them, as stated their hatred for the Jedi and Republic is strong and stems from millennia of such hate that has only been reinforced by the Sith. In fact there are rumours from Korriban that those who lead the seven Clans that make up the species were trained by a powerful Sith Warrior and his allies. But as I said, if it comes to open combat they won't hang around long and will retreat back to the mountains to hide to conduct guerrilla warfare upon us later. Scans taken and from a personal expedition I undertook close as I could get to the area without discovery, suggests they have some kind of stronghold there in the mountains that we have yet to fully find. The Sith have for most part ignored them so long as they don't interfere with their agenda. It is my belief that they should pose no problem for the duration of the transition for most part. It is the Sith themselves that will be the issue. As such our focus for now should be with the main areas of government. The Academy, space port and the like. Areas of high commerce and traffic. As for why you were chosen, I have no idea...I am simply following orders I'm afraid and my knowledge is limited to what I have been told. Perhaps during this assignment you will find your role. Perhaps it shall be diplomatic, guess we'll see. You might despise politics and espionage but if Korriban has taught me anything it's that sometimes we must confront that which we despise if we are to overcome it. Regardless I think we have spent enough time in discussion, there is much still to be done. If you are ready, grab what you can and I shall meet you at the spaceport." With that Talyn made his departure. He had a few misgivings about this Jedi, he appeared to have much doubt about himself and his role in things. Perhaps in time he would find his place.
    1 point
  49. As Talyn listened, his expression turned to one of surprise. He was hardly thinking he was going to meet the mother of a legend when he first got there...the Jedi Grandmaster, Armiena Draygo-Starfire's reputation preceded her. Yet he had not heard much about the rest of her family beside Aryian Darkfire, so to meet her mother was unexpected. He suspected what the young Jedi said was likely the truth, he had no reason to like afterall. As such Talyn have a nod before proceeding to speak, but not before directing them to a more secure location, one away from prying eyes and ears in the camp. "I have spent the last several years upon Korriban, and have assisted the former Nikolai Kolchak, who was my mentor and Agent Qessax's predecessor by supplying valued intelligence from deep within the Sith Military hierarchy. That was until recently, a Sith saw me stealing some of my latest intelligence. Very well, I see no reason to doubt what you say is true. It is a pleasure to meet the mother of the legend, the Jedi Grandmaster's reputation preceded her, much like yourself. Even on Korriban, the Sith had her on a kill on sight list. May I suggest we find somewhere a bit more secure within which to speak. What I have to day cannot be open knowledge, besides you never know who might be listening...even here where people think they are safe. The Sith as you know are ruthless and have many spies." With that he led them into a nearby tent before making sure it was secure. Sweeping for potential bugs or people who might be listening, satisfied he gestured to several seats in the tent as he begun to speak. "Sorry about that, you can never be too careful or cautious in my line of work. Now we are secure I can explain that situation better. The Alliance is aware of the fact that Korriban is a known Sith sanctuary and for the reasons you specified, however my superiors also believe it is also more than this based on more recent intelligence. As I told Agent Qessax, whilst using my deep cover within the military structure of the Sith, one that I had maintained since my younger years, I was tasked with recently finding out if the government of Korriban was still Sith affiliated and actively resisting attempts by Galactic Alliance personnel looking to help any to transition. It turned out this was the case. Those that were found to be sympathisers have been being getting rounded up and 'rehabilitated' or outright executed with little reprisal. I had also found out that miraculously, some of the old native red skinned Sith species or Tsis as I have found they call themselves to stop any confusion between the Order and themselves, still exist there. Although in smaller numbers, they have kept the old hatreds which has only gotten stronger since our last attack and are allied with the Sith but they are no real problem. It is the area surrounding the Academy and the Tombs, areas directly controlled by the Sith hierarchy that is the problem. Ever since they took over they had been building. Those above my pay grade wish to replace the local Sith government and topple it, they wish for your help and those specifically chosen for their unique skill sets to help establish a new more Alliance, Republic and Jedi friendly government. To I quote 'make sure Korriban is no longer a safe haven for the Sith'. They request help rescuing any sympathisers and installing them into the correct positions to make a positive change to the status quo upon that planet, so naturally we are trying to minimise civilian casualties if we can help it, which is I assume why they asked for you specifically. Admiral Slaughter has been assigned to oversee our air support for this. That is all I know so far. If you require more, you may read the file here. Although Agent Qessax will require a answer within the next day or so as he wishes to take advantage of the Sith while we still have the advantage. And help towards pushing them out indefinitely from the galaxy." With that he handed the young Jedi Knight a encrypted datafile containing the information regarding the mission, along with the profiles of those involved for a more detailed inspection should he was to do so. And if he so desired to, to share it with Lady Misal.
    1 point
  50. Sandy nodded solemnly as the older woman began to speak. “I want to know about you, to learn to appreciate you for who you are today, not whoever you used to be.” She did not need to know every last dark secret the woman possessed. It Would be unfair to ask someone to be so vulnerable and to reveal their trauma before they were comfortable with such a thing. She leaned forward and looked into the other woman’s eyes. Emerald green looking into bright amethyst. “I am not going to judge you, for you have chosen a different path than what you were walking before, that is all that matters.” She gave the woman a smile that was genuine. The corners of Sandy’s mouth turning up and revealing the slight latticework of pale scars that traced up her freckled face. A gift from her very first mission in the Jedi order. A mission that had left far more than just physical scars. “I do not know how far you have come, and I do not need to know. But I do want to say that I am proud of you for making that change. I know many strong men and women that did not choose to turn their back on the addiction that is the dark side.” It was strange to be proud of someone she had just met, but she could feel the surge of emotion in her breast. There was hope in Keenava. A hope that the Galaxy would need.
    1 point
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