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Glory Bound

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  1. ((Exodus)) As the dust cleared and the grisly sight of the Dark Lord dragging the corpse of Skon behind him came into clearer view from the mouth of the cave, shocked gasps and soft cries of anguish reverberated through the assembly of Glory Bound troops. One of the greener men even tried raising his blaster, but was quickly held back and restrained by one of the higher ranking troops. One of the Glory Bound Captains stepped forward, meeting Exodus as he reached the cave, hands clearly away from his weapons. "We heard Skon's gambit. The Glory Bound is yours. Kill us or command us, our lives are yours now. We follow the banner of strength, as our fathers before us." With a simple hand signal, several of the other troops began radioing the satellite units, notifying them of what had happened. Slowly, many of the groups began to stand down and surrender to nearby Sith units, though there were still some deserters who would rather suffer dishonor in cowardice than death befitting that of a true Mandalorian. The leader spoke once more, lower, cocking his helmet, wondering what this Sith knew of their ways, if he knew what exactly he had inherited. "We are capable, but dishonored, exiled. Every last man here seeks to reclaim that honor through combat or death in combat. As Death Watch, we are already considered dead among our own kind, until we become so. Do you understand?" The tone wasn't mocking or sarcastic, in fact there was a slight undertone of fear behind the indomitable wall of acceptance, it was clear this man had seen his fair share of death, and though everyone feared the unknown he was clearly one who no longer cared whether he met his end now or in several years. He simply wanted to ensure the Sith understood the bare minimums of their culture before jumping to conclusions over how to deal with them. ---------------------------------------------------------------- ((Delta/Jax/Nyrys)) There was a lull in the battle outside as many of the Basilisks stopped firing, retreating to a safe distance before broadcasting a general surrender message. A few chose to keep fighting, the Captain of Dread company among them, but these few men were quickly overwhelmed with fire when their numbers sharply dwindled. Inside the museum, the Mandalorians in the Force exhibit dropped whatever they had come for, radioing for an extract while relaying the same surrender message and broadcasting their location. A message was sent to Jax's commlink from the same Sith office that had contracted him, notifying him that a sizable sum of credits, well over what he'd expected, had been transferred into his account as it appeared he'd had a hand in securing a major target of opportunity. He was also offered one of the nearby Mandalorian basilisks as a war trophy, if he so desired. The resistance the Sith had encountered on Coruscant was crumbling, the Glory Bound having been the clear lynchpin holding much of it together despite the overwhelming forces the Sith had brought to bear. There would still be pockets of criminals resistant to the imposed will of the Sith here and there, but with time they would have no choice but to flee or be stamped out. As the guns began to fall silent across the planet, one thing was clear: the Sith had taken Coruscant.
  2. ((Exodus)) The wind softly carried the dust from the latest impacts across the battlefield, reducing visibility in pockets. Skon was alert, but the fact was there were simply too many angles for his foe to attack him from. Still, he relished the moment, enjoying himself before finishing things. If he could finish things. That niggling doubt in the back of his mind was still there, and try as he might through remembering who he was and what he knew the Sith to be, he could not uproot the whispers. They had been his friend in the dark sanctum, his ally, but here? They egged him on, but disparaged him in the same breath. There was an undertone of unbridled rage building underneath his exterior combat calm, fueled by the frustration that quiet doubt had sown. “.. Unlike me you say? What do you know of the King of the Sith?” Echoes masked the source of the voice and subsequent laughter, echoes reflecting off of the hull of a crashed starship here, or a crater there...it didn't make sense for there to be echoes, and yet even after it died out, the laughter continued in Skon's head. He turned once more around a jutting piece of durasteel scrap, hoping to surprise his prey, but the whisper in his ear took him by surprise instead. “Behind you.” But as Skon whirled, the supposed King of the Sith was not in front of him, but above, his reaction time cut short. Skon barely managed to throw up an arm to block the kick, some of the impact still striking true on his ear and sent him stumbling. The Dark one quickly took advantage of the opening he'd created, now pressing the advantage with strength and speed that Skon had only observed from the toughest of his prey. But who was the prey here? Was this man really the leader of the Sith? How could one of their kind manage such ferocity... "The cries of the scared lamb are the sweetest upon the altar..." It was a line he'd heard before from the whispers, one he'd thought at the time meant to signify a prophecy of his rising. He had been promised so much, and yet...now he was abandoned. The Sith pressed forward, dancing through the unarmed combat effortlessly like a sick game of Dejarik, always several moves ahead. This was not the man he'd walked out of the cave with, this was his true, terrible real self. The mask was off, and Skon saw into the eyes of Death. Adrenaline pumped through him like a jolt of lightning, but this time instead of thrill of the fight and hunt it was out of raw fear. Every misstep he made was taken advantage of, costing him over the next few minutes a cracked rib, a swollen eye with a potentially broken orbital socket, and a viciously painful strike to his shoulder which had nearly rendered the arm useless. Skon fought now out of a primal urge to survive, to simply make it out alive, retreating as he could, but unable to find a clear opening. Finally he stopped, stumbling back and falling to one knee, looking up with pleading eyes that asked the only question that mattered: how? "I don't...understand...I was meant to...to be..." ((Duel conceded, well fought! Finish it.))
  3. ((Exodus)) Skon had started off easy, a few simple combinations of punches and jabs that even the greenest of his troops could defend against, but Skon moved through them with incredible fluidity and speed. The entire point was to attempt to throw this Sith off balance, to remove whatever haughty confidence that had been falsely built up by their over-reliance on some pithy space magic. They didn't deserve it, none of them did, sitting on their thrones from on high, looking down from ebony towers with their crimson gazes as if all others were beneath them. Skon hadn't bought it for a single minute since he'd heard of their rise to power. Paper tigers, the lot of them. But now he had the chance to claim this power. It had to be here. He knew it had to be here, a means to use this power to set things right, to claim the true mantle of strength that these pretenders had only played at. He would show the galaxy the true meaning of what it meant to be Mandalorian, he would foster the strong and crush the weak. "What of your gift, Arkab? Ssss-hehehe. What of the artifact we found?" And what of it? Sure, his rise would also be artificial of a sorts, but he had claimed it by showing true strength. He wasn't born with the innate gift, with a silver spoon in his mouth, he'd had to fight and claw and earn every last bit of standing and respect he'd come by, especially after his clan had discredited and dishonored him. All he had left was the Glory Bound, but if anything, that was only a tougher arena that he'd still come out on top of. It took brawn and brains to command these men, to be able to order them to their deaths and have them simply salute and carry out their orders was a feat very few could achieve. Skon changed up his fighting style a bit, testing his opponent's defenses, throwing several more unorthodox blows and combinations. The Sith was physically strong, and though he took a few blows, it looked like he knew how, turning at the last moment to deflect most of the impact. So he'd probably had a few rounds in a fighting pit before. Big deal. Skon had taken down bigger, stronger, and faster opponents. Combat was just as much tactics as it was physical prowess. "Without it, you are nothing. Isn't this why you are here? You struggle because you are weak. This is your shortcut. You know what you found inside, it is dark there, it is warmth. It is your only hope, because you are weak, but it is not yours. Poor Vadmir, do you know what this one made him do? What he--This one is trouble, this one is stronger than you know. He is pretending, you should.. run." Vadmir? Skon hesitated for the briefest of moments, almost opening himself up to a counterattack, but ducking at the last second. Why had his thoughts drifted to Vadmir? These thoughts...were they even his? Was this the power of the Sith, insight and knowledge beyond knowledge? It only strengthened his resolve, his ferocity. Skon needed to have it at any cost. But when the whispers told him to run... "Skon, of nothing and no glory. Is this all you have?" Something impacted the ground next to them, narrowly missing the two men. A pebble, having fallen from impossible heights. Skon risked looking upwards, but was quickly rewarded. Had he not looked, Skon likely would not have had time to move from a veritable hailstorm of moonfall coming down on top of them. Like a terrible dust cloud descending rapidly on them, his only recourse was to flee deeper into the moonfall fields, where cover was scarce. Skon knew if either of them tried to flee back to the safety of the caves, his men would kill them for cowardice. So, he ran. Thunder crackled and boomed overhead as lightning strobed the area, a common sight in the moonfall fields for the same reasons it tended to happen during rainstorms. Skon could hear the loud pitter-patter of the rubble falling behind him, slowly beginning to blanket the area in more small meteor strikes. He didn't check to see if the Sith had followed, but they would likely have been separated anyways due to the poor footing the chaos of the moonfall fields offered. Quick movement was possible, accurate movement was possible, but in the rougher impact pock-marked terrain like this both at once were unlikely. After a bit, Skon could hear the debris strikes lessening in volume, knowing he'd mostly made it out of the pocket that had fallen on them. He stopped and scanned his surroundings, ever on guard for an unexpected attack. He called out a reply, a taunt, hoping to get under the skin of this Sith, to make him reveal himself. "You know nothing of what I have, and unlike you everything I do have I've fought for. I wouldn't expect you to understand the life of a Mandalorian, where every day we fight or we die! Our struggle is our life! Tell me of the struggles you've faced that your precious Force hasn't coddled you out of, or are you just learning of them? I'd happily teach you some more..." The thoughts in the back of his head still whispered in his madness, still warning him of something, but that something had still not presented itself yet. His intuition as a warrior told him to stand his ground, and that's what he did. ((2))
  4. ((Delta)) ((RTB - return to base)) After several minutes, Delta's comms crackled back to life. "Lima One Command, this is Hellkite Actual. Use of heavy ordinance has been denied. The structure is deemed a priority capture. Seems the bigwigs want it intact for something. But good news, it's no longer your problem. Command wants you to regroup to rally point four-seven-tango and exfil. Spider Actual has taken the field and intel suggests that the resistance guarding your former objective should soon not be a problem." A small video feed from orbital cameras on one of the Star Destroyers was pushed across the comm line, tracking the Dark Lord as he landed at a cavern structure several kilometers across the moonfall fields from Delta's position, with absolute chaos breaking out shortly after. "Command is authorizing RTB for your unit at this time due to casualties, but you're more than welcome to request additional objectives. Hellkite Actual out." The comm was cut, but the video feed was still pushed, allowing Delta to kill it manually if he still wished to watch. According to access records, it was currently being broadcast to several units across the fleet via the secured comm traffic, pushing the war footage as propaganda to encourage the Sith troops. It wasn't often the Dark Lord took to open combat, but when the time came it was often awe-inspiring and ideal material to inspire esprit-de-corps and morale. And that was that. All the bloodshed, all the fighting, for nothing. Rina had thrown her own life and the lives of her squad away over nothing. But, that was how things went. War was ugly. People died needlessly. And yet, the galaxy continued to spin, unmoved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ((Exodus)) A vile grin crept across Arkab Skon's face as this Sith began doffing his armor. He could have his men open fire, right now, and end this threat. For a long second, the thought hung in his thoughts. In the end, though, it was his own logic that won out on him. His men wouldn't respect him, he would face threats to his leadership from inside, and eventually another would replace him. No, true power was earned, and Skon had won his right to earn it. He quickly began to shed his own vestments, eliciting hushed gasps from those nearest him as he removed his helmet, revealing a sickly pale skin with yellowed eyes and sores forming on his hairline. Few had seen him without his helmet before then, for many Mandalorians it was a grave dishonor, but as Death Watch their dishonor already marked them as dead. What was more dishonor if gaining back all he had lost was on the line? Skon ignored his men's reactions, writing them off as simply shock over willingly accepting that dishonor. "Not here." Skon pointed, over the shoulder of the Sith. "Out there. This is beyond the struggle of two men. This is fate. Fate should have her place in our contest." As soon as he finished, a particularly large chunk of moonfall crashed to the ground nearby, like an enormous mortar round with no explosion, only a large thump. Even the smallest pebble was enough to end either one of them if it struck in the right spot, acting like a bullet that fell from heaven itself. One of his men started to step forward, hoping to talk some sense into the leader of the Glory Bound, but Skon simply took the man's sidearm from its holster and shot him in his gut. Nothing and nobody would stop him from claiming his prize. As Skon walked past the Sith, it was clear in his eyes what kind of sheer madness had taken hold of him, Skon had been infested by the Dark Side, and he would stop at nothing to see this interloper dead. But as he led the Sith outside the perimeter of safety the cavern provided, he dropped low, lashing out in a reverse leg sweep before turning to attack his opponent more aggressively. These Mandalorians had a code of honor, but that code didn't always include fighting fairly. It did include survival at all costs. ((1))
  5. ((Delta)) Throgun was the first to fall. Of course he was, he was the largest threat. For an ambush, the Sith troopers were remarkably well trained, and though Throgun took out his share with his heavy repeating blaster before going down, there was no chance of completely catching the entire unit off guard to the point to ensure a clean kill. Chun was hit twice, first in the arm, then a lucky shot caught him in the gut. Chun was always tough, though, and continued to lay down fire even as he tried to kick himself backwards into cover. A well placed grenade made sure he never got the chance. Remar faced his own death with pride, charging the troops, and while he was certain several of his shots hit, he was dead before he hit the ground, concentrated fire chewing through his body glove in the parts his armor didn't cover. The fire stopped, the dust and smoke began to clear, and Remar's last laugh was made readily apparent. He'd collapsed the entrance to the tunnel just as they began firing, hopefully stalling the Sith. It was all he could do. The Sith would push forward, inexorable, inevitable. He would see his brothers and sisters soon. In the power substation, Nolo's group was still under the impression that they were still needed to provide power to Arkab's shields. Where Nolo had hoped Remar's team would ferret out a win, now the best he and the remaining Glory Bound could hope for was a stalemate. Each of the ten remaining Mandalorians made their peace, and readied themselves for war. ---------------------------------------------------------------- ((Exodus)) "You vain, arrogant animal!!" Skon's voice boomed through the tunnel, amplified by his suit. As the mists crept in and the shields fell, the chaos in his troops turned more to order as they regrouped in a retreat, moving back to more fortified positions. There was no immediate counterattack, though, a hesitation swept across the cavern as the leader of the Glory Bound took the field. Skon's armor was decorated now with trinkets and cloth taken from Ar-Pharazon's sanctum, as well as with blood of the fallen painted in shapes and runes. Skon walked closer, wielding a large shield of Mandalorian iron and a Sith sword, also pilfered from the Temple. Again, he spoke, his voice resonating clearly. "Your sheer hubris is astounding, that you would dare call yourself Sith. You think yourself better than us because you won some twisted genetic lottery? Because of some invisible wizardry inaccessible to the majority of the galaxy's population? Without it, you're nothing. We are the true warriors, our entire life being a struggle to survive and thrive, each day fighting to lay claim to the right to continue on to tomorrow. You took shortcuts, your ego growing fat while it rested on the laurels of your gift, a gift wasted." Skon threw the sword downward, burying it between them in the dirt of the cavern floor. "I challenge you, Sith. The true test of the warrior. No armor, no weapons, to the death. You can kill us all, slaughter as many as you please, but you will never gain true respect unless you can back up your overblown powers with a true warrior's prowess. You will always life in the shadow of fear, using it as a whip to maintain order while always wondering where the next dagger will come from out of the dark. But here, now, I offer you the chance to move past that. Kill me, and my men will offer no resistance. Claim leadership over them or sacrifice them, their lives are yours. But we all know that won't happen." Skon gestured out of the cavern to the moonfall fields as his men finished digging into their positions, firing up the remaining E-Web on standby should the Sith disagree. "Shall we?" ---------------------------------------------------------------- ((Jax/Nyrys)) The ambush was swift and silent. The first Mandalorian's head was neatly separated from his shoulders and was sailing across the room before he knew what hit him. The second one was similar, managing a stifled scream before the Darktroopers swiftly moved in, surgically striking key parts with their vibroblades. Scar stood from the corpse, slinging the blood on the floor. "It was fortunate this time that we managed to take them off guard. We will likely not get the chance again. Lady Nyrys is approaching. Transferring command functionality." As Nyrys approached, Scar quickly filled her in on the situation inside the museum, indicating where the rest of the hostile scout troops were inside the museum. In space, the Sith taking the Mandalorian ship found little resistance. The Mandalorians had turned rather savage, many of them catatonically fulfilling crew functions, while others that provided actual resistance had simply abandoned their weapons to favor ferally charging at the boarding parties. On the bridge in the exact middle of the room on the floor sat a bronze medallion etched in Sith runes. Soft whispers drifted across the ears of those who entered, pleading with them to protect it, though whatever "it" was wasn't readily apparent.
  6. ((The timing on this is all too good to pass up. I'm weaving the narration together a bit here just to emphasize the cymbal crash that each of these is meant to represent. If further clarification is needed, I will provide it, or if necessary rewrite it.)) ((Exodus)) At the words of this man, Vadmir froze. By himself, he didn't look like much compared to the firepower the Mandalorians had assembled here, and Vadmir had complete trust and faith in his brothers and sisters. Why, then, was he paralyzed with fear? The all-encompassing despair that this would be the final resting place of the Glory Bound? All of them were criminals to their own culture, but here they were united in singular purpose: to regain their honor. Death in combat was honorable, but it did little to further their way of life. Vadmir knew they were often utilized as disposable soldiers because of this, but this feeling made him feel as if no amount of effort was worth anything. It was as if this man knew something he didn't...whatever Arkab was up to? Had he doomed them all in his ignorance? As these thoughts washed over him like a gentle waterfall downstream from a toxic waste dump, another of the guards nearby at the sabacc game took notice at his posture, leaving the game to come check on him. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ((Delta)) Ah. And there it was, just as Rina had suspected, the claim to be Mandalorian and the refutation in the same breath. This man knew Mando'a, he may have loosely known some Mandalorian people, but it was clear he didn't understand her culture or values at all. If there was one thing that defined a Mandalorian warrior, it was pride. Even in her shame as one of the Death's Watch, she had not chosen to forsake her heritage and leave the clans altogether, she held true to her faith and beliefs and wanted more than anything else acceptance from her old friends and family. Earning that in death was often seen as a last resort, but one that the Glory Bound took seriously. <"And the cruelty of the Sith emerges. Do you seriously expect me to just surrender to the likes of you? If you truly knew us, knew our lives, our culture, you would not disrespect me with these offers of false surrender. You just don't get it, and you may never. But maybe I can help things along."> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ((Exodus)) As Corran slowly approached Vadmir, he noticed the younger soldier slightly shaking, completely transfixed on something. What? A fleet of Star Destroyers in the distance? Some terrible war machine? Corran began to circle to his side in his approach, scanning the horizon but seeing nothing. Something began to churn in Corran's stomach, though, a bad feeling he couldn't kick. It was when his gaze turned back to the younger warrior he finally saw him, and his stomach dropped. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ((Delta)) There may have been some realization, some dilation of the pupils behind his helmet as Rina dropped down to a crouch, recoiling her legs to hurl herself at the nearest Ishi Tib marine, sending them both sailing towards the exact spot she'd aimed for. Behind his cover, watching things, Remar's stomach sank. He had silently hoped and prayed, but oftentimes gods simply just don't give you what you ask for. He watched her fall, the memory etching itself into his mind in slow motion as he knew this was the end. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ((Exodus)) Spast! Where had this one come from? Corran's reflexes shot through him like lightning seeking ground, immediately going for his blaster, his actions noticed by several of the rest at the card table. This was it. This was where it all came together or fell apart, and as the strings of fate began to unravel with every microsecond it became clearer they were headed for the latter. They were proud warriors, sure, but this was war, and war is ugly. As Corran inhaled deep, in the very recesses of his subconscious there was a small voice softly telling him they were in for a reminder of just how ugly things would get. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ((Delta)) As Rina fell, she made it a point to keep her eyes on the Sith commander. She wasn't sure why...pride, defiance, these were to be expected. However, she also felt regret. Things could have been different. In another universe, they could have been different people. Friends, even. But war and fighting were inevitable, the results of biological nature and games of kings and kingdoms. People died every day. Few truly lived, and fewer still found redemption in their death. Rina had claim to both. As they landed square on the tripwire, an enormous explosion rocked both of them, shredding both of them almost instantly. There was a feeling of blinding pain and then...nothing. For the rest, however, the gates of hell had opened. Shrapnel from the blast tore towards several other unprotected soldiers, and the three hidden Mandalorians burst from their hiding places, lighting up targets of opportunity with heavy repeating blaster fire, two grenades from Remar, and blaster fire. The element of surprise was thin, but they would use it until they failed. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ((Exodus)) Corran yelled a general alarm, causing the rest to scramble for battle positions. Two or three Mandalorians stopped as they saw the man outside the shield, not realizing who he was. Corran was smart enough to understand this man was a Sith, an individual who represented incredible danger by themselves, but the other greenhorns began to question his warning. Slowly, Vadmir turned, taking off his helmet, revealing a face that was red from tears and anxiety. The very act unnerved his brothers, as freely removing one's helmet was tantamount to sacrilege among their people. His voice was soft, but they all heard it. "We're all dead anyways." It was only then that they noticed the thermal detonator he'd been holding, as he made a beeline sprint for the shield emitters. He would give his brothers their honor back. This was the way. The only way. The detonation rocked the cavern with a bass thud, the confined nuclear blast completely atomizing Vadmir and most of the emitter array, immediately causing the shields to fail. And for the rest of the Mandalorians, the gates of hell opened. War was ugly. And it was long past due for it to rear its ugly head.
  7. ((Jax/Nyrys - as SC-4R)) Scar moved quickly and surprisingly quietly for a lumbering war droid, the droids being well adapted to all battlefield conditions including stealth to maintain the element of surprise. "Our primary mission is to secure the location from further damage both to the structure and the artifacts within. The Mandalorian insurgents seem to be after something specific, else they would have never employed these tactics. We must deny them their goal." Suddenly, Scar stopped, holding out an arm to stop Jax as well. The four melee variants also froze, choosing to hide behind various points in order to stage an effective ambush. Scar's volume adjusted down very low, as he began to do the same, gesturing for Jax to follow. "Two of them, just ahead. Their path has changed. Forty five seconds to intercept. We will eliminate them and continue on. Ready yourself." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ((Exodus)) For nearly two days, nothing had happened. It didn't sit well with Vadmir, he was hoping to join his brothers and sisters in battle, yet here he was, assigned to gate guard duty. Vadmir had no idea why Skon wanted this place locked down so tightly or what even lay at the back end of the cavern, most of the troops reinforcing the location had been restricted to the far end, having set up two E-Web emplacements and the ray shields which finally came online a few hours ago. If the entire Sith fleet had come knocking, Vadmir doubted they'd be able to get through easily, as the emitters were tied directly into what remained of the planetary power grid. They'd have an easier time blasting through the rock directly, but Skon seemed convinced that wouldn't happen. As he looked across the lunar impact fields for what felt like the millionth time, he knew in his gut that he was truly bored. There wasn't much honor in this, though he knew that his job was somewhat meagerly important. In an hour or so it would be time for Breyk's shift, and he could resume playing sabacc with the others and taking their money. But for now, the moonfall did have the capacity to entrance and dazzle. It was a spectacle unlike any other, and Vadmir knew that he'd never see anything like it ever again. One piece of falling debris caught his attention, though, moving at a different angle from the rest. It was small, but angled shallowly and as it got bigger Vadmir realized it would impact very near by, if not on the shield itself. He debated calling out for the others to watch the spectacle, but decided not to simply because he wanted them to be surprised. Most of them were jerks anyways, and likely would have done the same to him. Besides, they could watch his helmet cam footage later. Closer, closer...whatever it was seemed to have some kind of cloth attached to it, catching the wind and billowing behind it. It flew with enormous speed, impacting right outside the shields with a loud thud and kicking up enough dust that Vadmir couldn't immediately tell what it was. But as the dust began to clear, Vadmir thought he saw the silhouette of a person. Impossible. It took a half second for his senses to confirm, his pupils dilating wide under his helmet, and a cold sweat forming on his brow. This person, whoever they were, defied everything Vadmir had known to be real. There were whispers he'd heard of space wizards among the Sith, powerful beings that could warp reality with their minds, but Vadmir had always shrugged it off as nonsense. Regardless, the man represented a clear threat. He took a deep breath, ready to yell out a general warning to his brethren, but deep in the recesses of his mind he knew it was far too late for that. One thing was for sure, he'd never see another thing like the moonfall ever again.
  8. ((Exodus)) A perverse joy ran through the mouthpiece's vile body as the Anzat's appendages thrust into his cranial cavity. His body twitched and jerked as knowledge and life essence were ripped from him, but the servant was merely happy he could be of use for one final time, that he had earned the forgiveness of the most Unholy One. Thoughts fluttered before his eyes, and that of the Spider, of the entire life the vile wretch had lived. Brell Bjornsen had been his name before he was selected as a boy, tempted and lulled by the sweet words of Ar-Pharazon even as his parents were cut down like common chattel. The tortures and trials he'd endured were brutal, rituals that the Dark Lord would know served no purpose other than to merely amuse Ar-Pharazon. Brell had even forgotten his own name, committed fully to his purpose, lacking the perspective of the truth until this very moment. Still, as he began to slump in the grasp of the Spider, he clung to the idea that he'd still served a greater purpose, that he was more than a mere pawn on the chessboard that was Sith intergalactic politics. But no. As his mind intertwined and was consumed by Exodus's own, Brell saw very clearly the truth of things, having been lied to by the Sith, having served as a meaningless puppet. No grand afterlife awaited him, no riches or women or lavish accoutrements, simply the terrors that lurked in the Darkness. Putrid tentacles snaked from nothingness in Brell's mind's eye, entangling his soul and fueling the rot within. Or was it simply always this ensnared by the shadow? As he sank further into the abyss, all he could see was the laughing face of Ar-Pharazon the Great, chuckling with glee over this final betrayal, the knowledge that his eternal damnation only went to serve the Sith, and nobody else. He had given all, and was repaid only in agony. He was nothing, and would be forgotten, and moreover he had given himself to it willingly under false pretenses. This was the power of the terrible manipulations of the Sith: that only at the end was one's true role revealed, and that it was often far less than one thought. But as the only way to truly gain this knowledge was to die, it was an easily maintained secret. The mouthpiece's corpse hung from its skull as Exodus gripped it, limp and lifeless. The Dark Lord had gained the knowledge he needed, the exact location and situation, as well as glimpses of the forces that had initially taken the place. A name whispered softly in the wretch's soup: Arkab Skon, leader of this so-called Glory Bound group of Mandalorian interlopers, a man who had taken quite a liking to a particular Sith artifact found within the temple, an artifact the mouthpiece had knowledge of...
  9. ((Jax/Nyrys - as Glory Bound)) The fight wasn't going as Drom expected. They'd lost two Basilisks in the initial salvo of missiles, but his men were more than competent enough to return fire while they evaded, the concentrated formation of Dark Troopers taking their fair (or perhaps even unfair) share of casualties. Regardless, it had turned into a hit-and-run guerilla skirmish, with the Mandalorians owning the sky and the Dark Troopers having rapidly scattered and digging into positions with cover and advantageous firing angles. Two more basilisks down, but twice as many Dark Troopers turned into smoking circuitry. Luckily, Dread Company didn't need to annihilate their enemy, only secure the asset and exfil, else the collateral damage would likely have been much higher. Still, it wasn't like they wouldn't wear their assumed victory with pride even if that were the case... Meanwhile in the museum, one of the Mando teams finally found the museum wing hosting the Mystical Artifacts exhibit. The other teams began to rendezvous toward that point as the initial team began their sweep, looking for the specific medallion that Arkab Skon had described. This made their search go slower than expected, as unfortunately there were two walls of various medallions to pour over and compare to the various features they were told to look for. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ((Jax/Nyrys - as SC-4R, NPC posted with permission)) The Special operations Command unit Dark Trooper, designation SC-4R, quickly entered the museum as it was directed by Darth Nyrys. It was accompanied by four other melee variant Dark Troopers, They were meant to reinforce the asset inside the museum and secure the facility, with a secondary objective of denying the Mandalorians ground and property. It did not take long for the Dark Troopers to find Jax, and SC-4R stopped when they reached him while the other four troopers continued on, audio sensors having pinged movement deeper into the museum. "Bounty Hunter Jax Rymeeter. I am designation SC-4R, you may address me as 'Scar'. There are hostiles in this building that require neutralization. You will assist. Minimal damage to property is required for this task. This way." SC-4R pointed down a hallway, leading Jax deeper into the maze-like museum. ((I'm leaving it up to you whether you want to encounter and fight one of the squads on the way to the exhibit described above, or just get to the exhibit and start a fight.)) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ((Delta)) Rina scoffed at the man's words. Easy lies from another Sith. She stopped them for the next trap, a pressure plate trigger buried under some dirt and rocks marked by an odd "Y" shape from nearby pebbles. At this rate, her men would have plenty of time to properly ambush his forces, and she seemed to be in no danger. <"The Sith have said as much many times before. Actions speak louder than words. You offer no proof, no guarantee, and many times the Sith have simply slaughtered those who have surrendered to them. What makes this any different? You should just give me an honorable death instead of trying to string along my hopes with easily spun lies."> Meanwhile, nearly three hundred metres ahead of Delta's team, Remar and his two men had backtracked from setting up their traps and had set up an ambush in the underground apartment complex the cave network wound through, hiding themselves behind sensor resistant debris and waiting for the right moment for the enemy forces to pass them so they could assault from the flank for a few easy kills. They would likely die this day, but they would die in the glory of Kad Ha'rangir, regaining their honor in battle.
  10. ((Delta73)) This commando knew his stuff. Rina was mildly impressed, but still belligerent. Still, it made her think. The stories she'd been told about the Sith made them all out to be monsters, to the point where she expected him to use his men as living land mine detectors. None of what the Glory Bound had done had really made sense after they'd gotten to Coruscant, and Rina was one of the few who had noticed. Every one of the troops under Skon's command were either too afraid of reprisal to say it, or completely oblivious because of the chance to jump at combat. None of this made any tactical sense to her, and she had a head for tactics. Speaking of tactics, she also knew that every second she could give her comrades was another second they had to reinforce positions and ready themselves for battle. Every second counted in a war zone. He kept walking her down the tunnel, and her mind raced as she scanned the environment. A pang of alarm ran through her body as she saw the first marker, wires hanging from the wall, the ends of two of them tied in a square knot. To the untrained eye, it was very hard to spot features like this made from the surroundings, but Rina had trained well with her unit and knew all the signals they would use. Every step forward her thoughts raced faster and faster, contemplating sacrificing herself to take out this commander and some of his guards. But when the breaking point came... "Stop." He kept pushing for another half second, and she pressed back hard on the pressure he was putting into her back. "Stop. Tripwire mine in the doorway. We use near monofilament wires so they're hard to see. You'll need a plasma torch or something that can cut with heat to disarm it. Having all your men try to step over it is impractical and one of them is likely to set it off." There. That would buy some time. In Mando'a, she talked to him again, questioning his motives. <"So tell me. Why have the Sith come to Coruscant? Laying waste to the remnants?"> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ((Jax)) Dread company's commander laughed at the comm transmission before jamming the channel with more loud music. If this bounty hunter thought he wasn't a valid target in a war zone, he had another thing coming. Meanwhile, the teams in the museum kept winding further through the expansive building, nearing the item they needed to claim. Outside, there was blaster fire and screaming, and of course blaring loud music, as the troops of Dread company began to lay waste to the Dark troopers still out in the open. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ((Exodus)) ((By the way, the Temple in this plot was an underground structure, hidden away for years from both most of the Sith who came to Coruscant and also especially against the Jedi or any other organizations that had controlled the planet. It was not the typical old Sith temple that has been used in the past, I came up with this location when I wrote the plot specifically for use only in this scenario. It had a secret entrance, but that entrance was destroyed and is moot in the aftermath of the moon impact. Instead, a large cavernous hole in the cliff face of a tectonic upheaval from the impact now leads to the Temple, which was what the Glory Bound found. This cavern in a cliff face is also located in the more dangerous parts of the moon fall fields.)) A single being saw the Dark One and exited the building, moving to greet him. There were a mere handful of others left, but this one was distinctly different from other typical Sith acolytes. This servant was once groomed to serve as a mouthpiece for Ar-Pharazon, and had long ago been intentionally disfigured into this role. He wore a helmet that was fused to his skull, revealing nothing but a mouth that was withered and filled with yellowed and rotting teeth. He cowered as the Dark Lord approached, seeing his terrible magnificence through the Force and knowing immediately the station of the Spider. As he spoke, it was clear that the action caused great pain, and spittle dripped from the wretch's cracked lips. "Sire...forgive me. I am but a humble worm in your presence. Terrible atrocities have occurred since the one called Faust decimated the jewel of the Core Worlds. Another temple, hidden to even other Sith Masters, has been taken. In the cataclysm it was exposed and overrun with Mandalorian filth. A new entrance was carved in stone from the moon's fury, in the scarred fields where its touch lingers. It holds secrets, holocrons...dark and terrible things. Only Ar-Pharazon the Great and Powerful and the Dark Lord are permitted to know the knowledge kept there. I am the only one to survive to pass on this message. I humbly offer you my life for this failure."
  11. ((Delta)) He spoke Mando'a. It was the one thing preventing Rina from cursing out the trooper. Somewhere, through all of the clans and bloodlines, they were kin, if not by blood then by creed. She replied in kind, but not with the information he wanted. <"You are the enemy. Why would I tell you anything? Just give me the warrior's death."> A blast echoed from the tunnel, but as none of Delta's troops had gone into the tunnel, it caught the attention of several outside it. Something had tripped one of the traps Remar and his men had laid, though the Mandalorians weren't so sloppy as to blow themselves up with their own explosives. It was either a seismic tremor causing falling rubble to pull a tripwire or set off a pressure plate. Regardless of the how, it partially answered Delta's line of questioning for Rina. She chuckled briefly, looking back at him. <"Go on. Find out for yourself what traps have been laid.">
  12. ((Jax/Nyrys)) The music blared loudly, echoing off the buildings, announcing the arrival of Dread Company. Like locusts they swarmed from between the ruined skyscrapers and building remnants as they rode their basilisks to war. The formation of Dark Troopers in the square immediately was noticed, and orders were quickly given to stay mobile and airborne, using the speed of the basilisks to begin strafing and overwhelming the concentration of troops. Several other Basilisks quickly dropped off their troops on the roof, a small strike force of eight men that quickly used explosive charges to breach and rappel down to the middle of the museum, decently away from the foyer but near enough that the breaching charge clearly rang out their position. Swiftly they broke off into four teams of two, beginning to fan out through the expansive maze of a building, searching for their quarry.
  13. ((Jax)) The leader of the pirates smirked as the Mando exited cover, bringing his own disruptor pistol to bear. But the day was not his. A disruptor blast flew from his barrel, but his barrel was already pointed skyward as his corpse fell backwards, a smoking hole where his forehead once was. The others balked at this, hesitating in their charge as they saw their leader slain like a common dog. Overconfidence was a fickle bitch. Several others turned to flee, and Jax managed to down three of their number, scattering the rest. Like cockroaches under a sudden bright light, it was every man for himself. They were no longer a serious threat. Thankfully, most of the damage to the museum had been contained to the foyer, and didn't extend to some of the more valuable exhibits within. Suddenly Jax's comm unit beeped with a waiting message, sent from the Sith MCLO, informing him of altered work parameters: The offer more than tripled the offer Jax had received to take on the pirates, and that was before any combat performance bonuses. It was quite clear that the Sith intelligence thought this place was incredibly important. ((Nyrys/Jax)) The pirates on the exterior of the building scattered, using whatever vehicles they had left to escape. The sight of a formation of Dark Troopers marching toward them was also reason to be terrified. One of the turret mounted vehicles tried snapping off a few stray shots, but within seconds it was clear that it was more intended as stray covering fire than an actual assault as it too took off, putting the museum as far behind it as it could. A message is broadcast to Darth Nyrys, informing her of the potential asset on the battlefield ((Jax)) as well as observed heavy enemy units closing on her position. The message heavily emphasized Sith Intelligence's belief based on observed surface movements that something of great importance to the enemy was in the area, if not in the museum itself, and that a large push was on its way to secure whatever it was. Primary orders were to demolish the inbound enemy forces with a secondary objective of identifying and securing whatever it was the rogue Mandalorians were after. Meanwhile in orbit, the now-disabled Fane of Storms-class frigate designation Thunderous Reprisal that the Sith were towing out of the orbital debris cloud gave little resistance. A few kinetic rounds managed to fire off, but none hit any critical systems, making it clear that their targeting systems had been disabled. After a few moments, main power failed. If the ship had been in the debris much longer, it would have probably been outright destroyed. These tactics were highly unorthodox and suspect for any Mandalorian crew, and demanded reasoning for such suicidal behavior. However, that reasoning wasn't readily apparent. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ((Still Nyrys/Jax)) Lucky Son blared loud and strong through the skies as Dread Company made their approach through the twisted ruins of the sprawling Coruscant metropolis. Skudge had been with Dread Company less than four months now, reassigned after starting fights with his superiors in his last unit. Dread Company was where the Glory Bound sent its misfits and troublemakers, knowing full well that many who walked the exiled Mandalorian path of the Death Watch were such individuals, who needed to be "contained" so as to not interfere in the path of reclaiming honor. Nobody in Dread Company seemed to care, because these were the soldiers who cared little for honor. They were commonly given suicide missions, hoping that by attrition they could be purged from the ranks, but no proper Mandalorian would ever admit to this. Dread Company, however, wore their combat prowess as a badge of pride, having survived many such encounters, despite significant troop losses. Average life expectancy in the Company was just under a year, any who survived longer than that were treated with respect. Captain Drom was one of these honored veterans, and he rode his painted war basilisk high, making himself a target for any foolish enough to engage him. There were twenty basilisks in the formation total, with almost all carrying multiple Mandalorian warriors. Thirty eight men were in Dread Company, and while they might not all see the end of this day, they were confident in their objective. Skudge had never seen this kind of display before, and it made him question the Captain's methods. He briefly opened a comm to only the Captain. "Why do we move so openly, Cap? Seems like a good way to bite off more than we can chew." The Captain was swift to reply on the same channel, "Shut the frag up, Skudge. We're more than a match for any cock-sure Sith unit on this half baked hellhole. Besides, if you haven't noticed, if I draw fire, it sets the rest of you up to perfectly swarm the source while we can stay mobile. And besides that, the music is good. Save your whining for the next time you hire a prostitute." Skudge knew better than to reply, but he did realize the Captain was right, the basilisks could easily tear through any softer targets while keeping them mobile enough to continue on to their main target. Harder targets might not be outright destroyed, but would likely be damaged enough to be rendered combat ineffective for long enough for the Mandos to pass. It was a risky gambit the Captain played at, but it demonstrated his fearlessness and combat prowess. Another message from the Captain broadcast to the rest of the company shortly after this revelation, bringing Skudge's attention back where it needed to be. "Okay Dread Company, we're approaching our target. Check your power packs, make sure your IFF tags are engaged, and switch your visors to multi-spectral imaging. Arkab wants that key, so that's what we're going to bring him come hell or high water. And I don't see any fragging water nearby, so bring the hell. I don't give a mynock's left testicle about the rest of that place, but we need that key. These Sith bastards have already proven to be more than annoying in engaging our brothers and sisters, so if we come up against resistance, weapons free and give them a big ol' Dread Company welcome. The other idiots might be bound for glory, but without us they're nothing. Remember that! Remember your pride! DREAD COMPANY!!" Cheers and warcries lit up the channel momentarily before most of them readied themselves for whatever this ruined world could throw at them. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ((Delta)) "They took the bait." "Rin? Where are you? Do you have a clear line of advance?" "No. Don't worry about me. Bring glory to our brothers and Sisters, Rem." "Rin? ...Rin?? RIN?!!" The comm went silent. Remar swore. Rin had been closer than the typical brother and sister that the Mandalorians all called themselves. Like actual kin. She was always pulling stupid stunts, but Remar didn't think she'd risk something in a situation like this...unless she knew the situation was that dire. He swore again, pushing his men deeper into the caves, retreating several hundred yards to the cover of the buried apartment complex hallways. Holes torn in the walls provided access to the cave network, which was also the access the Mandalorians had used to get to the underground power substation. Now, it might be their tomb. On the surface, Rina was out of ammunition. There was no clear escape path except through the deadly moonfall fields, and her path to rendezvous with her team had been quickly cut off. But she still mostly had the element of surprise, and some grenades. She knew she needed to buy her compatriots time to retreat and entrench, and that came in the form of a distraction. "HEY TURD SNIFFERS!" Her voice rang out from an overhang a short ways away from the cave entrance the marines had posted up at. She had two frag grenades in her hands, already cooking. The first throw landed neatly in the middle of the marine formation, but as fate would have it when she went to throw the second a moonfall pebble struck her in the beskar pauldron, the small impact hitting with the force of a sledgehammer and driving her forward off the ledge to tumble down to the ground below, the frag grenade landing nearby. ((It is my intention that Delta sees Rina's actions as he's running. If you want to capture/interact with her, I'm okay with that at this point, you can determine where the second grenade landed to either imply she was superficially wounded and dazed, or simply outright killed. At present, there should be no direct threat to Delta himself, just his other listed forces.))
  14. ((Delta)) Throgun noticed it first, pointing it out to Remar. The telltale meteor trail of Moonfall, but coming in from the wrong angle. Several chunks coming in from parallel angles. Drop pods. Remar swore under his breath. His enemy was skilled. This would not be a simple fight, and he held the lives of his brothers and sister in his hand. In the back of his mind however, he knew unless the entire squad used superior tactics to gain the upper hand, they were unlikely to prevail in their objective. Beneath his helmet, Remar's gaze hardened. "Okay. Change of plans fireteam. Rin, see if you can snipe a few of our incoming guests before they know what hit them. Don't stay too long. Thro, covering fire. We retreat to the tunnels, use the terrain to our advantage, set traps. We might be able to repel them at that subterranean apartment complex if we're lucky, otherwise we need the strength of the rest of our brothers and sisters. Ready...move." As one, the Mandalorians began a tactical retreat. Throgun's massive frame stood from behind his cover to begin raining rapid heavy blaster fire across the battlefield to hamper the Sith forces from advancing as long as he could. At the same time, Chun and Remar popped smoke grenades to obscure the Mandalorians' positions as much as possible, excepting Rina, who hopefully was still hidden in her sniper's nest. As soon as his brothers were clear, Throgun began slowly walking backward, finally breaking his onslaught as he rushed to rejoin his kin. The Mandalorians worked quickly, setting up a handful of mines and grenades attached to pressure plates beneath debris and thin tripwires strung low across chokepoints. They also covertly marked each trap for Rina, positioning a piece of debris here and there in symbols obvious to those trained know to look for them, but innocuous to the uninitiated.
  15. ((Quick reply for Jax)) The pirate Jax had shot at quickly managed to duck, narrowly avoiding the blast that otherwise would have killed him outright. This was a call to reposition if he was that exposed. He quickly found a new position behind a support pillar, and went to work mowing down the remaining museum guards in the foyer. Meanwhile, the two pirates on top the roof quickly finished blasting their way through the glass, giving themselves enough of a hole to shoot through. They would be able to keep fire on just about any other person in the foyer, allowing their compatriots to easily push and eliminate targets. They immediately both opened fire on the exhibit the Mandalorian was hiding behind, as clearly that was their most obvious threat here. "You can't run forever, Mando! My boys and I will get you!" Druj yelled out the taunt as he sauntered through the doors, shooting one of the last guards twice in the chest before walking to a nearby pillar, confident in the rest of his men that were now swarming into the building, minus the ones outside needed to operate the vehicle mounted guns. "You're one man in an ocean of enemies. Give up, and I'll make your death quick. I might even leave your helmet on...can't smell nice under there." Reloading his blaster pistol, Druj signalled for two of his men to rush and flank the Mando's position from either side. ((Breaking things up tends to make them more readable, though it's up to you how you do that. Typically, three to five sentences is fine for a break, or just group up relevant sentences. As for the pirate that survived, you used a closed attack to shoot him in the head as opposed for "aiming a shot at his head" or anything else that didn't imply he was hit. Phrasing is important in combat because of this, the devil's in the details as far as the Mods are concerned. Just some friendly advice. ))
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