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Umbara


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With her siphon of energy still brewing fast around her, Lallu sat astride the lowly broken Sith and laughed like a madwoman into the night. Each cackle followed the next with an uneasy beat that pierced the veil of shadows around her with clumsy precision. She was a small hole in the darkness, sucking what she could through the eye of a fragile needle – a needle of dark construction that wove its will through the deadened, grotesque forest. A few shadows approached, inquisitive, seeking to take advantage of her supposed weakness, but she shot them down with a steely glance that seethed with fury and rage. One terrifying glare is all it took. Eyes of red hot coals filled them with the burning fire of her heart as it raged on in an endless inferno - a shadow that got too close burst into flame, almost instantaneously. He crumpled to the ground and shriveled beneath the horrid, gnarled fingers of the trees that hung low and showed no sympathy to his fragile agony. Like the husks they were, they died just as easily. They were trash…

 

Lallu was trembling with power. Her mind was swimming with activity and for the first time in days, weeks, months, she felt free. Her head released itself from the ashes of fearful captivity that had isolated her from herself. Her beast had been fully released and she felt alive. Even with bleeding wounds still gaping and painful, she felt more alive than she had ever been before. On the precipice of pain, she stood, mocking the mountain underneath her for attempting to seem intimidating.

 

She looked slowly down at the corpse beneath her thighs and considered the meat struggling to live. She lessened the aura of death circling her and took a look at his fragile form. Their battle was furious. She wasn’t wholly unscathed, but she was the clear victor. She had two choices. Mercy for the poor sod with a quick death, or the torturous continued existence that would bite his every step, dogging him until he left this mortal realm of his design. Furion, her master, had sensed some potential in this twisted soul, but he was no longer useful as a Jedi spy. He broke completely from the identity that was once his. He faced her last onslaught completely regardless of his own previous identity. That was a problem. At least, it was a problem for his previous purpose, the one that Furion originally wanted him for.

 

If he was going to prove useful at all, she would need to learn from him and he would need to learn from her. She was considered a Sith Lord by her master and she had learned to use the Dark side to feed and maintain her will. She knew what it took to be a finesse fighter and was getting close to that goal and more, but she needed more training. She needed someone to fight against and she needed someone to work with. It wasn’t a mercy to have to work with someone as Fynn, but it was what she had to deal with in Furion’s absence.

 

He would be her subordinate. He would work in her will. And he would survive on her will alone.

 

Lallu put her cold bloody hand on the surface of Fynn’s fragile broken chest and let back some of the energy she had drained from him to restart his heart and his body’s natural healing. She left the pain alive and kept his agony whole as a testament to his failure. Then, with her body still straddling his against the crimson stained earth beneath her, Lallu placed both of her thumbs and forefingers on each side of Fynn’s face.

 

WHELPLING… I am letting you live so you can forever linger with the memory of your failure. If you wish to find power of the kind you are craving, you will follow me and only me. Your name will be Kern or Whelpling. The next time I catch you using a title like Baron, I will slap you so hard your face will bite with the utterance of every future syllable.

 

You will know more pain than you have experienced in your life and you will follow me… If not, I can kill you now and let your form remain plastered on the crust of this desiccated planet.

Lallu wasn’t really hinging everything on him. In fact, if he didn’t respond she planned on stealing his ship and leaving anyway. She had been absent from the galaxy for too long and wanted her things back. She wanted to go back and show the galaxy, nay the universe, what she was capable of now. She held no reservations or expectations. She didn’t expect admiration. She expected chaos, havoc, retribution and mayhem.

 

She expected destruction… She expected death.

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Darkness, he perceived silence and a stillness that tried to pull him away from his body. No. He refused to capitulate to the call of mortality. Then he felt a surge of power, a concentrated burst of the darkside that ripped him back to consciousness. The power had a signature that was more then familiar... Kallemi. The world around him reappeared, he lived...

 

His eyes opened, to see her still above him, still dominant, and very much in control. He released a painful groan as he tried to move. This was not he had envisioned this day going. His attack hadn't worked, and now here he lay, bereft of power, and wrecked. Failure. It was indeed a bitter pill to swallow. Lallu had proven herself the stronger, at least for now. She was clearly more adept with the Darkside, and he had miscalculated her raw power. A part of him wondered however if lightsabers were involved would he not be the victor? The thought was fleeting however, he had been soundly defeated, and his injuries while not overly severe, would need time to heal. He surveyed Kallemi, her injuries were not as severe.

 

Her offer was interesting to say the least. He had imagined that she would end him if she had a chance, not offer him his life in return for servitude. Besides this he wondered if she had a plot against Furion, as taking on a follower while in the thrall of another could be dangerous, for both parties. Still Lallu had knowledge and power superior to his own, and there was much to be gained by learning her techniques. His fight was against the jedi after all, and if serving Lallu meant he could continue to gather power for his ultimate destiny... so be it.

 

"I am no whelpling..." Kern said almost scornfully as he sat up. He gave the impression for just a moment that he was choosing death. Then He locked his determined eyes with Lallu. Her body was somehow darker now then when he had first met her. Even then a part of him desired her, the chance to be near her, to feed off of the dark side which seemed to exude from her every moment was tantalizing. He decided in an instant to acknowledge her superiority…for now. He wanted the knowledge and power she promised, even if it meant submitting to her.

"However, I have no desire to die-", he looked around scornfully. "-and certainly not here. I will serve and follow you under your terms.", Kern said obediently as he lowered his gaze. He thought for a moment. He supposed that following Furion's chosen student was no different then following Furion himself. Furion would have given no such bargain he decided, and serving Lallu, however humbling, was a chance to amass power.

"Kern, is my real name Lallu, and the title of 'Baron' is not one I chose. However, if you allow me to leave here alive and serve you as I would have Furion, you may call me whatever you like." He said in a matter of fact fashion as he took stock of his injuries. His clothing was ruined, strength sapped, and his power was at low ebb, all but stemmed by Lallu's strange yet powerful abilities. Had he the strength he would have cursed aloud.

 

"So, what shall we do my Master? I have a gunship waiting for m-…" He paused and respectfully changed his wording,

 

"-us…in orbit. It is at your disposal of course, as are my other resources."

Edited by Guest

"Some things... are worse then death, being forgotten for example..."

Member Since '05 - The Old Ones | Character Sheet

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  • 2 weeks later...

((I am so sorry. This took me way longer than it should have. Feel free to respond to both sides and post first to Coruscant if you want so we can get things moving a bit faster.))

 

His answer, however laden with disrespect it may have been, was sufficient. His continued existence wasn't a mercy. She could hear her master’s word in her ear, whispering to finish the job. Each syllable, heightened by the immense power she was belaying in her mind, tickled the pores of her skin, trying to make Lallu perform a killing blow. Her master would say that mercy is a weakness, but it wasn’t a mercy, she repeated in her persistent rebuttal. It was a testament to his failure. If Kern was to learn, he needed to know failure like Lallu did. He didn’t need patronizing. He didn’t need babying. If he failed, his badges or scars were real. His achievements, however paltry were real. His consequences were real. Each wound would bite so low into his body that it would provide him with a source of great shame. It was something to fight for. It was something to fight against. She was, by her master’s account, a Sith Lord. It was a title she’d never had before and she didn’t prefer titles when actions, creeds, ideas, and people were so much easier to follow, but she understood the purpose behind a title. She hadn’t disclosed her full name to Kern and wouldn’t. Titles were a way of masking someone’s name that didn’t want to reveal it.

 

“That remains to be seen Kern, though I admire your tenacity. Before we go, we need to make a stop first…” Lallu said quietly, half telepathically into Kern’s pain addled mind. She let each word drip into his consciousness with an icy clarity.

 

Lallu's head swam with thought. Beginnings, ends, middles, life in mediocrity and all of its other forms bogged her down with an existential puzzle. She didn’t have time to finish it though. She needed a plan, she needed something to do and somewhere she could prove herself. She needed to work, she needed to find and she needed to establish contacts.

 

She looked into the distance - heartbeats; three, no, four. Within the space of a second Lallu's form vanished in a shroud of dark mist and no sound followed. It was unclear if she reappeared, but in the distance, the sound of gurgling and large meaty thumps pervaded through the gnarled black wood, echoing off of the bark. With three seconds past the small and quiet form of Lallu scrambled from the black wood with a satisfied smile sitting between red lips.

 

“Now that that business is finished, we need to make haste. Send a signal to your ship, have it meet us at these coordinates, due north. This is where my affects are and possibly where the shadows will try to make their last stand. Leave without me, and I will find a way off planet. I will find you and you will regret it. Try to keep up.” The last few words were followed with a despicably mischievous smile. The graceful Twi’lek dancer tensed her legs, let her core build up strength and follow suit. Then, with a small breath and a large draw of power, Lallu took off like a soundless bullet into the wood. Bark flew off of trees like fragments from a grenade and the branches creaked away from her procession. Like a chorus of dying curses, their noises struck the air with chaotic movements, but they fell on deaf ears. Lallu’s haste was blinding and she made her way through the woods, feeling her way there the entire time.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________ -----_________________________________________________________________________

 

((Due to my absence, I am going to go ahead and write more, feel free to respond to both)).

 

Lallu’s mighty procession through the woods ended in a snap at the edge of the woods leading to the facility that she started at. She could see for miles around. For the first time in forever, she felt the bite of air on her cheek. She felt the crisp refreshing touch of nature tickle her cheek, absent of putrescence, dirt, nuisances, darkness, and corruption. A deep breath filled her body with renewal. Her wounds began to heal, mend, and scar in grotesque aberrations of the flesh that once lay beneath. Her clothes were now only rags, her lekku were battered but whole, her eyes were glowing wildly, and the fresh blood that stood out against her silhouette symbolized vitality and strength than it did mortality and vulnerability.

 

She made her way closer to the facility without doubt and without fear. She could see vague shadows lurking just beyond her field of vision, but let them come closer. They wanted a taste of the woman that pushed through the wood. Lallu didn’t know if she had been in the woods a year or not, but she pulsed with a strength that defied her previous vulnerability. She was well on her way to becoming a power in this war, but like her master before her, she wasn’t going to act rashly or take it for granted.

 

She wasn’t as meticulous as him, she wasn’t as menacing, but she was something. Lallu was different, random, chaotic, and unpredictable.

 

She approached the acolyte at the center of the complex with no reservations. Her posture was open. Her expression was open. Her eyes took in the world around her.

 

The acolyte looked nervous. He could feel the shadows closing in around them. He was trembling with the weight of the items he held and although he was nothing but a pawn for the will of his master, he still knew nothing of the extent to which Lallu would blossom. “…It hasn’t been a year.” The older man managed to mutter, almost defiantly, after a few minutes of idle trembling.

 

Lallu’s expression didn’t change. Her lips were straight, her posture straight and tall, her eyes were still glowing ferociously and her arms were closed around her chest. She pierced the thin veil of his fragile eyes. The portals to his soul were open and flared like a strobe, slowly decreasing the beat of its powerful light. “I know.” She said her mouth a permanent fixture of indifference written across a face of detestation. “I said I would know when I was ready. I may have longer to tread, but I feel it is prudent that I take my next steps away from here. Your shadows are no longer a challenge.”

 

At the closing syllable, the shadows launched their final attack. One shadow launched toward her head. Another launched itself at her chest and the last that Lallu could see in her immediate view, struck at her legs. They attempted to ply at her supposed frail body from different directions with the intention of splitting her into a broken crumpled mess. Lallu was curious why, but obliged their movements. Their strikes were desperate. They may have been trained. Their patience may have been limitless in theory, but even the hunter gets restless. Even a hunter gets tired. She closed her eyes. Her lashes tickled the edge of her cheek and the sound of exasperation embraced greedy ears. She felt their heartbeats soaring through the air, crashing together in uproarious symphony. In one shallow breath, Lallu moved her head down slightly, letting the shadows foot slide right into her arms. Lallu took the free leg and slanted its momentum down to crash into the shadow aimed at her chest. She used the body that slid past her to push up into the air and smashed her leg down on the shadow that aimed at her feet.

 

She took the shadow’s head - at her feet - in both of her hands and wrenched it to the side until it released a satisfying popping sound. Five other shadows ran up to her from their dark purchases all around the complex and then tens more began to pour out of the complex like cockroaches swarming the battlefield. Lallu felt Furion’s energy burning nearby. She could hear his words burning in her heart, feel his calloused fingers on her skin. She could feel the warm embrace of his coat and the delightful corruption of his short saber burning into the skin of her right hand.

 

The acolyte let out a strangled yelp and Lallu retreated from his feeble form clasped in her master’s robe. His short saber was curled maliciously in her right hand and a morbid smile licked the edge of her face. The renewed confidence that was built through months of arduous anxiety and panicked desperation kicked her mind into frenzy and she let out a massive sweep of energy harvested from the wood to begin her deadly dance. Shadows darted left and right, aiming for weak spots and vulnerabilities that they were trained to spot, but each move was reflected in swift determination. Lallu took their anger, their impatience, their panic, their fear and molded all of that force into their destruction. They would be their own undoing. Arcs of burning red fire occasionally protruded from the mass of black that clouded the complex. Spurts of crimson would follow shortly after with more meaty thumps of flesh bags crashing to the ground.

 

When the final strike was delivered - a merciless stab through a shadow’s corroded, black heart – Lallu stood atop a pile of bodies. Furion’s blood stained cloak whipped in the spectral wind and his short saber, working in her name, lay burning beneath her trembling right hand. Red contrasted against the black in a display of ironic juxtaposition and Lallu reveled in her success. Her skin wasn’t without wound. Her left wrist was broken, one of her ribs was shattered and she had multiple bruises and cuts, but her humor was untainted.

 

She turned to look at the acolyte with unwavering, cold, red eyes. She stared deep into the pit of his being. “I am ready to leave Kern. Let us go… To Coruscant.”

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He was right…

 

Mruka stood looking through the large porthole near the bridge of the Corellian Gunship Aegis. Her eyes catching the glint of the sunlight reflected in the dark atmosphere of Umbara. Her long slender form was encased in the black and silver Kesh-Sith Armor combination Kern had created for his new guardians. Perfectly fitted for her form, the body armor hugged her tightly and kept her warm in the sterile environment of the efficiently run civilian craft.

 

He had said that he would show her wonders beyond her imagining. He had been right. Each new world was stranger and more magnificent then the last. She ran her hands on a nearby counsel, having been trained by an eager technician how to operate the controls, and thought about the first time she had met Kern.

 

She had been an orphan, and a renegade even among her kind. Fighting and scratching for survival on Kesh was difficult enough when you had a tribe, without one you were doomed to a hellish existence. In her youth she had kill daily, and as she had grown, killing had become second nature to her. She had been at a village, trading, looking for sustenance, when He marched on the place. The village elder had rebelled against the new god, and his emissary. The warriors of the place were convinced they would slay the being, and mount his head on a pike. How wrong they had been. She had felt him before he came, like an approaching storm that could be heard a distance, but no others had felt it.

 

He came with a hundred warriors, some were Sith soldiers, but others were local tribesmen and women. They had turned to follow this new power, and had forsaken their useless old ones. At the head of the host, Kern had ridden on some floating machine, followed by soldiers on foot and on transports. The warriors whooped and made angry noises, and charged at the arriving column with the ferocity of a people defending their home. For a moment, she had thought they would surely wipe out the band of invaders. Then..,she watched her master slaughter the lot of them like cattle. She found pleasure in seeing them made to suffer, a measure of revenge for what her life had been like. Kern gave the other villagers the chance to join, or to die with the rest. Some resisted, others ran, but she, she grabbed the village elder, and brought him forth eagerly. The elder's son attacked in retaliation, and Kern had not interfered, allowing her to defend herself. Her abilities carried her to victory, and she presented both heads to Kern, begging him to spare her.

 

Kern had rewarded her with her life, and given her the chance to serve him. She eagerly accepted, and he had been true to his word.

 

It seemed like years, but that had only been a few months ago. All he had promised had been fulfilled, she was made head of his personal guards. He had told her that she was like him, sensitive the force, but that she lacked training. He warned her that his powers were not for the week, and that in time, he would pass the knowledge to her, if she were patient. Mruka had no desire for such abilities, but to serve Kern, she would do anything.

 

Now she was here, awaiting word… she had learned the new language easily enough, but each day brought new things new challenges.

 

Why had he come here? Was his god truly here, awaiting him? Was it a test of some kind? She wished she could know. Maybe the god was angry with Kern, unhappy with his progress? Perhaps he hadn't killed enough, or been disobedient someway? She feared the worst…

 

She approached the small bridge to see the captain in his chair, monitoring the sensors.

 

"Any word from Kern?"

"Negative. Only static. Quite a lot of activity though. For a quiet planet this place gives me the creeps." He said shaking his head nervously.

 

"I believe his god is down there… testing him… and us."

"Well if so, I hope he passes, I've enough problems without pissing off a god."

 

It was then the comm on the communications counsel activated.

 

"Aegis, respond." said a low voice, with a deep inflection. Kern...

 

Mruka rushed to the counsel and activated the link.

 

"Aegis here Baron Kern."

 

"Mruka, bring the ship to the following coordinates." Kern said as he transmitted to her a position.

 

"Right away sir." Mruka smiled as she spoke. Kern had survived his commune with his god, now the question was … at what cost.

 

----

 

Kern managed to move himself with effort and excruciating but not debilitating pain. He moved along at pace brisk for most, but agonizingly slow.

 

Finally, he reached the small clearing. He had sensed Lallu had arrived first, that fact hadn't surprised him. Her bloody face and the various carnage that surrounded her was though. All at once he realized that other beings had hunted her as well. Like him they had failed, but unfortunately they hadn't survived their failure. The humiliation that Lallu sought to instill in him was clearer then ever, but somehow he could only concern himself with overcoming his loss. There would be time enough to fume and brood over the pitiful state he was in. None of that would get him the vengeance he sought, or bring him to the glorious future of seeing his former torturers punished and brought to their ends.

 

He regarded Lallu with a respectful and yet ashamed nod. He approached her and knelt, shame and anger rising from him in neat trendils that could be seen the force if one so wished.

"The ship should arrive soon. My servants are nothing if not-"

Above them, the Cornelian Gunship came in, hovered momentarily and then lowered, guts of gas bursting from it's landing struts as it set down softly in the grass.

 

"Prompt…" He finished relieved at last to see the ship bearing his families crest.

 

The landing ramp lowered, and Mruka accompanied by the two other Keshiri guards trundled down the ramp to the site of the two dark ones awaiting them. Her light green skin, pale yellow eyes, and bio luminescent veins framed her tough, scared face. Mruka spoke first…seeing his injuries.

 

"Baron Kern are you…" her voice was clear and calm.

 

"Silence. We are in the presence of my master. You will not speak to her unless she commands it. She doesn't suffer fools, nor failure. Her orders are to be followed without question. I trust I am clear?" His words were sober and without any hint of disrespect. Kern made it clear that Lallu was his superior, with no uncertainty.

 

Mruka nodded, and avoided Lallu's gaze instead kneeling as he did.

 

"Inform the captain. Head to Coruscant with all possible speed." Kern said as he entered the vessel along side Lallu.

 

They boarded, and the entire ship lifted into the atmosphere. Soon they were accelerating through space, and unto the galaxy at large in a burst of hyperspace.

"Some things... are worse then death, being forgotten for example..."

Member Since '05 - The Old Ones | Character Sheet

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  • 2 years later...

-- Current State of Affairs

// The Umbaran Fortress World; The Shadow World.

 

The shadow world of Umbara, after all these decades was so beautifully sequestered from the rest of the worlds littered all over the black tapestries of space. This dangerously inhabited sphere was sacred to those who dared to brush their feet across the dirt of it, and became a weapon to those who christened Umbara as home. A gross inflation of black dressed the entire planet whole as if all the darkness that had been snuffed out of the known galaxies had crawled into the almighty Umbaran bed; so utterly absent of the sheets of light the nearest star breathed towards them. This did not mean in any way shape or form that these lands were starved of life as it once was, quite the contrary. As it stood, this once cursed rock had now become an unparalleled fortress world teeming with savage life.

 

The Capital was exhausted with industrial armour far and wide and in all places; sciences and automation that far exceeded most of the known worlds adorned the tall skyscrapers and the framework of each building. These were an enlightened and intuitive people, a people driven mad with their creations in their particular solitude. The galactic standard was matched and then crushed by the kin of this world. Outsiders have been too far removed to acknowledge the rapid growth and ascension of this civilization; but there was a force that commanded the ripening of Umbara and the people who knew bore his name as never-to-be-mentioned. There was a marvellous order-of-things buried in the chaotic swarm of the streets and air-ways of the Capital. Semblances of battalions and armed forces channelled through the nooks and crevices of the uncompromisingly active metropolis. Aircraft of all sizes flooded the upper atmosphere, whether enormous enough to blot out the distant horizon or packs of grey metal that hunted the skies like wolves for prey. Without a doubt, this was a militaristic environment with the hunger of warmongering most likely running through the blood of all who resided within. Nonetheless, there was order, but whom or what commanded it was not quite clear.

 

  • --

 

A ways from the stir of the Capital, but just close enough to be within reach was a fortress within the fortress world. One could not just happen across this buried acropolis, not especially when the amassment of flora and wicked verdure drowned the entire expanse just outside the skirts of the main metropolitan. When it was said that this planet was alive, the trick was to understand that the entire stretch of it was more than that; it hungered and feasted timelessly, adapting to the darkness and emerging with evolutionary traits that turned the world predator from mere plants to the most innocent of wildlife. The residents of this world, no matter the sentient, were warriors habituated by the incessant presence of death.

 

“Our kind has vanished, we need to wake him up.” A voice strewn with passion argued. The others around him didn’t move nor did they open their mouths to speak. Silence just sat amongst the three men in the chamber, almost eerie in nature how long it lasted.

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  • Acheron
    Vhar & Decha
    =====================================

The first sentient stood tall, this one was a remarkable build of raw power from head-to-toe, standing at a height that most humanoids could never reach. Him, and only he was the voice that spoke out to the other two. His tone sounded as if it echoed unnaturally as the words growled from his throat; dark and unmeasured except with quaint pronunciation. A maroon breastplate covered his torso and revelled with luxuriant dark cloth falling from the partitions of the armour. The rest of him was also covered whole by that same rich cloth; a ceremonial robe the Sith were accustomed to; on the back of the robe however, a massive spider was painted eerily in white.

 

“Father has never witnessed an Umbara like this, if we do wake him, will he be pleased?” The second sentient to stir from the hair-raising hush that sat inside the chamber was quite distinguished as well, however his lavish breastplate was decorated in a pristine and ceramic vanilla with gold trimmings dangling from it. He too, was covered in the symbol of the spider.

 

“What do you think he’d do if we kept him from the world as it is now, Vhar, he’ll—“Acheron was quick to raise his temper, and his vehemence seemed to stem from the fear of the slumbered one, rather than the actual topic at hand.

 

“General Decha and I,” Vhar pointed to the third sentient, “—have conquered the minds of all kinfolk on this planet. They revere our Father as a God. Surely you’re just afraid Brother, or maybe jealous?” Vhar let the last word fall from his mouth with a devilish smile.

 

“What..? I’ll rip your fuc—” General Decha fidgeted almost unnoticeably; Acheron stopped every action, rethought his next move, then breathed out irksomely. “We all share the same blood Decha, I may not be your twin, but I am the first. Don’t you forget that. And you, Vhar.” Acheron squinted and hid the flash of burning orange that his pupils dilated into.

 

 

“You’re right. Let’s get it over with.”

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The Cove That Beds the Immortal

 

The three men Acheron, Vhar and Decha were born of an archaic and illimitable power that trickles within the stream of their cold blood like rabid infection; two of them born of the same hour, while the third was years prior and the first of the three to draw breath as the seed of a God. Acheron was the first and recognized as an unruly symbol of annihilation—the Undoer, as most would hail. Vhar and Decha however were fashioned akin to sun and moon, as adverse as ocean and inferno but the literal parallel of one another on the surface of their flesh. The look-alike twins could shake civilizations into dust but the three as a whole were the inspiration of invincible.

 

The walls of the sunken terrain parroted the hard footsteps of the three goliaths. Their slow march was harmonized in stride and their collective presence meant a thing of grave importance. The burrowed underpass they traveled screamed with a freakish draft that pushed their blacked linen drapes to the tail of their trail and exposed more of their gilt-edged armours. A stretch of three thousand feet into the depths of the planet produced no precursor to life; all was rot or barren in this hollow mountain that breathed. Not a word was traded from here on out, just the objective at hand. Sooner than later, a constant drip of condensation made itself known in the distance at four seconds apiece. Decha was the first to notice, but still, no words—and then the rest followed in acknowledgement. As each footstep pressed heavy into place, they could feel earth begin soften beneath their weight.

 

There it was.

 

In front of the brothers stood a massive obsidian box, buried in growth of all kinds. Whether it was rotted or in full bloom, it didn’t seem to matter down here for the reason that all manner of colors bled all over. It was a tangled labyrinth of flora with what seemed to be a central point. Just before the mammoth black box rested a nexus that all the growth seemed to originate from. Absolutely everything spawned from this central point, but what remained inside of that outcropping was yet to be seen. They watched as clouds of thick mist pushed forth from the girth of the black box. Limbs of broken trees buried beneath the cold chassis also spread without restraint; thickets of wildwood that coiled upon itself, spiralling in patterns that swept across the cavern walls. Liquid poured slowly from the other side of the chassis and flowed down into the gorge below, filling nothing of the unbounded void from all around yet feeding the putrid swelling of plant life that lived here. Yet and still the mystery of what laid beyond was known only to the three that stood here now.

 

General Yul Decha broke the silence as his unsuspected voice sounded like three different whisperings in one. Loud but silent, scratchy and definite, except just one mouth spoke when it truly appeared as if a whole crowd took over the cave. His eerie didn’t cease there—his speech created no language to be understood by neither man nor creature yet the fungi and the limbs of the tree and the shallow mist found rapture in his mantra. Was it Dathomirian magic? A perversion of the force, perhaps? Nonetheless, it surged forward and converged with echoes off of the twelve foot chassis. Without further ado, Vhar leaped forward and came down with a hard crunch just before the metallic contraption. A hand wrapped in fine dressing quickly swept the face of the box and revealed an intricate padlock filled with digits. Vhar danced his fingers across the panel in a swift arrangement before large cogs churned loudly and began to unhinge itself. Decha continued his mantra; Vhar reviewed a silhouette of code that appeared all over the face of the framework while Acheron unconsciously caressed the hilt of a lightsaber inside his robe.

 

A final rumble and a thundering roar of parts misaligning boomed out-loud before a heavy hiss dispersed far more smoke and vapour. A door to the chassis creaked open slow. It was a cryochamber. A river of liquid beyo fell from the opened chamber door, and soon, a body thereafter. Acheron somehow found his way there, catching and cradling the comatose body securely. It was a man in what seemed to be his physical prime with long unkempt black hair that covered his facial features and fell all down his chest, his shoulders and his back. His body hardened and scared with battle wounds in various areas all over his naked breadth. Just as Acheron tore the robe off the half of him not carrying the dead-weight, he wrapped the frigid body with it immediately. The body woke, lifted nothing but his own head powerlessly only to reveal a shine of emerald eyes for a brief moment before wrenching a mouth full of beyo-puke all over the boots of Acheron. The man wiped his mouth with his free arm and squinted to the world around him, oblivious as to what was real and what wasn’t—but in a flash it all made sense and that realization drove a sudden pain through his head forcing him to grimace and bear fine whitened and sharp teeth.

 

“Father”

“Father”

“Father”

 

The man smirked with blue liquid draining from the corner of his lip, the cavern began to choke with a dark pressure, Exodus awakened.

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  • // Few Days Forward.

 

Exodus laid flat with his back to the cold hard medical slab. It was marvellous but unprecedented how each breath he took, every deep heave of his chest, produced a compound reaction inside of his body that wrestled profusely between what was his normal state and his tremendous command and intoxication of the dark force. The wheeze in his throat, how rapidly he inhaled and exhaled, and how his vibrant green eyes illuminated the unlit room like a candle and then churned into a sickening orange like clockwork— no one had the answer for it. This metamorphosis didn’t appear as if it was failing his health, more so, it painted a picture of dominance. To enslave the power he once held as it washed over him in each second he spent outside of his frozen tomb and in this real world. The rest of him however, remained so still and half covered with torn linen, not a care at all to which parts of him was exposed.

 

“Father, the full assimilation of Umbara has been met—” the air was thick, there was too much power in one room and all those within flaunted it arrogantly for this moment. “—The Gate of Valthiris was a success, and these people thrive by means of it.” What Acheron spoke of, was the spherical superstructure that was built half embedded into the bottom of the lake that was at the elbow of the Capital. The construction of the project was so enormous that it nestled deep into the bottom of that same lake and rose up to touch the clouds. Many rumoured the superstructure to be a direct conduit to a reservoir of dark energies, a dwarf Dathomir oozing indiscernibly.

 

Exodus closed his eyes for a moment, as if to somehow ascertain whether the information was accurate or not. It was, and it was impeccable. Exodus made no mention of this, but instead lifted his left hand and watched it in detail as blood and sensation coursed through it at last. He squeezed and felt alive. No sooner did the rest of his body thaw out and a hot verve of energy boiled to his core. Exodus impatiently shook himself from the table and stood tall, nonchalantly working out the kinks in his neck. “… Where are the Sith?” Just then, the blast-door to the medical alcove slid open and revealed six masked soldiers outfitted in complete militant raiment. The white spider jarringly painted against their all-black battle helmets gave no indication to who these men were, but they carried with them the armours of Exodus. The Lords paid them no mind as they bowed their heads in respect, and then approached to appropriately equip their Leader.

 

“Father, few remain. I have an able contingent on this planet but apart from the men in this room.. They have all but fallen.” Vhar spoke, and wanted to leave out the last piece of information, but he knew his Father would find out eventually. “They have been hunted—”

 

Hunted? How have the crowned predators that haunt these systems become mere prey? Vhar, Decha, Acheron, I pray for your sakes that you all carry the answers I need.” Exodus spoke in disbelief, but knew there was a severe wound in the balance of the force. His infamous gauntlet clasped tight around his right forearm-to-hand and in a flash he remembered the amount of blood this piece was rinsed in. The rest of his embellished war assemblage was polished and nicely put together. In honour of his return of course, they covered each piece in a lavish pearl white with gold trimmings on the rings and buckles that held it all together. Touches of red paint gave life to the identical spider-crests on both his left and right breast. Those two insignias meant more than what met the eye, and even buckled down the large maroon cloak that was now hoisted upon his body. The sons did not respond, but watched as the man before them was garnished; each of them recalling the stories about their Father and knowing it to be true. The soldiers finished their task, bowed to each Lord and then promptly exited the alcove. Furion, Kakuto, Oblivion. Where are you hiding?

 

“The three of you must remain here; continue your work on Umbara. If Valthiris is complete, open the Gate and use it! The isolation and hush of this planet is in our favour, and none would risk the travel to these parts. Entire armies would fall before a foot touched these surfaces, ensure it remains that way.” Exodus eyed each of his sons with a stare that pierced clean through them. Exodus pivoted towards his exit and marched from the alcove; his communicator was still active and could almost hear the voices of the masses networked on this channel. By now, the planet buzzed with the rumours of his name; this set a flame to the war-born lands and inspired folk with fear and admiration everywhere. His mind was far removed from that association however, and focused more on the state of Orders across the stars. If the Sith fell, where did the Jedi stand? Who manifested this witch-hunt and who would he pry these answers from? The time was now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

===

 

 

The stench of the coliseum was rancid. There were corpses that spent more than a few weeks rotted to the bone down there, and even worse, creatures that treated the decay as sure-fire cuisine. The Great Halls of the Arachnid it was appointed, or Cocoon Point for those more familiar with the area and the things that inhabited it. A short trek from the mainland and a detour off the beaten path led to this monstrous coliseum. Most of the construct was buried in a sea of natural wildlife that seemed to sink in the swallow of it as time passed. The word of mouth was that this desolate site was for the most part isolated, but the furthest thing from uninhabited. Charred smoke burned into the air in a broad radius from the top-open coliseum and Lord Exodus let the smell of fire burn into his nose. There were outsiders here, and the Dark King never felt so alive, which was a terrible mixture. The inside of his chest beat like a hammer to the drum as he drew nearer. The maroon cloak of his battle raiment swept across broken vines and twisted arms of trees that looked as if they were desperately trying to stop him. His left, and dominate hand reached out to the middle of his back and drew a brilliant ceremonial blade from a sheath far too veiled to describe. “Zveris.” The inscriptions down the faces of the blade flickered bright with moonlight and alchemic soul while he wielded it weightless as if it were a feather.

 

He was within distance now, the vast campfire pushed off a serious heat in the skies that did little to mask their whereabouts. Certain areas around the perimeter of the arena were completely collapsed in on itself, and most of the entrances were riddled with time, rotted bodies, and traps too ancient to be taken lightly. Therein lied the truth; no one scampered within the broken walls and undertone of the coliseum because it was home to the many-legged creatures that cocooned their kills and drained them of the force, of their blood, and of their hope— no, none dared to step foot inside the walls to those giants. It was through the collapsed fixtures and open spaces that these reclusive camps were fortified and protected in order to loot the lost and hopeless. Dozens of men huddled around the singular campfire, spewing stories of old with braggadocios claims to their riches. Exodus could literally feel their presence, each and every one of them as he drew nearer, because the nature of the force told no lies and it was his sworn weapon for him alone to abuse. He could call upon the weave of the force and pin down his marks with a simple deep inhalation. He was the Master Assassin; the prestigious third of the triumvirate that had fallen to the condemned histories of men, a title not so easily earned. His silhouette moved swift, swifter than most and never dallied in the same spot for more than the count of one. He leapt closer to his destination while his breath remained controlled with a slow pace, his speed was unparalleled, and his finesse could not be mimicked as far as a viper could manage.

 

Lord Exodus pounced. From outside of the stadium, his core summoned the winds beneath his feet and launched himself entirely over the large fallen walls. Make-shift camps, weapons, food and random disorganized sentient littered the burrowed terrain. Pitchforks to lances stabbed into the soil and wielded flags of all colors, signifying the clansmen who inhabited this area. Four different minor clans were present and twenty-three humanoids either drunk or distracted by conversation. All of that ended shortly, all distraction and all stupors drew to Exodus as soon as he landed. There was no finesse about his entrance, no delicate shadow-work nor was there any stealth in his explosive landing. His collision pounded the earth with a deafening roar that rivalled the sound of the great blaze before him, smoke and dirt plumed into the skies. He bolted into an unbelievable forward sprint; he became a blur while men and women of all race scrambled for their weapons. The panic was loud, the fear was so concentrated that Exodus could taste it on his breath, and then the screams started. “These lands will never belong to you, but I grant you the dirt.”

 

The first sentient he came upon was a Zabrak elder of sorts and his wrinkled and war-torn mug-shot was indicative of the fact while his red and black contours were hidden by the lush color. The Zabrak managed to finger the barrel of his shotgun before Exodus was upon him, but ill preparation and reflexes left him a bloody mess before he could act. The immortal assassin buried Zveris right into his target’s chest cavity and then with the other arm—clenched the strength of his metal gauntlet onto his scalp with his fingers already sown and locked into his horned skull, then he yanked with leverage. The Zabrakan warrior dropped his weapon and bawled for mercy before Exodus wretched his own arm backwards again and tore the head and spine from his corpse heedlessly. The corpse made a sickening tear and died instantly; the blood of two hearts spewed out yet Exodus kept his body afloat with the force at his command. At that moment, blaster shots rang out from in front of him. All angles and all measure of blue and red fire scorched the victim in his ethereal grasp as Exodus chose to do nothing but smile at the art of it all. Truth was, some of the clansmen stared frozen at the demonstration with mouth open and no muscle inside of them with enough will to budge. Horror captured them and erased the judgment from their minds; there was no fight or flight response, just disbelief. He carved each of them down, one by one, until the screams and bawls of battle ceased entirely. He exercised his excessive decree of the force, allowed it to drench him and warmed his instinctive weapon prowess for the first time in what seemed like forever. Dually over, these once hallowed parts were cleansed of the filth that occupied it— a time far from now he would train here and perfect his crafts beneath the watch of the arachnids; now he presented them with a gift of food in abundance. They would soon rise from their depths and claim a feast, but by then Exodus would be among the stars and in search of answers.

 

(Left for Space)

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  • 9 months later...

Streams of moonlight scattered through the low-hanging miasma of Umbara and the capital city, a powerful cog in the growing machine of the Sith Empire. Clouds from a passing storm receded slow, welcoming a strange heat to wash over the dark and wild planet. The skyline of the metropolis was freckled with ferrous pyramids, grim architectures and monolithic spires that conquered the skies. The capital city was crawling with activity, Umbarans and aliens not native to the planet swarmed the marketplaces and commingled across the network of streets. For a great many of the buildings that surrounded the militaristic population, large banners hung from the highest of structures that were visible across the entire metropolis of Umbra, bearing the decal of a white spider set across black tapestry with green and gold trimmings. The symbol of the spider was a marshal of command; an iconic illustration to the people of Umbara, that the Sith known as Lord Exodus and his supporters, were a force that crushed the civil warfare which once plagued this unruly planet.

 

The most prominent establishment in the entire city was the Anfauglir, an incredibly massive pyramid superstructure in the center of the capitol that served as a place of worship for the Dark Lord of the Sith as well as a Bastion for the world at large. All across the multiple districts were numerous churches to those who adhered to the teachings of the Sith, practically embracing their codes and philosophies in their everyday life. But the religious center in this massive structure was devoted to none other than Malacoda Syn, the present King of the Sith. It was here the people gathered in masses to worship a man often described by many names, but actually seen by few. Since his visage was so unfamiliar to the people, artists created murals and vast statues that depicted an indecipherable man brilliantly sharing the characteristics of cunning beasts from across the galaxy.

 

For years the people of Umbara breathed in an unprecedented economic boom since the first arrival and the awakening of the Darksider. The bald and ingenious warrior people filled the lines of the streets to now witness the fruits of their labour, watching the construction of the jaw-dropping superstructure, dauntingly still in the middle of their capitol. Resources would continue to spill into the controlled markets, and the awareness across the Holonet that employed more bodies dedicated to the Sith Empire helped push this agenda. Loyal men and women, and even children, fostered an understanding of the Sith Code and began to train themselves as potentials for the war machine that was bound to emerge.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

"It is time."

 

Umbara was alive, more than recent decades had shown, the power that coursed this planet far exceeded expectations. The defensive platform and the utilities that came with it now sprawled the dark skies. Umbara now manifested into a world of excellent discipline and functionality, fueled by militants in every direction. Beneath the noise of it all, a new force rumbled awake, a hidden Sith fleet that hibernated from watchful eyes. A single being, hidden by the blood-red of his full cloak, stood at the helm of a mysterious star destroyer.

 

  • ".. Father awaits me."

 

 

The Bleeding Kyber, Doomhandle, Warspite, and Sunder leave for RR-10.

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  • 2 months later...

 

 

The Sith and the Umbaran defense fleet earmarked another advancement in their machine with the completion of a planetary shield system that would cover the planet whole. The automation of the defense grid was built on the premise of a fractional refresh rate, which magnified the importance of the capital world. The citizens of Umbara understood the sophistication of their protections and hailed the Sith as a necessary evolution to their current technological standings. With the brilliant minds that the kin of this world had had access too, the construction of an efficient time-table which monitored the shield system was concocted and put into exercise. The regulation of these times were made known to a select few, as well as the power that sourced this entire project. In light of the progressions, the overall security of Umbara would tighten further and the grip that the Sith Empire held on this dark world was just where it needed to be. The civilization droned harder than ever before in military exercises, and their industrial factories boomed with profit and produce.

"Na-hah ur su ka-haat.

Su ka haru aat"

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The massive Golan III above Umbara now haunted the dark planet with full functionalities. A mecca of information was triangulated between the platform and the forward base below, keeping the heavy swathe of developments as an iron-clad secret while placing the building blocks of an Empire. The millions of Umbarans, whether native to the world or alien otherwise, revelled in the sense of security that had dawned on them ever since the awakening of the Spider. Hardened lines of troopers stampeded the polished streets of the capital, mechanized units positioned themselves as sentries on the corner-blocks of each of the key districts, and a plethora of military finesse acclimatized Umbara as a legitimate powerhouse. The long-standing Research and Development departments that were scattered throughout the cities were to be praised for their grueling hours of service. More than that, these Umbarans were known to be unrivaled when it came to their technological advancement. The results were phenomenal and drove coin and construction years beyond what they were accustomed to, but it did not diminish the hazards that the natural world harbored.

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  • 1 month later...

=======================

// Umbara, The Dark World.

//// The Capital City —

=======================

 

 

This was the busiest Umbara had ever been. Thousands upon thousands of the citizens had specific roles to fulfill as each individual marched the streets. Entire delegations of uniformed men and women swarmed towards Project Black Scarab, filled with an enthusiasm that swelled their hearts while the capital city roared with cheer. Coin and trade were at an extreme high, and the intellectually revered Umbarans savored the sweet taste of growth that rang through their world since the second coming of the Spider.

 

The hunter-class Scarab and the ardent-class Hyperion were docked, and shared identical appearances; both terrifyingly ghoulish, as if both vessels oozed with an ominous dark symbiote covering their bodies. The difference in size between the two vessels were astronomical however, with the Hyperion standing as a mere flea in the face of the mighty Scarab. Flight simulations and security patrols kept the airways jammed as the complements of each starship, partnered with the assets of the Golan defense platform, exercised their newfound roles. Over 20,000 Assault Troops marked their territories throughout the regions, fastening themselves to the new chain of command, filing into their specific units. TIE Defender squadrons, K-Wing Bombers, TIE/vn Silencer Squadrons, Scimitar Assault Bomber Squadrons— there were no end to the measures of force that rattled inside the dark cage of Umbara. Even scarier was the speed in which they mobilized, there was a cause that lit a fire beneath their feet. A third craft inside the Umbaran Shipyards looked to be on the way, bigger than the frigate but significantly smaller the dreadnought. The urgency and efficiency that these engineers and craftsmen worked with was nearly incomparable at this point, some say augmentation of the mind and body was not uncommon between the teams that serviced these ships.

 

  • + Scarab complete
    + Hyperion complete

 

 

=======================

// Umbara, The Dark World.

//// Private Quarters —

=======================

 

 

She pressed the wet cloth across his naked chest and searched his face for answers. Exodus had none to give. He wore such softened features on his face, while the power that sheathed itself inside of him was far more frightening than looks could ever reveal. His expression now, was that of stone; detached and lost in an oceanbed of thought. There were Keshiri women that wandered the room, monitoring him closely, micro-managing his comfort to the extreme. One washed his skin thoroughly as he laid resting, kneading through the knots of his naked body with a treated cloth. Her scent was as fresh as an Ithorian rose, natural and tantalizing as the aroma drifted closely. There was another woman of the same species that ran her fingers masterfully through the paces of a flute-like instrument, producing a beautiful collection of symphonies that set a subtle tone, calming the wildest of spirits. The lavish private quarters harbored far more than what was essential for wholehearted rejuvenation; women of unspeakable beauty that were veiled thinly with the most revealing of fabric, small delicacies that produced a euphoric flush throughout the entirety of the body, and dark burning aromas that both revitalized and electrified the soul. The absence of strong lighting was perfect, and the open flames scattered across the room cast shadows onto the ruggedly sound body of the Spider.

 

 

  • “.. Say it.”

 

The Keshiri woman stared at the Dark Lord with a playful expression of surprise, through her naturally long eyelashes. There was more than a hint of emphatic glamor traced through every contour that settled onto her face, but her wildflower smile against her violet skin was the most dangerous. “That’s unfair, Malachi.” Her voice was a sweet syrup that dripped into his ear, despite her displeasure with him reading her thoughts. She pressed the cloth harder into his shapely arms, noticing several new scars, more than likely suffered from the beasts of Kashyyyk. Exodus was unbothered, staring nowhere in particular, rummaging through the thoughts inside of his conflicted mind. "..I worry about you, my King. I fear that you forget yourself. Even now, your mind strays." She lowered the rag into the porcelain basin, immersing the fabric into scathing hot water. Her disarming eyes never left the sight of Exodus' face, always searching in her own way, the answers to such a man. "Do you even feed yourself? When was your last meal?" Her voice thickened by an almost unnoticeable pitch, a seriousness that Exodus understood by the wrinkle in her nose.

 

 

  • "They are weak, Sefi. Unless placed before them, they explicitly lack purpose. They are sheep on their own terms. Yet they are all my children, and I will feed when the children of the Sith become more than what they are. What you speak of is not forgetfulness, it is resolution. I will lead them to the waters that seek to overwhelm them, and they will either drown or evolve. The choice is their own."

 

Exodus threaded through the pieces of his Empire, mentally appraising each and every Sith he had come across in the last few months. The words he chose pointed to a great many, even those that had climbed to the highest peak within the echelons of the order. This was an inconvenience at best, but an issue that he knew he would have to correct before long. The Keshiri Sefi stubbornly understood the course that the Dark Lord had taken, but the value she held inside of this man would supersede the value of the others. She sulked beneath her breath, with no veritable response to challenge his direction, and dropped the rag over the edge of the basin. In over thirty years of life, she had never met an individual so adamant, but felt honored for the normalcy that the two had offered one another in conversation every time. She was one of the few, while the others remained quiet and tended to their duties. "Will you at least dine with me, before you go?" Her light eyes met those mythical green ones, simultaneously. The moment was whisper quiet, and the room even worse so. Abruptly, a small quake reverberated throughout the floor panels, quickly maturing with every breath. Exodus remained still, curiously a smile edged into the corner of his lips. A deafening noise screeched throughout the entire building only seconds after, unquestionably heard for miles. The sound was so wretched, and so uncomfortable that all the Keshiri women within the chamber dropped to their knees with their hands covering their ears. Sefi fell forward and knocked the porcelain basin to the floor, shattering it to pieces. The ilk of the medicated water pooled around her naked skin, while her long hair covered her shame. The door to the chambers burst open, and a Patriarch of the Sith stepped foot inside. There was a whip gripped tightly inside his hand, but the dirty-green of his trooper helmet left his appearance hidden.

 

 

  • "Perhaps another time, I've got work to do."

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A comm arrives for the Dark Lord Exodus. It comes in via top line encryption, secured and meant to be untraceable, though its author makes no attempt to hide his presence on Coruscant.

 

 

My Lord, I have been delayed of late. The dragnet on Coruscant has forced me to lie low, still trapping me there. I have heard nothing to indicate that Senator d'Outremer cannot be still used as intended should he ascend as Supreme Chancellor, but I think the current military maneuvers have Forced the Alliance into choosing one versed in the arts of war to lead them.

 

The leadership of the Empire has shown up at Coruscant in a display of Force. They and the Alliance are meeting to coordinate against the Sith I would believe or at the least bury their rivalry. The concentration of forces on Coruscant presents an opportunity...

 

 

Faust outlined his plans, the same he gave to his three soldiers.

 

 

Should this succeed, I have one small request... A trifling matter for your followers I hope, yet one that would be more than sufficient payment for these services....

 

 

Faust outlined what he wanted, his trifling matter as payment.

 

 

.. and with that key brought to the proper location, my research will be yours and my revival shall be complete. I will once again be at my full power and able to fight at your side.

 

O how wretched is that poor man that hangs on princes favors! There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to, that sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, more pangs and fears than wars or women have, and when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, never to hope again.

 

-William Shakespeare

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  • 1 month later...

=======================

// Umbara, The Dark World.

//// The Capital City —

=======================

 

 

 

+ Acquired flora & fauna from Kashyyyk, Onderon, Arachnakorr

+ Acquired Arachnor, Wyyyschokk, Shell Spider, Umbraspider

 

 

His hands were lathered in a sickly blood that oozed down his forearms. The screams had died down, and the strange creature that it came from now lay limp and appeared lifeless, half-hanging from a large cistern of strange liquid. Exodus did not share the same cool expression that was usually marred across his face. This was a look of rapture and unraveled determination. A master of the arcane, flourishing in a craft that many of his Kin had lost. For the past week, the Sith beastmasters abroad had been foraging the two worlds of Kashyyyk and Onderon. Hush routes were created for specific flora and fauna to be delivered to particular zoning junctures. This was one of them. The King of the Sith was more appropriately dressed for the occasion; layered in treeworm silks and a black ceremonial robe he favored when courting with Devils. Inside of his palm was a charcoal blade that simmered with golden accents, gripping loosely to the sharp tool as he cut into the flesh of a seemingly lifeless creature. The small symbols written across the serrated blade shone brightly each time that it physically made contact. The blood and entrails of the massive creature spilled heavily into the cistern reservoir, and transformed as a blend with the unnatural poison that had already filled the alchemical container. The smell was horrid in every way; a rapid decomposition of ragged skin and rotting innards, swirling in a cup of heated poisons. There were strange runes that were carefully melded into the cistern as well, many large and many small that carried diagrams of ancient Sith inscriptions. The black blade in his hand was undoubtedly carved from the claw of creature with impressive bone density, and was now used as a medium between his power and the schism of otherworldly energies that were now permeating these sacred chambers. This was Sith alchemy at work.

 

As it is understood, the metaphysical art of manipulating and altering matter by using natural energies was passed down as an extraordinary achievement, one that a small percentage of people had ever truly mastered, a secret that the most arcane held from their apprentices with prejudice. Exodus had been tremendously studious in the earlier stages of his journey as a Sith, even now harboring lost knowledge from those that had long been buried in the dirt. The taste of alchemy had always been wet on his tongue, but as his rise to the highest of echelons were realized, his reach for resources became infinite. The proper application of this dark alchemy required him to not only maintain a full understanding of chemistry and archaic alchemical theories, but also leaned on an unnatural affinity towards recognizing and manipulating the physical objects with an energy of their own. This required exceptional levels of intelligence and aptitude. Exodus understood the technique well, and as he cut into muscle and tissue with the thick of his runic claw, he watched as the hieroglyphics carved into the charcoal blade reacted ever so swiftly. The silky golden symbols acted as a conduit which focused and dictated the flow of power, tapping into the energies that already existed within the heap of matter before him. Each formation of carvings on the claw represented a cyclical flow of dark energy, seizing it, and adjusting that power to manipulable the very nature of what laid before him. “These Wyyyschokk kill many, they are the fiercest and most cunning creatures on Kashyyyk by far.” Exodus spoke curiously while his audience of Krath listened, hiding in dark pockets of the ill-lit room.

 

 

The method to create from raw matter or transmutate an entity completely is one of the most empowering tools, but one that comes with heavy costs. The door to the chambers released pressure, opening from the bottom and sealing itself in the ceiling. One-by-one, powerful men covered in shadow-silk entered the room, each carrying very different items. Most of these were the thick of a Norris root, compounds of solid phrik, and bed of the fungi that the giant arachnor regularly feasted on. Others carried halves of creatures similar to the Wyyyschokk like the Sic-Six and a school of brain spiders. The pool of toxin that filled the cistern began to blush louder with significant color as more items were added. The half-hanging Web Weaver (Wyyyschokk) began to stir..

 

 

 

  • ".. It begins. Someone fetch Telperiën for me. I have another task for her.."

 

 

(Cutting this short, leaving for my vacation just now. Will finish when I come back. Will address Luciferian msg/Ships)

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A tinge of fear ran up Telperiën’s spine as the Sith assault ship emerged from hyperspace over the dark planet of Umbara. The distant star that fed the planet and system life seemed only a bright speck against the automatic light dampening of the assault ships’ forward viewport. She let her presence reach out into the system, touching the force for the first time since leaving the valley of the dark lords. Her breath almost caught in her throat when she sensed the immense dark that scurried throughout the system.

 

Valkis threntiss

 

The unknown voices thundered in her mind with a dark chant in ancient languages dead to the galaxy for millenia. She immediately withdrew her presence from the planet and concentrated instead on herself. The pain that wracked her body since Dathomir had seemed to have gotten worse and her gums were bleeding again. No matter how much she flossed or brushed they still bled, filling her mouth with the taste of sour copper. She winced as a hollow cough ushered through her lungs, misting the blood in her mouth over the viewscreen and she turned embarrassed to wait at the landing bay where there were less Sith Officers to stare at the young girl.

 

She sat down in the dark of the cargo hold and again attempted to meditate but it was not long until she could feel the darkside stirring dangerously beside her again.

 

“Leave me alone. Please. I just want to rest.”

 

Her voice was soft and with every syllable a drip of blood flowed down her chin to drop unseen onto the metal decking below her feet. She was starting to get scared and she hated that. She knew her body was disintegrating, even now she could feel the necrosis in her fingers and arms eating away at nerves like powdered glass in her veins. She could keep it at bay with constant use of the force, pouring the hate, lust, and sorrow of the galaxy into herself to forbade her death but it wouldn’t last very long.

 

You can always join us sister

 

She shook her head wildly and stood. Not now. She was going to be seeing the Dark lord in a few minutes. Hearing and feeling the ship touch down she strode to the forward ramp and jumped down it as soon as it had opened. Leaving her pain and past in the cargohold where it belonged. She filled her body with the force, willing it to move and shunted the pain aside. She strode alongside the royal guard and knelt before Him. Swallowing a mouthful of bitter blood she spoke.

“My lord you have summoned me?”

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Steam rose quickly from the pool of alchemy as the fallen creature began to stir. The trooper detail posted there looked on with troubled confusion no doubt, but their discipline reminded them of their necessary alert. The Whyyyshokk corpse thinned out entirely, cold blood still trickling out from open wounds against the dehabiliting poison that subdued it. The framework of the beast had slimmed completely from a carnivorous bulk of a predator, to a skeletal spider with uniquely sharpened ligaments. Saliva oozed from what was the face of the creature, mandibles still clicking slowly as if to speak hatred to the Dark Lord. Powerful metal compounds were now painfully fusing with the vulnerable bones of the web weaver. Wild fungi broiled from the stomachs of a few arachnor adultlings dumped into the cistern. The poison broke down their dietary supplies, and released essential proteins necessary for the strengthening of the Whyyyshokk webbing.

 

It was by way of Alchemy, that this frightening creature still held a pace of breath between the chasms of the living and the dead. If the Spider known as Exodus could visualize the horror of this darkspawn, then it would manifest as he so wished it. The hazardous liquids mixed within the cauldron was known as spirit venom, the catalyst necessary to break down living matter without shedding it's living essence. This curse of a liquid melts both flesh and spirit, undressing them to their core in order to rebuild them into the desire of the Sith alchemist. Exodus rose from where he rested, and lifted his left arm slow. The web weaver resisted the foreign pull, and the Dark Lord almost laughed at the futility. The creature was suspended in the air against it's will, moving just above the steaming cauldron, it's many legs furiously swimming through nothingness.

 

The smaller halves of creatures, roots and ores stewed in a shallow burn of venom, only slightly submerged at this point. As the cauldron steamed off the contents, the abomination began to evolve and fully embrace the temptation of the dark side that suffocated it, screeching in strange fits of interrupted consciousness. It's madness and hunger completely unraveled, and the fury continued to climax because of its inability to move. The screeching grew louder and louder, and the Royal Guard reared a little in their stance while their weapons were now clutched tightly. "Welcome to the Dark." An insidious tone captured the voice of the Dark Lord, and then he released. The Sithspawn dropped to the floor and skittered across the panels with blinding speed, dripping with waves of miasma that was shedding from it's prickly skin. The creature neared Exodus and stood before him, splitting apart it's own abdomen before it bent on hind legs to launch itself forward..

 

 

(Creation of the Wyyyshokk God Harness)

 

======

 

The Ilk of Ion, the Hyperion, and the Black Scarab roared above the atmosphere as the proud Umbarans shouted cheers that would shake the underbellies of the planet. The war had come and all of the pieces were now set in stone. The new power of the Sith had now come full circle and the enemies that would once see them extinct while their flames barely flickered, were now walking into an inferno of the finest kind. Precise coordinations were communicated between the alliance fleet, and this fleet was now prepared to make the jump.

 

 

=====

 

 

The room reeked of the darkest arts, an aroma of corruption still blanketed the chambers. The boil of the cauldron ceased, but the smell of its contents still filled the nose with a repulsive taste. Exodus stepped slow from the shadows that covered him whole to meet the apprentice that had arrived at last. He stood tall, but there was an alarming change to his stature; the length of the shadows in the room still covered the rear angle of where he stood, and a silhouette of what seemed to be eight hauntingly long spider legs dangled from his back. A couple covered the length of his arms and the rest fell below his waistline. "Please, make yourself at home." There was a layer to his deep voice that came off distinctly hollow.

 

 

"Our enemies are at our front door. I make leave for battle, and I will see just how fruitful your planning has been." He spoke curiously, the decadent raspiness to each word spoken, echoed inside of all who were present. Watching the apprentice, he could feel the elapsed struggle buried inside of her. He could see the Dark weave between her soul and that was enough to understand the mountain of challenges it would bring to her. "You are growing. Embrace your fears and understand the true source of them. Whether your flesh drowns beneath the weight of the power that seeks you or not, you must make choices that are no longer hindered by that fear. Your fear is your weapon, child." Exodus stepped forward once more, and the shadows shed from him completely. His alchemical harness basked in the dance of a small flame that flickered next to where he stood. The oily skin of the whyyyshokk legs glistened, each of them prominent and hoarsely powerful. The horrifying exoskeleton was laid with millions of tiny hair follicles, microscopicly adjusting to the elements all around them. The biological creature seemed to have attached itself to his spinal column, but it was impossible to discern the root of this sorcery in one fell swoop.

 

"Our enemies have distracted themselves. Find out where their armor is most brittle so that we may break them. You will take 1,000 of the strongest with you, and you will seethe through and scout locations that my men will provide to you. Report to me what you uncover. If what you find is another of our enemies that cower in the corners of the galaxy, then their head will suffice. Familiarize yourself with this place before you leave. There is great history hidden here." Exodus nodded once to his young apprentice with indifference, and then swiftly exited the spoiled chambers.

 

 

(Exodus and fleet leave for Onderon. Will intercept messages in next post. Rushing because of war but still on vacation until Saturday. Apologize to all)

 

======

 

 

Sith Offensive Fleet - Warmonger

Total AP: 16

Troops: 10,000

Total Starfighter Compliments:

TIE/vn Silencer Squadrons - 10

Scimitar Assault Bombers - 10

TIE Defender squadrons - 6

K-Wing Bombers - 8

TIE Predator Squadrons - 2

 

Scarab

Ship Class: Sith Star Dreadnaught

Type: Scarabaeus (Black)

Crew: 300,000 crew

Armaments: (Modified)

2000 Heavy Turbolaser Batteries

2000 Turbolaser Batteries

500 Heavy Ion Cannons

500 AG-2G Point Defense Laser Cannons

250 Heavy Concussion Missile Launchers

50 Siege Torpedo Launchers

40 Heavy Tractor Beam Projectors

Upgraded Shielding and Armour Package

Recessed Bridge and Shield Generators

Complement: 12,000 Assault Troops, 6 TIE Defender squadrons, 6 K-Wing Bombers, 6 TIE/vn Silencer Squadrons, 6 Scimitar Assault Bomber Squadrons

AP: 12

 

Hyperion

Ship Class: Frigate

Type: Ardent-class fast frigate

Crew: 1400

Armaments:

8 Turbolaser Batteries

6 Point Defense Batteries

4 Ion Cannons

2 Tractor Beams

Starfighter/Troop Complement:

2 Squadron TIE Predators

2 Squadron Scimitar Assault Bombers

2000 Assault troops

AP: 2

 

Ilk Of Ion

Type: Capital Ship | ISD-II Custom Variant, Subjugator-Class Heavy Cruiser

Class: Star Destroyer

Length: 3,000m

Crew: 11, 300

Armament: 2 Ion Pulse Cannons * (1 post to charge, 1 to fire, 2 to charge),

Heavy turbolaser batteries (5),

Medium turbolaser batteries (2),

Point-defense light laser cannon batteries (5),

Tractor beam batteries (2),

Cluster Bomb Launchers (6),

Extreme Shielding,

Increased Engine Units (16)

Complement: 4,000 Assault Troops, 4 TIE/vn Silencer Squadrons, 2 K-Wing Bomber Squadrons, 2 Scimitar Assault Bomber Squadrons

AP: 4

 

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Terror flickered in her heart, threatening to ignite into a blaze with every halting breath Telperiën drew through her tightly clenched teeth. The hissing of her breath was overloud in her own ears and she worried that she was a disappointment to the dark lord as she knelt, black blood dripping slowly from her mouth to pool on the floor at her knees. She could taste her death and the bitter copper taste of blood as it dripped through her lips from her decaying gums. It was so close, only hours away at her estimation. The magic of the Dathomir and the abuse of the force had et away her bones, her flesh, and her life itself. Where once dense clusters of nerves and marrow had been, now was only rot. Rot that pumped through her veins and turned her sclera yellow red.

 

The room itself smelled of death, the dank cold of decay, putrid in its taste, it permeated everything. Smothering her with its cold, clinging like a lover to her clothes. She wanted to run, to sprint from the dark lord’s presence, and wail in a corner away from all this. But she forced her heart to slow with application of the force. Her left arm screamed in pain from the application, but she did not care, his words and commands were more important than her flesh. For flesh, according to the demons in her head, was replaceable.

 

Disgusting quivering exoskeletons accompanied the Dark Lord as he strode up towards her, carrying the weight of darkness upon his robes. As the shadow touched her she could feel its dreadful strength, and at his almost encouraging words, she forced her eyes up to look at him fully. She could feel a sense of pride flow up her spine as she was given an order by him and she accepted both his teaching and his mission with a smile that exposed her bleeding gums. Her heart finally beating in rhythm of pride instead of fear.

 

“I will do so master.”

 

She bowed and kept her head low until the Dark Lord had departed. Only then did she stop the constriction of her muscles with the force and could feel the icy ruch of fresh blood enter her head and limbs. She slowly pulled herself to her feet, shaking now like a leaf in a storm. She stumbled from the hall until she was walking the hallways of the Sith complex, leaving a trail of black blood, searching for something, listening to the voices in her head. Louder now, more demanding.

 

You must find one worthy of you

 

Something older

 

Something pretty

 

Came the chorus of voices in cascade. Then they stopped when her darkening vision fell upon an older teenage acolyte. Seventeen or Eighteen perhaps, lithe, beautiful, strong, with skin like alabaster.

 

Take her The voice echoed in her head.

 

As if on queue the woman looked up and saw the heir of Ar-Pharazon shambling towards her. At first she was taken aback, but upon analysis Telperiën appeared of little threat and was most likely an abused slave girl trying to escape a master’s clutch. She let out a vicious laugh and took a menacing step towards the younger girl in what would be the biggest, and last, mistake of her life. With a massive exertion of the force, Telperiën launched herself onto the older girl, her small hand covering the woman’s beautiful mouth and forcing her to the ground. She bound the woman there with tendrils of the force, feeding off the woman’s pain and terror.

 

Hearing the commotion, three slaves bounded around the corner and skidded to a halt. Telperiën, grateful for their company, extended a hand to them and summoning the force ripped the life from the trio, pulling the energy from their fleeing force presence to sustain her for the final plunge.

 

Valkis threntiss

 

She gurgled, blood spewing from her mouth in a black and crimson waterfall that cascaded over the face of the acolyte, bathing her in the warm fluid, staining the hair, the face, and the tiled floor behind it with the darkside. The woman’s eyes opened wide in terror as Telperiën’s hand descended to rest upon her forehead, the fingers skittering in intricate patterns, tracing the blood like a brush upon canvas. Then Telperiën leaned forward and chanted a final spell.

 

Valkis threntiss fissan theras almanore

 

The last word seemed to take forever to speak and Telperiën let a smile dash across her lips as she finished the whispered curse and then with a final application of the force, ripped the soul from the woman’s body and pushed her own in its place.

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  • 4 years later...

The Mantis dropped out of hyperspace just beyond the edge of Umbaran controlled space, deep within the Ghost Nebula. Here there were no stars visible in the sky that wrapped all around them. Here, Umbara was not even visible. Looking out the viewport, Vangar shuddered slightly. This is what it felt like to feel utterly alone, a speck against the backdrop of the universe.

 

The interior of the freighter was cramped to say the least. Vangar had brought along a mostly trusted Cloud City Wing Guard, a young Bespin-born human female, Chrissie G’late. She was a computer and electronics engineer of the highest caliber, having managed to hack her way into several highly encrypted networks in the years before she crossed paths with the Wing Guard. Something about redirecting an entire fleet of ore haulers from their destination, Coruscant, to Csillia. From that point on, she had chosen a life of service over a stint behind bars. It had been a good investment for the Wing Guard. Criminals seemed to excel at hunting their own. Now Vangar was hoping to put her skills to another use.

 

Seeing that they were once again at sublight speed, the Barabel scanned the cramped interior of the ship. They were an eclectic group, not the rank and file of the Imperium or even the mixture of hardened warfighters that made up the Rebel Alliance. If anything, they looked like pirates, raiders of the space lanes . Even now their position bellied that, lying in wait; but where were the others?

 

Pulling a small datascreen from his pocket, the de facto head of state shouldered his way towards the cockpit and offered it up to the clone pilot. “Follow the blinking red dot. That should take us into sight of the ship. Just stay out of Umbaran space.” He did not need to finish that thought. Anyone as battle hardened as @Tilt07 and his team understood something of the delicate intricacies of trans-galactic diplomacy and what happened if certain lines were crossed, even accidentally. 
 

Winding his way back to his seat, the Moff tried to avoid clipping anyone with the armored suit or assorted bits of gear that jutted from it. Once they were aboard, they would need to be quick and quiet. Finding his seat, Vangar fell gently into it. On one side, Chrissie sat nervously twiddling a port override interface device expertly cobbled together from an astromech droid and several state of the art computer pieces and chips. On the other, @Raphanel and his fellow Knights. 
 

“I am glad you came.” He whispered. “The slaves,” he continued before pausing to glance around at everyone else as they checked their gear and made final preparations before docking. With any luck, the shield arrays were down; safely nestled deep in the Ghost Nebula. “If there are any transports available; perhaps they can be utilized to help get the refugees safely away. Otherwise, they will have to come with us to . . .” He paused, catching himself as he drew up short. “Well,” he put his hand on his knee kine some sort of grandfatherly figure as his eyes ran about the room, “there is no sense going into that until after the ship is safely in our hands. Besides, the ship will have to be screened in a secure location before anything else.”

 

Sitting back into his seat, Vangar cleared his throat before speaking loudly to the hold. ”Does anyone have an idea for a name for this ship in her newly christened state? @Qessax Jal Todda what was this ship originally called? Maybe our friends from the Clone Wars recognize it and can give us some insight.”

 

 

 

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Tyr Tormo quietly sipped at his drink, groaning at the sourness the liquor had acquired recently. It had been so long since they had a resupply of good drink and food, and this bottle had gone bad somehow. He twisted his face slightly at the drink, but took another sip, eager to get a little loose. Today was going to be a good day. Soon the lucrehulk, long disabled and mostly forgotten, would be fixed, and he, Tyr Tormo, would rise to the Lootai caste. One more step to Rootai, Umbaran Royalty in all but name.   

 

One of the consoles beeped at the 3 mechanics in the command room. Furrowing his brow, he barked at the men, demanding an explanation. The lead mechanic, a blubbering man, quickly explained that a few mynocks had been detected on the outer hull, and somehow got inside.

 

Tyr Tormo groaned and took another sip, before ordering security to the affected area. It was a pity the Umbaran mines encircling the Lucrehulk couldn’t handle those nuisances. Those Seeker Ion Mines were designed to go after electrical signals, but for whatever reason, those little bats weren’t noticed by the mines. Perhaps they were just too small, or maybe it was something else.

 

Either way, the mines had their uses. Until the Lucrehulk was activated, any pirates or foolish explorers who happened on by would be quickly disabled and then suffocate in the vacuum of space. The mines had caught several such people last cycle. While their own long range sensors couldn’t detect anything, the mines would prevent any incursions, cloaked or not cloaked. 

 

Even as his face puckered at the taste of the drink, he couldn’t help but smile. Despite all the troubles he had so far, from rogue droids that powered up randomly, to losing crew members from forgotten security protocols, to replacing defective mines, to killing off the occasional mynock infestation, to the odd slave backlash, he was still happy. Advancement was in sight, and nothing was going to stop that. 

 

_________________________________

 

Qessax looked at the others in the almost claustrophobic ship. He had forgotten how he missed this. The quiet before the storm. A metaphorical term, since there was noise to be expected. Every ship made them, and every member of the ship made them. But in these moments, there was a special stillness that every warrior and hunter felt. 

 

Qessax glanced at the Viceroy who asked a question. 

 

“Let me check with them” Qessax replied and made his way to the cockpit. He needed to stretch his legs a little, so the excuse to move was welcomed. 

 

“Gentlemen…” Qessax greeted the @Tilt07 pilot and the others. He would’ve smiled, but with all the covering over his face and body, such a thing would be pointless. 

 

Before he could ask any questions, he stoped as he caught a glimpse at the ship’s scanners. 

 

“Hold up…” Qessax brought a hand up as he tried to peer closer at the new blips that had begun to appear on screen. “What are those?”  

Edited by Qessax Jal Todda
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Upon entering the space shared by the Umbarans, Thumper carefully navigated toward their objective. When he and the team left someone would have to stay with the ship... Or not, given the mission, it'd be a shame of the Mantis got hijacked... By the same people if not similar it was originally stolen from. However the codes were up to date if not decently shaped to be recognized as a light freighter for transportation. All things considered for the vessel were handled by Thumper, so there was no absolute way that they were going to get caught based on the pile of iron that glides through space. 

 

As Tilt and Riggs readied a few more things, they would hear Quessex ask Thumper a question. Tilt made his way up to the cockpit and was about to answer until he too saw something of the ships radar. Thumper didn't notice it until he actually looked up from the pad he was given and frowned. They both looked upward but didn't see anything at first, and as Tilt looked back down at the radar the blips seemed to have gotten closer. 

 

"Mines?" Thumper asked cautiously.

 

"Fighters... Or scav ships... Be ready for anything Thumper, " Tilt expressed carefully then shouted, "You all better buckled in or hold onto something, we've got contacts incoming!"

 

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If there was one thing that the mission could not survive, it was a deployment of agile starfighters. Two transport ships, even as heavily armed, armoured, and shielded as theirs would stand no chance against a combined strike from starfighters.  It was time to trust purely in the force, to let it guide their journey and let them survive long enough to bring the suffering and enslaved justice. Raphanel took a deep breath and stepped up to the viewport, and knelt. Without orders or prompting his fellow knights knelt beside him, their black uniforms barely reflecting the light that bounded through the viewport from the disk of the planet below them. 

 

They breathed as one, inviting the force to flow through them. Opening a channel into the beyond, and drawing from it a power that to primitive cultures and advanced alike, was purely magical. The force moved around the close flying Alliance transports, weaving about them in a veil of protection, that tricked eyes and sensors alike, for the short flight to the old Federation vessel. 

 

It would not last forever, but it would be enough to get them through the fighters. The Force demanded Justice for the enslaved, and it would allow its Knights that power. 

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Lord Commander Raphenel Karlovci Contispex- Imperial Warden

 

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Vangar tensed at the realization of inbound fighters. That would complicate  things. Where had they even come from? Had someone leaked their mission plans? There were few outside this ship that even knew this operation was taking place. Officially, Vangar had resigned himself to attend to some personal matters related to his newfound position. Technically true.

 

The reptile’s eyes shifted from the clones across everyone in the hold. There was not a thing he could do aside from bark some order or another. He trusted these people though. Without that trust, what sort of leader would he be? No, those who could do something would.

 

As if an answer to an unspoken prayer, the trio of Knights rose and knelt. Even Vangar could feel the subtle ripples of the force as it seemed to wash over the ship, over them, over him, a cleansing wave that doused the darkness that might identify them to the small squad of short range interceptors.

 

”Salvagers.” He growled coldly seeing the hodge podge of different cobbled ugly-class fighters. At least he hoped so. Their pilots had brought them close to Umbaran space than he had anticipated. “We were not fast enough.” This might require a bit more diplomacy if they got caught.

 

Craning his neck to see the slowly looming Lucrehulk, he noted the planet falling away to their port side. A small fleet of corsairs and a single aged assault corvette seemed to be closing on the Lucrehulk from deeper in the nebula. Undoubtedly, they had the same idea as the Alliance crew that was now in a race against not only time, but armed men of lawlessness with no qualms regarding unnecessary bloodshed.

 

Turning to @Qessax Jal Todda he growled, “How did they find out about this?” He pointed an aggressively clawed finger out the window at the fleet that was hurtling towards the Lucrehulk from another direction. They were not even Squibs. At least Squibs could be negotiated with.

 

”Pilot.” He called out loudly. “Get this bird docked on the double. We’ve got company!” Turning to look at the crew he spoke, reiterating a point they all should know. “No unnecessary bloodshed. Minimal casualties. We are the good guys. Lets act like it now.”

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"Oh... Well... That's no good," Riggs states as he was looking through the targeting scope of one of the ships guns. And like Riggs said Thumpers and Tilts minds practically said the same things. A small fleet of scavengers, possibly military black market but there was no knowing for sure as they certain meant business. 

 

”Pilot! Get this bird docked on the double. We’ve got company!” 

 

"Already on it," Thumper say's aloud as there was a sudden lurch of the Mantis with what the Clone putting everything forward into the engines, "Should ingo ahead and patch in a frequency with the 'hulk, Tilt?"

 

"No, just focus on getting us to the vessel. I want that surprise in," Tilt's reply seemed a bit hesitant, holding onto a strap above to keep balance of the shifting vessel, he counted the fleet across from them and made a mental note, "If those fighters break off and head right for us I want all guns active." 

 

"Aye aye, Captain," Thumper replies, "Should I mention that Corvette is a Marauder-class? Not to mention the various Lioaoin Corsairs they've got, despite being a patrol class ship those aren't for show-" 

 

"Just get us to the hulk, Thumper." Tilt say's hoping for the best and for his brother to shut up. The Mantis was moving at it's fastest she's ever seen and it seemed to groan here and there from the exertion it faced. Tilt had his weapons ready, and Riggs wasn't far behind, meanwhile Thumper moving the ship as of she was brand new. The Lukrehulk was in mere distance, closing in extremely quick and as of nothing was happening the Mantis easily slid into a docking bay, Thumper landing the craft. 

 

 

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Tyr Tormo wrinkled his forehead again at the computer beepings in the command room. 

 

“What happened?” He asked, his tone more then betraying his nervousness. 

 

“Sir, looks like…” The officer had to squint his eyes. None of the umbarans were quite used to the brightness the neimoidians had liked their screens at during that long ago war.  “One Sith vessel and several unregistered ships making their way through the minefield.”

 

Tormo’s eyes widened. “Prepare all available guns and fighters. Those ships need to be destroyed before they get out a mes-”

 

“Scratch that,” the officer interrupted. “Sith ship no longer on our sensors. Must have been destroyed by the other ships.” 

 

With no way of knowing that the force had cloaked the supposed Sith ship, Tormo breathed a sigh of relief. No doubt the Sith ship was a refugee from the recent catastrophe at Nar Shaddaa, and the pirates saw an easy target. 

 

“What of the pirates?” Tormo asked. 

 

The officer smiled a wide grin. “Being disabled by the mines sir. Soon they’ll be suffocating like a goldie out of water. Or shall I assemble the fighters?” 

 

Tormo grunted a no and leaned back into his seat. After a few moments drumming his fingers on the arm rest, he came to another conclusion. 

 

“Activate the turbolasers, and get all the slaves out of sleep, working double time as well. I want this thing done sooner than later. Those pirates won’t get us, And bring me another bottle. Something a bit more fine if possible…”

 

Tormo looked at his watch. Less than an hour before the ship’s engines would be working again. Then they could move the entire piece of junk closer to home.  

___

 

Qessax breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t realize he had been holding it. Now that the sensors on this small ship were showing that what he had assumed were mines were dealing with the scavengers, he could ease up a bit. 

 

“Kill the engines as soon as possible” Qessax ordered. “I want these Umbarans to have as few reasons to detect us as possible. 

 

There certainly was life in the hangar, ranging from several hundred of slaves implanted with command chips being forced by Umbaran captors armed with electrowhips, numerous mechanics managing specialized repair drones, and the odd soldier patrolling the massive decks However, rows and rows of old battle droids stood by in power mode, awaiting a reawaken command from the commanding force that no longer existed made patrolling both difficult and creepy. Besides the battle droids, old troop transports, assault tanks, Vulture droids and landing craft stood at the ready. 

 

The other thing that posed a threat were the head engineers in specialized power armor. Both soldier and mechanic, these Umbarars were equipped with plasma cutting torches, ion and stun weapons, and advanced shielding tech, all within heavily encased armor. Of the 250 Umbarans on board the entire ship, only 20 were equipped with the armor. 

Spoiler

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Landing the ship was easy enough. With all the battle droids, transports, and the now enforced double-time, people weren’t noticing a ship landing in the maze of a ship. The only difficulty was the lack of lighting in the entire hangar. The Umbarans had long adapted to low-light situations, and only the slaves had head lamps to improve their work conditions enough to make them both effective and easy to spot. 

 

As the ship landed, Qessax turned to everyone else. “Alright, we got this far.  Now for the hard part.” 

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Raphanel took a long steadying breath and pulled himself to his feet. Exhaustion bit at his knees and clenched the muscles of his thighs, painfully reminding him of what mental and physical costs such feats of the force brought with them. He took another breath and let the force flow its way through his body, clearing away exhaustion and ache, leaving the vigor of youth in its wake. Another feat that he would pay for after the mission, but for now, the rescuing of the slaves in the main hangar was the priority. 

 

Knights did not need to see in the dark to prove effective, and the three of them blended into the murky void as they ran towards their objective. Those cruel and harsh Umbarans with whips of electrified durasteel, whose malice radiated through the force like a beacon. The three knights dodged between shadow to shadow, to fall upon the slavers when the rest of the boarding team made their presence known. 

 

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Lord Commander Raphenel Karlovci Contispex- Imperial Warden

 

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As the craft slipped to a stop in the lengthy shadows of the bay, Vangar stood,  the helm of his titanium-imbued armor tucked under one arm. “Nice landing,” he growled in response, noting that somehow aside from some curious glanfes they had not activated any immediately apparent countermeasures or drawn much attention. At least nothing visible judging by the still deactivated droids. It was a work area after all. Apparently lights were optional.

 

With a pneumatic hiss, the barabel fit his bulbous facemask into place obscuring his persona from the outside world. “Right. To work then.” He moved towards the open door as streaks of shadow blurred past him into the darkness. Only the ultraviolet sensors betrayed their very existence as they moved. A smile played across his obscured lipless mouth, a line of needled teeth twisted into a smile. He had little worry that the Imperial Knights could handle their own. 
 

His cohort followed suit, pulling her UV goggles down over her eyes to complete her shadowsilk crafted shadow suit. Tucking her computer equipment in a marching satchel, Chrissie swung it over her shoulder and moved towards the door. Clutching her muted relbly to her chest, the woman nodded at Vashak. She was ready to move.
 

Stopping at the doorway, he nodded to the others. “Minimal casualties.” He reiterated before alighting to the deck below with a soft landing from a lifetime of hunting, generations of evolution into an apex predator. Chrissie quietly dropped into an athletic crouch beside him. 

 

Vashak moved, flitting from shadow to shadow until he too had circled about the dimly lit hangar, careful to avoid the sweeping headlamps of those hard at work. Chrissie meanwhile stuck to the edges of the room, skirting the bulk of the persons and droids in the room. She only stopped when she made it to the closed door leading from the bay to the interior working walkways of the ship. Not regular hallways mind you, but the circulatory system of the behemoth itself.

 

Vangar joined her momentarily, his shatter gun and eyes sweeping the chamber as Chrissie set to work on the access door.

 

With deft fingers the Wing Guard easily pulled the panel loose exposing a mess of wires. Counting quietly to herself she ticked off red, green, blue, and black wires  until she came to a braided strand of twisted yellow-sheathed wire. Pulling a small pair of clippers from her back pocket, Chrissie took a breath and then cut. The panel slid open with nothing but a faint hiss. Slithering inward, Chrissie began a perilous trek down the causeways, catwalks, and ladders through the external ring of the craft. She knew what she was looking for. She just had to find it.

 

Meanwhile, Vangar tucked himself against the opening in the wall, shatter gun held at the ready, covering until the rest of his companions were safely aboard. Truth be told, he had little desire to use the thing; but on the off chance, it was loud, it was violent, and it sure looked intimidating. Much better to slip aboard without distraction.

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As soon as they landed, Thumper powered the ship fully excluding the security system and pulled his WESTAR commando rifle to his chest. Out last, the Clones stepped into a dark portion of the hangar and realized they were surrounded by droids. The same droids that the Clones fought again for so long, all compact together in organized unison deactivated. For Riggs it was no issue as he took it with stride, Thumper was more weary despite the droids being disabled, however Tilts mind raced in paranoia and claustrophobia. This wasn't good, so thought the Clone Captain. 

 

"Night vision," Tilt whispered softly which received green light on his HUD from the other two troops. It was a much better option than flashlights and gave then a better advantage.

 

Being more a rear guard and avoiding sight by utilizing tool towers, junk and automata for cover, Thumper couldn't help but notice and note the strange armor the rogue faction were wearing here and there, not enough to get back good glimpse from afar. At least the Umbarans as he could guess were wearing them, though they seemed far and in-between, he started to lag until feeling a tug from Riggs urging him to move forward. Several guards and several stops later, they approached to a stop which the Wing Guard started their work. Thumper wanted the chance to start digging into tech but held himself back mostly, with Tilt keeping him in check and Riggs keeping Tilt sane with occasional bumps and such. As of now the Clone Captain was trying to not "check out" and remained almost focused on the mission. It difficult due to so much of the CIS tech being familiarized in so many of his brothers deaths as well as his own brushes on numerous occasions. 

 

"Thumper... Riggs... We're going to break off for the moment. Vangar, we'll keep you posted." Tilt says to the other rear guardsman, breaking off just as the Clone said to take care of something.  That something being the CIS Droids. 

 

As uncomfortable and painful as the machines presented to Tilt he remembers a portion of the mission that needed to get taken care of. Using the droids to their advantage. Tilt would say after they allowed a patrol by, careful to not be loud, "We're gonna reprogram a few... Or a lot of these clankers... Thumper, you know how to do it without activating them?" 

 

"Of course, I wasn't an info siphon for nothin' back in the day.  Just keep me guarded, let me know what's happening." Thumper replies, starting to get to work on a back row of the machines against a wall.

 

While Tilt and Riggs kept hidden and posted,  for Thumper it was like playing with a puzzle. All droids of a same series had similar if not the same wiring, hardware, and software. Used to he would capture a combat Droid and hack into its mainframe to get an idea of layout or information for his team,  now he was deleting and uploading a series of codes into the killing machine. Codes that made the droids fight for the Clones, their entire infiltration team, and of course benevolent toward passersbys such as the slaves and common workers. Rinse and repeat, what at first turned into a three minute operation would become a 30 second hack per machine, of course, he was we'll aware of the patrols and engineers, he would find his own coverage preventing from getting spotted. 

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