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The sun felt warm against his bronze skin and ivory hair as Shiro was dragged out of the tent by the poles collar, the shackled chains ringing around him as he stared out into the masses of aliens that surrounded and stared at him attentively upon the arena like stage, his anger fueled by the mere thought that was no more than a oddity, the same look he saw from the others on Odik II.

 

"We'll start the bid at twenty five thousand credits." Shiro heard the man state as his crimson eyes darted toward him and he momentarily felt the familiar tingle of electricity shooting through his form. "Twenty five thousand to our Trandoshan friend in the back. Do I hear thirty thousand?"

 

It would go on like this for several minutes, most of it a blur for Shiro as he struggled against his confines only to constantly feel the pain of electrocution vibrating through his form. Odik II and the way he was treated there was one thing, but now he had become a captive, and being sold as if he was property. And this made his blood boil with intensity that he had never felt before. If only he could free himself. If only he could reach out and grasp those binding him, he ache to crush their throats and bury their egos in the hatred that was beginning to form within his heart. If only.

 

"Five hundred thousand credits!" Shiro heard abruptly, his gaze shooting to see a onyx skinned fellow dressed in fine silk standing off to the side, a group of crimson skinned confidants standing around him as the beings voice caught everyone off guard, Shiro included. "F-F-Five hundred thousand you say, friend?" Shiro heard the bidding manager stutter out in disbelief. "I'll have to see it to believe it."

 

The onyx skinned being and his comrades began their stroll through the crowd, the crimson skinned beings that surrounded him pushing onlookers aside with authority that even Shiro could not question, his mind not only dumbfounded, but taken completely aback by, a hint of fear rushing in. When the man stood before the stage, he reached up and stroked his beard like tentacles, and said only a few words that even sent the manager reeling fear, making Shiro wonder why he even ran during his arrest. "House Zibeti claims him in the name of the Dark King. Don't worry human, the credits are good." 

 

As he tossed a credstick upward into the hands of the human manager, his men climbed up and began to drag Shiro away, the young boy screaming a echoing proclamation derived from pure wrath just seconds before stun prods were brought out and his world ended in darkness once again. "I will never be anyone's property, his nor your's."

 

As he slipped away into unconsciousness, he heard the being reply. "Good. I will hold you to this."

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Zalis spent the next few days making a few press conferences, comm calls out to other investors and contacts who have suddenly become very aware of the new development within Black Sun and the clear as day change of how they were going to operate. After she finished up her business with everything that she could do on Onderon, she and Remo departed back to Old Mantell to re-establish the pecking order for things to come. 

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  • 4 months later...

Onderon, the new jewel of the Sith Empire. Or at least the newly reacquired and subsequently heavily polished jewel of the Sith Empire. Its history with the Dark Side ran deep, as the many Sith ruins on the world proved. Now a new Dark Lord has built a shiny new Dark Tower that surely wasn’t going to eventually join all of the other rotting edifices to ego that dotted the landscape in moldering dereliction. It was arrogant and wasteful hubris to try and explain true greatness to one’s inferiors, their definitive limited mental capacity was part of why they were inferior. The only worthy judge of an apex predator was the predator, the only hallmark of worthiness success.

 

Gwyndion could manipulate the fundamental fabric of the universe like it was a beggar desperate for drug money. No statue or monument could ever rival experiencing that level of existence. Why care about how slaves would remember you?

 

Gwyndion’s eldritch works had advanced to a point where he required a knowledgeable assistant, someone with enough understanding of the basic theories and formulas to perform related tasks at a level resembling competence. That was why he had come to Onderon, in hopes of finding a tolerable underling that could assist in a greater capacity than his thralls. They certainly had their uses, but usually it only took one heated outburst from their master to reduce their chemically bound minds to a state of lamentation bordering on suicide. Thrall turnover was a consistently high statistic.

 

Soon, however, the Sith would deliver an answer. Or a meal, if the candidate was found lacking. And there were so many ways to fail...

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"Wait outside."


Nok stood before the entrance of a tower, imposing and shaped to menace the land rather than blend with it. His battle droid bodyguards halted at his command, oblivious to what Nok could sense.

 

This place was newly built, but it radiated with the Dark Side. As he stared blindly into the structure, the uneasy feeling that he was trespassing crept over him.

 

I don't belong here.

 

He grimaced and squashed the thought. He'd been in the presence of true Sith before, and while this feeling was subtler and more insidious than the ferocity of his previous master, Nok knew better than to trust his instincts in a place like this. To back down, to show weakness, to give up, that would be the end of him as a Sith student...and possibly as a living being.

 

Still, better to leave the droids outside. They were his weapons, but here was a place Nok would need no weapons, at least none so obvious as the droids, and the clanking bots could be irritating at the best of times. No sense antagonizing a Sith.

 

He strode into the tower with a confidence he convinced himself was real. He allowed his fear to blossom inside him, and given where he was it didn't take any encouragement. He was afraid, but his intellect saw past the base emotion, letting it become the tool that allowed him to see. The Force echoed with the surging and waning of his dread, and as it did his attuned mind "saw" the tower interior around him. He barely noticed the details, watching for the Sith he knew was here.

 

Nok had reached the end of what he could accomplish on his own, without a master. He had spent years and a small fortune collecting Jedi and Sith trinkets with a new perspective, studying old texts and uncovering the philosophizing of ancient masters. He trained himself as best he could to master his new sight, to control the fear that was the birthright of his species and his greatest source of power. But now he'd stagnated, blindly groping for secrets and abilities he knew rightfully belonged to him but maddeningly eluded him. And so, he'd returned to Onderon, and found himself here, in the lair of a Sith known to be looking for an apprentice.

 

"I'm here," he called out into the empty space of the large tower chamber he found himself in. He held his arms out and turned slowly, posture straddling confidence and arrogance. "Do I meet your expectations?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

"..Neimodian." The word strangled from a rasping voice, throaty and outlandishly darker than the milieu of the tower. Attention drew to the figure in black, bandaged completely in a robe of shadow, hauntingly poised a few feet behind the one drawn as Nok Morliss. This creature had been tasked to him since the Kuati invasion, digesting behaviors and patterns in the force unfamiliar to those that could not read them. There were no features to scrutinize, nothing to escape the overlapping shadows that clamored about the creature unnaturally. Whatever this thing was, manifested cold insidious energy as if a mirror to the likeness of this place, snarling primordially before the promise of an apprentice.  

 

"You mustn't wake what stirsss abovee," the voice slithered across skin, hollow enough to raise hairs. "Not.. just.. yet." The shadow inched closer, as if it floated on the thinnest of air. "You come bearing nothing but flesssh and bone, and that iss what it will rip from you. An offering, young Morlisss, do not sstir the Lord of this place without one." Timely, the sound of scratching and low rumblings, echoed across the barren darkness. "You will find an offering in the waterss of Mon Calamari. Find thisss, and either Spider will be pleaaasssed."

 

 

The shadow vanished.

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"Na-hah ur su ka-haat.

Su ka haru aat"

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Nok whirled. The voice, where was it coming from?! His fear ratcheted up, but he couldn’t see it, couldn’t sense it. Where...what was it?

 

There. Something. A distortion, a warping, a fracture, a thread, a tangle. Something.

 

The list. Telekinesis. Extrasensory perception. Healing. Energy projection. Suggestion. Consciousness manipulation.

 

In his research of the Jedi and Sith, Nok had found the reports of several scientists who looked to categorize all that a Force sensitive could do. They’d analyzed reported feats, verified and checked against footage and data from the Clone Wars, and compiled a list. Nok had read each of them, and had been confident he’d understood all the Force was capable of, all it could offer him. But this…

 

Sorcery.

 

There had been mention of Sith sorcerers. Millennia old legends, fanciful tales of dark figures wielding unholy power. It had all been so clearly propaganda and hyperbole. Now Nok wasn’t so sure of himself.

 

This is real. Not illusion, not a trick. Something more.

 

Nok listened to the creature, the words carrying a weight beyond crude sound.

 

Mon Calamari?

 

Then it was gone. It hadn’t left, it was just not there anymore.

 

Nok’s brisk pace as he walked out of the tower was one part fear and one part excitement. Moving objects with his mind and swinging a sword around. Controlling the weak minded and electrocuting the strong. The goals he’d planned now seemed so...small. Pathetic. Like a child given a planet-sized supercomputer and using it to play Dejarik. There was so much more. If anything of what he’d read regarding the ancient Sith sorcerers was true, then the limits of what he could accomplish through the Force were vaster than he had ever imagined. There might not even be limits.

 

As he boarded The Bleeding Edge, he felt as if he stood on the edge of a bridge, a bridge thousands of Jedi and Sith had crossed to reach power. Below, the dark void rushed past, and it promised to swallow any and all alike who swam its depths.

 

Nok would jump. And he would make it his.

Edited by Nok Morliss
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  • 4 weeks later...

The Stellar Princess was an enormous ship, almost as long as an Executor-class Star Dreadnought. Unlike the infamous warship, which was optimized to bring a devastating fusillade of turbolaser fire to a single unfortunate target, the starliner was designed to carry passengers rather than firepower; she had bulk. She had a massive undercarriage that was loaded to the gills with sapient beings… most of which was steerage space. Such was the state of interstellar travel after the fall of Coruscant--many of the grand old ladies of the Galactic Republic had been hastily retrofitted for maximum capacity to service the endless tide of refugees from the devastated capital of the galaxy.

 

And Zutia, more than a little light on liquid capital after losing most of her possessions on Korriban, was stuck in the lowest decks of the cheapest berths. Judging from the dimensions of the cabin that the huntress had been crammed into, it must have been a retrofitted ballroom--but it was now filled with bunk beds stacked five units high. The collective activity of thousands of sapients--humans, near-humans, humanoids, other mammals, reptiles and amphibians and species whose taxonomic class Lavell hesitated to guess at--generated an unforgettable miasma that was likely to result in an outbreak of plague in a few days.

 

And the crew…

 

“Howdy, passengers! We’ll poppin’ out of hyperspace in justabout 10 minutes, so ya’ll just strap yerselves in, ya hear?”

 

“Sweet stars.” Zutia Lavell mumbled to herself, still clutching an armored suitcase to her breast.. The entire crew of the Stellar Princess had affected a ridiculous attempt at a folksy accent throughout the voyage from Korriban. Confined to a cot that was barely longer than her legs, Zutia could only stretch her restraints over the suitcase and await instructions to finally depart this menagerie of a starship. Sure enough, in nine minutes the entire bulk of the ship shifted under her feet as it reverted from hyperspace. She endured the corny announcements that were delivered in a “please-kill-me-I’m-already-dead-inside” accent, instead feeling the vibrations that trembled through the chassis of a ship even as large as this starliner.

 

Then, finally, land. Solid dirt and duracrete under her boots.


 

____


 

Several hours later, the freighters containing those bound for Onderon finally touched dirt. Zutia gladly allowed herself to be carried along the tide of sapients into the open air of Onderon and the pleasant warmth of a humid day. Whereas most of the passengers thronged towards pilgrimage sites to leave behind insignificant trinkets, or bars to forget their troubles, or the offices of whatever bureaucracies existed within the Sith Empire to shovel the masses into insignificant employment, Zutia veered into the residential districts and walked until her feet ached from pounding the duracrete and the sun set.

 

And then she took refuge in a little tea shop.

 

The tiny store, barely more than a hole in the wall, actually wasn’t too bad. The decor was a little bright and kitschy for Zutia’s tastes, but the proprietors had the good manners to not interrogate her on the contents of her arm-long suitcase or to inquire about what large game that the hunter was seeking. Despite her Agamarian accent, there could be no doubt of her profession, considering the worn leather of her clothing, the dimensions of her cache, and the razor-sharp tuk’ata teeth that there she wore on a homemade necklace. They had the good manners to leave the hunter to collapse into a poofy chair and savor the pleasantly earthy aroma of a hot beverage.

 

She remained there for a few minutes, politely smiling when the native Onderonians checked in on their late-night customer. As adequate as the tea might have been, enjoying an overpriced cuppa was not her objective.

 

For a short time, she had trained under the Sith Lord Hephaestus. Zutia may as well have been a mere child at the time. The creature--the Agamarian wasn’t quite certain that the Sith recluse was human--had placed weapons into her hands, tools that she suspected Hephaestus knew that she wasn’t quite ready to wield. Perhaps she was ready now. Only time could tell.

 

Lowering her face as though sampling the herbal aroma of her cuppa, Zutia’s breath slowed and deepened. The polite smile on her lips faded and turned into a placid frown of concentration. She gathered the Force about her, tentatively, and a chilly presence began to emanate within the Force. It was but a mote of darkness, but it could not be mistaken that an acolyte with higher ambitions than mere supplication had come to Onderon.

 

I am here. I will find you. Or you will find me.

 

“Pardon me, ma’am? Can I get you anything before we close?”

 

Zutia rose with a start. She had been slouching and must have appeared to have fallen asleep. “Hmm? Oh, yes,” she handed the young woman a credit chit. “One of those shuura scones, please.”

 

But it had been months since the hunter had last enjoyed the fruits of civilization, and here was no harm in taking a moment to enjoy a proper cuppa and a fresh-baked pastry.

So build that wall and build it strong,

'cause we'll be there before too long...

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  • 1 month later...

OWL

 

The Chidinkalu Horn sang a beautiful melody, serenading the retreating masses of the marvelous tea house. The bone-white musical instrument was made from the hollowed-out reeds of a chidinka, masterfully gripping breath into mesmeric sounds and affliction. The low tones it produced was enough to hypnotize audiences far and wide into a deep gaze, as if they could watch the notes peel from the flute itself, taking shape before them all with the naked eye. The creature dressed in strange decor, covered daringly in the cut-and-trim of a beastmaster’s kit. His helmet bore a half-skull with four long horns that twisted outward, while the rest of him was dressed in a medium-leather that oozed with bestial fur at every crevice. Darkness on the Land was the album he played, by mostly Scarlet symphonies as decreed by the Imperial Board of Culture. Still, the ominous cut of the bone-mask was all one could find in his expression as he laid against the lamp-post. Unassuming, and enchanting as the melodies grew louder and louder, while the sun drifted beneath the clouds. 

 

“City of Glass"

"Darkness on the Land"

"Emotional Hostages"

"Jewels"

"Lonely Heart Spaceport"

"Night is a Curtain"

"Slow Dancing Star"

 

 

 

(Zutia Lavell)

"Na-hah ur su ka-haat.

Su ka haru aat"

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  • 5 months later...

(( Final Round. OVERTIME: Kakuto Ryu VS Obsidian Knight ))

"SUFFERING."

Ryu’s arm was blown to pieces by the maelstrom, throwing him back and sweeping him away, only to find himself wedged in an upturned deck plate and buried under even more wreckage while the final moments of the duel played out. He watched as Armiena cut down Exodus, In the last remaining rational vestiges of his mind, he saw her containing her glee in the moments leading up to the death blow, and in those seconds he felt anguished, his paranoid mind interpreting as a sign that he had indeed been betrayed--a sense that struck home when lightning pierced Exodus’s body, and the opportunity to reconnect with what was potentially the last remaining person that he had a bond with. The force storm ended with a jolt as the ship swirling object fell, and he lost sight of Armiena.

He lost consciousness for a few seconds, his body riddled with gashes, his bones cracking and organs hemorrhaging from the many impacts he’d endured. He would only have a few minutes of consciousness left. He faintly heard Armiena calling his name, followed by the sound of many bootsteps. Her sudden desire to learn Ryu’s location was answered with a clanking at her feet. It was the lightsaber she had loaned him. The strap that had held it to his wrist was torn. Under the rubble she could hear motion as he worked to free himself. His arm only barely peeked through.

Though dissipated, he could still feel the swirling of Exodus’ maelstrom, the motion of his storm echoing thunderously in the force. He could feel it turning around him, and empowered by the profound grief he pulled it inward, letting his spirit become a hurricane of rage. Ryu’s arm disappeared below the wreckage, then burst through again to knock over a large wall panel that had been resting on his skull. His robes were torn to shreds, and the ghostly white figure was now painted entirely in streaks of his own blood. His right eye was filling with blood, a broken artery in his eye washing the sclera in red, meanwhile they gaping socket in his left still shone with a dim spark. He looked at Armiena with a new grotesquely twisted expression, crying blood and showing unbridled sorrow and agony on the right while steeming with psychotic rage and flickering sparks from his socket on the left.

Empowered by his desire to avenge Exodus and the echo of his murderous intent, He extended his fingers and the Legendary Transcendance floated to his grasp, Exodus’s own blade acting upon the Dark Lord’s final will by both drawing the very life force from Ryu and, at the same time acting as a focus for the echo of the Maelstrom that would empower him.

“I… Remember Gala now… This man, he stood beside me, against you, and those who stood with you. Echos of that day live in this blade, and affirm that they were not just my own fevered hallucinations. He was my brother… and you used me to kill him. You’ve deceived me to kill my Brother… Was this your plan all along? My final punishment, to have me help you hunt down the last of my family, Oblivion having already been dispatched at your hand. Oblivion never returned, did you know that? Would you do that to me again? Deny me the last of those who I loved as brothers, before killing me or consigning me back to the dark pit you pulled me from?”

Ryu was shaking with rage, bits of the ship beginning to drift upward as his will to be free began to manifest subconsciously in the force amid his surging power. No longer able to contain it, he thrust his left shoulder into the air and let out a primal scream, which vibrated in the force and made the very ship around them vibrate with his intensity. Coalescing the residual energy of the maelstrom, he pulled down a massive bolt of force lightning, concentrated and focused, yet brief, hammering down from the ceiling directly onto Kakuto Ryu and splitting at his flesh. The shape of a huge monstrous claw was faintly visible in the flash of the lightning, his crude wreckage arm reforming once again.

Spliting from Ryu, it surged throughout the ship setting electrical systems ablaze and short-circuiting panels while arcing between the Sith Soldiers and stunning them long enough for him to make his final stand. The lightning must have had far reaching consequences to the ship, as now the artificial gravity abruptly failed, and objects were beginning to drift around the room, dimly visible among smoke, fire, and arcing panels.

"GET OUT!"

Ryu’s shout was at once a demand and a plea as well, his fractured mind simultaneously begging her to just leave and becoming bent on driving her out of the ship--through the walls and into space. She would escape or he would see her dead, if she didn’t kill him first. He still had doubts in his mind, but those doubts were so quiet now behind the drumming, and worse, the psychotic screams of rage that filled both his mind and his lungs.

"GET OUT!"

With Both Hands he began to pry the floor panel that had been pinning him up, sparks dancing through the debris that held the shape of his arm by the power of his will. A massive sheet of steel broke loose with a crash, nearly the whole width of the room and at least as long.
 

"GET OUT!"


Weighless but inert, Ryu kicked off against exposed ship innards below and began pushing the massive slab, slowly at first, then faster, then at a sprint, until he could barely keep up with it. Smaller debris followed closely behind, caught in a current of the force that was amplifying impact of his effort. Each time he imparted his force onto the wreckage he drifted randomly, alternating between the ceiling, walls and floor as he bounced off his target and then heaved himself forward again. The big object was not difficult to move in Zero G, but had a lot of inertia, and required a great deal of force to gain momentum, becoming harder and harder to stop with each push.


Ryu threw his force arm into the floor far ahead of him and used it to pull himself forward rapidly as he kicked off  to try to catch up with the wreckage one final time. His lightning hand and stretched out and snatched a force hammer, having been knocked loose from one of the soldiers that he had shocked with his initial volley and drawn into an ever increasing cloud of debris propelled forward at Armiena. Twin Crimson blades erupted from Transcendence, his body spinning as he twisted the blade through the wreckage and cut it into smaller, but still formidably large pieces.
 

GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!

 


Ryu shouted, spinning around wildly and swinging the hammer at different pieces deck plate and other debris, shouting his furious demands every time he launched one forward. The pieces of wreckage flew at such velocity that they threatened to tear open the side of the ship upon impact. Close behind the volley, a final swing of his hammer aimed at Armiena herself, with the lightsaber ready to follow up.

((One And done. Thanks for playing with me. No hard feelings no matter what happens.))

Edited by Kakuto Ryu
Continuity fix (had inaccurate COD for Exodus)

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So, there was the cause for the nagging warning from The Force, despite the incapacitation of the masked Sith. Naturally. there was the predictable honor-guard of black-clad minions that rushed in to collect his ruined body--mooks that Draygo probably would have had to hack her way through had she chosen a more conventional means of boarding Goliath. Their life-expectancy under these conditions was measured in seconds; their weapons and armor would be cardboard if The Force still desired her survival. The true concern of the veteran Jedi was Kakuto Ryu--his flesh-made-metal body reeked of malice just as vividly as the hallway reeked of ozone, and more than his body was quivering with the strength of his rage.

 

The confusion was instantly banished from Draygo’s face as the fallen Sith’s lightsaber rushed into his hand, and she stared almost unblinkingly at him, her expression not unlike the glare of an overgrown bird-of-prey. She merely turned to face him, widened her stance into a fighter’s crouch and allowed her turquoise blade to quietly boil a hole in Goliath’s deckplates. Armiena remembered Gala well enough. She certainly remembered the mockery of the Sith just before she killed him--adolescent taunts about sexual proclivities while he was attempting to penetrate her torso with a Sith-spawned blade--and she remembered very vividly the sensation of waking up several days later, with a garish scar over her breastbone and with a brand-new heart that had been freshly-cloned from the Praxeum’s surgical bays. That nearly-fatal wound had been courtesy of Kakuto Ryu.

 

She snorted. That idealistic, angry young woman would have found the cynical, veteran Jedi unrecognizable. The older, steadier woman despised that stupid, self-destructive girl and the many costly mistakes that she had made. 

 

“That was war, Ryu!” She began shouting over his rant as his paranoia degenerated into hysterics. “He would have killed me--just like you were killing my friends. I chose to stop fighting that war--I chose to show you mercy when nobody would have batted an eye at me murdering you--you chose to come with me into this pit, when I gave you every opportunity to sit this one out in a bombardment bunker--and I don’t even know that man’s----schutta!” At that moment, lightning arced over the walls and bathed the hallway in a shower of white-hot sparks. The riven and uneven deckplates decided that clinging onto the bottom of the Jedi’s armored boots wasn’t much of a priority and her body floated a few millimeters into the air.

 

Something shifted in her broken left arm and a fresh strain of agony reminded her of the injury. Not quite trusting herself to move without gravity, Draygo glanced about for weapons, any tools that she could use to fend off the former Dark Lord of the Sith. The black-clad minions had brought a small arsenal with them, mostly rifles of a design that the veteran Jedi couldn’t recognize, but she doubted their ability to stop the berserking man-machine. That was fine. The lightsaber would suffice for self-defense, but Draygo had one last weapon left. It was a dangerous weapon to use, potentially even more injurious to those who wielded it as it was to those that found it used against them. That said, if properly used, it could cut more deeply than a lightsaber, landed with a greater impact than a turbolaser blast, and was more volatile than a canister of unrefined coaxium. A Death Star or Sun Crusher would have blanched at the destructive power of that weapon; careful application could bring down an empire.

 

Somewhere, she hoped that Darex Trevelian was smiling, because using it required her to get very close to Ryu and would probably get her killed in the process. Remaining perfectly still so as not to cause her body to drift away from the deckplates, Armiena waited for Kakuto Ryu’s assault and was not disappointed. The former Dark Lord was physically tearing debris from the walls, and throwing himself against the plating to impart rotational momentum to the slab of durasteel--then finally slicing it to ribbons with a wild series of zero gravity-assisted slashes from his crimson lightsaber--and then smashed them towards her with strokes of his stolen warhammer.

 

The pieces of debris, jagged chunks of durasteel plating and kilometers of superconductive fiber, may have been massive, but their size mattered little to The Force. Armiena simply glanced at each chunk of debris as it approached and telekinetically redirected their path towards the sides of the chamber. They gouged ravines into both the innards of Goliath as well as the men that they collided with, and soon filled the air with chunks of shattered steel and plastoid--and the whimpers of the men that they had struck. However, Armiena held onto the last piece of rubble, suspending it merely a meter before her face. She launched it straight back at Kakuto Ryu’s right arm to interrupt the swing of the force hammer, and a spring off of her feet launched her directly at her old enemy. As the two met, there was a desperate tangle of Armiena’s turquoise blade against his crimson, the two hilts swirling about each other in an attempt to turn the other’s blade. With only a few millimeters left before the former Dark Lord’s weapon tore into her flesh, she gained the upper hand and forced it away from her heart.

 

Just before the two collided and Armiena would have run him through, she extinguished her blade and the only weapon that met Ryu’s flesh was the steel of the dowsed hilt. The collision of limbs and blades painfully wrenched her left arm and darkness teased at the edges of her vision, but she wrapped her legs around Ryu’s, keeping the hilt of her lightsaber pressed just under the former Dark Lord’s heart. In microgravity, there was no opportunity to maneuver--the two Force-Sensitives would bob aimlessly in the bowels of the ravaged ship, with nothing to push off against save the chunks of debris that were floating by their faces--and each other. Neither of them were likely to be a willing platform to kick off from. Armiena had surrendered her defense and any ability to maneuver to deploy a final weapon: sincerity.

 

“You want to kill me? Well, here I am. It’s the best shot you’ll ever get from me. But you know as well as I do that killing me won’t change a damn thing.” Unblinking, heart racing, Armiena just stared into Ryu’s eyes and spat out her words before the sheer lunacy of what she had just done registered and she was killed for it. “It won’t bring back your dead friend, it won’t make you feel any better, and you’ll go on to kill a bunch of poor sods in the future just because it’s what you’re supposed to do. And you will never get it out of your head that the queen bitch of the Jedi Order gave you a choice to do something different and you rejected it. So go ahead and fracking kill me or choose to do something else.”

 

And with that said, Armiena waited to die--or for something else to happen.

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First off, let me just appreciate the work both of you did in retelling a homage to the ‘Trinity’ and the battle of Gala. Having reread that fight after a first passthrough and then rereading this fight again I must say it is a fitting addition, both sides having shown tremendous growth in both character and writing ability. 

 

My only complaint was that actions can sometimes get lost in the midst of dialogue and perhaps highlighting them could have been more helpful to the mod teams. However it does ruin the aesthetic of the posts so I understand why it would not be included. 

 

Now on to a ruling. 

 

While both characters used quite a few actions in their posts it is to be expected as both are master level PCs. Ryu’s attacks were succinct and feasible in the environment of the last duels aftermath. His three main attacks (Debris launched via warhammer, the warhammer hammer itself, and the lightsaber) were dismissed entirely by Draygo. While it is normally a good idea to not take massive damage in a single post duel, completely ignoring your opponent’s attacks is not the direction you should take.

 

Draygo’s two attacks (A grapple followed by placing a lightsaber hilt against Ryu’s chest) while a feasible attack it should be noted that this is a closed attack. (posting successfully completing a grapple is posting the effects of an open ended attack which is disallowed in the RP.) While obviously not intended abusively, it does tip the duel in Ryu’s favour. 

 

As such Kakuto Ryu is the winner and may have the next post.

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Commander - Darkhand Brigade - Sith Empire

Blood Prince

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"SUFFERING."

 Pt 2

Armiena struck a cord with Ryu, drawing the Ryu that had dreaded who he truly was back closer to the surface. The man was sure that this suffering was his own doing, his punishment. And in that moment he knew who and what he truly was.

A monster. One who drank deep of the power of this manic rage, one whose only friends were the homicidal maniacs who valued the supreme strength if offered without question, Those who were prepared to live with the immense suffering that it would bring to everyone around, as long as they should live.

The friend he would kill her for was another monster. A creature of hatred without mercy or love in their heart. That is what the old Ryu, the specter from his nightmares, was. That is the only kind of person who could call him friend. Those who learned to love the suffering, for it was the only constant in their world. Seeing this, he wanted to stop. To help her escape. Maybe even go with her. He wanted to save her life and get her back to her Padawan, Genesis, and try to make up for all the pain he had caused.


But he couldn't stop. It was too late to go back now. That part of him didn't have control anymore. He had given in fully to the Dark side, to the memories of who he once was: the specter who walked the land like a hurricane, bringing sorrow and ruin upon all he came in contact with without thought or remorse. Not because that's what he wanted. But because that's what he was. The Dark Side was a powerful addiction and he had drank too deeply of it to stop now.

So as Armiena pressed her hilt to his chest, having had the path to a killing blow but not taking it, Ryu felt a renewed sent of anguish. If she had killed him, she might have been spared him the profound torment he was to endure, both in this moment and for the rest of his days; having to watch as his fury exceed his ability to be to maintain control, having to live with the fact that he will have betrayed all who might have called him friend, and that he could never know true companionship for none would ever be safe in his presence. Because it was already too late. The red blade of transcendence emerged from the back of her chest.

Ryu's anguish manifest as a horrible psychic scream, a mournful cry of anger and agony that went on continuously. The walls and floors vibrated, slowly at first, then faster and violently, until the whole side of the ship shook apart, sending her into space along with large mass of twisted steel. He stood on the precipice, his location fixed by the force and his mouth agape. He cried out in agony even as the area depressurized and he was forced to the silence of space. Left standing in empty space, he watching her body drift away.

He walked slowly back toward the nearest pressurized door, tears and blood evaporating into clouds of gas and being sucked out into the ether as he moved. As he opened the door he found the red knights staked out to greet him. They were immediately sucked into space by more than just the room depressurization, as Ryu willed them to simply be out of his way. When the door closed behind him, and at last he was truly alone, he collapsed from his many wounds, and fell unconscious, drifting in the corridor.

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The alarm klaxons echoed throughout the Onderon System as the Sith Imperial Fleet emerged from hyperspace over the dual planets. Initial scans told the engineers in orbit everything they needed to know about how the assault on Corellia had gone. Though the fleet had lost many support ships, the gaping holes in Goliath and other star destroyers told the story of the firefight. Perhaps, they thought, the Galactic Alliance had finally found a spine.

 

But the fleet was not wholly disemboweled. The majestic Kyber class Star Destroyers had not been left in smoking ruin in the stars. The commanders had seen their men through the worst of the fighting, and they would see them safely docked at the emergency yards in low orbit. 

 

“Scramble them an escort, bring the reserve fleet to bear. And the Ion cannon online. We do not know if the Rebels are pursuing.” 

 

“Command!.”  Came the confident voice of a lieutenant from comms, and all eyes glanced to her. Feeling the sudden press of eyes, her countenance shrank but she pressed through the embarrassment. “Reports from the automatic fire suppression systems and AI in the interior of the Goliath report blaster fire. It appears the command ship may have suffered from a Jedi or Rebel strike team.” 

 

The Governor nodded. 

 

“Then we will send a team of our own.” 

 

___________________________


 

“Now follow through.” Delta shook his head as he watched the young woman squeeze her eyes shut as she pulled the trigger. The bolt sailed into one of the stone facades that made up the old black sun and now Sith Marine quarters, showering splinters of stone into the grey dirt. He let out a laugh as did the Marines relaxing behind him in the shade of a barrack door. The target was, as of yet, untouched despite the girls best efforts. 

 

She groaned and placed the pistol onto the granite countertop before looking ashamedly back to Delta. He held up a finger to ward off tears or apologies then extended the arm to pull her into a close hug. 

 

“You are still closing your eyes Æthe. Work with sergeant Liminsdurn after dinner on it. But I see improvement.” 

 

She nodded and then returned the hug. And Delta could feel the little droplets of unacknowledged tears against his chest. He sighed and patted her red hair, making sure to not hit the thin styled cybernetic unit that stretched along the backside of her head. Connecting from temple to temple. “You are doing great Æthe.” He pulled the hug tighter for a moment before letting her go. 

 

“Thanks Dad.” 

 

Her grey blue eyes met his and she gave him another hug before sticking her tongue out at the marines behind him. That was greeted by a chorus of laughter that Delta happily joined in on as he watched her run away back to the command quarters. 

 

Then the siren sounded over the courtyard and he was sprinting towards the barracks. 

 

___________________________


 

“Bring us in slowly, there is still a lot of electricity in the area.” 

 

Delta’s voice was muffled as he leaned over the shoulder of the pilot in the shuttle. The naval pilot nodded silently as he pulled the shuttle into the destroyed hanger bay and Delta got his first sight of the ragged interior. 

 

“Mag locks on, move in bounding cover.” 

 

The rear hatch dropped and the marines of Echo company moved in formation down the ramp. It was a damn horror show, bodies floating, girders collapsed and whole sections of the ship were open to space. But there were no signs of active resistance. 

 

“Midicos are clear for entry, start triage. Tag any Jedi or Sith bodies.” 

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Commander - Darkhand Brigade - Sith Empire

Blood Prince

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