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Terra last won the day on October 11

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  1. Bas’ar, mad with his broken love rushed ever onwards towards that two-headed beast. Towards the robber of his happiness, the killer of his joy. He was a madwolfe embodied, beyond care or concern for his fate. He dashed the Heavy Charric to the stones at his feet as he ran, disgusted in its inability to even scratch his enemy. He could see his fate. With his right hand he pulled a heavy vibrodirk from his belt, and with his left his heavy blaster pistol. He could see Aorn now, as he was meant to be, smiling and alive, not broken in the dust on a forsaken world. He was farming the fields of Kald’retham with the starlight of Chald’edha reflected in the sweat on his brow. It was lovelier than any sight he had beheld in his mortal life. As the missiles came, Bas’ar fired again and again, throwing the dirk end over end at the beast’s giant head. He would walk with Kad Ha’rangir at long last. The last of his thoughts were of his honor and his love. --- Arna nestled the butt of her marksman’s rifle into the armor of her shoulder, feeling its rubberized stock sealing into the beskar. Her shot had found its mark in a way, but the anti-material round had not incapacitated her enemy like she had intended. Setapoite began running the calculations for a follow-up shot, the data scrawling in crimson aurebesh across her magnified vision. She settled the targeting reticle on the beast as it rose to engage her comrades. One of its heads seemed to dangle like the paralyzed appendages she had seen growing up in the trauma-wards on Ord Mantell with her sister. It disgusted her, much like the patients had. “...No reticle compensation required…” Arna watched in growing dread as the beast burst into missile fire and a resounding warning began to blare in her ears. She started to let out the rest of her breath and took up the slack in the trigger. Longkra’s mute tongue was given voice by Setapoite, and the grief and worry was apparent “...Get out of there ner’vod!” Arna whistled a single defiant note, turning it into a feline hiss as she fired one last time as the missile came, sending her sniper’s round towards the beast’s center of mass. --- Longkra’s boots dashed sparks upon the stones as she sprinted after Bas’ar, knowing all too well the rage she had heard in his bellowing roar. The mission had gone all to the Seven Corellian Hells, OpFor was much stronger than anticipated, and Terra had been separated from their side. Without Mandalore amongst them, they were fracturing in the face of only one lowly beast. Longkra’s breathing echoed inside her buyce as she pushed farther west, trying to flank the Troig and cut it to pieces. Her AI barked out a warning in her native Huttese ...Missiles... The woman leapt without a second thought, activating her jetpack in full burst as she did so, her cybernetic unit transmitting her thoughts of warnings to her sister through the mouth of Setapoite. She twisted her body, the heat of the missile’s backwash burning away part of her exposed plait. The scent of burning hair was nauseating. Longkra’s slugthrowing carbine barked out a stream of durasteel FMJs as her jetpack brought her away from the missile’s explosive wash, directing three bursts of slugs at the beast’s chest and face. There was no time to mourn now. All that could be done now was to fight on or embrace death with dignity. --- Terra watched her shots pass through the haze of the battlefield, cursing her own bad aim. Her crimson eyes flicked up to her ammunition load on the HUD, analyzing the ammo stack, assuring herself in her nearly full magazine. There wasn’t time or need for a safety reload. Her hand gripped the leather that adorned the pistol’s grip, the familiar feel of it a reassurance for her troubled mind. She could tell her team was beginning to lose. Life-sign displays for several of her team were displaying dim readings. Hades was roaring. The haze of the battlefield showed the form of Zalis, unphased from the flechettes and on the attack. A flurry of crimson stiched across her cover, searing through the splinsteel container, charring a line of carbon across her darkmetal. The container groaned as it began to collapse, the weakened metal shrieking and failing. Terra staggered from the sparse and reducing cover that the splintsteel container had provided, grinding her teeth against the pain that coursed up through her leg. Her eyes widened as she saw Zalis’s roll again, and the Mandalorian brought her pistol up. Spast. A line of pain seared across her ribcage, as Zalis’ vibroknife skittered across the seventh rib, slicing through flesh and fracturing bone before reflecting into the dusty stone with a shower of sparks. The Mandalorian let out a serpentine hiss of pain, pushing on her injured left leg with as much strength as she could muster to close the distance and sidestep the oncoming kick. She would not fall now. She could trust the left leg to push her off, but not to catch her in this final step.She separated her hands, bringing the vibro-tomahawk in an arc to her left with all her strength If this is to be the end, may I die with honor. As Terra stepped around the kick with her right leg, she brought her flechette pistol closer to her own body to maintain control, leveling it at the Zalis’s oncoming abdomen as she moved past the kick. With all of her momentum applied to her strength, Terra angled the tomahawk’s arc in an attempt to catch the woman just under her right clavicle. As she swung, she hammered the trigger of her flechette pistol, a last desperate attempt to put down her former friend. ((3)) ::TL;DR::
  2. Aorn’s eyes widened, the scarlet of his eyes paling as the creature he had just shot seemed to glow with all the fire of a diamond-boron missile. He let out a low whistle as the two-headed beast launched forward and the Chiss began to scramble further westward, followed by his lover Bas’ar. As his feet cleared a pallet of the raw spice in a leap, a searing pain ripped through him and he seemed to jump sideways from the energy of the blow, but he never noticed. Bas’ar cried out in rage as he saw his love fly sideways with the impact of several high energy bolts from their opponent’s blaster cannons. The Chiss knew before that black-armored form clattered onto the unforgiving stone, sliding in a motionless and twisted heap, that Aorn was dead. His cry of rage turned first into desperate grief, then to acidic, frenzied sorrow. Honor was as gone as his love. The light had gone from his life and now there was only darkness. The last of the Mlatti'viwe Clan, that bitter mercenary, became in that moment, one of the bersærkergang. He embraced the baser nature of sentience and rushed headlong towards his enemy, that starblossom of fire upon the horizon and howling like the madwolfe he had become. Bas’ar let loose as he ran, setting his XAB-32 Heavy Charric Rifle to automatic fire and held the trigger down the reticle upon the enemy that roared like a comet overhead. Onwards he would run, to meet his enemy with fist and blade, to exact his revenge. The Twins fared better, their cover protecting them from the ravaging from the sky. Arna followed the missile of a Troig on its trajectory through her 2-x magnification sight. Setapoite ran trajectory calculations on her HUD and projected a possible landing zone for the beast, but the mute girl knew the beast would never live to reach it. She felt Longkra’s emotional distress as Aorn fell. She heard Bas’ar’s mournful howl. The slack was all gone. She let out a breath slowly, swinging the rifle in a leading arc on its bipod, selecting a single-dot reticle lead and muted out the world, letting the chaos fall into silence. She watched the two heads sail through the air, backlit by the rockets that propelled it. Longkra advanced Northwest to angle off the beast and to support Bas'ar's headlong rush to oblivion. All Arna heard was the beating of her heart in her ears. When the breath was gone from her lungs, she finished the trigger’s pull, sending a 64 gram, full-metal jacket snapping through the glitterstim soaked air for a hopeful taste of her opponent's lifeblood. Her mute lips formed the words to which her AI gave voice; "Oya" Harjav struggled against the stone, choking against the dust, reeling from the pain from his wound. His buy’ce was now discarded, the EMP having done its treacherous work. Without it, he never saw the thermal detonator whose explosion sent his body tumbling amongst the broken machinery with a wash of flame. The pain in Terra’s left leg caused her to shudder, her darkmetal teeth washing her blood-flecked mouth with coppery sparks as they ground together. Her HUD displayed the chaos her team was in, but she could only tune it out and focus on the fight ahead. She would bury the bodies later. A warning displayed an arc as a grenade sailed overhead, and Terra began to move, limping backwards to angle to the east and away from the resulting explosion. A hail of blasterfire cascaded into the processing loom she had made her cover an instant before, cracking through its containment field and igniting the raw glitterstim beneath. The resulting explosion sent Terra falling backwards to slide across the stone. There was pain from her right hand, but nothing seemed serious. The assassin spared a glance down to assess herself as she turned her slide into a backwards somersault. Her battlerifle was completely slagged, the slugthrower’s buffer-tube completely fractured and the handguard and trigger assembly twisted and useless. She leapt out of the backwards somersault with a microfire from her jetpack, landing heavily on her right leg, knowing her left could not be trusted. A massive splintsteel crate was to her east, and she leaned against it with her right shoulder. She slipped one of her FWG-5 Flechette Launchers from its holster with her right hand, while her left selected a vibro-tomahawk. The pistol’s grip was bound in leather stripling and was familiarly worn. Terra leveled the pistol before her at eye level, bracing her right hand with her left forearm. The tomahawk extended up to the right of her pistol like the wing of the Aurebesh letter trill. Hades began to focus purely on her datastream, adding his own interpretations to what her input systems picked up and the world seemed to stretch out before her and brighten like she was under the hands of the gods themselves. The temporary cover of the crate looming above her, Terra leaned out to peak eastward and towards Zalis’ last known location. Her system picked up the slight sound of running footsteps first, an instant before her HUD registered a flash of movement within ten meters. Without a second’s thought or hesitation, Terra depressed the trigger on her flechette pistol twice in rapid succession with the targeting reticle settled on the hazy form. The first shot would send a blast of thermite-inlaid explosive darts towards her opponent, followed by the second, a hail of armor piercing darts forged of darkmetal. ((2)) ::TL;DR::
  3. “…Grenades incoming…” Terra cursed and reacted by instinct, leaping backwards and to her right, and activating her jetpack with a blink of crimson eye. The micro-blast from the jetpack’s angular propulsors helped her to keep upright and not fall into a tumble in the chaos of the EMP-grenade’s detonation. Maybe she would survive unscathed afterall A searing pain ripped through her concentration as she slipped over the wreckage, a blaster-bolt searing the flesh on her left thigh as it was partially deflected by the darkmetal. The energy of the blast caused her coordinated jump to fall into a flailing fall into the dusty stone. Pain coursed through her nerves and her buy’ce muted the cry of pain that followed as her armored form skidded across the stone in a shower of sparks. Blasterfire echoed again from her right, the familiar discharge of Zalis’ pistols. The Mandalorian winced, recording the position on the battlemap as her 360-degree thermographic viewfinder picked up the Black Sun Vigo’s movement. The assassin turned the skid into a roll, coming up onto her knees beside a processing loom favoring her right leg. She extended her rifle out with her right hand on the pistol-grip, the single-point sling pressing into her back and leaned further to her right, pressing herself against the massive glitterstim loom. She steadied her stance by gingerly extending her left leg to bring her into a crouch. Her left hand fished a C-23 fragmentation grenade from her belt while flipping the three-second arming switch in a fluid motion. She let the first second pass while her darkmetal teeth ground sparks on her tongue. The Mandalorian tossed the grenade overhand in a high angle over the processing loom towards Zalis and then leaned out from cover to send a three-round burst of slugs towards the woman’s chest. Harjav was not so lucky as his Mandalore and caught the brunt of the EMP-blast and dropped to the decking like a stone, blinded by the sudden interference on his HUD and instinct telling him that the safest place for a blind man was flat against the earth. He clawed at his buy’ce with one hand to remove his blindness as his other checked the priming on his impact-grenade launcher. A searing blaster bolt tore a jagged line across his right shoulder, and he screamed into the unforgiving stone. The launch of the grenades flipped targeting priority within the team’s HUD. Hades and Setapoite, working in tandem, had designated the Troig as the far greater threat with its unique orbital insertion armor and heavy weaponry. Aorn’s crimson eyes narrowed, his 360-degree HUD narrowing to a 90-degree spread and flipping to 3x magnification. His rifle’s barrel steadied against the rusted durasteel beam that provided him cover and supported the tons of stone 15-stories overhead. The garish orange glow of their team’s newest HVT showed from the support-pillar, and even before the flashes of crimson light leapt from the Troig’s position to strike towards his Mandalore, his fingers were taking up the slack on the trigger of his XAB-32 Heavy Charric. He whistled out a singular note, high and warbling like that of a shriek-hawk signaling for a joint attack with its flock. Four streaks of azure light burst from his weapon, the maser rounds angling beyond where the two-headed beast gripped the pillar and where the bulk of the Troig's center-of-mass must be. Beside him, his lover, Ba’sar, leapt backwards from the pillar, jumping across a deactivated production line under the cover of his fire. The Mandalorian worked to achieve a better angle on the hulking Troig, holding his own fire until the beast would inevitably flush from its cover. Further to the Northwest, in the heart of stealth, the twins Arna and Longkra began to assess the Troig through their enhanced viewscreen, mediated by data-flow from Setapoite. Longkra’s rangefinder was out, assessing range-on-target in compatibility for slug-drop with her sister’s Istiglal IST-14.5. The 14.5×114mm cartridge would put intense power on target as an anti-material round. Longkra listened to the tone of her sister’s breathing, soft and steady, a whisper in her ears. Setapoite spoke, interpreting the rangefinder’s data “One-hundred and three meters to target, no reticle compensation.” Arna began to take up the slack with the timing of her breathing, settling the bobbing reticle on the massive form of the Troig. ((1)) :TL;DR:
  4. Terra watched her slugs find placement in the spider’s thick hide, but with relatively little effect. The Mandalorian knelt, her darkmetal beskar grinding into the irregular stonework that adorned the flooring of the enormous cavern. She placed her rifle’s barrel on one of the truck’s destroyed repulser-lifts and managed another three-round burst of fire into the spider’s bulk as it began to charge her position. She was about to give a firing-order when another voice cut through across all com-frequencies. “The spiders don’t want you filthy rebs touching their stuff either. Maybe it is time to go.” Terra blinked a tracing command to Hades, and the combat analysis package in her jetpack began to work in tandem with the dual AIs that the Deathwatch squad had brought with them. Half of the 360-degree field of view from her helmet began to fill with the approaching spider and the Mandalorian depressed the trigger a second time. Hades indicated a new signal on the battle-map, with a life-signature scan attached. Aorn’s grave voice cut in with interpretation. “…Signature closely matches a Hutt or Troig lifeform, moving fast from the North” The combat AI designated the oncoming signature with an orange glow, indicating an oncoming threat. A shower of sparks indicated the bladed claw of the arachnid skipping over the hull of the truck, causing Terra to flatten herself against the stone, the spider’s attack missing her by a hair’s breadth. She scuttled under the chasis of the mining skip as Zalis’ attack on the spider drove home. The Black Sun vigo’s sultry voice echoed around her "Don't waste blaster fire, it only eats the energy you moof-milkers" Harjav’s irritated voice called out into Terra’s ear as the man angled himself further away from the energy spider, flattening himself against the destroyed mag-truck’s hull. “What in the seven hells is a moof?” Setapoite’s sardonic voice burst through the squad-coms, and a holonet article popped up on Terra’s HUD “A Moof is a thick-hided, cloven hoov-” The Mandalorian blinked a temporary silence command through the HUD with a roll of her eyes. …Thwack… The sound of a vibroblade splitting open carapace came from directly over the Mandalorian’s head as she rose on the other side of the wrecked mining skip. She glanced up to see the energy spider bellow in rage and make a hasty retreat, leaping and shivering from the pain the combined attack had made. Terra crouched again, turning her attention onto the oncoming threats. Longkra began to rangefind for the team, while Arna settled the long barrel of the Istiglal IST-14.5 on its bipod, nestled between the storage pallets for a 180-degree firing arc. Longkra had her carbine in hand, kneeling besider her twin to provide close-medium range support against any oncoming troops. Now behind Terra, the spider retreated into the far south of the cavern, where Hades would deal with it as needed. The rest of her team began to angle themselves to defend against humanoid attacks, keeping silent in their cover. Terra slapped a fresh magazine into her battle-rifle and the ammunition indicator on her HUD updated with the armor-piercing count, the reticle bouncing through her vision as she adjusted the single-point sling to allow for a better firing arc. Mandalore opened up her own all-com, broadcasting her gravely voice. Her intonation was grave and tinged with a deeper desire, for honor, and for death. “As they say… μολὼν λαβέ..." The assassin let out an audible sigh. "Having come... Take.”
  5. Almost as soon as the thermal charge’s magnetic coupler sealed it to the nearest support post, there was an ominous stirring in the air. It was a chittering scaly sound, like a nerfhair brush scoring carbon from durasteel. The team of Mandalorians immediately flattened themselves against the hulking machinery. “…Sound Profile…” Terra’s eyes flicked around her 360-degree viewfinder, desperate to find the source of the sound before the source of the strange sounds found them. She placed two fingers forward with her left hand, and the squad continued to advance, sweeping their firing lines with a determined urgency. Setapoite's sarcastic voice echoed in through the squad-com. “…Profile matched, Large Arachnid. Multiple signatures, above.” Harjav was the first to make the sighting, his visual signature fed into the live battlemap. There was a single Energy Spider, creeping across the vaulted ceiling, and Hades outlined its signature with a pale-yellow glow across all HUDs. Terra’s hand moved again and the squad picked up speed moving towards the center of the facility. Arna and Longkra continued their westward flanking in a wide sweep. Terra could hear the muted footsteps, all the sound profile of Lethydd Stealth Boots, but there was one more than she had remembered. According to the battlemap, they were almost directly below an air shaft. The assassin flipped her battlerifle’s selection switch from burst to automatic fire. A sultry voice followed, one all too familiar as a face appeared on her rear viewscreen “Hey bitch,” Why in the seven hells was Zalis of all people here? The woman continued, as Terra marked her with a violet outline on the squad HUD, indicating a HVT “You look like hell.” The Mandalorian gritted her darkmetal teeth, tasting the sparks that flew onto her tongue. She hadn’t been fond of the leadership style Zalis had shown as Black Sun Vigo in the days after Smash’s fall, but she had liked the woman. Her battlemap blinked an update. They were mere meters away from the skid-break that marked the center of the facility and the entrance to the deep mines. “And you, look more beautiful than all the gems of Gallinore.” Behind her was a twisted mag-lev mining truck, still smoking from whatever outbreak of energy spiders had recently come to pass. Her finger pressed the trigger of her rifle, pulling up a few pounds of the slack, for she would need to be quick in her execution. “Have you-” Terra’s gravelly voice never finished the sentence as a looming, yellow-hued form leapt from the ceiling towards them. She reacted swiftly, bringing her rifle to bear on the creature on its swift decent while backpedeling to find cover. A quick depression of the trigger sent a line of slugs to smack into the Energy Spider and she dove behind the wrecked truck. To her back was the looming tunnel to the deep mines. Arna and Longkra were to their west, approximately 100 meters away, finding cover in the looming pallets of mining supplies at the corner of the clearing where their fire-arcs might find their greatest opportunity. Aorn and Bas’ar were closer, around 30 meters to the west, kneeling at the durasteel retaining beam. Harjav was closer still at 5 meters, on the other corner of the mining truck. They kept their stealth, not wanting to risk exposure
  6. A blaster shot tore through the darkness of the approach tunnel, searing through the infrared projected darkvision of Terra’s HUD, causing the Mandalorian to wince in pain. There was a follow-up flash and report from Arna’s rifle, and a gurgling cry of pain. Terra’s HUD flipped to thermographic setting, pulling wavelengths through the voltage-tunable, quad-color quantum-well infrared photodectors with effective wavelength switching for more reliable temperature sensing. She had no desire to be blinded again in the heat of battle. Terra stared down at the gurgling Rodian gunman, crumpled against the tunnel wall. Half of his thorax had been ripped out, scattering the wall and floor with chipped bone and blackened blood. He took a rattling breath, preparing a call for assistance, but with a flick of her wrist, the Mandalorian brought the sharpened butt of her tomahawk into his throat silencing his forever. With a twirl, she sent the dripping ax end over end into a running Wookiee. The distance was off, and the polished handle smacked the beast in the muzzle stunning him for long enough for a vibroblade to take its head off, swung by Harjav. The man tossed her back the tomahawk with a disapproving shake of his buyce. The older man had little love for primitive weapons. Terra slid the handle back into her belt, bringing her hand back to her rifle’s angular foregrip as she stepped up to cover the branching hallway as Hades analyzed the battlemap. They were closing on their destination quickly, but there was little data on what resistance they were bound to meet. A shriek brought Terra back in time to see a knife-wielding Twi’lek filled with the silver light of maser rounds. She fell hard, twitching in the dust. Rounding the corner, the team cleared their corners, stunning a few huddling slaves and binding them with stuncuffs. Terra stepped to an overlarge blast door, made large enough to fit a handful of Hutts through it at the same time. Hades' grating voice came echoing from behind them as he prowled through the tunnel ….Reading…. Requires at least two thermite charges… Mandalore swore, staring at the locked durasteel through her scanning HUD. If only I had the kriffing force.... Terra glanced down at the gleaming hilts on her belt Oh. The assassin released her left hand from the foregrip, bringing the single point sling to its full taughtness against her back, letting her right hand handle the rifle’s weight. With her now free hand she slipped her oldest acquisition from its belt loop, cradling the handle in her palm, letting the polished surface pick up the glimmer of light that her thermal imaging displaced. She had remembered taking the weapon, many years in the past from the body of the Grandmaster himself, Kitt Fitt. Snap-Hiss As the lightsaber ignited into a silvered emerald blade of pure energy the door opened to reveal the shocked faces of a trio of Weequays. Terra shrugged, shoving the barrel of her rifle through the teeth of the leading soldier, blasting his spinal cord across the decking while the lightsaber made smoking, bisecting heaps of his compatriots. The emerald light of her lightsaber showed a long line of red-lighted machines, like the weaving stations of primitive cultures. Glitterstim processing racks. With a wave of her hand, Terra brought the world back into its false darkness, extinguishing the lightsaber and spreading out her team. Arna and Longkra began to work their way towards the nearby western wall while the rest of them began to push ahead with Hades staying near the entrance, to guard from any incoming forces and relay information to the Rebellion as needed. Terra slipped a thermal charge from her bag with her left hand, lobbing it onto the nearest support pillar, taking in the immensity of the facility while it primed. It was an impossible task.
  7. Terra’s eyes began to water as she was washed in the brilliant color-storm of the X-Wing’s battle as Hades passed through, rocketing both the ship and its rider towards the pockmarked surface of the spice asteroid. She lulled her head back, letting the slight gravitational pull of the decent lay her back in the Basilisk’s saddle. The radiance of the Maw Nebula reflected in her dilated pupils, the snaking lines of iridescent mercurial purple and yellow helium painted upon the background of red hydrogen. She breathed in a lungful of recycled air from the lines that connected her beskar’gam to the shimmering blackness of Hades’ armor. …Master… The Mandalorian stretched, arching her back and cracking her neck with a tug on her buy’ce. Setapoite’s sarcastic voice cut into her mind. …There is Cryterkyh processing plant at… 45.72, -95.432. Target priority alpha. Adjacent to main city and the Rebellion's warefare. Terra’s HUD displayed the planetary topographic, and the image spun to highlight a deep crater on the northwestern hemisphere. The processing plant was set into the southern face, taking advantage of the crater wall to be eternally in shadow. According to readings, the plant had four access tunnels from landing pads and uncharted access points from the innumerable caverns that ran throughout the asteroid. The processing center itself was an immense, underground monolith as high as 15 stories throughout and roughly a rectangle seven-hundred meters on its longest side and three-hundred on its shortest. The relatively weak sandstone of the roof would be supported by durasteel crossbeams and pillars of permacrete spaced every 10 meters. The Mandalorian took a sideways glance at her explosive ordinances and her mind began to churn through mental math. They would be hard pressed to bring down two-hundred and ten square kilometers of even sandstone with their paltry supply. Harjav whistled the team’s awe at the sprawling complex map. There would be innumerable machines and supply-crates of glitterstim, all photoactive and hazardous. The squad of Basilisk-riders turned their metallic beasts toward the northwest hemisphere, dodging x-wings and criminal fighters as they made their approach. The blaring of a small alarm caused Terra to wrench about in her saddle, a beam of light from an anti-infantry turret scorching through where her head had been an instant before. Four DF-9 batteries and two 1.4 FD P-Towers were identified, disguised into the crater’s irregular edge, spitting forth their fire against the oncoming Mandalorians. The fire of the defense batteries was irregular and uncoordinated, evidenced by the spaced and terrible targeting. Terra’s teeth ground out sparks. How I wish I had the Xaakzaamheid and her railguns… Hades’ claws dragged against the sandstone as it flattened nearer to the surface to avoid the combined fire. Even ineffective fire could get lucky. Terra selected the Taim & Bak KX5 laser cannons that were mounted under the Basilisk’s forward arms while she unslung her own slugthrower. With a blink, she sent bouts of red flame into one of the DF-9s, and as it exploded, she aimed in on the fleeing gunnery crew. Their anti-vacuum suits each had an explosive mounted on the belt which kept her finger from the trigger of her rifle. Her voice rang out over the crew-comms, as she winced “Gunnery is slave crews, use ion.” Hades toggles the H9 Ions under the nose and her fire turned to an electric blue. Within seconds, the rest of the basilisks opened up with azure flame, gutting the remaining defenses without loss of life. Banking down, the basilisks landed upon the northmost landing pad, surrounding a Xebi-Class freighter whose crew was desperately attempting to load black plasticene-wrapped glitterstim into the hold. Slipping from the saddle, Terra sent a three-round burst through a Twi’lek trooper, her lekku twitching as she hit the ground, her useless blaster pistol skittering across the decking. Harjav put a bullet through a Quarren holding a fragmentation grenade and Aorn put down the remaining defender, a Mon Calamari who seemed to be about to surrender. The squad secured the area, disabling the loading droids, shutting down the engine block, and sealing the ship for it would not do for anyone else to claim the disabled ship as a prize. Terra turned to the yawning tunnel and activated her commlink to the Rebel Commander, “Forlorn Hope moving to disable Cryterkyh Plant, will report once secure.”
  8. They came shrieking out of hyperspace, entranced by their time in the dancing stars. Terra was at their head, laid back upon the saddle of the night-black basilisk, her eyes swimming as the stars stopped their cavorting to fall back into their reality. Her pupils stayed dilated, the rush of the bersærkergang still upon her. The kiss of the gods. She let out a singular howl, rising in her saddle and Hades began its arrhythmic dance of death. Basilisks were like starfighters in their abilities, but their tactics were far more irregular. Hades moved through the stars like a spasmodic hyped on phetaril, making a capricious approach of swirling loops and sideways thrusts. Terra screeched again, shattering her own ears the lights of her HUD turning into irregular waves of iridescence. In her mind she was the jai'galaar itself, the murderous shriek-hawk that defined the Deathwatch. The work of hyoscyamus niger upon her physiology was truly delightful. The cry was picked up by Arna and Longkra’s AI, Setapoite emitting a static-borne wail into the vacuum of space. Harjav, Aorn and Bas’ar added their gravelly voices to the din. Hades burst all their voices into the all-com, adding his own screech to bring the warcry to its fullest. It was a sound that had not been heard since the fall of Coruscant and the high tide of the Mandalorian Crusade. There was a hail, the sound of a young man’s panic-laced voice. “Unidentified spacecraft” A yellow highlight appeared on her HUD, marking an old retrofit RX4 patrol craft that angled its route towards the swarming Basilisks. It stood them and the surface of the spice-world. Terra breathed in, her eyes growing wider. She could smell the fear. Her teeth ground sparks onto her tongue. “This is patrol ship HDV Garrote. You are not showing any transponder code, please identify.” Hades pitched into a spiral, the matte-black metal giving off little visual. Green lightning filled Terra’s vision as the Basilisk spiraled closer, the warning shots becoming a panicked from Garrote’s twin-turbolasers. Her attack from waited until predetor and prey were close enough that escape was impossible. Terra could see the shocked faces of the pilots through the viewscreen as the duel Taim & Bak KX5 laser cannons spoke, lancing through shields like they were made of bantha-butter to peel away the hull beneath. The cannons did not stop until the ship was in glowing pieces. Terra’s wild eyes turned to the planet below. Oya…
  9. Terra


    “Orders revised.” Terra blinked away an array of notifications that began to stack up on her HUD as Hades began to narrow the receiving band on the comlink in order to clarify the audio. A single chime indicated recording activation as the voice continued from Alliance Command. “Les Enfantes Perdus, process code Gamma 23 Zeta 456-23A.” Hades automatically transferred the information cypher into the Alliance’s unit roster and the code started a download from the command ship. Once the download had finished, the orders were read aloud by Hades, the grating static of his voice shattering the silence of the Basilisk’s flight. …Proceed to Kessel with all haste. Hunt and destroy any criminal element and Sith forces. Secure or destroy any cache of the illicit glitterstim found thereof… Warehouses and mines were marked in three dimensions on a projection of the massive asteroid. Terra glared at the oblong formation of rock which made up the infamous drug-mine. She had never tried glitterstim herself, but she had seen its effects on countless souls in her days with Black Sun. Glit-biters. The Mandalorian remembered an addict trying to ram a vibrosword through her belly on Ord Mantell, the wild look of hunger in his eyes. His name had been Shen, and she had torn his throat out with her teeth. His blood had made her heart race and it had tasted like the smell of ozone. Ever since then, glitterstim made her nervous, and the thought of going to the heart of its production made her doubly so. Terra panned through the navigation chart, checking the hypernet for any reports of interdiction before selecting their coordinates. She noted a few abnormal readings from where the Triellus and the Corellian Run intersected and charted a longer route. They would take the Corellian Run out of their current sector, following it all the way to Ryloth before setting into the Death Wind Corridor to avoid the Arkanis area, and rejoining the Triellus around Geonosis. From there it was a straight shot to the Kessel run without foreseen issue. With the a weary shout of Oya, the Mandalorians leapt into hyperspace, bound for death and glory.
  10. Terra


    Mandalore stared at the darkening sky, listening to the crackling of the numerous fires that crackled across the Capital Thoroughfare. There was an odd peacefulness to the sound. She had listened as the cries of the wounded had dwindled down to nothing as her squad had done the devil’s work; the terrible butchery of the mortally wounded. She let a small sigh escape into the confines of her buy’ce and sat up stiffly, the aches and pains of battle coming to their fullness as the adrenaline was fully washed away. Harjav was busily lining the dead, taking tags and personal effects. A whole platoon of special force troopers, several sniper teams, an E-Web squad, and an AT-ST team were lined shoulder to shoulder and boot to boot in a double line. Their helmets had been removed, showing the unfocused gaze of the dead into the Corellian sky. At their head was the Nightsister, Qaela, her Krath armor stained burgundy from the shots she had taken. Terra stared into the unfocused eyes, looking to the corruption that overwhelmed them in death. Yellow as sulpher, lined with red. Sith always lost their humanity when they gave into the consuming desire for power. Terra stooped, picking up the Sith’s lightsaber from where it was placed on her breast. She stared at the ornate silver design and thumbed it on. Snap-Hiss Blue fire leapt from her left hand, and Terra marveled at its clarity as she swung it in a slow arc about her. From her belt she produced the lightsaber of the fallen Grandmaster, Kitt Fitt, activating it with her right thumb. Arcs of blue and green fire spun about her as she moved through a basic saber-kata, remembering the steps as Lord Ar-Pharazon had taught her all those years ago. Finishing the steps, the Mandalorian deactivated the blades and put one on each of her hips. The latest trophy in a long string of force user weapons she hoped to claim. A grinding static blasted behind her, indicating Hades’ arrival. The basilisk war droid bounded across the field to stand beside her and observe the damages. It broadcasted an incoming distress call, for her to acknowledge. “Draygo--requesting reinforcements aboard Goliath. Will need extraction--repeat, will need extraction from Goliath…” Mandalore frowned, staring at her men as they wearily shouldered their weapons and activated their homing beacons. Within seconds the air broke into sonic booms as basilisk war droids began to fall into place beside their riders. Harjav’s crimson-stained basilik, Thunrydd, came first, followed by the paired olive-drab metallic beasts Korydia and Ǽddyrah which were bound to Arna and Longkra. Aorn and Bas’ar’s Thenkara and Besha’dyr landed last, bound with armor plating of silver and sky-blue. Terra swept her buy’ce from her head, shaking out her sweat-soaked auburn plait, giving them all a smile with her darkmetal teeth. She spoke slowly, her outer-rim accent sweeping the words in a lilting rhythm. “It’s rumored the Dark Lord is aboard the Goliath, and his entire depraved army of filthy mutated beasts. We have secured Corellia, but now it’s time for The Forlorn Hope to take the fight to its natural conclusion…“ Each of them slipped into the control saddle of their basilisks and set their course towards the awaiting Goliath. It was time to restore their honor in full, and for that, there was only one course; the death of a Dark Lord.
  11. Terra


    Terra landed lightly on her feet, the battle-churned ground sinking under her armored boots. The field of grass around her was pockmarked with craters, loose soil and shrapnel scattered about from where explosives had torn the peaceful capital thoroughfare into pieces. Smoke curled around her from innumerable small fires that blazed in the dead grass, shimmering like a field of stars against the darkness of the Maw. She stepped quickly behind the ruins of a pedestrian walkway Her HUD blazed with various warnings before a few lines of text displayed her squad’s condition. Bas’ar was reading as injured, a blaster wound scorching his left arm. His vitals were worrying, but not at critical instability. She blinked a command into her buy'ce's HUD, ordering the pair to withdraw and seek medical attention. Kriffing dar'jetii and their armies… The former Mandalore assessed their situation gravely. They were outgunned and outnumbered, fighting a far superior opponent who had evaded their best tactics. According to viewfinding data from her snipers, the Sith had easily survived their tactical deployment of thermal detonators. Without ysalimari, she felt highly limited in her ability to continue the fight. Her eyes wandered across the battlemap, a small rise in her heartrate displaying on the HUD. She looked for an evacuation corridor. Terra opened her commlink, but her transmission stalled as she felt a burning against her skin. She thought it at first a Sith magic, but it came instead from the mixture with which she had painted herself before their deployment. Of three parts it had been. Blackened river mud, taken from the embrace of the raging Kelita Her hands gripped the pistol-grip of her rifle, the texture of the dark metal biting into the leather of her gloves. Ash from the Bac’arger Caldera on Qat Chrystac The Mandalorian’s heartrate decreased, the pounding of blood in her ears subsiding. The Blood of Mandalore. Terra had painted the mix upon her flesh in the symbols of the Mythosaur and the Jai'galaar. She was both Mando'ade and Kry'tsad, and with the Forlorn Hope she would regain her honor. Stepping from behind cover, the Mandalorian advanced towards the crumbling shield of stone and Sith Magic. She stepped gingerly through the smoking grass, the stock of her battle-rifle dug into her shoulder, the one-point harness taught across her shoulders. The HUD displayed the firing reticle, the crimson hash bobbing with each step. That terrible force of power, the Sith Master Qaela emerged, a smile on her face and with arms up in a mocking act of peace. She was speaking but it was far too distant to hear, but no matter what was said the Mandalorian had little interest in it. She had no desire to be placed under some spell or become bewitched by the Nightsister’s power. The Mandalorian advanced. The words were faint now, and the voice of the Nightsister was like the purring of a Slynthbeast, watching a Nerf wander into its web. “-weak Rebels, inste-” A three-round burst of gunfire cut out the rest of the words. The AP rounds tore a trio of small holes in the pale throat of the woman in a tight grouping, sending a spray of crimson mist and splinters of white vertebral bone onto the troops behind her. The Nightsister seemed confused, wavering on her feet, the words of her plea turning to frothing bubbles of scarlet upon her curled lips. Terra squeezed the trigger again, sending three more rounds into the chest of the Sith, center of mass, ripping through the leather armor. The bullets impacted the ribcage, shattering the bone and robbed of their trajectory, tumbled through the lungs and viscera beneath. The Sith took a step forward and stumbled. Before she could fall, the shriek of a twin ion engine ripped through the sky. Terra glanced upwards in time to see a black blur pass overhead, trailing flame and smoke to impact the Sith SpecOps platoon with a gout of flame. The Sith’ body was thrown along with Terra as both were propelled by the explosion into the rubble of the destroyed thoroughfare. Through the whine of the Tinnitus, Terra heard the pang of blasterfire around her, answered by the bark of Arna’s antimaterial rifle. Kriffing dar'jetii and their ships… Terra’s HUD compiled still images of the Sith Master’s demise along with a recording of the Terra’s POV, along with confirming viewpoints from the sniper team and Harjav. The compiled file was uploaded to the darkstream holonet and sent to the Rebel Alliance Command. Terra opened her commlink, directing her traffic to the Rebel Alliance Ground Commander, “Coronet Capital secured, Sith Command Units on site terminated.” The former Mandalore let out a strained sigh and stared into the sky, her body unwilling to move as she let the battle’s tension bleed from her. She slammed a fist into the smoking ground beside her as she began to laugh, letting all the anxiety and adrenaline release into euphoria.
  12. Terra


    Terra’s HUD highlighted the strike on the Sith, and the lightsaber’s extinguishment confirmed the bullet’s damage. There was something peculiar about this Sithling though, it had felt familiar to her, as if the form were familiar. The Sith Forces began to scramble about their fallen leader, like piranha-beetles protecting their queen. There was… Something… The Mandalorian took a small breath of anticipation “HVT, Walker down.” Harjav’s voice echoing in her ear pulled her mind to the reality. Flashes of armor and weaponry stood out on her HUD. These were not normal Sith troops, but a platoon of assault commandos. The Mandalorian pursed her lips in frustration, her darkmetal teeth grating together beneath her buy’ce. She tasted the metallic burn of sparks. She uncomfortably adjusted the one-point sling her rifle was attached to, the bi-pod retracting with a touch of a button on the stock. Her voice told of her frustration through the gravel. “Scratch Purple, these are commandos.” Flurries of movement began to be marked by the HUD and parsed by image-recognition of Hades and Setapoite. The Sith Commandos highlighting readjusted to orange while the 360-degree viewscreen cut to a 180-degree display, emphasizing the newest points of movement. A handful of sniper-teams, firing squads, and something else. A red hash blinked into existence on her HUD, indicating another HVT. The text-line explanation came with it from hades, scrawling above the slowly moving hash-mark in highlighted aurebesh. …E-Web… Terra blinked a command on her HUD, assigning her own sniper-team into action. They would be redeployed for both counter-battery and counter-sniper duty. The Piranha-Beetle swarm parted again in a flurry of blaster-bolts and for a millisecond the Sith’s face was revealed. The HUD captured the still image, a woman in her early years, black of hair, wearing leathers and Dathomiri in origin. Terra’s breathing caught in her throat. Lord Ar-Pharazon’s prize woman and fellow Scorpion-Raider. …Qaela… The rocks and stones of the battlefield around the Commandos formed together into a vast shield, immediately blocking her view of the Sith. Holographic resonance of the shield’s angles in the third dimension was filled in by the viewscreens of her flanking troops, giving the swirling shield of granite and shattered statues the rough shape of a flowing half-dome. The grating voice of Hades churned through her ears, sounding like the corrupted voices of a thousand dead soldiers. Sith… Magic… Immediately, calculations began to scrawl to the left of her field of view, and a series of attack patterns blinked into existence, transparently covering the field of battle before her. Terra selected one of the smaller ones, a series of conical orange waves, and blinked an acknowledgement command. Hades sparked laughter and began to proceed. She could almost hear the distant roar. She echoed it in her command. “Jurkadir, kov'nyn!” It was another simple command for the reprioritization of targets, and the L-shaped ambush shifted immediately. ***** NPC ACTIONS: HARJAV FIELDGREY ***** The Mandalorian blessed his luck, hearing the unmistakable reverberating detonation of the thermal-detonator as it took down the Sith’s AT-ST. The excitement of victory pulsed through his veins, making him jittery. He could not smell the smoke that curled from the dying grass around him, but in his state, he could only imagine it smelled like a Fawde candle on Life-Day. The thought brought him to one such day ten years past, with little Kyrie singing one of her songs in that nonsensical language of hers while Hayley tried to burn glosswings with the celebratory flame. A flood of blasterfire streamed over him, cutting short his fond memories, and causing him to crawl swiftly to the cover of a fallen statue. From its form he could tell it was from one of the numerous Corellian Jedi families. They were all the same to him, useless peacemakers who had brought nothing good to the galaxy. He considered his options as the left flank of the Deathwatch forces, and none of them were particularly positive for his own wellbeing. A shower of permecrete rained down on him as the withering fire from the entire platoon began to fall onto his and his squadmate’s positions. He checked his projectile launcher with a quick sweep of the chamber with his thumb, which settled on the rear of an impact thermal detonator, identical to the one used to devastate the AT-ST. With its ten-meter blast radius, it was a devastating weapon, and one he could use on himself if he were close to being captured. He had no interest in landing in a Sith torture-cell, especially after what that ilk had done to his children. With a lull in the fire, he scrambled to a better firing position, angling himself towards the spearpoint of the Sith line. A few blasterbolts ricocheted off the statue’s face, but he held his position, taking in the advancing column of Sith commandos. He was nearly in a perfect position being on the left flank of the Mandalorian line to put the entire Sith column under enfilade fire. Immediately his eyes were drawn to a swarm of stone and statues that made of the Sith’s summoned shield. His HUD displayed the forward progression of the Sith, along with the distance to target. “Jurkadir, kov'nyn!” Harjav angled the projectile launcher, watching the projected firing line extend until it alit upon the swirling mass of stones that protected the Sith. He waited a few heartbeats for the sign from Terra, and when he saw a simple arc extend from his position, he calmly pulled the trigger. The shot hardly had an arc, and it sent an impact thermal detonator speeding at 290 meters per second into the left rear corner of the half-dome of stones, where it would unleash pure hellfire in a 10-meter radius. ***** NPC ACTIONS: AORN AND BAS’AR ***** As soon as their charric rounds began to land amongst the enemy, the lovers Aorn and Bas’ar became aware of their folly. This was not an easily routable Sith trooper platoon, full of former criminals and greens, but a fully equipped special forces platoon. Their HUD confirmed a formidable armament amongst the opposition, and Setapoite blared to them an incoming ordinance warning. As four cylindrical objects whirled through the smoke of the battle towards them, the two Mandalorians jumped backwards, activating their jetpacks with a low-bearing angle so their trajectory did not carry them too high, but enough to escape the explosion radius. The quick burst from their jetpacks separated the pair and set the right flank of the Mandalorian line back an additional twenty meters. Set back as they were, the pair took up new firing positions, with Aorn taking cover behind a shattered fountain, and Bas’ar finding safety beside an askew landspeeder. Once they had position, they began to stich bursts of maser-fire into the advancing lines of Sith Commandos once more. ***** NPC ACTIONS: ARNA AND LONGKRA ***** From the overwatch position of the wrecked maglift, the Twins watched the battle unfold with grim dissatisfaction. The Sith had lived through their Mand’alor’s attack and though it provided the opportunity for more battle between them, it brought even more danger to their dwindling number. There were so few of the true Deathwatch left. Arna leaned into her scope, making the adjustments that Longkra suggested, but their HUDs fractionated for a moment and began to highlight a new target as the HVT. Setapoite buzzed as Longkra’s frustration “…E-web and squad.” The dark-armored Mandalorian trained her spotting scope and rangefinder upon the red hash on their battlemap, augmenting the targeting data already available. Her voice came again as the words of Setapoite, but with a flat affect. She was calibrating the wind, and since the range was over a thousand meters, the calculation for Corellia’s coriolis effect had to be done. “1900 meters, up two… right two.” Arna’s breathing was steady as she brought the reticle to bear on the main housing of the E-web. Taking the dots up and over, she settled the adjusted sight onto the main housing of the Heavy Repeating Blaster, just above the tripod. From their position the bullet from the anti-material rifle would shred the E-web to bits along with whatever was behind and around it. The Mandalorian was thankful for how far back they were inside the wreckage of the maglift, utilizing the strewn bodies in the interior and cast about luggage as a natural barrier for vision from the exterior. Their firing hole was only about half a meter wide, and they were four meters back from that, which made the position a perfect sniper’s nest. She settled the butt of the rifle into her shoulder, letting the sandbag beneath it bear its weight, and watched as the bobbing of the scope became reliant on only her heartbeat. All the slack was out of the trigger. The reticle moved in small circles with a pause during the ventricular repolarization. She let out a small breath, let the circle pause, and felt the rifle kick into the shoulder. The rotating bolt and gas reclamation system redirected some of the energy into the reload, which allowed her to start finding her next target. ***** PC ACTION: TERRA ***** The Mandalorian pressed her right hand against the pistol grip of her slugthrower, extending out the weapon into the full extension of the one-point sling, feeling it press into the armor on her back. With the weapon securely held by her right hand and the sling, she dropped her left arm to her belt and selected a grenade from her lineup, her fingers caressing the button layout of her thermal detonator. Terra watched the dome of stone and rock approach, allowing time for her calculations to finish. With the joint feed from all the Mandalorians in the squad, Hades and Setapoite calculated the average speed of the Sith’s approach, and from that calculated time to arrival. Utilizing that simple information, Terra touched two buttons on the thermal detonator while her jetpack began to preset escape angles. The first of the buttons was the radius determinate, which she set to 10, and the second was the timer. Selecting 3 seconds, she stood from behind her burned-out cover in a single motion, tossing the grenade underhand at torso-height at the oncoming dome of Sith Magic. There would be an explosive reunion as the Sith closed the gap; Qaela, and both Terra and Harjav’s thermal Detonators. As the thermal detonator left her hand, Terra’s jetpack ignited, sending her backwards and away at a 35-degree angle propelled by a jump. With the slugthrower rifle at the ready she unleashed a hail of slugs into the exploding world, to end the Nightsister forever. ((2)) TL;DR
  13. Terra


    Terra and 5 Deathwatch Tactical NPCs (contracted under the Rebel Alliance) vs The Nightsister, Qaela The HUD of the former Mandalore flashed the deep crimson of warning as the Sith’s AT-ST began to fire indiscriminately throughout the Capital’s Thoroughfare. A blackened jet of earth washed through her viewscreen as the walker made a nearby hit and the HUD refocused out to 2 X magnification. The Sith was marked and highlighted with an orange glow on the HUD, indicating a HVT, which was brought to greater attention by the backwash of the crimson blade the Sith held. Hades and Setapoite designated the targets in magnitude of danger, with the Sith as highest priority, outlined in orange on the HUD, followed by yellow for the AT-ST, and finally purple for the dozens of troops in the Sith’s platoon of soldiers. The Combat AIs began to assign suggested targets to the group, based on their loadout. The squad’s comlinks began to cycle through the encoded frequencies, to evade whitenoise. Terra began to track the Sith through her HUD as the Mandalorian began to angle herself to make the Sith’s approach as harrowing as possible. Her mind turned to her training under Piccalo and reinforced by Lord Ar-Pharazon when she had hunted the members of the Jedi Council; called in those days the POSLWJK, the Protocols On Select Loadouts With Jedi Knights. It had been a hard-fought lesson when trying to eliminate force users; keep your distance and terminate them with weaponry that made force usage difficult. The former Mandalore whistled out a command in her fiery tongue. “Atiniir” The word was Mando’a for “To Endure” but it was also the Deathwatch code for the execution of an L-Shaped ambush, an oft-practiced military technique which enabled the smaller group of Mandalorians to have a fighting chance against the Sith’s familiar numbers. It allowed for the Deathwatch units to maximize their weaponry along the longest firing axis ***** NPC ACTIONS: HARJAV FIELDGREY ***** To Terra’s left, Harjav selected his CSPL-12 Projectile Launcher and made a mad dash further to her left, picking his way amongst the wreckage of the Sith’s assault on the Capital. Once in a dead-run, the Mandalorian brought up the weapon, while the HUD gave him his nearly straight firing angle. Leveling the firing arc onto the head of the AT-ST, the Mandalorian fired the impact-primed Thermal Detonator, which left the barrel at 290 meters per second, which was angled for the viewport of the AT-ST. KA-CHUNK The Mandalorian, Harjav Fieldgrey dove into the smoking grass and racked the projectile launcher’s slide, inserting another thermal-detonator into the launcher’s tube. He hoped his attack would be successful against the Sith’s walker, but fate was seldom kind. ***** NPC ACTIONS: AORN AND BAS’AR ***** Far to Terra’s right, the twins Aorn and Bas’ar maintained their cover of the shattered granite pillars and began to engage their target; the platoon of Sith Troopers. The Chiss Mandalorians checked their XAB-32 Heavy Charrics one final time before bringing themselves to a more vulnerable half-standing position. Raising their rifles, they began placing precise automatic maser fire into the Sith Platoon. They were prepared to run or ignite their jetpacks should they be targeted, but they were eager to put down the Sith threat. ***** NPC ACTIONS: ARNA AND LONGKRA ***** Behind the squad, nestled in the wrecked maglift, the sisters Arna and Longkra, along with their Combat-AI Setapoite maintained their tracking orders. They were tasked with tracking the Sith, and to engage when ready. Arna watched the Sith’s advance through the scope of her Istiglal IST-14.5 anti-materiel rifle, while Longkra called out targeting data into the chat with Setapoite’s voice. The rifle was sighted in to 1000 meters, while weather and gravitational data was taken in by Terra’s combat analysis unit in the field. “Breaching 1500 meters, up one, wind two knots from the southeast, tailwind, left three.” Arna slipped all emotion from her mind, removing the feelings of malice as she had been trained. Her finger took up the slack in the trigger as the targeting reticle bobbed over the target. She kept her breathing to a normal as she waited for Terra to engage. ***** PC ACTION: TERRA ***** Behind the cover of the burned-out tank, Terra minimized the squad readouts with a blink, waiting for her prey to step out of concealment, which she did, surrounded by her black-clade cadre. The crimson blade was the giveaway, a mere distraction for her mind. They were still at distance enough to give her little concern, but she knew Sith could cover distances swiftly, but this one was slowed down by her insistence of staying among soldiers without the blessings of the force. A chime indicated Hades’ location nearby. Center of Mass. With her slugthrower resting on its bipod, supported by the shattered repulsar-engine, Terra instinctually closed one eye, taking in the full view of the Sith Lord. Something was familiar about the woman. With the slack already out of the trigger, and the reticle displayed on her HUD, Terra breathed out a small sigh of contentment and sent a three-round burst of AP slugs speeding towards the Sith’s chest. ((1))
  14. Terra


    Terra let a small breath escape between her pursed lips, accompanied by a hiss of frustration. The sound reverberated inside her confines of her buy’ce, and the Heads-up Display began to shift to accommodate the massive influx of possible targets. The 360-degree viewscreen focused into a line, and the sky of Corellia fell into focus, crimson lines drawing forth from the falling meteors, showing possible impact sites. A few muttering curses crashed into her ears, the buy’ce’s commlink sparking with the words of her traat'aliit as they began to register targets. A chirp echoed in her mind and Hades began to erase the crimson lines from the viewfinder, “A… Distraction…” The Sith invasion had arrived and had brought a demoralizing meteor shower. Setapoite confirmed that the main threat was far more insidious; the Sith invasion was scattered, which put their concentrated defense at a disadvantage. The AI spoke, giving life to Arna’s mute tongue, “Reports of… yes confirmed… Assault Tanks near the capital building.” Terra stood, cracking her back with a quick twist and pointed towards the Corellain capital, a scattered arrangement of towers that dominated the horizon. As the Deathwatch squad broke cover, a storm of crimson blasterfire began to spit about them. The Corellian militia returned fire with their own bolts of green and blue, covering them as they charged towards the capital. Hades began to parse comlink and holonet relays, gathering intelligence for the invasion of as whole. Closed Circuit Holocamera information began to flash in the corner of the HUD, displaying the battle for Coronet City. Sith locations began to fill in on the Three-Dimensional battlemap. They were everywhere. At least a dozen Sith supported by hundreds of troops and heavy weaponry. At least one Jedi was marked in the Botanical Gardens, engaging a Sith Lord, but that was the only Jedi that the scan detected. The crash of a fragmentation grenade shattered the stillness of the squad’s run, marking an increase in the battle’s tempo as they entered the Central Terminal for the Corellian Mag-Lifts. It was swarming with black-armored Sith and the unholy creations of the Krath. Smack-Crack! Her traat'aliit roared in a chorus as their weapons spat orange flame. Terra’s voice rang through the Terminal, amplified by her helmet’s loudspeaker. “Oya! Oya! Oya'karir!” Terra’s assault-rifle churned out a three-round burst of depleted uranium, tearing through into the armor of a Sith soldier who had turned to engage them, the kinetic force throwing him to the ornate stoneway that formed the Terminal’s flooring. Her squad threw themselves behind a series of stonework planters to establish cover as she sent another burst into a running soldier, finding concealment behind a broken pillar. Its ornate carvings had been shattered by what she could only assume was an air-to-surface missile. A warning beeped in her head, and the fractal HUD focused on an emerging threat; one of the Krath creations had decided to engage the new and oddly armored soldiers. It was a porcine beast with distorted arms that had a series of spines across its flesh, each like a weeping boil, dripping a smoking poison. Terra stepped from concealment, letting a out a whoop of challenge, catching the beast’s attention with a wave of her arms. It turned to pursue but stumbled as gleaming white bolts of energy began to stitch into its spine. It let out a trumpeting roar, but it turned into a throaty cry as a shattergun round punched out its gullet. The stern voice of Lieutenant Osgood cut into the carnage, carried through her buy’ce comlink “Forlorn Hope, move to engage the Sith Command element at the capital.” Terra’s voice was tremoring with adrenaline as she ran and spoke, her squad charging with her through the fray towards the capital. “Deathwatch copies.” Their footsteps were light upon the stonework as they dashed across the mag-tracks, slipping into the smoke and confusion of the terminal battle. The tracks led them into a tunnel, lined with gating and dark as the Maw due to the power-cuts from the invasion. Immediately, the HUD was alight with the pale green of the inbuilt NODs, which allowed the Mandalorians to skip over the rubble that strewed the tracks. There were a few bodies scattered here, but they were not military casualties, and were in civilian garb. Terra’s boot hit one of the heads as she ran, and what she expected to find to be hard as bone was as loose as a sponge. Concussion blast. At least they died fast. Orange light cut through the green of the NODs and the squad discovered the crashed mag-lift from which the bodies had come, burning lightly, half in and out of the tunnel. It was like a serpent of twisted durasteel, caught halfway out of a ranat burrow and decapitated. A large spire was before them, highlighted in a haze of smoke by the flashes of blasterfire. Coronet’s Capital Thoroughfare. Hades confirmed its location, and was within a comfortable distance, delighting in the concealment of the battlesmoke, the rooftops, and the flame. Arna and Longkra retreated into the maglift tunnel’s mouth, scrambling into the twisted wreckage. There, the twins began their rangefinding, reading the windpatterens and distances. Through their eyes, Setapoite began to mark the rangings of tanks and soldiers that fought against the capital defense. Harjav took cover by a burned-out assault tank, digging his vibroknife into the back of a struggling Sith crewmember, silencing his screams of pain from the flame that had scalded his body. Aorn and Bas’ar took position amongst the shattered granite pillars of the thoroughfare, keeping to concealment. Terra lifted her rifle and strode forward, taking a knee behind one of the tank’s detached repulsar-lifts. With a slap, the Mandalorian attached the muzzle-brake to the weapon, flipping the magazine out into her hand, exchanging it for one filled with an armor-piercing load. Racking the charging handle, she brought the rifle’s butt squarely into her shoulder, placing the bipod on the wreckage. The HUD displayed the targeting reticle and she placed it on the charging ranks of soldiers, scanning for targets. Immediately a crimson light caught her attention, filtering through the bodies and blasterfire. Her HUD flipped to 8X magnification. Sith. Terra stitched a three-round burst into the officer ranks that had followed their Sith Commander (Qaela) raking rounds into the crowd without much discernment. She followed it with a second burst and angled the fire in an attempt to get the Sith’s attention, to get whoever led them to show themselves. She steeled her nerves and calmed her emotions, letting her finger take up the slack in the trigger.
  15. Terra


    The Assassin stared into the swirling madness of Hyperspace, dressed in nothing but a chest binding and briefs, cradling her buy’ce in an unarmored arm. She could feel the coolness of its metalwork, the Sith Steel forged by Ason to match her soul. Trembling hands held it to her own head, and she watched the reflection of her crimson eyes in the T-visor’s glow. You are Dar’Manda. She wanted to throw the helmet into the depths of the Maw, to seal away her past as if it never occurred. But there was more to her than just armor. She could see the hauntings of her actions in the reflection of her eyes. Her soul was empty. She was drained of life. You are Dar… No. There was a hunger for more. Terra turned her eyes into the brightness of Hyperspace’s void, a gnawing hunger sweeping through her. The reflection showed more, it showed ranks of armored Mandalorians before a throne of pure white. Deathwatch and Protector alike. On it sat an Echani woman, the circlet of Mandalore upon her brow, fine blonde hair in a plait on her shoulder. Those shoulders weren’t bowed in grief or dishonor, but straight, as her whole form was. Redeemed. She felt sickness wash over her and the vision disappeared as she collapsed to her knees. There she remained for a moment. A Mandalorian arose then, her shoulders less bowed, her head held higher. There was a new feeling that was washing through her veins. It felt toxic to her soul, and yet more alive. Hope. Turning, she walked into the ready-room, her crimson eyes alight with passion. All chatter ceased, eyes falling onto her with curiosity. All there were of her former Deathwatch, but the shuttle’s pilot, a tall man with skeptical brow and a cup of stimcaf in hand. Her soldiers were all stripped to their undergarments, their beskar’gam laid before them. Terra stooped to her armor, placing the buy’ce at the center of the room. From her ready-bag she withdrew a several large vials. Taking an offered dish of bronzium from Longkra she poured in the vial’s contents. Black sand of the Kelita, the shattered obsidian and basalt of Manda’yaim’s volcanic past. Forest loam from Keldabe’s woodland. Ash from the beskar forges. Whispers of excited agreement began to swirl through the cabin. Taking a knife from the extended palm of Harjav, she cut into the meat of her palm, a place that had no risk of tendinous injury. The pilot, a man named Carhaid Lekht, seemed both mystified and disgusted as the Deathwatch began to chant. To the base melody of their chant, Terra began to sing the songs of Kad Ha'Rangir's rebirth, letting the blood drip into the bowl, to mix with the sand and dirt. “Devastation, regeneration, transformation, that is the best I can do for you...” She began to mix the components into a dark slurry with the butt of the knife. “I see a grey gloom on the horizon that promises a powerful star to rise…” Tears began to fall, running from crimson eyes, to drop into the slurry, the final component of the ancient magic of her people. It was a spell from the days before the last Mythosours were hunted. “It will make the fires of our purification look like dying embers…” Taking two fingers, she scraped a small amount of the black substance up, and painted her chest and face with the symbols both the symbols of death and those of rebirth. Walking to each of her soldiers, she painted them the same and kissed each twice upon the forehead. The pilot was last, and shied away as she approached, unnerved by her lithe form and the uncivilized nature of the ceremony. “Become. Embody. Embrace.” She painted his face and kissed him, his disgust melting with her touch. In a moment he had joined her men, stripped to the waist as they sat before their beskar’gam, swaying to the chant. Stepping into the center of her warriors, she lifted up her helm, the circlet of Mandalore glowing like an ember. “We were Kyr’tsad, we were Dar’Manda...” Her words held the last in bitterness, the vile curse of being disowned by their culture hanging above all of them. “...But upon this battlefield we are reborn as Mando’ade!” The chant burst into cries of exhilaration, a great whooping, broken by the shrieks of those ready to die and those with no more tears for their own souls. A hyperspace alarm began to blare, and the Mandalorians began to dress. ****** Master… If the… Sith attack… In force... She knew what he would say. He had done the calculations and so had she. Coronet City… Will Fall… Corsec soldiers would never be able to hold against a full Sith invasion. Terra scanned the Coronet city maps, identifying potential fortifiable positions as well as potential areas that were best suited for invasion forces. The Blastfield Shipyards and Spaceport Her eyes darted to the enlarged leisure parks that dotted the city like cancerous warts. Too many to hold. Her armored fingers gripped the datatable in frustration, The Shipyards would have some militia forces active. She accessed her own datapad, pulling up numerical data. Rebel forces would have units on shore leave, and the Corellian army would have a presence as well. The spaceport would be where they would make their stand as The Forelorn Hope. Slipping the buy’ce onto her head, she uploaded the map data into real-time streaming on her HUD. The fractal movement of the 360-degree viewscreen made her momentarily disoriented, but after a few seconds her brain remembered the years of training. “Mic-Check” A chorus of affirmatives echoed in her ears. Terra’s HUD outlined her squadmate’s forms in her view, their battlefield uplink giving localization data, ensuring that friendly fire was far less likely to happen. Health readouts came next, as well as streaming data from Arna and Longkra’s separate Combat AI, Setapoite. Hades was a clear orange outline behind her, and she cycled through his weapons systems, selecting appropriate weaponry for the city-wide battle that was likely to follow. It would undoubtedly be a mess of a battle. Running the calculations for Corellia’s atmospheric density and gravity with the Hades AI, backed up by Setapoite, the projected weaponry would be visible on her HUD should she decide to utilize it. All her own weapons were updated with the data, yellow firing arcs projecting from the muzzles of the weapons she held. Lekht's voice cut through her peace. “Landing, begin countdown” Her squadmates lined up on the landing ramp, shouldering their weaponry. Terra ducked her way past Arna’s Anti-Material rifle, to step to the front of all of them. Corellian security was informed of their presence, as were the military forces. She disengaged her magazine, studying the rounds on her HUD, ensuring it was loaded before slapping it back into place. The landing ramp disengaged and she led her squad into the heart of Coronet City’s Blastfield Shipyards and Spaceport.
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