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Raynuk Montar

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About Raynuk Montar

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    Sith Apprentice
  • Birthday 03/27/1986

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  1. The cloaked figure still appeared to be gazing unflinchingly into the sky as Telperien made her decision to fire her bow. There was no sign of warning, or precognition from the figure, the muted thwip of the arrow leaving the string of the bow serving as the only clue as to what was coming. And there simply was not enough time between the sound and the impact for the figure to do muster anything more than a twitch of the neck that would have led to it turning around to face the girl once more. THONK! The figure stumbled forward, and its hooded head bowed from the impact as the arrow found purchase, now visibly imbedded through the cloth of the hood and into what lie beneath. But the impact made a sound that was simply... wrong. The figure stumbled forward another step before falling to a knee, its gaze having finally been broken from the sky above. The figure did not continue to fall beyond to a knee however, but nor did it rise again right away. The only sign of its continued existence was the random jerking motion of its head, as though a tick had developed. And then, slowly, the figure moved again, rising back up to its full height, and began to turn to face Telperien once more. Its movements were slower, almost more precise and calculated, as though each held behind it an immense amount of thought. As the figure turned, its right arm began to reach up, and spindly fingers closed around the shaft of the arrow; Metallic fingers. And in the quickest and harshest movement yet, the figure snapped the shaft of the arrow away from its skull. <> The figure, still with the broken arrow in its hand, pulled back the hood to reveal that it was, in fact, Raynuk's droid, 2-VSH wearing the cloak. A droid who's white photo-receptors brightened once its head was revealed fully, coming back up from the dimmed state they had been in. But as the speech pattern revealed, the droid was now damaged. A spark arced from the back of it's head where the arrow had intruded itself into the cranium of the droid; a spark that also caused 2V's photoreceptors to momentarily flash that same shade of red. And perhaps amusingly, there was an outward dent on the forehead of the droid, likely from the tip of the arrow impacting the front. <> The droid's head twitched again, its neck momentarily spasming as another spark shot from its head and one photo-receptor flashed red. The arrow shaft dropped from its hand as the droid fell to one knee again, and pointed its right arm at Telperien. A moment later, the cannons on the Ravenhammer roared to life again, spewing fire at Telperien from behind 2V, guided and controlled by the link that 2V had maintained with the ship, much as his master was capable of doing with his gauntlet. A relentless salvo of fire burned through the air with as much precision in calculations that the droid could muster in its current state. <>
  2. The figure seemed to survey the scene before it for a moment; the Spider’s apprentice stood before him, in the path that would lead it to the Jedi that lay wrything and cackling in the mud, vaguely pointing a primitive bow in his direction. But soon enough, the daughter of the golden god stepped to the side, clearing the path before him. The figure waited a beat longer, studying the girl in silence and then lurched forward again, heading directly towards the prone form of the Jedi Master. It paused again, standing over her like an angel of death, no face visible beneath the hood it wore, which tilted slightly to the side in what could have been confusion, or amusement, or intrigue. A moment later, still wordlessly, it stooped down over her. The figure reached past her hand, seizing the kidney that Jaina was so vehemently attempting to press into the dirt, and examined it, inexorably studying it with the appearance of rapt interest in what this clump of organic matter had done to provoke such a visceral and violent response. After a moment, it returned the destroyed organ to the dirt, and then the figure turned its gaze to the wound itself, so recently cauterized by the Jedi’s own weapon. Unseen eyes flickered from the wound, to the weapon, to the Jedi’s face, and back to the wound before the figure seized her hand, guiding it to her abdomen and pressing her hand against the wound she had created amd hastily attempted to fix, wordlessly commanding her to keep pressure on it. The figure’s hooded face turned unflinchingly towards the girl, with her bow in her hand, watching her for a full five seconds in silence. From beneath the hood there came a sudden visual, as two eyes burned into existence from within, flaring as red as the cannon fire from the ship before fading back out into darkness. It was meant to be a clear message to the girl. Still equally cloaked in silence as it was in black cloth, the figure stood, looming once again over the Jedi and eying the girl still. But there then came a sudden stop, and the hood turned skyward with uncomprehensible understanding as it seemed to fixate upon the creature with massive wings that circled against the stormy skies. It seemed… Death had come after all.
  3. When Raynuk had commissioned the Ravenhammer to serve as his new personal ship, the SIth had spared very little expense in ensuring that it was near bleeding edge in as many ways as possible. Luxury, weaponry, design, armor plating, anti-personal defense, engines, sensors; all had been pushed above normal levels simply by Raynuk throwing credits at the issue. And now it was the sensor’s turn to earn their keep and justify the money spent. Normally a fast ship, the Ravenhammer was using a much more leisurely speed as it soared barely ten meters above the top of the jungles of Onderon that lay outside the city of Iziz, scanning the jungle below with its sensor array. Movement, heat signatures, electromagnetic disruptions, even spikes of sound were being scanned for and monitored as the ship soared through the night sky. 2-VSH had connected himself to the main computer of the Ravenhammer as he piloted the ship, adding his own central processes and computing power to tag team decrypting the sensor data as it streamed in real-time, and as more data came in, consistent readings were beginning to be ignored as soon as they presented themselves. One of the first to be excluded was the echo of the Ravenhammer’s engines bouncing off the walls of Iziz, as well as reverbing back from the ground and jungle itself. Next came the mating calls of Onderon’s various indigenous species from below, which lead to identifying the heat signatures of those creatures as well. Despite all the effort and processing power devoted to such a tactical and precision search pattern however, it was not one of the sensors that brought the Ravenhammer the break it was searching for. No, instead the break came from the sudden, unexpected, and scientifically nearly impossible eruption of lightning from the jungle a kilometer north-west of the Ravenhammer. 2V’s photoreceptors registered the sight of a massive, forked spike of lightning burst through the trees, finding purchase in the seemingly innocuous clouds that were hovering higher in the atmosphere. Seconds later the sensors themselves went ballistic, seeing spikes in electromagnetic energy, and even a drop in barometric pressure that would have send any humanoid’s stomach into their throat. 2V did not even wait for confirmation or double checking the readings before twisting the Ravenhammer in that direction, and pushing full power back into the engines to close the gap. By the time the Ravenhammer arrived at the location of the lightning spike, those same innocuous clouds had grown as dark as space above them, and heavy with rain that had begun to be unleashed. Visually, the clearing was obscured by the heavy rain pouring over the cockpit of the ship, and the sensors of the ship were being affected too. 2V flipped on the landing and marker lights, flooding the clearing with comparatively blinding light that was far more consistent than the flickers of lighting that had been triggered by whatever 2V had spotted. With a mind to keep moving and not present the Ravenhammer as too much of a delicious target -- whether it be from below or from the growing lightning storm -- 2V floated the ship in a slow arc around the clearing, focusing and even magnifying his photoreceptors below to gauge the situation. Between 2V and the sensors, the Ravenhammer identified two humanoids in the clearing, numerous dead kath hounds, and an entire swarm of drexls that had momentarily scattered from the sudden influx of bright light from the Ravenhammer. But they recovered quickly, and apparently, did not like this new bright arrival, as a majority turned and began to attempt to swarm the ship. <> 2V vocalized. The droid had been completely silent previously; being connected to the ship’s computer directly and having no one else aboard, there had been no need for the droid to speak. But the word did not serve as a distraction, as 2V nearly instantly switched over to the weapon controls, calculating a targeting pattern for the approaching drexls. From the clearing below, 2V expected it was quite a show as the Ravenhammer roared into arrival over the clearing, lit up like a Life Day tree, bathing the entire area in light, and then with the heavy, screeching thumps of non-stop blaster cannon fire, began eviscerating the drexls from the sky, leaving neigh but burnt ozone and ash behind, all the while circling lazily around the clearing. Three times before the drexls were dissuaded from their attack of the Ravenhammer, the growing storm decided to strike as well. As the ship floated close enough to a jungle tree that the storm sent an arc of lightning that jumped from cloud, to the ship, to the tree and the ground below. Lightning rocked the ship, but did not otherwise affect its operation; an unforeseen bonus to having the electro-shock plating that had first been implemented on the Ogariv II decades before also be installed on the Ravenhammer. The first time, the tree below drew the brunt of nature’s pure power, its bark exploding outward as the tree and its limbs erupted into flame from within. The second strike rocked the ship harder, knocking the cannon off its trajectory to kill a drexl, but the bolt instead jumped to another of the creatures that had flown under the ship, killing it instantly before its smoldering carcass fell to the jungle below. By the time the third strike came, 2V had predicted it and adjusted the targeting accordingly so that when the Ravenhammer jostled, the rapid fire burst of cannons caught three different drexls. The Ravenhammer continued to circle, dodging and taking the brunt of lightning strikes as needed until the drexls grew smart enough to give up and leave the ship alone. Only then did the movement of the ship change, as it slowly began to come in to land in the clearing itself. But just for good measure, 2V blasted another of the drexls out of the air as a show of force as it descended. The ship kicked up what dirt had remained dry in the face of the storm, momentarily obscuring the light it emitted as well. But not long after, the ramp of the ship opened to the ground below, revealing a singular figure, its two meter plus form draped in a black hooded cloak as it stepped forward with heavy footfalls on the ramp itself. Once it emerged from under the shadow of the ship, it stood wordlessly, hood up as a defense against the rain that persisted. (EDITED PER RULING)
  4. Time continued to flow and pass as Raynuk found himself back aboard the Ravenhammer, standing over the workbench that occupied a corner of the cargo hold. Before him on the workbench lay his charric rifle, Torch, bent and mangled after Raia 'borrowed' it during the fall of Kashyyyk, the girl and the weapon becoming the unfortunate victims of gravity as they fell from one of the countless platforms in the trees of that planet. He had determined the extent of the damage to the weapon after he had recovered it, but now again found himself pouring over the weapon, taking mental notes about which components could be salvaged, and which could not. Behind him, dumped unceremoniously on the floor of the cargo bay were the three scrapped blaster rifles that he had found and bought from the street vendor. Initially thankful for something mundane and localized to focus his mind on like rebuilding the weapon, Raynuk could not help but let his mind wander slightly every so often. Like a child hiding behind a rock that dares to steal a glance over its hiding place, Raynuk would reach out into the Force for signs of the only two people on this planet that could drive him to action; the Dark Lord Exodus, and Jaina. The Spider continued to be silent through the Force, and Raynuk found no signs of the man being physically any closer to him either. But despite the silence, Raynuk could feel that the Spider had not failed to notice the return of the Wolf. The part of Raynuk that somehow remained cemented in hope even after lifetimes of being a Sith considered that the Dark Lord was simply busy or otherwise indisposed and unable to greet the Wolf as a brother in arms. But the other parts of his mind, the cautious and calculating sections that had allowed him to live several lifetimes as a Sith, remained almost paranoid of the Spider's intentions. Meanwhile, Jaina's presence continued to warp. It both felt like there was physical distance growing between them, but also like he was looking for her through a fog bank that was continuing to thicken. Yet through it all, with all the red flags and concerning aspects, she was still there. He could still feel her, through the Force and through the connection that had served as both boon and curse to the pair since they awoke separated by the stars. He would stand firm for now, caught between his duty and his heart. Having come up with a basic idea and plan to repair his charric, Raynuk soon fell fully into the mechanical repair, all his concentration and focus churning into the work he was performing. He began deconstructing the charric to its base components, then one by one brought the salvaged rifles to the table and tore them down as best as he could as well. With a fair amount of time and precision, he even managed to separate the arm of the trooper that had been fused into the casing of one of the rifles. From there he dove into evaluating and testing components from all four weapons one by one. Those that failed received a simple toss over his shoulder, the Sith deeming the item no longer worthy of his time and attention. It was not long until a small pile of broken pieces filled the same space the salvaged rifles had occupied previously. Carefully he began to lay out the working components one by one before him along the mental plan he had settled upon. Of course, like any good plan that is deemed flawless, he almost immediately had to adjust it and adapt it every time a component that was previously considered irreplaceable had to be, in fact, replaced entirely as he pressed on. He had lost track of that most important variable -- time -- until the mechanical tone of 2-VSH carried across the cargo bay. < Raynuk emitted what could only be described as a huff as he paused his work, closing his eyes as he tried to remember in the course of a fraction of a second why he continued to put up with the droid. But a moment later a small wry smile graced his face; it was for precisely the fact that 2V talked so brazenly to Raynuk without fear that ensured the droids continued survival. It was refreshing at times, and kept Raynuk's sometimes inflated ego in check when it began to grow too much. He turned to glance at 2V from across the nearly empty cargo bay for a moment before speaking. "Did you just come down here to try and pretend to be my mother, or was there something of actual value behind your departure of the cockpit?" 2V nodded, silently accepting the barb volleyed back at him, his photoreceptors scanning the room for a moment as if it was thinking. <> Raynuk glanced back at the workbench, silently asking himself just how long he had been working on this weapon. 2V's arrival had broken whatever zen-concentration he had fallen into when working on the charric it seemed. But as he had been subconsciously doing before he had gone all zen-weaponsmith, Raynuk peeked out from behind his rock. And for the first time in forever, the blood in Raynuk's entire body ran cold as ice. She was gone. His brow furrowed deeper, mind absolutely refusing the conclusion it had just come to. He tried again, daring to reach out further into their connection than he had since coming to Onderon. And as what little color remained drained from his face, Raynuk dove into the Force proper, completely desperate for any answer besides the one he had found twice now. Only then, after throwing all caution to the wind and swearing he didn't give a **** if this was a trap laid for him, Raynuk found a glimpse of Jaina's presence in the Force. It was not right in any way, feeling more like a broken shard of glass; small, sharp, and jagged. There was fire, there was pain, and -- oh yes -- there was blood reflected in that broken shard of glass that used to be Jaina. His mind reeled, and his stomach nearly wretched with the sickness that flooded his entire body. In that moment nothing else mattered; he had promised her, and had promised Tirzah, that when the cards were drawn, he would not abandon her, even in the midst of a Sith fortress planet. His mind reeled and spun, the mental plan for his charric thrown out faster than a rotten apple that also happened to be on fire in search of an idea with which he could deal with this massive wrinkle. Like so many times in history before this moment, Raynuk began moving before he fully had a plan; it was more of an idea for a plan. He crossed the cargo bay in a dash, dropping whatever tool or component had been in his hand when the realization had struck. He darted out of the cargo bay in a mad rush of speed, pausing only long enough for the ramp of the Ravenhammer to open enough for him to slide through the gap, landing harshly on the ground below, but remaining on his feet. Night had fallen since he was last on the planet's surface, yet Raynuk's eyes began to dart around, coming to rest as his entire body turned to face the jungle beyond the city of Iziz north of him. There was only a moment of pause before he took off running. Unfortunately, he was not on the nearest edge of the city in comparison to her, meaning he had to run into the city and along the streets at its edge to get closer to where he felt her in the distance. Maybe I’ll never stop chasing you Jaina… More of his conversation with Jaina rushed back to him in that moment as he took off running away from the Ravenhammer. Maybe if you stop running, I won’t have to chase you anymore... Raynuk began to exit the clearing that he had placed his mighty ship in, entering the city itself, every step bringing him closer towards the jungle from which he knew she she was within. ...stop running... The words echoed once in his own voice. ..stop running... The words echoed again, but this time his voice shifted into a whisper in her voice. And as abruptly as he had taken off running, he came to a stop in the middle of an empty street. His breath heavy as his heart pounded, his own voice, his own promises to a Jedi he should have wanted to kill, returned. You’ll never be alone; I promise you. When you’re weak, I’ll be strong for you. When you let go, I’ll hold on. His own words seemed to fail to affect him, standing like a statue in the street until he spoke, whispering to himself. "I'll be strong for you..." From behind him, the metallic voice filled his ears once more. < Raynuk suddenly reeled, spinning on his heels to face the droid. He practically pounced upon 2V, pushing the droid backwards against a wall from the sheer weight of his momentum. Somehow, the droid managed to look surprised as Raynuk seized upon him, and the Sith managed to even lift the droid off the ground slightly, the very slight and subtle sound of metal creaking as the droid's arms became slightly crushed by the emotionally compromised Sith. "You! You have to go. Have to go get her!" He snarled through gritted teeth at his droid, making absolutely zero sense to 2V. <> "NO. SHUT UP." Raynuk roared, his voice booming as though he was filled with rage. But this time, it was fear, and panic that filled his eyes. "You need to take the ship. Go to the jungle north of the city. Tell no one what you are doing. She's in there somewhere. Find her... save her." 2V's head tilted slightly, studying the face of Raynuk. < Raynuk's gaze faltered, falling from 2V's face before he recollected himself, his eyes returning to their mark now filled with determination. "Jaina Jade Skywalker." Raynuk did not know that 2V's photoreceptors were capable of getting bigger, growing wider in the same manner as a humanoid who was suddenly surprised by an answer. Yet that is exactly what happened as 2V suddenly looked absolutely surprised. <> ===================== Less than five minutes later, the Ravenhammer's repulsors flared to life, kicking up the thin layer of dirt that had settled on the ground beneath the ship. It lifted swiftly, and once reaching an appropriate height, spun before the main engines lit, sending the ship hurtling across the sky.
  5. Silence. Raynuk had lingered on the edge of the city, ensuring that he was never too far from the Ravenhammer until he knew the full scope of how he would be received. He had expected a response of some sort however; open arms, cautious study, or outright aggression. Instead, he was treated to silence from the Dark Lord, which was telling enough for one so currently guarded as Raynuk was. And so Raynuk was left to wander the outer edges of the city openly, mulling the choices he had and the eventualities they could bring. There was always the option to simply venture deeper into the city, towards the strongest presence of darkness within, which would undoubtedly put him nearer the Spider, sitting at the center of his web. But to do so would mean venturing farther from where he could feel Jaina. Even though he had purposely not reached out to find her more precisely, he still had a general awareness of her always, especially when they happened to be on the same planet. And Raynuk was not stupid enough to believe that him running towards her presence at a time like this would go unnoticed by Exodus. The silence he had received thus far could just as easily be a point of strategy by the Spider to see just what direction Raynuk would go in if left unanswered. Raynuk took a deep breath and closed his eyes, refocusing his mind and his thoughts, which he realized in that moment had grown towards the realm of paranoia. When his eyes opened again, Raynuk made it a point to busy himself, opting to distract himself outwardly, and ventured to one of the closest vendors that had somehow managed to carve out a market stall in the middle of the street, selling electronic components by the look of it. Raynuk surmised it was probably all scrap that had come from the aftermath of the recent battle above Onderon. If nothing else, he decided, he might get lucky and find components with which he could repair Torch by himself. And so Raynuk began to browse the limited selection, making a show of looking busy. You shouldn't have come... Her voice came to him barely a few moments into his distraction, wrapped in the sorrow he unfortunately was getting used to feeling from her. The panic and fear that he had felt before had abaided slightly, perhaps because of -- or in spite of -- his confirmation that he was nearby. But though diminished, the panic and fear were still present, and lead to a more confusing sense of fog gripping at the edge of what he felt from her. But to probe the cause or specificity of what that fog was would be to risk too much. So for the moment, he merely whispered back to her. These are my people, for better or worse. I do not fear them.... And I intend to keep my word, even here, even now. The strength of his own statement and the conviction behind it fell just shy of surprising him; long ago he had harshly learned the level of effect that Jaina had on his thoughts and decisions. And the conviction behind what he had sent to her had not faded in the slightest when compared to when they spoke on Corellia. "I owe it to her for all the time I stole from her by chasing her around like a monster..." He had told Tirzah that back on Corellia, when the girl had almost reluctantly visited him. A twinge of guilt tore through him at the thought of the girl, even though Raynuk bore no part in the fact that the girl was currently gone. Rather, it was guilt on behalf of Jaina, who was now living a second life because of him.... One that seemed to be filled with just as much pain and suffering as the first had. Finding three blaster rifles that had all been broken beyond working -- one of which had somehow become fused with what appeared to be the remains of a trooper's arm -- gave Raynuk a point from which to refocus on in the present. He examined all three relatively quickly, and then flipped the vendor a handful credits without a word as he turned from the stall and began walking back towards the Ravenhammer, his mind made up about more than just the pile of parts he was now carrying. The Wolf was not about to walk into a trap... no matter the direction.
  6. It seemed like months since Raynuk had been among his own kind. Among the Sith that he had dedicated his life to; the Sith collective that had lead him to countless deaths, only to rise again and continue his service. Over the countless years, the scope of his service had seen him shift from a simple apprentice, all the way up to the Dark Lord on a few occasions. He had been a leader of men, and of armies at times. Under the leadership of Exodus -- the man known as the Spider -- however, Raynuk had become a hunter; a predator. He had become the Warrior King, and the White Wolf at the same time. And for far too long the Wolf had hunted alone and without clear prey. he had been reduced to snapping at shadows when they struck at him, and every time those shadows struck at him, his snapping jaws only found dust. And Raynuk was growing tired of failing in his hunt of the shadows that plagued him. So the wolf would return to the pack, return to the Spider, and find new purpose. The Ravenhammer blinked out of hyperspace at the edge of Onderon space, and Raynuk found the view to be vastly different than when he last viewed the planet. Even from this vantage, the planet showed clear signs of the Sith's presence; the entire planet felt darker. But that suited Raynuk just fine as he kicked his ship forward to approach the planet and keyed the comm to identify himself and inform the planet that he would be landing shortly. 2V had remained relatively quiet for this portion of their journey home, and even then had kept his comments to matters of the ship and general information. But then again Raynuk had not given him much reason to question or comment the Sith's actions, and had been fairly quiet himself. Within however, Raynuk was keenly aware of the fact that the moment he came out of hyperspace over Onderon, his connection to Jaina flared up like the lighting of a Life Day Tree. He could feel her, down on the planet below with more than enough assurance to know it was not some sort of trick to lure the Wolf back to the fold; which Raynuk would have been a fool to not consider such a tactic from the Spider. It could still be a trap or a trick to lure Raynuk, but he knew now for sure that the 'bait' was as real as it could be. Raynuk did find a note of concern however, with the sense of panic that he felt through the connection coming from her; something was wrong with her if she was panicking this much, and so openly that Raynuk could feel it from here. The last time he had been this close to her, when their paths crossed on Corellia, there was nowhere near the level that he was sensing now. But for the sake of everyone, Raynuk kept his concern close, and dared not show it, even when his only company was his loyal droid co-pilot. But nor could he ignore it for her sake. So as he had done previously, he reached through the connection and grazed her conciousness with a single word -- Steady -- and a flash of his image, standing tall and strong against a background of a red tinged, war torn sky of Onderon. It would either bring the Jedi comfort and strength, or send her crashing deeper into panic. Raynuk would deal with whichever outcome it became. ====================================== Minutes later, as the Ravenhammer broke through the sky of Onderon towards a landing on the outskirts of Iziz, Raynuk had left 2V to pilot the ship while he gathered his belongings, armor, and weapons. He intended to walk upon this planet of Sith forces in full regalia, leaving none to question who he was, and what he represented. It was as cathartic as it was ceremonial for Raynuk to clip his lightsabers to his belt; to slide his warhammer into its slot on his backplate. His eyes fell to the broken shell of Torch that lay on the table before him, and didnt try to suppress the smirk that came from the thought of Raia crossing his mind, as she was the reason his charric lay sundered currently. He made a mental note to see about getting it fixed soon, but pressed on pulling his duster on over his armored form with a flurry of cloth. When he returned to the cockpit, 2V was coming in for the final approach to their landing berth, a sight to which Raynuk gave an approving nod. "Standard security procedures once we land 2V. We may be among the SIth, but that doesn't mean they're all our friends right now." He said before turning to make his way towards the loading ramp. <<Of course Master.... because who wouldn't want to be friends with us anymore?>> the droid responded, clearly not having lost his sarcasm capabilities in the time they had been away. The Ravenhammer was barely settled before Raynuk took his first step onto Onderon soil, glancing around the immediate area just in case an ambush was waiting; old combat habits die hard. With no sign of impending doom in the immediate area, the SIth pressed forward, and reached out through the Force towards Exodus. I have returned to Onderon, and await an audience if you wish it, and any commands you may have for the Wolf.
  7. After what must have felt like an eternity for those who were personally closest to him, two messages from Raynuk arrived at the Palace on Serenno; one for Draken and Alora, and one specifically for Raia. For Draken and Alora: "My friends... Since that foul cult returned me to the living, you two have been my closest confidants and allies from one day to the next as we tracked down leads and served the SIth together. But after Kashyyyk, something within me shifted, as has happened several times before. Draken, you especially know of the malaise that I speak of; it was the same sapping existence that fell upon me following my ascension to Dark Lord that ended with your blade. It gripped me again following Kashyyyk, and it took a minor miracle to pull me back; one that now requires me attention. Regretfully, I will not be arriving on Serenno as you both, and Raia, were expecting and planning for. Not yet at least. Since Raia came to me -- no, to us really -- you both have taken a shine to her and done what you could to help set her on her destined path. Draken, it was easy for me to see that you were the perfect teacher for Raia, and I know she will only excel under your watchful and calculating gaze. And Alora, you have always been a point of pride in my life as a Sith, a former apprentice who only continued to grow in strength after I taught you what you needed. You have become a woman who is strong both of mind and spirit, and I know Raia looks up to you for it. I can only hope she grows up to be equally strong, and I know with you around she very likely will. So in light of all of it, I ask that you continue your guardianship of Raia, and Vex'aedr as well, which I expect I need not even mention, yet feel compelled to anyway. I will return for them both when the time is right. But until then... May the Force serve you both well. " For Raia: "I regret that we have not seen or spoken to each other since the battle of Kashyyyk, and I know you were looking forward to and expecting me to come to Serenno to properly see you off on your apprenticeship to Master Shadowlord. But as has too often become the case, I found my attention and efforts pulled elsewhere. I wish I could say it was for a righteous cause, but that would be a lie little one. And though I am reaching out to you now, I do so only in the brief repreive that traveling through hyperspace has allotted me, as I rush headlong into another matter of duty. I go to face it knowing I may not return to see you and the progress you have made under Draken's wise teachings until far too long. You are as strong of spirit as Vex'aedr is of body. Never forget it, especially when the path before you grows hardened and you find yourself surrounded by doubts. I will see you again, but until then, take good care of Vex for me."
  8. By the time Raynuk emerged from his quarters to the point that 2V noticed the change in routine, the Sith had heavily considered the branching path that lay before him and had returned himself to a level of decency that he frankly had let lax since Kashyyyk. Dressed once again in his usual and familiar armor and robes, he took a deep breath before he turned and walked dutifully to the cockpit, knowing he would find his droid companion there. 2V had the holonet pulled up when Raynuk entered the cockpit and sat down in the pilot's seat. He didnt know what the droid was watching, and opted to not waste any more time finding out what the answer to that question was either. "It's time to go back." It was all that he decided to say to 2V. There would be no discussion on his part as to what had changed so suddenly as far as Raynuk was concerned. He wasted no more time in firing up the engines of the Ravenhammer and turning the ship from where it had been sitting for far too long on the edge of known space. Normally he would have given 2V the task of calculating and inputting the coordinates of a hyperspace jump, but this time Raynuk opted to do it himself. He punched it into the computer, watching the display in silence before launching the Ravenhammer into hyperspace, heading back towards the core of the galaxy. As the ship hurtled through space, Raynuk knew he had some catching up to do as to what specifically had been going on in his absence that might impact him. He pulled up the holonet on his own console, and connected to the high-encryption Sith database that he had long ago tapped into through the Shadow's Gambit. It didn't take long for Raynuk to confirm with more confidence where he was going. It was obvious he had to head back towards the core planets, but now he had confirmed that his best choice was going to be to head back to Onderon; as far as he could tell, that was where the majority of the SIth presence was currently, and thus likely so was Exodus. How the Dark Lord would greet him Raynuk wouldnt know until he was face to face with the man, but Raynuk fully intended to convince the Dark Lord that he was still of use and worth the respect he had earned. Until then however, there were other threads and responsibilities he had neglected. "2v, contact Serenno... Ive been silent to those who are closest to me for too long." < Raynuk had forgotten how sarcastic his droid could be; and how much he missed it at times. He allowed himself a small smirk before responding. "No thank you. I'm the one who dug the hole, now I have to crawl out of it."
  9. "Space... the final frontier. These are the voyages of th--" The holoseries suddenly blinked out as the projector was shut off by 2-VSH with what could pass as exasperation from a droid of his capabilities. 2V was elbow deep in his fifteenth rewatch of the entire holoseries, and apparently, that was the breaking point for the droid. Returning to a more upright position in the co-pilot's chair aboard the Ravenhammer, the droid turned to glance back towards the main body of the ship, silently calculating the odds that Raynuk would change their course of action today. Since departing from Kashyyyk following the victory of the Sith and Black Sun above and on the planet's surface, Raynuk had grown isolated and distant. Initially, 2V attributed the changes to the fact that both of his master's organic followers -- the Sith beast and his adopted daughter -- had not returned with him, but continued along a different path. But as time continued to pass, and Raynuk continued to be idle, 2V began to calculate and posture about alternative reasoning, but was nearly always left with improbable conjectures. Raynuk had not been communicating with the Sith at large as far as 2V could tell, nor was he seemingly focusing on the Cult of Morthos; both of those influences having been major driving factors for Raynuk's actions for as long as 2V had been in service to the Sith Master. Now it seemed Raynuk split his time between his chambers aboard the Ravenhammer and the workbench contained within the engine room. By this point, it had been a standard week since Raynuk had even spoken to 2V to give the droid an order to maintain the position of the Ravenhammer, out near the edges of known space beyond the ruins of Ziost. Raynuk had given no indication of why they were there specifically, or what the Sith was doing. For all intents and purposes, 2V was like a ghost to Raynuk that just so happened to aboard the same ship. Eventually, 2V began poking around the holonet in order to occupy his processors. This was how he had found the holoseries he had just turned off among others, but he had also come upon documents held within the Sith databanks that pertained to Raynuk. More specifically, a general history of the life that the SIth Master had lead so far from the vantage point of the ancient order. Among those files, 2V found out that this was not the first time Raynuk had fallen into bouts of being withdrawn, isolated, and disconnected from the galaxy. The timing of these episodes did not align to a pattern that the droid could find, and seemed almost random, if not isolated events. But the sheer fact that they had occurred over and over again, and was apparently happening again, was reason enough to consider them to be connected. Several of these episodes had resulted in the physical death of Raynuk; either from wasting away, or from actions taken by the Sith as a result of his lack of presence. But just as these episodes continued to occur in a random pattern, so too did the pattern of his return play out, also randomly following these episodes. It was as if Raynuk's mere existence was following the path of a sound wave, a series of peaks and valleys; up and down, up and down. 2V wound simply have to do everything he was capable of doing to ensure that this episode of malaise did not result in Raynuk's death. 2V's internal calculations completed, and gave the droid an even smaller percent chance that things would change any time soon; 0.527% chance. His servos made a whine that mimiced a human grumble, and the droid turned back to glance out at the vastness of space. <> 2V said to himself. =================================================================================== There were no words that could communicate or begin to encompass what Raynuk's world, mind, and mere existence had become following the victory on Kashyyyk. From within the whirlwind and tempest Raynuk was blind to his own appearance, both physically and mentally, and simply could not, or would not, see that the pattern was repeating itself. Even if he could have been granted sight to see the repeating chapters of his life, Raynuk would not have been able to understand it any better than those around him. Emily had seen this chapter more than once, each time breaking her heart; Draken had seen this chapter before, and had severed Raynuk's spirit from his body. This time, there was only 2V around to witness the events that slowly pulled at Raynuk, but for his part the droid had remained dutiful and loyal, doing as instructed and offering little resistance to what was happening. 2V simply put, was a droid, and was incapable of feeling the emotions of fear, worry and anger that had compelled others before him into action. It had been long enough that Raynuk himself had forgotten the goals that had driven him and the Ravenhammer to this point in space and time. Following Kashyyyk, Raynuk had returned to the Bleeding Kyber only long enough to park the Darksoul and board the Ravenhammer before setting off again into space. But the reasoning, and the goals set before him were now scattered like ashes in the wind from his mind. The entire galaxy, and even his own existence felt like a heavy damp blanket now, the weight and chill of it always pressing upon him. He would tinker with his weapons and armor at the workbench aboard the Ravenhammer with no real tangible goal of improvement, and then he would sleep in his quarters until he felt the slightest compulsion to return to tinkering. From one day to another, Raynuk's memory was foggy, and he simultaneously couldnt remember if he had eaten, and didnt care to eat and didnt care if he would. He would see 2V every so often as he shuffled between one point on the ship to the other, but never engaged the droid, and recently 2V no longer made the effort to engage Raynuk either. Anyone watching the situation would know that time was going to slip away even faster from this point on. But even as 2V's probability outcomes continued to grow smaller and smaller with each passing day, like so many things in the galaxy, sometimes all that is needed is a little bit of luck, some good timing, and a minor miracle. Atgriešanās... The voice; The word; The way it reach Raynuk's mind; Any one of those three alone was enough to awaken Raynuk from his most current round of troubled sleep. But all three together practically launched Raynuk up out of his bed as if he had been hit with a stunstick. His mind was racing, matched only the quickened pace his heart had taken to pump blood throughout his now tensed body. For longer than Raynuk had cared to realize, the odd and quite personal connection between himself and Jaina had lay dormant and quiet. He had sensed Andon's peculiar return through the Force and through the bond between himself and Jaina, and before Kashyyyk had endevored to seal the bond between them for so many reasons. To protect and prevent her from sensing the slaughter of the wookiees he was fighting, to keep stray thoughts and brushes of her presence from distracting him in the midst of combat, but also because he did not want to be a distraction to her in those moments with her husband. And now with the one single word that had been such a huge part in driving them both back into the world of the living, spoken in her voice that Raynuk could not have ever admitted he missed in the first place, the seal on Raynuk's end of the bond exploded into his mind. For a few moments Raynuk was frozen, sitting up in his bed as his mind and his heart pounded. Only when both had begun to spiral back downwards towards calm, did the Sith realize the breath he had not taken, and the eyes he had not blinked. He did both at once, a larger step towards calming both mind and body back under his control. And then came the spark of recognition, that the fog that he had stumbled through and the heavy blanket that threatened to crush him had lifted, equally destroyed as the seal on his bond to Jaina by the word of the Sith tongue. Raynuk's eyes remained closed as he reeled himself back in, focusing back on who he was; what he was here to do; and how he would proceed in this life. Once his mind was in order again, Raynuk did the stupid thing of prodding at the raw nerve that was his strange bond to Jaina, devoting a split second of his full focus on it, a dash of anticipated fear lancing through him, like a child poking at a wound they know will hurt when they touch it, but still unable to resist doing so. Raynuk's mind was filled with a snapshot of vision in that split second, a Sith holding cell among the darkness, and a tattered flightsuit. His eyes opened once more, and a few heartbeats later Jaina's voice returned, a distant whisper of words not spoken between the bond, but a lingering echo of the vision. Es neesmu svešinieks tumsai... Though the words were not meant for him, Raynuk cracked a small smile at the glimpse of resistance and wit that was so core to Jaina. Whatever he had come out here to the edge of the galaxy for, it had been forgotten, and now it would wait. He could sense that Jaina was somewhere nearer to the core, but given his current location that was hardly an amazing feat to behold. He would head back into the majority of the galaxy, and he expected that his movement would not go unseen by the Dark Lord. Always one to be prudent, Raynuk knew not to actively disrespect the Dark Lord, and as before, knew his best move in that regard would be to report to the Dark Lord personally, wherever Exodus may be in this moment. As for Jaina, he wouldnt be able to tell where she might be -- or if he might need to actually be a hero once again -- until they were close enough to identify such information. In the meantime however, Raynuk knew that he might be heading directly towards a decision he had hoped to avoid at all costs, yet one he always expected to eventually come no matter how much he strived against it. He had told Jaina many things on Corellia, in that stark hospital room, and had meant it then just as he intended to live up to it now. With that pledge in mind, and risking pointing out the connection she may wish she could be rid of, Raynuk whispered into their shared bond towards her, carrying his words from his mind, to hers. Dažreiz tumsā ir draugi...
  10. Empire vs Black Sun The Empire has come back for round 2, and this time Beck brought friends! So there's two aspects of this Battle to deal with, and I will address them individually. Golan I Planetary Shield:
  11. Raynuk continued to feel entirely wound tight following the events that had marked the attack on Kashyyyk, both present and distant. Raynuk's arms were crossed as Draken answered him, and he forced himself to nod as he looked at the ground. He neither blamed Draken nor Raia for the girl's injuries, and refused to acknowledge the existence of guilt in his own mind. He looked up as Alora approached with her comment about the group of wookiees, which then drew the gaze of the Warrior King, appraising them for their capabilities. He then nodded again, his eyes fluttering back to Alora. "Assuming they've had the fire of resistance torn from them by now, then I agree; they will make a suitable acquisition to your workforce." He spoke quietly. "And if they do cause trouble, we have an entire planet now to find replacements. I think it is time to finish our business here." He grasped Draken's arm in brotherhood, and then let a hand fall to Alora's shoulder before he took his leave from them once more, aiming to speak with the several groups of troopers that had gathered in the area, awaiting further orders from the Sith. Raynuk again paused at Raia, giving her a confident nod. "I'll see you in a little bit meita, if not before you leave the planet, not long after..." He began, but trailed off as he noticed for the first time that his warhammer -- a weapon he had left on the Ravenhammer -- was now lying partially covered in the dirt beside where his daughter had supposedly fallen. He glanced back at the girl, and fixed her with a silent look that clearly read as "Oh really?". The look hovered momentarily, not clear if it was of anger or not, before the hint of a mischievous smile played across his face. "Heavier than it looks huh?" He asked, leaving the question open as he stood and retreived it from where it had fallen before affixing it to his back where it usually sat, and then continuing on towards the troopers. He spent the next roughly twenty minutes organizing troop movements, the transporting of wookiee prisoners, securing locations and overall ensuring the Sith's grip of the planet was absolute. Once he was content with the reports he had received from other units spread out across the planet, and with the orders he had thus given, he dismissed the officers to execute the orders given. For the next few hours, countless wookiees were going to be rounded up to further the Sith war machine. They would be bound, loaded onto ships, and carted away to various locations where their brute strength would be put to task as laborers. Some were shipped to the Golan construction site to assist the Black Sun construction team, some were to stay on the planet to construct garrisons for the contingent of troopers that was going to be occupying the planet, but most would be sent off world to several locations throughout the galaxy. As Raynuk turned to rejoin his friends, his eyes were drawn skyward as he watched the remaining Black Sun vessels begin to blink out of realspace, their objectives completed. As he continued, his attention turned to his gauntlet, keying in the codes that would draw the Darksoul back to him for his own impending departure. "The Black Sun fleet is departing, and I imagine the SIth forces that are not to remain here will not be far behind. The planet is under our control; I think we've all spent enough time on jungle planets for a while. If I don't see you up there, expect me on Serenno not long after." He gave Draken and Alora a nod as the roar of the Darksoul's engines signaled its approach over the trees. Raynuk turned his eyes upward to meet it when a low growl brought his gaze back down towards Vex'aedr. Crap... "Stay with Raia. Keep her safe, I'll be along shortly." He said convincingly. In reality, it was simply a matter of the fact that he couldn't take Vex with him at the moment, even if he wanted to; the cockpit of the Darksoul was cramped enough already without a giant tuk'ata shoved in along side him. Vex let out a resigned whuff, gave Raynuk a headbutt to the chest that was enough to make him stumble back a step, and then turned to walk back over to Raia and lay down beside her, resting his massive chin on her hand, keeping watch over her. Raynuk's attention turned back to his approaching ship, which came in as low as it could given the foliage of the area. In the end Raynuk had to use the Force to climb a tree to get up to his ship, before he jumped effortlessly into the cockpit, sealing it closed around him. He gave a final wave to those gathered below, and then the engines screamed back to full power and the Darksoul shot off again, arcing upwards towards the remaining fleet ships.
  12. Given enough time, even Quietus could grow bored and tired of sustained battle. Hours had raged past since he landed on the planet Kashyyyk, and hundreds of the furry, savage natives now lay dead, strewn across the path of his destruction across the planet. Since Exodus' departure from the battlefield, taking with him the child of Ar-Pharazon, Quietus had seperated slightly from Sheog, carving his own way. But there came the point finally where even the indomitable spirit of the wookiees was broken before the will of the Sith. Several of them had attempted to surrender to Quetus, laying their primitive weapons down at his feet in a sign of reverence. He had entertained the idea for a few moments, stooping down to investigate the weapons they had abandoned, but in each case he had swiftly used their weapons to cut them down. There was no room in the Sith Empire for the cowardliness of surrender, even among those that they had come to dominate. And so when the wookiees were gone from his immediate sight and mind, Raynuk turned and began to return to where the others were gathering. With the battle all but officially won, and without a reason to envelop himself fully into the battlemind, the need for Darth Quietus to make his presence known continued to fade, reverting back to Raynuk. It was a strange feeling to consider himself to be two entities; Raynuk the practical and oddly wise version, and Darth Quietus the battle machine. It was just as he was both the White Wolf and the Warrior King at the same time; two sides of the same coin. It was during the walk back through the jungles that he felt Raia reach out for him through the Force, everything tinted by the impact of the Sith Battlemind that still pulsed with energy over the entire planet. Like a child reaching for the hand of a parent, Raynuk's own presence and awareness met her and connected with hers. He realized in that moment that Raia had indeed descended to the planet's surface and was in the general direction that he was already heading towards; an area that he also felt Draken and Alora's presence radiating into the shared battlemind. Whatever was going on however, he could sense in the way she had reached out for him that her foray into the battle on the planet surface had not gone as she had planned; he continued to get wispy senses of hidden fear, flashes of pain followed by shame and then determination. The silent trek continued as Raynuk contemplated everything except perhaps the one thing that he needed to most consider. He could not, and should not, concern himself with the goings-on of Jaina, which left him with deeper consideration of Raia. She was his daughter in all but actual blood, yet now she was also no longer his responsibility alone. Draken, perhaps his most trusted friend since his return, was now Raia's Master and teacher, and that was a relationship that Raynuk was very mindful not to step upon. It was important that Raynuk allow Draken the space that the other man required to adequately train Raia, and it was equally important that Raia learn the importance of relying on and turning to her Master ahead of her father. Raynuk would, of course, still be present in her life when her need demanded it; little would change that. But for the moment, Raynuk needed to consciously keep a certain level of distance. He would be the rock that she clung to if she fell into the raging river, but it would not be his hands that reached for her from the riverbank to haul the girl out of the water. And so for the duration of his return through the jungle, Raynuk remained the stoic stone of presence that Raia could grasp onto and press herself against, until such time that he arrived to stand beside his companions again. Eventually, Raynuk did indeed arrive among Draken, Alora, Raia, Vex'aedr and Krakis. Vex was the first to welcome Raynuk, likely having sensed his master approaching and thus met Raynuk a few hundred feet outside the perimeter. Raynuk paused to greet his pet affectionately, exchanging questions of, "Did you have fun?" and "Fill your belly?" for the tuk'atas vocal whuffs, grunts and growls. "Kept an eye on Raia did you?" Raynuk asked the beast, and was a little concerned when Vex's ears slicked back flat to his head as he issued a sad sounding vocalization. Raynuk only frowned and looked up past the tuk'ata towards the others, then back at his pet. "It's okay. I know you did your best. Lets go see." He offered, giving Vex a scratch behind the ears as he stepped to pass his pet and continue the approach. When he did arrive in the clearing, he quite nearly almost eviscerated the two wookiees who were standing over Raia, momentarily outraged that Draken or Alora would stand by while the furred creatures loomed over the girl. But a look from Alora froze the anger and confusion solid, as his former apprentice wordlessly conveyed the simple fact that the wookiees were acting based on her desires. He met eyes with her and nodded in acceptance, before proceeding past her to Raia. Still, he could not help the small shove he gave to the wookiee 'doctor' who growled a mild protest. "Seems the daughter of the White Wolf found her first real bout of combat to be a bit overwhelming hmm?" He gently chided her, enough of a smile on his face to hopefully convey he was neither mad nor ashamed. "Now you know what we as Sith face at times. Now you have something to convey your future training against meita, and you will be stronger for it." He took her smaller hand and gave it a gentle squeeze before he stood again, allowing the wookiees to return to their work tending to her. Raynuk meanwhile, headed towards Draken, who was lording over the clearing a few meters away. He approached into close company, his hand falling to the other's elbow and gently guiding him a bit further away so that both of their backs were to Raia and the wookiees. "What the hell happened Draken..." He asked, intending for his words to be more gentle and curious than accusatory, but regardless, the words came out with a slight edge.
  13. Only the soldiers seemed to have been surprised when the rubble exploded upwards as they retreated, spinning on their heels to address the threat. A number of the retreating soldiers never got the chance to focus on the Consort's emergence as larger chunks of the rubble crashed down upon them, killing them outright. Zarl and the cloaked figure continued their silent march, giving the events unfolding behind them only a cursory glance as the shuttle lowered far enough for them to climb aboard. She is of no consequence, stay your weapons. The voice rung out in the minds of all those present, including Emily and Roe'gall. The soldiers that remained instantly lowered their blasters and turned to sprint fully back towards the landing area where the rest of the platoon was waiting. As the shuttle settled, a large chunk of the rubble was thrown towards the shuttle, crashing noisily into the outer casing of one of the shuttle's engines, the connection of metal and stone sparking as the rock fell to the soil of Yavin IV, crushing a helpless trooper under it. Zarl did not look back before he climbed aboard the shuttle, followed by twelve of the troopers. The hooded figure turned, watching as a majority of the soldiers who had progressed atop the rubble were crushed, slashed, trampled, and chewed to pieces. As a second large chunk of rubble was thrown haphazardly at the shuttle, the green tentacles again shot from his heavy sleeves, shooting into the sky and catching the chunk before it could find a target, then letting it drop harmlessly to the ground once more. The remaining soldiers from the excursion to the rubble continued to flee towards him, even as the Consort of Quietus ducked behind a large chunk of rubble. The troopers used the respite to continue filing into the shuttle. Nine had been lost in the emergence of the Consort, and the hooded man stayed. "Return the prize Zarl." The voice spoke from the man once more. Zarl nodded and yelled within the shuttle for the pilots to leave, and a moment later the shuttle was beginning to rise once more towards the sky, thrusting at full power even with the minor damage to its engine. “I don’t know what’s up with the tin soldiers and creepy tentacle monsters in bath robes, but we’re here to party.” It was the voice of the Celestial that caused the hooded man to turn finally, to appraise the new arrival. And from beneath the hood came a wicked smile. "The mighty Celestial entity, at a loss for what is happening right under his gaze... how quaint." As though the familiarity with the being that had once been Andon was not enough to unnerve, the hooded man reached up and pulled the hood back to reveal his face for the first time. The very same face that the Celestial was wearing; scared right side of his face, hazel hair which was trimmed much more closely than the Celestial. The major difference however, was the where the Celestial's eyes were hazel-gray, the hooded man's were glowing a very bright green, to the point that the eyes appeared to be little more than bastions of green fire that spilled out onto the face of the man. "So intent upon breaking existence to find her that you never thought to care what you unleashed in the process. Did you know? That she who you would break everything for, was dead when you began your tirade? But I suppose I really must thank you for setting me free after so long within that cage..." The firey green eyes shifted to Jaina as she approached beside Andon, and the smile spread wider. "Oh wait! The debt is already paid. You must know by now; you who can see everything, that it was I who brought her back from the death that she had embraced after you abandoned her." The man's head shifted slightly, aiming more towards where Emily had chosen to hide, the voice growing louder so that both Emily and Jaina could hear. "That's right Emily... Your precious UNCLE is the one who set me loose upon this galaxy, who allowed me to tear into your flesh and take from you what you held most dear..." The eyes again jumped to Jaina, the smile twisting to one of hidden knowledge."...In more than one way it seems." The man looked back at the Celestial, and snickered. "I'm afraid you'll have to party without me however. Clearly you all have much to talk about Too-de-loo. The fire in the man's eyes flared out, revealing the hazel-gray eyes beneath as he momentarily stumbled in place. He glanced around panicked for a moment, catching sight of Andon, and Jaina, and the jungle that surrounded them. And then without warning the man screamed, grabbing at his temples, as he fell to his knees. Before anyone, even the Celestial could react, the green glow returned, emanating from the man's screaming mouth, his ears, nose, and began to creep in around the edges of his eyes. Then all at once, the scream was silenced as the man's entire head cracked like a nut along the scar that was mirrored on the face of the Celestial, before his entire head exploded in green fire. By the time the man's body hit the ground fully, there was nothing left above the shoulders, and perhaps more crushingly the Gamma-class shuttle was gone from the sky.
  14. The gathering of soldiers and commanders did not display any level of fear or concern as the massive, ancient Massassi Temple that had stood for thousands of years practically untouched crumbled under the unforgiving firepower of the shuttle. As the rubble settled and the dust began to do the same, they all still waited. Only the vague movements of bracing themselves against the dust cloud gave evidence that they were not the statues they appeared to be. Only when the dust finally settled , allowing the light of the day to streak onto the pile of rubble, did the two cloaked figured stir. Together they moved forward, closer to the rubble. As they approached, one of them reached up to pull back his hood, revealing the face that, if the Consort of Quietus was still alive, would have instantly recognized as Zarl, wearing the same cocky grin that she had last seen him with. He produced a datapad and activated it, the display lighting up with a fairly simple radial tracking display. The second man however, kept his hood up, a dull yet intense green glow from under the hood giving off enough light to make out the vague shape of a human chin. Zarl continued to walk forward until the datapad began to ping quicker and quicker with each step. FInally he stopped, turning to the hooded man beside him while he pointed to a spot in the rubble. "There." Zarl received no acknowledgement from the second man other than a very minor nod, at which point Zarl glanced back at the rubble with a nod of his own, giving a wordless waved command to the troopers. Two squadrons began to pick their way across the rubble pile towards the vague area that had been pointed to, spreading out in a loose semi-circle so that the several troopers carrying ysalamiri covered the area of rubble in question within the lizard's natural Force-negation fields. The hooded man took another few steps forward then, climbing atop the rubble himself before both arms shot out in front of him, the same cold voice emanating from the hooded man. Tzihra iw ri drosar, timili negu nun, uzmani manai komandai, brodukai hal min, Diâ ri midwan Nu dzuontai There was a flare of green light from the man's face, before twin columns of green power extended from his outstretched hands, worming and splitting their way into the rubble and wrapping around several of the large chunks of stone. In an instant, each piece of stone was thrown to the wayside by the mystical green appendages before each dove back into the pile of rubble to wrap around another chunk of the temple and likewise toss it all aside. A number of other stones were grabbed and removed in this manner, but almost immediately the appendages paused, and then dove into the rubble itself, worming their way down among the countless cracks and crevaces formed by the pile of rubble. The hooded man's arms jerked to and fro in tiny movements, halfway between twitches and subtle movements as the entity aimed the green power to its destination. Three minutes passed in this manner before the voice returned. I have what is mine. In less time than it took for the green appendages to work their way down, they retracted like a rubber band, emerging from the pile of rubble with enough force to send more rubble flying as well. And there at the end of the worming tenticle of green magic was the bag that had belonged to Cassandra, it's shoulder strap completely torn asunder and sporting a few tears along the material that encompassed the lockbox stashed within. The entire object was deposited directly into the hands of Zarl, who looked down at it for a moment, ensuring the integrity of the lockbox's seal before looking up and nodding to the hooded figure, who stared back in silence as the green glow faded from his arms before they returned to his side. "Time to make our departure..." Zarl spoke, backing away from the rubble pile for a few feet before turning, retreating back to where the rest of the armored soldiers were still waiting beneath the floating shuttle. As he moved, the soldiers who had converged upon the rubble pile itself also began to retreat from their locations, backing off the rubble to rendezvous with the others.
  15. Outside the temple, the same two pair of hooded men stood watching and waiting at the temple entrance along with the mass of troopers The second man again turned to the first, his eyes still glowing unnaturally. Destroy it. The first man nodded, and glanced up at the shuttle. “Open fire.” The shuttle wasted no time, instantly firing all of its heavy cannons at the entrance of the temple with the intention of collapsing it, even adding another of its concussion missiles to the mix for good measure. ----------------------------- The temple shook violently as another explosion, much closer this time, echoed through the temple. But the sounds did not cease, and in a matter of seconds large chunks of rock were beginning to fall. The possessed form of Cassandra simply laughed maniacally as the room began to collapse. The body of Cassandra was silenced soon after as a large chunk of the ceiling collapsed on her. The temple itself would not last very much longer at this rate.
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