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Solus

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Everything posted by Solus

  1. During the trip through hyperspace, Solus and Stitch-Mouth sealed themselves away in one of the workshops, working diligently on Solus’ new form. Or more accurately, Solus worked on the form. Stitch-Mouth simply observed from a side of the room and provided details to any questions that the shard may have had. It was time for the droid to learn how to make his own chassis. To be fair, Solus preferred doing this one by himself. There was something intimate and personal about this chassis. Something about the fact that he was building his own, much like his lightsaber. He was pouring a piece of his personality into this chassis making it more himself then his current chassis was. Not that there weren’t difficulties. “Kriffing scrap heap!” Solus cursed as an explosion of sparks erupted. Solus turned and chucked a piece of metal across the room. It clanged loudly as it crashed into the wall and to the floor. Tear, who had been sleeping contently, jumped at the noise and growled at its master. “Stupid wires and stupid clumsy fingers. everything here is so stupid! ” Stitch-Mouth stepped forward and looked at the shards' handiwork and gave a glare. Several of the wires had been ruined by being plugged into a circuit board improperly, which had just been thrown across the room. With a stretch of a hand, Stitch-Mouth called the piece of technology back and placed it in Solus’ hand, and pointed back at the chassis. "Oh kriff off you overglorified mechanic." Solus waved the alchemist off However, the point Stitch-Mouth made was not lost. When the fingers were too clumsy, the Force would do. This time, Solus called on the impossible geometries. His emotion emanates outwards, feeling around. His envy flared out as his thoughts drifted on the mission ahead. A rescue. A rescue of an ex-apprentice. Slowly, the wires began to move and rearrange themselves. Solus could see his wishes clearly in the moments of letting his envy grab and rearrange the pieces of spun and flat metal. This ex-apprentice they were rescuing presented an odd opportunity. The envy flared from the fact that Akheron had another apprentice before the Shard. Suddenly Solus stopped and turned towards the closed door. Stitch-Mouth stood up straight as Solus began to talk. “No no, you don’t understand, I know what I am doing…” Solus said, waving his hands towards the darkness. “If I simply kill this apprentice, I will no longer be Akheron’s apprentice…” Solus suddenly stopped and covered where an organics ears would have been. “No no no, not like that. Just simply think what i think…” What i think Stitch-Mouth raised an eyebrow. But he let the shard continue talking to its invisible thing. “Yes, exactly. My envy can be unified in this mission. Rescue will prove his weakness, and make a debt. A debt i will collect to satisfy another target of my envy. After all, i deserve more, don’t I?” Deserve more, don't i? Solus turned back to his work, muttering all the while. “But i won’t be able to help unless this is done. So go away, and then it'll be easier for… aha! There we go!” Solus turned to Stitch-Mouth and presented the body. Its head had been completely reworked, with removal of several logic circuits and replacements of other important pieces. And now, its head had a gaping cavity in it to house a small Shard. After a quick overlook, the alchemist gave his approval and gestured to the empty shell of a chassis. It was time to claim a new body. Solus locked his joints, held his head over the empty cavity, and gave a sigh. Slowly, the head opened up, revealing the glowing crystal inside, its lines already spinning in a perfect circle. At first it only nudged itself upwards out of head, but once it had jumped out, it only drifted slowly down into the SP-4. In his research of this chassis, Solus had discovered that the SP-4 was a type of analysis droid. He had hoped that this new chassis would provide him more sensory advantages, as well as a more inconspicuous body that would blend in anywhere it went. For a moment, nothing happened. Then the chassis erupted with life, jumping up to its feet on the workshop table. “Ahahaha! Brilliant! Ah, I am truly brilliant!” Solus laughed through his new vocoder. “Oh so brilliant! So many new details! Oh my! Its like another ascension!” Solus jumped off the table and looked around the room, finally resting his sensors on the alchemist. Several times he flipped the sensor enhanced built onto his head down and up, much like an elderly man would adjust his glasses. It was as if to confirm what he was seeing was true. “I never realized you had so many scars on your neck. Fascinating. And your veins...my how they've been bulging lately to be stretched that thin. No matter. Tear! Get over here please..." Solus snapped his new fingers, indicating Tear to come. Once done, he jumped onto the hound's back, much like a child riding a pony. His much smaller and lighter size proved weightless for the muscular hound. "Come! By my estimates, we should be arriving soon, and i want to be on the bridge when we do so!” Indeed, for at the moment Solus, atop of Tear, stepped foot onto the bridge with the alchemist in tow, the ship arrive at Ziost. "Ah what a glorious place, is it not? Is this everything you were hoping for Calypso? Master Akheron, you said it was destroyed? it doesn't look that bad to me. but then again, maybe i need to recalibrate me new sensors. It can take time to get used to a new body."
  2. "Necromancer, gather my army. Whichever one of you has a ship, get us and my new troops aboard." “If you and my master both allow it…” Solus spoke up quickly, eager to prove himself again. “Allow me to lead the way. I have a natural sense of direction and memorization. You will not fail in trusting me.” …trusting me With that Solus quickly rose and began to lead the way. Every word he said was true, and he was eager to prove it to this newfound ‘ally’. As he had discovered in the Naboo abyss, and as he stated earlier to his master, Shard physiology seemed to have a natural sense of which direction was north, and in turn, a decent ability at navigation. But there was more to what Solus wanted when he lead the way. Part of it was to show he was useful to this female, despite not knowing if she was an ally or not. The rest was that he wanted some time to think to himself. The conversation the group had, with the history of the state of the galaxy, had revealed much to the Shard. Most of his learning had been military and spiritual, not historical. Most of everything Solus had seen so far was through those kinds of lenses, with a perception focused on the Fanged God himself. But having received a crash course in galactic history, Solus had to process the fact that life had just kept going. And more so, some galactic events he had known about beforehand without realizing it. The death of a previous sith emperor by his own apprentice. The crashing of the moon into a populated planet. Exterminations and rebirths. Deities fighting deities with blades of fire. So many events, all witnessed at one point or another by the shard. What did this mean? Even as Solus led the way, he couldn’t find an answer. The Shard stopped, surrounded by piles of debris and trash. The shard only stopped because he realized he had made a deal of progress ahead of the others and needed to allow them to catch up. As he waited, Solus glanced down at his own chassis and almost gasped in surprise. The flesh, the meat…it was all gone. Having journeyed far enough from the epicenter of the dark side nexus, the thing that had clung to his body so easily no longer carried the fuel to maintain itself. It had faded away into nothing, revealing the old, rusted and practically useless metal beneath. “I guess part of the reason we came here included salvage for new parts…” Solus commented and began to sift through the metal. One group of parts stood out. A humanoid metallic shape, with a short stature and large eye sensors. Plucking it from the debris and holding it by a breaking leg, Solus studied it and nodded approvingly. While partially broken in places, the parts from his current chassis would serve to fix it. Plus, its height actually suited Solus. In his time with the chassis given by the sorcerers, he had grown accustomed to being short and agile. This larger, more oddly shaped chassis was bothersome. “Yes, yes, this will do…” Solus commented. He turned his head at the approaching footsteps. The party had finally caught up. “Just past this way, the heat becomes unbearable” Solus warned the others, carrying the droid chassis with one arm. “I suggest you find a way to protect your skin, wouldn’t you agree wax-man? “But beyond here, the transports await us. Come! The galaxy awaits us!”
  3. His master’s response didn’t exactly disappoint the apprentice. Akheron’s words erred on the side of caution overall. He didn’t say that their current empress was undeserving of her title, nor did he say that this being was her successor. Just a potential candidate to back. Solus memorized this moment for later use. A good learning moment if there ever was one. However, the necromancer crossed a line. The Shard took a step forward between his own master and Innmortos. “I’d be a bit more respectful, wax-man” Solus started, hand still holding his lightsaber that desired to be activated. The pulsing envy it generated in the Impossible Geometries demanded death, and this necromancer had earned enough ire from the Shard to consider giving into its desires. “It was my master who allowed you to join our clan and study our own texts. And it was my master who gave you a ship to lose. If he dishonors you, you don’t have to remain part of our clan. We could leave you here, and you can always call for help from home. After all, your planet of lizards will always take you back.” Solus wished he had a workable face on all of the meat that covered his body, if only so he could sneer at the last comment. If Solus had known better, he may have stopped here. But as he spoke, he felt his own spirit rise. Perhaps it was because his blade was still in his hand, but his envy and jealousy expanded in the Impossible Geometries. The shard saw an opportunity, and now he would seize it. “I may be young for years in the clan, but you are younger. The Fanged god demands death, and that's it. He would be with us even if the avatar wasn’t here. If this…woman…is the avatar of the Fanged god, then let her prove it, as my master says. And she isn’t then she dies. And if she isn’t then you truly show your stupidity.” Solus raised a fleshy claw, dripping with puss, to point at the necromancer. “If you support this…being…” Solus gestured towards Calypso, “Then maybe you know her name. Her desires for all of the Sith. Can you prophesize how she will succeed our empress? How will she avenge our losses from Nar Shaddaa? Or do you only know from what you have read and not from what you have personally discovered? Will you drop your loyalty to her as soon as another ‘worthy’ being comes along, like you are doing now?” Solus turned his head, so his sensors focused entirely on the subject of everyone’s talking. Now it was time to let loose some of his envious feelings. “This thing is nothing more than a corpse-hopping ghost, and a disrespectful and stupid one at that. He killed his own world in service to our dark lord and wastes valuable resources that could have been used for our wars, and finally he drops his loyalty to her at the drop of a hat. Will you be so foolish to trust him so easily?” Trust him so easily? The words echoed, almost tauntingly so. Solus remained quiet after this. He had spoken his mind. He wasn’t sure if the others noticed it, but he knew his annoyance at the rise of rank for the necromancer had been obvious from the beginning. This necromancer, who the shard had killed once, had an entire planet to himself to destroy, had been given a ship and crew by the Shard’s master and not his own, had been shown that his talents at information interrogation were not unique at Falleen, and had not rushed into battle like the Shard had been. If this woman, as powerful as she felt, was truly to succeed the Empress, Solus the Dragon was sure to not let the necromancer hold a prestige position while the Shard and the Lord of Rage deserved so much more.
  4. Finding his master was surprisingly easy. Enough training and spending time with his master had led the shard to an innate connection to the sith. One that, combined with Solus' natural sense of direction, made navigation magnitudes easier. There were also the sounds of slaughter that Solus could follow. That alone was unmistakable. "My Master…" Solus greeted Akheron. With a slight bow, he saw his now fleshy covered chassis and realized how strange he probably looked. "I agree. This nexus is amazing to say the least. As for this…" Solus reached and pulled at a strand of illusionary flesh off his body. A long piece with bits of fat peeled off at the pull, squishing the entire way and oozing slightly with puss. Solus seemed to give a slight gasp as if somewhere in between pain and pleasure "It is wonderful, no?" …Wonderful, no? Solus stumbled when the ground shook. That was the only indication he could give before it gave way and he and his master tumbled downwards. Instincts took control of Solus like programming. The reflexes of metal and electricity, combined with the force-given talents of the Shard, enabled a magnificent feat of survivability. Hands had briefly caught grip of the outer wall, with fleshy bits torn off like scabs. Solus only used the wall a moment to slow his descent, as he placed his feet on the wall and push away, downwards and into an opposing wall. Again, Solus pushed and jumped further down. Faster and faster, the shard leapt wall to wall, a leaping pile of metal and flesh like some kind of mad insect. It wasn’t until the bottom of the pit did the Shard come to a rest and looked around for his master. “This place… it grows more hungry…” Solus commented, helping his master as needed. Solus’ body suddenly tensed and grew still. He felt it. Surely Akheron could feel it to. The power had been awoken. Whatever it was, the source that the group had come to find had been discovered. And, to the Shard’s amazement, it was a feminine figure. It was simultaneously surprising and unremarkable in Solus’ eyes. He had no idea what he had expected. He didn’t know if the source, or the epicenter, or whatever the dark side nexus was, was a being or an object or something less tangible. Perhaps it would have been more of a feeling, or an entrapment, much like what he himself had experienced earlier. But for him, who had just encountered something beyond imagination of mortal mind, a simple, feminine figure did not live up to what he had hoped to find. But with the hallucination from earlier still fresh, and the oozing pustules still growing on his illusionary body, his thoughts knew there was more then met the sensor. When Innmortos called upon his own army of the dead, now inhabiting a new, more reptilian body, Solus had to brace himself. Calling upon the Impossible Geometries was an easy task to do here, but even his abilities struggled slightly against the wailing spirits that sought to claim whatever they could find. After Innmortos had spoke, Solus had almost begun to speak up. The necromancer spoke words of blasphemy. The Sith Empress, who had demanded the servitude of each Sith at her coronation, still lived. And yet, Innmortos, with his new body, had found new loyalties. But remembering who’s presence he was still in, Solus silenced himself. Instead, after looking the feminine figure over once more, glanced at Akheron. He was still his master, and Solus had made an oath to the Sith. But if the Lord of Rage so easily abandoned his oath to the current avatar of the Fanged God, then perhaps Solus needed to requisition where his own loyalties lied.
  5. The battle, if you could call it that, turned sour faster than milk under Tattooine’s hot suns. The furious blows of Shard turned into frantic deflections and blockings. There was no style in the Shard’s form. No etiquette. No technique. Just instinct and emotion, and hardly anything of substance. Solus’ own emotions were palpable under the woman’s words. As strange as she was, her presence carried power over the Shard. He did not know her, but he knew of her. He did not recognise her, nor understand her being. But he knew her, in the only way that an abhorrent descendant knew their twisted ancestor. Finally, the woman’s words struck at the Shard’s inner fear. Failure. He had failed too many times to be anything more than what he was. He had failed over and over in his time since his ascension. He didn’t kill Tear. He tamed the demented hound, dooming it to a life of servitude. He had not navigated the Naboo Abyss properly. He had been swallowed by it’s passageways of darkness and danger. He had not killed a single Jedi on Nar Shaddaa, nor even a single foe. He had been slain by the enemy of his fearless deity. This life, he had so proudly declared, was nothing more than failure, and this being knew it, even as she drove her blade in for the killing strike. It was this moment, in cold realization and terror as the woman’s blade stabbed the robotic heart that held the chassis, that Immortos’ power from the Baptism of Blood touched the Shard once more. The moment of the Aaris III returned in full force. In that time on Aaris, Solus had become something else briefly. A beacon for something incomprehensible and foreign by all senses known to mortals and deities alike. For things that In the vast stretches of space dwelled. Things that were aeonian and exotic. It was these unnameable things and horrors, in this moment of madness and terror, that rushed into the Shard’s moment of weakness. The lightsaber that plunged into the Shard was shot back. Following it, an eruption of flesh blasted outwards. Fat, veiny, pulsating flesh of unknown monsters, churning with gristle and bone flooded at the apparition of the woman, and everything around the Shard. It mattered not where it came from. The Force, and all of its dark intricacies, did not care for the laws of physics or conservation in this world of the esoteric and the arcane. What mattered was the willpower of those who, as Lord Roshan had said, ‘were conduits of the Force’. This flood of meat and gristle, did not slow as it consumed the dark apparition. It flooded the entire area. The entire area, nothing more then the dark side trying to consume something alive, was subjective to the devouring nature of this meaty storm. The dark side would feed on the dark side, like a hunting parasite would feed on a dying predator. Even if only in turn the nameless horror that consumed Solus’ soul would feed the darkness that dwelled in this place. It was fueled by the Shard’s rush of emotions, and its envy was still its strongest one yet. Envy desired what others had. It desired what it could not have, and would destroy it. This thing used a mask of flesh. And so, a flesh mask for the Shard would be fitting. In the flood, the meat returned to its source, coating and forming over the Shard’s chassis. Though nothing more than illusionary, it sought to give Solus something it lacked. Skin flayed itself, revealing blood and tissue, which in turn boiled and burned itself to a hardened, thin layer of scab-like skin. It was nothing more then an illusion at its crudest. It provided nothing more then a cosmetic change in appearance But even the appearance of fat occasionally bubbling with invisible heat, and tendons throbbing with black blood, spoke levels of terror to those who saw it. Solus, back in his original form, but now with that illusionary covering of false meat, looked around in shock. The nameless horror he had just witnessed refused to cling to his soul completely. Much like a waking nightmare, it seemed to escape his memory. Only the feeling, and the knowledge that it had existed, still remained. Having defeated the apparition, Solus moved forward through the dark tunnels. The sounds of battle were ringing out somewhere. Blade still in hand, Solus rushed forward.
  6. “Shuburoth…” Solus repeated the name slowly, its sound echoing over and over. It was like something from an old memory hidden inside of a dream. It was familiar but distant. Something from before. Even as Solus tried to put a finger on the name, unable to precisely place it, the feeling from the name alone rang true. And that made him nervous. Her drawing of her blade was met with his own. Instinct had kicked in. This Sith’s otherworldliness drew out his battle-lust, despite the dream-like state he felt himself in. Or was the battle-lust drawn because of it? “I am neither…” Solus started, reading himself into a battle position. He couldn’t draw himself away from this woman. This thing. This…what was this? It called to him and he was answering it in the only way he knew. “I am Solus. I am the Dragon. The… Ascended!” Solus sensors flashed from yellow to red. Even as the scene had changed around him, he felt like he had changed with it. The idea of being a servant affected the Shard. The Force began to ripple. His body morphed and bent over itself and expanded with heat. It was no longer that chassis of the EV-series, nor was it that custom chassis made by the sorcerers of Bragsanu. It was that of the Hutt Security droid. It was the chassis of a slave and an infant. Somewhere, Solus could hear the music of Korriban beat out as he slithered and charged forward, blade ignited in hand and brought down. He was not a servant. He couldn’t be. But he wasn’t a master either. He had no planet to destroy like the necromancer. No apprentice like Akheron. He had no family like Roshan or his Shardmates. He had nothing but himself. “I am not a servant!” Solus roared, nothing more than a child’s cry of denial. With a desperate and scared fury, Solus began to bring his lightsaber down on this woman.
  7. Solus was unsure where the surfaces changed. He was unsure when the very air itself began to be different from the heavy air of Coruscant to the musky air of his old home. The presence in the Impossible Shapes was still the same, with the chaotic mess being impossible to track. Solus was unsure of a lot of things. Including how, in the name of all the things that were named, that he was back in the depths of Ishvara. It almost felt like the crystals in the walls called out to the Shard. Their electrical impulses danced within alluringly, tempting with thought and company. But beyond those, the Shard remained focused on the thing before him. The feminine figure dissecting and mutilating the corpse of the monster, All of the darkness here was focused in this one place. This figure, who radiated with something both unnatural, and familiar. When she turned and called him ‘son’, Solus stopped. Of all the responses Solus expected, including threats, questions, subtle jabs, snarkyness, of all the responses, this was not expected. Solus didn’t reply at first. He let the stillness of the air hang for a few moments, the darkness in the Impossible Geometries crawling. “You are neither a Shard…” Solus started, his right hand gripping the handle of his weapon tightly, readying himself, “...nor Roshan. Who are you?” Who are you…
  8. Solus nodded at his master words and gave the necromancer a glance. “I’ll try to not go too far ahead for your sake man of wax. We’d hate to lose our latest initiate into Clan Bragsanu” With that, and a slight chuckle, Solus made his way towards the nearest entrance. The tunnel, if it could be called that, was tight and claustrophobic to say the least. More than once did Solus have to bend his body to fit forward. Embers and pieces of melting debris littered the tunnels, giving the briefest sparks of light that Solus utilized to see. But sight was not his main sense of perception. Solus almost chuckled to himself, now using all four limbs for locomotion. This was invigorating. Perhaps it was a carryover from those bystander deaths, but the dark and the tight spaces made him almost joyful. He was being put to a test. He was pausing every now and then, a spindly silhouette of a being, only his yellow sensors betraying his position. Audio sensors listened for the slightest noise. A fall of some debris. A scuttle of miniscule life. A gust of heated gas. Anything. And then there was the Impossible Geometries. Solus almost shuddered when he thought back to the depths of Naboo. Back then, he was eager to prove himself, but also in a rush. And he paid the price. He had gotten swallowed whole by that thing, that Colo Claw Fish. If it wasn’t for Master Akheron, he would still be in there. No no no, Solus shook his head slightly. He would not make that mistake again. Every so often, he would pause and conjure his envy, and send it out into the Impossible Geometries. Like a piece of Sonar Technology, Solus would not be sur- Solus stopped. The tunnel branched off ahead. The right resulted in a dead end, but the left appeared to open into a cavern. But that wasn’t what made him stop. There was something there. The shapes there revealed life. Life? In this lifeless place? True, the heat had dropped considerably, but still. And the darkness…the shapes there were doing something odd. There was something there, calling him. Solus focused backwards. He had made a considerable distance between his master and the necromancer. Should he go back? Or should he continue onwards, and see what this was? Curiosity won out. He would not be surprised, and so far there were no dangers to the others. He would report something to his master and the necromancer. So he took the trail to the left and followed it downwards, not realizing that the force, in all of its twisted darkness, had subjected the Shard to a hallucination of its own. The path on the right did not end in a dead end. Even as the Shard moved, the earth churned and the path on the left sealed itself up silently without notice, as if it was never there to begin with. True, both paths led to the same destination, but the journey would be wildly different. Such was the way in the darkness.
  9. The order to to dispose of the locals was a welcome one. Even as Akheron took care of his share, Solus charged into action. Momentum carried him too quickly however, and at one point he fell forwards. A cry of startlement started to escape his voice box when suddenly he adjusted. His arms went forward and caught grip with the ground. His leg joints bent almost unnaturally far, farther then any organic kneecap would allow. Solus, a piece of cobbled together machinery, skitterred along the ground almost like some kind of rapid insect. Somewhere between instict and thought, the Shard maneuvered his body with rapid movements, crawling and dashing wildly. His neck twisted slightly, giving him a better view of his targets. The guide looked horrified. The woman had already broken into a mad sprint for safety from the horrifying thing. The guide was the first to die. Solus didn’t waste time with his blade. The guide’s back was turned, and made it easy for Solus to right himself onto his feet, leap forward, and stab through the chest cavity. Blood stuck his rusty arm like sticky grease. The woman was much farther away. Solus sighed and reached out with the bloody arm and focused. This place, with all the darkness and death, made the Impossible Geometries sluggish and murky. The woman’s bright, pulsating shapes were simple to pinpoint. A reach through the shapes. A wrapping of anger and envy around the woman’s shapes. She fell forwards, and screamed as she was dragged back to where the shard was. If Solus could have, he would have grinned. He needed this. He needed some catharsis after his defeat on Nar Shaddaa, even if it was just a helpless innocent. Now, the woman was at his feet. With one foot planted firmly on the back, Solus reached down and plunged one of his gripping hands into her eye. True, he didn’t have his scomp link, but he had learned that he needed to think outside the box with such matters. Surely he could drain the information he wanted without that crude instrument, even above the woman’s screamings of pain and agony. Solus came back to the group, this time on two legs instead of four. “It seems that there have been disappearances here…” Solus commented. As he spoke, he shook his head slightly, as if sorting through a variety of images on a datapad. “People here have been vanishing. People wander here to see the crater, and never come back. That woman hired the guide to find a loved one. And I felt something…” Solus stopped. He looked at the necromancer then back at Akheron. “I think we all felt it. There’s something powerful here. Something…. Grand. Ooh ho ho, master I feel excited. I haven’t felt something like this since my ascension. Or when you took me as your apprentice. Something powerful beckons. Perhaps the Fanged God brought us here for something more then what we expected. “Master, may I search ahead? I have developed far more than what I was in Naboo’s waters. Let me prove myself to both of you and explore a path.” "A path..."
  10. A separate shuttle pod landed on the baked ground of Corescant, sending pieces of dried and cooked particles everywhere. With the landing ramp extended, and the door opened, Solus was the first individual to exit onto the planet. Solus made strides forward, his legs much better controlled then earlier. It seemed the time spent between his reawakening and arrival on Coruscant was enough to become acquainted with his newest chassis. It’s flat feet were deceptively sturdy and quick, and with his spindly arms longer in comparison to his legs, Solus appeared strange to say the least. Still, as a shard with a droid body, he didn’t seem to mind the heat or the thin layer of oxygen. But it didn’t escape his notice. “It is strange…” Solus commented to anyone who would listen while glancing at the necromancer who’s very flesh was melting. “I never realized how I don’t feel what you beings feel. The heat, or the lack of it… my previous chassis never could feel those. But I know that it feels like something. It’s just… strange” Solus looked away and focused on the Impossible Geometries. After a moment, he turned to his master. “And here I believed that Naboo’s destruction was bad. But here, the Dark Side is still swirling. And the death’s happened at least four years ago. Fascinating to say the least, wouldn’t you agree wax man?” “...wax man?” Solus echo came out, followed by a mocking laughter aimed at the necromancer. Despite all the troubles the Sith had gone through, it seemed the Shard still had some kind of twisted humor.
  11. Solus

    Space

    Solus seemed to listen his his master's words, nodding at them. However, his sensors seemed to drift, glancing about instead of just looking at Akheron. The shadows on the ship seemed to draw his attention occasionally, and the random noises of the ship running its usual procedures. Still, like a child, his focus came back over and over to Akheron. “I recall reading about Coruscant…” Solus started. “It had a moon crash into it. I once had a vision of that long ago, before my ascension. Back before…” Solus stopped, only the sound of his echo following his words. The memory that flooded his being needed to be squashed quickly. “I think I learned from my battle with that son of a stump…” Solus changed the subject as the two continued down a hallway. “I let my emotions control me too much. I charged when i should’ve fled. I knew he was powerful, and grew upset when he didn’t fall for my traps. I hope you are not too disappointed with my loss master.” “Master…” the echo continued, lingering in the air.
  12. Solus

    Space

    At the words that time had only passed a few hours, Solus went silent and still. Then he started banging his newly installed head with his arms, the metal clanking loudly. Stitch-Mouth even flinched and almost pressed the shut-off remote. “A few hours?!? That felt like an age. Two ages! Only a few hours? Impossi…” Solus quieted himself, remembering who he was talking to and continued to listen. After his master was done, Solus nodded and looked over his body and attempted to get up. It was like learning to walk all over again. The joints creaked and shook at first, evidence of their age and use. The metals that Akheron and Stitch-Mouth had used in fixing them however proved their use, as the body slowly stood up and stumbled a few steps forward. “That…tree thing…” Solus uttered as he took another step. “Definitely will pay. His aura…his presence in the Force was unique, and my envy gave me power. But not enough. Not enough….” “Enough…enough” Solus head repeated the word a few times, softer and slightly distorted with static. As Solus stopped talked, his voice box chittered and repeated the last word, like an echo in the circuitry. The Sith alchemist raised an eyebrow, but assured the others it was nothing to worry about. Where wounds on an organic would be physically visible, it appeared the ones Solus had would be more vocal. Echoes and all. “I definitely have more learning to do, master. That tree thing will pay, or my name isn’t the Drago- ach!” “Aaaaaach!!!” The echo shrieked as Solus stumbled over and into a batch of wires and circuitry. In a sudden panic, Solus shrieked again as he flailed. However, he quickly stopped, a chassis amongst droid parts, growling slightly. “Stupid…gah! Stupid me, just some wires. Like that viny thing was here. No no, just some wires...” “Some wires” Solus gestured towards Stitch-Mouth violently. The alchemist nodded and handled over the still working lightsaber. It was a wonder the thing had not been damaged during the entire encounter on Nar Shaddaa. Solus held it carefully in one of his appendages and stumbled after his master, his steps becoming more and more sure as he became familiar with his new body. “Tell me master, I must ask, where are we heading to next? Back to Falleen? Or perhaps back to Korriban? After all, I’m sure the Sith won’t take this defeat lying down…” “Lying down…”
  13. Solus

    Space

    Stitch-Mouth said nothing as the Sith Lord joined in first repairing his own armor and then helping attend to the Shard’s treatment, but did give either a grateful or simply respectful nod. The work continued, the alchemist remained in charge of the Shard’s bolt. After an hour of work and numerous restarts, Solus’ screams had turned to words. Brief phrases more than complete sentences, and while Stitch-Mouth was forced to cut off the Shard many times, there was an air of hope for recovery. “The blood runs upwards! Blood runs upwards and the skies fall dow-” Stitch-Mouth clicked the remote and started again. “The vines, like wires and veins! The vines, like wires and veins! Burn them all! Burn them…” Stitch-Mouth clicked the remote and started again. “The dragon awakes, the tree crushes its scales! The dragon awakes, the tree crushes its-” Stitch-Mouth clicked the remote and started again. “Let the galaxy burn! Let it burn and let me kill it with my hunger for vengea-” Stitch-Mouth clicked the remote and started again. “Darkness within light! Light within darkness! The teeth open between. The teeth open be-” Again, Stitch-Mouth clicked the remote and started again. The process took another hour. The screaming and ranting echoed everywhere, with the Force infused into each syllable. But eventually it quieted down. Finally, Solus awoke without screaming or ranting. The shard looked around almost as if it was in a daze, recollecting itself, analyzing it’s surroundings. “Master…” Solus voiced, raising its arms up slowly to study them. They were much different from what the shard had before. Where the previous arms were like actual humanoid arms, these were more like metal rods with hands. “How…how long was I out master? It feels like years, yet nothing has changed. How many decades have passed? No, wait, maybe I don't want to know…” Solus’ new head looked at Akheron, gold sensors looking over the Sith. Behind the sensors the slight glow of the shard’s crystalline form could be seen. “What has happened, master?”
  14. Solus

    Space

    A bead of sweat dripped down the human’s forehead as plasma torch busily worked on the chassis before him. Stitch-Mouth didn’t bother wiping his forehead. Such bothers were long forgotten by hours and hours of training with the Sorcerers of Bragsanu. Hours that included surviving days without liquid intake, painful scarring during meditation rituals, combat practices under a black moon, and, of course, the sealing of his mouth. Stitch-Mouth eventually indulged himself and opened a small fatty flap on his neck, revealing a socketed hole. Taking a clear tube from his belt, he connected the hole to a water canteen at his side and took a drink. Around him, nameless, titleless servants looked away disgusted as they handed over the parts they could find. The human looked them over and selected which ones, much like a studied surgeon would choose an organ replacement. None of them were in prime condition, but that couldn’t be helped. With the destruction that had occurred, and the loss of so much at Nar Shaddaa, choicest parts would be harder to come by. Still, he made do. The parts were salvaged from an assortment of machines and parts, but the main chassis body and head came from one model: An uppity EV-Management droid, who’s pain antics, while amusing to the Linnorms for a while, had gotten out of hand. Its legs had been destroyed, so the Sith Alchemist had to replace them with the remains of a K4 security droid. Solid, a little heavy, but dependable. True, it wouldn’t be like the Shard’s old chassis, but perhaps upgrades could be added later. The true art to droid’s after all, was that their bodies could be changed with a little time and energy on a whim. Not like organic bodies that required continual work over and over and over again until it literally learned what it was supposed to be. With the EV-series being especially adaptable, Stitch-Mouth knew upgrades would be in the future. Who knew, maybe some extra appendages would help the Shard out. Stitch-Mouth looked at the shard on his work desk. It was still screaming. Its lines of thought had become a jumbled storm of dashes screeching wildly between invisible points. Though Stitch-Mouth’s human ears couldn’t hear it, the Shard’s voice rippled on the force. Pain wracked its brain and, for lack of a better term, body. And there was something else. Something that would be much harder to cure. Hours later, the time for testing came. The alchemist carefully placed the Shard into the EV droid’s head. The wires were a bit trickier than the droid model the sorcerors had made back on Faleen. Thankfully, the Shard’s oldest chassis, the Hutt Security droid, was an easy study and provided Stitch-Mouth all the information needed for making more chassis for Shards. The head powered up, its eyes flickering to life. At first, it looked like everything was normal. Then it screamed and flailed its limbs around wildly like a possessed madman. One nearby soul was bashed away, a blow to the head that would prove fatal. Without missing a beat, Stitch-Mouth clicked the remote in his hands. On cue, the restraining bolt on the Shard’s new chest activated. An electric jolt flooded the shard’s systems, purging its control. This was followed by shutting the chassis down and back up. The screech occurred again like a soul taking a breath, followed by another click from the remote. The others around flinched and looked in morbid curiosity. No doubt, this was a painful experience for the crystal inside, being brought to and from consciousness on command with a complement of electrical shock. Still, Stitch-Mouth was more than just an over-glorified mechanic. He was an alchemist, and the Sith required more than a share of knowing how brains worked. Stitch-Mouth clicked the remote again and again, running his own tests on the chassis, while instructing the others to various tasks via datapad. Each time The arms needed to be removed and the legs needed to be shut off to prevent self-damage. This would be a very long process.
  15. The shard, in its now cracked and damaged form, began to resonate with heat. The lines inside began to make circles, as its color tinged black. The dark side radiated from it, pulsing in the force sporadically and sluggishly. Several cloudy eyes began to peer and stare out randomly, vanishing away before they could be seen.
  16. Solus' rage intensified. As the Shard watched the tree carefully, if not gracefully, redirect and utilize the landspeeder attack. “No! That is not right!” Solus shouted, drawing his lightsaber and charging towards the approaching speeder carrying the tree-thing. “You are supposed to die! You stupid son of a stump! You moss-covered mold!” Even as the tree jumped into the air, Solus was trying to follow suit. The rapidly approaching speeder provided just the opportunity, as the shard’s mechanical legs bent at the knees and leapt forward, landing on the landspeeder’s hood. This was immediately followed by a jump upwards towards the now falling tree being. What Solus lacked in formal dogmatic training, he made it up with instinct and mechanized limbs. Speed was the advantage of his small chassis. However, in the air approaching the tree, Solus’ lack of formal lightsaber training became obvious. The tree had drawn and activated two of its lightsabers. With his own blade in hand, Solus swung it wildly across, hitting and deflecting the downward swinging green blade with a crackle of energy. The other blade found its mark and dissected Solus’ left arm just above the elbow. Solus screeched with pain as he crashed into the tree like a bullet, losing hold of his own lightsaber. This pain fueled his anger further. It gave his mind a sharp, singular focus. Nothing mattered in this world of worlds except for the end of the being who, with beautiful shapes in the Impossible Geometries, had damaged his chassis gifted by clan Bragsanu. Solus’ voicebox became a blaring speaker of static and ear-piercing pitches. Completely enveloped in his own rage, Solus opened his palm at the thing’s face. The impossible Geometries around Solus’s shapes rippled as the Shard attempted a Force push. His singular focus, sharped with rage and honed with envy, made this one test of power, while draining, possible. It was unlikely the Shard would be able to move much after this feat of power. A few moments of recharge would allow him to walk, and a few minutes more would allow him to fight, albeit poorly, especially with missing one of his limbs. To Solus, the price didn’t matter. All that mattered in this moment was sending this tree-thing crashing into the orphanage it sought to protect. (3) (Frond vs Solus)
  17. Solus slowed to a stop. He had no other option once he realized what the tree was doing. He couldn’t help but stop and turn back towards the orphanage. While the distance was fair, no greater than a quarter mile, Solus’ sensors could eye the details quite well. The tree was just standing there, doing nothing. “What’s the matter tree?” Solus shouted, a tint of rage in his voice. “Are you so old that you are no more than mold? Or are you too rooted in the ground?” Solus clenched his fists. This wasn’t how it was suppose to go. The tree was suppose to follow. Solus was going to lead the moss-man on a merry chase through the cityscape, and use guile to his advantage. It was to be a game of stealth and wits. An Assassin's playground for an Assassin in training. But the tree was simply JUST STANDING THERE! Solus growled like his now absent Tukata. “Don’t you realize what is going to happen? My master will see my hound, and come find me. And if you hope to beat him, you can’t afford to have another being attacking you at the same time, you stupid of moss!” Solus growled again and glanced around. The street he was on was mostly abandoned. However, a little further ahead was a parked, albeit old, civilian landspeeder. The shard moved towards the vehicle, its chassis reflecting in the direct light from the battle above. An idea was forming. He had killed an Acklay for his master once. And he did it by using the weapons that the environment naturally provided. “Or maybe you are just too attached to those orphans!” Solus continued to shout as he came alongside the vehicle. “Maybe I need to make those beautiful shapes of yours ugly! Bring you closer to darkness!” A reach in, a quick flip of a switch inside, and a step back; The old V-40 chugged to life. It staggered momentarily, its repulsorlifts barely keeping it off the ground. “Let's see how you do without those stupid kids! Death remembers all!” Solus reached both hands out and focused. Through the Force, the Shard concentrated on the vehicle’s ignition pedal. With his rage and envy fueling his thoughts, he mentally slammed the pedal. The landspeeder’s turbine engines roared to life, making the vehicle shoot itself towards the tree and the orphanage behind it. (Frond vs Solus) (2)
  18. To say Solus was intimidated at each lightsaber was an understatement. For the Shard, who spent a great deal of energy and ritual to craft his own, it made him wonder how much effort the tree-thing had put into crafting three. “Well…that's one way to try to convince someone…” Solus started, recovering from the instinctual steps he had taken back. Solus glanced towards the orphanage. Whatever powers the tree had, they were great. There was no doubt about that. Somehow, the tree-thing that made Tear go into an addled state. Temporary as it was Solus thought to himself as Tear, now recovered, faced the tree and began to growl. This thing was not part of the darkness. It was a subject of the light. It deserved death. It had no meat, but even branches could make decent chew toys. Solus thought for a moment. He needed a moment. Thankfully, the meetings with the Sith had taught the Shard the value of words. Solus spoke again, holding both of his hands up and open in a surrendering pose. “I have a path to knowledge and power, and I’ve seen corrections before. Whatever kind of correction you have in mind I doubt my master would approve of. And honestly, what would he say if I abandoned his teachings now, like…like common dirt? If I abandoned his ways, who’s to say I wouldn’t abandon yours so easily in a cloud of dust? Now, now, now, there’s no reason to draw weapons, no need to get violent. After all, you are a jedi, correct? You aren’t blinded by hunger like Sith are, correct? A servant of the light or something like that? Or is the reason your shapes sing more harmoniously than my master’s is because they are a mixture of light and dark, like your green and red and purple blades?” At this last statement, Solus refused to let the tree respond. Instead, the Shard clenched his hands into fists. Through the impossible geometries, he had focused on the dust and dirt that was between the two beings. Some of the words in his speech may have revealed his intention. Solus threw his hands upward and let go. The dirt and dust between the two flew upwards violently, creating a small but blinding cloud targeted at the tree-thing. If it had eyes, Solus figured he could blind or stun it momentarily. Solus turned and ran, flicking Tear’s ear as he passed, signaling it to follow. “Get back to master. Then we’ll kill everyone” Solus commanded, loud enough for both the hound and the tree-thing to hear. There was no way the Shard would win a fair fight with this being. His victory over Innmortos had proven that much. Obediently, the Hound took off towards the presence of Akheron. Whatever plan Solus had, Tear would obey as well as he could. Solus followed as well as he could in a mad sprint, wondering how the tree would try to catch him. If the tree would try to catch him. Hopefully it would take the bait and give pursuit. (1)
  19. When the tree-thing emerged and became its more humanoid form, Solus was forced to take a step back. Even as unique as his own being was, Solus couldn’t help but admire the creature slightly. To have multiple forms to switch between. To be an immobile object one moment, and then a humanoid form the next… Again, another flash of envy. One focus at a time Solus reminded himself as the being spoke. “Flowers in the heat.” it said, gesturing to the world around it. Solus nodded to these words. While he wasn’t too familiar with speech that dealt in metaphors, he understood what the tree meant. The battle that was raging nearby. The Sith invasion was no doubt the heat the tree referred to. “Bloom in the waters of peace.” was a little harder to understand. If Solus was correct, the tree was indicating the Sith were in the wrong? No that wasn’t right…after all, the Sith served the Fanged God, and Death remembers all, so how could that be wrong? Whatever, it didn't matter. “Drink. From the garden” the tree finished, hand and smile extended. After a brief pause of silence, Solus’ face shifted. His ‘eyes’ now turned into a glowing glare at the thing's hand. “And why would I do that?” Solus started, taking a few steps back towards the street where his hound was beginning to recover from its fog-infused brain. “I said your presence was beautiful, but not desirable. My master’s presence is stronger and purer than yours, as will be mine. After all…” Solus raised a hand to himself, and then a pointed finger at the tree thing. “I am the Dragon, and you are a tree. A literal man of moss. Heh, a moss-man. What could you offer me that my clan could not? An orphanage to protect? Protect from what? Death?” Solus turned his head back slightly, as if to imitate laughter. “Ha! Death remembers all. So I ask again, Mossman, why would I do a thing like that?”
  20. The Chassis of Solus tilted its head as Tear suddenly seemed to stumble around inside the little orphanage. “Tear? What is the matter?” The Shard asked, taking a step forward towards the broken window. “Are you ok?” Tear suddenly bolted out of the building, crashing into the street and dragging its head on the ground. Nearly shoving Solus off his feet, the hound was not in pain but some form of fierce confusion. Snarling, panting, whining, and growling, the hound acted as if it was possessed. Solus watched for a moment then focused back on the building. A few steps closer to investigate, the Shard stopped, hand outreached for the door. “Well…thats…different…” Solus muttered and turned. With his face turning and looking around, it appeared the robot-like being was looking for something. “I…sense that there is something…” Solus took a few steps away from the doorway, hand feeling forward like a blind man. “I can…see your presence…” Solus continued. “It's different than what I'm used to. Your shapes…they are brighter than my master. They are singing softly. Like a lullabye. Or a hymn. They are in harmony. They are…quite beautiful.” The shard’s other hand clenched into a fist as a flash of envy surged from the being. Now, he faced where the tree stood, with outstretched hand returning to a position closer to his saber. “You have no right to such a thing.” Solus' voice rose in volume, betraying his emotions. “Show yourself now!”
  21. The entire ride to the moon made the shard more and more excited. All this action, all this eventfulness,all this chaos… it was nothing like the time before ascension. Back then there were no changes. Nothing different. Nothing new. Just oblivion. Even as the Linnorms fear began to overtake, and even a little bit of his master, Solus’ spirit continued to soar, unlike the descending and crashing shuttle. The vomit that covered the floor, the rushing of wind outside, the blurring image of an enlarging landscape; all of these things flooded the Shard’s senses. Even his mind, as complex and fast as it was, could not comprehend all that was happening so rapidly. This… This was heaven if heaven ever existed. Nothing but change. Nothing but chaos. Solus continued to laugh all the way, down to the moment that the ship crashed into the pad and skidded to a stop. Like the pilot, Solus and Tear were thrown from the shuttle, but had narrowly missed the pole. Solus picked himself up. Still chuckling, he glanced around. “Well, I wonder if that was a good landing or not? Do you wonder Tear?” Tear, either temporarily deafened or plainly ignorant, didn’t answer. The hound, while bloodied, didn’t seem to be in much pain. The darkside was worming its way on the moon, and already its energy was flowing into the Hound’s joints, healing it rapidly. These same energies allowed Solus to help train and tend the beast on Korriban when its front legs where completely shattered. However, if Solus was bad at one thing, it was teaching obedience and discipline, as Tear suddenly took off deeper into the cityscape. "Hey! Stop! Get back here you stupid...!" Solus, without thinking, took off after the hound. Perhaps it was a mixture of being high from the excitement, or perhaps the hound knew something Solus did not. Either way, Solus took off, leaving Akheron to his methods. Besides, Solus felt like he could easily find his way back to his master. The hound was harder to catch then first believed. While still relatively small, It had certainly grown to the size of a small pony. It’s senses were beyond what they once were when Solus had discovered the beast. It could smell blood. Fresh blood. Young Blood. Past prefabricated buildings, down worn-down streets, the slobbering hound and the Robotic Shard ran, looking like some kind of exotic protocol droid chasing after an escaped exotic pet. Despite the choices of some people who were hiding in their homes instead of evacuating, Tear ignored them. His glowing red eyes were focused completely ahead. His nose had gotten the scent. The smell was too overpowering. The smell of younglings. The tenderest of all meats. Solus laughed a bit as he chased after the hound. He knew Tear had been getting anxious for death. Ever since Aaris, the hound had been antsy, missing such a delectable feast. He had only himself to blame. “There there Tear…” Solus commented, catching up with the now sitting hound. Before it, a run down building stood apart from the ones nearby. It was practically a hovel in the Shard’s eyes. Solus focused on his Hound. Perhaps he had trained it enough to know not to charge blindly without permission. Solus gave a sigh and patted Tear's still growing horns. “Yes yes, go on, get your snack. Then it's back to master” Solus gave a gesture towards the building. Tear gave out a long, savage, blood curdling howl. Its hunting call echoed down the streets like a ghost. Any innocent soul who hid themselves and heard it recognized it in their soul. It was the sound of a predator. The sound of a hunt beginning. The Fanged God’s greeting personified. With this done, Tear charged and smashed through a front window and began to sniff the building out. Solus watched after kicking a piece of a metal sign that read LITTLE REBELS ORPHANAGE aside. Somewhere inside, younglings were hiding. Perhaps they were hidden in a basement, or an attic room. Tear would no doubt tear the place apart until it found the succulent snacks. Until then, Solus would wait.
  22. Solus

    Nar Shaddaa

    Solus was ecstatic to say the least. The death, the chaos, the battle, all of it made the Shard almost squeal in happiness. He hadn’t felt this way since the invasion of Naboo. And he wasn’t alone with his feelings. All around him the Linnorms were preparing and galvanizing themselves, readying for battle and death. The Fanged God would be fed today, and their enemies would feed the fangs. “We go with blades, and guns alight…” Solus started singing to himself, just loud enough to be overheard. A few Linnroms looked at him and grinned and started to sing along as well. “Ra-ka-ka-ta, Ra-ka-ka-ta! The mouth is open, we kill tonight, Ra-ka-ka-ta, Ra-ka-ka-ta!” The song quickly caught on like sparks on kindling. All over the ship, Linnorms began to sing their chant, Solus the loudest amongst them. “Cut off their heads and break their bones, Ra-ka-ka-ta, Ra-ka-ka-ta! Feed the fangs with their moans! Ra-ka-ka-ta! Ra-ka-ka-ta!” Tear growled approvingly but hungrily. The hound was practically galloping to keep up with the Shard. Solus slowed himself and quited himself down for the Tukata’s sake. He needed to control himself. Now was not the time to show too much emotion. Or was it the perfect time? Solus eventually found his way back to the hangar. It was this time that he felt the wound open up in space. The black hole or whatever it was reverberated in the Force, and Solus felt it fully. He had to grab onto the nearest object to keep from stumbling over. Never before had he felt such death. Solus began to laugh. “Don’t you see? Don’t you get it Tear?” Tear didn’t reply, but panted heavily in anticipation of the death he would feast on. Solus and the hound made their way onto the shuttle the Lord of Rage was on. “Haha! What a glorious day master! The Men are singing, death is being made… why it feels like even the Fanged God himself is here! Hahaha! Let us join him and kill all of these infidels!”
  23. Solus

    Naboo

    Solus was quick to speak up at this meeting. Wanting to show the other Captains his right being there, he aimed to make an impression. “My idea would be to attack full heartidly on the civilians, and not just by bombing.” Solus stopped and pulled up an image of a captured Gungan. The captain he had captured on Naboo. “This Gungan captain fought his hardest to protect his civilians. When Master Akheron and I were attacking their underwater city, we were very close to finding multiple civilian hideaways, and because of that, nothing else mattered to the Gungan. I suspect the enemy will be the same.” Solus pulled the image down and faced the other captains fully, his faceplates shifting slightly to make his ‘eyes’ almost glare’ “We butcher the civilians. We broadcast their screams. We make the soldiers of the republic hear their people’s cries and force them to abandon key targets, making room for Lord Mavenger. Have each soldier carry an open comm, broadcasting on all channels for other civilians to hear. Let their screams and our songs be unified in chaos and fire and death. ” Solus made a gesture. “Perhaps we can even force the populace to clog up travel ways, making it harder for the enemy to maneuver to face us. We can have the advantage to simply shoot everything we see and burn whatever gets in the way. Their fuel depots and their hospitals would be excellent targets for this. It would limit how many ships they can use to escape, and decrease how many wounded can be left behind. ” A beeping came from somewhere. A notification. Lord Sheog’s forces, the Court of Madness, had begun their attack. A decision would be needed soon.
  24. Solus

    Falleen

    Solus bowed at his master’s command and set out to do the task. Pulling a few Linnorms aside, he got the body hoisted onto a hovercart and moved, its bleeding head finally stopping its flow of brain matter, and sought out Commander Torah Valkor. However, Solus did add something to what Akheron ordered. In addition to using the body as Innmortos saw fit, as well as investigating the matter further, Solus had to add his own touch. “Commander, remember these words exactly. I am especially eager for his investigation and what the necromancer turns up specifically with the body. I, Solus, am interested, not just the Lord of Rage. After all, I want to see what a true master of Darkness can discover beyond what I, a mere apprentice, found out” If he could, Solus would have smiled. A taunt was a taunt though. If the necromancer couldn’t find anything new, then Solus would be considered superior. “And tell him to investigate the name… Bel Xatuun” Solus conjured the name up from the absorbed memories. There was a lot there to siphon through, but this name seemed to hold importance. “Yes Bel Xatuun. Remember to tell him that exactly. Now get going!” With that done, Solus returned to his master. He was eager to get a move on. Naboo no doubt had changed a great deal since he was last there. And there was a battle was in the near future, which meant death. And death meant feeding the Fanged God. Plus, Tear would be getting ravenous for some fresh meat from a battlefield.
  25. Solus

    Falleen

    Solus was at first speechless. He had not been expecting such a promotion nor a show of confidence in his own skill. Not that it wasn’t overdue, but surprising all the same. “I..I…” Solus began to stammer a bit, pieces of static interrupted his speech as his shard brain comprehended this new positon. It was not just a position of honor after all. It had responsibilities. The other Linnorms would depend on him. He would be official and in charge. He would be more then just a warrior or dragon. He would be a leader. He would have respect and power. “Yes my master!” Solus replied, a bit over enthusiastically. The inspection started off uneventfully. Most of the Linnorms had been trained well after all. But one caught the Shard’s eye. One of the lower ranks carried a different weapon compared to everyone else. A small sidearm, almost unnoticeable to a careless eye. Solus didn’t stop at the soldier right away but continued to pretend to analyze the others with his master. The soldier was a younger, but tall green-skinned Falleen. A fresh indoctrinated soul. He was perfectly still. Rigid even. Like he had been prepared for this his entire life. Solus debated internally. Was this a test? Was he overthinking this? Was Akheron seeing if the Shard was too strict? Or was this a legit concern? That weapon did not belong there… Solus stopped and turned from Akheron abruptly and made his way back to the Falleen. His path was direct and with visible purpose. Something was off. Why was a lowly Linnorm carrying a weapon like a disruptor pistol? The answer became clear when the soldier broke rank. He shoved another soldier aside and pulled the pistol out and aimed it at the approaching Shard. He had been found out. He needed to carry out his mission, suicidal as it was. The invaders would pay. They would die for the burning of their leader. The Falleen looked completely surprised when the pistol flew out from his hands into Solus’ outstretched hand. The next few moments passed slowly. The Falleen, not willing to give up, reached into his armor to pull out a grenade. The others around him were shocked and still reaching for their own weapons. They weren’t expecting a fight here. Instinct took over. His master’s training showed through as the Dragon surged forward in Force-fueled speed. Practically a blur, Solus had dropped the gun and reached forward with his skeletal-shaped hand. The Falleen dropped the grenade harmlessly as he screamed in pain and then went limp. Blood splattered around the two as the Shard’s comp link drove itself into brown brain matter. Like pulling data from a computer, Solus pulled the Falleen’s memories before dropping the body to the floor. "Whoah...i...death...burning..." Solus raised a blood covered hand to his head where his Shard self was hidden and stumbled back. To any human, it appeared that he had a sudden migrane. A moment later he regained his composure. “Master, it seems he was alone. At least, I think. One of the royal’s great nephews I think? Yes, i see that man, yes yes yes, they were related…” Solus shook his entire body, then focused on the Linnorms. They had started to break rank a bit, curious at what had just happened. “At Attention!” Solus screeched, his speaker almost blaring, followed by a high pitched scream, loud enough to make a Tukata flinch. The Linnorms instantly obeyed. “I believe they are ready, Master” Solus said, pulling his scomp link back into his arm and facing Akheron. True, he wasn’t a professional soldier, but Solus had picked up enough from his Master as well as Innmortos to know how to instill a sense of fear to those below him.
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