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Qaela

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About Qaela

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  1. ๐•ญ๐–Š๐–‹๐–”๐–—๐–Š ๐–™๐–๐–Š ๐–‰๐–†๐–—๐– ๐–’๐–†๐–๐–Š๐–˜๐–™๐–ž There was a sense of familiarity as she stood watching the Emperor address the Mandalorian. She recognized the touch of her daughter and was glad that she still walked among the living. When she had paid her respects to the Emperor, she would seek out the last of her children. It would be most interesting to see how she had fared and if she had managed to stabilize the balance between the Spirit and the Flesh and stop burning out bodies. She had wanted to help her when they last met, but decided that her offer might not have been accepted considering the falling out they had. Maybe it was for the best of Telperien had managed to learn it on her own and grown because of it. Being summoned by the Master of All, Qaela allowed the darkness to dissipate around her and stepped forward to bow before the dark majesty that was the focal point of the room and the planet as a whole. She needed say no words at the moment for it was still not her place. She was here merely for the Emperor to show the Mandalorian petitioner a devoted servant given much: a tantalizing taste of what could be should he accept the Spider's offer and serve him well. She was not disappointed in this arrangement: she had served him well and in turn, when she had fallen on Corellia, he had not forsaken her and saved her from her fate. That circle was not something that could be lightly ignored or left behind, she owed him greatly and would repay it. Personally, she didn't have any real feelings one way or the other for the Mandalorians. She respected their skills in combat, but was disappointed at the pointless slaughter and waste they gave into the last time they were unified. It spoke volumes when the Sith had to come in and be the rational, restrained ones to stop the carnage, but they had done just that. If the Dark Lord saw some potential in this Mandalorian, then she would hold her judgment until she saw far more of him.
  2. ๐–™๐–๐–—๐–”๐–š๐–Œ๐– ๐–‹๐–Ž๐–—๐–Š, ๐–‹๐–‘๐–†๐–’๐–Š, ๐–†๐–“๐–‰ ๐–‹๐–Š๐–†๐–—. Words were relayed though the same channels that summoned her, Qaela was to go down to the planet itself to the center of all Sith power in the Galaxy: the palace in Iziz. She had been here before, but it had been quite some time since and she was looking forward to it. It wasn't that there was any less danger among the perpetually scheming Sith clustered there, it was that she was no longer bound by the same cautious fear that once held her. She had already faced death and it no longer had any hold over her. Pain was nothing new, either. Now, none below had anything to hold over and use against her. She took a shuttle down to the expansive landing pads that serviced the palace itself, then a surface speeder to the gates. Once there, she strode in with confidence and authority given to her by the Emperor himself. If he had wished to punish her, he would have done so, but she had opened up to him on Kuat and let him see that he had nothing to fear from her so long as he benefitted the Sith Order. Should he fall into madness, she would oppose him with every fiber of her being, but she would expect the same from him, too. All here served the Sith, and if they didn't, they didn't deserve to live. She was working to get rid of the days where Sith sought power for themselves at the expense of the Order itself. She served the Dark Lord Exodus because he had unified the Sith and brought them to glory, but not a wasteful glory. As long as he did so, she would serve him faithfully and do everything within her power to ensure he remained at the head of the Empire he created. Finding where the Spider stood was not difficult: one only needed to follow the pureness of Darkness that permeated from his presence. No being would be foolish enough to approach without either a great purpose or being summoned, so none challenged her as she approached confidently. Knowing not to interrupt the Emperor while he spoke, she remained in the shadows, unseen and silent, drawing on the Force only to further cloak herself in darkness to avoid attention from the Mandalorian seeking an audience.
  3. ๐”ฌ๐”Ÿ๐”ข๐”ก๐”ฆ๐”ข๐”ซ๐” ๐”ข Along one of the military vectors in the constantly busy capital of the Sith Empire, the Herlรธv dropped out of hyperspace. Qaela sat in her chair on the bridge and took in the sight as the ship began to receive orders from the Onderon Central Command as to where to pull into orbit. Her officers would take care of seeing what sorts of further repairs and supplies the ship could get while here, but they had no idea how long that might be. Damage taken at Fondor was still visible in some areas, though most of the worst had been replaced on Kuat. Instead, she sent a response through the same highly sensitive coded system that had first summoned her to the planet. Her message was simply: I HEAR AND OBEY.
  4. Qaela

    Kuat

    ๐•พ๐–š๐–’๐–’๐–”๐–“๐–˜ ๐–™๐–” ๐•ฌ๐–“๐–˜๐–œ๐–Š๐–— With dark cloaks swirling behind her, Qaela marched rapidly to the bridge of the Herlรธv with new orders. She cursed beneath her breath at the suddenness of the orders, but when the Emperor spoke, it was best to heed. She would have preferred more time to repair the mighty destroyer, but would have to make due with what she had. "Recall all crew and run final launch checks!" she barked once she entered the bridge. "Any crew who is not on this ship within an hour will be reported to the Imperial Ministry of War for disciplinary action. Take whatever supplies our people can grab from the shipyards and depots: I don't care if they were slated for us or not, if you can get them on board this ship within an hour, take them. Colonel Gorten, you make sure you have every fighter and bomber that will fit in the hanger along with qualified crews even if you steal them straight from the planetary defense garrison. Give anyone who questions you my clearance ID." Only the largest fool would question a Master of the Sith over something like supply requisitions. Anyone with enough power to dare would be easy to deal with when she informed them they could complain to the Dark Lord about her need for the supplies. Thrusting her hand out at the viewscreens showing the hull outside, she added, "Lieutenant Commander Natolu, get those repair cranes off my ship! Anything not off it will be joining us until further notice and anything inhibiting our combat readiness will be blasted off." The ship was spaceworthy, so leaving at this point wasn't going to threaten her, but some of the replacement armor hadn't been attached yet. She didn't like that one bit, but the Empire called and she would answer. Hopefully, there would be some down time on Onderon for her to get further work done before they were deployed. Her words elicited only a moment of hesitation as the crew waited to see if there was anything else before they bolted into action. She marked one hour on her chrono, then stood on the bridge watching the flurry of activity as shuttles zipped back and forth between the Herlรธv and the Kuati repair yards. Fighters were towed into the hangar and crew transports began disgorging their compliments as those who had been on shore leave returned. Larger supply, munitions, and equipment transports docked as well while the quartermaster oversaw their stowing. A few people had the gumption to call her comms and demand an answer for why she was taking supplies and personnel meant for other ships. Those that she entertained were left fortunate that she didn't report them to the Imperial Council as inhibiting the nearly sacred word of the Emperor himself. She understood everything had a purpose and order was crucial, but she also despised when the bureaucracy got in the way of necessity. Qaela hated working her crew like this, but the summons were made and would be answered. Discipline was good, but overworking the crew did nobody any good. She would find a way to make it up to the crew with some down time once they were in hyperspace, but for now, each being here would do their duty to the Empire. After exactly one hour, she ordered the ship's engines to power up and the mighty warship began to move forward. A few last second shuttles docked or departed, but as soon as the ship was out of the defense rings and had clearance from Kuati Command, it jumped into hyperspace.
  5. Qaela

    Kuat

    ๐–‚๐–†๐–Œ๐–Š๐–—๐–˜ ๐–†๐–“๐–‰ ๐•ญ๐–Š๐–™๐–˜ ๐•ณ๐–Š๐–‘๐–‰ Though it was truth that she no longer feared death, by no means did Qaela seek it. She had wagered that the Emperor had faced enough lies and deception that he would be able to sense the contrast when the truth was presented before him. She could always have falsely professed undying, unending loyalty no matter what actions he took, but that was a lie and she respected him too much to do so. She followed him because he was worthy, but should he ever become unworthy and fall back into that self destructive nature she despised in the Sith of old, she would do her best to destroy him to preserve his own work. It was a calculated boldness, but having come so recently from death, it would not be so great a loss if she returned. Better to go there quickly than drag it out if that was to be her fate at the edge of his delightfully Dark sword. She didn't flinch when that blade was placed against her neck, but when it didn't slice into her flesh, she let out the air that had been drawn into her lungs. Turning to where the sword was now pointed, she smiled in the first bit of genuine pleasure she had experienced since waking up in the cloning tube. The sight of her old ship made her grateful. She hadn't commanded its crew for long, but it was her first true military command and she was very happy to have it back, even if it did look like it had taken some damage in the recent past. While she was staring at the beauty of the Star Destroyer, she was startled to feel the Spider's hand briefly upon her shoulder. She couldn't recall him ever having actually touched her before and it was a startling feeling. She did not completely understand its full meaning, but she hoped it meant he accepted her. She wouldn't look too much into it. As the Emperor and his escorts departed, she remained behind, for a moment wondering what was to be done next. It didn't take long for her question to be answered. In the skies above the swampy facility, a shuttle streaked down and landed where the Imperial Throne's chariot had once been. Eight Sith Troopers exited and took up flanking positions around the landing ramp before an officer emerged. Qaela smiled at the sight of Captain Geratos' salute. "My Lady, it is a pleasure to serve you once more," he said. He had indeed been a good servant and able to maintain a proper respect for her place as a Master of the Sith even while she respected his own superior ability in military tactics. Unlike some among the Sith Order, she was smart and humble enough to accept advice from one who had grown up in warships and waging wars. They had had such a good working relationship that, had he been two decades younger, she might have taken him to her bed. "I am glad to see you continue to serve the Empire," she responded. "You will have to tell me why you let the Herlรธv get so busted up." There was no heat in her voice and he merely smiled slightly before bowing and gesturing towards the shuttle's ramp. "The Rebels attacked Fondor and we were part of the relief force," he replied as they got seated for the ascent back to the Herlรธv. "The Rebels were so intimidated by the Herlรธv's power they focused their efforts against her and we were ordered to retreat." Qaela felt the momentum as the shuttle took off and began the short flight up to her waiting flagship. Geratos continued to update her on the damage and repairs that were taking place. They had lost many crewmen in the attack, but Kuat was the center of the Sith Navy's war machine, so replacements would be procured. The ship itself would need a good bit of work, though the worst of it was being taken care of here. He had been told by Central Command that they would have only a few days before needing to head out again, so preparations were being made to finish remaining repairs along the way. It was not long before she stood back in her old quarters. While everything she had taken with her to Corellia was lost, she still had many things here that would help. It would take time she didn't have to rebuild a lightsaber, but she still had her Force imbued spear that would more than adequately serve her needs until then. Shucking her robes, she took her first true shower since decanting and savored the heat of the water. Being the master of a ship had its perks and access to a fully functioning shower despite being on a warship was definitely one of them. Once the shower was complete, she dressed in her favored deep charcoal grey robes and reequipped her belt with commlinks, datapads, and the other accruements she normally possessed that allowed her to both be reached by her crew and exert her command with all of the computer systems. Leaving her spear behind, she made for the bridge. It was time to formally take command of the ship so she could get fully up to speed at the current situation and all that she had missed while in the Spirit Realm.
  6. Qaela

    Kuat

    ๐•ฎ๐–”๐–‘๐–‰ ๐•ฐ๐–›๐–†๐–‘๐–š๐–†๐–™๐–Ž๐–”๐–“ Qaela stood resolute as the Emperor approached, showing no fear for fear did not exist within her. After what she had faced, she no longer possessed any room for fear, only resolve to do what was needed and an acceptance of her fate regardless to what it may be. She was curious, though, and observed the peculiar behavior by the Dark One. She could not judge because a being in her position was not worthy of judging any more than a new adept could judge her. "Though all see your power, most beings follow you for one of two reasons," she said evenly. Her eyes met the blackness of his with neither fear nor pride. "The majority fear you and do not wish to suffer your wrath, so they will do or say anything to keep your displeasure away from them. They will lie and cheat each other to accomplish what they think you want, and they would blindly take actions with no thought but to save themselves regardless to how foolish or pointless those actions may be. They are ruled by their fear and are useful only as fodder. "A smaller number follow you because they want to one day be you. They bow and scrape before you, but behind your back, they look to gain their own power so they could one day topple you. They view others of your servants as rivals to that power which keeps them from fully uniting and working together towards the common good. In their greed, they do whatever they can to diminish your power to build their own. They are sycophants until they get the slightest taste of opportunity then they will become treacherous foes that perpetually undermine your authority." She tilted her head sideways for a moment, then added. "The smallest number follow you for a third reason: because they see what you are: the best hope to maintain the Balance of Nature and build up the Sith Order that brings the true strength of Nature to the Galaxy. You have great power and use that to strengthen the Sith and bring about a better Galaxy instead of just amassing it for your own benefit. I serve you after ignoring all of your predecessors because of that fact and that fact alone." A touch of defiant resolve entered her tone, and she knew how dangerous her next words were. "I serve and follow you because you are allowing the strong to rule while culling only the weak without becoming excessive. The Sith are the best hope to bring about the Balance of Nature and you are good for the Sith. You put an end to the excesses and infighting that plagued the Sith in the past, and you are still the strongest to rule. I will serve you faithfully and contribute to your strength until the day you no longer espouse those virtues or give into a self destructive urge. At that point, I will do what must be done and destroy you so that the Sith can remain on the course you charted. "The difference between me and most others is that I don't want that power. I want you to succeed and will do whatever I can to make sure you do. If you do not like this answer, strike me down here and now. I have no more fear of death."
  7. Qaela

    Kuat

    ๐•ฐ๐–’๐–Š๐–—๐–Œ๐–Ž๐–“๐–Œ ๐–Ž๐–“๐–™๐–” ๐–™๐–๐–Š ๐•ท๐–Ž๐–Œ๐–๐–™ ๐–”๐–‹ ๐•ฏ๐–†๐–—๐–๐–“๐–Š๐–˜๐–˜ Keeping herself in tight check, Qaela knew better than to lie or deceive the being before her. "I now feel deserving, and yet, also undeserving," she said evenly. "I went forth to oppose a worthy foe and gambled that I could turn that foe into another servant for your mighty campaigns. That gamble did not pay out as I had desired and I deserved to be crushed by failure and severed by death. My abandonment in the Spirit Realm was my own reward for the actions I have taken in this life, though you did not leave me to it." She bowed again, "None but you could have ordered the aid that I received though I failed you on Corellia. I am undeserving of your effort, though I may not know exactly what caused it. I would not be fool enough to attribute it to your mercy for you have no mercy and nor should you. You have tools that are useful to your cause or you have obstructions to be crushed. Because you took the effort to rescue my spirit and bring it back into this body, I must conclude therefore that you have further use of me, so I shall serve once again."
  8. Qaela

    Kuat

    ๐•พ๐–š๐–’๐–’๐–”๐–“๐–˜ ๐–‡๐–Š๐–‹๐–”๐–—๐–Š ๐–™๐–๐–Š ๐•ฏ๐–†๐–—๐– After an indeterminate amount of time recovering and regaining her strength and awareness, something stirred in the Darkness of the Force. Even before the massive, hulking Sentinels partially crouched through the doorway of the room she had been held in, Qaela knew she had been summoned. The pureness of the Darkness that had come near could not be missed by any that had a sense of the Force. She readied herself, though there was little that needed to be done. She wore simple robes of the darkest grey that could approach blackness without actually arriving and matching boots of hardened leather. She had no weapons or any other equipment to grab, either. She would face whatever was presented, though she doubted all of the effort to bring her back had been made simply so she could be executed. The Dark Lord seemed wise and prudent enough to leave those who had failed him to their own fate when death was their reward. The Sentinels needn't even pause for more than a moment in her room before she exited. One led while one followed as they took her from the facility and to her awaited fate. She kept herself under tight control, her emotions level and her body strictly devoid of any signs of fright or trepidation. When she was before the Spider, she bowed deeply with a genuine respect that could not be falsified before one as attuned to the Force as he, yet she did not abase herself like one of those destined to grovel and die as a slave. Regardless to what failures she may have made, she was still a Master of the Sith and would not demean that title by becoming naught but a sycophant, even to the Emperor himself.
  9. Qaela

    Kuat

    ๐•ท๐–Ž๐–‹๐–Š ๐–Ž๐–˜ ๐–† ๐–˜๐–™๐–—๐–š๐–Œ๐–Œ๐–‘๐–Š, ๐•พ๐–™๐–—๐–š๐–Œ๐–Œ๐–‘๐–Ž๐–“๐–Œ ๐–ˆ๐–†๐–š๐–˜๐–Š๐–˜ ๐–•๐–†๐–Ž๐–“, แ•ฟ๐–†๐–Ž๐–“ ๐–‡๐–š๐–Ž๐–‘๐–‰๐–˜ ๐–˜๐–™๐–—๐–Š๐–“๐–Œ๐–™๐–, ๐•พ๐–™๐–—๐–Š๐–“๐–Œ๐–™๐– ๐–Œ๐–Ž๐–›๐–Š๐–˜ ๐–‘๐–Ž๐–‹๐–Š. Time incalculable passed in eternal struggle. Life was supposed to be the source of struggling and pain, but for some, death was no escape. Jedi spoke of "becoming one with the Force" and entering some sort of nirvana of peaceful bliss, but that was not the path of the Sith and all who embraced the Darkness. Struggle guided them, pain encompassed their life, and through that all, they were hardened and made strong or discarded and left to suffer pointlessly. There was no middle road for those who wanted to reach the pinnacle. She had no recollection of the act of dying, but she had a sense of what surrounded it. There was a point, a struggle, and a battle for supremacy that encompassed her death. But that struggle didn't cease just because her heart was turned into jelly and her body crushed into a mass of organic fluid on a battlefield in Corellia. Death was but the start of her struggle. She had enemies, a great deal of them, and many of those had not survived her. Though she thought herself rid of them, they still waited for her, patiently biding their time for her to join them in what she recognized as the Spirit Realm. Once her spirit joined them, the struggle she fought throughout her living life resumed with no less vigor and strain. Many of her fallen former Sisters whom she slayed had not forgotten the flesh they had lost. Chief among them was her cursed mother, and though she had learned a great number of things and surpassed any of them in life, in death, things were different. She was more than a match for any two of them, but against dozens, there was no escape. Torment, pain, suffering, and even fear consumed her for an eternity. Yet, even eternity has an end. Through her solitary struggle, after so long alone and outmatched, help came. She didn't know who or what, but she was no longer alone. Others joined her in the unending battle and lent their strength to her. Their numbers grew as the souls of those whose master saw further use for her joined in the struggle so that she could return to service. With these new reinforcements, these new Sith allies, she was able to drive back her foes and instill fear in them for once. When there was finally room to ponder something other than pain and struggle, there was a sense that she was still needed. Words were for the living, but she knew nonetheless why help had come. Her time among the living was not yet completed, there was still a purpose for her and she would answer it. There was a calling, a summoning that beckoned her spirit back into the realm of the living. Following that calling was not easy, but it was possible now that she was no longer beset by foes. Life finds a way. Because there is pain at birth, it is only fitting that there would also be pain at rebirth. At first, everything was blindingly white, but soon, when her as yet unused eyes began to adjust, she saw hazy shapes and movement. Vibrations assaulted her being, only barely recognizable to her as sound being picked up and by her eardrums and translated by her scrambled brain. Time passed and her neurons began firing while her brain began to register the sudden arrival of a spirit to inhabit it and give it true life. Another eternity or another hour and she felt the first prickling of sensation on her skin: the first understandings of pressure and heat and cold. The hazy, blurred movements resolved themselves into figures that were hastily working to ensure her tenuous connection to life didn't fade back into death. At last, through the assistance of both the Force and technology, she became more aware of the mortal sensations of flesh and blood. Gone was the purely spiritual existence, replaced by the mortal coils and trappings of a living body once more. A swirling sensation accompanied by falling down disoriented her and caused her to gasp-the first air her new lungs had ever drawn into themselves-as the body temperature fluid that kept her suspected was drained out of her new universe. What happened next was a blur of motion, sensations, and an indeterminate series of experiences that faded into one, but when it was done, droids and machines tended to her bodily needs clearing out her nose and ears from fluid, making sure her lungs and heart were working, and testing her brain and motor functions. Pure water flowed over her washing away the thick fluid of the cloning tank and sheets brought to keep her warm. Time passed further as she adjusted to her body. Words were formed, questions asked, and tests run. Little information was given, but she knew she had a purpose otherwise, she never would have been sent aid or summoned. Memories of the living world flooded back to her as memories of the Spirit Realm began to fade and blend together to generalities: the mortal mind was never meant to comprehend both at once. Tests were run, food was given, and physical activity was tried. Though her body was an exact genetic match to her natural one, it was younger, stronger, healthier, and lacked the marks of violence that her previous one did. The doctors told her she had the most optimal body she would have had when she was in the middle of her twenties, with extra immunities, vaccinations, and boosts that she had not received before. The Empire did not spare expenses with the chosen few it's master choose to bring back. It also did not tolerate weakness and her physical fitness level reflected that. She was not unnaturally strong, but she had the lean body of one who spent a great deal of time improving it. Her connection to the Force, however, was another concern. Naturally, she had been born with less of a connection to the Force than most Sith. It had taken great pains and sacrifices to increase that strength and she had no desire to go through that again even were it possible. The doctors blinked at her questions, but had no answers: they dealt in the physical, not the Force. Those Nightbrothers who provided the guidance that brought her back probed her and assured her that she was as strong as ever, but she would need a true test to know for sure. At last, those who tended her pronounced her rebirth complete and decreed there was nothing further for them to do. The rest was now up to her to get used to her new body and to serve the Emperor as he saw fit. With no orders and nowhere to go, Qaela waited, knowing that those orders would come.
  10. Qaela

    Corellia

    ๐”‡๐”ฆ๐”ญ๐”ฉ๐”ฌ๐”ช๐”ž๐”ฑ๐”ฆ๐”  ๐”’๐”ฃ๐”ฃ๐”ข๐”ฏ Coronet City, Capitol Square A giant force of high impact metal slammed into the E-web generator casing before it was able to get mounted. Even without being charged, the resulting explosion shredded the device and sent two of the armored commandos flying to the sides. Qaela didn't know nor much care at this point if they had survived because they were likely out of this fight for the next few minutes at the least and were of no more use to her. Though the blast hadn't been of any laser weapon, her sniper teams would start backtracking general trajectory and would find the sniper nest eventually. Once they did, they would respond in kind. What caught Qaela's attention more was the glaring threats in the Force that lit up her sphere of influence. She had expected an attack against her and explosives were the only logical response since blaster rifles or slugthrowers weren't going to be accurate against her swirling defenses. Grenades were a bit cliche, but she supposed the Rebels they were facing had no heavy blaster cannons or tanks to use against her. As soon as she sensed the threat, she pushed out with the miniature telekinetic Force storm she had conjured as a shielding distraction and then jumped. She wasn't sure whether it was the telekinesis or simply one of the stones or rubble that intercepted the grenades and pushed them back, but that didn't stop them from exploding brilliantly between her and her opponents while she dove to the side and the cover of a statue base that hadn't yet been ripped up or blasted apart. A quick glance over the edge of her cover showed her that multiple targets were withdrawing or repositioning using jetpacks and it dawned upon her exactly who she was now facing. Mandalorians It took a few moments while Qaela utilized the relative protection of her cover to process and allow a few things to fall into place. Heavily armored and well skilled Mandalorians. A strangely familiar and decidedly odd Force presence. Various intelligence reports about the leader of the Mandalorian Crusaders the Sith Empire had faced on Coruscant. Memories from many years ago from when she was new to the Galaxy at large and still trying to find how to survive in it. Visions of someone who stepped into the fray to defend Qaela when one of their number decided to try to kill her. Terra. It was a name that surprised Qaela quite a bit because she had thought that the leader of the Crusaders had been destroyed on Chandrila when the Rebels retook the planet. It surprised her more to encounter a former ally aiding the very Rebels who had been so brutally crushed by her forces. The surprise of this new situation drained the previous fury at having been shot and replaced it with a great deal of curiosity. Qaela thought for several moments, then made a rather impulsive decision. "Cease fire!" she shouted at her men, reinforced with a wave of her hand. "Cease fire and remain defensive," she reaffirmed. The well trained commandos, while confused at the sudden order, were disciplined and possibly afraid enough to not question a Sith commander. Using the Force to enhance the sound of her own voice and carry it in the general direction of the cluster of Mandalorians, Qaela shouted out, "Terra, it is Qaela Darksong of the Scorpions. Why are we fighting each other? We aren't enemies!" Taking a chance, though keeping her senses extremely peeled for any threat or sniper fire, she slowly got up from her cover and, with arms spread wide, stepped out into the open. "Let us have a truce so we can speak as the allies we once were and see if we can find a way out of this situation. If not, we can still go back to the pointless slaughter, but I would like to find out what led you to fight along side these weak Rebels instead of basking the the glory and honor you were meant to have." ((2))
  11. Qaela

    Corellia

    โ„Œ๐”ฆ๐”ค๐”ฅ โ„‘๐”ช๐”ญ๐”ž๐” ๐”ฑ โ„‘๐”ซ๐”ฑ๐”ฏ๐”ฌ๐”ก๐”ฒ๐” ๐”ฑ๐”ฆ๐”ฌ๐”ซ๐”ฐ Coronet City, Capitol Square Qaela and her commando platoon picked their way through bits of cover as they worked their way to the edge of the Capitol Square where the enemy sniper was. As they did, they began to encounter resistance from what clearly was not Corellian or even Rebel regulars. Irregular, non-blaster fire began to rain down on the platoon as they hopped from wrecked or abandoned speeders to statues glorifying some long dead Corellian hero. A large explosion hit the AT-ST that had been covering them, blasting a crater in its center and no doubt killing the two pilots. Qaela was not, at this point, overly concerned, but her evaluation of her current foes went up as she saw they weren't just typical Rebel soldiers. That appreciation went up even higher when she had that familiar tingle of premonition from the Force that screamed danger directed at her. Considering the slugs that were used against her officers before and the irregular blue munitions being shot at her commandos now, Qaela was going to play it cautious and brought her lightsaber up to deflect even as quickly sidestepped. Despite her own speed and momentum, it wasn't quite enough. When she blocked the incoming shot, instead of reflecting back like a blaster bolt, the metal slug split in half but lost only a little momentum and continued going forward straight into the front of her right shoulder. The impact was like being punched by an attack droid and it quite literally threw her off of her feet while her momentum was thrown off. She landed on her back and was immediately attended by one of her commandos who pulled her to the cover of the base of a statue. The Krath leathers she was wearing prevented penetration, but were not as adept at diffusing the momentum and impact from the two fragments. Pain radiated across her body as her collar bone was likely fractured or worse and her shoulder didn't want to move like it normally would. The pain sparked genuine anger and fury within her. Until now, she had been fighting mostly with a cool head, calm and in control. Now, she was pissed and could use that fury to fuel her fire. With the loss of the AT-ST and her commandos up against well prepared resistance, she was needing to take stock and reconsider this approach. She wouldn't want to charge into things pointlessly, so now was time to return some pain upon her foes. "Set up shop and destroy everything," she barked out. She had little care of what collateral damage was done and neither did her commandos. The enemy wasn't the only one with explosives, so now it was time to use them. Four of the commandos launched their own thermal detonators at the source of the incoming blue fire while snipers got into position and started scanning for targets. A heavy E-web was going to be brought up from behind them, but wasn't yet here so for now, a fire team got in position and started laying down cover fire at anything that moved that wasn't clearly Imperial. For Qaela, she wanted to know more, to see what was going on with her foe. She stretched out with the Force and got a sense of what was in front of them. There were still some frightened beings not far, likely civilians who were too terrified to run or who were trapped. They were meaningless except as potential hostages. There were perhaps half a dozen steeled minds, alertly focused and extremely complex, not your typical police officer or new recruit, but well trained and deadly. Most interesting was a rather...damaged... sort of soul. Qaela felt that she should know more of what this was, but in the moment, she wasn't quite in research mode and filed that information away until it could be useful. Right now, she had a target and was not keen on scholarly research. With her lightsaber shoulder inhibited from the hit, Qaela would resort to new tactics, one befit of her creed. She was a Sith Master, not a coward, and she would not hide like a Jedi Padawan. Her legs worked just fine, as did the fury that was now fueling her. Shutting down her lightsaber for the time being, she clipped it to her belt to free up both hands and then began diving into the Force. She began weaving the spells of her youth then mixing them with the powers of the Sith until she stepped out and began walking forward with deliberation and fury. With a flick of her hands, she summoned a new set of armor: large granite or duracrete blocks that were rubble from the battle. These formed a half dome in front of her, protecting her from incoming slugs and far enough in front to shield from most explosives. With this new shield, she ran forward, closing the gap between her and the foes, relying on her shield and the covering fire from her commandos to allow her to get in closer and unleash some of the spells she was brewing. ((1)) Coronet City: Dockyards With the battle raging throughout Coronet City, Captain Gron'draur wasn't quite sure what the Sith troopers in his hold were waiting on. With the enemy fighters all around, anyone who launched from here was at risk of drawing their attention and getting blasted, so some elected to stay hunkered down. So far, the Sith had not directly attacked the Dockyards, despite rumors of them hitting all over the city. None of the Sith dropships approached the Docks, so they were fairly quiet with tense anticipation of what was to come.
  12. Qaela

    Corellia

    ๐”Š๐”ฉ๐”ฌ๐”ฏ๐”ฆ๐”ฌ๐”ฒ๐”ฐ โ„ญ๐”ฅ๐”ž๐”ฌ๐”ฐ ๐”˜๐”ซ๐”ฃ๐”ฒ๐”ฏ๐”ฉ๐”ข๐”ก Coronet City, Corellia Though she realized it likely had more to do with the shock and awe of their invasion than a mark of the Rebel's defenses, the Sith invasion force was managing to take several objectives. Reports relayed via the network of troopers on speeder bikes to bypass the comms blackout indicated that there was a sizable counterattack forming outside the city and advancing methodically in towards the Capitol. Qaela smiled at that and immediately sent orders for explosive traps and mines to be laid out along their path as best as possible, snipers to take up positions, and for general Sith forces to undergo a fighting withdraw in the face of the superior numbers. She wanted to draw them in and bleed them before pulling more of her scattered Sith forces to confront them. The main weakness of her attack was that she simply didn't have a force large enough to fight them head on, but her troops were everywhere and couldn't yet be pinned down in one location. As she supervised the reduction of the last bit of resistance from the Capitol building, a series of shots lanced out at the cadre of officers that were following her. Another burst let her know more closely where the shots had come from and she smiled even as she ignited her crimson lightsaber and summoned the Force to guide her hands against any more attacks. She and the remaining men around her took cover while a nearby AT-ST turned its guns on the area pointed out by various troops who had seen the direction the shots came from. Once the AT-ST began opening fire saturating the area with its main blaster cannons to keep the sniper busy and possibly even kill them, Qaela ordered the officers to finish securing the Capitol while she went out to clear this annoyance. A platoon of black armored troopers went with her as they picked their way rapidly from one place of cover to another. Qaela kept her lightsaber at the ready to take care of any more attacks as they went out to engage. She wasn't about to go too far and walk into a trap, but they needed to keep their new prey busy until more Sith flooded the area.
  13. Qaela

    Corellia

    ๐”–๐”ฑ๐”ฌ๐”ฏ๐”ช ๐”ฃ๐”ฏ๐”ฌ๐”ช ๐”„๐”Ÿ๐”ฌ๐”ณ๐”ข Coronet City, Corellia Captain Gon'draur did his best not to show his nervousness as the Septim's Pale was escorted down to the dockyards in Coronet City just like he had many times before. When they landed, he began the normal procedures while his crew went about their business, preparing for the normal transfer of cargo. About a quarter of his hold was full of genuine cargo so they began offloading it just like always. The rest of the holds were life sign shielded and calibrated to reflect mass consistent to having a full hull of mechanical parts meant eventually for the small craft shipyards on the planet's surface. He never messed much with the heavy equipment that went into the frigates and capital ships that were constructed in orbit. His Sith handler had not yet given the signal, so they remained in their disguised holds while his crew unloaded crates of parts. * * * * * Corellia Orbit, an hour later It began as a series of flashes that even inexperienced spacers knew meant ships were reverting from hyperspace in the hundreds. While the Rebel fleets had taken their combined might to attempt to push the Sith forces out of Centerpoint a couple of lighthours away, they had left the prize of the system all but undefended. The gamble might have worked, for had they managed to push out the Sith incursion, they could have forced the Sith to reconsider their invasion plans. Though she didn't know what thoughts went through the heads of the Rebel command structure, Qaela was glad they had come to the conclusion they did. Instead of facing the small garrison she had left behind when she had been forced to come to the aid of Kuat's defenders, they now faced the might of a full Sith invasion armada led by the Glorious Spider himself. Instead of quickly overwhelming the weakened defenders of that station, the Rebels were facing a brutally effective war machine fresh from victory after victory that was ready and howling for blood. And, to make matters for them worse, while their fleets were fighting against the Sith Navy, the system's capital would now face the wrath of the Sith's Army led by a truly hacked off Nightsister turned Sith Mistress. Wing after wing of fighters and bombers dropped out of hyperspace escorting over a hundred landing craft carrying armored vehicles and assault shuttles. These shuttles were carrying ten thousand battle hardened Sith troopers from campaigns like Kashyyyk, Kuat, and Corellia along with scores upon scores of assault tanks, speeder bikes, and APC's to aid the Sith forces in their conquest of Coronet City. These men and women of the Empire were instructed to show no mercy to any who stood in their way and not to worry about civilian casualties in this fight. They wouldn't go out of their way to slaughter civilians, but neither would they hold their fire or hesitate to level buildings if it would advance their lines. Qaela had tried to be nice and benevolent in this invasion, but the Rebels had attacked Kuat so now they must face the wrath of the Empire. While the fighters and bombers spread out in rapidly developing dogfights with Corellia's few remaining defenses, the shuttles and landers approached Corellia's atmosphere at rapid speeds. When the first dozen shuttles hit the exosphere over Coronet City, they opened their cargo bays and began spiraling around their center axis, releasing tens of thousands of small, soft stones and spraying them out in all directions in front of the invasion fleet. With their momentum and being this close to the gravity well, they quickly began raining down on a wide swath of Corellia in a brilliant firestorm of meteorites that lit up the sky. These stones were specifically selected for both mass and size to ensure they burned plenty bright, but would be consumed well before hitting Corellia's surface. To those below, it would seem that the sky was falling upon them in some sort of primitive religion's apocalypse of doom. And doom it was, for behind the flaming streaks came the Sith invasion force howling for vengeance. Though some of the shuttles were intercepted by AA placements or Rebel fighters, the majority of them landed throughout the city. Most were able to choose open areas such as parks or major squares to land, but some simply blasted buildings into rubble to create their landing zone. Jamming fields were emitted from each shuttle and lander overloading the comm waves with static and random noise that would hamper any communications throughout the city and further add to the chaos. Each shuttle and lander had specific targets that they were to take and hold, so as soon as they landed, their troops would begin assaulting key areas such as mass transit hubs, police stations, power plants, broadcast towers, and CorSec Headquarters, and the capitol building. They might not all succeed in taking their targets, but the plan was that with so many smaller units attacking all over at once, the Rebel defenders couldn't figure out exactly what to defend or where to attack. Chaos was glorious. Qaela herself was with a group of several hundred troopers backed by assault tanks that was tasked with taking the capitol building along with whatever government officials that were present. Anyone who attempted to leave the building would be shot at and hopefully killed, for she was in no mood to be nice. With her blood red lightsaber and a small army at her back, she led the charge in, cutting through whatever paltry defenders she could until she either took the capitol or met someone worthy to fight.
  14. Qaela

    Kuat

    Qaela remained on her knees while the transmission from the Spider was received, her mind running through every word pronounced upon her. She had learned things about their enemy, and in learning those things she was prepared for what was next. The Rebels might be scattered and weakened, but they were not dead yet. They were conniving and focused on survival. Just like any animal that is cornered, it was dangerous and could lash out in unpredictable ways. After the early initial successes of the Sith campaign, she had begun to believe that the Rebels were no major threat, only a bug to squash. That was no longer the case, and she would need to adapt her way of thinking just as she had in her early encounters with the Sith. There was much for her to do, and that would take time of which she had precious little. She left the briefing room and returned to her bridge. She issued more summons, this time with the not so subtle hints of Imperial authority behind them. She also started getting repairs for her ships and replacements for the losses they incurred, namely the Lightsbane. She would need those ships to return to Corellia to continue what she had begun. There was some resistance from the Military Command, but she was a Master Sith and it was known that she had received the Imperial mandate to take Corellia. It frustrated her that there was any sort of resistance, but in due time, should she serve the Emperor well, she believed that her would would no longer be questioned. Governor Ornkala was indeed brought before her, and to her pleasure the troops she had sent had not been required to do more than a flyover with TIE Defenders and threaten orbital bombardment to get him to appear. Even though he brought two of his own guards, they were of no consequence next to the smallest might of the Dark Side she commanded. She met them in the Officer's Mess which had been hastily set up with the most basic of refreshments, though nobody assembled was touching them. Captain Geratos of the Herlรธv, Shipmaster Vendant, the Kuati aristocrat who had been in charge of the Shipyards, and Major Hogorens who had been in command of the Golan station that was infiltrated and disabled were also present. Another addition to the meeting was Admiral Horlklat, a dour looking Nemoidian who, despite his race's penchant for cowardice, had a record for being a competent commander. He had been nominally in charge of the fleet around Kuat, though not the Shipyards themselves. She had spent the half hour after receiving orders and their arrival on board her ship going over the situation on Kuat prior to the Rebel raid, and evaluating the actions of those involved and had come to some decisions, though she would hold a court of her own today. Though Captain Geratos was present, he stood apart from the other three men. His presence was more to observe the goings on. Qaela wanted a witness other than herself to spread the tale of what happened here on this day. Reputation was built by the words of others, therefore there needed to be someone else here. "You are here because you failed the Empire in some way," she said flatly. Ornkala attempted to open his mouth to argue, but she quite literally closed it with a simple gesture of her hand and a trickle of the Force. "You all had a job to do and you all failed it. There is no disputing this fact. The only thing that remains in questions is how shall we deal with this." Her violet eyes fell upon Major Hogorens. "You were entrusted with the protection of a Golan station, yet it was overrun and all but destroyed. Your actions, as ultimately failed as they were, showed you took action at least. The overall situation was beyond your own control, but losing your command is never good for your career. You are hereby demoted to captain and ordered to the Outer Rim to fight in the mud and trenches on the fringes of the Empire. Perhaps there you will prove your worth, regain your honor, and rise back through the ranks to a desirably easy posting in a Core World." The officer, clearly not pleased with his fate, but grateful it wasn't more mortal, saluted sharply but said nothing. She dismissed him with a quick gesture. "Shipmaster Vendant, you were charged with the production and smooth operations of the Kuati Shipyards. The Emperor allowed you to retain your position after adding this planet to his realm because you were wise enough to bend the knee. I never question the wisdom of the Emperor, but perhaps he would now rather have made a different choice. Your complacency allowed those who are misguidedly loyal to the old weakness that once attempted to rule this system to plan an uprising. It is a shame that most of the leadership in Shipyard Zone 24 was killed in the uprising so that they may not be made an example of." Vendant, with her precise, cultured Core Worlds Basic accent that had always grated on Qaela with her own, "uncultured" backwater speech patterns, attempted to protest. "My Lady, I was not aware of the situatโ€”" "And that is your failure," Qaela snapped back. "You were so concerned with your profits and looked down so much in disgust at the 'lower' classes that you never once saw the trouble your arrogance was brewing." The doomed Kuati looked like she wanted to say something, but the pure venom in Qaela's voice left him gasping for air. Though, perhaps that gasping might have been because Qaela had an invisible hand wrapped around her throat, slowly constricting and loosening to keep her on the edge of panic she so deserved to be on. "The Empire doesn't need blind fools. Your lust for wealth and influence among your high class peers on this class sickened world has been your undoing, and I am here to correct that. Your wealth is gone, lost to you and taken for the greater good of the Empire. You will no longer enjoy the privilege of class, but are here now to report to work as a common laborer constructing the very starships you once counted on bring you profit. If you do not comply, then you will be enslaved and sold as chattel to some Outer Rim hellhole. I am sure the grunts there would love a chance to have their way with a refined Kuati aristocrat." Qaela simply applied a little additional pressure through the Force against Vendant's neck until the woman passed out from lack of oxygen to the brain. She didn't kill the hapless shipmaster, but let the woman remain unconscious on the floor. She would awaken to a whole new world of humility, a suitable punishment for one who allowed their luxury to blind them. The Kuati's wealth would be drained, her estates and assets either appropriated for the Empire or liquefied. Half of those funds would go straight to the Imperial Treasury Department, though the other half would go straight to her. Qaela didn't seek wealth like others might, but she knew the usefulness of having money and needed it herself. She had personal goals that needed funding, as well as her own network of agents and spies that needed payments. Acquisition of resources from the weak by the strong was a way of life, but it had to be handled carefully lest it grow to harm the Empire and gain the displeasure of the Emperor. She didn't try to hide this fact and, should the Emperor himself express displeasure, she would return the funds without complaint, but only he was strong enough to stop her. Turning to the last two decidedly uncomfortable victims of her wrath, she smiled with lips devoid of warmth. "You two were responsible for the protection of this system. Admiral Horlklat, you were to use the might of the Imperial Navy to safeguard this world while you, Governor Ornkala, were to use the civil government to ensure proper funding, preparation, and supplies were given. Both of you failed miserably, and I truly do not care about the excuses." Ornkala was visibly sweating, dark stains were forming under his arms and his forehead was glistening. Horlklat, though, didn't seem to be reacting much, though Qaela wasn't familiar enough with Nemoidians to read his body language. Her face softened again into a smile, this one of genuine pleasure. She held out her hand to Captain Geratos who promptly filled it with his sidearm. "The Empire has no place for failures, but the Sith do enjoy a bit of bloodshed. Both of you are guilty of dereliction of duty and there can be only one answer for that: death." Ornkala whimpered slightly at that. "However, I am in a generous mood, so I am here to offer a choice. You can either accept your punishment and die, or, if you feel you are still worthy of serving the Empire and wish to continue living, you may take this blaster and execute the other. Your choice," she said as she tossed the blaster sidearm onto the ground in front of them and took a step back to watch the results. Both men stared at the blaster briefly, then at each other. The tension remained in the air for only a few seconds before Ornkala dove for the blaster. He managed to grab hold of it and, after fumbling for a moment, pointed the weapon at Horlklat and pulled the trigger. When nothing happened, he frowned and pulled the trigger repeatedly while the Nemoidian remained at attention where he had been since Qaela had started speaking. The admiral's orange eyes regarded Ornkala coldly, though he made no move even when the human governor hit him weakly with the sidearm. Qaela's smile vanished and she began gently, quietly humming. Even though he was confused and frantic, Ornkala had the sense to realize that whatever the Sith Nightsister was doing wouldn't bode well for him so he tried to flee, only to find the doors locked. Qaela took a few steps closer to her prey, then lifted one hand. Deliberately, and entirely for show, she snapped her fingers and unleashed the spell she had been casting. Ornkala's body twitched a few times, then his eyes rolled up in his head and he collapsed, his soul no longer fully part of his body, but instead only partially severed. He wasn't dead, but would never be truly alive again unless somehow, someone who was extremely well versed in reaving souls could mend him. He would spend the rest of his days a simpleton, not able to care for himself simply because his soul was no longer connected to the physical realm and no longer felt any drive to do, well, anything. He was a practical zombie, a vegetable that could move and follow the most simple of orders, but would never have any sort of passion. His mind was fully functional, capable of understanding all that was going on, but unable to reconcile his mental desires with the complete lack of drive and will to accomplish them. She would have him taken back to Kuat and paraded around the street so that all would know what happened to those who failed. Let the public see him drooling over himself, stumbling, a shell of a man, and one who could not even find the desire to feed himself. Qaela turned to the admiral. "I applaud you for accepting your punishment with dignity and accept that you were unworthy of continual service to the Empire instead of vainly trying to fight against it. That, or you were insightful enough to realize the game. Either way, you have earned yourself a reprieve. Continue to command your forces here, though be better. I go to Corellia to continue my Imperial ordained campaign to bring that system into the Empire and when I return, I expect the situation to be vastly different than I found it. Fail to do that and there is nothing in this Galaxy that will save you." She turned and left the room, followed by Captain Geratos. As soon as she was back on the bridge of the Herlรธv, she sent another message, this one to Korriban. While overseeing the Bastion of Pelko, Qaela had culled those within it leaving her with only beings who were both competent, but also genuinely wished to serve the Empire rather than simply personal glory. Among them was a man she had come to rely upon to take care of administrative details and the non-Force using staff and guards that kept the place running. Though she hated to see him leave the Academy there, she felt that he would better serve the Empire as the new governor of Kuat. Grobel Elsten was a solid man who was sharp and pragmatic. He held his ambition in check, but he still had it there guiding his paths to excellence and greater things. He was loyal to the Empire and the Emperor above all, but his secondary loyalties were to Qaela herself. She trusted him as governor of this vital planet, but would also make sure he lived up to the faith she had in him or she would remove him just as she had Ornkala. As the repairs to her own forces were being completed, she continued to monitor the situation on both Kuat and on Corellia. It seemed, to her amusement, the Rebels there had decided to rally and launch another attack on Centerpoint Station. She would use that to the advantage of the Sith, especially since word came that the Emperor himself was joining the fray with his own fleets. This would be a glorious battle indeed, and when the Sith won, it would be yet another world under their command. She made her preparations, then when the time was right, departed with her fleet to complete the last task given to her by the Dark Lord.
  15. Qaela

    Corellia

    Endan Gon'draur had spent at least 97% of his life in the cold vacuum of space or hyperspace and didn't regret his choices one tiny bit. Born under the streaking, swirling miasma of hyperspace on a mega-freighter, he had been the bastard son of the first mate of that massive ship. Though initially not wanted, his mother, despite being little more than a slave herself, had done everything she could to make him strong and help him survive. He had done so, and over the years and numerous ships, he had clawed his way up from a mere unglorified janitor to a deckhand to a loadmaster to an officer, and finally to the captain of his own ship. For sixty-eight years, he had glided between the stars as part of the infinitely large web network of ships that kept Galactic trade alive. He hated being on firm ground and preferred to be on a ship in orbit or on another run. Time was money, and every moment that a freighter was not in hyperspace with a full hold was a minute wasted. For almost all of his life, he had been non-political. He didn't remember the old Republic or the Clone Wars, but he did remember the first Galactic Empire and every other government that had come and gone since then. He remembered all the wars, all the carnage, and the foolish waste of resources. In a way, he was glad for it because wars meant that people needed supplies and the extra hazards meant he could charge more to move the same goods. He had not been part of any of it and always flown under the radar, even when governments rose in glory or fell in bitter ashes. Nobody paid him or his ship, the hundred meter long Brayl-class freighter Septim's Pale carrying whatever bulk cargo various planets needed along the Corellian Trade Spine. That had changed a month ago when he was approached on Bestine IV by a trio of beings initially posing as buyers. It had taken him all of two seconds to realize this was going to be trouble and, sure enough, as soon as the conversation got past initial pleasantries, the velvet claws came out. These were representatives of the Sith Empire and, though they appeared to be pleasant on the surface, Gon'draur could read between the lines at the hidden threats of non-compliance. They needed someone who had been coming and going through Corellia for decades with no known political connections and no criminal record. In short, they needed someone who wouldn't be noticed or whose presence wouldn't raise alarms. The job they were conscripting him for was, at least on the datapad, simple. All he needed to do was allow the Sith agents to rig the Septim's Pale to look like it was carrying its normal cargo all the while it was holding an entire battalion of Sith troops. He would go along his normal route, enter the Corellian system, pass through customs, and land in Coronet City in the massive docks. From there, the troops would begin doing what they did best and he was free to escape in the ensuing chaos. Only, he knew that wasn't as easy as it sounded and that he was putting himself and his eight man crew at a great risk. Even then, though the pay was extremely goodโ€”over two years of his normal incomeโ€”it would be dangerous. He had little choice, truly, for he was smart enough to know that if he denied the Sith their due, he would quickly disappear. He may make it off Bestine, but even if he did, he was certain some mysterious problem would occur on his ship and he would become one of the hundreds or thousands of ships that simply disappeared every year on the long, lonely treks between stars. That is how, even though he didn't want to do it, Captain Endan Gon'draur found himself reverting from hyperspace to the familiar sight of Corellia, its shipyards, and its constant buzz of traffic with a hull full of Sith troopers primed and ready to fight. He only hoped to live through this day and then, maybe he would sell the Septim's Pale, buy a smaller ship, and retire to travel for pleasure.
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