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Krath Apothos

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About Krath Apothos

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  1. Terra and Rose: The anti-aircraft guns that locked onto the Mandalore and her coterie opened fire, but the guns had never been designed to stop something as small, maneuverable, and quick as a the honed and terrible Basilisk droids. Gunners uselessly cried out reports of the incoming threat into the downed comms, the Central Command Tower deaf to their warnings. As Apothos' Iron Howlrunner docked at the upper, gleaming balconies of the Royal Palace, he sat still and quiet in the dark of the hold. His head jerked around as the emotions of something rippled through the air like the shockwave of a seismic charge. To his Dark Sight, the Force twisted and knotted at the touch of such anger. Could it even be called that? Not anger...frenzy. Madness. Beneath the black cloth that hid his face, he smiled. "I remember you..." he whispered into the darkness, to no one in particular. "You stole from me. Kessel..." The ship docked with an audible chung and the outer hatch opened. Apothos descended, his Emperiax throne carrying him down in a rhythmic beat of tink tink tink. "This world is mine..." he said to himself. "Take it from me if you can." Krath Inmortos: As the first whispers of Krath Inmortos' dark sorceries began to permeate the air of Coral City, Apothos's chair stopped, halted by its master's will. Apothos...had felt this before. His smile widened. His chair returned to its brisk pace, entering the palace and moving through it towards the throne room. Power. They would see the power of the Dark Side soon. Let them see what a world in the hands of the Krath could hold. What it could turn loose. The thought made him pause. Turned loose, this power would hamper his own forces as well. Deepguard were designed to handle underwater combat, and they could take a wider array of temperatures than most battle droid models, but the storm Inmortos had conjured last time he'd been here had well exceeded those limits. Apothos droids would continue to function for a time, but if this took long they would be locked down as surely as the living soldiers. And communications were down, so his commanders had little recourse but to hold out where they were. The path of the walking throne shifted as it now took the neimoidian Krath upwards, towards the peak of the palace's central spire. As he ascended, he thought a command to a squad of Deepguard, scouring the palace for intruders if appearances were to be believed. Bring the king to me. Immediately. Carried on the power of his mechu-deru, the command was absolute. Code changed and protocols shifted to accommodate the all-consuming directive. "Yes master." Apothos barely heard the acknowledgement, his throne having moved past them and up towards his goal. The final door whooshed open at a thought from Apothos, and he stood at the peak of the palace. A massive spire, the top was spread out into a magnificent balcony, large enough that it must have held press events and socialite gatherings at one point. The space however was not what Apothos was after. At the center of the balcony, rising still hire, were a series of antennas and dishes, shivering in the rising, chill wind. It was the palace's communications array. Designed to broadcast to the entire city, as well as receive deep-space transmissions in bulk, it was the eyes and ears of the royal family. Unfortunately, it was crippled as every other communication device in the city, with network still down thanks to the rebel hacking and losing power to half the city in quick succession. Apothos had no intention to use it as it was however. He extended his hands, and began to chant. The array shuddered...and began to shift. Emma, Johan, and Alliera: Manhole covers burst up, fiery plumes illuminating the darkened streets as they spread from the point of impact. Pavement cracked, and in several places the street caved in completely, dropping into now open tunnels with a cascade of debris. As the explosions sent violent pressure waves through the tunnel system, old overflow systems tripped, and floodgates dropped down to stop what it perceived as a deluge of water from submerging the rest of the sewers. The explosions rocked up to the barriers and battered at them, leaving them scorched and sizzling hot...but intact. Apothos' home, once the main office of Mon Calamari Shipyards, still stood, though a careful eye might have detected the barest hint of a lean in the once perfectly perpendicular structure. Inside however, was another story. Toilets, sinks, and drainage lines had burst throughout the facility drenching expensive carpets, pantries stocked with exotic foodstuffs, and galleries of foreign art in fishy, smelly sewage water. HC-42: DG-O37A felt what may have been pride, or maybe relief, if his model-series was capable of such things. The doors were closing, and if the shouts from outside were of any indication, reinforcements had arrived. The rebels had no way in here. If they rushed, they'd be cut down in the kill zone. If they hesitated, they'd be trapped against the door with whatever reinforcements had arrived. Potential opposing combat solution determined. Standard tactic == [Explosives deployment] DG-037A only briefly analyzed that possibility. Even if they had explosives, the standard estimated yield of one such device would never- Something rolled under the door. Analyzing... Detonator? Multiple detonators. Estimating explosive yie- The thought never came to completion. The explosion rocked the base, blowing back the fortifications and sending the Deepguard droids who'd only just before had been arranged in a semi-circle around the door flying back in pieces. The door screeched and squealed, but it stopped its slow descent. The explosion had bent it outward, and now it simply shuddered in place as motors struggled to force it down. Mythos: DG-OG13 was furious. It had not realized it could feel such a thing, but this Shistavanian had kindle something in its mind. This was his fault, DG-OG13 was sure of it. Armed insurgents had popped up in the Pleasure District, gunning down droids even as the squads there tried to regroup. DG-OG13 could now only feel the datalinks of the other Overseers, and even then only the ones nearby. The Central Command Tower wasn't transmitting, and the logical, precise droid could see the pockets of chaos forming all across its sector. It enraged it. Even now, it committed more and more droids in pursuit of the Shistavanian. It would catch him. It would make him- Incoming transmission. Priority override code. Impossible. The network was still down... General: King Halargo struggled. The king's girth had subsided in recent days, and his skin had taken an unhealthy, pallid tone that now hung loose off of him in places. The king's "voluntary" seclusion had taken its toll. But even so, he struggled. It didn't amount to much. The pair of Deepguard Exemplars hoisted him effortlessly up the stairs, his wild kicks and shaking barely fazing the strong droids. The door opened, and the unnatural chill hit Halargo like a rolling wave. It drove his breath away, and his lungs stung as he sucked in more air, the cold already spreading through his body. Before him was Apothos' throne, facing away from him and towards... Halargo stared. The communications array...or what had once been the communications array, stood stark against the floodlights ringing the building. It still resembled its orginal self to a degree, but now the antenna jutted out at strange angles, fusing and twisting around each other in an aesthetic usually reserved for abattoirs and abstract artists. Cables had ripped themselves out of the floor and reconnected in new, tangled weaves. And where before dozens of status lights had blinked erratically as data poured in and out, now they all pulsed slowly. Softly. Like a heartbeat. The throne rotated, metal legs skittering to keep it level, and Halargo was brought face to face with Apothos. The king recoiled. He'd not seen the neimoidian in weeks, but this thing was entirely unlike the neimoidian who'd threatened him before. This creature was withered and twisted, something that should have died long before it reached this state. "Your majesty," Apothos' raspy voice came from somewhere under the black cloth hiding his face. "Your city...betrays you." Halargo shivered in the chill, wondering how Apothos could stand it. "My people would never betray me." "They have sided with the invaders. You have sided with me. And so, they have betrayed you." Halargo struggled to move, but the droids still held him firmly by the shoulders. In the end, he only spit in Apothos' direction. The phlegm crackled as it froze on the floor. "My mistake. Then, you have betrayed me." "I was never yours. Neither was this world, and never was its people!" "...You are brave. But wrong. Take him below to the dungeons. Have them break him. He will serve." Apothos' chair turned, and the droids dragged the king from the terrace, kicking and shouting. "You won't win!" He screamed. "My people have hope! We have pride! You can never own us!" If Apothos heard, he gave no indication. Now to work. _________________________________ All across the city, the communication networks were down, hacked and disabled by expert rebel tech. The only communications still running in the city were the datalinks of the Deepguard themselves. Boosted by the Overseers, they allowed a squad to function as a unit even at range, but served poorly as a city-wide communication system. Unless someone used mechu-deru to transform a large communications array into a single, giant Deepguard transmitter. Across the city, Deepguard paused as new links formed in their minds, connections across the city networking into a single, cohesive weave of data. Overseers were suddenly sharing enemy troop counts, squad positions, combat solution analyses, and more. Squads that had been fighting separately suddenly shifted position, joining up in singular waves that drove back at the enemy attackers, caring nothing for the units they sacrificed to push their beachhead, strategic arithmetic dictating which droids would die to take the next block. Apothos watched the flow of data through the perception of his mechu-deru on the array. He gleaned where his troops were, what sections of the city they had lost, and where they were pushing back. It is time. His thoughts extended once more, and new set of commands spread to his mechanical troops. ______________________________ The Deepguard did not stop fighting. They gave no indication they were even aware of what was happening to them. Yet, in perfect unison, every Deepguard in the city began to shout in one voice. YOU WHO DEFY ME SHALL SUFFER WITHOUT MY FAVOR. At the remaining powerplants across the city, the Deepguard units that had rushed to protect them from any further attacks received new orders. Levers were thrown, and the city was plunged into absolute darkness. Every house went black and silent. Every street was engulfed in shadows, only the echoing sounds of battle and the howling of the icy wind breaking the stillness. YOU WHO DEFY ME SHALL SUFFER WITHOUT MY PROTECTION. A new command issued to every Deepguard, both those in combat and not. [Priority Command]Withdraw to nearest structure capable of defense. Fortify and hold position[/Priority Command] Deepguard locked in combat suddenly began retreating, firing to cover their escape as they broke and ran. In the residential districts, the various squads invaded the most secure homes they could find, indifferent to the confusion and fear of the residents, unless one decided to fight back. Others found banks, factories, and other sturdy businesses. And hundreds withdrew into the Royal Palace and Apothos' now flooded home. Yet even as they ran away, one last message rang out from their vocabulators. YOU WHO DEFY ME SHALL SUFFER WITHOUT MY MERCY. __________________________ On the edge of the city, something wet, cold, and pale grasped the edge of the dock. Ungainly and stiff, it pulled itself from the water that was already forming a layer of slush. The cold meant nothing to it. It was already dead. Warmth. Life. Blood. It could feel them. It wanted them. It needed them. Its jaw, once the fishlike mouth of a mon calamari, now hung only by strips of half rotted flesh. Tears and black rot painted stripes across its otherwise pale corpse. Clouded eyes stared hungrily into the city. Its master was there. His power saturated the air. Blood had been spilled. Anger, hate, and fear...so much fear...it could taste them on the wind. It lurched forward, stumbling at first, then breaking out into an ungainly, loping run down the street, lurching and scuttling like some crustacean that had lost half its legs. Behind it, another corpse rose from the sea. Then another. And another. _______________________________ All around Coral City, now dark and quiet save for the fighting and the howling storm, the sea boiled with the dead. They crawled onto the docks in pairs, then in scores, then by the hundred. A tide of death rose, and it sought to consume the city.
  2. Mandalore and Raven: Jorus could only watch out the window in shock as the ships appeared. One. Two. Another pair 2 km starboard. Three more just below them, in tight formation even as they dropped out of hyperspace. Again, and again, the stars were blotted out by ships appearing. Not blocky freighters or smooth luxury liners either. Warships. Many of them Mandalorian. Their guns opened fire almost immediately, and fighters and Basilisks spread from them like the wake of a ship, moving to carry out their own attack plans. And then the dreadnought appeared, and Jorus' shock turned to horror. And that horror turned to panic as the massive, infamous star destroyer opened fire with its turbolasers. "No step back, Jorus." The raspy voice of Apothos sounded...calm. If the hitched, rough breathing hadn't filled the silence after the words, Jorus might have mistaken his boss for a droid. Then the call cut out, and the planet's defenders began shouting across comms. Jorus gritted his teeth. And he took command. Fighters launched from their bays, droid and organic pilots alike lining up in dagger formations to dive at the oncoming forces, the green of blaster fire lighting up the starry sky as a dozen different dramas and duels played out in span of seconds. Rising from their berths, two MC140 Scythe-class battle cruisers, fresh armor gleaming from the assembly line and flanked by Tartan patrol cruisers, rotated to face the oncoming trespassers. On their bridges, Mon Calamari pilots and engineers hung suspended in tanks of preservatives and bacta, cybernetics slaving them directly to the ship they now crewed. The Divine Wrath spewed forth carrier pods, the projectiles bursting into clusters of antique buzz droids that tore at any ship they happened to land on. The Divine Edict, far more direct, emitted an emerald glow from a dozen different focusing dishes...before a thin, green-white beam lanced out, seeking to cut the life from any enemy that fell within its gaze. Even as Apothos' pet project ships joined the gray, a set of Captor-class cruisers dropped from hyperspace, their bay doors opening to release dozens of missiles that spiraled out towards a spread of targets. Unwilling to commit all their forces, The House of Strands had only elected to send back two cruisers to fight on Mon Calamari's behalf, but the pair of ships made themselves known. In the skies above Mon Cal, battle was joined. Emma and HC-42: The Deepguard squad took a second to formulate a strategy, their reflexes slowed by the sudden loss of communication with the Central Command Tower. That second cost them two droids. The chassis of the unfortunate pair dropped to the slick, wet metal of the landing zone, smoking holes in their torsos, red photoreceptors blinking out. The remainder of the squad, 11 Soldier units along with 2 Monitors, fell back DG-O37A took command, the Overseer analyzing the situation from a small maintenance closet, reading the visual data from every Deepguard unit in the fight as his mind sorted through standard battle protocols for the optimal combat solution. Evaluating... Classifying capacity of enemy combatants... Weaponry [Light] + [Heavy] detected. [Marksman] detected. Time to reinforcements == [Indefinite] Evaluating... Defensive position untenable! [Command]All units, fall back[/Command] Another two Soldier models dropped as the remainder loped and leaped back through the open loading doors, rather than divide their attention between the rebel forces' twin fronts. Even as his squad retreated, DG-O37A continued his analysis. Tactical Assessment: Enemy Force == [Trained] : [Disciplined] Direct Confrontation == [Suboptimal] Combat Solution determined. [Marksman] and [Heavy Weaponry] less effective in close quarters. [Command]Activate (2) Pacifier Units reserved for Riot Control. Regroup in Primary Loading Bay. Form Defensive Position. Close Loading Door[/Command] As quickly as the droid's mind could parse the data and send out the commands, the large doors that separated the loading bay from the outer platform began to close, slowly as safety protocols required it to. The remainder of the Squad opened fire blindly out the closing door as they moved to new defensive positions inside the loading bay behind piles of durasteel plating, hoping to keep the rebel forces hesitant long enough for them to fortify on their own terms and turn the doorway into a killzone. The shooting withdrawal was textbook and efficient, but standard and uninspired, a maneuver any truly experienced commander could see through. Deeper within the facility, two more Deepguard powered on. Silently, they began running towards the Loading Bay. Alliera and Johan: Navezz sniffed the air. The thin Kubaz had once gagged on the foul sewer air when he'd first arrived, but over the last few weeks his nose had grown accustomed to the stench. No one came down here. No one searched for the lost and the missing down here. Navezz and his crew were left alone down here. Now he smelled something distinctly different. Something besides half-rotted, half-digested fish. People. Navezz chittered, rising from the small, dry alcove looking over the river of sewage below him. From other alcoves, other Kubaz chittered and moved as they picked up the scent. Their words were rapid, but their excitement was clear. People down here meant one thing. Profit. After all...they were slavers. _____________________________________ Navezz and his band moved through the sludge and muck. They held simple, cast-plast clubs, chosen so they wouldn't spark even if they struck metal. They closed on the pair that had caught their attention... Apothos: The Iron Howlrunner dropped through the sky, rocketing over the city darkened in patches, and lit up elsewhere by the flashes of blaster fire. "How dare they?" he hissed. "Master, please state landing zone," the droid pilot chirped. Apothos opened his mouth to say his home, but hesitated. No. This was his world. He would remind them of it. "The Royal Palace. Take me to the Palace. The King and I will have words."
  3. Mantis: The explosion that rocked the mountain sent up huge plumes of dust, smoke, toxic fumes, and electronic alerts. The facilities had deliberately kept security light, to keep from drawing the attention of insurgents, but now with the mountain's tunnels and caverns lit up with the fires of burning industrial equipment and narcotic fungi, the security of the remaining facilities began immediately calling for help. Yet...for some reason, Coral City did not respond. The Central Command Tower made no reply. Still, the facilities were not defenseless. A trio of Vulture droid starfighters lifted off from the beaches where they'd lurked beneath sheets of camo-netting, and lifting up more slowly behind them were a pair of Hyena droid bombers, armed with depth charges. An attack by underwater forces had always been considered the most likely method of attack on the facility. Their priority now was protecting the remainder of the facilities. Bomb on sight. The Vulture droid starfighters began scanning for unauthorized vessels... Mythos: Communications were down. Power for almost 50% of the city was down. Central Command Tower went silent. Not powered down, as it ran off its own generator, but cut off by the sudden loss of communication resulting from the rebel tampering. Then the droids responded. Deepguard Overseer models stopped in their tracks, range-boosting antennae extending from their backs, linking up with others until a loose network was formed. Painfully, agonizingly slowly, deluges of data were passed along, and each Overseer gained a rough idea of the severity of the attack they were under. Insurgency response protocols went into effect, and each Deepguard squad was given the same directive. PRIORITY COMMAND: Restore/maintain order. Patrol routes were changed, messages were sent, auxiliary units were activated. In a few places, the lights flickered back on as back-up power systems switched on. Others gained a dim glow as priority sectors were bled a portion of the city's remaining power, other sectors losing their now useless Holonet and a dozen other frivolities in exchange. But even as the mechanical element performed damage control, the living element began its own reaction. In the poorer neighborhoods, natives huddled together, wondering if perhaps the regime that had taken their planet was now coming to take their homes...or lives. It wasn't an unwarranted fear. Cutting power had been the first step for every other neighborhood evicted for "urban renewal." The business districts and the more well off reacted as one might expect, with confusion and outrage. Already, units of Deepguard were being dispatched to clear the streets, by force if necessary. The visitor districts, including the Pleasure Sector, were the sites of the most chaos. People who lived by few rules and fewer morals reacted with either paranoia or opportunism. Here and there, the bodies of criminal scum were found stuffed in washrooms and under tables as enterprising rivals took advantage of the confusion and loss of security surveillance to take out their competition. The patrols that had been protecting the Pleasure Sector were suddenly called to move in and restore order. More than one drug lord, smuggler, and arms dealer found their way to the ground courtesy of a bronzium fist or electroshock prod. Worse, the hidden workings of Apothos' mechu-deru began to reveal themselves. In one sector, a grocery dispensary manager worked to rile up the locals into a frenzy and fight the oncoming Deepguard. Illegal blasters and homemade explosives began taking out Deepguard units in ones and twos. Their sudden rebellion came to a halt when a single, damaged Deepguard managed to stagger up to the ringleader's own grocery dispensary, and as it broadcast its detection of enemy combatants a gas line in the building inexplicably overloaded itself. The result explosion took out the ringleader and 8 other insurgents, along with the heart of the mob's fighting spirit. In another, a thief carrying Mon Calamari art set to be auctioned to offworlders cursed and shrieked as his speeder bike inexplicably turned right uncontrollably, spinning the man into a building and destroying him along with the precious works of art. The Deepguard patrol he'd crossed had only just registered him as hostile before the incident happened. The city was infected, and now the hidden malevolence of Apothos was playing out in scene after scene of bloody chaos. ________________________________ DG-OG13 was experiencing something new. Considering its operating life had only been 57 standard days so far, it shouldn't have been surprising that it would still be finding novelty not in its databanks, but it was sure this was a sensation few other Deepguard had experienced. Rage. Upgrading designation of [Shistavanian] to [Priority Target]. Commencing [Retrieval]. [Violence - Minor] permitted. [Violence - Major] permitted. [Violence - Lethal] permitted. Dispatching retrieval team. ________________________________ At the site of the now exploded mining shaft, the two remaining Monitors stood, orders bleeding in from the more intelligent DG-OG13. "Commencing-" began the first. "..." The second paused, as if waiting for their now disabled third member of the trio to finish the sentence. After a moment, it spoke. "...pursuit." The two began loping off into the darkness, as OG13 attempted to estimate the fleeing wolfman's path of retreat. Other patrols were called off from restoring order in order to form the net the closed around the area OG13 thought the Shistavanian might have fled. This insurgent had challenged OG13's control. Control was all the droid knew. It would not let him get away if it could help it. _______________________________ Space: (General) Up above, fighting the creeping edge of a headache, Captain Jorus opened his tired eyes at the sight of the Black Bracer and other Strands ships jumping to hyperspace. Contract was up...apparently. Jorus didn't have the clout or disposition to argue with the fanatics aboard the Black Bracer, so he simply let them go and rearranged what ships he had into a tighter security formation. If he was lucky, nothing else would go wrong today. Alarms blared. ....Kriff kriff kriff kriff kriff... His foul-mouthed mantra played monotone in his head as forced his tired eyes to focus on the readout. What he saw woke him up immediately. A few quick jabs at his screen, and he shouted into his comm, "What the spice-loving karking heck is going on down there!?" Central Command Tower only returned static. Jorus narrowed his eyes. Comms were down. Power was out. The Hakawa Islands had been attacked. Any one of those would have been impressive for the local insurgents. But all three? Simultaneously? "...Broadcasting to all units. Red Alert. Red Alert. All units enter military readiness. Now!" He switched channels. "Shipyards patrol, get on the line and get those Strands battleships back here immediately! I don't care what you have to promise them!" Maybe this was nothing. Maybe the local protestors had finally gotten their act together. But it didn't feel like that. And Jorus had survived on paranoia. He wasn't about to change now. His screen beeped out an incoming transmission. "Oh for the love of...I don't have time for-" The computer suddenly skipped past the notification and connected. "Captain Jorus." The criminal turned commander froze, breath catching as the raspy voice crackled over the speakers. Boss... "What is happening in my city?"
  4. In his mind's eye, Apothos watched the end of a world. Seeing Inmortos take his domain was like watching the last breaths of a man taken by death. A violent , gasping death rattle, a last bucking of the body desperate to cling to what was already lost. Then nothing. Cold. Inevitable. The locals certainly seemed convinced. The fear the radiated from them created a light to Apothos' sight that must have last been matched only by the burning inferno of this city when it fell. Pain, hate, wrath, fear, all saturated the metal beneath and around him. The metal... Apothos' chair lurched the remainder of the way out of the wreckage of the ship. The reptilian inhabitants noted him, but the dark presence standing before them was of greater concern. The neimoidian sorcerer paid them no heed. The city was what drew his attention. He extended his awareness, finding broken circuits and shattered pistons hidden beneath the corroded sheets of corroded metal. Their function had long since gone, but the intricate intentions of the devices remained. Here was the corpse of a civilization, the bones hinting at the designs of its creators. Septic systems, communication lines, power networks...all present, and all decayed. Then his mind touched on something. Like the crates of spice on Kessel, this hunk of metal hummed with the pain and fear its past had saturated it with. Leaving Inmortos to his conquest, Apothos's throne carried him down from the ship and through the streets. A few of the local lizards peeked their heads out, then hid as he passed, unaware their fear revealed them to Apothos far more effectively then his nonexistent eyes ever could. He found what he was looking for at the end of a long alley, blocked by rubble. The debris was old, predating Apothos' misadventure with the ship. It appeared that a blast of some kind had sheared away portions of the surrounding buildings, covering this portion of the alley. But it was the piece of broken scrap metal jutting out from the rubble that caught Apothos' attention. Upon closer examination, it was a weapon of some kind. A large tube that had carried some kind of power generator. Some kind of heavy, anti-armor weapon then. The lizard that had carried it must have hated with a true fire, greater than anything his peers might have felt, for Apothos to sense it this long afterwards. But it was not alone. Scattered, like dying embers, were the flickers of other dark emotions, all linked to weapons of different kinds. Why here? Why had such a cluster of weapons (and presumably the remains of their owners) ended up here? Apothos extended his awareness again, and found his answer. There was a security system here. Advanced, capable, better than anything he'd seen on this planet. Tucked away in this random alley, its sturdy construction had held up remarkably well, leaving it almost functional. Masterless, it responded to Apothos' command almost eagerly. A panel, partially obscured by rubble, squealed and shifted, then finally slid away to reveal a passage. ____________________________________ Apothos's chair exited the long, winding passage, deep beneath the city. The heat had grown intense as he descended, far more than made sense. It pressed against him, oppressive and insistent, as if the city was making a last ditch effort to hide its secrets. As his throne made the last few steps, he sensed what he hadn't before. A forge. A city of metal. All that metal has to come from somewhere. Below him was a massive pit, hundreds of feet across. He could sense more, lined up in each direction, cold holes that had once held the great fires that smelted this civilization into existence. Automated arms hung limp from corroded rafters, awaiting commands for manufacture. Blocks of metal and carts of ore sat in neat piles, never to be used. The silence was absolute. This place had remained undisturbed since the city had fallen. Apothos laughed. A dry, rasping laugh that built and echoed through the chambers. And his will came with it. A tiny, tiny glow glimmered to life in the bottom of the forge closest to Apothos. Then it grew brighter. And brighter. Fuel lines reconnected. Plating bent back into place and shed years of corrosion. Status lights blinked back on. There was so much here. Let Inmortos keep his dead. This steel corpse belonged to Apothos.
  5. Mantis: As the submersible pulled out of the harbor, a single floating probe droid noted its departure, logging it for analysis by the Central Command Tower. Alert: Unauthorized vehicle departing city. Searching for owner... Owner found: Jemala Morloon. Former founder, CEO, and primary employee of Grab-n-Grill. Error: Owner's assets due to be foreclosed on by 2nd Coral City Bank. Owner owes >=200,000 credits. Owner possibly deceased: 84% probability. Compound Error: 2nd Coral City Bank operations suspended until further notice, due to investigation of seditious activities Analysis... Analysis... Analysis complete. Designated submersible == unowned. Therefore, theft is not possible. Submersible departure == minor offense. Driver will be detained and questioned upon return to Coral City marina or upon arrival to any other city marina. Vehicle registration marked for impound upon return. Close case file. Even as the Central Command Tower dismissed the departing submersible, something else looked up and noted the small vessel moving through the water. Life was in there. Warm... Breathing... Life. It hungered. It only knew hunger. And cold. But not now. Not now. It closed its eyes, and rested its head back on the floor of the reef. Around it, thousands like it waited. Cold. And hungry. Mythos: DG-OG13 had already purged all but the most basic data of the encounter with the old, staff-bearing human from its memory banks when a new alert chimed. Analysis alert: New arrival has exceeded preset parameters for [unusual] behavior. Warning - Individual has exceeded limits of Pleasure Sector. Query: Upgrade designation from [unusual] to [suspicious]? Analyzing... Analysis complete. Subject == Shistavanian : [Inebriated] : [Smoking] : Present in [Industrial Work Zone] : Physical Status - [Dangerous] Rejecting upgrade to [suspicious]. Altering designation to [Danger to Self/Others]. Increasing perceived threat level. Dispatching multiple corrective units. OG13 deliberately chose Monitor models to intercept the Shistavanian, who was getting dangerously close to one of the mining lifts. Their non-lethal weapons and lack of blasters would be more suited to a scuffle with a drunken tourist in a sector filled with industrial equipment. Three Deepguard, called off patrol, emerged from different points along the swaying Shistavanian's path, from alleys and streets. They formed up in a wedge in front of him, and just behind lay the open loading area of the mining sector, large bipedal loaders lurching back and forth as their forklift arms shifted crates from pallet to pallet. "Sir," the first began. "-you are not permitted-" continued the second. "-to be here. Please allow us to escort you back to the Recreational Sector," finished the third. Each droid held their right arms loose, ready to deploy their electroshock prods if this turned into a scuffle.
  6. Ruling: Beth vs Kahla First of all, great duel! It was a blast reading a dogfight, and you both sold the idea of these two pilots fighting and surviving by the acrobatics of their craft and the insane speed of the fight. So, to my specific points: -First of all, I was very happy to see damage getting taken by both sides in this fight. With something as fast and high-powered as a starfighter duel, I imagine it's tempting to dodge each shot by the skin of your teeth, but instead I saw some very nice give and take. Kahla, having your friend take that final barrage as you pulled up was a nice touch, and a good emotional moment that stood out to me. Plus the amount of damage you took in Beth's final attack run was nice to see and very sporting given your ship's faster speed. Beth, the battle damage you suffered over the fight (loss of engine, shields weakening and then failing) felt very realistic to me, and I particularly appreciated how despite using chaff to dodge the first missile you still took hits from the laser barrage. -I feel like this should always be mentioned, I felt the respect both sides had for each other, both as players and characters. At no point did I feel like the mood of the duel had turned sour or that someone was having a bad time. Maybe that's obvious, but I feel its worth bringing up. -I also liked how you both made it clear that this dogfight was in the midst of a larger battle. Might be a minor thing, but I like that the rest of the war didn't simply disappear as you two went at it. -Kahla, there was one thing in your initial post that had me a bit confused. You noted the torpedos coming towards you, but never described their miss or impact. It's not a big concern, because I think the intention was that they got drawn off by the flares of your squadmates. Specifically calling out the result of the attack would have been helpful to avoid that little bit of confusion though. -Positioning is always tricky in a duel, and that's magnified x10 in a space duel like this. Even so, you both did an excellent job of keeping me aware of everyone's relative positioning. Another difficult part is maneuvering in relation to your opponent. Not dictating your opponents movements, but instead letting them react to yours, is a tricky balance to hit. Beth, I think you handled this well by keeping your attack runs short and sweet. Kahla, I think you also did very well on this front, with the exception of one attack run you made in your second post, where you charged past Beth and released a missile right as you passed by. I feel like she might have had a chance to outmaneuver or change directions in that time. However, you were flying the faster fighter as acknowledged by both sides, so I'm less inclined to knock that too much. While I could keep going on about this duel and the things I found cool in it, my final decision for the winner of the duel is: Beth Andromina Both sides did an excellent job, and I hope I see more fighter duels like this in the future. With both sides maneuvering and fighting each other so well, both being willing to take damage, and both clearly putting effort into making these posts enjoyable, Beth barely takes the win with her concise and clear attacks and responses. This was an excellent duel! Thank you for letting me moderate it!
  7. DG-OG13 stood sentry on the roof of an abandoned house, dead center of what had once been a thriving neighborhood affectionately called Shelltown by its inhabitants. Now it was Sector 3-18, forcefully evacuated so that the visitors of the new, adjoining Pleasure Sector 3 did not need to suffer the sight of locals while the local businesses parted them from their credits. OG13 was aware of all of this, but it meant nothing to him. It was merely context for his current assignment, though if he was honest the thought of his fellow Deepguard droids forcefully evicting the Mon Calamari who openly despised his model-series gave him a slight twinge of joy. His range-boosting antennae was extended, and his mechanical mind whirred and buzzed as it coordinated the movements of the other Deepguard patrols. Analysis alert: New arrival has exceeded preset parameters for [unusual] behavior. Evaluation in progress. Query: Upgrade designation from [unusual] to [suspicious]? Analyzing... Analysis complete. Subject == Human : [Middle-aged] or [Elderly] : Potentially [Senile] Rejecting upgrade to [suspicious]. Reducing perceived threat level. Dispatching corrective unit. Mantis: A single Deepguard approached the aimlessly shuffling Mantis, moving to block his path. "You are approaching the end of the designated recreational area," it said in a deep, reverberating voice. "This sector is categorized unsafe, due to planned..." it paused as its databanks searched, "...urban renewal. Please return to the recreational facilities." It paused again, dead eyes staring out, before it spoke up once more. "If my performance has been inadequate or given offense, please give me your ID code registered with the sector, so that you may receive a voucher for a free meal."
  8. The Shipyards and Defense Fleet of Mon Calamari remained oblivious to the Languedoc and its scans. The starlanes that had once bustled with the traffic of a thousand different worlds and the freight of a booming planetary industry now only held the odd collection of junker ships crewed by the scum of the galaxy, side-by-side with Sith naval patrols. Criminals and worse had come to Mon Cal, and were slowly infesting the now open skies and empty docking bays with their rusted heaps and retooled "freighters". The blue surface of the planet was marred with spots of greasy black clouds like open sores on skin, marking where cities and their new industries pumped pollutants into the air in the name of efficiency. Dominating one of the main repair bays, droids and repair ships swarmed the armored hull of the Black Bracer. New sheets of durasteel were layered on top of old, and the clusters of laser batteries poked through like spikes. Beside it, the Broken Bullet and Moon Beetle sat in their own docks, crates of missiles being loaded in as the final steps in the extensive repairs the two had required. And, hidden from site, Our Velvet Ire watched the repairs from behind its own scanner spoiling array. The Strands had committed some of their forces to Mon Cal's defense, no doubt seeing opportunity for their brand of scheming and power in the corrupt planet and its industries. Commanding the defense was Captain Jaden Jorik. Mercenary, thug, survivor... And lackey of Nok Morliss, supposed ruler of this world. His master was absent, and the rumors he'd heard weren't encouraging.
  9. The ship groaned and creaked as it rose over the trees. What should have been a smooth ascent was instead a vibrating. jerking rise. Apothos could feel his throne adjusting for what at first seemed like an uneven floor, but he soon realized it was the ship's gyroscopic balance malfunctioning. He doubted this thing could have even broken atmosphere before falling apart or exploding. Around him, the rattling of scrap and broken machinery littering the floor drowned out the roar of the thrusters engaging. Behind him, the fear of the Galactic Alliance soldiers...or rather former soldiers...emanated out and filled the ship like a soft hum. But there was something else. Their fear didn't feel right. They were certainly afraid of him specifically, that was for certain, but it wasn't the bone-deep fear of helplessness or death. It was something else. Something more...anticipatory? "INTRUDER" Apothos' throne whipped him around, so attuned to him that it responded on its master's reflex. Lurching to its feet, buried in all the discarded tech, was an old, rusted droid. A large one. It only took Apothos a second to recognize a Red Terror droid. "INTRUDER" it repeated, its old vocabulator laced with static. Its hands raised, and Apothos's throne turned again, putting its high back between Apothos and the droid's extending fingers. That may have saved Apothos' life, as the cap of each finger detached and the concealed blasters beneath erupted in laser fire. Erupted might have been too strong of a word. Now that he was paying attention, he could sense that only 3 of the 10 blasters were functioning, and the larger blasters concealed in the chest were being stymied by the rusted chest plates refusing to retract. Still, three blaster bolts to the chest wasn't much less lethal than 10 for someone like Apothos. Rage welled up inside the Sith sorcerer. How had he missed it? No, that was obvious. He'd been so intent on connecting to the ship he hadn't even bothered to check for additional security. There had been no other living thing onboard, and the possibility of a droid had never occurred to him. A hissing screech of pure vitriol burst out of his frail form as his will slammed into the ancient droid, tearing through its mind and demanding that it submit. The droid faltered for a moment, its blasters quieting. The lights of its photoreceptors flickered and dimmed...then brightened. It stood straighter with a new purpose. Deep within its memory banks, it recalled being abused by these same soldiers, frustrated at the isolation and monotony of their lives. If it was still intelligent enough to understand the concept of revenge (which was not for certain), those memories certainly did little to stop Apothos from taking control. It lowered its arms with a rusted shriek, and stood at attention. The back of Apothos' throne smoked, scarred black by the sudden attack. Then, slowly, legs clanking against the metal floor, it rose and turned. The hidden, blind face of Apothos was brought fully in line with the "soldiers" who had surrendered to him. Who had agreed to serve him. Who were his. "How dare you defy me?" Apothos rasping, weak voice betrayed none of the anger he felt. It sounded...curious. "I...we didn't know-" Apothos raised his hand to forestall the lie. His hatred swelled, ballooning inside his chest into something like the heart of a sun. "How dare you?" His curled hand extended straight, skin stretching painfully as he forced his fingers out. Apothos recalled the line of a tome he'd read a half-dozen times. To wield the Dark Side is to wield raw power itself, drawn up by your emotions. If a practitioner can channel this power through their body, the natural bio-electrical currents running through your flesh can provide a suitable and ready template for that power to take. The consequences can be debilitating and painful to the wielder, but if one is determined to wield the true power of the Force, then sacrifice is a given. Apothos took a breath. Then he let his hate call to the Force...and he let the responding power flow through him. Brilliant, hot white-blue light crackled on his extended fingertips, and then burst out in a wild explosion of lightning. It ran along the walls and ceiling in wild arcs. It snapped, broke, and reformed over and over as it danced everywhere it could touch. Apothos' body shook with pain and laughter as he cackled while his fingers smoked. After a few moments, the power exhausted itself, and Apothos slumped back into his chair, cradling his now blackened and injured hand. The traitors were dead. So was the droid. Apothos frowned. He had not meant to kill either. The soldiers he'd meant to punish, and the droid shouldn't have been hit at all. His control was- His thoughts were interrupted by the ship giving out a loud, descending whine, and Apothos cursed. His little uncontrolled display of power must have touched on the ship's primary energy coils, and while the standard safety features and redundancies should have handled the power surge, this old piece of junk had likely had neither for quite some time. The ship began to dip, and Apothos felt light as the ascent was reversed. No. You will not fall while you bear me. He extended his will once more, and called upon the ship to repair itself. His mind raced through systems and conduits, and where it touched the ship began to reassemble. Secondary and tertiary systems suddenly came back online. Rust shook itself off of pistons. Lights flickered on as diagnostic programs activated and began assessing the damages. The ship began to level out, and as it did, alarms that had corroded into silence years ago suddenly garbled to life, blaring out proximity warnings. Then, faint and distorted, a voice warbled out into the cockpit. It was unintelligible, but as connected as Apothos was to the ship, he didn't need his hearing to know what it said. "Impact imminent." Apothos ceased his efforts on the ship, knowing he didn't have the time to fully fix it before it crashed. Instead, he turned his attention to his throne and the smoking droid. "Protect me," he ordered, his will and the Force carrying the command along the channels of his mechu-deru. The droid's chassis obeyed first, shrieking as the metal tore and flew towards Apothos. It wound itself around the arms and back of his chair, forming a protective shell that molded itself around the contours of the Krath's body. Pistons positioned themselves as make-shift shock absorbers, and even the blasters found use as single-use retro-explosives to correct and counter sudden shifts in momentum. It was an impromptu, one-use device composed of sheet metal and held together with the Force, but it might protect Apothos from the oncoming crash. The last rivet screwed itself into place as the ship collided with the ground. The tearing sound of metal that had filled the room became utterly deafening as the ship's bow ground into and through the metal streets of the ancient city that had the misfortune of being in the vessel's path. Apothos' throne was tossed across the cockpit, legs scrabbling and clutching to maintain some kind of equilibrium. Bursts of tibanna gas struggled to counter the sudden movement as the remains of the blasters burst on cue. The metal shroud surrounding Apothos collided with the front viewport, sending spiderline cracks through the weekend epoxy material, and the pistons fired in perfect timing to mitigate the blow on its occupant. Even so, the collision left Apothos reeling. The ship slid along the surface of the ancient city, toppling buildings with its bulk and shedding tons of rusted sheet metal behind it, before eventually grinding to a halt propped against one of the larger surviving skyscrapers. The building teetered and groaned, but miraculously stayed standing. Inside, Apothos' damaged throne began to twist and repair itself under its master's mechu-deru. The droid chassis shell fell apart, its purpose served, and a bruised, battered, but living Apothos coughed and grimaced as his chair slowly lifted him from the mess of scrap that had buried him.
  10. The Iron Howlrunner's ramp lowered, and Krath Apothos descended in his walking throne, flanked by his Deepguard. His breath was already labored, and his dull grey skin gleamed with a greasy sheen in the humid heat. Like his fellow Krath, Apothos cared little for the natural beauty of this place. The buzzing insects, the muggy air, and clinging muck only served as a distraction from the true potential of this place. Extending his mind outward, Apothos sought the faint signs of a civilization long gone. Faintly he felt the presence of the Death Strikers camp, their weathered tools and picked over devices still relatively fresh. But it wasn't what he was looking for. Deeper... There. Below them. A cable passed directly beneath them, corroded and frayed but still mostly intact. The echo of thoughts and voices hung around it, clinging to the metal and insulation. A communications cable, a mile off and buried deep, but it must have been a large one for him to sense it from here. He sunk deeper into his trance, letting the senses that the art of mechu-deru granted in conjunction with his own Dark Sight to feel the emotions that had been carried by the cable. Almost without conscious thought, he commanded his throne to begin walking closer to the cable. Minutes passed, or maybe hours, Apothos could not be sure. The whole of his attention was focused on those faint whispers of an ancient people, their emotions preserved in the technology they had poured themselves in. As he grew closer, he began to sense those emotions that had been buried in those messages the cable had last carried. Anger. Fear. But hate most of all. A frenzied, clawing hate that even now, centuries later, Apothos could feel struggling to worm its way into his mind. This had been no ordinary war. It had been something else. Something driven. It did not matter. They were dead. But perhaps their war had left something for him. He was nearing the cable, the underside of his walking throne and the chassis of his droids splattered with mud, when something else caught his attention. Technology. But large...and active. His throne adjusted its course, and at his urging it began to lope across the ground, legs moving faster than they'd been designed to, but compelled to do so by their master's will. As he closed in, he sensed what he was approaching. It was a ship, a bulk cruiser by the feel of it. Old and barely functional, but active. It had landed nearby, likely flying in low, either in the hopes of catching the two Sith off guard or because the junk ship couldn't be trusted to ascend above the treeline. Either seemed equally likely. The throne picked up speed again, Apothos now taking direct control as if the device was an extension of his own body, though in far better shape. His droid escort was forced to sprint to keep up with their charge, and before long Apothos crashed out of the underbrush, startling a squad of what could only charitably be described as soldiers. Their blasters were spotted with corrosion, and their GA uniforms were so faded and mud-stained that it would have been difficult to tell them apart from work overalls. A few raised their blasters, while the others only stared in stunned fascination at the bizarre sight before them. Charging them was a dirty mechanical throne, bearing a robed, half-dead neimoidian shrouded in a black cloth. "H...halt!" One called out hesitantly. Apothos could feel his fear radiating out, and like a fire catching in dry brush, the other soldiers around him began giving off the stench of fear as well. They may not have known what Apothos was, but something deep in their gut told them he was nothing good. Apothos gestured with his hand, and the blasters were yanked out of their hands. Such weak-willed pawns, abandoned here. Their pride had long since dried up, and their resolve had been quick to follow. And their ship... Apothos grimaced, even as the soldiers fell back and scrambled away, a few whispering "Sith" under their breath. One made it to the cruiser's ramp, only for it to retract and close before he could step foot on it. Pathetic...but mine. His will extended out to the rest of the ship, his mind parsing code and protocols, digging up maintenance records for problems that had long gone ignored. His throne passed the stunned, frightened soldiers, and with a rusted shriek, the cargo elevator lowered from the underside of the cruiser. The soldier's surprise told Apothos that that particularly part of the ship hadn't been functional for years, but it responded to its new master's command. "Your ship...is mine," Apothos said as he and his guard grouped onto the loading elevator. "You can stay here...or serve me." The soldier who'd called for him to halt stepped forward, then stopped. His jaw jutted out, and his eyes narrowed. "Long reign the Galactic Alliance," and Apothos felt a flicker of that pride kindle to life inside him. Apothos cocked his head. "Very well. Enjoy the walk." As the elevator began to ascend, Apothos was pleased to see over half of the rest of the squad run forward and jump onboard the ship. Apparently their fear of what lived out here was enough to overcome their sense of loyalty.
  11. As the insectile legs of Apothos' chair guided him out of the command center, his face held on Darth Akheron again, before finally turning away. Let us see, my former master, if you are still the burning beacon of power I first saw on Onderon, he thought to himself. And let us see if that power is enough to grasp a world. His attention lingered briefly on the clone commander. ...Wait...yes, I know that one...from Mon Cal. The tunnels. Yes... Dangerous... Then his throne passed out of the room, and he drew his attention back to the task at hand. Aaris III... With a thought, he commanded the communicator embedded into his throne to access his ship's records and draw up information on the remote little planet. Reading code directly was still incredibly difficult for him, but simple information like this was possible, if not easy. Given his lack of normal sight though, he predicted he'd come to rely more and more on this skill in the future. A ruined planet of pirates and primitives. Destroyed itself through war... He smiled underneath the cloth that covered his face. ______________________________________________________________ The Ironhowlrunner and The Eternus detached from the fleet. Within minutes, they'd jumped back into hyperspace.
  12. Entering behind the necromancer, Krath Apothos rode into the room. The hunched, grey skinned thing that might have once passed for a neimoidian sat curled up in a high-backed Emperiax Walking Throne, followed by an honor guard of six DG-series "Deepguard" battle droids, Monitor class. A silky, black cloth lay draped over his head and down to his shoulders, completely obscuring his features, and a red robe hung off of the rest of his emaciated body. The six spindly legs of the throne clicked and clinked along the metal floor as it maneuvered its bulk towards the command center. As the chair moved, its rider said nothing, but his sightless eyes locked onto Darth Akheron, the black veiled facer following him as his throne bore Apothos to stand...sit...next to Krath Inmortos. As Inmortos finished his introduction, Apothos tore his attention away from Akheron, saying nothing to his former master. Instead, he only said, "Krath Apothos," in brief introduction.
  13. Slipping out of hyperspace, two vessels joined the growing cluster of warships above the orange ball of Geonosis. The S-161 yacht The Eternus and the Baudo yacht The Iron Howlrunner seemed entirely out of place among so many vessels geared for war. The power of the two Krath who flew aboard them however, was another knot of dark energy to add to the swirling maelstrom of the Force that had been born of so many Sith Lords collecting in one place. A raspy voice broadcast over the hailing frequencies. "This (cough) is Krath Apothos, accompanied by Krath Inmortos. The lords of Mon Calamari would join their efforts to this endeavor. Permission to board." The message cut out, and in his cockpit, the hunched, twisted form of Krath Apothos devolved into a painful fit of coughing, his whole body shaking with each labored breath. The dull, grey skin of his hands turned white as he clenched and unclenched his fists. While his body suffered though, his mind reached out through the Force. The Force nearly boiled in the presence of so many practitioners of the Dark Side. Each sat distinct as a node of corruption that- Apothos paused in his examination. There... He knew that presence. Under the black cloth that covered his face, Apothos smiled.
  14. Coral City, the capital of Mon Calamari, the sun-kissed city of the seas, lay blanketed under thick clouds oily with smog and smoke. An unnatural chill swept the streets, and the open air parks and pavilions that had once held crowds of thousands every day now stood empty, walked only by patrols of dark red Deepguard battle droids. The people, Quarren and Mon Calamari alike, huddled in their homes, afraid but unable to give shape to their fear. All across the city, the weak and feeble had died. Hospitals turned out bodies in the dozens. Minor, inexplicable glitches accompanied the sudden onset of death, with seemingly every machine prone to fits and bouts of static and twitching. In one case, a criminal demonstration protesting the pollution of their waters at one of the droidworks had turned ugly when the Deepguard arrived, and for no explainable reason a cargo loader lurched forward into the crowd, maiming and killing dozens in seconds while the people scattered. And there was the water... The waves were choked with toxic runoff from forges and droidworks, and for days saboteurs and activists had been swarming the edges of the city, clogging up drains and leaving outraged graffiti anywhere they could reach. But now, no one went anywhere near the water's edge, and none of them could exactly explain why... From this greasy, dim reflection of what Coral City had once been, two ships ascended, before piercing the overhanging murk and accelerating out into the clean void of space. Inmortos's S-161 Stinger luxury yacht, The Eternus, flew beside the sleek, blue-green frame of the newly christened Iron Howlrunner. A Baudo-class sporting yacht, the fast ship was smaller than what Apothos had been used to in his old life, but maneuverable and infinitely customizable. This particular model had been owned by a prestigious Mon Calamari engineer before he'd died protesting the actions taken by his world's new Sith ruler. At its helm, Apothos reclined. The pilot's seat had been ripped out, and Apothos sat on a silvery, high-backed Emperiax Walking Throne, six silvery legs automatically adjusting and balancing against the thrust of acceleration. Immobile and magnetized to its back was a folded Neimoidian mechno-chair more suitable for tighter corridors. Apothos did not touch the controls. The ship moved and altered at the Krath's thoughts and will, accepting the touch of its new master with the absoluteness of a machine. The two ships jumped to hyperspace...
  15. Grief. It rose from the city like a miasma, the tiny tragedies of each death drawn too early by Inmortos' call a candle that released a plume of the black, raw emotion into the air. Anger. An undercurrent that flowed through the city. It lurked in the minds of every citizen, from the proud autocrats who'd kept their positions through bribery or good fortune, to the lowly, broken workers who had always kept their head down no matter who ruled. They saw this planet as theirs, and it rankled them to know Apothos had claimed it as his. Fear. Ah. There it was. Like the golden light of the sun or the constant pounding of the waves on the city's base, fear colored everything. They feared Apothos. They feared the new, dark thing that had taken up residence. Even those who had never seen the necromancer or heard of his coming knew something had changed, and like animals at the onset of winter they could sense the death in the air. Apothos extended his hands, the new arthritic pain in his fingers nothing compared to the power that flowed with such ease through his hands. Inmortos was a vortex, a whirlpool that drew the energy of death into himself from the city as a whole, and Apothos could see the ripples and currents that the necromancer surrounded himself with...and sent back out to the corpses that would be his servants. Could Apothos do any less? Exhaling, he rode the waves of fear and death with his mind, extending his will in a dozen tendrils to the city that he knew, deep in the core of his soul, belonged to him. He was a god, and this was his domain. His will would be obeyed. He found machines, computers, and droids that his mechu-deru would turn to instruments of his will. Quietly, instinctively, Apothos saturated each and every one with his will. An impossible task normally, but with his newfound mastery and the currents of power that Inmortos was calling up, Apothos found that his reach had extended beyond anything he had dreamed possible. Code was rewritten. Command sequences were added and implanted deep in the core of each device's software. A door was given a special protocol to slam shut on someone passing through, should the proper target be identified. A speeder bike would start up and accelerate out of control should the command be broadcast. A gonk droid would overcharge and become a walking bomb with a simple line of code. Dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of tiny traps and malicious programming saturated the city, hidden beneath a layer of steel and circuitry. Yet, it was dormant. Hours spent in ritual to turn his city into a weapon, but it still needed a master to command it. Apothos of course could, but it was not his place to deal with minor, petty annoyances. He needed something else. He needed... A low, rasping chuckle escaped him, muffled by the whipping winds that had numbed him hours ago. He did not know if he'd planned it, or if perhaps the Force had guided him, but the perfect solution was all around him. Apothos shifted his focus to his Deepguard battle droids. They patrolled the city streets, and only a few, bloody demonstrations of their strength and firepower had been enough to subdue those who saw them walk past. Now, Apothos slid into their minds like sliding a worn glove onto his hand, their electronic shells recognizing the touch of their master. He added a simple command code to them. Deepguard were already capable of broadcasting to each other. Apothos simply expanded that to include...everything. If a Deepguard identified an enemy, every device around them capable of recognizing their signal would react, their hidden traps and coded killing protocols activating in a storm of mechanized mayhem and death. Let enemies try and take Apothos's city from him. He was god here. The city served him.
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