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Krath Apothos

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Everything posted by Krath Apothos

  1. Qaela vs Leena and Kadi This was a tricky one to judge. Before I put up my ruling, I have a few notes below: -Good job to everyone for taking damage without taking too much, and respecting each other's attacks. I thought it was well done from all sides. -Kadi, I really appreciated the specifics of your attacks. Your posts felt very clear and concise with easy to visualize action, and that made them great to read. -I really have to hand it to Qaela with how she handled fighting two opponents. I never felt like one opponent was being ignored or underestimated, and he did her best to act tactically the whole fight with attacks and reactions intended to rob her opponents of the edge given by their numbers. -In particular, I like how Qaela used Leena's shockwave to propel her away from Kadi's attacks rather than stand her ground and take both. -I do have to nitpick a little on Qaela's character sheet, as its equipment and abilities were fairly vague. "grenades when in combat" and "normal abilities for a master level character" weren't helpful for me to determine if the Force maelstrom or psychic attack she conjured was something that was within her wheelhouse, or if tear gas grenades were something she would normally have on her. However, I also understand that she justified in the post having the tear gas grenades specifically for the mission, and that the maelstrom is just an advanced form of telekinesis combined with scientific understanding, but having some detail on what she focuses on and what her arsenal consists of would be helpful in the future. Bottom line, I didn't really have a good feeling for her capabilities or limitations in this fight, though I never felt like you were exploiting that. -Leena, judging from your abilities and the Healer’s guide you have linked in your character sheet, it seems you're using the Force Blind ability in your 1st round, which has a visible beam of light attached. I’d prefer if this was called out in your attack, as it's a bit vague here when “light” refers to actual light or the Light Side of the Force. -Kadi, in your 2nd round, you post that you bat away the "force-propelled gas grenade". I don't think Qaela actually launched the grenade at you. In her post, “She kept one grenade where she was to cover the Zabrak”, implying she held onto it or dropped it on the ground. -We're getting to the really minor stuff here, but Kadi, I would have liked some acknowledgement that the Acklay was charging towards and around an unnatural maelstrom of dark power. Given that it’s an animal (though admittedly one bonded to a Jedi), I would have liked it acknowledged that it was overcoming its instincts to serve its partner's needs. Again minor thing though. So, with that out of the way, here's my ruling. Leena defeats Qaela, Qaela defeats Kadi With everyone bringing their A-game, and all parties using their abilities cleverly, I have to use the minor stuff to determine who comes out ahead. While Qaela was extremely good at fending off two opponents at once (and likely would have won if the power arrayed against her had been a little less), in the end I have to give the win to Team Jedi for their own tactical prowess in how they worked in tandem with Leena remaining in the back to support while Kadi spearheaded the attack, presenting a combination that was difficult to overcome. However, I also have to knock Kadi a little for the misinterpretation of Qaela's grenade attack. Again, with everyone being clever and using their abilities wisely and being respectful of the other writers, I need to use the little things to determine the outcome. **edited** Leena has the next post, but must leave Qaela able to physically escape. The result of her final Force Sever attack is hers to determine, as the victor. Qaela may post next, but must leave Kadi alive and intact. Kadi may post after. **end of edit** Great duel all around! With a two-on-one duel, this could have gone badly if the parties involved hadn't respected each other, and I think that a compelling fight like this is an accomplishment for all involved! Edited addendum: Qaela and Kadi, regardless of Qaela's choice, are out of further duels for planetary control. As the overall victor, Leena may determine the results of the NPC battle and its participants.
  2. The Sith Forces continued to hold, despite being heavily outnumbered and outgunned. Taskforce Ensemble 1: Commanded by Krath Apothos Fleet of the Strands Heavy Brawler Escort |Black Bracer| Veteran Task Force Experience: 3XP Bulwark Mk II Black Bracer |25/35| Fleet of the Strands Destroyer Group (Missiles) |Red Dusk| Veteran Task Force Experience: 3XP Captor Class heavy munitions Cruiser Moon Beetle |0/0| Captor Class heavy munitions Cruiser The Broken Bullet |6/8| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Taskforce Ensemble 2: Commanded by Kahla Sith Fleet Destroyer Group (Railgun) |Phantom's Spear| Veteran Harrower-Class Dreadnought Phantom's Spear |9/22| Sith Fleet Artillery Battery (Gravity Crusher) |Eye of Sagittarius| Veteran Gladiator Star Destroyer Eye of Sagittarius |10/20| Raider II Corvette HF-11302 |2/1| Raider II Corvette HF-11303 |2/1| Sith Fleet Precision Strike Carrier Group |Wings of Glory| Veteran Gladiator Star Destroyer Devout Cardinal |9/9| Terminous Frigate Galvanized Spirit |0/0| Terminous Frigate Crimson Crescent |2/3| Raider II Corvette HF-11300 |0/0| Raider II Corvette HF-11301 |2/1| Taskforce Ensemble 3: Commanded by Darth Mavanger Sith Fleet Destroyer Group (Missile) |Sith Resurgent| Veteran Task Force Experience: 2XP Harrower-Class Star Destroyer Krayt's Fury |0/9| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  3. With a crack and a roar that overwhelmed the howl of the storm for a few brief moments, the chair exploded. Apothos' throne was tossed forward, legs scratching and scraping for the briefest second before it tumbled over. It hit and skidded across the snow-dusted balcony with a ear-rending screech, sending sparks flying before it ground to a halt. Underneath it, crumpled in a heap under the arch of the chair's seat and back, lay Apothos' withered form. Blood dripped from his head, and a demanding, throbbing ache pulsed through his body with each heartbeat. But he was alive. His chair's mechanical legs twitched and pawed feebly at the air like some overturned insect, already losing power from some rupture or misalignment. While the mechanism was designed to be sturdy, taking an explosion like that was not under its parameters. Apothos struggled to move, hands and legs weakly pushing at the wet tiles of the palace terrace. The Malacia was fading, and he felt his body return to him even as it punished him for what he'd put it through. Weak, useless flesh... A premonition struck. Like before, when he'd sensed the oncoming potential death of Inmortos. Except this was far more personal. Reacting on the whims of the Force and his own addled mind, he thrust out his hand, and his own lightsaber, looted on this very world, shot out on the power of the Force, activating mid-air to collide with the oncoming lightsaber of the Jedi. The warrior monk was so quiet! And without the dark, aggressive emotions Apothos was used to in a battle, the wookiee was dim to his perception, leaving him in a reactionary position. His flying lightsaber only managed to deflect the Jedi's own lightsaber by a few degrees, but enough to keep the energy blade from bisecting him. Instead, it tore the inner workings of his chair apart, and Apothos retreated across the balcony on his hands and back even as his walking throne sparked and whined its last seconds of life. A close range contest was the last thing Apothos needed, and he had little time. Even crawling away as he did would only buy him a precious few seconds. His body was withered and near useless, and he'd never paid much attention to the vaunted "art" of the lightsaber in any case. It had been the Dark Side itself that had captured his attention. In a flash that might have been born of an explosion rattled mind or the Dark Side itself, an idea occurred to him. An idea to distract the Jedi's focus, and perhaps turn things back in his favor. This city was his. He might as well use it. He thrust his hand out, sending a guileless, unrefined blast of power at the Jedi, nothing more than a stalling tactic. As he did, at the speed of a thought, even as he perceived his enemy cutting his throne completely in two and finishing the job they'd started, he sent a single command out through the communications array he'd been using before this Jedi had shown up. A single order for every Deepguard in the city, barricaded in houses, businesses, warehouses, and factories to hide from the disabling cold. Civilians =/= [Noncombatants] ++New Order++: {Kill on sight} Across the city, Deepguard droids that had been ignoring the cowering civilians in the buildings paused in their effort to secure their defensive positions. Then they opened fire. A wave of violent, senseless deaths, filled with shock and fear, spread across the city near instantly. Tens, then hundreds, then over a thousand died in those first few seconds. And the Dark Side swelled... To Apothos, it was like standing before the warmth of the rising sun. The chill of the blizzard was banished from his thoughts. The lingering Malacia was purged as his corrupted flesh and soul surged with the rising tide of the Dark Side. Apothos knew this would only last a few seconds. Once the Deepguard had exhausted the unfortunate civilians near them at the time of the order, the violence would slow back down to the normal, hard fought trickle of urban battle. But for these few moments it was enough. He wondered briefly how a Jedi would react to such an outpouring of the Dark Side. Then he thrust his hands forward at his oncoming foe and screamed, partly in glee and partly in manic defiance. "DIE!!!" Lightning streamed from his fingers, leaving his skin blackened as he forwent any thoughts of control or measured response. He only knew fear, hate, anger...and joy. He would not stop until he was dead, either by his own lightning or the Jedi's saber. Summary: Apothos was sent tumbling by the explosion, and only managed to deflect the enemy's lightsaber throw by tossing away his own lightsaber in reaction. Crawling away, he attempted to swell the Dark Side by using his mechu-deru and the communications array atop the palace to broadcast a civilian kill order to the droids across the city. He then used lightning as a last ditch attack at the Jedi. Move ((3)) in duel between Kirlocca and Apothos
  4. Mythos: Now. The command from DG-RY1 came as the sensors of Sublevel 3 detected the intruders had all entered the floor, and were nearly to the Enhanced Interrogation Chamber. Across the floor, whooshes and clangs accompanied doors slamming shut, save for a few specifically chosen hallway doors that led from the floor's outermost areas and the accompanying drain vents to the hallway the rebels found themselves in. Seconds passed. Then the sound of rushing water filled the halls. In a surging wave, briny seawater thundered down the halls, shadows heralding its oncoming mass as lights were blotted out by the dark water. Deepguard braced themselves, but most were tossed down and spread out across the level as the water slammed into them and tossed them aside like a giant hand batting away an insect. The water converged towards the center of the Sublevel, where the rebels stood. The initial wave was only 4 feet high, half the height of the hallway overall, but DG-RY1 had the palace pumps reversed and working at max capacity to flood the level, and with the majority of the level sealed off it wouldn't take more than a few minutes to completely submerge the hallways the Overseer was channeling the water through. DG-RY1 allowed itself a moment of distraction, committing valuable processing power to observe the rebels through the cameras. It would enjoy watching them struggle before they died.
  5. Missiles, lasers, and solid shot poured from the Sith armada. Explosions ripped across the starfield, and shields lit up as the Sith vessels took the Rebel's return fire. Jorus grimaced at what he saw. They'd underestimated the Rebel's forward ships, and the enemy's heavy armor punished the Sith's daring attack. At a glance, the Sith appeared completely outmatched and outnumbered. Of course, looks could be deceiving. A series of encrypted burst transmissions reached his console, and his grimace faded as he saw their own strategy beginning to come together. Let the rebels think themselves on the verge of victory. It'd make the next part all the sweeter... Taskforce Ensemble 1: Commanded by Krath Apothos Fleet of the Strands Heavy Brawler Escort |Black Bracer| Veteran Task Force Experience: 3XP Bulwark Mk II Black Bracer |25/35| Fleet of the Strands Destroyer Group (Missiles) |Red Dusk| Veteran Task Force Experience: 3XP Captor Class heavy munitions Cruiser Moon Beetle |0/1| Captor Class heavy munitions Cruiser The Broken Bullet |9/9| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Taskforce Ensemble 2: Commanded by Kahla Sith Fleet Destroyer Group (Railgun) |Phantom's Spear| Veteran Harrower-Class Dreadnought Phantom's Spear |16/25| Sith Fleet Artillery Battery (Gravity Crusher) |Eye of Sagittarius| Veteran Gladiator Star Destroyer Eye of Sagittarius |10/20| Raider II Corvette HF-11302 |2/1| Raider II Corvette HF-11303 |2/1| Sith Fleet Precision Strike Carrier Group |Wings of Glory| Veteran Gladiator Star Destroyer Devout Cardinal |9/9| Terminous Frigate Galvanized Spirit |0/2| Terminous Frigate Crimson Crescent |3/3| Raider II Corvette HF-11300 |2/1| Raider II Corvette HF-11301 |2/1| Taskforce Ensemble 3: Commanded by Darth Mavanger Sith Fleet Destroyer Group (Missile) |Sith Resurgent| Veteran Task Force Experience: 2XP Harrower-Class Star Destroyer Krayt's Fury |10/23| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  6. Apothos cackled wildly as his lightning connected, if only just, sending the Jedi wookiee spinning in the air. Then the Force pulsed around the Jedi, and Apothos' world turned on his head. Nauseating, bowel churning vertigo threw Apothos back into his chair, retching and heaving, trickles of bile dribbling from his mouth and out from under the black cloth that covered his face. He could barely think. This wasn't a power he was familiar with. No time to ponder. The Jedi was coming. His saber was raised. Protect...me! As incapacitated as he was, the thought, born on the currents of his mechu-deru, carried none of the weight or iron will Apothos used to control machines. But his throne was his, a machine long subservient to him, and it only required a simple directive and the barest of pushes to be compelled to obey. Even as the thought became lines of code and protocol within the throne, it was backing away, metal legs scrambling as it weaved and bobbed away from the oncoming threat, barely dodging the first strike of the wookiee with its initial burst of speed. Even so, it would never outpace the Jedi. Kill...HIM! A moment of hate and fear cut through the debilitating nausea, not nearly enough to grasp the Force in any meaningful way, but enough to command another subservient machine. The mechno-throne sprang into action, sprinting from where it lurked at the balcony's edge and leaping at the oncoming wookiee. Its clanging legs and the rising hum of its power capacitors fatally overcharging provided brief warning. In that moment, Apothos' Walking Throne took a chance and turned, presenting its high, steel back to the oncoming blast, protecting its master with its own body. If the blast happened as planned...it would still send the throne and the incapacitated Apothos tumbling across the icy balcony. Summary: Apothos was disabled by the superior Force user's Malacia, and used the smallest touch of his Mechu-deru to command his throne to evade Kirlocca while his mechno-chair completed its overcharge and attempted to pounce at Kirlocca and explode. Move ((2)) in duel between Kirlocca and Apothos
  7. As Apothos' mind turned back to the matter of controlling his Deepguard, his fury at the loss of his prized ship basking the balcony in eddies of dark emotions, something caught his attention. A thud. Practically imperceptible in the howling wind, it must have been loud to catch Apothos' notice at all. Then came the familiar sound of a lightsaber igniting. A surge of fear rippled out from Apothos, and in those ripples he saw what he had missed. A wookiee. A Jedi. He kept still. It did not appear to have noticed him, but that would change soon enough, once the warrior-monk had time to focus. But with the roar of the storm and the whirling veil of snow, Apothos had what he needed perhaps to turn the situation to his own advantage. Briefly, a memory of his former, weaker self appeared in his mind's eye. Trapped in an arena, two snarling, slavering howlrunners creeping towards him. And he recalled the lesson he'd learned that day. This world is mine. If I allowed you to have it, Jedi...I would be Nok Morliss. But I am Apothos. So let us see what that really means. With a thought and a push from his mechu-deru, the smaller mechno-chair detached from his larger, Emperiax Walking Throne, and began to creep along the balcony's edge, a small machine walking through a blizzard, its luxurious design keeping its servos muted and its steps smooth. Another thought from Apothos, and the small mechno-chair began charging its capacitors beyond their designated safety limits, the will of its master overriding its core programming. His own throne turned as he did this, bringing Apothos into direct line of sight with the wookiee. Well...sight might have been an exaggeration for a blind man in a blizzard... He raised his hands. His body was alive with fear and adrenaline, and his anger was slowly fading to be replaced with something new. Joy. A fierce, savage joy. Live or die, he was going to enjoy this. He attacked. Lightning crackled out of his fingers in a torrent of white-blue energy, directed at the figure silhouetted in the swirling currents of the Force stirred by his emotion, his Dark Sight allowing him to see his opponent even through the snow, though much further away and the wookiee might disappear entirely. The Jedi had such quiet souls. Summary: Apothos took advantage of not being detected to detach his smaller mechno-chair, began overcharging it with his mechu-deru, and then fired a blast of lightning as his final act. Move ((1)) in duel between Kirlocca and Apothos
  8. HC-42: The quarren ringleader listened in stoic silence, eyes narrowed as the squad gave their rallying speech. Then he nodded. "Qorik, Petaf, go get the emergency generator switched on! Anyone from maintenance, get to work on resetting those doors! If we can close them an inch, I want the option. Mal, you keep saying you're a wiz with electronics. Start disassembling those droids the rebels were so nice to scatter all over the place, and see if you can salvage any of their weapons. As for the rest of you..." He turned to look back at the rebels. "Where do you want us sir?" HC-42, consider approximately 50 workers, armed with power tools you'd expect in a ship manufacturing facility, to be under your control. Mythos NPCs: DG-RY1 was special. It knew that it was special. Why would a Deepguard Overseer be selected to control security in the Royal Palace unless it was special? Commander, intruders detected. DG-RY1's contemplation of its own excellence was interrupted as the alert reached it through one of the several Overseers under its command. They were also special. But not as much as DG-RY1. Understood, DG-RY1 replied. Analyzing... Analysis complete. Squad of insurgents attempting to illegally access palace mainframe. Bring up list of high priority targets. Most likely target == [King Halargo] Current location of target == [Sublevel 3, Enhanced Interrogation Chamber] Formulating combat solution... Enhanced Interrogation Chamber == [Watertight] Deepguard == [Underwater Functional] Solution formulated. Do not interfere with their unauthorized access until they have accessed the King's location. Console will then be overloaded remotely to prevent additional access. All units hold position until I give the order. If you encounter the insurgents, defend yourself, but do not leave your post to assist other squads. Once they are in Sublevel 3, seal all chambers. Ensure that Enhanced Interrogation Chamber is completely sealed. Once all preparations are complete, and the enemy is in position... Flood Sublevel 3. DG-RY1 was proud of its plan. After all...it was special.
  9. Jorus stepped back from the console as ship after ship dropped out of hyperspace, already calling out targeting priorities and adding their own fighter craft to the fray. Data and IDs streamed across Jorus' command display as each new ally took to the battlefield. This was a fight they could win. This was a fight he needed to win. "No step back," he muttered. Louder, he called out through the comms, "Officers of the Empire, this is Commander Jorus, head of defense for this system. I'll be coordinating the general formation and attack patterns, and I'll leave the finer details of butchery to your own disgression." Something the captain of the Black Bracer occurred to him. "Through Victory, our Chains are Broken!" Taskforce Ensemble 1: Commanded by Krath Apothos Fleet of the Strands Heavy Brawler Escort |Black Bracer| Veteran Task Force Experience: 3XP Bulwark Mk II Black Bracer |25/35| Fleet of the Strands Destroyer Group (Missiles) |Red Dusk| Veteran Task Force Experience: 3XP Captor Class heavy munitions Cruiser Moon Beetle |9/9| Captor Class heavy munitions Cruiser The Broken Bullet |9/9| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Taskforce Ensemble 2: Commanded by Kahla Sith Fleet Destroyer Group (Railgun) |Phantom's Spear| Veteran Harrower-Class Dreadnought Phantom's Spear |25/25| Sith Fleet Artillery Battery (Gravity Crusher) |Eye of Sagittarius| Veteran Gladiator Star Destroyer Eye of Sagittarius |10/20| Raider II Corvette HF-11302 |2/1| Raider II Corvette HF-11303 |2/1| Sith Fleet Precision Strike Carrier Group |Wings of Glory| Veteran Gladiator Star Destroyer Devout Cardinal |9/9| Terminous Frigate Galvanized Spirit |3/3| Terminous Frigate Crimson Crescent |3/3| Raider II Corvette HF-11300 |2/1| Raider II Corvette HF-11301 |2/1| Taskforce Ensemble 3: Commanded by Darth Mavanger Sith Fleet Destroyer Group (Missile) |Sith Resurgent| Veteran Task Force Experience: 2XP Harrower-Class Star Destroyer Krayt's Fury |25/25| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  10. Clan Brasganu “The House of Dragons” “Death remembers all.” - House Motto of Clan Brasganu. In the final days of the ancient Sith, just before the Jedi and the Republic destroyed the Brotherhood of Darkness and the Rule of Two was created, a Sith Lord whose name has been forgotten fled from a powerful Jedi Knight and out into the Outer Rim, carrying ancient Sith texts with him. According to legend, the chase lasted years, and each side came close to destroying the other in several hard-fought battles. Eventually, the Sith was decisively defeated and fled once more, wounded and broken. In his blind retreat he came across a crew of pirates, Clan Brasganu, who made their living by raiding the settlements of the Outer Rim. He promptly dominated them through the Force and mundane fear, and they became tools and shields in his flight. However, the Jedi would not give up the chase. Finally, in desperation, the Sith fled with his new crew into the darkest parts of the Unknown Regions, and the Jedi ended the pursuit, unwilling to follow his mad prey along the uncharted hyperspace lanes that would kill them both. What happened next is not entirely certain. The Clan has preserved legends from that time, but they’ve been warped so much by allegory and embellishment that it’s impossible to separate fact from fiction. The best guess is that the Sith and his Clan survived their desperate escape and wandered the Unknown Regions for a time. The Sith ruled for years and had numerous children with his crew but was eventually slain by some great monster. The Clan continued on without him. When his children showed signs of Force-sensitivity, they were inducted into the secrets of the Dark Side that their founder had left behind in the Sith texts, and Clan Brasganu continued in that way for millennia. Occasionally the Clan would emerge from the Unknown Regions to raze and pillage the Outer Rim before disappearing for decades more, never staying long enough to be more than a whispered story told by deep space pilots and frightened survivors. They spoke of men and women who became monsters in battle, who ritually sacrificed those adults they didn’t kill outright, and who stole children of the slain to indoctrinate into their numbers. What Clan Brasganu truly went through to warp them into what they are today may never be discovered. When the Sith Empire rose again, Clan Brasganu emerged once more, but with a new purpose. They presented themselves to the Dark Lord and swore service, claiming that this Empire was the culmination of several prophecies made centuries ago by their priests, and that it was the will of the Dark Side that Clan Brasganu lend its strength to this rising power. Clan Brasganu has expanded over the millennia from the single crew that aided the Sith Lord to a small fleet of stolen vessels filled with warriors and alchemists. The marauders have an unusually high rate of Force-sensitive births among their numbers, and while the Clan ascribes religious reasons to this, other Sith believe something in the Unknown Regions may have affected the raiders and their descendants. They've continued to grow as they induct Sith and even interested warriors lacking Force-sensitivity into their ranks. Customs, Traditions, and Beliefs “They’re coming. They’ll never stop coming.” -Rambling of refugee found in the remains of Ganava Spaceport Clan Brasganu’s culture is rooted in their beliefs. They worship the Fanged God, either another name for the Dark Side or some form of avatar of the Dark Side with strong connotations towards death. Their veneration of this mystical (and potentially fictional) figure is the driving force of their lives, closely followed by a fanatic devotion to the Clan itself. Worship of the Fanged God Mention of the Fanged God predates Clan Brasganu, the myth of the being found in several texts that might be older even than the Sith themselves. Where or how the clan came across the idea of this entity in the Unknown Regions isn’t clear even to Clan Brasganu, but for as long as any of them can remember the Fanged God has been the centerpiece of their existence. An outsider looking to understand the idea of the Fanged God has a difficult task ahead of them, partially because of the insular and violent nature of its worshippers. However, the simplest explanation is that the Fanged God is supposedly the entirety of the Dark Side of the Force while simultaneously being a sentient entity manipulating events within the universe. The priests of Clan Brasganu claim that such a power cannot be comprehended as a single creature by our limited minds, so the clan worships a series of aspects that together make up the whole of their deity. The Dragon - The primary aspect of the Fanged God in the eyes of Clan Brasganu, representing the Dark Side’s destructive, violent nature. To wield the Dark Side is, as far as the Brasganu Sith are concerned, to offer your soul up to this entity to be devoured, whether you know it or not. It is a cornerstone of their beliefs that the Dark Side does not grant immortality, for the Dragon forgets no one. All will be burned and devoured in their time. Wounds in the Force are sacred manifestations of the Dragon. It is linked to the emotion of anger and the strengthening of the Dark Side by violent death. The Robed Master - Representing deceit, greed, and ambition, the Robed Master only holds minor roles in the rites of Clan Brasganu. The archetypical Sith outside the clan is usually believed to be under this aspect’s influence whether they know it or not, and the Sith of Clan Brasganu pride themselves on not needing to be lured to the Fanged God by such a being. Despite this, the aspect is still respected, if not trusted, and is revered as the entity who grants Force-sensitivity to those destined to serve the Dark Side. It is linked to the emotion of fear and the addictive nature of the Dark Side. The Maimed Beast - This aspect that represents the maliciousness and perversion of the Dark Side, as it twists what is natural into abominations. It is often portrayed as representing the tenacity of the Dark Side as well, and is invoked in the act of the hunt or in satisfying grudges. Sithspawn are considered to be this aspect in its purest manifestation. It is linked to the emotion of hate and the warping of life by the Dark Side. The Father of Dust - Considered to be the quietest and most passive of the aspects, but also the most insidious, the Father of Dust represents the decaying, withering nature of the Dark Side, along with the inevitable lifelessness that is left in its wake. In rituals it's usually invoked as the inheritor of the universe, the final aspect that eventually consumes the other four, even the great Dragon. Korriban is considered to be particularly aligned with this aspect. It is linked to the sensation of pain and the slow consumption of all things touched by the Dark Side. The Golden Slave - The Golden Slave represents raw power, pure and simple. It's usually linked to one of the other aspects in rituals, and Brasganu Sith often carry small, gilded totems of this figure on their person to pray to when they find their own abilities outmatched. Clan Brasganu oddly enough portrays the Golden Slave as good and even selfless, yet it is always mastered and commanded by the other four aspects of the Fanged God. Through this, the Sith of Clan Brasganu draw parallels to their own compassionate, noble, generous impulses, and how they must master them or else end up a slave to those more worthy of the Fanged God's favor. It is linked to the emotion of joy and the easy strength and power offered by the Dark Side. Rituals and Rites of Clan Brasganu While the worship of the Fanged God involves many occult ceremonies and recitations, there is no real standard across the clan's nomadic fleet. Where one ship might offer a burnt offering to the Fanged God before a battle, another may mark themselves with ink in their own form of dedication. There are, however, a few rituals universal enough to warrant mentioning, even if their specifics may differ ship to ship. Marriage - In contrast to their violent demeanor, the Sith of Clan Brasganu often shock outsiders with the respect and reverence they treat marriage with. To them, marriage is an unbreakable bond to hold to until death, and adulterers are often punished by torture, execution, or both. Those who study Clan Brasganu explain this peculiar quirk by citing their history of generations spent aboard ships, crowded together and isolated for months on end. Maintaining accurate bloodlines would have been a necessity to prevent undesirable mixing, and holding marriage sacred would help prevent fights over love from turning into massacres. Regardless of the original reason, marriage is extremely important to the Brasganu Sith, and only to be undertaken after careful deliberation and the approval of the Master of Hides (see below). Pre-marital relations are allowed, but must not result in children or violent conflict, else all parties are punished. An interesting sidenote, a spouse is the only person permitted to kill a fellow Brasganu Sith outside of a formal duel or official execution. That spouse may never marry again, but no investigation or reprimand is put against them for the murder. This is considered to be Brasganu's way of ensuring spouses retain a healthy respect for the other. Funerals - Perhaps in mockery of the Jedi, or perhaps purely by coincidence, the Brasganu commit their dead to flames. Funeral pyres are traditional across all Brasganu ships, and the act is meant to represent the dead's final consumption by the Dragon. If the Clan cannot retrieve their dead, they will do their best to bombard the battlefield before fleeing in the hope of paying their final respects by destroying the bodies. Barring this, they will return later to scorch the earth as a sign of devotion to the Fanged God. Sacrifice - Not a specific ritual as much as an all-purpose addition for any rite of the Fanged God, Clan Brasganu sees the sacrifice of sentient beings as one of the purest forms of worship. While duels, battle, and other forms of violence have their place, it is the personal and simple act of sacrificing another creature in the Fanged God's name that always finds favor in its eyes. As an act of devotion, it is only surpassed by massacre of such scale that it creates a wound in the Force. Warriors, Assassins, and Sorcerers A casual observer might mistakenly assume Clan Brasganu to purely be a warrior culture. While the way of the blade is honored and respected within the clan, each of three paths of the Sith have their role to play in the Fanged God's service. Warriors carry the purest essence of what Clan Brasganu means, and are deeply respected. Their singular devotion to skill and power in the art of dealing death is as pure a path in the Fanged God's service as any Sith could hope for, and they serve the bizarre role of moral compass for the clan. Assassins are seen as artists, inspired master craftsmen exalting the Fanged God through their subtlety and deception. Whether it's a quiet knife in the back or a decades long plot culminating in a target's "accidental" demise, their work serves as an inspiration to their fellow Sith. Sorcerers are considered the sages of Brasganu, keeping the clan's ancient secrets while also being innovators seeking new ways to bring about death. When an enemy or problem confounds the clan and their traditional methods, it is to the sorcerers and their hidden knowledge that they often turn to for a solution. Avatar of the Fanged God, the Dark Lord of the Sith What might surprise outsiders is that the most important spiritual figure in Clan Brasganu's religion is an outsider themselves. The Dark Lord of the Sith, whoever that might be, is believed by Clan Brasganu to be the chosen vessel of the Fanged God, even if they are unaware of it or vehemently deny it. Legends of the Dark Lord were passed down during their centuries in the Unknown Regions, and the figure has morphed into something holy in their eyes. With the rise of the Sith Empire, Clan Brasganu has taken it upon themselves to serve this figure with all the zeal and devotion they normally reserve for the Fanged God. Specifically, they volunteer to serve as the Dark Lord's butchers, or even as bodyguards if permitted. There is, however, one caveat to this otherwise selfless service. They will never interfere with a legitimate challenge for the title of Dark Lord by another Sith, for it is through tests of power that the Fanged God selects new tools of his will. A member of the clan might even issue the challenge themselves if they feel the current Dark Lord has lost the Fanged God's favor through weakness or disgrace. The Enemy Spoken of only in their most secret rites and sacred texts, the Enemy is the Fanged God's opposite, an unnatural and subtle abomination that promotes stagnation, selflessness, and peace. In the same way that the Fanged God is both the Dark Side incarnate, so is the Enemy reflected in the Light. It is seen as a perversion of the truths the Fanged God embodies, and it seeks to poison the galaxy with its malignant radiance. Referred to as the Winged Goddess in their oldest records, the Sith of Clan Brasganu refer to this ancient rival only as the Enemy when they speak of it at all. Some of them believe that the Enemy and the Fanged God are equal and opposite, destined to fight until one consumes the other. Others believe the Fanged God created the Enemy so that it would have something to fight, as was its nature. Whatever the truth may be, the Sith of Clan Brasganu fear the Enemy more than anything else. They will gladly despoil any manifestation of the Light Side they find through bloodshed and destruction, for to fight the Enemy is as worthy an act of devotion as any battle or slaughter. The Jedi and other wielders of the Light Side of the Force are believed to be the creature's unwitting puppets, and they are to be feared, hated, and killed without hesitation. Only those with the potential to be corrupted and freed from the Enemy's service are to be spared. Roles While the members of Clan Brasganu proudly consider themselves a single group, undivided by the posturing and squabbling of other Sith houses, they are split apart by necessity due to their nomadic, starfaring lifestyle. Each ship in the Brasganu marauding fleet is a community unto itself, and traditional roles have emerged in the crews of each of these ships. Lord-Captain The one whose word is law aboard the ship. The Lord-Captain is master of the ship in the same way that most Sith rule their respective domains: pure power. The Lord-Captain is, by intent, the most powerful Sith aboard, and any Linnorm (see below) aboard the ship may formally challenge them to combat for the right to rule. Aside from this right to challenge, along with a few responsibilities held by other positions, their authority is absolute. They are the only crew member permitted to punish by execution. Master of Hides Serving as the ship's chronicler and keeper of lore, the Master of Hides is unusual among the positions of Clan Brasganu, due to the requirement that they must *not* be Force sensitive. The Master of Hides acts as a sort of officiator for the clan, and is required to approve official challenges to the Lord-Captain's authority as well as approve marriages (as the keeper of bloodline records). By making the position only available to non-Force sensitives, the Master of Hides is outside of the ambitious rank climbing of the Sith. It is also considered one of the highest crimes for anyone outside of the Lord-Captain to harm the Master of Hides. Master of Iron The Lord-Captain's lieutenant, the Master of Iron is responsible for the ship's armory. They issue weapons, oversee the ship's battle-readiness, and manage the drills and training of the Linnorms. It is the Master of Iron's job to ensure that the ship and its crew are ready to fight at a moment's notice. In the event of a Lord-Captain dying outside of a proper challenge, the Master of Iron assumes the role by default, though they can still be challenged for the position. Master of Cloth The Master of Cloth is the spiritual leader of the ship's crew, filling the role of priest and advisor to the Lord-Captain. Expected to be trained in the art of Sith alchemy, they also serve to create or oversee the creation of things such as Sithspawn, Dark Side weapons, toxins, etc. As one who supposedly speaks the will of the Fanged God, the Master of Cloth is both feared and respected. The Linnorms The Linnorms, named after a beast supposedly encountered in the Unknown Regions, are the ship's fighters. While they may hold other positions, they are warriors first and foremost. Any crewmember, Force-sensitive or not, can become a Linnorm under the approval of the Master of Iron. The only requirements are the skill and desire to serve the Fanged God on the battlefield. The Crew Other positions, such as the more traditional roles of navigator, engineer, etc. are also present on a Brasganu ship. These responsibilities are often spread out among the Masters or the Linnorms, though menial crew members can also be selected. Those with no position are the lowest of the clan, existing only to serve their betters.
  11. Space: In the skies above Mon Cal, the battle raged. Jorus stared at the readout, the end already decided. "There's too many of them. We can't hold... What the heck is wrong with those cruisers!?" "Sir...linked ship commanders displaying signs of misconduct and rebellion," the clinical, tinny voice of a medical droid came back over the speakers. "They were not sufficiently conditioned yet for a battle scenario. Further use could see them shutting down or going rogue." All we need. "Order them to-" He paused. A new blip appeared on his screen. Catapulting out of the starfield and dead center into the oncoming enemy wave, the bulky, scarred form of the Black Bracer reappeared. It hurled itself into the fray, short range cannons blaring as shrapnel and blaster fire richochet harmlessly off its shields. "What the... Commander of the Black Bracer! Report!" "Praise be Varaka, it seems your planet is not a lost cause after all." "What are you-" "We're the first commander." A smug, eager tone laced the ship captain's voice. "It seems the Empire will not lose such a prize easily. Through Victory our Chains are Broken!!!" The captain cried as the transmission cut out amidst a storm of blaster fire as the hulking warship careened into enemy lines, heedless of danger. More blips appeared on Jorus' readout. The Sith were coming in force. "Get those cruisers out of here! Don't need them shooting our own!" Jorus grinned, his crooked, yellow smile taking on a malicious edge. "Let's see how these rebels stand up to a real scrap." Heavy Brawler Escort: Hammer and Anvil Assigned PC: Nok Morliss (commanded by NPC Jaden Jorus) Task Force Experience: Veteran, 3XP Bulwark Mark II Black Bracer |20/30| Destroyer Group (Missiles): Focus Fire Assigned PC: Nok Morliss (commanded by NPC Jaden Jorus) Task Force Experience: Veteran, 3XP Captor-class Heavy Munitions Cruiser Moon Beetle |9/9| Captor-class Heavy Munitions Cruiser The Broken Bullet |9/9|
  12. Mythos: As Sabercat Company prepared itself, the quiet of the night was only broken by the distant sounds of battle and the constant, distant thunder of the sea. For millennia, the waves had pounded against the edges of this city, the reassuring heartbeat of a mother to its child. Even now, in the chaos and corruption that spread across the once pristine world, that heartbeat remained as steady as ever. And then, faintly, a new sound crept in. It was so faint, it might have been mistaken for a tired soldier's ears playing tricks on them, if it had not grown louder with each passing moment. Footsteps. Thousands of them. Then the screams joined them, as the encroaching horde found the homeless and the unlucky civilians caught outdoors. The sound grew and grew, swelling from a faint whisper to a thundering roar that seemed unbelieavable. Wet snarls and broken shrieks became audible, punctuating the advance of the hungry dead. Then they came into view. Spread out at the city's edge, they'd been packed tighter and tighter as they caromed and careened down main roads and back alleys, heedless of one another, only focused on satisfying their hunger with the warmth and life that lay just out of reach. Now, they were a mob of limbs and flesh and bone and brine, dripping slime and seawater from grasping hands and teeth. The Sabercats were the first to see them. All across the city, the undead howled in primal hunger and triumph as they broke into full sprints towards their prey. HC-42: Ordered to withdraw and fortify, the few remaining Deepguard within the facility had barricaded themselves in conference rooms and stock bays. The workers, exhausted but confused, milled about, having been disciplined too many times to not feel trepidation at the idea of stepping out of line. Their overseers had fled at the first sign of battle, but the assembly operators and machinists had been left uninformed, continuing their work in absence of direct orders not to. Then, the first worker, a quarren who'd headed up the local union before the Sith takeover, stepped out of the assembly hangar. No reprisal came. No alarm sounded, no pounding metal feet echoed through the hallways as Deepguard came to take him away. Nothing happened at all. Then another left his post. Then another, and another. Fear turned to hope, and in a mass exodus the workers ran from their stations, carrying spanners, welders, and other power tools as they made their way towards the loading docks. Seeing the droid and his companions barricading the entrance and fighting against...something...outside made the mob stop. A whisper started up amongst the crowd. "Rebels?" "..the rebellion..." "...save us..." "...here for us... "...the Rebel Alliance..." The whispers turned hopeful, even as the quarren ringleader stepped forward, cautiously. He looked straight at HC-42. "Do you fight for the Sith?" Rose, Inmortos, (and general): Apothos' mind was entrenched in streams of data and code, his thoughts mingling with the signals sent and received from his impromptu relay. A spiteful, childish joy surged within him as the droids barricaded in houses and businesses reported the undead passing through the streets, drawn towards those who dared invade his city. Die in the cold and dark, you insignificant- A wave struck him. A thrum like a god striking a great drum, it resonated through him, tearing him out of his rapport with the Deepguard network. Nothing so crude as sound or physical force, this resonation came from the Dark Side itself. He'd felt this before. Deep beneath this very city. It was the echo of a death. He struggled and scrabbled to grasp the elusive, already fading sensation, but he understood enough to recognize that, like before, this echo came from a death that had not happened yet. But this was different. The last time he'd felt this, it had come as many had died almost simultaneously. Now, it was more...focused. It had more depth, more weight. He followed the path of the echo, and it led to the center of the maelstrom that froze the air and churned the Dark Side. Inmortos. He was sensing the death of Inmortos. Or...was he? This echo felt tremulous, not like the clear, clarion call of mass death he'd felt once before, as if the premonition itself was hesitant. No matter. Inmortos guarded Apothos' city. His shambling dead and freezing storm punished the presumptions of these invaders. Apothos would not lose such an asset now. Even as he thought it, missiles detonated and destroyed anti-aircraft emplacements, drawing Apothos' attention to the Basilisks weaving through the air. Then the lead Basilisk, the one bearing the rider who had projected such presence before, turned and fired at the heart of the storm. Apothos, unable to reach that far with any real influence from the top of the palace, could only watch as Inmortos defended himself, sending the missiles careening to detonate off-target. The building collapsed, but Inmortos was not dead. Even so, the echo pulsed again, clearer this time. The moment of Inmortos' possible death approached. Whether the premonition was right or wrong, Apothos could not afford to chance it, not with the necromancer being the one to control those things running through his city. Apothos extended his mind, searching for any tool that might serve his purposes, any mechanism that would accept his will and mechu-deru. He found The Iron Howlrunner, hovering several levels below where he'd left it. His mind slid easily into the Baudo-class Star Yacht, the vessel molding easily to the desires of its master. With a thought, it turned and flew off into the night, towards the collapsed warehouse and the still living Inmortos. With a device so attuned to him, so lacking in resistance, and with the air so saturated with the malevolence of Inmortos' storm, Apothos could control the ship even at this great a distance. The ship's sensors swept as it approached the necromancer, and Apothos started to give the command for the ship to slow and land, that it might pick up his fellow Krath and spirit him to safety. Then it detected another Basilisk on an attack run. Apothos commanded the ship to accelerate. Bombs dropped, unguided devices plummeting for the warehouse. The Iron Howlrunner screamed as its thruster shot it across the night sky. With a resounding series of booms, the ship and the bombs collided in mid-air. A brilliant, orange fireball erupted in the air over the destroyed warehouse, the sheer heat of the explosion briefly driving away the chill from the streets around it. A mass of blackened, twisted wreckage fell from the blast, the remains of Apothos' once extravagant ship now a meteor that crashed hundreds of meters away, gouging a furrow through buildings and streets before exploding in one final, terrible inferno. Apothos rage, primal and endless in the throes of the Dark Side, took on a petulant edge. I just got that ship.
  13. 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.
  14. 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."
  15. 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?"
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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."
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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