Star Wars After the Awakening Part II: The End

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  1. Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 8
    After the Awakening II: The End

    The year was 34 ABY.

    The New Republic, two weeks ago, was scuppered by the First Order, a shot from Starkiller base having annihilated the First Fleet and many of the great flagships of the Rebellion - the Viscount; the Guardian; the Harbinger; the Elegos A'Kla; the Rebel Dream; the Yald - along with the entire Senate, which had been in session at the time. CHANCELLOR VILLECHAM and his ministry are dead, though there were survivors among the wreckage of the orbital fleet; Senator TREEN, for example, who briefly joined the recovery effort based from Eshan.

    The Resistance relocated to Yavin 4, and prepared a previously unthinkable plan; to assassinate Supreme Leader SNOKE, and attempt to seize KYLO REN, making use of an actor double of HAN SOLO, one PRAXON, assisted by WYN, to distract the latter enough for the team, consisting of the shapeshifter BELILA 'BRE' GAMBROUS, the Mandalorian SUSULAR DHA'TRA, and pilot RHOEN AQUILLA, working together with LYSA DUNTER, BOBA FETT, GORAN BE'VIIN and GENERAL LEIA ORGANA, recently widowed by her own son.

    Defeating a plot by the darksider KU'AR DANAR with the help of the Jedi spirit of ULIC-QEL DROMA and Master KYP DURRON, the crew was caught up in an attempt to kill them all by SNOKE, unveiling his Sith name of DARTH PLAGUEIS. Driving SNOKE to flee towards his Super Star Destroyer, the RAVAGER, the Resistance has dispatched its team in hot pursuit, having joined forces with rogue ARGEN and the Muun banker DAMASK aboard the ROSA in the final panicked moments of the BATTLE OF YAVIN 4.

    Closer to the Unknown Regions near Esfandia, former Jedi Padawan KODO PRINE, working with the aged QUINLAN VOS and GALEN MAREK, ambushes the Sith Lord with dramatic consequences.

    The Super Star Destroyer, in the depths of the Unknown Regions, has been found by JAINA SOLO, and during her infiltration of the ship to pursue her brother, Admiral DAALA has acted to cripple the warship with a hit and fade strike, stranding the leadership of the First Order in the face of the Resistance hit squad.

    While the BATTLE OF ORD MANTELL rages, disgraced officer BRUTURUS HIDAX is paired with the sole survivor of her squad, SAVA BOUTROS by CAPTAIN PHASMA during the engagement, and succeed in triumphing during the pivot point of that engagement, earning them notoriety within the First Order, even as, in a seemingly unconnected event, IZZY STARK performs BLACK SUN business on CORUSCANT.

    However, an Eighth member of what will become known as the PROTECTORS - VINCENT MIKARU - was on his own mission to discover his true Sith roots, having discovered during the BATTLE OF ESHAN that he was descended from the OUTLANDER, who had fought the ETERNAL EMPIRE OF ZAKUUL three and a half millennia ago. Heading to Chandrila to the TOMB OF THE BRAESEN'THOR, with the Twi'lek hunter MYNA'VERA and a Ryn on a parallel course, the Echani warrior intends to seek the connections between the past and this present threat.

    Little does he know that the moment the droid drew the last piece of blood that the Codex was complete.

    They've already lost.

    ---

    This is a closed game for the players of After the Awakening, as a successor game. New character sheets will not be accepted at this stage, though you are welcome to forward them onto the GM should a space arise.

    The new game will start on September 1st 2017. There will be previews up to this point.

    All current players are requested to do is post their character sheets over in the Resource Thread, and they may update their summaries to account for the events of ATA I, if you have not already.

    The rules remain the same, and the fun shall continue onwards.

    The Game Begins Anew...!


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  2. Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 8
    Prologue

    Sixty six years ago...

    As the droid 11-44 escorted the corpse of Hego Damask to the morgue, it was with a somber appreciation of his fallen masters talents. A renowned banker in the material world, and a brilliant geneticist in the minute, the Muun had demonstrated a mastery of the macro, weaving an incredible scheme beside his apprentice, Palpatine, reaching to the point where the position of Chancellor had been in their joint grasp, and the micro, in which Damask had birthed creatures from nought by genetic material, and manipulated the very particles of the body to extend his life.

    All for nothing.

    11-44 would have lamented the passing of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Plagueis, had he the capacity, but even he noticed a certain sluggishness to his mental processes, as if his systems themselves were grieving for the Muun. He would have refreshed himself and removed the offending lag, but 11-44 found that he did not want to. Perhaps that was the emotional sentiment wearing out his desire to move on from this moment.

    Now, he was property again, passed on by his affirmation to Darth Sidious, the man who had slew his master. Truly, 11-44 had came into the service of Damask by the selfsame manner, but the Muun had given the droid an opportunity - Sidious was simply the legal inheritor of the droid, as was the case with much of Damask's public holdings... though 11-44 expected that, through various legalese efforts, no one soul would understand the true extent of the Estate of Hego Damask... nor the great connection between him and Palpatine.

    Absently, the droid wondered whether he would be passed from Sith to Sith. 11-44 had observed the creature Maul, the Nightbrother whom Palpatine had been bequeathed on Dathomir, and 11-44 would very much have preferred to never associate with such a base entity. The Jedi Master Dooku, however, seemed to have an appreciation for finer things, so perhaps that would go more pleasantly, as it seemed likely in 11-44's estimation that the former member of the Jedi Council would be selected as an apprentice by Palpatine, as Maul did not possess the political acumen to further the Grand Design.

    It had been many hours since the death of Hego, and it had only after his new master had been certain that the corpse had been released to the care of the droid. He was certified to announce the death to any medical board, and so due process would be satisfied. 11-44 need only prepare the body for cremation in accordance with his will; Damask had sought to avoid his shell being carved up and the medical wonders he had performed becoming public knowledge; such manipulation of the midichlorians and their innumerable presence in his blood might have drawn a closer eye from the Jedi Order, after all.

    It was thus, as 11-44 motioned the hover gurney to the crematorium that was one such installation owned by Damask via all manner of shell company - so as to make it all the easier to dispose of evidence, his master had wryly noted - that the droid was debating whether to eulogise Darth Plagueis. It seemed somehow unfair that such a great being would be so anonymously disposed of, though the droid was long unable to judge right and wrong, especially what with the innumerable medical ethics he had breached in the repeated death and resurrection of Darth Venamis, a rival apprentice who had sought to overthrow Plagueis. Yet in that decision to dispense with morality, programmed or otherwise, 11-44 appeared to have found a kind of kindredship with Plagueis, and that was, in many ways, what he would miss - not so much the Muun himself, but the connection.

    The droid absently reflected that Darth Plagueis the Wise would have much preferred the quick and emotionless dispatch of his form, in keeping with the tenets of the Sith Order, to which the 11-44 absently acknowledged loyalty to, at least in principle.

    And so he drew himself to his full height and prepared to pick up the corpse.

    As 11-44 reached, however, the corpse coughed.

    The droid paused.

    Bodies did not just cease to function after they were terminated; there was often matters which still spun; muscles which were tensed, loosened, and synapses that were caught, sparked up. 11-44 decided that his pause was unacceptable, betraying a ridiculous hope that his fallen master would rise from the dead, and refreshed his circuits, eliminating the ghost of grief within his shell.

    The moment passed, and 11-44 moved again.

    Another cough, and this time, the Muun's eyes fluttered open. 11-44 decided to ignore it, and tucked his arms partially under the back of Damask when the hand came to rest on his metal shoulder. 11-44 turned his head to regard the long, skeletal fingers, which dug in for support and Damask sat up.

    "Droid?"

    "Master Damask?" 11-44 kept his tone as neutral as possible.

    Darth Plagueis smiled, his eyes glittering. "Hego Damask is dead, 11-44."

    "Quite so, Master Plagueis."

    The Muun stood, strength and colour returning to his form.

    "Was my former apprentice convinced?" Darth Plagueis shifted his robes to suit a live form, rather than a dead one. "Did the Force respond as I thought it would?"

    "Master Palpatine mentioned a balancing in the Force, Master Plagueis. I have subsequently discovered that Maul died at a time simultaneous to your supposed death."

    "Fascinating," Plagueis considered. "So his death caused a shift, and my former apprentice considered that it was my own? Or..." The Muun tapped his chin. "Was my death sufficient, even if temporary?"

    "I could not say, Master Plagueis." 11-44 paused. "Is Palpatine no longer your apprentice because he tried to kill you? Will you seek a new apprentice?"

    Plagueis laughed, his face catching the flames shadows upon it as he leaned forward. "He is no longer my apprentice because he succeeded, my friend. With my death he is the legitimate Dark Lord of the Sith. He defeated me. That I survived is detail. The chain of succession is decided by his triumph over me."

    11-44 paused. "I would have thought that your survival would negate that ascension, master." The droid had always found the concept of legitimacy within the Sith a point of dogma, confusingly shaded by the two of them choosing to elevate Maul and even engage in efforts to turn Dooku. The Rule of Two beget a neat classification of there being only two.

    The Muun patted his shoulder affectionately. "Only if I intend to oppose his rise. Which I do not, at all. The Grand Design is in safe hands. I have other pursuits now, pursuits for me. The Sith will continue on, regardless of whether the Force strikes back at us now. The Chosen One may have come, but he will face the imbalance in the Force - embodied by Darth Sidious, Galactic Emperor. The Sith will survive, and I will see to it, should my former apprentice fail."

    11-44 paused. So there would be a parting, then. "Where will you go?"

    "At the height of my vision I sensed something calling to me in the Unknown Regions. I shall begin my investigations there." He considered. "You will remain here, following your new master. But I expect updates, when I seek them, in anticipation for my return, as and when it should occur."

    The droid bobbed his head. "You will update me as to your genetic discoveries?"

    The Muun smiled softly. Darth Plagueis could see that he had corrupted the soul of this simple medical droid. Not by cutting at his programming, and forcing him to act against his will, but by leading him down the path of the dark side; to seek discoveries, and ignoring the ethics of it all. 11-44 sought the answers beside him, and the answers would do if he could not be beside his true master.

    Eyes twinkling in the flames, a nod was given. "All in good time, 11-44."

    "For time... time is something I will always have."


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  3. Kahn_Iceay Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 5
    Interlude: Vincent Mikaru

    Eshan, a few hours after having separated himself from the Invective post Yavin.

    “A man can have anything, if he’s willing to sacrifice.”

    Vincent woke with a start, cold sweat clinging his sheets to him. The words echoed in his head. He didn’t know them, He didn’t know the voice who spoke them. Regardless a chill ran down his spine as he thought of it. He didn’t know the voice, but he did. Sitting on the edge of his mind, a periphery vision that sought to cling to his mind.

    Sitting up he turned to the sleeping form beside him, he reached out, hand hovering over her crimson locks, before he pulled his hands back. He couldn’t put this burden on her, much as she might valiantly stand beside him, regardless of where it might take him.

    Quietly as he could, he rose up slipped on the pair of trousers that rested by the bedside before slipping out of the room. The air was chilled, as he moved closer to the outer hull, gazing out upon Eshan, upon the remaining ships in orbit, upon his home. “Your freedom, will be the wars you wage.”

    The chill ran over him again, as a Gladiator slowly rolled into view, a section of it’s primary hull missing, jagged edges and broken seams. A reminder of the battle that Eshan had just suffered, a battle that while victory was had, had come at a cost.

    “Your birthright, the losses you suffer.” His fist clenched at the thought, the idea of what he was. A Sith, by birthright. That this was his legacy, that this was his cause. He’d spent his entire life at the understanding that the Force was simply it, and it was one's will that made a difference and now, now he had no idea what to think.

    “When the darkness finds you, you will face it alone.” He turned back to the door to his bedchamber. His mind rolled over the last words. You will face it alone. He shook his head, stepping over to a wall comm unit, thumbing in a code he pressed the send key. “Callista.”

    ~Yes Master?~

    “Prepare Task Force: Krayt... and deploy the Valkyries... We’ve work to do.” He let go of the button, closing the channel, before turning back out the window. “I face nothing alone...” His mind turned to those he’d fought beside, both physically, and in spirit. “Because our fates are already to entwined...” They might now be a Galaxy apart, but they were in this together. They were never alone.

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

    Before Hosnian Prime, before the First Order’s assault on the greater Galaxy, Vincent had a plan. In the decade since he’d taken over MSS the company’s fleet assets had more than quintupled, cooperation with other paramilitary groups were at an all time high. Good will with the company in the Middle Rim was well established, with Vincent’s establishment of the Esme Mikaru Foundation where he would donate 10% of all profits he himself would have made to help feed, clothe, and shelter refugees from the Vong War.

    And all that, was a cover. Make no mistake, Vincent has a heart of gold, but he’s a pragmatist. He’d studied what had happened during the clone wars, and then the Galactic Civil War. The Shadow Collective, the Black Suns, the Zann Consortium. The power of the galaxy fell not truly in the hands of the Governments, or the armies but those who ruled the underworld, and that underworld was Vincent’s goal.

    Growing up Vincent had idolised his Uncle, Muri. Muri had owned and operated a large bulk cruiser during the Civil War, and fought alongside the Smugglers Alliance, and was essentially Vincent’s hero. He stood up against an oppressive government and along with others he won, but Muri never sugar coated his stories to his nephew. Through his stories Vincent came to know that if not for the black market, the Smuggler’s Alliance and the Rebellion wouldn’t have made an impact, let alone win.

    But Muri also talked about how the Black Market wasn’t a diamond in the rough, it wasn’t a knight in tarnished armor. As much as some parts of the black market aided, it also fought against them. Organizations like the Black Suns, the Zann Consortium, and others rose up to take advantage of the chaos. Slaves, spice, weapons, they traded in it, some even rose, albeit temporarily, to powers with enough military strength to rival the Empire just like the Smuggler’s Alliance and the Rebellion. Vincent aspired to be like that.

    So the plan, was to create a buffer zone. By becoming the undisputed private military contractor of the middle rim, Vincent would create a zone with which the Black Market would have to travel through and would allow him to ensure that necessary aspects of the black market flowed normally, while slowly and systematically eliminating other parts of it, such as slaves, and the more dangerous spice. Because there was an adage, that the tighter one clenched their fist, the more grains of sand would fall out of one's grasp, but fine control could keep things under control.

    Vincent however, now thought he’d never get to see if his plan could succeed. Task Force Krayt, his personal force so named by his compatriot Tank, originally designed to escort him as a show of force to and from areas of contention, was now escorting him on what some might consider a wild bantha chase, regarding his supposed legacy as the descendant of the Outlanders and Kallig’s heir.

    Then there were his Valkyries, inspired by the DX Annihilator Network the Valkyries referred to a series of six HRD’s that acted as an extension of Callista’s consciousness network. They were supposed to be his eyes and ears across the galaxy, able to impersonate his appearance via Multispectrum Disguise suites, completing deals, assassinating criminal opposition, and strong arming rivals, and spying on potential threats. Now they were scattering across the galaxy, following up and looking up quickly studied and divined leads towards other information related to the legacy of the Outlanders.

    And finally, his fleet. His grand flotilla meant to solidify his position as a serious force in the Galaxy was now moving to engage the encroaching First Order forces, trying to keep their forces from breaking into the inner rim. Everything he’d built up, all of his assets, all of his plans, were now being thrown against the First Order in some desperate attempt to stonewall their advance long before they were ready to be any such a force.

    He could only hope that this was the crucible that his plans would be forged in, not the fire in which they would be consumed.[/b][/b]
    Sinrebirth and Kev-Mas_Colcha like this.
  4. galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2009
    star 4
    Interlude: Rhoen Aquilla


    Too small room, Rosa, Hyperspace

    Curled up in his flight suit the young pilot's thoughts varied moving between reminiscing about the mother he lost, and dreaming of the woman that was showering just a few steps away. Inside he could barely control the emotions inside him, wavering between crushing despair and uplifting love, or was it something else. Then he recalled his brush with death, over Yavin IV his wing missing plummeting towards the ground, the lush green jungle growing nearer and nearer.

    His panicked breathing, his erratic heartbeat pounding in his ears. His hand shook, his body nearly frozen with fear.

    "Rhoen," his mother called out.

    "Rhoen," she called out again, he didn't respond, the canopy of tall trees coming ever closer.

    "Rhoen." The voice changed, it was younger, full of care.

    His eyes snapped open feeling a hand shaking his shoulder. He woke from his nap with a start his head looking up into the person's eyes, Lysa's eyes. Something about them brought him calm, soothed the panic that overtook his resting mind. He gave a weak smile, noticing her still wet hair.

    "Sorry about that, I must have dozed off." He rubbed his eyes to try and wipe away any stray tears that might have formed as he slept. "I guess I'm next in the shower." He moved to get up from the bed doing his best to hide the feelings inside him. A shower would help clear his mind.

    In the shower he braced himself, tightening his muscles preparing for what was to come. He turned on the water and sucked in a sharp breath as the frigid liquid hit his warm skin. It took him longer than he would have liked to regain control of his breathing as the unending stream of cold water continued. The initial shock of the cold was enough to break his thoughts, to force him to stop thinking. It was liberating, to finally let go of all the thoughts that were running rampant in his mind, to finally focus on the present, not the past.

    Eventually he warmed up the water cleaning off the grime, symbolically washing off the last few hours, the harrowing few hours of his first command, of his victories, his mistakes, and ultimately his utter defeat at the hands of the First Order. It was time to start fresh, with a clean slate. He'd learned much and would hopefully take what he learned and become a better leader. He could only hope.

    He got out of the shower dressing in simple clothes obviously set there for visitors or whoever usually uses this refresher.

    He came out running his fingers through his shining blonde hair. Letting out a breath he smiled, genuinely this time as he saw Lysa laying on the bed. He went over to her and sat on the edge of the bed. Moving a lock of hair out of her eyes one of them opened.

    "Hey," he said softly. "I suppose it's about time we have a talk. About where we go from here, and where here exactly is…I mean, not physically, I mean…" He hung his head, why was this so hard? "You know what I mean right? I think we just need to sort out this…" he gestured between them with a hand trying to convey that he meant their relationship, and where it went from here. "And what our role is in this vast mess that is left to us." He leaned back as much as he could on the bed trying to find a comfortable way to sit.

    "So how are you feeling?" he finally asked reaching out a tentative hand.

    Lysa had allowed the water to clean away her stresses and fear. But it was not the strain of losing most of her squadron, or the insane engagement she'd partook in. Nor was it the fact that she was now drafted on to a hit squad to track down the leader of the frigging First Order.

    It was Rhoen.

    She'd been warned about this by her father.

    During war, it's about survival. In any moment, you could be dead, or someone you broke bread with, or shared a smile with at breakfast. Every connection is so fleeting, and even more so in a conflict where you are on the edge.

    That makes the connections you do manage to form and keep going precious to you. You'll rely upon that person, even if you cannot help it. The longer that lasts, and the more people come and go out of your life, the more likely you are to fall for them.

    It's natural. But a war romance is volatile, driven by a mutual desire to survive, to throw yourself into something real. It is either that, or pull back, and surrender your humanity - which means you've lost already. Without that instinct to reach out, you'll never go that extra light year for your squad mates, never put yourself forward for civilians, and you'll be dead before death actually catches up with you.

    Not every war romance is Han Solo and Leia Organa. Usually it's Jaina Solo and Jagged Fel; furiously powerful, but without the pressures keeping them together they separate.

    Her father had the politeness not to mention Han and Leia's marital problems - be it when Chewbacca was believed dead and Han absconded for a year, or the separation that seemed to yaw between them over their firstborn son, Ben. Their relationship had been successful, and always would be held up as some kind of fairytale romance turned tragedy.

    So I'm not going to tell you to cut yourself from your emotions. I'm simply going to tell you that I love you, I trust you, and that you will do what is right for you. If you have faith in the man you find on the front, then I will support you, and welcome him into our family, because of that love and trust.

    Lysa lay on the bed as she thought about this. Was Rhoen that man? She was unsure. When logic intervened everything seemed too uncertain, but she also understood the subtext of what her father had said; love is a choice, in that the commitment is the choice. That was the logical part of it, not the love itself.

    He spoke, and she nearly jumped; she'd lost track of his time in the 'fresher.

    Rhoen stuttered, and she smiled, taking the offered hand. "About how you sound."

    He was so sweet, even though he was considerably more messed up by the past few week than she was, and that made her decision for her, in many ways.

    "I don't know where we'll end up... but I'd like to see where we go, Rhoen." She sat up, and reached her hand up to place a hand on his cheek. "Is that enough for you right now?"

    Rhoen smiled chuckling a little as she took his hand, the warmth flowing into him. She made him smile, made him laugh at a time he really needed it. Right now he couldn't think of doing anything without her, in combat or in life.

    He pressed his cheek into her hand closing his eyes to soak in the contact, to etch every contour of it into his mind.

    He listened to her words turning them over in his mind. She had no better idea of what to do than him, it was very fitting. They were just starting their adult lives and found themselves thrust into a war. Everything was new, everything was scary but, she didn't sound afraid. His heart pounded in his chest as he caressed the back of her hand on his cheek. He held it in place as he turned his head slightly kissing the palm of her hand. His eyes never left hers.

    "Yes, it is enough." He replied, "As long as you're next to me, as long as I can keep you near me, I will be fine." His voice might have sounded a little weak but, he was still trying to keep his emotions under control.

    He gave thought to the future would they survive this? Would they have the time to grow this…time to see it to an end, or would it all end in this war? He shook his head, no, none of that mattered. He had Lysa, right now, no matter what comes next, he had her back, and she had his. What came next could wait, they would face it together.

    Leaning closer his heart calmed a little. He kissed her cheek, this wasn't the needy affection he gave her in the in the shower aboard the Naritus, but a tender caring display.

    He pulled away smiling, "Well, I'm glad that is settled." His mind thought back to something that had been nagging him since the conflict with the First Order, Lysa's parents. Captain Merek made mention that she knew her parents, that they were in the rebellion. Lysa seemed a little defensive about it so, maybe he shouldn't ask. Or just ask delicately.

    "Lysa," he started, "Um…who are your parents…" he held out his hand in a kindly gesture, "You can choose not to answer. It's just that…Captain Merek mad mention of knowing our parents and I'm…I'm curious." Butterflies now flutter in his stomach, this might not be the best time but, it might be the only time they get to be alone, it might be time to let out all their curiosity.

    Lysa smiled as he kissed her cheek, and she was admittedly nervous that he would want to go further, but he changed the topic to her parents. With a smile, she reflected that Rhoen was not one to rush things.

    Of course, her parents was a complicated point. Lysa blushed. "Yes, about that."

    She steadied herself, taking a moment to compose her thoughts. The moment dragged somewhat longer than she intended. Secrets were habits, after a while, and with the New Republic in pieces it may be safer not to reveal it. But this was Rhoen, after all.

    But which secret to say first?

    "My birth name was not Lysa Dunter, actually." Starting small might be a good way to go.

    He turned his head to the side as she blushed, was it embarrassing for her to talk about her parents? They may do things that cause embarrassment, he had a few moments with his mom, showing his childhood pictures with her friends or preening his hair before he left the house.

    However, the long silence led him to believe it was more than just simple domestic acts. His face changed into one of patient thought, waiting for her to speak. All the while his curiosity sparked, why was it a secret? Every other person he ran into so far seemed to at least know of his mother. Why was it different for her? The first thing that came to mind was that her parents were traitors or in some other way were spoken ill of. He rejected that idea, from the way Captain Merek spoke they were held in high esteem just as much as his mother. Then why, could they be working in the intelligence service, a place where if the enemy knew they had a child it would put all of them at risk?

    The questions were endless.

    When she started small, it did little to quell the thoughts but, it did give him another question to ask.

    "Then what is your real name?" he paused for a moment, "I feel bad already having called you by the wrong one all this time." A small smile pulled at his lips as he waited for her answer. Though he couldn't help but feel a little excited to finally answer a question. It was an odd sort of thrill finding things out, learning new things, especially about a person he'd come to care about.


    "Oh, Lysa is my real name. I legally changed it, at a court on Ralltiir." That was stalling, she knew. Her leg twitched nervously and she glared at it; but even that interplay was stalling.

    Lysa took a breath.

    "I was born Syal Antilles." Lysa smiled weakly. "I changed my name so I wouldn't be associated my father - it's why I would rather steer clear of X-wings and make my name in different fighter craft, like the Eta, which is anathema to an X-wing pilot like Dad." She paused - she had rambled, and took a deep breath.

    Lysa braced herself for the moment when his synapses connected the dots.

    Rhoen nodded his head at first, so he was calling her by the 'right' name in a legal sense but, that didn't answer the question. What was the name her mysterious parents gave her? Another pause, her leg began move, a sign she was nervous. As she glared at it he put a reassuring hand on her knee trying to settle her.

    Then she said it, her birth name, it should have hit his mind like a torpedo but, it didn't, not right away.

    At first he laughed, a wide grin on his face. This had to be some sort of joke. It if was true he was...was...Looking at her face he knew she was serious. All at once his face went slack. He now realized just what was going on.

    He was in the presence of royalty, or as close as it came for pilots in the Republic.

    "Your dad is..." he was too gobsmacked to finish the sentence, his wide expression darkened as another truth fell on him.

    He was lusting after the daughter of a hero of the Republic, him, a farmboy. What if the General found out, what would happen to him? Would he accept him or cast him out or reassign him far away from his precious child?

    He was quiet for a long time...a very long time trying to fit all this together. Part of him wondered if he could even continue, if he was even worthy of being with her, of even being this close to her. He looked up locking eyes with her his heart jumped again. He knew who she was now, knew that she was a descendant of the greatest pilot in Republic history but, she didn't look any different. She still looked like the woman he first held, first kissed. She was still Lysa, his wingmate, and a damn good pilot, so she had a leg up, so did he, though he would not dare compare his mother to the man that survived two Deathstars.

    The fact she hid this said more than anything about her. She didn't want to ride on her father's name, breeze through life borne on the winds of a legacy. No she wanted to make her own mark on the galaxy, chart her own course through the stars, on the wings of an Eta. She was strong, willing to take the hard road when an easy one is presented. He knew he would need that strength, need that determination, for when his failed.

    Slowly the smile returned, "I'm glad that's out of the way." His hand moved to caress her cheek. "I can see why you'd want to keep that to yourself. Don't want everyone treating you like some golden girl, the torch bearer for some legacy." The smile deepened. "Don't think this changes anything. You're still Lysa Dunter, Corona Seven, the woman trust to watch my back, that I trust to pull me back from the brink. So you've got a famous dad, so what, you stand on your own..." he left unstated that he still hid in his mother's shadow, still carried her name with pride. He didn't hate her for rejecting her name, he envied her for it, for having the courage to stand on her own feet, not on the shoulders of those that came before.

    "So Ms. Dunter, any other secrets you want to share?" He asked in a joking tone smile plastered on his face.

    Despite what he knew, he'd come too far with her to just end it or change its course. He only hopes the General can forgive him.

    Lysa suddenly realized how it would seem. "I didn't mean to insinuate that I think any different of you keeping your mother's name, but there comes a point where you become so famous that your children will actively be kept from the front by their commanding officers."

    "Admiral Ackbar's niece joined one of Dad's squadrons for this reason, actually. Jesmin."

    She was rambling, so she refocused on his smile. "Just Corona Seven, here," she smiled back.

    Sod it.

    Lysa leaned forward and kissed him in full. She tugged him forward, to lay beside her. "You owe me a secret or two, mister straight laced." Lysa grinned.

    He let her speak, explaining that it was fine that he didn't hide his parentage. Even invoked the relative of another hero. She had a point, no commander wants that weight on their shoulders. Have to explain if anything should happen to the child of someone idolized by almost all of the armed forces. It can also be frustrating for her as well, being kept far away from the battle she joined to fight.

    He was about to speak when she kissed him and tugged him down to her, he didn't fight it.

    "Straight laced?" he replied with mock disgust, "I have my secrets, none of them are as galaxy shaking as 'Wedge Antilles is my dad,' but I have some." He lightly kissed her cheek, "I took sweets behind my father's back." He took so many he made himself sick. "Flew my mother's T-16 without asking." He continued giving her a peck on the nose. He was still learning to fly back then so he ended up scraping the wing against the barn door as he took it out. "And once in flight academy I helped smuggle a friend off base to meet his girlfriend." As he moved to capture her lips with his he thought back to that night. It was a comedy of errors, it was only by sheer luck they didn't get caught. Particularly when they never fully considered how to get said friend back on base in the morning.

    He broke away still smiling, "I'll let you in on another..." he leaned in closer to whisper into her ear, "Corona Seven, I think I'm falling for you."

    "Oh are you now, Corona Lead?"

    She smiled, though felt a wobble a little when her father's words echoed in her head. Lysa turned to kiss him on the cheek, and suddenly yawned. She clapped her hand over her mouth, giggling. "Sorry!"

    "You see…" his words were cut off by his own yawn, "what you've done. You've made me yawn." His fatigue finally fully over took him. He smiled resting his head on a pillow. "I guess it's about time we get some rest." He craned his head toward her kissing her lightly on the forehead. As he settled back he looked into her eyes. Despite the war still raging, the conflict to come, and the weight upon his shoulders, in this moment he was at peace. The war was far away, he could forget, let go, right now it was just him and her alone, the rest of the galaxy didn't exist.

    "Good night. See you bright and early Corona Seven." He said closing his eyes, and for the first time in a while, he didn't seen anything. His mind didn't replay the battle over Yavin, didn't show him his mother's face before she was no more, it was just black.
  5. Kev-Mas_Colcha Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Interlude (or Prelude, rather, as he's a new addition to the game): Leonias Colcha
    Jaemus Shipyards
    The Jaemus shipyards had long prided themselves on their ingenuity and adaptability. These yards had taken the Vindicator-class heavy cruiser and reworked it as the Enforcer-class, which had been the staple of the Pentastar Alignment, though much of their initial construction had been lost during the initial withdrawal to the fourteen sectors the Alignment had settled on, and then being frittered away on skirmishes with New Republic forces during the 'cold war' period between the Battle of Celanon and Battle of Taris.

    But they had spent the time after the Bastion Accords relocating their primary production facilities into the Unknown Regions, mothballing them behind the cover of the austerity measures in place during the recession that had followed cheap New Republic goods flooding the Remnant. But following the Yuuzhan Vong War their operations had been relocated to Remnant space as it embraced the First Order.

    Of course that made the shipyards a potential target, but with a ring of more than twenty such cruisers, and with it being behind the frontline rolling across the Northern Dependencies, confidence was high and the yards were well ahead with their lastest Order of Imperial-class Star Destroyers. In a handful of weeks six such vessels would be deployed to the frontline, with rumours that High Command was proposing to dispatch the fleet on a shakedown cruise to capture Bilbringi and the shipyards there.

    But all that confidence had done was make it all the easier for them.

    Amidst the scaffolding, the worker craft, and the shuttles moving hither and yon moving cargo, components, and engineers a sudden crack emanated. A sound, permeated through space, reverberated through the hulls like that of a deep-sea creature as the crack spread. It seemed to grow, black billowing smoke like gas, like a dark nebula erupting outward. Lightning crackled out from the rift, arcing out, some small ships too close to the rift, simply ceased to be.

    The sound roared again, and the gas rushed forward as the hulk of a ship pushed out. Another rift, another bellow followed. Soon three large ships, and a small cadre of support ships sat amidst the the shipyards. The whole of the operation came to a halt, some likely dumbfounded by the sudden appearance, others probably scrambling to retreat.

    The confusion did not last long however, as ports along the sides of the large ships opened and a barrage of missiles erupted out, streaking towards the the shipyards. All along the First Order forces radiological alarms began to blare in massive numbers. They were under attack, and the attackers were using nuclear weapons, or worse.
    The cruisers in high orbit turned, aware that they were poorly placed to save the yards, but able to act to avenge them. Turbolaser fire burst out, intending to savage the larger of the three ships, but found a webbing of debris and girders interfering.

    The commander, Kalid Isen, reached out. “All remaining ground based fighter wings launch!” Two wings reported in, and were expected to be up in the air in minutes. “That's too slow! Launch fighters as they are ready; you can form up when you're in the air!”

    “Tractors! Get the muck out of my firing lanes and will somebody karking well provide me with some scans on what we are dealing with?”

    Though the debris had eaten up much of the retaliatory strike, some burts made it through, and though they impacted the shields of the larger ships, there seemed to be no lasting damage. Instead the three larger ships turned towards the planet, as the smaller corvette craft broke away, heading further into the debris field, and the outer drydocks.

    As the three larger ships moved into position observers in the First Order fleet began to notice that they seemed to be somewhat lightly armed compared to more contemporary craft, but the weapon mounts they did have were massive and of those mounts, the two forward facing ones now began to swivel up, taking aim.

    The target they chose seemed to have been random. It was not the strategic choice; neither the ship closest to them nor the command ship, but one closer to the rear of the line. But ships sensors picked up a large power spike before twelve prismatic beams of energy lanced outward, cutting through the debris field and impacting on the cruiser’s shields. The barrage lasted for several seconds before the beams abated, and the three assailants began to turn away.

    Meanwhile, the corvette class ships pushed through the debris field and emerged on the other side their guns ready. Their target, two Altor-class replenishment ships that had yet to break away. Their weapons fired, smaller bursts of prismatic coloured energy, so many so quickly that it didn’t take long for the tanker’s shields to waver, and then once the first fuel tank was ruptured the inevitable happened.

    At 4,600 meters long a single Altor could carry enough hypermatter fuel to refuel an entire battlegroup including Star Dreadnoughts at least once, that amount of hypermatter, factored by two, suffering a sudden spike in energy resulted in a chain reaction that lit up the sky above Jaemus and produced a sensor flash so intense that every ship in the system went blind for the duration.

    When the flash dissipated, all that was left was smoldering debris, and the flashes of lightning about blackened gas, indicating that the assaulting fleet had used the hypermatter detonation as a cover for their escape. Having left in whatever means they had arrived.

    The First Orders' commander’s orders were not responded to, but it would shortly be apparent why. Taking advantage of the sensor blindness made from the hypermatter flash, a flight of 4 shuttles of unknown imperial design made their way to the cruiser with the disabled shields in the rear of the fleet.

    Flying in a Delta formation the shuttles took advantage of the damage the single cruiser had sustained in the assault, having been the target of a seemingly random blast, it was now obviously not the case. For each shuttle arriving in the auxiliary hangar bay, 24 warriors, clad in blackened armor with silver robes, exited the shuttle, each headed by a clear commander, wielding a saber pike. At the fore of the shuttle in the fore of the formation was another, clutching two. Though the First Order did not know it, another part of their Imperial Legacy had come to roost.

    The warriors organized into formation, the four commanders coming together to discuss strategy. “Leonias,” spoke one of the commanders, whose robes were clasped with a different insignia than the standard Shadow Vanguard insignia like the other warriors, save for the ones he was leading, “A suggestion, if I may?”

    “Yes, Valynt?” replied the Commander with the two saber pikes.

    “We should send a squad of technicians with a support squad to find an access port in or around the hangar and attempt to subvert the ship’s command and control systems,” replied Valynt.

    “I agree,” nodded Leonias, his long silver hair shaking ever-so-slightly as he did so, “If they succeed in their task then taking the ship will become that much easier. However, we still need to remove the problem that is their crew.”

    He then donned the helmet he held in his hands, which was similar to that of an Emperor’s Shadow Guard helmet, but with a silver visor. Pulling one of his saber pikes to his hand from its resting place on his back, he then pointed the black stave towards one of the turbolifts.

    “That,” he continued, shouting bombastically as if in a war cry, “is a problem we solve with our blades!”

    --------

    In short order, the ship fell.

    But it was not the only one. Many of the ships suffered similar attacks, and with difficulties coordinating and the jamming and the simple fact that Force users could not be easily defended against, five cruisers were captured before the enemy knew what was going on.

    The closest two ships were ordered to self-destruct to prevent capture, and the rest opened fire; turning their backs on the shipyards as they hunted behind them. It was all interplay, tactics, and reactions - which more or less meant that the First Order was completely at the mercy of their hitherto unknown enemies.

    However, that did not prevent the cruisers from killing Shadow Vanguard warriors, and so Leonias would arrive at the bridge of a cruiser with a now reduced crew, a crew which had surrendered in principle, and the First Order keen to destroy their lost ships; he had the bridge.

    As Leonias and his men watched the First Order ships turn to decimate them, the now surrendered crew looked on in smug assurance. They would die, yes, but they would take those who would dare stand against their ascension with them. The smugness quickly faded however when one of the turning ships, one not under internal assault, suddenly exploded in a vibrant display.

    Prismatic bursts of energy and bright lances crashed against the aft shields of the turning cruisers, as the flotilla of Corvettes from earlier emerged from the shipyard debris field, having concealed themselves in the decimation and the sensor flare that followed. They were pinned, between an as of yet unknown offensive force, and their own captured ships along with the planet’s gravity well. The day was not going well for Commander Kalid Isen.

    “Begin a system-wide audio only comm broadcast and get them to their feet,” said Leonias as he looked towards his troops, “Keep a close eye on them so they don’t break free, but I want to make sure they can see clearly exactly what is happening.”

    “Now that the prideful grin has been wiped off of your pitiful faces,” he continued, addressing the surrendered crew, “I think it would be appropriate for you to bear witness to exactly what is going on here. You see, the Galaxy does not want you here. You claim to be the successors of the Galactic Empire, but you sow chaos and disorder. You claim to bring order, but you seek to dismantle the peace and order the galaxy already had in the first place. You serve a lie. A lie the Galaxy can see right through.”

    Leonias slammed his two unignited saber pikes down on the deck floor, using the Force to enhance their impact with a loud resounding thud. As the reverberating sound began to fade he continued his demoralizing speech.

    “Today is only the first of many events marking the fall of the First Order. Maybe if you weren’t just a cheap knockoff of your predecessor you might stand a chance, but the Galaxy isn’t afraid of you. No, quite the contrary actually. The Galaxy is like a fire wasp nest, and the destruction of the Hosnian System was merely the act of hitting the nest with a stick. The act with which you sought to intimidate us into submission has only incited us to strike back with vengeance. A thousand fire wasps can take down a clestradon, and you are but a little womp rat.”

    He then turned his gaze to the viewport beyond the hostage crew.

    “Alas, today you might realize the error in your ways, and take this opportunity to turn your back on the First Order. You are galactic citizens, after all. You should stand unified with the rest of the galaxy. Not some idealist military junta that was doomed to fail from the very beginning.”

    Leonias shook his head and held out his left-handed saber pike in front of him as if it were a shield, the golden stave gleaming under the lights on the bridge.

    “But you won’t, because we won’t let you. No, we’re going to send you back to the First Order, because after all, they are but a sad copy of the once ‘mighty’ Galactic Empire, and your failure will be properly rewarded. Get them into the escape pods.”
    Last edited by Kev-Mas_Colcha, Aug 25, 2017
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  6. Ktala Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Interlude: Belila Gambros (Bre)

    Bre's groaned softly as she frowned in her sleep. Her rubbed her arm, wondering why her arm hurt. It looked like she was still on Praxton's ship. But what she saw next really made her stare, as tiny blood droplets fell from her cut, turning into a blood trail.
    That should not happen. Not with her shape shifting abilities. When they bounced away from her, and started leaving a trail away from her, it was even more fascinating.In her dream, she sat up. The path lead down the hallway, turning a corner, and disappeared out of sight. Normally, the supposedly working part of her brain would be asking all types of questions. Especially after dealing with Snoke.

    But this was more curiosity. Like a part of her was trying to tell or show her something that could be important. So she slowly stood up in her dreamscape. She slowly walked, following the trail. When she reached the corner where trail turned, she stopped for a moment. She then slowly peeked around the corner...

    ... and walked into a cavernous, dimly lit area. The fixtures and their bulbs hung by a wire from the ceiling, but the room seemed
    boundless. All that was apparently was where the focal point of the room lay; a larger light, blazing upon a table, such was it
    that the occupant of the table was not apparent unless you closed. Shadows abounded, but still, adding a gay note to affairs, her beads of blood bounced and hopped, splashing and reforming...

    Bre blinked, looking around with awe at suddenly finding her self in a large area. It looked huge. But then her she noticed the
    large light fixture, and someone on a table. She coudlnt tell who from this distance. Fear suddenly struck Bre, even as she tried
    to shove it away. The words from the Emperor suddenly flooded her mind. The beads of blood she had followed still hopped and
    splashed about, reforming into various shapes.

    'Face your fears', the old Masters had chanted oh so long ago. Easier said than done. Look how good it had worked for them. Bre frowned darkly. That was unfair. Bre looked back towards the table again. Part of her wanted to turn and run. Anywhere. Just away from this room. From the table.

    No. That was irrational fear talking. And it was talking pretty loudly. It was part of how she managed to live after everything
    went Poodo! Bre forced herself to take a deep break. Something, she had not spoken aloud in years, suddenly came to her,

    Emotion, yet peace.
    Ignorance, yet knowledge.
    Passion, yet serenity.
    Chaos, yet harmony.
    Death, yet the Force.

    It was an older mantra. One Bre had found years ago. Simple. To the point. Bre swallowed hard. Slowly, she forced herself to take a step towards the table. Then another. She kept walking until she could make out who or what was on the table.....

    It was a white sheet, over a man, up to his neck. His face was shown, and it was one publicized across the galaxy now - General Hux, Armitage Hux. He appeared to be dead.

    A long, skeletal hand would land on her shoulder when her eyes made clear the face of the corpse. Her body froze, unable to move, and as she did, the blood rolled up the table leg and gathered around the throat of Hux, and seemed to almost peer over the face of the body. They lolled, and looked back at Bre, the reflection of the light giving the blood baubles a face, and then looked back at Hux's face again.

    The spindly hand became attached to a cloaked body as the tall cowled being swept around the table, keeping a hand on her
    shoulder. The other hand came to rest on the corpse, and the blood - her blood - rolled onto his palm as if a pet to heel.

    To emphasis the point, the man, silky voiced, purred. 'Good blood. Goooood.' A single finger was lifted from her shoulder, and her mouth could work anew. 'Your blood is divine, my dear. Thank you, young lady.'

    Well, it was not herself on the table. That was a good sign. She recognized the face from all the pictures on the holovids. But
    she didnt know that much of the man, except that he was one to stay far away from...

    An arm landed across her shoulders. She wanted to whirl about, to confront whoever had suddenly grabbed her, when she found she could no longer move. She could still move her eyes, and she saw that the hand that had laid across her shoulders was skeletal.

    Bre was far too confused to be terrified. The beads of blood she had followed rolled up on the table. It did a very human looking
    movement then, as if to turn back and look at her. She swore it had a face on it, as it turned away from her and looked at Hux's
    face. Another hand reached over to grab at the body at the table, the other still on her shoulder. The blobs of blood rolled up to
    rest in the Skeletal hand. Then the thing spoke to the blood, as if it was a pet. A finger on her shoulder moved, and suddenly she could tell that she could speak once more.

    "Your blood is divine, my dear. Thank you, young lady." Bre looked from the body on the table, to the skeletal figure in front of
    her. A Sith possibly? But why would he be dealing with Hux? Or maybe he wasnt. Maybe he was looking for something. Bre looked towards the skeleton. "My blood is precious to me. What good is it to you? Other than performing tricks?" she asked it.

    "I require a Hux. And I cannot clone one in this short a time frame." The voice sounded distracted, looking elsewhere. "Is that agreeable to you?'"


    The scene compressed, as Bre felt the world tip. She would come to halfway off her bunk, an invisible hand catching her. Master
    Durron was apparent. 'Nightmare? You thrashed. Mentioned tricks...' He omitted to mention that he face had changed to that of Hux in her sleep. He would bring it up as applicable. An eye cast a warning at Fred; the droid might ignore him, of course.

    Back in her dream, Bre took a step back, not sure how to take the statement. Who or what would need a Hux? And why was he looking about? Was he hiding? As her mind sputtered, the world suddenly slid to the side. Dark suddenly disappeared as light blinded her. She fell back swinging her arms....

    A strong hand suddenly stopped her decent. She panicked for a moment, before she recognized Master Durron. "Nightmare? You thrashed. Mentioned tricks..." he told her.

    Bre slowly sat up. She then quickly checked her arm, where the cut had been in her dream, checking to see if there was any
    wound. She then slowly shook her head. "That is one way to put it. I'm not sure if it was a nightmare.. or something more." She
    frowned. "So many years, nothing. Suddenly, within a day, Ive had mental contact with a few dead Sith Lords, and what I just
    saw... I dont know what it was." Bre rubbed her temples, when she heard a soft beep from Fred. She offered Fred a gentle smile, and then gestured. "Im alright." she told him. Fred warbled softly, but he had seen the look from the one they called Master Durron. He didnt know what to make of the being, but he was willing to be silent for the moment. But he would still look after his mistress, no mater what. Bre then looked back at Master Durron, as she rubbed her arm.

    "I dont know who it was. But it said something about requiring a Hux... and not being able to clone one in such a short time. It
    took some blood.." Bre stopped rubbing her arm.

    "Maybe Im just tired." Bre gave a deep sigh.

    Kyp nodded. 'Those bunks are not comfortable. I checked while you were asleep; there is a spare room on the Rosa. It has a double bed and all that. And a shower; the Falcon's facilities are not as great.' The Jedi Master spoke with an almost hypnotic gaze, as if he was peering at her on another level. There was no indication in the Force, but he may very well have been. 'Padawan, you need to rest. And restore yourself. You have had a brush with the dark side, these last few years since the Order fell.' He paused. 'We all have.'

    Bre's jaw froze. So he did know her. She had not been sure. She had changed a bit, in order to hide herself from their enemies. But he knew. To hear someone address her as Padawan brought up a surge of emotions that she quickly pushed herself away from. Kyp continued. 'But the Falcon... I can feel the desperation that was within its walls on Yavin; the fear that you felt consumed you, almost wholly.' Kyp firmed his lips. 'I must insist it.'

    The Force caught with another sense; an intense connection. 'That and I think it will be quite noisy on the ship shortly.' A sardonic grin to his lips. He was referring to 'Han' and Wyn, who would be undoubtedly poised to either have a fight or fall in love. Kyp and Bre would be able to sense them boarding. Bre stretched out within the Force and could sense that Praxton and Wyn were coming on board. And the feelings she got.. she quickly broke off the connection, as an eyebrow rose. She coughed.

    'Come on, Bre. We'll sneak off and I'll get you that room. If you want, I'll help you get some sleep, maybe even a trance, if you
    feel like your mind will not settle without it.' Kyp was clearly worried about her. And wanted to avoid a potentially embarrass moment with the other two.

    Well, Bre coudlnt argue with his logic so far. And a shower sounded absolutely wonderful at this point. ANY kind of shower. She caught herself slowly nodding in agreement. Bre shook her head as she frowned slightly. She had wanted to talk to Praxton. But then again, after that dream, it would be better to have some distance. It could wait. When her nerves were not on edge perhaps... Why was she agreeing so vek'ing easily? But instead of allowing the negative thoughts to consume her, she turned to look at Kyp.

    Bre gave a light smile. "A trance, sounds rather good. But AFTER a shower, and perhaps a good meal. Ive eaten sludge for far too long." Bre stated. She knew better than to try and argue with Master Durron. And she was too tired to feel if there was any residual of any type in the Force. "Fine." Bre looked over at Fred. "Box it in, Fred. We're going over to the other ship." she told him.

    Her body felt heavy, as she slowly stood up. The thought of a shower was sounding better and better. She looked over at Master Durron. She still felt a bit conflicted. But she also knew that he was right. She smiled. "Lead the way."
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  7. Kahn_Iceay Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 5
    Interlude: Argen
    Hyperspace

    Surrounded by some many luminaries, it seemed prudent to depart and hide himself in his room. Everything was going according to plan; the plan to ensure he was here and now.

    Nothing more to do but wait.

    Calling up the stocks and shares of the Damask Estate, he absently began tracing accounts and connections and so forth. His blood briefly burned. His inheritance.

    It explained why the Emperor had left the Banking Clan after the Clone Wars; he had accounts held with it that he had access to. Save by an early nationalisation after the fall of Scipio - yet another beautiful display of the Chancellor being forced to take action by Count Dooku's separatists - the banks structure and accounts had not been raided, just its physical structures secured by Republic and then Imperial durasteel. Such accounts remained replete, but guarded, by the Clan after his death, and one would have expected a legitimised descendant to have access to the same.

    It was only after Yuuzhan Vong upended the Galaxy that Damask had managed to obtain access - but only by way it encryption, one which no slicer could break, due to the codes being evolving and intimately designed not to match Banking Clan formulae but a projection of said formulae, assuming the Clan remained unscarred by economic forces.

    And he had found many of the accounts plundered, funds diverted to the First Order and to the Centrists via criminal third parties such as Black Sun and so forth; carefully avoiding the Inner Rim interests of the Echani; escaping the eyes of the Hutts in the Rim; and the quango of interests between the Bothans, Hapans and Senex Lords in-between.

    Maddening.

    With his contact he had discovered more, and of course, one of the yachts associated with the Contingency, but too late - the First Order went public, and the value in revealing what he knew plummeted.

    Frustrating.

    Casting it aside, he turned to the stock exchange - cut-off from the HoloNet but an approximation of matters taking into account that a Galactic War was raging, thanks to his Banking Clan algorithms - and began digging into his benefactor...

    ---
    Cockpit

    The Rosa was busy. Four starfighters, a yacht and a YT-1300 in the main hold; a Firespray attached to the top. Two pilots in one of his cabins; a Muun in the other. A Mandalorian in his medbay, and a Princess turned General staring over it all while her husband, a Jedi Master, a former Padawan and a civilian were hidden away aboard the Corellian transport. Of course, two more Mandalorians, including Manda'lor himself, had retired to their own corner to converse over helmet comms which on a cursory glance were very highly encrypted; and attached to programs which would detect an effort to break them. This was before Argen took into account his ordinary day to day business strewn about the ship.

    Fiddly.

    One of the copilot droids had called him to the cockpit. 'Damask is looking you up on the stock exchange...' another screen. 'The General is querying a datapad with notes about former Rebel Alliance assets, looking for you...'

    Another indication showed the time to arrive at Esfandia. Three hours. 'A ping at maximum range suggests that we are about ten minutes behind the black shuttle that we've been told belongs to Supreme Leader Snoke...'

    A gap. The bad news.

    'And the crystal in the cloaking device aboard the yacht is a Kyber and not Stygian.'

    A click and a whir, and a sarcastic octave entered the tone. 'Bitten off more than we can chew, maybe?'

    Argen leaned back against the door frame, placing his face between his two hands and making a sound that fell somewhere between an annoyed grumble and a wounded nerf. "No, This is all par for the course of 30 some odd years worth of misadventures." He took in a breath and closed his eyes for a moment, half expecting to hear a Sardonic quip in a silken imperial accent, a gruff wookiee murmur, or quick proclamation about this being the proper time to use explosives. Or at least that's what would have happened back in the old days. Moments like this he missed the old crew. "So, here's how this one plays out."

    Hitting his wrist comm a couple of holographic projectors flickered to life showing better views of the two inquirers. One showed Damask's room, with the munn furiously tapping away at his datapad trying to discern information, the other showed the General doing the same in the passenger lounge. "For the record," His voice chimed in over the ships intercom into those two rooms specifically. "No information leaves or enters this ship without my notice. Were I so inclined Mr. Damask I could have my systems break through your encryption and buy a lot of nice things for nice people. Thankfully I am a nice person so I'm not inclined. And General, if you had questions you simply only needed to ask. Were we not being asked to rush after Snoke by a cadre of very heavily armed Mandalorians I'd be more than happy to show you all the toys I keep in my toy chest, especially the heavily armed ones."

    Leia smiled softly, like a child with her hand caught in the cookie jar. Fett and his second looked up from their conversation, and then returned to it, heading towards their Firespray without much more to add. Leia spoke up in the now empty hangar bay. 'And if I asked I am sure you would have responsibilities you would have to protect and I do not wish to endanger them. What I have here will suffice, thank you.' She waved at the holocams she didn't need to look for, and returned to her notes.

    Damask however rushed to conceal his datapads. 'Sir, I would beseech you to respect my privacy!'

    He stormed from the room, turning off the 'pads. The droid muttered. 'He's coming up here.'

    "My need to protect my assets sort of goes a bit out the airlock when people start blowing up planets again General. I'll send you a list soon." He closed that comm, and turned off the holograms before turning and facing the door. With a wave of his hand in front of the sensor it opened, catching Damask in mid stride as he charged up the corridor full of huff and circumstance. "Respect my good friend is a two way door. I only know about what you and the General were looking for because you triggered safeguards in my ships data systems. They make sure passengers don't do things, like look up how to make bombs, how to reroute power from life support, dig up information on their fine captain, or repurpose a repulsor truck into about 45 micro-rocket casings." He tilted his head to the side, "Plus your droid trying to kill me has me just a small bit weary."

    Damask looked surprised. 'My droid? I assure you; it was not in my fault. Perhaps it was suborned? You never know now the HoloNet has been lost to the First Order.' The Muun looked contrite. 'If you honestly believe you can have a go at these accounts though... you're welcome to. I'm a banker; not a tactician. I can't put together much of these invoices. It's all code...'

    Damask produced a datapad. He decided he had the measure of Argen; he was a collector, from what little transactions he'd been able to collect records of. It reminded Damask of what Thrawn purportedly did; collected cast offs of the Clone Wars and repurposed them. So Damask was sure that his offer would tie up Argen for at least the few hours of the journey...

    "I'll have my system go over it." He took the datapad, and just as quickly placed it into a receptacle on a computer near the door. "Security security security... non-networked terminal, loaded with every sort of anti-viral programming you can think of and more, processes the data, makes sure it's clean, then it's manually inserted into another series of computers specifically designed to break encryption. Had a good business going once, back in the days following the Battle of Yavin, recovering information and technology for people. Built up my business from that, and there were a lot of precautions to take. Always harden your systems, always keep important ship systems separated on the network. Never put anything you can't vouch for inside your firewall. Always expect someone to be just as good if not better than you at their job, and plan accordingly." He turned on the computer, which hummed to life after it's dedicated powercell kicked on.

    "I'll let this run, and we'll see if we get anywhere. For now, try not to look up how to make bombs or anything and nobody will spy on you in your room." He made motion down the corridor. "I need to go see General Leia. I have a few things she needs to know about, since I can tell you from experience, we're not charging into the end of this war, but the start of it." He gave a somewhat saged smile, to go along with his earlier advice. Might help keep the Muun's nerves calm, which was one reason he didn't go into detail about his old business habits. Like how many people who crossed him found their end out an airlock because they never thought to secure that ships system inside a dedicated anti-intrusion firewall. Or how much of his collection the Muun now knew about had been gained from such means. He did miss those days though, out-pirating the pirates.

    Damask reached out a long fingered hand to brush his shoulder before he left. 'I do appreciate it. There were manifests for deliveries in Imperial Space in the last decade. Subsidiaries of companies in New Republic space opened in Imperial shell mergers. Do you have any shell companies, Captain, that you would like me to check on?'

    Damask knew that this man would not be easily turned, and he needed to slow him somehow.

    The droids watched the screen. 'Looks like pieces of a ship. A big one. I'm seeing the word Mandator a lot. But it's the wrong specs for the old Mandator-class... I think. Did the Mandator have orbital batteries? Seems to be two per bridge component ordered...' Damask blinked.

    They were fast. He tried not to grit his teeth. This was not going well. 'Oh, and General Organa is coming here. She looks stern.'

    Damask pulled a face. 'I imagine that you will want to tell the General about these findings.' He went to slip away.

    "Orbital batteries? No, but there were three of them and I'm not really familiar with all three." He picked up on Damask's eagerness to get away however, and he didn't miss that the Muun was attempting to keep him distracted. Unfortunately for Damask, Argen has been in this game for a long, long, long time. "We'll go over this, but if you want to check on companies look up Isotech and Durame Cyber-Security. I've some association with both companies so let me know how things are going for them." He crossed his arms and basically nodded for Damask to leave, he was going to have his hands full with Leia in a moment anyway, especially when she learned about the nest egg he'd been sitting on for 30 years.

    Damask fled, all but, and had closed the door to his room when Leia stormed past. 'What the hell, Argen!'

    She looked angry enough to start a Galactic war; and according to some naysayers - she was the reason the First Order hadn't been integrated peacefully with the Galactic community as it was. 'Where have you been for the past six years? I've been looking for people to help in the Resistance; it's not exactly a state secret that I've been running a third faction since my resignation from the Senate!'

    "Not getting responses from you." He said with a smile, "The resistance is not the Rebellion, not simply anybody it seems was welcome to join. You couldn't simply show up, strap on a starbird, and be part of a family like you could in the old days." The smile faded, and he sighed. "I also hoped that the day wouldn't come when I would need to bring out the toy box. I put out fillers, but I never got responses. So I just waited, and kept building up. Then fate, or the Force, intervened and brought us together. So, was it the Star Destroyer that got your attention, or the vintage Thranta?"

    Leia tried not to throttle the man and his approach to things. 'The Star Destroyer.'

    She hadn't even seen the Thranta; she'd mistaken it for a Hammerhead corvette, like the three she'd arranged for the Lothal Cell to steal; two made it to the Battle of Scarif and one was key to Raddus' plan. Nearly forty years ago now.

    'You don't have crews for them do you? That's the real problem. I bet they're one refit away from dilapidated.' Leia dared Argen to be nonchalant one more time.

    "No, no I don't." He agreed, "I've spent time trying to build up droid crews, because I don't like to put people in danger but I don't have enough to field a Star Destroyer. What I do have however, is access to a Shadowport. So they're up to date, well up to date circa 7 years ago. They don't have ammunition however, or any fighters. I can scavenge a ship, built it back up with my contacts, but after the Galactic Concordance buying Tibanna Gas or Capital ship concussion missiles in any size, well." He sighed, "How hard was it for you to get T-70's? You, General Leia Organa, savior of the Galaxy? Now imagine you're me?"

    Leia narrowed her eyes. 'The Concordance was designed to do that, Argen. I had sanction from at least some of the Senate to break it in peacetime. Why did you feel the need to built a task force for your own private use?'

    She was being fairly pointed; she was annoyed. But had Argen been in her personal circle, would she have accepted his efforts? The Falcon had been on the edge for years, but she had also been a Senator, and Chief of State. It was not the same; Argen was one step away from being an unaccountable warlord, if his forces fell into the wrong hands. Leia had surrounded herself with people she trusted and had precedent for them; Ackbar, Genkal, Ematt, and so on. Argen? Argen had been sitting on a growing stockpile of weapons in breach of the peace.

    Leia let out a breath. But he was also a veteran of the Rebellion.

    Leia looked at him evenly. 'You could have done more. I think you know that. So while you play victim, held hostage by Mandalorians and the spoilt Princess, you want to help.'

    She met his eyes. 'So help. I'm reactivating your commission.'

    Leia glanced to Cassie. A veritable collection of vessels in varying states. 'Looks like the motley bunch which saved us at the Battle of Esfandia.'

    'Summarise this, Argen, what am I looking at and how quickly can it be put together?' Leia suddenly felt a wave of tiredness behind her eyes. She had a couple of hours yet. Argen probably was awake on stimchews, and she had the Force, but that was only so good, and suddenly she felt her age as the details scrolled past. This was as much her specialty as leading, but it was still a lot to take on after surviving a battle.

    "You're looking at one Imperial I-class, a handful of custom frigates, the Thranta, an old Munificent that was pretty much built from the ground up cause of how my group found it, an exploration variant of the Carrack, bunch of Cargo and troop shuttles, enough Corellian tramp freighters to make Han salivate a bit, and my old ship, the Sub Rosa that this one's named after." He recrossed his arms, "And then there's Lasay Anchorage itself, which is a Lucrehulk that everything is docked too, and some old Vulture droids for defense. I've got the means to get them fueled, but I don't have any means of arming them. If you've got the means of getting that and people to crew em, I can get the rest taken care of in a few days."

    Leia nodded softly. 'I could. Probably. Genkal is going to be heading off when we're done, so he could conceivably assemble a crew for you from Resistance forces - what with the Concordance, it was harder to find capital ships than it was crew. Volunteers were the easy bit.'

    Tiredness tugged at her again, but just as suddenly Argen would be caught and drew to rest. It was a sudden seizure upon him, grabbing his shoulders and the back of his neck. Leia blinked it away, drew upon the Force again, but Argen would not have that option. 'When we get out of hyperspace, I leave you to arrange the particulars.' Leia produced a datapad, smiling slightly. 'And being as you're in charge of what goes out of here, could you send these messages out? I'll ignore whatever private business you have on Damask on that screen, assuming it doesn't interfere with Resistance activities... Captain, in exchange?'

    "Yeah..." He took the datapad and nodded. "Now if you'll excuse me..." He turned to look out the forward viewport. "I think our friend in the black shuttle is trying to make us sleepy..." He raised his left hand, and began tapping away at his wrist com, all around the ship a soft whirl began to permeate through the hull, and flooring as he dialed up the ships electromagnetic shielding, general EM field, and polarized the ships hull. Leia would probably feel its effects immediately. "Knew a Wookiee once... had the Force... not a Jedi, but he tried. But mischief was a big part of who he was... I don't think it'll stop Snoke..." He yawned, "But it'll give us some time, especially with Stims."

    He motioned to Cassie, and then tossed the datapad to the droid. "Use the main Comm dish to send those out, point the secondary forward, broadcast all over the EM spectrum. Hell, load up a heavy droid album and broadcast it too. See how that kriff-stain likes listening to Altarfier ramped up about 8 octaves and flooded on every frequency."

    Leia raised an eyebrow. 'He's a Force sensitive? I did wonder. That yacht design was once associate with a Sith; I remember Luke showing me how a Second Imperium design was based on it. So I was going to ask about it.' She felt the change in the air; as if it was charged. 'Hmmm.'

    However, the tiredness for her at least remained. 'I'm going to let it go. It's more useful for us to know he's a potential threat than suspect it; and it's a longer game we play if we keep him where we can see him.' Leia rubbed her temple. 'I'm going to rest.'

    The copilot droid chimed up. 'Captain, I have done as you ordered, but the algorithms we have are being degraded by counter software. I will require some human input, unless you are happy for me to interface directly with the financial data.' A sarcastic tone implied what Cassie thought of that idea.

    Leia smiled; it was a genuine one. 'I'll leave you to that.' She held out a hand to him, but palmed a comlink to him also; Cassie didn't notice. 'Keep me in the loop, Captain. Apologies for earlier; it's a dark enough galaxy without me seeing shadows everywhere.'

    And with that the General nodded to Cassie and took her leave. She needed to take the few hours she had left to rest as actual rest. Cassie watched her go. 'Captain, I would recommend you use a stimulant and stay awake. I would prefer not to have to navigate the interpersonal relations among our passengers without you. Not after that Protocol droid tried to kill us all.'

    Cassie again sounded sarcastic, as if it was obvious.

    Argen watched the General go, just slightly perplexed. He had meant Snoke, but did that mean that she suspected Damask was Force Sensitive? His brow furrowed and he began to move towards the front of the cockpit, stopping to grab a Stim from a secured locker, before taking a seat. "No Cassie, last time someone asked you to interface with anything I had to shoot Norin twice in the back with a stun blaster because he was just way too drunk... I'll handle the human side of the data... I want you to use your little bit of extra processing power to look up the family name Damask, from Muun, and any association it had with prominent members of the Empire... Some of the stuff our friend has said in passing has me wondering if the connection's bigger than we might think..."

    Argen had been doing this sort of work for decades and could very easily multitask on things. The tiredness didn’t effect him thanks to the stim he took. It wouldn’t last forever, but hopefully by the time he’d need to take another one they wouldn’t be in the range to be influenced by anybody. The question was what would he do with that spare attention of his own other than run the algorithms to try and decrypt the information that they’d gotten.

    There was really only one thing he could think to do right away.

    Turning his attention away from the financial data for a moment he brought up a communication sub-screen. One of the ships tertiary comm arrays rotated, and began orienting itself towards a pre-designated point, Lasay Anchorage. By using the Lucrehulk’s massive communications array as a relay station, Argen could reach most anywhere in the galaxy without a direct Holonet feed. He could only hope that the person he was trying to reach was not only alive, but that she’d answer.

    The holo-image that sprang to life in response was wearing a scowl so large it could have put a Dug to shame, of course, there was good reason for that. “The galaxy has to implode for you to call?”

    “The Galaxy has to implode for you to answer.” Argen fired back with a smile, one eye on the hologram, another on the screen he was looking at. “It’s good to know you’re alive, what’s your status?”

    “Alive.” The scowl lessened considerably, “It’s nice to see you too. I take it things are well, relatively speaking?”

    “Relatively.” He took in a deep breath, and then reached out for a cup of caf that Cassie had brought him. “I’m in route to Esfandiar, carrying General’s Leia and Solo, Mandalore himself, and a hodgepodge of others.” He took a sip. “We think we’re pursuing the Supreme Leader of the First Order itself.”

    “That’s bold. Though you were never really one for being subtle were you?” The hologram took a seat, and for whatever reason the image sharpened and a quasi-Imperial uniform could be made out. She wasn’t going to volunteer her help, if that was even what he wanted, she had problems of her own to pretend to care about.

    “Believe me this isn’t where I would like to be right now, but you don’t say no to these people. Don’t worry I’m not going to do anything reckless. If it seems like I’ve bitten off more than I can actually chew, I’ll bug out. I’m going to make for the Anchorage once we’re done there. Even if this is Snoke, even if we do beat him, the First Order isn’t going to just stop, the Empire didn’t with Palpatine. But look, I know you’re flying what is probably right now a big, very juicy target. But at the same time you could do a lot of good.”

    Erika winced, it wasn’t like she hadn’t expected it, but him saying it made it worse. “Argen, this ship isn’t even fully restored, and then there’s the ships we’re pretending to keep safe, I really think you’re overestimating how much good we could be doing. I mean, I don’t even know if the rest of our escort fleet still exists, we haven’t been able to make contact with anyone, which is why I came here…”

    “And where is here?”

    “The Itani Nebula.”

    “So the Hydian way.” He took another sip and nodded. “Look, why don’t you try and make your way to the Anchorage. There’s room there, and people will be arriving soon to go over everything and arm my toys, including the Revenge. Probably have them take a look at your ship, and get your charges somewhere safe rather than floating in a nebula... Besides... A55 will love seeing you again.”

    “Like hell he will, he only liked seeing me in those ridiculous outfits I had to wear while I was pretending to be anything but an Imperial.” She shot back, mulling over the idea none-the-less. “I suppose we could rendezvous with you, we’ve had to make some not-pretty repairs to some hyperdrives, but I think we could make it…”

    “To be fair, I enjoyed seeing you in those outfits too.” He sat the cup down, putting a bit more focus on his work. “It’s a safe place, there’s food and shelter and frankly I’d like someone I can trust there when the Resistance shows up. A lot of those ships are just as much hard earned by you as they were me. Especially the Revenge.

    “I’ll run it by the other captains, but I get the feeling they’ll be ok with it. Will you be keeping this channel open?”

    “It’s always open.”

    Erika sighed. The last few weeks had definitely been stressful, but to pass up on this chance to, meet with Argen, would be a mistake, for probably more reasons than she cared to admit. “I’ll let you know soon. Hart out.”

    He watched the hologram waver and fade away and let out a long held sigh. He knew now at least, he had one person he could trust explicitly left in the galaxy. Time would tell if he could find the others. For now, he still had work to do. Lots of work, and not enough time.
  8. Lady Belligerent • WNU Adoptions Coordinator•

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2008
    star 7
    Interlude: Jaina Solo

    Jaina Solo could catch a power nap anywhere, and the narrow bench on the tram was a luxury compared to other places she'd laid her head. During the years of the Vong invasion she'd slept in the cockpit of her x-wing more times than she could count. If she'd been awake, Jaina would have even smiled at the memory of Jag and Kyp complaining about the cramped cockpits. They were much taller in stature than Jaina, and she'd teased them mercilessly over how she had plenty of room.

    If only she could power down her mind. She was certainly benefiting from the rest, but something, or someone, kept tugging her back from peaceful slumber.

    The tram trembled slightly as it went through an intersection of tracks, and suddenly she was back in her bunk on the Falcon. A younger Jaina was curled on her side, and she could hear her parents having a row over repairs to the Falcon's hyperdrive. Home. She could find refuge there...or could she?

    Wake up, Jaina

    It was an urging, but when she opened her eyes, she was still in her dreamscape. Aboard the Falcon, and Jacen was not hand. A rumble sounded from the doorway, and Chewbacca rapped the door, peering in.

    The Wookiee was one of the few victories to come out of the tragedy of the Yuuzhan Vong War. Thought lost at Sernpidal, sacrificing himself to save their youngest brother Anakin, his return had been a bittersweet moment where many of them had ended up sharing the terrible hope that Anakin would, too, return. Chewbacca chose to leave the family and spend more time with his own wife and children, all relieved that he had returned.

    Four long years of war had terrified them all, and during that time something had happened to their eldest sibling. Something dark, and horrible. Of course, that was not pertinent to this precise moment.

    Chewbacca huffed again. He was asking if she wanted food, before rolling his eyes and tipping about her parents. It was a sweet sound, the sound of family, such as it was - missing three of its members, what with Jacen being on his wanderings in the wake of the Yuuzhan Vong War. It had been nearly six years since the war, in this memory, and Jacen had been gone for a year.

    No.

    Wait.

    Something was shifting.

    Jaina would not realise it, after the moment, but the memory clicked again. The New Jedi Order had been massacred not nine years ago, she had misremembered, but no more than six years ago. It was vague, and murky. The wounds of Luke's departure were suddenly more fresh, more maddening.

    Chewbacca yipped again.

    Jaina, my sister. I need you to stop.

    She would not remember that the massacre had ever been nine years ago. Instead she would remember things differently. The political infighting that had driven her mother into exile six years ago; the recriminations as the Centrist party took whole star systems into secession; the raids by Imperial designed vessels in the Western Reaches.

    This wasn't even aboard the Millennium Falcon, not really.

    She was remembering the moment she felt the Awakening.

    And her eldest sibling, mingled among it - on the move.

    Jacen's voice fell silent.

    Chewbacca arched an eyebrow. The plates of her memory were shifting in the dream world, and all that was apparent was the movement of Ben Solo...

    'Get out of my head!'Jaina growled and rolled over on the bench and tucked her face into the corner of where the seat and back meet.

    The warmth of Borleias' sun was soothing as it washed over Jaina's bare shoulders as she lay atop the biotics building. She waved a hand and Sharr Latt leaned from his seat and retrieved a Gizer Ale from a cooler they'd brought along. Sharr smiled and held it aloft waiting for Jaina to levitate it across to her hand. The trickster Goddess giggled at him and shook her head, "oh, no. You're my minion, remember?"

    Sharr stood and bowed humbly before Jaina, "I live to serve you, Goddess," he answered brightly and walked over to hand her the cold drink. "What's on our agenda for today, Piggy," Jaina asked Voort saBinring, who was seated opposite Sharr. Piggy lifted his datapad and scanned the display, "for the morning, we have Goddesses choice," he looked over and grinned, or grinned as much as one imagined a Gamorrean could. "Then later I say we smash some coral skips," Piggy added and tossed the pad aside and slid back against the buildings cooling unit.

    Jaina sighed and took a sip of her ale. It wasn't normal for her to have alcohol for breakfast, but Sharr had insisted that it would make her look daring to the Yuuzhan Vong scouts that were watching from the jungle beyond the landing fields. She closed her eyes and tried to look as lazy as possible, but she wanted to avoid the temptation to nap.

    "The Goddess wishes a foot massage," Jaina smiled as she spoke without opening her eyes.

    'I am sure she does,' came a voice. It was a mans; that of Kyp Durron, the Jedi Master.

    'Sharr?'

    'Oooooh,' the Wraith said, shaking his head. 'It has to be you; the great Kyp Durron.'

    'Fat chance; you're welcome to try,' the older man said, drily, taking a tone which reminded them that he had destroyed planets in the dim past. Kyp folded his arms over his chest. 'You have an out-system call if you want it. It won't be long before the Peace Brigade hack it.' Kyp looked unhappy. 'It's Ben.'

    Nobody really mentioned Ben, doubly so now Jacen was missing, presumed dead by some. Kyp' mood was evidently connected to the call, delicately wondering whether Yun-Harla was teasing them now.

    'You need to stay as the Goddess at all times, Jaina,' Piggy reminded. 'If the Brigade break that channel...' There was a pause. 'Don't let your brother make you break character.'

    Kyp eyed that Ale speculatively. His face now said something different.

    You might need that.

    "Stang," Jaina grumbled, "there goes my shot at a good day." Her forehead was creased as she held out her hand for a comm. Piggy removed it from a pack sitting beside the cooling unit and tossed it neatly to Jaina. She stared at it a moment before making a decision, then clicking open a channel she spoke clearly to the command center there on Borleias. "Who dares to disturb the Goddess during her massage?" It wasn't difficult to sound disgruntled, because in fact she was.

    Colonel Tycho Celchu was barely able to hide his amusement when he answered her, "we are have an out-system communication standing by for you oh, Cloaked One. Should I patch it through?" Jaina rolled her eyes at the man who was basically an adopted uncle speaking to her as if she was a Yuuzhan Vong deity.

    After an exaggerated sigh Jaina answered, "patch it through...pleb."

    She downed nearly a quarter of the ale and waited to hear what Ben could possibly want that was so important to contact her now.

    Her brother appeared before her. He looked, as ever, somewhat petulant. It was hard to imagine him ever growing out of the phase which he had seemingly inhabited for the last few years, now that they had yet again been split up by a war. Kidnappers of the Imperial persuasion had kept them apart for a time, and now thus invasion. Lots of families were scattering to ensure the survival of at least some of their tribe; Jaina knew that the Tainer's had sent their children to stay with relatives and even the Antilles had allowed their girls to stay with the Jedi children in the Maw. Where Ben was currently, the only young adult there, with most of the Jedi there either Masters or apprentices.

    But Luke and Ben seemed to bond on a level that surpassed even that of Master and Apprentice, in many ways because Ben was his first apprentice, from birth. In many ways Luke had named his son for Ben Kenobi as much as he had his nephew.

    He spoke shortly. 'Jaina, have you heard anything from Jacen? Mother is convinced that he isn't dead.' Mother. Not Mom. And Jacen had been lost for months now - long, dark, terrible months. Ben had just waded into the conversation with that preamble.

    Jaina stared at the flickering silhouette of Ben for a moment before her her forehead creased in frustration. "First of all, you will address me as Goddess. Second, I'm glad you've had time to chat with mom while the rest of us are trying to stop the invasion of our entire galaxy, and third - you comm from out of system to as this?"
    Jaina pursed her lips and continued to lash out at Ben, "my squadron is lucky to catch a break between flying sorties to keep the Vong from breathing down our necks, and mom is still recovering from injuries and mourning...so much loss." Jaina's words trailed off.

    Ben pursed his lips. 'Oh yes. Yun Harla. I was expecting you to associate with one of the twin Gods. But no, you pick the God with no sibling. Typical.'

    Ben looked like he was going to add something he shouldn't. 'I lost Anakin too, y'know. But you get to go the front and do something about it.' His eyes flashed dangerously and he bit on.

    'I'm the Skywalker they keep away from things.' His lip curled. 'Everyone forgives Father for abandoning the family for a year, and you're swanning around caring more about your, your, subjects.'


    Jaina rolled her eyes skyward and sighed. "You do realize that I'm pretty sure I'd know if he was alive, right? Remember, genius? We were twins." She took a slow breath and caught a look from Sharr. "Look, Ben, I'm sad he's gone too...but none of us will survive if we sit around moaning over who we lost." Jaina wanted to get the conversation and her emotions under control, and she couldn't let Ben screw up their gambit against the Vong. "Now, I'm I the middle of a briefing, so if there's nothing else I'll let you get back to watching holodramas.

    Ben's eyes flashed with anger. The Force recoiled with his power for a moment. 'I will prove myself to you, Sister.'

    A sharp grip caught her throat. Up to this point, the moment could have been a memory, but it wasn't now. Now it was an attack; her breath caught, and the Force attack was incredible; but it did not feel like her brothers touch in the Force.

    It was something darker.

    Much darker.

    Her twin brothers presence reached from deep inside her. Take my hand, Jaina.

    But even then; her twin felt different too. Not as open, not as pure, a shadow to his face.

    Jaina gasped, 'what are you playing at, Ben'. Her eyes widened as she realized it wasn't Ben attacking her after all. 'Jacen', she whispered. 'No! You're dead', her thoughts raced and her vision was narrowing as she struggled with the darkness restricting her breath.

    There was a shadow of smile to Jacen's feel; that darkly self-depreciating humour.

    I'm not dead now, Jaina. Come back, sister of mine, before our brother makes you dead.

    Their twin bond flooded with light, and she would finally be able to remember where she truly was; in a trance on a tram into the depths of the Super Star Destroyer Ravager.
    Last edited by Lady Belligerent, Aug 28, 2017
    HanSolo29 and Ktala like this.
  9. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 7
    Interlude: Duke Praxon
    The Millennium Falcon, aboard the Rosa

    After what felt like an eternity, Leia finally disbursed the group from the briefing, suggesting that they all take some time to rest before returning to refine their plans later. ‘Han’ did not intend to dally and immediately angled his gaze toward the deckplates as he began to shuffle away quietly. The goal was to slip away before Leia could intercept and enact her wrath upon him for speaking out of turn and disrupting the course of events. And over what? The use of the Falcon? Personally, he didn’t particularly care one way or the other, but it was strictly a Han Solo thing to do – it was all about selling appearances.

    While he had his doubts over his ability to escape her notice, he eventually proved successful once he realized that she was too preoccupied with other matters. She had made a beeline for Argen, not even bothering to pay him a passing glance.

    He allowed himself a small smile in victory…until he passed Kyp Durron and saw the amorous glint in the other man’s eye. The object of his affection?

    Wyn.

    A wave of jealously coursed through his veins as he stopped to stare daggers into the man’s retreating back. He knew he had appearances to maintain, but sometimes it was near impossible to put a clamp on raw emotion. He had a connection with Wyn…well, maybe more than a mere connection. It was a rather complicated situation all around, made even more complicated by his lavish lifestyle and a previous marriage that had ended on a dire note. Sometimes it seemed as if it would be impossible for them to settle down and have some semblance of a normal relationship, but despite the hardships, she remained faithfully at his side.

    Did he love her? He never really thought about it in those terms before, but maybe he did. Yeah…he loved her.

    “I didn't ask for him to do that, Han,” she issued softly as she approached from the side and crossed her arms over her chest, no doubt taking stock of his expression.

    He inwardly cringed at the use of the alias. While he had been pretty adamant about using that name up until this point, he suddenly found that he wanted to hear her say, ‘Praxon’, or even the use of his given name of ‘Ian.’ Just this once…

    “But you could do with some rest, let's be fair,” she continued before her tone turned a bit more mischievous. “Unless you have something better in mind.”

    The opportunity was wide open…and he didn’t take it. He found that he was frozen in place, simply staring and soaking in her appearance, relishing every little quirk that made her unique to him. It was in that instant that he realized just how close to death they had both been. It was hard to consider that fact in the heat of the moment when adrenaline is the driving force behind your actions, but now, in the relative quiet of the hangar, it came rushing back in a crushing wave that threatened to overpower him. His gaze wavered.

    Wyn slanted her head to the side, noting his odd behavior, before diverting her eyes. In her next set of words, she voiced the very thing that he had been too afraid to utter ever since their last disagreement over the topic:

    “We could leave,” she suggested quietly, her tone somewhat pained. She bit her lower lip, anticipating his next question. “Yes, I know what I said but I've been going over the battle in my mind. It was close, too close.”

    Relief flooded him. He wanted to shout, ‘yes’ in agreement and whisk her far away from here, but in an odd turn of events, he found himself reacting in the complete opposite. Whether it was his sense of duty and his professionalism overpowering his desires or just outright denial over the whole situation, he couldn’t be sure. Anger began to steadily build within his chest and his nostrils flared as he lashed out.

    “So, you’re just going to turn your back on me?!” he rumbled, trying to keep his voice down as not to attract too much attention. He had a feeling he was failing miserably. “After everything I did, everything I sacrificed to appease some—” He clenched his teeth and tightened his fists at his sides as he trailed off, knowing he was starting to go too far. He was no longer speaking in-character, and he knew if this kept up, he was on the cusp of outing them both.

    He inhaled deeply to calm himself and took a step back. “You can go,” he hissed in a near whisper. “I don’t care.”

    But he did care; that was the damning thing about it. As he started to turn on his heel to leave her in the wake of his outburst, something stopped him. It hit him like a ton of bricks; fear was driving his anger. He realized that he was afraid of leaving everyone behind and returning to a life in the unknown. With the destruction of Hosnian Prime, the galaxy was a vastly different place. What did it hold for him in this new frontier? Sure, there would always be acting gigs and holofilms to be made, but even that may eventually dry up if things got too bad. At least, here, with the others, he was able to flourish and do what he loved on an even grander scale than any holofilm could afford.

    And just as he was on that high, he tightened his jaw and came sailing back to reality. How much longer could he realistically keep up this farce? He couldn’t keep living a life not his own, even if they did expect him to do it indefinitely. His future was elsewhere.

    With Wyn.

    With a sigh, he turned and sought out her gaze, his eyes seeking forgiveness. “I’m…sorry,” he muttered faintly, hoping he sounded sincere. “I didn’t think…” He winced and swallowed the lump in this throat, deciding to take things in a different direction. He touched her hand lightly. “We should find someplace to talk. Too many ears out here.”

    He didn’t wait for her reply as he started to lead her away from the crews gathered in the hangar.

    Boba Fett stalked away, and Wyn glanced at him, and then back to Praxon. Her eyes were glazed, almost wet, and she remembered their role as he walked away. 'Coming, Han.'

    She followed to the Falcon. Wyn tapped the ramp. It slowly went up, and when it was, she found herself releasing a breath she had held in. 'Sorry, Praxon. I j know what you meant, and what you mean.'

    She took a step forward. 'I'm just so scared.' Wyn bit her lip. 'I just want to do the right thing, but for how long can we seriously keep doing this before one of us is hurt?'

    For a long moment, Praxon was at a loss. Drawing in a breath, he found that he could no longer look at her, and he diverted his gaze. Whether it was out of guilt or a sense of pride, he wasn’t sure. All he knew was that the near miss with Snoke continued to replay itself over and over in his mind. What would it be like when they launched their endgame? When he came face to face with the Solos’ errant son?

    He clenched his jaw and tried to deflect that thought, but if he was honest with himself, he knew Wyn was right.

    “We knew what we were up against when we agreed to do this,” he reiterated softly, slowly gathering the courage to return his gaze to hers. But he wasn’t sure if he truly believed those words. It was his job to maintain control and to keep a level head, but that facade was slowly starting to crumble. Wyn would no doubt take notice. He was at his most vulnerable when he was like this.

    “It will be worse if we just walk away,” he continued in a hurried tone, a clear sign that his confidence was wavering. “What’s left for us out there? Where would we go?”

    It was subtle, but one might say that he was trying to justify leaving.

    Wyn reached over and touched the back of his hand, trying to draw her gaze to meet his. 'There would be us. We'd be alive.'

    It was a gesture. A moment. A turning point. A beginning. An end.

    Give it whatever label you thought appropriate.

    It was also just two people.

    Her touch jolted him, and he felt compelled to glance down at their entwined hands. It was such a gratuitous gesture that many took for granted, but in this instance, it provided some much-needed stability. While Praxon had enjoyed a long and prosperous career, he had always felt as if something was lacking, as if his life was meandering without a true sense of purpose. He thought involving himself in the relief effort following the Hosnian disaster would help to alleviate some of those feelings of ill will, but it had only gotten worse, particularly when the Resistance had recruited him for this mission.

    Instead of filling that void, it left him feeling even more disoriented as he now found himself struggling to balance his own life with that of someone else’s…someone he could never be. He was living a lie.

    But now, here was Wyn offering him a respite from the mess his life had become – a chance to start over and forget about everything that had come before. For once, he had clarity.

    With a quiet sigh, he caressed her hand for a moment before reciprocating with a gentle squeeze. “You’re right,” he asserted with a small nod, slowly lifting his gaze to look into her eyes. “You were always right, I should've—“

    He cut himself off as his breath caught in his throat. No need to ramble on like some hapless sap. He was better than that; he had to focus now that the decision was made.

    “It’s not going to be easy,” he continued, his tone bordering on conspiratorial. “We’ll need a plan – a foolproof plan – that won’t come back to bite us. If we’re not careful, they will track us down, and then it’ll be over.”

    Wyn nodded, and put her finger to her mouth - Bre and Kyp were still aboard. 'Coruscant is always a good bet. It's the most heavily populated world in the Galaxy. The team can vanish there until the New Republic gets its act together - and we'll have plenty of notice if it doesn't, so we can set up a new base if needed.'

    Praxon was responding, and Wyn was so, so happy. He was on her side. They weren't on any one else's side - just each other's - their team. 'Didn't you have a contact there that could help the team out?'

    Wyn had turned it so that even if Kyp had overheard - which was pretty unlikely as it was - they could just be discussing where to pull back to. They didn't know that Kyp was presently convincing Bre to go and rest in one of the Rosa's rooms.

    Wyn raised her voice. 'Han and I need some privacy in the cockpit, if that's okay?'

    She didn't wait for a response. She grabbed his hand, whispering. 'We need to make them feel so awkward that they want to leave the ship.' A smile entered her eyes. 'Any ideas?'

    Praxon studied her for a long moment before turning to glance conspicuously over his shoulder. This was not the first time Kyp Durron had seemingly come between them to arouse feelings of envy. While the circumstances had changed, Praxon still felt compelled to gain the upper hand on the other man. That is why he did not cower away from Wyn’s suggestion; in fact, he welcomed the challenge and conveyed this through a mischievous glint in his eye as he returned his attention back to her.

    “I can think of a few ways,” he drawled as he shifted his weight and smiled wickedly. “Of course, it’s bound to raise further questions, but by that point, we’ll be gone.”

    Sliding his hand out of her grip, he moved down to her waist and began to explore her contours before pulling her close. Their proximity to each other was intoxicating, and it allowed him to truly appreciate how stunning she was. In fact, it was in that moment that he realized that it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Han to have run off on some brief tryst with a woman like this. From his understanding, Solo had been separated from Leia for some time...and a guy could get lonely in space without a proper companion.

    So yes, it made sense – their story would remain intact.

    Without another thought, he leaned in dramatically to draw as much attention to their actions as possible. And then he kissed her.
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  10. Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 8
    Interlude: Susular
    Shogun, unknown galactic date and time

    As he stirred to awareness he found himself inside of a fox hole, one glistening with iridescent gems. With a soft groan from the hard sleeping position having caused old aches and pains to flair momentarily he began crawling out into the day. The sun was just rising in the west and as he looked down across the valley at the bunker he couldn't remember for the life of him why he hadn't slept inside.

    Shrugging he walked over to a crystal column even as he smiled at the scene down and away as he began polishing the crystal with the rag that was already in his hand.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets...fc8971859e1f02ab53a498b0_large.jpg?1381715035


    [IMG]

    In the reflection of the crystal a mass of golden became apparent; it materialised, though - there was no telltale clank of armour, and as Susular turned he would appreciate that the mans approach would have been anything but stealthy.

    Wrapped in such a bulky shell that he could be said to be more beskar than flesh, the mans helmet was down, though after a short moment he reached his gauntlets to remove the same, revealing a bald man of charcoal hue.

    He was recognisable as one of the late leaders of the Clans, long before the greatest among them became known as Houses and dominated the rest. The one who led between the Lesser and the Avenger.

    Mandalore the Vindicated.

    'Your Mand'alor calls from the Dar'manda upon you to serve, vode, how do you respond?'

    Looking upon his Mandalor, he thumped his chest with a closed fist, the beskar of his crush gaunt resounding off his armor. "Tateyus Mandalor! Dasa'na meg gar malyasa'yr be ni." (Greetings Mandalor! Ask what you will of me.)

    The Vindicated smiled at the greeting, and the response. 'Akaan abounds, dar'jetii too. Aliit ori'shya tal'din, and you will find brothers to fight with you aboard the Rosa, Susular, but when family turns on itself, you know that the akaan will then ugly, vode.'

    His expression appeared intense. 'Hunting the Solo boy will reveal something to you, and it will be too late, by the time it is. I know you as the heir of the champion, but I know that the Resol'nare does not leave room for heroes among the Mando'ade.'

    A snort. 'Heroes become Ori'buyce, kih'kovid, they say... but we have had heroes before. Revan. The Preserver. After my rule, the Avenger, Mereel, and now Fett.'

    'Will you be a champion? The space has been vacant, since your descendant let it go fallow during the Eternal War...'

    His eyes narrowed.

    "Osi'kyr!" Susulur exclaimed at the last. "I think you have me confused with another Mandalor. I have no descendents, and I cannot even trace my House and Clan to the Eternal War."

    Shaking his head he looked down at his empty hands, "Besides. . .me a champion is ori'suumyc. I left that in the blood before the armor. Not to mention I follow Fett even now, how can it be fallow?"

    'Yes, blood.' The man acknowledged the bleeding that showed on the arm of Susular, where had been pricked for the sedative. It was bleeding out his gauntlet, as if a profuse cut, not a small prick. 'It may not make you a Mandalorian, but it may make you something else.' A grimace.

    Mandalore the Vindicated smiled to the last.

    'Who said that a champion was a hero, vode?'

    With that, the man vanished. In his place stood a shadow version of Susular, with his buyce down. By his feet was Fett, and Goran, and other Mandalorians. So many others.

    Guttural words emerged, a tongue long unspoken by common mouth. They were not knowable to Susular.

    But the weapon to his hand was.

    It ignited, a blade of black.

    The Darksaber.

    Looking at the man he was shown he grapped his own Echani electro staff and snapped it out in place before him. The blood from his gauntlet that ran like a river from his arm slowly running down it before dripping on the crystals below.

    "Speak plainly. I am young to such words. If you mean to teach me, teach me. If you mean to fight then do so." He reached out with the Force even now to staunch the flow of his blood that he was loosing. Though he did not follow all that was changing, what was was all that was. What had been was a mist that lingered yet had no bearing on this new thing.

    The guttural words continued. There was a cadence to them. As if a saying was being repeated.

    Six lines, no, five.

    The man seemed to be visibly bracing himself. As if he was taking a great step. The Force was pregnant with possibility.

    And then, without a moments notice, a weapon was pressed to the back of Susular. A whisper in his ear. 'I can see you.'

    The man in black took a lunge forward, in time to the moment, reaching with the blade as much as his body - though armoured, Susular's doppelgänger was lithe; swift and sure.

    He had done his best to memorize the lines of the other, just because he did not understand the repeating quality would make an translation droid invaluable. As the whisper had come goosebumps had risen over his flesh. A chilling sensation chased down from his brain down the his spine, to zig zag over to the spot of the point of the weapon.

    As the other lunged forward Susulur twisted so that the point of the weapon, whichever side it favored on his back plates would slide off the shortest distance of his armor. Meanwhile he spun the staff in hand to bring it into guard position beneath the opposite arm, depressing a trigger as he moved to send the one electrified end out to hit the figures weapon arm. Once his turn would bring him past that point he would another button that would retract that pole before it interfered with his other self and reverse it out the other end to act as a forward electric lance. It was a simple follow through, a basic move as he made to see who was attacking him as his other gained clearance for a direct attack.

    Susular's doppelgänger's attacks skittered off Susular's plates', but as he spun it would reveal no foe though an amusement would echo out of his foe; his opponent had thrown his voice.

    Allowing his attack to be warded off, he brought his elbow up with the intention of slamming it into Susular's throat.

    Finding open space he felt the heat of embarrassment, the flare of rage, and the settling of determination. As the elbow came up to his throat Susulur didn't dodge, this was why he wore a gorget, he moved back slightly with the attack to help absorb the blow but he still let it land. While doing so the echani staff weapon collapsed into itself as he used some of the momentum to turn it into position and jab it up into the armpit before re-extending it both directions as it released it's own attack of electricity into the other. In an attempt to harm and hurl the other away from him.

    If he saw an opening for more he would do so. His next attack was backstep and move the now extended pole between them even as the attack was followed through, just encase it failed always have a defense ready.

    The mans armed rebounded as he brought his weapon up, but the staff took him in the exposed underarm. There was a burst of electricity, and the man was hurtled back, vanishing into the mist with a laugh that was both surprised and amused.

    The incessant cadence in the auretiise tongue ceased.

    A voice, unbidden, different to the one before, rose up. It had a silky quality to it, though it was unmistakably male.

    What you seek is not here, on Shogun, it is in the Unknown. Stay the course, and all will be revealed; should you seek it.

    Mandalore the Vindicated's voice rose.

    'Beware the dark man, Susular of Clan Dha'tra. His shadow falls close to yours.'

    The words faded.

    'Close.'


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  11. Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 8
    Chapter One

    Admiral , while I appreciate your dedication to the defence of the Colonies, we won't win this war by holding the line in the hope that someone will come and save us. We are that someone, and we don't even have a line to hold yet. Give me ten thousand men, or I'll be taking your ship.

    Admiral Cha Niathal, Third Fleet, to Admiral Ratabo, Fourth Fleet - Intercepted communication, forwarded to General Hux for his attention.

    IC: Snoke; Darth Plagueis
    Rushing into the depths of the Unknown; Commandeered shuttle; Esfandia system

    Darth Plagueis examined his nails as the ship reoriented for hyperspace. His shuttle had been damaged during the Battle of Yavin 4, and these opportunistic Jedi had managed to take that advantage and force him aboard their ship.

    Of course, the cragged face Sith Lord noted, that had been their downfall. He eyed the arrival bay of the shuttle. Galen Marek was bereft his head; Quinlan Vos, was holed in his chest; Juno Eclipse, who had actually died first to spite the man who was once known as Starkiller, was lifeless from the twist of her neck.

    That left the still smoking form of Kodo Prine. The Kel Dor was not dead, no, Plagueis had taken great care to simply electrocute him into unconsciousness. Plagueis had also gone to pains to announce who he was - Snoke, the Sith Lord - before he killed the others and knocked Kodo out last.

    Plagueis cleaned the blood of Muln from his fingers. There was something mundane in a name, he absently reflected. A title, like Starkiller, or the Exile, or Darth Plagueis, was so much better than the truth. Sometimes the name undermined the title. Darth Malak, for example, had the real name of Alek.

    How....

    Pedestrian.

    Disgust touched his features.

    Any moment now... Plagueis sauntered forwards the cockpit, as the shuttle positioned itself. He paid no need to the sensors, showing a terrific battle between the Echo of Hope and Home One, which were savaging a lone First Order Star Destroyer.

    There. His pursuers had caught up. Driven from Yavin 4 by the loss of the Naritus, the Hit Squad, as Plagueis had taken to calling them, was being as tenacious as ever.

    With a gesture, he floated Kodo to the escape pod and ejected him. His enemies would reacquire his trajectory, yes, but detect the lone pod. If they were the moralistic good guys that he knew at least some of them were, they'd stop to pick up the Jedi Padawan, complete with the Holocron in his pocket.

    Tidy.

    And then the data package from the Rosa arrived.

    --
    Aboard the Rosa, arriving

    Many conversations were had. Some grieving. Some rest. Some medical moments occurred. Some romantic. Hours passed.

    A combination of events, around a team of people who did not know each other, contrary to how chatty the droids Fred and BB-8 were.

    When the Rosa arrived in-system it was on a collision course with the escape pod containing Kodo Prine. Leia and Kyp were standing together, staring at the stars outside the hangar bay, ready to wake the others when they arrived. It had been expected that they would acquire a trail, and move on.

    The battle itself they had no intention of getting involved in, and they had correctly judged with Argen that they were clear of it. Damask they remained uncertain of, but they had left the Muun to his devices; he had slept, for one. Argen, however, Leia was able to recall from mentions by others during the Rebellion. Described occasionally as a kleptomaniac by his peers, the man had turned every engagement he had ever fought in into an opportunity to acquire assets for the Rebellion. Often High Command had judged that the acquisitions were too costly to renovate, and Argen had requested he hold on to them. The Rosa was likely one of them, but Leia had at least confirmed that a veritable junkyard existed for Argen to tap into.

    Leia and Kyp both sensed the Force user within the pod, and commanded Argen's droids to pick up the pod while Captain Genkal ordered the nearby Resistance forces to send a shuttle to collect him, and also took on supplies; missiles, fuel, and so on. In the meantime, Leia transmitted via Argen prerecorded orders to the Resistance High Command, to Cobalt Squadron, to the Corona fighters that had reformed in the Gordian Reach after escaping the Battle of Yavin 4, and so forth.

    Kyp sent out summons to the comlinks of Rhoen and Lysa - who were together in their room - Praxon and Wyn - aboard the Falcon, docked inside the cavernous bay of the Rosa with the fighter craft of Goran Beviin, Rhoen, Lysa and Susular. The latter was had been woken from sedation a good ten minutes before they arrived, and he also sent BB-8 and Fred to stir Bre, asleep in the room that Kyp had nudged her to. He did not wake Damask, for the Muun was not needed; nor wanted.

    There was twenty minutes in which the others needed to wake from their three hour break, and join them. Not long, but long enough.

    In that time, Genkal rendezvoused with a shuttle and supplies were taken on-board, stacked in front of the Star Courier that Damask had bequeathed on Argen. Fett came down from the Slave I, bearing data that Argen would similarly have access to, or Praxon if he checked the sensors of the Falcon - that the black shuttle they had been pursuing was lying abandoned and crippled beside their arrival point, and a different black-hulled Imperial design by the pennant code Rogue Shadow had jumped into hyperspace on the same straight line lane they had been pursuing it on.

    Kodo would come to as the escape pod was manoeuvred into the hangar bay - stuffed as it was - and would be set down to the familiar presence of Kyp Durron and Leia Organa, but the unfamiliar ones too.

    They would have questions about Snoke, and Darth Plagueis.

    Questions that Kodo would have difficulty answering.

    A short discussion would be needed before the pursuit was begun anew. Initial actions, decisions, and consequences would flow from this very moment.

    --
    The Eclipse, Unknown Regions, near the Ilum system

    Jaina came to to the sound of her astromech chirping. But it was not easy; she felt the strength of her twin pushing within her and she would recognise what was happening; she was muddying her way through an incredible strong Force compulsion, that had crept up on her during her trance and sought to push her deeper into it, to keep her still -

    The door to the tram burst in, and a wave of concussion would crash into her, lifting her off her feet if she was not ready -

    But then the telekinetic fist smashed into her chest, hard, with the force of breaking her chest, if it broke her defences -

    And then the stormtroopers would pour in; the breach was large enough to fit them three a breast, with full automatic rifles already primed and triggers being drawn -

    TAG: @galactic-vagabond422, @Mitth-Fisto, @Kahn_Iceay, @HanSolo29, @Darth_wanderguard, @Ktala, @Lady Belligerent
    ---
    IC: Captain Phasma
    Battle of Ord Mantell; aftermath

    As with many battles, they suddenly ended, and nobody really knew when they strictly speaking came to an end.

    But suffice to say, the actions of Hidax and Sava under Captain Phasma were sufficient to break the spine of the Mandalorian defenders of the capital city, and the enemy collapsed - retreating for the forested regions of the planet, areas which had previously been used for hunting game were suddenly now the fall back positions of New Republic soldiers, and then they were craters; Hux had no desire to fight a siege, and waste more time or resources on the world - he just burned down the forests.

    In the following hours, Hidax, Sava and Phasma were recalled to the Finaliser to discuss their next move. It had been a violently brutal battle, and costly - their next moves had to be efficient. Hux was not alone; he recalled two Stormtroopers from the engagement below, and one from out-system to head up the new squadron.

    The new Inferno Squad.

    However, as time was also short, Hux commandeered the flag hangar to meet the five of them as they arrived. A holoprojector table was set up, and a star chart. The five of them were shortly present - only a small window was given for the ground team to rest and clean up if they do wished.

    'Greetings. May I present to you Vitor Reige, one time adjunct to the retired Grand Admiral Pellaeon.' Phasma eyed the man, who smiled softly. A Remnant officer. Hux did not ordinarily mix the two; for fear of contamination of First Order purity. The chrome helmet inclined towards Hidax; he would be aware of Hux's prejudices against Remnant soldiers.

    Phasma stopped the tilt of her head when she realised she was responding to Hidax with camaraderie; he had fought well on Ord Mantell, yes, but he was a rival, she had to remember. No different than any one she had triumphed over before to become Captain.

    Hux tapped a button. Three images of figures appeared, floating above the table. 'FN-2187,' he indicated one, 'FN-7322 and FN-2546. Three traitors, in a fairly short space of time. While 2187 is beyond our reach, we have received Intel to suggest that the other two are presently on Coruscant, delivered by officer Reige.' Hux nodded. 'They are staying in the same establishment, under the pseudonyms Vale and Luna, apparently without knowledge of the other, though I treat that information as suspect.' Reige went to speak but was waved silent.

    'We have set up credentials for your insertion into Coruscant. The two of you will form up with two other troopers from the survivors on Ord Mantell, while Phasma and I return to the front - our network of Destroyers is being systematically attacked in the Inner Rim, and we are intending to make our first thrust in that direction at Dorin.'

    The Galactic map swam into existence. The original eight sectors of the Remnant were a blood red, and the acquisitions of the First Order a lighter shade, some fifteen sectors reaching in the north. Across the board were dozens of red dots, with a larger dot positioned by Yavin 4; the recently assembled fleet of Grand Admiral Dorja.

    Hidax would be aware of the proposal; half the new fleet would be scattered across the Galaxy, each ship prepared with a hyperwave transmitter. In essence webbing the Galaxy in the First Order's own HoloNet, the fleet would deploy by sector capitals or key targets and be positioned to jump in as applicable. Agents and assets would be slipped in-system until the invasion occurred. An early skirmish at Corellia had resulted in the deployment being abandoned, but save for the Inner Rim matters were going well. Phasma absently wondered if Hux was dropping in that information to see if Hidax would comment and supply some advice; sneaky, when Hux and Kylo had handed blame for the Starkiller affair on Hidax.

    Phasma remained silent.

    Reige cleared his throat. 'I will be accompanying you. The ship was set up for an insertion at Chandrila, but the new Intel requires us to head to Coruscant. We cannot risk any data from the First Order falling into enemy hands. At least one of the two is a survivor of Starkiller Base, and as such she may have key data, data which has yet to surface, but being as we have control of the HoloNet it may be that she is simply sitting on the information until she can contact the Resistance - two weeks and two days after the destruction of Hosnian Prime, we are well into the time she could have acted if we hadn't sabotaged the HoloNet.'

    'As such you have one hour to get your affairs into order before we head off.' Phasma tilted her head to Hidax. It was a tilt she had given him before, in the past; it suggested that she required a private moment with him, after whatever interjection he saw fit.

    Reige eyed Sava. 'I have greetings from your father, if you would speak with me privately. If that is all?' Reige turned to Hux, managing to both sound neutral and pointed.

    'If there are no other comments...' Hux went to close down the Galactic map. 'You are all released.'

    --
    IC: Mareek Steele
    Ord Mantell orbit

    It was clearly a demotion, being as he'd been removed from the flotilla of Grand Admiral Dorja and sent to Hux and Phasma. The First Order and Remnant officers had not generally melded as well as they could have done - the Moffs had taken the reins of the First Order territories within Known Space and nothing more.

    But Mareek Stele, former Emperor's Hand, accepted his orders and his role. He had served the Empire when it did not even have an Emperor, and he had defended the Remnant from the Yuuzhan Vong. Now he fought to retake the Galaxy under a Supreme Leader... but that did not always sit well.

    The shuttle conveying him included one other, however. Both men had recently survived the engagement on the ground at Yavin 4. The other was JS-002, a trooper who was short to speak. Stele checked JS with the Force; he was a calm presence, almost silent.

    Stele cast his senses around as they arrived in-system. The Finalizer was in orbit, but then there was a new arrival - a single ship. It had Jak aboard; he had been offered a private bounty on First Order defectors - and had been requested to rendezvous at Ord Mantell. But he would not have expected a Star Destroyer, and a battered planet.

    The channel opened.

    'Two new arrivals. You are expected aboard the Finalizer. Please be prompt. General Hux, Captain Phasma and Adjunct Reige are expecting you. Control out.'

    --
    Coruscant, Lower levels, the Black Hole establishment

    It was the typical bar come digs come den. The Galaxy was littered with billions of them; Coruscant alone with thousands. Chairs out the front spilling into the cluttered streets, the open 'feeding area' full of tables and chairs, flanked by double rows of alcoves, all of which had privacy curtains which could be dropped at a moments notice. To the rear was the bar itself, and beyond that the kitchens, meanwhile flanking the far right and left of the room were two staircases, relatively steep on the incline to save on space, and they led to the rooms on the top floors.

    The one rule of the Black Hole, imposed by the Houk bouncer that worked for the Boss, a Ottegan known only as Bunko. 'Entertainment' manager Risq was a human with eyes sunken from abuse of his product, to the point that none of the human or Bothan servers, scantily clad as they were, would accept payment from them, his advances deflected by the sole Zabrak male working the kitchens, Teubo, who seemed to have a monopoly on hiring pretty lithe characters to work under him... do I need to go any further?

    The one under the code name of Benefactor read the report, behind one of the privacy booths, and decided it had omitted to mention the grime on various surfaces. Never the seats or the tables, or floors, but it was as if the walls had never been cleaned. She lifted a glove to the wall and felt it resist her removing her hand. Lovely. All of the booths were closed today, but most had their tables pushed outside the booth today.

    Happy hour.

    There were only three rooms taken, however. The upper floor was literally a balcony over the main area, with half a dozen rooms to hand. One belonged to the Boss, but the other two, at diametric opposites to the other, their doors opening to their respective staircases were both occupied.

    Both of them had arrived the night before, both of them had retired to their rooms immediately on arrival, and neither was aware of the other. However, habits died hard, even for the one who had absconded before the other; they both woke at roughly the same time, having accounted for local time, and both would emerge from their rooms in near simultaneity.

    Luna and Vale would have the scope of the well lit room beneath them; a reason both of them had checked in. Both of their staircases were noisy when you placed a foot on them; another reason they picked the Black Hole.

    Of course, they both had that awful tell; Imperial posture.

    Because they were both First Order defectors.

    The Benefactor had set up a tiny spy-cam in the main area and so she watched as they both emerged from their rooms behind his privacy curtained booth. She had kept the table inside; she would need it to host. It did make her noticeable as the only booth of the eight that didn't have the table outside the curtain - the occupants of the other booths wanted more room, you see - but she wanted a table and didn't want to have to explain what she was doing to the keenly curious entertainment manager.

    And so she watched for whether Luna or Vale would notice the other first.

    TAG: @Darth Kronos, @Halle Dray, @Darth_wanderguard, @QueenSabe7
    --
    IC: Aden Kya
    En route to Coruscant

    Callista had not been unhelpful, and Aden had simply cooperated. It had been simple enough to commandeer a shuttle from Niathal's crew. The Admiral was en route to Balmorra to collect ten thousand crew. Callista was undoubtedly tracking him; she might even be able to seize the ship - their tete a tete had been fun, but he had little doubt that Callista was way ahead of him.

    That was, ostensibly, fine; he was on her side and she could look into him to her hearts content and would find nothing of him. He had not been named before being handed into indentured servitude; he had not been recognised as having a name while enslaved; every single one of the people he had contact with on a daily basis were dead, and his enslavement had, as with all slaves in the Tapani Sector, been entirely off the books. The entire infrastructure around his life had been devastated during the five battles for Fondor during the war; he was lucky to have escaped during the first engagement, before a skip had crashed into the shipyard, listed as abandoned due to due it not being airtight - or so the records said. The sum of his genetic material for the first eighteen years of his life was on that yard, and it was gone.

    So hunt she could; Aden was a Jensaarai, which was true, for all intents and purposes - a war orphan taken in by the Saarai-Kaar.

    Similarly Aden was not without resources. Callista and her proxies had been anticipated by his Master. A curled lip. When he took the shuttle, he uploaded a simple self replicating virus. It was designed to simply make recordings of data, nothing malicious, but it would fill much of the functions of the shuttle, and so manual piloting and even hyperspace calculations were inevitable - so Aden had calculated them with a disconnected, wireless datapad and input them. Coruscant was easy enough - 0,0,0 - but Chandrila, not so much. But with the functions busy, even an attempt to seize the shuttle would take time.

    As it was, Aden didn't intend any ill will upon Vincent Mikaru. He simply wanted to observe, and turn events as best to his ends as possible. If that meant assisting Mikaru, he would do so - his initial mission of convincing the Echani of the importance of the datacard of First Order information was complete; Aden still bore the wounds from that ordeal under his Jensaarai armour, though they were fast knitting.

    On he went.

    --
    Chandrila orbit

    Admiral Drayson noted the ship as it arrived in-system. The blockade remained strong, but this ship flew colours associated with the Sixth Fleet. The Admiral opened the channel to Vincent Mikaru. His Mon Mothma represented the central ship of the line, but Vincent's trajectory had taken him directly to him.

    "I assume you are here about the Tomb..." Drayson started. "But I require any and all data as to the disposition of the Navy. As Supreme Commander, I would appreciate your cooperation."

    Out of view, he gestured to his weapons officer, the signal he would give for preparing the tractor beam. Drayson was a hard man. He had fought in the Galactic Civil War, and then gone on to command the New Republic Intelligence division until Dif Scaur had taken it over around the time of the Yuuzhan Vong War.

    Vincent's ship obscured immediate scans, and so Drayson arched an eyebrow at the sensors officer, who shrugged. Damn.

    And so he had to wait, ready to signal his men to grab the ship the moment he considered it necessary.

    --
    The Tomb Entrance

    It had taken a few hours to escape the customs web, but they were able to avoid any consequences and the Ryn had made himself scarce during the investigations. None of the droids could find a trace of the man, and with the HoloNet down they could hardly connect the dots with further research. But low and behold, several hours after making landfall, and having been ensnared by the Customs palaver that the Ryn had caused, the nonhuman appeared at the entrance of the Tomb of the Braesen'thor, looking relatively smug and standing over the various cables that were already setup to manage their descent.

    "Okay, I have good news, first - you checkout. I think I can work with you. I pulled some punches and connected with someone in First Order High Command." The Ryn ignored whatever posturing Myna'vera would pull. "Seems that the new and improved Inferno Squad was due to have been diverted to check out the tombs, but I fed them some First Order defectors and so they're on their way to Coruscant instead."

    A shrug. "But I have lost track of the 501st so what can I say. Maybe we'll have to dodge a legion!"

    A musical chuckle. "My name is Droma, by the by. I used to copilot with Han Solo during the War. Well, the last War. I guess this one will be the Second Civil War?" The Ryn finally took a breath, and she had opportunity to speak.

    TAG: @Kahn_Iceay, @LordTrekie
    ---
    IC: Narrator
    Rhen Var, for now

    The success of the Shadow Vanguard was apparent. An Imperial shipyard destroyed; an Imperial fleet defanged; the perception of First Order supremacy potentially shattered. Six Enforcer-class cruisers as booty, and the engagement had been over even before Victus was required to attend with his capital ship.

    The full task force of the Shadow Vanguard arrived at Rhen Var, at their asteroid base, and triggered the final stage of all manner of preparation. There was still fighting aboard most of the Imperial cruisers, with several sections sealed behind bulkheads and nearly a thousand crew unaccounted for across the vessels - jammers were in place to keep them from coordinating, but moving an entire fleet to Rhen Var was a quick way to have a secret base discovered; which is why it wasn't the done thing.

    Victus had been required to activate protocols to move the base, and it was anticipated that it would be moved to the deep cover positions at the top of the protocols list; the wreckage of Byss, in the Deep Core - especially with Dorja and his twenty four Star Destroyer reaction force in existence, last seen at nearby Yavin 4.

    They would have moved off within the hour. Base, fleet, booty and all. The entire Order, though many in the Guard fancied that Victus would remain aloof and continue with his own engagement plan; whether he would take his flag with him this time was unclear; rumours abounded that Victus had inserted himself into the Battle of Eshan a few days earlier, and had managed to acquire a great deal of data. Not as a marauding fleet or advancing Order saving the day, which would have telegraphed their existence, but as a featherweight which had pushed the outcome in a direction that it was inevitably going to reach of its own accord.

    So from success came action; but it was the kind of success that caused a reaction.

    And a potentially unnecessary and fraught one.

    Leonias Colcha could expect a cold reception when he touched base with Victus. A HoloNet call was afoot, at the former High Inquisitors insistence.

    TAG: @Kahn_Iceay (first, as an activated NPC), and @Kev_Mas-Colcha
    ---
    IC: Dassid
    Ando mountains, the Bendu library of Dichotomies

    The RX series droid flittered among the bookcases and collected the latest of the handwritten notes. While data caches were available, the Bendu, much like the Chiss or Aing-Tii, preferred handwritten accounts and the like to avoid both data loss and maintain their secrets large and small, and thus their softcopy library was both smaller than their hardcopy.

    The fact that hardcopies were all the more fragile had meant that the various wars which had came to Ando and it's lesser colonies and tripartite species had not touched the records held at the library of Dichotomies; which was a way of the Bendu eloquently saying, as one monk put it to Dassid one day - 'Legends which don't fit.'

    Today it was studies on the Tho Yor, long lost vessels which rumour - and this was extreme rumour - suggested that they had left Ando for Tython of all places. Dassid carefully collected a treatise by a red skinned man who insisted that the Bendu monks were his kindred, some thirty millennia ago. The man had been seeking a refuge from the 'flesh chasers' and had died not long after giving an account of him having fled the Deep Core; suffering from his wounds. Even more curious were the accounts that had that he had brought with him a primitive lightsaber, but cordless - some twenty five millennia before the same were invented.

    As the monk had said.

    Legends which did not fit.

    Dassid was about to move back to his master, Bron Dooku, when he received a transmission. Alarmed, Dassid abruptly returned the priceless artefact to the stasis field atop the desk before turning. 'Emergency! The library is under attack!'

    A steward shushed the droid, but Dassid refused to be silenced. Flashing whatever lights he had to his form, he sought attention, before floating down the bookcase to find his master.

    'Master Dooku!' The droid shouted through the otherwise silent halls, resulting in a wave of huffs, of tsks, of outright glares, from patrons and stewards and monks alike. 'We must run!'

    He glided as quickly as he could to where he had left his master; buried in a book.

    TAG: @LelalMekha


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Kahn_Iceay Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 5
    IC:Callista
    MSS Shuttle No. 3756-47, Attached assignment to MSS Invective, Acting Commander Admiral Niathal, New Republic
    En Route to Coruscant


    The cockpit of the shuttle remained quiet for much of Aden’s trip, but roughly halfway from where he’d procured it to his final destination one of the holo comms kicked on. It didn’t display a person, but rather truncated code. His code, he would recognize. It did as it should, it replicated itself, filling space, until it reached a certain point, froze, and then reverted back to it’s original form. The whole process started anew.

    ~Imagine waking up one morning, and you suddenly had an extra inch on one leg. It’s a small change of course, but you would immediately notice it the moment you tried to walk. Your gait would be off, your balance disrupted, your entire being would be shifted. That’s what it’s like to a being such as myself when you add code. Before you’d even finished inputting the necessary commands for this little toy, which is rather well designed I’ll admit, I’d already isolated it’s install directory and set it into a self perpetuating loop.~

    The hologram shifted and now displayed Callista herself, either in a body glove, or presenting herself in a form devoid of features. ~In the time it takes you to process the thought to press a key to input a command as part of code, I have made four point seven billion process calculations. That is to say that I let you take this shuttle, because you amused me.~ The A.I tilted her head to the side with a smile. ~There is already a Valkyrie on Coruscant... you will meet with her upon landing... The master wishes you the freedom to operate, so while he doesn’t trust you, he at least gives you leeway. Let’s try and not waste that precious currency... or spoil my amusement.~

    With that the hologram flickered away, and left Aden in silence. He probably had a lot to think about.

    Tag: @Sinrebirth

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

    IC: Vincent Mikaru
    MSS Ascendant Pride

    Vincent sat in the ship's command chair and appraised the fleet that sat before him. Chandrila was for all intents and purposes, the new Alderaan of the galaxy, not a de facto capital, but a planet that was well respected, admired, and considered a seat of democracy. It had thankfully avoided the same fate as the planet before it.

    When the comms beeped and he was greeted by a voice he recognized from holovids he stood up, waving a hand to issue a command to send his visuals back in respons. “Admiral Drayson... It’s an honor. I’ll be more than happy to send over all the files we have over the current status of the Navy as we know it, but you’ll be glad to know that the Sixth Fleet is more or less intact and establishing a line in the Middle Rim.” He made another wave motion, signifying that his communications officers should forward the data. “Admiral Niathal is also working on acquiring assets, and speaking of assets I would ask now that you do not panic, or get trigger happy.”

    No sooner had he said those words, then eight more ships exited hyperspace in escort formation around the Pride. Clearly not an offensive force, consisting entirely of frigates, but likely more than a picket line would have expected. “To respond to your initial proclamation however, yes, we are here for the Tomb. With your permission I would like to take my ship down to the surface, the rest of my vessels will remain in orbit and will be at your disposal for the duration of my visit in assisting the defense of this planet.”

    Tag: Sinre again

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

    IC: Argen
    Rosa

    “We don’t have a solid trajectory.” Argen said with some annoyance. “While the ship seems to have jumped along the same trajectory, he could have exited hyperspace already and jumped along another trajectory, sending us on a wild goose chase from here to Lehon.” He crossed his arms, “Not to mention my ships systems detected a signal outbound the moment we dropped out of hyperspace, but it wasn’t directly sent from any of my internal systems. My droids are in the process of decoding it now.”

    Nothing came into or left his ship, as he said, without him knowing, but no system was 100% perfect, and he was exhausted, he hadn’t caught it in time. “We also have the shuttle off to our port. I’m going to move away from it, and send over a team of droids to look it over, because I smell a trap. If they find something good, if not alright, but I’m going to go with my better judgement as opposed to my standard mode of operation, and say we destroy it. He abandoned it for a reason, and it’s probably a trap.”

    Tag: All Aboard the Rosa @galactic-vagabond422, @Mitth_Fisto, @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29, @Darth_wanderguard, @Ktala, @Lady Belligerent

    OOC: I will do a joint post as Victus with @Kev-Mas_Colcha
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  13. LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2012
    star 4
    IC: Bron Dooku
    Ando mountains, the Bendu library of Dichotomies

    Bron Dooku was sitting in a corner by a window, nose-deep into a dusty treaty on early Jedi architecture. Although the book did not contain much information he didn't already know, it was nevertheless lavishly illustrated, and a very pleasant read. Perhaps he could ask one of the four-armed, yak-faced Talid monks for permission to create a holobook copy?

    Most of the time, being cut off from the galaxy at large felt like a blessing. There were moments, however, when Bron feared that something terrible might happen in the meanwhile, unbeknownst to him. Or what if his son Apar finally decided to reconnect? It was all too easy to forget that the universe outside kept moving on when here, in the Library of Dichotomies, there were only whispers of people long dead and glimpses of ancient lives fossilized on paper.

    Then robotic noises coming from a hallway took him out of his reverie. Bron saw Dassid coming right towards him, gliding fast and flailing his short arms frenetically. Although bron did trust the droid, who had been his faithful pilot and valet for the last fourteen years, he also knew that RX units had an unfortunate tendency to premature excitability.
    "Master Dooku!", Dassid wailed, "We must run!"
    "Great Balls of Fire!" Bron answered under his breath. "What are you talking about? Why should we run? Don't tell me you've accidentally damaged a parchment like that time on Criton's Point..."


    Tag: @Sinrebirth
    Last edited by LelalMekha, Sep 2, 2017
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  14. galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2009
    star 4
    IC: Rhoen Aquilla
    Rosa, Esfandia system

    Rhoen rested peacefully, no thoughts of his past combat or the fights to come, just resting. He was vaguely aware of his arms wrapped around Corona Seven's shoulders, holding her warmth close to him. She was calming to him a talisman that quieted his mind, let him forget all the things going on. It was like they were in their own little world, their own universe insulated from all the turmoil and destruction that surrounded them. That was until the outside world decided to intrude.

    Both their comlinks went off, Rhoen had to pad around the nearby area until he remembered that his comm was most likely buried in his flightsuit still crumpled up on the refresher floor. However the message was sent, twenty minutes, that was all the time he had left to reside in their pocket dimension.

    He heard a slight mumble from beside him, Seven was waking up. He shifted over onto his shoulder watching his wingmate woke from her all too short slumber.

    "I guess it's time to get back to work Corona Seven." He said with a smile. "But, we have twenty minutes." He leaned forward kissing her on the forehead. "Maybe a little more if we decided to arrive fashionably late." The pilot added with a smile. He was content to lay there, use up all the time he had left to stay with her, to avoid the real galaxy for just a bit longer, to enjoy her company away from prying eyes for a few moments more.

    He brushed a bit of dark blonde hair away from his face just staring into her blue eyes. He couldn't help but smile watching her wake. Force he just wanted to stay here forever, to make this moment be the one he remains in for the rest of his life.

    But, he had a duty to fulfill, they both did. They had to make the galaxy whole again, to end the darkness that threatened the safety of the universe their parents created with their own blood, sweat, and, tears.

    It was now their turn to save the galaxy, their turn to become legends. The question remained, would they even survive this? The forces of darkness were all around threating to swallow the light. Would their light be consumed as well, another name on some wall of remembrance?

    Just stay alive for the next ten seconds. That was the saying in his old squadron. All you had to do was find a way to keep flying for the next few moments and things could change. Focus on the present, don't worry about the past, don't worry about the future, just think about the next few moments. Just stay alive.

    Rhoen was fine spending his next few moments with Seven. He'd taken her words to heart, calling her by her callsign rather than the name she chose, or the name she was born with. He closed his eyes just for a little bit taking just a few more minutes of rest. He knew he was being selfish but, he'd earned it.

    When the twenty minutes had passed, he got up and pulled on his flightsuit, checked his blaster and headed out with his partner. He didn't care what people thought about him and her, it was a war sometimes the chain of command broke down.

    He reentered the hangar just as they pulled the escape pod into the ship.

    "We also have the shuttle off to our port." Argen continued after talking about the fact they might have lost the trail. "I’m going to move away from it, and send over a team of droids to look it over, because I smell a trap. If they find something good, if not alright, but I’m going to go with my better judgement as opposed to my standard mode of operation, and say we destroy it. He abandoned it for a reason, and it’s probably a trap."

    Captain Aquila, he was finally getting used to calling himself that, thought for a moment.

    "While yes it could be a trap," he started, "it is possible that he left some clue as to where he was going. Didn't clear out his nav computer, or left a droid with intact memory, it certainly looks like he left in a hurry, maybe made a few mistakes. It might give us more to go on than a 'Wild Goose Chase.'"

    He looked to the escape pod resting in the hangar.

    "Are we getting lifesigns from this pod?" He looked up the Zabrak, "I'm sure you've checked it for explosives captain otherwise you would have never brought it on board." Given Argen's caution it was safe to assume he would have made sure that it was safe to bring on board. "And if we are getting lifesigns, are we sure we can trust whomever is in there." He doubted it was the Supreme Leader himself, that would be too easy. Though it could be one of his lackeys, a spy sent to keep tabs on the team hunting him down.

    This whole situation had maybe made him a little paranoid, he also was not trained in espionage, or interrogation. He was a pilot trained to engage the enemy in starfigther combat, not in the shadows. He'd said his peace, he would let those more well versed in cloak and dagger take over from here.

    He kept his hands at his side fighting his urge to hold Seven's. He still had to maintain proper decorum at least in front of the General. We would also have to temper his want to protect his wingmate with trust that she could see her way out of any situation they found themselves in. He could not always protect her and further the mission at the same time. If it came to it could he put the mission, the safety of the galaxy above his love of her?

    She was the daughter of Wedge Antilles after all, she could look after herself right?

    That didn't mean he wouldn't worry every moment.

    TAG: @Kahn_Iceay, @Mitth_Fisto, @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29, @Darth_wanderguard, @Ktala
    Last edited by galactic-vagabond422, Sep 2, 2017
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  15. Darth Kronos Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2016
    star 5
    IC: Jak Dexter - Nearing the Ord Mantell Orbit

    How did I get here?

    It was a question Jak found himself asking much more frequently as of late. He had originally sworn off getting involved in the raging conflict between the First Order and the Resistance, furthered after the Hosnian Prime attack, instead opting to make his wealth through small crime rings, assassinating people his employers believed to be targets of interest, and then collecting the bounty money soon after. They were easy jobs. Far from the drama and complexities of the seemingly neverending conflict the Galaxy suffered through.

    He never thought he'd end up working for a side in a war, especially in one as large in scale as this one.

    But Jak, since his teen years, had one weakness.

    Money.

    Around a month ago, Jak's greediness had gotten the better of him. During a routine group mission, he had betrayed his mercenary gang for a rival group, gladly accepting their double offer of pay they offered him beforehand, and then killing the few witnesses to avoid pursuit. Which didn't work. Despite the money he was offered, the entire cash load far exceeded what they were offering him - something he was not aware of when he accepted it. And so, he did no bring the credits to them, selfishly keeping it all for himself.

    Meaning any job he did get did not last too long.

    And so, when someone from the First Order contacted him, he was more willing to hear him out.

    He had mentioned something about bounties on First Order defectors. Which was fine. They clearly couldn't have and top secret information getting into the wrong hands.

    And the pay was more than worth the temporary break of his morals.

    He silently stared into the blue hue of hyperspace before standing up to go polish his weapons.

    His sniper rifle being the priority. It was his primary weapon. Ever since an early age, Jak had had a preference for being the sniper support. It was far safer when compared to the gang-on-gang violence that occurred around him. It was a far better option than fighting in the front lines. In Jak's method, he was far more likely to emerge alive than those fighting on the ground. Some would call that cowardice. He didn't care.

    As he was polishing his rifle, albeit too vigorously, an alarm on his ship sounded, indicating he was nearing his destination. Sitting back into the cockpit seat, he flicked the necessary switches and pull the vital levers and found himself in the vast darkness of space.

    What he saw was eye popping.

    A giant Star Destroyer, black and menacing, slowly flew through space, directly above the battered Ord Mantell. Interesting.

    A voice suddenly spoke through his comlink. 'Two new arrivals. You are expected aboard the Finalizer. Please be prompt. General Hux, Captain Phasma and Adjunct Reige are expecting you. Control out.'

    So, that giant behemoth was called the Finalizer? As if it wasn't threatening enough...

    Jak absently reflected on the names that were mentioned. Hux and Phasma were familiar to him, their names were broadcasted across multiple news channels. But Reige he did not know. Knowing these types of people, he was probably another pretentious man that was way too full of himself. Which was fine. He knew how to deal with those people.

    He gently piloted his shuttle into one of the hangars, ready for whatever awaited him.

    Probably.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth ( @Darth_wanderguard @Halle Dray, because I'll see you soon)





    IC: Luna - Coruscant, the Black Hole Establishment

    Luna was hungover.

    For the fourth time that week.

    When she had arrived to the Black Hole, a part bar and part motel, she arrived intoxicated and insanely tired. So, she sloppily scribbled her name onto a sign in paper and lazily walked toward her room and immediately proceeded to collapse onto the bed and fall into a deep sleep.

    She could have returned to her actual home, but it was too far away, and any more flying in her drunken state would not end well.

    Luna vaguely remembered another woman with similar posture to hers arriving at the same time and walking into a room close to hers, but she was too drunk to think about it.

    When she woke up, she didn't know what time it was. Morning, noon, afternoon, evening, night. They were too far down Coruscant's levels to truly know.

    She grunted and sat up on the bed and pondered it all.

    Her regrets primarily.

    There was the baby she stole, for starters. A human male with dark skin with the name of Sam. His parents dead and village never the same afterward. She had stolen that boy from his family, well before he could even form any lasting memories with them, and she had taken him to the First Order to become another mindless drone/Stormtrooper. But not before using the baby as a human shield to escape the village after her entire squadron was slaughtered by the villagers. A cowardly move, many would say.

    But, she tried to justify to herself, she would be dead if she didn't do that.

    Maybe it was better off if she did die...

    Because several years later, Luna had made the worst decision of her life.

    Aiding in the firing of the Starkiller Base.

    She's a very multi skilled woman and so, after her demotion, she was placed onto a more technical spot for the Base, which allowed her to actually fire it, if need be. Which there was.

    She was one of the few that practically slaughtered billions of people. Innocent people. Which was the main reason she drank so often.

    She sighed heavily.

    Back to the boy...

    She had kept tabs on him after the drama, as little as she could given her next location. All she could gather was his Stormtrooper number. One that, given current events, became extremely infamous within the First Order. A man that could have been the turning point in the war.

    FN-2187.

    So many ties she had in this conflict. It was only a matter of time before she was found and very likely executed.

    Luna shook those thoughts away, but grabbing her pistol and sliding it into its holster just in case.

    She stumbled to the door, her head pounding and her joints aching. Her appearance might not give it away, but she's an aging woman. Who still made moronic decisions as if she were a teenager again.

    The door slid open and she was instantly greeted with the well-lit main room that practically blinded her in her hungover state.

    She then noticed the woman she vaguely remembered from last night. Posture again similar to hers.

    That of an Imperial...

    Someone of the First Order?

    Luna could not take any chances. In her drunken paranoia, she aggressively walked over to the mysterious woman's position and removed her pistol from its holster.

    If she played her cards correctly, she could kill the Imperial and still escape with no immediate police pursuit.

    But that all depended on the skills of the woman Luna was suddenly attacking.

    TAG: Sinrebirth @QueenSabe7
    Last edited by Darth Kronos, Sep 3, 2017
  16. Ktala Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Belila Gambros (Bre)
    Now aboard the Rosa


    Aboard the Rosa, arriving

    *Beep...bleep....WHOOP!*


    Bre cracked open an eye, wondering what the noise was about. It took her a moment realize she was no longer on the Falcon, but instead the Rosa. It took even longer to remember how she had gotten there. She turned over, ready to ignore the sounds, when a long series of bleep and a rather rude BrRRRRRRP! made her suddenly sat up. Both BB-8 and Fred where in the room, and both were very VERY vocal about her being called to meet with others in the bay area of the ship.

    What now? Bre slowly sat up. "What? Say it again... slowly." Fred chimed in, bleeping about being called to the bay area, because something was being brought aboard. Bre frowned. What did they need her for? She got up, shaking her head. "Alright, Alright, Im coming..."

    After a bit, Bre walked into the hanger area, her eyes scanning the area. Someone was talking, asking questions.

    "Are we getting lifesigns from this pod?" He looked up the Zabrak, "I'm sure you've checked it for explosives captain otherwise you would have never brought it on board." Given Argen's caution it was safe to assume he would have made sure that it was safe to bring on board. "And if we are getting lifesigns, are we sure we can trust whomever is in there."

    Bre gave a smirk, but saw that Kyp and the General were there, their eyes locked to the pod. Okay. So why was SHE called. Certainly, they didnt need her for anything? Bre wisely kept that thought to herself, as she stepped up, to watch what would happen next. Fred stayed to the side, out of the way, as he monitored the situation. Talking with BB-8 had brought him up to speed on many things. But he still had some questions that only Bre could answer.

    Bre simply crossed her arms, and watched the interaction between the people. At the moment, she had nothing to add to the conversation. So she was content to simply watch at this time, while gently scanning within the Force for any possible dangers.



    TAG: @galactic-vagabond422, @Mitth_Fisto , @Kahn_Iceay, @HanSolo29, @Darth_wanderguard, @Lady Belligerent, @Sinrebirth
    Last edited by Ktala, Sep 3, 2017
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  17. Kev-Mas_Colcha Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Joint post with @Kahn_Iceay;

    Leonias Colcha
    Rhen Var, Shadow Vanguard Central HQ

    Leonias disembarked from the small assault shuttle that had just landed in the main hangar bay not too much earlier, walking down the boarding ramp onto the hangar bay floor, his long silver hair falling into place as he removed his helmet.

    “Leonias,” greeted an officer, catching him in stride as he walked towards the turbolift, “Lord Victus has demanded that you call him at once.”

    “Stang…”

    Leonias cursed under his breath. He knew full well that Victus wasn’t going to be congratulating him on a job well done after his most recent heist. No, instead, Leonias was bracing for a scolding. The entire boarding action as well as the broadcast he made was not sanctioned, but Leonias did it anyways because he felt justified in doing so.

    “Understood, Lieutenant,” he replied as he thumbed the turbolift call button.

    Moments later he was in his quarters, and staring nervously at his viewscreen. A cold shiver went down his spine as he pressed the button to call Victus, fearing the worst already.

    The visage of an Echani who looked far too young for his old age appeared with a scowl on his face. “Lord Colcha...” The words were not dripping with anger, but disappointment, “As much as I would normally appreciate you being your father’s son this is not a time for that. He may have instilled in you his desire for notoriety, straightforwardness, and directness, but those are not always good traits... especially when you announce our existence, an existence I have spent nearly forty years keeping hidden, to every First Order survivor in the system.”

    “Those survivors will soon be dead and their communications are cut off,” replied Leonias, much in the same way that an rebellious youth might respond to an authority figure, “They should be of no concern. The benefits of the operation outweigh any potential risks involved.”

    “Dorja failed to take Eshan or claim his prize, yet he lives. You cannot guarantee the death of all those in that system. I have the gift of foresight and we know that it is not exact, you lack that gift.” The echani crossed his arms, his frown continuing. “You have run the risk of exposing us as well, and force me to make a decision I do not wish to do... Prisoners are no longer on your docket. I want those ships free of First Order personnel, and delivered to the Republic forces at Chandrila.”

    “Always so full of himself; so pompous and full of steam, acting as if he knows everything,” he thought to himself as Victus’ words set in, “What father saw in him, I’ll never know. Though he did tend to be a little too accepting of others…”

    “I’ll kill every last First Order slime on those ships myself if I have to,” replied Leonias, expressing an unhealthy amount of zeal in his tone of voice, “Consider it done.”

    “No, you won’t.” Victus frowned, having sensed the sudden shift in the younger man’s temper flare. “Valynt will take command of the forces clearing out the ships. I want you to prepare for the tasks at hand. You have put wheels into motion that were not yet meant to go into motion. You will be called upon to take the necessary actions. You’ve made yourself a player in the grander scheme of things Leonias... I hope you’re prepared for the consequences of that.”

    Leonias sighed. “Taking action is never free of consequences. As much as you think of me to be irresponsible and rash, I’ve already taken into account the potential consequences for my actions. By taking those actions, I’ve declared that I was ready to face them.”

    “You are ever as much pigheaded and stubborn as your father and it saw him tortured for much of his life.” Victus’ voice turned to annoyance, and Leonias found the air around him feeling suddenly cold. “You will mind your tongue, mind your thoughts, and mind your actions. This order was not organized to fling itself blindly into battle. There was a plan. You have jeopardized it all.” He raised a hand, finger pointed accusingly. “You are to take your personal force, and report to our rally point in the Deep Core, you will then wait, and you will think. Genuinely think, about the consequences of your actions, and the understanding that you are not infallible, none of us are.”

    While Leonias did not appreciate the condescension coming from Victus, especially in the form of criticism aimed at his father, all things considered it could be worse. While he had fully anticipated the consequences for his actions being just as severe as Victus had made them out to be, he actually overestimated the personal consequences. Leonias had expected a worse reaction than he had gotten from Victus, but instead he was simply told to continue on with his work, as if begrudgingly given the blessing to do so.

    “I appreciate your flexibility, Victus. I will prepare my forces at once.”

    “Do not thank me.” The Echani turned away from the holo transceiver, his form starting to walk away. “The path you walk now is one of your own making, see to it that it is one of salvation, and not of ruin.” And with that, the image flickered once, and died.

    Leonias sighed, and then immediately sprang to action. Lifting his left arm up slightly, he pressed a few buttons into a keypad on his bracer and brought up an audio only comm feed to the hangar bay staff on a private line.

    “Lieutenant, this is Colcha. Please begin launch preparations for the Crimson Dagger Squadron. We have been ordered to report to our rally point in the Deep Core.”

    “Aye sir, the squadron should be ready within the hour.”

    -------

    Leonias sat inside the cockpit of his modified TIE Mangler, the Silver Beacon as he ran startup diagnostic checks. The cockpit was reminiscent to that of any normal TIE cockpit, save for being slightly roomier thanks to the relatively large size of the fighter compared to other TIEs.

    “Beacon, perform a standard pre-launch diagnostic,” said Leonias to his ship telepathically.

    “Acknowledged, Master Colcha,” came the telepathic reply, “All systems appear to be operational and running at peak efficiency. Do you wish to initiate start-up sequence now?”

    “Yes Beacon, that would be appreciated.”

    Almost if on cue, the muffled TIE Engines started up with a quiet whine as the ship came to life.

    “Crimson Dagger Squad this is Dagger Lead,” said Leonias to his squad mates over comms as his ship began to lift into the air, “Prepare to disembark from Vanguard HQ and make way to our destination on my lead.”

    Shortly after, 11 TIE Manglers followed after the Silver Beacon, departing from the hangar bay inside the asteroid base. Moments later they made the jump to hyperspace, heading to the Shadow Vanguard rally point inside the deep core.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth;
  18. Lord_Trekie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2016
    IC: Myna'vera
    Tombs of Chandrila

    "That's nice." Was all Myna had to say to the Ryn who had made a general nuisance of himself ever since he'd been 'introduced' to her. She still had no intention of working with him more than she needed to. He certainly wouldn’t be of any help when she actually found what she was looking for without any force sensitivity, not that she ever wanted to admit she had any herself.

    Still ignoring him she pushed past and looked down the descent that he’d seemingly prepared. “Dee, wait here while I head down. I need to get a feel for the tomb. Get Spot running passive scans of the area once he’s cleared to leave the ship.”

    Taking a moment to retrieve a pulley from her pack, she handed it to the Ryn. “Lower him down when I ask, then do whatever it is you feel like doing.” She barely waited a heartbeat before she had replaced her pack on her back and had started rappelling down the cliffside.

    It didn’t take long before the Force started to trickle back into her. The tomb still below clearly had contained a great power at one point, and hopefully still did, but beyond that, she didn’t feel anything else. No, there was something else, inside the tomb as well, but it was… different. She’d only been on excursions for Force-related items a few times before, they were all essentially trinkets that just happened to belong to a force user at one point. Barely any connection to the force, whereas this tomb might as well have been a waterfall.

    At the bottom there wasn’t much room before a set of stairs started climbing slightly through a doorway. Debris from the various collapses and geological shifts over the last decade had turned the place into a mess, and she couldn’t see very well past the doorway, but she almost felt like she didn’t need to, what she was looking for was clearly inside. Or at least, something powerful was...

    TAG: @Sinrebirth & @Kahn_Iceay
    Last edited by Lord_Trekie, Sep 5, 2017
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  19. Mitth_Fisto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Susulur Dha'tra
    Medbay / Hanger of Rosa

    Sometimes waking up in a new bed and a new place is a pleasant experience. This one was less so. The dream still clung and hung heavily in his mind, as he scanned the medbay before moving he found himself running through the recall techniques to devote the dream to memory even as it seemed to begin to wisp away like the mists of a new dawn to the morning light. After meditating on the dream for a while he noted the beep of his bucce's comm letting him know he had a new message. Apparently he was being summoned. Again.

    Getting up he stretched out the kinks from sleeping on a med bed in partial armor as he tried out his newly mended clavicle. Good as new supposedly, or even better if some doctors were to be believed. Still with a heavy sigh he went to work resecuring his armor plates to his back and chest that had to be removed for the surgery and that had been denied being replaced until significant time to heal had passed. As he secured the back pack he groaned slightly as it caused the armor to chafe over the incision site. Good as new never felt good as new for a couple days to him. But that was just him.

    Setting out down the hallways he followed the path his bucce had mapped out on the way here, and falling in behind two resistance pilots he reentered the hangar bay just behind them as they pulled the escape pod into the ship.

    "We also have the shuttle off to our port." Argen continued after talking about the fact they might have lost the trail. "I’m going to move away from it, and send over a team of droids to look it over, because I smell a trap. If they find something good, if not alright, but I’m going to go with my better judgement as opposed to my standard mode of operation, and say we destroy it. He abandoned it for a reason, and it’s probably a trap."

    Captain Aquila decided to speak up at this point, "While yes it could be a trap," he started, "it is possible that he left some clue as to where he was going. Didn't clear out his nav computer, or left a droid with intact memory, it certainly looks like he left in a hurry, maybe made a few mistakes. It might give us more to go on than a 'Wild Goose Chase.'"

    Most eyes either stayed on the man, but Susulur's and a few others followed the gaze to look to the escape pod resting in the hangar.

    "Are we getting lifesigns from this pod?" Aquila asked as he looked up to the Zabrak, "I'm sure you've checked it for explosives captain otherwise you would have never brought it on board." Given Argen's caution it was safe to assume he would have made sure that it was safe to bring on board. "And if we are getting lifesigns, are we sure we can trust whomever is in there."

    What was inside was truly anyone's guess. Although as he reached out with that old ability he felt the muddy possibility, of life. Subdued, muted, but there. Anything was truly possible.

    Stepping forward he simply nodded his bucce, "We won't know until we check. Might as well let someone with body armor do it." he stated simply as he moved to the pod. He wasn't sure if Beviin would speak up at this point or not, but it didn't really matter, there was a pod to open and a question to get an answer to. At least the one at hand.

    TAG: @Kahn_Iceay, @galactic-vagabond422, @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29, @Darth_wanderguard, @Ktala
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  20. QueenSabe7 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Vale Sera
    The Black Hole, Coruscant - Lower Levels

    “Vale…”

    She was adrift.

    Where, she couldn’t immediately be sure, but there was a soft light – a glow - surrounding everything. It was warm and comfortable and as if adjusting a microscope, everything slowly came into a hazy focus. Just a hair shy of crystal clear, her surroundings all carried a blur to their edges.

    “Vale…”

    She was staring up at a low ceiling, feeling a plush mattress beneath her back and bed sheets cocooning her body. Instantly she recognized where she was, a strong sense of safety to this space. Personal quarters – her own, shared with the man she had married. Turning her head towards the sound of her name, she found herself looking into a pair of dark eyes, ones she knew intimately well.

    “You,” she whispered with a smile. Her gaze traveled down over a ruggedly handsome face to his lips, curling slightly at one side as they always did when they were this near to one another.

    And suddenly those lips were upon her own, lingering for a moment in a gentle kiss. Then growing in fervor, the kiss became deeper, more urgent. He leaned over her, running his hands through her hair as they continued. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders tightly, holding him as close as was possible, as if she was trying to make two become one.

    There was an abrupt pause as he broke away, pulling back from her ever so slightly. His breathing was heavier than before and he grinned, tracing a finger over her cheek to trail down her jaw line.

    “I love you,” he said roughly, an eagerness to return to their previous activity apparent in his voice.

    “I love you,” she repeated back, mimicking his affectionate graze with one of her own. Only, once her hand met his skin, he didn’t feel right to her anymore. He didn’t feel… whole.

    Then, as if he were sand sliding between her fingers, his face broke apart under her touch and slipped away into nothing – one of the last images of her beloved returning to the only place he existed now; her memory.

    “Vale…”

    She shot up on her small bed with a cry, her vivid dreams now broken and shattered. Just like her. Vale wildly looked about the room she inhabited, a beam of artificial light seeping in through a pathetic mimic of a window to the outside. Panting in a cold sweat, the harsh reality of the truth settled over her with a brutal finality, just like every morning she had woken since…

    Since her husband simply ceased to be.

    Hyperventilating, she swatted away matted hair from her forehead and clutched at her heart with a hand, her fingers frantically digging into her chest.

    “I miss you,” she sobbed aloud, her breath catching in her throat as she choked through the tears. She lifted the thin sheet at her waist and buried her face, screaming in unbridled rage. She willed her heartache to ease but it had only grown since she had made the impulsive decision to flee the First Order. At the time, it had been unbearable to be around those that had destroyed her life, she being just as integral a part of it as any other officer or trooper that fed the machine. She couldn’t face them –or herself - anymore and so she had done the only thing she could think to do; run.

    Run from fear and death and sorrow.

    Foolish.

    There had been no relief in her flight. The pain had only followed her to whatever dark and seedy corner she could find to hide. In fact, it seemed to have fed off of each ****-hole establishment she entered, lower and deeper into the depths of the city-plant of Coruscant.

    Then there was the dread. It had crept in over the first few days on her own until it reached a fever pitch, paranoia coloring every move she made and every being she came across. Vale’s position had come with a modicum of privilege. She knew things. While it wouldn’t be near as important as the knowledge of a captain or general, it was enough that it was only a matter of time before someone was sent after her, if they hadn’t been already.

    With a jolt her cries stopped and she stilled, blood-shot eyes wide with realization.

    Maybe they were here now.

    The whiplash of her emotions made her dizzy.

    With one last hiccup, she wiped her tears away and took a deep breath. Not a single ounce of calm came as a result, but rather just that hollow will to push on somehow. For him. She had to survive for him.

    Swinging her legs out over the edge of the bed, her eyes swept the tiny room she had rented for only a night. It was disgusting by her standards, those having been set by the pristine discipline and tidiness of the First Order. While it was a part of her she didn’t want to shun, feeling unnatural to expect anything less, those parts of her that felt normal no longer were. Not if she wanted to continue to move along undetected.

    If only she knew where the kriff she was trying to go.

    Her family wasn’t an option, they never were. She had to assume they were all being watched for any signs of contact and she refused to even entertain the idea of endangering more of those she loved and cared for.

    Everyone else she knew she had left behind. Vale had no one but herself anymore and there was a particular feeling that came with admitting that. She felt like all that mattered about her had been removed and she was just one more random citizen of the galaxy, living unnoticed and unwanted, without purpose.

    It was the second-worst feeling she had ever experienced. One she tried not to dwell on, though being alone in this little garbage can of a motel did nothing to help.

    Mustering enough motivation to stand, she began to hastily clean and clothe herself in the same outfit she had worn for the past several days; a pair of loose trousers, button-up shirt and light vest she had swiped shortly after landing on this chaotic world. She had limited funds so what she didn’t have to pay for, she wouldn’t. Eying her knapsack in the reflection of a cracked mirror on the wall, she thought of her lieutenant’s uniform wrapped in its folds and was instantly nauseous. Why she still had it with her, she had no clue… but she just couldn’t get rid of it. Not yet.

    Finishing up with increasing speed, she pinned back her newly shorn brown hair having severed her long locks the day before to just above her shoulders. Looking at her reflection, she appeared haggard and a bit dirty, but the eyes that looked back at her still screamed ‘officer, traitor, killer’. She tore her gaze away from the mirror with a moan, pulling a small object from the front of her shirt, attached to a lengthy chain around her neck; her wedding ring. Staring intently at the black onyx circle, she kissed it once before letting it fall back to its place near her heart.

    “Time to keep moving,” she told herself weakly. Gathering her meager belongings, Vale attached her blaster pistol to her hip and brought the hood of her vest up over her head. Opening the door, she descended the rickety staircase with intent to leave this establishment quickly and quietly.

    Reaching the bottom and beginning to move across the cantina towards the exit, she immediately spotted someone else in the area. A woman. She was moving with purpose as well and only a second later did she realize the stranger was on a collision course with her position. There was an obvious aggressiveness to her stance and steps… but was she drunk?

    This is it, they’ve found me, Vale thought with alarm. The fog her head had been carrying around vanished with surprising abruptness and her instincts kicked into overdrive. The moment the woman reached for her weapon, she was doing the same.

    Her bag dropped to the floor as she swung the blaster up to point directly at her would-be attacker.

    “I’ll only say this once,” she snarled, a surprising conviction behind her words. “Turn around and walk away.”

    TAGS: @Darth Kronos @Sinrebirth
  21. Darth Kronos Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2016
    star 5
    IC: Luna

    Luna's drunkenness was a detriment.

    Worse than that.

    It could be fatal.

    Her speed was heavily slowed and, as a result, she could not eliminate the obvious First Order spy sent to capture or, worse, kill her. Before she could remove her pistol from its holster, prime it, insert her finger into the trigger guard, and pump the mysterious woman full of laser bolts, the Other Woman had already removed her own blaster pistol and pointed it directly at her skull. She slightly stumbled whenever she stepped and, on top of that, Luna's entire body was noticeably shaking from her intoxication and the sudden adrenaline from the life or death situation.

    Now both had their blasters drawn, both blatantly flustered, and both with itchy trigger fingers.

    It was a stalemate.

    The two were silent for a brief moment. To Luna, it felt like an eternity. As if she was on death row, waiting for that moment when she would experience her final breath. In reality, it barely lasted over a few seconds.

    But the Other Woman eventually spoke. "I'll only say this once," she practically snarled, obvious conviction within her voice. "Turn around and walk away."

    Her last statement, at first, caught Luna off guard. 'Turn around and walk away? ' she thought to herself. 'Why would a First Order spy tell me to do that?'

    She slowly began to lower her blaster.

    Until she came to a realization.

    It was a trick. The Other Woman was playing Luna for a fool. She wanted her lower her blaster, her guard, so she would be far easier to defeat. And her defeat would likely result in death. While Luna did not know too much, what she did know would definitely provide even the Resistance an ample reason to attempt to find her.

    Luna knew the First Order. They would not leave until their mission was completed.

    She sharply extended her blaster arm in a threatening motion, her joint shaking and stumbling still noticeable. "You first, Imperial."

    Even her voice was shaky.

    TAG: @QueenSabe7 @Sinrebirth
  22. QueenSabe7 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Vale Sera
    The Black Hole, Coruscant – Lower Levels

    Vale watched the woman through narrowed eyes, her heartbeat nearly in her throat as fear rippled in waves over her entire body. Her raised hand shook slightly as a result, though her tremors were nothing compared to those wracking the body of the one pointing a lethal weapon back at her.

    Taking note of many things at once, the former officer surmised quickly that this stranger was indeed intoxicated at levels which would most likely knock any moderate drinker to the floor. She convulsed and stumbled, clearly unsteady on her feet as it was a wonder she even stood at all. The alcohol wafted off of the other now that they were facing one another… or maybe that was the general air of this foul place.

    Continuing to stand stock still, she noted the woman’s pistol lower marginally, a dazed look appearing on her face like she was genuinely confused as to what was taking place.

    You’re not the only one, Vale realized, her hand tightening over the grip on her blaster despite an increasingly sweaty palm. Why in the blazes would the First Order send this drunkard after her? Why bother at all? Unless this was about something else entirely… But what?

    “You first, Imperial,” the woman spat, loathing clear in her expression. A sudden movement and she brought her weapon back up to a somewhat accurate aim.

    Vale shifted back a step in reaction, her finger never wavering from the trigger though she couldn't bring herself to pull it. Yet.

    “Not a chance, lady,” she responded, a hint of sarcasm to her voice. This was ridiculous. “Who sent you?”

    Although the “who” didn’t really matter, as she had no plans of going anywhere but through the exit alone. And alive.

    TAGS: @Darth Kronos @Sinrebirth
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  23. Lady Belligerent • WNU Adoptions Coordinator•

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2008
    star 7
    Combo with Super Sinre

    IC: Jaina Solo
    Ravager - Unknown Regions

    Between Cappy's frantic warning and then the colossal smash to her chest, Jaina found herself struggling between consciousness and simply breathing. She hated being on the receiving end of a concussion blast, but the telekinetic punch to the chest was a cheap shot.

    Her violet blade was in her palm and ignited before she'd landed hard against the transparasteel wall of the tram. She grinned at the troops that had burst in, "you don't want to attack me," Jaina said firmly and waved the fingers on her free hand.

    'I do though.' The troopers were parted and a crimson blade came slamming down from high, a two handed chop behind crossguard lightsaber.

    Kylo Ren was here.

    Jaina's blade rose instantly to meet Ren's and her arm shuddered from the impact. "Impressive entrance, Ben," her voice reeking of sarcasm as she stared into the mask of Kylo Ren. "Is your chrono broken? Because I'm pretty sure I didn't miss a costume holiday," Jaina said as her blade sizzled against Ben's sparking saber. She called on the Force, and combined with her own considerable strength, used her saber to shove Ben away and raised her voice. "Get off me," her voice had a distinct edge that her sibling should recognize, "it's time to stop the Dark Side dabbling." Jaina continued to hold her lightsaber aloft and was prepared to block any attack as she spoke.

    "Do you think you're our grandfather or something? In case you've forgotten, this whole dark thing didn't end so well for him." As much as Jaina would love to give him the physical beating he deserved, she had to try and get him to listen. "Now take that helmet off and tell the goons to stand down."

    Kylo Ren took the step back, and then stood, imperious in his height as he allowed his blade to fall to his side, held at ease. Unlike in his youth, he appeared confident; in control. Powerful, even. He stood taller than his younger sister; always had, always would.

    Now they had a quiet moment, however, she would sense the pain radiating from him.

    The anguish.

    But for a brief moment his men held fire, unsure whether they should interfere in their Lords kill. 'You don't know, do you?'

    Anticipating that a bubble of confusion would arise, he shoved out his hand with the intent to seize her in a stasis field.

    Jaina had been anticipating Ben's attack and had swiftly used the Force to shield herself. "Jeez, Ben," she'd tried the patient approach and had tried not to lose her cool...but her brother was clearly spoiling for a fight. "Stop kriffing around. You may be larger, but I've far more experience in hand to hand combat, and I wouldn't mind kicking your sorry ass." It wasn't bragging. Jaina was a powerhouse who had bested some of the best, Zekk and Jag still bore scars from sparring with her.

    She glared up at him...her brother, and resisted the urge to ask...she didn't know what? It was likely another game of Ben's to throw her off, and she wasn't taking the bait.

    "I'd prefer to do this the easy way. Also, I won't forget you trying to kill me...we can discuss that at a later date."

    Tag: @Sinrebirth
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  24. Kahn_Iceay Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 5
    IC: Argen
    Sub Rosa hangar bay

    “I would ask that you didn’t.” Argen held out a hand towards the Mandalorian, bidding him to stop. “Security is on the way and I have ray shields ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. Even if the thing decided to explode it wouldn’t do much more than scuff the paint and annoy me right now.” He let out a sigh however, this was getting out of hand. There were far too many cooks in the kitchen and it was his kitchen, but everybody it seems was used to being head chef.

    “As for the shuttle,” he turned back to Aquila, “I agree, it may hold information, it could also hold misinformation, but we should take the time to look. However, I will not risk this ship, or our lives, so we’ll send over droids.” He clapped his hands together, “Salvage is literally my job, long before DTC started running large freight and passengers, we ran salvage operations, I have all the necessary droids and equipment onboard.”

    It was at that moment that the main lift opened and a squad of humanoid droids began marching out. The droids were green in colour, with reinforced plating around their limbs, each carried a simple blaster pistol. Two however seemed to be fitted with extra equipment, EV packs, and one arm replaced with a variety of tools. These two split off from the group and made their way towards the hangar’s airlock while the rest moved into position around the escape pod.

    “Good, now we can get started.” Argen tapped at his wrist comm and with a loud buzz of a noise translucent waves of energy sprang down from the ceiling of the hangar, surrounding the pod, and the droids, in a bubble. “Go ahead and open the pod up, be slow about it. Don’t want to lose any droid lives today either.”

    Tag: All on the Rosa, especially @Mitth_Fisto and @galactic-vagabond422
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  25. Halle Dray Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2016
    star 4
    IC: Sava Boutros
    Battle of Ord Mantell, aftermath

    Sava reached up to smooth down the tendrils of hair sweeping her forehead as Hidax, Phasma, and herself congregated on the Finaliser. Hux was there as well as two other stormtroopers and a man all of whom Sava assumed to be part of a squad.

    She'd been given time to freshen up so she rinsed her face of dirt, quickly changed her uniform, and put some bacta on a cut to her cheek.

    Hux introduced the man, Vitor Reige, seemingly a Remnant officer due to his former title. The holo table lit up with a tap of Hux's hand and the images of three people appeared. All of them had been troopers and all of them were traitors.

    "They are staying in the same establishment, under the pseudonyms Vale and Luna, apparently without knowledge of the other, though I treat that information as suspect," Hux revealed.


    Reige and Hux continued their commentary to say that Sava and Hidax were to be inserted on Coruscant to track down the two other traitors before they got to the Resistance. It was possible they had valuable information and they needed to be stopped.

    "I have greetings from your father, if you would speak with me privately," Reige said directly to Sava.

    My father? How did he find my father? Sava wondered silently.

    The young private hadn't spoken with or seen her parents in years.

    She gave him a small nod, "Yes sir."

    Sava figured she might as well have something interesting to occupy the hour before she was headed to Coruscant.

    TAGS: @Darth Kronos @QueenSabe7 @Sinrebirth @Darth_wanderguard
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