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Sullust


Tarrian Skywalker
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Aryian cursed under his breath. They should not have assaulted a sentry outpost, they should have snuck around it to their main objective. Now the entire base was alerted to their presence, and if need be, they would call in reinforcements.

 

Wonderful.

 

Aryian reached out through the Force, touching the minds of those involved.

 

Abort, they know we're here. The element of surprise has been compromised. Retreat to fallback point and regroup, await orders from the council.

 

Aryian stealthily made his way back to the ships with Xae, boarding his own once his Padawan got there and leaving the system.

Immediately reachable by  charlesjhall@gmail.com

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He felt a small amount of pride that came from the victory. Sanj knew it didn't matter and was of little importance and a very minor victory but it was something and his first achievement. He walked back into the ship and looked for a place to lie down. He was exhausted and needed some sleep. He lay down and shut his eyes and began to drift off into sleep.

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That's Fernando, I found him in a Cambodian sewage pipe. His is a tragic tale of imaginary sea creatures and crack abuse.

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Hartel heard the message from Master Darkfire, but could not leave it at that. This base was not heavily defended, there were barely any troops and if the Jedi wanted it, they could take it back with ease, even with detection. No that had to be some other way. Thinking momentarily the Jedi Knight knew of a plan that did not include retreat and losing Sullust. He focused his ideas into a message and threw it off to him.

 

After he was finished with his message he moved to the front of the group. He grabbed one of his lightsaber's, his single hilt for the tme being and activated it coming to the forefront.

 

"Men," he said to the illusions, "Let us take this base with force. We will control the trade of this planet from this day forth and the Mandalorian Clans will reunite."

 

Rushing forth he began to make cuts through the blast doors with his lightsaber, all the while, grabbing smoke mines from his belt and laying them at the door itself. Hartel finsihed making the cuts and backed away from the door. He gathered the force to himself, balling it into his hands. He focused the force here, swiriling it into a high energy that he could damn near physically feel in his hands. The force being so near he could feel the units forming on the other side. He threw it forward and knocked the door straight toward where the troopers ont he other side should be standing, if they were not killed this should definitely knock them unconcious for the time being. With a second push the smoke mines were thrown out hoping the proximity sensors would cause them to go off giving him the cover of smoke to disable the enemies he needed.

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In his dream, Sanj was a child version of himself, traveling in the ship that had allowed him to escape from his home planet of Alderaan before it was destroyed. He was alone, his parents were left to be destroyed by the massive death star and it's laser. He was terrified, in an unknown being towered over by people he had never seen before in his short existence. He didn't know where he was going, let alone where he was. He tried to jump up to look out a nearby window and looked out into deep space. The young Aruzan was shocked as he gazed out; he had never seen space before and he was caught in a trance as the boy starred at the millions of stars.

 

He continued to look out of the window, and noticed a planet begin to appear from the void. His eyes widened as the ship approached the planet and began to enter its atmosphere. The ship then continued to enter the planet and traveled throughout the planet. It entered a nearby port and began to land. It hovered down and the doors opened and people slowly walked out.

 

He was met by a soldier this was a different looking one than the other who wore an unusual mask. This one was smiling and was happy greeting them. He seemed to notice him; he knew this was because he was a lone child.

 

”œWhere are your parents?”

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That's Fernando, I found him in a Cambodian sewage pipe. His is a tragic tale of imaginary sea creatures and crack abuse.

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His troops assembled, the CO stood to the side of his troops as they watched the intruders rush in through the garrison's camera feeds. One particular camera was pointed directly at the door the intruders were at. The moment a lightsaber blade pierced through both sets of doors, the commander cursed under his lips. There was no doubting it now, the Jedi were here. Everyone stood silent as they watched the glowing blade turn the thick steel to molten metal like butter, its slow motion around the door all the more ominous. Only after half of the makeshift entryway had been cut had it donned upon the commander. even if they cut through the door, it would be nearly impossible to move the massive chunk of steel still blocking their way, unless...

 

"Move to the side of the door, at an angle. Back here."

 

"Sir?"

 

The commander spoke with no anger in his voice. It was natural for the men to question this particular order, especially since it would cut down on their ability to fire at the invaders. "Listen, once they finish cutting through, the Jedi will have to use his witchcraft to either push or pull the massive block of metal out of the door frame so they can get in. That's fifty fifty odds of you getting hit with several tons of metal with whatever force he can muster, now I said MOVE!"

 

Seeing his logic, the men moved without question. Now they were forty-five degrees from their previous position. Even if the Jedi felt this shift in position, the cuts on the door would only allow the block of metal to move in only one linear path, parallel to the cuts of the lightsaber blade. With a door that thick, moving it at all would have to be either straight forward or backward, unless the cuts were done at a severe angle, and even then they could adjust accordingly. Twenty men stood in two rows of ten, half kneeling up front, the other half standing behind the first. As previously ordered, all of their blasters were set to stun, though admittedly a high level of stun.

 

As expected the door was thrown into the room with ungodly force, yet the troopers held their ground, their intense training so ingrained they knew there would be no reason to fire until the enemy had been spotted. But the enemy did not rush in. Instead, smoke grenades of some sort were tossed in.

 

"Watch your eyes."

 

As one, the troopers quickly switched the vision in their helmets to thermal vision, now seeing purely by the heat signature all things gave off. Still they held, no reason to fire until there was a reason to. The CO picked up his hand held comm, with his disruptor pistol in the other hand, and whispered very lowly.

 

"Come up through the main hall and cut off their escape. They're attacking the command center now. Make haste."

 

One of the sergents outside the command center would get the message and spread the word throughout all the soldiers throughout the base. Soon troopers quickly began to spread out through the base, some headed directly to the main hall, while the rest covered all the other exits, manning all of the garrison's built in defenses. As previously ordered, all combatant personnel had switched their blaster rifles to stun.

 

"Gentlemen," the Commander spoke to the twenty men with him. "It's just a jump to the left."

 

In perfect unison the twenty men made a quick leap to the left, now back in the line of fire with whoever stood on the other side of the makeshift entryway. Their stun volley flew in furious synchronization, almost like an angry ballad, through the hole cut by the lightsaber. Whoever was on the other side of that door, they would not be pleased. The shots flew in volleys, men taking turns to switch themselves out of line of fire to conserve ammunition, and keeping all of the men from being subjected to one brutal attack at once.

 

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Volleys of blaster bolts hailed nearly as soon as the door had flung out into the supposed crowd of stormtroopers. This had not been expected but the Jedi Guardian had much more instinct with the force than his enemies would have hoped for. Throwing up a Force Shield allowed Hartel to leap out of the way of endless array of blaster bolts and give him time to power up his Mandalorian armor. These men were trained and trained well, far better than the average trooper, especially when it came to battling force users. The empire seemed to have anticipated an assault here somehow. But how were they so easily prepared. How could they have known that there was a Jedi in the mix of the false Mandalorian assault when Hartel made great strides to make the facade reality? So much had become uncertain in a short amount of time and the Jedi soon had the greatest daunting feeling of all.

 

Failure.

 

He had failed Master Darkfire, failed the Jedi Order, failed the Sullustans and failed himself. He had royally screwed this whole mission with hardheadedness. He would have to meditate heavily in the future on what had occurred this day, but failure will linger over him for a long time due to his actions. The Jedi had no time to waste, and his life would not fare a good chance against these trained assassins. His facades were not capable of probably no ship to escape with at this point either.

 

He grabbed his other saber and lit it in his hands, both of them ignited for battle, a power shield with his armor, and his HUD displaying thermal readings of his enemies he was a one man army, with the powers of a demigod to help him in this battle. The smoke was still heavy, and with proper timing he could cause more destruction. But he had a better idea. Grabbing a grenade from his belt he blasted the doorway where the blast doors had once been standing until the whole portion of the facility caved in on itself, making no clear shot of the Jedi available.

 

Gathering the force once more, John used a massive force push to blow debris at the soldiers hopefully causing even more confusion, and possibly concussions amongst the enemy. When that had been completed, he sent his fake troops into the fray to fire upon the enemy without remorse. Hartel would let some of them "die" and then allow new ones to respawn out of the broken blast door entry.

 

With that Lord Hartel himself ran out and ran straight through the line holding his sabers to the side hopefully taking out as many of the troopers as possible. And there he continued to fight, blocking blaster bolts all the while his troops continued to fire at the enemy.

 

Eventually the Jedi Knight noticed out of the trooper crop was an officer he used the force to gain enough speed to meet him before he had a chance to retaliate. He raised his saber and thrust it toward his midsection.

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Black vs. Hartel:

 

Black: excellent post. Good use of strategy to protect your men and a solid offensive post, and an acknowledgement of Hartel's illusionary ploy.

 

Hartel: I must confess to finding your posts slightly bizarre, John. You created your illusions and have, on several occasions, treated them as if they were real people. Your final post also suggested that they would be sent into the base to kill opposing troops.

 

If it was indeed your intention to manifest fully-functioning 'hard light' troops, rather than simple illusions, then I have to say that you're overreaching yourself. The amount of energy needed to manifest this sort of attack is pretty much beyond any FU, ever.

 

Further to this, you posted blocking stun bolts with a lightsabre. Not possible.

 

Also: powers of a demigod? Really?

 

Finally, you expressed dismay that Black saw through your illusion and detected a Jedi. This is not overly difficult to do after you've inserted a lightsabre into blast doors, the other side of which has many troops waiting.

 

To conclude: Black's post far exceeded the quality of Hartel's, which ignored the fact that stun bolts cannot be countered by a lightsabre, and that one cannot manifest solid illusions. You also gave the game away with your illusion by posting cutting the door open with your lightsabre. Your character may be a Jedi, but even Jedi are not, to paraphrase you, demigods. Against twenty incoming stunbolts, your character frankly needed a much better defence than this.

 

INCAP SHOT GRANTED

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Damn it John, Xae thought as she sensed her lover's actions through their Force-bond and saw Aryian's figure begin to retreat back towards their ships.

 

For as long as she could she tried to get a sense of what was happening back at the as yet to her eyes unseen base. Though a brash, younger more headstrong part of her yearned to chase after her lover, fight her own way through the base to rescue him, her more recent years of training under the Jedi Order kept those impulses tempered. Still there was a slight hesitation as she turned to follow Master Darkfire back to the fallback point.

 

It was a much longer trek back to the ships that housed both her and John's respective Padawans.

 

As she reached the boarding ramp she brushed off the Padawan's curious looks at her return and the lack of company. She nearly retreated into her quarters, but decided that it would be better to use this experience to teach the three Padawans.

 

"In many organizations, there is a pattern of command. In some cases it is formal and others it is less so. The Jedi Order is no different. Our part of the mission here is at an end. John overstepped his orders and compromised the mission and as a result is now in the hands of the Empire. We will continue through to our original mission before we were called away. We do have a stop over to make though at our main base. We leave immediately."

 

Her message was delivered with surprisingly little emotion for the inner battle of wills and the storm of emotions that pulled her in many different directions - the part that was upset with John for disobeying orders, the part that wanted to rush off after him, the part that felt guilty for leaving him behind...

 

In more ways than one she felt like she was slowly being ripped apart, images of John being tortured...

 

She'd done well to hide the maelstrom within from the Jedi-in-training, but she felt that control slipping and excused herself, allowing R2-D6 to assume the role of getting the ship out of the system safely.

 

Once behind the privacy of her quarters, her breathing quickly began to escalate along with the acceleration of her heart rate as she allowed her barriers to drop, letting the emotions and conflict completely take her. Her loss of control took her back to when she was just starting her training with Kyp and was beginning to learn the meditations to keep calm.

 

Slowly and deliberately in her native Dathomiri dialect she began to chant the Jedi Code, forcing herself into a deep meditation to purge whatever it was that had gotten a hold of her and had caused her usual iron-clad control to snap like a string.

 

As she regained control. the Cabur streaked through hyperspace.

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At first, the Jedi didn't seem to notice the dozen or so stun bolts rocket against his armor and shutter throughout his body. His mind seemed incapable of accepting it. Instead he blindly rushed forward toward the CO, picking him out from the crowd of masked faces for unknown reasons. Maybe it was the pistol in his hands, maybe it was blind luck that his focus fell upon the enemy commander, perhaps event he force was guiding his action, but just before reaching his destination, the Jedi fell face first into the unforgiving durasteel floor. In the very same instance, all of the illusions forced upon the defenseless troopers faded away, a moment of clarity passing over the base in one calm second.

 

"Strip him of of his possessions and get him in stripes. The Emperor will want to deal with this one personally."

 

The unconscious Jedi was processed like any other individual, save for the fact that he was put on heavy neural restrainers and doped up ridiculously heavily for transport. His arms and legs were bound in reinforced durasteel manacles, and then his body was completely wrapped in a similar steel chain. No room to move, no room to think, no room for error.

 

The ride to the spire would be direct, the fate of the Jedi known to only one.

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It was a carefully calculated and precisely executed hyperspace jump””the ships of General Aesop's armada penetrated deeply into the system. The majority of the fleet arrived out of hyperspace in the empty space in Sullust's orbit. For a moment, three MC90a Star Cruisers and their supporting escorts were visible on the Imperials' sensors, but quickly disappeared when they took shelter behind the planet's uninhabited moon Umnub ””the commanding General had decided to leave that portion of his fleet in reserve, near a mass heavy enough to project a gravity well enough large enough to prevent an ambush, but close enough to respond to Imperial arrivals.

 

The remaining six Star Cruisers and their myriad supporting frigates, however, was stationed higher in Sullust's orbit. Cosmetic damage was visible on their ordinarily pristine hulls. That was from battle damage sustained at Selvaris, where the task force led by the Sith Haphaestus had put up a valiant but ultimately futile struggle.

 

”œSignals, instruct the fleet to loosen the formation. Let's try to control the entire system. Jam all Holonet transmissions, and begin our advance.”

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((Through Xae, Black has allowed me to post an escape post. I will pay this favor back for sure. I am taking some liberites here to go from the time you took my character to the spire until his escape, I hope that is all and well.))

 

Hartel felt as if he had not seen in a long time, his eyes felt as if they were wired shut and his body was weak from hours and hours of torture by his captors. The Imperials never let up and never stopped. But Hartel was strong with the force, and no matter the brutality that had come to him, his connection kept him running stronger than the torture, capable of coping with the toxins and trauma which would have overcome him even as a padawan. The Imperials had ensured his cooperation with him as a captive by knocking him out every few hours with 8 stun bolts to the chest, as drugs and other toxins had not worked on the Jedi Knight.

 

Hartel moved his head up to see darkness, left and saw darkness, wherever he turned he felt as alone as he did when he was taken away by the force itself. The Jedi Knight had finally gathered enough of his strength over the past few days, using most of the energy he had to keep himself from dying under the strenuous torture, to get himself out of this facility. As he stood up two imperial guards came into the room promptly possibly to knock him out again, however the Jedi was prepared, using the force he smashed the two of them together and then they were unconscious. Grabbing a rifle, the Jedi Knight walked through making sure it remained on stun as death was unnecessary now.

 

John was now outside of constant torture and the force began to flow to him in constant without being used allowing him to use it in more dynamic ways than before. As he scaled the elevator he could detect life at the surface as if poised there to guard in case Hartel had somehow got past the two guards up top. As he descended closer to the base of the station he noticed that there were 6 men each armed, and their blasters were not set on stun. The Jedi made sure he had enough energy in the balster rifle and concentrated to the control panel of the elevator right by the door.

 

*CRACKLE BOOM ELECTRO-STATIC NOISE*

 

The panel had blown itself from the inside out. But he knew that wouldn't solve the issue completely. These men were trained to handle his kind and thus they would take extra precaution in case. Reaching into the mind of the troopers in the back of this contingent he had them betray their allies, with a few sounds of bolts going off and the sound of stormtrooper armor hitting the floor the Jedi moved out of the elevator shaft pelting the last two with ease. The Jedi saw a familiar sign after that that was noted as "Commanding Officer's Quarters". The Jedi Knight could not sense a soul in the room and entered to see what else may have been inside, most of all his gear.

 

Immediately a blaster bolt had hit him in his left arm as he entered the room, acting on instinct John shot the man who shot him, only seconds later realizing it was the commanding officer. Luckily he was not dead, just knocked out, John didn't want more death at his hands if it was avoidable and here it was. Looking about the room John found a large lockbox near the desk of the CO. Blasting it quickly John retrieved his robes, armor, and weapons. Placing his helmet on the Jedi Knight moved out of the room toward the hangar bay continuing to stun every guard he saw to keep himself from sounding an alarm. However it was for naught as just outside the hangar entry door the red sirens had gone off. One of the bodies must have been found.

 

Frustrated by the predicament Hartel used the force once more to get to a ship quickly. Picking a fast ship to get away as soon as possibly the Mandalorian Jedi picked a TIE Interceptor. Once inside he set shields to double back and high-tailed it out of the facility and into the atmosphere over Sullust. He saw some Republic Ships and instantly forwarded his Signature over the frequencies so he wouldn't be blasted out of the sky. He sent an open comm to all of the ships.

 

"Good to see you lads, Jedi Knight John Hartel, I just escaped the Imperial Base after being held captive. The CO is stunned and so are many others, I would go in and take them out as now is the best time."

 

With that the Jedi Knight punched in some coordinates to a safe haven and made the jump to lightspeed.

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((Hehe, rest assured Hartel, if you had truly been a guest of my interrogation rooms, you would not have left with alive. But no worries. Sorry I didn't get to you, but I've been rather sick, and much has been going on both OOC and IC for me to deal with.))

 

The garrison saw the Rebel fleet come out of hyperspace, and all swore in unison. It wasn't that they were afraid, just tired of fighting. Christ, doesn't anyone get a break?

 

”œImperials, this is General Aesop of the Rancor. Surrender or face destruction.”

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((I forgot to post my battlegroup before, but here it is now.

 

9 MC90a Star Cruisers

16 Corellian Gunships

7 Carrack Light Cruisers

9 Quasar-Fire carriers

 

Given that we just came from a battle, it's a fair assumption to make that we've sustained some damage””and I knocked down the count of the lighter ships as casualties. It was originally 20 and 9 Gunships and Carracks, respectively.))

 

”œGeneral, it's a bluff. An Imperial Prefabricated Garrison don't have enough manpower to withstand a single cruiser, much less”””œ

 

”œI know, Lieutenant Commander. But it's the mention of hostages that worries me. If they take casualties”¦”

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  • 4 weeks later...

If this operation succeeded, Bruce had taken about five seconds to reflect on, it would go down in the books as an example of exceptional improvisation after the traditional battle plan had been thrown away. After the purchase of the automated tunnellers from a local corporation””common machines, essential to the Sullustan's way of life””the metal behemoths had to be shipped dismantled to the muster point for the operation. It was a natural cavern that had been mapped years ago by the native species. Then began the process of reassembling the droids, a task that took a number of hours when coupled with the special modifications.

 

But when the beasts finally turned on, they ground a rough pathway in the almost wide enough for a LAAT/i to fly down. They churned the earth quickly enough that a fighting man had to march to keep up with their pace. How those same droids built temporary supports to prevent cave-ins, he had no idea. It was amazing, he observed, shaking his head with astonishment, the engineering feats that the Republic's mosaic of species had accomplished.

 

I love this job.

 

The underground march to the Imp prefab took the better part of the day. Meanwhile, the fleet's bombers began to assault the base in earnest, a handful of the craft actually launching probes to perform a seismic scan of the area. It would built a rough picture of the base's layout””not perfectly accurate, but anything that could give the troops a better idea of what to expect would be invaluable in the assault.

 

When the Republic's forces hit in earnest, however, it was like a god of the underworld came forth to sunder the Imperial base. The drills had long alerted the entrenched forces, but there was a huge difference in being aware of their attack, and being able to do anything about it. At the last few meters, the droid-piloted machines halted and slowly stilled themselves”¦

 

..And all hell and the remainder of the tunnel broke loose when shaped-charged placed in the machines blew up, shredding the huge drills and carving a gaping hole in the Imperial base for the invasion of the Republic.

 

The gauntlet of the Republic came down immediately to smite its foes. Talons and Urban Wolf Spiders immediately poured into the breach, covered by overwhelming fire from E-Web emplacements in the tunnel. All of the defenses that the base's commandant had boasted of””its souped-up shields, its hostages””had come to be for naught.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The mission began with a surprise for the Imperial forces, and the Republic's finest didn't pause to allow their enemies to regroup. They swarmed through the base, using their superior firepower and their war machines to overwhelm the defense before the could mount any improvised fortifications.

 

It only got worse for the Imperials when the Talons found the controls for the base's power and shut off the shield generators. Reinforcements immediately dropped from orbit and caught them between a hammer and an anvil.

 

A number of the survivors prepared for a last stand in the barracks where the Sullustan hostages were interned, probably planning to use them as living shields. The Talons refused o tolerate their terrorist tactics. After securing the rest of the garrison, they stormed the barracks with blasters set on stun.

 

_______________________________________________________

 

After the assault was completed, Captain Slaughter was summoned to the prisoner barracks by one of the squads that had taken those facilities. His nostrils immediately shut when he entered the bunkhouse””cramming hundreds of people into tight living quarters gave the room an awful reek of sweat and effluent, and these poor guys had just had to go through a battle. Worse, some of the Sullustan civilians had gotten in the way of the firefight””the Talons' blasters had been set on stun, but he couldn't say the same for the Imperials.

 

Right away, the orders began spilling from his lips. ”œRancor, we need meds down here. Droids, bacta tanks, everything you can send down. We've got a lot of sick people that need help.”

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  • 2 weeks later...

A week later, the role of the Republic fleet over Sullust shifted to a more peaceable mission. During that time, however, Captain Slaughter and his Talons, and the regular army on board the armada had searched the subterranean cities to follow up on leads on possible Imperial hideouts. The campaign netted only a few arrests, however. Meanwhile, the liberated shipyards were immediately put to work for their previous contractors and began laying down keels that would eventually become the next generation of the Republic's warships. Te first to completed would be repairs on the battered cruisers of Aesop's detachment and the ships that had recently been destroyed in battle. Scaffolding was laid down for a Golan III space station, with significant progress being made on the project.

 

Even though most of the capital ships took up berths in Sullust's orbital shipyards, their crews were not idle. Countless starfighters had to be repaired after being worn down by being deployed in battle repeatedly, and nearly all of the fleet had endured at least minor damage. Nor were the Talons attached to the armada idle; Urban-class Wolf Spiders needed to be repaired and updated to the next evolution of those war machines, and the new droids needed to be tested in simulated combat to ensure their efficiency in battle.

 

Almost immediately, the new configuration was met with great acclaim. What had been an individual modification, the inclusion of a self-loading grenade launcher, had become an official modification of their chassis. Their wheeled legs made them considerably more maneuverable, and their AI update certainly made them more”¦ personable.

 

The droids had taken to giving each other high-fives with their weapons joints at the end of successful training exercises””as well as a few highly amused soldiers (actually, Slaughter suspected that the Wolf Spiders had learned the ritual from his men.) Another of them, whom Bruce nicknamed ”œFenris”

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All of a sudden, every single undiscovered Force-sensitive on Sullust felt an irresistible compulsion to look up.

 

Though it had been repaired after the horrendous beating it had taken at the hands of the Empire, a legendary ship had arrived at Sullust to be refitted for its future life as a flaming sword that would cut a swath through the forces of injustice.

 

((Mods, I'm going to be discussing this with you guys later.))

 

Many days later, the ship left port and soon disappeared into hyperspace,

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  • 2 months later...

The Black Avenger touched down in a secluded landing sight. Doran exited silently, he was armed and dangerous. The Mando was running, stepping quietly while making sure not to disrupt anything. He neared his target; an Imperial garrison. He switched his jetpack on which propelled him to the top of the building. He was surprised how easy it had been so far, he grabbed a fusion cutter and sawed through the roof. As it collapsed he jumped in with blasters drawn. He turned around to see a room full of rebels with guns pointed at him, he sighed and dropped his weapons. He knew when he was beat.

 

The room was cold, he was in his under armor. Armed guards stood beside him as he thought of escape. A man came into the room, blaster in hand. Doran was grabbed by the neck and dragged before a superior. His blood was pumping faster now, he was surrounded by his enemies with no weapons or armor. It was a sticky situation, one false move and he was a dead man. The man in front of him was speaking but was being ignored. In the blink of an eye Doran lunged forward and grabbed the blaster from a nearby rebel. He then shot forward behind the superior, grabbing him form behind before placing the blaster to the side of his head. He then escorted him out of the room, making sure his hostage was between him and the rebels at all times in case someone wanted to take a shot.

 

He was backpedaling though the garrison, spinning every couple seconds. He was being followed but he had the lead. He found himself in a strange room, he didn't know exactly what it was for but he had a couple of ideas. As the rebels entered the room and noticed the dead commander on the ground in a pool of blood they then stared at Doran who was standing nonchalantly in front of a highly explosive tank of gas. He then dashed towards a door, he sprinted away as large explosion ensued. He had completed his mission and now all he had to do was find his armor and weapons.

 

He strode though the halls, there were dead Imps everywhere. The stench of death was everywhere. The cold emptiness had Doran depressed almost. He found a storage room where his belongings were kept. He grabbed them, armored up and set out.

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"More tea, sir?"

 

Faust found himself on Sullust. Not the first time he visited the planet, and likely far from the last. He sat at a cafe' on one of the planet's subterranean resort cities, Piringiisi. Part business and part pleasure, he tested out his right hand, flexing it. Despite the deft work of his chop-house surgeon, it still felt a little off ever since that Jedi witch severed it on Nar Shaddaa. How that situation escalated out of control he was not entire sure.

 

Business on Sullust was simple. An executive of the SoroSuub corporation needed taking care of, after a jealous rival in the company wanted him dead. Faust took up the job and one neat case of poison made to look like natural causes later, he was spending the fruits of his labor at a quant little cafe. A bit later, he would hunt down a bounty on a jewel thief that sources told him was hiding out here. It would be a Republic bounty, but that made the irony all the more sweet. He dwelled on that for a moment, contemplating the best way to achieve his goal. Not that he needed the credits, but it was the hunt that mattered and entertained him. He also wanted to avoid Imperial worlds until he heard back from that spy he contacted on Nar Shaddaa, absently wondering how that project was going.

 

"Sir? More tea, sir?" the waiter repeated.

 

Faust's eyes gazed at his Sullustan waiter. He wore a prosthetic face, giving him a cheerful, if not ruddy looking appearance under a crop of short black hair, though his eyes were still the familiar, cold blue. As an afterthought, he kept a set of Jedi robes like the ones he wore at Nar Shaddaa. Not exactly inconspicuous, but suitable for getting by without suspicion.

 

"Yes please," Faust replies quietly, his voice set to a heavier, good natured one.

 

"And ah, your check, as well, mister, ah what was your name, master Jedi?" the waiter continues, handing the Hunter his bill.

 

"Lusef," Faust replies, smiling and adding a healthy tip. "Lusef Aryan."

 

****

 

Lusef later finished up with the jewel thief, and promptly handed him in to the authorities, leaving the thief a bit worse for the wear from one too many stunbolts to the chest- and a mindwipe to hide the thief from coughing up the fact he disclosed the location of his stash to the Hunter after a mind trick, which Lusef in turn intended to pocket to pay for some expenses, including the upkeep of a new safehouse on Sullust.

 

It's immediately after that Faust, or rather master Jedi Lusef Aryan, is given a package by the Republic's officials to deliver to the Jedi Temple on Haruun Kal. Lusef smiles, lightly fingering the package. Curious in that he had yet to appear on Haruun Kal. The last time he had an interest in attending was during Draygo-Darkfire's wedding. Alas, security beat him there and even he was not quite crazy enough to try that.

 

The package turns out to be a dossier of Force sensitive children that the government compiled for submission to the Jedi. Lusef carefully copies the information and transmits it back to the main Sith temple on Coruscant, on a secure and encrypted line, courtesy of Darth Luciferian, then reseals the package. Yes, Lusef Aryan concluded, a chance to visit Haruun Kal and snoop out the base would prove interesting. And if he could sow a bit of chaos along the way, then so be it.

 

Hitting up his SoroSuub contact, Lusef uses the jewel thief's stash to pay for a discount on a Preybird Class Starfighter (and incidentially, with the jewels missing, he destroys the man's chance for a plea, dooming him to decades in prison), figuring he was better off not taking the Bhelliom to Haruun Kal. Naming it the Solo Wing, he takes off for Haruun Kal.

In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

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((One: Sullust's atmosphere is hostile on the surface, and so you don't exactly walk up to a building. Two: The next time you post my men's actions like that, I'll kill you out of spite.))

 

The reaction to the Mandalorian's actions was swift and best described as "overkill". A pair of squadrons from the Forth Unto Dawn were dispatched to watch over the captured garrison: one of E-Wing space superiority fighters and another of A-Wing interceptors. A quartet of the new transports were dispatched to the surface, offloading soldiers equipped with atmospheric suits and specialized weapons in the area around the garrison. A fifth, however, took up watch at the mouth of one of the area's natural cave formations, taking shelter from the elements just within its depths.

 

The fleet, anticipating an Imperial attack, scrambled and took up positions to intercept incoming vessels along the most likely hyperspace routes.

 

After the initial shock of the idiot's one-man attack on a Republic garrison, the commander of the garrison scrambled his soldiers and sent his men into pursuit within the bowels of the base. It was not the Republic's policy to allow criminals to take its citizens hostage and let them get away with it.

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As the Solo Wing prepares to take off into hyperspace (the Bhelliom having quietly snuck out before hand using a different transponder code, now halfway towards one of Faust's private bases on an asteroid), Faust, now immersed in his Lusef Aryan persona to survive on Haruun Kal, watches the scrambling of half the Rebel fleet. Getting a momentary flashback to his capture on Mon Calamari, Faust feels his blood boil, veering towards combat.

 

Mastering himself enough to keep towards his current mission, he sends a quick comm to his SoroSuub contact, asking what was happening, and in turn was briefed about some incident at the Rebel base involving a Mandalorian.

 

Faust thought about turning around to help the man out just to contribute to the chaos. It really would be sporting and more of a challenge. He weighs it, judging the merits of this little event against infiltrating Haruun Kal.

 

Sorry, my Mandalorian friend, it sucks to be you. You're on your own.

 

Quickly transmitting his new identity and clearance, he slips past the blockade and vanishes into hyperspace.

In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

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  • 1 month later...

Two more Golan III space stations were completed and deployed to defend Sullust's shipyards, with work commencing on a final fortification. Meanwhile, vague indications leaked out that the Republic was planning something huge for the defense of one of its most vital members. None of the shipyard workers would offer any information about what the military-industrial complex had planned for the future of Sullust's defense, but the regional market leaked some clues.

 

An unprecedented level of industrial traffic began to pass through the system, with a large amount of it visiting Sullust's moon, Sulon. Huge numbers of unspecified ”œparts”

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  • 1 month later...

One major project that contributed to the defense of Sullust completed, another began, with a number of minor corvettes seeding a number of convenient spacelanes with mines.

 

Meanwhile, a squadron of thirteen ships in various states of disrepair arrived at the shipyards for refitting, having been pummeled in battle. Some confusion ensued amongst the shipyard's crews when they saw that the corvettes were operating on a skeleton crew--literally, the bare minimum to ensure that it could travel a short distance without the ship falling apart--and that the new fitting left the ships almost entirely without any means to defend themselves.

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  • 1 year later...

The armored being behind the control slipped out of hyperspace far outside of normal sensor range. Normal by the standards most planets employed and considered their 'airspace' so to speak. He was a fan of leaving few to no traces of where he went as well as how he got there, and this would be no exception, at least initially. He spent the majority of his approach time doubled checking his facts on Sullust.

 

He doubted this information gathering would be long. He had practiced with shipyards with the Fondor visit, and these guys kept track of travel the same way thyferra was. With pure military efficency. He had to admit, no matter what after this visit, he would spend quite some time asleep. He had been burning the candle on both ends as of late, in this pursuit.

 

So he spent his time after being granted clearance, bribing, tricking, and bluffing his way to the information he work he needed or needed done. It helped having others look for you, as well as your own eyes, and a couple of AI. In the end the results was the result, and after a time he soon left the world with the results he had gained.

Slicer.jpgMy sig is my profile...

ship

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  • 6 years later...

“Thank you for meeting with us despite our lack of credit history, may your risk be rewarded with fortune, procurer.”

 

Saint sat in an office in one of the SoroSuub office hives, consulting with a representative of the company regarding a very unique reasoning for purchase.

 

“I must say, miss Sylc, that I’m surprised that anyone is thinking about the future right now instead of just trying to survive, or set set up their own little dictatorship, what with the Galactic Alliance fragmenting and the Sith moving to claim worlds. It’s in our best interest to provide support to those that actually keep the wheels of commerce turning. Not to mention people with money instead of promises make the best customers. Now looking at your application for production, it seems that you are looking for a ship with higher than standard shielding and armor to act as a safe zone on a planet classified as extremely hazardous for the purpose of mining ore that you believe we will be of interest for our acquisitions department for the purpose of building starships. You are also looking at the construction of a security vessel to handle pirates and aggressive competitors that might try to muscle in on your claim. You want this vessel to have a superior communication suite for overcoming the radiation interference at your claim’s orbit, and to prevent pirates from calling in the location of your shipments. You want chaff torpedo launchers for active defense for your shipments. The defensive armaments are going to be mass driver tech to prevent certain shadier elements from tracing tibanna gas shipments. The hangar will use launch tubes to deploy fighter escorts, while security shuttles will use a dorsal access point with armored doors.”

 

The Sollustan went through the extensive checklist of needs as a protocol droid translated. Saint’s own body felt unfamiliar without her armor, and without her body glove a sense of crippling vulnerability permeated her instincts. The representative probably thought it was jitters from a backwater entrepreneur waiting for a verdict on her financial hopes for the future. She did nothing to dissuade him from that notion.

 

“That is correct, procurer. The people that raised me taught me not to believe in causes, just to see the “churn”. People who believe in things get so caught up in how things are and how they think things should be, that they lose track of how often all of the rules change. That’s why the wars never produce a true victor. There is no finish line, no final victory march, just the churn. So me and mine are going to keep our heads down and do what we need to survive the next change of the currents.”

 

Saint waited patiently as the Sullustan worked at his data terminal. Not needing to be alert was an odd sensation, and made her feel hollow, underutilized. The room itself seemed designed for comfort, with neutral wall tones, effective but soft lighting, and a scent that according to wall plug in was supposed to be reminiscent of a Naboo flower garden. Nothing was wrong. Her training was telling her that meant that everything was wrong. How can you be prepared if everyone is pretending that everything is safe? Things are never safe, that’s how idiots get killed, by letting their guard down. Saint reached for the comforting reassurance of a weapon that wasn’t there. This isn’t right. Isn’t right. Not right. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. WRONG! WRONG!!!

 

At this point, Saint realized that her hands were shaking heavily. She clutched their opposing forearms to still them, but she could feel the adrenaline high surging through her body. Did the Sullustans know who she was? Were they stalling while the police came to apprehend her? Sullustan cities were excavated from underground, so the viewports were actually just recorded images of natural environments on loop, so no sniper threat. Even without her suit she could subdue the SoroSuub rep and use him as a hostage, he was travel sized.

 

“Would you like a glass of water miss Sylc? My sensors indicate that you are nervous.” The protocol droid suddenly chimed in, and Saint managed to get out something resembling a vocal affirmative. The droid retrieved a pitcher from a nearby beverage station and poured some of the contents into a glass and brought it over. She couldn’t hide her hands shaking and still take the glass, so she hoped that the rep was too caught up in data to notice how bad it was. She reached out and grabbed the proffered glass, but the adrenaline surging through her system made it shatter under her death grip. Shards exploded everywhere, and a number of them carved lines in her hand that were soon traced in familiar crimson.

 

The room exploded into chaos as the Sullustan rushed over and the protocol droid began apologizing profusely, but the chaos along with a problem to solve brought a familiar calm to Saint. Wash and disinfect the cuts, bind them with medical supplies, let the pain remind you that you are alive. The rep was aghast at her being hurt, but Saint had found her calm in the eye of the storm. He seemed to redouble his efforts at the data terminal, tapping away in a dervish.

 

“Alright, I’ve transmitted the plans to the design team for your security vessel, they’ll draft up plans but there is an approvals process, so it may take longer than just building a standard design. If approvals are met however, and your needs expand, we will be able to go directly to the manufacturing stage for future orders of that type. For your first request, I worked a bit of magic and managed to find a unique opportunity for you. With the GA downscaling, we’ve gotten a lot of vessels sent our way for reclamation and parting out, now that nobody has the credits to maintain such a massive galaxy wide fleet. We have a demilitarized Venator class ship that with its military grade armor and shielding would be able to cope with the parameters that you established, and we can overhaul the central computer systems to use Duros biocomputers, so that you will be able to maintain a hardwired network as long as the vessel remains uncompromised. It has extensive hangar space that could be used to house your mining equipment, and those capital ships are basically like flying cities, so you could convert them to suit whatever infrastructure needs you have. You’d honestly be doing us a favor in clearing the drydock space. In terms of starfighters, there are a number of legal issues that need to be navigated with selling any modern level of starfighter. That being said, our techs could sell parts that could be assembled into a functional whole."

 

Saint processed all of the information before responding.

 

“A functional whole? You mean like Uglies? We can work with that. Anything too advanced would be a waste on our pilots anyway. We’re not the space jockey hot shot types.”

 

“Then miss Sylc, I believe that your funds have cleared and we have come to a successful transaction. May we all prosper together.”

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

Saint and her new project soon left Sullust together for Qat Chrystac.

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  • 3 years later...

The Demented Madness dropped into realspace above the unfortunate planet of Sullust, and with it came hunger and madness unrivaled in the galaxy. The ship was a tattered starbarge, scarred from its time under the pulls of the Maw and its master. It was a dead thing, a lifeless hulk propelled by no living crew. A transponder beacon labeled it as the skybarge Soulless Fancy out of Veruna by the Hydian Way.

 

The Hutt pondered the world as it approached. Sullust was the gem of Rimma Trade Route, well known for its mineral wealth. With it under his control, the Sith Empire’s constant hunger for raw materials would be sated, for a time. Would his own?

 

A blubbering sigh echoed across the rusting bulkheads as the ship set down in the quarantined dockyards.

 

Even the Jedi Master, Sarna, had been but a momentary pause in his consumption. Her essence had barely filled him, and only for but a moment. Another blubbery breath, this time of the harsh Sullustian air. Crimson eyes stared up into the polluted skies. Hunger crawled through him, twisting his visage.

 

Around him was a loading yard, all scattered machinery and cargo ships, all waiting for the bureaucrats to complete their lengthy inspections. To pay their tolls and tax their cargos. Dockworkers bustled about, looking busy in the laziest way possible.

 

The Dark Side moved, sparked to action by the Greed and Gluttony of the Maw, overpowering the insignificant emotions of bureaucrats and dockworkers. Beside their simple lusts for credits of leisure, the Maw was an all-consuming desire for more. He could feel the lives about him change, bending unknowingly to the will of Hunger.

 

They were delicious. As each was brought under his control, life began to ebb away. Just as starlight streaked into a Black Hole, unknowing its death until beyond the Event Horizon, so too were the lives about him. The more power he consumed, the more he could devour. Beneath his great bulk he could feel the patterns of the world itself, the echoes of distant tetonic plates, their constant grinding played across his malformed lips. The polluted sky began to shift, unnatural forces overtaking those of Nature. It was not the Hutt’s desire to cause such change, it was but the consequence of such power moving, the physical manifestation of the Dark Side.

 

A storm was building

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King Kheldar vos Correlli said:
Sheog, I have to ask, overkill much?
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  • 4 weeks later...

Something like Hunger moved across the surface of Sullust. A Lust for Indulgence.

 

It struck with the fury of a famine. Gluttony in all its forms. Five spectors with it came, all the fell offspring of famine: Laute, that of exotic indulgences. Studoise, that of the excess. Nimis, that creature of unending insatiability. Praepropere, that animalistic instinct of the ancients from which feasts are born before the famine. Last was Ardenter, that fell bastard of Avarice and Hunger, which drove men to horde and devour. All were manifest in the mountain of Filth that channeled the storm.

 

The ground itself cried out in the cravings of famine, churning with ravenous tectonic rage. A Storm rose above Byllurun, the capital of the falling world, and into it, Sheog channeled the very heart of depravity. Avarice and Gluttony ruled and was reflected in the Maw. What could be eaten, was in overindulgence, but still they starved. They were like rats in their warrens, feasting on their own young but still starving. Insatiable. It was all a reflection of the Madness that was the Master of the Krath.

 

Dark clouds began to fall from the sky, ripping into the city of Byllurun with howling wind. It was assaulted from above by the sky, with lightning and ice, while from below the ground quaked in its insatiable rage.  The city was a ouroboros, the populace devouring themselves and each other in an orgy of hunger.

 

At the very heart of the revel, was Sheog. He relaxed, leaning against the stout bark of a Vyspian tree, in a field of death. He took in life itself, ripping it into shreds just as the maw devoured light. Flesh crumbled to ash, bone to dust. He feasted on life and on the emotions of the tortured populace.

 

The Maw had been unleashed.

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King Kheldar vos Correlli said:
Sheog, I have to ask, overkill much?
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hunger, that insatiable starvation tore across the planet, spreading out like a ravenous cancer from the capital of Byllurun, taking everything living into the storm. The planet’s heartbeat, those tidal flows of magma that swirled through the planet, took on that of the Hutt, reflected in his madness. There was a volcanic rush, tectonic plates fighting against each other in a mad scramble of fire and groundquakes. Pyroclastic flows reached across the cities like searching fingers, finding the hiding life within and devouring it to ash and fire-gnawed bone.

 

About the Hutt, a world began to die. The power of the Maw had come, and Sullust was crossing the Event Horizon. That life which was not directly consumed, such as fungi and bacteria, began to whither away from the radiation that poured from the atmosphere. The Storm was growing, rippling with radiation and gravitational abnormalities. Sheog consumed everything about him, corpses whithering away, their consciousnesses eclipsed by his own. All that was left was sardonic mimickry of life, shattered bones tottering like zombies through a wasteland that had once been a capital.

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King Kheldar vos Correlli said:
Sheog, I have to ask, overkill much?
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Kirlocca stood behind a pilot as the J-1 shuttle blasted out of hyperspace above the planet Sullust. Almost immediately, the Jedi Master was hit with a wave of death and terror. Kirlocca slowly breathed in and out, letting the Force center him. The death was strong, the chaos below was an energy that begged to be settled. And the Wookiee knew instantly that Johan was about to come face to face with something he will never forget. He could feel the crews own emotions as they swirled around with what was coming through on their scanners and devices. He could feel the thoughts of the pilot before he even spoke a word. "Master Kirlocca, I'm getting no feedback from below on any frequency and the scanners are picking up massive amounts of radiation and deadly storms... What's our course of action?" The Jedi Master closed his eyes and felt out within the Force...

 

<< ...Something strange is going on the surface. Not natural, but caused by the Force. Approach the surface with caution. Johan... center yourself in the Force. You will be tested on this planet. >>

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A flavour emerged from the background, like a fish-head rising to the surface of a good soup, where the eyes seem to stare back at you, waiting to be devoured. Hunger changed its attention from scouring the planetside, upwards towards a new morsel. The flavor of it was somehow familiar, but lost to the fog of time, like a mince-pie you had in a dream, but whose taste you always pursue.

 

The Mountain of Filth stared skyward, beyond the circling clouds, beyond the consumption of the Maw. He could see it now, on the Event Horizon, a powerful force. All he had to do was tempt it to stray further, and he would be sated for a time. Half a planet had died and yet he was still unfulfilled, perhaps this would fill him.

 

Familiarity crystalized, and into the Force the Hutt greeted the approaching one with a wisp of desire, the grumble of a stomach. An invitation to consume. Come and join the heart of the revel, for what fun was eating if there was no one to share the meal with? The Hutt looked down to a small droid nestled in his palm, a trophy from long ago. 

 

<<I haven’t tasted of you since Corellia… My it’s been a long time. If you can't talk, I do still possess your tongue.>>

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King Kheldar vos Correlli said:
Sheog, I have to ask, overkill much?
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