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  1. The high pitched alarm that blared momentarily over the communication headset that was buried in Beth’s ear caused her to wince and she looked at the display panel with a practised eye. “Imps!” Came the voice of her wingmate and friend Kailia. That word, Beth knew, was purely instinctive on the Twi’leks’ end, but it still caused her to bite her lip before she could respond in some anti rebel tirade. They were still a mixed unit, and the phraseology of the unit still reflected that. And Kailia was right, these were Sith/Imperial ships that were escorting a group of transports out of the darkness of hyperspace. But to Beth, ‘Imperial’ meant so much more. It was a philosophy, it had meaning, it had tradition. Something that the criminals in the Sith Empire knew nothing about. They had built their new empire on a bedrock of terrorism, mass death, and the destruction of Coruscant. Look at what they had done to precious Carida. The very thought of it made her blood boil. And now they were here to take spice that could be used to enslave the galaxy. She flipped to an all squadron's frequency, dialing the squadron commanders from all wings. “Aérien and Sukhoi-” She addressed the agile My’tils and venerable E-Wings first. “-block any attempt at those transports getting to ground.” The X wing’s yoke vibrated under her gloves and the entire craft slipped sideways for a moment before she was able to regain control. “Tau…” But her voice had trailed off as the the X-Wing twitched again, throwing her against the sidewall of the cockpit. A matching screech from her Astromech brought her eyes to her S-foil. And there like a barnacle or a mynock was a massive droid, hanging off the wing. Her mind raced for a solution and a glance at the display board told her that trying to spin the droid off or any crazy maneuver would likely just separate the entire S-Foil from the Xwing. “Dimitri, keep your head low.” The droid whistled in return as the X-wing jerked violently again as the droid pulled on an aileron pitching the nose of the starfighter down towards the rapidly approaching planetary surface. She cursed and triggered the comm again to her own squadron. But already she knew what the result would be. The X-wing was acting sluggish to her attempts and the entire display board was lighting up a dark crimson red. That damned monster was tearing the starfighter apart! There would be no soft glide to the ground. She swallowed the bile that shot up into her throat at the thought of an EV in the thin air of Kessel. Then instinctively ran her hand down her chest, checking her flightstraps and the very light plastoid armour that she wore over the orange flightsuit. She checked the blaster carbine that was in its holster on her flightchair then grabbed the control yoke with both hands to stop the turbulence as they hit the low atmosphere. But there was not much she could do. She spared a glance at the evil looking droid, then clicked on her comms. “Templar one going to ground. EV. See you in the mess lads.” She didn’t wait to hear the acknowledgements. “Dimitri, fly another three seconds in straight glide, then eject too. Okay?” The mournful whistle told her his response, and she pulled the lever beside her seat. The ejection seat fired right after the micro thrusters in the cockpit’s windscreen fired. Launching the young pilot free of her failing X-Wing before the small boosters in the bottom of the seat took over, slowing her fall as the distant Xwing turned down towards the ground some kilometer below them. She would be on the ground in another thirty seconds. On the dismal surface of Kessel. “Spast it.”
    3 points
  2. Nok sat up in his bed. Around him, medical devices beeped as they projected what were no doubt concerning data that Nok was blind to. The 2-1B surgical droid tapped rapidly on one of the wall displays, then halted midtouch. It turned, and for a moment stared at Nok in a way he could only describe as dumbfounded. "What...what happened?" "I do not know, master. You were in a form of REM sleep, yet you skipped the initial stages, and I can find no evidence of what caused the sudden shift. The drug burned through your system at an accelerated rate. I suspect a foreign catalyst, but I have yet to locate it. It's possible it may have been dissolved in your bloodstream already." No...it was not physical. Nok could still feel it. Like a thread wafting in the still air, one end knotted around his little finger. The thread pulled taut. Nok, finally regaining some semblance of his mind, braced himself for the spirit. It was not the spirit that came, but a storm. A blizzard. Nok screamed, slamming down to the ground as if he'd been shoved by some invisible hand. Mindless, howling noise and power tore through his mind and body. It was everything. It was life, it was existence, it was death, it was oblivion. It was the Force ITSELF! Like corpse worms, it burrowed through Nok, trailing searing heat and the cold of death wherever it touched. Nok struggled, the small part of him that remembered what it had been like to unravel into the Force before. But this wasn't unraveling, this was being torn apart! He thrashed and ripped at the threads of the Force that he could manage to grasp, but it only added to the maelstrom. Devices, furniture, and the droid all rose into the air and began slamming and crashing around the room, the screeching and clanging of metal adding to the riot in the Force that only Nok could hear. Dead in the cold and dark. The vision returned. But not like before. Before it had been a muffled, veiled thing. Terrible like the shadow of a falling moon, but a shadow still. This was the full thing. And it devoured him. Empty, broken, quivering on the ground of the medical chamber. Yet Nok was also looking down at himself, a towering figure wrapped in shadow. The chill of death ate at the pathetic figure cringing beneath him. The prone Nok shivered, struggling to keep warm, despite knowing his death had come. The towering Nok grimaced in disgust. "Wait..." the cringing Nok said, haltingly. "This isn't right. This isn't...no...NO!" The towering Nok stepped forward, his shadowy figure multiplying until the weak, dying Nok on the floor was surrounded by terrible, indistinct figures. Nok saw himself through both sets of eyes, and for a fragment of a moment he had clarity. "I'm...you have to stop! You're losing yourself! This isn't what we wanted! This desire will never end! It will destroy us! We are wealthy! We are powerful! We have ENOUGH!" Then his mind broke once more, and Nok was in two places again. In the cowering wretch on the floor, and in the shadowy figures surrounding him. Shivering, impossibly cold yet not the least bit numb, the weak Nok felt things he had long thought buried. Regret at killing his own siblings. Disgust at his underhandedness. A brotherly affection for some of his subordinates. And above all, he felt the emptiness. That emptiness had been with him whenever he gazed upon his new treasures, or when he thought about all he had amassed over the decades. Hollow, the Nok prone on the floor soon could not muster the strength to even shiver anymore. His skin turned black with frostbite, and his mouth dribbled blood that froze his lips together. Meanwhile, the standing Nok's were unaffected by the cold. They saw what the weak one couldn't. They felt what the weak one refused to. They touched the Force. The Force was in everything. It was in the air, in the water, in every beat of every heart. It was entwined with every thought, it riddled every dream, and to it the void between stars was nothing but an infinitesimal speck. The Force flowed through the very fabric of the universe. And Nok could command it. Life was power. Through power came control. Through control came ownership. Through ownership came godhood. For what was a god but the being that owned your soul? This emptiness could be filled. As if the weak Nok could read the mind of the powerful one, he struggled to speak, lips tearing as the seal of frozen blood tore his skin. "No...stop. Please...we didn't want this... We just wanted to survive." All of the towering Nok's gazed down at their weaker counterpart. "It's not enough." One of the powerful Nok's raised his foot, and with a dull, anti-climactic thump, he brought it down on the weak Nok's head. It shattered like porcelain, frozen into brittle bone and dead flesh. The remaining Nok's turned, and as one they left their wretch of a soul behind. Dead in the cold and dark. In the physical world, Nok's scream had become a rasp as his voice had given out, his body helpless to act with the mind occupied. But the storm did not slow. It swirled around Nok like a force of nature, but as what remained of Nok's mind emerged from his vision-induced stupor, something else emerged from the center of a storm. Nok's will, hard as steel formed in the eye of the maelstrom, and Nok rasp of pain turned to a growl of rage and pure, primal denial of his own death. He flung his arms open wide and raised his voice in one last, rough cry, and he drew the power of life and death into himself. He doubled over, and the sound of muscle stretching and bones creaking filled the room. His skin, once an unhealthy shade of pale green, lost any remaining color, turning into a dull, lifeless gray. It stretched taut over his hands, legs, and face, forcing his body into a permanent hunch, his hands curled into claws even as his lips drew back in a rictus grin. The black corruption spreading from his eyes blossomed like a grotesque flower, spreading across the remaining of his upper face and stretching long, thin lines of rot and foulness along his jaw and down his neck. Power was what the Dark Side offered, and Nok had taken all he could from the storm of life energy. This twisting of flesh was a petty price. Then it was calm. Nok slowly rose, as much as he could with his warped, hunched form. He sensed the room around him. The machines lay broken on the floor. The surgical droid's chest had been sheared clean through from one shoulder to the opposite him, as if someone had grabbed it and twisted until something tore. Its eyes flickered briefly, perhaps attempting to serve its master as its programming dictated, but then the little lights went out for good. Nok saw his broken tools, his broken droid, and it kindled something inside of him. Rage. "How...how dare you" he rasped. Then, his voice growing stronger, he screamed, "HOW DARE YOU!!!" They were his! They belonged to him! He wanted them to function! How dare they cease!? They obeyed the dictates of reality before their master's will! HOW DARE THEY! Nok's mechu-deru extended out, and his will was made manifest. He commanded the droid to function. It was cut off from its power supply. A fact that was nothing in comparison to its master's desires. Cables snaked out to link it with what remained of its lower torso, and power flooded its circuits. But it wasn't enough. The storm of power he had taken in was too much to hold. It was destroying him! His attention turned to his possessions. "SERVE ME!!!" he screamed. The power within him flooded out, his mechu-deru the open channel it needed. It flowed into every cable, servo, processing unit, and power supply in a thousand feet. The eyes of droid guards burst into showers of sparks before they collapsed in smoking heaps on the floor. Lights exploded in rapid succession. Power supplies ruptured and and exploded, spilling fire and acid into hallways. But it still wasn't enough! The power flooded further, into the very walls and doors of the structure. Metal shrieked as door motors slammed on and twisted the steel around them. Girders bent as the mechanisms inside disassembled and reassembled into nightmarish combinations over and over again. The building shuddered as the entire structure twisted and shook itself almost apart in the wave of power channeling through its machines. Then, like the last bit of light of dusk finally falling behind the horizon, the torrent of energy stopped. Nok lay on the floor, and the only sound was the sparking of broken technology and the Sith Lord's rasping breath.
    2 points
  3. Orpheon took in a sharp breath as he first exited the vessel. As he exhaled he watched his breath become vapor and rise to the sky. His shoulders naturally hunched forward; his body naturally reacting in an attempt to keep body heat near his core where it would do the most good. Pulling out a pair of fur lined gloves he was glad he had brought some winter wear for this journey. Taking his first few steps into the snowy landscape, strangely he quickly became accustomed to the cold. The icey bite against his face seemed to fade and he almost began to feel at home. His vision seemed to sharpen, and his natural thermal vision seemed to improve. The slight waves of heat that he could previously see radiating form Leena seemed to grow larger, and become stronger. His hair whipped in the wind, strands falling into his eyes as he pushed on, following his new Master. After several hours of walking, the Chiss apprentice felt the desire to reach out with the Sight. Focusing inward, he reached for the strength of the storm within and allowed his feelings to reach beyond. He was surprised at the strength of the Sight on this world. Knowing that life seemed to be connected to the Sight, he was sure a world such as this would be bereft of the Sight. But somehow the strength of this world seemed to radiate from within. "Master, where does the strength of the Sigh......Force..... come from on this world? If life is what gives the Force strength, how does such a barren world as this radiate such strength?"
    2 points
  4. As Aziza made her way through the compound of the Sith with ease, surprise mingled with a strange sense of what might be termed derision. Long had she heard of the renown of the Sith, how fierce their fervor in battle, how intricate the webs of their plots. But now she found herself in the heart of their Empire, and she wandered unopposed and unchallenged. What was to stop a foe of the Empire from doing the same? Perhaps the Sith had grown confident in their power and could easily ascertain friend from foe by the merest glance, but even if that were true, she knew the potential of simple security checks and forces, and the power of procedure. The paved road she was walking was lined with statues, and she found her eyes drawn to one in particular. The being appeared to be the same species as Amadeus, tall and pale, though this Sith Lord boasted a jagged scar running through an empty eye socket. Indeed, the being bore the signs of many battles, including a prosthetic arm that wielded a warhammer of immense size. She pushed on, stopping only to ask servants and passersby if they could direct her to her quarry. Few were able to give her satisfaction, and she ended up mostly turning down streets on a whim. Eventually, her feet carried her to a hospital. Before she could decide whether to enter or turn aside, several figures emerged. First, a short dark-furred Cathar who moved with the lithe grace of a warrior and gave her a nod as she passed. She was followed by several men, mostly haggard-looking soldiers who nevertheless held themselves proudly. The one who appeared to be their captain gave her a nod of acknowledgement, and she nodded in return. Following them came another man, tall but haggard, with a strange haunted look. He was actively avoiding her gaze, and it took Aziza a moment before she recognized him as the same man whose statue lined the avenue behind her. Puzzled at his evasion, she took a step toward him. "My lord? Are you unwell?"
    2 points
  5. PREFACE "Prophecy" jin' snamsi, dark weaver Even with all of the intensive study that has gone into understanding force alteration (illusion), its secrets remain a mystery to even the most experienced of practitioners. Considered one of the most difficult schools of the force, it is with uncertainty where masters of illusion draw their complete power or where its potential ends - it is extremely draining and there are few that can utilize their powers regularly. It is a sort of mental magic, allowing the user to manipulate the immediate area around them with their mind through mental force, and creating from imagination, a world that is theirs to control. With further experience, one can project or force thoughts or memories on others. By this, Illusion is one of the most prominent schools in the alteration class, often undermined by the willpower of another. It is a variant to the force-natural school of alteration in that it seeks to change the world around the practitioner so that existent physical truths no longer hold, but while the force user generally hopes to alter that which is bound by the laws of nature, illusion techniques do not. Its difference comes from the fact that while alteration affects the entire world in proximity, force Illusion affects only the caster and the target(s). Illusion spells can change a target's visibility, produce or remove light, produce or remove noise, mentally seduce sentient/non-sentient creatures, induce hatred in it or calm it down, enhance or remove a creature's courage, prevent a creature from seeing or moving, or allow the target to see even in total darkness, and much more. The is surmised as the ability to enforce the caster's will on a target. - (Advanced) Hybridization of Illusion and Sith Sorcery “The nightmarish seeds of his mind have found new pasture.” By amalgam of Illusion and Sith Sorcery, Exodus steepened in his meditations and induced slumbers, all while empowered indicia were carved into his skin. The error of the Grey was that he had given the truest of hunters, even the faintest of scents to a place of power. It was not long before Lord Exodus happened onto a place his mind did not breed, nor could it comprehend. The Netherworld of the Force. His feet carried him forward, and the feeling of them were not lost to delusion. Nevertheless, his eyes had found somewhere; perhaps a place that could not be named or understood by any familiar tongue in the known galaxy. It could be said that the Dark Lord was staring into oblivion itself. Is It He Who Casts the Greatest Shadow? Enemies and allies alike were greatly unaware of his conduct within this void. Allowing the diversions of war play themselves out as they normally did. Heralded as one of the more powerful Sith, his impenetrable willpower became a characteristic that was reflected from the poise on his features, and permitted him extended time within this apparitional place of entropy. And strangely with time, the presence of the Dark Lord and the shadow that his carnal body casted began to evolve the more he walked the halls of Chaos. It would be here that the young Sith King gazed into an infinite abyss and studied, researching the ways of shadows and of darkness and of all the creatures that hid beneath them. In the Netherworld of the Force, the Allfather of the Assassins unearthed the ability to command the shadows, wielding blackness, truly mastering the darkness. This was an understanding that the shadows themselves were not merely an absence of light, but the reflection of possible worlds created by forces in conflict. He knew this to be the principle analogy of the everlasting oceans of darkness versus light that the Grey had revealed to him. DARK WEAVER / UMBRAL MYSTICISM (sith shadow magic; from the realization that shadows are a reflection of forces in conflict and that manipulating a shadow can influence the forces that cast it) “He is capable of wielding oblivion, a place of entropy; void. Something the natural mind cannot comprehend. If there is any ancient horror in the dark worlds of the Sith, it is wielded by the fingertips of his assassins. He wanted power, and he was drawn to the deepest waters to find it.”
    2 points
  6. Lust bloomed like a muja in spring and Sheog blinked his eyes at the sudden influx of the foreign emotion. Lust always made him think of Darla, or the extravagance of Lord Ar-Pharazon. His many-lidded eyes fluttered their way to staring at the Sith Lord, Sirena, who in some way reminded him of innumerable other Sith and Jedi he had met in the galaxy, but at least this one was a beauty. Assassins and their sex-drives were a dozen a credit, and overall exhausting to deal with for any length of time. In response to the feelings of Lust, the Hutt winked an enormous eye at the Sith, the multiple lids fluttering as if to say “Come to the back and fade to black with me baby”
    2 points
  7. Svata would not hurt a girl for this lesson. Not after that scream. Right or wrong, teaching moment or not, it wasnt him. And he'd sooner feed himself piecemeal to a slashrat than burn that girl to learn a trick. He listened, but did not follow the instruction. He'd do this his own way. The girl's trail was readily apparent. In the ruined wasteland, her footsteps were evident on crushed scrub brush and churned dust. Svata followed her at a jog. Two hours later Svata groaned as he created another hill and the girl was still nowhere in sight. Her trail was still clear, as it seemed she wasnt trying to hide it. For this exercise, he supposed that made sense. But it did mean he was going slower as he kept stopping to find Mark's of her passing. He'd wasted a good ten minutes when the trail of something big had crossed her path and sent careening off on a new course, only to double back when he realized she likely didnt have claws. The lady was sprinting for goodness sakes! These witches were tough, but how long could she- His thoughts were interrupted by a faint sound, something foreign to the desolate landscape and all too familiar to someone who'd fathered 3 daughters. A girl crying. He saw her, curled in the shade of a brown, dead bush. She was shaking. By the Force she was actually shaking. Svata moved up to her and plopped down next to her. She flinched away, but her heaving breaths and sweat slicked skin told him she had no strength to run. Svata plopped a canteen in front of her. "You're dehydrated. Drink up before you pass out." Her wide eyes, contracted to near mad pinpricks, stared at him like she was watching a snake curling to strike. "Girl, I'm not carrying you back." In the middle of his sentence, she snatched the canteen and slid roughly away, until she was a solid 10 feet from him. She guzzled the water. "You've got to be kidding. This might make you strong girl, but..." He stopped, at a loss for words. Not my world. Not my way. ...still feels wrong "Come on, let's get..." He paused. The girl's gaze had shifted to his left, but her face had only tightened. The crunch of dirt, faint but unmistakable, made his head turn. A rancor looked down from the nearby rise. "...Quiet for a big fella, aintcha?" The beast, a scarred, wiry thing, stared at him. No subtlety, no hesitation, no fear. An animal that knew in its genes that it was unchallengeable. Then it looked at the girl. Svata kept his voice even. "Girl, I know you're tired, but if those witches trained you to push yourself, then you better start remembering those lessons..." The rancor rumbled out something that might have been a growl and took a step forward. "cause this here's a surprise test." Svata started slowly moving to one side. The rancor stopped, tracking him with its eyes. Then it shifted back to the sweaty witchling... with the blood-soaked hands. "Girl...run." She didnt move. "Run!" Svata shouted. The rancor's head snapped back to Svata as the girl sprang up and sprinted away, clutching Svata's canteen. The rancor lurched towards Svata, its rumbling steps signaling that it was done stalking. "Fast for a big guy too huh?!" Svata yelled, half in denial and half to keep the predator's attention on him. He sprinted to the rancor's right, doing his best to keep it circling. All that muscle, bone, and teeth didnt turn well, but if it got the chance to charge then Svata was a dead man. His mind raced on a mixture of adrenaline and denial that this was how he died. He was not about to end his life in some rancor's stomach on a ruined planet because of an object lesson from a sun-baked witch reminiscing about the good old days. The rancor unfortunately disagreed. Svata was a hair too slow, and while the creature's close-set feet and top heavy bulk kept it from quickly pivoting, its arms had the range to make up for it. The back of a claw clipped Svata's shoulder as he sprinted, sending him into a lurching step that became a tumble. He scrambled to his feet and scurried over a small dune a split second before the rancor's claw came back to carve three furrows into the dirt where he'd been sprawling. Svata had nothing that could even scratch this thing. The Force... Really, really hope this does something to animals. Svata became a part of the moment. Unfortunately, as he suspected, the technique only hid him from the abilities of Force-sensitives. Not mundane eyes...or noses. The rancor shrieked in triumph as it stepped forward and loomed over the dune, staring down at Svata. It was hungry, and pleased. Svata could feel it. He could feel it. A crazy, probably stupid thought struck Svata. Too simple to be inspiration, but Svata would settle for desperation. He reversed the technique. Instead of concealing himself by making himself indistinguishable from his surroundings in the Force, he opened himself up and forced every ounce of him out. It was like stepping into a cold shower. He felt vulnerable, exposed, and panicked all at once. But the rancor stopped. It was confused at first by the inklings of Svata's deluge it was sensing. But then little bits began to stick. Svata feeding his first son as he wailed at the universe for being too much for a baby to handle. The rancor propping its mewling cub onto it's back as it cried for food the mother couldn't find. Svata showing his daughter how to heat nerf horn to make carving it easier. The mother rancor watching as the cub tore the throat from a dead animal and screaming in victory as if it had killed it itself. Svata wrapping the broken arm on his third son after he'd decided to return a dug's insult. The mother disemboweling some scavenging reptile that had gotten too close to her cub and taken a snap at it. The rancor shook its head and screamed again, but this time in rage. It didn't want this. It didnt want to know its food. This thing was food. Food! It's claws dropped around Svata and closed. Svata staring at the bodies of his family. He was all that was left. The mother mewled over her unmoving cub, her voice a sorrowful mimicry of it's now silent cries. It had starved. The mother hadn't been able to find enough food. The roar of the rancor was deafening. It hadn't wanted to remember that. Sorrow, rage, and raw pain laced the rancor's cry, and Svata felt every bit of it as it mingled with his own pain. In that brief moment the two creatures understood each other. The rancor stepped back, shaking its head as if to dislodge something, and it stared down at Svata once more. He had no control over it. He'd only offered it truth. The decision it made would be its own. The rancor growled, pure frustration evident even to Svata. Then...it turned away. Resigned, it strode back into the wasteland, hunting once more. Svata could sense in some lingering connection that it did not know what Svata was, bit it did know he wasn't food. Either it had forgotten the girl or left her trail alone for Svata's sake, because it trundled off in the opposite direction. He didn't know which, but was grateful for either. ____________________________ Svata staggered back into camp. "I failed your gorram test," he grunted, before plopping down onto the dirt.
    2 points
  8. “Just… Master. I always disliked that title.” For a second, Armiena’s eyes widened and there was a glimmer of emotion in her face that resembled… fear? Apprehension? Or perhaps it was merely a sudden appreciation of the awesome burden that the veteran Jedi had just volunteered to bear. Whatever it was, the moment soon passed and she jostled a plastoid crate containing a set of small discs. The miniature divots of holoprojectors and sensors could be seen about their surface. “This is likely to be one of the very few moments that we are all in the same location. That's probably for the best. There’s a lot of work to do. I prepared something that we could use to coordinate our efforts. The comm unit is simple enough to operate once you have it calibrated to your Force signature, just place it on a flat surface and it will tap into an encrypted Holonet channel to maintain a virtual Council chamber.” She stared directly at Sandy Sarna. “I know about your mission to you-know-where, and as profoundly risky as it may be, it’s necessary. Force knows that we have so little on-the-ground intel there. We need to know everything you can give us--orbital infrastructure, interstellar traffic, planetary defenses, location of air traffic control towers, it's all needed. I suspect that ysalamir’s for the initial infiltration, get you into atmosphere without every Sith noticing you're there--just… kill the damned thing if there’s a hint of trouble,” she added unhappily to the towering marine behind her as she approached the younger Jedi Master. As she handed the smaller woman the communications unit, Draygo drew the smaller woman into an embrace that had to have been startling and whispered something into her ear. She repeated the same gesture for the half-Anzati, again handing her one of the communications units and murmuring a few words under her breath. Turning her back on the two Jedi Masters, Armiena faced the young Jedi Healer, her Padawan, and the Wookiee who loomed over every other sapient in the room. “Kil, Genesis, Kirlocca. Perhaps a less dangerous mission for you three, but still of critical importance. Chandrila was hit badly by the Mandalorians during their raid across the Core. The few remaining elements of their fleet were driven off by the Rebel Alliance, but the planet was damaged horribly by their attack. Mass casualty events in the cities, terrible damage to orbital and surface infrastructure, even failures of basic infrastructure like water purification. The Rebel Alliance is out of their depths when it comes to managing a reconstruction effort like this. We can’t allow a world this core to Coruscant to remain in such a vulnerable state. “The Survivor’s Foundation has dispatched a pair of their larger ships to take the lead, but… they’re borderline pacifistic. If the Mandos left stragglers behind, or Force forbid, the Sith show up in force, they won’t be in any position to resist. So, you have two objectives: assist the Survivor’s Foundation with their reconstruction and security wherever you’re needed; and reinforce the planet’s defenses wherever you can. The planet will need an early-warning system in the event that the Sith are eyeing it for takeover. We cannot simply allow the Sith to have complete domination of the Core, no matter what happens.” Draygo passed another of the communications discs to the young Mon Calamari Knight. Although her Padawan had nearly completed his own training, Armiena suspected that Genesis wasn’t quite in the mindset to operate on the doorstep of a Sith-controlled Coruscant, and would be relieved that know that there would be both a Jedi Healer as well as one of the Order’s most veteran Masters alongside him. “Now, questions? I can help you secure any resources you need, but I have a target that I want to tend to myself.”
    2 points
  9. Nok stopped moving. Very slowly, he turned his head and raised his hands. His blindfolded eyes stared into space as his own fear painted the room, that sudden rush of adrenaline when something surprises you followed by the electric chill that comes when you realize it's something dangerous. Nok took a breath, letting that emotion sink in as he moved past his physical senses and unraveled into the Dark Side. This world was strong in it. Centuries of suffering, fear, and death piled onto one another into something you could almost taste in the air, behind the stink of freshly dead bodies and burning plasma impurities. "Master R3...ah, Master Remo. I'm honored. I did not think I would ever meet the master of Black Sun. I'd bow, but I'm afraid you'd shoot me if I tried." The console behind Nok beeped, and he fought to keep a grimace of annoyance off his schooled expression. His program was done. The entire relay station was set to send an unprotected pulse to the shield generator, forcing an emergency shutdown. If Nok had done it right, and if he knew anything about the old shield generators they used on this rock, they'd be down for almost 20 minutes. Plenty of time for House Sovros' clones to take the atmosphere factories. The problem, appropriately enough, was the Naboo dedication to safety. A pulse like that would trigger a break and just cut power. The shield would be weaker, but not down. Unless, of course, someone pulled the manual override lever before the pulse got sent. The manual override lever on the wall directly behind the psychotic little droid and his henchman. Nok had heard of R3-M0. A dangerous criminal in control of more dangerous criminals, who regularly matched up against the darkest and most depraved elements in the galaxy. Black Sun didn't have the reach it once did, but every action of the mastermind in that durasteel dome that rippled through the underworld promised big things. "It seems you've caught me at a bad time Master Remo. And given your...independent affiliation I can only assume you're here to lay claim to this little rock same as us. Perhaps we can work something out? I might have something I can-" Nok's fingers barely twitched as he touched on the Force, the swirling eddies of energy around responding like the strings of a harp to second-year student. Not perfect, but passable. One of Nok's knives tore free of its sheath and launched itself through the air at the droid's henchman. ((1))
    2 points
  10. Of all of the emotions one would think that Zalis, the Queen of Vice would be feeling as she had her ship, Lucky Strike navigate the Akkadese Maelstrom towards the planet, many would not have guessed nauseated, but she was. The idea of the whole situation brewing on the surface brought up many scenarios playing out in her head, all of which had many of the legitimate companies she owned or had high stock in could come crashing down around what was transpiring or could transpire. At that was her sole purpose in making the run as fast as she could to get here. Not to respond to the Black Sun's call for agents to help defend it if they could, but rather to protect her own agendas, which could do more damage to the Sith Empire and Rebellion, which in turn would hurt her own business. She stood behind the pilot droid, PD-087, who was navigating as best it could with its high tech gear. She couldn't care less how the droid actually did it, so long as it got her planet side safely. As the ship moved, she got her dress off, which revealed bare minimum clothing, to which she quickly but her weapon belt and straps on, followed by her brown leather jacket and combat boots. She needed to make sure that she was in a position to defend her assets, no matter what. "Ma'am, there are a few reports coming in quickly. It seems to be several small insurgents attempting take overs at multiple locations. I will try to find the least dense populated are-" "No- swing me over near the processing plants. I want to protect them." She didn't give the droid a chance to respond, she began to walk back towards the landing ramp. She knew what she was about to do, and the droid knew its role in all of it. She opened the landing ramp, having sirens from within the ship blare at her in warning, which were quickly drowned out by the loud whoosh of wind that took over. She zipped up her jacket and and stepped down onto the landing ramp towards the edge, holding onto one of the gears that held the ramp. She looked towards where the ship was headed and saw what she needed to see. Lucky Strike was moving quick and low towards one of landing pads, and she saw her moment. She stepped off the ramp and leaned backwards in a quick fall over the landing pad. She used a trick she learned when escaping crime bosses she would assassinate from high buildings on Coruscant. She spun herself backwards so that she would land without a lot of impact upon her own bones and joints. As she landed, she pulled out two blasters and began to pour fire towards those that began to oppose her as she moved hurriedly towards defending the processing plant.
    2 points
  11. The first shot that sailed towards Char was crippling, winging and disabling his entire left side. The next two were lethal. The drone’s last noises before the blaster fire squared him away was a beep of pain. The Water Beetle, who was so eager to fulfill any command given to him, fell lifelessly through the air like a stone before exploding in a small ball of fire. Mozo was slightly more lucky as the shot went just to his right. The explosion that occurred barely fazed him, but the beep that had come just a millisecond earlier had enraged him. Having heard his companion’s death cry, he began to honk in anger and try to circle the pilot’s backside, away from her sidearm. It’s gun swiveled a top its body, firing twice at the chair. Xar had ordered her death, and she had killed his partner. Xar would be beyond displeased if both drones failed this task. While the lone drone tried to finish it’s task, Xar was busy with the astromech. It had denied him. It had declared its loyalty to the puny organic being. When the astromech turned off its engines, Xar was surprised. Xar couldn’t help but wonder if the little astromech didn’t care for its own survival. When the astromech attempted the electroshock Xar, he knew that the little droid must have had a death wish. The electricity was enough to short out Xar for about two seconds, forcing him to fall limp and separate from the droid,. As his own sensor came back on, he had a glimpse of the astromech’s own eye sensor. Rage filled the Hunter-Trainer droid once again, forcing him to forget why he had attempted to grab onto the droid in the first place. This little machine was trouble. “You wish to serve your inferior master so well?” Xar cried out as he raised both arms and aimed his forearm blasters. “Then die with her!” At a distance of a meter at most, Xar opened fire, giving two shots aimed at the droid’s eye. (2)
    2 points
  12. Xar sighed in annoyance among the pirates. This was not what he was hoping for. When Nok said he had forces ready with the Troig, he expected something a bit better. Something higher class, like combat droids, or highly trained assassins and sabeteours. Not a rag-tag band of merry, most likely inebriated, idiots. “Nok, you better come through on this next payment, or so help us, we will never do another one of these...jobs.” Xar grumbled to the Neimodian next to him. It was a hollow threat though. Nok had paid handsomely already before, and Xar didn’t suspect that would end after today. But did the Neimodian have to be so suicidal? The sewers on Mon Cal were bad enough. This…this was something else entirely. A honking noise distracted the Hunter-Trainer droid. His Water Beetle Drones, Mozo and Char, cocking their stun blasters were attempting to draw it’s master’s attention to the riff-raff around him. The countless potential threats were driving them insane. “Shush you two. They are friendly...for now. Now reattach. It’s nearly time.” At Xar’s command, Mozo went to Xar’s front and Char to his back. Xar held his arms out sideways to give the two drones better access. Small gravity locks clicked in place as the drones quickly turned sideways and embedded themselves. A last minute addition Vizier had made before Xar left Mon Cal. While the blue color scheme of the drones didn’t match his green, and their awkward shapes weighed him down slightly, it was a useful tool in this mission. True, they couldn’t shoot while in this mode, but it was still useful. Xar could now carry his drones when he would be hopelessly uncatchable at their normal speeds. Such as when dropping out of a spaceship and freefalling towards a planet. “Time to suit up” one of the Troig’s heads said. Xar didn’t know which one, nor did he care. He was just glad to get to work finally. Xar didn’t put on the suit that was offered. As a droid, the exposure of space wasn’t a worry. Atmospheric re-entry could be a bit harmful, but Xar calculated that, while he would get singed, he would survive. Besides, his first target was in space. With the hold override activated, a cheer went up amongst the pirates who were partnered with Xar. Mozo and Char seemed to take this as a good sign and honked in praise as well. Xar would have rolled his eyes if he could while leaping out of the ship. He was surrounded by lessers. Xar’s target was in sight. A large, barely working satellite almost in the planet’s manufactured atmosphere. Built as a communications array between this planet and others, it stood as a testament of being able to last despite years and years of neglect. Parts of the hull were made from Phrik even. Normal blaster fire would've ineffective against it. Xar’s mission was simple: Destroy it so that the planet below couldn’t radio for help. The band crashed into the satellite with ease. The pirates activated their magnetic boots to avoid falling off while Xar himself simply armed his claws and grabbed on to a piece of the hull. “Get to work you stupid mynocks! We don’t have all day for this!” Xar barked out. The pirates grumbled but obeyed, arming and attaching detonators. Ten would be enough, especially if they placed them at the... An explosion of noise caught everyone’s attention. Xar looked up to the sky where he had just came from. “What in the maker are those?!?” Ships were descending on the planet. No, they were beasts! Xar shook his head. Those were beasts but also machines. With riders of all things. And following them were actual ships. Xar looked at the pirates, who were dumbfounded. “Get to work you idiots! Don’t let them intimidate you! Move no-” All hope of keeping the pirates under control was lost. The pirates picked up their weapons and began to open fire at the approaching forces. Xar groaned in annoyance. “Idiot lessers...” A strafe of fire began on the satellite. Pirates who were next to the shots were blown away. A few smart beings were beginning to jump off the ship and continue their descent to the planet. One particular crazy pirate actually called out his enemies an inappropriate name before getting obliterated. “Must we do everything ourselves?” Xar lamented. Mozo honked once in agreement. Char rapidly beeped and honked in laughter. Xar sighed. These two were getting a memory wipe when the mission was done. Grabbing one of the last detonators, Xar made a running dash and jumped off the satellite, falling to the planet at a rapidly increasing speed. As the droid jumped off, he armed and chucked the last detonator towards the satellite. Once it would blow up, Xar would then descend to the planet, with the help of his drones of course. All he had to do was release them and let them slow his descent with their own methods of flight. Nothing could go wrong. A miscalculation of the detonator's timer ruined that plan. As the explosion occurred, the force shoved the unanticipated Xar forcefully away. With Laser fire around him and an explosion behind him ,Xar was in a world of light and fire. The momentum made Xar spin head over feet as the droid tumbled through the dogfighting. Over and over his sensors attempted to recalibrate, in a vain attempt at telling where up was up and where down was down. Xar stretched his arms out, grasping at that slim chance of catching something that he could help slow his fall. A dead pirate. One of those metal beasts with a rider. Anything. The possibility of catching a ship with his bare claws were astronomically small. But even so, the chance was there, as the droid was caught on a descending X-Wing’s upper right wing. With a newfound resolve and a determination that only a droid could muster, Xar clutched on as tightly as possible, pulled as close as he could, and clutched onto the bottom wing with his feet claws. “This is much worse then the sewers…” Xar stated to himself. It was bad enough that his entire pirate group failed to listen to him and were now probably dead. Now he would have to replace his claws too. Not to mention he’d have to live with the fact that he owed his circuits to some random pilot. Perhaps he could kill them, as a way of showing thanks. These X-Wings certainly weren't with Nok.
    2 points
  13. 6 hours earlier. Aboard The Bleeding Edge "And finalized." The voice coming over the comm was deep, clipped, and refined. While Nok could not see the hologram, he was familiar enough with the current Darth Sovros' reputation to pay careful attention to every word said. "Thank you Uncle." This voice, coming from the comm on Nok's left, was feminine and radiated the naked ruthlessness of the privileged. Darth Zayira. Niece of Darth Sovros. Nok Morliss' newest business partner. "And the terms of the contract are understood by both sides?" Sovros asked, sounding almost bored. "We wouldn't want misunderstandings clouding up this deal, assuming success." His tone remained level, but Nok imagined Darth Zayira shivered with him at the implied meaning. As the witness to the contract, Darth Sovros would take it upon himself to hunt down and destroy any party who violated the agreement. Even his own family. Perhaps especially then. "Of course Uncle." Nok thought he caught a slight tremor in her voice. "You understand, neimoidian, that my ships won't jump until we have confirmation that the defenses are down?" Nok took a moment to collect himself before responding. "Yes. Just keep your forces in the nebula and wait for our signal." There was silence, and even over the hologram Nok imagined he could feel Darth Zayira's glare. "Don't waste my time...apprentice. House Sovros-" She stopped midsentence. Nok didn't know what Darth Sovros was doing, but it was apparently enough to make the haughty noble back down. There was a blip as Darth Zayira disconnected, leaving Nok alone with the infamous Darth Sovros. "...One chance neimoidian." Then another blip, and Nok was alone. Present, aboard The Tortuga Nok slipped the last latch shut, the hiss of the suit pressurizing distracting him from the resentment and nervousness of the men around him swirling through the enclosed space. This is it. As the void of space opened up, Nok sensed something was ending for him. This was the true end of his time hiding in the shadows, living off the margins. He jumped out. The small voice from Mon Cal, from the deepest, scarred parts of his mind, spoke up then. Dead in the cold and dark.
    2 points
  14. In the break of combat the unmistakable sound of armour hurtling towards the door echoed in the hall. Boots thumping on the steel. Vox grinned, knowing his pack was coming to finish this skirmish. Kahla lifted her chin, smirking. He made a powerful charge towards her, lifting his glaive over his shoulder. She slide her left foot behind her, her weight planted firmly on her right. The heavy footsteps grew louder, any second they'd be all over her. Facing just one had proved a daunting task, but three more? She had to be quick. Their weapons clashed, the impact drowning out the impending fireteam. Pushed back on her supporting foot, Kahla slid her saber forward, Vox's blade near the hilt of her weapon she sliced down and right. The end of her blade pierced his right brow, burning its way to his left cheek. As he recoiled from the pain she slid her blade below what served as his handguard, liberating the weapon from his grasp with a heavy swing. The door hissed open, and the first volley of blaster fire rang out across the room. The hangar walls danced with hues of red and green as Kahla gave to order to return fire. From their advantageous positions, the Troopers started making short work of the Alliance soldiers. When the pack burst through the door, they didn't hesitate to launch grenades at the defending Sith. With the force she hauled the paneling up in front of her, creating a make shift shield of durrasteel. She had to hold it strong as blast after blast served to push back. The engines of their transport boomed just as the barrage halted. With great fury Kahla lept from her cover, only in time to see the shuttle's rear leave the hangar. Only a few, now surrendering Alliance troops remained. Kahla tightened her fist, her rage contorting her thoughts. She cut down the rest of the soldiers without mercy, one after another, slash after slash. The sith troopers came down from their position, one approached her. "We held the hangar, ma'am. Suffering two friendly casualties, three injuries." Her weapon disengaged as she breathed a sigh of relief. "Very good. Get the injured, and myself, medical attention." While she didn't secure the killing blow, she defeated the boarding foe, forcing them into retreat. Finally her pride had been earned. Comm link in hand, she reached out to her master. "My lord, I've successfully driven off an enemy attack. We have minimal casualties, and sustained some injuries. What are your orders?" The medic began tending to her gashes, her robes now soaked in blood. Kahla's spirits were high, glad she had proven her worth.
    2 points
  15. It started off with some tension at first, almost like putting on something that was just too tight. It alerted Kirlocca to the change, a change he wasn’t really sure he wanted or was ready for. Pain, memories and restrictions were being placed upon him. While he knew what was happening, he didn’t really think that it would feel the way it did. He was being brought back to life. Somehow, he hadn’t expected for anyone to even attempt it, not unless there were desperate times. But wait, I had known the state of the galaxy… why can’t I know that now? It was a question that was beginning to burn within him. He was going from being a part of the living Force, to only being able to feel the Force. He was indeed being brought back to life, but by whom? And why? His sight blurred for a brief second or two, and then all he could see was white. It was warm, yet cold. Feelings he hadn’t felt in forever. He was having a hard time figuring out what he was feeling again. The light was warm, yes, it was a light and it was warm. The cold feeling was his body. He was cold and wet. No, he wasn’t wet. He was… he wasn’t sure. What was that feeling? Air. He could smell, but he didn’t know what it was that he was smelling. It was all tension, but to a passing note. He willed himself to keep his eyes closed until he could feel the touch in the Force to wake up fully. It was all that he could do. Breathe, in and out…. Breathe… Just... breathe. Raven? Did he feel her? Slowly, the Wookiee began to open his eyes. His vision was blurred and could’t see. He tried to move, but couldn’t. Muscle memory was still coming back to him. Things just felt off, except for the Force. I guess it was how I used to be, fully dependent upon the Force. So I must return to that state. Re-closing his eyes, Kirlocca’s own voice began as best as it could. << I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. >> Kirlocca began to attempt to open his eyes again. His eyesight was still blurred, but nowhere near as much as before. His muscles were weak, but responding to his commands. He could now fully feel within the Force presences he had once felt before. He knew them, yet it was not as they were before. Emotions started to creep in-and they overwhelmed him in the strangest of ways. They didn’t flood back, but they did indeed come back. It was a process that worried him, to have everything that tied him down slowly coming back as his full freedom within the Force was slowly being taken away. And for that, he needed to will himself back into a position to speak clearly, but he wasn't sure if he could yet. So instead he reached out in the Force and connected with those of whom he had felt before. ... Raven... Tobias...
    2 points
  16. Ruling: Terra vs. Qaela Well, this is a hard one. On one hand, Terra was magnificent in pushing the assault, on the other Qaela was equally as deft defending and was moving to make the narrative very interesting. Frankly, I want to see the end of this duel. Calling it now isn't really fair to either side, so from the outset I'm going to call this one a tie. Welp, please read below for the explanation, but the win goes to Terra. I was asked to analyze specifically the interactions with tactical NPCs, and I will say both the tactics and actions were fairly impressive. I think tactical NPCs aren't nearly as immune to being able to dodge things as PCs are, and as such some of the escapes could be seen as a little much (while perfectly fine for a PC), but at the same time everything was done with measured skill and concerted efforts. This is the benchmark for how to use tactical NPCs in battle. A further note: the formatting was a bit annoying with the constant titles, I recommend simply bolding the names when they become relevant (definitely keep relevant NPC actions to separate paragraphs as much as possible, that does help to clarify it), and keeping the tl;dr spoiler for a summation of relevant actions as those posts can absolutely get dicey to read through. Here's how the next few seconds unfold: A Sith starfighter falls from the sky after a particularly vicious dogfight, landing much closer to Qaela's forces. This provides the cover amid the resulting smoke and debris her men need to extract her, as it also incapacitates her from an unexpected chunk of metal that manages to hit her in the head. This fight was going to be more or less a senseless meat grinder for both sides, and the break in action is welcomed despite the loss of chances to eliminate more high value targets on either side of the battle. Both women know this isn't over. The future demands an ending to this revelation, a conclusion for each to a surprising chapter that has come to an unfortunate and short-lived close. EDIT: I missed something very important in my readthrough here. I was assuming Qaela was using her own NPC forces to mostly serve as punching bags (outright allowing an AT-ST and an E-web emplacement to get one shot), but there was one counterattack where thermals were used against Terra's NPCs. This, to me, is a bit over the line. I missed it because the posts still read great and the action in the back and forth was intense. But per the rules and intended mechanics for duels, FUs should not be using tactical NPCs to any measurable effect in duels. As a Sith master, Qaela should be more than capable of facing off with this squad, and is even allowed to rise to the occasion should the dangers this squad presents outgun what she is typically capable of. Duels are meant to be writer vs. writer, and while good use of tactics is part of that, a Legendary NFU like Terra (the equivalent of a master-ranking FU) should be on even par when including the the tactical NPCs Legendary NFUs are allowed. As such, Qaela was acting a bit more like an NFU here than a FU. I was willing to brush off most of the NPCs she brought with her because of how easily she was willing to lose them, but when they become actual threats to viable elements of an NFU's combat potential, they cease to be flavor and become tactical NPCs, which is per the rules over the line. As such, the win goes to Terra, who may narrate the ending. (A final note: the only reason I narrated above is in the event of a tie, where I step in as the neutral party to ensure players have a fair positioning after the dust clears and to understand where they stand and what to do next. I do not do that in the event of a regular winner.)
    2 points
  17. With the focus on Aidan and Kashi, Aidan hastily ordered his men to advance to the assault shuttle at all costs, as it was their best hope of escape. With the Force, he levitated two bags of the credits, sending them hurtling towards the shuttle entrance. If he was to be at his best in this hornet's nest, he couldn't afford to be slowed down by them. A split second later the hairs on the back of his neck prickled, his senses giving him warning of the imminent attack by the Castellan, but he was in no position to do anything about it. The telekinetic energy sent him reeling, sliding across the street to slide to a nasty halt against a duracrete bench. He'd managed to twist himself to absorb most of the impact, but it still hurt. This was the work of the dark side, and it was high time Aidan took this threat seriously. For a brief moment there was a lull in the fighting as everyone in the area felt the young Darkfire delve into the Force, like a tone so deep it was felt rather than heard. The energies of the light swarmed to him, concentrating in his hand as he held it before him. Ghostly silver-white flames softly began flickering about him, manifesting from the intense density of Force energy. His voice cracked like thunder across the street as he walked forwards a few steps, taking an appropriate position. "Sith! I name you! Oppressor of the weak! Thief of virtue, scourge of the righteous! You have lost your way, and I will help you find it!" Aidan's hand shot forward to point at the Castellan, and from it poured an intense white-hot light, a supernatural jet of flame and water yet neither, the very essence of the energy of the light side, the Exorcist's flame. Aidan was not the judge of how it would affect the man, all reacted differently to the assault. The man would serve as his own judge. His own sins would damn him as he was confronted with them, but goodness and compassion in his heart would proportionately save him from the burning righteous wrath. Aidan's own hand began to burn, but he ignored the pain, it was the double edged sword of exorcism, the toll he paid for the right to exact such a punishing manipulation of light. This was all or nothing, and if he expected the rest of his men to survive it was a necessary maneuver, a price gladly paid. At the least, this would buy them the time they needed.
    2 points
  18. SITH EMPIRE ROUND SEVEN. Fleet Command (Flagship) High Command: Exodus, Inquisitor Barca Augmentation: Axial Weapon (MK-I), Ultra-Heavy Flak Cannons (MK-I) Xhendora-Class Dreadnought, Goliath |0/17| Battle Line Escort: Tradition of Excellence Commander: Exodus, Inquisitor Barca Task Force Experience: Veteran, 2XP Gladiator-Class Star Destroyer, Minotaur |32/25| Sith Empire Destroyer Group [Turbolasers]: Focus Fire Assigned PC: NPC (Qaela) Task Force Experience: Veteran, 2XP Assigned Callsign: Herløv Kyber-Class Star Destroyer, Herløv |0/10| RETREATED _________________________________________________________________________ Assault Lance [Kinetic Ram]: Juggernaught Assigned PC: Nok Morliss (commanded by NPC Jaden Jorus) Task Force Experience: Green, 1XP MC80a Star Cruiser The Prodigious |0/10| DESTROYED Combat Air Patrol Carrier: No Fly Zone |Sergeti| Assigned PC: Nok Morliss (commanded by NPC Jaden Jorus) Task Force Experience: Green, 1XP Lucrehulk Control Core (LH-1740) Eye of Opulence |0/6| MC30c frigate Tidewalker |3/3| MC30c frigate Blue Horizon |3/3| Thranta-class corvette Dawn Sentry |2/1| Thranta-class corvette Winning Hand |2/1| DESTROYED Covert Strike Force: Silent Hunters Assigned PC: Nok Morliss (commanded by NPC Jaden Jorus) Task Force Experience: Veteran, 3XP Nova-class Battle Cruiser Our Velvet Ire |9/9| _________________________________________________________________________ Advanced Warfighter Cadre: Catastrophic Oracle Commander: Nyrys Task Force Experience: Green, 1XP Promised Razor: |3/9| Lamia: |3/3| Cassandra: |2/1| Sibyl: |2/1| Egeria: |2/1| Pythia: |2/1| RETREATED Tactical Support Escort: Wayward Serpent DESTROYED Commander: Nyrys Task Force Experience: Green, 1XP Temple of Vipers: |1/9| Coiled Hatred: |3/3| Nidhoggr: |1/1| Moin: |2/1| Goin: |2/1| Svafnir: |2/1| Green Precision Strike Carrier: Unforgiving Rebuke Commander: Nyrys Task Force Experience: Green, 1XP Myrmidon: |11/10| ________ The Xhendora-Class Dreadnought hovered over the esteemed shipyard installation, its forward batteries raining beautiful death on the Rebel formations. On the tactical screen on the flagship's nigh-transparent deflector shields flickered and died. A few more bursts, and the display informed the tactical officer that the warship shield output had seized being operational. "The installation is mostly evacuated of civilian hosts, Captain Zloth'cal'duorii," the officer reported. The Captain of the Goliath nodded briskly. Zloth'cal'duorii was a thin, contentious man with cold virulent eyes, who had been in Imperial service since just after the end of the Onderonion Wars. "Excellent. Inform the boarding parties that they may proceed." Dozens of troop transports had previously launched from the Star Destroyer's hanger carrying specialized Imperial stormtroopers who would assist those that already occupied the defended shipyards, heading at their sluggish but sure pace for the installation. The Captain watched from the forward bridge, monitoring their progress on a tactical readout. The transports had heavy shields, but for the most part, held a direct line to the asset that they still had a loose grip on defending. When the transports reached the station's docking bay, shields dropping as they maneuvered to dock, the stormtroopers would fan out and reinforce the current manifest of largely deployed ground units. One of the Destroyer's numerous TIE squadrons swung around the transports in lazy loops, sensors scanning for any sign of Rebel interference. So far, the backdrop had been relatively clear, save for the bombing runs that chipped away at the stalwart formation of both the Goliath and the Minotaur. Omega Six braced for the jolt as the launch tractors grabbed her TIE and flung the tiny craft away from the hull of the Goliath. Punching the engines to full, she swung about and fell in beside Atom's craft. They formed behind the two TIEs piloted by Howl and Huntress. The old man's voice came over the comm. "Omega Wing, this is Omega Leader. Omega Five and Six, hang back and screen our objectives for any designated attack. Green on proton torpedo deployment, let them fly." "Copy, Omega Leader," Six acknowledged, though she was challenged by the direction personally. "Omega Six, this is Five," said 'Bucktoe', sounding troublesome as usual. "Did yah see how they peeled back that Nebula-class? Real cowboy shit if you ask me! Are we fixin' ta just sit 'ere and wait for 'em to tag these yellowbellies? These no-good rebel pilots are dropping like flies, they can't fly like us honey!" "Yes, Five, we're going to just sit here," 'Red Fox' said through clenched teeth. "But for crying out loud, Buck, be quiet. This is an open channel." "That's good advice, Buck." Huntress' voice said, level as always. "I suggest you take it." "Copy that, ladies," he said ruefully, watching as the rest of the Wing tore the opposition to shreds, wondering just how long the fleet itself had to hold out for.
    1 point
  19. Rebel Alliance Offensive Actions |Kitchener| Attacks |Sergeti| (6 damage) |One| Attacks |Unforgiving Rebuke| (4 damage) |Akalenedat| Attacks |Juggernaut| (6 damage) |Bes'bev| Attacks |Juggernaut| (4 damage) |Taffy-14| Attacks |Unforgiving Rebuke| 2 x Bombers Inbound (6 damage to hull) |Fleet Commander Starfighter Action| Bombers Inbound on |Unforgiving Rebuke| (3 damage to hull) |Fleet Commander Starfighter Action| Bombers Inbound on |Goliath| (3 damage) Defensive Actions |Fidelity| attaches to |Kitchener| |Zeeland| continues to escort |Taffy-14| |Fleet Commander Starfighter Action| Interception (Focused Deployment on |Taffy-14|) Total Damage Received: 4 damage to |One| straight to cruiser from bombers 11 damage to |Taffy-14| 8 damage to |Zeeland| Sith Empire Offensive Actions Fleet Command (Flagship) attacks |One| (6 damage) Assault Lance [Kinetic Ram]: Juggernaught attacks |One| (4 damage) Stealth Ship [Name Redacted] applies banked damage (9) on |Taffy-14| BI on |Taffy-14| (3 damage) BI on |Taffy-14| (3 damage) BI on |One| (3 damage to hull) BI on |One| (3 damage to hull) BI on |One| (3 damage to hull) Defensive Actions Battle Line Escort: Tradition of Excellence escorts Flagship Inter (focused deployment) on |Juggernaut| Inter (focused deployment) on |Juggernaut| Stealth scans reveal nothing. Mod note: Sorry for the delay. Doing all the math for y'all has not only led to a host of mistakes on my end but has also added to the time it takes for me to get these results up considerably. I will no longer be attempting to do that in the hopes that I can start pounding these out much faster- sorry for the inconvenience.
    1 point
  20. Every second of this felt so incredibly right to Aidan. His life had been chaos as long as he could remember, a series of bad things one after another, but when he was with Sandy everything came together and made sense. Nothing else mattered more to him. All his doubts had washed away with the cleansing waters, anything anyone in the Order might have thought of their relationship, any fears of the future; the only thing Aidan clung to was the woman he had come to love. He had thought he knew what love was before this, he'd heard flowery epithets, lovers gush about what it meant, but it took until he'd felt it himself to truly understand. No matter what happened, what twisted chaos the galaxy could ever throw at them, they were each other's anchor. That thought made him more joyous than he had ever thought he'd be, that she would be there for him. Everything could change, but she was his constant, and even death couldn't keep them apart. Mentally he reached out, intertwining his consciousness with hers, sharing his feelings with her through the Force. In the back of his mind he knew this moment was temporary, but for the time being, he wanted it to last as long as possible... ----------------------------------------------------------- He wasn't sure what time it was when he opened his eyes, and honestly he didn't care. For the first time since he was a kid, he was genuinely happy. And this wasn't the kind of happiness he'd experienced when getting a new game or finding something new and fun, this was a lasting happiness, which made it all the more better. There was security and comfort in knowing this wasn't transient like most other things. He looked down at her, her hair in a half-ponytail that had mostly fallen out at some point during the night, splaying across his chest like blonde ripples of sunlight. Her arm hung loosely over him, devoid of tension. Part of him wanted to try to use the Force to reach out, see what she might be dreaming about, but instead he simply let her rest. His eyes drifted back toward the ceiling as thoughts rushed through his head, each a tangent of his newfound happiness. He wasn't sure how long he'd been staring at the ceiling when she awoke, but time was meaningless as long as she was by his side.
    1 point
  21. That hunger, the calm malevolence, the dread and horror which radiated like waves of fire off of the Hutt struck upon Sandy with little grace. It was an ancient thing, hunger itself, and covered in a masquerade of malice. If there had ever been something that embodied the Sith Lords to Sandy Sarna, this Hutt was it. Even the humour, while it brought a wry smile to her lips gave her pause. Was this the Dark Lord? Surely it must be, something so ancient could have survived off of the darkside since the time of Marka Ragnos. But the hunger was too sharp, too piercing to be a lasting hunger. It was the hunger of the Maw. This was malice and gluttony given shape. All consuming, and it must be fed. From people, to starships, planets, to entire galaxies themselves. Leave this hunger alone now, and it would consume everything she loved. The lightsaber showed its bright white light against its glittering eyes, reflecting in cavalcade from the spittle around his great lips, making a dancing and swirling shadow that bounced across the darkening hanger. She spoke at last as she let the force flow around her, mimicking the white light of her saber. “Let the child go from here Great Hutt.” The saber flicked its tip towards the distant young girl who was cowering behind his great mass before whipping back up towards the Hutt. “I do not know you, and I do not fear you. Now I assume you will not surrender?” Her eyes flickered from the axe on his belt to the staff he held in his hand. She had never before faced such an opponent, but she had met and defeated many Sith, and every one had thought themselves unbeatable. And she was a Jedi Master. This was her duty, her great honour. She took a step forward and let the force flow around her, gathering around the weapons on her belt as she reached out with the hand that did not hold the lightsaber. The force moved and two of the vibroknives flickered off of her belt driving from her right and left in solid arcs towards the hutt’s great mass, their blades a sheen of microvibrating darkened metal guided by the force itself. While she used the force to wrench at the decking below his great mass, it was harder than a simple pull at a man's ankles, but she hoped it would provide distraction enough for the knives to find their purchase. Summary: Two vibroknives towards Sheog while pulling at the decking beneath him to distract and break his footing (padding?) ((1))
    1 point
  22. The shiver was peculiar and ran down her spine like flickering lightning. It was not the general danger sense that she had been so long accustomed to, but it was certainly something of the force. An evil, not only pure malevolence, but a familiar one, an ancient...hunger? The same hunger that had been at Onderon. That same evil that had shaken the Galactic Alliance fleet to its core. It was something galactic, a reflection of what she had felt pulling at her in the Maw. And it was here, tempting at her, luring her. She knew her face had gone pale because the soldiers gave her an appraising look as the shuttle set down in one of the many hangers that spotted the great shipyards. “My Lady?” She took a drink from her canteen and slid the clasp shut. Letting the cool taste of the water cleanse the malodorous hunger that had touched the back of her mind. She let out a long sigh that was half resignation and half excitement as she reached out with the force. To touch the thing that had left its hungry challenge. She accepted the challenge and returned it with a cool determination. The Rebel Alliance and the Jedi order had come here to confront the Evil of the Sith Lords. She would not back down from that challenge. She looked back to the soldiers. “I would advise you go ahead with the mission and clear as quickly as you can from this place. May the force be with you.” She let her presence expand and reached out to Aidan as well giving him reassurance and strength before she let her presence shrink back down around her as the soldiers began their advance. The cloak dropped away from her slender shoulders and she flicked the lightsaber from her belt. It ignited into a pale white light which she held aloft like a beacon. Waiting for this hunger to appear.
    1 point
  23. The great and enormous slug peered from behind a veil of tobacco-smoke upon the planet and shipyards below. His glinting eyes picked out the lonely Golan platform that was the planet’s lone defense, beyond their enormous fleet. He let out a sigh, resting a grotesque hand on Gwen’s lithe shoulder. <<Ahh… Kuwait.>> The girl looked back at him through her beautiful brown eyes which stared quizzically at him “It’s pronounced Kuat, sir.” The Hutt pondered the strange name difference as he sipped on the stem of his elaborately carved pipe <<Perhaps, but for some reason I want to call this impending battle a Desert Storm.>> The girl sniffed, almost snorting with laughter “I’d say it’d be more of a Dessert Storm if you led it.” The Hutt placed his hand over the centermost of his many hearts, mimicking a humanoid gasp of wounded self-image and staggering backwards. <<A fat joke, from my own subordinate… What is the galaxy coming to?>> He reached out with the faintest flicker of the force, touching the distant pulses he could feel of the light side. He spread there a smattering of hunger, to any who had fought against his battle-meditation in the past, it would bring back horrid memories of how broken fleet combat used to be. Either that or of the last battles of Kuat or of the fall of Onderon and the battles of Ossus and Ord Mantell, where he had devoured countless legions. He passed with it a spreading horror, and a challenge... ...Come and face me, feast upon destruction...
    1 point
  24. As the bleeding stopped, I gazed at my opponent and saw her injuries as I felt mine. This was the price of war, the essence of battle. It was a place of darkness, an ending only leading to guide more upon it's path. I remembered it just as I remembered Corellia and the face of Mordecai, and why it tore my soul in two. Violence begets violence, hate begets hate, and scar begets scar. It was an never ending cycle of vengeance. Just as I saw and heard at Corellia. Just as Mordecai blamed the Jedi for oppression, the girl before me claimed sloth and unpreparedness. But we weren't soldiers. We weren't Gods. We were monks, Adepts in the will of the Force. Long has the rank of Knight implied Warrior, taking away our identity as Philosophers and Idealogists. So much so that I had viewed myself as such until I was broken at Corellia and my core belief shattered when I stood as a defender of light endowed with the task of cutting away the cancerous dark. But here at Chandrilla, I regained some of what was lost, rebuilding myself as I helped rebuild Hannah City and my understanding became clearer. I was not just a Defender of the weak and helpless. I was a Jedi, Protectorate of peace and tranquility, meant to guide the lost and broken back into the logistics of Progress and Peace. That was my core duty. And as I gazed into her hate filled eyes and felt the war within herself, I felt pity and sorrow for her. She was a lost soul defiled by the Darkness of her own heart, hiding behind the guise of war to fill the emptiness of her soul. And it was my job to help her see the truth. "We defend so that evolution can occur without the seed of hate." I spoke, my face soft and welcoming as I tried to reach her soul. "War breeds only death, destruction, and emptiness, a never ending stagnant of loss and vengeance in place of progression and growth." I felt a weakness within me grasp at my form, forcing me to catch myself from toppling over. In that moment, she took her chance. I had taken too much of my energy to protect myself and her, and she must have saw her opportunity. More sorrow filled my heart. This mission had grown all wrong, from isolation and solitude for my soul to war once again gracing Chandrila's surface even in the cavern littered cove of its sea. But my purpose had grown even more clear, and like Corellia, my vision became stronger. Like before, time felt as if it slowed down to a near stand still. The steadied pulse of my heart beat echoing in my mind as I saw her actions and intent intertwine with fate and I knew that she had made her choice. It broke my heart that she would remain lost to her inner darkness and never see the light of truth. And even as I yelled toward her form, only fate would prevent the outcome of this day. "Stop!" I shouted, the echoing of my voice intertwining with my wish for this moment to be adverted. But it would not be so, the Force encircling my form flowing outward tenfold with my wish as it raced toward her and the others to end our confrontation peacefully and without death, and a tear streaming down my face. Combat action: Force Repulse. ((3 - Choose our mod. Fun duel brother.))
    1 point
  25. Svata opened his mouth to retort, but bit his knuckle instead and sat in silence. After several long minutes had passed and he had eaten a few bites and sipped from his canteen, he spoke. "We came here looking for a truth, can't really complain if it's not the one we expected." He looked up at Telperiën. "What your people have gone through...I can't imagine. And I don't mean that as some polished sewage huckster spiel meant to smooth things over. I honestly can't imagine what...this..." he said, gesturing at the wasteland around him, "would do to a person. To a people. I also don't rightly understand what you're aiming for, or at least I can't envision it clear enough to make sense of it. What will your paradise look like when its grown back to how you see it?" He shook his head. "So understand where I'm coming from when I say... ...you all scare me. And I'm truly afeared that this story of yours isn't going to have a happy ending." He ran his hand through his hair. "I could be wrong of course. I find I usually am to some degree about most things." He grinned. "By the way. I always thought those rancors of yours were slow, plodding brutes. All claw and no brain. Turns out that was another thing I was wrong about." He chucked to himself as he rubbed the bruises no doubt forming on his ribs from the beast's grip earlier. "So I can successfully say this trip has been a learning experience."
    1 point
  26. The Twi'lek really wasn't sure. He hadn't had many encounters with the Jedi. The only one that came to mind was when he spoke to two Jedi when they passed through his home planet once. All of his knowledge came from stories. He felt even more pressure after Alliera had given a good answer. Siolo looked at all the other Jedi, racking his brains to figure out what they all had in common, but he could find nothing. Thoughts flew through his head, "To fight off evil?... No.... To swing cool lightsabers around?... Definetly not..." The Zabrak patiently stood waiting for an answer. Siolo rested his head in his arm, then said, "To be a Jedi means to be a guardian... a protector... I think." He then took a glance at the Zabrak, and whispered to Alliera, "Not as good an your answer, but I think it'll do for now. I'm Siolo, by the way."
    1 point
  27. (Apologies for interrupting whatever scenario is going on here, and not very good writing, still not too sure how this works) Siolo Hajanga entered the Rebel Base. He had just been picked up by a Jedi escort after he was found to be force sensitive. As his ship pulls into the hangar, he touches his hair up in the reflection on the metal dashboard. Siolo confidently struts out of the ship, and though he is mildly annoyed that nobody notices him, he is still quite excited. He takes a glance around the hangar, looking for somebody who can tell him where to go first.
    1 point
  28. To be honest, Durose didn't remember much from the last few minutes. He remembered meeting their new Sith overlord and heading to their quarters and then following Sirena to the hanger bay. He vaguely remembered being given a task and reaching out through the Force. But how he ended up on his back or with this splitting headache was beyond him. Everything was still so foggy. Feeling his head, he looked at his hand to see blood on it. The one time I actually take off my mask... While Roshan attempted to sit upright, he could hear a tiny humanoid yapping at him. She looked rather funny. It wasn't that he was purely amused by the fact that sitting upright, he was finally short enough to meet her on her eye level. It was more that he was seeing multiples of her wobbling back and forth as she stared at him, all giving him the same nasty look. Of course, current vision issues aside, Lord Roshan was pretty positive he had nothing to do with this situation so he was unsure what her problem was. "Why did you lie to the girl? She is just like us, nothing more, nothing less. So why does she think she is a Lesser and that we are God's? Is your ego that attentive? Did you want her to fail?" Roshan sighed, rolling his eyes and carefully leaning back. He allowed his back and head to return softly to the floor, resting against the cold, durasteel deck. It felt a little better resting there anyway, outside of the wetness which he was sure was a byproduct of his new "battle wound." "I highly doubt she said as much. She knows we are only demigods. As for her thinking she is a Lesser... well... it all happened so fast. There was never any time to sit down and discuss things properly with the girl. That is, admittedly, a minor oversight on my part. I knew I was overlooking something. I was preoccupied with Soulless. She was never supposed to be anything more than competition to motivate it to become the weapon it was truly capable of. But... here we are." Feeling his head a little bit again before wincing, Roshan raised his voice a little even though it hurt his head to do so, "Is that what this is about? You sucker punched me while I was doing what you asked because I didn't tell the girl she was a demigod, too?" "Women," Roshan grumbled under his breath. ___
    1 point
  29. Mordecai smirked at her growing annoyance. Good. She was getting angry, but she wasn't using it. Regardless, she was faring better that when she had first arrived on Korriban. Her strikes were more focused, though they were all individual attacks. Not the artisanal web of light that his own sabers weaved, each blow leading into the next. He would teach, and she would learn. And if he had to beat her into submission again to solidify his lessons, he would. "You insist that you know not to lose, and yet you do not heed the lessons that would lead you to victory, instead preferring to lash out like a child with blade and mouth alike. Show me that you know more than me, then, Kahla." he said as his communicator flared to life. It wasn't much of a distraction, but it was enough to distract him for a brief moment. He was forced back, pushing Kahla's blade aside as it singed his side with its proximity. He hid his concern at just how close it had come to impaling him- More focused attacks indeed. Mordecai pivoted back, returning to stalking circles around his apprentice as he responded. "I will dispatch a team momentarily. My own apprentice requires a concussion first." he stated with a cold calm as he glared at her, before leaping in once more for a final flurry of attacks. The first was a deft thrust towards her chest with his left hand as he closed the distance. The next was a brutal slash towards her own belt, the Force aiding him once more as it surged though his body. His final blow, a roundhouse kick aimed at his apprentices jaw, served two purposes. First was to remind her that an attack could come from any limb. The second was to stay true to his word, intending to end the spar here with her unconscious on the ground so he could dispatch a medical team to Sirena's location. ((3))
    1 point
  30. Alrighty, first ruling, what could possibly go wrong? First, I want to congratulate both of you. This was an excellently written duel, one that on my first read through had already sucked me in. You both did an excellent job of detailing your surroundings and the effects the had on your characters. In addition, you both expertly handled injuries from previous duels, making it clear that they were there, and no, they weren't just fluff. Multiple times one of your characters would try something or think of something that didn't or wouldn't work due to present injuries and battle damage, as well as fully utilizing what remained of their kits very effectively. Well done. The only glaring errors in this duel comes from Blimp, firing three concussion rockets even though in his last dueled he emptied his reserves. There were no mentions of a restock or a reload, raising the question of where the rockets came from, and Terra's character sheet being edited before we could confirm that one of her NPCs was in fact kitted with a glop grenade (This is more forgivable, as the rebels came with the express intent to capture the enemy, and he could have just as easily picked one up from an unaffiliated rebel corpse and noone would have batted an eye, whereas finding three miniature concussion rockets on a pirate is considerably more jarring an idea). The takeaway from these is to A) Be mindful of what you have written on your sheet, and B) To be mindful that mods need the info as well When it came to taking new damage, however, I think Terra handled it more effectively. None of Blimp's attacks were useless. Each one, even if it didn't connect, was used by Terra to describe how she came to be in her current location, and damage was assigned accordingly. Terra only made three attacks the Blimp could respond to due to the formatting of the duel, and two of those were disregarded entirely by Blimp. Her opening flurry of shots were described as harmlessly bouncing off of his armor and the surroundings, and then again in the next post when she opened fire again. In the final two posts of the duel, both characters lose important parts of their kits. First, Blimp loses his armor, severely limiting his capabilities. Next, Terra loses her connection to Hades, which she'd been relying heavily on for the prior duel as well as the current one. The duel ends with both of them in the dark, stripped of their fancy tech and weapons, and left to duel it out with regular weapons and the naked eye. For Blimp, he's on the ground, his leg stuck in his armor, his mobility and positioning easily the more disadvantageous of the two. Terra, despite her injuries, is left standing, firing as an opponent that is for the most part, immobilized. This was a very close duel, and one that I'm glad will be my first ruling. But in the end, Terra's positioning and the rockets from Blimp mean that Terra is victorious over Blimp The next post is Terra's. Once again, I'd like to congratulate you both for an excellently written duel. For people that love Star Wars even without all the laser sword wizards running around, this is an excellent piece of storytelling that I look forward to seeing more of in the future!
    1 point
  31. The Sarlacc followed suit, plopping down much less gracefully on a log nearby his elder apprentice. He set his helmet on the ground beside him. Nodding his thanks to the young girl, he took his chunk of meat and tore into it with all the grace and respect of a spacer who had travelled the galaxy and knew enough to accept food when offered, but cared little for custom until he could learn it. If anything, the man felt more at home on the frontiers of space than he did back aboard the converted Ithorian herdship, Raka Nwul, their order called home. He listened intently as the woman who seemed in charge told of their people. This was what they had come for, to learn. The manipulation of the flames before them gave him pause. Clearly she was skilled. He listened to her words and watched as the images morphed and shifted endlessly, adding to her tale. Shooting a warm glance at Svata, the Sarlacc knew the Ryn was in his element. Stories, tales, and the regaling of histories was something that certainly played to Svata's strengths. Still, he could feel the darkness there. It echoed softly, even from the fire. It was if the land itself had been saturated in it and they found themselves at but one of it’s cruxes of power. What had they stumbled into? Following Svata’s lead, he offered a warm greeting in stride. “I am called Sarlacc, for like the mysterious beast, I am here to sit and take in all that may be offered, that I might best serve as a protecting presence to any that take shelter beside me.” Looking from Camik to Telperiën, he added, “Hate is a powerful force. One that nearly destroyed our people. May we offer what assistance two humbled vagabonds may in restoring your world from the fires that destroyed not only it’s life, but essence?” Slowly he took another bite of grilled rancor as he surveilled those in the camp. There were som many questions to be asked; but if they could tender goodwill, there would be time for such things later. One did not need to know all or agree on all to lend a helping hand. If the Jensaarai knew one thing, it was how to serve. Still, for the moment, he would hide their presence still. The Jensaarai way.
    1 point
  32. Kirlocca did his best to stay out of the way, mainly because he wasn't sure what else he was supposed to do. He hadn't been resurrected for very long, and while the Force was beginning to aid him, the last thing he wanted to do was to rely upon it so heavily that he couldn't do anything else without it. He watched for a moment during entry the cityscape of Nar Shaddaa come into view. Even without leaning into the Force, he was able to feel the life currents flowing so heavily upon the surface. There was also a strange somber feeling echoing off the entire planet. As he looked down, not wanting to reach out too heavily, he began to fully understand why Raven did what she did. Knowing that his life, second life that is, was about to get very crazy, he took a final swig of his caf and began to prepare himself for what he had to do. As the ship landed and the personnel began to disembark, the Wookiee held back for a moment, not wanting to be apart of the official Imperial standard group that normally came with high officials or the Empress herself. But Raven made it very clear to him that such a modest hanging back was not an option for him during this time. So he now walked slightly behind her, as he knew the traditions of the Empire were something that would take years to break, so he didn't want to insult anyone by standing as a complete equal to the Empress. As he came down the ramp with Raven, he was a bit surprised to not see any Jedi, outside of the Imperial Knights. It was then that he fully allowed for himself to reach out into the Force to feel those present. Almost immediately he could feel some presences that he knew from long ago. Armiena Draygo, Tobias Vos, Aiden Darkfire, Kyrie Eleison and Sandy Sarna. There were others, but none that had memories flood him like those. << I'm almost afraid to ask, but this facility doesn't feel like... You're holding back your own Force connection. Why? >> The question wasn't really directed as an insult, but more of curiosity. Raven was keeping herself in check, but Kirlocca could not fully understand. Even now, he could feel the Force slowly moving through her, but she was only observing it. He doubted he would get a direct answer from her, at least not today. For now, he believed that both knew Kirlocca would be sought out by other Jedi who could use some morale boost. So for the moment, the Wookiee let his question sink in with Raven. Kirlocca knew that she would make a far better Jedi then an Empress.
    1 point
  33. The light atmosphere of Kessel rushed past her helmet in a constant roar and Beth was glad for the small reserves of air that were captured in the tank attached to her left thigh. It wasn’t enough for 24 hours of life on the surface, but it was enough to wait for the evacuation shuttle. Or, more likely, getting enslaved by whatever the Sith would bring with those damned shuttles. She visually checked that the E-22 blaster carbine was still strapped into its harness beside her then her eyes sought after the disintegrating X-wing in the distance. “Kriffing hell I-” There appeared to be two objects rocketing up towards her ejection seat. She could not make them out specifically, but the pale sunlight glinted off their exteriors enough to tell her that something was in fact coming straight towards her, from the droid that had taken off her S-Foils. She was just reaching for the pull line of the blaster carbine when the first blue tinged bolt smacked into the seats padding next to her helmet, spraying her with little chunks of impact foam. The next three bolts span past the seat entirely, diffusing into the pale atmosphere behind her falling ejection seat. And Beth pulled the carbine up from its straps and slapped the slide release with a gloved hand, arming the blaster carbine as she brought the iron sights into alignment with the weaving orbs. This was certainly outside her training purview, and shooting from an ejector seat at two small droids would be hard, but they were closing the distance and when the first dodged into her sight picture she depressed the trigger. Sending a burst of three bright crimson bolts towards the first little droid, she then adjusted her aim to the second, letting it settle for a millisecond before shooting at it as well. But those little bots had not been idle and a single blast of energy grazed along the side of her face, numbing her cheek and filling her eyes with tears of pain. She furiously blinked them away as the altimeter on her wrist ticked towards zero. For R9-DT, or as his master had dubbed him in her tireless enthusiasm, ‘Dimitri,’ the story was equally terrifying. Though as an Astromech he was particularly programmed to feel fear, the sight of a giant droid with literal claws jumping at him was enough to give his circuits a taste of it. The metal behemoth spoke to Dimitri and the words he spoke was enough to develop a bead of hate in the little droid. Though he only spoke in binary, he thought his tone carried. “I do say how dare you. I would never!” And the claws dug into his chassis, dragging the larger droid along with him, though the power of his rocket boosters couldn’t save them both. Only slow their descent. But Dimitri had no such ambitions. He was a droid of the Rebellion, he had honour to uphold. Even if that meant his own destruction. He cut power to his boosters before ejecting his shock probe. And proceeded to dump half of his battery reserves in an effort to electrocute the other droid. As they plummeted with all the grace of a meteorite towards the ground. It was doubtful that it would work, but it was all Dimitri could do. And of that he was proud.
    1 point
  34. A rise of pleasure resonated in Xar’s circuits as the Hunter-Trainer droid activated his claws and began to tear the wing apart. Like a wild animal enjoying a delicious kill, Xar sliced and tore apart metal. Each piece of metal screeched as it was cut threw and tossed away like trash. Xar cackled to himself. Something about being purely destructive made Xar ecstatic. While it wasn’t as pleasant as hunting some form of prey, listening to fine music, or slitting a lesser’s throat, it was certainly enjoyable and even euphoric. However, the feeling didn’t last. Xar took a glance at the cockpit for just a moment, and the feeling of pleasure vanished. In that moment that didn’t last a full second, Xar caught the pilot’s eyes looking at him. He was expecting a look of fear from the pilot. Some form of terror or panic. But what he received was something different. Determination. The pilot, a fully grown humanoid, was not afraid of Xar. She was well-practiced and following protocol. Xar did not see fear. He saw a what he believed was a feeling of grit and resolve. Xar’s pleasure had been replaced by anger. She should’ve been afraid of him! She was a lesser! He was the superior being! The pilot's cockpit released. Her seat ejected from the doomed ship. Instantly Xar gave an order to the two drones latched onto his chassis. “Hunt her! Now! Track and Kill!” Xar wasn’t sure what caused him to send the drones like it. He wasn’t sure if it was because of his sudden anger at the pilot, because of his pride at being a superior being, or because of his utilization of a hunting chassis, but something inside Xar clicked. Like a dog seeing an animal run away, Xar had to catch the pilot and kill her. He had to sink his claws into her, or see her lifeless body splattered on the ground. He had to prove he was superior, and make her know it. Mozo and Char honked in acknowledgement at their commands. Without a moment of delay, the two detached from their master, activated their repulsorlift engines and took off. While they were drones, capable of handling only the simplest of commands, The drones understood the command ‘hunt’ . The two Water Beetles tried their best to catch up with the pilot, rising to meet her. In a few seconds, both were firing their stun blasters in hopes of stunning her or disabling her seat. Mozo honked with delight at each shot, while Char simply beeped a few times in agreement. Meanwhile, Xar focused on the task at hand. He had to get a safe landing, and there was one hope at the moment. The ship was beginning to point itself downwards. If he was correct, he didn’t have a moment to lose. In one second, Xar grabbed onto part of the wing he hadn’t destroyed and pulled himself up. In another second, Xar crawled closer to the ship’s center, fighting air resistance all the way. He could see the little astromech. Xar's ticket to a safe landing. “You will serve us and help us kill that pilot.” Xar declared loudly as he got into a crouched position, balancing himself on the rapidly descending ship. The astromech launched itself into the air. Xar didn’t care if the astromech was willing to let Xar hitch a ride or not. It didn't have a choice in Xar's eyes. Like the pilot, the astromech was a lesser, and Xar was the superior being. Thus it was meant to serve him. As the astromech launched, Xar leapt upwards and reached out with both arms, claws eager to grab a hold of more metal. He would attempt to grab onto the astromech’s flying little body, and force it to land on the ground safely. As a superior being would do Xar thought to himself. (1)
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  35. Silence. Pure, perfect, dead silence. Without his sight, the lifeless void was a great blank as the others spread out away from him in the descent. So, it jarred him when his comm crackled to life. Shimsinblimp knew those ships weren't set to arrive until after some of the ground defenses had been cleared and a landing zone was prepared, and there was no way they'd managed that. If Nok changed the plan, House Sovros could declare the contract invalid and leave them all with nothing. But the troig was also a capable commander and experienced raider. Nok grimaced, hesitated, then resolutely pressed the switch of the subspace transceiver. _____________________________________________________________________________ Kelzin H'nabro stared out the viewport of his ship at the roiling nebula. "Adjusting thrusters to compensate for drift," his first officer muttered from his console, voice bored and listless. "Kriffing Maw," Kelzin cussed, just as lifelessly. This was the worst part. Waiting. "Commander, there's still time..." Kelzin rubbed his forehead. "What are the odds right now?" "3 to 1 that we get sent home, no combat." Kelzin could understand the men's reasoning. Half of combat was positioning, advancing and retreating, fleets chasing tails. This was Kessel. Even under the thumbs of criminals, attacking it was...well it was something you just didn't do on a whim, and every crewman here (at least the nobles) could see a cobbled together attack when they were sitting at the helm of one. The commoners...well, they were brainwashed clones. They spoke when spoken to. They thought as they were directed. They didn't really have an opinion on the matter. But Kezlin knew something his fellow Force-less nobles didn't. He knew his wife. Darth Zayira, a woman with a vicious streak to match a nexu and an ambition that could out hunger a sarlacc. But more than anything else, she had an insecurity so deep it was swimming around the core of Onderon. No way would she just pull them back, not with her uncle watching. And if Kelzin failed her...well, she had two other husbands, and one of them actually was Force-sensitive. "Fine. Give me 800 crowns on the long shot. There's going to be a battle, and more than that we're going to be walking on that scummy asteroid in 24 hours." He saw his first officer shrug as he lazily keyed in his commander's bet. "It's your money...sir." As if the universe had a sense of humor, the light on Kelzin's console blinked to life. It was a small thing, but every set of shoulders on the bridge of the VT-49 Decimator tensed at the tiny click. Kelzin grinned. "We're on." _____________________________________________________________________________ The nebula parted, and a wedge of ships in tight formation raced out of it. Their sensors parsed the dogfight in front of them even as they became visible to others. At the head of the formation flew the blade of the tiny fleet. A VT-49 Decimator, the old imperial ship painted green with brilliant gold patterns lining the wings in opulent, overwrought designs. Etched in flowing script, the bow of The Eldest proudly proclaimed its name to the stars. Less extravagant but matching in green and gold, 4 Guardian-class corvettes spread out on each side of the lead ship, the 8 vessels forming the blades of the arrowhead. Hanging in the center, 5 Sentinel-class landing craft and 2 Gozanti-class carrier corvettes kept pace. The Gozantis each bore a HAVw A5 Juggernaut. The heavy wheeled vehicles bore blaster scars that poorly matched the polished fleet, but looking carefully one might see pilots waiting patiently for the land battle where they would demonstrate their real value. Completing the advancing force, 20 HH-87 Starhopper fighters screamed out of the concealing gases and fanned out, screening the tiny fleet. _____________________________________________________________________________ "Sir! Fighters ahead! Counting...X-wings...E-wings...My'tils...Javelins...Still working on the final count sir." "What? They're already-" "Sir! They're engaging the Kessel defense forces! And..." The first officer paused as he enlarged the still image of one of the Javelins on his screen, or more to the point, the image of the insignia emblazoned on it. Kelzin's teeth gritted. "Rebels. Of course." "Orders?" Kelzin's stance changed. His spine turned to iron. He pointed forward, the image of resolute and commanding. "Advance! Cover the transports to the landing zone! Anything gets close, you destroy it. Do not pursue. Fighters! Fan out another 100 meters and harry anything that tries to approach. Don't be brave, just keep them off us until we can get these troops on the ground." The fighter pilots, flash-trained sullustan clones, gave no affirmation, instead simply obeying. "Sir, we'll be in firing range in 10...9...8" Kelzin's eyes narrowed. Well...this may be a challenge. He smiled. _____________________________________________________________________________ Nok only had a moment as his own fear illuminated the ground to his peculiar sight before he struck it. He managed to turn it into a half-decent roll, and the clunky suit absorbed the rancor's share of the impact. Unfortunately, it left him bruised, stunned...and on his back. He struggled, flailing in an inelegant way for almost a minute as his faculties returned to him. He then realized two things. He wasn't alone. They weren't Shimsinblimps men. "Alright drunk spider," one of the men surrounding him, fear and anger pouring off him in equal measure, barked. The other two laughed nervously, and Nok could only assume it was a local joke. "Don't move, or we help you out of that armor with these." He hefted a serious looking blaster rifle in his hand and pointed it at Nok. The other two held their rifles at the ready, but were more focused on checking their surroundings than on Nok. "Of course, of course," Nok said, voice measured even as his rage, humiliation, and fear mixed inside him into some strange emotional bonfire of indeterminate quality. "I won't move a muscle." He reached out with the Force. He had one good trick, and while his knives were under the bulky suit, the scumbag guards (weequay he realized) had provided him with the tools he needed. The blaster rifle of the most distracted guard jerked to one side. With his nerves as thin as paper, he fired out of panicked instinct, and promptly dropped the guard who'd been hovering over Nok to the ground with a scorched hole in his shoulder and a string of Huttese curses. Dumbfounded, he only had a moment to consider as the third guard raised his own blaster at the supposed traitor's head, screaming "Drop your gun or I'll shoot!" "I...what?" stuttered the befuddled guard. Nok chuckled. "He asked you." Then he touched the Force again, and the trigger of the third guard's gun pulled back a few hair's breadth, and the second guard collapsed, lifeless and smelling of burnt grey matter. The third guard wheeled on Nok. "You're doing this!" "Too late." The first guard's gun, levitating into the air behind the third guard, went off at Nok's tiny gesture, and the third guard fell silent for good. "You...you...kriffing...magician!" The first guard, now disarmed and writhing, only managed the fractured sentence through a thick blanket of pain. "No need to be disrespectful." Nok turned the gun even as he lay, now relaxed, on the ground. It rotated, then fired once...twice...and the guard joined his friends in the Force's final embrace. A few clicks and Force-propelled pieces of armor later, Nok was free and standing. He grabbed his comm and spoke into it, collected and feeling rejuvenated by the bursts of dark power the violent deaths had released. "The fleet is on its way. We clear a landing site now. According to my comm's locator...I'm near one of the power relay stations. I should be able to disable one of their shield generators from there. Any assistance would be appreciated, but no matter what we need to clear the guns from this area...or at least blind them somehow." Nok started walking.
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  36. As they walked through the corridors, Mordecai made sure to take the most populous ones he could. In part, this was for his own pride. Show off his success, his captive prize. More so, however, it was to sow the seeds of doubt in the apprentice's mind. All would witness his most basic failure. And as they walked, Mordecai mused. First to himself, pride and victorious revelry painting everything in a haze. Here he had defeated another Jedi. Another lightsaber, and another snuffed light. What drove them against his blade. so sure to meet their demise? Then, he mused aloud, speaking to his captive. "Tell me, Jedi. You only stuck me once. I've fought a Jedi before, and she but up a much better fight, though her fate was eventually the same as yours. I've fought Imperial Knights, some of their best warriors. Masters of their fouled craft and excellent swordsmen. I've only suffered the indignity of defeat once, and my opponent refused to kill me. Tell me, what are your haughty ideals worth if I, and Sith like me, can slaughter your people in droves?" He continued, looking at Kahla. "Understand, apprentice. The Jedi claim that theirs is the only true way to serve the Force. Any others are twisted abominations. And yet, our beliefs lead us to victory after victory. Your anger, your pain. All of your emotions will fuel you in different ways. Take care not to lose yourself to them entirely, however, lest you suffer defeat as I did. But do not let the Jedi tell you that the opposite will not also lead you to defeat. This Jedi was so sure that his emotions would lead him astray that he barely put up a fight. He's not only a disappointment to myself, but a disappointment to his master. Years of training likely went towards this boy, only to be wasted on insecurities and on unsurities."
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  37. The Carrier Group centered around Typhoon went up in flames, bellowing as the vessel and those that accompanied it, had been destroyed. Their purpose was served, and with their sacrifice, the Imperial Navy was able to secure a priority veteran kill on the GA-inspired Star Destroyer Alexei. Other task forces within the formations began to fall back towards the conquered Centerpoint to re-assess and relinquish their forward directive from Sith Master Qaela as reports had been confirmed that she had been defeated in singular combat on the fields of Corellia. She had failed in her mission to expand and wield the territory as her own, but her conquest of the beachhead was where her mark would be left. Sith-Imperial Forward Command Commanded by Exodus Fleet Command (Flagship) High Command: Exodus, Inquisitor Barca Augmentation: Axial Weapon Xhendora-Class Dreadnought, Goliath |13/15| Battle Line Escort: Tradition of Excellence Commander: Exodus, Inquisitor Barca Task Force Experience: Green, 1XP Gladiator-Class Star Destroyer, Minotaur |20/20| Precision Strike Carrier Group: Fighter Command Commander: Exodus, Inquisitor Barca Task Force Experience: Green, 1XP Acclamator II-Class Assault Ship, Typhoon |0/0| EF76 Nebulon-B Escort Frigate, Basilisk |0/0| CR92a Assassin-Class Corvette, Ambush |0/0| CR92a Assassin-Class Corvette, Caldwell |0/0| CR92a Assassin-Class Corvette, Kilchreest |0/0| CR92a Assassin-Class Corvette, Foxhound |0/0| Sith-Imperial Command Commanded by Nok Morliss Heavy Brawler Escort: Hammer and Anvil Assigned PC: Nok Morliss (commanded by NPC Jaden Jorus) Task Force Experience: Veteran, 2XP Bulwark Mark II Black Bracer |6/0| RETREATED FOR REPAIRS Destroyer Group (Missiles): Focus Fire Assigned PC: Nok Morliss (commanded by NPC Jaden Jorus) Task Force Experience: Veteran, 2XP Captor-class Heavy Munitions Cruiser Moon Beetle |4/6| Captor-class Heavy Munitions Cruiser The Broken Bullet |0/0| Covert Strike Force: Silent Hunters Assigned PC: Nok Morliss (commanded by NPC Jaden Jorus) Task Force Experience: Veteran, 2XP Nova-class Battle Cruiser Our Velvet Ire |9/9| RETREATED FOR REPAIRS Sith-Imperial Command Commanded by Nyrys Argent Scythe (Railgun Destroyer) Commander: Nyrys Task Force Experience: Green, 1XP Fair Lady of Iziz |6/0| RETREATED FOR REPAIRS Veil of Shadows (Light Defensive Escort) Commander: Nyrys Task Force Experience: Green, 1XP Jendra’s Song |3/3| Atani’s Vigil |3/3| The Lucky Pair |1/0| Xuri’s Resolve |0/0| Alpha |0/0| Beta |0/0| Gamma |2/1| Omicron |2/1| Abyss Triumphant (Interdiction Cadre) Commander: Nyrys Task Force Experience: Green, 1XP Bewitching Lover (Interdictor) |9/9| Lovelorn Wraith |3/3| Lust |2/1| Envy |2/1| Desire |2/1| Betrayal |2/1|
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  38. Welcome! Feel free to join the discord so we can easily help you along the process!
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  39. ALISS: When Aliss opened her eyes, she suddenly found herself back on what she was sure was Ishvara. Aliss could hear the sounds of fighting on all sides as the boots of dozens of men stomped against barren ground, kicking up dirt and dust in their wake. The warm wind wiped the coarse sand against her face as she laid on her back with a dead body pinning her to the ground. It was human and from the markings, the corpse was from the clan of Goreth. Aliss struggled in vain to move the heavier man's armored body. Summoning all her energy into one emphatic push, she startled her own self when she suddenly sent the flopping body hurling through the air and into another section where the fighting was more intense. She looked at her hands. The palms were surprisingly clean but the backs of her hands were still covered in dried blood. There was no time to evaluate how she got here or what was truly going on. She could sense that an enemy combatant was barreling towards her. Rolling to her feet, she turned to face the man and reached for her lightsaber. It was gone. She looked back in the direction of the corpse to see that it was still lodged in the dead man's chest. Not good. Aliss stared into the eyes of the barbarian soldier, the bone claw necklace that adorned his shoulders clattering louder and louder with each step. He had the face paint markings of a berserker of the Goreth Clan, likely hopped up on the same herbal concoctions that gave their berserkers such fearlessness, brutality, and immunity to pain when they went into battle. Short of a killing blow, he would surely not stop coming after her. Of that she was sure. The madman whipped his scimitar for the girl’s throat, Aliss managing to lean back just enough to miss his slice but still feel a cool rush of air tickle across her neck. A spike of adrenaline immediately brought her back to her senses as the Echani training that Roshan gave all his Knights began to kick in. Even as he frantically attempted to murder her, Aliss center herself and concentrated on reading his body movements. He was armed and stronger than her, but his drugged state mixed with his aggression to make him sloppy and easily readable. But what he may have given up in finesse and surprise, he more than made up for in relentlessness. No sooner had she dodged or weaved or rolled than she found her attacker back up on her ready to deliver another strike. Wearing him out would be impossible and the density of the fighting around her made attempting to retrieve her lightsaber a tall order at this point. Eyeing the ground around her in between dodges, her eyes suddenly stopped on the glint of a sword lying in the dirt next to where she had been trapped only moments before. She had finally found her path to salvation but her inexorable assailant continued to deny her any hope of deliverance, jabbing and swinging and swiping with every breath and grunt and scream. Like a choreographed dance, Aliss followed her opponent's lead, allowing her body to effortlessly move to the rhythm of his blade. But every time she attempted to reposition herself and take the lead, the madman aggressively reasserted his dominance. He obviously must have also known that her lifeline lay behind him. It was the only answer. Refocusing her attention on finding an opening in her opponent's stance, Aliss watched almost in slow motion as he anchored his feet and flailed his arms with each swing. Taking out his knees would be extremely challenging without also getting hit in the process. He had plenty of reach on her and even if she was able to get in tight and catch his arm, it was doubtful that any of her techniques would phase him in his altered mental state. She couldn't rely on the sudden shock of pain to stun him or give her an opening to momentarily overpower him. And if his more than healthy musculature guaranteed her anything, it was that this man was more than capable of overpowering her if he managed to lock her in a grapple. No, she would need to use her environment to her advantage if she wanted to escape this altercation alive. Waiting for his next swing at her neck, Aliss curved her body backwards into the shape of an upside down “U” before completing the flip and landing back on her feet. At a glance, Aliss had done nothing more than find a fancy way to exhaust further energy. The berserker's wild eyes flashed with sadistic amusement as he laughed at the girl before rushing to close the gap again. But what the madman had failed to notice was that she had actually completed the flip with only the strength of her right hand. In that brief moment she had used her left hand to dig her nails into the loose dirt and uproot a handful for herself. When the berserker predictably charged, he was suddenly met with a blinding splash of dirt and sand that exploded in a vaporous dust cloud that stung his eyes and obscured his vision. Diving his left to avoid his wild swings, Aliss looked almost feline as she gracefully maneuvered herself out of harm's way. Quickly finding her way to her feet, she neglected to stand upright, instead cutting through the hot summer air with her back and head arched like an arrow as she ran. In a matter of seconds, she had gone from defenseless to possessing the sword that had previously been resting upon this blood soaked battlefield. And without a moment of hesitation, Aliss turned and hurled it through the air with all her might. The warrior, who had no choice but to pause and clear out his eyes, had only enough time to angrily turn and yell before his body was jerked back! The blow from the sword lodging itself in his chest was so forceful, in fact, that it swept his legs out from underneath him and sent his body thudding to the ground in short order. A cloud of dust spit out around him as he landed, almost as if Aliss was watching his soul depart from his body in real time. Served him right. But as she now had the chance to catch her breath and survey the battlefield in hopes of getting her bearings, she finally could see where she was. The her section of the battlefield was on a hill overlooking a valley. And in the valley was a shining white stage. On the stage, stood a woman tied to a black pillar. She was adorned in white, which vividly contrasted with her olive colored skin and red hair. There was kindling of some sort at her feet and a man -- undoubtedly the leader of the Goreth clan, the one who’s name Lord Roshan cursed and swore never to speak until that man breathed his last breath -- was holding a torch in the air just above the collection of flammables. There was no question in Aliss’ mind. The woman in white was her mother! The aged yet strikingly beautiful Rose Morra Kiss was impossible to miss. Aliss had to get to that stage! Looking frantically at the fighting taking place in her immediate vicinity, Aliss did not know who the warriors were that were fighting against Clan Goreth. Whoever they were, they seemed more than capable of keeping the majority of the Goreth warriors occupied for now. Her more pressing concern was making her way down the hill and towards the stage in as efficient a manner as possible. Analyzing the battlefield leading up to the stage, Aliss could see what looked to be Lord Roshan below, cutting, chopping, and wading his way through the Goreth soldiers like appetizers. His determination could be clearly seen in the trail of body parts and death he was leaving in his wake. But the trail of death behind him was not the only one. About 25 to 50 yards to his left there was another trail of the dead that had also almost advanced itself all the way to the stage. And from the slender feature of this trail’s blazer, Aliss could tell that the architect of this congoline of the dead was a woman. Unfortunately, her black attire and dark hood obscured her features almost completely from this distance. Fearing for her mother’s safety, Aliss decided that she wouldn’t leave her fate up to Lord Roshan, much less a stranger. As a wave of panic washed over her, Aliss could hear her lightsaber call for her and she instinctively and commandingly answered the call, suddenly looking down to see the powered off weapon resting in her hand. There was no time to waste or figure out what had just happened. The two figures had already almost reached the stage! Dashing down the hill, she ignited her lightsaber and severed the limbs of any that dared to confront her. The valley looked so close but with every step down the hill it seemed as if it was getting farther and farther away. Retreading the trail that Lord Roshan had made, Aliss rushed to clear out any additional her enemies while making up for as much lost time as possible. The deeper she go into the valley, the more vicious and desperate her strikes began, ruthlessly ending the lives of any fools that attempted to stand in her way. All the while, however, Aliss kept part of her attention on the stage as Roshan and the hooded woman reached the structure and began to climb it. By now, Aliss was close enough to see that the odd glisten and sheen in her mother’s hair and on her skin was not a natural glow of some kind but actually some sort of liquid that had been poured all over her dress and body. Aliss anxiously glanced over at the hooded woman as she dropped her hood to reveal her face. Aliss froze for a moment. She watched as her older self in shock as the duplicate and the masked Lord Roshan stared each other down. The new version of Aliss looked older, a bit more scarred, but unquestionably determined. At the same time, though, something felt off. Aliss wasn’t sure what was going on but she quickened her pace even more, furiously trying to reach the stage before something tragic took place. Unfortunately, right as the girl reached the edge of the stage, Goreth soldiers carrying lightsabers stepped forward to block her path. Aliss stopped dead in her tracks. She found herself at the foot of the stage but with no way to reach it. Aliss pivoted and spun, confirming what she already knew. She was completely surrounded. Her breathing started getting increasingly uneven as panic and desperation began to fill her lungs as if she was drowning. And then suddenly came a voice. “You know what you must do, Aliss.” The sheer surprise of the voice she heard immediately pulled her attention away from her current predicament and back to group on stage. The man adorned with the Goreth crown was none other than Master Helios! It was as unbelievable as it was unquestionable! His face might have looked slightly different but the voice was undeniably his! Aliss fell into a stunned daze as she watched her duplicate older self step in front of Lord Roshan’s killing blow and fight him back. “NOOO!!! What are you doing!!! NOOO!!!” she screamed in a blood curdling crescendo as she watched the two fight on. Terror consumed Aliss’ heart as she charged the warriors blocking her way only to be easily beaten back and disarmed. Kicked to the ground, Aliss could feel her body trembling. Her muscles locked up. Her legs went limp. What is happening?! Why is this happening?! Somebody please make this stop!!! “Soulless! Sirena! Somebody! Help!!! Please!” she wailed at the top of her lungs. Looking back up as she caught her breath, Aliss noticed that the fighting had, indeed, stopped. From her view, She saw that her fraudulent older self was standing in front of Roshan and they both were paused, locked in a moment in time. Somebody had just struck the killing blow; she could feel it. But Aliss couldn’t see who actually had landed it with Roshan’s large figure obstructing her view. For a moment, her heart leapt with joy. Lord Roshan had surely saved the day! But her joy was immediately crushed when she noticed the hole in the back of Lord Roshan’s cape as a chilling gust of wind rolled across the white marble stage. As Roshan dropped to one knee, Aliss could see the woman smirk. Her lightsaber was turned off but it was clear that in Aliss’ moment of distraction and desperating, the vile woman had pierced her lord. Aliss cried out to her teacher, the Cathar that had been her father figure of over a decade. “Roshan! Please. Get up! Save, mom! Please! I need you! We need you!” Lord Roshan’s head swiveled just enough to stare into Aliss’ eye as he held his hand over the hole in his sternum. The Aliss imposter grinned with malicious intent as she looked at the dying beast and then to Master Helios. The master grinned contently and nodded back. “Finish him.” Before Aliss even knew what was happening, the imposter’s lightsaber reignited and chopped with a rapid flick of the doppelganger's wrist. Roshan’s severed head sailed through the air, bouncing towards Aliss and coming to rest beside her. The eyes of his half shattered mask stared up at her lifelessly. The girl screamed in horror but failed to audibly put the horror into words. Fighting with all her might, she got her wobbly legs to move and somehow returned to a standing position. Meanwhile, Master Helios handed the torch to the Aliss simulacrum. He then stepped aside and clapped his hands twice. “You know what to do. Finish it.” The entire battle -- everything -- suddenly stood still. Silence fell upon the whole valley as if all eyes had now turned their attention to the stage. The girl’s pupils grew wide with horror as she watched the fraud inhabiting her future self release the flaming piece of wood above the pile of kindling at her mother’s feet. It seemed to fall in slow motion as Aliss stumbled towards the stage only to be met by one of the Goreth lightsaber wielders and kicked back. She stumbled back and landed on her rear but never took her eyes off her mother. Her older facsimile gleefully watched the girl the entire time, catching the stick only inches away from the ground. With tears streaming down Aliss’ face, she couldn’t even form the words “thank you” as her duplicate tossed the torch a few feet away from where the girl now sat. But even as Aliss struggled to get to her feet one final time, the girl could see that something was off with the way the doppelganger turned to smile at her mother. It was in that second that she knew what the monster was about to do, even before she did it. A brilliant conflagration of red flowed from the simulacrum’s outstretched hand, hitting her mother’s clothing and causing the woman’s whole body to burst into a giant fireball of flames. Spine-chilling screams that came from her mouth’s throat as the fire rapidly burned through her body ignited something primal and vicious in the girl’s heart. She didn’t know what she was doing or how she was doing it, but she was moving so superhumanly fast that even the warriors with lightsabers could not keep up with her. And almost as if in the blink of an eye, Aliss found herself now standing on the stage with a row of dead foes face down in the dirt behind her. Her mother’s murderer grinned at Aliss, Rose Morra Kiss already well charred at this point. Master Helios nowhere to be found. It was just the two of them now. “You will pay for that!” Aliss roared, laboring to breathe between each frown. “You don’t get it, do you? Your mother? That Cathar? They are nothing but fools who have led you astray and wasted your lineage. You are home, little one.” Enraged, Aliss charged the woman and she roared in reply, “Kark you, Witch! You can take your lineage and go to--” As Aliss swung at the woman she poofed into a cloud of smoke, causing Aliss to pause mid-sentence and look around in momentary confusion. Of course, her confusion didn’t last long as she suddenly felt the piercing hot blade of a lightsaber sticking out of her chest. Aliss felt reflexively like a cough was coming on, but she choked and gagged instead. The girl could hear the sound of the lightsaber powering off as she, herself, fell to her knees holding her chest. Aliss could feel the breath of the woman as the witch whispered in her ear, “The rage within your heart cannot be denied any more than the red that adorns your skin or the lineage that flows through your veins. You are born of the darkside. And all that deny this of you must suffer. Only when you will sacrifice everything for power... will you have the power to save everything you love.” As the woman stepped back, Aliss could feel the pressure bunch in her knees as she fell backwards with a gentle thump. Her body felt listless, the last bits of life force slipping from her grasp like sand in an hourglass. But as the girl looked up towards the brilliant sky above in her final moments, the face staring down at her was not that of her older self but that of Lady Sirena. And then Aliss woke up. ___
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  40. The Sith master’s eyes opened in mock terror, and their voice came in a pitiful moan of mocking dismay. “Oh woe to thee that you were so pitilessly hounded!” The dark eyes narrowed to slits of dark magenta that glimmered in the rising sun of the midmorning. And with the speed of a striking cat the Sith master strode forward and struck the boy across the face with the back of their hand. And when the master spoke, the voice was devoid of emotion. “Were you not strong enough to stand for yourself?” The hand raised as if to strike again then pointed to one of the acolytes, a girl of the same age as Mike who stared up with abject horror towards the Sith Master. “So show us how you will rule. Show us how you would make the galaxy quake in fear.” With a flick of the dark wrist a small knife flipped into Mike’s palm. Its obsidian blade a horrible black and its edges razor sharp. The voice was cruel when it came. “The girl is useless to us, and cannot even touch the force.” The girl shouted in alarm and tried to back away but was trapped by the stone walls of the entrance. “Now show her the mercy you would show as a Sith Lord. Show us the man you would be. I put her fate in your hands.” It was a classic test of the Sith Lords, a judgement of power and a judgement of conscience. Was it true that he was being ordered to kill so quickly? Or was there some other purpose there among the shadows... And Valinor smelled the scent of another, a darker presence from beyond the grave. Their face turned to the distant rocks before flicking back to the young boy. Come forth you who lurk Echoed in Fynns mind. @Fynn Relmis
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  41. Mod Post It was recently requested that forces be granted to the Sith in a flavor-style manner (not used for specific offensive purposes, but as a backdrop) to engage any forces defending Corellia. After having thought it over, I realized this demanded a mod post with flavor text to establish expectations for this situation and other situations moving forward. As of right now the Fleets system is meant to supplant the former planetary defenses. Fleets are the planetary defenses, and if you don't have a fleet available to defend a planet, it isn't considered properly defended against the might of an enemy fleet. As of right now, there are no fleets explicitly defending Corellia. As such, no matching fleet/task force sized element will be allowed as a backdrop. This was a difficult decision to make as this is a highly complex situation since it's in the middle of a large scale battle and could potentially affect the narrative of others moving forward given how the battle could shift across the entire Corellian system. Saying yes to this makes a wide array of assumptions that does change the battlefield, even in a small way. As the Mod presiding over this battle, I'm not willing to accept potential fallout for that if things do go sideways, and while it might be "less cool", this is largely a preventative measure to help keep things fair and fun for everyone. This also sets precedent and relies on some previously mentioned precedent, so care needs to be given to what happens. If this was a smaller skirmish between two PCs and their forces, it would be a LOT easier to sign off on it as it's obviously not going to potentially further affect things past that interaction, but it's not so cleanly cut here. We have a history of allowing things via agreements to bypass pvp rules, but again, due to the complexity of this battle I don't think that's a super feasible route to take here this time. And yet, despite all this, I recognize the importance of storytelling element at play here. That is a drum I have beaten for a long time, ensuring the rules and community emphasize good writing. I fully understand and respect the value of good writing. As such, here is what I am interjecting into the narrative as a Mod: The defenses around Corellia are primarily starfighter-based, with perhaps some larger patrol gunboats that are smaller than corvettes but fulfill a similar role as well as anti-air turrets and the like. Similarly, Sith starfighter, bomber, and interceptor squadrons and have been sent to suppress ground forces in preparation for a full-scale invasion. Both forces are locked in vicious combat, evenly matched, and cannot be commanded or referenced except in observation. Neither side is majorly prevented from landing forces or evacuation. This still simulates the tumultuous backdrop of brutal war without the need for larger elements to enter the fight. The "victory" of either side will be determined by the victor of the fleet combat in the system, either via total destruction or last man standing in the event of retreat. Please understand how difficult it was for me to make this call, especially since it seems like it should have been far simpler than it was. These kinds of things often have a complex depth to them that isn't immediately apparent, and that potential complexity still has a large factor in how certain things are ruled on. That being said, my priority is first and foremost to fairness, and secondarily to promoting a fun environment for everyone. If you take issue with this ruling, please PM me on site or DM me via Discord.
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  42. But does not the darkside always bring with it death and suffering? It was a thought that made Aidan question what he saw, but all he got back in return from the Force was a confusing sequence of imagery that he couldn't make heads or tails of. The end result didn't change his preconceptions of things, instead came another small realization that he didn't know how the Force worked concretely; perhaps nobody could truly know the full depths of the Force. It comforted him, but at the same time saddened him, as while perfection could never be achieved, neither did he need to stress over ascertaining knowledge that wasn't meant for him to comprehend. Now you must let go of your attachments to embrace the force He was anchored in his attachments, though. They helped to keep him stable, to correct him when he strayed too far from his path. He'd just had a grand realization that he was seriously attached to Sandy, and now he was expected to give that up? It was a harsh truth for him, one that for a while he was uncomfortable facing. Sandy seemed to grasp the concept behind this final step far easier than he was willing to, and he took from her understanding the seeds to grow his own. Attachments were not good or bad, but without the willingness to accept their loss if or when it came the loss itself could become devastating. While a pliable reed bends in the current, a brittle reed breaks and dies. He didn't want to accept this, despite being confronted by the truth of it. It felt like throwing away something valuable he'd just gained, but in the same breath rejecting it. He only hoped that Sandy could understand as well, and wouldn't hold it against him. Perhaps this was why his father was so seemingly aloof all the time, he understood that worldly attachment to even family wasn't always healthy. But Aidan also knew that Aryian had missed the mark too far in the other direction, not allowing himself time to cherish and comfort his family when they'd needed him most. It was not a mistake Aidan intended to repeat. Slowly, he conjured up images of Sandy, some of divine beauty, others images of her lying dead on some forgotten battlefield. His emotions swelled one final time before he let them sink beneath the waves. The waters calmed as he did so, turning into a mirror-slick that stretched to eternity. This was the truth the Force offered: not any universal answer that made sense, but a truth found within one's self. A greater sense of one's place in the galaxy, and a better understanding of those who lived in it. This was not the end, it was merely another step in his journey that would last his entire life. The destination was never the point, it was the journey itself that meaning was found in. He reached out, brushing Sandy's thoughts, thanking her. This was something he'd needed for a long time. For what felt like hours, he stayed, wanting to be near her, but time was something nobody could escape. Eventually, much more calmly, he relaxed his hold on the Force, ending the meditation.
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  43. The Sith Lord could feel the Soldier’s manipulations in the Force, a sudden surge of passionate energy that swarmed about the man. He applies violence like an artist, taking a color from the palette and giving it a macabre life. The snapping of vertebrae cascaded over her, for a moment drowning out the sounds of the storm. She let out a small sigh. Yet his brushwork is clumsy, like the futile stabs of a toddler splashing his paints… It was one thing to cast about the force in grand movements, such as in the ending of a life, it was another entirely to act with precision. She stared over the dunes at the remaining soldiers who were setting about camp. They didn’t deserve their fates, but their sacrifice was a vital lesson for a far greater cause. Such were the fates of the weak, eternally the playthings of the strong. Driftwood began to scatter upon the sand, the true power of the coming storm almost upon them. The Sith Lord nodded slowly, watching the Sold-, no her apprentice. “Take them as you will. Use as little strength as possible, and be as precise in your actions as you can. Learn your control. Let their fates foster the strength you will need to weather this storm. The Sith Lord began to draw upon the sand with the blood of the fallen, the crimson pain seeming to creep up the scars in her fingers, like the roots of a great tree soaks up the dew. Her voice was harsh then, "But...Bring one to me alive for the next lesson.”
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  44. How easily men are corrupted by power… Darth Awenydd watched as the Soldier killed the two men, his former soldiers without so much as a hesitation. Her sulphuric yellow eyes took in his baptism in blood, with dispassionate interest. The way the Dark Side moved was always unique in its new believers and was worthy of study. She filed away its corrupting influence on the Soldier before her. So often the Dark Side moved its Warriors to meaningless slaughter, to purge everything around them, and to leave them alone among the ashes of their own inconsequential triumphs. What use was that? Why did the Force move men to slaughter those they could easily rule, or at least dominate to their own will? Her own master had not killed without reason, only to feed his hunger, but he was Krath, not Warrior. Lucifer had killed without so much as a thought on Mykryr and he had named himself a Prince of Warriors. So this was the Warrior path, to always fight to show one’s strength. The Sith Lord rose from the sand, the sand falling away from her tattered robes and tunic in wet clumps. She brushed a scarred hand through her auburn hair and stared at the Soldier, taking him and his choices in. “If the force commands, do it, but do not slay without reflecting on the reason…” She stepped to one of the dying men, listening to his feeble, gurgled screams. She breathed in, letting the emotions fill her. The Storm was coming, and she could feel the beats of its wind upon her back. “Pain, suffering, terror. Those passions feed our darkness, let those victories add to your strength. Take within yourself such things, let it nourish you.” ((OOC: Let the emotions of those you kill fill you, feed you for the next victory. It must sustain you for the next fight. Channel this victory to conquer telekinesis and demonstrate it. You are still a novice in this and it will require great concentration.))
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  45. The ragtag Corellian command who currently occupied Gateway station over the central world of Corellia, looked more and more like a inter-galaxy arms convention. Especially with the arrival of the newest reinforcements from the Rebel Command at Nar Shaddaa. Or more righly, in Godfrey’s opinion, the Imperial Remnant command at Corellia. But in the months long conflict he had developed a begrudging respect, if not a total admiration for the Imperials. Their Knights, such as Lok Skyshatter, or their vaunted fighter pilots had made quite the impression. They at least had some experience fighting the Sith Lords in their own methods of conflict. The GA pilots and officers were learning more every day, and even the proud commanders of the Taipani were now grizzled veterans from the skirmishes. Their faded blue uniforms now threadbare from overuse, and the gold braid even looked tarnished on their shoulders. He could not have been more proud. He himself had come a long way from the bitter senator of just a few years before. He had found his purpose, for maybe the first time in his life. The only regret he could feel was that he knew it would last for only a few brilliant months before it would all be snuffed out. But still, he could not keep the smile off his face as he strode up to the holo display. “Soldiers of our Alliance.” He looked up into the eyes of Prince Amaury of the Taipani and gave him a solemn nod. The prince’s young face hardened into a grim smile. He was a warrior at heart, and like most of the Taipani, had come under his own desires. Glory could only be found in battle after all. “It is time we hurl these mongrels into the void.” He gestured to the holoreport on the Sith fleet. “You have your orders. May the force be with you.” ___________________________________________________ Rebel Alliance Destroyer Group [Turbolasers] Taskforce Experience Veteran (2xp) - Assigned Callsign - Hammer LC-Belarus Medium Cruiser Novarch Ackbar |9/9| LC-Belarus Medium Cruiser Novarch Sikaot |9/9| Rebel Alliance Precision Strike Carrier Group Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) - Assigned Callsign - Sigma TSC-Tapani Class Frigate Eleanor |3/3| Omnicron DP20 Corvette Nantes |2/1| DP20 Corvette Rennes |2/1| DP20 Corvette Saint-Anslem |2/1| DP20 Corvette Saint-Marie |2/1| Tau TSC-Tapani-class cruiser-carrier Vexille |9/9| Rebel Alliance Rapid Intervention Escort: Timely Response Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) - Assigned Callsign - Saraphim KDY Victory II-class Star Destroyer Red Hussar |9/9| (1xp) KDY Victory II-class Star Destroyer Silent Spring |9/9| (1xp)
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  46. Solus nodded and obeyed Roshan’s order without question, coiling against the wall Roshan was near. "That is wise Lord. Very wise. I must admit, I am not as wise in combat as you are Lord. All I seem to be good at is pummeling. Perhaps my wisdom will eventually grow observing you." When the being showed herself again, mentioned how Solus had done as expected and eyed him, Solus couldn’t help but feel a smidge of pride form inside of him. This being, while new and strange to him, had in a way complimented him. And that felt good. Even as she turned and spoke to his master and introduced herself, Solus found himself studying her. She was much different from Sir Aliss, though being of the same gender. Her stature and form was entirely different. Where Aliss carried herself like a snake with a purpose, this being carried herself more delicately. Her skin appeared more smoother then Aliss, as well as a much different color. But the two were both fairly hairless on first glance, and had two arms and legs. Still, this being was a different species compared to the others in the room. "Forgive my manners. I am Lady Sirena. As for the Holocron, the test was to resist, not touch it. But Master Helios was never one for all the details and preferred his students to play with fire." Solus nearly mentioned to Aliss about how she was wrong to touch the so-called ‘Holocron’, but he silenced himself before that. That would be a foolish move on his part, would it not? Aliss was a child of Roshan. It did no good to berate her. She was probably smart enough to realize her error. If not, then Roshan was in the clear position to point out her error, not Solus. When Sirena mentioned how she wasn’t part of the test, Solus visibly became a bit more open. His body slouched slightly, his arms lowered out of a defensive pose. “That certainly makes me happy to hear...Lady Sirena.” Solus cherished the title Lady as his synthesised voice uttered it slowly. It sounded so much different from Sir and Lord and Darth. “This here is Lord Roshan. We are his children. Sir Aliss…” Solus realized how Aliss was still on the floor. He slithered over and bent down to offer her a now clean hand to rise. Solus was almost disappointed that he didn’t get a chance to study the blood and brain matter from the battle. “So sorry about that Sir Aliss. Let me help you. And I am Solus, Lady Sirena. Solus the Ascended. And he is Tear..." Once done with Aliss, Solus pointed to his currently unconscious hound. "If you, Lady Sirena, are not part of the test, then why are you here? Are you a person who uses what Darth Helios calls ‘the wicked flame’? Surely you are some sort of deity, for that energy that crackled from your fingertips was godlike.”
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  47. Shiro's eyes widened with the realization at what he had done, Dunstan and Saldana laying before him, their dying gazes set upon his own as they gasped for air through the thick blood bubbling up through their necks. Horror filled his mind as he could only sit there, watching their faces drain of their life, both attempting to reach out to him for help despite what he had done, his own still outstretched with the blade in hand. That's when he felt her, the Elusive one, embrace his form with her own, warm and inviting as she disarmed him. Shiro tried to yell out for a medic, but the words just fumbled like waves from his mouth as exhaustion took hold his form and he fell back into her lap, his gaze shifting to the sky as the memories of Dunstan and Saldana's lifeless faces ingrained themselves into his memory. "....Apprentice...." It was her words that brought his mind back and quelled the turmoil he was feeling, seeing her out reached hand and reaching out his own to touch hers as his gaze shifted up to set its sight upon her face, confused still by what had happened, but eerily comforted by her. Her touch was as cold as steel, fragile and yet firm. And her gaze was empty, yet assured. Shiro had never noticed it before. And as she spoke, he found himself drawn by her words, like Death's knock at one's end. And so Shiro closed his eyes, unsure how to meditate, but still needed her words if only to feel this moment of comfort longer as he embraced what he truly was, the echoing voices ringing through his head from his first time to now. Murderer. "I feel anger." He started out saying, the memories of his homeworld and what led to his arrest. The memories of his enslavement and being forced to fight simply to survive. This world, and what it brought out in him, the proof evident in the corpses laying at his feet. "I avenged my family's demise and was branded a murderer. I escaped custody and was sold a slave. I fought to win my freedom and was made a Soldier. And now this world has twisted me and I killed those under my command and will likely be called a Traitor. I feel enraged, and it feels right."
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  48. CAIA (Covert Agency of Internal Affairs) (Credit: Darth Nyrys) CAIA is a department of the Sith Empire that oversees propaganda, political education, internal espionage, and covert interior political operations within the borders of the Sith Empire. The majority of CAIA field agents bear the title of Peacekeeper, effectively acting as authoritarian police officers under the auspices of the Pyramid of Laws and Justice (PLJ). While in uniform, Peacekeepers (PKs) wear white masks of faces with neutral expressions and built in vocal modifiers, symbolic of the PKs as agents of a system that cannot be swayed by emotion or mercy. The average citizen is not aware of the existence of CAIA as an umbrella organization that covers all of these aspects of society. In fact, most citizens do not know that the Sith holo-networks are in fact state controlled entities, or that the pyramid of laws and justice (PLJ) influences so many day to day elements of their lives. The majority of CAIA recruits come from what the PLJ refers to as first tier loyalty planets, and no recruit is ever deployed to their own home planet. There were discussions of reviving the Genesis Project to create an entirely clone populated PK force, but the majority of the original templates were lost in the massacre of Kamino, and attempts to recreate them have been lacking. The PLJ is instead now investigating a suite of reprogramming machines and techniques code-named Project Eclipse. Testing has shown potential in seeding recruits with alternate backgrounds and inducing a transition event over a period of months to replace the original identity. If successful, recruitment will increase exponentially through conscription efforts. While the project Genesis templates for police recruits were lost, one set of the preserved templates that CAIA uses extensively is for educators. Rebel recruiters are known to target citizens in this age bracket as they are particularly vulnerable to propaganda involving opposing authority at this stage in their lives. A significant number of schools have CAIA operatives posing as teachers and counselors to root out and eliminate rebel influences and the threat of dangerous ideologies. CAIA operatives will also groom certain students for recruitment by government, military, and research organizations. CAIA controlled media outlets are carefully managed to effectively reach multiple bands of media consumers, with “divergent” media using planned loss strategies to increase credibility on critical information campaigns while sacrificing more obvious propaganda attempts. As such, CAIA has control over a vast range of media outlets ranging from state controlled, “independent”, to even some guerrilla media streams. Sith fixers will often travel with reporters to “prep” interviewees with mental manipulation. While reporters covering state affairs are less investigators and more attractive government mouthpieces, journalists deployed to cover rebel and Jedi incidents are so similar in methods and means to espionage agents that they practically taste like almonds. Given that the enemies of the state have a tendency to brand themselves as moralists, exploiting the resultant tragedy and grief of rebel and Jedi military operations gone awry is a key component in the state’s media strategy. Scandal and stories that highlight deep failings of character are also highly sought after. In fact, many of these journalists are either former Sith spies or training to become Inquisitors. While some citizens might have concerns about imperial agents listening in on private communications, first of all, only guilty people should be bothered by that, and second, there’s far too much information being transmitted for agents to analyze everything, that’s why CAIA uses repurposed AVATAR AIs to review all communications and data feeds. CAIA agents only review post processing data relevant to treasonous activity, so that makes it totally ethical. Units of PKs are overseen by Scrutators, veteran PKs who have the authority to determine just cause for search, seizure, detainment, and execution without a warrant. A citizen’s loyalty rating can heavily influence how much leeway a Scrutator has for non treason allegations, but in matters of loyalty, the scrutator has carte blanche to use any means necessary. In accordance with the Citizen Safety Act a Scrutator can act against a citizen that they feel is endangering or infringing upon the rights of other citizens regardless of whether or not there is a law in place against the given activity or behavior. Scrutators report to High Scrutators, who in turn advise but don’t answer to District Overseers. Inquisitors function largely outside of the chain of command, but are able to take control of and utilize CAIA assets as they see fit, along with their own department resources. There are four departments within the Inquisitorium, Civil, Laws, Purity, and Authority. The Civil Department (CD) is the largest by necessity and oversees areas like the loyalty rating system and adherence to it, quality of goods and resources, immigration, disease control, and other basic needs of the state. Initially, communication and reporting were handled by call centers, but after polling revealed overwhelming dissatisfaction with operator performance, the call was made to switch to virtual operators simulated by an AVATAR. Satisfaction levels have improved dramatically since the change, with plaintiffs largely unaware that they are talking to a computer program. The Department of Laws (DoL) is a state run think tank for the research and development of the legal codes that provide order to the Sith Empire. New laws, suggested sentencing, changes to existing laws, all of these and more are the responsibilities of the Department of Laws. Assignment to the DoL is largely a desk job focused on theory and academia, but occasionally DoL inquisitors are attached to inquisitors from other departments to act as observers. Observation duty is sometimes requested as a precedent to transfer, but it’s largely seen as a form of punishment. When other departments assign inquisitors to observe a DoL inquisitor, it most definitely is always a form of punishment. The Department of Purity (DoP) is tasked with rooting out treasonous behavior and thoughts, along with investigating its governmental peers. Only the Sith themselves have any measure of protection from these inquisitors, although apprentices are not yet above the scrutiny of department. The Department of Purity has few allies, but they prefer it that way. Trust is a weakness that they will not abide. The Department of Authority (DoA) inquisitors are sometimes referred to as the rockstars and divas of CAIA, although never to their faces. These inquisitors handle the high profile cases that have the potential to threaten the perception of control and order provided by the state. Crime lords, serial killers, assassins that have killed political figures, these are the sorts of criminals that get the attention of the Department of Authority. DoA inquisitors often utilize military grade assets to eliminate or detain their targets, along with selective use of bounty hunters and other outside talent. While nothing has been substantiated, there are whispers of a covert operations group within CAIA that has the Dark Lord’s blessing to operate completely off the books and outside of the bounds of legality. While all good citizens know that there is no need for such a fanciful concepts as secret vigilante kill squads because Imperial Law is absolute, rumors of these “Righteous Devils” continue to persist.
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  49. The dark walls began to kindle slowly. Strings of bright-red inscriptions illuminated upon stone, one after the other, circling the vast room. A sound of burning flint drew louder and louder as the arcane symbols lit up, layer after layer the strange symbols seethed. Amidst the commotion, a slamming racket rang out from the entryway to the sub-basement, undoubtedly the sound of heavy metal collapsing at the top of the stairs. The way was sealed. If there was another, none here knew of it. All around them was black, and stone, and nakedness of nothing. The air itself held a stale density to it, becoming cloudier as the foreign language continued to carve itself complete. The forgotten dialect began to pulsate as if it followed the rhythm of a beating heart, flickering from black to life. The small near-polyhedronic device was still and cold until now. Once the sizzling of stone crawled to a haunting close and the flames of written oration had drawn conclusion, the archaic holocron rattled where it laid. Red line-work throbbed throughout the metal frame, just as the walls around the foundation did. The rattling of the device remained indiscriminate of who or what had touched the surface of it's magic, choosing now to release a coal hue of chalk-like smoke from the source. Incomprehensible power emanated from the object, souring any hope of this being the right time to engage what was not yet understood. With every heartbeat of illumination from the ancient scripture detailed across the walls, it became quickly apparent that the inky smoke that poured fourth from the holocron began to churn into unusual shapes. The outlines became outlandishly tall, freakishly beast-like in every sense of the word. There was four shapes in particular, identical to the Nydaks of Dathomir. In fact, they were becoming just that..
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  50. The liquid cable launchers pulled the commandos of the Darkhand brigade further into the massive tangle of caverns, launching them in groups from one side of the chasm to the other. Delta’s eyes searched the periphery of the cavern’s entrance as he waited for his men and women to form back up behind him. Seventy odd commandos in the caverns hunting the ghosts of the Jedi order, while the rest of the Darkhand fought and died topside. His eyes took in the long ago carved wall of the cave system, its stone still strong after what could have been centuries of unuse. The internal comm on his helmet chirped, Blacktorin’s voice, cool and soothing, spoke over the command net, Something only the Lieutenants and above could hear. “We are on their heels, let's get going.” Delta nodded his head and looked behind him. The unit of men were ready, blasters, sonics, flechettes, up and pointing towards the entrance where the Jedi had very likely gone.He waved his hand and together they began to move into the cave system. Delta led alongside Blacktorin while the rank and file, sergeants and privates moved in several fluid firing lines behind him. Lines that with a nod of the head could pour a wicked fire onto whatever they found. But it was the Jedi that found them first. The ominous sound of an old fashioned slugthrower’s rear hammer was surprisingly loud in the quietness of the cave, especially through helmets that amplified the sound of low level noises. But before he could react a voice shouted out from ahead and Delta and his first firing line fell into a crouch, rifles and carbines tracking for the noise. The IR lights of the firing lines and Delta’s own E-22 revealed a red faced Zeltron holding what looked like a slugthrower and a single thermal detonator. And a single lightsabre on her belt. She looked less than ten meters away and Delta cursed himself for not sending out a group of skirmishers that would have found this threat far before it reared its head to his company. The second firing line stepped up behind their crouching squadmates and doubled the number of rifles pointing downrange. Delta spoke softly into his helmet comm unit as he triggered it back to Darkhand company. His thumb sliding along the fire selector switch of his rifle as he did so. “Non lethals only are cleared for action-” But before he could give the command to eliminate the threat posed by a single unarmoured Jedi, a second one pushed past her and lowered her slugthrower with his hand. Also thereby eliminating the threat of her thermal detonator. There was no way she would not just frag them both with the thing if a single blaster bolt tore through whatever defenses they might have. Delta blinked. What was their plan? Then the man spoke as he planted his staff and moved to cover the woman with his body. A valiant effort and Delta mentally saluted his courage. He hadn’t been on the briefing, but a Jedi was a Jedi and these two were the bravest Delta had ever seen. For both were unarmoured, and undefended save for the single stave planted in the cave’s flooring. Their Lighsabres were even on their hips. It was enough. As tempting as the man’s offer was Delta couldn’t easily take it. They couldn’t afford a jedi to be conscious in their midst, even restrained. It was like inviting a Rancor onto a schoolbus, no one was that stupid. And Delta was far from foolish. He had no desire to risk more lives than he needed. So they didn't need to kill either of them. But they needed to eliminate the threat. And there was no time to negotiate. Blaster rifles, flechette launchers, slugthrower carbines, and Sonics were pointed at the human who had loomed out of the darkness like some great beacon of light. Well with dozens of rifles pointed at him, most of which carried IR glowrods underneath their forward grips, he did quite look like a man standing in a beam of sunlight. At least this Jedi and the girl behind him would have one more day in the sun. Delta nodded, squeezing his trigger as he whispered the firing order through their helmet comms. And like a wave, dozens of rifles discharged at the man and the girl behind him. Lighting the cave up in a storm of blinding light. If Delta hadn’t been wearing his helmet, his ear drums would have been ruptured by the accompanying blasts of the sonic weapons. Sonics screeched towards the two Jedi along with a wave of stun rounds fired by blaster rifles. The first to split and destroy eardrums and balance, the second to eliminate the threat completely. No Jedi could keep up concentration from unshielded ears and two dozen stun blasts.The commandos holding slugthrowers and flechettes kept their weapons ready and trained should the first assault fail. <<Capture Shot Requested on Mjan Sadow Iv-Adas and Sara Corion>>
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