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*As the Fleet is almost to Kuat, training continues*

 

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The Great Hutt sighed as looked about the ravaged and disembowled bodies. An orgy of violent death. It had been reminiscent of the deeds of those like Geki, Scando, or Ar-Pharazon. Such a waste of flesh. He breathed in the flavour of death, enjoying its pallet. The churn of spilled bowles, the sting of heated lifeblood. He could taste the phermones of battle in the air and could still feel the rush of terror before each had died.

 

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The air seemed to sweeten as the Force moved about them. It was almost as if the airlocks had released the air of a riparian forest to blow across them. A distant thunder shook the room and the bactabath unsealed to a small gasp. The Hutt reiterated his own philosophy.

 

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There was a collective gasp about the room, but no one was there but the dead. The Auburn haired girl rose first, her neck resetting with a delightful crack. She clambored to her feet, and stared at Milenko with eyes as yellow as burning sulphur. The rest rose then, the blonde’s empty eyesockets turned towards the princeling and a small smile curled upon her lips. The rush of air changed, and the dead were soulless, bound into the tempest of madness that was the Hutt in the Force.

 

The blonde strode up to the princeling, her body contorting into the action of a sexy walk like marionette. She placed a blood flecked hand upon his shoulder, letting it wander across his chest with twitching fingers. When she smiled again, it was with all the evil of a hellbeast, the lifeless eyesockets an inferno of hellfyre as they looked into the Prince’s. It was the ineffable horror of necromancy, the greatest works of the Krath. An affront to God itself.

 

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King Kheldar vos Correlli said:
Sheog, I have to ask, overkill much?
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The massive ships of the Black Sun and the Sith crowded the viewport from the station as they prepped for battle, sirens warning of interdiction already sounded. They had not yet attacked, and it was a desperate race to get the Empire ships and troops into position before the attack. The sheer number of Empire officials stuck on the planet signaled a crushing defeat for the Remnant should the defense at Kuat fail. Not for the first or the last time, Tallin cursed the hardheaded and foolishly aggresive Galactic Alilance officials for ending the fledging alliance and their doomed attack on Onderon. In one attack, the powerful position that the Tripartatie Alliance had held disapeared, their forces shattered or under extreme pressure. If Kuat fell, there would be no one to stop the steamroll of the Dark Side.

 

"Empress, I will stand beside you, and die for you should our efforts prove in vain. You must not die this day."

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Nok barely heard his master’s words as he walked off the skiff, hypnotized by the presence in the fields. Something...something out there moved and watched him. It saw him…

Nok allowed his mind to unspool further into the Force, the scenery melting away as he closed his eyes and his feet walked on mechanically. Bit by bit, his soul and sensations bled out into the vast field of energy surrounding him, into the universe itself. An impossible feeling to describe or capture, he felt a million motions and distant forces move the great sea of energy. But there...there was the one that moved with him. So close, he could almost touch it.

Nok opened his eyes, and for a brief moment, his physical and Force-attuned senses saw as one. He saw gleaming, slitted eyes in the shadows.

Then something brushed his mind.

Perhaps it was because he had failed and recoiled when he had sensed his master’s dark presence on the ship that Nok did not retreat. Instead, he reached out and grasped the presence, his thoughts and emotions spinning out into the Force and into the thing that hunted him. His thoughts entangled with something else, and Nok felt the grass and dirt beneath his scaly belly, the taste of fear and sweat in the air...and hunger. Such hunger. Hunger for power.

Nok knew hunger, he’d been born to it. He remembered his time as a grub, confined with his siblings with little food to ensure only the greedy and strong survived. He remembered his desire to kill and control his siblings to ensure they never threatened his food or life again.

Hunger always has a reason.

What is your reason? Why do you want it so badly?

Nok’s fear pushed at him, struggling to ball him up and protect him from the thing that radiated danger, to force him to pray it would go away and leave him be. Nok pushed it back and instead wrenched at what he realized was a mind he’d entangled with. He pulled at it, struggling to draw it out into the Force with him, where he was strong. Instinctually, he wormed his way along the creature’s mind, looking for the source of its hunger.

 

((1))

 

**************************************************************************************

 

Lord Ekros closed his eyes and sighed as he listened to his fellow nobles bicker.

 

"What sort of stunt is this?" Lady Hyla shrieked. At 73, it was a miracle the old bat had only managed three heart attacks given how "sensitive" she was, as she put it. The noble woman dressed in an overblown gown of red and blues that clashed horrendously with the greenery of the garden, a fact Ekros had no doubt she'd find some way to be offended about.

 

"Calm down my lady," the waddling Lord Ferios said, eyes twitching back and forth. He at least was entertaining. Normally by this point the fat ironmonger would be apoplectic at being given the run-around like this, but he still couldn't be sure he wasn't on camera, so instead he contained his anger and tried in vain to keep Lady Hyla's shrieking fit from reaching orbit. Ekros gave the man two more minutes before he popped like a squeezed juma.

 

"Shut up you drama whore!" Hyla spat. "This is your doing! You wanted a good show to humiliate senile, old Hyla right!?"

 

Ekros had to give Nok credit. Whatever info he had on Hyla, to get a reaction like this out of the normally reserved lady it must have been something slimy. She could get loud, but he hadn't seen her this out of control since the tabloids had gotten word she was diddling her majordomo.

 

"Or maybe it's you!?" Hyla turned on Ekros, finger jabbing at him like a force pike. "What are you stealing this time? You've got my engineers. What, do you want their lunch boxes too?"

 

Ekros held up placating hands. "Don't look at me. I didn't call this meeting."

 

"Sure, and-"

 

"Who's that?" Ferios asked, cutting off Hyla.

 

The other two turned to see...Ekros honestly didn't know what to make of the man. Dressed in armor, and clearly not native kuati.

 

Nok's representative?

 

Ekros had been wondering at the ham-handed antics Nok had used to call this meeting. Half the "guest list" hadn't even arrived yet, and Hyla was about to have a stroke. This all smelled of hasty measures, and that wasn't Nok's style. The businessman who always thought he was so clever with his company shell-game never acted until he was sure his own backside was covered with durasteel plating. And now...this?

 

He doesn't look like Nok's usual go-betweens. Heck, he doesn't look like anyone's go between...

 

A chill ran down Ekros' spine, and he involuntarily stepped back. This man was different. Different from Ekros, from Hyla, from Ferios, from every contact and associate Ekros had ever dealt with or double-crossed. He reminded Ekros of Nok once, when the neimoidian had been furious at Offworld for sniping one of his mining operations. Emotion compressed like a metal coil, with enough power to shatter bone.

 

Ekros started to reply, but heard the sirens.

 

What the hell?

 

“You must be the three I was told of I presume? I am the one Nok spoke of, Darius Jadeo. Shall we head inside? We will have to make this brief, it appears my friends have arrived ahead of schedule. Most unexpectedly.”

 

"...Friends?" Ekros ventured into the silence that followed.

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Karys issued a slight smile from beneath the mask he wore, even as he observed and weighed each member q he saw them. His gaze bore into their very souls as he saw the truth of who they really were and attempted to decipher if this lot were even worth the effort thus far put in.

 

He would soon find out.

 

As the one called Ekros, spoke out in what appeared to be worry or perhaps intrigue at the Massassi's reveal that the sirens were a result of allies of his, he couldn't help but laugh.

 

“Yes friends of mine. Or allies, whichever label you would prefer to call them, but I am not at liberty to discuss more until we are without prying eyes. As I said time is limited and the clock is ticking, so if we can I would move indoors to discuss more. If you would lead the way, we can begin and see what might be accomplished in short time we have left. I shall explain why I asked this meeting be called but only when we are more secure. I suggest leaving the important questions until inside.”

 

Karys noted how each reacted, the older woman especially. From what he had already seen, she fit the typical senile model. Loud, proud and old. He was happy however when both Ferios and Ekros managed to quiet her down before leading them inside. Despite the fact she kept passing over a glare that could kill. He wasn't certain how Nok managed to get her here, but it was apparent...she didn't like it one bit.

 

It didn't matter much. All that mattered was they provided the information he sought and in exchange they would be granted an opportunity. One rarely afforded. When they entered and once it had been swept for bugs, the questions began almost instantly until Karys raised a hand to silence the room.

 

“I know you have many questions, about myself and just what is happening. Allow me to clear things up a little. I shall be as honest as I can be...within reason. My real name is not Darius Jadeo. As expected that is a cover I was given to thwart any imperial interference in both Nok and my plans and allow me safe passage here to meet with you. You may call me Lord Akheron, I represent the Sith and her allies. And now Nok Morliss represents us too, for he is gifted of the force like me and many others. I would suggest showing him some respect from now on for when he speaks, it is for now with my voice that he does so until his training is complete.

 

What I offer you is the chance to fill a soon to be vacant vacuum. You see my allies I spoke of earlier, are amassing at your borders and preparing to strike at the very heart of the Imperial throne as we speak. It is a strong alliance created of the Sith Empire I spoke of and the Black Sun, criminal syndicate. Our aim is to turn the Imperials into little more than dust and take control of the shipyards for our own ends. So you see opportunities are ripe for the taking, positions of power, of influence but only if you would work with us to accomplish our goals.”

 

Allowing a moment for it all to sink in, he continued.

 

“I know it is a bit of a shock, but know this. The Sith of today are not as we were long ago. We don't just go about slaughtering everything and everyone. Our targets are always with a purpose. Just as we reward our allies and those who would aid us greatly, but betray us and no mercy will be shown or quarter given. What I require from you three in exchange for this opportunity, to take over when the dust settles is information. Information upon any known high ranking imperials and where I may find them, Moffs and such to remove their corrupting influence. Do this and your power, influence will more than triple overnight. This I can guarantee you.

 

I suggest you think on it quickly. Either you accept this offer or refuse and die screaming alongside the rest of the weak-minded individuals that mark the imperial places of power. The pieces are already moving into place however and the fleet will not wait for us. Mark my words that this is no idle threat I speak, this is the truth as it stands before you. So choose wisely, you have ten minutes to decide which is more to your interest. Be that to take your chances with the imperial war machine or throw in with us and achieve greatness beyond even your own dreams.

 

But whatever the choice, choose you must.”

 

As he waited, Karys coiled himself within the force. One wrong move from one of them, one wrong insult or finger jab of accusation and they would soon learn just how true his threats were.

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''There are others of my kind...those who see themselves as lions among sheep as I do. As kings--superior to man in every way. Why, then, should we be confined to darkness? Why should we fear man.'' - Darth Lucifer

 

I survived the Great JNet Outage of 2012

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Milenko simply smirked as his Master spoke. Surely the Mad Hutt jested, for the purpose was written as clearly as the intent upon his face. It fumigated the air, the loss on innocence, the abandonment of logic and rationality, the list for survival and now the want for blood. All of its wonderful fragrances permeated from upon the Onderonian man as he was let go. And Milenko reveled in what he had done to him. For he had created the perfect monster. Gazing upon his Master, he searched the Hutt to see if he truly overlooked the greatest sin of all.

 

"Surely you felt it Master?" Milenko inquired, the mischievous smirk growing ever wider as his eyes glimmered green within the red lit room. "He found thrill in his kills, the first of many. Yes, I could have bound him to me, but why cage such a ravenous beast when it can do so much more free."

 

Milenko's mind opened up freely as he thought about the man's potential, his chains holding back what truly laid within his heart finally broken, his nature set free to run it's true course. Sure, he could have bound the man to forever be his weapon, but a weapon set free could do so much more. This was Milenko's test, the logic of his madness. All were given a simple choice: to kill or be killed. And each acted according to the primal nature. The weak were the first to fall, leaving only the true killers to fight for supremacy. Murder has always been in that man's heart.

 

Yet, now, he was free to act upon it, no longer obligated by morals or tenants. A fugitive upon his home planet, left behind by the very Alliance that he served vigorously, hated by all for his treachery and no where to turn. Like a wild animal to stalk the prey he had hunted for so long without remorse or caution, a soldier without a cause except his own. And as the murders of the Onderonian citizens loyal to the Sith would stack, justification and reasoning would place the blame upon their very enemies that left their soldier behind to torment the world they sought to liberate, solidifying the Sith as heroes among the masses.

 

"A man filled with murderous intent, left among those he fought, surrounded by his enemies at every turn..." Milenko breathed in a large whiff of air, laughing as he exhaled, and letting gaze fall into that of his Master's own. "He won't be able to hold back, and once he is caught, we will have validated the evil of our enemies. It's almost poetic really."

 

But as Sheog showed his true power, Milenko's cockiness fell short in silence, his gaze shifting toward the newly arisen undead. Almost mesmerized, he sat in pure awe, unable to grasp the full reality of what he saw unfolding before his eyes. His skin crawled with goosebumps, excitement filling his heart at this potential, and a feeling of eroticism flooded his soul. So this was his Master's power? This was his greatest sin. Milenko wanted this power.

 

Feeling the girl's hand touch his form, chills ran down his spine, a smirk returning to his face as he calculated the possibilities endlessly. His own reached up, caressing her face just as before, taking in her beautiful sight, feeling his Master's power flowing through her as a feeling of ecstasy temporarily took hold of him, and Milenko took her hand, tasting the blood upon her fingers while his gaze never left her own. Truly this power, this ability, held exponential applications. His gaze shifting toward Sheog as he posed his last question, Milenko finally found himself speechless, the girl's finger still sitting upon his tongue, blood staining his mouth.

 

"Forgive me Master, I held no idea." Milenko spoke, this time his words humbled and lingering in awe, barely able to advert his gaze from upon the undead forms that stood before him. "Please honor me with such knowledge.

 

For the first time, Milenko's mind ran blank, his soul humbled by the sheer ability of his Master's in this one act alone. Milenko could not even comprehend what magics laid within the Hutt after this display, only that, if he could be taught, chaos could truly run rampant at his hands, tranquil in its unholy logic as he wielded its potential to spread and grasp the sins of his enemies and use them to his advantage. Truly, he held so much to learn. Sheog was truly proving to be the perfect teacher, and inwardly, Milenko was beginning to see beyond his own knowledge.

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Beck watched as the Misericordia fully pulled away from the refueling dock and was getting ready to make the orders final for the Fiat Lux to begin docking procedures when alarms began to ring out throughout the bridge. The communications officer began to shout.

 

“Sir, Multiple contacts emerged from hyperspace… It’s the Sith war fleet! And Black Sun’s as well from the looks of it.”

 

The Admiral looked at the tactical display and could see what looked like the entire fleet of the Sith, plus other ships already moving into attack positions with shields going up. Then there was a sound that made him angry beyond a white-hot rage. Silence. Turning around to observe the entire bridge looking at either him or the tactical display themselves.

 

“Are you all new recruits?! Launch our fighters, move into defensive position over the shipyards, get our shields up, and somebody for the love of the Empress, start blasting fire!”

 

Beck was quick to move to the center of the bridge so that he could help facilitate the entire ship’s crew easily from one spot.

 

“Open all channels to our own fleet, battle encryption 7A. I want for all Star Destroyers to scatter around the shipyard in primal instinct pattern. The rest of the support fleet is to remain behind them, so that they can remain protected until we can see their movements.”

 

Beck narrowed his eyes as he watched all of the TIE fighters empty from the ships and begin to swarm the enemy ships and the 4 Star Destroyers begin to move into positions and start their own probing of the defensive shields of the enemy fleet. We are going to lose. There was no other thought that was stronger than that one as it floated around within his head as he studied and watched the entire outcome begin. The Battle of Kuat was about to begin, and Admiral Beck was positive, it would be the shortest defensive action the Imperial Remnant has ever held.

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As the serpent crept forward through the dense foliage that made up the hedge bordering the grand estate, he could taste the being’s fear, tangible through the air, the invisible waves of the force that he knew nothing about; but even through the cloud of fear that he relished, Snake felt something else: curiosity. Curiosity that would be the death of it. Any being that had wandered too closely to his nest before had been quickly and near silently removed from the realm of the living. Unless, of course, if it were those pesky younglings that were all too often left to frolic unsupervised across the fields and gardens of the world. No, Snake knew how easy it was to take such a being and how brutal and swift the reaction would be from the swarm of piddly insect-like humans that swarmed the world. They truly were a plague.

 

With a wicked grin, Snake paused, peering out through the dense but-less-than-needed windbreak. Oh, how he longed to find and strike this one; assuredly a sentient being worthy of destruction and of the hunt. Snake could tell from the being’s presence that it was not of this world. Not like the sniveling cowards that played lordship here; no, this one had eclipsed that level of egocentrism. Perhaps it was powered by its own fear? His new prey was even more fearful than the nerfs and other barnyard swill he usually fed upon. How he longed to bathe in that fear, to allow it to wash over his mind, body, and soul. He could feel the venom welling in his fangs, ready and willing to strike. Yet he knew; knew that more likely than not, this would be another of the humans like the too many that already overran his precious paradise and he would have to content himself with the knowledge that should he have chosen to, he could have destroyed the being in a single crushing bite. For a moment, he wondered why this particular specimen was so fearful; but only for a moment, because, suddenly there between the gaps in the limbs and boughs he saw it, saw him, the sickly green hued thing standing there in splendorous robes that put the local would-be-nobility to shame. From this thing, the Neimoidian, radiated fear tinged with curiosity.

 

Still, elsewhere, Snake could sense the second presence, suddenly diminishing. Leaving perhaps? Perished by the foolish humans that called this world home? Surely a being of such power knew better than to awaken the swarm of roaches that were the humans of this world? Regardless, with the powerful force diminished, and the alienesque being standing before him, Snake knew, deep in the boiling pit of his mind and belly that this hunt was no longer an exercise in hunting. It would now be a feast for a king. As the robed being stared back at him through the bushes, his fangs would be the last thing it would feel.

 

As his hunger and pleasure at this newfound moment of discovery echoed from within his silent mind, the snake prepared to strike, his muscles and tendons tensing to leap forward and crush the man’s brittle bones; but instead, something else happened. Suddenly, he could not only taste the thing’s fear. Suddenly, he could feel that very fear as it forced its way into his own unprotected mind. The fear masked a power that Snake had yet to encounter and one that he had not seen before. His body froze in time and space just before he could propel himself forward to drive forth a venomous killing blow and in that moment, all went black before him as the green mottled lordling wrenched him from his physical body into an otherworldly ethereal plain of dark echoing power that radiated from nowhere and yet from everywhere. Even then, Snake could feel the being’s invisible tendrils pushing and prodding at his mind with invisible tendrils shrouded in the very fear that he had tasted on his tongue only moments before; trying to find a weakness, an entry point, a place to force his own fears upon he that would best him.

 

In a moment, the invisible tendrils succeeded as they touched a deeply held memory that Snake only brought forth as fuel to further his detestation for those who claimed lordship over these lands and all that sought to be above him; casting he and his kind down like unintelligent vermin to the earth.

 

_____________________________________________

 

Suddenly where the estate had been before his mind was drawn forth into the embracing darkness. That embrace was not a loving one or even one of pride as he had felt when he was but a young snakeling in the arms or wrapped about the neck of a prideful teenage boy high up in the gleaming towers of Kuat City’s finest nobleman’s suite. No, this embrace was one that left him longing and in that longing he felt it. Snake once again felt the confusion and nausea as his body was supplanted from the darkness back into this memory that he disdained so much.

 

His small less-than-year-old body was being carried by the teen, tears streaming down the young Kuati’s face as he glared down at Snake. ”Why did you do this to me. Now I’m in trouble with father! Why couldn’t you just slink away instead of sending that pesky maid to the hospital? You know he already does not like how big you’re getting you filthy lizard!”

 

Down the ornate hallways towards the refresher room. Snake could sense it, his master, his friend of these last few months, he intended something; something that was not in Snake’s best interest, not at all. In that moment, Snake began to struggle, his lithe body trying to squirm out of the boy’s grasp. It was of no avail. He was stuck fast in the boy’s white-knuckled shaking hands.

 

What is he doing? Snake worried to himself, unsure of what was being said, but frightened by the aura enveloping his master and friend; an aura of rage and anger directed at him! What have I done to cause this? The feeling emanating from his brain in emotional waves instead of words.

 

Snake could taste his own fear. And then, there it was! The refresher itself. Had his master not flailed him the last time he had caught him encircled in the cool water there? He had said that was no place for filthy creatures like Snake. And now. . .now. . .NOW. . .

 

Head first, Snake suddenly felt him being wrenched downwards into the tepid waters; his lungs screaming for oxygen and confusion clouded his brain. Suddenly with a roar the surrounded from all sides he was shooting along a dark breathless maze; his head pounding into each curve and bend, unable to stop himself as the torrents of water bore him onwards seeking to tear the life from his body. And even in that moment, Snake felt it, FEAR, it was as real now in this moment transported back in time within the recesses of his mind as it had been then. More so, he could taste his own fear even as the panic the memory brought with edged upwards in his own soul. He knew that he was going to die in that awful labyrinth.

 

In the cold, wet, darkness, Snake was consumed. Yet, somehow, somewhere, in a glimmer of the furthest recesses of his mind he still knew. . .

 

Snake knew that the green two-legged being that had stood before him had done something to him; even if he was not consciously aware as his mind and therefore his body thrashed and struggled against the memory made real within the space of The Force that now intrinsically and mystically bound their two minds together. Yes, somehow the green fearful being had forced itself into his mind, drawing forth a memory better left repressed, a memory chalked full of fear and the basis for much of his hatred for the two-legged kind. He would not let them do that to him ever again!!

 

Still, fear; as his fear flooded through his mind, his body reacting in turn, Snake could feel it.

 

Fear

 

His fear.

 

The fear of his attacker.

 

Dead in the cold and dark. . .

 

FEAR!

 

There it was, Snake felt it, intertwined ever so subtly within his own fear, a fear not his own, a fear that assuredly belong to this foul green stench that now besieged his mind.

 

DEAD IN THE COLD AND DARK

 

There it was again.

 

Fear!

 

DEAD IN THE COLD AND DARK!

 

What was this pressing thought that wound its own tendriled band of cowardice about his heart? It was not his; no, the serpent knew he had conquered that fear of death in the cold dark pipes of Kuati septic treatment long ago. He had survived! He was a survivor. In that survival, he had power. The meager humans could not destroy him.

 

And in that moment, he had steeled himself, willing his own survival and conquest to where he had now come: the unseen master of all he surveyed.

 

Dead in the cold and dark.

 

Again, that thought? And in that fleeting moment, Snake’s mind reacted as if he was striking a physical killing blow, the maw of his venomous fang filled mind thrashing out with all the endless depths of his serpentine mind he latched onto the thought, the feelings of fear, driving his mind forward against the onslaught of the fearful memory that the Neimoidian had wrenched to the forefront, and in that moment, the memory began to fade. . .

 

Dead in the cold and dark indeed!

 

((1))

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Ambrose had no idea how long he stood there, his eyes blankly staring at the vine covered wall before him not really taking in the intricacies of the myriad of twisting vines. He was lost in the constant twisting whirring inner turmoil of his own mind. He did not know what to do. He did not even know what or how to think. He stood there, mind broken. For all intents and purposes, he could have been one of countless forgotten war relics scattered across the galaxy, forgotten and left to rust. Ambrose Veshok would have continued standing there for ages had it not been for what happened next.

 

Snapping him out of trance the faint whine of emergency sirens caught the attention of his mechanical ears; coupled with his built in comms that were suddenly filled with a cacophony of excited and fearful shouts and crisscrossing orders that played across the secure airwaves he could still access, Ambrose’ swirling thoughts were brought back to bear on a single solitary point in the maelstroms of his mind: duty.

 

The Combined Sith Fleet had arrived.

 

That single thought is what propelled everything that happened next. For the moment the confusion that sought to destroy him regarding everything from Emma and her new form, his disagreements with Query, his death, his cloning, to his arrest and insubordination was subconsciously compartmentalized as he focused on that one singular ideal: duty. He had a duty to the Empire, to the Empress, and to all that they held dear. With that in mind, Ambrose turned to face back into the sprawling wooded gardens the way he had come before. He set off following his own trail of destruction. The once-storm trooper did not know where his empress was; nor did he know much about what was going on, but he knew what would be expected of him.

 

Back to the Moff; that is where he needed to go. From there, he would be instructed and would do his part to defend the Empire, the Empress, its people, and its holdings, or he would die trying.

 

Running at full sprint, with no need to slow for tired servos or shortness of breath, the Dark Trooper made good time as he swiftly retraced his steps to the back of the Moff’s Estate.

 

Quickly he found Moff Hohenlohe, Emma, and the Moff’s assigned guards still in the gardens. Without pause, the massive exosuit/droid/cybernetic-brain-in-a-jar ground to a halt and spoke, his dark mechanized voice grinding out his concern,

 

”Your Eminence, a Sith battle fleet has seemingly arrived. We must get you to safety.

 

Shooting a seemingly condemning look with a tilt of his emotionless head towards the KRPS agents nervously fingering their sidearms,

 

”I suspect that regardless of my failings, you might find a need for my services; yourself and others who I have a duty to protect.”

 

With that being said, Ambrose’ eyes moved from the Moff to Emma for a brief moment before focusing again on the Moff, awaiting further instructions; his internal sensors scanning the environment for signs of threats.

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“Ahh I take that as a ‘I don’t surrender.’”

 

Delta rolled his eyes below his heavy helmet and turned to the Trandoshan bounty hunter that stood beside him. The man was tall and very dangerous looking, a perfect beast for this mission of carrion.

 

“Brother I need you to descend with the troop deployments to Coordinates 38.425527 and -122.664716. This are the coordinates of the Moff Retreat, a pleasure palace and grounds where no doubt the Moff Council currently resides, I need as many of them alive as possible. Kill everything and everyone else. Any women or girls you find are yours to kill or whatever you like.This is war, begin your ground assault as soon as the larger ships engage. Then there will be room enough to take the landing parties planetwards. Solid Copy?”

 

Then he turned and walked to his command chair and sat. Three young girls bringing him an assortment of heavy alcohols which he waved away with a laugh. One of the girls pushed the map table to him and quickly showed the array of Imperial ships around the shipyards. She was a flash trained slave and had been programmed with an extensive knowledge of fleet tactics that could amplify his own instincts.

 

“My lord.” He loved it when people called him that. “The imperial Star Destroyer Agamemnon is closest and could be engaged by that majority of the fleet.” He raised a gloved had to adjust the map before barking his orders to the crews. He had been put in charge of the entire Axis fleet and he would enjoy it.

 

“All vessels at maximum range begin to pump fire into the Agamemnon as the starfighters engage theirs. Bombers prepare for an attack on the Consolatrix and Animarium, they are small so engage with proton torpedoes and then when both targets are down begin on the Admiral Andripov. Ilk of Ion you may charge and fire at ready.”

 

 

In front of the fleet the emerald beams of turbolaser fire began to arc out with deadly intent towards the approaching Imperial fleet. Smashing into shields and scattering flashes of light that people could see for thousands of miles. It was a lightshow for the Kuati below that would soon be interrupted by falling ships trailing smoke as they fell to the planet below.

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Commander - Darkhand Brigade - Sith Empire

Blood Prince

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The Great Hutt’s heavily lidded eyes blinked slowly as he watched his apprentice venerate the skill of necromancy. The Blonde shuddered and rasped as the Hutt stared into the soul of his apprentice. His words were soft and caring as he spoke

 

<>

 

The Hutt illuminated the connection he had to the blonde with the Force. The wisps of power like a second set of shadowed muscles flashed crimson for an instant. The girl began to dance, walking the steps of a Corellian Swing without a partner.

 

<>

 

A ghostly figure led the dead woman in her dance. Its hair was long and shaggy, and the gaunt face drove fear into the heart. The Hutt laughed a moment at his creation and the corpse dropped shuddering to the ground. The lesson was too simple to be interesting for long.

 

<>

 

His eyes were fully crimson now, great beastial eyes that belonged to no Hutt the prince had seen. He was more demonic dragon, half awakened in his true form. His soft, wormlike appearance was shifting. A large smile spread as the Hutt reached towards the kyber-laced bulkhead, and a great wailing began. Screams of fear in the Force.

 

<>

 

The glowrods flashed and there was a great tearing and agony in the force. It was unbearable evil. The wrenching heartache of death held no comparison. A great pressure fell on the room and a rush of freezing, bloodcurling cold. If any heart was open to the Force, it would feel the supernova of hate and corruption as it spawned forth its demons. The Hutt’s words were commanding and monstrous.

 

 

<>

 

 

And the blonde breathed

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King Kheldar vos Correlli said:
Sheog, I have to ask, overkill much?
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Milenko watched attentively as Sheog demonstrated his will and power over death, tantalizing his feverish taste for such knowledge in such a cruel way, similar to relieving a hounds thirst a singular teaspoon at a time. Yet the Prince clung to his words symbolically, lapping each word as it was given, his interest peaked beyond measure. Even as the Blonde danced and swayed before both the Hutt and the Prince, his mind remained upon its concept, simple, yet ingenious. Looking upon One and Three, Milenko felt disgraced, pathetic, weak. He may have created the puppets before him, but Sheog proved to be the true Puppet Master.

 

Rising from his perch, Milenko walked about the dead, studying them, noting the simple marionette strings pulling upon their defiled corpses emanating from his Master as much as the kyber that snaked about the ship. Milenko had long thought himself close to finding the answers he sought, but gazing upon the truth of those very answers at last, he now saw how far he still had to go. He could feel the want, the need within him growing impatient, swirling in a fit of disgust and rage. Without thought, the Prince plunged his fist into Three and pulled out the Kyber Crystal that was her heart, his other hand slinging the blade of Scorp Esson outward toward One, decapitating the failure with no remorse as the blade returned and deactivated.

 

"Failures, the lot of us." Milenko spoke, his eyes glimmering an enraged emerald admits the darkened room as he gazed upon Three's crystalized heart in failure. Had Two been present, he would have faced his Master's wrath, yet he was still silently stalking the Massassi Lord(Krays) from before. Turning his gaze toward Sheog, Milenko stared upon the Hutt in disgrace. "I'm starting over, and this crystal will be my focal point."

 

This is where Milenko heard his Master speak what Milebko has sought all along, the key to unlock the door, causing Milenko to shift his gaze upon the girl from before, Sheog's experiment, whom still loomed unconscious upon the floor, her name still labeled upon the shattered bactatank, F.O.X. If all that was required was a soul, bonded to him, capable of empowering such truths, he wondered what truths laid within her. Out of all that was swirling around them, she was that thing that intrigued him most of all. What secrets did she hold?

 

*********************************************************

 

As upon the wind, a voice echoed upon the flow of the Force, Sheog's ears the only recipient.

 

"Your will, be thy command. Speak, and Mammon will obey."

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Zalis felt a tingle of excitement in her spine as she moved from the bridge to the hangar bay to her ship. The thrill of the fight was upon her, and she was eager to start blasting fire. It didn't take much poking from Delta to get her to move, as she understood all too well what her role was. Get on the station and cause chaos. If she had luck on her side, she would be able to find a target worth holding hostage to help pay for the spoils of war. It was part of her job, to acquire funds by any means. In this case, she got to use her skills growing up on Coruscant when she would assassinate targets. The fun was in the kill, it always was. But today, it would require some restraint.

 

Quickly, she got herself on her ship and blasted off, using what cover she could as she left the hangar to find her way towards the massive ring around the planet. The shipyard was of the greatest of value, even more so then any one person on the shipyard. But if Black Sun was able to take a few high ranking officers, Moffs, or even the Empress herself... Credits would find a better flow. And in her mind, it would justify Delta throwing the fleet around so easily for the Sith. For Zalis, credits was what drove Black Sun.

 

She was careful at the helm, allowing for her ship, Supremacy to move here and there, avoiding the large fire from the ships of the Imperial Remnant, which were quick to open fire and take up defensive positions over the shipyard. TIE fighters flooded the space, taking shot almost wildly and without any thought of repercussion of what they may or may not hit. Her own ship rocked back and forth every so often from the blasts that came very close to direct hits. Next to her, the droids WP6 and WP5 tried to maintain control, and had they not had regular memory wipes, would have used a developed quirk to be upset with her for taking such a wild approach to the shipyard. Without any real thought, she found a gap through the TIEs and fire power of the shipyard and the Star Destroyers exchanging blows... an open hangar. Zalis didn't hesitate, she gunned the thrust to go in full throttle. The engines thinned and howled as she raced in faster then what she was even expecting. To her, the movement would have provided a for sure surprise to anyone in the hangar when she entered.

 

And just like that, she was in. It took her all of around thirty seconds to move about forty clicks. The move was dangerous for sure, and she was about to pay the price for it. There was no way to slow down in time to make a safe landing, so she instead choose to pull the controls down hard, having her ship crash and scrap along the interior surface of the hangar. She could see the wall approaching quickly and she prepared herself for the impact. In her own mind, she counted it down. ...Two...One.. The crash impact was hard, and had she not had her webbing on, she would have been thrown through the viewport in the cockpit along with WP6 and WP5. The two droids now were in pieces that rested both within the cockpit, the hull of her ship, and the floor of the hangar bay. Pain shot through her chest as she began to undo her webbing. Upon releasing the harness, she fell to the floor of the cockpit, her face missing the vocal processor of WP5. Shaking off the weariness, she slowly stood up and used her comlink.

 

"XP7... Are you still functional?" There was a few clicks before she heard her droids voice on the other end. "Yes Ma'am. The LP droids brought along have met a shattered end though. I was strapped down in the cargo hold, so I suffered nothing." "Good. Prepare for battle and open the landing ramp. We've got some Moff's to hunt."

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Nok writhed, lost in the Force as he grappled with that something. That...snake? Yes. A snake, a snake that had been flushed down the fresher, and still felt that fear. That fear drove its hunger and its desire for power.

 

Mind and heart driving down deeper and deeper, Nok felt the presence buckle under his pressure. Glee radiated from Nok and into the void as he bent the creature that had been about to devour him, coiling it beneath his will and presence. He saw as the memory of the boy played out for the serpent, the Force making it real.

 

The Force is us, Nok thought in an epiphany. The master here is the master in truth.

 

Nok grinned and throttled the serpent, driving it further into its own memory, letting the fear creep in and erode its mind. He watched as the memory of the septic pipes trapped it in a dark, breathless maze.

 

Then the snake twisted and squirmed under his mental grip, suddenly hard as steel, the memory a show and not an experience. Nok only registered it for a second before the impression of a dripping maw appeared before him and enveloped him. Mentally, he felt the creature sliding along his own thoughts, a thread in its jaws.

 

Nok opened his eyes, and saw nothing but black. He knelt on the cold ground, not on the grassy, sunlit plain from a moment ago. He stretched out his hand, and could still feel the Force, but muffled, like hearing water rushing behind a wall. All around him was nothing but black.

 

And cold. The cold bored into him, cutting past his skin and spreading through his bones. His fingers ached with pain, and every breath dug needles into his lungs. Nok grimaced and curled up, eyes tingling as the freezing air pressed in.

 

I know this.

 

My vision

 

The vision he’d had a hundred times, each as real as now. The vision of him dying in the cold and dark, surrounded by-

 

Something moved behind him, scraping across the floor, its size and power apparent in the casual motion. Nok struggled to turn and look, but his eyes could only squint as they began to burn with cold and his muscles locked up.

 

Helpless. Weak. Powerless...

 

((2))

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

As the Sith (Chaos below, an actual Sith!) finished, Ekros felt the world slide out from under him. The Sith were invading. Nok had allied with the Sith, and was doing so openly if this warrior was to be of any gauge. Hell, he apparantly was a Sith now! Everything added up. The haste of the meeting, Nok's forthrightness, the quick agreement to the Moff's estate as a meeting ground, the guests...

 

Oh god, the guests.

 

They weren't just here to sign over the planet and expand their respective fortunes. Each of them represented or came from a significant faction on Kuat. What happened in the next few minutes would determine how those factions were treated by the Sith. This wasn't a negotiation, or even a chance to plead and profit. This was a trial, and Kuat's nobility was before the judge. Whatever was said here would be known eventually to all of the Sith Empire, and to its emperor, and it would flavor or taint (depending on the case) the relationship between the conquered and the conquerers.

 

Of course, as expected, Lady Hyla couldn't keep her damned mouth shut.

 

"Excuse me?" she said, more calm than Ekros would have expected, but he could see her dark knuckles turned bone white as she clenched the arm of the overstuffed chair her bony form nestled into. "You bring invasion to our door and then expect us to kiss your boots to line our pockets? Do think so little of us that you expect us to abandon our loyalty at the sound of a few sirens and the promise of a few credits? I don't know what kind of whores you're used to *Darth Akheron*, but the kuati nobility do not roll over for every bully to enter our hyperspace lanes." Hyla straightened, her emotional explosion a few moments ago forgotten, her pride and refinement on full display. "I think if you intend for us to respect anything you have to say, than you had better respect us in turn."

 

Lord Ekros had to admit he was impressed, even as he sidled away from her. No matter what Hyla's habits or tantrums, she could be a true daughter of Kuat when the moment called her to. Confident, intelligent, and demanding of respect and attention, she might be mocked but never ignored.

 

Unfortunately he feared that she'd played this one wrong.

 

The fact that she hadn't spat in the man's face or walked out was a good sign. It meant she was taking this seriously and realized the danger to her fortune, power, and underlings. Unfortunately she'd tried to protect them by putting herself and the Sith on equal footing, treating him as she might an upstart equal. And Lady Hyla didn't always treat her equals cordially, upstart ones less so. That whore comment had probably been going too far.

 

Ekros noted Lord Ferion moving away just as he did. His face was pale, but Ekros could see as the man's eyes darted that he was thinking rapidly. The next few seconds would be interesting.

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Kyrie blinked as her words trailed off into a snarl of righteous anger. She could feel them, the oppressive energy of the Sith as they arrived. Her eyes widened a fraction, the emerald reflection of the glowlamps sparkling in their depths. She had never felt such a whirlwind of terror and horror within the Force. Dying and tortured souls caught upon an event horizon, screeching in their panicked madness as they were consumed by pure evil. The ashes of the evil she had consumed echoed in the horror, driving the air from her lungs.

 

She had no choice but to shrink her mind before the storm. It was too much all at once. The leader of the Imperial Knights had felt the echoing torture of Jedi prisoners. Their persecuted souls were familiar, and cried out for her to save them. She knew she could do nothing but listen to their deaths as they were consumed. Emerald eyes flashed silver as the Master of the Imperial Knights dragged air into her lungs. It hurt her to breath this recycled air. She wished for the damp wind of Tython, the healing caress of the jungles.

 

“Aidan, follow close. We are in a fight for our lives now.”

 

Panic swirled about her as the civilians of Kuat’s rings began to rush to places of safety. Kyrie opened her scarred mouth and began to sing, weaving the power of the Force into her words. It was a song of strength and carried the purging fire of the Exorcists. The panicked winds calmed to match the breezes of Tython. The Sith had come, but they would face the Master of the Exorcists. She smiled, a grin that carried a challenge into the Force.

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“M-master we are but m-moments from K-k-k-”

 

Sheog’s crimson eyes turned slowly to the stammering dancing girl. With a yawn he returned with his own words and a dismissing wave of a grubby hand.

 

<>

 

The Hutt sneered at the voice he heard as his concentration returned to the training before him. He had heard the voice in his dreams over the centuries of his madness. Greed incarnate, the demon Mammon. He enjoyed the strength of otherworldly creatures, but they were not a lasting strength. A murmur came from the Hutt as he placed the ornate mouthpiece of his longstem briar-wood pipe to his slobbery lips.

 

<>

 

The Hutt puffed on his darkstained pipe, letting the tobacco with spiced burley and intense flavour curl through his widening maw. His apprentice was smashing his toys like a toddler, but about the man was a coiled serpent, perceptible only to the force-touched insane. The blonde-haired girl shuddered upon the ground and raised herself to sit up, scratching her face with clawing hands. His voice was much louder this time, booming over the man as he destroyed his creations.

 

<>

 

Several more Jedi prisoners were tossed into the laboratory, their hands bound with stuncuffs. Their brown robes. They shone brightly within the force. Candles piercing the darkness of his sanctuary. They were resolute knights, not self-doubting apprentices. Sheog’s crimson gaze settled upon them as the viewscreens showed their drop from hyperspace. The stars extended like a mother’s arms and tore them from the whirling insanity of hyperspace.

 

Then there was a startled cry as the Jedi were exposed to the wound in the Force that was the Hutt’s hunger. Before them stood not a Hutt but a girl, bound in bandages and dripping with bacta-fluid. She was their doom, and she carried their souls into the Hutt’s dominion. Madness and Hunger, like binary stars orbiting a black hole. All of Kuat would feel it.

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King Kheldar vos Correlli said:
Sheog, I have to ask, overkill much?
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Within the Commander's room of the Chronoweave, Oni sat in darkened silence, his mind focused, feeling the Force swirling around him in a symbiotic degree. Not a single day of light entered the room, his breathing deep and calm as he meditated upon the upcoming battle, readying himself for the fight that laid ahead, the unknowing accepted fully with understanding. The Force would guide him always, not like a weapon to be wielded, but a companion in his time of need. Each sect held their own beliefs, their own means, and Oni held his own with conviction and decree.

 

"Through emotion, I gain power...."

 

Oni's mind reached out, drawing upon the emotions of those around him, drawing upon their energy and taking it in, feeling it coursing through his veins like wildfire, burning upon his soul, and etching its power upon his will. It was a bitter taste to partake in, the emotions he devoured a mixture of hatred, fear, melancholy, and doubt. But devoured it he did, embracing its empowering fuel as he felt it flow within his darkened form.

 

"Through Knowledge, I gain strength...."

 

Feeling the Chronoweave exit hyperspace, Oni nudged the Force outward, letting his mind wander about upon its rippling current as it flowed through-out the ship and onward into open space and what inhabited it. He let his mind reach out and delve into the minds and hearts of those it grazed upon in passing, letting the thoughts and emotions it gathered to echo within his mind, their purpose becoming a part of his own. For he would carry the weight of the Sith upon his very shoulders.

 

"Through harmony, I gain peace..."

 

With a deep breath, Oni would ride the current even farther, a simple stroll among the upcoming. He accepted the emotions, the thoughts, the purposes, all into him as if they were his own, carrying them with wholeheartedly respect. They were of his brethren, his kin, and therefore, they were of he. Through this acceptance, his soul was at peace and it rippled along side his own presence as the ripples turned into waves. But soon, like waves, they would ripple back, and returned just as focused as he would be.

 

"Through will, I am free...

 

As his mind ventured back toward his center, Oni's eyes opened in their onyx glaze, carrying the weight he had gathered and caging it within his very existence. He was a warrior of the Sith, not through corruption nor malace, but by his own accord, their plight his own by simple choice. This was the truth of the Demon known as Darth Oni and soon Kuat would know it completely. Their power was his own, fueling the former Alcazarin with everything he would need. Such was the power gifted to him by the former Chaos God Nurgle, and though he was but a pawn in the God's game, he would use it to set right the wrongs done by those he called family and use it to rebuild the Sith.

 

"I am the Force, and the Force is me."

 

With the mask in his left hand rising, so too did the darkmetal saber hilt in his right, activating and carrying a white current about its blackened blade, illuminating his face just as he placed the Mask of Oni upon his head, hiding the blonde locks of the former Hunter from all to see. As he turned toward the hissing door that led to the command center of the Chronoweave, Oni turned toward his Cathar Apprentice. "Come Camik. Let us lead our brethren to certain victory"

 

And with that, Oni emerged from the darkened room and gazed upon the newest target of the Sith's conquest, a bustling hub with strategic value, weakened by the pretenders of freedom. Within the palm of his left hand sat the Holocron of Aryian Darkfire, his fist clinched where the mask once was held. While his old friend may not have agreed, Oni knew he was there with him, his presence emanating from within.

 

"Commander, activate the gravity wells and drop the rest of the fleet out of hyperspace. Let's give these pretenders hell. I'll be leading the boarding party, so you have command."

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R.I.P. Nanny (6/3/1941-1/9/2012)

R.I.P. Papa (2/14/1936-2/7/2012)

R.I.P. Big Mike (5/12/82-11/9/2012)

~Revelations 21:4 (KJV)~

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Beck watched as the Axis fleet began to make return fire and pour some concentrated fire at Agamemnon and had it’s bombers begin runs at the smaller vessels. With his own eyebrows tightening up, he saw the Ascalon make an attempt to stand alone to protect the smaller fleet vessels but even to Beck, a rookie Admiral in his own rights understood that such a maneuver would end up being in vain. But the difference between Beck and other fleet commanders was his clone programing, which allowed for him to process information faster and retain it far better. His own studies of battles told him that the focus of the fleets should be to have the Star Destroyers stand together, making a harder defense to go through.

 

“Motte, inform… Commander Foster to pull away from defending and form up on Misericordia. If we are to stand longer than five bloody minutes, we’ll need to concentrated focus of the fleets.”

 

Within his own mind, Beck understood that such attempts showed a lack of understanding of how to defend, or even basic use of tactics. And with current low levels on critical things for his own Star Destroyer, Fiat Lux, the battle would surely be over without a single attempt to push back if everyone kept on not following the orders to form up.

 

“Open the comm channel Motte. Battlegroup, form up in pattern 7-A4. Have all smaller vessels draw in close next to our Star Destroyers. The goal will be to make life hell for those bombers as they will get ripped to shreds if they continue their attacks. All TIE’s are to focus on removing the bombers and ignore their fighters. A necessary priority to keep our warships alive. Then I want for all Star Destroyers to focus on the Mephistopheles.”

 

Beck turned and began to move more towards the front of the walkway bridge to truly view the battle as it unfolded. He knew from what he saw, today would be the end of the Imperial Remnant. Or at least, the end in a sense of magnitude. They would be reduced to nothing after this and forced to start over. Less than ideal. Yet, as long as our convictions run deep and we have enough fortitude, we shall rise again.

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In that moment, Snake pushed aside all of his fear that he had suffered at the hands of his former master, replaced by his cold calculated rage at all that walked upon two legs and claimed dominance over he and any other that did not fit their stereotypical narrow views of their world. Lashing out, he felt the cold darkness as it rushed across his scales telling him he was alive. Then in a moment, they were gone. His memory forgotten in the passing of a moment, safely tucked deep down in an unexplored crevice of his mind to only be brought forth in times of need for an angry fuel to push him forward. Now, however, he did not need it, his mind and body were steeled by his own knowledge of his power over the two-leggeds. Even this strange green fearful one that now quaked before him in the dark. Momentarily, the being had caught him by surprise, but Snake had, as he always did, fought back and won.

 

He did not know where they were, but he could taste and feels the green man’s fear. It was all around them etched into every atomized particle of frigid air and it fed the serpent, gave him even more power. Wherever their minds had fallen, the limbless predatory reptile had assuredly forced them to this point.

 

Silently, his body swishing effortlessly back and forth, powered by his hatred and pride, the snake circled the cowed form of the Neimoidian. The serpent’s crimson eyes pierced through the unnatural darkness, the frigid fingertips of the void against his scales only served to press him forward; every instinct urged him to strike; to kill this meager weakling before him.

 

The cold had no effect on him; he was warmed by his inner hatred and rage, cool and calculated as it was.

 

The darkness did not bother him; he was a creature of it, a son of the darkness, wrapped in its comforting embrace, a nightmare of those who dared enter into the beckoning arms of black.

 

The only sound that could be heard was dripping.

 

A drip here.

 

A drip there.

 

Snake’s fangs were exposed and his maw open as his tongue lashed the darkness. Each breath fueling his hatred and desire with the sweet taste of fear that weighed heavily in the arctic air. Lethal venom dripped from his exposed fangs, hissing ever so quietly as they struck the unseen ground beneath him.

 

Yes, this poor two-legged had been wrong to engage him. How dare such a weak specimen even make eye contact with he, his better? The weakling had taken him by surprise. It would pay for that insolence with his life. First his mind. Then his body. Snake would crush and swallow each whole, digesting them with joy in the knowledge that he was the master of his domain.

 

And as his belly scraped along the ground, Snake saw his foe’s eyes searching the darkness.

 

Fool.

 

And in that moment, from the inky blackness that was the fear-filled memory of his foe, the massive predator lunged again; his venom-dripping fangs bore wide as he sought a killing blow. Rearing up, Snake drove his maw forward, each coiled muscle springing in unison to drive his massive form forward in a torpedo of poison, teeth, and death.

 

You are mine. I am your superior in every way!

 

((2))

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Imperial

sounded in their blaring repetition, the normally stark white halls of the Orbital rings now tinged crimson in battle lighting as Beth Andromina sprinted through them, her black boots n the durasteel flooring making little sound above the din of the battle. She was followed by eleven others in black plastoid armour, their helmets carried in hand. The Templars.

 

An Imperial Fleet Specialist unit, commando trained pilots that were some of the first operators to ground in the event of an infiltration mission. But for now they were making the long jog to their ready room, having been held back in case the Imperial Guard needed assistance to protect the Empress. The political decision rankled them, and they knew they would be more of use in the air but they had their orders. Their twelve TIEs were only a short jog away in the royal hanger anyway, so Beth and her men and women took the next turn into the Royal armoury and began to load themselves with weapons. Two of her strongest men took some of the Latticework Ysalamir and placed them in the armoured backpacks Then they crouched in the corridor towards the empress’s chambers. Beth herself held a heavy flechette launcher while two others stood at a mounted E-web, all within the bubbles of the Ysalamir, waiting for the Sith to arrive.

 

Beth was nervous, and she wiped the sweat from her eyes with a black gloved hand, wishing for the vacuum of space instead of this soon to be coming hellhole.

Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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Thoughts drifted out of Camik’s mind as he sat on his knees meditating. This was his first real battle since joining the order. He had been in fights and scrimishes and training but this was different. He relished in the thought of what was to come, being able to unleash everything at those that would stand against them. It wasn’t as if he held back before but there was something different for a true battle.

 

He allowed himself to think upon the Sith code

 

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.

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.

 

It was traditional and a foundation but even before he finished reciting it to himself he thought of the variation his Master had given him.

 

"Through emotion, I gain power

Through Knowledge, I gain strength

Through harmony, I gain peace

Through will, I am free…

I am the Force, and the Force is me."

 

He could see how his this code fit his master so much better, and how it had shaped his training. He wasn’t sure it is closer to something he would adopt but for now he held onto both codes.

 

Feeling a tug on his emotions and gathered himself and walked out of his room. He was dressed simply in a black jumpsuit with his lightsaber attached at his belt. He wanted freedom of movement for this, and while armor might have been nice he had yet to find anything that suited him in a fight.

 

The one thing that stood out on him was the collar around his neck. As much as he wanted to ignore it every so often he would find it chafing him.

 

He put those thoughts out of his mind as he watched his master prepare himself. Camik rolled his wrist with excess energy. He had come a long way in controlling and harnessing his emotions but before his first real battle he found there was just some energy that wanted to leak out of him.

 

”I must say Master, they had to know what this would bring down upon them by coming here. It seems so foolish.” He told his Master just before they walked out of the room to face the commander.

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was what was unleashed upon Kuat that day by the Dark King's spidery web of conquest and rebirth in the name of his Sith Order, Oni no more than a mere vassal of its deliverance as he stood at the ready, his face concealed by the demonic mask he once adorn under the traitorous name of Alcazarin, now reforged with new purpose under the humbling truth as he gazed outward from his stance aboard the boarding shuttle leaving Chronoweave's atmosphere for open space, TIEs to the front.

 

The singular escort of TIEs, known simply as Náve, were comprised of pilots that Oni had hand picked during his brief time upon the Chronoweave, their presence within the Force speaking volumes of their emotions and prowess, their mission simplistic. Clear a path for the Sith Master, or die trying. And aboard the shuttle, Oni held a singular unit of Sith Troopers, the name Dźive given to them by the Demon himself, a sole means to an end, giving life to Oni's power. Gripping the strap above his head, it began now.

 

As Náve would began their assault upon the enemy combatants, Oni steadied himself in the Force, reaching outward and grasping the emotions that would run rampant admits the chaos, fueling the fire within his soul as they raced toward their destination. Many lives would be lost this day, but Oni cared little for the numbers it would take, only that the goal in which they sought would be achieved. Such was the nature of the beast, the art of war. To earn a place of honor among the living, the greatest would need to be sacrificed, and each of these men knew this to be the sole truth of their plight. Their enemy, however, differed in this opinion and wrought them with weakness.

 

Explosions would rock the shuttle back and forth as they darted ever forward, fear within the Dźive empowering him even more as both enemy and foe alike exploded into oblivion and their screams echoing as their lives were snuffed from existence in a plethora of fiery damnation, their purpose served and their plight ended. Only he would carry them with him as he grew ever closer toward the Orbital Rings, both that of friend and foe alike, their memories mere fuel to the fire that blazed within. Steeled in his own, he knew his purpose laid ahead, and nothing would keep him from his destination. Like moths, all would flock to the flame within, and would perish in its absolute.

 

As the last of the TIEs turned about, signaling their arrival, Oni felt the shuttle land, his blades igniting in their blackened brilliance, streaks of white static erupting across their heated forms. The troopers readied themselves, trying to match the calmness of the Sith Master before them, a being fed their hidden emotions as he gazed toward his Apprentice. "Steady yourself Camik, and remember what I have taught you. Chaos awaits us. Be humbled by its song and embrace its harmony. Through battle, know that you're alive."

 

Even beneath the mask, his grin would shine outward as his gaze shot about the shuttle's hold, signaling that his words were for those that followed as well before his gaze turned toward the horizon and the recycled air sprayed upon his face. The Sith had truly arrived at Kuat.

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R.I.P. Nanny (6/3/1941-1/9/2012)

R.I.P. Papa (2/14/1936-2/7/2012)

R.I.P. Big Mike (5/12/82-11/9/2012)

~Revelations 21:4 (KJV)~

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Aidan felt it almost as his master did. It was subtle, in the background of the humdrum heartbeat that pulsed through the populace around them. A twinge of dread, a ripple of fear. The Dark side.

 

Checking the power pack on his protosaber, he gathered himself and followed closely to Kyrie. She had already taught him so much, allowed him to open his eyes to his own power. And now, for the first time, he had teeth to bite back against the encroaching darkness.

 

He was ready. With a nod to Kyrie, he followed in step behind her, head on a swivel, acknowledging her and showing his confidence in one short statement.

 

"Lead on, Master. We will meet the storm together."

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Camik stood on the boarding shuttle as it left the Chronoweave. He did not want to sit so he simply held on a hand hold and looked at the troops that would be following them into battle. Each one of them were hardened and cold. They sat in their armor not fighting but simply waiting with a cold determination.

 

As he looked at them he realized that this had to be the hardest part of a battle for them. The flight to the battle was something completely out of their control. They were relying on the pilots to get them to a place where their training and skill could do some good.

 

While technically Camik was in the same position he did not feel that way. He knew that they would make it out of the boarding shuttle. He wasn’t quite sure how he knew it, but he did suspect.

 

Camik reached out to feel the emotions of those around him. He reached out feeling those that were in fighters attacking their ship. He used it, fed on it and let it make him stronger. Each time the ship dodged he found his balance shifting with it. It was becoming so ingrained that his feet did not even budge.

 

Eventually the ship docked. His Master turned to him. Through battle, know that you're alive. It was time to feel that rush and his fingers itched. Only true battle would show how he would react in battle but he was looking forward to proving himself.

 

As the doors opened allowing them access Camik’s test of battle. He breathed deep the air, tasting the fear on the air. He stood next to his Master, lightsaber in hand. ”I am Prepared.”

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The Master of the Imperial Knights ran, her ebony braids bouncing with each long stride of her armoured legs. The Force propelled her faster, and she wove through the throngs of civilians with expert precision. She concentrated on the song of the spirits about her, listening to their warnings, to the words the Force desired her to hear. Kyrie ducked under a fleeing Ithorian’s extended neck, reaching out to her squadmates, her brothers and sisters in arms. They were battle hardened together, soldiers and scouts of the Empire.

 

She could feel the vibrant joy that Hadran Narraghmore pumped into the force, long before she could see the maroon plastoid armour of the Grenadiers of Foy forming up to meet her. He was ready for battle, and his men and women knelt as Kyrie approached. The harsh sterility of concentrated tactics rushed over her as IC-426 and the rest of the Imperial Commandos of Kildare marched to join them. Their deathtrooper variant armour gleamed in its dark colours of the Imperial Knights, highlighted with a forest green. The two squad commanders embraced, unitiing themselves beneath Kyrie’s lead.

 

Kyrie glanced up at the hanger doors looming above the kneeling men and women, and then to her apprentice that stood beside her. She could feel a darkness rushing towards them like an arrow, black and hardened in evil, propelled by the Force to meet them. She held up a hand and the fire of the Exorcists rushed across her fingertips, blazing in silver flame. It gave off no physical heat, but had an ethereal warmth that emboldened the soul.

 

“Rise.”

 

The two squads of troops stood as one, their plastoid armour making a unified clicking as they all saluted. Kyrie held out her long-handled lightsaber, pointing it towards the blast door that began to open, revealing a hanger in panic.

 

“This will be our bulkhead against the Sith. We hold them here.”

 

She motioned to derelict and partially constructed ships that lay scattered about the hanger bay like children's toys tossed about a playroom.

 

“Environmental suits locked in. Prepare for war.”

 

The Imperial Knight gave her men and women a broad smile, her teeth sparkling in the reflected light of her flames. Her emerald eyes began to grow milky and then hardened to shining silver.

 

Neca ne neceris. Dismissed.”

 

The two squads scattered into the hanger, taking up firing positions that would compliment their weaponry. Concussion Rifles, Flechette Launchers, Slugthrowers, Sonic Rifles. They were her revered Sith Hunters, the Inquisition forces, and they were effective at their game.

 

Kyrie herself stood in the center, watching the Sith approach. A shuttle cloaked in the darkness. She stepped in patterns, leaving footprints of silver flame in intricate designs. As it entered the hanger, she held out her extinguished lightsaber as a challenge. The Sith were used to the softness of the Jedi, and would be expecting a slaughter. The Master of the Exorcists was a beacon for the Sith, and like the insects they were, the Sith would be drawn to her flame.

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Karys was silent for a moment as Lady Hyla spouted her hateful words. He allowed her to finish before considering his next move...slowly he approached her laughing as he did. And yet something was definitely not right about the situation, he was too calm.

 

In the Force something stirred, a subtle movement, one aimed at the old kuati. Within moments, she would find herself unable to move, as if a great weight sat upon her bones. And then the wrapping around her throat, starving her of oxygen as she was lifted to come face to face with the Sith.

 

“I was not meaning to insult you, your loyalties or your intelligence in any manner. Let's start again....but only since I admire your gall, your spirit. Unlike some you have strength. However, do not mistake these comments for leniency..if you expect me and mine to respect you, to treat you equally...you must first pay the price for your disrespect towards my allies. They would choke the life from you if they had heard such a comment.

 

Such talk. Insult them in any way again or myself and you know just why they call me the Lord of Wrath, do I make myself perfectly clear?"

 

Allowing her to breathe again he spoke.

 

“As we were discussing. I need information on the current location of the Moff, and his security detail. Give me this and despite your display and insufferable arrogance, you and your families will be spared from the carnival of slaughter that is currently taking place, I can hear it even as we speak. It has begun. The Force reveals it. Help the Sith and you help yourselves, and your families. You would thrive under our rule. Think on it, what we have done in so short a time. What has transpired at Onderon. They have thrived like never before thanks to us and never been so strong. We have exposed the Galactic Alliance and the Jedi for what they really are. Weak and filled with hypocrites The galaxy cannot be ruled by such weak entities.

 

Sometimes it requires monsters to defeat other monsters and keep them in check. I offer immunity from persecution, wealth, power, influence and the chance to strengthen the nobility against threats. We would make a powerful ally. That is the offer, take it or leave it. But as I said I suggest you think it over quickly, for the others are in no mood to bargain.

 

They come to claim souls today. You have until they arrive at the estate to consider the deal, for its merits. But remember my warning and choose wisely. “

 

Karys smiled at the comment, how little did they know how true that comment likely was.

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''There are others of my kind...those who see themselves as lions among sheep as I do. As kings--superior to man in every way. Why, then, should we be confined to darkness? Why should we fear man.'' - Darth Lucifer

 

I survived the Great JNet Outage of 2012

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The sixty or so KRPS were now moving in full action, joined by twenty members of the imperial garrison, with the lattice of Ysalamiri on their backs. Only four of lattices were carried by heavily armoured troopers who took up positions around the next of trees that Moff Hohenlohe and his men had taken up residence in. While the other sixteen carried heavy weaponry. The four anti force troopers were each guarded by a mixture of KRPS and Imperial agents, all heavily armed, some with blasters, sonic, flechettes, and slugthrowers. They knew that the Sith would be coming, and their training dictated their actions. Emma knew it from a flash package that had been downloaded into her core a few weeks earlier, and so would Ambrose from his years of fighting experience with the Imperial Army.

 

POSLWJK, Protocols On Select Loadouts With Jedi Knights had once been the trainings name. Which had been shortened to Force Killer Protocols in the years since the death of Emperor Black and Deton. Useless and overlong jargon did not help a soldier in a fight, simple training and tactics did. Surround with numbers, hit with weapons a lightsabre could not block, using Ysalamiri liberally, and then overwhelm with fire. Easy enough for the grizzled veterans of the old wars, but the young KRPS and troopers still could be seen with beads of sweat on their foreheads. They had their orders.

 

Emma kept her cybernetic eyes on the faceless face of her friend. She could not read his emotions so she kept from hugging him again. Though she did speak, her voice amplified from the robotic voicebox.

 

“We cannot run and this grove of trees gives ample cover for now.” A flight of TIE defenders wheeled overhead, as anti aircraft guns peaked up from the distant complex. “They will have to face us on the ground or not at all. We will receive signal if the fleet can dispense with the interdictors.”

 

But she kept her eyes on Ambrose, her lips quivering as if she wanted to say something which she kept still. Only her fingers twitching, betraying her nervousness.

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Oni simply nodded toward his Apprentice, knowing that this was truly a moment of defining for the Cathar, a moment that would forever shape his life, just as Endor was for him. Albeit, Camik didn't have to worry about a furry little Ewok following him home. But still, Oni knew that Camik would prove his worth in the battle alone. Disembarking the shuttle, Oni's blackened figure loomed as if the Devil himself had made an entrance, darkness flowing like tendrils about him, arched and ready to strike. Yet amidst the chaos and carnage around him, a familiar presence crept up upon him as if years of old had birthed anew.

 

"Exorcists" Oni spoke, the reluctance and spite lingering in his tone as his gaze fell upon the blackened haired beauty before him, his mind returning to another he had faced once before, the Jedi Damon, his powers a nuisance to say the least. Yet she felt different, more precise, more lethal, no morals holding her back as Damon's Jedi Code did for him. This intrigued him, a grimacing smile creeping upon his face beneath the Darkmetal Mask that covered his auburn gaze. Placing his arm out to stop Camik in his tracks, his sabers still activated in each hand, he spoke but a few simple words to his apprentice. "Careful with this one. She cleanses the corrupted, and doesnt seem to care for morals. Best to take some of the men and continue the mission without me. I'll rejoin you when I can."

 

With that said, Oni stepped forward, gauging the enemy forces before him. The Exorcist would be the biggest problem, her power strong, intimidating. And her men were just as deadly in their own right, weapons aimed and ready for his first move. This would be a tough situation to face, even if luck stood on the Sith Master's side. Fortunately, his men stood at the ready as well, just as cold and calculating as those they stood to face, equipped with their own slew of weaponry, most notably the disrupter rifles each adorned at the ready. Removing his Mask, Oni's faced the Exorcist equally, his face contouring to reveal the Necrocorrhosis Mutation that corrupted his soul and why he was known as the Demon of Nar Shadaa. His onyx gaze met her emerald eyes, his enlarged forehead protruding the hardened horns as a sly grin encompassed his face stretching ear to ear. He would pour his heart into this battle, if only in respect for her warming welcome, and he expected the same in return.

 

"Now. Were the only words that Oni spoke before the tendrils of darksided power unleashed the cargo crates they had latched upon, hurtling them forward toward the armed assassins that awaited him across the bay before disappearing into a form of blackened mist. A combination of Oni's disease aided unnatural speed embued by the Force, it would only take two bats of the eyes for him to clear the distance. His blades at the ready, he struck the first blow upon the unsuspecting troopers, his own clearing the way behind him, weapon fire lighting up the air with orchestrated chaos, feeling the darkened energy within him sapping by the minute, his gaze shifting toward the Exorcist to his left.

 

"Boo."

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R.I.P. Nanny (6/3/1941-1/9/2012)

R.I.P. Papa (2/14/1936-2/7/2012)

R.I.P. Big Mike (5/12/82-11/9/2012)

~Revelations 21:4 (KJV)~

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Ambrose heard Emma’s words while simultaneously eyeballing the array of Imperial and local security forces. The raging maelstrom of his mind contained within the entirety of his thoughts, save for the one overwhelming sense of duty. This was what he was meant for. Even through all of his faults, Ambrose knew that he had one purpose. In this moment, that purpose, that duty, was the survival of the empire.

 

She was right, this was their best option. There was no telling when and where the approaching Sith horde would appear. It’d be best to hunker down and prepare. Besides, it’d give him a chance to finally test out the full range of his newfound abilities and systems. If there was one thing, Ambrose had determined about his new self it was that he was a walking arsenal of destruction.

 

Purposely not looking at Emma, he spoke, ”The Moff may be the future of the Empire. See that he gets to safety. Take what men you need. I’ll create a diversion here to distract the oncoming horde.”

 

With that, he hefted his massive five barreled plasma cannon, ”If anything, I can arrange a few unmarked graves for these sithie barbarians.”

 

Turning his head towards the house, where he suspected the horde would arrive first, he pointed back deeper into the gardens, ”Go. Please Emma. You cannot die again.”

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The voice, a whisper upon the wind, echoed its voice once again in reply to the Master's murmur, the air growing cold and eerie.

 

"Do you not feel the hellions resonance? He is Mammon, and Mammon is Milenko. He is the embodiment of its sin, wild and untamed, yet his soul reeks of damnation."

 

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Milenko bowed humbly as his Master's words reached his ears and caused his gaze to advert, watching the girl claw mercilessly at her own flesh. While it was true that he had much to learn, failures were meant to be disposed of, like all life. In order for the new to grow, the old must first perish. Such was the law of equivalent exchange.

 

Turning his gaze toward the newly arrived prisoners, Milenko simply observed, his black spiked hair waving in the breeze of recycled air, the smell of blood tantalizing his taste buds and causing his stomach to growl in silence. And yet, his mind lingered away as his gaze feel upon the girl from before, standing before the Jedi, dressed in unstylish basic brown robes, a brilliant light flowing forth from them. He could feel their resolve, and deep inside him, he wondered if he could break it.

 

Yet, still, in silence he stood, watching the girl before him, the minor shift from hyperspace rolling beneath his feet. His gaze never faltered, even as the first of many screams began its lullaby, intertwined with the insatiable hunger that washed over his soul and outward, Milenko's own need beginning to once again grow. The girl before him, she held the key he sought, and he wanted it badly. Glancing down upon the catalyst he had chosen, his mind wondered if he could have her, possess her, just as Sheog had. Or would another come, one worth of filling the crystal with its soul? The prospects were endless, and he drooled upon the singular thought.

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Lord Ekros watched in silence as this Sith silenced Lady Hyla. He watched as her eyes bulged, her mouth opening and closing breathlessly like a landed fish. He watched her proud back buckle as the Sith talked on, quiet and polite. Hyla's eyes shifted through a dozen impressions in seconds. First confusion, then realization, then fear, then understanding of her own mistake. As the veins in her eyes stood out in stark contrast, he saw the decision in her eyes.

 

And he made his own.

 

As the Sith stepped back, Ekros pulled out his holdout blaster, and pushed it against Hyla's head.

 

"What are you doing?!" Ferion sputtered.

 

"Come on Ferion, you and I both know Hyla's never going to go with this. She'll play along, then send this guy an exploding gift basket or something over the top like that." Ekros smiled as Hyla's eyes widened. "Didn't think anyone knew about that? Really Hyla, if you're going to kill your servants maybe be a little more subtle about it?" Ekros looked up and met the Sith's eyes. "Hyla is a schemer, but she's a rigid one. She won't stop fighting you until she's dead, just because she wants her 'golden age' back. Me? I'm more flexible. Ferion? He's an idiot. An influential idiot, but an idiot. You might need an object lesson to get through to him." Hiding his fear and pasting his best grin on his face, Ekros glanced down at Hyla for emphasis.

 

"Do you want to do it, or should I...Master?"

 

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Nok’s silent scream as the beast’s mental fangs pierced him sent waves into the Force like a ship crashing into an ocean. The fangs cut past his lies, his denial, and his illusions to the heart of what he was.

 

Afraid. Deep in the darkest, pulsing, quivering mass of his soul, he was afraid. Nok experienced every time he woke up in a cold sweat, every time he raised the heat when a chill ran through his blood, and every time he ignored it and pretended it wasn’t there. He experienced it all, in a moment and an eternity. Nok wasn’t powerful. He was a child hiding under blankets, a grub burying itself in the dirt to hide from the boots. This thing was stronger. Better. Superior. And it would devour him, and that was the way of the universe.

 

The icy spikes driving into him towards his core brought a sudden flash of memory. He remembered a beast, with a grinning skull-like face. He remembered the searing pain in his side as the creature’s claws tore into him. The howlrunner. A beast.

 

He remembered slitting its throat. He remembered cutting its head off and holding it in triumph. That feeling of victory, of passing the test with blood and knife. He and both howlrunners had stood against the other, and he’d been found stronger.

 

As if a line had been thrown to him, Nok remembered other scenes. He saw businessmen cowering beneath him as he slit their throats. He saw factories exploding while he lounged under an umbrella. He saw videos of assassins butchering their way through dinner parties at his direction. A silent master, an iron hand, and a shaper of the universe. Nok was all these things and more. Weak? How could he be weak? He was a ruler, a puppetmaster, a Sith! This...animal couldn’t even imagine Nok’s power.

 

That’s it.

 

Nok reached out and grasped the creature, grinning, his face melting and twisting into the skull of the howlrunner Nok had on a pedestal on the Bleeding Edge.

 

”You think you’re better than me? You think you’re strong? Let me show you strength!”

 

Instead of driving deeper into the beast’s mind, Nok pulled it deeper into his, pushing it towards his own memories. The first time he’d flown and seen the stars from the bow of a ship. The countless planets he’d walked across. Wastelands where his own industrialist interests killed wildlife in floods of rot and death. Worlds bent and broken under his whim, his command, and his design.

 

Then he showed the beast squadrons of droids, assassins, mercenaries and saboteurs, all working on his credits. All belonging to him. He showed this beast what he was. A fulcrum of the universe. This creature was a speck before him.

 

((3))

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