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((Thank you Chad))

 

The sith was a dodgy one, and though he tried, the aim of the Templars found their mark. A highex slug hammered into his torso and through him backwards onto a crate, hollowing out his insides with a flash of bloody mist and fire. The initial punch of the bullet cavitated the young man's torso, and less than a milisecond later his innards were eviscerated by shrapnel and explosive power. Lacerating kidneys, liver, and internal organs galore. The Cathar boy’s blood coursed down across the crate and he was still, leading the Templars to think him dead. His purple lightsabre sputtered and died as it fell to the decking and deactivated. Another Sith for the books of the Empire. Another million dead revenged. So the templars next turned their focus on the counter attack as they left the body alone, not knowing that the force sustained him. The blow itself, though normally fatal was not so on Camik, and though he was surely dying, as the Templars moved on, pressing their attack, the Ysalamir bubbles let go of their hold of him. The force returned to the boy, his rage and anger, sustaining him, though not stopping the bleeding or allowing him to walk again, it was enough to hold on. To hold on until his master would return to fetch him. Camik was out of the fight.

 

Beth and her few remaining men began to coordinate with the other stormtroopers in the hanger to press their attacks as Oni and the Imperial Knights fought. Their storm in the force, fierce and brutal to those without the magiks that possessed them. So the imperials fought on, turning the invasion upon itself, beginning to press the attack and driving the Sith soldiers back into the landing craft.

Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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Beck began to get worried as the Axis fleet began to make concentrated fire at Agamemnon and his own ship, Fiat Lux. The turbolaser fire ended up not even being the fire worth worrying about, as the ION blasts were causing massive amounts of damage through their own ability to disable the capitals ships. From his own tactical display, he observed the movements of the axis fleet begin their thrust forward and ultimate victory.

 

“Motte, we’re switching tactics. All ships are to form a protective shield around the Misericordia. They are then to move forward with the fleet protecting it.”

 

“But sir, if we do that, the rest of our fleet will be lost!”

 

“This battle is already turning away from us. Either we all perish, or we get one of our own capital ships out of here alive. That’s now our sole objective. If any commander protests, they will face a court martial. That’s is all I will say on the matter.”

 

Turning back towards the enemy fleet, he moved to stand at the front of the bridge of the Fiat Lux. He would lead the way by example. It was his turn now to show the rest of the Imperial Remnant what it meant to survive at all costs. They needed to get Misericordia out of the system. And because of that, Admiral Pilon would succeed in his mission to get her out.

 

“Full ahead, all ships!”

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Zalis grinned as someone stood in front of Raven, protecting her from the incoming blaster onslaught that she was reigning down in the hallway. Although, her own disappointment in not hitting her mark made her feel slightly frustrated. I must be getting rusty. The though was quickly lost as there was suddenly the remaining guards who rushed to take up cover and began to make an attempt to give cover fire down. As she moved to find her own cover on the nearby opposite wall, she had a searing pain strike her upper thigh as she dodged blaster fire. Someone, she was sure it was the Empress’ own fire that grazed her.

 

“Fierfek!”

 

It stung and left a burning sensation. It was something that she was sure she wouldn’t have to deal with the support fire. The XP model’s blast radius isn’t big enough. I need to fix that. Her own thoughts were interrupted by the clear as day cylinder of a grenade of some sorts fly in her direction. Even through the smoke, she could make it out and had to force herself to leap forward. As she rolled herself into a forward motion towards one of Raven’s guards, she pulled a vibro dagger out and rolled into a stab near the man… or woman’s neck. The screamed of panic seemed masculine, but who knew these days. Her feet were cold, as the bottom of her own boots were covered in frozen liquid from the grenade thrown in her direction.

 

“What a bit-“

 

The thought was stopped as blaster fire shot near her as she was forced to move into the corner of the doorway, bringing her closer to the rest of the guards and her target. She quickly removed her electromagnetic pulse grenade, one out of her three grenades that she carried with her at all times and began to arm it. She was disappointed that one of her grenades would be utterly worthless in the small hallway where she was fighting, but decided that she should give at least this one a try. If anything, her hope would be that the nearest guards would be temporally rendered useless, evening out the fight. While more useful against droids, the mechanical equipment in the guards’ armor might short out and causing electrical burns, providing a decent distraction for her to move upwards- a move that she would use to get out of high security offices when she was but a simple assassin.

 

From there, she would try to find a way to either get close to the Empress, or she would have to risk using her plasma grenade, which could also do damage to her as well. She already knew that using her sonic grenade was out of the question, as she was too close, and the hallway was too small to sue without it affecting her too. For now, it would be a closed fire fight.

 

((2))

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In that moment, there, deep amongst the memories of foe, Snake’s coils tensed as his every sinew prepared to strike. Memories whizzed by them a sickening haze of brightly colored flashes of light. As Snake’s coils tensed, he could fear the Neimoidian’s fear increasing. As the flood tide of fear increased, so did the speed at which the memories whipped by; their presence in the connection between them creating an unearthly breeze that blew between the duo.

 

Then, as the winds and tides reached their zenith, and Nok’s fear was so apparent that he physically quaked where he stood upon the green grass of Kuat, Snake could see it, a glowing orb of inky blackness that radiated absolute undiluted pure fear. The core of Nok Morliss’ being, not that which he feared but his fear, was where he, the serpent of nightmares, would leave his mark. In that moment, Snake struck, his taught body springing into action, his maw wide, venom dripping and sizzling upon the unseen earth between them as his physical form and biological weaponry bound together with the twisting, untrained, unbridled fury that was the dark side of the force pulsing between the two.

 

The flashes of light that were Nok’s memories glinted off the hulking serpent’s dark blue scales. In an instant the distance between Snake and the pulsing sphere of glowing black was no more and there, in the bowels of the Neimoidian’s mind,

 

You are mine! Nothing can defeat me!

 

His fangs sunk deeply into the blackness and it exploded, erupting in plumes of pure dark fear, coating both minds in darkness. The fear only served to feed Snake’s hunger as it slid across his scales, dripping in the cold darkness.

 

______________________

 

As the blackness flowed down their minds and washed the connection between them clear, Snake found his own physical form careening from his coiled place on the ground, through the air, erupting from the safety of his hedge. His weighted form crashing into the quaking robed form of Nok as he stood staring into the underbrush; where they had been before the clash of minds had begun.

 

Crashing to the exposed grass with a sickening crunch and thrashing of coils and limbs; Snake snapped furiously at the thickly robed being’s exposed flesh, raking his venom dripping fangs across the only exposed skin he could find: Nok Morliss’ face.

 

Each pass of his fang tore skin and flesh away, leaving trails of Slith venom still tainted deeply with the darkest aspects of the force along the exposed flesh and deep within wounds where the fangs found their mark. As the venom began to take effect, even the uncontrollable shaking of the mentally paralyzed apprentice began to cease.

 

Even as the sounds of battle raged in the distance, Snake began to expertly wrap coil after coil around his prey, his scales grating against the bits of metal within the man’s clothes. With his prey completely paralyzed within his grasp, Snake rose up, his massive triangular head just above that of his foe’s now eyeless shredded face, the slits of his nose mere inches from his next meal.

 

His forked tongue raked across Nok’s face, the metallic taste of blood mingling with the sweet fear with every flick. His slotted pupils staring out unblinkingly from his candy red eyes searched the ravaged face of his foe. Even now, paralyzed with venom, fear, and darkness, he could sense it. Something greater. Greater than perhaps even the demon of Kuat’s garden world.

 

Curiosity

 

You were with the feeling. Snake projected the feeling of Darth Akheron that he had felt with Nok when he had first sensed the duo. Why would such power ally itself with the likes of you? The question puzzled Snake, even as his stomach rumbled in anticipation of this next meal.

 

Touching the tip of his nose to Nok’s bloody face, he pressed, his mind and muscled neck pushing himself deeper physically and mentally into the being’s head, each phrase a wordless though of images, feelings, and emotions. You attacked me. You failed. You are my lesser. At any time, I will destroy you at will. I am the last thing you will have ever seen. I am your death. Cold, Venom dripping, Darkness; DEATH. Remember this. I am your greater. I am your nightmare, coiled within the soul of your fear. My seed of death implanted within you. You will take me to this power.

 

Even as the paralyzing venom from Snake’s razored fangs mingled with the fleeting darkness that was the connection between the two foes, it was also absorbed into Nok’s flesh, coursing through his body, healthy and injured tissue alike; it made no difference. Every muscle screaming in pain but was unwilling to be moved, chemically induced fear coursing even more freely with each moment. With a final rib rattling, lung crushing squeeze of his coils, Snake slowly, almost reluctantly, began to unwind from his position of absolute power. Carefully he slithered back into the hedge, his head resting in the shadows of the edge, mere feet from Nok’s decimated face, each reptilian breath rustling the once ornate torn headpiece of the Neimoidian marketer; waiting.

 

Eventually, the venom would wear off, and then, if he had not been completely broken, the green skinned prey would lead him to the true power that had passed by. If not, it was of little loss. The being would be simple to subdue again and consume. Perhaps the power would come back for this, this thing, this weak thing. Every master needed minions; even Snake.

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Imperial security field. Query recognized the electrifying barrier instantly, though he could not recall actually seeing one. He paused as archived files were pulled and run through his processors. At some point during his work for one of the imperial scientific initiatives, Query must have come across one of these fields and thought it necessary to record pertinent data into his notes.

 

Power consumption...Grestaldt Pain Scale ratings... security redundancies...

 

...Auditory Adjustment Controls?

 

What was I working on?

 

Unfortunately, no weakness presented itself in his notes. This particular security field technology had been exhaustively tested and improved over its numerous generations, and given the presence of Kuat Shipyards and the Moff's Estate it was highly likely that this was the latest model. Blaster fire would not suffice, assuming Query could find the projection nodes which was unlikely.

 

However...the field did not restrict the passage of physical objects. Instead, it used electrical charge to discourage any potential intruders with the highest pain rating allowed in a nonlethal security system as per imperial law, though Query thought it likely that this particular field had had its limiters removed to allow for a lethal setting.

 

Considering...solution determined.

 

The answer was simplistic, but effective. Query had no pain receptors, and he doubted Kayle had been programmed with something as superfluous and sadistic as pain receptors considering her line of work (and her indifference to the constant faceplants). The two did not need to disable the field, merely reduce the charge to levels acceptable for droids. Then, they could take a running leap through the hedge, turning their systems off before passing through the field. If they set a hard timer to restart them on the other side, they'd be through safe.

 

Plan in mind, Query sat down and began disassembling his gun arm.

 

"My solutions is as follows. I will disassemble my gun arm into separate parts, and place the parts in the field around the area we intend to pass through. By connecting the metal parts to the ground while contacting the field, we will create a false attack on the system, forcing it to increase power to compensate as if a large creature had suddenly gotten stuck in the field. It will not keep this up indefinitely, and the system will eventually adjust power downwards in an attempt to prevent damage caused by extended surging to the projection nodes. It is at this moment that our window of opportunity will arise. For a period of 2.3 seconds, the system will be at low power while it adjusts and cools the projection nodes. We must leap through the drained area in that time. We will need to shut down our systems as we pass through, as even at low power the field is still strong enough to damage us if we're running. Any questions?"

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Oni leapt back as soon as his blade slashed the girls face, quite a surprising look encroaching upon his face at her not being able to stop it, the flames of the exorcist enveloping his corrupted soul. Within a moment or two, its grasp took hold, causing the Sith Master to kneel over as men surrounded him almost instantly. Its flames burnt with the ferocity of a thousand suns and he felt nearly aflame. "Curse that sorcerer." He spoke, spit upon the thought of Necropolis and the man who poisoned his soul. If it had not been for him, perhaps Oni's life would have been so different, his search for Nurgle beginning with that singular intention. Yet, he held no regret for becoming what he was, the freedom her found within his brethren worth the stigmata he bore upon his soul. It would take every bit of strength he had to recover from those blasted flames, and stand once again.

 

Yet as he rose, he felt a great disturbance within the Force flow over him. Without sight, he knew, Camik had fallen in this battle. That singular pain was enough to nearly send Oni into a frenzied fit as rage nearly took hold of him. Only, outwardly, he remained calm, settling his rage and tucking it away as he ordered men to retrieve his Apprentice, his blades gripped tightly as he took the moment to recover from the song of the blasphemer. Breathing deep, he focused himself, settling himself into serenity, his mind focusing upon the task at hand. He had hoped it wouldn't have to come to this, hoping his opponent as honorable as he was. Yet, trickery and deceit was all that had been given in return. Oh how he longed for the days of old when foes faced one another openly in combat, power determined by their strength and not hiding behind sorcery and schemes. He should have expected as much from the Imperials, no matter the stance they took.

 

"Sing your song of sorcery Imp" Oni spoke, the apparent disdain within his voice as he stepped backwards toward the ship the had arrived, his blackened blades deactivated. "It will not save you from the true might of the Sith Empire..." Oni turned just as an E-Web was unloaded from upon the transport, assembled and awaiting to release its terror filled load, hovering just a few feet in front of Oni with its man pointing its barrel in the direction of those who needed added support. Bringing his hands up across his chest, Oni reached outward in the Force, fueling his power and focusing his thoughts. Just before he disappeared behind a veil of black smoke, he uttered the last words he would within this fight. "Nor will it save you from me.

 

The E-Web lit up like Empire Day, its blaster rounds, combined with the arsenal of mortars, grenades, blasters, and disruptors, spoke the serious turn it had just took, the seriousness of the demon known as Oni. As the men who took off after Camik met resistance, the mortars and E-Web kept up their concentrated fire, providing additional assistance to both them and the men who went quickly after those who had slew the Sith Apprentice. They knew of the Ysalamari and its need to be exterminated. Truly hell had begun to rain upon the Imperial resistence.

 

And like a blast from the past, Oni, or what appeared to be he, reemerged at the forefront with another frontal attack, this time wielding glowing red rapier style twin blades, his moves though slower, screaming more cold and calculated. There was no emotion emitted at all from the Demon of Nar Shadaa, only purpose in his actions. His blonde hair waving in the wind of his every sling of the blade and the black trench coat twirling like the wings of a fallen angel in his wake, only his signature in the Force would be felt. His onslaught at Kyrie would be enraged, fueled by anger and hatred, yet her power against him unyielding any effect. Truly, let's see how she dealt with the beast without the powers befitting an Exorcist.

 

In silence, a beast slumbered, awaiting the moment to strike.

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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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Kyrie felt it then, something distractingly familier. A glimpse of her home, but a home engulfed by flames. She gasped through gritted teeth at the sudden feeling, and felt heated blood splash over her tongue. It tasted of copper and burnt meat. Her face hurt. Adrenaline had been a temporary relief, but now her nerves screamed with pain and her body felt weak. The hangerbay swam before her eyes as the Imperial Knight touched her wound with a half-gloved hand. It came away with blackened, steaming blood which coursed down her pale fingers. The droplets followed the tracks of the scars on her pale flesh to drip in rivulets down her rosary.

 

What was that?

 

The Exorcist moved forward as the Sith retreated behind his men, and challenged the Sith troopers that stood before her.

 

Look out.

 

She pirouetted around the crimson beam of light out of instinct alone. The voice was not her own, but it was female and drove an edge of panic into her. In that panic she lost her grace and slipped on a pool of coolant on the hanger floor. As her blackened leather boot slid from beneath her, she grabbed onto the disrupter rifle that had fired the shot and dragged the Sith trooper with her into the fall.

 

Kyrie landed in a sprawl, no dignity or grace, entangled with the much larger Sith Trooper. Her lightsaber clattered on the decking and went out. The man was a giant, and his large hands were about her throat before she could react. The pressure of his grip made her choke and squirm, her hands trying to find purchase on the Sith’s face. She spat through her broken teeth

 

Off.

 

The Master of the Exorcists had expected the man to fly off of her into the ceiling, but the Force did not move to her command. Her silver eyes widened as they turned back to emerald. She couldn’t feel anything. No righteous fury, no judgement. Not even Il-Andon Rorik’s rosary gave her the comfort it had moments before

 

Why...

 

“Kriffing Imperial Scum!”

 

Kyrie could smell the ale on the man’s breath, the rage that was in him. His eyes were piggish and wild. She had seen them before as a girl. His grip slackened for a moment as he picked her up by her neck, and she gasped in air. She had never thought she would be thankful for the acrid, recycled air of combat. He slammed her head into the decking and her vision became clouded by stars. Pain throbbed through her whole body as she wriggled and spasmed. The voices came to her again, like they had before Tython

 

  • You touched the darkness, we could all see its scar in your hollow eyes.

 

        • You ran from it. You ran and brought it home.

 

Kyrie gargled an apology. The Sith trooper only squeezed harder, enjoying the feeling of her larynx beneath his fingers. The apology was not to him, but to the swarming voices in her head. The voices had been the cause of the isolation of her youth, locked away as an embarrassment by her Mandalorian father. Her mother had seen the voices and personalities that had passed over her daughter as a sign that Kyrie had been touched by the gods. It had taken her voice, and left her only song.

 

    • Your gaze averted from life. You looked only on the dead.

 

She tried to scream but she did not have the air. The voice that warned her came back

 

You ran and brought the darkness to me. You cursed me with an endless suffering worse than death. You let it crawl into me, and now it rots me.

 

The Imperial Knight knew the voice now, knew its pain. She gasped out a name

 

...Hayley…

 

Do you still hear my screams? In this waking nightmare, my horrors came true. Your quest for justice, for righteousness, what good did it do me?

 

Kyrie’s spasming fingers gripped onto her own leg as her other hand pried at the Sith’s armour.

 

They’ve taken my soul.

 

No. No. NO!

 

Horror overcame her. Over her swollen tongue Kyrie cried the word no. She cried it again and again. She still cried it as she drove her stiletto knife under the stomach armor of the Trooper, and cried no as she drove her hand through his guts and fascia. Her tears of rage were uncontrollable as she drove the blade deeper into the man. He made a high pitched squealing sound and thrashed, but now she was in control. She twisted the knife and ripped it free, feeling his warmth spray onto her. She coughed as the man’s guts flooded over her in a wave of awful.

 

The voices flooded her mind and they were terrifying. Accusatory. Derisive. But above all was the voice of her sister, Hayley Fieldgrey. It was mocking and it drove beastial fear into her. The last time Kyrie had seen her sister was when the girl had fled their home when it had been ravaged by the Sith. She could still see those hazel eyes looking on in fear as Kyrie had been raped and tortured. She could still see the young girl slip out into the night in her small white nightgown, stepping over the beheaded corpses of their mother and brother. It had been a betrayal that defined them both. The perfect daughter had abandoned her broken sister to die.

 

    • What are you doing? You are showing weakness. Pick up your blade and fight!

 

          • She’s weak.

 

  • You’ve always been weak.

 

Hayley’s mocking voice overwhelmed the others

 

You’re not a warrior, you’re a disgrace to the gods.

 

Kyrie screamed again, but it came out as a spray of blood without sound. Her trembling hands found the handle of a vibroax on the Sith’s belt. Its handle was worn and made from hardened wood.

 

      • Pick it up. Fight it.

 

  • Fight them. Kill them. Pick it up.

 

She is scared

 

Blasterfire ricocheted about her, spanging off the permacrete to fill her vision with sparkling light. She hugged the ax to her chest.

 

            • What a poor little girl

    • She’s scared

 

        • Fight them

 

With emerald eyes she stared at the line of the Sith Troopers. They fired relentlessly. They were the enemy. They were what kept her from saving Hayley.

 

      • Only suffering brings salvation.

 

  • It is the way of the gods.

 

                  • Do you not believe in our gods?

 

Kyrie charged the Sith line like a beast. She hadn’t touched this ferocity since she had killed the Sith that had kept her as a slave. He had enjoyed scarring her, and for every scar he had etched into her, she had tortured him back. She had taken her time killing the sadistic man. She spat blood at the Sith as she sprinted.

 

No. It is not the gods that cause suffering, it is those close to us.

 

The Force came back to her in a rush of power as she left the influence of the ysalimiri. The power was unfocused, but it fueled her. She was the Sword of the Empire, and she was ferocious. She was fed by the desire to save the galaxy, but it was bitter feast. As she used the force, she fed the darkness in her soul. It was the fate of the uncontrolled and uncautious. Instead of flames, there was an lawless wildfire of silver. The voice of Il-Andon Rorik came then to her mind

 

Hell will not give you the answers you want. But you must not look away from the horror it does offer, for you cannot overcome suffering if you refuse to look.

 

The vibroaxe bit into the helmet of one of the Sith as she drove it down, dragging the gleaming metal through skull until it lodged in his ribcage. The Imperial Knight’s fire drove them back. Sent them sprawling. She ensnared a young lieutenant with her flames and sent his burning, screaming corpse flying at the Eweb.

 

And then she saw him, the horned beast back again. He was marked by his twin blades and she brought the axe up to block the first attack. The rapier-blade of the lightsaber glanced off the crimson-stained Axehead and sliced through the wooden handle, making her weapon useless. Kyrie jumped backwards to safety, but her mind was solely focused on the destruction of the wicked, so she did not abandon the fight.

 

To her hand came the wooden stave of her longbow, twisting it off her back as she flew. The fletching of woodgrouse was soft upon her bloody fingertips as she notched an arrow in the handwoven string. As she landed amongst her troops, she drew back the longbow. Kyrie blessed the arrow with her flame and let it fly towards the beastial Sith. It was propelled with a line of holy fire that lit up the hanger like a flare as it flew towards the Sith’s black heart. She would end the fight here and now.

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Kayle stared unblinkingly at Query for several seconds as she attempted to process what the medical droid was saying whilst he/it dissected his own arm.

 

”Do not your self-preservation subroutines require you to make every attempt at whole survival? Perhaps those too were damaged in the event that led to your insanity. Maybe once we are safely away from here I can alter a repair order to see to it that you are first in line for scanning and maintenance. I would hate for you to degrade any further and dismantle yourself to a point of inoperability. I am not versed in droid repair technology and would be unable to assist you if you continue on this path. On that same note though, the schematics I have observed concerning onboard ship based shielding would seem to indicate that your actions may be counterproductive. I would hate for you to waste your arm for nothing. Especially seeing as it seems to be our only offensive means of self-preservation. Perhaps if you insist on being airborne we should just find a way to catapult ourselves over the field. I will admit it is not my first inclination; however, I would hate to see your interesting out-of-line mental facilities compromised by enemy fire. Nor can I allow my own knowledge of the Imperial war machine to be taken. I am not even sure that the ship is beyond this strangely shielded hedge? Maybe it is just an ammunition dump. If memory serves, this should be where the ship is located, only . . . only; I did not tell you that! No I did not! The ship should be there though, if memory serves. Where else would it be? There are no other private landing strips in the area that are suitable for an Admiral to use. Have you ever met an Admiral Query? They are an interesting lot. Not like the rank and file soldiers and errand boys and girls they usually send to me with documentations and permits I have met a couple Admirals. There was one who . . . well, he was . . . never mind, probably classified anyway. What sort of permits were required for you to get that gun? I bet some high mucky muck owned you. That has to be the only way that you got that gun and your unique personality matrix. Most medical droids I have met have been very boring. Not like you. You seem different. What makes you different? Besides the arm of course. Did you work in some sort of radiation field? Kayle rambled on as she watched Query.

 

He is fascinating. Who would have thought a medical droid would be such good company?

 

. . . He does have some interesting ideas. It must come from not getting out of the medical bay often enough.

 

. . . What about his gun!? Don’t you think that is a bit odd for a medical ward?

 

. . . That is true. He also seems to have successfully navigated the rather hilly terrain with ease.

 

. . . Oh! Maybe he is a field medic!

 

. . . That would explain the gun.

 

. . . That it would, and his strange personality. Maybe all those explosions fried some of his wiring.

 

. . . If he worked the frontlines maybe he knows something I don’t, although not likely, about these things.

 

. . . Isn’t the frontline full of foxholes and stuff?

 

. . . I don’t know. I have never been there.

 

. . . Remember those classified training films we were not supposed to watch?

 

. . . Oh . . . yeah. . .

 

. . . Maybe, just maybe . . .

 

”Does your weaponized arm come with a reservoir of potential explosive compressed gas? Perhaps if you used your laser scalpel you could detonate the fuel store and make a pathway below the shielding?”

 

In truth, Kayle had no idea how the shield system worked; however, she was keenly aware that she was not designed for the action her newfound acquaintance described. After all, she did not know what such a shutdown might do to her memory files. She could not risk it; not that she would tell that to Query. What would he think of her?

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A hail of blaster bolts thudded into the wall that Borsk was taking cover behind, the screams of the wounded and dying and the explosions of battle making an unholy symphony in the now crowded mess hall. The Black Sun troops that Borsk had accompanied were currently engaged with a company of Imperial troops that had intercepted them in an abandoned mess hall. The two sides fought with a true contrast of styles, the very mindsets and beliefs of the different factions clear in their combat. The better trained and armed Imperials fought with calm and dogged resolve, relying on their skill and coordination to defeat the varied attackers that were thrown against them. Each life was sold dearly for them, a struggle to survive and defend the all important shipyards. The Black Sun, however, fought with reckless abandon and endless tenacity. Their numbers were their weapon, throwing themselves forward into combat with little regard for life or limb. Victory was all that mattered for the crazed soldiers of the criminal syndicate.

 

Borsk leaned around the wall, his heavy rifle sending out a hail of rounds against the positions held by the officer commanding this Imperial group. Both sides took cover behind overturned tables and counters, using whatever limited cover that could be accessed. The fight was, however, tipping slightly in the favor of the Black Sun. The inability of the Imperial troops to set up functional defensive positions, the preferred fighting style of the Imperial troops, and the greater numbers of the Black Sun personel told heavily against them. Several members of the Black Sun strike force had strapped themselves with thermal detonators, and crept through the wreckage of broken tables and seats toward the Imperial positions, ready to give their lives for the cause and for their families far away.

 

The tall Trandoshan grabbed the shoulder of the Black Sun commander as he reached the forward position, towering a full foot over the smaller human, "Mine mission is elsewhere. I must go. Continue the assault here."

 

Borsk quickly turned away, making a dash across an exposed area as he headed toward the nearest dropship. Though he respected the desperate bravey both sides had shown, unlikely the cowardly armies of some of those he had fought, he cared little for the lives of the individual soldiers on either side. His coordinates were for the planet below, and taking a light dropship that had deployed some of the special forces of the Sith, Borsk headed for the planet, and the Moffs that waited there. His time as a bounty hunter had prepared him well for this mission. The Moff's palace lay before him, lightly defended only by their guards, and he feared them not.

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While listening to Kayle talk, Query continued to disassemble his arm. He recorded her conversation for later perusal, but to be polite he set a cluster of processes on analyzing her words while the majority of his brain was devoted to his plan. Now she was talking about ammunition dumps and errand boys or some such? Yes, this conversation was likely superfluous.

 

As he finished, he paused to look at his now empty arm socket. It was a shame. He'd only just had that arm installed, and barely tested it. He never even had the chance to fire it at a live target. Wait, should he be disappointed by that fact? Was that an indication of some kind of psychosis?

 

...Question for later. Either he was malfunctioning and clinically insane along with technically insane, or he wasn't. It had no bearing on the current situation.

 

Looking up, his brain finished processing Kayle's conversation at that moment.

 

"Ah, well I don't believe an explosion will work, as unless we can find the projection nodes, somehow dig them up enough to expose them, and then damage their plated exteriors, it is unlikely we will deactivate the field that way. Though I suppose...no no, that won't work. The nodes have automated surge protocols. But perhaps...or not, given the ground's composition. No, I believe my plan is the most likely to succeed."

 

"...Oh, and I don't have a permit for this gun, my 'owner' has always been a vague entity who is now non-existent, my personality matrix is likely the result of unsafe deletion practices, yes medical droids can be quite boring as I would know, my technical insanity makes me different, and...maybe? I have records of experimental data taking place inside a radiation field so it seems plausible."

 

Query picked up his now disassembled parts, first selecting a long rod from his upper arm. He walked up to the field, performed a basic simulation in his mind of his intended action, and speared the rod into the dirt just adjacent to the hedge but not touching it. And then he jumped.

 

For the brief hop where he wasn't touching the ground Query reached out and pushed the rod into the hedge. Sparks crackled along the length of the rod as the electrical charge found an outlet.

 

One down.

 

It took two more metal rods and the blaster's disassembled barrel before Query heard the change in pitch of the electricity humming down the metal grounders.

 

"Get ready. The system will be at the lowest power setting once the frequency of the humming reaches 31.7 Hertz. The readjustment will be rapid after that, so do not wait too long."

 

Query set up a hard-set timed restart into his system, and waited.

 

...Now.

 

Query ran forward, angling between the two largest metal rods, and leapt.

 

Shut down

 

Blackness...

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Nothing existed but Nok’s silent scream. And fear.

No time passed here. No relief came. The fear didn’t ebb or flow. It pressed, constant. It flowed through him, brushing away his thoughts before they could form like cobwebs tossed into a roaring river. Nok knew…something. Something beyond this but…the fear.

 

And the scream.

______________________

Nok didn’t wake up, so much as simply become aware. His face burned, but his body couldn’t move to cradle it. It didn’t seem important anyway. His lungs barely shuddered, his breathing shallow. The metallic smell of blood stained the air. Nok opened his eyes.

He realized his eyes were open.

No…

 

Blind.

 

Nok laughed, or tried as his lungs woke up. A sick combination of a chortle and vomiting swallowed the smell of blood with the hot stench of bile and the fungus he’d had for lunch. The whole situation…it was so ridiculous. Nok had stumbled upon…what? Some kind of force sensitive flushed pet? Then he’d accidentally entangled with it psychically, and THEN he’d gotten his rear handed to him by the legless beast? He’d been blinded by a kriffing animal!

Despite the sharp pain it sent through him, he kept laughing. And laughing. And laughing.

His chuckles turned into gasps interspersed with silent laughs, blood streaming down his face like tears of laughter. He stumbled to his feet. The Force swirled around him him, buoying him up as the pain, fear, and laughter blended into something dark and twisted.

 

Turning like a compass, Nok found his master's presence in the Force, and...the beast.

 

The words came back, bleary and disjointed. The beast had asserted its power over him, communicating not with words but directly, through ideas. It wanted his master. It wanted power.

 

It wants to be a sith

 

Nok's laughter grew into a wet bellow, blood and spittle flying as the pain of his shredded face grew near overwhelming.

 

Follow me beast... he projected to the creature, the act instinctual like flexing a finger.

 

Nok coiled on his own mind, forming a corner hidden from the serpent.

 

And we shall see who devours who in the end

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As the apparent Sith Master continued his assault upon the Exorcist, the men going after Camik managed to make it to the Cathar, yanking and pulling the large creature down from upon his would be grave and gathering his weapon, their intent on getting him as quickly to the transport's bacta tank as possible. But this was war, and both sides had began to unleash hell's fury upon the makeshift beach head, so casualties were expected. Especially considering they were on the defensive here in retrieving the Sith Apprentice under Oni's orders.

 

Still, shrouded in darkness, the beast slumbered, its mind wondering back to distant days, to Nar Shadaa, the place where it was born. Refugees were common upon the Smugglers moon in those days, coming from all over the distant galaxy in their escape from the constant wars plaguing their original homeworlds at the hands of the Sith and their Imperial Forces. And the Jedi, well as their Alliance kinship, were but distant Hope's for most, stretched thin for those who were willing to aid while the rest stood by ever watchful.

 

A particular family, once wealthy and prosperous, were now nothing more but common beggars littering the streets in hopes of feeding their family, especially with two new ones on the way. Try as they did, most of the time some would have to go hungry so that the embryos could survive within the womb of their mother. A family of five was supposed to become a family of seven, yet before two were born, two perished in the hostility of the life they were birthed into. Such was the cycle of life, for every life born, one must always perish.

 

But as time went, the family would dwindle, including the mother of this particular family, iconically lost during the birthing of the twin embryos. And as they grew, they would dwindle more, the three oldest siblings lost to sickness, crime, and drugs. And finally, the hands of greed would claim the father, leaving the twins alone to fend for themselves, at a mere age of five years old. Nar Shadaa always had that effect, not only known as the Smugglers Moon, but the Orphan Moon as well. Too many children that out numbered a singular adult upon its structure nearly six hundred to one.

 

Most of these orphans would follow in the footsteps of their families, meeting death nearly at every wrong turn. But then some survived, becoming the very thing that claimed the lives of their families. Such was the destiny of the beast that now slumbered within the shadows, regaining its lost strength as it remembered. It would be the life of an enforcer, of a hunter, and eventually, of an Alcazarin and Sith.

 

But not before Necropolis, a place of experiments at the hands of the Krath and their Imperial Scientists. There Oni was birthed anew, captured during a bounty placed upon one of the very Imperial Scientists that would probe, prod, and test men in every way imaginable in the Empire's search for the perfect super soldier. Only it wasn't the Scientists that turned Oni into what he was, but rather the bite of one of their lesser Experiements, supposedly a by-product of combining Rhakghoul DNA with that of a Diathmir and other species by splicing certain genomes. Yet, this was only the beginning of his tale.

 

After his survival and escape from Necropolis with the aid of a fellow Hunter, the last surviving member of Clan Bralor, Oni went on with his life while suffering the infliction he was cursed with. Returning to the Hutts, he went on to become a major player under Umaga and eventually Rihn(sp?) before whispers of a God eventually reached his ears, a God of Plagues and Pestilence, capable of curing most diseases and finally granting the man a glimmer of hope. And so his search for Nurgle began.

 

Nurgle was unlike most Sith that Oni had ever heard of before. He was kind, understanding, and plagued with the diseases he had rid so many of. So much so that his time wasn't far from ending. Yet, there was nothing he could do for Oni, his disease not one of the body, but an infliction upon his soul. Disheartened, Oni was near giving up when Nurgle offered one last chance. The Chaos God was on his own mission to rid himself not only of his curses and diseases, but of the corruption that made him what he was, offering hope that maybe Oni could do the same. And so he excepted. And thus began his life as a Sith and took the name of Oni, the Demon of Nar Shadaa.

 

Through his Apprenticeship and Lordship, the corruption upon Oni's soul grew stronger, grew more toxic, nearly consuming his very essence. But his fellowship within the Alcazarins, the power he was able to wield due to Darth Rivan's gift, he managed to stave off the disease as long as he could until it mysteriously mutated within him. No longer controlled by the infliction, he was able to remain himself and not become a beast like the one that had bitten him, yet his soul was forever corrupted by it, stained eternally that not even death could separate it.

 

But now truths have been revealed, and those he once cherished were revealed as liars and heretics, leaving Oni alone once again, broken by false memories and friendships that held hidden agendas. Afraid of the repercussions of what this could spell for his infliction, he clings to the brethren he has left, holding onto beliefs, that while he may not entirely agree with, that he holds dear to his heart. To truly be free of code and conduct, able to truly be ones self without judgement. To him, this what the Sith Empire signifies and holds absolute. And so he stands at the forefront, reaping a path for its seedling to be sown.

 

Blackened eyes awaken and the beast steps forth from the shadows as the Exorcist fires her arrow aimed toward the creation that mimics him, her intent to destroy him as absolute as his will to further the Empire he believes in. As the black mist dissipates, he stands there holding the arrow inches from the bots chest, crunching the arrow in his grasp. His gaze turns toward his opponent, his disfigured face having returned to normal with only the onyx eyes remaining as he looks intensely upon her own. He makes no sudden movements, only stares, his and the bots sabers deactivated. Now before her stands two Oni, almost identical in every way save for the eyes. For the real Oni games upon her with pity, having seen everything in her struggle. He had lost the intent to fight her any longer.

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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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Imperial troops died in droves as they began to repulse the first beachhead. Beth watched as the Sith pushed to retrieve the Cathar’s body and Beth was happy to let them do it for it cost them heavily in casualties and the bodies of the Sith began to stack two deep on the floor of the hanger. Beth was momentarily thankful for the rebreather built into her helmet as she ran by a stormtrooper from Foy trying desperately to scoop his entrails back into the cavity that was his stomach. He was screaming for his mother and had pulled off his green helmet to help him breath, revealing matted blonde hair and pale skin that was growing paler as his blood spilled onto the concourse. He held his innards in both hands, and Beth wanted to start towards him, to hold him in his last moments, but she could not and he slowly fell forward. His forehead touching the flightdeck and causing a ripple in the blood he had spilled there. There he remained as he heaved out his last breath, looking for all the galaxy like an acolyte bowed in prayer.

 

Beth looked back at the battle and triggered a heavy burst of High Ex into the floating E-WEB and was knocked backwards from a bright red blaster bolt that scored through her helmet and slashed across her temple. Her HUD went snow white and she grimaced, laying back behind her cover to press the three key code on the back of the helmet to both release the helm and keep her throat mic activated. It was an imperial way of stopping those who wanted to grab a fallen trooper’s helmet and listen to comms. Without that code the comm would not work at all.

 

When she pulled the ruined helmet from her head, letting her blonde hair spill out in a sweaty blonde braid, the smell of battle hit her hard. The acrid smell of cordite from slugthrowers first bit her nostrils, followed by the messy smell of blood. She coughed then sat back up, picking up her rifle from where it had fallen, only to duck back down at rockets fired from the Grenadiers of Foy splashed into the floating E-Web emplacement. It was then that her eyes caught the red armour of an Imperial Knight, the chevrons on his armour betraying him as an apprentice. But still he far outranked her and the six Templars who were gathered around her in a chevron of their own, laying down accurate fire into the diminishing Sith troopers. But more men were boiling out of yet another landing craft, and they would separate the Apprentice from his unit unless he moved right now to the same cover that Beth herself was behind.

 

She waved to the Imperial Knight, who was only a few years her junior and called to him and she lay down suppressive fire again as bright crimson trails of disruptor bolts filled the air around the Imperial Knight.

 

“Sir, get to cover sir!”

 

She gestured to the fallen crate next to her. She had a plan and if the Templars had an Imperial Knight with them, then this counter attack would go easily in their favour.

Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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All Kyrie could hear was the song, the chorus of voices in her head from which she drew her power. The blackened and polished wood of the bowstave trembled in her hand, her arm shaking with energy and the will to fight. She could feel the power of the bow, the soft heartwood of Tython Yew, layered with the hardwood of a single Wroshyr branch from Kashyyyk. It was an ancient weapon, a holdover from the more primitive days of the galaxy, and a holy relic of the Exorcists. Her fingers played over the woven hemp soaked in nerf-fat that made up the bowstring. She could feel the nock, a small bead of firehardened clay she had made in the ruins of the old Gala Praxium. The Imperial Knight had collected the pieces of this weapon from all the significant places she had been.

 

Kyrie slid another arrow onto the string, running her fingertip over the hammered steel that made the arrowhead. She taken the metal from dead Sith warriors, forging their accursed protection into a weapon to be used against them. The temporary high of Il-Andon’s blessing faded as the realization of the uselessness of her attack had been. Control ebbed away.

 

  • Such a puny weapon

 

        • Ineffective

 

    • Your best effort didn’t even do anything

 

The Exorcist gritted her teeth and let the feeling of the bow sooth her mind. Touch had such an effect on her mind, almost inexplicably so. The rough grain of the bow calmed her, but the voices of her darkness continued. She was with the force now, but she had lost the careful control she had maintained for so long. It would take a very long time to recover herself. Splitting pain washed through her from her injury, causing her to suck in air.

 

          • The Sith thinks you’re weak

 

    • He doesn’t want to bother himself with a nerfling

 

Hayley’s voice now, mocking, cruel

 

I wouldn’t even notice you, such a broken and twisted thing. Why would a Sith bother with the weak?

 

Kyrie shrieked out through her broken mouth, sending a spew of smoking blood from her lips.

 

SHUT UP!

 

SHUT UP!

 

SHUT UP!

 

Nothing happened, no change but a chorus of laughter from inside her mind.

 

        • Do you think you can command us?

 

  • You barely have a command left!

 

The wounded Exorcist began to feel. She could feel the death and the destruction that was taking place in the hanger. Her two squads were taking casualties, and so were the rest of the Imperial troops in the hanger. So much wasted life. The deaths were under her command, and she was failing her men and women. The sound of engines whining drew her attention to a landing Sith assault ship.

 

Her troops were rallying for a counterattack, but she could feel the danger brewing and it drove a bite of panic into her. Onboard the ship she could feel true Sith, Masters, Lords, Darths, all powerful and deadly.

 

      • They’ll all die.

 

      • All your people will be butchered

 

  • You should flee

 

Kyrie’s heart raced at the proposition of escape. To run. To leave all the worries and evil behind. Her eyes widened

 

        • You fought for duty, you grasped at the light!

 

            • Spoiled by your darkness within

 

    • You fought for your dreams

 

She drew in a breath as her eyes darted across her rallying men. They were all going to die

 

Now there is no way to win.

 

Kyrie slammed the tip of her bowstaff onto the permacrete with a sickening crack. It drew all attention to her. To the voices she whispered her denials.

 

You can break me… But not my promise.

 

Her darkness was a deep stain upon her soul. It stank worse then the seared flesh on her face. It would not allow her to retreat, not even in her doubts. It wanted her fully, to give herself over to it, to the hands of the sith. Turning to run was but an instinct of madness, but fear was not as powerful as loathing. She would fight. She whispered to the Sith with many voices.

 

  • I will go into the lair of the beast.

 

      • I will look it in the eye

 

              • And I will go to war.

 

The longhandled lightsaber skittered across the ground, drawn to her hand. She was panicking, but she would not let them break her. She would not let her men and women die. She projected an order through the force, slamming it into the minds of the Imperials with the force of a scream.

 

...Andromeda, take your men and mine. Leave this place. There is more evil nearby. I will take these evils upon myself. Live to fight another day

 

She stared into the eyes of the beastial Sith. They were onyx, like the colour of her many braids that were now matted with blood, both hers and her enemies. Her own eyes were clouded. The stormy seas of a lost soul. The Sith’s eyes were invitingly evil and she reached out a hand.

 

There is nothing left for me.

 

But the hand was not pointed to him, but the landing Sith assault shuttle, filled with his reinforcements. Sith Masters and their apprentices, she could feel them humming with energy. They were filled with the rage of war, and it made her smile. They were ready for the slaughter, to claim scalps and ravage the populace. Hell was reaching deep inside of her.

 

  • You are weak

 

        • Pathetic

 

The Beastial Sith would feel fingers digging in around his throat, and there was a small pause as the Imperial troops reacted to her message. The force wrenched, and the Sith Assault shuttle was crushed. She could feel the horror and terror from the Sith inside as they were ground into macerated chunks of flesh by the Force. The hulking metal abomination looked like a cheap child’s toy as it was mangled and crushed into gleaming and twisted chunks. Blood and coolant mixed into a smoking river before it was ignited into silver flame.

 

She would need no help holding the hanger. She would die as she had lived, alone and isolated. When her time came, she would look death in the eye, as an old friend.

 

I will not let the battle go.

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The battle was not going well. Aidan had looked resplendent in his new armor he'd been hastily issued as the warnings went out, but that armor was quickly put to the test. Time and again he found himself on the offensive, then the defensive, then back to cover to rally for another push. The beachhead was holding, but not well.

 

Aidan had done well so far, focusing mostly on keeping his calm, listening to his gut instinct and the Force, and not relying on it too heavily. He didn't want to lose himself again like he had before, those results might have been effective, but they were unpredictable. Control was necessary, even in this place, even in the chaos.

 

He'd been separated from Kyrie for some time now, though he could feel her presence nearby and worried for her, he had his own responsibilities and duties to take care of. If he rushed to aid her now, he could cause his own section to fall, and then they would all be damned.

 

"Sir, get to cover sir!"

 

As he heard the words, the Force guided him, and Aidan threw himself behind cover just as several shots ripped through the place he'd stood seconds before. He looked over to her, taking a moment to breathe and find himself again. Loudly, over the noise of battle, he yelled a response.

 

"Thanks! Watch that left flank also, they seem to be extra trigger happy."

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Insanity. It was an aspect that Oni knew all to well. The very disease that coursed it's way through his veins and dwelt within his soul rang true to that testament, watching the woman before him ever so vigilantly. His gaze softened upon her form, his heart aching for her as he read the signs before him as they echoed outward in her appearance. Haste, sensitivity, stress, temperament, it all echoed her loss of control as she fought the war within, her voice ringing outward as the voices grasped at her mind. Oni knew all too well the darkness one finds in the inflicted, the voices within relentless.

 

This infliction that plagued her, though quite different from the one that stained his soul, was just as similar. His was forced upon him, and her's, she was born with. Yet both would forever plague them until their souls were harvested. Only Oni held a much stronger grip upon his, holding shut the door to their oblivion with an iron fist. He had long ago faced the demons within, and through sheer will and Alcazarin aid, silenced their beckoning. This was why he walked the path of darkness, forever a Sith, as darkness cannot contend with darkness.

 

It was a narrow path to walk, Oni would be the first to admit it. Though he was not born of darkness, he was thrust into it. Forced to forever balance the scale, drawing upon the darkness that swirled around him to fuel his own power as one of his brethren, it would forever eat away at the humanity he fought so vigorously to retain. If it had not been for the Alcazarin power he possessed, and those traitorous few he once called family, he would have succumbed to the beast within ages ago. Yet, he fought it diligently every day, and would continue to do so until the day he perishes and becomes the beast he hides behind the veil.

 

With a humbled sigh as Camik was brought past him into the transport and brought before the field medic-droid, he turned back toward Kyrie, watching the panic begin to set within. If she was not careful, she would succumb to her own infliction, and darkness would feel the void her soul would leave behind. This worried Oni, know full well what that would do to her and those she cherished. But what could he do? Fighting her now would only hasten her fall, and his power was limited against her arcane arts. While it was true that once she fell, that would be lost to her, but breaking her soul in process served no purpose. Those that she cared for, and in return cared for her, would forever be scarred by it. And Oni held no wish to inflict such pain. His purpose here was for only one reason, and breaking her was not it.

 

Hearing her whispering words reach his ear, he knew he had to act quick. Her words, although egotistical, held some truth to them. If she pushed herself beyond the breaking point, saw the beast that laid with herself too deeply, she would never recover. She would become the beast, and its intent would be to claim the lives of all those around her, even past this moment in time. No. Oni knew what he had to do. He knew how to quell the quenching thirst of the beast within her, and it would be her only hope to survive their encounter without falling. He must kill her, and quickly, ending her life before her fall. Only then would she find peace in the silence of death, if only for a moment, and spare those around her the grief of becoming her next targets. He chuckled within, realizing the ironic swapping of roles the two played here. He, the combination of his own darkness, now stood as protectorate of those she chose to defend whether she knew it or not.

 

With a signal of his hand, the Oni bot handed his sabers to his Master before stepping away and toward the transport, leaving Oni to face her alone. Unflinching as she made her first move of the final act, the crunching of steel and limb as the newly transport succumbed to her will, his onyx eyes reduced themselves to their natural state. There would be time to weep for their lost lives at a later time, their screams producing the last bit of energy Oni needed to recover. He would made sure their deaths would not be in vain. Clipping the Alcazarin Mask to his hip where his saber usual found themselves, it glowed a blackened red with the energy it stored.

 

As Oni tapped upon the Force swirling around him, his hands reached upward and out, all four lightsabers hovered around him and ignited. Swirling around him in near harmony, Oni's limbs found themselves free, the glow of red and black pulsating as their rotational speed hastened, his visage becoming illuminated as they rotated around him. This time, not a smile crept upon his face, leaving only one of seriousness and rest. Soon the sabers, one by one, would dart forth in her direction, its intent to keep their distance wide and deadly.

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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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Kayle watched in silence as her newfound companion set about his work.

 

He does seem convinced that this idea will work…

 

…Well, he is a medic and a droid. Logic would assume that most of his activities are driven by a firm rooting in established practices…

 

…He has a gun for an arm…

 

…Yes, that does cause one to wonder what exactly may have gone wrong with him or what subroutines were installed to merit such off thinking…

 

….ahh. Unsafe deletion processes. That would make sense…

 

…very odd for a medical droid to undergo such things. I never have and my knowledge is just as valuable, if not more so, than his…

 

…I was right. Radiation. That’d do it…

 

…yup. Clinically insane…

 

…totally…

 

…without a doubt…

 

Kayle was shocked out of her inner musings as Query leapt into the air and continued his futzing, before he indicated his plan was ready.

 

Haphazard at best. I am not sure that this is a good idea…

 

…I agree completely…

 

And with that, her companion assured her to prepare herself. ”Are you sure this is a wise idea Query? This does not seem to follow the standard safety standards of Imperial Medical Personnel. One would think that portion of your memory would not have been altered with flawed mind wipes. Perhaps there is another…

 

And as she prattled on, Query leapt and powered down ”…Bantha poodoo!”

 

This is going to be bad!

 

Kayle grimaced as she watched her newfound comrade clatter seemingly lifeless for the moment to the ground on the other side. Rushing up to the shield as it restabilized blasting the bits of metal out of its field; torpedoes sent hurling out of sight at high speeds.

 

”Powering one’s self down while exposing their circuits to any level of fluctuating power does not seem wise. You have probably fried even more circuits now than you may have already lost with your unregulated mind wipes.” She began to lecture the lifeless hulk that is or was Query lying on the duracrete pavement out of sight on the other side of the shielded hedge. ”Can you hear me Imperial Two one Bee Surgical Unit? I will attempt to locate a way to safely reach you that will not damage my circuits.”

 

Kayle shuffled off, mumbling incoherently to herself as she circled the hedge encircled area. Several times she stopped to poke at the invisible shielding amongst the branches and brambles; pulling her singed finger back quickly in mimicry of organic pain each time. ”This does not seem to be boding well for my escape plan…

 

Query are you functional yet? Can you hear me? If you are, there should be some sort of control module near the main power flow couplings. Unless of course it is self-contained. Then you’ll be looking for. . .something else. . .”

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Karys was unamused as the half droid, half man refused to give a real name, despite the fact the Sith Lord had given as close to a real name as he was willing to part with. Instead the cyborg rattled off a generic sequence of numbers, a designation he had no doubt been given at one point or other followed by the usual threats of destruction.

 

He expressed as such even as hell was unleashed, a attempt to taunt and make him angry. After all a angry man made mistakes.

 

"Is that all you have to offer? A designation? Surely you can do better, surely you wish to be remembered as more than just a generic number. Or was the man you were too weak for rememberance...a man that failed to live up to his potential and now he makes up for it with this monstrousity before me."

 

It was then he saw it. Five barrels of plasma spewing hell, the second it starting powering up he was already moving. Even as he ordered his men and women to likewise take cover and return fire. Zig zagging, weaving, ducking and weaving between tree's and whatever cover was available, including between his own troops he moved to hopefully place himself in a strategic position by placing the enemies own troops in the crossfire of the five barrels and the rockets.

 

He attempted to make it difficult for the cyborg to gain a lock on him, a moving target was far more difficult to handle. He wondered would he sacrifice his own men for a shot at him. Losing several men, Karys grimaced as a leg flew past his face, half melted by the exploding rockets and another ran past alight in flame screaming. He barked orders out before putting the unfortunate out of his misery. He was a Sith but not without mercy for his own men and woman. No-one deserved to burn alive unless they were the enemy.

 

"Launchers and E-webs to the front! Keep moving men! Blast that cannon and the cyborg with everything you got! The rest of you concentrate fire on the Yslamiri and surrounding troops!" Hoping he was out of range of the lizards Karys applied his own help, as best he was able even as he caught a fletchette round to the left arm, luckily it went straight through. But the pain would not be easily dismissed.

 

As such the Massassi used that pain, it would fuel him. Remembering Myrkr, Karys became as a killing machine. His target Ambrose. He reached out hoping to grip a large duracrete slab that had fallen from the fighting nearby and hurled it at Ambrose like he were throwing a frisby, a jagged speeding frisby, with any luck he hoped it would make it past the lizards as the momentum carried it onwards and if not at least he would end some lives when it landed on the enemy.

 

((1 - good luck ))

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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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Power on.

 

Running self-diagnostic...

 

Complete.

 

ERROR: 129 files cannot be loaded. Vocal driver corrupted. Loading backup. Would you like to save a report?

 

Query's photoreceptors powered on, momentarily blinding him as they adjusted to the sunlight. Running through his systems, he flexed his various servos. Many of them suffered lag, but all seemed functional.

 

Excellent. According to my estimate, the field at low capacity only delivered a charge 21% greater than the EIT (Estimated Ion Threshold) of my unit. Considering that I was shut down at the time, damage should be minimal.

 

He listened as Kayle, who apparently hadn't come through, talked from behind the hedge.

 

A control module? Looking around, Query spotted a pillar sporting a holographic interface. How fortuitous.

 

Query turned to inform Kayle that he had found the module.

 

KGRKRKRGRKRGKRG!!!

 

...Not again. Query's swelling pride at his plan having worked was punctured as the shriek of static escaped his vocabulator.

 

Diagnostic: ERROR - Corrupted vocal driver. Backup loading. Current load status: 6%

 

3 hours 6 minutes remaining

 

...

 

4 hours 27 minutes remaining

 

This could take a while.

 

Query approached the module and tapped it to wake it up. As the display brightened, Query hooked his cable into the interface. A series of lock-out programs came online, but such a simple device didn't have the computing power nor the creativity to keep Query out. Soon enough, Query had tricked the system into Maintenance Mode, set himself as the admin, and powered down the field.

 

KGRKGRKGRGRKRGKRGKRG!!!

 

Oh right. Can't call to her.

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Ambrose would have chuckled at the man before him’s meager attempts at stirring him to emotional misstep, had he been able to hear him over the near constant thud-thud-thudding of his gargantuan multibarreled weapon. As it was, the duel rockets impacted right where they had been fired; resulting in fiery eruptions of heat, flame, earth, and organic plant life, sending several tress toppling over away from the source of the explosions and instantly filling the air with a thick smoky haze as whatever they had touched quickly ignited; turning the once lush manmade forest into the beginnings of a savage hellscape. The near constant barrage of balled plasma arched and cracked against anything and everything it hit, sending billowing energized crackling fingers of blue racing along the paths of least resistance, intent on fueling the flames or shorting out any electrical impulse they came Into contact with, organic or not.

 

Even as the sithspawn soldiers began to form up, Ambrose did not take his eyes off of his saber-wielding foe. His onboard tracking system followed the dark sider’s movements in and around the debris, bodies, and obstructions. Around him the pained shouts and cries of friend and foe began to fill the air as weaponry designed for maximum domination clashed with weaponry designed for maximum devastation on both sides.

 

As men wilted around him under the steady barrage of enemy fire, Ambrose realized that the protective aura of the yslamiri would soon diminish as each lizard passed into the afterlife. It is of no matter

 

He banished the thought; what mattered in that moment was not his own personal preservation, but the preservation of the Empire that he had sworn to protect many years before. Standing here amongst carnage worthy of mythos, Ambrose knew that he was ensuring that others would not have to.

 

Ambrose released the trigger on his weapon momentarily as he witnessed his foe cut down one of his own wounded men. While some would argue the humanity of such an act, Ambrose was also keenly aware that the lifesaving technology of the empire would have been able to no doubt save the man and return him to a fully functional life. Barbarians. If only they knew the truth.

 

And at that moment, a colossal chunk of duracrete, no doubt debris left over from some renovation or another at the nearby estate, came careening towards him; the jagged edges sending men scattering as they dove for cover. Several, had not been able to move quickly enough and paid the ultimate, bone-jarring, splattering price, only serving to cement the hellscape as a reality. Still it came. The blow had been clearly aimed for Ambrose. After the torrent of blaster fire had done little more than sizzle and dissipate against his armor, his foe had resorted to more extreme measures.

 

Keenly aware that his massive frame would be unable to duck under such a pivoting makeshift destroyed, Ambrose threw himself in the air, throwing his blaster to the ground, as he leapt. The hope of any added momentum to avoid the crushing hulk at the forefront of his mind. Then, at the height of his jump, just as the duracrete would have collided with him, the rockets built into his backside flaring to life and boosting him high up amongst the trees.

 

Huh. They thought of everything with this thing! If only that droid could see me now! He mused to himself in pleasant surprise as he cleared a safe distance from the attack that had left his comrades scattered and bleeding below. Simultaneous Ambrose deployed the duel-duos of blaster cannons built into each forearm, his onboard tracking system continuing to follow the Sith through the trees below. Opening up several bursts of fire from his wrist mounted cannons, Ambrose fired upon the shrinking enemy, each blast enough to vaporize an unshielded enemy fighter.

 

”Like swatting floater fleas back on Triple Zero. he chuckled to no one but himself. The deaths of his comrades below were concerning; but not unexpected. Years of service to the Empire had taught him that no single life was worth more than their sacred duty. Today, he would fulfill that duty or die trying.

 

((2)) ((Didn’t want to do too much with the Imperial troops as they’re Delta’s and not mine.))

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Just as Kayle completed her third loop around the bush shrouded landing strip, mumbling to herself all the while as she poked and prodded the invisible shield nestled within the towering hedge and lamented her poor luck, something changed. Over the distant din of combat beginning to envelope the world and more importantly their rather immediate area, Kayle’s audio receptors, more accustomed to that of libraries and datavaults, completely missed the warbling powering down of the shield.

 

”…Perhaps it is time for alternative measures to be taken. After all, my rather intelligent, if not deranged travelling companion seems to have fallen prey to his own short circuitry….”

 

“Oh. Look at that, I can put my hand all the way through the hedge here. Perhaps I have discovered a weak point.” Kayle was pleasantly surprised at her discovery, even if, with her vast amounts of knowledge, she attributed it 100% wrong. ”I must say, I am shocked that I missed this before. I am sure that I have checked as many points along the hedge as possible. I just could not have missed this. Could I?”

 

Well you dolt, you clearly did…

 

…obviously. But how is the question?

 

…Maybe it is new or unauthorized non-Imperial technology….

 

…That could be…

 

…or…

 

…or maybe the shield is off?

 

…I doubt that…

 

”Still. . . I should probably see if I can exploit this. After all what if my newfound companion is still functional, only disabled? I’d hate to be left behind fried by the shielding of my own ignorance. I bet he would understand if I left him though. I do need to fulfill my new prime directive. I am sure. . .What’s his name . . .would understand.

 

Curiosity overcoming her, Kayle pushed her hand through the hedge again. With no shocking resistance, the data administrator pushed her arm in further until her face was pushed up against the thorny branches. ”Very shocking indeed. Or is it not very shocking? No shocking at all.”

 

With a haphazard push of her ankle servos in a futile attempt to jump, Kayle toppled forward through the hedge with a crash. ”Jumping was clearly not a skill that I needed at the Information Repository,” she mumbled to herself as her internal servos whirred, pushing her freshly scratched orange frame up out of thin line of grass before the duracrete landing pad and enclosed hangar.

 

”I see to have made it through the shielding relatively unscathed. I wonder if Query had the same fortune as I?”

 

Standing up, Kayle clanked across the level duracrete towards the equally gray drab hangar and closed blast door. ”From one blockade to another.”

 

“Query! Where are you?” she shouted, scanning the area as she walked. Coming upon the hangar with no sign of Query, Kayle became slightly distracted. ”It would appear that this hangar is roughly the right size to house the advanced TIE Interceptor that we are looking for. . .I wonder how we get in?”

 

Walking around the exterior of the hangar, Kayle rounded a corner and came across the control module and Query. ”Oh most excellent! You have found the control module. I bet. . .” she rambled as she gently hip checked Query aside, ”. . .if I do this. . . and then that. There we go. That should do it. And now. . .

 

After pushing several buttons and seemingly random codes, a large yellow light began to flash on the console. Pushing it, a metallic clank resounded through the clearing, echoing off the duracrete and hedge as the blast doors out of sight began to grind open.

 

Scurrying towards the hangar, she looked back at Query, ”Are you coming? I do not understand what took you so long. It is a good thing that I came to check on you. Who knows how long you’d be standing here without me. I tell you, some droids were clearly not meant to be outside their designated areas.”

 

. . . still., he did have that gun. . .

 

. . .Keyword: had. He is much less threatening now. . .

 

. . .ooooh. Look! The Interceptor!

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The Sith assault was awe inspiring, for the young Emma, and she watched hawkishly as her friend began his defensive battle. The KRPS agents stayed in a scattered line behind cover as they began to fire at the advancing Sith. Emma herself stayed crouched next to the Moff who had created her, keeping her metallic hand on his back as they crouched among the fallen trees to the center of the formation.

 

But in the distance she could see black sun dropships.

 

Kriff

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All she saw was the enemy before her. He was the embodiment of all the evil that had been inflicted upon her. His cursed nurgle-flesh a reflection of her own scars. The dualism of her own soul was represented by the calm demeanor of the Sith, a cruel mask for unstoppable corruption. He was the stain on her soul. He was her brokenness. Her lethal evil.

 

The pommel of her longbladed lightsaber bit into her palm, the repercussions of grinding the grip into her hands as her soul split apart. The curse of her youth was tearing her apart. Her brokenness was making her useless. Every attack she had made on the Sith had been ineffective, while he had wounded her. That wound still smoked and reeked of seared flesh, filling her nostrils with the noxious fumes of her own charred body.

 

Why do you still fight this darkness?

 

Pain reared its head again, driving the Exorcist to her knees. It was white-hot in her chest, it felt as though her very flesh was melting away. Black corruption flowed across the girl’s arm, boiling on her alabaster skin. It was like tar, sticky and seething with the rhythm of her heartbeat. The souls of every Sith she had slain was crawling from her boiling flesh. The lightsaber pulsed in her hand. Fear raced through her as the voices laughed in their mocking pity

 

    • The Darkness does not bargain.

 

  • It does not reason.

 

          • It is rot.

 

IT HURTS. IT BURNS.

 

          • It has taken hold

 

    • It is spreading

 

  • To the seat of your soul

 

Kyrie gasped as the forces that battled within her wrenched her from her knees, sending her slamming into the closed blast door. The force of the blow made her ears ring but did not deafen the voices.

 

            • There will be nothing of you left

 

  • All your suffering will have been for nothing

 

      • It’s just a matter of time.

 

The lightsaber pulsed again and the Sith advanced. Kyrie did not care that the beast advanced. She stared at the humming blade as it pulsed. It was her heart. It wasn’t a black heart, but a human heart. A heart that had suffered greatly. It held her soul, as broken as it was.

 

The Imperial Knight turned the blade towards the Sith, and stepped forward. Hayley's voice hissed in surprise and fear

 

What are you doing?

 

The Exorcist smiled through her pain

 

I do not care anymore. We all die someday and once everyone has died darkness will no longer exist.

 

One of the Sith’s lightsabers sped towards her and the fear bubbled up. The voices screamed at her. The Hanger seemed to melt around her as she advanced. Her fire was an extension of her soul and it had begun its work.

 

        • No, I don’t want to die.

 

  • We don’t want to die

  • Turn back!

 

Kyrie danced to the side and brought her blackened arm into the path of the Sith’s blade. The crimson blade tore into her flesh with a burning that was all too familiar. She had felt it when the Sith that had raped her had carved his name into her back. She had felt it on the fields of battle on Gala. She had felt it and embraced it. This was no different

 

                            • Stop

 

Stop

 

            • Stop

 

    • Stop

 

When the blade hit bone, Kyrie let it pass through. She could feel the heat of it pulse through her bloodstream. The nerves screeched and died as the lightsaber severed them. Their horror shook her, but did not stop her.

 

I’m sorry. I didn’t ask you to be apart of me. I never begged you to help me.

 

More flesh burned, and as it did she turned the world to fire. From the blade she devoured power. She sacrificed for it. For a moment she was united with the blade of the Sith and as it took away her flesh, she took away its very power. Its crystal was foreign, unmade by nature, unclaimed by its will and she shattered it. As her arm fell away the blade died. She became something truly different. She was a Sin Eater.

 

If you won't die with me, then leave me alone.

Please stop, if you go on you’ll never come back

 

There is nothing to come back to

 

Kyrie Eleison breathed out flame of pure white as she advanced on the Sith, her one arm holding her glowing blade. She had shattered her world, and she would shatter the Sith’s. The durasteel touched by her flame bubbled and melted away as if it had been nothing but flimsiplast. The Hanger lurched as she advanced.

 

    • No please don’t leave me!

 

Behind her, the arm melted into corruption, a stinking, boiling mess of black. True torment lay within her, in the memories she could not escape or defeat. She was freed from the voices, but she had walked into her own personal Hell, and she would bring the Sith with her.

 

Kyrie drove through the hail of lightsabers as they had come. She had shattered their brother, and they would not harm her now. The Hanger was falling apart and the liquid, white-hot metal followed her in a rainstorm. With the screams of the exorcist, The Force obeyed and thousands of droplets of liquified durasteel rushed to destroy the Beast.

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The woman was a master of dodging attacks and her lithe body made her agile enough to move easily from the doorway to attack at one of the close guards. With a flick of her knife the guard’s trachea was interposed by jittering durasteel and Raven let loose a storm of curses and continued to fire away with the dual barrelled E-22 as the woman began to again move out of the doorway back to cover. The comms in her head were momentarily overcome by the gurgling death of Janisar, the trooper that the woman had stabbed, before the comms were cut by his helmet’s sensor systems. Raven herself knelt beside one of her Guards as she scanned the smoke thick room for any signs of movement by the Assassin.

 

By her count she had something like six guards left alive, and they were all busy jabbering to each other about escape routes as they panned the doorway hiding the assassin with their blaster rifles. The cryoban grenade seemed to have little effect so raven took the moment to toss another grenade from her belt. First arming it with a push of her thumb as she kept the other hand filled with her blaster rifle She set it with a three second delay with a pivot of her depressed thumb on the cylindrical device and then underhand tossed it through the open doorway. It was a flushing technique, and one the glop grenade she had just tossed into the room was particularly good at. If the assassin came running to escape the sticky foam, she would be gunned down with impunity.

 

Then the electronic storm of an electromagnetic pulse grenade hit the room. While not capable of shutting down the simple systems of a blaster rifle, the grenade could completely destroy the systems inside a helmet. Electric arcs filled the room as the grenade pulsed out its EMP load in a massive blast of static discharge. The bodies that littered the floor started to spasm as the holes in their armour gave the electricity easy entry to the vulnerable flesh underneath, causing the tendons and muscles to move on their own accord. Making the bodies writhe like they were still alive and cooking inside their armour. Comms instantly died with a hysterical whine in Raven’s ear and she cursed into the stilled helmet’s rebreather. With her free hand she pulled off her helmet, which though it gave her lungs a bit of the smoky air, gave her to chance to see clearly in the room as she struggled to clear her eyes with blinking. She cursed at the whirring servos on her mechanical arm as it struggled to adjust to the recent elecromagnetic pulse. It held her helmet easily enough but it was sluggish. She was down the dexterity on that arm until the internal systems decided it was a good idea to work again. Probably a little less than a minute before the hand would be fully functional again. Keeping her blaster trained on the doorway with one hand, Raven listened for her men and the grenade she had thrown, her purple eyes searching for the assassin as her men began to sound off as they pulled off their own helmets.

 

“One six mobile. Where is One One?”

 

Her callsign, so she called out a response as she heard the glop grenade go off with a pop hiss.

 

“One One here. Covering fire, now!”

 

It was a command, and the Imperial Guard followed their empress as they began to place rounds through the open doorway where the Assassin was hiding as they maneuvered themselves to cover their Empress. Spreading themselves in a reverse chevron towards the door.

((2))

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Pretender to the Galactic Throne

Leader of the Rebel Alliance

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Beth let a laugh escape her lips as she pivoted her heavy slugthrower rifle to concentrate on the leftmost flank of the approaching Sith forces. This Imperial Knight had a way about him, a cockyness that hinted to noble birth. He was no son of a Moff though, or some Kuati noble’s son, as that would have been seen far and wide in the holos as a recruiting tool. ‘Look guys even the children of Moffs are fighting. You should too!’ Would have been a great line to use, and his face seemed meant for the holos, not very many scars, handsome lines. A young imperial girl's dream. Even she could feel a stirring in her seeing him fighting beside her, but she kept herself fairly focused on the fight at hand. She still had men that could die in the fight, and letting someone die over a pretty face was literally the last thing Beth Andromina would stand. But she knew that she would have to ask the young man about his past over drinks perhaps when this was all over.

 

She pointed to a landing ship setting down in the hanger and twisted her hand in the air towards it.

 

“Can you like keep that door shut with the force as my men pour missiles into it? Save us a lot of trouble later!”

 

Her voice was both begging and commanding the young man to do it, and as his master fought on in the other side of the hanger, it could do him good to flex his force muscles to help the Empire.

Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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The tall Zabrak paced rapidly through the corridors toward the main battle in the shipyards. He had stayed behind to coordinate the last few squads of Imperial Guard to repel sepearted parties of borders, but with all forces now engaged, his place was at the front, at the side of the Empress. It was rare indeed for an Imperial Officer to be transversing the long cold halls by themselves, but such was the emergent situation at the front, that not even a fireteam could be spared as an escort. The once pristine stationed was now covered in the scars of battle and the filth of the invading Sith and Black SUn, a filth the former slave knew well.

 

As Tallin turned another corner, a dark figure stood waiting in the hall before him, quietly watching for him. The figure stood alone, an assassin unguarded by soldiers or beasts. No weapons were easily visible, but the calm assurance with which the invader stood told Tallin he would be no easy victim. Not that this scared the scarred Imperial. The Zabrak was fully armed, the E-22 in his arms charged and ready, while a ysalamiri in its cage rested on his back. His mobility was limited somewhat by the creature he carried, but he had rigged the cage so it could easily be dropped should he need to run. If the enemy made it past his bolts, he would be ready, armed with a force pike and the knowledge and skills of watching and participating in dozens of street fights, and the dozens of hours of Imperial Guard training.

 

He paused in his stride as the dark figure before him spoke coldly, his words slithering forward like the darkness that consumed the Sith warrior's blackened heart and mind, "None of it is for you, Sith. My soul belongs to the Remnant, and to the Empress."

 

Tallin immediately opened fire, his powerful E-22 sending bolts flying down the hall. His enemy stood some thirty yards away, where a corridor intersected that which the Imperial warrior stood in. A few doors with tiny inlets dotted the walls between them, while another corridor intersected some forty paces behind the Imperial. As he opened fire, Tallin backpedaled toward the hall and the obvious cover there. Every second round he fired was directed towards alternating sides of the Sith warrior, an attempt to block the much greater mobility Tallin suspected the Sith possessed and to prevent him from getting into close range. Of course, the Imperial's trump card was the ysalamiri on his back, and the Thermal Detonators at his side.

 

((1))

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The small dark dropship had barely grounded on the hard and battle-scared grounds of Kuat, when the single passenger the assault vessel carried exited rapidly out the back, his armor glisteneing beneath the array of rare and deadly weapons he carried. The mercenary knew that even a small dropship like the one he had taken from the Black Sun would be a target for any weapons batteries planted around the palace of the Moffs, or for hidden ground troops with launchers. On his own scaly feet, he had little fear of what opposition might await him. Black Sun vessels, some intent on capturing priosners and others no doubt focusing solely on plunder, had already landed and commenced their assault, the screams of the dying and the explosions of blaster bolts and grenades already reaching his ears.

 

Blood and slaughter awaited his arrival, and rather than share the glory of the battle with the dropships that were continually landing, Borsk charged for the front, the heavy impact of each step shaking the thin layer of dust from the ground. As he got nearer, several stray bolts impacted his heavy armor, the high-quality protection dispersing the superpowered charge before it could impact the scales below. It was not his job to assist the front lines, however, nor did the veteran bounty hunter particularly care about the soldeirs fighting and dying there. He would scout the battle, and find the Moffs. The Black Sun would pay well for their capture.

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Milenko gasped almost giddily as the being before him mentioned him being a Sith, his gloved hand reach upward toward his mouth. "Me? A Sith? How did you ever know? It's the Cloak, isnt it? It gave me away." But before he could finish his sentence, a volley of blaster bolts flew his way, causing Milenko to grasp the shell spider silk cloak and enter a spin of deflection before making his own retreat into the corridor behind him, a blaster bolt managing to graze his cheek as he did so. Yelling out down the hall toward the Zybrak, he continued his taunt. "Perhaps it's just stylish. Did you ever think to think of that?"

 

Reaching his glove to the burn that bleed slightly from his cheek, Milenko reveled to himself the pain that he felt. Truly this being held a soul worthy of being his first to claim. He was adaptive, knew to strike first before asking questions, and now that he had slightly injured Milenko, became a prize worthy of capturing. But how to do it? This was what encompassed Milenko's thoughts as he summed up the situation. He was unaware of the Ysalamari the Zybrak possessed, so he held a disadvantage there. And he held very few weapons, none of which were ranged outside of skill alone. But Milenko was a crazed Prince, one to play the fools gambit of only to try his luck at such a hand.

 

"You know, it isnt nice to shoot at someone you dont know anything about my friend." He spoke, a fit of laughter erupting behind his echoing words, his gaze peering out just quick enough to notice the location of his opponent and the surrounds between the two, ever watchful and vigilant in listening for anything but a blaster bolt. He knew if he was to win, he'd have to close the gap. "I thought you Imperials were nice beings, followers of the morals and codes. You're actions have shown me differently. I'm sorely disappointed with you.

 

To understand Milenko, is to understand the madness behind him. His taunts and jests, though poorly accurate and aimed to enrage, were mere distractions. For as he spoke them, he managed to duck into a room beside him that would connect to a room that held a door that connected to his opponent, and just before disappearing into that room, Milenko laughed and disappeared within. Once inside, Milenko activated the lightsaber and began cutting his way into the connecting room, plunging his blade deep into the duracrete and watching vigorously with intent as the molten metal lowly lit the room. Just before the metal fell to the floor, Milenko stopped, reaching out in the force and bending the semi circular hole inward as he made his way toward his opponent.

 

As the door behind Tallin hissed open, Milenko's gloved hand would reach out, dagger in hand in an attempt to return the injury inflicted upon him, feeling the Force leave his form and anger set it due to it. "Now that isnt nice not fair my friend. I only wanted to discuss your soul. Now you've made me mad." Milenko held himself covered for the most part with the cloak, using his free hand to slash at Tallin, his pinky finger aimed at activating a few thermal detonators.

 

(2)

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Oni only gazed upon the woman, sorrow echoing in his eyes as he foresaw the battle within. He knew all too well corruption of the soul, and how it consumes and devours what little light remained. Which is why he clung so tightly to the humanity, to the goodness within him so tightly. He refused to become the beast he was created to be. And only through his will alone, had those chains remained broken and his soul free. His opponent on the other hand, reveled in it, used it as a weapon, and it would claim her in the end. She would become the very thing she sought to cleanse. And even he weeped for her.

 

As the first of his blades tore through her flesh and tore asunder her arm, the crystal within shattering after it cleaved through, a fleeting moment in her mind crept across his and he began to understand her corruption. It wasn't her path in life that had broken her. She was born this way, a mystery to why the Force would lend its power to such a being lost in its memories. She would never heal from it. She would never control it. It would simply claim her and her deeds would become pointless. Amidst the fire and molten steel, an image of his face could be seen, tears flowing down his cheeks, illuminated by the raging light that surrounded them. Truly, he wept for her and those that cherished her, and he could not see a path for her salvation any longer. And with that, he closed his eyes to her.

 

Oni calmed his heart rate, feeling time begin to slow around him. He took a deep breath in, letting his lungs fill before he exhaled, feeling the flow of life and death around him. He reached out his hands, running his fingers across the woven tapestry that was the Force as if running his fingers across the cords of a harp, and as the droplets neared their intended target, the floor beneath Oni rolled up before him like carpet, revealing the framework beneath as most of the droplets met solid metal, a few managing to slip through heated areas and graze his form, the Sith Master flinching in pain as the molten steel burnt and boiled upon his skin and armor.

 

Yet, Oni remained collected, letting his mind flow upon the currents of the Force and ride its waves like driftwood, going where it took him. It was a calming experience, to simply ride its path and know its meaningless nature, to understand that the Force was the same as sentient nature, made good or evil by those who wielded it, it's true purpose incapable of being deciphered. Dropping to his knee in pain, he smiled even as blood leaked from his burns, and it was in that moment, Oni reached out into the mind of his enemy and showed her the truth of who he was, whether her power consumed him or not.

 

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

 

Oni would show her a dark haired humanoid, full of life and brash in his youth. He would should her friendships, lovers, and family. Then he would show her it all being taken away, both by time and by evil. She would see the sorrow in his heart, and the urge to keep moving forward despite the anger and sorrow. She would see him work under corrupted beings, collecting bounties and dues from innocents, all to simply eat and survive. She would feel the self hatred, the disgust, but she would also see the humanity of it.

 

She would see Necropolis. She would know its fear. She would see the being and his associate, a Mandalorian, fight for survival. She would feel the bite, feel its taint flow through his veins, tug at his heart, and seep into his soul. She would feel the insanity, the call of the beast within, the pain of its transformations, and she would feel his soul weep as he struggled for control. And she see him search for it, to feel the hopelessness as he felt it to be in vain. And in the end, she would watch him find it, not in death, but in fellowship, a bond forged in a common belief. And that belief was that the Force was neither good nor evil, only those who wielded it. And it was through that shared bond, that strength was given to overcome the beast and quell its rampage.

 

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

 

Oni releases his grip upon her mind, his breathing heavy as he stands up once again, steam still rising from the wounds as the liquid metal melts deeper before cooling. The twin darksabers deactivate and return to his hands, his gaze never faltering. He looks upon her with curiosity, wondering how she will react, now that she knows the beast that truly lays within.

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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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Query cocked his head as Kayle entered the hangar.

 

Her memory unit is clearly overtaxed. How can she not notice the inconsistencies in her own data? Degraded logic circuits? Ghost code?

 

...Developing mental issues?

 

A twinge of excitement shot through Query at this last possibility. Or maybe that was residual ionic charge. Either way, the possibility of a droid who not only had independent thought but psychological issues excited him. Ah, a good chance to engage in metaphor. Find Kayle and curing her of her behavioral and mental deficiencies was like...

 

It was like a mechanic who'd just found an old speeder bike to repair.

 

It was like a duros who'd just discovered a brand new hyperspace lane to map.

 

It was like an anzati who'd just found a Force-sensitive to suck dry (Why do I have that data in my memory banks?)

 

In any case, Kayle presented new possibilities for companionship, entertainment, and self-improvement for Query. His databanks listed all of these things as vitally necessary in a child's environment for the development of a stable, healthy mind. As Query's closest analog to his current situation was that of a developing child (albeit one with an intellect greater than any humanoid pre-pubescent barring a few notable exceptions) he could only estimate that such criteria applied to him as well.

 

"Wait for me," was what Query intended to say. Instead, what came out was KGRKRKRGRKRGKRG!!!

 

Ah, right, still can't speak. How long is it until that back-up vocal driver loads?

 

0.46 hours and 8,918,397.39 minutes remaining

 

That is not a promising sign. It matters little though. I can simply use my data pad to communicate.

 

Query drew out his datapad, keyed it on, and was met with a blank screen.

 

...ah, perhaps I should have turned if off before jumping through the electrical field.

 

This is a conundrum. How to communicate...

 

Kayle is an imperial data droid. It is likely she has higher data processing power than most. Solution.

 

Query turned to Kayle, and began rapidly flickering his photoreceptor lights in binary.

 

MY VOCAL DRIVER IS CURRENTLY OFFLINE. I WILL BE LIMITED TO THIS FORM OF COMMUNICATION FOR THE NEAR FUTURE. CAN YOU PILOT THIS VESSEL?

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