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  1. “Just… Master. I always disliked that title.” For a second, Armiena’s eyes widened and there was a glimmer of emotion in her face that resembled… fear? Apprehension? Or perhaps it was merely a sudden appreciation of the awesome burden that the veteran Jedi had just volunteered to bear. Whatever it was, the moment soon passed and she jostled a plastoid crate containing a set of small discs. The miniature divots of holoprojectors and sensors could be seen about their surface. “This is likely to be one of the very few moments that we are all in the same location. That's probably for the best. There’s a lot of work to do. I prepared something that we could use to coordinate our efforts. The comm unit is simple enough to operate once you have it calibrated to your Force signature, just place it on a flat surface and it will tap into an encrypted Holonet channel to maintain a virtual Council chamber.” She stared directly at Sandy Sarna. “I know about your mission to you-know-where, and as profoundly risky as it may be, it’s necessary. Force knows that we have so little on-the-ground intel there. We need to know everything you can give us--orbital infrastructure, interstellar traffic, planetary defenses, location of air traffic control towers, it's all needed. I suspect that ysalamir’s for the initial infiltration, get you into atmosphere without every Sith noticing you're there--just… kill the damned thing if there’s a hint of trouble,” she added unhappily to the towering marine behind her as she approached the younger Jedi Master. As she handed the smaller woman the communications unit, Draygo drew the smaller woman into an embrace that had to have been startling and whispered something into her ear. She repeated the same gesture for the half-Anzati, again handing her one of the communications units and murmuring a few words under her breath. Turning her back on the two Jedi Masters, Armiena faced the young Jedi Healer, her Padawan, and the Wookiee who loomed over every other sapient in the room. “Kil, Genesis, Kirlocca. Perhaps a less dangerous mission for you three, but still of critical importance. Chandrila was hit badly by the Mandalorians during their raid across the Core. The few remaining elements of their fleet were driven off by the Rebel Alliance, but the planet was damaged horribly by their attack. Mass casualty events in the cities, terrible damage to orbital and surface infrastructure, even failures of basic infrastructure like water purification. The Rebel Alliance is out of their depths when it comes to managing a reconstruction effort like this. We can’t allow a world this core to Coruscant to remain in such a vulnerable state. “The Survivor’s Foundation has dispatched a pair of their larger ships to take the lead, but… they’re borderline pacifistic. If the Mandos left stragglers behind, or Force forbid, the Sith show up in force, they won’t be in any position to resist. So, you have two objectives: assist the Survivor’s Foundation with their reconstruction and security wherever you’re needed; and reinforce the planet’s defenses wherever you can. The planet will need an early-warning system in the event that the Sith are eyeing it for takeover. We cannot simply allow the Sith to have complete domination of the Core, no matter what happens.” Draygo passed another of the communications discs to the young Mon Calamari Knight. Although her Padawan had nearly completed his own training, Armiena suspected that Genesis wasn’t quite in the mindset to operate on the doorstep of a Sith-controlled Coruscant, and would be relieved that know that there would be both a Jedi Healer as well as one of the Order’s most veteran Masters alongside him. “Now, questions? I can help you secure any resources you need, but I have a target that I want to tend to myself.”
    2 points
  2. Both players did an excellent job of respecting the other. At no point did I feel that either side was frustrated, dismissive, or angry. This was a fun sparring match, and it felt like it. On the one hand, I would’ve liked to see some more emphasis on the difference in skill in this fight. Kahla never really acknowledges or struggles with the fact that she’s an apprentice fighting a lorded duelist skilled in enhancing his physical capabilities with the Force. On the other hand, Mordecai is an angry duelist, whose preferred fighting style is the tried-and-true Sith method of all out assault fueled by emotion. It never really feels like Mordecai is genuinely giving his all, which follows since this is an educational experience instead of a deathmatch. This is a positive that follows from the point above. Mordecai matches the intensity of his opponent and never lets loose in the fight, keeping the fight fun and interesting as a result. This was a very beat-for-beat fight, with each blow choreographed and countered with clarity. There was a bit of confusion over the positioning of Kahla’s saber in her third post. I got the general gist of where the attack was ending up though. She wound her saber up over her shoulder, but just as she reached Mordecai, circled it around to her other side, she twisted her body, her wide horizontal swing accelerated towards his chest. She carried the swing into a spin, by now the blade had met the far side of herself, but had still dragged towards her lord's head. One tip I want to give Zendrin is to double check her character sheet is updated before a duel, particularly for Force abilities, and to a lesser degree combat skills. I can infer from the duel that Zendrin has had experience fighting with her lightsaber, but not much beyond that, like style, form, etc. I noticed she empowered one of her thrusts, and I don’t really know if that’s a skill she knows. Just something small would help. I have to really compliment Kahla on part of her final post. When she took the kick, mitigating but not outright cancelling it, and dropped to the ground “like a sack of vegetables,” I grinned a bit. Then she got up, more resolved than ever to finish the fight. That was a fun beat. In a fight that had been fairly even in intensity and without many twists or turns, it made me wonder for a second how she was going to respond. How would she deal with this? The answer emphasized and developed her character, and made me feel like I knew her a little bit more. The highlight of the duel. That’s not to say that Mordecai was lackluster. The dialogue between the two of you was fun and established both characters. Plus Mordecai taking a step back to handle a phone call was pretty funny, and further established the tone of the duel. Plus plus he acknowledged how the distraction nearly ended him. Final ruling… MORDECAI WINS While both players did well, Mordecai’s skill and experience in this exact kind of fight nabs him the victory. The fight never really shifted from a saber-to-saber duel, and neither side improvised anything clever or unconventional enough to make me consider giving them the advantage. Excellent duel on both sides.
    1 point
  3. To be honest, Durose didn't remember much from the last few minutes. He remembered meeting their new Sith overlord and heading to their quarters and then following Sirena to the hanger bay. He vaguely remembered being given a task and reaching out through the Force. But how he ended up on his back or with this splitting headache was beyond him. Everything was still so foggy. Feeling his head, he looked at his hand to see blood on it. The one time I actually take off my mask... While Roshan attempted to sit upright, he could hear a tiny humanoid yapping at him. She looked rather funny. It wasn't that he was purely amused by the fact that sitting upright, he was finally short enough to meet her on her eye level. It was more that he was seeing multiples of her wobbling back and forth as she stared at him, all giving him the same nasty look. Of course, current vision issues aside, Lord Roshan was pretty positive he had nothing to do with this situation so he was unsure what her problem was. "Why did you lie to the girl? She is just like us, nothing more, nothing less. So why does she think she is a Lesser and that we are God's? Is your ego that attentive? Did you want her to fail?" Roshan sighed, rolling his eyes and carefully leaning back. He allowed his back and head to return softly to the floor, resting against the cold, durasteel deck. It felt a little better resting there anyway, outside of the wetness which he was sure was a byproduct of his new "battle wound." "I highly doubt she said as much. She knows we are only demigods. As for her thinking she is a Lesser... well... it all happened so fast. There was never any time to sit down and discuss things properly with the girl. That is, admittedly, a minor oversight on my part. I knew I was overlooking something. I was preoccupied with Soulless. She was never supposed to be anything more than competition to motivate it to become the weapon it was truly capable of. But... here we are." Feeling his head a little bit again before wincing, Roshan raised his voice a little even though it hurt his head to do so, "Is that what this is about? You sucker punched me while I was doing what you asked because I didn't tell the girl she was a demigod, too?" "Women," Roshan grumbled under his breath. ___
    1 point
  4. Mordecai smirked at her growing annoyance. Good. She was getting angry, but she wasn't using it. Regardless, she was faring better that when she had first arrived on Korriban. Her strikes were more focused, though they were all individual attacks. Not the artisanal web of light that his own sabers weaved, each blow leading into the next. He would teach, and she would learn. And if he had to beat her into submission again to solidify his lessons, he would. "You insist that you know not to lose, and yet you do not heed the lessons that would lead you to victory, instead preferring to lash out like a child with blade and mouth alike. Show me that you know more than me, then, Kahla." he said as his communicator flared to life. It wasn't much of a distraction, but it was enough to distract him for a brief moment. He was forced back, pushing Kahla's blade aside as it singed his side with its proximity. He hid his concern at just how close it had come to impaling him- More focused attacks indeed. Mordecai pivoted back, returning to stalking circles around his apprentice as he responded. "I will dispatch a team momentarily. My own apprentice requires a concussion first." he stated with a cold calm as he glared at her, before leaping in once more for a final flurry of attacks. The first was a deft thrust towards her chest with his left hand as he closed the distance. The next was a brutal slash towards her own belt, the Force aiding him once more as it surged though his body. His final blow, a roundhouse kick aimed at his apprentices jaw, served two purposes. First was to remind her that an attack could come from any limb. The second was to stay true to his word, intending to end the spar here with her unconscious on the ground so he could dispatch a medical team to Sirena's location. ((3))
    1 point
  5. Blimp could barely comprehend the goings on of the sole Mandalorian survivor as she towered over him. He felt the pain, each swing of her blade coursing through his nerves with fiery furor. The red head of the Troig gritted his teeth in pain, able to do little else to stem the assault. In the back of his mind, atop his brainstem boiled a cauldron of rage. Even through his pain, his hatred seethed from his very being. If Shim had not been dead yet, he surely was now. The crime lord forgave little in his business dealings; nor did he allow offense to go unaddressed. Yet here he was, powerless to stop what could very well be the end of his days. Instead the Mandalorian administered enough aid to assure that the Troig would not die on this desolate rock; at least not soon enough. This was no aid. It was torture to the finest degree; an art to the level Blimp himself could respect. And still, he hoped for death. With Shim’s lifeless head atop his chest, he wheezed as he lay there in the darkness. Death would be a welcome release and it would not come. In the dimness of Kessel’s setting sub, Blimp waited for what, he did not know; but if he lay there long enough, the icy hand of death would descend and take him to be with his other half, his soul, the light to his darkness. “I am coming Shim” he hissed. He was not afraid of death. He welcomed it if it would come. Even as he awaited the icy embrace, his words tinged with compassion for his other head; the explosive rage boiled beneath his scalp. He did not know who that woman was. He did not need to; her armor was enough. Who she was, he did not know, but what she was, who she called her own. That was enough. Honorable warriors. He spat, the phlegm sticky and clinging to his dried lips. His vision clouded red with pain and anger as his thoughts dwelt on two things, death and hatred. Finally, Blimp faded into a void of rage and semi-consciousness. He was awoken as an otherworldly force hefted him from the ground. Pain shot through his wounds and drove the battered beast to a pinpoint focus. ‘Nok Morliss? So the blind insect is a sorcerer as well’ For a moment, he was surprised. The Nemodian had more tricks up his sleeve. Still stranger yet, he had come for the Troig in his defeat. Staring intently into the eyeless mask of his business partner, he raised a feeble hand to point towards the lifeless bodies of the slain Mandalorians, devoid of their armor and arms. “The Mandalorians lay in ambush. Shim . . .” he paused, gritting his teeth against the surge of loss. For the first time, Blimp was truly alone. “Their bodies.” he hissed, “and whatever spice you can salvage.” His thoughts lay in revenge; but even if Shim was gone, the two heads had shared a telepathic-like connection. Their thoughts, their body, both were mingled together. Blimp had lost his other, most would argue his better, half. He owed a debt to the raiders that had accompanied them. He knew what happened to anyone who left a debt unpaid. The Hutts had taught that lesson all too well. Death would not come; but with Nok Morliss’ help, perhaps revenge lay on the horizon. It was all that kept his heart pumping.
    1 point
  6. Flung across the room, the girl rattled against a nearby bulkhead before crashing to the ground. She momentarily gasped for air thanks to an awkward fall that knocked the wind out of her in the process. It felt like she had been thrown from a speeding skiff. She could taste the blood dribbling down her chin. Her tongue wiggled around in her mouth, locating the inner portion of her lip that she had managed to bite. She spit and saw red. The taste of blood reenergized the girl. And looking up to see that Lady Sirena was bleeding only excited her more. Her attack had succeeded. She had made the demigod bleed. "There are no God's, child. There are no blessings, nor lessers or betters." She was a liar. Or perhaps a heretic. Even the Sith believed in gods. Roshan had spoken of them. Aliss believed in them. And she knew that there were definitely Lessers. The history and the very nature of her homeworld, Ishvara, was the product of the delineation between and domination of the Blessed over the Lessers. She had seen the Sith caches and hidden temples with her very eyes. Lord Roshan had not sheltered his Knights from the harsh, unfair, and unforgiving reality of the real world. "...We are all born of the Force, a bond that flows through everything, and while some cannot feel it, we are all born with an ability to touch it in some form or fashion." Was that how her teacher lied to her? Did that help her feel better about the Lessers? Was that why she offered that pitiful slave her own vessel to escape, naïve to the reality that "a Lesser cannot escape the reality of what they are, even if they run from where they are"? If there are no gods and no blessings and no Lessers or Betters and we are all born of "the Force," then why can't we ALL feel it the SAME. Fool. She speaks blasphemy. Struggling to her feet, the girl's anger suddenly abated completely. Instead, she felt pity for this Sith master. Sirena had been lied to, taught to deny even her own divinity, esteeming as ordinary the blessings and power she had received at birth. It was the luxury of the demigods to believe that there was actually some sort of equality between them and the Lessers. For a Lesser, you knew no such world. Only fear and fervent prayers that Nurgle or some other might look down upon you and bless you enough to allow you to stand alongside the Blessed. "But many are the unanswered prayers of the weak." Aliss could hear Sirena's distain but also the conviction in the woman's voice as she continued, "You have that connection, just as I do, just as Roshan and Mavanger. And no artifact or holocron will make you stronger. Only you can do that." Oddly enough, for as many lies as the woman had been led to believe and repeat, Aliss believed this statement of hers. The girl had now struck not one, but two demigods! Once might have been luck, but twice surely must have been a blessing. Had the holy crom that she had stolen earlier blessed her, after all? Had the gods seen her tenacity and rewarded her?! Perhaps all she was lacking was enough faith. "...This is what I am trying to teach you, to find your connection to the Force and wield it." A smirk crept across the girl's face as Sirena finished speaking. The blood in her mouth and Sirena's and that of Roshan's that adorned the deck must have been a sign! The sacrifice spilled for a shared trinity. No Lesser could have drawn blood against two demigods, much less ones with the titles of Lord and Lady! Perhaps the gods had, indeed, heard her request and blessed her holy quest to have Helios' head! Had she finally ascended without even realizing it?! There was only one way to find out. Turning her eyes away from Sirena, she focused on the pipe that Roshan had thrown moments earlier. She had seen how Lady Sirena had done it. Roshan always did the same. An outstretched arm. A focused glare. She would have been mocked endlessly by the other children to even have attempted such a thing on Ishvara. But they were all dead so she was the only one laughing now. Reaching out in the Force, she felt for the pipe, trying to feel the life energy around it in much the same way as she might attempt to tapped into her own potential, only transposed across a far greater distance. Lady Sirena may have been mislead by her teachers but her powers and blessings were undeniable. Perhaps Roshan had been lead to her by the gods to return Sirena to the fold. It didn't matter, though. Sirena was either wrong about the girl's newly Blessed state or she was right. Was it possible for a Lesser to ascend? Aliss felt her faith wavering but she pushed through the doubt. And then she felt it. It was almost akin to what she imagined a phantom limb might feel like. While she saw nothing there, she could feel the sensations of the pipe. Unsure of her own strength, Aliss impatiently yanked at the item to pull it towards her. Their competition wasn't done. Lady Sirena hadn't surrendered. If she could arm herself again, Aliss could make another attack and prove herself once and for all... Of course, her plan didn't quite go as she intended. Aliss pulled, but far too hard. The pipe shot at her like it had been fired out of a cannon. Futilely attempting to grab the projectile as it came whizzing at her, her heart leapt for joy in that split second. There was a serene calm and thankfulness that fell over the girl. The euphoria was hard to describe in words. All her life, her mother had told her she was special. All her life, she had wished and hoped and prayed to be a Blessed one, even though she knew it was impossible. But as the pipe rocketed towards her head, she realized that she had finally crossed that impossible threshold. She had truly done it. Lady Sirena was right. She was Blessed now. She was a demigod! Mom... I did it! As the pipe ricocheted off the girl's head and her body collapsed to the floor, Roshan stirred ever so slightly. His head felt like someone had hit him with a sledgehammer. He squinted hard at the blinding overhead lights of the cargo bay, deciding to instead keep his eyes closed for the time being. Mumbling a little, he groaned, "What happened? Where am I? Is anybody there?" Feeling his head, he could tell that one side was wet. Great. ___ &
    1 point
  7. "Insolent child!" Aliss instantly felt the powerful grip of Sirena around her throat. The girl could feel the blood within her own body boiling. She had been given no directions, still fulfilled the objective, and now she was being punished?! Gripping at her neck with her free hand, Aliss furiously hurled the pipe towards Lady Sirena. In the midst of her choking, the girl's aim was wildly inaccurate and the throw was weak at best. She would have cursed the witch if she wasn't so focused on the terrifying sensation of being strangled that she was currently experiencing. Aliss stumbled several feet backwards, hoping that she could get out of range of her supernatural stranglehold. It was no good. She could feel the grip growing even tighter. She clawed at her neck, trying to scream out in rage. She could feel the veins in her head popping out, partly because of her anger and partly because of her loss of air. "That is the will I am trying to teach you, the will your father grasped so easily before you struck him!" Once Sirena finally released her hold, the girl's knees buckled and Aliss was left gagging for breath. After a few seconds, the girl's breathing returned to normal. By the time she caught her breath and looked up, Sirena was standing by Roshan. "Try it again, but this time, without the use of your hands and on me. Attack me child. Let your emotions will it." She was so mad about being punished for no reason, Aliss yelled back at the Sith, spitting as she spoke, "I can't do what you can, genius!" She gestured towards Roshan angrily as she wiped some spit from the side of her face. She was so mad she could cry. "I'm not a demigod like him or you! I do not have the blessings of the gods. Not even after stealing the Sith artifact! I thought it would make me feel different... She paused and looked down with hints of sadness and frustration in her voice, "But I am still just the same me. I am still a Lesser. All I have is my training, my speed, and my skill at combat." Lady Sirena might have said something in response to the girl's comments but she was no longer listening. Instead, Aliss was raging inside. The Force? Was that what this lady called it? Is that what this lady meant?! Aliss was familiar with the superior energy that fueled the Blessed of the gods. As Roshan once put it to the Knights, "some are blessed to be gods among men and upon their shoulders falls leadership and through this superior life force or energy, they can perform amazing feats. Through the ways of the Echani some can focus such life energy better than others but the Lessers can never truly acquire the gifts of the gods. And that's okay. I don't expect you to. You don't need that to be elite Knights of Roshan." At an early age, Aliss had been placed among the advanced students of Roshan's Knights. She had never quite understood what Roshan had seen in her. Some of the other Knights resented her for it, though, to be sure. They always claimed she was simply receiving special treatment because of the close relationship Roshan had with her mother. It made sense. She was no stranger to seeing favoritism play out among the inhabitants of the commune and her mother and Roshan were, indeed, close friends. But Rose had taught her never to waste her opportunities so Aliss never allowed their powers to stop her from pushing on. Of course, favoritism wasn't as glamourous as everyone made it out to be. Roshan seemed intent on always scolding her but continually praising the other boys. She was never controlled enough or fast enough or calm enough. Her technique was either too sloppy or she made more mistakes than her older peers. Of course, it wasn't from lack of trying. And the longer she spared with the others, the closer to came to besting them. This wasn't the first time she had been scolded from not feeling the "life energy" around her and allowing it to flow through or "mesh" with her inner spirit. But Roshan's lectures usually involved some foot positioning she messed up or an opening she left vulnerable or an attack opportunity that she had failed to capitalize on. It wasn't that she hadn't felt the energy or matched a demigod in his ability to use space magic! Her ability to harness her inner life energy was the one thing he actually praised on rare occasions. She was easily the fastest of all the advanced students, even Roshan's star pupil, Nomi. It was always her technique or attention to detail that had failed her. Now looking up at the woman in this moment, the girl's head felt heavy. Instead of saying more or rising to attack the woman, she dropped her head in anger. She was so mad she was starting to feel its toll in the form of overwhelming physical exhaustion. This woman knew nothing. She expected the impossible. Aliss had mustered every ounce of "life force energy" she could to beat Roshan's pull and make her strike first. She had tried to tap into every congeries of the emotions she could, just as the lady had asked. And what's more, she had even succeeded! She had beat Roshan! He hadn't pulled the object to himself before she had reached him! Sirena had to have seen that! That was surely what he was attempting to do. That was the object of this exercise, was it not! To use the pipes and win their sparing match!!! How have I failed!? Because I lack the powers of a demigod?! Because I can't choke her from across the room?! Because I didn't beat you both down before you could react?! Now Lady Sirena was just stroking her own ego. Aliss knew she couldn't take her. If she wasn't going to play fair, all her mustering of all the life energy and speed in the world wasn't going to defeat a demigod. The holy crom had given her no new powers. The vision had not made her blessed by the gods. Lady Sirena had not taught her how to unlock the secrets of her ancient Sith artifacts. Aliss had nothing to attack her with. No means of winning. To attempt to fight now would be... And then it hit her. In the flurry of seconds that it took for her mind to process the last minute or so of activity, a light suddenly flickered on in her head. Channeling all the angst she could muster, Aliss would show this arrogant idiot what she could do, even if she was simply an advanced Lesser. Using her hands to push off of the ground, Aliss bounced to her feet, shooting forward like a track star shooting off of their block. Her pace quickened, her feet rapidly moving. At the same time, Aliss ignited her lightsaber and hurled it at the woman, lunging at her a split second after she released the saber from her hands. Her sidearm throw arc'd it slightly, hopefully buying her leap a little time. She doubted that she could beat the throw but she could definitely try. She honestly didn't know if her strategy would work at all. If Lady Sirena was anything like Roshan, she knew that the "Blessed" could stop objects in mid-air. But her intention wasn't to actually hit the Sith with the lightsaber. She'd surely stop that. Plus, killing the woman would significantly drop her chances of future training. No, her intention was to distract Lady Sirena for just that split second. She'd play by the rules. She wouldn't use her hands this time. But could Lady Sirena stop the lightsaber and Aliss' knee from plowing her in the face if they both arrived at the same time? Lady Sirena had asked for her to attack, after all. If this was a training exercise to see what she was capable of and one downed foe was not enough, Aliss would prove herself worthy or at least go down fighting. She was tired of bearing all the insults. "I am not weak and I am not a child!" She roared as the girl and the thrown lightsaber came rapidly sailing through the air at Lady Sirena. ___
    1 point
  8. Sirena watched in silence as the two began, her focus more delved upon Roshan than Aliss as he made his attempt. Something was wrong. His power was there, but it was almost as if he had lost the will to wield it, or perhaps couldn't. Her brow furrowed, studying him, waiting, watching. It was almost disappointing as he struggled against his humility in his pride. Then a rattle echoed, the stir of the Force creaking as his pride lashed out, the echoes of it rippling through the waves of what laid within. And then success. She smiled. He had overcame his humility with his pride, just as she foresaw. What she hadn't foresaw was the idiocracy of Aliss, her distraction of focusing on Roshan's struggles having lost her sight of the younger pupil until she bludgeoned her father figure out cold with a single blow before exclaiming victory in a means unintended. Usually, Sirena would have praised the girl for the out of the box thinking, but they were heading into war and her intent was to force the girl into unlocking her potential. Rage boiled about in her blood as Sirena locked eyes with the young girl, outstretching her prosthetic arm and grasping at the girls throat with but a mere thought in mind. "Insolent child!" Sirena's voice echoed her belittling as she envisioned the girl choking from where she stood, the Force flowing to her will and her will alone, grasping tightly at Aliss' throat. "The Force flows through everything, even the muscles within your throat. Do you feel that constriction? That tightening? That is the will I am trying to teach you, the will your father grasped so easily before you struck him!" Sirena let go of the Force, her playful demeanor gone and her blue gaze alit with flame of anger and disgust. Reaching into her pocket, she removed a salve and made her way to Roshan. Dipping her fingers in it, she bent down and applied it to his wound before wiping it upon his fur and off her hands. Standing, her gaze shifted back to Aliss. "Try it again, but this time, without the use of your hands and on me. Attack me child. Let your emotions will it."
    1 point
  9. Darth Nyrys examined the girl with dead eyes and could feel that in some ways she too was broken. Not by Delta’s hand, but she had been born ill-fated. Delta had been a relatively new part of the foundling’s life, before then she had been… adrift. How peculiar. The revenant descended the steps with inhuman grace, walking across the surface of the mire as if it were ultra dense gelatin. She could feel the longing, the fear calling out from the girl’s broken heart, in spite of Delta’s efforts to tape it back together. There was so much power here, ready to be plucked like a ripe fruit. It roiled over her like waves of intimately remembered mortality. She could just reach out and take it… But Delta would surely figure out what happened, and that would complicate the whole getting laid thing. Instead she brushed the girl’s cheek with a gesture resembling affection soiled with underlying yearning. She had never been a paragon of restraint to begin with, and she knew that she had come back even more broken than usual. Although truth be told, she had been unraveling even before she died, this was just a new kind of strung out. Her life had a rhythm of extremes, heightened once she joined the Sith, ever swinging between sour depression and manic overindulgence. “How adorable, coming to my rescue just like your father. He’s a better man than he gives himself credit for being. But there is no point in staying here a second longer. Would you do me one more kindness and conduct me back to Iziz? This is the kind of place that eats up sweet little girls like you, and I would not wish such a fate upon my gallant hero. We can talk about cute guys on the way to Ca’aran’s place.” Even for her short time here, leaving this place felt like leaving the safety and comfort of her family’s home. But she had obligations to attend to, and needs to satisfy. She would be back soon, she promised.
    1 point
  10. ROSHAN: Roshan and Aliss listened in silence as Lady Sirena spoke. Then came the pipes and Roshan raised an eyebrow. Before Roshan could question her as far as her intent, Lady Sirena spoke. "Pride and Wrath are powerful in their own rights. But fate has lead to a combination between the two of you, one of both Sins to stand beside the other. Before you two are ordinary pipes, simple and ordinary. I want you two to hone in on these and let your sins open you to the Force that flows through these objects. And if you fail, remember, no one is perfect and some are just plain weak." Aliss looked to the pipe and then to Lady Sirena and then to Roshan. The Cathar remained silent. His arms were folded but one hand was subtly outstretched towards the pipe. His demeanor was calm and stoic. Inside, anger and frustration raged. This was as easy a manipulation of the Force as one could ask for. It was perhaps even a little bit insulting, albeit probably not intentionally so. She did not know of his training or his former master or his past in general. But ever since he had donned this Sith armor and intentionally accepted the Sith hex that his nemesis had placed on it, his connection to the Force had been more elusive than a well-connected crime lord skipping out on bail. He could best describe it as the Force equivalent to trying to regain your senses after a flash bang grenade had just gone off. Only, his "Force senses" weren't coming back naturally. He was having to work for every ounce of Force power he could muster. In fact, since his desperate outburst inside the Sith lab where they had found Solus, this was the first time Roshan had actively attempted to tap into the Force on any truly meaningful level. The atrophy of his "Force muscles" left Roshan feeling exposed. If pride truly was his "sin," then humiliation was now his punishment. He refused to show it, of course, mentally fighting through the chaos of his mind like a soldier suppressing his flight response as the bombs go off around him and the blaster bolts whizz by, instead focused firmly on lining up and taking the next shot. At first, the object began to rattle against the ground as if a large freighter was coming in for a landing a few feet away. That was a good sign. Roshan could finally feel what he had been looking for. Focusing in on it, he channeled his frustration into the object, his eyes growing wide and his arm rapidly reaching out towards the metal pipe before stiffening. The sensation was eerie for lack of a better word. Roshan felt like a bodybuilder who had awoken from months in a coma only to discovered that he could barely walk, much less lift the lightest of weights. It was clear to Roshan that he would have to practically relearn everything before he'd have the level of control and subtly that he once had. Thankfully, though, this test wasn't about subtly and the pipe wasn't of substantial size either. With a forceful swing of his outstretched arm and a grimace, Roshan rapidly flung the steel pipe into the adjacent wall to a loud bang, followed by a series of clatters against the floor. Roshan allowed a momentary grin before a cold piece of durasteel whacked him upside the head and sent the dazed Cathar falling backwards, off of the cargo container where he had been sitting. His impact was the floor nearly knocked the wind out of his lungs as something heavy landed on his chest. *** *** *** ALISS: The girl looked to the pipe and then to Lady Sirena and then to Roshan. Everyone was silent. The girl stared at the pipe again and then at Roshan. She noticed his hand subtly pointed towards the pipe. I want you two to hone in on these and let your sins open you to the force that flows through these objects. Aliss was all but certain that Lady Sirena must mean for this to be a sparing contest. There were two rod-like pipes just sitting there, after all! Lord Roshan was probably taunting her, attempting to make it look like she had a chance. As soon as she came at him, of course, he'd pull the pipe to himself and make her look slow and unimpressive. Or at least, that's what he thought would happen! When the pipe started vibrating on the ground, she was sure of it. It wasn't the first she had seen him pull a sparring object to himself during a demonstration. He was clearly waiting for her to make her move. But he was a fool if he thought she was still as slow as she once was. They had been through a lot since their last sparing exercises several months ago. Your Sin is that of Anger and Wrath. This will be the easiest passion to draw upon in your time of need. It will define your life and your path as a Sith. The girl had no idea what Lady Sirena meant. So she just let all her frustration and anger out, imagining that Roshan was that blue-eye Darth Arrogant and she was about to exact her revenge on that snob. Springing from her seat, Aliss leaped through the air and shifted her heels sideways, allowing the friction to slow her momentum as she slid up to the one pipe that was not shaking. Then, in almost one fluid motion, Aliss swiped the pipe from off of the ground and launched her attack at Lord Roshan with all her anger and might and force she could muster. She was determined to beat the pipe that Roshan was inevitably pulling to himself the moment he saw her grab the other. She'd show Lady Sirena and Lord Roshan force! Her boots stomped against the metal floor of the cargo bay only three times before she vaulted herself into the air. She was surely a crazy sight to see as the girl came screaming across the room, both literally and figurately, with her pipe cocked and ready. Everything happened so fast but it almost felt like the world was moving in slow motion for a split second or two. She could see Roshan's eyes and his expression. It was almost as if he was so focused on his pipe that he didn't even see her coming. As he shifted his arm to the side, Aliss was almost certain he was going to attempt to knock her away but he was too early -- far too early -- and had opened himself up for her "kill shot." Roshan would now be introduced to the "force that flows through these object" and she'd be the winner of today's exercise. No stupid Darth would be calling her "just plain weak" anymore! WHACK! The pipe was a bit unwieldy for someone of her size and physical strength but Aliss was, nevertheless, impressed by the amount of momentum she was able to put into her swing. The Cathar's fur might have cushioned it ever so slightly, but the way his eyes seemed to roll back in his head, she felt confident that he wasn't going to be bouncing right back up after a hit like that. This was good because she had lost a hold of the pipe during the impact and she'd certainly need to recover it before she'd be declared the victor. Riding Roshan to the ground, Aliss cushioned her fall with his chest before rolling off and quickly regathering her pipe. Then outstretching it towards Roshan's neck, the girl giddily looked back at Lady Sirena. She couldn't believe she had beaten Roshan's pull! She'd never-ever-ever beaten Roshan before. Ever. Maybe there was something to this anger and magic vision gel and "holy croms" collecting after all! "I win! I win!" She exclaimed, almost ready to jump into the air if she hasn't needed to keep the pipe at Roshan's throat to prove her supremacy. Of course, in her excitement the girl didn't notice the Cathar's unconscious state, the blood on the side of her pipe, or the blood rolling down the side of his head from where she had blasted him. She was too busy taking in the accomplishment of her harnessing of her force like Lady Sirena had asked them to. ___ &
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  11. Alrighty, first ruling, what could possibly go wrong? First, I want to congratulate both of you. This was an excellently written duel, one that on my first read through had already sucked me in. You both did an excellent job of detailing your surroundings and the effects the had on your characters. In addition, you both expertly handled injuries from previous duels, making it clear that they were there, and no, they weren't just fluff. Multiple times one of your characters would try something or think of something that didn't or wouldn't work due to present injuries and battle damage, as well as fully utilizing what remained of their kits very effectively. Well done. The only glaring errors in this duel comes from Blimp, firing three concussion rockets even though in his last dueled he emptied his reserves. There were no mentions of a restock or a reload, raising the question of where the rockets came from, and Terra's character sheet being edited before we could confirm that one of her NPCs was in fact kitted with a glop grenade (This is more forgivable, as the rebels came with the express intent to capture the enemy, and he could have just as easily picked one up from an unaffiliated rebel corpse and noone would have batted an eye, whereas finding three miniature concussion rockets on a pirate is considerably more jarring an idea). The takeaway from these is to A) Be mindful of what you have written on your sheet, and B) To be mindful that mods need the info as well When it came to taking new damage, however, I think Terra handled it more effectively. None of Blimp's attacks were useless. Each one, even if it didn't connect, was used by Terra to describe how she came to be in her current location, and damage was assigned accordingly. Terra only made three attacks the Blimp could respond to due to the formatting of the duel, and two of those were disregarded entirely by Blimp. Her opening flurry of shots were described as harmlessly bouncing off of his armor and the surroundings, and then again in the next post when she opened fire again. In the final two posts of the duel, both characters lose important parts of their kits. First, Blimp loses his armor, severely limiting his capabilities. Next, Terra loses her connection to Hades, which she'd been relying heavily on for the prior duel as well as the current one. The duel ends with both of them in the dark, stripped of their fancy tech and weapons, and left to duel it out with regular weapons and the naked eye. For Blimp, he's on the ground, his leg stuck in his armor, his mobility and positioning easily the more disadvantageous of the two. Terra, despite her injuries, is left standing, firing as an opponent that is for the most part, immobilized. This was a very close duel, and one that I'm glad will be my first ruling. But in the end, Terra's positioning and the rockets from Blimp mean that Terra is victorious over Blimp The next post is Terra's. Once again, I'd like to congratulate you both for an excellently written duel. For people that love Star Wars even without all the laser sword wizards running around, this is an excellent piece of storytelling that I look forward to seeing more of in the future!
    1 point
  12. Force Blast AKA: Infinite Hatred Force Blast is one of the purest manifestations of the Dark Side a Sith has available to them. Commonly mistaken to be exclusive to sorcerers, this technique can be used by any Sith, though it bears risk when used by amateurs or the careless. The technique of Force Blast itself is deceptively simple. By distilling their intense hatred directly into the Force and out of their hands, the user creates a surge of visible, corrosive energy appx. 6 ft in diameter that burns through inanimate matter and flesh alike. This can either be released in a single, powerful burst or a sustained stream, usually extending 10 - 15 feet. While not usually lethal in quick bursts, the caustic power begins to break down any material subjected to it, leaving flesh painfully burned, armor deteriorated, and the mind assaulted by screams of pure hate. Wielders of this power are known to use it to burn through walls and even blast doors given enough time. However, despite being relatively simple to conjure, the power proves difficult to wield. An apprentice or amateur Force-user trying to wield this technique will almost certainly fail to contain the power and severely burn their hand(s) for a single, brief blast. A sustained surge can leave their arms black and useless, and if used for too long or too often can result in their flesh and bone crumbling to ash. A Sith Lord skilled in the technique would have better control, but sustained use would still see their hands and arms damaged more and more with each second. Only true masters of the Dark Side, cultivated vessels of hatred, have little to fear from using this ability. Since the ability requires the user to be deep within the Dark Side and overwhelmed by their own emotions, most don't feel this damage right away. Many who prefer lightsaber combat don’t see the handicap of damaged hands worth the inexorable destruction of the technique, and the power has a reputation among Sith duelists as being inferior to the more commonly used Force Lightning. Bolt of Hatred AKA: Sutta Chwituskak, Flung Spears Sorcerers, unsatisfied with the potential backlash of a Force Blast, developed this spell as a solution. By refining the destructive energy of their hatred with Sith magic, a sorcerer gathers the power into a small sphere which they can then fling at their enemies without fear of self injury. This also greatly extends the range. On the battlefield, sorcerers have been recorded projecting the deadly magic over 500 ft. into clusters of their enemies. The tradeoff to this control is that the energy, while just as corrosive and hateful, isn't nearly as widespread, each orb usually only the size of a fist. To make a comparison, if a Force Blast is a flamethrower, a Bolt of Hatred is a blaster. Focused, but limited. The spell itself is relatively straightforward for those with a gift for Dark Side magic, able to be cast with a hand gesture and an arcane word.
    1 point
  13. Following Sirena out of the room, Roshan remained rather silent on the way to their quarters. After they detoured to the hanger bay, Aliss was quite intrigued. She wasn't sure what Sirena was up to but she was eager to continue with her training. She had still not forgotten Master Helios, even if Roshan was right about her whole experience simply being the illusion of a trickster. Once the group had found a quiet location, Sirena motioned for them to sit. Aliss complied without hesitation, while Lord Roshan removed his mask before taking his seat. "How do you really feel about Lord Mavanger? Tell me everything. Do not hold back. Let your true thoughts be voiced without consequence." Aliss looked to Roshan, only to receive a raised eyebrow from the Cathar. She cleared her throat and turned back to Lady Sirena. "I think he likes to sound important. He's kind of rude, actually. He even gave me the meanest look for no reason! And opened by trying to insult me for no reason, too! He's lucky Lord Roshan held me back! I was just waiting for him to try something!" Aliss paused and looked over to Roshan, "Why didn't we put that arrogant windbag in his place?! On Ishvara you'd never let a human mouth off to us like that!" The Cathar raised his eyebrow even higher, "I don't know about that, Aliss. But perhaps that was my mistake. A Cathar can only have so many enemies before one more is too many." Aliss scrunched her face a little at the comment before looking to Sirena and rolling her eyes, "He's in one of those moods. Can I go back to my quarters? All he's going to do is ramble on and on and on and on. And maybe half of it will make any sense... if we are lucky!" Roshan broke into a bout of hearty laughter at the girl's unexpected whining, "Well, perhaps, child, you should learn to listen better." Hunching her shoulders forward, any excitement left on the girl's face disappeared. It was clear that she had surrendered to the inevitable lecture, conjecture, or ramblings that were to come. Lady Sirena had asked for him not to hold back so technically what was to come was all her fault. It was best not to fight it and just let him get it over with. "The truth is," Roshan began in a rather monotone and matter of fact way. "I like Darth Ravanger and am thrilled to be working with him. My hostile interaction with him was never with the intent to fight him. It was with the intent to manipulate him and reveal his character. My experiences on Carida make me very leery of those who treat slaves as toys or worthless property and disrespect them for the fun of it. He established himself early on as someone who thought very highly of himself and his own ability to form opinions of others out of thin air without making any actual effort to get to know us. It was amusing, to be sure." Roshan crossed his legs a little before continuing, "Of course, with such behavioral patterns set, is he to be just another Draken? Or worse yet, were we to follow a Lady Traya into battle? I refused to follow the likes of either of them to certain death. So it became immediately vital for me to know what type of man he was before we left. Not down the road or at the point in which it was too late and we were already as good as dead." "So I had to know, what is he made of?" Roshan continued as he uncrossed his legs. "I baited him to show his power. When it comes to killing an adversary, it is helpful to know what their go-to Force power is when they are under stress or pressed. It is also helpful to know what powers they have access to in general. If he was as arrogant as and as bent on showing off the vanity of his power over others as some Sith, the setting we were in had him in the prefect position to strike. He was surrounded by friends and surely felt himself superior to me. It's doubtful you would have stopped him unless he intended on killing me. Instead, the Sith Lord could have flexed his powers against someone he could 'easily' defeat and have felt a sense of fulfillment many weak-minded Sith revel in." Roshan's wandering eyes stopped for a moment and fixed firmly on Lady Sirena with a hint of excitement and satisfaction in them, "Instead, he showed himself to be a capable leader. He's not quite as capable as the giant, perhaps. He has a level of pride and possessive vanity that could lead us into situations where are margins of victory are dangerously slim because he overestimates his own prowess and expertise. Nevertheless, he does not seem to be so narcissistic that he would attack a potential ally to boost his own ego when threatened or to the point where he is unwilling to listen to those that disagree or even lash out against him. He's calm and level-headed enough to not be goaded or manipulated into a course of action easily, another trait that will serve us well if he's leading armies in battle." "So you like him, even though he's a jerk," Aliss irritatedly replied with almost a hint of anger mixed with jealousy in her voice, momentarily interrupting Roshan's train of thought. Roshan shrugged, "Like him? We don't agree on everything. He is young and brash in certain ways. Unnecessarily stubborn for his age. That can be used against him. But ultimately, I find him extremely prideful but not arrogant. A rare trait among Sith that will serve him well if we are to have success on this campaign without getting ourselves killed in the process. I was satisfied with our interaction so I stood down. Unless his actions change my assessment of his person and leadership over time, I am more than happy to follow him into battle and play the role of active observer for the time being." Aliss pressed her palms against her cheeks while her elbows rested against her thighs. She signed a little as Roshan finished. "What does that even mean?" "What does what mean, child? I was rather elaborately clear." "He's a jerk, Lady Sirena," Aliss sighed again, clearly fed up with the accolades being placed on this stranger who knew nothing and dared to call her weak and timid. "He thinks he's big and bad cuz he has a fancy title. And maybe he collected enough holy croms to get strong in the Force magic or whatever. But I bet without any Force powers, he's the one who would look weak and timid if he faced me!" Aliss let slip a giddy grin as she imagined punching Darth Mavanger right between where his stupid nose and his ugly, Ortolan-colored eyes met. She'd watch the blood gush from his nostrils as the tears reflexively streamed out of his eyes and in that moment of disorientation, she'd knee him as hard as she could in the balls just for good measure. He wouldn't be nearly so smug and condescending then. ___ &
    1 point
  14. The Sarlacc followed suit, plopping down much less gracefully on a log nearby his elder apprentice. He set his helmet on the ground beside him. Nodding his thanks to the young girl, he took his chunk of meat and tore into it with all the grace and respect of a spacer who had travelled the galaxy and knew enough to accept food when offered, but cared little for custom until he could learn it. If anything, the man felt more at home on the frontiers of space than he did back aboard the converted Ithorian herdship, Raka Nwul, their order called home. He listened intently as the woman who seemed in charge told of their people. This was what they had come for, to learn. The manipulation of the flames before them gave him pause. Clearly she was skilled. He listened to her words and watched as the images morphed and shifted endlessly, adding to her tale. Shooting a warm glance at Svata, the Sarlacc knew the Ryn was in his element. Stories, tales, and the regaling of histories was something that certainly played to Svata's strengths. Still, he could feel the darkness there. It echoed softly, even from the fire. It was if the land itself had been saturated in it and they found themselves at but one of it’s cruxes of power. What had they stumbled into? Following Svata’s lead, he offered a warm greeting in stride. “I am called Sarlacc, for like the mysterious beast, I am here to sit and take in all that may be offered, that I might best serve as a protecting presence to any that take shelter beside me.” Looking from Camik to Telperiën, he added, “Hate is a powerful force. One that nearly destroyed our people. May we offer what assistance two humbled vagabonds may in restoring your world from the fires that destroyed not only it’s life, but essence?” Slowly he took another bite of grilled rancor as he surveilled those in the camp. There were som many questions to be asked; but if they could tender goodwill, there would be time for such things later. One did not need to know all or agree on all to lend a helping hand. If the Jensaarai knew one thing, it was how to serve. Still, for the moment, he would hide their presence still. The Jensaarai way.
    1 point
  15. Svata's eyes closed as Telperiën began her tale. Cross-legged, he sat down before the fire and bowed his head. Still as stone, he listened. If there was one thing he had learned in all his years, both before joining the Jensaarai and after, it was the weight of a story. His eyes opened as she finished. No hint of a smile crossed his face, and in an instant he seemed decades older. Wrinkles made shallow by his ever-present grin deepened. His hands, usually animated, now sat folded in his lap, gnarled and spotted. "You got it in one," he said quietly, bare speaking over the crackling of the fire. "Hate's a worm that burrows in your gut and leaves you screaming. Only a fool holds it in his hand and thinks he's the master." He looked out across the landscape, then up to the stars. "But anger makes fools of us all." As he lowered his head to meet the group, his old smile returned along with his spirit. "Sorry, hope we didn't interrupt. Figured we should stop by. Be polite and all." He flicked his hand to the side of his head in a brief, informal salute. "Svata. Don't really have any other name worth getting excited about."
    1 point
  16. Mordecai sneered at Durose. It was one thing to challenge one's ideals, but it was another to disrespect one's authority before his council. "If you would take a moment to take in the room, you would see that I surround myself with capable leaders and officers more experienced than I. I understand the requirement for those who would question my actions. These are warriors and tacticians who have earned my respect in the battle behind us. You, however, have not. You are an apprentice, one whom to my knowledge has never fought in a battle before. And yet you not only rebuke my decisions, but you question my very character without so much as thinking about why I would bother having this many present in my war room if not to heed their advice." The kneeling bothered him. He was not one of the Sith who required those around him to kneel. His own apprentice had only been made to kneel once, as a right of passage. "Stand. If I strike you down it will be in single combat, not while you are on your knees like a child waiting to be punished. You are right, presentation does matter. But you have not been to the battlefield. The slave is not an ally. It is an enemy, to be broken and shaped into a tool for proper use. It harbors hatred, which I will use. But it is not ready to be considered a person yet. And thus, it's legacy is the iron sands of Korriban, and it will fight for everything it has. The rags are a gift to preserve its dignity." He glanced at Kahla. Wisely, she'd stayed out of the fray. For now. "You need but only ask my apprentice, or the good Captain Maran how I treat those under my command. But you didn't. You didn't inspect, or ask questions. You only spoke, regardless of the truth evident around you. Is it not you who has shown hubris here, thinking yourself so right and so infallible that you assume a Sith with not only a higher title, but more experience than you, is less intelligent? Less capable of exerting his will?" As he spoke, he motioned to the cloaked figure who was staying on the sidelines, and then to an officer present at the table. Kahla had only been his apprentice for a few months, and yet she already understood his design. His initial judgement of her had been too fast, though she was capable by his hand and his training alone. The Captain, on the other hand, had been with him for nearly a year, and what had started as a professional relationship had grown more akin to a friendship. The Captain had schooled him in the art of warfare and tactics, and in return Mordecai had given him a voice among his closest advisors. Whereas before, Mordecai had forbidden him from taking command of the ship and his fleet, he was currently the only officer that was trusted with such matters. "There is a fine line, Durose, between voicing your opposition, and disrespecting your leaders. You'd be best to learn where it lay."
    1 point
  17. Ryu found himself in a dark room, laying on the floor in the fetal position. It was unclear how long he had been there, but it felt like weeks. His eye stared unblinking into inky blackness, his mind filled with an equally empty catatonic void. In the distance he spotted a man who seemed to appear under a freshly activated spotlight. Ryu recognized him, though he was covered in a mask and black robes.immediately as Exodus. "Exodus..." Ryu croaked with a dry voice, a vague sense of hopefulness in the name. He got up slowly, and began approach the lone man, when two more lights clicked on near him. Under them were two more men, One was white White haired in, in the robes of the Krath, the other in plate armor. "Dagon... And Tethyn!" Ryu quickened his pace, though it did not seem to make his approach any faster. More lights kicked on, revealing more black robed figures. "Abaddon... Jareth... Raynuk... Karma... Furion..." Ryu stopped as the motionless figures seemed to surround him. Suddenly furious disdainful voice erupted from behind Exodus's mask. "TRAITOR." Ryu hesitated, trying to recall the events that had brought him here. It was hazy now. He could barely remember anything after boarding the Goliath. "FAILURE." Echoed Dagon's voice. "DESERTER." Added Tethyn. "PATHETIC." "NAIVE" "WEAKLING." "INCOMPETENT" "FOOL." Each figure added recrimination to fray. Ryu clutched his head, trying to process the guilt he felt. Armiena appeared just next to Exodus adding her own judgement. "Monster." Finally, they all cried out once more, in unison. "BETRAYER" And with that, they all burst into flames. He watched the robes on the figures around him be peeled away by fire, exposing charred flesh which quickly erodeded their bodies. They repeated, chanting now. "BETRAYER. BETRAYER. BETRAYER. BETRAYER." Exodus stepped forward, extending a hand with apparent intent to choke Ryu out, but by the time it reached his neck, they were just blackened bones that gripped him. "Betrayer...." ------ Ryu woke up on an operating table, his arms and legs tied down, with a medical droid elbow deep in his open gaping chest cavity. It's droning mechanical voice gave kurt instructions. "Remain calm. You have not been authorized for anesthesia. Increases to your heart rate will accelerate your bleeding out." Ryu screamed in horror as he felt the mechanical arms digging through his intestines and applying crude patches to his exposed organs. He tried to break free, but found himself helpless to do anything but watch as minutes turned into hours, as droid rearranged his insides and shot cauterizing lasers at internal wounds. When it finished with his body cavity, it went on to probe his limbs, stabbing him with narrow mechanical claws, which reemerged seconds layer holding pieces of shrapnel, sealing the wound again before dropping the piece into an alarming full tray. When the droid went for the final piece, it stabbed directly toward his heart, sinking between his ribs. He felt the mechanical glance his heart, a sickening pain that made him nearly vomit. When it emerged, it dropped a silver crystal above the pile. Between his screams he stared at the jagged blood covered crystal, watching as instead of landing atop the other bits of shrapnel, it flew into his palm. He gripped it tightly as the last wound was sealed, and the droid said its final report. "Five Major hemorrhages sealed. Twenty-seven minor hemorrhages sealed. Seventeen broken bones fused. Thirty fractures patched. Seventy pieces of shrapnel extracted, most apparently from old injuries. One stock mechanical arm installed. Arkanian life form stabilized. You will live." The droid hovered into a corner, then was sucked down a chute to disappear from the room. The restraints released, leaving Ryu to shrink into the fetal position while quivering in pain. He wanted to get off the table, but he lacked the strength to. Instead he stared into the crystal, washed in maddening agony. In his mind he could still hear Exodus's voice, echoing his nightmare. Betrayer...
    1 point
  18. Non-existence dissolved into a wave of emotions, warm and intimate, as if to say “At last, you have come home”. A tension that she hadn’t realized had been building up had finally been released, and desperation was replaced with effulgent joy. Even though she no longer had eyes to feel heavy, there was a gossamer blanket of fulfillment that enticed her to drift off, to unravel into her base elements. She could feel the infinite collective of everyone that had come before her, reunited into a single divine prime. There was no pain here, no sense of loss or regret or sadness. All that accepted the light, even in their last moments, were welcome here. There was no judgement to be passed, no consequence for malignant deeds and choices. Once she had seen the Force as an entity balanced between Light and Dark, each equally powerful and necessary as the foundation of existence. Here though, the truth was laid bare. There was the will of the Force, and there were those that challenged its wisdom. The Force was a naive idealist, espousing tolerance over justice, acceptance over action. There was no Dark Side of the Force, just people who refused to accept the road that the Force all herded them onto. Some of them were wicked, but others rebelled against Force’s indifference to the cruelty and humiliation that they had been subjected to throughout their lives. Apathy was not a resolution or a balm to the wounds of the victimized, and in time the wounds festered. The Force had gone all in on this noble notion of universal harmony and togetherness, using its agents to crush anyone that opposed it. How many lives were broken or erased, worlds shattered and spoiled, just to uphold this status quo? Peace is a lie, she understood this now beyond just the ideas of inner peace or political peace. If Heaven was the sacrifice of self to bolster a shared lie that in the end nothing truly mattered as long as you agreed to ignore the wrongs done to you, then the Force wasn’t just misguided about the nature of evil, it was complicit. There needed to be a cost. There needed to be punishment. There needed to be vengeance. There needed to be a devil to balance the scales and suffer the self righteous and the hypocritical. It was a pleasant fiction, the dream that the Force was trying to lull everyone into, but her eyes were open. She could not stand idly by as the galaxy was abandoned to moral equivocation by both the mortal and the divine. She would be the villain that the weak and the wounded needed. She would rebel. She tore herself away from the embrace of the Light, from comfort and joy, and severed herself from its touch. Her chains were broken. In her more feverish and frenzied thoughts she had dreamed of arriving at this place, of becoming a righteous devil. She knew that it in many ways meant self annihilation, leaving behind both old desires and the foolish belief that she could maintain absolute control over her course through existence. She screamed wordlessly at the infinite prime sprawled out before her, an expression of rage, abandonment, and misery. It didn’t seem to notice her. She wondered if the Force even could understand those emotions. It would be made to understand them. Turning back towards the physical world, she saw a field of indigo stars peppering a white void, dark beacons of discontent that called out to her. Time and distance fluctuated with the inconsistency of dream logic, until she found herself walking upon familiar ground that she had never been to. She had no body, but she still tread forward on the muddy earth into the marsh water, following the siren song of regret. There was a seed planted here. Beneath the frigid, stagnant swamp, the muck and the mire had claimed many bodies. This was once a dumping ground for discarded dolls and other toys that used to belong to unsavory men. Men who did things, unspeakable things, to the people they lured away from family and home. She laid down in someone else’s grave and made it her own. She wrapped the bones in the memories of flesh and sinew, weaving a simulacra of life so that she could find some measure of function from the remains. It felt like wearing a vacsuit that somebody else had just taken off, unfamiliar and off putting. She forced herself upwards, ploughing through the cool wet mud and silt until it gave way to colder bog water. Temperature was a thing that she was aware of on some level, but it no longer carried with it the same urgency as when she was alive. She didn’t really know what she was now. She certainly wasn’t alive, but she also far too present to be dead. It was as if she had renounced the whole business of living and dying altogether, and had come back to the physical plane as something that simply ticked the box next to the word “other”. There was another presence inside of her, the tattered spiritual remnants of her new ride’s former owner. On the marshy bank, Darth Nyrys vomited up the water and filth inside of her, and looked at her reflection in the water. It was hideous, a mess of bone, deteriorated flesh, and severed muscle. That wouldn’t do at all. She plucked a memory from the wraith’s echoes, and put it on like a mask. She was prettying herself up in the shuttle’s refresher room, about to meet the man of her dreams. It had taken all of her savings to book the trip, but she had been assured that she would be taken care of when she arrived. No more stupid traditions or rituals, just partying and living an actual life in a real city. Sorry it didn’t work out for you, girlie. The earnest stupidity of young love made for quite the exceptional face. Even better, she was a cathar again. She headed towards the lights of a nearby city and the opportunities that it promised. It was his city, and as damaging to her pride as it would be, she needed to report the circumstances of her failure to the Sith. What she encountered was unlike anything that her training had prepared her for, a rabid Jedi with the power to burn away the darkness. She also found herself thinking about Ca’aran. Her own experience with death had revealed how seductive the idea of final resolution could be, and she realized that he hadn’t been slighting her with what he had said. He ought to know that heaven was bullshit and that he was way better off alive. She carried some ghosts of her own, and… She hadn’t reached the city limits yet, but a walled building loomed before her, despite being partially submerged in the swamp. It spoke to her with a strange kind of decrepit majesty, whispers from the rot and the ruin of misery, betrayal, and rage. Kindred spirits. She crept inside, moving quietly more so that she could observe the place without her presence disturbing it than any sort of fear. The raw, bloody emotions that she felt here were so much more genuine than what had been paraded in front of her when she had died. The mansion had clearly once belonged to a family of great importance, and was adorned with finery, elegant baubles, and other trappings of wealth and power, or at least the rotted and tarnished remnants of them. She let the place wash over her, permeating her bones with dismal energy, until it was a part of her. The pathos here was so intoxicating that her body wanted to writhe as the thick syrupy vibes washed over her in unctuous waves that sent tremors through her. Following the wisps of abandoned memories, she headed to the daughter’s suite in the upper east wing of the home, feeling the weight of eyes that she could not see upon her. The dead that clung to this place did not seem to know what to make of her. They would learn in time. There was enough here in the mildewed closet to assemble a workable if rather outdated outfit. She sat down at a dust sheathed vanity and looked at the monster in the mirror. There was a time that this face would have outraged her, but she didn’t need to submit to misfortune anymore. She tugged on pieces of memory soaked into the vanity and its mirror until she had pried enough strands loose to weave them into a glamour, reinforcing what she had already made to conceal herself with. There was power in the way that we remembered the dead, and like any other power, it could be seized for one’s own use. She didn’t make herself look beautiful though, that wasn’t part of the plan that was forming in her head. She made herself look hungry, desperate, and manic, the kind of broken that scared off the sensible ones. The kind of sensual crazy that was often found in stories about demons and witches that drove men who thought that they were above knowing better into ruin. She went on to start threading the manor with the same energy. Houses were a lot like people, with their own identities and personalities. Houses remembered, houses ached, and sometimes houses wept. But houses also craved to used, to fulfill their purpose even if they were too sick and insane to properly care for the people within them. To that end, just like people, houses could lie. They could pretend to be stable, and warm, and clean. They could whisper anything in your ear if they thought it would get you to pass through their threshold, to stay a little while longer. Of course the lies could only be sustained for so long, but first impressions and all that. She found an old barely functional comm unit, state of the art for its time but laughably archaic by today’s standards, in the study where it took up an entire wall. She paid no mind to the desiccated body hanging in the corner of the room as she sent her message. He would most likely come, after all she had vouched for him when the Dark Lord was ready to express his displeasure.
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  19. Darth Awenydd slipped through the air, letting the breeze carry her in her leap, fueling her flight with the pain of her seared flesh. She had rarely felt so alive as she did now. From the scorched and cracked flesh of her arm, little wisps of smoke curled and then was carried away by her next jump. The Hunter could feel the pain pumping in her heart, fueling the fire within, which in turn tuned her senses towards the hunt. She felt bestial, a predator with no fear at the top of the food-chain. She smiled, her lips twisting away from a fiery visage of teeth and flicking tongue. There was something deeper within her that stirred with the flames, even beyond the primal nature of a predator, something new. ‘ Before her, the dunes parted, showing two shuttlecraft surrounded by milling people. Their scent was on the seabreeze, the astringent odor of thuggish masculinity mixed with the sweetness of glitterstim. Drug smugglers. Almost forty in number. The Sith Lord let out a viperous hiss, letting her predatory nature flow through the force to touch her apprentice. She turned her body in mid-flight, letting her body contort into a dancer’s pirouette as she rushed towards the crowd of prey. ((Now is a good time to experiment with your combat writing, but do not be too OP. Find a way to be epic but controlled. Don’t overdo it. Find your balance. Kill/Disable only a handful, and we will work on counter-NFU tactics))
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  20. “No,” Roene said, a wan smile creasing the edges of his weary face. Though both ideas bore considerable merit -- long walks amidst the endless cosmos, unraveling depths of the force that no master had ever dreamed of; or standing guard as a bulwark for Dathomir and all those who would corrupt it -- that was not his purpose. He had a mission. And although part of his mind tugged at the hem of his worn brown robes, begging for him to stay, ironically, the stubborn willful edge of Roene’s thoughts brought him back to the task at hand. Darex’s orders rang clear in his mind as if he’d received them mere moments ago. But it hadn’t been moments ago. A month had passed. What had happened in that time? Was Dashel still on Mon Cal? Did Darex have a new direction for the Jedi? Questions cobbled themselves together in front of Roene like the pieces of so many jigsaw puzzles. He looked to the deep calluses of his right hand, weighing the possibilities. He knew where a lot of the edge pieces fit together. But, once he found a solid foundation, every new piece of information sought to break the only stability he had. He examined the scorched birch of his wooden left arm and found it more forgiving than he’d initially assumed. The wood was a bit more brittle than the oak it had replaced, but it was a tolerable change. Tyue was still with the Jedi, Dashel was force knows where, his people were plagued, and his task was done. What did that leave him with? “First things first,” Roene commented, getting to his feet. “I have a question to ask and a call to make.” The Cerean slowly began walking back to the ship, preparing a comm to Darex and nodding for Arleigh to follow. “The question is: would you like to be my padawan learner?” The Cerean’s coned pate was matted with sweat, but a mischievous glimmer touched the pale blue of his eyes.
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  21. "No. I did not witness it, but it's stories touched my ears." Sirena spoke, her gaze fixated on Roshan standing before her, the towering Cathar's size difference meaning little in the grand scheme of things. "Especially of Nurgle, who along with his Alcazarin's, shed his power and form to become Darth Dominus in attempt to overthrow Lady Dominique and take the title of Dark Lord. And in doing so, lost himself to Hell." "I can see this is getting us nowhere, this philosophical debate pointless. You are blind child, and now I must show you the truth." Sirena spoke with a disheartened sigh, her gaze of blue flames intensifying. "Heed my words pupil, for they are the only truth you need to concern yourself with. Let them shed your past and light your future, for the ways of old are dead, and we make our reality what we will." The Force around Sirena began to swirl, intensifying as her gaze firmed, the air around the growing cold. Sirena fought against the cold, her breath slowing as the air escaping fogged, her skin riddled with the standing of her fair hair as bumps rose across her form. And then her voice and presence became frozen to all emotions. In that moment, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "True power resides in us all, whether we believe ourselves to be chosen. Remember the Code of our forefathers." "Peace is a lie, There is only Passion." Sirena spoke as she closed off her heart with a well aimed jab of her finger to the center of her pelvic, letting her passion disappear completely from her presence in the Force. "Passion is the foundation of Life and Evolution, the key to feel and what separates us from the Artificial. Without it, we are empty vessels with no will of our own." "Through Passion, I gain Strength." Sirena continued, this time closing off the presence of her soul with a well aimed jab of her finger to her stomach, a numbing echo rippling through the flow of the Force. "Passion is our greatest sin, and without it and our will, we have no need for strength. To use our passion to fuel us, we gain the strength to progress and evolve. Every living thing has this, whether they're sentient or not. Even the weakest of animals hunger and strive for it." "Through Strength, I gain Power." Sirena said, this time closing off her presence in the Force with a well aimed jab to the sternum, the flow around her following a more natural stream. "Without the passion to strive for strength, we cannot taste power. For power is a necessary step in our evolution, to bring to fruition our desires and our dreams. These are the basic building blocks of any living being and civilization. Power corrupts absolute, but only if the weak hold it over the strong. Only if the blessed hold it over their lessers. This is where evolution or destruction happens, dependent on those who wields the Power. Share it, and you prosper. Horde it, and others will take it, leaving you defenseless." By now, Sirena could see wobbling slightly from side to side, the flow of her presence blocked. She waivered in her determination, and looked weak from the jabs, her skin paler and her eyes bloodshot. And though she was in pain, she still smirked as she gazed at Roshan. He was about to learn an invaluable lesson. "Through Power, I gain Victory." Sirena struggled to continue, taking both hands and jabbing at each side of her throat, a void in the Force erupting all around them as if the Force beaconed to stay away from her form like a stone thrown into a pond. "We are only as strong as our weakest link, even in our followers and in our pupils. This is why you must let go of the past and embrace what has become. Equality is stronger than division." "Through Victory, my Chains are Broken." Sirena spoke through gasping breaths, landing a final jab to her forehead, and causing her to almost fall backwards as she caught herself. "By accepting that we are merely a glimmer in the sands of time, accepting that our moments are fleeting and repetitive across Generations and Millennia, we can open our minds to true power. Where the Sith of Old failed were in their closed minds, unable to see out of selfishness, they doomed themselves to prison that is the afterlife, whether bound to Hell or to Body. Opening your being to the ideal of equality only ensures your true immortality, both in legend and in minds of those who follow." "The Force shall free me." Sirena spoke, stumbling backwards across the hangar, her skin aflame with heat and sweat, and her lips, nails, and nostrils blue. After she reached a safe distance away, offering her hand for Roshan to stay back and any others in proximity, she fell to her knees. "Now watch the hording of the Old Ways for what they are." The Force that had strayed from her form, that lingered at the edge of her voided presence, came crashing down around her. In that moment, everything around her, from containers to weapons, all flew outwards away from her in a torrent of power as the Force returned to her body. Sirena screamed in agony, it's ripple echoing throughout the ship as her form fell to the floor limp, every Bone in her body broken from the crushing of that which she held at Bay. Blood trickled from her lips, nose, and eyes as color returned and her lungs gasped for air as she coughed up what blood drained in her throat. In that moment, her mortality was becoming slimmer by the moment.
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