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((Ah, no worries. I'll adjust. It's my bad for not having caught it.))

 

As Emily adjusted to her surroundings, she realized the truth that this was some sort of mech. She wondered if she had sustained a blow to the head as well, for she could now clearly make out that there were displays lining what she had taken for walls.

 

Her captor suddenly peered through the displays at her. She met his gaze steadily. "Where are we? Why have you brought me here?" Her voice was raspy and it hurt to talk, but her curiosity was stronger than any fear of pain she might have had.

 

Her two-toned eyes sized him up. She had never before seen him, as it had been dark in her room when he had suffocated her. Even now she couldn't make out much, just that he seemed human. "And who are you?"

 

If he wanted to be civil, she could be civil, but she would be icily civil.

Emily%202015_zps34rpkjob.jpg

 

"Days in the sun...what I'd give to relive just one. Undo what's done, and bring back the light."

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You've touched on only the immediate questions, and even those aren't the ones that are rolling around in your head right now, are they? Okay.

 

The Master turned back around to stare out at Mechis for a moment, smiling at its promise. He retrieved a small box from below his seat and popped it open. Inside was a small assortment of vacuum-sealed fruits and a thermos. Depressing a small button on the top made the thermos whir to life, and as Julio unscrewed the lid steam billowed out as if it had been warm the entire trip. He poured each of them a glass of hot water, loose tea leafs scattered across the top as their precious oils drifted to the bottom, then tossed a couple fruits through the small window.

 

We are above Mechis III, a planet long controlled by our Order. The caretaker, a Lord Antilles, has long been a friend and brother to me. I've come here to reach out to him in these hard times and confer with him in actions yet to be taken. He's wiser than he gives himself credit for, or rather more so than he would let others believe.

 

He stirred the leaves and watched them move easily in his wake, only to return to their original positions as the waves returned.

 

I brought you here because there are things you need to see. Things you have to understand before you make certain decisions in your life. Your Master, Quietus. He will be Dark Lord one day. And under him the Sith will unite under a banner of thirst and fury, insatiable as they scourge an unholy path across the galaxy. Master Ar-Pharazon speaks over his shoulder, promise of power and purpose, but he only wants to see the galaxy burn. The others only flock to greater power, misunderstanding and ignorant.

 

The tea was mournfully delicious in a sense, knowing he'd never be able to have this very tea again. Same blend, same leaves, but it would never be the same.

 

My name is Julio Furion, Master Assassin of the Sith Order, and I'm going to be your instructor for the time being, unless you'd like me to take you on full time as an apprentice.

 

So nonchalant, as if he didn't choke her out and kidnap her to halfway across the galaxy. In the grand scheme, did it really matter? Obviously she would rather have free will in the matter, but it wasn't as if she were any safer back at the temple. Especially not with the shit storm brewing.

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She was puzzled by his response. "Isn't a burning galaxy of thirst and fury and destruction what the Sith want?" She wondered at the tone of his voice. It almost seemed as if he disagreed. "Don't Sith kill because they feel like it? Display their power for some hidden agenda of their own, or sometimes merely to show off?"

 

Perhaps there was another side to the Sith. Perhaps not all thought as Ar-Pharazon did. That was curious indeed. The very possibility changed her opinion of the Sith. She had been having a hard time over the past few weeks reconciling Ar-Pharazon and Quietus' actions with what she remembered of her parents'. She had assumed that she simply had never seen that side of her parents, or had been too young to remember them slaughtering for fun. But if this Julio Furion was implying that there were Sith who took a more...civilized view of things, then perhaps she wasn't mistaken. Perhaps her parents had been that type of Sith.

 

But his declaration that he had brought her here to train her interrupted that line of thought. Astonishment coursed through her. "You attack me and kidnap me and now you're offering me training?" Her tone was laced with disbelief. "Is it a habit among Sith Masters to steal each others' apprentices?"

 

She shook her head. "Be honest with me. What is your true purpose? I'm not buying that."

Emily%202015_zps34rpkjob.jpg

 

"Days in the sun...what I'd give to relive just one. Undo what's done, and bring back the light."

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And with Sheog gone, it happened

 

I am the amorphous shadow; the indelible scar. The silence in the requiem. Order sucked dry and rebirthed in an explosion of splattering incipience.

 

I am the tamer of too evils, the sin left burning long after the other blaze. Structured anarchy, like an addict in a glitterstim reality. An altered collective consciousness. Silence in the requiem.

 

Alone. Isolated. Like the painter's bloodstain red on the canvas. Notes from the crimson symphony overcoming the livid brass only to hit far higher octaves. Silent notes striking in unpredictable precision. A pattern of perfection.

 

Cryptic repetition. Cryptic repetition. Cryptic repetition failing in unity, and soon too in the mystery.

 

The truth will be found, and all others truths will be left wanting. A barren revelation, left just enough substance to be made real.

 

I am Ason Antilles

 

His new flesh glowed in the light, killing him. It was a wanted death though. Murderous euthanasia. His weapons stared up at him like strangers he held dear. He loved them. Family.

 

 

Sasori said:
Travis said:
Why would you side with a group that is composed of some of the largest douche criminal scum from around the world?

To annoy you.

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Yes, Sith do those things. But if you know anything about the Sith, you understand that we are very much individuals. Individuals take delight in wanton slaughter, or gratuitous displays of power. Never forget that.

 

His brother's voice reached out to him, and the sleeper had awakened. A light smile fell on him, though she couldn't see it. Ezra began to make its descent.

 

Make no mistake. I too revel in death when it is my enemy's. The test between two hearts vying for survival. But there are times when I have to take other lives, those that couldn't stand against me. I wont lie to you and say I feel ashamed or remorseful for these deaths. They were necessary means to a derived end. I take no splendor in such sour things, but everything has a purpose. I do nothing without reason.

 

They fell through the smoggy industrial atmosphere in silence. Julio knew the concept alone would be thus far foreign to her experiences with other Sith. The ones who couldn't curb their hunger. The two of them jumped down from the elevated cockpit and headed in toward the temple. Already he could feel his brother, seeping with dark power Julio had never before noticed in his brother. Each of Ason's gathered breath drew the power in and out like waves washing over them, sadly unnoticed by Emily, too refined and specific for her to even perceive. His brother had grown strong in their time apart. Something would have to be done about that.

 

In the foyer before the great hall Julio paused and turned to Emily.

 

I'll never tell you my true purpose. You haven't yet earned the right to know my passions. But I will tell you this. I will never lie to you unless it serves a purpose. You're of no use to me ignorant.

 

He looked down at her and saw from her face that this would by no means quell the questions.

 

I wasn't lying when I said you had a destiny, and that there were things you needed to see. This is one of those things. Awaiting us is the man who will forge souls in the furnace worlds yet to ignite. The one who will be surrounded by light and devour it. The one that commands ethereal sinew and mortal shade. All these things and more I have seen of this man, and of them, none make me prouder to call him brother than that which you will soon bear witness.

 

He offered her a soft smile before turning to enter the great hall. The time for questions was short, but would come again soon. For now she must watch, and see with eyes unclouded.

 

In reverence to Ason's meditation Julio walked softly, and stopped some distance away so as not to disturb him. The Sith knew they were there, knew of everything going on around them for some great distance. At least somewhere in the fluid consciousness he knew. But at the same time he was elsewhere, poured into a thousand different things.

 

Without thinking much of it, Julio began to run his rosary between his fingers.

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Ason stared into the darkness for what appeared to be an eternity, more and more a reflection with every passing second. He was the abstract manifested into reality, the corporeal shell of the dark passenger. Rationality”¦ Humanity”¦ they were but the means to this far greater end. They were the vessel: this was the destination.

 

Who are you?

 

For once the question was addressed to a single being, an inviolable soul unfettered by the weight of those heavy words in his ear. It was also a futile one, for there could only be one answer from a man so liberated:

 

Just watch”¦

 

Crackling echoes collapsed the consciousness with each step taken; it was a necessary apocalypse, a welcome unraveling. The resplendence of the grand hall spilt over the corners of his vision until he was once again subsumed. Before him were two figures, a contrast between foreign and family. Ebullient eyes peered from beneath the hood as the robe swallowed every stride the sorcerer took towards the pair. As he moved, the hood fell to his back like a shadow to the sun, and his locks of hair caught light for the first time in ages. The hair was a tarnished blonde, and his flesh was an almost lively hue.

 

 

Sasori said:
Travis said:
Why would you side with a group that is composed of some of the largest douche criminal scum from around the world?

To annoy you.

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As the climbed down out of the mech, Emily found she was a little sore, but otherwise felt fine. She listened to Furion's words as he led her inside, but didn't comment. He tells me that which I already have learned. Quietus said much the same; that it is individual's choices that matter, and that nothing should be done without reason. They seem to be cut out of the same mold. That opinion was reinforced when Furion told her he'd never lie to her. She snorted inwardly. More promises. I've learned that lesson before. Never trust anyone completely--much less someone who almost strangled me to death a few hours ago. He will lie to me if it suits his purposes. I know that much.

 

But she put the thought out of her mind. While part of her still wanted to be disgruntled at having been kidnapped and dragged here, she wasn't going to waste her opportunity to meet more Sith. After all, she had seen Quietus being betrayed by those Black Sunners, and there was no guaranteeing he would return from death anytime soon. She might as well be learning and making her way while he was gone.

 

The hall was grand, and there was smell on the air that reminded Emily of home. It was nearly smothered by the scent of industrial waste, but lingered there none the less. It was actually quite pleasant. As Antilles approached them, Emily studied him with her two-toned eyes.

 

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Lord Antilles," she said. "I'm Emily Skywalker, apprentice to Master Quietus."

 

After introductions, she fell silent, allowing Antilles and Furion to conduct their business, studying both of them in the Force. They were both very powerful, but each man felt different both from each other and from those she had met in the past. It was an interesting phenomenon. As she did, she got the nagging feeling that she had met Furion before. It had been coming to her on and off since she had regained consciousness ten minutes ago, and now as she studied him, she remembered. She had indeed seen him twice before. Once was right after she had been accepted for training by Quietus. It didn't surprise her that she hadn't remembered that meeting, for they hadn't spoken, though Emily clearly remembered being disturbed by Furion's wanton slaughter of an acolyte.

 

But second time she couldn't believe she hadn't remembered instantly. It had been when she was on Gala. Furion had come to the Jedi Temple and demanded the return of his daughter, who the Jedi were caring for. She remembered the little girl, and the affection that Furion had clearly demonstrated for her.

 

She pondered these memories as she studied the two of them, at the same time trying to block out the thoughts of Nishant and the happy times they had had together on Gala.

Emily%202015_zps34rpkjob.jpg

 

"Days in the sun...what I'd give to relive just one. Undo what's done, and bring back the light."

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It was remarkable, a miracle and blasphemy all in one. His brother's flesh glowed with a palpable hue of creation, every fiber and fluid alive with Ason's own dark power. His entire body had been revitalized, every pain and degeneration of the flesh felt over his past life washed away to exist only in memory. How? How could one manifest a new shell from will? Surely it was the perversion of alchemy, long now the sin of his education.

 

Yet the body remained foreign, not fully one with the mind and soul as they both struggled to catch up with the sudden and drastic change. Even Julio noticed a disconnection of thought, questions asked to a half that didn't yet know the answer. Something had happened to his brother Ason recently, something personally important and life changing, though the mentalist held himself from intruding into his brother's mind and finding the answers for his own curiosity. Whatever change he was going through, it was to Ason to speak of it.

 

When Emily introduced herself, Julio could only smile at the naivete and ignore it. She didn't see or understand these changes in their host, and certainly retained only thoughts of Julio in her head as she persisted in trying to understand his reasons for bringing her to this place. Still she held her old master in her heart. She didn't know.

 

You know why I am here.

 

It has been a long time, brother. You have grown much in these past years. You have brought yourself to a point to which you can no longer idly sit back and observe the Order like a plaything. The rot is too far along.

 

Julio paused to let the old thoughts come to Ason, still floating in an ocean of misdirection and confusion. He wasn't even certain his brother fully recognized Julio for who he was, let alone the decay he spoke of.

 

Beast now controls man, and the churning, growling voice of hunger is the only thing that reaches their ears. They don't want freedom, they want power for power's sake and have no idea what to do with it. Without direction they stand as a pointed gun indiscriminate against the entire galaxy. Worlds will burn and billions will die for no reason at all. I cannot let this stand.

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Though we are all birthed in repugnant light, we all grow in darkness. Our raw form takes shape untarnished by that oppressive construct, that blinding illumination. It is for this reason we are dragged kicking and screaming from the womb knowing that the world outside is less pure. Less. We resist with all our might, and those with the means spend their lives untwisting the world back to that perfect state of our infancy. Too often we forget what that feels like, and when the plans are forsook for the nearer design, the end is found wanting. This is was his gift... a reminder of the puzzle's end.

 

His eyes shifted to the apprentice of the new Dark Lord. Those assiduous orbs cast appraising glances to wherever there was activity. Studying. Either she was studying two exemplars of the ideals she was committed to, she was comparing two inferior specimens to the master of her affection, or she was a spectator searching for a path that intuitively coincided with what she felt was right. She reminded him of another young lady who was searching for what it meant to be a sith. She found her answer, just as this one would find hers.

 

After giving her a nod of recognition, he turned back to Julio.

 

 

Sasori said:
Travis said:
Why would you side with a group that is composed of some of the largest douche criminal scum from around the world?

To annoy you.

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He couldn't help but give a slow, steady glance toward Emily when Ason touched the problem on the nose. They weren't talking about reform. They were speaking of death to everyone else in the Order, all who would not curb their thirst and listen with full attention. Did she understand the full breadth of what they spoke? Looking down onto her pale face, childlike innocence still gleaming behind those unsettled eyes, Julio didn't think she would understand. Not now, not yet.

 

They have to see with their own eyes and know full well their grievous errors.

 

His gaze fell from her to the table, cold steel like the rest of the planet.

 

Some may be saved, but we cannot know until their time has come. All we can do is walk the path we set ourselves upon.

 

Looking up at his brother, Julio couldn't help but smile at the powerful future just past his grasp.

 

When you have collected your things we must be off. Too many things we must attend to. I trust you have transportation that is a little bit roomier that my own.

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She listened quietly to the conversation. Much of it was over her head; she would never understand those people who spoke in riddles all the time to make themselves sound mysterious or wise. But she didn't speak up. In truth, she was coming to the viewpoint that it was best not to argue and simply accept the situation. Would she rather be back with Quietus, learning more about the Force? Yes. But that didn't mean that this situation wasn't going to be a valuable part of her education. Besides, if Quietus wanted her back, he could come get her. She wasn't going to go crawling back.

 

There was only a moment of hesitation as she boarded Antilles' ship. A memory all too fresh of the last time she had been aboard another Sith's ship. It had ended with her death, and she wasn't keen to repeat that experience. But she sensed no open hostility from either Antilles or Furion. While she knew that could change, she got the sense that it might be alright. For now. As long as she was careful.

 

And perhaps it was the will of the Force that she was here. She quickly pushed that thought aside. It reeked of Jedi philosophy, and she didn't want either of these two Sith to be picking up on that. Nevertheless, it gave her a bit of hope, and the ability to accept the events going on around her.

Emily%202015_zps34rpkjob.jpg

 

"Days in the sun...what I'd give to relive just one. Undo what's done, and bring back the light."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ares' shuttle popped out of hyperspace above the constantly tumultuous planet of Mechis III, its entire surface constantly abuzz with droids performing all kinds of menial tasks, like clockwork. Though he didn't know why, Ares was already rather fond of the planet just by looking at it, and after landing successfully he felt even more at home. It took little time at all to find one of the command nodes scattered throughout the planet, able to input his order into the massive computer systems and put into motion his newest creation.

 

Several hours later, he was rewarded with his new droid, a specialized training droid with integrated advanced holographic and specialized shield technology to simulate appearance and realistic feel. The shields, however, weren't combat grade, and were really only there for aesthetic enhancement. It was also equipped with a highly intelligent and advanced AI, which would allow for him to use it as an intelligent overwatch that would be able to, with the right tools, hack into local camera systems and give him information on an area before he entered it. It was also equipped with personnel-grade repulsor and tractor systems in its body to simulate telekinetic Force abilities in order to test Ares's abilities better, as well as having an incredibly durable chassis. Though a direct hit would likely cause it to shut down, it was designed to be easily repaired, and could to an extent perform self-repairs, due to an integrated nanite 'circulatory system' designed specifically for that. It would not, however, be able to produce nanites that could repair anything outside of his original blueprint or for any other purpose.

 

After giving it a fitting name, Dolos, he boarded his craft again and departed, setting course back to where he had come from, remembering he needed another ingredient to his plan.

 

((Edit, because I'm a retard, added a few canon capabilities to the droid, as well as a nanite repair system that is non-canon but feasible))

 

Ares' ship dropped out of hyperspace after it pulled a 180, the Sith Master feeling quite the retard. Thankfully, there was no-one to witness the mistake, nor would there be a record of it. He landed quickly, pulling schematics off the Holonet for a universal energy cage, a prison capable of holding any Force user. He modified it slightly as to the size, and had it created from the massive factories on the planet. Several hours later after it was completed, Ares commandeered a sizable cargo frigate with room to carry the prison, and took a few blasters from the armory in the temple, ensuring they had a sufficient stun setting. He grabbed four pistols and two rifles then boarded his new craft, having his droids load the prison aboard and pilot it away from the system.

 

The time was nigh...time for revenge.

 

((Further edit...I meant universal energy cage. >.<))

Immediately reachable by  charlesjhall@gmail.com

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Abraxos Prima, a small moon near Mechis-III. Once a thriving industrial hub, now deserted and wracked by chemical storms. Even the desperate don't stay long.

 

Two and a half standard weeks ago...

 

The pilot of the ship swore, fighting the crosswinds as he tried to bring the ship in for a landing. The engines were in near-overheat from the chemicals in the air and the constant corrections the flight computer was having to make. Even with two talented pilots and a capable flight engineer, the lander was unable to make a smooth transition from flight mode to landing phase.

 

"Fierfek!!" the pilot growled as the control yoke bucked in his hand once more. "This is so fracked up - are you sure this is the right place?" He asked, without shifting his attention from the flight controls and the view-screens.

 

The man at the flight engineer's console, though much smaller than the two pilots, was almost equal in his self confidence. "You saw the evidence I had, and the evidence you had, and what ever else we could get together. You agreed with me? Or did you have a better idea and choose not to share?" Inside, he wondered at his own courage. His Ba'buir would have knocked him sideways if he could have heard him talking to these two like that. But Venn Dragos, a Protector from the Mandalorian Enclave on Drall, also allowed himself some pride at having been asked by these two to help them.

 

The huge man at the copilot station raised one massive hand. "Udesii, Vrosi, let's just all agree that this is not a pleasant situation. Remember, no matter our skin, we're all Vode here, even those two poor saps in the back end. Let us all just work together as comrades, knowing that the faster we sort this mess out, the sooner we can go yaim..." He trails off, trying to read his pilot's mood. That one had been horribly reserved and locked down inside himself since they saw that news broadcast.

 

Hwulf Nort sighed to himself, feeling guilty about how much he'd been needling the other Seeker in the last short while. He thought he might have gone too far with it.

 

It's not as if he didn't care, he just didn't slow down enough before jumping into action. It was a quality he admired about his "brother", even as it drove him completely nuts sometimes. He well knew how deep the other ones bonds went to that child - he could sense them all too well, even when he'd first seen them together.

 

The pilot cocked his head slightly towards the co-pilot, obviously reacting to his thoughts. "No, you're right - I could have handled it all better," his tone was hollow and drained.

 

Hwulf Nort had seen this man, the killer known as TeVerd, at his best and what he thought was his worst, but he worried now. This was not the vibrant, supremely confidant fighter he was used to. He sighed again, angry for having added to the man's pain when things already seemed so bleak.

 

The rest of the landing passed in silence, until the last ten feet or so. Then TeVerd groaned and slumped over the controls. Hwulf had to wrestle the lander down the rest of the way without the extra muscle aiding him. As soon as the ship had shuddered to a stop, Hwulf threw off his harness and jumped over to his comrade. "TeVerd? Vrossiche? Tey??" He shouted, trying to get through whatever had the Seeker in it's grip. "What is it, Little Brother?"

 

TeVerd groaned again, teeth gritted. "It's Dika..." he gasped. "I can feel her...she's hurting bad..."

 

Hwulf could feel the pain from TeVerd, and he could feel something approaching panic and loss in him. He hated himself for what he was going to do, but it had to be done. He lashed his brother through their kind's empathic link. "TeVerd...let it go for now. I need you here, Vrossiche - I need your help to get me back to the missus and the kids." He kept his hands on his comrades shoulders until he felt the man centering himself, then patted him lightly on the shoulder, letting him feel his concern.

 

As TeVerd sorted himself out, Hwulf looked around the ship at the other three soldiers now waiting for direction. "Okay, Vrosi, consider yourselves to have been in a combat situation since we entered the system. You all know roughly what has been going on, so you understand me. If those doing this are in the area, I expect them to be willing to fight, and willing to kill, to protect whatever they've been truly scheming! Finish rigging up, and let's find someone to beat some information out of!"

 

He turned back to TeVerd in time to see the man putting his distinctive buy'ce on his head, never having turned around in his seat.

 

"It feels wrong, Brother. Somone's here for sure." TeVerd muttered, eyes locked on the viewscreen.

 

Decisions were quickly made. The three beskar-armored fighters would proceed on foot, while the two Aurodium Sword agents, in their less-durable molded plastoid armor, would relaunch the ship and orbit as air support and reconnaissance. Hwulf and TeVerd had made it onto the ground, and Venn was just to the bottom of the ramp when he saw something coming at them, too fast to shout a warning. He barely had time to throw himself to the side when the thing went past him, punching into the engineering compartment of the lander.

 

A rainbow of harsh light washed across the three Mando'ade, following by a shock wave, as the fusion chambers on the shuttle ruptured, breaking the ship open and destroying everything inside. Esst Trakkil and Vassc Kreelent, of Aurodium Sword, never felt the event that ended their lives.

 

Venn Dragos, in his beskar laminate rig, was badly stunned by the force. He rolled over, trying to clear his head, and heard a grunt. He looked up in time to see the huge Seeker named Hwulf down on one knee, obviously hurt, and could just make out someone aiming some sort of recoilless rifle at the man. Venn surged to his feet, trying to sight in on the weapon crew, before something hit him in the side of the head. Lacking the muscle structure of the other two hunters, the bones in Venn's neck failed under the force, throwing him into eternal blackness.

 

Hwulf Nort couldn't remember the last time he'd been this hurt and angry. Two comrades down before they'd even gotten a hundred feet out of the ship. Something had hit him at the same time the assault on the ship had begun, and he was having trouble using his right leg now. As his mind sorted through centuries of knowledge and experience to identify the threat, something hammered him in the chest, driving the breath out of him and making him cry out in pain.

 

He felt Venn blink out in the part of him attached to his comrades, and had one quick moment of guilt that they hadn't been able to do more to protect the other two. For all their preparation they had still somehow managed to underestimate a determined enemy - one that seemed intent on wiping his species out and one that came prepared to fight heavily armored Mandalorians. As two more rounds smacked into his large form, Hwulf passed into the Manda thinking of two beautiful little girls that had their ba'buir's eyes.

 

TeVerd was in no better shape.

 

As the ambush had been sprung, he had found himself visor to optics with a huge sentry droid clawing it's way out from under the pavement. While he'd won the encounter, he was still reeling from the feedback in his link with the girl.

 

He'd vaguely felt Venn Dragos pass while he was fighting the droid, and had destroyed his rifle in the process of literally hammering the thing back into it's hole. Then he truly felt pain.

 

"Hwulf!" he shouted, running around the droid's bulk to see the larger man collapse. He stopped, stunned at the void he felt. Then something hit him in the head akin to a god striking metal with a forge hammer, lifting him up and flinging him into the shattered droid. His visor shattered into splinters, and he could feel blood leaking into his eyes from the puncture wounds to his interior eyelids that had dropped into place. Panicky, stunned, and deafened by the shrieking of the helmets damaged systems, he tore the thing off, trying to work at his eyes to get the splinters out and the blood clear - trying to get his pistol out and fight back. Something punched him in the chest, and he felt something drive into his ribcage, taking the fight out of him, sending him into shock.

 

Several long minutes later.

 

"Is he dead?" the one asks.

 

"No, but the chemical storms and the heat will finish him off. Lookit all that blood leaking out. He ain't got much longer. Grab any intact weapons, but leave the rest of this stuff alone. Find those spent rounds, too, and get the kriffing droid out of here. If anyone wanders this way, I want them to think this was simply a tragic accident - the kind that these Mando slag are renowned for getting into. Sculper, put that damned helmet down, you idiot. You think anyone will believe this was an accident if you take their armor off??"

 

The boots crunched away, as the soldier known as TeVerd clung to life, breath whispering through damaged lungs, a slight fracture in his skull ensuring his passivity as hands took his gunbelt off, not finding the knife tucked under his calf straps.

 

The sun was so bright here, and the air so foul.

 

He thought about the only home he might ever claim.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Out of curiosity, Ares checked the docking logs as his starfighter cruised in on the final landing sequence. As expected, he was the last one here. The base was rarely used by the Sith, they didn't deserve such potential under their control.

 

Hours passed as Ares worked the various forges and assembly lines from one of the more central control points, recreating something that was lost to him on Gala. As an afterthought while his creation was still constructing, he used his own status with access as a Sith Master to inject root access to the planet-wide controls, hidden in backup subsystems and only active whenever he linked his implant with the systems. He would be able to gain control over anyone resisting his, of course, with effort. He'd also need to be close enough to the planet to link with his implant to one of the main server hubs, but details, details.

 

As soon as he was satisfied, he made the preparations to leave, subsequently following through and leaving the planet behind.

Immediately reachable by  charlesjhall@gmail.com

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{Abraxos Prima}

 

TeVerd. TeVerd. TeVerd, get up! You have to get up. You have to keep fighting. You swore an oath, Son. You promised to protect her with your life.

 

"No. No, I'm done. Just let me die." TeVerd groaned, getting angry at the voice in his head. He couldn't properly think anymore, and now the voice of his delirium was yelling at him.

 

Ad'ika...You made a promise. This isn't about the path anymore. It hasn't been for awhile now, and you know it. Now, do what you swore to do.

 

TeVerd squeezed his eyes closed against the pain in his head. But it didn't really help. And it certainly didn't help the pain in his soul. The image in his head wouldn't go away. A small girl, clinging to his leg, terrified. He knew she was important, but he couldn't remember why. He couldn't even remember who he was, let alone who she was.

 

But he knew it was time to act. The voices in his head and the pain is his heart obviously weren't going to let him die quietly. With an effort that sent waves of dizziness and pain surging through him, he slowly climbed to his feet. It seemed to take forever. He stood still for several long moments, waiting for the dizziness to fade. His chest felt sticky, and hot, and it itched. Toxin, some part of his mind decided.

 

Pulling himself together as much as possible, he tried to remember which direction the ambushers had gone. He began to walk that way. He refused to look behind him, at the wrack left behind on the field. Whatever was left there, his Vrosi were no longer there. It was just bodies now.

________

 

Several hours later, after having had to stop several times, either to rest or outright passing out, he came to where he felt the spark of sentient beings. He stopped and hunched down, eyes scanning the gathering murk and chemical fogs boiling up out of the tainted ground. Before him was a bunker of some sort. He guessed, from the way they were dressed or equipped, that the two men in front of the bunker were pirates or poorly paid mercenaries of some sort. He wondered for a moment how he knew this, but he couldn't finish the thought. Flexing his hands against his legs, his fingers brushed the handle of a knife, and his body shook with the intensity of the wave of emotions that washed over him. Now, he thought.

 

________

 

The two men guarding the bunker, recent hires of the Second Free Company, thought they were seeing things as the gore-soaked figure staggered out of the chemical fog swirling around them, knife clutched in one hand.

 

There'd recently been action where the Company had been used to ambush a team of bounty hunters, using prototype weapons supplied by their employer. No one was supposed to have survived.

 

Their confusion cost them their lives, as the figure attacked, an unearthly, gurgling growl coming from it. The next fighter was a little more ready, but his light carbine couldn't seem to find a vulnerable area on the thing's body. The few hits he scored merely burned off the chemicals coating the the thing, leaving gray armor exposed.

 

It made it's way to a control station, accessing the bunker's computers without really knowing how it knew what to do. It set the bunkers defensive systems on automatic, locking the doors down and leaving the weapon stations on-line. After finishing that, it crawled into the bunker's tiny dispensary, laying across a battered surgery table. It braced itself, hands gripping the table legs as the creaky, outmoded medical droid wheeled over to it, surgical tools opening and extending.

 

Clucking to itself, the droid began opening the twitching alien's armor.

 

The remaining three free soldiers fled the area as the howling started.

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  • 1 month later...

For a long time, the Blur hung in space barely outside the extensive defensive system of the planet Mechis III. Aryian had thought long and hard about what he was about to do, and had resolved the only recourse was to simply do it. His ship was ready, and so was he. With a tense sigh, he put his hands on the throttle, pushing the ship forwards. It was time to reclaim what was once his.

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With an exhaustive mechanical sigh, the planet of Mechis III powered a majority of its systems down, leaving on only auxiliary power to continue the function of some critical hardware needed to keep the whole system intact. No Sith had wondered on the planet in some time, and indeed one might question if they ever planned to return to this cybernetic wonderland. But for now, the great maw of the planet closed its steely jaws and welcomed home once again the man who had first given that spark of ingenious vivacity.

 

((Everything is ready for you, Aryian, just powered down to reboot the systems and recognize you as the owner. I'll get with you shortly.))

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Everything...simply...shut down.

 

Aryian hadn't expected this. Perhaps it was because he had installed himself as the root administrator controller when he was still a Sith? The Grey Master puzzled over this a bit, but ultimately he knew this couldn't have been the case. He wasn't close enough for the system to interlink to his implant, which was the backdoor he'd built into the planetary computer, and until then he was considered a potential hostile to the Order.

 

Strange.

 

Aryian landed without an incident at one of the many control towers that littered the planet, providing a huge network that coordinated everything without reducing and limiting control to one location. With a simple command sequence, the computers all across the planet began to reboot, everything under his control. Aryian had no explanation for it, but then again he had no explanation for the results of his trial on Dac. He had theories, but in the end questioning good fortune usually would up squandering it. So with a shrug, he set to work, rewriting coding and programming sequences, until the programming for the entire planet had been altered significantly.

 

First and foremost, the planetary defenses would now only activate on someone who had discharged their weapons, and would prioritize nonlethal containment or deterrence over lethal shots, though it was programmed to quickly escalate if hostilities continued. This was in the event of a full-out war or invasion on the planet. The entire planet had many defensive systems set up by the Sith, and they would be used if need called for them. Secondly, Aryian rewrote in guest passes to the network, allowing visitors to come to the planet, and for a price, utilize the multitude of factories and resources it had to build and design custom technological devices from nanites to starships. The price would be higher than people found elsewhere, though they would find the resources and quality of Mechis products to exceed the standard merchandise most people found on the common market. The profits from those proceeds, minus resource replacement and maintenance cost, would go to various charities across the galaxy that were committed to rebuilding after various wars. Thirdly, The Sith Temple on the planet was scheduled to be retrofitted, completely redesigned structurally.

 

All this completed, Aryian sat in the command chair a moment, watching the coding work through its processes, and the machines below responding in kind. After a long while of simply sitting, the Grey Master knew he had to go elsewhere. Whispers of the Force played upon his ear, drawing his thoughts away from the planet. Although it was a start, it was only that. Aryian had a long ways to go before this place could once again be truly called his home. War had scarred this planet, like many more before it, but he was the doctor, and he had the cure.

 

Some time later, the Blur winked into hyperspace as it shuttled its master towards his next destined location among the starscape.

Immediately reachable by  charlesjhall@gmail.com

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  • 1 month later...

((Sorry for the double post))

 

 

The Blur exited hyperspace, cruising into a landing on Mechis. There was much to do, and the Grey Master was anxious to get started. Utilizing one of the central control towers found throughout the planet, he located a suitable place for his new facility, and implemented command lines to begin construction immediately. Though a small fraction of the planet's potential, huge resources were poured into the new project, the very transformation of the planet itself.

 

Apart from the large training facility, two other buildings were constructed at the magnetic poles of the planet, to act as embassies and project management points for any visitors to the planet, the northern one designated for the Jedi and their allies, the southern one for the Sith and theirs. From these buildings visitors would be able to use the planet's factories and construction capabilities to create and order what they wanted and needed, albeit at a cost. Though the prices would be higher than found elsewhere, the quality and resources the planet offered far outshone the cost. The facilities and capabilities the planet offered were unlike anywhere else in the galaxy, and if the planet did not have a specific building or piece of equipment, it would be a simple matter of building it, given the specifications. From science laboratories to technical research areas, Mechis would finally tap into its underlying potential.

 

As for the main dojo itself, Aryian chose the side of a cliff as its location, directly above a scrap reclamation facility, molten metals pouring down the cliffside. It would stand as a testament that every being in the galaxy was malleable and able to make more of themselves than they originally were.

 

 

Finally there would be a new dawn among the bickering Force Orders, an age of education and understanding. It wouldn't necessarily mean peace...and Aryian knew that full well. But what it would mean was the potential evolution of what it meant to be a Force user and practitioner.

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Was this any different from the dozens of other times he left her? She was older now, if that counted for anything, but really it felt the same. Empty, alone. The times with her father had always been amazing, but the long, drawn out periods in between had always left Rose longing. How was Mechis supposed to be any different than Gala, or Umbara, or Coruscant?

 

Now she was supposed to be waiting for an Aryian Darkfire, son in law to the lady Draygo she had studied under for a few years when she was a child. He, too, was supposed to train her but in what she didn't know. Whatever it was, she doubted it was what she had intended to learn. Back on Spite she had taken the first conscious step into following her father's footsteps, the path of a Sith painted with blood. It scarred her, more so than she could have imagined, but she took the life none the less. This was what she wanted, she had convinced herself, this was the fate she chose for herself. To be like him, to gain his approval and love. To become strong enough so that he wouldn't have to worry about her anymore, wouldn't have to leave her on some force forsaken planet to spare her from the destruction and death that followed in his wake.

 

This wasn't any different. The only change was now she was making decisions for herself. Opening up a console nearby on her landing pad, Rose typed out a broad wave message that should trip some alert or system command that this Darkfire would pick up on.

 

::This is Rose Furion, here to train at the behest of my Father, Julio. If there is an Aryian Darkfire present contact me when you are available.::

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Within a minute or so, a droid walked out to the landing pad Rose was on.

 

"Master Darkfire will see you presently. If you will follow, this unit will guide you to an automated skiff which will transport you to his location."

 

The skiff wasn't far away, though it wasn't much to look at. It had been some time before Mechis had visitors that required transportation in that manner, most of the droid denizens of the planet either did not need to travel or were already equipped for it.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Meanwhile, Aryian was overseeing the construction of the new dojo on-site, and it was proceeding rapidly. Though many of the larger rooms and equipment were not complete yet, there were still many rooms that were perfectly suitable to train in.

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With a silent nod Rose followed the droid to the skiff. Much was going on all around the planet, she could feel that without much concentration, but the mark her father had left on this place many years ago was still distinct. Buried in the great mechanical maze had once stood an Imperial facility, secreted away from even those with some of the greatest of clearance levels. Since he had formerly held some special rank within the Imperial military, her father had been called in to perform an interrogation on a Jedi prisoner. While it had lasted for weeks, Rose had stayed in the rooms just down the hallway to play with toys and the obliging personnel, as much as grown soldiers wanted to play with a Sith's daughter. Neither she nor Julio had ever talked about their time there, but even at the age of seven the girl knew what the screams entailed.

 

The skiff ride was short, but the entire time her focus stood transfixed on that wounded spot many miles away. It echoed toward her, called to her in a way that felt bone chillingly familiar. When the ride came to a close, it was like waking up from a trance, snapping back to the here and now as she remembered where she was and why. As she had been trained the young girl pushed the thoughts from her mind and stepped into what would likely be yet another home away from home for however long her father, the Dark Lord, deemed necessary.

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  • 9 months later...

Fleshy veils parted, giving way to those ebon infinties in which this solipsistic world dreamed. Before him was a foreign landscape, a fetid indolence halting the gears that churned within the planet. The evanescent wraith flew towards a control panel, recoiling at the panel's glare. Some hermit, some homeless wretch had sought refuge in the depths of his forsaken planet. He had claimed it for his own, erecting a monument to his indifference like a scar upon the landscape left forgotten after the years since its tumultuous carving.

 

"Why do I keep falling asleep for long period of time and then coming back like this?"

 

As soon as the words spilled out of his mouth, the memories came flooding back in. Not those stale images shared by the galaxy in this lesser, limited plane. No, his thoughts were filled with the wondrous images of candy cane forests and lollipop mountains. These were the subjects of his dreams. These were the refuge of the reaper.

 

"Well that makes sense. Night night again."

 

And there Ason Antilles began his next wave of hibernation to last for an unknown amount of time. May it be blessed with gumdrop buttons. Wampa Town For Life!

 

Sasori said:
Travis said:
Why would you side with a group that is composed of some of the largest douche criminal scum from around the world?

To annoy you.

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  • 2 years later...

The two of them sat in a comfortable and mission focused silence as TeVerd began to key in their approach to the harsh moon below them.

 

Mirdala watched him out of the corner of her eye and wondered what might be going through his head. She felt his slight nudge, reminding her to focus on the mission at hand and not worry about him. If they were going to be successful they had to trust in the other to get the job they’d come here to do done as quickly as possible. Distractions could be deadly.

 

They’d already begun their approach when a slightly larger vessel exited from another point in hyperspace and took up hiding within the shadow of one of the other Mechis moons that was near, but not immediately adjacent to Abraxos. Mirdala knew without looking that it was Rhys’s ship as she could feel him stronger within their hunt-bond along with the others.

 

“Brace for a rougher than usual entry and landing. Remember, this moon doesn’t like to play nice,” he remarked as he began to prep the ship for it’s landing.

 

He hadn’t been joking as the ship pitched and bucked as it transitioned from flight to landing mode leaving the two of them working in tandem to bring the ship safely to the ground a fair distance from their ultimate target.

 

Before disembarking, TeVerd triple-checked his seals as Mirdala did the same, following his lead. He slapped the door controls and the two of them strode out into the chemical-storm laden atmosphere and moved carefully along the rocky terrain towards the bunker.

 

TeVerd covered her while she sliced the door’s lock and the door slid open, admitting them into the bunker.

----------------------

“They’re in,” Rhys remarked to the others as he’d gotten the signal from TeVerd indicating they were making their way to their respective targets to begin the databank recovery. The decision to separate meant that their chances of getting the data and getting out were doubled if things went sideways.

 

All his team could do now was wait.

----------------------

Just outside passive scanning range of Rhys’s ship a beacon suddenly sprang to life on the other side of the planet’s surface having detected the radiation coming from TeVerd’s ship’s exhaust.

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Ke barjurir gar'ade, jagyc'ade kot'la a dalyc'ade kotla'shya. - "Train your sons to be strong but your daughters to be stronger."

“A Mandalorian woman's greatest talent is not her charm or beauty, but her strength of body and will.” - Mandalorian proverb

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ShadowFett glanced at the others waiting with him when Mirdala and Prentiss immediately split up when they reached the surface. What the shab are they thinking? he thought. That wasn't in the briefing.

 

Not one to act on emotion, he considered before raising his objection. They were splitting up to cover two different data access points, to try and maximize their chances of getting the data even if one of them was discovered or incapacitated. He found the plan... unsatisfactory when they had four additional verde waiting in space that could have been deployed to reinforce the teams on the ground. What was worse is that he apparently had deliberately not been told, which was a violation of operating procedure that put the entire mission at risk.

 

Fett activated the Augury tech that allowed him to communicate securely to Mirdala over short range so that he could monitor her progress, but didn't speak. He couldn't change the plan now and couldn't afford to distract her from the mission. He checked his weapon. For now he just had to trust that the two operatives could take care of themselves or gamble on the installation truly being abandoned.

 

But when this was over, they would have to have a chat about keeping squad members in the dark.

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Mirdala was well-connected with the others through their empathic bond as she made her way toward her target terminal and initiated the program. Luckily, since Tey had been the one to have trashed the systems, she’d had some insight as to how to write the program that would, hopefully, bring as much of that data back to life as possible.

 

As the program began to run, she noted that her implant’s short range had been pinged. Luckily the band was on the lower end of the spectrum so it was rarely, if ever, used by someone other than the handful of Augury members, only two of which were currently in the system. She sighed, cursing herself for not thinking to warn him of her and TeVerd’s plan to split up.

 

The last several months she’d gotten so used to working with the others in the empathic stream, that she hadn’t thought to voice her intentions to Fett. She considered saying something, but was concerned with having to explain that she wasn’t completely disconnected from the others, despite appearances. The other thing preventing her from setting his mind at ease, was the chances that anything other than passive signal strength across such a distance could set off any number of potential or sensors within the facility left behind to warn of intruders.

 

Both she and TeVerd continued to work in concert for the next hour as their respective programs ran through the system, sweeping up bits and pieces of the scattered data and working to reassemble them as best as it was able.

 

The waiting was the hardest part, but Mirdala kept her eye on the door and her connection to TeVerd and Rhys open, constantly on the ready. The scans that she and TeVerd had conducted prior to their parting ways to run the program indicated that there was no one left in the station.

------------------------

 

Rhys noticed the flair on his sensors as another ship entered the system about an hour and a half into the operation. He checked the passive scanners to learn it was a StarViper.

 

Don’t do it…don’t you dare… he thought to himself as the ship appeared to be ignoring his will and making directly for Abraxos instead of one of the other more habitable moons or platforms. Swearing under his breath he nudged both members of the ground team empathically telling them to be on their guard.

 

He turned around to face Kandor, “Tell your partner she's about to have company. You and Rahg get ready.”

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Ke barjurir gar'ade, jagyc'ade kot'la a dalyc'ade kotla'shya. - "Train your sons to be strong but your daughters to be stronger."

“A Mandalorian woman's greatest talent is not her charm or beauty, but her strength of body and will.” - Mandalorian proverb

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As the minutes wore on, ShadowFett remained largely motionless, paying close attention to the passive scanners and the data he was receiving on the positions of the ground team. They had long since reached the data terminals and Mirdala's program was making slow but steady progress mining through petabytes of fractured, encrypted data stored on damaged hardware trying to find something usable. Throughout they maintained comm silence and there was no sign of hostile contact -- the outpost was legitimately deserted.

 

But then, about ninety standard minutes in, at least one vessel arrived. It was small, fast, expensive MandalMotors design. Fett frowned at it made full speed toward Abraxos. Whoever it is must have backup...?

 

He nodded at Rhys, then spoke over the private link to Mirdala. "At least one contact incoming," he said, his words not audibly escaping his buy'ce but passing through tight-beam low-band comm waves directly to her implant. "Stay sharp, we'll be there soon."

 

The Mando'ad checked his weapons again and saw Rahg doing the same. Might get to see what he's made of after all.

 

-----------------------

 

Judyc Viba sat behind the controls of the starfighter and double checked the readout to confirm that there was definitely a ping coming from the Abraxos installation's scanners. "Shabla scavs," he muttered, glancing at the rifle he kept within an arms' reach to make sure it had a full charge.

 

Of course, there was always the off chance that this was not, in fact, scavengers, but exactly the sort of people they'd been hoping to lure in by leaving this place untouched for so long. Best be on guard, just in case. And bring enough firepower to deal with it.

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