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Durose Roshan

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  1. Lord Roshan: Roshan watched the distracted "shardbot" with a bit of a scowl. It was rude of him to get distracted but he likely wasn’t used to interacting with people in the real world. After all, he, Aliss, and now Master Helios were the only people Solus knew. Roshan held his tongue. If Master Helios wanted to chastise him for talking to strangers than he could do so. Otherwise, they would wait. Fortunately, they did have to wait long before Solus caught back up with the group and Master Helios answered Roshan’s question. "I believe what we look for, gives birth to what we see, and I see a wildfire brewing." Fitting that he would use a fire analogy. I should have guessed. Roshan grinned to himself a little, realizing he was still wearing his mask. He hesitated for a second, almost raising his hand to remove it before quickly stopping himself. He may have been in semi-friendly company at the moment, but he couldn’t speak for the other strangers. Of course, Helios confirmed that he had good reason not to. "There is no need to excuse the fair lady, she is right not trust these people. They do not trust you, and now they know just how to spot you...” As Helios painted a vivid picture of their villainy, Roshan unconsciously shrugged. He had seen worse and survived worse of Ishvara. If they were itching for a fight, he’d be more than happy to unite them with the other humans he had slain over the last decade. As the group followed Master Helios through the market crowd, Roshan allowed his eyes to wander, making mental notes of what each stand had to offer while scanning the crowd every so often just in case someone intended to do them harm. As the crowds began to brush against their party more and more, Roshan slid his hands down to his waist and placed them firmly on his lightsabers. It wasn’t that he was worried about having to use them. He was more suspicious of others attempting to steal them. There was always something different about a thief. Maybe it was the way they smelled or stood or the pheromones they gave off, but Roshan could always spot them and this marketplace was full of more than its fairshare. As they pushed on, Lord Roshan followed in silence. The “kids” whispered and prattled in the background and Solus took every opportunity to draw attention to their group, but perhaps that was just as well. At least the onlookers would now see them with and know that they were with Master Helios. If Helios was truly a powerful Sith Master, he’d definitely strike fear into this cast of degenerates, thieves, and scoundrels. Once they finally came to a stop, Roshan examined the building they had entered. It was nothing special, perhaps even more mundane than many of the modest rooms of worship back on Ishvara. Maybe Helios was religious and looking to bless their journey before they headed any further? Roshan doubted it. Nothing with the Sith was ever that straightforward or simple. No, there had to be something more here than met the eye. A lesson, a clue, a story? Of course, as Roshan looked around, Solus continued to participate in his favorite pastime: talking. “Darth Helios, this place...this is an alter correct? That implies this is a place of worship. But what is it that we worship? Don’t you, as a god in this world of worlds, control things like the Force? Why worship something else?” Roshan turned to look at Solus as the Cathar removed his mask. His eyebrow raised upon hear the full question. How does he know it's an altar? When has he seen an altar before? Or learned of worship for that matter? Was he built with a database that the Shard can access and learn from? Was he reading the database while they were in transit? Or was it mentally linked to his mind the moment he was “awaken”? What other mysteries might it contain? In those moments, Lord Roshan realized that he still knew so little about Solus and its origins or the design of its chassis and its abilities and purpose. Part of him wanted answers but part of him didn’t want to tip his hand. After all, it seemed that Solus believed that Lord Roshan was actually the maker and awakener of Solus and its droid body. And while Roshan had neither confirmed or denied such an idea, it seemed like a useful falsehood not to shatter. For all he knew, it might come in handy down the road if Solus’ loyalty to Lord Roshan was ever tested. Turning to Master Helios, Roshan was curious to hear the Sith’s answer. Of course, Aliss, it seemed, had a different plan. ___ *** *** *** Aliss Roshan: When the stranger first approached Solus and Tear and began asking questions, Aliss glared menacingly at the interloper. It was an odd creature, unlike anything that she had ever seen. But who is he to think he has the right to approach any of us! Aliss’ eyes shifted abruptly to one side, now resting on the overly friendly droid and his pet. A look of confusion colored her face. What is he doing? Didn’t his... welll... doesn’t he know not to... welllll. Aliss suddenly turned to Lord Roshan with a bit of a disappointed head bob. “You forgot to teach him not to talk to strangers, didn’t you?” Roshan squinted his eyes at her from underneath his mask, “I don’t appreciate your tone, young lady.” Aliss rolled her eyes and huffed a little. Turning back in Solus’ direction, she pulled her lightsaber from her belt and began to march towards the trio. Fortunately, she didn’t have to go far. It would seem that the alien got the hint because he rather abruptly ended the conversation and said his goodbyes to Mr. Solus. As they parted, Aliss made a mental note of the being's name. Kirrinisha. I will remember that. If anything happens to use while we are here, Kirrinisha, I will hunt you down and you will pay. As Solus hurriedly caught back up to everyone else, Aliss waited for him with her hands on her hips. “Ah please Roshan, don’t be mad. Don’t be mad. What am i saying, of course he’ll be mad...ah kriff...still, that being. Such a lovely voice. But potions? What the heck are those? And what's alchemical ingredients…clearly I’ll have to ask the others about those…” Roshan seemed to ignore Solus, ready to move on. Aliss, however, yapped at him in angry bursts of whisper. “What was that! Don’t you know! Strangers are dangerous! You don’t talk to random strangers! And potions? Like magical elixirs and stuff? Or like Soul weapon--” Her whispers were suddenly interrupted of by Helios’ answer to Lord Roshan’s question. He basically just agreed with what she said. And of course, she was right. She had been raised well. Roshan was a masterful warrior. But her mother had trained her well and Rose always knew best when it came to life skills. Rose. I miss you, mom. In fact, the music coming from the market corners reminded Aliss of her mother all the more so. Her mother had always been a talented musician, limber dancer, and lover of song. It was how Aliss used to get to sleep when she was little. No matter how tough things were or how bad things got, her mother’s voice always made everything alright. She shuddered at the thought of never hearing that voice again. No... She couldn’t allow that to happen. Her mother’s body was not found among the dead. She was most likely taken as a slave. And if she was, that meant that if Aliss got strong enough she could return to Ishvara some day and free her. She knew what she had to do. Aliss fell back a little bit to remain within earshot of Solus as Helios lead them through the crowded streets. She listened in silence as Solus continued to rant to himself. She found his rambling mostly pointless. But he did, however, manage to get a little giggle out of her when he did his Tuk’ata impression. She didn’t know why exactly she found it so funny, but those sound effects coming out of his vocabulator throughoutly amused her for whatever reason. “Heh...these beings will fear me soon enough. And Lord Roshan will be happy. And Sir Aliss.” Aliss rolled her eyes and chuckled a little, “Soulless, how about you worry about keeping up first.” As they entered one of the local building, Aliss looked around, casually examining and touching things. It was not until Solus spoke that her attention turned back to the droid. Before Helios could reply to his question, Aliss was quick to add her take. “Of course he controls the Force, silly! Both of them do! But what do you think Sith holy croms and Force Spirits are! This isn’t our final form if you become powerful enough! It might be yours, though, if you don’t have a soul. I think you need a soul to become a Force ghost,” she concluded, glancing in Master Helios' direction for confirmation. Truth be told, she found Solus to be a walking contradiction at times. He somehow didn't know what alchemy and potions were but knew about worship and altars? His programming clearly must have been faulty. It was anybody's guess if he knew what a holy crom or a Force ghost even was. But if nothing else... I guess... at least I tried. He means well, but Mr. Helios has his work cut out for him with this one. ____
  2. "..Come with me." Rising from his kneeling position, Roshan waved on his companions without looking back. He was ready to leave the waiting and words and sand behind. There was training to be done. He only hoped that this Sith Master could be trusted. Only time would tell. As they proceeded further, they reached a point where the human stopped in his tracks. Shaking quickly followed as the sands around them began to shift. At first, Lord Roshan thought that Helios might be doing all of this through the Force but he soon realized that he was using his staff to pull on some sort of hidden mechanism. Smart. It should have guessed that there would be hidden facilities built within the landscape. It’s fortuitous that we found him when we did. But was it really luck? Or was it fate? As the being closed his eyes and outstretched his hand, a thought rolled across Lord Roshan's mind. He immediately eyed Aliss and scowled. She moved her hand slowly away from the lightsaber that she was reaching for. Roshan continued to glare at her until the man began to move again, entering the cavernous hole. Looking down into the deep, Lord Roshan looked back at Solus as the Shard awkwardly held Tear, “After you, Soulless.” The truth was that he wasn’t being courteous. Part of him debated how a droid chassis of this shape, holding a Tut’aka no less, could traverse steps with any success. If Solus happened to go tumbling down, Roshan wanted not to be caught in the wake of such brutal folly. He had no idea how far such a fall might be or how much it would hurt. One way or another, the group eventually began to follow Helios with Lord Roshan now bringing up the rear. A few more minutes and the pathway led them to something rather unexpected. Life. Lots of it. Even with the night well underway, Roshan could see the movement of creatures of various species below them. There was something about the location that reminded him a little of his home on Ishvara. In a strange way, it reminded him of who he missed and what he had lost. "Roshan, Solus, Aliss. What do you see?" Roshan eyed his surroundings as he followed Master Helios. He took it all in for a moment, carefully examining the movements of the “villagers” and their market. Aliss, however, didn’t need any more time to formulate an answer. “Enemies. Competition. Strange ants that we don’t know and I don’t trust.” Roshan sighed as he shook his head, “You’ll have to excuse the girl, Master Helios. She spent her entire life on Ishvara...” Aliss glared back at Lord Roshan, the intensity of her look shocking him a bit. Something was clearly up with her. He had known her since she was little. This wasn't just her trying to be a brat. However, now was not the time to address whatever it was that she was upset about. So instead, Lord Roshan decided to ignore her stare and resume speaking. “I see legacy. Something forged likely through hard labor, if not slave labor, that will probably outlive us all. I see players, cogs if you will, mosts likely doing their part and performing their roles. And more importantly, I see knowledge and opportunity. Old things often hide knowledge long forgotten. Old ‘magics’ more powerful in the hands of the worthy than most will ever know or actualize.” Making sure that Solus had had a chance to say its peace, Lord Roshan then added, “Undoubtedly, you’ve been her countless times, Master Helios. But tell us. What do you see?” ___
  3. Lord Roshan: At last, the charade was over. Roshan grinned slightly underneath his mask as he dropped to one knee and bowed his head. “Allow me, my Lord, to speak to Helios. For I believe this being can help us, and if not, then I will fight on your behalf as the loyal child I am…” Lord Roshan said nothing in reply. He would allow Solus the opportunity to speak for himself. Listening to his words, Roshan cringed a little. Solus was but a child in this world, literally. To Roshan, his words made him sound weak and naive. But perhaps that was unavoidable. There had been no real time to train him any further about the “world of worlds.” And perhaps weakness is proper when facing a Sith Master. He would have to learn these things on his own. As Solus finished, Roshan raised his head slightly and spoke. “Master Helios, I am the one called Dhonarr Durose Roshan, apprentice of Darth Hel, amateur historian and philosopher of the Sith Order, student of Sith lightning and the most violent Sith arts, master of the echani arts, and servant of the Order. I do not apologize for overstepping my bounds. I had to be sure that you were not a Jedi or a fool posing as someone of power. But I submit to your punishment if necessary. You are the ones we came looking for. We do now submit as Solus says. We are yours to command, Master Helios.” ___ *** *** *** Aliss Roshan: Sir Aliss looked on in a mixture of abject shock and world-shattering horror as Lord Roshan bent the knee to the grotesque looking man. The man himself didn’t scare her. She had seen all sorts of disfigured faces before. After all, she had killed more than her share of people over her short life. But in all those years, regardless of the odds, she had never seen Lord Roshan bend the knee to anyone. She couldn’t believe how much this had shaken her. It was like she was watching her god submit to a frail, wounded looking corpse of a man. It was like he was throwing away everything she had been taught. It was like she had now officially lost everything. Her friends. Her family. Her home. Her planet. Her god. Her universe. Anger boiled inside her heart. She wanted to ignite her lightsaber and leap at the man. She wanted to kill him. She wanted to give her Lord back his godship. That was the one thing that she needed him to maintain. He had to have known that. She’d die for him to maintain that. Her world lost all meaning and coherency without it. Admittedly, he had taught of a patron goddess Dominique that was powerful and wise and helped him to ascend. But this man was no such goddess. He was not larger than life or glowing with power or as tall and magnificent as the mountains of Neromar. Aliss could see the hand behind Roshan’s back motioning for her to kneel as he and Solus finished speaking to the man. Defeated, Aliss dropped to her knees. Her body lurked forward and crumpled towards the ground, her hands now firmly planted on the dirt. Her fingers dug into the sand as she bowed her head downward, watching the small swirls of dust that flickered in the moonlight. Droplets of water began to capture little particles of sand, the sand hugging onto the moisture with all its might, desperate not to allow even the tiniest amount of this rare offering to escape. Aliss dare not raise her head. Part of her felt like she was absolutely overreacting. But she had given up everything. She had lost everything. She had done it all for him. She would have followed him to the ends of the universe. But until this moment, she had never really asked herself what he was. He was the god of Careth, god of the hunters, the flame, and the thunder, Lord of the Night, Lord and King of the Knights of Roshan. Maybe she was being melodramatic and angsty. Her mother would undoubtedly have scolded her for her attitude. "What does a scrawny, little 15 year old know of the world?" "I'm almost 16, mom." "Oh ho ho. Excuse me. Scrawny, little almost 16 year old." "Mooomm. It's not funny. I'm serious!" She imagined her mother's coy smile followed by her soft laughter. It was such a petite and gentle laugh. Those were probably the wrong words to use to describe a laugh. Aliss knew that. But they just fit for some reason. And the more she thought of her mom, the more pain she felt swelling inside her heart. She had thought that they had angered her Lord. That all of this had been punished for their lack of piety. That everything up until this point had been deserved and their fault and a test of their loyalty. That she could possibly right things and maybe even, by some miracle, see her mom again. But for the first time, a terrifying thought crossed her mind. What if this beast had failed them. What if her god was no stronger than a man! Even worse, what if he was weaker? ___
  4. "Anas buti zo grezmenes faejon va, Hisxis.." The oversized Cathar shrugged in response, “Ar j'us zinot liepti nun aneu, mes seyyunr mezdi xis sayr yikyunr zinot zemas mes zinot tapti' kia tave nedro aikste.” With the figure still standing at a bit of a distance and the dust swirling around them, the moonlight gave little away as far as the creature’s features. It was clear that he wasn’t the most capable at avoiding flames and firey objects but beyond that, Lord Roshan wondered who he actually was. Focusing on the charred face, Roshan pondered the alien's race and place of origin. A Sith Master in disguise? A natural born Sith native to the planet? Did those even exist? Weren’t they extinct? Was he the last of his kind? Or are there more? What mysteries await us here on Pesegam? “J'us zenoti tave lirza, kad sis buti nie dits bauztipe latraha. J'us buti takjona, su yunoks katesi askal tu'iea vadinti..” "Dary nenx tnisi tu'saen. Nu dary nenx svies tave khutrai nuo tu'iea cticsutr. Tik zo zioplys valia iezkon azinimas ir cali lauke armio svies sulig tave nayasa." Lord Roshan paused for a moment, his mind on the last half of the being’s sentence. This talk about their names and their merits. Before he could reply, however, the stranger added a few more words. “.. Armijio. Ar sis buti tu'iea geida, na j'us nayir rajidona tu'saen stai ir dabar. Nuo j'us ir tu'iea idevoka, sekleti buti stuyi... Kam zodis j'us?” Or where they threats? "Nuyak lojafiee avitsasi kia Darth Hel ir tave Tsis. Ir mes valia nenx buti mazo sulo anuloti vi kia rajidona ant tave xuontai iv zo nur rihyr vstirze. Kia parod geiâ silpnuma valia nenx buti sefide iv zo Tsis. Kad mes valia kioska kalv ar anas feikti j'us kakpijs." Not taking his eyes off the stranger but turning his head slightly and raising his voice so as to signal to the others with him, “We’ll gladly put away our weapons and desist from any hostilities towards our guide here. He may know of whom we seek.” Aliss looked to Solus before putting away her lightsaber and assuming a less hostile posture. She is unsure of what the two were saying. Roshan taught her Echani but never the words of the "sacred ancients" as he always called them. Perhaps this alien was one of them. The whole exchange made her increasingly uneasy. Roshan then returned to the Sith tongue and added, “Kad fasona nie vykti ra seniai mekn, zo Tsis dartovi nenx adata zo ardu'kardas ax zo macij milsura kia zudyti j'us ir jok mirazas kia tave drastâe buti ros j'us aukoti tu'saen zo krevas reiksme iv uzstafas. Ar nuyak hana buti nenx vi byloti ir nuyak redis buti nenx tiesa, mes valia nenx zinot zinot zo duryasligea sso visa.” Placing his lightsaber back on the belt of his ancient sith armor, the Cathar adds, “Ar j'us naile tave gti iv mus na Nu nodi j'us zenoti iv deos mes iezkon. Kad ar j'us zenoti tave Tsis, na j'us zinot yunoks ais kia vulti ax rak mus j'us. Zhol valia nenx buti ao iv re aikste kia ctatebyu re meistras iv ane stuvtaga.” Lord Roshan realized that he was taking a bit of a gamble. He knew that his words could provoke the creature or dampen its “zeal” to assist them. But he had not forgotten the words of Malyss, a perspective of the Sith that his old Master had wholeheartedly endorsed once upon a time, so very long ago. “...the Sith do not sit idly by waiting for fate to pull their strings and set them into action. The Sith are masters of their own futures. Masters of their own worlds. To be a Sith is to be a master of all things that surround and affect you." He would not fear a stranger. He would not show weakness to a “nobody.” Only the weak hid who they were, and to hide one’s name and power and pretend to be weak was the trait of a slave of the Force, a Jedi. That’s why the Masters of the Sith never cowered behind homogeneous robes and the walls of tall buildings and the safety of their capital ships. Instead, they strode through the hallways, passageways, and battlefields in distinctive and easily identifiable armor, leading their soldiers on the frontlines. They wanted their enemies to know exactly where they were so that they could feel the fear of the darkside and the dread of their inevitable destruction as it consumed their hearts and buckled their knees. If this being was truly a Sith Master, perhaps he would now drop his charade and unveiled his insinuations and comments. And if he wasn’t, perhaps he would see that Roshan meant business. When he left behind Ishvara, Lord Roshan had resolved in his heart that he would never again wait for the strings of fate to dictate his future and set him into action. He would take command and push his fate and the fate of his followers forward by his own actions. If his first test was slaying this guardian and he failed, so be it. At least he’d now know this creature’s true intentions. But if this was a true servant of a Sith Master, perhaps the alien would not so readily strike down a servant of Darth Hel and the Sith. As Lord Roshan saw it, that was for the creature's master to decide. Of course, whether the two would see things in the same light remained to be seen and with the dark energies of the planet swirling around them like nagging whispers on the wind, Lord Roshan couldn't deny that there was a part of him itching for battle. ___
  5. LORD ROSHAN: A feeling tickled at him as he pressed forward. Sliding his mask out from underneath his cape, he placed it on his face to scan the surrounding area. Sure enough! Someone mysterious was up ahead. He crouched a little as if he was intending to stalk his prey. But before he could alert the others and suggest caution, Solus began angrily howling at the moon. Roshan tried to wave and motion him for silence but the Shard either didn't see him or didn't understand. Sighing deeply, Lord Roshan placed his hands on his knees and let his head drop towards the ground in frustration. Any element of surprise was surely lost now and it wasn't like Korriban was a tomb world either. Korriban certainly had its predators and predators hunted at night. Lord Roshan remained half-crouched with his hands on his knees and his head down in frustration throughout Solus' tirade and fist pound. It wasn't until Solus had finished and began to lift back up Tear that Roshan finally spoke up. "If you morons are done waking up anything and everything with the next two miles--" "J'us buti vi griezta fopa ant bnila, j'us dary nenx ana dyibio j'us naile mirtis. Buti sis atuzirsaga, ax tarabaga?" Roshan's attention was immediately diverted as he glanced back towards the figure that held the light in the distance. He knew those words. That was Sith. Perhaps with the proper steer and prodding and a little bit of luck, Roshan had managed to get the Force to lead them where they had needed to go after all. "Neither. Ignorance," he retorted under his breath as he straightened up and began walking in the direction of the stranger again. He kept his hand firmly around his lightsaber as he resumed his approach. He had no idea what to expect but he was not foolish enough to trust a stranger just because they might look harmless from a distance. Especially not on this world. "If you two are done," Roshan began in a voice laced with exasperation. "We have company. And you'd be wise to keep up and shut up." As he neared the creature, Roshan formally addressed the unknown figure, "I am Dhonarr Roshan of Ishvara. These are my Knights. The red-skinned human looking girl with yellow eyes is Aliss. The Serpent-Droid guy that... looks like... like an anorexic hutt in body armor... I guess... that's Soulless." He lowers his voice a little bit as he addresses the figure more directly, "Nu ziur anas j'us zenoti tave lirza iv tave Tsis. Zyemus. Mes tapti' iezkon zo meistras iv tave hekkyuhe qkereyr. Dary j'us zenoti wo?" ___ *** *** *** MOMENTS EARLIER: ALISS "...us shard’s aren’t accustomed to names really, and sound is something new to me still.” The teenager frowned a little and gave Solus a look of confusion at his words. "But then how did you know your name was--" muttered in a slightly muted manner before Solus cut her off. He spoke of his past and his story. He spoke of sadness and loss and rejection and loneliness. 'Were all droids this dramatic?" she wondered to herself. She almost moved to comfort him as his voice and posture sunk into a depressed demeanor. But this was too weird. How do you console a being made of metal and wires? Do you pet it? Do you touch it? Do you speak to it? Do you offer it a treat? Or program it with a burst of happiness? Wait. Can you program happiness? What would the code for that look like? As Solus stopped dead in his tracks, Aliss started to slow down, torn between keeping up with Lord Roshan and making sure that Solus was okay. This was all her fault, after all. She was the one who asked the dumb question. Her blood boiled a little thinking about Nomi and her past mistakes on Ishvara. This was yet another example of her not staying focused and causing trouble. As Solus began to lose his cool, panic began to encroach upon her normally stoic expression. She was sure Lord Roshan was going to be mad at her for this debacle. Look what you started, Aliss! You idiot! ... You idiot... "... To give me life! To give me anything! I was alone! And broken! And nothing! I might as well have been nothing!” THUD! There was a special wide-eyed horror in her eyes as Solus' metal hands came in contact with the ground. Aliss quickly spun her head around to look at Roshan. It was even worse than she had thought. Instead of telling them off, he simply slumped over in silence. Disappointment. Frustration. Failure. She had not been on this new world for even an hour and she had already managed to find some way to be a failure yet again. As Roshan addressed them, her shoulders slouched. Her head fell slightly. She opened her mouth to speak. It's all my fault. I know. I know. I. I. Swear. The words were too familiar to speak. She just listened. But a voice in the distance interrupted Lord Roshan, giving Aliss a chance to regroup. I'm not a failure. I. I swear! But I'm really not. I'm really not. Her eyes watered a little at the thought. She was glad that she had the darkness to hide her face a little. But the weakness of her emotions still embarrassed her. Which made her even more angry. Her hands clenched tightly at her pant legs. She was no longer facing the Shard droid by the time he picked Tear back up. She was holding her breath so hard she felt like her head was about to explode before she finally allowed the air to escape her lips. Her breathing was labored but she closed her eyes and thought of her mom's smiles to calm her mind for a few seconds. “Call me whatever our Lord desires. After all. We are his servants. And he is our lord.” "If you two are done, we have company. And you'd be wise to keep up and shut up." As Solus passed her, Aliss began walking again and caught up beside him. Thankfully, Lord Roshan had more important things to worry about right now than her mistakes. "Yes. You are right, Soulless. I was foolish and let us get distracted. I am sorry," she replied quietly. There was a momentary pause, but then she added, being careful to keep her voice at the level of a low susurration, "And I'm sorry about your family. I know how you feel. I lost everyone, too. But now you have me and Roshan." She uttered that last part with a faint but soft smile before returning to a rather expressionless demeanor and turning her attention towards the mysterious stranger Lord Roshan was talking to. At this point they had both more or less caught up to him and by her count, it was three against one. ___
  6. The hyperspace from whence they came was soon populated by the presence of large celestial bodies as the T-6 Shuttle dropped out of hyperspace. Lord Roshan heard the commotion the Shard and its hound were making as he navigated the ship towards the landing spot indicated on the hud. He let out a brief suspiration before shaking his head. Droids will be droids, perhaps. Aliss sat quietly in the co-pilot seat as she watched. There was a twinkle in her eyes. She tried to hide it, but Lord Roshan had known her for far too long. She was excited and likely feeling a bit of wonderment as well. She had grown up on Ishvara her entire life. Exploring alien worlds was something that was likely beyond her wildest dreams. Truth be told, Lord Roshan was a bit surprised to even be here. He had become so comfortable over the years. It was strange to think that only a year ago he had been content to finish out his years on Ishvara with his Knights and his luxuries. How times change. Leaving the ship with Aliss and company, Roshan looked around in the darkness. There was an eerie feel to the cooling air of the arid planet. Perhaps ominous was more the right word for it but neither word fit quite right. It was as if someone needed to invent a word with a definition that fit neatly between eerie and ominous. Darkside perhaps. At the very least, the glow of the seven moons of Korriban provided them with more than enough light to not wander around in complete darkenss. Solus and the howl of his pet broke Roshan of his current train of thought as he stared at the light in the distance. “Ah ha! It seems we have arrived! But tell me, what is this place? And...why does it feel so...I don’t know...strange?” “Come,” Roshan motioned as he began to walk, lightsaber in hand. “What you are feeling there, Sir Soulless, is the oozing, unbridled power of the Force. The raw power that the Jedi fear unless its been properly contained and diluted. The thing they call 'the darkside' and the unemasculated simply call 'the Force.'” Then turning to Tear, Roshan added, “Venas zveris ax Nu valia dakraze j'us!” As he charged cautiously onward, Lord Roshan debated whether or not he should reveal to Solus that Tut’aka could not only understand Sith but could actually speak it. It was an uncanny gutteral sound to have a Tut’aka whisper threats or growl opinions. In his experience, most only spoke to their masters or in the presence of biological ancestors of the Sith. But if you showed yourself capable of doing so, Roshan had found in his years of raiding caches and tombs that most Tut'aka would at least acknowledge you, if not outright respond. Of course, whether Tear could do so as well remained to be seen. Nevertheless, Lord Roshan would be shocked if the creature wasn't capable of it at least. Those who were foolish enough to underestimate the intelligence and sentience of the Tut'aka generally didn't live long enough to regret it and there was a reason why the Sith used them as their watchdogs. All the same, such "languaging" could be useful for Solus to learn at some point. But Roshan was unsure if he’d have to manually program the language into the droid or if the Shard would actually have to learn it from him or Sith manuscripts and the like as would be the case with most normal sentients. There was so much still about Solus that was a complete mystery to him. Meanwhile, Aliss allowed Roshan to take the lead while her and Solus brought up the rear. She still didn’t know what to make of her master’s new “Knight.” Solus had not even go through a single trial or test and yet Lord Roshan was treating him as if he was fully vetted and proven. He even called him "sir"! Perhaps Roshan had finally snapped and lost it. But Aliss dare not question him. All she did know at this moment was that she felt excited and energized being on this mysterious planet. What Solus called “strange” to her felt oddly more like “home” to her. Turning to the droid after walking in silence for some time, the girl eyed him and his animal companion before finally speaking up, “One thing’s been bugging me, mister. In fact, me and Lord Roshan argued about it a little before we landed. And I know he’s probably right... But...” Her voice trailed off for a moment before she worked up the courage to ask, “Is your name Soul-less or Sol-ace? Lord Roshan thinks you named yourself Soulless because you don’t have a soul like normal people being a Shard of whatever shards are made of. And I guess that kinda makes sense. But I think you named yourself Solace because you are no longer alone and crying out and found this body has provided you solace.” She grinned to herself as she finished, satisfied and confident in her astute observation. She, too, had heard Solus' screams through the Force and the calmness this droid chassis had brought him. To be right over Lord Roshan, even in something meaningless like this, would be a victory all the same. Aliss wasn't sure if Solus would validate Roshan or her or even have anything at all to say on the subject. Either way, she was happy to have finally addressed the elephant in the room and said her piece. Shrugging, Aliss turned her gaze back towards Roshan. He seemed like he was determined to get somewhere and she did not want to lose sight of her lord as he charged up the hill in front of them.
  7. Ro jolted awake to the sounds of explosions and blaster fire coming from above. He was uncertain how long he had passed out. But he could now hear the sounds of deprave Quarren fascists squealing like lecherous pigs in their native tongue. They were close. Slowly getting back to his feet, Ro approached Rose’s body. He was unsure how long he had been out but he felt notably better moving around. He was in no way close to 100%. But it was nice to feel a little better after all he had been through recently. At least, minus the headache he was getting from the smell of fish urine and feces that flowed through these tunnels. Feeling for the twi’lek’s pulse, the former Watcher’s fears were quickly confirmed. There was no pulse. All his efforts had been for naught. In fact, she was probably already dead before he even dropped her down into the “safety” of this muck and mire. Ro could feel his anger boiling over. On Coruscant, he had blamed the Alliance and Jedi for not being there to save everyone. On Chandrilla, he blamed the Jedi for only doing a half-baked job and leaving the refugees to fend for themselves. But on Mon Cal, it was the local authorities that were the true villains. Perhaps it was fitting that this was an Alliance planet. A theme was quickly developing. Rummaging around Rose’s corpse, Ro found a few grenades strapped to the front side of her belt (fortuitous or she might have blown herself and those around her to bits during the bombing explosion). There was also the blaster pistol she had reholstered on her hip before shove Ro and Nia out of danger and the blaster rifle that had partially “melded into the flesh of her back.” Pulling at the rifle like plucking a piece of pepperoni from a sticky slice of cheesy pizza, the blaster rifle took bits of flesh with it as Ro dislodged it from her corpse. Examining it, the flash of the explosion had eaten into her back quite brutally but the burst was too short to melt the metal that her blaster rifle was made of. At least, it definitely looked like it was still functional. At this point, he’d take his chances. Untying her from the ladder leading up to the surface, Ro retied his utility belt around his waste as he watched the body of the twi’lek slowly drift away. It would undoubtedly follow wherever this water was leading and topple down wherever these poop shoots led. Unceremoniously, the twi'lek would be forever to be lost as if she had never come here in the first place. It was a sad end for someone with a good heart like her. She deserved better. This had become a recurring theme as of late. There were lots of people no longer in Ro's life that left this galaxy deserving better. And there were a lot of scum still breathing that deserved a lot worse. You were right to fear, Nia. But I was right to warn you. Removing his tatted and soiled Jedi tunic, he let it hit the water with a slash and begin to drift away. Ro then methodically climbed up the ladder to the manhole above him. He carefully and calmly strained to move the manhole aside. He attempted to do it quietly but in all honestly, with all the blaster fire and screaming going on, no one would have likely noticed even if he hadn’t. Peeking his head out ever so slightly, Ro surveyed his surroundings. The Imperial Legion?! What in the... Ro paused for a moment. Deep down inside he hoped in his heart of hearts that the Jedi had realized that the Mon Cal crazies had shot down their Jedi transport full of younglings and that they had, for once, acted to render justice against the tyrants of this planet that had clearly been allowed to treat this place like their own xenophobic fishbowl. But no. It wasn’t the Jedi. It wasn’t the Galactic Alliance. It was the Imps. The Imps are here to save the day?! You know what. Screw it... Pulling one of the Rose’s frag grenades from off his belt, Ro examined the positioning of the local law enforcement. With the Imps advancing on them, a nice little collection of officers had found themselves pinned within the rumble of the blast zone and some more had taken cover just outside of the blast zone. Ro himself was on the edge of the blast zone at this point. But his positioning had turned out to be rather fortuitous. Ro suddenly found himself behind enemy lines. Of course, the real poetic beauty of it all was that these serial killing Quarren terrorists were so occupied with the Imps that they surely had no idea that they were about to be flanked. Well, Nia. I’m glad I didn’t promise you not to harm anyone else... because then I’d have had to lie to you. Tossing the grenade into the middle of the largest group of Quarrens, Ro quickly pulled himself up and activated the personal shield Rose had given him when all the initial chaos had started. It felt like a lifetime ago now. But all the same, the Quarrens were caught completely by surprise by Ro's surprise present. A few of them screamed and one or two even caught sight of Ro’s smirk before their bodies burst into a mixture of fire and bloody mist. That one's for Nia. Ro raise the blaster rifle as he back peddled towards the backside of the nearby building to his right. He smirked again as he picked off a few more Quarrens before they could figure out that they had enemies firing at them from all sides. Behind the corner, Ro found a large industrial size garbage receptacle. Straining and grunting a bit, he swung it outwards, creating an almost “T” like formation with the building as the top of the said “T”. Having the receptacle positioned like that would give him cover if anyone decided to approach him from behind but it also significantly hampered any plans for retreat. He was fine with that, however. He was always retreating. He had lost everyone and everything retreating. It was time for something new. It was time to hold someone accountable. And it was time for the bad people to die so they couldn’t kill anybody for the good people. And as far as he was concerned, the only bad people had tentacles for faces. Posting up against the wall, he peeked around the corner and picked off another Quarren while its friends frantically scrambled to find better cover. They had to know it was helpless by now. He had ruined their best positions of cover and the Imps would surely overwhelm that in no time. Especially if the Quarrens still had to worry about Ro shooting them in the back. Fleetingly, Ro almost felt sorry for the Quarrens. Some of them were probably "good people." Some of them were just following orders. Some of them were maybe even innocent. But they lost their opportunity for Ro to treat them on a case by case basis when them and their bosses decided to indiscriminately murder a warehouse and several streets full of innocent refugees. They could all go and burn in whatever fishy afterlife those vile creatures believed in for all he cared. ___
  8. “Lord Roshan, I vow to be the god-killer you need. Once I have become strong enough, your rival will feel your wrath! Yes, that is my oath! Ha ha!” Roshan listened to the Shard's words as it spoke. The phrase "need" made him bristle a bit. He did not need Solus to be a god-killer. But do I desire it? Of course. Lord Roshan chose not to correct the being in that moment, however. The Shard's heart was in the right place. “Yes! That is it! I will become a god slayer! Solus the Ascended will become more!..." With each mechanical vibration of his voice, the Shard's excitement became more and more palpable. Roshan listened in silence, reflecting on the words uttered. "I will become a tool of the Force! By this body!" Another false statement. But he will learn in time. "I swear to be a weapon to slay gods, become a god myself, and then...your rival will feel your wrath.” As Tear howled and the ship rattled, Lord Roshan spun back around in his chair. He looked over the readouts. The area of space they had dropped out of hyperspace into was unfamiliar and devoid of natural markers. And in the distance, a massive, derelict, space station looking object sat silently in space. It looked old, if not ancient. An ominous chill ran down Roshan's spine at the mere glance. Whatever the almost obelisk-shaped object was, it exuded darkside energy and its artificial gravity well had yanked the small T-6 shuttle out of hyperspace with ease. Moving the ship away from the object and having the nav-computer recalculate their destination, Roshan spoke over his shoulder to Solus. "Sir Soulless, I commend your excitement. But actions speak louder to words. We can speak something into existence only if we follow such talk with actions. And never... and I mean never... allow the Force to make you its tool. You must enslave the Force to your will. To become a tool of the Force would be akin to making a pet mynock or Tut'aka your master or taking orders from a food dispenser. Simply because something is useful or capable of performing helpful or vital tasks that's doesn't mean that it deserves to be master over your autonomy or has any the right to control you! That is where many a foolish force user falters and becomes weak, impotent, and easily defeatable. Never forget that." Hitting a few buttons on his console, Lord Roshan sighs, "I must apologize for the slight detour. It seems that something random pulled us slightly off course. But we will be back on course in a few moments as soon as we escape its gravity well. Go and check on Tear. As soon as we are in hyperspace again, I'm going to tend to Aliss. Our current route seems to be a shortcut of sorts. Give us another several hours or more and we should be arriving at our destination in no time. In the meantime, I think I'll take this chance to get some rest." Once back in hyperspace, Lord Roshan checked in on the sleeping Aliss. She and the other Knights of Roshan had pushed themselves to their limits just getting as far as they had. She deserved the chance to rest. A shiver rippled down Roshan's spine as he laid down on the metal floor. It wasn't the cold of the floor that made him react, however. It was the thought of where they were headed. He had taught himself two languages over the decade plus of his "seclusion" from the rest of the galaxy. The first was an expanding of what he already knew of the Echani language. It was a research project that he had began before arriving on Ishvara and was easy enough to continue. It was also a language that he eventually taught to his Knights and that they used tactically in battle. But the second was practical for far different reasons. In spite of the challenge, he had spent years learning and mastering the Sith language. It wasn't necessarily easy but between the artifacts and old manuscripts and auxiliary databases and the extra digging he had done while "exhuming" Sith artifacts and journals from caches and tombs, he had managed to piece together a fairly extensive knowledge of the base language in several of its most common forms. And that knowledge intimidating him a little at this moment. Because whether the readout was in High Sith or some other hybrid form, what he could make of it read an awful lot like the sith word for "Pesegam." And he was more than a little familiar with what Pesegam meant. Also referred to as Moraband or Korriban by the ancients, he'd read stories of its existence and ties to the Darkside and the original Sith Empire. And as much as Lord Roshan didn't mind a little mystery on occasion, he hated surprises. But as it stood, what awaited them there was anyone's guess. And yet all the same, on to Korriban it was. Fear would not stand in the way of the answers and the power they sought. At least, not this time. ___
  9. Leaving Ishvara behind for the first time in a very, very long time, Lord Roshan's new acquired T-6 Shuttle mostly purred as it sailed through hyperspace, shaking only every once in a while just to remind him of how simple and frailly it was designed. While Solus played around with his new pet, Lord Roshan closed his eyes and relaxed for a moment. His relaxation, however, was interrupted abruptly by the return of his new weapon. “Lord Roshan, sir, Tear is bandaged up and while he didn’t like it, he, uh...he’s bandaged up.” "Well done, Soulless. He'll hopefully be back up and running in no time." “Um, Lord, a question. I swore to your cause but...what is it? Your cause? After all, you are a god, and you ascended me...so what is the goal that I work towards? I understand to become a powerful weapon, but...what does that mean?” Lord Roshan paused. He spun in his chair a little to better face Solus, "Well, Sir Soulless... that is a great question. Are we talking about immediate or existential? In an immediate sense, my cause is to see that you become a great weapon, a "god killer," "soul reaper," and true Knight of Roshan and perhaps even a legendary Sith Lord. And then along with Aliss and I, we will return to Ishvara and kill my rival and all his children and families and their families families and all their relatives and friends and allies and associated people for their desecration of my sanctuary. On that day, with his disembodied head in my hands... I will declare his name and curse it. But I have sworn to never speak it again until the die he dies." The ship shook a little as he spoke of cursing the man's name. Spinning back around in his chair, Lord Roshan checked the readouts in front of him. Everything looked normal. Vessel was probably just showing its age. "As far as existentially speaking, we exist. But you are the greater than us "mortal gods"? What does it even mean to be a god? That we have power? That we can create life? That we should be obeyed and worshiped out of fear or reverence? Or is it simply a title we take to make ourselves feel better or make weaker minds bow before us? To speak truth, Soulless, I am not god in a true sense. I did not create the universe or the Force or even you. But I do understand it, I can manipulate it, and I did place you in a body that gave your already created existence a physical form." Lord Roshan took a deep breath before letting it out slowly and continuing, "But you and Aliss are my children. You are my legacy. One of flesh and one of metal. That's why you take my name. If you choose to rule the galaxy, I will support that cause. If you choose to reign as a god on Ishvara, so be it. But the meaning of life is subduing. The weak must serve us because we are strong. Not everyone can sense the force and use it. So we are special. And our specialness makes us better and greater and more important than them. And thus, it is our responsibility to perfect our power and bend the knees of all that oppose such power and our right to rule." Spinning back around in his chair to face Solus, Lord Roshan added with a hint of sadness, "I forgot that. I grew complacent. I lost everything. The Force punished me. Because I did not continue to enslave it to my will. And a slave on the loose is a betrayal waiting to happen. Does that help answer your question at all, Soulless?" ___
  10. With all the excitement and commotion surrounding the arrival of this “Remo” guy, Dhon honestly couldn’t resist the curiosity of actually meeting him in person. “I guess I’ll tag along, Miss Sunshine,” Dhon smirks as he get into the landspeeder. “After all, I still owe you a Tatooine Sunset. I make good on my debts. I’m a Cathar of my word.” Thankfully, the ride back is mostly uneventful. Long but uneventful. Back in town, Anchorhead looks mostly like it had when they left it. It is a little less busy and slightly tinted a mixture of purple and orange with the setting of Tatooine’s twin suns, but otherwise, the only real change is the introduction of the new contact. The Black Sun Vigo greets them upon their arrival. "Master Remo thanks you all for both your trust and your patience during these trying times, especially after the loss of Dark Sun and the betrayal of Delta - Seven Three." Dhon leans towards Operative Dusk a little as he whispers poorly, “Who or what is Dark Sun and Delta - Seven Three?” "But Master Remo does not wish to dwell upon the past either, instead focus on rising from the ashes left in the previous's wake. Forget the past of warriors, forget the past of militias. For here on out, we return to our roots as Assassins, Smugglers, Pirates, Criminals...." As the droid rolls up and “looks at” Dhonarr of Cathar, Dhon raises an eyebrow at it. He figures it must be assigned to scan him or run his profile or something. As it moved away, the Cathar mumbles to the others beside him. “This whole thing is odd enough as it is without the presence of a random R2 or R3 or whatever this unit is running around scanning us, am I right?” "Now for the reason you've all been summoned. Anchorhead -- claim it for ourselves. -- Find and follow this Krem Dor'phan -- to Oshan Cremp. -- But Oshan needs to be taken back to Mos Espa alive. It's the only way we can attain the codes to and the whereabouts of the Palace's underground entrances. Any questions?" Dhon frowns a little. The droid anxiously beeping in the background is making it annoyingly hard to pay attention to what the alien Vigo is saying. Dhon has a feeling, nevertheless, that he had been able to gather most most important details at least. “Stalk, snatch, and grab,” he mumbles to himself. “Sounds easy enough.” Any further comments are abruptly cut off, however, when the Tusken with them speaks up. Dhon turns to listen. “My people know the area well. I have gazed undetected on the stronghold countless times. Would it not be prudent to send a small trained group, after the targets, so as not to accidentally alert them? I am sure Rose and I and, the predator, could easily fetch your prey without giving away your plans.” Dhon grins, “The Predator. I like it. Dhonarr the Predatarr. Heh heh heh.” Turning towards the Vigo, he adds, “I think the Ragdoll Bandit has a point. He, me, and Miss Mandalorian could probably handle this ourselves. Sounds easy enough. And I’ve seen her fight! Plus, raiding and kidnapping shouldn’t be much different for RB. And my ‘speciality is tracking being that I’ve spent so much time in the wilderness of Cathar. It’s not quite dunes, but there’s plenty of savannas and some more desert-y areas. All I’m wanting to know is what kinda pay are we talking about?" Dhon pauses for a split second and his eyes come to rest on Rose and nods his head in her direction, “If her bank account is any indication, you all pay pretty well. And I happen to be fresh out of work and light on money. Plus, it sounds like these little people you have us chasing are worth a little something. And if it’s only us it's a three way split, so we are saving you money in the long run. I’m just sayin’. Show us the money and it's a done deal, your magnificence.” ___
  11. "...Now, if you wish to join me I will not turn you away, but you must promise not to harm or to threaten anyone else." Her words echoed in his head as the former Watcher of the Link looked up to see the small Nautolan standing over him, the warming touch of her hands steadily dulling some of his pain. He could tell his body was healing but he was not the one responsible. “Thank you,” was all he could manage to muster at first. Then rising a little, he added, “If you will have me, I promise I will not harm you. But we must--” His next words were cut off as sniper fire began raining down on the crowd of off-world refugees. As if things weren't bad enough, now they were being shot at! I swear I am going to murder each and every Quarren on this planet!!! Struggling to get to his feet, Ro’s chest burned and strung and certain movements stabbed him with sharp pains but at least his legs were still usable. Hunched over from the pain, it also gave him the added bonus of being a smaller target than if he had been standing upright. Way to look on the bright side, buddy! In the midst of the frenzied hysteria that was beginning to rapidly reach a crescendo, Ro heard the Twi’lek bark out orders, “There is no time. Run Nia. Now!” He could feel her doing something to his backside as she spoke but he was in too much pain to look behind himself and see what she had done. For a split second, Ro tried to point out the uncovered manhole. If they hurried, perhaps their small party and some of the off-world survivors might be able to make it down into the tunnels before these government assassins murdered everyone. But before he could say anything, Nia and Rose were already off to the races and waving for him to join. Kark. Pushing through the screaming masses was painful but he was aided by the renewed adrenaline that surged through his body as helpless civilians were dropped by sniper fire right and left. Nothing like murder, death, and impending doom to get the blood flowing! But even with his head still ringing, Ro had the sneaky suspicion that he was somehow missing something. He could see it in Rose’s eyes as she looked back and fired off her rounds at the local “law enforcement.” It was as if she wasn’t actually looking towards the snipers. It was more like she was looking up to the sky instead for some reason. As he pushed himself to catch up and avoid the weapon fire coming his way, Rose frantically motioned for him to run even faster. Still a little bit groggy, he begrudgingly complied, showing off a little as he managed to pass Rose. Now in the middle of the pack, Nia remained in the lead while Rose attempted to provide the group with cover fire. As they neared the edge of the third block, Ro could feel the exhaustion setting in. It hurt so much to breathe. He was doing his best to control his breathing but dashing through the crowd and over any obstacles or dead bodies that were lying in their way made it almost impossible to do. Where are we even going?! How much further! Why don’t we just take cover behind one of these nearby buildings and regroup!!! But even as he tried to figure out what their next move could be, Ro suddenly witnessed a flash of light dance across Nia’s moist skin followed abruptly by a deafening roar. Eyes wide, Ro looked back. Karking Kark. An explosive wall of fire mowed down the terrified survivors like they were overgrown blades of grass. Ro’s life flashed before his eyes. His conversations with Durose when he was brought into his world. His first day at the Link Headquarters. Meeting Victoria for the first time. Fighting that tenacious little blue-haired Mandalorian while Coruscant burned around them. Singing to Rose as she died in his arms. As he watched the flames streak towards him, his pace began to falter. He missed her. Maybe he even loved her. He didn’t know. He was never given the chance. He would never get the chance. If she was here... if she was here... we could have... we could have taken on the world together! Force Drukit, Rose! Force Drukit! His eyes began to tear up. He wondered if it should have been him that had returned the helmet. Perhaps this was his punishment for all his sins and failings and transgressions. He could feel the Twi’lek mercenary pushing at him to move faster as the flames consumed everything in their view. He moved his body to shelter Nia from the impact, hoping that at least one of them would make it. He closed his eyes. Death, however, refused to grant him his rest. Like a fickle mistress, she had cheated on him once again with someone else. While the wall of fire tickled the edges of his borrowed energy shield, that was the farthest it came before promptly collapsing in on itself and leaving a leveled, acid-scorched wasteland in its wake. Behind him, the others that had also managed to outrun the explosion were yelling and barking at one another. Many were still running. Others were catching their breath. Some had even collapsed on the ground from exhaustion. Leaving Nia for a moment, Ro ran back towards Rose. As she dropped to her knees with an almost unintentionally eerie smile and then fell forward, Ro slid to his knees and caught her. She wasn’t a very heavy woman but the impact made him grimace for a second. Her back felt like hot coals and stung to even touch. Instead of initially trying to move her, he just froze in that position, allowing her body to rest against his chest. He tried to think of something to sing to her. But he couldn’t do this again. Tears rolled down his cheeks as his voice let out little more than a dry croak. There were no more songs left for the dead here. What had happened was no less than mass murder. Someone will pay for this. Someone must pay for this! Ro couldn’t bring himself to look upon the twi’lek’s actual burns. Truth be told, as long as these burns weren’t too deep and she hadn’t been filled with shrapnel, it was possible to survive an explosion like that. Sure, she might have lost feeling or consciousness. But even if she had third-degree burns on 75% of her body, she still stood a 50-50 chance of survival if she could receive care in time. If he could find some bacta or a Jedi healer, her odds might even be much better than that. What Ro wouldn’t give to have that power right now. 3...2...1... Ro wrapped his arms around the body, her backside searing into his fur and flesh, her weight pressing against his lungs and chest. “Arraaahhh!” He couldn’t help but shriek a little as he lifted the two of them off the ground. It wasn’t a shriek of pain. It was more of intense frustration and anger. Pressing his hands against her backside, he yelped a little as he re-positioned her over his right shoulder. He was in so much pain between his previous injuries, the searing heat from her burnt flesh, and the compression of his chest from her added body weight that the blazing anger swelling within his heart was the only thing keeping him upright. He simply refused to allow anything else to matter to him in those moments. Looking back, he didn’t see Nia. Ro felt a sudden rush of panic. Maybe she had headed to safety? Or did the fire get her? No. No! I was there. She had. She must. Ro’s breathing was labored. The pain was making it hard to think. He could worry about Nia later. This Twi’lek woman was his priority. He owed her that much for saving his life. He began walking back towards the devastation. He needed to cool her down. There was water wherever those manholes led. It was their only hope. He just needed to push a few steps further. Just a few steps more. I can see it. An opening in the ground. Must. Just a few. Reaching for the comm unit still attached to her person, Ro put it to his mouth as he spoke with labored breaths, “Bombs--Explosion--I’m--going--to--take--your--friend--to--the--sewers--need--medical--please...” Between his ribs and the swelling and the Twi’lek’s body weight, Ro was starting to become increasingly dizzy. He blinked hard as the ground in front of him behind to blur and wobble. But he was there. He had made it to a nearby opening. There was still a chance. Dropping the twi’lek down into the water below, there was a splash followed by an ominous sizzle. At the very least, the water would help cool her body down and maybe buy them a few minutes. He could speak to whether she’d manage to keep both lekku but perhaps she was lucky enough to have them absorb a lot of the impact. He still couldn’t bring himself to visually inspect the damage. It didn’t really matter if they didn’t find a healer or bacta soon. If she was still alive, by now every system in her body was undoubtedly freaking out. Her metabolism had surely gone haywire and accelerated, her immune system was probably undergoing changes, and her cardiovascular system was about to falter. And then there was the catastrophic loss of fluid through the burned area by evaporation and through leakage from damaged capillaries. She was on borrowed time if she wasn’t dead already. Of course, Ro wasn’t in much better shape. His body was screaming at him to rest so he could finally heal a little. Dropping down into the sewer tunnel himself, he wade over to the alien woman and pulled her tight to his chest again, this time pressing the burnt part of her body against his. She was much cooler now. At least that was something. Moving a little further down the tunnel, Ro soon found himself in darkness. He fiddled with the comm unit. He hit what he thought might be a locator for Mjan to track their location. But he was too tired to know for sure anymore. Moving along the tunnel wall until he felt the railing of what he believed to be a ladder, Ro removed his belt and used it to tie the twi’lek’s arms in the air above her. With her secure, he leaned her head backwards and let it rest in the water. With his cat-like senses, he wasn’t completely blind in the dark but he still felt around her face to make sure that it wouldn’t sink beneath the water with how he had set it. Satisfied, Ro slumped against the adjacent wall. All he could think about was sleep. He had to sleep. He needed to sleep. And right as he began to drift off to sleep, the funniest thing hit him. He had done all this work but in his entire time, he had been so focused on himself and his pain and just getting them out of there that he had never checked to see if she was breathing. Huh. ___
  12. Roshan honestly couldn't understand much of what the Shard's droid body was saying as it spoke. It's vocabulator was clearly having serious issues. It was probably repairable but Aliss was more of the person that liked to take things apart and put them back together again. Lord Roshan was more about killing things. He left that boring stuff like fixing things to others. As he walked past the maimed creature, Roshan watched it thrash. The beast had been injured quite badly by Solus. It wasn't like it couldn't be corrected with a little effort, patched up, and then allowed to heal. But the hound would probably be out of commission for at least several weeks to a few months. Boarding the T-6 Shuttle, Roshan found it to be as cramped as he expected. In its landing configuration, the ship sat horizontally, supported by a trio of landing gear. The cockpit, somewhat conical in shape, remained aligned with the body of the craft, with the three engines likewise horizontally aligned with the body of the shuttle. The engine block was attached to the main corridor that led to the cockpit. There was one loading ramp leading up to the interior of the ship and it was located on the port side of the engine block section. Inside, there were two small but spacious living quarters on each side of the main corridor. Outside of the main living quarters, there was a small room with a lavatory on one side and a room with a basic refresher on the other. This was far from a luxury cruiser cruiser and had clearly been configured for one to two passengers at most in spite of the king-size beds inside the rooms. The saving grace of the living spaces themselves, perhaps, was that they looked almost like upscale hotel rooms in size and function (minus the bathrooms, of course). This was the type of ship that he had heard stories about in the past but never been aboard before. The ultimate downside was the lack of weaponry as it was the type of ship designed to shuttle around ambassadors and dignitaries as opposed to fighting wars. Thankfully, it had a hyperdrive. And that was the most important thing. Setting Aliss on the bed of the room to the right, Roshan removed his mask and set it in the room on a nearby counter. He then headed to the cockpit to fire up the old relic. It shook and sputtered for a moment before flickering on and beginning to hum. In the background, the Cathar could hear the Tut'aka yelping as Solus dragged it on board and left it in the hallway. It wasn't the most ideal location for the beast, but it would do for the time being. With the ship powered up, Roshan hit a few switches and communicated with the hangar bay itself. With all the pre-flight settings engaged, the roof above them began to open as particles of dirt and dust and sand began to pour down in front of them. It was wise that the Sith had not parked this vessel directly below the hangar opening. Otherwise, it might have been an increasingly inauspicious start for the makeshift trio. “Lord Roshanzzshf... beast is named Tear. And I am eager to complete my...er...trainizfzs” Roshan looked back over his shoulder at the sound of Solus' voice as he hit a few buttons in the cockpit and the loading ramp began to close. He input the launch sequences and slowly began to lift the vessel into the air, navigating it out of the opening above them. Entering flight mode, the wings attached to the cockpit and engine block rotated ninety degrees, pouring off the little bits of excess soil that had managed to land on them from above. "Tear it is," Roshan smirked. "Tear will make a fine pet once he has properly been rehabbed. Every Lord needs a follower and every warrior needs a companion. Tear shall be yours to domesticate and nurse back to health. To be a great weapon, you cannot only be blunt force and sharp edges. Learning to move, train, and lead others is essential to being well rounded. Those of flesh feel. Perhaps you do as well, Soulless?" The ship rattled a little as he spoke. They had now broken the planet's atmosphere. Alone in the dark void of space, with the planet at their back, Lord Roshan brought up the ship's star chats with the nav-computer. A particular location of note flashed on the screen. The name listed on the screen was unfamiliar to him. Perhaps it was in high Sith or some other language. All the same, Lord Roshan believed it to be a location of interest and was willing to see where it led. Perhaps they might find a Sith master that would be willing to train an Cathar and a droid. Maybe not. Not knowing was half of the fun. Punching it in, the astrogation computer began to do the computations. Turning back to Solus again, Roshan commented, "Soulless, perhaps you might be so kind as to move the hound into the room to the left? These are ambassador style quarters. There should most likely be some sort of first aid kit and perhaps some nice alcohols if we are lucky. Perhaps if you are careful enough, you can give Tear some alcohol for the pain, reset the bones, bandage it up, and maybe check on Aliss once you are done? I'll be in the cockpit if you need me. Have Aliss look at that vocabulator of yours if she's awake, would you?" As Roshan finished his last sentence, the screen in front of him flashed. It was time. Gripping the handle in front of him tightly and pushing the lever forward, the ship stalled for a second and then jolted, punching into hyperspace and leaving Ishvara behind. Roshan was unsure just how long the trip would take them traveling through hyperspace. But the void of space was calling and it would be their home for the time being. ___
  13. Lord Roshan almost instantly regretted asking for the Shard’s assistance as it let out an ear piercing shriek! The noise was enough to daze the Cathar’s sensitive hearing and the attacking Tut’aka didn’t fare much better. Aliss, on the other hand, winced for only a moment before her eyes lit up at the sight of the Tut’aka’s momentary weakness. She had always had an uncanny ability to lock-in when she smelled blood. It was almost as if the rest of the world dissolved around her and all other sights and sounds ceased to exist. Lord Roshan would have liked to take credit for this ability of hers and often referred to it as a “Force Bubble of Focus” when he spoke of it. But the truth was, Roshan had no idea how she had developed it and how much or how little the Force played into it. All he knew was that it seemed to be triggered by intense pain or sudden bloodlust and when Aliss did “Redout,” she could be extremely formidable and insatiable. Leaping into action, Aliss let out her own scream and charged the stunned beast. Her attack was so swift and efficient that the creature never saw it coming until it was too late. Catching the Tuk’ata’s leg, her blade swipe cut it clean off. As the Tuk’ata collapsed to one side, it tried to swing its tail at her in desperation, only to quickly lose that appendage as well. There was a look of unholy rage in Aliss’ eyes as she stood over the terrified creature. A devilish grin rolled across the tip of her lips, bending her red-tinted skin into an uneven U-shape and showing a mouth full of teeth. Unaware of everyone else in the world at that moment, Aliss raised her lightsaber high in the air and targeted the Tuk’ata’s head with a vicious downswipe, severing it completely from the rest of its body. By now, the Droid had managed to blow out his voice box or stop screaming because there were no more skrill tones emanating from its chassis. Roshan’s ears were still ringing as he approached Aliss. His arm wound was already beginning to heal itself but he chose to continue to hold his lightsaber in his off-hand. He was confident that he could fend off the girl if she got out of hand. “Aliss! Turn off your lightsaber.” His approach had definitely gotten her attention, but when she craned to head to glare at him it was clear that she was still lost in her bloodlust. It was the one downside to her aptitude for carnage. She didn’t know how to control it and Lord Roshan had little idea how to control her once she reached that point. They had worked on techniques over the years but they had almost always failed. It wasn’t until he actually tried restraining and shocking her with a jolt of electricity that he developed a surefire way to bring her back to reality. The only downside was that Lord Roshan’s ability to dabble into Force Lightning and project it outwords was erratic at best. He struggled to extend a controlled burst outwards from his body, much less target it. Sure, he’d occasionally have his own “Redout” moments. But those were more cases of desperation than focus or control. Now within striking distance, Roshan cautiously held his lightsaber in front of him as he tried again to reach the girl, “Aliss! Your lightsaber! Drop it!” Instead, the girl responded with a rapid set of large sweeping swings. Sparks of fire and burst of color splashed against the shadowed walls as Roshan carefully blocked each blow. She was pushing at him aggressively, each swing more violent and dangerous than the one before. But she also lacked the form and grace befitting a wielder of a lightsaber. Even using his off-hand, Roshan was confident that he could kill her. Of course, he also knew he wouldn’t have to. He just needed his little wildling to get within his reach. But her attack was so violent and relentless, more so than usual. Lord Roshan was quite impressed. At least, until he stumbled on the tail of the dead abomination behind him and found himself on his back. With his lightsaber in front of him to block her blade, Aliss raised her saber with reckless abandon, coming down again and again and again as if Roshan’s lightsaber was some sort of usually shaped nail that she had stubbed her toe on just moments before. Such fury. Such fire. Such passion! Then in the distance came a noise. It was Solus. “Sir Aliss! Catch!” Between the darkness and his own troubles, the droid was likely completely unaware of their own predicament. But by spinning and tossing one of his attacking Tuk’ata’s at the two, the Shard’s actions were enough to inadvertantly resolve Lord Roshan’s current problem. The girl had no choice but to halt her attack and pivot to face the helpless Tuk’ata hurtling towards her. And the second she leaped into the air and cut it in half, Roshan was back on his feet with one hand pressed into the crevices of her back. With a sudden burst of energy, Aliss fell to her knees and collapsed as the two halves of the tuk’ata broke apart and thudded against the near wall. Turning over his lightsaber, Roshan placed the hilt back at his side and walked past the unconscious Aliss to collect her orange saber. Looking up at Solus, he smiled. Then reaching behind the cloak of his Sith armor, Lord Roshan pulled out a Sith mask and placed it over his face. Looking around and surveying the area for any other hidden enemies, his gaze finally returned to rest on Solus. The mask added a more sinister reverberation to his voice as he addressed his Shard ally. “I cannot say that I appreciated all your tactics, Soulless one. But you fought well in your first true taste of battle. Take the Tut’aka and drag it onto the ship. I will take the girl. It can be useful to use once it heals and is properly trained. You are its conqueror so it is yours to name.” Reaching down and carefully collecting Aliss from the ground, Lord Roshan throws her over his shoulder before adding, “What say you, Soulless? Shall we seek a Sith Master greater than I to complete your training and multiply the weapons you have at your disposal? I believe it is time.” ___
  14. As the lurking beast stalked them from the shadows, Lord Roshan had already guessed what he was facing. It wasn’t the first tomb or cache that he had run into that contained a Tuk’ata. It was an unusually large and grotesque version but the Tuk’ata were popular "guard dogs" used by the Sith as they seemed to be able to draw nourishment directly from the Force, making them seemingly immortal guardians. Of greater concern to Roshan, though, was the ship itself. From the fringes of the dakrkness, Lord Roshan was able to make out the shape and he feared that the vessel was indeed a T-6 Shuttle. If so, it more than likely had hyperspace capability but no weaponry of any sort. His revenge on his rivals would have to be postponed until he could return with something much more powerful. “Uh oh....” Solus broke the silence when the creature finally made its move. As the creature began its charge, Lord Roshan grabbed at the other lightsaber at his belt and it’s purple beam crackled to life, mixing with the red light of his first saber. Smacking the two sabers against the metallic ground to throw up sparks, Roshan moved into a defensive combat stance while Aliss stood there in silence. “Aliss! Nouleni j'rme'l Upju- Vizuni true'q!” Roshan forcefully commanded. Alice rushed to his side and pointed her lightsaber towards the beast in a more aggressive stance. “M'o nuxo! “Lenziu juki poqu quloxouex nizruko ximle!” Aliss replied. As the creature neared leaping distance, Roshan glared at Aliss. “Kaou'k!” “Ujoqumuxoru!” She replies as she turned off her lightsaber and began a mad dash towards the far wall to their left. Roshan was not far behind as he gracefully slide across the floor in an unnaturally fluid manner for one of his size. With each quick step and spin, he rapidly edged his way across the room in a diagonal direction. With each almost ballet like movement he edged himself closer to the back left corner of the room. Had the beast not been such a feral abomination, they might have been able to reason with it or it might have realized the position they were putting it in. But unfortunately, it was time to put this mad dog down. Suddenly planting his feet firmly, he lifted one leg in front of himself about waist high as he let his foot dangle in the air. He continued to bang his lightsabers against the ground as he did so. “Kaou'k, Aliss!” Lord Roshan was caught in a corner as the feral beast launched into the air towards him. However, not far away to his left, Aliss had timed her run perfectly. Scaling straight up and flipping through the air, Aliss powered on her lightsaber as the two beings suddenly found themselves on a collision course. Having left its feet already, the Tuk’ata was now at the mercy of their coordinated attack. If it did nothing, Aliss would stab into it and cut it open from the side. Of course, it chose to turn in the direction of her sudden burst of orange light. A grave mistake. The second its eyes and body began to attempt to deal with the incoming Aliss, Lord Roshan’s dangling foot hit the metal floor with shocking force and quickness. The monster was forced to flick his head back towards Roshan as Aliss plunged her saber into the side of its right shoulder. But it was already too late for the monster. Everything was happening so fast and in tandem that the creature clearly barely had a chance to react or reevaluate its situation. With his head bowed, Lord Roshan slid across the floor on his knees with his head bowed. Of course, as he glided underneath the beast, Roshan made sure that he held his dual lightsabers firmly up in the air above him. This allowed the lightsabers to use the hounds own momentum to flay open its underside as it drug lengthwise across his blades. The beast gave out a blood curdling squealing series of yelps as its guts began to fall out and it thudded against the floor with a wet skid. Sliding to a stop as it collided with the corner wall, Roshan turned towards it to check on Aliss. She had done well and had managed to ride the beast until it stopped. For good measure, she plunged her saber into its head just to make sure. “Tu'iea meistras zodis vinos,” exclaimed proudly as he got to his feet and turned off his lightsabers. Approaching Aliss, he offered his hand to help her down from the Tuk’ata. He gave her a satisfied grin. “You did well, Aliss Roshan. You will make a fine knight yet.” Suddenly as Aliss moved to take his hand, her eyes got big. "Vinos zioplys," a voice growled from behind Lord Roshan. In the chaos of the charge, the darkness of their surroundings, and his own self-confidence, Lord Roshan had failed to realize that this grotesque experimental monster was not the only hound guarding this complex. Three others had used the distraction to edge their way towards the visitors. Two had sneaked their way towards the mysterious droid, likely more out of curious because of its Force sensitive aura. The other was seconds away from sinking its teeth into the back of Roshan's neck. Roshan had only enough time to quickly spin around and offer it his forearm instead. Yanking him to his knees, Roshan reached for his purple lightsaber and power it on as Aliss quickly jumped down from atop the dead abomination and joined Lord Roshan. Seeing the lightsabers, the Tuk'ata released Roshan's arm and back off into a defensive stance. Growling at them menacingly as it paced around them, the creature yapping at the other Tuk'atas. Roshan also followed suit, directing his comments as his newly "born" creation. "Well, Shard! Do you got any tricks up your sleeve? Now would be a great time to deploy a hidden missle launcher or something!" ___
  15. At this point, Ro was thoroughly confused. A random twi’lek woman had just slapped him. In fact, from the looks of it she had hurt her hand a little, too, doing just to do it. Did she really just slap me?! What did I do? Who is she?! Interestingly enough, it wasn’t often that someone managed to slap him. It was one of the random perks of to being unnaturally tall, even for a Cathar. Of course, there were also a lot of downsides like standing out in a crowd or buildings and cockpits clearly being sized with Bothans in mind instead of tall people. And then there was finding proper clothing and armor. He was short for a wookiee but too tall to be a stormtrooper. It was an awkward height to be, honestly, when he wasn’t trying to scare or intimidate people. So sure. He was clearly slappable in that moment. But why him and not a plethora of other buffoons present? Perhaps he had bumped into her in the crowd? She sure seemed to know Nia. Maybe she is with that devilish looking alien man? In all honesty, he only had himself to blame for even being slappable. Had he not decided to sit down and meditate for a moment, it was doubtful she would or could have even attempted it. Still in a bit of shock, though, he made no attempt to unfold his legs or move from where he sat. But the violent little twi’lek had his attention now, at least once the shock of her actions started to all subsided. She was on some sort of tirade when she it seemed that she accidentally let slip out that the devilish, "Mr. Tote’ma-Staff" was, in fact, a Sith. This was a shocking revelation, indeed. Probably something she would have been wise not to admit around a bunch of scared refugees, much less “two” Jedi. Has the Nautolan really been serving under this man this long and not realized he was a Sith?! It would explain the lack of Jedi robes perhaps. Ro was so caught up in the implications of all this that he was no longer really listening to the Twi'lek as she spoke. “...outcasts, traitors in hiding...different outlook of the Force... Mjan is a traitor in their eyes...” Ah! So that is Tote’s name? Mjan! And it would make sense, I suppose. Being a traitor if he was a Jedi and joined the Sith? Okay. But then why keep a Jedi as an ally or apprentice or whatever she is to him?! None of this makes any sense. Of course, Rose's lecture was far from over. Paying better attention, Ro caught most of the rest of what she was saying over the din of the crowd. "But he's still Sith, Nia. He fights to control his nature everyday, a nature that has darkened the hearts of his ancestors for thousands of millennia. And he's a soldier, torn between duties between his heart as a Jedi and his mind as a Lieutenant as well as his attachment to you, his Padawan. Nothing is ever black and white, and even the greatest of Jedi's had their struggles, especially during times of war." This was making even less sense all the time. Was he a Sith that had duties to the Jedi because he was a Lieutenant in the Alliance military? Was that even possible? Ro shook his head in confusion as he started to get to his feet. He knew it wasn’t probably his place to speak as he was technically eavesdropping. But he couldn’t resist. Moving towards them, he interrupted, “Excuse me, Miss...” And then came an unnatural rumbling, followed by panicked screams and the eruptions of manholes, sewer lines, and hydrants of all sorts. Water sprayed everywhere as Ro spotted a manhole cover wildly twirling in the direction of the two women. Breaking into a full sprint, Ro managed to just barely shove the two ladies out of the way as the coin-shaped cover. Spiraling like a flipped coin, the cover violently collided with the backside of Ro’s left shoulder and back. It was an intentional choice, of course, for Ro to use his good shoulder to absorb the blow. He figured it would be much less painful than using the side he had already landed on some time earlier. The moment the manhole hit him, however, Ro realized just how much he had miscalculated the object itself. Yes, his body did successfully absorb the manhole's momentum and ricochet it away from the ladies and others in the crowd. But the speed in which the manhole had sailed through the air made it look much lighter than it actually was. Rocked by the impact, Ro was plowed head first into the ground and sent into a momentary tumble. A sharp, radiating pain exploded up from his upper back as if he had been hit squarely in the shoulder by a bolt of lightning! But before he could fully register the extent of the damage, Ro’s eruption of agony was abruptly followed by numbness throughout his extremities. Face down, he tried to prop himself up with his arms but he couldn’t move them. In fact, he could barely feel anything outside of his physical form, currently gasping for breath. But he was not completely alone. There was also a familiar, encroaching darkness beginning to suffocate what was left of him. It was that rising feeling. The same panicked feeling that washed over him on Chandrilla. He couldn’t breath. He couldn’t move. All sound around him had dropped to little more than a hushed buzz. Am I even still conscious? Truth be told, Ro had been practicing breathing techniques to control his anxiety ever since Chandrilla, especially after losing Rose Cariadus. She had promised him that he was not alone. But she had recklessly gotten herself killed and abandoned him. He was trying to do this without her, but look where that had gotten him. Everyone had left him. Durose, Victoria, Rose. Even the Jedi who were supposed to be Chandrilla’s saviors. He had been on his own for so long. This was nothing new. Now, he was on his own once more. Ro could feel the writhing of his body, the body’s natural gasping and gagging reflex try to desperately keep him alive. But no air was coming. Instead, Ro finally felt a moment of peace in the silence. Honestly, he could best describe it as no longer being inside his own body. Like he was floating high above the warehouse and the city, watching as the little "ants" ran and screamed and panicked, showered with puddles of foaming liquid as they slipped and fell and squirmed and wriggled. He may have failed his mission. But now he could finally leave. It could finally be over. His suffering was at the end. But as he floated higher and higher above it all, a familiar voice suddenly whispered into his ear, “Wake up...” Hit by a sudden rush of adrenaline, Ro felt as if he was literally freefalling. Without warning, his consciousness came crashing back into his physical body with an agonizing burst of pain. Then, his lungs finally filled with air and his eyes instantaneously popped open. Ro silently cursed his genes. They just wouldn’t let him die. Not yet, anyway. He wouldn’t get off the hook that easily. ___
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