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Solus

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Solus last won the day on August 28 2023

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  1. Solus

    Space

    When the blue flames went out, Aeon seemed to shake himself further awake. The ritual was done, and he could feel it. His soul felt different. It was an esoteric sensation, but it was there, like the wind in the trees or the waves in the water. He could feel the touch of Korriban stronger than before. He could sense the sensation of chaos eating at the edges of his mind. “Oh my oh my!” Aeon chimed, tapping on his head “What a strange sensation, don’t you agree gentlemen? Ah, yes, yes i agree Lord Akheron, rest does sound needed at the moment. I do need to recharge my batteries, and honestly, I feel strained beyond most capabilities. Rest well, my lord! Rest well!” Aeon turned and faced Dictum and examined him more closely, adjusting his sensors like the glasses he often pretended they were. “I must admit lord Dictum, when we first met, i never imagined i would commit such a ritual with you. You came off as slightly ignorant in my opinion. But let me say, your words of wisdom have shown themselves fully, and the sensations I am feeling that I can only attest to your participation is intriguing. Whatever my thoughts about you in the past, our paths are now tied with Akheron like the rings of Geonosis.” “But I am curious, my friend…” Aeon continued. “I can sense Chaos and the rage of Korriban stronger than ever thanks to your participation. But what is it that you se-” Aeon was cut off. His voice box broke into a shrill of static and broken pitches as the body fell backwards, violently twitching and shaking. Aperture sensors rapidly opened up and then closed over and over while joints bent backwards into impossible positions. Most organics would’ve described this as a chaotic power surge for robots, or a epileptic seizure for humanoids. With the recency of the ritual complete, it was entirely possible that Dictum and Akheron would have seen and heard what Aeon was experiencing in his mind. These hallucinations that occurred were of the Temple of the Spider. The halls darkened and seemed to stretch into infinite corridors. Monotonous pipes filled the air alongside long guttural drones of deep voices and thrumming of drums. Spider webs began to form at the corners, only to stretch across the walls. “Disciple Emlesh Beosta” A reverberating voice rung out. From the twisting shadows, a cloaked figure formed before each person. Floating several inches off the ground, the figure was unnaturally tall and twisted over. Neither its face nor its hands were visible, and its chest seemed to wriggle with untold life underneath its robes. “Emlesh Beosta, we call you to the moons of Yavin'' The voice continued to reverberate as Aeon continued to seize and scream uncontrollably. “A gift awaits you and your companions. Seek ‘The Iron Net’" From down the hallways came screams and roars. Giant monstrous things began to emerge, dragging themselves on carapace legs. If they were seeing the hallucination like Aeon was, Akheron and Dictum would feel numerous tiny insects crawling on their arms and legs. The hooded figure opened its robes slightly. Instead of a body, there were only worms piled on top of each other in the vague shape of a human chest “The Iron Net. The moons of Yavin.” The figure reverberated one last time. Then, as suddenly as it began, the hallucination ended. Aeon stopped shaking and regained control of his senses, though he did not move for a period of time. After a few moments of silence, Aeon did finally sit up. “Oh my, my apologies, I must have had an episode. But that felt different than usual.” Aeon looked at Dictum again. “Did I sense you in that hallucination? Did you hear and see what I saw?"
  2. Solus

    Space

    Still a floating crystal in the void, Aeon heard the call of the Madness first. The wet chewing and crunching noises of it reached invisible ears Aeon didn’t realize he had. The gurgling and bubbling of tongues in languages unknown resonated inside his very crystalline form. And the growing beat of something throbbing in the darkness. Drawing on his experience with his previous, still screaming illusion, Aeon stretched out his ‘brainwaves’ into the void. However, instead of escaping his body, the lines bounced right back. Surprised, Aeon attempted again and again. Repeatedly, the lines bounced back. Something was trapping him. “What in the Force?” Aeon resonated, confused and slightly scared. Aeon began to feel the heat on his form. Something was pressing against him. Something was growing around him, encasing him inside itself. Was this a reflection of what he had to do to connect with the previous illusion? No sooner had this thought occurred, the ‘thing’ began to enter Aeon in its own way. The cracks all along Aeon’s form were being filled in with something thick and wet. Sinewy lines of something were breaking and crawling in, stretching out in Aeon’s ‘brain’. Aeon’s lines finally touched one of the droplets and felt a surge of power. Like connecting with the wires of a chassis, so too had Aeon connected with these clumps of nerve tissue. Senses returned to the Shard. In the depths of space, Aeon looked over himself with his numerous eyes. This form was certainly different. All of his previous chassis had been humanoid, or vaguely humanoid. This was spherical, and had no discernable movable limbs, save the millions of tiny root-like feelers that would sprout and regress back into the body. The pale white translucent, rubbery flesh was smooth and slick compared to the previous conjurations the Madness had generated. However, Aeon could feel things inside his body as well. Underneath the flesh, between the capillaries and veins, billions of relatively tiny creatures crawled about, carrying on numerous tasks. Aeon could feel their thoughts and emotions. Anger, panic, envy, superiority were amongst the most prevalent with them as they worked, lived, breathed, bred, grew, and died inside his body. Aeon would focus on one creature, and feel it fall over lifeless as its essence was sucked in the Shard’s own. But rather than turn on Aeon, the other creatures simply disposed of the dead body and continued on. “What is this?” Aeon wondered. Surprised, he felt all the beings inside stop and ask the same question simultaneously. They were connected to him. They were of him but at the same time separate. Living vats of knowledge that Aeon grew inside, and then drained them when he needed to. “What am i?” As if to answer his question, an object in space appeared. A small blue planet. The body shook, and began to move towards the planet, as if movement was unnatural for the form. Aeon felt shooting pains all throughout his body, but before he could scream, the creatures inside began to soothe the flesh, appeasing him like they would a child. All the while, Aeon approached the planet. It was here that Aeon realized the scale of what he was. The water-filled planet he viewed had several moons orbiting it. While the planet was massive for most worlds, Aeon dwarfed the moons easily. “I am…a world? Yes, a world…” Aeon voiced through the billions of creatures inside of him. “I am… celestial! Ascended! Haha! Like Betelguise of the Ebon Star, or the Death Star of the Empire, so am I! On the planet’s surface, Aeon could sense life. He could hear their thoughts as they went about their business. Fear was rising amongst them as Aeon approached their planet they called home. They had noticed their moons had already begun to succumb to Aeon’s gravity, wobbling out of synchronized orbit as a sign of the impending apocalypse. They sent out messages to all regions of the galaxy, but no one heard their pleas for help. The people below were helpless to Aeon’s form. “I can feel them… can they feel me?” Aeon wondered. The beings inside Aeon all froze at the question. As one, they began to chant words mixing both ancient Sith and Cthol. The world before Aeon shuddered in the Force as the Darkside wrapped around it. Madness took control. The beings of the world began to scream in terror as visions of vile things arose all around. In blind panic, the populace began to tear themselves apart. Neighbor killed neighbor, friend mutilated friend. The mother’s smothered the children, and the fathers carved themselves up in terrible delight. The world’s sanity had been broken, and now it had entered an aeon of madness that would only end with the coldness of death. Aeon cackled madly. The billions inside of him danced and celebrated with their god as the world was plunged into chaos. “I am all powerful! I am not only of the Madness, I AM THE MADNESS! I am the Madness incarnate!” Aeon continued to laugh, even as the creatures inside stopped dancing and began to sooth Aeon’s body again. However, they began to whisper independent thoughts now. “Surrender to it, great one! Surrender to this vision, and be forever this way.” Aeon stopped laughing. “What do you mean?” The beings inside continued to coo and caw their deity as they explained. “This is a vision, oh great one. It is unreal. You are not this powerful and you know this. This apex of your power, it will possibly never exist, even if things go your way. But here, it is real. It is real, oh great one. Surrender, and you will be this way forever. Give in, let the Madness fully consume you here, and you will never be weak. You will always feed, and you will always kill. You will drive entire worlds insane like just now, and even the mightiest Sith and Jedi will crumble before your mind. Even the dead will scream from the Madness you will become.” Aeon considered their words. Everything they said was true. This form, illusionary as it was, was perfect. He was a deity. He was the full culmination of the Madness, with powers that rivaled any other living thing in the galaxy. Aeon shuddered. As tempting as it was, this was not reality. Aeon focused and began to scream. He had to break this illusion away and focus on reality. The dying world, the billions of beings inside Aeon, the flesh planet, and space itself fell away. Aeon’s droid body came to life as he returned to reality. The illusion of the Scholar Solus still screamed before him, but the ghosts had now realized their target was a fake and were turning their attention to Aeon’s actual body. Aeon reached a metal arm out as the ghosts approached to tear him apart. “Uoy ekat ssendam tel!” Aeon shouted. Reaching into the Force, Aeon felt the attacking souls and infected them with the Madness inside himself. The ghosts screamed in pain as their undead minds were invaded, before turning on each other like those beings on that fake planet Aeon had witnessed. Aeon chuckled as he watched the ghosts literally tear themselves apart.
  3. Solus

    Space

    Aeon awoke. He found himself in blackness, disconnected from his chassis. His crystalline form was nothing more than a rock in space, lines of thought dancing blindly and wildly inside. No dim stars in the sky pierced the dark, nor did any hissing buzz of nearby electricity touched his magnetic senses. At the moment, he was alone, a still geode floating in an infinite void. Aeon did not scream. This void was not like previous voids of not having a body. It wasn’t like before when he was cut off from his family. The air felt fuller around him. It wasn’t the cold vacuum of space, for there would’ve been stars or gasses or something. And beyond all that, he could actually ‘see’ the darkness, despite having no eyes or sensors to speak of. Hello? Aeon resonated into the abyss, unsure what was happening. Ah! You are finally here! Come, embrace my form! Let us communicate fully! Something resonated back. Aeon paused at the response from the darkness. There was something familiar about the thing that resonated back. Embrace your form? Yes! Oh wait, you don’t remember how to do that anymore, do you… I suppose it has been a long time for you to remember that. Stretch yourself out. Open yourself, and then cast yourself out, like how you would into the Geometries. Aeon paused again. How do you know about the Impossible Geometries? Once you do so, you'll understand Aeon stopped talking and began to do as the thing instructed. To his surprise, the lines of energy inside his body escaped his body. Much like the lines of envy escaped into the Geometries before, so too did his lines of thought escape into the void. The lines dashed and darted in all directions until they bounced off something. Something hard. Aeon refocused himself. His lines of thought barraged the hard surface he found. Like fingers grasping blindly, so too did the lines ‘feel’ around the shape. It was polyhedral, but it continued to morph over and over again. At moments Aeon was sure it was a cube, only for him to discover new corners had been shaped out, creating a sort of rhombic triacontahedron, only again for a moment later for some of the corners to disappear, creating a tetrahedron. What...what are you? Aeon resonated as he continued to ‘feel’ the shifting shape. His frustration was starting to build as he repeatedly had to rediscover new edges and vertices. Don’t fret! You’re almost there. You are just getting through my outer shell. It's complicated, but necessary. Think of it as a test of will. Push yourself now! Break through! A line broke through the invisible polyhedral. A crack of some kind, not formed by Aeon’s actions. Aeon focused all his thoughts on the one spot, driving each line of electric thought into the shape. Whoever, or whatever, that was inside would be known to him. A soft, warm glow broke the darkness. Aeon’s lines connected with something new, yet old. Something foreign, yet familiar. A crystalline body, with cracks and lines of energy dancing inside it.. You’re me! Aeon exclaimed. The other Aeon laughed. Yes! Well, mostly yes. I am Solus, and you are Aeon! Haha! It is so good to connect with you! Oh my, it's been forever since we’ve done this, hasn’t it? Yes… yes it has been. Aeon mused over what was said. Not since we were with our original family. Yes. Normally we’d have to be physically touching, but… well, not to sound cliche, through the Force, many things are possible. Aeon’s lines released Solus and began to feel the shape that surrounded Solus. What is this? Why does it keep changing? Oh, I call it my shell, though the Jedi call it a ‘holocron’ casing. Holocron?!? Aeon responded almost violently. So you are nothing more than an object? A tool?!? No no no! Not at all! I am still me! There is nothing artificial about me like usual holocrons. I’m not just some gatekeeper. I am the tome, the key to the tome, and the guardian of the tome. The Scholar of the Impossible. The Student of before and beyond. I remember all, and learn all. Like you, I am timeless. But… you’re a holocron? I use the casing of a holocron. One that is my own creation. It helps others connect with me if they think of me like a holocron, but it shifts over and over again to represent my thought process. I analyze and memorize everything about them, and in turn, they can study everything I have ever studied or seen. With my connection to the Force, I have a near limitless storage of information, and everyone I connect with not only helps them grow, but helps me grow as well. You… what? Like a holocron, I am a library of information. But unlike a holocron, I continually learn from everyone who interacts with me. I am alive! I study people and their experiences. As long as there is life, I can study and grow beyond my limits. But…you’re a tool. A slave to other people’s uses… Solus tsk tsk several times. The shudder Aeon felt at the Solus’ resonance was indescribable. You see things much too limited. That is the problem you have right now. That…blackness in your very shard. Madness is what you call it, right? A funny name. There are much better terms for it I think. You think of it as freeing, but instead it’s shackling your mind. You cannot see things correctly anymore. It's like… it's like a grease smear on a focusing lens. That Madness prevents you from seeing things correctly. It's impossible to see things correctly now. But if you want, I could help you. This last statement made Aeon retract suddenly. It was unexpected, even from another version of himself. A free offering of help. What do you mean help me? How could you help me? The Madness inside you? It can be purified. Many Jedi Masters have done so with other variations in the past. If you allowed me, I could attempt to purify the madness from your very soul. Wait, but you are me! How can you purify me when you don’t even exist? Solus laughed heartily at this comment. The lines inside his Shard pulsed and bounced with newfound energy. Who says I don’t exist? In the Force, there is no time. No beginning, no ending. Just the Force. Am I just a hypothetical version of you, or perhaps you in the future, reaching back to heal myself? Or perhaps I'm just a reflection of something inside of you, given form in the void. Either way, does it matter? No, no it doesn't. So, will you allow me to heal you? Will you try to become pure of the Madness that haunts you? Aeon paused in thought, momentarily disconnected from Solus. His own thoughts, separate from Solus, raced around the Light-sided shard. Solus seemed to wait patiently, an air of calm in the midst of a storm. Finally, Aeon’s lines reconnected with Solus again. “Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” Solus exclaimed as his own lines of thought began to intertwine and mingle with Aeon’s thoughts. “Come! Let us begin…” Aeon felt a glimmer of joy inside himself. The sensation of having another Shard, even himself, in full contact with his being was rapturous. All other feelings Aeon ever experienced in the past paled in comparison. If Aeon was organic, he would’ve termed the sensation as orgasmic. It was the climax of all sensations a Shard could’ve experienced. “Yes! Yes yes…” Solus commented, seemingly feeling the same thing Aeon felt. “Now..let me begin-” Solus cut off suddenly. Aeon’s lines of thought became thicker and thicker, sending more and more energy towards Solus. The Light sided being’s lines of thought tried to pull away from Aeon’s, but Aeon adjusted his frequencies at the right setting. The two were becoming inseparable, and Solus was becoming larger. “What…what are you doing? Are you…feeding me?” Solus began to frantically wonder out loud. “Yes, that’s one way of looking at it…” Aeon smugly replied. “You see, you are nothing but an illusion. You might try to claim you aren’t but you apparently forgot or don’t realize that I deal with illusions constantly. Spiders crawling in the walls. Dragon’s swimming in the clouds. Moans in the darkness, gurgles in the waters… I deal with those all the time. I know illusions, you puny pale puzzle of pontification! And you are nothing more than an illusion!” Solus gasped as more energy flowed into him. But…you are making me stronger? Why? I don’t understand… Aeon laughed. “Come on, I thought you said you remember everything! Don't you remember what lessons I received at the Temple? The Temple taught me to embrace my illusions. True, they meant for scaring other people and infecting them, but here the logic still stands. I am embracing you, and giving you some of my life!" But why? Solus asked again. Haha! Oh this is very amusing, watching you trying to understand with your limited intellect. Your puny insignificance amuses me! You see, another reason I know you aren’t real is that you can’t sense those souls that are approaching me and my fellow Sith. If you were real, you would sense that danger. Hell, maybe you'd be able to sense my fellow sith! Or even my true intentions! However, you can’t, because you are nothing but a falsity. But rejoice Solus! By giving you some of my life…you will sense those ghosts that approach. Hell, you will be able to feel them! But most importantly... Aeon had to pause to snicker once more at the false Shard known as Solus. They will sense you. No… Solus' cold realization vibrated across the abyss, becoming a beacon for those hungry ghosts on the material plane to swarm. Don’t... you don't have to do this... Aeon laughed again. Do try to scream as much as possible when you are getting torn apart please. It will help sell your likeness. You may be just an illusion with a semblance of life, but you are also my bait, and i expect you to do your best at dying Good bye Solus! It was nice talking to you! Aeon resonated into the abyss, barely audible over the terrified screams that helpless Solus was now making. In the material plane, the image of the Scholar Solus took form, floating in the room. Like the illusion Aeon faced, it was screaming.
  4. Solus

    Space

    At Akherons words, Aeon shuddered slightly. The memory of wounding his very shard when creating his lightsaber crystal was still fresh in his mind, and the damage he had received from the tree had left his crystalline body still vulnerable. He did not understand how his being was supposed to heal, or if it even was supposed to heal. How does one heal a rock of its damage? "If it must be done, then it will be done," Aeon commented, regardless of his feelings. As he spoke, his head panels opened up to reveal the small glowing gem connected amongst the wires of his body. When the ritual began, and the dark side began to resonate in the room, Aeon felt a mixture of excitement and dread grow within him. These experiences always revealed more about the Madness, no matter the origin, but there was always an unpredictability inherited with such events. But at the same time, that very chaotic essence is what made it exciting. At Akheron's gesture to add the essence, Aeon focused. Using the force, he began to pull and yank at a piece of his Shard. His voice box emitted some static as the lines in his shard became chaotic and erratic. His effort and pain was not in vain however, as a small piece, no bigger than a fraction of a pebble, tore off, and fell into his open palm. "Glaoim ar na cinn…" Reaching out, Aeon dropped the piece while reciting the words. He felt his body channel the dark side further into the ritual, unable to hold back the darkness inside. The Madness even began to manifest itself in more tangible forms for everyone in the room, an indication of what Aeon was bringing with him into this ritual: From inside his circuits, down the robotic arm, crawled numerous fingernail-sized purple mist-spewing tumorous spiders, pausing on his hand only to leap into the mixture of blood. Unaware that the others could see these tiny manifestations of the dark side, Aeon ignored them and continued to chant. "Trí Bhás, Chaos, Am agus Spás a ghlaoim ort! Mar is toil liomsa beidh sé!"
  5. Solus

    Space

    As the others did their own, Aeon was left to his own devices to repair his body. The arm was the most troubling part to fix. With Akheron's severing of the limb, solus has to extensively replace numerous wires and central frames. He was able to recover some of the materials from his destroyed ship, but there was not enough equipment to perfectly replicate the arm. The scomp link itself required more special pieces, and so it was technically operable, but remained unconnected to the Shard's mind. Most of the other fixes were easy enough. The damages from akherons shatter move had left his chassis harmed, but but not beyond repair. However, without stitch-mouth to assist him, Aeon was left to do the repairs himself. "I must say this will never be normal for me I believe" Aeon commented as he operated on his own open chest while sitting on the cold floor. "I wonder if doctors had ever performed an autopsy on themselves " Aeon giggled at his ponderings. Despite everything that has happened, he felt more whole than ever. He felt, emotionally, a little stronger. He felt a bit more in control of his life. He felt unique even… "Are you actually unique?" A voice broke the room. Aeon glanced upwards at the figure standing at the doorway to the small room aeon had claimed. The undead lizard reaked of decay and rot. No doubt one "Why yes I am you insignificant rotting meatbag" Aeon chimed back. The lizard laughed and stepped in further. Aeon had to study the creature a moment. Directly in its face was a hole from some kind of puncture wound. "To me you are nothing more than a rock in a robot suit. A droid with an eccentric personality " Aeon clutched his hands at the comment. "A droid that can use the force. Where is your master? Shouldn't you be serving his whims?" The lizard smiled. " he cannot reach me anymore little rock. Alas, I am now beyond his sight" Aeon paused. Something was off. A momentary glimpse into the Force revealed no presence here in the room. Was this the Madness at work? Aeon stood up, inner chassis still exposed, and raised his hand to wave the apparition away. The lizard faded from sight, giving one last chuckle before leaving the Shard alone. Aeon sighed. Then jumped as he felt someone's hand grip his shoulder. "He's right you know…' "By the fangs!" Aeon exclaimed as he toppled over himself onto the floor. The Fallen behind him laughed. "To imagine that I was killed by a worthless whelp like you. If only I had hidden that grenade a little better. " "You! You're that…" Aeon started. The Falleen nodded at the shards' realization. The Falleen that attempted an assassination attempt on Akheron before Nar Shaddaa. "You are in my head…" Aeon began to piece together outloud. "I drained your memories and you are in my head. That's why that lizard looked familiar. He was the first one I ever sucked the brain out of. And because I sucked everything I could, I must have gotten a piece of the personality as well" "Well, personality is based on memories, and memories is based on data, and you basically absorbed as much data as possible…" The Falleen shrugged. "And with your particular eccentric connection to the Madness, you are getting more than you bargained for." What the Falleen said confirmed Aeon's thoughts. It wasn't the Faleen soul or something similiar, for this apparition had no idea about the Madness whatsoever before his death. He was simply a leftover remnant that lived in Aeon’s head rent free. "But back to the matter at hand, ol dead bones is right" the falleen continued, offering aeon a helping hand up, to which the shard refused. " You aren't that unique. Nothing more than a droid really." "Kriff off, I am unique enough" The Faleen laughed. "Are you certain? Tell me, where is your ship? Your planet you vowed to attain? " Aeon stopped moments before waving the hallucination away. It had a point. "By the force, you still are using a regular model of an analysis droid. You may be a rock in a droid chassis, but you aren't unique. Akheron is the lord of rage and leader of the cult. That necromancer has his own planet and now ship made from that planet! That newly taken on assassin probably has something we dont know yet. What do you have? No temple, no servants, just a new name and a puny chassis and a lightsaber. " Aeon listened to the hallucinations words carefully, each one ringing true to his sensors. His lightsaber pulsed at his side, calling at the feelings of envy welling up. It gnawed at the Shard, silently encouraging it to do something about the situation. To kill Akheron, to slaughter the necromancer, to dispose of Dictum, and to take everything they had... "Lord Aeon, OK Lord Ragnar, I need you in the altar room" Akherons voice broke Aeon out of his trance. The Falleen vanished as soon as the words were emitted. "Coming! Ach, coming!" Aeon stumbled out of the room, almost tripping while clumsily putting his chest pieces back into place while walking. He was still secjring the outer covering when he arrived into the room. He gave an almost comical appearance of a man redressing his robes after being caught performing intimacy. "Apologies, I was still fixing myself. But as you can see, both my chassis and I are performing optimally. " Aeon banged on his now reattached chest covering to emphasize the point. In truth, he was still slightly shaken from the hallucinations he had encountered, but he saw no reason to let the others know.
  6. When the ground shook, and the Ziggurat began to rise, Aeon felt a smote of the emotion of awe. To see the massive thing rise up on power solely of the darkside was wondrous to say the least. Where Akheron had displayed power in the use of the blade, here Innmortos demonstrated power in the use of the Force. The feeling of awe was quickly swallowed by feelings of envy and despisement. What had this necromancer done to deserve a planet to end on a whim, and now a floating citadel? “I stand humbly corrected, man of… er, Lord-Captain” Solus bowed gently to Innmortos, barely correcting himself before giving the necromancer another sneering title. It was as much as he could handle not giving into his own envy at this time. Aeon listened to Dictum’s words and, while he was initially disappointed that the assassin refused membership in the clan, he saw a different opportunity arise. “I would be honored to be bound alongside you, for your wisdom has already given me fruit Assassin. And if I may add… Aeon held up his destroyed hand again. This time however he seemed to realize what he was doing, for he had to pause and look at it before lowering it to continue talking. “As a being who represents the Temple of the Spider, they would always be interested in helping you along your path in exchange for whatever wisdom you may be able to provide. I know we both found intelligence during our short time together with the Master of Hides, and having witnessed the Temple, I can assure you there is much more to be discovered.” Aeon looked where he last saw his lightsaber in the ground, exposed to the rapidly cooling air. Raising his good hand, the blade shook in the snow before flying towards Aeon's open hand. "Might I suggest, gentlemen, that we get someplace a bit more...habitable? While I am impressed with your power Necromancer, I doubt everyone here will appreciate the dropping temperatures and thinning air. Even your powers I'd imagine has its limits to providing life for the living, and I wouldn't mind fixing myself. "
  7. Aeon bowed at the words of Dictum. “How do I forget that despite your blindness, you see better than myself? First your words on my master, and now this! Fellow child of the Dark, your words once again ring true in my very Shard! How fortunate we are to have you amongst us.” Then the necromancer spoke. Despite his hatred he was currently experiencing towards the undead creature, Aeon kept his composure. The idea of speaking privately with the thing did not appeal to him, but he was still on thin ice, and needed to practice some restraint still until a more opportune moment came to pass. “Hmm, your idea has merit, oh great one!” Solus added, indicating towards Dictum. “The clan always needs more members of his caliber. Perhaps we can do an induction ceremony for Dictum at your ship, much like how we inducted you on Akheron’s ship. Of course…” Aeon paused and raised his still working hand to his face, as if in thought. “I don’t think we have witnessed your ship, have we necromancer? But you must surely have one, or is your title of Lord-Captain just a formality? Unless of course you think this planet is your ship? If so, then I'd love to see this fine, pale vessel in action against the Alliance! Haha!” Aeon laughed at his own joke, an effort to simultaneously lighten the situation as well as poke some fun at the necromancer.
  8. “Aeon…” the Shard repeated the word once, feeling it in the language of sound before letting it reverberate within his own being. It felt right, It resonated with him. His master had chosen well. How ironic that before the Kaggoth began, Solus declared that Akheron would know his true name! Solus had believed he would force Akheron his own name he had learned from the Temple. Disciple Emlesh Beosta: A disciple of Flesh Beyond Stars. But rather, Akheron had reversed the situation. This turn of events even made his own hatred shake… Darth Aeon, Solus no more, rose and faced his master fully. A new found humility that had helped douse the raging feelings of hate and compelled the Shard to speak. “I accept my title…and my punishment, in equal measure Akheron. I am delighted to see my worth fully recognized for all of our Sith brethren to see, but I also recognize that If this battle has proved one additional thing, it is evident that my personal theology needs the same tempering that I have received from you. And while I still cannot view the necromancer's practices as sanctified in our deity’s eyes, I recognise that it was your own power that brought you back. You are not the heretic I believed you were. You are truly a Lord of Rage.” “I will do what’s expected of me, not just for the sake of our clan, but also for our Empress as well. I will continue to ascend beyond my youth, and increase my abilities. Eventually, the galaxy will witness the great Final Death” Aeon then turned his attention to Innmortos. While he still viewed the necromancer with hatred and disgust, Aeon recognised now was the time of temperance. His reckless rage had cost him a coveted position. He needed to stay calm and wait for a better time to prove the necromancer’s erroneous ways. “I will accept any punishment the clan sees fit for my error in judgment on the Lord-Captains of our clan.“
  9. When the saber sliced through his arm, Solus’ voice box emitted a screech of pain. Though the shard had no nerve muscles to speak of, he could feel his body thanks to his odd physiology. His electromagnetic sense, combined with the sensors built into the body, meant that the sabers cut was infinitely more painful than anything he felt before. Only the tree before had dealt such pain to the Shard. The pain sustained in the Shard’s mind as he was tossed through the air. Unable to focus on anything but the pain, Solus crashed into the ground unceremoniously, entirely different from when he had tried to dodge and avoid his master’s attacks from Force and Lightsaber alike. The Shard lifted his head from the snow and ash, and gripped at his sliced appendage. However, Solus stopped screaming. The whisperings of the Madness began to grip at the Shard’s mind. Weakened and exhausted, Solus had become susceptible to the Madness and all its cosmic malignancy. If Solus gave the slightest inkling of weakness, it would consume and devour him, ending his very being as he knew it. There wouldn’t be death. There wouldn’t be any glorious meeting with the Fanged God, nor an eternity of emptiness and loneliness. It would be as if Solus soul never existed, and instead replaced by something else. This was the price the Temple of the Spider preached. The panic that began to set in during the Shard’s realization would make anyone sympathetic. Even as Solus tried to push the whisperings from his head, he couldn’t fight the hallucinations creeping around him. The immortal flesh crawling from under the snow. The eyeballs sprouting on the debris. The spiders crawling on his spinal circuits. Solus glanced at his missing arm. From its stub, new cancerous tissue began to emerge. Control…I need control. Focus…i need to focus… Solus thought rapidly. I cannot surrender now…not yet… I can’t lose now, not yet, no no no no, not yet! Focus on something, anything, just not yet... Then Solus heard his master’s words. The hatred that sprung up from just seeing him still alive was enough to push the Madness back. The hallucinations backed down, unable to beat the raw emotion that Solus conjured up in that one moment of pure hatred aimed at his master. Solus stood up from place and faced Akheron, holding his broken arm. His sensors flashed over to where his lightsaber lay, half buried in the snow and ash. For a moment, the hilt twitched. The hatred and envy of Akheron cheating death was enough to give the Shard one last second wind if he demanded it. If Solus allowed it, the Madness would take hold and do everything in its power with his body to kill Akheron. All he had to do was to call and surrender to it. Solus fell to his knees, clutching his injured arm. As much as he wanted to kill Akheron, he did not want to die yet. And beyond all that, he still wanted to ascend. To rise above what he was, and what he still was. Only then, would he find more power to control the Madness, and then, on his terms, kill everyone and bring about the end of everything. Solus turned his gaze downwards, as he awaiting what happened next.
  10. The ground underneath Solus trembling made Solus begin to scare. He had no idea how Akheron figured out his exact position, but that didn’t matter now. Solus was caught, even as he tried desperately to crawl out from his hiding spot as the ground crumbled underneath him. He was stuck under the piece of hull plating of his ship. Solus felt the yellow mist in the Impossible Geometries. The danger was about to strike him. Turning over onto his back, he called upon the force to push the hull plating away from himself in the direction of his advancing Master. As the makeshift shield was quickly and steadily shredded apart by Akhron’s strikes, with Solus stuck in the ground, a sense of dread began to set in. On the back of the hull, in Solus' mind, the eyes of the Spider and the Fanged God looked at the Shard, eager for his destruction. Solus laughed as the dread consumed him. This was the way of the Madness. This was the way of the Fanged God. To kill and to be killed. Nihilism incarnate. Even as the potential of Solus' death drew near, the Shard couldn't help but love the fact. Solus threw his blade with all his might towards the makeshift shield that Akheron shredded. His Korriban recording had the side effect of enraging his master, that much was certain. And as Solus recalled from his own duel with the tree, Pure Rage was not the most defensive tactic. Solus had fallen into that trap. Hopefully, so did Akheron, and the blade would get a strike as the piece of hull was torn away. Immediately afterwards, Solus freed himself from the ground. With all sense of safety abandoned , Solus no longer cared if he had to overdraw on the Force itself, even at the cost of his own chassis’ energy. The burst of strength and speed allowed himself to roll over to his hands and knees. Solus followed this up by Force Jumping from his position directly at his foe. Enhanced fully with the Force Jump, Solus raised his right arm forward as if he was going to grab Akheron’s face. In reality, his left hand’s finger opened up, scomp link extended. There was no way he could get Akheron unscathed. The right arm was just a ploy and a sacrifice. But if for a moment, in all of Akheron’s rage and instincts, Solus could manage to get his off hand close, he could lodge it into Akheron’s eye and drain the very knowledge from his brain. He would suck everything he could out of that Sith’s brain, and if Akheron was weak or surprised enough, kill him then and there. As Solus rapidly flew towards Akheron with the speed of a bullet, Solus threw his off hand forward, scomp link aimed towards Akheron’s eye. All the while, the shard's voicebox continued to laugh and cackle madly. (Solus got caught in the Tremor Impact and was unable to get himself into a better position as a result. When Akheron attacked with Sawblade strike, Solus attempted a makeshift shield to hold Akheron back momentarily. Solus then threw his lightsaber at Akheron, hoping it would get a strike in, given his own experiences with rage and becoming defenseless. Following this, Solus is overdrawing on the Force, barely able to free himself, and Force Jumping at Akheron, attempting to Drain Knowledge with his scomp link. )
  11. The first sign of something nasty heading towards Solus was in the Impossible Geometries. Solus could only describe it as a 'bad feeling' as it crashed towards the ship. Where Solus’ waves of hatred were a black cloud, his master’s was a storm. It was truly a sobering realization of how much a power gap there was between the Shard and the Sith. The second sign was the ship itself. It shook before it started to crumble, and Solus realized his first intentional strike was not going to cut it, literally or figuratively. He had to adapt as he leapt backwards with the wave crashing through the ship towards him. Even so, the wave sent him flying. His artifical body groaned as the blast ripped through the metal, but the leap had lessoned the blow slightly, enough for it to not be a killing strike. Even so, his fake Hilt broke apart on his back, and his holorecording did get somewhat damaged. Solus flew backwards from the shattering blast. However, his training at the Temple already began to show its benefits. The training in zero gravity, the practice of fighting in the open air, all of these forced Solus to think in three dimensions. As Solus crashed into the ground, he tucked his body in and rolled backwards into a stance, lightsaber drawn, activated and ready. " Ow. alright that was unpl... oh kriff" Solus looked up just in time to see his master swinging at him. The one advantage Solus had being in close quarters was, ironically, his size. Being smaller, his movements required less energy and less time to block what the Sith threw at him. However, it took most of his focus just to block the attacks, and the power of each one pushed Solus backwards slightly. With each strike, Akheron would get closer to beating the Shard into a defenseless position. This was not good. Solus thought. I need distance. Kriff, if only I had my original body from Ishvara! Then I'd crush him! The children of Ishvara would crush him toge- On the last blow, Solus blocked and held the strike momentarily, before giving his master what could’ve been described as a determined look. Or at least, as determined as an analysis droid could look. “Tear, now!” Solus shouted. In the Force, the Madness seeped out and attempted to lodge in Akheron’s mind as Solus performed the Ritual of the Wyyrlok again. Unlike before when awaiting his master’s appearance and calling up the image of some flying polyp, Solus influenced this final result. Here, he used a singular name to pull on the shared memories of both the aggressor and the defender. Specifically, the first memory of the two meeting the first time on Falleen. A memory where Solus had his own ally to use. A fellow child of Ishvara. A blood curdling howl rose up. From the ash and snow, the hallucination of Tear pounced towards Akheron’s back. He was much more twisted than before. The Sith Hound was caked over in spider webbings, as if it had been inside the great spider beast on the planet. Tear’s glowing red eyes had been replaced with numerous spider ones, each one reflecting an infinite starry night. It was as if this version of Tear had been inside the Kathol Rift and had been mutated by it. As the hallucination attacked with a mad fixation, Solus attempted to break away from Akheron. Keeping low to the ground to avoid any accidental swings in his direction, Solus moved around the Sith and moved towards the debris of his ship. During this movement, The Shard kept his sensors focused on Akheron, careful not to break the ritual. It was difficult, but Solus resisted the urge to mock his master. Instead, he deactivated his blade again and ducked to the ground, hiding behind some of the rubble. While this meant he had to break his gaze on Akheron, ending the Ritual prematurely, it meant he could attempt to vanish from sight. Solus crouched under what was the remains of an outer hull plating of the ship. While hiding, the training of fighting the Acklay beasts flashed in the Shard's mind. Deactivated blade in one hand, Solus retrieved his holopad recording and slid it out into the open, activating it. The holopad began to display its message of a Sith soldier and his urgent message. The damage it sustained from the Shatter ability made the thing flicker in and out, making it appear like it had been inside the ship and had barely survived. “Alert! Attention all Sith forces. Korriban is falling! Repeat, Korriban is falling! Imperial Forces have overtaken all sectors and are currently breaching the Praexeum! Repeat! Korriban is lost to the Imperial Forces!” The trap now set, Solus prepared himself for Akheron to investigate the urgent message. If the fall of his home world didn't interest the Sith master, then Solus doubted this was Akheron at all. When his master was in view, Solus would strike again. (Leaping from the ship and losing his planned attack, Solus is barely able to block Akheron's attacks, albeit, barely. He has taken damage and his fake hilt no longer would fool anyone. Forced into a corner, Solus had to use a mental attack with the Ritual of the Wyyrlok, and broke away to hide amongst the rubble of the ship. He is attempting to distract Akheron with the recording about Korriban's fall to imperial forces. )
  12. There, in front of the ramp to the Falleen 578-R Transport, Solus heard his masters’ words. He heard his master calls of madness, and Solus, in his own special case of insanity, almost agreed with him. But he was not weak. Not in the slightest. His master, as much as Solus hated him, had helped make him strong. Akheron taught him to break each and every inhibition, and the Temple, in their strange and esoteric ways, helped Solus connect to something even greater. A ream of the Darkside that few would ever knowingly tap into. “Emissary of the Fanged God? Ha!” Solus shouted as he holstered his lightsaber. “Then I must be the ambassador of anarchy!" The Kaggoth had begun. Solus raised both arms and threw them forward. The Force reacted as a wave of tendrilled hatred flowed through the Impossible Geometries from the Shard’s center. As it flowed along the cold squares of the ground, the wave picked up everything it could. Snow and ash whipped upwards into a blinding cloud towards Akheron. Solus' memory of facing the that Tree Jedi on Nar Shaddaa flashed back, and the Shard recalled how he got some distance from that giant thing using a similar trick. This time however, neither the tree nor Akheron would bait him into doing something stupid. “I am your end heretic!!” Solus shouted as he pushed the snow and ash up at Akheron. Following this, Solus tapped into the Force again, leaping upwards and landing on the ship’s dorsal area with a resounding clang. The use of so much Force so quickly left the Shard slightly exhausted, but his training had taught him to push on. Retrieving his genuine blade, Solus crouched and awaited for Akheron to follow, limiting his own visibility from the ground. The Shard’s red blade would ignite and swing the moment Akheron followed. ROUND 1 (Solus opened this by trying to blind Akheron temporarily with the snow and ash of the planet, followed by Force Jumping onto the relatively flat top of the ship. He has prepared himself to swing the moment Akheron shows his body)
  13. If Solus was capable of doing so, he would’ve rolled his eyes. Sadly, he did not have facial muscles, so his look of disappointment was missed. It seems that this thing was in fact, Akheron. The emphasis on honor, the misguided pompousness of being closer to the Fanged god than Solus was, and now the delusion that Innmortos actually belonged to the cult of Bragsanu. There was no mistake, this was Akheron and not some false thing made by the necromancer. All of the Shard’s emotions on Falleen had been for naught. Solus was about to speak when the necromancer appeared. Or rather, his saber at Akheron’s side shook and the necromancer took form. “Oh look, the ghost of Aaris’ past.” Solus commented as the necromancer spoke. Once Innmortos was done, and issued that he would enforce the ruling of such a duel, Solus placed his hands on his hips and laughed. “I will accept your challenge, you heretics. But not because I actually respect your foolish beliefs Akheron, nor your puny threats, victim of vapor. Had my child not intervened, you would’ve already been dead, and the necromancer would be running from the spider’s terror. I have tapped into powers beyond recognition, and my restraints have been loosened completely. You Akheron, must die, and this… Kaggath is the best opportunity to erase your heresy from history. And as for you necromancer, you forget my very being! I have lived aeons already, less than nothing! I was banished from everyone, but I ascended! So if I lost and was banished to the insides of your planet, I would return again after its inevitable death!” Solus turned and began to leave the chamber, but stopped and faced the two. “I am not just Solus, nor the Golden Slave, nor even the Dragon! At the end of this, you will know my true name! Let the ritual of the Kaggoth begin!” At this, Solus reached into the Impossible geometries, activated his saber, and threw it upwards. As the blade slashed through the stone ceiling, it began to crumble as the lightsaber cut through a pivotal load-bearing spot. With this, Solus turned and dashed away from the crushing rubble. He didn’t actually believe the rubble would kill Akheron, the wraith-like Innmortos, or even blind Dictum, wherever he was. However, it would provide a distraction so he could get to his ship and make preparations. Solus called his blade back as he passed the room’s entrance and sliced at the roof above the door, crumbling it behind him as well. Any continues delays he could cause Akheron, the better for him. True, this wasn’t a 'honorable' tactic, but the playground Akheron had declared was the planet’s wastelands. To Solus, the entire planet was a wasteland, as well as what laid beneath it, like this chamber. Especially Innmortos, the living embodiement of the planet's wastelands. "Besides" Solus commented to himself. "I'm an assassin. Honor is for the weak" Solus dashed with the mania of a madman and returned to his ship, the Force fueling each step. Once inside, the Shard quickly got to work. First, Solus took the remaining webbing from the spider monster off of his cape and rewrapped it around his lightsaber. When he had been caught up in the webbing earlier, the strange silk resisted a lightsaber blow momentarily, and required Solus to hold the strike to break free. While he doubted it would last more than one strike from Akheron, Solus loved the idea of using his 'childs' gift on his weapon. At the ship, Solus did his second task; he made a fake lightsaber hilt. Made up of various parts from the ship that he had already dismantled to construct his latest blade, this fake wouldn't work even with a Kyber crystal. It was nothing more than a fake exterior prop. In his rush, the fake hilt would never pass close inspection, but in combat, it would pass as the genuine. Solus hid the fake hilt behind him and under his cape. Finally, Solus retrieved a copy of the Korriban transmission. He knew Akheron still loved his home, even if he didn't admit it. This battle would be more than just a test of skill. It would be a battle of morale as well, and the lord of rage would break under the shards' ingenuity. The message of Korriban falling under the imperials would be useful. Solus glanced up. He felt something. Something was happening outside his ship. The Shard dashed outside to meet it, his genuine hilt in hand. Whether or not it was Akheron, he didn’t know. But he would be ready for it. "Come heretic! Face your undoing!"
  14. As Solus brought his lightsaber across for what was hopefully a killing blow, his form became still in the air. Webs of sticky ‘stuff’ practically suspended the Shard in the air, unable to move at all. “What the kriffing piece of scrap are you…” Solus started to yell. Having not expected such an attack, his grip on his lightsaber had loosened and the blade, deactivated flew to the side. “You stupid child! This death would have made you happy, and now you only have…” Solus stopped, then suddenly began to giggle. “Oh that is clever my child!” Solus called out to the beast, having conjured a new lie to believe. “You stop me because a reckless killing is not worthy of an assassin! Oh sweet child, how I misunderstood you! Haha!” Solus twisted his head and focused his gaze on where his lightsaber landed. Even as he stood helpless in the air, the Sith apprentice was not helpless. Calling on the Force, the lightsaber shook several times before activating. Solus’ emotions in the Geometries wrapped themselves around the blade’s crystalline heart, born from Solus’ own envy. With an invisible hand gripping the weapon, Solus called it back, blade activated. The blade flew. While it was halted momentarily by the webbing's hard material, Solus continued his focus. After a short time, the webbings were sliced through, and Solus fell to the ground. “Haha, behold, a new look!” Solus exclaimed as he noted the webbings still stuck to his yellow cape, trailing like ghostly fingers. Solus caught Akeron’s first words from behind the door. Solus sighed and sheathed his blade. “Oh great esteemed master!” Solus mocked as he pressed his hand against his eye sensors, imitating an actor on stage. “How sorry I am to attack your exposed back! How I should've realized that when you taught me to attack those Acklay, I wasn’t supposed to use tricks and traps! I was supposed to announce myself to them, like a true Sith Assassin!” However, try as he wanted, Solus was stuck outside the door waiting. A subtle rage began to regrow in the Shard. He had lost his prime opportunity to kill Akheron. No doubt whatever was inside, Akheron was preparing himself for a fight. Solus dwelled on how he would have to accomplish such a deed. His master was a skilled warrior. No matter what happened, Solus needed to make sure to stay out of his blade’s reach. Finally, Akheron spoke again. "I will open the door, but I expect no resistance. I wish to discuss a way to resolve our...dispute in a way worthy of a Sith Master and the Darkness. A way I think you will enjoy. You have my word you will not be harmed while we discuss it, I expect the same courtesy, you owe me that at least." Solus stopped and had to wonder. Was Akheron this dumb to think Solus would actually play by the rules of honor? True, Akheron placed a great deal of emphasis on honor, but for the Shard, honor was a virtue that needed to be purged to make room for Madness. As Chosen Emlee’esh said, virtues were just roadblocks to further discoveries. Course, Akheron didn’t know the Temple’s teachings, but there was no way he was that dumb. No, Akheron had something genuine inside to offer. Against his better judgment, Solus was curious. Perhaps something useful would come from playing along for now. If anything, An open door meant potential opportunities to kill the Sith master. Solus just had to be careful. If Akheron expected Solus not to play by the rules of honor, there was no reason he would either. But if he did, it would be proof that Solus was actually dealing with Akheron and not some imitation conjured up by the necromancer. “Very well, master, if you insist.” Solus lied as he kept his deactivated saber in his hands. “It is the least I can do for a heretic like yourself. I swear my blade will not touch you until after we speak. Now let me in. Let's settle this properly, so that way we can calm our mad child. ”
  15. Solus wasn’t absolutely sure, but he felt like he wasn’t being taken seriously by either Dictum nor his ex-master. He didn’t get any kind of response from them. They didn’t nod in approval, or condemn his speech. They simply didn’t reply. Solus’ rage started to flare up further. It was the stupid tree all over again. Then the thing attacked. The yellow splash in the Impossible Geometries Solus recognized as danger helped the Shard react accordingly, but barely. His own anger prevented him from completely avoiding the attack. The Shard leapt forward, narrowly avoiding a crushing leg, only to be sent flying with the ice. Solus rolled his landing, and turned his gaze upwards. The thing, the strangely spider-like thing, was power incarnate. It held sway over the natural and unnatural alike. It was born from that which helped birth his Madness, and had mutated beyond recognition. Solus believed it absolutely ranked with Madness in the Geometries. “Hahaha! Yes!” Solus laughed as he began to dart around the battlefield, avoiding another attack. “You have returned at the presence of your parents, haven’t you? You have returned for me? Hahaha!” The flying Polyp in the air completely vanished, no longer a focus for the Mad Shard. “Run!” Dictum cried, to Solus’ insane laughter. The Shard was too elated on his own energies to listen. Whether or not Solus was right about the thing’s motives did not matter to the Shard. Solus did not realize the thing couldn’t be controlled by himself or even all three of its creators. Solus’ Madness whispered in his ears lies and deceptions that, while he knew they were false, he didn’t care. Solus dashed forward, narrowly avoiding another crashing of the thing’s legs and the raining ice debris. As ice chunks rained down, Solus seemed to begin to dance amongst the chaos, striking poses between movements like some Desilijic servant girl. He only moved when a chunk was about to hit where he stood. The Shard continued to laugh, his vocoder blaring more than ever. Solus was actually beginning to enjoy himself. “And because one of your parents is wrong, you must kill all of them? Hehehe, yes, that makes sense. Yes! Yes yes yes! Attack! Clatter! Rampage, my sweet little baby! Distract and destroy. Keep the blind one and that necromancer busy while I end the heresy that is Akheron! Hahaha!” Solus finally stopped dancing long enough to focus on the fleeting form of Akheron. Activated lightsaber still in hand, Solus gave chase. Akheron had a decent head start, and his legs were smaller, but Solus was sure that wherever his ex-master ran, Solus would be able to follow. A thought flashed in his mind, both a teaching from the Temple of the Spider as well as his own training under Akheron. His prey was running from him. He was not properly armed, and at a disadvantage. The opportune moment to strike was now. He could not waste what the universe had given him. Solus tapped into the Force and willed it through his body. His circuits buzzed with energy. Some Force users called this Force Speed, but to Solus, it was simply pursuit. His form left a trail of afterimages rapidly closed the distance between him and his master. In a few seconds, his blade would swing across.
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