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Vernza-Torrah


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Two Jedi. Come to die. 

 

You gave up passion to die like rats in a cage?

 

A beautiful face shone out of the darkness of the temple, and the force moved heavily among the mass of dancing and grinding bodies. Their passion filling the force and drowning all sense of it in organstic pleasure. 

 

Don’t you see that soon it will be over?

 

The crack of another bowstring came from the writhing crowd. 

NPCs for boardwides and small stories on request

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He can feel it.

 

Calling.

 

Aidan moved faster than he could think, propelled by both muscle memory and instinct. A projectile shattered against his pauldron, spraying splinters outward in blooming ricochet trajectories. The Force felt...strange, delaying its answer to his summons, but he was still decisive enough in the moment that he had succeeded in the immediate short term goal. He was a bulwark as much as he was a weapon, and in the immediate moment Sandy would have her moment to recover.

 

He briefly glanced over the blood she'd spit to the ground, sparking emotional pain to blindly shoot through him only to be met with numb resolve. Sandy was a Jedi Master, and she could take care of herself. It was a foreign sensation to him, this numbness between them, but it was necessary for professionals to accomplish their missions sometimes, wasn't it? He didn't have much time to contemplate that thought as he caught two more crude arrows on his armor, deflecting one and breaking the other. They had trained for this. It was do or die.

 

Would you save him? ...even from himself?

 

How much are you really willing to sacrifice, Jedi...

Edited by Aidan Darkfire
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She spat another mouthful of blood onto the already slick ground and let herself fall into a low fighting stance, her silver blade held at an angle that pointed towards the ceiling of the temple. There was so much feeling here, the lust could almost be tasted in the air. The words of the enemy lingered in the air. It was a distraction that had led her to almost losing her life. It was time to be still, it was a time to listen to the silence. To cut everything else out, and to deal with this enemy before them. The saber moved and intersected one of the stone arrows, turning it to molten slag that spattered to either side of her. It hissed loudly as it contacted the wet floor. 

 

The saber moved again as she let her clear green eyes flutter closed. And then the force moved.

 

The air shimmered in front of her, catching another several arrows in the conjured energy field that snaked out to intercept another arrow before it could hit Aidan. She was the silence now, and the force moved where she willed it. It was now time to break the concentration of the being who had made this their sepulcher. 

 

There in the midst of the crowd, a Falleen. Laying sprawled beneath the bodies, his face a plastered and wicked grin. Feeding on the lust of the room. And beneath him there was the feeling that they had felt in the maw. A rift in the force. Dark and ominous, as old as death. And it was feeding on everything. A rapturous maw that devoured the force. Dampening it and manipulating it. 

 

“There.” 

 

She extended the force to bat aside another arrow then brought the force to bear. A shockwave threw the writhing masses aside and left the being exposed to Aidan’s blade. While she wove a shield around him.

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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Sandy caught an arrow before it impacted Aidan's wristguards, prompting the Knight to use the opening to unhook his saber hilt from his belt and ignite both silver blades on his staff saber in a flourish. At this point Aidan had identified at least three sources the arrows were originating from, but this wasn't it. This wasn't the complete picture, something was still eluding them. Very quickly it would become impossible to continue their assault without injuring the zombified tourists, and though it didn't look like they would be able to recover, Aidan didn't want to assume. However, this mission very easily was in the realm of acceptable casualties, and they would still be very lucky if the tourists weren't already unrecoverable casualties.

 

As Aidan went to make his decision, in the split second after he'd begun moving he heard Sandy's voice, and plainly saw as she telekinetically cleared a path through the hedonists...leaving one exposed. Someone who was dressed. Someone feeding from all this. Very quickly Aidan put the situation together and shot forward, aiming a decisive bisecting cut at the green-skinned alien. Aidan knew this opening gambit was unlikely to work if their opponent was skilled in the Force, which they obviously were. However, it would provide them with critical battlefield information as any counterattack would be intercepted by Sandy's protective barriers. He was putting his trust and faith in her, when hours ago she had injured him in the worst way possible.

 

Part of him knew he had no other choice. The other part just wanted to roll the dice and see what happened. Something inside of him was awakening, a subconscious connection that had existed for a while but was just now being strengthened by the strong sensations pouring through the Force. As he neared his opponent, Aidan smiled slightly without giving it a second thought. 

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As the blade came down their eyes flew open, revealing deeply set black eyes. Its right hand came up and almost playfully swatted aside the Imperial Knight’s blade stroke with a bare hand. With the other hand, a stone knife flickered up towards his face. The creature was beautiful and vile, seeped in the darkside. And its burned hand seemed to reform as if it had never been struck at all. 

 

“You enjoy this don’t you? You enjoy the passion. The killing.”

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She could not see if the knife struck it was so fast, but she could do what she had done to the Hutt back on Kuat. Still with her eyes closed she began to weave the force around the being. Binding him with ropes of the force, slowing him down, to keep it still enough for the final blow. 

 

Go for the head Aidan! 

 

She ignored the flurry of arrows that had been launched her way and bound the being tight. Smiling through the pain. 

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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The question caught Aidan off guard immediately. The stone knife whizzed past his face, drawing a hairline cut up his cheek that slowly began to bleed. Instinctively he began reaching toward his face to squeeze the wound to flush it of any poisons that may have been deposited, but in that moment his conscious mind was razor focused on the words uttered by the green-skinned man. The accusation that he somehow enjoyed this, a concept contrary to everything he'd learned from the Knights, stabbed at him in a way no physical weapon could. Deep down in the quiet recesses of his mind the answer stayed, locked behind chains and bars of denial, but he knew it full well.

 

yes.

 

In the very next moment Aidan's senses returned to their present situation as his Force senses practically screamed a warning for the volley of arrows freshly launched towards Sandy. However, she was in the middle of harnessing her own use of the Force to bind and hamstring their opponent, likely seeing it as an early way to decisively end the confrontation. Sandy was either ignorant of or apathetic to the incoming projectiles, and Aidan knew that he could instead save her from the arrows with the risk of them not getting another opportunity to end the Dark side practitioner. His training told him that the Dark sider wasn't likely suited to close combat, and that it was still a fairly safe bet to save Sandy, but then there was the pain she'd so willingly put him through. How much did he really care anymore about saving her from a little of the same pain? After all, she was a Jedi Master, she likely knew the arrows were coming, and was prepared. This wasn't about causing her pain, it was about trust. Trust in her call. 

 

or are you just lying to yourself again?

 

But he'd already made his decision. He turned to the Falleen, bringing his saber to bear with the full leverage the longer staff saber hilt afforded and delivering rote precision in his strike to decapitate. His blade had no room for anything less than his full focus.

Edited by Aidan Darkfire

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Black eyes opened in surprise as the white blade came down. Where was the Jedi’s hesitation? 

 

Save me! 

 

But all he heard was course laughter. Echoing in his mind like a booming drum. He reached again for the void. Where his source of power always lay. Where he had learned so much. But where were the voices? Why was there suddenly only laughter? Had he been abandoned in his moment of triumph? But then there was the cold burning at his neck. 

 

And all he had striven for was lost in a single slash of a Knight's blade. And his head rolled on the wet and sticky ground. The laughter traded for burning silence. 

NPCs for boardwides and small stories on request

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The first arrow splashed through the edges of her tunic, and then her lightsaber moved, a brilliant white line that intersected the next three. The subconscious power of a Jedi Master. Death had come to Vernza-Torrah, and Aidan had brought it to the Darksider. All around them the power of the enemy faded away. The bodies that lay across the room shuddered as the power dropped from them. Those holding bows dropped them, and the world returned to what it had once been. 

 

A dirty backwater world. And it wopuld stay that way, for this era at least, the stains of Chaos were wiped away. 

 

SHe spat out another mouthful of blood and then grinned as she began to draw on the force in a different way. Not the power of death over life, but of life itself. A healing power that was special to the consulars. She was no Leena Kil, but it did not take five minutes to stop the bleeding. And then there would be patchwork to be done on her face, but that could wait until later.

 

“Aidan?” 

 

She asked. Her voice both fearful and hopeful.

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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The severed head tumbled across the floor like an oblong melon rolling down a hill. A great invisible curtain began to draw itself back from their minds, and while Aidan could still sense the taint of the darkness, its influence quickly began to wear off. For a brief moment he held the follow through stance in anticipation of the next threat, but one never came. He deactivated his lightsaber and slowly stood to survey the scene immediately around them.

 

He stopped when his eyes hit Sandy. She was bloody, battered, and broken, and Aidan had nearly forgotten she was there in the heat of it all. Still, she stood defiantly above the devastation surrounding them. “Aidan?” Her face still looked like partial hamburger with the arrow wound. Aidan had survived without much wear and tear, but that was also due to Sandy taking the large brunt of the attacks and creating a hole in the dark sider's defenses for him to attack.

 

He mustered a weak smile for her. "I think it's over." His gaze returned to the rest of the listless bodies and quietly he wondered if they would also return to how they once were or if it was simply too late for them. "For now." After a long moment his stomach sank a bit, in the back of his mind he knew that with no threat to unite them, they would now need to face each other and what had happened, and Aidan wasn't quite sure if he was ready for that yet.

 

"We should, uh, get some bacta on that," he awkwardly gestured to her face. But there was another meaning to his words that went unspoken: I'm not sure if I'm ready to make myself vulnerable again.

"But after that, let's get off this god-forsaken rock."

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The stormtrooper runs from rebel officers as he soon jumps behind a log and blasts both of them dead from afar. "Finally, now I can see what's hiding in the Temple." Carson walks into the temple and conceals his blaster to the best of his ability, then puts his cloak on over his plastoid stormtrooper armor.

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He blasts two security guards before they can notice him and he lowers into a crouch as he kicks down the door to the priests quarters. He finds nothing in there "Shit, all this traveling, planning, all of it and the Priest of Slaanesh gets away, and with it the artifact, I need that blaster." He blasts a security guard in the heart right before he walks into the room to ask what is going on, effectively killing him. He then goes on board the freighter in the hangar and lands in an area with Aidan, he quickly runs over to him, "Have you seen the priest of Slaanesh?" He then notices the lightsaber in his hands, "I've seen what Jedi can do, I  have seen it enough to know not to attack you, so don't attack me and we'll be just fine."

 

@Aidan Darkfire

 

 

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Sandy brought brought a hand up to her face and grimaced at the pain. She looked up at Aidan and shrugged, ignoring the dripping blood that made little rivulets down her chin to splash into her green tunic. 

 

“I should have paid better attention. I-”

 

The distinct sound of blaster fire broke her awkward attempt at a conversation and her white lightsaber came up into a defensive guard. She could feel death, and she gestured towards the open door at the back of the chambers. What looked like a stormtrooper in a cloak had just appeared and carried a smoking blaster pistol. Bacta, the ship, and escape could wait another few minutes. For it appeared that the Sith Empire had tracked them even to this backwater hellhole. 

 

She summoned the force and built a defensive shield between Aidan and herself and the newcomer. She gestured her white blade at the headless corpse in the middle of the room as an answer to his query. 

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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As Sandy pointed to the decapitated corpse, Aidan also replied to the cloaked newcomer. "They're dead." The Imperial Knight took a moment to look the trooper up and down as he noticed the armor, though Aidan didn't see any readily-visible insignia. He didn't feel any hostile intent from the trooper even though the trooper had claimed as much, but this was a poorly timed chance encounter, and he was still mildly wary.

"If you know anything about the Jedi, you know they don't attack unprovoked. You have nothing to fear from us as long as you hold no malice towards us."

Aidan took a quick glance behind where the trooper had come from, expecting to see the rest of his platoon or even a scouting element, but this trooper was alone with no comm pack, and no specialized gear. Something felt weird.

"What's your operating number and unit, trooper? Better question - where is your unit?"

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The stormtrooper looks at them closely then takes off his cloak. "My operating number is TK-22708, I have no platoon they were all killed in a recent mission, I work alone because that's what I specialize in."

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Sandy’s eyebrows shot up, as her hands tightened on the smooth handle of her lightsaber. She risked a sideways glance at Aidan, then looked back at the stormtrooper. 

 

“There have been many recent missions in which the Jedi have killed the Sith and their servants. It is the way of war, tell me what brings you and the Sith to Vernza-Torrah?”

 

And why? Why would a Sith operative arrive here, searching for the priest of the old Chaos Gods? If anything this affirmed their suspicions to a T. The Sith were involved with the older powers of the universe and were striving to bring them back. 

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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He looks directly at her "I came because we are looking for the priests blaster, it has the power to disable any weapon or ship that is a hundred times more powerful than an ion blasters shot, and it is a weapon that would be invaluable to the Sith."

"Or at least they say it is, I don't even believe it exists."

Edited by Moff Lurg
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((Just a friendly heads-up, we do try to avoid posting multiple times in a row, next time I recommend editing the post, with the exception being if someone has already replied to it because then you'd just make a new post. Also, hi! I know Delta (Sandy) has been talking with you, but I wanted to say hi and that I appreciate someone wanting to drop in on one of my stories, it hasn't happened in quite a while and it's always fun. ^.^ ))

 

Aidan blinked. Then he blinked again. Was this trooper serious? First he said he works alone, which at the least he'd have a handler giving him missions, and now he's after some handheld weapon with as much power as the Death Star? And if he did support the Sith, why was he wearing stormtrooper armor and not the standard Sith Trooper combat gear? Were the Sith really that financially desperate that they clad their soldiers in military surplus armor? It made sense for the few Imperial units that still existed under the Rebellion, after all they already had their armor, but the Sith? Things didn't add up.

"I, uh...I think someone had a joke on you, friend. The power that would require demands at the least a capital ship reactor just to pull the trigger. There's just no way such a device could even exist in a handheld size."

 

The Imperial Knight reached out with his senses, still not feeling any threats nearby despite his reinvigorated connection to the light side after the death of the Sith. Even if he did turn out to be their enemy, at the moment he meant them no harm, and Aidan wasn't about to jump to conclusions without the full picture. Still, Aidan's lightsaber hilt remained in his hand.

 

"Well, since we mean each other no harm, I suppose introductions are in order. I'm Aidan, operating number IKD-074, this is Sandy, she's with the Jedi."

Aidan gave his operating number, identifying himself as an officer with the first part of his callsign being three letters. He didn't mention that he was with the Imperial Knights instead of the Sith, nor did he mention that Sandy was a Jedi or what her rank was, though her Jedi robes and both of their lightsabers gave it away to those who knew what to look for. He'd let the trooper make his own assumptions there unless he was pressed on it, not like it would matter that much.

"What do you plan to do now? Still look for this device?"

Edited by Aidan Darkfire

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"I wont look for it if it doesn't exist, but it's obvious you're both with the Jedi, I am supposed to open fire on you, but I'm not an idiot, so I will leave you be." He blasts a security guard in the side of his head as he runs towards them, then after he knows the guard is dead, he holsters his blaster. "I can get you two off of the planet if you need it, there's a freighter in the hangar and I know how to fly it, if you can fly it that's fine, just don't leave me to die here."

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Sandy looked sideways at the Imperial Knight. It was a weird feeling to see him this close, his expression always drifting between a grin and a frown. She had loved him since she had been an apprentice a decade beforehand, the love was still there, it had to be. Even if the connection had been so brutally severed. It was at least the love of a long time partnership and a dozen missions under fire, perhaps being lovers had led them to this pain. And for that she regretted it. Lust had never led any Jedi towards the lightside. But she still loved him, no matter what turmoil and damage that she had done in their time on this God forsaken planet. Time would tell if they could repair it. But for now they had a lost stormtrooper from the kriffing Sith Empire offering them a ride on his personal freighter. 

 

"Look.” She said, another pale stream of blood coming from the wound on the side of her face. “I appreciate the offer of a ride, but I don’t want you getting executed for giving us a life out of here. Do you know your operations base? We have our own light shuttle, and while it may be snug we can give you a lift just fine to some neutral location that you can catch a shuttle to your own territory.” 

 

Where was he from? Onderon? Carida? Kuat? She was very curious. 

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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Sandy would have burst out laughing if she had not been still in the combat mindset from the few minutes before. This stormtrooper was a strange one, and nothing like those she had served with during the campaign over Nal Hutta. But those had been from the Imperial Remnant. Not the new Sith Empire. But she had been to Korriban, as part of a scouting team under Captain Slaughter of the Rebel commandos. From that experience she knew that the Sith soldier was very likely ill informed or had been abandoned by his intel network for the better part of two years. 

 

“Korriban is an abandoned ruin. The Sith military is at Naboo or Onderon. I can find you a shuttle to either of those locations, but I would say let us get off world first.”

 

She gestured towards the distant city below them. 

 

“We have a shuttle that is well equipped, and as much as we may be enemies, let us declare a truce for now.” She looked at his dirty armour, stained with a months-long expedition. “Plus there are showers and maintenance equipment on board.” 

 

She snapped off the lightsaber and clipped it on her belt, before beckoning him to follow them.

 

(See if you can fill out your post a bit with detail about how he is thinking and feeling. Describe the surroundings as well. You are doing great!)

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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The stormtrooper looks at her, frowning under his helmet. He thinks about how the lies he makes and how they are unlikely to persuade her, so he let's the truth out. "I have been on this expedition for years, YEARS! I am insane and just found that ship, I can't find out how to get it off because I was never taught that, I am a soldier not a pilot. I am going mad from my stay here, and I was looking for the priests blaster, which is not actually a superweapon, because it is a weapon capable of killing myself in a single shot, almost painlessly, because the Sith betrayed me for failing several missions, so they exiled me, and I can't get revenge because what am I, a fucking STORMTROOPER! I have minimal armor and I am losing strength from starving, and I do not think that they will let me back into the Sith army with a rank of even private. So I want to commit suicide, and that blaster that I was so intent on retrieving, is gone now, so I will just starve, because I know what the Jedi are, people who kill troopers without remorse, you have no emotion and no mercy, so I know you will kill me as soon as I get on the ship, because Jedi are murdering, brutes. The Sith have told me so, and they are what is powerful enough to rule this land, so they MUST be wise, so I must trust them.

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Sandy’s smile turned from laughter to the smile of a person that had seen a decade of war and violence. When had she finally been accepted as an apprentice? Age eleven? Before that she had been in the slums of another backwater world. One whose accent she still carried. Thirteen years then she had carried a blade against the enemies of the light, she had seen galactic governments rise and fall, and the fires of dying planets. She had felt the fall of Coruscant when the Sith hurled the crescent moon Hesperidium into the planets surface. She had felt the Jedi Council die, alongside trillions of others. 

 

“There is nothing wise in the whims of the Sith. Their lies are a poison that has killed trillions.” She turned her wounded face back to the helmeted stormtrooper. Her emerald green eyes taking in his opaque T-visor as if she could see the haggard face behind the mask. “If we wanted you dead stormtrooper, you would have lost your head the moment you came through that door.” She lifted her hand towards him, showing an empty and scarred palm. “You can trust the lies of your masters or you can trust your own two eyes. Which I assume are not blind based on your shooting.” 

 

She turned her back on him, trusting that he would not try to gun her down as she descended the staircase towards the distant city. 

 

“Join us and save yourself from starvation and exhaustion. Or do not. Your life and salvation are in your hands alone.”

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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He thinks about it for a few moments, then runs to catch up with them, then throws his helmet on the ground. "I trust you then, and I will join you, but you have to realize, I am no force sensitive, and unless you have openings for soldiers I doubt I will be of much help." He shows his face after having thrown his helmet, his face being scratched and bruised, and then taking off his chestplate he shows a lightsaber mark in his side. "This is what also happened along with my exile, and let me ask you, was Emperor Palpatine a Sith Lord, as everyone says, is it true Vader was not the hero he was made out to be?"

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Her emerald green eyes narrowed at the response of the Stormtrooper. It was not the first time that she had met a man out of his time. The mercenary that had pulled her out of a slavers cell on Tatooine had been a clone commando from the clone wars. But she had never met another one since. Her hand extended and the discarded helmet flew into it, and she tucked it under her arm. Such equipment was useful, especially if they were going to send this man back to his Empire. 

 

“Vader and Palpatine died a hundred years ago. Their empire was lost to the New Republic. And the civil war has lasted ever since.”

 

That was a fresh wound however, and she wondered if he had been at the attack on Lehon or Felucia. Or perhaps he had been frozen in carbonite. Which was not unheard of. 

 

“Do not give us your loyalty so freely, I appreciate your trust and I accept it, and the rebellion needs many soldiers. But let us get you cleaned up and fed first. Then, when we are off the accursed planet we can discuss the future.” 

 

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Calix Meus Inebrians

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Aidan kept his mouth shut. Even though he relaxed a bit, the entire situation seemed rather absurd to him, but not impossible. He couldn't quite make heads or tails of it, but he hoped it wouldn't matter much if he ignored it for the most part. That, and he wasn't incredibly inclined to discuss galactic politics with someone who was practically a complete stranger.

 

Part of him wanted to reach out through the Force and share his concerns with Sandy, but frankly the trooper was also providing a valuable service for him right now in that Aidan and Sandy didn't need to hash the freshly scarred rift between them.

 

And so, he remained silent.

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