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Everything posted by Solus

  1. 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. )
  2. 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. )
  3. 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)
  4. 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!"
  5. 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. ”
  6. 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.
  7. Solus and the Polyp changed their gazes to the one who called out. In doing so, the polyp began to flicker in and out of existence, losing the focus and thus the connection of the Shard. It only held on barely by the energies it had absorbed from its creator. Without focus, it had no power. Solus gripped his metal hands tighter at the sight of Dictum. Words flashed in his memory, and Solus’ voice box emitted several growling notes. “Where is that piece of filth, Blind one?” Solus shouted back, uncaring about pleasenries. Then he felt it and saw it. His master’s presence of darkness and pain and hate. The taste of Korriban was now before the Shard across the snow and ash. “The proof?” Solus gawked. “You die and spit in our god’s face and ask for proof of my accomplishments?” The polyp in the sky began a gutteral screech, a representation of the growing anger in Solus. It began to circle in the air, its eyes never leaving the shard’s master. “The warship’s weakness will never be the knowledge of its joints and engines. No one except us knows its codes for destruction nor its methods of power supply. And no one except me knows its true blindspot!” Solus, in his anger, had recounted several technical details that only those with the plans could possibly know. To be fair, Solus did not have the plans on his person. He made sure to erase every last one on Falleen, and every high ranking cultist died at either his hands or during the Imperial cleansing. The only plans that existed were on the ship itself. But both Solus and, hopefully, Akheron knew that the Shard had a knack for remembering the smallest of details. “It’s greatest weakness is still it's only weakness: It’s Lord-Captain, a pretender of the ages. You may have once been my master, but I am your elder! A thing beyond the ages, and the one who will witness the final death. Behold!” Solus gestured to the Polyp in the sky. The thing screeched and bellowed at the gesture, the Madness leaking in the Force from it like black ichor from a wound. Its flesh began to bubble and boil with unseen heat, and its eyes, barely connected by nerve tissue, almost squeezed out of their sockets. “EMLESH BEOSTA!” the thing screamed, the impossible geometries shuddering momentarily. “I am a student of the Flesh beyond Stars! Maker and seeker of the ending aeons. Timeless and endless! Observer and destroyer. Scholar and Dragon. Solus looked back at his master, and flickered his gaze to Dictim and Bernon. “The Blind one once told me that to become a Sith Lord, I must slay my master.” Solus said these words still looking directly at Bernon, communicating the tasks ahead for the apprentice of Innmortos “And these words were a reflection of my own father’s tutelage.” Photoreceptors looked back at Akheron. A metal finger flicked the lightsaber on, its red blade hissing to life. The wind around everyone picked up, as if it could sense what was coming. The Shard’s cape began to flap with it, piece of broken yellow from Falleen. Above, the Polyp circled closer, awaiting for its creator’s rituals, undeterred by the air. “Is that what you meant by the next step?” Solus hissed through his voice box as he gestured with his open and towards Akheron to attack. “Shall we break my last chain by breaking you?”
  8. “And so, when the stranger woke again, he walked into lost In-ho-tho-ta…” Solus continued his reciting as snow and ash blew about the Shard’s chassis. He had long since lost track of time, lost in the conjuring of stories he had been in. “And at In-ho-tho-ta, the stranger found all manner of beings walking and talking, but they all ignored him, like the lesser thing he was. For in his time, he had not grown fully.” Solus paused as he felt energy from the world swirl somewhere. This world clouded his senses terribly. He could still sense his master’s presence, but he could not tell where. Like a compass with a million magnetic poles to track, Solus was unable to mark a bearing for where his master was. “And so the stranger walked past In-ho-tho-ta, until he came upon the bony plains. And there, the whispering grew, until he found that which spoke in his dreams. That thing, that terrible visage of scales and bones and flesh and void…” “Beosta…” Solus stopped and looked around. Nothing greeted him but snow and wind and ash. The voice that had called out was barely a whisper, but it had been there. The very air had grown still around the Shard. Solus studied the area, and recognised it. So he continued. “...and so that thing spoke to the stranger, asking him his desires. And the stranger gave them. And that thing, in its burbling madness, began to promise those desires…” “EMLESH BEOSTA!” The Shard stumbled as the ground beneath him shook with the voice’s shout. The voice had become a storm in of itself, demanding attention. Abovehead, invisible clouds swirled. Madness began to trickle through the very air itself as the Shard looked up. Solus began to shake. There in the sky, where once were stars, numerous predatory eyes looked down. Where there used to be clouds, Solus saw tendrils descending around the world. Where there once was gentle blowings of the wind, there was now the unbearable weight of grating flutes. Where there once was void, there was The Spider… “Not…real…” Solus stammered, trying to hold the Madness back. “Not re-” “Redneterp!” the voice boomed. The planet shook again and Solus was forced onto his back. “Htoa ruoy otni evig!” The Shard shook as the Spider’s eyes became more prominent in the sky. It’s breath blew the ash and snow around him away like dust before a human, revealing the burnt ground below. It’s legs clutched the planet in an attempt to break it apart like some helpless egg. "Retsam ruoy nommus! Beosta, eman ruoy mih evig dna!” Solus reacted accordingly. The Spider had commanded, and he would answer. He raised his hand and gestured to the shaking ground before him. The rock broke apart, and upwards the thing began to rise “BLOOD AND ICHOR WILL FLOW AGAIN! EFIL EMAN RUOY EVIG! EFIL TI EVIG!” All of Solus’ being was conjured up and driven to the thing that grew out of the ground. Envy was the first thing to flow from the Shard, but certainly not the only thing. From him came anger, unrest, fear, and grief. The rage against his master’s heresy. The fear of being alone forever. The grief of never being wanted by his original family. Everything Solus had experienced from his birth was conjured and brought forth, and thrown into the Madness. Fleshy hands crawled over themselves. Mouths gibbered and screeched with abandon. Luminescent eyeballs opened up and met the Spider’s gaze. Tendrils extended and flailed wildly, blistering in the freezing air. Carapacic, clawed legs finally broke through the ground, lifting the towering monstrosity upwards. Still, it did not stop. The fleshy tower began to float, and scream and sing with the invisible flutes. The legs pulled themselves into the fleshly mesh, swallowed by large oozing pustules, becoming a flying, tumorous worm-like growth. “Eman ruoy evig! Beosta! Emlesh sommus! Maercs!” The Spider roared as itself evaporated away into nothing. In reality, nothing had happened. There was no cosmic being shaking the entire planet with its teeth. The stars were still golden pieces of light billions of lightyears away. All that happened was that Solus experienced another bout of Madness. The madness itself had been momentarily enhanced by the necromancer’s powers that traveled across the planet, and made the vision feel that much more real to the Shard, but it was nothing more than falsehoods in the Force, enhanced by Darkness. But this episode of Madness did have one physical effect. Solus had conjured up something. The illusion he had just given life to rose from the ground into the air and began to scream. With all of the energies Solus had poured involuntarily into the monster, the thing used to scream and make ripples in the Force. Once Solus had done this before his first ascension. And now, Solus did it through his Madness. To those who knew the Shard, it was easily recognisable. To those who didn’t, it sounded like the ear-piercing screeches of flutes and electricity. But most of all, whoever heard it could detect the madness the illusionary Polyp radiated from its core. Solus stood and screamed with the thing, gazing at the flying Polyp and the empty sky. Still, he saw the Spider looking down, making demands and shaking the earth the Shard stood on. And so, Solus, and the Polyp, continued to scream.
  9. During the descent, Solus felt it. The scent of Korriban in the Impossible Geometries. It was faint, and tainted, but unmistakably there. At first, the shard thought the Madness was tricking him. Perhaps the beast that solus help made was trying to trick the living. But the madness didn't work like that. It carried its own flavour in the Force. It's signature and shadings were vastly different and Solus knew it well enough to recognise it at first glance This was not the Madness. Akheron had returned. Solus gripped the controls tightly and descended faster. "You dare commit such heresy? " Solus shouted as the ship rumbled amongst the planet's atmosphere. "Return from the Fanged God himself? To deny what is his?!?" The Madness growled at the edges of Solus mind. Fueled by his emotions, it festered and grew, eager to supplement his powers. Despite his growing rage, Solus was able to land the ship gently among the ash and ice of the world. Solus exited the ship and gazed at the world around him as his makeshift cape billowed with the wind. The world felt different but the same. Cold but burnt. It was like nothing happened, but something most definitely did. "Chase after the Heretic?" The Madness wondered. "Or chase the heresy?" "Neither. Such hunting is impossible without further information. Instead, we will let them decide." Solus commented. He glanced around the enviroment. "this place is perfect as a killing zone. I will not be tricked like that tree did on Nar Shaddaa. This time, my victim will come to me" So instead of going out, solus stood and waited. Lightsaber in hand, Solus waited, reciting stories of the dragon Betelguise and the stars he ate. If his master truly came back, he would sense his apprentice and find him. If not, Immortas’ would notice the shards presence and send someone. And Solus would teach them that Death remembered all.
  10. “Alert! Attention all Sith Forces!” Solus looked up from his work area. The back of the ship had become a bare bones mess as Solus had removed every panel, pulled out every unessential wire, removed every spare part he could and left them all over the ship. With the gravity controls turned off, (and the separate generator completely dismantled) each part floated in the air for the Shard to pluck out of the empty space near him. Covering numerous holes were the fleshy pieces of Madness, dripping blood and ichor. All around him, the gibbering mouths growled and gnashed at the disturbance. Solus sighed, his inner feelings leaking into the Madness once more. He let go of the parts between his hands and pushed himself towards the cockpit, catching himself on the seat’s backrest. “What’s so important to interrupt the ritual?” one of the mouths blabbered, with the other mouths slowly repeating the question in numerous dissonant tones. Several of the mouths detached from the walls and floated after the Shard, with small wings of veins and fat. Solus waved them away as the message continued. “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! Do not approach!” The message repeated several times, but Solus didn’t hear. Instead, the mouths all over the ship hissed and chuckled at the news. “One world falls…'' one mouth blubberred, its teeth rotting and cracked. “Like Master, like home…” another hissed before being swallowed back into the flesh of the ship. Solus nodded at the sounds of Madness that only he could see. His connection with the Madness was growing. His own feelings and thoughts were leaking into the Madness, and they were manifesting themselves. With the death of Akheron, it seemed Solus had lost one of the anchors that kept him away from That In the Rift. “The Final Death is coming? End of the Enemy…?” One mouth asked, to which the others snickered. “The slow death. The Unending Void. The Howling End…” Solus muted the communications and returned back to his work area. Floating in what used to be a small centerpoint hallway, Solus snapped his fingers. The mental click immediately made all the mouths shut themselves and become absorbed into the flesh, eyes replacing the orifices. “I need focus please, you stupid wastes of mental space. Focus on this…” Solus moved his hands over the hilt in front of him. With his previous hilt destroyed on Falleen to aid his escape, Solus needed a new weapon. He would not return before the necromancer without a weapon in hand. The screws tightened. The locks clicked. The battery started. The red blade hissed out. Solus grabbed the hilt and held it up before him. All around him the eyes’ pupils dilated or retracted before the bloody light. A moan emitted from somewhere as the fleshy tumors sprouted from the walls and oozed their way to the Shard. The Ritual of the Open Eye was complete, and now the Madness seeped back into the Shard’s subconsciousness. Later, the ship broke hyperspace over Aaris III. Solus returned to the controls and started his descent. Soon he would be back on Aaris III. What he would do next, Solus was unsure. He just knew his master promised the two would return here, and Solus had no intention of breaking that promise. Plus, maybe he could get an opportunity to win one over the necromancer. Heck, maybe Innmortos’ new apprentice would see the error of his choice in master and request someone more sensible. After that, Solus wasn’t sure.
  11. Solus


    For the most part, sneaking out of the palace was simple. The Linnorms who were still alive were following Solus’ last command, and the Falleen forces were having their hands full dealing with the fires they caused. The Imperial Forces were busy with wounded civilians, rampaging cultists, or getting their own men to safety. And it seemed several Jedi were focused on the central temple. No one had time to notice a small analysis droid walking between the shadows through the streets. His original plan was to find a ship in the nearby docking bay, but that plan quickly became discarded when Solus realized there was no way a Linnorm ship would escape the planet unharried. His next best option was to find a speeder bike to escape the city and take a ship from elsewhere on the planet. Perhaps a farmer had a shuttle he could steal. However, that plan itself changed when Solus spotted it: a Faleen 578-R space transport. It looked like it was refitted for royal use, and had been utilized for troop transport onto the planet surface once the trench lines were broken. Currently, a pilot and copilot sat around its side, waiting for further orders as the battle raged further in the city. Solus made his way towards the two, raising his hands into the air. “Excuse me gentlemen? Oh excuse me!” Solus called out. The two soldiers looked up, puzzled at first. The copilot stood up and raised a pistol. “Halt! Identify yourself!” Solus stopped in his tracks and kept his hands up. “Please don't shoot! My name is S-115, servant of the royal family!” The captain held his hand up to his partner. “Hold on, I remember hearing this droid. He sent out a distress call earlier. The copilot lowered his weapon. Solus approached, feigning relief and joy. “Finally, someone recognized my message! No one ever responded and I was worried that it didn’t go out.” The copilot shrugged. “That’s command for you. They pay attention to what’s going on, and worry about details later” Solus sighed as he stepped forward closer. “Perhaps you could put me in contact with your commander? I have vital information about the Royal Prince, and it must be communicated before it is too late. The two looked at each other, and shrugged. “Our commander should be back soon to discuss what we can do with you. If no one responded to you earlier, I doubt they will listen at the moment. You are welcome to wait here though, droid. Safer here than…” Solus stretched himself through the Impossible Geometries towards the Captain. He rushed forward towards the man and fell to his knees, grabbing the man’s sides, making a connection both physically and mentally. As he did, the Madness churned and began to massage the man’s mind. “Please, I beg of you, let me speak with your superiors! Or maybe the Alliance themselves! If we do not act, the prince will die! Please, please, you must help me!” As Solus' words left his voicebox, the Madness distorted the man’s perception for just a moment. In the Captain’s eye, he did not see a droid, but a small human child, crying for their parent. One that was strikingly similar to his own back on Empress Teta. The image only lasted a moment before the Madness retreated, but the effect was immediate. “Ok, ok! Calm down, I’ll help you! Just calm down. Frank, get the ship online so we can get a message to command. The copilot looked at his captain but nodded as the captain repeated his order. Solus silently thanked the fact that Imperial command still relied on the fact that superiors’ orders were almost always followed. Solus thanked the pilot and everyone went inside. The copilot never made it to the controls. The moment Solus stepped inside the ship, he called upon the force and shoved the man forward, his head hitting the sharp edge of a metal console. Following this, Solus turned to the captain and pulled the man down. The Shard then lodged his scomp link directly into the man’s eye. “Stupid son of a nerf…” Solus growled as the memories flowed from the man’s brain into Solus’ own. Clearence codes, planet locations, names of loved ones, all of it flowed like a data stream through the Force into Solus' mind “Maybe your children will grow up smarter. I doubt it though…” About an hour later, Solus dropped the body, believing he had enough to get off world. The Shard took command of the ship, and drawing on the man’s memories, utilized several codes and tricks to avoid detection and come off as just a simple civillian shuttle. As solus broke hyperspace, he gave one last glance towards Falleen, the burial place of his master. “May the Fang God find your soul tasty…”
  12. Solus


    Solus was deep in the data files when he felt the wave in the Force. Between searching for any mention of the ship that the cultists called home, records of any engineers who may be on planet, or any information on Falleen Royalty, Solus was struck by a stab in the Force. That hint of Korriban that he had so grown accustomed to, so subtle that any expert user would miss it, was suddenly crushed and extinguished. Solus only detected it for two reasons. One was because he felt that presence first here on Falleen. When the planet was first conquered, Solus, in a previous chassis, was brought here to help with the extinguishment of life. He had just come from Korriban, and that taste of Korriban so far away from the planet drew the Shard like a moth to a flame. And the other reason Solus detected it, was because it was his master’s presence. Solus disconnected from the port and stumbled backwards before crashing and slumping into a wall. Now sitting, Solus was left reeling. He was registering what the extinguishment meant. He was feeling what he needed to feel to comprehend the fact. Solus was stunned. “Master…what…” Solus stammered. Nothing truly cohesive really came out. The language of sound abandoned the Shard. Only his thoughts, the lines of energy racing in his crystalline body, tried to speak. The strangest fact of the entire situation to the Shard was that Solus was actually feeling sorrow from the death. For all the times Solus wanted to beat Akheron at his own games, to show him up and prove he was better than the Lord, Solus felt sorrow at the Sith’s passing. He should’ve been feeling elated at feeling his master’s passing, or perhaps angry that he wasn’t the one to kill Akheron, or even a general disinterest. But instead he was feeling sadness. Solus glanced up. He half-expected the Madness to take form. Perhaps take the image of a spider-like monster, or a many eyed blubbering horror, or even the dead form of his master. But instead, Solus was greeted by darkness and the little lights of the data networks. Solus focused on two of the lights and tried to pretend they were eyes. Beings to speak to him and advise him. Solus tried to force the Madness to create a facsimile of someone to comfort him. Something, anything, to come out and talk to him. But only darkness remained in the room. The Madness was quiet. Ever since his first ascension, Solus felt isolated and alone. “It’s cause he was family…” Solus eventually spoke to the silence. “Try as I hated him, he was family. Father Roshan is gone, Mother is nonexistent, and my siblings shutted me out. But he… he took me in didn’t he? Yes, he did… he saw potential and took me in. Made me Bragsanu. Gave me a family. By the Force, I wasn't alone. And now he is gone…” Solus glanced down at the floor and twiddled with a few loose pieces of concrete. Solus remained silent for a few more minutes and glanced towards the dead Linnorm’s body. He waved a hand towards it, and pulled the small communicator on its belt. With holo transmitter in hand, Solus activated the device to all Linnorm frequencies. “Linnorms who still live…” Solus started, his voice box surprisingly calm, “...the day is lost. Falleen is no longer ours. The Lord has fallen…” Solus gripped the communicator tightly, his emotions starting to rear up inside him. The rage that Imperials took away Akheron from him demanded retribution. The Madness began to gurgle again. It felt the darkness swirling inside the Shard. It whispered an idea into the Shard's mind. “But that doesn’t mean Falleen is the enemy’s. The Fanged God hungers. Feed him with meat. Abandon your posts and turn on civilians. Grenade the widows’ houses. Stomp the younglings' throats. Abandon your posts and burn the town. Do not go quietly into the night. Scream at the void, and let death be satisfied. This is the Dragon’s command!” Solus stopped for a moment and then added, “Make the Lord-Captain proud of your demise! Kill everything!” With that, Solus crushed the communicator and tossed it aside. Following this, he took out his lightsaber, and began to pull it apart. Solus then removed the crystal inside and opened his head, placing the small gem next to his very Shard for safe keeping. With his weapon now fully hidden, Solus broke the lightsaber apart into numerous pieces hid them on the dead Linnorm's body. When the Imperial Forces arrived at the Palace, he planned on escaping. And if he had to pretend to be a normal, every day analysis droid, then so be it. He had no idea what he would do after he escaped the planet, but bridge would be crossed later.
  13. Solus


    After so much waiting, filled with pacing and occasional groaning, Solus began to get fed up. “What in the Force’s name is taking them so long?” Solus griped as he turned around for the 100th time to pace the room further. “My message was perfect, was it not? It was succinct, it spoke of desperation, and it had the perfect lure!” In his slow rantings to himself, his grip over his Madness loosened, and several eyes began to form in the crevices of the walls. Somewhere, an gurgle came from the shadows. “Oh no, I made sure everyone could hear it…” Solus replied to the gurgle, as if he understood. “From what I know, the Jedi are always rushing into the rescue. And the Imperials will want a stable government so they don’t have to commit forces here long term! So why is nobody here!” Solus glanced at the equipment that was used to send the recording. “Perhaps I need to resend another message to…” A blaster shot interrupted Solus’ thought. From the ground, a Falleen soldier had just recovered from his wounds, and overhearing the Shard’s plot, sought to prevent the plan from succeeding. Unable to hit the Shard, he did the next best thing and destroyed the control panel. Three shots rang out before Solus even registered what was happening. “You stupid kriffing idiot!” Solus shouted as he reached out with the Force and pulled the blaster out of the Falleen’s hand. “You are the dumbest piece of rusted scrap to ever walk the planet! Why you little…” Solus walked over and placed a metal foot on the Falleen’s chest. Unable to talk much, the Falleen only spat out some spit and blood at the Shard. Solus didn’t outwardly react, only gripping his hands into fists as he stared the Falleen down. “Well, at least you are providing something useful to me…” Solus sighed. Holding up his hand, he revealed the Scomp-link in his finger. “Maybe you have some info on your compatriots, hmmm? Nah, I doubt that. But at the very least I’ll get to enjoy your pain…” From inside the control room for the communications array, screaming could be heard. ______ Shortly afterwards, Solus was rushing towards the central palace. In the time since he had sent out the first message, the Linnorms had completed their goals of going underground and committing to guerilla warfare. The evidence of dead bodies, scorched buildings and destroyed utilities certainly were proof of that. Standing before the palace, Solus saw smoke coming from several of its towers. The Falleen forces had begun their own attacks inside in preparation for the Imperial forces, and the palace was still the icon of the people. From the looks of it, Falleen forces were already inside and dealing with the Linnorms. “Hmmm…it is so tempting to hunt everyone…” Solus thought out loud. “To commit death on a scale to please the Fanged one himself. But…I have a different mission. Killing is not the main goal. Stealth first, then…we shall see, yes?” The Madness gurgled at the Shard’s reasoning. With that acceptance, Solus charged forward. Utilizing abilities of the Force and his own training, Solus became a blur of a droid. While using the ability of Force speed was a given, so too did the Shard have to utilize the shadows, sensor blindspots and Force Flash for areas with no blindspots, acrobatics, distractions via moving objects and creating noises, and even playing dead once as a group of Falleen militia. Much to his pleasure, his efforts were rewarded with no one noticing the Shard. Neither Linnorm nor Falleen took notice of the blurry droid with a cape and music instrument. But all the while, Solus had to deal with the Madness. “Yes, yes, soon soon…” Solus told himself as he ran down a set of stairs towards the basement where the records were kept. “I promise I will kill someone after I… The Madness growled into Solus’ ear, a hint of maliciousness aimed at the Shard. Solus threw his arms up. “Gah! Of course, I’ll drive someone towards insanity, my apologies oh vile one. Just…let me…” Solus stopped halfway down the stairs as he gripped his head where his Shard form laid. The Madness inside was growing restless with the Shard, and was eager to spread and expand. Solus needed to appease it soon, or its images would plague him without mercy. Even with his training, he could not restrain the Madness forever. “There!” Solus heard a cry. At the bottom of the stairs, a Linnorm appeared. Dressed in raggety cultist robes and clutching a bleeding wound at his side, the Linnorm had seen better days. “Thank the Fanged one you’re here…” the Linnorm gasped as he made his way upwards towards Solus. “Our numbers are unable to maintain the Palace for long. But perhaps with you…” Solus didn’t hear anything the Linnorm said. He was too focused on the Madness inside. “Atlach-Nacha '' Solus said out loud as he raised a hand towards the Linnorm. The Linnorm stopped and looked at the shard in confusion. “My lord?” “Em ni esoht hsinab ot dna etubirt ni eno siht tae. gneL ni rellewd , Atlach-Nacha. This be my ritual…” Solus continued. The Force around him shivered slightly as the Impossible Geometries opened up. The vile dark shapes that plagued Solus’ form in the Geometries slid out on ethereal winds. With focus, Solus pushed the Madness towards the Linnorm. The Linnorm’s eyes widened as he witnessed Madness take shape. Before him, a new thing had formed. Numerous hairy, jointed legs stretched across the stairs propping the massive carapace in the air. From its twin abdomens protruded large stingers that dripped ethereal poison to the ground. On its front was a humanoid large face, looking strangely baby-like, save its numerous eyes and maw of teeth. The Linnorm screamed as the thing descended on him. Solus kept his sensors focused on the poor soul, knowing that if he broke vision, the ritual of the Wyyrlok would be broken as well. He had given life to a hallucination, and now that the Linnorm, weak minded as he was, believed it, everything the hallucination did was real to him. Solus finally broke his concentration and stepped over the twitching body. Blood dribbled from its nose and eyes, and its mouth opened and closed noiselessly. The Madness had infected this soul, and in time, would kill him. “Not bad…not bad…” Solus chimed to himself as he left the body behind, the Madness returning to him in full. The gurgling was less vicious now, and more constrained. It would not hunger for a while now. At least, long enough for Solus to find the data room and erase everything inside. “Pity that my master couldn’t have seen that. Or that it had to be one of my own. Oh well. Now, time for those plans…”
  14. Solus


    “Cut, cut, slice, slice, dice and decapitate!” Solus sang as he narrated each of his actions. Legs and arms came off with each swing as Solus ducked and weaved through the rooms. Truth be told, there wasn’t as much violence as he sang. The Militia were already turning and running before the Shard could reach them. It must have been an odd sight: Falleen soldiers running from what looked like an analysis droid with a lightsaber. Once the communications array was cleared of enemies, Solus got to work. Technology wasn’t anything new to the being who literally wore a robotic suit. Linnorm passcodes still worked, frequencies never changed, and commands had been memorized long ago. Pretty soon, Solus was ready to send a message out on Linnorm Frequencies. “Lets see, which code applies here…” Solus scratched at an imaginary chin. Beside him on the console, a hallucination formed of a spider with numerous mouths crawled up, and began to growl. Leathery wings began to unfold around it, and the room, at least to Solus, darkened. “Ah! So true! Haha, yes, I know the perfect code!” Solus laughed and typed in the message. ATTENTION: CODE F4409 THE ASSASSIN GROWLS SOFTLY UNDER THE NIGHT’S . DEATH REMEMBERS ALL. The Code was short, but simple….for a Linnorm. The Code had its own meaning, but the phrase spoke levels. For those in the know, it meant to kill quietly and commit guerrilla warfare instead of open battle, preferably underground. However, the message also included to inflict maximum casualties when possible. “Now…time for the palace, yes?” Solus looked at the hallucination on the console. Instead of agreeing like Solus expected, the thing hissed and growled further. Surprised, Solus placed his hands on his hips adjusted his sensors like the glasses he pretended they were. The thing continued to hiss and growl at the Shard, its wings trembling and expanding. After a few moments, Solus slapped his face and groaned, a vibration of sound over the sudden clang. “Gah, you are right! With those idiots getting away, they will suspect any droid entering, or even inside! My work has just gotten 10 times harder! Raaaagh!” Solus reached out with the force and picked up several of the bodies he had taken care of and began to throw them around. Sparks began to fly as each body hit a machine randomly, or as a body part tore off. As Solus gave into his baser instincts, the thing on the console continued to surge and grow, more mouths forming and wings expanding to ridiculous proportions. After a few moments of this, the thing on the console gave a shriek, forcing Solus to stop and listen. “What do you mean the Jedi?!? How are the Jedi supposed to…” Solus stopped as he realized what his Madness was telling him. Looking over the dead bodies, Solus began to laugh. “Oh yes! I am so brilliant! Yes! Haha!” After some work, Solus donned his new, albeit slightly bloody, makeshift cape taken from one of the militia. While not official, the cape did help Solus feel more ‘royal’, and allowed him to hide his lightsaber effectively. Kriff, Solus believed he even looked slightly more regal, if a bit beaten up, but that was to be expected during a battle. “Now…to send a holo-message…” Solus stated as he activated the communicator, this time on all known Imperial frequencies. “Attention! Imperial Forces! I am S-115, servant of the Royal family! I have important information on the Royal Prince, heir to the throne! Please come to me immediately, as the prince’s life is in danger!.” Solus paused for a moment, and then added. “Help me, Jedi! You’re my only hope!” With that, Solus cut off the message. If the Jedi and the other Imperial Forces were about setting up a stable government as they appeared, they would take notice of Solus’ message. Hopefully a Jedi or several would be lured and help him get into the palace, dealing with the Falleen forces in the way. True, he had no idea where the royal prince was, but nobody else knew that either. As far as anyone was concerned, the King was burned at the stake, and the prince was being brainwashed into the perfect Linnorm, as was tradition. "Now...control..." Solus chanted to himself. "After all, in order to really sell this, if the Jedi detect the Force on me, they will know something is wrong, yes? So control...control..." Solus focused on the Impossible Geometries. The lines of envy needed to be called back, the clouds of red anger needed to be maintained. Despite the teachings he had grown accustomed to, he knew he needed to restrain his emotions to deceive the Imperials. The Spider-like thing that was Solus' hallucination slowly evaporated into nothingness. The Madness that was inside Solus became quiet, staying perfectly still. This would be a challenge to say the least. But for Solus, this was a perfect test of his skills.
  15. Solus


    As the ship and several other shuttles broke out of hyperspace over the world of Falleen, the Linnorms inside were still singing alongside Solus’ chantings and songs. Death, blood, and violence were extreme themes in each one, and Solus had taken to the role of choirmaster in it all. Even with his vocoder unable to perfectly emulate the emotions all organics could, his spirit could be felt with each word. And even as the shuttle rocked back and forth avoiding the fire from the enemy ships, the Linnorms kept singing. The Madness that burbled in his brain even began to leak out of his Shard, black ichor dripping along his chassis only to vanish before hitting the floor. Slight tendrils tried to pry apart the pieces of metal, looking for an escape, and little eyes peered from behind solus’ sensors. As the music continued to play, the Madness continued to grow and gurgle at the noises. Only the Linnorm’s excitement of the music prevented them from seeing it. However, when the pilot mentioned they were entering the atmosphere, Solus stopped his playing. Instantly the Madness vanished from sight, as if it never existed. Solus himself appeared to have not noticed its existence as he called to the pilot. “Turn off all lights and open the door as close to the Communication Network as possible!” Solus commanded. He turned towards his master and explained himself. “I figure it would be better if we separated right away. Your lessons back on the warship dealing with those Acklay still resonate with me, and the Temple’s teachings encourage me to ‘lose the rules of gravity’, so I see no reason for us to stop yet…” The shuttle door’s began to open up, and a deafening roar of wind made everyone freeze momentarily. Everyone save for the Shard. “You will not regret placing this trust in me, my glorious master!” Solus shouted over the wind, and without hesitation, he leapt out of the shuttle. After a moment of descent and laughter, Solus’ envy flared itself again as he tumbled down through the night air. Not at the fact that everyone else was flying in a ship and he was literally falling. He wanted to do it this way. But the fact that he couldn’t feel the wind’s bite on his chassis, nor the moisture in the air, like every other organic could…this made his sin grow. And Solus knew this Envy was what he needed. As the ground approached rapidly, Solus threw out his arms and willed the Impossible Geometries to obey. The idea wasn’t to force the ground to move for him however. The idea was to slow his fall. A properly focused force push would help with it. Solus noticed how his body suddenly slowed slightly after the push. Again Solus pushed, and tucked in his legs for a roll. Hitting the ground, Solus moved forward and slowed to a stop, sitting on the empty street. The Shard adjusted his sensors as he watched the shuttle that held his master fly away. “Hoohoo! What fun! Oh what fun indeed. Now for my mission…lets see…” Solus focused on his memories. The last time he was here, he had literally drained the memories from the would-be assassin and nephew of Falleen royalty, Bel Xatuun. There was a lot of memories there to siphon through, and while Solus had lost a great deal of them over time, there were still several that were of use. “Alright, theres the Palace in that direction…” Solus pointed in one direction as he began to calculate. “And there are secret entrances according to the….5 sacred marks of the King. yes, that makes sense. But first, the communication network, which is in…this direction…” Solus turned and faced the opposite direction. Directly ahead, several towers and dishes were silhouetted in the black sky. Without waiting, Solus broke into a sprint. He had to hurry. It was possible that the Imperials would outright bomb the network, and damn the consequences. The central building that housed the network was locked, but the clan’s passwords thankfully still worked. As the door slid open, Solus hoped this portion of his mission would be easy so he could move onto his more important ta- The Impossible Geometries turned into a dangerous yellow. Solus drew his blade as two laser bolts shot towards him. Inside, several Falleen militia had taken control of the building and opened fire on the intruder, bodies at their feet. Solus sighed after he ducked under one bolt and blocked another. It seemed that the Falleen species were already rebelling against the Clan, having seen the Imperial Forces' arrival. With their king dead and burned at the stake, they were itching to take back their planet from Clan Brasganu. “Well this got more fun!” Solus laughed as he charged into the room, Apostae and the Madness eager for blood.
  16. Solus gave a salute to his master and happily proclaimed “Yes my Lord!” at the task given to him. Finally, a chance to show his actual skills and to be shown the respect he, the great Solus, the Dragon, deserved. Not to mention it would be an opportunity for his own Madness to grow. The Madness that dwelled thrived in chaos and abandonment, and what was more wild then destruction and battle? Where a wound was possible, the Madness could grow in both Solus and in others. Though, Solus had another reason for being so happy. To be told that he was right by his own master, who had so tortured him over and over for speaking out of turn or doing something odd, was ecstasy. While Solus’ sin was envy, his father’s was pride, and he inherited a portion of it from Roshan. And it was very tempting to let his pride take over. However, solus resisted for the moment. He turned to Innmortos and bowed. “I bid thee farewell, man of frost! May your reign on this dead world be as stable as when it was alive!” And to Dictim, “Good luck blind one. Perhaps next we meet we can exchange notes on our paths into the darkness…” And finally to Bernon, Solus stayed silent for a few moments before saying “Good luck corpsewalker. If you still possess your own body when we meet, then you will impress me.” With that Solus turned and led the way back down the mountain It certainly was easier going down then up. Once at the bottom, Solus met with the other Linnorms on the planet and gestured towards the ship. “Lets move you maniacs! We have a world to full of imperial scum that need to die!” At this, the Linnorms gave out a cheer. Solus chuckled to himself as the ship, filled with Linnorms and Akheron, took off and made preparations for hyperspace. As they did, Solus pulled his instrument and began to play a Bragsanu song. A more sacred one, but one that would get the spirits far more alive for the group. Even as the ship broke hyperspace, the Linnorms were already singing along with the Shard, excited for the possibility of blood and death. “Stand up faster! Forever! Faster than the flame! Make disaster! Together! Disaster within pain! For tonight we’re going wild, as we let loose Golden Child Rolling faster, faster, faster than the flame!”
  17. Solus was deeply impressed with Innmortos’ ability to come back from the dead. The new vessel he had chosen was terrifying in its own right, not to mention the waves of cold freezing the impossible geometries around it. The shapes didn’t just become sluggish; some even stopped altogether. For a moment, the lines of envy in Solus faltered as they changed to awe, causing his body to freeze for a moment. But they quickly shifted back, Solus feeling envious of the powers Inmortos had gained. Shouldn’t those powers be his? In time he would. He just needed to be patient for now. “Man of frost, you’ve done much to avoid the title 'Man of Wax'! Truly deserving songs of both ice and fire” Solus commented, conjuring his own emotions to overcome his awe. “Though your thoughts may be frozen as well necromancer, for we already have a base and a growing cult on Falleen, and would not my master’s home world be more suited to the purpose of training the Fanged one’s chosen? Korriban is a place of rage and darkness after all. Unless of course, you know something I don't…” Solus stopped and adjusted his sensors like a pair of glasses on a scholar’s nose as a thought struck him. “Then again, the mad beast we created like some hag’s coven will still be of interest to all of us. No doubt, those of Spider’s Temple would be interested in it. The thing’s soul was birthed from my mind, which in turn was called by the Great Spider. Yes, yes... I would love to be close to my child that I helped sire. All children should remember their fathers after all.”
  18. When the lighting struck and outright killed the Linnorm, Solus stopped his playing, recognizing the situation he was in. “Perhaps music can wait for another time…” Solus commented as he put his Valachord onto his back. While his chassis helped prevent any nervous shaking, he had to admit that there was a quiver of fear in the Force. Not a great one that would be noticeable, but enough of one to get the Shard to silence for a moment. He glanced at @Bernon Mrrgwharr, and in his slightly frayed nerves, made a joke. “Perhaps your master did not approve of that one, and will use you as his next vessel? Heh, I doubt that however. No doubt he is just wanting to show off his powers and to get us to pay him some more respect. Of course, I hold nothing but respect for the necromancer. Control over the dead is no doubt a difficult skill.” As the group continued, Solus seemed to excel in the current conditions. The heavy winds struggled to knock over his heavier, denser body of metal and wires, and when the gusts did become strong enough to actually force him to react, he did so quickly, the benefit of having a smaller body. However, the flashes of lightning made Solus keep an eye on the sky. Only recently did he hear the idea of ‘ionization’ weapons, and he had no desire to come close to such a thing. In his mind, lightning and ion weapons were closely related. However, as more progress was made, Solus began to slow down. The dropping temperature began to play on his more delicate systems, something he began to note out loud. “Remind me in the future to upgrade my lubricant processors. And to perhaps replace my core battery unit. Something with a bit more charge.This thing does have its advantages though. I am surprised that you beings can do so well without metal boots, hehe. These chills are making my discharge rate go beyond comfort though. You organics have it slightly easier. Yes, easier, with your insulated bodies and warm liquid blood. Oh how I envy you, you lucky, lucky beings. You don’t know what it is like, no you don’t. To be trapped in the confines of helplessness. To exist in this world of worlds for so long, and to not know the horrors I have seen. No, you beings are way too lucky for your own good, yes yes yes.. ” As Solus trailed off in his envy, any Force User would notice something about the Shard. Instead of slowing down, he began to move faster and quicker. There were even moments when the Shard seemed to take 20 steps in the time he should’ve only taken two. The Dark Side began to swirl around the Shard and move into his wires and joints, speeding up the energy and momentum. Whether Solus was accessing Force Speed consciously or not was debatable, but it seemed his envy was aiding where his chassis was failing in the bitter temperatures. When the group made to the throne room, Solus quieted himself, but his envy continued to swirl around and through him, its energy flowing through him still, keeping him warmer than his central battery could.
  19. "The Code of the Sith is meaningless on it's own...It's meant to guide you to a singular truth and the freedom it brings: follow your own. Let your passions be your guide. But it doesn't guide one into the Darkness....No. The Darkness is something you find on your own." Solus’ voice box chuckled loudly at the being’s words. “How amusing it is to hear your words of wisdom! But I must disagree with a concept of yours, for you sell the Dark Side short. In my experience, the Darkness will find you, one way or another. All hear its call, but some more than others, like us. However, we have made the choice to listen to its words and embrace its core essences. That is a concept of the Temple of the Spider, and one I now believe in. But don’t worry blind one, their teachings are secret to most.” Having said this and left to his own devices, Solus continued to follow the group. However, a moment of inspiration was beginning to strike him. The Madness gurgled at the edges of his sanity, speaking disgusting words. The Force around him momentarily trembled. The Dark Side resonated with him as well the planet’s own essence. Unable to resist, Solus pulled the modified Valachord and began to play its strings. “On lost planet of Aaris III An empty grave we’ve come to see That poor soul has made its way… With mists most thick with souls aflame We soon begin to call his name Hurry, hurry, we can’t delay! Innmortos, Innmortos, arise, arise We still await your final demise!” Solus chuckled to himself as he continued playing his song that simultaneously praised the necromancer’s abilities while mocking them. He recognized that the necromancer had power. There was no argument about that. But as a Sith and a rival, Solus would never pass up an opportunity to put the undead thing in its inevitable place: beneath him.
  20. Solus stepped off the ship with a sign from his vocoder. Though he held no nerve tissues to feel the air of Aaris III, his abilities in the Force gave him all the senses he needed to feel the planet’s unique aura. It reeked of death and blood. The cataclysm that had been known as Innmortos’ baptism of blood still hung in the air like a miasma. The shapes in the Impossible Geometries still spun more sluggishly here, and congealed and separated more slowly then that of Naboo. Upon reflection however, Solus realized there was also a tint to the Impossible Geometries. That substance that he identified as the Madness still lingered here, ever so subtly. With focus and determination, Solus believed he could follow it back to its source, the beast that his master and he had helped create. Chaos above, Solus wondered what the Temple thought of this place, being the birthplace of where Solus first touched the Madness of the Kathol Rift. "Darth Akheron, does this mighty order have a Code of some sort, one that I should memorize?" Solus was shaken from his focus at the new apprentice words, and without thinking, he interjected @Bernon Mrrgwharr. “Allow me to help with that, fellow conduit. The code of the Sith is as ancient as it is enlightening. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.” Solus paused for a moment and added, “Of course, what that will mean to you will be different from other Sith, as I have been told. I have interpreted it as to be unrestricted in both passion and imagination. Through unrestricted passion, I am discovering unrestricted power. Through unrestricted imagination, I have discovered unrestricted insight. But I wonder if that is what Innmortos believes.” Solus looked to Akheron for approval of his words. While he still held a slight grudge towards his master at the moment, he did realize that his teachings still held merit for the Shard and thus, this new apprentice. “Of course, blind one, I am curious on your interpretation of the Sith Code” Solus aimed towards @Lord Ōk Rägnär. “Tell us, what insights have you been granted into the ways of the Dark?”
  21. For a moment, a wave of hatred came off Solus in the Force. However it was only for a moment, as a wave of mutating madness rippled on the Impossible Geometries. The things that had latched onto the spirits had returned to Solus’ mind, and in the process, brought something to him. “Oh shush shush, yes I understand, but now is not the time.” Solus started to coo as his hand went up to his opposing shoulder to stroke something not there. “Yes, yes, darkness comes in many forms, but for now I listen to master. ” If Solus was trying to be secretive about what he was saying, he certainly wasn’t trying very hard. He was loud enough for everyone to hear. Solus glanced towards the newest apprentice @Bernon Mrrgwharr. “Oh that's right, you can’t see it. I forget that I am the only one here trained in something more…exotic. Here, new one, let me enlighten you…” For a moment, Solus focused on the Madness inside of him and directed it. His lessons at the Temple already started to bear fruit, as the hallucination was now being given an ounce of life. A step towards performing the Ritual of the Wyyrlok, this ability held no malice. Solus only wanted to let the new apprentice see what Solus saw. To Bernon and only Bernon, if he chose to not strongly resist, he would see the thing on Solus’ shoulder. The Rat-like thing was almost hairless, its skin covered in warts and glowing pustules. Its tail splitted into several ends, wrapping tightly around the Shard’s chassis so its hands could scratch its head. Instead of a face with teeth, under its 5 glowing blue eyes was a mass of tendrils, with a singular human finger poking out, being chewed upon. “Isn’t it amazing how many times a master can fail and yet remain a master? What wonders will they show in failure I wonder?” the thing asked as it devoured the finger. “Alright, back home you go…” Solus ordered, not breaking his gaze or focus from Bernon. The thing, under Solus’ command, quickly swallowed the finger and climbed onto Solus’ head. Once atop, it seemed to squeeze and shift its body as it moved unnaturally through the cracks of the chassis. Once it got inside completely and out of view, Solus looked away, the ritual complete. “Come, come, let's not keep my master waiting.” Solus turned and began to follow his master. “Hopefully Falleen will be alright without my attention.”
  22. Solus almost clapped at the final demonstration of power Calypso did at her victory, While he hated the fact that the necromancer had not done more damage to the now Empress, he rejoiced in the fact that the Necromancer was once again bested. No doubt he would regenerate on his own on some far flung world, or even back on that blasted heath of Aaris III. True, it meant that Solus would have to endure the Necromancer’s words of annoyance further, but that also meant that the opportunity to kill the necromancer permanently was still in Solus’ future. His master’s words to the no-doubt lost apprentice confirmed his thoughts. Once rejoined with him, Solus bowed before Calypso as well, and offered his own confirmation of servitude. “Great Ladyship, forged from a time forgotten, may your goals and the goals of the Spider always align. And when they don’t, may our passions make us both stronger still!” Solus suddenly had an idea come to his head. This situation presented an opportunity, if played correctly. Solus turned to his master once done with his pledge. “Master, a thought…” Solus chided in, while gesturing to . “This apprentice’s master once gifted me the opportunity of blood and learning. Why not gift him one as well? Teach him one of your enlightening lessons on Aaris III with his master’s approval, and in the mean time, allow me, your newly humbled apprentice, to regroup and rejoin some of our forces. I do recall a certain assassination plot on Faleen that might require some further investigation. Our people may require someone like the Dragon to establish some order among the ranks."
  23. When the spirits attacked, and his master gave the order, Solus at first froze in thought. Exactly what was his master expecting him to do to the ethereal? What would be something that he could do that wouldn’t be better then a lighted blade? Solus didn’t get much chance to think, as several spirits rushed at the Shard. Despite holding a robotic chassis, the things could sense the life within. Much like Tear when they first met, the spirits knew where Solus’ ‘heart’ was. Solus first ducked under the first spirit that charged, and rolled out of the way of another. On all fours, Solus barreled through the snow and the spirits clawed and snapped at his heels. “Come on, think think think…” Solus stated to himself as he stopped and suddenly jumped upwards, dodging over another barrage from the ghosts. Much to his surprise, his training at the Temple of the Spider was already paying off. His training of ‘losing’ the rules of the galaxy had helped him learn the importance and skill of dodging and moving. But it was a temporary solution. The spirits didn’t tire. They didn’t exhaust themselves. They were lifeless things focused on nothing but death of everything around them. Solus gave a glace towards the battle between Inmortos and Calypso. Solus memory flashed to the planet the necromancer had so easily let die. All those people that he chose to eliminate for no reason. All those under his command, like these spirits. The Impossible Geometries around Solus shuddered. Solus faced the attacking spirits and opened his hands at the charging things. The clouds of rage in the Geometries swirled around the attackers. The lines of envy dashed and began to bind themselves. The spirits rammed themselves into the Shard, but never touched him. Pushed back several feet, Solus slid but kept his digits focused on the now ball of death before him. Ethereal skulls snapped and bit out at the shard, claws swiped and clawed, but could not reach him. “Not fair, these should be mine! I should have these, not him!” Solus declared. The lines of envy tightened. The spirits squirmed in pain. The thing in Solus burbled excitedly. Solus, without losing his concentration, opened the scomp link in his hand and thrust it into the ball of death. In the Impossible Geometries, the lines of envy shuddered and opened up where the Scomp link entered. Like a syringe inserting medicine into a patient, so did the scomp link insert the Madness. Its gory, pussy, blubbering glory quickly squirmed and wriggled into the chaotic shapes that were the spirits and began to spread amongst them. Solus released and sent the spirits hurtling. The ghosts crashed and squirmed around on the ground, clawing at themselves like men with horrifying migraines. Inside them, the Madness infected the three spirits like a rabid virus, feeding on the Force that connected them to this realm. Solus had recalled one of the stories that the Temple of Spider adored. They called it 'that Between the Force'. Here, Solus had pulled an idea from the story and inserted his own version into the spirits. Their ethereal gaseous heads began to leak bulbous, wax-like flesh, shining with an almost radioactive glow. With their connection to the Force now tainted and corroded, the spirits couldn’t see or act normally.  They saw everything in a different manner. Anything that moved for them was alive. And being the undead things they were, they needed to kill it. Including each other. Solus began to laugh heartily as the three spirits began to fight amongst themselves. As quickly as they turned on each other, they then separated and began to attack the other, unaffected spirits around them. Ghosts fighting ghosts, they had completely forgotten about the Shard that had affected them. “Oh that is much more fitting!” Solus laughed. “See master? See how I, the great and ascended Solus, don’t need to kill? I am too great for these peons! I make them kill each other!”
  24. If Solus could have rolled his eyes, he would have. If the Shard’s chassis was capable of giving a glare he would have. However, instead he was restricted to giving his master a look as the words fell. “I haven’t made a mistake, master. I simply haven’t discovered as much as I needed to know. Besides, I have already learned much from the consequences. As well as these two combatants. Behold! They both fear the same thing every mortal fears. The Fanged God.” “Well, maybe not him specifically, but they certainly fear Death.” Solus corrected himself, shrugging slightly. “Look at Calypso. She was frozen and restrained for countless centuries, and when she awakes, she finds nothing the same. So her very first desire?” Solus gestured to the battle. “Become Lord of the Sith. Establish herself as something grand. Become immortal, like the Spider and Empress before her, and establish what she hopes is an eternal, chaotic rule over the galaxy. Have to admit, galactic chaos has beauty to it, but I wonder how long that may last?“ Solus knew that this information was a stretch, relying on what he gathered so far. He could have been wrong, but even as the words left his voicebox, he felt like they were true, and thus, he believed it to be true. The Madness in some corner of his mind gurgled in approval. “And for the necromancer… well…” Solus pretended to scratch an invisible chin, pretending to be in thought. In truth, he was wondering how well he could annoy Innmortos’ newest apprentice. “His motives are less-than-subtle. I mean, what kind of mad-man seeks control over death? He has to prove his control by sacrificing his body over and over, just to show the galaxy he can come back. Even I, a lowly apprentice, killed him once. Makes one wonder what state of mind he has to be in to make decisions like ruling the Sith…” Solus then glanced upwards and at @Bernon Mrrgwharr and held up his hands in a tauntingly apprehension. “Not that I doubt he chose well in wishing to train you, oh young one! Surely he must still be sane enough to see raw talent! Perhaps when he falls here, you will be allowed to see his corpse return to life, something none of us have seen”
  25. Solus’ voicebox screeched its ear-piercing screech as the crystalline being inside the chassis was slowly crushed. Like a human having their brain crushed, so did Solus have his. The pain experienced by the Shard was beyond description. The Impossible geometries shuddered around him, twisting and conjointing into newer, uglier forms, with their sharp contrasting colors simultaneously intensifying while muddling together. It was in this moment, where thought could not exist, did the thing inside feel its restraints loosen. Even as Solus fell to his knees gripping his head, the thing burpled and reached out. Nothing more than a figment in the Force made visible, its tendrils and legs reached out and pulled itself on empty air, until several unblinking, bulbous eyes revealed themselves on top of mandibles and fangs. Vaguely spiderlike, the thing hissed at the world around, until the Force Crush stopped. Then, it simply wasn’t there, as if it had never existed. Solus, picked himself up, and didn’t look up at his master. His hatred refused to allow him to do so. Instead, he kept his head down and simply stated “Yes master” and turned away. At the start of the duel, Solus did not perk up visually, when in actuality he was pleased. To have Innmortos, even in his newer, younger form, challenge Calypso presented a win-win situation. If he won, Calypso would be humiliated and brought low, taking attention off the Shard’s failure. If Calypso won, well, Solus greatly desired to see the necromancer fail over and over.
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