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  1. The order to to dispose of the locals was a welcome one. Even as Akheron took care of his share, Solus charged into action. Momentum carried him too quickly however, and at one point he fell forwards. A cry of startlement started to escape his voice box when suddenly he adjusted. His arms went forward and caught grip with the ground. His leg joints bent almost unnaturally far, farther then any organic kneecap would allow. Solus, a piece of cobbled together machinery, skitterred along the ground almost like some kind of rapid insect. Somewhere between instict and thought, the Shard maneuvered his body with rapid movements, crawling and dashing wildly. His neck twisted slightly, giving him a better view of his targets. The guide looked horrified. The woman had already broken into a mad sprint for safety from the horrifying thing. The guide was the first to die. Solus didn’t waste time with his blade. The guide’s back was turned, and made it easy for Solus to right himself onto his feet, leap forward, and stab through the chest cavity. Blood stuck his rusty arm like sticky grease. The woman was much farther away. Solus sighed and reached out with the bloody arm and focused. This place, with all the darkness and death, made the Impossible Geometries sluggish and murky. The woman’s bright, pulsating shapes were simple to pinpoint. A reach through the shapes. A wrapping of anger and envy around the woman’s shapes. She fell forwards, and screamed as she was dragged back to where the shard was. If Solus could have, he would have grinned. He needed this. He needed some catharsis after his defeat on Nar Shaddaa, even if it was just a helpless innocent. Now, the woman was at his feet. With one foot planted firmly on the back, Solus reached down and plunged one of his gripping hands into her eye. True, he didn’t have his scomp link, but he had learned that he needed to think outside the box with such matters. Surely he could drain the information he wanted without that crude instrument, even above the woman’s screamings of pain and agony. Solus came back to the group, this time on two legs instead of four. “It seems that there have been disappearances here…” Solus commented. As he spoke, he shook his head slightly, as if sorting through a variety of images on a datapad. “People here have been vanishing. People wander here to see the crater, and never come back. That woman hired the guide to find a loved one. And I felt something…” Solus stopped. He looked at the necromancer then back at Akheron. “I think we all felt it. There’s something powerful here. Something…. Grand. Ooh ho ho, master I feel excited. I haven’t felt something like this since my ascension. Or when you took me as your apprentice. Something powerful beckons. Perhaps the Fanged God brought us here for something more then what we expected. “Master, may I search ahead? I have developed far more than what I was in Naboo’s waters. Let me prove myself to both of you and explore a path.” "A path..."
    2 points
  2. Rose did not much care for whatever religious freedoms or desires the monks had to express, but she followed until they had gotten to the hoverseld. To go any further in the disguise would require a separation from the Tusken so it was best to put the charade to rest. They had gotten through the front doors and into the lower levels. Now it was time for them both to do what they did best. Feigning reaching for the keys to the Tuskens cuffs, she whipped out her hatchet and buried it in the brain of the Monk. Cutting through skull and matter with the ease of long training and a distinct sense of frustration. She held the body close to the pair of them until the shuddering stopped, dropping the lifeless body into the hoverseld instead. She pointed the ax to the labour droids. Warning them to stay silent as she and the Tusken prepared for their assault to rescue their ratty friend.
    2 points
  3. Vorin vs Charlemagne Vorin, you did an excellent job balancing the distance and the manic intimacy of Cold Mind, with my one criticism being that you ought to put Cold Mind on your sheet as a courtesy to opponents and mods. Charlemagne, there are a couple of issues that I saw on your side of the duel. First off, in your second post you pretty clearly show Charlemagne tapping into the Dark Side, despite being an Imperial Knight. The post makes reference to her having done this in the past, and somehow having found a way to do it without having any consequences. First of all, no. Second, these are the kinds of important events that absolutely should not be done in backstory that isn’t even mentioned until the duel. The story that staff will use to validate your characters’ actions is the story that is told on the site, not any headcanon that only you have access to. The other thing that I want to address is the choice to go unconscious at the end of your last post. That alone in many cases is enough to lose a duel, and I am hard pressed to think of when it would be a good move. At the end of the day, duel posts need to make a convincing argument for a character’s victory, and this choice did more for Vorin’s case than Charlemagne’s. Duel Outcome: Vorin wins
    2 points
  4. Inflamed and gasping Bared and grasping Hollowed and collapsing collapsing… The deceitful caress of transient existence brought searing agony to a weary shell. Anger - a hand - dragged the spirit from its rest. Failure - a reminder - tore wontanly, reveling in every savory torment; Pain - a needle - wove her to the coil that had shuffled her; The Force - a shackle - condemned her to persist… The spark of reconstruction was mysterious. Though ceaseless speculation drew allusions to the shame and regret that she’d left behind, the tethers of life were never so predictable. Whether they wilted impulsively before the fateful bloom, or grappled desperately, clinging to the dying roots to spite a natural end. No one could afford an answer. Wisdom was bankrupt and logic a fragile lie. The twi’lek’s life was gone. It was snuffed by a merciless fighter that claimed her mortality with sensual abandon. How then? And why? Why? Why did she live? A choked cry was her only response. Her strangled breaths were shameful. Her existence was shameful. What was she? Who was she? Was she Lallu? The woman doomed to chase a ghost forever with heartache as her only reward? Was she Keenava? A woman who traded a slave master for a Sith master? Could she truly persist on her own, and what cruel fate would bind her to existence when every step was pain? The sharp thwack of something hard hitting a wall, the pounding throb singing at her temple, and the brush of cold steel against her wrists shook her from her reverie. The air was stale, clinging to her dry tongue. Her muscles were seizing, contracting without cue, and sweat beaded her obsidian brow. Foreign yet familiar scars stung upon her back and upon her bound wrists. Her vision was blurry, clouded by an eyelid that refused to open. Something was dry there. Blood? The distinct metallic smell was everywhere, but gone was the pool she’d drowned in. The red dust of Korriban was gone, and in its place was sand. Where there wasn’t blood, there was sand. She could breathe, though each inhalation stabbed knives into the deep tissue of her lungs, and each exhalation was followed by wracking coughs, which sent more knives deep into her chest. Living was no blessing. Then again, when was it? Everything she’d done was for someone else. And everything ended with pain. Whether it was Exodus, Furion, her father, or slavers. She hadn’t done anything for herself. Was there even a self left? Or had Ailbasi taken that too? The thought of Ailbasi drew a hiss from Keenava’s clenched teeth. She didn’t want to remember what happened. She was content to let everything lie. Anger meant thoughts of revenge. Anger meant pain, it meant rage, and it meant that she was tearing herself up from the inside out. And yet, the irony of it all, was that it was all her fault; the fight, the failure, the death, the shame. Everything was her fault. She could try to blame. But she knew better, and blame did nothing. It was empty; worse than empty. Blame meant negligence and ignorance. It would get her nowhere. If she had anything in all of this, it was time; whatever good that was. She also possessed an uncommon clarity, which was odd, given her history with insanity. Though, due to her current state, clarity did little to suffuse the dense murk that sat like a rock on her memories. Visions of slinky garments, metal clinging to her hips, and a thousand eyes groping at her from the darkness tore through her head as she tried to fill in gaps. Suddenly, the cold steel made sense. The outline of her cell was both immediately familiar and uncomfortably clear as she was pulled roughly from the floor and pushed, slamming her knees to the ground. Her face contorted briefly, instinctively. The lack of pain, the scrapes and bruises on her knees, the indentations on the stone, and her ease of motion suggested this was a common routine, though she couldn’t remember it. “Up” It was the only word she heard before white hot blinded her. The thin flesh of her back threatened to break as a single strip of fire raced across it. “Ten lashes for you. That’s what you get for falling on stage and screaming. Our clients don’t need skittish dancing girls.” His voice - though Keenava couldn’t understand why she knew his gender - was garbly and rough. It sounded as if he was gurgling small rocks, which made it hard to understand and very unpleasant. When she didn’t cry out, he continued. In fact, he didn’t pay her much attention other than to send a lance of pain to bite her back every few seconds. What then would she do? What then should she do? Did it matter? Of course it matters! You’re Keenava Ootunavi! You’re a Sith! You don’t bow to spittle or bend to slavers. Show him! Oh- Before she could counter, her legs flexed, rotated, and she was behind the man with the cold metal chains of her bindings pressed tightly against the walls of his larynx. Blood rushed to her head as her legs reached full extension. And, despite the signs of abuse that littered her body, and the weariness that bit at her mind, the muscles of her arm were tight and controlled. He answered her surprising maneuver with gasps. His arms flailed - whip discarded - trying in vain to wrench the small twi’lek’s form off of her feet, but her form did not budge. His hands occasionally found purchase, scraping at the flesh of her face, but she continued to remain adamant. Oh great, the head voices are back. But instead of the cruel voice that bid her to attack, the next voice she heard was soft, even-handed, and if possible… sweet? Don’t kill him. We need to escape, but we don’t need to kill. We? Trust me. The voice was simple. It carried something akin to concern. Though she couldn’t remember the cadence or weight of her mother’s voice, it reminded her of the feeling. Who are you? We don’t have time for that. Escape now, explain later. Fair enough. With one closed eye, Keenava’s vision was a dream-like blur as she took in her surroundings for what seemed like the first time. Her victim was a human. He was a few inches taller than her and he smelled like the ass-end of a northbound Gammorean. His hair was mussed and he was grunting with continued exertion as his life began to dim. Keenava eased up slightly and allowed the man to renew his struggle. “Before I drop you, I want you to answer some questions. If you call out, I will crush your windpipe and leave you here for your superiors to find. Got it?” The man tried to nod, but Keenava’s arm was impeding his neck motion. “Good” Keenava eased up a little more and let a little air into the man’s lungs. He responded by renewing his struggle, grabbing at the chain and trying to pull downward in an attempt to throw Keenava over his shoulder. The twi’lek simply smiled and sat with both of her thumbs poised directly above the pressure points located at the base of the man’s skull. When he pulled downward, he pulled her thumbs into the grooves and applied pressure with each added bit of force. He attempted to cry out, but Keenava closed his cry to a gasp with her chains once more. This time she didn’t ease up. She waited approximately ten seconds until his eyes closed and his struggling stopped. Then she eased him to the floor of her cell. Well, I tried. She leaned down amid the protesting of her joints, and removed the ‘key ring’ from the guard’s belt. It was a small ring of cards that were held together by a small titanium latch. Keenava smiled a little to herself. I’ve got an idea. ~~ Thirty minutes later ~~ Keenava was at the head of a surge of slaves scrambling in a mass to escape from who knows where. She was still in a bad way. She was pretty sure some of her ribs were broken and she had nothing to her name anymore, but some part of her felt like this was the start of something new.
    2 points
  5. Watching the mass of rolling hateful ash pop from existence, was odd. On the one hand, her history as Furion's estranged right hand and Exodus' prodigal apprentice would beg retribution for the waylaid Sith spirit that sought power and freedom. But Keenava's newfound clarity brought a cold cynicism to the burning embers of passion that used to sear away any cogent thought. And any step she made back to that desperate and broken past was foolish and idiotic. But in her current mindset, knowing that she was given a new path to walk - a new destiny, as it were - she could only feel detached. A part of her was relieved, but she had no context for this. And still another part of her - a darker part - was wondering why she didn't just wander off into the desert; if persisting was really the best choice. “Greeting and meeting? Identify!” The words were abrupt and briefly disturbed her reverie. Keenava allowed herself too look up from the ground she didn't realize she'd been staring at, to view the scene that the cloud revealed when it flew away. And she was slightly surprised. There, in the center of it all, was a Jedi that had knelt to the ground; a circle of glass orbiting her fish-like form. And there was an imposing droid-like figure - the likely source of the blunt request - standing not three feet away; an old droid from the looks of it. She couldn't really tell make or model because she hadn't had a lot of experience with droids, but Keenava had seen some modern combat droids and this was not that. Its seemingly dim black photoreceptors were trained on her, and the hammer it clenched in its fists was still shedding metal pieces from what it'd just done. It had powered the hammer down but, though it was metal, Keenava could feel the implied threat of action if Keenava said anything that this droid didn't want to hear. She could only hope she knew what that was. No pressure right? "That's kind of a loaded question, if I'm honest." Keenava rasped, not realizing how much the sand in the air had ravaged her vocal chords. She coughed a little before continuing. "I am Keenava Ootunavi; former slave; former dancer Lallunia Kallemi; and former Sith Assassin that served directly under both Dark Lord Exodus and Darth Furion." She said her last words with absolutely no emotion. Defeated. Here was a Jedi that could likely tell if she was lying. Here was a droid that just 'erased' a force of evil from the dusty ball of rock they all stood on. And here she was: no crazy mask to hide behind, no clothes, no weapons, barely containing severe wounds on her back, and contending with sand in all sorts of uncomfortable places. She stood with her hands up, showing no sign of resistance. "That's what I was at least. As to who I am now... That's a much deeper question that I'm not sure I really know anymore."
    1 point
  6. As his apprentice finished off the interlopers, he felt a presence, one born of Darkness call out to them. One that felt ancient, timeless and unrelenting, yet dormant and awaiting a awakening. A spark to ignite the fire. But from just who or what it came from he did not yet know, he thought perhaps the necromancer might know. Most likely he did. He would soon see just what it was they sought. Another weapon perhaps for the Sith to wield and let them become stronger. He spoke, musing at Inmortos assertion, laughing at his description. To think that this was the same as the Realm of Chaos. He had been there...had seen it with his own eyes several times, the veil beyond death could not be described. At least not properly, he found it was more than just fire, more than ice. He found it to be both. A place where for every soul there was no rest, tortured constantly and forced to fight for survival against the wraith's who never rested, wraith's that when they caught you left a scarred the soul and left it's mark ever more. "Amusing that you think this describes the Realm Of Chaos, Kraft Inmortos. There is no comparison, believe me. I have seen it many times, witnessed its horrors and suffered first-hand at the wraith's of the damned that forever torment that place. In Death I found new meaning and purpose upon my rebirth by serving the Fanged God. It is both fire and ice I have found, fuelled by the rage and vengeance of those who refuse to submit, and the souls of those lost to build its structures. A place where there is no sleep, where your suffering and that of those around you are is endless. Only the strongest survive, those with the will to break through all seven gates. But I can see why you may make such a comparison, and I can feel it too. Someone or something calls to us from below. We shall soon see if that is for good or ill." By the tone of his voice, it was clear he spoke from experience and was relaying his personal incite into what he had witnessed. he wondered what his apprentice thought of it even as he spoke from truth, one that spoke of having walked the path of the dead and returned. Turning to Solus, he spoke more. "We shall see, proceed my apprentice but be on your guard. Where there is lack of light, use your other senses. Use the Darkness to illuminate the way, to lead you through and bring fear to any who resist and block our approach." With that he motioned for Solus to advance ahead of them, scouting a path. And in a way acting as bait to draw out those who might be in wait...he knew his apprentice likely guesses as much himself or hoped so. But he was trained for these situations, to adapt. Focusing his senses, especially his hearing...already naturally highly attuned and further improving upon it via the Force, Akheron listened, even as he looked ahead into the dark of the hole before them, a abyss into which they walking. Igniting his lightsaber, he lit the path in front of him while staying behind his apprentice. Letting him go further ahead.
    1 point
  7. Ruin glanced around at the Jedi’s command. There, exposed in the sand, the hilts lay. The dark clouds desperately wanted to kill the beings before they could do damage to the artifacts. Ruin laughed. He would do more then damage. Amongst the roaring and the blinding light of the Jedi’s use of the Force, Ruin jumped at the hilts and raised the hammer over his head, and then brought down hard. The crackling of red energy from the kybar crystal in the hammers head moved like the lines from a blaster. The moment the hammer’s head connected with the sabers was obvious. The shockwave generated echoed for miles in the desert. Sand erupted upwards and outwards around the sabers. If it weren’t for Ruin’s weight, he may have been thrown back by the force the hammer generated as well. The spirits screeched. Their aura began to fade as their hold to the material plane loosed. Ruin raised the hammer again. The sabers, broken into a few pieces, were not fully destroyed. Again, the terror droid smashed the things, his gears overclocking themselves to bring the maximum amount of destruction. This time, the shockwave was less focused, but the weapon did the trick. Nothing remained but small pieces and chippings. The spirits screeched one last time and exploded in a cloud of darkness and ash. The sand around where the Jedi’s light was a thin layer of melted glass. Peace entered the now quiet area like a graceful sand-bat at night. Ruin looked back at the Jedi. “Living and kicking? Or dying and bleeding?” >Excuse me…< Fera’s beepings sounded out, a stark contrast to the desert ambiance. The small buzz droid had crawled over after the spirits had dissipated. Her small form climbed the towering Terror droid’s leg and rested on his shoulder. >it seems we have company< Ruin looked at where the Buzz droid indicated. A twist of the hammer’s hilt, and it powered down. A sign of peace. “Greeting and meeting? Identify!”
    1 point
  8. Mordecai laughed mirthlessly at her words. "What is madness but the deception of oneself? There is no question that I am a madman, not anymore. But what separates me from the rest is the same thing that separates you. Why we have bodyguards instead of an enlisted man. People put their faith in other people. Mine believe in me, and yours you. Even now they flood the ship in hopes of saving you. How many will die with this ship?" He sighed, watching the destruction with a heavy heart. "I would trade places with any of them though. To die gloriously in combat, to be relieved of the burden I bear. But we all have chains, Raven, whether you realize it or not. I thought mine was the legacy of my forefathers, or the machinations of your rebels. But I understand the truth now. The veil has been lifted, and the madness has cleared. My vengeance is the chain that binds me to this world. I thought it would end with you. That I could let go of this poison, that I could die in blissful relief. But even now, as you bleed out, I thirst for more." He gestured vaguely in the direction that he could feel the force roiling. The Dark Lord would soon face her own trial, but he would be long gone by the end, regardless of who won. "I'm tired. Exhausted. I've fought this war for my entire adult life, brought our empire to the precipice of victory with my campaign. And now, I see the threads coming undone. Exodus was losing grip on the empire, but he still fought to preserve it. Darth Nyrys wishes to willingly cast it aside, start from scratch with some grandiose idea that we will rise from the ashes." He sat beside the Empress, his breathing steadying as he recuperated from his fight. He knew his next step. He needed to truly break free of his chains. "My chains are perpetual. I understand now. I seek vengeance, and in that action, those dear to me die. Conveniently, another target for my hatred surfaces. But I will break free, even if the very forces of the galaxy will resist."
    1 point
  9. Ruin didn’t appear to flinch at the flash of light, but he did noticeably pause. Whether it was because it was surprising or not wasn’t visible, but he didn’t seem to complain. “More light, more bright!” Ruin boomed. The flechette launcher did nothing to these spirits. The disruptor pistol that Fera was fixing was out of reach. The options were limiting. As a battle droid, the idea of talking was impossible. Violence was the only option. “Grah, kill sith!” Ruin grumbled as he reached to the other weapon on his back. The sith hammer, the Soulbreaker, the old artifact. A twist at the handle, and it began to crackle with energy. Perhaps, just perhaps, the alchamized weapon would have some form of effect on the ghastly things. “Smash and bash? Crash and thrash?” Ruin asked. For the first time in his life, he acted unsure of himself.
    1 point
  10. BASEMENT/FEEDING AREA The two droids looked at the ax presented by the Mandalorian with an uncaring expression and nodded. They were workers, no better then slaves. They didn’t need to think hard. Their lives, while not worth much, did not include programs to stop intruders or pacify targets. They were transport. And if the prisoners were going to transport themselves, all the more power to them. The two lovers made their way into the belly of the beast, as it were. The hallway where Kiv’s bumblings came from ended with a durasteel door that opened into the large open chamber known as the Feeding Area. Upon entrance, the two would find the door slam and locked behind them, a security measure that the great Gorgonzola begrudgingly paid for. The Horned Saber-Cats would be the first to notice them. Of the eight circling and preparing to chase the Jawa rodent, seven of them turned their attention to the Tuskan and the Mandalorian. In the dimly lit chamber, they were difficult to see, but the silhouettes of their forms could be noticed prowling the debris scattered around. One of them growled loudly. The others answered. The hunt was on. Kiv stopped in the middle of his long winded talk when he heard the growl. The hutt and his entourage of lesser criminals looked at the entrance. Gorgonzola roared. “You traitorous rat! You brought the assassins to me! You are working with them!” Kiv waved his arms frantically. “No no no no, not like that great greasy one! Why I would do tha-” Gorgonzola wouldn’t hear it. He slammed and bashed the Gonk droid, spilling his drinks everywhere. The shield on Kiv’s sled flickered out, and the chamber flooded with light. Despite the hutt's violant slamming, the shields ones protecting the criminals from the cats remained. Kiv booked for the nearest piece of debris. The last cat, the largest of the pack and who had ignored the entrance of the others, roared and gave chase. “AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” Kiv shrieked all the way. Meanwhile, in the air vents, Eyes and Zeris had found themselves just above the Feeding Area. The strong smell that Zeris had so keenly noticed was not just from the various dead baby womp rats that couldn’t find any food, but also from the opening ahead. The grate was placed just above Gorgonzola, a feature he insisted so that he would remain properly cool. The fumes from his greasiness went straight up, and sucked into the vent to be emitted outside of the monastery. Kiv’s scream could be heard in the vents, above the now cheering entourage and laughing Gorgonzola. Eyes suddenly picked up speed and beeped at Zeris frantically. >Time is of the essence warlike humanoid. Please hurry, i believe the feeding has commenced<
    1 point
  11. Wax man . . . Inmortos left the words to hang in the heavy air without retort. They were words of a tortured soul, one uniformed of the ways of the galaxy. And why should he not be tortured? Did he not throw his life needlessly in the funeral pyre of the self-proclaimed dark lord on Nar Shaddaa alongside his master? And for what? Fortune and glory? A brief moment of recognition? Such a waste of good substance. Such ignorance, if only the saber crystal might kowtow before the god-king himself, perhaps he could receive truth and knowledge unfettered. Meanwhile, the stone’s master, his handler, found joy in sending fool hearty adventurers to their death. For what reason? To exude one’s sense of power over those weaker and unworthy? Such a worthless sacrifice to none but one’s own vain glory. Such a death wasted the power of the life. Retrieving a crystalline vail from his belt, Inmortos held it aloft to view the contents, a half white milky substance that crystallized within against the heat outside. He canted it towards the burning sacrifices of Akheron and unstoppered the flask, dark deep words rumbling from his parched frozen lips to call the souls of those worthlessly thrown away to him; to ensnare that of them which was eternal for his own devices. Regarding the new as it mingled with the spilled of Nar Shaddaa and Aaris III, a smile teisted across the morphing features of the necro-shade. Satisfied, he stoppered the vial and replaced it. ”Very fascinating.” He finally responded to the droid-Sith’s musing. “But nothing like the devastations we wrought upon Aaris III. Sacrifices for a cause, to harness absolute power from beyond. Not this, the mere machinations of chaos and destruction for temporary enjoyment. Remember this young crystal; waste not. Want not.” Scanning the devastated crater with its noxious gases and fissured pathways, the necromancer gestured his fellow Sith Lord. They had already wasted enough time on the surface. To dally further would result in more unneeded deaths, including their own. “Lord Akheron, that which we seek is beyond the surface. A dark presence beckons us onwards. Unleash your blade and lead the decent into the abyss, the tenth layer of the Corellian Hells. The blood of the damned cries out to me from beyond the grave.” The words the necromancer spoke were true, mostly. It was not the damned of Coruscant that spoke to him, their blood long since boiled to ash. It was the whispers of the dead from dozens of worlds giving up their grave-held secrets. Somewhere here, unearthed by the cataclysmic chaos of a fellow Sith, was a presence barely whispered about in shadowy crevices of society. Beasts that preyed upon the weak and foolhearty, guarding a prize that could survive even the collapse of a world civilization sandwiched by a exploding moon. And so, he bid Lord Akheron to proceed first, his linnorms a worthy sacrifice for whatever dark beast lay below. A chance to attain that violent glory all warriors seemed to crave. The prize that lay beyond drew the necromancer like the pooling blood of a freshly slain battlefield. Whatever sacrifices were made upon the way, so they too might be welcomed into the god-king’s harem of dark purgatory.
    1 point
  12. Fivefang listened. Fivefang was good at listening. Its why Fivefang had found prey before the others did when it was a whelp. That had made it strong. And now that Fivefang was strong, it could make others of its kind do what it wanted, like give Fivefang first pick at the food. That made it stronger. Now Fivefang could kill any other who challenged it. Now Fivefang could have territory, and only the biggest and the strongest of its kind had territory. Fivefang had the best territory. Fivefang had the Silent Place as territory. This made Fivefang best of all. But somewhere deep in its primordial, hungry, savage brain, Fivefang understood. Fivefang was strong...because Fivefang knew how to listen. Fivefang had listened to prey. It listened to them walk the tunnels. It listened to them scavenge on the surface. It listened to them scream "Cthon!" when they saw Fivefang and others of its kind. It listened to the sounds of their weapons, to the clicks and hisses that sent death through the air to kill Fivefang's kind. It listened to their screams as Fivefang and its kind ate the dead and their attackers alike. And it listened to the Silent Place. The Silent Place made it hungry. The Silent Place made it angry. The Silent Place made it kill. Fivefang wasn't in the Silent Place right now. It was in a pipe. Outside, everything was hot. Other Cthon had died, screaming and melting, when the hot metal dropped on them. But this pipe was safe. The heat couldn't get in. And by listening, Fivefang could hear the prey walking over a dozen meters above his head. They walked in the crater, where death had come from the sky. That death had shaken the world. Tunnels had fallen apart. Heat killed many. But the Silent Place was safe. The Silent Place had saved them. And now the Silent Place was protected by Fivefang, so that it would continue to protect the Cthon. But the Silent Place needed food. The Silent Place needed death. That's why Fivefang was listening. He heard the soft, barely audible scrabble of other Cthon creeping up behind him. Fivefang turned and hissed, and the smaller Cthon backed away from where they clung to the pipe's sides. Then Fivefang chittered, and they understood. New prey was above. It would come down. Set traps. Take prey. Feed the Silent Place. The others scuttled off into the darkness, chittering and tapping the metal as they did. The message would spread. Other Cthon would come. Fivefang would please the Silent Place today. ______________________________________________________________________ Hundreds of feet below, the remains of an ancient chemical warehouse groaned as the supports imperceptibly shifted. The nearby Cthon skittered away, frightened. The warehouse hadn't made a sound in their lifetimes. At the center, a vaguely humanoid shape covered in carbonite jutted up out of the wreckage and the carefully arranged piles of bones and skulls of a thousand species. Inside, a mind began to stir. Not fully awake, but lost in timeless dreams. Inside, she sensed something approach. She called out. "...Here..." The Dark Side rippled, like a pebble dropped in a pond.
    1 point
  13. Akheron adjusted the sealed protective suit he had since placed over his robes, as best he was able. His mask was the only component exposed, as he had elected to use the in-built breather. He did somewhat Envy Solus and Inmortos for being able to last without such a need for such equipment to stay breathing like himself and the Linnorms with them. The air in the crater proving toxic to those not prepared. Yet he could also feel the death, pain and suffering of the long dead. A Wound of the Force created from the destruction wrought of the moon crashing down near this spot, he heard his apprentice and answered in reply to his fascination. "As I told you on Naboo my apprentice, Wounds of the Force, especially those created from the Darkness are long lasting and never truly fade. Such a Wound leaves a mark that cannot be undone, no matter how hard the Jedi might try. Such a place becomes as a Nexus of the Dark energy the Fanged God provides, a fulcrum that can be used to our advantage or any of sufficient skill in the Dark arts. A Master or Dark Lord. Such a Nexus or Wound have been known to last millennia such is the case of Malachor V which suffered a similar fate as this desolate place. Come, let us go deeper...I feel something. Something string in the Darkness below. But what the source is I do not yet know. Perhaps this is why Krath Inmortos brought us here, to seek yet another Dark treasure. Perhaps one that could be just as rewarding as previous. We shall see, however remain cautious even then, such treasures are likely well guarded." Just as he was about to move, he noted a group of three who were not part of their group or the Linnorms, approaching over the top of the crater. Tourists it looked like and a local hillbilly guide. A old looking local human who had survived the moon's fall and been taking extreme travellers for a fair price to see the crater for the last few years. But never had he expected to see the group below or know the danger he was now in. Knowing they might draw unwanted suspicion, Akheron signalled to Solus to dispose of the guide himself and the female beside him. Akheron would deal with the other two himself. Focusing within the Darkness, Akheron proceeded to loosen the area they were standing upon, sending a bald male tumbling into a lava vent, frying him almost in a instant as his suit caught aflame and the red hot fire spread up his body. His screams only made Akheron want more. The other he pulled towards himself before impaling the unfortunate young adult from Kuat upon his lightsaber, allowing the tourists to know the truth of what faced them. That the Sith were here and they were as nothing to them. Nothing but another sacrifice to the Fanged and and the Darkness. Another fallen to the might of the Sith.
    1 point
  14. Chuf chuf chuf chuf… Sand kicked back into the air as Keenava sprinted toward the far off town, ignoring the screams of her body. Sand bit at the soles of her feet and the harsh dry winds tried to keep her at a crawl. But, if there was one good thing she’d gotten from her Sith training, it was how to ignore pain. Hunger was her first priority and water was an immediate second considering her canteen was getting low. A small itch bloomed to life at supratip break of her nose. A static buzzed at the base of her skull. Keenava tried to brush it off and ignore her body's signals like everything else, but they wouldn’t go away. Too her surprise, the sensations she was trying to ignore culminated in a big formless cloud of evil - for lack of any other descriptor. The glowing orange-red eyes were kind of a giveaway for evil intent. Keenava knew these things from being an evil person in a past life. This isn’t a time for joking! You kidding? A sense of humor is invaluable in tense situations and smarminess is part of my charm! Every instinct in her body fought to stop her momentum, potentially preventing her from careening into the murderous death cloud. But instead, her rapid decline in momentum caused her to - rather comically - faceplant into the nearest dune. It was the first time Keenava had been thankful that this planet was covered in sand, followed by growing discomfort as previously untouched crevices were now completely buried in delightfully chafing little crystals. The cushion of raw earth helped her avoid major injury, but the impact rattled her body, slashed her skin, and left her shuffling her rags and coughing up sand for a few moments. Well that was… something. Keenava wearily wrenched herself to her feet, sand still falling from… places. She looked upon the mysterious gas with perplexion; it had grown since she saw it last, and she could feel the presence inside it. The presence resonated with a powerful energy, and though she knew something of it, she wasn’t in a good way to fight whatever it was. Though, the temptation to blow the giant billowing fatal flatulent was clinging to the edge of her mind. Like… maybe if I blew really hard? Shush! Okay, Okay!
    1 point
  15. A separate shuttle pod landed on the baked ground of Corescant, sending pieces of dried and cooked particles everywhere. With the landing ramp extended, and the door opened, Solus was the first individual to exit onto the planet. Solus made strides forward, his legs much better controlled then earlier. It seemed the time spent between his reawakening and arrival on Coruscant was enough to become acquainted with his newest chassis. It’s flat feet were deceptively sturdy and quick, and with his spindly arms longer in comparison to his legs, Solus appeared strange to say the least. Still, as a shard with a droid body, he didn’t seem to mind the heat or the thin layer of oxygen. But it didn’t escape his notice. “It is strange…” Solus commented to anyone who would listen while glancing at the necromancer who’s very flesh was melting. “I never realized how I don’t feel what you beings feel. The heat, or the lack of it… my previous chassis never could feel those. But I know that it feels like something. It’s just… strange” Solus looked away and focused on the Impossible Geometries. After a moment, he turned to his master. “And here I believed that Naboo’s destruction was bad. But here, the Dark Side is still swirling. And the death’s happened at least four years ago. Fascinating to say the least, wouldn’t you agree wax man?” “...wax man?” Solus echo came out, followed by a mocking laughter aimed at the necromancer. Despite all the troubles the Sith had gone through, it seemed the Shard still had some kind of twisted humor.
    1 point
  16. Qessax took the baton almost stoically, if only because his years of training at Imperial Academy taught him to. A command was a command, and that was that. “Yes sir” Qessax said, refusing to elaborate. With a click of the heels, he turned and walked off the command bridge into a hallway. A distance away, an elevator waited. Qessax stopped. The others who did choose to leave the bridge had to make their way around the Kaleesh Imperial Agent. He was practically a black pillar in the middle of the walk way. “Agent Qessax to Officer Keels” Qessax tapped his comm. “Make sure that pod 2A does not leave without my authorization. That is an order. Qessax out” The agent sighed and turned around to face the door to the Command Bridge. He knew what he needed to do. Unfortunately, what was necessary wasn’t exactly easy. He knew the Grand Moff. Kolchak could be as stubborn and as intense as the metal in his eye. “Qymaen jai Sheelal…” Qessax started to pray a bit, taking his mask from his side. “Give me strength and give me power. Make your might mine, and your cunning my inheritance” Qessax slid the mask over his face. Its white bone was perfectly carved at the edges to fit right over the ears, making it almost impossible to come off accidentally. While it was no war mask like his siblings’, it was intimidating in its own right. Early on in Qessax’s training, the mask got him into a lot of trouble. But eventually people understood that when the Kaleesh wore it, he was not speaking as a member of the Empire, but instead as a member of the Tribe of Todda. The Kaleesh War Hunter stepped back onto the command bridge, hand still clutching the batan. He felt the eyes that looked at him. He took a breath. “Great Chief, I must demand a private audience with you” Qessax stated, trying to prevent his nervousness from affecting his voice too much. It wasn’t as successful as he would have liked. “And as a representative of the Todda tribe, i demand it before your pointless demise” Qessax gulped a large piece of phlegm. This could be the end of his career, and he knew it. But too much was at stake.
    1 point
  17. I eyed the vent. It was surprisingly clean, none of that rust or gunky buildup you usually see. Clean priests I guessed. "If I die in a vent... He had really better be worth it." Now, I did consider just taking the stairs. It'd be risky, but it wouldn't be the first time I'd gone the direct route. In fact it'd probably be the closest thing I had to a MO at this point. But...and this sounds silly...I'd never actually gone through a vent system before. I know it sounds ridiculous when I just put that out there, but it was true. I'd never had the opportunity to crawl through ductwork in a situation where it would actually be a viable strategy. I'd always thought it would come up at some point, and if I was being honest with myself I kind of wanted to do it. Sure, that was probably the end result of way too many holovids on long cargo runs with a bunch of rough Outer Rimmers, but the little girl in me really, really wanted to peel that grate off and wiggle through. Painting a look of resigned frustration on my face, I looked both ways, wrenched off the grating, and squirmed inside. The first thing to hit was the smell. It was so musty I had to concentrate not to choke and gag. After that, I started crawling through, feeling my way ahead until I found what I assumed was the dropoff that led to the next level. Alright, just do it gently...
    1 point
  18. Heaven’s Taint moved rather quickly through the air, avoiding everything that it could under the direct orders from Admiral Beck Pilon, who was currently propping himself up in a chair with a few wounds from the small engagement of Mandalorians within the naval base. The med droid did what it could as Beck looked around to see the overall atmosphere of the group. It was deflated, but not defeated. Sad, but not mournful. Pained but far from broken. He felt within his own chest a sense of a feeling, one that wanted to be sad, yet not strong enough to do anything other than be known. Flashes from turbolasers and shields filled his vision as he looked out at what lay before him. It didn’t feel like defeat, yet it felt like an end. What that exactly meant was still unclear to him. A small poke from the droid made him annoyed again and yanked his arm away from the droid. “That’s enough from you. I’m stable, go shut down somewhere until you’re actually needed. Lieutenant- brings us about four degrees. Signal the Constantine. Last datafiles are away and secure. After that, let’s head to the rendezvous.” The Admiral then stood up and took a hard long look out the view port, wondering what was truly next for everyone, including himself. After about a minute, he turned and walked towards his own quarters to rest until their arrival at the rendezvous point.
    1 point
  19. A small fleet of shuttles broke away from the singular surviving pirating Sith cultists’ massive gun-bristling warship as it hung high up in the noxious thin atmosphere of the devastated once-galactic capital. At their lead, the Eternus cut a sharp shadow against the sky. aboard, the undead form of Inmortos sat at the helm, an unusual spot for the god-king to take; but these were unusual times. Crowded aboard his usually desolate craft, were a strike team of linworms, alive . . . . . . and breathing. It was a courtesy to Lord Akheron. These were his men, for now, and the Sith Lord had been most accommodating to the Necromancer’s mysterious ways; even if both he and his apprentice had been struck down against their opponents upon the surface of Nar Shaddaa. It was only the Baptism of Blood that had kept them from being destroyed outright. The fact that Inmortos had to himself descend to the planet to pull his two comrades to safety was a sickening sacrifice to these mortal inadequacies. Yet, now, here they were, descending into the most dangerous area of the devastated planet. Whispers from beyond the grave, dark messages spoken about in hushed tones to those with the knowledge and power to listen. From Naboo to Falleen, Lehon to Coruscant itself, lost secrets taken to the grave were given new life in Inmortos’ ear. It was only fitting that the brain-oozing body sent to him by Solus contained just enough to tie things together, to carry them here. It was unfortunate that their fleet had to pay the price for a shadowy ruse. Maybe some day, Inmortos would return to reclaim what remained of his fallen crew. In the dark shadows of the crater, the fleet of shuttles touched down. Plumes of cracked and compacted dust billowed into the air only to be engulfed in a fireball as flames shot forth from a variety of fissures in the rubble-strewn ground. Sensors were red-lined, heat and toxins were at lethal levels. Only time would tell if the heat would drop to a more acceptable level before flames erupted again roasting anyone too close. With the press of a button, the landing ramp descended to the baked battered earth. Heat rushed up to meet him like a foul wind, tearing at robes and melting the flesh that still hung from his skeletal form. Inmortos paused, extending his arms wide as he was washed over by not just the destructive power that still radiated from this place, but by the sheer amounts of death that hung in the burnt air. Elsewhere, the planet might be slowly rebuilding, ruled in fear by Mandalorian warlords; but not here. Here, death and destruction still reigned as gods. Inhaling deeply, Inmortos allowed the fiery air to crisp his lungs in painful glory. The voices and secrets of the dead coalescing into one, somewhere near this place.
    1 point
  20. “Burnings and blastings!” Ruin exclaimed. Once, twice, Ruin began to open fire on the smoky entity, flechettes flying with deadly intent. However, what would be useful against hordes of clones, monsters, or other things, the launcher had no visible effect on the entity. Its ammo that went into it simply turned to ash. Still, Ruin was a droid, and like his programming, fired one more shot before jumping to the side. The spirit that chose the droid as its target sank into the ground before exploding upwards again, formless claws reaching to cause destruction. Ruin aimed again, but stopped short. On the opposite side of the enemy, the Jedi was down. A shot from the launcher risked hitting her more than the ghost. Ruin jumped the side again and broke into a dash, trying to get closer to the Jedi without letting the spirit touch him. Simultaneously, he holstered the rifle. It was doing no good here. “Sir, I believe I have an idea” Fera began to buzz, barely hanging onto Ruin’s side. The small thing had crawled to his holster and grabbed the small handle half of the disruptor Ruin had acquired back on Outer Heaven “Blastings and bombings! Haha!” Ruin laughed. Ruin pulled his chest apart slightly and pulled the other half out and tossed it to the side. Fera leapt off and scuttered to the piece, no longer a focus for the spirits. Ruin rushed to the Jedi’s side and attempted to pick her up on her feet, doing his best to void the spirits all the while. “Uppings and fightings! Fightings and fleeings!”
    1 point
  21. Solus seemed to listen his his master's words, nodding at them. However, his sensors seemed to drift, glancing about instead of just looking at Akheron. The shadows on the ship seemed to draw his attention occasionally, and the random noises of the ship running its usual procedures. Still, like a child, his focus came back over and over to Akheron. “I recall reading about Coruscant…” Solus started. “It had a moon crash into it. I once had a vision of that long ago, before my ascension. Back before…” Solus stopped, only the sound of his echo following his words. The memory that flooded his being needed to be squashed quickly. “I think I learned from my battle with that son of a stump…” Solus changed the subject as the two continued down a hallway. “I let my emotions control me too much. I charged when i should’ve fled. I knew he was powerful, and grew upset when he didn’t fall for my traps. I hope you are not too disappointed with my loss master.” “Master…” the echo continued, lingering in the air.
    1 point
  22. Qessax thought he was used to the chaos of battle. He had grown up in the jungles of Kalee, hunting and killing others of his kind for his father until he was taken to learn under the imperials. He had ridden speeder bikes, killed large Muumuus, raided tribes, rescued captives and captured slaves. But this, Qessax had look at in shock. He was not used to this kind of battle. The Kaleesh warriors that Qessax directed did their jobs well, if a bit unorthodox. But in this battle, well was not good enough. Heavy casualties would be a foregone conclusion. Complete destruction was still a possibility. Qessax felt his stomach tighten. A Kaleesh instinct that something was going wrong. “Brother!” Qessax spoke to the hologram of his oldest sibling. “Get close to the Constantine. Prepare for evacuation if neccessary. You can utilize your cargo cables to grab as many escape pods as possible.” His brother, a muscular being even by Kaleesh standards, gave Qessax a disapproving glare. “I don’t think so! We can fight longer. Fleeing is not a possibility. And we’ve lost too much to abandon these destroyed ships” Qessax banged his hand and gave his sibling a strong pointing. “By our ancestors, you listen now. The battle is going south. We both know it, and I know you have a bigger obligation to our father. No ships means our tribe will be weak, and that is not acceptable. Lose any scrap you’ve picked up if you have to, but my order stands. Let father be my judge when this is done” With that, Qessax closed the transmission and broke into a dash towards the bridge. His stomach refused to loosen. Something bad was going on. It didn’t take long for the experienced agent to figure out what had happened. The silence on the bridge was deafening. “Sir” Qessax addressed Kolchak. “We have to assume the worst” Qessax hated saying such things, but the evidence that was mounting was not positive at all. “I’ve ordered my brother and what’s left of the Kaleesh to support us.” A pause filled the room. “Your orders sir?”
    1 point
  23. 1st Floor The two lover’s plan was working nicely to say the least. The initial abbot had to step back from the scuffle as the Tuskan easily knocked out the Lutrillian. Once the Tuskan was back under control, the abbot gave a very wide smile. “This one is more brutal than I expected. To think he has fallen so far from his beliefs. Thankfully, we have the perfect end for him. “ The abbot gestured to the Mandalorian to follow. The group received several stares from the legit patrons who desired to learn the religion, but the abbot ignored them and indicated that the Mandalorian should do the same. Instead, he led them to one of the back areas, where a staircase led down into the cool ground. “While I am not one who enjoys having to work under such management, our Lord does help us provide lovely payment for blasphemers like this one” the abbot spoke as he went down the stairs. At the bottom of the staircase, several ill-lit hallways awaited the group, as well as two rusted ASP labor droids maintaining an anti-gravity sled. At closer inspection, the sled was obviously modified, with its edges to produce a particle shield for easier transport of prisoners. “If you like, you can come with us to meet our Lord…” The abbot motioned towards the sled, indicating he wanted the Tuskan on board, and then to follow him down the hallway on the right. “To negotiate payment, and to witness the execution. I usually am not one for these bloody demonstrations, but I wish to see this savage receive his punishment in full. Our lord’s cats are quite exquisite to see in action, if I do say so myself. We just caught a rat to even work up their appetites…” ___ 2nd floor. The people up in the chop shop were busy, greasy, and on a deadline. Why would they care about some female? The guards had already caught a troublemaker, so this was one of the few times where the overbearing eyes of their masters would not be focused on their work. >If i do recall correctly< Eyes noted, hovering quietly behind Zeris trying to avoid attention. <...and I always do, there are a series of air vents and pipes on the base floor you can access. I calculate that my master is being held in the feeding area. The most accessible way without drawing attention would be to use these vents. I will point them out to you if you wish. Otherwise, there is the back staircase that the abbots use regularly, but as the Chevin noticed, you are not inconspicuous< True enough, on the first floor, near the stairs that led up to the chop shop, a small air vent was available. ____ Feeding Area Kiv shook himself awake and groaned. “Stupid piece of stupid junk. When I get my hands on that little piece of…” Kiv had to stop as the laughter gurgled from somewhere. Kiv rubbed his eyes and realized that the glow around him was from a red particle shield from the sled he was sitting on. While its light was not too illuminating, it did provide enough for his eyes to see. The place he was in was huge to say the least. The large, open chamber was like a scaled down training facility of sorts. The rocky ground seemed to be the only original thing in this chamber, as durasteel lined the walls and low roof. Pieces of debris from star ships, vehicles, and buildings were scattered in the chamber, giving it a very battle-field feel. Along the edges of the room, more particle shields protected a small crowd of observers: Gangsters, two-bit men, smugglers, and a few entertainers of the night. They were obviously not the top-grade criminals they pretended to be, but they did help make Kiv feel absolutely alone. And before Kiv, seating center of the chamber along the wall with the observers, was the Hutt himself. Slimy, green, and slightly curled up around himself, Gorgonzola was a fine specimen…for a Hutt. His fat rolls and greasy palms did nothing to add any beauty, and his laughter, higher-pitched for his kind, made him a little underwhelming compared to the great Jabba he compared himself to. “Its been a long time runt…” Gorgonzola spoke, grabbing a piece of food off a Gonk droid that served as his End-Table. “Great Gorgonzola!” Kiv exclaimed, standing up and bowing. “Many long time, yes? Its good to see you, good to see my favorite customer…” “I doubt that runt” The hutt glared, hands clenching into fists. “That datapad you sold me was worthless. I lost several grands over that information. You owe me big runt…” “What? Worthless? No way!” Kiv exclaimed, waving his arms frantically. “After all, all the information was true, wasn’t it? That Chromium mine is full of treasure and wonders! I simply sold you its location!” The Hutt roared, making the other observers flinch in apprehension. “You failed to mention that the mine was already half mined and had a Mynock Nest. By the time I finished mining it, I lost all my profits fixing my equipment!” A grow from somewhere in the room caught Kiv’s attention. He didn’t need to glance around to know what else was watching. In his desire to become greater than Jabba, Gorgonzola decided to get his own man-eating beast. But instead of a rancor, he decided that a pack of Horned Saber-Cats would be much easier to maintain, and much more entertaining to watch killing those who wronged Gorgonzola. “Wait, wait, wait…no need be hasty!” Kiv started. “How about, I give you new info? Better info! For free! A real deal, yes?” “Not this time runt” The hutt laughed as he began to finger the Gonk/Table droid, fiddling with its controls for the shields in the room. “This time, you are the cat food…” “Assassination!” Kiv blurted out. This caused everyone to go silent for a moment. “Uh, yes! There is an upcoming assassination attempt! On your very life! Your glorious, greasy life! Why else would I return home, yes? To let myself get eaten? No no, I have great deal. I know assassins are on their way to kill you! But I can stop them.” There was a moment of silence, save for the five Saber-cats who prowled around waiting for the shields protecting the Jawa to be dropped. The hutt stroked his chins for a bit, pondering. “Go on…” Kiv sighed and then began. “You see, you are great gangster, yes? Biggest one of the galaxy. Bigger then…then…” Kiv snapped his fingers. “Black Sun! Yes, you are comparing to them! But they no like what you are becoming. I know this because I sold them something. Good deal. Yes yes…” Kiv continued to ramble out his lie, hoping that either the Hutt would buy the story, or something else would get him out of this mess.
    1 point
  24. Darth Mavanger removed his ruined mask, placing it behind his blade's sheathe. He looked upon the young girl in front of him, staring him down even now, with her fleet and her world burning behind her. She offered him her blade, and he understood the sanctity of the act. Surrender. An offering for peace. But his vengeance demanded her death, and so it would have it. He took her blade, placing it in a pouch on his belt. He had left Cassandra's where it had fallen- a worthy opponent. Looting her corpse would have dishonored that fact. He drew a much smaller blade. It was still formed of Sith Steel, and it was adorned with a dark crystal that pulsed malignantly in the Force, a sickening artifact of obscene purpose. He stepped in, thrusting the dagger into Empress Raven's chest. It wasn't an immediately lethal blow- the blade needed time to work it's dark sorceries, and she needed to be alive for it. He place his other hand on her shoulder, as he had with Cassandra, guiding her further onto the bridge. Even now, as his most hated foe bled from his wound, he was unsatisfied. The rebels would control the galaxy, regardless of this act. The Dark Lord had decreed it so, and he had not the strength at the time to contest her. Even now, at the height of his power, even if he wrested control of the Sith Empire, the pieces were already in motion. The rebel fleet burned, but so did his. There wouldn't be enough Sith to re-secure the Galaxy for a long time. Not after Naboo and Nar Shadaa. His mind drifted, trying to find someone responsible. Someone he could aim his fury at. His grief. His betrayal. And as he did, he realized. "Care to listen to the words of a madman?"
    1 point
  25. Akheron listened, even as he heard the Shard echo as he spoke. Although strange at first, he quickly realised this was a side effect of his injuries substained, ones unlikely to be able too be fixed. Perhaps permanent markers, at least in his current form. When asked where they were headed he answered calmly. "Hmm...It seems you suffering some side effects of your bout, ones we were unable to fix. No matter, it is a small price to pay for our service to the Fanged God. We have been provided by Krath Inmortos, we shall rendezvous at what remains of Coruscant, as a planet racked by shifting tectonic activity, ruined cityscapes, deserts and a Dark presence in the force, we shall blend in and use the opportunity to train. The harsh environment will be a ideal testing ground. And a ideal location to recruit where possible using the outcasts and those abandoned during the moon's falling."
    1 point
  26. Bloodletter seemed to hiss as it drank deep of the Jedi’s lifeblood, an appetite whet but never satisfied. Beneath that Ice which made up the Sith’s soul, lay the deep-eddying river of the Dark Side, and the Jedi’s blood spent its current into a fevered rush. Fist shattered bone, and yet the Jedi lived. Her blades came for him then, orange-fire and bitter silver, flung in desperation by the frail power of the Light. The power of the Dark Side flowed within him, channeled into the promises of pain and terror upon which to feast, and the Sith Warrior spun upon his feet, the hobnail boots he wore sending scattered sparks into the stillness, sweeping the greatsword through the air in a whisper. He let that blade which had scarred him do so again, burning a line across his abdomen, while Bloodletter sent the other careening into the scattered bodies where it orange fire sputtered amongst the half-clotted blood. Vorin advanced, his eyes gleaming a sulpheric yellow in the half-light, leering at the Jedi as she fell into unconsciousness. She was still beautiful, stained as she was with blood, her features misshapen with a tattered jaw. Her soul gleamed as bright as a fire in the deepness of the forest. He, and the Dark Waters within him desired nothing more than to quench that flame, to drag the girl who carried it into the muck and mire and drown her. The Sith reached the fallen Jedi swiftly, the shifting shadows of his greatsword reflecting her pale beauty. He knelt by her, his lammelar plating creaking and grinding with the sounds of fracturing ice. With armored fingers, he ripped a long line of her tunic from her, letting the cloth soak in the blood that trickled from her mouth. He bound it then into his long, white hair, beside the cloth that he claimed from the Grandmaster. The Sith’s fingers twisted in the mess of her hair. …Will you let her live? The Sith Warrior considered Bloodletter’s question. He could take this thing as a concubine, a slave upon which he could whet his desire, defile her purity with offspring. But he could never allow the corruption she would bring, that light that tried to purify. He picked up her head by the hair, watching her eyelids flutter, the blood dribble from her lips. His gaze shifted from her beauty to the sword that had spoken. His own voice was like the shifting of gravel when he answered the question. …No… Armored finger played across the Greatsword’s handle, feeling the coolness of the leather as he drove the weapon through the Jedi’s belly. He watched the toned flesh flex and spasm around the shifting darkmetal, the blood slicking away into the sword, turning its dark shadows a hazy crimson. By the hair, he dragged her lips to his, tasting of her sweetness. Of her lifeblood. A sacrifice of his own pleasure upon the alter of the Dark. Holding the Jedi’s spasming body to his, he slid the sword from her belly to her throat. The warm blood pumped with each of her weakening heartbeats upon his armor, frosting against his flesh, filling his mouth to overflowing. Her breath sputtered into his own, her pathetic, shaking mews, going unanswered by pity. And thus he sent the Jedi into oblivion, that bitter shade of the death, Master and Blade drinking deeply of her soul until even its hollow recesses were empty of life.
    1 point
  27. At the words that time had only passed a few hours, Solus went silent and still. Then he started banging his newly installed head with his arms, the metal clanking loudly. Stitch-Mouth even flinched and almost pressed the shut-off remote. “A few hours?!? That felt like an age. Two ages! Only a few hours? Impossi…” Solus quieted himself, remembering who he was talking to and continued to listen. After his master was done, Solus nodded and looked over his body and attempted to get up. It was like learning to walk all over again. The joints creaked and shook at first, evidence of their age and use. The metals that Akheron and Stitch-Mouth had used in fixing them however proved their use, as the body slowly stood up and stumbled a few steps forward. “That…tree thing…” Solus uttered as he took another step. “Definitely will pay. His aura…his presence in the Force was unique, and my envy gave me power. But not enough. Not enough….” “Enough…enough” Solus head repeated the word a few times, softer and slightly distorted with static. As Solus stopped talked, his voice box chittered and repeated the last word, like an echo in the circuitry. The Sith alchemist raised an eyebrow, but assured the others it was nothing to worry about. Where wounds on an organic would be physically visible, it appeared the ones Solus had would be more vocal. Echoes and all. “I definitely have more learning to do, master. That tree thing will pay, or my name isn’t the Drago- ach!” “Aaaaaach!!!” The echo shrieked as Solus stumbled over and into a batch of wires and circuitry. In a sudden panic, Solus shrieked again as he flailed. However, he quickly stopped, a chassis amongst droid parts, growling slightly. “Stupid…gah! Stupid me, just some wires. Like that viny thing was here. No no, just some wires...” “Some wires” Solus gestured towards Stitch-Mouth violently. The alchemist nodded and handled over the still working lightsaber. It was a wonder the thing had not been damaged during the entire encounter on Nar Shaddaa. Solus held it carefully in one of his appendages and stumbled after his master, his steps becoming more and more sure as he became familiar with his new body. “Tell me master, I must ask, where are we heading to next? Back to Falleen? Or perhaps back to Korriban? After all, I’m sure the Sith won’t take this defeat lying down…” “Lying down…”
    1 point
  28. "...He makes you say that, doesn't he?" A brief pang of sympathy for the droid flickered through me. I'd dealt with puffed up bosses before, and unlike me this droid didnt have the hands to cave their face in when they stepped on that last nerve. Fine...I'd already "bought the hangar" so to speak, I might as well take the ship that went with it, as smelly as it might be. Besides, my last deal with a small, hairy, fast talking rodent had gone...reasonably well. "Alright. He better be worth it." I was already doubting he was. The droid hadn't even promised hard credits, just information and "services". Well, if this guy was some kind of info broker, he might be able to point me in the direction of some bounties on this dust choked oven of a planet. I couldnt be the only one who'd thought a remote little world like this would be a good place to hole up. Worst came to worse, I could dunk the little gremlin in a tank of soap water and leave, paid in full for my work with the good, warm feelings I'd get from that. Now I kinda hoped he didn't hold up his end. _________________________ After one quick scaling up the side of the monastery, and the droid leading me to the hole its master had presumably used (I swear I could still smell him), I was inside. And this...was not a monastery. This was a chop shop. Half disassembled speeder bikes hung from the ceiling in chains. Burly men and women of about a dozen different species sweated and grunted as they cut through metal and pulled out the guts of the vehicles I'm positive had not been acquired legally. A twinge of nostalgia welled up for a moment, happy times spent crawling over excavator engines and digging through scrap heaps semi covered in snow playing out in my head before I sent them packing to the back of my brain. Time to be going. "HEY!!!" A deep, phlegmy voice boomed over the racket of the work stations. "NEW GIRL! GET OVER HERE AND HOIST THIS THING!" I glanced towards the source of the noise to find a large chevin beckoning me over. Im pretty sure he was angry, although with that much face it was hard to read his expression. I complied, which might seem odd given I'd flattened the side of a guard's skull a few minutes ago for just stepping on me, but the difference was that now I was on the job. Professionalism was key, and I could use the practice. Plus it was easier than dealing with the racket he might make if I ignored him. "This," as it turned out was a modified swoop bike that looked like it had more thrusters bolted on than some starfighters. It was a miracle it was in one piece, and not spread over the course of a mile along with the galaxy's longest red stain. The chevin was trying to hoist it down onto a workbench, and struggling with the monstrosity's criminal lack of proper weight distribution. I took the other end, and after a moment's wrestling and a few choice, muttered words, we got it down. "Thanks," he said, wiping his brow with an oily cloth. "Yeah," I said, not sure what else to add. "So...boss, I gotta-" "Shove off it, i know you dont work for me." My expression must have been telling, because he chuckled and elaborated. "Lady, you're pale as bone and wearing a black overcoat on a planet with two suns. A short circuited gonk droid could tell you were an offworlder." "Then...why-" "I needed a hand." His gaze narrowed. "But I dont need trouble. So you came in the front door, agreed?" A smile crept onto my face at the cantankerous foreman's guff. I nodded. He thumbed towards the rear wall. "Stairs are over there." I nodded once more, and left him to his work. Alright...let's find that "magnificent" jawa.
    1 point
  29. With a twinge of regret the solace in the back of her mind departed. It was almost sorrowful in its leaving. Shocking in its absence, and disastrous for the future. In its departing wake there was only silence, like the last toll of the church bells on Zinthos which had rung until the silver castings had cracked. The clappers making a hollow and dead sound as the missiles fell from the sky like petals of arathium roses. The same fear that had left her to cower into her mother’s breast, now tricked in behind her ears. The same doubt that she would never see tomorrow, and what a tomorrow it would have been. There would have been lilies in the springtime, and an early morning mass at the cathedral. And peace. Was that what she had fought for so long to achieve? That dream of a frightened little girl screaming into her mother’s skirts? Or the dream of an equally frightened Sith apprentice? Or the crying stormtrooper in a battle she had no control over? Signing her name over the line of a treaty while Jedi and Rebels laughed behind her back? Dooming her people into a government that would never succeed. How that fear had driven her. From senate to rising star of the remnant. From faction leader to claimant to the galactic throne. And how many that stood in her way now lay before her in their graves. Grinning skulls that would welcome her with arms of bone into the fastness of the grave. Her name joining those of Tenebris, Starlisk, Darkfire, Cadan, and Sikaot. Carved in the granite of some war memorial that would be unnoticed a generation from now. The memorial garden used more for picnics and play than for solemn ceremonies. A glance at the readout told her that the fleet battle was going as expected. An orderly loss. And Nar Shaddaa on fire. Billions of lives coming to their end in the city below her. And perhaps that would be her legacy. Another failed rebellion, that resulted in only death and destruction for trillions of lives. Fighting for an idea they couldn’t even define. She had no further legacy than that. She had no children and no claimants to carry her name. Nothing to offer the galaxy but her life. She looked once more towards the viewscreen and the hulking super star destroyer that was outlined against the fiery red of Nar Shaddaa. Then she looked back to her crew. All silent, all standing at attention. She gave them a crisp salute that carried with it the weight of a dozen generations of Imperial officer academies. “It was my pleasure to serve beside you. Please use the aft escape pods. I will not be joining you.” She let the salute drop away, and she walked towards the doors and towards the Sith Lord that waited on the other side.
    1 point
  30. The explosion of the door being blown off it’s hinges and slamming into the opposite wall rang in the smoke-filled air. ”That didn’t take long.” Gunnery Sergeant Benjamin Wood grumbled as he turned and let loose a burst of bright red carbine fire in the direction of the sound and inevitable onslaught of Mandalorian invaders. “Hurry it up boys!” He urged the others. It was hardly needed. They had heard the door being blown off the hinges and knew what that’d mean. With Benjamin tucked in an alcove across the hall, Steve crouched in the janitorial closet, peering around the corner into the smoke-filled hall. His carbine hung ablut his neck as he thumbed a pair of grenades at his belt. Behind him, Rags and Christoph feverishly pulled chunks of drywall free, it’s dust mingling with the smoke in the air; their breathing ragged with the effort. It did not take long before a lair of Mandalorian super-soldiers materialized from the smoke, their weapons belching laser fire down the hallway. Had the Scouts not been able to crouch behind cover, even with their Imperial issued armor, they’d have been done for. Speed. That is what they were built for. Prolonged trench-fighting was a task for the Army, the Imperial Marines. A gout of flame tore through the thick air. Benjamin winced as he diverted his eyes, his HUD scrambling to adjust to the sudden changes in temperature and light. Inside the deceptively spacious and packed janitorial closet, Rags grunted as Christoph elbowed him suddenly. “The heck bro?! We’re in the same team, I thought.” He stopped his complaint as a chunk of drywall fell from his gloved hand noting the reason his teammate had elbowed him. “….ooh!” His voice elevating in realization. ”Boom.” Christoph chuckled as he kicked an exceptionally rusted can coated with a variety of caustic and explosive gas labels. There were dozens of them, only the most potent and dangerous cleaners available for the Imperial Remnant. It did not matter the environmental cost, floors had to be kept clean. The sound of gunfire at their six as the Mandalorians began to press down the hall told the sarcastic pair of soldiers all they needed to know. Time was of the essence. Hauling weapons and personnel files to a preordained rendezvous point was not going to happen. It was time for plan B. Quickly stooping, Rags began to hand bottles and buckets, containers of caustic, flammable, explosive, poisonous chemicals through his arms to Christoph. The second Scout popped, twisted and otherwise removed the caps, opening the containers to the air. He tossed them through the hole, blanketing the cabinets and files. Chemicals began to mix, steaming and smoldering as they interacted; and still the duo kept pouring them on. The chemicals ate at the metal, the walls, the floors. All of it began to disintegrate at the touch of the fumes. Even Christoph began to cough through his helmet-contained respirator. As the Mandalorians and their flames advanced, Steve sprung into action. Their weapons were having little to no effect; maybe this would. Maybe it would stop them, maybe it would slow them down for a minute. With his thumbs, the Chiss yanked the pins from a shock grenade and a sonic grenade. He threw the ionic shocker first. A moment later the screamer followed. With any luck, the Mandos’ high tech suits would be frazzled enough by the rapidly expanding electronic scrambling field. The screamer would do it’s job after without the protections of technological sound-dampeners. Nodding Benjamin kept his head tucked behind cover. He knew the play. He swung his carbine in the hall and sprayed, laying down a barrage of suppressive fire. The explosions followed momentarily and the gout of flames ceased as the invaders faded back into the smoke. In the closet Rags grunted, “Thats our cue. With any luck both file rooms’ll get it.” “And Steve will finally get the bath he’s been needing” Christoph smiled as both he and Rags shoved the barrels of their rifles through the hole and fired off several rounds igniting the vapors. Leaping towards the hallway, the Scouts grabbed Steve and pulled him with them as a caustic explosion ripped through the closet and shook the storage room. ”Time t’go Gunny!” Rags shouted, the glee in his voice only slightly out of place. The Scouts picked themselves up and scurried down the hall away from the Mandos. Klaxons began to blare as the in-house fire suppression system began to regurgitate choking suppressive foams and water from above filling the already smokey air with even more debris.
    1 point
  31. Cassandra defended herself admirably. Even in his current state, Darth Mavanger could appreciate that. Had it not been for the walls limiting her mobility, the fight would have very likely gone on for longer, and the False Empress would have been given a chance to escape. She expertly parried, redirected, and dodged his attacks in a masterful display of footwork, agility, and swordsmanship, right up until the end. Like he though, she ducked to the side to avoid one blade, and stepped right into the path of another. The ship screamed as a metal blade made a hole in the durasteel wall, blood coating the other side as it pinned her to the wall. It was an awful sound, as though the room around them mourned for the Imperial Knight's final moments. Cassandra, the first of his many hurdles, the Imperial Knight who had thwarted his defense of Kuat when he was but an apprentice, now struggled for breath, mere inches away from him. He leaned forward, into her her as he caught his breath. She still had life. the fog of rage and vengeance was lifting, and his senses came back to him. The voice was back. The guilt. The death and destruction that he had caused. Even now, with Cassandra dying inches away from him, by his hand, he was not satisfied. The pit was still there. The hole in his heart, the loneliness of his path of vengeance. He placed a hand on her shoulder, looking at her blindfolded eyes, looking for an answer. "Will the pain ever stop?" he whispered, agony creeping into his voice. But she was gone now. His question was left unanswered, and again he was alone. He looked over at the turbolift, retrieving his blade from the wall and Cassandra's corpse, guiding her gently to the ground. His forces were dead. His guards were dead. Cassandra was dead. This was the destiny of those who surrounded him. Whether they be friend or foe, all that followed him for long was death. And death was still to come, a fact he knew from what he was going to do next.
    1 point
  32. Rru took the blaster and shoved it deep into his flowing robes. The shackles were uncomfortable on multiple levels, mentally and physically, even if he knew they were all a ruse. He stared lovingly at Rose for a moment, a warmth glowing in his heart at the thought of jumping back into action beside her. He was only called back to reality by her harsh words as she urged him forward, a captured prisoner. Chaos hung in the air as they easily made it through the front doors without issue. It had been easy, too easy. How was it that these offworlders had ever been able to take ahold here? Playing the part Rru yowled in his native Tusken pitch at the priest who addressed them, only to receive a solid clip from the butt of Rose’s rifle to the back of the head. He would have been cranky had it not been warranted in their play. As such, he welcomed it, relished it even as he felt the guidance of his ancestors flood his mind. As he stumbled forward, the Tusken noted the shifty nearby acolyte. Was he going to be taken? Escorted to the gluttonous overlord the Jawa had promised? The Tusken Raider crashed into the Lutrillian knocking the chirping comlink from his hand as they both fell to the floor. In an instant, amidst the flurry of bodies and the rough hewn sandy robes of both the false-bantha-worshipper and true-son-of-Tatooine, Rru’ was yanked to his feet by his supposed Mandalorian captor; but not before the potential saboteur lay unmoving and unconscious on the floor, the consciousness choked from his throat in the momentary frackas; a deft application of nerve pressure and inhibited bloodflow.
    1 point
  33. Mavanger vs Cassandra Absolutely wonderful offerings from both sides are on display here. Both Nok and I felt that each player brought their A game. However, we both agreed that Mavanger’s use of emotion as a weapon gave enough extra punch that it carried him into the lead. One final gift from his lost love to his lord. Result: Mavanger ties… I mean wins, sorry, old habits.
    1 point
  34. Kiv moved about the machinery and people working on the monastery’s second floor like rat amongst cargo. A few people gave the jawa a curious or even suspicious look, but their work demanded more attention. It was a simple manner of finding a small corner on the second floor that pushed against a loose ceiling panel. A slight push and jumble, and the panel opened outwards, letting in Tatooine’s blinding twin suns. >Good to see you again master< A familiar binary beeping as Eyes floated just outside. “There you are you piece of flying ju…” Kiv started then stopped and glanced around. “Whoah whoah whoah, wait, where are the other two?” >It seems they have refused your method of entrance and decided to follow you into the monastery through the front door< Kiv clutched his hands into fists and smacked his head a few times in frustration. “Whaaaat? Those idiots! They’ll get caught by guards! Even with my excellent distraction skills, the front door still…” >It appears all the guards are being handled sir< “Huh…?” Kiv looked down at where the guards were. For a few moments, Kiv had to stare in awe as the ‘robo-woman’, as Kiv called her, dealt with each of the guards one by one. “Very nice… nice nice nice…Eyes, you recording yes?” Kiv said, scratching his chin. >As always sir< “Good. I’ll have to look her up. Lots of warrior ladies today Eyes. Maybe I can hire her? Get a closer look at those arms.” The woman had dealt with the last thug. Kiv couldn’t help but flinch at the broken arm. Still, he kept watching, and even waved frantically at the woman to signal where he was at. “Eyes, go down there and scan her. And ask her to…” At that moment, everything went black, as neither Kiv nor Eyes didn’t see the man sneaking up behind him with the stun-stick. _____ The two who had snuck in through the front ( @Rose Cariadus and @Wyvernfall), had no trouble getting through the door. With the distraction started by kiv and continued by Zeris, the front was completely open. Inside the two were greeted with the same sight. A large, ornate, open room, decorated with statues, benches, and decorated walls. One of the abbots, a gangly human whose height was made ridiculous by his ornate hat, made his way towards the two, arms out in greetings. "Greetings my children!" He said, his voice having a musical tone to it. "It is always good to see that ones who have embraced the aspect of the wandering Bantha enter our humble halls" The abbot came close to the tusken, and peered closer as if to study the being. "Ah, you are a curious soul. What has this sand person done to deserve such treatment? Has he broken his own people's vows to not eat bantha meat?” A perceptive eye would have noticed that while this particular abbot seemed genuine, one of the other abbots, a Lutrillian, was looking over curious and pulling out what looked like a communicator. ____ Back outside, Eyes rushed downwards towards the Arkanian (@Zeris Mons) like a bullet, stopping just inches from her head. >Attention warlike humanoid< the small cobbled Searcher 2050 beeped out, almost franticly. >Your abilities have been noted by my owner and creator, and your services are requested in rescuing my owner. I am authorized to promise payment in the form of information and possible services upon completion. To accept, please continue into the DIM-U monastery’s basement and rescue my…< Eyes almost seemed to do the equivalent of a binary sigh before continuing. >The esteemed and magnificent Kiv, trader of information and keeper of secrets<
    1 point
  35. Oh for...I swear, I'm going to KILL the next short furry humanoid that screws me over... I ducked behind the corner of the nearest building, a chunk of sand-colored stone shattering as one of the slugs came close to hitting me. Well, to be fair, this was probably more my own fault. Dropping the guard was one thing, but hitting his head on the street until he passed out (I hope) was probably a step too far. The rough voices spoke in a language I didn't understand, but the tone was unmistakable. Someone was giving orders, and it wasn't to retreat. Aaaaand now I had a choice. I could run, weaving through buildings to keep them from lining up a clean shot. Find some spot to hunker down until the heat died off, then get off this planet as soon as The Crate was refueled and fixed up. Or...I could fight. It was a completely idiotic idea. I wasn't getting paid. I'd piss off whatever powerful bloke these guys worked for. Plus there was the very real possibility that I'd get hurt, or even killed. The little voice in my head told me what I needed to hear. I can beat them up and call it resume' building. My little voice is a moron. I dashed out from behind my cover, my cybernetic legs propelling me faster than should have been possible. I didn't run for the shooters though. I ran instead for their downed mate, the one I'd clean the street with. Two of the guards got off a shot, but both were wild and whizzed past me harmlessly. It wasn't easy to hit a moving target. I scooped up the dazed guard, held him in front of me, and ran at the gun-wielding guards. To their credit, four of them had enough trigger discipline to not shoot one of their own. Unfortunately for my unconscious new meat shield, the fifth one didn't. A crack sounded, pair with a sudden splash of blood and a metallic ping as the slug passed through his dangling friend's leg and ricocheted off my metal ankle. Then I was one them. There are two things you have to remember when going hand to hand with a group carrying firearms. First, if you can, never let them get their distance. A lined up shot, and bang, fight's over and you're squealing on the floor. Second, if you can't do that, then always, always, always keep moving. As I moved into the center of the group, I let go of my shield, his face slapping in what sounded very painfully against the street. I then grabbed his ankles, set my stance, and before the group had registered what was going on, I swung my improvised flail into the nearest guard, sending him sprawling under the weight of his now thoroughly addled friend. The remaining four held their composure admirably, trying to move away while raising their guns for a shot, but I didn't give them time. With my legs using their full power, I leapt at the next nearest guard, crossing the space in a blink, my fist driving straight into his solar plexus and dropping him. Before he hit the ground, I was moving again, delivering a kick to another guard's hip, a solid crack telling me he wasn't going to be getting back up anytime soon. The third guard actually managed to get a shot off, but his panicked aim didn't come anywhere near me, and before he realized what had happened I had yanked his gun out of his hands and smashed the butt into his face. The fourth guard threw down his weapon and ran, and I felt a small twinge of disappointment. But I didn't waste time dwelling on it, already moving. Good thing I did, as a ringing gunshot and a puff of shattered cobblestone where I'd been standing let me know the final guard had gotten me in his sights. This guy was bigger than the rest, a burly specimen of his species, and probably the one I'd heard shouting orders before. I dashed towards him, and he raised his arm to block. Which was a mistake. A second later, he was writhing on the ground, his forearm bent at an unnatural angle. I finally stopped, elation surging through what flesh I had left, and I let my eyes drift over my victory. Four guards, all either unconscious or in pain, sprawled across the street. I think I might have a problem. Now where'd that jawa go?
    1 point
  36. Rose turned to Rru and quickly snapped the cuffs around his strong wrists, making sure that they were not fully secured. Then she pressed a holdout blaster into his hand wraps. “For when your ancient weapons fail you.” Then she gave him a swift kiss and leveled her blaster rifle at him. “Start walking sandperson scum.”
    1 point
  37. During the time when the Mon Cal was doing her ritual or ceremony, Ruin was sitting on his speeder bike, watching. While he was silent, Fera on the other hand was busy working, crawling over Ruin’s left arm. “I do not fully understand the point of this endeavor…” Fera beeped as her drill head and torch worked on the Terror Droid’s chassis. “It seems that Jedi can acquire lightsabers anywhere. Why come into the middle of the desert to do something so easy to do someplace more metropolitan.” Ruin didn’t give any sign that he heard. He glanced down as Fera moved off the arm and onto the shoulders. Her work was not very extravagant or noticeable, but it was there. Like a master engraver, she had carved into Ruin’s arm an image of a circle orbiting a large dot, with what looked like a smaller orb hitting the orbiting one. “True those places are filled with their own dangers, but isn’t that where help is needed? Aren’t Jedi suppose to go to those places?” Ruin looked at Leena again, seeming to contemplate the Buzz droid’s words. Without the pilot here, only the Terrordroid could understand the buzzdroid’s beepings. As the scene unfolded, Ruin jumped to action and rushed to Leena’s side. Gun out and cocked, Ruin growled slightly, his vocabulator easily communicating Ruin’s eagerness to have some action. “Kill Sith. Blastings and bashings”
    1 point
  38. Closer and closer with every revolution, the Fair Lady of Iziz loomed in the canopy of Draygo’s interceptor as it drifted towards the Star Destroyer. The running lights of the ship and glow of turbolasers resolved into the unmistakable bifurcated hull of that Sith warship, until individual batteries and viewports and hangars could be identified. Not that the Jedi Grandmaster was gawking at the Harrower-class Star Destroyer; with considerable difficulty, Armiena had managed to extricate herself from the pilot’s seat and was laying on her stomach inside, neck craned up to get a closer look at the control panels. Her armor pressed painfully into her collarbone, and her feet were tangled up in the nest of tubing and inertial sensors that rested just behind the pilot’s seat. Half-blind from the sparks issuing from the exposed tubing, her hands worked feverishly in an attempt to hotwire the starfighter into some form of functionality. It was not going well. The whistling of air had yet to dissipate: that was a good sign, as that indicated a slow leak that was of no immediate threat. And yet, there was a niggling warning in some isolated corner of her mind, a disturbing indication that something was about to go horribly wrong… Pushing herself away from the tangled nest of fibers, circuitry, and capacitors, Armiena eventually managed to right herself into something of a seating position. She glanced forward at the next completed revolution… …And it appeared that she and that enormous vessel were on a collision course, not unlike a sangfly smacking against the windshield of an airspeeder. Draygo sighed, closed her eyes, and let her Force-enhanced senses drift towards the Star Destroyer, and began to search for a cluster of lifeforms that might indicate the command center of the vessel. But that proved to be unnecessary. The vessel made a minute course correction, only a few degrees to one side to evade the forte of a turbolaser barrage from the Rebel Alliance. The immediate danger was evaded. Now the interceptor began to drift alongside the lateral trench on the port side of the enormous vessel, so close that Armiena could make out the barrels of individual batteries. The canopy of the starfighter glowed with alternating green and red hues as turbolaser volleys were received and answered. None of the point-defense weapons that guarded this vulnerable sector didn’t seem to have detected the unpowered, drifting starfighter, as none of them were tracking her movement. The interceptor was now approaching the bulbous protrusion of a tractor beam emplacement… That would be her best opportunity to return to the fight. Draygo drove her senses into the confinement of that crewed emplacement and searched for a particularly alert individual. Perhaps that sapient would be an officer, or mere a diligent member of the Lady’s crew that was hungry for a means to contribute meaningfully to this climactic battle of climactic battles. Anything, even rushing to a site that needed firefighters or medevacs, would have been better than standing and waiting for targets to be designated by fire control from the bridge… Armiena satisfied that anxious sapient’s drive. Single target, her mind admonished that sapient. Drifting, probable starfighter. To which that sapient’s mind ran through their standard operating procedures and alerted their crewmates. That target would mean an unpowered vessel, possibly with a medical casualty–or a live prisoner, who would be even more valuable. The hull of the interceptor gave a creaking whine as a tractor beam gripped it and began to draw it into one of the smaller docking bays of the Fair Lady. Judging from the size–as well as the lack of parked starfighters–this almost certainly wouldn’t be the enormous central hangar that tended to dominate the ventral surface of most Star Destroyers, with the myriad starfighters and walkers and fuel tanks and various opportunities for explosive mischief that that sector would provide. It might have been an officer’s shuttle bay, or perhaps even a seldom-used quarantine bay reserved for medical emergencies. In any case, the Jedi Grandmaster’s interceptor soon settled on the deck of that hangar in an agonizingly slow crash landing, slamming down on the deckplates without functional landing gear. Draygo sighed and reached for the manual override for the canopy jettison. Even if The Force had provided the Grandmaster with a destination, it had not provided her with any objectives now that she had reached it…
    1 point
  39. Akheron smiled under his mask as he made his attempt and yet his positive disposition soon changed. The young Imperial Knight started to gain the upper hand, as both opponent's engaged, saber meeting saber in equal measure before all he felt was more pain as he was impaled in the side, searing a long line of cauterized flesh. Moments later and a explosion occurred, disengaging he stepped back as debris and molten slab rained down to seperate the two just as he thought he was about to finish his enemy. It appeared the Fanged God had other plans for the two, or so the Sith Warrior thought as he found he could not reach his adversary in the aftermath. Instead Akheron, with a look of disappointment upon his face found that he could not and would be unable to finish the bout, one which had tested his abilities, was forced to tactically retreat as he, despite his immense pain dodged and weaved the opposite direction to the Imperial Knight attempting to avoid the rain of hellfire tungsten and shuttle debris. Clear at last, he wondered what the future might hold. He hoped they would meet again to end what had been started, for his adversary had been a worthy one despite his age. Until then, he sensed out in the Force, finding easily the necromancer, Krath Inmortos although something was wrong. His apprentice was barely felt, although he could feel something of a slight glimmer that he was still in the realm of mortals. Moving towards the direction he felt them, he traversed the danger area carefully and cautiously, wincing when he moved on account of his wounds. They would be dealt with soon enough, until then he would endure. Finally approaching, he noted Solus was nowhere to be seen, although his bound Tear was present. He had a feeling, his apprentice had faired equally as himself in combat, if not worse. Or he would be standing beside the necromancer. Speaking, he looked at Inmortos while clutching his ribs, trying to soothe some of pain as he applied a temporary bacta patch. Not that it would do much, but it would suffice until on the flagship. "Greetings brother Inmortos. I see you decided to join the fun, I came close to ending a young Imperial Knight, a soul you would have loved, however he proved a far more worthy adversary than I gave him credit for. And the Fanged God deemed he would live another day by intervening. I hope we shall meet again someday, to finish the game we started. But for now the only solace I shall have is my wounds and perhaps a chance to sate my anger on others here. Which reminds me, where is my apprentice? Have you seen him...I can feel him, it is weak but he lives still. I wonder if he had a similar encounter as myself. What has become of him."
    1 point
  40. “Go, Beth. I don’t need an escort.” Sophia heard herself saying in an accent that was not hers. Some frightfully brilliant corner of her mind was calculating feverishly without her taking conscious thought; an astoundingly quick tactical assessment of the space above Nar Shaddaa and calculation of intercept courses without her even paying mind to ship names or loadouts. “I’ll be fine. Re-calculating my jump… it will take approximately seventeen minutes and twenty seconds until that frigate is able to close the hyperspace route to Ylesia. I’ll be out of here in twelve minutes. Give or take a few. Go make those bastards hurt.” Give or take a few. Sophia had hidden a lie in that sentence: “a few,” in this case, translated to “few minutes.” And even that was a confidence interval that applied to both ships; both the Sith and This Machine Kills Fascists. And that failed to take into account any interceptors that the Sith might have launched to interdict the hyperspace routes, rather than dispatch them against targets of tactical value. The amount of time that it would take for the average interceptor squadron to reach her alternate escape route was about ten minutes, fifteen seconds. Again, give or take a few. “What’s bastards?” Dinsa, that adorable Duros child, blinked widely and stared at Sophia. Not because she was a child, or a perpetually wide-eyed Duros; but because of the sudden intensity in Moriarty’s voice. “Bad people, love. The kind of people who like to hurt innocent families and their kids. Not because it’s important to them, just to show that they can. But I’m going to make sure that they don’t get anywhere close to you, okay? Now check your straps again for me–tighten them as much as you can, even if it hurts a little.” As the VCX-100 veered away from its planned escape route–and now interdicted by multiple gravity wells and an artificial singularity–Sophia’s eyes raced between the dimming glow of Nar Shaddaa’s exosphere and the flood of information that was displayed on the freighter’s sensor readouts. Hundreds of ships were dueling between Nar Shaddaa and Nal Hutta; Fidelity and her entourage had just shown up, Misericordia and Constantine and dozens of former Imperial ships; but also the Sith Empire with Eye of Sagittarius and Raven’s Fury and Iziz and… and Black Scarab. Of course the Sith Empire would have deployed their flagship at what they had clearly planned to be the decisive battle of the war and the smashing of the Rebellion’s conventional forces. Unless… and Sophia’s hands froze at this thought… their plan was to outright destroy the moon. To sterilize it by orbital bombardment, or… Or to shatter it outright. Like what they had done to Coruscant. Or like what had just happened on a much smaller scale at Naboo. “Mind back in the game, Soph.” The historian muttered to herself as reminded her hands to continue to follow a flight plan that her racing mind recalculated every few seconds. She dove down hard–poor Dinsa gave a yelp of fright–only seconds before a fleet transport carrying ammunition took a long-range artillery blast and evaporated in a cloud of shrapnel and fire. Something struck at the edges of Sophia’s mind at the exact moment that one of Scarab’s siege torpedoes detonated above Nar Shaddaa. Her vision blurred and she blinked hard. Tears had welled up in her eyes. That didn’t matter. She had to survive a few more minutes despite the swarms of starfighters that were jockeying for position, trying to block off hyperspace routes and flank unsupported cruisers. Just a few more minutes.
    1 point
  41. Many kilometers away from Nar Shaddaa, Fidelity absorbed the full might of the ion blast of Ilk of Ion. The a halo of azure light briefly flared around the bulbous Mon Calamari cruiser as its shields were overwhelmed, then lights began to dim all over its hull… and then even the glow of its sublight engines was shuttered. The ship began to drift vaguely in the direction of Ilk of Ion, listing to one side in a long, starboard circle that would eventually send it into the space between Nal Hutta and its moon. Only running lights continued to blink on the ship’s hull in their monotonous, off-on robotic pattern, and then not even those seem to be functioning. They were flickering madly without any discernable pattern… but the sudden evasive maneuvers of Gerrera and L’Ouverture revealed that the flickers were a message in Mon Calamari blink code. Lost power. Drifting towards Sith fleet elements. Use for cover and target starfighters. The two Victory-class Star Destroyers weaved in and out behind the drifting hull of their flagship, using the great bulk of the Star Cruiser’s armor to protect against the worst of the turbolaser barrages that targeted them. In retaliation, the broadsides of the two missile cruisers opened up in gouts of blue-white flame. Each time those salvos of missiles lashed out, forty new targets would have no choice but to take evasive action, break off their attack runs, or die to a concussion missile. On the opposite end of the chaotic melee, just above the atmosphere of Nar Shaddaa, Kalidor and her escorts were doomed, and the crews of those outmatched ships knew their likely fate. The moment that Black Scarab took up a position to bombard the moon, all of them knew that they were not likely to survive the day. And yet, there was no panic. No one aboard those ships fled their stations and rushed for escape pods. Even when Breachmaker, one of the two ancient Carrack-class Light Cruisers, simply disintegrated into a mass of twisted steel and secondary explosions, the other ships continued to close the distance. Its sister, the Vigilant, began to orbit the shield generators on the dorsal surface of the Sith flagship and pumped salvo after salvo into the generator towers. Nexu and Piorun, two of the Corellian-built corvettes, seemed to take Slaughter’s words literally and parked themselves raced along the hull of the behemoth so closely that they resembled a pair of enormous starfighters on a strafing run. Kalidor, the Majestic-class Heavy Cruiser and the slowest of that small squadron of ships, fared almost as badly as the expanding cloud of dust that was Breachmaker. For the moment, the bridge crew was functioning as a living machine, thoughtlessly outputting close-range turbolaser blasts against hostile batteries and firing away anti-missile interceptors without any thought for their own functionality. Slaughter’s mind seemed to exist in a state of Jedi-like hyper-clarity; at the cry of hull breaches across all decks of its starboard wing, the Admiral simply looked up from the tactical pit and glanced up to see the spray of debris and fire that issued from Kalidor’s side. That reverberation in the hull was that of a reactor shutting down, an engine dying… and four turbolaser batteries that jettisoned their cannons and crew into vacuum. Even before the ship began to veer off from its headlong charge, the words escaped from Slaughter’s lips without conscious thought. A minor course adjustment, and then the cruiser began a languid roll that would transform its one-engine list into a spiraling dive towards Black Scarab. And then the lights went dark and the sound of glass shattering filled the air. Slaughter was knocked to the ground, saved from being blown into vacuum by the emergency shutters. When the Admiral came to, the crimson emergency lights were dimly illuminating the bridge and he was looking into the face of his Yeoman, Chambers. He tried to reach up to grasp the woman’s arm to physically haul himself up to his feet, but something wasn’t quite responding correctly. His arm tingled numbly. He blinked again and focused on the shock in the human’s expression. He knew the look in Chambers’ eyes. There was a subtle widening of the eyes that even military discipline couldn’t stifle. That poor girl was looking at a dead man.
    1 point
  42. He'd done it. Somehow, something Aidan had changed, he knew he was going to get through this alive...his opponent shot towards him, and the battle torn Imperial Knight knew he was reaching the limits of his physical endurance. His saber lanced out to meet his foe's, and Aidan abandoned the strategy of disengaging his blades as he no longer had the endurance for the speed required. High above them an explosion thundered across the sky as a falling Imperial shuttle seemed to impact with something in midair. Out of happenstance this was at a near perfect angle to cause debris and slag to rain down on Aidan and his Sith foe. Also in the mix was a bit of cryogenii extraterresimian, but that was a story for another time. As the Sith went for the death blow, they along with Aidan seemed to simultaneously realize that were they to stay in that spot any longer (say, to attempt to finish off a wounded Imperial Knight), they would be pulverized by the falling debris. The one sane angle of retreat was back toward the safety of the rooftop and landing pad. Aidan chose to leap for the edge of the roof. . . . For a moment the freefall disoriented him, the air ripped at his wounds, and he simply trusted in the Force. . . . . . . Far below, he managed to slow his fall and catch himself on a large outdoor laundry drying operation, clothes of all kinds having been strung across cords after having been freshly cleaned by the business owner. Thankfully the place had already been evacuated, or they might have been a bit mad at the damage Aidan caused. There was no way his opponent could have followed him if they didn't also leap, not to mention navigate through what felt like passing shuttles. Sometimes...the Force simply provided. It didn't take long to find his way out and signal for transport. He knew one thing for certain: he was no longer of any use here. Half a standard hour later, Aidan watched the stars zip to starlines outside a viewport as his Medevac shuttle made the jump to hyperspace to rendezvous with a nearby medical frigate.
    1 point
  43. Kiv had to stop and turn at the woman who yelled at his direction. “Oh, very nice, very nice!” Kiv exclaimed, racing back. “You are excellent lady. Very strong. Very strong…oooh, thats why! Nice arms!” Kiv had to stop and scratch his face hidden under his hood. Another business opportunity. “Lots of powerful women around here. Berzerker ladies. Must be my lucky day, yes? Anywho, this doggy…” Kiv got closer again and began to look over the body. “Something of a misunderstanding. Slight misunderstanding mind you. I meant to offer him a datapad, and I accidentally offered him an insult. Something you can…” A call came from the Dim-U monastery. Kiv glanced over and gulped slightly. “Oops, looks like you got their attention. Better you then me, eh robot arm lady? Still, my advantage, i belie…” Kiv didn’t finish, as one of the guards had armed their slug thrower and opened fire on the two. Kiv screeched and ducked. The other guards, about 5 in total, were rushing over as well, intending on saving their comrade from the woman. “If you live, maybe we do business yes? Thanks for being distraction!” With that, Kiv scurried away, a rat that no one seemed to mind. After all, why would guards notice a Jawa scavenger when someone had literally just attacked a fellow guard? Kiv was not being sarcastic with his gratitude. With the woman taking care of the guards, the entrance to the Dim-U monastery was relatively unguarded. While there was a droid detection sensor at the doorway, the lack of guards made the monastery open. Kiv had to stop running and take a glance around. The first floor of the monastery was ornate but sparse. The walls were decorated with gilded imagery of banthas and worshipers. Several statues dedicated to the holy beasts were around, as a few abbots stood at them preaching and teaching their lessons to the few legitimate students and scholars of the Dim-U. Kiv didn’t need a highly sensitive nose to smell a scam. While it wasn’t common knowledge, people knew that the monetary was a front for more illicit trades such as transponder code alterations and chop shops under and above the base level. Kiv himself had snuck into the monastery before to ‘help’ these chop shops. Kiv noticed one of the abbots looking in his direction. Kiv gave a nod and moved towards one of the hidden entrances to the upstairs. A speeder bike modification station was up there, as well as the hidden entrance he told the tusken and the armored berserker lady. As long as Kiv acted like he belonged here, he wouldn’t be questioned. Hopefully he could meet the group upstairs, and then the group could make their way to the basements, where Gorgonzola was no doubt residing.
    1 point
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