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  1. 3 points
    The high pitched alarm that blared momentarily over the communication headset that was buried in Beth’s ear caused her to wince and she looked at the display panel with a practised eye. “Imps!” Came the voice of her wingmate and friend Kailia. That word, Beth knew, was purely instinctive on the Twi’leks’ end, but it still caused her to bite her lip before she could respond in some anti rebel tirade. They were still a mixed unit, and the phraseology of the unit still reflected that. And Kailia was right, these were Sith/Imperial ships that were escorting a group of transports out of the darkness of hyperspace. But to Beth, ‘Imperial’ meant so much more. It was a philosophy, it had meaning, it had tradition. Something that the criminals in the Sith Empire knew nothing about. They had built their new empire on a bedrock of terrorism, mass death, and the destruction of Coruscant. Look at what they had done to precious Carida. The very thought of it made her blood boil. And now they were here to take spice that could be used to enslave the galaxy. She flipped to an all squadron's frequency, dialing the squadron commanders from all wings. “Aérien and Sukhoi-” She addressed the agile My’tils and venerable E-Wings first. “-block any attempt at those transports getting to ground.” The X wing’s yoke vibrated under her gloves and the entire craft slipped sideways for a moment before she was able to regain control. “Tau…” But her voice had trailed off as the the X-Wing twitched again, throwing her against the sidewall of the cockpit. A matching screech from her Astromech brought her eyes to her S-foil. And there like a barnacle or a mynock was a massive droid, hanging off the wing. Her mind raced for a solution and a glance at the display board told her that trying to spin the droid off or any crazy maneuver would likely just separate the entire S-Foil from the Xwing. “Dimitri, keep your head low.” The droid whistled in return as the X-wing jerked violently again as the droid pulled on an aileron pitching the nose of the starfighter down towards the rapidly approaching planetary surface. She cursed and triggered the comm again to her own squadron. But already she knew what the result would be. The X-wing was acting sluggish to her attempts and the entire display board was lighting up a dark crimson red. That damned monster was tearing the starfighter apart! There would be no soft glide to the ground. She swallowed the bile that shot up into her throat at the thought of an EV in the thin air of Kessel. Then instinctively ran her hand down her chest, checking her flightstraps and the very light plastoid armour that she wore over the orange flightsuit. She checked the blaster carbine that was in its holster on her flightchair then grabbed the control yoke with both hands to stop the turbulence as they hit the low atmosphere. But there was not much she could do. She spared a glance at the evil looking droid, then clicked on her comms. “Templar one going to ground. EV. See you in the mess lads.” She didn’t wait to hear the acknowledgements. “Dimitri, fly another three seconds in straight glide, then eject too. Okay?” The mournful whistle told her his response, and she pulled the lever beside her seat. The ejection seat fired right after the micro thrusters in the cockpit’s windscreen fired. Launching the young pilot free of her failing X-Wing before the small boosters in the bottom of the seat took over, slowing her fall as the distant Xwing turned down towards the ground some kilometer below them. She would be on the ground in another thirty seconds. On the dismal surface of Kessel. “Spast it.”
  2. 2 points
    Xar sighed in annoyance among the pirates. This was not what he was hoping for. When Nok said he had forces ready with the Troig, he expected something a bit better. Something higher class, like combat droids, or highly trained assassins and sabeteours. Not a rag-tag band of merry, most likely inebriated, idiots. “Nok, you better come through on this next payment, or so help us, we will never do another one of these...jobs.” Xar grumbled to the Neimodian next to him. It was a hollow threat though. Nok had paid handsomely already before, and Xar didn’t suspect that would end after today. But did the Neimodian have to be so suicidal? The sewers on Mon Cal were bad enough. This…this was something else entirely. A honking noise distracted the Hunter-Trainer droid. His Water Beetle Drones, Mozo and Char, cocking their stun blasters were attempting to draw it’s master’s attention to the riff-raff around him. The countless potential threats were driving them insane. “Shush you two. They are friendly...for now. Now reattach. It’s nearly time.” At Xar’s command, Mozo went to Xar’s front and Char to his back. Xar held his arms out sideways to give the two drones better access. Small gravity locks clicked in place as the drones quickly turned sideways and embedded themselves. A last minute addition Vizier had made before Xar left Mon Cal. While the blue color scheme of the drones didn’t match his green, and their awkward shapes weighed him down slightly, it was a useful tool in this mission. True, they couldn’t shoot while in this mode, but it was still useful. Xar could now carry his drones when he would be hopelessly uncatchable at their normal speeds. Such as when dropping out of a spaceship and freefalling towards a planet. “Time to suit up” one of the Troig’s heads said. Xar didn’t know which one, nor did he care. He was just glad to get to work finally. Xar didn’t put on the suit that was offered. As a droid, the exposure of space wasn’t a worry. Atmospheric re-entry could be a bit harmful, but Xar calculated that, while he would get singed, he would survive. Besides, his first target was in space. With the hold override activated, a cheer went up amongst the pirates who were partnered with Xar. Mozo and Char seemed to take this as a good sign and honked in praise as well. Xar would have rolled his eyes if he could while leaping out of the ship. He was surrounded by lessers. Xar’s target was in sight. A large, barely working satellite almost in the planet’s manufactured atmosphere. Built as a communications array between this planet and others, it stood as a testament of being able to last despite years and years of neglect. Parts of the hull were made from Phrik even. Normal blaster fire would've ineffective against it. Xar’s mission was simple: Destroy it so that the planet below couldn’t radio for help. The band crashed into the satellite with ease. The pirates activated their magnetic boots to avoid falling off while Xar himself simply armed his claws and grabbed on to a piece of the hull. “Get to work you stupid mynocks! We don’t have all day for this!” Xar barked out. The pirates grumbled but obeyed, arming and attaching detonators. Ten would be enough, especially if they placed them at the... An explosion of noise caught everyone’s attention. Xar looked up to the sky where he had just came from. “What in the maker are those?!?” Ships were descending on the planet. No, they were beasts! Xar shook his head. Those were beasts but also machines. With riders of all things. And following them were actual ships. Xar looked at the pirates, who were dumbfounded. “Get to work you idiots! Don’t let them intimidate you! Move no-” All hope of keeping the pirates under control was lost. The pirates picked up their weapons and began to open fire at the approaching forces. Xar groaned in annoyance. “Idiot lessers...” A strafe of fire began on the satellite. Pirates who were next to the shots were blown away. A few smart beings were beginning to jump off the ship and continue their descent to the planet. One particular crazy pirate actually called out his enemies an inappropriate name before getting obliterated. “Must we do everything ourselves?” Xar lamented. Mozo honked once in agreement. Char rapidly beeped and honked in laughter. Xar sighed. These two were getting a memory wipe when the mission was done. Grabbing one of the last detonators, Xar made a running dash and jumped off the satellite, falling to the planet at a rapidly increasing speed. As the droid jumped off, he armed and chucked the last detonator towards the satellite. Once it would blow up, Xar would then descend to the planet, with the help of his drones of course. All he had to do was release them and let them slow his descent with their own methods of flight. Nothing could go wrong. A miscalculation of the detonator's timer ruined that plan. As the explosion occurred, the force shoved the unanticipated Xar forcefully away. With Laser fire around him and an explosion behind him ,Xar was in a world of light and fire. The momentum made Xar spin head over feet as the droid tumbled through the dogfighting. Over and over his sensors attempted to recalibrate, in a vain attempt at telling where up was up and where down was down. Xar stretched his arms out, grasping at that slim chance of catching something that he could help slow his fall. A dead pirate. One of those metal beasts with a rider. Anything. The possibility of catching a ship with his bare claws were astronomically small. But even so, the chance was there, as the droid was caught on a descending X-Wing’s upper right wing. With a newfound resolve and a determination that only a droid could muster, Xar clutched on as tightly as possible, pulled as close as he could, and clutched onto the bottom wing with his feet claws. “This is much worse then the sewers…” Xar stated to himself. It was bad enough that his entire pirate group failed to listen to him and were now probably dead. Now he would have to replace his claws too. Not to mention he’d have to live with the fact that he owed his circuits to some random pilot. Perhaps he could kill them, as a way of showing thanks. These X-Wings certainly weren't with Nok.
  3. 2 points
    6 hours earlier. Aboard The Bleeding Edge "And finalized." The voice coming over the comm was deep, clipped, and refined. While Nok could not see the hologram, he was familiar enough with the current Darth Sovros' reputation to pay careful attention to every word said. "Thank you Uncle." This voice, coming from the comm on Nok's left, was feminine and radiated the naked ruthlessness of the privileged. Darth Zayira. Niece of Darth Sovros. Nok Morliss' newest business partner. "And the terms of the contract are understood by both sides?" Sovros asked, sounding almost bored. "We wouldn't want misunderstandings clouding up this deal, assuming success." His tone remained level, but Nok imagined Darth Zayira shivered with him at the implied meaning. As the witness to the contract, Darth Sovros would take it upon himself to hunt down and destroy any party who violated the agreement. Even his own family. Perhaps especially then. "Of course Uncle." Nok thought he caught a slight tremor in her voice. "You understand, neimoidian, that my ships won't jump until we have confirmation that the defenses are down?" Nok took a moment to collect himself before responding. "Yes. Just keep your forces in the nebula and wait for our signal." There was silence, and even over the hologram Nok imagined he could feel Darth Zayira's glare. "Don't waste my time...apprentice. House Sovros-" She stopped midsentence. Nok didn't know what Darth Sovros was doing, but it was apparently enough to make the haughty noble back down. There was a blip as Darth Zayira disconnected, leaving Nok alone with the infamous Darth Sovros. "...One chance neimoidian." Then another blip, and Nok was alone. Present, aboard The Tortuga Nok slipped the last latch shut, the hiss of the suit pressurizing distracting him from the resentment and nervousness of the men around him swirling through the enclosed space. This is it. As the void of space opened up, Nok sensed something was ending for him. This was the true end of his time hiding in the shadows, living off the margins. He jumped out. The small voice from Mon Cal, from the deepest, scarred parts of his mind, spoke up then. Dead in the cold and dark.
  4. 2 points
    In the break of combat the unmistakable sound of armour hurtling towards the door echoed in the hall. Boots thumping on the steel. Vox grinned, knowing his pack was coming to finish this skirmish. Kahla lifted her chin, smirking. He made a powerful charge towards her, lifting his glaive over his shoulder. She slide her left foot behind her, her weight planted firmly on her right. The heavy footsteps grew louder, any second they'd be all over her. Facing just one had proved a daunting task, but three more? She had to be quick. Their weapons clashed, the impact drowning out the impending fireteam. Pushed back on her supporting foot, Kahla slid her saber forward, Vox's blade near the hilt of her weapon she sliced down and right. The end of her blade pierced his right brow, burning its way to his left cheek. As he recoiled from the pain she slid her blade below what served as his handguard, liberating the weapon from his grasp with a heavy swing. The door hissed open, and the first volley of blaster fire rang out across the room. The hangar walls danced with hues of red and green as Kahla gave to order to return fire. From their advantageous positions, the Troopers started making short work of the Alliance soldiers. When the pack burst through the door, they didn't hesitate to launch grenades at the defending Sith. With the force she hauled the paneling up in front of her, creating a make shift shield of durrasteel. She had to hold it strong as blast after blast served to push back. The engines of their transport boomed just as the barrage halted. With great fury Kahla lept from her cover, only in time to see the shuttle's rear leave the hangar. Only a few, now surrendering Alliance troops remained. Kahla tightened her fist, her rage contorting her thoughts. She cut down the rest of the soldiers without mercy, one after another, slash after slash. The sith troopers came down from their position, one approached her. "We held the hangar, ma'am. Suffering two friendly casualties, three injuries." Her weapon disengaged as she breathed a sigh of relief. "Very good. Get the injured, and myself, medical attention." While she didn't secure the killing blow, she defeated the boarding foe, forcing them into retreat. Finally her pride had been earned. Comm link in hand, she reached out to her master. "My lord, I've successfully driven off an enemy attack. We have minimal casualties, and sustained some injuries. What are your orders?" The medic began tending to her gashes, her robes now soaked in blood. Kahla's spirits were high, glad she had proven her worth.
  5. 1 point
    The first shot that sailed towards Char was crippling, winging and disabling his entire left side. The next two were lethal. The drone’s last noises before the blaster fire squared him away was a beep of pain. The Water Beetle, who was so eager to fulfill any command given to him, fell lifelessly through the air like a stone before exploding in a small ball of fire. Mozo was slightly more lucky as the shot went just to his right. The explosion that occurred barely fazed him, but the beep that had come just a millisecond earlier had enraged him. Having heard his companion’s death cry, he began to honk in anger and try to circle the pilot’s backside, away from her sidearm. It’s gun swiveled a top its body, firing twice at the chair. Xar had ordered her death, and she had killed his partner. Xar would be beyond displeased if both drones failed this task. While the lone drone tried to finish it’s task, Xar was busy with the astromech. It had denied him. It had declared its loyalty to the puny organic being. When the astromech turned off its engines, Xar was surprised. Xar couldn’t help but wonder if the little astromech didn’t care for its own survival. When the astromech attempted the electroshock Xar, he knew that the little droid must have had a death wish. The electricity was enough to short out Xar for about two seconds, forcing him to fall limp and separate from the droid,. As his own sensor came back on, he had a glimpse of the astromech’s own eye sensor. Rage filled the Hunter-Trainer droid once again, forcing him to forget why he had attempted to grab onto the droid in the first place. This little machine was trouble. “You wish to serve your inferior master so well?” Xar cried out as he raised both arms and aimed his forearm blasters. “Then die with her!” At a distance of a meter at most, Xar opened fire, giving two shots aimed at the droid’s eye. (2)
  6. 1 point
    Terra’s eyes began to water as she was washed in the brilliant color-storm of the X-Wing’s battle as Hades passed through, rocketing both the ship and its rider towards the pockmarked surface of the spice asteroid. She lulled her head back, letting the slight gravitational pull of the decent lay her back in the Basilisk’s saddle. The radiance of the Maw Nebula reflected in her dilated pupils, the snaking lines of iridescent mercurial purple and yellow helium painted upon the background of red hydrogen. She breathed in a lungful of recycled air from the lines that connected her beskar’gam to the shimmering blackness of Hades’ armor. …Master… The Mandalorian stretched, arching her back and cracking her neck with a tug on her buy’ce. Setapoite’s sarcastic voice cut into her mind. …There is Cryterkyh processing plant at… 45.72, -95.432. Target priority alpha. Adjacent to main city and the Rebellion's warefare. Terra’s HUD displayed the planetary topographic, and the image spun to highlight a deep crater on the northwestern hemisphere. The processing plant was set into the southern face, taking advantage of the crater wall to be eternally in shadow. According to readings, the plant had four access tunnels from landing pads and uncharted access points from the innumerable caverns that ran throughout the asteroid. The processing center itself was an immense, underground monolith as high as 15 stories throughout and roughly a rectangle seven-hundred meters on its longest side and three-hundred on its shortest. The relatively weak sandstone of the roof would be supported by durasteel crossbeams and pillars of permacrete spaced every 10 meters. The Mandalorian took a sideways glance at her explosive ordinances and her mind began to churn through mental math. They would be hard pressed to bring down two-hundred and ten square kilometers of even sandstone with their paltry supply. Harjav whistled the team’s awe at the sprawling complex map. There would be innumerable machines and supply-crates of glitterstim, all photoactive and hazardous. The squad of Basilisk-riders turned their metallic beasts toward the northwest hemisphere, dodging x-wings and criminal fighters as they made their approach. The blaring of a small alarm caused Terra to wrench about in her saddle, a beam of light from an anti-infantry turret scorching through where her head had been an instant before. Four DF-9 batteries and two 1.4 FD P-Towers were identified, disguised into the crater’s irregular edge, spitting forth their fire against the oncoming Mandalorians. The fire of the defense batteries was irregular and uncoordinated, evidenced by the spaced and terrible targeting. Terra’s teeth ground out sparks. How I wish I had the Xaakzaamheid and her railguns… Hades’ claws dragged against the sandstone as it flattened nearer to the surface to avoid the combined fire. Even ineffective fire could get lucky. Terra selected the Taim & Bak KX5 laser cannons that were mounted under the Basilisk’s forward arms while she unslung her own slugthrower. With a blink, she sent bouts of red flame into one of the DF-9s, and as it exploded, she aimed in on the fleeing gunnery crew. Their anti-vacuum suits each had an explosive mounted on the belt which kept her finger from the trigger of her rifle. Her voice rang out over the crew-comms, as she winced “Gunnery is slave crews, use ion.” Hades toggles the H9 Ions under the nose and her fire turned to an electric blue. Within seconds, the rest of the basilisks opened up with azure flame, gutting the remaining defenses without loss of life. Banking down, the basilisks landed upon the northmost landing pad, surrounding a Xebi-Class freighter whose crew was desperately attempting to load black plasticene-wrapped glitterstim into the hold. Slipping from the saddle, Terra sent a three-round burst through a Twi’lek trooper, her lekku twitching as she hit the ground, her useless blaster pistol skittering across the decking. Harjav put a bullet through a Quarren holding a fragmentation grenade and Aorn put down the remaining defender, a Mon Calamari who seemed to be about to surrender. The squad secured the area, disabling the loading droids, shutting down the engine block, and sealing the ship for it would not do for anyone else to claim the disabled ship as a prize. Terra turned to the yawning tunnel and activated her commlink to the Rebel Commander, “Forlorn Hope moving to disable Cryterkyh Plant, will report once secure.”
  7. 1 point
    The light atmosphere of Kessel rushed past her helmet in a constant roar and Beth was glad for the small reserves of air that were captured in the tank attached to her left thigh. It wasn’t enough for 24 hours of life on the surface, but it was enough to wait for the evacuation shuttle. Or, more likely, getting enslaved by whatever the Sith would bring with those damned shuttles. She visually checked that the E-22 blaster carbine was still strapped into its harness beside her then her eyes sought after the disintegrating X-wing in the distance. “Kriffing hell I-” There appeared to be two objects rocketing up towards her ejection seat. She could not make them out specifically, but the pale sunlight glinted off their exteriors enough to tell her that something was in fact coming straight towards her, from the droid that had taken off her S-Foils. She was just reaching for the pull line of the blaster carbine when the first blue tinged bolt smacked into the seats padding next to her helmet, spraying her with little chunks of impact foam. The next three bolts span past the seat entirely, diffusing into the pale atmosphere behind her falling ejection seat. And Beth pulled the carbine up from its straps and slapped the slide release with a gloved hand, arming the blaster carbine as she brought the iron sights into alignment with the weaving orbs. This was certainly outside her training purview, and shooting from an ejector seat at two small droids would be hard, but they were closing the distance and when the first dodged into her sight picture she depressed the trigger. Sending a burst of three bright crimson bolts towards the first little droid, she then adjusted her aim to the second, letting it settle for a millisecond before shooting at it as well. But those little bots had not been idle and a single blast of energy grazed along the side of her face, numbing her cheek and filling her eyes with tears of pain. She furiously blinked them away as the altimeter on her wrist ticked towards zero. For R9-DT, or as his master had dubbed him in her tireless enthusiasm, ‘Dimitri,’ the story was equally terrifying. Though as an Astromech he was particularly programmed to feel fear, the sight of a giant droid with literal claws jumping at him was enough to give his circuits a taste of it. The metal behemoth spoke to Dimitri and the words he spoke was enough to develop a bead of hate in the little droid. Though he only spoke in binary, he thought his tone carried. “I do say how dare you. I would never!” And the claws dug into his chassis, dragging the larger droid along with him, though the power of his rocket boosters couldn’t save them both. Only slow their descent. But Dimitri had no such ambitions. He was a droid of the Rebellion, he had honour to uphold. Even if that meant his own destruction. He cut power to his boosters before ejecting his shock probe. And proceeded to dump half of his battery reserves in an effort to electrocute the other droid. As they plummeted with all the grace of a meteorite towards the ground. It was doubtful that it would work, but it was all Dimitri could do. And of that he was proud.
  8. 1 point
    A rise of pleasure resonated in Xar’s circuits as the Hunter-Trainer droid activated his claws and began to tear the wing apart. Like a wild animal enjoying a delicious kill, Xar sliced and tore apart metal. Each piece of metal screeched as it was cut threw and tossed away like trash. Xar cackled to himself. Something about being purely destructive made Xar ecstatic. While it wasn’t as pleasant as hunting some form of prey, listening to fine music, or slitting a lesser’s throat, it was certainly enjoyable and even euphoric. However, the feeling didn’t last. Xar took a glance at the cockpit for just a moment, and the feeling of pleasure vanished. In that moment that didn’t last a full second, Xar caught the pilot’s eyes looking at him. He was expecting a look of fear from the pilot. Some form of terror or panic. But what he received was something different. Determination. The pilot, a fully grown humanoid, was not afraid of Xar. She was well-practiced and following protocol. Xar did not see fear. He saw a what he believed was a feeling of grit and resolve. Xar’s pleasure had been replaced by anger. She should’ve been afraid of him! She was a lesser! He was the superior being! The pilot's cockpit released. Her seat ejected from the doomed ship. Instantly Xar gave an order to the two drones latched onto his chassis. “Hunt her! Now! Track and Kill!” Xar wasn’t sure what caused him to send the drones like it. He wasn’t sure if it was because of his sudden anger at the pilot, because of his pride at being a superior being, or because of his utilization of a hunting chassis, but something inside Xar clicked. Like a dog seeing an animal run away, Xar had to catch the pilot and kill her. He had to sink his claws into her, or see her lifeless body splattered on the ground. He had to prove he was superior, and make her know it. Mozo and Char honked in acknowledgement at their commands. Without a moment of delay, the two detached from their master, activated their repulsorlift engines and took off. While they were drones, capable of handling only the simplest of commands, The drones understood the command ‘hunt’ . The two Water Beetles tried their best to catch up with the pilot, rising to meet her. In a few seconds, both were firing their stun blasters in hopes of stunning her or disabling her seat. Mozo honked with delight at each shot, while Char simply beeped a few times in agreement. Meanwhile, Xar focused on the task at hand. He had to get a safe landing, and there was one hope at the moment. The ship was beginning to point itself downwards. If he was correct, he didn’t have a moment to lose. In one second, Xar grabbed onto part of the wing he hadn’t destroyed and pulled himself up. In another second, Xar crawled closer to the ship’s center, fighting air resistance all the way. He could see the little astromech. Xar's ticket to a safe landing. “You will serve us and help us kill that pilot.” Xar declared loudly as he got into a crouched position, balancing himself on the rapidly descending ship. The astromech launched itself into the air. Xar didn’t care if the astromech was willing to let Xar hitch a ride or not. It didn't have a choice in Xar's eyes. Like the pilot, the astromech was a lesser, and Xar was the superior being. Thus it was meant to serve him. As the astromech launched, Xar leapt upwards and reached out with both arms, claws eager to grab a hold of more metal. He would attempt to grab onto the astromech’s flying little body, and force it to land on the ground safely. As a superior being would do Xar thought to himself. (1)
  9. 1 point
    Silence. Pure, perfect, dead silence. Without his sight, the lifeless void was a great blank as the others spread out away from him in the descent. So, it jarred him when his comm crackled to life. Shimsinblimp knew those ships weren't set to arrive until after some of the ground defenses had been cleared and a landing zone was prepared, and there was no way they'd managed that. If Nok changed the plan, House Sovros could declare the contract invalid and leave them all with nothing. But the troig was also a capable commander and experienced raider. Nok grimaced, hesitated, then resolutely pressed the switch of the subspace transceiver. _____________________________________________________________________________ Kelzin H'nabro stared out the viewport of his ship at the roiling nebula. "Adjusting thrusters to compensate for drift," his first officer muttered from his console, voice bored and listless. "Kriffing Maw," Kelzin cussed, just as lifelessly. This was the worst part. Waiting. "Commander, there's still time..." Kelzin rubbed his forehead. "What are the odds right now?" "3 to 1 that we get sent home, no combat." Kelzin could understand the men's reasoning. Half of combat was positioning, advancing and retreating, fleets chasing tails. This was Kessel. Even under the thumbs of criminals, attacking it was...well it was something you just didn't do on a whim, and every crewman here (at least the nobles) could see a cobbled together attack when they were sitting at the helm of one. The commoners...well, they were brainwashed clones. They spoke when spoken to. They thought as they were directed. They didn't really have an opinion on the matter. But Kezlin knew something his fellow Force-less nobles didn't. He knew his wife. Darth Zayira, a woman with a vicious streak to match a nexu and an ambition that could out hunger a sarlacc. But more than anything else, she had an insecurity so deep it was swimming around the core of Onderon. No way would she just pull them back, not with her uncle watching. And if Kelzin failed her...well, she had two other husbands, and one of them actually was Force-sensitive. "Fine. Give me 800 crowns on the long shot. There's going to be a battle, and more than that we're going to be walking on that scummy asteroid in 24 hours." He saw his first officer shrug as he lazily keyed in his commander's bet. "It's your money...sir." As if the universe had a sense of humor, the light on Kelzin's console blinked to life. It was a small thing, but every set of shoulders on the bridge of the VT-49 Decimator tensed at the tiny click. Kelzin grinned. "We're on." _____________________________________________________________________________ The nebula parted, and a wedge of ships in tight formation raced out of it. Their sensors parsed the dogfight in front of them even as they became visible to others. At the head of the formation flew the blade of the tiny fleet. A VT-49 Decimator, the old imperial ship painted green with brilliant gold patterns lining the wings in opulent, overwrought designs. Etched in flowing script, the bow of The Eldest proudly proclaimed its name to the stars. Less extravagant but matching in green and gold, 4 Guardian-class corvettes spread out on each side of the lead ship, the 8 vessels forming the blades of the arrowhead. Hanging in the center, 5 Sentinel-class landing craft and 2 Gozanti-class carrier corvettes kept pace. The Gozantis each bore a HAVw A5 Juggernaut. The heavy wheeled vehicles bore blaster scars that poorly matched the polished fleet, but looking carefully one might see pilots waiting patiently for the land battle where they would demonstrate their real value. Completing the advancing force, 20 HH-87 Starhopper fighters screamed out of the concealing gases and fanned out, screening the tiny fleet. _____________________________________________________________________________ "Sir! Fighters ahead! Counting...X-wings...E-wings...My'tils...Javelins...Still working on the final count sir." "What? They're already-" "Sir! They're engaging the Kessel defense forces! And..." The first officer paused as he enlarged the still image of one of the Javelins on his screen, or more to the point, the image of the insignia emblazoned on it. Kelzin's teeth gritted. "Rebels. Of course." "Orders?" Kelzin's stance changed. His spine turned to iron. He pointed forward, the image of resolute and commanding. "Advance! Cover the transports to the landing zone! Anything gets close, you destroy it. Do not pursue. Fighters! Fan out another 100 meters and harry anything that tries to approach. Don't be brave, just keep them off us until we can get these troops on the ground." The fighter pilots, flash-trained sullustan clones, gave no affirmation, instead simply obeying. "Sir, we'll be in firing range in 10...9...8" Kelzin's eyes narrowed. Well...this may be a challenge. He smiled. _____________________________________________________________________________ Nok only had a moment as his own fear illuminated the ground to his peculiar sight before he struck it. He managed to turn it into a half-decent roll, and the clunky suit absorbed the rancor's share of the impact. Unfortunately, it left him bruised, stunned...and on his back. He struggled, flailing in an inelegant way for almost a minute as his faculties returned to him. He then realized two things. He wasn't alone. They weren't Shimsinblimps men. "Alright drunk spider," one of the men surrounding him, fear and anger pouring off him in equal measure, barked. The other two laughed nervously, and Nok could only assume it was a local joke. "Don't move, or we help you out of that armor with these." He hefted a serious looking blaster rifle in his hand and pointed it at Nok. The other two held their rifles at the ready, but were more focused on checking their surroundings than on Nok. "Of course, of course," Nok said, voice measured even as his rage, humiliation, and fear mixed inside him into some strange emotional bonfire of indeterminate quality. "I won't move a muscle." He reached out with the Force. He had one good trick, and while his knives were under the bulky suit, the scumbag guards (weequay he realized) had provided him with the tools he needed. The blaster rifle of the most distracted guard jerked to one side. With his nerves as thin as paper, he fired out of panicked instinct, and promptly dropped the guard who'd been hovering over Nok to the ground with a scorched hole in his shoulder and a string of Huttese curses. Dumbfounded, he only had a moment to consider as the third guard raised his own blaster at the supposed traitor's head, screaming "Drop your gun or I'll shoot!" "I...what?" stuttered the befuddled guard. Nok chuckled. "He asked you." Then he touched the Force again, and the trigger of the third guard's gun pulled back a few hair's breadth, and the second guard collapsed, lifeless and smelling of burnt grey matter. The third guard wheeled on Nok. "You're doing this!" "Too late." The first guard's gun, levitating into the air behind the third guard, went off at Nok's tiny gesture, and the third guard fell silent for good. "You...you...kriffing...magician!" The first guard, now disarmed and writhing, only managed the fractured sentence through a thick blanket of pain. "No need to be disrespectful." Nok turned the gun even as he lay, now relaxed, on the ground. It rotated, then fired once...twice...and the guard joined his friends in the Force's final embrace. A few clicks and Force-propelled pieces of armor later, Nok was free and standing. He grabbed his comm and spoke into it, collected and feeling rejuvenated by the bursts of dark power the violent deaths had released. "The fleet is on its way. We clear a landing site now. According to my comm's locator...I'm near one of the power relay stations. I should be able to disable one of their shield generators from there. Any assistance would be appreciated, but no matter what we need to clear the guns from this area...or at least blind them somehow." Nok started walking.
  10. 1 point
    Kessel... It was a world of great wealth and the poorest of living conditions, a place that even Remo vaguely treaded unless there was a need. And so came the day for the need. Tatooine had became nothing but a bust for the R3 unit with the lack of Agents willing to task themselves with its rebirth. So instead, he had set its steely photoreceptor outward, rebuilding the Galactic Criminal Organization from scratch. It was then that he heard tales of another's plan to monopolize such riches, and for Remo, that was a complete and unforgivable sin. Not just to those whom worked to toil its soil, but for those who could prosper from unity. And so he came. Gazing out the front of the ship, Zepex at its helm, the Black Sun's de facto leader gazed with anticipation upon this newest conquest with intrigue and determination. The underworld was his domain, leaving the populace worlds for the major factions to feast and squander upon. But Kessel wasn't such a world to be given so lightly, one with such lifeblood for Criminals and Entrepreneurs everywhere. And now these rogues dared place feet upon what he oversaw? Sacrilege as far as he was concerned. And their payment was due unto him. Unlike his gathering foes, Remo had prior dealings Kessel, both during his time under the Hutts as well as his time upon his own. So acquiring access and landing was vaguely noticed, not that it mattered. Turning to the hold, Remo blooped as his gaze shifted from the former prison world toward the Operatives he had gathered. A total of Thirty stood before his gaze, steeled forms harvested from former Acolytes of the past, hardened by both life and their perspective rises. As the ship made its landing, each buckled and swayed with the ship, but none faltered or fell, giving hope to this moment. Like an Eclipse dotting out the sun's Ray's, the Black Sun had came to block out the monopoly of Kessels enterprising wares. The Sith would not claim it, nor would the assaulting Rebels. Only Remo would lay claim this day, as Protectorate and Governor of the Underworld he dreamt of. The rest would leave this world licking their wounds like whipped dogs if his say was final. And if not, then none would have any left to speak of. With a grin, Remo watched as the ship's ramp was laid before him. Today, he was the Hero.
  11. 1 point
    In the dark expanse of lonely space above the spice laced asteroid, four formations of distinct starfighters dropped out of hyperspace. First came the My’til snubfighters, their blue ensign upon a while field marking them firmly within the Hapan Royal Navy. Or at least a cadet branch of that elusive and hidden empire. This vanguard streamed through kilometers of space, spread out firmly into a cordon that screened the next three formations. Next came the X-Wings, the classic workhorse of the Rebel Alliance, painted in familiar grey and blue. Their ensign showed the glowing crescent moon of Carida, marking them as a mixed Imperial and Rebel Flight crew, or more particularly the elite fighter squadron Templar. Next came the E-wings, a new model of craft, and one heavily plagued with technical woes that had persisted in the last decade of development. These were painted similarly to the Templars, grey and light blue, representing the dark cliffs and barren sky of Precopia. Though the insignia that slashed across their wings marked them as firm royalists of the Taipani Princedoms. The twin crowns on a pale field of fleur-de-lis. And lastly came the Javelin fighterbombers, their dark, heavy-burdened wings bearing the phoenix of the Rebel Alliance in a bright pale gold. But all the pilots, either Hapan, Taipan, or Rebel, were left shocked by what they saw. Or to be more precise, what they did not see. No Star Destroyers lay before that asteroid. No great massed fleet, no armada, not even a picket ship. Had Rebel intelligence failed even this most simple task? Comm chatter erupted from one end of the squadron to the next until they were quieted by Beth’s hissed orders. “Keep an eye out, slow advance, this could be a trap. Templars we are going to begin our close inspection of the planet surface. Sith forces could simply not be on station yet. Comms dark, Sensors dark. Lets not trip this trap yet.” And so with a push of a foot against the rudder pedal, the X-wing, followed by her squadron began its long run to Kessel’s surface. Before long, a blossoming blip of fire and smoke in her forward viewscreen told her that something had stirred up the locals. “Sensors on, X-Foils into attack positions.” And instantly the display board behind the rudder yoke blared to life, and the low whistle from her astromech told her that there was an active dogfight ahead. One that apparently, the locals had just lost handily to the Mandalorians Rebel Command had dispatched. And so the X-wings would follow in their wake. “Dimitri, get me a lock on that other IPV. Lets give the bucketheads some cover.” Defang the planet. Clear the way for the heavy fighterbombers. It was just like the long practise runs on Nar Shaddaa. Except this was no practise, and those weren't drone ships. The beeping of her torpedo lock became a constant thrum and she let loose a pair of brilliant white torpedoes that snatched the life out of the local militia IPV with an explosion of energy, burning fuel, and flailing bodies. But still no sign of the Sith.
  12. 1 point
    They came shrieking out of hyperspace, entranced by their time in the dancing stars. Terra was at their head, laid back upon the saddle of the night-black basilisk, her eyes swimming as the stars stopped their cavorting to fall back into their reality. Her pupils stayed dilated, the rush of the bersærkergang still upon her. The kiss of the gods. She let out a singular howl, rising in her saddle and Hades began its arrhythmic dance of death. Basilisks were like starfighters in their abilities, but their tactics were far more irregular. Hades moved through the stars like a spasmodic hyped on phetaril, making a capricious approach of swirling loops and sideways thrusts. Terra screeched again, shattering her own ears the lights of her HUD turning into irregular waves of iridescence. In her mind she was the jai'galaar itself, the murderous shriek-hawk that defined the Deathwatch. The work of hyoscyamus niger upon her physiology was truly delightful. The cry was picked up by Arna and Longkra’s AI, Setapoite emitting a static-borne wail into the vacuum of space. Harjav, Aorn and Bas’ar added their gravelly voices to the din. Hades burst all their voices into the all-com, adding his own screech to bring the warcry to its fullest. It was a sound that had not been heard since the fall of Coruscant and the high tide of the Mandalorian Crusade. There was a hail, the sound of a young man’s panic-laced voice. “Unidentified spacecraft” A yellow highlight appeared on her HUD, marking an old retrofit RX4 patrol craft that angled its route towards the swarming Basilisks. It stood them and the surface of the spice-world. Terra breathed in, her eyes growing wider. She could smell the fear. Her teeth ground sparks onto her tongue. “This is patrol ship HDV Garrote. You are not showing any transponder code, please identify.” Hades pitched into a spiral, the matte-black metal giving off little visual. Green lightning filled Terra’s vision as the Basilisk spiraled closer, the warning shots becoming a panicked from Garrote’s twin-turbolasers. Her attack from waited until predetor and prey were close enough that escape was impossible. Terra could see the shocked faces of the pilots through the viewscreen as the duel Taim & Bak KX5 laser cannons spoke, lancing through shields like they were made of bantha-butter to peel away the hull beneath. The cannons did not stop until the ship was in glowing pieces. Terra’s wild eyes turned to the planet below. Oya…
  13. 1 point
    As they walked through the corridors, Mordecai made sure to take the most populous ones he could. In part, this was for his own pride. Show off his success, his captive prize. More so, however, it was to sow the seeds of doubt in the apprentice's mind. All would witness his most basic failure. And as they walked, Mordecai mused. First to himself, pride and victorious revelry painting everything in a haze. Here he had defeated another Jedi. Another lightsaber, and another snuffed light. What drove them against his blade. so sure to meet their demise? Then, he mused aloud, speaking to his captive. "Tell me, Jedi. You only stuck me once. I've fought a Jedi before, and she but up a much better fight, though her fate was eventually the same as yours. I've fought Imperial Knights, some of their best warriors. Masters of their fouled craft and excellent swordsmen. I've only suffered the indignity of defeat once, and my opponent refused to kill me. Tell me, what are your haughty ideals worth if I, and Sith like me, can slaughter your people in droves?" He continued, looking at Kahla. "Understand, apprentice. The Jedi claim that theirs is the only true way to serve the Force. Any others are twisted abominations. And yet, our beliefs lead us to victory after victory. Your anger, your pain. All of your emotions will fuel you in different ways. Take care not to lose yourself to them entirely, however, lest you suffer defeat as I did. But do not let the Jedi tell you that the opposite will not also lead you to defeat. This Jedi was so sure that his emotions would lead him astray that he barely put up a fight. He's not only a disappointment to myself, but a disappointment to his master. Years of training likely went towards this boy, only to be wasted on insecurities and on unsurities."
  14. 1 point
    MODERATOR POST: DUEL BETWEEN GENESIS AND MORDECAI NOW THIS IS PODRACING!!!! Errr . . . Star Wars!! Gentlemen, this duel was so Star Wars it could have been a scene from a movie. Bravo! There was a very Qui-Gon V. Darth Maul feel to it at several points. I hope to duel with each of you in the future. You name the time and place and I’ll be there. I loved this duel. I cannot go through everything line by line, but a few of the items of note in this duel are below. I like to read the posts leading up to a duel to get a feel for the scene. I will admit I was worried about Genesis’ state of mind and being leading into the duel. That being said, you made it work for you throughout the duel. The emotional flux of Genesis and the sway of the force was key through the whole duel. Genesis was able to find his focus and use it. Genesis exuded the ideals of the ideal Jedi. The pull of darkness, the temptation, and the committal to that which is right. Genesis is a man of peace, but willing to wade through the muck of battle for the good of others. Mordecai’s skills and abilities remained true to his character sheet. He is a blade master and makes use of that, not trying a shotgun approach at anything a Sith might use. Classic movie-worthy dealing. Beautiful moves and an attitude worthy a Sith lord. Trying to convert before moving to violence was awesome. It defied the stereotype of a Sith, while you also acknowledged it. I noticed a few spelling and grammatical errors in posts. Capitalizations, the use of apostrophes, and forgotten words can change sentences and make lines hard to read. They are all simple enough to correct. I know that I am guilty of these things at times too. This leads into my next point, apparently Mordecai’s blade “filed” Genesis’ shoulder? Is that supposed to be filleted or something else? Genesis took a large amount of brutal damage right off the bat and continued to take more as the battle wore on. Even glancing blows with a lightsaber can be horrendous. The things can melt through armor and cleave through flesh like a hot ball bearing in a tub of lard. There is a reason that in a galaxy of technology and guns, that the zealots of the galaxy carry laser swords and are feared and respected for their use. Mordecai did not take any damage. This was not because he dodged or expertly blocked, in fact; Mordecai took the one offensive move towards him in turn. This was a duel after all. The philosophical musings were great, but without force application into action or even straight action defensive or offensive, it is hard to call it a duel. I was really worried when Genesis deactivated his saber mid battle. The next post had, what I think, was the highest point of the battle. When Genesis, full of the force, reactivated his saber and defended himself. That was a great chunk of writing! Driving forward in an attempted final blow was beautiful too. I wish we could have seen that sooner. That level of dedication and zeal could have turned the tides and if this duel went another three rounds I think it would be an entirely different ballgame. A Sith Lord against a Jedi Apprentice and the apprentice is cut up right from the get go. Even so, the Jedi came back swinging in the final round. Considering it all, there can only be one winner in this duel as it stands. The winner is MORDECAI and the next post goes to MAVANGER. Congratulations! Don’t forget that Genesis is trying to skewer Mordecai as his final act in the duel. You both did a good job and should be proud of what you created.
  15. 1 point
    Svata stepped out onto the Raka Nwul and breathed in. After a lifetime of breathing the recycled air of old cargo freighters and junk ships, it always hit him how good it was to breathe fresh air on a spacecraft. Ithorians were something else. "Alright," he muttered to himself. "Pick up a new apprentice. Sreth...Bones? Yeah, that was it, the Tognath." Svata hadn't met too many Tognath in his time, but the ones he had run into had all made an impression. Tognath were tough buggers, and not someone you wanted to get into a fight with unless you were a hundred meters away with a rifle. An endoskeleton and exoskeleton, combined with an immunity to pain, made them pretty memorable when things got hairy. Svata recalled one Tognath he'd seen in a bar fight. An Abyssin had sucker slammed the smaller guy with a cargo chain and snapped his leg. The look on the creature's one eye was one Svata would never forget when the Tognath not only didn't go down but hobbled right at the thug looking more pissed than anything else. It was about that point that the Abyssin discovered Tognaths grow up under significantly higher gravity than most other species, and are a lot stronger than they look. The next two things the Abyssin discovered was what the wiring above the ceiling tiles looked like and that synthetic glass shards in your face hurt no matter how quick you regenerate. "Well this should be fun." Svata wandered across the ship, without much of a plan in mind. Truth be told he just liked walking, and would take any excuse to do it. Wandering, meandering, ambling, it was all the same to him. Just so long as he got to keep moving he was a happy man. He chuckled as he remembered Parami shouting at him in a rare moment of pure irritation that she was going to nail his tail to his left foot if he didn't stop pacing around their little ship. His winding path took around the outer edges of the ship, and he nodded and waved at the other Jensaarai and residents of the big ship. Eventually, he heard someone pounding away at something, with the quiet but intense grunts that only came from training and training hard. He rounded the corner, and there was the Tognath, finishing a routine with...honestly some damned impressive power and control. That man would be a force to be reckoned with in a fight. "Yeowch! You got Sun-Dragon? I've heard horror stories about that guy. Word has it he skinned his last apprentice who gave him lip. Problem was it was a Givin." Svata grinned, mustache poofed up in a silly parody of the refined, mature elder. "Doubt a word of it's true, but the fact that the story is going around at all..." Shaking his head, Svata extended his hand. "Sorry, manners. Svata, apprentice of the Sarlacc. If you're Sreth, then I imagine I'm here to pick you up."
  16. 1 point
    As the Saarai-Kaar talked about the history of the Jedi and the Sith and how they were related, Bones nodded in acknowledgement and handing over his newly made weapon when gestured to do so. As the talking continued, Bones focused his eyes on the saber in the hands of the Saarai-Kaar, thinking about how he was one of the few people in the galaxy with such a weapon. That made him excited. Bones snapped back to reality when the aged Weequay turned his words to Bones own experience. To which darkness was he referring to? The presence that Bones felt while crafting his blade? Or was he referring to that horrid moment on Coruscant when his sister died? Or worse, was he referring to the family he had killed? Bones wanted to ask, but he feared the answer would be the latter, and Bones did not feel like that was him resisting the darkness, even when he turned himself in. “Um, Thank you sir. Saarai-Kaar sir.” Bones stammered as the Saarai-Kaar finally handed back the blade and applauded the Tognath for his use of asking Aoi for help. Bones felt a smidge of pride rise in him at the words. But training with a new master? The Sarlaac? What a poor choice for a name. At least Sun-Dragon was named after something fearsome. Who would want to be named after a worm in the ground? Still, it sounded like the Sarlaac would be taking Bones out from Raka Nwul and into the galaxy. As much as he had grown accustomed to Sun-Dragon’s harsh training, he yearned for excitement beyond picking Lumas Fruits. As the Saarai-Kaar escorted Bones to the door, he spoke about standing against the darkness. He spoke about entrusting a task to Bones. As he did, Bones felt the pride in him rise further. It had been so long since someone entrusted something important to him. He had almost forgotten this feeling. If he had skin, Bones would’ve been smiling comm implant to comm implant. “Yes Saarai-Kaar. You can count on me, erm, us!” Bones gripped his lightsaber tightly as he vowed this to the being before him. We won’t fail!” And with that, Bones turned and dashed off. His home was nearby, so the run was quick. Breaking into his room, he found that all of his gear since he got here was waiting for him on his bed. On top was his worn-down Slugthrower rifle, polished pistol, and vibroknife. Bones paused at the sight of the rifle, and then picked it up. Its familiar weight and texture felt both correct in his hands as well as well as wrong. He looked down its sights, opened its chamber and inspected it for wear, tear, and rust, and then put it down again, studying it. Bones wasn’t sure what to do. Should he bring the rifle with him or not? He knew he was good with it. He was a good marksman. Slugthrower rifles were harder to handle then blasters, due to how the bullets were affected by outside forces such as gravity and wind. There was a particular kind of art with them, albeit a primitive one. However, Bones wasn’t sure if he was ready to pick up this damnable weapon again. It was the same rifle he had when he turned himself in. But it was also the same rifle he had when his sister died. There was history to this weapon. In the end, Bones slung it over his shoulder and equipped the knife and pistol at his sides as well as an ammo belt going from right shoulder to left hip. He had no idea what was going to be needed for whatever task he was to accomplish with the Sarlaac. He did make sure though that his lightsaber was at his left side. His instincts would draw that weapon first in an emergency. He would use Jho’s rods as a walking staff for now. Bones took one last glance around the quite empty room. He left nothing behind. He carried the data pad in his pocket, he had all of his weapons and gifts he had received so far. He was ready. As he opened the door and exited, he glanced over and to his surprise, found an interesting item on the plant pot. Sitting on top of the little sapling in the dirt was a muddied blue scarf, with gold embroidery. Bones snatched it up and looked around, trying to figure out where it came from. No one else was around. Did the bird that stole the scarf return it? Bones doubted that. Perhaps someone found it and recognized it as the Tognaths? But only two people here knew about the scarf, and only an Ithorian child had actually seen and studied it. Bones shook his head. He knew he didn’t need to keep this, according to Sun-Dragon. He shouldn't keep it. It was just a reminder of the past. But he couldn’t just leave it to the birds again. Bones quickly bent down and dug a bit into the dirt, balled up the scarf, stuffed it inside and then, covered it up. It would be here for him when he eventually returned. Bones left the area, and found himself at the place where Sun-Dragon had begun to teach the art of Arosymladd. No one else was around. Bones wasn’t sure where to go. The Saarai-Kaar had simply told him to be ready. With all of Bones’ personal possessions on his back, he was. A figure walked by. Bones thought it may have been Sun-Dragon, but quickly let that thought disappear. The armor the figure wore was much different. More metallic then Sun-Dragon’s, but just as fearsome. He was easily identifiable as a Jensaarai. “Hey! Excuse me!” Bones called out, beginning to chase after the person. It seemed he was in a rush. “I’m waiting for someone named….” Bones didn’t get to finish. In an instant, the person was far down the street, moving at a pace Bones would not be able to keep up with for long. Whatever the person’s mission was, it was more important then listening to a young Tognath. Bones, alone again, looked around, unsure what to do. He remembered how the Sun-Dragon had begun to train him here. Perhaps Bones could do a little more? Bones placed most of his equipment on the ground as well as some of his upper clothes, revealing his bare, rough, porous exoskeleton. Grabbing a nearby log, Bones planted it into the dirt firmly, making a makeshift dummy. Then, facing it, Bones grabbed his staff and got into a fighting position. One, two, one, two, Bones practiced striking the log again and again. Bark and wood chips flew off as Bones utilized his muscle to make strong, fast strikes. Bones chuckled to himself, feeling a little alive. He was getting a feeling for the staff. Bones tried a few tricks here and there. Spinning the staff once and bringing it in suddenly for a strike, sliding his hands down the metal frame so he could swing the whole thing like a club, and some piercing moves as well. A few times, Bones stopped and tried to focus on the Elements. He would recite the words over and over, though it was clear that he wasn’t feeling it quite the same as before. Practice was needed. Still, Bones did feel he was getting better with the staff. One, two, one, Bones struck, and then taking a step back and spinning around, Bones lunged forward. With all of his might, he plunged the staff into the log. Bones let go of the weapon. The staff wobbled a bit but remained embedded into the piece of wood. “Heh, pity Sun-Dragon didn’t see that” Bones said out loud, studying his work.
  17. 1 point
    Introduction We have had, for a very long time, an ongoing debate among the community of our roleplay: "What is the definition of using the dark side?" Obviously, Jedi shouldn't be using the dark side, and Sith typically shouldn't be using the light side either, but it's far easier to say what is light and good because it is typically beneficial and extrinsically motivated in nature. By contrast, the dark side has typically been denoted with intrinsic motivations and typically used to harm or to otherwise hoard power. But when we look at the blurry point in the middle, a lot of people have had different definitions over the years, which has allowed a pseudo holy war to carry on for over a decade now. Before now, the Mods have allowed people to define the Force differently for each of their characters because we see a few examples of this happening in canon, but recently we've identified this lack of a definition to be the root cause of many problems facing balances and intentional and unintentional abuses to our system. Today we clearly define what it means to use the dark side, so writers can understand where the line is and when they cross it with their characters. The dark side is specifically using the Force to cause pain for pain's sake, to kill or wantonly destroy, subvert the natural order, or for personal gain. It is not using the dark side when using the Force to subdue someone, or to perform simple or menial tasks. (Powers such as Lightning, Drain, and Pyromancy fit this definition of the dark side.) There it is, that's it. Questions This Will Likely Raise: How does this affect my character? It affects them moving forward, but you're free to not "suffer punishment" if their past actions don't quite fit the above definition. Let's just say coincidentally all our characters had a small epiphany on the subject. If your character is built around using the Force offensively or in a manner that breaks the above definition but they're technically a "light side" character, then you will need to rework the character, and the Mods have acknowledged that they will potentially need to help these people brainstorm how to change their characters while retaining an appropriate theme and feel. The intention here isn't specifically to neuter players and their characters or factions, but rather to clarify and smooth an area that has caused us trouble for a while now. Is [insert Force power here] now a dark side technique? Depends on how it's used as per the above description. We didn't want to limit characters to a list of specific techniques, or we would have simply published those lists. Doing so would make the stories told here a lot less interesting, flattening story for game mechanics and making everything feel more like a tabletop game or KoTOR rather than a collaborative storytelling effort. For example, let's look at Telekinesis, a typically neutral Force power. Can your Jedi use it to block an opponent, or perhaps injure them via a metal pole swung from their blind side at their leg to prevent their retreat and it's still considered light side? Sure. Can they use it to kill them? No, that is the dark side per the above definition, and Jedi should not be killing with the Force. If death is necessary, a Jedi should strive to resort to their lightsaber or other swift death. Do Jedi have a serious disadvantage in duels now? Absolutely not. The Mods would also like to emphasize that this definition specifically applies to Force techniques only, not personal thoughts, actions not involving the Force, or use of weaponry. Jedi and other light side characters can still use their lightsaber or other weapons, and similar to the justification Mace Windu used to make the determination to kill Palpatine, you are allowed to use lethal means of stopping your opponent, just not with the Force. This isn't to say that we should have a bunch of characters running around acting like villains while only using the Force in a manner that aligns with the light side per the above definition, but in the sense that duels should be balanced and fair, Jedi are encouraged to develop and focus more on defensive and nonlethal subduing tactics when using the Force, while the Sith are encouraged to ignore defense over offense when it comes to Force usage. All other options, using any legal weapon or the terrain to kill or harm an opponent, is still free game. Moving forward, there are likely other areas that will need clarifying and rebalancing. FUs will be given more leeway to incorporate weapons into their kit, but what that means when they face off against NFUs is still up for debate, and we're working hard to ensure that nobody winds up with the short stick in all of this. If you have any constructive ideas or commentary or want to point out something not addressed here, please let one of the Mod team know asap either via Discord or by PM.
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    Leena kicked backwards at Sandy’s command, pushing herself behind the master. She could feel the corrupting nature of the very world around them, twisted and torn asunder from the way nature intended it. As Sandy’s shield faltered and fell, the full weight of the radiating power swept over the young girl, causing her to gasp; drawing a tidal wave of water about the rebreather in her mouth. Allowing the light that she was casting to fade to black left the trio swathed in inky blackness, Leena reached forward to grasp at Sandy’s shoulder. Even now, she could feel the heat radiating upwards through the woman. And then Sandy’s saber ignited, bathing the area in an otherworldly light that matched the bottomless hunger that ate away at everything. Leena could feel the radiation eating away at her own body, and at the bodies of her associates; especially Sandy as she allowed the radiation to course through her. Instinctively, Leena drew upon the silvery glow of light that bathed her soul; pushing back against the power that sought a chink in her defenses. Inhaling deeply, Leena spit her rebreather out, the unnaturally warm waters burning her lungs as they drew the oxygen away and into her body. Reaching her free hand out for T’ali’au Leena reached out on the force, drawing on the natural goodness of her companions, of the world around them, and of the reserves of light she carried within. Channelling the slivers and fragments of light together, Leena urged the embers of light to grow until their glow was palpable within her chest. It swelled and grew until her chest was tight. With a direction of thought, Leena pressed the glow of light side energies surging forth from her very soul into Sandy’s rapidly withering form as a wave of healing energies. Their purpose was to bolster and sustain the essence of life in the Jedi Master’s form. Leena felt the energies clashing and battling against the radiation’s power within Sandy. Still, Leena drew forth the light and poured it into the battle until Sandy began to jettison the power of the radiation out of her hands into the boiling water. Feeling the corrupted power continue to grow about her, Leena fought to force the healing powers of light against it. She drew off the light of whatever she could sense. Leena urged Sandy’s own body to fight back against the death that coursed through her body. From the fish and creatures of the sea, from the underwater plants, the microscopic sea life, the water, the air, the seabed, the sky, if Leena could sense it she drew from it and amplified it’s power before sending forth the healing glow into Sandy. The corrupting power of the radiation washed over Leena’s body as she let it wash past her into the darkness. All that mattered in this moment was the force and the life that it sustained. She was a healer and her fellow Jedi her charges. She would not fail them, not this time.
  20. 1 point
    So you've had a bit of a look around, and have seen some of the flashy fights between characters in the main role play forum, or maybe even one of the fights in the darknet forum. Heck, you may have already tried your hand at one or two, and you're looking to improve or figure out the finer points of our system. You might ask yourself things like "What are the limits of what I can do in these fights? What do the Mods look for when determining a winner? How can I improve what I'm doing? How do I win?" Well, the short answer is it's complicated, but at the same time very simple. That might be a little confusing, but then again that's what this guide is here for. We, the Mod team, are here to teach you what it means to think like a duelist. It is far more finesse than just a specific set of attacks or defenses (we refer to that as the meta - more on that later), and while there is a more solid list of things that will likely lose you the duel, the first critical misstep that a lot of people make is approaching things from the perspective of that last question: how do I win? The Mods want to see respect between opponents, because out of character we're still all friends here, and sometimes these fights can cause tense emotions that spill over to the community outside of the role play forum. This causes emotional friction, grudges, and all kinds of toxicity to build up. Believe us, we've seen it time and time again, and we're putting this guide out in part to help prevent these situations from developing in the future. With all that in mind, the very first thing you should always focus on is respecting your opponent. However, when we say that, it goes deeper than just respecting them on the surface level, suppressing emotional tension, and good sportsmanship. The Mods want to also see this inside of the duel. "What does this look like?" you say, and we're glad you asked. It means being respectful of and acknowledging your opponents actions inside of your duel posts. When your opponent attacks or otherwise makes an action, acknowledge it in your post. Most of the time, if it's an attack, it's prudent to acknowledge it by taking damage from it. Keep in mind, nobody can post any attack hitting (which is known as a closed attack, and is illegal per the rules), which means it's on the person who is on the receiving end of the attack to concede a hit and deal with it as they feel appropriate. At the same time, you shouldn't be significantly crippled or incapacitated at any point during the duel, as that would likely predicate a win. It's the grey area between completely ignoring an attack or brushing off everything an opponent throws at you and basically tossing yourself on the sacrificial altar that we're really concerned with. Let's dive deeper into attacks and defending a bit so we can clarify a few things. Let's say Jeb the Jedi and Sam the Sith are fighting in a duel. Sam finished his last post by bringing his lightsaber down in an overhead arc that was aimed at Jeb's shoulder. Would it be prudent for Jeb to lose his arm at the shoulder? Well, probably not. But neither is it okay for him to ignore the attack and move forward with his own actions as if it never happened. There's a few ways that Jeb can approach handling this attack. Firstly, he can use his lightsaber to block or deflect Sam's strike. This is probably the best course of action. But oops, Jeb lost his lightsaber in his last post, and he doesn't currently have it in his hands. He could try to use the Force to pull it to him and block, but that might be a bit of a stretch if Jeb is still a padawan, complex movement incorporated with Force use isn't usually in a padawan's wheelhouse, but let's put that on the back burner because as a last ditch move it might still hold up if he has no other option. What if Jeb dodges Sam's strike? Not being in the way when your opponent swings is a very viable tactic, but remember, your opponent isn't a slouch, and from Jeb's perspective Sam likely wouldn't have made that strike if it didn't have a purpose. So in dodging, maybe Jeb could say that instead of it cutting off his arm, it grazes his shoulder, a nasty burn that could affect its use for the rest of the battle but doesn't necessarily take it out of commission. Of course, a lightsaber blow is an easy simple example to handle, there's other more deadly things an opponent can throw at you, for instance if Ned the Non-Force User fires a rocket-propelled grenade at Jeb, obviously if Jeb lets himself get hit by that it's not going to be pretty. At the end of the day, try to match your actions to how your opponent makes theirs. If they go grandiose with their attacks, it is generally okay to let loose a bit and respond in kind. Unfortunately this doesn't apply equally when there's a disparity in the ranks of the opponents, i.e. a master is likely to overwhelm a padawan/apprentice, and the duelists are expected to play any disparity out realistically. Ideally we should never really be seeing a duel between a padawan/apprentice and a master, but between a padawan/apprentice and a Knight/Lord or a Knight/Lord and a master happens relatively frequently. The higher ranked character will have a slight advantage, and guaranteed if the players don't acknowledge that respectfully, the Mod making the ruling will. Also beware of power creep, you shouldn't ever be trying to overwhelm an opponent, so when you respond to grandiose maneuvers don't assume you can go full throttle because they opened the can of worms. That's not respect. A good rule of thumb when you type out an attack is if you can't think of a reasonable way to defend against it, it's probably not a good attack. Unorthodox and outside of the box thinking is preferred and often rewarded when it comes to attacking, but indefensible attacks will lose you the duel. If the Mod sees your attack as indefensible or pigeonholing, it could cost you. We briefly mentioned weaponry, but let's explore that a bit as well. Our site and pvp system allows for a wide range of offensive and defensive options. All kinds of weaponry and Force techniques can be at your fingertips, and the same goes for armor and similar technology. A lot of people think that the best route to go is to use these available elements to get the best edge they can on their opponent before they even walk into the arena. And while these options can certainly add style and value to a story and narrative, simply assuming that weapons or armor is what wins duels is the wrong way to approach duels. We call this the meta - a gaming acronym that means most effective tactics available. Making this assumption is easy and can come from a number of legitimate thoughts and concerns, chief among them is fear of loss, or more explicitly fear of a character dying. In many other RPGs, this is a legitimate concern, but in our RP we allow characters to self-resurrect with a few stipulations, mostly negating these fears. We don't want people to worry about losing their character, we'd rather they focus on the awesome story and journey that character experiences, and we also want them to be able to enjoy and have fun in the pvp system. This was the best compromise we came up with: to put loss on the writer, to give them the responsibility of adding depth to their character in what they choose to sacrifice. It is on the writer to determine how deep or shallow a character is, how loss and major events affect them, and how a character changes over time. There is nothing that says a person can't try to play a character that never has to deal with loss or setbacks, but others likely won't be inclined to want to role play with that kind of character. Something that can be a bit of a blind spot for more established (or unorthodox) characters is that their character sheets are often overloaded with every technique they've ever learned or every weapon or piece of armor they've laid their hands on ever (as long as it wasn't outright destroyed). This makes it confusing for other players and Mods to really hone in on what your character is all about in a combat setting. While any player is certainly free to be creative in their style and borrow a bit here and there and hybridize a combat style that they like, the goal shouldn't be min/maxing the best attributes from several areas to cover all weaknesses, the goal should be to have a well defined combat style that is recognizable on the character sheet that your character prefers. This helps people understand the themes of what they can reasonably expect when facing your character rather than getting completely blindsided because that was the intended tactic. That's generally a bad faith approach to dueling, and isn't appreciated. If you find yourself with one of these kinds of overloaded character sheets, consider removing old equipment or force techniques from a character's sheet that might not be relevant to anything the character has done lately or intends to do in the future. If you don't delete it off the sheet, then consider notating gear that isn't in the character's typical loadout or skills the character might be a bit rusty with. It's okay to be realistic with these kinds of things, and it makes your character far more believable. So what are the Mods looking for when they judge the duel posts? The major emphasis of any well-fought duel should be in the narrative. We want to read a good story, but deeper than the surface level flash of blasters and lightsabers is the more subtle tactics that go into the fight. Get creative, use your terrain, think about how your opponent may have left themselves open (or better yet, set them up in your own movements/actions to where they make themselves unknowingly open to an attack), think outside the box of simply trading lightsaber attacks or blaster fire. Sometimes that can be done with beauty and grace, but most of the time it doesn't make for a compelling read. Primarily what a Mod will do is look through the duel posts first to see if there are any major disqualifying events. Breaking the rules is a surefire way to catch a loss in a duel. Taking far too much damage to really have a believable chance of surviving isn't going to look good either. Ignoring an attack is another way to easily lose, though most often this should be the result of a simple mistake rather than a viable tactic someone uses to try to veil their attacks in the hopes an opponent makes a misstep. It's reprehensible to approach the duel in bad faith, and more often than not this can lose you the duel because it confuses the Mod as well. It's actually good sportsmanship and encouraged to point out if your opponent missed something to allow them to edit before you respond, but it's not required. In fact, it is a good idea to explicitly telegraph your intended moves/actions/attacks to your opponent, either in the main body of a duel post or maybe in a spoiler at the end of your post with a tl;dr summary. This helps avoid confusion from both your opponent and the Mod reviewing the duel. At the end of the day, you should finish the last post of a duel with the satisfaction of having written an excellent story with a partner, not tense over who might win versus an opponent who is despised. This is the simplicity of dueling, but as you can now see, it can also be fairly complex. Hopefully with all of this knowledge at your side, you now know at a basic level how to think like a duelist. It's the first step in a long journey of mastering the finesse of dueling with skill. Much of the rest comes with experience, but more advanced guides may be put out in the future, or more information may be added into future versions of this guide. We hope you find tranquility among the chaos of the battlefield, friend, and as always, may the Force be with you.
  21. 1 point
    The above guide too bulky to read through? Well, while you're encouraged to read through it in its entirety to really wrap your head around what it means to properly duel here, here's a quick listing of dos and don'ts to help you reference the best practices. Do: Always treat your opponent with respect and good faith Take character rank into consideration Match your opponent's intensity (or rather, don't bring a Star Destroyer to a blaster fight) Strategize your movement and actions, plan ahead Use the terrain to your advantage Try to be unorthodox in your tactics, but not to the point that the defense against them necessitates godmoding Identify possible openings in your opponent's actions and make use of them Focus on the story and having fun Maintain cordial open lines of communication with your opponent If needed, assist your opponent in understanding what's going on in your post Evolve your character in game to suit your unique well-defined style and feel free to draw inspiration from different traditions Keep your character sheet updated Don't: Worry about winning, we all win and lose Assume gear can win or lose you the match before it starts Try to lock your opponent down in an inescapable situation Post any attack hitting or damage dealt to your opponent Pretend your character is exceptional beyond what their rank would typically allow for Approach dueling in bad faith or use subversive tactics meant to bypass the rules Post so much damage to your character that it would be unreasonable for them to continue Use tactics that are meant to significantly or totally shut down an opponent's combat capability Let your character become excessively elaborate - prune or note things that haven't been used in a bit, both items and force powers
  22. 1 point
    It started off with some tension at first, almost like putting on something that was just too tight. It alerted Kirlocca to the change, a change he wasn’t really sure he wanted or was ready for. Pain, memories and restrictions were being placed upon him. While he knew what was happening, he didn’t really think that it would feel the way it did. He was being brought back to life. Somehow, he hadn’t expected for anyone to even attempt it, not unless there were desperate times. But wait, I had known the state of the galaxy… why can’t I know that now? It was a question that was beginning to burn within him. He was going from being a part of the living Force, to only being able to feel the Force. He was indeed being brought back to life, but by whom? And why? His sight blurred for a brief second or two, and then all he could see was white. It was warm, yet cold. Feelings he hadn’t felt in forever. He was having a hard time figuring out what he was feeling again. The light was warm, yes, it was a light and it was warm. The cold feeling was his body. He was cold and wet. No, he wasn’t wet. He was… he wasn’t sure. What was that feeling? Air. He could smell, but he didn’t know what it was that he was smelling. It was all tension, but to a passing note. He willed himself to keep his eyes closed until he could feel the touch in the Force to wake up fully. It was all that he could do. Breathe, in and out…. Breathe… Just... breathe. Raven? Did he feel her? Slowly, the Wookiee began to open his eyes. His vision was blurred and could’t see. He tried to move, but couldn’t. Muscle memory was still coming back to him. Things just felt off, except for the Force. I guess it was how I used to be, fully dependent upon the Force. So I must return to that state. Re-closing his eyes, Kirlocca’s own voice began as best as it could. << I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. >> Kirlocca began to attempt to open his eyes again. His eyesight was still blurred, but nowhere near as much as before. His muscles were weak, but responding to his commands. He could now fully feel within the Force presences he had once felt before. He knew them, yet it was not as they were before. Emotions started to creep in-and they overwhelmed him in the strangest of ways. They didn’t flood back, but they did indeed come back. It was a process that worried him, to have everything that tied him down slowly coming back as his full freedom within the Force was slowly being taken away. And for that, he needed to will himself back into a position to speak clearly, but he wasn't sure if he could yet. So instead he reached out in the Force and connected with those of whom he had felt before. ... Raven... Tobias...
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